Is California About to “Stumble” in its Fight Against Climate Change?

Guest “AEUHHH????” by David Middleton

California is about to stumble in the climate fight

Until recently, when it came to fighting climate change, my home state of California was the undisputed leader among the states.


A little-known but powerful state agency, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), recently issued new rules for the future of rooftop solar and batteries in California. Simply put, if their proposal is adopted, it would jack up electricity bills for rooftop solar owners to double or triple what they are now. In addition to cutting the “net metering” credit that solar users get paid when they sell their power back to the grid, the CPUC is also proposing a $57 monthly fee for people who install solar.


California is a climate leader not only by inclination, but also by necessity; the state is a real-time example of the consequences of climate change. Wildfires, heat waves, catastrophic mudslides, blackouts, and drought in the state dominate global headlines; it can be scary to live here. 


Utilities say building new solar farms is a better option — but think for a minute about where those will be built. New farms are already planned for just south of Joshua Tree National Park. The utilities’ preferred route is to declare open season on California’s open spaces.

Yes, we’re going to need utility-scale solar too, to meet our clean energy goals. But the only way to minimize the damage and disruption to California’s expanses and sensitive species is to maximize rooftop solar. Gutting the policies that support it will not achieve that end.


Wendy Wendlandt is president of Environment America, a national network of 29 state environmental groups working together for clean air, clean water, clean energy, wildlife and open spaces, and a livable climate.

The Hill

After reading this article, my first thought was…

My second thought was to tackle this paragraph:

California is a climate leader not only by inclination, but also by necessity; the state is a real-time example of the consequences of climate change. Wildfires, heat waves, catastrophic mudslides, blackouts, and drought in the state dominate global headlines; it can be scary to live here. 


Particularly striking about California ignitions is the steady increase in number of fires since the early 1900s until a peak c. 1980, followed by a marked drop in fire frequency up to 2016. This happened on both lower-elevation Cal Fire-protected lands and higher-elevation USFS lands, and in most climate divisions (Fig. 6). Despite a significant increase in fires during the first three-quarters of the 20th century, there were marked departures from this linear model, with accelerated ignitions during the 1920s and 1930s and a marked drop in the 1950s and 1960s (Fig. 7). Climate may have had some role in these changes since the former decade was drier and the latter was wetter (Fig S3) and during this period total fires on USFS lands did have a significant climate model largely driven by high summer temperatures and low summer precipitation (Table 4). What is particularly striking is the disconnect between number of ignitions and area burned; during the first three-quarters of the 20th century, although ignitions were increasing, area burned was steadily decreasing through much of the state.

In contrast, since 1980, ignitions have steadily declined, yet area burned has either not changed or, in some northern parts of the state, has increased. In short, the number of ignitions does not directly explain area burned. However, as discussed below, this conclusion does not apply to individual ignition sources, and, in this respect, there may be particular sources worth targeting for fire management purposes.

Factors that may have played a role in these historical patterns of ignitions and area burned are changes in: population density, infrastructure development, fire-prevention success, fire-suppression effectiveness, vegetation-management practices, climate, and possibly record-keeping accuracy. The drivers behind changes in ignition patterns are quite possibly different for different sources, different parts of the state and at different times. First, we consider the patterns for natural lightning-ignited v. human-caused wildfires.


Throughout California, fire frequency has increased steadily until a peak c. 1980, followed by a marked drop to the present. There was not a tight link between frequency of ignition sources and area burned by those sources and the relationships changed over time. Natural lightning-ignited fires decreased from north to south and from high to low elevation. Throughout most of the state human-caused fires dominated the record and were positively correlated with population density for the first two-thirds of the record, but this relationship reversed in recent decades. Most ignition sources have declined markedly in recent decades with one notable exception, powerline ignitions. One important avenue for future fire hazard reduction will be consideration of solutions to reduce this source of dangerous fires.


Keely & Syphard, 2018

Heat Waves

This study investigates driving factors associated with urbanization, nighttime warming and humidity, ocean dynamics, and droughts that influence heatwaves in Southern California. We show that inland urban heatwaves are rapidly increasing in frequency, duration, and intensity with a greater tendency toward more humid nighttime events—a trend likely to accelerate through the 21st century and linked to human-induced climate change. Coastal and rural areas are less impacted but show a threefold increase in heatwave frequency over the past two decades. 

Hulley et al., 2020

Can you say “Urban Heat Island effect”?

Catastrophic Mudslides

Geologists call these landslides or debris flows.

