American Elephants


Down With Capitalism: The Glorious Socialist Future Is Here! by The Elephant's Child

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China Climate Change

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It’s always a good idea to take a hard look at what you think you are wishing for. Sometimes you’re just caught up in a romantic fantasy, and the reality isn’t quite so…… optimistic.



They Came, They Marched — A Useless Event. by The Elephant's Child

There is nothing that the”Greenies” could do that demonstrates so effectively the absolute bankruptcy of their cause, than the big Climate March Sunday. The celebrities arrive on their private jets, and attract the appropriate media attention. Leo DiCaprio, departing from his rented billionaire’s yacht arrived to march behind the signs deploring capitalism and consumerism.

He got a big caregal-green8-jpger boost with a Vanity Fair cover purporting to save polar bears from global warming back in 2007. DiCaprio was photographed in Iceland, and a shot of  the adorable polar bear cub ‘Knut’, born in captivity in the Berlin Zoo, was stripped in. It was the “Green Issue.” and loads of free publicity for DiCaprio.

Well, Knut died young in Berlin.  Polar bears turned out not only not to be endangered, but to be dramatically increasing in numbers and to have managed the slight warming and cooling of the climate with no problem at all. Having been publicized as an environmental activist, DiCaprio has to turn up for marches.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was busted in 1984 for  heroin possession, and sentenced to 800 hours of community service, which he worked off by volunteering at the Hudson River Foundation, which introduced him to the possibilities of environmentalism. He copyrighted the name Waterkeeper, and collected funds from the many environmental groups with “keeper” as part of their name.

He collected an array of trial lawyer firms who had experience in lawsuits against tobacco companies, to sue giant pork producers and processors. Each of the law firms committed itself to an initial ‘ante’ of $50,000 to work with Kennedy. The idea was to monitor cases where even the tiniest amount of material from pork producers or processors might contaminate a river, stream, lake , bay or coastline. Kennedy would use his celebrity status to publicize these cases and alleged risks to human health. He estimated the potential “damages” that could be collected from the pork industry at somewhere between 9 and 13 billion dollars, a large portion of which the trial lawyers would rake off for themselves.

They have also gone after Bayer pharmaceuticals for the purported downstream impact of its livestock antibiotic Baytril. They allege that residues of the prescription drug pass through animals and into rivers and groundwater. They only need to find a sympathetic judge and jury. Riverkeeper says:

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s reputation as a resolute defender of the environment stems from a litany of successful legal actions. Mr. Kennedy was named one of Time magazine’s “Heroes for the Planet” for his success helping Riverkeeper lead the fight to restore the Hudson River. The group’s achievement helped spawn over 185 Waterkeeper organizations across the globe.

The marchers were opposed to “fracking,” the Keystone XL pipeline, carbon dioxide, fossil fuels of any kind, the rise of the oceans, global warming,  and extreme weather. They inexplicably favored Socialism as the answer c762259a-437c-4fc9-9cf2-85cbd1b690d5-460x276— but China doesn’t seem to have found an answer yet. Even more, their arguments are failing, one after another.

The National Science Foundation has just given ‘Fracking” a clean bill of health.  The extent of ice in the Antarctic keeps setting new all-time records, one after another. “Extinct species” turn out not to be extinct after all. Carbon dioxide is a natural fertilizer for plants and helps them to grow and survive drought. The amount of CO² in the atmosphere keeps growing, but the planet hasn’t warmed in the slightest for nearly 18 years. (But the children!) The ocean is rising in millimeters, not inches or feet.

The alarmist cause has meant that a dusty corner of science —climatology— has moved to center stage in the western world with grants and investment in labs, and climate meetings in some of the world’s nicest resorts, fame and recognition. There are enormous fortunes being made on the issue of climate alarmism. Aside from such notable cases as Al Gore and Tom Steyer, look at the money made from renewable energy, from ethanol, from biofuels — because politicians afraid of not supporting environmentalism — spend billions to fix things and the politically connected line up for government largesse. (But consensus!)

Add in electric cars, wind farms that have just received a free 30-year pass from the federal government for killing endangered eagles. Some are afraid they may make the species extinct. Wind produces electricity only when the wind blows at the right speed, which is not anywhere near constantly. A wind turbine must have 24/7 backup from a conventional power plant for all the times the wind isn’t blowing at the right speed. Turbines and wind die down in the winter. Solar arrays produce energy only when the sun is shining. (Clouds, night) And also require 24/7 backup from a conventional power plant. (But 97%)

It was all — just embarrassing.

