Tag Archives: climate change

greta Thunberg

A Defense* of Greta Thunberg

By: Chris Warren.

It’s easy to be sympathetic to the concerns of children. They don’t have the maturity and experience to address problems the way older people do. But what about when children are forced (or coerced) into an adult world? How much blame, if any, should we then assign to them when they find themselves in over their head? The case of teen climate activist Greta Thunberg stretches the question of who to blame to an extreme, and the fault lies in places no one is talking about.

For those who have been living in a cave for the last few months, sixteen year old Greta Thunberg became a celebrity by starting “climate strikes” at her school. These protests have spread worldwide, and Ms. Thunberg is the face of the movement…for now. I say “for now” because she is being exploited by the climate change alarmist industry. Thunberg doesn’t know it yet, but the day will come when she is no longer useful, at which time she will be kicked to the curb.

Although I hardly ever agree with liberals, this time they got it right: It is wrong to trash talk children.

I don’t intend any of the following as an insult or a put-down. I’m just stating some plain truths: Greta Thunberg is not a scientist or engineer. She has no advanced training or professional expertise in any field. She has not invented, discovered, or researched anything, nor solved any major problem. She’s an authority on nothing. On the issue of climate change, she has yet to utter even one single original thought. Everything she says has been said before, which leads any honest person to conclude that she’s just an actress, memorizing and reciting a script prepared by others. This is fitting since both her parents are in show business.

So why are the climate change disciples gushing over this literal know-nothing? Quite simply, Greta Thunberg is the latest shiny object. And that’s where I defend her. Here in the United States, the Democrats and the left are livid with the Republicans and the right for, among many things, conservatives’ verbal abuse of this child. Although I hardly ever agree with liberals, this time they got it right: It is wrong to trash talk children. Kids have enough problems with bullying in their own peer group; adults should know better.

But liberals are not the heroes in this story. Actually they’re more at fault than the conservatives. Greta Thunberg’s defenders are quick to point out that she has Aspergers Syndrome and is on the autism spectrum and is therefore deserving of special treatment. Ok, I’m on board with that. But here comes the obvious question no one is asking: Why is a person with a neurological/cognitive disability in addition the the usual immaturity and lack of judgement that goes with teenagerhood being thrust into this role in the first place? Couldn’t they find a more stable patron saint?

If Greta Thunberg is an innocent special needs child who should be protected, then her adult handlers should not be placing her in highly stressful public situations where she’s not anywhere near prepared to cope.

Conversely, if she’s a fearless visionary with a wisdom & maturity far beyond her years, then she and her followers should toughen up and learn a very adult lesson: If you put yourself out there for controversial causes, it’s expected that people are going to tear you apart. Big kids play by big kid rules, and the rules are not always fair.

She can’t have it both ways. Thunberg either needs to drop out of public life and return home to get the kind of help and attention that people like her need, or forge ahead and take the knocks as they come knowing that the real world does not cut any breaks. I do not believe she is capable of making that decision right now. That’s why there is an asterisk * in the title of this article. I’ll defend her, but it’s conditional.

While I’m not thrilled with the conservatives who are harassing her, I’m far more disgusted with the liberals who, knowing full well of her neurological issues, are exploiting her as a throwaway pawn and don’t concern themselves with how this experience will effect her long term well being. The climate change movement is guilty of a high form of child abuse.

To the left: Stop brainwashing her! To the right: Stop picking on her! To her parents: What the hell were you thinking!? Until it’s decided whether Greta Thunberg is a delicate flower or lionhearted heroine, can we just think about what’s best for her, not what’s best for our respective causes, and call a truce?

climate change

A Modest Climate Change Challenge.

By: Chris Warren.

So the climate change strikers had their big day on September 20. I’m not sure exactly what they were “striking” against, but that’s not the direction I want to go. I have come up with a plan –a plan that can be easily implemented with no government or industry involvement– that will make a real difference in reducing carbon emissions and by extension reverse climate change, assuming you believe in such things.

My climate change challenge is intended mostly for teenagers, but any climate acolyte can do this.

The challenge is is very clear & straightforward: Close all your social media accounts, and I do mean all of them. Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and all the rest inhale a lot of electrical power that generates carbon emissions. I do not have exact numbers, but I’ll bet Twitter alone is responsible for millions of kilowatt-hours every year. It takes a lot of juice to push those routers and servers and data centers.

Every time you click “post” a little more carbon is released into the precious world you are tying to save from climate change. If social media use goes down, so too will the demand for the resources and energy required to run them. This is not a big ask. After all, Snapchat is not oxygen. So for the love of Mother Earth, I call on all climate change strikers to close their social media accounts and promise to use them nevermore.

Of course I do not expect even one single climate striker to accept my challenge even though it is a very modest sacrifice. The climate strikers spent the entire day shrieking about how the government, industry, and everyone else must “do something” to reverse climate change, and I’ll bet very few of them ever considered what they should be personally doing themselves.

That is the cult of climate change: They “fight” for their cause without any expectation of paying even a small individual cost. I wonder how many tons of discarded protest signs and latté cups the strikers left behind. I wonder how many of them stopped for fast food before or after the protest. I wonder how many of them actually made meaningful changes in their lifestyle before demanding the rest of us change ours. My intuition says they gave up nothing, except maybe a day at school.

While hypocrisy is bad all by itself, it’s much worse when an entire belief system cannot exist without it.

Through mystical nebulous logic, climate change strikers do not call out the celebrities who live in 10,000 square foot mansions and fly around on private jets to make speeches telling me my pickup truck is the reason young people have no future. For their part, the celebrities claim absolution because they bought carbon offsets.

In woke culture, carbon offsets is the ridiculous doctrine that belching carbon doesn’t count if you pay someone to plant trees in Brazil on your behalf, or some similar penance. It’s the equivalent of throwing trash all over the neighborhood and saying it’s ok because you “offset” it by donating to the local park beautification fund.

While hypocrisy is bad all by itself, it’s much worse when an entire belief system cannot exist without it. The climate change disciples still want Starbucks and Uber rides and a house full of electronics and will go to amusing extremes to explain why they can continue to have these things while someone else is on the hook to do anything hard. They want the world to change, but not their world. Justified hypocrisy is the delusional glue that keeps the useful idiots in line. Without it, the entire cult of climate change collapses under the weight of reality.

For the record, I’ve been a vegetarian for 33 years, have solar panels on my house, and recycle. Is that enough to offset my pickup truck (a truck, by the way, that is driven less than fifty miles per week!)? If there’s a “Pope” of climate change (Al Gore?), I hereby petition him or her to grant me the indulgence.

I’ll start taking the climate change strikers seriously when they start living their lives like it’s a serious issue.

earth day

Earth Day 2015 -SPECIAL EDITION.

By Chris Warren.

Happy Earth Day 2015!

Energy/environment/ecology is a favorite topic on Twenty First Summer. While TFS finds the energy policy of both conservatives and liberals to be at best a mixed bag with something to love and hate from both sides, I do fully support the higher purpose of working towards a cleaner planet even if there is disagreement on how to get there.

Below is a compilation of my environment-themed articles going all the way back to the beginning. If you have time to read only one, please choose “Earth Day Has No Reason To Exist.” It is a personal favorite and one of my best articles. I have also noted a few runners-up.

No matter what your politics or beliefs are, remember that no one can do everything, but everyone can do something. Please make every day Earth Day by seeking changes  in your own daily life to help make our planet a cleaner, less toxic place to live.

Peace be with you!

Earth Day Should Not Have A Reason To Exist  –#1 RECOMMENDED.

Solar Energy Gives Us The Power To Feel Good.

The Linguistics Of Climate Change.  -RECOMMENDED

Getting The LED Out. 

The Climate Change Circus Comes To Town.  -RECOMMENDED

An Old Yankee Fades Away. 

When Energy Is Stolen, There Are No Victims. 

A Drought of Wisdom. 

Earth Day2

 

 

 

The Climate Change Circus Comes to Town.

By: Chris Warren.

My seven year old nephew is quite a showman. He doesn’t take things too seriously and can come up with some very clever one-liners, just like his uncle. What’s best about his style is that he is funny when he does not intend to be. This trait is common in children and sometimes adults, except when adults do it, it’s seldom cute and charming. Few things are more pitiful than adults who want to be taken seriously then go about playing a fool in a way that makes you wish, really wish, they are not doing it on purpose. They ought to consider getting a job in the circus  so they can at least be paid for acting like clowns.

On Sunday, September 21, 2014, New York City was host to the “People’s Climate March.” Yes, they had an impressive crowd. Yes, they have a legitimate cause, sort of. Yet, they are closer to being like my nutty young nephew than they’d like to admit.

It didn’t matter that the marchers left behind tons and tons of garbage and litter; left wing media outlets have gone through gyrations worthy of a side show contortionist to explain the mess away. It did not matter that two of their headline acts, actor Leonardo DiCaprio and internet inventor/ex-vice president Al Gore, live lifestyles that puke more carbon than most entire American neighborhoods (did they at least share a private jet to NYC?). It did not even matter that the New York transit system added a whole lot of extra energy-gulping busses and trains to accommodate the party.ByFj0axCQAAuKfq

As I have observed in this blog before here and here, liberals are weirdly obsessed with feelings and appearances over actual results. To them, hundreds of thousands of people walking around with signs is more desirable than the same number of people cleaning local parks, planting gardens, or calling their congressman. Why? Because cleaning, planting, and calling do not make a worldwide media event. The march was timed to coincide with a United Nations summit on climate change, which itself was a ridiculous circus that accomplished absolutely zero, unless agreeing to meet again next year counts as an “accomplishment”. U.N. press releases not unexpectedly omitted the detail that many of the biggest polluter countries did not think the summit was important enough to send representatives to. Think of it as a Big Top where the  trapeze act, lion tamers, and elephants are taking the day off.

