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How California’s ‘neo-feudal reality’ became a warning to the world: ‘A new dominant class of oligarchs & woke bureaucrats has bled the Golden State dry’

JOEL KOTKIN: California is not only home to by far the highest number of billionaires in the US. But it also suffers the highest proportion of Americans living in poverty and the widest gap between middle- and upper-middle-income earners of any state. It endures among the US’ highest rates of unemployment, as well as massive net outmigration, an exodus that has increased sharply since 2019. It also has 30 per cent of the nation’s homeless population, with some now living in ‘furnished’ caves. …

Unable to provide upward mobility for most, California has chosen to expand what Marx described as ‘the proletarian alms-bag’ for the masses, who are increasingly disconnected from the state’s economy. The state spends a larger share of its budget on welfare than virtually any other state. Rather than seek to expand the economic pie, the oligarchic classes prefer an expansion of redistribution. They favour concepts like a ‘universal basic income’ or subsidies for basics like rent and electricity. Some claim California will be able to foot the bill with profits made from artificial intelligence. Once the epitome of competitive capitalism, the tech industry now promotes, as one Silicon Valley wag put it, ‘feudalism with better marketing’. … 

These policies are a disaster for many. Today one in five Californians – many working – lives in poverty (using a cost-of-living adjusted poverty rate). The Public Policy Institute of California estimates another fifth live in near-poverty – roughly 15million people in total. With the exception of Asians, the state’s racial minorities do far worse – in education, incomes and homeownership – than they do virtually anywhere else in the country. … 

Rather than address class issues, California’s progressive project focusses on issues like gender, abortion and race. All provide excellent ways to virtue-signal without threatening the ruling cabal of the oligarchical elite, the government bureaucracy and the political class. This has led California to pass such measures as mandates for stores to have gender-neutral toy sections and allowing children to change genders without parental approval. …

Draconian climate-change policies, now a central part of Democratic Party dogma, have driven California’s decline. Latinos are particularly impacted….The governor has even blamed climate change for much of the problem.

The Atlantic: Is America Ready for ‘Degrowth Communism’? – ‘Say goodbye, perhaps, to hamburgers, SUVs, & your annual cross-country flight home for the holidays’

The Atlantic – May 28, 2024: By Christopher Beam – Kohei Saito’s theory of how to solve climate change is economically dubious and politically impossible. Why is it so popular?
Excerpt: The crazy idea is “degrowth communism,” a combination of two concepts that are contentious on their own. Degrowth holds that there will always be a correlation between economic output and carbon emissions, so the best way to fight climate change is for wealthy nations to cut back on consumption and reduce the “material throughput” that creates demand for energy and drives GDP.

The degrowth movement has swelled in recent years, particularly in Europe and in academic circles. The theory has dramatic implications. Instead of finding carbon-neutral ways to power our luxurious modern lifestyles, degrowth would require us to surrender some material comforts. One leading proponent suggests imposing a hard cap on total national energy use, which would ratchet down every year. Energy-intensive activities might be banned outright or taxed to near oblivion. (Say goodbye, perhaps, to hamburgers, SUVs, and your annual cross-country flight home for the holidays.) You’d probably be prohibited from setting the thermostat too cold in summer or too warm in winter. To keep frivolous spending down, the government might decide which products are “wasteful” and ban advertising for them. Slower growth would require less labor, so the government would shorten the workweek and guarantee a job for every person.

Saito did not invent degrowth, but he has put his own spin on it by adding the C word. As for what kind of “communism” we’re talking about, Saito tends to emphasize workers’ cooperatives and generous social-welfare policies rather than top-down Leninist state control of the economy. He says he wants democratic change rather than revolution—though he’s fuzzy on how exactly you get people to vote for shrinkage. This message has found an enthusiastic audience. Saito’s 2020 book, Capital in the Anthropocene, sold half a million copies.

Wash Post Editorial Board follows orders of megalomaniac billionaires: ‘Humans might need to re-engineer the climate’ – Tout injecting ‘100,000 tons of sulfur per year into lower stratosphere to block solar rays’

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2024/04/27/climate-change-geoengineering/ Washington Post Editorial Board: ‘Humans might need to re-engineer the climate’ – “A conversation about the risks and potential benefits of re-engineering the climate is urgently needed.” … “Climate engineering scholars David Keith at the University of Chicago and Wake Smith at Yale think it would take no more than 15 souped-up Gulfstream jets to […]

Wash Post admits reality: ‘Amid explosive demand, America is running out of power’ – U.S. ‘power grid’ being pushed ‘to the brink. Utilities can’t keep up’ – ‘It is staggering’ – But WaPo frets energy shortage ‘threatens to stifle the transition to cleaner energy’

Washington Post’s is concerned that this power shortage “threatens to stifle the transition to cleaner energy, as utility executives lobby to delay the retirement of fossil fuel plants and bring more online.” 

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“When you look at the numbers, it is staggering,” said Jason Shaw, chairman of the Georgia Public Service Commission, which regulates electricity. “It makes you scratch your head and wonder how we ended up in this situation.

