People for the West -Tucson
PO Box 86868, Tucson, AZ 85754-6868 firstname.lastname@example.org
Newsletter, May, 2015
“Sustainability” = Eco-Marxism
“Sustainability” is a new religion infesting college campuses and government. Peter Wood and Rachelle Peterson of the National Association of Scholars has a long study (262 pages) detailing this infestation and brainwashing in academia.
“Sustainability pretty much occupies the space that Marxism held on campus from the 1960s to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Like Marxism, sustainability is a secular faith; like Marxism it has the aura of intellectual sophistication — not everyone can understand its paradoxes and recondite principles; like Marxism it disdains the marketplace and looks down on “consumerism” as diverting humanity from better ends; like Marxism, sustainability praises “democracy” in a superficial manner but puts its real stock in rule by a privileged elite. Think of Al Gore in his mansions, and the international jet set of Climate Change savants. Like Marxism, sustainability prefers revolution to reform, but is willing to take half-steps. Like Marxism, sustainability seeks to re-architect human nature, finding human beings as they are unworthy of the kingdom it will build. Like Marxism, sustainability is a vision of history in which a decisive inflection point lies just ahead of us, and we the living have the opportunity to get on “the right side of history” if we are smart enough to listen to the movement’s prophets. Like Marxism, sustainability pictures itself a global movement, transcending the boundaries — and the laws — of nations.”
“Today, there are 1,438 college and university programs on sustainability around the world — but 89 percent of them are in the U.S. and there is at least one in every state. Our college curricula are saturated with the subject. Yale alone offers more than 400 courses it designates as sustainability courses. Yale is Yale, but tiny Middlebury College also offers more than 400 sustainability courses. Cornell offers 290. These aren’t courses in one department. They sprawl across the curriculum. At Yale 36 of the 145 academic departments offer sustainability courses. At Middlebury it is 37 of 51. At Cornell 54 of 79 departments offer sustainability courses.”
And sustainability is expensive:
Wood and Peterson write in the full report:
“American colleges and universities currently spend more than $3.4 billion per year pursuing their dreams of “sustainability” at a time when college tuitions are soaring and 7.5 percent of recent college graduates are unemployed and another 46 percent underemployed. In addition to the direct costs of the movement, we examine the growing demands by sustainability advocates that colleges and universities divest their holdings in carbon-based energy companies without regard to forgone income or growth in their endowments.”
Sustainability is intimately connected to the global warming hoax, hence the move to get universities to divest their holds in fossil fuel companies. It is also connected to the push for more alternative energy, which is, in reality, unsustainable because of its expense, extensive land use, and unreliability.
In some circles, fossil fuels are the route of all evils. The folks at CO2Science.org have a good editorial “In Defense of Fossil Fuels” shows that fossil fuels make our civilization possible and truly sustainable. Here is their article:
A recent public letter, “
To the Museums of Science and Natural History,” demands that museums in the United States accept no charitable donations from companies involved with fossil fuels. The idea that the world can or should abandon fossil fuels is deeply wrong-headed, not just from a scientific perspective, but also from a humanitarian perspective.
For thousands of years only a small fraction of mankind lived well while the rest faced poverty, filth, hunger and disease. That has all changed over the past century and a half, thanks to the use of fossil fuels. The benefits of low-cost and abundant energy from fossil fuels have permitted a standard of living for most of society that exceeds the wildest dreams of past elites. Today China, India and other developing countries are lifting hundreds of millions of people out of deprivation by the greater use of fossil fuels. Despite these clear benefits, a movement has emerged that demonizes fossil fuels and anyone who questions the dogma that a near-term climate catastrophe is upon us. The letter is a good example of the movement’s tactics.
