People for the West -Tucson
PO Box 86868, Tucson, AZ 85754-6868 email@example.com
Newsletter, September, 2016
Energy Policy and Folly
by Jonathan DuHamel
“The greatest threat to sustainable energy for the 21st century is the global warming scare.” – Robert Bradley Jr. (Source)
“Politicians calling for more solar and wind generated electricity are putting the cart before the horse. They are not replacing the existing system with a more efficient system. Instead, they propose building a second system to supplement the existing, primary system, that does not need supplementation. The second system must be backed-up by the primary system. It is more expensive to build and maintain two systems than one efficient, reliable system.” (Source)
Inconvenient Study: Biofuels not as ‘green’ as many think – may be worse than Gasoline
The study: DeCicco, J.M. et al. (2016). Carbon balance effects of U.S. biofuel production and use, Climatic Change. DOI 10.1007/s10584-016-1764-4, concluded that rising US biofuel use has led to a net increase rather than a net decrease in CO2 emissions. Study lead author DeCicco said. “What I can say definitively is that, whatever the magnitude of the emissions impact is, it is unambiguously worse than petroleum gasoline.” Read more ☼
Nuclear Energy vs. Wind and Solar
by Mike Conley & Tim Maloney
Four bottom lines up front:
It would cost over $29 Trillion to generate America’s baseload electric power with a 50 / 50 mix of wind and solar farms, on parcels of land totaling the area of Indiana.
Or: It would cost over $18 Trillion with Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) farms in the southwest deserts, on parcels of land totaling the area of West Virginia.
Or: We could do it for less than $3 Trillion with AP-1000 Light Water Reactors, on parcels totaling a few square miles.
Or: We could do it for $1 Trillion with liquid-fueled Molten Salt Reactors, on the same amount of land, but with no water cooling, no risk of meltdowns, and the ability to use our stockpiles of nuclear “waste” as a secondary fuel. Read more ☼
How Green Energy Hurts the Poor
By William F. Shughart II, Michael Jensen, Independent Institute
The clean energy mantra is so loud that it often drowns out the feeble cry of energy poverty. Many Americans are finding it more and more difficult to pay their utility bills, yet this important issue is nearly absent from the debate about America’s energy future.
Modern progressives, who have long fancied themselves as champions of the poor, now see energy policy only through the lens of climate change. Their call to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, at any cost, drives public policy. Consequently, the sources of our most reliable and affordable electricity, existing coal power plants, are being shut down across the country as overzealous federal and state regulatory mandates force utilities to use less reliable, and more expensive sources such as wind and solar power.
For those on fixed incomes, increasing energy prices mean that the gap between what they can afford to pay and what they are paying for electricity is widening.Read more ☼
Replacing Coal with Renewables will Cause Blackouts by Eric Worrall
The Australian Energy Market Operator, the government body responsible for ensuring the stability of Australia’s energy supply, has issued a stark warning that closure of coal plants will dramatically increase the risk of widespread blackouts – that building additional renewable capacity will not compensate for the loss of coal capacity. Read more ☼
The Lunacy of Pledging to Eliminate Fossil Fuel Use since Wind and Solar Are Not the Answer to Much of Anything by Alan Carlin
Greatly increased human prosperity in some areas of the world over the last 150 years can be traced in large part to progressively greater access to and use of more efficient and more reliable energy sources to supplement human efforts. This progress has been encouraged and shaped by the market economy because it met human needs. If left entirely to market forces, wind and solar energy would only fill a few niche markets rather than being the Democratic Party’s primary means for implementing its energy policy objectives.
Recent increased government interference in energy markets has already brought many of the well known problems that often result from such interference such as political opportunism (think corn ethanol), taxpayer subsidies for the wealthy (electric cars), inefficiency, increased electricity costs, crony capitalism (corn ethanol), and bad technology bets (Solyndra). Proponents claim that wind and solar are the wave of the future when in reality they are a regression to less useful and more expensive energy and thus a lower standard of living. They even damage the environment by killing vast numbers of birds and bats and disfiguring the landscape.Read more ☼
Wind turbines now kill 3 – 5 million bats a year
By Kenneth Richard
Bats are known to be some of the world’s savviest aerial acrobats. Using their mysterious sonar system and shape-shifting wings, bats adeptly swerve and swoop and dive in flight to avoid collisions with both stable and moving objects.
