Friday, 18 May 2012

The EU global warming mafia wants to punish Poland

Poland´s sensible opposition to even stronger EU climate change commitments is one of the few bright spots in the ever more depressing reality of European co-operation. But the the valiant Poles are in urgent need of allies against the club of politically correct hypocrites who now are running the European Union
The current EU Presidency holder Denmark - a country which according to the latest WWF report has the dirtiest ecologicl footprint of all Western countries - has already threatened to link a Polish veto of a deal to raise CO2 reduction goals beyond 2020 to the 2014-2020 budget talks:
The source also told Reuters that the current holder of the EU's rotating presidency, Denmark, had threatened to link a Polish veto of a deal to raise CO2 reduction goals beyond 2020 to the 2014-2020 budget talks.
Poland has rejected that programme - dubbed the 2050 road map - twice already, upsetting Germany and the Scandinavian EU states that have led the green agenda, and will likely do so again if the plan is presented to another meeting due in June.

"Poland's obstruction on climate is going to cost it badly, increasingly badly. It could backlash on all sorts of other issues," said Jesse Scott, energy and climate advisor at demosEuropa think-tank.
Read the entire article here
Let us hope that the mess created by the failed euro currency and the increasingly negative EU growth numbers will make it easier for the Poles to stand by their views against the ever more desperate Brussels global warming mafia.

The fact that Poland also wants to pursue its national interest by planning for a shale gas future is another thorn in the side of the EU warmists, who are assisted by the wind energy lobby and Gazprom. Also here Poland needs all available assistance, e.g. from the UK

Thursday, 17 May 2012

G-8 summit at Camp David to be a great success (for Thurmont, Maryland)

                The Clinton Room - complete with gas fireplace, jacuzzi and king size bed - at the        Cozy Inn is already booked for the G-8 meeting

The leaders of the G-8 countries will tomorrow gather at Camp David, 
President Obama´s secluded retreat in the Catoctin Mountains

As always before this kind of "summits", journalists and analysts are busy hyping the meeting:
President Barack Obama will welcome world leaders to the secluded getaway as economic chaos in Europe continues to roil global markets, prompting fears that Europe's misfortunes could threaten the U.S. economic recovery, and possibly Obama's chances at re-election.
Solving Europe's woes is likely to dominate talks at the G-8 summit among the leaders of the world's richest democracies.
Analysts expect Obama to continue a path of quiet diplomacy, prodding European leaders to find a way out of the economic turmoil that could rattle U.S. markets. He's expected to continue to press for growth measures, along with the austerity measures championed by German chancellor Angela Merkel.
Of course they all know that this meeting is not going to be any different from earlier similar gatherings, which have produced no tangible results. Of course there will be a lofty statement -   written by advisers and bureaucrats - in which the leaders "commit" themselves to push for growth, jobs, fight against "climate change" and other supposedly good causes. But those "commitments" are - as always - only meant to make the "world leaders" look good at the concluding photo opportunity. 
However, there is a bright side to the Camp David G-8 meeting: Thurmont, the Frederick County town of about 6,000, adjacent to Camp David is already looking forward to a great weekend
Beyond the frenzy that typically surrounds multi-national gatherings like this, though, local businesses are looking on the bright side. For instance, the Cozy Inn, widely considered the "place to be" in Thurmont, has already sold out all 17 rooms for that weekend.
"This time, it was all journalists," Cozy Inn general manager Vickie Binder said.
Meanwhile, down the street at The Shamrock restaurant, GM Donna Demmon is no stranger to famous diners, which in the past have included Barbara Walters and Sam Donaldson.
"I'm sure we're going to see some people because of this," Demmon said.
And the local police are making sure that security will be tight during the summit:
Thurmont Police Chief Gregory Eyler said he'll likely cancel all leave and training time for his 10-member police force for the G-8 meeting.

Good luck to you all in Thurmont!

