From The B-School: A Plan To Win The Millennials’ War On Carbon

Guest post by Timothy Nerenz, Ph.D.

Earlier this year, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announced the Green New Deal (GND), a public policy initiative whose central goal is de-carbonize the U.S economy in 12 years. She described GND as her millennial generation’s “World War II” and dismissed the question of how to pay for it with the response, “you just pay for it”. With all due respect to the Congresswoman, you don’t “just pay for it”, you pay someone to do it.

Just what is the “it” and who is the “someone” of the Green New Deal? In a recently published peer-reviewed article in the Journal of Human Resources and Sustainability Studies, I examined the scope of industrial mobilization that would be required to realize GND sustainability goals and proposed a conceptual blueprint and strategy to achieve them in the shortest feasible timeframe. Those who care to read it in its entirety can to so here: Thinking Inside The Box

But for those who wish to avoid slogging through the methodologies and citations of an academic paper, the bottom line is this: the millennials’ war on carbon might actually be winnable in a 20-year time span, but only if they are willing leave college and devote their working lives to producing the roughly $53 trillion of Green New Things which must be in place before carbon energy can be banned without completely collapsing the U.S. economy and starving the population. The journal article takes no position on climate change issues and does not argue for or against GND, it merely fills in the blanks so advocates and opponents alike can have some sense of what they are actually proposing and opposing. In strategic decision-making, the common vernacular for this step is a “sanity check”.

We know how many more wind turbines it will take to generate 100 quadrillion BTUs of energy, and we know how many of miles of high-speed rail it will take to replace aviation. We know the number of farms to be re-fitted with electric tractors and combines and such; we know the number of cars and trucks on the roads, and the numbers of off-road trucks, bulldozers, cranes, shovels, graders, and other diesel-powered equipment to be replaced. We know the number and configuration of new production facilities – factories, mills, refineries, mines, shops, etc. – that will be needed to make and service all this new stuff.

From there it is a matter of applying appropriate industry costing rules of thumb and available statistics on capacities and productivity curves for various construction and production processes to model out a matrix of time versus human capital applied to produce $53 trillion of Green New Things, and then identifying the barriers that would have to be eliminated to shorten the duration. The math is not particularly difficult – not nearly as complicated as predicting the average temperature of the whole planet at some distant point in the future. 24 million (mostly) millennials immediately repurposed to urgent GND industrial production could conceivably pull it off with a 20-year surge in manufacturing output and new product development. The keyword is conceivable, not certain or probable.

The historical record of World War II mobilization provides a template for the requisite urgent industrial mobilization of GND – Rep. Ocasio-Cortez got that one right. In constant dollars, GND is 26 times greater of an undertaking than the earlier wartime mobilization, but the blueprint left to us by the millennials’ great-grandparents offers the pathway to 20-year GND realization, provided a three-part strategy to replicate its productive ecosystem is immediately undertaken as the nation’s #1 priority, with numbers 2-n placed into indefinite hibernation:

• doubling of the current U.S. industrial base: building new factories, steel mills, mines, refineries, power generation facilities, and logistics terminals to produce Green New Things

• deconstruction of 65% of post-secondary education: repurposing of students, faculty, and staff to industrial mobilization, replicating the intellectual bandwidth of the 1940s mobilization workforce

• roll-back of the regulatory climate to 1940 levels: re-creating the conditions under which wartime mobilization was entrusted to the capable hands of capitalist industrial entrepreneurs.

Wait, what? Why deconstruct post-secondary? Because the most underappreciated characteristic of the Greatest Generation’s astonishing World War II achievement – indeed its secret sauce – was the intellectual profile of the work-force that was repurposed to wartime industrial production. In 1940, less than 5% of the adult population held college degrees, leaving most of the right half of the IQ bell curve available for duty in the nation’s factories, mills, mines, ports, and terminals, where 600,000 private firms and 24 million bright young housewives and farmhands spontaneously ordered themselves overnight to win the “war on can’t”.

And where we find an available not-working source of similarly suitable human capital to be immediately repurposed to GND mobilization? The first 16 million are sitting in college classrooms pursuing market-surplus and unwanted degree majors; the next 3 million are recent degree holders who are unemployed or under-employed and planning to return to school in hopes of salvaging sunk costs. Vacated classrooms will not need professors and staff and administrators, so another 1.5 million can be added to the tally. Each year, more will graduate from high school to volunteer for service in the cause of averting planetary extinction.

As one might expect, a proposal to deconstruct post-secondary has not been met with wild enthusiasm by my colleagues in academia, despite their overwhelming support for GND in the abstract. But to borrow another idea from the original New Deal, we have nothing to fear but fear itself. Deconstructing post-secondary by 2/3 would simply return it to the population proportions of 1972, my freshman year in college. There was no acute shortage of doctors, lawyers, teachers, therapists, nurses, philosophers, historians, architects, engineers, scientists, accountants, managers, and myriad other degreed professionals back then. We will be ok.

The second GND show-stopper is the current regulatory climate, which must be almost completely abolished, another idea not warmly received by GND advocates on campus, but necessary nonetheless. A case in point: replacing commercial aviation will require installation of over 46,000 miles of high-speed rail in 20 years, and operating within the current regulatory regime, the California HSR Authority has spent ten years and billions of dollars not-building a planned paltry 800 miles of the stuff. When the project was finally abandoned this year without a single usable mile of trackway to show for their trouble, the projected completion date had stretched to infinity, plus or minus never. We can have GND or we can keep the regulatory state, but we cannot do both.

And so there it is – a strategy for GND realization from a most unlikely source, a retired industry executive turned B-school professor. To win the millennials’ war on carbon in 20 years, we must immediately double industrial sector capacity, deconstruct post-secondary education by 65% while repurposing its inhabitants to a lifetime of industrial production, and roll back regulations to 1940 levels so that our American capitalists are left alone do what they do best unimpeded, namely get things done.

If the alternative to GND is indeed the certain Climate Change apocalypse its advocates promise, it is difficult to imagine what objections they may have to a plan that would avert it. And it is equally difficult to imagine why GND’s ideological opponents might take issue with re-industrialization, deregulation, and reliance on free-market capitalism, regardless of their opinions of climate science. “Moral truths” aside, the plain truth of GND is that $53 trillion of Green New Things will not build themselves, they will not be Tweeted into existence, and they will not appear magically by government decree.

So let the GND debate resume, only with a clear understanding of what it will take to walk the talk should it adopted as the nation’s top public policy priority.

Article reference:

Nerenz, T. (2019). “Thinking inside the box: A blueprint for Green New Deal industrial mobilization and strategy for human capital repurposing”. Journal of Human Resource and Sustainability Studies. Vol 7 No.3 Sept 2019

Author Bio:

Timothy Nerenz, Ph.D is a retired manufacturing industry executive turned business professor who has written and taught graduate courses in strategy, strategic decision-making, leadership, transformational change, and business law & ethics. He is currently a professor in The Graduate School at University of Maryland Global Campus and teaches in the MBA program at UMGC locations throughout Europe.

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August 17, 2019 2:15 am

My favorite logic tool I use against AOC Green New Dealers is to point out that even if the succeed in killing the American economy and achieve zero emissions in America, China and India are still building coal-fired power plants that spew CO2.

Can AOC and her crews stop China or India? No. They don’t want to. They want to kill the American economy and makes us into a socialist or communist state.

Hot under the collar
Reply to  Newt Love
August 17, 2019 4:53 am

“There is no such thing as public money, there is only taxpayers’ money.” (Margaret Thatcher, 1983). I suppose AOC was technically correct when she said ‘you’ just pay for it.

Reply to  Newt Love
August 17, 2019 6:16 am

Free stuff and revenge are a lot easier to sell than sacrifice and working together.

Mods: I’ve changed my posting name due to working for a research organization that is involved in the field of climate change. I’ve had one close call and until I’m fully financially secure, I’d rather avoid the issue.

Reply to  Newt Love
August 17, 2019 9:17 am

I hereby apologize for using the name
Alexandria Occasionally Coherent.

That was rude.

From now on I will use her real name and title:
Climate Perfesser Alexandria Ocrazio-Cortez
to show her the respect she deserves
for her $174,000 a year salary.

Ocrazio was her mother’s maiden name.

Reply to  Richard Greene
August 18, 2019 2:14 am

All Out Crazy, or Airhead Occasionlly Coherent, you mean?

Mark Broderick
August 17, 2019 2:47 am

Timothy Nerenz
“Earlier this year, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announced the Green New Deal (GND), a public policy initiative whose central goal is (to)? de-carbonize the U.S economy in 12 years.

“but only if they are willing (to)? leave college and devote their working lives to producing the roughly $53 trillion of Green New Things….”

p.s. excellent post…

Bill Powers
Reply to  Mark Broderick
August 17, 2019 4:23 am

It is an excellent post!

But, but, but they, millennial’s, want the government to do it. To magically make it all happen. And they expect that it won’t alter their comfortable lives in any way.

They want to continue to go to college to learn meaningless Post-Modernist nonsense, hang out in safe zones, and communicate with their head down via smartphones where they complain about everybody that doesn’t agree that our country is fundamentally flawed from inception and virtue signal there love for everyone “intersectional” while deriding anyone who disagrees with echo chamber thinking as horrible ists, ots and obes.

So nope it could never happen.

Reply to  Bill Powers
August 17, 2019 11:35 am

But they’ve seen a documentary on how wonderful the post-carbon future is, so they know it’s true.

I think it was called ‘Star Trek’.

Bill Powers
Reply to  MarkG
August 17, 2019 1:06 pm

Yeah! And they made a movie out of the documentary were they added some evil asthmatic guy dressed in black who was a denialist xenophobe, who was also a misogynistic racist bigot, hell bent on destroying the world as a tune up to take down the universe.

I think it was called ‘Star Wars’.

Reply to  MarkG
August 17, 2019 4:06 pm

Our “climate troubles” are barely one “.” in the scripts of Star Trek. A Captain Kirk is all we need.

Reply to  Bill Powers
August 17, 2019 4:47 pm

Big difference between those in the “greatest Generation” and the current group of snowflakes. having just come through the great depression where even survival required HARD work, they knew how to tackle the problem and get after it. Today’s youngsters have absolutely no concept of work, and are basically incapable of doing much more than pushing buttons or swiping screens. Might just be why they are so insistent on open borders—let others provide for our survival. Not much chance of any NGD actually happening (thank you very much)

Linda Goodman
Reply to  Mark Broderick
August 17, 2019 6:07 am

A new approach to advance a false premise is ‘excellent’?

Mark Broderick
Reply to  Linda Goodman
August 17, 2019 8:27 am

Linda, I think he forgot the “Sarc” tag……

Reply to  Mark Broderick
August 17, 2019 12:34 pm

No, it really is excellent, with or without sarcasm. We’re stuck with at least talking about this monstrosity, we should do so in as honest and informed a manner as possible.