The chants echoed through the skyscraper canyons, the drums rolled, participants were caught up in a sense of unity and togetherness that some of them had never known. It was almost like politics, almost like the epochal marches that have toppled governments and changed history ever since the Paris mob stormed the Bastille.

Almost. Except street marches today are to real politics what street mime is to Shakespeare. This was an ersatz event: no laws will change, no political balance will tip, no UN delegate will have a change of heart. The world will roll on as if this march had never happened.



Reason TV Went to the Big Climate March! by The Elephant's Child

Reason TV went to the Climate March, and chatted with some of the marchers. Watch the whole thing. Only 3.17 minutes! They really don’t like the corporations that make all their stuff. More corporate haters than advocates of green policies, which they seem a little fuzzy about. Kind of embarrassing. They didn’t pay attention in high school science class.



An Out-of-Control Agency of Zealots, Destroying Your Freedom. by The Elephant's Child

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You have undoubtedly seen this picture before. I haul it out every time I write about the EPA and the agencies’ effort to transform the words of the Clean Water Act which give the EPA authority over the “navigable waters of the United States of America.”

It is partly Congress’ fault. They have chosen to write bills in general form, and leave the intricacies to federal agencies to work out and regulate. This has led to the growth of government, the growth of agencies, the growth of unionization of federal agencies, bad regulation and bad law.

Undoubtedly the Congress didn’t know how to define “clean water” in a specific and legal way—in which case they had no business making such a law.

In 2006, a US.Supreme Court Case from Michigan produced five different opinions and no clear definition of which waterways were covered and which were not. This left the government with a clean slate on which to write it’s own interpretation —everything they wanted to regulate. They are zealots and want to control everything.

I wrote about this problem in May of 2011, when the EPA was suspending 79 surface mining permits in West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee because they could possibly violate the Clean Water Act. They revoked the coal mining permit for Arch Coal’s Spruce Mine No.1, a permit that had been in force for 4 years and obeyed in every comma and dot.  Arch Coal provides 16% of America’s coal and have invested $250 million in the operation which would have employed 215 miners and 300 support jobs.  The President has expressed his desire to bankrupt the coal industry.

I wrote about it again in  June of 2012 when they started trying to control the land alongside ditches, gullies and temporary water sources caused by rain or snowmelt by claiming that they are part of navigable waters. It doesn’t sound scary until you recognize that it would make it harder for private property owners to use their own land, in their backyards, to grow crops, raise livestock or even raise kids. The bill they had then had 64 co-sponsors, and John Barrasso (R-WY) said “It’s time to get EPA lawyers our of Americans’ backyards.”

October, 2013: “The Clean Water Act charged the agency with keeping the navigable waters of the United States clean. What Congress probably had in mind was shutting down any sewers emptying improperly and keeping boats from dumping oil and stopping the Cuyahoga River from catching fire. In many places the water naturally contains some methane. Not harmful to people, but it can catch fire.”

There was a big arsenic flap where some springs were found to contain arsenic in what were presumed to be dangerous quantities. The EPA made a nationwide regulation determining that every municipality would be required to treat their water to remove any trace of arsenic. Many communities had no arsenic in their water, but the agency demanded expensive water treatment anyway. In the case of safety for humans, many things that are poisonous in large quantities are perfectly safe in small quantities. The rule is always “the dose makes the poison.”

In 2013, they were going for a proposed rule—the “Water Body Connectivity Report” which removed the limiting word “navigable” from “navigable waters of the United States” and replaces it with “connectivity of streams and wetlands to downstream waters” Whoa! Change one word officially and expand your overreach by billions. Congress saw what they were trying to do and demanded answers. I don’t know how that one turned out, but it would seem to be this one.

A little over a week ago, the House passed legislation that would prevent the EPA from implementing a proposed rule to define its jurisdiction over bodies of water. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy has said the rule does not significantly expand the agency’s existing authority. Uh huh. Republicans said the rule would go too far and subject trivial bodies of water to federal regulation.

You see how slow the legislative process is. The Bill passed the House 263-152. Vulnerable Democrats broke with their party and signed on. Before final passage the House rejected 179-240 an amendment offered by Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY) that would prevent enactment if implementation would harm water quality. The White House issued a veto threat, saying it “would derail current efforts to clarify the scope of the Clean Water Act, hamstring future regulatory efforts, and create significant ambiguity regarding existing regulations and guidance.”

Harry Reid would be unlikely to bring the bill to a vote. You have heard much about a “Do Nothing Congress,” which is a Democrat slander. The Republican House of Representatives has passed over 297 bills, a fairly standard number for a session. The Do Nothing Democrat-led Senate has passed just 59 bills— the fewest number of any Senate session since 1972. So the next time the President claims the Republicans aren’t doing anything, which he does with some regularity — he’s just doing politics again. Harry Reid tries to avoid bringing anything to a vote that the president would have to veto.

