THE WEIGHT OF LIFE UNDERGROUND
•Remember when I once told you that the weight of all the life underground, like earthworms and whatnot, outweighs all the life on top of the ground? Well, here's some elucidation…
A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences offers some interesting information. Every living thing on Earth — from the tiniest bacteria to a mighty redwood tree — weighs a combined 550 gigatons when removing water from the equation.
One gigaton is one trillion metric tons. You're probably going to be surprised by how little humans contribute to that total. As it turns out, the combined weights of many different classes of animals outweigh humans by a huge margin. Fish, for example, weigh roughly 0.7 GT C (gigatons of carbon), while viruses weigh around 0.2 GT C. Humans weigh even less than that.
According to the research, the combined weight of humans comes in at approximately 0.06 GT C. We're outweighed by almost everything, including bacteria (70 GT C), fungi (12 GT C), arthropods (1 GT C), Mollusks (0.2 GT C) and even our own livestock (0.1 GT C). When combined, the mass of humans and their livestock outweigh wild mammals by a huge margin, with wild mammals only accounting for 0.007 GT C. In fact, all of the animal kingdom only accounts for a measly two gigatons overall.
The biggest heavyweight? Plants, of course! Plants account for an absolutely mind-boggling 450 GT C. That's every tree, blade of grass, vine, veggie and floating clump of algae, among many other things.
To arrive at these figures, scientists spent three years calculating the biomass of every living thing and feeding that data into their census. They initially intended to discover the amounts of different proteins present on the planet — the scientists will be working more on that soon — but in order to do so they had to also figure out how much all life on Earth weighs, which is probably a more interesting data point for most casual science fans.
So we humans really aren't that much of a “thing” and never have been.
•Netflix host “Science Guy” Bill Nye has a new solution for the world's environmental problems: tax cow farts.
“Well, this is what we can do and it's a win-win: to have a fee on carbon. So if you are raising livestock and producing a lot of carbon dioxide with your farm equipment and the exhaust from the animals, then you would pay a fee on that and it would be reflected in the price of meat, reflected in the price of fish, reflected in the price of peanuts,” Bill Nye said in a recent interview with the Daily Beast.
“This would be a free-market way to reckon the real cost of a meat diet to the world,” Nye continued. “But conservatives now are against such a thing because they're against any regulation, any tax or any government involvement in anything. But again, it won't last, and a carbon fee would be a fantastic thing for the world.
How exactly are taxes a part of the free market?
Environmentalists have been barfing up nonsense like this for years. In 2008, Rajendra Pachauri the then-head of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was urging people to go meat-free at least once a week to save the planet.
In 2010, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), also urged the world to go vegan, claiming in a report: “Animal products cause more damage than [producing] construction minerals such as sand or cement, plastics or metals. Biomass and crops for animals are as damaging as [burning] fossil fuels.”
In 2016, an Oxford University report made much the same claim: “The research, led by scientists at the Oxford Martin School, found that shifting to a mostly vegetarian diet, or even simply cutting down meat consumption to within accepted health guidelines, would make a large dent in greenhouse gases.”
But there is, in fact, little scientific evidence to support the contention that cow farts contribute in any serious way to global warming.
As climate scientist Tim Ball has argued, the myth arose because “special interest environmental groups used inadequate data and scientific knowledge to create a false narrative.”
In fact, Ball says:
Methane is 0.00017% of all atmospheric gases and only 0.36% of the total greenhouse gases. These fractions were so small that even people who didn't understand the science became skeptical of the claims that it was doing harm.
But Nye's cow farts theory is just another part of his nonsensical opinions on mankind and environmentalism, many of which regurgitate the green lobby's favorite scare stories.
Last year, for example, the Bill Nye Saves the World star charmingly hinted that the best thing older people can do to save the planet is die:
“Climate change deniers, by way of example, are older. It's generational. So we're just going to have to wait for those people to 'age out,' as they say.” “Age out” is a euphemism for “die.”
We can say the same thing for environuts like Nye.
(Email The Landmark’s Brian Kubicki at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @bkparallax)
REFRESHING TO SEE THE SUPREME COURT DO ITS JOB
•Does anybody else wonder why the KC Star reporters and editors have not apologized for misleading their readers for months in not reporting that the Gov. Greitens' investigation was clearly politically motivated? The Democrat prosecutor, the money arriving at the lawyer's office suddenly to be used to get the ex-husband of the alleged victim to cooperate, the bumbling and conflicted investigators, etc. Gov. Greitens was right after all – this was indeed a political witch hunt, and it appears that the local KC newspaper was at minimum complicit in concealing that evidence from its readers.
And to top-off the nonsense, news just broke that the scandal-free Jackson County prosecutor, Jean Peters Baker, has been named as the special prosecutor to decide whether to re-file the case against Gov. Greitens. Sure glad they scrounged-up another Democrat to investigate the Republican governor!
•While I'm not much of a gambler and have never, nor will ever place a bet on an athletic event in which I am not actively involved, I was pleased to see that the Supreme Court last week struck down a 1992 federal law that prohibited sports betting in most states. The decision, Murphy v. NCAA, struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PAPSA) which generally prohibited states from authorizing sports gambling.
This decision significantly enhances states' rights as co-equal sovereigns with the federal government, and that is the way it should be. As Kris Kobach stated it, the court's decision restores and sharpens the teeth in the Tenth Amendment that have been missing for a long time.
Justice Alito authored the opinion of the court, which was joined by all four conservative Justices, plus the swing Justice Kennedy, and – shockingly - liberal Justices Kagan and Breyer. In his well-written opinion, Alito explained why the PAPSA violated the Tenth Amendment.
The Tenth Amendment states: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.” It was intended to preserve the sovereignty of the States in all areas other than the limited areas of authority handed over to the federal government.
It's refreshing to hear the Supreme Court actually do what they were actually designed to do - reinforce and support the constitution.
•So now the entire story appears to be coming into focus…
The Obama FBI was indeed spying on the Trump Campaign. Trump was correct after all. He claimed that they wiretapped Trump Tower, and it turns out they DID wiretap Trump Tower during the campaign.
In addition to that, they also had an informant infiltrating the Trump Campaign and allegedly being paid large sums of money from the Obama White House in the weeks before the 2016 election. It is not clear if the informant was paid specifically to speak with Trump campaign figures, but public records show that the person has received large payments from the federal government in the last two years. The Department of Defense's Office of Net Assessment - a shadowy think tank that reports directly to the secretary of defense - paid the alleged informant $282,000 in 2016 and $129,000 in 2017.
Democrats, via their media outlet of the NY Times, claims that the informant and electronic surveillance was done “to protect Trump from the Russians,” and not to spy on him for political advantage. If that was really the case, why not also spy on the Clinton Campaign to protect them from the Russians – or from Wikileaks – or from the Awan brothers' Pakistani group that was working through DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz to pry into the DNC servers? They certainly appeared to have needed the protection.
This is, and should be considered by ALL media organizations, the biggest political scandal of the last two centuries. A sitting president weaponized the FBI, CIA, and Justice Department against the campaign of their political opposition. This makes Watergate look like holding up a lemonade stand in comparison!
Did you know that an ex-President can still be impeached?
(Follow The Landmark’s Brian Kubicki on Twitter @bkparallax or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org)
THE MOST EFFECTIVE SOLUTION TO LAVA IS TO EVACUATE
•USA Today had an interesting piece last week regarding the current volcanic activity in Hawaii.
Why can't anyone stop the lava flow from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano with water, bombs or walls?
Lava isn't like water, snow or mud. It's quite literally liquid rock, so it's heavy, sticky and moving underground. And don't take lightly that it's nearly 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit!
Millions of people seeing images of lava destroying homes, cars and power poles have a simple question for authorities: Why can't anyone stop it?
Counter it with water? Maybe dig a ditch to divert the flow or erect a barrier? Explosives?
Scientifically speaking, there's just no way to divert lava flow.
The highest-profile example when lava flow was successfully diverted dealt with a slow-moving flow in Iceland threatening a harbor. For five months in 1973, workers doused the front of the flow with ice-cold seawater until it ground to a halt. That effort required 1.5 billion gallons of water!
Building ditches or diversion channels might also work, but the investment and labor required would almost certainly outweigh the overall costs of the lava damage and also put more people in harm's way of the flow.
Lava is so dense that if you wore 2000 degree-proof shoes, you could probably walk atop the molten flow. Militaries have tried using explosives to divert lava flows, with no success.
The most effective solution is still to evacuate the area and wait until the flows stop naturally.
In 1990, a lava flow from the same volcano, Kilauea, destroyed the nearby town of Kalapana. Today, the area is largely deserted and looks like someone paved over it with lumpy asphalt.
Because there's little authorities can do to change the lava's flow, they instead focus on evacuation preparedness and public awareness of the danger.
Climate change really is just natural.
•From the great website, “Watts Up With That?” scientists recently discovered evidence of a 405,000 year climate cycle related to Earth's orbit around the sun that drastically adjusts the planet's atmospheric temperature.
Scientists drilling deep into ancient rocks in the Arizona desert have documented a gradual shift in Earth's orbit that repeats regularly every 405,000 years, playing a major role in natural climate swings.
Astrophysicists have long hypothesized that the cycle exists based on calculations of celestial mechanics, but the authors of the new research have found the first verifiable physical evidence.
They showed that the cycle has been stable for hundreds of millions of years, from before the rise of dinosaurs, and is still active today. The research may have implications not only for climate studies, but our understanding of the evolution of life on Earth, and the evolution of the Solar System.
Scientists have for decades posited that Earth's orbit around the sun goes from nearly circular to about 5 percent elliptical, and back again every 405,000 years.
The new evidence lies within 1,500-foot-long cores of rock drilled from a butte in Arizona, plus deep cores from suburban New York and New Jersey. The Arizona rocks in the study formed during the late Triassic, between 209 million and 215 million years ago, when the area was covered with meandering rivers that laid down sediments. Around this time, early dinosaurs started evolving.
Within the sediments, scientists detected repeated reversals in the polarity of the planet's magnetic field. The team then compared these findings to the New York-New Jersey cores, which penetrated old lakebeds and soils that hold well-preserved signs of alternating wet and dry periods during what was believed to be the same time.
Researchers have long argued that the climate changes displayed in the New York-New Jersey rocks were controlled by the 405,000-year cycle, and the cores do contain polarity reversals similar to those spotted in Arizona. By combining the two sets of data, the team showed that both sites developed at the same time, and that the 405,000-year interval indeed exerts a kind of master control over climate swings.
The planetary motions that spur climate swings are known as Milankovitch cycles, named for the Serbian mathematician who worked them out in the 1920s.
In the 1970s, scientists showed that that the Milankovitch cycles have driven repeated warming and cooling of the planet, as well as coming and going of ice ages over the last few million years.
The eccentricity (oval-ness) of the Earth's orbit changes slowly over time. As the orbit gets more eccentric the difference between the distance from the Sun to the Earth at its closest approach and when it is furthest away becomes greater and greater. At the current eccentricity, the Earth is 5 million kilometers closer to the Sun. Think that might just affect a planet's climate?
I imagine winter coats will be much better in 20,000 years.
(Follow Brian Kubicki @bkparallax on Twitter)
OBAMA DIDN'T EXACTLY MAKE IRAN 'COME CLEAN'
•Remember last week when I mentioned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s press conference where he revealed that intelligence officials captured a cache of Iran's secret nuclear files detailing its hidden weapons program? Well we have heard from ex-Obama administration officials and they are desperate to prop up the Iran deal by trying to dismiss the findings as old news. But there's a problem: while negotiating with Iran, Obama administration officials said Iran would have to "come clean" about its past efforts to develop nuclear weapons.
During the debate prior to the Iran deal, one key aspect was understanding past weapons developments by the Iranians. What have they done so far in developing nuclear weapons they would likely use against U.S. allies?
Here are several examples of Obama or his officials claiming Iran would have to come clean -- dating all the way back to the first year of the administration:
President Obama on Sept. 25, 2009, G-20 press conference: "I think Iran is on notice; that when we meet with them on October 1st, they are going to have to come clean ..."
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Jan. 13, 2014: "the purpose of the sanctions regime, the purpose of the approach the President took when he took office in 2009, was to make clear that the onus was on Iran to come clean and to come into compliance with its international obligations."
Then there was this exchange that Secretary of State John Kerry had with Judy Woodruff on PBS News Hour in April 2015, as the administration was dashing toward an agreement:
JUDY WOODRUFF: Still, another issue; the International Atomic Energy Agency has said for a long time that it wants Iran to disclose past military-related nuclear activities. Iran is increasingly looking like it’s not going to do this. Is the U.S. prepared to accept that?
JOHN KERRY: No. They have to do it. It will be done. If there’s going to be a deal; it will be done.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Because it’s not there now.
JOHN KERRY: It will be done.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So that information will be released before June 30th, will be available.
JOHN KERRY: It will be part of a final agreement. It has to be.
However, in the weeks leading up to signing the deal, Kerry completely reversed himself and said the U.S. was "not fixated" on past activities.
But his late excuse for Iran doesn't change the fact that for years Obama officials insisted that Iran would have to come clean about its past nuclear weapons work. Instead, Iran lied to everyone, denied military dimensions to its program, and hid the information. And the Obama administration signed a deal that gave a windfall of tens of billions of dollars to Iran, allowed it to become a greater nuclear threat, enabled it to keep developing ballistic missiles, and then allowed restrictions imposed by the deal to go away over time.
If we had a Muslim president that wanted to aid his Islamic friends (America’s enemies), how would he act differently than this?
•From The Daily Caller’s Michael Bastasch, we learned that the Obama Energy Department spent $1.2 million on a secure communications room, illustrating just how much it costs to provide government officials with a secure line of communications.
The secure room, or SCIF, was built near former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz’s office so the agency head could quickly convene or join classified talks. Moniz’s $1.2 million SCIF, however, never made news or attracted Congress’ attention.
That’s not to say the Energy Department did anything wrong in building the costly SCIF. SCIFs, though expensive, are necessary for government agencies to carry out classified communications about nuclear security.
The $43,000 Environmental Protection Agency officials spent on Administrator Scott Pruitt’s secure phone booth, or SCIF, however, has become part of a political push to remove him from office, despite costing 28 times less than Moniz’s SCIF.
News reports on Pruitt’s SCIF began surfacing back in March. Democratic lawmakers were so incensed by Pruitt’s $43,000 SCIF, they’ve asked for investigations into the matter, including asking the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to assess its legality.
Democrats used GAO’s report to label Pruitt’s 55-square-foot SCIF as “overspending.” Documents have since come out showing EPA career officials played a larger role in building the $43,000 SCIF than Pruitt’s team. Pruitt initially requested a secure line, not a SCIF, EPA said.
Funny how vampiric thirst for unlimited political power suddenly make Democrats fiscally conservative!
(Email The Landmark’s Brian Kubicki at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @bkparallax)
OBAMA'S EPA COST BUSINESSES BILLIONS FOR NO REASON
•I just watched the devastating presentation by Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the Iranian nuclear weapon program and how they have obtained information showing that Iran had a nuclear weapons development program in-place prior to the Obama Administration's Iran Nuclear Deal and they have in fact continued that program in secret, despite what Obama Administration officials told us.
I am now waiting with baited breath to hear someone from the Obama Administration try to explain why in the world we trusted the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism to negotiate a nuclear weapons deal in good faith. Remember when Obama State Department spokeswoman told us we could solve the ISIS problem in the Middle East if we only found these people jobs?
•The EPA plan to end the use of “secret science” to craft regulations will take the form of proposed regulation, making it harder for officials to skirt around or future administrations to repeal, The Daily Caller News Foundation recently reported.
EPA Chief Scott Pruitt explains, “We need to make sure their data and methodology are published as part of the record…Otherwise, it's not transparent. It's not objectively measured, and that's important.”
Republicans have pushed for transparency in EPA regulatory science for years, especially in the wake of the Obama administration relying on non-public data to justify billions of dollars in health benefits from reducing certain pollutants.
Basically, Obama's EPA knew that if they put forth data to support their business-strangling regulations, they would have resistance toward being implemented, so he set forth a standard that claimed they had to keep the supporting research hidden “to protect the privacy of those who were subject to the research.” In reality, they knew their data would not stand under scientific scrutiny so they hid it.
Once finalized, regulations put under review will have the transparency standard applied. That means EPA officials will take a close look at studies and regulatory assessments underlying existing rules, especially those imposed in the Obama years.
Naturally, Democrats and environmentalists opposed Pruitt's data transparency plan. Opponents argue the policy would restrict the amount of studies EPA can rely on to craft regulations and could expose legally protected patient health data.
However, EPA's proposed data transparency rule will provide for privacy concerns and for concerns from industry over releasing confidential business information. Many scientific journals already require data to be made public, meaning researchers have ways of protecting confidential information.
“This sort of data is already routinely made public for research use,” JunkScience.com publisher Steve Milloy wrote in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed.
“In 2012 I was desperate for a way around the Obama EPA's secrecy on the PM2.5 issue, I found out in 2012 that I could get California death-certificate data in electronic form,” wrote Milloy. “The state's Health Department calls this sort of data 'Death Public Use Files.' They are scrubbed of all personal identifying and private medical information. Some of my colleagues used this data to prepare a 2017 study, which found PM2.5 was not associated with death.”
So the Obama EPA cost American businesses billions of dollars for no reason at all!
(Email The Landmark’s Brian Kubicki at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @bkparallax)
'THEY' SAY GLOBAL WARMING LEADS TO MORE VOLCANIC ERUPTIONS
•Now, I have heard it all…
From Climate Depot, we find that they now claim that global warming will lead to more volcanic eruptions!
Scientists state that the world is steadily warming, which is leading to the polar ice caps melting.
However, as the ice in the north and south poles continues to melt, this could lead to the eruptions of volcanoes. This is because ice sheets and glaciers can help to maintain the structure of volcanoes and mountains.
Gioachino Roberti, a PhD student at the University of Clermont Auvergne, said: “Imagine the ice like some sort of protective layer – when the ice melts away, the mountain is free to collapse. If your mountain is a volcano you have another problem.”
Although the North American country is not famous for its volcanic activity, there are hundreds of potentially active volcanoes in the region.
One of the areas under particular scrutiny was Mount Meager, which last erupted 2,000 years ago. However, in 2010, the largest landslide in Canadian history took place on the dormant volcano.
Mr. Roberti said: “The glacier base of the slope retreated and during the hottest part of the summer, the slope catastrophically failed – the whole mountain started to move at a very high velocity.”
In 2016, researchers noticed newly formed ice caves which were created by hot gasses emerging from the volcano.
They did admit that, “…eruptions are triggered by a complex array of factors…many eruptions caused by glacial melting might happen eventually anyway, given enough time…”
Can't argue with that logic…because there is none applied!
California Gov. Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown predicted that if carbon emissions aren't reduced, billions of people will die from “heat events,” and one billion will be subjected to vector diseases.
Brown told reporters Tuesday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C:
“We're going to have widespread disruption, more conflicts, more terrorism, more insecurity because of climate disruption. The prospect is 3 billion people on this planet will be subject to fatal lethal heat events – 3 billion – and 1 billion will be subjected to vector diseases that they're not now subject to now,” he said. “This is a horror.”
Brown was among a number of governors who established an alliance to reduce climate change in response to President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord known here as the Paris Money Grab from the U.S.
When asked what states can reasonably do about climate change, Brown said, “California has adopted an extension of this cap and trade program, which will give us 20 percent of our greenhouse gas reduction. That's a very important measure that would have gone out of existence in 2020, and that measure was voted by Republicans. It wouldn't have passed without Republican support.”
“We have an Under Two Coalition – keep the temperature under two degrees Centigrade from growing, and we have over 200 signatories that represent more than a third of the world's wealth. Is it enough? No. Is the world on the right track? No. Does disaster loom? Yes, and I'm doing what I can to motivate people. People are asleep,” Brown said.
“This is a horror, and that's why I spend so much time working on climate change even though it is not a big, hot political issue – not in California, certainly not in Washington, and unfortunately, not in a number of other countries, but that doesn't mean it isn't a big problem.” the governor said.
3 billion dead? Remember all the Population Bomb nonsense from the Left? One-third of the world's population being gone would seem to make that fake problem go away for good. Shouldn't Moonbeam be happy about that?
From Breitbart.com via Climate Depot, Greens have discovered to their horror that producing renewable wood pellet biomass requires a large supply of dead trees.
Hardwood forests in the U.S. are being chopped down to provide “green energy” for Great Britain's power stations that are switching from burning coal to wood in an effort to “save the planet.”
A key part of government efforts to hit its green energy targets is to switch from generating electricity from burning coal to burning wood – or so-called biomass. It's a policy that is costing taxpayers more than 700 million British pounds per year through a levy on their electricity bills.
The biomass industry and government argue that because wood is a renewable source of energy and trees can be replanted to reabsorb carbon dioxide this policy is good for the environment because burning pellets instead of coal reduces carbon emissions by more than 80 percent.
However, they conducted a simple experiment at a laboratory at the University of Nottingham to compare the carbon dioxide emitted when burning wood pellets instead of coal, and found that to burn an amount of wood pellets that would generate the same amount of electricity as coal it would actually produce roughly eight percent more carbon.
Read more: https://theecologist.org/2018/apr/16/hardwood-forests-cut-down-feed-drax-power-plant-channel-4-dispatches-claims
MAN COMMITS SUICIDE BY FIRE TO PROTEST EARTH'S 'DESTRUCTION'
•Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the political Left:
A “green” activist who was a pioneering lawyer for gay and transgender rights — including in the notorious “Boys Don't Cry” rape murder case — committed suicide by setting himself on fire Saturday morning in Brooklyn's Prospect Park in a grisly act of protest against the ecological destruction of the Earth.
David Buckel, 60, left behind a charred corpse and a typed suicide note that said he was burning himself to death using “fossil fuel” to reflect how mankind was likewise killing itself, police sources said.
He left the note in a manila envelope marked “To The Police,” recovered from inside a black metal pushcart he discarded at the scene.
“Most humans on the planet now breathe air made unhealthy by fossil fuels, and many die early deaths as a result,” Buckel wrote in his note, which he also sent to the New York Times.
“My early death by fossil fuel reflects what we are doing to ourselves.”
He added, “Honorable purpose in life invites honorable purpose in death.”
Passers-by were horrified to see Buckel's burned remains.
“It was just lying there, on its back, knees slightly bent like someone would lie on the sand at the beach,” said Irena Ryjova, 44, a rollerblader who passed by at about 7 a.m., less than an hour after the immolation.
“It's a shock; it's a shame,” said mom Dana Lall as she shepherded a crowd of Catholic-school kids past the horrific scene, en route to a baseball game.
This is what they are, folks. Disturbed.
•This is a great example of the monumental level of dumb desperation Trump critics will stoop to try to bring him down.
The Interior Department took cost estimates recently for setting up four flag poles outside its main building in Washington, D.C., at a cost as high as $200,000.
Zinke's department decided against installing the new poles, choosing instead to install three smaller flags on existing poles on top of its building. It approved the purchase of three flags at a cost of $189.51 each from the National Flag Company, according to the emails. The flags are 5 feet by 9.5 feet.
The Hill published this story and many in the media have attempted to use it as an example of Trump NOT draining the swamp.
He sought bids, the bids were too high for his liking, so he went with a smaller project. That IS draining the swamp.
•From the good folks at the Heartland Institute via Climate Depot, we learned that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced a few weeks ago the agency will roll back the previous administration's Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, which would have peaked at 54.5 miles per gallon in 2025. Part of the explanation Pruitt gave for why EPA is pulling back from the Obama-era determination is that it “made assumptions about the standard that didn't comport with reality.”
That reality would have included a serious price increase for pickups and SUVs, about $3,000 for the price of a new vehicle, according to the National Auto Dealers Association. To the many coastal, urban, and suburban liberals who populated the previous administration, that would have been fine. The whole purpose of regulations like CAFE is to increase the price of goods they think are undesirable, like gas-guzzling pickups and SUVs, and to nudge consumers into purchasing the products and services they think are desirable, such as hybrid or electric sedans with great gas mileage. But fantastic gas mileage isn't the end-all, be-all of utility in an automobile.
For urban-dwelling liberals, a pickup or an SUV is unnecessary to their lifestyle. However, as the last election showed, many, many people do not live in urban areas. Lots of people fish and need to tow their boat back and forth to a boat ramp. Cattle ranching is a billion-dollar industry in Florida believe it or not. Nearly half the agricultural land there is used for ranching. You go 20 miles inland—anywhere in the state, from the northern tip of the Everglades to the Georgia border—and you're bound to run into one of the 18,000 ranches in operation there. A rural, labor-intensive industry like that isn't ideally suited for a tiny Toyota Prius.
Thousands of rural landowners like, and need, to hunt feral hogs, which have become a modern day pestilence. Some hunt boar using a pack of hunting dogs to track and bay up the animal.
These dogs are transported in separate cages, which you can't fit in the trunk or backseat of your Tesla Model S. Neither can the hog, for that matter.
It's no secret that the top three selling automobiles in the United States—the Ford F-150, Chevy Silverado, and Dodge Ram—are all pickups.
If someone wants to buy a small, “eco-friendly” sedan, then good for them. If someone else wants to buy a big, “gas-guzzling” truck, then good for them. To each his own. Bureaucrats in Washington, DC have no business nudging people toward one or against the other.
That is what CAFE standards do, and that is why they need to go.
(Email The Landmark’s Brian Kubicki at email@example.com)
DEMS WAGING WAR ON THE EPA CHIEF
Democrats are waging an all-out war on EPA chief Scott Pruitt. Why?
Steve Milloy at JunkScience.com tells us in a recent post.
Pruitt has been the most effective Trump appointee in implementing his agenda. When Trump was elected, the economy was being slowly choked and jobs were being destroyed by record-breaking, excessive and counterproductive regulations issued by the Obama administration.
The regulatory agency leading the charge against a healthy American economy and American job creation was the EPA. Trump knew this and campaigned on it. Millions of Americans voted for Trump precisely because he came out strongly against regulatory overreach.
When elected, Trump wisely taped then-Oklahoma Attorney General Pruitt to bring EPA back with the bounds of the law and to end the EPA's gross overregulation.
Pruitt was well-prepared to take-on the out-of-control EPA's rogue behavior. He had been involved in some dozen lawsuits against the agency.
EPA Administrator Pruitt was specifically directed via presidential executive order to roll back the two most excessive overreaches of the Obama EPA – the Clean Power Plan and the Waters of the United States rule.
The Obama war on coal and coal miners, capped off by the Clean Power Plan, has destroyed 94 percent of the market value of the U.S. coal industry and killed thousands of coal miner jobs – all for no environmental or public health gain.
The Obama Waters of the United States rule would have given EPA essentially arbitrary control over every square inch of land in the United States. The Obama EPA had set itself up to deem any mud puddle as a “navigable waterway” subject to onerous, development-stopping regulation.
Both rules are now going through the lengthy process of review and repeal that Pruitt is overseeing while being savagely attacked by overregulation-loving environmental extremists. This is evidence of the lameness of the Democrats' attacks: they claim that Pruitt paid only $50 for rental of a condominium in D.C.
Wait a minute – didn't he save taxpayers a lot of money for negotiating that low rental rate? What's wrong there?
Industries long aggrieved by the pre-Trump EPA, especially during the Obama years, now have an EPA administrator eager to listen to their side of the story.
Take the example of the glider truck industry, an $800 million business that rebuilds old truck engines and drive trains for installation in new truck chassis.
On its way out the door, the Obama EPA issued rules to that would outright kill the entire glider truck industry by arbitrarily reclassifying these rebuilt trucks as new trucks, thereby ensnaring them in industry-killing new truck emissions standards. The final Pruitt-led reversal of this job-killing Obama rule is expected anytime now.
Our economy is once again beginning to roar – so much so that there are labor shortages in many industries. Much of the credit goes to Pruitt for implementing the Trump agenda and otherwise reining in the out-of-control EPA.
A key reform being implemented by Pruitt that is driving the far-left greens nuts is his effort to stop EPA's abuse of science. The House of Representatives has repeatedly passed legislation to end some of EPA's most egregious science hijinks.
One bill would end the practice of EPA grantees (who receive hundreds of millions of dollars in grants) serving on EPA science review panels so that they can rubberstamp their own work.
Another bill would end the EPA practice of using “secret science” as a basis for regulation. This “secret science” is data that the EPA under past presidents repeatedly refused to provide to Congress and the public for the purposes of independent review. The Obama EPA even defied a congressional subpoena for the data.
Both bills have been stuck in the Senate during the past three sessions because of the filibuster rules that let a minority of senators block action.
But Pruitt announced that EPA grantees would no longer be allowed to serve on advisory boards. They can pick one or the other – be a grant recipients or an adviser – but the clear conflict in filling both roles will no longer be permitted.
Then just last week, Pruitt announced that EPA would no longer rely on “secret science” in issuing regulations. It would, of course, be better if the Senate passed the House bills and sent them to President Trump to sign. But until that can happen, Pruitt has taken the reins and implemented the policies on his own. Bravo.
Pruitt has also taken a keen interest in getting so-called toxic waste sites – known as Superfund sites – cleaned up. These cleanups suffered from years of neglect by the Obama administration, which had thrown all its attention and resources into global warming hysteria and destroying the coal industry.
There is much more EPA reform to come from Pruitt, as he is just hitting his stride. Now is not the time to change horses.
First, President Trump would have a hard time finding an EPA chief as competent and committed as Pruitt. Next, even if the president did, Senate Democrats would go all out to block confirmation. President Trump should ignore the partisan attacks over trivialities. Let's keep our eyes on the ball of EPA reform and restraint. Our national interest demands it.
NOBODY EVER GETS CRUSHED BY SPACE DEBRIS
•Whew! That was close!!
China's Tiangong-1 space lab re-entered Earth's atmosphere Sunday evening, U.S. time, landing in the middle of the South Pacific. Chinese scientists claim most parts were burned up in the re-entry process.
The space lab was launched in September 2011 as a prototype for China's ultimate space goal - a permanent space station expected to launch around 2022. Leroy Chiao, a former US astronaut who flew on four space missions, told CNN he would be "surprised if any major pieces survived the re-entry, as the Tiangong-1 was not that big of a spacecraft as they go, and it did not have a heat shield."
Anything that did make it through the atmosphere "will be at the bottom of the ocean by now," he added.
"There's a specific location in the ocean known as the spacecraft graveyard where nations try and put down into," he said.
Funny that some guy walking on a remote road could conceivably be crushed by space debris…yet it never happens.
•Meanwhile…a civil lawsuit between five American oil companies and the municipalities of Oakland and San Francisco started off poorly for global warming activists.
In preparation for California vs. Chevron, U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup ordered the litigants converge for a "climate change tutorial" in an effort to ensure all parties understood the scientific foundation that would form the basis of the trial. The city attorneys of San Francisco and Oakland, the suit's plaintiffs who are championed by global warming activists, were reportedly thrilled by the prospect. The suit accuses the energy companies: BP, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Conoco Phillips, and Shell of contributing to global warming and conspiring to cover up
their knowledge of the associated detrimental effects.
The lead attorney for the cities is expected to argue that because of the companies' contributions to global warming, cities are now being forced to commit financial resources to combating environmental changes.
During the tutorial, the judge pointed to several inaccuracies in the data and materials provided by the plaintiffs, the cities, sometimes to the embarrassment of global warming activists.
The judge also castigated the plaintiff's claims of a "smoking gun" document that would prove the conspiracy claims true. The plaintiffs pointed to a report that the companies had in their possession as proof they knew about the nefarious effects of climate change in 1995. The "smoking gun" document in question proved to be a regurgitated summary of a 1995 report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. At the time of its release, the report was subject to significant scrutiny by many in the scientific community because it was riddled with huge uncertainties.
"There was a conspiratorial document within the defendants about how they knew good and well that global warming was right around the corner," Alsup said. "Well, it turned out it wasn't quite that. What it was, was a slide show that somebody had gone to the IPCC and was reporting on what the IPCC had reported, and that was it. Nothing more."
The judge pointed out that since the report was widely and readily available, proving a conspiracy claim would be difficult. Since the release of the report, many of its key projections have been proved unfounded.
The plaintiffs' lead attorney is a high-profile trial lawyer who played an instrumental role in bringing a similar suit against the nation's largest tobacco producers in the 1990s. He
worked on the team that helped craft the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) of 1998, which at the time was the largest settlement in history. The MSA resulted from a suit between the four largest tobacco producers in the United States and the attorneys general of 46 states. The attorneys general argued the states were entitled to compensation for the medical costs associated with caring for individuals suffering from smoking-related illnesses. The tobacco companies settled the suit, agreeing to pay $206 billion over the first 25 years of the agreement.
The main difference here is the link between smoking and illness is quite well-defined. There is no link that is “well-defined” between burning fossil fuels and global warming.
The EPA on Monday rejected an Obama-era plan to make automobiles more fuel efficient in a win for car and oil companies and the latest move by the Trump administration to roll back environmental regulations. The corporate average fuel economy, or Cafe, standards, were not appropriate and should be revised, the EPA said in a release. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said the Obama administration “set the standards too high” and “made assumptions about the standards that didn't comport with reality,” but he did not offer any specifics on revising them.Th e standards called for roughly doubling by 2025 the average fuel efficiency of new vehicles sold in the United States to about 50 miles per gallon, and were seen by proponents as a way to spur innovation in clean technologies.
Here's a novel idea: how about we let the car makers decide what the fuel economy of their cars are, and allow us, the purchasing public, to either buy or reject those cars based on what we want?
HERE'S WHY IT TAKES YOUR DISHWASHER SO LONG TO DO ITS JOB
•Anybody know what is going on with all the high school kids on cable news all last weekend? Must be some kind of field trip I suppose but I caught a glimpse of “March” and “Life” in some of the signs being carried. I figure the kids were doing their own Pro Life march. That's good to know that our youth are Pro Life - gives me real hope for the future of mankind.
•Hat-tip to Marc Morano at Climate Depot for this one…
The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a conservative think tank, sent a petition to the Department of Energy (DOE) last Wednesday, pointing out an unintended consequence of increasingly strict standards on energy and water standards: dishwasher cycle time.
“It used to take you only an hour to get a full load of dishes washed and dried in your dishwasher. Today, thanks to federal energy efficiency standards, the average time is nearly 2.5 hours,” CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman said in a statement. “That's not progress; it's bureaucracy. And for many consumers, it's a royal pain. We hope the Department of Energy will change course.”
Dishwasher cycle times have not averaged an hour or less since 1983, before the DOE began regulating dishwashers. A lengthy wash cycle time is one of four major sources of dissatisfaction Americans have with dishwashers.
In 1987, Congress passed the National Appliance Energy Conservation Act (NAECA), establishing minimum efficiency standards for many appliances, including dishwashers. Subsequent regulations increased standards. Limiting the amount of energy used to make very hot dishwater jetted at high velocities toward our dirty dishes has resulted in dishwashers taking 2-3 hours to get our dishes clean.
“Dishwasher speed is an important factor for huge numbers of consumers,” the CEI petition states.
“Manufacturers clearly have the ability to satisfy these consumers, and the DOE has the discretion under the law to accommodate them. It should do so.”
How about this approach? Let's get the government out of the business of regulating our home appliances and how much energy they use. How about manufacturers be allowed to compete for our business by making better products that do the task required in the best manner possible without regard to energy consumption?
What a novel concept!
•From lidblog.com via Climate Depot,
District of Columbia (DC) Council member Trayon White Sr. (D-Ward 8) posted a video on Facebook recently claiming that the Rothschilds controlled the weather. After receiving push-back he changed his mind and apologized.
This is what he said during a recent D.C. snowstorm:
“Man, It just started snowing out of nowhere this morning. Y'all better pay attention to this climate control, climate manipulation and D.C. keep talking about 'we are a resilient city' and that's a model based off the Rothschilds controlling the climate to create natural disasters they can pay for to own the cities, man. Be careful.”
The Rothschilds are being taken as a buzz word for “Jews,” as in rich urban bankers.
For background, the Rothschilds are a famous European banking dynasty descended from Mayer Amschel Rothschild, an 18th-century Jewish banker who lived in the Jewish Ghetto of what is today Frankfurt, Germany. Despite facing the restrictions on Jews running businesses and owning land (throughout Christian Europe, it was common for institutionalized anti-Semitism to prohibit Jews from owning property), Mayer had little choice but to go into the banking business and he was good at it.
What Meyer originated is the concept of opened branches of his bank in the five biggest European financial cities, and he gave his sons the job of running the business in each of the cities Frankfurt, Vienna, London, Naples, and Paris. That's how he turned the family business into a dynasty.
But today the idea of a single unified Rothschild family is long gone. The fortune of Mayer and his five boys have been split among hundreds of descendants. The closest thing to a “Rothschild Family” business in 2016 is the Rothschild Group, a multinational investment banking company, but that firm does not in itself generate nearly enough income to back up claims about the family's wealth. In 2015, the Rothschild Group's annual revenue was approximately $500 million. In comparison, the world's largest company, Walmart, has annual revenues of nearly $500 billion.
It should also be noted that only one member of the Rothschild family is included among Forbes' 2015 list of the world's billionaires: Benjamin de Rothschild, who was ranked at 1121 with a net worth of $1.61 billion.
Despite the fact the family no longer has the centralized business or wealth it once had, the family has repeatedly been the subject of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories alleging that they lead the other world Jews in clandestinely manipulating world events to their advantage, thus Mr. White's charge of controlling the weather.
White's apology: “I work hard everyday to combat racism and prejudices of all kinds. I want to apologize to the Jewish Community and anyone I have offended,” he said. “The Jewish community have been allies with me in my journey to help people. I did not intend to be anti-Semitic, and I see I should not have said that after learning from my colleagues.”
WHAT IF THE EARTH STOPPED SPINNING?
•Those Nike commercials broadcast during the NCAA tournament showing people running to start the Earth spinning about its axis again after it inexplicably stops are silly and dumb, especially with Bill Nye The Non-Science Guy trying to explain it (he is the PERFECT face for DUMB).
So what would happen if the Earth really did stop spinning? (It can't by the way, at least not for a LOOOONG time.)
The probability is practically zero in the next few billion years, but if the Earth magically stopped spinning suddenly, the atmosphere (and us) would continue in motion at the Earth's original 1100 miles per hour rotation speed. All of the land masses (and us) not anchored to bedrock would be suddenly jetted off the surface of the planet. Rocks, topsoil, trees, buildings, all zoo animals, people, insects, moles, snakes, water, would be swept away into the atmosphere and be destroyed either by impact forces, friction burns, drowning, or worse. Think Sharknado applied to essentially everything.
