Wednesday, April 26, 2017



Clean Energy’s Dirty Federal Cronyism

Earth Day started as a protest but has long been a mainstream institution. It’s therefore fitting that the cause it represents often reflects an even older American institution: politicization and cronyism in government spending. In recent testimony to Congress, Independent Institute Research Fellow Ryan M. Yonk explained how the Department of Energy’s loan guarantee program exemplifies those unhealthy by-products of government intervention as it creates additional unhealthy by-products.

The loan guarantee program “has been used as a political tool, exposed taxpayers to unnecessary risk, diverted funding from alternative clean energy investments, and primarily benefitted large, politically connected corporations,” Ryan states in his written testimony. Moreover, the program is counterproductive. “The fundamental problem,” he continues, “is that the loan guarantee program makes it more difficult for new ideas to emerge since it further entrenches established ideas.”

Case in point: Solyndra. It was a struggling young company rather than an established firm with large market share, but the solar-systems manufacturer was the darling of a president and energy secretary who were so eager for a political win that federal bureaucrats approved its loan guarantees without completing essential steps required by other applicants. The loan guarantees program also diverts scarce investment funds away from firms who avoid feeding at the public trough. Writes Yonk: “Government support, as a previous chief marketing officer at Tesla Motors complained, may make it easier for those who receive support, but it also makes it more difficult for new ideas to gain private funding and grow.”

SOURCE




New Study Calls EPA’s Labeling Of CO2 A Pollutant ‘Totally False’

A new study published by seasoned researchers takes aim at the heart of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority to issue regulations to curb carbon dioxide emissions.

The study claims to have “proven that it is all but certain that EPA’s basic claim that CO2 is a pollutant is totally false,” according to a press statement put out by Drs. Jim Wallace, John Christy and Joe D’Aleo.

Wallace, Christy and D’Aleo — a statistician, a climatologist and meteorologist, respectively — released a study claiming to invalidate EPA’s 2009 endangerment finding, which allowed the agency to regulate CO2 as a pollutant.

“This research failed to find that the steadily rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations have had a statistically significant impact on any of the 14 temperature data sets that were analyzed,” the authors say in the release for the second edition of their peer-reviewed work.

“Moreover, these research results clearly demonstrate that once the solar, volcanic and oceanic activity, that is, natural factor, impacts on temperature data are accounted for, there is no ‘record setting’ warming to be concerned about,” the researchers say. “In fact, there is no natural factor adjusted warming at all.”

The study is intended to bolster a petition Wallace and D’Aleo filed with EPA as part of the Household Electricity Consumers Council (CHECC), asking the agency to reconsider its endangerment finding.

The libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) also filed a petition with EPA to reconsider the endangerment finding. The Trump administration has not indicated whether or not they will reconsider the Obama-era finding. Any challenge would be met with legal action from environmental activists.

CHECC’s petition relies on findings from a 2016 study by Wallace and company that found the three lines of evidence EPA relied on for its 2009 endangerment finding weren’t scientifically sound.

Wallace’s new study makes a similar finding, arguing the “tropical hot spot” EPA claims will occur as humans pump more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere “simply does not exist in the real world.”

EPA issued its endangerment finding for six greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, in 2009. The agency found that greenhouse gases from vehicles “endanger both the public health and the public welfare of current and future generations.”

The finding gave the Obama administration the legal cover it needed to move forward with regulations to clamp down on greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, power plants, industrial facilities and agriculture.

President Donald Trump issued an executive order in March to roll back many Obama global warming policies and directives, but some say the administration needs to eliminate the endangerment finding to keep future presidents from regulating CO2.

“Claims like that rest entirely on the endangerment finding,” said Sam Kazman, CEI’s general counsel.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt told Congress during his January confirmation hearing he saw no reason at the time to review the endangerment finding.

Sources have also told news outlets Pruitt got Trump to strip language from an executive order that would have ordered a review of the endangerment finding.

On the other hand, sources familiar with Pruitt’s thinking on the matter say he wants to review the endangerment finding, but is biding his time.

Wallace and his coauthors want to give Pruitt a reason to update the endangerment finding. Wallace and company say in their release that “there is no published, peer reviewed, statistically valid proof that past increases in atmospheric CO2 concentrations have caused the officially reported rising, even claimed record setting temperatures.”

“And, EPA’s climate models fail to meet this test,” the authors say.

SOURCE




Bill Nye blows gasket when a real scientist schools him on facts about ‘climate change’

Bill Nye, known for his 1990’s science kid’s show who has since become an outspoken advocate on “climate change,” accused CNN of doing a “disservice” to its audience on Saturday by having a real scientist on their network to discuss climate change.

The CNN “New Day Saturday” panel, which included Nye and William Happer, a physicist at Princeton University,” became heated after Happer said the climate change that Nye talks about is a “myth.”

“There’s this myth that’s developed around carbon dioxide that it’s a pollutant, but you and I both exhale carbon dioxide with every breath. Each of us emits about two pounds of carbon dioxide a day, so are we polluting the planet?” Happer, who has advised President Donald Trump on climate issues, said.

“Carbon dioxide is a perfectly natural gas, it’s just like water vapor, it’s something that plants love. They grow better with more carbon dioxide, and you can see the greening of the earth already from the additional carbon dioxide in the atmosphere,” he explained.

Nye hit back and said Happer didn’t understand the “rate,” or speed at which carbon dioxide is entering the atmosphere. Then he ripped CNN for not having only climate change alarmists on their network.

“And I will say, much as I love the CNN, you’re doing a disservice by having one climate change skeptic and not 97 or 98 scientists or engineers concerned about climate change,” Nye said.

When asked why he’s a skeptic, Happer — a real scientist — explained that climate change alarmism is built on a dishonest foundation.

“Let me point out that science is not like passing a law,” he said. “You don’t have a vote to say how many are for the law of gravity and how many are against — it’s based on observations. And if you observe what’s happening to, for example, the temperature, the temperature is not rising nearly as fast as the alarmist computer models predicted. It’s much, much less — factors of two or three less. So the whole basis for the alarmism is not true, it’s based on flawed computer modeling.”

Nye, who is not a real scientist, immediately shot back at Happer.

“That’s completely wrong,” Nye shot back. “He’s cherry picking a certain model. The heat ended up in the ocean. This is not controversial in mainstream science, everybody.”

Nye added that he “encourages” everyone to look at the facts.

For years, climate change alarmists said the polar ice caps would melt completely by the mid-2010’s causing the sea levels to rise by meters, which would then put low-lying coastal areas across the world under water. None of these things ever happened. In fact, ocean waters have not warmed on an overall average basis, despite claims made by people like Nye and former Vice President Al Gore.

Not only that, but a recent National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the government agency that monitors the climate, whistleblower said the agency for years manipulated climate data for political reasons — meaning to show that climate change is happening when it really isn’t.

Still, Nye spouted his talking points and lectured Happer for being a “climate change denier.”

He said:

I encourage you to cut this out so we can move forward and make the United States a world leader in technology. We want advanced wind turbines…advanced concentrated energy plants. If we were to do that, we would have at least 3 million new jobs in the United States that could not be outsourced. We would not need to have our military on the other of the world defending what people call “our oil.” We could move forward and we could export this technology. We could be world leaders in this instead of wringing our hands and cherry picking data and pretending that this problem that’s obvious to the scientific community but it is somehow not obvious to you.

Later in the interview, Happer said the Trump administration should back out of the 2016 Paris Agreement, a global agreement made last year on greenhouse gas emissions. Happer compared the agreement to former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s appeasements of Germany dictator Adolf Hitler in 1938, known as the Munich Agreement.

That agreement allowed Hitler to take over territory in what was then Czechoslovakia known as the “Sudetenland.” Hitler said he wanted the territory because it was occupied mainly by Germans and Austrians. We now know, however, that it was just one more step in Hitler’s plan to begin conquering Europe.

The comparison Happer made stunned Nye and the CNN hosts, who demanded that Happer explain his comparison.

“It is an appropriate comparison because it was a treaty that was not going to do any good,” Happer explained. “This treaty also will not do any good. Anyone who looks at the results of doing what the treaty says can see that the effect on the earth’s climate is — even if you take the alarmist computer models trivial — it will not make any difference and yet it will cause enormous harm to many people.”

The contentious exchange came on “Earth Day 2017,” also the same day that people across the world were marching “for science.”

SOURCE




Climate Marches Aren't About Science — They're About Trump

Organizers promised that hundreds of thousands would participate in an April 22 March for Science planned for hundreds of cities worldwide and an April 29 People's Climate March in Washington, DC.

These events have no more to do with science or climate change than do UN programs or the Paris climate treaty. Their own leaders make that perfectly clear.

A climate website asserts that marchers intend to mark President Trump's 100th day in office "with a massive demonstration that shows our resistance is not going to wane." They intend to "block Trump's entire fossil fuel agenda," with Berkeley-style tantrums and riots, most likely.

A science march website says this is "explicitly a political movement, aimed at holding leaders in science and politics accountable" for trying to "skew, ignore, misuse or interfere with science."

That pious language really means they intend to allow no deviation from climate cataclysm doctrines.

It means everyone must accept claims that fossil fuel emissions, not powerful natural forces, now govern Earth's climate; any future changes will be catastrophic; despite growing wealth and technological prowess, humanity will somehow be unable to adapt to future fluctuations; and mankind can and must control the climate by regulating emissions of plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide, regardless of costs.

