Author: Rafael Wolf | Libertarian Candidate, Michigan House of Representatives
Editor: Bonnie Warren
Highlights to think about throughout our discussion:
- Green industrial capitalism
- Green political virtue signaling (“virtue signalling” is a pejorative term here)
- Bright Green Environmentalism
- Preserving infinite consumption and our way of life (capitalism)
- Fallacy of “sustainability“
- “Green” technology is not as “green” as you may think (greenwashing)
- Killing bird species via wind turbines is not a crime; with a permit
We would like to begin this piece again, as we often do, by putting our mind into a place that thinks about the world in terms of a “business model“. Filtering our viewpoint through historical contexts and a number of issues functioning though a business model paradigm will bring our thinking to reasonable conclusions. Only then do we have the ability to see through false narratives or terrible logic on a number of topics, including environmental topics. Framing narratives in this way opens our understanding to a broader but still more accurate way of thinking about our world and figuring out how the world works, which is typically “a business model”.
“Environmentalism” is in fact a business model. People have “interests”, and the word “interests” usually means “economic interests”. The environment is simply the environment, it lives, it has no agenda, it has no interests but to continue living or being. The environment can hardly defend itself from exploitation but, that is what the natural world is there for, to exploit, to use, to mine, to build wealth, to drive economy, to clear cut, to create jobs, to increase gross domestic product or leverage for political gain and occasionally, segment into parks for the enjoyment of people. The natural worlds voice is usually the wind, a bubbling brook, the singing of a bird, a thunderstorm, a delicate food chain of plankton moving upward to large mammal predators or sadly, the silence of an extinct species that will never be heard from again. Environmentalism is not supposed to be a business model, but sadly; it is what environmentalism has become. Make no mistake here, environmentalism has been hijacked, in subtle covert ways not terribly obvious to the average consumer with an eye for things like climate change. Many that believe humankind is responsible for climate change regard themselves as environmentalists or perhaps, at the very least, environmentally aware or well informed on the topic. Environmentalism however, the information you consume about climate or the solutions for it, have been hijacked with PR (public relations), marketing, and politics promising a new dawn. The perpetrator of this hijacking? Corporate America, the Green Industrial Capitalist, your university professor, or your naive elected official pretending to know a thing or two about “global climate change” when they barely know anything about the most basic things regarding recycling. The way your political representation learns about anything is primarily in pointless committee hearings where they are propagandized by “experts” who are hand picked by special interests and who’s credibility on a number of subject matters should be in question.
Environmentalism denotes a social movement that seeks to influence the political process by lobbying, activism, and education in order to protect natural resources and ecosystems.Wikipedia
Simply defined, environmentalism is supposed to “…protect natural resources and ecosystems” but, do they? I would argue contemporary environmentalists, in fact, do not protect the environment and therefore are not environmentalists nor do they practice environmentalism. They are not lovers of the natural world but operate as tourists, snake oil salesman and quacks in a self aggrandized ecosystem of corporate greenwashing with marketing to make us feel like we are doing good, while substantively doing meaningful harm. The vast majority of contemporary environmentalists, yes, including your professors teaching “Climate Change Policy and Management” are what’s called, bright green environmentalists. All environmentalists are not the same, they are fractured in opinion, approach and have varying solutions to problems. The bright green version is a corporate environmentalists, themselves having been propagandized, hijacked, and indoctrinated by the green industrial capitalist, given certificates, MBA’s or PHD’s and thus, in most minds given credibility in the marketplace of ideas. They have been given prominence in the public square on major media outlets and for specific reasons of corporate interest, to spin a yarn and build a narrative friendly to the industrial capitalist’s business goals of selling you a solution to the problem of global climate change.
Bright green environmentalists are sadly, not credible, they exist to reinforce the idea we can preserve our culture of consuming the natural world. They promote the idea and possibility of sustainability with infinite growth. That sustainability is possible through technological innovation and social change. Their thinking process is actually the hope of magical thinking where machines will be invented doing the work of trees to filter carbon out of the atmosphere without thinking for one moment…what powers those machines? How are the materials doing that work created and manufactured into a final product, delivered, constructed, what is the lifespan, and, what is this technology doing exactly? Have you ever heard of someone “reinventing the wheel” or “building a better mouse trap“? The green industrial capitalist is literally trying to reinvent the tree and they want you or your government to buy one! Just because we can, does not mean that we should! They are solving a problem that they themselves have created, which creates more problems that are more complex than the previous problems. They setup a Ponzi scheme of problems where each problem needs a new solution and each new problem needs an ever more complicated technological solution, that makes a corporation or industry more money.
Some historical background
Environmentalism is not new, it is actually old. Mahavira, a 6th century BC religious figure promoted early ideas of environmentalism. King Edward I banned the burning of “sea-coal” in 1272 after its smoke had become an air quality problem in the region. Do you think environmental problems created by human activity is something new? Not in the greater context of history it is not! There are volumes of information on this subject, we simply need to find it!
