That Didn’t Go As Planned!

On Wednesday, The American Thinker posted an article about the latest scientific research on global warming. It doesn’t show what it was expected to show.

The article reports:

A team of “high-powered NASA scientists” has just stumbled upon a very inconvenient truth, and no, I don’t mean that they’ve found new evidence to support the Al Gore fear porn flick, but instead, they’ve discovered that 80% of “global warming” in the last ten years has not been caused by man’s use of natural renewable resources like gas and oil, but “draconian fuel shipping regulations” ostensibly “designed to help prevent global warming.”

From a report by Chris Morrison at The Daily Sceptic:

The world of climate science is in shock following extraordinary findings from a team of high-powered NASA scientists that suggest most of the recent global temperature increases are due to the introduction of draconian fuel shipping regulations designed to help prevent global warming.

Well, well, well, the “cure” is worse than the disease… except there was no disease. Now, I don’t contend that the “cure” is all that bad either, as long as we’re speaking only in the context of the environment; a relatively warm planet (of course, I’m talking within reason here) isn’t a bad thing because it means surviving is easier. But, they think it’s bad, which just goes to show you how ill-equipped these climate “scientist” bureaucrats are at deciding on policy.

Obviously we need to go back to drilling in America and driving cars with gasoline engines!

The article concludes:

“It’s also important to keep in mind that man cannot create atoms. All carbon contained in coal and oil (and wood and anything else which burns) was originally atmospheric CO2 plants split into C and 2 O, using the C for themselves and releasing the Os into the atmosphere. Hence, it’s physically impossible to increase the level of atmospheric CO2 beyond what it was at some point in time in the past where life on this planet already existed.”

Can these greens please stop wrecking literally everything? They love to tell us that “there is no Planet B” and we’re at the precipice of an “existential” crisis…which is half true. It’s not a looming climate disaster though for the majority of the world, but a financial and political disaster—so for the love of all that is good, please step away from the pen of government policy and bureaucracy.

You Can Release Your Hold On Your Gas Stove–At Least Temporarily

On Tuesday, Just the News reported that the House of Representatives has passed the Hands Off Our Home Appliances Act. The act will at least temporarily keep the government away from our gas stoves.

The article reports:

The bill, which was introduced by Arizona Republican Rep. Debbie Lesko, “modifies the process by which the Department of Energy (DOE) amends, revokes, or implements energy conservation standards for certain consumer products (other than automobiles), such as household appliances,” according to an official summary of the legislation.

The legislation was introduced after the Biden Administration’s Energy Department proposed a rule that would have led to a ban on the sale of about half of the gas stoves currently on the market.

“My constituents in the north and northwest valley of Maricopa County, Arizona, do not want this government interference in their homes and lives,” Lesko told reporters on Tuesday, per Fox News. “I know that millions of Americans around the country feel the same way.”

The Department of Energy has no business making laws–that is supposed to be done by Congress. If a Congressman (or woman) finds it too burdensome to create laws, they should resign.

The article concludes:

No government bureaucrat should ever scheme to take away Americans’ appliances in the name of a radical environmental agenda,” Lesko added.

The House previously passed Lesko’s “Save Our Gas Stoves Act ” last year, which attempted to block the DOE from implementing a proposed efficiency standard for gas cooking products, but it never received a vote in the Democrat-led Senate. 

We could probably end 90 percent of the regulations passed by unelected bureaucrats and still live happily ever after.

Moving Quickly In The Wrong Direction

On Sunday, John Hinderaker at Power Line Blog posted an article about the impact of the climate-change regulations the Biden administration is placing on Americans.

The article reports:

Liberals denounce Donald Trump as a would-be tyrant, but the fact is that he ruled less by executive order than any other recent president. It is Joe Biden who has discarded the Constitution and imposed a blizzard of illegal or probably-illegal regulations on the rest of us.

Lately, they have been coming so furiously that it is hard to keep up with them. The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board caught up with just one set, relating to power plants. The intent of the regulations is to set our economy and our material well-being back by as much as a century:

On Thursday the Environmental Protection Agency proposed its latest doozy—rules that will effectively force coal plants to shut down while banning new natural-gas plants.
***
Barack Obama’s regulation spurred a wave of coal plant closures. Now President Biden is trying to finish the job by tightening mercury, wastewater and ash disposal standards. EPA is also replacing the Obama Clean Power Plan that the Supreme Court struck down with a rule requiring that coal plants and new gas-fired plants adopt costly and unproven carbon-capture technology by 2032.

It is interesting that the Biden administration is planning to severely limit the production of electricity while at the same time encouraging Americans to buy electric cars. If the grid will not be able to keep up with normal expected growth, how will it be able to keep up with the additional demand placed on it by electric cars?

The article concludes:

Biden’s purpose is not to benefit the climate, it is to benefit the vast “green” grift that is one of the Democratic Party’s main constituencies. The greens, but also Communist China. China controls the market for solar panels and wind turbines, and it also controls the raw materials that are necessary to produce solar panels, wind turbines, electric vehicles and the hypothetical batteries that are the magical solution to the fact that weather-dependent sources of energy can never fuel an economy–a primitive economy, let alone a modern one.

Why is Biden destroying our electrical grid and dragging the United States back into the 19th century, to the immense benefit of the Chinese Communist Party? Occam’s Razor suggests that he is doing it on purpose. Even Joe Biden isn’t dumb enough to fail to understand where these policies are leading. I don’t know whether it is sheer, malicious anti-Americanism, or whether the millions of dollars that Biden and his family have gotten from China have made him the Manchurian Candidate. But, one way or another, the disastrous consequences of the Biden administration’s energy policies are obvious to anyone who pays attention.

Including, even, Slow Joe.

This Shouldn’t Surprise Anyone Who Has Been Paying Attention

On March 25th, American Experiment posted an article about renewable energy.

The article reports:

Bloomberg recently ran a very interesting interview with Brett Christophers about his new book The Price is Wrong: Why Capitalism Won’t Save the Planet.

In the interview, Christophers argues there’s a widespread misconception about what’s needed to expand the deployment of renewables and transition away from fossil fuel generation. 

Christophers makes the following argument:

The basic argument is simple, and it’s something that the world doesn’t want to admit: The business of developing and owning and operating solar and wind farms and selling electricity is kind of a lousy business. 

Whether new solar or wind farms get built is ultimately about the expected profitability of those assets. Even though the generating cost aspect has become increasingly beneficial over time that doesn’t necessarily mean that the expected profits are going to be there. 

Generating costs are only part of the costs that a company that owns and controls a solar or wind farm, and sells the electricity, incur. There are also costs associated with delivering that power to where it gets consumed. 

For renewables the delivery costs tend to be higher than they are for conventional power plants because conventional power plants on average tend to be located closer to centers of demand. 

That’s because unlike conventional power plants, renewables like solar and wind farms require huge amounts of land to produce significant amounts of power. 

Unless governments are willing to either assume the burden of renewables development through public ownership…they will have to keep subsidies and tax credits in place indefinitely or else renewables investment will collapse because of the unfavorable economics. 

The article concludes:

The author obviously favors wind and solar and later advocates for a tax on carbon dioxide emissions. However, it is interesting that he acknowledges there is no economy-wide business case for wind and solar without government support.  

It’s time for our politicians to be honest with Americans about the cost of ‘green energy’ both in dollars and in damage to the environment. The people who advocate for electric cars fail to mention the children mining lithium in Africa or the environmental devastation lithium mining causes. Those who favor offshore wind farms fail to mention the number of whales that have died in the implementation of those wind farms or the number of birds that are killed by either wind farms or solar farms. Let’s do the complete research before we back something that is more damaging than what we originally had.

Our Future With Extreme Environmentalists

On Monday, Just the News posted an article about energy prices in California. Obviously inflation combined with the curtailment of American energy production has caused energy prices to increase everywhere, but in California they have increased at double the rate of the rest of the country.

The article reports:

California’s energy costs are double the national average and increasing at double the national rate as the state pushes for reducing emissions to 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. The state’s energy regulator says energy costs are rapidly approaching the tipping point at which filling up a Tesla with electrons will cost more than filling up a Camry with gasoline.

With the state reducing emissions by an average of 1.5% per year since 2010, this rate would leave the state not reaching its emissions goal until 2047.

California energy costs 2.3 times the national average, with energy costs in the state increasing 10.9% over the past four years compared to 5.1% nationwide, according to an analysis by Radiant Energy Group of U.S. Energy Information Administration data. In some markets, consumers face even higher increases — in San Jose, average monthly energy bills rose from $121 in 2021 to $203 by the end of 2023, with increases from $152 to $220 and $113 to $138 in Los Angeles and San Diego across the same time frames.

The California legislature is dealing with this increase by instituting what can only be called a Marxist solution–equal outcome–not equal burden.

The article reports:

Due to the extremely high cost of California energy, the legislature ordered the California Public Utilities Commission to restructure energy bill surcharges for non-consumption costs to be based on household income. Under this plan, monthly fees to cover utilities’ normal costs outside of electricity consumption — such as power line maintenance and wildfire protection — would be charged to homes based on their household income. Both Republican and Democratic state legislators have come out with plans to repeal this order, suggesting the income-graduated fixed charge may be shut down before it takes effect on July 1.

I think we can safely say that the free market is dead in California.

Don’t Mess With Mother Nature

On Tuesday, Just the News posted an article about the most recent efforts by the State of California to save the salmon.

The article reports:

“In my opinion, any salmon we’re producing this year are likely dead, and if they get to the main stem, they won’t be able to migrate out. I’m more concerned at this point with how do we rebuild the populations in those rivers,” Siskiyou County Supervisor Ray Haupt said.

Environmental groups are celebrating extensive efforts to remove dams across the United States, some of which produce carbon-free electricity. According to American Rivers, an anti-dam advocacy group, 65 dams were removed in 2022, and another 80 were removed in 2023.

Groups like American Rivers argue the dams are killing salmon and steelhead trout populations, encroaching on indigenous cultures, and harming water quality for people and wildlife.

The largest dam removal project in the history of the U.S. began on Northern California’s Klamath River last summer, with the removal of Copco No. 2, the first of four hydroelectric dams to be removed, also called “breaching” or “drawdowns.”

In January, the state began draining reservoirs behind the three remaining dams. The draining is not going well, especially for the fish the projects are supposed to be protecting.

Large amounts of salmon have been stranded on mud that is also trapping deer, Oregon Public Broadcasting reports. Officials are warning people not to try to walk through it, as it can be very dangerous. According to California Globe, a two mile sediment plume extends into the Pacific Ocean.

“We’ve been told we’re the experiment,” Siskiyou County Supervisor Ray Haupt told Just The News. “Eyes wide open. It’s coming to a neighborhood near you.”

The article also notes:

Another major dam-removal effort on the Snake River in Idaho took a major step forward recently with the signing of an agreement between the four Columbia River Basin tribes, the governors of Oregon and Washington, and the Biden administration.

While Congress would have to authorize the dams’ removal, Biden administration officials say that removing the dams would help boost “clean energy” and restore wild salmon populations, and the energy produced by those dams will be made up by “the build-out of at least one to three gigawatts of Tribally-sponsored renewable energy production.”

Why are some states removing dams that create clean energy, particularly when they are killing the wildlife they claim to be preserving in the process? I am willing to bet that at some point in the future these states will decide that they need these dams for energy and rebuild them at an exorbitant cost. Hopefully they will at least build them with fish ladders.

Funding Countries That House Terrorists

On March 5th, The Washington Free Beacon posted an article about one consequence of the Biden administration’s pause on liquefied natural gas production in America.

The article reports:

President Joe Biden’s pause on liquefied natural gas production is already turning into a major financial windfall for Qatar, even as the Gulf regime undercuts the United States and its allies by funding terrorists and sheltering fugitive Hamas leaders.

Qatar, which is the third largest LNG exporter after the United States and Australia, announced last week that it is expanding its natural gas production by 85 percent. The news came weeks after the Biden administration announced that it would freeze new domestic LNG export permits, a policy that many political observers viewed as a concession to climate activists ahead of the presidential election.

Brenda Shaffer, a senior adviser for energy at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said Qatar’s liquefied natural gas expansion was likely spurred by Biden’s policy announcement, adding that Doha will “benefit financially” from the pause.

