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No Cost Projections or Means Identified to Achieve Rhode Island’s Green New Deal

The innocently named “2021 Act on Climate”, H5445, has been ominously rocketing through the General Assembly. It passed the full House on March 23 and the full Senate is scheduled to vote on it this afternoon. If it passes, it will have cleared the General Assembly and presumably be sent straight on to Governor Daniel McKee for his action within seven (ten?) days.

Informally dubbed “Rhode Island’s Green New Deal”, H5445 would mandate the reduction to zero by 2050 of greenhouse gases in Rhode Island – a goal that could only be accomplished by eliminating the use of all fossil fuels and transitioning entirely to renewable energy sources, wind and solar; i.e., from reliable, reasonably priced energy sources to intermittent, exorbitantly expensive ones. More about it here, including why the effective date of substantial implementation would be 2026, not thirty long years from now.

But perhaps we are missing something. Have proponents of the bill answered the critically important question about cost of implementation?

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Tell Governor McKee To Veto Rhode Island’s Version Of The Green New Deal!

Take action now! Add your voice to the many thousands who have asked Governor Dan McKee to live up to his promises as an advocate for the small business community, to take decisive action to relieve businesses of excessive green mandates and to ensure our state’s long-term viability by VETOING Rhode Island’s Green New Deal.

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House Vote Tuesday – Would Inflict Extremest Global Warming Measure on RI

On Tuesday, the Rhode Island House will be voting on H5445A. It would mandate the reduction to zero of greenhouse gases in Rhode Island. While the deadline in the bill is 2050, the real deadline is five years from now, at which point, the lawsuits can start. From the bill:

The Rhode Island attorney general, any Rhode Island resident and any Rhode Island corporation, company, organization, nonprofit or other Rhode Island legal entity or organization registered with the Rhode Island secretary of state may bring a civil action to enforce this chapter.

Click here, courtesy UpriseRI, for the case in favor of the bill.

Nowhere in that article or anywhere has there been offered any science or evidence that this most drastic of measures would have any impact whatsoever on global warming nor has there been remotely adequate disclosure about the ludicrous cost of bringing it about (converting every house and building in the state to electric-only heating and AC) or the impact on our power supply of changing the grid over from a reliable, constant fuel source to an unreliable, intermittent one (routine rolling blackouts) while simultaneously adding enormous demand to it or the impact (sky-rocket) on residents’ and businesses’ electric bills of being compelled to purchase power only from renewable energy sources.

In the presumably deliberate absence of this information, accordingly, combined with our observation of the experience of other states who converted even a small portion of their grid to renewables, we can assume the worst on all of those fronts.

If you, like so many of us, do not think this is a good idea, feel free to share your concerns with your state representative before Tuesday.

planetcovid-wide

One Year In: Lockdowns 100% Destruction; Zero Benefit

On its one year anniversary, it would be irresponsible not to look at the effectiveness of the COVID-19 lockdown. Florida and California vividly demonstrate that the answer is “completely ineffective”: the two states have had similar outcomes to very different approaches, making it clear that lockdowns did not and do not work to slow or stop the spread of COVID-19.

What about Rhode Island? Well, we locked down. And we have the third highest COVID-19 deaths nationally.

Lockdowns, even if they worked exactly as hoped, were never a good solution because of the enormous public health and other consequences they inflict. One year later, it is clear, as they do not achieve even their hoped-for goal, that they are entirely destructive with zero public health benefit.

Now, let’s look at where Rhode Island stands on the original reason for a lockdown: two weeks to flatten the curve and not overwhelm hospitals. Below is the trend of Rhode Island’s hospitalizations; specifically, Column U, “Currently Hospitalized” of this sheet:

4/28/2020: 375 (Spring, 2020 peak)

12/15/2020: 516

1/25/2021: 380

3/9/2021: 141

By this original goalpost, Rhode Island can open up fully, now. (Please stop with the agonizing and ineffective baby steps.) More to the point, the state never needs to lock down again for this (or any) reason. This is because, to her credit, former Governor Gina Raimondo set up COVID-19 field hospitals. While they were recently shut down because COVID-19 cases have dropped markedly, they will remain in place in the event of a surge.