And yet bats stand no chance against a 200-meter high wind turbine with blades the length of a football field, spinning at speeds up to 275 km per hour. Even if their tiny bodies can avoid a blunt-force collision with one of these merciless steel beasts, just the act of drawing near to a wind turbine may nonetheless expose bats to jarring air pressure changes that cause fatal lung damage (barotrauma). The latter is the main reason why bat carcasses can be found scattered beneath wind turbines at locations across the world. Read more ☼
Solar Panels Are Extremely Easy To Hack
Green energy systems and solar panels make the entire power grid increasingly vulnerable to hackers, according to a study published by The Manhattan Institute.
The study found that making the power grid networked enough to handle the intermittent and unreliable nature of solar and wind power inherently makes it more vulnerable to cyberattacks. These attacks have risen 60 percent annually for the last six years, and utilities are increasingly targeted by both malicious hackers and other countries. – Andrew Follet, Daily Caller ☼
The Renewable Fuel Standard: “Set Up For Fraud”
by Marita Noon
Wednesday, July 20, representing the latest fraudster to be convicted—but not the first and surely not the last—“a jury found an Indiana man guilty of securities fraud and other crimes connected to a massive biodiesel fraud scheme,” reported Greenwire. It turns out, Jeffrey Wilson and his multistate cohorts pretended to manufacture biodiesel, which allowed them to claim renewable fuel credits—known as Renewable Identification Numbers or RINs. The Department of Justice said Wilson’s actions resulted in a $20 million loss to investors, $140 million in revenue, and $56 million in criminal profit.
Biodiesel RINs have become a valuable commodity because, as a result of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), refiners are required to blend biofuels into the nation’s fuel supply and the RINs supposedly prove they’ve complied. Read more ☼
Item: Solar Impulse (A solar powered airplane )has accomplished a $177 million task by flying around the world in only 16 months (Source). Meanwhile, a 65-year-old Russian Orthodox priest made a solo, non-stop flight around the world in 11 days in a hot air balloon. (Source) ☼
Americans in the Western States Are Denied Equal Rights by George R. Wentz Jr & John W. Howard
Over the years, America has seen steady progress on the principle that individuals enjoy equal rights under the law. But that principle is violated daily for the tens of millions of people who live in the twelve western states where most of the land is claimed by the federal government. What does federal control of most of the land within a state have to do with equal rights? The answer may surprise you.
First, consider what the Supreme Court refers to as the “police power.” This is the power to legislate regarding the health, safety, and welfare of residents of a state.
Because the police power is controlled by 50 different States instead of one national sovereign, the facets of governing that touch on citizens’ daily lives are normally administered by smaller governments closer to the governed. The Framers thus ensured that powers which “in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people” were held by governments more local and more accountable than a distant federal bureaucracy.
Or consider the ability to self-govern, the cornerstone of citizenship. The Supreme Court has described the ability to tax as a necessary sovereign right of each state. And property taxes are the primary tax on which local governments depend. But Nevada is deprived of the ability to tax over 83 percent of the land within its borders. Read more ☼
Obama’s Unilateral Maine Action Proves: Time to Repeal Antiquities Act of 1906
Two land rights experts with the National Center for Public Policy Research are asking Congress to repeal a 110-year-old law under which President Obama unilaterally created a “Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument” in Maine this week without the involvement of Congress or the approval of Maine.
The experts say the President’s action had a hidden political agenda, and argue that requiring Congressional approval for future such decisions will help remove the politics from the decisionmaking, and allow for greater input from affected communities.
“President Obama has created an economic dead zone in the North Maine Woods,” said Bonner Cohen, Ph.D., senior fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research. “This is not an unintended consequence of the monument designation; this is exactly what Obama and the Greens want. By destroying the timber industry and other pillars of what’s left of Northern Maine’s rural economy, people seeking jobs will have no choice but to pack up and flock to urban areas to look for work. This will shift the political balance further to the advantage of the left, as the population of cities grows and that of rural areas sinks.” Read more ☼
Why Capitalism Works And Socialism Doesn’t: Arbitrage by Francis Menton
If you can buy something cheaply and immediately turn around and sell it for more, chances are you will do it. Why shouldn’t you? Is there something wrong with that? This is completely normal and pervasive human behavior. This behavior is also a source of a very large percentage of the wealth in wealthy countries where such behavior is permitted. It is also the reason why, in market economies, comparable things almost always trade for very comparable prices.
