American Elephants

The Latest News from the Greenies: by The Elephant's Child

From Mother Jones, Friday, March 21: “One Reason It May Be Harder to Find Flight 370: We Messed Up the Currents: How climate change factors into the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight.

Scientists say man-made climate change has fundamentally altered the currents of the vast, deep oceans where investigators are currently scouring for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight, setting a complex stage for the ongoing search for MH370. If the Boeing 777 did plunge into the ocean somewhere in the vicinity of where the Indian Ocean meets the Southern Ocean, the location where its debris finally ends up, if found at all, may be vastly different from where investigators could have anticipated 30 years ago.

From The Hollywood Reporter: 3/20/2014: “Darren Aronofsky wrestles one of scripture’s most primal stories to the ground and extracts something vital and audacious, while also pushing some aggressive environmentalism, in Noah…. Already banned in some Middle Eastern countries, Noah will rile some for the complete omission of the name “God” from the dialogue, others for its numerous dramatic fabrications and still more for its heavy-handed ecological doomsday messages, which unmistakably mark it as a product of its time.”

From the Washington Examiner, March 21, 2014:”Burials go green; bodies interred in just a cloth bag or wicker basket”

Cemeteries are the latest business go to green.

The new trend is for families of the dead to skip the traditional embalming, elaborate casket and concrete box and simply wrap the dead in a cloth shroud and put the body into the earth.

A Washington, D.C., cemetery is being recognized for helping lead the green drive. And not just any cemetery. The Historic Congressional Cemetery reported on Friday that it has been certified as a “Hybrid Service Provider from the Green Burial Council.” They said Congressional is the only cemetery within a 100-mile radius of Washington to get the certificate.

“Green burial options are increasingly popular with pre-planning baby boomers and other socially and environmentally conscious individuals,” said cemetery president Paul K. Williams, “and with the designation, we are proud to be the only cemetery in the Washington D.C. metropolitan region to qualify to date.”

The Sad Story of Missing and Endangered Species by The Elephant's Child

The splendid Canadian blog Small dead animals calls our attention to:

Associated Press 2009

Across the tundra 1,000 miles to the east, Canada’s Beverly herd, numbering more than 200,000 a decade ago, can barely be found today.[…]

From wildlife spectacle to wildlife mystery, the decline of the caribou — called reindeer in the Eurasian Arctic — has biologists searching for clues, and finding them.

You know, of course, what comes next —climate change, decimating species, inhuman, lugubrious  etc, etc.

Canadian Press 2011

A vast herd of northern caribou that scientists feared had vanished from the face of the Earth has been found, safe and sound — pretty much where aboriginal elders said it would be all along. …

“Many of the community people reported that elders think this is nothing new. Caribou move.”

Do read the whole thing, and bookmark Small dead animals while you’re at it. Always good sense and something interesting.

Here Come the Carbon Police! by The Elephant's Child

A British jurist wants to create an international court for the environment which would have the power to punish states and businesses. The court would have the ability to sanction and punish those who violate or fail to obey  such as the Kyoto Protocols. The body would be the supreme legal authority on issues regarding the environment.

Stephen Hockman, the former head of the British Bar Council and a deputy High Court judge, has had a bright idea about why Kyoto failed to meet its emission goals in Europe.  It would be easy to dismiss this as the rantings of an environmental nutcase (who also favors bringing Sharia law to Britain). But the idea that reducing greenhouse gas emissions must be enforced by legal means has been heard before.  British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has agreed that the idea of such a court should be considered when considering ways to make such international agreements binding on everyone.

James Hansen, global warming alarmist, Al Gore’s favorite scientist, and head of NASAs Goddard institute for Space Studies has said in the past that heads of major fossil-fuel companies who “spread disinformation” about global warming (claim that global warming is not dangerous) should be “tried for high crimes against humanity and nature.”

Warmists claim that the internal combustion engine was the greatest threat to mankind in history (Al Gore in “Earth in the Balance”).  Time magazine compared global warming to the fight against Nazism and fascism, in their April 21 issue.  Many warmists consider the Industrial Revolution a crime against humanity, and are sure that we would be much better off if we just eliminated all corporations and capitalism.

