Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds…

Behold the madness of crowds - as if you could avoid it if you wanted to: Dateline Berkeley: – Natural gas outlawed for all new construction. I’m assuming these do-gooders think they’re saving the environment. By taking one of the cheapest and cleanest burning fuels off the market.

Note the “Off Fossil Fuels” power couple in the back

I guess they’re going to generate all that additional electricity load with wind and solar, as we know they won’t be allowed to use nuclear, coal or natural gas. Then, when they run out of electricity the overlords can demand a takeover of the electric companies – Like Mayor de Blasio did this week: NYC Mayor Suggests ConEd Takeover After Heat Forces Shutdown.

“We don’t depend on a private company for water or for policing or for fire protection,” de Blasio said at a press conference Monday. “If they can’t handle the job, it’s time to look at new alternatives.”

I’m so old that I remember when people like me were ridiculed when we warned that socialist policies like Obamacare would eventually lead to full-blown socialism. But look here, after only 10 years the mayor of America’s largest city is proposing precisely that: government takeover of a major industry. With nary a passing acknowledgment of politicians’ role in creating the shortages…that led to the shutdowns…that generated the outrage.

Image result for don quixoteDon Quixote (Picasso)

As if roadblocking and fighting the building of new power “fossil fuel” or nuclear generation plants, while simultaneously demanding the shutdown of existing nuclear and coal plants, had nothing to do with peak load energy shortages. It’s hard to power 21st century growth with only 75% of 20th century power plants plus wind and solar farms. Then again math and science are not the strong suits of progressives.

Would you like a little taste of what will happen if Mayor de Blasio gets his wish and actually does “take over” ConEd? You need look no further than Detroit, a city where streetlights and stoplights have been lit exclusively by the Detroit Public Lighting Company for decades. When the Democrat run city ran into financial trouble, the streetlights

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and stoplights stopped working.

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In many neighborhoods it remained the responsibility of business and home owners to provide whatever public lighting there was.

Because the Detroit Public Lighting Department (DPLD) had received no revenue for electricity from the city for years it had no funds to maintain the 100 year old electric system. One by one the lights began to go out due to neglect. By the time Detroit was forced into bankruptcy the DPLD was running a $30 million/year deficit. When the state stepped in to clean up (i.e., pay for) the mess Kevyn Orr was appointed the city’s Emergency Manager and given broad cost cutting powers.

He asked DTE Energy (Detroit Edison, who owns and operates the rest of Detroit’s metropolitan electric grid) to take over the mismanaged and dilapidated DPLD. While DTE agreed to provide DPLD's 115 customers at 1,400 sites in Southeast Michigan with electricity services as part of a gradual wind-down process, they refused to assume the assets of the old DPLD, presumably due to liability issues:

The 100-year-old PLD system has not received any investment in nearly a decade, and the city of Detroit has been operating it at a loss for some time…DTE said it will not assume PLD's assets because of the poor condition of the city's electricity distribution and transmission grid. - Crain’s Detroit

And yes, Detroit’s street lights slowly came back on. With a $185 million Obama era energy saving program to replace them with LEDs. How’s that working out for them?

A few years ago, the city of Detroit finished installing 65,000 "light emitting diode" (LED) street lights in an effort to cut costs and pollution as well as increase safety. The new lights were part of a $185 million package meant to improve the city and were encouraged by President Obama's Department of Energy. But three years later in 2019, thousands of these bulbs are now needing replacement when the city expected them to last until at least 2027.  - Townhall

Do we need to know anything else about  Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds?

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FYI, the book is divided into 3 sections: “National Delusions,” “Peculiar Follies,” and “Philosophical Delusions,” everyone of which is on display in this little fable.