American Elephants


The Great Unlearning: How Our Society Became So Stupid. by The Elephant's Child

Bill Whittle takes on the big problem.

Parents? The Schools? Television? Social Media? The Press? Hollywood? Absence of knowledge of history, math, economics, in favor of gender, sexism, racism, inability to read? What is most important and what should we tackle first?



CO2 is Greening the Earth, Benefiting the Biosphere, and Lifting the Poor Out of Poverty. by The Elephant's Child

greeningCraig D. Idso is the founder and former President of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, and currently serves as Chairman of the Center’s board of directors. He has written:

At a fundamental level, carbon dioxide is the basis of nearly all life on Earth, as it is the primary raw material or “food” that is utilized by plants to produce the organic matter out of which they construct their tissues…

Typically, a doubling of the air’s CO2 content above present-day concentrations raises the productivity of most herbaceous plants by about one-third; this positive response occurs in plants that utilize all three of the major biochemical pathways of photosynthesis.

There is no doubt elevated concentrations of atmospheric CO2 lead to enhanced plant photosynthesis and growth. This well-known fact has been confirmed over and over again in literally thousands of laboratory and field studies conducted by scientists over the past several decades. In recent years, however, the growth-enhancing benefits of atmospheric CO2 have been increasingly studied and observed in the real world of nature using Earth-orbiting satellites. Such instruments have the capability to remotely sense plant growth and vigor at altitudes miles above the Earth’s surface; and they have generated a spatial and temporal record of vegetative change that now spans more than three decades. And what has that record revealed?

The take-home message of the satellite data is two-fold. First, at the global level, all recent studies show there has been a significant greening of the planet over the past few decades despite the occurrence of a number of real (and imagined) assaults on Earth’s vegetation, including wildfires, disease, pest outbreaks, deforestation, and climatic changes in temperature and precipitation. Greening has more than compensated for any of the negative effects these phenomena may have had on the global biosphere during that time. Second, there is compelling evidence that the atmosphere’s rising CO2 content—which is considered by many to be the chief threat  to the future of the biosphere via climate change—is most likely the primary cause of the observed greening trends.

Do read the whole thing, including the references. This is why Obama’s “Clean Power Plan” will accomplish nothing beyond putting a lot of coal miners and power plant workers out of work. CO2 is NOT a pollutant, but essential to life on earth. If all the billions of dollars of new wind farms and solar arrays were actually to accomplish anything, it might make a difference of 0.03ºC by 2100. Just another failure to add to the legacy.



So What Do You Think Of Your Government? by The Elephant's Child

350px-State-dining-room-polk-cabinetI have been fascinated with the animus directed at the Environmental Protection Agency. I’ve long thought of them as a rogue agency, interested only in their power grab, and their environmental efforts as mostly futile and misdirected. Their enormous fines and riding roughshod over businesses and private citizens, trampling the law and ruining lives suggested to me that the agency should be abolished.  But it appears that large numbers of Americans agree with me. I didn’t expect that.

That got me thinking about other governmental departments. So I looked up the Cabinet, and what are referred to as “Cabinet Rank” officials who are not part of the Cabinet. I looked them up in Wikipedia. You have to scroll down for the list, but you should see the picture of James K. Polk and his cabinet in 1946— all five of them. Lincoln had seven, and in September 2009, Obama had 21. But scroll down to the Cabinet. It’s hard to attribute the correct agencies belonging to each cabinet office.

Which federal agencies do you admire and trust? Or the reverse, which do you believe are incompetent and failing to do what they should? The IRS? The VA? Interior? Agriculture? Education? If Monica Crowley is correct, Obama exercises incredibly tight control, and nothing goes forward in his administration without his approval.

Just a thought experiment.

PolkADDENDUM: [The picture is of of James K. Polk and his cabinet in 1846, The first cabinet to be photographed.] From left to right, front row. John Y, Mason, Attorney General; William L. Marcy, Secretary of War; President Polk; Robert J. Walker, Secretary of the Treasury; Back Row Cave Johnson, Postmaster General; George Bancroft, Secretary of the Navy. Secretary of State James Buchanan is absent. Polk was 49, He served 1845-1849. He pledged to reestablish the independent Treasury System, Reduce tariffs, Acquire some or all of Oregon Country, and acquire California and New Mexico. Accomplished all. He was a Democrat.

 



Not a Lot of Media Coverage of the Decline and Fall of the EPA by The Elephant's Child

gty_mine_wastewater_spill_03_jc_150811_4x3_992-e1439327486898-620x266Have you noticed that there is not a lot of media coverage about the big EPA toxic mine tailings spill? Have you noticed that EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy is not out in the Navajo lands consulting with Navajo Nation president Russell Begaye? The spill has been quietly upped from one million gallons to three million gallons, but that’s pretty complicated math and probably nobody knows.

This is very big and very bad news for the EPA and for the Obama Administration. It has been six days, and we still don’t know just what happened, just how toxic the surge is, and how long-lasting it will be. They have spoken of  toxic metals, lead, arsenic, cadmium (which I assume is responsible for the yellow color) and what else? There are lots of farms and ranches. How do they cope with water being trucked in, and what do they do with their livestock?

