American Elephants


Governor Jay Inslee Wants to Save the Children From Climate Change with A New Carbon Tax by The Elephant's Child

Oh my goodness. Our very own governor here in Washington state has announced in a tweet, that “we have just 59 days to do our part to save our children from an endless cycle of crop-killing droughts one year, and rivers spilling their banks the next. To save salmon from dying in ever warning rivers, and our forests from being reduced to plumes of ash.” dated 12:49 PM – Jan 9, 2018 (Interesting, My clock on my desk says it’s just 26 minutes past 10, What’s this future tweet?)

Governor Inslee is making a fool of himself once again. He’s all hot and bothered to get a Carbon Tax, which he thinks would be a good idea because he can’t be bothered to do his homework, which would mean reading up on the actual science instead of just getting ideas from Jerry Brown. A carbon tax might bring in some extra money, but it would accomplish nothing, nothing at all. The 59 days refers to the end of this legislative term and the amount of time the legislature has to pass his bill adopting a worthless carbon tax.

Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is plant food. It has contributed to a vast greening of the earth, which is helping to feed hungry people around the world. It has no measurable effect on global warming in the next 100 years.  Global warming has meant so far that the earth is almost 1º warmer on average than it was in 1900, a century ago. Since the sun has gone quiet, worrying about a new ice age would be more appropriate. The planet is cooling. The arctic is not melting. And in case you were worried about them, the polar bears are just fine, and their population is growing.

The Washington State Supreme Court has said the state has to do a better job of funding its schools. Inslee’s plan would tax carbon dioxide emissions at $20 a ton in 2019 that would gradually rise at 3.5 percent above inflation each following year.

The governor’s office estimates it will raise $3.3 billion over the next four years. About $950 million would go to education programs, the rest would go toward green energy programs and research (waste of money unless it’s nuclear power) water infrastructure,(new dams? or going to stop dumping sewage in the Sound?) wildfire mitigation,  and some money would offset taxes or go to poor families. The plan could raise household electricity prices by 5% and gas prices by 10% according to official estimates.

The Wall Street Journal recently commented on Governor Inslee’s machinations. Not flattering. If you are a Washingtonian, you might want to read this, for the rest of you, never mind. Will the people of the United States learn something from the Left’s inability to successfully run anything? Probably not, but you might want to total up the cities run by Democrat administrations. It’s not a pretty picture.

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“Snowfalls Are Now Just A Thing Of The Past” by The Elephant's Child

Former Vice President Al Gore has weighed in on the record cold and snow in the Eastern U.S. —” It’s bitter cold in parts of the U.S., but “climate scientist” Dr, Michael Mann explains that’s exactly what we should expect from the climate crisis” Gore wrote on Twitter on Thursday, January 4.

Back in 2000, the Independent in Britain wrote sorrowfully that “Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past—Children just aren’t going to know what snow is.”

Climate scientist Kevin Trenberth, with the National Center for Atmospheric Research, said “winter storms are a manifestation of winter, not climate change.”

Of course California’s Governor Jerry Brown blames everything on global warming —the devastating wildfires, the earlier floods and the Oroville Dam failure, he hauls it out whenever there is something that can possibly be blamed on global warming.

Ken Haapala, President of the Science and Environmental Policy Project just wrote:

The fear of carbon dioxide is largely based on long range forecasts from inadequately tested climate models that greatly overestimate the short-term temperature change that is occurring in the atmosphere, where the greenhouse effect occurs, also influenced by natural variation. The fear of carbon dioxide is promoted by relatively few scientists and a great number of supporters. Government policies based on such fears are draining the vitality of our society, which has long been marked by constant striving for improvement, for a better future. TWTW* (their newsletter) will continue to address the fear of carbon dioxide and its associated fears. It will  emphasize the benefits of increased carbon dioxide and what little warming it may cause.

*The Week that Was, their newsletter, is available in a free subscription which will keep you up to date with all things scientific about the climate. Simply go the website https://sepp.org and you’ll find a spot in the header where you can subscribe. (If you use Firefox, they will tell you that SEPP has an improper certificate, but ignore them and enter the website on Bing or Google and they’ll connect you right away.)  Lots of information available there.

