American Elephants


Only 6% of Americans Think the World is Getting Better! by The Elephant's Child

So how do you feel about the state of the world? Is it getting better or getting worse? According to Alex Berezow of the invaluable American Council on Science and Health (ASCH), only 6% of Americans think the world is getting better. The question was “All things considered, do you think the world is getting better or worse, or neither getting better or worse?”

Optimistic-about-the-future
A majority of people—54 percent—surveyed in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom believe there’s a risk of 50 percent or more that our way of life will end within the next 100 years. Even worse, some 25 percent of respondents in the same poll believe it that likely that we’ll go extinct in the next century. Americans were the most pessimistic, giving those gloomy answers 57 percent and 30 percent of the time, respectively. And younger respondents tend to be more pessimistic about the future than older ones. …

For all the talk from the president and the Democrats, one of our biggest problems is gun violence, yet gun homicides in the U.S. are down 43% from 1993 to 2014, the lowest rate in 24 years.

I wrote in May that two centuries ago, average world income per human (in today’s prices) was about $3 a day. Today is is $33 a day in Brazil, and the level of the U.S. in 1940. Matt Ridley wrote that what happened two centuries ago was that “ideas started having sex.” by which he meant that there is no end to what people can do when they are set free to have ideas and the freedom to act upon them.

Democrats specialize in a gloomy outlook, from which they promise to rescue you by giving you more stuff, but wealth is created by the free market and capitalism. Free people are endlessly inventive, and the hope of improving your financial situation, making a new idea the next big thing, becomes in a free market the opportunity to succeed. Where did Uber come from? Or telephones unconnected to phone lines that do, well, almost everything.

Democrats and environmentalists are endlessly gloomy. Rolling Stone just had a big article about how New York would shortly be submerged beneath the rising ocean waters. If you consult the scientists who actually know about the increase in ocean waters, you find they speak in millimeters not feet. The Obama administration is reportedly promoting Navy Commanders based on their support for Global Warming. This list of Climate Panics may add a little balance to Obama’s current worries.

The world is better fed than ever before, and starvation is rare except in socialist paradises like Venezuela. Major diseases have been nearly eliminated in the United States, although Obama’s refugees are bringing Tuberculosis and measles and others back. Malaria is way down in Africa. People are living longer. There really is a lot to be upbeat about.



Only 8% of American Farmers Believe in Climate Change! by The Elephant's Child

U.S.-Farm
A headline from Fortune magazine: “The Paradox of American Farmers and Climate Change”, by Beth Kowitt.  “Some U.S. farmers are skeptical of climate change, even though they’re among the most affected by it.” huh.  More than some.

There’s a strange paradox in the world of agriculture: farmers are perhaps the segment of the population most affected by climate change, and yet a significant number of them don’t believe in it—especially the notion that it’s man-made.

I encountered this phenomenon as I reported a feature for Fortune on how agricultural giant Monsanto is attempting to help farmers both mitigate their impact on the environment and adapt to climate change. All the farmers I talked to readily acknowledged that the weather patterns governing growing seasons had been turned upside down in recent years, but I was on the receiving end of a lot of eye rolls whenever I brought up climate change.

Monsanto MON -0.58% gets a similar response from the growers who buy its seed. The company’s chief technology officer, Robb Fraley, told me he’s received numerous angry emails from farmers asking why the company is supporting what some call “this government effort.

Well, of course the farmers are annoyed. Farmers lives are governed by the weather. They live it daily, and they know far, far more about weather, weather patterns, and forecasts that a condescending writer in the offices of Fortune magazine. And more than the salesmen in the offices of “agricultural giant Monsanto MON-0.58,”as well. Their lives are mostly conducted out of doors — in the weather.

That’s how I grew up, at around 4000′ in the foothills of the Rockies, I guess you could say. We had mild summers and hot summers. Some winters we had 5′ of snow on the level, others, not much more than two.  I’ve been snowed in more than once, had floods, and bad fire years.

Dr. Tim Ball, Climatologist, wrote today about climate alarmism, and how it all began with the “Ozone Hole.” A perfectly normal thinning of the ozone layer was said (falsely) to be a catastrophe. Yet eventually it was noted that the ozone hole was recovering and almost back to normal.  It was essentially, a dry run, a test case for the deception that human produced CO2 is causing global warming.   Read Dr. Ball’s piece to begin to understand how politics has infused the whole climate deception. But back to Fortune magazine:

I don’t want to suggest that all farmers reject the concept of climate change. That’s not the case. But here’s what some of the numbers show: A survey conducted by Iowa State Professor J. Arbuckle and Purdue University professor Linda Prokopy of 5,000 Cornbelt farmers—representing about 60% of U.S. corn production and 80% of farmland in the region—found that only 8% believed climate change is taking place and caused primarily by human activity. That 8% figure is significantly lower than the general population. A poll from January found that 27% of the general public primarily blames human activity.

There’s a big difference in outlook between apartment people in large cities and American farmers. For city people, it’s deciding whether or not to take the umbrella. For farmers, it’s going out in the rain to make sure the water is going to flow properly into the ditches, and not wash out a newly planted crop, and may take most of the day. Farmers listen closely to the weather forecasts, city people not so much.

The idea of human causation is very nebulous. When humans cut down a forest and start tilling the soil, that’s a major human influence and it does affect to local climate. When acres and acres of natural growth are razed to plant wheat or corn, that’s human influence. Exhaling CO2 by millions of people, not so much, either.



Here’s 4,000 Years of Climate History! by The Elephant's Child

climate-civilization-gisp-chart

(click to enlarge)

Not quite what President Obama has in mind. Nor what all the fuss was about the “Paris Accords.” As the scientists keep telling us, it has been lots warmer in the past, and lots colder too. So there you are.

ADDENDUM: Please visit the comments to see a better version of this chart that is more detailed and eliminates the “hockey stick” false warming on which President Obama’s climate panic is based.



A Painful Hearing About Ensuring Sound Science at the EPA by The Elephant's Child

The U.S. Department of Energy says the the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, will reduce economic growth, increase the cost of electricity, and result in almost 400,000 lost jobs over the next 15 years.

Testifying before the House Science Committee, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy says that the Obama Administration’s Department of Energy  is wrong and “what they claim is exactly opposite of what we believe will happen based on our independent analysis.” Based on Ms. McCarthy’s record over the years it is highly unlikely that the EPA is correct on anything beyond their grasp for power and control for their agency.

CONGRESSMAN LAMAR SMITH: “The non-partisan Energy Information Administration at the Department of Energy has found that the Clean Power Plan will reduce economic growth, increase electricity costs, and result in almost 400,000 jobs lost over the next 15 years; and all this is with very little impact on climate change itself. So why has the Obama Administration imposed this regulation on the American people?”

Administrator McCarthy said she hadn’t read this report, but she’d be happy to take a look. Which sounds remarkably like her past testimony in any of the cases in which she was called to testify, by I may be mistaken.

CONGRESSMAN SMITH: “It’s nice to have the Administration at war with itself.”



Fantasy and Talking Points In Search of a Legacy for Obama by The Elephant's Child

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The Democrat’s Convention platform is slowly being revealed, unprobable bit by bit. It will include a plan to get the United States completely off of fossil fuels by 2050. Oh dear. Not going to happen.  Who writes these talking points? Doesn’t anyone ever check in with reality?

President Barack Obama met at a “Three Amigos” summit in Ottawa this week with  Prime Minister Trudeau of Canada and President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico. The three NAFTA partners will pledge that in less than 10 years, half of North America’s energy will come from “clean” sources. The administration patted itself on the back and called it “ambitious.” How about “improbable” or “a joke?”

The U.S. accounts for three quarters of the energy produced by the three countries., so living up to the agreement falls on the U.S. According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration, so-called “clean energy”— nuclear, hydro electric, solar, wind, biomass makes up a total of less than one-fifth of U.S. energy production.

Nuclear accounts for around 8% of all clean energy, and California plans to shut down Diablo Canyon, their last nuke, which produces two times more energy than all of California’s solar arrays put together. The environmentalists who are energy-literate are beginning to understand that only nuclear power is currently capable of generating significant amounts of baseload electricity. The first new nuclear plant is starting up in Tennessee with environmental support. Biomass accounts for 4%, solar and wind put together only 3% of our energy needs and hydroelectric a little more than 2%. Environmentalists oppose hydro, because they don’t like damming up rivers, and most of the good spots are already taken.

Even if they went whole hog for Nuclear energy, it wouldn’t make any difference over the next decade.The permitting, construction and approval steps alone would take more than 9 years. Obama said he was sure that some 15 year-old was working on a new energy source in his bedroom, or perhaps it was his garage.

But that leaves wind, solar and biomass. Production levels from these sources would have to increase by something like 470% in nine years to add up to half of the nation’s energy production. Well, maybe everyone will have forgotten his silly pledge in 9 years. Keep trying, maybe you’ll find something to claim as a legacy.



Hee, Hee, Hee! by The Elephant's Child

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(From Mark J. Perry at AEI)



Household Hints from The Elephant’s Child by The Elephant's Child

To successfully manage the contents of your refrigerator, you need a collection of ZipLoc plastic containers with lids. You’ll need 8-10 in a standard square shape, and some larger ones into which the standard size should fit. You will inevitably find the need for some different sizes, but try to restrain yourself. A rubber band around the lids will help keep them tamed, but every time you reach for one they will all spill out all over the floor. (My grocery sells ZipLoc, but I am not recommending any brand). The reason for getting significant numbers is that when you have to replace them, the new ones will not fit, nor will the lids.

Seven containers should be enough for a week’s leftovers. That’s why stackable matters. By the time the stack gets too tall, it’s time to inspect the containers on the bottom, several of which should be covered in a colorful yellow, white and green mold. This may safely be discarded. You can put the remnants in your garbage disposal, but any fat left in the discarded leftovers will cause stuff to adhere to the walls of your plumbing pipes, which will eventually mean calling a plumber.

Never grind up artichoke leaves, it will mean the end of your disposal.

Garbage disposals are not really meant to grind up much of anything, you should put it all into those little green cornstarch bags to go to the recycling plant to be turned into humus. Unfortunately, any moisture in the stuff you put into the little green bags will eat big holes in the little green bags, probably spilling the contents all over your floor if you are not careful, and you will have to use another bag on top of the holey one.

Your refrigerator is there to comfortably preserve your leftovers until it’s time to throw them out. Garbage disposals are only slightly useful, and should be only lightly used, just ask your plumber. You should not use regular lightbulbs, because the industry has found they can make other types in China and save tons of money—while charging you several times as much for new types that don’t work as well, especially for reading.

When the bulbs burn out you will have to take them to a special place for recycling, the recyclers won’t take them. We currently have 3 cans: yard waste, garbage, and recycling, and long lists of what is not acceptable in each can. The non-acceptables can be taken to the city dump (landfill) for a fee, those things which are non-acceptables but should still be recycled go to a monthly recycling event held in a nearby church’s parking lot, or for special, special recyclables there are other events, and special places.

Seattle was going to send out garbage police to make sure you weren’t putting anything in your garbage that could be recycled, with large fines in mind, but I think someone filed suit.

Eat out as much as possible.

You’ve probably seen Penn and Teller’s commentary on recycling, but it remains funny. (Language! — It’s Penn & Teller)




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