People for the West -Tucson
PO Box 86868, Tucson, AZ 85754-6868 firstname.lastname@example.org
Newsletter, June, 2016
This month we start off with a warning by Michael Crichton about perceptions in politics and science. Below are excerpts from a speech he gave to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on September15, 2003 https://www.cs.cmu.edu/~kw/crichton.html Read full speech
Fact vs fantasy
by Michael Crichton
The greatest challenge facing mankind is the challenge of distinguishing reality from fantasy, truth from propaganda. Perceiving the truth has always been a challenge to mankind, but in the information age (or as I think of it, the disinformation age) it takes on a special urgency and importance.
We must daily decide whether the threats we face are real, whether the solutions we are offered will do any good, whether the problems we’re told exist are in fact real problems, or non-problems. Every one of us has a sense of the world, and we all know that this sense is in part given to us by what other people and society tell us; in part generated by our emotional state, which we project outward; and in part by our genuine perceptions of reality. In short, our struggle to determine what is true is the struggle to decide which of our perceptions are genuine, and which are false because they are handed down, or sold to us, or generated by our own hopes and fears.
The main theme of his talk is the political use of environmentalism as a religion for indoctrination and control. His concluding remarks state:
Because in the end, science offers us the only way out of politics. And if we allow science to become politicized, then we are lost. We will enter the Internet version of the dark ages, an era of shifting fears and wild prejudices, transmitted to people who don’t know any better. That’s not a good future for the human race. That’s our past. So it’s time to abandon the religion of environmentalism, and return to the science of environmentalism, and base our public policy decisions firmly on that
State of the Union
In his book, “Rules for Radicals,” Saul Alinsky specified eight steps to create a socialist state. All of these steps are in play today:
1) Healthcare – Control healthcare and you control the people.
2) Poverty – Increase the Poverty level as high as possible, poor people are easier to control and will not fight back if you are providing everything for them to live.
3) Debt – Increase the debt to an unsustainable level. That way you are able to increase taxes, and this will produce more poverty.
4) Gun Control – Remove the ability to defend themselves from the Government. That way you are able to create a police state.
5) Welfare – Take control of every aspect of their lives (Food, Housing, and Income).
6) Education – Take control of what people read and listen to – take control of what children learn in school.
7) Religion – Remove the belief in God from the Government and schools.
8) Class Warfare – Divide the people into the wealthy and the poor. This will cause more discontent and it will be easier to take (Tax) the wealthy with the support of the poor.
Why government can’t fix anything:
“I just can’t get over the infinite naivete of the progressive mind in its belief that spending government money to fix a problem will actually fix the problem. Can anybody name a single example where that has ever occurred? Actually, it is completely impossible for a government agency to fix the problem it is supposed to address, because fixing the problem would run directly counter to the fundamental imperative of all bureaucratic agencies, which is to grow the agency and its staff and budget. Bureaucratic agencies do not operate contrary to their fundamental imperative.” – Francis Menton, Manhattan Contrarian
Report: Federal regulations costing US $1.9T annually
Federal regulations are now costing U.S. taxpayers and businesses $1.9 trillion a year, or $15,000 per household, according to a report which also found thousands of new regulations are in the pipeline.
The annual Ten Thousand Commandments report was released by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a fiscally conservative public-policy group.
The report exposes the “hidden” taxpayer costs associated with federal regulations and intervention, according to author Clyde Wayne Crews Jr., vice president of policy at CEI.
“The federal government has become very savvy in hiding costs by expanding their reach beyond taxes into regulations,” Crews said in the report.
The report showed that Congress and the White House, respectively, last year passed and enacted 114 laws, while federal agencies issued 3,410 rules. That ratio of 30 rules per law marks a slight increase over recent years, based on the group’s so-called “Unconstitutional Index.” Read more Read full report
IRS improperly paid $15.6 billion through Earned Income Tax Credit program
By Ali Meyer, Washington Free Beacon
The IRS erroneously paid out an estimated $15.6 billion in Earned Income Tax Credit payments in fiscal year 2015, according to a Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration report.
A low-income worker can receive refundable tax credits from the Earned Income Tax Credit program when they meet certain requirements for income and age.
The $15.6 billion in improper payments identified by the inspector general represented 23.8 percent of total earned income credits paid out in that fiscal year. According to the Office of Management and Budget, an improper payment is a transfer that should not have been made, was made in the incorrect amount, or was made to an ineligible recipient.
