559 Comments

I hope Shellenberger wins. I suspect he is California's last hope.

He sums up the overall problem--not just with California politicians, but with political leaders all over the U.S--very astutely: "100-percent certain about what they couldn’t know, and weirdly unsure about how to fix things that could be fixed."

Expand full comment

He had me back when "Apocalypse Never" came out, Celia.

My views about the environment might be described as back woods conservationist.

Want to cut down a 100 acres worth of trees to make newsprint? Then you'd better have a program to plant 300 acres worth of new trees, or I'll call you an a** hole.

I eventually bought five more copies of Michael's book, which I lent to five of my best educated friends. The result? Four of the five friends with advanced degrees in medicine, education, and business management read a few chapters and said the book was propaganda and everyone knows renewables are our only hope for saving the planet.

The man who read the book cover to cover was a lawyer who had been one of my best friends for decades, and the only lawyer I knew who had won a case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

(Yeah for small town lawyers beating the white shoe crowd!)

He thanked me for providing him with a very well written book about a topic he never knew was so important.

He laughed when I suggested he was now one in a thousand in terms of people who truly know how electricity finds its way into our modern lives.

We all suffer from assumptions.

I still love the four friends who have drunk the "renewables" cool aid.

People I love remain loved in spite of their short comings. After all, they still love me after five decades, warts and all.

Now, if only those of us who do not live in the mess that is California could vote by mail, then Michael might stand a chance in the primary🤔

EDIT: I eventually found a good home for those copies of Michael's book by donating them to the public library in Bangor, Maine . . . the same library whose biggest patrons are Steve and Tabitha King.

Expand full comment

When it comes to the environment, I'm all about stewardship. That means taking care of the planet in meaningful ways. Far too many leftwing environmental programs are feel-good measures that have no beneficial effect or, in some cases, actually make the situation worse.

How many hydroelectric projects have been stopped because envirowackos were determined to "protect" a subspecies of fish or frog?

Expand full comment

Exactly, Celia. Cali just killed a desalinization plant in Huntington Beach after years of litigation. The state is on water rationing (unless you're the Delta Smelt) and the housing authorities compel housing mandates, overwriting local community building codes. What about the shortage of water and adding millions of new housing units? The state has decided not to link water availability to new housing construction. You can't make this stuff up.

Expand full comment

That's the thing, isn't it--these decisions are being made by Leftist politicians, without regard to whether or not they will work. It's all about what makes people feel good.

Expand full comment

From the article: “Their real goal is control and moralizing and power. Mine is freedom, care, civilization.” I love this.

Expand full comment

The "delta smelt" is a dismissive shorthand for the brackish water ecosystem of the Sacramento Delta, a much wider regional wetland that has many more species than a "3-inch fish", and has no business being converted into dried out salt water marsh.

And don't kid yourself. The Sacramento Delta is on water rationing, too.

The amount of water that desalination plants can presently produce is...not very much. I'm hopeful that nanotechnology will be able to transform the process, but that remains to be seen. And you're always going to have the byproduct of brine concentrate at the other end. Too much salt is a killer, and dispersing it with sufficient dilution that it doesn't upend the food chain in the oceans is an expensive proposition.

(good lord, wasn't any of this covered in high school biology class?)

I'd like to think there's a tech fix for the toxic brine problem (isn't there some way to convert all of that sodium chloride solution into a battery of some sort?) but we aren't there yet.

Expand full comment

You may some good points, Mascot, but you may not know what's happened to farmers in the Central Valley in recent years. I farmed there and know farmers there. It was once the "breadbasket of the world" and is slowly becoming a desert in many areas. So sad. The huge Sacramento River and San Joaquin River empty into San Francisco Bay - why aren't we capturing some of that water? As to desal, the Carlsbad plant provides 10% of all water for San Diego County, 3.3m people. Southern California also has a pretty good reservoir system, which the northern part of the state generally lacks. You're right the brine is an issue and dispersion can only do so much. Researchers at MIT say you can make sodium hydroxide using excess brine.

Expand full comment

"Southern California also has a pretty good reservoir system, which the northern part of the state generally lacks."

That's just plain factually incorrect. All it takes it looking at a state map. Moving water from reservoirs in the North to the southern part of the state was the entire purpose of the California Water Project. Which was pioneered by Jerry Brown's father Pat Brown. (A Democrat, for those of you keeping score- although judging by the partisan bent of the majority of the participants in this comment section, you'll drop all that history down the memory hole, in service to your idols.)

"The huge Sacramento River and San Joaquin River empty into San Francisco Bay - why aren't we capturing some of that water?"

A sizeable amount of that water is captured already. That's what the Delta pumps do. We need to figure out how to retain more of it upriver, so it stays in reservoirs through the growing season. But the solution is more about a lot of little projects than a few great big ones, and it's going to take some years.

"you may not know what's happened to farmers in the Central Valley in recent years. I farmed there and know farmers there. It was once the "breadbasket of the world" and is slowly becoming a desert in many areas."

I used to live in the Central Valley. I realize that many of the farmers have problems with water access. But blaming the Delta Smelt is easy. (It also neglects the economic interests who benefit from that water, like the commercial and sport fishing and tourism industries.) I rarely hear anyone talk about the access to the aquifer, or about shifting to crops with less water demand, or wasteful irrigation practices. https://thecounter.org/small-farmers-water-for-profit-kings-county-california-san-joaquin-valley/

Sean Hannity isn't going to do a story like the one in the link above. (I mention Hannity because more than once I've heard him ranting about the farmers in the Central Valley having their water stolen by a 3-inch fish, and other canards.)

The bottom line is that California is facing long-term drought conditions. What used to work just fine isn't working as well.

https://www.ppic.org/publication/water-use-in-california/

" As to desal, the Carlsbad plant provides 10% of all water for San Diego County, 3.3m people."