Perhaps the national press will take notice when the plume of yellow muck reaches the Grand Canyon National Park. I have been interested to see the utter contempt with which many seem to regard the Environmental Protection Agency.



Climate Change is Now a $1.5 Trillion Industry by The Elephant's Child

climate-changeThe Climate Change Business Journal has calculated that Climate Change is now its own $1.5 trillion global “climate change industry” that is growing at between 17 and 24 percent annually from 2005-2008. Following the recession, growth slowed to between 4 to 6 percent with the exception of a bump in 2011 of 15 percent growth. These results were published in the Insurance Journal, for the climate journal is not available for free online.

The publication includes nine segments and 38 sub-segments including renewables, green building and hybrid cars. It also includes the climate change consulting market which the journal estimates at $1.9 billion worldwide, and $890 million in the U.S. The consulting market is expected to double in the next five years. The report’s authors believe the climate change industry as a whole will grow even faster. The Climate Change Consulting market  had billings of $600 million in 1976 and today generates $27 billion.

One of the most lucrative segments of the industry is consulting, risk management, and of course legal and other professional services. That’s why “green” businesses donate so heavily to politicians who believe in global warming issues. Policy is one of the biggest drivers of growth in the industry. If Obama’s Clean Power Plan survives legal challenges it may be a big driver of further growth.

So if “Big Green” is a $1.5 trillion industry, that will buy a whole lot of scientists around the world. It is a major funder for the Democratic Party along with unions. And it is an industry that can survive only by relying on the coercive powers of government. That’s a lot of crony capitalism.



Employment and Unemployment for July, 2015. by The Elephant's Child

So the job situation for the month of July remains — dismal. There were 215,000 new jobs in July, a little less than the expected 225,000. 93,770,000 working-age people, 16 and older, aren’t working. This takes us back to 1977 levels of employment, and we are a bigger country now. This is a 36-year low. A record 56,209,000 women are not in the work force.

Since 2007, 1.4 million manufacturing jobs have been lost. There are 1.4 million new waiter and bartender jobs that have been created in the same time period.

Possibly a more interesting discussion for the debates? How are you going to fix this one?

Unemployment



Republicans Have a Deep, Talented and Accomplished Field. by The Elephant's Child

Republican presidential candidates (L-R), former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, former Texas Governor Rick Perry, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, former HP CEO Carly Fiorina and former New York Governor George Pataki, pose before the start of a Fox-sponsored forum for lower polling candidates held before the first official Republican presidential candidates debate of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign in Cleveland, Ohio, August 6, 2015. (Photo: Aaron Josefczyk/Reuters)

I wasn’t really pleased with the debate last night. Republicans have a stunning array of outstanding candidates. The two-tier format relegated some to a lesser tier that everyone is trying to find a better name for, because at this point so early in the campaign this was just the first introduction of many of these governors of ‘other states’ whose faces and ideas were unfamiliar, and polls this early are meaningless. The media, of course, cannot wait to make a dramatic horse race of it.

Republicans have a deep, talented field and it is going to be hard to choose among them. Each of us has some we would eliminate right off, but those might well be someone else’s favorites. I don’t favor the media’s “gotcha” questions. “You said something entirely different last month is Kalamazoo, which statement do you actually mean?” That’s not what I want to know.

I cannot remember a time when there were so many deeply serious questions. The president has decided to ignore our three houses of government and take legislative function into his own hands, what do we do about it? Many believe that President Obama’s “Iran Deal” signs a death warrant for America and Israel, as that is Iran’s clear aim. Our president cannot bring himself to say ‘Islamic terrorism’ or ‘Islamic radicalism’ which has clearly had an effect on our foreign policy?

What does Obama intend by surrendering to Cuba, and what does he hope to gain and why? With so many trouble spots all over the world, why are we attempting to reduce the size and effectiveness of our military forces? With so many cyber-attacks on our national security and government computers, what would you do about it? Is there any other country in the world where the government subsidizes abortion and selling the body parts, or bodies, of aborted babies? Why should we be the leader in this ghoulish practice?

The president’s unilateral “Clean Power Plan” intends to arbitrarily remove more than 30 percent of our electricity-generating capacity from the national grid, for what many believe is completely flawed reasons, in the face of a world that is not warming, but growing colder. Cold kills. What would you do about it? Vladimir Putin has just laid claim to the North Pole. China has claimed the South China Sea and intends to defend their claim with artificial islands it is building. Your response? This has been the worst recovery since World War II. How would you turn it around? Our economy over the last 7 years has been one of exceptional growth of government, and even more, one of excessive regulation. What would  you do about that?

If we are deeply troubled by the problems we face, we want to know which candidates are also troubled, and what they believe are the potential answers. The Democrats got us into this mess.

CLxHWCsUcAABEp-

Moderators seem to believe they must ask hard questions, but those they think of as ‘hard’ are not the ones we’re worried about. And I know I’m leaving out a lot. Trump is whining that the moderators weren’t nice to him.




Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,310 other followers

%d bloggers like this: