American Elephants


Get them when they are young. by The Elephant's Child

They are indoctrinating your children in our public schools with Al Gore’s fraudulent claims.  If you are not concerned, you should be.

(h/t: planet gore)



Water,water everywhere, but not a drop to drink. by The Elephant's Child

Sustainability is identified as the code word for eco-friendly policies, lower industrial production, lower personal consumption, economic equality and other measures of global “social justice.” City mayors and City Councils all over the country have been recruited by ICLEI– Local Governments for Sustainability.  Originally called the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives — hence the acronym — the group is the product of a United Nations conference:  The UN World Congress of Local Governments for a Sustainable Future.  That conference, held in New York City in 1990 brought together delegates from 200 local governments and 43 countries.  They were united by a belief that cities do not need to wait  for national governments before taking action on global climate issues. (And the chance for a free trip to a conference and a chance for some good shopping as well).

Ambitious local politicians around the world are using ICLEI as an international platform that allows them to build their careers and quickly network with one another on environmental issues.  The international organization is headquartered in Toronto, Canada, and has 150 staff located in 11 offices worldwide.  (www.iclei-usa.org)

The Capital Research Center has done marvelous work in explaining the “wonders” of ICLEI and their vision of sustainability.  Seattle’s mayor Greg Nickels is the poster child of mayors who have bought into the ICLEI vision.

A 20 cent green tax on paper and plastic shopping bags as well as a ban on foam containers goes into effect on January 1, 2009. He recently shut down a couple of streets to keep people from driving.  The Parks Commission is planning to ban beach fires to prevent their contribution to global warming.  Utility ratepayers are encouraged to pay a little more on their electric bill every month — a “green” premium — to allow the city to “invest in” solar power pilot projects (Solar?  We can go months here without ever seeing the sun!).

Forbes Magazine ranked Seattle the “Most Overpriced City” in 2004 and 2005.  In 2008 Forbes called Seattle “America’s Most Increasingly Unaffordable City.”  The inflation rate at that time was 5.8%, the highest in the U.S.

At the prompting of ICLEI, and environmental activists,  bottled water is being banned by cities all over the country.  Ann Arbor, Albuquerque, Suffolk County NY, Takoma Park MD, San Francisco and  Salt Lake City.  The City of Chicago has used the trend as an excuse to levy a new tax of five cents per bottle of water regardless of size.  Washington State is looking into a statewide anti-bottled water law.  The proposed law would ban the sale of petroleum-based water bottles as well as prohibit state agencies from buying such products.  To top off the insanity, the bill imposes fines for the sale of petroleum-based bottles at $250 per day!

The website www.enjoybottledwater.org explores the depths and complete nuttiness of environmental water nannies.   Bottled water has been essential to saving lives in disasters large and small across the world. It is essential for firemen, necessary at athletic events, and useful for people on the road.

In June, 2008, the nation’ s mayors passed a resolution on bottled water resolving that:

The Conference of Mayors encourages cities to phase out, where feasible, government use of bottled water and promote the importance of municipal water.

Last year Seattle and Seattle suburbs were arguing over new sources for municipal water because of the danger of insufficient supplies. Then there is the constant chlorine contretemps which is why many people turn to bottled water, and of course the ferocious fluoride fuss.

If you are really interested in food police, a visit to Activist Cash to investigate the Center for Science in  the Public Interest which sounds like a wholesome group, is highly worthwhile.  It’s founder, Michael Jacobson argues that people can’t be trusted to make wise and healthful decisions on their own. “People tend to eat most healthily during hard times,” Jacobson has argued.  “Heart disease plummeted in Holland and Denmark during the most severe food shortages of World War II.  Records of English manors in the 1600s reveal that the peasantry feasted on perhaps a pound of bread, a spud, and a couple of carrots per day.”  And that, to Jacobson, is “basically a wonderfully healthy diet.”

So there you go.  Environmental activists want to control the water you drink and what you drink it out of, the food you eat, what kind of Christmas tree you buy and what you do with it when you are done with it, and then they want to control the big stuff too.

They want you to drive an electric car.  They want you to use only wind and solar power which will not produce enough electricity to maintain your lifestyle or keep your house warm. They want to ban all fossil fuel use, and keep all natural resources where they ‘naturally’ belong — still in the ground.  They would prefer that you do not reproduce, for they believe the world has too many people, and they are reasonably unconcerned about other people dying.  They want to do all this in the name of saving the planet from vastly over-hyped global warming that scientific observation suggests is a natural process of warming and cooling that has been going on for centuries.

Environmental activists are not particularly interested in the environment.  They care about control.  They care about eliminating capitalism and freedom, in some vague hope of a socialist utopia to come.



