American Elephants


A Volcano Is Erupting Under a Glacier in Iceland! by The Elephant's Child

Iceland has put airlines on notice as their delightfully named Barðarbunga volcano has begun erupting under the ice of the Vatnajokull glacier. There have been thousands of small earthquakes, and magma from the volcano is melting ice within the glacier’s Dyngiujokull icecap. It is a remote area 200 miles east of the capital of Reykjavik, and is uninhabited.

Ash plumes, however, can cause problems. A 2010 eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokul volcano produced an ash cloud that caused a week of international airline chaos, with more than 100,000 flights cancelled. Europe’s air space was closed for five days.

The ice over the Barðarbunga volcano is 300 to 1,300 feet thick, and how long it would take the magma to beak through is not known. They have experimented with pouring hot magma on ice, but this is coming from the other direction. So those of you who are planning an imminent  trip to Europe can worry.

I, however, will spend the time pronouncing the wonderful names, or trying to. Barðarbunga! Vatnajokull! Dyngiujokull! Eyjafjallajokul! You need a high school or college named after Barðarbunga! Cheerleader heaven.



Do Dead Birds Matter? by The Elephant's Child

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Let’s see. We are capturing the energy of the sun because it’s free, and replaces nasty coal-fired power plants that produce CO² because the CO² we exhale with every breath is poisoning the earth and causing global warming which causes the seas to rise, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, bad weather, carbon pollution and…Oh wait, it doesn’t? CO² is a natural fertilizer, causes plants to grow and resist drought. That part, at least, is true.

California’s massive Ivanpah solar power plant has 350,000 mirrors which bounce sizzling sunlight to the tops of three 40-story boiler towers, heating steam for turbine electricity generators. Temperatures near the towers can reach up to 1.000 degrees Fahrenheit, heat certainly sufficient to fry a fowl.

Workers in those “green jobs” at the state-of-the-art solar plant call the birds that fly through the concentrated solar rays — “streamers.” Birds ignite in midair with a smoke plume, instant barbecue. Federal investigators saw a bird burn about every two minutes. One environmental group claims the plant kills up to 28,000 birds each year.

The American Bird Conservancy estimates that wind turbines chop up 440,000 birds each year, but an analyst writing in the Wildlife Society Bulletin says it’s closer to 573,000 in addition to 888,000 bats. ( I thought bats only come out at night —our bats did, and slept all day). Airline pilots whose course takes them near the solar plants report being blinded.

The Obama administration remains wildly enthusiastic, and gave Ivanpah a $1.6 billion federal loan guarantee. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz called Ivanpah “a shining example of how America is becoming a world leader in solar energy.” Interestingly, everybody else is trying to get out of solar energy because it’s too expensive. And the sun does go down at night.

I’m not sure what bird fatalities that extensive mean. More mosquitoes, a return of Malaria, and that other new disease transmitted by mosquitoes? What about migratory birds and birds of prey? There is a balance of nature to some extent and if it gets out of whack there are unintended consequences. Europeans still kill off their songbirds by erecting great nets along the flyways to catch them. Whole fried or pickled songbirds were considered a gustatory treat. I thought the practice was outlawed, but apparently not.

The Mohave Desert Food Chain:

  • Raptors (golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, falcons, owls),Small insect-eating birds (finches, warblers, gnatcatcher, doves, bats),

    Reptiles (desert tortoise, Chuckawalla lizard),

    Moths and insects (yucca moths, soaptree moths, other insects)

    Yucca plants (Joshua trees, soaptree yuccas, etc.)

    The raptors prey on the small birds; the small birds and reptiles forage on insects; yucca moths and butterflies pollinate yucca trees and other plants; and yucca trees provide habitat and nectar for yucca moths. Without yucca moths, you have no Joshua trees.



Some Are True Believers, Some Are Skeptics, Nobody Is “A Denier.” by The Elephant's Child

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Here’s a new video from the White House, (sorry, I can’t embed it.) President Obama’s Science Advisor Dr. John Holdren explains—in less than three minutes — how climate change is making America’s wildfires more dangerous and why we must act now.

