American Elephants


The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is Unsustainable! by The Elephant's Child

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), in hot pursuit of telling everyone what to do and what to eat, has held its fourth meeting and is devoting a session to “sustainability,” (of course) which will be taken into account for nutrition standards that are used to create policy at the federal level.

Isn’t it interesting that they have to revise the standards every year, because they were wrong? Those things that they thought were good have been determined to be bad, and nutritionists now have new ideas, which will probably turn out to be incorrect as well. Is there any use for that diagram, whether in a pyramid or plate form, beyond giving the government rules which no one follows, except some school lunch programs.

sus•tain•able: able to be used without being completely used up or destroyed.
involving methods that do not completely use up or destroy natural resources.
able to last or continue for a long time.
[sustainable is currently in the top 1% of lookups and is the 158th most popular word on Merriam-Webster.com]

Sustainable is an environmentalist buzz-word intended to make you fear that we are using up our resources and if you don’t stop we’re all going to die.

To make us sustainable the USDA has hired an environmental food activist—one Angela Tagtow— to lead the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, which oversees DGAC. The DGAC’ Friday meeting included a presentation by the work group leader Miriam Nelson for “Environmental Determinants of Food, Diet, and Health,

Consistent evidence indicates that, in general, a dietary pattern that is lower in animal-based foods and higher in plant-based foods has a lesser environmental impact and at the same time is more health-promoting than the current American diet.

Promoting more sustainable diets will contribute to food security for present and future generations by conserving resources. This approach should be encouraged across all food sectors.

Nelson said there is “remarkable consistency” in research that vegetarian-like diets are better for the planet. The presentation focused on “sustainability outcomes” for the food system, which take into account “environment footprint,” including greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, and biodiversity (emphasis added)

The committee was enthusiastic about the hiring of Tagtow, who they called a “good food” activist who advocates for social justice in the food system and an “ecological approach to nutrition.” They consider Tagtow a cheerleader for sustainability. The goal is to push sustainability, not to push healthy eating.

Good grief. I think the left has gone completely insane. “Social justice in the food system?” If you want to do something for the food system, stop wasting taxpayer money on putting food crops into our gas tanks. The federal government does not need a committee to draw up nutrition guidelines. They are usually wrong anyway or they wouldn’t need revising every year. There are departments of nutrition, college majors in nutrition and huge aisles in every bookstore devoted to food — should we care to seek advice on what to eat for a healthy diet, there in no lack anywhere of plentiful information, including your public library. Honest, we can handle it without your advice. Butt out.



Republican Are Doing the Right Thing! by The Elephant's Child

House Republicans have passed a $30 billion spending bill to fund the Interior Department and the EPA. It is designed to block a whole bunch of looming regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency that clearly exceed the agency’s authority.

Republicans on the Appropriations Committee pushed through the Interior and environment funding bill over the objections of Democrats who said it was full of “veto bait” and handouts to big business. This is the seventh and last of 12 annual appropriations bills. If it is passed by the House, Harry Reid has not yet acted on a single appropriations bill and President Obama would most probably refuse to sign it.

The bill tackles the EPA’s twin  draft regulations to limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants— a proposal to reduce “carbon pollution”from power plants, and another for future plants offered earlier. It also targets the EPA’s “Waters of the United States” rule designed to grab authority over every trickle of water that might eventually run into  “navigable waters” over which they actually do have authority in the Clean Water Bill.

There is no such thing as “carbon pollution.” The carbon dioxide that they chase so aggressively is simply a natural fertilizer for plants. It’s also what you exhale. It is not the cause of global warming and has kept climbing slightly even as there has been no warming for over 17 years. The climate is always changing. It has been far warmer in the past, and far cooler as well. If they shut down every coal-fired plant in the country, it wouldn’t make the slightest bit of difference.