Like the northern part of the state, southern California is well known to be susceptible to landslides (see Preliminary soil-slip susceptibility maps, southwestern California – Open-File Report 2003-17). Some are triggered by earthquakes, but more frequently landslides are caused by intense and/or prolonged rainfall. Some, but not all, of the major winter storms that have caused landslide fatalities and property damage in southern California have occurred during El Niño (1997-98 info) conditions.


Shallow Landslides and Debris Flows

Shallow landsides are generally less than (3-5 m) (10-15 ft) in depth and can transform into rapidly moving debris flows. Previous work at the USGS has identified both the areas of southwestern California most susceptible to shallow landslides and the rainfall conditions required to trigger slope failures. Maps displaying where shallow landslides are most likely to occur are based on observation of previous landslide activity, topographic slope, and information on the bedrock material (see Preliminary soil-slip susceptibility maps, southwestern California – Open-File Report 2003-17).

Shallow landslides can occur at any time during the winter, but are more likely happen when the ground is nearly saturated. In southern California, at least 25 cm (10 in) of rainfall during the winter is needed to nearly saturate the ground. After this point, a rain burst of 5-6 mm (0.2 to 0.25 in) in one hour has been observed to trigger abundant shallow landslides (see Landslides in Santa Monica Mountains and Vicinity – Prof Paper 851).

Deep-seated Landslides

Deep-seated landslides are generally greater than 3-5 m (10-15 ft) deep. Deep-seated landslides can be triggered by deep infiltration of rainfall, which can take weeks or months to occur. Some move slowly, while others can move rapidly with little notice. The La Conchita landslide in Ventura County is an example of a deep-seated landslide that has experienced both styles of movement (see Landslide Hazards at La Conchita, California – Open-File Report 2015-1067). In 1995, after an exceptionally wet winter, the landslide moved tens of meters (tens of yards) damaging nine houses. In 2005, after a 15-day period of near-record rainfall, a larger area failed rapidly, remobilizing part of the 1995 slide. The catastrophic movement of the 2005 landslide damaged or destroyed 36 houses and killed 10 people.

Recent Burned Areas

Steep, recently burned areas in southern California are especially susceptible to debris flows (see Southern California–Wildfires and Debris Flows – Fact Sheet 2001-3106). Even modest rain storms during normal, non-El Niño years can trigger post-wildfire debris flows. The USGS has conducted hazard assessments for post-wildfire debris flows for four recent fires in southern CA, as well as numerous fires across the Western U.S. including central and northern California.


Coastal Cliff Erosion

Many areas of coastal California are subject to cliff erosion and coastal landslides (see new research on El Niño coastal hazards in California). Hazards from these types of landslides can occur both at the bottom of cliffs (from burial) and at the tops of cliffs (from falling over). During the winter season in California, beaches typically erode thereby allowing waves to reach further inland and to inundate the bottoms of coastal cliffs. Wave energy is also typically higher during the winter, and particularly during El Niño events, thereby exacerbating the potential for coastal erosion. Coastal cliff failures may also occur simply as a result of heightened precipitation as well – wave action makes cliffs inherently unstable, and rainfall may be the ultimate trigger for failure, even during times with little to no wave action.

During and just after storms, existing coastal landslides may become reactivated and seemingly stable coastal cliffs may erode and fail rapidly. Background rates of coastal cliff erosion are variable along the California coast (see National Assessment of Shoreline Change Part 4: Historical Coastal Cliff Retreat along the California Coast – Open File Report 2007-1133) and tied to the rock or soil strength of the cliffs among other factors, but these measurements of historic coastal cliff retreat provide indications of places most susceptible to coastal landslides.


California has always had a lot of landslides…

As beautiful as California’s geology is it’s a geologically dangerous place to live.


California’s blackouts aren’t caused by climate change. They’re the result of the state’s fight against climate change.


Arguably, California’s 2011-2017 drought may have been its worst in 1,200 years. However, NOAA has already concluded that the cause was not climate change.

How severe has the California Drought been?

California statewide precipitation during the last three winters (November-April 2011/2012 through 2013/2014) ranked the second lowest since official measurements began in 1895. Only the consecutive three-year period of 1974/1975 through 1976/1977 was drier. As one critical indication of the cumulative and growing impact of this drought, the September 2014 assessment of statewide water storage was only about 50% of average for this time of year, according to the California Department of Water Resources. Water supply depletion has not resulted from the lack of precipitation alone, but also from very high temperatures with the 2013/2014 winter being the state’s warmest on record.

