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Are the Texas blackouts a preview of Biden’s coming Green New Deal? | CFACT

Posted by M. C. on May 1, 2021

John Kerry, Biden’s “climate czar,” tried to claim otherwise, explaining pipeline workers laid off by Biden’s actions can just get other jobs. “Let them make the solar panels,” he quipped.

Of course, Biden’s emissions targets don’t apply to the elites. Kerry also said that a private jet “Is the only choice for someone like me.”

There’s nothing “green” about the hundreds of thousands of square miles of habitat, farmland, forest, and scenic vistas that would be destroyed to make way for the Green New Deal.

https://www.cfact.org/2021/04/29/are-the-texas-blackouts-a-preview-of-bidens-coming-green-new-deal/

By Adam Houser, Craig Rucker

“Don’t mess with Texas!”

Unfortunately, “messing with Texas” is exactly what so-called “renewable” energy recently did with Lone Star residents.

In mid-February, extreme cold temperatures rocked the state, as well as much of the nation.

Yet, unlike the rest of America, Texas was also hit with widespread power outages leaving millions shivering in the cold. It is believed that dozens have died in the tragedy.

Texas gets approximately 24 percent of its energy from wind and solar, which is significantly more than the rest of the nation. The national average is only 3 percent from wind and solar. As the record cold hit Texas from February 8 to February 16, renewable power generation dropped from 24 percent to an abysmal 8.3 percent as turbines froze and solar panels were covered with snow.

In the weeks that followed, Leftist politicians and the media have embarked on an extensive PR campaign, trying to blame everything for the blackouts – except for wind and solar.

The main narrative tries to shift blame to the supposed failure of coal and gas backup power. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Chuck Schumer even doubled down on green energy, claiming that if Texas had enacted a Green New Deal, the energy crisis would have never happened.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Are the Texas blackouts a preview of Biden’s coming Green New Deal?

Wind power generation during the freeze diminished by a whopping 93 percent, while natural gas generation increased by 450 percent to try to make up the difference.

Imagine how much worse the crisis would have been if natural gas had been completely phased out via a Green New Deal.

But unfortunately, the “spin” didn’t stop there.

Other narratives have tried to say that gas pipelines froze, preventing gas backup from kicking in at the right times and in the right places. But where these pipelines did freeze, the blame rests on more green policy.

The Wall Street Journal reported that: “Thanks to the Clean Air Act, pipeline compressors run on electricity now rather than natural gas. So blackouts meant to conserve electricity can actually reduce it, by knocking gas-burning generators offline.”

Finally, the Left tried to claim that Texas wind turbines weren’t properly winterized.

But even in states up north, where winterization is utilized, renewable power generation decreased significantly. In New York, New England, and the rest of the Mid-Atlantic during the cold streak, power from renewable sources went from a few thousand megawatt-hours to close to zero at many points, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Texas isn’t the only place to succumb to blackouts due to an over-reliance on renewable power.

In 2016, Australia faced blackouts as 40 percent of its energy supply was converted from coal to wind. When strong winds knocked out power lines, the grid couldn’t keep up.

In August of 2020, California couldn’t make up the extra power needed to cope with a heat wave hitting the state due to its huge push of renewables. Peak demand hits in the evenings when these renewables aren’t producing. As a result, the Golden State went dark.

Finally, just this January, much of Europe was hit with blackouts as snow and cold hit solar power hard. Germany in particular was forced to rely on coal backup power to make it through.

While these blackouts from Texas and beyond are tragic enough by themselves, what’s worse is that this may be a sign of things to come for the rest of America.

The Biden administration is moving forward with executive actions to force the nation to switch to more solar, wind, and electric vehicles on a national and industrial scale.

Biden has already signed orders that cancelled the Keystone pipeline, placed a moratorium on oil leasing in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), rejoined the Paris Climate Accord, and put an indefinite moratorium on new oil and gas leases on federal lands and waters.

But what’s more is that Biden is planning to double the emissions targets that former President Obama had put in place and order all agencies and departments to make climate change their number one focus.

These actions will increase prices, destroy jobs, and make our grid more susceptible to weather events – all for zero impact on the climate.

John Kerry, Biden’s “climate czar,” tried to claim otherwise, explaining pipeline workers laid off by Biden’s actions can just get other jobs. “Let them make the solar panels,” he quipped.

Of course, Biden’s emissions targets don’t apply to the elites. Kerry also said that a private jet “Is the only choice for someone like me.”

Analysis from Ronald Stein at cfact.org shows that all these green jobs Kerry is touting are actually going to China and India.

Stein explains: “Kerry has learned very little from the first two countries to go Green – Germany and Australia. Neither countries’ manufacturing sector can compete with China and India.”

He goes on to add that Germany’s renewable energy push, its “Energiewende” program, has shed 50 percent of its workforce, going from 300,000 jobs in the renewable energy sector in 2011 to 150,000 in 2018.

China and India, meanwhile, are moving forward as fast as possible with coal power, mining, and everything else they can do to support their booming industrial sectors.

Additionally, going “green” on a national scale actually won’t help our environment at all. In fact, it will make our environment worse.

CFACT senior policy analyst Paul Driessen writes that to meet America’s energy needs while going 100 percent “renewable,” it would require 350,000 square miles of solar panels (or the size of Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico combined), or about 820,000 square miles of land for wind turbines (which is over one fourth of the continental United States).

This doesn’t even include the transmission lines, access space and maintenance areas, or the additional backup power needed for when the renewables go dark.

There’s nothing “green” about the hundreds of thousands of square miles of habitat, farmland, forest, and scenic vistas that would be destroyed to make way for the Green New Deal.

Let’s be blunt: The green jobs promised from Biden’s radical environmental policy are pure fantasy. Instead, as history has shown, we can expect widespread blackouts, extensive job losses, and massive environmental destruction to be the more likely reality.