But that's hardly anything, in the grand context of water use in California. The equivalent of the water supply for 330,000 people, in a state of 40 million people. I mean, I support desalination, if it's done right. But there are serious challenges, and it can only do so much. I ran various numbers on the Carlsbad plant back when it was being built (anyone can do this, by asking a few pointed questions- this is the Internet!) The construction cost and physical footprint was considerable. (Much more than most nuclear power plants, fwiw.)

Expand full comment

Meanwhile California would have lots of water to ride through droughts except they release so much to support these ecosystems. Looking like you cannot have both.

Expand full comment

"Meanwhile California would have lots of water to ride through droughts except they release so much to support these ecosystems."

First of all, that's bullshit Twitterspeak. You can't support it. Claims asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence; the only reason I'm bothering to respond to your idiocy at all is that gullible people read comments like those and swallow them whole.

Secondly, you're evidently unaware of what natural ecosystems in good working order on this planet actually do for the human species: they keep us alive. They're as important as our lungs, or our livers.

Expand full comment

Celia, Paul Kingsnorth wrote a great book called "Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist". You would like it. He writes here on Substack too.

Expand full comment

I’m going to read it thanks for info this green story is the gaslight of the 21st century the Arabs and Russia are loving it look at the price of oil and gas 2 years ago they were pretty much done they couldn’t dump the oil and now we energy dependent don’t have formula the list is endless DJT told us in his term it was a hoax so was the Paris climate Accord and we had the COP in October that was a whitewash until we get proper people in power we are going to continue this downward trend until there is nothing left of us 🥲🥲sadly

Expand full comment

The hoax is the fear mongering inciting a premature rejection of oil and gas which if realized can literally bring down the country and the world. A warming planet is real. However the “models” are simply not predictive. Read the actual IPCC docs which are being massively distorted by MSM and political forces.

Expand full comment

"How many hydroelectric projects have been stopped because envirowackos were determined to "protect" a subspecies of fish or frog?"

None, as far as I know. You seem to be referring to the one case that so many people "know" about*- from 1979, the Tellico Dam project that was delayed due to the lack of an environmental impact statement. The "snail darter" case.

[ *This is just a guess; I get to do that, since you've supplied no information other than a rhetorical question.]

Here's the rest of the story: the Tellico Dam was completed. And the snail darter population was relocated to a different nearby river system- the Hiwasee. The snail darter is no longer endangered. A win-win. https://www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2021-08-31/snail-darter-humble-fish-blocked-dam-no-longer-endangered

Can the anti-ecological wacko Right Wing stop dining out on this case, already? It's been 43 years.

As for more big hydroelectric dams in California: it's a pipe dream. Those dams have already been built. There are no more sites for megadam projects. I keep having to explain this to people who haven't even bothered to consult a topographic map (much less knowing what the Yolo Bypass is, and why it exists.)

I also keep having to inform people that dams are useless is there's no water to fill the reservoirs. The reason that California's reservoirs are often over-topped in the winter and at 20% of capacity by mid-summer is because the Sierras no longer hold snowpack into the summer. Even when there are wet winter seasons, there's too much rain and not enough snow. You get what rain does to snow, hmm? This is due to anthropocentric global warming, that thing that partisan Right Wing ignoramuses still insist on ridiculing**.

California definitely does need more water storage, in the form of pumped underground storage, cisterns, and dams- particularly coffer dams at high elevations, which will increasingly be needed to feed headwater streams (and the larger rivers and reservoirs they feed) in the absence of snowpack. These are projects that require the input of both engineers and life sciences people- collaborating with each other, not fighting with each other. Each side will need to give some ground- we all need to start thinking in terms of Us, not Ours vs. Theirs.

Some of these smaller hydro projects might conceivably be able to generate usable amounts of electricity. Not very much, though; for that, we need nuclear power.

[ **Left-wing ignoramuses have their own problems- on the issue of nuclear power, for example. They might at least read Gwyneth Craven's book Power To Save The World, or Whole Earth Discipline, by Stewart Brand, along with Michael Shellenberger's book Apocalypse Never. But almost nobody reads actual books on these subjects any more, they get their information from talking points in e-leaflets. ]

Expand full comment

Look stud I get that you think you are intellectually superior to the rest of us buffoons, ignoramses, etc. but you do not "have" to explain anything to us, rather you have a need to do so. As far as "anti-ecological wacko Right-Wing" BS get over yourself. What we know about climate is in its infancy. It has only been a course of study here for 50 years. We have no reliable data beyond 300 or so years and that was isolated information. Oh I know, the ice cores, the ice cores!!!! But that data is stagnant as to time and place as well. Literal drops in the bucket of climate. Climate changes. That is what it does. If it changes too much our species might not make it. I suspect that if we survive another millenia you clowns will be viewed as just that. Now here is a flash for you. You enviro whackadoodles need us common folk to cooperate with you. I rarely speak for others but I am gonna go out on a limb here and say we will not be dictated to by you psuedo-intellectual elitists so if you want our help you better learn to play nice. Fast. I suspect Michael Schellenberger has figured that out.

Expand full comment

I am "common folk", too, Lynne. I've never made any claim of intellectual superiority. That's your insecurity speaking.

(Or, since I suspect that you don't actually believe that, it's a turf claim: you're casting the opinions you oppose as "Elitist" ones, and those you agree with represent those of a Champion of the Common People.)

People with minimal knowledge on a given topic who insist that their opinions have just as much merit as someone who has paid the dues to study the subject are fronting phonies. It's like hearing someone insist that bent-knee pushups are just as strengthening as pull-ups, and then acting all offended when someone points out that they aren't.

Consider that all you have to offer on the topic of climate change is some tired nonsense about ice cores. We're over hockey stick graphs here, and well into easily observable changes. They might not be all that noticeable on the Texas border- although I'd bet that if you bothered to look, you might find more differences than you think. But you don't have to travel very far to find places that just aren't what they used to be, in ways that many climate scientists were predicting over 30 years ago.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/17/opinion/india-heat-wave-pakistan-climate-change.html

Expand full comment

No you are not a common folk. Common folk do not denigrate people as you do. They present their POV with humility. There are many examples of that in the Common Sense threads. Nor am I speaking out of insecurity. I found the tone of your comments arrogant and demeaning. It is my nature to speak out for those being mistreated so I did. It is true I am not a climate scientist but I have read a fair amount on the topic over many years to try to understand climate, at least to the extent any of us can do so. I do observe changes in my lifetime, I just do not pretend to have an explanation nor do I believe you have one. You are entirely too strident in your tone to be persuasive.

