On the Climate Road to Serfdom


Medieval illustration of men harvesting wheat with reaping-hooks, on a calendar page for August. Queen Mary’s Psalter – Source: Wikimedia

The political world is saying “no” to policies that make energy less available, more expensive, less reliable, and more intrusive. Hyperbole of peak demand is going the way of Peak Oil as the hydrocarbon production boom creates its own demand.

Little wonder that compared to 1988 when global warming became a political issue, U.S. fossil-fuel consumption has grown 13 percent despite generous government subsidies to ethanol, wind power, and solar power.

In fact, growth in carbon-based energies in the last 30 years almost matches the total production of these three subsidized renewables, according to statistics compiled by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Overall, the market share of carbon-based energy is a robust 80 percent US and 85 percent globally. This percentage will increase, not decrease, should subsidy fatigue and grassroots pushback against land-intensive solar and wind installations grow.

But rather than check their premises (mineral energies are winning for inherent reasons), climate activists find themselves arguing not only against market capitalism but also democracy and the self-interested preferences of everyday people.

Capitalism is destroying the Earth,” a columnist in The Guardian states. “Ending climate change requires the end of capitalism,” another Guardian piece exclaims. But this is only the beginning.

Edward Luce, US national editor of the Financial Timesopines that “Democracies are ill-suited to deal with climate change.” Harvard University’s Naomi Oreskes recently recommended a media blackout of industry views in favor of those of climate activists.

“The fossil-fuel industry exploited the journalistic ideals of fairness, objectivity and particularly the idea of balance to manipulate journalists into presenting what was essentially propaganda,” Oreskes argues. Censorship is called for.

All previous electronic media – radio, telephone, television – have been regulated. There’s absolutely no reason why this newest form should not be regulated. And people who cry “free speech! free speech!” are ignoring history.

So who would regulate the regulators? Imagine all the lobbying shops in Washington, DC, determining what can be said about climate physics, climate models, and climate economics—and “good” energy and climate policy.

Short of censorship, fooling the public seems to be part of the climate playbook. Climatologist/activist Andrew Dessler tweeted:

Economists love transparency. Rational actors want to know exactly how much everything is costing them so they can make optimal decisions about allocating resources. In politics, though, transparency is a negative. If you open your electricity bill and it says “Carbon tax: $20”, it’s hard to argue that it’s not costing you $20.

A politician can then come along and say, “This $20 tax is killing our economy and costing us jobs — we need to repeal it” and a lot of people will agree. That makes it hard to enact and sustain such a policy.

From a political standpoint, a more opaque policy is actually superior [because] … you have no idea how much it costs. Politicians can argue that it’s costing a lot, but other people can argue the opposite … who’s right?

Opaque policies should be easier to enact and safer once implemented. I think economist’s love of market-based solutions to climate needs to meet the reality of politics.

Can a political candidate or party be honest and open given the pay-now proposition of regulating carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions? “I don’t know how you talk about it and be truthful and also win votes,” lamented one professor of environmental politics.

Dangerous Worldview

The above goosesteps down the climate road to serfdom is not new. Back in 1954, ecologist Harrison Brown opined:

It seems clear that the first major penalty man will have to pay for his rapid consumption of the earth’s nonrenewable resources will be that of having to live in a world where his thoughts and actions are ever more strongly limited, where social organization has become all pervasive, complex, and inflexible, and where the state completely dominates the actions of the individual.

This quotation, resurrected by Paul and Anne Ehrlich and John Holdren in their 1973 treatise, Human Ecology (p. 388), is but one example of the Malthusian/neo-Malthusian virus that has predicted doom for mankind against the alleged limits to nature for centuries.

A Better View

Free-market wealth-is-health and market anticipation of and adaptation to weather extremes and changing climate, natural or anthropogenic, is the clear direction for energy and climate policy.

Julian Simon noted that “human creation is greater than human destruction, in the sense that our environment is becoming progressively more hospitable to humankind.” Continuing:

The movement away from equilibrium is a movement toward safety and sustenance. The progress carries with it some undesirable features for a while, but eventually we get around to fixing them.

Alex Epstein has also emphasized in The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels (p. 126) how “the popular climate discussion has the issue backward.”

It looks at man as a destructive force for climate livability, one who makes the climate dangerous because we use fossil fuels. In fact, the truth is the exact opposite; we don’t take a safe climate and make it dangerous; we take a dangerous climate and make it safe. High-energy civilization, not climate, is the driver of climate livability.

In fact, the statistics of weather, climate, and general welfare indicate that the world is getting better, not worse, for the great majority of people. Climate-related deaths have fallen precipitously in the last century, a time when atmospheric CO2 concentrations increased by nearly one-third. In terms of general human progress, the last decade was particularly remarkable.


The alarmists are just about out of tricks in their quixotic quest to substitute inferior, stifling energies for better ones—and give government carte blanche in the process.

It is high time to exit the climate road to serfdom. Would-be President Bernie Sanders might be ready to nationalize the energy industry, while climate campaigners lobby to restrict free speech and otherwise try to fool voters. But for civil libertarians, economic conservatives, and classical liberals, exposure, education, and denunciation are in order.

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John Tillman
January 20, 2020 2:13 pm

To me, a reaping hook is a sickle, but maybe I suffer from bisyllablism.

