American Elephants


The “Green New Deal” and Other Lefty Fantasies by The Elephant's Child

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Supposedly Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “‘Green’ New Deal” is quite popular among the new far-leftists in Congress. Democrats remain enamored of the memory of FDR. Some believe that he saved the nation from the Great Depression, (he didn’t). But anything with the term “New Deal” will be more popular on the Left. Young Ms. Ocasio-Cortez has a veritable wealth of ideas that are just plain wrong. She is not stupid, as so many claim. She just has a lot of very, very bad ideas. Money is not a problem – “We’ll just pay for it.” she says. Raise taxes as high as 82% on the wealthy? Fine. Her Green New Deal would cost 8,000 times as much as President Trump’s Border Wall request, according to Tyler O”Neil at PJ Media.

The “Green New Deal” will cost approximately $49,109 trillion in the first ten years, enough to fund Trump’s border wall 8,616 times over. The president is requesting $5.7 billion for the wall.

PJ Media calculated the cost of the “Green New Deal” by integrating each of the cost aspects involved in a Power the Future analysis and calculating their cost for the U.S. over about ten years — and in one case through 2050.

According to Ocasio-Cortez, the “Green New Deal” will force America to transition to an economy run from 100 percent renewable energy. Christopher Clark, a physicist who has studied rapid deployments of renewable energy, told The Hill that building this kind of generating capacity would cost “at least $2 trillion.”

Her idea for “renewable energy” probably does not contain nuclear power, for there seems to be a lot of resistance to building new nuclear power plants, although California’s small Diablo Canyon nuclear plant produces more energy than all of California’s many solar farms and wind turbines put together. The website for the left-wing think tank Data for Progress explains:

The goals of the Green New Deal are nothing short of radical. As the website for the left-wing think tank Data for Progress explains, the Green New Deal aims to “transform the economy and the environment in ways that achieve sustainability, equity, justice, freedom, and happiness.” Achieving happiness has never been easy. Even harder will be the Green New Deal’s aim of completely eliminating the use of coal, oil, and natural gas by 2050.

How all this happiness and energy legerdemain will be achieved is anyone’s guess. Supporters are particularly vague about how they would find the hundreds of billions — or even trillions — of dollars needed to attempt such a plan. Nevertheless, there is one unassailable fact about the Green New Deal: It is not green. Indeed, the entire notion of an all-renewable-energy system is the antithesis of environmental protection and scenic conservation.

Promoters seem to assume that there are vast tracts of vacant land, territory that is just waiting to be covered with renewable energy projects. To fuel the U.S. economy, would require state-sized empty territories to be covered with nothing but wind turbines and solar panels. (All that territory where the Deplorables live) It would require stringing tens of thousands of miles with new high-voltage transmission lines. Vox featured an explanation of the Green New Deal, and the feature was the kind of solar plant that proved to be essentially worthless at Ivanpah, in the Mojave. Doesn’t work. Didn’t produce the energy required, killed birds by the thousands.

Two researchers from Harvard published a study that looked at energy-production data from 1,150 solar projects and 411 onshore wind projects. Meeting U.S. electricity consumption would require 12 percent of the continental U.S. land area for wind— or an area more than twice the size of the state of California. Not going to happen.

Here are some notable facts. Environmentalists and climate change activists want to believe in themselves as “social-justice warriors” fighting for the good, but the policies they promote would seriously harm people, especially the poor and disadvantaged. They are anti-human.

Here is a graph from a panel organized last month by the Heartland Institute, and the European Institute for Climate and Energy. Dr, Craig Idso , Founder of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change said:

[R]adiosondes’ [balloon] measurements shown in blue reveal that the actual warming rate is three times smaller than that predicted by the models [red bars show warming that should have occurred from 1979-2017, as predicted from 102 different climate models].

See the important graph here: It explains how and why the average of climate models has vastly overestimated the warming. Some climate scientists thought they could put the climate of the world into a computer, and get a program that would correctly predict the future climate. GIGO: garbage in garage out. But that became the “Scientific Consensus”.  They knew a few facts, added some estimates and some guesswork, and a significant bunch of mistakes, and lo and behold: “Science”
Do Read the Whole Thing

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The 2020 Electoral Campaign Has Already Started! Way too Early. by The Elephant's Child

(h/t imgflip.com)

Now that Michael Avenatti has dropped out of the race for the 2020 presidential nomination, due to people learning a little more about him, all sorts of other Democrats have started their campaigns. It’s more than a little early, but the determination to take on the despised Donald Trump rages. There seems to be some element of the idea that if someone like Donald Trump who was never a governor, nor had experience in Congress, or served in the Military can win an election, then surely they  can run and win too.