“Nature doesn’t allow a vacuum. The United States is the biggest producer of natural gas in the world. To say that it’s going to put a pause or freeze for a few years, obviously [other countries] are going to pick up that market,” she said.

Energy experts told the Washington Free Beacon that Biden’s LNG announcement is already pushing buyers away from the U.S. market and toward adversarial competitors.

Limiting natural gas production in America does not limit the use of natural gas worldwide–other countries pick up the slack. Natural gas is a very clean fuel and does very little damage to the environment. The Biden administration’s energy policies have consistently negatively impacted Americans and benefitted America’s enemies. We need to go back to helping Americans and the American economy by becoming energy independent again.

Recognizing The Major Problems In The Environmental Movement

On Wednesday, Stream posted an article by a former environmentalist listing five reasons why he gave up “green policies.”

Here is the list:

Failed Climate Change Predictions

Science is about accurate prediction. If Newton’s theory had failed to predict how apples fall, then it would be useless.

Few scientists have been as bad at this (basic) job as climate scientists. In one of the most comical episodes I’ve ever seen, climate scientists erected signs in Glacier National Park predicting its glaciers would be gone in 2020 — only to be forced to leave the signs after the predictions proved false. For a year, tourists to the park were met with a monument to the legacy of climate science: They stood looking simultaneously at glaciers … and the sign that promised, on the good authority of climate science, that the glaciers were not there.

Where Did the Wild Spaces Go?

Thoreau said of nature: “We need the tonic of wildness.” Thoreau was right about me at least. One of my primary motives for being an environmentalist was that I believed natural wild spaces were good for the soul.

…And that brings us to wind farms. I hate wind farms. They kill birds and destroy forest habitats. The blades are made of materials that fill waste dumps and can’t be recycled. They require lithium batteries that have to be mined with methods that create the very kinds of problems the “clean energy” movement is supposed to solve.

Politics Over Facts

Speaking of facts: The relationship between science and politics only works when the causal arrow between them goes from scientific facts to politics.

Bullying Over Debate

One of the clear signs that a movement is rotten is when it resorts to silencing its opponents rather than debating them. The modern “green” movement contains the worst set of bullies I’ve ever seen; indeed, they serve as primary fodder for my forthcoming book called Liberal Bullies.

Lack of a Cost/Benefit Analysis

Even at the height of my pro-environmentalist sentiment, I wasn’t opposed to all oil drilling. I know we need energy; I use it every day. I just wanted moderation that purposefully preserved a significant amount of wild nature. Well, across the board, the green movement increasingly just bludgeons us with simple-minded ideas that ignore the obvious costs of their policies.

Keep in mind that list comes from someone who at one time supported the green energy movement. It’s time for the rest of the supporters of the movement to wake up.

 

The Whoppers Of 2023

On Thursday, The New York Post listed twelve of the most outrageous lies told by politicians and the media during 2023. Please follow the link to the article for the details, I will simply post the  list.

This is the list:

#1

“The Middle East . . . is quieter than it has been for decades.”

— National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, Foreign Affairs, November/December (print edition)

#2

“We ended cancer as we know it.”

— President Biden, July 25

#3

“Age jokes can’t diminish Biden’s unrivaled experience and wisdom.”

— The Hill, Dec. 11

#4

“Israeli Strike Kills Hundreds in Hospital, Palestinians Say

— The New York Times, Oct. 17

#5

“Let’s always take a moment to also see what we have achieved thus far, while we clearly see the moment that we are presently in. So we have achieved a lot.”

— VP Kamala Harris, June 23

#6

“In the Hanukkah story, the Jewish people were forced into hiding. No one thought they would survive.”

— Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, Dec. 11

#7

“Floods, fires and deadly heat are the alarm bells of a planet on the brink.”

— The Washington Post, July 13

#8

“We have seen the effectiveness of our approach [to the border].”

— Homeland Security boss Alejandro Mayorkas, May 10 

#9

“We have been [in Israel] for more than 1.5 million years.”

— Palestinian National Council President Rawhi Fattouh, May 22

#10

“There would be no climate crisis if there was no racism.”

— Jane Fonda, May 27

#11

“People Are Getting Real Heated Over a Gas Stove Ban That Isn’t Even Happening.”

— The New Republic, Jan. 12

#12

“Biden is extremely well-liked.”

— MSNBC co-host Mika Brzezinski, Feb. 10

Reality is merely a state of mind.

 

Will Anyone Actually Believe This?

On Tuesday, Breitbart posted an article blaming the flight from some of America’s large, democrat-controlled cities on climate control. No mention of rising crime, rising cost of living or any of those trivial things.

The article reports:

“Climate migration is already taking place within American communities, new data finds, as people flee flood-prone areas, and create ‘climate abandonment’ zones,” writes an unquestioning Axios.

“The study constitutes the latest warning sign of the effects of climate change,” Axios continues without skepticism. “Population shifts, and a larger reckoning for real estate, are only expected to worsen as global average surface temperatures rise.

But then the premise of the study undercuts itself in a big way with the admission that “Americans are leaving the Rust Belt in droves and heading to areas of greater climate risk in the South and Southwest[.]”

What’s more, “cities with high flood risks, like Miami and Houston, are still pulling in more people than they are losing,” the study admits. “But these areas are growing more slowly than they would be if flooding weren’t such a threat, the study shows.”

A good faith reading of the study tells me that the conclusions come from projections and math equations. Nowhere does it say that the actual people who moved were surveyed or questioned about why they moved. The study also uses a math problem to explain away “local political, social, and economic conditions” — but you have to talk to people to understand their motive for moving.

Additionally, as stated above, the study admits that most of the country’s migration is to areas that are “of greater climate risk.” The study fails to mention that real estate on the coasts, the areas that would be most at risk if climate change were real, is increasing in value, not decreasing. If you recall, Mr. Climate Change himself, Barack Obama, spent millions on a mansion just a few feet from the same ocean that’s supposed to wipe out the coast. The Climate Change Channel, CNN, moved its headquarters from the safe, inland city of Atlanta to the edge of the water in Manhattan — the same Manhattan the “experts” told us would be flooded by now.

It should also be noted that the Bidens own property in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware–a beachfront community. It the elites who preach to us about climate change and carbon footprints followed their own rules, we might be willing to pay attention.