The Office of Management and Budget has classified the Earned Income Tax Credit program a “high-risk” program, making it the only IRS program with this classification. Read more
How the Socialist death spiral works
by Francis Menton
The basic principle is actually very simple: Given freedom to buy and sell stuff without government restriction (a situation sometimes referred to as “capitalism”), each year humans figure out small ways to work a little more efficiently or make their product or service a little better in order to improve their own lives. This phenomenon is observed as economic growth. Conversely, under conditions where buying and selling stuff is severely restricted and government controls who gets what, people devote their energies not to working more efficiently or making better products, but rather to getting in on more and more of the government largesse. In the sectors of the economy dominated by government restrictions and handouts, economic production shrinks, first a little, and then faster and faster. I have called this phenomenon the “Socialist Death Spiral.”
But it is important to recognize that the Socialist Death Spiral is difficult to spot in its early stages, when all you have to go by are government-produced numbers. All government statistics, in all countries, are designed and engineered to favor government spending in order to make those in power look good and help them grow their spending empires. All government spending on goods and services is counted as a one-hundred-cents-on-the-dollar addition to GDP. So if the government borrows a billion dollars and spends it on a completely wasteful and useless project (solar panels for Buffalo anyone?), the GDP accountants count that as a one billion dollar increase in GDP. This kind of thing can keep GDP apparently growing for a long time, even as it is really shrinking. Then one day the whole house of cards collapses. (Menton goes on the show this death spiral in action in Venezuela, Read more).
The madness of global warming politics has spawned bad political and economic policy, rent seekers sucking up government money, and some very weird ideas.
This month’s craziest scheme:
The Global Cooling Skyscraper Which Could Save the Planet
by Eric Worrall
Italian architect Paolo Venturella has proposed a gigantic megastructure to prevent global warming, though building it may present a few practical difficulties: a vast horizontal building touching the Earth’s equator, whose size appears to dwarf the diameter of the planet.
There are a few practical difficulties, such as smelting all that construction steel using wind power, finding a way to get a chunk of the Earth’s crust to support trillions of tons of building, handling the centripetal stresses caused by the Earth’s rotation, preventing the building from “seesawing” on its mount, and probably a host of other civic engineering issues. Read more and see a diagram of the structure.
The second craziest scheme:
Another geoengineering scheme plans to use planes and ships to cool the planet
by Anthony Watts
It is possible to significantly slow down and even temporarily stop the progression of global warming by increasing the atmospheric aerosol concentration, shows a new study from the University of Eastern Finland. The study found that aerosol particles injected into the stratosphere proved extremely efficient in cooling down the climate. The proposal is to use global airline traffic and ship traffic for the purposes of atmospheric temperature regulation by increasing the sulphuric concentrations of fuels. This would make it possible to significantly increase stratospheric aerosol concentrations and cloud reflectivity in open sea. However, sulphuric concentrations of fuels would have to be increased beyond the levels defined in international agreements. Read more Comment: Over the years, great pains have been taken to scrub sulfur out of emissions from burning fossil fuels. Now we have to put it back. Lesson: clean air is bad?
Just plain stupid and a little scary:
Ministry of Truth at work:
Portland (Oregon) school board bans climate change-denying materials
In a move spearheaded by environmentalists, the Portland Public Schools board unanimously approved a resolution aimed at eliminating doubt of climate change and its causes in schools. “It is unacceptable that we have textbooks in our schools that spread doubt about the human causes and urgency of the crisis,” said Lincoln High School student Gaby Lemieux in board testimony. “Climate education is not a niche or a specialization, it is the minimum requirement for my generation to be successful in our changing world.” (Source) It’s not just that Portland banished from its schools any active denial of catastrophic, man-made global warming; it’s that they banished any language that implies the smallest amount of doubt. The school board resolution mandates the adoption of curriculum and educational opportunities that address climate change and “climate justice” in all Portland Public Schools. “Climate justice is a social justice issue that frames climate change not in physical or environmental terms, but as a social, ethical and political issue. Climate justice is based on the idea that climate change has a disproportionate effect on low-income and minority communities, which will now be taught to students in the Portland Public School system.” (Source)
Kaiser Permanente Health Consortium Commits an Unspecified Budget to Combat CO2 Emissions
Good news for the 9.6 million clients of Kaiser Permanente Health Consortium; They have just committed to spending an unknown amount of your health premiums to reduce Kaiser CO2 emissions to zero by 2025. They will slash the hospital system’s water use, recycle or compost all of its non-hazardous waste and eliminate or offset its greenhouse gas emissions. Kaiser, based in Oakland, also will buy its food from local sources or farms that follow sustainable practices, most notably avoiding the overuse of antibiotics. Next time the cost of your Kaiser health plan premiums go up, remember not to be selfish about it, because Kaiser plans to spend some of that extra cash on your behalf, to help save the world from CO2. (Source)
Ontario to spend $7-billion on sweeping climate change plan
The Ontario government will spend more than $7-billion over four years on a sweeping climate change plan that will affect every aspect of life – from what people drive to how they heat their homes and workplaces – in a bid to slash the province’s carbon footprint. Ontario will begin phasing out natural gas for heating, provide incentives to retrofit buildings and give rebates to drivers who buy electric vehicles. It will also require that gasoline sold in the province contain less carbon, bring in building code rules requiring all new homes by 2030 to be heated with electricity or geothermal systems, and set a target for 12 per cent of all new vehicle sales to be electric by 2025. (Source)
Prepare for blackouts: San Diego To Run 100 Percent On Renewable Energy By 2035
by Anthony Watts
The city of San Diego has announced a bold new plan to run completely on renewable energy by 2035. While the city already produces the second largest electrical output from solar energy in the U.S., the new plan further details a way to cope with the changing climate. It plans to reduce 50% of the greenhouse gas emission by 2035, as well as create new jobs through the manufacturing and installation of solar panels.