Expand full comment

Thank you, Lynne. Ordinarily I don't respond to Mascot because of his troll-like arrogance, but his assertions here needed a response. You saved me from that.

Expand full comment

Celia, the post I addressed to you was not a personal attack.

My fact claims merely demolished your insinuations. Try to not take that so personally.

When people catch me out on matters of fact, I own it. Admitting my error has been one of the ways I've learned new information.

Expand full comment

I suspect , Lynne, that you don't want them to play nice.

I think you want them to play by your unstated rules.

Expand full comment

You would be wrong. I actually have not stated an opinion on climate issues except hydro-electric. And I stand by my comment about who needs whom and who needs to play nicely. Shrilly denigrating people like a petulant child is not an effective strategy. Never has been, never will be.

Expand full comment

I am a big fan of nuclear power. The new generations of reactors are far safer and more fuel efficient than the early models with which we're familiar. I'd like to populate the nation with these small, modern reactors, and decommission the oldies. (Then open the Yucca Mountain waste facility we spent billions of tax dollars to build, and use it.) Nuclear energy is the most reliable and least carbon-footprinty energy source out there, and this liberal votes to Get On With It Already. Build the reactors, get them on line, and keep improving everything else. My Illinois relies heavily on reactors for power, so I have no NIMBY issue--they work fine.

Nuclear, hydro, oil, gas, wind, solar, bacteria farts; all have a place in filling the power grid. But none can do it alone.

Expand full comment

"Nuclear, hydro, oil, gas, wind, solar, bacteria farts; all have a place in filling the power grid. But none can do it alone."

I want to thank you, William, for providing my morning chuckle. You had me at bacteria farts.

Your final sentence is one of the best I have ever seen in terms of summing up what we really need to do if we want to live in a 1st world country where folks truly want the poorest among them to also thrive.

Expand full comment

Thanks for this, Dennis. Bacteria farts will save the world, I swear :-)

We need all sources to feed our (heavily upgraded) electrical grid, including things we've not yet imagined, if we want everyone to thrive.

Expand full comment

Phew! You don't pull many punches, Mascot. I assume You know what You're talking about, but You don't get any style points from me.

TY. Hadn't heard-a Craven's book. Not that I have time to read any-a the three, but I can put 'em on a list, on the off-chance.

Expand full comment

Fuck "style points." There's entirely too much proudly asserted ignorance in this discussion to be fussily polite about noting its prevalence. Someone has to say it.

I'm fine with everything in my comments being ignored- as long as the reader takes my book recommendations, and reads them all the way through. That this is probably too much to ask- even of college-educated Americans- goes a long way toward explaining the mess that we're in right now.

Expand full comment

The very last thing on God's little green earth I would do is take reading recs from you. Style points do indeed matter.

Expand full comment

Okay, I actually *bought* Shellenberger's book, to see what the Spiritual angle was about. TY.

But that's no guarantee I'll ever *read* it. Just makes it a *little* more likely is all.

Expand full comment

Don't be an Aliterate, man. And don't stop with reading only one book, either. Being well-read is imperative to knowing what you're talking about. There are no shortcuts.

There are plenty of shortcuts that allow people who don't have the faintest idea of what they're talking about to go on and talk anyway. I have to admit that much.

Expand full comment

You just can't stop being arrogant, can you? Even if the substance of your comments is decent, your tone sucks.

Expand full comment

Gimme a break, Mascot. All I *do* read is Substacks and books. Too much time commenting on Substacks is the problem. I've bought 1,000 books over the past two or three years. Enough to keep me busy for the rest-a my life.

But thanks for the lecture on how aliterate I am. Admit I started late, just in the past year. But I'm making up for lost time as fast as I can.

Expand full comment

2 things - 1) hydro is as clean as it gets; 2) is it wise to preserve every species? After all how many millions of species have come and gone. What are we doing to the balance of life by insisting on preservation of all? Is this not merely an (IMO impossible) attempt to maintain a static status quo?

Expand full comment

That desire for some kind of extinction-free status quo is one of the least rational aspects of envirowackoism. It ignores millions of years of natural history in which humans played no part.

Expand full comment

Hydroelectric dams have their own set of problems. Although it's a moot point in this country, because almost every site of any size has already been dammed. Many of the biggest projects had a heavy component of "boondoggle" in them. Read Cadillac Desert, by Marc Reisner. A book (yeah, another BOOK) containing material that should be taught in every high school classroom in the American West.

I think focusing ecological concerns on a handful of endangered species is missing the forest for the trees. Environmental policy routinely overlooks massive degradation of vast regional ecosystems where no endangered species are present. But if the degradation continues, entire food chains are liable to collapse.

Expand full comment

I've often wondered this myself.

Expand full comment

But, but .... the "envirowackos" would lose one of their favorite delicacies . . . "wart frog" legs 🙄

Expand full comment

They probably do not realize that the "natural" state is often quite deadly. (See Great CA Flood 1862). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Flood_of_1862

Expand full comment

Thank you Patricia for providing us such an interesting link.

Expand full comment

Likewise TY.

Expand full comment

I couldn't agree with you more on this. We need to get practical and work in concert with nature to find the balance. Check out "The Biggest Little Farm" for something that someone is trying (and which was predictably pilloried by those who have given up on possibility). I found it inspiring. Why couldn't we move farming toward increased biodiversity and away from monoculture? At least enough to keep the soil in good shape and capture more water in underground aquifers.

Expand full comment

I also have recommended the book widely. Lots of the same “propaganda” responses

Expand full comment

Thank you for your comment, Chris, although it saddens me that we so poorly train young people who grow up to accept stupid science, and thus join a dangerous mob.