Nearly everyone today is instinctively an environmentalist. Most recognize that fossil fuels must be extracted responsibly, minimizing environmental damage from mining and drilling operations, and with due consideration of costs and benefits. Similarly, fossil fuels must be used responsibly, deploying technologies that minimize emissions of real pollutants such as fly ash, carbon monoxide, oxides of sulfur and nitrogen, heavy metals, and volatile organic compounds. If fully cleansed of such real pollutants, the exhaust from fossil-fuel combustion contains very nearly the same components, and in comparable proportions to those of a baby’s breath: a little oxygen, nitrogen, water vapor (H20) and carbon dioxide (CO2). So far the movement has not declared water vapor to be a pollutant, but for several decades it has mounted a vigorous, extensive and expensive propaganda campaign to demonize CO2.
Atmospheric CO2 is beneficial and it is not a pollutant. It is, in fact, the most important food for life on Earth. Without CO2 in the atmosphere our planet would be as dead as Mars. At current CO2 levels of about 400 parts per million, the Earth remains in a CO2 famine compared to levels of 1000 parts per million and higher that have prevailed since the Cambrian period, some 550 million years ago. The world has already shown noticeable “greening” because plants are growing better and more extensively due to the modest increases of atmospheric CO2 seen over the past century.
However, the movement has promoted a multitude of scary scenarios associated with CO2, none of which have come to pass. Why doesn’t the letter contain the earlier favored phrase, “global warming?” Most likely because precise satellite measurements have shown there has been no global warming of Earth’s atmosphere for nearly 20 years, in stark contrast to the alarming predictions of the movement and deeply flawed computer models, most of which do not predict catastrophe anyway.
Instead of arguments based on science and facts, the movement labels any who question their dogma as “deniers,” funded, according to the letter, by “climate-change-denying organizations spending over $67 million since 1997 to fund groups denying climate change science.” The hypocrisy is breathtaking. Orders of magnitude more funding has been given by governments and foundations to organizations and individuals charged with “scientifically” proving the alleged evils of CO2 and inventing ways to cope with it. In 2011 alone, ten large foundations donated $577 million to environmental causes, nearly ten times more than the total funding since 1997 to the so-called “deniers.” And that does not count tens of billions of dollars from the government and other foundations. Apparently the movement’s scientific case is so weak that they feel threatened by any research that does not support their doctrine.
We applaud support for informative studies of the climate, for example, ocean monitoring programs, satellite instruments, or meteorological networks with high-quality data archives. This work needs no defense from scientific challenges, regardless of the source of funding. The honest scientists responsible for much of this excellent work cannot be blamed for the excesses of the anti-fossil fuel movement. But the signers of the letter include some of the biggest feeders at the climate trough, who benefit from millions of dollars of funding every year for research empires, which, in many cases, stoke a propaganda mill instead of producing real science. In the interests of transparency and intellectual integrity, the signatories of the “To the Museums” letter should have each revealed their annual and cumulative climate funding.
The criterion for valid science has been succinctly stated by physics Nobel Laureate, Richard Feynman: “If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn’t make a difference how beautiful your guess is, it doesn’t make a difference how smart you are, who made the guess or what his name is, if it disagrees with experiment it’s wrong.” Experiments-observations-do not support the movement’s alarming scenarios.
We, the undersigned, urge museum managements to reject the exceptionally bad and misguided advice in the letter. Abandoning fossil fuels, aside from the economic impossibility of that proposition, would not help the environment but would likely harm it, and would be profoundly anti-human and immoral. Without the benefits of low-cost and abundant energy from fossil fuels, much of the world’s poor today and in the future would be condemned to continued poverty, ignorance and exploitation.
Click here to view a pdf file of the signatories of this letter.
Many eco-fads and crony capitalism are perpetrated in the name of sustainability. Here is a local Tucson example: conservation of water. I wrote this article for the Arizona Daily Independent:
How is the Tucson Water Conservation Fund Money Spent?
By Jonathan DuHamel
If you are a Tucson Water customer, you may have noticed an item on the back page of your water bill listed as: “CONSRV FEE $.07/CCF.” This means you are contributing seven cents per cubic foot of water used to a conservation fund. That may not sound like much, but according to an article by Tim Steller, that added up to $2.95 million last year. By the way, this “contribution” to the conservation fund will rise to eight cents per CCF on July 15.