If you attend a town hall meeting with one of your representatives, you might let them know you’re concerned. Or give them a phone call. Those probably get tallied. I suspect emails just vanish into the ether. They really don’t want to hear from you.



Root Causes: Here’s Why Ferguson Rioted: by The Elephant's Child

There is always an answer for every problem. In the case of Ferguson, Missouri, everyone has been searching for the cause of this summer’s violence. We just weren’t looking in the right place. The violence was clearly caused by climate change.

350.org Strategic Partnership Coordinator Deirdre Smith wrote:

To me, the connection between militarized state violence, racism, and climate change was common-sense and intuitive. Oppression and extreme weather combine to ‘incite’ militarized violence.

Smith explained that poor minority communities have fewer resources to deal with the impacts of climate change, but that “people of color also disproportionately live in climate-vulnerable areas,” which makes climate change a race issue.

The 350.org Strategic Partnership is behind the big climate march this weekend at the UN Climate meeting that everybody important is skipping. And of course, their real interest is the doctrine of “environmental justice,” a notion used by the EPA whenever it seems to be helpful in their legal arguments.

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,” according to the EPA website.

That makes it a civil rights issue, which brings in a whole different body of laws and regulations. It suggests that power plants or “excessive” car exhaust can be considered civil rights violations — if they occur in poor or minority neighborhoods. The object is not to improve anyone’s life, but control, which is accomplished with a maze of regulation and red tape, and gigantic fines for those who offend the EPA.

Climate, which is a statistic representing worldwide temperatures, affects everyone equally, and since in the last one hundred years it has only warmed by about one degree, we can all adapt fairly well, even the folks in Ferguson. Weather can affect some people more than others because of where they live—in Tornado alley, near the beach where Hurricane Sandy hit. We just had a small earthquake yesterday, but earthquakes are not climate or weather. This one was only a .4 and we didn’t feel it at all.

The National Weather Service says the St.Louis area was not noticeably warmer this summer than it has ever been. At 80.3 degrees F. this August’s average temperature was only the seventh-warmest of the last 20 years, substantially cooler than the high of the last two decades of 83.9 in August of 1995. It got up in the 90s here in the Seattle area as it usually does once or twice a year.



What If You Have A Party and Nobody Comes? by The Elephant's Child

World leaders are expected to meet as at the United Nations Climate Summit on September 21 to announce plans for reducing carbon emissions. Unfortunately, world leaders are staying home. It’s turning into a bit of an embarrassment for President Obama and UN Secretary General Bank Ki-Moon.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott can’t make it because he has a country to run. Chinese President XI Jinping and new Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have also indicated they won’t attend. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper will not be attending. And even Angela Merkel, President of very, very green Germany just can’t make it.

Well, some people do pay attention to the news. The Antarctic ice is at the greatest extent ever measured. Arctic ice is expansive and growing. There has been no warming at all, none, for seventeen years and eleven months. We’ve had snow in September in the northern Midwest and New England. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere continues to grow—which supposedly means that world climate is getting warmer—but the climate is not getting warmer, but cooler.  So possibly the increase in the benign gas that we exhale each time we breathe, the one that is a natural fertilizer for plants, is not the cause of the 1º of warming that occurred over the last hundred years? Well, yes. Exactly.

The sun, which does have a lot to do with climate, has gone quiet, and all the vast dollars and crony capitalism that have gone into finding an alternative source of energy in solar and wind energy has been for naught? Yep.

“There is essentially zero evidence that carbon dioxide from human activities is causing catastrophic climate change:” Australian geologist Dr. Bob Carter.

Climatologist Dr. Judith Curry warns of decades of possible global cooling: Suggests the “current cool phase will continue until the 2030s.”

Leonardo DiCaprio: “How we respond to the climate crisis in the coming years will likely determine the fate of humanity and our planet.”

Nancy  Pelosi: “Republicans winning the Senate would be the end of civilization.”

Activist green groups are drumming up a way to use the federal courts to force Americans to drastically reduce their energy consumption whether or not Obama signs a new climate change treaty in Paris next year.

The EPA plans to propose and finalize regulations establishing first-ever carbon dioxide (CO²) regulations for jet aircraft.

The Obama administration is reading the Clean Air Act to require a climate policy never intended or approved by Congress, and intends to negotiate an international agreement that would not survive a Senate vote on ratification.

