American Elephants


Obama Keeps His Promises: 83,000 Unemployed and Lots of Misery –All for Nothing. by The Elephant's Child

Headline in The Daily Caller: “Obama Kept his Promise, 83,000 Coal Jobs Lost and 400 Mines Shuttered.” On Labor Day weekend, America has 83,000 fewer coal jobs and 400 fewer coal mines than it did when Obama was elected in 2008. Following through on his promise to “bankrupt” the coal industry. That represents a lot of misery for communities and unemployed workers, which will accomplish nothing, nothing at all — except the misery.

Before he headed overseas, President Barack Obama made a stop at Lake Tahoe to talk climate change, spending and environmental regulation, and exposed his lightweight understanding of all things climate along the way.

He asserted that climate change is “manmade” as a dogmatic fact. But climate has been changing for centuries. It has been far warmer in the past, and far colder as well. He insisted that “during the first half of this year, carbon pollution hit its lowest level in a quarter century.” Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant — it’s what we exhale every time we breathe. It is a natural fertilizer for plants and the very slight increase in carbon in the atmosphere has meant a greening world, and bumper wheat crops are helping to feed a hungry world, except Venezuela, of course.

Back in the 1960s Entomologist Paul Erlich declared that “the population bomb” would lead to mass starvation by the end of the 1970s. His close associate, John Holdren agreed, and here we are with famine and starvation becoming rarer and rarer, thanks to the slight increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. John Holdren, of course, is Obama’s science advisor.

Fracking did not cause the earthquake in Oklahoma. Oklahoma state regulators ordered 37 disposal wells used by frackers shut down because the Greens were out full force claiming that the technology that fueled America’s oil and natural gas boom naturally causes earthquakes.  U.S. Geological Survey seismologist William Ellsworth said he agrees with the research council that “hydraulic fracturing does not seem to pose much risk for earthquake activity.”

“The mixture used to fracture shale is a benign blend of 90% water, 9.5% sand and 0.5% of chemicals like sodium chloride (table salt) and the citric acid in orange juice. Drinking water aquifers are generally only a hundred feet deep. Shale formations in which fracking is employed are thousands of feet deep.”

Fracking itself is in fact saving the environment by reducing the emission of greenhouse gases the greenies hate. It does not slice and dice birds, including endangered species, en masse like wind turbines, nor does it fry them to a crisp like solar panel farms have done. And it does not cause major disastrous earthquakes.

The flood in Louisiana was not caused by global warming either.



The Pursuit of a Foreign Policy Legacy Is Not Going Well by The Elephant's Child

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Back at the beginning of his first term, President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton announced a foreign policy “pivot” to Asia. The road of good intentions chose another direction, and the big events continued to happen in the Middle East. Civil war in Syria, the rise of ISIS with accompanying terrorism and brutality, regime change in Egypt and Libya, and the continuing Iranian quest for nuclear weapons and regional dominance are the problems that have dominated the news and Obama’s response to those events has comprised his foreign policy record, and it is not a record that makes much of a legacy.

Obama dismissed ISIS as a “JV team,” was angered by the coup in Egypt, made a botch of Libya with the help of his Secretary of State who dismissed the whole thing with “We came, We saw, He died” and a round of laughter, when reporters told her he was dead. It is slowly becoming clear Obama has lied extensively to the American people about his “Iran Deal.”

The Mullahs in Iran really had no interest in a deal. They are interested in destroying Israel and in destroying America, and do not intend to be delayed or restrained. Obama believes that they care about their people and will use the funds returned to make life better for Iranian families. He believes he can turn the Middle East over to the Persians to run, and remove all American interference in that part of the world, which will mean peace. He apparently believes that all the problems in that part of the world are Bush’s fault for invading Iraq, and he has no interest in being disabused of his fanciful notions.

You can’t build a foreign policy legacy out of trying to avoid any confrontation at all. Obama’s playing his last hand and betting on the  Paris Climate Agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, by pretending they are not treaties, but some kind of deal that does not require the consent of Congress. But that has been his operating plan for some time.

So far on this trip, Obama has insulted Teresa May, Britain’s new Prime Minister, telling her that Britain would have to go the the back of the line for any trade deals since they didn’t pay attention when he told them to vote BREXIT down. Face-conscious China insulted President Obama by failing to provide the red-carpet stairway provided to all heads of state, forcing him to descend from the belly of Air Force One, a clear snub. Irwin Stelzer reported in the Weekly Standard:

When Obama raised the issue of China’s militarization of the islands it has constructed in the South China Sea, President Xi Jinping told him China would “unswervingly safeguard” its claims in the area. When the American president raised the issue of human rights, Xi told him not to interfere in China’s internal affairs. Perhaps the unkindest cut of all came when Xi praised the Paris agreement to limit carbon emissions, the issue on which Obama had come to take a victory lap, “It was under Chinese leadership that much of this progress was made.”