Good luck with that, what could possibly go wrong? Striking a “sensible balance” should also include a backup generation plan for those times when wind doesn’t blow, sunlight is reduced, or private schemes go belly up because the subsidies that make them profitable get yanked. And, with the fragility of the power grid responsible for the Great 2011 Southwest blackout, one wonders how well San Diego will fare if their wind farms don’t produce enough power and load shedding occurs to protect the grid from failure, like it did in 2015, leaving thousands in San Diego without power.
Plus, the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station is offline, and will be decommissioned, so San Diego is in an even weaker position that they were before, losing 20% of their local power capacity. Renewables just won’t maintain a reliable base load. (Source)
If elected, Hillary plans to install ‘climate situation room’ in the White House
by Anthony Watts
Hillary Clinton plans to focus on smaller legislative actions and use executive action on climate and energy issues if elected, her campaign chairman John Podesta said at a conference. Clinton also intends to install a Roosevelt Map Room-inspired situation room just for climate change. Analysis of her climate strategy reveals that Clinton intends to reduce greenhouse gas emissions up to 30 percent below 2005 level by 2025 and support fossil fuel workers through the clean energy transition. She ultimately would lay the groundwork for achieving 80 percent cuts below 2005 by 2050, strengthening President Obama’s current climate pledges. (Source) A situation room? Does the climate change minute to minute? Read also: “Hillary Clinton’s climate and energy policies, explained”
EPA on the march:
Rules, Rules and More Rules to Combat Climate Change
EPA head Gina McCarthy announced first-ever standards to reduce the amount of methane the oil and gas industry releases into the air. The announcement this week was days away from a supposed mid-May deadline to pass rules for the Obama administration, one last-ditch attempt to slow the economy down. The rules are yet another push by the Obama administration to further cement its climate change fighting chops — in other words, expand federal control. In her announcement, McCarthy claimed the rules are supposedly to help make the oil and gas industries safer, but that’s a transparent attempt to make the regs easier to stomach. Kyle Isakower, a vice president of policy at the American Petroleum Institute, said, “The industry is already leading the way on methane reductions, because it is good for the environment and good for business. Imposing a one-size-fits-all scheme on the industry could actually stifle innovation and discourage investments in new technologies that could serve to further reduce emissions.” But Obama is living out the twilight of his time in the White House, so what’s he got to lose? (Source)
EPA Chief concedes no climate impact from ‘climate rule’: It’s about ‘reinventing a global economy’
Over a period of twenty months, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy repeatedly concedes that the Agency’s sweeping climate-regulation of America’s fossil fuel-fired power plants will have no impact on the Earth’s climate. McCarthy openly admits that the Clean Power Plan “is not about end of pipe controls.” Instead, she says the rule is about “driving investment in renewables…, [and] advancing our ongoing clean energy revolution”. McCarthy says, “That’s what… reinventing a global economy looks like.” Read more
EPA Methane Rules Would Only Slow Global Warming By 0.0047 Degrees
by Andrew Follett, Daily Caller
Proposed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations intended to lower methane emissions from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to fight global warming would only lower the temperature by 0.0047 degrees Celsius by the year 2100, according to calculations performed Monday by the industry group Energy In Depth (EID). Read more
EPA to fund study on Irish cow flatulence
Local researchers in Galway plan to measure the impact of gaseous releases from Ireland’s cows on global warming. The School of Physics at NUIG has invited tenders for a research and development service to develop a “combined measurement and modeling system to verify CH4 sources and sinks over Ireland”. Read more
Flashback, to when the scientific consensus said Earth was entering another glacial epoch.
Fears of Global Cooling Very Real In 1970s …Scientists Devised Ways To WARM The Planet!
By P Gosselin
During the 1960s and 1970s, there was widespread concern about a dramatically cooling climate, especially in the Northern Hemisphere. A throng of scientific papers were written about the observed global-scale cooling, a potentially imminent ice age, and how anthropogenic pollution may be contributing to the climate changes. The effects of CO2 were, at the time, thought to be less concerning. Read more
NCAR 1975 : Global Cooling Caused Terrorism – National Security Crisis
by Tony Heller
In 1975, the top climatologist in the US warned that global cooling was going to cause terrorism, nuclear blackmail, malnutrition, and starvation.
In the northern hemisphere, home to most of the world’s people, average annual temperature has fallen 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit since 1955. Though that’s hardly enough to start you shivering, weather scientists warn that even slight cooling on a global scale can have chilling implications for humanity. Read more.
Chicago Tribune headline, June 2, 1975:
“Global warming, due to greenhouse gasses, is the latest in a long series of
one-factor theories about a multifactor world. Such theories have often enjoyed great popularity,
despite how often they have turned out to be wrong.” – Thomas Sowell
Cambridge (UK) professor Michael Kelly says much of the effort to combat global warming is actually making it worse
In his peer-reviewed article, Lessons from technology development for energy and sustainability, Kelly considers the lessons from global decarbonization projects, and concludes that all combined actions to reduce carbon emissions so far will not achieve a serious reduction. In some cases, these efforts will actually make matters worse.
Central to his thesis, which is supported by examples, is that rapid decarbonization will simply not be possible without a significant reduction in standards of living. The growing call to decarbonize the global economy by 80% by 2050 could only foreseeably happen alongside large parts of the population plunging into poverty, destitution or starvation, as low-carbon energy sources do not produce enough energy to sustain society. According to Kelly, “It is clear to me that every further step along the current pathway of deploying first-generation renewable energy is locking in immature and uneconomic systems at net loss to the world standard of living.” Read more
Science Death Spiral
by Doug L. Hoffman
Having brought mankind so far, has traditional science finally outlived its usefulness? Many seem to think so, finding the rules of the scientific method—the strict guidelines a researcher must follow to actually practice science—far too restrictive and cumbersome. The requirement that evidence be empirical, which is to say, actual measurements of nature itself, is found too burdensome to new age scientists. They prefer clean, clinical computer models to messy, often uncooperative nature. Over reliance on models, misapplication of statistical methods, and lack of repeatability are the hallmarks of the new pseudoscience that is replacing the traditional practice of science, real science. As one critic recently wrote: “The problem with -science is that so much of it simply isn’t.” Has science entered a death spiral, as indifferent, inept scientists raise up new generations of even poorer researchers? The facts look grim. Read more
Climate Modeling Dominates Climate Science
By Patrick J. Michaels and David E. Wojick
To summarize, it looks like something like 55% of the modeling done in all of science is done in climate change science, even though it is a tiny fraction of the whole of science. Moreover, within climate change science almost all the research (97%) refers to modeling in some way.
Climate science appears to be obsessively focused on modeling. Modeling can be a useful tool, a way of playing with hypotheses to explore their implications or test them against observations. That is how modeling is used in most sciences.
But in climate change science modeling appears to have become an end in itself. In fact it seems to have become virtually the sole point of the research. The modelers’ oft stated goal is to do climate forecasting, along the lines of weather forecasting, at local and regional scales.
Here the problem is that the scientific understanding of climate processes is far from adequate to support any kind of meaningful forecasting. Climate change research should be focused on improving our understanding, not modeling from ignorance. This is especially true when it comes to recent long term natural variability, the attribution problem, which the modelers generally ignore. It seems that the modeling cart has gotten far ahead of the scientific horse.
Climate modeling is not climate science. Moreover, the climate science research that is done appears to be largely focused on improving the models. In doing this it assumes that the models are basically correct, that the basic science is settled. This is far from true.