Equally revealing, former UN climate convention director Christiana Figueres has said the UN goal is to "intentionally change the economic development model" that has reigned since the Industrial Revolution.

"Climate policy has almost nothing to do anymore with environmental protection," former IPCC mitigation group co-chair Ottmar Edenhofer has stated. It is about negotiating "the distribution of the world's resources."

Indeed, under the Paris agreement, UN officials will oversee energy and economic "transformations" in industrialized nations, let poor countries develop using fossil fuels, and oversee the collection and redistribution of $100 billion annually in climate adaptation, mitigation and compensation funds.

Developed nations must de-carbonize, de-industrialize, and reduce their growth, job creation and living standards – while sending trillions of dollars over the coming decades to ruling elites in developing countries that are not required to decrease oil, gas and coal use or greenhouse gas emissions.

The Insurance Journal says the worldwide climate change and renewable energy industry is now a $1.5-trillion-per-year business empire. McKinsey & Co. says the world must spend $93 trillion by 2031 to build "climate-resilient, socially inclusive, sustainable, low-carbon" infrastructures.

Millions of politicians, bureaucrats, scientists, activists and corporate executives clearly have a huge stake in advancing this agenda. However, billions of people have other, more vital, even life-or-death interests that must be protected.

Free enterprise capitalism and fossil fuels have lifted billions out of poverty, disease, malnutrition and early death. They must continue doing so. Indeed, says the Energy Information Administration, carbon-based fuels will provide 75-80% of worldwide energy through 2040 – when total energy consumed will be at least 25% greater than today.

The marchers seem determined to block this progress, regardless of the consequences.

In the United States, their "green" energy policies would send gasoline prices soaring and at least double electricity costs – from Ohio rates to California rates. The cost of heat, lights, AC, goods and services would skyrocket for families, hospitals, schools, factories and businesses. Living standards would decline, jobs disappear, drug and alcohol abuse climb, and people die needlessly and prematurely.

330,000 German families had their electricity cut off in 2015, because they could not pay soaring bills. In Britain, 20,000 elderly people die from illness and hypothermia each winter, because they cannot afford proper heat.

Across Africa and India, over a billion impoverished people still have no access to electricity for lights, cooking or refrigeration. Instead, they burn wood, charcoal and dung in open fires. Millions die every year from breathing indoor smoke, drinking contaminated water, eating bacteria-infested food and having primitive healthcare.

The marchers and climate industry ignore this green energy poverty and death. They dismiss hundreds of scientists who present persuasive evidence that humans are not causing climate disasters, as CFACT detailed in its documentary film, "Climate Hustle."

Danish environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg calculates that implementing all provisions of the Paris accord would prevent a virtually undetectable 0.306 degrees Fahrenheit of global warming by 2100. Doing so would cost up to $946 billion annually, from 2030 to 2100 – another $66 trillion in total!

That money should be spent on electricity, clean water, modern housing and agriculture. Free enterprise capitalism will gradually devise reliable, affordable fossil fuel replacements.

The marchers claim they represent "social, economic and climate justice." It's nothing more than a twisted joke.

SOURCE





Drifting Back to Diesel Power

By Viv Forbes & Helpers

When I was a kid on a dairy farm in Queensland, we relied on green energy - horses and human muscles provided motive power; fire-wood and beeswax candles supplied heat and light; windmills pumped water and the sun provided solar energy for growing crops, vegies and pastures. The only “non-green” energy used was a bit of kerosene for the kitchen lamp, and petrol for a small Ford utility. We were almost “sustainable” but there was little surplus for others.

Our life changed dramatically when we put a thumping diesel in the dairy shed. This single-cylinder engine drove the milking machines and an electricity generator which charged 16 lead-acid 2 volt batteries sitting on the veranda. This 32 volt DC system powered a modern marvel – bright light, at any time, in every room, at the touch of a switch. This system could also power Mum’s new electric clothes iron as long as someone started the engine for a bit more power.

There were no electric self-starters for diesels in those days – just a heavy crank handle.

But all that effort, noise and fumes were superseded when every house and dairy got connected to clean silent “coal power by wire”, and coal was used to produce coke for the new slow-combustion stoves. Suddenly the trusty “Southern Cross” diesel engines disappeared from Australian sheds and dairies, AGA cookers displaced the old smoky wood-burning stoves in the kitchen, and clean-burning coal gas heaters replaced dirty open fires in the cities.

In just one life-time, human energy, wood, candles and kerosene were replaced by diesel, which was then replaced by coal via coal-gas, coke, and clean silent ever-ready electricity.

Today, after Aussies have enjoyed decades of abundant reliable cheap electricity from black coal, brown coal and hydro, green energy gambling has taken Australia back to the era which kept a diesel in the shed.

Tasmania is the greenest state in Australia. It once had a vibrant economy that created mines, saw-mills, farms, orchards, oil and metal refineries, dams, hydro-power and railways. It is now a green no-go land. Greens have stopped new hydro developments, opposed mining, crippled the timber industry, prevented new wood-chip developments and will probably celebrate when their last refinery closes.

Tasmanians get their electricity mainly from hydro assets created long ago by their more productive ancestors. But recently a long drought caused a shortage of Tasmanian hydro-energy - they became reliant for up to 40% of their electricity needs on the Bass-link undersea cable bringing electricity from reliable coal-fired stations in Victoria and NSW. However the overloaded Bass Link cable failed, and an old gas-powered station was brought back into service (importing gas from Victoria) to keep the lights on. Subsequently their politicians hurriedly put 150 diesel generators in their shed (costing A$11 million per month).

South Australia is the next greenest state in Australia, hosting about 35% of Australia’s wind turbines. These were force-fed into existence by mandatory green energy targets and tax benefits. In a burst of green destruction they also closed their gas-fired power stations and demolished their coal-fired station. However wind power failed recently and a storm tore down their life-line bringing reliable coal power from Victoria. Now Premier Weatherill is planning to install up to 200 megawatts of diesel generators in his shed. Many residents are following his lead.

As some wag said: Question: “What did South Australians have before candles?”  Answer: “Electricity”.

The UK has been badly infected by the green energy virus. Engineers warned that this intermittent and unpredictable supply had increased the risk of blackouts, so the UK government offered subsidies for emergency backup power. This subsidy, plus consumer concerns, put so many diesels in British sheds that they now provide a major backup capacity for UK electricity.

Many Spaniards found a diesel in the shed was very profitable. Their government had been drinking green-ale and offered attractive subsidies for solar power produced.

The subsidy was very successful - so successful that someone eventually noticed that some suppliers were even producing “solar” power at night. It was coming from diesels in their sheds.

Finally, our green media likes to feature some green energy enthusiast who is “off the grid”. But it usually emerges later in the show that there is a diesel in their shed too.

Those who remember the days of relying on a noisy smelly diesel in the shed and a smoky wood stove in the kitchen have no wish to be dragged back there by green zealots.

SOURCE

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Tuesday, April 25, 2017



Warmists have just lost the Antarctic peninsula

The peninsula was the only bit of the Antarctic that suited the Warmists.  They gleefully reported glacial breakups there, quite ignoring that the Antarctic as a whole was certainly not warming and was in fact tending to cool.  The study below however shows that the warmer period on the peninsula was an atypical  blip that has now reversed

Recent regional climate cooling on the Antarctic Peninsula and associated impacts on the cryosphere

M. Oliva et al.

Abstract

The Antarctic Peninsula (AP) is often described as a region with one of the largest warming trends on Earth since the 1950s, based on the temperature trend of 0.54 °C/decade during 1951–2011 recorded at Faraday/Vernadsky station. Accordingly, most works describing the evolution of the natural systems in the AP region cite this extreme trend as the underlying cause of their observed changes. However, a recent analysis (Turner et al., 2016) has shown that the regionally stacked temperature record for the last three decades has shifted from a warming trend of 0.32 °C/decade during 1979–1997 to a cooling trend of − 0.47 °C/decade during 1999–2014. While that study focuses on the period 1979–2014, averaging the data over the entire AP region, we here update and re-assess the spatially-distributed temperature trends and inter-decadal variability from 1950 to 2015, using data from ten stations distributed across the AP region. We show that Faraday/Vernadsky warming trend is an extreme case, circa twice those of the long-term records from other parts of the northern AP. Our results also indicate that the cooling initiated in 1998/1999 has been most significant in the N and NE of the AP and the South Shetland Islands (> 0.5 °C between the two last decades), modest in the Orkney Islands, and absent in the SW of the AP. This recent cooling has already impacted the cryosphere in the northern AP, including slow-down of glacier recession, a shift to surface mass gains of the peripheral glacier and a thinning of the active layer of permafrost in northern AP islands.

Science of The Total Environment. Volume 580, 15 February 2017, Pages 210–223





The coming British election: These are the great unmentionables of this election

As usual when another election comes along, I try to point out some of those hugely important issues which won’t be getting discussed, because all the parties agree not to notice them.

High on the list is the energy future we face under the Climate Change Act, where our politicians have all happily nodded through a “decarbonisation” policy whereby we shall before long be phasing out all those remaining fossil-fuel power stations which still provide more than half our electricity, to rely instead on grotesquely subsidised “renewables” and imaginary nuclear power stations which show little sign of getting built.

Scarcely any MP has yet shown any sign of recognising what a disaster this is heading us for. The only mentions it is likely to get in coming weeks will be virtue-signalling manifesto references to the need for yet more unreliable renewables.