Xi was wrong on both of these counts: the Paris accord will not limit emissions, and China was a reluctant signatory to the agreement forged in Paris, largely by Obama, and whereas America agreed to drastic cuts in emissions, China made no such promise. All it agreed to do, at some date in the distant future—perhaps 2030 if that proves convenient—is to begin slowing the rate of increase of its emissions relative to the growth in the country’s GDP. Not a word about ending China’s financing coal plants in other countries—92 in 27 countries is the current count of the San Francisco-based Climate Policy Initiative, enough new coal-fired capacity to offset all the plant closures and emissions reductions planned in the United States for the next decade. No surprise that Xie Zhenhua, China’s senior climate change negotiator in Paris, says the deal struck there is “fair and just, comprehensive and balanced.”

The Senate will not ratify the treaty. Even if all the nations who have signed actually implemented their plans, it would reduce the growth of emissions only about half as much as the claimed 3.6º Fahrenheit which some scientists claim would reduce drought, floods, and other catastrophes which are not caused by increases in temperature. The Coalition of the Least Developed Nations agreed to go along because the rich nations agreed to give them at least $100 billion, but no one has started raising any money yet anyway. The panic about climate occurs only in the computer programs of the climate scientists who depend on climate panic for their jobs, their grants, and their reputations.

Obama  apparently insulted the new Philippine president who then called President Obama the ‘son of a whore,’ so in general the big G-7 meeting didn’t go too well. Obama is off to Laos as the first U.S. President to visit that country.

ADDENDUM: Reports in from Laos, and snippets of President Obama’s speech, suggest that he’s up to his old tricks of apologizing for his country  with little understanding of what actually went on in Laos, which was not as he suggests indiscriminate bombing. He actually said:

Over nine years — from 1964 to 1973 — the United States dropped more than two million tons of bombs here in Laos — more than we dropped on Germany and Japan combined during all of World War II.  It made Laos, per person, the most heavily bombed country in history.  As one Laotian said, the “bombs fell like rain.”  Villages and entire valleys were obliterated.  The ancient Plain of Jars was devastated.  Countless civilians were killed.  And that conflict was another reminder that, whatever the cause, whatever our intentions, war inflicts a terrible toll, especially on innocent men, women and children.

Our planes were bombing the Ho Chi Minh Trail to prevent supplies coming down that trail to kill American troops from reaching Vietnam. It was a  purposeful effort to save American lives, not indiscriminate and trying very hard not to kill civilians. Ask anyone who was there.



The Mind of the Left and Nebulous Nitwittery. by The Elephant's Child

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There are some pieces that pop up in the country’s leftist media that simply leave you shaking your head. This one hits all the necessary notes — feminism, climate concern, gender , research, health, the professoriate, vegetarianism, Dietary Guidelines, and a smidgen of male bashing. The essay, by one Danielle Paquette, (she should be ashamed of herself ) appeared in The Washington Post’s wonkblog under the title “Your manliness could be hurting the planet.” It begins:

Researchers have known for decades that women tend to beat men on environmental metrics. They generally use less fuel and energy. They eat less meat. They’re more concerned about climate change.

James Wilkie, a business professor at the University of Notre Dame, wanted to understand what drives this gender eco-friendliness gap. After years of exploring psychological bias, he and his colleagues developed a theory.

“Men’s resistance may stem in part from a prevalent association between the concepts of greenness and femininity and a corresponding stereotype (held by both men and women) that green consumers are feminine,” they assert this month in the Journal of Consumer Research. “As a result of this stereotype, men may be motivated to avoid or even oppose green behaviors in order to safeguard their gender identity.”

If you are eager to learn more about the thinking of the Left, or if you totally agree that environmentalism is a feminine concern and men are all blockheads, you may enjoy the article. If you actually read it to the end, you will find more articles from Wonkblog linked, which all sound equally —  nevermind.



They’re Dragging Out Ocean Acidification Again by The Elephant's Child

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James Delingpole, British writer, rants regularly at Breitbart about the utter goofiness of the world’s climate true believers.  He wrote today about a  climate “science” scam  that keeps on rearing its ugly head, in spite of being debunked thoroughly over and over.

