2017-12 DECEMBER

People for the West -Tucson

Newsletter, December, 2017

PO Box 86868, Tucson, AZ 85754-6868

  pfw-tucson@cox.net


Real environmentalism can go hand in hand with natural resource production, private property rights, and access to public lands.


SOME CONSTITUTIONAL CONSIDERATIONS:

Assault Weapons – a Machine Gun from 1718

by Jonathan DuHamel

Proponents of stricter gun control have a problem with the Second Amendment: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” One of their arguments is that our Founding Fathers could not have imagined the rapid fire weapons of today. All they had were muzzle-loading rifles. But in fact, during the time of the American Revolution there were at least two weapons that could fire much faster than the standard muzzle-loading flintlock rifle of the time.

The “failure of imagination” argument falls to the facts of history.

In 1718, James Puckle invented and patented what was essentially a machine gun. According to Wikipedia, the Puckle gun “had a pre-loaded cylinder which held 11 charges and could fire 63 shots in seven minutes [9 shots per minute]—this at a time when the standard soldier’s musket could at best be loaded and fired three times per minute.” The gun was intended for use aboard British ships to repel boarders. Although the Puckle gun was never widely used, it was known at the time of the American Revolution.

Another relatively rapid fire weapon was the Ferguson Rifle invented by British officer, Major Patrick Ferguson. The Ferguson Rifle was a flint lock, but it was breech loading rather than the standard muzzle-loaded rifle. It could fire up to seven rounds per minute, two to three times faster that the muzzle-loading weapons of the day. This rifle was used by the British against the Americans in 1777. For more information and a video of a re-enactment firing of the Ferguson Rifle, go to this link.

By the way, Leonardo da Vinci designed a rapid fire weapon in 1481 (see here). ☼

Climate Change Policy and the Constitution

By Jon Reisman Read full post

The United States needs a climate change policy grounded in and consistent with the Constitution. We don’t have one.

The incoherence and ineffectiveness of our current climate policies are a consequence of the unconstitutional, extra-constitutional, and swamp-weasel approaches practiced by the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations.

Here are some of the numerous ways that climate change policy is violating, skirting or simply ignoring the Constitution:

Article 1, Section 1. Legislative power is vested in the Congress, and Congress hasn’t passed a national climate change policy.

Article 2, Section 2, Clause 2. Two international climate change policy agreements have been signed by the United States- Kyoto and Paris, but neither has been ratified, or even voted on, by the Senate. The Treaty power is shared between the President and the Senate, with 2/3 majority needed for ratification.

Article 1, Section 10, Clause 3. Foreign Policy is the province of the President and Congress, and State agreements and compacts with foreign powers and other states require the consent of Congress.

[This refers to the fact that liberal governors from California, Oregon and Washington showed up at the COP23 climate confab in Bonn, Germany to pledge that their states will remain obligated to the Paris climate treaty, and push ahead with even more stringent emission, electric vehicle, wind, solar and other programs.] ☼

The First Amendment, protected speech and Citizens United. SCOTUS has ruled that political speech is protected from government censorship, regardless of the source or content. But a coalition of Democrat State Attorneys general, backed by Tom Steyer and gubernatorial ambitions, have launched an investigation of climate change skeptics and Exxon Mobil, including issuing subpoenas to libertarian and conservative think tanks. The swamp-weasels, inspired by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), claim it’s a fraud investigation, but it’s a transparent and arrogant attempt to use government power to silence skeptics.☼

POLICY CONSIDERATIONS:

The Carbon Tax Option

by Alan Carlin

Given the tax reform effort currently under way in Congress this would seem an appropriate time to consider the usefulness of a carbon tax to increase Federal revenue even though no such proposal (happily) is in the current tax bill.

The first question, of course, is whether this perennial idea has any intrinsic merit. The answer is no.

The use of fiscal incentives for reducing pollution has considerable merit in general. Federal revenues are increased, other taxes which have adverse incentives can be reduced, pollution is decreased, and everyone is better off except the polluters. So win-win.

The problem with the oft-proposed carbon tax is that pollution would not be reduced because carbon dioxide CO2 is not a pollutant despite the endless propaganda by climate alarmists to the contrary. They claim that increased atmospheric levels of CO2 result in catastrophic increases in temperatures and that CO2 is thus a pollutant, albeit not the usual kind.