As the new 2014/2015 wet season commences, the current state of drought as assessed by the US Drought Monitor indicates almost all of California to be experiencing extreme to exceptional drought severity. The situation deteriorated greatly during the past year – the third consecutive year of low precipitation and the driest of the three. Exceptional drought conditions cover over half of the state as of December 4, 2014, whereas one year earlier no regions in the state were considered to be under exceptional drought conditions.


What factors caused the California Drought?

*Weather conditions were key to explaining the event – a high pressure ridge off the West Coast diverted the track of storms during all three winters, typical of historical droughts.

*West Coast high pressure was rendered more likely during 2011-14 by effects of sea surface temperature patterns over the world oceans.

*The drought’s first year (2011/2012) was likely the most predictable, when La Nina effects largely explained high pressure off the West Coast, though simulations indicate that high pressure continued to be favored due to ocean effects in 2012-14.

Is the California Drought a symptom of long term climate change?

The current drought is not part of a long-term change in California precipitation, which exhibits no appreciable trend since 1895. Key oceanic features that caused precipitation inhibiting atmospheric ridging off the West Coast during 2011-14 were symptomatic of natural internal atmosphere-ocean variability.

Model simulations indicate that human-induced climate change increases California precipitation in mid-winter, with a low-pressure circulation anomaly over the North Pacific, opposite to conditions of the last 3 winters. The same model simulations indicate a decrease in spring precipitation over California. However, precipitation deficits observed during the past three years are an order of magnitude greater than the model simulated changes related to human-induced forcing. Nonetheless, record setting high temperature that accompanied this recent drought was likely made more extreme due to human-induced global warming.


The full report can be accessed here: Causes and Predictability of the 2011-14 California Drought.

The drought conditions actually lasted until 2017. If anyone wants to argue that climate change took over as the cause of the drought after the 2015 NOAA report, please do. I need a reason to use this:

As stated in the report, “The current drought is not part of a long-term change in California precipitation, which exhibits no appreciable trend since 1895.” The data can easily be accessed here: NOAA/Climate at a Glance.

Figure 3. California precipitation, 1895-2020

However, it does appear that drought severity may have increased, although the r2 on the PDSI trendline is probably close to the “Dean Wormer Line”…

Figure 4. California PDSI, 1895-2020

What could cause drought severity to increase, without a decrease in precipitation?

Palmer Hydrological Drought Index: measures hydrological impacts of drought (e.g., reservoir levels, groundwater levels, etc.) which take longer to develop and longer to recover from. This long-term drought index was developed to quantify these hydrological effects, and it responds more slowly to changing conditions than the PDSI.

Figure 5. California PHDI, 1895-2020

It appears to me that California might just have a water resource management problem, rather than a climate change problem.

“California is about to stumble in the climate fight”

More like, already stumbled…

Whether distributed or utility scale, California has already crammed too much solar power into the grid. California’s “Duck Curve” is becoming more of a Goose Curve.

Figure 7. If it looks like a Duck Curve, walks like a Duck Curve and quacks like a Duck Curve… It might just be solar power not matching up with peak demand.

In 2020, CAISO had to curtail “1.5 million megawatthours of utility-scale solar, or 5% of its utility-scale solar production“, and the problem is getting worse.

Figure 8. Source: Graph by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on data from the California Independent System Operator (CAISO)

While California generates more electricity from solar power than it can consume and/or sell, the state imports nearly 30% of its electricity.

In 2019, California was the fourth-largest electricity producer in the nation, but the state was also the nation’s largest importer of electricity and received about 28% of its electricity supply from generating facilities outside of California, including imports from Mexico.


If Ms. Wendlandt thinks that “it can be scary to live” in California, she should move somewhere safe, because installing more solar panels isn’t going to alter the geology, physical geography, climate, weather or California’s dystopic government… Just, please don’t move to Texas. Austin is full.

Speaking of Duck Curves…


Hulley, G. C., Dousset, B., & Kahn, B. H. (2020). Rising trends in heatwave metrics across Southern California. Earth’s Future, 8, e2020EF001480.

Keeley Jon E., Syphard Alexandra D. (2018) Historical patterns of wildfire ignition sources in California ecosystems. International Journal of Wildland Fire 27, 781-799.

Seager, R., Hoerling, M., Schubert, S., Wang, H., Lyon, B., Kumar, A., Nakamura, J., & Henderson, N. (2015). Causes of the 2011–14 California drought. Journal of Climate, 28(18), 6997– 7024.