John McClure
Reply to  John Tillman
January 20, 2020 3:01 pm

Maybe you haven’t paid attention!

The UN Agendas aren’t nor have ever been insightful.

21 to 30 to future nonsense, these criminal delusional schemes have cost honest souls to pay for nothing.

California has a law which condemns anything to do with UN agendas 21 etc.

They were raped by the ignorance and will not tolerate any more ignorance from UN fools!

Fool us once…

Reply to  John McClure
January 20, 2020 4:10 pm

JM: “California has a law which condemns anything to do with UN agendas 21” I am not aware of any such law. Can you cite it please? Have you read Agenda 21? California is going down the Agenda 21 path whether they say so or not.

Charles Higley
Reply to  markl
January 21, 2020 4:01 am

It makes no difference if California rejects or has rejected Agenda 21. They are doing all the needs of Agenda 21 anyhow, top down with Agenda 21 times and bottom up with ICLEI principles. Essentially, they are doing it anyway independently.

John McClure
Reply to  markl
January 22, 2020 7:52 am

Governor Brown outlawed the Development Corporations necessary to implement unconstitutional bond practices.

See the following related to Bay Area litigation:

Taxation without representation is one of the unconstitutional issues.

Reply to  John McClure
January 21, 2020 8:51 am
Reply to  John Tillman
January 20, 2020 6:06 pm

reaping hook noun
variants: or reap hook
Definition of reaping hook
: a hand implement with a hook-shaped blade used in reaping : SICKLE”

I never used a sickle or reaping hook.
I did use a scythe quite a bit; even hand harvesting an acre of wheat just to test the hypothesis of raising and harvesting grain without machinery..
A pivotal moment when I stopped believing doom preppers and back to the stone age quacks.
I still have my original ‘Whole Earth Catalog’…

Harvesting the wheat with a scythe wasn’t hard.
Separating wheat seeds from the heads then ridding them of the chaff was. Especially during the windless 95°F days wearing a coating of wheat chaff.

Reply to  ATheoK
January 22, 2020 6:25 am

Threshing and winnowing wheat by hand is hard work and labor intensive.
Builds quite an appetite. I still remember my grandmother using the phrase “eats like a thresher”.
Modern “combine harvestors” (integrated reaping, threshing and winnowing machines) were a huge improvement in ag productivity and feeding the masses.

Reply to  John Tillman
January 20, 2020 6:39 pm

But climate alarmism is non-sickle.

Andre Den Tandt
Reply to  John Tillman
January 20, 2020 8:07 pm

They used both a reaping hook and a sickle. As a child during the war in Belgium I saw both used quite deftly, one to cut, the other to collect the cut grain into a sheef-sized bundle. Thrashing was done on the ground, with flails, followed by treatment in the fanning-mill to separate the grain from the chaff.

Reply to  Andre Den Tandt
January 21, 2020 7:52 am

Reaping hook and sickle were not exactly the same. Check out Eric Sloane’s books and illustrations on pre-industrial tools and farming implements. If I could get images from my phone to post in a thread I would show some examples. Hand made tools were designed for specific purposes, carpenter’s tools being a very specialized category, broken down among what, specifically, said carpenter’s jobs were, ie shipbuilders, house builders, cabinet makers, furniture makers, coopers, etc etc. Farm implements were also quite unique as to task. Now see, done got me off on another tangent, been studying this for a project going this spring for a friend who does Colonial Era re-enactments.

Reply to  John Tillman
February 2, 2020 1:06 pm

John Tillman January 20, 2020 at 2:13 pm

To me, a reaping hook is a sickle:



John V. Wright
January 20, 2020 2:14 pm

Nice piece, Robert, thank you. By the way, those reaping hooks in your caption are known as sickles here in the U.K. Like scythes, there is a knack to using them.

Reply to  John V. Wright
January 20, 2020 2:40 pm

Interesting the focus on the word sickle.

Not so far from the hammer and sickle….

Chris Hanley
Reply to  a_scientist
January 20, 2020 3:30 pm

There is the irony that while the Marxist-Leninist Soviet Union was progressive in promising the masses a future utopia based on industry and technology, tractors instead of scythes, with slogans like “Communism is Soviet power plus electrification”comment image the modern iteration turns the whole ideology on its head forcing de-industrialisation and threatening catastrophe.
The common factor is thirst for power.

Reply to  a_scientist
January 21, 2020 2:12 am


Reply to  a_scientist
February 2, 2020 1:13 pm

far from Hummer and bicycle …

January 20, 2020 2:39 pm

I am ill suited to be a “serf”, I am well trained, well educated, well armed and fully capable of manufacturing propellants and ammunition in bulk. Oh, and I know how to farm. Perhaps they should reconsider their “master plan”, I seem to remember someone else with one of those and it did not work out so well for them.

Tom Foley
Reply to  2hotel9
January 20, 2020 3:49 pm

2hotels9: So you are a modern serf, slaving in a munitions factory? Or a typical gun-toting American? In either case, you may actually be a ‘serf’ in someone’s ‘master plan’.

Reply to  Tom Foley
January 20, 2020 4:21 pm

Deliberately obtuse. Unbecoming.

Reply to  Tom Foley
January 20, 2020 4:39 pm

Sure, buddy, perhaps you should go talk with a few of the people who have tried to make me part of their master plans, see how that worked out for them.

