2016-01 January

People for the West -Tucson

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

Newsletter, January, 2016

Back to Basics

by Jonathan DuHamel

2016 will be a year of politics, hyperbole, and hypocrisy as the presidential primaries and campaigns get into full swing.

During such a time it is well to remember First Principles upon which our nation was founded.

“In disquisitions of every kind there are certain primary truths, or first principles, upon which all subsequent reasoning must depend.” —Alexander Hamilton, 1788

We will hear all kinds of promises and proposals. Examine them closely with a skeptic’s eye.

“Prudent minds have as a natural gift one safeguard which is the common possession of all, and this applies especially to the dealings of democracies. What is this safeguard? Skepticism. This you must preserve. This you must retain.” —Demosthenes (384-322 BC)

Among the First Principles we should keep in mind are private property rights and environmental policies. I recommend you read some material from the Heritage Foundation:

An Environmental Policy Primer for the Next President

By Diane Katz, Heritage Foundation

This is a rather long essay which you can read in its entirety here.

KEY POINTS

1) The need for reform of environmental regulation has never been greater. The nation’s primary environmental statutes are woefully outdated, and do not reflect current conditions.

2) The White House, Congress, and federal agencies routinely ignore regulatory costs, exaggerate benefits, and breach legislative and constitutional boundaries. They also increasingly dictate lifestyle choices instead of focusing on public health and safety.

3) Market incentives are more effective than government diktats; sound science fosters sound policy; and, most important, citizens are far better stewards of the environment than the government can ever be.

4) Federal agencies are unable to adequately manage the ever-growing inventory of public lands and the natural resources therein. These land holdings comprise about one-third of the U.S. land mass—including Alaska and Hawaii—and cover more than the combined area of France, Spain, Germany, Poland, Italy, the United Kingdom, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Belgium.

Katz also includes some principles of the American Conservation Ethic [link to 86-page book]:

This ethic holds that Americans must be good stewards of the environment for the well-being of the current generation as well as that of future generations. The following are the eight principles that comprise this ethic:

1) People are the most important, unique, and precious natural resource.

2) Renewable natural resources, such as air, water, and soil, are not fragile and static but resilient and dynamic, and respond positively to wise management.

3) Private property protections and free markets provide the most promising opportunities for environmental improvements.

4) Efforts to reduce, control, and remediate pollution should achieve real environmental benefits.

5) As we accumulate scientific, technological, and artistic knowledge, we learn how to get more from less.

6) Management of natural resources should be conducted on a site- and situation-specific basis.

7) Science should be employed as one tool to guide public policy.

8)The most successful environmental policies emanate from liberty.

America has unsurpassed natural beauty and natural resource wealth, and Americans aspire to wisely use and conserve these resources for generations to come. Policies built upon the American Conservation Ethic can fulfill these aspirations.

“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must … undergo the fatigues of supporting it.” —Thomas Paine, 1777

On responsibility:

The U.S. Constitution, Article VI, clause 3, states in part: “The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution…”

How many of these officials actually conform to the powers granted by the Constitution, particularly in the area of federal spending?

Remember a few years ago when Nancy Pelosi famously said that we have to pass Obamacare to find out what is in it?

Well Congress has done it again. In December they passed a 2,009-page bill that sets out spending of $1.8 trillion. How many Congresspersons do you think read the bill before the vote? I bet the answer is close to zero. They are shirking their responsibility to ensure that proposed spending conforms to that allowed by the Constitution.

In judging candidates, see if what they propose conforms to the Constitution.

The Paris Climate Charade

by Jonathan DuHamel

Last December about 50,000 people used fossil-fuel-burning planes, trains, and automobiles to travel to the UN’s COP21 climate meeting in Paris at which the delegates would urge everyone to burn less fossil fuel to limit CO2 emissions to forestall global warming.

President Obama has declared that global warming is much more dangerous than radical Islamic terrorism. States and countries are eschewing inexpensive, abundant energy sources in favor of unreliable, expensive, allegedly “green” energy sources.

On December 5, 2015, delegates from 196 countries signed an agreement to cut CO2 emissions with the goal of keeping future global warming below 2 degrees Celsius. This U.N. deal is based on voluntary participation and is virtually unenforceable. It features voluntary emission caps, voluntary progress reviews, no international oversight of any voluntary progress, and voluntary contributions to the U.N. managed slush fund to mitigate climate change.

