2015-09 September

People for the West -Tucson

PO Box 86868, Tucson, AZ 85754-6868 pfw-tucson@cox.net

Newsletter, September, 2015

The Toxic EPA

by Jonathan DuHamel

On August 5, 2015, EPA contractors dug into the portal of the Gold King mine near Silverton, Colorado and released more that 3 million gallons of toxic water that turned rivers yellow-orange. The mine sludge contained iron and toxic levels of mercury, arsenic, cadmium and lead, all of which drained into the Colorado River system upon which millions of people depend. The toxic plume traveled roughly 300 miles through Colorado, New Mexico and Utah, to Lake Powell on the Arizona-Utah border.

Did this accident happen through gross EPA incompetence or was it by design?

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had pushed for 25 years to grant Superfund status to the partly collapsed Gold King mine and other idled mines leaking heavy metals above the old mining town of Silverton, Colorado. That would have brought in major funds for a comprehensive cleanup. The EPA effort had always been rebuffed by local residents. So why not create a disaster that would require the flow of super-fund money?

Recently released EPA documents show that the EPA was aware of the possibility of a blowout, yet they took no preventative action. They also delayed informing downstream communities that their drinking water was in peril.

The suspicion of foul play arises from a letter published in The Silverton Standard & the Miner by retired geologist Dave Taylor one week before the disaster. Mr. Taylor, a resident of the area, predicted exactly what would happen based on his understanding of what the EPA was doing.

The EPA is still being reluctant to provide answers on how the spill happened. After reviewing what the EPA did release, Colorado’s Attorney General “remains frustrated with the EPA’s lack of answers.”

The EPA has dumped toxic waste before. According to a story from Colorado Watchdog.org:

In late 2005, the EPA collected 15,000 tons of sludge from two Leadville, Colorado mines and secretly dumped it down the shaft of the New Mikado mine, near Leadville, without notifying its owner, according to documents reviewed by Watchdog.

A drainage tunnel had been installed at the bottom of the mine shaft by the U.S. government in 1942, meaning that any snow or rain would leach toxins into the surrounding land.

The EPA is toxic in other ways also:

Report: EPA’s Global Warming Rule Could KILL Thousands Of People

by Michael Bastasch

The EPA claims its Clean Power Plan will end up saving lives from reducing air pollution, but a new report by a free market energy group warns the agency’s global warming rule will end up killing more than it saves.

“The EPA’s climate rule has no discernible impact on climate change and may cause thousands of premature deaths in the United States,” according to a recent report by the free market Institute for Energy Research (IER). “The EPA relies on faulty data to make exaggerated claims about the benefits of a rule that will cost Americans hundreds of billions of dollars and plunge millions of families into poverty.”

“The loss of disposable income due to higher energy bills will leave families with less money to spend on health care, prescriptions, and other essentials. Therefore, EPA should withdraw its expensive and harmful carbon regulation,” according to IER’s report. Read more

In addition:

The Obama administration has been claiming regulations put forward in its recently released Clean Power Plan will save thousands of lives from reduced levels of particulate matter and ozone.

There’s just one problem with that assertion: it’s not true, according to the chief toxicologist with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

“There’s just a whole host of things that are wrong with that [conclusion],” toxicologist Michael Honeycutt told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “We have no documentation of anyone being killed by ozone.” Read more

More “toxic” EPA actions are detailed in my WryHeat blog article: The EPA is destroying America. Here are some excerpts:

The war on coal

: New regulations regarding emissions of nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide, and ozone may greatly increase the cost of electricity, cause some power plants to close, and endanger our ability to produce adequate power.

Biofuels and invasive species

: The EPA protection of the environment apparently doesn’t apply in the realm of biofuels. The Heartland Institute reports that the EPA is proposing the introduction of two invasive grass species Arundo donax (giant reed) and Pennisetum purpureum (elephant grass), as advanced biofuel feedstock under the federal renewable fuel standard. Pennisetum purpureum is an African grass that thrives in warm climates, multiplies rapidly, and crowds out other vegetation. Arundo donax, native to India, is already a feared invasive plant well beyond the subcontinent. California, Colorado, Nevada, and Texas, classify Arundo donax as a noxious weed.

