Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach
I live in Sonoma County, one of the more “woke” counties in that “woker than you could ever hope to be” state, California. So of course, having solved all other problems, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors has declared a “climate emergency”.
Here’s their justification for saying it is an EMERGENCY!!!
“Climate change is the most critical issue we face today and we universally are not acting fast enough to avert substantial damage to the economy, environment, and human health in the coming decades,” said Board of Supervisors Chair David Rabbitt. “On a local level, we continue to experience extreme climate-related events, including six years of recent droughts, devastating wildfires, and severe flooding.
Oh, please. The weather is NOT the most critical issue we face in Sonoma County, that’s political bloviating. For one example, the county is approaching bankruptcy from paying the salaries and pensions of the ever-multiplying host of pluted bloatocrats holding government sinecures. Let’s see, which is more critical? Going bankrupt tomorrow OR maybe warming by a degree by 2050? Tough choice, I know.
Here’s another critical issue. The county seat is the town of Santa Rosa. It is on the list of the top five cities for total number of homeless—LA, San Francisco, Seattle, San Jose, and Santa Rosa. Seems kinda like a “critical issue” to me, our piss-ant town making the top five in the homelessness sweepstakes …
And in any case, the Supervisors are acting as if California has never had droughts, floods, or wildfires before. This is a joke, as any long-time resident can tell you. California is the home of all of the above in spades and always has been. Geologically, hundred-year droughts are not uncommon, so the whining of the Supes about “six years of recent droughts” merely reveals their ignorance of the subject.
The story continues:
The adopted resolution includes a directive to partner with Sonoma County’s Regional Climate Protection Authority (RCPA) to fight climate change by developing and implementing the 2030 Climate Emergency Mobilization Strategy. The Strategy will identify key local actions, including a list of the most impactful local policies to drive system changes and identify key areas for state level advocacy.
RCPA? Regional Climate Protection Authority? Say what? Never heard of it. But the authors explain it:
Sonoma County remains the only county in the United States to create a regional authority to coordinate and support climate action countywide. Formed in 2009, RCPA collaborates with local agencies on setting goals, pooling resources, and formalizing partnerships to create local solutions that complement state, federal, and private sector actions to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.
They say Sonoma is the “only county in the United States” to engage in this kind of feelgood insanity as if that were a good thing …
However, we can’t have unformalized partnerships in Sonoma County, I guess. Here are their mission and vision statements …
RCPA leads a local government coalition to mobilize regional climate action in Sonoma County.
Sonoma County is united in taking bold action to fight the climate crisis.
Whoa, hang on, keep your hands and feet inside the car, we’re taking “bold action” against the “climate crisis” now!
In passing, I do love how “global warming” morphed into “climate change” and then a totally imaginary “climate crisis” and a “climate emergency” … but in any case, here’s a reasonable response for those who believe in such things as a current “climate emergency”:
Data quoted in the graphic above is from “Assessing ICT [Information and Communication Technology] global emissions footprint: Trends to 2040 & recommendations” Available on Sci-Hub here.
But I digress, let me return to Sonoma County. From everything I’ve been able to read about the RCPA, it doesn’t actually PRODUCE anything. Instead, it “coordinates”. It “supports”. It “collaborates”. It “enables”. It “mobilizes”. It “develops strategies”. It “engages in dialog”.
In short, near as I can tell, it’s the usual infinitely expandable bureaucratic climate wankfest, with no measurable deliverables of any kind. The RCPA’s activities seem mostly to be enabling and supporting the predictably endless string of multi-organization quackathons, those get-togethers where everyone drones on interminably, nobody says anything real, people surreptitiously check the time, goals are agreed on that will never be met, the date for the next meeting is chosen, congratulations are solemnly exchanged, and on to the next one.
I foolishly figured that I couldn’t get more depressed or aggravated, so I might as well soldier on to look at the RCPA funding. Ha. Mistake. The RCPA is funded by a combination of money taken from electric ratepayers plus taxpayer dollars and a few private grants. I got to thinking about how much this RCPA was costing me and all of my taxpaying, ratepaying amigos, us local poor schlubs expected to cough up the $ for all of this. So I looked up the RCPA salaries … YIKES!
