American Elephants


Coming to America… by American Elephant
August 2, 2009, 10:44 pm
Filed under: Energy, Freedom, Politics | Tags: , ,

lightbulb

Germans hoarding incandescent light bulbs:

As the Sept. 1 deadline for the implementation of the first phase of the EU’s ban on incandescent light bulbs approaches, shoppers, retailers and even museums are hoarding the precious wares — and helping the manufacturers make a bundle.

The EU ban, adopted in March, calls for the gradual replacement of traditional light bulbs with supposedly more energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL). The first to go, on Sept. 1, will be 100-watt bulbs. Bulbs of other wattages will then gradually fall under the ban, which is expected to cover all such bulbs by Sept. 1, 2012 (see graphic below).

Hardware stores and home-improvement chains in Germany are seeing massive increases in the sales of the traditional bulbs. Obi reports a 27 percent growth in sales over the same period a year ago. Hornbach has seen its frosted-glass light bulb sales increase by 40-112 percent. When it comes to 100-watt bulbs, Max Bahr has seen an 80 percent jump in sales, while the figure has been 150 percent for its competitor Praktiker.

“It’s unbelievable what is happening,” says Werner Wiesner, the head of Megaman, a manufacturer of energy-saving bulbs. Wiesner recounts a story of how one of his field representatives recently saw a man in a hardware store with a shopping cart full of light bulbs of all types worth more than €200 ($285). “That’s enough for the next 20 years.” [read more]

No, it’s not unbelievable Werner, it’s what happens when you ban things that people want. Black markets will follow.

Democrats have passed an identical ban in the United States where incandescent light bulbs will become illegal starting with the 100-watt bulb in 2012, and ending with the 40 watt light bulb in 2014.  The same hoarding will happen here. I know. I intend to buy enough incandescent light bulbs to last a lifetime.

What’s unbelievable is that American’s are allowing the nonsensical ban to begin with.

Addendum: According to a recent Rasmussen poll, only 18% of Americans think it’s the government’s job to dictate what kind of light bulbs people can use, while 72% think its none of the government’s damn business.

Precisely why the GOP should make the dictatorial nature of the Democrat party one of their chief campaign issues — starting yesterday.



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.



Leftists Indulge in Wishful Thinking. We Get to Pay For It! by The Elephant's Child

Remember all the fuss about stem cells? Candidate Obama was going to restore science to its rightful place in the wake of the dreadful Bush administration which was apparently completely unfamiliar with science or the scientific method. Embryonic stem cells, freed from the religious fundamentalism of the Bushies, would cure diseases, allow the lame to walk and provide scientific honors for those who engaged in federally funded embryonic stem cell research, as well as endless riches for those who developed the wondrous new treatments. President Obama quickly lifted the ban that limited federally funded research to existing lines of cells. (Please note, there was no ban on research).

Dr. Bernadine Healy, former director of the National Institutes of Health, was once an embryonic stem cell enthusiast. She now calls such research “obsolete.” Medical-research insiders know that embryonic stem cell technology is proving to be a dead end. Senator Arlen Specter, (D-PA) said the research “has the most remarkable potential of any scientific discovery ever made with respect to human health.” That statement gives an idea of the enthusiasm. Remarkable potential indeed. Real results were another thing.

First of all, there is the rejection problem. Your body naturally fights off foreign cells, even ones that might help. So cell recipients must permanently use imunosuppresive drugs, which are dangerous themselves. Then there is the unpleasant tendency of ES cells to become cancerous or to form teratomas — tumors that can grow larger than a football and contain hair or teeth.

The problem of rejection may someday be solved, but University of Wisconsin scientist James Thomson, who created the first human ES-cell line, says that treatments and cures could be decades away.

Adult stem cells do not have the problem of rejection, for they come from the patient’s own body.  They have treated scores of illnesses including many cancers, autoimmune disease, cardiovascular disease, immunodeficiency disorders, neural degenerative diseases, anemia and other blood disorders.  They have been used in over 2,000 clinical trials.  No uncomfortable moral questions, just cautious, responsible science.