John Tillman
Reply to  Tom Foley
January 20, 2020 4:51 pm

The opposite of a serf. He can make his own munitions, and doesn’t rely on a lord telling him which arms he can bear. So rather than pruning hooks, pitchforks, scythes and sickles, he can arm himself with the modern equipment of sword and spear, the better to resist the oppressing power.

Reply to  John Tillman
January 20, 2020 5:23 pm

No problem with pruning hooks, pitchforks, scythes and sickles. A freeman’s arsenal is filled with all manner of weapons, an extensive library being foremost among them.

John Tillman
Reply to  2hotel9
January 20, 2020 5:39 pm

Right you are. Even before the printing press started freeing serfs from authority of Church and State, our peasant ancestors were well armed with dual purpose technology.

So well adapted to warfare were some ag implements that the standard English late Medieval weapons was a version of the billhook, a pruning implement, attached to a long pole. It proved superior to the similar but more complicated halberd and simpler but longer pike.

Reply to  John Tillman
January 20, 2020 6:08 pm

Having pruned no few apple and pear trees with a billhook, and cut quite a bit of brush along fence lines, I see why they so naturally were used for, well, other purposes.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  2hotel9
January 20, 2020 6:15 pm

Yes, some martial arts weapons, such as nunchucks, were derived from farming implements. What defines a weapon is how it is used.

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
January 21, 2020 7:30 am

Assault weapon: any item used in the commission of an assault.

John Tillman
Reply to  2hotel9
January 21, 2020 8:59 am

Both the scythe and sickle are included in 16th century book on martial arts by fencing master and official P. H. Mair of Augsburg:


The cost of his publishing his opus led him to embezzle public funds, for which theft he was hanged in 1579.

Reply to  John Tillman
January 21, 2020 3:27 pm

Thats a good one, the shine of others gelt led him astray.

Reply to  John Tillman
January 20, 2020 5:37 pm

Small groups, no matter how proficient their martial skills, almost always lose to much larger groups. The Romans conquered the tribes of Gaul because they were unified, bigger and had a common purpose while the Gauls were more civilized, and militarily equivalent but fractured. Small and valiant versus big and relentless usually plays out the same and it ain’t pretty. One of the unpalatable aspects of human biology is that all sorts of ignoble strategies result in reproductive success. Sovereigns, clergy and tyrants of all description have never had difficulty finding those who will turn against their own people for personal gain. Given the energy expended over the millenia on subduing slaves, serfs, democrats, freedom fighters, nationalists, etc., it would be very surprising if a tendency to treachery was not rampant in our genes. It is important to be able to defend yourself, but everybody is defenseless without friends and allies.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  BCBill
January 21, 2020 4:59 am

I think you will find that for the large group to win long term, they need to assimilate the smaller group into the culture and government. The Romans did not just conquer and subjugate. They turned the conquered lands into a province and set up locals in the government both at home and in Rome. Vietnam is a perfect example of failure due to the strategy of hegemony. The French and then the Americans could not control the people. Small groups of armed people can melt into the crowd and then reappear at the worst time. The 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution was written to ensure the government could not ever gain control over the populace.

John Tillman
Reply to  BCBill
January 21, 2020 6:43 am

In 58 BC, Italia had more people than Gaul, and could call on resources from other parts of the republic, but not enough of a population and wealth advantage to guarantee successful conquest.

Gaul’s key lacks were political unity and military organization, training, discipline and equipment.

Of an estimated pre-invasion Gaulish population of five million, Caesar’s legions killed a million people and enslaved another million. The Romans subjugated 300 clans and destroyed 800 cities during the Gallic Wars. The entire population of the city of Avaricum (Bourges) was slaughtered, some 40,000 in all. Before Caesar’s campaign against the Helvetii (from present-day Switzerland), the tribe had numbered 263,000, but afterwards only 100,000 remained, most of whom Romans took as slaves.

Gaul paid a terrible price for disunity and neglect of its defenses, eventually losing not just life and liberty, but language and culture. Celtic influence on modern French is shockingly little. Best known examples are how “70” and “90” are formed. Other instances:


Germanic languages (not just Frankish, and including English) have had a greater influence on French than Celtic:


Reply to  BCBill
January 21, 2020 7:27 am

Democrat Party tried to use that “tendency to treachery” yesterday in Richmond and failed miserably. Wonder if they will figure out they are on the wrong side of history? Doubt it.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  BCBill
January 21, 2020 9:32 am

“Climate Scientists” (N) – those who will turn against their own people for personal gain.

Reply to  AGW is Not Science
January 21, 2020 3:12 pm

Like George Soros? He is quite proud of helping to round up his fellow Jews and stealing their money and property.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  BCBill
January 21, 2020 10:00 am

Then there’s the exception of the American Revolution.

John Tillman
Reply to  BCBill
January 21, 2020 1:15 pm


Britain did indeed greatly outnumber the rebelling North American colonies. The population of Great Britain and Ireland in 1780 was approximately 12.6 million, while subjects in the Thirteen Colonies numbered only some 2.8 million, of whom around 500,000 were slaves. But many factors kept the UK from fielding a large army.

Even before France, Spain and the Netherlands formally allied with the US in 1778, the Continental Army, Patriot militia forces and Indian allies defeated the British Army, its German mercenaries, Tory militia and Indian allies in the North, and were holding our own in the South. France, Spain and the Netherlands secretly helped us before the Treaty of Alliance led to direct involvement.

