Stupidity as a signal

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

Courtesy of Ed Driscoll over at Instapundit:

That’s the Washington Post saying that the current energy crisis was supposed to kickstart a green revolution, “but the world wasn’t ready.”

There’ll be snowmen in Hell before I pay my way through the Washington Post paywall, but since they’re the extreme left’s most loyal propagandists it’s unlikely that the headline being promoted here isn’t (at least) half the point of the article. That seems to be the GLOB media business model: begin with the headline message you want to push out on social media, then just write enough of an article to be able to justify the headline and shove it out into the wild, where the eager minions will ensure it’s spread far and wide, and Big Tech will step in to squash anyone trying to contradict it.

But never mind all that.

Anyone with even a handful of functioning neurons knows where this energy crisis came from, even if they’re unwilling to acknowledge it: in their haste to push the world toward their green Utopia, the left ignored the fact that human civilization is entirely unprepared right now to function without fossil fuels.

There’s an old saw about not leaving a job, a home, or a lover until you’ve got your next one lined up. It’s an old saw because it’s such simple and obvious advice that only the very young need to hear it—usually only once. And those who refuse to hear the advice will in most cases learn it for themselves the hard way—also usually only once.

Even children these days understand that it’s a bad idea to unplug a laptop, phone, or tablet before the battery is charged enough to keep it running, but it somehow never dawned on a lot of very smart people (and don’t you ever doubt their smartness!) that phasing out fossil fuel energy production before our energy needs could be met without it would create serious problems.

But the Post isn’t blaming the people with the bad idea: it’s blaming the world for not being ready for it.

It’s not the Top People’s fault for pushing an unworkable idea, you see: it was the world’s fault for not being ready for it.

As the captain of the Titanic might have said: “My navigation was flawless; some idiot put an iceberg where it didn’t belong.”

To be clear: converting the global energy supply to renewables is a good idea.

It would be a great boon to mankind if all our civilizational needs could be met using only energy supplied by the sun, the wind, and the waters of the world—or from other sources we can’t even imagine yet.

One day they surely will be, but that day is not today.

Insisting that we shut down our oil, gas, and coal infrastructure before we’ve reached the point where we can reliably produce the same amount of energy from renewables is therefore simply stupid.

It’s not a good plan that the world isn’t ready for, it’s a bad plan because the world isn’t ready for it.

How hard is that to understand?

(Glancing back at the Post headline.) Pretty hard, apparently.

And yes, I realize the implication of the headline was that the current energy crisis wasn’t accidental, but entirely deliberate. We have all the evidence for that in this supercut that’s making the rounds:

In the last clip, he’s being asked point blank: would you be willing to screw up the economy and sacrifice hundreds of thousands of blue collar jobs to get rid of fossil fuels? And he says, “The answer is yes. The answer is yes.”

So this mess we’re living through right now is what the man intended. It’s what he promised, what he campaigned on, and it’s what what 81 million Americans voted for with their eyes wide open (and their brains half shut).

What makes it stupid is that Ole Puddinhead and the BLOB created the crisis before circumstances would allow a green transition without creating catastrophic problems. Their goal was to get the world over to “green” energy as fast as possible. Fair enough. Where they erred was in their assessment of what was actually possible. And their error was not that they misjudged whether it was possible: their error was that they didn’t care.

Quit your job before you have another one lined up, and you run the risk of unemployment; break up with your lover before you have another lined up, and you run the risk of loneliness; move out of your current home before having your next one lined up, and you risk homelessness.

This is something virtually everyone understands intuitively. Again: think how many children you know who understand not to stop charging their devices before their batteries are juiced up.

And yet the extreme left—the whole GLOB, really—is apparently too stupid to understand that if you shut down your energy supply before you can reliably replace it, you put your energy supply at risk.

They don’t just refuse to acknowledge it: they call it a “false narrative”—here’s John Kerry doing just that a couple of days ago:

“Energy security worries,” he says, are driving the idea that we need more fossil fuel production. That’s not true, he says. It’s a false narrative, he says. But he never explains how we’re going to meet our energy deficit in the here and now. Not because he doesn’t know, but because he doesn’t care.

That we still need energy from fossil fuels is not a false narrative. We not only still need it, we still need more of it. Our need for energy is at least an order of magnitude beyond anything renewables can supply right now, and the amount of energy we need is increasing rapidly enough that the gap between what we use and what we can get from renewables is widening every hour of every day. I’m not opposed to renewable energy: I love it. What I oppose is throwing out our old energy supply before we can replace it reliably. What I oppose is unplugging the phone from the charger when the battery is only at 6 percent. And then throwing away the charger.

I’d like Lurch there, or his boss, or anyone at all, to explain what’s false about the idea that we have energy needs that can’t yet be met by renewables.

The only possible way they can reconcile their position is by altering the premise:

“We have energy needs that can’t yet be met by renewables, but we have to end our use of coal, oil, and gas anyway, so we’re going to have to get by with less energy.”

That’s what they’re saying. Even if they’re not saying it out loud, it’s what they’re doing.

That is, in particular, what John F. Kerry says—and he’s a guy who thinks it’s okay to scoot off in a private jet across the Atlantic to accept an award.

