American Elephants

Damaged Credibility for the IPCC, CRU, NOAA, NASA, and American Journalism. by The Elephant's Child
February 16, 2010, 9:37 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

Dr. Phil Jones, the head of the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia in Britain has stepped down in the ClimateGate scandal.  The CRU is one of the world’s three sources for  the temperatures that inform the world of the state of global climate.

This last week, Dr. Jones did a startling concessionary interview in which he admitted that there has been no global warming since 1995.   And he said that for the past 15 years there has been no statistically significant warming.  He conceded that there was a possibility that the world was warmer in medieval times than now.  The original raw data collected from weather stations around the world and analyzed by his unit may have been lost.  He admitted that his record keeping is not as good as it should be.

Months after the original exposure of emails and code from the CRU in the ClimateGate scandal, this was major news across the world.  The Washington Post, however, somehow neglected to mention it.  But that’s not all:

# No mention by the New York Times
# No mention by USA Today
# No mention by ANY major U.S. newspaper EXCEPT the Washington Times
# No mention by the Associated Press
# No mention by Reuters
# No mention by UPI
# No mention by ABC News
# No mention by CBS News
# No mention by NBC News
# No mention by MSNBC

CNN brought Dr. John Christy on air to talk about it.  This is not just a failure of the major climate reporting agencies, but a failure of American journalism.  Journalists in this country have been deeply involved in promoting alarm about global warming, and in suppressing any skeptical voice. Apparently that continues.

Once again journalists are more interested in promoting the world they prefer, than in reporting the news.  And they wonder why newspapers and news organizations are losing circulation.

(h/t: Edward John Craig, Planet Gore)

All is Not as It Seems, Behind the Scenes of the Environmental World. by The Elephant's Child
February 16, 2010, 8:58 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Energy | Tags: , ,

The U.S. Climate Action Partnership — a group of companies and organizations who banded together to push cap-and-trade, largely because they expected to profit handsomely if it passed — is back in the news.  ConocoPhillips is dropping out of the rent-seeking and lobbying organization, and BP and Caterpillar have also dropped their membership.

Perhaps the executives of these energy companies keep up with the news.   But Chris Horner says “Sit back and watch.” He continues:

I say this because someone who would know informed me that a certain aluminum company was told it sure would be a shame if “social justice” campaigners got the company in their sights. You know, just saying, completely unrelated to the request made of said company to drop out of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce during the peacocking — led by Exelon, the windfall-profit-seeking, Axelrod-and-Emanuel-tied utility — in faux outrage over the Chamber’s tenuous opposition to cap-and-trade. And the same person told me the same message was delivered to a different company that indicated it might drop out of USCAP.

“Sure got a nice company here, be a shame if anything happened to it.” Let’s see if social-justice types coincidentally discover their outrage over the company’s various sins, both real and imagined. Like, say, not giving enough grants to certain groups.

And you thought those environmentalists were just nice people who liked trees.

David Horowitz Once Again Tells It Like It Is. by The Elephant's Child
February 16, 2010, 8:28 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Environment, Politics | Tags: , ,

In this panel discussion with Pat Cadell, a long time Democrat campaign adviser, and David Horowitz, a one-time leftist radical — now a long time Conservative activist, the subject of environmentalism came up.  Cadell called the SEIU “thugs” and said that environmentalists were out to “deconstruct capitalism.”

Andrew Romanoff, a Democrat who is mounting a primary challenge against Colorado Senator Michael Bennet, has fired Pat Cadell for his intemperate — but accurate — remarks.  Cadell will hardly have trouble finding a new job.  The collapse of the global warming scheme will continue to have unexpected consequences, especially for those who remain uninformed.

(h/t: Planet Gore)

Drill Now. Jobs, Energy, and Keeping the Cost of Energy Down. by The Elephant's Child

“Restrictions on oil and gas drilling will cost the U.S. economy $2.36 trillion through 2029, according to a study requested by state utility regulators and paid for in part by industry-sponsored groups.” So reads the first paragraph of a story by Bloomberg .

Drilling restrictions off the U.S.coastline and in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge are blocking our access to around nine years worth of American oil and gas consumption.

President George W. Bush and Congress ended previous bans on drilling along the U.S. coastline.  The Interior Department has taken no action to open the newly available areas which include offshore Alaska and the outer U,S. Continental Shelf in the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico.  Congress has kept the Arctic refuge off-limits.

The report, issued Feb. 15, said that opening the areas would produce an estimated 43 billion barrels of oil and 286 trillion cubic feet of gas.   In 2009, America used 22.8 trillion feet of gas and 5.2 billion barrels of oil.

O’Neal Hamilton, a former chairman of South Carolina”s Public Service Commission noted that “Our research allows policy makers to know the extent of the resource base and the effects that maintaining the restrictions would have on the country.”

According to the report annual average natural-gas prices will increase by 17% by 2030 and electricity prices will rise by 5% if policy-makers do not open access to these areas.  That would slash the gross domestic product by a cumulative $2.36 trillion through 2029 — a date that sounds remote but is only the end of the current decade.

The collapse pf alarmist global warming and the complete discrediting of the UN’s IPCC have yet to shift society.  The consequences are far-reaching.  Carbon dioxide will settle back into its traditional position as one of the necessary building blocks of life. Every law, regulation and mandate aimed at reducing CO2 will become, not only unnecessary, but a useless expenditure of scarce funds.  Governors who have signed on to efforts to reduce CO2 emissions in the illusion that they would show the way to be “green” will be excoriated for their waste of public money.

Neglecting the unintended consequences of laws and regulations also has consequences.