Secretary of State John Kerry almost blew the sham when he stated:

The fact is that even if every American citizen biked to work, car pooled to school, used only solar panels to power their homes, if we each planted a dozen trees, if we somehow eliminated all of our domestic greenhouse gas emissions, guess what – that still wouldn’t be enough to offset the carbon pollution coming from the rest of the world.

If all the industrial nations went down to zero emissions –- remember what I just said, all the industrial emissions went down to zero emissions -– it wouldn’t be enough, not when more than 65% of the world’s carbon pollution comes from the developing world. (see video)

I wonder that if a cut of 35% in emissions will have no beneficial effects, what makes you think additional cuts will?

Meanwhile:

Britain cuts renewable energy subsidies. (Daily Mail)

India plans to double coal output by 2020 and rely on the resource for decades afterwards. (The Guardian)

Japan and South Korea have committed to cutting CO2 emissions, yet both are pressing ahead with plans to open scores of new coal-fired power plants. (Japan Times)

China has permitted building 155 new coal plants. (Daily Caller)

Very green California government intensifies its attack on renewable energy. (source)

Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project opines:

The Conference of Parties (COP-21) of the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change is over. With great fanfare, an agreement was signed. The parties agreed to agree to try to limit carbon dioxide emissions. The agreement will have no identifiable effect on global climate change, because the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has failed to establish the influence that human carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) have on climate. This “scientific body” has failed to distinguish between natural variation of climate, which has been ongoing for hundreds of millions of years, and the human influence, if any, of CO2 on this natural variation. Multiple studies that have the same flaw are just more of the same. Further, no global climate model has been validated and there has been no effort, announced to the public, to validate one, in spite of billions of dollars spent by governments. This failure indicates there is a major problem in the publicly announced IPCC science, most likely because the influence of CO2 on climate is small, rendering these costly efforts to regulate CO2 insignificant. As Richard Lindzen said of the effect of CO2 on climate: “[It is] trivially true and numerically insignificant.”

Dr. Craig Idso writes in the Washington Examiner:

One of the most bizarre claims to come out of the conference is the assertion that global temperatures must be kept from rising a mere seventy five-hundredths of a degree Celsius (0.75°C) above present day values (they are to be kept within a total increase of 1.5°C since pre-industrial times) or climate Armageddon will result. This narrative includes melting glaciers and ice sheets, rising sea levels, inundated coastlines, more frequent and severe hurricanes, droughts, floods and other types of extreme weather events, crop failures, plant and animal extinctions, and widespread human suffering, diseases and death.

Such a claim is preposterous. It exists only in the deranged output of computer model projections that are derived from the most extreme and frenzied future scenarios. Data and observations provide no hint whatsoever that such a catastrophe would occur if the world warmed another 0.75°C or more. Temperatures were likely at least that warm, if not warmer, a thousand years ago during the Medieval Warm Period, and another thousand years before that during the Roman Warm Period. Additionally, global temperatures were approximately 2°C warmer than present some 5,000 years ago during the peak warmth of the current interglacial period. Yet in none of these time periods did climate Armageddon occur.

Follow the money.

There’s Big Money in Global Warming Alarmism

By William M Briggs

Global warming alarmism is big business. On one side you have Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund, Environmental Defense Fund, The Climate Project and dozens upon dozens of other non-governmental organizations who solicit hundreds of millions from private donors and from government, and who in turn award lucrative grants to further their agenda.

You also have the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Health, the Departments of Commerce and Agriculture, both Houses of Congress and many more government agencies, spraying global warming money at anything that moves and at staggering rates — billions of dollars.

And then you also have every major and minor university — with contributions from every department, from Critical Literature Theory to Women’s Studies — all with their hands out and eager to provide the support Greenpeace, the government and others desire. Add to that another two or three dozen think tanks which are also sniffing for grants or which support government intervention to do the impossible and stop the earth’s climate from changing.

Every scientific organization which is dependent on grant money has released a statement saying “something must be done” about global warming. They’re supported, fawned over and feted by just about every news and media agency. And don’t forget the leadership of most major organized religions have their own statements — and their hands out.

We’re not done: we still have to add the dozens of Solyndra-type companies eager to sell the government products, to get “green” subsidies or to support its global-warming agenda. Included in that list are oil companies. Oil companies?

