American Elephants

Is the Left Stealing the Coal Industry? No Morals Or Honor? by The Elephant's Child

I’m not particularly interested in conspiracies. I do my share of speculating about cause and results, but in general I want evidence, trusted sources, and some kind of proof. But I found this particular post from Tom Lifson at American Thinker intriguing.

Now comes the shocking news, via Steve Milloy writing on Breitbart, that following President Obama’s use of CO2 emissions as a weapon to drive major coal companies near bankruptcy, the ultimate politically connected speculator George Soros is buying up stock in major coal producers on the cheap.

I predicted in this column last week that the left wasn’t going to kill off the coal industry so much as it was going to steal it. That prediction is already becoming true courtesy of billionaire George Soros.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Act filings indicate that Soros has purchased an initial 1 million shares of Peabody Energy and 553,200 shares of Arch Coal, the two largest publicly traded U.S. coal companies. As pointed out last week, both companies have been driven perilously close to bankruptcy by the combination of President Obama’s “war on coal” and inexpensive natural gas brought on by the hydrofracturing revolution.

Well, isn’t that interesting. Are Democrats just fixated on doing what they want, and never mind the law or propriety? It would seem so. The same George Soros apparently paid protesters from Ferguson to go to Baltimore and try to stir up trouble — at least according to the protesters who were complaining about not getting paid. Al Gore has used Global Warming to amass a fortune, yet does not observe any of the rules that he espouses to save energy himself. Tom Steyer made his fortune in oil and natural gas, and now tries to manipulate federal policy to stop the Keystone pipeline. Lots of conspiracy material.

The Clean Power Plan Is Not So Clean by The Elephant's Child

blobPresident Obama is embarked on his Clean Power Plan, in an effort to fulfill the last of his campaign promises, and put in place some kind of legacy — so he has something to put into the billion dollar presidential library he is planning.

You remember the megalomaniacial claim — “this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth.” It just hasn’t gone well. Health Care costs are spiraling out of control, we are in the most sluggish recovery ever, millions have just dropped out of the job market.  The oceans rise only in millimeters, not the feet that Obama seems to fear.

The Clean Power Plan is one of the most controversial mandates ever to be attempted. The EPA has received over 1.6 million comments on the proposed rule which attempts to reduce CO2 emissions from conventional power plants by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. But the American power sector’s CO2 emissions are now at their lowest level since 1988, and this is with a larger population and increase energy use. In 1988 we had a population of 245 million,  today there are 319 million energy consumers. Roughly 50 percent more electricity is generated, yet emission levels are low.

So will the Clean Power Plan have a significant impact on global carbon dioxide emissions? No. The expected reductions in emissions would reduce global temperatures by about 0.03 degrees Celsius by 2100. An analysis of the proposed ruling by NERA Economic Consulting estimated that the Clean Power Plan could cost the electric sector between $41 billion and $73 billion per year, and accomplish nothing, nothing at all.

The Reason Foundation takes on the Clean Power Plan’s main claims and finds them wanting. The White House claims that the plan will “Save the average American family nearly $85 on their annual energy ill in 2030, reducing enough energy to power 30 million homes, and save consumers a total of $155 billion from 2020 -2030.”Sounds like a lot like the expectations for ObamaCare. In reality, Reason says, the rule will almost certainly spend more in total on energy and energy saving devices than without the rule. Do read the whole thing, it’s a significant debunking.

Britain, Canada and Australia are all cutting back on subsidies for renewables, as is Germany as well. Spain ended their subsidies some time ago.

Anthony Watts at wattsupwiththat writes about a report “exposing coordination between Governors, the Obama White House and the Tom Steyer-“Founded and Funded” network of advocacy groups to advance the “climate” agenda, revealing a vast, coordinated, three track effort by public officials and private interests to promote EPA’s expansive, overreaching and economically devastating greenhouse gas rules, specifically the section 111(d) regulation to shut the nation’s fleet of existing coal-fired power plants, as well as the December Paris climate treaty President Obama is expected to sign to replace the Kyoto Protocol.”

