American Elephants


Europe is Finished. Nothing can save it now. by The Elephant's Child

Child abuse. Sponsored by the government in the name of being nice.
There are two genders, and gender dysphoria is a mental problem, as is bodily dysphoria. It’s not science, but ideology.

How could any society get so weirdly and senselessly ideological? If it is this far advanced in Europe, it is undoubtedly underway here, more  than we think—or will be so shortly. And what does it mean that Europe is finished? I had assumed that the Islamization of Europe was well underway, that seems clear. Is this the future of mankind?

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How Does Your Food Grow? Take a Look! by The Elephant's Child

You probably never thought about how these foods grow, even if you are a gardener. Startling photographs. I was surprised, and you will be too. I will never look at cashew nuts quite the same way again.



And on the Environmental Front, They Want You to Shut Up. by The Elephant's Child

California City attorneys in San Francisco and Oakland (just across the bridge) have sued five oil companies, BP, Chevron, Conoco Phillips, Exxon Mobile, and Royal Dutch Shell. They are suing them under California law for being a public nuisance.

They filed two coordinated lawsuits on Tuesday—arguing that the courts should hold those companies responsible for climate change, and force them to financially compensate the cities for the harm the plaintiffs claim those companies are causing to the planet.

“For decades, Defendants have known that their fossil fuels pose risks of ‘severe’ and ‘catastrophic’ impacts on the global climate through the works and warnings of their own scientists or through their trade association.”

The climate cult believes. Those who are prospering from fostering panic about the threat to the planet have federal grants, new equipment for their labs, enhanced salaries, assistants, and the eager attention of reporters as well as a yearly trip to some resort for a big climate conference. This is very big business.

Also on Tuesday, Leonardo DiCaprio was speaking at the Yale Climate Conference, where he took to the podium to announce that:

We have watched as storms, wildfires, and droughts have worsened, and as extinctions have become increasingly frequent. And some of us have also listened as the scientific community sounded alarm bells about climate change as far back as the early 1990s.

That’s total bunk. Not a word is true.He added:

“Yet with all of this evidence – the independent scientific warnings, and the mounting economic price tag – there is still an astounding level of willful ignorance and inaction from the people who should be doing the most to protect us, and every other living thing on this planet.”

James Delingpole has great fun debunking the “predictable and scientifically illiterate eco tosh.”

Up North, they are playing around with a complaint filed by Ecojustice, accusing three groups: Friends of Science, the International Climate Science Coalition, and the Heartland Institute for making false and misleading claims about climate change, including that the sun is the main driver of climate change, not carbon dioxide, and that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.

When it launched its complaint in December, 2015, Ecojustice told the National Observer it would press the Commissioner of Competition to refer the matter to the Attorney-General of Canada for “criminal charges against the denier groups”.

There is a notable trend at the present to rush to the courts, and to attempt to tell those with whom we disagree to shut up. Movie people may feel very passionate about their personal beliefs, but that’s not science. It may be extremely annoying to have people claiming that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant and now that we’ve passed 400 ppm, we’re all going to die, but it’s worthwhile to pause and realize that greenhouses are often filled with air containing 1000 ppm of CO2, and the greenhouses are not filled with dead bodies of nurserymen, but happy plants.



The Eagle Creek Fire: 3,000 Acres Around This Beautiful Spot by The Elephant's Child

Please read this post by Alex Berezow, about the Eagle Creek fire in Oregon.This beautiful spot is Punch Bowl Falls. Just down the road, right along Interstate 84 is Multonomah Falls, a 620-foot waterfall, utterly beautiful. I’ve been there.

Both are in danger because of acts of pure stupidity and recklessness. The fire is about 7 percent contained and has burned over 3,000 acres because some teenagers shot off some fireworks. Six or more communities have been evacuated, some of the territory includes the watershed that is one of the main sources of water for the city of Portland.

Lots of evacuations, bad air quality for those with respiratory problems, closure of locks and Columbia river, many communities. Nice going teenagers. I hope they’re prosecuted. It will take years to recover.

UPDATE:  11% contained, burning 35,000 acres. Interstate 84 is closed in the Columbia River Gorge. The west lanes will be opened when it is safe. ODOT have already removed 1,500 trees that were posing a hazard to the Interstate highway, but nearly another 1,000 trees still need to be felled. A beautiful drive won’t be beautiful again for many, many years.



9/11 Hurricane Update by The Elephant's Child

Hurricane Irma is weakening and headed north and west through Alabama, and mopping up has started in Florida. About half of Florida has been reported to be without power, and may be for even weeks — an interesting development for those who depend on electric cars. Closed gas stations will be resupplied soon, but they did say the power may be out for weeks.

