As Green Fades to Black


Pacific Gas & Electric is seriously looking at power blackouts this summer. Bloomberg reports that

A plan by California’s biggest utility to cut power on high-wind days during the onrushing wildfire season could plunge millions of residents into darkness. And most people aren’t ready.

The plan by PG&E Corp. comes after the bankrupt utility said a transmission line that snapped in windy weather probably started last year’s Camp Fire, the deadliest in state history. While the plan may end one problem, it creates another as Californians seek ways to deal with what some fear could be days and days of blackouts.

Some residents are turning to other power sources, a boon for home battery systems marketed by Sunrun Inc., Tesla Inc. and Vivint Solar Inc. But the numbers of those systems in use are relatively small when compared with PG&E’s 5.4 million customers.

Read the whole thing. And if you’re in California, buy candles and a generator.

What Are The Odds?


One of the members of the Democrat Presidential Nomination Clown Posse has radical gun control as a cornerstone of his platform.I’m not sure how broad his definition of “assault weapons” is, but let’s pretend there are 15 million weapons that would be covered by reenacting the 1994 ban list. Let’s also assume that the average owner has a couple such weapons. That would mean that there are around 7-1/2 million people armed with such firearms. For the purpose of this thought experiment, let’s further assume that the compliance rate with such a ban would be comparable to compliance with the Connecticut registration requirements enacted after the Newtown school shooting or the New York SAFE Act. That would leave “assault weapons” in the hands of over 7 million freshly-minted felons.

Even if Swalwell tried to use all of the federal civilian police agencies, conscripted all the state and local civilian police agencies, used the federal naval forces (Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard), and found away around the Posse Comitatus Act to use the Army and Air Force to enforce such a ban, his force would be outnumbered roughly two-to-one. And that’s probably being generous in Swalwell’s favor. It might be that when push came to shove, many in law enforcement and the military might side with the Second Amendment and refuse to enforce what they saw as an unconstitutional law. (We’re seeing such resistance to state laws by sheriffs in several states and even prosecutors in rural New York counties.) Also, many people who own guns not covered by the ban might side with the resistance, pushing the odds further against a successful ban.

Of course, Swalwell may think that he could make his ban work. Given the federal government’s track record enforcing Prohibition and its performance in the War on Drugs, I wouldn’t bet that way. OTOH, neither Elliott Ness nor the DEA was willing to use nukes.

Hmmm.

Democrats v. Barr


Those of us who live in the DC area can listen to WCSP-FM, the radio station operated by C-SPAN. Yesterday, I had the Barr hearing playing in the background while I was working. It went pretty much as I expected with the Democrats on the committee grasping for straws that might be found in Mueller’s just-released letter complaining about the Attorney General’s initial summary of his report not having a desirable effect on press coverage.

Meh.

Of all the pixels spilled commenting on the Democrats’ behavior, David French’s piece over at NRO may have the best analysis of their real dilemma.

Opinions about Donald Trump are remarkably consistent. While there are significant events that might move the needle between now and the election — a recession, a bungled foreign crisis, irrefutable evidence of major crimes — public opinion is largely set, and each new incremental revelation of dishonesty, impulsiveness, or incompetence simply doesn’t move the needle. If Bill Barr had released Mueller’s summaries instead of his own memo, we’d be having exactly the same debates, impeachment would be just as implausible (and imprudent), and Trump’s approval rating would be unchanged. Trump’s public standing is one piece of stability in our otherwise unstable times.

And it’s driving the Democrats even more crazy.

Better, Faster, Cheaper—Choose Two


That phrase is a rule of thumb that encapsulates a Real Word limitation faced by engineers. When trying to optimize performance across multiple considerations, at least one of them will wind up having to be compromised in order to maximize the performance of the others. It’s clear that whoever wrote Democrat presidential candidate Robert O’Rourke’s climate change plan didn’t understand that Reality requires such trade offs.

Here are a couple of examples of his nonsense.

Strengthen the clean air and hazardous waste limits for power plants and fuel economy standards that save consumers money and improve public health, while setting a trajectory to rapidly accelerate the adoption of zero-emission vehicles …

If the vehicles are going to be zero-emission (tail pipe only), then that’s theoretically possible by switch to electric motors, but such a change has the possibility of creating a terrific hazmat problem related to the recycling and/or disposal of the noxious materials in worn out batteries. If the the vehicles are going to be truly zero-emission, then all forms of combustion used to provide the energy in the mining and processing of raw materials and used to build the vehicles will have to be eliminated. Given that systems such as blast furnaces for steel making run 24/7/365, wind and solar power can’t carry that load. Does this mean more nuclear plants? Higher prices? What?

Set a first-ever, net-zero emissions by 2030 carbon budget for federal lands, stopping new fossil fuel leases, changing royalties to reflect climate costs, and accelerating renewables development and forestation …

More trees is not a bad idea per se, but I wonder if whoever wrote that understands that the principal reason there are now more trees in the industrialized world than there were two centuries ago is that the economy switched from burning wood (a renewable resource) to coal and natural gas (fossil fuels).

Maybe someone who thinks carbon dioxide is a pollutant should stop wasting his breath.

The Truth is Out There


Over the past day, I’ve read of couple of posts whose ideas resonated together. The first was by David French over at NRO. The second was by Sarah Hoyt at According to Hoyt.

French’s piece, Franklin Graham and the High Cost of the Lost Evangelical Witness, takes Billy Graham’s son to task for having a double standard with respect to presidential morals. Graham spoke out against what he saw as Bill Clinton’s moral lapses 1998, but in 2018 called “this thing with Stormy Daniels and so forth … nobody’s business.” Yet, he’s recently called out Pete Buttigieg, tweeting, “As a Christian I believe the Bible which defines homosexuality as a sin, something not to be flaunted, praised or politicized.” French (and I) see Graham as inconsistent, and he (and I) see such inconsistency as the sort of hypocrisy that blunts the Church’s witness to the world.

The proper Evangelical position toward any president is not hard to articulate, though it is exceedingly difficult to hold to, especially in polarized times when one party seems set on limiting religious liberty and zealously defending abortion: We should pray for presidents, critique them when they’re wrong, praise them when they’re right, and never, ever impose partisan double standards. We can’t ever forget the importance of character, the necessity of our own integrity, and the power of the prophetic witness.

Read the whole thing.

This tweet from The Babylon Bee is a proper, if humorous, response to some Christian’s acceptance to Donald Trump’s sexual behavior.

FWIW, I didn’t support Trump in 2016, he hasn’t been an ideal president, but I believe that he’s done better that Hillary Clinton would have. That brings me to Sarah Hoyt’s post, We SEE You. She writes,

Years ago, I told a friend that I voted Republican, not because they were that much better than the Democrats, but because the press hated them and would keep an eye on them, while the left got a complete pass, which meant they could get crazier and crazier.

Christians on the Right shouldn’t fall in to the same trap that has caught so many folks on the Left. We need to shine the light of Truth rather that avert it because of worldly political convenience. Hoyt continues,

The deeds done in dark? Shout them from the rooftops. Do not give the left their presumption of good, or even of good intentions.

Read all of this one too.

I’ll add that the Right is not entitled to any presumption of good either. The Truth is out there.