A Community Newspaper for the way we live

Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics)

In the name of saving us from imagined disasters, three real disasters are about to unfold that will have long term consequences for communities from tiny Corbett to the entire state of Oregon. To no surprise, the disasters will result from the incompetence and greed of those elites who determine our future. The panic over climate change is one driving force, but complete ignorance of science and engineering also plays a large role. And of course, the officials who are leading us over a cliff do not want to listen to any who would provide them wise council.

Even or perhaps especially The Oregonian refuses to listen. Never mind that there is a whole science of ‘Acceptable Risk,’ the people who run our society are either too stupid or too corrupt (or both) to consider the facts.

Corbett wants a new well

Take tiny Corbett, high above the Columbia River Gorge. Their water district was correctly concerned when in September 2017 the massive Eagle Creek fire threatened to destroy their watershed on Gordon Creek and take out the only water supply for a thousand families. But quick action by the District Manager alerted those managing the fire, and they assigned crews to successfully protect the watershed.

Now, still shaking from that experience and worried about ‘Climate Change,’ Commissioners want to drill a massive well that will likely triple rates and never be used.

Weather records over more than 125 years show that Oregon has experienced ups and downs in precipitation without any overall trend.   Hence, it is absurd to panic after a fire and dry period. Building an entirely new source that will produce lower quality water and be much more expensive to run is a total over-reaction that ensures that the community will suffer for decades from massive debt.

And should a real disaster occur, like a large earthquake, much of the District’s infrastructure could be destroyed, and they will so burdened with debt that recovery will be difficult. The intelligent move would be to resist hysteria and continue to rely on a water system that has served the community admirably for almost 90 years. That is what is called an “Acceptable Risk.” Unfortunately, panic and stupidity are carrying the day in Corbett.

PGE wants more windmills

Further East, another disaster is unfolding that threatens customers of Portland General Electric with far higher rates for far less reliable electric service. Officially, The Oregonian reports that PGE’s massive new wind farm near Boardman will have an “undetermined effect” on rates. But you know that is rubbish. PGE may not know the precise effect, but they know enough to bet that the Public Utilities Commission will let them recover all of the $160,000,000 cost plus operating expenses plus 10% profit. They will recover those costs from you, just as they did with their abortive move into nuclear energy at the Trojan Nuclear Power Plant years ago.

Regulated utilities enjoy a monopoly, and hence need not worry about competition forcing cost effective decisions. And with their guaranteed rate of return, it is greatly to their advantage to build two power plants (one ‘renewable’ and one ‘conventional’) when a single conventional plant would be much cheaper, more reliable, and even have a lower ‘carbon footprint’ than the inefficient combination of wind and backup natural gas. The big problem with ‘renewables’ is their unreliability, sometimes producing substantial power when it is not needed and then failing to produce any power when PGE most needs it on very hot or cold days.

The new PGE wind farm promises some solar and battery backup, apparently as window dressing for Democrats in Salem who are demanding ‘Renewables’ and want it to appear that the new PGE undertaking has a little of everything that they think is popular. Never mind if it addresses needs. Democrats want action on ‘Climate Change.’

The stupidity is so severe here that no one is even asking questions and demanding answers, certainly not The Oregonian. They now view themselves as the mouthpiece for the ruling regime. And with their linkup with the Washington Post and the Jeff Bezos billions, they dare not produce any probing journalism.

Former Enron President Jeffrey Skilling

Former Enron President Jeffrey Skilling was just released from prison

Former Enron CEO Kenneth Lay

I wonder if anyone noticed that Jeffrey Skilling was released from a federal prison the other day, after serving twelve years? He was the President of Enron, the parent company of Portland General Electric at the time and mastermind of the fraud that caused Enron to collapse. Skilling and his co-conspirators like Enron CEO Ken Lay believed that they were simply smarter than everyone else and therefore could get away with anything. Lay escaped prison by dying.

Skilling and Lay represented the transition between those once called “Robber Barons” by the Left to those they now idolize as “Climate Barons.”

Just as PGE does today, Enron saw the real green in green energy. Skilling and Lay were the first of the big crony capitalists to exploit and give credence to the Environmental Left’s push for wind and solar energy to replace conventional fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas. Since they recognized that so-called ‘renewables’ are not even close to being competitive, they needed to build public-private partnerships to extract as much money as possible from taxpayers and ratepayers to make wind and solar appear cost effective.

Combining politics with economics, Enron became the most successful rent-seeking corporation in America and as such inspired many others from Tesla to General Electric (which purchased Enron’s wind business). Today, virtually every chief executive of a renewable energy company is heavily involved in politics to ensure that their companies continue to get the subsides necessary for their survival.

Will any of the executives who followed Skilling eventually become guests of the federal government too? That depends on our recognizing green energy for what it is (substantial fraud) and for what it is not (salvation from Global Warming). Wind and solar now have substantial political constituencies that largely insulate them from reality.

But there are also big cracks developing in their support. Most notably, Microsoft founder, Bill Gates, a big believer in Global Warming, has nevertheless thought for himself on renewables and condemned them as totally inappropriate for the Third World. Poor countries simply do not have the wealth to squander on fantasies.

Oregon Democrats want BILLIONS in a new Carbon Tax

Does that mean that we in Oregon have wealth to squander? No sane person would argue that we do. Yet the Oregon legislature with a large Democrat majority is presently considering a Carbon Tax (HB 2020) to save us from Global Warming. It will of course do no such thing, because Oregon is much too small a part of the larger world to make any difference, physically or morally. Even Oregon’s chief climate alarmist at Oregon State University, Phil Mote admitted that.

Furthermore we now know that human emissions are a small part of the overall increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide, because Mother Nature is fully in charge. And even then, we see no clear increase in the global temperature that can be attributed to increasing atmospheric CO2.

Have your yellow vests ready to protest steeply increasing gasoline prices. Let’s hope our citizens wake up before gasoline reaches $7.00 per gallon, as it did in France. Taxpayers will be out billions of dollars if they do not.

This is all a scam, founded on fear and designed to transfer ever more wealth from the middle class to the Climate Barons.

Some who are caught up in the unfolding disasters have no idea what they are doing. They are scared. Too many others know EXACTLY what they are doing. They are not scared, because they know this is all about politics and profits, not fake climate catastrophes.

Gordon J. Fulks holds a doctorate in physics from the University of Chicago’s Laboratory for Astrophysics and Space Research. He lives in Corbett and can be reached at gordonfulks@hotmail.com.

 

 

 

 

Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Northwest Connection.)

 

 

 

 

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