American Elephants


Green Porn! by The Elephant's Child
October 24, 2009, 2:56 am
Filed under: Environment, Politics, Socialism | Tags: , ,

Environmental extremists in the United Kingdom are probably even “greener” than our own native eco-extremists, but this commercial shown on British television steps over any number of lines. Truth is just one of them.

After more than 350 public complaints, the U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority is reviewing the commercial for “scaremongering” and “misleading the public.”

Janet Daley of The Telegraph calls it “propaganda in the strict technical sense of the word.”

That is to say, it is an attempt by the state to manipulate opinion and evoke emotional reactions without offering argument or evidence for its case. It accepts uncritically the most extreme rendition of the anthropogenic global warming narrative as if it were entirely uncontentious and presents it in the most sentimentally evocative possible way (ie as a threat to one’s own children and to defenseless creatures generally). It uses the techniques once associated with totalitarian societies not to persuade (which is what advertising properly does) but to coerce: to create fear and guilt. And to what purpose? Without offering constructive argument or serious explanation of the options, we can only assume that this is a campaign designed to browbeat the public into accepting any new restrictions or “green” taxes which government may choose to impose. Fortunately, it seems that ordinary people still have the independence of mind to know when they are being bullied.

The environmental movement has long depended on baby animals —whatever is cute and furry.  Polar bears were claimed to be “threatened” specifically to help prevent any drilling for petroleum in Alaska or offshore in the Northern Slope.  Adult bears are handsome, and cubs are adorable. They have thrived in warmer times and cooler times (climate is always changing) for over 150,000 years, but environmental lawyers needed a photogenic symbol to assist their case in court.

It is indeed green porn.



In the throes of an economic crisis, governments begin to question environmental claims. by The Elephant's Child

Delegates from 190 countries are meeting in Poznan, Poland to prepare the way for next year’s UN conference in Copenhagen at which the world will seek agreement on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. In an essay titled President-elect Barack Obama proposes economic suicide for US” in The Telegraph, Christopher Booker writes that, at the meeting, delegates will see a video of Mr. Obama pledging, in only his second major policy commitment, that America is now about to play the leading role in the fight to “save the planet” from global warming.

Obama begins by saying that “the science is beyond dispute and the facts are clear”.  He claims that “sea levels are rising, coastlines are shrinking, we’ve seen record drought, spreading famine and storms that are growing stronger with each passing hurricane season.”

Apparently Mr. Obama has believed all the wonders of Al Gore’s loony film An Inconvenient Truth without checking the actual facts.  Sea levels are indeed rising, but no faster than they have for the last three centuries.  Even the UN’s IPCC’s computer models only predict a rise of from four to seventeen inches.

The tiny countries of Tuvalu and the Maldives often claim that rising sea levels are inundating their land, but Satellite measurements show that since 1993 sea levels have actually gone down about four inches.  Coastlines are not shrinking, except where land is subsiding as it has been doing for thousands of years on the east coast of England.

Mr. Obama proposes spending $15 billion a year to encourage “clean energy” sources, such as thousands more wind turbines, apparently unaware that the 10,000 turbines the United States has already installed “representing 18 gigawatts of installed capacity” only generate 4.5 GW of power, less than a single coal-fired power plant.

In the Energy Tribune, Peter Glover and Michael J. Economides in an article titled Wind Power Exposed: The Renewable Energy Source is Expensive, Unreliable and Won’t Save Natural Gas.” In the U.K,  where the government is ordered to meet a 20 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2020, wind has been the favored substitute since England is the windiest country in Europe.  In the U.K. gas and electricity prices have risen by 29.7 percent. Ofgem, which regulates the U.K.’s electricity and gas markets, has already expressed concern for all the billions of public investment when wind produces a mere 1.2 percent of Britain’s energy needs.