So, how is that money being used? The answer to that question is the objective of a Freedom of Information (FOIA) request filed last January by Mark Lewis, one of five members of the City’s Conservation and Education Subcommittee of the Citizens Water Advisory Committee.
Tucson Water has to date refused to provide the information requested by Mr. Lewis. According to Mr. Lewis, the information requested is “to gather the documentation and information necessary to ensure the funds collected from Tucson Water customers under the Conservation Fee program has been properly accounted for, audited, and expensed.” Mr. Lewis has expressed concern, in his role as an appointed advocate for the Rate Payers of Tucson Water, that the millions of dollars which have been spent through this fund have not been properly tracked or audited and that more recent uses of this fund are not consistent with the purpose of the fund: conserving water.
One conservation program promoted by Tucson Water is the replacement of old toilets with new low-flow models. Tucson Water will give you a $75 rebate toward the cost. According to Steller’s article, “water-wasting toilets remain in around 150,000 Tucson homes, and the program to replace them saved almost 11 million gallons in the first eight months of this fiscal year alone.” Mr. Lewis supports this program, but points out that the small rebate may be insufficient, especially for older homes which may have complicated plumbing issues that would make replacement more expensive.
Another conservation program is rainwater harvesting. Tucson Water will provide a rebate of up to $2000 for installing a system. Steller points out that “those rebates have mostly benefitted wealthier residents and so far have resulted in no measurable reduction in water use.” Mr. Lewis notes that the $900,000 in rain water rebates to date saved no water, but had the same money been spent on wasteful toilets it would have saved 173 million gallons of water to date.
You can read about the program in a brochure provided by Tucson Water here.
In that brochure, Tucson Water claims that “45% of the water we use goes to outdoor irrigation.” That number surprises me; I wonder if it is true. The brochure also notes that in order to qualify for the rebate, you have to take a free class. And here is where it gets interesting.
The qualifying class is run by Watershed Management Group, a consulting firm that, for a fee, will design a rainwater harvesting system for you. Three board members of Watershed Management Group, Catlow Shipek, Mark Murphy, and Amy McCoy, comprise three of the five members of the City’s Conservation and Education Subcommittee of the Citizens Water Advisory Committee. The classes are also given by a company that sells rain gutters according to Mr. Lewis. This situation has the appearance of crony capitalism and conflict of interest.
There is another scheme afoot. Tucson City Councilwoman Regina Romero has proposed that $300,000 be used to provide interest free loans to low-income residents so they can plant trees and have them watered by rainwater harvesting systems. Romero is concerned about the “unequal distribution of tree canopy in Tucson…” and its effect on the Urban Heat Island Effect (cities are warmer than surrounding countryside because all the asphalt and concrete absorb heat which makes nighttime cooling much slower). I see two potential problems with this scheme. First, we would have to cover a large part of the city with trees to have any significant effect. Second, all those trees will transpire water, losing moisture to the atmosphere rather than conserving water for reuse.
Given the information above, do you think your forced subsidy is being well-spent? END.
In a follow-up article for the Arizona Daily Independent, I suggest a program that might actually save water:
Could storm water runoff be used to recharge our aquifers?
By Jonathan DuHamel
In a previous article, How is the Tucson Water Conservation Fund Money Spent?, I noted that Tucson Water customers are being charged a “conservation fee” that is apparently being poorly spent on actual water conservation.
One of the eco-fads promoted by the program is rainwater harvesting at residences. So far, that program has resulted in no measurable reduction in water use. But perhaps, if that idea was used on a larger scale, it could help recharge our aquifers. Why don’t we collect storm-water runoff from city streets and in ephemeral flows in the Santa Cruz River and pump that water back into the aquifers via dry wells?
That idea is discussed by Chuck Graf, Senior Hydrologist, Arizona Department of
Environmental Quality in a short article in the Spring Issue of Arizona Water Resource Newsletter (link to article).
This idea is not new. Phoenix began recharging storm-water in the 1930s and now has more than 50,000 wells in operation. Many other communities also use this recharge method. Why not in Tucson and Pima County?