If you were standing outside your house, watering your daisies with the garden hose about 100 feet from your house at the moment the planet stopped spinning, you would suddenly be thrust smack-hard into the side of your house at the speed of about 1600 feet per second and would splat into a film-layer with a travel time of less than one-tenth of a second.
That's about as humane a way to go as I can think of!
Rest easy. Run for exercise and cardio-vascular health and don't worry about the Earth.
•Trump is replacing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with CIA Chief Mike Pompeo.
Remember that Tillerson caused climate activists to howl in horror when he was nominated, but now they are lamenting President Trump's decision to fire the former ExxonMobil CEO.
From The Daily Caller, alarmists at the Union of Concerned Scientists are hailing outgoing Secretary of State Tillerson as a voice of reason inside a tumultuous Trump administration.
Support for the former oil producer within activist circles contrasts with their invective-filled criticism when Tillerson was first nominated.
“In a strange kind of way, [Tillerson's] experience at Exxon dealing with energy and heads of state and climate gave him a deeper understanding of the diplomatic, economic and political dimensions of the issue,” Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy for the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), said Tuesday in statement to the press. “From what we know, that does not seem to be the case with Pompeo.”
Meyer was referring to Trump's decision Tuesday to nominate CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace Tillerson, who opposed the president's decision in June 2017 to leave the Paris climate agreement. UCS appears to love Tillerson today, but they considered his nomination to lead the administration's top diplomatic position a crime against humanity.
“You wouldn't hire the CEO of a tobacco company to serve as surgeon general. So why would you pick the leader of an oil and gas corporation to spearhead a position tasked with national security and global climate action?” Ken Kimmell, president of UCS, said in a press statement shortly after Trump nominated Tillerson in December 2016.
•InsideClimate News' treatment of Tillerson's ousting was similarly chalked with reexaminations of the former oil man's climate record.
“Tillerson, a longtime oil executive, argued that the U.S. should keep a 'seat at the table' in global climate change talks and unsuccessfully sought to persuade Trump to stay in the Paris accord,” the news organization's Marianne Lavelle wrote Tuesday before noting how environmentalists consider it ironic that Tillerson was the “best advocate of their cause in the Trump administration.”
Now, these global warming nutbags' appear to be more concerned about Pompeo, a former Republican congressman from Kansas, than they were of Tillerson. Pompeo suggested in 2016 that the Paris deal amounted to “bow(ing) down to radical environmentalists,” and he blasted former President Barack Obama for fixating on achieving his “economically harmful environmental agenda.”
Proof positive that nothing pleases these people.
(Email The Landmark’s Brian Kubicki at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @bkparallax)
HERE IS YOUR DUMMY ALERT OF THE WEEK
•The NCAA Bracket Challenge is this week. Never have so many spent more time on something that will be largely useless by next weekend. This is like a lottery with 68 different numbers. I'm in, and most of you will beat me.
•Dummy Alert of the Week:
Jill Abramson, the 63 year old former executive editor for The New York Times from 2011 to 2014, admitted recently that she keeps an Obama therapy doll in her purse to help her survive the Trump Presidency. The Harvard-educated journalist previously wrote an Obama Administration book, “Obama: The Historic Journey,” published in 2009.
Abramson discussed a so-called “Trump rebellion,” claiming there is a solid chance Democrats will win the Senate, House and possibly the White House in 2020. She carries the “little plastic Obama doll” until the possible Democratic victory.
“It's easy to look at what's happening in Washington, D.C. and despair. That's why I carry a little plastic Obama doll in my purse. I pull him out every now and then to remind myself that the United States had a progressive, African American president until very recently. Some people find this strange, but you have to take comfort where you can find it in Donald Trump's America,” Abramson wrote.
Some people find that strange? I'd say many, many, many people will find that strange.
Scientific American made an absolutely stunning admission recently. In a new essay, the climate-change-believing publication stated that apocalyptic scenarios attributed to global warming are simply false and the human race will be able to accommodate whatever “climate change” throws at us.
The essay, authored by John Horgan, who is the director of the Center for Science Writings at the
Stevens Institute of Technology, analyzes two recent reports by “ecomodernists” who reject climate panic and frame the question of climate change and humanity's ability to cope with it in radically new terms.
One of the reports, a work called “Enlightened Environmentalism” by Steven Pinker, urges people to regain some much-needed perspective on climate, especially in the context of the overwhelming practical benefits to mankind of industrialization.
Dismissing “the mainstream environmental movement, and the radicalism and fatalism it encourages,” Pinker argues that humanity can solve “problems” related to climate change the same way it has solved myriad other problems, by harnessing “the benevolent forces of modernity.”
Separating himself from environmentalists who seem to detest modernity, Pinker asserts that industrialization “has been good for humanity.”
“It has fed billions, doubled lifespans, slashed extreme poverty, and, by replacing muscle with machinery, made it easier to end slavery, emancipate women, and educate children. It has allowed people to read at night, live where they want, stay warm in winter, see the world, and multiply human contact. Any costs in pollution and habitat loss have to be weighed against these gifts,” he says.
And just as human ingenuity has allowed us to overcome countless obstacles in the past, he notes, it is more than reasonable to suppose it will do so in the future as well.
The second report put forward by Horgan is a recent article by Will Boisvert titled “The Conquest of Climate,” which contends that the “consequences for human well-being will be small” even if human greenhouse emissions significantly warm the planet.
Boisvert, who has been described as a “left-wing environmental expert,” is no “climate denier,” yet he calls for climate alarmists to take a deep breath and step back from doomsday forecasts that likely have little to do with what will actually take place in the future.
As an example, the author pokes fun at a 2016 Newsweek article announcing that “Climate change could cause half a million deaths in 2050 due to reduced food availability.”
The story, based on a Lancet study, made dire forecasts regarding the effects of climate change on agriculture, while failing to note that the study actually predicts much more abundant food availability in 2050 thanks to advances in agricultural productivity. These advances will “dwarf the effects of climate change,” he contends, and the “poorest countries will benefit most.”
Like Pinkers, Boisvert tries to factor in what climate alarmists ignore: the capability of human beings to react to changing scenarios in remarkably ingenious ways.
“Throughout history humans not only weathered climate crises but deliberately flung ourselves into them as we migrated away from our African homeland into deserts, mountains, floodplains and taiga,” he writes.
While climate skeptics will welcome this unexpected expression of common sense from Scientific American, climate alarmists are going to try to pretend that they said nothing, knowing it could affect not only the funding they depend on, but the ideologically driven political programs they seek to impose on the world, but most of all, the United States of America.
You know darn well that if nobody believes the world is under treacherous danger from climate change, nobody will listen to (fund) these prophets of doom for more noxious studies claiming we are all going to die!
A 20 PERCENT RATINGS DROP FOR THE OSCARS IS NO SURPRISE
•Media critic John Nolte noted that the early ratings for the 90th annual Academy Awards show on Sunday collapsed by a whopping 16%, representing an all-time low. Later numbers showed a staggering 20% drop!
Is anyone surprised? Nearly every other awards show saw massive reduction of TV audiences.
Nolte summarizes it:
“Bringing Jimmy Kimmel back as host was a big mistake. Kimmel is one of the most divisive and polarizing figures in the late night media, a Trump-hating Democrat who regularly lectures the rest of us about embracing socialized medicine and giving up our guns.
“This was also a gun grabbing lecture and against sexual harassment, which was quite hypocritical given that these stars had plenty of guns in their security details protecting them and particularly given that there were so many sexual assaulters and enablers of said sexual assault standing around patting each other on the back.”
Follow Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC.
•Nicholas Vardy penned a great piece for InvestmentU.com that pointed out another one of the great failures of the “vaunted” 1960s/1970s Socialist Liberal doomsday ghouls that see man as a threat to the planet.
Remember Paul R. Ehrlich, author of, “The Population Bomb?”
"The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s the world will undergo famines - hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death..."
Published in 1968, the book sold more than 3 million copies. The book turned the Stanford professor into his generation’s academic rock star.
As history has proved, Ehrlich’s prediction could not have been more wrong.
In 2018, the obesity rate in the U.S. is among the highest in the world. The biggest health problem isn’t that Americans are starving it’s that Americans are eating too much.
Ehrlich’s thinking traces directly back to the original famine-Chicken Little, Thomas Malthus, the English economist best known for his theory of population.
In his 1798 An Essay on the Principle of Population, Malthus argued that as human populations grow exponentially, food production will not keep pace.
Unless men refrain from “pursuing the dictate of nature in an early attachment to one woman," the world will run out of food and famines will ensue.
No doubt inspired by Malthus, Ehrlich dutifully limited his own family to one child.
University of Maryland economist Julian Simon was a vociferous critic of the Ehrlich-inspired famine mania of the 1970s, so he put Ehrlich’s predictions to the test.
In 1980, Simon issued a challenge to all Malthusians. He offered to let anyone pick any natural resource - grain, oil, coal, timber, metals - and any future date.
Any Malthusian would argue that as the world’s population increased and the commodity became scarcer, its price should rise.
Simon was willing to take the opposite side of the bet, saying that the price of the commodity would decline instead. Ehrlich snidely accepted “Simon's astonishing offer before other greedy people jump in."
He bet $1,000 and covered the price of five metals over a period of 10 years.
By the time 1990 rolled around, the world's population had grown by more than 800 million, or 17.8% - the highest rate of increase over the course of a decade in history.
Yet the price of each of the commodities in the Simon-Ehrlich bet tumbled. The price of copper had fallen by 3.5%. Tin had collapsed by 72%.
Ehrlich lost the bet decisively. Simon offered to raise the stakes of the next wager to $20,000. Ehrlich declined.
On its face, the Simon-Ehrlich bet was about the future price of five metals between 1980 and 1990. On a deeper level though, it was about a conflict of visions concerning the future of humanity.
Was mankind’s future constrained by the Earth's ever-depleting resources...or by the limits of human ingenuity?
Charles Maurice and Charles W. Smithson at Texas A&M University studied the history of natural resources over 10,000 years. They found that temporary scarcities in natural resources are the norm.
They also found that same temporary scarcity always led to an improved substitute.
The Greeks' transition from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age 3,000 years ago was forced by a shortage of tin. The rise of coal followed timber shortages in 16th-century Britain. The shortage of whale oil in 1850 led directly to the first oil well in 1859.
Human ingenuity has always been successful in overcoming crises that once seemed inevitable.
At 85, Ehrlich remains unapologetic for his misguided predictions. Ehrlich has said that if he wrote, “The Population Bomb” today, he’d be even more apocalyptic than he was in 1968.
Like all of history’s doomsday predictors, Ehrlich will never admit he’s wrong.
(Follow The Landmark’s Brian Kubicki on Twitter @bkparallax and email him at email@example.com)
MAYOR SLY'S TWEET REFERENCING COLOR RAISES EYEBROWS
•So, I'm on Twitter last week, and I noticed that someone was having a conversation with KCMO Mayor Sylvester James. They asked him
“Mayor, can you explain why gun sales skyrocketed from 2008-2016, and then slowed in 2017?”
“Yeah. Fear of having a Democrat Black President is one reason.”
Doesn't that smack of racism? While he doesn't explicitly state that “white people” feared a “Black President” the implication is certainly there being that this country is still majority white.
Is that really a statement that a city mayor should make? Racist or not, it is a despicable statement for anyone to make, much less the Mayor of the City of Kansas City.
And for those who would defend the mayor stating that he was just having a bad day, the Tweet was still on Twitter as of today.
Normal human logic would dictate that Obama's Left-ward philosophy is why people bought guns at record rates when he was president. Any reasonable thinker would come to that logical conclusion.
Apparently the KCMO mayor is not very logical.
•On the subject of skin color, did you realize that the main reason people from different parts of the world have different skin colors is the sun? People from the tropics generally have darker skin color that those who live in colder climates. Variations in human skin color are adaptive traits that correlate with geography and the sun's ultraviolet radiation.
As early humans moved into hot, open environments in search of food and water, one big challenge was keeping cool. The adaptation that was favored involved an increase in the number of sweat glands on the skin while at the same time reducing the amount of body hair. With less hair, perspiration could evaporate more easily and cool the body more efficiently. But this less-hairy skin was a problem because it was exposed to a very strong sun, especially in lands near the equator. Since strong sun exposure damages the body, the solution was to evolve skin that was permanently dark so as to protect against the sun's more damaging rays.
The sun is a pretty powerful thing. I wonder if the sun has an impact on global temperature. You suppose if it's powerful enough to actually color people differently on a genetic level it might just be powerful enough to warm or cool the entire planet?
•When Coral Springs police officers arrived at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on February 14 in the midst of the school shooting crisis, many officers were surprised to find not only that Broward County Sheriff's Deputy Scot Peterson, the armed school resource officer, had not entered the building, but that three other Broward County Sheriff's deputies were also outside the school and had not entered. The deputies had their pistols drawn and were behind their vehicles. Not one of them had gone into the school.
With direction from the Broward deputies who were outside, Coral Springs police soon entered the building where the shooter was. New Broward County Sheriff's deputies arrived on the scene, and two of those deputies and an officer from Sunrise, Florida, joined the Coral Springs police as they went into the building.
Some Coral Springs police were stunned and upset that the four original Broward County Sheriff's deputies who were first on the scene did not appear to join them as they entered the school. It's unclear whether the shooter was still in the building when they arrived.
Broward County Sheriff Israel announced last week that video showed Deputy Peterson outside the building where students were being shot for "upwards of four minutes."
"What I saw was a deputy arrive ... take up a position and he never went in," Israel said at a news conference. Israel said Peterson should have "went in. Addressed the killer. Killed the killer." Peterson was suspended without pay, after which he resigned.
Some, including one of the students from the high school that escaped injury and has become a gun-control-media darling, justified the officer's actions.
What about firemen? Should they be excused for not entering a burning building to save people inside? What about paramedics responding to a call for emergency medical assistance in a rough neighborhood?
Imagine how many kids may have been saved had the officer assigned to the school gone in and taken down the shooter. That precise thing is what he was trained to do.
(Reach The Landmark’s Brian Kubicki via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @bkparallax)
ARE PRIVATE SCHOOLS SAFER THAN PUBLIC SCHOOLS?
•In the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida last week, the anti-gun folks are once again out in force trying to use the crisis to enact their political goals.
However, have you ever wondered why it seems these tragedies always occur in public schools? There's a lot of debate when it comes to the comparison of private schools and public schools. Some big city public schools have bad reputations that justify those concerns.
Various studies and statistics observed over the years support the notion that private schools are statistically safer than public schools.
Understandably, many parents sending their children to dangerous public schools don't believe they have a choice in the matter since school assignment is based on geography. Private school parents can send their children anywhere they want.
Because of mass shootings, people assume kids have a higher degree of risk today than say 20 years ago. However, the statistics do not show that to be the case.
The odds of a student being killed at school were 7 times higher in 1992 than they were in 2011.
The odds of getting struck by lightning are one in 700,000.
The odds of a student being killed at school are one in 2,700,000.
Regardless of the statistics, the loss of even one child to violence is one too many, which is why schools must take precautions and find ways to reduce acts of violence on school grounds.
A review of the mass school shootings statistics confirms that most school shootings have occurred at public institutions. As of 2017, private schools have been, for the most part, spared from large-scale mass shootings.
The Council for American Private Education has compiled an array of statistics related to school violence and how public academic organizations compare to their private counterpart.
Here are a few of the highlights:
Gang Presence: 2% of Private Schools – 19% of Public Schools
Odds of Becoming a Victim of Crime: 2% at a Private School – 4% of Public Schools
Physical Attack by another Student: 3% at Private Schools – 6% of Public Schools
This shouldn't be so difficult.
You and I cannot enter most any large private company office building without being met by tight security and escorted by either security personnel or an employee of the company. Schools, public or private, should be no less secure.
•And for this week's News of Mankind's General Nonsense, comes this story.
Since 2007, climbers of Alaska's Mount Denali, AKS Mount McKinley, have been required to use packable toilets to haul their poop away from camps. A new proposed rule would require climbers on the mountain to haul their feces back to base camp.
Denali National Park plans to toughen poop hauling requirements for climbers on the popular West Buttress route up North America's tallest peak. The rules are based on research that indicates the Kahiltna Glacier is working more like a slow-moving poop conveyer belt and less like a natural toilet than previously believed.
More than 1,000 mountaineers per year have tried to climb Denali. By a conservative Park Service estimate, they have left more than 150,000 pounds of poop in crevasses on the Kahiltna Glacier since 1951.
Under the proposed rule changes, mountaineers on the West Buttress below Camp 4 (14,200 feet) will be required to gather their poop in biodegradable bags, haul it back to base camp on their descent and fly it back to Talkeetna.
People previously believed that the glacier would grind up the human waste naturally. This belief was based on misconceptions about glaciers, said Michael Loso who has been studying poop on the West Buttress route since 2007, when he was a professor at Alaska Pacific University in Anchorage. He now works for Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve and is still studying feces on the Kahiltna. What a job he has!
(Reach Brian Kubicki via email to email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @bkparallax)
EPA CHIEF IS SAYING SOME VERY LOGICAL THINGS
•Remember when I described how pursuing non-fossil fuel based technologies primarily hurts poor people? Well, read-on for some good news in that regard.
While the number of new coal-fired power plants China and India are building has declined, the planned expansion in the use of coal in fast-growing emerging economies, such as Turkey, Indonesia and Vietnam, will partially cancel out the reduction, according to a new study.
The study's main focus was to criticize the coal-use build-up, of course, because it will further jeopardize the precious Paris Accord, but I will focus on the reality of it.
According to the study, in 2016, China and India have each cancelled more than 50 percent of their plans to build new coal-fired power plants. However, globally coal investments are further increasing. Turkey, Indonesia and Vietnam, for example, plan to increase their capacity altogether by about 160 gigawatts. This is about as much as the output of all existing coal-fired plants in the 28 EU countries.
In addition, other countries' planned future investments in coal have been massively extended in 2016. Investment plans in Egypt, for example, have increased almost eightfold, while they have nearly doubled in Pakistan.
So, what does this show us? If you get government out of the way and let technology spread across the world, poorer countries will avail themselves of the means they can afford to bring cheap energy to their largely impoverished peoples. Fossil fuels are the cheapest forms of energy out there and our goal should be to make that available to poor people. This proves that will happen if we get regulation out of the way.
Bill Nye the Non-Science Guy's recent statement, “fertilized eggs are not humans,” has been factually refuted by a qualified scientist.
Nye says in a video that the notion that a fertilized egg is human reflects “a deep lack of scientific understanding.” He claims that human life does not occur until the fertilized egg is implanted in the wall of the mother's uterus.
Biomedical Scientist David Bereit recorded a response to Nye in which he challenges the “Science Guy's” actual scientific knowledge. Bereit, who received an undergraduate degree in biomedical science and had experience in the medical science field, quotes from the American College of Pediatricians:
“The predominance of human biological research confirms that human life begins at conception/fertilization. At fertilization, the human being emerges as a whole, genetically distinct, individuated zygotic living human organism, a member of the species Homo sapiens, needing only the proper environment in which to grow and develop.”
“When a human egg is fertilized by a human sperm, a new human being is created,” Bereit summarizes. “That is scientific fact.”
I have yet to see a response from Nye.
•After so many years, President Bush included, of having to endure nutbag EPA Chiefs, it is refreshing to say the following words: our WONDERFUL EPA Chief Scott Pruitt said some very logical things last week, namely that global warming has historically been good for humanity. Hat-tip goes to Michael Bastasch with The Daily Caller for catching this.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt suggested global warming could end up being beneficial to humanity, pointing out that civilizations tend to flourish during warm periods.
“Is it an existential threat, is it something that is unsustainable, or what kind of effect or harm is this going to have?” Pruitt told a Nevada TV station last week.
"We know that humans have most flourished during times of, what, warming trends…I think there's assumptions made that because the climate is warming, that that necessarily is a bad thing.”
Of course, Pruitt's comments sent liberal pundits screaming in the streets.
Prominent environmental economist Richard Tol released a study in January that found “the initial impacts of climate change may well be positive.”
Tol looked at 27 different projections of the costs and benefits of future warming, which combined produced positive net benefits over the next 40 to 50 years. Economic costs didn't go negative until temperatures hit around 1.7 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
“Current estimates indicate that climate change will likely have a limited impact on the economy and human welfare in the twenty-first century,” Tol wrote in his study. “However, in the long run the negative impacts dominate the positive ones.”
However, other economists and climate scientists often point to the alleged negative consequences of man-made warming, such as more extreme weather, higher sea levels and lower crop yields.
“Do we really know what the ideal surface temperature should be in the year 2100 in the year 2018?” Pruitt said.
Nobody knows what the ideal temperature of the planet is, or even how one goes about measuring the correct temperature of an entire planet. Where do you stick the thermometer?
One thing history, and this particular long, cold winter, has shown us though is that a warmer environment is a better environment for humankind!
•I am ready for winter to be over!
EVEN WITH THE BENEFIT OF SPYING, HILLARY STILL LOST
•Remember this BBC News report from March 2017?
“Trump wiretapping claim: Did Obama bug his successor?
President Donald Trump has accused his predecessor Barack Obama of spying on him. They were arguably Donald Trump's most striking claims to date: a series of tweets, accusing then-President Barack Obama of wire-tapping Trump Tower during the election.
They were not backed up by any evidence, and Mr Obama's spokesman and former US intelligence chief James Clapper denied that any wiretap had been ordered. President Trump urged Congress to investigate, alongside its current investigations into allegations of Russian hacking during the election. But still no evidence has emerged.
What does the FBI say?
FBI Director James Comey for the first time on Monday confirmed to the House Intelligence Committee that the agency is investigating possible links between Russia and Mr. Trump's associates as part of a broader inquiry into Moscow's interference in last year's election.
He also disputed Mr. Trump's wiretapping claims.
'With respect to the president's tweets about alleged wiretapping directed at him by the prior administration, I have no information that supports those tweets, and we have looked carefully inside the FBI,' he told the panel.”
This part was particularly interesting…
“And the previous day, House of Representatives Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes said: 'We don't have any evidence.'”
Trump tweeted: “How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!”
Then White House press secretary Sean Spicer has cited comments made by former judge Andrew Napolitano, who said "three intelligence sources" had told Fox News that President Obama had used the British spy agency GCHQ to install wiretaps.
GCHQ, which does not normally comment on news reports, said the claims were "nonsense, utterly ridiculous and should be ignored.”
And this part…
“The only way Mr Obama could have ordered surveillance without going through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA court) is if there were no US citizens involved.”
“Without going through the FISA court?”
What is the FISA court? The FISA court has been described as possibly the most powerful court you have never heard of. The secretive court approves surveillance warrants under FISA against agents of a foreign power, mainly to either the FBI or NSA.
In this case, the reported target of the FBI's application was two Russian banks.
Any application has to be approved by one of 11 sitting judges.
Now we and Congress are learning this all really happened!
From the beginning it was a set up to find dirt on Trump campaign insiders and if possible to topple Donald Trump's presidential aspirations.
Paul Manafort was wiretapped. Carter Page was wiretapped. Donald Trump Jr. was wiretapped. Jared Kushner was wiretapped. Gen. Michael Flynn was wiretapped.
It all was very unethical and most of it was very illegal, according to federal law enforcement sources who are blowing the whistle on a sweeping scheme to undermine the Executive branch and the electorate's choice for president of the United States.
According to high ranking FBI sources, the Bureau played a definitive role in plotting this sweeping privacy breach. But the FBI had much help from the NSA, CIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Treasury financial crimes division under DHS, and the Justice Department, federal law enforcement sources confirmed.
Those involved are familiar names: James Comey (FBI), John Brennan (CIA), James Clapper (ODNI), Loretta Lynch (DOJ), Jeh Johnson (DHS), Admiral Michael Rogers (NSA), and then-director of GCHQ Robert Hannigan who has since resigned from the esteemed British spy agency.
Here is what has been reported: per intelligence gleaned from federal law enforcement sources with insider knowledge of what amounts to a plot by U.S. intelligence agencies to secure back door and illegal wiretaps of President Trump's associates.
To feign ignorance and to seemingly operate within U.S. laws, the agencies freelanced the wiretapping of Trump associates to the British spy agency GCHQ.
The decision to insert GCHQ as a back door to eavesdrop was sparked by the denial of two FISA Court warrant applications filed by the FBI to seek wiretaps of Trump associates.
GCHQ did not work from London or the UK. In fact the spy agency worked from NSA's headquarters in Fort Meade, MD with direct NSA supervision and guidance to conduct sweeping surveillance on Trump associates. The illegal wiretaps were initiated months before the controversial Trump dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele. By using GCHQ, the NSA and its intelligence partners had carved out a loophole to wiretap Trump without a warrant.
The most telling part of all this is that even with the benefit of spying on his campaign communications, Hillary Clinton and the Democrats still lost to Trump!
MCCABE AND STINKY FISH
Monday it was announced that FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was “removed” from the bureau. As reported by Fox News, McCabe is leaving the FBI after months of conflict-of-interest complaints from Republicans including President Trump.
McCabe has long been a controversial figure. Republicans have questioned his ties to the Democrat Party, considering his wife ran as a Democrat for a Virginia Senate seat in 2015 and got financial help from a group tied to Clinton family ally Terry McAuliffe.
McCabe was also former FBI Director James Comey's right-hand man in the Hillary Clinton server-gate investigation…err matter, and has been referred to in a number of the texts between FBI investigators allegedly working behind the scenes to undermine the incoming Trump Administration.
Of course, Democrats ran to McCabe's defense.
“FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is, and has been, a dedicated public servant who has served this country well,” Tweeted disgraced former Attorney General Eric Holder, who was held in contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate with the Fast and Furious scandal.
McCabe's exit follows recent news of other changes in top FBI roles, as Trump has taken aim at other senior FBI officials who worked under the former director, James Comey.
FBI Director Christopher Wray has apparently been rapidly purging the bureau of entrenched Obama-sympathizers and said last week that his chief of staff, James Rybicki, was leaving the bureau. James Baker, who had served as general counsel, was reassigned late last year.
McCabe's name has surfaced in connection with several other controversies.
The Daily Beast reported that a GOP memo alleging government surveillance abuse named McCabe, along with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and ex-FBI head James Comey.
Incidentally, the McCabe removal comes a day after Wray viewed the controversial memo Sunday on Capitol Hill.
Republicans also want to know what McCabe knew about anti-Trump text messages between two bureau officials, including one that seemed to reference an “insurance policy” against Trump winning the 2016 election.
“I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy's office - that there's no way he gets elected - but I'm afraid we can't take that risk,” Peter Strzok texted on Aug. 15, 2016.
“It's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you're 40.” That was a text written by Peter Strzok to his illicit lover Lisa Page.
It would appear now that McCabe is gone from the bureau that theories "Andy" was a reference to McCabe have validity.
Shortly after taking office last April, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein renewed a secret surveillance warrant against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, according to a four-page memo that could be released to the public this week.
The New York Times reports that the memo, which was compiled by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee, states that Rosenstein signed off on a renewal for a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant against Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser.
The memo, which has been the biggest source of controversy this past week, is said to allege the Justice Department and the FBI abused the FISA process to obtain the order against Page, a 46-year-old energy consultant who joined the Trump campaign in March 2016.
U.S. officials reportedly cited the infamous Russia dossier in a FISA warrant taken out against Page in September 2016, just after he left the Trump campaign. According to various reports about the classified memo, the DOJ and FBI did not fully disclose the origins of the dossier and the fact that it was financed by Democrats, making it a campaign “hit” effort that should not be the concern of the federal government or taxpayer dollars.
Former British spy Christopher Steele wrote the dossier after being hired by Fusion GPS, an opposition research firm that was working for the Clinton campaign and DNC. The dossier alleges Page was the Trump campaign's contact with the Kremlin and that he met secretly in July 2016 with two Kremlin insiders.
Page has vehemently denied the dossier's allegations and has claimed he is the victim of a partisan witch hunt. The new report shows the government had a warrant against Page much more recently than previously thought. In seeking the warrant's renewal, Rosenstein would've had to attest that he believed there was probable cause that Page was acting as an agent of Russia.
Page told The Daily Caller last week that he “very much” hopes the push to release the FISA memo will be successful. In a letter last May, Page asked Rosenstein, a former U.S. attorney in Baltimore, to provide documents that were used for the surveillance warrant.
Folks, this whole thing stinks like a big Democrat rotting fish, and as we all know, fish rot from the head down. Wonder who is the head of this Democrat fish that started all this in motion?
ELECTRIC POLICE CARS NOT WORKING OUT SO WELL FOR LAPD
•From Climate Depot, I came across the following nugget of nonsense…
Depression and anxiety are afflicting Americans who are concerned at the fate of the environment, according to a study of the mental health effects of climate change.
Those hit hardest are women and people with low incomes who worry about the planet's long-term health, said the study published this week in the journal Global Environmental Change.
Symptoms include restless nights, feelings of loneliness and lethargy.
“Climate change is a persistent global stressor,” Sabrina Helm, lead author of the paper and professor of family and consumer sciences at the University of Arizona, said.
Risks to mental health from climate change are a “creeping development”, she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. …World leaders mobilized to curb man-made greenhouse gas emissions to fight “global warming” in a 2015 agreement, although the United States has since said it would withdraw from the landmark deal.
Boy, if we have to send troops into combat somewhere, I dearly hope they aren't these people. If they can't manage the stress of weather and climate, how are they going to manage a firefight on a battlefield?
•RIP to John Coleman, the San Diego weatherman who founded The Weather Channel, who died on Saturday at the age of 83.
Coleman went on to found the Weather Channel during the early days of cable television, creating a station that evolved from a blip in the ratings to the place millions of Americans turn to first to track everything from hurricanes in Florida to blizzards in the Midwest to the perilous Santa Ana winds in California.
In a classic showbiz story, Coleman ended up filling in one day when the weatherman for the area college station didn't show up for work. It was 1953 and, before long, he was tapped to do the weather by Champaign's WCIA-TV.
Coleman worked his way up the TV food chain, with stops in Peoria, Ill.; Omaha, Neb.; and Milwaukee. Then he got a big-time gig at WLS-TV in Chicago, where he and a colleague pushed TV forward technologically by developing a Chroma key that allowed the station to project images behind Coleman while he gave the forecast.
“Up until then, forecasters used a felt-tipped pen and wrote backward on Plexiglas plates so that they could give detail,” Scott said. “This was a big innovation.”
In the mid-70s, Coleman moved on to “Good Morning America,” which became a powerhouse with its hosts Joan Lunden and David Hartman.
About seven years later, Coleman proposed the creation of a 24-hour-a-day national weather network, which some broadcasters thought was ludicrous. But the idea led to the creation of the Weather Channel, and for a while Coleman served as the network's president, CEO and as a meteorologist.
Coleman got the Weather Channel — or TWC — up and going in 1981. But he left after about a year due to internal friction. From there, he went on to do the weather in New York and Chicago, then landed at KUSI in San Diego in 1994, when he was 60.
Coleman knew and often communicated that global warming was a “scam” and a “hoax,” and he hotly criticized people like Al Gore and Bill Nye The Science Guy.
He will be missed!
•The Los Angeles Police Department made a big deal about going green with a fleet of electric BMWs. The cars are part of a multimillion-dollar taxpayer funded project to help the LAPD go green.
But a local TV news organization found some electric cars are sitting unused with only a few hundred miles on them, and with hidden cameras, they found others are allegedly being misused.
In a 2016 well-choreographed press conference, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck got out of an electric BMW driven by Mayor Garcetti to tout the city's ambitious project.
BMW won the contract to provide electric cars for the LAPD. One hundred delivered each year for three years, to be used right now for administrative purposes; i.e. non-emergencies.
The department is leasing them to the tune of $10.2 million, which includes charging stations.
But sources say some personnel are reluctant to use the electric cars because they can only go 80-100 miles on a charge.
Can you imagine the next car chase being recorded from choppers in the sky showing the police cars running out of power with the accused getting away driving a gas-powered car?!?!
From April 2016 when the project started through August 2017, the investigation found most of the electric cars have only been used for a few thousand miles, and a handful are sitting in the garage with only a few hundred on them.
(Follow The Landmark’s Brian Kubicki on Twitter @bkparallax or email firstname.lastname@example.org)
IDIOTIC CELEBRITIES BLAME TRUMP FOR HAWAII'S FALSE ALARM
The false missile alert in Hawaii last Saturday caused a number of Democrats, plus a couple of idiotic celebrities: Jamie Lee Curtis and Jim Carrey, to blame President Trump.
Curtis said on Twitter, “This Hawaii missle [sic] scare is on YOU Mr. Trump. The real FEAR that mothers & fathers & children felt is on YOU. It is on YOUR ARROGANCE. HUBRIS. NARCISSISM. RAGE. EGO. IMMATURITY and your UNSTABLE IDIOCY. Shame on your hate filled self. YOU DID THIS!”
Carrey offered-up this nonsense: “I woke up this morning in Hawaii with ten minutes to live. It was a false alarm, but a real psychic warning. If we allow this one-man Gomorrah and his corrupt Republican congress to continue alienating the world we are headed for suffering beyond all imagination.”
Despite the thinking of these nincompoops, Hawaii's Emergency Management Agency has taken full responsibility for the mistake:
“The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA) has confirmed that there was no ballistic missile and that there were no computer hacks to the HI-EMA system. The cause of the false alarm was human error.
HI-EMA has already taken measures to ensure that an incident such as the one that occurred this morning does not happen again. HI-EMA has also started a review of cancellation procedures to inform the public immediately if a cancellation is warranted. We understand that false alarms such as this can erode public confidence in our emergency notification systems. We understand the serious nature of the warning alert systems and the need to get this right 100% of the time.”
North Korea's nuclear program did not begin last week when President Trump promised to unleash “fire and fury” against the isolated government. For decades, Mr. Trump's predecessors have unsuccessfully placated the communist regime by threatening North Korea's ruling family into abandoning the country's weapons programs. They have all failed because - North Korea's leaders lied.
North Korea, which conducted its first nuclear test in 2006, has detonated five test bombs and is expected to explode a sixth. Since 1993, the country has also launched a series of missiles, improving their distance, accuracy and lethality each year.
Under Bill Clinton's Administration, North Korea threatened to withdraw from the 1970 Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and begin to reprocess plutonium — both of which it eventually did. In 1993, the North launched a missile capable of hitting Japan. President Clinton promised to lift decades-old sanctions, supply the North with 500,000 tons of oil a year and provide $4 billion in aid to construct a light-water reactor capable of producing nuclear energy but not weapons.
In exchange for the reactor and oil, the North would end its weapons program and close — but not dismantle a nuclear weapons complex.
By 1998, North Korea secretly restarted its weapons program with technology purchased from the Pakistani scientist A. Q. Khan, and by 2003, the agreement was completely abandoned.
North Korea provoking the West, the government profited by receiving several years of free oil and kept its nuclear plant intact. The United States spent millions in aid and only briefly delayed the North's weapons program.
George W. Bush confronted North Korea for secretly building a bomb and violating the terms of the agreement. In 2002, Bush called North Korea, Iraq and Iran an “axis of evil.” The administration hoped to overthrow the government of Kim Jong-il by imposing punishing sanctions.
Kim Jong-Il responded by announcing in 2003 that his country possessed a nuclear device and would withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. In 2005, Jong-Il appeared to agree to a proposal made through the six-party talks — consisting of representatives from China, Japan, North Korea, Russia, South Korea and the United States. The deal, which was briefly enforced, traded food aid for a suspension in weapons building, and the United States removed North Korea from its list of state sponsors of terrorism.
By 2006, the North Koreans had tested a bomb and were found to be exporting weapons technology to Syria.
The North Koreans successfully gamed the Bush administration, which waited for North Korea to collapse under the weight of sanctions. Kim Jong-Il successfully developed a nuclear weapon.
Just month's into President Obama's first term, North Korea detonated a series of nuclear bombs. Rather than negotiate, Obama imposed a policy of “strategic patience,” hoping that through sanctions and espionage, the United States could wait out the isolated state.
Obama hoped that North Korea would eventually feel it had reason to negotiate and make a good-faith effort at talks. Instead they pursued its weapons program and launched a series of cyberattacks on American businesses, including Sony Pictures.
So Trump is left with a mess his predecessors created.
(Email The Landmark’s Brian Kubicki at email@example.com)
THE WAR AGAINST COAL
The esteem-able Michael Bastasch with The Daily Caller revealed last week that New England's power grid operator, after predicting they would have enough energy supplies to meet demand this winter, admitted there could be problems if record-low temperatures set in.
“While New England has adequate capacity resources to meet projected demand, a continuing concern involves the availability of fuel for those power plants to generate electricity when needed,” grid operator ISO New England reported in November.
“During extremely cold weather, natural gas pipeline constraints limit the availability of fuel for natural-gas-fired power plants,” the grid operator noted.
Well, that's exactly what is happening right now.
Unrelenting cold since late December has caused energy demand to spike, pushing up prices and straining supplies. New England power companies are struggling to keep up with demand.
New England's current energy woes are the result of years of state and federal policies aimed at closing coal and oil-fired power plants, largely as part of the region's effort to fight global warming.
In 2000, New England got about 18 percent of its electricity from coal plants. Now, the region gets around 3 percent — though it's jumped to 6 percent in the recent cold snap.
The Brayton Point Power Station, New England's largest coal plant, shut down over the summer. Plant operators decided to close the plant in 2013 after putting in expensive equipment intended to cut pollution. Most of the shuttered capacity has been replaced by natural gas, but pipeline capacity has not kept up with demands from power plants.
When temperatures drop, natural gas demand spikes as residents clamor to stay warm. But, like in 2014, New England's pipeline capacity hasn't expanded enough to fully meet demand during such cold snaps.
Environmentalists have contributed to the problem by protesting large pipeline projects power operators wanted to increase gas deliveries. Things got more complicated when the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled companies could not enter into long-term gas contracts and pass those costs onto consumers.
The court ruling killed the planned $3 billion Access Northeast pipeline project. The project would have expanded an existing New England pipeline and was expected to save customers $1 billion a year.
A second $3 billion pipeline plan, the Northeast Energy Direct project, was mothballed in 2016 amid stiff political resistance.
Gas supply constraints have made New England the world's most expensive power market. Some power plants have taken to burning oil to generate power, but supplies are running low.
Federal air quality regulations are also keeping power plants from burning more fuel.
“The region's natural gas delivery infrastructure has expanded only incrementally, while reliance on natural gas as the predominant fuel for both power generation and heating continues to grow,” the ISO reported in its winter outlook, which was released at the end of November.
“Further, the retirement of a 1,500 MW coal- and oil-fired power plant in May has removed a facility with stored fuel that helped meet demand when natural gas plants were unavailable.”
The ISO identified 4,000 megawatts of natural gas power capacity “at risk of not being able to get fuel when needed.”
(Follow The Landmark’s Brian Kubicki on Twitter @bkparallax or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org)
IT'S TIME FOR BILL NYE TO FADE BACK INTO ANONYMITY
•Greetings and best wishes in 2018!
•The Arctic blast that seems to have finally headed back to the Arctic revealed the true idiocy of the global warming movement.
It was cold – record-breaking cold – in most of America and Canada too. The cold has made people who regularly barf-up an unrelenting trope of global warming propaganda a bit uncomfortable, especially those who reside in Canada and the Eastern United States, who now know what a wind chill of -40 degrees Celsius feels like.
I still say I'd rather hear what the heat index is on these cold days than what the wind chill is!
Not deterred from keeping their propaganda flowing, they've taken to social media to “explain” to us climate-challenged ignoramuses that there are differences between weather and climate and that in certain circumstances, global warming doesn't mean just extreme heat, but can mean extreme cold too.
Well of course! When propaganda is the goal, real science doesn't matter.
•Climate activist Bill Nye warned conservatives last week to “watch out,” saying progressive blue states will “address climate change” on their own.
Nye said, “Only 40 percent of people in the U.S. think that Congress should be addressing this and that's because certain conservative groups, especially from the fossil fuel industry, have been very successful in introducing the idea that scientific uncertainty, plus or minus two percent, is the same as plus or minus 100 percent.”
Where he conjured-up that two percent figure I have no idea.
He continued, “…Just watch out, conservatives, if states' rights include California, Illinois, New York — these places that, where people voted in a progressive fashion — watch out if all those places start to address climate change and then impose economic sanctions, either overtly or by default, on places that have not embraced the work that needs to be done. Then you'll end up with this state's rights working the other way.”
He didn't even try to explain how one state can impose economic sanctions on another state.
He then proceeded to name-call and insult the people he's purportedly trying to sway, “We've got to remind people that we're all in this together. The people I think about all the time are what are eloquently stated as the hillbillies. We want to engage everybody. Not working to address climate change is in no one's best interest. It is not in the best interest, especially of your children and grandchildren.”
It's way past time for Bill Nye to fade back into the ether of anonymity.
•Steve Milloy (@Junkscience on Twitter) posted a great simple analysis showing that the global warming movement has nothing to do with lowering the planet's temperature.
“What would be the climatic effect of immediately shutting down the fossil-fuel-based U.S. economy?
Let's say that U.S. fossil fuel use results in 6 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere annually. Let's further assume, conservatively, that of this 6 billion tons, about 40 percent (2.4 billion tons) stays and accumulates in the atmosphere annually.
Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is commonly measured in parts per million, and the weight of carbon dioxide at a concentration of 1 part per million is approximately 7.81 billion metric tons.
Simple division, then (2.4/7.81), shows that the U.S. fossil-fuel-based economy might be adding at most approximately 0.31 parts per million to the atmosphere every year.
If the carbon tax could magically stop U.S. emissions entirely as of 2013, by the year 2100, we would have avoided adding about 27 parts per million (0.31 X 87) of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.
That may sound like a lot, but consider that the current level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is about 391 parts per million. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that atmospheric carbon-dioxide levels in 2100 could range from 450 parts per million, with an absolute global clampdown on greenhouse gas emissions by midcentury, to 950-plus parts per million with no clampdown.
Either way, it's easy to see that a savings of 27 parts per million over 87 years is trivial, particularly in comparison to the cost of shutting down the entire economy, and would make no meaningful difference even if atmospheric carbon dioxide were the driver of global climate that the alarmists claim it is.
(Email The Landmark’s Brian Kubicki at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @bkparallax)
STAR WARS, THE LAST JEDI IS NOT WINNING ANY OSCARS
•I compose this weekly tribe with nothing on my mind other than the notion that we live in the greatest country on the planet, and for that we are supremely fortunate.
•First up? Some nonsense…
A Canadian government website claims Santa Claus signed an international agreement to relocate his workshop to the South Pole to escape the effects of man-made global warming in the Arctic.
The website for Policy Horizons Canada, a government website, notes that due to “rapidly melting Arctic ice and growing human operations in the North, Santa Claus has signed an agreement with the International community to relocate his village next year to operate in an exclusive zone in the South Pole.”
“Santa's relocation agreement marks the first time that the international community agrees on a common legal definition of climate change that includes refugees as corporations, as well as individuals,” reads the Horizons website.
“This deal is expected to lead to the deployment of a global climate change refugee visa system that in the near future could help to more easily relocate individuals and corporations facing the impacts of climate change,” the website continues.
I told you. The nonsense continues, and we must remain vigilant in opposition.
•Watched a Fox News story tonight on frequent contributor Charles Krauthammer. Such a brilliant and well-read man! But what makes me incredibly suspect at that observation occurs when he says what he thought about Barack Obama at the onset of his presidency.
Krauthammer said that he saw Obama as a mystery…would he be a centrist or a leftist as president?
He admits that his question would be quickly answered when Obama revealed his leftist religion on his first State of the Union address. But why was such a brilliant man as Charles Krauthammer so in the dark about Barack Obama? Everything in his resume screams leftist/Marxist/Socialist/Communist.
•Star Wars, The Last Jedi is not winning any Oscars.
I don't know whether that says more for the Oscars or against Disney turning the Star Wars franchise into a galactic Pirates of the Caribbean.
Honestly, I have grown tired of Hollywood trying to manipulate my interest level during leisure times. There are better things to do in life.
•On the Krauthammer story, it IS amazing that he resumed his Harvard medical school studies mere weeks after his accident that paralyzed him, and he graduated on time.
•The great Michael Bastasch of The Daily Caller penned an excellent piece recently that expressed what President Trump is about in unapologetic clarity.
President Donald Trump's administration prioritizes U.S. “energy dominance” through promoting exports.
The White House's security strategy is a rejection of former President Barack Obama's administration that prioritized fighting so-called “man-made global warming.” Trump's strategy no longer lists global warming as a national security concern.
The Trump administration plans on “[u]nleashing these abundant energy resources— coal, natural gas, petroleum, renewables, and nuclear” to boost the economy and aid U.S. allies, according to an “America First National Security Strategy” plan.
“Energy dominance—America's central position in the global energy system as a leading producer, consumer, and innovator—ensures that markets are free and U.S. infrastructure is resilient and secure,” reads the document.
“Our nation must take advantage of our wealth in domestic resources and energy efficiency to promote competitiveness across our industries.” The environment is best served through “innovation, technology breakthroughs, and energy efficiency gains, not from onerous regulation,” the document says.
Trump has re-positioning the U.S. from “climate leader” to a promoter of energy in the past year, in particular for fossil fuels and nuclear power.
Trump announced in June the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris climate accord, and his administration promoted “more efficient and cleaner fossil fuels” at the subsequent G20 meeting and at other events.
Climate policies will continue to shape the global energy system. U.S. leadership is indispensable to countering an anti-growth energy agenda that is detrimental to U.S. economic and energy security interests,” the security document reads. “The United States will remain a global leader in reducing traditional pollution, as well as greenhouse gases, while expanding its economy.”
(Email The Landmark’s Brian Kubicki at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @bkparallax)
CLIMATE CHANGE IS NOT A NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUE
•I've got one thing to say about tax cuts in response to all the class envy and queries, “What does it do for the middle class?”
Tax policy was never designed to influence the economy. Tax policy should NEVER be used to influence the economy. In actuality, tax policy should flow FROM the economy.
•The Trump administration is reversing course from Obama's policy by eliminating climate change from a list of national security threats.
“Climate policies will continue to shape the global energy system,” a draft of the National Security Strategy slated to be released on Monday said. “U.S. leadership is indispensable to countering an anti-growth, energy agenda that is detrimental to U.S. economic and energy security interests. Given future global energy demand, much of the developing world will require fossil fuels, as well as other forms of energy, to power their economies and lift their people out of poverty.”
This is President Trump's vision: the United States needs to emphasize national security and economic growth over climate change.
During the campaign, Trump mocked Obama's placement of climate change in the context of national security. From a campaign speech in Hilton Head, South Carolina in late 2015, Trump said:
“So Obama's always talking about the global warming, that global warming is our biggest and most dangerous problem, OK? No, no, think of it. I mean, even if you're a believer in global warming, ISIS is a big problem, Russia's a problem, China's a problem. We've got a lot of problems. By the way, the maniac in North Korea is a problem. He actually has nuclear weapons, right? That's a problem.”
President Obama made climate change, and the requisite burdensome regulations, a primary focus, including in his National Security Strategy released in 2015. “[W]e are working toward an ambitious new global climate change agreement to shape standards for prevention, preparedness, and response over the next decade,” that report said.
“In some ways, [climate change] is akin to the problem of terrorism and ISIL,” Obama said at climate talks in Paris in 2015. During a weekly address, Obama said “Today, there is no greater threat to our planet than climate change.”
Such utter nonsense!
•By contrast, President Trump's National Security Strategy will focus on conventional and immediate national security risks. The draft says, in part:
“North Korea seeks the capability to kill millions of Americans with nuclear weapons. Iran supports terrorist groups and openly calls for our destruction.
Jihadist terrorist organizations such as ISIS and al Qaeda are determined to attack the United States and radicalize Americans with their hateful ideology. States and non-state actors undermine social order with drug and human trafficking networks, which drive violent crimes and cause thousands of American deaths each year…. Strengthening control over our borders and immigration system is central to national security, economic prosperity, and the rule of law. Terrorists, drug traffickers, and criminal cartels exploit porous borders and threaten U.S. security and public safety. These actors adapt quickly to outpace our defenses.”
As for climate change, the draft report says “The United States will remain a global leader in reducing traditional pollution, as well as greenhouse gases, while growing its economy. This achievement, which can serve as model to other countries, flows from innovation, technology breakthroughs, and energy efficiency gains –not from onerous regulation.”
•It occurred to me while flying recently, when the flight attendants said during their well-rehearsed flight preparations speech, “In the unlikely event of a water landing during this flight between Kansas City and Dallas…” Does it occur to anyone that Sully Sullenberger landed his flight in the Hudson RIVER?
•Merry Christmas to all!
(Email The Landmark’s Brian Kubicki at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @bkparallax)
MILLENNIAL PUBLICATION URGES US TO START PEEING IN THE SHOWER
•Al Gore’s insipid sequel to the insipid “documentary,” An Inconvenient Truth has ended up on the shortlist for Oscar consideration despite questions about its credibility raised by challenges to many of the nonsense global warming claims it makes.
An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power was among 15 movies included by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on its list of those vying for 2017 Best Documentary. The list will be cut down to 5 finalists when the nominees are announced in January.
The Oscar buzz comes despite pushback from skeptics, led by University of Alabama in Huntsville climatologist Roy Spencer (we like him as you know), a former NASA scientist who accused Gore of attributing natural phenomena to human-caused climate change.
In September, Spencer published an 84-page e-book, An Inconvenient Deception, which blasted the film as “bursting with bad science, bad policy, and some outright falsehoods.”
“An Inconvenient Truth” was similarly rebuked by skeptics — Danish academic Bjorn Lomborg (we like him too) challenged it in a book and film called “Cool It”—but the movie earned $24 million at the box office, making it the 11th-highest grossing documentary of all time, according to Box Office Mojo.
“An Inconvenient Truth” also won the 2007 Academy Awards for Best Documentary and Best Original Song, and helped bring Gore the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his work on human-caused climate change. What global warming has to do with peace is a puzzle to me!
The sequel wasn’t exactly a bomb but it did fall WAY short of expectations, earning $3.5 million since its July release despite endorsements from celebrities (and global warming “experts”) like Paul McCartney and Bono while registering a tepid 49 percent audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Critics gave the sequel a 78 percent rating, but even those who liked the movie were weak in their praise, using accolades such as “workmanlike” and “a hugely effective lecture.”
“Would I still recommend An Inconvenient Sequel? Sure, although I doubt there is much one could glean from this movie that couldn’t be obtained by rewatching An Inconvenient Truth,” said Salon reviewer Matthew Rosza.
Roy Spencer’s e-book, now in its second edition, wound up becoming a surprise Amazon bestseller in the categories of climatology, science and math, and environmental science.
•One hotly contested scene shows Gore walking in ankle-deep water in the streets of Miami Beach, which he blames on sea-level rise due to climate change but which Mr. Spencer describes as a “natural rise [that is] magnified because buildings and streets were constructed on reclaimed swampland that has been sinking.”
Gore also says in footage featured in the trailer that he was proven correct when he predicted in An Inconvenient Truth that the 9/11 Memorial in New York City would be underwater, which Mr. Lomborg disputed.
“Then viewers are shown footage of Manhattan taking on water in 2012 after superstorm Sandy, apparently vindicating Gore’s claims,” said Lomborg in a June 27 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. “Never mind that what he actually predicted was flooding caused by melting ice in Greenland.”
