American Elephants


Where Does Our Energy Come From? by The Elephant's Child

Coal is the most-used electricity generation source in 18 states; natural gas in 16, hydro, nuclear, petroleum — Wind? Solar?

EIA

From the U.S. Energy Information  Administration and WattsUpWithThat

Electricity generators that use fossil fuels continue to be the most common sources of electricity generation in most states. In all but 15 states, coal, natural gas, or petroleum liquids were the most-used electricity generation fuel in 2017. Since 2007, the number of states where coal was the most prevalent electricity generation fuel has fallen as natural gas, nuclear, and hydroelectricity have gained market share.

In 2017, coal provided the largest generation share in 18 states, down from 28 states in 2007. Natural gas had the largest share in 16 states, up from 11 in 2007. Petroleum remained the largest generation share in only one state—Hawaii—providing 62% of the state’s electricity generation in 2017. For the United States as a whole, natural gas provided 32% of total electricity generation in 2017, slightly higher than coal’s 30% share.

Beyond fossil fuels, nuclear power plants provided the largest electricity share in nine states, up from six in 2007. Hydroelectricity is the most prevalent electricity generation source in six states, up from four in 2007. Hydro is the only renewable energy source with the largest share in any state, but that may soon change with the continued addition of wind turbines in states such as Kansas and Iowa.

Even though coal’s lead has been cut from 17 to 2 States since 2007, it’s still in first place. Numbers in parentheses reflect the change since 2007.

•Coal: 18 (-10)
•Natural Gas: 16 (+5)
•Nuclear: 9 (+3)
•Hydroelectric: 6 (+2)
•Petroleum: 1 (0)

Neither wind nor solar are capable of providing the energy needed by a state and all of its communities and industries. I haven’t yet been able to find an answer to the question of electric cars. If all vehicles were required to run on electricity, could our grid produce the needed energy? I suspect not., but I simply do not know. If, as we are told, it would be easy for foreign hackers to hack into our grid, could they just shut down — everything?

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Governor Jerry Brown Had a Big Climate Event! by The Elephant's Child

California Governor Jerry Brown has announced that California will launch it’s very “own damn climate satellite” into orbit to battle climate change. State officials will work with San Francisco-based company Planet Labs to develop a satellite to track climate-change causing pollutants. “With science still under attack and the climate threat growing, we’re launching our own damn satellite,” he said. Radical Climatistas jetted in to San Francisco in their private jets for the 3-Day Big Climate Conference, where Brown announced his next big thing.

The Democrat governor, who is leaving office at the end of the year, did not announce a launch date or divulge a cost estimate.

Before Brown’s announcement, two prominent Democrats and a Republican mayor criticized Trump for his decision to withdraw the United States from the landmark Paris climate accord.

“While Donald Trump may have pulled out of the climate agreement, the American people have not,” former Secretary of State John Kerry said, opening the second day of the Global Climate Action Summit.

Kerry, also a Democrat, called Trump’s decision “the single greatest act of irresponsibility of any president of the United States at any time.”

Trump announced in June 2017 the United States’ intention to pull out of the international agreement, which Kerry signed while serving as President Barack Obama’s secretary of state. The 195 countries that signed the treaty agreed to commit resources to combating climate change.

Former Vice-President Al Gore followed Kerry to speak, and said that it’s difficult to deny than climate change is causing more severe weather but that “It’s a little harder to deny the 3,000 deaths from the hurricane in Puerto Rico.”

Governor Brown  has signed into law one of the most radical pieces of climate legislation ever, as SB-100, it commits the state of California to produce all of its electricity from alternative sources by 2040, which will happen only with a major scientific advance. Wind and solar cannot possibly support the state’s energy needs, so with current technology that means building a lot more nuclear plants in an earthquake-prone state. The result will be soaring energy costs, increasing poverty in a state that already has the highest poverty rate in the nation, and lower living standards for all. The state is home to a third of all the U.S. welfare recipients, with the most billionaires.

People are moving out of California in droves, a net 140,000 per year are heading for other states, half of them middle class or higher, and of child-bearing age. California seems to be home to large numbers of scientific illiterates. I don’t really understand all these people who do not do their homework. If someone tells you the earth is ending or the sky is falling it would seem to be a good idea to find out if it is actually true.

Harrison Ford was one of the Hollywood types who jetted up to be a part of Governor Brown’s 3-day whoop-de-do in San Francisco for far-left climatistas.

“While you work to meet the challenge of climate change, I beg of you—don’t forget nature. Because today, the destruction of nature accounts for more global emissions than all the cars and trucks in the world.”

“We face an unprecedented moment in this country. Today’s greatest threat is not climate change, not pollution, not flood or fire. It’s that we’ve got people in charge of important shit who don’t believe in science.”

Harrison Ford also castigated politicians like Trump, whose “political or economic self-interest denigrate or belittle sound scientific understanding of the causes and effects of human pressure on the environment.”

I wonder what he has in mind as the “destruction of nature” when the Earth is greening and food crops and forests alike are growing vigorously because of the slight amount of greater CO² in the atmosphere. And where does he get his loony ideas about climate? He clearly does not keep up with the science. He’s responding to climate propaganda without ever questioning it. along with Al Gore and Leo Di Caprio.

There’s no end to the catastrophe that our media has in for us as the result of climate change. Did you realize that climate change is threatening the world’s supply of coffee beans? Conditions for growing coffee would no longer be suitable, and plagues and pestilences will destroy the crops.  You’d have to change to tea.  And look what the media claimed!



Fake News, Real News, and “Opinion” But What IS Opinion? by The Elephant's Child

The rise of opinion is one of the more striking success stories in the history of ideas. “Opinion” is the name for a belief or conclusion held with confidence but not necessarily substantiated by positive knowledge or proof. Opinions, then are distinguished by the strength with which they are held rather than by the authenticity with which their conclusions are demonstrable. …

In the beginning, “opinion” was a synonym for uncertainty—for a notion grounded in personal preference (rather than fact), and hence was thought likely to be the pathway to error. …

When Opinion went public, there was a crucial change in the prestige of all opinions. An individual’s opinion, naturally enough seemed flimsy and unreliable. For it has all the fallibility of that particular person, and was obviously tainted by that person’s ignorance or prejudice. “Public” Opinion, however had quite a different character, being the opinion of nobody in particular, but of everybody in general, its weaknesses were hard to define and its strength was enveloped in an aura of group wisdom. Did it not include the reasoned conclusions of the learned along with the commonsense intuitions of the untutored? Might it not hold the best of all realms of thought or feeling? …

By the late twentieth century there had come into being in the United States something which I will call “Big Opinion.” Just as large-scale organization, concentration of capital, and new technologies brought into being “Big Science,” so it was with the machinery of making, forming, shaping, testing, assessing, and organizing opinion. A whole new technology of polling and sampling became the basis of  prosperous industry. Opinion pollsters formed themselves into professional societies, they produced learned journals, and trade journals. At the same time the new professions of advertising and public relations (drawing every day on the products of this new industry) enlisted some of the best-educated, brightest, and most sophisticated minds in the nation. When opinion measuring and opinion making had become  big business, the power and prestige of Public Opinion had reached a new stage.

These are selected excerpts from the chapter titled “How Opinion Went Public,” in a book called “Democracy and Its Discontents” Reflections on Everyday America” by Daniel J. Boorstin (October 1, 1914 – February 28, 2004) who was an historian at the University of Chicago, and was appointed the twelfth Librarian of the United States Congress in 1975, and served until 1987. He has written many wonderful books, I especially liked three volumes titled “The Americans:” The Americans: The Colonial Experience, The Americans: The National Experience, and The Americans: The Democratic Experience. Look for him at the Library.



The Creepy Line — The Movie by The Elephant's Child

The Creepy Line is a documentary that reveals the stunning degree to which society is manipulated by Google and Facebook and YouTube, and blows the lid off the remarkably subtle –hence powerful– manner in which they do it.

The Creepy Line is a title taken from the words of former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, when during a 2010 interview he explained Google’s code of conduct: “The Google policy on a lot of things is to get right up to the creepy line and not cross it.”

However, as Dr. Robert Epstein explains in the film, “Google crosses the creepy line every day.” Containing interviews with Jordan B. Peterson, Peter Schweizer, and others, The Creepy Line offers an explosive look at the meddling and intervening done by Google and Facebook on their supposedly “neutral platforms.” The Creepy Line takes the conversation about data privacy and control further than ever before by examining what Google and Facebook do once they control a user’s data. Offering first-hand accounts, scientific experiments and detailed analysis, The Creepy Line examines what is at risk when these two tech titans have free reign to utilize the public’s most private and personal data.



We Know the Economy is Growing: Here’s the Proof by The Elephant's Child

The U.S. Census Bureau’s annual report on U.S. Income was released on Wednesday, and it underscores how the Obama administration’s policies of redistribution retarded growth for years. From the Wall Street Journal:

Real median household incomes ticked up 1.8% to $61,372 between 2016 and 2017 while the poverty rate dropped 0.4 percentage points to 12.3 % according to the Census Bureau. Income gains were strongest among Hispanic households (3.7%). The poverty rates for blacks and Hispanics fell to 21.2% and 18.3% respectively, the lowest since at least 1972.

Incomes increased across the distribution range with the share of people earning less than $15,000 declining 0.3 percentage points to 10.7, the lowest level since 2007. The proportion of households earning more than $150.000 increased by 0.7 percentage points to 14.7%.

Investment earnings have driven up incomes at the higher level. At lower levels the income growth appears to be due to more people working more. Last year the number of people with employment earnings rose by 1.7 million last year, the numbers of people working full-time and year-round grew 2.4 million. This has lifted nearly one million people out of poverty in 2017.

Former president Obama tried to take credit for the surge of good news, but the slower growth over the past 8 years has meant that lower-skilled people who were working part time have moved to full time jobs, though that has slightly depressed the statistical growth in median earnings for full-time workers. Employers are scrounging for workers with job openings hitting a record high of 6.9 million in July.

Democrats are always sure that economic growth is simply the rich growing richer, for they assume that is who gets the tax cuts. They are sure that more direction from those in charge, and more regulation will help business to grow. But freedom is always the spark. The people who have built a business and grown it, know what they need, and a little more freedom to keep a little more of their own money usually means they invest it where it will do the most good.

That suggests that perhaps the bureaucrats in D.C. don’t really know more about running a business than the deplorable folk out there actually doing it. The small businessmen of America are not the ones getting in trouble for improperly using campaign funds on vacation travel.

Then I ran onto this article about Hillary’s five point plan to “build an economy that works for everyone.” It’s an excellent run-down of all the reasons we didn’t vote for Hillary.

A 100-days jobs plan: Break through Washington gridlock to make the boldest investment in good-paying jobs since World War II. Hillary will fight to pass a plan in her first 100 days in office to invest in infrastructure, manufacturing, research and technology, clean energy, and small businesses. She will strengthen trade enforcement, and she’ll say no to trade deals like TPP that don’t meet a high enough bar of creating good-paying jobs. And she will make the U.S. the clean energy superpower of the world—with half a billion solar panels installed by the end of her first term and enough clean, renewable energy to power every home in America within 10 years of her taking office.

There’s more wonderfulness, do read the whole thing. Its an excellent summary of why Democrats just don’t understand free market economics.



The Feel Good Story of the Week by The Elephant's Child

Obama never understood economics. He was sure that adding more government jobs helped the economy because more people were working. He added over 105 new federal regulations+ 46 billion in costs, and it took all those new government jobs to enforce and administer the regulations.

So the feel good story of the week is simply not anything he would understand. Steven Hayward was going to suggest that the best news was that the ratings for CNN have fallen more than 20 percent over the past year, and have continued to fall over the summer so it now ranks behind the Discovery Channel and HGTV. But here’s the real good news:

EPA lost more than 1,500 workers in first 18 months of Trump administration: report

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reportedly lost 8 percent of its staff in the first 18 months of President Trump‘s administration due to high numbers of departing staffers and a low number of new hires.

The Washington Post reported Saturday that nearly 1,600 workers left the EPA during that time, while fewer than 400 were hired. The agency’s employment has shrunk to its lowest levels since the Reagan administration, the Post noted.

Overall U.S. nonfarm payroll employment went up by 201,000 in August, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, government employment fell by 3,000, to 22.3 million. That’s governments across the country, not just the federal government.

The regulations imposed by the Obama administration meant often huge costs to the industries upon which they were imposed. Just the simple requirement that fast food restaurants list the calories of the ingredients in their offerings has meant redoing the big signs behind the counter or changing their methods so that people order from paper menus. And think of all the ingredients in the selection of pizzas at your friendly neighborhood pizza parlor. Regulations cost a business a lot, and many sound helpful, but in the real world are not. Anyone ordering a hamburger and fries is there because they want a hamburger and fries. They know it’s a lot of calories, but they don’t care—that’s why they are there.



Exposing Another Obama Administration Sneaky Deal ! by The Elephant's Child

These Prager University videos are so helpful in explaining some of the things we’re too lazy to look up, or find too confusing. Consider a donation to help them keep going.

If you remember, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai received death threats and threats to his family over dumping “net neutrality” which intensified after the FCC voted to repeal it. A 33 year-old Norwalk, California man was arrested. The affidavit reads:

Man is being charged with threatening to murder a family member of an acting US official with the intent of interfering with said official’s job performance and duties, or threatening to retaliative against a US official for their specific job performance. The charge carries a maximum of 10 years in prison.

You have to wonder what all the protestors, let alone this one, could have been thinking. What did they think the FCC was doing?




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