Fear-Mongering Deputy 'Energy Secretary' Can’t Answer Sen. Kennedy’s Basic Questions

P. Gardner Goldsmith | May 9, 2023
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Americans can detect many “off-putting” components of the U.S. Department of Energy. From the charmless chuckles of former Michigan Governor and current “Energy Secretary” Jennifer Granholm that she offered in response to a basic question of what the Biden Administration would do to free-up domestic energy production, to the more fundamentally disjointed idea that the nation under its Constitution runs such an offensive “Department of Energy” in the first place, the insults are numerous and large.

And now, thanks to the well-known “cross-examination” powers of Senator John Kennedy (R-LA), we have been treated to more.

The exchange occurred May 4, as Kennedy posed some logical and pointed questions to “Deputy Energy Secretary” David Turk, and while his remonstration did not address the basic calumnies of an administrative post called “Deputy Energy Secretary” or the department itself, Kennedy gave us a feast, opening with :

“Give me your best estimate – an estimate, I know, of how soon you think the United States will be ‘carbon-neutral’.”

Now, whether Kennedy was being coy by keeping mum on the fact that no nation-state or population over which the government rules ever will be “carbon neutral,” or if he actually both believes it’s possible and that it is a salutary goal – one cannot be certain at this point of the exchange, and that’s an important factor to which we will return before the close of this piece.

Kennedy’s initial question did, however, set up his chess strategy and offer the first move.

Turk appeared oblivious to the fact that he was walking into a trap.

“So, uh, I think, according to the climate scientists around the world, and according to the cutting-edge scientists that we need to rely on here in the US, we’ve gotta get carbon-neutral by 2050, and I’m very comfortable with that target, and I think that’s the appropriate target.”

Kennedy’s response was his next chess move, as he began to box-in Turk.

“And how much will that cost?”

After some short back-and-forths in which Kennedy had to stress he wanted “total costs” to the economy, Turk offered:

“It’s gonna cost trillions of dollars,” he said, and made sure to throw in the pseudo-alarm – the bogeyman siren – of, “And it’s going to cost tens of trillions if we don’t get our act together.”

The latter being the fake, the sleight-of-hand, the fictitious “estimate” of “costs” Americans “will suffer” from “climate catastrophes” that the fear-mongers repeatedly predict and repeatedly get wrong, even going so far as to claim that we are experiencing increased severe tropical storms when that is not the case.

Perhaps his strategy did not include being pulled into a critique of those unsound fundamentals – something many of us might have wanted to see – so, instead, Kennedy continued his focus on the costs incurred for this “carbon neutral” nirvana.

“How many trillions?”

“I don’t have the estimate or the numbers in front of me. I’ve seen a variety of different estimates, but it’s a large amount. Fundamentally transforming our energy economy—”

That, right there, could offer Americans a claxon loud enough to keep them awake forever. How is what you and I put into our personally-owned autos or trucks or home heating systems any of Turk’s business? How is it “OUR” energy economy? How does the US government get to play "fascist fatherland" via this “Energy Department” at any level of either basic constitutional criteria or fundamental, peaceful ethics?

Oh, that’s right, there’s nothing constitutional or peaceful about the “Energy Department.”

Let’s continue, as did Kennedy and Turk, with the two going back and forth on Kennedy’s curiosity that Turk was making claims about “costs” and “savings” without bringing any numbers, not even estimates, with him.

Said Kennedy, soon after their initial exchange:

“So, you’re advocating that we become ‘carbon-neutral,’ but you don’t know how much it’s going to cost?”

Turk: “So there’s an awful lot of estimates out there, it depends on technology improvement and other kinds of things…”

Again, Kennedy tried to press him for real numbers. And, after more fumbling and non-answers from Turk, the Senator said:

“If we spend trillions of dollars, as some of your colleagues have testified, to become ‘carbon neutral’ by 2050 – and I’m all for ‘carbon-neutrality, by the way--”

-- Which gives us a rough answer to our question of whether Kennedy was being “coy” by not challenging the faulty assumptions of climate alarmism or he buys into the ideas that “carbon” is a problem, that “carbon-neutrality” is a laudable goal, and that it is even achievable… and he continued:

“…How much is that gonna lower world temperatures? Or how much is that gonna reduce the increase in world temperatures?”

That’s the checkmate move. Because, even IF one accepts the erroneous idea that human use of petrochemicals, consumption of eeevil meat, use of concrete, and use of devilish nitrogen-mix fertilizer – among many life-bettering activities – could dramatically change the composition of the atmosphere above and beyond naturally-occurring forces, the question of whether those “emissions” have any appreciable effect on world temperature beyond changes wrought by natural phenomena remains unanswered.

Related: After Wreaking COVID Havoc, CDC Director Walensky Announces June Departure

Bureaucrats such as Turk, and the politicians and Climate Cult shills who push the fear, never fail to assume the effect. But when pressed, they don’t offer concrete numbers to back up their vague climate stratagems.

“So, every country around the world has to get its act together. Our emissions are about thirteen-percent of global—”

… A nifty dodge that both doesn’t answer and casts responsibility onto other national governments, even as Turk keeps pushing mandates onto Americans.

Kennedy pressed. Repeatedly. Because Turk would not give him a straight answer.

“Maybe I’m not being clear. If we spent 50 trillion dollars to become carbon-neutral by 2050 in the United States of America, how much is that going to reduce world temperatures?”

Turk spouted variations of his earlier dodges:

“This is a global problem. So, we need to reduce our emissions, and we need to do everything we can to—”

Kennedy jumped in, and the rest went like this:

“How much, if we ‘do our part,’ is it going to reduce world temperatures?”

Turk: “So, we’re thirteen percent of—”

“You don’t know, do you?”

A pause. The room grew very quiet.

Kennedy: “You don’t know, do you?”

Turk: “You can to the math, we need to—”

Kennedy: “You don’t know, do you, Mr. Secretary?”

Turk: “So, we’re thirteen-percent of global—”

Kennedy: “If you know, why won’t you tell me?”

Turk: “If we went to zero that would be thirteen-percent—”

(Which also implies an incorrect “overall reduction” assumption, and doesn’t consider the fact that he’s dealing with multi-variable calculus, even in his emissions-fantasy world.)

Kennedy: “You don’t know, do you? You just want us to spend 50 trillion dollars and you don’t have the slightest idea whether it’s going to reduce world temperatures. Now, I’m all for ‘carbon-neutrality.’ But you’re the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Energy, and you’re advocating we spend trillions of dollars to seek ‘carbon-neutrality,’ and you can’t – and this isn’t your money or my money, it’s taxpayer money -- and you can’t tell me how much it’s going to lower world temperatures, or you won’t tell me? You know, but you won’t?”

Turk: “In my heart-of-hearts, there is no way the world gets its act together on climate change unless the US leads.”

Kennedy: “Tell me how much it’s going to reduce—”

Turk tried to interrupt, with, “The US needs to lead,” but Kennedy wasn’t having it.

“You can’t tell me. Either that, or you won’t.”

Boom. But, again, Senator Kennedy errs in accepting the erroneous assumptions, and to accept those is to cede to the unfounded premises that 1) world climate is dramatically changing, 2) the use of petrochemicals, livestock, fertilizer, and even basics like concrete is driving such a catastrophic change, and 3) that there is any valid constitutional or moral place for any tax-funded agent of government to claim power over others to “manage” any of it.

It’s important to keep those in mind, because one can ask the “what if." What if the Deputy Energy Sec had proper answers? What if it didn’t “cost” as much and they really could tell Senator Kennedy how much the edicts and commands would “change” emissions?

Would that make the edicts acceptable?

Of course not. The Climate Change superstition persists without proper data and proper debate. It drives pork spending and corrupt propagandists.

Senator Kennedy did yeoman’s work showing the lack of facts behind Turk’s cost-benefit claims, but the deeper, fundamental premises must be held in the contempt they deserve.

The fight for freedom from the Climate Cult continues. This is a good example of how we can appreciate the good weapons we’re handed, and how we can remind allies that they ought to be as thorough as possible when they debate.

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