American Elephants


The Attempt to Control Is Becoming Pervasive by The Elephant's Child

An interesting search. I wanted to know the precise new title and agency for Dr. William Happer, appointed as a new science advisor in the Trump administration. He is a world-renowned physicist, Princeton University emeritus professor, and a splendid choice. Couldn’t find it at all. The first 6 pages on Bing and even on Duck Duck Go (the one that doesn’t track you) are given over to sources like Vox and Think Progress to claim that he is a prominent denier, Nazi, and to Bill Nye, the Science Guy, to insult Dr. Happer, with headlines like Bill Nye “Destroys” William Happer.

Bill Nye, Science Guy, is not a scientist. He has an
undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering.
That’s it. He is not an authority on anything. He is a
television personality.

I am a confirmed skeptic about global warming because I grew up outdoors in the mountains of Idaho. You will find that rural people who interact with the natural world every day are not terrified of global warming.  They leave that to Hollywood celebrities and city apartment people. I was an English major and I read. A lot.

Never did find Dr. Happer’s proper title in the Trump administration. on the 7th page on two search engines, I found Climate Depot, Powerline and the Cato Institute at numbers 72, 73, and 74. That seems to be a good indication of the attempt to suppress conservative thought. I think you will find this pretty common across all search engines, It’s common among newspapers and magazines, but those are clearly declining industries. You’re familiar with media reaction to being called “fake news” by the president.

Now we have a report from Chris Horner at CEI about the climate advisers in the governors’ offices, at least Washington’s Jay Inslee, California’s Jerry Brown and New York’s Andrew Cuomo who advise them on steps to take to tax carbon, attack oil companies, and in the case of Jerry Brown to put up his own climate satellite. It’s getting scary out there.

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Where Does Our Energy Come From? by The Elephant's Child

Coal is the most-used electricity generation source in 18 states; natural gas in 16, hydro, nuclear, petroleum — Wind? Solar?

EIA

From the U.S. Energy Information  Administration and WattsUpWithThat

Electricity generators that use fossil fuels continue to be the most common sources of electricity generation in most states. In all but 15 states, coal, natural gas, or petroleum liquids were the most-used electricity generation fuel in 2017. Since 2007, the number of states where coal was the most prevalent electricity generation fuel has fallen as natural gas, nuclear, and hydroelectricity have gained market share.

In 2017, coal provided the largest generation share in 18 states, down from 28 states in 2007. Natural gas had the largest share in 16 states, up from 11 in 2007. Petroleum remained the largest generation share in only one state—Hawaii—providing 62% of the state’s electricity generation in 2017. For the United States as a whole, natural gas provided 32% of total electricity generation in 2017, slightly higher than coal’s 30% share.

Beyond fossil fuels, nuclear power plants provided the largest electricity share in nine states, up from six in 2007. Hydroelectricity is the most prevalent electricity generation source in six states, up from four in 2007. Hydro is the only renewable energy source with the largest share in any state, but that may soon change with the continued addition of wind turbines in states such as Kansas and Iowa.

Even though coal’s lead has been cut from 17 to 2 States since 2007, it’s still in first place. Numbers in parentheses reflect the change since 2007.

•Coal: 18 (-10)
•Natural Gas: 16 (+5)
•Nuclear: 9 (+3)
•Hydroelectric: 6 (+2)
•Petroleum: 1 (0)

Neither wind nor solar are capable of providing the energy needed by a state and all of its communities and industries. I haven’t yet been able to find an answer to the question of electric cars. If all vehicles were required to run on electricity, could our grid produce the needed energy? I suspect not., but I simply do not know. If, as we are told, it would be easy for foreign hackers to hack into our grid, could they just shut down — everything?



Governor Jerry Brown Had a Big Climate Event! by The Elephant's Child

California Governor Jerry Brown has announced that California will launch it’s very “own damn climate satellite” into orbit to battle climate change. State officials will work with San Francisco-based company Planet Labs to develop a satellite to track climate-change causing pollutants. “With science still under attack and the climate threat growing, we’re launching our own damn satellite,” he said. Radical Climatistas jetted in to San Francisco in their private jets for the 3-Day Big Climate Conference, where Brown announced his next big thing.

The Democrat governor, who is leaving office at the end of the year, did not announce a launch date or divulge a cost estimate.

Before Brown’s announcement, two prominent Democrats and a Republican mayor criticized Trump for his decision to withdraw the United States from the landmark Paris climate accord.

“While Donald Trump may have pulled out of the climate agreement, the American people have not,” former Secretary of State John Kerry said, opening the second day of the Global Climate Action Summit.

Kerry, also a Democrat, called Trump’s decision “the single greatest act of irresponsibility of any president of the United States at any time.”

Trump announced in June 2017 the United States’ intention to pull out of the international agreement, which Kerry signed while serving as President Barack Obama’s secretary of state. The 195 countries that signed the treaty agreed to commit resources to combating climate change.

Former Vice-President Al Gore followed Kerry to speak, and said that it’s difficult to deny than climate change is causing more severe weather but that “It’s a little harder to deny the 3,000 deaths from the hurricane in Puerto Rico.”

Governor Brown  has signed into law one of the most radical pieces of climate legislation ever, as SB-100, it commits the state of California to produce all of its electricity from alternative sources by 2040, which will happen only with a major scientific advance. Wind and solar cannot possibly support the state’s energy needs, so with current technology that means building a lot more nuclear plants in an earthquake-prone state. The result will be soaring energy costs, increasing poverty in a state that already has the highest poverty rate in the nation, and lower living standards for all. The state is home to a third of all the U.S. welfare recipients, with the most billionaires.

People are moving out of California in droves, a net 140,000 per year are heading for other states, half of them middle class or higher, and of child-bearing age. California seems to be home to large numbers of scientific illiterates. I don’t really understand all these people who do not do their homework. If someone tells you the earth is ending or the sky is falling it would seem to be a good idea to find out if it is actually true.

Harrison Ford was one of the Hollywood types who jetted up to be a part of Governor Brown’s 3-day whoop-de-do in San Francisco for far-left climatistas.

“While you work to meet the challenge of climate change, I beg of you—don’t forget nature. Because today, the destruction of nature accounts for more global emissions than all the cars and trucks in the world.”

“We face an unprecedented moment in this country. Today’s greatest threat is not climate change, not pollution, not flood or fire. It’s that we’ve got people in charge of important shit who don’t believe in science.”

Harrison Ford also castigated politicians like Trump, whose “political or economic self-interest denigrate or belittle sound scientific understanding of the causes and effects of human pressure on the environment.”

I wonder what he has in mind as the “destruction of nature” when the Earth is greening and food crops and forests alike are growing vigorously because of the slight amount of greater CO² in the atmosphere. And where does he get his loony ideas about climate? He clearly does not keep up with the science. He’s responding to climate propaganda without ever questioning it. along with Al Gore and Leo Di Caprio.

There’s no end to the catastrophe that our media has in for us as the result of climate change. Did you realize that climate change is threatening the world’s supply of coffee beans? Conditions for growing coffee would no longer be suitable, and plagues and pestilences will destroy the crops.  You’d have to change to tea.  And look what the media claimed!



Good News for Our Australian Friends! by The Elephant's Child

uluru-Northern-Territory-Australia

Good news from our friends in Australia. The Northern Territory there has enough natural gas to supply Australia for 200 years or more. It is comparable to the shale resources that have revolutionized the American energy sector, according to Resources and Northern Australia Minister Matt Canavan.  And maybe even twice that.

Such abundant gas should enable Australia to reduce its current high energy prices, which were the fault of southern states preventing development, Senator Canavan told an NT Resources Week conference in Darwin.

The NT government lifted a ban on the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing to access onshore gas this year, which is banned in Victoria and much of NSW.

Geoscience Australia estimates the NT has about 257,000 petajoules of shale gas to meet Australia’s demands for 200 years, Senator Canavan said.

Chief Minister Michael Gunner said he had been told by energy companies that figure could be doubled with the Beetaloo Sub-basin.

Have no clue what “fracking” is? Most people don’t or they wouldn’t be claiming that fracking is going to pollute their drinking water. Here’s a article from Popular Mechanics with a dandy illustration. Here’s the history of Fracking from Oil Price. Here’s a post from Morning Consult that points out the science to allay fears.

If you are curious about Russian influence, you should know that the Russians have indeed been trying to influence the United States, but by supporting fears of fracking and supporting environmental activists. The Russian economy relies heavily on their supplies of natural gas which they sell to European nations. They certainly don’t want American energy wealth to bring down their prices.

I have never been to Australia, but my mother has. She was raised in a little mining camp in Idaho, where her father was a doctor. Many of the prospectors she knew came from the gold rushes in Australia. After my dad died, she flew up to Point Barrow where she had an offer to teach school, but got married instead. When she got back from Alaska, she tooled off to Australia to see the gold fields there. She kept losing her camera, her purse and nice Aussies took good care of her. She was a fearless woman.



Maybe it’s Time to Put Away the “Not Presidential” Idea by The Elephant's Child

The Left in general, and the Never Trumpers in particular, complain that President Trump is “not presidential.” The “presidential” part seems to mostly be directed at his habit of “tweeting.” We are told that the president has trained himself to operate on only six hours of sleep, so he can get more done. Other presidents didn’t tweet, and it’s rude, and crude, and not “presidential”. You’ve got 140 characters, so what you say has to be brief and snappy. And as far as other presidents, Twitter is just coming up on its sixth birthday, so Obama is the only other acting president who could have tweeted, and he does. Jack Dorsey sent the first tweet on March 21, 2006.

According to Twitaholic, the current five most popular Twitter accounts are: ladygaga: 33,265,051 followers, justinbieber: 33,262,987 followers, katyperry: 31,495,485 followers, rihanna: 27,928,899 followers, and BarackObama: 25,963,9666 followers.  It’s also important to note that a lot of these followers are fake. Lady Gaga has 32% fake followers, Barack Obama has 23% fake followers.

What most observers fail to notice is that President Trump’s tweets are strategic. He is letting the world know that he is personally paying attention. He is also letting the world know that he is not predictable.  And the world is paying attention, and they don’t know what to expect. “South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and the ruling African National Congress (ANC) appear to have walked back ambitious proposals for “expropriation without compensation —for the present — as a result of a controversial tweet by President Donald Trump.” Italy and Hungary Create an ‘Anti-Immigration Axis’. Don’t know if that is a response to a tweet, but it surely has something to do with America having their back. On the Palestinian Refugee Issue, President Trump is Magnificently Right. In Florida, a big boost for Rep Ron DeSantis came from President Trump’s endorsement. and GOP Gov. Rick Scott won an important victory at the polls.

The Washington Times observes that 83% of business executives say business is better, 76% see more growth coming. Stocks are at a record high and Wall Street is growing more optimistic that trade tensions are easing.

Many have seen President Trump as a reality TV star, or a New York raconteur, without understanding of the politics and deep experience of being a builder in New York City. I suspect that dealing with building codes, city bureaucrats, property owners, the legal establishment and who knows what else just might be a better training for political leadership than being a state legislator or even a governor.



The Phenomenal Growth of the World’s Middle Class May be the Most Important Story of our Time by The Elephant's Child

In America, we usually don’t talk much about the Middle Class — we just assume that most everyone is in it. Except for a surprising number of billionaires, there isn’t much difference between being middle class or being wealthy, and most people simply described themselves as being middle class without giving it much thought. Historically, 85 to 90 percent of Americans have self-identified as middle class. Sixty percent is more usual today.

Gallup surveys show that only about 2 percent of Americans self-identify as “Upper” class. And we have lots of articles about the “shrinking U.S. middle class”, from the media or politicians. They usually forget to mention that the middle class in America is shrinking because more people are getting wealthier. (Economics is not a strong point for the Left)

But reaching the middle class is not just a class designation. Nor is it a matter of money. A family of five in Burundi, living on $324 a year would qualify, according to Gapminder foundation, as would a family of five in China who were clearing $121,000 annually.

As a life experience, reaching the middle class is transformative. The quality of life between poverty and middle-class is stark.

Anna Rosling Rönnlund, the founder of Gapminder’s Dollar Street project, said perhaps the most telling sign of people reaching the middle class is the presence of store-purchased hygienic items.

“The most striking thing is so many of the people we visited so far actually have a plastic toothbrush,” Rönnlund told the Post. “It’s the same with soap. Almost everyone in the world has access to some kind of soap. The poorest buy a tiny fraction of a soap bar or make it themselves. When you come to the middle, you see people buying locally produced, big bars of soap.”

From a global pespective, living in the middle class means having some luxury items most Americans think are basic essentials. Things like access to transportation, air conditioning, electricity in their homes and running water.

What hasn’t been much noticed is that worldwide, poverty is declining and more people are joining the middle class. We have better data on global poverty from the World Bank. Global extreme poverty has declined from 44% to less than 10%. This is a very big deal indeed.

The decline in world poverty has occurred during the Pax Americana, a period notable for the relative peace that began with the Marshall Plan to rebuild a destroyed Europe, the defeat of socialism and a huge expansion of freedom and trade and connectivity.

And then there was our great Norman Borlaug, father of the “Green Revolution” in agriculture in third-world countries, who saved a billion people from starvation. He remains better known in India, Pakistan, Mexico and China than he is here. With his pioneering techniques, grain production jumped from 692 million tons in 1950 to 1.9 billion tons in 1992.

A slight rise in atmospheric CO² (a natural fertilizer for plants) has meant better plant growth all over the world, and fewer people going hungry. The ability to genetically modify food crops to use less water, or to resist noxious pests, or in the case of “golden rice” to add a gene for the production of carotene. In many ares of Asia, vitamin A is devastatingly rare in the diet of  children causing blindness and altered immunity. Rice is the dietary staple, adding it to rice can save children’s lives and vision. The tinfoil-hat crowd does not understand that genetically modifying a food crop to resist drought, or in this case to produce carotene, is perfectly safe. They could more profitably turn their attention to the folks that are trying to bring back the woolly mammoth (in Russia) or bring back some kinds of dinosaur. That might be something to worry about.

For most Americans, becoming a member of the Middle Class is sort of expected, at least when the economy is performing as it is supposed to. For many people all over the world, it is only a vague idea to be dreamed of, yet day by day it is becoming reality for more and more of the world’s people.



Some Practical Solutions to Fix Everything! by The Elephant's Child

victor-davis-hanson-1024x577

An important new article from the Hoover Institution, “Hanson: Struggle Between Elites And Masses Defines US Policy,” is about Victor Davis Hanson rather than by him. I suggest that it is “important” because it is a good look at American policy and “history, he says, offers lessons for today’s technology-driven world, especially when it comes to elites,the masses, and the future of society.”

He says that globalization has enriched the coastal corridors of the country and have more in common with Paris or Tokyo than with Ames, Iowa. The “elite” mindset occurs in this geographic concentration, and their attitudes are favored by Academe, the media, government agencies and technology companies that dominate the airwaves and the internet. There’s a big disconnect. High living materialism on one side, which a more rural America regards as superficial indulgence and decadence, that is not only wrong-headed, but bad for the country.

In terms of public policy, Hanson has recommended “rethinking the geography of power,” starting with moving the United Nations from New York City to Haiti, Libya, or Uganda whose capital cities are underappreciated, yet appropriate cities at the frontlines of poverty and crises and thus better places from which to conduct international governance.

As for US cabinet agencies, he suggested transferring the Department of Agriculture to somewhere more agrarian-minded, such as Topeka or Fresno, where bureaucrats would then spend more time with the farmers they regulate. Likewise, he said, Salt Lake City might be an ideal home for the Interior Department; Houston or Bismarck for the Energy Department; and Youngstown, Ohio, or Flint, Michigan, for the Departments of Labor, and Commerce.

“Washington, DC is often considered out of touch, both politically and geographically, with the rest of America,” he said. “Transferring seats of power to hoi polloi is not just practically smart, but morally long overdue.”

Well, yes. That would straighten out a lot of governmental excess.  He said “pragmatism” is the most important quality of rural people. They are familiar with the nature of weather and the seasons. They understand nature better, and have a sense of life as unpredictable and tragic.  The disconnect means that the checks on our excesses  are disappearing. The coastal elites can give virtue-signalling speeches on TV, but fail to understand  the actual consequences of their own abstract ideologies.

When and how did it become acceptable for large businesses to be political advocates?  To use their businesses to capture all the personal information of the ordinary American people in order to sell it to advertisers and whoever for whatever purposes, making themselves fabulously wealthy by doing so. And appointing themselves judge and jury of what information we can receive and what information we can publish.

Do read the whole thing. It’s food for thought, and worth your time.




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