PowerLine -> Scott Johnson – Visualize this + John Hinderaker – There Has Never Been An Energy Transition

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PowerLine -> Scott Johnson – Visualize this + John Hinderaker – There Has Never Been An Energy Transition

Daily Digest

  • There Has Never Been An Energy Transition
  • My Critical ‘Critical Theory’ Theory
  • The Left Declares Total War
  • Visualize this
  • Dear Sen. Coons: You’ve got to be kidding
There Has Never Been An Energy Transition

Posted: 03 Oct 2018 04:44 PM PDT

(John Hinderaker)It is widely believed, I think, that we are in the midst of an energy transition from fossil fuels to “green” energy sources. But, for better or worse–I think it’s just fine–that isn’t the case. At Watts Up With That? David Middleton offers charts that indicate no such transition is in progress. This one shows worldwide energy consumption in million tons oil equivalent. As you can see, the contributions of “green” energy sources (wind and solar) continue to be trivial. Click to enlarge:

I would add that this chart actually overstates the contributions of wind and solar. Those sources are used almost entirely because of government subsidies and mandates. In many cases, they are more trouble than they are worth to operators of the grid, who in the end have to rely on reliable energy sources in any event.

This chart is even more striking. It shows the contributions of various forms of energy in percentage terms. Middleton writes: “To the extent that ‘renewables’ are replacing anything, it’s mostly been nuclear power.” Once again, click to enlarge:

It is indeed a fossil-fueled world.


My Critical ‘Critical Theory’ Theory

Posted: 03 Oct 2018 01:17 PM PDT

(Steven Hayward)Everyone is buzzing today about the revelation of the three academics—James Lindsay, Helen Pluckrose, and Peter Boghossianwho placed over a dozen complete hoax articles with various premier “cultural studies” or “identity studies” academic journals. All three professors, it should be noted, consider themselves left of center, as does Alan Sokal, the New York University physicist who placed a hoax article about the supposed subjectivity of physics in the postmodernist journal Social Text 20 years ago. (Yet somehow Social Text stayed in business instead of closing down in embarrassment, as they should have.)

You can read a good summary of the story in the Wall Street Journal today. If you’re not a subscriber, here are a couple of highlights from Jillian Kay Melchior’s fine report:

Beginning in August 2017, the trio wrote 20 hoax papers, submitting them to peer-reviewed journals under a variety of pseudonyms, as well as the name of their friend Richard Baldwin, a professor emeritus at Florida’s Gulf Coast State College. Mr. Baldwin confirms he gave them permission use his name. Journals accepted seven hoax papers. Four have been published.

There’s also an excellent Twitter thread about it from Yascha Mounk of Harvard (another liberal) worth reading.

And the three authors explain the whole effort in an article out yesterday entitled “Academic Grievance Studies and the Corruption of Scholarship.” It’s very much worth reading the whole thing, but here is the lede:

Something has gone wrong in the university—especially in certain fields within the humanities. Scholarship based less upon finding truth and more upon attending to social grievances has become firmly established, if not fully dominant, within these fields, and their scholars increasingly bully students, administrators, and other departments into adhering to their worldview. This worldview is not scientific, and it is not rigorous. For many, this problem has been growing increasingly obvious, but strong evidence has been lacking. For this reason, the three of us just spent a year working inside the scholarship we see as an intrinsic part of this problem.

This part is also especially fun:

Part III: Why Did We Do This? 

Because we’re racist, sexist, bigoted, misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic, transhysterical, anthropocentric, problematic, privileged, bullying, far right-wing, cishetero straight white males (and one white female who was demonstrating her internalized misogyny and overwhelming need for male approval) who wanted to enable bigotry, preserve our privilege, and take the side of hate?

No. None of those apply. Nevertheless, we’ll be accused of it, and we have some insights into why.

And here’s my favorite example:

Another tough one for us was, “I wonder if they’d publish a feminist rewrite of a chapter from Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf.” The answer to that question also turns out to be “yes,” given that the feminist social work journal Affilia has just accepted it. As we progressed, we started to realize that just about anything can be made to work, so long as it falls within the moral orthodoxy and demonstrates understanding of the existing literature.

The article was entitled “Our Struggle is My Struggle: Solidarity Feminism as an Intersectional Reply to Neoliberal and Choice Feminism,” byMaria Gonzalez, Ph.D., and Lisa A. Jones, Ph.D., of the Feminist Activist Collective for Truth (FACT). Both the authors and the institution (FACT) are fictional. No one at Affilia noticed or bothered to check.

