People for the West -Tucson
Newsletter, April, 2018
PO Box 86868, Tucson, AZ 85754-6868
Real environmentalism can go hand in hand with natural resource production, private property rights, and access to public lands
Guns are not the problem; gun-free zones are
by Jonathan DuHamel
The February 14, 2018, murders at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, demonstrate that government cannot always protect us. Local, State, and federal government agencies had numerous red flags about the shooter, yet failed to act. Even as the school shooting commenced, local police at the scene failed to engage him.
Since that tragedy we have had many marches by “useful idiots” calling for banning guns. But guns themselves are not the problem; gun-free zones are.
For instance: The non-profit RAND corporation spent two years and $1 million on an analysis, searching for evidence of benefit from gun control policies. RAND’s analysis looked to establish connections between gun policies and rates of homicide, suicide, self-defense gun use, hunting, and other categories. The vast majority of those categories went unaffected by legislation. Read more
Another side of the problem: “While mass killers generally have guns in their hands, another commonality is that they often have psychiatric drugs in their blood. The difference, though, is that it isn’t guns that have the side effect of “homicidal ideation.” – Selwyn Duke Read more
The political left and left-media are not letting this crisis go to waste:
The Adolescent 2nd Amendment Puppet Protests
The Patriot Post
In a display of just how dumbed down American students’ civic awareness has become, thousands of students across America walked out of their schools March 14 [and March 24], using their First Amendment rights to protest against Second Amendment rights. The Leftmedia coverage has been fawning, to say the least. These kids are viewed with reverence as sages possessing moral authority that cannot be questioned. By contrast, little attention is given to the students who did not walk out, or gathered to show support for our constitutional rights. Spurred on by leftists, however, student protesters are being used as pawns in a play designed to shame conservative lawmakers for not creating more laws to limit the Second Amendment.
A string of Democrats, including Nancy Pelosi and Bernie Sanders, addressed the crowd of students in DC, which speaks volumes about the political agenda. But remember: Democrats don’t care about children unless they can serve the leftist agenda.
Not that students are admitting it. “It’s not Republican or Democrat; it’s about keeping people safe,” said a 16-year-old student from Manhattan. “We know what we want from our society: to have less guns and, at some point, no guns at all.” (Grammar police: shouldn’t that be fewer guns?)
There you go — safe spaces and gun confiscation. Unfortunately for this naive young lady, those two are mutually exclusive. Liberty isn’t defended with a smart phone and poster-board sign.
In related news, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered all armed officers removed from New York City schools. You know, because he cares about kids.
Capitulating to the misguided and ill-informed sentiments of a youthful mob is not how wise legislation is enacted — never mind how constitutional rights are defended. Rather it is often the means by which nefarious individuals manipulate the masses in designed efforts to promote their own totalitarian agendas. Read more ☼
“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms … disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes.” —Cesare Beccaria
“It is only by obtaining some sort of insight into the psychology of crowds that it can be understood how powerless they are to hold any opinions other than those which are imposed upon them.” Gustave Le Bon, The Crowd
Sometimes there is a difference between what is law and what is justice
by Jonathan DuHamel
I recently received a summons to jury duty which brought to mind what happened the last time I had jury duty.
The judge asked prospective jurors if evidence indicated conviction, would they vote to convict even if they disagreed with the law. Everybody said “yes” except me. What follows is the justification for my answer.
It is the job of the court to see to the law, but it is the job of the jury to see to justice. Columnist Walter Williams gives an example:
“I was summoned for jury duty some years ago, and during voir dire, the attorney asked me whether I could obey the judge’s instructions. I answered, ‘It all depends upon what those instructions are.’ Irritatingly, the judge asked me to explain myself. I explained that if I were on a jury back in the 1850s, and a person was on trial for violating the Fugitive Slave Act by assisting a runaway slave, I would vote for acquittal regardless of the judge’s instructions. The reason is that slavery is unjust and any law supporting it is unjust. Needless to say, I was dismissed from jury duty.” – Walter Williams, 11 July 2007
The judge in my past appearance asked why I said “no.” I explained that, in my opinion, jurors had the right and duty to judge all of the circumstances as well as the evidence. I also mentioned the following which establishes that principle:
John Jay, first Chief Justice, U.S. Supreme Court, wrote in Georgia v. Brailsford, 3 U.S. 1 (1794): “The jury has a right to judge both the law as well as the fact in controversy.”
Samuel Chase, Supreme Court Justice and signer of the Declaration of Independence, wrote in 1804: “The jury has the right to determine both the law and the facts.”
U. S. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said in 1902: “The jury has the power to bring a verdict in the teeth of both law and fact.”
Harlan F. Stone, the 12th Chief Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court, stated in 1941: “The law itself is on trial quite as much as the cause which is to be decided.”
In 1972, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said that the jury has an “unreviewable and irreversible power… to acquit in disregard of the instructions on the law given by the trial judge….” (US vs Dougherty, 473 F 2d 1113, 1139 (1972))
That jurors can rule against both law and evidence is called jury nullification. Jury Nullification, as defined by the US Dictionary of Law is “A sanctioned doctrine of trial proceedings wherein members of a jury disregard either the evidence presented or the instructions of the judge in order to reach a verdict based upon their own consciences. It espouses the concept that jurors should be the judges of both law and fact.”
More recently, Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor supported Jury Nullification. (Source)
The purpose of Jury Nullification is to protect citizens from unjust laws perpetrated by government. It is part of the “checks and balances” of our republic.
Prospective jurors are not likely to hear about this from a trial judge. The judge dismissed me from jury duty that day. ☼
Taming The Environmental Beast That Was Meant To Be A Watchdog (NEPA)
by James W. Coleman
What was first proposed by Congress as a modest law to assess the environmental impact of highway construction and other publicly owned projects, has grown into a bureaucratic monster, the likes of which no one ever imagined.
Nearly a half-century ago, before major federal environmental laws existed, Congress wanted to ensure that all federal agencies consider the environmental impact of their actions. This well intended action led to passage of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
However Congress didn’t envision how a seemingly modest watchdog law would become the regulatory monster that it is today.
America’s permitting and regulatory process is now so tightly bound in red tape, virtually no major energy or construction project can be accomplished without years of permitting delays, involvement of multiple government agencies, and seemingly endless litigation. According to a 2016 review by the National Association of Environmental Professionals, it now takes an average of 5 years to complete one NEPA environmental impact statement. This timeline doesn’t include the years of litigation that routinely follow every major energy and construction project.
Recommended NEPA reforms include a “one agency, one decision” model. Instead of having environmental permits bounce from one federal agency to another, amounting to years — even decades — in delays, a lead agency would produce a single, encompassing, realistic review of the project. These reviews would have to meet a two-year deadline. Read more Read also my Wryheat post: How Nepa Crushes Productivity ☼
Why is liberal California the poverty capital of America?
By Kerry Jackson, L.A. Times
Extensive environmental regulations aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions make energy more expensive, also hurting the poor. By some estimates, California energy costs are as much as 50% higher than the national average. Jonathan A. Lesser of Continental Economics, author of a 2015 Manhattan Institute study, “Less Carbon, Higher Prices,” found that “in 2012, nearly 1 million California households faced … energy expenditures exceeding 10% of household income. In certain California counties, the rate of energy poverty was as high as 15% of all households.” A Pacific Research Institute study by Wayne Winegarden found that the rate could exceed 17% of median income in some areas. Read more ☼
Approaching ‘grand solar minimum’ could cause global cooling
by Anthony Watts
[Note: solar minimums mean that the sun’s magnetic field blocks fewer incoming cosmic rays which produce clouds and cooling.]
There’s a lot of evidence mounting that solar cycle 25 will usher in a new grand solar minimum. Since about October 2005, when the sun’s magnetic activity went into a sharp fall, solar activity has been markedly lower, with solar cycle 24 being the lowest in over 100 years. Cycle 24 is part of a weakening progression of solar cycles since 1980.
Meteorologist Paul Dorian at Vencore weather writes:
All indications are that the upcoming solar minimum which is expected to begin in 2019 may be even quieter than the last one which was the deepest in nearly a century.
Some scientists are even saying that we are on the cusp of a new grand solar minimum, and the upcoming cycle 25 may have even lower cycles after it. The question is whether we will enter another grand solar minimum just like the Maunder minimum which, if history is a guide, would mean a period of much colder winters and summers.Read more and see graphs
Note: The Maunder Minimum occurred between 1645 and 1715 when very few sunspots were observed. The Maunder minimum coincided with the coldest part of the “Little Ice Age” (c. 1500–1850) in the Northern Hemisphere, when the Thames River in England froze over during winter, Viking settlers abandoned Greenland.. This low activity was correlated with a cooling period that caused crops to fail and had many impacts on the human economy. ☼
Why Global Cooling Is of Much More Concern than Warming
by Alan Carlin
The important thing is that it is not global warming that is of primary concern for humans. It is global cooling. Few people move north to escape the hot summers, while many move south to escape the cold and snow. Few people die from high temperatures; many die from cold temperatures. As discussed previously, there is little danger of significant increases in temperatures, while it is almost a certainty that Earth is headed for a new ice age since interglacial periods rarely last much more than the current one has. A new ice age could have very devastating effects on life on Earth, including humans. This is the major risk by far both in terms of both likelihood and adverse effects.
Since CO2 levels depend primarily on temperatures, the major risk is too little CO2, not too much. So besides worrying about the less important and less likely possible temperature change (global warming), the alarmists have gotten their science backwards. One wonders whether and how they may justify increasing CO2 levels and temperatures given their history of attention to global warming.
If the climate realists’ predictions of gradual cooling prove to be correct, I hope everyone will remember how wrong the alarmists have been–bad climate predictions, bad science, and wrong direction of concern. Hopefully everyone will remember this and disregard what they have to say in the future. Maybe “environmental” organizations need to do a little more research on picking their major campaign issues so as to avoid such likely disasters in the future. They need to select real and important environmental issues for their attention. (Source) ☼
Scientists Admit We Need Better Thermometers To Measure Climate Change
by Michael Bastasch, Daily Caller
A group of prominent scientists are calling for a global network of advanced weather stations that don’t need to go through controversial data adjustments, and it’s vindication for global warming skeptics.
Seventeen climate scientists co-authored a research article published in the International Journal of Climatology calling for a global climate station network modeled after the United States Climate Reference Network (USCRN) to use as a baseline for data quality.
“Already after 10 years, the USCRN has been used to validate United States annual surface air temperature anomalies as determined by homogenized standard network observations,” the scientists wrote.
For meteorologist Anthony Watts this is a big moment. Watts published research in 2015 that found scientists used “compromised” weather stations to make adjustments to U.S. temperature data that inflated the warming trend by as much as 50 percent. Read more ☼
Some Critical Points Often Overlooked in the Climate Policy Debate
by Marlo Lewis, Jr
Affordable and reliable energy is indispensable to public health and welfare.
When government raises the cost of electricity, it raises the cost of cooling and heating homes, manufacturing goods, and running businesses. In general, rising energy costs make the U.S. economy less competitive, chilling economic growth and job creation. It’s the vulnerable populations—the low-income, very young, and elderly—who are hit the hardest.
Climate policy is either a costly exercise in futility or a cure worse than the alleged disease.
Pick any climate policy on the books today, and you will find an abysmal benefit-cost ratio.
Climate policy expands government’s power to rig energy markets and plunder politically-disfavored industries.
Climate change is less dangerous than “they” told us.
“Carbon pollution” rhetoric obscures important differences between carbon dioxide and all other substances regulated as “air pollutants” under the Clean Air Act.
Carbon-based energy also has important ecological and social benefits. Read more
Note on models: The greenhouse effect occurs in the atmosphere, where the greenhouse gases are. Yet, the IPCC and most climate scientists are trying to estimate the greenhouse effect using surface temperature data, which are influenced by many other human activities, such as urbanization, farming, irrigation, etc. Repeatedly, John Christy of the University of Alabama in Huntsville has testified to the House Science Committee that the average of the climate models used by the IPCC, and others, overestimates the warming in the atmosphere by 2.5 to 3 times. ☼
THE SCIENCE IS SETTLED, OR NOT
Previously Unknown “Supercolony” of Adelie Penguins Discovered in Antarctica
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. (Source)
For the past 40 years, the total number of Adélie Penguins, one of the most common on the Antarctic Peninsula, has been steadily declining—or so biologists have thought. A new study led by researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), however, is providing new insights on this species of penguin.
In a paper released on March 2nd in the journal Scientific Reports, the scientists announced the discovery of a previously unknown “supercolony” of more than 1,500,000 Adélie Penguins in the Danger Islands, a chain of remote, rocky islands off of the Antarctic Peninsula’s northern tip. ☼
Polar bears keep thriving as warming alarmists say they’re dying
By Dr. Susan J. Crockford
One powerful polar bear fact is slowly rising above the message of looming catastrophe repeated endlessly by the media: More than 15,000 polar bears have not disappeared since 2005.
Although the extent of the summer sea ice after 2006 dropped abruptly to levels not expected until 2050, the predicted 67-percent decline in polar bear numbers simply didn’t happen.
Rather, global polar bear numbers have been stable or slightly improved. The polar bear’s resilience should have meant the end of its use as a cherished icon of global warming doom, but it didn’t. The alarmism is not going away without a struggle.
Part of this struggle involves a scientific clash about transparency in polar bear science. My close examination of recent research has revealed that serious inconsistencies exist within the polar bear literature and between that literature and public statements made by some researchers. Read more ☼
“Nature never deceives us; it is always we who deceive ourselves.” —Jean Jacques Rousseau (1762)
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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.
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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