Yes. Oil giants aren’t foolish. They want to benefit — and also don’t want to suffer from — the mania that surrounds all things climate change. Their activities are often mercenary: Oil companies will and do fund research that casts a bad light on coal, its main competitor, in hopes of lessening competition but also in expectation of securing peace with activist groups. Read more

Some Inconvenient Truths

Burning fossil fuels ‘COOLS planet’, says NASA

By Jon Austin

Burning fossil fuels and cutting down trees causes global COOLING, a shock new NASA study has found.

Major theories about what causes temperatures to rise have been thrown into doubt after NASA found the Earth has cooled in areas of heavy industrialization where more trees have been lost and more fossil fuel burning takes place.

Environmentalists have long argued the burning of fossil fuels in power stations and for other uses is responsible for global warming and predicted temperature increases because of the high levels of carbon dioxide produced – which causes the global greenhouse effect.

While the findings did not dispute the effects of carbon dioxide on global warming, they found aerosols – also given off by burning fossil fuels – actually cool the local environment, at least temporarily.

The research was carried out to see if current climate change models for calculating future temperatures were taking into account all factors and were accurate. Read more

Warmer Temperatures Boost Biodiversity and Photosynthesis in Phytoplankton

Warmer temperatures increase biodiversity and photosynthesis in phytoplankton, researchers at the University of Exeter and Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) have found. Globally, phytoplankton — microscopic water-borne plants — absorb as much carbon dioxide as tropical rainforests and so understanding the way they respond to a warming climate is crucial.

The groundbreaking study, published in the journal PLOS Biology, was carried out over five years using artificially warmed ponds that simulated the increases in temperature expected by the end of the century.

The researchers found that phytoplankton in ponds that had been warmed by four degrees, had 70% more species and higher rates of photosynthesis, and as a result, have the potential to remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Read more

New study finds surface temperature warming is much less than reported by NOAA

At the 2015 Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, Anthony Watts and co-authors John Nielsen-Gammon and John Christy have presented an important analysis of U.S. surface temperatures. Using NOAA’s U.S. Historical Climatology Network, which comprises 1218 weather stations in the U.S., the researchers were able to identify a 410 station subset of “unperturbed” stations that have not been moved, had equipment changes, or changes in time of observations, and thus require no “adjustments” to their temperature record to account for these problems.

The 30-year trend of temperatures for the Continental United States since 1979 for these “unadjusted” stations is about 50% lower than the official NOAA temperature trends. See details here.

‘Complete Transformation’ of US Energy System Will Stop 0.04 Degrees of Global Warming, Congress Told

By Barbara Hollingsworth

The projected increase in global temperature averted by President Obama’s pledge to reduce U.S. carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions 28 percent over the next decade comes out to an “environmentally inconsequential” 0.04 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, Paul “Chip” Knappenberger the assistant director of the Cato Institute’s Center for the Study of Science testified before the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology last month. Read more

Vegetarian and “Healthy” Diets Could Be More Harmful to the Environment

Carnegie Mellon study finds eating lettuce is more than three times worse in greenhouse gas emissions than eating bacon.

By Shilo Rea

Contrary to recent headlines — and a talk by actor Arnold Schwarzenegger at the United Nations Paris Climate Change Conference — eating a vegetarian diet could contribute to climate change.

In fact, according to new research from Carnegie Mellon University, following the USDA recommendations to consume more fruits, vegetables, dairy and seafood is more harmful to the environment because those foods have relatively high resource uses and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per calorie. Published in Environment Systems and Decisions, the study measured the changes in energy use, blue water footprint and GHG emissions associated with U.S. food consumption patterns.

Eating lettuce is more harmful to the environment than eating bacon. “Eating lettuce is over three times worse in greenhouse gas emissions than eating bacon,” said Paul Fischbeck, professor of social and decisions sciences and engineering and public policy. “Lots of common vegetables require more resources per calorie than you would think. Eggplant, celery and cucumbers look particularly bad when compared to pork or chicken.” Read more (See also)

Drought, Climate, War, Terrorism, and Syria

by Roger Andrews

It’s routinely claimed that climate-change-induced drought in Syria was a major factor in triggering the Syrian civil war, the Syrian refugee crisis and the rise of ISIS. But are these claims supported by the data? This post investigates this question.

Average annual rainfall during the 2006-2011 period was only 9% lower than average annual rainfall over the preceding 55 years. The driest year during the period (2011) was only the seventh driest on record and 2006-2011 was only the 13th driest six-year period on record. Clearly the crop failures in the farming villages around Aleppo – which undoubtedly occurred – weren’t caused by a drought of Biblical proportions. In fact there doesn’t seem to have been a drought at Aleppo at all: Read more

Increased carbon dioxide enhances plankton growth, opposite of what was expected

Anthony Watts

Coccolithophores–tiny calcifying plants that are part of the foundation of the marine food web–have been increasing in relative abundance in the North Atlantic over the last 45 years, as carbon input into ocean waters has increased. Their relative abundance has increased 10 times, or by an order of magnitude, during this sampling period. This finding was diametrically opposed to what scientists had expected since coccolithophores make their plates out of calcium carbonate, which is becoming more difficult as the ocean becomes more acidic and pH is reduced. Read more

Ozone hole worse than in recent years – due to colder than normal stratosphere in Antarctica

Anthony Watts

According to NASA: “While the current ozone hole is larger than in recent years, the area occupied by this year’s hole is consistent with our understanding of ozone depletion chemistry and consistent with colder than average weather conditions in Earth’s stratosphere, which help drive ozone depletion,” Read more Related: Did We Really Save the Ozone Layer?

More scientific evidence that polar bears are doing just fine

by Dr. Susan J. Crockford of polarbearscience.com er

Results of this fall’s Barents Sea population survey have been released by the Norwegian Polar Institute and they are phenomenal: despite several years with poor ice conditions, there are more bears now (~975) than there were in 2004 (~685) around Svalbard (a 42% increase) and the bears were in good condition.

Read more

ECONOMY

Obama’s Appalachian Tragedy

By Paul H. Tice, Wall Street Journal

Since 2012, 27 coal-mining companies with core operations in Central Appalachia, a region roughly centered in southern West Virginia, have filed for bankruptcy protection. The list includes a number of large-cap, publicly traded entities, such as Alpha Natural Resources, James River Coal and Patriot Coal. Production of coal in southern West Virginia declined by 45% between the first half of 2011 and the first half of 2015, according to data from the Energy Information Administration. Since 2009, 332 coal mines in West Virginia have been closed, and 9,733 jobs—roughly 35% of the industry’s total employment in the state—have been lost, figures from the West Virginia Coal Association show. Read more

The Tax System Explained in Beer

(You may have seen this before but it’s worth rereading, especially with all the hype about social justice etc.)

Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to $100.

If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing. The fifth would pay $1. The sixth would pay $3. The seventh would pay $7.. The eighth would pay $12. The ninth would pay $18. The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59. So, that’s what they decided to do.

The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve ball. “Since you are all such good customers,” he said, “I’m going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by $20”. Drinks for the ten men would now cost just $80.

The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes. So the first four men were unaffected. They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men ? How could they divide the $20 windfall so that everyone would get his fair share?

They realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they subtracted that from every body’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer.

So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man’s bill by a higher percentage the poorer he was, to follow the principle of the tax system they had been using, and he proceeded to work out the amounts he suggested that each should now pay.

And so the fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% saving).

The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% saving).

The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28% saving). The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% saving). The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% saving). The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% saving). [note, the bartender is now charging $79]

Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But, once outside the bar, the men began to compare their savings.

“I only got a dollar out of the $20 saving,” declared the sixth man. He pointed to the tenth man, “but he got $10!”

“Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a dollar too. It’s unfair that he got ten times more benefit than me!”

“That’s true!” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get $10 back, when I got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks!”

“Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison, “we didn’t get anything at all. This new tax system exploits the poor!” The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had their beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

And that, boys and girls, journalists and government ministers, is how our tax system works. The people who already pay the highest taxes will naturally get the most benefit from a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore. In fact, they might start drinking overseas, where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

David R. Kamerschen, Ph.D. Professor of Economics. (source)

Stranded Assets: Solar Company Faces Biggest Bankruptcy In Spanish History

by Ben Wolfgang, The Washington Times

If you were wondering what the Spanish word for “Solyndra” is, this week provided the answer: “Abengoa.”

Abengoa is a Spanish company that was another of President Obama’s personally picked green energy projects, and it’s now on the verge of bankruptcy too, potentially saddling taxpayers with a multibillion-dollar tab and fueling the notion that the administration repeatedly gambles on losers in the energy sector.