During the period of the industrial revolution from about 1760 – 1840 and then again, during a “second industrial revolution” from 1870 – 1914, mechanization dominated the economic landscape creating economies of scale unseen in known history. The era birthed new systems of thinking within those economies like applied science which in turn, birthed companies still with us today like DOW Chemical, Dupont, BASF and many more that still dominate industry today. While many jobs were destroyed by machines, also known as “mechanization“, that could do ten times the work, cheaper, better, faster, we also saw the creation of many new jobs and truly amazing economic transformations take place in the UK, the United States, France, Italy, Germany, Russia and Japan. These countries coincidentally, became the worlds economic, and military, powers. World War anyone?
What we also begin to see during this period is that, with “economic activity” things like GDP (Gross Domestic Product) aka “production”, or the sum total of all things a country produces, rises and so does pollution or environmental destruction. We see a direct correlation between economy and the destruction of the natural world though a consumptive supply chain. New systems of “economics” are born like capitalism, Marxism, modern globalization, central planning, central banking and rapid population growth that put pressure on the natural world also referenced as “resources” in most discussions on the topic, aka “natural resources“. We begin to see the makings of where we are today with governmental centralization, markets dominated by a few big corporations (like steel, oil, transportation, finance), the emergence of things like science based “marketing” or “propaganda” that drives not only consumption in manipulative ways using human psychology, but societal control and obedience. With respect to the development of “big government”, central banks begin an evolution of controlling the economy and a march toward power structures in government being owned by “big business” and business interests, particularly by the finance sector like those running Wall Street. J. P. Morgan for example, along with other industrial capitalists and financiers bailed out the monetary system of the United States in 1895 from near collapse. In the following year, the afore mentioned big business interests bought themselves a president having donated $16,000,000 dollars to Republican William McKinley’s election campaign compared to that of his Democratic rival William Jennings Bryan who was only able to raise $600,000.
To put this into perspective for you, the value of $16 million dollars in today’s money adjusted for inflation is (link): $531,626,666. The value of $600 thousand dollars in today’s money adjust for inflation is (link): $19,936,000. We are talking half a billion dollars in today’s money vs a mere twenty million. It was not a fair fight!
Attention Democrats of the 1900’s, if you want to conserve your power, you better get on board with the support of “big business”! Once in office, McKinley continued a policy of US industrial protectionism that economically protected the very donor class that put him into office. President McKinley was the lapdog of corporate interests and a template for what we find in politics today, a bought bi-partisan political class, yes, even your beloved Tea Party or Progressive caucuses too. A veritable red and blue dog pound of leashed political puppies in Washington DC with tongues out, tails wagging and doe-eyed waiting for their next command for a treat in the form of political campaign donation, help from a super PAC or help up the political ladder in some interesting, questionably legal way. These are the same big businesses interests that currently own the duopoly (the democratic and republican parties aka your elected officials). The template for what we see today in our economic and political landscape was set in the late 1800’s. During this time, we see the citizenry of the United States, and the world for that matter, becoming ever more dependent on “jobs” provided by centrally controlled government subsidizing big business. Citizens commute into a factory or office that exchange varying rates of money for varying types or degrees of labor and work. That labor and work has a “value” including economic value, like the afore mentioned “GDP”, the value of all things domestically “produced” in your country. Labor also often represents social status. An interesting class structure forms like “working class”, “white collar”, “blue collar”, “elite”, “ruling class”, “manager”, etc in their various forms. These classes have ability to spend their labor back into the economy on products or services as “money” both domestic and foreign. We see an evolution of class in the United States, an ebb and flow of social structure, some “upwardly mobile”, stagnant, or “downwardly mobile” depending sometimes on their life circumstance like economic boom’s and bust’s. Also, always remember “the context of change”, that as the US economy progresses or as “time marches on”, the economy and various ways of managing it also change with new schemes. These schemes are also known as “policy“. The way the government calculates inflation for example, known as “cpi” (Consumer Price Index), is a lesson on goal post moving “policy”. This is why a viewpoint of current events needs to be filtered though the context of historical fact. The cpi’s calculation, and thus, the number released by our government, are rigged to present it as less than actual for political gain because inflation is a political liability. Yet another more prescient example of a prominent politician not practicing the very thing we are talking about is AOC, although, by far not the only offender. We hear political progressives like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) talk about the “top marginal tax rate” and how we should be taxing the rich at 70% or more. This example is top of mind for me as I saw a young man the other day wearing a jacket with “Tax the rich!” emblazoned on the back of it. This is propaganda 101, PR, marketing, not thoughtful or intelligent where understanding of facts that matter. I’m not certain congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez, the individual wearing the jacket, or anyone for that matter echoing her sentiment fully understand how economics works or how taxation works in the context of history. This is important. This phrase, that jacket, is part of psychological messaging that appeals to human primal feeling rather than evolved human thought and reason. Yet, there she is, an elected official influencing feelings, not thoughts, on policy, given a national platform, given credibility, elected as one of your corporate democratic managers, her and 99 other senators who also fail to understand how the United States or the world functionally work. They have no need to understand, they simply pant and obey their corporate masters orders, tails wagging. As this Washington Post article discusses, and as I often say, these things get complicated. In the context of history, AOC’s big “tax plan” which is supposed to compel the lower classes into voting for a progressive democrat like herself out of anger, not logic, with slogans of “tax the rich”, is practically a gift to the wealthy doing the exact opposite of what she thinks it does. It certainly garners her a block of supporters, of that there is no doubt! Her supporters, should always ask questions and be critical of any politician, not just the one’s they dislike. AOC is actually proposing to tax the rich less than they were taxed in the 60’s if you adjust for inflation while pointing backward as evidence that we had high tax rates, a time when society was supposedly economically egalitarian. Her attempt to “tax the rich” is actually a “tax break” of monumental proportions when you compare them through the lens of inflation. As noted, in today’s dollars, the 70% marginal tax rate in 1965 adjusted for inflation would be $1.35 million dollars today. AOC wants the top marginal tax rate to be $10 million which means $8.65 million dollars of income is not taxed at 70% comparatively. What a deal! Tax the rich! Oh wait…you mean, “Tax the rich…less!”! In 1981, the 70% top marginal tax rate was only $475,000 dollars which means the $1 after $475,000, the government gets .70 cents and you get to keep just .30 cents. Literally, as the author of that piece noted, AOC’s big tax plan is the gift that keeps on giving. She makes a fine conservative!