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January 13, 2022 10:06 am

Gonna need a lot of patches …

Tom Halla
January 13, 2022 10:22 am

Mismanagement of both wildlands and water are just that, a management issue. Setting policy on both by sue and settle by rather green bureaucrats is what I would blame.

Reply to  Tom Halla
January 13, 2022 10:28 am

I blame the 78% majority of Democrats in our state legislature. I think about leaving everyday, but the weather is so nice. If North Dakota was managed, and taxed, like California is, it would depopulate overnight.

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  Thomas
January 13, 2022 1:31 pm

You only think that the weather is nice in California, while in fact the climate is stalking you and is going to get you, because climate emergency differentiates with no one.

Reply to  Pat from Kerbob
January 13, 2022 2:53 pm

I’ll move to Northern Russia, where the weather will soon be balmy. Fewer Democrats too.

Reply to  Thomas
January 13, 2022 11:53 pm

Winter in California is like Summer in Alaska.

Reply to  Lil-Mike
January 14, 2022 3:50 am

You mean you get quadrillions of mossies in California in winter?

January 13, 2022 10:28 am

the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), recently issued new rules for the future of rooftop solar and batteries in California. Simply put, if their proposal is adopted, it would jack up electricity bills for rooftop solar owners to double or triple what they are now. In addition to cutting the “net metering” credit that solar users get paid when they sell their power back to the grid, the CPUC is also proposing a $57 monthly fee for people who install solar.

Maybe, just maybe all is not well in La La Green Land.

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  ResourceGuy
January 13, 2022 1:43 pm

Getting past the free rider stage when all of this starts to have real consequences to the grid, same as is happening in australia.

Unless the magic batteries are invented soon all of this just continues to worsen.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
January 16, 2022 6:36 pm

The CPUC only has power over “utilities”, the people selling, in this case electricity, to the grid.

If solar owners dropped the grid connection and used the solar to char a few batteries(not car batteries!) to balance their load internally, and continued to buy some power from CPUC the govmint would have to do some legal gymnastics, if they are possible.

The internal power grid would have some appliances hooked to the internal grid, Some others would be hooked to the public grid. If for some reason the internal grid can’t keep up, they could buy some electricity from the grid to help charge the batteries.

Mike McHenry
January 13, 2022 10:32 am

Even if you believe the connection to climate the US never mind California alone can’t substantively effect the rise in CO2 emissions. China India and the developing world are going to continue with business as usual. So what is the political motivation?

Hoyt Clagwell
Reply to  Mike McHenry
January 13, 2022 10:48 am

Money and power, as always. If people in California already have everything they need, and everything they want, then sell them something they don’t need or want just to keep the money coming in. And be sure to mandate it if they won’t buy it voluntarily.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Mike McHenry
January 13, 2022 11:26 am

Virtue signaling.

Rud Istvan
January 13, 2022 10:32 am

Poor dear. Classic example of conflicted green doublethink.
As one macro Cali example, since 1980 California’s population increased 63%. Its reservoirs increased exactly zero despite several proposals.
As another, in 2014 CPUC mandated MW of grid battery storage—when the correct metric is MWh.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
January 13, 2022 10:49 am

Irrelevant. The baitfish are getting all the water. Our current reservoirs are being dumped. Why? So our SF Bay Delta NEVER experiences drought conditions … because that’s “natural”.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Kenji
January 13, 2022 12:57 pm

True. Big unmentioned problem is nobody has seen a delta smelt in years. So functionally extinct despite the waste of water.

Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
Reply to  Rud Istvan
January 14, 2022 3:08 pm

I understand that the delta smelt is an invasive species in the first place. Is it any surprise they went home?

Rud Istvan
Reply to  David Middleton
January 13, 2022 12:59 pm

Except for windmills, Texas seems to get it. Great chart.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  David Middleton
January 14, 2022 2:34 am

Texas windmills don’t blight the landscape? Texas windmills don’t kill birds and bats? Texas windmills work when the wind doesn’t blow?

I don’t see anything windmills get right, anywhere they are located.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
January 13, 2022 11:12 am

California’s current population is 25% foreign born. California’s current population has 33% on welfare. Governor Newsom has just announced free state paid medical for non US citizens living in California. California is a one party state. Guess which party? They used to be called democrats, but I’m pretty sure their policies are communist.

Reply to  Doonman
January 13, 2022 8:13 pm

33% on welfare?! Good old commie Canada has 5%. link

Did AOC say people should get welfare just because they didn’t feel like working? That sounds like it should collapse the economy. Or am I just deluded?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  commieBob
January 14, 2022 2:47 am

“Did AOC say people should get welfare just because they didn’t feel like working?”