Like so many other agencies of this administration, the EPA has lost documentation of the science behind their grope for more power. The climate is currently cooling. Perhaps you noticed the Great Lakes freezing over this last winter. Some claim we may be entering a new little ice age, but contrary to the IPCC, we can’t predict the future. In any case it seems remarkably stupid to work so aggressively to shut down the power plants that are burning the cheapest fuel, and keeping our energy costs down, while they keep people warm in winter.

Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) announced that “this bill was designed to protect nature, if not for nature’s sake, then for our sake.” So glad our politicians are so well-informed.

Rep Nita Lowey (D-NY) said the cuts would endanger communities at the behest of big business. Oh, and how does that work?

Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) accused the administration of being “hell-bent” on adding layer after layer of harmful red tape. No other agency has done more to inflict this type of pain than the EPA.”

The EPA has been shot down in the courts over and over for exceeding their authority. This bill will probably go nowhere, but if Republicans  can exercise the “power of the purse” to cut off their funding, it would be of great benefit to the people of the United States.



Nevermind the Fire, That Truck Might Be Emitting CO2! by The Elephant's Child

 sequoia-forest-fire-505503-sw

The president has asked Congress for an additional $3.7 billion to “comprehensively address this urgent humanitarian situation” at the border. The request includes $615 million for emergency wildfire suppression activities operations starting in 2015.

Fire season is upon us, and there are fires burning in California, Oregon and Washington state, but perhaps, the Wall Street Journal says, the Obama administration could start by getting its own agencies off the firefighters’ backs. The Defense Department has had a fit of environmental consciousness which is disrupting disaster efforts in peak wildfire season.

The Pentagon decided to suspend the program that supplies federal equipment to states for fighting wildfires. DOD suspended the program because the equipment did not meet the latest federal emissions standards. Emissions? in the case of wildfires? Emitting, spewing CO² by the ton and they are worried the EPA will come after them for tailpipes that aren’t up to date? Forest fires are major air-polluting events. You can see and smell the smoke for miles and miles.

There are two programs, the Federal Excess Personal Property Program and the Firefighter Property Program that each year loan local firefighting units more than $150 million of equipment that the federal government no longer needs. Involved are trucks, pumps, generators, engine parts and are a lifeline for small all-volunteer fire departments that can’t afford $500,000 for a new tanker. The vast majority of the wildfires that local units fight are on public lands.

The DOD suspended the transfer of trucks and generators, many of which were made for the military with diesel engines that don’t meet the EPA’s latest emissions standards. The Defense Logistics Agency realized they weren’t abiding by a decades-old agreement with the EPA to abide by the standards of the Clean Air Act. So naturally they just suspended the program.

Well, enormous outcry, forests burning, the DOD decided the EPA grants a “national-security” exception to the standards rules for transferred military equipment. The agencies have decided the  program restart should come with —new regulations— including the requirement that local firefighters track and return every piece of equipment so the feds can destroy them.

Good grief. Don’t let a diesel truck emit any carbon while fighting a thousand-acre forest fire. Priorities. The Bureaucrat is required to follow the rules of the bureaucracy, and not ask annoying questions. When it gets this bad, you know the government is too big to function.



Another Big Power Grab From The Rogue EPA! by The Elephant's Child

Right before the July 4th weekend, when nobody was paying attention, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it has added a new regulatory weapon to its arsenal.

In a Federal Register notice on July 2, (you always check the Federal Register right before a 3-day weekend, don’t you?) the EPA stated that by the authority of the Debt Collection Improvement Act (DCIA) of 1996 it had issued a proposed rule that “will allow the EPA to garnish non-Federal wages to collect delinquent non-tax debts owed the United States without first obtaining a court order.” According to the Treasury Department, under DCIA, such debts include “unpaid loans, overpayments or duplicate payments made to federal salary or benefit payment recipients, misused grant funds, and fines, penalties or fees assessed by federal agencies.