It gets more interesting when you consider that in 1971 the US dollar is no longer backed by the gold standard allowing the federal government to print unlimited amounts of paper money. This was not the case during a portion of time that AOC points to in an attempt to shore up the reasoning for her tax plan. After 1971 the US invented a brand new form of international pain stick called the petrodollar which I discuss in another piece on Ukraine giving it more global power. After 1971, after the US takes the dollar off of the gold standard, the paper money in your pocket is literally a promise, an IOU backed by the “full faith and credit” of the United States. Before that, like in 1965, the dollar was backed by physical gold held in a vault by the federal government. Today’s non-gold back currency, called fiat money, hilariously reminds me of the Dumb and Dumber scene when the kidnapper at the end of the movie asks for his one million dollars at gunpoint from Loyd Christmas (Jim Carey). “Where’s all the money” says the kidnapper to Loyd? Loyd responds, “That’s as good as money sir, those are IOU’s” as the kidnapper freaks out rifling though the worthless paper his IOU’s are written on. “The dollar” is literally a Dumb and Dumber promise to pay you backed by nothing but the belief the US can pay with an IOU. The video clip is a must watch! Pro-tip, the US won’t, it can’t and will eventually economically collapse or stagnate. The “dollar” is a ponzi scheme as is the American form of capitalism in its current form. It can, as the full faith and credit link explains, only print more and by doing so, will cause inflation and the devaluation of your buying power which is another reason AOC’s big tax plan is a gift to the wealthy. The dollar will eventually be worth zero. AOC does not understand these discussion points and topics, because she does not have to. She only needs to appeal to the primitive parts of most voters brains, the feeling of anger, fear or rage. You can not compare today’s fiat based US economy to that of a 1960’s gold standard backed US dollar economy or the context of taxation at that time and how it worked to back fill government debt. The way government paid for things was based on tax revenue. The post 1970’s economy is one where the dollar is no longer tied to the value of gold or “asset backed” and therefore “the dollar” today is “worth less”, has less “buying power” because there are more of them and therefore, you need to adjust your lofty taxation goals accordingly. Today, the government pays for things simply by printing more money, deficit spending, borrowing from your future and not by taxation. Taxation is a “legacy” mechanism that lessons money printing pain but boy, the way the government has been printing money beginning with the Obama administration through the Biden administration (including Trump) is astonishing. Tax revenue can not in any way back fill or make up a meaningful difference for the governments over spending on a number of things. As a policy maker, as a thinker, as a leader, we need to filter our policy though history, through the mechanics of inflation using an inflation calculator adjusting our tax plan to make apples and oranges, apples to apples. To the team blue progressive democrat fans it sounds as though AOC is spitting fire! Truth to power baby! In fact, she is just spitting into the wind, it is an act, it is a con, AOC is a tourist. AOC’s tax rhetoric is an appeal to your most basic forms of “thinking”, through feeling rather than logic and reason. It is part of the game we know as “politics” through the manufacture of consent to garner support and get your vote under false pretenses. Sadly, as a result, AOC supporters, progressives en masse, are continually hoodwinked by this technique as are those supporters of the Republican party.
OK, what is your point?
Now we know, in a historical context, that an elected official who sounds great might not be great or do great things being owned by more corporate institutions like their very own party affiliations. That sounding good without doing good is no solution at all. Offering a solution that only creates more problems is not solving the problem. Quite often, perpetuating the problem works to political advantage. We also failed to discuss, in favor of brevity, but we should note, how a 70% marginal tax rate would get the additional benefit of the all mighty tax loophole or how the wealthy preserve thier wealth with the practice of “tax avoidance“! We need to always ask a few more questions, chat about how saving and investing work, then talk about how our big green business strategy can be leveraged by politicians with ideas to make people feel good while getting them elected without actually doing good or solving problems for the natural world.