The renewable energy firm, which is constructing several large-scale solar power projects in the U.S. and has received at least $2.7 billion in federal loan guarantees since 2010, said it will begin insolvency proceedings, a technical first step toward a possible bankruptcy.

Abengoa’s looming demise is eerily reminiscent of the fall of solar power firm Solyndra in 2011, a colossal failure of government investment that left taxpayers on the hook for more than $530 million.

A potential Abengoa bankruptcy could be much worse for taxpayers, although it’s unclear how much of the guaranteed loans the company has paid back. Neither the White House nor the Energy Department responded to requests for comment seeking information on how much the company still owes on the loans, for which the federal government might be left on the hook.

Critics say Abengoa is yet another reminder that the administration’s meddling in the energy sector — and its insistence that, with enough government financial backing, ambitious renewable projects can compete in the free market — leads to disaster for taxpayers. Read more

Related:

Abengoa, the Spanish company that built Arizona’s largest solar power plant, is facing a possible liquidation of its assets through bankruptcy in its home country. But U.S. Department of Energy officials expect the Solana Generating Station near Gila Bend to be unaffected.

Solana is generating revenue by selling power to Arizona Public Service Co. That revenue is being used to repay a $1.45 billion U.S. loan used to build the plant. The loan came through the Department of Energy Loan Programs Office, which also provided $1.2 billion for Abengoa’s Mohave solar plant in California. Read more

PROPERTY RIGHTS

Socialized Land Ownership In A Democracy

by Brian Seasholes, Director, Reason Foundation Endangered Species Project

Most Americans are probably unaware the federal government owns almost one-third of the United States, or 640 million acres. This enormous amount of federal land has profound impacts on the ability of many states, municipalities and communities to govern themselves effectively, raise taxes necessary for basic services, such as police, fire and schools, conserve the environment, and maintain viable economies that can provide living wages for ordinary people.

Some Americans, however, have realized so much federal land in a democracy, for which private ownership of property is necessary, is an anomaly. Where socialized ownership of land is concerned, only the U.S.S.R. and China can claim company with the United States.

It is difficult for most Americans to grasp just how much land the federal government owns, much less the social, economic and ecological implications of such ownership, because they live in urban areas far removed from regions with lots of federal land. It is even harder for most people to understand that huge amounts of private, state, municipal and federal land is overlaid and in many cases encumbered by a wide range of federal regulations.

Fortunately, there is now a powerful and easy-to-use tool to help people understand this. The Committee on Natural Resources of the U.S. House of Representatives created an online “Federal Footprint Map.” The map consists of many “layers”, each representing land and water managed by a particular agency or overlaid by various federal regulations. Users can select particular layers to be displayed. Users can also zoom in to create higher resolution images and “click” on the map with mouse, which results in a “pop-up” window with a wealth of information on the land and water owned and regulated by federal agencies. The saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” is especially true for the Federal Footprint Map. Read more

AZ Dept of Education Calls for the Transfer of Public Lands to States

On Dec. 7, 2015, the Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction and several state legislators gathered at Wesley Bolin Plaza to request the transfer of federal lands to the State of Arizona for long term education funding.

“Regaining land that is rightfully ours would create a larger state land trust,” said Superintendent Douglas. “When the land is returned to our state, Arizonians can determine how to more effectively leverage the land’s value and better fund education.”

Many people do not realize that our public education system derives its funding from the school trust lands in each state. The more public land a state owns, the higher the education revenue.

“The federal government currently owns nearly half of land in Arizona and loses 27 cents for every dollar they spend on land management, a loss to the taxpayers of approximately $2 billion per year. States, on the other hand, generate on average $14.51 for every dollar they spend on managing public lands. “There is absolutely no reason to waste all of this land when it could provide critical revenues for Arizona education,” Douglas said. “When it comes to today’s western states, the federal government has refused to honor the same promise made and kept with all other states east of Colorado,” said Rep. Mark Finchem, R-11.

MISCELLANY

Greenhouse:

For a simple, illustrated explanation of how the greenhouse effect works, see this post at Science Matters by Ron Clutz.

Whose Supported Policies Kill More People: ISIS…or Greenpeace?

by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

Approximately 200,000 people have died due to global terrorism in the last 10 years.

During the same time, many millions of people (mostly women and children) have died due to policies promoted by Greenpeace and other “green” organizations (e.g. anti-DDT, anti-golden rice, anti-fossil fuel). Read more

Nature, not humans, has greater influence on water in the Colorado River Basin

University of Texas at Austin

Researchers have found that the water supply of the Colorado River basin, one of the most important sources for water in the southwestern United States, is influenced more by wet-dry periods than by human use, which has been fairly stable during the past few decades.

The study, led by The University of Texas at Austin, took the most comprehensive look to date at the state of a water source that serves 40 million people in seven states. The researchers used 30 years of local water monitoring records and more than a decade of data collected from the NASA satellite system GRACE to reconstruct changes in the basin’s water storage since the 1980s.

Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey, NOAA, UT Center for Space Research, the Arizona Department of Water Resources and Tsinghua University were part of the team. The findings were published online in Water Resources Research Journal on Dec. 10.

The team found that water storage decreased by 50 to 100 cubic kilometers (enough water to fill Lake Mead as much as three times) during droughts that occur about every decade. The big difference between recent and previous droughts is that there have been few wet years since 2000 to replenish the water. In contrast, multiple wet years followed drought years in the 1980s and 1990s.

Researchers also found that total water storage changes are controlled mostly by surface reservoir and soil moisture changes in the upper basin, with additional reductions in groundwater storage in the lower basin that mostly reflect natural responses to wet and dry climate cycles and irrigation pumping in areas without access to Colorado River water.

“This study explains how the system works, what’s important and what to look out for,” said lead author Bridget Scanlon, a senior research scientist at the Bureau of Economic Geology. “The upper basin is critical. Eighty percent of the runoff in the basin comes from the upper basin, so the climate of the upper basin is really important.”

Water is stored in the Colorado River Basin as snow, soil moisture, reservoir water and groundwater. The on-the-ground measurement data helped the researchers understand where and how water was stored, and the GRACE satellite data gave insight into the total water storage in the basin.

Launched in 2002, the GRACE satellite measures changes in total water storage in an area by monitoring fluctuations in the Earth’s gravity field, a value that is influenced by the presence of water.

“GRACE gives us a holistic view on a large scale about variations in total water storage including snow, reservoir, soil moisture and groundwater storage,” said Scanlon. “We need to use those data along with as much ground-based data as we can access to understand where the storage changes are occurring in the system.”

Scanlon said that this research underscores the importance of saving water in rainy years for the droughts that historically have followed. Whereas most water was stored in surface reservoirs in the past, primarily lakes Mead and Powell, Arizona has been storing much of its allocation of Colorado River water in underground aquifers since the Central Arizona Project aqueducts were completed in the early 1990s. Scanlon said the research should encourage more storage projects.

“We need to manage this variability of supply,” she said. “And we do it by storing water in surface and subsurface reservoirs.” Source

Free Speech and Political Correctness:

The Death of Free Speech Ben Shapiro: Four in 10 young Americans have no idea what America is.

That’s the takeaway from a new Pew Research poll showing that 40 percent of Americans aged 18-34 say that the government should be able to prevent people from making “statements that are offensive to minority groups.” This same group of young people has granted broad awareness to the culture of “microaggression” — unintended slights taken as grave insults by their victims; they’ve also called for “trigger warnings,” alerts that certain communications may dredge up unpleasant past memories or ideas. With such ghoulish cruelties haunting the most privileged generation in human history, naturally we’d want to toss out the bedrock of Western civilization: The right to debate, to express unpopular opinions. We wouldn’t want to offend.

Unless, of course, we do.

Free Speech Walter Williams: Recent events at the University of Missouri, Yale University and some other colleges demonstrate an ongoing ignorance and/or contempt for the principles of free speech. So let’s examine some of those principles by asking: What is the true test of one’s commitment to free speech?

Contrary to the widespread belief of tyrants among college students, professors and administrators, the true test of one’s commitment to free speech does not come when one permits people to be free to express those ideas that he finds acceptable. The true test of one’s commitment to free speech comes when he permits others to say those things that he finds deeply offensive. In a word, free speech is absolute, or nearly so.

“An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.” -Robert A. Heinlein

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” -Aldous Huxley

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Visit Jonathan’s Wryheat Blog:

https://wryheat.wordpress.com/

See my essay on climate change:

https://wryheat.wordpress.com/climate-in-perspective/

Recent 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

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Jonathan DuHamel, President & Editor

Dr. John Forrester, Vice President

Lonni Lees, Associate Editor

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