Billions of research dollars are being spent in this single minded process. In the meantime the central scientific question – the proper attribution of climate change to natural versus human factors – is largely being ignored. Read more
American CO2 Emissions Are WAY Down Due To Fracking
by Andrew Follett
America’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions have fallen 12 percent since 2005, due to increased natural gas production from hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, according to a report published Monday by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
The EIA report attributes falling CO2 emissions to “decreased use of coal and the increased use of natural gas for electricity generation.” Natural gas emits about half the CO2 of coal power and is already cheaper than coal in many locations due to fracking. The EIA estimates that roughly 68 percent of the falling CO2 emissions are due to the switch from coal to natural gas. See chart
What Happens to an Economy When Forced to Use Renewable Energy?
By Robert Bryce
Some of America’s most prominent politicians want national mandates for renewable electricity. Had these politicians considered the surge in electricity costs that have occurred in Europe in recent years, they might have been less eager to push such mandates.
Between 2005, when the EU adopted its Emissions Trading Scheme, and 2014, residential electricity rates in the EU increased by 63 percent, on average; over the same period, residential rates in the U.S. rose by 32 percent.
EU countries that have intervened the most in their energy markets—Germany, Spain, and the U.K.—have seen their electricity costs increase the fastest: during 2008–12, Germany’s residential electricity rates increased by 78 percent, Spain’s rose by 111 percent, and the U.K.’s soared by 133 percent.
While European countries have succeeded in creating jobs in the solar and wind industries, their energy policies have also resulted in significant job losses elsewhere. Read full report
States Which Support Green Energy Have Higher Electric Bills
by Andrew Follett, Daily Caller
States which offered substantial taxpayer support for green energy pay a lot more for electricity, according to a Daily Caller News Foundation analysis.
The most notable examples of this trend were California and West Virginia. California had some of the nation’s highest power prices, paying 14.3 cents per kilowatt-hour, and had a whopping 183 policies offering support to green energy. In contrast, West Virginia had some of the nation’s cheapest power at 7.91 cents per kilowatt-hour and a mere 11 policies.
Statistical analysis run by The DCNF found a positive and statistically significant correlation existed between high electricity bills and states with numerous policies supporting green energy. States which offered rebates, buy-back programs, tax exemptions and direct cash subsidies to green energy were 64 percent more likely to have higher than average electric bills. For every additional pro-green energy policy in a state, the average price of electricity rose by about .01 cents per kilowatt-hour. Read more
More US Taxpayer Cash Giveaways for Clean Energy
by Eric Worrall
The US Government is concerned that huge taxpayer underwritten loan guarantees for renewable energy projects aren’t producing the results they want, so they have decided to step up the effort to give away money, by offering free cash and work space to projects which are too “high risk” to attract investment from venture capitalists, or qualify for other green funding schemes. Read story
Two-thirds of all natural gas now comes from fracking
by Thomas Richard, Examiner.com
A report from the U.S. Energy Information Agency shows that two-thirds of natural gas extracted comes from fracking, despite the Obama administration’s best efforts to slow its growth through crippling regulations. By looking at data over the past 10 years, hydraulic fracturing has slowly grown to provide more natural gas extraction than crude oil production. The EIA report estimates that fracking has allowed the U.S. to ramp up production of natural gas to historic levels. Read more
New administration rule would permit thousands of eagle deaths at wind farms
The Obama administration is revising a federal rule that allows wind-energy companies to operate high-speed turbines for up to 30 years, even if it means killing or injuring thousands of federally protected bald and golden eagles. Under the plan, companies could kill or injure up to 4,200 bald eagles a year without penalty — nearly four times the current limit. Golden eagles could only be killed if companies take steps to minimize the losses, for instance, by retrofitting power poles to reduce the risk of electrocution. Read more
Study finds electric vehicles produce more pollution that internal combustion cars
By Thomas Lifson
It’s enough to make a Greenie turn…uh…green. A new study from the University of Edinburgh finds that electric and hybrid vehicles actually emit more harmful pollution running on streets and highways than conventional vehicles. It turns out that those “zero emissions” from the tailpipe are only part of the story of the pollution emitted by a vehicle as it travels. Chris White of the Daily Caller explains:
Electric vehicles tend to produce more pollutants from tire and brake wear, due in large part to their batteries, as well as the other parts needed to propel them, making them heavier.
These pollutants are emitted when electric vehicle tires and brakes deteriorate as they accelerate or slow down while driving. Timmers and Achten’s research suggests exhaust from traditional vehicles is only about one-third of the total emissions. Read more
“Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions.” —James Madison (1792)
“The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal.” — Aristotle
“We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.” — Aesop
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People for the West – Tucson
PO Box 86868
Tucson, AZ 85754-6868
Jonathan DuHamel, President & Editor
Dr. John Forrester, Vice President
Lonni Lees, Associate Editor
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