Michael S. Kelly LS, BSA Ret.
Reply to  Mark Broderick
August 17, 2019 9:14 pm

Linda, I assume that by “flawed premise” you mean acceptance of CAGW and our “need” to “fight” it. I disagree that it’s a bad idea to try to see what the Green New Deal would require in the real world.

The real flaws in the paper is the assumption that it’s physically possible to replace our entire infrastructure with “zero carbon” energy, no matter how much we assume it will cost or how long it will take. I read the paper, and a great many of the numbers used are way off target (e.g. 900 tons of material for a 5 MW wind turbine, when the base alone requires >1,500 tons of steel-reinforced concrete). That, of course, is not the only problem with it. As has been discussed at great length in WUWT, the problem of storing enough energy to keep things running when the wind isn’t blowing has no practicable solution, and never will. Magic “batteries” will never appear that are capable of handling the problem – it simply defies the laws of physics. There isn’t enough acreage in the United States to build pumped water storage to keep things going for more than a day or two.

And no one knows, or can know, what the effect on the environment would be of a system of windmills which removed kinetic energy from the atmosphere at a rate of several terawatts. Wind transports water, biological material, minerals, and heat over vast distances. But interrupt it to a giant extent, and what happens? Do we want to take such an enormous risk?

I would not rate the paper as excellent, but it’s not a bad “rule of thumb” (as opposed to “first order”) assessment, and doesn’t really pretend to be. From that standpoint, the author has been very honest and forthcoming, and I believe he deserves kudos for that, and for the considerable effort he has put into it.

Reply to  Mark Broderick
August 17, 2019 6:51 am

Put all the students and professors to work in factories? Gee that sounds like a great idea. Might even move to the US so I can vote to make it happen.

I was going to say sarc off, but a lot of my US friends who are seniors might actually vote to make it happen. They are so annoyed with youngsters saying how bad they have it.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  joe
August 17, 2019 8:39 am

“Put all the students and professors to work in factories?”

I think you left out the most important ones, the politicians!

Reply to  Alan the Brit
August 17, 2019 10:19 am

But would anything actually be produced by that workforce?

August 17, 2019 2:58 am

Excellent article! You are very much on track as to what would be needed if anyone were insane enough to try to make a country (near) zero emissons.

it is pointless tinkering at the edges (as the climate cult imagine it will be done), because if you buy a windmill, you have to account for the CO2 produced producing it, and all the people who produced it and all the teachers and civil servants who are needed for the people who produced it, etc. By the time you work it all out, you will find you don’t reduce CO2 output.

Instead, you do need a radical approach, which is to literally take the economy back to the level of activity that was present in the past. That would be certainly before 1970, and more than likely around the 1940s (which still had a substantial use of fossil fuels, but perhaps small enough that a few carbon indulgences and self-flagellation will offset the sin of using fossil fuels).

By literally starving the economy (and people), by removing most mechanical equipment such as vacuums, cars, etc., by rationing the goods we can buy, by forcing people to work on the land (and there will be no work producing things) you will rapidly reduce fossil fuel use and CO2 output to the climate cult’s Utopian world.

Indeed, even if not done intentionally, this is what will happen if you relentlessly pursue the climate cult’s stated goals.

Reply to  Mike Haseler (Scottish Sceptic)
August 17, 2019 4:06 am

A few extra thoughts:

The easiest way to cut carbon use with minimal pain is vasectomy – which will rapidly reduce the population and barring a few economic problems due to recession and the need to rigorously STOP immigration (not control), you can relatively harmlessly reduce fossil fuel use by a massive reduction in population.

That unfortunately would take around a lifetime (using 1 child policy), but as the young are so in favour of action, perhaps they as a generation might just forgo children altogether. Of course, an even quicker method is WWIII … but that may be controversial.

On the strategy of increasing manufacturing … that’s a non-starter. Instead, that will just increase economic activity which will only be possible by increased fossil fuel consumption. I would use the analogy of a fat person buying a load of “diet” foods to eat as a snack. You can’t lose weight = reduce CO2 output, by increasing the “diet” = Green products. You have to simply cut back.

However, one easy way to cut back, is to increase the manual labour content. So, e.g. if digging a canal, instead of using excavators, you use people. Instead of harvesting a field with a combine harvester, youngsters (who will now not need a degree) can be put to work in the hot sun harvesting.

I agree on deregulation … because private commerce is ALWAYS a lot more efficient at using energy and resources than government dictate. But you also need a mechanism to reduce economic activity. So, regulation of some form would be needed, whether a wage cap ($10,000 per household?) or rationing (only one pair of shoes a lifetime), etc.

The idea of replacing university degrees with working is an inspirational one. However, let’s not be ageist! It would be equally sensible to replace retirement with working! And … there are a lot of useless politicians … who would be much better utilised in the fields. You could also include the army (since you can’t afford to arm them or send them abroad anyway). There are a lot of civil servants who can also be diverted from tampering the temperature to experiencing the effects of solar (someone has to pull the plough and donkeys will be far too valuable replacing politicians)

Reply to  Mike Haseler (Scottish Sceptic)
August 18, 2019 2:18 am

And the other armed services as there’s no such thing as a zero carbon fighter jet….

steve case
August 17, 2019 3:05 am

In other words, do you really think we can run the world economy ( kazoo factories to steel mills) on windmills and solar panels?

If you follow the link to the steel mills, time mark 4:35 tells you about the 115 million watts of electricity required by the electric arc furnace.

August 17, 2019 3:08 am

AOC thinks CO2 causes asthma. That’s the clarity of thought you’re dealing with here.

steve case
August 17, 2019 3:12 am

Mike Haseler (Scottish Sceptic) August 17, 2019 at 2:58 am
…forcing people to work on the land…

Think Pol Pot’s Kmer Rouge and Cambodia in the ’70s

By the way is the climate cult contemplating a ban on fire?

Lee L
Reply to  steve case
August 17, 2019 6:43 am


steve case
Reply to  Lee L
August 17, 2019 9:52 am

Lee L August 17, 2019 at 6:43 am

I can’t decide if the fire question is sarcasm or not. Taking the Zero Emissions goal it isn’t, but in reality would they really go that far?

Reply to  steve case
August 18, 2019 1:20 am

See NYT — Lawns are racist and bad for the environment…

So yes. Haven’t some places banned grills or wood stoves?

Dan J. Cody
August 17, 2019 3:24 am

Does this mean AOC is going to stop flying and drive in electric cars only? Fat chance.

Reply to  Dan J. Cody
August 17, 2019 6:53 am

How about solar powered dirigibles? They’d be great for AOC.

Greg Freemyer
August 17, 2019 3:53 am

Did your analysis include using soil carbon sequestration as an offset against carbon (CO2) emissions from fossil fuel combustion.

It has been mentioned in the Democrat Party debates.

A multi-billion dollar company launched a major initiative just 2 months ago:

4.8 million acres were submitted to the initiative by the end of July. That’s over 1.5% in roughly the first 6 weeks.

Indigo Ag believes it can get widespread farmer/rancher participation for $15/tonne CO2e.

At 16 tonnes CO2e per capita US emissions, that’s $240 per capita per year of expense.

The US has ~1 acre of cropland per US resident and ~2 acres of range land. That is enough agricultural land to 100% offset US fossil fuel emissions via soil carbon sequestration.

Fyi: I’ve extensively studied soil carbon sequestration. The above is just a couple of the high-profile events of the last 3 months.

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  Greg Freemyer
August 17, 2019 4:32 am

Greg Freemyer,
What is the cost of management to keep the higher soil carbon levels higher? Are you not required to transport a steady stream of C to the farms to raise the soil C, then a further stream to replace soil C taken away in the products, then to manage whatever higher demand there might be for water, other fertilizers like N, P, K, traces?
It is easy to conceptualise the soil carbon enrichment charm, but it needs management and management costs. How much? Geoff S

Greg Freemyer
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
August 17, 2019 7:05 am

Here are the steps for a corn/soybean rotation farmer

– sell the moldboard plow tractor attachment
– sell the soil discing attachments
– use the money to buy a no-till seed drill/planter
– buy fall/winter cover crop seeds with appropriate soil organism spores in the seed coating (Indigo Ag sells these across the globe)
– immediately after harvest (as in the next day or even the same day), use the no-till seed drill to seed the field with the fall winter/cover crop whose function is to add nutrients to the soil
– let the cover crop grow threw the fall/winter/early spring
– use a roller-crimper to terminate the cover crop just before spring seeding. Some farmers put the roller-crimper on the front of the tractor and the no-till planter on the back so they can do both operations in a single pass over the field.

The cover crops will exude large amounts of carbon out of their roots and into the soil. That is how the carbon sequestration happens, not from mechanical means performed by the farmer.

Additional steps:
– reduce fertilizer application up to 80% after 3 years of improving soil health
– reduce herbicide application significantly from the first year
– reduce pesticide application as beneficial insects populate the field

The first couple years, the farmer indeed has a lower gross profit due to reduced yield, but starting in the 3rd or 4th year yield returns and gross profits grow above where they were before the switch to regenerative agriculture practices was made.

Curious George
Reply to  Greg Freemyer
August 17, 2019 8:57 am

Has this been actually implemented, and with what results?

Greg Freemyer
Reply to  Curious George
August 17, 2019 3:36 pm

If has been implemented from South Carolina to North Dakota and in between.

Results are very positive. Carbon is being sequestered and by the 3rd or 4th year, farmers are seeing increased gross profits due to increased soil health.

As I said between mid-June and the end of July 1.5% of US cropland was submitted to participate in the Terratom Initiative.

They will have soil carbon levels measured between now and next springs planting. Then again a year latter. For every tonne of CO2 equivalent increase in carbon, they all be paid $15.

A typical farm has 40-80 tonnes of carbon/acre.

After 10 years of regenerative farming that should be 200 tonnes/acre or more.

Call it 120 tonnes carbon/acre of cropland worth of potential.

The US has 300 million acres of cropland, so that’s 36 GT carbon worth of potential. Ranch land doubles that so you have 70 GT carbon worth of potential.

That’s ~250 GT CO2 equivalent of potential. The US emits about 5 GT CO2 / year, so agricultural land in the US can offset the next 50 years worth of fossil fuel CO2 emissions!

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Greg Freemyer
August 17, 2019 9:37 am

Something is wrong in your steps.

1. Most corn and soybean harvests occur after the point when the ground temperature is too low to spur germination, at least in the central plains of the US. So your step “immediately after harvest (as in the next day or even the same day), use the no-till seed drill to seed the field” would be useless and a waste of good money for the farmer.

That means your step “let the cover crop grow threw the fall/winter/early spring” can’t happen.

Your step “use a roller-crimper to terminate the cover crop just before spring seeding.” means, even if it did happen, that you will shade much of the planted land with a layer of detritus which will dampen the growth of the money crop, perhaps even preventing germination.

I don’t know a farmer here in the central US that still uses a plow/disc preparation on their land. They have all gone to no-till already.

I think you need to come up with a better, more realistic plan.

Greg Freemyer
Reply to  Tim Gorman
August 17, 2019 11:35 am

Here’s the USDA NRCS cover crop planning guide for Ohio:

First published in 2007 – most recently updated in 2017

Ie. Its not my plan, it’s official USDA guidance and it has been for a decade. But the knowledge base is still increasing every year.

Greg Freemyer
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
August 17, 2019 7:27 am


I just wrote a clarifying answer to your question:

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  Greg Freemyer
August 17, 2019 11:07 pm

Greg Freemyer,

Thank you for the response. It deals with how extra C can get into a soil. My interest is more in how you keep it there.
I have chemically analysed thousands of soils, from untouched to intensely farmed over the years, for total organic carbon. It is not the best indicator for the purposes of the discussion, but it seems to me that unmanaged soils simply lose the special C over years to decades. My questions to you are about what the cost of management is, to retain the special C.
Geoff S

Greg Freemyer
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
August 18, 2019 4:43 am

The glomalin related soil proteins are a biotic glue that is highly durable. They arrest soil organic matter erosion.

But the glomalin eventually does decompose. It takes 30-70 years for 7% SOM soil to fully degrade from what I’ve read. The cost of maintaining the carbon level is the same as the cost of building it. You have to continue to replace the glomalin on cropland and range land forever.

But, it seems anecdotally that intentional carbon build-up occurs at least twice as fast as natural carbon degradation

Let me jump from cropland to range land. 250 years ago the prairies between the Mississippi and the Rockies were still pristine and had SOM levels around 7%. Why?

Grasses evolved to be grazed, but in a specific pattern. The large herds the predator species such as wolves created would roam a vast area moving from area to area often and not returning for weeks or months. Some of the massive herds in Africa have an annual migration pattern that is effectively a huge circle hundreds of miles in diameter.

What scientists have figured out about grasses:

– if fertilized with sufficient nitrogen fertilizer, they drastically reduce liquid carbon root exudation and thus the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) population shrinks. Less AMF means lower glomalin replacement levels. A many decades long drop in SOM levels ensues.

– if allowed to seed out, they drastically reduce photosynthesis rates. And again, the AMF population shrinks, glomalin replacement slows, and SOM levels fall.

– if the grass is mowed or grazed low (like our lawns are) then their isn’t enough leaf area to leverage all the sunlight via photosynthesis. Liquid carbon exudation rates fall. AMF population shrinks, glomalin replacement slows, SOM levels fall.

Thus for range land/pasture it is important that the grass be allowed to grow to near seed out, then be grazed down about 33-50%, and then allowed to regrow towards seed out. The process has to be repeatedly done.

And it has to be done decade after decade after decade. It has to become the steady state normal for the land.

Cropland with 5-7% SOM and range land with 5-7% SOM can be interchanged. 85% of plants live symbiotically with AMF and exude liquid carbon. The key to soil health and soil carbon sequestration is a focus on the AMF population in the soil. The AMF has to be well fed and their only source of food is liquid carbon exuded from plant roots.

Today’s thought leading rancher spends his mind-power on how to keep the soil organisms (including AMF) healthy. They in turn provide the grass the nutrients it needs, and the grass feeds the livestock. That’s what 100’s of millions of years of evolution perfected (or was it God?).

Here’s a video of Dr Allen Williams talking about it. He isn’t an originator of the range land management methodology, but he has brought a lot of soil testing and metrics to the forefront to document the increase in soil health due to adaptive rotational grazing.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Greg Freemyer
August 18, 2019 7:36 am

Don’t forget that those large herds you speak of were primarily buffalo and antelope who hooves acted as natural aerators allowing water and air to percolate down to the root structure. Without this action prairie grass tends to build up mulch which eventually strangles growth. The only alternative is burning in the spring which, while controlling weeds and such, has its own drawbacks. It’s all not as easy to manage as it sounds.

A C Osborn
Reply to  Greg Freemyer
August 17, 2019 6:36 am

So let me see if I understand what you or they are suggesting is a good idea, because $240/capita doesn’t sound like much.
That the Government spends $79Billion of Tax payers Cash to put 0.08% of the the USA’s CO2 in the ground to offset producing 0.08% of their CO2.
Well I would suggest that $79Billion could be better spent on Hospitals, Schools and infrastructure than using it to put some “Carbon” in the Ground that may or may not stay there.
Especially as the extra CO2 in the Atmosphere will help those said same farmers to grow more food.

Greg Freemyer
Reply to  A C Osborn
August 17, 2019 7:15 am

And you would be wrong.

Forget climate change.

The world is suffering a massive cropland soil carbon deficiency crisis.

In the early 20th century farmers learned how to grow crops in low quality soil where all the nutrition the crops need is added to the soil annually via nitrogen fertilizer, soil amendments, lime, potassium, etc.

The nutrient value of farmland crops has dropped almost 50% over the last 70 years as the quality of the soil has degraded under real-world war 2 farming practices.

Restoring soil health to what it was when the first wagon trains headed across the prairies requires massive amounts of CO2. By change roughly what the US is emitting each year.

In a 4 or 5 decades US agricultural soil will be in optimum condition and we can then address/consider atmospheric CO2 levels.

Reply to  Greg Freemyer
August 17, 2019 9:53 am

The Indigoag site depends on farmers reaping carbon credits as additional income. In addition, a large part of the attraction of ‘going green’ is that ‘organic’ commands a higher price in the market. In the event that farmers went to ‘green’ methods wholesale, the market would be flooded with ‘organic’ food, and the price would necessarily fall. Profit from the ‘organic’ farms depends on it being a niche market. It also depends on Woofers here in Canada – young people who work for food and lodging for a summer.

Greg Freemyer
Reply to  Fran
August 17, 2019 11:41 am

The carbon credits are an incentive, but not necessarily something regenerative agriculture depends on.

Regenerative Agriculture is not synonymous with organic. But a farm can be both organic and regenerative.

And as I said by year 3 or 4, yields return to levels seen before the switch in technique. But expenses are lower, so farmers following regenerative practices are seeing higher gross profits.

Greg Freemyer
Reply to  Greg Freemyer
August 17, 2019 6:42 pm

For those that don’t know this is official from MOAA (North America Land Use offsets 1/3rd of fossil fuel emissions):


CT2017 results indicate that North America ecosystems have been a net sink of 0.6 ± 1.0 PgC yr-1 over the period 2001-2016. This natural sink offsets about one-third of the emissions of about 1.7 PgC yr-1 from the burning of fossil fuels in the U.S.A., Canada and Mexico combined

Reply to  Greg Freemyer
August 17, 2019 8:43 pm

As a farmer, albeit not in North America, I find it somewhat amusing that you consider farmers – who are, after all, survivors in a brutally Darwinian industry – know so little about their own industry and cost structures.

But here’s the thing. The obvious way to convince farmers that there is a better and more profitable way to farm is to buy a farm with your own money, and run it more profitably than your neighbours…. Believe me, we spend plenty of time looking over the fence and PROVEN good ideas are rapidly adopted.

It’s a far better strategy than running around telling us that you know more about it than the people actually doing the job and paying the bills…… there is a long history of that kind of “expert”.

That’s your problem. You are TELLING, not SHOWING.

I know that you aren’t talking about organics per se, but you face the same problem that the apostles of organic farming face….. you aren’t actually SHOWING better profitability.

There aren’t any free lunches.

Greg Freemyer
Reply to  PeterW
August 18, 2019 5:09 am

In the US there are numerous farmers leading the way. They have their own farms and they are walking the walk:

– here’s 5 farmers that got a US govt grant to try it on their farms starting in 2013-

– Gabe Brown – Brown’s Ranch – a 5,000 acre ranch in North Dakota – about 15 inches a year of rain, and one of the coldest US states – get on YouTube – he has a large number of videos – highly profitable

– David Brandt – a corn farmer in Ohio – Google him – poorly spoken, but an acknowledged cover crop thought leader – lots of videos – highly profitable

– Will Harris – A regenerative rancher – runs a Savory Hub site – again lots of videos – highly profitable – $28M/year in gross revenue from a 3,000 acre (1,200 hectare) ranch/farm. Georgia’s small business man of the year around 2013. I can buy his beef in my local big box grocer a mile from my house in Atlanta.

This presentation is about Will Harris’s ranch (White Oak Pastures)

– Dr. Allen Williams – a researcher that started buying ranches personally over 10 years ago –

If you’re not familiar with regenerative agriculture today, you will be in 5 years. The concept is aggressively growing both in mind share and in application (# of acres/hectares being managed).

Greg Freemyer
Reply to  PeterW
August 18, 2019 8:40 am

I just checked led the 2017 USDA 100% farm census if US farms.

153,402 farms used cover crops in 2017.

That’s 15-20% of all farms, but it was only about 5% of all US cropland.

It seems like a lot of US farmers are no longer looking over the fence. They are experimenting with cover crops on their own land.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Greg Freemyer
August 18, 2019 8:56 am

The term cover “crop” is probably misleading. As I posted, most of these never reach maturity so are never harvested, at least here in the central plains. That makes them an expense instead of a revenue producer. If the short term benefits don’t outweigh the costs of the seed and planting then for farmers already operating on the margins find it impossible to make the investment needed to see the long term benefits.

Greg Freemyer
Reply to  Greg Freemyer
August 18, 2019 6:12 pm

Cover crops aren’t designed to be harvested.

They are chosen for their ability to increase soil health and in tease nutrients in the soil.

From a profit perspective the question is if the cost of the cover crop seeds and drilling expense is more than made up by a reduction in fertilizer, etc.

August 17, 2019 3:55 am

Nothing in the proposal resembles free market capitalism.

August 17, 2019 3:56 am

as soon as the uni student found they had to do manual labour
theyd change their minds

michael hart
Reply to  ozspeaksup
August 17, 2019 4:30 am

Gyms and i-twittering will be banned. A bit of outdoor exercise will do them a power of good.

August 17, 2019 4:34 am

” 24 million (mostly) millennials immediately repurposed to urgent GND industrial production…” I did not realize that there are so few of them. That was an interesting bit of information. That’s a big bunch of people with useless degrees, at loose ends, looking for something to do.

There is still a group of people called migrant workers – nothing to do with illegal immigration – who follow labor demands from one farm to another. I see absolutely no reason that these 24 millions could NOT be put to work doing the labor of harvesting on grain farms (corn, soybeans, wheat, oats, other grains ad infinitum) the way way that used to be done: by hand, e.g., tossing the harvested corn ears into a wagon drawn by draft horses (who, of course, would add their poop to the mix as fertilizer). The development of farm machinery to its current level is what supports the commodities markets in grain delivery. Even popcorn is considered to be a commodity.

I’m quite sure that not one of these millennials would mind spending their days and nights as cowherds or shepherds, regardless of the weather, minding the herds and shooting at predator animals, just like them there Olden Times. And wheat? You use one of those wide-bladed scythes to cut the stems, gather the stalks into bundles and tie them for pickup by the wagon (drawn by draft horses) and take them to the thresher, which is also horse-powered. The Amish do demos on this on a recurring basis. They also cook with wood-burning stoves, a skill that has been lost to almost everyone except those who have stayed with it.

I’m not deeply nostalgic for the good old days, but there were some things about it that I do miss. Popping popcorn in a wire basket corn popper over an open flame was a real skill. Microwave popcorn can’t hold a candle to it. It’s the reason I keep two very old oil lamps from my great grandmother available for emergencies.

Ron Long
August 17, 2019 4:39 am

Great article, Timothy. I was trained as a recruiter for a major company, supposedly as a reward, and visited Universities looking for both summer hires and also reviewed permanent hires for several offices. It quickly became obvious that for the majority of cases it was not what school or degree you had but could you perform your job. University settings are great for teaching the basics of a job sector, and teach students how to read the data particular to their sector, but rarely produce motivation, unless they encounter a truly motivating figure (lucky me as I did, in Graduate School). That having been said there is room for some (I like the 3% figure you cited) students to get quite advanced in their University studies, and even go to multiple degrees, and maybe work in their sector and return to a University to teach. This teaching by a Professor with a reality-based experience background is preferred, but becoming increasingly rare.

Reply to  Ron Long
August 17, 2019 5:29 am

“This teaching by a Professor with a reality-based experience background is preferred, but becoming increasingly rare.”

Those who can do, those who can’t teach. This is not always the case but it happens enough to explain your term “becoming increasingly rare”.

JRF in Pensacola
August 17, 2019 4:44 am

Very interesting paper (and saw only one typo at reference 35, “gaduate”)! I’m wondering what effect the GND will have on financial markets through the period and their impact on government stability, retirement accounts and such; and, whether the transition will have available enough rare earth supplies to meet demand. My main concern is putting our entire transportation system onto a power grid that is so susceptible to disruption. Then, there’s the question of how the world’s governments are going to interact during this time as they seek to take advantage of any situation to improve their strategic interests.

Definitely thought-provoking.

Rod Evans
Reply to  JRF in Pensacola
August 17, 2019 5:52 am

I actually like the term gaduate, as in, university gaduates, these are people devoted to gadgets and little else, seems an eminently appropriate title.

August 17, 2019 4:59 am

Seems like a lot of work for a scam 🤔

Dan J. Cody
August 17, 2019 5:11 am

Why do the environmentalists complain about CO2 emissions? Plants use carbon dioxide during photosynthesis,the process whereby the plant converts the energy from the sun into a chemical carbohydrate molecule.Plants use this carbon chemical to grow. Plants give off oxygen. The environmentalists should be happy about all this instead of complaining so much with their absurd, apocalyptic and alarmist attitude regarding CO2 emissions.

Reply to  Dan J. Cody
August 17, 2019 10:21 am

“Why do the environmentalists complain about CO2 emissions?”

Because they read and believe articles such as this …

Climate Change Could Kill Off Clouds And Return Us To A ‘Hothouse Earth’

Mark Broderick
August 17, 2019 5:18 am

Timothy Nerenz
“Earlier this year, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announced the Green New Deal (GND), a public policy initiative whose central goal is (to) ?de-carbonize the U.S economy in 12 years.

“but only if they are willing (to) ? leave college and devote their working lives to producing the roughly $53 trillion of Green New Things….”

David Dibbell
August 17, 2019 5:20 am

Let’s apply the Emily Litella style of analysis to the climate crisis, once it has become clear what the GND would actually require: “Oh, that’s very different. Never mind.”

Bruce Cobb
August 17, 2019 5:21 am

No, all we’d have to do is to take down the fence bordering Mexico, and allow millions of folks from South America (and other places) in. They’d be delighted to work at $15/hour helping build a “green” economy, thus allowing the clueless generation their “right” to an advanced “education” so they can “find themselves” (or whatever” and get jobs at places like Starbucks. Problem solved.

David Lilley
August 17, 2019 5:42 am

Dr Nerenz, I haven’t waded through your academic paper. I’m just going by the article you have written above. But there are a number of issues which puzzle me. Warning: I am a layman, not an engineer or other scientist.

The only zero-CO2 emitting technology which could sustain a modern western civilization is nuclear power. This could be supplemented by hydro and geothermal, if the geography is favourable. But the green movement which opposes fossil fuels also opposes nuclear. They will only countenance wind, solar, tidal, etc. These are all intermittent producers of electricity and require reliable back up from proper power stations. We are not in a position where batteries can provide adequate back up and it is doubtful whether battery technology will ever be the solution.

Intermittency is not the only problem with wind and solar. Over here in the UK we recently had a major black out when 2 power stations tripped in quick succession. One was an offshore wind farm and the other was gas. The critical issue was that, at the time, a high percentage of electricity generation was coming from wind. This made the grid very vulnerable regarding the requirement to match supply and demand for power whilst maintaining the frequency within tight limits. When the power stations tripped, the system failsafes had to close down power to a substantial proportion of the country to prevent a domino effect from crashing the entire national grid. The grid was brought back on line thanks to the rapid introduction of power from proper power stations, i.e. fossil fuels. In a 100% wind and solar grid, this recovery would not have been possible.

There has been a lot of hoo-hah on your side of the pond in recent times about Russian hacking affecting various aspects of public life. In a 100% green USA, could hackers trip enough power stations to bring your entire grid crashing down ? Just a question ! If such a grid were to fail, it would be interesting to see how it could be recovered. Without electricity, there would be no working phone networks, landlines nor mobiles, with which engineers could communicate. There would be no functioning computers to diagnose and fix the issues. Engineers would not be able to get to the sites in their electric vehicles if these vehicles couldn’t be charged.

In the general community, no one would be able to get to their jobs, or do their jobs. ATMs would stop dispensing money, tills would fail to operate, food could not be moved from farms / plants to shops.

Another thing that puzzles me is whether it would be feasible to mine all of the materials needed for this ‘Brave New World’. I’m thinking in particular of the rare earth elements needed in the wind turbines and solar panels. Could these elements be produced in enough quantities and fast enough ? What would happen to the commodity prices ? Would USA become over-dependent on producers in countries with unstable or hostile regimes ?

The infrastructure construction for this re-engineering of the economy would, itself, require huge amounts of power generation. This is alongside the baseline energy to sustain a reasonable level for the economy. Where would this additional energy come from, bearing in mind that the entire project will struggle to replace existing energy sources, let alone produce the extra electricity to power the reconstruction work.

Your notions of replacing air travel by trains seems a bit insular too. You can’t build rail tracks across the Atlantic. Do you envisage container tankers being powered by sails ? Solar panels ?

You say that this conversion to 100% renewables is conceivable within 20 years. Sorry, you’ve not convinced me. In my opinion, a serious and sustained attempt to create an economy based only on wind, solar and similar renewables would lead to a collapse of western civilization. I don’t accept that climate change represents an existential threat either to humanity or the world in general. However, I do fear that climate change policies are an existential threat to modern life.

Paul Miller
Reply to  David Lilley
August 17, 2019 6:38 am

Mr David,

Methinks you have missed the forest for the trees.

From the tone of his article he does not really think that doing so is a good idea. He is simply using industry initial cost-estimate standards to outline IF such a thing might be feasible along with a rough order of magnitude estimate of the attendant costs. In granting that it is “conceivably possible” he has more clearly articulated the impracticality of doing it.

I found his rough back-of-the-envelope style summary enlightening. It surprised me that his numbers (allowing for a slide to 20 years instead of 10 or 12) actually put the thing in the “conceivably feasible” category. This is a nice bone to throw to those invested in the idea that plans like the GND are practical. It allows a walk-back with some face saving grace. They can now enter the practical world with the rest of us that it would be NICE if fairy dust and unicorn farts would power the ecomomy, but the cost-benefit of such. transition is not anything that even 99% of the current advocates would honestly support. Sun’Tzu would be proud of that tactic.

Plus he has added the amazingly funny term GREEN NEW THINGS to my lexicon and I am henceforth immediately culturally appropriating that from now on when discussing the cost(YUGE)/benefits(NOT MUCH) of every latest green proposal. In discussions with people actually interested in solving real problems with workable solutions it could help de-personalize the discussion so that civil discourse is easier to maintain.

Heaven knows we could use less acrimony and more humor and civility in our public discourse about this and many other contentious topics.

Reply to  David Lilley
August 17, 2019 6:47 am

David, good comment – and yes it puzzles most of us on WUWT.

However, please don’t equate “zero emissions” with “zero carbon” because you can’t just use emissions and instead you would have to account for CO2 emitted during manufacture, and not only that, but also CO2 emitted by people doing the manufacture, and not not only that, but also the CO2 emitted by the teachers of the children, the civil servants processing the tax forms, the police officers, the army, and all the other ancillary functions that are needed to support people who manufacture, run and decommission nuclear (or wind, or hydro), not just in the U.S. but globally (you can’t be zero emission if you just get China to do everything that produces CO2).

To use a simple analogy, so far what has been attempted has been the equivalent of a fat person buying a diet snack …which they eat on top of their normal diet. It’s been entirely frivolous and the result has been no actual reduction in CO2 emissions (weight).

What is actually needed is not buying MORE (green) goods, but simply cutting back on all food (energy use). And no, to reduce CO2 emissions, you can’t start with the attitude: “we’ll spend a lot of money on fossil fuels to ‘invest’ in a green future”. In other words vastly increase manufacturing in order to produce “green” with a very dubious energy saving. Because that’s like the fat man having a huge meal in order to give themselves the energy to go for a run.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  David Lilley
August 17, 2019 7:00 am

It was all satire. But you’re right, the GND is so totally absurd that even his treatment of it doesn’t go far enough. We should remember, too, that the GND is merely an extreme version of what many Democrats are proposing. Even Biden’s “middle-ground” war on carbon is still a war on carbon, with potentially devastating consequences.

August 17, 2019 5:42 am

I have been wondering how the military will operate under GND?

Mark Broderick
Reply to  Robin
August 17, 2019 6:10 am

….What military ? How do you think they plan on paying for the GND ! Military, we don’t need no stinkin’ military…!

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Mark Broderick
August 17, 2019 12:52 pm

Socialist Seattle city councilwoman Kshama Sawant proposed just that. She said Boeing should stop making planes for war and make buses instead.

Coeur de Lion
August 17, 2019 6:01 am

What’s it for? Haven’t got it to hand but one of the two ‘Climate Change The Facts’ books has a chapter (Lomberg? ) explaining that if the USA was to cut ALL CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSIONS NOW it would reduce global temperature by 0.0017 degsC by 2100. Am I right?

August 17, 2019 6:10 am

A study of the UK Industrial revolution clearly shows that all of the main inventers had served a seven year apprenticeships . i.e. they all got their hands dirty.

So lets close down all of the so called Universities and instead revert to
on the spot training for everything. Example a Doctor could start as a junior nurse, and pick it up. If they are unable to so pick it up, then down to a less demanding job.

Having both lived through and worked during the 1940 years to the
1950 tees it was not that bad. Of course we would have a massive
withdrawal problem with all of the addicts to the modern electronics world.