In terms of troops actually fighting in America, the US was not greatly outnumbered, if at all on average. Washington blew it on Long Island and Manhattan in August and September 1776, but we managed to survive those disasters.

The French landed at Newport, Rhodes Island in July 1780. A small force of Continentals and Patriot militia under Daniel Morgan used Nathanael Greene’s tactics to win the Battle of Cowpens, SC in January 1781, forcing Cornwallis to withdraw through NC to VA. Washington’s forces there united with the French marching south from RI for victory at Yorktown in October, aided by the French navy.

Greene was practically the only original thinker among generals on both sides in the war. Washington’s disdain for cavalry arguably cost us Long Island and NYC. His concept of conventional war then included only the infantry and artillery arms, plus espionage and some engineers. He did come later to appreciate the need for cavalry.

His decision to vaccinate the army however did contribute to victory. While not a great battlefield commander, he did provide inspirational leadership, holding a poorly supplied army together until it could be better drilled, if never adequately provisioned.

Morgan’s riflemen were instrumental at Saratoga, where we won control of the North and convinced European powers to get their own back against Britain for defeat in the Seven Years’ War (largely coterminous with our French and Indian War).

Reply to  2hotel9
January 21, 2020 3:37 am

I think you would be deemed a Kulak.
A main focus of Marxism is the struggle between the worker and the elites. But there was also others. These were Kulaks, free peasants who owned small farms and maybe a few workers. Stalin hammered the Kulaks.
In Australia i consider the modern kulak to be the tradie business owner. Working class plumbers and electricians who now employ a few workers. The saviour of the working class the Australian Labor Party are now screwing them over.

Reply to  Waza
January 21, 2020 7:24 am

Any political party with “labor” in its name is going to screw everyone, it is what leftist ideology always does. As for the Kulaks, they were useful to the new regime, until they weren’t. Stalin especially targeted them to cement his sway over the city dwelling masses, telling the city people the Kulaks were hoarding crops and refusing to bring them into city market areas. A blatant lie, of course, and highly effective. The Kulaks had no readily available network of communications between each are they were concentrated in, so Stalin was able to send NKVD to “collectivize” each enclave without word spreading until most had been attacked and subsumed.

Here in America we like to communicate, turn off the internet and we have radios, jam radio and we know how to locate and eliminate its sources. We are veterans, farmers, builders, mechanics, doctors, engineers, pilots, fabricators and freemen. As Virginia’s government found out yesterday, we are not the problem, they are.

January 20, 2020 2:40 pm

Propaganda of any sort only works if the intended target doesn’t become a victim. Some people believe that wind and solar can provide all the energy needed without sacrificing anything so they never see themselves becoming a victim of energy lapse despite the movement towards those generation methods costing them dearly and being unreliable. When reality sets in they’ll be the first to demand that everyone share the same misfortune and watch as those remaining on fossil fuels prosper. The blowback will be fierce and the alarmists know democracy will win in the end so just like disarming the populace is the new mantra taking away representative government is next.

Curious George
January 20, 2020 2:53 pm

“The political world is saying “no” to policies that make energy less available, more expensive, less reliable, and more intrusive.”
Are you on Planet A? Here on Planet B, they say Yes – enthusiastically.

not you
Reply to  Curious George
January 20, 2020 7:10 pm

““The political world is saying “no” to policies that make energy less available, more expensive, less reliable, and more intrusive.”

yeah, that i don’t know where the author is getting that from.

the state that oppresses (hawaii) me is committed to 100% green renewable by 2050, which is bat shit crazy.

electricity rates are already sky high here, at least 2x the national average standing at .28 per kwh, plus fees. residential electric bills of $500 a month are not uncommon if you use a/c.

January 20, 2020 3:00 pm

My dad grew up on a farm. He also liked to save things. He had a couple of farm implements that he stored in the rafters of our garage and one was a sickle. I never thought about how one would be used, and it looks like back breaking work.

Anyway, here is a good piece about the virtual impossibility of replacing fossil fuels in the near term.


January 20, 2020 3:03 pm

Little wonder that compared to 1988 when global warming became a political issue, U.S. fossil-fuel consumption has grown 13 percent despite generous government subsidies to ethanol, wind power, and solar power.

OK, since then the population has grown about 25%. Thanks to technology, we’re doing more with less.

Between 1977 and 2001, the amount of material required to meet all needs of Americans fell from 1.18 trillion pounds to 1.08 trillion pounds, even though the country’s population increased by 55 million people. Al Gore similarly noted in 1999 that since 1949, while the economy tripled, the weight of goods produced did not change. link

Buckminster Fuller was right. Malthus, The Club of Rome, Ehrlich and all the other doomsters were wrong. The path forward is to continue to promote prosperity. It’s much better for the environment.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  commieBob
January 20, 2020 7:34 pm

“Buckminster Fuller was right. Malthus, The Club of Rome, Ehrlich and all the other doomsters were wrong. The path forward is to continue to promote prosperity. It’s much better for the environment.”

The world’s population appears to be leveling off in nations that have reached a certain level of affluence.

That level of affuence seems to be related to the available amount, and cost, of the electricity. People who worry about overpopulation should focus on getting electricity to every person on the planet as soon as possible.


