American Elephants

If You Watch Just One Video Today, Make it This One! by The Elephant's Child

A complete debunking of the left’s global warming agenda, from Roy W. Spencer, former NASA climatologist and climate expert.  Dr. Spencer, at University of Alabama at Huntsville, continues his work with NASA as the U.S. Science Team leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite.

He has published two popular books on global warming that are completely accessible for those who are not scientists.  He’s a good explainer.  His first was Climate Confusion (2008), followed by The Great Global Warming Blunder, which has the coolest cover ever.  And for more on this topic, purchase his new Broadside, “The Bad Science and Bad Policy of Obama’s Global Warming Agenda” by clicking here:

He has provided expert testimony to Congress several times on the subject of global warming.

[via @adamsbaldwin on Twitter]

And Now They’re Going to Regulate Your Kitchen! by The Elephant's Child

Sam Kass, who was the Obama’s chef in Chicago, came to the White House with the Obamas.  He was known as Mrs. Obama’s Food Initiative Coordinator, but about a month ago, his title was changed to Senior Policy Adviser for Healthy Food Initiatives.  The new title more accurately reflects Kass’ broad range of duties, as internal and external expert on all things health, kids, and food.  Or in the vernacular — he is the “Food Czar.”

So Sam Kass went from being a 20-something Chicago gourmet cook, privately paid to cook for the Obamas, to a big-time White House adviser.  Michelle Obama’s healthy nutrition program is supposed to eliminate childhood obesity within a generation, especially in the country’s inner cities.  Mrs. Obama claims that childhood obesity is a threat to national security, and a crisis that requires the administration to spend $400 million a year to bring “healthy foods” to low-income neighborhoods and $10 billion to make revisions to the old federal program that feeds tens of millions of poor children at school. Mrs Obama said when launching  last month’s “Chefs Move to Schools” initiative — a program to get professional chefs to volunteer in America’s schools:

I think it’s just pretty powerful to see what started out as a few conversations in our kitchen on the South Side of Chicago turn into a major initiative that hopefully will change the way we think as a country, not just about the health of our kids but about our health as a nation,”

I think the ambitions may once again exceed what is possible or probable.  Mrs. Obama is enamored of organic produce, local, regional and “sustainable” food.  I assume that is not “sustainable” in the sense of the cans of food in the pantry, but in some larger, greener sense.  “Sustainable” is very big in the green left, but I haven’t figured out yet just what it means, but is sure is a popular word.

Mr. Kass gave the keynote speech at the Food Marketing Institute’s trade show in Las Vegas, urging supermarket important people to take a leadership role in “Let’s Move.”  He told the grocery retailers that it’s time to seize the opportunity to be leaders in creating a generation of healthier kids by being “architects of choice” on the micro and macro level.  He gave, according the to blog “Obama Foodorama” “a mini dissertation on how to change the design of markets which ranged from where to position healthy foods, to changing food packaging labels is crucial for parents’ decision making, to why it’s important to build more supermarkets in places that don’t have them.”

There was also a conference with governors to urge them to establish food initiatives in their states and cities. Baltimore has a food czar named Holly Freishtat, and the City of Boston has recently joined in, creating a $75,000 a year position of “Food Policy Director” with an ambitious agenda.

I may not grasp the true meaning of “sustainable” but I do know a bit about “organic” food.  “Organic” is a marketing ploy designed to sell smaller fruits and vegetables grown on larger acreages at higher prices.  Organic produce has been  tested over and over, and there is no benefit in nutrition or freshness. It usually costs about 30% more.  Organic designates a method of growing which involves using only ‘natural’ fertilizers (manure) and only ‘natural’ pesticides (like pyrethrums–some of the most poisonous pesticides).  No better for you.  You can look up the process that farmers must follow to get the “organic” label, but it remains only a marketing ploy.

I would have loved to be a fly on the wall at that convention of supermarket CEOs being lectured by the Obama’s 20-something cook.  But I’m not a foodie, I’m just an ordinary good cook.

Protestors abound at Copenhagen. Are You Surprised at Who They Are? by The Elephant's Child
December 16, 2009, 1:45 am
Filed under: Politics, Socialism, Statism | Tags: , , ,

Lord Christopher Monckton remarked that “They call themselves Green because they are too yellow to admit they’re really Red.” As the Soviet Union fell, many of the “true believers” migrated to the environmental movement. The environmental movement and global warming have always been political efforts, not scientific. And now it’s playing out. ClimateGate is exposing the truth.

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


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: , , ,


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)


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