But of course, in a world of socialism — that is, where a government attempts to create perfect fairness and justice by means of coercive distribution — arbitrage poses a mortal threat. Do you understand why? If not, there are some good examples coming out of Venezuela, not to mention the ongoing saga of “affordable housing” here in New York. Read more ☼
Scandinavian Society is often touted as showing how socialism works well. New American magazine has an article showing that it is not that good. “While the rich do get soaked in Scandinavian countries, the middle class gets soaked even more. Even working-class people with relatively low-wage jobs get hit with tax rates that would be considered high in America.:
Also read: The Happiest People on Earth? ☼
A Tale of Two Platforms
BY Robert Knight
The 54-page GOP platform calls for greater personal responsibility; de-centralizing power; a Balanced Budget Amendment; reducing the size and scope of government; parental rights; gun ownership and religious liberty; tax incentives for economic growth; reducing taxes across the board; a crackdown on the Internal Revenue Service; overturning the Supreme Court’s rulings on Obamacare, abortion and same-sex “marriage”; rejecting any treaties not vetted by the Senate; rescinding President Obama’s executive orders granting amnesty to illegal immigrants; withholding federal funds from “sanctuary cities”; building a wall on our southern border; rebuilding American military strength, and exerting international leadership against ISIS and other threats.
The 52-page Democratic Party platform promises a new War on Poverty and socialist war on the rich; massive new public works projects; expanding federal programs at every level; more tax-subsidized abortions; cradle-to-grave health care; a “cradle-to-college pipeline”; free public college tuition for all; free childcare; mandatory national service; racial affirmative action; the LGBT political agenda; new regulatory mandates on businesses; a radical climate change agenda; leading “a broad coalition of allies and partners to destroy ISIS’ stronghold in Iraq and Syria,” and sky-is-the-limit confiscatory taxation, including a new levy on financial transactions, to pay for it all. Read more ☼
Free Markets as an Environmental Protector
by Hannah Downey, PERC
Climate change, wildfire, endangered species—all are hot-button topics on Capitol Hill this election year. As campaigns continue to play out and candidates soon go head-to-head in debates, we can expect to see many proposals for how politicians plan to shape government in the name of protecting the environment. Yet many would-be solutions put into effect by previous administrations have failed to solve environmental problems.
The expectation that it is government’s role to address and overcome environmental issues has its shortcomings. When environmental goals and controls are determined politically, special interests and pork-barrel politics often hijack the legislative process and end up determining priorities. Market-based solutions, however, have proven able to solve numerous environmental problems where government has fallen short.
In 1992, economists Richard Stroup and Jane Shaw outlined how private property and markets have the potential to do environmental good:
Over the long run, private ownership is the most effective protector of the environment—provided ownership is transferable and backed by courts that make people liable when their pollutants invade the person or property of others. This system of private ownership would protect the environment for the same reason that it protects other kinds of property: because it encourages good stewardship. Read more ☼
Ecological Authenticity Breaking down genetic analyses of wolves By Dave Skinner
In late July, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) published a significant paper by a nine-person team on “Whole-genome species analysis” of wolf DNA. Big news? For some – really, really old news to others.
Turns out gray wolves are, yep, mostly wolves, nonetheless with about 8 percent coyote. But other “wolf-like canids” were, as the scientists put it, “generated through admixture.” Red wolves, listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA)? 80 percent coyote. Mexican wolves? 85.8 percent! In plain English, mutts! Read more ☼
In 2003, researchers declared Coral Castles dead.
On the floor of a remote island lagoon halfway between Hawaii and Fiji, the giant reef site had been devastated by unusually warm water. Its remains looked like a pile of drab dinner plates tossed into the sea. Research dives in 2009 and 2012 had shown little improvement in the coral colonies.
Then in 2015, a team of marine biologists was stunned and overjoyed to find the giant coral reef once again teeming with life. Read more ☼
Warmest Temperatures *Ever*?
By John Hinderaker, Powerline
We are bombarded with claims that some month or year (e.g., 2016) is the “warmest ever.” But what does that mean? We are living in a relatively cool era. Temperatures today are lower than they have been something like 90% of the time since the last Ice Age ended 12,000 or so years ago. In fact, “ever” means since approximately the 1880s, when thermometer records became widespread. As it happens, that was also around the time when the Little Ice Age ended, so–happily!–the Earth is a bit warmer now than it was then.