Reply to  Tom Abbott
January 21, 2020 4:04 am

Babies per women correlates very well with national wealth.
The more educated the women, the more women in the work force, the more prosperous the nation and the lower the population rates.
Providing quality infrastructure such as reticulated water and sewer, roads, public transport and grid based electricity to the undeveloped nations is the best way to get girls in school.

January 20, 2020 3:08 pm

You can add John Cusak and by extension Bernie Sanders to the list of people who want to get rid of capitalism in order to save the world.


This was spoken at a rally for Sanders.

Reply to  MarkW
January 20, 2020 3:14 pm

Has little Johnnie given away his personal fortune? No? Okey dokey, then.

Reply to  2hotel9
January 20, 2020 3:33 pm

The climate crisis is the first thing on the minds of all the Davos attendees, after they step off their private jets.

Ed MacAulay
Reply to  Scissor
January 20, 2020 5:16 pm

Canadian Business magazine has a different take.
That climate change is not in the top 10 concerns of CEOs.

In its annual report ahead of the gathering in Davos, financial services group PwC said climate change and environmental issues are ranked as the 11th biggest threat to their companies’ growth prospects. Though up one spot from the same survey a year ago, climate-related issues lag way behind other concerns such as over-regulation, which ranks as the number 1 worry. Other concerns in the top 10 include trade conflicts, lack of skills among workers and populism in politics.

Reply to  Scissor
January 20, 2020 5:45 pm

Oh, I bet most are looking for lavabo and saloon before crawling into their limousines to go to their hotel. Hopefully all the brown M&Ms have been picked from their candy bowls!

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Scissor
January 21, 2020 5:23 am

“The climate crisis is the first thing on the minds of all the Davos attendees, after they step off their private jets.”

I heard President Trump giving a speech at Davos a little over an hour ago, and he was talking about “alarmists!” and failed predictions! I had to laugh! Trump sounded like he is a regular reader of WUWT! 🙂

January 20, 2020 3:13 pm

The CBC had a full interview of an “investigative” reporter hailing from The Narwhal about an oil sand project.
The CBC has a duty to explicit the affiliation of the person interviewed. They did not. So a poster had to do it for them:
The Narwhal was created by the Desmog team, the outfit that was created by Hoggan & Associates, backers and at one time chairman of the David Suzuki Foundation.
Beside being censored many times, the CBC has now banned access to comments to the user. CBC is a taxpayer funded public broadcaster. They disguise their advocacy pretending it is information.
Bottom line: CBC cannot be trusted.

Reply to  TomRude
January 20, 2020 4:13 pm

Fortunately, few people bother with the CBC any more:


Unfortunately, the CBC continues to feed off of the Canadian taxpayer.

Reply to  TomRude
January 20, 2020 4:35 pm

Can someone explain why people watch the CBC? Our TV equivalent in the US, PBS, is viewed by a couple of elderly ladies in Portland and their cats. I must confess, though, I’m a fan of Antiques Roadshow. Who wouldn’t be?

The public radio network, NPR, is geared to upper-income professionals who vote “Democrat.” These people have little time for rank propaganda, instead preferring left-side current events with a bit of color and humor. That said, these listeners, of which there are many, are an odd bunch. On the one hand, they’re keen to hear about middle-American traditions and cultural practices. On the other, they disdain actual middle Americans.

Reply to  Adam
January 20, 2020 6:02 pm

I never watched much CBC but I was raised on CBC radio. It used to have brilliant hosts like Peter Gzowski, Barbara Frum (look for her interview of Idi Amin for a bit of journalistic brilliance) , Jack Farr, Paul Kennedy and others. At its best CBC unified the country by giving access to people across our vast geographic area so that we could understand what united us. For example, Jack Farr showed that love of giant pumpkins was a common Canadian trait. Sadly, it has been decades since the CBC reported on anything rural. What unifies Canada now is apparently a multitude of genders, competitive victimitude and a fear of being warmer. In short, CBC replaced brilliant minds with mouldy puffed wheat. I still listen occasionally because I just cannot believe that a cherished institution could become so foully degenerate. Without a common link for those of us not interested in sexual politics, Canada is fracturing. I suspect that if the US was on the ball, any halfway decent offer could entice Alberta, Saskatchewan and rural BC, to jump ship to the US.

Reply to  BCBill
January 21, 2020 8:27 am

I’m not sure by what process Alberta et al. would become part of the US. A referendum would certainly be a start.

The Democrats would try to block it unless they were given, say, Puerto Rico.

Reply to  BCBill
January 21, 2020 8:46 am

Oddly, our unincorporated area may attempt to switch counties, as our current situation resembles an abusive relationship. The big sticking points will be pensions and bond obligations, and how those are divided.

John Tillman
Reply to  BCBill
January 21, 2020 9:49 am

Plus southern Manitoba, western and SE Ontario (less Toronto) and bits of the Maritimes.

Referenda in Canada and federal legislation in the US could effect the transfer of these provinces and regions from the monarchical Dominion to the republican Union.

Reply to  BCBill
January 21, 2020 3:10 pm

Yes, there once was brilliance at CBC. The only reason I check it now is because there simply is no other source of Canadian information.
CBC uses so much misinformation/disinformation that their license ought to be revoked, but it seems no one is willing to go to the trouble.

January 20, 2020 4:02 pm

“Democracies are ill-suited to deal with climate change.” Harvard University’s Naomi Oreskes”

Yes of course. Democracies are ill suited for the success of totalitarian agendas. This is why we need democracy. It protects us from the evils of unfettered activism agendas of special interest groups.

