American Elephants


A $300,000 Climate Change Museum? by The Elephant's Child

In the final days of his administration, the former president oversaw the creation of a $300,000 “climate museum” in a government building in Washington D.C. (Paid for with taxpayer dollars), dedicated to the proposition that man-made climate change is a dire threat, and the wonderful work done by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its voluminous files of regulation are absolutely necessary to keep us safe from disaster, or the Statue of Liberty sinking beneath the waves again.

The $300,000 price tag represented $211,111 for the Smithsonian Institution to create the materials shown in the museum and $134,000 to renovate the space. The content was created by the EPA Alumni Association, which compiled it and presented a timeline detailing the milestones of the regulatory agency since it was founded in 1970. Gosh. Do all federal agencies get a museum to extol their legacy? Seems a bit pricey for self-glorification.

According to the Washington Post, I find that it was a “pet project” of former EPA administrator Gina McCarthy, and is “tucked into” the lobby of the EPA Credit Union in the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center. It not only documents all the countless regulations that affect our daily lives, like the ethanol-enhanced gas we put in our cars, our useless new twisty light bulbs, to how we heat and cool our homes. And affects as well the design of our cars and their price, as well as the design and cost of our household appliances. They have not yet succeeded in getting centralized control of our  household energy. but they are working on it. The “museum” embodies the ideology of Obama and his EPA.  President Trump is using executive orders to undo many of the most toxic regulations, with more to come.

I would be surprised if the “museum” contains information on many of the regulations that the courts threw out, or for example, the massive yellow toxic spill of mine waste from the Gold King mine into the Animas River in Colorado which flowed into the San Juan River in New Mexico, and then the Colorado River in Utah, the Grand Canyon and became the water supply for drought-stricken California. The Navajo Nation sued the EPA, but the last I read indicated that the EPA had not paid up. I’d bet this picture is not included in the exhibit either.

Here’s an excellent example of the EPA and how they worked under administrator Gina McCarthy. The Sacketts case went to the Supreme Court, where it was overturned unanimously by the court. Andy Johnson, a welder in Wyoming built a small livestock pond on his property that was approved by the state authorities. That one was an EPA attempt to claim jurisdiction over all the “navigable waters” of the United States—or anything that eventually flows into the ocean that originally comes from a drip from your downspouts.

But I’ll bet there’s lots about how the EPA protected America’s children from the ravages of asthma. Asthma was a favorite cause of Ms. McCarthy, because doctors don’t know what causes asthma which makes it a convenient cause. The goal of the Left is not saving the environment, but control, and the  EPA was just one more tool in their crusade.  Just as the Left’s crusade for Sanctuary Cities, and open borders is another reach for control by increasing the numbers of people in the states that Democrats control or are close to controlling. Illegals are counted in the census, and thus affect the numbers of representatives in Congress that the state gets. The Left may not be well-informed about history or the inestimable worth of our Constitution (which they would love to amend significantly) but they are fully aware of all opportunities for advancing their statist cause.

Administrator Scott Pruitt is on the case, and working steadily to limit the EPA to its basic task of clean air and clean water, and he has the full approval of President Trump, who by executive order is undoing the things that Pruitt can’t do himself.

 



Could Global Warming Slow the Rise of the Sea Level? by The Elephant's Child

Since the first Planet of the Apes movie, the image of the Statue of Liberty drowning in rising sea waters has been done and done and overdone. But images are powerful and that may have helped to make many people think that a global rise in sea levels is the most to-be feared consequence of global warming. Flooding Pacific Islands, environmental refugees, panic in the streets. If I remember correctly, Santa Barbara was going to paint a line on city streets to indicate the potential rise of waters.

Remember that Obama predicted a deceleration of sea level rise when he accepted the Democratic Party nomination in 2008. “This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow, and our planet began to heal.”  Some scientists have predicted an acceleration of ongoing global rise, while others insist stoutly that there has been no increase in the rise of sea level. Here is climate scientist S. Fred Singer to explain the complications.

The difficulty with projections of sea level rise is nicely illustrated by the IPCC. The initial estimates of its first assessment report (1990) showed a range of 10-367 cm for sea level rise in 2100. The second report published in 1996 narrowed the range to 3-124 cm. The third report published in 2001 showed 11-77 cm. The fourth assessment report published in 2007 showed 14-43 cm in draft form but changed it to 18-59 cm in the final printed version.  As can be seen, the maximum SLR decreased successively as estimates improved.  All these IPCC projections are very much smaller than the extreme values of about 600 cm (20 feet!) by activist-scientist James Hansen (and by climate multi-millionaire Al Gore) — which assume excessive melting of the Greenland icecaps.

