American Elephants

They Predicted Environmental Disaster! Nevermind. by The Elephant's Child

From the Reason Foundation, here are their top five environmental disasters that were predicted.  Didn’t happen.  There are lots more that didn’t make the list like acid rain — had a specific source, cleaned up, crisis over.  The hole in the ozone layer is a naturally occurring phenomenon that happens every year in the early winter. Supposedly extinct animals have turned out not to be extinct after all.  The ice cap on Kilimanjaro is returning nicely.  Arctic ice melts in the summer, grows in the winter, some years more than others.

We cannot predict the future.  Computer programs can’t predict the future either.  We are an adaptive species, and pretty good at adapting.

Happy Earth Day.

The Obama Administration’s Regulatory Nightmare by The Elephant's Child

It’s hard to keep up with the regulatory proposals coming from government agencies. The Foundry, a Heritage Foundation blog, is trying to keep track of the more noxious ones. Today, they are pointing out the excesses of the U.S. Department of Energy.

They already regulate the design of air conditioners, battery chargers, boilers, ceiling fans, dehumidifiers, dishwashers, dryers, freezers, furnaces, heat pumps, light bulbs, refrigerators, toilets and washers. We now have washing machines that are several times more expensive and literally do not clean your clothes. Dishwashers no longer clean your dishes, and after the Volt fires in Connecticut, the regulations for battery chargers may need a second look.

The addition for today concerns a return to the shower.  The Energy {Policy Conservation Act of 1992 prescribed a measly 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm) at 80 pounds per square inch of water pressure.  This was quite a dramatic reduction in showering pleasure from the 5 gpm or even 10 gpm of previous showerheads. The Department stated that: “It has always been the Department’s view that when Congress used the term ‘any shower head’ it actually meant ‘any shower head’.”

Now they want to make it clear that the regulation applies to the total from multiple shower heads in any one shower. The department recently fined 4 showerhead makers $165,104 for failing to demonstrate compliance with the shower head mandate.

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 prohibits even minute levels of lead in any product intended for children 12 years of age or younger. That includes millions of children’s books printed with leaded ink.  Lead in ink was phased out in the late 1970s, but the CPSC deems any children’s book printed prior to 1986 to be potentially toxic and thus unfit for library circulation , the Goodwill store, or your neighbor’s garage sale.

The EPA is now hard at work increasing fleet-wide fuel efficiency standards for cars, and at the same time expanding the amount of ethanol in gasoline from 10% to 15%, (an amount damaging to the engines of all but the newest cars) which will dramatically decrease fuel efficiency.  Corn-based ethanol has been shown to nearly double greenhouse gas emissions over 30 years.  The spike in food prices from more ethanol will increase government spending by $1 billion a year, according to studies.

Obama policies are destroying jobs as fast as new jobs are created. Regulations accomplish nothing but unnecessary interference in peoples lives, and often simply make things worse.  There are always consequences, often unintended ones, and they seldom improve anything.

Stop the Childish Scare Tactics, and Act Like Grown-ups. by The Elephant's Child

Democrats are busy trying to make sure that people are frightened by the Ryan Budget Plan ” A Path to Prosperity.” That’s their standard trick, and it usually works for them.  Republicans, of course, want their grandmothers eating dog food, and shivering in cold attics, because Republicans are naturally so mean.

Polls show that the public wants to get government spending under control; but they are opposed to any reform of Medicare and Social Security.  What they apparently do not understand is that the question is not do you want Medicare reformed or do you want it to stay the same. It’s too late, and that option if off the table.

The question is do you want these programs reformed as painlessly as possible, or do you want them to go broke and cease to exist for anyone.  That’s the choice.  Democrats have fought for years to keep from any reform of their favored programs.  Too long.  It is now a question of demographics, not politics. The baby boom generation — seventy-six million Americans—are beginning to turn 65 this year.

In 1946, 3.4 million babies were born, an all time high.  In 1947, there were 3.8 million, and the numbers just kept climbing.  The peak year of the baby boom was not until 1959.  There are simply not enough younger people paying in to Medicare to support the program. It is already running in the red. Keeping Medicare the way it is, is simply not an option.

We have to stop the childish scare tactics, and act like adults. We have some real problems, but we have a little time to make real reforms before it is too late. We need to use that time constructively.

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