The evidence and observed science one year into COVID-19 lockdowns is blaring and indisputable: they do not work. All states can and should open up immediately, fully, without restrictions – including nursing homes with reasonable protections. Refusing to do so is to deny the plain evidence and prolong the needless suffering and very serious health and other consequences of lockdowns.

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Green on the Grid:  Texas is a Huge Red Flag

Count me among those somewhat surprised to learn that the electric grid of the State of Texas, perhaps best known for oil production (and proud of it), incorporates wind turbines in its electric grid. In fact,

… wind generation ranks as the second-largest source of energy in Texas, accounting for 23% of state power supplies last year

But as you have probably seen, this “green energy” source has turned into a big Achilles heel for Texas’ electric grid in the cold front that has descended on that state and much of the country. As of yesterday,

Frozen wind turbines have caused almost half of Texas’s wind generation capacity to go offline in the midst of an “unprecedented storm”.

The Lone Star state is under a state of emergency after freezing conditions swept the region, causing dangerously icy roads and leaving nearly 3 million people without power.

Update: frozen wind turbines led to a drop in Texas’ wind power from thirty one gigawatts to six and there are currently 3.4 million power outages. The situation is getting worse, not better.

Texas, and other states, has resorted to rolling blackouts. In below-freezing temperatures, this is literally a life-threatening situation for states like Texas which rely on electricity for heat (and lots of other critical activities).

A small but vocal group of advocates, promoted by many gauzy-eyed members of the mainstream media, have for years been pushing to transition to green energy away from fossil fuel.

No TCI Tax Pumping Gas

POLL: Rhode Islanders Say “No” to High Costs of TCI Gas Tax

Rhode Islanders clearly feel, after all we’ve been through, that now is not the time to punish people for driving their vehicles!

This week, the Center released a new poll that shows the initial conceptual support for the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) Gas Tax drops significantly when voters learn the policy will result in gas tax hikes, a significant projected loss of jobs, and a major reduction in the average family’s disposable income.

On the flip side, by not adopting this TCI scheme and keeping gas taxes where they are, our Ocean State would gain a competitive advantage over our Massachusetts and Connecticut neighbors.

Rhode Islanders oppose TCI when they learn about its high costs – including a $0.23 increase in the gas tax, an estimated 2,000 jobs lost, and a $1,200 reduction in disposable income for the average Rhode Island family.

Another false “feel good” narrative (from far-left Never Never Land) is not worth the loss of disposable income and jobs costs for virtually zero environmental impact. Learn more now by clicking here to see the full poll results!

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California Numbers and Newsweek: Lockdowns Don’t Work

California’s response to COVID-19 has been to lock down and lock down hard. The harshness of its lockdown is confirmed by its decimated economy and heavy out-migration.

Ten months later, California currently has the second highest average daily cases per 100,000 in the last seven days per the CDC. A couple of weeks ago, it was at the top of the list. Rhode Island, also a state which misguidedly chose to lockdown, is currently fifth highest.

Lockdowns, even if they worked exactly as hoped, were never a good solution because of the enormous public health consequences they inflict. Now California’s experience confirms indisputably that lockdowns do not work to stop or slow COVID-19.

And a study just released via Newsweek confirms this.

A study evaluating COVID-19 responses around the world found that mandatory lockdown orders early in the pandemic may not provide significantly more benefits to slowing the spread of the disease than other voluntary measures, such as social distancing or travel reduction.

As she edges out the door, Governor Gina Raimondo has admonished us to “stay the course”. Meaning stay locked down. She is bewilderingly putting on auto pilot a completely failed, highly damaging public policy.

When asked whether he will continue the state’s lockdown, incoming governor Dan McKee has stated (I believe on WPRO radio), “The infection rate is going to drive that”. In light of the complete disconnect between lockdowns and the infection rate, I would respectfully urge him in the strongest terms to re-examine that course and not repeat the mistake of his predecessor of disregarding the data and evidence. He has no obligation to continue any of her policies – but particularly one that has so obviously failed.

