Taking “Baby Steps” Toward Catastrophe

By Tom Lewis | | Climate, Politics 5 Comments

A map showing world temperatures last July.

Senator Joe Manchin has graciously allowed the federal government to send several gallons of water to fight the wildfires raging in 15 or so states: some empty pails to Florida to bail out the sea water that threatens to overwash the state; a couple of kayaks to ride out hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico; and billions and billions of dollars to the rich and famous who make (and buy) electric cars and build wind and solar “farms.” Now he’s taking a victory lap as a savior of mankind. Continue reading

It’s Not an Advantage, It’s a Scam

By Tom Lewis | | Culture 2 Comments

The biggest, loudest, most expensive scam ever perpetrated on the American people is underway right now and people seem not to recognize that it is, in fact, a scam. This despite the fact that they are being hammered with advertising promoting it 24/7. The TV ads feature broken down football quarterbacks and elderly actors and comedians pitching “Medicare Part C.” (At the end of each spot there is a shot of a bunch of tiny type that, should you stop the playback, get a magnifying glass and read it, informs you that the sponsor of the ad is not, in fact, a government agency. In other words, when it says it is offering Medicare Part C, it is lying.)  Continue reading

Another Winning Season

By Tom Lewis | | Climate 9 Comments

Everything is going really well, considering….

Just past half-time in the great game of 2022, the 50th consecutive successful year of the War on Climate Change. And as in every one of those other years, we have racked up many achievements so far this year — so many that we thought it best to review them at half time lest the list be too long and unwieldy at year’s end. So far this year;

Last weekend, in two days, the heat wave in Greenland melted eight billion tons per day of water from the northern ice sheets and sent it coursing in great rivers into the ocean — enough water to cover the state of West Virginia to a depth of one foot. 

Continue reading

Attack of the Smart Thermostats

By Tom Lewis | | Energy 2 Comments

This attractive young lady is programming her smart thermostat to destroy the world.

We made “smart” thermostats too smart: they’ve hatched a plot to take down the electric grid. (BTW: whenever you see the word “smart” attached to an inanimate thing, know that something really stupid is going on.)

Smart thermostats contain a timer that, during the heating season, lowers the temperature of the house a few degrees while its residents are most likely asleep, then returns it to the preset level by the time they arise for the day. Marketers assure householders that a smart thermostat can save them 30% on their energy costs. Reality is more like 5%. Nevertheless, the pitch has worked so well that 40% of all US households are now governed by a smart thermostat. That’s 50 million homes (as of 2020).Only after this had happened did anybody realize what the hitch was.  Continue reading

The Bonfire of the Inanities (lol)

By Tom Lewis | | Culture 10 Comments

A Republican candidate to represent Georgia in the United States Senate, Herschel Walker,  had this analysis of global climate change this week:

“Since we don’t control the air, our good air decided to float over to China’s bad air. So when China gets our good air, their bad air got to move. So it moves over to our good air space. Then — now we got to clean that back up.”

Please note that this was not a casual remark caught on a hot mike, but part of a prepared campaign speech. 

A few years ago, if you had presented this as a satire of political speech  you would have been accused of going over the top. Today, it’s not even an outlier. We are awash in a sea of inanity, bombarded daily with statements that are stunningly  ignorant, stupid, incoherent, malevolent and toxic. A sickening number of politicians make such statements every day, and an army of knuckle-draggers amplifies and spreads the garbage around the world. 

How did we get here? I’m glad you asked. Continue reading

The Other Big Lie

By Tom Lewis | | Uncategorized 4 Comments

There is another Big Lie circulating in the country — other than the one about somebody “stealing” the 2020 presidential election — that is just as corrosive to American politics. And this one comes not from the Trumpian right, but from everybody else. Bill Maher gave it voice the other night on his HBO show “Real Time with Bill Maher.” Now I like Bill Maher, watch him regularly, and agree with most of what he says. But this is what he said the other night:

“You can hate Trump, but you can’t hate Trump supporters, because they are half the country.”  

The idea that “the country” is equally divided between Trump supporters and Trump detractors is the other Big Lie I’m talking about. It is seldom stated overtly as Maher did the other night, it is so deeply embedded in the conventional wisdom that it is simply an assumption underlying just about every conversation about politics today. But it is not true. Continue reading

The Oil Industry and Involuntary Liquidation

By Tom Lewis | | Energy 12 Comments

I never thought I would be even tempted to defend the oil industry, and that’s not exactly what I intend to do here, but their situation, and the situation in which they have put us,  need a little explaining. There are two major narratives about the oil business currently, spurred by spiking fuel prices and corporate profits. One is that President Biden is responsible for high fuel prices; there’s no point in even discussing that notion, it is simply too dumb to live. The other, embraced by a large number of very smart people, is that the oil companies are making obscene profits by price gouging — raising prices simply because they can, and using the profits to buy back stocks and pay higher dividends and salaries.

They are raising prices, and they are racking up historic profits, but to understand what’s happening to them, and us, we need to know, as Paul Harvey used to croon, “the rest of the story.” Continue reading

Too Much Heat, Not Enough Electricity

By Tom Lewis | | Energy 10 Comments

The drumbeat began with the rattling of a snare drum or two; now the tympani are being bludgeoned with sledge hammers. As a Washington Post headline puts it today: “A summer of blackouts? Wheezing power grid leaves states at risk.” The article — one of many like it appearing in heavyweight publications in recent weeks — says that the nation’s power grid is “under stress like never before,” and “could buckle in large areas of the country” with the onset of a summer that is forecast to be brutally hot. Continue reading

Political Action: An Oxymoron

By Tom Lewis | | Politics 11 Comments

If you want to excel at football you have to be able to run fast; to play hockey well, you have to be really good at skating; in baseball, you have to be able either to catch the ball, or hit it. To survive in politics today you must learn the art of appearing to do something about a problem without actually doing anything at all. The reason is that if you (accidentally) actually do something you will please 50% or so of the people, those who wanted it done, and you will make eternal vicious enemies of the people who did not agree with, or were adversely affected by, doing it.

Nothing showcases this practice like a school mass shooting. The proposals we are hearing from master politicians after the latest, in Uvalde, Texas, include: Continue reading

The Great American Recycling Myth

By Tom Lewis | | Pollution 9 Comments

While images of shiny new recycled products dance in consumers’ dreams, this is where their plastic discards actually go.

Of all the subjects I have tackled in the 12 years or so I have been writing in this space, none has given me greater pain than recycling. I have many friends and family members who are passionate about recycling, and proud of their recycling creds. For me to write, as I often have, that recycling — especially plastics recycling — is basically an industry scam, hurts them, and hurts me. Some examples:

The Second Biggest Scam Ever: Plastic Recycling.”  The Daily Impact, November 2020.

Recycling: Garbage In, Garbage Out.The Daily Impact, June, 2019.

Recycling and Rain Forests: Trojan Horses.”  The Daily Impact, May, 2018.

Needless to say I have taken some grief for my opinions on this, but last week came powerful affirmation: the attorney general of California launched an investigation into the fossil fuel and petrochemical industries for their role in “causing and exacerbating the global plastics pollution crisis.” Continue reading

Another Day

You get up every day

expecting it to be just like the last one.

And then one day, just like that

It is the last one.

– Thomas A. Lewis, Tribulation


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