American Elephants


Sixteen Year Old Greta Thunberg Has Arrived in America to Address the UN on the Horrors of Climate Change by The Elephant's Child

Democrats have, in the modern era, always insisted that Republicans, those backwoods folk who live in the hollows of  Arkansas, or the woods of Idaho, are racists or Nazis, or whatever boogie-man they can devise. Democrats are destined to be in charge of the important things, like the country, [and major cities like New York, Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle] simply because they are morally superior.

Democrat-run cities don’t hold out a lot of promise for allowing them to be in charge of much of anything. You should probably keep that in mind when you vote. That said, they are now down to 10 Democrat candidates for the next debate, and there will be only one, not two.

Our governor, Jay Inslee, has dropped out. His campaign was entirely about Climate. But ordinary people are not convinced. He is clearly a true believer, and it is looking as if our state is going to go entirely to renewable resources for energy. Wind and solar, which do not produce dependable power, and Washington state still has renewable hydropower, though we’ve pretty much run out of places to dam. Look for regular blackouts.

We apparently do not need facts in order to be concerned about climate. There’s a worldwide outcry and those most passionate fight to see just how many years we have left. I suspect that few have ever studied up to see what the cries of Climate Change are all about.  And as they cry passionately that we have only 12 years left, their information is as ephemeral as 16 year old Greta Thunberg’s insistence that she can (in complete refutation of science) see the molecules of CO² in the air. A little child will lead us, I guess. She has arrived by sailboat in  America to address the United Nations.

I am concerned with the amount of nonsense out there. I think that our reliance on computers has us accustomed us to too much news in snips and bits. The long reads of background and history and development get passed by, and our understanding because of that lack, is even more incomplete. When there are voices shouting Climate panic and suggesting that the earth is going to end in a very few years, there are lots of people who will take that as fact, and order their lives accordingly, without ever studying up.

It is quite possible to determine who are the experts and who are the phonies, and what is established and what is simply fashionable conversation. Whenever there is a Climate demonstration, there’s usually someone in a polar bear costume to elicit pity and warm feelings, but the polar bears are just fine and multiplying nicely according to Susan Crockford who is the expert on polar bears. But that is how it works today



The Hottest July on Record? Not So Fast! by The Elephant's Child

When President Trump complained about “Fake News” the media, en masse, had a hissy-fit. How Dare He!! In the interest of the “Climate Crisis” the media has been touting “The Hottest July on Record.” File that one along with the Amazon Rainforest burning up.

When climate happens to you, it seems like the worst one ever. If you sweltered in New York this July, I’m sure it felt like the hottest ever, but the statistics don’t support your feelings. There’s some pretty impressive graph work here. And graphs are another one of those things that seem to get too complicated for us poor mortals. You have to spend a little time to really absorb what they are saying.  The hottest was way back in 1936. 2019 wasn’t even in the running. Fake news indeed!



Words, Words, Words, But Does Anyone Really Read Anymore? by The Elephant's Child

The conversation out there has become quite impossible. Rude, insulting, partisan, phony, uncivil. How did we get here? Everyone seems to be playing the old “can you top this” game. Can insults become offensive enough? Some were suggesting that it was a matter of attention. People just weren’t paying enough attention, and they didn’t understand what was really going on. I’m not convinced. But it started me off on a slightly different track.

I have been noticing that people don’t seem to read anything much – in depth. Snippets here and there. A few lines, and decide it’s not interesting enough. A headline here, a picture caption there and on to something else. Reading is complicated, much of the writing is lightweight. The internet world flashes words. A serious passage is interrupted with ads and pictures, The worst is a ad with a picture that is moving right in the middle of something that promised to be rewarding. Your concentration is always broken. Words and voices are competing constantly for your attention. While you are trying to read a short paragraph, a message appears about your incoming mail, and are you listening to the radio while you read? As you surf the web, are you actually learning anything at all? What do you do with longer pieces that promise to offer something worthwhile? Do you read it immediately to see if it is worth saving or just save it, and forget to read it later?