I don’t know if she said it, but I woud bet she feels that way.

Will such policy positions collapse the U.S. economy? Well, the Democrats are currently paying a lot of people to stay home and not work, and they are doing so, and as a consequence there are not enough workers available to work all the jobs the economy needs in order to thrive. So, inflation soars while the Democrats spend money we don’t have to pay for all of it.

An economy can’t keep going like that forever.

Radical Democrat policies and spending are seriously damaging the U.S. economy. They could not do a worse job if they tried.

Radical Democrats and their delusional way of thinking are the real problem.

Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
Reply to  commieBob
January 14, 2022 3:15 pm

Here in good ol’ commie Alberta it is 1.5% almost exactly. We must be doing something right (of center).

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Doonman
January 14, 2022 2:40 am

“Governor Newsom has just announced free state paid medical for non US citizens living in California.”

Maybe all our illegal aliens will now move to California. Might as well concentrate all the crime and disease and the draining of tax dollars in one place. That will be good for the rest of us who don’t live in California.

Stephen Goldstein
Reply to  Rud Istvan
January 13, 2022 12:21 pm

MW of MWh? Actually, you need them both.

MW establishes how much *power* can be delivered which, of course, is supposed to match “demand.”

MWh establishes how much *energy* can be stored in the battery.

Let’s say you have a fully charged 100MWh battery that can deliver 1 MW. The good news: it could do that for 100 hours; the bad news: 1 MW is less than what a single typical wind turbine produces (when the wind is blowing).

Take a different 100MWh battery that can deliver 100MW. The good news: that could stand in for a small wind farm; the bad news: it could do that for just one hour . . . better hope the wind starts blowing real soon.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
January 13, 2022 1:37 pm

If the environmentalists had their way, all of the reservoirs would be drained and dynamited.

John in Oz
Reply to  MarkW
January 13, 2022 2:13 pm

Or just dynamited, then they would be drained as well

Juan Slayton
Reply to  Rud Istvan
January 13, 2022 5:00 pm

As another, in 2014 CPUC mandated MW of grid battery storage—when the correct metric is MWh.

I dunno, Rud. With these guys you can’t be sure. Maybe MW is what they mean. It might be possible to get a gazillion MWs from battery storage, for maybe 20 minutes, if instantaneous power is all they consider. And it might sound good in a press release, while the mainstream media would not necessarily notice.

Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
Reply to  Juan Slayton
January 14, 2022 3:24 pm

I think they meant MW. As anyone can see by looking at the policy history, understanding of units and power runs pretty thin in their ranks. That’s why they count wind energy capacity in MW (name plate rating) when comparing how much coal power they are decommissioning. They haven’t a clucking floo.

For entertainment value (only) you should read the newsletters of the Ontario Clean Air Alliance, a wind energy company-funded NGO that agitated against everything else. They use the MW/MWh according to the (misleading) claim being promoted at the moment. Sensible high school education solves this type of problem.

Bruce Cobb
January 13, 2022 10:36 am

Reality’s a beach, innit. Crimea river. God forbid rooftop solar should carry its own weight. Newsflash, both solar and wind destroy great expanses of land in comparison to fossil fuels or nuclear. And it is all for naught, and is very costly.

January 13, 2022 10:44 am

When you look at California electricity usage, yes around 30% is imported from out of state. But if you look at total energy usage, 70% is imported from out of state which I suspect is mostly crude oil and natural gas. The state has made it clear it wants to electrify everything from heating to cooking to transportation which begs the question, where will it get the electricity to heat, cook and move around? To paraphrase Margaret Thatcher speaking on socialism, “climate leadership is great until you start running out of other people’s energy.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Sean
January 14, 2022 2:59 am

Good one, Sara. I bet Margaret would have said something like that were she around today.

What’s California going to do when the surrounding States no longer have excess energy to send to California?

A short-term problem like a persistent high-pressure system could cover California and the surrounding States with becalmed winds for an extended period of time. Then everyone is running short of electricity, like Feb. 2021 in Texas and the Southwest Power Pool.

Go on, California, show us what the rest of us should not be doing. Thanks for volunteering to be our Climate Change Crash-Test Dummy.

All because of a few lies by a handful of temperature data mannipulators. Those few lies have caused all this CO2 crisis insanity.

Those few lies are a Crime Against Humanity.

Last edited 1 year ago by Tom Abbott
James F. Evans
January 13, 2022 10:44 am

California is going to drive itself into the ditch.

From the Gold Rush to the ditch in 170 years (it was good while it lasted).

