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Is this a tipping point?

Lead Summary
By Jim Thompson
HCP columnist

Today, it is very hard to determine what is real and what is a joke. My personal hope is that we have gone so near to the edge that sobriety will bring us back to a place of rational thinking.

Never forget this: We assume that all the knowledge we have right now is the best that there is forever. And, of course, this will be proven wrong as early as tomorrow. I have mentioned this before.

I was talking to my daughter over the weekend about the state of energy issues in the United States today. She works for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo. I’ve mentioned her before, too.

The subject of our latest discourse was the widely announced and derided gas cooking stove ban proposed last week. This, of course, is already in place, when it comes to new cooking stoves in California and New York City. This idea is being driven by the non-profit Rocky Mountain Institute, who already tried it in China with disastrous results. Who knows where this will go, but it seems far out there.

I am reminded that in the late 1990s, the State of California, looking at the deplorable condition of their electrical power grid, jumped on the idea of “mini-turbine” powered generators all over the place. I remember reading studies on how this was going to relieve their grid problem by placing small, natural gas powered generators all over the state, starting with, of all things, pharmacies.

These rooftop units would supply enough electricity to power the pharmacy and push a bit toward the grid. Truly distributed power. Remember, at one time this was considered a great and final solution to energy issues in one state.

Then last week, we read also about a plant being built in Switzerland by Climeworks AG, with the sole purpose to suck carbon dioxide out of the air and push it into the ground. I thought plants (trees, bushes, etc.) did this, in fact I have read that the carbon dioxide rich atmosphere of today is causing an extraordinary greening of the earth by giving plants an extra boost, sort of like humans wearing an oxygen mask.

Climeworks’s business model, by the way, is to sell carbon credits to other businesses. That’s it, they make money by selling emitters carbon credits.

I have another question, does this mean I can continue to drive an automobile with an internal combustion engine?

This smells like the great tulip bulb crash in The Netherlands centuries ago.

Then moving to the political, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) just introduced legislation called “Leading Against White Supremacy Act of 2023.” This legislation “…would only be enforced against [only] white people, makes it illegal for white people to question open-borders immigration, advocate for preserving America’s culture and traditional demographic make-up, or even criticize minorities.”

Punishment for the guilty would be imprisonment in federal penitentiaries.

This is all in less than a week, and I have not begun to cover all the headlines out there. To me, we are teetering on the edge in so many areas at this point that we are either going to fall off the edge or retreat back to saner ground.

One of the great things about our country is that, at least in the past, when we have veered to the edge, our governmental mechanisms and saner heads moved us back toward the middle.

For instance, in recent times there has been talk about corruption in the FBI and other federal organizations. I was listening to an audiobook recently that talked about the predecessor organization to the FBI. In those days, the 1920s, federal agents were paid a $1 per year with the idea they would shake down the good guys and the bad guys for their personal salary.

This is why J. Edgar Hoover was placed in charge of the newly formed FBI. Of course, over the years, he developed problems of his own.

The point is, we have always had fraud, as well as radical ideas promoted throughout our history. One way or another we have survived them to this point in time. The question is: Can we continue this overall success rate?

Jim Thompson, formerly of Marshall, is a graduate of Hillsboro High School and the University of Cincinnati. He resides in Duluth, Ga. and is a columnist for The Highland County Press. He may be reached at

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