Read more here:

Read more here:

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

No reason to celebrate Spanish wind power "record"

The European wind power lobby is celebrating the fact wind turbines in Spain at 1:37 in the early hours of 19 April accounted for 61% of the country´s energy demand:

Last month wind power in Sclpain reached new heights. This extract from the Spanish wind energy association’s (AEE) blog ‘somos eolicos’ highlights what happened…

However, this "achievement" is less than remarkable, when one realises that it happened on a particularly stormy day -  and in the middle of the night, when energy demand is extremely low:
 Iberian benchmark power prices bucked a pre-weekend downtrend in wholesale dealing on Friday as market-moving wind power retreated after setting new records during stormy weather the day before.

Spanish wind parks generated 16,636 megawatts on Thursday, according to national grid operator REE, easily surpassing a previous record of 14,752 MW set on Nov. 9, 2010.

Earlier in the day, wind power accounted for 61 percent of demand In Spain, which typically accounts for 85 percent of volume in the Iberian Electricity Market (Mibel).
Already on the following day the party was over:

By midday on Friday, wind power was down to 11,269 MW, which made costlier coal- and gas-burning plants work harder.

Read the entire article here

Wind power is not going to be a serious energy alternative anywhere. When the wind does not blow - and that happens usually e.g. when it is very cold outside - the turbines produce little or no energy. And in stormy weather they produce too much.  It´s just as simple as that. 

Merkel sacks the main architect of Germany´s controversial energy transition

German Chanchellor Angela Merkel today fired the main architect of the her government´s energy transition policy (Energiewende), Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen, who lost a major election for Merkel´s CDU party in North Rhine-Westfalia last Sunday. 

Although the election loss sealed Röttgen´s fate, the Chancellor knows that criticism of the energy transition policy - which according to the wellknown industrialist and environmentalist Dr. Fritz Vahrenholt is destroying the country´s prosperity - is growing. 

Merkel said her energy policy, which envisages a radical increase in the use of renewable energy sources in the coming decades, faced major challenges and that a "fresh start" with a new minister would help to master them.
"The energy revolution is a central plan of this term and the foundations for it have been laid but we still have a lot of work to do," Merkel said in her statement. "It is evident that the implementation will require major efforts and that is why the Environment Ministry plays an important role in this respect."
Merkel's energy plans have made little progress since she announced an early phaseout of nuclear power in March 2011, in a major U-turn that followed the Fukushima nuclear accident. Key questions remain unresolved, such as the expansion of the national power grid and the construction of new gas-fired power plants.

Read the entire article here

It is unlikely that Röttgen´s successor will be able to do very much, unless the entire Energiewende is dumped. But that is a decision Angela Merkel probably does not have the courage to make. The CDU is most likely going to lose the  next parliamentary election, but the likely winners - the social democrats and the greens - will make the German energy future even worse. So be prepared for unstable times in the still rather succesful economic powerhouse of Europe.

EU - A union "held together by adhesive bandage" and "wishful thinking"

Paul Taylor, a Reuters correspondent, hits the nail on the head. His description of the EUSSR is worth reading: 

The European Union’s policy making system often resembles one of those cartoon designs of an implausibly convoluted system for achieving a simple task — held together by adhesive bandage, string, frequent tinkering and plenty of wishful thinking.
What is striking when you compare Europe’s policies on agriculture, monetary union and climate change is the way the Union keeps bolting on patches and extra wiring to try to fix problems created by its own solutions.
Over the past five decades, the Union has set out to achieve a set of worthy goals by regulating markets — self-sufficiency in food, currency stability, resistance to climate change.
Each of these policies created perverse incentives or what economists call “moral hazard” — unintended consequences like an oversupply of food, real estate bubbles and debt overhangs.
When things go off the rails, the Union’s reflex is never to question or scrap the policy, since political dogma, vested interests and institutional inertia rule out going back on what in Eurospeak is called the “acquis,” or European achievements.
The default response is always “more Europe,” without insisting upon the most straightforward solution, which is often blocked by the threat of political vetoes.
“In political science, it’s called ‘path dependency,”’ said Helen Wallace of the London School of Economics, an authority on European governance. “You are so locked in by what you have done before that you end up doing a version of it again and again.”
While similar behavior exists in national governments and private businesses, the European Union is special — not just because of the number of veto holders who can block change, but also because supporters of the European integration project are reluctant to be critical when policies go wrong, she said.