Aside from the need to debunk once more, it’s a classic example of the workings of climate science. In this case, one of Delingpole’s articles was supposedly debunked in The Marine Biologist (the magazine of the marine biologist community). He wrote:

There was a time when I would have just ignored it: the guy who wrote it – one Phil Williamson – is the embodiment of Upton Sinclair’s dictum that “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

Not only is Williamson based at the “University” of East Anglia – aka Climate Alarmism Central, heavily featured in the Climategate scandal – but since 2010 he has been paid as Science Coordinator of the UK Ocean Acidification research programme. This project has received around £12.5 million of UK government funding, most is provided by the Natural Environment Research Council (for which conveniently Williamson also works).

Dr. Robert (Bob) Carter, the late Australian Marine Geologist, laughed once and said “As long as there are rocks in the ocean, it will never be acid.” (that may not be an exact quote, but close),  the sensible message stuck with me.

Many climate scientists who are based at one university or another  find the drive do battle with “global warming” has financed a new and important department, the needed equipment, and the advocacy keeps drawing taxpayer funding to support it.  It’s all a very incestuous scheme that should be considered scandalous, were they not so serious about it all.

Climate Change, says Delingpole “represents a global industry worth around $1.5 trillion — all of this predicated on the notion that man-made carbon dioxide is a problem because it causes catastrophic global warming. Now clearly if — as seems to be increasingly likely — CO2 turns out to be just a harmless trace gas whose influence on climate is marginal, than an awful lot of vested interests are going to be heavily out of pocket. Hence the appeal to the vast climate alarmist conspiracy of Ocean Acidification; the handy theory which ensures that even if global warming doesn’t happen, there will still be plenty of snout-space at the trough for all those rent-seekers, crooks, green-heads, scamsters and shills involved in the “decarbonisation” industry.”

Do read Mr. Delingpole’s whole piece. They are always great fun, but full of good information as well. I think he really relishes the role of “debunker.”



A Devastating Flood in Louisiana Does Not Mean that Global Warming Caused It! by The Elephant's Child

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Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. is a Professor in the Environmental Studies Program at the University of Colorado, and a Fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) slammed the idea of linking the recent dreadful floods in Louisiana to Global Warming.  It is always tempting to attribute catastrophe to those things that can be linked to a current political theme, but extreme weather is NOT getting worse.

‘Flood disasters are sharply down. U.S. floods not increasing either.’

‘Is U.S. drought getting worse? No.’

‘U.S. hurricane landfalls (& their strength) down by ~20% since 1900.’

‘Recent years have seen record low tornadoes.’

Climate Depot (add this site to your list) has an excellent article quoting Dr. Pielke which includes graphs of what is really happening and show the decline in disaster. Useful to keep in mind when confronted with the alarmists. Hurricanes are down by approximately 20% since 1900. Tornadoes are at a record low. Drought is not worse, though California’s government mismanagement has nearly caused disaster.

The hacked documents from George Soros Open Society Institute published by DC Leaks has revealed that the Liberal billionaire gave former Vice President Al Gore’s environmental group millions of dollars over three years to create a “political space for aggressive U.S. action” on global warming. “That included budgeting $10 million in annual support to Gore’s climate group over three years.”

So a little corruption here and there is just the normal way that government works these days? Don’t you hate the feeling that they are attempting to manipulate you and your ideas?



Not to Worry. The Bees Are Just Fine. by The Elephant's Child

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The true believers of the environmental movement need causes that will entice contributions from the gullible to get the funding to support their organization and their demonstrations. “A decade ago, a sudden die-off in some regional honeybee hives got the fundraising juggernaut rolling to protect us from another apocalypse. And they get to claim their methods have worked so far. ”

The science on bee deaths was settled long ago; bees have been dying off for no real reason for as long as we have kept records of bees. It used to be given fancy names, before neonics or pesticides even existed, like Autumn Collapse, May Dwindle, Spring Dwindle and Disappearing Disease. Environmentalists promoted something more apocalyptic sounding: Colony Collapse Disorder.

Yet it was just a new name for a long-existing phenomenon. Taking surveys of bee deaths kept the hype going for a little while, but the public quickly learned that environmentalists were taking up beekeeping as a fad and that resulted in huge numbers of deaths due to mismanagement.  Rather than admit they had amateur incompetence, they wanted to blame pesticides.And small beekeepers did nothing about varroa mites, the big killer of bees. Viruses have evolved too. Bumblebees prefer infected plants over healthy ones because the viruses cause the gene expression of plants to change to be more appealing.

