American Elephants

Sunny Southern California And Smog by The Elephant's Child

Los Angeles smog

Scott Pruitt has been doing a great job of eliminating useless regulations at the EPA, so naturally the Left is going bonkers. Under the Obama administration, the EPA became a heavy handed armed bully, attacking innocent landowners, attempting to control all the waters of the United States, including the water draining from your downspouts. It was a vast overreach. The EPA was innocently founded by Congress with the idea that when great interstate projects were built, perhaps someone should be in charge of making sure they weren’t doing something damaging to the environment.

Downspouts are one thing, but Lefties are claiming that the Trump Administration’s plans to roll back the Obama fuel-mileage rules will increase pollution. Environmentalists have long blamed L.A.’s millions of cars and freeways for its smog, but even if most gas-burning vehicles were replaced by electric cars, L.A. would still have a smog problem. Los Angeles is a natural basin, ringed in by taller hills, a pollutant trapping topography, and sunny weather.

I lived in Los Angeles when it was smoggy, and it was bad. When you flew in, you’d look down at that brown soup and think— if I have to breathe that I’m going to die.

A recent study in the journal Science traced and measured volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in Los Angeles. In the presence of sunlight, these compounds react with NOx to form ozone and smog. Car exhaust was once a greater relative contributor of VOCs and NOx, but engines are now much cleaner.

Researchers at the University of Colorado found that petroleum-based chemicals such as those found in deodorant, soap, hair spray, household cleaners, pesticides and other commercial products account for about half of VOCs emissions in industrial cities. Gasoline fuel and exhaust make up about 32%.

So, if you want less smog, shower less, don’t clean your house so often, but trees and people also emit VOCs. The biological sources of VOCs are also responsible for the blue haze in the Appalachians. The real target of the greens are automobile carbon emissions, but if all vehicles had electric engines, would we have enough electricity to support the country’s power needs and run all our vehicles as well?

Of course that’s why the Left wants to get us all out of our cars and into the nice electric trains they are building. The new Seattle Mayor is talking about tolls to drive on downtown Seattle streets, which isn’t going to improve her popularity.


Catching Up With Climate Science: by The Elephant's Child

A 2008 paper by James Hansen, former director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies showed the true gravity of the situation. In it, Hansen set out to determine what level of atmospheric CO2 society should aim for if humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life of Earth is adapted. His climate models showed that exceeding 350 parts per million (ppm) of CO2 in the atmosphere would likely have catastrophic effects. We’ve already blown past that limit. Right now, environmental monitoring shows concentrations around 400 ppm.

There were no consequences. Real world evidence clearly demonstrate Hansen’s hypothesis is wrong.


National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration may have a boring name, but it has a very important job: It measures U.S. temperatures. Unfortunately, it seems to be a captive of the global warming religion. Its data are fraudulent.

What do we mean by fraudulent? How about this: NOAA has made repeated “adjustments” to its data, for the presumed scientific reason of making the data sets more accurate.

Nothing wrong with that. Except, all their changes point to one thing — lowering previously measured temperatures to show cooler weather in the past, and raising more recent temperatures to show warming in the present.

This creates a data illusion of ever-rising temperatures to match the increase in CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere since the mid-1800s, which global warming advocates say is a cause-and-effect relationship. The more CO2, the more warming.  (Investor’s Business Daily 3/29/18)


From wattsupwiththat, April 1, 2018

Mark Fife writes that an analysis of  GHCN climate stations shows there is no statistically significant warming – or cooling.

In Conclusion, based upon the available long-term temperature data the case for global warming is very weak. There is evidence to suggest a hemispheric pattern exists. The evidence further suggests this is a cyclical pattern which is evident in localized temperature peaks in the 1930’s and the 1990’s. However, changes in local site conditions due to human development appear to be the most important factor affecting overall temperature changes. Extreme warming trends are almost certainly due to human induced local changes.  The entire article is here.

From the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF). 4/06/18

A new paper says that there are unseen worlds of wonder under our noses. There is a new understanding of ultra-long timescales that we are too short-lived to perceive.

Prof. Essex explains, “Unlike the stable virtual ‘climates’ seen in computer simulations, corresponding real-world conditions aren’t stable at all. There are perpetual, natural, internal changes in play that take longer than human lifetimes to play out.”

No human will ever fully perceive this change. No one lives long enough.  But some astute people, in their later years, might just be able to make a little of it out.

Prof. Essex adds, “There is an ultraslow, mysterious, unseen world out there, under our very noses, that we cannot perceive. It’s beyond our measurement capabilities, and beyond the capabilities of our best computers using our very best physical theories. It belongs to a class of problems that we cannot overwhelm with data, or crush with our biggest computers.”

The Left: Explained! by The Elephant's Child

Here is a speech by Dennis Prager, given a few years ago, in which he summarizes, or explains the Left. Do you find yourself wondering a lot— why are they doing this? Why are they saying this? What is the matter with these people?

Not much has changed in the past seven years. The Left is still Left, searching for more power so they can get rid of those pesky Conservatives who are so annoying, and so wrong about everything.

Oh, new terminology pops up now and then, but they continue to regard us as uneducated racists from flyover country. They seem unable to consider or recognize consequences. Life is full of miseries, but if we just let them be in charge, they would all be fixed.

In spite of all evidence to the contrary, they remain sure that if only they don’t have to be bothered with the dissent from us, they will create a brave new world where everyone is equal and there are no more wars and everything and everyone is properly diverse, and no one will be poor or needy and…

It’s a 40 minute video, so watch it tonight if you must, but it’s really worth your time.

Science and Health and Science Scaredy-Cats by The Elephant's Child

Oh dear, O dear! I believe this was the evening when we were, all across the world, at precisely Eight o’clock — supposed to turn off all our lights and sit in the dark for an hour to save the earth, or show our empathy for those who are deeply concerned about the climate and the earth and the future. I usually see enough reminders to remember to turn on all my lights to demonstrate my skepticism.

I grew up in Idaho, in what you might call the foothills of the Rockies,  mostly outside, winter or summer. Winter was for sledding, and we had a splendid sledding hill, or building snow forts, but let me not drift off into reminiscing. Some winters we had little snow, not much more than 3 feet on the level. Other years, 5 or 6 feet. Some years we could skate on the river, others not. Been snowed in. When it gets down to 20° below, all the hairs in your nose freeze. The climate has warmed over the last century, somewhere around one degree. The Paris Climate Agreement would not have prevented any measurable amount of warming.

The Paul Erlich’s of the world have always believed in overpopulation and consequent hunger and starvation. Yet what has happened is that the very small amount of increased CO2 in the atmosphere has meant the greening of the planet, less famine and more food.

Most packaged goods in the grocery store will carry the admonition somewhere on the label that there are no GMO ingredients  (genetically modified organisms) in their offering, yet I just saw the notice today that another country (in this case Canada) has approved “golden rice”, a strain of rice to which a carotene-producing gene is added.

In many areas of Asia, vitamin A  is devastatingly rare in the diet of many children, causing blindness and altered immunity. Since rice is the dietary staple, adding it to rice can save children from the deficiency.  Nearly 500 million children are said to be deficient. Yet the usual suspects (the anti-GM foods nuts at Greenpeace) have fits claiming all sorts of disasters from the golden rice. The link is to a story from ASCH which also explains the Gates Foundation’s work in fortifying bananas with beta-carotene for the highlands of East Africa where the dietary staple is bananas. There is another banana in Papua New Guinea that contains so much beta carotene that they are orange, and they can simply transplant the gene that produces it into Africa’s cooking banana.

I wandered a bit all over the planet with this post, which started with telling you that I forgot to turn on all the lights to celebrate President Trump’s exit from the Paris Climate Agreement, the loonies who flunked high school biology and chemistry and are terrified of science, and the advances of science in preventing blindness and death in the children of some areas of Asia. ASCH — the American Council on Science and Health is a dandy website for understanding what’s going on in this part of the world. You can sign up for a free subscription, and they’ll send a brief note to your mailbox with the latest news. The Little Black Book of Junk Science by  Alec Berezow is newly available and is just what the title implies.

Ancient Chinese Curse: “May You Live In Interesting Times” by The Elephant's Child

Every day, in every way, things are getting better and well, at least more interesting. In this case, it it is Catherine McKenna, the 47-year-old Trudeau appointee from Canada’s Liberal Party.  In a recent post on Twitter, she called on followers to “consider the gendered impacts of climate on women, girls and children,” and praised Canada’s leadership in training “women negotiators” in the fight against manmade global warming.

Where did all this gender focus come from? And why? Of course it came from women’s studies, and gender studies, and all the overpaid professors who are playing havoc with the minds of our young people, and if Justin Trudeau is an example, with Canada’s young people as well, which may be the reason for the emergence of Jordan Peterson as a powerful national spokesman trying to straighten us all out.

It’s bad enough that they have suddenly decided that the two genders we have had since mankind first appeared on Earth are not enough and we need to add some substitutes, but they have also decided that men are a major problem for running things and shoveling snow and fighting wars, and getting the lids off jars, and it’s all some kind of toxic masculinity.

And women are tired of doing women things, and want to do the men things instead—the running things, and being in charge, and being paid more. They’re not so much interested in shoveling snow, fighting wars or, for that matter, getting the lids off jars. It’s a strange new world. Orwell would be astonished.


California Shifts Hard Left by The Elephant's Child

California is drifting farther and farther left.  Joel Kotkin is executive director of the Center for Opportunity Urbanism, and long concerned with demography. He has an interesting piece today in City Journal about a further leftward shift evidenced by California’s Democratic Party’s refusal to back Dianne Feinstein’s reelection bid, suggesting that she is the last in a line of the old Democrats.

Tech oligarchs and activist CEOs have committed themselves to extreme environmentalism, identity politics, and open-borders immigration policy. California’s bevy of clueless celebrities, now celebrated by Time as “suddenly serious” for following the identitarian party line, have also climbed aboard.  As anyone knows who has suffered through awards shows or listened to interviews with stars, the entertainment industry—much like tech—has become homogeneous in its views.

The key issues for the glitterati are not income inequality, upward mobility, or the preservation of middle-class neighborhoods but the feverish pastimes of the already rich: gender and racial issues, climate change, guns, and anything that offends the governesses and schoolmarms of intersectionality. To the ranks of these over-exposed but influential voices, you can also add California’s media and most of its intelligentsia, who seem to get their talking points from progressive sources and work assiduously to limit the influence of moderate (much less conservative) views. With Silicon Valley increasingly able to control content and ever more willing to curb debate, the policy agenda of the state’s new elite may well become reality—a nightmarish one for millions of ordinary Californians.

Then Politico Magazine did an article on “Jerry Brown, President of the Independent Republic of California.” adding the subhead “As he crusades across Europe, the governor is acting like the leader of a sovereign country—an alternative to the United States in the Trump era.”

He “stopped over at the Vatican, where a doleful group of climate scientists, politicians and public health officials had convened to discuss calamities that might befall a warming world. The prospects were so dire—floods and fires, but also forced migration famine and war—that some of the participants acknowledged difficulty staving off despair.”

“California’s doomsayer governor did not express much optimism either. Seated between an economist and an Argentine bishop at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, Brown leaned into his microphone and said, ‘It is despairing. Ending the world, ending all mammalian life. This is bad stuff.’”

The leader in much of this nonsense is billionaire Tom Steyer, who is a true believer in climate catastrophe, a ferocious opponent of President Trump, striving for his impeachment, but can’t seem to fix on a reason but is apparently putting big funds behind his efforts. Keep an eye on that. He’s probably extremely incensed about Trump’s exit from the Paris Accords, which would have accomplished nothing, nothing at all. But anyone that says that is excoriated as a fascist and ‘denier’.

Carbon Dioxide, CO2, Is Not Carbon by The Elephant's Child

“The fear of carbon dioxide is largely based on long range forecasts from inadequately-tested climate models that greatly overestimate the short-term temperature change that is occurring in the atmosphere, where the greenhouse effect occurs, also influenced by natural variation. The fear of carbon dioxide is promoted by relatively few scientists, and a great number of supporters. Government policies based on such fears are draining the vitality of our society, which has long been marked by constant striving for improvement, for a better future. TWTW (The Week That Was) will continue to address the fear of carbon dioxide and its associated fears. It will emphasize the benefits of increased carbon dioxide and what little warming it may cause.”

…………………………………………..Science and Environmental Policy Project
………………………………………………………………..Ken Haapala, President

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