ADDENDUM: I’m not sure if most people know that global warming exists only in computer programs, elaborate though they may be. I think they were based on programs devised to predict the stock market, but I’m not sure of that.They start with what is known about climate, which is not much, and put in a lot of “common knowledge” then some surmises and a lot of sheer guesses, and expect it to tell us what the climate will be in the next 100 years, We don’t understand the effect of clouds at all according to Dr. Roy Spencer (he’s the one who runs the satellites that give us accurate world temperatures), and though we know the action of the sun (sunspots or lack thereof) has a lot to do with it, so does the ocean. The Paris Accords were not about climate, but about transferring money from the rich nations to the poor.



Common Sense is Not Anywhere as Common as Assumed by The Elephant's Child

Mitch Daniels, President of Purdue University, had an excellent article in the Washington Post last Wednesday about GMO foods. The campaign against GMO foods he says, is the kind of foolishness that only rich societies can afford to indulge.

Of the several claims of “anti-science” that clutter our national debates these days, none can be more flagrantly clear than the campaign against modern agricultural technology, most specifically the use of molecular techniques to create genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Here, there are no credibly conflicting studies, no arguments about the validity of computer models, no disruption of an ecosystem nor any adverse human health or even digestive problems, after 5 billion acres have been cultivated cumulatively and trillions of meals consumed.

And yet a concerted, deep-pockets campaign, as relentless as it is baseless, has persuaded a high percentage of Americans and Europeans to avoid GMO products, and to pay premium prices for “non-GMO” or “organic” foods that may in some cases be less safe and less nutritious. Thank goodness the toothpaste makers of the past weren’t cowed so easily; the tubes would have said “No fluoride inside!” and we’d all have many more cavities.

The article is an excellent plea for a little common sense. Mitch Daniels points out that suggesting that the poor in developing countries should fear GMO foods is not just wrong, but immoral. The story of the Green Revolution and the work of Norman Borlaug who should be one of the great heroes of the world should be taught in school.  Golden Rice is a variety of rice (Oryza sativa)  produced through genetic engineering (there are the ‘scary’ words) to biosynthesize beta-carotene in the edible parts of rice. It is intended to produce a fortified food to be grown and consumed in areas where there is a shortage of dietary vitamin A, a deficiency which is estimated to kill 670,000 children under the age of 5 each year.

This is a broad problem of political and scientific ignorance. Ilya Somin of the Volokh Conspiracy added his views on the problem.He links to Reason science writer Ron Bailey and William Saletan of Slate. The basic problem of ignorance is heightened by the very words “genetically engineered” which sound, to the ignorant, really scary. Ilya Somin notes that a 2012 National Science  Foundation survey found that about 25% of Americans don’t know that the Earth revolves around the sun rather than visa versa. There’s a lot about basic knowledge in Ilya Somin’s article that certainly suggests that we have a major problem with our schools. Do read that whole thing too.

I would suggest though, that much of the problem exists because of our grocery stores. Food producers are concerned with their marketing, and inclined to cater to any possible fears of the consumer. Hence you have “low sodium” products, “sugar-free,” “low-fat,” and “No GMO products” among others on every can or carton in the store. If everyone is telling you that GMO is a bad thing, pretty soon you’ll start to believe it.

Another article by Ilya Somin explains the problem of mandatory government warnings where the state of Florida required producers of skim milk that does not contain added vitamins to label it as “imitation milk” which it of course is not. The European Union has imposed mandatory labeling of GMO foods, even though there are no dangers involved. Read the comments on Mitch Daniels’ fine essay. You might wonder if perhaps Leftism is just a cult.



“Climate Change” Will No Longer be a National Security Threat by The Elephant's Child


The Trump administration will reverse course from the Obama administration policy which considered climate change a national security threat. The new National Security Strategy to be released on Monday will balance the idea of energy security with economic development and environmental protection.

“U.S. leadership is indispensable to countering an anti-growth, energy agenda that is detrimental to U.S. economic and energy security interests. Given future global energy demand, much of the developing world will require fossil fuels, as well as other forms of energy, to power their economies and lift their people out of poverty.” a draft of the National Security Strategy said.

President Obama made climate change, and the burdensome regulations that accompany its focus, a primary focus of his administration, including in his National Security Strategy released in 2015. “[W]e are working toward an ambitious new global climate change agreement to shape standards for prevention, preparedness, and response over the next decade,” that report said.

Here’s what the National Security Strategy said in 2010, when “climate change” first made its appearance in national security planning.

nss-2010-climate

John Holdren, who was Obama’s Science Advisor, had long been fearful of man’s effect upon the planet. He was deeply concerned about overpopulation earlier, and when climate change emerged as a potential problem, he adopted that concern as well, and passed it on to Obama.

The Navy and Coast Guard can go back to their ordinary responsibilities. And the rest of us can go back to worrying about the chemicals in our food and whether our cell phones will give us brain cancer.



One More Mission From NASA Physicists and Engineers by The Elephant's Child


Unvalidated climate models that don’t correspond with physical data and the requirements of the scientific method contribute to unfounded climate alarmism, a retired NASA physicist said at the Heartland Institute’s recent America First Energy Conference.

Since America’s national security depends in part on energy security, unsubstantiated claims about global warming that prevent policymakers from making “rational decisions” with regard to the development of U.S. energy resources have become a national security threat, said Hal Doiron, a 16-year NASA veteran.

The “propaganda” underpinning climate alarmism is “causing tremendous political bottlenecks” that prevent government officials from “doing the right thing” on energy, he said.

Hal Dorion helped to develop the Apollo Lunar Module’s landing dynamics software during NASA’s moon missions. He is concerned that the U.S. military has been misdirected by climate alarmist claims that are not sound science. He poses the example of the US Navy preparing for something that is unreasonable that would also cost way too much money —extreme sea level rise— that is not supported by rigorous scientific data.

With respect to climate alarm, he says that too many academics in too many universities are writing papers that draw conclusions from models that don”t agree with physical data.

My assumption is that once alarm about the possible warming of the earth became a public concern, everybody wanted to jump on the bandwagon. Prestige, grants, new laboratories, new assistants, prestige for the university etc. etc. They assumed they could just put the whole problem in a computer program which would allow them to really study it.

They put in what was known scientific fact, then they put in educated guesses, and some assumptions, and the more they did the more money became available, invitations to glamorous conferences, interviews. There are some things we know, but there’s a lot that is  unknown and the true believers want answers now, because it has become politics—not science.

Science means that lots of others can do the same experiment and get the same answer. That’s validation. The earthly temperatures that they were all using came from temperature recording sites that were sometimes located right next to the air conditioning units’ output, or right where concrete walls reflected heat back, or at airports where there was miles of concrete runways and buildings around the recording site.

Admiral Thomas Hayward who retired from the Navy as U.S. Chief of Naval Operations and a member  of the Joint Chiefs of Staff also addressed the Heartland Institute’s energy conference.

For the past six to eight years, he said, climate change has been given “a higher priority” than the readiness of the Navy’s fleet. During that time, the U.S. Defense Department has spent $100 million on “just climate change,” while the U.S. Navy has spent “$58 billion chasing what is called the ‘green fleet.’”

That means many U.S. Navy vessels are using biofuels, but Hayward wonders how many ports around the world are equipped to accommodate U.S. Navy vessels that rely on a high percentage of biofuels, and he worries how that would work in a combat situation.

Here is the letter the Right Climate Stuff research team sent to President Trump last May. Here is the website for the Right Climate Stuff organization of retired NASA physicists and astronomical engineers, lots of good information there.



“Energiewinde” Was A Flop That Has Driven Germans Into Energy Poverty by The Elephant's Child

Climate activists in this country looked to Europe, especially Germany, as a model of proper green virtue. Chancellor Merkel’s Energiewinde or energy revolution was supposed to solve the problem of carbon emissions. That’s solar panels and wind turbines.

People really familiar with solar panels and wind turbines, if they are not in the business of trying to sell them will explain that the problem is with the wind and the sun itself. The people selling wind turbines talk about capacity which is what a well functioning turbine will produce in the way of energy when the wind is blowing at just the right speed.