Author

  • Adam Houser Adam Houser coordinates student leaders as National Director of CFACT’s collegians program and writes on issues of climate and energy.
  • Craig Rucker Craig Rucker is a co-founder of CFACT and currently serves as its president.

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Texas Ended Lockdowns and Mask Mandates. Now Locked-Down States Are Where Covid Is Growing Most | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on April 23, 2021

Jordan asked if this explains the situation in Michigan and New Jersey (and other states with quickly growing covid case rates). Fauci then claimed he couldn’t hear the question, and Jordan was cut off by the committee chairman.

https://mises.org/wire/texas-ended-lockdowns-and-mask-mandates-now-locked-down-states-are-where-covid-growing-most

Ryan McMaken

Early last month, Texas governor Greg Abbott announced he would end the state’s mask mandate and allow most businesses to function at 100 percent capacity.

The response from the corporate media and the Left was predictable. California governor Gavin Newsom declared the move “absolutely reckless.” Beto O’Rourke called the GOP a “cult of death.” Joe Biden called the move “Neanderthal thinking.” Keith Olbermann insisted, “Texas has decided to join the side of the virus” and suggested Texans shouldn’t be allowed to take the covid vaccine. Vanity Fair ran an article with the title “Republican Governors Celebrate COVID Anniversary with Bold Plan to Kill Another 500,000 Americans.”

Other states have followed in Texas’s wake, and Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Georgia are now all states where covid restrictions range from weak to nonexistent.

Georgia and Florida, of course, are both notable for ending lockdowns and restriction much earlier than many other states. And in those cases as well, the state governments were criticized for their policies, which were said to be reckless and sure to lead to unprecedented death. Georgia’s policy was denounced as an experiment in “human sacrifice.”

Yet in recent weeks, these predictions about Texas’s fate have proven to be spectacularly wrong. Moreover, many of the states with the worst growth in covid cases—and the worst track records in overall death counts—have been states that have had some of the harshest lockdowns. The failure of the lockdown narrative in this case has been so overwhelming that last week, when asked about the Texas situation, Anthony Fauci could only suggest a few unconvincing lines about how maybe Texans are voluntarily wearing masks and locking down more strenuously than people in other states. In Fauci’s weak-sauce explanation we see a narrative that simply fails to explain the actual facts of the matter. 

Texas vs. Michigan

The Texas situation is just one piece of a state-by-state picture that is devastating for the lockdowns-save-lives narrative.

For example, let’s look at covid case numbers as of April 20.

Case numbers are a favorite metric for advocates of stay-at-home orders, business closures, mask mandates, and repressive measures in the name of disease control.

In Texas, the total new cases (seven-day moving average) on April 20 was 3,004. That comes out to approximately 103 per million.

Now, let’s look at Michigan, where a variety of strict mask mandates and partial lockdowns continue. Restaurant capacity remains at 50 percent, and the state continues to issue edicts about how many people one is allowed to have over for dinner.

In Michigan, the seven-day moving average for new infections as of April 20 was 790 per million—nearly eight times worse than Texas.

covid

By the logic of lockdown advocates, states with harsh lockdowns should have far fewer cases and less growth in cases.

See the rest here

Author:

Contact Ryan McMaken

Ryan McMaken (@ryanmcmaken) is a senior editor at the Mises Institute. Send him your article submissions for the Mises Wire and Power&Market, but read article guidelines first. Ryan has degrees in economics and political science from the University of Colorado and was a housing economist for the State of Colorado. He is the author of Commie Cowboys: The Bourgeoisie and the Nation-State in the Western Genre.

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Why Is Everyone In Texas Not Dying? | ZeroHedge

Posted by M. C. on March 28, 2021

The CDC has a very helpful tool that allows anyone to compare open vs closed states. The results are devastating for those who believe that lockdowns are the way to control a virus. In this chart we compare closed states Massachusetts and California with open states Georgia, Florida, Texas, and South Carolina. 

https://www.zerohedge.com/covid-19/why-everyone-texas-not-dying?utm_campaign=&utm_content=Zerohedge%3A+The+Durden+Dispatch&utm_medium=email&utm_source=zh_newsletter

Tyler Durden's Photoby Tyler Durden

Authored by Jeffrey Tucker via The American Institute for Economic Research,

I’m sitting at a bar in Texas, surrounded by maskless people, looking at folks on the streets walking around like life is normal, talking with nice and friendly faces, feeling like things in the world are more-or-less normal. Cases and deaths attributed to Covid are, like everywhere else, falling dramatically. 

If you pay attention only to the media fear campaigns, you would find this confusing. More than two weeks ago, the governor of Texas completely reversed his devastating lockdown policies and repealed all his emergency powers, along with the egregious attacks on rights and liberties.

There was something very un-Texan about those lockdowns. My hotel room is festooned with pictures of cowboys on horses waving guns in the air, along with other depictions of rugged individualism facing down the elements. It’s a caricature but Texans embrace it. Then a new virus came along – as if that had never happened before in Texas – and the new Zoom class took the opposite path, not freedom but imposition and control. 

After nearly a year of nonsense, on March 2, 2021, the governor finally said enough is enough and repealed it all. Towns and cities can still engage in Covid-related mischief but at least they are no longer getting cover from the governor’s office. 

At that moment, a friend remarked to me that this would be the test we have been waiting for.

A complete repeal of restrictions would lead to mass death, they said. Would it? Did the lockdowns really control the virus? We would soon find out, he theorized. 

I knew better. The “test” of whether and to what extent lockdowns control the virus or “suppress outbreaks” (in Anthony Fauci’s words) has been tried all over the world. Every serious empirical examination has shown that the answer is no. 

The US has many examples of open states that have generally had better performance in managing the disease than those states that are closed. Georgia already opened on April 24, 2020. South Dakota never shut down. South Carolina opened in May. Florida ended all restrictions in September. In every case, the press howled about the coming slaughter that did not happen. Yes, each open state experienced a seasonality wave in winter but so did the lockdown states. 