The Times, in London, has a column titled The fool’s gold of carbon trading: A huge new market designed to solve global warming seems doomed to failure” by Jonathan Leake.  In The Local, Germany’s News in English, the headline read “Report claims EU climate plan could cost 100,000 jobs. In Canada, in the National Post, Peter Foster says:

President-elect Obama’s plans represent an enormous threat both to the U.S. and world economies.  Far from creating new jobs, any “green” jobs arising from draconian legislation and/or subsidies will be bought at the cost of more jobs lost in restricted/disfavored sectors.  Green jobs carry a reverse multiplier.

As for the benefits of green government guidance, just look at how much Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards have done to help guide U.S. auto makers towards viability.  Nevertheless, the conventional wisdom is that any bailouts for the Big Three must be accompanied by commitments on their part to create “more fuel efficient” cars rather than simply cars that people want to buy.  Government bureaucrats may even be put on their boards to lend their expertise to the process.  Having poured good money after bad, the government will add to the investment’s guaranteed failure by further muddling corporate direction with political input.

According to a poll of 12,000 citizens in 11 countries, reports canada.com, less than half of those surveyed said that they were prepared to make personal lifestyle changes to reduce carbon emissions, down from 58 percent last year.  Only 37 percent said they were willing to spend “extra time” on the effort, an 8 point drop, and only 20 percent said they would spend extra money to reduce climate change. But other questions yielded the information that more than half of respondents felt that their governments should do more by investing in renewable energy sources — as long as it doesn’t cost anything.

These bits and pieces are not offered as a comprehensive survey. The vast majority of the mainstream media are firmly in the Al Gore camp.  But there are alternative voices coming from all over the world pointing out that all is not as it seems.  The countries of the European Union are backing off their climate change commitments.  In the wake of the economic crisis, they are taking a hard look at their climate change priorities, and deciding that the wish-list is just too expensive.   Perhaps, in their considerations, they may be more open to looking at the observed science instead of the questionable predictions of computer climate models.



We cannot stop climate change. We are not the cause. by The Elephant's Child

From the Washington Post today, from a Professor Joseph Stiglitz:

Obama is also inheriting a climate crisis.  The United States and China have been racing to see which nation will contribute most to the greenhouse gasses that cause global warming.  It looks as though China will win in absolute terms, but on a per capita basis, America takes the smoggy cake.  We cannot save the planet without a global agreement, and we cannot get such an agreement without massive reductions in U.S. emissions.  This transition could have upsides beyond the environmental ones.  A carbon tax — or the auctioning of emissions permits — could generate huge revenues; some of those could be used to help Americans adjust to the new “green economy,” while the rest could be used to reduce the deficit or lower taxes on workers.  But we really have little choice here: Europe and other global players are likely to slap a carbon tax on U.S. goods if we don’t deal with the issue at home.  Their firms will not tolerate giving U.S. firms a competitive advantage simply because we refuse to bear our responsibility for the global environment.

This is so wrong headed on so many fronts that it is breathtaking.  Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.  It is a colorless, odorless benign gas that we exhale. It is not a cause of global warming, and is only a trace gas in the atmosphere.  If you burned all of the carbon on earth all at once, it would still be only a trace gas. The major greenhouse gas is water vapor. Carbon dioxide is a natural fertilizer that makes plants grow. This is a good thing.

The planet is in peril only in Al Gore’s mind and in the computer models of the UN’s IPCC. Not in the observational evidence.  Only in computer models.  High priced computers to be sure, but the same GIGO still applies.

A carbon tax will do nothing whatsoever for the planet, but it will make the planet’s people a lot poorer. Professor Stiglitz is apparently so consumed with his desire to ‘save the planet’ that he has not seriously looked at the downside to carbon taxes. There is simply no reason to tax carbon.

The earth has been warming and cooling for centuries. It is a natural process. We cannot stop climate change because neither we nor our CO2 are the cause.  Even if every country in the world implemented the complete Kyoto Protocol, the difference in atmospheric CO2 would be undetectable.

The European Union is facing it’s own revolt.  In the face of the credit crisis, many nations are looking seriously for the first time at the real cost of the unnecessary containment of carbon, and having some serious second thoughts.