A new study drives another nail into this manufactured neonics coffin. American Council on Science and Health Scientific Advisor Dr. Allen Felsot, Washington State University Tri-Cities professor of entomology and environmental toxicology, and colleagues reaffirm what those versed in science know; hazard is not risk. Mainstream media certainly gets that wrong – it’s why the International Agency for Research on Cancer will get attention with crazy claims like that bacon and plutonium are same level of carcinogen while any junk yard employee knows that’s not true.

I was looking on Yelp yesterday for some recommendations on companies to deal with garden pests, lots of recommendations from women who are frightened by spiders and want them all removed. But there were also recommendations for those who wanted very careful pest removal in order to avoid hurting any honeybees, because the bees were in trouble. Well, no they are not. I don’t know if it has always been so, but the current age seems to have a deep belief in catastrophe waiting right around the corner. And things like “Colony Collapse Disorder” are more comfortable to worry about than problems like ISIS, or corrupt federal agencies like the IRS, or a lack of economic recovery because the current occupant of the White House can’t stop regulating, and controlling, and spending in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution.

ADDENDUM: I am not one of those frightened by spiders, but many years ago when we lived in Phoenix, we returned from a trip to Mesa Verde to find out the air conditioner has quit. (In Phoenix in the summer that’s a big deal) The unit was located in a closet accessible only from the outside of the house. Went out to open the door to the closet, and the whole thing was filled with thousands of black widow spiders. That’s something else entirely! Had Raid or the equivalent on hand. Mass death. I was once charged directly by a huge potato bug.The pest control people take care of serious problems as well, including trapping and removing Rats and Raccoons. I once had a mother Raccoon  give birth in the attic over my carport. Cute babies, but Raccoons hiss when annoyed. I put a loud radio in the attic, and encouraged them to leave, which they did, and I quickly made it impossible to get back in.  Adventures with pests!  I’m deadly with woodrats. Nasty critters. Ask about my other adventures with wildlife –rattlesnakes, garter snakes, porcupines, and a lynx.



Sometimes This Climate Change Stuff Gets So Silly All You Can Do is Laugh by The Elephant's Child

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Even when the President is off on vacation golf courses, he prepares his Weekly Address in advance. This week he returned to what he conceives to be the most urgent challenge of our time:

When I took office, I said this was something we couldn’t kick down the road any longer – that our children’s future depended on our action.  So we got to work, and over the past seven-and-a-half years, we’ve made ambitious investments in clean energy, and ambitious reductions in our carbon emissions.  We’ve multiplied wind power threefold.  We’ve multiplied solar power more than thirtyfold.  In parts of America, these clean power sources are finally cheaper than dirtier, conventional power.  And carbon pollution from our energy sector is at its lowest level in 25 years, even as we’re continuing to grow our economy.

We’ve invested in energy efficiency, and we’re slashing carbon emissions from appliances, homes, and businesses – saving families money on their energy bills.  We’re reforming how we manage federal coal resources, which supply roughly 40% of America’s coal.  We’ve set the first-ever national standards limiting the amount of carbon pollution power plants can release into the sky.

We also set standards to increase the distance our cars and light trucks can go on a gallon of gas every year through 2025.  And they’re working.  At a time when we’ve seen auto sales surge, manufacturers are innovating and bringing new technology to market faster than expected.  Over 100 cars, SUVs, and pick-up trucks on the market today already meet our vehicles standards ahead of schedule.  And we’ve seen a boom in the plug-in electric vehicle market – with more models, lower battery costs, and more than 16,000 charging stations.

Late last month, the EPA said they were on track to meet the goals the Obama administration put out in 2012. They call for car manufacturers to produce fleets of vehicles that average 54.5 miles per gallon. An “average”—so if they make some gas-guzzling trucks, they need to sell a lot of hybrids to make up the difference. it also includes credits for more efficient air conditioning systems.  So it’s more like 40 miles per gallon. But nobody has any way of knowing because the EPA’s tests to make sure the car companies are hitting their CAFE numbers don’t work, at all.

The 1975 Energy Policy and Conservation Act specifies that “the Administrator shall use the same procedures for passenger automobiles the Administrator used for model year 1975.” In other words: When it comes to enforcing the only law that demands cars get better for consumers’ wallets and lungs, the EPA tests like your grandfather.

The president worries about carbon, but he’s talking about carbon dioxide (CO2) which is a natural fertilizer for plants — all plants including trees and food crops. The slight increase in CO2 in the atmosphere has meant a greening of the earth, which in turn has meant that famine and starvation are mostly ended — except in today’s Venezuela, where they really are starving.




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