As in climate change for example. Where the need for unfettered activism exposes the pretension to science.


Reply to  Chaamjamal
January 21, 2020 1:20 am

“Democracies are ill-suited to deal with climate change.” Harvard University’s Naomi Oreskes

Translation: Progressives like me should be in charge.

Reply to  Graemethecat
January 21, 2020 8:57 am

The Progressive admiration for authoritarian regimes is not at all new. The alleged problem(s) which require an authoritarian solution have, of course, changed over time. I seem to recall that Mussolini’s Italy was seen as a model of efficiency by American progressives, who advocated for fascism here.

January 20, 2020 4:42 pm
Reply to  Zoe Phin
January 20, 2020 5:07 pm

Excellent indeed.

January 20, 2020 5:07 pm

It really is amazing how to a socialist, no matter what the problem, the answer is always “end capitalism”.

Reply to  MarkW
January 20, 2020 5:51 pm

I wish we could send them for a year abroad to Venezuela, North Korea or Cuba.

Reply to  MarkW
January 20, 2020 11:03 pm


Some people think that the global warming/climate change extremists are just scientifically wrong. I challenge that view – nobody could be this stupid for this long – they have an extreme-left totalitarian agenda.

By Allan M.R. MacRae, B.A.Sc., M.Eng., September 20, 2019

Radical greens have used wildly exaggerated scary stories of runaway global warming and climate change to stampede the gullible, in order to achieve their political objectives.

The absolute lunacy of the Green New Deal and its delusional acolytes is now clear – global warming alarmism and green energy nonsense was never about the climate – it was always a false narrative, a smokescreen for the totalitarian objectives of the extreme left. Once the left controls our energy supply, they control everything in our society – it will be “One Man, One Vote, Once!” – the end of freedom.

Reply to  MarkW
January 20, 2020 11:29 pm

Not always accurate.
There was a Socialist group that decided to do barter instead. Barter is the basic core of capitalism. So they adopted a purer form of capitalism that didn’t require a Communist banker to validate their finances.

Reply to  David
January 21, 2020 3:52 am

Socialist barter – all is equal.
Farmer pays two eggs for haircut.
Barber pays two eggs to neurosurgeon to operate on son.
Neurosurgeon pays two eggs for builder for new swimmer pool.

Bryan A
Reply to  Waza
January 21, 2020 10:28 am

Time to stop eating eggs, they’re too valuable

Reply to  David
January 21, 2020 8:10 am

There is nothing communistic about banks.
If you think that barter is better than using money, you have never lived in a society based on barter.

John Tillman
Reply to  MarkW
January 21, 2020 2:31 pm

Money has repeatedly been invented because barter is inconvenient at best, impractical most of the time and impossible at worst.

Japan and Russia tried bartering manufactured goods for lumber, but their transactions relied on dollar equivalent values. A medium of exchange is the way to go.

Reply to  John Tillman
January 21, 2020 3:08 pm

A “currency” of some form most exist, otherwise trade outside of a local community could not be done. Some form of valuation of products/produce must exist across boundaries, whether they be between farms, villages or oceans. That is how humans function, like it or not.

John Tillman
Reply to  MarkW
January 21, 2020 6:12 am

The NZ PM, an only slightly older version of our own kook Ocasio, says that homelessness proves that capitalism has failed. Few systems in the world have defeated insanity and substance addiction. Not even authoritarian, draconian Singapore. The USSR was plagued by alcoholism and drug abuse. People froze to death in the streets.

shortus cynicus
Reply to  MarkW
January 21, 2020 11:55 pm

Capital means savings. Savings are unconsumed resources, for example machinery, buildings, personal health.
Ending capitalism is basically an idea to consume everything to the limit of emptiness, without thinking about future.
So basically ending capitalism means total mindless destruction of everything, including natural resources.
If anyone doubts, look how socialist countries took care of nature dumping all the waste direct into rivers and ground.

Brett McS
January 20, 2020 5:12 pm

The Buckley quote seems particularly apt: “I Would Rather Be Governed By the First 2,000 People in the Telephone Directory than by the Harvard University Faculty”.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Brett McS
January 21, 2020 10:01 am

Love that! And how true!

Of course, the same could be said for probably every “university” today, sadly!

Craig Moore
January 20, 2020 5:38 pm

Serf boards and bi sickles. What’s not to like? Washington’s guv and Seattle’s mayor are bringing a collective near you… and require genuflection and rote repeating statements of contentment. Reminds me of the 60’s episode of Startrek with Landru. Meanwhile Seattle and the Puget Sound communities down to Olympia are dying with ever expanding homeless camps.

Charles Higley
January 20, 2020 5:55 pm

“I think economist’s love of market-based solutions to climate needs to meet the reality of politics.”

This is not even a sentence. No one noticed?

‘I think economists’ love market-based solutions to climate needs …… .’ Fixed it.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Charles Higley
January 23, 2020 10:37 pm

Looks like a sentence to me. Pause between climate and needs.

Charles Higley
January 20, 2020 6:10 pm

The long-term goal of the anti-carbon group is to destroy cheap energy, create economic poverty worldwide, and become a ruling elite, with communism as their ruling strategy. They cannot stand the idea that other, more useful and creative people can make things the people can use and need and will make money also, giving them economic power. The reason they are against capitalism is that they want to wipe out economic power of individuals—that is the essence of communism, negating individual creativity. This would make these liberals nothing but a group of power hungry want-to-be plutocrats.