One of the many problems with global warming hysteria is that it is based on the surface temperature record since the 1880s, which is deeply flawed when it is not outright falsified by alarmists who control the historical records. This happens often, as we and others have documented. This week’s The Week That Was from the Science and Environmental Policy Project explains some (but by no means all) additional problems with the surface temperature record:
Unfortunately, the IPCC, and others, use surface temperatures to evaluate the global climate models. The failure of the models to track the surface temperatures is not surprising. Historic data is very sparse, largely from western Europe and the US. The data is contaminated by significant changes in land use, particularly urbanization. And, as shown in the 2008 NIPCC report, since about 1970, there has been a marked decline in the stations used to establish surface temperatures, and dramatic decline in the number of 5 degree by 5 degree grid boxes covered. Around the year 2000 about 100 of the total of 2,592 possible grid boxes ([180/5] x [360/5]) were covered – 4%. Complicating matters has been the trend, at least in the US, of using stations at airports. Both pavement and flying frequency create measurement problems.
When the Charney report was produced in 1979, there were no comprehensive, global temperature data. But starting in 1989, going back to December 1978, we have had comprehensive global satellite data of the atmosphere. As shown in the report by John Christy, the comprehensive satellite data show that, generally, the global climate models greatly overestimate warming of the atmosphere, where the greenhouse effect occurs. Both satellite and surface data are influenced by weather events such as the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). But, since the satellite data is “cleaner” it should be easier to separate natural and other human effects from CO2 caused warming.
If the purpose of the models is to estimate the effect of CO2, then surface data are poor proxy data at best. Atmospheric data is far superior. The kindest possible justification for the IPCC, and others, not to use satellite data is mental inertia.
Actually, the explanation is political. The IPCC was explicitly established by the U.N. for one purpose only, to “study” the impact of human-emitted CO2 on global temperatures. This was for the purpose of justifying government control over industry worldwide. Anyone who is interested in science rather than left-wing politics relies on the satellite data, which are transparent and have not been “adjusted” by political activists. ☼
Climate Alarmism: Probably the Greatest Hoax/Scam in World History
by Alan Carlin
Climate alarmism is probably the greatest hoax/scam in world history. The main evidence for catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW), the principal alleged adverse effect of human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), is climate models built by CAGW supporters in a field where models with real predictive power do not exist and cannot be built with any demonstrable accuracy beyond a week or two because climate and weather are coupled non-linear chaotic systems. Without the models, the whole hoax/scam collapses. Even the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has stated (see Section 188.8.131.52 of the 2001 IPCC Report):
In climate research and modeling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. Read more ☼
Svensmark publishes: Solar activity has a direct impact on Earth’s cloud cover
From Denmark Technical University
Solar activity has a direct impact on Earth’s cloud cover. Solar variations affect the abundance of clouds in our atmosphere, a new study lead by DTU Space suggests. Large eruptions on the surface of the Sun can temporarily shield Earth from so-called cosmic rays which now appear to affect cloud formation. A team of scientists from the National Space Institute at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU Space) and the Racah Institute of Physics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has linked large solar eruptions to changes in Earth’s cloud cover in a study based on over 25 years of satellite observations. Read more ☼
Global warming and heavy rain
Al Gore claims that recent heavy rain events are due to global warming, but that contention is debunked by two new studies.
A University of Iowa study looked at US daily precipitation data for the period 1948 to 2012. They found “that over the last 65 years, the stronger storms are not getting stronger, but a larger number of heavy precipitation events have been observed. The annual maximum precipitation and annual frequency of heavy precipitation reveal a marked seasonality over the contiguous USA. However, we could not find any evidence suggesting shifting in the seasonality of annual maximum precipitation by investigating whether the day of the year at which the maximum precipitation occurs has changed over time.” They also note “that the climate variability of both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans can exert a large control on the precipitation frequency and magnitude over the contiguous USA.”
A study by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) concludes “no evidence was found for changes in extreme precipitation attributable to climate change in the available observed record.” ☼
Thin, tropical clouds cool the climate
By Brooks Hays
Climate models have failed to account for mid-level clouds in the tropics. New satellite analysis of tropical clouds has revealed their ubiquity, as well as their underappreciated cooling effect. Thin, tropical clouds form at an altitude of roughly three miles, often near convective clouds. The latest analysis suggests they help cool the climate. The role of clouds in climate models — and the roles of different cloud types — remains one of the most challenging variables for climate scientists as they try to calculate the precise effects of global warming. Read more ☼
Seismic activity and global warming
Viterito, A. 2016. The Correlation of Seismic Activity and Recent Global Warming. Journal of Earth Science & Climatic Change 7: 345. doi: 10.4172/2157-7617.1000345
In this intriguing new study, Viterito (2016) shows that increasing seismic activity of the globe’s high geothermal flux areas (HGFAs) — which is indicative of increasing geothermal forcing — is “highly correlated with average global temperatures from 1979 to 2015,” while “the correlation between carbon dioxide loading and global temperatures for the same period is lower.” And he thus notes that “HGFA seismicity is a significant predictor of global temperatures.”
In this regard, the U.S. researcher also reports that “multiple regression indicates that HGFA seismicity is a significant predictor of global temperatures,” but that rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations “do not significantly improve the explained variance.” And in light of these facts, Viterito concludes that “future research clearly needs to incorporate seismic and geothermal inputs into global climate models.”
As for the final take-home message of what he learned, Viterito writes that “to ameliorate the problems of rising global temperatures, legislative and taxing initiatives are currently being proposed and evaluated by governing bodies around the world.” However, he notes that “most of these initiatives are designed to curb greenhouse gas emissions,” and he suggests that “we may want to delay such actions until all of the climate system’s inputs are fully accounted for.”
In regard to this latter suggestion, Viterito defends it by noting that (1) “geothermal heat can trigger thermobaric convection and strengthen oceanic overturning,” which phenomena are important mechanisms for transferring ocean heat to the overlying atmosphere,” and that (2) “seismic activity is the leading indicator, while global temperature is the laggard.” (Source) ☼
Surface Frost Strikes Germany As Mid August Temperatures Shatter Old Records!
By P Gosselin on 12. August 2016
A blast of polar air swept across central Europe from Wednesday through Thursday, sending temperatures tumbling to record low levels for mid August in parts of Germany.
This summer’s cold, wet weather flies in the face of climate model projections, which in 2003 predicted Central Europeans in the future would have to expect hot, drought-ridden summers. But since 2003, 12 of 14 summers have been normal wet or wetter than normal. Read more ☼
Scientist Predicts ‘Little Ice Age,’ Gets Icey Reception From Colleagues
by Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller
Professor Valentina Zharkova at Northumbria University is being attacked by climate change proponents for publishing research suggesting there could be a 35-year period of low solar activity that could usher in an “ice age.”
Zharkova and her team of researchers released a study on sunspot modeling, finding that solar activity could fall to levels not seen since the so-called “Little Ice Age” of the 1600s. Zharkova’s conclusions may have huge implications for global temperature modeling, but her analysis is not accepted by some climate scientists.
“Some of them were welcoming and discussing. But some of them were quite — I would say — pushy,” she told The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF) in an interview on her solar study.
In fact, Zharkova said some scientists even tried to have her research suppressed.
Zharkova found that solar activity is driven by two magnetic waves from within the sun that can either dampen or amplify solar activity. Solar activity is believed to play a role in warming and cooling average global temperature.
Zharkova’s team incorporated solar data into predictive models and found that the sun is heading into a period of low solar activity similar to the Maunder Minimum of the late 1600s. During this time, scientists believe low solar activity contributed to cooler average global temperature. Read more ☼
Climate Change Agenda and the Role of Bureaucratic Scientists
by Dr. Tim Ball (read full post)
Bureaucrats perpetuate themselves and their agenda; it is the nature of bureaucracies. Bureaucracy defends the status quo long past the time the quo has lost its status.
The bureaucracy’s ability to control from within is much wider, more pervasive and unaccountable than most realize.
Judge Napolitano: “The deep state consists of intelligence, military, law enforcement and administrative agency personnel who aggressively protect their own interests, which transcend elections. Stated differently, many of these folks remain in opaque positions of power, and the governmental departments and agencies for which they work continue to expand, no matter which party wins the White House or controls Congress.”
There is only one group left effectively pushing the Global Warming and Climate Change, the scientist bureaucrats. Most politicians pretend concern because the eco-bullies make it unacceptable to doubt.
The entire global warming/climate change deception is possible and continues because it was created by scientist bureaucrats.
Upton Sinclair said,
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” ☼
“I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I traveled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.” -Benjamin Franklin (1766)
“Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific technological elite.”- President Dwight Eisenhower, Final address to the nation upon his leaving office.
“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”- George Bernard Shaw
“Black votes matter to many politicians — more so than black lives. That is why such politicians must try to keep black voters fearful, angry and resentful. Racial harmony would be a political disaster for such politicians.” -Thomas Sowell
“Whenever you find you are on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” —Mark Twain (1835-1910)
“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
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Newsletters can be viewed online on Jonathan’s Wryheat Blog:
See my essay on climate change:
The Constitution is the real contract with America.
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People for the West – Tucson, Inc.
PO Box 86868
Tucson, AZ 85754-6868
Jonathan DuHamel, President & Editor
Dr. John Forrester, Vice President
Lonni Lees, Associate Editor
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