The EPA explains that, “Prior to the enactment of the DCIA, Federal agencies were required to obtain a court judgment before garnishing non-Federal wages. Section 31001(o) of the DCIA preempts State laws that prohibit wage garnishment or otherwise govern wage garnishment procedures.” It’s worth repeating just part of the list of debts for which wages may be garnished under the DCIA: “fines, penalties or fees assessed by federal agencies.”The EPA rule also states that, “we view this as a noncontroversial action and anticipate no adverse comment.” Consequently, the rule continues, “This direct final rule is effective September 2, 2014 without further notice unless EPA receives adverse comments by August 1, 2014.” (emphasis added)

Andy Johnson is a local welder in Unita County, Wyoming. The EPA has issued an “administrative order” that he destroy a pond he painstakingly built on his own property or face $75,000 a day, for violating the Clean Water Act.  This is the same amount that the EPA was threatening the Sacketts with, after they declared the lot where the Sacketts were building their home between two lots that already had homes, a wetland. The EPA claimed the couple could not even challenge their ruling, they just had to pay it. That one went to the Supreme Court where the Sacketts won a unanimous decision.

Mr. Johnson’s pond is not polluted, wildlife enjoy it, it is on Mr. Johnson’s own property and he even sought regulatory approval from the state for his private effort to improve the environment. But he did not get a permit from the Corps of Engineers, and thus finds himself under the heavy thumb of the EPA. The EPA claims jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act which gives the EPA jurisdiction over the navigable waters of the United States. This is where it gets remarkably dicey. Mr. Johnson’s stock pond (there are exemptions for stock ponds) takes water from Six Mile Creek, a perennial tributary of the Blacks Fork River, which is a tributary of the Green River “which is and was at all relevant times a navigable, interstate water of the United States.” The fact that waters from Six Mile Creek might eventually flow into the Green River, does not make Six Mile Creek navigable waters. The EPA has been anxious to claim jurisdiction under that law back to every stream, rivulet, and trickle that eventually flows into their navigable waters. Your downspouts may be next, if they get away with this.

The EPA has ordered Mr. Johnson to submit within 30 days a plan prepared by a consultant that asses the impact and provides a restoration plan and a schedule that requires all restoration work to be completed within 60 days of the plan’s approval.Three Senators have fired off a letter to the EPA, and as the EPA gave Mr. Johnson only ten calendar days to respond to their compliance order, suggested that the EPA respond to them within a similar timeline.

The EPA said that if it receives no adverse comments by August 1. the direct final rule will go into effect. Which would give them free rein to go after whoever they choose and garnish their wages without a court ruling — which in a free society should be unthinkable. This rogue agency has been slapped down by the courts over and over, but keeps seeking more power. I am only partially kidding about your downspouts. I would suggest that you submit an adverse comment.  These power grabs need to be stopped in their infancy. Here’s a model from the Heritage Foundation.



We Can Be Swayed By Careful Use of Language: Watch Out! by The Elephant's Child

The EPA is making advance reservations for hotel accommodations for an “Environmental Justice conference this fall, says an article in the Free Beacon.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), Office of Enforcement and Compliance, Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ) intends to award a fixed-price Purchase Order … to the Renaissance Arlington Local Capital View Hotel,” the solicitation said. “The purpose of this acquisition is to cover the cost of 195 sleeping room nights from Sept. 9 [to] Oct 2, 2014, at government rate for the 50th public meeting of the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC), a federal advisory committee of the EPA.

The Environmental Protection Agency has a federal advisory committee on National Environmental Justice? Why? There is no such thing as “environmental justice”. “Justice” refers to the law of the land which is enshrined in the Constitution, and the laws that are passed by Congress, the laws passed by the states, counties and municipalities. There isn’t some other bunch of “justice” that can be proclaimed by the green radicals at the EPA, or anybody else.

The NEJAC was established in 1993 to “obtain independent, consensus advice and recommendations from a broad spectrum of stakeholders involved in environmental justice.”

The council meets twice a year, bringing together members from community organizations, businesses, academic institutions, and state and local governments for “discussions about integrating environmental justice into EPA priorities and initiatives.”

The EPA defines “Environmental Justice” as the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies.”

Oh, please. Did you ever hear such a bunch of  utterly meaningless liberal bureaucratic gobbledygook? If there is any budget for such nonsense, it should be slashed to zero immediately. Here are some of the reported “presentations” from past meetings:

  1. Blocks to Sustainability and Environmental Justice, Health Disparities, Climate Change and Grant Writing.
  2. Effective Use of Large Scale Use of Large Scale Campus and Community Projects to Engage Environmental Justice While Promoting the Green Economy.
  3. Developing Sustainable Partnerships to Create Sustainable Communities.

“Sustainability” is another popular word among the elite.  Another word with no meaning, which usually turns up in bureaucratic meetings. Expensive conferences and meetings have to be shown as accomplishing something, and it has to sound important. Or at least important enough to justify the conference and the booze. So words like sustainable and consensus, and environmental justice are hauled out as justification, so the stakeholders can have a fun conference in a pleasant setting.

The Environmental Justice Advisory Council updated the 1996 “Model Plan for Public Participation,” a 25 page advisory for the EPA Administrator.

There are many terms that describe the concept of “public participation” – community participation, community involvement, community engagement, stakeholder involvement, stakeholder
engagement, among others. All of these terms are commonly used and acceptable. Regardless of the language used, what is critical to understand is the emphasis that any and all persons and groups
who are potentially interested, concerned, or affected by an action should be included (or given equal opportunity to participate) in the decision-making process.

Public participation, community involvement – what ever the term — is crucial in ensuring that decisions affecting human health and the environment embrace environmental justice. Communities
affected by environmental justice issues often already face many challenges and barriers associated with meaningful involvement and adequate representation in the development, implementation, and
enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. Many affected communities are considered to be vulnerable or sensitive populations, due to factors such as cumulative exposure to toxins and pollutants, and have historically been left out of decision-making processes.

When did we stop speaking English and start speaking and writing in Newspeak? It is a language perpetrated in Human Resources departments and in the State Department. It’s the art of saying nothing in elevated terms. Because it sounds important everyone is afraid to challenge the emptiness therein. It consumes endless time that could be better spent writing a grocery list. Unfortunately it does not exist only in meetings. Our government is run by the ever-changing definition of words. We are fooled by the clever use of words, our lives are affected by the changing definitions of words, or words carefully chosen to alter our perceptions. “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”, anyone? Or how about the “Environmental Protection Agency?” Nancy Pelosi is in Texas, welcoming “new Americans.”



The Environmentalists Are Not On Your Side! by The Elephant's Child

79051_3d21df29a81051fb28d7418d151e6e76_cb37c2db3224b681d31d49b3d1206d71

You have undoubtedly noticed rising prices at the grocery store. Bacon aficionados have certainly noticed. The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Wednesday predicted that fruit and vegetable prices will rise by 5% to 6% this year due to lower production in California’s great Central Valley. California has just endured one of the driest  years on record— but much of the blame lies directly on extreme environmental policies.

More than half of the nation’s fruits and vegetables, most of the lettuce, berries and tomatoes come from the Central Valley. This year federal water regulators cut farmers’ allocations of water to zero because of a long bout of dry weather. Farmers had to pump groundwater, and many saved their groundwater supply for fruit and nut trees that take years to come to full production.

About 500,000 acres of land lay fallow this year. This didn’t have to happen. The state could have stored up more water from the wet years, but they flushed 800,000 acre feet into San Francisco Bay last winter and another 445,000 acre feet this spring to “safeguard” the “endangered” delta smelt, a tiny 3 inch bait fish endangered by pumping at the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta which under the Endangered Species Act must be protected at any cost. Last winter, when 300 smelt were snared in the pumps, regulators ordered that a deluge of melted snowpack from the Sierras be discharged to the ocean rather than delivered to farmers. That amount of water would have irrigated 600,000 acres of land and been enough for 3 million households.

