The Week’s Most Absurd Climate Stories (Clear-Cutting to Save the Environment!)

by | Oct 20, 2023 | Environmentalism

How silly can they get?

This week, we’ve seen quite a few nutty climate stories, all of which continue to demonstrate how far the radical left will go to convince voters that climate change represents an existential threat. Even if that existential threat stubbornly refuses to materialize. The climate cultists will trot out any lie, no matter how disconnected from reality, to advance their Scientism worldview while overwhelming casual observers with as much fear porn as they can get away with.

This week, we have blue cities clinging to coal power plants they voted to shut down, a cheeseburger tax to save Mother Earth, carmakers suddenly concerned nobody wants to buy their EVs, and Bill Gates investing in clearcutting operations designed to sequester carbon by burying newly murdered trees in the desert.

To paraphrase that immortal philosopher, Rick James, environmentalism is a helluva drug.

Don’t miss last week’s worst climate stories

1. Blue City Just Can’t Quit Coal

Austin is a deep blue dot in a sea of Texas red. A haven for the tech industry (often having relocated to escape the crush of California regulation and taxes), the city council skews hard left. That means several councilors embrace climate cultism. So much so, they voted in 2020 to close the only city-owned coal power plant, the Fayette Power Project, in only two years. The goal was to have it shut down by the end of 2022. Unfortunately, the bitter winter storm of 2021, followed by an extended heat wave this past summer, made Austin Power realize they didn’t have a choice—in periods of high demand, they had to have “dispatchable” power that cannot be provided by wind and solar. Greenies derisively accuse the city of caring only about the money, but that’s the point—no other available source of power can match the reliability and affordability of “fossil fuels.”

2. Cheeseburger Tax

Here we go again with the cattle flatulence. As the argument goes, factory farming supposedly contributes an outsized amount of “carbon pollution” because fat Americans eat too much red meat.

Not to digress too much, but these cherry-picked studies never take into consideration how much carbon gets produced by the other populations of animals around the world, or how much carbon existed in the atmosphere when dinosaurs roamed the earth (spoiler alert: it was a LOT more than in today’s atmosphere). Proof? We don’t need no stinkin’ proof!

Anyway, the only way to stop gluttonous Americans from eating too many Big Macs is to tax the bejeezus out of them—at least according to a widely distributed opinion piece originally published in Bloomberg. Of course, the author blames evil Republicans for not being able to tax cheeseburgers out of existence. He correctly notes the unpopularity of the idea, saying the GOP “stir[s] up its base by simply pretending that President Joe Biden . . . wants to snatch the Quarter Pounders out of their hands.” He writes that, a) Americans eat a Quarter Pounder every day, and b) only eating one every other day would “slash diet-related carbon emissions by 43%.” The real marvel is that he got this dreck published at all.

3. Carmakers Can’t Convince You to Pay Extra For EVs

The Wall Street Journal headline really says it all: “Automakers Have Big Hopes for EVs; Buyers Aren’t Cooperating.” The sub-head cuts to the point: “Sales growth has slowed in the U.S. as car companies are finding a limited pool of consumers willing to pay more for these models.” Despite the Biden administration pouring billions of federal funds into building out charging stations across the country and tax rebates for EV buyers, automakers have seen demand dissipate after a spike in EV sales in 2022. Key quote:

Still, many consumers are reluctant to make the switch, deterred by high sticker prices and the inconvenience of driving a vehicle that has a limited range and needs regular recharging.

“I just wasn’t ready to get an electric yet, because of range anxiety,” said Robert DuWors, who was recently in the market and had considered a battery-powered car. He instead bought a plug-in hybrid, noting that it gets 40 to 50 miles on a single battery charge, more than he drives in an average day.

Apparently, reality hasn’t met expectations. Who could have seen that coming?

4. Clearcutting Forests to Save the Planet

The New York Times recently hosted, and then reported on, an event called Climate Forward. The event featured “some of climate’s most vital newsmakers,” including Al Gore, Michael Bloomberg, Bill Gates, and other luminaries of scientism. Gates, in particular, caused a kerfuffle among the cultists by announcing that planting trees was stupid:

“I don’t use some of the less proven approaches,” he said. “I don’t plant trees.”

Following up, I asked Gates what he thought about the voguish notion that planting enough trees might somehow solve climate change.

“That’s complete nonsense,” he replied. “Are we the science people or are we the idiots? Which one do we want to be?”

Apparently, because the Trump administration advocated for it, the idea holds no merit. Some activist scientists and reporters believe not enough land exists on the planet to plant enough trees to offset carbon emissions, and it detracts from the focus on eliminating your ability to consume “fossil fuels.” Instead, Gates supports a plan to thin California forests by cutting down trees, shipping them to Nevada, and bury them to sequester carbon.

Yes, really.

5. But Wait—Climate Change Is Preventing Forest Management

West Coast forestland has burned at an increasingly devastating rate over the past decade, largely due to forest mismanagement. The powers that be have decided to allow federal and state forests to “return to a natural fire cycle,” in many cases abandoning proven methods of fire suppression. This has the added perverse benefit of “proving” climate change exists by creating hotter and larger fires during fire season. Some prescribed burns have increased in recent years to mitigate the damage and loss of life. Now, according to a computer model, “prescribed burn windows” are likely to disappear as global warming changes the moisture cycle. It’s not the fault of state and federal officials, you see, it’s due to climate change.

Computer models—is there anything they can’t prove?

6. Billionaire Donations to Climate Charities Cause Global Warming

An opinion piece at Fortune makes the case that charitable giving by billionaires to climate nonprofits has accelerated our path to global climate devastation. By giving money to charity, the “ultra-wealthy” have gamed the system and put their wealth off-limits for real change to our climate destruction.

Over $200 billion are sitting in donor-advised funds and over $1.3 trillion in private foundation endowments. Charitable giving to fight climate change, estimated by the ClimateWorks Foundation at $7.5 billion last year, is only 0.5% of the money sitting in private foundations and donor-advised funds–and amounts to about 0.04% of the assets of the ultra-rich. 

It is estimated that it could take $3 to 10 trillion (twelve zeroes) per year to avoid climate disaster. Even if they wanted to fix the climate problem, it would require extraordinary collective action for philanthropists to pony up enough money to fix the climate problem. Only governments (funded by taxes on these very ultra-wealthy donors) can effectively do that. In short, the philanthropic investments now being made are necessary but insufficient.

The ultra-rich, knowing the rules of the game, have rigged the system to make money and keep their wealth on the sidelines, instead of selflessly giving it to the underprivileged victims of climate boiling. Therefore, the only way to fix the climate is to tax the bejeezus out of them.

7. Eugene, Oregon, May Ban Gas Stations

Eugene, home of the University of Oregon, happens to be a special kind of crazy. The hippies and commies of this college town tend towards a unique kind of extremism. Oregon recently announced a ban on the sale of new internal combustion vehicles, to take effect by 2035. So Eugene City Council has taken the further step of considering an outright ban on building new gas stations, because, after all, they won’t need them anyway. Activists have a lot of sway throughout Oregon, so it’s only natural that their testimony gets the news highlight:

“At a point when our transportation systems should be accommodating the exponential growth of electric cars and trucks, it makes no sense to expand gas station construction in Eugene,” said Lisa Arkin, the Executive Director of Beyond Toxics.

Beyond Toxics also raised concerns about gas storage tanks leaking. And they claim chemicals in fumes are dangerous to neighbors, who have little control over what’s built.

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