American Elephants

Imagine There’s No YouTube by The Elephant's Child

So the President contacted Google and tried to get the YouTube video that supposedly offended Muslims removed? And they want the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision overturned because corporations shouldn’t have a voice in elections, though it’s fine for Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). There seems to be something about the idea of free speech that they don’t quite get.

Fifty Million People Disappear! Embarrassment Ensues. by The Elephant's Child

Back in 2005, The United Nations Environment Programme predicted that climate change would create 50 million climate refugees by 2010. These people would be forced to flee a range of disasters including sea level rise, increases in the numbers and severity of hurricanes, and disruption to the production of food.

The United Nations Environment Programme even provided a handy map. The map shows us the places most at risk included the very sensitive low-lying islands of the Pacific and the Caribbean.

Back on April 11th, Gavin Atkins of the Asian Correspondent asked a simple question:

“What happened to the climate refugees?

Anthony Watts explains the whole embarrassing story.  The UN somehow made the handy map vanish, just like the 50 million refugees simply vanished. Then they moved the goalposts. There’s even a dandy picture of people at the beach waiting for the rising of the tides. But scroll down, the refugee map is recaptured, and all is exposed. If you are unfamiliar with Watts Up With That, Anthony’s splendid and popular website, be sure to bookmark it.

The Cardboard Cut-out President? by American Elephant
September 25, 2009, 4:49 pm
Filed under: Humor, Politics | Tags: ,

This video of an immovable Obama with 130 UN delegates has others wondering if the White House sent a cardboard cutout to the UN in the president’s stead. Watch his face, his lips, and his eyes. They are completely plastic. Only the position of the camera changes. I submit that the shadows are too realistic for a cardboard cutout. Perhaps they borrowed the president’s wax doppelganger from Madame Tussaud’s. In Times Square, its less than 2 miles away from the UN…

I’m inclined to believe it’s the real deal. After all, it’s what he does! He speaks and he poses, speaks and poses, speaks and poses — while others govern. Speaking and posing could very well be his only expertise. I suspect he has just mastered the art of the phony smile so thoroughly that he has taken his to this whole new level — Stepford President.

What do you think?

(h/t Hot Air)

The UN admits that the global warming crisis is about redistribution of wealth, not climate change. by The Elephant's Child
March 28, 2009, 2:45 am
Filed under: Europe, Global Warming, News, Politics, Socialism | Tags: , ,

Climate realists for years have been warning that the entire global warming myth was politics, not science.  And above all, it was a scheme to redistribute wealth under the guise of saving the planet.

In a document obtained by FOX News, the United Nations has confirmed suspicions, and made it official.  FOX News executive editor George Russell reported Friday:

A United Nations document on “climate change” that will be distributed to a major environmental conclave next week envisions a huge reordering of the world economy, likely involving trillions of dollars in wealth transfer, millions of job losses and gains, new taxes, industrial relocations, new tariffs and subsidies, and complicated payments for greenhouse gas abatement schemes and carbon taxes — all under the supervision of the world body.

Those and other results are blandly discussed in a discretely worded United Nations “information note” on potential consequences of the measures that industrialized countries will likely have to take to implement the Copenhagen Accord, the successor to the Kyoto Treaty, after it is negotiated and signed by December 2009.[…]

The 16-page note, obtained by FOX News, will be distributed to participants at a mammoth negotiating session that starts on March 29 in Bonn, Germany, the first of three sessions intended to hammer out the actual commitments involved in the new deal.

In typical UN bureaucratic language, the negotiators are known as “the AD Hoc Working Group On Further Commitments For Annex I Parties Under the Kyoto Protocol”.  The Consequences, if adopted, would be world-changing. The UN is well known for overreaching power grabs, and for utter corruption as well.  Remember “Oil for Food?” That UN scheme was supposed to allow Iraq to sell enough oil to buy food on the world market for their people.  It ended up in the pockets of UN Bureaucrats and Saddam Hussein — millions and millions.

What would this agreement mean if adopted?  Loss of sovereignty, loss of control over trade , manufacturing, energy production and business in general.  Destruction of our economy.  Little things like that.

The problem is that the case for global warming is falling apart, not only because the planet has been cooling for the last decade, but because the UN’s IPCC claims are proving false, one by one.  The climate is always changing.  It has been far warmer in the past — times like the Medieval Warm Period — the best climate ever known, and far colder during periods like the Little Ice Age, and the Dark Ages. This year saw snow in Saudi Arabia for the first time known.

Carbon Dioxide is not a pollutant, but a colorless, odorless gas that is essential to life. In the atmosphere it is only a trace gas, and the amount produced by human activity is too small to measure. It is, however, a natural fertilizer that makes plants grow. The amount now in the atmosphere is at the low end of what is required by plant life for optimum growth, and as the earth is currently cooling, more CO2 would help.

The EPA is busily trying to regulate CO2 as a pollutant dangerous to man (certainly the amount of hot CO2 exhaled in the chambers of the Capitol building is increasingly dangerous) but the rest of us exhale it every time we breathe.  There is a lot of power grab behind that designation. The EPA has a disgraceful record including the designation of DDT as too dangerous to be used and thereby killed millions of children from preventable malaria by not being allowed to spray their huts with DDT.

Europe is retreating from all the green mandates.  Cap and Trade has been devastating.  Green jobs have not been forthcoming.  Goals of carbon reduction have not been met. Wind has not been reliable in spite of vast subsidies, and colder weather has begun to emphasize the need for more energy to keep warm, while Russia rations supplies of natural gas.

Do read the FOX document linked above.  Be persistent in getting past the bureaucratese, there are details on page 6.  FOX News Blog’s article is here, and Rick Moran’s article from American Thinker is here.  Take the time to read.

If times were normal, we could depend on Congress to reject this whole thing promptly.  But these are strange times, and there are strange and dangerous ideas abroad.

Let’s talk about Global Poverty and the Democrats. by The Elephant's Child

Here is someone you should know.  James Shikwati , a Kenyan libertarian economist, is director of a Kenyan Think Tank, Inter-Region Economic Network (IREN).  He burst upon world attention in 2005, with an interview in Spiegel Online, entitled For God’s Sake, Please Stop the Aid!”

SPIEGEL: Stop? The industrialized nations of the West want to eliminate hunger and poverty.

Shikwati: Such intentions have been damaging our continent for the past 40 years.  If the industrial nations really want to help the Africans, they should finally terminate this awful aid.  The countries that have collected the most development aid are also the ones that are in the worst shape.  Despite the billions that have poured in to Africa, the continent remains poor.

SPIEGEL: Do you have an explanation for this paradox?

Shikwati: Huge bureaucracies are financed (with the aid money), corruption and complacency are promoted, Africans are taught to be beggars and not to be independent.  In addition, development aid weakens the local markets everywhere and dampens the spirit of entrepreneurship that we so desperately need.  As absurd as it may sound, development aid is one of the reasons for Africa’s problems.  If the West were to cancel these payments, normal Africans wouldn’t even notice.  Only the functionaries would be hard hit.  Which is why they maintain that the world would stop turning without this development aid.

SPIEGEL: Even in a country like Kenya, people are starving to death each year.  Someone has got to help them.

Shikwati: But is has to be the Kenyans themselves who help these people.  When there’s a drought in a region of Kenya, our corrupt politicians reflexively cry out for more help.  This call then reaches the United Nations World Food Program — which is a massive agency of apparatchiks who are in the absurd situation of, on the one hand, being dedicated to the fight against hunger while, on the other hand, being faced with unemployment were hunger actually eliminated…and before long, several thousand tons of corn are shipped to Africa…and at some point, this corn ends up in the harbor of Mombasa.  A portion of the corn often goes directly into the hands of unscrupulous politicians who then pass it on to their own tribe to boost their next election campaign.  Another portion of the shipment ends up on the black market where the corn is dumped at extremely low prices.  Local farmers may as well put down their hoes right away; no one can compete with the UN’s World Food Program.  And because the farmers go under in the face of this pressure, Kenya would have no reserves to draw on if there actually were a famine next year.  It’s a simple but fatal cycle.

It’s a stunning interview, and do read the whole thing, by clicking on the link above. In another essay, Mr. Shikwati emphasizes that what the developing world needs is trade, not aid, to help the poor.

This is pertinent, not only because of the failure to pass the Free Trade Agreement with Columbia, but because of the Democrat Congress’s reasons for voting against the bill.  American Unions have been losing membership and influence in recent years, and they have been ardent supporters of the Democrat Party.  They are now calling in the debt.  The unions want to force other countries throughout the world to adopt their union rules and environmental rules, and to refuse any trade agreements that do not contain those requirements.