The Endangered Species Act has an outstanding record of stopping projects, being used as evidence in endless lawsuits, costing billions, but accomplishing nothing whatsoever as far as actually “saving” endangered species. The slaughter of birds of prey, and songbirds chopped up in wind turbines or cooked in solar arrays, on the other hand, does not trump the small amounts of expensive “renewable” energy that environmentalists keep hoping will

The California Farm Bureau estimates conservatively that the average American family will spend about $500 more on food this year as a result of crackpot environmentalism. That’s added to the increased price of gas, higher electricity bills, and higher premiums on your health insurance.

ADDENDUM: There’s more. Henry I. Miller writes in the Wall Street Journal that Santa Cruz, Mendocino and Marin counties in California, have banned a proven, modern technology that could conserve vast amounts of water. The technology is genetic engineering at the molecular level, or gene splicing. Plant biologists have identified genes that regulate water use and transferred them into important plant crops. The new varieties grow with smaller amounts of water or lower-quality water, such as that higher in mineral salts. Irrigation accounts for roughly 70 percent of the world’s fresh water consumption.

In Egypt, Miller says, researchers have shown a decade ago that transferring a single gene from barley to wheat, the plants can tolerate less watering for a longer period of time. The new drought-resistant variety in some deserts can be grown with rainfall alone, and in a conventional field requires only one-eighth as much irrigation. For a country like Egypt that regularly has trouble feeding their own people, this is am enormous benefit.



The Dog Ate the EPA’s Homework Too! And the Evidence. by The Elephant's Child

gina_mccarthy_20140602

Now it’s the EPA!. The Environmental Protection Agency has joined the IRS is claiming they cannot produce incriminating information from their computers because of a 2010 computer crash. Hey, it’s working for the IRS. Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) threatens to hold the EPA in contempt of Congress if it fails to turn over subpoenaed communications with the White House— subpoenaed in November.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy confirmed to the House Oversight Committee Wednesday that her staff is unable to provide lawmakers all of the documents they have requested on the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska, because of a 2010 computer crash.

“We’re having trouble getting the data off of it and we’re trying other sources to actually supplement that,” McCarthy said. “We’re challenged in figuring out where those small failures might have occurred and what caused them occur, but we’ve produced a lot of information.”

The revelation came less than two weeks after IRS officials told Congress that Lois Lerner, the official at the center of the controversy over the targeting of conservative tax-exempt groups, also suffered from a hard drive crash that makes it difficult to comply with records requests.

The House Oversight Committee has reason to suspect that Philip North, who worked for the EPA in Alaska decided in 2009 that the proposed Pebble Mine near Bristol Bay should not be allowed, before the agency even began to investigate if there were any negative effects on the environment. Committee staffers have been trying to interview North for over a year, but he has been in New Zealand and refuses to cooperate.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) said the Federal Records Act requires agencies to maintain all records, which includes emails. Administrator McCarthy admitted “we may have some emails that we cannot produce that we should have kept.”

Lamar Smith, Chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology has questioned EPA Administrator McCarthy’s assertion that the debate on how much the climate is changing, the role of humans if any, is over, and no one should question her agency’s actions, or the “confidentail research” it uses to justify multimillion and billion dollar clean air rules. If you question that you are racist, a denier at war with science.

This should alarm every citizen. The EPA funds the scientific research it uses to support the regulations it issues. The EPA has issued 2,827 new final regulations since Obama took office on January 20 , 2009. The EPA picks the usually agency-funded, but supposedly independent scientists  who review the regulations. When the regulations are challenged, the courts defer to the agency on the science. But the agency refuses to make public the scientific research it uses.

The House Science Committee has passed The Secret Science Reform Act which requires that EPA regulation should be based on legitimate science and data that are open to the public.

