American Elephants


Obama Has Been On a Spending Spree. Where Has the Money Gone? by The Elephant's Child

The Brookings Institution recently reported that nearly 2.7 million people brought home paychecks in 2010 from working in the “clean economy.” That would be a 3.4% increase in “green jobs” since 2003, and it sounds like excellent news for Obama until you realize that the economy as a whole grew at a 4.2% rate over the same period.

Turns out that Brookings got its figures by including all mass transit workers as working in green jobs even if they didn’t drive electric buses. They also included nuclear energy workers and organic farmers, even though the Greens never included nuclear energy as “clean.” A goodly number of the “green jobs” exist in the public sector like the Department of Energy and the EPA, parks departments, fish and game, utilities.  If you cast your net widely enough, there’s no end to how many you can include under the green umbrella.

Of course the “green jobs” to be found in the wind farm and solar array field have been shown by Spain’s experience to kill 2.2 jobs in the regular economy for every ‘green energy’ job simply because of the increased cost of energy.

Energy costs relate directly and indirectly to disposable income and the standard of living.  It is similar to a tax increase. Politicians are, in effect, declaring that prosperity can be achieved by lowering the disposable income and standard of living of the general public.

But here we are worrying about the debt crisis, and I’m talking about “green jobs.” Wait—there is a connection.

According to the General Accountability Office, the U.S. government, alone, has spent over $100 billion as of October, 2010, in the cause of combating global warming, or delaying climate change, or whatever the euphemism of the day is.  Trying to eliminate CO2! One Hundred Billion Dollars!  Those responsible for spending all that money are going to be furious when they discover that CO2 is not the principal cause of climate change.

Climate Change.  We have listened to the sufferings of people on the East coast and in the middle of the country with sympathy, and wished they would send us, in the Northwest, a little of the heat. It did get up to 82° yesterday for the first time this year, but today it is back down to 63º and raining again.

Climate skeptics, and I am one,  do not believe that there is no global warming.  They believe, to the contrary, that the globe is always warming and cooling.  It has been much warmer in the past, and much cooler as well.  We have evidence that proves that there was a Medieval Warm Period which was supposed to be the finest weather known to man.  We have evidence of the Little Ice Age.  So you might ask yourself —What is the right temperature?  And — How do you know?

That —How do you know?— is a tricky question.  Warmists will tell you that it’s the “consensus.” But consensus has no place in science.  10,000 scientists could agree that X is true, but if one lonely dissenter can prove through observation and evidence that X isn’t true., then so much for the consensus.  So, back to — How do you know?—The next answer is apt to be that their computer model tells them so.  A computer model of the climate (do they know enough about climate cause and effect to make a model?) is supposed to trump observation and evidence?

The skeptical purveyor of evidence gleaned from observation will discover that the truth of his findings will be determined by whether or not he received funds or encouragement from Exxon-Mobil or Chevron.  This is the Economic Fallacy. The truth or falsity of the research  has nothing to do funding.  Truth or falsity will be determined by checking thoroughly for veracity.

Can you think of anyone who believes more deeply in the need to be alarmed by the prospect of global warming than Al Gore? Yet Mr. Gore does nothing that exhibits that concern. He jets to speaking engagements and conferences all over the world, spewing vile CO2. He has an immense house in his home state that uses more energy than whole towns. He fears the rise of the seas, yet he has bought a waterfront condo.  And every time he makes an important speech somewhere, it starts snowing.  They call it “the Gore Effect.”

So there you go.  One Hundred Billion Dollars for what?  Subsidizing wind turbines made in China?  Subsidizing training for green jobs that never appear? Subsidizing Solyndra with $535 million stimulus cash to hire 1,000 workers for “green jobs.” The company has never shown a profit, but the company’s majority owner was a top fundraiser for the 2008 Obama campaign.  And that story is not unusual.

The “green” involved in the “green economy” is more about the color of the wasted dollars.



Taking your Freedom Away, One Step at a Time! by The Elephant's Child

In just 5½ months, the 100 watt incandescent lightbulb will become illegal in the United States.  12 months later, 75 watt bulbs will become illegal, and 12 months after that, ordinary 60 watt and 40 watt bulbs will be illegal as well. Do most people know this?

Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby wrote:

The use of efficiency mandates to snuff out the standard light bulb was an exercise of unadulterated crony capitalism.  It came about after the big bulb manufacturers, frustrated by their customers’ refusal to switch from cheap throwaway incandescents to the far more profitable compact flourescents touted by Greens, decided to play hardball. 

Before Congress, a representative of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association testified in favor of the bulb ban scheme.  He said “the entire discussion of ‘phase out of least efficient general service light bulbs’ has been at the industry’s initiative.”

On the surface, the purpose of the law is to increase energy efficiency by requiring that bulbs produce more light per watt. By setting these standards higher than the cheap, easily replaceable, common incandescent, the real world effect is government control of the lights in your home. The real purpose is more profit for companies who make lightbulbs in China.

The normal process involves putting your product in the marketplace and if people like it, they will buy it. So they put their twisty compact fluorescents in the stores, and people didn’t like paying way more money for a bulb they didn’t like.So Phillips decided to partner with radical environmental groups like the Natural Resources Defense Council to push for higher standards.  “We felt that we needed to …show that the best-known lighting technology, the incandescent lightbulb is at the end of its lifetime” said Harry Verhaar, the head of the company’s ‘strategic sustainability initiatives. You need to watch out when that word “sustainability” pops up. It’s a lie to begin with.

Liberals in Congress are claiming that they are “increasing consumer choice.” The Department of Energy has a Conservation Standards Enforcement division.  It has threatened companies like Delta Faucet, Hudson Reed, Maytag, Target and Westinghouse for attempting to sell products that consumers want. There were not dangerous products, they simply function too well.  So we now have washing machines that don’t clean clothes, Energy Star products that don’t save energy, showers that fail to deliver enough water for a comfortable shower, and a government that is attempting to do away with the internal-combustion engine.We need to eliminate the Department of Energy.

It is not a governmental task to make consumer’s choices for them. It is not up to a Secretary of Energy, nor to Congress.  If the technology is superior, and ready for prime time, no law is needed to get people to switch. People have switched from landlines to cell phones and from desktops to tablets, and are considering the switch from books to electronic readers without government help.  Congress is working on a repeal. We need to keep their feet to the fire.

We must always, always push in the direction of individual liberty. The totalitarian impulse is forever present, with the urgent need to tell other people what to do.




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