American Elephants


The EPA Gets Slapped Down By the Federal Court Once Again by The Elephant's Child

McCarthy testifies before a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on her nomination to be administrator of the Environmental Protection AgencyFederal Judge Royce C. Lamberth  today warned the EPA not to discriminate against conservative groups in how it responds to open records requests. He said the agency may have lied to the court and showed “apathy and carelessness” in carrying out the law.

He said he could not prove that officials intentionally destroyed documents, but he described as an “absurdity” the way the EPA handled a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from Landmark Legal Foundation and the court case stemming from it—including late last week admitting that it misled the court about how it went about  “searching for documents.”

In a scorching 25-page opinion, the judge accused the agency of insulting him by first claiming it had conducted a full search for records, then years later retracted that claim in a footnote to another document without giving any explanation for how it erred.

“The recurrent instances of disregard that EPA employees display for FOIA obligations should not be tolerated by the agency,” the judge said. “This court would implore the executive branch to take greater responsibility in ensuring that all EPA FOIA requests — regardless of the political affiliation of the requester — are treated with equal respect and conscientiousness.”

This particular ruling can also be seen as a rebuke to President Obama who vowed to run the “most transparent administration in history” but has received constant challenges over how that vow has been carried out. Judge Lamberth made a point of the EPA delay of follow through on Landmark’s request until after the 2012 elections, and said explanations by EPA officials for why they failed to live up to the law “defied reason.”

Mark Levin, Landmark’s president, said it is up to the president to decide how to respond, but people should be fired. Nena Shaw and Eric Wachter, Judge Lamberth said, either lied to the court or showed utter indifference to the law.

Is it proper to send roses to a federal court? Probably not, but this arrogant agency certainly deserves a legal slap-down.



Snow in the Northeast. February, 2015. by The Elephant's Child

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If you want to see pictures of the biting cold and burgeoning snow in the Northeast, where do you go? To the British papers of course! The UK’s The Telegraph has “Snowmageddon: 17 amazing photos of record-breaking U.S. snow”, thanks to camera phones, with some pretty funny comments as well. Seems like it was only yesterday that they were talking about the end of snow, and how children would never get to experience it.

City snow is much more troublesome than country snow. Icy streets, questionable transportation, worries about power outages. And people don’t seem to know that they should start shoveling early, keep their sidewalks clean, and shovel roofs when needed. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we’re having a mild winter. Terrible winter for the ski resorts — not much snow. It’s 56° here.



Ban The EPA: A Crooked Agency Intent Only On Power! by The Elephant's Child

Maps of the cold in Illinois today show temperatures ranging well below a minus 20°. I can assure you, from personal experience, that -20° is getting into the uncomfortable range. All the little hairs in your nose freeze, but with the proper insulation and a scarf across your face, not that bad.

Last week, in his interview with the Vox website, President Obama claimed that the media “overstated” the risk of terrorism as compared to the real problem of global warming. Slate sums that up—a 2012 DARA International report  claims that climate change causes an average of 400,000 deaths each year, a total that could grow to more than 600,000 by 2030. Oh, please!

250 million “face the pressures of sea-level rise” which is drowning thousands at a rise of 3.2 ±0.4mm a year? 30 million are affected by more extreme weather.(Climate is worldwide temperature—not weather) nor flooding. 25 million people are affected by permafrost thawing (define ‘affected’). The global Terrorism Index says there were nearly 18,000 deaths from terrorism in 2013. They’ve moved along from polar bears because research shows that public-health is more likely to elicit emotional reactions than a traditional environmental frame or even one on national security.

Far more people die from cold exposure than are ever harmed by a few degrees more of heat. (I lived in Phoenix for a while). So naturally the EPA has recently banned the production and sale of 80 percent of America’s current wood-burning stoves, the oldest heating method known to man.

A large percentage of rural homes, and many of the country’s poorest residents depend on wood stoves for heat and even for cooking, for rural homes that have power don’t necessarily have reliable power. And America still has plenty off-the-grid homes. According to the 2011 Census 2.4 million American housing units burned wood as their primary heating fuel, compared with 7% that depended on fuel oil.