President Obama is deeply in awe of Dr. Holdren. He said breathlessly the other day that when he had a question about anything about science, he could just call up Dr. Holdren and he would explain it. “And he’s a real Physicist,” Obama said.

From the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho: “Outside of the West Coast, there is very little forest fire activity in the U.S. this year. Burn acreage is much less than half of normal.”screenhunter_1655-aug-04-06-59

(click to enlarge)

Forest fires are caused by lightening strikes, or occasionally by careless campers. They are not caused by global warming.



The Left is Very Skilled at Language Tricks. by The Elephant's Child

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Anthony Watts pointed out that the warmists are increasingly using emotionalism as a motivator for their concern about “global warming.” Language games are an important part of the leftist tool kit. First example is the change from “global warming” to “climate change”— somewhat necessary since it hasn’t warmed in over 17 years, but the climate is always changing, as you probably noticed last winter when the Great Lakes froze over. Anthony quotes Sean Long from the Media Research Center — headline:

Network Coverage of ‘Extreme Weather’ Up Nearly 1,000 Percent

Ten years ago ABC, CBS and NBC barely used the phrase, now they go to extremes despite scientific disagreement.

A “bizarre cold snap” is hitting the U.S. and the media have already begun to draw comparisons to the polar vortex. It is only a matter of time before the networks resume panic over “extreme weather.” …

The networks have worked tirelessly to promote the idea that extreme weather events were more common than they actually have been. What used to just be called weather, is now extreme. On May 6, 2014, NBC White House Correspondent Peter Alexander told “Nightly News” viewers to “just think of all the extreme weather headlines in the last months. Floods, tornadoes, record cold and record droughts.”

ABC correspondent Dan Harris announced on Feb. 22, 2014, “Good Morning America” that “much of America [is] dealing with extreme weather right now. A really nasty mix of twisters, high winds and flooding rains.”   (Whole story here.)

Climatologist Dr. John Christie has looked back as far as the 1850s and found there to be no trend in hurricanes. There has not been a single major hurricane (over category three) to hit the United States in seven years. Hurricane Sandy was a minimal hurricane.

The drought in California is not “the worst drought on record” but consistent with previous California droughts. Watch for the emotional words. They are used on purpose. Remember “polar vortex?” There are fewer tornadoes. Floods are not increasing. Dr. John Holdren, Obama’s science advisor, introduced the phrase “Global Climate Disruption” in a presentation at the Kennedy School of Government in 2007, although at that point it hadn’t warmed since 1997:

“Global warming is a misnomer,” said John P. Holdren, speaking at the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum at the Kennedy School on November 6. “It implies something gradual, uniform, and benign. What we’re experiencing is none of these.”

Holdren also urged the United States to spearhead this effort, going from being a “laggard in climate policy to being a leader.” Once that happens, he said, the rest of the world will follow suit.

Surely you didn’t think that it was accidental that the entire “endangered species” bit has been portrayed only with particularly attractive species — baby harp seals, polar bears and the ever so cute cubs. We’re suckers for that stuff.

Haven’t you noticed that the influx from Central America are “innocent children,” despite all evidence to the contrary? And now the left is describing them as “our children.

Another of today’s headlines on Watts Up With That:
“Told ya so —Washington Post links Ebola to Climate Change”



The Feds Will Spend $10,450,000 to Help Native Americans Adapt to “Climate Change” by The Elephant's Child

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Sigh. “The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) plans to spend up to $450,000 in taxpayer dollars to teach Native American tribes in the Great Basin region “climate adaption plans” for their hunting, fishing and gathering activities.”

Just what we need, a bunch of bureaucrats from Washington want to teach Native Americans how to adapt to global warming as it affects their hunting, fishing and “gathering activities.”

Due to climate change, the natural landscapes are becoming impacted,” and the “traditional practices for hunting, fishing, and gathering for ceremonial purposes” can potentially create further impacts,” according to BLM’s Cooperative Agreement announcement.

“It is important to educate those who are engaging in these gathering activities to reduce impacts on public lands. If tribes are able to develop adaptation plans for their gathering activities, they would have a process to follow that could reduce negative impacts on the landscape,” the Request for Applications (RFA) explains.

