American Elephants

Greens to Africa: You Can Only Have Power If You Do It Our Way by The Elephant's Child


Why are environmentalists so impervious to facts? It is a religion, faith-based, and even high-school biology goes by the wayside as one faces the problems of the modern world. Sierra Club president Aaron Mair had to rely on his aides and the much debunked 97% canard to respond to Ted Cruz’s questions.

Friends of the Earth; Oxfam America; Sierra Club; United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society have sent a letter to the U.S. Senate demanding changes to the Electrify Africa Act of 2015. S 1933 in order to help accomplish the goals of the Act and to promote clean and sustainable development. (Lofty, ludicrous and laughable)

Unsurprisingly, they want Africa powered with (extraordinarily expensive) sources like wind and solar (presumably without the needed backup power). They note that more than two-thirds of sub-Saharan Africa’s population lacks electricity, with that number growing to more than 85 percent in rural areas. They demand:

  • Ensuring that growth in access is inclusive and is reliable, affordable and sustainable energy with a particular emphasis on increasing off-grid coverage in rural areas.
  • Developing an energy access strategy for sub-Saharan Africa that promotes safe, affordable community-controlled renewable energy solutions, rather than encouraging an “all-of-the-above” strategy that promotes oil, natural gas, and coal that is harmful to human health and local environments and that is often associated with corruption. (emphasis added) …
  • Requiring meaningful consent on energy development plans from local communities, and

To be inclusive means improving opportunities for and involvement of women and girls by:

  • Ensuring that women and girls benefit from access to energy, conduct a gender assessment at each project level to analyze gender differences and inequalities, that will inform best practices for energy project design and implementation. …
  • Disaggregating by age, gender and economic quintile the number of people and communities that have benefitted from the law.

I left out several lines of gobbledygook, but you can find the whole thing here, with additional comments from Steven Hayward. He adds that the environmentalists have successfully lobbied the World Bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corp. not to fund any hydroelectric dams in Africa (or anywhere else.) Africa has lots of hydro potential, and oddly enough, hydro is the original “renewable” resource. Environmentalists don’t like dams! Only wind and solar that require 24/7 backup from conventional power plants that they hope to forbid.

What a bunch of shallow-minded lightweights. You want energy to enter the modern world — only if you do it our way.

The African wind farm in the photo will produce some very expensive, intermittent energy when the wind blows at the right speed. The entire objection to conventional energy is that it adds CO2 to the atmosphere and thus causes global warming. Such warming as there is — roughly a degree over the last century — is less than the normal warming from winter to summer, and is probably caused by the sun. CO2 is a natural fertilizer, and helps plants (like African food crops) to grow.

Rural People Just Have More Sense. by The Elephant's Child
November 11, 2009, 3:05 am
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

Regular visitors would not be surprised to hear that I am indeed a skeptic about the “crisis” of climate change.  Most people who grew up rural are skeptical.  Dr. Ian Plimer, Australia’s best-known and most highly honored geologist, has also noticed that rural people don’t fall for much of the nonsense.

I grew up in the western foothills of the Rockies, surrounded by National Forest and BLM land.  I have been snowed in, experienced flood, fire and earthquake, -20° weather, killed rattlesnakes, had lightening strike too close for comfort and spent hours staring at the Milky Way undimmed by any lights at all.

When one has experienced weather from 20° below to 112°, you don’t get excited over 1° of warming over a hundred years.  At 20° below, you put on a lot more warm clothes, and when it is really hot, you take them off, get a cold drink and sit in the shade, or go stick your feet in the river.  We adapt. The climate has always warmed and cooled.  We adapt, and the polar bears adapt too.

That said, it is fascinating how angry urban true-believers become when you do not agree that if we do not end the terrible pollution of increasing CO2 we are doomed.

Brendan O’Neill had a marvelous piece in Planet Gore at NRO today.

If a climate-change skeptic suggests that the Sun, rather than man, is responsible for climatic variations he is denounced as evil, a heretic, someone whose words are so foul and twisted that they will be “partially but directly responsible for millions of deaths from starvation, famine and disease in decades ahead.” In other words, question the environmentalist consensus, and you are endangering life itself — your words are literally poisonous.

Yet when a climate-change activist openly calls for calamitous events and the deaths of thousands of people as a way of focusing our leaders’ minds on the problem of climate change, no one bats an eye. You can fantasize about the outbreak of disease as a means of “reducing the population” or dream about natural disasters (which should be as “traumatic as possible” in order to wake people from their consumerist-induced stupor), and your fellow activists will nod along in agreement. So warped is environmentalist morality that those who raise legitimate questions about politics and science are accused of killing people with their words, while those who actually talk about the need for people to die are patted on the back.

Do read the whole thing. There is an odd kind of hubris involved. We people who are living right now are responsible for everything wrong with the planet, and if only we live in the way of our most remote ancestors, lightly upon the earth, never really touching anything can we redeem ourselves.

You would think that they would be delighted to hear that the earth is not in danger, that CO2 is what we exhale, and that the “greenhouse effect” simply does not exist. But they have deep faith that the world is suffering from the blight of humans upon it, and they and their comrades’ life work is to save it.  Or something like that.  Lighten up, people.

How Green Was My Valley? Not So Much. by The Elephant's Child
September 24, 2009, 12:58 am
Filed under: Economy, Environment, Law | Tags: , ,

The Green movement extols a future of hybrid-electric cars, sure that it will also mean a future of green jobs, especially in the struggling industrial states in the Midwest.  Michigan has the highest unemployment rate in the country.

In northern Michigan, mining companies are hoping for a new era in mining in the state’s Upper Peninsula because of a rise in commodities prices for nickel—in demand for use in batteries for the Toyota Prius, Chevy Silverado and other hybrids.

But the new rush for nickel mining jobs has run into opposition from — of course — the Green movement.   Mining can possibly harm streams and groundwater and the effects could be lasting.  The risk of long term damage is surely not worth any short-term economic gains.

“Across America, entrepreneurs are constructing …batteries for hybrid cars—projects that are creating new jobs and new industries.” President Obama said at the UN on Tuesday.

The National Wildlife Federation has gone to court.

The San Joaquin Valley in California is one of the great market agricultural regions of the country, and it is suffering from a  third year of drought, because of the latest mishandling of the Endangered Species Act.  Last December the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a “biological opinion” that imposed water restrictions  to safeguard the federally protected tiny delta smelt.  Billions of gallons of water from mountains east and north of Sacramento have been channeled away from farmers and into the ocean.

In some farming areas the unemployment numbers reach near 40%. A provision of the Endangered Species Act (added after the snail-darter folly) allows a panel of seven cabinet officers , the “God Squad,” to intervene in economic emergencies. Governor Schwarzenegger has been unwilling to use that remedy.

The power of the Endangered Species Act to damage economies is clear.

So now that we have an economy in recession, environmental activists are active.  WildEarth Guardians filed two petitions in the space of one month to list 681 species under the Endangered Species Act. The Act requires  each petition to be researched and reviewed.  In June  a petition to review 475 species was filed in New Mexico, and in July a separate petition to review 206 was filed in Denver. Usually it’s just one at a time.

It is difficult to determine if a species is endangered.  There may not be any here, but are there plenty on the other side of the hill? Some species are claimed to be “endangered” but recover quickly when people stop shooting them. The record is not very good.

The “green programs” that are initiated, whether wind farms, solar arrays, algae farms, mining or farming invariably draw activist environmental protests.  And since famously “green” organizations are only trying to “save the earth,” how can one object to these noble people?

If you really wonder, you can look them up at Discover the Networks or Activist Cash.  It is an interesting little bit of research.

Addendum: Bright Source Energy Inc. had planned a 5,130-acre solar power farm in a very remote part of the Mojave Desert.  The Wildlands Conservancy, a California environmental group, had tried to block the solar development, as had Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) who suggested it become a national monument. Canceled.  Look for another spot, and more subsidies.

The spot was about 50 miles northwest of Needles, CA and about 5 miles from the California-Nevada border.  The complex would be a 6 square mile facility (4065 acres) within the 25,000 square mile Mojave Desert and would generate enough electricity to power 140,000 homes,( except at night or when it is cloudy).

Needles may sound familiar, for it is often mentioned as the hottest spot in the nation. Not exactly a spot that is going to draw lots of tourists.

May I say  politely, heh heh,  I told you so!

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