American Elephants


Peter Thiel Spoke Today to the National Press Club by The Elephant's Child

Billionaire venture capitalist and entrepreneur Peter Thiel has rocked Silicon Valley with his support for Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump. Thiel will discuss that political endorsement and the 2016 election at a National Press Club speakers newsmaker event on Monday Oct. 31.

Thiel, who co-founded PayPal and Palantir Technologies Inc., endorsed Trump at the Republican National Convention in July and pledged a $1.25 million campaign donation in support of the candidate.



The Washington State Ballot Makes National News, for some Surprisingly Dumb Issues by The Elephant's Child

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Washington State voters have just received their ballots and the Voter’s Guide. It tells you something when we have already made the national news. The above Venn Diagram comes from economist Mark Perry, writing at AEI.

Over at the Wall Street Journal, we got a full article on “The SEIU’s Ballot Fraud:  The union tries to hoodwink voters into protecting its dues.”

That’s the story in Washington state, where the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is funding a ballot measure that advertises itself as the Seniors and Vulnerable Individuals’ Safety and Financial Crimes Prevention Act. What the ballot measure would really do is prevent home-care workers from being informed that they have the right to opt out of the union.

In Harris v. Quinn in 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that home-care workers have a First Amendment right not to pay fees to a union they don’t wish to join. In Washington state the ruling was taken up by the Freedom Foundation, which sought to inform the members of two unions representing child-care and home health-care workers that they could opt out. …

Under the ballot measure, the Freedom Foundation or other outsiders would be blocked from obtaining the list of union members’ names. The unions know that when workers know they have a right not to pay union dues, they often don’t. According to the Freedom Foundation, of the roughly 7,000 unionized child-care providers notified by the Freedom Foundation, well over 60% have dropped their union membership.

National Review targeted the same ballot measure.

In Washington State, Unions Advance a Ballot Measure to Keep Members in the Dark.” It is disguised as a measure to protect the elderly from abuse but is simply an aggressive effort to keep home care providers from knowing that they don’t have to belong to the union, nor do they have to pay union dues.

Also on the ballot, but unaddressed at the national level is a state attempt to invalidate the (much hated by the Left) Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision, the aforementioned minimum wage issue,  a gun bill that attempts to remove guns from the mentally ill or depressed in an ineffective suicide prevention idea. And to top it all off, there’s an attempt to pass a carbon tax that would accomplish nothing, nothing at all, except an increase in taxes.

The Wall Street Journal also points out that “State government revenues have swelled 30% in the last five  years. That’s a bigger raise than most workers have received, but public unions and their friends are asking voters for more at the ballot box on November eighth.

So they are, and we should not give them a cent.



The EPA’s Evidence For Global Warming Has Been Scientifically Invalidated! by The Elephant's Child

brian1-copy_20161003151613017_6245052_ver1-0_640_360Hurricane Matthew is creating a wave of destruction through Haiti, Cuba and the states that may be in the storm’s path are battening down the hatches and preparing for the worst, just in case. You can be sure that the damage will be blamed on global warming. Everything unpleasant has been — blamed on global warming.

President Obama has used his bully pulpit to bully the world into using governmental power to save the world from human-caused “climate change.” From his nomination acceptance speech in June 2008 (“This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal”) to every State of the Union address, he has lectured us on the “greatest crisis facing mankind.” He’s even gone so far as to force the military to start moving to clean energy to power our armed forces.

The results of his passion for saving us all from the perils of climate change have meant forcing the closure of coal-fired power plants, putting coal-mines out of business, and the miners on the dole, blocking pipelines, wasting billions on “clean energy” sources that cannot possibly run a real electrical grid at reasonable cost or actually supply the electricity that runs our economy.

The force of law came on December 15, 2009 when the Environmental Protection Agency issued its Green House Gas (GHG) Endangerment Finding which has driven significant and costly regulations beginning with CO2. From page 47 of the Endangerment Finding’s Technical Support Document:

The attribution of observed climate change to anthropogenic activities is based on multiple lines of evidence. The first line of evidence arises from the basic physical understanding of the effects of changing concentrations of GHGs, natural factors, and other human impacts on the climate system. The second line of evidence arises from indirect, historical estimates of past climate changes that suggest that the changes in global surface temperature over the last several decades are unusual (Karl et al, 2009). The third line of evidence arises from the use of computer-based climate models to simulate the likely patterns of response of the climate system to different forcing mechanisms (both natural and anthropogenic).  

But they never really checked to see if their “lines of evidence” stand up. On September 19, the ICECAP website posted the following: “The most important assumption in EPA’s CO2 Endangerment Finding has been conclusively invalidated.”  

The news is that a major new work of research, from a large group of top scientists and mathematicians, asserts that EPA’s “lines of evidence,” and thus its Endangerment Finding, have been scientifically invalidated.

These analysis results [in this Report] would appear to leave very, very little doubt but that EPA’s claim of a Tropical Hot Spot (THS), caused by rising atmospheric CO2 levels, simply does not exist in the real world. Also critically important, even on an all-other-things-equal basis, this analysis failed to find that the steadily rising Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations have had a statistically significant impact on any of the 13 critically important temperature time series data analyzed.

Thus, the analysis results invalidate each of the Three Lines of Evidence in its CO2 Endangerment Finding. Once EPA’s THS assumption is invalidated, it is obvious why the climate models they claim can be relied upon, are also invalid. And, these results clearly demonstrate – 13 times in fact – that once just the ENSO impacts on temperature data are accounted for, there is no “record setting” warming to be concerned about. In fact, there is no ENSO-Adjusted Warming at all. These natural ENSO impacts are shown in this research to involve both changes in solar activity and the well-known 1977 Pacific Climate Shift.

Here’s a summary from The Daily Caller, another from The Manhattan ContrarianHere’s a basic discussion of climate change from Dr. Roy Spencer, who measures world temperatures by satellite.

Expect whatever damages are perpetrated by Hurricane Matthew to be blamed on global warming. Expect a long, vicious political battle over the validation of the invalidation. The global warming enthusiasts are not going to give up easily. They are dedicated to catastrophe.

“Manmade global warming is a danger to humanity and the environment and it must be stopped.” That notion has funded many a career in climate science, departments of Environmental Science in universities, huge and glamorous meetings of the cognoscenti in the world’s most beautiful resorts, and many a political career.

Although top UN people in charge of the UN climate effort have admitted that their goal is the destruction of capitalism and the transfer of wealth from the capitalist nations to the undeveloped world, and doesn’t really have anything to do with a little warming — that massive political organization is not going to throw up their hands and say “nevermind.” Expect a war.

The EPA’s Clean Power Plan, a (devastating to the country) power grab by an out of control crooked agency is now working its way through the courts. Hillary has already promised coal country that she will see that they are shut down, and the country is electrified by “clean power.”

ADDENDUM: President Obama was out on the South Lawn yesterday celebrating the Paris Climate Agreement, which “would still not be sufficient to deal with the pace of warming that we’re seeing in the atmosphere.”  and “This week we’ll begin negotiations on an aviation agreement, an international aviation agreement, where all airlines and major carriers around the world begin to figure out how they can reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that they’re emitting, which can make a big difference.” (like Air Force One is actually two 747s to transport the president and all his staff and the helicopters and armored cars).  Today he was out on the south Lawn again talking about how global warming is causing disasters like Hurricane Matthew.
Told you so.



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.”




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