My wife always says "follow the money, honey" when I rant about the ideas being promoted by a transient administration that claims to be able to "save the planet," not in a hundred years from now, but right now!

Expand full comment
founding

Good story; well (and sadly) put.

Expand full comment

How about 300 acres of industrial hemp instead? It would result in 20x the fiber.

Expand full comment

Unfortunately, Lightwing, I do not know of a paper mill creating newsprint out of hemp. And growing hemp in the far north might not be profitable.

Hemp turned into pulp, however, is used to make specialty paper, such as for cigarettes.

Thank you for your comment.

Expand full comment

Admittedly, the resource stream for industrial hemp is in its infancy. It was decriminalized in 2018 nationally and COVID somewhat stalled its use/adoption. But, it will happen.

https://www.grandviewresearch.com/industry-analysis/industrial-hemp-market

Expand full comment

Thank you for the link, Lightwing. The report was very interesting.

Having spent all of my working life in Maine, I learned a lot about making pulp 😁

Right now, the hemp based pulp will increase in popularity. It's far easier to harvest hemp than the spruce and pine trees that are used at the dwindling number of paper-making companies in Maine.

Winters are brutal in Maine, and production of pulp is thus almost universally lower for almost half the year.

Expand full comment

Yes. It's going to find it's niche. It is a marvelous plant that will benefit the human race and the planet on many levels. It has been a very slow ramp up but we are getting there. I am looking for a way to invest currently.

Expand full comment

Dennis...nice story...reminded me of ALL those orange groves in Cal. and Florida, now houses... dealing with the composition. thanks

Expand full comment

Thanks. Great book that turned me into an environmentalist. Believe it or not.

Expand full comment

With the legacy Americans leaving this state in droves, all that is left is the illegal immigrants mooching off the taxes we pay to prop up CA and the legal immigrants who don’t understand our way of life and obediently vote for Newsom and his party.

Expand full comment

What I find more frightening is that many of those leaving are self-interested Leftists who are bringing their destructive politics to the states that haven't been ruined by Progressives yet. The quality of life in the state where I grew up was beginning to be destroyed by Californians over 30 years ago.

Expand full comment

As someone who fled the left coast, I can tell you that my likelihood of ever voting democratic is less than zero.

Expand full comment

But you are probably among those who escaped for political reasons, instead of running away from the mess the politicians you voted for had made.

Expand full comment

Was the state Oregon?

Expand full comment

Don't forget Washington.

Expand full comment

No, it was Utah. My husband and I escaped just in time. The rent on the hovel we'd been living in doubled within six months of our leaving.

Utah Valley (where I grew up) used to be largely farmland. Now it is an endless sea of housing developments, from Lehi to Santiquin and from the mountain benches to the shores of Utah Lake (including areas that were underwater in the flood of 1983). There are half a dozen new incorporated cities that did not even exist 30 years ago.

If you want to drive on I-15, you better drive like a maniac. Despite posted speed limits, the typical speed is 80.

Expand full comment

We did live in Oregon for 7 years after we left Utah. So I saw the destruction that had been wreaked there as well. Fortunately, we lived in a little mountain town. It had its problems, and a few of them originated in California, but it was still a nice place to live in the early 90s.

It was my husband's homesickness for the Midwest that took us away from there. We've thought about going back, but at this point that would be like moving to Pompeii.

Expand full comment

I think the over-speeding is a vestige of the lockdowns. Once, while driving on I-40, I was passed by several cars that seemed to be racing, going at least 90 mph, apparently elicited by the absence of cars. It happened several times, actually. … I can’t tell if you like it there in Utah, but I hope so.

Expand full comment

No, the over-speeding has been going on since 2002 at least, when I last spent any length of time there, after my mother passed away. I was there again in 2012 to sell the house, and against in 2013 to help my best friend move. Only got worse.

I grew up in Utah, but my husband and I moved to Oregon at the end of '88, to Kansas in '95, and to Iowa in '03.

Expand full comment

I think that the result of Progressive policies is lowering the quality of life in Cali and you'd have to be pretty out of it not to notice. This is going to have an impact at the ballot box. That said, never underestimate the power of the human ego and sanctimony. Like Shellenberger said, they want to "feel good" about themselves no matter the reality they create. You could argue that this is due to the fact that most Progressives are wealthy and are insulated from the real-world impacts of their policies.

Expand full comment

They shouldn’t be allowed in they have ruined their environments and then proceed to transport the same crap with them they won’t succeed we know who they are The Clintons Prince and Megan the Gores and of course our favorites the Obamas etc there are plenty others to join that heap!

Expand full comment

I hear a parrot!

Expand full comment

Yes it’s a frightening invasion we’re undergoing at the full faith and intent of the federal government. Necessary to understand our government as blood sucking parasites trying to take all Americans have left and leave them helpless to resist. It was what our founding ancestors most feared. These parasites in power will go but whether and if we have time to make this abundantly clear to Washington before it all falls apart is an unknown.

Expand full comment

Which is being promoted nationwide thru the open border policy. The only solution I see is to inform the newcomers.

Expand full comment

California is just an extreme version of what's happening all over the US, especially in the coastal regions where the establishment and elite dominate.

Expand full comment

What could be the downside to electing anyone besides Newsom? How could anyone do worse? I listened to Shellenberger's interview with Rogan. I'm what many on the left would now call a red-pilled right-wing conspiracy theorist (i.e. I don't mindlessly accept everything the mainstream media preaches about Covid and find myself increasingly disenchanted with the Dem party) and I found his interview refreshing. Finally, like it used to be all of ten years ago, here was a liberal politician who I disagreed with on many of his suggested policies but who I found I can respect and, if elected, find many areas of agreement with.

Expand full comment

California has voted for him and overwhelmingly supported him in the recall. This is on them. No sympathy

Expand full comment

Yup. They deserve the environmental issues, homeless, filth and crime and upcoming vax mandates that will maim their kids. No refunds.

