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 —

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: , , ,


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.


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