As the article correctly showed, ironically we would have to produce lots and lots of CO2 to bee able to reduce the CO2 in he long run, .

Of course the moment we started it, and the present non e working class found out that they were expected to work, or starve, no social security allowed, we must all work hard to Save the World, I think that any ideas on their part about Green things would rapidly disappear.

Of course in the process China would take over the World.


August 17, 2019 6:17 am

Fake News of the Greta’s CO2 free voyage.
The yacht’s crew is flying back to Europe together with her father, while Greta is staying in the USA. Replacement crew is flying from Europe to the USA to sail the yacht back.
Simple calculation shows that the Greta’s voyage CO2 footprint is at least double of that if she simply accompanied by her father had flown to the USA and back .

Reply to  Vuk
August 17, 2019 8:32 am
August 17, 2019 1:44 pm

Let’s hope that it is not a hurricane spawning just south west of the Cape Verde islands;-29.8;4&l=wind-100m

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Vuk
August 17, 2019 9:08 pm

Probably not the area she needs to be concerned about in the immediate future.
But this one might be:

Early yet, may not develop at all.
But if it does, it will be heading East and northeast, and then possibly curving back to the southeast.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
August 18, 2019 2:24 am


Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Vuk
August 17, 2019 9:36 pm

Lots of Sahara dust in the air out over the Eastern Atlantic, with more coming:,16.69,302

Very little moisture in the air, overall:,16.69,302

And sea surface temps are below the temp considered the minimum for tropical development and sustenance, everywhere east of longitude 40E:

All in all, it appears that there are zero conditions at the present time that would favor development in the tropical north Atlantic.
The five day forecast and the current conditions (nearly cloudless) confirm the prior forecasts of no imminent development through the coming week.

Reply to  Vuk
August 17, 2019 10:33 am

How Likely Is a Runaway Greenhouse Effect on Earth? – MIT Technology Review


“But that raises an important question: is it possible that we could trigger a runaway greenhouse effect ourselves by adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere?

“According to the climate scientist James Hansen, that’s a distinct possibility. A couple of years ago, he wrote: ‘If we burn all reserves of oil, gas, and coal, there’s a substantial chance that we will initiate the runaway greenhouse. If we also burn the tar sands and tar shale, I believe the Venus syndrome is a dead certainty.'”

Reply to  Marv
August 17, 2019 12:04 pm

Hi Marv,
James Hansen is no fool, he just does his science in non-stand-alone components.
James Hansen predicted new ice age by 2021, ‘no need to worry about co2’
Washington Times, July 9, 1971,
NASA scientist using a “computer program developed by Dr. James Hansen” predicted an ice age would occur within 50-60 years. According to Hansen’s computer model, “they found no need to worry about the carbon dioxide fuel-burning puts in the atmosphere.”
What Hansen actually meant is that readers should put together both components of his research to get the final estimate of the future direction, i.e.
ice age cooling + run runaway greenhouse warming = 0, zero, nought, nulla. Yes ?
So Marv, the summary of Hansen’s vision of the future is that nothing is going to change.
Marv, look up Pythia of Delphi

Reply to  Marv
August 17, 2019 12:11 pm

He also said Manhattan would be under water by now.

Robert W. Turner
Reply to  Vuk
August 17, 2019 11:10 am

I called it, but then again it was like calling the sunrise.

August 17, 2019 6:18 am

How does AOC’s and her cohorts make a million or two millenials take on arduous physical labour, and personal hardship when so many have been groomed since birth that their own internalized “no”, means “NO”? How does a production line / construction site function in the GND World when so many have been groomed to need Safe Spaces, and Crying Rooms for the tiniest of perceived micro-aggressions? Like being woke (pun intended) at 5am ?

Luckily for AOC, The Revolution already has a tried and true method of comradely encouragement. Her cohorts are morphed into commissars who will “excuse from work by Glock” five of the recalcitrant former students chosen at random in front of the thousand others. The others will dig, weld, mix cement, whatever.

August 17, 2019 6:43 am

Does Wednesday Addams look familiar to you?

comment image

Reply to  leitmotif
August 17, 2019 10:39 am

Oh My Gawd.
I has not noticed. The resemblance is absolutely spot-on.
That Look You Get – when you are told you will spend the next two weeks on a sailboat in the middle of nowhere.

leitmotif wins the thread.

Robert W. Turner
August 17, 2019 6:48 am

Just think, AOC is the future of politicians. The USA will be Chicken Littled out of existence.

August 17, 2019 6:52 am

With useful side effects like those, the green new deal might actually be a good idea.

Also building all these “green” things will create enough CO2 to keep the planet greening for many years.

You forgot to mention that eliminating the current regulations strangling development will free up large numbers of lawyers and bureaucrats to do the unskilled labour.

August 17, 2019 7:04 am

She described GND as her millennial generation’s “World War II” …

The total commitment of America to WW2 is easy to trivialize. This interesting link puts it in perspective.

WW2 was relatively simple. Beat the Axis powers. The GND is anything but simple.

WW2 taxes on the rich reached 94%. Everybody bought war bonds. About half the cost was still covered by borrowing.

Given the current national debt, it is quite possible that the GND could not be financed.

Many consumer goods weren’t available. As many resources as possible were dedicated to military use.

No conflict since WW2 has had anywhere near the effect on the economy that it had. The folks who remember WW2 aren’t walking the halls of power any more. That’s a problem.

Once again, AOC demonstrates her cluelessness.

Kevin kilty
Reply to  commieBob
August 17, 2019 8:00 am

In the gussied up version of history about the good war, WWII, nothing is said about the growing dissatisfaction of the American public with the conflict before its end. The GND will require enormous loans (bonds) from the public, all public savings, high taxes, lack of many goods, and then probably some labor at way below market rates–then, as our author states, some mechanism to force a large number of people into productive, but underpaid, work.

Just like war, destruction of current wealth, which the GND implicitly demands, will have to be paid for in some way.

Reply to  Kevin kilty
August 17, 2019 8:43 am

There was rationing. You could get one pound of coffee every five weeks. This led to the popularity of Postum. Yummm. Tastes like burned wheat. For some reason, my mother liked it and foisted it on her children in the 1950s and 1960s, long after there was any reason to do so. You can’t give your kids coffee anyway but there’s no reason to inflict ‘that’ on them.

Wartime rationing pervaded all aspects of human life. Actually, it sounds a lot like life in Cuba. Our ancestors fought hard to avoid that kind of existence. Does AOC realize what she’s proposing?

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  commieBob
August 17, 2019 7:50 pm

Family legend has it that because of meat rationing, my parents moved from Illinois to Nebraska. My father would go out hunting after work everyday. We were ‘forced’ to eat pheasant when he couldn’t shoot any rabbits.

Robin Beran
August 17, 2019 7:12 am

Bring back the draft!

John the Econ
August 17, 2019 7:12 am

Brilliant article. I’ve always been amused by the fact that the vast majority of Progressives who promote these ideas always expect that it will be someone else who will be doing the hard, physical work, any paying for it. Of all the avowed socialists I knew in school, absolutely none of them envisioned their futures as one of “the workers”.

I’ve also been arguing that like WWII, we will need to draft millions of these millennials to build a massive army to send overseas. China, India and others will not decarbonize just because we do or because we ask nicely. Unless they do as we do, it’s all very pointless, isn’t it?

Kevin kilty
August 17, 2019 7:30 am

Nice article which puts some structure into what is at its foundation a nutty idea. But as others pointed out, a large problem is motivating a very large workforce, much of which has none of the requisite skills, perhaps no skills at all, to do the work. Public support for the GND, especially by the elite, is largely based on a cognitive problem. As I said elsewhere, the elite are operating under a delusion that the GND will allow them to maintain their wealth and privileged lifestyles, and at the same time completely reform society to quiet their neuroses–stop the voices in their heads, so to speak. A recognition that this is not possible, that the task is more than just hiring someone else to do the work, might slow them down.

When one decides to abandon fossil fuels as fuels, one is abandoning the economy of scale that allows for cheap plastics, weatherproofing materials, and road pavement, and a host of other products. The production of steel, to continually maintain the economy with the needed replacement of specialty steels in particular, can’t be done with scrap put into electric furnaces. It requires some new primary production which uses coke or some other reducer. Electronics grade silicon uses coke in its production. Estimates of 53 trillion for a complete remake of the economy I think is a WAG. But even if accurate, 53 trillion over 20 years far exceeds current total savings. Maybe we could go into what this implies, which is not pretty, in another post.

August 17, 2019 7:35 am

Will 1.6 million wind turbines be enough to meet current electrical demand PLUS the recharging needs of 250 million private vehicles, 20 million trucks, a million or more earth-moving rigs, tens of thousands of electric locomotives for transport and five thousand or so for freight, a few hundred thousand tractors and combines, and a couple million irrigation pumps?

And have you accounted for cost overruns, which afflict roughly 100 percent of large construction projects?

We’re going to need to plant some more magic money trees, I fear.

Gordon Dressler
August 17, 2019 7:56 am

The above guest post by Dr. Nerenz has so many shortcomings one hardly knows where to begin.

Take this statement: “The math is not particularly difficult – . . .” Well, that is not true if one takes a global perspective in evaluating de-carbonizing the U.S economy in 12 years . . . and no revolutionary breakthroughs are assumed during that interval.

Based on current knowledge, the is NO WAY to replace the CO2-emitting ICE engines (this includes jet turbines) that are needed to power commercial and military aircraft high speed aircraft. Even biofuels or completely synthetic fuels that can provide the necessary energy-density ultimately burn carbon compounds with oxygen from ambient air, thereby unavoidably producing CO2. And there is no possibility for electric battery technology to power such aircraft, especially for the hours it takes to cross oceans of the world.

So, what is the simple math that accounts for the effects (monetary, physical/medical, national security, etc.) on the US from being unable to transport people, commercial products, and defensive/offensive weapons at speeds greater than, say, 50 mph, around the world:
— including the math of the US losing it’s status as a world power?
— including the math of the US becoming non-competitive in sending highly-perishable produce and high-priority parcels with countries outside of the land-connected Americas?
— including the math of the increase in world terrorism and nation-against-nation conflicts as the US slowly degrades in trade and military power?

Next, consider these statements, also taken from the above article: “We know how many more wind turbines it will take to generate 100 quadrillion BTUs of energy, and we know how many of miles of high-speed rail it will take to replace aviation.” Practically, NO, WE DON’T:
a) We don’t have any idea of the failure rate of the type(s) of turbines that would needed to be produce 100 quadrillion BTU of energy, nor do have any idea of the cost (based on math, simple or not) of acquiring the land on which to site these tens of millions of wind turbines since such planning has not yet been done,
b) How many miles of high-speed rail will be required (based on math, simple or not) to replace ocean-crossing aviation? (N.B., I find that I’m shocked at even having to post this question.)

I could go on and on, but need I?

Reply to  Gordon Dressler
August 17, 2019 2:27 pm


It’s ok, greta is coming over to you. She will put you all on the right road.