The exposé details a campaign to use public offices, in very close collaboration with wealthy benefactors, to advance and defend President Obama’s climate change regulatory and treaty agenda. This quasi-governmental campaign involves more than a dozen governors’ offices with a parallel advocacy network and political operation funded and staffed by activists paid through ideologically and politically motivated donors.

So there you go. In spite of the attractive sounding name, the Clean Power Plan is just not what it is cracked up to be. It has been suggested that the States can just refuse to go along.

CO2 is Greening the Earth, Benefiting the Biosphere, and Lifting the Poor Out of Poverty. by The Elephant's Child

greeningCraig D. Idso is the founder and former President of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, and currently serves as Chairman of the Center’s board of directors. He has written:

At a fundamental level, carbon dioxide is the basis of nearly all life on Earth, as it is the primary raw material or “food” that is utilized by plants to produce the organic matter out of which they construct their tissues…

Typically, a doubling of the air’s CO2 content above present-day concentrations raises the productivity of most herbaceous plants by about one-third; this positive response occurs in plants that utilize all three of the major biochemical pathways of photosynthesis.

There is no doubt elevated concentrations of atmospheric CO2 lead to enhanced plant photosynthesis and growth. This well-known fact has been confirmed over and over again in literally thousands of laboratory and field studies conducted by scientists over the past several decades. In recent years, however, the growth-enhancing benefits of atmospheric CO2 have been increasingly studied and observed in the real world of nature using Earth-orbiting satellites. Such instruments have the capability to remotely sense plant growth and vigor at altitudes miles above the Earth’s surface; and they have generated a spatial and temporal record of vegetative change that now spans more than three decades. And what has that record revealed?

The take-home message of the satellite data is two-fold. First, at the global level, all recent studies show there has been a significant greening of the planet over the past few decades despite the occurrence of a number of real (and imagined) assaults on Earth’s vegetation, including wildfires, disease, pest outbreaks, deforestation, and climatic changes in temperature and precipitation. Greening has more than compensated for any of the negative effects these phenomena may have had on the global biosphere during that time. Second, there is compelling evidence that the atmosphere’s rising CO2 content—which is considered by many to be the chief threat  to the future of the biosphere via climate change—is most likely the primary cause of the observed greening trends.

Do read the whole thing, including the references. This is why Obama’s “Clean Power Plan” will accomplish nothing beyond putting a lot of coal miners and power plant workers out of work. CO2 is NOT a pollutant, but essential to life on earth. If all the billions of dollars of new wind farms and solar arrays were actually to accomplish anything, it might make a difference of 0.03ºC by 2100. Just another failure to add to the legacy.

The EPA Strikes Out Again. The Clean Power Plan Will Prevent 0.03 Degrees of Warming by 2100. by The Elephant's Child

National Climate Change Certification SchemeThe Obama Administration recently unveiled the president’s “Clean Power Plan” — regulations to shut down more coal-fired power plants in favor of “clean” wind and solar. They are still sure that carbon dioxide, that stuff you exhale, that is plant food and essential to life is a “pollutant”— the zealots at the EPA weren’t paying attention in high school biology. Dr. Judith Curry, a climatologist at Georgia Tech said:

It has been estimated that the U.S. [climate plan] of 28% emissions reduction by 2015 will prevent 0.03 [degrees Celsius] in warming by 2100.

And these estimates assume that climate model projections are correct. If the climate models are over-sensitive to CO2, the amount of warming prevented will be even smaller.

The EPA’s so-called Clean Power Plan aims to reduce emissions of CO2 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. The EPA claimed all sorts of public health benefits (starting with asthma, it’s always asthma) but carefully avoids any mention of the rule’s impact on global temperatures.

The agency also justified the Clean Power Plan by claiming it would reduce asthma rates, which they say will be exacerbated by global warming. A White House fact sheet claims the rule will “avoid up to 3,600 premature deaths, lead to 90,000 fewer asthma attacks in children, and prevent 300,000 missed work and school days.”

(They always use asthma premature deaths because physicians do not know the cause of asthma.)

As far as the global warming thing goes — there has been no warming whatsoever for 18 years and 7 months. None. And things are just not lining up as the warmists expect them to.

Sydney Australia has snow for the first time since 1836. That ‘s the year when Andrew Jackson was president of the United States, Victoria was still a year away from being crowned Queen of England on her 18th birthday, and Davy Crockett died at the Alamo.

