American Elephants


The “Greens” and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week! by The Elephant's Child

Things  have not been going well for the climate change alarmists.  It was revealed that a prominent Greenpeace activist, Sven Teske, had been a lead author of a recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change renewable energy report.

A press release from the IPCC on May 9, contained the following statement:

Close to 80 percent of the world’s energy supply could be met by renewables by mid-century if backed by the right enabling public policies a new report shows.

The study on which this remarkable statement was based was not released until a month later.  By then the claim was out there, but the media had moved on.  Steve McIntyre looked into the study and found that the scenario in the press was derived from a report issued by Greenpeace and the European Energy Council.  In other words,  green activists and lobbyists collaborated to disseminate something pretending to be “science.”  This is usually termed a conflict of interest.  Aside from just being wrong.

Then the University of Colorado”s Seal Level Research Group decided in May to add 0.3 millimeters every year to its actual measurements of sea levels, causing criticism from experts who called it an attempt to exaggerate the effects of global warming.

“Gatekeepers of our sea level data are manufacturing a fictitious sea level rise that is not occurring” said James Taylor, a lawyer who focuses on environmental issues for the Heartland Institute. “There is really no reason to do this other than to advance a political agenda.”

But that’s not all.  The Bishop Hill Blog reveals the incestuous relationship between the EU and governments, quasi-autonomous organizations and NGOs (non-governmental organizations).  Organizations such as Friends of the Earth and WWF are paid by the EU to lobby the EU in favor of the policies that the EU wants, and the IPCC  takes research that benefits the agendas of governments.  It is the sheer scale of this shameless enterprise that surprises.  But to ask questions about this incestuous process is to be labeled as a “denier” supposedly paid by fossil fuel interests.  Pointing out the implications for democracy and the economy is characterized by “denying scientific evidence.”

Then the Supreme Court dismissed a frivolous and novel “global warming” lawsuit.  Radical environmentalists are in trouble when a unanimous court rules against you and Ruth Bader Ginsburg  writes the opinion.  Eight states and several land trusts sued five of the largest American power companies, including the Southern Company and the TVA.  They claimed that carbon dioxide emissions of the companies’ power pants are a public nuisance that violate federal common law.  They wanted a federal judge to set emissions standards.  Alito and Thomas wrote a short concurrence in which they questioned  the erroneous conclusion of the Court that carbon dioxide is even a “pollutant” that is covered under the Clean Air Act.

And to top it all off, a federal court has sharply rebuked the EPA for exceeding its statutory authority.  On May 26, 2011, Judge Ricard Leon of the federal district court for the District of Columbia ruled that the agency’s regulatory process cannot trump a clear Congressional mandate, not override judicial authority to compel EPA’s compliance with the law. At  issue was the statutory maximum time frame for EPA’s final decision to issue a Prevention of Significant Deterioration air-quality permit, a fundamental authorization for large industrial sources such as power plants and refineries.  The EPA readily admitted that it had violated the one-year statutory deadline, but essentially that the EPA had made a regulatory process created for the convenience of the Administrator.  A kind of arrogance that is characteristic of this administration.  The Judge called the EPA claims “horsefeathers” and said “their argument was too clever by half.”  “That dog won’t hunt,” he added.

Such is the recent activity in the environmental bureaucracy.  It was a good week for common sense. There are enormous amounts of money involved and misleading media reports, and attacks on democracy and public welfare.

The picture above has nothing to do with the stories here, but I love seeing Russian cops carrying off a Greenpeace activist. Makes me laugh from sheer pleasure.



Another Day, Another Global Warming Lie Debunked by American Elephant

Actually, it was yesterday, but nonetheless — “progressive” warm-mongers hardest hit:

Himalayan glaciers are actually advancing rather than retreating, claims the first major study since a controversial UN report said they would be melted within quarter of a century.

Researchers have discovered that contrary to popular belief half of the ice flows in the Karakoram range of the mountains are actually growing rather than shrinking.