Think back to earlier days when new information was not so easily obtained. When there were town criers, when the telegraph finally crossed the continent. When books were scarce, and information only arrived occasionally. Now we are drowning in it, and view it with mild interest and often contempt. We suffer from a glut. The fact that it is no longer valued is exemplified by the proliferation of “fact-checking sites,” Back when information was slow and scarce, we probably believed it all because there was no competition. Do you know the history of our country? Do your kids know the history of our country? Or only Howard Zinn’s phony version?

Let’s say you are interested in China, because you have heard of the Hong Kong riots, and “Trump’s trade war”— how do you satisfy the urge to know more? Do you start with a Google search? Turn to Fox News or the Huffington Post or Drudge? You surely search for a source you trust, but why has that site earned your trust? And are they informed enough to have good information, and how much information do you need to find to satisfy the need to know?

I was an English major a hundred or so years ago, and I learned to read and read a lot. I know I read a lot more than my kids do, because I have more available time. Do you squeeze the news into your work day? Or does that wait till you get home? I suspect that in the “Information Age”, we may be dumber and more poorly informed than ever before. I think there are many who have never learned to read the hard stuff. What has Twitter done to our use of words and our understanding? Are our kids learning too much from computer screens instead of the printed page? Newspapers and magazines are clearly slowly dying. Do people subscribe to newspapers and magazines any more? Does anyone subscribe to a movie magazine or a People type magazine except for Doctors offices and hairdressers? Are any of your children real readers who get lost in a book? And how did they get that way? I think there is a big change here underlying our present world, and I’m not at all sure it is a good one.



Reason’s Remy With a Beatles Parody by The Elephant's Child

Here is Reason’s Remy with a parody of the Beatles, with Remy playing the whole band. Making fun of the Left is always great fun, and Remy is good at it.



The Debates, The Elections, The Media,The Swamp. by The Elephant's Child

We seem to be still  thinking about the debates. The media wants to rank them, decide who moved up and who moved down. Not so much interested in what they actually talked about. The one thing they seemed to be reasonably united on was “Medicare for All” but nobody had studied up to see what it would mean. They were looking for what would get them positive vibes.

“Medicare for All” seems to appeal to a lot of people who have no idea what it means. It would mean that you lose your current health care, including any health care you get through your employment. And your taxes would go way, way up, as the health care you could have would go way, way down.

Most people who are actually on Medicare, who can afford it, purchase Medicare supplement plans to cover what Medicare does not. Many physicians will not see Medicare patients, simply because Medicare does not pay enough. Health care is very expensive. Some people need a lot of it. Some people just like a lot of it.

Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) pays for health care for all in very high taxes, yet if you read the British papers, there are always complaints, scandals, ambulances lined up outside hospitals waiting for there to be a vacancy, old folks dying from lack of attention. The wealthy can choose other services. The Brits fear losing it. Canadians keep coming down here to get care that the Canadian system does not offer. Read the Canadian papers online, you’ll see.

We get wrapped up in politics,deciding who we like and who we don’t, and sometimes we pay attention, and mostly not enough.

The enemy is the bureaucracy. The swamp. They are interested in what the people want – to the extent that will get them elected and reelected. They like being important and making big salaries and important decisions. Some try to study up and understand the deep background of issues, but most don’t. They are particularly interested in what their big donors want, and what the media has to say, and if the media is interested in them.

Do you write to your Congressman? Your Senator? Is he a member of your party, or are you represented by someone you didn’t vote for? The only way they will know how you feel is if you write. They may not read your message, but it will be tallied, and if your congressperson gets a lot of letters on a given subject, they will know how their voters feel. So it matters, the more the better. To e-mail your representatives go to House.gov or Senate.gov  and follow the directions. I am represented entirely, at every level, by the opposing party, so I sometimes write representatives from other states explaining that I’m not a constituent, but…  I get on a lot of interesting mailing lists that way.



Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Meaning of “Click-bait” by The Elephant's Child

Perhaps we should increase the age when one is eligible to run for Congress. AOC was apparently an excellent student. She graduated cum laude with a double major in international affairs and (snort) economics. But she was the youngest woman to be elected to Congress. She announced Friday that an explosion at a Philadelphia oil refinery was due to climate change, arguing that the incident underscores the urgency of her Green New Deal.  (A vat of butane ignited and eventually exploded at the Philadelphia Energy Solutions Refining Complex, followed by a series of smaller explosions through the pipes moving fuel around the complex. It injured five workers and took 120 firefighters to bring under control.)

You have noticed, I ‘m sure that AOC has become what is called “click bait”– that is, articles about her will be clicked on and partly read, which means that the advertisers’ ads will be seen, which pays the newsmen’s salaries for their stories. (Heck of a way to run an economy). Democrats pay attention because she is one of theirs who gets attention, those suffering from “climate panic” because of her “green new deal”, and Republicans, because everything she says is so remarkably stupid. She also had some remark about Trump not allowing toothpaste to the children in the concentration camps at the southern border. She has never been to the southern border, and has turned down innumerable offers to be enlightened a little about concentration camps.

ADDENDUM: I saw an article which showed AOC at the border, so I was mistaken about her never having been. I cannot find it again, but as I recall, she was staring at a chain link fence, which she apparently confused with a concentration camp. I apologize for misleading anyone.



Climate is a Very Big Business. Keep That in Mind. by The Elephant's Child

NOAA has finally verified the fact, (proven years go by Anthony Watts of Watts Up With That.com), that poor siting of official climate monitoring stations has meant a record of more warming  than actually exists. Follow the link above to see a visual explanation of what is meant by “poor siting.” Several years ago Anthony sent readers of his blog out to take photographs of the  sites of weather monitoring stations. Some were surrounded by heat reflecting concrete walls, some next to trash burners and some where the exhaust from an air-conditioning unit blew directly. There had been talk of an Urban Heat-Island Effect, but NOAA was not prepared to acknowledge that it was important enough to affect their reporting.

Now the UN and the Media have dredged up the old species extinction fears. Climate change is going to mean mass extinctions of our wildlife and we have to do something right now! Been there, done that, but they dredged up the discredited Paul Erlich for interviews. We are discovering new species all the time. There are regular panics about a species disappearing, only to find that they simply moved. There may not be any on this side of the hill, but what about the other side? There are even scientists trying to bring back extinct species like wooly mammoths. I’m not sure that’s even a good idea.

The monkeys at the top of the post are tesulas from the Democratic Republic of Congo, newly discovered in 2012. If you enter ‘new species’ in the search bar over Bob Hope’s head in the sidebar, you will find others.

“Climate” is a very big business, wind and solar manufacturing is big business. Our Washington state governor Jay Inslee is running for the presidency on the issue of climate, and he just got the legislature to pass a bill that will eliminate all fossil fuels from state energy sources by 2045 so we can rely completely on “clean energy.” 2045 probably seemed distant enough that those who voted for that dumb bill wouldn’t be blamed, and left lots of time to change if it didn’t work out. Fortunately there is no particular interest in his climate campaign, even with the Green New Deal theme out there.

The United Nations is a very big business, and they need to be seen as doing good works, so addressing climate extinctions may well have goals beyond simply “saving species”.

The climate has been changing for millions of years. There is more CO2 in the atmosphere now than in any time in the past, but the planet has been cooling for years, so obviously the notion that carbon dioxide is contributing to dangerous warming may be incorrect. When climate change became a big deal, numbers of scientists in university disciplines found that they could propose an interesting project, and get federal grants to improve their labs and get assistants if they could write a good grant proposal. Many found that they could imitate the climate with computer programs designed to predict what the stock market might do under differing circumstances. They put in what they knew about the climate and some educated guesses, and some plain old guesses which supposedly lets them prognosticate about future warming and catastrophic decline of species. Actual measurements in the real world seem to work better than guesswork in a high-tech computer.

I make no claim of scientific expertise, I was an English major, but I do a lot of reading, which I recommend to the numbers of new Democrat candidates for the presidency. Helps to keep you from Green New Deals and catastrophic species decline and extinction, among quite a few other things.




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