Federico Bär
Reply to  Charles Higley
January 21, 2020 11:27 am

Well described! Could this be called masochism? Sadly, it exists, and it appears to have many more addicts than I supposed.

Federico Bär
Reply to  Charles Higley
January 21, 2020 11:34 am

Well said! Is this masochism? Apparently, there are more patients than I supposed, until recently.
Apologies if this post has appeared earlier – I couldn’t find it.

January 20, 2020 6:12 pm

Please stop using the communists’ preferred term CAPITOLISM in any form. FREE ENTERPRISE is what is the basis of the US economy and unparelled success.

Capitolism presupposes that you must have capitol to make capitol when the truth is that hard and smart WORK creates wealth for the vast majority of the “wealthy”. Without the FREEDOM to keep the results of that work, no country or people can prosper to the extent of the good old USA.

When you consider that the US has essentially militarily protected the rest of the world from totalitarinism for over 100 years, at our expense, it is clear that OUR system of free enterprise is the only thing that could have sustaned that level of expenditure for so long.

Again, please use FREE ENTERPRISE. The correct term for our economic system, what the environazis want to destroy by any means necessary. The current iteration being global warming-climate change.

Thank you in advance.

Reply to  Drake
January 20, 2020 6:30 pm

Good points, and it’s hard to resist free stuff.

John Tillman
Reply to  Drake
January 21, 2020 6:18 am

How do you build a new chip wafer fab via barter? Clearly it takes capital.

TSMC invested $9.3 billion in its Fab15 300mm wafer manufacturing facility in Taiwan. The company estimates its future fab might cost $20 billion.

The industrial revolution required borrowing vast sums, which only banks or a very few of the richest individuals could provide, thanks to capital accumulation over time. Marx’ labor theory of value is invalid. There is nothing wrong with capitalists’ making money by lending it. The modern world, with all its advantages in health, wealth, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, requires it.

January 20, 2020 6:33 pm

There was a time when the CIA and the like would have gone after such antagonistic misanthropic lying subversive anti-capitalist anti-western clowns at the Guardian and such, writing their lying irrational pro-commie diatribes each day.

January 20, 2020 6:38 pm

” … Edward Luce, US national editor of the Financial Times, opines that “Democracies are ill-suited to deal with climate change. …”

Because of the overwhelming evidence that the Chinese CCP are doing it so much better?

er … N O T !

January 20, 2020 8:10 pm

Control, Control, Control. The drive for political power is insatiable. Naomi Oreskes is one of the worst examples, never having held a productive job in her career. Maurice Strong, formerly of UNEP is another. It’s not chance that that kind of work history is common among the climate change literati.

“Do as I say, not as I do. It won’t hurt, at least not at first. It may end up killing you but that is still years away. In the meantime, I get a cushy job writing meaningless propaganda to keep my job.”

Reply to  Philo
January 21, 2020 2:49 am


Ian Coleman
January 20, 2020 9:27 pm

The climate change mitigation agenda is clearly being driven from on high. There is no grass roots movement to make fuel more expensive, or force people to take public transit or buy electric cars. It’s smart, powerful people with comfortable lives and enough money, and forget the comforts and needs of anybody else. And a lot of the major miscreants are university professors.

I have a particularly strong distrust of academics. Scratch an academic and awaken a born totalitarian. Academics are clever people who have been told since childhood that they are smarter and more virtuous than other people, and who love to impose by main force utopian systems on people who may not want them. Last year I bought a sketchbook from the University of Alberta bookstore, and I asked for a bag. I was told that the bag would be $2.00 extra, because some earnest, learned fool who believes that plastic bags are some sort of plague virus was seeking to make a point about the external costs of plastic bag pollution. They couldn’t just have a no-bag policy, which would have accomplished the same goal (as nobody would pay $2.00 for a bag when other retail outlets give you a plastic bag as an implicit part of the purchase.) The $2.00 bag policy was moralistic, supported in Economic theory, and a priggish rebuke to anyone who might expect a bag. Bugged me, boy.

I infer from the content and quality of the posts on this site that all but a very few of the posters here have been to a university. And, like most of us who have, I now marvel in my latter years at how much silly fuss was made about acquiring arcane knowledge, just because some brainy and compulsively obedient people had acquired the power to force me acquire it. (Like studying Shakespeare, whose plays nobody really likes very much, but whose plays are believed to impart some magical wisdom unavailable from any other source.) I resent my professors for conning me with that stuff, and filling so many of my youthful hours with tedium and anxiety for the sake of stroking their vanities.

Greg Woods
Reply to  Ian Coleman
January 21, 2020 2:52 am

Remember Eisenhauer’s warning of the MIC? Now we should add a couple of initials to that: A for Academia, and M, for the Yellow Stream Media….

John Tillman
Reply to  Greg Woods
January 21, 2020 9:58 am

Just today, Victor Davis Hanson has an article on Democrats’ being “hoist on their own petard”, another useful phrase (from “Hamlet”) for which we can thank the Bard.


John Tillman
Reply to  Ian Coleman
January 21, 2020 6:58 am

How then to explain the success of movies based upon Shakespeare’s plays, and the many words and phrases we say or write every day invented or first used by him, such as “hurry”.