Huge crowds of Climate Marchers walking up the street did not even succeed in the superficial goal of making a lasting impression. Within twenty four hours it was a news cycle has-been. They walked around, chanted, made a few speeches, dumped their plastic water bottles and signs on the street for someone else to clean up, then left, secure in the self-indulgent belief that they are pioneering activists who made a real difference. A small minority of faithful will continue to work on environmental issues, but they were already doing that anyway. The other 97% were just there to party, feel good, and spread the smug on Facebook. Marchers: You won over no new soldiers to your cause, not even yourselves. A month from now almost no one will care about or remember the People’s Climate March.ByEn5-DIcAA359Y

Meanwhile in emerging countries around the globe, millions are living hand to mouth in abject poverty. They cook on open fires, assuming they can find something to cook, and get around on smoking, barely-running motor scooters. The climate movement, the one that claims a desire to lift up the poor, wants to take this away from them. Here in the United States, the average poor man barely scraping up enough cash to eat is being lectured that he’s better off paying more –much more, actually– for an organic, non-genetically modified version of his daily bread. The environmental movement is perfectly happy to restrict resources to those who have very little to begin with because the environmental movement’s acolytes are disproportionately wealthy and either either don’t realize or don’t care that the five bucks they blow on a pound of organic tomatoes is more than some people have to spend on food for an entire week.

On the day of the Climate March, other ordinary citizens all across America calmly went about their business recycling aluminum cans, tending their gardens, collecting rainwater, and doing meaningful volunteer work. Farmers went out to their fields and busted their asses to put food on all our tables just as they have every single day since the beginning of civilized man. For my part, I did some fine tuning on my solar panels. We had no party, no sanctimonious speeches, no manufactured “hey look at me!” moment. Any one of us did more good that day than all the efforts of the entire march. If anyone noticed us, it was by accident, and that’s the way we like it. True environmentalists are about doing, and walking through downtown Manhattan with a sign in one hand and a Starbuck’s cup in the other is not “doing” anything. Environmental problems will never be solved by people who have absolutely no intention of putting any effort into the cause beyond showing up for one  event.  The true agents of change were nowhere near Manhattan that day.

Almost every kid has given at least a passing thought to running away and joining the circus. All they know is that the circus is music, crazy acts, stunts, fun. They don’t see the hours of rehearsal and tending to animals that happens before and after every show. When the show is over, the spectators get to leave. That’s why for most of the marchers, the environmental movement will never be more than a form of entertainment. Everyone wants to be in the circus; no one wants to help put up the tent. My cute little nephew may get away with being a goof because of his age, but the march participants have to rise above second grade antics  If they expect to see any progress on keeping the planet green. The People’s Climate March is proof that the environmental movement needs fewer clowns and more dung shovelers.

 

 

earth day 2016

Earth Day Should Not Have A Reason To Exist.

By: Chris Warren.

Editor’s note: This article was originally posted on April 19, 2014. We are reposting it for Earth Day 2015 with a few edits and updates.

I’m going to say up front that today’s blog article is not going to be a conservative hit piece on Earth Day, nor will it be a sappy New Age love song about windmills and composting. As someone who has been a strict vegetarian for close to three decades, incorporates numerous meaningful green practices into his life, and is gun-toting, flag-waving Libertarian (which is not the same as a liberal), I feel I have an understanding of this issue that belies the absolute left and right attitudes that define it.

April 22 is Earth Day, and for political liberals, leftover hippies, and various eco-activist groups, it’s a High Holy Day. Started by flower children in 1970 on the momentum of anti-Vietnam counterculture, Earth Day has evolved into a slick, professionally organized international media spectacle complete with its own website and corporate sponsors. Like all things liberal, Earth Day is heavy on shallow sentimentality, squishy platitudes, and calls for “investments” in green projects (taxescoughtaxes). The real message: We simpletons need big government liberalism to save us from our own stupid. And like all things conservative, Earth Day is an opportunity for overt mockery and to dismiss environmentalism out of hand, because in the Orthodox Church of “drill, baby, drill!” it’s apostasy to even hint that the green movement has a legitimate point buried in there somewhere, especially if it interferes with making a lot of money.