Europeans are more favorable towards “international courts”, because in general they don’t take laws very seriously, and ignore them entirely if they get in the way.

Here at home, in the meantime, the EPA is planning to regulate 1/5 of all food service businesses, 1/2 of all health care businesses, 1/2 of the entire lodging industry, and even 10% of all buildings used for worship, all in the name of controlling carbon dioxide  This is to be done in order to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon dioxide, however, is only a trace gas in the atmosphere.  The major greenhouse gas is water vapor.  Do you suppose they will attempt to stamp out humidity?

Sorting out the early signs from the Office of the President-elect. by The Elephant's Child

The signs are not encouraging.  President-elect Barack Obama has named Michigan governor Jennifer Granholm to his 17-member economic advisory panel.  Granholm’s vision has led to heavily subsidized ethanol plants and renewable-power mandates for utilities, which pleased the Obama team.

Unfortunately, the ethanol boom is fading as ethanol companies go bankrupt.

Granholm has also presided over the worst state economy in the country since her election in 2003.  With a huge budget deficit, and unemployment rates reaching 8.7% she has raised personal income taxes by 17 percent. Her energy plans have raised the utility bills for Michigan’s citizens by an estimated 12%.

To combat the increased unemployment and high union costs, she has offered her “investments” in alternative energy and increased road construction to grow jobs. But then her failing auto industry is asking for a government bailout. Which makes her a questionable economic adviser at best.

Leftists put a lot of “hope” in the promise of “green jobs”. This promise remains fairly gauzy and often includes, according to Chris Horner of CEI, gimmicks like shifting “steel jobs” into the “green jobs” column because windmills have steel arms.  The Washington Policy Center’s Todd Myers says” Nuclear, hydro, and other “non-green” energy sources produce more power per worker than renewable alternatives.  Moving from efficient to inefficient energy means more people are needed to do the same amount of work.”

Kathleen Hartnett White of the Texas Public Policy Foundation points out some of the changes in the climate for climate change policy:

The European Union’s (EU) Emission Trading System (ETS), once the model for a U.S. program, continues to fail.  Europe’s program is not reducing CO2 and has led to higher energy costs.  The U.S. has reduced more CO2 by market efficiencies and without any complicated cap-and-trade programs.  Growing numbers of EU member countries, including Italy, now want to delay (read: scratch) the ETS because of economic woes approaching crisis proportions.

Obama’s plan was to stick the oil companies with a “windfall profits tax” to get the money for a big stimulus package, but the declining price of oil is taking the profits out of the windfall.  And a windfall profits tax would drive up the price of oil again, harming consumers. But then, stimulus packages don’t work either.

Obama’s campaign proposals have been heavy on giving government (taxpayer) money to those he found more deserving, but these actions have consequences. Raising taxes as the economy is declining is a very bad idea, as any student of the Great Depression would tell you. Something Obama has yet to learn.

The Environmental organizations that have been vigorous supporters of Obama are, above all, true believers in clean energy, strong global warming legislation, and locking up America’s natural resources so they cannot be defiled.  Larry Schweiger, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation said:

President-elect Obama and the incoming Congress offer new hope that Americans will come together to repower America with clean energy that revitalizes our economy and defends a planet in peril from the climate crisis…to pass strong global warming legislation that invests boldly in clean energy, caps and cuts the pollution that causes global warming, and restores America’s natural resources.

Other environmental CEOs rhapsodized about the environmental mandate that voters demanded.  Unfortunately, four of five environmental initiatives lost heavily at the ballot box.  Voters are more skeptical about excessive regulation and exorbitant costs with no clear benefits.  And even more, a study by the American Climate Values Survey found that only 18% of respondents strongly believe that global warming is real, caused by humans and is harmful.

As I said, the signs are not encouraging.  If you add in the observed fact that the sun has gone quiet, and the earth has not been warming for the last ten years, but cooling. And it is expected to continue cooling for the next two decades at least, you can see that there are some things that badly need to be sorted out.

You might want to keep an eye on an over-enthusiastic Congress.

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