COMMENTARY | COLUMNISTS | LARRY STIRLING

Who are the actual 'troglodytes,' governor?

At a recent speech in Canada, Jerry Brown went behind our collective backs and referred to millions of us fellow Californians as "troglodytes."

By calling us that, Mr. Brown claims we are: "prehistoric cave dwellers," "degraded, primitive or brutal persons," or even "underground dwelling animals."

Giving him the benefit of a doubt, it is likely that he was reaching for the more dainty definition: "persons unacquainted with current public affairs."

In calling us names, he is just practicing the primary tactic of his party as found in "Rules for Radicals": Demean your opposition.

According to level-headed syndicated newspaper columnist Steven Greenhut, our governor called us this grody name in reference to our failure to swallow the notion of humankind-induced global warming and his tired, old, discredited "green” solutions.

Since, in Mr. Brown's opinion, we don't know quinoa from Shinola about the globe, he has decided to dismiss all facts to the contrary and sponsor legislation that defies the laws of physics and economics and common sense to boot.

When signed into law, Senate Bill 350 will mandate that automobiles further reduce their energy consumption by 50 percent, and that the "renewable" (wind, solar) component of our remaining energy use rise to 50 percent.

Let's look at automobile construction first.

For decades already, the equally brilliant federal government has mandated (in a supposedly free country) the construction of ever lighter, smaller and electric-powered cars.

Even with mass subsidy from the (massively indebted) federal government, those models are not selling as the central planners hoped.

With its ruling for Obamacare mandates, no doubt the Supreme Court will soon authorize the all-wise federal government to mandate that we buy these unsafe, paper-thin roller skates they call cars.

As a practical matter, since the mileage requirements are averaged over the manufacturers' entire fleets, the carless cars succeed only in providing statistical cover for the manufacture of the bigger, safer cars we actually want, buy, and drive.

I suggest that the governor look into the policy implications of self-driving vehicles.

Soon, we won't buy our own cars. We will simply dial up the model vehicle in which we wish to travel. The dial-up car will take us to our destination, and then leave for its next call.

There will be no reason for us to buy a car that sits empty 95 percent of the time we own it.

Experts estimate that self-driving fleets will reduce the automobile presence on our streets, in our garages, and parking lots by 90 percent, thereby mooting anything that Mr. Brown has in mind about emissions mitigation.

As for shifting reliance for half of our energy consumption on to wind and solar, the governor is the one who is not up with current world affairs.

Governments throughout the world and several states in the U.S. have rethought the fairy tale of "alternative energy."

Donald Kent is the outstanding oceanographic scientist that has long led the technical staff at Hubbs-SeaWorld Institute, dedicated to improving the health of the world's oceans.

We worked together in creating the successful ocean hatchery now operating on a lagoon in Carlsbad to replenish impacted fisheries.

While waiting for Mr. Kent outside the soon-to-be-opened shark exhibit, I noticed that what I always believed were voracious sharks, simply passing up nearby tasty meals.

Why? I asked Mr. Kent. "Energy budgeting" came the answer. The shark knows how much energy he must expend to catch that quick little rascal finning by and concludes that he will expend more energy in the chase than he would consume if successful.

This same principle was adopted by ecologist Charles Hall in attempting to value energy sources.

An obvious principle of energy policy is that the source should create more energy than it consumes in its creation.

Duh!

Mr. Hall calls this analysis, "energy returned on energy invested" or EROEI.

The scientists finally got as smart as the sharks and every other critter in existence.

For a complete discussion, search online for the article "The Flawed Economics of Green Energy" in Trends Magazine.

I have long railed against the "corn con" by which our nitwit federal government subsidizes farmers to grow corn so that it can be converted to car fuel.

Applying the EROEI analysis, the corn-to-fuel policy fails abominably. So, too, does wind energy and solar energy.

Thus it is actually Mr. Brown, his green-energy cronies and his bumbling legislative allies that meet the definition of "troglodytes."

If Mr. Brown would apply his vaunted intellect to reviewing the latest science, we might instead be guided into an enlightened energy policy taking full advantage of America's lavish supply of (cleaned up) fossil fuels and clean-burning natural gas.

In addition, vast strides have been made in the construction and operation of nuclear power plants, which enjoy the highest EROEI.

Operating such plants on thorium, much safer than uranium and of which the U.S. owns the majority of the world supply, would create a clean energy industry based on our own abundant natural resources.

Sadly, we are stuck with a bunch of troglodytes running our beloved state.


Stirling, a former U.S. Army officer, has been elected to the San Diego City Council, state Assembly and state Senate. He also served as a municipal and superior court judge in San Diego. Send comments to larry.stirling@sddt.com. Comments may be published as Letters to the Editor.

User Response
0 UserComments