So it was in Texas. Thanks to this Twitter thread, and some of my own googling, we have a nice archive of predictions about what would happen if Texas opened. 

  • California Governor Gavin Newsom said that opening Texas was “absolutely reckless.”
  • Gregg Popovich, head coach of the NBA San Antonio Spurs, said opening was “ridiculous” and “ignorant.”
  • CNN quoted an ICU nurse saying “I’m scared of what this is going to look like.”
  • Vanity Fair went over the top with this headline: “Republican Governors Celebrate COVID Anniversary With Bold Plan to Kill Another 500,000 Americans.”
  • There was the inevitable Dr. Fauci: “It just is inexplicable why you would want to pull back now.”
  • Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke of Texas revealed himself to be a full-blown lockdowner: It’s a “big mistake,” he said. “It’s hard to escape the conclusion that it’s also a cult of death.” He accused the governor of “sacrificing the lives of our fellow Texans … for political gain.”
  • James Hamblin, a doctor and writer for the Atlanticsaid in a Tweet liked by 20K people: “Ending precautions now is like entering the last miles of a marathon and taking off your shoes and eating several hot dogs.”
  • Bestselling author Kurt Eichenwald flipped out: “Goddamn. Texas already has FIVE variants that have turned up: Britain, South Africa, Brazil, New York & CA. The NY and CA variants could weaken vaccine effectiveness. And now idiot @GregAbbott_TX throws open the state.” He further called the government “murderous.” 
  • Epidemiologist Whitney Robinson wrote: “I feel genuinely sad. There are people who are going to get sick and die bc of avoidable infections they get in the next few weeks. It’s demoralizing.”
  • Pundit Bill Kristol (I had no idea that he was a lockdowner) wrote: “Gov. Abbott is going to be responsible for more avoidable COVID hospitalizations and deaths than all the undocumented immigrants coming across the Texas border put together.”
  • Health pundit Bob Wachter said the decision to open was “unforgivable.”
  • Virus guru Michael Osterholm told CNN: “We’re walking into the mouth of the monster. We simply are.”
  • Joe Biden famously said that the Texas decision to open reflected “Neanderthal thinking.”
  • Nutritionist Eric Feigl-Ding said that the decision makes him want to “vomit so bad.”
  • The chairman of the state’s Democratic Party said: “What Abbott is doing is extraordinarily dangerous. This will kill Texans. Our country’s infectious-disease specialists have warned that we should not put our guard down, even as we make progress towards vaccinations. Abbott doesn’t care.”
  • Other state Democrats said in a letter that the decision was “premature and harmful.”
  • The CDC’s Rochelle Walensky didn’t mince words: “Please hear me clearly: At this level of cases with variants spreading, we stand to completely lose the hard-earned ground we have gained. I am really worried about reports that more states are rolling back the exact public health measures we have recommended to protect people from COVID-19.”

There are probably hundreds more such warnings, predictions, and demands, all stated with absolute certainty that basic social and market functioning is a terrible idea. The lockdown lobby was out in full force. And yet what do we see now more than two weeks out (and arguably the lockdowns died on March 2, when the government announced the decision)? 

Here are the data. 

The CDC has a very helpful tool that allows anyone to compare open vs closed states. The results are devastating for those who believe that lockdowns are the way to control a virus. In this chart we compare closed states Massachusetts and California with open states Georgia, Florida, Texas, and South Carolina. 

What can we conclude from such a visualization? It suggests that the lockdowns have had no statistically observable effect on the virus trajectory and resulting severe outcomes. The open states have generally performed better, perhaps not because they are open but simply for reasons of demographics and seasonality. The closed states seem not to have achieved anything in terms of mitigation. 

On the other hand, the lockdowns destroyed industries, schools, churches, liberties and lives, demoralizing the population and robbing people of essential rights. All in the name of safety from a virus that did its work in any case. 

As for Texas, the results so far are in…

I’m making no predictions about the future path of the virus in Texas. Indeed for a full year, AIER has been careful about not trying to outguess this virus, which has its own ways, some predictable and some mysterious. The experience has, or should have, humbled everyone. Political arrangements seem to have no power to control it, much less finally suppress it. The belief that it was possible to control people in order to control a virus produced a calamity unprecedented in modern times. 

What’s striking about all the above predictions of infections and deaths is not just that they were all wrong. It’s the arrogance and confidence behind each of them. After a full year and directly observing the inability of “nonpharmaceutical interventions” to manage the pathogen, the experts are still wedded to their beloved lockdowns, unable or unwilling to look at the data and learn anything from them. 

The concept of lockdowns stemmed from a faulty premise: that you can separate humans, like rats in cages, and therefore control and even eradicate the virus. After a year, we unequivocally know this not to be true, something that the best and wisest epidemiologists knew all along. Essential workers still must work; they must go home to their families, many in crowded living conditions. Lockdowns do not eliminate the virus, they merely shift the burden onto the working class.  

Now we can see the failure in black, white, and full color, daily appearing on our screens courtesy of the CDC. Has that shaken the pro-lockdown pundit class? Not that much. What an amazing testament to the stubbornness of elite opinion and its bias against basic freedoms. They might all echo the words of Groucho Marx: “Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?”

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Why a Green New Deal Is More Expensive Than Joe Biden Realizes | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on March 14, 2021

Price signals! Government does need no stinkin’ price signals.

 States like Texas, however, have failed to heed considerations of both net energy and supply and demand in installing massive wind farms at great taxpayer expense where fossil fuels would be far cheaper and more reliable. Lacking price signals, the central planner is blind to the economic consequences of his grand designs.

https://mises.org/wire/why-green-new-deal-more-expensive-joe-biden-realizes

Charlie Deist

One of President Biden’s first executive actions was to declare January 27 “Climate Day.” This ad hoc holiday provided an opportunity for his administration to celebrate the latest rationale for economic central planning. The day’s festivities began with three executive orders on climate change, science, and technology.