Read the entire article here
The "path dependency" of the current set of EU leaders will end, when failure on all fronts -  climate change, the common currency, agricultural policy, to name just a few - will force them to retire. 

Ohio says yes to the shale gas revolution

The shale gas revolution is - fortunately - unstoppable in the US. Ohio is the latest state to say yes to a bright energy - and economic - future:

Ohio senators approved new regulations for horizontal shale drilling on Tuesday in a bipartisan vote punctuated by a spoken rendition of “The Beverly Hillbillies” theme song.
State Sen. Bill Seitz, a Cincinnati Republican, used the 1960s sitcom’s protagonist — who became an instant millionaire when he discovered oil — to urge fellow lawmakers to dispense with critics of hydraulic fracturing and get drilling moving in the state.
“Folks, we’re sitting on a mountain of money,” he said. “People who have been poor as church mice for 150 years are now going to be the latter-day Jed Clampetts.”
The detailed energy bill cleared the chamber, 27-6, with backing from both Republicans and Democrats.

Ohio is now poised for an energy boom: 
"Ohio has immense opportunities to create thousands of jobs thanks to the Utica and Marcellus shale," Jack Gerard, president and chief executive officer of the American Petroleum Institute, told an audience Friday at the City Club of Cleveland.
"Responsible energy production has already generated more than $22 billion for the Buckeye state. It is the industry's use of new technology like horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing that has given fresh life to energy development in Ohio.
Read the entire article here

The President of The American Chemistry Council agrees:

"Natural gas is a game changer. Ohio's supply of natural gas from shale has the potential to create tens of thousands of high-paying manufacturing jobs, drive economic output and generate revenues for the Buckeye state," Dooley said.
"Ohio is a model for states on how leveraging abundant shale gas through responsible production can reduce energy costs and create a competitive advantage for its manufacturing industry, particularly for chemical manufacturers. The result is increased investment, more jobs and a growing, robust economy."
ACC recently projected that the establishment of a new chemical plant to take advantage of shale gas here in Ohio could create 17,000 new permanent jobs, provide more than $1 billion in wages for Ohio workers and produce $169 million in tax revenue for the state.
Read the entire article here 
And remember;  the new jobs created are real jobs, unlike the virtual "green" jobs promised by the Obama administration. 

Study: Shopping malls prevent animals from escaping global warming

The latest global warming scare comes from the University of Washington: 9% of the Western Hemisphere´s mammals are not able to run fast enough in order to flee catastrophic global warming. The scientists behind the study propose the construction of "corridors" past e.g. shopping malls to be used by slow moving creatures:  
As climate change transforms their habitat, some animals are already on the move. But a new analysis from the University of Washington warns that many species won't be able to run fast enough to survive a warming world.
On average, about 9 percent of the Western Hemisphere's mammals migrate too slowly to keep pace with the rapid climate shifts expected over the next century, says the study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In some areas, including parts of the Appalachian Mountains and the Amazon basin, nearly 40 percent of mammals may be unable to reach safe haven in time.

The scientists admit their study presents an oversimplified view of the real world. It doesn't account for shifts in the other factors that influence mammals' distribution, such as competition and predation. Nor does it account for species' ability to adapt to changing habitat.
The scientists did try to make the picture more realistic by factoring in some of the barriers mammals will face as they set out for greener pastures - things such as roads, shopping malls and cities. In many cases, the analysis found species that would otherwise win the race with climate change will falter in the face of these modern obstacles.
But the analysis also points to ways people might be able to reduce the impact of climate change - in addition to cutting back emissions, Schloss said. If it's possible to identify choke points that block animal migrations, corridors could be built to ease the creatures on their way.
Read the entire article here
It is not difficult to agree with the scientists´ statement that "their study presents an oversimplified view of the real world" - a quality that their study shares with most other global warming studies. 

