American Elephants


Something Wonderful! by The Elephant's Child
January 12, 2016, 6:22 am
Filed under: Environment, Freedom, Heartwarming, History | Tags: , ,

Bandit the bull had spent his entire life in a narrow stable with no opportunity to stretch his legs or enjoy a bit of sunshine. But when Gut Aiderbichl sanctuary rescued Bandit and gave him a new life — that all became only history. Lovely story. I’ll borrow Vanderleun’s headline.

(h/t: American Digest)



The Keystone XL Pipeline Developer Sues the Obama Administration! by The Elephant's Child

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TransCanada Corporation has filed two major legal challenges to the Obama Administration. TransCanada is the company that has waited patiently while the Obama Administration played politics with the Keystone XL Pipeline project. The first lawsuit was filed in a Houston federal court stating that President Obama exceeded his authority in November when he blocked the pipeline’s construction.

The company separately filed an international petition under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) seeking to recover the $15 billion in costs and damages which it incurred in its attempts to build the cross border pipeline. What a colossal mess the Obama administration made of the U.S. end of that project.

I’m on TransCanada’s side in this one. I’ve been writing about it ever since the first proposal. It has always been a matter of politics. Obama’s green supporters are violently opposed to the pipeline, mostly because they don’t like petroleum and want it to stay in the ground. Their science is that deep. Also Hedge-fund billionaire Tom Steyer promised $100 million to the Democrats if they just continued to oppose global warming. (I don’t know if he gave them the money) The unions desperately want the 13,000 construction jobs promised by the project, and the 118,000 estimated spin-off jobs as well. Obama responds that the jobs are just temporary, but all construction jobs are temporary. Skills learned on one job make you more eligible for the next.

“TransCanada’s legal actions challenge the foundation of the U.S. administration’s decision to deny a presidential border crossing permit for the project,” the Calgary, Canada-based company said in a statement.

“In its decision, the U.S. State Department acknowledged the denial was not based on the merits of the project,” it continued. “Rather, it was a symbolic gesture based on speculation about the perceptions of the international community regarding the administration’s leadership on climate change and the president’s assertion of unprecedented, independent powers.”

Obama has asserted his power to decide the fate of the Alberta-to-Texas pipeline because it would have crossed an international border — an argument TransCanada said is not supported by the law, the Constitution or NAFTA.

The oil was always going to go to market. Obama’s denial meant that it would go by train, much more dangerous than supposed pipeline leaks, for rail is subject to derailment, as has happened too many times. The State Dept. approved it twice, then disapproved it. The route was changed slightly to allay worries from Nebraska, and from Indian tribes.

For the Obama Administration politics rules in all cases.  What is supposed to come first is the welfare of the American people. It’s really that simple.

Canadian and US Crude Oil Pipeline Proposals

 



Endless Hype, Because That’s All They Have. by The Elephant's Child

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More myths, old stories, rumors, hype and prevarications. Ever hear of the “Great Garbage Patch” in the middle of the ocean? Doesn’t exist. We are not “choking the ocean with plastic.” A post at Watts Up With That explains how many of our scary stories “come from the interaction of actual science with activist scientists and clickbait-seeking journalists. It is an example of how real problems become masked by myths, leaving us divided and unable to respond.”

I have written several times of how plastic bags became an endangered species in Democrat run cities. They believe in the great garbage patch, they believe that it must be caused by plastic grocery bags, and they want you to buy and use cloth bags, which are dangerous if not washed between uses, for meat drippings and drippings from moist vegetables can become a source of  E-coli or other illnesses. The orgin of the story was very complicated, but the pursuit of a big tax on plastic bags is just cities trying to raise a little extra money.

Did you see the pictures of the great walrus haulout this last year? It was supposed to be a great environmental catastrophe, except when the wildlife biologists spoke up, apparently walruses like to do that every so often, and it’s not a big deal. They do it all the time.

The polar bears have gotten most of the hype. They are beautiful creatures living in a remote and frozen environment, their cubs are adorable, and they have become the fundraising image for a good many environmental fund drives. Surely you saw the bear costumes in Paris and at other big climate whingdings. At the urging of the Greens, the bears have been considered “threatened” which makes their funding more urgent. However, the bears are doing just fine. Their numbers are increasing, and have been doing so for years.

Environmental activists have learned that they can stop most any project with a claim of “endangered species” needing that particular patch of ground. The sage hen is the current threatened or endangered species, but you never know whether it is true or not. The threat is easy, the proof that the “endangered” category is unnecessary is harder to get. On the other hand, the wind farms are killing raptors at a tremendous rate, and songbirds as well, and although bird lovers are outraged, “natural” wind energy trumps wildlife, because the Greens have a bigger investment in wind.

Carbon Dioxide, CO2, is not a pollutant. It is what we exhale every time we breathe, and your little dog too. The trees absorb the CO2 in a process called photosynthesis, which we all learned in high school biology, except President Obama was busy with his “Choom gang” at the time and missed the whole discussion. CO2 is a natural fertilizer for plants and helps to feed a hungry world. More CO2 in the atmosphere would be a good thing. Greenhouses have way more CO2 in their atmosphere and we haven’t had any noticable deaths of nurserymen yet.

And don’t get me started on the Keystone Pipeline.



Environmental Hype, Politics, Fads and Prevarications by The Elephant's Child

567d2443c36188c5408b45afWhen one starts pondering fads, hype, politics, advertising and lies, you quickly get involved in the environment, from which much of the voluminous bubble of hype flows. We have records of a sort going back over a significant amount of time, from tree rings to ice cores, stalagmites and the careful measurements of sea temperatures of Captains in the British Navy in the 1700s, to landscape paintings during the Renaissance.  Of a sort.

We have three systems of measuring heat and cold — Fahrenheit, Celsius and Kelvin, each, I believe, named after the inventor. Most of us are familiar with the Fahrenheit of 20º below zero and the upper ranges of 90º and 100º discomfort, and don’t pay much attention the rest of the time.

Surface temperature records are unreliable because of siting issues, failure to recognize the urban heat island effect, and poor coverage of the oceans — but not so aware of the deliberate falsification of  temperature records by alarmist climate scientists who depend on climate alarm for their jobs and federal grants. They constantly revise temperatures recorded in the past to make the past appear cooler to get more warming in the present.

But we now have satellite data that gives accurate global readings, though it only goes back to 1978. That is, however 37 years of satellite data. Anthony Watts summarized the data.

The average temperature of Earth’s atmosphere has warmed just over four tenths of a degree Celsius (almost three fourths of a degree Fahrenheit) during the past 37 years, with the greatest warming over the Arctic Ocean and Australia, said Dr. John Christy, director of the Earth System Science Center at The University of Alabama in Huntsville. Microwave sounding units on board NOAA and NASA satellites completed 37 complete years of collecting temperature data in November, giving us nearly global coverage of climate change during that time.

If that trend was to continue for another 63 years, the composite warming for the globe would be 1.1 C (about 2 degrees Fahrenheit) for the century, Christy said. That would put the average global temperature change over 100 years well under the 2.0 C (3.6 degrees F) goal set recently at the climate change summit in Paris.

Anthony Watts notes that a “1.2º C. or 2.2º F. is roughly equal to the warming seen most spring days between 10 a.m and noon.” Well, run for the hills, we’re all doomed!

The policies and programs arising from climate alarmism range from organic food, wind farms, solar arrays, and all the costs and features involved (which have always included the promise of vast employment which hasn’t materialized either.) Consider all the programs, regulations and disastrous policies of the EPA, the Energy Department, the Interior Department, and the White House that arise from the belief in catastrophic global warming. We have even been told that we cannot bomb the oil trucks that transport stolen oil for illegal sale by ISIS to support their beheadings and crucifixions—because blowing them up might harm the environment.

Fads, hype, politics and national security lies. I rest my case.

The picture at the top is indeed ISIS tanker trucks being blown up. Unfortunately it is being accomplished by Russian bombers. We are dropping leaflets to warn the drivers to run away because we might drop a bomb.



The Organic Food Zealots Are Wrong, And So Is Your Grocery Store! by The Elephant's Child

4886682532_b29722fd6b_bI have been pondering the many ways we are confused by fads, hype, advertising and lies. The Chipotle restaurant chain has been much in the news for a rash of very bad e-coli cases. Chipotle, the once-popular fast food Mexican restaurant chain  fell in line with a pop-culture idea for their advertising. “We source from farms rather than factories,””we’re working to cultivate a better world,” which they aimed to do by favoring local foods and organic food and all things natural.

Partly, it’s the Greens distaste for oil, petroleum in all its forms. Why? It’s black and smells industrial, and they have a passion for things “natural.” Nitrogen fertilizer makes things grow better. Common agricultural fertilizers are made from petroleum, which immediately falls into the ‘Eeew’ category for those who are intolerant of modern corporations and industry. Natural fertilizers come from cow or chicken manure, and organic produce is not pesticide free. Instead it is grown with more primitive pesticides that can be significantly more hazardous to humans and to the environment.

Contrary to popular opinion, organic foods are not superior in any way to ordinary food at the grocery store. The label is a bit of a scam, for it refers only to how the food is produced and requires growers to use “natural” manure and “natural ” pesticides, but the FDA has concluded that organic food is four to eight times more likely to be recalled over safety concerns than conventionally grown products. Organic foods also exclude the benefits of genetically improved techniques that, for example, reduce the population of insects that allow toxic molds to infest corn. Dr. Henry I. Miller, a physician and molecular biologist, is a research fellow at Stanford  University’s Hoover Institution writes:

Chipotle rejects modern synthetic fertilizers in favor of suppliers who use manure on their crops. This approach may be “all natural” and “organic” and make some customers feel warm and fuzzy, but it should not come as a surprise that applying stool, feces and excrement to growing fruits and vegetables significantly raises the risk of spreading disease.

“Food poisoning,”he adds, “is a serious business. Four years ago, 53 died and 3,950 were sickened from an E. coli outbreak in Germany caused by organic bean sprouts.

ADDENDUM: The term “organic” is popping up in peculiar places where being grown with manure is not really a particular additional recommendation. A current radio commercial advertises sheets and pillowcases made from “organic” cotton. The fact that the cotton was fertilized with manure does nothing for the quality of the cotton. I once bought some “organic” lotion ( which was silly), but it came in lemon verbena, and I love lemon verbena.  Watch out for “natural” too.



So You Think You’re Right, Do You? Well, Think Again! by The Elephant's Child

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The general mood in America seems, on Christmas eve, to be fairly sour — at least according to comments and gripes and posts and articles. The public is unhappy with our government. Republicans are furious with Republicans, especially over the so-called Omnibus spending bill. The purity police are out in full force arguing over who is and who is not a proper conservative. Breitbart has even gone so far as to give each Republican voting member of the House or Senate a red-flagged grade according to their purity — according to Breitbart.

Whatever happened to the big tent? The amusing thing is that they are getting close to the kids on campus demanding an end to free speech, and the Democrats who are furious with anyone who has the gall to disagree with them, and scream bloody murder about Citizens United. You must think the way we demand that you think.

Democrats, or Progressives if you prefer, have long despised anyone who disagrees with them. They’ve tried to have RICO charges brought against anyone who does not accept the notion that 97% of all scientists insist that global warming is going to cook the earth and all its creatures. Some have gone so far as to suggest jail and felony charges. Republicans demand an end to any subsidy for Planned Parenthood. Democrats demand full funding. But sorry, it’s not that simple. There are Democrats who don’t like abortion, and Republicans who do.

There are 435 members of the House. And after the last election 246 Republicans and 188 Democrats and one vacancy. In the Senate, there are 100 members, 2 for each state, and 44 are Democrats and 54 are Republicans, and two independents —Sanders and King. Immediate family does not agree on much of anything, and politically it’s even more unlikely. We are all human and fallible. Democrats are more likely to forget the human part.

Being human means that even the brightest people can be quite stupid in some departments. There was a story in the last few days about a robber who had an exceptional number of tattoos, including devil’s horns on his forehead and written across his forehead was “F##k the Police.” The business he held up was unsurprisingly able to identify him, and the police were quickly able to apprehend him. We are all stupid in ways small and very large. Some are definitely sins, and others are just unfortunate. We just don’t know as much as we think we do.

Yet that is what Christmas is all about and what we never seem to learn. A little more humility please, and try to remember that we all are human and struggling to find our way through this life that we don’t understand very well. It’s hard to know when to be tough and when to give comfort, when to teach and when to listen carefully. More tolerance please, and more listening. We will not agree, but it will go down better if we explain why. And knock it off with the purity police. Your definition of correctness ( did I hear the word political correctness applied to Republicans?) is not necessarily correct. Michael Ramirez said it more succinctly than I could.



It May be Possible that the Majority of College Students Are Not Protesting, But Trying to Learn Something in Difficult Circumstances by The Elephant's Child

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Katie Pavlich reports on a new poll of college students by the Young America’s Foundation and conducted by Inc./Woman Trend which shows that the majority of students reject the absurd microaggression, triggering, politically correct, goofy gender neutral pronouns.

Sixty-two percent of students did not believe that professors should have the right to downgrade students for failing to use “gender inclusive” language like “humankind” in preference to men and women instead of “mankind.” That gets us into the “personholes” in the street instead of “manholes” which proves what silly territory this is. They didn’t go for the use of pronouns like “ze,” “zir,” and “xyr,” either, but not by nearly a large enough majority.

Nearly 7 in 10 students rejected Black Lives Matter. Given recent acts of violence against police officers, the Black Lives Matter movement has cultivated an anti-police culture.

Fifty percent of students prefer smaller government, and twenty percent more prefer free enterprise  than prefer socialism. That’s a little encouraging. Colleges may face a big backlash when parents wake up to what their kids are being taught and what they are paying outlandish fees for.




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