Expand full comment

Sniper... they do have a very high pollution rate, gets overlooked when viewing the nice climate. i would guess, they have a short lifespan, might help.

Expand full comment

you missed the high pollution rate, take a deep breath, now again...

High pollution with a high life span, with busy Airports...and that High "Gullibillty" ...so much fun

Expand full comment

The air pollution problem in California is confined to a few urban areas. In particular, it has a lot to do with the geography of the LA basin, coupled with population increase.

It would be incomparably worse if California hadn't led the way with auto emissions standards, decades ago. Those pollution controls actually allowed many years of breathing room in urban California. But evidently the population influx has once again swamped out the benefits.

The unprecedented size of California forest fires in recent years has also contributed to a drastic decline in air quality in some months of the year, in large parts of the state. The largest fire burned 4.5 million acres, more than triple the historic annual norm.

Expand full comment

At the risk of sounding like another "right-wing conspiracy nut," I do question election integrity, particularly when oligarchs who are widely reviled seem to keep getting elected.

Expand full comment

Yes but as Celia pointed out Californians are moving and spreading their failed policies. And the southern border is wide open to persons ill-informed about legacy American values that are being located throughout the country.

Expand full comment

You know the expression “you reap what you sow”Madjack!

Expand full comment

LMAO!! Sympathy? Life here is remarkably good. Yes we have issues. So do you.

Expand full comment

Apparently, like Bari, I find Shellenberger, compelling, even if he's a bit odd. He does seem to have the zealotry of the convert but in his own, chill, slightly distracted way. His Zen character, replete with reticence, is a nice relief from the cocksure, braying idiots of both parties that we incessantly elect and then instantly regret having voted for. Whether the senile imbecile, Biden, who embarrasses himself - and us - on a daily basis, to the aged relics who foul our Senate chamber, to braying jackasses such as Schumer, Ted Cruz and Lindsay Graham, down to the local rent seekers and trough feeders, what is is about politics that attracts the worst sort? Shellenberger seems a welcome antidote. A man to whom facts, and results, seem to matter most. California, now in so much trouble because it was really a paradise, can be saved. But it won't be easy. For those of us non-Californians who desperately love the state, Shellenberger seems a ray of much needed hope. Good luck to him.

Expand full comment

"what is is about politics that attracts the worst sort?"

I believe it's that the qualities to finance and win a campaign, namely telling people what they want to hear, is the direct *opposite* of what it takes to come up with viable solutions to problems.

Wish I knew the solutions, but one thing that would probably help is having the government be the only entity to supply funding to the candidates.

Expand full comment

We will never have good politicians, or good government, it's not possible. "Power corrupts." The best we can do is have minimal government. Government that protects people against violence, ensures their rights, and enforces contracts. That's it. Make it not worth buying.

Expand full comment

I don't disagree, but that's gonna be a hard genie to put back in the bottle.

Until that happens, if ever, One can only hope to find pols that desire to hold power enough to get *through* a campaign, and then with (hopefully) term limits, the wisdom to know that power is not the end, but the means. One can dream anyway...

Expand full comment
founding

Right on.

Expand full comment

As Rush always used to say, "Politics is Hollywood for ugly people"

Expand full comment

Miss Rush🥲🥲

Expand full comment

That's priceless!

Expand full comment

Isn't that kind of like having the fox guard the henhouse? Especially after what we saw with the Obama Administration and their use of the levers of government going after candidate and then President-elect Trump.

Expand full comment

I'm feeling more and more like a lottery to choose candidates would be more sensible than our current system. No campaign funds, no parties, just widely broadcasted debates among 12 randomly selected Americans in the proper age range.

Expand full comment

Celia...just add water, you could have something workable.

Expand full comment

My millennial daughter keeps saying the same thing.

Expand full comment

Interesting. Dunno how that'd work out.

Expand full comment

Much better than now

Expand full comment

There are a lot of potential issues with it. But I'm not sure it could possibly be worse than the situation we have now.

Expand full comment

Naw, probably not.

Expand full comment

It would seem so at first. But what would happen if the Elites money and the lobbyists money couldn't buy candidates anymore?

Expand full comment

That's why they won't allow any changes that will result in them losing the control that they've paid so much money for. Just as Congress will never vote for a simplified tax code because every member of Congress relies on the loopholes to avoid paying their fair share.

Expand full comment

Yeah. Not only that, but providing loopholes in the first place is a chance of big money for congress-people.

So I imagine nothing like *any-a* that could happen without a third party.

Expand full comment

jt...lobby money,,,oh my.

Expand full comment

We should have protested harder and much earlier than 1/6 we seriously left it to late stuck with these rubbish till 2024

Expand full comment

I don't know if you've seen D'Souza's 2000 Mules yet but it does lay out a prima facie case of a massive, well-funded conspiracy to fix the 2020 election through harvesting mail in ballots. Is it true or accurate? Only a seriously investigation of the evidence presented in the film will reveal. But as I said, it does lay out a well documented case of voter fraud through the cell phone locational data of the mules and their traveling between left wing advocacy group and mail in ballot receptacles.

Expand full comment

Well I protested in 2009 with the tea party movement. I also worked on Ron Paul's campaign in 2012. Lot of good it did.

Expand full comment

Same. The media made sure it didn't do any good.

Expand full comment

Paid off in 2016 it’s going to come again don’t lose heart just keep working at it

Expand full comment

Literally the only reason we got 2016 is because the media promoted the one Republican candidate they were sure Hillary could beat. But they underestimated just how sick Americans were of the elite political class and just how much people hated Hillary.

They won't let that happen again.

Expand full comment

Mebbe I should-a said that the best Way I could see it work is each viable House candidate gets flat $x amount. Every viable Senate candidate gets $y. The viable Presidential candidates get flat $z each. Same amount to all the candidates.

Nobody gets an advantage over the other, just because they can be bought with the biggest amount of money.

Expand full comment

You do make an excellent point. The role of money in politics has led to untold problems. What did Zuckerberg's $400 odd million "contribution" to the 2020 election really buy? Nothing good. At the very least the installation of a senile imbecile into the Oval Office. At worst, a conspiracy to steal an election and deprive all of us of one of our most precious rights - our right to say who governs us.

Expand full comment

I never figured out how that $400 million passed the smell test.

Expand full comment

It didn’t it didn’t matter either we only the small fish in a big pond what mattered is Brandon is sitting in the WH illegally (they told us for 4 years President Trump was illegal) the Squad are in Congress everybody has been to Ukraine and our babies have no formula strange times strange country!

Expand full comment

Remember what Harington said about treason and prospering?

Expand full comment

No. I'm an ignoramoose abou t it. What s/he'd say?

Expand full comment

But how do you prevent clandestine support by wealthy candidate-buyers? Facebook manipulated the 2020 election (and yet we worried about the effect of Russian bots in 2016???) without openly spending a dime that could be considered a campaign contribution.

Expand full comment

Clandestine support is gonna be tricky to stop. Even now, my understanding is that the teacher's unions are real heavy into doing legwork for the Dem party. How do You stop that? Get more jpeople active that Way in the Repub party.

I dunno what kind-a ways a wealthy person can support a candidate outside-a providing money. But if s/he was cut outta the money angle, that'd be a big start.

Expand full comment

To be a successful politician you need to win - and the comprises you need to make to win would put most people off.

Expand full comment

Yeah, that's a large part, no doubt.

Expand full comment

Best comment today very descriptive 😄

Expand full comment

Narcissistic extroverts.

Expand full comment

Listen to his Joe Rogan interview.

Expand full comment
May 17, 2022·edited May 17, 2022

There is no nice way of saying but Californians have to stop voting for Democrats. For decades state has been run by Democratic party on almost every level. Up to early 2000 that might have worked, but now, it is clearly not working. Cities are falling apart, homeless in every park, junkies robing stores in broad daylight with out any fear of law.

Ironic person might say, well California is becoming that what it was up to 1900, Wild West, where outlaws roam free and only small pockets of law hold out.

But in reality, no other state shows how insane woke/progressive polices can destroy a state. This wouldn't be a problem if California transplants weren't escaping in drows to other well run states and bringing their voting habits that they escaped from. I mean, are you blind, you voted for Democrats for 50 years, they in turn have ruined the state to the extent that it is becoming unlivable, and you still want to vote for same ideas?

Nothing better epitomizes decline of California as decline of San Francisco and Los Angeles. Both are looking more and more to some cities in third world where rich elite lives in gated communities while rest of the city is slum where no laws apply.

But worst is, that majority of Californians, would rather vote blue and be forced to jump over needles on streets and human excrement, than vote Republican and have clean and safe cites.

Sometime I think, that California is beyond saving. I just hope, that in case of this decline, the old saying doesn't come true "As California Goes, so Goes the Nation"

Expand full comment

Yep, California - grew to a successful paradise under conservative Republicans, destroyed by leftist Democrats. It's really such a simple formula. Every liberal wet dream was implemented in CA and the results are there for anyone to see. Paradise lost. And the real comedy is that the most educated, the most privileged, the most entitled people who supported these policies are too stupid, blind and pig-headed to change course. It would be laughable if not so utterly sad.

Expand full comment

I don't think it's stupidity or pig-headedness. It's the feeling of superiority. Of being part of the royalty. The luxury of noblesse oblige.

Expand full comment

It’s good to be the King!!

Expand full comment

Loved that movie. With the rest of us relegated to the role of the "piss boy."

Expand full comment

Plenty of that - narcissists all. I’m a fifth generation CA with ancestors going back to Mendocino redwood coast/San Francisco. They were hardy Europeans and Few odd Boston folks. Seafaring, rugged - no nonsense types. Now live near Nashville. Not so great here either with a bunch of Democrat, high tech supporters locally. Nor sure the Republicans here are much better.

Expand full comment

I agree. I was glad to see Schellenberger's recognition of that.

Expand full comment

Doesn’t seem so bad in the back of your tinted limo, locked in your gated community at your upscale restaurant.

Expand full comment

Not any of those things they just major professional looters thugs who have captured California and continue to rape her infinitum

Expand full comment

That really is the problem, isn't it? Too many who would literally rather die than vote for anyone but a Democrat.

California is the best example I know of the "you deserve what you vote for" phenomenon.

Expand full comment

Good and hard

Expand full comment

Forgive the crib Celia, but to paraphrase Joseph de Maistre, "in a democracy people get the government they deserve."

Expand full comment

Which is why our Founders set up a republic ("if you can keep it," said Ben Franklin), trying to protect our fledgling nation from the dangers of pure democracy. The Left is disturbingly eager to get rid of those protections.

Expand full comment

I'm glad that we don't have pure democracy as a voting principle.

But I'm sorry to tell You that, according to this study, we don't have a democracy in principle either: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/perspectives-on-politics/article/testing-theories-of-american-politics-elites-interest-groups-and-average-citizens/62327F513959D0A304D4893B382B992B

"The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence."

This is before the Woke Religion became so powerful. I'm sure they would-a included the *political* elites in the oligarchy that rules us plebes.

Expand full comment

Trump, having dealt with the government for most of his life, understood that. That was the Swamp he referenced.

Expand full comment

True Trump alone recognized the threat from the Swamp. Not sure anyone can save what remains now.

Expand full comment

All these Democrats at least are all handmaidens of the World Economic Forum out to form the New world Order according to Klaus Schwab.

Expand full comment

Sorry, but nup. Most-a the Dems probably don't know much about the New World Order *some-a* them want. Nor many of the Repubs, I'd wager.

Expand full comment

Corruption, everywhere you look.

Expand full comment

Pretty much. Still, I hope a new political party is born that is different. Who knows?

Expand full comment

See, told you guys...jt goes el Trumpty...nice catch.

Expand full comment

You funny, Jim. But seriously, tho. YOu don't get it. Trump *is* one-a the elites. How many billions? "Man of the people" my effin' arse!

Expand full comment
founding

Right on....

Expand full comment

That’s accurate. They don’t even seem to want to keep it.

Expand full comment

Yeah, *some* on the left don't wanna keep it. But gotta "say" that I haven't seen a lotta *action* on the right, either. That's just me.

Expand full comment

No you're correct. The right engages in a great deal of criticism and useless talk that fails to get at the nitty gritty of the issues and completely ignores urgently important component like the WEF/Davos contingent who run the current leftist disaster.

The left however has lost their sanity completely and engages in psychopathological schemes to try to gain further power. They are no longer even left but are off the deep end into supporting Fascist schemes beyond any comprehension

Both sides are corrupt but in the current environment the right are easily able to look like the winners in the discussion. And it's a a very long time until we have "elections". Unless the people actually march peacefully in the streets by the millions there are no options.

Expand full comment
founding

...if not better than they deserve...

Expand full comment

It's what happens when people are convinced that mail in ballots are a good thing. It's coming to a state near you.

Expand full comment
May 17, 2022·edited May 17, 2022

As a young person I used to get frustrated with religious people because they were impossible to argue with - nothing changes their views. I feel the same way about progressives now. So many of their cherished beliefs - renewables are all we need - global warming will kill us - can be easily refuted. But it is like lecturing to your dog for all the good it does. I actually don’t think their beliefs will change when things get worse. The power grid has failed in several places around the world due to renewables - but that hasn’t shaken their belief systems. I think we have a long way to go before things hit bottom.

Expand full comment

Errant ideology is very dangerous. In Christian history it led to the murder of millions, same with totalitarian ideology. This bizarre climate ideology will lead to deaths, of mostly the poor and marginalized. Tragic.

Expand full comment

You insulting a dog they understand much more then these progressive people and fir me the problem is I’m not sure which target group they are - are they privilege are they highly educated are they even working because you don’t have to be rocket scientist to see where this is going the elites even scammed us out of our election they have been doing that for years both reps and Dems when these elites hid skid row I fear for all us we nearly there after Covid they are now hitting us with the Climate something going to give

Expand full comment

Pops...try lecturing your cat...talk about "dead end" and a looooong way to go.

Expand full comment

Perhaps more to the point, Californians have got out of the habit of voting. They have become so used to the leadership they have that election results are seen as foregone conclusions, not worth the bother. There is no way a Gavin Newsom would have kept his job if voters had been paying attention.

I spend only a few months a year in the state. What used to be a mild winter respite is now something I dread. Apolitical as I am, I gave money to Shellenberger's campaign. Even if he is elected, however, I doubt he will be able to do much about the squalor on the streets and the lazy, bloated government.

Expand full comment

It’s far worse than that. Although we have a few odd politicians and states who are fighting this the WEF handmaidens are now in charge and deliberately undermining America and Americans. Their aim is to create a bunch of slaves of the Davos crowd rulers. To them we are useless eaters.

Expand full comment

I don't disagree. But, at least for a *time,* they need us useless eaters. So my hope is that their plans can be disrupted, before AI and automation really do some damage. False hope? Better 'n none.

Expand full comment

"Sometime I think, that California is beyond saving."

Not quite yet. We'll know that's the case when the immigrants (legal and otherwise) turn around and leave because their new home is actually WORSE than the $hithole place where they came from. It's coming.

Expand full comment

🤣🤣🤣that’s funny!

Expand full comment

smits...can be, for much of the US big cities

Expand full comment

To be blunt, these are local issues. The dysfunction in SF is an SF issue. I live in San Jose and we don't have that dysfunction because we aren't insane. But it is easy to conflate local and state issues in people's minds.

Expand full comment

Some are shitholes and the rest are becoming shitholes Zeke don’t think any of us are immune

Expand full comment

Definitely true. We seem to be on an inexorable decline

Expand full comment

To be fair, the Progs have completely corrupted the election process. I don't believe another Republican, conservative, independent will be able to be elected in my lifetime.

Expand full comment

Causus bellus?

Expand full comment

Getting closer

Expand full comment

Ignoramoose had to look it up.

Might wanna think again about that one.

Expand full comment

"To be fair, the Progs have completely corrupted the election process."

I find that to be doubtful, but that's just me.

"I don't believe another Republican, conservative, independent will be able to be elected in my lifetime."

I'm 67, and I expect it in *my* lifetime. So I would recommend You prepare Yourself to be pleasantly surprised.

Expand full comment

I do hope you're right about the latter, but only someone in complete denial could argue against the former.

Expand full comment

Per usual, it's another case of *who* is in denial.

Expand full comment

God forbid but I’m with you on that one what’s terrifying is the same Californian senators have been there for decades there is no new blood or savvy youngsters to take over so I agree we are doomed

Expand full comment
Comment deleted
Expand full comment

Alejandra...funny that San Di does not get much attention...wonders me.

Expand full comment
founding

His epiphany about the "double-game" is spot-on. I've worked in environmental policy for 30 years, and the goal posts keep getting moved, often at the behest of NGOs and their allies in Administrations and the U.S. EPA. The NGOs downplay or outright ignore the actual progress that has been made over the past 50 years and instead have us chasing smaller and smaller amounts of pollution, even in the face of evidence that there is little actual, if any, net benefit once everything gets factored in. My colleagues and I have long thought that a major reason for all of this was to keep the donation pipeline flowing (though I don't doubt the sincerity, even if misguided, of some in their ranks). And, he's right about nuclear, too. One reason I don't think the climate debate is truly serious, and is more about fundraising and being anti-capitalist, is the rejection of nuclear energy. I encourage folks to read Apocalypse Never.

Expand full comment

Exactly. The unwillingness to consider nuclear--the only feasible option for *quickly* replacing coal/oil as on-demand power sources--is the key factor that makes the Warmists look fake. It's like refusing chemotherapy when you have a cancer that chemotherapy can cure, because vitamins will save you.