Arctic seabirds doing fine despite of "global warming"

Little auks doing fine in Greenland 

Another  hugely  disappointing  study  for  true  believers  in  the  global  warming  religion: 

Arctic  seabirds  adapt  to  climate  change

The planet is warming up, especially at the poles. How do organisms react to this rise in temperatures? An international team led by a CNRS researcher from the Center for Functional and Evolutionary Ecology has shown that little auks, the most common seabirds in the Arctic, are adapting their fishing behavior to warming surface waters in the Greenland Sea. So far, their reproductive and survival rates have not been affected

Surprisingly, the birds have managed to make up for the warming of surface waters in the Greenland Sea by altering their diet and extending the duration of their foraging trips at sea. They travel further and for longer in order to feed in areas where foraging is more successful.
So far, little auks have therefore managed to adapt to the effects of warming surface waters in the Greenland Sea.
Not surprisingly, the scientists behind the study felt that they had to provide some consolation for members of the climate cult: 
 Yet it seems that little auks have reached the limits of their physiological and behavioral capacities. More intense warming could therefore cause their decline as well as a major disruption of marine ecosystems in the Arctic.
Read the entire article here
(image by wikipedia)

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Denmark not quite a fairy tale kingdom for enviro-fundamentalists

"Thumbelina" from H.C. Andersen´s fairy tale

Flashback April 17, 2012:

“This is the place to be for renewable energy and green growth”

Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Prime Minister of Denmark

WWF, May 15: 

Denmark’s demand on the earth’s resources is one of the greatest in the world according to a a new report by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
The biennial Living Planet Report examined the impact of human activity on the planet and found that Denmark’s ecological footprint per person – measured in terms of the amount of space demanded per inhabitant for the country’s global activities – is the fourth largest in the world.
This places Denmark behind only the gulf oil states of Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, but ahead of industrial superpowers and heavy polluters like the USA, Canada and China.
A country’s ecological footprint is made up of both the quantity of goods and services individuals consume and the amount of waste they produce, as well as the decisions of businesses and governments and their environmental demands and impacts.
Read the entire article here
It goes without saying that both the PM and the WWF are trying to hype their own misleading and false "green" propaganda. However, it is interesting to note that Denmark is not quite the enviro-fundamentalist paradise Mrs. Thorning-Schmidt would like us to believe.  Maybe she has been reading too many of the great Hans Christian Andersen´s fairy tales?
(image wikipedia)

The euro crisis: Kabuki characters in a Greek drama

Juncker: "I don't envisage even for one second Greece leaving the euro-area. This is nonsense, this is propaganda,"

While Greece is burning, the euro zone decision  makers are continuing their version of the traditional Japanese kabuki theater. Particularly, the euro zone chairman, Luxembourg´s Jean-Claude Juncker has aquired an important element of the kabuki, in which the actor holds a picturesque pose to establish his character: 

The 17 finance ministers of the euro zone didn't discuss any possibility of Greece leaving Europe's currency union at their meeting Monday, group chairman Jean-Claude Juncker said.
"There is an unshakeable desire to keep Greece in the euro zone," Juncker told a joint briefing after what appeared to be a generally inconclusive meeting.
"The exit of Greece from the euro zone was not the subject of our discussions today," Juncker said. "Absolutely no one has argued for that position."
Read the entire article here
It is probably true that "no one" argued "for that position" in the formal discussions, but of course it is clear that the exit of Greece from the euro zone was the only important question in the real, unofficial discussions of the finance ministers. 
These are the harsh facts (also known to Juncker, even if he does not want to admit it publicly): 
After Greek voters rejected austerity in last week's election, plunging the country into a political crisis, Europe has been searching for a Plan B for Greece. It's time to admit that the EU/IMF rescue plan has failed. Greece's best hopes now lie in a return to the drachma.
Greece has been in intensive care for years, but the patient, instead of recovering, is just getting sicker and sicker. In a confidential report, which SPIEGEL has seen, experts from the IMF arrive at a devastating verdict. The country, they write, has only "a small industrial base" and is characterized by "structural incrustations" and an "excessively large role of the public sector."
In Greece's Best Interest
It's time to rethink the treatment. The Greeks were never ready for the monetary union, and they still aren't ready today. The attempt to retroactively bring the country up to speed through reforms has failed.
No one can force the Greeks to give up the euro. And yet it is now clear that withdrawal would also be in the country's best interest.
But only a Greek withdrawal from the euro zone will give the country a chance to get back on its feet in the long term. The Greeks would have their own currency once again, which they could then devalue, making imports more expensive and exports cheaper. As a result, say American economist Kenneth Rogoff and others, the Greek economy could become competitive again.