In his remarks, Biden bundled his environmental agenda with a jobs program, along with a broader policy to address social inequality and environmental injustice. Among the ambitious goals of Biden’s $2 trillion Green New Deal are 1 million new high-paying union jobs in the automobile industry, half a million electric car charging stations, and a 100 percent carbon pollution–free electric sector by 2035. 

The goal of transitioning the electrical grid to zero carbon emissions in the next fifteen years stands out as a singularly misguided effort. Even granting the nonobvious assumption that we must immediately transition away from fossil fuels, overhauling the American energy infrastructure is a vast and complex calculation problem. To be truly sustainable, individuals and firms would need to act on local knowledge, assessing where and what kinds of renewables might meet their energy needs.

The concept of “net energy” illustrates why replacing fossil fuels with large-scale renewable energy is often counterproductive. In Carbon Shift, a 2009 book discussing peak oil and climate change, David Hughes summarizes it like this:

A two-megawatt windmill contains 260 tonnes of steel requiring 170 tonnes of coking coal and 300 tonnes of iron ore, all mined, transported and produced by hydrocarbons. The question is: how long must a windmill generate energy before it creates more energy than it took to build it? At a good wind site, the energy payback day could be in three years or less; in a poor location, energy payback may be never. That is, a windmill could spin until it falls apart and never generate as much energy as was invested in building it.

This life-cycle accounting of “energy return on energy invested” (EROEI) succinctly describes multiple stages of intermediate capital within a hydrocarbon-based structure of production. Hughes also hints at the basic questions facing all entrepreneurs—namely, where they should place their investments and how they should configure heterogeneous capital to recoup up-front costs plus some profit or “windfall.”

Wind turbines and solar panels do enjoy a wide market in off-grid applications, such as remote farm properties and on oceangoing sailboats, where the abundance of wind and scarcity of petroleum products makes the investment a no-brainer. In sunny parts of the country, solar has reached “grid parity.” States like Texas, however, have failed to heed considerations of both net energy and supply and demand in installing massive wind farms at great taxpayer expense where fossil fuels would be far cheaper and more reliable. Lacking price signals, the central planner is blind to the economic consequences of his grand designs.

The president revealed his ignorance of the technological and economic problem at hand when he stated matter of factly, “We know what to do, we’ve just got to do it.” On the contrary, we have no idea how to create a nonpolluting electrical grid without emitting much more carbon in the process than we otherwise would have. 

If the government invests trillions of dollars in energy-intensive capital investments—whether wind farms, solar charging stations, or transformer stations—it will have two primary effects. 

First, it will frontload carbon emissions into the construction phase. This may offer the illusion of reducing pollution when in fact it merely shuffles emissions to a prior stage of production. California’s high-speed rail, for example, will take an estimated seventy-one years to offset its own construction emissions through the cars it will hypothetically replace (assuming it is ever completed). Furthermore, electric charging stations are typically powered by coal or natural gas—not solar panels. 

Second, and relatedly, a Green New Deal funded by debt will distort the capital structure, skewing investment toward long-term fixed capital assets at the expense of the intermediate capital maintenance of the overall structure of production. Theoretically we could burn more coal, petroleum, and natural gas today to build a zero-pollution electrical infrastructure for tomorrow. But when it comes time to service offshore wind turbines, will the helicopters and boats used for maintenance be powered by electricity as well? And what kind of energy will power the factories that manufacture the solar panels and wind turbines? Claiming that they will run on renewables is eerily similar to the circular reasoning and magical thinking used by proponents of modern monetary theory to promote the illusion of spending without taxation.

The Green New Deal is, if anything, a formula for a new dark age. Texas’s recent power outages show the difficulty of the task facing grid managers. There, an attempt to prematurely transition to unreliable wind energy exacerbated the strain on the grid when turbines froze at the crucial moment when they were most needed. The grid managers failed to keep a maintain a sufficient buffer, even without the additional mandate of ensuring the creation of new green jobs and mitigating the discriminatory effects of climate change. It is ironic that a state and nation so rich in natural energy resources would be leading the charge to cancel fossil fuels in favor of technology that has never been proven effective, or even environmentally friendly, at a large scale.

The stock of fossil fuels is large but not infinite. Geological surveys indicate that there is plentiful energy in the ground to advance civilization and develop new sources of abundant and nonpolluting energy. However, we must be careful not to squander our petroleum patrimony on unused charging stations, unreliable wind farms, and half-finished trains to nowhere. Author:

Charlie Deist

Charlie Deist is a writer, radio producer, and sailboat captain in Berkeley, California. He received his BA in economics from UC Berkeley.

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Going Under the Berlin Wall – RPI 10 March Update

Posted by M. C. on March 11, 2021

What the deceptive doc leaves out of his screed was that in the meantime the Texas governor “listened to the science” and imposed a statewide mask mandate in July that was obeyed by a very high percentage of the population. Masks would “limit the spread” of the virus, we were told. So everyone wore them.

But they actually did nothing to “slow the spread” of the virus.

Ron Paul has always said, politics is so much easier if you actually have a philosophy based on liberty and you stand by it.

https://mailchi.mp/ronpaulinstitute/syriabomb-115294?e=4e0de347c8

Dear Friends:

I was interviewed on RT America’s “In Question” program about today’s lifting of the mask mandate and other Covid-related restrictions in Texas. The usual suspects – those who have made a political and monetary fortune from the year of fear-induced compliance with the most insane and destructive government edicts – are so livid at Texas Governor Gregg Abbott that it’s getting hard to maintain the previous level of enmity we have held toward him over the past year for shutting down in the first place.

With enemies like these…

CNN ran a deceptive editorial claiming that Governor Abbott’s decision to end the state-enforced mask mandate was indicative of his “delusional” view of the virus. The author, a medical doctor called Jonathan Reiner, attacked Abbott’s “premature” limited opening last April as cases began to fall. Lifting the “stay-at-home” order was tragically wrong for Texas, wrote Reiner, because come November the cases were skyrocketing again!