The EPA bases this all on their supposed studies of fine particulates, which are made-up figures that have not been peer-reviewed nor is there any evidence that the limits they propose can be achieved using available technology. This is supposedly based on theoretical computer model-based warnings. You will have court cases and evidence, and the EPA will likely get slapped down again by the courts.

The EPA has operated more and more from made-up evidence and false statistics in their relentless search for more power. The best evidence that the air is essentially as clean as nature will allow is the EPA attempt to regulate “fine particles” and wood smoke.

The people of the United States who have wood stoves will ignore the whole thing. Keeping warm in a cooling Earth trumps ‘fine particles’ every time. The Earth has been cooling for over 18 years, and the sun—which is responsible for the warming and cooling of a naturally changing climate —is remarkably quiet. Today’s sun:

latest_solar_image



Another Train Derailment: Thanks Green Activists! by The Elephant's Child

derailment  - credit Bob Aaron-WCHS(photo by Bob Aaron-WCHS)

A CSX train composed largely of tanker cars derailed this afternoon in Mount Carbon, West Virginia. Adena village, a neighborhood close to the derailment, was evacuated after one residence caught fire when a tanker car slammed into  a house and burst into flames.

One tanker car went into the Kanawha River, and some cars exploded. All but two of the 109 cars were tankers loaded with Bakken crude from North Dakota, headed to Yorktown, Virginia. At least 14 tank cars were reported to be on fire, and there is burning oil on the Kanawha. Some cars have exploded, and at least one sent a fireball at least 300 feet in the air.

Two water treatment plants have been shut down to prevent oil from getting into the water supply. Residents will continue to have water for the next 6 to 8 hours due to an emergency reserve supply.

Proponents of the Keystone XL pipeline keep reminding the environmental activists that oil trains have a record of derailing, sometimes with considerable lost lives,  and that a pipeline is immeasurably safer, but it doesn’t sink in. The oil will go to market, whether by pipeline, train or truck. We have many pipelines crossing the Midwest because they are safer and thriftier.

Our economy runs on oil, coal, natural gas and in some places—hydropower and nuclear energy. If we want an economy, and goods to supply the economy, we must have energy. Solar arrays and wind farms produce little energy, and must have 24/7 full-time backup from a conventional power plant. Sounded nice to depend on the sun and the wind, but it was always hooey, and a scheme to enrich favored cronies with government subsidies.

It was not known at the time of this report if anyone was injured or killed.



You Must, You Must, You Must Divest, Because… by The Elephant's Child

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Friday is apparently the kick off for “Global Divestment Day,” though it is a two day event. Climate activists will try to stir up a lot of college kids and campus hangers-on into marching and carrying homemade signs to scare college administrators into acceding to activists’ demands to sell off any fossil fuel-related equities in their endowment portfolios, because — sustainability.

Where to start? If you ever hope to get a job in the American economy or any of the industrial world’s economies, you should be aware that those economies run on fossil fuel. There is, for the foreseeable future, no other choice. Wind and solar energy don’t produce enough energy to be of any significant use, and to produce any energy at all require 24/7 backup from conventional power plants fueled by — fossil fuels. Climate activists have been lying to you for years. Wind is intermittent. Solar is too diffuse. The major greenhouse gas is not CO², but water vapor, more familiarly known as clouds. You are not doing something positive for the climate, you are being used.

Divestment of fossil fuel stocks could significantly harm an investment portfolio. Investing in something that everyone needs is usually a good idea, as opposed to investment in things like Solyndra (bankrupt) or the giant Ivanpah solar array (losing money and killing birds in very large numbers). So you want to march to make your university’s endowment to collapse? Bright idea. Your college costs will just go up sharply.

If you pay the college regularly, take out enough student loans, and in general behave yourselves, you still have no say whatsoever about the college endowment. The endowment is built of the savings and investments of many generations of previous students who have expressed their gratitude to their alma mater by leaving them some money. If you study hard and really learn, you may eventually with hard work, become rich, and able to add to your university’s endowment.

The reason you have been admitted to a college or university is in the hope that over four or more years the faculty can drum enough information into you that you can hope to get an entry-level job if you do manage to graduate. You are there because you don’t know anything yet, and the school and your parents are hoping that some of it will take.

