Forced to be Green

I wonder when the great unwashed masses will finally get fed up with the constant brow beating by the Green Team, the never ending mandates from local, 'state', and Federal governments to become 'environmentally friendly' and the governments hand in their wallets to fund the unfunded mandates.

If you are going to mandate that everyone has an electric vehicle by next Thursday, what if John and Jane Doe simply can't afford to get rid of their old gas burning clunker? If you say that this will be subsidized, where is the money going to come from? Another tax is the only way.

Mandated recycling is a joke, as can be seen from the recent cases of plastics being dumped in Malaysia and the Philippines. Recyclers are in business for profit. They love it when a local government mandates that you must segregate your waste before putting it out for collection - saves them money! But the sad fact is that recyclers simply can not use and make a profit from all your garbage! What they can't recycle for a profit either ends up in the local landfill or in a container headed for Asia.

Everybody wants and supports clean air and water, nobody wants trash in the streets, most people want to see an end to single use plastics, etc...., but when the government starts spewing continuous unfunded mandates or chooses to fund the mandates with more and more taxes, there will be a tipping point where enough is enough!

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Another in the series of comments where the implication is that most of our fellow citizens are worthless.

The most persuasive mandate is cost. People are driving gas burners because they're available and cheap. At some point EVs will be cost competitive, and those who need to live cheaply will prefer them. All kinds of pressure groups are promoting the development of charging stations and renewable infrastructure to charge the cars. Some of this plays out in the public sphere, since local governments have to be 'on board' with charging stations, building codes, etc.

I can show reams of blog posts on forums such as LinkedIn where activists claim the government is 'doing nothing'. Generally what is implied by 'the government' is the US Federal Government. If anyone reading such posts were to search for US national laboratories, such as NREL, PNNL, Oak Ridge, FermiLab, Brookhaven, etc. they would find billions of dollars in research on green energy technologies. If they were to expand their search to such laboratories the UK, Germany, Japan, Australia, Russia, China, etc. they would find similar stories.

Some governments, such as in Japan, have a real economic desire to get off of energy imports. Others, such as the US, see one component of this as military superiority. If one is flying a lot of spy satellites one needs that absolutely most efficient solar panels available.

If your house is under water or blasted off it's foundations from a hurricane, your attitudes are shaped by how your community and your nation responds to your distress. The news media makes hay on the shortfalls associated with government responses to disasters. People have been instructed since they were children that 'a stitch in time saves nine'. Prevention is the best cure. A lot of the people that see things this way also believe that 'cleanliness is close to godliness'.

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(edited)

On 6/8/2019 at 7:56 AM, Meredith Poor said:

If your house is under water or blasted off it's foundations from a hurricane, your attitudes are shaped by how your community and your nation responds to your distress.

Readers may be mindful that the reaction of the US Federal Govt to these disasters is a function of the point in history where they occurred.  IN 1926-1927, a gigantic flood hit the Mississippi River Valley.  The losses were staggering.  There was some rather muted debate as to whether or how the Federal authorities should respond, and nothing happened, the conclusion being that such events were exclusively the responsibilities of the local and State authorities.  And of course, the States had no financial ability to do much of anything, so the individual citizenry were left to their own devices.  You got wiped out by the flood, hey too bad.

Fast forward to Hurricane Katrina of 2005 and the breach of the levees in and around New Orleans.  Parts of the city are swamped up to twenty feet, and the locals are camped at the Superdome, and the nation is stunned by the photo of President George Bush '43 looking out of the window of Air Force One flying overhead at 15,000 feet. He is decried for not being "on the ground" in a personal leadership role (that he and his entourage of reporters and security people would be getting in the way was conveniently ignored by the press).  The expectation was that the Federal Government would be right there, move the people in Federally-chartered buses, house them, clean up the mess, build new levees, pump out the swamped areas, and rebuild everything - on the taxpayer dime.  FEMA raced out contracts to build and supply thousands of FEMA Trailers, portable housing units that ended up sitting out in the Southern humidity at storage areas, became moisture-rotted, and ended up scrapped, costing millions of dollars. Incompetent bureaucrats were abysmally unable to deal with the disaster and in the end whole districts of New Orleans ended up as bulldozed piles of rubble.  Michael Brown, then FEMA Director  (his previous job was as chief of the Stewards of the Arabian Horse Foundation)  was egregiously incompetent.  On September 12 Brown resigned, 10 days after President Bush told him, "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job."  Brown was being paid $148,000 a year to be Director, and utterly failed. 

George signed a hurricane relief bill four days later, committing the Federal Government to a $10.5 Billion relief package. 

Notwithstanding all that money, the overall response was pathetic. Plus you had the spectacle of those local Township police goons standing at the other end of that bridge with their guns drawn, firing live rounds over the heads of refugees attempting to get out of the flooded city.  Those policemen independently decided that refugees would not be allowed to come into the Township, period.  That the refugees were black and the policemen white was not helpful. 

Yes, Meredith, your attitudes are definitely "shaped by how your community and your nation responds to your distress."  

P.S.  The famous photo of George looking out over the disaster:

image.png.c2ab5e3c08c3a02dffa101a576f6faf7.png

Edited by Jan van Eck
added photo

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FEMA's original role had nothing to do with disaster relief. This was pretty much like the FBI in the 1920's - their job was to pursue white collar crime. Suddenly Congress mandated that they go after bootlegger mobsters. This was another example of 'incompetents' - green eyeshade auditors packing heat in movie theaters.

FEMA was instructed to help remediate the situation in South Florida after Hurricane Andrew. They showed up with satellite trucks designed to dispatch troops and federal officials in the event that Washington DC was threatened with an NBC (Nuclear, Biological, or Chemical) attack. FEMA's job at that point was to protect the organs of government, not the citizens.

Andrew hit the US in 1992. FEMA had to adjust to it's new mandate, which required a combination of congressional authorizations and funding, organizational buildout, and various other elements to become a functioning federal disaster relief agency. The first problem with this, needless to say, is 'out of sight, out of mind' - FEMA is invisible when nothing is broken. These days, however, a lot is broken. FEMA is simply another over-mandated federal agency.

San Antonio and Central Texas had floods in 1998 and 2002 that exposed a lot of issues with urban expansion and flood planning. Square miles of real estate that had never flooded before was underwater due to the runoff from impermeable cover miles upstream. FEMA bought out the property owners, condemned the houses, and removed the structures from what was now the 'new' floodplain. This process took years.

New Orleans had been warned repeatedly that the way the levees were managed around the city was a disaster waiting to happen. Some of these warnings were issued in the 1960's. When disaster struck, the predictions came true. Katrina hit in 2005, not very long after the events in Texas in 1998 and 2002. At this point, there becomes an issue with scale - FEMA's budget and resources were simply not up to this kind of problem.

Areas that have routine practice with disasters get good at it, this was the case in Oklahoma City after the bombing there. Emergency personnel were so used to tornadoes that damage like this in a single building on an otherwise uneventful day was within the reach of their experience. FEMA will (or has), over time, built up institutional experience. This doesn't necessarily mean that the public will perceive much improvement, but as people in the agency learn what to do and what not to do, the reality on the ground will tend to be more effective.

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Another day, another rant from Dougie😄

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