You may be thinking this is just the academic version of the Emperor’s New Clothes. And you’d be right. But here’s the thing that no one has quite figured out. Having been immersed in a couple of big universities lately, I can tell you that if you get a couple of drinks, or a shot of truth serum, into the average liberal professor in any traditional academic social science department, and some of the humanities, he will confess that he knows the “scholarship” of the various politicized identity politics programs are a farce. They do not take it seriously and regard it all with benign neglect at best, but silent contempt most of the time. In other words, most faculties regard their identity politics colleagues, in the same manner, you regard a precious child you pat on the head for encouragement. Most of the radicalized faculty in these politicized departments know this, and it fuels their righteous anger and feeds their self-imposed sense of oppression.

Why aren’t more mainstream academic liberals speaking out and objecting to this farcical “scholarship” in the fashion of Lindsay, Pluckrose, and Boghossian? The chief reason is that there is no upside to trying to oppose this nonsense, as you’ll be called a racist/bigot, etc., and maybe even face a harassment complaint from the administrative bureaucracies that universities have set up and allowed to be infiltrated by identity politics dogma.  And since academic departments are by tradition entirely self-governing in hiring and promotion decisions, there is no way for senior scholars in, say, political science, to curtail the nonsense scholarship.

The only way this problem will be fixed is for administrators—deans, provosts, presidents, academic councils—to say Enough!, and actually cut back some of these tendentious departments or at least put out a notice that publication in just about any Sage journal will not be recognized by the university. I’m not going to hold my breath.

Meanwhile, here’s a short fragment from a documentary in progress featuring Lindsay, Pluckrose, and Boghossian:

P.S. Also worth taking this roundup of reaction to this story on Quillette.


The Left Declares Total War

Posted: 03 Oct 2018 08:31 AM PDT

(Steven Hayward)If it wasn’t already evident that even if Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed to the Supreme Court in a few days the left will carry on with a full-scale attack (including an impeachment investigation), then the email below from Harold Meyerson of The American Prospect sent out yesterday makes the matter explicit. I’ll intersperse my comments in places:

The Back-Up Way of Defeating Kavanaugh. Assume the worst: Let’s posit that within a week, despite the evidence of his abuses when young, his temperament when middle-aged, and his unyieldingly troglodytic beliefs at all times, Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed as a Supreme Court justice. That, of course, would create the first hard-right majority on the Court since 1937—a majority dead-set against modernity, equal rights for women and minorities, and any rights at all for workers. What to do then?

Comment: Actually, in 1937 was when a slightly conservative (but very inconsistent) majority on the Supreme Court ended, according to legend (subsequently controverted by historians) buckling to pressure from FDR. But as for “against modernity, equal rights for women,” would that include those earlier “conservative” decisions like Adkins v. Childrens Hospital that struck down legislation that was discriminatory against women in the workplace? It is always amusing to see leftists tapdance around the actual facts and reasoning in cases that they’ve never actually read. I could go on, but let’s continue:

There would still remain one perfectly legal and valid exit ramp from this lowdown circle of hell. In the increasingly likely event that the Democrats take the House this November, the new Democratic majority on the House Judiciary Committee could revisit Kavanaugh’s testimony last week for evidence of deception. Indeed, the senior Democrat on that committee, New Yorker Jerry Nadler—as smart and progressive a congressman as the Democrats have—has already indicated the committee, which he’d be chairing, would do just that.

Comment: Jerry Nadler-the-Hutt. (Maybe Trump will call him a “Nadlering nabob of negativism?”) I look forward to watching that.

It’s almost impossible to envision the Senate convicting Kavanaugh—it requires a two-thirds vote, which is to say, Republican support, and given that party’s commitment to anti-empiricism, all evidence will become beside the point—but a House-enacted resolution to impeach would in itself throw the Court into crisis.

First, additional revelations from a House investigation might compel Kavanaugh to resign. Second, were he to stay on the court, the Senate would have to hold a trial (unless, if the Republicans still control the Senate, they refuse to, which would lead to a constitutional impasse that would doubtless have to be decided by, yep, the Supreme Court). Third, whether Kavanaugh could continue to hear and rule on cases while all this was proceeding would be hotly disputed and, again, a matter that the Court would have to decide since there would be no one else who could decide it. Fourth, if after all this Kavanaugh remains on the Court, the legitimacy of its rulings would be questioned as never before in our history, laying the groundwork for the addition of at least two justices to the current nine should the Democrats control the White House and Congress following the 2020 election.