I and many other climate skeptics have argued that CO2 is not only not a pollutant but rather a vital component of Earth’s ecosystem, particularly for plants. It harms no one and helps plants, animals, and humans. Modest increases in global temperatures are good, not bad and the alleged catastrophic increases have no basis in science. So since CO2 is good, not bad, taxing human-caused emissions of it is bad, not good.

The Current Objective Should Be to Increase, Not Decrease Atmospheric CO2 Levels.

If any change is needed in current atmospheric CO2 levels, the need is to modestly increase levels, not decrease them. Further, increased human-caused CO2 emissions mean more energy use, which results in more human productivity since humans generally use fossil fuel energy to increase their productivity and reduce their dependency on other less reliable and higher cost energy sources.

The only virtue of carbon taxes is that if carefully done they can be more efficient than administrative regulations. So if a government has unfortunately decided to impose reductions on CO2 emissions, it would be better to use a carbon tax. But by far the best solution is no carbon tax and no regulations for this purpose.

Given the magnitude of the climate scam, of course, rationality may not prevail, but is much to be desired. (Source) ☼

If The Endangered Species Act Doesn’t Adapt, It Will Go Extinct

by By Alex Berezow, American Council on Science and Health

Every so often, the world debates whether or not it should exterminate the only known samples of smallpox. So far, we always have decided to keep them around, just in case we need them for research or vaccine development.

To end this debate once and for all, David Boze wrote a piece for American Spectator, in which he proposed that we declare smallpox an endangered species. His tongue-in-cheek article highlighted some of the absurdities of the Endangered Species Act.

For instance, for a species to be declared “endangered,” only one of five criteria have to be met. According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), those criteria are:

1) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range;

2) Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes;

3) Disease or predation;

4) The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms;

5) Other natural or manmade factors affecting its survival.

Currently, the U.S. has listed 1,656 species as endangered or threatened. But with such broad criteria, the real mystery is why there aren’t several thousand more. The criterion “other natural or manmade factors affecting its survival” could apply to just about any species on Earth. So, we might as well add smallpox to the list.

Did the Endangered Species Act Work?

Let’s set aside the flimsiness of the inclusion criteria and ask a more important question: Did the Endangered Species Act work? In other words, did the ESA accomplish what it sought to accomplish, namely the successful protection of species on the brink of extinction? The answer probably depends on whom you ask.

One study found that the longer a species has been listed, the more likely it is to recover. The ESA has also prevented most of them from becoming extinct, however, only about 28 species have recovered enough to be de-listed. Thus, the Endangered Species List is sort of like the Roach Motel — species check in, but they don’t check out. That might imply that the ESA isn’t working.

Some environmentalists contend that, despite receiving $1.4 billion annually, endangered species need more funding. But that is not convincing. The solution to mismanagement is rarely more money. (See the K-12 education system, for a case-in-point.) Instead, the solution is smarter management. Arguably, the ESA has not been smartly enforced, and in some cases, it has been abused.

Consider this nightmare story by a landowner who has found himself held hostage by an endangered species. A Louisiana man, who owns 1,544 acres, essentially has had his land confiscated by the USFWS for the benefit of the dusky gopher frog. The only problem, according to AgWeb, is that the frog doesn’t actually live there. It did at one time, but it doesn’t anymore. To add yet another Kafkaesque twist, while the government can take away this man’s property rights without compensation, they cannot force him to reintroduce the frog. So, nobody wins — neither the frog, nor the humans, unless the human is a lawyer. The lawyers always win, and the taxpayer foots the bill for the lawsuits fought by USFWS.

Ironically, the ESA also has unintended consequences. The authors of Freakonomics argue that habitat destruction actually increases in the short-term after a species receives endangered status. Why? Because people rush to develop their land, just in case their property is designated as critical habitat.