The discovery adds a new twist to the row over whether global warming is causing the world’s highest mountain range to lose its ice cover.

It further challenges claims made in a 2007 report by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that the glaciers would be gone by 2035.

Although the head of the panel Dr Rajendra Pachauri later admitted the claim was an error gleaned from unchecked research, he maintained that global warming was melting the glaciers at “a rapid rate”, threatening floods throughout north India.



Saturday Night Stack of Stuff by American Elephant
January 22, 2011, 6:06 pm
Filed under: Humor, News, Politics, Pop Culture | Tags: , , , , ,

65% of Doctors think Obamacare will make healthcare worse — CNBC

Coming Soon to a planet near you? Two Suns –  News.com.AU

Chomsky: GOP win means end of the world, or something — Daily Caller

“Civility” in Russian Politics [Warning: NSFW] — You Tube

Who’da Thunk! Obama to push bigger govt, more spending in SOTU — WSJ

Unwanted, unneeded, unappetizing: breast milk cheese – Gizmodo

28 States now suing to stop Obamacare — FOX News

Idaho, 6 other states may “nullify” Obamacare – HotAir

Facebook/Twitter don’t connect people, they isolate them — The Guardian

Another day, another bogus global warming study — AFP

World’s Laziest Mailman hoarded/burned mail — Seattle Weekly

“Knokkers”: Like pool, but with bowling balls — Geekology

Hidden Inflation: Same Price, Less Product — CNN Money

New Captain America: less spandexy more soldiery — I Watch Stuff



Britain Buried in Blanket of Global Warming by American Elephant
December 19, 2010, 3:39 pm
Filed under: Economy, Environment, Europe, News, Politics | Tags: ,

Great Britain now (2010):

Coldest December since records began as temperatures plummet to minus 10C  bringing travel chaos across Britain

Swathes of Britain skidded to a halt today as the big freeze returned – grounding flights, closing rail links and leaving traffic at a standstill.

And tonight the nation was braced for another 10in of snow and yet more sub-zero temperatures – with no let-up in the bitterly cold weather for at least a month, forecasters have warned.

The Arctic conditions are set to last through the Christmas and New Year bank holidays and beyond and as temperatures plummeted to -10c (14f) the Met Office said this December was ‘almost certain’ to become the coldest since records began in 1910. [read more]

Great Britain then (2000):

Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past

Britain’s winter ends tomorrow with further indications of a striking environmental change: snow is starting to disappear from our lives.

…”Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said. [read more]

The only thing anthropogenic global warming advocates have proved is Maragaret Thatcher’s famous quote, “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.” As we are now seeing, socialism has bankrupted much of Europe, and I submit the only reason those nations have been so enthusiastically pushing the United States to sign onto a global warming treaty is because every such agreement to date would have redistributed billions in American wealth to prop up those nations’ failing socialist programs.

(h/t Drudge)



Sarah Palin Get Your Gun, Cus Polar Bear is IN, Baby! by American Elephant
March 11, 2010, 7:55 am
Filed under: Environment, Pop Culture | Tags: , , ,

Yes, that’s a real iceberg. Or part of one. Lagerfeld had it shipped in from Sweden for Chanel’s ready to wear show (undoubtedly at outrageous expense, creating a titanic carbon footprint) where it dutifully and fabulously melted to the patter of fashionably enthusiastic, eco-friendly golf-claps. Supermodels splashayed the arctic catwalk apparently wearing the polar bears from Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth and the slaughtered remains of half the population of Endor.

The only message one could possibly draw from such a display is that if global warming is killing the polar bears anyway (it’s not), we might as well wear their carcasses.

Either that or “climate change” has just about jumped the shark.



Green Jobs, The Last Redoubt of the True Believers. They Remain Uninterested in the Evidence. by The Elephant's Child
February 21, 2010, 5:06 pm
Filed under: Economy, Energy, Environment, Junk Science | Tags: , ,

Donald Hertzmark of Master Resource does a little math experiment.  In the interests of green tech, and what it can do for the U.S. economy, he chose a number at random: $287.4 billion dollars.

What can you do with $287.4 billion?  Well, in green tech you can construct about 136.9 GW of wind generation.  At an average plant factor of 25% this will yield about 299.7 billion kWh per year.

Is There Any Other Way to Generate 300 billion kWh/year in the USA?

Actually, there is.  If you took 2 trillion ft3/year of gas from shale deposits, put that gas into 45.6 GW of CCGT units operating at 75% plant factors, then voilà, your 299.7 billion kWh would appear.  To produce 2 trillion ft3 of gas from shale annually you need about $85 billion (present value) in fixed investment and production costs over 20 years.  You also need to build the CCGT plants, for say, $38.8 billion.

So the “bad” future, the one that produces reliable and clean electricity from natural gas (domestic US gas, no laughing Russians I bet), will cost about $123.4 billion, or 43% what the windy future costs.  And the terrible thing about it, from the green point of view, is that not one cent (well, about $0.00025 per kWh) comes from taxpayers.  Willing investors and customers will be all that is needed to support the investments and production.  What are we going to do with the $164 billion that’s left over?

Actually, there are a lot of things we can do with $164 billion, but it’s not really the government’s business if we stop fooling around with subsidies for wind and solar (subsidized at a rate of about $0.024/kWh in the US).  People can invest in new plants, skills training, technology research.  In short, we can invest in figuring out new and better ways to use that energy we have so efficiently generated from gas.  While energy is the master resource, it is not the purpose of the economy.  We love energy for what it does, not what it is.  The greenies love the machines more than they love the economy.  That’s why they are willing to destroy the economy in order to build the machines.

As ever more evidence accumulates that the army of global warmism is on life support, a new battle line is arising.  “The American economy is ill, energy is important, green jobs will save us, so we must promote green jobs, give us your money.” The trouble is that their much hyped stalwarts — wind, solar, ethanol, and high-speed trains —are simply not up to the jobCap-and-trade and/or a carbon tax were supposed to force that support, but they have failed.

There are very few things that the government does well.  To deflate the enormously overblown budget, a good start would be to defund every agency, bureaucracy, office and program that funds attempts to eliminate, reduce or sequester carbon dioxide or replace it with “renewable” energy. And lose the subsidies for useless “green technology,” and “green jobs.”

The European Union has already volunteered to be an example for us.  They are watching their future sink into a sea of red ink by subsidizing “renewable” energy and putting excessive taxes on electricity and fuels to pay for the subsidies. ” Spain”s annual subsidy bill for renewable energy is now about $38 billion — more than twice as much as the U.S. Federal government spends — to subsidize energy for an economy just one-ninth the size of the U.S. “

Just this once, could we pay attention to the evidence?  A good intention is not a successful policy.  It may seem old-fashioned, but studying the evidence is how you learn.  You learn what has been successful and what has failed, so you emulate success and try to correct for failure.  Beats the hopey-changey stuff every time.

ADDENDUM: Spain is Europe’s second worst economy with nearly 20% unemployment (thanks in part to all those green jobs) and a crumbling GDP.  The leadership of the Socialist Prime Minister José Luis Zapatero have blamed the collapse on everything but their socialist policies.



Government Spending Once Again Becomes the Problem, Not the Solution. by The Elephant's Child
July 22, 2009, 9:10 pm
Filed under: Economy, Energy, Science/Technology | Tags: , , ,

climate

monopsony is a situation in which a product or service is only bought by one customer.  Jo Nova has done a new study now available at The Science and Public Policy Institute that reveals that the U.S. Government has spent more than $79 billion of taxpayer money since 1989 on policies related to climate change, including science and technology research, administration, propaganda campaigns, foreign aid and tax breaks.  Most of this spending was unnecessary and useless.

An informal movement of scientists around the world has sprung up to test the integrity of the “global warming” theory and to compete with this lavishly funded, very organized climate monopsony.  Over and over, they have exposed major errors.

Worldwide, carbon trading reached $126 billion in 2008. Experts are predicting that the carbon market will reach $2-$10 trillion in the near future. The largest single commodity traded on global exchanges will be hot air.

Exxon-Mobil is continually attacked for funding climate skeptics for $23 million — less than one thousandth of what the U.S. Government spends on climate activists and alarmists.

This huge expenditure is designed to prove the non-existent connection between carbon dioxide and climate.   Government bodies, big business rent-seekers and environmental NGOs recruit, control and reward their own scientists who use climate modeling to justify power, control, wealth and population reduction.  Robert Ferguson, SPPIs president asks:

Are politicians paying out billions of our dollars for evidence-driven policy-making, or policy-driven evidence-making? The truth is more crucial than ever, because American lives, property and constitutional liberties are at risk.

If the Waxman-Markey climate bill passes, billions more will be expended to pay for environmentalists useless fantasies.



Stop Spending! Just Stop! It’s Not Working and It’s Not Helping. by The Elephant's Child

President “Transparency Is the Touchstone of my Administration” Obama has noticed that while the official calendar calls for a revised budget estimate to be issued in July, um, we’ll just put it off till at least mid-August.  President Obama wants major health care reform and, if possible, a global warming bill from Congress before they recess in August.  And we don’t want any inconvenient budget overruns mentioned just now.

As details of the cost of these policies begins to emerge (reading thousand-page bills takes time) Americans are beginning to get glimpses of the trillions of dollars in spending that will do nothing whatsoever to improve health care or lessen the amount of CO2 in the air.

This year alone, the deficit will be upwards of $1.8 trillion, and earlier deficit estimates total up the red ink through 2019 at $9.3 trillion.

Neil Barofsky, the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) says that what began as a “modest” $700 billion program to buy up bad mortgages has morphed into 12 programs with $3 trillion in government commitments.

According to Barofsky’s testimony, total efforts to “stabilize and support the financial system” since 2007 could eventually “reach up to $23.7 trillion.”

The total take by government at all levels will be well over 50 percent of GDP, or the destruction of the American economy.  Investors Business Daily puts it well:

Good governance begins with honesty. Unfortunately, the Democrats’ plans to expand the scope and reach of government to nearly every part of Americans’ lives have been marked by fiscal deception and budget chicanery. The American people deserve better.

It has been exactly six months since Barack Obama was inaugurated.  Is the honeymoon over?



The Bears Are Doing Just Fine! Really! by The Elephant's Child
June 28, 2009, 9:31 pm
Filed under: Environment, Science/Technology | Tags: ,

polar bears

New headlines will soon be featured in the world’s newspapers, as long as they are not still overshadowed by the death of Michael Jackson and the affair of Mark Sanford.  Watch for them, they will report something along the lines that “scientists say that vanishing Arctic ice threatens the extinction of our beautiful polar bears.”

There is a conference in Copenhagen of the Polar Bear Specialist Group under the auspices of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature/Species Survival Commission, and at the very tippy top of their agenda will be the need to produce a report designed to increase fears that polar bears are being threatened with extinction by man-made global warming.  Financial support and donations from polar bear enthusiasts will hopefully be forthcoming if the report is sufficiently scary.

Dr. Mitchell Taylor, a leading world expert on polar bears, had obtained funding to attend this week’s meeting,  but he has been impolitely dis-invited.  He is known to have signed the Manhattan Declaration — the statement by 500 scientists that climate changes are natural, and not caused by CO2, but by changes in the activity of the sun and in ocean currents — and that just simply won’t do.

Dr Taylor has been researching the state of the polar bear population around the Arctic Circle for 30 years as a government employee and an academic.  His work has made headlines  by insisting that polar bear numbers are much higher than they were 30 years ago and of the 19 different polar bear populations almost all are increasing or at optimum levels.  Only two have modestly declined, for local reasons.  He has also noted that the Arctic has been warming, but not as warming activists claim, from CO2, but from current changes bringing warmer water into the arctic from the Pacific. And here it is, nearly midsummer and the temperature is still below zero, and with the cooling climate the summer melt will probably be less.

Dr. Taylor was told that his views running “counter to human-induced climate change are extremely unhelpful.”  The science, you see, is not of interest.  It is the agenda that matters.  So please, just shut up!



Hopenchange Indeed. Take a Look at This Map. by The Elephant's Child
June 25, 2009, 9:33 pm
Filed under: Global Warming, Progressivism, Taxes | Tags: , ,

PowerLine Blog has a dandy map , created by John Boehner, of  the convoluted bureaucracy that would be created if Democrats succeed in passing their Cap and Trade Bill.   This bill is such a pathetic disaster, and will do such damage to the American people.  $1,600 to $3,900 per household.  Graft and corruption.

Nancy Pelosi apparently thinks she has the votes, after twisting agricultural arms with ethanol promises.  That’s going to look really smart when crop yields drop because of the colder climate and late planting, and we start hearing stories of food riots and hunger caused by putting food crops in our gas tanks.



Another Government Loan to a Surprising Recipient. by The Elephant's Child

Our government has given a $468 million loan to Tesla Motors to build an electric sedan and the battery packs to run it.  When we have been hearing billions and trillions daily, $468 million begins to sound like chump change.  For those unfamiliar with Tesla motors, I have written about their sexy little Tesla Roadster ($110,000) here and here.  It’s a good looking little electric sports car;  when the London Times car guy tested first one and then another, um, there were a few problems.  But for $468 million they should be able to come up with a sedan.

The Chevy Volt is still much hyped by the Obama administration, and if they can get the price ($40,000) down, the  miles it can go up (40 mi.) on a charge, cover the nation with stations where one can plug in to get recharged less than 40 miles apart, and come up with new sources of energy to make the necessary electricity,  then all will be well, if GM can survive long enough to sell one that anybody wants to buy.

The problem is that the Obama administration is attempting to bankrupt the coal companies, deny nuclear permits, deny coal-fired power plant permits, and rely on “clean” wind farms which produce electricity only when the wind blows, which is definitely not all the time.

When the wind does not blow at the right speed, or when it does, there must be full-time back-up from a regular power plant.  Thus if you are depending on wind power you need more power plants, coal-fired or gas-fired, not fewer.  Wind, solar and geothermal are not cost-effective, cannot produce energy at all without vast subsidies, and there is no indication that they can ever become cost-effective.

But I wish Tesla well, I’m just not sure I understand why taxpayers should finance their experiments.

ADDENDUM: How could I forget to mention the $1.6 billion loan to Nissan to develop electric cars.  I got all wrapped up in the $468 million and completely forgot the $1.6 billion.  My bad.



The Sheer Stupidity Simply Boggles the Mind. by The Elephant's Child

rainforest

If a tree falls in the forest in Brazil, or Indonesia, will American taxpayers be paying for it? According to a little-noticed provision in the pending climate change bill the plan is ” to pay companies billions of dollars not to chop down trees around the world, as a way to reduce global warming.”

The very liberal Center for American Progress says it will be pricey. “By 2020, the U.S. could be spending $4 billion on international offsets.”

“Supporters of the legislation counter that the plan recognizes the need to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions to curb global warming — in the United States and beyond.  Supporting ways to keep trees alive or plant new trees, wherever those trees are located helps the effort, they say.”

I’m beginning to think that term limits are a very good idea. For other posts on global warming or more euphemistically “climate change”, enter either term in the search function just above Bob Hope’s head in the sidebar.




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