Over the past several decades, in contrast to the claims of Democrats, remarkable progress has been made against poverty around the globe.  According to data from the World Bank, the number of extremely poor people has shrunk to fewer than a billion in 2004 from about one and one half billion in 1981.  Most of this has been accomplished through increased free trade.

Mr. Shikwati’s comments are also pertinent because the developed world’s rush to put farm crops into their fuel tanks has disrupted the world food supply, and rising energy prices are also harming poor countries. There is both a short-term and a long-term problem.  Robert Zoellick, President of the World Bank points out that food prices have risen 83 percent since 2005 “threatening to drive over 100 million people into extreme poverty”.  Such a move, he added, would “reverse the gains made in overcoming poverty in the last seven years”. Yet we must make sure that we are enacting policy changes that assure that emergency relief will not be required next year and thereafter.

Senator Barack Obama has sponsored a “Global Poverty Act” that would require the United States to increase foreign aid by approximately $65 billion per year.  If the Senate passes the bill, it would be Mr. Obama’s first significant legislative accomplishment. Derived directly from the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, the idea has been for donor countries to devote 0.7% of their GNP to aid.

The idea of making the goal of international development aid by rich countries 0.7% of their national income, rather than of any demonstrated need by developing countries or evidence that any such aid could be used effectively is illogical. Nowhere in the world can we point to a country that has escaped poverty through foreign aid, in spite of more than $2 trillion of foreign aid spending so far. The correct question is: How do countries develop economically?  What actually works?

The answer is foreign investment and increased trade. If rich countries would open their markets to developing countries, those poorer countries could work their way out of poverty and wouldn’t require foreign aid.

The latest report from the United Nations indicates that the goal, of cutting in half the proportion of people worldwide who live on less than $1 per day between 1990 and 2015, was already 80 percent achieved by 2004, 11 years before the deadline. As The Heritage Foundation reports:

US contributions to this goal are substantial. The U.S. is the largest source of foreign direct investment in developing countries, the largest recipient of developing country exports, and the largest provider of development and humanitarian assistance to developing countries.  In a world economy that is increasingly market-oriented and globalized, unprecedent levels of resources are flowing to developing countries.  The share of these resources coming from the private sector, primarily through the mechanisms of trade, investment and remittances, dwarfs official aid flows.

Democrats are always anxious to solve problems by taking money from taxpayers to give to those with the problem.  But problems are most often not so simplistic that they can be solved by simply throwing money at them.  The socialist idea that “redistribution” is the answer and the problem is “rich people” doesn’t meet the most elementary logic test. If we have already met 80 percent of the goal eleven years ahead of time, maybe we should keep on with what we have been doing: Increasing trade, increasing investment,  and sharing knowledge.

But that requires looking into what is actually being done, and what the results have been; rather than attempting to grandstand with a bill to solve world poverty to enhance one’s resume.

32,000 Scientists Dissent From Global Warming “Consensus” by American Elephant

Oregon Petition

When is a consensus not a consensus?

How about when the number of prominent, respected, and world-renowned scientists dissenting from the liberal global-warm-mongering far exceeds the number of scientists involved in the UN’s whole fraudulent International Panel on Climate Change?

As American Thinker points out, we have reached just such a number…and then some.

32,000 American scientists, including over 9,000 Ph.D’s, have now signed the “Oregon Petition” rejecting Kyoto and other similar measures, and the premise of “global warming” itself. The petition reads:

“We urge the United States government to reject the global warming agreement that was written in Kyoto, Japan in December, 1997, and any other similar proposals. The proposed limits on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advance of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.

There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.”

With a corrupt Democrat majority in congress and both parties’ presidential candidates poised to do enormous damage to the US economy over nothing more than environmental hysteria and junk science, this story needs to get out.

But you know as well as I do, the mainstream media won’t cover it. (The National Post gives a detailed account of just how actively the media has been burying and trying to discredit real global warming dissent.) At least not until the story reaches such a critical mass that they can no longer ignore it.

I hope you’ll all join me in getting the word out. Blog about it, email it to friends, Digg it, Reddit it… pass it on.

Update: The official site of the Oregon Petition lists the signators of the petition by name and state, breaks them down by degree, and answers all sorts of questions you may have about the petition.

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