Who then saves and invests? Why save and invest? It gets complicated when you get into the weeds on the discipline of economics, there is great debate among those in this discipline. By and large, saving or investing is done by the ruling class or elite. The ruling class stores their value in “assets” like stocks, bonds, real estate, gold, silver, foreign currency, or, like McKinley’s and AOC’s backers, they own corporations. The middle and lower classes economically toil with little to no savings or investment opportunity. They buy depreciating assets and consume “luxury items” like TV’s, transportation (cars), computers, pets or exotic animals, lottery tickets, alcohol, cigarettes, cruise vacations, they rent or lease and do not own with consumptive behavior. Much of the working class including white collar or the “upper middle classes” have their money inflated away by government “monetary policy” or invest in things that barely beat rates of inflation. If lucky, they toil with a 401K and when they go to cash in, their life long investment crashes with the next stock market crash. Do you think your home is a “wealth building tool”? In most cases inflation is the silent thief taking whatever appreciation you may realize in most markets making it a net zero gain compounded with some deferred maintenance, a degradation of their neighborhood, whether you are black, brown or white, what the current market supply of available housing is, interest rates, local politics, etc. Is it a “large asset” to families? Yes. Is it a “wealth building strategy“? I would argue, maybe and likely no. Does everyone need a place to live, yes. Buying a home simply makes sense but housing is not as great of a wealth builder as some might suppose compared to other vehicles of investment. As always, the answer is, it depends. It depends on which HGTV house flipping show you watch and if you believe only the successes, not the failures. Simply because you have a $150,000 dollar asset (or more) does not mean you are “wealthy”. It is illiquid (not easily converted into cash), it depends on current market sentiment, the job market, the strength of the economy, a banks willingness to lend, and many other factors including interest rates. If you use a “financial advisor” that told you to buy Sears stock in 1994, by 2007 you would have realized a hansom return of about 8x your money (8 times, 100 x 8 = $800 dollars). Today though, the stock is worth .06 cents per share, you would have lost your shirt if you hung onto that stock in your portfolio (link)! Where between $0.06 cents per share and $145 dollars per share did your investment advisor tell you to get out and realize profits? That’s right, they didn’t. That is not their job. Their job is to sell and get commission, not to protect you. The wealthy however, are not as gullible, they always pay themselves but for the average “investor”, the financial advisors always have qualifying statements where by they can not be held liable. The old “past performance does not predict future results“. Our “growth fund” has a 20% annual growth rate, etc, etc…but, “past performance does not predict future results” and before you know it, you lose. The housing market is no different. It ebbs and flows in a larger economy of boom and bust.
This in a nutshell is modern capitalism, the wealthy store assets which appreciate in value propped up by bailouts through the political will of their political lapdogs, the poor maintain lifestyle if they are lucky, perhaps they squander their wealth or have it stolen and the middle class hope to simply hang on for dear life. As a side, there are different forms of capitalism like “financial capitalism”. Financial capitalism technically does not produce wealth. Financial capitalism produces debt and a large liability for most, it preys upon those it lends to in the form of interest, based on your “credit score” of course, or fees. The United States’ economy has moved from Industrial capitalism, building and selling things it produces (products), to a form of financial capitalism, where it sells debt at interest. Historically what we see in industrialized nations are citizens becoming less self reliant. They know how to do less by themselves and rely more on things like services or products from corporations and welfare from the government. The lower and working classes become “specialized” and specialization takes a foothold as a core component to a 19th, 20th and the 21st century economy. With the help of technology, specialization can scale upward. The US has shifted to a form of financial capitalism enslaving citizens in cycles of debt at varying rates of interest. This is how the world works, this is how most common people are trapped, in an endless cycle known as “neo-feudalism” but at scale. In a neo-feudalistic world there is a progression where most are turned into renters never owning anything and who are under a mountain of debt to the lender at rates of high interest. They have little or no property rights because they own nothing. They have shallow roots, toiling in an economy benefiting land lords (or those you rent from) both financially and legally. This goes beyond simply renting a place to live. Think about software, it is continually being built to rent “in the cloud” and not to own on your device. Housing is technically rented even when you “buy”. The bank owns the property, not you, until you pay it off in full. Until paid in full, you rent to own and if you do not pay your mortgage, the bank will take their property from you, yes, their property. If you do not pay your taxes, the government will take your property whether it is paid off or not. This is a power structure pushing modern economy forward in cycles of boom’s and busts, with winners and losers, the winners taking wealth from the losers. We find the influence of Neo-feudalistic power structures in current outcomes of the populous and throughout our history. Remember, the world and all things in it are a business model. There are possibly business models within business models like the “rent to own” business. Not only is this a business model of financing you a new couch, TV or laptop computer but there is a repo market to reposes those goods if you miss payments and resell them to the next economic serf run by the very companies that lent you the product not too dissimilar from the housing market and how banks work with respect to home ownership. A goal for monopoly minded corporations in the United States is to get you into “the company store“. The tech companies call this an “ecosystem” like the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. We need to think about the history of big business in the United States when thinking a bout the context of modern day environmentalism and ecosystems. Ecosystems of business, tribalism, propaganda, politics, neo-feudalism, serfdom, politics and money making interests.
Big Green Business
Moving on then from my historical rant of “how we got here” and what keeps us here, lets now switch gears focusing on bright green environmentalism relating it to all that history!