If you pour yourself a glass of water and add some ice cubes, as the ice melts the glass does not overflow. Keep that in mind. If you add another handful of ice, the glass may overflow.

During the strong warming of 1920-1940 there was no SLR — indicating a rough balance between the opposing effects.  In fact, scrutinizing the record, I can even discern a slight lowering of sea level, an over-compensation.  Unfortunately, back then in 1997 we had no data on Antarctic ice accumulation; so the hypothesis was not publishable.  However, now we do have sufficient data in support of such a scenario.

But if, as surmised, ice accumulation roughly balances ocean thermal expansion and contributions from melting mountain glaciers, why then is sea level rising?  Another riddle requiring a solution.

The relevant clue comes from corals and from geological observations: It seems that sea level has been rising for the past centuries at about the same rate as seen by tidal gauges in the last 100 years.  In other words, sea level was rising even during the colder Little Ice age, from about 1400 to 1850 AD.  This provides further support for the hypothesis that the observed global SLR since 1900 is reasonably independent of the observed temperature rise.  [It is also a killing argument against a widely quoted (‘semi-empirical’) theory that assumes rate of SLR is proportional to global surface temperature.]

Dr. Singer concludes that the melting of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, which is not floating ice but like a mountain glacier—contributes more water to the ocean thus raising the sea level by about 7 inches per century. The melting will continue for another several millennia until the ice sheet is all gone (barring another ice age in the meantime), and there is nothing that we can do to stop this future rise. It is as inevitable as the ocean tides. Do read the whole thing. You will become an expert, able to dispel the anxieties of the true believers, and  your own, if any. Learn how they measure, and how recent studies have clarified the picture. And no, even Obama’s valiant efforts had not the slightest effect.



“The Closing of the Scientific Mind” by The Elephant's Child

An excerpt from a post by David Gelernter on January 1, 2014, in Commentary: “The Closing of the Scientific Mind,” in which he challenges scientists, suggesting that “the cultural authority science has acquired over the last century has imposed large duties on every scientist.” Are you listening Michael Mann?

I hope this brief excerpt will prompt you to read the whole thing, which is brilliant.

The Kurzweil Cult.

The voice most strongly associated with what I’ve termed roboticism is that of Ray Kurzweil, a leading technologist and inventor. The Kurzweil Cult teaches that, given the strong and ever-increasing pace of technological progress and change, a fateful crossover point is approaching. He calls this point the “singularity.” After the year 2045 (mark your calendars!), machine intelligence will dominate human intelligence to the extent that men will no longer understand machines any more than potato chips understand mathematical topology. Men will already have begun an orgy of machinification—implanting chips in their bodies and brains, and fine-tuning their own and their children’s genetic material. Kurzweil believes in “transhumanism,” the merging of men and machines. He believes human immortality is just around the corner. He works for Google.

Whether he knows it or not, Kurzweil believes in and longs for the death of mankind. Because if things work out as he predicts, there will still be life on Earth, but no human life. To predict that a man who lives forever and is built mainly of semiconductors is still a man is like predicting that a man with stainless steel skin, a small nuclear reactor for a stomach, and an IQ of 10,000 would still be a man. In fact we have no idea what he would be.

And to return to 2017: This piece from Breitbart today:  “Kalashnikov Group Announced Fully-Automated Combat Robots.”

Kalashnikov, the Russian weapons manufacturer behind the most effective killing machine in history, has stepped into the future of warfare, announcing its development of autonomous AI-controlled combat robots.

If you find that all entirely too scary, here’s a thoughtful piece by Matt Ridley, who is always thoughtful:

“Why You Should Be Optimistic”



It’s No Wonder the American People Are So Confused! by The Elephant's Child

While everyone is looking the other way, notably at Trump and Twitter, President Trump has announced plans to make the United States a global energy powerhouse. He has already taken steps toward unleashing domestic energy supplies, but he announced six more steps that he plans to take: reviving nuclear energy, removing barriers to building coal plants overseas, building more energy pipelines including one into Mexico, increasing exports of natural gas and creating a new offshore-leasing program.

Turkey threatens not to ratify the Paris Climate Accord.  Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan admits the only reason for signing was to get money from the U.S. and other wealthy nations. Now that the U.S. has pulled out of the accord, there’s no reason to expect the financial benefits. Proving once again that the Paris Climate Treaty (which we never signed) had nothing to do with climate, but only with redistributing economic wealth.

New York magazine has an article by one David Wallace-Wells titled “The Uninhabitable Earth,” subtitled “Famine, economic collapse, a sun that cooks us: What climate change could wreak—sooner than you think.”

Yale Poll finds: 4 in 10 Americans (39%) think ‘global warming will cause humans to become extinct.

Bombshell study: Temperature Adjustments Account for ‘Nearly All of the Warming’ in Government Climate Data.

President Trump demanded and obtained a clear statement of the U.S. rejection of the Paris Climate Agreement and just as important, a statement recognizing the appropriate role of efficient use of fossil fuels as an energy resource for the future.

July o9, 2017: It was just reported that Greenland set a new all-time July cold record, where the mercury plummeted to -33ºC.

Famed MIT Climate Scientist Dr. Ricard Lindzen: Believing CO² controls the climate “is pretty close to believing in magic.”

If you are interested, Climate Depot and CFact have produced a new Talking Points memo, an A-Z  Debunking of Climate Claims



Scott Pruitt Is Going to Straighten Out the EPA and Return it to its Basic Task. by The Elephant's Child

Scott Pruitt, the new administrator of the EPA, plans to get the EPA back to it’s basic task. The statuary mandate for the EPA is clean air and clean water, and respect for states’ rights. Mr. Pruitt’s focus is neither expanding nor reducing regulation. “There is no reason why EPA’s role should ebb or flow based on a particular administrator. Agencies exist to administer the law” he says, “Congress passes statutes, and those statutes are very clear on the job EPA has to do. We’re going to do that job.” Kim Strassel, writing at the Wall Street Journal shortly after he was confirmed, said “You might call him an EPA originalist.”

That would seem like a perfect candidate for the job. But it was one of President Trump’s most contentious nominations. Opponents objected that as Oklahoma’s attorney general Mr. Pruitt has sued the EPA at least 14 times. He was called a “climate denier,” an “oil and gas shill,” ” intent on gutting the agency” and “destroying the planet. “There were six theatrical hours of questions in his confirmation hearing and he submitted more than  1,000 written responses. (I thought gutting the agency was a fine idea.)

He said “We have made extraordinary progress on the environment over the decades, and that’s something we should celebrate. But there is real work to be done. Hitting air-quality targets for one. Under current measurements, some 40% of the country is still in nonattainment. We’ve got 1,300 Superfund sites and some of them have been on the list for more than three decades.”

“This president is a fixer, he’s an action-oriented leader, and a refocused EPA is in a great position to get results.” That’s a change in direction from his predecessor. “This past administration didn’t bother with statutes. They displaced Congress, disregarded the law, and in general said they would act in their own way. That now ends.”

Now, it’s July. Scott Pruitt plans to undo, delay or block over 30 environmental regulations. More rollbacks than any other administrator in the agency’s 47 year history. Well. You can imagine the hissy fit from all of the environmental groups in particular and the Left in general. They are still having the vapors over Mr. Trump’s formal withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement—but the Paris Agreement would make no measurable difference whatsoever in the climate, even over the next hundred years.

The Gina McCarthy EPA was engaged in a great power-grab. Whatever they wanted to do involved protecting our children, usually from asthma, a condition that doctors don’t understand well. People like the Sacketts who bought a lot in a development at Priest Lake and were building their dream home, suddenly charged with destroying a wetland and fined $35,000 a day until they restored the wetland. The Supreme Court threw that one out, but it was typical of EPA overreach. Scott Pruitt is doing a fine job and is restoring a rogue agency to its assigned task. A very good idea.



Wind Turbines Do Have a Use Even When There’s No Wind by The Elephant's Child

I have written many times about the problem with wind turbines is the simple fact that wind does not blow all the time. It is too intermittent to be successful as a source of significant power.  I have learned that wind turbines are useful— even when the wind does not blow. Who knew?

This was a tweet from someone in Germany, but I lost it and cannot find his name. So thank you, I apologize for not adding your name.

Correction: It was a tweet from Damien Ernst in Liege, Belgium, who is a professor at the University of Liege. Wonderful picture, great sense of humor.



Does Alphabet/Google Want Conservatives’ Business? Well, No, No They Don’t. by The Elephant's Child

Justin Danhof of the National Center for Public Policy Research’s Free Enterprise Project challenges executives of Alphabet – Google’s parent company – about the company’s tolerance of political diversity. Does a company that routinely and publicly supports liberal causes take into account its conservative employees, investors and consumers?

Well, no, no they don’t.The smartest men in the universe, who hire only the most intelligent people publicly flunk science, flunk diversity (Not interested in diversity of ideas) flunk public relations, and have no problem with insulting nearly half the people in the United States,and the majority of the Congress and the state houses, and are so oblivious that they don’t even know that their positions are hard left, and don’t realize that they are suggesting that the rest of the people might just prefer to use some other search engine.

DuckDuckGo doesn’t track every click of your mouse.  Brilliant presentation, fellas. They don’t want your business. Don’t give it to them.




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