American Elephants


The National Geographic Gets Political by The Elephant's Child
September 12, 2013, 5:57 pm
Filed under: Economy, Energy, Environment, National Security | Tags: , ,

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National Geographic has enjoyed a reputation as a scientific and educational organization for 125 years. People save stacks of old Geographics for years, and feel a sense of loss when they finally have to clean them out of the attic. It has been a trusted journal. Has been.

Their judgment on the cover of their September issue, raises some real questions. The editors have obviously bought into climate change propaganda, and they are trying to use scare tactics to gin up support. Alarm about global warming has always been a politically-driven agenda that exists only in computer models, but cannot be confirmed by observation in the real world. Mr. Obama seems to be a believer, and his appointments to the EPA, Interior and the Department of Energy confirm that; and of course we have his promise to halt the rise of the oceans.

For the majority of Americans, climate change is not a priority, and comes in at the bottom of 21 issues according to Pew Research. Australia just dumped its Labour government and the hated carbon tax by electing Tony Abbott as their new Prime Minister.  Europe went for policies aimed at curbing “greenhouse gas emissions” in a big way, but the price of carbon on Europe’s Emissions Trading Scheme has collapsed. Governments across Europe are moving away from alternative energy.

Great Britain is struggling to keep the lights on, since EU regulations are forcing closure of their coal-fired power plants, which last year provided 39% of the country’s electricity. Winters are getting colder, and obeying EU environmental laws will mean their reserve electric power capacity will be cut in half, as prices of electricity climb. National Geographic says “the main reason for the possible crunch” is “closing a number of aging coal-fired plants — as well as some oil and nuclear plants — to meet European Union environmental laws.”

National Geographic readers should be outraged at the cover. The Statue of Liberty is 305 feet tall, the base is 154 feet and the statue 151 feet. With the water up to her waist, you can assume a rising sea level of at least 200 feet, which is more than absurd. Over the entire last century, the climate warmed fractionally more than one degree, and it hasn’t warmed at all for 16 years. The rise of the oceans can be measured in centimeters, not feet.

The damage from Superstorm Sandy has nothing to do with “global warming,” and everything to do with the particular conformation of the land and the ocean floor. This was supposed to be a record-breaking storm season (didn’t happen), horrible hurricane season (still waiting), with record breaking heat ( lower than average).

Global Warming early on became a religious issue for many environmentalists. For those who are dreaming of Utopia, saving the world from the horrors of carbon can be emotionally appealing. Trouble is carbon is one of the building blocks of life, and should we do away with carbon, we would do away with life. The amount of CO² in the atmosphere continues to rise and green the planet as it is intended to do, yet the climate is cooling slightly. CO² has been much higher in the past, with only beneficial effect.

A greener planet will benefit the earth and its people. Don’t worry, be happy.



14,000 Abandoned Wind Turbines Litter the United States by The Elephant's Child

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The towering symbols of a fading religion, over 14,000 wind turbines, abandoned, rusting, slowly decaying. When it is time to clean up after a failed idea, no green environmentalists are to be found. Wind was free, natural, harnessing Earth’s bounty for the benefit of all mankind, sounded like a good idea. Wind turbines, like solar panels, break down.  They produce less energy before they break down than the energy it took to make them.  The wind does not blow all the time, or even most of the time. When it is not blowing, they require full-time backup from conventional power plants.

Without government subsidy, they are unaffordable. With governments facing financial troubles, the subsidies are unaffordable. It was a nice dream, a very expensive dream, but it didn’t work.

California had the “big three” of wind farm locations — Altamont Pass, Tehachapi, and San Gorgonio, considered the world’s best wind sites. California’s wind farms, almost 80% of the world’s wind generation capacity ceased to generate even more quickly than Kamaoa Wind Farm in Hawaii. There are five other abandoned wind farms in Hawaii. When they are abandoned, getting the turbines removed is a major problem. They are highly unsightly, and they are huge, and that’s a lot of material to get rid of.

Unfortunately the same areas that are good for siting wind farms are a natural pass for migrating birds. Altamont’s turbines have been shut down four months out of every year for migrating birds after environmentalists filed suit. According to the Golden Gate Audubon Society 75-110 Golden Eagles, 380 Burrowing Owls, 300 Red-Tailed Hawks and 333 American Kestrels are killed by the turbines every year. An Alameda County Community Development Agency study points to 10,000 annual bird deaths from Altamont wind turbines. The Audubon Society makes up numbers like the EPA, but there’s a reason why they call them bird Cuisinarts.

Palm Springs has enacted an ordinance requiring their removal from San Gorgonio Pass, but unless something else changes abandoned turbines will remain a rotting eyesores, or the taxpayers who have already paid through the nose for overpriced energy and crony-capitalist tax scams will have to foot the bill for their removal.

President Obama’s offshore wind farms will be far more expensive than those sited in California’s ideal wind locations. Salt water is far more damaging than sun and rain, and offshore turbines don’t last as long. But nice tax scams for his crony-capitalist backers will work well as long as he can blame it all on saving the planet.




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