Little Lies

Following a recent coincidental listen of Fleetwood Mac’s “Little Lies,” Nick examines a series of connections all based on little lies that have major consequences, particularly little fibs steering energy policy today.

Marking episode 152’s sports dedication, Nick runs through a historic trifecta of sports related lies; including, George O’Leary’s false resume claims, George Steinbrenner’s comments he planned to be an absentee owner, and Wilt Chamberlain’s exaggerated sexual exploits. Nick notes there are many famous fibs from the annals of sports, such as the denials of fixing the 1919 World Series discussed in episode 149, as well as other moments that will likely be featured in future Far Middle sports dedications.

Transitioning to energy policy, Nick argues those claiming wind and solar are zero-carbon energy sources are propagating a harmful misconception as their production carries significant carbon footprints.

“Let’s dispense with all those convenient little lies out there that underlie a flawed set of climate policies and energy transition efforts,” says Nick. “Until we do that, we’re only going to be building our economy and society on a foundation of sand.”

Nick then challenges the notion of U.S. energy independence, highlighting the country’s increasing reliance on imported wind, solar, and EV components from China. And while America’s energy security erodes to reliance on China, Nick calls out another little lie that China is a growth market for renewable energy like wind and solar. Nick juxtaposes America’s removal of 95 gigawatts of coal-fired electric generation from its grid since 2015 to China adding 223 gigawatts of coal plant capacity to its grid.

“What’s all the coal-fired electricity and energy being used for in China?” Nick asks rhetorically. “It’s often used to mine, process, and manufacture all the components and feedstocks needed to make more and more wind, solar, and EV products, which are then exported and shipped to places like the United States, where our energy policies mandate their use because we pretend they’re zero-carbon forms of energy. It’s nuts.”

The discussion then shifts to the administrative state and bureaucratic behavior during the Trump administration, with examples of resistance from elite academia and entrenched government employees. Nick warns of potential future conflicts depending on the outcome of the 2024 presidential election.

“If Trump wins the 2024 election, and I know that’s a big if and I’m not saying he should, but if he wins the election, bar the door, because we’re about to see one of the greatest freakouts in the history of government,” says Nick. “It could make 2016 and those prior Trump-term years look mild by comparison.

“They say ‘rust never sleeps,’ neither does the need to make informed decisions regarding the maintenance of our energy ecosystem. There comes a time when scientific reality must check the environmental ideology,” continues Nick.

Nick then connects those references to “rust never sleeps” and “comes a time” to the likewise-named Neil Young albums. And concludes with a reflection on Neil Young’s boycott of Spotify over COVID-related content on Joe Rogan’s podcast, touching on the irony and controversy surrounding the decision. Nick’s favorite Neil Young album? Give a listen!