I absolutely do believe in a clean environment and the premise behind Earth Day. I also have a big issue with advancing the cause via rules and edicts that make for good press releases but never achieve their intended goal. I’ve spent a lot of time arguing with myself over how to resolve my conviction that we need to stop trashing the planet against my conservative sensibilities of resisting at every chance an egalitarian nanny state that, especially regarding environmental policy, regulates our lives down to the ridiculous, up to and including federal standards for…shower heads?

Years before recycling became fashionable, I was lugging magazines and aluminum cans down from my 12th floor college dorm to a recycling center on the other side of campus. Back then, recycling required considerable dedication and muscle. As one can guess, hardly anyone bothered. Today, recycling is as straightforward as placing recyclables at the curb where they are picked up along with garbage. My neighborhood even has entrepreneurially-minded scrappers who will scoop up discarded appliances, hot water heaters, bikes, BBQ grills, and whatever metallic waste suburbia tosses away. I don’t know how much money they make, but it must be pretty good because there are more than one of them patrolling the streets competing for junk every week. In many locales, recycling has developed to the point that there aren’t any good excuses not to do it.

Renewable energy is one area that has made considerable progress but is still a long way from being a real game changer. Even with tax incentives and subsidies (which I have a problem with), the bang for the buck is just not there. I will be well into retirement before my roof full of solar panels pay themselves off. Fortunately for me, my motivations are not solely about money. For most, the start up costs of green energy for individual use is well beyond the budget. Germany is often held up as a proud example of a “successful” national renewable energy program, but the rationalization works only if affordability is taken out of the equation.

For the Germans, solar energy may be an environmental win but it is collapsing as a business model due in no small part to regulatory overreach and meddling. Progressives here in the United states have been trying for years, but they cannot come up with a talking point that gets them over the mountain of government incompetence. Green energy will never evolve beyond the fringe unless it becomes cost effective, and it will never be cost effective without free market-based energy policy. The environmental movement will never, ever embrace this simple truth. They run their mouths about how the US should emulate Germany’s example while completely blowing off the ugly fact that it is breaking the bank.

A recurring theme in my blog is making fun of the left for doing things just to feel good. It’s not an unfair criticism: A major piece of liberal dogma is that good intentions and feelings are a valid substitute for reality and actual results. But here’s where I split with conservatives: While liberals are all about being warm and happy even if nothing gets done, conservatives seem to be of the attitude that the value of something is proportional to the amount of difficulty and sacrifice needed to do it. Or to put it another way, if something is enjoyable it’s either not worth doing or you are not working hard enough. Some of the most pissed off, bitter people I know are conservative, possibly because they have forgotten that life can’t always be about that hard journey going for the gold. But what if I can do something that really does produce results and I can feel good about it…what’s wrong with that?

Unfortunately, most of what passes as “environmentalism” is really just fluff. Earth Day will have plenty of celebrity appearances and petition signings and resurrected Joni Mitchell songs. Within twenty four hours everyone will go back to what they were doing before. They have conned themselves into thinking they are environmentalists because they plop a blue bin full of junk mail at the end of the driveway every week. Toss in an annual one day feel good retro hippy trip and they are completely sold on the hustle. I don’t know what’s worse: Liberals who pretend to be environmentalists with their hollow showmanship or conservatives who never claimed to care in the first place.

I no longer accept the idealism of my youth that had me thinking I could singlehandedly save the world one aluminum can at a time. But it is within my reach to save my little slice of this big huge planet. Decades out of college dorm life, I’m still recycling. I’ve also been on solar panels for a while. They aren’t enough to run the whole house, but I can produce a significant chunk of my electricity with them. When I switched to a vegetarian diet 27 years ago, it was not for environmental reasons. Since then I’ve learned a lot about how dirty and energy-intensive meat production really is, and how many thousands of gallons of water are needed to produce just one pound of beef. I work only a little over a mile from where I live; some weeks I rack up less than 25 miles on my vehicles. When the weather is good I get around on a motorcycle. These are things I do all the time, not just for display purposes. I don’t wear my environmentalism on my sleeve and people who do annoy the hell out of me, especially since most of them are pretenders.

Those of us who live our lives as if every day were Earth Day are a little vexed about the concept of waiting for a special occasion to take positive action towards keeping the planet clean, nor do we feel a need to show off how “green” we are. True Earth Day practitioners divorce themselves from the fad of environmentalism and go quietly about their eco-friendly business. It’s a lifestyle, not a hobby or a holiday. Conservatives will be pleased to know that when done properly it requires effort and is often a challenge; liberals can be assured that in the end, yes, it feels good. In a truly honorable world, there would be no need to reserve a spot on the calendar to commemorate what everyone should have been doing the whole time anyway.

Editor’s note: For previous articles about the energy and the environment, please check out “The Linguistics of Climate Change” and “Solar Energy Gives Us The Power to Feel Good.” 

Editor’s note: This article was originally posted on April 19, 2014. We are reposing it for Earth Day 2015 with a few edits and updates.