People for the West -Tucson
Newsletter, November, 2019
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
SOME NOTES ON PROPERTY RIGHTS AND THE ENVIRONMENT
by Jonathan DuHamel
“Property in a thing consists not merely in its ownership and possession, but in the unrestricted right of use, enjoyment, and disposal. Anything which destroys any of the elements of property to that extent, destroys the property itself. The substantial value of property lies in its use. If the right of use be denied, the value of the property is annihilated and ownership is rendered a barren right.” by Washington State Supreme Court Justice Richard B. Sanders (Fifth Amendment Treatise, 1997).
Individual rights are inseparable from property rights. The United States of America is the most prosperous nation on the planet because the land contains abundant natural resources and the people have been free to use those resources to create wealth.
Those rights have been increasingly diminished by the environmental movement and their fellow travelers in the Federal government by laws restricting access to land and by bans or moratoria on where one could explore for and produce natural resources which are the engines of our economy.
The principle that an individual be free to reap the fruits of his labor, or suffer loss from imprudent action, is fundamental, and provides economic incentive for a property owner to use his property wisely. But to use property wisely, the owner must be confidant that the government, or judicial system, will protect his rights.
The U.S. Constitution was written to restrict the government’s ability to infringe upon our rights. The U.S. Supreme Court (Lynch vs Household Finance, 1972) affirms the relationship between freedom and property rights: “The dichotomy between personal liberties and property rights is a false one. Property does not have rights. People have rights. The right to enjoy property without unlawful deprivation, no less than the right to speak or the right to travel, is in truth, a ‘personal’ right…a fundamental interdependence exists between personal right to liberty and the personal right to property. Neither could have meaning without the other.”
There have been too many cases where one’s ability to use private property has been restricted because the land may, for example, harbor some “endangered” species or contain a very loosely defined wetland. We’ve also seen government interfere in the market place through crony capitalism to the detriment of private business.
Although property rights are fundamental, they have never been absolute. There are three kinds of restrictions.
The first restriction is similar to the “Golden Rule.” Use of property must not harm the property of another.
Second, governments have the power of eminent domain under which they can take property for some public use; but they must provide just compensation. A trouble here is the increasingly fuzzy definition of “public use.” There is an emerging trend to condemn private property and small businesses, and turn the property over to larger businesses.
Third, private property rights are infringed through “lawful” actions such as local zoning and other regulations, and, increasingly through environmental restrictions.
Environmentalism should be about conservation, making the best use of our resources. Unfortunately, environmentalism is not about the environment anymore. It has become the religion of control freaks; control of land use, control of where we can live, control of what kind of homes we build, control of what method of transportation we use, and control of where businesses buy their supplies. Environmental regulations, more than anything else, are infringing upon our property rights, stifling our businesses, threatening our food supplies, and even endangering our national security.
As George Washington warned, under other circumstances, “The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves; whether they are to have any property they can call their own…”
The incremental encroachment of regulations on our property will, if left unchecked, continue the erosion of our freedoms and our ability to enjoy the fruits of our labor. ☼
The California Wildfires
The main reason recent fires in California have been so devastating is that proper forest management has been hindered by environmental regulations, lawsuits and by politics, all of which have inhibited proper clearing of brush and trees along power lines which can spark fires.
Read a good summary of conditions in this article: Why the Left Coast is Burning
Environmental mandates have made fire safety for humans take a back seat to the well-being of spotted owls, gnatcatchers, kangaroo rats, and the Delhi Sands Flower-Loving fly, as well as that of every bug and rat lucky enough to be listed as an “endangered species” under federal and state law. For over a decade, environmentalists have hamstrung Californians in their efforts to clear the dry brush that is providing the fuel for these massive fires. If any of these endangered or even “threatened” species are found in shrubs or bushes on public or private property, it becomes very difficult to give this vegetation even the slightest haircut.
Nearly a half century of bureaucratic centralization and environmentalist initiatives have left forests overgrown, vulnerable to fire, and dangerous to individual property owners and the economies of many states.