We have seen how environmentalism is not new but old. We have seen how industrial society creates pollution at scale as the economy scales. We have seen how government prefers the centralization of power, prefers big business over the citizenry, how “the system” favors dependence not independence and to a large degree preeminence of big business’s power over the individual. We have seen how corporations prefer a neo-feudalistic co-dependence leveraging the power of rent, debt and taxation with the help of publicly elected policy makers that protect corporate interests wealth through weak tax policy or loopholes. We see how prominent, well intended politicians, get it easily wrong because they do not understand historical context on a given topic. These perspectives are foundational to understanding most of what you hear about concerning “the environment”, “going green”, “being friendly to the environment”, “recycling”, “carbon neutrality”, “net zero carbon”, and the countless number of other sayings or phrases used to make you feel good about buying a solar panel or putting up a wind turbine. Companies and politicians want economic serfdom and dependence, not financial freedom and independence. The business model is there, think critically about what you read, hear, see or get exposed to.
Contemporary environmentalists promoting social change and technological solutions are called “bright greens“. They believe that through technology (things you buy) and social change (the politics of renting and debt), we can save the planet. I am on the other hand a “dark green” believing their approach is a fools errand. Take for example this recent piece put out by NPR about a UN report on climate (found here). “It’s not too late to stave off the climate crisis, U.N. report finds. Here’s how”. Awesome! How do we do it NPR?
The technology and solutions are available to rein in emissions, but the world is rapidly running out of time to deploy them, the report notes.
As a crucial near-term step, “substantial reduction” in the use of fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas would need to happen, the report finds. By 2050, low-carbon energy like solar and wind power will need to supply the majority of the world’s energy.
They go on to recommend:
- #1 – Grow renewable energy. It’s cheap enough: “The cost of solar energy has plummeted by 85 percent since 2010”
- #2 – We’ll probably need to suck carbon emissions out of the air: “The report also points to more cutting-edge approaches, like using technology to suck carbon emissions directly from the air.”
- #3 – Your decisions matter to slowing climate change: Recycling, electric vehicles charged by “renewable energy”, urban planning and individual actions.
These talking points are called “bright green” solutions. The bright green’s goal is not to preserve or to protect the natural world but rather, figuring out a way to continue exploiting it in a perceived kinder, gentler way that makes people feel good while still causing great environmental harm. It is like diet pop, low calorie ice cream, and other diet foods which science shows does not work in the long run to lose weight often making maintainable weight loss harder in the long term. Bright green solutions are not feasible nor are they possible while still preserving their way of life. The lifestyle of a growing capitalistic economy with unlimited growth and limitless consumption. Their goal is the goal of preserving their current lifestyle, economy, resource consumption and business model in direct conflict to preserving or protecting the natural world. Preserving energy consumption, continuing to pollute but in hidden ways often promoting pollution in places unseen, in far off places like China, India, Chile, etc. These are places where people (labor) and nature are exploited so at home, in wealthier western countries, the bright green environmentalist can feel cozy and comforted at home believing that nature is doing better thanks to my solar panel. Thanks to my wind turbine the earth is healing. Thanks to my EV, the planet, society, government, business, is that much better. In the context of the bright green discussion, nowhere is the natural world considered but rather, the preservation of the human species over all, the preservation of energy consumption, the preservation of their way of life, the preservation of economic growth, and the preservation of corporate profits. This guidance using these types of talking points is simply continuing the march off the cliff of ecological collapse in a chase for short term economic goals with the promise of “good jobs” promised by bamboozled politicians who want to convert citizens into corporate debt serfs.
Lord lift us up where we belong…where windmills chop birds in half…and the eagles die…
NPR (National Public Radio) posted another masterful piece of “journalism” the other day, I read it, thought about it for two seconds and scratched my head. W…the actual…F#$k!?!? Are you kidding me!?!? I could not believe the words on the page (screen).
“A wind energy company has pleaded guilty after killing at least 150 eagles” (here).
A wind energy company was sentenced to probation and ordered to pay more than $8 million in fines and restitution after at least 150 eagles were killed over the past decade at its wind farms in eight states, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.
Interesting, so a great technology solution that can rein in carbon emissions, is killing birds. Is this a solution for climate change? I suppose it could be argued, dubiously, but it is certainly not in any way friendly to the natural world and can we also assume that eagles were not the only bird spices killed in the turbine blades? I think so, it is the only species the government cares about in this context. Anyone advocating wind as a “solution” does not take into account the harm they cause on many vectors, from raw material extraction, manufacture, operation or the eventual death and “recycling”, if possible, of the turbine also known as the product lifecycle. Lets read on….
NextEra Energy subsidiary ESI Energy pleaded guilty to three counts of violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act during a Tuesday court appearance in Cheyenne, Wyoming. It was charged in the deaths of eagles at three of its wind farms in Wyoming and New Mexico.
The birds are killed when they fly into the blades of wind turbines. Some ESI turbines killed multiple eagles, prosecutors said.
It’s illegal to kill or harm eagles under federal law.
Golden eagles have not fared as well, with populations considered stable but under pressure including from wind farms, collisions with vehicles, illegal shootings and poisoning from lead ammunition.
Companies historically have been able to avoid prosecution if they take steps to avoid bird deaths and seek permits for those that occur. ESI did not seek such a permit, authorities said.