What the deceptive doc leaves out of his screed was that in the meantime the Texas governor “listened to the science” and imposed a statewide mask mandate in July that was obeyed by a very high percentage of the population. Masks would “limit the spread” of the virus, we were told. So everyone wore them.

But they actually did nothing to “slow the spread” of the virus. 

There is no doubt that CNN’s doctor/author enthusiastically supported the wearing of face masks to halt the spread of Covid, so how does he explain the huge winter seasonal spike in virus infections in Texas? Funny, he doesn’t mention it.

Likewise, when CNN’s Dr. Reiner attacks Abbott for “allowing” indoor dining and the opening of bars (at limited capacity) he cites the most recent CDC report detailing a year-long study of the effectiveness of mask mandates and restaurant closures. 

Writes Reiner, “This week, the CDC published a report of the effect of mask mandates and indoor restaurant dining. The researchers found that mandating masks was associated with a decrease in daily Covid-19 case and death growth rates within 20 days of implementation. In-restaurant dining was associated with an increase in daily Covid-19 case and death rates.”

Uh…yeah. But that’s only a very small and highly-edited part of the story. In fact, the CDC report is a bombshell – which you can bet will be hidden from all in the mainstream media – because it shows the exact opposite!

The “decrease” in cases and deaths where mask mandates were in place and restaurants were forcibly closed by authoritarian officials was statistically INSIGNIFICANT!

If such measures worked we might expect to see a significant if not massive reduction in new cases and deaths where mask mandates and restaurant closures were put in place. In fact the reduction was an infinitesimal 1.32% on average! 

Compare that to all the damage done by forced masks and forced business closures! Suicides.

As the CDC itself wrote on its report, the mask mandates DO NOT slow the virus spread, full stop, but rather ““have the potential to slow the spread of COVID-19. . .”

Only the “potential.” How reassuring. Science!

Likewise, the year-long CDC study itself concluded, “[d]uring the study period, states allowed restaurants to reopen for on-premises dining in 3,076 (97.9%) U.S. counties. Changes in daily COVID-19 case and death growth rates were not statistically significant 1–20 and 21–40 days after restrictions were lifted.”

Gee, thanks for destroying the life’s work and life savings of hundreds of thousands of restaurants for a result that was “not statistically significant.”

Of course for Fauci and the CDC and the rest of the medical-tyranny complex, none of us are “statistically significant” so they have run rough-shod over this country without shame for the past year.

Still, it is hard to not conclude that Abbott’s move, weak as it is and with way too many small-print details, has caused a massive short-circuiting in Sauron’s previously unimpeded advance.

Texas, the largest and most dynamic state in the US, has all but abandoned Fauci and the fear-mongers. Has strayed off the reservation. Has dared join South Dakota’s Kristi Noem and Florida’s Ron DiSantis. This is a death blow to the tyranny regime. 

Fauci was interviewed, looking as if he’d ingested a can of botulism-ridden tuna, warning that Abbott was “putting aside all public health measures” in a move that was “quite risky.”

Much of the opprobrium Abbott has earned with his sudden decision to “open” Texas could have been easily avoided. Had he stood on principle from the beginning he would not have had to constantly explain his seeming shifting with the winds.

For example, if Abbott had any philosophical grounding beyond desire for higher office. he could have taken the Ron Paul path and simply stood for principle, in the face of ridicule and attack. If he had from the beginning, as did South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, simply stated that he does not have the moral or legal authority to close businesses down, to pick who is “essential” and who is “non-essential,” he would not have had to endlessly explain his flip-flops to the hostile media.

He could have explained his steadfast position in the context of a philosophy grounded in liberty.

But he did not, and it appears at this time that such moral weakness has brought about the end of his political career. Ron Paul has always said, politics is so much easier if you actually have a philosophy based on liberty and you stand by it. 

Nevertheless, the “fall” of Texas from the constellation of the Covidian Cult may well be a death blow to the miserable year of public health tyranny. My unscientific survey of Lake Jackson and Brazoria in this first day of post-mask mandate did not reveal a dramatic tilt toward liberty. But still the first chink chink chinking away at the Berlin Wall were also relatively insignificant. But liberty was then, as now, an idea whose time had come.

Thank you so much for continuing to support our work. We are winning, even if slowly. Be of good cheer!
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Sincerely yours,

Daniel McAdams
Executive Director
Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity

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Wind Power Is a Disaster in Texas, No Matter What Paul Krugman Says | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on March 10, 2021

https://mises.org/wire/wind-power-disaster-texas-no-matter-what-paul-krugman-says

Robert P. Murphy

In the wake of February’s tragic power outages in Texas, during which 4.5 million households suffered service interruptions, partisans on both sides have been quick to interpret the events as confirmation of their preferred energy policies. With news images of helicopters deicing frozen turbines, conservatives lambasted Texas’s increasing reliance on wind power as the villain in the story.

Trying to temper this knee-jerk reaction, Reason.com columnist Ron Bailey argued that “[m]ost of the shortfall in electric power generation during the current cold snap is the result of natural gas and coal powered plants going offline.” And Paul Krugman for his part declared that it was a “malicious falsehood” to blame wind and solar power for what happened in Texas, as it was primarily a failure of natural gas.

In this article I’ll lay out the basic facts of which power sources stepped up to the plate during the crisis. Contrary to what you would have known from reading Ron Bailey (let alone Paul Krugman), when the Texas freeze hit, electricity from natural gas skyrocketed while wind output fell off a cliff. The people arguing that wind wasn’t to blame mean it in the same way Jimmy Olson wasn’t to blame when General Zod took over: wind is so useless nobody serious ever thought it might help in a crisis.