The power has been out in Northern California. More than 1 million Californians were without electricity, one of modern life’s essentials that is frequently taken for granted. The blackout was done on purpose: to prevent sparks from power lines that could ignite deadly wildfires. On the surface, the blackout and its causes are simple to understand. But the deeper causes are complicated, span decades of public policy, and dozens of overlapping unintended, and intended, consequences of decisions, both related and unrelated. The bottom line is that California has always had a high threat from wildfires and always will. The issue is how will that threat be managed, accommodated, or avoided? ☼
USGS Estimates 214 trillion Cubic Feet of Natural Gas in Appalachian Basin Formations
The Marcellus Shale and Point Pleasant-Utica Shale formations of the Appalachian Basin contain an estimated mean of 214 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered, technically recoverable continuous resources of natural gas, according to new USGS assessments. (Link) ☼
USGS Estimates 53.8 Trillion Cubic Feet of Natural Gas Hydrate Resources in the Alaska North Slope
Access to 3D seismic mapping, along with a greater understanding of gas hydrate reservoir properties, yields estimates that are more precise. (Link) ☼
There’s a reason the green left’s biggest plans never include the details.
By Thomas J. Pyle, President, American Energy Alliance
They hope that Americans like you don’t realize their schemes won’t work in reality like they say … and that they can inspire enough fear and panic to get the power they crave anyway.
Consider this. In the future the radical environmentalists want, as they most recently laid out in the Green New Deal, all our power comes from solar and wind, and every car be electric. Radical environmentalists like to emphasize “electric” as if it were its own magical fuel source, and they label everything they like as “clean.” (You know the ugly things they call the affordable, abundant energy you and I rely on!)
There’s more to the story, though. Did you know that the green left’s most cherished technologies require materials that the United States must overwhelmingly import from foreign countries? That their production would have to increase hundreds of times over to meet radical environmentalists’ demands? That every step toward the green left’s preferred energy plans decreases America’s energy independence?
Green energy tech, including electric cars, wind turbines, and even the massive batteries they need to fuel all these projects, is made with rare earth minerals. You won’t see mention of that in the breathless media coverage of the Green New Deal. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know about it.
What are rare earth minerals? Rare earth minerals are the name for a group of 17 similar elements. As the name might suggest, they’re difficult to access due to the current extraction technology; they must be mined. Rare earth minerals become the invisible building blocks of our modern lives. They’re used in the tools favored by radical environmentalists but also important technical items like our smartphones, our flat screen TVs, and a lot of essential equipment for our military, including night-vision goggles, radar systems, and communications equipment. That makes the production of rare earth minerals for our country a major national security issue.
Where does the U.S. get rare earth minerals? The United States has to import these essential elements from foreign countries. China controls 90% of the world’s market and is the source of approximately 80% of the rare earth minerals that America uses. This gives China a near-monopoly on the production and distribution of rare earth minerals worldwide. When China cut their exports of rare earth minerals in 2010, the prices for rare earth minerals spiked in global markets. That did jumpstart production in other countries, including Russia and Malaysia, but that doesn’t solve the United States’ problem of long-term energy security.
Does the U.S. naturally have any rare earth minerals? Yes, and what’s happened with America’s rare earth mineral supply shows the depths of the hypocrisy of the green left. Though these elements are critical for radical environmentalists’ preferred technology, and for our military and national security, the green left won’t support their production in the U.S. due to their rigid, unrelenting ideological focus. The United States has an estimated 1.4 million metric tons of rare earth minerals. But the last American mine that produced them domestically filed for bankruptcy in 2015. The green left has targeted mining and energy infrastructure in recent years, and our country’s onerous regulations and slow permitting systems reflect that. ☼
Sometimes, a Greener Grid Means a 40,000% Spike in Power Prices
By David R Baker, Will Wade, and James Thornhill, Bloomberg
The road to a world powered by renewable energy is littered with unintended consequences. Like a 40,000% surge in electricity prices.
Texas power prices jumped from less than $15 to as much as $9,000 a megawatt-hour this month as coal plant retirements and weak winds left the region on the brink of blackouts during a heat wave. It’s a phenomenon playing out worldwide. Germany averted three blackouts of its own in June and has seen prices both spike and plunge below zero within days as it swaps out coal and nuclear energy for wind and solar. In the U.K., more than a million homes lost power on Aug. 9, in part because a wind farm tripped offline.
