|The People for the West newsletter for August, 2021, is now online. Click here to read
In this issue we examine how President Biden’s polices are affecting property rights and energy production and use.
The Biden administration thinks they can stop global warming (aka climate change) by eliminating carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels and switching electrical generation to wind and solar installations. Biden says “follow the science.” If he did follow the science he would realize that there is no physical evidence that carbon dioxide plays a significant role in controlling global temperature (see posts at the end of this article).
Biden wants 80% hydrocarbon-free electricity generation by 2030, 100% by 2035 and elimination of fossil fuels from all sectors of the U.S. economy by 2050.
According to Paul Driessen (senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow), “ this would send the nation’s annual electricity requirement soaring from about 2.7 billion megawatt-hours (the fossil fuel portion of total U.S. electricity) to almost 7.5 billion MWh per year by 2050. Substantial additional generation would be required to constantly recharge backup batteries for windless, sunless days, to safeguard society against blackouts, cyberattacks and wholesale collapse. Generating all that electricity without new nuclear and hydroelectric plants would require tens of thousands of 850-foot-tall offshore wind turbines, hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions) of somewhat smaller onshore turbines, and billions of photovoltaic solar panels. All these turbines, panels, batteries and power lines would require tens of billions of tons of non-renewable iron, copper, aluminum, cobalt, lithium, rare earth elements, plastics, limestone and other materials. That would necessitate mining, crushing, processing, refining and transporting tens of billions of tons of ores – from thousands of mines and quarries, using gigantic gasoline and diesel equipment – followed by smelting and manufacturing, all with fossil fuels. None of this is clean, green or sustainable.”
So, how is “global warming” doing. We can consult with Dr. Roy Spencer who manages the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite. This satellite system measures global atmospheric temperature daily. The latest results are seen here:
You should notice that global atmospheric temperatures in April, May, and June, 2021, were below the 1991-2020 average and similar to temperatures in 1983. According to the Global Monitoring Laboratory of NOAA at Mauna Loa, Hawaii, atmospheric carbon dioxide was about 340ppm in 1983 versus about 418ppm now. Although there has been deviation from the average due to things like the El Nino-La Nina cycles, there has not been any overall warming in spite of the increase in carbon dioxide.
Biden and other climate alarmists have swallowed the climate “Kool-Aid” and claim that reducing just one, small, insignificant factor will be the panacea in controlling global temperature, but it’s not that simple:
“The forcings that drive long-term climate change are not known with an accuracy sufficient to define future climate change.” — James Hansen, “Climate forcings in the Industrial era”, PNAS, Vol. 95, Issue 22, 12753-12758, October 27, 1998.
“In climate research and modeling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the prediction of a specific future climate state is not possible.” — Final chapter,Third Assessment Report, IPCC 2000.
While controlling CO2 emissions from burning fossil fuels may have some beneficial effects on air quality, it will have no measurable effect on climate, but great detrimental effects on the economy and our standard of living. The greatest danger of climate change is that politicians think they can stop it. But the climate has always been in a state of flux. In my opinion, the debate over global warming is truly a scam designed to control (and tax) production and use of energy from fossil fuels.
The alleged “climate crisis” is just a scam perpetrated for political gain.
“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” —H. L. Mencken (1880-1956)
(Note to younger readers: The term “Kool-Aid” used in this context refers to cult leader Jim Jones who, on November 18, 1978, instructed all members living in the Jonestown, Guyana compound to commit an act of “revolutionary suicide,” by drinking poisoned punch. Link )
For the real science, see these articles from my blog:
Weather in June, 2021, contained some record high temperatures in the western U.S. The alarmist media claims that these heatwaves must be due to global warming.
Many media reports show heat wave data beginning in 1960 and how it has been increasing since then. They ignore stronger heatwaves that occurred in the 1930s.
Record high temperatures occurred in the Pacific northwest. Meteorologist Chris Mass (professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington) predicted as few days before the event why this would happen:
A unique combination of factors will come together to make the unthinkable possible. Forget the “heat dome” explanations found in the Seattle Times and some media outlets, or those saying that the extreme heat can only be explained by global warming.
I will call the phenomenon a downslope heat surge on the western slopes of the Cascades.
A relative of the extreme heat associated with Santa Ana winds in southern California, but with a twist.
To get this amazing event, a series of ingredients had to occur at the same time and same place.
Ingredient One: An unusually strong area of high pressure aloft over our region (known as an upper-level ridge), associated with sinking air and unusually warm temperatures.
At the surface, this feature is associated with high pressure to the east of the Cascade crest, which tends to produce weak offshore (easterly) flow. Such easterly flow keeps the cooling influence of the Pacific Ocean away.
Why did we get this high amplitude ridge? It is associated with a highly amplified wave pattern in the eastern Pacific, which may have been caused by a tropical system interacting with the jet stream. This is the result of natural variability.
Ingredient Two: An Approaching Trough of Low Pressure That Creates Strong Easterly/Downslope Flow over the Western Slopes of the Cascades
The key to this situation is that there will be high pressure inland and an approaching area of low pressure (called a trough) that will approach our coast. Between these two features, a zone of very large pressure difference will be created, which will be associated with strong southeasterly flow.
Surface temperatures will get above 112F over and near the western slopes of the Cascades. Large portions of western Oregon and Washington away from the water will be above 104F. (Read full post)
Much of the Western U.S. is experiencing drought conditions. In Arizona, the usual summer rains went missing last year. It is predicted that the summer monsoon season will be closer to normal this year. Again, droughts are part of normal variation and have occurred in the past.
For more information on climate change and evidence that carbon dioxide emissions have nothing to do will global warming, see these posts:
This short note is from Jim Chilton, a southern Arizona rancher. His ranch is just south of Arivaca, in Pima County Arizona and his southern boundary is the Mexican border. Mr. Chilton has hidden cameras monitoring the trails on his ranch.
You may be interested in the following recent youtu.be showing undocumented border crossers traveling through our ranch between February 19 and June 6:
The camouflaged persons appear to cross around the east end of the new wall on our ranch (new wall construction was terminated everywhere including on our ranch January 20, 2021). One expert estimates that about 85% of these crossers pack drugs from Mexico into the United States.
Note that there appear to be no children or females on the trail or the road where our two hidden cameras are located. Furthermore, most of the backpacks appear to be the same and the men in single file are virtually all wearing identical camouflage clothing.
More articles from Jim Chilton:
A View from an Arizona Rancher:
by Jim Chilton, an Arizona Rancher and Chairman of Pima Natural Resource Conservation District
In my opinion, President Biden’s Executive Orders and policies will result in more federal regulations and actions impacting Pima Natural Resource Conservation District farmers, ranchers and other resource users. The following are three examples of President Biden’s anti-production initiatives:
The Biden 30 by 30 project advocates that 30% of the nation’s land be “protected” by 2030. Does the Biden policy mean additional government land purchases, new wilderness designations or just control of private and public property through forceful regulation by multiple government agencies? It is probable that all of the above will adversely affect production on private and federal land. Ranchers and farmers have traditionally been conservation leaders; however, there is a danger that the 30 by 30 environmental agenda will promote further moving the Nation, which was founded on private property principles, to an administrative state.
Expansion of the Endangered Species Act. Animal and plant endangered listings can adversely impact farmers’ and ranchers’ future productivity and sustainability. New species listings and the naming of critical habitat have in the past harmfully impacted farmers and ranchers on private, state and federal land. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s new listing process and changes in rules and regulations must be carefully monitored.
Rewriting the Navigable Waters Protection Rule to expand federal jurisdiction over land use will undeniably cause some farmers, ranchers, miners and other landowners a problem.
The current Navigable Waters Protection Rule recognizes that, in our area, a significant nexus with the navigable Colorado River does not exist. Very infrequent Altar Valley Wash and Santa Cruz River flood water spreads out and disappears in the flats south of Eloy approximately 68 miles distant from any possible confluence with the generally dry Gila River and about 150 miles more from the Colorado River.
In reality, Pima Natural Resource Conservation District lands do not have a “significant nexus with a navigable water.” An expansion of the Corps of Engineers’ and EPA’s current regulatory jurisdiction back to the 2015 Rule or beyond can result in limitless control over dry washes and an expansion of federal bureaucracy.
For more information from Jim Chilton see:
See more in the People for the West newsletter for July 2021
This post by my friend Barney Brenner suggests a solution to our education system. As Barney opines: “The Left is openly flaunting their grip on our kids and has changed education’s three Rs into racism, reparations and revolution.” Below are the first three paragraphs of the article followed by a link the the whole article.
There’s a window of opportunity and realization which is closing on America’s parents and their school-aged kids. For well over a year, families have had video glimpses of the drivel and anti-American evil being foisted in America’s government-run classrooms. They’ve also gotten a feel for what it takes to educate their children at home. But unless they make their move this summer to exercise their authority in deciding where, what and how their kids are taught, this unprecedented chance will likely be lost.
Despite many parents not believing that they can educate their own kids, those naysayers are not appreciating the fact that all parents are teachers by definition and necessity. Additionally, Proverbs tells us to train our children in the way they should go, and Deuteronomy says we should diligently teach our children. And that wasn’t just the simple ABCs, but the laws of Moses!
In truth, the biggest problem for most is money, both in the associated costs as well as the possible lost employment involved in staying home. But there’s a simple solution which can mitigate both drawbacks: state funding. There’s no good reason why parents, or even neighborhoods or other organizations, should not be paid well for taking over the government school mission.
Federal spending under President Biden is out of control. Read my previous article on what the Constitution allows: https://wryheat.wordpress.com/2017/12/04/stop-unconstitutional-federal-spending/
The People for the West newsletter for June, 2021, is now online:
Federal spending is going wild. Some say the “general welfare” clause of the Constitution allows such spending. Not so, much of the spending is not authorized by the Constitution.
In this issue we look at what the Constitution allows and provide links to see the specific language.
We also support nullification by states to enforce the Constitution. The 10th Amendment makes clear that all powers not granted by the Constitution to the federal government are reserved to the states and to the people.
We also examine the implications of Biden policies with regard to property rights and energy policy.
This post is an excerpt from an article by Anthony Watts. Read full article here.
“The National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) has been the keeper of U.S. wildfire data for decades, tracking both the number of wildfires and acreage burned all the way back to 1926. However, after making that entire dataset public for decades, now, in a blatant act of cherry picking, NIFC “disappeared” a portion of it, and only show data from 1983.”
“Why would they do this you ask? The answer is simple; data prior to 1983 shows that U.S. wildfires were far worse both in frequency and total acreage burned. By disappearing all data prior to 1983, which just happens to be the lowest point in the dataset, now all of the sudden we get a positive slope of worsening wildfire aligning with increased global temperature, which is perfect for claiming ‘climate change is making wildfire worse.’”
See also: Wildfires Not Related to Global Warming
Prickly pear cacti (genus Opuntia) range from southern Canada to southern South America, in habitats ranging from arid desert to tropical semiarid woodlands and high mountains. There are about 18 species in the Sonoran Desert region, some of which form hybrids. Native peoples recognize many more varieties. I have five (maybe six) varieties of prickly pear in my yard. The most common in the Tucson area is the Engelmann prickly pear. The first photo above shows the ripe fruit. The second shows the flowers which start out reddish and get yellow as they mature. All cactus fruit is edible.
According to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (ASDM), cacti of genus Opuntia, which includes chollas, are distinguished from other cacti by four characteristics. “First, the stems grow in distinctly jointed segments. The elongation of joints is permanently terminated by the onset of the dry season; subsequent growth of the plant occurs by the initiation of new joints by branching from the areoles. (Other cacti have indeterminate growth. A saguaro stem, for example, grows ever longer each growing season until the plant dies or the stem tip is damaged.) Second, whether or not they have regular spines, Opuntioid areoles bear glochids (usually small to minute, barbed spines that are very sharp and brittle, and very easily detached). Third, rudimentary leaves are present on new joints. Fourth, the seeds have a pale covering called an aril; most other cacti have shiny black seeds.”
Prickly pears are Western Hemisphere plants, but they are now found all over the world. “Sailors brought them back from the New World in the sixteenth century and they are found in Italy, India, Ceylon, South Africa and Australia. In all but Italy, the hope was to raise cochineal insects, but the insects died and the cactus escaped to become part of the landscape.” – ASDM
Cochineal insects, a source of red dye, grow, sometimes profusely, on prickly pear pads under white fuzzy webs, especially in August. See link below.
Spineless varieties of prickly pear were also tried as food for cattle. In South Africa, I saw many plantations on farms for that purpose.
Use as food:
Both the pads and fruit are eaten by pack rats, jackrabbits, javelina, insects, and humans. Note: the pads contain oxalic acid which can make humans sick. However, new spring pads contain much less oxalic acid so these pads were used for human consumption. Preparation may include boiling to leach out the acid. Many native American tribes used the pads as their green vegetable. The flesh is mucilaginous (like okra) and was used to thicken soups.
Fruit from any of the prickly pears can be eaten by humans. The fruit turns reddish-purple when ripe. (The ripe fruit is called “tuna”or “cactus fig”) Some preparation is required to remove the spines and glochids. Native Americans rolled the fruit in sand or other plant material. Cowboys used to put the fruit on a stick and burn off the glochids with a match or over a camp fire.
Generally people eat the flesh of the fruit and discard the seeds. The seeds are edible, but too many cause intestinal upsets. The seeds can be parched, dried, and ground into a flour. They don’t cause digestive upset that way. The juice of the fruit may be made into a syrup or jelly or used in pies and drinks.
Flower petals can be used to garnish salads.
Preparation techniques for both pads and fruit are shown here: http://www.wikihow.com/Eat-Prickly-Pear-Cactus and
According to WebMD: Prickly pear cactus is used to treat type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity, alcohol hangover, colitis, diarrhea, and benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). It is also used to fight viral infections. Prickly pear cactus contains fiber and pectin, which can lower blood glucose by decreasing the absorption of sugar in the stomach and intestine. Some researchers think that it might also decrease cholesterol levels, and kill viruses in the body.
According to DesertUSA, “Researchers are using the prickly pear juice, produced by Arizona Cactus Ranch in Southern Arizona, for their studies, because it is pure. Pascua Yaqui Tribe in Tucson Arizona uses Arizona Cactus Ranch Prickly Pear Nectar in their Alternative Medicine Diabetic Preventive Program since 1997. Prickly pear extract has also been shown to reduce the severity and occurrence of hangovers if taken in advance of drinking. Nausea, dry mouth, appetite loss, and alcohol-related inflammation were all reduced in test subjects who ingested prickly pear extract 5 hours prior to drinking. You can make your own tests and see if it works for you, which is the only test that really counts.”
The juice from the pads was also used topically to treat cuts, bruises, and inflammation of the skin.
The juice from prickly pears has long been used to strengthen adobe mortar. It was so used in the restoration of the San Xavier Mission in Tucson.
As mentioned above, there are many species and hybrids, so exact identification may be difficult. ASDM notes: “Numerous species of cholla and some prickly pears hybridize with one another. Hybrid populations are fairly common. Some of these hybrids may reproduce sexually; others are sexually sterile but can reproduce vegetatively. There are several such ‘clonal microspecies’ in the Tucson area alone, some of which are restricted to a patch of just a few acres. Most of the descriptions of these species are published only in scientific monographs and have not yet appeared in general plant lists and keys. So if you are frustrated with being unable to identify a cholla or prickly pear from a field guide, be assured that you’re not alone. No field guide can cover all the possible hybrids and ‘microspecies.’”