“For more than a decade, ESI has violated (wildlife) laws, taking eagles without obtaining or even seeking the necessary permit,” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division in a statement.A wind energy company has pleaded guilty after killing at least 150 eagles
The conclusion here is, that it seems OK to subsidize a wind farm with government money that helps the environment…that kills birds and is only illegal if you fail to get a proper permit to kill those birds. If you are a Millennial or a Gen-Z this is often called “gross“. If you are gen-x like me, it is called…are you &%$*’ing kidding me? If you are a boomer, you may just be shaking your head and saying, government is dumb. None of you would be wrong. This does not even discuss the environmental impact of what a wind driven solution is in the context of our current industrial need for energy. Energy is more than electricity. Energy includes things like gas, oil, the earths heat (geothermal), incineration of trash, solar, wind, hydro electric, etc, on top of that there are differences in the amount of “power”, as in, the power I can get from burning diesel gasoline being 40x (forty times) the amount I can get from a solar panel by volume (link). You can also easily store diesel fuel. These are interesting points to consider, and in the public discussion of “green” anything, nobody ever does. For example, consider the density of various types of energy. When was the last time you heard any bright green salesman discuss “energy density”? Did you know that “wind energy” has a density? Math can be cool kids!
Notice, joules per cubic meter, solar is worse than wind, wind is worse than oil and by a wide margin…I mean, laughably wide.
Consider the costs of energy. Solar and wind are $0.10 cents per Megajoule. Electricity, gas and oil, $0.01 to $0.05 cents.
This is why the global economy is driven by fossil fuel, it is more dense and cheaper, thus, more efficient. Think about price here in terms of coffee pre-Starbucks, we need to always remember “the business model“. Nobody paid premium dollars for coffee, until they did! Perceived value of Starbucks is driven by marketing. I personally think Starbucks tastes burnt, definitely not tasty although I can tolerate their light roast with some cream. Starbucks as coffee is 95% marketing, it is coffee, like every other coffee. Like Starbucks coffee marketing, greenwashed environmental marketing helps you to feel good about paying a premium for “helping” the environment while actually getting less of a value or doing great harm to the natural world. It is a great business proposition to sell less of a solution at a premium! Selling you burnt coffee, a commodity you think tastes good and that everyone is into for a premium dollar is a great business model with great profit margins!
There is no way you can run a modern western industrialized country on solar or wind alone, it is mathematically impossible because the amount of power needed to do the things we need power to do in a western economy, when we need it to do them is 24/7/365. Third shift manufacturing facilities, data centers, transportation networks, etc, when the sun is not shining or the wind is not blowing will go dark. They will go dark regardless of current battery technologies which is inefficient, can not store the amount of energy required and is detrimental to the natural world because of how those batteries are produced. This is all in the context that solar panels and wind turbines do not grow on trees. You have to strip mine the earth, exploit cheap labor, often children, in far off lands, exploit the environment dumping the waste products into the oceans, streams, rivers, lakes, pollute the air, continue burning fossil fuels in the production, manufacture and transportation of the created product. The supply chain is one big dirty chain of fossil fuel consumption, resource and human exploitation simply to get you that solar panel or wind turbine making you feel warm inside that you are helping and not hurting the natural world. The reality is, all those “solutions” come at a high cost to the natural world and your fellow human beings. They are solutions you can not scale. Remember our first history lesson. With more industrialization, more production, more growth, comes more pollution, more consumption, and more harm to the natural word, not less. The bright green is promising the exact opposite, contrary to historical facts in all areas, contrary to the science, contrary to the math just like a terrible tax plan. A plan with more growth with less destruction, preservation of our energy consumption and great jobs! This is the dangerous con that politicians are selling you. They are selling you hope and not reality, they are selling you a fantasy of helping the planet while charging you more for it giving you the experience of warm fuzzies while causing exponentially more environmental destruction.
The environmental solution and saving the planet
The answer is to consider not voting for bought corporate democrats and republicans that neither understand the problem, or who offer an intelligent solution to the problem if you care about the environment. They are commissioned salesmen for the green industrial capitalist hocking solar panels and wind turbines as the cure to climate change. They are not. Their answer is to empathically comfort you during a slow burn as they cash their commission checks and escape to parts of the world less impacted by climate change their policy often encourages. The duopoly establishment is interested in preservation of the business model, they do not in any way shape or form care about the planet. They care about maintaining central control over energy markets, they care about the preservation of the petrodollar, they care about their personal interests economic or otherwise. What they care about is the preservation of a consumptive habit and growing a market of fake technological solutions, diet food if you will. Instead of eating healthy, they hock diet pills, invasive surgery or chemical substitutes. They are interested in monetarily subsidizing big oil while claiming that big oil is bad for the environment, and it is, preaching from both sides of their mouths while also subsidizing “green” solutions to the problem that big oil created. They are interested in monetarily subsidizing green industrial capitalists while also subsidizing fossil fuels, because the process to bring you their solution does not remove the use of fossil fuels, although, that is their claim!
