During my flight training many years ago I learned a lesson that went well beyond just how to fly an airplane. The ‘lesson’ I refer to, began after I completed an advanced ‘training hop’ where the flight student’s task was to fly the aircraft with a rough-running engine (simulated) to a safe landing at an auxiliary field.
This was also the hop where I was introduced to the airplane’s speed brake. For the uninitiated the speed brake on a T-28, is a roughly two-and-a-half-foot square perforated metal panel mounted under the fuselage that the pilot can hydraulically extend into the airstream to produce drag. But by causing drag to reduce speed, speed brakes also change the aerodynamic characteristics of the aircraft, which when combined with the instructor simulating a rough running engine by reducing power, and the requirement to make a series very precise maneuvers to get the bird down safely down on the ground, presents a significant challenge to the fledgling aviator.
~ The flight ~
After taking off we flew to a point somewhere over the Gulf of Mexico where my instructor reduced the power and instructed me to fly to one of the Training Command’s outlying fields. The flight maneuvers themselves are intended to challenge the flight student (which they did!) but as noted, that wasn’t the lesson I refer to. My “lesson” occurred during the debrief when my instructor began, “Lieutenant, your flying was absolutely flawless, but why didn’t you wait until we were “feet dry” (over land) before lowering your speed brake to initiate your descent? That’s why I gave you high marks on your procedures and flying, but only average on “headwork.”
Ah yes, ‘headwork,’ because the most important piece of equipment on any airplane is the pilot’s brain. C’mon, what sense did it make to drop the speed brake over water with a ‘rough running’ engine that in a real emergency might quit at any moment? An experienced aviator would have waited until “feet dry” maintaining both airspeed and altitude. But I was a flight student so focused on controlling airspeed, altitude, angle of bank, rate of descent, power settings and a speed brake that changed the flight characteristics of the bird, that I lost sight of “the mission,” i.e., to get the “rough-running” aircraft back down on the ground safely.
Fast forward to the first days of the Biden-administration, when the president issued executive orders declaring war on fossil fuels stipulating no new fracking on government land, no drilling in the Alaskan Arctic, shutting down the Keystone pipeline and making new drilling permits increasingly difficult to obtain.
And just like that inexperienced flight student who lowered his speed brake before he was safely over land, what sense did it make to eliminate one source of energy before the nation had a safe, reliable, and economical source of energy to replace it?
The environmentalist scream that burning of fossil fuels causes global warming, posing an “existential threat” to humanity. But vis-à-vis reduced American energy production perhaps the real existential threat comes from environmental movement that has now succeeded in reducing the quality of life for billions of people around the world due to skyrocketing energy costs and the cost of oil-based consumer products.
~ Putin’s Interference ~
Most Americans are unaware that the Russian government has secretly supported radical environmental groups for years. And it’s only recently that U.S. policymakers have finally acknowledged Russia’s covert funding of environmental organizations to shape public opinion in the U.S.
In 2016 four researchers with the Brussels-based Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies published “The Bear in Sheep’s Clothing: Russia’s Government Funded Organization in the EU,” identifying various ways Russia has attempted to influence European Union policies stating, “This paper sheds light on organizations operating in Europe that are funded by the Russian government, whether officially or unofficially…. Their number and activities have been growing, but their financing is often complex and hidden from the public eye.”
We should always judge the success or failure of public policy by the results achieved rather than the promises made. Using that criterion, it should be patently obvious the environmental movement is not nearly as interested in the environment as it is in restructuring society. As Dennis Prager opined, “The environmentalist movement is as interested in protecting the environment as the communist movement was in protecting workers and the defund-the-police movement is in protecting blacks.”
Even the expression, “Shooting oneself in the foot” isn’t applicable in this case because the phrase alludes to “inadvertently” making a situation worse for oneself – and there was nothing inadvertent about Biden’s war on American energy. This was not an unforced error, rather it was a 100% conscious decision on the part of the president to place progressive ideology ahead of doing what’s best for the country.
Quote of the day: “It’s more fun to eat in a saloon than to drink in a restaurant”—Butch McGuire