Just last year, we had the Netflix hit “The King”, based upon plays Henry IV, Parts 1-3, and Henry V (aka the “Henriad”)?

“My Own Private Idaho” was also based upon the Henry IV cycle. These successful films were more obviously derived from Shakespeare’s plays:


Then there’s his poetry.

Crispin in Waterloo
January 20, 2020 11:23 pm

I think the wild-eyed alarmists must have discovered another planet because they don’t live in my world.

If lying, fake news, crying “Wolf!” and shouting “Fire!” are to be brought under control, Ms Oreskes may find herself on the unhappy end of several decisions.

After one or two summertime hard frosts, the American public may realize that if temperatures keep going down there is going to a serious food problem. The world only has about 1, maybe 2 month’s stored food. I think we are better prepared for no new oil than no new food.

Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
January 21, 2020 3:05 am

Well said Crispin – thank you.

By Allan M.R. MacRae and Joseph D’Aleo, October 27, 2019

It is notable that crop planting has occurred one month later-than-usual in the North-central growing areas of North America in both 2018 and 2019. While warm summer weather saved the 2018 crop, in 2019 the Northern corn and soybean harvests were devastated by a cold summer and early cold weather. In 2019, there were many more record U.S. all-time daily low temperatures than record highs. These events may just be weather, not climate, or they could be the early indicators of global cooling.

by Joseph d’Aleo and Allan MacRae, September 4, 2015

January 21, 2020 1:05 am

It’s pretty clear from Dessler’s own works that he can not be trusted as a scientist. He presumably regards the need for honesty and transparency in science with the same Machiavellian attitude.

January 21, 2020 3:58 am

The alarmists are just about out of tricks in their quixotic quest to substitute inferior, stifling energies for better ones—and give government carte blanche in the process. — article

You all know what a cyst or boil is, right? This climate panic thing, e.g., ‘we’ve only got XX years!!! Oh, noes!’, seems almost like a boil that rose to the surface and is just about ready to rupture. I’d get out of the way and put a lot of newspapers on the floor.

it’s not that these nitwits won’t keep trying. They want to be in the top tier, which used to be the overlords while the serfs who did all the work were on the bottom of the list, but things have changed. This bunch of smug, self-serving cranks have been ignoring something: the rest of us don’t think they’re worth even the clothes on their backs.

This attempt to use the false front of climate change has been pounded for so long that the general response is ‘Yeah, okay, what else ya got?” I see none of the alleged disastrous stuff going on that they squawk about, and it’s been generalize so much now that they’re simply repeating themselves. They don’t have anything else. If using a false front labeled “climate change is destroying the Earth!’ isn’t working, they’ll eventually pull back, regroup and try something else. Don’t think they won’t. Their current nonsense is not effective any more. If it were effective, then they wouldn’t be trying so hard to get your attention by producing nonsense.

I may have to start making my own noodles for chicken noodle soup? Fine by me. I doubt that the stores will run out, and noodles are good for longer than you think. I also cook.

Tim Gorman
January 21, 2020 5:50 am

“All previous electronic media – radio, telephone, television – have been regulated.”

The telephone industry was regulated to incentivize maximum output, not to restrict output or censor information. In fact, even monitoring the content of communication was so verboten that it became almost a daily reminder.

The radio industry grew up un-regulated at all. Regulation was initially only introduced to prevent interference between stations, not to regulate content. Even later, content was only regulated to the extent needed to satisfy societal norms against the utterance of a few prohibited words.

Television was the same as the radio industry. Content was not regulated except for depiction of sexual content and/or certain words.

“There’s absolutely no reason why this newest form should not be regulated. And people who cry “free speech! free speech!” are ignoring history.”

Ms. Oreskes is a perfect example of today’s educated ignoramuses. As Reagan said the problem with today’s liberals is not how much they know, it’s how much they know that is wrong. So much history has been rewritten by the liberals that the scolds of today have no grasp of the historical truth!

January 21, 2020 8:23 am

They are attempting to sell something that does not exist and have provided no proof it exists. Yet they want us to pay for it.

Whether it is the lust for power or to satisfy a need for self gratification those who would strip away freedom, the market place and culture should not be allowed public office or access to schools. Or given credibility for anything except their destructive intent.

John F. Hultquist
January 21, 2020 9:00 am

a more opaque policy is actually superior [because] … you have no idea how much it costs.

We live in the State of Washington (left coast) where stealth taxes (opaque taxing) is a political favorite. In fact, “tax” is not a word found frequently coming from a politician’s mouth. Also, ‘opaque policy’ also includes not telling where the money goes.
This is one of the more disagreeable aspects of State government.

Paul Penrose
January 21, 2020 10:24 am

Since Dessler loves opaque taxes so much, perhaps he would be happy to have $100 from each paycheck secretly transferred to a Republican PAC?

January 21, 2020 12:34 pm

When do the Harvard book burnings begin? And which Presidential candidate is best suited to end capitalism? The serfs were wondering.

February 2, 2020 1:45 pm


Oreskes writes: “Our perspectives depend to a great extent on our life experience,

so a community of all men – or all women, for that matter – is likely to have a narrower range of experiences and therefore a narrower range of perspectives

than a mixed one.”

What utter drivel. Can this woman think straight at all?

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