Green organizations are planning a big climate march in conjunction with the UN Climate meeting. They are concerned about “climate justice” which seems to have nothing to do with climate (which they can’t affect anyway) and everything to do  with ‘justice” which seems to be about putting the people in charge, destroying large corporations, and redistributing income. They are particularly interested in the particular large corporations who extract energy from Mother Earth and use it to power civilization, but that is secondary to “justice.”

Emails obtained through Freedom of Information Act show that Obama’s EPA is in collusion with “green” lobby groups — the report details the conflicts of interest, “unalterably closed minds,” internal activism and influence of outside interest groups on the Obama Administration EPA. Documents raise questions about the legality of EPA rules.

The EPA also wants to garnish your wages if they accuse you of something, without any court order. How do they get that power? They just announce that they have it. That is apparently the way that some 30 government agencies have granted themselves the power to garnish your wages.  There are more problems with big government that we ever knew.



Early Snow. Colder Winter? Looming Power Shortages. by The Elephant's Child

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Los Angeles is sweltering under 100º+ temperatures, but in other parts of the country they are having a very early winter. Temperatures are forecast to dip into the 50°s from Boston and New York City to Philadelphia and Washington D.C. Some areas in northern Pennsylvania, upstate New York and northwestern New England will see temperatures in the 30ºs. An inch of snow at Rapid City on the 12th was the earliest recorded snowfall since 1888.

There has been no global warming for 17 years and nine months.

Obama administration officials intend to sign a “politically binding” agreement to drastically reduce U.S, greenhouse gas emission at the U.N. climate change conference in Paris next year and have a legal strategy to turn any non-binding accord into federal law. Chris Horner, senior fellow and attorney at CEI  says activists are planning to use the sue-and-settle strategy they have used in the past to impose drastic energy restrictions on all Americans. But India, China and Germany have already said they won’t be attending the conference. The major aim of the less developed countries is to force the Western developed countries to pay for the misery inflicted on the poorer world.

Antarctic sea ice extent, September 13, 2014—a new all-time record : 1,121,000 square km., breaking the past record by 48,000 sq. km.

So what’s going on here? Author Greg Easterbrook calls it “collapse anxiety.” He defines it as “a widespread feeling that the prosperity of the United States and the European Union cannot really be enjoyed because the Western lifestyle may crash owing to economic breakdown, environmental damage, resource exhaustion, …or some other imposed calamity.

These are the descendants of English economist Thomas Malthus who forecast a dire future in “An Essay on the Principle of Population” which was published in 1798. He believed the increasing global population would result in starvation for many people as the world would not be able to feed itself. Malthusians are still with us in the persons of Paul Ehrlich and “The Population Bomb,” and Obama’s science advisor John Holdren, who advocate for radical approaches to forestalling catastrophe, including what they call “de-growth.”Nuclear energy is bad, Genetically modified foods are bad. Coal is awful. Oil is bad. Natural gas is bad, and fracking is bad. Renewable energy is good. Organic food is good. Locally grown organic food is better. “¹

The assumption is that we are running out of every essential commodity—food, oil, copper, iron ore. We are sinning against the planet. Directly in the face of the facts —”people are living longer, healthier, freer, more peaceful, lives than in any other time in human history.” Human ingenuity and creativity are triumphing all over the world. The big environmental groups like Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council raise hundreds of millions of dollars every year by scaring people about coming disaster.

Climate science was once a quiet corner of university science departments, but the creation of the IPCC and important meetings on climate held at all the world’s nicest resorts meant departmental growth, fame, more students, and lots and lots of grants. Governments invested mightily in protecting their citizens from the rise of the oceans, and helping the planet to heal. Those who have been riding that gravy train are not likely to give it up gracefully.

But there has been no warming whatsoever in 17 years and nine months.

Last winter the Great Lakes froze over. New England has obediently been on a hell-bent drive to rid itself of any form of “dirty” non-renewable energy, and has been closing down coal-fired plants for the last decade. Last winter when the real record temperatures hit, there wasn’t enough natural gas to go around. The EPA is planning to shut down 300 coal-fired power plantsfor which there is no replacement. Residential electricity prices in New England are up by 11.8%.

We hear about the horrors of a warming world, but cold is far more dangerous. People die from freezing to death. Some scientists are predicting a new “Little Ice Age,” Nobody, and no computer program, can predict the future. We just don’t know.This looks to be a colder winter, and the president, his science advisor and the EPA are still chasing carbon dioxide, though CO² has continued to increase as warming has failed to increase for nearly 18 years.

¹ Smaller, Faster, Lighter, Denser, Cheaper by Robert Bryce.




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