Puerto Rico was dealt only a glancing blow by Irma, and relieved Puerto Ricans are donating water, clothing, first aid and other supplies as they head off to St. Thomas where they weren’t so lucky. Government-led missions have also been evacuating people from the islands to Puerto Rico in six C130 aircraft. Some 1,200 American citizens have been carried from St. Martin and St. Thomas, and more than 50 patients have been airlifted to Puerto Rican hospitals. The civilian effort has been local, spontaneous and a volunteer affair. Hundreds of volunteers have packed shipping containers full of supplies. Power and phone service have left islanders disconnected from the rest of the world.

José seems to be still spinning around in circles.Vast warnings about the coast and possible landfall as far north as New York or New England, but it has weakened and isn’t going anywhere at the moment. I remain interested because it is all so foreign to me and I know so little about hurricanes.

Governors seem to have been very good at urging evacuation and safety. Human nature assures us that there will still be idiots out there wind surfing in the hurricane, or wandering out to look at the way the sea has withdrawn so far. There is some talk from officials about prosecuting those who abandoned their pets. Seattle Humane is receiving many dogs and cats from Florida.

 



A Hot Day in Puget Sound Country by The Elephant's Child
August 4, 2017, 10:34 pm
Filed under: Canada, Environment, News of the Weird | Tags: , ,

Hot today, 92º, and the air is foul with smoke from British Columbia forest fires. People in the Puget Sound region are unaccustomed to hot weather, though it happens for a week or so every year, and we complain and suffer immeasurably. My two cats are sprawled in front of the fans — I have 3 going, and it will apparently continue like this well into next week. The mountains and waterfalls and rushing streams are only a short drive away, or the ocean in the other direction, so relief is readily available. But we complain, loudly and at length.



The Interesting Relationship Between Online Business and American Retail Business. by The Elephant's Child

It’s pretty clear that online business is playing hob with retail in general. Retailers are hurting as consumers turn to online sources where they can get quick service, particularly from Amazon, and not have to go trailing through a mall to try to find what they need.

A story in the Wall Street Journal today exposes an uncomfortable relationship between the federal government and Amazon. “The U.S. Postal Service delivers Amazon’s boxes well below its own costs. Like an accelerant added to a fire, this subsidy is speeding up the collapse of traditional retailers in the U.S. and providing an unfair advantage for Amazon.”

This arrangement is an underappreciated accident of history. The post office has long had a legal monopoly to deliver first-class mail, or nonurgent letters. The exclusivity comes with a universal-service obligation—to provide for all Americans at uniform price and quality. This communication service helps knit this vast country together, and it’s the why the Postal Service exists.

But people went online too, and first class mail is down some 40% from its peak. I contact many friends by email now, rather than writing a letter, and you probably do too. The post office still visits each mailbox each day, but there’s less traditional mail, so the service has filled its spare capacity by delivering more boxes. But when the post office delivers 10 letters and one box and a passel of junk mail to one mailbox how do they allocate the cost of the postal worker, the truck, and the network and systems that support the postal worker?

In 2007 the Postal Service and its regulator determined that, at a minimum, 5.5% of the agency’s fixed costs must be allocated to packages and similar products. A decade later, around 25% of its revenue comes from packages, but their share of fixed costs has not kept pace. First-class mail effectively subsidizes the national network, and the packages get a free ride. An April analysis from Citigroup estimates that if costs were fairly allocated, on average parcels would cost $1.46 more to deliver. It is as if every Amazon box comes with a dollar or two stapled to the packing slip—a gift card from Uncle Sam.

Amazon is big enough to take full advantage of “postal injection,” and that has tipped the scales in the internet giant’s favor. Select high-volume shippers are able to drop off presorted packages at the local Postal Service depot for “last mile” delivery at cut-rate prices. With high volumes and warehouses near the local depots, Amazon enjoys low rates unavailable to its competitors. My analysis of available data suggests that around two-thirds of Amazon’s domestic deliveries are made by the Postal Service. It’s as if Amazon gets a subsidized space on every mail truck.

I don’t know which stores will be gone in a few years, or if they will survive. Right now, it’s clear that retail is hurting, and some retailers are in trouble. Will our malls survive? The federal government has”had its thumb on the competitive scale for far too long.” They need to stop picking winners and losers. I believe that the country will be better off if online and retail  compete and continue to survive.

I don’t know if the retail problems cover all kinds of goods or just some. Are Home Depot and Best Buy as much affected as say, Nordstrom and J.C. Penney? I need more evidence. Amazon just bought Whole Foods, in anticipation of making a big push for the grocery business, but Amazon is planning to build stores, where everything you select is tallied up automatically on your card as you take it off the shelf. We tried Amazon’s online groceries when too sick to get to the store, and it was prompt and  good service. Someone remarked that they saved money because they weren’t tempted with impulse items online. I prefer to go to the store.

The Government is subsidizing Elon Musk as he has fun with new engineering ideas, but Tesla is running into major problems, and solar is turning out to be a flop, just as his first experiments with this big vacuum tube thing for moving people has had it’s first success in a miniature version. All very interesting, but I don’t understand why he gets government subsidies. One might assume that we got an early lesson with Solyndra.

 




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