Burning food for fuel:

Ethanol mandates are essentially burning food for fuel. Even the New York Times has noticed some unintended consequences:

“Recent laws in the United States and Europe that mandate the increasing use of biofuel in cars have had far-flung ripple effects, economists say, as land once devoted to growing food for humans is now sometimes more profitably used for churning out vehicle fuel.”

Soot and Dust and illegal human testing:

Another EPA campaign is about fine particulate matter in the air, soot and dust, the so-called PM2.5 standard, which the EPA sets at 35 millionths of a gram (micrograms) in a 24-hour period. Most air in the U.S. averages about 10 micrograms. How does the EPA know? It conducted illegal human testing.

Since at least 2004 and up through the Obama administration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been secretly testing highly toxic/lethal air pollutants on unhealthy human study subjects for the sole purpose of finding out what harm would be caused by the exposures. In no case were the human study subjects fully informed of the dangers posed by the experimentation, nor were they intended to benefit from the experimentation. Read more

And then there are the new rules defining the EPA authority to manage bodies of water: (Ron Arnold opines) It seems incredible, but a single missing word could turn a water law into a government land grab so horrendous even a U.S. Supreme Court justice warned it would “put the property rights of every American entirely at the mercy of Environmental Protection Agency employees.”

The missing word is “navigable.” The Obama administration is proposing a rule titled “Definition of ‘Waters of the United States’ Under the Clean Water Act,” which would strike “navigable” from American water law and redefine any piece of land that is wet at least part of the year, no matter how remote or isolated it may be from truly navigable waters, as “waters of the United States,” or WOTUS. The proposed rule would provide EPA and the Corps of Engineers (as well as litigious environmental groups) with the power to dictate the land-use decisions of homeowners, small businesses and local communities throughout the United States. There would be virtually no limit to the federal government’s authority over private property.

Dr. Jay Lehr, science director of the Heartland Institute, proposes replacing the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with a “Committee of the Whole” whose members are made up of representatives from the 50 state environmental protection agencies. Read more

20 Quotes by Economist Milton Friedman

compiled by John Hawkins, TownHall

01) “I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing. Unless it is politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing, the right people will not do the right thing either, or if they try, they will shortly be out of office.”

02) “If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.”

03) “Indeed, a major source of objection to a free economy is precisely that it… gives people what they want instead of what a particular group thinks they ought to want. Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself.”

04) “There are four ways in which you can spend money. You can spend your own money on yourself. When you do that, why then you really watch out what you’re doing, and you try to get the most for your money. Then you can spend your own money on somebody else. For example, I buy a birthday present for someone. Well, then I’m not so careful about the content of the present, but I’m very careful about the cost. Then, I can spend somebody else’s money on myself. And if I spend somebody else’s money on myself, then I’m sure going to have a good lunch! Finally, I can spend somebody else’s money on somebody else. And if I spend somebody else’s money on somebody else, I’m not concerned about how much it is, and I’m not concerned about what I get. And that’s government. And that’s close to 40% of our national income.”

05) “Workers paying taxes today can derive no assurance from trust funds that they will receive benefits from when they retire. Any assurance derives solely from the willingness of future taxpayers to impose taxes on themselves to pay for benefits that present taxpayers are promising themselves. This one sided ‘compact between the generations,’ foisted on generations that cannot give their consent, is a very different thing from a ‘trust fund.’ It is more like a chain letter.”

06) “The great virtue of a free market system is that it does not care what color people are; it does not care what their religion is; it only cares whether they can produce something you want to buy. It is the most effective system we have discovered to enable people who hate one another to deal with one another and help one another.”

07)”We economists don’t know much, but we do know how to create a shortage. If you want to create a shortage of tomatoes, for example, just pass a law that retailers can’t sell tomatoes for more than two cents per pound. Instantly you’ll have a tomato shortage. It’s the same with oil or gas.”