No, just really in the last 20 years or so of Democrat Rule.

Reply to  James F. Evans
January 13, 2022 11:37 am

Not at all true. Despite what you might read, Northern California is the greatest capitalist, free market economy ever assembled in the history of the planet. It’s why we have to lie so much harder about being libtards. (I don’t by the way).

Fred Middleton
Reply to  philincalifornia
January 15, 2022 6:44 am

Rome – City nation state. California is politically managed by leftism – cities. 17th Amendment. At one time, nationally, Counties had a voice at a State table.

January 13, 2022 10:54 am

Where can you find a house with 9 bedrooms and 16 bathrooms?

California, where else?

Why would it need an extra 7 bathrooms?

Reply to  fretslider
January 13, 2022 11:39 am

…. more places to sneak off to and smoke some crack?

Max More
Reply to  fretslider
January 13, 2022 11:48 am

Do you really think it’s fair to make your cats and dogs use the same bathroom as a human? Also, at least two bathrooms must be reserved for possible transgender visitors — one for M2F and one for F2M.

Reply to  Max More
January 13, 2022 1:57 pm

In my house:
The gentlemen are directed to the Men’s Room, the ladies are invited to the Lady’s Room. If neither option applies to you, sit on the floor by the door and presently someone will open the door and let you out.


Reply to  fretslider
January 13, 2022 1:44 pm

I don’t know about 7 extra bathrooms, but you need a bathroom attached to the man cave.
Then there’s the bathroom next to your party room, don’t want the guests wandering all over the house looking for a place to go.
Then there’s a bathroom next to the pool, don’t want people with wet feet tracking water all over your expensive tile floors.
Then there’s the outside bathroom for the gardener.
Then there’s the bathroom for the inside help.

And so on.

Reply to  MarkW
January 13, 2022 3:14 pm

Nah. That’s too complicated…

It’s probably because each bathroom uses rainwater and solar powered batteries to operate.
When a bathroom is out of water or power, it’s time to use a different bathroom.

all of which are maintained by the local port-a-pot enterprise for a monthly emptying and hose down.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  MarkW
January 14, 2022 3:12 am

Well, MarkW accounted for about five of the extra bathrooms.

The man cave definitely needs its own bathroom.

January 13, 2022 10:59 am

it can be scary to live here. 

The only thing scary about California are the numpties who voted in the numpties who are introducing this nonsense

Reply to  Redge
January 13, 2022 1:45 pm

Not only voted for them, but continue to vote for them even as everything falls apart.

Rich Davis
Reply to  MarkW
January 13, 2022 5:24 pm

Do they really vote for them or are all the votes “harvested” and nearly everybody’s wondering how can I be the only one who thinks this is batshit crazy?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Rich Davis
January 14, 2022 3:13 am

Harvesting is a possibility.

Reply to  MarkW
January 13, 2022 11:39 pm

In California, all elections occur only during election month. This is because its too hard to go to the polls on election day.

Reply to  Redge
January 15, 2022 9:58 am

Thank a Mexican. When they arrived in the late ’80’s, to stay, they had the anchor babies that started voting in the oughts. Gave the Dems super majorities. But since they are workers and family oriented a growing pushback has been gaining steam.

January 13, 2022 11:34 am

Don’t forget that Calif has mandated that all new housing be built with rooftop solar, so every new house will come with a $57/month utility bill.

Caveat: I don’t know what the exact requirements on rooftop solar are, what exemptions might exist.

John in Oz
Reply to  Observer
January 13, 2022 2:16 pm

In South Australia they have mandated that all rooftop solar systems have smart meters and a ‘Responsible Authority’ who can turn off your solar feed-in remotely when there is too much power being generated.

old engineer
Reply to  John in Oz
January 14, 2022 9:06 am

I always wonder what happen the electricity being generated if it’s not going to the house load, or the grid. In other words, how do you turn your solar generator off.

Reply to  John in Oz
January 15, 2022 10:00 am

Exactly. Sorta like “The Matrix”…you are nothing but a little power plant for the utility.

January 13, 2022 11:39 am

“California’s 2011-2017 drought may have been its worst in 1,200 years. However, NOAA has already concluded that the cause was not climate change.”

We already know that is untrue. In that period of time we have had one drought that lasted 200 years an one that lasted 100 years. In the first one, we saw central Sierra Nevada lakes fall to levels hundreds of feet below today’s levels.

