American Elephants

CO2 is Natural, Organic, and Good for You. by The Elephant's Child

I was going to ignore Earth Day because I think it is profoundly silly, and I don’t want to encourage the perpetually discontented doom-mongers.

Carbon Dioxide is a natural product that is one of the building blocks of life. Increased CO2 levels are constructive and highly beneficial to both mankind and the natural world. I don’t know the location of the picture above, though it looks like a nuclear plant. Pictures like this are always used to subtly say ‘look, evil industry is polluting the planet,” but what is coming out of the smokestacks is most likely steam— water vapor.

Back in the 1970s, the earth experienced a short-term cooling trend, and many of the perpetually discontented doom-mongers were alarmed and predicted a coming catastrophe.  If it had continued, it would have been a problem, for cold is much harder to deal with than warm.

A little more warming would be nice. It’s barely 50° here, and though it may be spring, our temperatures are way below normal. Yes, this is not climate. But the Medieval Warm Period from about 900 till 1300, when it was much warmer than today, was the finest weather known to man. Wine grapes grew in England, the Vikings farmed in Greenland, and the climate was maybe 2° to 4° warmer than now.  Castles and cathedrals were built throughout Europe, which is an indication of good food supplies and greater wealth. In June, 1253, Westminster Abbey alone had 428 construction workers, nearly half of them skilled stone workers and glass blowers.

CO2 is plant food, what all humans and animals breathe out, and plants breathe in CO2 and exhale oxygen. We are at a low point of CO2 in the atmosphere, around .038 ppm. Greenhouses boost CO2 to 1000 ppm, and nurserymen continue to survive, as will we.

Just Ten Years Ago. What Might Have Been. by The Elephant's Child

Ten years ago on April 17 and 18 , a number of Democrats took to the floor of the Senate to block efforts to open the Alaska Wildlife Refuge mud flats to exploration and development:  It would take ten years, they said — up to ten years for any oil to reach the market.  Gas prices then were $1.45 a gallon at the pump.

Once again, they all advance the same excuses. Talking points.


Opposition to Keystone Pipeline is a Big Loser for Obama by The Elephant's Child

The House of Representatives passed legislation that extends transportation funding through September. Attached to the bill is a mandate for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the Gulf Coast. President Obama threatened to veto, but 69 Democrats abandoned the president to vote with the Republicans.The bill passed in the House 293 – 127. That is a significant number of defections.

Speaker John Boehner said” “The House is on record again in support of the Keystone XL pipeline — a project President Obama blocked, personally lobbied against, then tried to take credit for, and now says he’ll veto. There’s no telling where the president stands from one day to the next on Keystone, but he knows the pipeline has broad and bipartisan support in Congress and among the American people.”

President Obama was widely criticized for his opposition to the pipeline, and his objections had little support in fact. It was a major affront to the Canadians, and has certainly not improved relations with our closest neighbors. There are 20,000 jobs n prospect, many in construction, many permanent, and many spin-off jobs in the surrounding economy. The pipeline had been approved by the State Department and vetted by every applicable agency, but the Greens are opposed, because they are opposed to fossil fuels.

A lot of Democrats up for re-election are well aware of how popular the Keystone XL is, and support for the Keystone is growing in the Senate. In a vote last month 11 Democrats joined the Republicans 47 votes, which is not far from the 60 required to break Harry Reid’s filibuster. People want this thing.

This puts Obama in a very difficult position. If he chooses to veto, the veto would probably be upheld in the Senate, as overriding the veto would take 67 votes. But attempting to stop it would hurt Obama, who has already been badly damaged by his earlier intransigence. Obama may believe that Americans don’t know anything about  the problem, and won’t notice, but that would be a bad gamble.

An inevitability to be much desired.

Can We Stop the Spending, Or Is It Too Late? by The Elephant's Child
April 20, 2012, 11:38 am
Filed under: Capitalism, Democrat Corruption, Economy, Education, Politics | Tags:

There is a magical process whereby a goodly percentage of the money earned by a citizen with his labor is confiscated by the federal government, and when it arrives at the IRS, it ceases to be taxpayer money and becomes — revenue. Of which, there is never enough. And when the legislators that we elect to Congress begin to deal with it, it has become, again by some magical process — government money.

The significance of this is that those who work for the government, in considering it as government money, feel free to spread it around. Government money is no longer made up of hundreds and thousands, as it was as part of your income, now it is consists of millions, billions and trillions.

For those of us who believe that the best government is that which is closest to the people it serves; the government in Washington DC has grown far too big and bloated. Yet in spite of the objections of the public, government has continued to expand. Obama is a determined expander of government because he believes that government does things better. He just remarked that he Apple and Google exist because of the government.

He believes now that he is, through his efforts to promote clean energy, saving the planet; and it is through the government’s new investments in old-fashioned technologies that the 21st Century clean economy will come about. It doesn’t matter if some ventures do not succeed, that’s the cost of reaching  for a better future.

Obama clearly has nothing but contempt for Republicans and Republican ideas. I suspect that he has never been exposed to Conservative thought before. In spite of all claims for his superior intellect and vast intellectual accomplishment, he seems remarkably lacking in information. He doesn’t know much about either history or economics.

But he has that in common with many of the Democrats in Congress. They pass laws with little understanding of the consequences that are the inevitable result. They have never understood that if you take a patient, an insurance company, and a medical establishment, add several thousand pages of complicated rules and over 100 different new agencies to manage it all — the brilliance of their rules is not going to make it cost less. The cost will be astronomically higher, and the medical establishment will necessarily be focused on recompense for their work rather than patient care.

The government frequently passes a law to correct a specific problem in a specific place that, applied nationwide, causes enormous problems. A few years back, Congress became concerned about arsenic in the water. Regulations required costly water purification plants to be built everywhere. Most communities had no arsenic.  I don’t know how that one turned out. The recent regulation requiring all swimming pools to become accessible to the disabled at enormous cost, will accomplish nothing except to put many out of business.

The National Automobile Dealers Association says that the NTSA’s proposed 2025 fuel economy standards will cause 7 million car buyers to be pushed out of the market by fuel economy rules. If the cost of a vehicle goes up by government estimates of about $3,000, millions of people will no longer be able to finance a new car. The government’s Cash for Clunkers debacle helped a lot of people already in the market for a new vehicle to get a handout, and stripped the marketplace of both used cars and used auto parts.

Because what is involved is only government money, these huge failures are of no moment. Lives may be ruined as people are put out of business, but it doesn’t change government behavior. The EPA has lost a whole raft of lawsuits this spring because of overreaching regulation, yet it doesn’t even slow them down. Obama has spent $5 trillion in Government money in just three years, and shows no restraint whatsoever.

Can we actually reduce the size and cost of government? Or are we doomed to allowing it to grow and expand like some great noxious bubble of swamp gas until it collapses? We’ve been complaining about the growth of government for so many years that there is a danger that no one will take the problem seriously and assume that once again we can just muddle through.

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