American Elephants

As The World Turns, Etc, Etc. by The Elephant's Child

600 – 200 B.C.: An Unnamed Cold Period
200 BC to about AD 600: The Roman Warming
600 to 900: The Dark Ages Cold Period
900 to 1300: Medieval Warming
1300 to 1850: The Little Ice Age (two stages)

1850 – 1940: Especially between 1920-1940: Warming
1940 to 1975: Cooling Trend
1976-1978: Sudden Warming Spurt
1979 to 1998: +1º
1998 to 2011: +1º

The Medieval Warming period led to the Renaissance  which began approximately in 1300 and ended approximately in 1700. A bountiful time, wine grapes grew in England, food was plentiful and there was a flowering of learning and art. Think Michelangelo, Raphael, and Copernicus among others. What I’m getting at here, is the idea that if we are facing climate doom, the world is going to die in 10 or 12 years if we don’t save it by stopping “fracking,” stop using oil and gasoline, and eliminating plastic bags. That’s what you get for listening to “celebrities” instead of studying up on the science.

I was an English Major, which means that I learned how to read hard stuff, and read a lot. That does not mean that I’m always right, much as I like to think so. Christiana Figueres, the General Secretary of the IPCC, was quite sure that the object of “climate change” was as a tool to get rid of Capitalism. Leftists do not like capitalism, which seems a bit strange, but economics is not their strong point. Capitalists to them are business CEOs and owners, and the “Rich”. The Left is entitled to be in charge because they are morally superior, it would be helpful if we all understood that.

Conservatives have long sneered at the Left because they were the Southern slave owners in the Civil War, but the Left has ended that accusation by electing the first black president, who served for two terms, which puts them back in the morally superior category. Global Warming, plastic bags, ending fracking, and giving taxpayer money to illegal aliens adds to their sense of superiority.

America is a nation of immigrants, as you know, which leads them to believe that immigrants are special, and just because they can’t be bothered to enter the country the legal way, shouldn’t keep them from sharing in the bounty of America. So Leftists care about illegal immigrants, which means hating I.C.E. (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and making sure that illegal immigrants get stimulus money. It is that mindset that makes them believe that if little immigrant children were kept in cages, it was obviously done by conservatives, contrary to the actual actions of the Obama administration. Once you get the “entitled to be in charge because they are morally superior” theme firmly in mind, it makes understanding all the other stuff simple. Or at least it helps.

Elizabeth Warren ranted that President Trump was trying to kill everybody in the world because he would not correctly address climate change, or something like that. The very slight warming we have had has brought enormous blessings to the world. The slight increase in the amount of CO² in the atmosphere has been a bounty for mankind for it is a natural fertilizer for plants. More bountiful crops mean the hungry are well fed and there is less starvation in the world. Forests grow more as well, and there is more wood for fuel and for building homes.

In case there is any confusion, Elizabeth Warren is calling her climate program “The Blue New Deal”. Don’t want any confusion with the Green thing.

Do make time to visit Climate Depot and Dr. Roy Spencer and the others listed in the sidebar. There’s an enormous amount of hype out there, and the best defense are informed citizens. Solar energy and wind energy are nice, when they aren’t killing birds, but they cannot provide the energy needed by a modern society. Just doesn’t work.

Been There, Done That. Doesn’t Work! by The Elephant's Child

Environmentalists have long been sure that if we could just eliminate things that are not “natural” from our lives, live in harmony with nature, then the world would be a better place. Relying on the Sun and the Wind were right at the top of the list. We should eliminate chemicals from our diet, stop cutting down trees, save endangered species but stop putting animals in cages, and just quit eating meat. The very word “natural” moved right to the top of the advertising buzz-word list.

So it is no surprise that in the panic about Global Warming, which was the next big thing after we stopped panicking about a new ice age in the 1970s, and the threat of a nuclear winter receded, we turned to trying to harness the power of the sun. Sensible people pointed out that the power of the sun was very diffuse, the sun had the habit of sinking below the horizon at night, and there was the problem of cloudy days and clouds on even nice days. But this is America, and the Twenty-First Century, as we are so frequently reminded, and we have technology!

Well, yes. Words for today, but written on the 15th of June in 2015.

The 2.2 billion Ivanpah solar project in California’s Mojave Desert is definitely high-tech. Those tiny white rectangles in the picture above are more than 170,000 mirrors, each about the size of a garage door, that rotate to follow the path of the sun across the sky. Solar-thermal technology was meant to supersede old-fashioned solar panel farms. The mirrors would reflect the sunlight to the huge “power towers,” enormous pillars to create steam which would generate electricity.

The facility was built by Bright Source Energy Inc, and operated by NRG Energy Inc. NRG owns the facility along with Bright Source, Google and other investors. Last time I wrote about Ivanpah in November, they were trying to get a federal grant to pay off their $1.6 billion federal loan.

The $2.2 billion project is supposed to be generating more than a million megawatt hours of electricity, but 15 months after starting up, the plant is producing just 40% of that, according to the U.S. Energy Department. Why, with new technology, there is a lot more that can go wrong. There’s a lot more on-the-job-learning. The power plant needs a lot more steam to run smoothly and efficiently. They thought they could ramp up the plant before sunrise with fossil fuels to get it humming, but it needs four times as much fossil fuel help to get going.

And despite being in one of the hottest places in the U.S. — not enough sun. Weather predictions underestimated the amount of cloud cover. Then there were millions in cost overruns because of wildlife protections for the ‘endangered’ Desert Tortoise. The birds are not so lucky. Government biologists estimate that  3,500 birds died at Ivanpah in the course of a year. The songbirds go up in a puff of smoke as they chase the bugs that are drawn to the bright light. Raptors chase the songbirds, and die instantly. I wonder if the big corpses break the mirrors when they fall?

New solar farms generate electricity at about 5 cents a kilowatt-hour. Ivanpah is running between 12 and 25 cents a kilowatt-hour. Plans for solar-thermal plants elsewhere are being canceled. American Solar farms generate nearly 16 million megawatt-hours of electricity each year. That amounts to less than 1% of U.S. electricity demand. Utilities are likely to opt for cheaper solar farms that use panels. The Sierra Club continues its disgraceful “War on Coal.” And the EPA continues its efforts to shut down America’s coal-fired power plants that produce nearly 40 percent of America’s electricity, under the illusion that removing whatever carbon dioxide they produce will have a measurable effect on climate change. It won’t. And we will pay a high price for that loss of energy.

You did notice the prominent role of Google, did you not? Do put “Ivanpah” into the search bar of your favorite search engine to see what comes up.  Or you could go outside and sit in the sun for a while, (if any) and see how many clouds there are. The problem is that the sun does not shine all the time. There is night. And in the daytime, there are clouds which prevent getting the energy from the sun, a clear cloudless day is not the norm. Sometimes the sun does not shine for days. Obama’s Clean Power Plan regulations to shut down coal-fired power plants in favor of “clean” wind and solar energy was estimated to prevent approximately 0.03 degrees of warming by 2100.

The reason is simple. The global warming agenda is not about the planet.

The Head of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, Christiana Figueres, readily admitted that the real climate change agenda has nothing to do with the environment, but instead is about redistribution of wealth. “This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves,” she says, “which is to intentionally transform the economic development model, for the first time in human history.

Catastrophic Global Warming? Don’t Make Me Laugh! by The Elephant's Child

From Investors: Another Climate Alarmist Admits Real Motive Behind Warming Scare

“Fraud: While the global warming alarmists have done a good job of spreading fright, they haven’t been so good at hiding their real motivation. Yet another one has slipped up and revealed the catalyst driving the climate scare. …

Have doubts? then listen to the words of former United Nations climate official Ottmar Edenhofer:”

“One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with the environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole,” said Edenhofer, who co-chaired the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change working group on Mitigation of Climate Change from 2008 to 2015.

So what is the goal of environmental policy?

“We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy,” said Edenhofer.

If you remember, I have several times quoted Christiana Figureres, executive secretary of the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change who said last year:

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 in anticipation of last year’s Paris climate summit.

“This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model for the first time in human history.”

These are people who do not feel that they are making anything other than natural statements about the correct and true goals of all right-thinking people. We’ve run into those people before. It never ends well.

The Ugly Side of the Environmental Movement, And it’s Deplorable Actions by The Elephant's Child

Aubrey McClendon, former CEO of Chesapeake Energy, “died March 2 in a car wreck the day after being indicted for conspiracy to rig bids on oil and natural gas leases. He will likely be remembered for two things: being a pioneer of the shale gas boom and a possible criminal who, in death, may have eluded a prison sentence. But McClendon may have had one other lasting legacy: he helped hasten the collapse of the coal industry in the United States.”

Between 2007 and 2012, McClendon and his associates contributed around $26 million to the Sierra Club to oppose the building of new coal-fired power plants. McClendon’s motivations were hardly pure; he knew that preventing new coal plants meant more demand for his company’s product, natural gas. And the contributions led to a scandal for the environmental group, whose well-funded “Beyond Coal” campaign has been instrumental in not only preventing new plants, but also shutting down aging ones.

Executive director Michael Brune had a simple explanation for accepting money from a big gas company that was drilling hundreds of wells using hydraulic fracturing: the enemy of our enemy is our friend. “The Sierra Club board of directors … determined that natural gas, while far from ideal as a fuel source, might play a necessary role in helping us reach the clean energy future our children deserve,” Brune wrote in <aref=””>a 2012 blog post. “The idea was that we shared at least one common purpose [with Chesapeake]—to move our country away from dirty coal.”

The Sierra Club turned down further contributions from McClendon and his Chesapeake colleagues as it began to worry about the boom in natural gas fracking. That didn’t affect the outcome: McClendon’s philanthropy helped make it very unlikely that any new coal plants will be built in the U.S.—and helped push coal, the backbone of America’s power sector for more than a century, into a sudden and dramatic twilight.

Here’s another excellent example of the rot in the Green movement. If you can get rid of coal as a resource for power generation by claiming that it is the cause of anthropogenic global warming, what’s the big deal if you cause thousands of coal miners to lose their jobs, if you can force the country to depend on your natural gas for their electric power, and make your company and yourself rich by so doing?

The Sierra Club was once a nice organization with the goal of protecting the Sierra Mountains. They sponsored catered pack trips through the Sierras, and publicized Ansel Adams beautiful photography of the Sierras and Yosemite National Park. But at some point they became a leftist political agency under the cover of being a nice environmental club.

But then the coal industry once supplied nearly half of America’s power needs, and kept the cost of power low for American homes and businesses, enabling the prosperous industrial country we live in.  Mr. McClendon is hardly the only person who has been trying to enrich himself and his business by using the fear of a crisis of global warming that has been pushed by so many environmental organizations.

The cheap and affordable energy that coal-fired plants produce cannot be replaced by renewables, no matter how much investors hope it to become fact instead of wishful thinking. Wind is highly intermittent — we had a minor wind storm today that deposited bushels of fir cones and branches on the roof and on the streets (and on the driveway I laboriously swept yesterday) yet there were long periods with no wind at all, and even some blue sky.

Wind energy proponents talk about optimum performance — what a wind farm could produce if all the turbines were turning at the speed that would be produced by a perfect flow of wind. But Mother Nature doesn’t work that way.Wind is intermittent at best, and even shuts down for long periods. When it isn’t blowing at the perfect speed, then the power has to come from somewhere else. Hopes for battery walls ignore the availability and expense of the rare earths required which largely come from China, who has cornered the market and can raise prices as they choose.

President Obama’s Clean Power Plan will prevent 0.03 degrees of warming by 2100.

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.

“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.

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