With the success in office of the nation’s governors, one wonders why that is a special qualification. Governor Cuomo was just inaugurated for a third term. Washington State Governor Jay Inslee is running for the presidency, but the Cato Institute recently evaluated the nation’s governors for their fiscal management of their states. Jay Inslee came in deal last, with a resounding F, followed closely by Oregon Governor Kate Brown, who also got an F. Even Jerry Brown got a low D. Nobody seemed to notice that Jay Inslee said he was running, for the entrance of Elizabeth Warren took over the news.

Beto O’Rourke is creating a solo road trip, outside of Texas, to see if he can stir up some interest (in a pickup, of course). His qualification seems to be ‘boyish good looks’ or ‘looking like Jack Kennedy’.  Julian Castro (Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary) plans to announce on Saturday, Kamala Harris is due to start a book tour tomorrow, so she must have written something, there’s Bernie Sanders who has never given up,  Senator Cory Booker (NJ ), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY). Amy Klobuchar (MI) and Sherrod Brown (Ohio) are all interested in running.

If Joe Biden (age 76), former Vice-President, chooses not to run (though he has a lead in early polls in Iowa and nationwide),  he said that family considerations will be an aspect of his decision. This does not count all the notable non politicians  like Tom Steyer, the billionaire loon who has been running his “need to impeach” campaign all over the country, or the former president of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, and there are probably a whole bunch more. Alexandria Ocassio-Cortez expressed some interest until someone explained that a basic Constitutional qualification was that you had to be at least 35 years old.

Can you list the number of Democrat Presidents who were elected on the basis of their outstanding ideas? Their specific experience that demonstrated their outstanding abilities? Candidates have always been qualified on the basis of gender, race, color, class, or general good looks. Pretty – is a big qualification for the Left.

A number of pundits have said that Joe Biden is too old, and the nomination will go to Kamala Harris, former Attorney General of California, who is a woman, and part Black.

The Constitution requires the President to be a natural-born citizen, age at least 35 years, and be 14 years a resident. George Washington had some pretty extensive qualifications. Did an outstanding job, and when he was done, packed his bags and went on home. The qualifications have not changed, but our expectations have.

The rage and viciousness of the Democrats has reached new extremes. There’s a major element of the power of — what? Imitation? Propaganda? Wanting to be one of the crowd?  I thought that “Comedienne” Kathy Griffin’s photograph of herself holding up what purported to be a severed head of President Trump — said to Democrats still stunned that Hillary was not to be president as they had expected — that any excrescence, any insult, any outrage was permitted, and they were free to do whatever they chose to express their horror and angst.

That certainly brought out all the crazies. But they have only continued to get crazier.  While pondering the limits of nationhood and the reaction to unwanted and unwelcome migrants from the Middle East and Africa in Europe and the terrorism they have brought, and our own rejection of the illegal immigrants that are using our weak immigration laws to get into the country, use our taxpayer funded welfare and medical care, and flood the country with drugs and gangs. Every major city is suffering from drugs, addiction and gang violence from organizations like MS-13. Criminals who have been previously deported are forcing their way back in, to commit more crimes. Way too many Americans have been murdered by the Democrats weak immigration laws, their desire for open borders to enhance their electoral potential, and their desire to remake the  make-up of the House of Representatives and thus increase their control of the government.  The Goal is control. Absolute control, and eliminating the Republican Party as an opposing party. They can no longer tolerate opposition.



COP24: Climate Crisis Not Accepted. Lack of Scientific Rigor! by The Elephant's Child

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Paul Driessen, a senior policy adviser for CFact, wrote at wattsupwiththat:

The 30,000 alarmists gathered in Katowice, Poland expected to slam-dunk their report proclaiming a planet-threatening climate crisis, finalize rules for implementing the Paris accords, redistribute infinite billions of dollars from industrialized nations to “climate victim” countries, and solidify their control over people’s energy, jobs, living standards and liberties. It didn’t work out quite that way.

They got blindsided by millions of French citizens angrily denouncing their government’s plans to carbon-tax them into worse poverty and joblessness. They were furious that the US exhibit profiled the benefits of fossil fuels – and outraged that the United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait were willing to “note” the climate report and express appreciation to the scientists who developed it, but not to “welcome” it or “accept” its assertions about climate cataclysms and the need to slash fossil fuel use.

The UN’s IPCC’s Special Report on 1.5º C. was not welcomed at COP24, but subject to significant controversy for its lack of scientific rigor. Anthony Watts remarked  a while back that 1.2º C – 2.2º C is the warming one could expect on most spring days between 10 am and noon.

Economist Stephen Moore commented at Investor’s Business Daily that “The first iron rule of American politics is: Follow the money. This explains about 80% of what goes on in Washington. He added that one reason so many hundreds of scientists are persuaded that the sky is falling is that they are paid handsomely to do so.”

I said, “In America and around the globe governments have created a multibillion-dollar climate change industrial complex.” And then I added: “A lot of people are getting really, really rich off of the climate change industry.” According to a recent report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office, “Federal funding for climate change research, technology, international assistance, and adaptation has increased from $2.4 billion in 1993 to $11.6 billion in 2014, with an additional $26.1 billion for climate change programs and activities provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in 2009.”

This is not meant to suggest that climate scientists are dishonest, but only that federal grants have become available and computers and labs enhanced, sometimes even with assistants – for those who are studying climate science. and a lot more professors are studying climate science.

Right now we seem to be in a cooling phase, as the sun has fewer sunspots. Our sun does have some influence on climate, as does CO² – carbon dioxide, what we exhale (and a natural fertilizer for plants), not carbon, which is a solid. Other things we don’t understand well are the effect of water vapor (or clouds) in the atmosphere, and the effect of the warming and cooling in the movement of ocean currents.

Some people want to believe in catastrophe, the “true believers”, who simply believe and are sure we must do something right now or we’re all gonna die. See the microphone loving Alexandria Occasio-Cortez and her push for a “green new deal.”

Part of the problem in understanding is that a lot of the folks studying climate believed that they could put the climate into a computer program and play out various scenarios and get real answers about future warming like stock market people did in forecasting what the financial markets would do.  You have probably noticed that in the last week or so. We had thermometers stationed all over our country, but we learned that they were situated next to air-conditioner exhausts, or the reflective heat from concrete walls or airport runways, and were totally unreliable evidence of temperature.

Al Gore is not an expert, even if he made a movie and got rich. The Heritage Foundation just noted that he had hailed the city of Georgetown, Texas for powering itself with only wind and solar energy, and now the city is losing millions on it’s green energy gamble. Their bet against fossil fuel prices cost the city-owned utility nearly $7 million and the city is trying to find a way out of their long term contracts.

The problem with wind and solar is not in the turbines or the solar cells, but in the wind and the sunshine. Wind is intermittent. It does not blow steadily. That is the nature of wind, not something that can be fixed. Sunlight is diffuse at best. Clouds. There are days and days here in the Northwest when it rains, or is just cloudy. The rain can be predicted, sometimes, but clouds can’t. They re constantly moving. What that means is that wind and solar have to have constant backup with conventional power from hydropower or fossil fuel powered power plants, or nuclear energy. Our society requires massive amounts of energy, or perhaps you want your heart surgery to stop halfway through because the wind stopped blowing.  It’s a little more complicated than the young Ms. Ocasio-Cortez understands.



Did You Know That the U.S. Is the World’s Largest Oil Producer? by The Elephant's Child

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Do most people recognize that the United States has recently become the world’s largest oil producer? We have passed both Saudi Arabia and Russia as U.S. crude production has surged 20% in a year – and nearly tripled in the past decade. For nearly sixty years, OPEC has dominated the world’s oil markets by setting production quotas among its 15 members. In 2014, OPEC flooded the market with oil to try to break U.S. drillers who were pouring cash into innovation while they were already in debt. Seems like we knew what we were doing.

As oil prices fell below $40 a barrel in 2015 and 2016, many wildcatters folded or were absorbed by larger producers. The survivors became more efficient. They put technology to work, using drones with thermal imaging to detect any leaks along the line. Productivity went up. Over just the last five years, production per rig has more than tripled in the Permian basin and actually quadrupled in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale. The Bakken rig count has fallen by 70% and yet output has increased by a third.

In late 2015, the Republican Congress expanded the market for shale oil by lifting the export ban on crude oil in exchange for Obama’s demand to extend renewable energy tax credits.The biggest constraints on U.S. production have been distribution problems, but three new pipelines are expected to come online next year, capable of delivering 2 million barrels to the gulf coast and in 2020 two more pipelines will be completed.

The big news is that the U.S. Geological survey reported recently that the Permian’s Delaware basin holds more than twice as much oil and 18 times as much natural gas as the Midland region.

Barack Obama is claiming credit for the shale boom. (Why are we not surprised?) The Tax reform last year opened Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and the Interior Department scaled back unneeded protections for the sage grouse, which allows drilling on nine million acres in oil-rich states. Last month at Rice University, Obama said “You know that whole suddenly America’s like the biggest oil producer . . . that was me, people.” It must be hard to see the hated Trump administration get credit for expediting pipeline and terminal permitting and opening new federal land to drilling, but there you go. Can’t have it both ways.

OPEC countries and our own politicians should  take notice that America’s new energy prosperity comes from industry innovation, the importance of private property, and the wonders of the free market. We call it Free-Market Capitalism.

Confused by all the talk about “Fracking”? Here’s an excellent history and explanation from the oil industry.



So Much for a Productive Weekend! by The Elephant's Child

Sorry about the light blogging. We had a windstorm, The street sweeper came by yesterday, and we were delighted with the pristine streets. Today they are covered with leaves, needles, branches, cones, everybody’s grass clippings, and anything else that was loose and movable by a brisk wind. You have to feel a little sorry for the street sweeper – he must feel really good about making a neighborhood all shining and clean, and then this!

The windstorm took out our internet provider for hours, and by the time we got our connection back, it was too late to be up even for night owls. Looks like I’ll have to sweep up a bushel or so of douglas fir cones. Nothing new for the Pacific Northwest.

Oh hell, the internet connection just went out again.



Questions Without Answers: Where and What is Reality? by The Elephant's Child

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I don’t know if there has ever been a time when reality was so much in question. What’s true and what’s not.  The new federal climate report comes out and climate scientists call it “tripe”–”embarrassing” – “systematically flawed” and said the key claim comes from a study funded by Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg. The climate scientists who assume they can program the world’s climate into a computer and get accurate answers about what will happen in the next hundred years have too much faith in computers. (GIGO)

The nation’s farewell to President George Herbert Walker Bush was alternately a celebration of the life of a war hero and a patriot and a good man, and a rebuke to the current president, and the current president and Melania were rebuked by Hillary, but Jeb said the President couldn’t have been nicer.

In Britain, Brexit is damaging to the nation and the European Union, and alternately, it is necessary for Britain to get out from under the control of the European Union, and the migrants may be a huge problem or not at all.

In France, Prime Minister Macron wants a big carbon tax to lower their efforts to damage the climate, and the people don’t want any carbon taxes and don’t plan on having any. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says it is inevitable that climate governance will create economic, social and racial justice. There will only be benefits, and no costs to passing a raft of new climate change laws. Others laugh at her.

Whatever the subject, opinion varies, which is normal, but opinion has become truth, and is not to be doubted. Google has been shown to be eliminating conservative truth and favoring their own leftist leanings. President Trump has said firmly that he is a nationalist, by which he means he loves his country and favors it. The President of France, Emmanuel Macron rebuked U.S. President Donald Trump for putting the interests of U.S. citizens above the demonstration of moral values, and said that nationalism is a bad thing.

The media in this country is conducting a war on President Trump, who they consider an illegal president to whom they are opposed, but clearly he is the legally elected and widely approved President of the United States. President Trump wants to build a wall on the Southern border to prevent the influx of illegal aliens. California has Sanctuary Cities and is, I believe, a sanctuary state.

Forest fires are caused by alternately poor forest management  or global warming, as stated by President Trump or California Governor Jerry Brown. We can determine the truth to the extent that we agree with one side or another, but over and over, there is no widely accepted truth.

This is the reality exposed by the technology giants, who are supposedly emanating only truth, and eliminating “hate speech”, but what is called “hate speech” depends on which voices attract the most valuable clicks. Hollywood celebrities, who have only the fact that we may recognize their faces or names to attest to the worth of what they say, are free to use all the “hate speech” they want because being celebrities they will have lots of followers, which means a lot of clicks for the website. So “Truth” is not what is approved by the websites that claim to be impartial judges of truth and falsehood, but the impartial judges lie as well.

Electoral Fraud is widespread, or simply does not exist. It is hardly surprising that so many are claiming that we are on the brink of a civil war. Truth is fiction, Animal Farm is real, and Maisie Hirono (D-HI) urges Democrats to consider “heart over mind. Don’t tell everybody how smart we are.”

The ceremonies for the mourning of a past president and the long, long lines of people waiting in the cold for a chance to pass by the catafalque suggested to many that President H.W. Bush was the last of the patricians, when everybody agreed on right and wrong and true and false. Of course they didn’t agree then, but the times have changed and we have organizations like Snopes and the SPLC, PoliFact, NewsBusters, the Media Research Center to tell us what is true and what is not, and they deliver falsehoods, and the atmosphere out there is far worse than it ever was.



There Is A Natural Tendency Towards Tyranny by The Elephant's Child

Why are Democrats so angry? Why do they have such a hard time accepting defeat, or even accepting disagreement? They are indignant when we find fault with their statements or ideas. They call us racists, white supremacists, and they cannot think of words terrible enough to call President Trump. They call him a Nazi, they call him Hitler, with no justification whatsoever, except that they are furious that we disagree. There are a lot of tyrants in the world, but Trump is not one of them.

Hitler was a piker.  We rightly excoriate him for the mass murder of Europe’s Jews, for the concentration camps, for the death squads of the SS.  The Nazis populate hundreds of thrillers, movies, histories, and all sorts of scholarly work.  But we are probably more affected by the thrillers and the movies, for Nazis make fine villains with their boots and death heads and dramatically evil flag.  When frustrated lefties want to express their rage, they plaster Hitler mustaches and haircuts on photos of the objects of their anger.

Mao Zedong, founder of the People’s Republic of China, qualifies as the greatest mass murderer in world history, according to a Hong Kong-based historian who had unprecedented access to official Communist Party archives.  Frank Dikötter is the only author to have deeply studied the Chinese archives since they were reopened four years ago.

Between 1958 and 1962, Mao’s state waged war on China’s peasants.  The nation was facing a famine and the systematic torture, brutality, and starvation and killing of Chinese peasants were comparable to the Second World War in its magnitude.  More than 45 million people were worked, starved or beaten to death in China over those four years.  A third of all homes in China were destroyed to produce fertilizer.  In one region, 13,000 opponents of the regime were killed in just three weeks.

It is indisputable that Mao himself and the Party leadership were afflicted with economic incompetence, wholesale ignorance and ivory-tower utopianism. It was called ‘The Great Leap Forward,’ but the misallocation of capital and resources were disastrous leaps in the wrong direction.  This is the toll for only four years.  The total is far above 75 million.

The Soviet Union, of course, was responsible for upwards of 25 million deaths of innocent victims, systematically butchered.  That policy of ideological hegemony found it a crime to be middle-class, of noble birth, a kulak, a Ukrainian or even a member of the Communist Party.  Mikhail Tomsky, head of the Soviet trade unions stated in 1927 :”We allow other parties to exist.  However, the fundamental principle that distinguishes us from the West is as follows; one party rules, and all the others are in jail.”

The fascinating thing has always been the Left’s attempts to consider Nazi Germany (the National Socialists) as a party of the right, and thus freely despised, but the socialist Soviet Union was long admired.  People still remark that the Cold War was unnecessary overreach. And they simply do not recognize the similarities between Hitler and Stalin.

There are the regimes of the Soviet satellite states of Eastern Europe, now free.  Kim Jong Il’s North Korean despotic captive state needs little more explanation than the famous nighttime satellite picture of the Korean peninsula with only one tiny light for Pyongyang and constant evidence of the starvation of the North Korean people.  At least 2 million dead.

Pol Pot’s Cambodian killing fields where the entire educated class were slaughtered — some identified only by the fact that they wore glasses — too, are explained by only a few pictures, and an estimated toll of at least 2  million innocent victims.  Communist Vietnam and Burma Myanmar add unknown numbers to the toll.

Latin America accounts for at least a 1½ million.  The bloody killer Ché Guevara enjoyed doing his own executions personally, and is celebrated by having his image on tee shirts and the fantasy of his romantic story told by Hollywood.  New wannabe communists keep popping up in South America, which seems to have a predilection for dictators.

One common theme that runs through all these destructive regimes is complete intolerance for disagreement. How can you possibly have free speech and yet be intolerant of someone else’s disagreement?

I am simply trying to point out that American society is built on argument, debate and dispute.  We try to persuade, present evidence, show examples and convince.  When that fails, we  look for more evidence and more persuasive materials.  Our disagreements are worked out through messy, argumentative political campaigns, where we use all the tools available to us to win the argument.

In all of this there is a temptation towards tyranny.  A temptation to hate those who see the question differently.  A temptation to forcibly stop the other side of a question from disagreeing with our ideas. That’s where the Left has landed. Hollywood celebrities cannot wait to get to a microphone or to Twitter to call us names because we dared to disagree with them.

The founders wisely provided three separate divisions of government to provide checks and balances on each other.  But the initial rendering of the Constitution all too soon showed cracks — in spite of the clear designation that “we the people” gave certain rights and duties to the government — people were being imprisoned for criticizing the government. So the Bill of Rights was enacted to make crystal clear the protection of political speech and disagreement, as well as our other rights. Why is that so difficult to understand?

 




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