A mixed success record, abuse, regulatory mismanagement, and unintended consequences. Combined, these make the case that the Endangered Species Act is not working as intended. Though calls for its repeal are a bit extreme, those calls will only grow louder if the injustices to landowners remain unaddressed. The ESA must adapt, or it might find itself extinct. (Source) ☼

Don’t Pick A New Head For CFPB — Close It Down Instead

Investor’s Business Daily

Regulation: Like so many bureaucracies, the Obama-era Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a creation of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, began with the very best of intentions. But it has failed to do its job. Following the resignation of CFPB chief Richard Cordray, it’s a good time to consider shutting down the agency altogether. Set up to protect consumers from predatory lenders and rogue banks, the CFPB has in fact led to less credit for financially troubled Americans, and is arguably not even legal. And no, that’s not just our opinion. An October 2016 Supreme Court ruling found CFPB’s structure to be unconstitutional, a violation of the separation of powers in the nation’s supreme law. Read more ☼

ENERGY ISSUES:

Green Energy Train to Energy Poverty: How Environmental Activists and Liberal Politicians Are ‘Grubering’ America on Climate and Energy

by Joseph D’Aleo, CCM

MIT professor Jonathan Gruber, who was an advisor to Obama on the Obamacare Act mocked the “stupidity” of American voters and boasted of the Obama Administration’s ability to take advantage of it. They did that for Obamacare but also, in partnership with the environmental left for their regulatory siege, the Clean Power Plan (CPP) and the Paris treaty. The latest act from the last administration was the National Climate Assessment Climate Science Special Report (NCA CSSR) atrocity. [See my wryheat Post: Fourth National Climate Assessment Is Junk Science ]

The global warming agenda has nothing to do with science and everything to do with politics and ideology. Nearly 6 decades ago, President Eisenhower in his 1961 farewell address to the nation, in which the president famously warned of the danger to the nation of a growing armaments industry, referred to as a “military-industrial complex,” and talked about the risks posed by a scientific-technological elite.

He noted that the technological revolution of previous decades had been fed by more costly and centralized research, increasingly sponsored by the federal government. Eisenhower warned:

“Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity.” While continuing to respect discovery and scientific research, he said, “We must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”

The Club of Rome was an organization formed in 1968 consisting of heads of state, UN bureaucrats, high-level politicians and government officials, diplomats, scientists, economists and business leaders from around the globe. It raised considerable public attention in 1972 with its report The Limits to Growth.

The Club’s mission was “to act as a global catalyst for change through the identification and analysis of the crucial problems facing humanity”. They decided that more centralized control was needed under one world government. In their book “The First Global Revolution” in 1991, they wrote:

“In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming…would fit the bill….It does not matter if this common enemy is “a real one or…one invented for the purpose.” Read more ☼

Green Energy Madness: National Grid Pays Operators £350 Million to Switch off Turbines

By Rachel Millard ,Daily Mail, UK

Wind farm operators have been paid nearly £360million to switch off turbines because they are producing more power than the grid can take. (Wind and Solar cannot respond to demand.)

These ‘constraint payments’ have soared since 2010 – yet more turbines continue to spring up across the country.

National Grid, the power transmission network, compensates energy providers if it asks them to switch off to prevent the grid becoming overloaded.

A record 69 wind farms were paid to stop transmitting in the last weekend of October.

Analysis of National Grid figures shows it paid £334.7million to wind farms between 2010 and September this year. It is estimated to have paid a further £24.5million since then.

Critics said the rising costs, ultimately passed on to the public, were bad for consumers and showed the industry was ‘seriously overheated’.

Payments have risen from £200,000 in 2010 – the first year they were made – to £85.4million in 2016.

The average price this year was £70 per megawatt hour.

Dr Lee Moroney, research director at the Renewable Energy Foundation (REF), said: ‘The fact that new wind farms are constrained off as soon as they start generating, sometimes even before they are officially opened, shows that the Scottish Government has allowed the wind sector to become seriously overheated.

‘This is very bad for consumers, who have to pay high constraint payments in the short run and high grid expansion costs in the longer run.’ (Source) ☼

German Media Report: Power Grids In Distress…Highly Unstable Due To Wind And Sun Power!

By P Gosselin

Recently German SAT1 television broadcast a documentary on the state of the European and German increasingly green power grid: “How secure are our power grids?” Due to the volatile and unpredictable supply of wind and solar energy, the grid has become far more unstable, the documentary warns. The news is not good: Chances of German power grid blackout increasingly on the rise, experts warn. At best: the consumers are getting a far lousier product at a much higher price.

Bernd Benser of GridLab-Berlin tells viewers that while grid operator Tennet had to intervene only 3 times in 2002 to avert grid instability, last year he says the number was “over 1000” times — or “three times daily”.

These intervention actions, known as redispatching, cost the consumer about a billion euros last year alone, says Benser. The SAT 1 warns that more power transmission lines are urgently needed if the Energiewende is to avoid “becoming a sinking ship“. However over the years acceptance by citizens has swung from a generally warm welcome to ferocious opposition. Politicians need to start noting that green energies have overstayed their welcome.

And as wind and solar power capacity gets added to the grid without expanding transmission capability to offset the ever more wild fluctuations, grid operators are now constantly scrambling to keep the grid from spiraling out of control. Read more ☼

Renewable Fuel Standard Follies

by Peter Ferrara, The American Spectator

Only because of RFS mandates does the U.S. have a dependency on any kind of foreign fuel. We should be exporting ethanol instead.

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is a federal law requiring transportation fuel sold in the U.S. to contain a minimum volume of fuel that is “renewable.” In practice, that has included mixing agricultural products to be burned with the fuel, like the corn in “ethanol.”

The law was first enacted in 2005, and has been troubled from the start. The law required 4 billion gallons of “biofuel” to be blended into gasoline and diesel in the very next year, increasing steadily to 7.5 billion by 2012. Yet, the market was not producing anywhere near these volumes those years.

For the subcategory of cellulosic biofuels, the federal mandate required 6.6 million gallons to be blended into gasoline by 2011, when there was still not any production of cellulosic biofuel. Yet, the mandate marched on to require 3 billion gallons of cellulosic by 2015, when only 142 million gallons were actually produced. Even by the end of 2014, only one plant in the U.S. was producing cellulosic ethanol.

The renewable fuel standard was originally begun with two purposes. One reduce dependence on foreign fuels, two create energy industry jobs at home.

But due to the shale oil revolution, produced by modern “fracking” and horizontal drilling, the markets have raced ahead and achieved both of these goals without the RFS. Oil production in the U.S. has soared by more than 50%, making America the world’s number one oil producer again, and achieving American energy independence. Oil imports have declined by more than 50% as a result.

America is also now the world’s number one producer of natural gas, and easily has the resources to be the world’s number one producer of coal. World leadership in this energy triumvirate is already sharply increasing U.S. energy jobs, with Trump moving the federal government out of the way.

But the RFS today is having the opposite effect. Refiners and distributors today are now buying foreign renewables to meet the RFS mandates, which is increasing dependence on foreign energy sources. Read more ☼

GEOLOGY (NOT CLIMATE CHANGE)

Melting and calving of glaciers in West Antarctica has been attributed to global warming in the alarmist press. But, geology rules!

New map of Antarctic geothermal heat

by Anthony Watts

An international team of scientists, led by British Antarctic Survey (BAS), has produced a new map showing how much heat from the Earth’s interior is reaching the base of the Antarctic Ice Sheet. The data used come from magnetic measurements mainly collected by aircraft flying over the continent and the results reveal the ‘hot spots’ under West Antarctica, (West Antarctic Ice Sheet WAIS) and on the Antarctic Peninsula. These areas are the most rapidly changing areas of the Antarctic Ice Sheet. Read more

See also: In August, researchers at Edinburgh University announced that frigid West Antarctica is home to at least 138 volcanoes, all concealed within an ice sheet that’s up to two kilometers thick in some places! Source.

The first physical evidence of subglacial volcanism under the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Source ☼

 

Parting Thoughts:

“It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.” – Mark Twain

“It is the manners and spirit of a people which preserve a republic in vigor. A degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats to the heart of its laws and constitution.” —Thomas Jefferson (1781)

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!” – Upton Sinclair

” The most sacred of the duties of a government [is] to do equal and impartial justice to all citizens.” —Thomas Jefferson (1816)

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day.” – Albert Einstein

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

* * *

Our Mission

1) Support private property rights.

2) Support multiple use management of federal lands for agriculture, livestock grazing, mining, oil and gas production, recreation, timber harvesting and water development activities.

3) Support a balance of environmental responsibility and economic benefit for all Americans by urging that environmental policy be based on good science and sound economic principles.

The Constitution is the real contract with America.

* * *

People for the West – Tucson, Inc.

