American Elephants


The Climate Has Been Changing for Millions of Years by The Elephant's Child

On the 75th anniversary of D-Day, Elizabeth Warren announced that Climate Change is “A Bigger Threat Than World War II”, and launched a Two Trillion “infrastructure investment plan” to address the threat of climate change, which she claims is a bigger threat to the American way of life than the enemies the Allied forces faced in World War II. The climate crisis in this country is a threat to the very existence of every living thing on this planet.

Not to be outdone in the climate panic department, our very own governor, Jay Inslee, who is running for the presidency on a climate based campaign in which the American people have showed no interest whatsoever, told an NBC News correspondent that President Trump’s stance on global warming is “treason.”

Something that is becoming increasingly obvious about Democrats is that they simply do not do their homework. It is remarkably obvious as well in the other 23 declared candidates for the presidency. They open their mouths and say something that should disqualify them from not only the presidency, but from whatever office they currently hold. Before you start spouting about existential threats to all life on the planet, you should have actually looked into the science. You could start with Dr. Roy Spencer and Dr.Tom Christy who measure the temperatures of the Earth for NASA at the University of Alabama at Huntsville.

The climate of the earth has been warming and cooling for millions of years. When the current interest fading into panic first reared it’s ugly head, all sorts of grants became available to anyone who could write a good grant proposal. Science departments in many universities felt that they could accomplish something with more powerful computers and the program used by financial people to forecast what the markets would do. Trouble was there were all sorts of unanswered questions out there, like the part played by clouds. They entered what they knew for sure, which was not all that much, and then their best guesses, and a few wild ones, and so we arrived at the current state of affairs.

Thing is, the planet is actually cooling, not warming. Glaciers are not melting, they are growing. Glacier National Park has quietly removed the signs “Gone by 2020” after the glaciers just kept on not being gone, but actually growing. The increased CO² in the atmosphere is greening the earth, since carbon dioxide, which we exhale, is a natural fertilizer for plants.The increased greening is visible from space.

The major greenhouse gas (95%) of the atmosphere is not Carbon Dioxide (CO²) but water vapor. (Clouds) According to Dr. Tim Ball, the next most important greenhouse gas of relevance is methane CH4, but it is only 0.000175 percent of atmospheric gases and 0.036 percent or all greenhouse gases. Water vapor is 95% of the atmosphere by volume, and is by far the most abundant and important greenhouse gas. And we just don’t understand clouds at all.

Surely when you were a kid, at some point you lay out on the lawn on a nice summer day to just watch the clouds drifting across the sky. If the action of clouds is a major determinant of climate, how do you measure that? Sometimes there are layers of clouds, each layer going in different directions. Sometimes there are lovely white clouds in front, and off in the distance big black thunderclouds, everything moving.

Then there is Christiana Figueres. She was the general secretary of the IPPC who admitted in a press conference that the goal of environmental activists was not to save the world from ecological calamity — but to destroy Capitalism.

“This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution,” she said.

There are numbers of others in the climate field who have made similar admissions. There are innumerable books on climate and the error of climate panic, from Britain, Australia, Canada and the U.S. There’s a wide range of websites devoted to climate, I’ve listed just a few in the sidebar.

*The photo is looking due north. If you head over to the snowy peak and jump off towards the North, you will be where I grew up. This mountain is the northernmost anchor of the West range of mountains in Idaho. Nice country.



They Had an Election in Europe by The Elephant's Child

If you find the results of the European elections somewhat confusing, welcome to the club. John O’Sullivan has a clarifying article at National Review entitled “Understanding the Results of the European Parliamentary Elections.”

Britain’s Theresa May has agreed to resign. Germany’s Angela Merkel has “un-resigned” as she was dissatisfied with whoever was to replace her. The elections were for members of the European parliament, not heads of state, yet several have lost, all very confusing. Hungary’s Victor Orban’s party got 51% of the vote, so his refusal to admit migrants has met with approval. Greens did well, and Greta Thunberg, the Swedish 16 year-old who says she can see the molecules of CO² in the air, and led the skip school movement because of climate change, has been awarded a Doctorate by some Swedish university. As you can see, it is indeed very confusing. You will find John O’Sullivan helpful.

The general idea seems to be that the ordinary people of Europe are fairly fed up with the high-handed treatment they are getting from Brussels. The migrants, welcomed by Brussels, are not fitting in well, stabbings and rape, violence and no-go zones are not working out well, and while they like the freedom to move between countries, Brussels is getting way too heavy-handed. But that’s just my impression. Pay no attention to me whatsoever. You will find John O’Sullivan helpful.

Addendum: Angela Merkel spoke out today saying that she didn’t “un-resign” or didn’t mean to or was misunderstood, or something or other. Politics and the press.



An Odd Exploration of American History and Folkways by The Elephant's Child

I woke up this morning with a nonsense song my father used to sing to me when I was very little, in my head, and tried to write it down. Then I decided to try to search to see if it was a popular song of his day, or a children’s song from his childhood., or indeed, if anything at all would result from a search, after all, this is the computer age!

Here’s what I wrote down, deeply imprinted in my head after all these years, and don’t ask how many.

Shoo, shoo, shoo went the Roo,
Shoo went the Rocklechockle,
Chittle went the Choo,
Crosskey a Vanjo, Faddle Daddle Day,
Cajittle went the Banyan Slando.

We went up on yonder hill,
There we sat and cried our fill.
Cried enough tears to fill a water bill,
Cajittle went the Banyan Slando.

I found first:“Mia’s Bicultural Bedtime:

She comented: “I learned this song from my own mother. One of the few early memories I have is of her singing this to me at night time.”
The “Johnny’s gone for a soldier” line suggests the Civil War, but…

John Cowan wrote on Yahoo in 2003:
I got curious about a song half-remembered from my childhood and spent a few hours tracking it down. It makes a marvelous example of the folk process at work, as well as what happens to Irish when the Americans (even those of Irish or Scots-Irish descent) get hold of it.
The original song is “Shule Aroon”, and the first verse and chorus look like this (old orthography):

I would I were on yonder hill
‘Tis there I’d sit and cry my fill,
And every tear would turn a mill,
Is go dtëidh, a mhuirmin,slán!

Slubhail, slubhail, slubhail, a rúin!
Slubhail go socair, agus slubhll go cluin,
Slubhail go dti an dorus agus euligh liom,
ls go dtéidh tú, a mhuimin, slán!

On arrival in the colonies, the song split into two versions. The better- known one shed its Irish altogether, aquired a Revolutionary War motif and became:

Here I sit on Buttermilk Hill,
Who should blame me cry my fill?
And every tear would work a mill,
Johnny has gone for a soldier.

Buttermilk Hill is in Westchester Couty, New York; supposedly dairy
cattle were hidden there during the Revolution to protect them from
raiders from either side. The tune changed too, but all versions can be
sung to all tunes, so I ignore this.

But in the southern U.S., where there were lots of Irish and Scots-Irish
people, the Irish was retained in singing, but its meaning was forgotten and its phonetics garbled. This version was collected in Arkansas in 1958, when I was busily being born.

Well I wish I was on yonders hill
There I’d set and cry my fill
Every drop would turn a mill
Ish come bibble ahly-boo-so-real.

Shule-shule-shule–roo
Shule-like-sharus-spilly-bolly-qule
First time I saw spilly-bolly-eel
Ish come bibble in the boo-shy-laurie.

Not too much later, I learned the “Buttermilk Hill” version but with the following chorus:

Shool, shool, shool a rool,
Shool a rack-a-shack, shool-a-barbecue,
When I saw my Sally-baba-yeel,
Come bibble in the boo-shy laurie.

And so over the past 200+ years, Irish has turned slowly to complete
gibberish…Ghu only knows what will happen to the song if Americans
keep singing it for the next 200 years.

My version (complete gibberish) but recognizable with the crying-on-a- hill part, came from the South Carolina Scots-Irish who arrived shortly before the Revolution, and my father’s father was descended from that group. My father came from Pennsylvania. The song was unknown to my mother whose people were very early New England.

I don’t know if you find the folkways interesting, but perhaps there’s someone out there with another version. Of course early Americana is beyond out-of-fashion currently, evil, white people invaded a peaceful paradise, displaced and destroyed the gentle indigenous peoples, and if we just tear down all remnants of the founding….

It would probably help a lot more if our schools did a decent job of teaching American history. The current crop of aspiring candidates for the presidency, and the new young representatives in Congress make it clear that there is something deeply wanting in the history department.



So Democrats Are Now the Socialist Party? by The Elephant's Child

Bill Maher is sometimes a gift to the national conversation:

The right, he said, has a hard time understanding the concept that we don’t want “long lines for bread” socialism. We want “you don’t have to win the Lotto to afford brain surgery” socialism. Happiness isn’t only about what you have, it’s also what you don’t have to worry about. Turns out freedom from the fear of ending up in a tent under the overpass is a really great freedom. It’s called peace of mind – let’s call it Capitalism Plus.

That’s very clever, but that’s not how it works. We start telling people early on, that you have to study in school in order to know the stuff that helps you to get a good paying job. And you have to save your money so you can buy insurance that will save you from those big worries. We tell people to stay off drugs, and if you must drink, do so moderately so you won’t end up in a tent under an overpass. We have lots of good advice designed to help you live a good life, but not everybody pays attention. And even some people who do pay attention don’t do what’s recommended. It’s called human nature.

Socialism promises freedom from want and freedom from fear, but those things cost money. If you think you want socialism, you either have to want someone else to pay for your needs, and pay for keeping you from being afraid or – you have to be willing to pay for your own freedom from want, and also for someone else’s freedom, perhaps not just one someone, but perhaps many people’s freedom. When Mr. Maher mentions brain surgery, it’s a reminder that health care is one of the biggest worries for everyone.

Because so many people don’t save enough to pay for their own healthcare needs, employers have been offering to help you by paying for your care, and paying you somewhat less than they otherwise might have. They call it a benefit, but you lose it if you quit or get fired, so you are back to ground zero. There are also limits. If a business does not make a profit, they go out of business.  A strange concept for Lefties who think profit is a bad thing.

Socialism is about getting other people to pay for what you want or need. There are not a lot of people around who want to pay for everybody else, so the government has to force them to do so. People get sick, there are epidemics, lots of measels brought over the border with the caravans of illegals. Everybody gets old, and the greatest cost of health care is for the old in their final years.

In England the NHS sometimes keeps their patients in ambulances longer so they don’t have to process them. Euthanisia is becoming more common in Europe. Active voluntary euthanisia is legal in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Passive voluntary euthanisia is legal throughout the U.S.

The Democrats have refused to pay for keeping babies born alive after an attempted abortion – alive. There’s all the furor about a woman’s right to choose, which doesn’t have all that much to do with the surviving baby.

At some point, they will stop resuscitating old folks, offering less care, less food and water. Old folks are expensive, and there are or will be limits. They are at that point in Britain where the care drops off with the socialized medicine of the National Health Service, and old people get dehydrated, and the bed sheets don’t get changed. In the case of Venezuela, the ultimate bad example of socialism, there is no medicine, the lights may or may not work, and the Cuban doctors probably have gone on home.

You may want “Capitalism Plus Socialism,” but what you get is “long lines for bread Socialism.” Guaranteed. Never fails.

ADDENDUM:
In today’s news, from the Strait’s Times in Singapore’s London Bureau:

– Thousands of elderly people in Britain are left to go blind because of rationing of eye surgery in the National Health Service (NHS), a report revealed on Saturday (April 6).

The Times newspaper said a survey by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists (RCO) found tens of thousands of elderly people are left struggling to see because of an NHS cost-cutting drive that relies on them dying before they can qualify for cataract surgery.

The survey has found that the NHS has ignored instructions to end cataract treatment rationing in defiance of official guidance two years ago.

The RCO said its survey has found 62 per cent of eye units retain policies that require people’s vision to have deteriorated below a certain point before surgery is funded.

This has been an ongoing situation with Britain’s National Health Service for some time. Elderly people with cataracts have been placed on waiting lists, and policies require that their vision has deteriorated  drastically before they can even be considered for surgery.  The problem is a NHS cost-cutting drive that relies on many dying before they get surgery. NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) said there was no justification for policies that required people’s vision to reach the point where they can hardly see before surgery is funded.

Welcome to government-run socialized medicine. If you assume that Washington bureaucrats are better suited to make decisions about what care you can have than your own doctor and hospital, this is the inevitable result of government care. Or did you think that all the veterans complaining about the VA were just a bunch of whiners?

ADDENDUM II: (from instapundit)
EVERYONE IS CONSERVATIVE ABOUT WHAT HE KNOWS BEST, EVEN MICK JAGGER. “We keep hearing about long delays and antiquated care in the National Health Service, and here Jagger is able to get cutting-edge surgery in a matter of days! Oops, never mind. Jagger flew to New York for the operation, a fact that his press representatives don’t seem eager to emphasize.”



A Cheerful Song About BREXIT : Shall We Stay or Shall We Go?? by The Elephant's Child

If you re offended by a little vulgarity (the F-word) nevermind. If not, this is great fun. Pure English Music Hall, I think though I’ve never been in one.



Saving Endangered Species in the World’s Zoos by The Elephant's Child

This is the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s little “Peanut”. He (or she) is  a Tamandua, who was born December 20, 2018. His name is “Mani” which means peanut. The Tamanduas are also called “lesser anteaters.” They have long snouts to sniff out ant, termite and bee colonies. Long claws enable it to dig into nests and a long sticky tongue lets it lick up the insects.  A single Tamandua can eat up to 9,000 ants in a single day! They are native to Spanish speaking countries. They didn’t say how they provide that many ants.

Here’s a wonderful website for days when you are finding the news too depressing. http://www.zooborns.com. Zoos around the world are engaged in helping to preserve endangered species. The website shows off the babies, and often their parent as well. Great fun, cute babies, and you are introduced to all sorts of animals and birds that are new to you. Fun site to prowl around. Enjoy.



Beware the Snake Oil Salesmen! by The Elephant's Child

This post was originally written on March 8, 2011.

It’s hard to visualize just how big these things are.  In Europe, and I don’t know the location, adventurous souls are climbing turbines and jumping off with parachutes (parafoils?).

When those who are pushing for more wind farms talk about “capacity” they are talking about the amount of energy that could be produced if the wind was blowing at a constant speed of about 30 mph.

The problem with wind is not the turbines, the problem is the nature of wind. It is intermittent. It blows in puffs and gusts, in gales, zephyrs, breezes, squalls or not at all, and there may be no wind for days. In a gale, the turbines may have to shut down to avoid damage.  Each turbine requires 24/7  backup for the times when the wind does not blow, or does not blow strongly enough, or too strongly.  The usual backup power plant is fired with natural gas, but power plants are not meant to cycle on and off so frequently to compensate for intermittent wind. You can build bigger and better turbines, but it won’t solve the problem of intermittent and unpredictable wind.

Europe has been far ahead of us in falling for the promise of wind energy. They fell for the global warming fraud with a greater degree of panic, and for the promise of “green energy” and “green jobs.” That did not work out well.  Britain, however, had long-standing power plants that needed replacement and were required to be shut down at a certain point. Enthusiasm for green energy and EU imposed greenhouse gas targets have created enormous problems for the British people.

“Electricity consumers in the United Kingdom will need to get used to flicking the switch and finding the power unavailable” according to Steve Holliday, CEO of National Grid, the country’s grid operator. “The grid is going to be a very different system in 2020, 2030.  We keep thinking that we want it to be there and provide power when we need it.  It’s going to be much smarter than that.”

“We are going to change our own behavior and consume it when it is available and available cheaply.”

Holliday says that blackouts may be a feature of power systems that replace reliable coal plants with wind turbines to meet greenhouse gas targets.  Have to do it, but it will mean lifestyle changes.  Maybe they should get the EU to bag the “greenhouse” nonsense, instead.  Britain had a higher number of deaths from the cold this year and more energy poverty.

Under the so-called “smart grid” that the UK is developing, the government-regulated utility will be able to decide when and where power should be delivered, to ensure that it meets the highest social purpose.

The government might decide that the needs of some industries take precedence over others, or that the needs of industry might trump that of residential consumers. Government would also be able to price power prohibitively if it is used for non-essential purposes.  Smart grids are being developed by utilities worldwide to allow the government to control electricity use in the home, down to the individual appliance, and be capable of turning them off if the power is needed elsewhere.

So Britain’s wind farms aren’t having back-up power plants?  I can think of a few objections.  You cannot predict when the wind will blow.  Mr. Dalrymple requires a 3 hour surgery for some major repairs — how do you schedule the operation?  A manufacturing plant has machines that must run all day — processes can’t simply be suddenly halted. Long periods without wind often come during especially cold periods.  It doesn’t matter how “smart” your grid might be if whether or not power is produced at all is completely unpredictable.

We must take Britain seriously. Their long romance with the welfare state provides us with vast evidence of what not to do.  Their National Health Service is a growing disaster, and they are trying to save it with major reform that returns authority to doctors and patients. Their welfare state has created a permanent underclass. And their belief in the fraud of global warming is leading them to another disaster. We must pay attention to the evidence.




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