American Elephants


No More Useless Increases in CAFE Standards! Good Riddance. by The Elephant's Child

highwaytraffic

Last Thursday, the EPA and the DOT announced a new proposed rule on automobile fuel efficiency standards. The Obama administration’s rule promulgated in 2012 was supposed to achieve a “corporate average” by the car companies for their new vehicles of 54.5 mpg by 2025. Instead it increased the cost of automobiles and the cost of gas.

The American people apparently are not capable of choosing how fuel-efficient they want their new cars to be. Fuel efficiency is not the number one issue in a car purchase. The most popular vehicles in recent years have been pickup trucks which are not particularly fuel efficient. The Ford F-150 is rated at 16 mpg city and 22 mpg highway — nowhere near 54.3 mpg. The new rule will end the ongoing increases in CAFE standards after 2020 applicable to new vehicles sold.

A report from the Environmental Protection Agency has found that including ethanol into the U.S. gasoline supply is wreaking havoc on the atmosphere and on the soil.

Advertisements


It’s Not Climate Change that is Fueling Destructive Wildfires by The Elephant's Child

sequoia-forest-fire-505503-sw

People here in the Seattle area are complaining about the smoky air. There are some forest fires, mostly on the other side of the mountains around Omak, and in the Okanagan. In California, Governor Jerry Brown screeches that “since civilization emerged 10,000 years ago, we haven’t had this kind of heat condition, and it’s going to continue getting worse and that’s the way it is.” At a state Office of Emergency Services press conference he said firefighters would have to adapt to increasingly severe wildfires because of climate change.

To quote from the Daily Caller “Years of mismanagement built up in California forests are feeding massive wildfires scorching the state, which is on track to experience its most destructive fire season ever. Nearly 3,000 acres of state and local lands in California have been burned this year, about triple the size of the five-year average for this time of year. The amount outpaces 2017’s historic fire season in the state by about 70,000 acres, The San Francisco Chronicle reports. The Little Hoover Commission (LHC), an independent California oversight agency, has been documenting forest mismanagement in the Golden State for decades. LHC described California’s Timber Harvest Plan in 1994 as an “inadequate tool” for balancing environmental and economic needs.

The environmental movement got all excited about preserving our forests and put enormous pressure on governmental agencies to stop cutting down trees, stop logging, and stop building logging roads into the beautiful forests. Logging provided lumber for building homes, and the price of lumber went way up, so nobody is building “starter homes” anymore. Ending logging meant that forests were not thinned as they were when logs were harvested, which means the trees are too close together, and there’s more deadwood and brush, which means more fire danger. There are always consequences for your actions. But aside from being wrong about the 10,000 years, Jerry Brown is wrong about climate change as well.

Wildfires have always been nature’s method of forest management.The U.S. Department of the Interior explains:

Fire has always been a natural process that is essential to healthy ecological systems. In the early 1900s, land management agencies sought to suppress all fires in an effort to preserve the timber supply. Over the decades, fire exclusion led to more living and dead vegetation on the landscape, increasing the fuel and as a result, the risk of large wildfires in our forests, rangelands, and near communities.

There are currently an estimated 66 million dead trees in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. The land there can comfortably support between 20 and 100 trees per acre, There are currently around 266 trees per acre.

Granted, the Carr fire in Northern California has been devastating, burning much of Redding and Shasta, there have  been 6 deaths and many  homes have been destroyed, which is why Jerry Brown is looking for someone to blame other than mismanagement.  But then he is sure that the end is near from global warming.

A September 2017 report in the journal Science found that the global burned area has dropped by about 25 percent over the previous 18 years,  consistent with a May 2016 paper published by the Royal Society B:Biological Sciences.

During 2017, there were 150 graphs from 122 scientific papers published in peer-reviewed journals indicating that modern temperatures are Not unprecedented, unusual, nor hockey-stick-shaped —nor do they fall outside the range of natural variability. So far in 2018, there are 108 graphs from 89 scientific papers that undermine the claims that the modern era warming is climatically unusual, so it would seem that the attempt to blame global warming won’t work either.

It is often assumed that most forest fires are caused by lightning strikes, but it is reported that 90 percent of forest fires in this country are caused by human action. Like Smoky Bear said: “Only you can prevent forest fires”



Smoky Air Today: Here’s Why: by The Elephant's Child

If you looked out the window today, you may nave noticed a tinge of smoke in the air. Sure sign of forest fires. This particular map did not include Canada, which also has forest fires, and the smoke, depending on the winds, is apt to affect us. Some rain expected later in the week, which might clear things up.

The so-called “environmentalists” have worked hard to prevent trees from being harvested for lumber. They do not want trees to be cut. But that has consequences as well. Logging roads do not get built into the timber so access to fight fire is more difficult so more territory burns. That dreadful Carr fire in California has burned over 90,000 acres and 6 people have died. It is only 20 percent contained, family homes burned.

Some expert mentioned that there are no “starter homes” being built any more. The cost of lumber has gone up dramatically because less lumber is being harvested.  I posted a story about 3-D printed houses in the Netherlands.

The Left envisions very dense American cities with everyone in high rise apartments (except for the important people, of course) They will have their estates, of course, but with the hoi-polloi  all in high rises, the rest of the country can all be parkland. Government owned, of course. Yet the federal government is having a hard time keeping up the national parks. My point is simply that there are always consequences. Studying up and doing our homework is a lifelong requirement. Sometimes we can prevent the consequences from overwhelming us.



Life Without Oil Is Not As Simple As You May Think by The Elephant's Child

Use Control + to enlarge.



Absolutely Brilliant! by The Elephant's Child

We’ve all seen this many, many times, but failed to recognize the potential  for real humor. I don’t know who did it, but just noticing was brilliant. Love it.

Also in the news was the fact that some of California’s wines have traces of the nuclear imprint of the Fukushima nuclear meltdown, seven years after the event, 5,000 miles away. The Fukushima incident resulted in a radioactive cloud that crossed the Pacific Ocean, Nuclear scientists wanted to see if there was a variation in the cesium-137 level in a series of wines from vintage 2009 to 2012. They did find traces, but don’t worry, it will not harm you.

Washington State has developed a major wine region, and they are making some very good wines.



Alexandria Ocasia-Cortez, True Believer, Truly Scary. by The Elephant's Child

DNC Chairman Tom Perez suggests that Alexandria Ocasia-Cortez is the exciting new face of the Democrat Party. Her mother said she’s really excited about running and wants to be President some day. She is indeed, the poster-child for the failure of American Universities. She graduated from Boston University’s College of Arts & Sciences with a BA in economics and international relations. She was 4th in her class, but seems not to have learned any economics whatsoever. But she is a member of the Democratic Socialist Party and was an organizer for Bernie Sanders.

Reading up a little on her, it would be a mistake to fail to take her seriously. She has been a political activist, and had a lot of support from Hispanic organizations. She lied about being from the Bronx which she left at age 5 for a wealthier enclave. Her father was an architect, but he died intestate from lung cancer. She worked two jobs, as a waitress and a bartender, which shows determination and hard work.

She said attending the Standing Rock Sioux protests about the pipeline running near their reservation was a defining moment for her. The tribe was ostensibly afraid the pipeline would contaminate their water supply (highly unlikely). The pipeline did not cross reservation land, nor affect any reservation property, but they worked with Earthjustice against fossil fuels and loved the national attention. The final bill for their protests came to about $43 million. And the debris and mess left by the protesters took up over 20 dumpster loads. I wrote about that protest several times.

Ocasia-Cortez supports progressive policies like Medicare for All, a job guarantee, tuition-free universities and public schools, and said that “for the cost of the GOP’s tax bill, we could forgive ALL the student loan debt in the United States. She favors single-payer healthcare as “a human right.” She says a single government insurer should ensure that every American has insurance—while reducing costs overall. Uh huh. Of course she wants to abolish ICE, calling it “a product of the Bush-era Patriot Act suite of legislation enforcement that takes on more of a paramilitary tone every single day.Just two days before the primary election, she attended a protest at an ICE child detention center in Tomillo, Texas, and supports a “path to citizenship” for all immigrants who entered the United States. She told CNN that she would support the impeachment of President Trump, saying that “I think that, you know, we have the grounds to do it, citing Trump’s violations of the Emoluments Clause.

Other than that she is a self-described hardliner on climate issues, and wants us to transition by 2015 to an electrical grid running on 100% renewable energy production and end the use of fossil fuels. She also calls for a “Green New Deal” in the U.S.

Sigh. I was an English major, but I did learn that the federal government has no money of its own. And if you stack all of our billionaires together, they still don’t have enough money to abolish our taxes and give us all that free stuff. 4th in her class! And she favors guaranteed jobs, that is— federally subsidized jobs, a truly interesting proposal. Good grief, the federal government can’t even do job training.  See James Pethokoukis writing at AEI.

She is out there campaigning hard and promising all sorts of free stuff for the American people, and if everyone has a job and is forced to work, well then, there you are.



A Timely Book For Today: Published in 1841. by The Elephant's Child

There is a book out there, first published in 1841, entitled “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.”It was an early study of crowd psychology by Scottish journalist Charles Mackay. It was published in three volumes: “National Delusions,” “Peculiar Follies,: and “Philosophical Delusions.” Mackay was an accomplished storyteller, though he wrote in a journalistic manner and somewhat sensational style.

It has been in print ever since, and Amazon has at least 13 different bindings and prices.  There’s the Crusades, fortune- telling, the influence of politics on the shapes of beards and hair. Haunted houses, prophecies, and economic bubbles. There’s the Railway Mania of the 1840s the South Sea Bubble, The Mississippi Scheme, The Tullipomania, The Witch Trials, Wikipedia has a good coverage, with some interesting illustrations from the period.

Probably time to check a copy out of the Library or buy your own. I’m afraid that’s where we are. Collusion with Russia clearly merits a listing, and perhaps Bitcoin. They urge each other on, and each excess exceeds the previous excess. And each excess gives permission for the next person to play “Can You Top This?”

They talk Democracy, but you have probably noticed that they are not interested in a two-party system. They are destined to rule, and where this is all going, nobody knows.




%d bloggers like this: