They say that President Biden vomited forth as many as forty Executive Orders in the past week and a half. Many subjects were covered, but the big two were climate change and racial “equity.”
So then, surely, now that the progressives are firmly in charge, and are able to have their figurehead issue Executive Orders for anything and everything, directing that the world become perfect, we can expect that those two “crises” in our public life will be fully solved within the next four years. Just kidding. As all readers here will likely recognize, the official progressive programs to address climate change and racial inequities are just exercises in reality denial. Those official progressive programs may well have serious adverse effects on our personal freedoms and on our economic success, but the chances that those programs can improve either the climate or racial “equity” are about zero.
So I’m going to go way out on a limb here and make two official Manhattan Contrarian predictions for the next four years: (1) World carbon emissions will increase, not decrease. (2) All the new rounds of affirmative action and other “racial equity” initiatives will achieve no more than all the prior rounds.
World carbon emissions will increase, not decrease, over the next four years.
It is almost impossible for this prediction to be wrong. The countries that are obsessed with reducing greenhouse gas emissions — along with the U.S., it’s the European Union, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand — may seem like all the important countries of the world; but the fact is that they have only a small minority of the population. In the aggregate, the named countries come to fewer than 800 million people, in a world now approaching 8 billion.
The other countries and regions with big populations start with China (1.4 billion), India (another 1.4 billion), and Africa (1.2 billion), and continue on through Indonesia (274 million), Pakistan (221 million), Brazil (213 million), and so on and on and on. All of these places are woefully energy-deprived by our standards, and all of them are rapidly developing in the effort to catch up to our living standards. “Our living standards” means automobiles for everyone, universal air travel, heat when it’s cold and air conditioning when it’s hot, computers and the internet (including server farms guzzling electricity by the gigawatt hour), refrigeration, mechanized agriculture and industry, and so forth. All these things take massive amounts of energy, and the “renewables” of progressive fantasy are prohibitively expensive and don’t work.
In May 2015, in the run-up to the Paris climate agreement, Indian Minister of the Environment and Forests Prakash Javadekar was asked why India was refusing to agree to limits on its greenhouse gas emissions. His answer, quoted in the Guardian:
Our emissions will grow because we are not developed and we have a right, every person on this Earth has a right, to develop. If today the world is 0.8C warmer [than it was in pre-industrial times], it is not my fault.
None of the other developing countries feel any differently about this subject. Our new “climate emissary” John Kerry is completely deluding himself if he thinks that any developing countries are going to go along with meaningful restrictions on their use of fossil fuels. To give a couple of examples, just on January 11 Bloomberg reported on India planning some $55 billion of investments in coal energy over the next decade, while on January 13 a study in Nature Energy reported on some 1250 new coal and natural gas power plants planned in Africa. China also continues a rapid build-out of coal energy while paying lip service to Western green energy religion to deceive gullible fools like Kerry and Biden.
The new rounds of affirmative action and other “racial equity” initiatives will achieve no more success than all the prior rounds.
At the roll-out of his series of Executive Orders on race matters on January 26, President Biden repeatedly accused essentially all Americans of “systemic racism,” and pledged a new era of “equity.” It’s as if he’s completely unaware that every major institution in the United States — government, business, academia, non-profits, you name it — has been engaged in affirmative action in favor of African Americans and Hispanics for at least the last 50 years. What exactly is the magic that Biden is now going to work that hasn’t already been tried?
In the U.S. today there is no group of institutions more woke and more obsessed and more committed to racial “equity” than the tech giants. Seemingly, they talk about nothing else. Yet their results at getting African Americans into the tech jobs that drive the companies are nothing short of pitiful. The big tech companies like Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Apple all got pushed into putting out annual “diversity” reports starting in 2014, so the statistics are readily available. The reports show that for all their constant moral preening, these companies consistently achieve next to no success in their efforts at racial “equity.” I gathered statistics in a post in June 2020. Excerpt:
How are the [big tech] companies in this space faring as to blacks among their tech workers? In Google’s report covering the year 2019, they don’t give that figure. I guess that tells you what you need to know. Facebook’s report does give the figure. It’s 1.5%. Wow. Microsoft claims 3.3%. Almost as wow.
That was six years after agreeing to publish these reports annually. They had made essentially no progress in increasing the levels of blacks among the tech workers.
Frankly, I do not doubt for a moment that these big tech companies are making serious and good faith efforts to increase these numbers. Among the reasons that I don’t doubt it is that I myself engaged for decades in similar efforts at a large law firm to increase the levels of employment of African Americans in top jobs, also with a very limited level of success. And all of the other major law firms were doing the same, and all also had very limited success. For decades.
I find it beyond obnoxious for Biden to come out in his first week as President and accuse millions of Americans, who have been engaged for decades in good faith efforts at affirmative action, of “systemic racism.” This guy has been at the top levels of the government for going on 50 years. If these matters were so easily fixable, why hasn’t he fixed them? The fact is, these things are not easily fixable. I’m not saying that I have the answers, but I do know that Biden does not have the answers. His initiatives may well increase racial antagonism and resentment, but the chance of achieving “equity” by some kind of government orders is about zero.