A writer who commonly explores science, culture, and the relationship between the two. Follow on Twitter
Greetings from North Carolina, where our legislature gets to more crazy in a week than yours does in an entire session. You’re probably sick of hearing about it, but Plugged In wants to keep you plugged in.
Okay, legislative dumbassery the first: the legislature would like to ban greenhouse gas laws. Yep –NC Senate Bill 171, filed March 5, prohibits “state agencies and local governments from adopting, implementing, or enforcing a rule or ordinance that regulates greenhouse gas emissions.” Which is good because it does more than merely prevent the state’s many sensible communities — Asheville, Chapel Hill, Carrboro, Raleigh, and Durham, and many others are all energy-forward-thinking municipalities, offering free electric car charging stations and the like — from implementing strategies overtly addressing one of the greatest challenges of our time, clogging up the channels of science.
No, by outlawing “enforcing” any such legislation it virtually guarantees that any such regulation on the federal level will clog up the courts as backwards-thinking types have a state law giving them an excuse for pernicious legal action that will surely climb to the highest courts.
One has to be impressed. Even during the Civil War, “states’ rights” was used only to justify the enslavement of one particular group. Now, 150 years later, it’s being used to justify refusal to address physical reality and provide protective cover to attack all those who do.
And that’s only dumbassery the first! Perhaps jealous that the crazy NC Senate was getting all the attention, the NC General Assembly showed that it was more than capable of keeping up. It filed HOUSE DRH10099-MH-3 on March 13 “eliminating renewable energy portfolio standards.”
Yep. People like Robert J. Michaels of the Cato Institute have expressed great assurance that renewable energy standards don’t improve energy efficiency or cleanliness, so you can understand. Because you don’t want scientists messing about with things like energy, figuring out ways to use clean or renewable energy instead of greenhouse gas-producing fossil fuels. You want conservative economists making those policies.
Anyhow, the NC legislators also made sure that wind power was removed from the “renewable energy resource” list. Not terribly surprising from North Carolina, where our secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources believes that oil might be a renewable energy resource. Seriously — he said he believed that, and North Carolina is sponsoring legislation that removes wind from the list of renewable energy sources.
In other North Carolina news, down is now up, black is now white, and I’m drinking again. One of those is true. Als0: ignorance is strength. Szdly that’s true too.
P.S. Many thanks to the admirable @sarapeach for making sure I stayed reminded on this topic.