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  crosspatch
January 13, 2022 1:36 pm

Correct. Recent doughts are mere footnotes to those in the CE.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  crosspatch
January 14, 2022 3:23 am

““California’s 2011-2017 drought may have been its worst in 1,200 years.”

This was a distortion of the facts by the author. I don’t know the author’s motivation for doing so. Clueless, or deliberate?

It’s been raining in California lately. I guess the alarmists won’t be able to hype a California drought for a while. They have to talk about past droughts, and distort the magnitude of recent droughts.

California goes from drought to too much rain, and then back to drought again. That’s the normal weather in California. CO2 has nothing to do with it.

Joseph Zorzin
January 13, 2022 11:41 am

“Until recently, when it came to fighting climate change, my home state of California was the undisputed leader among the states.”

Massachusetts would dispute it- it claims to be the most energy efficient state- after all, the RINO governor Baker is hoping to be the chosen one to run for President in 3 years.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
January 14, 2022 3:27 am

Baker? I never heard of him. He needs to gain a little nation-wide name recongition before trying to run for president.

I’m going to vote for Trump, if he runs. A proven, successful leader.

Gregory Woods
January 13, 2022 11:43 am

I think that dear Wendy here just had another article published in The Hill about proposed changes to Net Metering, to which she is opposed…

Joseph Zorzin
January 13, 2022 11:44 am

“But the only way to minimize the damage and disruption to California’s expanses and sensitive species is to maximize rooftop solar.”

Yuh, the enviros now hate to see vast solar “farms”. They actually are so ignorant as to think putting solar on buildings and parking lots can get them to net zero. I doubt that would result in 5% of what net zero will require. The enviros in Mass. are saying the same thing.

Pat from Kerbob
Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
January 13, 2022 1:34 pm

At least they are starting to see that large wind and solar installs are destroying wild lands

That’s a positive.

Eventually even the dimmest of them will discover that their preferred “solutions” are no such thing.
Just need more (fossil fueled) light bulb moments

Last edited 1 year ago by Pat from Kerbob
January 13, 2022 12:08 pm

The intensity of fires, whether wild or controlled, varies due to the availability of fuel. Whilst they may more often burn with greater intensity in dry or warmer conditions, it is the availability of moisture that is the main factor when it comes to the growth of the fuel, with the increasing CO2 in the atmosphere being directly linked to increased plant growth. The planet is naturally covered with a fuel that is one of the most easily ignited fuels known and it is the efforts to suppress those fires that occur naturally that enable the fuel loads to build up to the point a fire will be uncontrollable irrespective of how it is ignited as will inevitably occur sooner or later.

January 13, 2022 12:41 pm

When it comes to virtue signaling California leads the pack. Now they want to be known as a Socialist state and the only way to get there is to tax/rob the Capitalists like all the other Marxist take overs. Like all Socialist wanna be endeavors they will eventuallly cook the goose. Already the emigration of its’ residents and businesses leads the nation and climbing. Replacing their tax base with low wage earners may keep their one party hold but it won’t pay the bills.

Clyde Spencer
January 13, 2022 12:50 pm
Ron Long
January 13, 2022 1:00 pm

God Bless Texas? Well, for sure he blessed some of those Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders.
Thanks, David.

January 13, 2022 1:23 pm

Until Super Battery arrives , California has done its typical overkill, under think best . Wasting money and chasing the brightest citizen out .

Reply to  Doug
January 13, 2022 4:18 pm

Don’t forget about their train.

January 13, 2022 2:01 pm

And God Bless Texans too!

January 13, 2022 2:15 pm

Simply put, if their proposal is adopted, it would jack up electricity bills for rooftop solar owners to double or triple what they are now. In addition to cutting the “net metering” credit that solar users get paid when they sell their power back to the grid, the CPUC is also proposing a $57 monthly fee for people who install solar.”

So wails a thoroughly deluded alarmist when cost charges replace subsidies.

Jeff Alberts
January 13, 2022 2:40 pm

Until recently, when it came to fighting climate change, my home state of California was the undisputed leader among the states.”

Undisputed leader in futile gestures.

January 13, 2022 2:40 pm

The penetration of solar rooftop in California is a long way behind Australia. The “duck” curve in some states has morphed to a camel curve:
The black line is the actual grid demand. It drops to 600MW at lunchtime and has 1.5GW morning peak and 1.6GW evening peak. The yellow line is just the rooftop solar that peaks at 1.45GW. The pink line is the interstate export so the solar intermittency gets transferred to Victoria to deal with.

The rooftop lobby is a powerful political group in Australia and efforts to get rooftops to pay their true cost have been soundly defeated.