So, please Mr. Juncker, the sooner you return to reality - and leave the kabuki to the Japanese - the better!

(image wikipedia)

Chelsea Flower show combats climate change

This years version of the Chelsea Flower Flow - the world´s most famous garden exhibition - is to open next week in the grounds of the Royal Hospital. Sadly, the show is not anymore what it used to be: 

Chelsea Flower Show to combat climate change

This year’s Chelsea Flower Show will showcase urban gardens that unlock the potential of green fingers to combat climate change.

Exhibiting at the Chelsea Flower Show from May 22-26, the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and its Environment Section will focus on the science of ‘urban greening’ and how to counter the effects of climate change.
Read the entire article here

One of the three Gold Medal winners is a garden called Winds of Change, which the organiser, Royal Horticultural Society, describes in this way: 

This garden has an industrial look inspired by the wind turbines that feature in the design. Its owner has a passion for reclaimed materials and wanted to create a garden that included his home-engineered turbines, which have been constructed using industrial cooling fans.

One wonders what this man, Capability Brown - Englands  greatest  gardener -  would have said about the  Gold Medal  winning garden, which highlights "home-engineered turbines"?

Monday, 14 May 2012

EU´s new climate "allies" think that it is paytime

Last year in Durban, the European Union - "the global climate change leader" - openly boastad about its alliance with a group of small island states and Least Developed Countries (LDCs). 

However, the new "allies" are now showing increasing signs of restlessness. Now, when paytime is getting closer - and the EU is in the middle of a financial crissis - the  Alliance of Small Island States (Aosis) is wondering whether the "global leader" intends to stick by its costly promises. 

UN climate talks open in Germany on Monday, with the EU struggling to keep its position of a global leader.
Small developing countries that linked up with the EU in a new coalition last year say the bloc must commit to tougher emission cuts and more finance.
Existing pledges on "climate aid" run out at the end of this year, and the EU has yet to clarify what happens then.

Fortunately, the EU´s überwarmist Connie Hedegaard does not have a key to the EU´s - now more or less empty - money coffer:

Meanwhile, the Ecofin group of EU finance ministers is also meeting this week to discuss financial contributions for developing countries.

The EU has pledged - and according to its own analysis, largely committed - 7.2bn euros ($9.3bn) over the period 2010-12 as its share of the "fast-start finance" package agreed at the UN summit in Copenhagen in 2009.
The expectation had been that the developed world, including the EU, would begin to ramp up contributions from public and private sources in order to meet the long-term target, also agreed at Copenhagen, of providing $100bn per year by 2020.
However, a leaked draft of the Ecofin agreement seen by BBC News shows that EU ministers have not agreed what they will provide in the way of finance after 2012, nor how they will provide it.
The draft talks in terms of developed nations "needing to identify" a pathway to the $100bn target. Some money could be raised through the recently introduced charge on aviation emissions, but this is not certain.
Read the entire article here
The representatives of the small - often corrupt - island states should understand that the "promises" made in Durban were not intended to be kept. What they can hope for - at best - is that the keepers of the EU purse will find some way of "identifying" existing aid resources, which then can be renamed as "new" funding.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Putin´s Orwellian inauguration

The Moscow Times is to be congratulated for publishing Vladimir Frolov´s account of the inauguration of Russia´s criminal ruler:

The regal inauguration of President Vladimir Putin last Monday offered a creepy scene: Putin's motorcade traveled along dead-quiet, deserted streets from the White House to the Kremlin, while on nearby Moscow streets ordinary citizens were being beaten by police truncheons. The scene was distinctly Orwellian.
With their ridiculous repeated "castlings" and lame explanations to cover up what may be a conspiracy to perpetuate one man's rule, Putin and Medvedev are taking this country into George Orwell's "1984."
It is Orwellian for Putin to pledge in his inauguration address that Russia should be a democracy while heavily armed police are roughing up people for merely taking a walk with a white ribbon or drinking coffee in a cafe.
It is Orwellian to nominate as the country's next prime minister the man who has just failed as president and rush his nomination through parliament, disregarding the due deliberation process that underpins the real separation of powers.
It is Orwellian chutzpah to send Medvedev as your stand-in to the Group of Eight summit at Camp David, saying you are too busy forming Medvedev's government.
It is Orwellian to fire off a flurry of executive orders on your first day on the job by giving your own former government the task of wishing away the nation's problems while shedding any personal political responsibility for failure.
This haste and arrogance only underscore another Orwellian feature of the emerging landscape — the lack of any transparent and competitive process for public policy development. There is just one man with a fountain pen.
This new Orwellian reality brings back the Big Lie, a return to Soviet-style manipulative slogans to cover up the rulers' desire to perpetuate their rule with phony professions of seeking the public good. This is genuine Orwellian terrain where "a lie is the truth and the truth is a lie, peace is war and war is peace."
Medvedev's farewell television interview exposed him as someone who does not really believe in what he is saying but prefers to stick to the Big Lie to guarantee himself a place in power, although not in history. He cringes at the thought of having to be insincere on camera but plows on with one implausible explanation after another.
Orwellian politics are turning Russia into an object of international ridicule. This is not how most Russians see their nation's future.

"Free China: The Courage to Believe" wins another top award

Finally, a powerful documentary about human rights violations in communist China. Hopefully this film will be shown on nationwide television channels in all those countries - e.g. Germany - which through trade relations prop up the repressive and authoritarian regime in China.
A documentary capturing widespread human rights abuses in China, has won the top award in its category at West Hollywood’s Awareness Film Festival over the weekend, just a month after receiving another top award at the 45th World-Fest Houston Film Festival.
The feature length documentary, Free China: The Courage to Believe, follows the remarkable stories of Jennifer Zeng, a mother and former Communist Party member, and Dr. Charles Lee, a Chinese-American businessman. Both were arrested, tortured and subjected to slave labor for their spiritual belief in Falun Gong, atraditional Chinese meditation and exercise practice which is persecuted in China
Directed by award-winning film maker and activist, Michael Perlman, and produced by Kean Wong of New York-based independent New Tang Dynasty Television, the documentary film provides fresh insight into China, a country that has unmatched growth in GDP but also a political fragility and deviation from international norms.
A highlight of the film is the insight it gives to the way in which large corporations contribute to China’s violations. Free China documents specific U.S. companies and illustrates how, through business with China, they enable the Chinese leadership to suppress dissidents. It also details the recent lawsuit filed by the Human Rights Law Foundation against Cisco System for allegedly implementing an elaborate surveillance apparatus that has led to the detention and torture of many Chinese prisoners of conscience.
Capturing the intricacies of the challenges China poses for the international community, the film sheds light on how the advancement of Internet technologies have helped human rights activists throughout China and around the world to challenge censorship of information in closed off societies.
Read the entire article here

EU´s poet president meets the people

According to the Wall Street Journal there is no end in sight for the euro crisis: 

 "euro zone debt crisis will probably drag on for even longer, the ultimate costs of the bail outs will be even higher and the threat to the survival of the single currency even greater" 

However, that does not seem to bother the European Union "President", Herman van Rompuy too much. Yesterday the haiku poet "king" descended from the corridors of power in Brussels in order to meet some of his grateful subjects: 

The tall man behind Haiku Herman is Reijo Kemppinenthe European Council’s director-general for press and communication, who earns his living - a rather comfortable one - by organising this kind of "media opportunities". 