08) “I want people to take thought about their condition and to recognize that the maintenance of a free society is a very difficult and complicated thing and it requires a self-denying ordinance of the most extreme kind. It requires a willingness to put up with temporary evils on the basis of the subtle and sophisticated understanding that if you step in to do something about them you not only may make them worse, you will spread your tentacles and get bad results elsewhere.”

09) “When the United States was formed in 1776, it took 19 people on the farm to produce enough food for 20 people. So most of the people had to spend their time and efforts on growing food. Today, it’s down to 1% or 2% to produce that food. Now just consider the vast amount of supposed unemployment that was produced by that. But there wasn’t really any unemployment produced. What happened was that people who had formerly been tied up working in agriculture were freed by technological developments and improvements to do something else. That enabled us to have a better standard of living and a more extensive range of products.”

10) “There is all the difference in the world, however, between two kinds of assistance through government that seem superficially similar: first, 90 percent of us agreeing to impose taxes on ourselves in order to help the bottom 10 percent, and second, 80 percent voting to impose taxes on the top 10 percent to help the bottom 10 percent – William Graham Sumner’s famous example of B and C decided what D shall do for A. The first may be wise or unwise, an effective or ineffective way to help the disadvantaged – but it is consistent with belief in both equality of opportunity and liberty. The second seeks equality of outcome and is entirely antithetical to liberty.”

11) “I am in favor of cutting taxes under any circumstances and for any excuse, for any reason, whenever it’s possible.”

12) “The supporters of tariffs treat it as self-evident that the creation of jobs is a desirable end, in and of itself, regardless of what the persons employed do. That is clearly wrong. If all we want are jobs, we can create any number – for example, have people dig holes and then fill them up again, or perform other useless tasks. Work is sometimes its own reward. Mostly, however, it is the price we pay to get the things we want. Our real objective is not just jobs but productive jobs – jobs that will mean more goods and services to consume.”

13) “Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program.”

14) “Two major arguments are offered for introducing socialized medicine in the United States: first, that medical costs are beyond the means of most Americans; second that socialization will somehow reduce costs. The second can be dismissed out of hand — at least until someone can find some example of an activity that is conducted more economically by the government than private enterprise. As to the first, the people of the country must pay the costs one way or the other; the only question is whether they pay them directly on their own behalf, or indirectly through the mediation of government bureaucrats who will subtract a substantial slice for their own salaries and expenses.”

15) “The great danger to the consumer is the monopoly – whether private or governmental. His most effective protection is free competition at home and free trade throughout the world. The consumer is protected from being exploited by one seller by the existence of another seller from whom he can buy and who is eager to sell to him. Alternative sources of supply protect the consumer far more effectively than all the Ralph Naders of the world.”

16) “When everybody owns something, nobody owns it, and nobody has a direct interest in maintaining or improving its condition. That is why buildings in the Soviet Union – like public housing in the United States – look decrepit within a year or two of their construction…”

17) “So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear. That there is no alternative way, so far discovered, of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system.”

18) “It is one thing to have free immigration to jobs. It is another thing to have free immigration to welfare. And you cannot have both. If you have a welfare state, if you have a state in which every resident is promised a certain minimal level of income, or a minimum level of subsistence, regardless of whether he works or not, produces it or not. Then it really is an impossible thing.”

19) “Because we live in a largely free society, we tend to forget how limited is the span of time and the part of the globe for which there has ever been anything like political freedom: the typical state of mankind is tyranny, servitude, and misery. The nineteenth century and early twentieth century in the Western world stand out as striking exceptions to the general trend of historical development. Political freedom in this instance clearly came along with the free market and the development of capitalist institutions. So also did political freedom in the golden age of Greece and in the early days of the Roman era.”

20) “A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.”