The Big Island of Hawaii had snowfall in July. There was also snowfall in the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California in July. Antarctica has set a new record for ice extent in 2014 and continues to set records for the extent of ice around the southern continent.

Some solar scientists are projecting that due to changes in the sun’s cycles, the earth is likely to suffer from a “Little Ice Age” beginning around 2030. If this is the case, we will need to build more greenhouses, stop shutting down coal plants. Cold kills, and it’s not healthy for plant life either.

The reason is simple. The global warming agenda is not about the planet.

The head of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, Christiana Figueres, readily admits that the real climate change agenda has nothing to do with the environment, but instead is about redistribution of wealth. “This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves,” she says, “which is to intentionally transform the economic development model, for the first time in human history.

“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 the, at least, 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution.”

Weather Forecast: Increasingly Scary Headlines. Pay No Attention. by The Elephant's Child

There is a big global Climate Change meeting in Paris, in December. The propaganda designed to ramp up enthusiasm or terror, as the case may be, will increase. A story by Larry Kummer at”Watts Up With That” reminds us of some of the excess in preparation for the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference in December of 2009 to prepare us for what to expect. Clearly, the end is near and time is running out.

(1) President ‘has four years to save Earth’” says climate scientist James Hansen in The Guardian, 17 January 2009.

(2) Global warming has reached a ‘defining moment,’ Prince Charles warns” in The Telegraph, 12 March 2009. “The world has “less than 100 months” to save the planet.

(3) We have hours’ to prevent climate disaster” by Elizabeth May (Member of Parliament and leader of Canada’s Green Party) in The Star (Toronto), 24 March 2009. This was run as news, not an op-ed.

(4) “Just 96 months to save world, says Prince Charles” in The Independent. 9 July 2009. “If the world failed to heed his warnings then we all faced the ‘nightmare that for so many of us now looms on the horizon’.”

(5) “Five years to save world from climate change, says WWF“, Australian Broadcasting Company, 18 October 2009 — Excerpt…

“Karl Mallon, a scientist with Climate Risk and one of the key authors of the report, says 2014 has been calculated as the point at which there is no longer enough time to develop the industries that can deliver a low carbon economy. ‘The point of no return,’ he said.

“’If we wait until past 2014 or that’s what modelling shows, then simply put, it will be impossible for industries to grow to the scale that has to be achieved in the time that is available.’”

(6) Gordon Brown said negotiators had 50 days to save the world from global warming and break the “impasse”.“, BBC, 19 October 2009. Brown was the UK PM.

A good time was had by all in picturesque Copenhagen, an expense account-funded vacation with their peers. Journalists evaluated the meeting as a failure. The world was not saved, but continued on in its ongoing pause of 18 years and 7 months of an absence of any warming to worry about. Never fear.

Western Morning News: 18 July, 2015: “His Royal Highness (Prince Charles) warns that we have just 35 years to save the planet from catastrophic climate change.”

Climate Change is Now a $1.5 Trillion Industry by The Elephant's Child

climate-changeThe Climate Change Business Journal has calculated that Climate Change is now its own $1.5 trillion global “climate change industry” that is growing at between 17 and 24 percent annually from 2005-2008. Following the recession, growth slowed to between 4 to 6 percent with the exception of a bump in 2011 of 15 percent growth. These results were published in the Insurance Journal, for the climate journal is not available for free online.

The publication includes nine segments and 38 sub-segments including renewables, green building and hybrid cars. It also includes the climate change consulting market which the journal estimates at $1.9 billion worldwide, and $890 million in the U.S. The consulting market is expected to double in the next five years. The report’s authors believe the climate change industry as a whole will grow even faster. The Climate Change Consulting market  had billings of $600 million in 1976 and today generates $27 billion.

One of the most lucrative segments of the industry is consulting, risk management, and of course legal and other professional services. That’s why “green” businesses donate so heavily to politicians who believe in global warming issues. Policy is one of the biggest drivers of growth in the industry. If Obama’s Clean Power Plan survives legal challenges it may be a big driver of further growth.