Although it was long thought that only embryonic cells could become pluripotent, researchers in 2006,  led by Dr. Shinya Yamanaka of Japan’s Kyoto University, were able to reprogram human skin cells to behave like embryonic stem cells.

Several states now fund embryonic stem cell research.  Dead broke California  created a $3 billion research effort with their Proposition 7, and other states such as New York, New Jersey and Connecticut also fund the research, which may be a dead end.  Federal funds are flowing.

We’re investing a remarkable amount of money in things that are supported by enthusiasm rather than science.  Liberals have always been utopians,  attached to a romantic view of  policy: ending climate change, stopping the seas from rising, powering the world with the wind and the sun, curing disease and injury with embryonic stem cells.  It’s not going to happen.   But they always want the rest of us to support their flights of fancy with our taxpayer dollars.

And if their romantic policies don’t work?  They cannot  fail, it’s just that they did not appropriate enough money.



So Take That, You Interfering Food Police! by The Elephant's Child
July 6, 2009, 8:44 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Freedom, News of the Weird | Tags: , ,

For years, the Food Police have been trying desperately to find something wrong with coffee. If coffee gives many people pleasure, if they gather with friends to have a cup, if they open chain stores all over the world giving people a place to gather over coffee, and if they invent all sorts of special accouterments to help make a better cup, then there has to be something really, really wrong with it.

We’ve had the poor abused workers in coffee plantations, but it has turned out that they are better paid than their peers, and the coffee companies have even built schools for their children.  They tackled the milk used in lattés for the growth hormone given to cows, but that turned out to be junk science, for it is a scientific impossibility for the hormone to pass through into the milk.  They have tried to connect coffee to all sorts of diseases and unpleasant conditions and now, perhaps, they may be undone.

“Drinking five cups of coffee a day may reverse the memory problems seen in Alzheimers” reads the headline from the BBC.  The research carried out in Florida on mice also suggested that caffeine hampered the production of protein plaques that are characteristic of the disease.

This is all preliminary, of course, but it’s nice to know that you can head out for a latté with a clear conscience.

(h/t Dan @ GayPatriot)



Why Do They Want Us To Spend Trillions on a Non-Existent Problem? by The Elephant's Child
July 6, 2009, 7:58 pm
Filed under: Capitalism, Economy, Energy | Tags: , ,

Sources_of_electricity_in_the_USA_2006

Do you have storms in your area that damage power lines and cause a widespread loss of power?  Then you are familiar with trying to stay warm, cooking on the barbecue, using candles for light, or perhaps you are one of the lucky ones who has a generator.  Nevertheless, you appreciate your electricity.  But do you know where it comes from?

Surprisingly, no one in congress or the administration does.  At least they must not, for their math simply does not add up.  If you cannot read this lovely pie chart, 48.9 % of our electricity comes from coal, 20% from natural gas, 19.3 % comes from nuclear, 7.1 % from hydroelectric plants, 1.6 % from petroleum and the little pinky-peach wedge represents wind, solar and geothermal.

The Waxman-Markey climate bill will punitively tax the energy sources that contribute 90 percent of our current American electricity in order to bet our future on the wedge that is able to produce only 2.4 percent of our electricity.  But we can do it. The conventional phrase is “if we can send a man to the moon we can…..

We have eleven whole years in which to build, install, and connect to the grid at least 180,000 turbines.  Each one of which requires a backup of conventional energy for the times when the wind does not blow, which is often.

And as for solar, not only is it far more expensive, suitable only in the Southwest, but perhaps you have noticed that the sun sinks beneath the horizon  at night, just when we need lighting.

This energy policy is built on a lie, or more accurately a whole bunch of lies.  The whole thing is conceived of as a way to stop the globe from warming, but it stopped warming in 2002.

It’s necessary to remove the CO2 that is causing global warming isn’t it?  CO2 is not the cause of global warming or climate change.  Reducing it is unnecessary and will cost trillions.

There are not, as yet, any large-scale, practical and cost-competitive replacements for fossil fuels.  If you punish fossil fuel use with either taxes or by capping how much energy is allowed to be used, you punish the economy.

When a country institutes cap-and-trade legislation unilaterally, it makes that country less competitive in the global economy.  Imports and trade deficits increase as prices at home rise, while companies or whole industries close and move abroad to countries where they can be more competitive.

And it is the citizen, the consumer, who pays for all of this, either in the form of higher prices or less availability, or less economic growth.  This shouldn’t be rocket science, but consequences are not of much interest to Democrats.  It’s still worth trying to figure out what the consequences will be.



Disaster! Catastrophe! And it’s Happening Here and Now! by The Elephant's Child

Moviemakers are always dreaming up new catastrophes.  We have had giant asteroids headed for earth; the end of days; raging seas sweeping across Manhattan; Manhattan again, empty, the population felled by a mysterious virus; Manhattan populated only with zombies; aliens from outer space in giant ships arriving over Los Angeles; alien ships from outer space arriving all over the world all at once; pod people;  and an earth inexorably warming, the seas rising, hurricanes increasing, polar bears drowning — oh wait…

The big sticking point that keeps people from understanding what a fraud Al Gore’s movie was, is the idea that there is a “scientific consensus.”

But in the real world, there is no such thing.  The scientific method involves observing a phenomenon, and from careful observation developing a hypothesis.  Then testing the hypothesis trying to disprove it.  If the hypothesis stubbornly resists being disproven, it may be true.  So continue testing.

If a “consensus” of scientists fervently believe in a different hypothesis, it doesn’t matter.  There is no “consensus” in science, only what evidence shows to be  true, and that continues to be open to further questioning and proof.  The idea that ulcers were caused by acid stomach, pointed out Professor Ian Plimer, was accepted by everyone until two Australian scientists demonstrated that ulcers were caused by bacteria, and easily treated.

“Weather” is what you experience when you go outside.  “Climate” consists of worldwide averages and is a statistic.  The two should not be confused.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a benign, odorless, colorless gas caused by burning carbon and organic compounds and by respiration. It is not a pollutant.

Carbon is the chemical element of atomic number 6, a nonmetal that has two main forms (diamonds and graphite) and that also occurs in impure form in charcoal, soot and coal. Carbon is a solid.  Carbon Dioxide is a gas.

The objective is to link CO2 with coal, for coal is seen as truly evil. It is mined, disturbing mother earth.  Mining is evil.   Coal is loaded on long trains, called “death trains” by uber greenie NASA scientist and activist James Hansen. Burning coal to create electricity is evil because it creates the “pollutant” CO2. But if CO2 is NOT a pollutant — which it isn’t— then the whole thing falls apart.

Take a few minutes to watch the interview with Professor Ian Plimer, Australia’s most renowned earth scientist, linked above.  Each of the three segments is only about 9 minutes, and very worth your time.



Another Surprising Feature Of the Waxman-Malarkey Bill. by The Elephant's Child
July 3, 2009, 10:01 pm
Filed under: Economy, Energy | Tags: ,

One of the main features among many in the Waxman-Markey Climate Bill is the requirement that U.S. greenhouse gas emissions be 17 percent below those of 2005 by 2020 and that 15 percent of electric power generation come from “clean energy sources” such as wind, solar, biomass or geothermal by 2020.

Population increase is estimated to grow by 40 million more than that in 2005, a 13.5 percent increase.  So we need a 28 percent decrease in fossil energy use  which will mean a major decrease in such comforts as hot water, heating and air conditioning.  Not to figure how much energy is required for the vast fleets of electric cars that the administration is counting on.

Many states are unsuitable for the use of solar or wind as energy sources.  These states will have to buy power from more wind-friendly states at much higher rates.  Solar power is far more expensive, so wind power will probably be the greatest source of renewable power.  If there is no growth for for the intervening 15 years to 2020 we would need something like 600 billion KWh.  The typical wind-power plant produces about 3.3 million KWh per year.

Thus, in the eleven years to 2020, the United States would need about 180 thousand 1.5 megawatt wind turbines.  This means 45 new wind turbines per day!

And that does not count the new coal-fired plants needed for all the times when the wind does not blow.

I wonder how much 180,000 wind turbines cost?

(Thanks to Professor James Rust for this information from CCNet News)




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