Gina McCarthy sees this as a threat. Speaking to the National Academy of Sciences in April, she defended her agency’s need to “protect data from those who are not qualified to analyze it. So the EPA decides who get to look at the “scientific research they use, research paid for with public funds, appropriated by Congerss on behalf of American taxpayers.  Unbelievable.

In the announcement of the EPA’s 645 page Clean Power Plan, Ms. McCarthy claimed “The science is clear. The risks are clear. And the high costs of climate inaction keep piling up.”

The Institute  for Energy Research says “The EPA’s Power Plant Rule: All Economic Costs; No Climate Benefits.”

On June 2, 2014, at President Obama’s direction, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its proposed rule mandating carbon dioxide emission cuts for existing power plants. This rule is designed to comply with the president’s plan to make electricity rates “necessarily skyrocket” by reducing the use of coal-fired electricity generation from existing power plants—one of the cheapest sources of electricity generation. While the rule will result in increasing electricity rates, the rule will not have any material climate benefit despite the fact that the climate is the justification for the rule.

Just one more crooked government agency, abusing the public trust, recklessly issuing regulations to accrue power to itself.

Being enpowered by Congress to keep the navigable waters of the United States clean, they have attempted to control any discharge of water in the drainage ditches beside the road, in the flow of rainwater as part of the “navigable waters” because that water would eventually flow into something navigable since all wates eventually flow to the sea.

President Obama’s misguided effort to shut down coal-fired  power plants will not only “skyrocket” electricity rates, but will make every product made in the United States cost more. These efforts will garner him Tom Steyer’s promised 100 million, but cost the American economy another lost 200,000 jobs.  And what happens when winters get colder and people can’t afford to heat their homes?

It is all about politics, and only about politics. Obama has brought Chicago politics to the federal government. Crony capitalism. Give your donors what they want, spend the money to stay in control and reward your donors and repeat endlessly, as it all slips gradually into totalitarianism and one party rule.



Another Misguided Commencement Speech. Obama Is On A Roll. by The Elephant's Child

Obama_Irvine

President Obama spoke to the young graduates at the University of California, Irvine, in a commencement speech asking them to join his fight to control global warming and to welcome young illegal immigrants into the country.

One of the most significant long-term challenges that our country and our planet face (is) the growing threat of a rapidly changing climate,” the president said “The overwhelming judgment of science, accumulated and measured and reviewed over decades, has put that to rest. The question  is whether we have the will to act before it’s too late.”

He also said that denying climate change is like saying the moon is made of cheese.  Bad metaphor. He was speaking to a crowd of about 30,000 at the ceremony in Irvine, and said “I want to tell  you this to light a fire under you.” He keeps trying but the people just aren’t interested. They care about jobs and the economy.

Ice on the Great Lakes still around in May and June? Do you believe your eyes or what I tell you?  The West Point commencement speech on foreign policy, tepidly received by the graduating cadets, didn’t exactly fill the graduates with enthusiasm for the promise of their coming military service.

Will the graduates at Irvine rush to recycle, line up to enlist in the battle against any possible intrusion of the Keystone XL pipeline into the continental United States with all the jobs it has to offer? Poor kids are undoubtedly graduating with huge loans to pay back and not a lot of hope for the kind of jobs that will help to pay them off.

Obama has clearly swallowed all of the propaganda about global warming without ever making the effort to look into the science. He flunks Climate Science 101. James Dellingpole —who does look into the science — takes on some of his more outrageous statements.

As Anthony Watts says, there is a large and fast-growing body of evidence, well understood by many distinguished scientists and economists, that the catastrophic man-made global warming problem that Obama wants to solve as part of  his “legacy”simply does not exist. And for the American people it ranks at the very bottom of problems they worry about.