So if “Big Green” is a $1.5 trillion industry, that will buy a whole lot of scientists around the world. It is a major funder for the Democratic Party along with unions. And it is an industry that can survive only by relying on the coercive powers of government. That’s a lot of crony capitalism.

Still Searching Desperately For a Legacy by The Elephant's Child


Rarely do American Presidents display the raw willfulness that President Obama did Monday in rolling out his plan to reorganize the economy in the name of climate change. Without a vote in Congress or even much public debate, Mr. Obama is using his last 18 months to dictate U.S. energy choices for the next 20 or 30 years. This abuse of power is regulation without representation.

That’s from the Wall Street Journal, in an article suggesting that States should just refuse to comply with Obama’s lawless power rule. The so-called Clean Power Plan commands states to cut carbon emissions by 32% (from 2005 levels) by 2030. The final rule is 9% steeper than the draft the EPA came up with in June 2014. The Journal says “The damage to growth, consumer incomes and U.S. competitiveness will be immense — assuming the rule isn’t tossed by the courts or rescinded by the next Administration.”

Since the beginning of electrification, States have regulated their own power systems. Now the EPA is attempting to nationalize power generation and power consumption. In order to meet the EPA targets, states must pass new laws or regulations to shift their energy mix from fossil fuels, subsidize alternative energy, improve efficiency, impose a cap-and-trade-program, or all of the above. This is not about the climate, for it will have not the slightest effect on the climate, but about power and control.

The climate is always changing. Always has, and nothing Obama can do will make it stop. There is no such thing as “carbon pollution.” Carbon dioxide (CO2) is what we exhale every time we breathe. It is plant food. We are carbon lifeforms. Remove the carbon dioxide from our atmosphere and we have no lifeforms. If Obama’s Climate Action Plan — a 17% reduction in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 — were to be implemented immediately, what temperature reduction would that yield by the year 2100? The answer: 15 one-thousandths of one degree. Too small to be measured.

The Obama administration sent out an e-mail to announce his announcement of his Clean Power Plan “a historic step in the Obama Administration’s fight against climate change.” Lo and behold in the first three sentences, the urgent need for such a plan is “in the past three decades, the percentage of Americans with asthma has more than doubled.” The EPA, which cannot produce the science on which they supposedly depend for their regulations, always puts asthma as the top harm to “our children.” Nobody suggests that carbon dioxide is responsible for children’s asthma — a child’s natural exhalation of CO2 is causing their asthma? Please! But doctors don’t know what causes asthma, and the EPA attempts to scare people into line.

Barack Obama is apparently a believer. He expects the seas to start rising by feet, not millimeters as they are doing. He believes that if he can start the climate returning to pre-industrial age clean air, that will be a part of his great legacy. He’s depending on the 21st conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris this December to get all the nations to sign on.

Obama is planning a trip to the Alaskan Arctic to “call attention to the effects of global warming.”Michael Bastasch at the Daily Caller estimates that the flight in Air Force One will emit about 161 metric tonnes just for the trip to Elmendorf Air Force Base, equivalent to what 22 homes emit  from burning electricity every year or the annual emissions from driving 33 cars. He’s also going to visit the Pope who is urging Catholics to sign on to global warming panic.

“Climate Change Business Journal estimates the Climate Change industry is a $1.5 trillion dollar escapade, which means four billion dollars a day is spent on our quest to change the climate. That includes everything from carbon markets to carbon consulting, carbon sequestration renewables, biofuels, green buildings and insipid cars. F or comparison global retail sales online are worth around $1.5 trillion. So all the money wasted on the climate is equivalent to all the goods bought online.”

Renewables: wind and solar, require 24/7 backup from a regular power plant. Wind is intermittent, solar is diffuse, the sun sinks beneath the horizon at night, and there are clouds. These drawbacks cannot be removed by technology, it’s the nature of the source. If you remove taxpayer subsidies, wind and solar shut down, because they can’t operate without subsidy.

The Climate Crisis industry is a war on capitalism, on hydrocarbon energy, on poor, minority, blue-collar and working class families — and on the most powerless, destitute, deprived, diseased families on Earth. The goal is social justice, political power and control. Don’t let them get away with their lies.


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