So it’s not really a question of him having to get by with less energy: it’s a question of us having to get by.

According to the BBC:

There are many different models of private jet, but the Cessna Citation XLS – consistently one of the most popular – burns 189 gallons (857 litres) of aviation fuel an hour on average.

I have no idea whether that’s what Kerry flies on privately, but let’s assume it is for the sake of argument.

Flight time from D.C. to Reykjavik is a little under six hours, so such a plane would burn more than 1100 gallons of jet fuel each way, for a total of close to 2300 gallons for the round-trip.

It takes about 11 gallons of unleaded gas to fill the family station wagon Herself and I bought in 2008, and at most we have to fill it twice a month, meeting the needs for our family of four.

That’s 22 gallons per month, max, so let’s call it 250 gallons per year. We could therefore drive our car for 92 years from its purchase date—which would bring us to the year 2100—before we’d have used as much unleaded gas as John Kerry’s private jet burned in aviation fuel on one round trip so he could pick up a climate award.

Our need for affordable fuel to get to and from work, to get our kids to and from school, to grocery shop, to visit friends, to do anything at all: that’s what we have to be willing to sacrifice. Also we have to be willing to pay more for products whose supply chains include transportation—or any other process that uses energy—which is pretty much everything.

Otherwise we’re neither worthy of nor ready for the wonderful world our GLOB overlords are so carefully preparing for us.

(For the record, I bike to and from work nine months a year—a distance of 21 km each way. I’ve logged close to 7000 km on that bike. I’m doing it for exercise, not the climate, but I still feel that doing so makes entitles me to call bullshit on poseurs like Kerry, who really ought to be laughed at every time they use the word “climate.”)

How much longer are we going to tolerate their stupidity? Are we going to allow them to keep taking coal, gas, and oil production facilities offline, driving the cost of energy (and everything that uses energy) up and up and up, and reducing us to rolling brownouts or worse?

Are they going to keep accusing us of “not being ready” for their solution, when in fact it’s their solution that isn’t ready for reality?

In the words of Obi-Wan Kenobi, “Who’s the more foolish: the fool, or the fool who follows him?”

This isn’t just about the climate and energy, by the way.

For example, Ole Puddinhead just barked the other day that he doesn’t “wanna hear any more a these lies, ’bout reckless spending.”

The “lies” in question are criticisms that his own profligate spending is responsible for the inflation that’s now so out of control the Fed just had to raise interest rates by 75 basis points yesterday.

If you flood the economy with freshly minted money, you’re going to experience inflation—which is the inevitable economic function of prices adjusting to an increasing supply of money. That’s an economic law with no carve-out for good intentions.

As bad as inflation is now, imagine how bad it would have been had Ole Puddinhead & Co. passed their multi-trillion dollar “Build Back Better” package half a year ago.

The two Democrats who opposed that program specifically voiced concerns about inflation, and were therefore castigated as active enemies of democracy. (The very idea that such spending would cause inflation was dismissed by the GLOB brain trust: see, for example, the December 2021 article “Manchin killed Build Back Better over inflation concerns — an economist explains why the $2 trillion bill would be unlikely to drive up prices.“)

Here, too, in other words, Ole Puddinhead had really good plans and did really good things, but the world wasn’t ready for them: when Joe Biden said, “spending doesn’t cause inflation,” that alone should have been enough to prevent spending from causing inflation.

Plan meets world; world beats plan—do better, world!

This isn’t new or surprising. Time after time, the left insists on solutions that end up failing because “the world isn’t ready for them.”

That’s not the sign of a bad world, but a bad plan.

The left hasn’t figured that out or tried to change their mode of operations because the left has never been held accountable for their failures because they’ve never had any failures: the world just keeps letting them down.

Or, as Obama joked, “Shovel-ready wasn’t as shovel-ready as we expected.

The problem wasn’t their expectations, he wants you to understand: it was those damned shovels not being as ready as they should have been.


And that’s the real problem. Stupidity is everywhere, but in politics it’s just a signal. It’s how our systems of government tell us we’ve made a mistake that needs to be corrected. It’s like the engine light on your dashboard: when it lights up, you know you need to do something.

But too many of us are unable or unwilling to see the signal, or, more importantly, to react to it.

Or maybe we’re just too stupid.

But the signal is there, and it’s bright and blinking like mad.

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Soren Rasmussen
Soren Rasmussen
2 years ago

To modify Carville, if you want to understand what the key message ought to be for voters it is this: It’s the stupidity, stupid!

The weapons grade stupid leaking out of the halls of government, academia, media, boardrooms, you-name-it these days is so transparent and mind-boggling and has continued for so long, that one is force to conclude it persists only due to the the apparent equal stupidity of ordinary people. A sane and civilized polity would have kicked these bums out long ago. A sane and less civilized one would have mounted heads on pikes.

H.L. Mencken knew whereof he spoke in Prejudices, First Series:
“But now all the glow and gusto of the bard have been transformed into the rage of the pamphleteer: he drops the lute for the bayonet. One sympathizes with him in his choler. The stupidity he combats is actually almost unbearable. Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats.
Of course, here Mencken was contemplating the development of Ezra Pound’s writing, but he would surely reiterate the general sentiment of his last sentence, if he was shown our current travails.