Australian States mostly avoided net metering and feed-in tariffs are usually based on average wholesale price, albeit there are some very attractive legacy FITs that will end in 2024. My system is 12 years old and I get 66c/kWh for electricity exported – about twice the cost of importing. I use a wood burner for heating and have not paid any household energy bills since the heater was installed 4 years ago. The electricity income pays for the gas used for water heating and cooking.

The fundamentals of weather dependent generation is that it is ubiquitous and there is near zero benefit of scale. As the penetration of S+W increases at a grid level, the price will climb and there is a point where the grid offers no benefit. People just leave the grid and run off-grid. That increases the grid costs for those still relying on it.

If I was living in California with sunk cost on a solar system, I would be doing the sums on going off grid. German retail costs are on a par with the cost of electricity from an off-grid solar/storage system in most of Australia. Probably also possible in Germany if there was space to optimise solar panels for winter sunlight.

Reply to  RickWill
January 14, 2022 3:31 pm

If I was living in California with sunk cost on a solar system, I would be doing the sums on going off grid. 

No in South Australia in particular you go all electric with induction hob LED lighting etc and inverter RC airconditioning as that cuts out the gas supply charge and gas rising prices. Go big with cheap subsidized(RECs)rooftop solar and 400L electric storage HWS and solar diverter-
Hot Water PV Diverter Comparison Table (

Batteries don’t cut it large scale for full backup of the unreliables so they never will at home scale. HW can be up to one third of power needs and any spare power after that can be used to aircon the home. Essentially use your own solar power at its source as in the long run your neighbours don’t want it anymore than you want theirs with peak sunlight.

Beyond that the grid will always be the cheapest for residual power needs and those without such a setup will be squawking politically long before you do. I also have a 2300W full sine wave camping generator to boot and that will run a fridge lights and electronics for their brownouts whenever they come. Popcorn time after that waiting for the Enlightenment.

Thomas Gasloli
January 13, 2022 2:55 pm

Mr. Middleton
Please stop spoiling our fun. Like many Americans I have stocked up on popcorn to enjoy while watching the crash & burn of California. No place as more deserved to be the source of schadenfreude pleasure than the insufferable people of the most overrated of the 50 states.

Please, stop trying to educate them and save them from their madness. Their madness provides the rest if us with too much joy.😃

Reply to  Thomas Gasloli
January 14, 2022 1:51 am

the problem is they are exporting their stupidity to other states, see Oregon and Washington state for examples

January 13, 2022 4:14 pm

Everywhere i look, Germany, UK USA – the renewable dream is turning into a nightmare.
Oh dear, how sad, never mind

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Leo Smith
January 14, 2022 3:42 am

The “renewable” dream is unraveling right before our eyes. Even some alarmists seem to be noticing and are promoting natural gas and nuclear as being acceptable for use.

“Renewables” still have a lot of momentum, though. It will probably take a disaster of some kind to knock the alarmists out of their dream world.

January 13, 2022 11:52 pm

I remember at the time, the 1970’s drought being labeled the 11 year drought. Funny I have that notion.

For those younger than Willis and I, you may not know that it was common for smokers to flick their butts out the window of the car, that lasted until the 70s anti litter campaigns. There had to be a whole lot more ignition sources before that time.

Also before that time, there was a lot of roadside camping including camp fires. There had to have been a lot more ignition in those days.

I think what changed was unprescribed fires have been reduced since the 70s anti-camping and anti-campfire laws.

Ed Zuiderwijk
January 14, 2022 1:25 am

‘Opinion contributor’ = whippersnapper, milchmaul, blaaskaak.

January 14, 2022 4:02 am

The one and only reason for all it’s going wrong is: those who decide, never have to face the consequences of their decisions.
Because they’re rich, and money can not only solve problems, but prevent them from showing up. At least in your backyard.

January 14, 2022 4:26 pm

When I lived in CA we used to joke that we DID have four seasons: hot, wind, fire, and mudslide.

January 15, 2022 9:40 am

I think it’s more Human Change than climate change. Every California tribe burned for hunting and agriculture…that stopped when they stopped…1850 or thereabouts. When the rains came in the winter of ’16-’17 I remember being upset when controlled burns were not announced. @2 days before an atmospheric river hits burns can be started and extinguished like clockwork. It needs to be done, or face the consequences. PS Flat or easy grade land is almost always developed first because it is easier hence cheaper. When that is used up they head into the hills where fire can burn up at amazing rates…and that’s where the new construction in SoCal over the last 50 years has occurred.

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