This is political “double speak”. This is what hedge funds do, they hedge against downside risk of losing money by investing in both winning positions, and losing positions. They will take a bet on both sides hoping the winner pays off more and thus, they will make money in the net gain from both bets which is a winner every time. They will “go long” and “go short” at the same time! Politicians are subsidizing wind projects that kill millions of birds, not just endangered eagles, while excusing themselves by permit and attempting to look good by levying a fine. They also continue subsidizing big oil or investing in things like fracking to produce more liquefied natural gas for foreign markets because this is a business model people! They, along with green industrial propagandists who are experts at greenwashing, tell you lies that solar is cheaper than ever! It is! That’s no lie but…why? Because the United States has outsourced its industrial capital and environmental pollution to China where labor is cheap, the Juan to US Dollar exchange rate is favorable, there are no worker standards and even weaker environmental laws. Of course solar is cheaper! Duh! That does not mean it is good for the planet! Do you know how a solar panel is created? Again, they do not grow on trees! Solar panel creation has a massive carbon footprint before you unbox and install one! Its very creation is destructive to the natural world. Can you believe there are sand shortages to make concrete and that the sand for construction and solar compete driving demand for more sand? Can you believe there are now gangs that traffic in illegally mined sand? Who would have believed these things are possible? Sand! Entire islands are disappearing as a result! Solar panels efficiency diminish in return over time and only last about 25 years, in addition, as noted, they have very low energy density and are sold at a premium with no ability to natively store the energy. For storage you need batteries.
The environment and planet are in serious danger and this is why I am a dark green. In fact, it may already be too late. I tune into groups like the Kalamazoo Climate Crisis Coalition’s (The KCCC) YouTube channel here in Kalamazoo or occasionally attend a Zoom event because I’m open to hearing their ideas, all ideas in fact about all kinds of topics. Their ideas simply cause more problems. Lets look at their mission statement.
Their goal is ultimately to be the sales arm of the green industrial capitalist selling you or government, more solar, more wind and at the expense of the natural world. To turn environmentalism into a political weapon so more democrats (progressives) can get elected who monetarily subsidize the destruction or environmental harm both at home and abroad. Nowhere in that statement does it say “democrat”, they allude to it by using the word “justice”, aka “social justice”, “racial justice”, “economic justice” and “environmental justice” which is democratic progressive language. They are abusing an environmental crisis for political gain which is why their solution will not work in the context of environmentalism. It will not work as a practical matter either. They are not trying to solve an environmental problem, they are simply trying to sell you a new good or service. Bright Greens in the US are trying to also solve social, racial, and economic problems which is completely unfocused. It sullies their message exposing it for what it is, a sales pitch of a clean environment with “good jobs” and justice for all.
“Reimagine society”, uniting individuals, business, government with varying numbers of groups to expand their influence (sales workforce), promoting awareness; from a green industrialist perspective, not an environmentalists perspective. They serve as a propaganda arm of a business having their own version of what is “science-based climate action”. Again, attempting to influence government, influence education, influence business, influence community and influence other institutions. This ladies, gentleman and gender neutral non-binary people, is the definition of gross.
Exploiting a climate crisis to promote the continued consumption of the natural world for political gain.
To promote false science suggesting that solar and wind is the solution when it causes great harm to the planet. It seems counterintuitive but not if you know about global supply chains, how things are produced, transported, and delivered in a supply chain of exploitation. Not if you understand the complexities, or have the ability to explain these complexities in meaningful understandable ways, the differences in energy density, what you get for your dollar and what we need to really do as a society, culture and world. Who is funding this group? People, corporations, politicians, all with business interests to push a narrative that technology and social change is our solution. That we can think or invent our way out of current environmental problems. One of the problems with discussing an actual solution to climate change or the destruction of the natural world (our planet) is this type of thinking in fact because all their solutions continue this destruction somewhere on the planet. If you are suggesting that creating a battery, solar panel, wind turbine, etc is your solution, be aware, what you are suggesting is the continued exploitation and eventual destruction of the natural world. It will utterly collapse around us.
Bright Green “solutions” are funded by big business. This is a business model. It sounds counterintuitive to suggest that the Kalamazoo Climate Crisis Coalition’s solutions would not solve problems but sadly they do not. They create new one’s, like killing birds, like exploiting poor powerless foreign labor, like disappearing islands for the production of solar, like feeling good about “green infrastructure” while paying a premium for it. Even all the talk about “electrification” or electric vehicles (EV’s) is absurd. EV’s are an attempt to dodge high gas bills and road taxes from a gallon of gas for some, and others, they think they are helping the planet. Do EV owners not know that the input of electricity might come from burning trash, natural gas, coal and possibly nuclear power plants? Nuclear is almost carbon free by the way. The simple question here is, what is the “input”? What hose are you connecting to your vehicle to fill it up with energy (gas if you will)? It is an odd way to think about things when trash was categorized by the Snyder administration (republican) and carried forward by the Whitmer administration (democrat) as a “renewable resource” that you can fill your electric vehicle up with. These things are hard to find! Politicians make it hard to find, they cloak their bills and legislation with hard to read, hard to interpret, hard to make sense of, language that is meant to obscure meaning and prevent you from understanding what is really going on.
Note in Senate Bill 0437 on page 7 where it states “…qualifying facility that produces electric energy by the use of biomass, waste, wood, hydroelectric, wind, and other renewable resources, or any combination of renewable resources, as the primary energy source.”. The context here is, what qualifies as a “renewable resource” and yes, the legislature regardless of party has sanctioned “waste” aka your trash or “municipal solid waste“, as renewable and “green”. Renewable means green right? Ah, no, but yes, but gross, and no, in my opinion.