But wind doesn’t blow in the right speed steadily — it blows in gusts and puffs, steadily for a few minutes and then after a while some more puffs. Even someplace really windy. Go to White Sands National Monument sometime. Those great white sand dunes are produced by wind blowing a lot. (the mice and lizards there are white to match the dunes)

There aren’t a lot of really windy places that stay windy a lot of the time, but even those don’t meet the good flow that will match the ideal capacity that produces regular energy. Films of wind farms show some of the turbines turning and some not. Turbines break down, catch fire, malfunction, and that’s not included in the salesmen’s claims. Besides the turbines kill a lot of birds, everything from the big birds of prey like Eagles to tiny songbirds. What the decimation of the bird population will do to the environment is never mentioned.

Sunlight is more diffuse, and even in sunny places —which is where they site big solar arrays— there are clouds, moving through, cloudy days, rainy days. Clouds are not well understood in their relation to climate. If you are a summer cloud-watcher—lying on the grass and watching the clouds move by, you will notice that they are at different levels, affecting the sunlight differently.

I am by no means a climate scientist, but because I knew so little, it was clearly time to bone up. As far as I can tell, the officials who make the decisions about what to do about the climate—don’t do any studying up themselves, they just trust what others of their political persuasion say.

California Governor Jerry Brown is a true believer, who has laid his state’s problems with wildfires, flood and drought, water problems and winter and rise of the sea level, whatever on the issue of climate and an excess of CO2, and especially with President Trump’s excellent decision to fail to sign on to the Paris Climate accords. Brown was off on a ten day tour of European capitols on his way to the UN conference on climate in Bonn, to show how he and other west coast governors were ready to fight the global rise in temperatures, and possibly show how superior he was to the denier Trump, in case he might be called upon to run against Trump the next time.  Our Washington governor, another true believer, plans to try to pass a carbon tax now that Republicans lost control of the legislature.

If the Paris Climate Accords were fully adapted, climate scientists have made clear the effect on the climate by 2100 would be negligible. CO2 is what we exhale each time we breathe. It is a natural fertilizer for plants all over the world and much has been written about the greening of the planet, helping to feed the people of the world. What the Paris Climate Accords were intended to do was transfer as much wealth as possible from the worlds rich nations to the poor and developing countries. In other words it was never really about the climate at all.

But back in Germany, Chancellor Merkel has been unable to form a government. Energiewinde has not only cost far, far more than was planned, but delivered far less energy and put many a German household into energy poverty. People may not understand all the arguments about the climate and how it works, but when they can’t afford to keep their houses warm in the winter, they are not going to vote to continue freezing. Big idea, sounded good, but it didn’t work.



About Draining That Swamp… by The Elephant's Child

How about a little good news for a change? You may be astonished to learn that it comes from Canada. Conrad Black says that “the Canadian media has failed in its coverage of the biggest political news in the world in many years. Trump is the most successful U.S. president since Reagan.” (Do read the whole thing.)

But no one relying on the Canadian media would be aware that he has more than doubled the economic growth rate, reduced illegal immigration by about 80 per cent, withdrawn from the insane Paris Climate accord, helped add trillions to U.S. stock market values, created nearly two million new jobs, led the rout of ISIL, and gained full Chinese adherence to the unacceptability of North Korean nuclear military capability. He will probably pass the greatest tax cuts and reforms since Reagan, if not Lyndon Johnson, by Christmas, and may throw out the most unpopular feature of Obamacare, the coercive mandate, with it.

And here’s Victor Davis Hanson at American Greatness:

After 10 months of governance, Trump’s deregulations, a foreign policy of principled realism, energy agendas, judicial appointments, efforts at tax reform and health care recalibration, cabinet appointments, and reformulation at the Departments of Education, the EPA, and Interior seem so far conservative to the core.

In the few areas where Trump conceivably differed from his 16 primary Republican rivals—immigration, trade, and foreign policy—the 20th-century Republican/conservative orthodoxy was actually closer to Trump’s positions than to those of recent Republican nominees, John McCain or Mitt Romney.

Vast majorities of conservatives always favored enforcement of federal immigration law rather than tolerance of sanctuary cities. They wanted to preserve legal, meritocratic, diverse, and measured immigration, not sanction open borders. And they championed the melting pot over the identity politics of the salad bowl.

After the daily criticism and angst from the junior journalists, it’s nice to hear about the president’s accomplishments for a change, for there are a lot of them.  A little celebration is in order.




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