Is Technology Just Making Us Dumber? Or Is It the Schools? by The Elephant's Child

Michelle Fields of PJTV walks the Washington Mall to discover the deep ignorance of the American people about climate change — and ignorant they are. But they are simply repeating what they have been taught. It is becoming a national disgrace. Reporters with microphones ask ordinary Americans simple questions that people should have learned in grade school, and they have no clue. We laugh, but it is not funny. It is a deep reflection on the state of our schools which claim to be teaching “critical thinking” but this is not the case.

A recent video showed  a man-on-the-beach session with mostly young people on a lovely day. The young people did not know who George Washington was, “the second president after Lincoln?”, or “someone to do with horses.” They did not know who we fought in the Revolutionary War, “France?” The Civil War was as much a mystery, as was World War II, or who bombed Pearl Harbor. What are they learning in school — only gender, race, and political correctness?

Everything has been politicized. Speaking about the Founders, or the Revolution has become a Republican thing, to which Democrats are opposed. You have one house of Congress, the current Democrat controlled Senate, wanting to revise or repeal the First Amendment. The Citizens United decision which allows corporations to donate, under the rules, to political campaigns. Democrats’ goal is winning at all costs, control, being in charge and important, and anything that might give Republicans the slightest advantage must be stopped, especially including free speech.

The world climate is always cooling and warming. It is currently not warming, nor has it warmed at all in 17 years and 9 months. Things like hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, rainstorms are weather, not climate and are not caused by climate.  Climate is a statistic of average temperatures. Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists do not agree that the “crippling consequences of climate change are urgent.” (John Kerry) The assertion that 97% of scientists believe that climate change is a man-made, urgent problem is a fiction, and is not supported by reliable research. And the polar bears are just fine.

ahowwelivenow



The Truth About Polar Bears, Hidden in a Footnote! by The Elephant's Child

polar_bear20

When you are trying to build an international movement, you need good publicity, big donations and lots of members. Environmental organizations went for the polar bear, understandably. Beautiful animals, baby polar bears are remarkably cute, and polar bears make great stuffed toys for children and iconic art work for everything from tee shirts to jewelery and Christmas tree ornaments.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature estimated in 1966 that there were 10,000 polar bears in the world. In 2006, the same source estimated the population had risen to 20,000 -25,000 bears. In places like Churchill, Manitoba, organizations like Polar Bears International use the imagined plight of the polar bear to raise money, push propaganda at young people about changing their lifestyles and those of their parents. An activist explained:

We’re empowered to teach these kids how to make a difference. It’s an enormous responsibility. Saving the polar bear is in their hands.

They count polar bears by flying over defined areas representing populations of bears,and photograph them and then count them on the photos. Can they see and photograph all the bears, white against white, swimming, sleeping. diving — who are not staying put? Probably not an accurate count, but perhaps an informed estimate.

Dr. Susan Crockford is an evolutionary biologist and an expert on polar bear evolution. She has been working for 35 years in archaeozoology, paleozoology and forensic zoology. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Victoria, British Columbia. In a new paper, she offers ten good reasons not to worry about polar bears. She says:

Survival of polar bears over a  hundred thousand years (at least ) of highly variable sea ice coverage indicates that those biologists who portend a doomed  future for the polar bear have grossly underestimated its ability to survive vastly different conditions than those that existed in the late 1970s when Ian Stirling began his polar bear research.

Elsewhere, she says that she received an unsolicited email from Dr. Dag Vongraven, the current chairman of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, Polar Bear Specialist Group (PBSG). They wanted to clarify some of the , um, misunderstandings about polar bear global population estimates. They intend to place this footnote in their forthcoming Polar Bear Action Plan draft:

As part of past status reports, the PBSG has traditionally estimated a range for the total number of polar bears in the circumpolar Arctic. Since 2005, this range has been 20-25,000. It is important to realize that this range never has been an estimate of total abundance in a scientific sense, but simply a qualified guess given to satisfy public demand. It is also important to note that even though we have scientifically valid estimates for a majority of the subpopulations, some are dated. Furthermore, there are no abundance estimates for the Arctic Basin, East Greenland, and the Russian subpopulations. Consequently, there is either no, or only rudimentary, knowledge to support guesses about the possible abundance of polar bears in approximately half the areas they occupy. Thus, the range given for total global population should be viewed with great caution as it cannot be used to assess population trend over the long term.”