The recent stumbles serve as a warning shot to the rest of the world as governments work to displace aging nuclear reactors and coal-fired power plants with cheaper and cleaner renewable energy. Grid operators, policy makers and power providers are learning the hard way that losing massive, around-the-clock generators can be a challenge, if not carefully planned. (Read more) ☼
From The Alliance for Wise Energy Decisions (AWED)
How Much Energy Do Building Energy Codes Save?
By Arik Levinson
Regulations governing the energy efficiency of new buildings have become a cornerstone of US environmental policy. California enacted the first such codes in 1978 and has tightened them every few years since. I evaluate the resulting energy savings three ways: comparing energy used by houses constructed under different standards, controlling for building and occupant characteristics; examining how energy use varies with outdoor temperatures; and comparing energy used by houses of different vintages in California to that same difference in other states. All three approaches yield estimated energy savings significantly short of those projected when the regulations were enacted.
Physicists: CO2 Molecules Retain Heat Just 0.0001 Of A Second, Meaning CO2-Driven Warming ‘Not Possible’
By Kenneth Richard on 17. October 2019
Mainstream climate science claims CO2 molecules “slow down the rate of heat-loss from the surface” like a blanket does. And yet the rate at which a CO2 molecule retains or slows down heat loss is, at most, a negligible 0.0001 of a second. A CO2 concentration of 300 ppm versus 400 ppm will therefore have no detectable impact. (Read more) ☼
Since 1981 74% Of The Globe Greened And Crop Production Swelled By 95% Due To Rising CO2, Warming
By Kenneth Richard
In two new papers (Chen et al., 2019, Gao et al., 2019), scientists identify an expansive greening trend for nearly 3/4ths of the globe’s land area as well as a 12.4% carbon sink increase, a 39% crop yield increase, and a 95% crop production increase since the early 1980s. The scientists attribute these trends to climate warming and rising CO2 concentrations. (Read more) ☼
Democrats deliberately conceal global energy & CO2 emissions realities from the public
by Larry Hamlin
The Democratic Party’s Green New Deal energy schemes pushing pipe dreams of 100% emissions free electricity in the U.S. by 2050 conceal well established global energy and emissions realities showing world fossil fuel use and CO2 emissions will continue to significantly increase in future decades regardless of the misguided, hugely expensive ($500 billion dollars per year) and incompetent (significant amounts of grid reliability backup fossil generation preclude zero emissions) GND energy proposals. The most recent analysis of global energy use and CO2 emissions evaluating the period from 2018 to 2050 conducted by EIA shows the world’s developing nations controlling nearly seventy percent of all energy use and three quarters of all man made CO2 emissions on earth in year 2050. (Read more) ☼
Potential role of low solar activity this winter as solar minimum deepens and the wide-ranging impacts of increasing cosmic rays
by Paul Dorian
The sun continues to be very quiet and it has been without sunspots on 200 days during 2019 or 72% of the time which is the highest percentage since 2009. We have entered into a solar minimum phase of the solar cycle and sunspot counts suggest this could turn out to be the deepest of the past century. Low solar activity has been well correlated with an atmospheric phenomenon known as “high-latitude blocking” and this could play an important role in the upcoming winter season; especially, across the eastern US. In addition, one of the natural impacts of decreasing solar activity is the weakening of the ambient solar wind and its magnetic field which, in turn, allows more cosmic rays to penetrate the solar system. The intensification of cosmic rays can have important consequences on such things as Earth’s cloud cover and climate, the safety of air travelers, and as a possible trigger mechanism for lightning. (Read more) ☼
New IPCC report on ocean warming cites a flawed and retracted paper
BY Anthony Watts
Via Retraction Watch:
A major new report about the dramatic warming of the oceans cites a 2018 Nature paper on the topic that was retracted earlier this week — the same day, in fact, that the report dropped. What makes the flawed citation more remarkable is that researchers have been aware of errors in the analysis for more than 10 months. As we, and others, have reported, almost immediately after publication of the paper Nic Lewis blogged about his concerns with the analysis, concerns that eventually prompted the retraction. Full story at Retraction Watch
UN Predictions June, 1989: “A senior U.N. environmental official says entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000. He said governments have a 10-year window of opportunity to solve the greenhouse effect before it goes beyond human control.”
