Filed under: Environment, Global Warming, Junk Science, Politics, Regulation | Tags: Arctic Sea Ice, Highest Extent Since 2005, Polar Bear Habitat
The Hill reports that the Fish and Wildlife Service has released a draft proposal for a plan to conserve the polar bear, which (they say erroneously) was declared endangered in 2008. Well, no, they declared the polar bear “threatened” in 2008. There is a difference. And, according to the most noted authority on polar bears, the bears are just fine.
According to Dr. Susan Crockford, last year:
Survival of polar bears over a hundred thousand years (at least ) of highly variable sea ice coverage indicates that those biologists who portend a doomed future for the polar bear have grossly underestimated its ability to survive vastly different conditions than those that existed in the late 1970s when Ian Stirling began his polar bear research.
The agency was undoubtedly told to emphasize the horrors of carbon dioxide, with the big climate meeting coming up, and Obama’s push to get all nations to line up in his attempt to eliminate the dangers of CO². The article in The Hill is, naturally, accompanied by a picture of a baby polar bear. “It’s for the children” or in this case — the polar bear cubs.
The top threat to the survival of polar bears is the increase in carbon dioxide emissions, the federal government’s wildlife agency said.
That’s the main finding released Thursday in a draft proposal of the Fish and Wildlife Service’s (FWS) first ever plan for conserving the polar bear, which was declared endangered in 2008.
“Polar bear conservation requires a global commitment to curb the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere,” Geoffrey Haskett, the Alaska regional director for the FWS, said in a statement about the draft plan. …
The agency identified several threats to the polar bear, but said that the loss of sea ice — caused by climate change — is the top threat. It predicts that three out of the four major “ecoregions” of polar bears will be decreased or greatly decreased by 2050, based on two separate greenhouse gas growth scenarios.
We cannot predict the future. Computer programs cannot predict the future either. Carbon dioxide is what we exhale every time we breathe. It is what polar bears exhale as well. Carbon dioxide is a natural plant fertilizer and essential to life on earth. There has been no warming whatsoever for 18 years. The extent of Arctic sea ice is at the highest level in a decade, since 2005, Melt is currently the slowest since at least 2004. Polar bears thrive in Hudson Bay, which is ice free three months a year.
A new paper from Dr, Susan Crockford explains that a fundamental problem with polar bear conservation is the fallacy that under natural conditions sea ice is a stable predictable habitat for polar bears and their prey. The essay in Watts Up With That? has a forward by Dr. Matthew Cronin discussing the problem of Lysenkoism in science, and if you scroll down, Dr. Crockford’s Summary, “The Arctic Fallacy: Sea Ice Stability and the Polar Bear,” and links to the paper and blog posts. Read the whole thing, and never fall for cute pictures of baby polar bears again. Don’t you get tired of being manipulated?
Filed under: Capitalism, Domestic Policy, Economy, Regulation, The United States | Tags: Obama Administration, Overregulation, Small Business
The health of small business may be the most important indicator of long term growth in our economy. But this spring has been a hard time for small business. Only 119,000 jobs were added in March, and although April and May saw the jobs market perform better, small businesses who make up the bulk of payroll services firm Paychex Inc.’s customers said the measure of small business hiring was off by half a percentage point by the end of May. Not a good sign.
In today’s world, when the shift from a manufacturing economy to the information economy is the major trend in American business, the health of small business may be the most important indicator of long term growth. We need hundreds of thousands of creative new small businesses led by entrepreneurs who are attempting to take advantage of the riches of the information sector to provide new products and services.
The Left’s push for a higher minimum wage, and Obama’s new order to force businesses to pay overtime to anyone making less than $50,000 a year will simply encourage the proliferation of robots, electronic cashiers, and more part-time workers. Over time the creativity of entrepreneurs could provide the new jobs that will replace the ones being automated or outsourced. Cheap money and relatively cheap labor should be helping, but a number of factors are at work. We have an administration that deeply believes that more regulations makes life better, which is clearly part of the problem.
Big businesses can cope. When the minimum wage jumps to $15 an hour, a chain of drugstores can afford to install automatic checkout machines that won’t get $15 and hour plus overtime, plus healthcare, plus sick leave, plus being late for work. It’s not so easy for small business.
Control and Regulation and the heavy hand of government have a cost. The Left is basically clueless. This time it’s affecting us all.
Filed under: Capitalism, Domestic Policy, Economy, Regulation | Tags: Obama Regulations, Overtime Pay, The Way Things Work
When President Obama is not busy with annoying problems of national security and terrorism, he will soon grant millions of workers overtime pay. Just a quick signature with his executive pen. Obama just does not understand how business works. He had, according to his biography one brief job in the private sector as sort of a copywriter, which he hated.
Businesses that pay salaried workers less than $455 a week currently have to pay overtime as well. As a result, many companies, Obama says, are “skirting basic overtime laws, calling somebody a manager when they’re stocking groceries and getting paid $30,000 a year. He wants to raise the threshold to $50,400, which he says will make 5 million more workers eligible for time-and-a-half pay.
Journalists praised Obama’s generosity because he was going to “bring overtime pay to millions,” which assumes that businesses who are employing these newly overtime-eligible workers won’t change anything, they’ll just start paying them time-and-a-half. Journalists don’t understand how business works either, unless they specialize in business or economics.
If those workers weren’t getting a market wage, and were underpaid, given their skill levels and the work they’re doing, they’d get another job. The Left has a view of economics that involves vicious managers who are raking it in, and almost enslaving poor workers who desperately need the benevolent hand of government to force companies to pay them a fair wage.
So in an economy where so many are out of work, businesses are hurting, Obama will fix things by insisting that everybody raise workers’ pay. And he’ll issue more regulations. Some companies will make sure that workers don’t put in overtime, or ban overtime completely. Or they’ll bring in more part-time workers to avoid the wage hit, or perhaps they’ll just lay off some people. Or maybe they’ll just raise their prices, forcing consumers to pay for Obama’s generosity.
Filed under: Capitalism, Domestic Policy, Environment, Junk Science, Politics, Regulation | Tags: Green Zealots, Power Grab, Rogue Agency
Just reprimanded by the Supreme Court, the EPA is anxious to try their luck again. Under the Clean Water Act, the EPA was granted the authority to regulate the navigable waters of the United States to see that they remained clean.
Under the Clean Water Rule, all “tributaries” will be regulated by the federal government. Broadly defined, which they intend, this means anything moist that eventually flows into something that can be defined as a “navigable river,” including the roadside ditch above, and even smaller trickles.
Under the same rule, the word “adjacent” is stretched from the Supreme Court’s definition of actually “abutting” what most Americans regard as a real water of the United States to anything “neighboring,” “contiguous,” or “bordering” a real water, terms which are again stretched to include whole floodplains and riparian areas. Floodplains are typically based on a 100-year flood, but a separate regulation would stretch that to a 500-year flood.
And, finally, under the rule, the EPA cynically throws in a catch-all “significant nexus” test meant as a shout out to Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s opinion in Rapanos v. United States when, in fact, the EPA’s rule makes a mockery of Kennedy’s opinion and of no fewer than three Supreme Court rulings.
Under the three approaches, no land or “water” is beyond the reach of the federal government, never mind the traditional understanding of private property or state and local control of land use.
Farmers, ranchers, dairymen and everyone in rural America are in panic mode. Not only does this rule allow the EPA onto their land, but it throws wide open to environmental group-led citizen lawsuits that promise to go far beyond what the EPA envisioned. Citizen lawsuits are controlled only by the rule. The rule carries with it fines to the tune of $37,500 a day. The EPA has a habit of imposing fines big enough to scare the accused of whatever violation into immediate compliance.
I grew up very rural, and I’m sure city people cannot imagine the havoc this rule could cause. Although here in the Seattle area, a good portion of our lawns could be considered wetlands for a portion of the year. It rains a lot, and there is runoff. Farmers and ranchers spend a significant amount of time ditching, or controlling the flow of water where it is not wanted.
The goal of the Environmental Protection Agency has little to do with the environment, but only to do with how environmental regulation can be used to further their political goals of control, ending private property, and bringing on the utopia where everyone is, at last, truly equal. Well, except for those in charge, of course.
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Economy, Energy, Regulation | Tags: Administration Arrogance, Restraint on EPA, Supreme Court Decision
The White House said today that the Supreme Court’s decision today on the EPA overreach claiming that the costs of their regulation don’t matter — wouldn’t impact the huge pending EPA rule imposing regulations of existing power plants. I assume this is Josh Earnest posing as “the White House.” Odd.
“Obviously, we’re disappointed with the outcome,” he said. “I will say, based on what we have read so far, there is no reason that this court ruling should have an impact on the ability of the administration to develop and implement the clean power plant [ruling].”
If the administration is prepared to ignore the Supreme Court ruling, then I assume the rest of us are free to ignore the other decisions that we aren’t that convinced were rightly decided.
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Energy, Law, Regulation | Tags: Enviromental Zealots, Michiga v EPA, Supreme Court
In the case of Michigan v. EPA, the Supreme Court addressed a matter that is genuinely outside of voter’s control, the way-too-rapid expansion of the regulatory state. The problems all began with the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. The problem seemed simple to Congress. We want clean air and clean water, and that’s what the EPA should be doing.
But the EPA is an agency filled with environmental activists and zealots, fully in line with Obama’s unwarranted belief in a dangerous global warming, and sure that the correct answer is to get rid of fossil fuels, carbon dioxide as a pollutant, and carbon in general. The answer is to force Americans to want to rely clean energy sources like solar and wind, with no understanding that solar and wind do not produce enough energy to be a significant source of power.
The EPA wants to force all coal-fired power plants to either shut down or do a lot or retrograding to eliminate any emissions from that nasty fossil fuel. Around 40 percent of our electricity is supplied by coal-fired power plants. The EPA’s new regulations would cost $9.6 billion annually, but the EPA claimed that it was appropriate to consider only public health risks. Well, nobody seems to know if there actually are any public health risks. They always put asthma at the top of their list of future childhood death, but the medical profession does not currently know what causes asthma, so that is a complete canard. By some estimates the cost of electricity would go up by as much as $1,200 per year for every American household.
The majority opinion, authored by Justice Antonin Scalia, found that the EPA “unreasonably” interpreted the Clean Air Act to constitute a vehicle by which the environmental regulatory agency could institute new guidelines that were all but overtly aimed at shuttering “dirty” power plants. “EPA strayed well beyond the bounds of reasonable interpretation in concluding that cost is not a factor relevant to the appropriateness of regulating power plants,” the opinion read. That’s significant; contrary to the wealth of shallow emotionality that suffices for modern political commentary, profits matter. Individual livelihoods and the economic health of the nation are still protected by the Constitution, and they should not be subordinated to environmental sustainability in the zero-sum game that has become America’s regulatory culture.
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Health Care, Junk Science, Regulation | Tags: Control v. Liberty, Organizing Doctors, Patient Consultations
Americans generally trust their doctors, so the White House wants these trusted medical professionals to help out in the administration’s propaganda campaign to convince the people to support Obama’s global warming campaign.
We also need doctors, nurses and citizens, like all of you”President Obama said in a taped speech presented to medical professionals gathered at the White House, “to get to work to raise awareness and organize folks for real change.
The EPA has long tried to cloak their power grab and excessive regulation under risible claims that carbon dioxide is a dangerous pollutant and must be eliminated. As Alan Carlin explained:
The much maligned carbon dioxide is not a pollutant, as EPA and Obama claim, but rather a basic input to plant photosynthesis and growth, which is the basis of life on Earth. Decreasing atmospheric CO2 levels would decrease plant productivity and therefore the food supply for the rest of the ecosystem and humans, and vice versa. Further, attempts to reduce it will prove enormously expensive, futile, harmful to human welfare, and in the longer run, to environmental improvement. It is now increasingly evident that efforts to reduce CO2 emissions by governmental coercion will have important non-environmental adverse effects in terms of loss of freedom of scientific inquiry, economic growth and development, and the rule of law.
Obama’s summit included the U.S. Surgeon General, top administration officials, and public health experts from around the country telling doctors nurses and other conference goers how to talk about global warming with their patients.
The central message: doctors should warn their patients that global warming could make their health worse. Uh huh.
As if doctors weren’t busy enough. The Surgeon General also wants them to ask their patients if they have any guns in the house. You’ve probably noticed that the inevitable paperwork you have to fill out is getting increasingly nosy. And with everything computerized, your entire medical record is open to any hacker who is interested.