Todd Hopkins, GBLCC’s science coordinator, said that the climate change adaptation training is focused on Great Basin tribes because they are “Place-based and their gathering is very  much traditional in a sense that they use certain traditional foods and resources at certain times of the year, and because of climate shifts they are more impacted than other folks who may, say, go hunt in another place.

“President Obama announced the Tribal Climate Resilience Program in July. As part of this initiative, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell will “dedicate $10 million in funding for tribes and tribal organizations to develop tools to enable adaptive resource management, as well as the ability to plan for climate resilience.”

“Tribes are at the forefront of many climate issues, so we are excited to work in a more cross-cutting way to help address tribal climate needs,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy in the White House statement announcing the program. “We’ve heard from tribal leaders loud and clear: when the federal family combines its efforts, we get better results – and nowhere are these results needed more than in the fight against climate change.”

Did you ever hear such a foolish bunch of bureaucratese? “Gathering activities.” Is that the Shoshone-Bannock pow wow? I’m not sure when the camas is in bloom, or when  you dig for roots, but the huckleberries ripen about August 15th. I don’t know if they get to shoot bison any more, probably not.  “Climate resilience, indeed. Adaption plans. These people and their ancestors have been living on the land for ten thousand years, and don’t need bureaucrats to show them how to do it. The tribes get $90,000 for the first year, but I don’t know if it’s enough for forcing them to sit through more of this nonsense.

The photo is of the Shoshone National Forest, which is not a part of the reservation, but the land where Shoshones, Paiutes and Bannocks have made their home for a very long time.



John Kerry Lectures African Leaders by The Elephant's Child

John-Kerry-84png

John Kerry went off on an extended rant at a panel on “Resilience and Food Security in a Changing Climate” at the U.S. Africa Leaders Summit on Monday.

Eight thousand children die every single day. Around the world, one in eight people suffers from chronic hunger, and in sub-Sahara Africa that number regrettably is one in four. So looking to the future, it’s only going to be more difficult to bring these numbers down.

He said the seven billion people the world struggles to feed today will be nine billion by 2050, more than half of which is set to occur in Africa.  And climate change will make confronting world hunger even harder. The effects of climate change, he said, are already being felt around the world.

We’re not talking about some distant future. We’re not talking about some pie in the sky, unproven set of theories, as they were in the earliest days of population growth or other challenges that we face. The impacts of climate change are already being felt everywhere in the world. From the Arctic to the Antarctic, and everywhere in between and around, and they are only going to get worse,” he said, noting that will continue to be the case unless world leaders are able to reach an agreement in Paris next year at the UN conference on climate change.

“All you have to do is look at the extreme conditions that farmers are dealing with around the word. Hotter temperatures, longer droughts —like in California for instance and other parts of the world — unpredictable rainfall patterns,”

All you have to do is look at our ocean, the same carbon pollution that drives climate change is literally changing the ocean’s chemistry,” he said, arguing that it is among the difficulties fish populations are facing.

Kerry went on to say that the increase in carbon is not only detrimental to the amount of food available, but it is also making what is available less nutritious.

Drought, storms, monsoons, hurricanes, tornadoes and unpredictable rainfall patterns, are weather, not climate. Climate is a statistic involving worldwide temperature.

CO², carbon dioxide, is one of the building blocks of life, and a natural fertilizer for plants. It makes plants grow.  One of the reasons we have been able to feed growing numbers of the world’s population is that slightly increased CO² has helped plants to grow and flourish. It helps to make plants more resistant to drought. If Mr. Kerry wants to grow more food on the same amount of land, the worst thing he could do is to try to cut back  on what he mistakenly calls “carbon pollution.”

Norman Borlaug, the Father of the Green Revolution, was one of the great figures of the 20th century. He saved hundreds of millions of lives by producing new varieties of plants  and went on to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for averting malnutrition and famine. From 1950 to 1992, the world’s grain output rose from 692 million tons produced on 1.70 billion acres of cropland to 1.9 billion tons on 1.73 acres, an increase of more than 150 percent.  His innovations have helped to feed the world. Not enough for the left, which marches and demonstrates against GMO (genetically modified organisms) foods, just as they are out there demonstrating against nonexistent “carbon pollution.”

There was a video, but I couldn’t listen to it myself, let alone push it on you.



Can You Remember December When You’re Roasting in July? by The Elephant's Child

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A leaked memo from Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D-WA) obtained by the Washington Post tells her Democratic colleagues how to start talking about how climate change will hurt the federal budget. Not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Her memo, and somebody thought it was so humorous that they leaked it to the Washington Post, details how global warming impacts will affect four key sectors of the federal budget: disaster relief; transportation and infrastructure; national security; and agriculture. In the first term the Obama administration spoke of the “green jobs” and other important benefits that would come from curbing greenhouse gas emissions linked to global warming. We know how well that worked out. There really weren’t any “green jobs” unless you add in bus drivers, accountants and garbage men. And the failed companies and bankruptcies are testimony to a big sector of bad ideas and immense costs.

What is particularly interesting is the visible proof that Democrats get their talking points and ideas from each other. Nobody ever bothers to study up on the facts or the evidence. If you were going to offer your political party the information and talking points with which you hope to triumph at the polls, wouldn’t you be inclined to study up a little to get the very choicest and most useful points? Or at least find out if it’s true.

California Governor Jerry (Moonbeam) Brown just spent some time in Mexico doing PR for California, and he said we should be preparing for masses of Mexicans flowing North across the border to escape the punishing heat of global warming. Murray’s memo said:

“Climate change, if left unaddressed, will both weaken economic growth and impose additional direct budgetary costs on the federal government,” Murray wrote in the memo sent out Friday. “As a result, climate change poses an increasing threat to the federal government’s already challenging long-term fiscal outlook.”

Murray’s memo puts a lot of focus on budgetary impacts due to “extreme weather” — a major talking point of President Obama during his second term. Murray argues that global warming will increase extreme weather events, like hurricanes and droughts, therefore increasing disaster relief, infrastructure and other types of spending.

“Without action, climate change will undoubtedly affect our country’s ability to produce goods and services, costing jobs and weakening growth,” Murray wrote. “These effects are already being felt due to events such as Hurricane Sandy—which was estimated to have caused $65.7 billion in economic damage—as well as the massive droughts gripping parts of the country.”

Basic fact: “extreme weather events” are weather, not climate. Climate is a statistic composed of world-wide temperatures. There has been no warming at all for 17 years and 10 months, since September 1996. None. The sun has gone quiet.

New study : “Climate Models Overestimated Global Warming For The Last 55 Years

Climate models relied upon by scientists and governments may be greatly overstating the warming that has occurred since the late 1950s, argues a paper analyzing the discrepancies between modeled and observed temperatures.

The paper, which was published in the journal Environmetrics, found that observed temperatures differed greatly from modeled temperatures in the tropical lower troposphere and mid-troposphere.

“Over the 55-years from 1958 to 2012, climate models not only significantly over-predict observed warming in the tropical troposphere, but they represent it in a fundamentally different way than is observed,” says Ross McKitrick, economist with the University of Guelph in Canada and co-author of the study.

The EPA is hot on the trail of coal-fired power plants with the intent of eliminating any trace of emissions of CO², under the (mistaken) assumption that CO² is the cause of global warming. Wind is intermittent, and a wind farm requires 24/7 backup from a conventional power plant. The cost of electricity skyrockets as a coal-fired plant is re placed with an inefficient wind farm and a power plant to back it up. Result — energy poverty. People unable to afford keeping their homes warm in a colder climate. Apparently wind turbines don’t operate well in cold weather.

I wrote about New England’s problems with power shortages. Now, thanks to misguided regulations from the EPA we may have energy poverty across the country just as the climate is getting colder and people need more cheap, reliable  coal-fired energy.

Weather kills 2,000 Americans a year; cold is top culprit: ‘Of the 10,649 deaths attributed to the weather, about 63% were tied to exposure to the cold or hypothermia.’

The EPA is playing political power games. They cannot produce the science they claim is behind their increasing regulations, and they lie about what will happen in the future. Nobody knows what tomorrow will bring. When they claim to know, they prove their incompetence. They refuse to consider cost or job losses in their calculations, which makes them worthless.




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