You are messing up that faint hope by investing your time and your parent’s money in marching and drinking and smoking pot and trying to be activists about some cause which you don’t understand, but feel very passionate about. Social Justice is crap — there is no such thing. Justice refers to the body of laws and the Constitution of our country. If you spend more time in the library and less time in the streets, you may be able to avoid encountering the justice system, which would be wise. And do try not to embarrass your parents.



The Goal of Environmental Activists is to Destroy Capitalism. That’s Why They Lie About the Numbers. by The Elephant's Child

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When historians write of the early Twenty-First Century, will they be shocked at the gullibility of the people, or will they be shocked at the extent to which the official temperature records on which the works of governments and their economies were distorted by systematic “adjustments” to the records to show that the earth was warming far more was justified by the actual data. Christopher Booker wrote in the Telegraph:

Two weeks ago, under the headline “How we are being tricked by flawed data on global warming”, I wrote about Paul Homewood, who, on his Notalotofpeopleknowthat blog, had checked the published temperature graphs for three weather stations in Paraguay against the temperatures that had originally been recorded. In each instance, the actual trend of 60 years of data had been dramatically reversed, so that a cooling trend was changed to one that showed a marked warming.

This was only the latest of many examples of a practice long recognised by expert observers around the world – one that raises an ever larger question mark over the entire official surface-temperature record. …

Homewood has now turned his attention to the weather stations across much of the Arctic, between Canada (51 degrees W) and the heart of Siberia (87 degrees E). Again, in nearly every case, the same one-way adjustments have been made, to show warming up to 1 degree C or more higher than was indicated by the data that was actually recorded. (Read the whole thing)

At a news conference last week in Brussels, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, admitted that the goal of environmental activists is not to save the world from ecological calamity — but to destroy capitalism(emphasis added)

figueres021015_345.gif.cms“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.

Socialists, intent on the wonders of social justice and the ‘better world’ of their dreams, never, never seem to pay any attention to the monumental failures of socialism everywhere it has been tried. The  past 25 years have witnessed the greatest reduction in global poverty  in the history of the world. An 80 % reduction in world poverty in only 36 years. Globalization, free trade, international entrepreneurship. The free enterprise system, American style which is our gift to the world. This is not the first time some greenie has blurted out the truth behind their campaign to protect the world from the horrors of the carbon dioxide we exhale every time we breathe. Go figure.

And of course, this is why National Security Adviser Susan Rice soberly informed us that Climate Change is a major threat to our National Security Strategy.



The Political Maneuvering About Climate Change by The Elephant's Child

The Senate voted on Wednesday that “climate change is real and is not a hoax” — an amendment to the Keystone XL pipeline vote sponsored by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) which passed, to Democrats’ astonishment, with only Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker  voting ‘no.’

In a surprise, the Senate’s leading skeptic of climate science, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), voted in favor of the amendment — but made clear he doesn’t believe humans are the primary driver of climate change.

The Hill apparently regarded this as astonishing. Democrats think they have accomplished something, for they regard Republicans as “climate deniers,” which is another of their false tag operations. The climate is always changing. We have had ice ages and the Medieval Warm Period, and the Roman Warm period when the climate was milder. Nobody denies that there is climate change.

The news has been full of the claim that 2014 was the “hottest year” on record, based on unreliable surface thermometer records and even that refers only to four-hundredths of a degree — which is hardly significant. The only significant measurements of global temperature are the satellite temperatures which indicate that temperature changes since 2001 are “statistically insignificant.” We have had satellite measurements for 36 years.

The only place where climate alarmism is rampant is in climate computer programs where they try to predict the future based on a representation of earthly climate they have programmed in. Unfortunately, the predictive ability of the programs cannot even produce the temperatures of today or any time in the past 36 years when we know what the global climate was. GIGO.

The idea that the Keystone XL pipeline has any effect on climate is preposterous. Climate scientist Roy Spencer PhD who runs the satellites out of Huntsville AL commented on the ‘hottest year on record.’ His website has some excellent short explanations of climate change and what we know and what we don’t.




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