I find out that the RCPA is made up of twelve people who have obviously been very successful in getting on the government gravy train. Their average total compensation is just under $140,000 per year. That’s $70 per hour. And the RCPA Executive Director is drawing a cool quarter million bucks per year to be in charge of all of that difficult coordination, support, mobilization, and collaboration.
Seems like it’s all Chiefs and no
Indians Native Americans, though. There’s an Executive Director, three Directors, two Senior Planners, one Planner, one Analyst, two Specialists, and two Assistants. The lowest-paid is one of the Assistants, who has to struggle along on $22 per hour.
Consider. Just between just the twelve of them, not counting any other costs, just the salaries and benefits of the twelve RCPA personnel, we’re spending $1,670,000 per year. One million six hundred and seventy thousand dollars spent on people to do coordination, mobilization, support, and collaboration.
PER YEAR! Not just once, but every year!
Not only that, but there is another $ megabuck plus in their annual budget for projects, meetings, computers and office equipment, transportation and the like. Total is about two million seven per year for the entire circus including salaries.
On my planet, that’s not a “Climate Protection Authority”. That’s a “Climate Protection Racket”, as in:
Hey, that’s a real nice climate ya got there!. It’d sure be a shame if something should happen to it. Yeah, that would be a tragedy. But for just a mere few million a year, we can keep that from happening …
I’m sorry, but this is nothing other than the expiation of some liberal guilt allied with the usual financial concupiscence of government rent-seekers. Because one thing is undeniably true:
There’s no way that those twelve people are giving us back anywhere near $2,700,000 in value each and every year …
… and meanwhile, Sonoma County doesn’t even have enough money to fill the potholes. Seriously. A now-retired Sonoma County Supervisor famously said: “We can’t fill the potholes because all the money is going to pay the pensions of one generation of government workers” … doesn’t bode well for the future.
One thing is for sure:
People around here can’t afford to keep spending twenty-seven million hard-earned taxpayer and ratepayer dollars per decade to engage in climate virtue signaling.
And that’s all it is, climate virtue signaling. Here’s why.
Assume for the moment that the whole “CO2 Roolz Temperature!” hypothesis is true, as mainstream climate scientists assume. Using their calculations, if the entire US went to zero CO2 emissions tomorrow, it would only make a difference of a tenth of a degree in 2050.
Sonoma County emissions of CO2 are about 0.05% of US emissions. So if Sonoma County went to zero emissions today, it MIGHT, I repeat might, make the world five ten-thousandths of one degree C (0.0005°C) cooler in the year 2050.
But Sonoma County isn’t going to zero emissions any time soon. The RCPA’s goal is to get local emissions down to 25% of their 1990 values by 2050. That would only produce cooling of about a ten-thousandth of one degree (0.0001°C, or 0.0002°F).
Since governmental bodies never die, we can assume that just on this one climate boondoggle we’ll be paying the $2.7 million per year until 2050. Three decades, 27 million per decade, call it $81 million for a POSSIBLE cooling of 0.0001°C. And the money for the RCPA is only a small fraction of the expense to the common citizen of achieving that CO2-free future fantasy …
Folks say “But we need to be an example for the rest of the world!” Most countries aren’t that stupid. The Chinese and the Indians are gonna do what is best for their people, and more power to them. But they won’t spend $81 million dollars to maybe get 0.0005°C of cooling in 30 years.
Folks also say “Think of it as an insurance policy” … but an insurance policy actually pays off. In this case, the maximum possible return for our $81 million “insurance premium” is a cooling too small to even measure. What kind of “insurance” is that, huge premium, tiny payout?
The ugly news is, in Sonoma County, we’re stuck spending $ twenty-seven million dollars per decade $ for … well … nothing.
Madness … we have plenty of real problems today here in Sonoma County, and not enough money, time, or human resources to engage in this foolish waste.