Krugman on Texas Electricity

In his February 18 column titled “Texas, Land of Wind and Lies,” Krugman declared that

Republican politicians and right-wing media … have coalesced around a malicious falsehood instead: the claim that wind and solar power caused the collapse of the Texas power grid, and that radical environmentalists are somehow responsible for the fact that millions of people are freezing in the dark …

In contrast to this dirty rotten lie from the right-wingers, Krugman instead explains:

A power grid poorly prepared to deal with extreme cold suffered multiple points of failure. The biggest problems appear to have come in the delivery of natural gas, which normally supplies most of the state’s winter electricity, as wellheads and pipelines froze.

A bit later in the article Krugman admits that wind was involved as well, but minimizes its role in this way:

It’s true that the state generates a lot of electricity from wind, although it’s a small fraction of the total. But that’s not because Texas—Texas!—is run by environmental crazies. It’s because these days wind turbines are a cost-effective energy source wherever there’s a lot of wind, and one thing Texas has is a lot of wind.

It’s also true that extreme cold forced some of the state’s insufficiently winterized wind turbines to shut down, but this was happening to Texas energy sources across the board, with the worst problems involving natural gas.

Incidentally, there are literally no numbers in Krugman’s article (except for numerals referring to dates), which is a signal that he’s pulling a fast one on his readers. From his qualitative (not quantitative) description, most people would have assumed that when the unusually cold weather hit Texas last month, electricity generation from various sources was down across the board, but that it mostly fell from natural gas, while the drop in wind was insignificant. As I’ll show in the next section, this is utterly false.

What Really Happened During Texas’s Power Crisis

Had I not seen the analysis from my former colleagues at the Institute for Energy Research (see their articles here and here), I might have believed the spin that the Texas crisis was really a failure of fossil fuels rather than renewables. Yet as we’ll see, the actual numbers tell a much different story from what most Americans probably “learned” from the media discussion.

The simplest way for me to communicate the relevant information is through three infographics, generated from the Energy Information Administration’s handy tool that shows the source mix for daily energy generation by state.

Before showing the numbers, I need to make an important clarification: the demand for electricity soared to unprecedented levels during the freeze. In particular, on February 14, peak demand on the electric grid surpassed sixty-nine gigawatts, breaking the previous winter record of (almost) sixty-six gigawatts set in 2018. It was in the early hours of the following morning (February 15) that the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) implemented rolling blackouts to prevent the entire grid from collapsing. So to be clear, the issue wasn’t that supply in an absolute sense fell, but rather that demand soared. (Texas typically uses more electricity in the summer to keep things cool, rather than in the winter to keep things warm.)

With that context in place, here are the stats for electricity output from various sources on February 15, 2021:

2021.03_texas_feb_15_2021.png

texas power feb 15 2021

Already we see something interesting. Of the total amount of electricity delivered on this first day of blackouts, 65 percent came from natural gas, while only 6 percent came from wind and 2 percent from solar.

But in fairness, maybe what guys like Krugman meant is that this is much lower than what we normally could expect from natural gas. (Remember Krugman had said that natural gas “normally supplies most of the state’s winter electricity.”)

To test this possibility, we can look at the situation one year prior, on February 15, 2020:

2021.03_texas_feb_15_2020.png

texas power feb 15 2020

Now, this is interesting. A year earlier, during a normal mid-February day, natural gas “only” supplied 43 percent of the total electricity, whereas wind accounted for 28 percent and solar was the same at 2 percent. Remember how Krugman said wind was only a “small fraction” of Texas generation? Overall for the year 2020, wind produced 22 percent of Texas’s electricity, a higher share than coal.

Yet besides the proportions, also look at the absolute quantity of electricity generated: on Feb. 15, 2020, natural gas produced 398,130 megawatt hours (compared to 759,708 MWh during the recent freeze), while wind produced 264,024 MWh (compared to 73,395 MWh during the freeze).

To sum up, compared with the same date a year earlier, during the first day of the blackouts in Texas, electricity from natural gas was 91 percent higher, while electricity from wind was 72 percent lower.

To reiterate the clarification I gave earlier, part of the confusion here is that electricity demand in February isn’t normally as high as it was because of the freeze. So to test whether natural gas is the culprit, we can compare the generation from various sources during the freeze to the situation back during the summer. For example, let’s look at how things stood on August 15, 2020:

2021.03_texas_aug_15_2020.png

texas power august 15 2020

As our date occurred in the dog days of summer, total electric demand was higher in mid-August 2020 than on February 15, 2021.

See the rest here

Author:

Contact Robert P. Murphy

Robert P. Murphy is a Senior Fellow with the Mises Institute. He is the author of many books. His latest is Contra Krugman: Smashing the Errors of America’s Most Famous KeynesianHis other works include Chaos Theory, Lessons for the Young Economist, and Choice: Cooperation, Enterprise, and Human Action (Independent Institute, 2015) which is a modern distillation of the essentials of Mises’s thought for the layperson. Murphy is cohost, with Tom Woods, of the popular podcast Contra Krugman, which is a weekly refutation of Paul Krugman’s New York Times column. He is also host of The Bob Murphy Show.

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Newsom Urges Double-Masking For All Californians, Will Not Make “Terrible Mistake” Like Texas | ZeroHedge

Posted by M. C. on March 5, 2021

https://www.zerohedge.com/covid-19/newsom-urges-double-masking-all-californians-will-not-make-terrible-mistake-texas

Tyler Durden's Photoby Tyler DurdenFriday, Mar 05, 2021 – 4:25

Having immediately decried the actions of Texas and Mississippi – in giving their citizens back some freedom and the ability to think for themselves – as “absolutely reckless,” California Governor Gavin Newsom has doubled-down (literally) on the virtue-signaling.

“We will be doubling down on mask wearing,” said California Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday, “not arguing to follow the example of Texas and other states that I think are making a terrible mistake.”

The Sacramento Bee is reporting tonight that new state health guidelines announced by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday recommend that Californians wear two cloth masks or one filtered mask when going out in public to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

We are encouraging people basically to double down on mask wearing, particularly in light of all what I would argue is bad information coming from at least four states in this country. We will not be walking down their path, we’re mindful of your health and our future,” Newsom said.

