American Elephants

James Delingpole Has No Tolerance for Idiots! by The Elephant's Child

High up in my list of favorite writers is James Delingpole, who blogs at The Telegraph. Acerbic, grumpy, takes-no-prisoners, tolerates no nonsense and great fun, always, to read. He posted the above video with this commentary:

The harmless trace gas carbon dioxide, as any halfway literate scientist knows, is plant food – not a pollutant. That’s why in agricultural greenhouses commercial growers often raise CO2 levels to between 700 ppm (parts per million) and 1,000 ppm – which is more than twice current atmospheric CO2 levels of (approx) 392 ppm. They do this because they know CO2 increases plants’ growth rate while simultaneously reducing the amount of water they require. (H/T Bufo)

So really, you might not unreasonably think, any large-scale experiment to discover what kind of effect increased levels of CO2 has on eucalyptus trees would fall into roughly the same category as:

A large-scale experiment in the sea to discover whether or not water is wet.

A large-scale experiment in the Vatican to discover whether or not the Pope has Catholic tendencies.

A large-scale experiment in the woods of Canada and Alaska to discover whether or not bears defecate in arborial environments.

A large-scale experiment at Christmas to discover whether or not Father Christmas is a big, fat, jolly man with a white beard and a red outfit trimmed with white fur.

A large scale experiment conducted in the evening to ascertain as to whether night follows day.

A large scale experiment with ice-cream left outside on a very hot day to discover….


It seems though that in Julia Gillard’s Australia the thirst for spending large sums of taxpayers money in order to research the blindingly obvious is still strong.

The remainder of the post is here:

Dr. Roy Spencer Clears Up Some Climate Confusion: by The Elephant's Child

Roy Spencer is Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He has been the U.S.Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer for EOA flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite. This provides the most dependable temperature record of today’s climate. He received his Ph.D. in meteorology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1981.

He has a wonderful ability to explain complicated science to the layman,  and he has a great sense of humor.  His books: Climate Confusion and The Great Global Warming Blunder, I recommend highly.

Pay no Attention to the Train Wreck of the Economy. Worry about “the Rich.” by The Elephant's Child

What’s Fair? Obama’s most repeated theme of the moment is “everybody having a fair shot and everybody doing their fair share and everybody playing by the same rules.” That sounds good, but What’s Fair? and Who Decides?

What isn’t fair at the moment seems to be Warren Buffet, and it isn’t fair that he pays a smaller percentage of his income in taxes than his secretary does.  Mr. Buffet also thinks it isn’t fair that he has to pay so much in taxes, for he is counter suing the IRS over taxes that the IRS wants and he doesn’t want to pay. And while he claims publicly that it isn’t fair that he pays a smaller rate than his secretary, he also brags on his ability to avoid paying capital gains taxes.

Obama wants Congress to pass “The Buffet Rule.” He wants everyone to believe that “the rich” don’t pay their fair share. He is apparently unaware of the fact that we have the most progressive tax code among the OECD.  That doesn’t refer to the progressive party, but to the fact that the rich pay a higher percentage of their income in taxes than do those in the lower quintiles. And they pay way more of the total taxes paid.

If everybody making more than $1 million in adjusted gross income paid a minimum of 30% in federal income taxes, it would increase federal revenues (if they all actually paid) by all of $1.1 billion — 1/10 of 1% of Obama’s $1.2 Trillion budget. The top 10% of earners pay a higher percentage of their income to the government than the top 10 percent in any European country including socialist Sweden.

Americans don’t have a lot of envy of “the rich”— that’s a foreign notion — they mostly hope to get rich themselves.  And they have always seen this as a society where that was a real opportunity for anyone. Americans also believe that the government wastes about 51 cents of every dollar it spends.

According to a poll by the Hill of likely voters, three-quarters believe that the nation’s top earners should pay lower, not higher tax rates. Seventy five percent said that the right level was 30 percent or lower. Only 4 percent thought that 40% was appropriate, which is approximately the rate Obama wants.

Perhaps you know someone who cheerily claims that they want to pay their “Fair Share” in taxes and volunteers to skip all those bothersome deductions, and just pay the rate on the tax tables.  Everybody I have ever known spend a lot of time looking for just a few more deductions.

So Obamas campaign theme of everybody having a fair shot, doing their fair share and playing by the same set of rules, is another of those pleasing phrases that doesn’t stand up to close inspection. What’s fair? There’s quite a bit of disagreement on that, but it’s a lot less that those nice folks in Washington DC think. Who decides? Obama expects to, all by himself. He doesn’t care much about what the rest of us think.

And that plays by the same rules idea? What hypocrisy! This is the administration that has extended over 1.000 waivers to the ObamaCare rules. The same administration that demands that the oil industry give up the deductions that every manufacturer is able to take, by calling them “subsidies.” The same administration that arranges every regulation to favor its union supporters. The same administration that collects taxpayer money to hand out to friends and bundlers who are signing up for federal grants and loans for “clean energy”ventures, and then going bankrupt. And we are finding out about playing by the same rules, big time, from the efforts of the out-of-control EPA.

Pretty words. No fairness involved.

*The marvelous Michael Ramirez can demonstrate Obama’s hypocrisy in one amazing drawing. See his work every day at Investors.

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