SOURCE






Green Energy Poverty Week

A week dedicated to topics that underscore impacts environmentalists don’t want to discuss

Paul Driessen

April 22 was Earth Day, the March for Science and Lenin’s birthday (which many say is appropriate, since environmentalism is now green on the outside and red, anti-free enterprise on the inside). April 29 will feature the People’s Climate March and the usual “Climate change is real” inanity.

The Climate March website says these forces of “The Resistance” intend to show President Trump they will fight his hated energy agenda every step of the way. Science March organizers say they won’t tolerate anyone who tries to “skew, ignore, misuse or interfere with science.”

After eight years of government policies that killed jobs and economic growth – and skewed, ignored, misused, obstructed, vilified and persecuted science and scientists that strayed from alarmist talking points, to advance a climate chaos, anti-fossil fuel, anti-growth agenda – that piety is arrogant hypocrisy.

But their theater of the absurd gets worse. Some March for Science leaders were outraged that the recent MOAB bomb dropped on ISIS terrorists shows “how science is weaponized against marginal people.”

The rhetoric also recalls the annual Earth Hour, when people in rich countries are supposed to turn off their lights for 60 minutes, to repent for the sin of using fossil fuel, nuclear and hydroelectric power to electrify our homes, businesses, schools and hospitals. I personally promote Human Achievement Hour, by turning on extra lights, to celebrate humanity’s incredible innovations and advancements these past 150 years, our modern living standards, and the right of all people to improve their lives and life spans.

I was a campus organizer for the very first Earth Day, in 1970, when we had serious pollution problems. But since then we’ve cleaned up our act, air and water. Environmentalist groups, modelers and Obama regulators ignore these advances, real climate science and the Real-World climate outside their windows.

Far worse, while claiming to care deeply about the poorest among us, they ignore the harm their policies inflict: soaring electricity prices, fewer jobs, lower living standards in the West – and perpetual poverty, disease, malnutrition and premature death in developing countries. We pay more and more each year for de minimis further improvements in environmental quality, combined with ever-expanding government and activist control of our lives, and steadfast opposition to reliable, affordable energy in the Third World.

That’s why some folks who actually care about poor, minority, elderly, working class and developing country families again designated April 17-23 as Green Energy Poverty Week.

For industrialized nations, “green energy poverty” refers to households in which 10% or more of family incomes is spent on natural gas and electricity costs – due to policies that compel utilities to provide ever increasing amounts of expensive, less affordable, politically preferred “green” energy. It’s a regressive tax that disproportionately affects low and fixed income families which have little money to spend beyond energy, food, clothing, rent and other basic needs. Every energy price increase hammers them harder.

Beyond our borders, the concept underscores the lot of families that enjoy none of the living standards we take for granted. They have no electricity or get it a few hours a week at random times, burn wood and dung for cooking and heating, and spend hours every day collecting fuel and hauling filthy water from miles away. Corrupt, incompetent governments and constant pressure from callous environmentalist pressure groups in rich countries perpetuate the misery, joblessness, disease, starvation and early death.

In the United States, green energy policies affect the poorest households three times more than the richest households. In fact, rising electricity prices affect all goods and services, for all electricity users: homes, offices, hospitals, schools, malls, farms and factories. With 37 million American families earning less than $24,000 per year after taxes, and 22 million households taking home less than $16,000 post-tax, it’s pretty obvious why wind and solar mandates are unfair, unsustainable and inhumane.

Unbelievably, one million mild-weather California households now live in green energy poverty, the Manhattan Institute reports. In fact, the once-Golden State now has the USA’s highest poverty rate, thanks largely to government requirements that one-third of the state’s electricity must come from “renewable” sources by 2020, and one-half by 2030. No wonder California’s rising rates are already nearly double those in Kentucky and other states that use coal and natural gas to generate electricity.

Tesla electric cars also reward wealthy buyers: with free charging stations, access to HOV lanes, and up to $10,000 in combined tax rebates. They require batteries made from lithium dug out under horrendous or nonexistent environmental, health, safety and child labor rules in Africa. The batteries cost $325 per kilowatt-hour – equal to $350 per barrel for oil (seven times the April 2017 $50.40-a-barrel price).

Spreading California policies across the United States would send the cost of heat, lights, AC, internet, and all goods and services soaring. Jobs would disappear, living standards decline, depression rates increase, drug and alcohol abuse climb, and more people die from poor health, drugs and suicide.

Over in Europe, electricity prices are double California’s current rates: 30-45 cents per kWh! Green energy policies are hammering jobs, industries, healthcare, family budgets and future prospects.

British families pay “a whopping 54% more” for electricity than average Americans. Nearly 40% of UK households are cutting back on food and other essentials, to pay for electricity. One in three UK families struggles to pay energy bills. Up to 24,000 elderly Brits die from illness and hypothermia each winter, because they cannot afford proper heat; many are forced to choose between heating and eating.

In Germany, 330,000 families had their electricity cut off in 2015, because they could not pay soaring bills. In Bulgaria, 50% of average household income is spent on energy. Greeks are cutting down trees in protected forests because they cannot afford heating oil; hundreds of thousands of acres are being destroyed across Europe for the same reason. A tenth of all EU families are now in green energy poverty.

It’s infinitely worse for billions of parents and children in Earth’s poorest regions. In Africa, India and other impoverished regions, more than two billion people still burn firewood, charcoal and dung for cooking. Millions die from lung infections caused by pollution from these open fires, millions more from intestinal diseases caused by bacteria-infested food and water, more millions because medicines are spoiled and healthcare is primitive in clinics that don’t have electricity, refrigeration or window screens.

In Uganda, “entrepreneurs” burned a village down, killing a sick child in his home, to turn the area into new forest so that the country could claim carbon credits to prevent climate change. Chad’s government banned charcoal, the mainstay for cooking in that nation, out of absurd concerns about climate change.

Africa’s desperate families hunt and cook anything that walks, crawls, flies or swims, endangered or not. They have cut down trees and brush for miles around cities and villages – turning cheetah and chimpanzee habitats into firewood and charcoal. Poverty is undeniably the worst environmental pollutant.

For the wealthy and increasingly powerful radical environmentalist movement, it is no longer about addressing real pollution problems, protecting the environment or improving human health. As UN climate officials have proudly proclaimed, it’s really about ending fossil fuel use and capitalism, redistributing the world’s wealth, and controlling people’s livelihoods, living standards and liberties.

Of course, it’s all meant to save people and planet – from exaggerated or fabricated climate cataclysms and resource depletions. But ponder the Real-World consequences during Green Energy Poverty Week.

Environmentalists profess to care deeply about America’s and the world’s poor and middle classes. But their policies and actions too often speak far more loudly than their words. We might be forgiven for asking, With friends and protectors like these, do the world’s poor really need enemies?

Via email





Sea Ice Off Newfoundland Thickest In Living Memory

Amid reports that ice conditions between Newfoundland and southern Labrador are the worst in living memory, another polar bear was reported ashore in the area — just after biologist Andrew Derocher explained to the CBC that bears only come on land when sea ice conditions “fail.”

“Ice too thick for coast guard’s heavy icebreaker” said a 20 April 2017 CBC report on the state of ice in the Strait of Belle Isle. The pack is thick first year ice (four feet thick or more in places) and embedded with icebergs of much older, thicker ice. The ice packed along the northern shore of Newfoundland is hampering fishermen from getting out to sea and is not expected to clear until mid-May.

The same day that the above satellite image was taken (19 April), at the north end of the Strait on the Newfoundland side, a polar bear was spotted in a small community northwest of St. Anthony (marked below,  “Wildberry Country Lodge” at Parker’s Brook). It’s on the shore of north-facing Pistolet Bay on the Great Northern Peninsula, near the 1000 year old Viking occupation site of L’Anse aux Meadows.

There were no photos of the Parker’s Brook bear but lots of others have been taken this year of almost a dozen seen along Newfoundland shorelines since early March: see my recently updated post, with an updated map of reported sightings. Harp seals are now abundant in the pack ice of southern Davis Strait, providing polar bears with an ample source of food when they need it most and therefore, a strong attractant to the area.

SOURCE





13 Most Ridiculous Predictions Made on Earth Day, 1970

Saturday was Earth Day — an annual event first launched on April 22, 1970. The inaugural festivities (organized in part by then hippie and now convicted murderer Ira Einhorn) predicted death, destruction and disease unless we did exactly as progressives commanded.

Sound familiar? Behold the coming apocalypse, as predicted on and around Earth Day, 1970:

“Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.” — Harvard biologist George Wald

“We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation.” — Washington University biologist Barry Commoner

“Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.” — New York Times editorial

“Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.” — Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich

“Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born… [By 1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.” — Paul Ehrlich

“It is already too late to avoid mass starvation,” — Denis Hayes, Chief organizer for Earth Day

“Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions…. By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.” — North Texas State University professor Peter Gunter

“In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution… by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half.” — Life magazine

“At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.” — Ecologist Kenneth Watt

“Air pollution…is certainly going to take hundreds of thousands of lives in the next few years alone.” — Paul Ehrlich

“By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate… that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, ‘Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, ‘I am very sorry, there isn’t any.’” — Ecologist Kenneth Watt

“[One] theory assumes that the earth’s cloud cover will continue to thicken as more dust, fumes, and water vapor are belched into the atmosphere by industrial smokestacks and jet planes. Screened from the sun’s heat, the planet will cool, the water vapor will fall and freeze, and a new Ice Age will be born.” — Newsweek magazine

“The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.” — Kenneth Watt

SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   main.html or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here

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Monday, April 24, 2017



Solar ovens and sustained poverty for Africa

African families and hospitals cannot rely on limited solar power, instead of electricity

Steven Lyazi

Solar technology in Africa, including my country of Uganda, would bring good news to millions of people who today must use firewood, charcoal and dung for cooking. Millions of Africans die from lung infections caused by breathing fumes from these fires, millions more from eating spoiled food, drinking contaminated water and having spoiled medicines, because we don’t have electricity, sanitation or refrigeration. What we do have in abundance is extensive, sustained poverty.

Solar technologies could help Africa, because this multi-purpose energy can cook food, light homes, charge cell phones and even power tiny refrigerators. Even simple solar ovens can help reduce our deadly traditional ways of cooking. Renewable energy from wind turbines can deliver even more electricity to billions around the world who still don’t have this amazing, essential energy.

Those are huge benefits, and I applaud them. In addition, we can install little wind and solar systems faster than we can build big power plants and transmission lines to remote areas.

However, we must not look at wind and solar as anything more than short-term solutions to fix serious, immediate problems. They do not equal real economic development or really improved living standards. Our cities need abundant, reliable electricity, and for faraway villages wind and solar must be only temporary, to meet basic needs until they can be connected to transmission lines and a grid.

Only in that way can we have modern homes, heating, lighting, cooking, refrigeration, offices, factories, schools, shops and hospitals – so that we can enjoy the same living standards people in industrialized countries do (and think is their right). We deserve the same rights and lives.

That is why I react strongly to people and organizations that think wind and solar electricity and solar ovens should be enough, or the end of our progress, and everyone should be happy that their lives have improved a little. I do not accept that. But I see it all the time.

At least a dozen companies are selling solar ovens and other solar technologies in Uganda. There’s Blazing Tube Solar from Hawaii and Home Energy Africa, which sells Dutch products. Green Energy Africa is registered in Kenya. It says its renewable energy systems “provide electricity without depleting the earth’s limited resources.” (Of course, those systems generate very limited electricity and require raw materials that are limited in quantity and must be dug out of the earth and turned into products using fossil fuels. But we’re not supposed to think about that.)

There’s also Solar point Uganda Limited, Energy Made in Uganda, New Age Solar Technologies Ltd, New Sun Limited, Solar Assembly Plant for African Villages, and other companies.

Some just want to make money, and leave. Others plan to stay for years. They can help solve some of our electricity, cooking and indoor air pollution problems. But these are all just short-term solutions. We need real energy, real electricity – a lot of it, reliable and affordable. What we are offered is very different.

I watched a Blazing Tube Solar demonstration and asked some questions. Their system has a long shiny metal trough that holds a tube filled with vegetable oil. The hot oil heats up a small oven at the top, to bake bread and cook other food. It has handles and wheels, so it can be moved easily. The cooker is mostly metal, so it should last a long time. But it can take 45 minutes to boil some eggs, and it costs $260.

Most African village families live on a couple dollars a day and can hardly afford food for their children. They cannot afford $260, or even $100 for some other systems. So they watch the sales presentations and admire the cookers. But they are frustrated or angry that they cannot afford them. I saw this when I traveled to the northern, eastern and central parts of Uganda.

Another problem is the sunlight. Even in Uganda, which is on the equator, the best sun comes from October through February. Other times of the year, it’s not as good because of clouds and rains. So the solar companies mostly come around when the sun is best and their ovens perform the best.

When it’s cloudy for several days, families cannot cook at all, unless they have solar cookers that actually run on electricity from photovoltaic panels on their homes. But those systems are even more expensive, and the battery power only lasts a couple days. Then families have to go back to wood, charcoal and dung. (Small diesel generators would be a huge improvement, but they too are unaffordable for most.)

Parents are very aware of the deadly respiratory diseases. But they have no choice. And many just prefer the cheaper traditional means of cooking and surviving than the fancy, expensive solar innovations.

A major local preacher for solar energy stoves is a Ugandan native who now resides in Chicago, Mr. Ron Mutebi. He used part of the $100,000 he won at the African Diaspora Marketplace competition at an Africa Infrastructure Conference in Washington. The conference was sponsored by the Corporate Council on Africa, Western Union, USAID and President Obama’s Forum with Young African Leaders. Mr. Obama often said Africans should use wind, solar and biofuel energy instead of fossil fuels.

But I worry that Mr. Mutebi has forgotten how many people are starving, have no money, try to earn a living by digging metal ores with their hands, and almost have to feed their children with grass and dirt. Uganda’s New Vision newspaper recently reported that over 10 million Ugandans in seven districts are starving and many animals are dying of hunger. This sustained poverty and starvation cannot continue.

Many people also don’t know that Africa has some big dreams. One is a Trans East Africa railway that will link Uganda, South Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and Horn of Africa countries. This will be a first of its kind electric railway, some 750 kilometers (466 miles) long, and it will need tremendous amounts of energy that cannot come from wind turbines and solar panels.

It will have to come from nuclear power plants – or coal or natural gas generating plants. Africa has these resources in great abundance. But so far we are barely developing or using them, except maybe to export oil to wealthy nations. We should use them. Right now, most of our natural gas from oil fields is just burned and wasted right there. Why not build gas pipelines to power plants to generate electricity for millions? Why not build nuclear and coal plants, and hydroelectric projects like the Bujagali and Karuma Dams on the Nile River in Uganda? Mostly because powerful environmentalist groups oppose these projects. They care more about plants, animals and their own power, than about African people.

What is an extra degree, or even two degrees, of warming in places like Africa? It’s already incredibly hot here, and people are used to it. What we Africans worry about and need to fix are malnutrition and starvation, the absence of electricity, and killer diseases like malaria, tuberculosis, sleeping sickness and HIV/AIDS. Climate changes and droughts have been part of our history forever, and modern energy and technology would help us cope with them better in the future. We must stop focusing on climate change.

African governments are not doing enough to build the energy, transportation and communication systems we desperately need. They are not standing up to Europeans, global banks or environmentalists who oppose big power plants in Africa. They need to do better at helping their people.

Our leaders also need to remember that Europe and the United States did not have a World Bank or other outside help when they modernized and industrialized. They did it themselves. National and local governments, groups of citizens and businesses, and various banks and investors did it. They invented things, financed big projects, and built their cities and countries. China and India have figured this out.

Now Africa needs to do the same thing – and stop relying on outsiders, bowing to their demands, and letting them dictate our future. We have the energy and other natural resources, and the smart, talented, hardworking people to get the job done. We just need to be set free to do it.

Via email





UK: Plugging in six electric cars may cause local power cuts

What fun!

Electric cars could cause local power shortages if just six vehicles are plugged in to charge on the same street, a leading think tank has warned.

Britain’s energy networks are unprepared for the growing numbers of electric cars and solar panels and ministers must intervene to prevent a “disaster” of “rising bills, blackout risk and angry consumers”, the Green Alliance said.

Uncontrolled charging of electric vehicles could cause “brownouts” at evening peaks in half of the UK by 2023, where the voltage drops and some household appliances stop working. Even now “as few as six closely located vehicles charging together at peak time could lead to local brownouts”, the report warned.

SOURCE





California again leads list with 6 of the top 10 most polluted U.S. cities

All their ponderous Greenie regulations would appear to have had no effect

California's smoggy reputation appears to be deserved: Six of the USA's 10 cities with the worst air pollution are in the Golden State, according to a new report.

Bakersfield, Calif., again holds the dubious distinction of having the USA's most days of highly polluted air, based on data from 2013-2015, the American Lung Association’s annual “State of the Air” report released Wednesday found.

In addition to the worst spikes of short-term pollution — led by Bakersfield — the report also lists the cities with the worst overall year-round pollution — led by Visala/Hanford, Calif.— and the worst ozone pollution, led by the Los Angeles/Long Beach area.

California's soaring population and topography allow air pollution to overcome the state's strict environmental laws, said Paul Billings of the American Lung Association. The boom in people brings with it an increase in cars and trucks on the roads, and many of those people live in valley and basins, right where pollution tends to settle.

Nearly year-round sunny skies also don't help: Those picture-perfect days are a major factor in high levels of ozone pollution, he added.

The state would be far worse off without its strict laws on tailpipe pollution and eliminating coal-fired power plants. "They've done more than any other state to counteract air pollution," Billings said.

Overall, the report is a mixture of good and bad news: While year-round pollution has improved, short-term spikes of intensely polluted air have increased.

"While most of the nation has much cleaner air quality than even a decade ago, many cities reported their highest number of unhealthy days since the report began" 18 years ago, it found.

Some 125 million Americans nationwide live with unhealthful levels of air pollution, the report said, placing them at risk for premature death and other serious health effects such as lung cancer, asthma attacks, cardiovascular damage and developmental and reproductive harm.

"Even with continued improvement, too many people in the United States live where the air is unhealthy for them to breathe," the report said.

Only six metro areas recorded no days when pollution reached unhealthy levels, according to the report: Burlington, Vt.; Honolulu; Wilmington, N.C.; Fort Myers / Naples, Fla.; Melbourne, Fla., and Elmira, N.Y.

Billings said he's concerned about Trump's plans to slash the Environmental Protection Agency's budget. "We have to keep the environmental cop on the beat," he said.

Trump's budget proposal contains a 31% cut to the agency, including weakening or eliminating the Clean Air Act, which the report says has been the most important tool in the fight for healthy air by driving emission reductions for more than 47 years.

“Everyone has a fundamental right to breathe healthy air," said Harold P. Wimmer, the president and CEO of the American Lung Association said.

SOURCE





British Tories make energy costs a central issue

Theresa May will attempt to capture the political centre ground by slashing £100 from the energy bills of 17m families and granting new rights for workers.

The prime minister will use the Conservative manifesto, to be published on May 8, to cap the gas and electricity bills for the seven out of 10 households that pay standard variable tariffs — dubbed a rip-off by watchdogs.

The policy is a centrepiece of a manifesto that will set out a bold social vision for Britain that parks Tory tanks on terrain usually occupied by Labour.

SOURCE




Australia: March for Science participants hoping to send strong message to political leaders

I heartily endorse this march.  We do need more science in public life.  More attention to the scientific fact that there is no correspondence between global temperature levels and global CO2 levels would be a start

Thousands of people have rallied across Australia as part of a global movement calling on political leaders to focus more on science.

Crowds gathered in cities and towns including Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, Perth, Brisbane and Townsville as part of the inaugural March for Science, which is taking place in 500 locations worldwide.

The movement was started by scientists sceptical of the agenda of US President Donald Trump, but Stuart Khan, one of the organisers of the Sydney march, said it quickly went global.

He said marchers were calling on politicians to take note that the public wanted policy based on fact.

"The gaps that we see between what science tells us and what we actually see being translated into policy is very large, particularly when you look at things like climate change and the Great Barrier Reef," Professor Khan said.

"We're calling on politicians to make laws that are based on evidence that are appropriate for our future … Australians want to understand how science and how evidence is being incorporated into policy.

"Disease, famine, communicable disease, pollution of the ocean, climate change, all of these challenges are addressable by science."

Professor Khan emphasised that the march was not for scientists, but for anyone. "I'm participating as a community member, I'm participating as a dad," he said. "It is very important that the March for Science is a community-led march, it's a statement that is coming from the community.

"It's not led by the academics, it's not led by eminent scientists because it's not about them, it's about the community saying 'This is what is important to us'."

Among the thousands attending the Sydney rally was former Liberal leader John Hewson, who told AM ahead of the march he was concerned about "the lack of evidence being used as the basis of public policy".

"I think science is probably more useful and more relevant to society today than it's probably ever been. But there's been a widening gap between science and the public," he said.

"We need to stop and recognise the significance of science and the importance of funding it properly and using the evidence that it produces as the basis of good public policy."

Scientist and Macquarie University Associate Professor Josh Madin attended the Sydney rally with his young family and said politicians needed to pay attention to scientific evidence.

"We do a lot of work on the Great Barrier Reef and we've seen first hand the devastation up there and I just think there are some decisions being made that don't have the best interests of our children's future in mind," he said.

Among those throwing their support behind the March for Science is Luke Briscoe, chief executive of Indigi Lab, which works to get more recognition for Indigenous science.

Ms Briscoe said Indigenous science, a form of science in its own right, needed to be better understood in Western culture.

"The honeybee dance from where I'm from in Kuku Yalanji country in far north Queensland, that dance talks about how the bees are sustaining our ecologies," he said.

"It's passing on those customs and traditions that our sciences are embedded in and … it's hard to really put value and monetise the importance of that in a Western world."

Mr Briscoe said having Indigneous participation in the decision-making process would be the only way to ensure better recognition of Indigenous science.

"I think it's important that we ensure that Indigenous voices are heard in the science sector and are at the table in decision-making processes for how we roll out science programs," he said.

"In terms of the workforce, making sure that that it's not just a one-way science understanding — it's looking at two ways of learning and two ways of teaching science and practicing science."

SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   main.html or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here

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Sunday, April 23, 2017



The Other Poison Gas Killing Syrians: Carbon Dioxide Emissions

"If Trump and his cronies really cared about children killed by noxious gases, they wouldn’t be trying to spew ever more CO2 into the atmosphere"



Prof. Juan Cole goofs again below. The Leftist "expert" on the Middle East (a  professor of Modern Middle East and South Asian History in the History Department at the University of Michigan), Juan Cole, gets shown up for the know-nothing he is here. And there is another scathing takedown of him here.  For more on that see Mark Kleiman.  We also read  here that Cole thinks  Iraq is on the Mediterranean!  And if  you read here you will see that the wacky Prof. Cole does not even know that a large part of what is the USA today was taken from Mexico!  

But his identification of CO2 below as a noxious or deadly gas is a low point even for him. Does he realize that he himself breathes out a noxious gas every minute? Cole calls his blog Informed Comment, in the fine old Leftist tradition of calling a thing by its opposite

And  it's just guesswork that attributes the severity of the Syrian drought to global warming.  The Sahara was once lush but went into drought.  Was that because of all those ancient Egyptians running around in SUVs when they weren't building pyramids?  Climates certainly change but nobody so far has been able to predict it

And drought usually goes with cooling, not warming. Warm oceans give off more water vapour which brings rain. So are we saying that the Middle East has been really cool in recent years? Could be

UPDATE: I should perhaps repeat here something I noted on 6th:

It is true that poor cropping conditions in the Middle East led to food shortages but that was not because of global warming. Why? Because there was no global warming during the period concerned. The drought (roughly from 2005 to 2011) behind the crop failures occurred in the middle of the 21st century warming "hiatus". So nothing at that time CAN be attributed to warming. Neither droughts in the Middle East nor anything else can be caused by something that does not exist.



The gas attack in Syria on April 4 consumed the world’s attention and galvanized the Trump White House, leading to the launch of 59 cruise missiles on a small airport from which the regime of Bashar al-Assad has been bombing the fundamentalist rebels in Idlib province. The pictures of suffering children, Trump said, had touched him. Yet the president and most of his party are committed to increasing the daily release of hundreds of thousands of tons of a far more deadly gas—carbon dioxide. Climate scientist James Hansen has described our current emissions as like setting off 400,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs each day, every day of the year.

The Syrian civil war has left more than 400,000 people dead, among them graveyards full of children and innocent noncombatants. About half the country’s 23 million people have been left homeless, and of those, 4 million have been driven abroad (some of them contributing to Europe’s refugee crisis and its consequent rightward political shift). The war occurred for many complex reasons, including social and political ones. The severest drought in recorded modern Syrian history in 2007–10, however, made its contribution.

The mega-drought drove 1.5 million farmers and farmworkers off the land to the seedy bidonvilles ringing cities such as Homs and Hama. In the northeast, 70 percent of the farm livestock died in those years. These displaced and dispossessed day laborers, who seldom found remunerative new work in Syria’s stagnant urban economy, joined in the demonstrations against the regime. Some were later drawn into the civil war as militiamen. Others in the end fled their country.

A team of scientists found no natural explanation for how rapidly Syria has been drying out over the past century.

Of course, Syria has had milder periodic droughts all through history. Moreover, some countries in the region, such as Israel, have been much better at water management than the decrepit Baath state in Syria. It matters how such crises are handled. A team of scientists writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences last year, however, found no natural explanation for how rapidly Syria has been drying out over the past century or for the withering severity of the latest drought. Human-caused climate change, which has raised the temperature of the planet 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit since 1880, they concluded, made this Frankendrought as much as three times more likely to happen than if our coal plants, factories, and automobiles had left Mother Nature alone.

SOURCE





EPA begins Trump's process of weeding out workers

The Environmental Protection Agency is moving forward with President Trump's plan to begin cutting staff at the agency by the end of the fiscal year, according to an internal memo.

A special task force has been created to oversee the process, with workforce reductions, including an employee buyout program, slated to go into effect by the end of September, according to a memo issued by EPA Deputy Administrator Michael Flynn.

"Streamlining and reorganizing is good government and important to maximizing taxpayer dollars," said EPA spokeswoman Liz Bowman. "This includes looking at developing opportunities for individuals to retire early."

Bowman said it is a process "that mirrors what the Obama administration EPA did about four years ago." It was done "to ensure that payroll expenses do not overtake funds used for vital programs to protect the environment," she said.

Flynn sent the memo this week to guide regional administrators and other branches of the agency on complying with a separate April 12 memo from the White House Office of Management and Budget.

The OMB memo "requires all agencies to begin taking immediate actions on near-term workforce reductions," Flynn wrote. "In light of this guidance, we will begin the steps necessary to initiate an early out/buyout ... program."

He said the "goal is to complete this program by the end of fiscal 2017," which is Sept. 30.

EPA employs about 15,000 workers, 3,200 of whom are targeted to be cut under Trump's budget blueprint.

Flynn noted that the EPA would not be ending a hiring freeze at the agency, despite the administration lifting the government-wide freeze this month.

"Given our resource situation, we will continue a freeze on external hiring," the memo read, adding that "limited exceptions to this external hiring freeze may be permitted on a case-by-case basis."

SOURCE





Earth Day and the divestment campaign against humanity

The constant warnings about the adverse impacts of increasing greenhouse gas concentrations, apart from being utterly inconsistent with the evidence, are similar to the ancient interpretation of destructive weather as the gods’ punishment of men for the sins of Man.

Is it confusion? Or is it malevolence? “It” is the driving force underlying the loud clamor for divestment from fossil fuel assets, a political pressure campaign that is growing in sound and fury—and international jet-setting—even as actual government actions to reduce the production and use of fossil fuels are proving futile.

The answer: It is both, so that divestment will be a central theme of Earth Day 2017. Note that current world oil consumption and production are around 98 million barrels per day (mmbd). The International Energy Agency projects global consumption over 103 mmbd by 2040, despite some dubious assumptions. The projection from the Energy Information Administration is almost 121 mmbd by 2040. Even BP and Exxon, driven by political pressures to be politically correct, project global oil consumption and production at 110 mmbd in 2035 and 105 mmbd in 2040, respectively.

So the campaign to “leave it (fossil fuels) in the ground” shows few ongoing signs of prospective success. As Pravda in its glory days would have put it: This inverse relationship between government action against fossil fuels and the divestment movement is no accident, Comrade, as there would be no need for the latter were the former meaningful.

Let us begin with confusion as a significant but lesser source of the divestment argument, as exemplified here. The argument used to be that high oil prices would suppress demand and thus make many investments in fossil fuel reserves uneconomic. Let me be blunt: That argument—high oil prices make divestment the wise choice—is rather silly, frankly, as reserves that can developed and produced in the context of high prices are an investor’s dream.

That silliness seems to have dawned on the divestment advocates because their new argument is that low oil prices will make it uneconomic to produce many fossil-fuel reserves. Low prices will “strand” those reserves, that is, make them unprofitable to produce, and those who invested in them will suffer losses. Better for investors to get out now before the coming crash. Note that this argument has been combined with the assertion that international action against (anthropogenic) climate change will reduce investment in fossil fuel reserves: “Oil companies must avoid destroying shareholder value by investing in resources that could be forced to the sidelines in a carbon-constrained world.”

Where to begin? It is dangerous to begin a conceptual experiment with a price assumption or change because the price is an outcome rather than a parameter. High oil prices might result from strong economic growth and resulting increases in the demand for energy, in which case the “demand suppression” assumption would be the opposite of reality. High oil prices, in other words, are not necessarily caused by supply disruptions or by analogous supply conditions yielding a reduction in consumption. But even in that case—a supply reduction yields high prices—existing and new reserves that can offset the adverse supply condition would be viewed as a godsend by the market, which would reward investors in these substitute sources of energy.

Similarly, low oil prices might result from an expansion of supply conditions—fracking and horizontal drilling perhaps?—in which case some reserves might prove unprofitable to produce, but which must result in an increase in oil output for the market as a whole. It is that overall increase in supply conditions that results in the lower price, which certainly might make some high-cost reserves uneconomic to produce, but which cannot result in an aggregate decline in oil consumption, and which is inconsistent with “international action” to “keep it in the ground” in any case. New discoveries, technological advances—tell any story you choose—low prices resulting from a supply expansion must have the effect of increasing consumption.

Let us turn to the malevolence dimension of the divestment campaign, equally confused in ways more subtle, but darker in its implicit but clear anti-human character. The global divestment campaign advertises itself as on a roll, having received pledges from about 700 institutions and 58,000 individuals to divest approximately $5.2 billion in fossil-fuel assets, in particular the 200 or so oil, gas, and coal producers with the greatest “carbon” content of their reported reserves.

“Divest” is a curious term; a simpler verb is “sell,” and it is a source of some interest that the divesting institutions and individuals are pledging to do so within three to five years. Why not just give the assets away immediately on a first-come/first-serve basis? The obvious answer is that those divesting—selling—the fossil-fuel assets prefer to get the highest prices that they can, an objective rather inconsistent with the purported moral imperative underlying a shift out of fossil fuels and toward the “new energy economy,” about which more below.

For now let us consider the implications of the divestment stance. The fossil-fuel sector is huge—about $5 trillion in market capitalization—because other sectors demand energy and fossil fuels overwhelmingly are the most efficient forms with which to provide it. To say that “other sectors” demand energy is to say that people demand it. So if investment in fossil-fuel sectors engenders some sort of moral quandary, does the same principle apply to investment in industries that use energy? After all, they are responsible for the very existence of the energy producers. Will the divestment campaign expand to agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, retailing, the household sector, and all the rest? Is investment in government bonds the only moral course? Well, no: Government too uses vast amounts of energy.

And let us not stop there: Precisely why do all sectors demand energy? Obviously, it is because people demand the goods and services made affordable by fossil fuels. Notice that the correlation between energy consumption and household income is high and rises as income increases; for the bottom three U.S. income quintiles, the respective correlations are about 0.75, 0.85, and 0.91. If fossil fuels are evil, so are rising incomes, as the latter drive up the demand for the former.

So let us be very clear that one central implication of the divestment campaign—remember, it is a moral imperative—is the desirability of poverty as a tool with which to dampen energy demands and thus incentives to invest in fossil-fuel sectors. This is separate from the impoverishing effect of substituting expensive energy in place of conventional energy produced with fossil fuels.

Accordingly, the divestment campaign has slipped into the anti-human trap that is the hidden but essential core of modern environmentalism: Far from being a resource, ordinary people are a scourge on the planet. They prefer cheap energy, strongly, but the moral imperative of divestment is diametrically opposed, and investments in people—education, health, etc.—make matters worse by increasing human capital and wealth, and thus the demand for energy.

Therefore, the moral imperative of the divestment campaign—its very logic—leads to disinvestment not only from virtually all economic activities, but also from investments in people, in particular in a third world desperate to emerge from grinding poverty.

Consider also one central dimension of what it means to be human: the application of intelligence to overcome the obstacles that define life outside the Garden of Eden. From backbreaking toil by hand to the use of animals and tools to the evolution of energy from wood to whale oil to coal to oil and gas to nuclear power to new technologies yet to be invented or proven competitive, the history of energy is a fundamental component of mankind’s evolution, reflecting the inventiveness that is uniquely human, a process utterly at odds with the underlying imperatives of the divestment campaign.

Supporters of divestment might respond that they too favor inventiveness in the form of the “new energy economy,” which means such unconventional technologies as wind and solar power. Let us therefore examine the “moral” dimension of that investment shift. Because unconventional energy sources are unconcentrated, they are expensive and cannot compete without large subsidies and guaranteed market shares. Because they are intermittent—sometimes the wind blows and sometimes the sun shines, and sometimes not—they must be backed up with conventional power units, which must be cycled up and down depending on wind and sunlight conditions. In a word, they must be operated inefficiently, yielding an increase—yes, an increase—in the emissions of conventional pollutants.

Even an impossible 20–30 percent decrease in global greenhouse gas emissions would reduce temperatures in 2100 by only about half a degree. Would an enterprising journalist somewhere please ask the supporters of divestment about the morality of a campaign that would (1) impoverish millions of people, (2) increase conventional pollution, (3) yield zero offsetting environmental benefits, and (4) forcibly extract resources from ordinary people, while (5) providing the environmental left with a rationale for moral preening?

Despite the constant appeals of the divestment advocates to climate “science” and their poor use of economic analytics, the reality is that the divestment campaign, like modern leftist environmentalism more generally, is essentially a religious movement. The constant warnings about the adverse impacts of increasing greenhouse gas concentrations, apart from being utterly inconsistent with the evidence, are similar to the ancient interpretation of destructive weather as the gods’ punishment of men for the sins of Man. Just as the pagans for thousands of years attempted to prevent destructive weather by worshipping golden idols, so do modern environmentalists now attempt to prevent destructive weather by bowing down before recycling bins. At a more general level, consider the basic theological stance of the divestment campaign: In the beginning, Earth was the Garden of Eden. But mankind, having consumed the forbidden fruit of the tree of technological knowledge, has despoiled it. And only through repentance and economic suffering can we return to the loving embrace of Mother Gaia.

Let us not fail to take note of the breathtaking hypocrisy of some members of the current generation of Rockefellers, announcing loudly their decision to divest the fossil-fuel assets of their charity, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, while maintaining a deafening silence about the fossil-fuel investments of the far-larger family investment and wealth management firm Rockefeller & Company. Nor have we heard that they will divest themselves of the lavish lifestyles engendered in past Rockefeller generations by the historical growth of the oil and gas sector. Their central objective is loud applause at the upper-crust cocktail parties for a divestment that will have no effect on the fossil-fuel sector, that will cost them literally nothing, and that is part of a leftist campaign that views ordinary people as a liability.

Such are the dimensions of moral cowardice.

SOURCE





Your Choice: A Green America Or A Brown America

BY: ANN COULTER

In celebration of Earth Day this Saturday, let’s review how the Sierra Club sold its soul and screwed the Earth for a $100 million donation. They must hate themselves for it, so why shouldn’t we hate them, too?

After Teddy Kennedy’s 1965 immigration act began dumping millions of Third-Worlders on the country, the Sierra Club talked of little else besides reducing immigration.

In 1970, the club adopted a resolution complaining that the country’s growing population was polluting the “air, water and land” — to the point that “our very survival (is) threatened.”

In 1978, the Sierra Club adopted a resolution urging Congress to “conduct a thorough examination of U.S. immigration laws,” noting that the United States, Canada and Australia were the only countries admitting “more than a handful of permanent immigrants.”

In 1980, the club dropped its promotion of birth control, in order to focus on immigration. “It is obvious,” the club said, “that the numbers of immigrants the United States accepts affects our population size and growth rate,” even more than “the number of children per family.”

In 1989, the club’s Population Report expressly called for reducing the number of immigrants.

In 1990, the club’s grassroots leaders voted overwhelmingly to launch a major national campaign on the immigration problem.

Even people who don’t live in yurts can’t help but notice the environmental damage being done by hundreds of thousands of Latin Americans clamoring across the border every year, setting fires, dumping litter, spray-painting gang signs in our parks and defacing ancient Indian petroglyphs.

The problem isn’t just the number of people traipsing through our wilderness areas; it’s that primitive societies have no concept of “litter.” That’s a quirk of prosperous societies. The damage to our parks shows these cultural differences.

Writing in an environmental journal at New York University, Rosa P. Oakes described the “reprehensible” damage being done to “towering cactus, Joshua trees, flowering cactus varieties, colorful wildflowers and rock formations” by illegals. With accompanying photos, she noted that the immigrants’ litter included “abandoned vehicles … used needles, drug paraphernalia, plastic grocery bags, paper products, empty water containers, blankets, clothing, used disposable diapers, among other things.”

The Mexican cultural trait of littering is apparently well known to everyone — except American journalists.

As usual, when it comes to anything that reflects negatively on Third World immigrants, you have to be Agatha Christie to get at the truth. If the media can hide Hispanic child rape, it’s child’s play for them to ignore the Hispanic littering problem.

The best way to find out about garbage being dumped all over by our vibrant recent immigrants is to look at local news stories from any town that contains a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Here are three from last year:

Local politicians in heavily Hispanic Allentown, Pennsylvania, wanted to suck up to their constituents by renaming Seventh Street “Calle Siete.” Then it turned out that the Hispanic merchants on “Calle Siete” had no interest in this idea. Their No. 1 issue? Litter.

Dorcas Derivera, an immigrant from Guatemala, said in perfect English that if politicians wanted to do something useful, they would deal with the litter problem on Seventh Street, which she said she must pick up from the sidewalk before clients arrive.

“It’s embarrassing,” she told a local newspaper. “How am I going to do business?”

Also last year, in a classic MSM Hide-the-Mexican story, there were media reports of “racist” graffiti targeting “Hispanics and African-Americans” in San Leandro, California’s Marina Park. Obviously, graffiti directed at “Hispanics and African-Americans” could only have been left by one of those white supremacist gangs so prevalent on “Law and Order”!

Nope. It was Mexicans, again: The Nortenos, a Mexican gang. By “Hispanics,” the media meant “Hispanics other than the ones doing the graffiti.”

Then last October, the parks and recreation department in Decatur, Alabama, was again forced to remove goals from the soccer field because of the mountains of garbage routinely left behind. In the past decade, the soccer games had become “an increasingly popular social event among the Hispanic community.”

Would any of this be of interest to an alleged environmental group? It used to be — until the early 2000s.

That was when the Sierra Club was given $100 million by hedge fund billionaire David Gelbaum in exchange for never opposing immigration again. The club said, How dare you ask us to abandon our principles for filthy lucre!

Just kidding! It said, SURE! Did you bring the check?

Mass Third World immigration is a triple whammy for the environment because:

1) Millions more people are tromping through our country;

2) The new people do not share Americans’ love of nature and cleanliness; and

3) We’re not allowed to criticize them.

One big advantage of taking white Western European immigrants is that we’re permitted to complain about their grating cultural habits without being accused of “racism.” (Also, there aren’t that many of them.)

The Sierra Club didn’t anticipate the PC reasons for preferring non-Third World immigrants, but simply wanted to stop so many people pouring into our country and stepping on the flowers. Which is why the club used to be nearly monomaniacally focused on reducing immigration.

By now, it’s been a quarter-century since the Sierra Club cared about the environment. As is the fate of most groups that stick around long enough, today it’s just another left-wing, hate-America interest group. Unfortunately, among the things the Sierra Club hates about America are its rivers, mountains, hiking trails, parks and wildlife.

Give me your tired, your poor, your empties and pizza boxes, your Cheetos bags, your soiled diapers and abandoned couches …

SOURCE






RENEWABLE ENERGY MYTHS ABOUND

By Isaac Orr

When it comes to renewable energy, there truly are numerous myths that perpetuate throughout the media and culture that are not supported by any fair reading of the available data.

Over the past year “alternative facts” and “fake news” have become regrettable buzzwords used to dismiss any viewpoint that does not support one’s own preconceived notions.

But when it comes to renewable energy, there truly are numerous myths that perpetuate throughout the media and culture that are not supported by any fair reading of the available data.

Renewable-energy advocates often argue that we don’t need jobs in the fossil-fuels industry because solar and wind have become “engines for green and sustainable jobs.” As evidence, many groups have cited a report published by the U.S. Department of Energy that purportedly shows more people are working in the solar industry than in fossil-fuel power generation.

According to the report, 374,000 people are employed by the solar-generation industry, approximately 102,000 are employed by wind, and just 187,000 people are employed generating electricity from oil, coal, and natural gas. On its face, it seems as if wind and solar truly are the job creators and fossil fuels are dinosaurs awaiting extinction. That’s not the case.

It’s true the DOE report says approximately 374,000 people work in the solar-energy industry, but this number isn’t just full-time jobs. It includes part-time. Only about 260,000 spend at least half their time working in the solar industry.

Economists, to compare competing industries, typically estimate how many full-time equivalent jobs exist or are being created. Unfortunately, the study did not use this metric, and the report is missing citations for footnotes 32 and 33, which are supposed to support their claims about jobs in the solar industry.

Another interesting “alternative fact” about the jobs created by wind and solar power is that a large portion of these jobs are construction jobs, the same kinds of positions that were routinely denigrated by renewable-energy advocates during debates about the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines. In 2016, 36.7 percent of jobs in the solar industry and 37.2 percent of jobs in the wind industry were construction jobs.

All we can truly conclude from the report is solar creates part-time, temporary jobs that come at a massive expense to taxpayers and consumers.

Many renewable-energy advocates claim solar and wind are cost-competitive with fossil fuels, but the facts show otherwise. A study from the Brookings Institution found electricity generated from wind costs at least twice as much as coal or natural gas, and solar costs at least three times as much as conventional sources. The only reason the wind and solar industries are still in operation, or were even built up in the first place, is because they receive more subsidies than every other form of energy combined.

According to data provided by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2013, wind received $5.9 billion in taxpayer handouts, mainly in the form of the Wind Production Tax Credit. Solar receives $5.3 billion annually, mostly from a 30 percent federal tax credit. Additional federal and state incentives for solar systems make buying these panels virtually free. These subsidies have continued to grow every year.

Even with all these subsidies, solar and wind provide just 0.4 and 1.8 percent of the United States’ total energy use, respectively. On the other hand, coal provides 18 percent of total energy use, natural gas provides 28 percent, and oil generates 35 percent of total energy consumption.

Wind and solar should be required to compete on a truly level playing field with other forms of energy, which would mean repealing the 30 percent federal tax credit for solar power and the other handouts keeping renewable energy afloat.

SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   main.html or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here

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Friday, April 21, 2017



Earth Day Dopes

John Stossel
   
Expect more craziness this weekend. Earth Day is Saturday. This year’s theme: Government must “do more” about climate change because “consequences of inaction are too high to risk.”

They make it sound so simple:

1) Man causes global warming.

2) Warming is obviously harmful.

3) Government can stop it.

Each claim is dubious or wrong.

This weekend at a movie, I was surprised to be assaulted again by former Vice President Al Gore. In a preview, a puffy-looking Gore suddenly appeared, attacking Donald Trump and mocking critics of his previous movie, “An Inconvenient Truth,” the deceitful documentary that spreads fear in classrooms today. Yes, teachers play it in class.

Now Gore claims “the most criticized” part of the film was his assertion that the 9/11 memorial site would flood. Then, during Hurricane Sandy, it did!

But Gore creatively misremembers his own movie. He had claimed the World Trade Center would flood because of a permanent 20-foot sea-level rise. Actual scientists called that nonsense. It would take hundreds of years for such a thing to possibly happen.

But since the area flooded, briefly, Gore spins that as confirmation of his exaggerations.

This preview was the first I learned that theaters will soon show a sequel to Gore’s film. Google tells us that “An Inconvenient Sequel” got a standing ovation at the Sundance Film Festival. Trendy Hollywood is so dumb.

At least critics who’ve watched it gave it poor reviews.

Let’s go back to points 1, 2 and 3:

1) Man’s greenhouse gases contribute to warming, but scientists don’t agree on how much. Of 117 climate models from the 1990s, 114 overpredicted warming.

2) Warming is harmful. Maybe.

But so far it’s been good: Over the last century, climates warmed, but climate-related deaths dropped. Since 1933, they fell by 98 percent. Life expectancy doubled.

Much of that is thanks to prosperity created by free markets. But some is due to warming. Cold kills more people than heat.

Carbon dioxide is also good for crop growth. Even The New York Times admits, “Plants have been growing at a rate far faster than at any other time in the last 54,000 years.”

But what if Al Gore is right? Maybe our greenhouse gases will eventually cause Greenland’s icecaps to melt and flood our cities. Shouldn’t government act now? No.

3) Nothing we do today will stop global warming. The Obama regulations that Trump recently repealed, horrifying the Earth Day crowd, had a goal that amounted to a mere one percent reduction in global CO2. And that was just the goal.

Of course, some think any cut is better than nothing. But cuts are costly. They kill jobs, opportunity. All to accomplish… nothing the earth will notice.

If warming does become a problem, we’re better off if our economy is very strong when the science tells us clearly that action will make a difference.

We should be especially wary of expensive government projects given how often alarmists were wrong in the past.

As Cato’s Pat Michaels says, “I’ve lived through eight environmental apocalypses … overpopulation … resource depletion … Silent Spring … global cooling … acid rain … the ozone hole … global warming … the next one is going to be ocean acidification.”

In the ‘70s, environmentalist Paul Ehrlich won fame with his book “The Population Bomb.” Ehrlich predicted: “I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.”

Oops.

Ehrlich now admits: “When you predict the future, you get things wrong.” But he says there’s a grain of truth in his prediction, because: “If you look closely at England, what can I tell you? They’re having all kinds of problems.”

Give me a break.

Saturday’s Earth Day nonsense will include a “March for Science.” The media will hype it, claiming Trump’s proposed budget will poison the earth.

It won’t.

The alarmists claim they’re marching for “science,” but they’re really marching for a left-wing religion.

Instead of celebrating Earth Day Saturday, I’ll celebrate Human Achievement Hour. The think tank behind it, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, says Human Achievement Hour pays tribute to “our basic human right to use energy to improve everyone’s quality of life.”

Some ways to celebrate:

—Use your phone or computer

—Drive a car

—Take a hot shower

Good idea! Let’s celebrate progress instead of attacking it.

SOURCE





Federal Ethanol Policies Make Prairies Go to Seed

The prairies of the American Midwest are a vanishing “species” of ecological habitat. Although many blame its demise on the rise of industrial civilization, some of the worst culprits are products of the modern state: ethanol subsidies and mandates. As Independent Institute Senior Fellow William F. Shughart II explains in an op-ed for Investor’s Business Daily, the prairie has fallen victim to massive cultivation of corn for ethanol, fueled by federal policies such as the renewable fuel standard, “a congressional mandate requiring refiners to mix renewable fuel (mostly corn-based ethanol) with U.S. gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and heating oil products.”

The renewable fuel mandate—and the federal subsidy to corn farmers—arose from two concerns: fear of fossil fuels and fear of energy scarcity. The latter arose during the Arab oil embargo of 1973-74—long before the shale revolution that has unlocked vast reserves of shale oil and natural gas. The former is a by-product of environmentalism, most recently of climate alarmism. Ironically, it has also taken a toll on the environment, including its destruction of prairieland for the sake of corn ethanol.

“Currently, roughly half of the entire U.S. corn crop—which topped more than 15 billion bushels last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture—winds up in biofuels,” Shughart writes. Partly as a result, the vanishing prairie now covers only about 5 percent of the land area it once inhabited. “The ethanol mandate has triggered an environmental disaster,” Shughart continues. “Kicking the ethanol habit should be as much of a no-brainer as buckling up before starting the car.”

SOURCE




Coal's Colossal Comeback
   
Buried in an otherwise-humdrum jobs report was the jaw-dropping pronouncement by the Department of Labor that mining jobs in America were up by 11,000 in March. Since the low point in October 2016, and following years of painful layoffs in the mining industry, the mining sector has added 35,000 jobs.

What a turnaround. Liberals have been saying that Donald Trump was lying to the American people when he said that he could bring coal jobs back. Well, so far, he has delivered on his promise.

There’s more good news for the coal industry. Earlier this month, Peabody Energy — America’s largest coal producer — moved out of bankruptcy, and its stock is actively trading again. Its market cap had sunk by almost 90 percent during Barack Obama’s years in office. Arch Coal is also out of bankruptcy.

It turns out that, after all, elections do have consequences. The Obama administration and its allies, such as the Sierra Club, tried to kill coal because of their obsession with global warming. Regime change in Washington has brought King Coal back to life.

Donald Trump pledged to coal miners in small towns across America that he would be a friend to American coal and fossil fuels. As promised, Trump has lifted the so-called Clean Power Plan regulations and several other EPA rules that were intentionally designed to shutter coal plants, which it accomplished with ruthless precision. Hillary Clinton had promised her green allies that she would finish off every last coal-mining job in America.

The coal miners weren’t too happy about this, and her arrogant disregard for a leading American industry that hires tens of thousands of union workers contributed to her losing almost all the coal states — many of which were once reliably Democratic.

America was built on cheap and abundant coal. Fossil fuels powered the U.S. into the industrial age and replaced windmills and wood burning, which were inefficient, as the primary sources of electricity. America currently has access to 500 years' worth of coal — far more than any other nation. Despite the last decade’s war on coal, the U.S. still derives about one-third of our power from coal, making it second only to natural gas.

Liberals have argued that coal could never make a comeback, because of cheap natural gas. Clearly, the shale gas revolution — with prices falling from $10 to $3 per million cubic feet — has hurt coal producers.

But economic necessity is the mother of invention, and coal companies, including Peabody, have figured out how to become far more efficient in production. What’s more, clean coal is here. Emissions of lead, sulfur, carbon monoxide and other air pollutants from coal plants have fallen by more than half, and in some cases 90 percent, in recent decades.

The climate-change industrial complex pontificates that the U.S. has to stop using coal to save the planet. But even if the U.S. cut our own coal production to zero, China and India are building hundreds of coal plants. By suspending American coal production we are merely transferring jobs out of the U.S.

Renewable energy is decades away from being a major energy source for the world. Until that happens, coal and natural gas will compete as low-priced, super-abundant, domestically produced energy sources for 21st-century America. Nuclear power will, I hope, continue to play an important role, too. Meanwhile, for all the talk of the growth in wind and solar industries, they still account for less than 10 percent of our energy. Almost 70 percent comes from natural gas and coal.

Coal isn’t dead in America. It is unleashed. As a Washington Times editorial put it very well recently, “The left gave up on the 100,000 coal workers in America more than a decade ago. Donald Trump has not.” Remember this the next time Elizabeth Warren or Nancy Pelosi lectures us about how much they care about the working class in America.

SOURCE






ALG Foundation releases ‘Shedding Light on Solar Electricity’

Americans for Limited Government Foundation released a report today entitled “Shedding Light on Solar Electricity.” The report covers a number of problems that the solar industry has been causing its customers. It also makes a number of recommendations to state legislators about how to protect consumers and improve transparency in the solar industry.

Americans for Limited Government Foundation Director of Research Richard McCarty, who authored the study, stated in the report’s conclusion: “Consumers have a right to know the facts before they decide to have solar panels installed on their homes. Too many times, unscrupulous solar industry employees have omitted these facts or, intentionally or unintentionally, misled potential customers. That is why state legislators should enact sensible laws that require solar companies to be open and transparent with their potential customers about the advantages and disadvantages of solar panels. Even after legislators address these problems, it will still be necessary for consumers to do their own research to ensure that solar panels are the right choice for them; but until consumer protection laws are strengthened, this research will be even more vital.”

The report covers some of the ways in which solar customers have been scammed as well as problems customers have experienced. For example, some solar customers have not received the government rebates they were due because they were stolen by their contractor. Others have paid deposits on solar panels that were never installed. Many customers have not seen the savings on their utility bills that they were promised. A number of customers who have signed solar leases have experienced problems with selling or refinancing their homes. Those leasing solar panels and trying to get a reverse mortgage have learned it is simply impossible. Of course, all too often, these customers were not told of these risks.

To reduce the number of these cases and improve consumer protection laws, the report includes a list of recommendations for state legislators to consider. This list includes requiring solar contractors to provide customers with a written contract; requiring contracts to include the amount of any monthly payments and what, if anything, could cause them to rise; requiring that any promised savings must be written into the contract; and requiring that contracts specify who is to receive any solar incentives.

It is hoped that this report will be of use to consumers considering having solar panels installed and to state legislators and regulators concerned with consumer protection.

SOURCE




Why This Scientist Won't Be Attending The 'Science March'

A much-discussed "Science March," which germinated on the social news site Reddit and then experienced a meteoric rise on all social media in the past two weeks, now has an official date: April 22nd. While a march to support science sounds like a good idea, given the agenda, this scientist will not be attending.

I wrote previously of my concern that the Science March would be hijacked by the kind of political partisanship it should instead be concerned about – and that has indeed come true. This fear was based on not-so-subtle hints provided by its Twitter feed, such as embracing "intersectionality" (a concept taught in classes on feminism) as a core principle. To its credit, the march's Twitter account has stopped dropping hints; now, it's openly stating what its agenda actually is:



If you're wondering what this has to do with science, you're certainly not alone. The answer, of course, is nothing. These issues are the primary concern of revisionist historians and social justice warriors, not empirically-minded scientists.

The group's updated website* sheds no new light on its cause. The front page is full of trite platitudes, such as: "We are scientists and science enthusiasts... Our diversity is our greatest strength." This screenshot is from the diversity page:



It's curious that a website that seeks to include everybody conspicuously left men, whites, and Christians off the diversity list. Similarly, the site's mission statement is odd:



The march supports publicly funded science. That's good, but what about privately funded science, where the majority of basic research and the overwhelming bulk of applied research, is done? Non-academic science makes up the vast majority of research in America. According to R&D Magazine, last year the U.S. spent $514 billion on research and development, 64% of which ($328 billion) came from industry. Why don't those scientists count? Despite an enigmatic commitment to "diversity," the march leaves out the majority of scientists. And the private sector is actually far more diverse in science than universities are.

Claiming to support evidence-based policies is nice, but it's ultimately hollow if it doesn't specify which policies. Surely, we could learn something about the real intention of the march if we knew who the organizers are. Alas, no transparency is to be found. For privacy reasons, the site won't tell us who they are:



In summary: The Science March has now selected a date. But we don't know what they're marching about, who the organizers are, or what scientific policies they support. The only consistent message of substance from the group so far is an insistence on diversity, albeit a version that doesn't include white men or scientists who don't get government funding.

Is it too soon to conclude that the organizers never really intended this march to be about science in the first place?

SOURCE

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For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   main.html or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here

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