Could This Be the Start of a Trend? by The Elephant's Child
February 16, 2010, 2:46 pm
Filed under: Economy, Education, News | Tags: , ,

Central Falls, Rhode Island is not only a small town (population 19,000), but a depressed town, one of the poorest in the state. Rhode Island has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. The town has boarded-up windows, abandoned buildings and closed factories. According to Wikipedia, the median income in the town is $22,000.

School Superintendent Frances Gallo is trying to fix an abysmally bad school situation. Her plan includes asking teachers at a local high school to work 25 minutes longer each day, eat lunch with students once a week, do some extra tutoring on a rotating schedule before and after school to help students, attending weekly after-school planning sessions, and participating in two weeks of training in the summer.

Apparently 50% of the students at the school are failing all of their classes, the graduation rate is under 50%. Teacher salaries at the high school average $72-$78,000. The Teachers Union refused the request for an extra 25 minutes.

The Superintendent fired the entire teaching staff of the high school. In total, about 100 teachers, administrators and assistants will lose their jobs.

(h/t: John Derbyshire)

Democrats on an Escalator. by The Elephant's Child
February 16, 2010, 12:38 am
Filed under: Entertainment, Humor, Liberalism, Politics

Reader Ron Spins brought this video to our attention, and though he posted it in the comments section, it’s too good to risk the possibility that you might miss it. Thanks, Ron! Hee hee.

Our Actions Have Unforseen and Often Unwelcome Consequences. by The Elephant's Child
February 16, 2010, 12:07 am
Filed under: Conservatism, Liberalism, Politics, Progressivism | Tags: , ,

One of my particular obsessions revolves around the fact that Liberals are so little interested in consequences.  Conservatives care about evidence.  They want to see some evidence that a program or a policy will work before inflicting it on the country.

Conservatives and Libertarians have sponsored think tanks across the country, some of them well-known, some obscure, whose fellows study policies as diverse as light rail and emergency-room economics.  They study programs that have been passed into law to see if they work, and if they are cost-effective, and how they can be improved. They study problems that have not yet come to the attention of government; and study what is happening around the globe, and what those influences on America will be.  They study war and peace.

Liberals, after the 2000 election, complained publicly, and bitterly, that they had no ideas — because they had no think tanks.  The Center for American Progress was shortly established, and John Podesta put in charge.  Typically, the Center seems devoted to all things political in general, and how to win at putting their political ideas into practice in particular.  It is a difference in approach.

Liberals care deeply about their good intentions.  They’re all for hope and change and their idea of a better world.  But liberal ideas never die.  Most of the ideas proposed by the administration or the liberals in Congress, are not new, but very old familiar ideas from the Roosevelt era, or the Johnson administration or the Carter administration.  If a program or a policy does not work, they are quite sure that not enough money was invested or not enough rules were established, so they do it over again.

A shining example is the Head Start program, which was devised to give poor minority children the advantage of expensive pre-school programs that seem to benefit children from wealthier families.   Study after study has shown that there are no benefits that extend beyond first grade.  Yet Liberals continue to insist on the program, add more funding and, like this administration, expand the coverage to younger and younger children.  This is why they advocate government-run child care from the earliest age.

Or, as another example of splendid intentions, take Stimulus I.  It was not successful in anything that it purported to do — except for pumping lots of money (uselessly) into the economy. In that it was successful to the tune of $862 billion.  So we now have Stimulus II, which morphed into “the Jobs Bill”, which was canceled by Harry Reid to become a mere $15 billion effort, the purpose of which is not yet clear, nor is it clear what becomes of the jobs effort, for that remains an unsolved concern.

What fostered this rant of mine, was an article by Roger Kimball, the editor of The New Criterion, and President and Publisher of Encounter Books, at Pajamas Media entitled “Why I Am Not  Pessimistic,” which I would recommend.  In his essay, Mr. Kimball included an excerpt from Australian philosopher David Stove’s “Why You Should Be a Conservative,” which defines the oldest and best argument for conservatism.

A primitive society is being devastated by a disease, so you bring modern medicine to bear, and wipe out the disease, only to find that by doing so you have brought on a population explosion. You introduce contraception to control population, and find that you have dismantled a whole culture. At home you legislate to relieve the distress of unmarried mothers, and find you have given a cash incentive to the production of illegitimate children. You guarantee a minimum wage, and find that you have extinguished, not only specific industries, but industry itself as a personal trait. You enable everyone to travel, and one result is, that there is nowhere left worth traveling to. And so on.

This is the oldest and the best argument for conservatism: the argument from the fact that our actions almost always have unforeseen and unwelcome consequences. It is an argument from so great and so mournful a fund of experience, that nothing can rationally outweigh it. Yet somehow, at any rate in societies like ours, this argument never is given its due weight. When what is called a “reform” proves to be, yet again, a cure worse than the disease, the assumption is always that what is needed is still more, and still more drastic, “reform.”

Progressives cannot wrap their minds (or, more to the point, their hearts) around this irony: that “reform” so regularly exacerbates either the evil it was meant to cure or another evil it had hardly glimpsed. The great Victorian Matthew Arnold was no enemy of reform. But he understood that “the melancholy, long, withdrawing roar” of faith had left culture dangerously exposed and unprotected. In cultures of the past, Arnold thought, the invigorating “remnant” of those willing and able to energize culture was often too small to succeed. As societies grew, so did the forces of anarchy that threatened them –- but so did that enabling remnant. Arnold believed modern societies possessed within themselves a “saving remnant” large and vital enough to become “an actual” power that could stem the tide of anarchy. I hope that he was right.

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