CHRIS POWELL: Killingly generator is needed, Ganim's self-importance isn't

Published on Wednesday, 17 November 2021 20:55

Energy prices are exploding and it seems that the Biden administration wants them to as the administration impairs U.S. energy production and transmission even as it urges other countries to increase their production to rescue the United States from its own lunacy.

This policy of driving up energy prices and increasing the country's energy dependence is reflected in the decision of the supervisor of the New England electrical grid, ISO New England, to withdraw its support for a natural gas-powered electrical generation plant long planned in Killingly. The decision seems to have been made under pressure of the Lamont administration, which thinks Connecticut can convert entirely to “green” electricity before electricity from the gas-powered facility is needed.

That belief already has been disproved by the recent increases in electricity, gasoline, and heating oil prices.

In their climate change alarmism Democrats seem indifferent to energy prices, though the price of energy strongly affects the price of nearly everything else.

But even as this alarmism is determining energy policy, retreating glaciers and warming tundra are revealing artifacts from human settlements during warming periods thousands of years ago, long before the industrial age began.

That is, the planet has gone through many warming and cooling periods that had nothing to do with human activity and everything to do with nature, like solar cycles and the precession of the Earth's axis.

Those cycles don't mean that industry has no effect on climate. But they suggest that crippling civilization in the name of saving it, prohibiting certain energy sources and technologies before better sources and technologies are available, may have consequences worse than a little more energy from natural gas.

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Ask anyone in Connecticut to identify Bridgeport's urgent problems and most answers probably will involve the city's poverty, violence, and general crime and the failure of its schools to educate their neglected children very well. Few would suggest that Bridgeport is being oppressed by climate change.

But last week Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim secretly flew to Scotland to attend the international conference on climate change. When the mayor's absence from City Hall was discovered by Bridgeport's newspaper, the Connecticut Post, Ganim insisted in a telephone call from Scotland that cities will have an important part in reaching climate policy goals.

Maybe they will, but then why did the mayor not announce his trip? Probably because the trip was less a matter of reaching climate policy goals than a matter of self-importance and announcing it would have prompted wonder and ridicule.

After all, every moment the mayor of Bridgeport devotes to climate change is a moment not spent addressing the city's basic problems. Last week's climate change conference drew hundreds of worthies from around the world but there was one less person worrying about Bridgeport.

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WILD CITY STREETS: Hartford's City Council risks being accused of racism by the NAACP and civil liberties union for asking the General Assembly to authorize the city to experiment with a system of traffic cameras to catch motorists running red lights.

Hartford is notorious for violation of traffic rules, and the clamor for cameras to calm the wild streets comes from its own residents, most of whom are members of minority groups. So of course most traffic violators in the city are members of minority groups too.

The more frequent violation of traffic rules in the city probably arises in large part from the disproportionate poverty there – just as the disproportionate number of members of racial minorities in Connecticut's courts and prisons arises from their greater poverty.

But traffic rules are for rich and poor alike to obey, just as they are for the safety of everyone. And if, as the NAACP and civil liberties union imply, poverty should be considered license for breaking traffic rules, Connecticut can kiss its cities goodbye forever.

The Hartford council's wishful idea is not to use red-light cameras to fine violators but to remind them politely to follow the rules. When that politically correct nonsense fails, the council may realize that only tickets, arrests, and fines may work.

Chris Powell is a columnist for the Journal Inquirer in Manchester.

Posted in New Britain Herald, Columns on Wednesday, 17 November 2021 20:55. Updated: Wednesday, 17 November 2021 20:58.