The practice of dry well recharge in Phoenix went largely unregulated until 1987 when legislature directed the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) to license dry well installers and establish a registration program for existing and newly constructed dry wells. The law expressly limited the use of dry wells to the disposal of storm water. This limitation was intended to prevent disposal of hazardous chemicals into dry wells, which in the past had caused severe groundwater contamination plumes (some of which are still under remediation).
Graf explains the dry well method as follows:
“The dry well borehole is drilled in alluvial sediments, through any intervening fine-grained and cemented zones, into a permeable layer of clay-free sand, gravel, and cobbles. The permeable layer serves as the injection zone for the storm water. ADEQ requires at least 10 feet of separation between the bottom of the injection zone and the water table. Because groundwater commonly occurs at great depth in Arizona’s alluvial basins, installers often have considerable leeway to find an exceptionally permeable zone above the water table that maximizes dry well performance while maintaining a much greater separation distance than the 10-foot minimum.”
Graf goes on to write:
“Potential adverse groundwater quality impact is the biggest concern about dry wells. Although the definitive water quality study probably remains to be done, a number of studies, including a 10-year study in Los Angeles conducted by the Bureau of Reclamation and others, found little evidence for groundwater contamination. A 1985 study in Phoenix found that dry wells had a beneficial effect on groundwater quality with respect to major chemical constituents”
This idea should be considered. Perhaps then, our involuntary contribution to the “Conservation Fund” would actually conserve some water.
More smoke and mirrors sustainability:
The Clean Power Plan Is No Climate Fix
By Robert Bryce, National Review
Obama’s signature climate effort won’t prevent climate change. It will only raise electricity costs without reducing the growth of global carbon dioxide emissions.
The Clean Power Plan aims to cut annual carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation by about 730 million tons by 2030. If the plan is implemented and the reduction goal is met, it will be a mere drop in the global carbon dioxide-emissions bucket. In 2013 alone, global emissions rose by 630 million tons. Thus, in just 12 months, global CO2 emissions rose by nearly 90 percent of the reductions being proposed by the EPA over 15 years. Or consider China, which now consumes half of the world’s coal. Between 2009 and 2013, China’s carbon dioxide emissions jumped by 2.3 billion tons. Thus, in one four-year period, China’s emissions increased by more than three times the amount the EPA wants to cut by 2030.
Furthermore, even if the U.S. implements the Clean Power Plan, the expected emissions reductions won’t “save the climate,” whatever that dubious phrase might mean. That was shown last November by two analysts at the libertarian Cato Institute, Paul Knappenberger and Patrick Michaels. Using a climate model known as MAGICC (the development of which was supported by the EPA), Knappenberger and Michaels showed that the Clean Power Plan’s expected cuts in emissions would reduce global temperatures by about 0.02 degrees Celsius by 2100. Read more
Mining and Medicine
by Dr. Mary Poulton, Ph.D.
UA Lowell Institute for Mineral Resources
While we often make the case for the importance of mining by holding up our cell phones or talking about cars or energy, there are other great examples of why we need mining for modern medicine.
– if you have colorful frames they are made from a material called Zyl, short for zylonite, a cellulose acetate. To make it you need either a rhodium, ruthenium, or iridium catalyst. If you have metal frames they are likely a steel-chromium alloy, titanium beryllium, or aluminum. Your lenses are polycarbonate which is made by combining BPA and phosgene. That reaction requires sodium hydroxide which requires salt.
If you had LASIK surgery instead of wearing glasses, an excimer laser was used. These are gas powered lasers at UV wavelengths that are combinations of ArF, KrCl, XeCl, or XeF gasses.
– hearing aids have wires, microphones, transmitters, circuit boards, batteries. The circuit board uses Au and Ag, the batteries use Zn or Hg, the microphones need rare earth magnets, the wires are usually copper.
– first to kill the pain in a bad tooth you need zinc oxide eugenol, the eugenol is oil of cloves. You have zinc oxide cement in your crown. The amalgam in your filling is mercury, silver, tin zinc, copper alloy. Or you could just use gold.
– often built on a stainless steel platform which has been problematic. A nickel-titanium alloy called Nitrinol is better but very hard to manufacture.