Picture pulling your electric vehicle up to a dumpster for a fill up, that is what you are doing in some regions of Michigan like Kent County. This further skews the statistics on renewable energy production or use because some of that percentage is trash! Literally! The political left and the political right are utterly bankrupt on so many topics including topics that concern our environment. They have setup systems to cook the accounting books and that are cooking the planet scamming the public consciousness of how it all works. That what the public is being driven to do is continue the planetary burn while feeling good about it.
In the short term we need more nuclear energy and electrification which will reduce carbon emissions drastically. What the planet needs in the long term, is a global plan to depopulate the planet bringing human populations down to sustainable numbers in which the planet can support. Carbon emissions is not the only threat to the natural world. Physical destruction is. This might seem like an unimaginable long term goal I know. I am not talking genocide, I am talking attrition. Unfortunately one of capitalism’s flaws is infinite growth. Everyone should know there is no such thing as infinite growth unless you live in a meta-verse on Facebook (Meta). You grow until you collapse, when you experience collapse, it is far too late. To bring population down on the planet the world needs investment in education and subsidies that include paying people not to have children. As it stands, we do the opposite by under-funding education and incentivizing childbirth, at least in western countries. We do so because capitalism, in many respects, is a bit of a Ponzi scheme needing an ever growing uneducated market to sustain ever growing profits and ever growing markets that mindlessly consume products strip mined from the planet. The left minded constituents might be pleased with having a universal basic income (UBI) but it would be tied to not having children which is a key part of the plan’s direction and probably atypical for a Libertarian to suggest. Certainly, those right minded constituents might not like this plan because they see it as an attack on the family. It is not but drastic times call for drastic measures on this particular issue! It is not an attack on the family, it is an attack on further resource consumption. You can not potentially solve a problem, without sacrifice and I think both the left and the right need to be ready, for sacrifice. Firstly, sacrificing habit in favor of solution driven directions that solve problems. The World Bank or IMF, mostly funded by the US, could help kick this off in addition to paying countries like Brazil to protect their forests which draw carbon out of the atmosphere. The World Bank could pay countries like Brazil to not cut or burn their forests down. Right now, Brazilians are incentivized to cut or burn forest down in favor of food production, mostly beef, to sell in domestic or international markets. Capitalism as generally practiced incentivizes the destruction of the planet as does green industrial capitalism. The KCCC is not talking about any of these ideas because they are the sales arm of corporate America for outsourced products from China and they seem interested in electing democrats to office who will likely subsidize the transition (Green New Deal) selling it to you as though it will “create good paying jobs”. The “good paying jobs” trope has been used by politicians throughout history to sell you a bill of goods that is not necessarily “good”. Bill Clinton and the republican party in the 90’s sold the public NAFTA (The North American Free Trade Agreement).
At a ceremony marking the passage, Clinton said that “NAFTA means jobs, American jobs and good- paying American jobs”4 Things to Know About the History of NAFTA, as Trump Takes Another Step Toward Replacing It
When you think about the greater context of a Green New Deal as proposed by the political left, it is nothing more than a transition from the current financial capitalist banana republic to a green industrial capitalist banana republic where we outsource production of these green solutions to foreign markets (as always) and then internally finance them to consumers or centrally plan these green power distribution models through current legacy companies like DTE or Consumers Energy thereby maintaining their central corporate power structures. Be real, the KCCC are not interested in advocating for republicans to take office, although, neither am I! The KCCC pretends to be a non-partisan group but not apolitical, everyone I’ve seen in the group, at least to my knowledge, is a democrat of some kind with a democratic “progressive” message. Third party’s like the Green Party are mostly ignored. You have to ask the question why. Because the Green Party has no political power that is why! You would think that the Green Party candidates are who the KCCC would promote! The Green Party came up with the Green New Deal in 2006 but it, like many things, have been hijacked by the Democratic party (link). The League of Conservation voters mostly endorses team blue also (link). The League is not interested in conservation or the natural world, they too have been hijacked by the green industrial capitalist using them in their distribution model of green solutions. “Environmental activism”, as the bright green practices it, is at its heart, a political weapon and an attack on the natural world. It has now become a dog whistle and red meat for the base, a virtue signal telling anyone seeing it or hearing it that yeah, that is my guy, that is my gal. I am with you. It is as much of a dog whistle as anti-CRT, charter schools or accusing people of pedophilia have become for the right and team red. Wind talkers to their respective base.
These are serious and complicated issues. KCCC or politicians such as AOC are not truly interested in solving the serious and complicated issues but rather, they are interested in being a propaganda arm of the green industrial capitalist to sell more solar panels, wind turbines or electing progressive democrats into office that will, though the power of their control on government, subsidize these businesses. That is all they are, salesmen. These individuals and groups are a sales division of GIC LLC (Green Industrial Capitalist LLC) when you break it down to its core who want progressives in office to give their GIC LLC backers the grants and subsidies for cheap Chinese made solar panels. It is disheartening to see people spinning their wheels not improving the state of the natural world but actively promoting its destruction while not realizing it and paying a premium to do it..
Consider the impact of perpetually voting for the establishment who, in bi-partisan fashion, continue selling snake oil on virtually every issue. It is the same impact of a false advertiser. Take action, consider changing the narrative by electing a third party to office.