To Newsom’s point about doubling down, California updated its recommendations for mask wearing on Thursday with the following:

“‘Double masking’ is an effective way to improve fit and filtration. A close-fitting cloth mask can be worn on top of a surgical/disposable mask to improve the seal of the mask to the face.”

Interestingly, Newsom also announced Thursday that counties across the state could be cleared to open more businesses and lift other restrictions sooner than anticipated under an update that loosens some requirements in his Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

So he is easing restrictions (cough recall pandering cough), like Texas; and at the same time urging ‘double masking’?

Of course, he will claim he is ‘just following the science’ but as AIER’s Paul Alexander detailed at length, why the CDC’s mask-mandate study is fault-ridden:

Based on our assessment of this CDC mask mandate report, we find ourselves troubled by the study methods themselves and by extension, the conclusions drawn. The real-world evidence exists and indicates that in various countries and US states, when mask mandates were followed consistently, there was an inexorable increase in case counts. We have seen that in states and countries that already have a high frequency of mask wearing that adding mandates had little effect. There was no (zero) benefit of adding a mask mandate in Austria, Germany, France, Spain, UK, Belgium, Ireland, Portugal, and Italy, and states like California, Hawaii, and Texas. Importantly, we do not ascribe a cause-effect relationship between the implementation of mask mandates and the rise in case rates, but we also demand the same approach when it comes to claiming some sort of causal relationship between the introduction of mask mandates and likely claims by the CDC that their findings could support their implementation countrywide. 

We think that inclusion of such evidence on the failures of masks mandates globally and states within the US would have made for more balanced, comprehensive, and fully-informed reporting.

Trusting the science means relying on the scientific process and method and not merely ‘following the leader.’ It is not the same as trusting, without verification, the conclusory statements of human beings simply because they have scientific training or credentials.

Read more here…

History does not bode well for times that politics meddles with science. Martin Kulldorff, a professor at Harvard Medical School and a leader in disease surveillance methods and infectious disease outbreaks, describes the current COVID scientific environment this way: “After 300 years, the Age of Enlightenment has ended.

We wonder how a citizenry that is already demanding his recall will react to this latest escalation in restrictions.

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Burying the Lede on Reopenings | Chronicles

Posted by M. C. on March 5, 2021

Rather, the CNN article is an instance of journalistic malpractice. Journalism schools teach students that the most important information should go at the top of the article, because most readers do not read all the way to the end.

CNN decided the most important thing to do in this article was lambast Abbott and Reeves for reopening. As such, anything in these governors’ defense or critical of their Democratic counterparts should be buried further down the text or withheld entirely.

https://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/blog/burying-the-lede-on-reopenings/

By Anders Koskinen

CNN’s recent criticism of the reopening of Texas and Mississippi has once again proven its journalists merely engage in partisan coverage. This time it is accompanied by the added demerit of not understanding the nuances of federalism in America’s governance.

With Govs. Greg Abbott and Tate Reeves both deciding it is high time to re-open their states and get back to business, a CNN headline reports that “Biden urges patience on Covid as Republican governors go rogue on reopenings.” The same article states that the governors have “defied federal government warnings to not relax restrictions.”

Newsflash to CNN and President Joe Biden: you don’t have the authority to shut down whole states for indefinite periods of time. But let’s give CNN some credit, for the article in question is an excellent example of organizing information in such a way as to produce an effective smear job. If only CNN was honest about it instead of pretending to engage in journalism.

In the fourth paragraph CNN claims that the two southern states and their Republican governors are “going it alone as new infections plateau at high levels.” It is not until the 15th paragraph that it admits that “Republicans are not the only governors easing restrictions as new cases of Covid-19 and deaths from the virus have fallen.”

The attack on Abbott and Reeves is doubly apparent in that last sentence alone.

To begin with, the fact that Democratic mayors or governors are also reopening is buried. It may be, as CNN says, that these reopenings are not nearly as dramatic as those of Texas and Mississippi, but how is a reader supposed to judge that? No Democratic controlled locality that is partially reopening is mentioned in the article, nor are any of the partial reopening measures defined. We are simply supposed to take CNN’s word that Abbott and Reeves are acting irresponsibly, while Democrats supposedly engage in more practical steps.

Meanwhile this piece condemning reopening as a mismanagement of the pandemic omits any mention of how New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo may face impeachment proceedings for shuttering elderly patients into nursing homes, and hiding the death toll of his policy. Nor does it mention that he is currently facing a federal inquiry into the same policy. California Gov. Gavin Newsom is in similar hot water, as a recall petition gains steam on the back of his repeated violations of his own COVID-19 emergency orders.

Second is the note regarding COVID-19 caseloads and deaths. The dramatic fall in new cases and deaths is likely the data informing Abbot and Reeves’ decisions to reopen, but that information is buried about halfway down the article.

Texas’ and Mississippi’s COVID rates haven’t just fallen, they’ve cratered. On Jan. 16 Texas had 18,332 new COVID cases for a 7-day rolling average of 23,006 new cases daily, data from theNew York Times shows. By March 2 those numbers were 7,240 and 7,259 respectively. Mississippi on Jan. 12 had 1,648 new cases and a rolling average of 2,359 new cases daily. On March 2 that had fallen to 301 new cases and a rolling average of 582.

Following these twin absurdities, CNN also asserted that states and cities reopening under Democrats “unlike Texas and Mississippi, … are not acting as though the virus has simply gone away.”

This is laughable as the video atop the same CNN article is of a Greg Abbott press conference, in which the governor states:

To be clear, COVID has not, like, suddenly disappeared. COVID still exists in Texas, in the United States, and across the globe. But it is clear from the recoveries, from the vaccinations, from the reduced hospitalizations, and from the safe practices that Texans are using, that state mandates are no longer needed. So today I am issuing a new executive order that rescinds most of the earlier executive orders…. Now despite these changes remember this, removing state mandates does not end personal responsibility or the importance of caring for your family members, and caring for your friends, and caring for others in your community.

