American Elephants


What Progressives Should Know About Trump Voters by The Elephant's Child

Victor Davis Hanson has a particularly interesting column today at CNN, of all places.  It is titled “What progressives should know about Trump Voters.” CNN may just be the perfect place for that.

1. Voters appreciate that the economy is currently experiencing near record-low peacetime unemployment, record-low minority unemployment, and virtual 3% annualized GDP growth. Interest and inflation rates remain low. Workers’ wages increased after years of stagnation. The US is now the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas. And gasoline prices remain affordable. The President continues to redress asymmetrical trade with China, as well as with former NAFTA partners and Europe. He jawbones companies to curb offshoring and outsourcing. The current economic recovery and low consumer prices have uplifted millions of middle-class Americans who appreciate the upswing.

2. Trump does not exist in a vacuum. Many supporters turned off by some of his antics are still far more appalled by an emerging radical neo-socialist Democratic agenda. If the alternative to Trump is a disturbing tolerance among some Democrats for anti-Semitism, the Green New Deal, reparations, a permissive approach to abortion even very late in pregnancy, a wealth tax, a 70-90% top income tax rate, the abolition of ICE, open borders, and Medicare for all, Trump’s record between 2017-20 will seem moderate and preferable. Progressives do not fully appreciate how the hysterics and media coverage of the Kavanaugh hearings, the Covington teenagers and the Jussie Smollett psychodrama turned off half the country. Such incidents and their reportage confirmed suspicions of cultural bias, media distortions, and an absence of fair play and reciprocity.

Do read the whole thing. You’ll be glad you did. Ignore CNN’s cute inserts.



The “Green New Deal” Is a Pack of Lies by The Elephant's Child

Well, the Justice Democrats cooked up quite a conflagration over a weekend with their “Green New Deal”. It got more attention than it deserved, simply because some people belie-e-e-ved, and it frightened the sensible folks. It would, if imposed, destroy the country. Nothing about it would work, but it was cleverly devised so that those who were ill-informed would think it possible, and of course, most people don’t keep up with matters like the efficiency of wind turbines and solar cells. Perhaps even some of your neighbors get some rebates from the power company for the energy they contribute to the grid.

Solar cells do work a little bit, when the sun is shining brightly in a cloudless sky, which, unfortunately, isn’t all that often. The major greenhouse gas is not carbon dioxide, but water vapor in the form of clouds. Did you ever lie on your back on the lawn when you were a kid, and watch the clouds moving across the sky? The clouds here were beautiful here one day last week, big puffy cumulus with occasional holes where the blue sky in the background shone through. The point is, most of the time there are clouds, always moving. Some days it is just clouds, and of course, since this is the Seattle area, some days it rains. A day with a clear blue sky is rare. So where do you get your energy in a cloudy stretch of days? Solar energy requires 24/7 backup from conventional energy sources like fossil fuels,or hydropower. There are hydropower dams in all of our major rivers, and there’s not much of anywhere to put new dams. Wind turbines work when the wind blows at the correct speed, but wind doesn’t do that all the time or even regularly. The idea that you can power America with wind turbines and solar cells is far beyond stupid, and quite impossible. You will find echos in today’s reporting of IPPC General Secretary Christiana Figueres’ statement that the goal of the climate movement was not to change the environment but to end capitalism.  That’s what they’re after.

Canadian Climate Scientist Tim Ball has an excellent history of the climate written up at Anthony Watt’s wattsupwiththat blog:

Most people were taken in by the false story of human-caused global warming. We can include all the students participating in the classroom walkout to demand governments stop climate change, organized by 16-year-old Greta Thunberg. Her goal is to keep global temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Apparently, she has no idea that the temperature was near or above that level for most of the last 10,000-years in a period known as the Holocene Optimum.

They are taken in by the false claim that a minute amount of human-produced CO2 is effectively controlling the entire atmospheric system since 1950 and causing environmental collapse through global warming. They don’t know that there is an upper limit to the amount that CO2 can increase temperature. They don’t know that the average level of CO2 over the last 250 million years is 1200 ppm. They don’t know that every projection of temperature by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) since 1990 was wrong. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, how did so few, fool so many, to such an extent, for so long?

Similar situations occur throughout history of people fooling the world, although this is undoubtedly the largest in terms of its acceptance, impact, and cost. It is tempting to point the finger at the IPCC, but the speed with which the story took hold, spread, and deceived so many people requires better explanation. It likely won’t stop it occurring in the future because it speaks to the nature of human beings and our inordinate and pandemic fear that the sky might fall. However, we might stop the current insanity.

Do read the whole thing. We are in a dangerous time, and we need a well-informed public.



This Is Our Moment! (didn’t someone else say that?) by The Elephant's Child

Our very own Washington State Governor Jay Inslee has finally finished his big announcement video and published it, so he can now hopefully get the attention to the fact that he is running, that he didn’t get when he just said he was running, and nobody paid any attention at all while they slobbered all over the previous 20 or 30 who are also running.

He is running on CLIMATE, in case you didn’t grasp that subtle moment in his brand new campaign video, above. Most of the others in this vast bunch of Leftist losers have already signed on to AO-C’s Green New Deal. Somehow, saving us from the ravages of  changing climate will create a more ‘Just’ world. Not sure how that works, but I guess they think that means that either everybody will get hurricanes like Florida’s or Florida won’t get them any more, like the folks here in Washington State, and the folks in New York won’t have to suffer devastating wildfires like northern California did. Is that what he has in mind for climate justice? No idea.

Let’s start with the fact that the climate scientists who measure the temperatures of the earth with satellites and weather balloons to give us the official measurements of earthly warming and cooling, say that over the last 40 years of measuring, the climate of the lower troposphere has warmed by approximately 6/100ths of one degree Centigrade. A one or two degree warming is roughly equivalent to the warming seen most Spring days between 10 a.m. and noon.

Lefties don’t seem to study anything, but just regurgitate what somebody else of the right political persuasion told them. Inslee went down to see the Northern California area devastated by wildfire that Jerry Brown said was caused by global warming–except that all the scientists said it wasn’t, and the Forest Service said it was mismanagement of the forest and too much uncleared dry undergrowth, and the power company has gone bankrupt after it was learned that sparking of some connection was what initially started it all off, and they’re going to get sued by everyone. But, you see, it was all because of climate change, and by golly, that’s what Jay Inslee is going to run for the office of the Presidency of the United States on.

He did try to get a carbon tax passed, but neither the people nor the legislature wanted any part of it. I should also mention that the carbon in the atmosphere is CO² — the same stuff we exhale every time we breathe. It it not a pollutant but a benign gas that is a natural fertilizer for plants, from the smallest blade of grass, to the world’s forests, and is greening the earth, feeding the hungry. Surely you remember photosynthesis from high school biology?

Neither wind nor solar energy can produce enough energy to even begin to power the United States economy. Wind is intermittent and seldom blows at the right speed to make those huge turbines turn, and much of the time it just doesn’t blow at all. The sunlight is too diffuse. It produces small amounts of energy, but powering an economy isn’t going to happen. Ivanpah, the great project in California’s Mojave Desert ended up as a total flop, producing only 40% of the promoter’s promises. Write Ivanpah in the blank over Bob Hope’s head in the sidebar if you want more information. The only climate neutral source of energy at present is nuclear energy, and everyone seems to be afraid of nuclear energy, so there you are.

Climate change does not cause hurricanes, floods, forest fires, tornadoes, or any other disasters. It’s a matter of temperature. The Medieval Warm Period 900 to 1300  was the finest weather known to man, and produced a bounty of food, wine grapes grew in England, wheat grew in Sweden, and the Vikings named Newfoundand “Vinland,” and the Norse settled Greenland.

Beyond all the climate misunderstandings, Governor Inslee has another small problem. The Cato Institute, the Libertarian think tank, does an annual Fiscal Policy Report Card on the Nation’s governors to judge how they did at managing the fiscal policy of their states: spending, taxes, responsible mangement using statistical data to grade the governors on their taxing and spending records. The governors who cut taxes and spending the most, get the highest grades, whereas those who increased them the most receive the lowest grades, The report is here. Governor Jay Inslee has the distinct honor of coming in dead last with a resounding F, the worst governor in the country at fiscal management of his state. I don’t know Gov. Inslee, never met him, but as you can see, don’t agree with him on much of anything.



John McWhorter Sums Up the Jussie Smolett Planned Hate Crime by The Elephant's Child

John McWhorter is an American academic and linguist, who is Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, where he teaches linguistics, American studies, philosophy, and music history. He is the author of  number of books on language and race relations, and appears frequently in major American publications.

Do watch this short video, because it’s important to understand the current phenomenon of “hate crimes.” What is a hate crime? Why is it worse if you murder someone because you hate them – than if you just brutally stab them to death for no apparent reason? I’m not sure when the idea of “hate crimes” first appeared, but it was somewhere in the Sixties.

At the Hoover Institution, another black scholar, Shelby Steele, has written on “A Sick Hunger for Racism,” a pointed essay subtitled: “Why can’t leftists let go of the whole idea of all-powerful, permanent white bigotry? Because it empowers them.”

Today Americans know that active racism is no longer the greatest barrier to black and minority advancement. Since the 1960s other pathologies, even if originally generated by racism, have supplanted it. White racism did not shoot more than four thousand people last year in Chicago. To the contrary, America for decades now—with much genuine remorse—has been recoiling from the practice of racism and has gained a firm intolerance for what it once indulged. …

Suddenly America was in moral trouble. The open acknowledgment of the nation’s racist past had destroyed its moral authority, and affirming democratic principles and the rule of law was not a sufficient response. Only a strict moral accounting could restore legitimacy.

Thus, redemption—paying off the nation’s sins—became the moral imperative of a new political and cultural liberalism. President Lyndon Johnson turned redemption into a kind of activism: the Great Society, the War on Poverty, school busing, liberalized welfare policies, affirmative action, and so on.  …

Here we see redemptive liberalism’s great ingenuity: it seized proprietorship over innocence itself. It took on the power to grant or deny moral legitimacy across society. Liberals were free of the past while conservatives longed to resurrect it, bigotry and all. What else could “Make America Great Again” mean? In this way redemptive liberalism reshaped the moral culture of the entire Western world with sweeping idealisms like “diversity,” which are as common today in Europe as in America.

Well, that all sounds familiar. Donald J. Trump, who was never accused of being racist until he became president, is accused of being “racist” dozens, if not hundreds, of times every day. His remark about “s–t hole countries” was immediately seized upon as proof of his racism. Substituting the ‘S’-word for the “Hell-hole” that many people had been using for years, could only refer to skin color in the African, Asian or Middle Eastern countries that were suffering from bad or evil governance, poverty, starvation and brutality – and simply was
more evidence of racism. Thus we celebrate diversity, genderism, sexism, gender fluidity, women (but not men), open borders, want ICE eliminated. Americans with all the opportunity envied all over the world want to celebrate black victimhood instead

You see, Leftists are the good people who are trying to redeem us from the evils of racism, sexiism, homophobism and bigotry — because America is not the freest nation in the world, where you are offerred the chance to make of yourself whatever you strive for, but a biggoted, cruel nation that slaughtered the indigenous peoples, stole their lands, practiced slavery, and where we all live under a cloud of continuing injustice. Surely you have read how awful we are – the Leftist media tells us so every day.

Our colleges and universities turn out students convinced of that vision, and unfamiliar with our Constitutional guarantees of freedom of speech and what that means, insists that it is not our actions that matter, but what we say. They are there to redeem us from our past, by removing our history. They just tried to demonstrate their opposition to Confederate monuments in North Carolina by damaging a statue of General Lee, only it was General William E. Lee, a World War II hero, not their intended Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Dummies couldn’t even tell the difference in uniform. In their drive for American redemption the Left is trying to rob us of our history as well.

You have probably seen the hilarious videos of Democrats all using exactly the same words at the same time, proving that they were told which words to use. They do have a propaganda shop that chooses the proper words for Democrats to use, chosen for their effectiveness and adherence to the party line. “Little children ripped from their mother’s arms” is the one that comes most readily to mind, but they are myriad. When one of the leaders errs, and uses an unfortunate word, you will never hear it again. Democrats are the good people trying to redeem America, and the rest of us are bigots, Hitler, racists, racists, and racists.

There are actually more Conservatives in the country than Liberals, but Democrats’ most important voting groups are Blacks and Hispanics. Oddly enough, many of Hispanic heritage came here legally, and oppose illegal immigration as much as the rest of us.  When Obama created his highly illegal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA program)  those with Hispanic surnames were polled for their reactions, and most said the kids should be sent back home. 

So that’s where we are. Republicans are delighted with the booming economy, plentiful jobs, the lowest Black unemployment ever, growing opportunity, expanding oil supplies, and growing manufacturing. The evidence of racism, whether it is Jussie Smolett or overpaid NFL players kneeling to protest the national anthem, or finding anyone in the past who, like Al Jolson, once wore blackface and sang Southern songs, or spoke about fried chicken or watermelon inappropritely, seems staged and a celebration of Black victimhood.  Democrats cannot allow Blacks to notice that  a Republican president is doing for American Blacks what the first Black American president could not manage to do.



Here’s a Useful Visual Illustration by The Elephant's Child

sources_of_electricity_in_the_usa_2006

This graph represents our energy resources in 2006. There’s been a lot of fracking since then, and a lot more discoveries, so it would probably be different today, but not all that much. It is, however, a good visual to illustrate the utter absurdity of Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s assumptions about eliminating fossil fuels and replacing them with “renewables.” Eliminate the Nuclear energy, the Natural Gas., the Petroleum,  and Coal. Ignore the Hydro because that will not grow — and O-C assumes that tiny pink 2.4% can not only power our industrial society, but also all the high-speed rail she has in mind to replace all the automobiles and airplanes she plans to eliminate.

Lots of worried talk about the “greenhouse gasses” in the atmosphere, but the primary “greenhouse gas” is water vapor – clouds. The carbon dioxide is the same stuff we exhale –a natural fertilizer for plants. The slight rise in the amount of CO² is greening the Earth and helping to feed its most poverty stricken peoples.



Beware the Snake Oil Salesmen! by The Elephant's Child

This post was originally written on March 8, 2011.

It’s hard to visualize just how big these things are.  In Europe, and I don’t know the location, adventurous souls are climbing turbines and jumping off with parachutes (parafoils?).

When those who are pushing for more wind farms talk about “capacity” they are talking about the amount of energy that could be produced if the wind was blowing at a constant speed of about 30 mph.

The problem with wind is not the turbines, the problem is the nature of wind. It is intermittent. It blows in puffs and gusts, in gales, zephyrs, breezes, squalls or not at all, and there may be no wind for days. In a gale, the turbines may have to shut down to avoid damage.  Each turbine requires 24/7  backup for the times when the wind does not blow, or does not blow strongly enough, or too strongly.  The usual backup power plant is fired with natural gas, but power plants are not meant to cycle on and off so frequently to compensate for intermittent wind. You can build bigger and better turbines, but it won’t solve the problem of intermittent and unpredictable wind.

Europe has been far ahead of us in falling for the promise of wind energy. They fell for the global warming fraud with a greater degree of panic, and for the promise of “green energy” and “green jobs.” That did not work out well.  Britain, however, had long-standing power plants that needed replacement and were required to be shut down at a certain point. Enthusiasm for green energy and EU imposed greenhouse gas targets have created enormous problems for the British people.

“Electricity consumers in the United Kingdom will need to get used to flicking the switch and finding the power unavailable” according to Steve Holliday, CEO of National Grid, the country’s grid operator. “The grid is going to be a very different system in 2020, 2030.  We keep thinking that we want it to be there and provide power when we need it.  It’s going to be much smarter than that.”

“We are going to change our own behavior and consume it when it is available and available cheaply.”

Holliday says that blackouts may be a feature of power systems that replace reliable coal plants with wind turbines to meet greenhouse gas targets.  Have to do it, but it will mean lifestyle changes.  Maybe they should get the EU to bag the “greenhouse” nonsense, instead.  Britain had a higher number of deaths from the cold this year and more energy poverty.

Under the so-called “smart grid” that the UK is developing, the government-regulated utility will be able to decide when and where power should be delivered, to ensure that it meets the highest social purpose.

The government might decide that the needs of some industries take precedence over others, or that the needs of industry might trump that of residential consumers. Government would also be able to price power prohibitively if it is used for non-essential purposes.  Smart grids are being developed by utilities worldwide to allow the government to control electricity use in the home, down to the individual appliance, and be capable of turning them off if the power is needed elsewhere.

So Britain’s wind farms aren’t having back-up power plants?  I can think of a few objections.  You cannot predict when the wind will blow.  Mr. Dalrymple requires a 3 hour surgery for some major repairs — how do you schedule the operation?  A manufacturing plant has machines that must run all day — processes can’t simply be suddenly halted. Long periods without wind often come during especially cold periods.  It doesn’t matter how “smart” your grid might be if whether or not power is produced at all is completely unpredictable.

We must take Britain seriously. Their long romance with the welfare state provides us with vast evidence of what not to do.  Their National Health Service is a growing disaster, and they are trying to save it with major reform that returns authority to doctors and patients. Their welfare state has created a permanent underclass. And their belief in the fraud of global warming is leading them to another disaster. We must pay attention to the evidence.



You Might Want to Send This Chart to Your Congressperson by The Elephant's Child

https://americanelephant.files.wordpress.com/2018/07/oila.jpg?w=420

To my astonishment, several of our representatives in Congress seem to be of the opinion that we should ban fossil fuels and the oil and gas industry and “keep fossil fuels in the ground where they belong.” Maybe you want to return to the 19th Century, and horse and buggy days, but I’m rather fond of 21st Century mobility and the modern way of life.

The first miracle drug, aspirin, appeared around the turn of the 19th Century. Henry Ford built his first car in 1893, Marconi invented radio telegraphy in 1894. In 1900 the American scientist R. A. Fessenden transmitted the human voice via radio waves, the first trial flight of the Zeppelin took place. In 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright flew at Kitty Hawk, and in Britain, Motor-car regulations set a 20 mile-per-hour speed limit. But enough reminiscing. Want to go back? That Ms. Ocasio-Cortez was not laughed out of Congress is testimony to our failure to learn a little history.




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