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The Left’s ‘Dangerous Delusion’ Might Have A Major Achilles Heel: Las Vegas

(Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images)

Mary Rooke Commentary and Analysis Writer
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Salvation doesn’t come to mind when thinking of Las Vegas, but if the town known for overindulging can hold out, Americans might be saved from the left’s anti-human climate policies.

If the Democrats cannot successfully sell their climate change agenda in drought-laden Nevada, it’s not likely to be among the top concerns for national voters going into the midterms.

Sin City voters don’t seem to care about the Democrats’ progressive climate change policies despite being in a desert climate that frequently sees droughts and high temperatures. It’s because alternative energy fails when used as a replacement for fossil fuels, and combating the devastating impact of inflation will always be more important, Las Vegas voters told the Washington Post.

Several Nevada residents said in the interview that they were less interested in the Democrats’ climate change bill (Inflation Reduction Act) and more interested in the rising energy and household costs plaguing their family budgets. (RELATED: Most Populous State Looks To Keep Last Nuclear Plant Alive To Stave Off Blackouts)

Las Vegas voters who live in middle-class neighborhoods surrounding Las Vegas, like office worker Melissa Salinas, told the Washington Post that inflation was more worrying because it is affecting what they can afford to buy for their families. “I’ve been not buying a lot of things because I can’t afford it,” Salinas told the Washington Post in an interview outside a Las Vegas supermarket. “I’m like, ‘The kids don’t need juice for school anymore. We’ll just do water.'”

Milk prices are $4.99 a gallon at La Bonita, the Hispanic supermarket where Salinas shops for groceries, according to the report. Las Vegas milk now costs 61 cents above the national average.

Graphic designer Obed Castaneda, who also has to drive for Uber and isn’t sure about voting in November, told the outlet that Las Vegas residents aren’t worried about political issues like climate change because they are too busy working. Castaneda admitted he wasn’t even aware the Democrats had passed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

The IRA spends $385 billion on progressive climate policies aimed at lowering carbon gas emissions by providing tax credits for Americans to buy renewable energy products like solar panels and electric vehicles.

Senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, Mark Mills’ Aug. 30 report labeled Progressives’ energy transition a “dangerous delusion” that ignores “the impossibility of trying to replace all of society’s use of hydrocarbons with solar, wind, and battery (SWB) technologies” that aren’t up to the task.

Despite over 20 years of progressive environmental policies and trillions of dollars to fund mostly SWB tech, renewable energy solutions “have not yielded an ‘energy transition’ that eliminates hydrocarbons,” according to Mills. He argued that spending any more resources on the energy transition “is a dangerous delusion” despite any “climate-inspired motivations.”

“The lessons of the recent decade make it clear that SWB technologies cannot be surged in times of need, are neither inherently ‘clean’ nor even independent of hydrocarbons, and are not cheap,” Mills wrote. “Consider that years of hypertrophied rhetoric and trillions of dollars of spending and subsidies on a transition have not significantly changed the energy landscape, nor have they altered the long-standing geopolitical tensions inherent in supplying fuels critical for survival.”

“Civilization still depends on hydrocarbons for 84% of all energy, a mere two percentage points lower than two decades ago. Solar and wind technologies today supply barely 5% of global energy. Electric vehicles still offset less than 0.5% of world oil demand,” Mills added. (RELATED: How Clean Energy Actually Destroys The Environment And Fuels Abuse)

California, Nevada’s neighboring state, is proving that progressives’ desire to decarbonize energy supplies to address climate change doesn’t meet the reality of energy demand. Recently, California had to reverse course on its push to close its last nuclear power plant by 2025 after its strained electric grid struggled to handle the demand for energy during the last of the summer heat hitting the region.

Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom upset climate change activists when he signed a California bill into law that will keep the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant open for at least an extra five years in an effort to ease energy demands. The California electrical grid faces blackouts due to the state’s decision to transition away from oil and gas.

Michael Shellenberger, an advocate for nuclear energy and former California gubernatorial candidate, wrote in Forbes in 2019 that the “real reason they [progressives] hate nuclear [energy] is because it means we don’t need renewables.”

Shellenberger said renewable energy sources, like solar and wind, are unreliable, unlike nuclear, which “proved we didn’t need to radically reorganize society to solve environmental problems.”

“The problem with nuclear is that it doesn’t demand the radical re-making of society like renewables do, and it doesn’t require grand fantasies of humankind harmonizing with nature. Nor does nuclear provide cover for funneling billions to progressive interest groups in the name of ‘community-controlled renewable energy, local organic agriculture, or transit systems,'” Shellenberger wrote.

“All nuclear does is grow societal wealth, increase wages, and decouple the economy from pollution and environmental destruction,” he added. (RELATED: ‘A Valuable Backstop’: California Turns To Jet Fuel-Burning Power Plant To Keep The Lights On)

Americans at large agree with Las Vegas voters on how important they view inflation versus the threat of climate change, according to August Pew Research polling. The “economy remains [the] dominant midterm voting issue” among gun policy, violent crime, and voting policies, the survey showed.

“Economy remains dominant midterm voting issue, but abortion grows in importance” PEW RESEARCH CENTER, AUGUST 23, 2022

The poll surveyed 7,647 adults, including 5,681 registered voters, from Aug. 1-14 with a margin of error of +/- 1.7%.

The survey found that 77% of registered voters said the economy will be a critical factor when deciding how to vote in November, while only 40% said the same about climate change.