What really causes global warming? by The Elephant's Child
November 18, 2008, 8:39 pm
Filed under: Economy, Energy, Global Warming, Science/Technology | Tags: , ,

England is having a bad time with their Green movement.  The Greens have worked for over 40 years to undermine the British economic system and to replace it with a Green autocracy that can control the British population.  Uninvestigated, it all sounded so — caring, and made a good topic of conversation for dinner parties.  When it meant just paying a little more for ‘organic’ veggies, or separating the trash into separate bins, it offered a small noble feeling of doing one’s part.

They, the Greens,  pretty much got away with it. At least until the economic crisis hit and people with calculators began looking at what things would actually cost.  An excellent example is recycling in the UK.  Most of this process has been driven by edicts from the EU — it is the moral thing to do, and you will recycle. But it seems that there is no demand, none whatsoever, for recycled waste.  The British paper, The Observer, reported that:

Huge waste mountains could be sited on military bases under emergency plans to protect Britain’s recycling revolution from the economic downturn.

Local authorities have requested government permission to site rubbish dumps on Ministry of Defense land in order to stockpile growing amounts of recyclable waste for which there is no use and no market.

The Observer is the quintessential right thinking newspaper. Recycling is good.  Therefore we must continue the recycling revolution no matter what the costs.  Can something be “recyclable” if it has no use, and if there is no market at all for it?

A second tactic is the eternal battle against an evil threat. Global warming has become the perpetual threat that demands every sacrifice — democracy, liberty, the destruction of free markets and the establishment of the “Ministry of Truth.” It will be staffed with an army of bureaucrats who will rewrite history, eliminating the Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warm Period, as well as circulating pictures of drowning polar bears and melting glaciers.

The third tactic is the adoption of Green bureaucratic language. Global warming becomes “climate change’.  “Sustainability” becomes the buzz-word of the day.  “Sustainable development” can be encouraged to build wind farms, to bolster the quest for funds, or to pass undesirable laws.  It can also be used to prevent development, block growth and to conjure up a return to an imagined, usually rural, Utopia.

Greens come in many guises, and range from the caring but ill-informed to the totally loony.  Their prescriptions need to be based in observed science and real economics. That shouldn’t be asking too much.

You are being fed a parcel of lies.  Pay attention, read up, and investigate further. Don’t just swallow.

(h/t Climate Change Fraud)



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)



The “Greens” are nuts, and are driving the rest of us crazy! by The Elephant's Child

What historians will definitely wonder about in future centuries is how deeply flawed logic, obscured by shrewd and unrelenting propaganda, actually enabled a coalition of powerful special interests to convince nearly everyone in the world that CO2 from human industry was a dangerous, planet -destroying toxin.  It will be remembered as the greatest mass delusion in the history of the world — that CO2, the life of plants, was considered for a time to be a deadly poison.

Richard S. Lindzen, MIT

Barack Obama’s energy adviser has made it clear that the would-be President intends to blackmail Congress into falling in line with his climate agenda.  The “complaint” has been that the White House has blocked EPA bureaucrats from making an “endangerment finding” on carbon.  A President Obama would use such a finding as a political club to force Congress to either impose the new taxes on carbon that he wants, or the carbon police will be turned loose to regulate your lawnmower, chainsaw, boat motor and any other engines you might have, with enormous costs to the economy.

Obama wants to give away a lot of money, and he has to find it somewhere.  A minor detail is that carbon is NOT a pollutant, but helps plants to grow, is what you breathe out, and is nature’s fertilizer so there is no reason whatsoever to regulate it.  None. But think of the possibilities when you have something that is absolutely free, and you can impose a brand new tax.

In a recent campaign move intended to claim Iowa once and for all, Obama announced his plan to increase by two-thirds the federal mandate for ethanol and other renewable fuels.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the price of basic foods in the United States is currently raising at twice the rate of inflation and is expected to continue to escalate in the future.  The Pennsylvania State Senate has called on Congress to phase out the use of food crops for biofuel production and amend existing food to fuel mandates.  The cost of food at home was up 7.6 percent this last year.  The decade average has been 2.3 percent. Cereals and bakery products are up by over 12 percent.

You’d think that someone whose campaign has been based on claims that he would relieve the misery Americans are in would want to avoid raising their food costs.  Not to mention the food riots and hunger in developing countries.

But not to worry, there will be a “Green Jobs Fund” to pay for things like the “Energy Efficiency Engineers Apprenticeship”, a two-year program to “hire young people who don’t have a trade and give them a trade making homes more energy efficient, insulating homes, changing light bulbs, and reducing our dependence on dirty  power plants” according to a speech Obama gave earlier this year.

Of course this might affect the existing home insulation businesses, the energy-efficient windows businesses but they have a lot more experience than the kids.  I don’t know how much people would pay to have someone come in to change their light bulbs. Do you suppose he has thought through the economics of this proposal?

If you are worried about an economy slipping into recession, you might consider that the worst thing you can do is raise taxes and cut off free trade.  But everyone knows enough history to know that, don’t they?



The color of hypocrisy? Green! by The Elephant's Child

Junk Science’s Steven Milloy reports on the latest thing in green travel:

The World Wildlife Fund’s website states that “It is clearly time for all Americans to roll up their sleeves, to take steps to reduce emissions, to prepare for climate change, and to encourage others to do the same.” We Americans must use compact fluorescent light bulbs, reduce hot water use, turn thermostats down in the winter and up in the summer and use low-flow shower heads and faucets.  We should pledge to commute by carpool or mass transit, switch to green power, and get more fuel-efficient cars.  We should make our lives more expensive and less convenient so that the Green elites don’t feel too guilty while jet-setting to exotic locales.

That’s for us.  For their wealthy donors they have something else in mind:

“Join us on a remarkable 25-day journey by luxury private jet,”invites the WWF in a brochure for its voyage to “some of the most astonishing places on the planet to see top wildlife, including gorillas, orangutans, rhinos, lemurs and toucans.”

For a price tag that starts at $64,950 per person, travelers will meet at the Ritz-Carlton in Orlando, Fla. on April 6, 2009 and then fly to “remote corners” of the world on a “specially outfitted jet that carries just 88 passengers in business-class comfort.” “World class experts — including  WWF’s director of species conservation — will provide lectures en route, and a professional staff will be devoted to making your global adventure seamless and memorable.” Travelers will visit the Amazon Rain Forest in Brazil, Easter Island, Samoa, Borneo, Laos, Nepal, Madagascar, Namibi, Uganda or Rwanda, and finish up at the luxury Dorchester Hotel in London.

According to the calculator on the WWF’s website, it would cost in excess of $44,000 to offset the carbon emissions from the jet travel alone.  But there is some doubt about the whole carbon-offset thing.  it may be just a rip-off.  And so it goes.



We may be in for 20 or 30 years of increasingly cold weather. by The Elephant's Child

It is helpful to keep an eye on Britain, for many of the problems that they currently face are problems that we could face in the near future.  An important example is the extent to which Britain has indulged Green  notions in British climate and energy policy.

Britain’s old electricity generating nuclear and coal fired power stations, which generate a third of the country’s energy, are due to close down in the next twelve years. The current political situation makes it difficult to rely on imported gas or oil.  Professor Ian Fells, emeritus professor of Energy Conversion at the University of Newcastle, and a noted expert on nuclear energy, has said that Britain will face regular power cuts lasting long enough to delay operations in hospitals, close down schools and bring cities to a standstill.

Professor Fells says that “Security of energy supply must be seen as taking priority over everything else, even climate change.”  His September 17th report, commissioned by industrialist Andrew Cook, said that renewables will not fill the impending energy gap, so old nuclear and coal plants must be kept going while new ones are built urgently.

Environmentalists were outraged at the recommendations in the report.  Greenpeace chief scientist Doug Parr said “Professor Fells has a long standing love affair with the technologies of the 20th century, but as time goes by his fetish for coal and nuclear power looks increasingly naive.”

That simple exchange, complete with sneers and outrage, succinctly describes the current state of affairs in Britain.  Unfortunately, it is not too far from the current situation in our own congress.

It is hard to tell just what lurks in the mind of a leftist.  Are they convinced that if we do not stop producing carbon dioxide — the colorless, odorless gas that we exhale every time we breathe, one of the essentials of life — the planet will suddenly heat up beyond our capacity to endure?  Are they totally unaware that it stopped warming ten years ago, and has actually been cooling for seven years?

The sun has gone quiet.  No sunspots for over a month.  Scientists have shown that what warming there has been over the past century correlates closely with the activity of the sun.  But environmentalists are not interested in the sun, they are interested in SUVs.

The lack of environmental interest in recent studies in climate change is notable. It suggests that they are not nearly as interested in climate change as they claim to be.

Power can be generated by windmills when the wind blows at the right speed.  When the wind is too strong, or too weak, or doesn’t blow at all, which is frequent, that wind power must be backed up by some other form of energy.  Natural gas is the most desirable, because it can be shut off quickly when the wind starts blowing again. But natural gas is a fossil fuel, and to obtain it, you must drill.

Windmills chew up a fair number of birds and bats, arms break and fly off — there are all kinds of details that just don’t get discussed.  In many places more energy is needed in the summer when air conditioners are running full tilt. The wind blows more in the winter. In America, only a tiny percentage of electricity demand is generated by wind.  But, as they say, hope springs eternal.

The problem is that more people die from cold than from heat.  And England can get very cold.  Oh well. It will all work out, won’t it?



Secret World Bank Report: Biofuel Caused Food Crisis by American Elephant

Add rising food prices, riots and hunger to the long list of casualties of “environmentalists”:

Biofuels have forced global food prices up by 75% – far more than previously estimated – according to a confidential World Bank report obtained by the Guardian.

The damning unpublished assessment is based on the most detailed analysis of the crisis so far, carried out by an internationally-respected economist at global financial body. [read more]

As we have noted before, in addition to causing high food prices, shortages, hunger, and suffering, they are much worse for the environment and they are driving species to the brink of extinction. If you haven’t already, call your federal representatives and demand that the government stop subsidizing biofuels. And contact your local governments as well: if they are anything like mine, they are using biofuels in government vehicles in an effort to be “green.”

And keep this tragedy in mind when politicians tell you they want to do something to stop global warming.



How low can approval ratings of a Democrat Congress go? by The Elephant's Child

Well, gas prices are high, and everybody is struggling mightily to avoid doing anything about it. Nancy Pelosi, having refused to allow any debate whatsoever on gasoline prices, is now demanding that President Bush open the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to release a “small” amount of oil.

“These are the kind of circumstances, in addition to national security, in which utilization of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is more than justified,” Speaker Pelosi wrote in the letter dated Tuesday. read more

The reserve was opened by Bill Clinton to help Al Gore get elected. Yes, this was undoubtedly important to Democrats, but it was hardly a national emergency. They sold off the Naval Reserve in California to Occidental Petroleum too. George W. Bush opened the Reserve after Katrina when many rigs were damaged and off line, but that was a national emergency.

The definition of “national security” and the understanding of the phrase seem a little wobbly, at best. The Reserve consists of salt caverns that are filled with the largest emergency stockpile in the world, approximately 705 million barrels, about 97 percent of the reserve’s capacity. The reserve would replace foreign supplies for about 58 days, or roughly two months. Can you imagine an emergency that could last more than two months? Me too.

The biggest game is of course, attempting to establish blame. In her letter, Pelosi said that during Bush’s tenure the cost of a barrel of oil has risen five-fold, and the effects have been devastating. I do seem to remember President Bush repeatedly asking Congress to open offshore lands and ANWR to exploration, to authorize new refineries and nuclear plants.

Democrats have extolled Jimmy Carter’s prescience in dealing with a previous oil crisis, which was apparently wearing a sweater, installing a woodstove in the White House and putting solar panels on the roof.

The Shah of Iran fled his country in the wake of protests in 1979, allowing the Ayatollah Khomeni to take control. The revolution shattered the Iranian oil sector and drove up prices. Saudi Arabia and other OPEC nations increased production and the decline in production amounted to only about 4%. Still, a panic resulted, driving the price up further. read more

In the U.S., the Carter administration instituted price controls, which resulted in long lines at gas stations, as had happened six years earlier when President Nixon adopted price controls. Carter called the oil crisis “the moral equivalent of war” and suggested removing price controls. Congress agreed to remove them in phases, and they were finally discarded in 1981 under Ronald Reagan. From all of this we (hopefully) learned that price controls do not work.

Lessons to be learned now should include the idea that you cannot increase supply by hoping that wind and solar will replace gasoline. Not going to happen. Hybrid cars are an expensive luxury. Electric cars are a future possibility, but will require increased generation of electricity. Solar and wind at present make a minuscule contribution to the grid, and require constant back-up of electric power. Environmentalists’ Utopian dreams are just not ready for prime time, however much some want to rely on hope and change.

The other big lesson is that Congressional interference in the market usually has unfortunate results. The likelihood that lesson will be learned is microscopic, for nothing is ever the fault of congress.

The Senate Majority Leader says that oil and coal are making everyone “sick”, that they are “dirty” and that (non-existent) global warming will destroy the earth. This is the caliber of the debate, and the reason that approval of congress has dropped to single digits with only 9% of Americans approving of congress, and only 2% approving a “great deal”. Whew!



The NUPs Strike Again! by The Elephant's Child

8PM Saturday night, March 29 is designated as “Earth Hour”. The Greenies want us to turn off our lights for one hour, to demonstrate something or other. If you are interested, just google “Earth Hour 2008”. If you think it is a crock, consider yourself an Illumination Activist. Turn on all household lights, any heaters, air conditioners, automobile headlights, the stove’s self-cleaning cycle, the TV. all kitchen appliances, the stereo. Or have a Carbon Party.

David Warren not long ago wrote a column in which he spoke of “Naive Urban People”. I refer to them as NUPs. They love wild animals, particularly babies, and Nature — which they observe from their car windows. The average visit to the Grand Canyon — one of the wonders of the world — lasts 20 minutes. NUPs are deeply concerned about “global warming” and can’t be bothered to read up and find out what it is all about. They are careful to recycle, but don’t ask what it costs their municipal government. They are urban people, deeply uninformed about the natural world and how it works.

Perhaps you remember World Jump Day. A typical NUP production. You can Google that one too.




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