UN Predictions September, 2019: “Sea levels are rising at an ever-faster rate as ice and snow shrink, and oceans are getting more acidic and losing oxygen, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said in a report issued as world leaders met at the United Nations.” It’s “Déjà vu all over again”
Effect of stopping CO2 emissions:
Analysis of US and State-by-State Carbon Dioxide Emissions and Potential “Savings” in Future Global Temperature and Global Sea Level Rise(link)
This paper shows that if Arizona stops all carbon dioxide emissions it could possibly prevent a rise in temperature of 0.0029°C by 2100. If the entire U.S. stopped all carbon dioxide emissions it could prevent a temperature rise of 0.172°C by 2100. ☼
SEE ON WRYHEAT:
Eco madness may be reason for disastrous Boeing 737 MAX safety issues
By Miranda Devine, New York Post
Air travel, which accounts for 2 percent of global emissions, has become the great bogeyman for climate alarmists, sparking a backlash against airlines.
Punitive eco-taxes, aviation regulations, activist investors, green NGOs and climate-aware passengers conspire to force airlines and manufacturers to lower CO2 emissions by using less fuel, which accounts for 99 percent of aviation’s carbon footprint.
No one has said it explicitly yet, but this relentless pressure to reduce emissions appears to have been a significant factor in the disastrous safety failures of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, which resulted in two fatal crashes in the past year, claiming 346 lives.
The warning from Boeing’s catastrophes is that climate ideology can have fatal consequences.
The 737 MAX was trumpeted as “Boeing’s game changer.” It reduced emissions by 14 percent and Boeing raced it into production to compete with a climate-friendly new offering from Airbus.
But in order to achieve its green goal, Boeing had to use much bigger engines that didn’t fit in the usual position under the wing of the repurposed, 53-year-old 737 design.
The engines had to be moved forward and hoisted higher.
As a result, the aerodynamics changed, and the planes had a tendency to pitch up and potentially stall on takeoff. Boeing’s solution to this hardware defect was an imperfect software bandage that would automatically correct the pitch. In both crashes, preliminary investigations found this software kicked in even when the plane wasn’t stalling, with lethal consequences. (Read more) ☼
Taking a serious look at the unserious demands of the Extinction Rebellion
As anyone who watches the news knows, the good folks at the Extinction Rebellion (XR) have been increasing the intensity of their protests in the last few weeks. An organization that started in the UK has now exported its message, and tactics, to North America and our authorities have utterly kowtowed to them.
XR Demand: Net Zero by 2025
This should really raise a lot of warning flags. XR is demanding we achieve a fossil fuel-free status by 2025! These people are demanding we get off fossil fuels in a little over 5 years. (Read more) ☼
POINTS TO PONDER
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away men’s initiative and independence.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves. by William J. H. Boetcker, 1916
“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”—George Bernard Shaw
“The freedom to question is missing in climate science, and it has become an intellectual tyranny. This description applies to US government entities as well as the IPCC.”. – Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)
“Man, once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder, is the sport of every wind. With such persons, gullibility, which they call faith, takes the helm from the hand of reason and the mind becomes a wreck.” -Thomas Jefferson (1822)
“The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.”- George Orwell
“The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.” – H. L. Mencken, American journalist, 1880-1956
“Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with the core belief.”— Frantz Fanon, French West Indian psychiatrist, political philosopher
“My ardent desire is, and my aim has been … to comply strictly with all our engagements foreign and domestic; but to keep the United States free from political connections with every other Country. To see that they may be independent of all, and under the influence of none. In a word, I want an American character, that the powers of Europe may be convinced we act for ourselves and not for others; this, in my judgment, is the only way to be respected abroad and happy at home.” —George Washington (1795)
* * *
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.
* * *
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
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