California collapses - and Obama follows its lead

 Jerry Brown in 2010: "I have defended California’s clean energy and climate laws that are spurring billions of dollars in new investment, new businesses and new jobs"

Flashback 2010: 

California gubernatorial hopeful Jerry Brown unveiled a green jobs plan today that he says will create a half a million green jobs and will appoint a “Renewable Energy Jobs Czar.”

Reality check April 2012:

Green jobs, broadly defined, make up only about 2 percent of jobs in the state—about the same proportion as in Texas. In Silicon Valley, the number of green jobs actually declined between 2003 and 2010. Meanwhile, California’s unemployment rate of 10.9 percent is the nation’s third highest, behind only Nevada and Rhode Island.

When Governor Jerry Brown predicted a half-million green jobs by the end of the decade, even The New York Times deemed it “a pipe dream.”

Reality check May 2012:

California's budget deficit has swelled to a projected $16 billion -- much larger than had been predicted just months ago -- and will force severe cuts to schools and public safety if voters fail to approve tax increases in November, Gov. Jerry Brown said Saturday.

Joel Kotkinurban studies professor at Chapman University in Orange, and one of the leading US demographers, explains why California is failing under its "green" governor: 

Nearly four million more people have left the Golden State in the last two decades than have come from other states. This is a sharp reversal from the 1980s, when 100,000 more Americans were settling in California each year than were leaving. According to Mr. Kotkin, most of those leaving are between the ages of 5 and 14 or 34 to 45. In other words, young families.

The scruffy-looking urban studies professor at Chapman University in Orange, Calif., has been studying and writing on demographic and geographic trends for 30 years. Part of California's dysfunction, he says, stems from state and local government restrictions on development. These policies have artificially limited housing supply and put a premium on real estate in coastal regions.
"The new regime"—his name for progressive apparatchiks who run California's government—"wants to destroy the essential reason why people move to California in order to protect their own lifestyles."

Housing is merely one front of what he calls the "progressive war on the middle class." Another is the cap-and-trade law AB32, which will raise the cost of energy and drive out manufacturing jobs without making even a dent in global carbon emissions. Then there are the renewable portfolio standards, which mandate that a third of the state's energy come from renewable sources like wind and the sun by 2020. California's electricity prices are already 50% higher than the national average.
In the governor's dreams, green jobs will replace all of the "tangible jobs" that the state's losing in agriculture, manufacturing, warehousing and construction. But "green energy doesn't create enough energy!" Mr. Kotkin exclaims. "And it drives up the price of energy, which then drives out other things." Notwithstanding all of the subsidies the state lavishes on renewables, green jobs only make up about 2% of California's private-sector work force—no more than they do in Texas.

Of course, there are plenty of jobs to be had in energy, just not the type the new California regime wants. An estimated 25 billion barrels of oil are sitting untapped in the vast Monterey and Bakersfield shale deposits. "You see the great tragedy of California is that we have all this oil and gas, we won't use it," Mr. Kotkin says. "We have the richest farm land in the world, and we're trying to strangle it." He's referring to how water restrictions aimed at protecting the delta smelt fish are endangering Central Valley farmers.

Mr. Kotkin also notes that demographic changes are playing a role. As progressive policies drive out moderate and conservative members of the middle class, California's politics become even more left-wing. It's a classic case of natural selection, and increasingly the only ones fit to survive in California are the very rich and those who rely on government spending. In a nutshell, "the state is run for the very rich, the very poor, and the public employees."

What is particularly sad, is that "As California Collapses, Obama Follows Its Lead":

Barack Obama learned the rough sport of politics in Chicago, but his domestic policies have been shaped by California’s progressive creed. As the Golden State crumbles, its troubles point to those America may confront in a second Obama term.

From his first days in office, the president has held up California as a model state. In 2009, he praised its green-tinged energy policies as a blueprint for the nation.