The Supreme Court, along with the military and the police (!), is one of the few national institutions that still enjoys the majority support, respect, and confidence of the American people according to most surveys. So now the left wants to create a “crisis” at the Court, and delegitimize its rulings. David Burge’s classic tweet comes to mind:


Visualize this

Posted: 03 Oct 2018 06:35 AM PDT

(Scott Johnson)Christine Blasey Ford has been propelled forward into public view with the object of taking down Judge Kavanaugh. James Freeman observes that journalists seem to have lost interest in trying to ascertain whether Ford’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee was accurate. Her story is shot through with holes.

One specific she offers in her story is the season and year of the alleged assault. A reader, however, writes to note the changes in Ford’s timeline. The reader calls himself an “engineer with a specialty in data visualization.” He made the graphic illustration below drawing on public sources – “mainly the Washington Post and public legal documents.” The Alleged Incident Date column contains reported quotes from Ford. The reader notes “the sudden story change correlating with the time progression in the Story Date column (first column). For six years her story was ‘mid-’80’s.’”

“Why,” he asks, “the sudden change within a few weeks after 7-6-2018? Answer: Dr. Ford came into the Democrat orbits of Rep. Anna Eshoo (D), Senator Dianne Feinstein (D), their staffs and highly partisan Dem lawyer Debra Katz (recommended by Feinstein). Right after that, Dr. Ford changed her story two more times in two months – growing more specific – as they conspired to damage Kavanaugh. In her 8-7-2018 handwritten note to the polygrapher, Ford crossed out the word ‘early.’”

Margot Cleveland has more in the USA Today column “Christine Blasey Ford’s changing Kavanaugh assault story leaves her short on credibility.”


Dear Sen. Coons: You’ve got to be kidding

Posted: 03 Oct 2018 05:09 AM PDT

(Scott Johnson)Senator Chris Coons seems to have founded the virtue sub-caucus of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He has recruited Senator Jeff Flake to join. 60 Minutes featured the sub-caucus in its lead story this past Sunday evening. Like the rest of the mainstream media, CBS News is excited about the lengthening and obstruction of the long and winding road to the confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh. CBS News administered the public relations reward due those who cooperate.

On Tuesday Parson Coons forwarded yet another allegation against Judge Kavanaugh for investigation. Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley responded to Parson Coons in a classic letter suggesting we are approaching the end of the line. First Senator Grassley implied that Senator Coons cannot be serious. Then he characterized the accuser in a telling aside: “The accuser–who apparently created a television show in which people strip while dancing to their favorite music–tells of a party…”

Coming to the accusation, Senator Grassley noted the salacious activity alleged to have occurred at Judge Kavanaugh’s undergraduate fraternity: “This allegation has all the makings of a tabloid headline. There’s just one problem. The accuser freely admits to having no evidence Judge Kavanaugh even attended this party.” He added for good measure that the party took place at Judge Kavanaugh’s undergraduate fraternity after Judge Kavanaugh had already graduated and moved on to law school.

Senator Grassley then turned sarcastic: “The accuser offers some ‘investigative advice.’ He proposes that someone search Judge Kavanaugh’s calendars…” Which calendars are those? Again he added a telling aside: “…the very same calendars that your colleagues have dismissed and derided with regard to Dr. Ford’s allegations…”

Senator Grassley explained that the allegation is too much of nothing and passed judgment: “We’ve reached a new level of absurdity with this allegation. There is no evidence to suggest Judge Kavanaugh was anywhere near this party or had anything to do with it at all.”

I didn’t see this coming: “In fact, the only person we can be sure attended the party is the accuser himself.”

Senator Grassley was not yet done. He concluded by calling out the disgrace: “The purpose of this allegations is plain: to smear Judge Kavanaugh’s name by associating him with this party’s hosts. This guilt-by-association tactic is the basest form of political attack and deserves unqualified condemnation.”

Chairman Grassley responds to Sen. Coons’ new allegation: pic.twitter.com/9zy1jUzrbJ

— Byron York (@ByronYork) October 2, 2018

Via Jack Crowe/National Review.


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