Sweet Old Bob
August 17, 2019 8:01 am

Electric combines ??? I know an international rep. for a major ag equipment co.
Never heard a peep about any such thing .
Will ask about any R&D .Probably on the unicorn farm …. 😉

Smart Rock
August 17, 2019 8:47 am

Try making new steel from iron ore with fossil fuels. There has to be carbon or carbon compounds somewhere to combine with the oxygen in iron ore (and thereby emit CO2). Electric arc furnaces that start with scrap steel can be (sort of, if you squint a bit) carbon-free, but there’s only so much scrap steel. Once iron ore comes into the picture, fossil fuels must be present too, whether it’s in a blast furnace, a direct-reduced iron furnace, or an electric arc furnace.

Then there’s the limestone flux needed to remove impurities (mostly silica) from crude iron ore. It gives off its CO2 to the exhaust gas stream and ends up as slag.

I suppose the carbon-free GNDUSA could import scrap steel from other countries (China and India being the usual suspects) where they will still be using fossil fuels. Exporting your carbon emissions seems to be palatable because ….. just because.

Then they can try making cement for all this new infrastructure without fossil fuels, and without emitting all the CO2 that’s tied up in the limestone feed.

Oh, yes, of course, CCS. It’s theoretically possible in steel making and cement making. But is it practical? Has it even been tried?

Jokes about sailing ships aside, there is no conceivable way for a modern merchant marine to be “carbon-free” without having nuclear-powered ships. It’s not that difficult, just ask the US Navy. If the promoters of GND can’t accept that, they are either blind to self-evident facts, or terminally ignorant, or just not very bright. Possibly even all three; they are politicians after all.

BTW, we had our own version of the GND in Canada, years before you guys thought of it, even before Justin ascended to the throne. It was called Leap, or LEAP, or something like that. It seems to have disappeared without a trace. So don’t panic, the same thing will surely happen to GND.

Dr. Bob
August 17, 2019 8:49 am

A friend sent me this summary of coal plants in the world and what the future plans are. So, if the GND shuts down 15 coal power plants, that represents 0.27% of the total actual and planned coal power plants in the world. Now that is worth $79 Trillion dollars!

I have not verified these comments:

The following shows the major problems with carbon emissions. The US produces a fraction of the world’s total and the rest of the nations shown below will do nothing. This is why the left wingers use climate warming as a speaking point and when asked what the rest of the planet is doing, they will not respond because there is proof they once more, the content of their speeches are without basis or fact.

Subject: ??How many coal plants are there in the world today?

I checked to see if this was true:??
I am sure you know people who would enjoy this.
Subject: How many coal plants are there in the world today?

The EU has 468 – building 27 more… Total: 495
Turkey has 56 – building 93 more.. Total: 149
South Africa has 79 – building 24 more.. Total: 103
India has 589 – building 446 more… Total? 1036
Philippines has 19 – building 60 more… Total????79
South Korea has 58 – building 26 more… Total??84
Japan has 90 – building 45 more… Total??135
China has 2,363 – building 1,171 more… Total??3,534
That’s 5,615 projected coal powered plants in just 8 countries.

USA has 15 – building 0 more…Total??15??
And Democrat politicians with their “green new deal want to shut down those 15 plants in order to “save the planet.

This is EXCELLENT!!?? I knew the rough idea about the number of coal plants, but had not yet seen actual numbers until now.

This makes the point. Whatever the USA does or doesn’t do won’t make a Tinker’s Dam regarding CO2 unless the rest of the world especially China and India reduce coal-fired power plants, too.
Green New Deal???

Oh, we will SAVE the planet!!

Gordon Dressler
Reply to  Dr. Bob
August 17, 2019 10:25 am

Dr. Bob, I think your friend misled you on the number of coal-fired power plants in the US, and very likely on the numbers for the other countries you listed.

According to the EIA ( ; you will have to download and sort the linked May 2019 Excel file): as of May 2017, the US had exactly 500 OPERATING coal-fired-conventional-steam power plants with a nameplate capacity of 100 MW or greater.

Beyond this, for reference, as of May 2019, the US had 1263 OPERATING natural gas fired combined cycle power plants and 475 OPERATING natural gas fired gas turbine power plants and 225 OPERATING natural gas fired steam turbine power plants, in all cases tabulating only power plants with a nameplate capacity of 100 MW or greater.

Who in their right mind seriously believes just these 2,463 electricity-generating, fossil fuel-powered large power plants can be replaced by ANY alternate technology within a 20 year time span from now, even under a “crash program”?

“De-carbonizing” the US? . . . pfffftttt!

Gordon Dressler
Reply to  Gordon Dressler
August 17, 2019 1:59 pm

Sorry, folks, but one typo identified and a clarification regarding my previous post (above):

Typo, in second paragraph, it should read “. . . as of May 2019 . . .” (reference to “2017” was a typo).

My use of the phrase “power plant” was to indicate a single generating unit (with nameplate capacity above 100 MW) . . . what the EIA Excel table has indexed as “Generator ID”. This was not meant to refer to a named power plant facility, which can include more than one identified generator. For example, the Shawnee power plant facility in Kentucky has 9 separate conventional coal fire steam turbine generators, each with a nameplate capacity of 175 MW.

Nevertheless, there hundreds of separate coal fired steam turbine power plant FACILITIES in the US (per EIA Excel spreadsheet “Plant Name” entries), not just the 15 alluded to by Dr. Bob.

Gordon Dressler
Reply to  Gordon Dressler
August 18, 2019 8:23 am

Much more sorry this time folks. 🙁

In further examining details within the EIA downloadable Excel spreadsheet that I referenced above, I have discovered that the EIA designation of “conventional steam coal” under “Technology” for specific generators within the US is misleading: there is another column labeled “Energy Source Code” that indicates “DFO” or “NG” for natural gas for many of the generators listed as “conventional steam coal”. This reveals that most such “coal” technology-identified generators have in fact been converted to burn natural gas or distillate fuel oil.

In fact, the May 2019 data base lists only 20 generators above 100 MW nameplate capacity that are still burning bituminous coal to produce steam, and these are contained within just 16 separate power plant facilities.

Facts matter, and I do strive to be factual in my posts.

So, with apologies, Dr. Bob in his above post was closer to being CORRECT than incorrect with his reference to just 15 (large output capacity) coal fired power plants being currently operational within the US.

Philip Timmons
Reply to  Gordon Dressler
August 19, 2019 8:56 am

Hey Gordon, you are approaching the math model wrong. You cannot really add up the nameplates of existing and infer that is what it takes to run US.

Many existing plants sit idle for months in the Spring and Fall, and then may run full-bore only during Peak in the hottest of Summer for Air Conditioning. The concept is sometimes called “Time of Production” and “Time of Use.” An optimized Generation system would align Time of Production and Time of Use — but with all the over-built Coal and Nukes baseload, which have to run all night without regard to low demand, and then cannot ramp up to hit the Daily Peak . .. we have anything BUT an optimized system.

A more successful modeling method would be to consider what the Actual Load is and work backwards.

So the overall US Grid Load per year is about 4E15 Watt-hours. Presently the Cheapest, Fastest, Cleanest, least Risk New Generation is Silicon Solar PV. So let’s do the model with that? In the US, fixed (non-tracking) Solar PV has an average run time of 6 hours a day, or about 2000 hours per year.

So if we take the 4E15 Watt-hours and divide by 2000 hours — that gives us — 2E12 Watts of Solar required. At around $1 per Watt full install costs that is a Full Replacement Cost of around $2 Trillion (US) or $2E12. Spread across the years while existing Coal and Nukes are taken off-line, and the Solar is installed — it has become cheaper to bear the full cost of New Solar than it is to even continue operate the existing Coal and Nukes.

So yes, we can switch the US to Solar PV, and drop Coal, Nukes, and Gas — except to keep some around as emergency and backup which do not need to operate — and the whole thing costs less than what we are doing now.

Gordon Dressler
Reply to  Philip Timmons
August 19, 2019 10:58 am

Where, oh where, to begin to respond?

1) Your argue about “Time of Production” and “Time of Use” and needing an optimized system for the existing electrical power generating system . . . and then fail to discuss the even larger extent that solar PV varies with time-of-day/night? Seriously?

2) You neglected (intentionally?) to describe how to stabilize the grid for energy demand every day for those times beyond the “6-hours-a-day” you claim that every installed solar PV generator will be working. What will be the total ADDITIONAL cost of the needed batteries, flywheels, pumped hydro, compressed gas, etc. it do this effectively and with peak-demand margin?

3) You neglected (intentionally?) to mention the ADDITIONAL acquisition cost for the land on which so many solar panels must be sited. And you neglected to mention the infrastructure cost to connect these solar PV installations, wherever located, into the grid.

4) You neglected to mention the ADDITIONAL cost and inefficiency of converting the DC electrical output of solar PV into AC electricity and simultaneously boosting the voltage to about 345,000 Vac that is typical for high power transmission lines over the long distances typically between power plants and grid distribution points to customers.

5) “The average price per watt for solar panels ranges from $2.58 to $3.38”— source: . So, what is the basis for you claiming a 60-70 reduction in the cost per watt of solar PV?

Now, you started with something about “approaching the math model wrong” . . .

Jim Whelan
August 17, 2019 9:12 am

Artilce neglects the GND requirement to rebuild or retrofit every home and building in the U.S. to meet some unknown energy efficiency standard. My guess is that it might take the entire world population to pull off just that one aspect within 20 years.

August 17, 2019 9:13 am

Quite frankly, eliminating most carbon emissions is pretty simple and not that expensive ; small modular molten salt reactorsm fueled by uranium or Thorium can be construced at a fraction of conventiona nucear – roughly 2.5 billion per GigaWatt. They can be constructed entirely in factories and installe with little required site preparation and no need for any bodies of water for cooling. They can be located ANYWHERE and are instrinsically safe. Leaving current nuckear and hydro powee generation in place (30% of power) these SMRs can provice the remainder of current power neeeds PLUS the power nees of an electrified transporttion sector for roughly $1 trillion dollars and will lower electric costs from what they are now (levelized power costs 4 cents per kWhr). These SMRs will start appearing commerciallty in the mid 2020s. Quit all this ignorant nonsense
about need to change lifestyles and spend enormous amounts of money.

Joel O'Bryan
August 17, 2019 9:34 am

“24 million (mostly) millennials immediately repurposed to urgent GND industrial production could conceivably pull it off with a 20-year surge in manufacturing output and new product development. “

Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge had similar ideas of re-purposing an entire country’s civilization.

– Pol Pot, just like many of today’s college-Leftist indoctrinated Millennials, was a highly educated in Western ideas and an elitist. It develops a mindset of “we know what best for everyone else, and we’re willing to use authoritarian means to achieve it.
“Born to a prosperous farmer in Prek Sbauv, French Cambodia, Pol Pot was educated at some of Cambodia’s elite schools. In the 1940s, he moved to Paris, France, where he joined the French Communist Party and adopted Marxism–Leninism, particularly as it was presented in the writings of Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong. Returning to Cambodia in 1953, he joined the Marxist–Leninist Khmer Việt Minh organisation in its guerrilla war against King Norodom Sihanouk’s newly independent government.”