S0 all that business about declining populations, not enough sea ice, threatened species, was merely “A guess to satisfy public demand” wrapped up in the useful “settled science” category (which means do not question). Along with all the other environmentalist claptrap, it should be placed in the “nevermind file.”

The polar bears have survived for over a hundred thousand years. They’re just fine.



Southern England Holds Billions of Barrels of Shale Oil by The Elephant's Child

Shale rock underneath some of the wealthiest counties in the south of England may contain billions of barrels of oil, a government report said. The Weald basin covers counties south of London, including Surrey and Sussex, may have oil in quantities as large as 8.6 billion barrels, according to a British Geological Survey report published on the 23rd. It was also noted that the potential for shale gas may be limited.

Britain is required by law to shut down their elderly gas-fired power plants. Dependence on alternative sources like wind has not turned out to be as dependable as advocates assumed. They have been reduced to importing wood pellets from U.S. North Carolina forests.

The Bowland basin, which extends across east and northwest England may hold as much as 1,300 trillion cubic feet of gas. That would be enough to meet demand for almost half a century if they had extraction rates similar to US. fields. The U.K. government has offered tax breaks to drillers to stimulate the infant industry.

Feature-Heren_1

The European Union is determined to shift away from dependence on Russian gas imports, according to a draft European Commission document on energy security. Producing oil and gas from shale could partially compensate for declining conventional production. There will be the usual protests about high volumes of water, sand and chemicals to drill shale, and whether it can damage the environment. Probably more protests than we have experienced. Big steps forward always being out the Luddites.

The European Union has enough gas trapped in shale to free the bloc from reliance on Russian energy supplies for about 28 years if the member countries are prepared to extract it. Russia has been fairly clear that they are prepared to use their vast supplies of gas as blackmail.

According to Reuters, Russia is the world’s top oil producer, but is pumping near capacity. It needs advanced technologies to sustain their output. They want a boom in unconventional oi; output by the start of the next decade. They are targeting a new shale oil boom by the next decade.

It would be very good news indeed if Britain and the EU are self-sufficient in energy, and cannot be blackmailed by Russia, who is inclined to do just that.



Paul Erlich, Still Alarmed About Population, Predicts the Need to “Eat the Bodies of Your Dead.” by The Elephant's Child

Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist, became famous 46 years ago for his book The Population Bomb, which has been widely debunked. He was back this week on HuffPost Live doubling down on his climate change and overpopulation fear mongering.

He has admitted that his outrageously wrong predictions of human “oblivion” didn’t come to pass (we’re still here), but has never given up on the idea that the dangers of overpopulation are growing, blaming Republicans and the media for failing to take action.

He told HuffPost host Josh Zepps that humans must soon begin contemplating “eat[ing] the bodies of your dead” after resources are depleted. He remains an alarmist at 82. He claims that the scarcity of resources will be so bad that humans will need to drastically change our eating habits and our agriculture.

The Population Bomb predicted that “in the 1970s the world will undergo famines — hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death” and our children”will inherit a totally different world, a world in which the standards, politics, and economics of the 1960′s are dead.”

He attacked pro-life Americans, accusing them of trying to kill women by making abortion illegal, and called for “backup abortions” for any woman whose birth control failed, in an attempt to control “breeding.” He has consistently favored population control, abortion, and I assume, China’s one child policy.

He seems to have missed the Green Revolution entirely. But predicting cannibalism as a necessary evil is going a little too far.

It must be hard when you have one big celebrated idea, and it is widely debunked, and events prove that you were way wrong. Ehrlich is not alone in that. The climate and environmentalism are full of such cases.




Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,506 other followers

%d bloggers like this: