Filed under: Economy, Environment, Global Warming, Junk Science, Regulation, Science/Technology | Tags: A Little Humor, Climate Change, The Dreaded Deniers
Filed under: Economy, Energy, Environment, Freedom, Junk Science, Law, Regulation | Tags: Cancelling Inconvenient Laws, Climate Change Is Not the Threat, Does Duke Energy Get Off?
The Justice Department announced a couple of weeks ago that “a subsidiary of Duke Energy has agreed to pay $1 million for killing golden eagles and other federally protected birds at two of the company’s wind projects in Wyoming. The guilty plea was long overdue victory for the rule of law and a sign that green energy might be going out of vogue.”
“As Justice noted in its news release, this is the first time a case has been brought against a wind company for violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The 1918 law makes it a federal crime to kill any bird of more than 1,000 different species. Over the past few decades, federal authorities have brought hundreds of cases against oil and gas companies for killing birds, while the wind industry has enjoyed a de facto exemption. By bringing criminal charges against Duke for killing 14 golden eagles and 149 other protected birds, Justice has ended the legal double standard on enforcement.”
Triumph of hope over Obama priorities. The Obama administration is about to approve a rule that will ensure the death of golden and bald eagles for the next 30 more years. Hundreds of thousands of birds die each year flying into the deadly turbine blades atop the towers of a wind farm. Many wind farms are built in mountain passes where wind is more likely, but that is the birds migrating course as well. The birds that are not chopped up by turbines are often fried by solar arrays.
It gets to be a real problem when you divide everything up into political interest groups, according to how much cash they donate. The Keystone XL Pipeline proved that Greens trump Unions. Unions trump Hispanics, and Hispanics trump Blacks. Where women fit into the priority line, I don’t know, or Gays. The good of the country, or the rule of law, are nowhere to be found. Politics trumps all.
The renewable energy business is also losing its lustre, as the public discovers how expensive “green jobs” are. In January Texas Comptroller Susan Combs reported that each wind related job in Texas, the top wind energy state in the union, cost taxpayers $1.75 million. People are also discovering that they don’t much like wind turbines that ruin scenic countryside, reduce property values and create excessive noise. Chris Clarke of KCET reported that the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System, a new solar-thermal project in the Mojave Desert killed 52 birds just in October, killed by the intense heat generated by the project’s mirrors.
The President does not change his mind. If he believed that Infrastructure was the key to economic growth in 2008, he still believes that today. Unfortunately, the world is changing its mind. Global warming is no longer a threat, the climate has been cooling for 17 years, and “alternative energy” is way too expensive, and in light of our new wealth in oil and gas from fracking and shale-oil projects on course to make us the Saudi Arabia of the world, maybe it’s not worth it to kill all those birds so carelessly.
And the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 is just an old law. The President can just wave his hand and say that it doesn’t apply to his administration because he likes wind and solar energy better.
Filed under: Architecture, Environment, Freedom, Heartwarming, History | Tags: A Vision of a Hidden Gem., Persistence Pays Off., Ten Years of Hard Work.
A retired mathematician found a rotting cabin, dating from 1830, in sad shape, but he determined to restore it — proving once more that persistence pays. This is the original 1830 cabin, or what was left of it. Much was rotting, but he labeled and transferred as much of it as possible to the family’s land. See the amazing story below the fold.
Filed under: Entertainment, Environment, Freedom, Humor | Tags: Not Enough Trees, Waiting in Line, Well-Trained Dogs
This made me laugh.
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Environment, Freedom, Fun n Games, Humor | Tags: Aerobics?, Fun for Baby Ducks, The Joy of Play
We love our pets and play with them often. Throwing tennis balls for the dog, catnip balls and laser lights for the cats. But you always wonder what your animals are thinking. Evidence of the extent to which animals ‘play’ in the wild on their own. Doing stuff for fun. I don’t mean the natural play that is a sort of training for adulthood — mock fighting by the young— that sort of thing. So I was fascinated by this video. Obviously it was built by someone, specifically for baby ducks, but — who knew?
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Energy, Environment, Junk Science, Politics, Science/Technology | Tags: Climate Alarmism, No Warming in The 21st Century, The UN's IPCC
According the Climate Policy Initiative, the world “invested” $1 billion a day last year to “fight” global warming, which hasn’t been happening for over 16 years.
The World Economic Forum said that wasn’t enough, that we needed $700 billion to tackle climate change, but exactly what we should be doing to wage war on a climate that is no longer warming ? Stop all that carbon dioxide that is getting into the atmosphere? The CO² has been increasing even as the climate cools. It has now reached 400 ppm and is encouraging the greening of the world.
The age of climate alarmism is coming to an end. You many not have noticed that the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a summary of its Fifth Assessment Report late last month — criticized and mocked by many leading climate scientists. The distinguished journal Science even editorialized that this should be the last report issued by the UN body. Ouch. The UN’s IPCC has been the guidebook for governments all over the world, yet few realize that the IPCC doesn’t do science. They even say so on their website.
Given five tries to convince the world that human activity is causing catastrophic warming of the planet, runaway sea-level rise and various weather disasters, the public still doesn’t buy it.
Country people, farmers, who have to be alert to changes in the weather and the climate in their daily lives are far less apt to buy it than city apartment dwellers who may encounter nature on occasional weekends. The IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report concedes for the first time that global temperatures have not risen since 1998, despite a 7 percent rise in carbon dioxide.
Nearly all the UN-approved climate computer models were wrong. The attempt to accurately model all of the variables of natural climate in a computer program simply didn’t work. We don’t know enough about climate. And much of what we thought we knew was wrong. The IPCC admits that the “hockey stick” graph it featured in past reports wasn’t accurate. It looked like a hockey stick only because it ignored the Medieval Warm Period when temperatures were much warmer than today, and a period when Greenland was green and wine grapes grew in England.
Reported temperatures from weather stations across the country turned out to be way off, because of faulty placement of the temperature gauges next to air-conditioner outlets and concrete heat-retaining walls.
Despite Europe’s boom in solar and wind energy, CO² emissions haven’t been reduced by even a single gram, and it’s the EU’s own policies that are to blame. Australia had an election to get rid of the government and the hated carbon tax. Governments are beginning to back off. One billion a day should wake a few people up.
The true believers who have a quasi-religious belief in global warming are not going to give up easily. Their religious faith is more political than anything, and that faith is central to their identity. The European Union will pay £165 billion for its current climate policies each and every year for the next 87 years. Britain’s climate policies — subsidizing windmills, wood-burners, anaerobic digesters, electric vehicles and all the rest —is due to cost them £1.8 trillion over the course of this century. That will, they hope, lower the air temperature by about 0.005ºC — which will be undetectable by normal thermometers. The accepted consensus is that every £100 spent fighting climate change will bring £3 of benefits. Perhaps someone could tell Mr. Obama about this.
This winter is expected to be a cold one. We’ll see what the opinions are in the Spring.
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Domestic Policy, Environment, Junk Science, Law, Politics, The United States | Tags: "Connectivity", America's Navigable Waters, EPA Power Grab
Congress passed the Clean Air Act in 1970, and the Clean Water Act in 1972. Who is going to vote against clean air or clean water? The problems arose, as so many problems have, in the Congressional habit of writing broad bills and leaving the details to the concerned agency to develop. In this case the newly formed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) went to work to sort out the particulars, which they have, with a vengeance.
In the 1970s there were problems. Los Angeles was more frequently blanketed with a thick yellow-brown smog than with the few stray days when you could see mountains in the distance. The Cuyahoga River caught on fire. In some places sewers emptied into rivers or lakes. People hadn’t given much thought to the environment as such, for Mother Nature seemed to be taking care of it pretty well. But then Paul Ehrlich wrote The Population Bomb, insisting that mass starvation was just around the Malthusian corner, and Rachel Carson came up with Silent Spring, terrifying everyone of DDT and all pesticides, unfortunately for the millions of children in Africa dying of Malaria.
Zealots are always looking for a place where they can indulge their zealotry, and they seem to have flocked to the EPA. The Agency has something over 17,360 full-time employees (as of 2011), and unsurprisingly during the recent government shutdown, most of them were regarded as non-essential. Tasked to make the air clean and the water clean, they have opted for purity instead, with no understanding that purity is impossible and not desirable anyway.
In the interest of clean air, the agency tried valiantly to regulate farm dust, which no one at the agency seemed to recognize as improbable, as dust is part of the nature of farming. Farms are places with dirt roads, plowed and tilled fields, which is how farming is done.
The Clean Water Act charged the agency with keeping the navigable waters of the United States clean. What Congress probably had in mind was shutting down any sewers emptying improperly and keeping the boats from dumping oil and stopping the Cuyahoga River from catching fire. In many places the water naturally contains some methane. Not harmful to people, but it can catch fire. There was the big arsenic flap where some springs were found to contain arsenic in what were presumed to be dangerous quantities. The EPA made a nationwide regulation determining how every municipality would be required to treat their water to remove any trace of arsenic. Many communities had no arsenic in their water, but the agency demanded expensive water treatment anyway. In the case of safety for humans, many things that are poisonous in large quantities are perfectly safe in small quantities. The rule is always “the dose makes the poison.”
If you have been incensed over low-flow shower heads, blame the EPA for trying to “save” water. If you have been irritated with “high-efficiency” toilets that have to be flushed twice, enormously expensive “high-efficiency” washers and dryers that seem not to get clothes clean, blame the EPA. If you have obediently purchased “Energy Star” appliances only to find that they aren’t saving energy, welcome to the club.
Back in May, 2011, I wrote a post about the “EPA Using Clean Water Act To Seize More Power,” and chose a picture of a small mountain stream to illustrate the EPA’s stretch of the term “navigable waters” to grab more authority. In June of 2012, I wrote another post about their attempt to re-define “navigable waters” to include snow-melt and the run-off after a rainstorm, pictured in the roadside gutter above. The term “Navigable” means that boats can go there. In 2006 a U.S. Supreme Court case from Michigan produced five different opinions and no clear definition of which waterways were covered and which were not. This left the government with a clean slate to write its own interpretation — everything they wanted to regulate.
Now they have done it. The EPA has packed a government advisory board with federal grant recipients so they can regulate virtually every acre in the United States, probably including your back yard, should you annoy them.
The EPA’s proposed rule — the “Water Body Connectivity Report” removes that limiting word “navigable” from “navigable waters of the United States” and replaces it with “connectivity of streams and wetlands to downstream waters” as the test for Clean Water Act regulatory authority. Whoa! Change a few words to add a meaningless science buzzword to grab for power— “connectivity.” They cannot quantify the significance of the runoff from your driveway, or the puddles on the lawn, but if they get away with this, if you annoy the administration, they may come after you for destroying wetlands. Everybody’s yard here becomes a wetland in the winter — this is Seattle.
Anybody remember the Supreme Court case Sackett v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency? A couple in Priest Lake, Idaho bought a small piece of land to build their dream home with a view of the lake, when the EPA descended on them, declaring the lot a “wetland.” The Supreme Court slapped down the EPA, but Zealots are not restrained by mere court rulings. They have been slapped down repeatedly by courts all over the country and it hasn’t slowed them down at all. They tell themselves that they are protecting the health of the people, but they blithely make up statistics to prove that they are doing so. Every rule will be accompanied with numbers deaths from various causes that have been prevented by their rulings.
Fortunately two powerful members of Congress have noticed and demanded in a news release to know why “EPA skirts the Law to Expand Regulatory Authority.” The Chairman of the House Science , Space, and Technology Committee, Lamar Smith of Texas, and Rep Chris Stewart of Utah, chairman of the environment subcommittee have written to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. They accuse the EPA of “pushing through a rule with vast economic and regulatory implications before the agency’s Science Advisory Board has had an opportunity to review the underlying science.”
The EPA says its rule-making will be based on the final version of the Science Advisory Board’s (SAB) scientific assessment. The SAB is paid to verify whether the EPA report is technically accurate. The law requires that the SAB must be free of conflicts of interest, unbiased, and transparent. “Transparent” is not doing too well in this administration. The SAB does not do science. They just review a review. The EPA Office of Research and Development has conducted a scientific literature search, picking useful studies for review by the SAB.
The board is stacked with those who are recipients of EPA grants, government agencies and academia. No industry-friendly scientists were allowed by McCarthy to be on the board, although there were plenty of candidates from important industries. No hard-headed state or local water officials were included, despite nominees from Arizona, Missouri, North Carolina, Wyoming and New York City.
The EPA tries not to leave things to chance. Zealots are not easily restrained.
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Environment, Freedom, Heartwarming | Tags: Cleaning up Detroit, One Park at a Time, The American Spirit Lives!
I love this! Don’t whine. Don’t wait for government to act responsibly. Just go to work. The American Spirit lives!
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Environment, Freedom, Terrorism | Tags: Once There Were Three, Unheeded Warnings, Unwanted Advice
I told them a thousand times if I told them once:
Stop fooling around, I said, with straw and sticks;
They won’t hold up; you’re taking an awful chance.
Brick is the stuff to build with, solid bricks.
You want to be impractical, go ahead.
But just remember, I told them; wait and see.
You’re making a big mistake. Awright, I said,
But when the wolf comes, don’t come running to me.
The funny thing is, they didn’t. There they sat,
One in his crummy yellow shack, and one
Under his roof of twigs, and the wolf ate
Them, hair and hide. Well, what is done is done.
But I’d been willing to help them, all along,
If only they’d once admitted they were wrong.
The Builders By Sara Henderson Hay