– Like many Millennials today, Pol Pot wanted one Party government with authoritarian powers to re-driect the economy to more “agarian” ways, and less intensive urbanization. Those who resisted either outright killed or worked in slave camps to death. We hear exactly this same kind of rhetoric today from Antifa and other extreme econ-nutter groups.

“Pol Pot reformed Cambodia as a new, one-party state called Democratic Kampuchea. Seeking to create an agrarian socialist society, his government forcibly relocated the urban population to the countryside to work on collective farms. Those regarded as enemies of the new government were killed. These mass killings, coupled with malnutrition, strenuous working conditions and poor medical care, killed between 1.5 and 2 million people, approximately a quarter of Cambodia’s population, a period later termed the Cambodian genocide.

Even the Khmer Rouge’s uniform of control era remarkably resemble those of Antifa activists.
comment image

There needs to be NO mistake what AOC, Commie Bernie and the rest of the US neo-Marxists are wanting. Their GND would be the the license to bring the Killing Fields to the US, in the name of political power and ideological purity.

August 17, 2019 10:09 am

There is almost a “Law of Conservation of Emissions” that will defeat any attempt to thwart it. For example, making electricity more expensive simply displaces manufacturing elsewhere, probably incurring more energy use for transportation. If the entire world cycles to work that will increase the demand for food energy, and more food energy means more carbon from tractors, transportation and refrigeration.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  climanrecon
August 17, 2019 1:36 pm

Which is why the True Green fanatics want global genocide: Reduce the human population by 90%.
Of course they always envision it is someone else getting “reduced.”

Dave O.
August 17, 2019 10:49 am

Since climate change is always beneficial to the population, nothing needs to be done.

Reply to  Dave O.
August 17, 2019 7:49 pm

Warming is usually beneficial. Climate change not necessarily so. Glaciers have a tendency to crush everything in their paths.

August 17, 2019 11:06 am

Worthwhile video:

Ten Things You Should Know About Socialism | Thomas J. DiLorenzo
July 22,2019

Time 5:33
“Socialism will destroy your economic future…. The Chief of Staff of this Cortez woman… the author of the Green New Deal… admitted that it had nothing to do with the climate, it’s all about socialism.”

August 17, 2019 11:14 am

Ten Things You Should Know About Socialism | Thomas J. DiLorenzo
July 22,2019
“Every socialist is a secret dictator.”

William Astley
August 17, 2019 11:33 am

Howdy Dave O.

“Climate change is not always beneficial to the population. Humans almost went extinct during the coldest part of the last glacial phase.

The number of early humans may have shrunk to as low as just 2,000 before it began to rise again in the early Stone Age, an extensive new genetic study suggested yesterday.

The close brush with extinction for human beings came around 70,000 years ago, according to the report published in the American Journal of Human Genetics.”

It is interesting that the Left is starting to wake up to the fact that due to basic engineering and economic reasons the green schemes fail.

The evidence presented in this new documentary, “Planet of the Humans” is that the green scams are increasing, not decreasing our environmental impact.

Hats off to Michael Moore for being a left wing leader who has the courage to speak the truth even when it is politically incorrect.

This is a short audio of Michael Moore’s Comments on the documentary “Planet of the Humans” (The film was produced by Jeff Gibbs, not Michael Moore.)

Pat Frank
August 17, 2019 2:45 pm

infinity, plus or minus never

I love it. 🙂

Bill Murphy
August 17, 2019 4:50 pm

The thought of the snowflake Millennials adapting to a WWII environment is beyond comical. It’s the most absurd fantasy I’ve ever heard. Picture the 21st century Rosie the Riveter walking home (walking because electric cars are back ordered for 5 years and cost 3 years wages anyway) after her 12 hour shift stopping at McDonalds and being told it was meatless Tuesday, then ordering a Big SoyMac only to be told she didn’t have enough ration stamps, then walking to the grocery store for a can of green beans only to find that there are no more canned goods because all the steel and tin are prioritized to railroad and wind turbine manufacture, so settling for a bag of pinto beans. Then when she arrives at home and tries to cook the pinto beans finding she can’t because the hot shower of the day before had used up all her electricity ration. So after a meal of 3 slices of bread and some water she climbs into bed after checking the alarm is set for 4 AM and the thermostat set at the required 50 degrees so she won’t bust her heating ration and freeze to death like that old couple down the street last month. As she drifts off to sleep she remembers how good it felt to epoxy herself to the street for a few hours before going home to a hot meal and a warm bed. Saving the world was so easy then. (cue Barbie Streisand singing “The Way We Were”)

On the outer Barcoo
August 17, 2019 4:54 pm

The war on carbon must surely require the elimination of all carbon from the human body. Since around 18% of the human body is carbon, it’ll be an interesting exercise: will AOC be the first to volunteer?

Beta Blocker
August 17, 2019 5:22 pm

I live and work in the US Northwest. Most of the Democrats who now hold state and federal elective offices in California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington State strongly support the Green New Deal. These politicians will have much influence in Washington DC if Democrats gain full control of the federal government in 2021.

In its current form, the Green New Deal has a target date of 2030 for a 100% carbonless economy. However, the 2030 target date for 100% is merely an opening bargaining position for subsequent political negotiation. Over the next several years, the GND’s goal posts will gradually shift back towards President Obama’s original target of an 80% reduction in America’s carbon emissions by 2050.

Even with a target date of 2050, it is impossible to reach an 80% reduction without imposing considerable sacrifice on the American people in the form of strictly enforced energy conservation measures combined with steep increases in the cost of fossil fuel energy. For one example, according to Mark Jacobson’s analysis, per capita consumption of electricity in America must drop to half of what it is today if we are to achieve 100% renewables without nuclear.

Regardless of what Mark Jacobson believes, it is impossible to reach the Green New Deal’s targets without a massive commitment to nuclear power, and to manage the energy market transition in a way which leaves no choice but to sacrifice the benefits of market competition with natural gas in keeping a lid on nuclear’s costs.

If the national polls are accurate, Green New Deal advocates are likely to be in full control of the federal government in 2021. They will then be forced to put real meat on their GND energy policies. Will their 2021 plan be something new and different? Or will it be a rehash of Barack Obama’s plan updated with Green New Deal rhetoric, but containing little else of real substance?

If Democrats are truly serious about quickly reducing America’s GHG emissions, they must do what current law and what past practice demand they do. They must give the president and the EPA full responsibility for the tough job of reducing America’s carbon emissions.

Here is a plan to reduce America’s GHG emissions 80% by 2050 using the Clean Air Act augmented by existing national security legislation. This plan is similar to the one that was being pushed a decade ago in 2009 by In this new version, the original plan is augmented by a system of carbon pollution fines which is the functional equivalent of a legislated tax on carbon.

Moreover, if carbon pricing combined with massive new spending on green energy projects doesn’t prove to be fully effective, the updated plan adds a provisional system for imposing direct government control over the production and distribution of all carbon fuels, implemented in the form of a carbon fuel rationing scheme.

These are the six major phases of this plan:

PHASE I: Establish a legal basis for regulating carbon dioxide and other carbon GHG’s as pollutants. (2007-2012. Now complete.)

PHASE II: Expand and extend EPA regulation of carbon GHG’s to all major sources of America’s carbon emissions. (2021-2022)

PHASE III: Establish a fully comprehensive EPA-managed regulatory framework for carbon. (2023-2025)

PHASE IV: Implement the EPA’s carbon pollution regulatory framework. (2026-2050)

PHASE V: Implement the provisional system for direct carbon fuel rationing. (Start and End dates are contingent upon Phase IV progress.)

PHASE VI: Declare success in reducing America’s carbon emissions 80% by 2050. (If complete by 2050 or earlier.)

A Detailed Description of the 80% by 2050 Plan:

The plan might be accurately described as implementing Virtual Peak Oil. That is to say, the regulatory powers of government are applied in ways that will make all fossil fuels as scarce and expensive by the year 2050 as they otherwise would be fifty years later in the year 2100.

Phase I: Establish a legal basis for regulating carbon dioxide and other carbon GHG’s as pollutants. (2007-2012. Now Complete.)

— File and win lawsuits to allow regulation of CO2 and other carbon GHG’s as pollutants under the Clean Air Act.
— Publish a CAA Section 202 Endangerment Finding as a prototype test case for regulation of carbon GHG’s.
— Defend the Section 202 Endangerment Finding in the courts.

Phase II: Expand and extend EPA regulation of carbon GHG’s to all major sources of America’s carbon emissions. (2021-2022)

— Issue a presidential executive order declaring a carbon pollution emergency.
— Publish a CAA Section 108 Endangerment Finding which complements 2009’s Section 202 finding.
— Establish a National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for carbon pollution.
— Use the NAAQS for carbon pollution as America’s tie-in to international climate change agreements.
— Defend the Section 108 Endangerment Finding and the NAAQS in the courts.

Phase III: Establish a fully comprehensive EPA-managed regulatory framework for carbon. (2023-2025)

— Publish a regulatory framework for carbon pollution under Clean Air Act sections 108, 111, 202, and other CAA sections as applicable.
— Establish cooperative agreements with the states to enforce the EPA’s anti-carbon regulations.
— Establish a system of carbon pollution fines which is the functional equivalent of a legislated tax on carbon.
— Establish the legal basis for assigning all revenues collected from these carbon pollution fines to the states.
— Research and publish a provisional system of direct carbon fuel rationing as a backup to the carbon fine system.
— Defend the EPA’s comprehensive system of carbon pollution regulations in the courts.

Phase IV: Implement the EPA’s carbon pollution regulatory framework. (2026-2050)

— Commence operation of prior agreements with the states for enforcement of the EPA’s anti-carbon regulations.
— Commence the collection of carbon pollution fines and the distribution of fine revenues to the states.
— Monitor the effectiveness of the EPA’s carbon regulatory framework in reducing America’s GHG emissions.
— Monitor the effectiveness of renewable energy projects in reducing America’s GHG emissions.
— Monitor the effectiveness of energy conservation programs in reducing America’s GHG emissions.
— Adjust the schedule of carbon pollution fines upward if progress in reducing America’s GHG emissions lags.
— Assess the possible need for invoking the provisional system of direct carbon fuel rationing.
— Defend the EPA’s system of carbon pollution regulations against emerging lawsuits.

Phase V: Implement the provisional system for direct carbon fuel rationing. (Start and End dates are contingent upon Phase IV progress.)

— Issue a presidential proclamation declaring that Phase IV anti-carbon measures cannot meet the 80% by 2050 target.
— Initiate the provisionally established system for imposing direct government control over production and distribution of all carbon fuels.
— Apply the Phase IV system of carbon pollution fines in escalating steps as needed to incentivize Phase V compliance.
— Defend the government-mandated carbon fuel rationing program in the courts.

Phase VI: Declare success in reducing America’s carbon emissions 80% by 2050. (If complete by 2050 or earlier.)