PO Box 86868

Tucson, AZ 85754-6868

pfw-tucson@cox.net

Jonathan DuHamel, President & Editor

Dr. John Forrester, Vice President

Lonni Lees, Associate Editor

People for the West – Tucson, Inc. is an Arizona tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) corporation. Newsletter subscriptions are free.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 1718, James Puckle invented and patented what was essentially a machine gun. According to Wikipedia, the Puckle gun “had a pre-loaded cylinder which held 11 charges and could fire 63 shots in seven minutes [9 shots per minute]—this at a time when the standard soldier’s musket could at best be loaded and fired three times per minute.” The gun was intended for use aboard British ships to repel boarders. Although the Puckle gun was never widely used, it was known at the time of the American Revolution.

 

Another relatively rapid fire weapon was the Ferguson Rifle invented by British officer, Major Patrick Ferguson. The Ferguson Rifle was a flint lock, but it was breech loading rather than the standard muzzle-loaded rifle. It could fire up to seven rounds per minute, two to three times faster that the muzzle-loading weapons of the day. This rifle was used by the British against the Americans in 1777. For more information and a video of a re-enactment firing of the Ferguson Rifle, go to this link.

 

By the way, Leonardo da Vinci designed a rapid fire weapon in 1481 (see here). ☼

 

Climate Change Policy and the Constitution

By Jon Reisman Read full post

 

The United States needs a climate change policy grounded in and consistent with the Constitution. We don’t have one.

 

The incoherence and ineffectiveness of our current climate policies are a consequence of the unconstitutional, extra-constitutional, and swamp-weasel approaches practiced by the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations.

 

Here are some of the numerous ways that climate change policy is violating, skirting or simply ignoring the Constitution:

 

Article 1, Section 1. Legislative power is vested in the Congress, and Congress hasn’t passed a national climate change policy.

 

Article 2, Section 2, Clause 2. Two international climate change policy agreements have been signed by the United States- Kyoto and Paris, but neither has been ratified, or even voted on, by the Senate. The Treaty power is shared between the President and the Senate, with 2/3 majority needed for ratification.

 

Article 1, Section 10, Clause 3. Foreign Policy is the province of the President and Congress, and State agreements and compacts with foreign powers and other states require the consent of Congress.

[This refers to the fact that liberal governors from California, Oregon and Washington showed up at the COP23 climate confab in Bonn, Germany to pledge that their states will remain obligated to the Paris climate treaty, and push ahead with even more stringent emission, electric vehicle, wind, solar and other programs.] ☼

 

The First Amendment, protected speech and Citizens United. SCOTUS has ruled that political speech is protected from government censorship, regardless of the source or content. But a coalition of Democrat State Attorneys general, backed by Tom Steyer and gubernatorial ambitions, have launched an investigation of climate change skeptics and Exxon Mobil, including issuing subpoenas to libertarian and conservative think tanks. The swamp-weasels, inspired by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), claim it’s a fraud investigation, but it’s a transparent and arrogant attempt to use government power to silence skeptics.☼

 

POLICY CONSIDERATIONS:

 

The Carbon Tax Option

by Alan Carlin

 

Given the tax reform effort currently under way in Congress this would seem an appropriate time to consider the usefulness of a carbon tax to increase Federal revenue even though no such proposal (happily) is in the current tax bill.

 

The first question, of course, is whether this perennial idea has any intrinsic merit. The answer is no.

 

The use of fiscal incentives for reducing pollution has considerable merit in general. Federal revenues are increased, other taxes which have adverse incentives can be reduced, pollution is decreased, and everyone is better off except the polluters. So win-win.

 

The problem with the oft-proposed carbon tax is that pollution would not be reduced because carbon dioxide CO2 is not a pollutant despite the endless propaganda by climate alarmists to the contrary. They claim that increased atmospheric levels of CO2 result in catastrophic increases in temperatures and that CO2 is thus a pollutant, albeit not the usual kind.

 

I and many other climate skeptics have argued that CO2 is not only not a pollutant but rather a vital component of Earth’s ecosystem, particularly for plants. It harms no one and helps plants, animals, and humans. Modest increases in global temperatures are good, not bad and the alleged catastrophic increases have no basis in science. So since CO2 is good, not bad, taxing human-caused emissions of it is bad, not good.

 

The Current Objective Should Be to Increase, Not Decrease Atmospheric CO2 Levels

 

If any change is needed in current atmospheric CO2 levels, the need is to modestly increase levels, not decrease them. Further, increased human-caused CO2 emissions mean more energy use, which results in more human productivity since humans generally use fossil fuel energy to increase their productivity and reduce their dependency on other less reliable and higher cost energy sources.

 

The only virtue of carbon taxes is that if carefully done they can be more efficient than administrative regulations. So if a government has unfortunately decided to impose reductions on CO2 emissions, it would be better to use a carbon tax. But by far the best solution is no carbon tax and no regulations for this purpose.

 

Given the magnitude of the climate scam, of course, rationality may not prevail, but is much to be desired. (Source) ☼

 

If The Endangered Species Act Doesn’t Adapt, It Will Go Extinct

by By Alex Berezow, American Council on Science and Health

 

Every so often, the world debates whether or not it should exterminate the only known samples of smallpox. So far, we always have decided to keep them around, just in case we need them for research or vaccine development.

 

To end this debate once and for all, David Boze wrote a piece for American Spectator, in which he proposed that we declare smallpox an endangered species. His tongue-in-cheek article highlighted some of the absurdities of the Endangered Species Act.

 

For instance, for a species to be declared “endangered,” only one of five criteria have to be met. According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), those criteria are:

 

1) The present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of its habitat or range;

2) Overutilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes;

3) Disease or predation;

4) The inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms;

5) Other natural or manmade factors affecting its survival.

 

Currently, the U.S. has listed 1,656 species as endangered or threatened. But with such broad criteria, the real mystery is why there aren’t several thousand more. The criterion “other natural or manmade factors affecting its survival” could apply to just about any species on Earth. So, we might as well add smallpox to the list.

 

Did the Endangered Species Act Work?

 

Let’s set aside the flimsiness of the inclusion criteria and ask a more important question: Did the Endangered Species Act work? In other words, did the ESA accomplish what it sought to accomplish, namely the successful protection of species on the brink of extinction? The answer probably depends on whom you ask.

 

One study found that the longer a species has been listed, the more likely it is to recover. The ESA has also prevented most of them from becoming extinct, however, only about 28 species have recovered enough to be de-listed. Thus, the Endangered Species List is sort of like the Roach Motel — species check in, but they don’t check out. That might imply that the ESA isn’t working.

 

Some environmentalists contend that, despite receiving $1.4 billion annually, endangered species need more funding. But that is not convincing. The solution to mismanagement is rarely more money. (See the K-12 education system, for a case-in-point.) Instead, the solution is smarter management. Arguably, the ESA has not been smartly enforced, and in some cases, it has been abused.

 

Consider this nightmare story by a landowner who has found himself held hostage by an endangered species. A Louisiana man, who owns 1,544 acres, essentially has had his land confiscated by the USFWS for the benefit of the dusky gopher frog. The only problem, according to AgWeb, is that the frog doesn’t actually live there. It did at one time, but it doesn’t anymore. To add yet another Kafkaesque twist, while the government can take away this man’s property rights without compensation, they cannot force him to reintroduce the frog. So, nobody wins — neither the frog, nor the humans, unless the human is a lawyer. The lawyers always win, and the taxpayer foots the bill for the lawsuits fought by USFWS.

 

Ironically, the ESA also has unintended consequences. The authors of Freakonomics argue that habitat destruction actually increases in the short-term after a species receives endangered status. Why? Because people rush to develop their land, just in case their property is designated as critical habitat.

 

A mixed success record, abuse, regulatory mismanagement, and unintended consequences. Combined, these make the case that the Endangered Species Act is not working as intended. Though calls for its repeal are a bit extreme, those calls will only grow louder if the injustices to landowners remain unaddressed. The ESA must adapt, or it might find itself extinct. (Source) ☼

 

Don’t Pick A New Head For CFPB — Close It Down Instead

Investor’s Business Daily

 

Regulation: Like so many bureaucracies, the Obama-era Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a creation of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill, began with the very best of intentions. But it has failed to do its job. Following the resignation of CFPB chief Richard Cordray, it’s a good time to consider shutting down the agency altogether. Set up to protect consumers from predatory lenders and rogue banks, the CFPB has in fact led to less credit for financially troubled Americans, and is arguably not even legal. And no, that’s not just our opinion. An October 2016 Supreme Court ruling found CFPB’s structure to be unconstitutional, a violation of the separation of powers in the nation’s supreme law. Read more ☼

 

ENERGY ISSUES:

 

Green Energy Train to Energy Poverty: How Environmental Activists and Liberal Politicians Are ‘Grubering’ America on Climate and Energy

by Joseph D’Aleo, CCM

 

MIT professor Jonathan Gruber, who was an advisor to Obama on the Obamacare Act mocked the “stupidity” of American voters and boasted of the Obama Administration’s ability to take advantage of it. They did that for Obamacare but also, in partnership with the environmental left for their regulatory siege, the Clean Power Plan (CPP) and the Paris treaty. The latest act from the last administration was the National Climate Assessment Climate Science Special Report (NCA CSSR) atrocity. [See my wryheat Post: Fourth National Climate Assessment Is Junk Science ]

 

The global warming agenda has nothing to do with science and everything to do with politics and ideology. Nearly 6 decades ago, President Eisenhower in his 1961 farewell address to the nation, in which the president famously warned of the danger to the nation of a growing armaments industry, referred to as a “military-industrial complex,” and talked about the risks posed by a scientific-technological elite.

 

He noted that the technological revolution of previous decades had been fed by more costly and centralized research, increasingly sponsored by the federal government. Eisenhower warned:

 

“Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity.” While continuing to respect discovery and scientific research, he said, “We must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”

 

The Club of Rome was an organization formed in 1968 consisting of heads of state, UN bureaucrats, high-level politicians and government officials, diplomats, scientists, economists and business leaders from around the globe. It raised considerable public attention in 1972 with its report The Limits to Growth.

 

The Club’s mission was “to act as a global catalyst for change through the identification and analysis of the crucial problems facing humanity”. They decided that more centralized control was needed under one world government. In their book “The First Global Revolution” in 1991, they wrote:

 

“In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming…would fit the bill….It does not matter if this common enemy is “a real one or…one invented for the purpose.” Read more ☼

 

Green Energy Madness: National Grid Pays Operators £350 Million to Switch off Turbines

By Rachel Millard ,Daily Mail, UK

 

Wind farm operators have been paid nearly £360million to switch off turbines because they are producing more power than the grid can take. (Wind and Solar cannot respond to demand.)

 

These ‘constraint payments’ have soared since 2010 – yet more turbines continue to spring up across the country.

 

National Grid, the power transmission network, compensates energy providers if it asks them to switch off to prevent the grid becoming overloaded.

 

A record 69 wind farms were paid to stop transmitting in the last weekend of October.

 

Analysis of National Grid figures shows it paid £334.7million to wind farms between 2010 and September this year. It is estimated to have paid a further £24.5million since then.

 

Critics said the rising costs, ultimately passed on to the public, were bad for consumers and showed the industry was ‘seriously overheated’.

 

Payments have risen from £200,000 in 2010 – the first year they were made – to £85.4million in 2016.

 

The average price this year was £70 per megawatt hour.

 

Dr Lee Moroney, research director at the Renewable Energy Foundation (REF), said: ‘The fact that new wind farms are constrained off as soon as they start generating, sometimes even before they are officially opened, shows that the Scottish Government has allowed the wind sector to become seriously overheated.

 

‘This is very bad for consumers, who have to pay high constraint payments in the short run and high grid expansion costs in the longer run.’ (Source) ☼

 

German Media Report: Power Grids In Distress…Highly Unstable Due To Wind And Sun Power!

By P Gosselin

 

Recently German SAT1 television broadcast a documentary on the state of the European and German increasingly green power grid: “How secure are our power grids?” Due to the volatile and unpredictable supply of wind and solar energy, the grid has become far more unstable, the documentary warns. The news is not good: Chances of German power grid blackout increasingly on the rise, experts warn. At best: the consumers are getting a far lousier product at a much higher price.

 

Bernd Benser of GridLab-Berlin tells viewers that while grid operator Tennet had to intervene only 3 times in 2002 to avert grid instability, last year he says the number was “over 1000” times — or “three times daily”.

 

These intervention actions, known as redispatching, cost the consumer about a billion euros last year alone, says Benser. The SAT 1 warns that more power transmission lines are urgently needed if the Energiewende is to avoid “becoming a sinking ship“. However over the years acceptance by citizens has swung from a generally warm welcome to ferocious opposition. Politicians need to start noting that green energies have overstayed their welcome.

 

And as wind and solar power capacity gets added to the grid without expanding transmission capability to offset the ever more wild fluctuations, grid operators are now constantly scrambling to keep the grid from spiraling out of control. Read more ☼

 

Renewable Fuel Standard Follies

by Peter Ferrara, The American Spectator

 

Only because of RFS mandates does the U.S. have a dependency on any kind of foreign fuel. We should be exporting ethanol instead.

 

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is a federal law requiring transportation fuel sold in the U.S. to contain a minimum volume of fuel that is “renewable.” In practice, that has included mixing agricultural products to be burned with the fuel, like the corn in “ethanol.”

 

The law was first enacted in 2005, and has been troubled from the start. The law required 4 billion gallons of “biofuel” to be blended into gasoline and diesel in the very next year, increasing steadily to 7.5 billion by 2012. Yet, the market was not producing anywhere near these volumes those years.

 

For the subcategory of cellulosic biofuels, the federal mandate required 6.6 million gallons to be blended into gasoline by 2011, when there was still not any production of cellulosic biofuel. Yet, the mandate marched on to require 3 billion gallons of cellulosic by 2015, when only 142 million gallons were actually produced. Even by the end of 2014, only one plant in the U.S. was producing cellulosic ethanol.

 

The renewable fuel standard was originally begun with two purposes. One reduce dependence on foreign fuels, two create energy industry jobs at home.

 

But due to the shale oil revolution, produced by modern “fracking” and horizontal drilling, the markets have raced ahead and achieved both of these goals without the RFS. Oil production in the U.S. has soared by more than 50%, making America the world’s number one oil producer again, and achieving American energy independence. Oil imports have declined by more than 50% as a result.

 

America is also now the world’s number one producer of natural gas, and easily has the resources to be the world’s number one producer of coal. World leadership in this energy triumvirate is already sharply increasing U.S. energy jobs, with Trump moving the federal government out of the way.

 

But the RFS today is having the opposite effect. Refiners and distributors today are now buying foreign renewables to meet the RFS mandates, which is increasing dependence on foreign energy sources. Read more ☼

 

GEOLOGY (NOT CLIMATE CHANGE)

 

Melting and calving of glaciers in West Antarctica has been attributed to global warming in the alarmist press. But, geology rules!

 

New map of Antarctic geothermal heat

by Anthony Watts

An international team of scientists, led by British Antarctic Survey (BAS), has produced a new map showing how much heat from the Earth’s interior is reaching the base of the Antarctic Ice Sheet. The data used come from magnetic measurements mainly collected by aircraft flying over the continent and the results reveal the ‘hot spots’ under West Antarctica, (West Antarctic Ice Sheet WAIS) and on the Antarctic Peninsula. These areas are the most rapidly changing areas of the Antarctic Ice Sheet. Read more

 

See also: In August, researchers at Edinburgh University announced that frigid West Antarctica is home to at least 138 volcanoes, all concealed within an ice sheet that’s up to two kilometers thick in some places! Source.

 

The first physical evidence of subglacial volcanism under the West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Source ☼

 

Parting Thoughts:

 

“It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”

– Mark Twain

 

“It is the manners and spirit of a people which preserve a republic in vigor. A degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats to the heart of its laws and constitution.” —Thomas Jefferson (1781)

 

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!” – Upton Sinclair

 

” The most sacred of the duties of a government [is] to do equal and impartial justice to all citizens.” —Thomas Jefferson (1816)

 

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day.” – Albert Einstein

 

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

 

* * *

 

Our Mission

1) Support private property rights.

 

2) Support multiple use management of federal lands for agriculture, livestock grazing, mining, oil and gas production, recreation, timber harvesting and water development activities.

 

3) Support a balance of environmental responsibility and economic benefit for all Americans by urging that environmental policy be based on good science and sound economic principles.

 

The Constitution is the real contract with America.

* * *

People for the West – Tucson, Inc.

PO Box 86868

Tucson, AZ 85754-6868

pfw-tucson@cox.net

 

Jonathan DuHamel, President & Editor

Dr. John Forrester, Vice President

Lonni Lees, Associate Editor

 

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In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only.

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