Let’s Look At The Record

On Wednesday, Townhall posted an article titled:

Not-So-Scary Truth About Climate Change

As you know, John Kerry came back from the climate conference with ideas that will basically destroy life in America as we know it. John Stossel decided to take a look at some of the impact global warming might actually have. It should also be noted here that there are scientists who believe we are entering a period of global cooling rather than global warming. The earth goes through climate cycles, and we are always in some phase of one of those cycles. We are NOT in control of the weather, nor will we ever be.

In his book The Democrat Party Hates America, Mark Levin lists some of the predictions about climate made in recent years. You can draw your own conclusions as to how accurate they were.

Here are some of the predictions:

  1. Harvard biologist George Walk estimated that ‘civilization will end within 15 or 30 years [by 1985 or 2000] unless immediate action is taken against problems facing  mankind.’
  2. ‘We are in an environmental crisis that threatens the survival of this nations, and of the world as a suitable place to human habitation,’ wrote Washington University biologist Barry Commoner in the Earth Day issue of the scholarly journal Environment.
  3. The day after the first Earth Day, the New York Times editorial page warned, “Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.’
  4. ‘Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make,’ Paul Ehrlich confidently declared in the April 1970 issue of Mademoiselle. ‘The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years [by 1980].’

…13.Paul Ehrlich wared in the May 1970 issue of Audubon that DDT and other chlorinated hydrocarbons ‘may have substantially reduced the life expectance of people born since 1945.’ Ehrlich warned that Americans born since 1946…now had a life expectancy of only 49 years, and he predicted that if current patterns continues this expectancy would reach 42 years by 1980 when it might level out. (Note: According to the most recent CDC report, life expectancy in the US is 78.6 years.)

As you can see, previous doomsday predictions have not been particularly accurate. Why should we believe the current doomsday predictions? I think the climate extremists have ‘cried wolf’ one too many times.

Please follow the link to the Townhall article to discover the upside of climate change.

Some Glitches In The Technology

On Friday, The American Thinker posted an article about a man launching his jet ski into the water at a boat ramp. That really doesn’t sound like an article for The American Thinker until you look into the details.

The article quotes a Facebook post by an organization of firefighters in Hollywood, Florida:

On Sunday Oct 1st, a Tesla Model S [sic] was attempting to back a jet ski into the water at the Polk Street boat ramp, when it lost traction and slid into the inter-coastal [sic]. The salt water reacted with the the [sic] vehicle’s electronics causing them to short, sparking a fire that burned underwater for an extended period of time.

The fire was allowed to burn underwater until it extinguished itself. And even then, it had to be loaded carefully onto a special carrier, and followed by the Fire Engine to the impound lot, where they’ll keep the vehicle isolated for a few days in the very real possibility of re-ignition. EVs have been known to reignite even after the initial fire has been extinguished.

The article also quotes Autoblog:

The wife backs the trailer and jet ski into the water, the husband gets the jet ski into the water. While the husband is on the water on the jet ski, the Tesla begins flashing a warning to the wife to get out of the Model X. The car’s electronically powered doors are closed, and whatever malfunction is occurring won’t permit the doors to open. Apparently, the wife didn’t know about the manual release for the doors, so the husband rocks up and gets her out before the Model X ends up submerged.

The article concludes:

As the firefighters’ Facebook post also noted, the uniqueness of EV fires is creating a “whole new level of hazard” to fire prevention and fire service apparatuses:

This is an issue with all Electric Vehicles, not just Tesla. And their prevalence is adding a whole new level of hazard to the Fire Service, causing Fire Departments worldwide to rethink how they mitigate electric vehicle emergencies.

If this occurrence isn’t just another datum point in the obvious trend proving that avoiding battery-powered cars is the way to go (for the sake of humanity and the environment), and shoring up the reality that the left always has the stupidest ideas, then I don’t know what is.

This story could have had a very different ending. Thank God that the husband was quick to unlock the door.

 

 

Banned By The Biden Administration!

On Tuesday, The Washington Examiner posted a list of five things that the Biden administration has attempted to restrict.

This is the list:

Gas stoves

Incandescent lightbulbs

Plastic straws

Gas-powered cars

Washing machines

Anyone looking at this list three years ago would have called it a conspiracy theory, but here we are.

The article notes:

The Department of Energy estimated the rule would save consumers 9 cents per month after originally promising higher savings for consumers when the rule was proposed earlier this year. The backlash to the rule caused the House of Representatives to pass the Gas Stove Protection and Freedom Act, which would prevent the Consumer Product Safety Commission from using federal funds to enforce the rule on gas stoves. The bill has not been taken up by the Senate.

…One efficiency standard the Biden administration was successful in implementing was a lightbulb rule that outlaws nearly all incandescent bulbs from being sold. The standard went into effect in August.

…Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced in June that a plan would be implemented to phase out single-use plastics on public lands by 2032, citing environmental impacts.

In response to the proposed action, the House of Representatives passed an appropriations bill that would prevent the Interior Department from going forward with the effort. Rep. John Rose (R-TN), who introduced the amendment to deny the measure, argued the alternatives to plastics may not be more environmentally friendly.

…The Biden administration has been a strong advocate of electric cars and phasing out gas-powered vehicles, with the Department of Transportation’s proposed fuel efficiency rules being a recent example of this push.

The proposed rule would raise standards for fuel efficiency to 66 miles per gallon for cars and 54 mpg for trucks by 2032, something National Highway Traffic Safety Administration acting Administrator Ann Carlson has said is “good news for everyone.”

…A proposed efficiency standard by the Department of Energy for washing machines, which could go into effect as early as 2027, has also been criticized as restricting more effective washing machines from being sold.

The Energy Department said the standards would save consumers $3.5 billion annually on energy and water bills, but opponents of the rule argue it would drive up costs for washers while also being detrimental to their effectiveness.

Let’s work together to make sure that the Biden administration has no more success in banning items that make life easier and more efficient for most Americans.

An Update On “WOTUS”

The American Spectator posted an article today updating the progress President Trump has made in undoing the “Waters of the United States (WOTUS)” rule put in place by the Obama administration. Under the guise of protecting the environment, the rule essentially gives the government control of your property if you have a mud puddle that shows up every Spring. The article notes that undoing something put in place by a federal bureaucracy is harder than reversing the direction of an aircraft carrier.

The article reports:

WOTUS represented one of the great power grabs in government history. By redefining “waters of the U.S.,” Obama-era officials asserted federal authority (virtual ownership) over almost all water in the country — not only large lakes, rivers, and oceans, but also streams, creeks, wetlands, ponds, parking lot puddles, and irrigation ditches. Nothing in the law justified such a broad sweep.

The new rule, released this week, is unfortunately still much broader than the law justifies. The Clean Water Act, which sought to control pollution of the nation’s major waterways, contains the phrase “waters of the U.S.” in 12 places. Of those, nine use the phrase “navigable waters of the U.S.,” and the other three refer specifically to barges and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. “Navigable waters” were defined as “waters of the U.S.,” meaning the terms are synonymous. There are no waters of the U.S. that are not navigable. Not in the law.

Nevertheless, the new rule continues to assert federal jurisdiction over waters never intended by Congress. On the plus side, it includes a final definition of what are, and are not, waters of the United States. It specifically disclaims federal jurisdiction over farms, ranches, irrigation ditches, stock ponds, wastewater treatment systems, and rainwater runoff. But in addition to “territorial seas and navigable waters,” the definition still includes “perennial and intermittent tributaries to those waters,” “certain lakes, ponds, and impoundments,” and “wetlands adjacent to jurisdictional waters.”

The article concludes:

Vague definitions lead to abuses, which are far too common in recent years. Most recently, the prosecution of Jack LaPant, whose decision to plant wheat on his California farm — with full approval of the Agriculture Department — resulted in over $5 million in fines. It seems the Corps of Engineers considers topsoil a pollutant. That’s about as nonsensical as an attempt by the EPA a few years ago to declare sunlight a pollutant. In LaPlant’s case, the Corps missed a vitally important detail: Congress specifically exempted “normal farming activities” from federal “jurisdiction.” That clearly includes planting wheat, especially on existing farms where wheat has been grown before.

We understand the natural instinct of all bureaucracies to seek more power. But like most farms, that one has no floating boats, and it is not “navigable water.” The Trump administration inherited the case but has not dismissed it or stopped the prosecution. It turns out that turning the bureaucracy, despite orders from the admiral, is actually much harder than turning an aircraft carrier.

The above story illustrates why we need to re-elect President Trump. Hopefully the WOTUS rule can be revisited so that America’s ability to grow food to feed its people is not impacted.

Another Unsung Accomplishment By President Trump

Hot Air is reporting today that America reduced its greenhouse gas emissions in 2019.

The article reports:

Increased natural gas consumption helped bring down U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2019, according to a recent report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Chances are you haven’t heard. That’s because the mainstream media and environmentalists insist on condemning the Trump administration for championing fossil fuels even though the United States is doing a better job at reducing emissions than many other countries that signed the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

The public can credit much of this success to the fracking boom, which has made natural gas much more plentiful. Cheap, abundant natural gas has gradually been displacing coal, which emits about twice as much carbon dioxide. A recent Rhodium Group study found that coal-fired power generation dropped by 18% last year, the lowest level since 1975.

The article concludes:

Meanwhile, thanks to a huge abundance of cheap natural gas (generated via fracking), America reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 2% in 2019 after previously cutting them by the same amount the prior year. In fact, U.S. emissions went down by 12% between 2005 and 2017. By next year, American emissions are projected to be the lowest they have been since 1991, a time when the population was much lower than it is now.

By comparison, how are the “good” countries who signed on to the Paris accord doing? As it turns out, France Germany and the United Kingdom all missed their emissions reduction goals last year. Germany’s emissions actually increased after they started gutting their nuclear power program and were forced to restart some coal-fired plants to keep the lights turned on.

The only countries that are given high marks for meeting the climate agreement’s objectives are very small nations with low populations and not very much economic or industrial activity. So who are the real bad guys in this story? Before any global consortium starts trying to dictate to us how to handle our greenhouse gas emissions, perhaps they should get their own houses in order and follow our example. Rather than just talking about reducing emissions, we’re actually doing it. And we didn’t need a treaty with anyone else to get the job done.

The reason the success of America in reducing greenhouse gases is not heralded is that the success goes against the purpose of the climate change agenda–it doesn’t allow tyrannical countries to shake down democracies and republics.The goal of the climate change rhetoric is to redistribute the world’s wealth–to take money from countries that have prospered under the free market and give it to countries where the government controls the economy. America’s success in reducing greenhouse gas emissions simply does not fit the desired template.

Nature Is Amazing

On February 6th, Fox News reported the following:

A type of black fungus that eats radiation was discovered inside the Chernobyl nuclear reactor.

In 1991, the strange fungus was found growing up the walls of the reactor, which baffled scientists due to the extreme, radiation-heavy environment.

Researchers eventually realized that not only was the fungi impervious to the deadly radiation, it seemed to be attracted to it.

A decade later, researchers tested some of the fungi and determined that it had a large amount of the pigment melanin — which is also found, among other places, in the skin of humans.

The article concludes:

In a 2008 paper, Ekaterina Dadachova, then of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, noted that the fungi attracted to radiation are unlikely to be the first examples of their kind.

“Large quantities of highly melanized fungal spores have been found in early Cretaceous period deposits when many species of animals and plants died out. This period coincides with Earth’s crossing the “magnetic zero” resulting in the loss of its “shield” against cosmic radiation,” the paper’s introduction states.

The fungi indicate that there could be places in the cosmos — which we are unaware of — where organisms could live in radiation-filled environments.

Just amazing.

The 2020 Davos Economic Conference

The 2020 Davos Economic Conference will convene this month. The Conservative Treehouse posted an article yesterday announcing that President Trump has announced the Presidential Delegation that will attend the World Economic Forum in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, from January 20 to January 24, 2020.

The article notes some interesting aspects of this conference:

As a result of the recent U.K. election, pending Brexit, a favorable $7.5 billion WTO ruling and USTR Lighthizer’s new $2.4 billion EU targeted tariff program, the administration has significant advantages going into a trade discussion with the EU in 2020.

Team USA has the world’s strongest economy, the largest market, legally bolstered tariff authority and a quiver full of powerful economic arrows.

Meanwhile Team EU has: (1) the UK leaving; (2) severe drops in German industrial manufacturing; (3) a shrinking French economy; (4) yellow-vests in the streets; and (5) demands for greater economic autonomy from many key member states.

Overlay Germany, France and Italy large economy challenges such as: their promise to meet NATO obligations – and their attachment to the strangling Paris Climate Treaty, and the EU’s collective economic position is precarious at best.

The article includes the list of delegates:

The Honorable Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury, will lead the delegation.

Members of the Presidential Delegation:

1. The Honorable Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury (Lead)
2. The Honorable Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Commerce
3. The Honorable Eugene Scalia, Secretary of Labor
4. The Honorable Elaine Chao, Secretary of Transportation
5. The Honorable Robert Lighthizer, United States Trade Representative
6. The Honorable Keith Krach, Under Secretary for Growth, Energy and the Environment, Department of State
7. The Honorable Ivanka Trump, Assistant to the President and Advisor to the President
8. The Honorable Jared Kushner, Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor to the President
9. The Honorable Christopher Liddell, Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy Coordination.

The pictures included in the article are an indication of things to come:

Stay tuned.

This Is Truly Sad

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article about a recent comment by former Vice-President Joe Biden.

The article reports:

2020 Democratic front-runner Joe Biden said miners need to find “jobs of the future” when talking about transitioning the economy away from fossil fuels.

“Anybody who can go down 300 to 3,000 feet in a mine can sure as hell learn to program as well,” Biden said Monday during a campaign event in New Hampshire. “Anybody who can throw coal into a furnace can learn how to program, for god’s sake!”

On Sunday, Biden also said he wanted to throw fossil fuel executives in prison for damaging the environment.

“Put them in jail,” he said. “I’m not joking about this.”

The comment came after the former vice president said that there would not be a single new coal plant made in the U.S. earlier this month. During the December Democratic debate, Biden said he was willing to end hundreds of thousands of jobs in the fossil fuel industry.

I can’t believe that anyone who listens to what he says would vote for this man.

Sometimes It’s The Little Things That Matter

President Trump has given us back the freedom to choose our light bulbs. American Thinker posted an article today stating:

Score another million votes for President Trump in the coming 2020 election.

The president has gotten rid of a despicable little micromanaging regulation left over from the Obama era, restoring the citizens’ right to buy the light bulbs that fit their preferences and needs. According to The Hill:

“Today the Trump Administration chose to protect consumer choice by ensuring that the American people do not pay the price for unnecessary overregulation from the federal government,” Brouillette said in a statement. “Innovation and technology are already driving progress, increasing the efficiency and affordability of light bulbs, without federal government intervention. The American people will continue to have a choice on how they light their homes.”

Blocking the standards flies in the face of congressional intent, critics say, citing a 2007 act signed into law by President George W. Bush that requires all everyday bulbs to use 65 percent less energy than regular incandescent bulbs, which currently constitute about half of the bulb market.

Where in the Constitution does it give the government power to tell us what kind of light bulbs we can buy?

The article continues:

Way back in 2011, when the Bush-era nanny-state measure was first enacted, Virginia Postrel, then at Bloomberg (she might still be) wrote this brilliant piece on how stupid and immoral the whole thing was. She began:

If you want to know why so many Americans feel alienated from their government, you need only go to Target and check out the light bulb aisle. Instead of the cheap commodities of yesteryear, you’ll find what looks like evidence of a flourishing, technology-driven economy.

There are “ultrasoft” bulbs promising “softer soft white longer life” light, domed halogens for “bright crisp light” and row upon row of Energy Smart bulbs — some curled in the by-now-familiar compact fluorescent form, some with translucent shells that reveal only hints of the twisting tubes within.

I can’t get the whole thing on Outline, but here was her money-quote:

… the activists offended by the public’s presumed wastefulness took a more direct approach. They joined forces with the big bulb producers, who had an interest in replacing low-margin commodities with high-margin specialty wares, and, with help from Congress and President George W. Bush, banned the bulbs people prefer.

It was an inside job. Neither ordinary consumers nor even organized interior designers had a say. Lawmakers buried the ban in the 300-plus pages of the 2007 energy bill, and very few talked about it in public. It was crony capitalism with a touch of green.

Now we have our freedom to choose light bulbs back. Let’s see how many other freedoms we can reclaim!

It’s Nearly Impossible To Kill A Government Program–Even When It Doesn’t Work

Hot Air posted an article today about ethanol in America. The article notes that when the ethanol program (Renewable Fuel Standard) was put in place, it was based on two basic assumptions. The first assumption was that we would be producing huge amounts of biodiesel from sources like palm oil and recycled cooking oil. The other was that we would be pumping out massive volumes of cellulosic ethanol, derived from plants like switchgrass, which grows naturally all across the country. Well, both of those assumptions proved to be false. Because America is now the number one energy producer in the world, it no longer makes sense to use ethanol. Ethanol is not as environmentally friendly as carbon-based fuels when you consider the carbon footprint of its manufacturing process. There are also serious questions about the impact of ethanol on car engines.

The article concludes:

Corn is the least environmentally friendly way to create ethanol. It’s also a very inefficient fuel compared to gasoline so you wind up having to burn more of it to produce the same amount of energy. In short, we’re defeating some of the primary motivations that led us to start down this path to begin with. And yet the program endures for nothing other than political reasons. Midwestern states like Iowa want the government to keep demanding more and more corn ethanol to bolster agricultural markets. Meanwhile, refineries are stuck trading on a corrupt, fake market for RIN credits, driving some of the smaller ones toward insolvency.

The dream of corn ethanol has failed everyone across the board. But like most government mandates, once it’s been summoned into existence, it proves nearly impossible to kill. It would take a tremendous amount of political will to get rid of the RFS now, and that strength clearly doesn’t exist in the Trump administration. You won’t find it among the Democrats, either. And so we keep paddling upstream against the same forces for the foreseeable future.

The closest thing to immortality is a government program.

 

I Guess There Just Isn’t Any Truth In Advertising These Days

Yesterday Hot Air posted an article about a recent lawsuit against ice cream makers Ben & Jerry. Ben & Jerry’s owners are liberals who very openly support liberal causes. Their advertising claims that in harmony with their ideas about the humane treatment of animals ans the environment, their ice cream is made from milk from happy cows. I never really considered the emotional well being of the cows that supplied the milk for my ice cream, but I suppose it is a somewhat valid concern. Well, evidently all of the milk does not come from happy cows.

The article reports:

Since most of this week in Washington is already shaping up to be a festival of the ridiculous, we may as well toss a few more logs on the bonfire. Up in Vermont, Ben & Jerry’s, the famously liberal ice cream company, is being taken to court over fraudulent advertising, along with its parent company, Unilever. But this suit has nothing to do with the quality or safety of their product. An environmentalist is suing them because of their advertisements claiming that their creamy products are made from milk from “happy cows.” Not so, says the plaintiff! Apparently, many of the cows are simply miserable.

Ben & Jerry’s and parent company Unilever are being sued for false advertising by an environmental advocate who claims the milk and cream used to make flavors like Phish Food are deceptively marketed as coming from “happy cows.”

In a complaint filed Oct. 31 in federal court in Burlington, Vermont, where Ben & Jerry’s was founded, environmental advocate James Ehlers accuses the company and Unilever of deceiving consumers who buy the ice cream because of its pastoral and progessive image.

“During the past several years, Unilever has breached consumer trust by representing the Ben & Jerry’s Products as being made with milk and cream sourced exclusively from “happy cows” on Vermont dairies that participate in a special, humane “Caring Dairy” program,” the lawsuit claims.

The complaint alleges that less than half of the milk used is from the “Caring Dairy” program.

The article explains the program (and the problem):

USA Today looked into the question and found that the Caring Dairy program is indeed real. In order to qualify, farms have to follow certain regulations for how the cows are raised and what sort of environmental “carbon footprint” the operation has. But it’s not all that large, with only 65 farms in the Netherlands and the United States qualifying.

Even if Ben & Jerry’s had cornered the market on all of them, they probably wouldn’t produce enough milk to meet their needs. The company claims they “hope” to work with more farms like these going forward, but it certainly sounds as if they’re not using 100% “happy cow” milk. So maybe the plaintiff is correct.

I am strongly in favor of treating animals humanely. However, I also believe that animals are not people. What we need here is a sense of balance.

I Guess This Is One Way To Deal With The Problem Of Farting Cows

The environmentalist seem very concerned about the problem of farting cows. Somehow they fail to mention that the cow population has actually decreased since 2014 (article here). However, they are sincerely interested in taking away our steak dinners.

Breitbart posted an article yesterday about the latest plan to deal with farting cows.

The article reports:

Ermias Kebreab, an zoology professor at the University of California–Davis, led a team in producing a bovine meal regimen containing varying levels of Asparagopsis armata, a strain of red seaweed, and fed it to 12 dairy cows over a two-month period. In a mix containing just 1 percent seaweed, the cows’ methane emissions went down by a stunning 60 percent.

“In all the years that I’ve worked in this area, I’ve never seen anything that reduced it that much,” Kebreab said.

A 2012 United Nations report revealed that the earth’s cattle population produces more carbon dioxide than automobiles, planes, and all other forms of transport combined. Moreover, the cow pies they drop and the wind they break produce a third of the world’s methane emissions, which traps 84 times as much heat as carbon dioxide.

In the summer of 2016, EcoWatch published an article confirming that greenhouse gas emissions from livestock actually account for a higher percentage of total global emissions than the world’s 1.2 billion automobiles.

Kebreab’s cow experiment sought to replicate results from researchers at Australia’s James Cook University, who mixed bacteria from cows’ digestive systems with red seaweed and discovered a significant decrease in methane production. Their experiment suggested that tweaking a cow’s diet to include 2 percent seaweed could reduce its methane emissions by as much as 99 percent.

The article concludes:

According to Dobbins, seaweed farming may be a “triple win.” It furnishes a way to grow nutritious food for both cows and people, provides coastal jobs, and improves the marine environment.

“Everything you do in food production has pluses and minuses relative to the environment,” he has claimed. “Seaweed farming, if done correctly, actually comes out more on the plus side.”

While flatulence is an issue, studies have suggested that cow belching is a much bigger problem because of the methane produced in cows’ stomachs.

“Despite misconceptions, most cow methane comes from burps (90%) rather than farts (10%),” Michael Battaglia wrote in October, 2016, in the Conversation.

So now we have to start worrying about burping cows?

Good News For Impatient People Who Like Clean Dishes

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article about dishwashers–the kind that are installed in with your kitchen cabinets and take forever to clean the dishes about as well as your average cat. I realize that does not apply to all dishwashers, but since the environmentalists got involved, it applies to a lot of them. Well, that is about to change.

The article reports:

Consumers outraged about slow dishwashers are staunchly backing an Energy Department move, over industry objections, to create a new category of products that feature a one-hour washing cycle.

Individual consumers have flooded the public comment docket in support of the Energy Department proposal, which grants a petition made by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free-market think tank. The agency proposal would establish a separate product class for dishwashers that clean and dry dishes within one hour, an action that would exclude those appliances from current energy and water conservation standards until separate rules are crafted.

The Energy Department could finalize the proposal as soon as next year.

“A First World country deserves a dishwasher that can actually clean soiled dishes in an hour – as it used to have before this regulation was enacted to ‘save’ us energy and money. It doesn’t,” one individual consumer, Chad Anderson, wrote in a comment submitted this week.

The article concludes:

The Energy Department, though, in its proposal said data and customer complaints show many consumers would value “shorter cycle times to clean a normally-soiled load of dishes.” Watkins argued that no dishwasher models currently exist on the market that have a normal one-hour cycle for washing and drying.

Mauer said a number of factors, including consumer preferences for more efficient and quieter dishwashers, have impacted the cycle times.

And she said the lack of standards for the new product class also means the Energy Department’s move likely violates a provision in the Energy Policy and Conservation Act, which prohibits the agency from loosening the efficiency standards.

Appliance makers also say the product class isn’t necessary, and they say the Energy Department action creates new regulatory burdens that will cost manufacturers.

Creating a new product class would lead to stranded investments for companies, “as manufacturers would essentially be required to abandon” innovations in efficiency they’d made to comply with the previous standards, the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers wrote in comments.

The group, which represents more than 150 companies, wrote it has raised concerns about dishwasher cycle times previously but stressed this wasn’t the venue to address them.

Watkins of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, however, argued appliance makers don’t want the Energy Department to change the current limits because it would open up the market to new companies that haven’t spent the money to comply with conservation limits.

“They now view the regulations in some way as a barrier to entry” into the market, Watkins said. He also suggested that creating a new product class could relieve some of the pressure manufacturers face from ever-tightening standards due to the law’s “one-way ratchet.”

Plus, it’s hard to argue with the overwhelming consumer support, Watkins said, pointing to a recent survey the group conducted of more than 1,000 customers showing a majority prefer dishwasher cycles of one hour or less.

“Where can I get a MDGA* hat? (*Make Dishwashers Great Again),” one consumer wrote in the comments.

What has happened to dishwashers in recent years is another example of the government deciding what is good for the consumer without giving the consumer a voice in the decision. The idea of a dishwasher that effectively cleans dishes in an hour is a winner. Government regulation and interference kept it from being a reality.

Is This A Winning Issue?

Andrew Yang is running for President in the Democrat primary. He is currently polling at about 3 percent. He has some interesting ideas on changing the American culture.

Hot Air posted an article today about some of those ideas.

The article reports:

MSNBC held their latest “climate crisis” event for 2020 Democratic hopefuls yesterday and when Andrew Yang took the stage he brought up one possibility that all the candidates should weigh in on. When asked by the host what the world would look like in 2050 after the everyone began dealing with climate change and carbon emissions, he suggested that the end of private car ownership was probably on the horizon.

…Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang said the United States may have to eliminate private car ownership to combat climate change during MSNBC’s climate forum at Georgetown University Thursday morning.

He told MSNBC host Ali Velshi that “we might not own our own cars” by 2050 to wean the United States economy off of fossil fuels, describing private car ownership as “really inefficient and bad for the environment.” Privately owned cars would be replaced by a “constant roving fleet of electric cars.”

Somehow I don’t see this happening.

The article concludes:

There are two sides to this proposal, consisting of the practical and the political. Being as we are in the midst of a presidential race, the political may be more important in the short term. The fact is that the Democrats seem to keep coming up with ideas that may look good on paper at liberal cocktail parties but are not at all popular with the voters at large. Eliminating private car ownership is just such a proposal.

People love their cars. Nearly everyone realizes that they are expensive luxuries and account for too much pollution, but we still live in a car culture. It’s a status symbol and a totem of our freedom of movement. No matter how well-intentioned you may be, if you come along and say the government needs to take away all your cars, the public is going to be up on their hind legs. This is the way you lose elections.

On the practical side, I will grudgingly admit that Yang is probably at least partially correct about this. If he was saying there would be nothing but mass transit, that would be nuts. Mass transit simply isn’t practical for most of the country unless you live in a densely populated urban area. But he’s also picturing fleets of electric, driverless vehicles that anyone can summon when they need to go somewhere. Uber and Lyft are working on just such a plan right now and sooner or later it may become our new reality.

But having said that, electric vehicles still need to be powered. Until you answer the question of where you’re going to come up with all of the electricity needed to replace the power currently being generated by gasoline, you’re not going to be doing much for the climate. As I mentioned yesterday when talking about efforts in California to eliminate natural gas usage, the state derives roughly half of their electricity from natural gas plants. If all of the cars are suddenly running on electricity, they’re going to be burning a massively larger amount of natural gas to meet the demand.

Yet again, we’re seeing the Church of Climate Change forcing Democrats to toss out expensive, impractical ideas that most people will rebel against. And they can’t seem to help themselves.

There is a lot more to the relationship between Americans and their cars than transportation. Somehow I can’t see taking away our private cars as a winning idea. We also need to consider that American carbon emissions are only a part of the world’s carbon emissions. We are a small percentage of carbon pollution. Unless the countries that are not concerned about the environment cut their emissions, nothing we do will have much of an impact. Keep in mind that China and India, the world;s biggest polluters, we essentially exempt from the climate treaty for a number of years. Maybe the treaty wasn’t really about climate.

We’ve Heard This Song Before

Fox News posted an article today that details some of the dire predictions we have heard in the past regarding the future of the earth. The article is in response to some of the recent claims made by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other pseudo-scientists.

The article reports:

An Associated Press headline from 1989 read “Rising seas could obliterate nations: U.N. officials.” The article detailed a U.N. environmental official warning that entire nations would be eliminated if the world failed to reverse warming by 2000.

Then there were the fears that the world would experience a never-ending “cooling trend in the Northern Hemisphere.” That claim came from an “international team of specialists” cited by The New York Times in 1978.

.Just years prior, Time magazine echoed other media outlets in suggesting that “another ice age” was imminent. “Telltale signs are everywhere — from the unexpected persistence and thickness of pack ice in the waters around Iceland to the southward migration of a warmth-loving creature like the armadillo from the Midwest,” the magazine warned in 1974. The Guardian similarly warned in 1974 that “Space satellites show new Ice Age coming fast.”

In 1970, The Boston Globe ran the headline, “Scientist predicts a new ice age by 21st century.” The Washington Post, for its part, published a Columbia University scientist’s claim that the world could be “as little as 50 or 60 years away from a disastrous new ice age.”

Some of the more dire predictions came from Paul Ehrlich, a biologist who famously urged population control to mitigate the impacts of humans on the environment. Ehrlich, in 1969, warned that “everybody” would “disappear in a cloud of blue steam in 20 years,” The New York Times reported.

According to The Salt Lake Tribune, Ehrlich, warning of a “disastrous” famine,” urged placing “sterilizing agents into staple foods and drinking water.”

About the prediction of oceans rising and obliterating major cities–a science-oriented friend of mine pointed out that when ice melts in a glass of water, the water level stays the same–it doesn’t overflow the glass.

At any rate, the earth is in a warming stage. The earth periodically goes through warming stages. Warming stages have to do with sun spots, the earth’s orbit, and other natural occurrences. The earth went through warming stages before man even thought of burning carbon-based fuel. And last of all, man is simply not important enough to control the climate. However, the climate is important enough to be used by men to control a population that power-hungry politicians seek to control.