— Assess the need for continuing the EPA’s anti-carbon regulations and the US Government’s mandatory fuel rationing program beyond 2050.
— Defend the government’s anti-carbon measures against emerging lawsuits if these measures continue beyond 2050.

The Political Landscape of 2021 and Beyond:

If current polls are to be believed, Donald Trump will be soundly defeated in the 2020 election. Democrats will remain in control of the House of Representatives in 2021, and control of the Senate will probably pass into the hands of the Democrats as well. What will the Democrats do once they are back in full control of the federal government?

If past history is any guide, it is unlikely the Democrats in Congress will enact a legislated tax on carbon. It is just as unlikely the Congress will acknowledge the need for carbon fuel rationing if their massive spending on green energy projects isn’t achieving their carbon reduction targets.

So the question arises, is new legislation from the Congress needed to pursue a highly aggressive, nationally-enforced anti-carbon policy based on strict enforcement of the Clean Air Act?

The answer is no. Not another word of new legislation is needed from Congress to begin the process of greatly reducing America’s GHG emissions as far and as fast as climate change activists claim is necessary.

The Supreme Court has already ruled that the EPA has full authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate all sources of America’s carbon emissions. Furthermore, the court has ruled that the process used by the EPA in 2009 to determine that CO2 is a pollutant was properly followed.

Some history concerning’s previous efforts at pursuing climate lawsuits through the courts is in order.

Phase I of this plan, establishment of a legal basis for regulating carbon dioxide as a pollutant, was complete in 2012. The legal foundation needed to impose aggressive across-the-board regulation of all major sources of America’s carbon emissions remains in place awaiting the appearance of a president willing to use it.

When Barack Obama was Chief Executive, his Clean Power Plan and his other anti-carbon measures might have achieved possibly one-third of his Year 2050 GHG reduction goals. But the remainder depended upon a highly uncertain combination of accelerated technological advancements and raw unvarnished hope.

And yet, when President Obama had the opportunity and the means to move forward with the plan, he refused to go through with it. Nor were itself and the other climate activist groups willing to push hard for adoption of their 2009 plan after their initial victories in the courts.

From 2012 onward, climate activists could have worked closely with the EPA using the ‘sue and settle’ process to put their 2009 plan into effect. If the dangers of climate change are as severe as they claim, then why didn’t the activists go forward with it while they were still in control of the Executive Branch?

The Intersection of Climate Action Moral Obligation with Climate Action Policy:

Let’s examine the intersection of climate action moral obligation with climate action policy as it concerns those who have taken a strong stand in favor of the Green New Deal.

As currently envisioned, the Green New Deal will eliminate most forms of carbon-fueled transportation in favor of electric vehicles and passenger trains. The GND relies on wind and solar backed by batteries and by pumped-hydro storage to power all of these EV cars and trains.

As I said previously, most of the Democrats who now hold state and federal elective offices in California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington State support the Green New Deal. These politicians will have much greater influence if Democrats gain full control of the federal government in 2021.

Because Boeing builds jet airliners in Everett and Renton, let’s address the question of what role the large jet aircraft manufactured in Washington State will be playing once the Green New Deal is adopted as our national economic and energy policy.

1 – Jet airliners of the kind Boeing now manufactures cannot fly in a Green New Deal world. The GND recognizes this fact and shifts most air travel onto trains or onto other forms of EV-powered ground transportation.

2 – If Governor Jay Inslee and his likely successor Bob Ferguson are to act in accordance with their professed beliefs, they must demand that Boeing commit to developing and producing an airliner which does not emit carbon dioxide.

3 – If Boeing will not commit to producing a hydrogen-fueled or electric-powered airliner by the end of the 2020’s at the latest, then Inslee and Ferguson have a clear moral obligation to force an end to production of Boeing airliners in Washington State.

4 – If current jet airliners continue to fly into the early 2030’s, then GND-friendly politicians in California, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington must begin restricting the number of flights passing through the major airports located in their respective states.

Most voters in Washington State wouldn’t particularly care if Boeing was pushed out of the Northwest. Our regional businesses combined with the spending activities of a number of government agencies are easily capable of supporting the Northwest’s economy without Boeing’s presence.

On the other hand, the situation is different concerning what most Washington and Oregon residents might think about restricting air travel for business and for pleasure.

What happens in 2030 if you work in Seattle, Bellevue, Redmond, Spokane, or Portland and you can’t fly to Los Angeles or to San Francisco on business whenever you want to? What happens if you want to take a two-week vacation in Hawaii but the limited space available on airliners is booked eight months to a year in advance?

What if you run a tourist business in Honolulu and most of your customers must travel to Hawaii using a wind & solar-powered ocean liner, because airline flights are restricted and the large fossil-powered cruise ships have been banned from Hawaiian waters?

Furthermore, what if your tourists arrive in Hawaii after a two-week journey across the ocean only to discover that much of what had been a tropical forest is now covered with solar panels, wind turbines, and energy storage facilities?

All this said, the EPA, operating under the authority of the Clean Air Act, has determined that carbon dioxide is a dangerous pollutant if present in the atmosphere in excessive concentrations. The courts have given the EPA full authority to regulate all of America’s carbon emissions.

If Jay Inslee, Gavin Newsom, David Ige, Kate Brown, and our Representatives and Senators in Congress are to avoid taking extreme political heat for enforcing strong anti-carbon measures, they must do what current law and past practice demand they do, and that is to give the president and the EPA full responsibility for the tough job of reducing America’s carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050.

The Moral Imperatives of Climate Change Activism:

The climate activists who are pushing the Green New Deal have not yet been forced to come to grips with the basic conundrum of their own position regarding the true dangers of climate change.

As the activists are now promoting it, the Green New Deal can quickly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions while imposing little or no hardship on the American people. But what if the climate activists are wrong and their Green New Deal plan is completely unrealistic in how far and how fast it can actually go in reducing America’s GHG emissions?

If the dangers of climate change are real and are severe, and if quick action is needed to reduce America’s GHG emissions — but if the Green New Deal can’t get us there nearly as far and as fast as the climate activists say is necessary — then how could hardship and sacrifice not be demanded of the American people?

Phrasing the question of a moral imperative another way, if the Green New Deal won’t work, are the dangers of climate change so serious and so close on the horizon that GHG reductions must be quickly and forcefully imposed, not simply encouraged?

If this is indeed the case — if the massive new spending legislated under the Green New Deal doesn’t prove effective — then is there not a strong moral imperative to begin using the broad powers of the federal government in coercing the needed reductions?

Historically, over a period of more than forty years, the EPA operating under the authority of the Clean Air Act has been our most effective means of managing and coordinating the hard choices which have to be made in reducing emissions of substances identified as dangerous atmospheric pollutants.

Predicting that the Green New Deal won’t prove effective in actual practice — and assuming America’s voters won’t voluntarily commit to the necessary hardships and sacrifices if the GND can’t be made to work — then climate activists have no other choice but to impose their GHG reductions through aggressive enforcement of anti-carbon regulations.


Assume for purposes of argument that carbon emissions are in fact the main driver of climate change; that the dangers of climate change are in fact real and are severe; and that these dangers are close on the horizon if not here already.

The basic legal foundation necessary to quickly reduce America’s carbon emissions through aggressive anti-carbon regulation is already in place, waiting to be augmented by the enhanced set of regulatory tools needed to reduce America’s GHG emissions 80% by 2050. These enhanced regulatory tools are completely within the existing authority of the Executive Branch to develop and to enforce.

Assuming the dangers of climate change are in fact what the activists say they are, then what is currently lacking is a climate activist president and an EPA administrator who are willing to take the political heat for doing what current law and past historical practice demand should be done — to use the Clean Air Act to its maximum possible effectiveness in reducing our carbon emissions.

Reply to  Beta Blocker
August 17, 2019 7:04 pm

Assume for purposes of argument that carbon emissions are in fact the main driver of climate change;

No. Now why on Earth would anybody want me to do that. It would not have anything to do with getting me to tacitly concede the point, would it?

I find some problems with your stepwise plan. I shal fix it for you, starting with PHASE III.

PHASE III: Establish a fully comprehensive EPA-managed regulatory framework for carbon. (2023-2025) OK, so far

PHASE IV: Implement the EPA’s carbon pollution regulatory framework. (2026-2027)
Not to 2050, only to 2027

PHASE V: 2027 The economy of the United States collapses. The currency, the US Dollar is rendered worthless. All production halts, including agriculture. What was once a mighty country becomes Venezuela North. Famine is widespread.

End Note:
No serious person doubts that the US federal government is powerful enough to destroy the country using nothing more than Policy and Regulations. Either through abject stupidity or malicious intent, it makes no difference. The outcome is the same.

Clyde Spencer
August 17, 2019 7:59 pm

“… we know how many of miles of high-speed rail it will take to replace aviation.”

What about overseas flights? Will we build VERY long bridges, or tunnel under the bottom of the ocean?

Philip Timmons
Reply to  Clyde Spencer
August 19, 2019 9:07 am

Oversea flights are likely the last on the list and least of concern when you see how few actually occur compared to Domestic. (e.g. US to US, or even what is sometimes called CONUS). 90% of US flights are in the US to the US — and can all be replaced — Cheaper, Faster, Cleaner, Safer — with a combination of High Speed Rail and Tunnel/Tubing, such as Hyperloop.

After that, if it were still desirable to end burning Oil based fuels from Intercontinental Flights — Synthetic and Biofuels can handle the job without any additional Net Add to Carbon in the Air.

Nicholas McGinley
August 17, 2019 9:01 pm

Cannot wait to see Alexandria the riveter with a grease gun in her hands, standing on a production line.

Philip Timmons
August 19, 2019 4:57 am

Anyone check Timothy Nerenz’s math?

I follow he is trying to create an aura of impossible via drama — but some of his nonsense looks like it is off by an Order of Magnitude.

He really has no understanding of energy, the equipment, or underlying math — in his background, does he?


Johann Wundersamer
August 20, 2019 5:18 am

“the most underappreciated characteristic of the Greatest Generation’s astonishing World War II achievement – indeed its secret sauce – was the intellectual profile of the work-force that was repurposed to wartime industrial production. In 1940, less than 5% of the adult population held college degrees, leaving most of the right half of the IQ bell curve available for duty in the nation’s factories, mills, mines, ports, and terminals, where 600,000 private firms and 24 million bright young housewives and farmhands spontaneously ordered themselves overnight to win the “war on can’t”.

Indeed. Nazi Deutschland war ein Ständestaat. WWI was fought in hope to overcome the Ständestaat – which failed bitterly. The Nazis in now way wanted to fight for any other than a new – Ständestaat.

So the saying was “Es gibt Arbeiter der Stirn und es gibt Arbeiter der Faust.”

So the saying, “There are workers of the forehead and there are workers of the fist.”

the workers of the forehead sweat from the forehead from the effort to control the remaining 90% of the population, who’s sweat ran from the forehead due to the hard work they had to cope with.


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