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Roland Benjamin: COVID-19 Lockdown: The Preferred Intervention of the Elite

It is commonly accepted that an effective vaccine for COVID-19 will save lives.

The vaccine, be it BioNTech’s, Moderna’s, or any other pharmaceutical intervention, will most effectively bring an end to the COVID era. The “science” needed to bring this intervention into the world is astounding, with tens of thousands of test subjects undergoing trials for each version. Months and months and months of careful testing, and yet A SINGLE ADVERSE EVENT among any of the study participants halts the progress. One event. Savings lives is critical, so long as no harm is done in the process.

Simultaneously, governments all over the world have become obsessed with their own interventions. The non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) range from mask mandates, to required testing, to full scale economic lockdown. In the most extreme, China even resorted to welding people into their homes.

There has been no shortage of speculation that the lockdowns have caused harm. The argument has always been that they save lives by mitigating spread, but there really has not been comprehensive proof of that. Florida and California, two comparable states in climate and demography, have had comparable disease spreads with remarkably different approaches to inhibiting its residents. In other words, the NPIs adopted by California, draconian in some respects, have not proven any more effective than the “control group”…Florida’s non-interventionist approach.

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Demand Transparency on Covid-19 Cycle-Threshold Data

The full release and analysis of detailed testing data could be critical in shaping more focused and less intrusive COVID-19 restrictions for Rhode Islanders.

This data, which measures “viral load” (how much of the virus is present) and which is routinely collected by labs that conduct COVID tests, can be critically important in determining both public policy and individual regimens. Take action now to demand it.

The Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity has launched a new campaign, sending over a sixteen hundred pre-written emails (in just days) to officials petitioning the state to take action to collect and publish this vital cycle threshold data.

We have good news to share… they have taken the first steps in making a small portion of this data available. Our campaign is clearly working, but we need full transparency on this critical information.

You can take action by clicking on the link here now. Don’t wait, because your voice is powerful and it will make a difference for the people of Rhode Island!

RI COVID Positivity Graph Bostom

… Except that Rhode Island’s COVID Positivity Rate Is Lower than Two Months Ago

Graph by epidemiologist Dr. Andrew Bostom basis State of R.I. data

At her press conference currently ongoing, Governor Gina Raimondo is announcing new restrictions, including reduction from fifteen to ten at social gatherings; no spectators at any sports for next two weeks; and fines, including fines on households, saying she doesn’t want cases to “explode”.

You’d reasonably conclude from these serious measures and language that Rhode Island’s case positivity rate, the newest panic-promoting selling point of the lockdown, was at a recent high, wouldn’t you? In fact, as epidemiologist Dr. Andrew Bostom said yesterday on the R.I. Center for Freedom and Prosperity‘s “Mikes with Mics” and shows in his graph, above, the current, very modest rise in case positivity is actually lower than the modest rise of August 1.

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Raimondo Rips out Goalposts Altogether as Governors Carefully Disregard Most Important Datapoint

As you probably know, the original justification for the COVID-19 lockdown was to prevent the overwhelming of hospitals. This never happened; not in Rhode Island nor in any state other than hotspot New York (where it got close); not even at the height of the pandemic. Click here to view Justin Katz’ latest, very informative tracking graph of COVID-19 trends in Rhode Island. You’ll note that hospitalizations in Rhode Island, in fact, peaked THREE WHOLE MONTHS AGO.

Keep this critical piece of information in mind as we move now to Rhode Island’s COVID-19 press conference yesterday.

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Death Arrives – Lockdowns Now Demonstrably Indefensible

The survival rate for COVID-19 is now in the range of 99.35% – 99.74%, per CDC data. But even this high rate is almost certainly on the conservative side as it does not include all unidentified cases, an important data point which scientists continue diligently to try to quantify.

Moreover, COVID cases are rising but COVID deaths are falling.

Conversely, grimly, deaths from the lockdown have moved from projection to reality and are rising.