This was not some spur of the moment reopening. This was a data-driven decision, fully acknowledging the continued existence of the COVID-19 pandemic and encouraging personal responsibility among individual citizens. COVID rates are plummeting, vaccines are rolling out, and the reopening of Texas does not officially take place for another week. After more than a year of fear and uncertainty, this reopening is hardly an instance of rushing headlong into the unknown.

Rather, the CNN article is an instance of journalistic malpractice. Journalism schools teach students that the most important information should go at the top of the article, because most readers do not read all the way to the end.

CNN decided the most important thing to do in this article was lambast Abbott and Reeves for reopening. As such, anything in these governors’ defense or critical of their Democratic counterparts should be buried further down the text or withheld entirely.

Anders Koskinen

Anders Koskinen is an Editorial Associate at Intellectual Takeout. He earned his BA from the University of Minnesota in December 2016 where he graduated with a double major in Journalism and Political Science.

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Experts Warn Lifting Mask Mandates Could Contribute To Dangerous Spread Of Freedom

Posted by M. C. on March 4, 2021

California and New York quickly responded to the declaration with emergency bans on importing any freedom from Texas, Mississippi, Florida, or South Dakota.

https://babylonbee.com/news/experts-warn-lifting-mask-mandates-could-contribute-to-dangerous-spread-of-freedom

U.S.—Experts have issued a dire warning to the nation that the lifting of mask mandates, business closures, and capacity limits in Texas and Mississippi could contribute to the spread of liberty across the nation.

“As states like Texas begin to lift their mandates, we could be seeing a deadly outbreak of freedom, liberty, and personal responsibility all across the nation,” said Dr. Andy Patton of MIT. “We’re really not encouraged by the numbers here.”

“I’m worried other states will see this. People will start thinking they are supposed to take responsibility for their own health and their own decisions. And that’s just not what America is about.”

In a sweeping consensus, scientists all agreed that one state finally ending its unconstitutional mandates could lead to other states doing the same. Consequences could be severe, ranging from people doing what they want and just living their lives, to the populace attaining herd immunity and making government action on the pandemic irrelevant.

California and New York quickly responded to the declaration with emergency bans on importing any freedom from Texas, Mississippi, Florida, or South Dakota.

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‘Unintended Consequences and The Texas ‘Big Freeze’ Energy Disaster’ – Ron Paul’s 22 Feb. Column

Posted by M. C. on February 23, 2021

But Texas did not only freeze because of Abbott’s Covid restrictions. For the better part of a year thousands of businesses have been destroyed. Recovering drug addicts and alcoholics have relapsed. Depression and suicides have skyrocketed. Children have been deprived of education.

And for what? Texas with Abbott’s restrictions fared no better than Florida with no restrictions when it comes to Covid cases and deaths. The Texas governor knew that months ago when the data from Florida proved that lockdowns, masks, and other restrictions had no effect. But he refused to change course. He refused to follow the brave lead of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and open Texas completely.

https://mailchi.mp/ronpaulinstitute/bigfreezetexas?e=4e0de347c8

Last week Texas experienced a cold snap that resulted in serious statewide damage, death, and destruction. The collapse of the state’s energy grid left millions of Texans in the dark and freezing for days at a time. Tragically, at least 30 people died.

There are many reasons why Texas became like a Third World country, and we should be careful not to pin all the blame on just one factor. But it seems clear that the disaster was to a large degree caused by political decisions to shift toward “green” energy generated from solar and wind and by Governor Abbott’s authoritarian Covid restrictions.

Abbott, who won a “wind leadership” award just this month, oversaw the near-collapse of wind energy generation last week. Yet the politicization of energy generation in favor of “green” alternatives over natural gas and other fossil fuels has led to the unintended consequences of freezing Texans facing multiple millions of dollars in property damage and worse.

Additionally, federal emissions and other restrictions forced Texas to beg Washington for permission to generate power at higher levels in anticipation of unprecedented demand. Governor Abbott finally received permission from the Department of Energy on February 14th, but by then many facilities found themselves off-line due to freezing conditions.

Why should the Federal government be allowed to freeze Texans to death in the name of controlling emissions from energy generation plants? It’s a classic example of politics over people. I guess if you want to make a “Green New Deal” omelet, you have to break a few eggs.

While Governor Abbott was quick to blame energy generators and even the state Electric Reliability Council of Texas, NBC News in Dallas reported that ERCOT “did not conduct any on-site inspections of the state’s power plants to see if they were ready for this winter season. Due to COVID-19 they conducted virtual tabletop exercises instead – but only with 16 percent of the state’s power generating facilities.”

Governor Abbott’s authoritarian Covid executive orders at least indirectly led to lax inspection, maintenance, and winterization of wind and other energy generation plants.

But Texas did not only freeze because of Abbott’s Covid restrictions. For the better part of a year thousands of businesses have been destroyed. Recovering drug addicts and alcoholics have relapsed. Depression and suicides have skyrocketed. Children have been deprived of education.

And for what? Texas with Abbott’s restrictions fared no better than Florida with no restrictions when it comes to Covid cases and deaths. The Texas governor knew that months ago when the data from Florida proved that lockdowns, masks, and other restrictions had no effect. But he refused to change course. He refused to follow the brave lead of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and open Texas completely.

Politicians too stubborn or fearful to change course when facts dictate otherwise do not deserve to remain in office. Governors Gavin Newsom in California and Andrew Cuomo in New York are finally facing consequences for their Covid authoritarianism. When the smoke clears – and it is rapidly clearing – many more of these petty tyrants will fall. That list of deposed Covid tyrants may well include Texas Governor Greg Abbott – and the slumbering Texas state legislature – as well. 

Let’s hope Texans – and all Americans – will learn from this and more forcefully demand their God-given liberty!



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