And a thought from Thomas Sowell:

“The endlessly repeated argument that most Americans are the descendants of immigrants ignores the fact that most Americans are NOT the descendants of ILLEGAL immigrants. Millions of immigrants from Europe had to stop at Ellis Island, and had to meet medical and other criteria before being allowed to go any further.”

CLIMATE AND CLIMATISM

Apple and Google Pour Billions Down a Green Drain

by Steve Goreham

Business has been captured by Climatism, the belief that humans are causing dangerous global warming. Leading businesses announce plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, purchase renewable energy, use vehicle biofuels, and buy carbon credits. But there is no evidence that commercial policies to “fight” climate change have any measureable effect on global temperatures.

Apple and Google, the darling companies of the millennial generation, have spent billions trying to halt global warming. Apple has brought us the Mac personal computer, the I-Phone, the I-Pad, and other trend-setting electronic devices, becoming the world’s highest-valued company. Google has been called the most innovative technology company in the world, delivering the Google search engine that revolutionized use of the internet, Google Books, Google Maps, and now developing a self-driving car. But both of these leading companies have swallowed the misguided theory of human-caused climate change, hook, line, and sinker. Read more

Man-made Climate Change ‘Not about Science’ Admits Naomi Klein

Written by PSI Staff

Papal Advisor Naomi Klein admits in her much-publicized screed that ‘Global Warming’ is all about anti-capitalism – being nothing to do with science.

Klein admits progressive policies on the environment are really about what Marx and Lenin said the communist revolution desired 100 years ago — the overthrow of capitalism. This is not about science, or health, at all. “Our economic model is at war with the Earth,” writes Klein. “We cannot change the laws of nature. But we can change our economy. Climate change is our best chance to demand and build a better world.” Read more

Global Warming: a $1.5 Trillion Industry

The Climate Change Business Journal has calculated that global warming is now a $1.5 trillion a year industry. The Business Journal’s report is not available for free online, but its findings are reviewed by the Insurance Journal. They are eye-opening, to say the least.

One of the most lucrative segments of the global warming money tree is consulting:

That also includes the climate change consulting market, which a recent report by the journal estimates at $1.9 billion worldwide and $890 million in the U.S.

Included in this sub-segment, which the report shows is one of the fastest growing areas of the climate change industry, are environmental consultants and engineers, risk managers, assurance, as well as legal and other professional services.

What is striking about the global warming industry is that its growth is driven more or less entirely by “policymaking,” i.e., government mandates and other policies. This is why “green” businesses contribute so lavishly to the political campaigns of politicians who drink the global warming Kool-aid.

$1.5 trillion a year will buy a whole lot of scientists, not just in the United States but around the world. With that kind of money at stake, it is little wonder that global warming hysterics would rather “adjust” past temperature data than admit that their models are wrong, and have no skill at predicting future climate. Read full article

Deceptive Temperature Record Claims

by Tom Harris

NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced this week that according to their calculations, July 2015 was the hottest month since instrumental records began in 1880. NOAA says that the record was set by eight one-hundredths of a degree Celsius over that set in July 1998. NASA calculates that July 2015 beat what they assert was the previous warmest month (July 2011) by two one-hundredths of a degree.

But government spokespeople rarely mention the inconvenient fact that these records are being set by less than the uncertainty in the statistics. NOAA claims an uncertainty of 14 one-hundredths of a degree in its temperature averages, or near twice the amount by which they say the record was set. NASA says that their data is typically accurate to one tenth of a degree, five times the amount by which their new record was set. So, the new temperature records are meaningless. Neither agency knows whether a record was set. Read more

New Study: Majority Of Climate Scientists Don’t Agree With ‘Consensus’

by Donna Rachel Edmunds, Breitbart London

Nearly six in ten climate scientists don’t adhere to the so-called “consensus” on man-made climate change, a new study by the Dutch government has found. The results contradict the oft-cited claim that there is a 97 percent consensus amongst climate scientists that humans are responsible for global warming.

The study, by the PBL Netherlands Environment Assessment Agency, a government body, invited 6550 scientists working in climate related fields, including climate physics, climate impact, and mitigation, to take part in a survey on their views of climate science.

Of the 1868 who responded, just 43 percent agreed with the IPCC that “It is extremely likely {95%+ certainty} that more than half of [global warming] from 1951 to 2010 was caused by [human activity]”. Even with the “don’t knows” removed that figure increases only to 47 percent, still leaving a majority of climate scientists who do not subscribe to the IPCC’s statement.

The findings directly contradict the claim that 97 percent of climate scientists endorse the view that humans are responsible for global warming, as first made by Cook et al in a paper published in Environment Research Letters. Read full article Read study

We Have a ‘Moral Imperative’ to Burn Fossil Fuels

By Barbara Hollingsworth

We have a “moral imperative” to burn carbon dioxide-emitting fossil fuels because the energy they provide is a “liberator” of humanity, says Dr. John Christy, a climatologist and director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama, Huntsville.

“We are not morally bad people for taking carbon and turning it into the energy that offers life to humanity in a world that would otherwise be brutal,” Christy wrote in a recent oped. “On the contrary, we are good people for doing so.”

He also challenged what he says are contradictions in Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si, in which the pontiff called climate change “one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.”

The pope’s encyclical “displays a lack of understanding of how the real world works,” Christy told CNSNews.com. According to microwave data from satellites going back to 1978, which are precise to within .08 of a degree, “very little warming is taking place,” he pointed out.

Pointing out that it was “warmer 4,000 to 5,000 years ago than it is today,” Christy said that the computer models cited by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicted global warming that is “three times” what the satellite data shows is the Earth’s actual temperature. “It demonstrates we do not know how to model the climate system, in my view,” Christy said. Read more

Another Climate Alarmist Buys Another Coal Company

by Steve Milloy, Breitbart news

It’s a good thing I finally went public last week with my long-held view that Democrat investors were going to snap up coal companies driven to bankruptcy by Obama’s war on coal.

The day after I made my prediction, news came that leftist billionaire George Soros had purchased shares of the two largest U.S. coal companies, Peabody Energy and Arch Coal. Now comes news that bankrupt Patriot Coal is being purchased in a $400 million deal led by Tom Clarke, a prominent Virginia-based environmentalist.

But Clarke’s purchase of Patriot brings a new, and likely fraudulent, twist to what I called “Obama’s Great Coal Train Robbery.”

My original article forecast that the new kings of coal would try to rehabilitate coal so they could profit from it with a straight face after having for years bashed the essential commodity as a people- and planet-murderer.

So Clarke plans to do this, no kidding, by planting trees. Clarke will sell his coal at a 10 percent premium. And why would any cash-strapped utility pay 10 percent more for Clarke’s coal? The coal will come with a carbon credit certificate (also called a “carbon offset”) worth 30 percent of the coal’s emissions.

This 30 percent figure, conveniently, is about how much carbon dioxide the average utility has to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions under Obama’s Clean Power Plan. What a scam. Read more

The recurrent problem of green scares that don’t live up to the hype

By Matt Ridley

Making dire predictions is what environmental groups do for a living, and it’s a competitive market, so they exaggerate. Virtually every environmental threat of the past few decades has been greatly exaggerated. Pesticides were not causing a cancer epidemic, as Rachel Carson claimed in her 1962 book “Silent Spring”; acid rain was not devastating German forests, as the Green Party in that country said in the 1980s; the ozone hole was not making rabbits and salmon blind, as Al Gore warned in the 1990s. Yet taking precautionary action against pesticides, acid rain and ozone thinning proved manageable, so maybe not much harm was done.

Climate change is different. President Obama’s plan to cut U.S. carbon-dioxide emissions from electricity plants by 32% (from 2005 levels) by 2030 would cut global emissions by about 2%. By that time, according to Energy Information Administration data analyzed by Heritage Foundation statistician Kevin Dayaratna, the carbon plan could cost the U.S. up to $1 trillion in lost GDP. The measures needed to decarbonize world energy are going to be vastly more expensive. So we had better be sure that we are not exaggerating the problem.