Expand full comment

Unfortunately, Celia, I can speak to that. A friend of mine since young adulthood and I both had colon cancer at roughly the same time. (She had other health issues before that, so I don’t mean to imply that our circumstances were exactly the same.) I did everything the docs suggested in terms of radiation and chemo. She, however, was very environmentally oriented and bargained with her docs to receive less radiation and focused on hyperbaric chamber treatments instead. I’ve been cancer-free since 2016. She died over two years ago (not from cancer but from complications resulting from surgery). I don’t mean to extrapolate from that to the overall situation, but it seemed to me that she let her fervent belief in her own biases shield her from the other reality at hand. As David Horowitz once said, nothing dies harder than an idea.

Expand full comment

Very sad. Sort of like Steve Jobs, who refused treatment for a treatable cancer and chose holistic medicine instead.

Expand full comment

I thought Jobs had pancreatic cancer. It’s not really treatable.

Expand full comment

There are two main types of pancreatic cancer. The most common type is basically not treatable and very aggressive. The much more rare type, which Steve Jobs had, is much more treatable with the possibility of cure.

Expand full comment

His doctors said it was the one type of that cancer that is treatable especially at the early stage. https://www.webmd.com/cancer/pancreatic-cancer/news/20110825/faq-steve-jobs-pancreatic-cancer

Expand full comment

According to CNBC (sorry, I can’t link to it from here), Jobs received a liver transplant in 2009 from a Tennessee hospital that afterwards received an anonymous $40 million donation. (Note, however, that he did not live in Tennessee.) He needed the transplant to keep his rare, comparatively slow-developing kind of pancreatic cancer (announced in 2004) from metastasizing to the liver. He died in 2011.

Expand full comment

Triple D Celia Distract Disrupt and then Destroy they distracted with Climate change they disrupted with Covid and now they are destroying with this supposed scientific garbage on both Covid and CC but people are nit stupid we will fight back

Expand full comment

Brian, I’ve got 50 years in a part of environmental policy world, and I honestly can’t figure out what some of the ENGO’s want and why. For example, Wyss and allies want 50% of the landscape “protected”; at the same time we are supposed to cover vast swathes with wind turbines and solar arrays. I think it might be the difference between working with words and ideas and actually sitting down and figuring out what could work. Too many words, too little work. Or .. you can’t solve an engineering problem by talking more.

Expand full comment

The problem with these people is they are only interested in what *sounds* good, not what will actually work.

Expand full comment

They've pretty much said what they want - global depopulation. Which they will get through famine and food insecurity and a worthless grid "powered" by comical "renewables." If one is truly serious about climate change, he or she would 1) support new gen nuclear and 2) reject a climate pact that permits China and India et al to increase CO2 massively for the next decade.

Expand full comment

I've long been baffled (and disgusted) with the Left's assertion that the West--which is already in population decline--needs to stop having children, but that it would be racist to call out the areas of the world experiencing actual overpopulation.

Expand full comment

And allowing in millions of people every year while trying to reduce the human footprint. Totally conflicted.

Expand full comment

Amen to Nuclear! Imagine a few thousand nuclear power plants can end our dependence on coal and fossil fuels and usher in an era of peace and prosperity like we had in the past.

The IPCC scientists are out of touch elites and they should listen to your 30 years of making a living speaking about the progress we’ve made protecting the environment. You at least now see it for what it is and I hope they do.

Expand full comment

Yes but that would solve the climate problem. Then what would they do?

Expand full comment

As I told my daughter (who was just laid off on the closing of a COVID testing lab). When one is employed to fight the good fight, its important that you don't actually win the war.

Expand full comment

This is my theory on just about all of the big political issues right now. It’s not about solving anything. It’s about each team establishing a zero-compromise position and then everyday Americans arguing those positions. It gets us nowhere, keeps us divided, and keeps the revenue streams open for the various organizations “fighting for our rights…” Roe is the latest example.

Expand full comment

Brilliant sum up of the situation we have been in for a very long time.

Expand full comment

That's always the thing, isn't it? They always have to turn to something else, usually something more extreme, to keep their donations flowing.

Expand full comment

Yeah, that's the grifters for Ya.

Expand full comment
founding

Well put.

Expand full comment

And endless fear mongering. When I was a kid Cronkite told us a new Ice Age was coming soon! Many more failed predictions too. https://www.aei.org/carpe-diem/50-years-of-failed-doomsday-eco-pocalyptic-predictions-the-so-called-experts-are-0-50/

Expand full comment

Brian, you should read Paul Kingnorth's Confessions of a Recovering Environmentalist. It would probably resonate with you a lot. He writes here on substack too, but it's paywalled.

Expand full comment

Silicon Valley has everyone right where they want them: scared and at home and online. It’s why they made billions during the pandemic and why they never want it to end. Much better to preach bullshit online then actually fix real problems lurking on the street. I hope Shellenberger wins.

Expand full comment

Pretty unnecessary description of the Republican crowd in your intro. Those yucky “Americans”. 20-30 years ago I said that if Al Gore came out for nuclear power it would scare the shit out of me because it meant they really believed in the climate apocalypse/hoax. Agree that the housing crisis is mostly a drug/mental health crisis. I believe life starts at conception, but can claim no certainty on this. What I do know is 1. Life starts at some point. 2. You cannot take innocent life. 3. Therefore you should err on the side of caution

Expand full comment

Yeah, I thought that, too. Kind of like a real disdain for anyone not "whatever-this-author's-version-of-cool" is. Seemed pretty dismissive of the whole thing.

Expand full comment

I agree. Weren’t there any well-dressed Republicans to be had in California? And taking a jab at the Inland Empire.. where people have moved so they can afford to live?

Expand full comment

I just spent four years living in a ghetto. It taught me not to judge people on exterior items. There were some highly articulate and intelligent people in that very beaten down area.

Expand full comment

Those of us who grew up hard but became successful know better than to judge the people we lived and worked with when we had nothing. Some of the smartest, best people I ever knew worked those hard jobs that I don't have to do anymore.

Expand full comment