– titanium, cobalt-chrome are commonly used. New materials include tantalum and Oxinium oxidized zirconium which is used in knees since 2001; it is an alloy of zirconium and niobium. This material lasts a lot longer and patients have fewer allergic reactions to it. The joints are coated with a hydroxyapatite cement to promote bone growth. Screws, plates, rods – usually titanium, not bioreactive and don’t interfere with MRI machines.
Got a kidney or gallstone?
Then you need a Solid state laser that uses neodymium, yterbium, holmium-ytterbium H-YAG. Also used to resurface artificial joints, remove rot from teeth, and vaporize cancer tumors.
For prosthetic limbs
, important material considerations are for the socket interface with the human limb, the structural integrity/flexibility of the pylon which is the internal frame of the prosthetic, the suspension system which attaches the prosthetic to the body, and the electronics that may control the function and adaptability of the prosthetic, called myoelectric limbs are becoming more refined.
Titanium, aluminum, and now carbon fiber, particularly for feet, have replaced steel to make the limbs lighter and easier to control.
The socket is fabricated from synthetic plastic laminates reinforced with fiber textiles such as Dacron or Kevlar. Carbon fiber is used in prosthetic feet. Pressure sensors are being installed in the feet to give the wearer feedback. Knees are computer controlled to learn the wearers gait and to adjust to sitting, standing, climbing functions. Knees are extremely complicated to duplicate. Nerves in muscles are being rewired to allow control of fingers, hands, arms. Some legs are now fitted with Bluetooth technology so the legs can communicate with each other to adjust stride and other parameters
How about an MRI
to figure out what’s wrong? The primary functioning parts of an MRI system include an external magnet, gradient coils, RF equipment, and a computer.
Other components include an RF shield, a power supply, NMR probe, display unit, and a refrigeration unit.
Superconducting magnets are ring magnets, made out of a niobium titanium alloy in a copper matrix, which are super-cooled with liquid helium and liquid nitrogen. There are typically three sets of gradient coils. Each coil is made by winding thin strips of copper or aluminum in a specific pattern. The contrast agent they use is gadolinium which is a rare earth.
For more information on how we use mined products every day, see these info-graphics from the National Mining Association. They are posted on my Wryheat blog:
Minerals vital to modern life – a short video
Testimony of Dr. Judith Curry to The House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology Hearing on the President’s UN Climate Pledge
The central issue in the scientific debate on climate change is the extent to which the recent (and future) warming is caused by human-caused greenhouse gas emissions versus natural climate variability that are caused by variations from the sun, volcanic eruptions, and large-scale ocean circulations.
Recent data and research supports the importance of natural climate variability and calls into question the conclusion that humans are the dominant cause of recent climate change. This includes:
The slow down in global warming since 1998;
Reduced estimates of the sensitivity of climate to carbon dioxide;
Climate models that are predicting much more warming than has been observed so far in the 21st century.
While there are substantial uncertainties in our understanding of climate change, it is clear that humans are influencing climate in the direction of warming. However this simple truth is essentially meaningless in itself in terms of alarm, and does not mandate a particular policy response.
We have made some questionable choices in defining the problem of climate change and its solution:
The definition of ‘dangerous’ climate change is ambiguous, and hypothesized catastrophic tipping points are regarded as very or extremely unlikely in the 21st century.
Efforts to link dangerous impacts of extreme weather events to human-caused warming are misleading and unsupported by evidence.
Climate change is a ‘wicked problem’ and ill-suited to a ‘command and control’ solution.
It has been estimated that the U.S. national commitments to the UN to reduce emissions by 28% will prevent three hundredths of a degree centigrade in warming by 2100.
The inadequacies of current policies based on emissions reduction are leaving the real societal consequences of climate change and extreme weather events largely unaddressed, whether caused by humans or natural variability.
We need to push the reset button in our deliberations about how we should respond to climate change. Read more
Open Letter to U.S. Senators Ted Cruz, James Inhofe and Marco Rubio
from Bob Tisdale
In this letter, Tisdale asks some questions, they are:
Why are taxpayers funding climate model-based research when those models are not simulating Earth’s climate?
Why are taxpayers funding climate model-based research when each new generation of climate models provides the same basic answers?
Why aren’t climate models providing the answers we need? Example: Why didn’t the consensus of regional climate models predict the timing, extent and duration of the Californian drought?
In concluding remarks, Tisdale says:
“Under the direction of the IPCC and the political agencies that fund it, climate science has only focused on supporting international treaties to limit emissions of anthropogenic greenhouse gases. Climate modeling has been constrained by that focus, leaving us with models that have no relationship to the world in which we live. It is time to change that focus to enable climate modeling groups to study the true contribution of natural variability to global warming and climate change without fear of losing their funding. If we are going to be able to adapt to climate change, regardless of whether it is manmade or natural, the climate science community needs a much better grasp of how climate on Earth actually works, not how it works in models.” Read more
Flashback 1971: Scientists Predict Burning Coal Will Cause The Next Ice Age
by Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller
The world is on the verge of another ice age. Well, at least that’s what scientists told us in the 1970s: burning fossil fuels like coal would cause the world to plunge into another ice age in the 21st Century.
“The world could be as little as 50 or 60 years away from a disastrous new ice age, a leading atmospheric scientist predicts,” the Washington Post reported on July 9, 1971, quoting Dr. S. I. Rasool of NASA and Columbia University.
According to Rasool, fine dust from fossil fuel use would block out so much sunlight that the Earth’s “average temperature could drop by six degrees.” Rasool added that “such a temperature increase could be sufficient to trigger an ice age!”
Oddly enough, the solutions scientists pushed to fight global cooling and warming are the same: ban fossil fuels and use low-carbon energy. The only difference from the 1970s is that, today, politicians are pushing green energy from solar and wind, not nuclear power. Read more
Follow the money
by Bob Greene, JunkScience.com
Environmentalists like to claim that anyone who disagrees with them is being bought out by Big something. The hundreds of millions they take in only makes them purer. Right? From ecofascism.com, The American Environmental Movement – The American Counter-Movement Perspective
Between 2000 and 2012 some 26,500 distinct US-based ENGOs collected revenues of $81 billion ($6.6 billion per year). Many ENGOs are small, short-lived, outfits with few paid staff. However, hundreds are large established enterprises.
Here is a sample list of some major American ENGOs alongside their 2012 revenues: Sierra Club ($97 million), Environmental Defense Fund ($112 million), Natural Resources Defense Council ($99 million), National Audubon Society ($96 million), Greenpeace USA ($32 million), National Wildlife Federation ($84 million), National Parks Conservation Association ($26 million), Wilderness Society ($25 million), Alliance For Climate Protection ($19 million), Conservation International ($141 million), and The Nature Conservancy ($949 million)
Looks like a pretty good business, saving the planet. Source
Geologists recommend using a natural method to store and reuse solar energy. The process involves using Carbon Of Altered Life-forms (C.O.A.L.). – JED
“…the issue of anthropogenic global warming has no basis in fact. It has become a superstition, and also a useful political device for draining money for “research” to “prove” it. It is encouraged not only by climate alarmists but also by those who want the government to control everything. It is belied by well-documented facts, and by tons of weather science.” -Richard Timberlake is a retired University of Georgia economics professor. Source
“Environmentalists do not see fossil fuels and CO2 as a threat to mankind; they see mankind as a threat to the environment. Advocating for renewable energy is just an excuse to implement a constriction of fossil-fuel use and development across the world. If the time comes where renewable, clean, and abundant energies become a reality, environmentalists will surely withdraw their support in the name of protecting the planet.” -Donald Kendal source
“We have to ask why our government is engaged in shutting down the coal-fired plants that provide the bulk of the electricity we use. This isn’t just a war on coal. It is a war on our entire economic system, capitalism. It is a war on Americans by their own government.” -Alan Caruba
“One of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the great struggle for independence.” —Columbia University professor Charles Austin Beard (1874-1948)
The Constitution is the real contract with America.
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