It has been a bad year for the alarmists. Cold periods and snowfalls are occurring around the world. The British House of Commons debated a climate-change bill that pledged that the United Kingdom would reduce its CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050 , just as London was hit by the first October snow since 1922.

Would someone please note that happenings and observations in the real world trump computer projections every time!



The Greens get caught playing on your emotions, once again. by The Elephant's Child
November 9, 2008, 4:36 pm
Filed under: Energy, Environment, Global Warming | Tags: , ,

(h/t. The Daily Bayonet)



Democrats will let the offshore drilling ban expire, or will they? by The Elephant's Child
September 23, 2008, 10:55 pm
Filed under: Economy, Energy, Environment, Science/Technology | Tags: , ,

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats will allow a quarter-century ban on drilling for oil off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to expire next week.

Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey is telling reporters that language continuing the moratorium will be omitted this year from a spending bill to keep the government in operating funds after Congress recesses for the election.

Republicans have made lifting the ban a key campaign issue after gasoline prices soared beyond $4 a gallon this summer and public opinion turned in favor of more drilling.  President Bush lifted an executive ban on offshore drilling in July.

The Interior Department estimates there are 18 billion barrels of recoverable oil beneath coastal waters now off-limits.

This is good news, but there is still a long rocky road on the way to actually drilling for oil.

The real problem is that environmental groups seem to believe that “alternative energy” can replace fossil fuels if they just shut off access to oil and gas.  Wind and solar may never make a significant contribution to our energy needs.  Biofuels have already significantly raised the price of food, and caused food riots in the developing world.

There are many promising technologies on the horizon, but they are far, far from ready for the market.  The idea seems to be  — and I am just guessing here — that if they just force us to develop alternative energy by bringing us close to freezing and starving, then we will pay attention and do what they want. That’s why they talk about “Marshall Plans” and “Apollo Projects” without any understanding of the difference between those programs and our present situation.

Call it the “Energy Gap”. Environmental organizations see “Global Warming” as their best chance to bring about the Utopian vision that is their goal which has much more to do with “social justice” and who is in control than with clean air and water.

England is now facing the Energy Gap.  Their power structure is supposed to be shut down and replaced within the next 12 years, but the Greens are fighting any attempt to replace it, except with wind and solar.  The climate stopped warming about 10 years ago, and has actually been cooling for the past 7 years.  The sun has gone quiet, without sunspots for over a month.  Many scientists believe that we are in for 20 to 30 years of cooling, at least.

Colder weather means greater energy needs.  Colder weather means poorer agricultural yields. Far more people die from cold weather than from heat.  Prudence says that you do what you can to prepare for the worst.

But true believers are not about to let prudence interfere with the possibility of permanently getting rid of evil, dirty oil and gas.  It’s a strange mindset.

And if the whole basis of their argument is phony?  If CO2 is not responsible for climate change? If all the fuss is for nothing because climate change is a natural process that has been going on for centuries?  What if there is nothing that we can do that will actually affect climate?  What if it was all a lie?  What then?

According to Rasmussen Reports, 69% of voters support offshore oil drilling.  Clearly that means the Democrats have decided that they must be responsive to voters, right?  Well, never mind.

Nancy Pelosi is not going to miss a chance to mess things up some more.  She is trying to attach her “Comprehensive American Energy Security and Consumer Protection Act” (a euphemism if there ever was one) to the massive end-of-the-fiscal-year “continuing resolution to sneak it into law.

In spite of the charming name, there is no consumer protection in it.  Instead it actually bans drilling in any places where we know there is oil or gas.  It prohibits drilling within 50 miles of the coast, and prohibits drilling off her own precious California coast.  Under the bill, legislatures would have to approve drilling off the state coast in legislation separate from acts of Congress.  No encouragement for nuclear.  And it will raise oil prices by taxing oil companies to the hilt.  More subsidies, of course, for “alternative energy”.  Sneaky doesn’t even begin to describe it.

If you want to get something done, you’re going to have to elect a different Congress.




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