But it isn’t just that environmental threats have a habit of turning out less bad than feared; it’s that the remedies sometimes prove worse than the disease.

In short, the environmental movement has repeatedly denied people access to safer technologies and forced them to rely on dirtier, riskier or more harmful ones. It is adept at exploiting people’s suspicion of anything new. Read more

Obama Administration Spends Millions to Study Climate Change….INDOORS

Dan Joseph

The Obama Administration has awarded $8 Million in government grants to nine universities to study the impact that climate change has on indoor air quality. The EPA defends the move by claiming that climate change’s effects on indoor air pollutants that lead to asthma, as well as mold and mildew, aren’t well understood. However, as with everything negative that occurs in the world, the Obama Administration is assuming that global warming probably has something to do with it.

“Learning how air quality, climate, and energy interact in an indoor environment will help us design buildings that better protect people’s health,” explained EPA administrator, Curt Spalding.

So, in addition to the increase in the personal energy bills of Americans that will come as a result of the Obama Administration’s new emissions regulations, this study could potentially lead to new regulations forcing buildings to upgrade in order to meet further regulations. Source

Related: Asthma Justification for EPA Regulations Gutted by the Latest Science

Why the Federal Government Fails

By Chris Edwards, CATO Policy Report 777

Most Americans think that the federal government is incompetent and wasteful. Their negative view is not surprising given the steady stream of scandals emanating from Washington. Scholarly studies support the idea that many federal activities are misguided and harmful. A recent book on federal performance by Yale University law professor Peter Schuck concluded that failure is “endemic.” What causes all the failures?

First, federal policies rely on top-down planning and coercion. That tends to create winners and losers, which is unlike the mutually beneficial relationships of markets. It also means that federal policies are based on guesswork because there is no price system to guide decision making. A further problem is that failed policies are not weeded out because they are funded by taxes, which are compulsory and not contingent on performance. Second, the government lacks knowledge about our complex society. That ignorance is behind many unintended and harmful side effects of federal policies. While markets gather knowledge from the bottom up and are rooted in individual preferences, the government’s actions destroy knowledge and squelch diversity.

Third, legislators often act counter to the general public interest. They use debt, an opaque tax system, and other techniques to hide the full costs of programs. Furthermore, they use logrolling to pass harmful policies that do not have broad public support.

Fourth, civil servants act within a bureaucratic system that rewards inertia, not the creation of value. Various reforms over the decades have tried to fix the bureaucracy, but the incentives that generate poor performance are deeply entrenched in the executive branch.

Fifth, the federal government has grown enormous in size and scope. Each increment of spending has produced less value but rising taxpayer costs. Failure has increased as legislators have become overloaded by the vast array of programs they have created. Today’s federal budget is 100 times larger than the average state budget, and it is far too large to adequately oversee. Management reforms and changes to budget rules might reduce some types of failure. But the only way to create a major improvement in performance is to cut the overall size of the federal government. Read full report

“The true theory of our Constitution is surely the wisest and best, that the states are independent as to everything within themselves, and united as to everything respecting foreign nations. Let the general government be reduced to foreign concerns only, and let our affairs be disentangled from those of all other nations, except as to commerce, which the merchants will manage the better the more they are left free to manage for themselves, and our general government may be reduced to a very simple organization, and a very inexpensive one — a few plain duties to be performed by a few servants.” —Thomas Jefferson, letter to Gideon Granger, 1800

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Visit Jonathan’s Wryheat Blog:

https://wryheat.wordpress.com/

Recent past newsletters can be viewed online:

https://wryheat.wordpress.com/people-for-the-west/

The Constitution is the real contract with America.

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People for the West – Tucson, Inc.

PO Box 86868

Tucson, AZ 85754-6868

pfw-tucson@cox.net

Jonathan DuHamel, President & Editor

Dr. John Forrester, Vice President

Lonni Lees, Associate Editor

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