NBC New York cites professor who links climate change to recent earthquake: Excess rain leads to floods that ‘could result in landslides’ that can ‘lubricate’ faults leading to more earthquakes

Dr. Antonios Marsellos, an associate professor in the Department of Geology, Environment, and Sustainability at Hofstra University, tries to explain. “An earthquake is based on tectonic plates, and New York is sitting on a ‘lazy’ plate, which is good, meaning we do not have so many earthquakes, but there are other things that happen — too much rain or drought,” Dr. Marsellos told NBC New York. The rain can lead to floods that if they go on long enough, could result in landslides. The slides can “lubricate” faults and may be a reason for the increased frequency of quakes, explained Dr. Marsellos.

Jeffrey Park, professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Yale University, also thinks that climate change had a hand in the earth moving billions of tons of rocks. “Dr. Park indicated the continuous rise in sea levels can increase the amount of pressure exerted on the Earth’s shelves and coastlines, resulting in mostly scattered and infrequent quakes with long lead times. The positive takeaway is that experts say there is no need to be alarmed and no elevated quake is expected any time soon.”

UK Independent: ‘Climate change is hitting vulnerable Indonesian trans sex workers’ – Media claims ‘extreme weather linked to climate change’ is affecting transgender prostitutes’ ‘income’

UK Independent via Reuters – April 3, 2024: Joya Patiha, a 43-year-old Indonesian transgender woman, first started to notice that changing weather patterns in the mountain-ringed city of Bandung were affecting her income as a sex worker a decade ago. The rainy season was lasting longer across the West Java province, winds were stronger and in some particularly bad years Patiha lost up to 80% of her earnings. Trans women like Patiha are among the most affected by extreme weather linked to climate change, as well as suffering disproportionately when disasters strike. “No one is coming out during the longer rainy season,” said Patiha. “It is very hard to make money during that unpredictable weather.” … 

Indonesia is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, and trans women, who tend to face more stigma and marginalisation than trans men or other LGBTQ+ Indonesians, are also among those hardest hit by extreme weather. … 

Arif Budi Darmawan, a researcher at the Bandung-based Resilience Development Initiative said: “Climate change makes the vulnerable even more vulnerable.” … The group’s coordinator Rikky, who asked that his first name only be used, said unpredictable weather also led to “illness, debt, stress, conflicts with local residents, and heightened levels of violence”.

You ‘no longer’ have ‘a choice’! Watch: Kerry’s daughter Vanessa Kerry: ‘We must accept that there is no other way forward than to phase out our reliance on fossil fuels. Simply mitigation and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions — is no longer a choice’

Vanessa Kerry—daughter of jet-setting climate con man, John Kerry—speaking at COP28 in December 2023: "The climate crisis is a health crisis, and it's killing us… We must accept that there is no other way forward than to phase out our reliance on fossil fuels." "A study was… pic.twitter.com/f4F0LGOJ8s — Wide Awake Media (@wideawake_media) February 29, […]

UK Telegraph: Beijing could remotely stop electric cars made in China on UK roads – ‘Could give access to personal data without permission & gridlock cities’

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/china-electric-cars-uk-roads-3s69qg6g0 By Fiona Hamilton  – Chief Reporter Beijing could gridlock Britain’s roads by remotely stopping electric vehicles made in China, posing a “major security threat”, MPs have been warned. Electric vehicles can potentially be controlled, adjusted and ultimately even stopped, a vulnerability that could be exploited by China if its relationship with the UK badly […]

Watch: ‘Juice’ debunks claims that solar & wind power as ‘green’: To make one wind turbine, ‘we have to extract 900 tons of steel, 2,500 tons of concrete, & 45 tons of non-renewable plastic’

Juice: Why Wind and Solar Make Our Power Grid Less Reliable: Excerpt: “Just to produce one turbine, we have to extract 900 tons of steel, 2,500 tons of concrete, and 45 tons of non-renewable plastic. Then we’ve got to transport that and burn fuel, getting it all carried across the world and put up. And none of these things that go into a turbine are renewable.” 
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Mandating EVs in U.S. would require ’18 times current global production of cobalt…three quarters of lithium & half the world’s copper & rare earths. China dominates all these markets’

Wind Turbine Collapses: ‘Leaking Oil Everywhere!’ – ‘Wait, these ‘green’ wind turbines use oil???’ – Yes, avg of 12,000 gallons of oil for typical wind farm

New Paper: ‘Regulators Should Value Nonhuman Animals’ – Seeks ‘to estimate the number of dog-years saved by a regulation’

By Cass R. Sunstein – Harvard Law School; Harvard University – Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) – Date Written: February 17, 2024

Excerpt: “If a regulation prevents dogs, horses, or cats from being killed or hurt, the benefits should be specified and quantified.  .. .Outside of federal rulemaking, an academic study finds that a Value of a Statistical Dog Life is $10,000. If the goal is to come up with some number, it would be an advance to use that one, perhaps as a plausible lower bound. But there is a natural objection. Is the life of a dog plausibly 1/1,000 that of the life of a person? … At a minimum, agencies should attempt to quantify benefits and costs to nonhuman animals even if they cannot monetize them. With the help of contingent valuation studies, they should also attempt to monetize those harms.”