The website Climate Depot (we REALLY like that site!!) challenged more than a dozen of the film’s assertions in an extensive fact-check, while climate blogger Joanne Nova accused Gore of relying on “cherry-picked extremes.”
Other documentaries on the academy’s 15-film shortlist include “Jane,” about wildlife biologist Jane Goodall; “Icarus,” which explores secret Russian doping, and “Last Men in Aleppo,” about rescue workers in the Syrian civil war.
Techly, an online publication aimed specifically toward attracting Millennial readers, has advised its audience that they can “save the world” by peeing while taking a shower.
“Worried about climate change? Do something about it and start peeing in the shower…”
According to “science” apparently, you could actively help to save the planet by peeing in the shower.
It’s all about reducing the times you flush. The average flush of a modern toilet takes about 1.6 gallons of water (Actually, that’s if everything goes down with one flush! Figure 3.2 gallons per “sitting” for most guys!). The average adult pees about seven times every day.
Point is, you’re using between 11 and 22 gallons of water every single day just to flush away your pee. Multiply that by however many adults on the planet use a toilet every day and you get the Millennials all atwitter with fear.
The Techly article includes a Brazilian Government video which provides the same advice.
If you think using water is damaging the planet (Remember, we are only moving water around – it never gets “used up.”), not flushing between 4,000 to 8,000 gallons every year is a substantial savings. I guess they didn’t account for all the extra shower time you’ll spend washing all the pee down the drain!
The nonsense on the Left never, ever stops, and it gets dumber every single day!
NATURALLY OCCURRING GLOBAL WARMING IS A GOOD THING
•From the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, it was reported that the world cereal markets are doing very well, with total supplies exceeding projected demand and inventories rising. Global cereal production in 2017 is forecast to surpass the 2016 peak by a small margin. Total production of coarse grains is set to reach a new record, with most of the expansion taking place in South America and Southern Africa. Global rice production in 2017 is expected to remain broadly stable.
So global warming, naturally occurring as it is, is a good thing.
•Mount Agung, the active volcano on the island of Bali that has been capturing headlines for the past week, continues to spew huge plumes of ash and gas tens of thousands of feet into the air. The Bali International Airport was closed for several days last week, stranding 60,000 travelers. Various volcano experts are warning that the eruption could become much more explosive.
Bali is an Indonesian island in the Java Sea that encompasses about 2,000 square miles and has a population of 4.2 million. The island, long a tourist attraction noted for its beautiful beaches and ocean views, has become a celebrity mecca where many of the world's rich and famous have built palatial estates as vacation getaways. The continuous eruption, which began November 25, has already caused the evacuation of 30,000 residents from the area surrounding Mount Agung, and Indonesia's National Board for Disaster Management is urging another 100,000 locals living in the danger zone to evacuate.
What impact, if any, will the continuing Agung eruption and other volcanic activity have on global warming? Scientific studies point to both a cooling and warming effect from the eruptions of the thousands of volcanoes that dot our planet. Major eruptions of land-based volcanoes that send huge clouds of ash high into the upper atmosphere generally are believed to have a cooling effect. The ash particles and droplets of sulfuric acid (which are formed when volcanic-spewed sulfur dioxide combines with oxygen in the air) may remain suspended for many months, reflecting sunlight away from Earth, and lowering temperatures.
However, there are other considerations that point to a volcanic warming effect, both from the 1,500 or so active terrestrial volcanoes, as well as the far larger number of active undersea volcanoes that have been poorly monitored, and whose impact is not well understood. According to Oregon State University's “Volcano World” website, “The absolute number of volcanoes that exists depends on your definition: active only, active, dormant plus extinct volcanoes? And even if we decide on a definition, nobody has really counted all of the volcanoes, especially the tens of thousands on the sea floor.”
“The best guess is 1,511 volcanoes have erupted in the last 10,000 years and should be considered active,” the OSU entry continues. “This number is from the Smithsonian Institution book 'Volcanoes of the World: Second Edition' compiled by Tom Simkin and Lee Siebert.” Before looking at the 1,511 terrestrial volcanoes, it is worth mentioning the “tens of thousands on the sea floor.”
Yes, you read that correctly, tens of thousands! As impressive as that number is, it actually may be an extraordinary undercount. According to a 2007 study by researchers from the University of Cambridge in the UK, there could be about 3 million volcanoes beneath the ocean surface, 39,000 of which rise more than 1000 meters over the sea bed. And new volcanoes are being discovered all the time. This past August, researchers from the University of Edinburgh reported on their discovery of 91 volcanoes underneath Antarctica. These are in addition to the known 47 volcanoes on the surface of Antarctica. Many of the undersea volcanoes are regularly oozing molten lava, as well as CO2, methane, and other gases. In addition there are untold thousands — perhaps millions — of undersea “vents” that are regularly discharging gases, oil, and tar. Last year researchers found hundreds of new vents along the west coast of the United States. “Scientists have found 500 seabed vents bubbling methane into the Pacific Ocean off the United States, roughly doubling the number of known U.S. seeps of the powerful greenhouse gas,” an October 19, 2016 Reuters story reported.
Could it be that these undersea volcanoes and seeps are contributing to the supposed crisis of the “melting” of the Antarctic icecap, which has been the subject of numerous media scare stories?
Is it not worth considering that perhaps the enormous amounts of heat, ash, CO2, SO2, methane, and other gases and debris continuously released by Mother Nature may be having a significant impact on our climate, and may, perhaps even dwarf anthropogenic (man-made) contributions?
(Follow Brian Kubicki on Twitter @bkparallax and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org)
SWAMP DRAINING CAN BE DIFFICULT
•There should be no question that Barack Obama worked in the waning days of his administration to attempt to wall-in his appointees throughout the federal government in an attempt to undermine the Trump Administration. The following example is just one of those examples.
A battle is brewing between the White House and the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB), with each having named a different individual to serve as acting director of the agency. The showdown gained steam on Friday afternoon when Richard Cordray, who had been leading the CFPB since its inception, tendered his expected resignation, saying he was leaving at the end of the day. Another key event that day was the Cordray naming Leandra English as deputy director of the agency. She had been serving as the agency's chief of staff.
That latter development they claimed occurred because "Under the Dodd-Frank Act that created the CFPB, English would thus become acting director," the Associated Press notes. Cordray also cited Dodd-Frank in his outgoing letter to colleagues for why she would now fill the role of acting director. Hours after Cordray resigned, however, the White House issued a statement announcing that head of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney would serve as acting director of the CFPB until a nominee is confirmed by the Senate.
Some observers say there are now dueling appointments. Some lawyers argue that the CFPB's deputy director takes over when the director leaves. Cordray cited a Dodd-Frank Act provision in defense of naming English on Friday. But there are other lawyers who say that laws governing federal vacancies should take precedent, which would allow Trump to install Mulvaney an interim basis.
The normal procedure on vacancies, in which the president gets to appoint an acting director, should be followed. English has filed suit, attempting to get the Mulvaney appointment overturned. Mulvaney assumed control of the office and told workers that he was in-charge. He even greeted employees Monday morning with doughnuts.
Sometimes, the swamp is so thick with sludge it can take quite a while to drain it!
•The Daily Caller's Michael Bastasch penned a superb piece recalling of all the warnings that the climate crazies have been ladling over mankind for the past 30 years, along with their outcomes.
Of course, the only solution, they claim, is to rid the world of fossil fuels — coal, natural gas and oil — that serve as the pillars of modern human progress. Of course, human civilization has not collapsed, despite decades of predictions that we only have years left to avert disaster. Ten years ago, the U.N. predicted we only had “as little as eight years left to avoid a dangerous global average rise of 2 degrees Celsius or more.”
Here's a summary of some of the warnings:
1. Apocalyptic warnings on repeat
A group of 1,700 scientists and experts signed a letter 25 years ago warning of massive ecological and societal collapse if nothing was done to curb overpopulation, pollution and, ultimately, the capitalist society in which we live today. It's a terrifying warning — if you ignore the fact that none of their 1992 warning has come to fruition.
2. The planet will be “uninhabitable” by the end of the century. New York Magazine writer David Wallace-Wells published a 7,000-word article claiming global warming could make Earth “uninhabitable” by “the end of this century.”
3. Prince Charles's global warming deadline passed…and nothing happened. Prince Charles famously warned in July 2009 that humanity had only 96 months to save the world from “irretrievable climate and ecosystem collapse, and all that goes with it.” That deadline has passed, and the prince has not issued an update to when the world needs to be saved.
4. 'Ice Apocalypse' Now. Liberal writer and climate scientist Eric Holthaus claimed manmade global warming would set off the “ice apocalypse” at a pace “too quickly for humanity to adapt.”
5. 2015 is the 'last effective opportunity' to stop catastrophic warming. World leaders meeting at the Vatican issued a statement saying that 2015 was the “last effective opportunity to negotiate arrangements that keep human-induced warming below 2-degrees [Celsius].”
6. France's foreign minister said we only have “500 days” to stop “climate chaos.” When Laurent Fabius met with Secretary of State John Kerry on May 13, 2014 to talk about world issues he said “we have 500 days to avoid climate chaos.”
7. Former President Barack Obama is the last chance to stop global warming. When Obama made the campaign promise to “slow the rise of the oceans,” some environmentalists may have taken him quite literally.
The United Nations Foundation President Tim Wirth told Climatewire in 2012 that Obama's second term was “the last window of opportunity” to impose policies to restrict fossil fuel use. Wirth said it's “the last chance we have to get anything approaching 2 degrees Centigrade,” adding that if “we don't do it now, we are committing the world to a drastically different place.”
Don’t allow them to scare you away from advancing humankind!
DRAINING THE CLIMATE SWAMP
•I don't know any U.S. President in my lifetime that has been more entertaining than PresidentTrump. His tweeting is must-read/follow. Knowing exactly what the president thinks, especially when it differs from others in his administration is refreshing. His nearly constant pursuit of recognition for himself is honest and funny.
How can you not like this presidency, even if you disagree with his policies?
•Air pollution denial is on the rise.
U.S. climate skeptics are questioning the science behind air pollution and mortality, a trend that is starting to appear in countries where the air is typically much more toxic.
Pollution levels in parts of Delhi, India reached “hazardous” levels recently and doctors declared a public health emergency.
However, despite reports linking air pollution to deterioration of the lungs, heart and brain, Prof. Robert Phalen, the director of the air pollution health effects laboratory at the University of California, Irvine believes the air is “too clean” for children.
After all, everybody needs a bit of immune-system-boosting dirt in their lungs.
“Modern air is a little too clean for optimum health,” he told the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), one of the world's largest scientific societies, in 2012.
“My most important role in science is causing trouble and controversy,” he added.
Now, Prof. Phalen is set to be appointed as a scientific adviser by Donald Trump's EPA.
Phalen isn't alone in those beliefs.
Last week, the Washington Post and E&E News published a list of people expected to be appointed as new scientific advisers by the EPA.
Some have operated within groups that have long been questioned climate change science, they are doing the same with air pollution.
For example, Stanley Young is a statistician at the Heartland Institute. He wrote in a statistical blog in 2014 that “the science literature … is on the side that increased ozone and PM2.5 are not associated with increased deaths.”
It's not just the advisers either. Steve Milloy, member of Trump's EPA transition team and Scare Pollution author was asking on Twitter:
“Where are the bodies (from pollution deaths)? Where is the asthma? No reports!”
The Guardian newspaper in Great Britain admits that Milloy is right that nobody dies purely from air pollution (hence nobody has it on their death certificates), but warmists love to claim without evidence that air pollution is a causal factor that shortens lives.
But the skeptics are not just in the U.S.
For the last two years, Prakash Javadekar has been India's environment, forests and climate change minister. Despite living in a country where the air is claimed to be more deadly than in China, Javadekar is skeptical about air pollution.
In May last year, he said a World Health Organization report which listed more than 30 Indian cities among the hundred most polluted globally was 'misleading.' A month later, he dismissed research by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology and the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research looking at air pollution and mortality as a 'so-called article' that was 'incorrect' because it is not based on 'ground study'.
And in February his colleague Anil Madhav Dave dismissed the findings of the State of Air Global report, which attributed more than 100,000 yearly deaths to ozone pollution.
He said: “It is exceeding in some places, some day. But it is not a routine phenomenon. You cannot link early deaths to ozone.”
“Every time a new study is published the question is raised as to whether it is backed by solid epidemiological evidence on the ground in India,” argues Bhargav Krishna, an air pollution expert at the Public Health Foundation of India.
Poland government ministers are roughly on the same page.
Earlier this year, the energy minister, Krzysztof Tchórzewski, flat out denied the link between air pollutants and premature death.
“Let's not give in to demagogy, pollution is sometimes higher due to climate issues, but this is definitely not the reason why someone will live shorter,” he told a transport conference in February.
His fellow minister in the health department backed him up, albeit for different reasons. He chose instead to tell people to quit complaining because there are bigger problems to be worrying about.
Calling toxic air a “theoretical problem,” he argued that “our lifestyle is much more damaging – someone who breathes in air smoking a cigarette, with fumes and everything that comes with it, is in a position in which complaining about poor air quality is not credible at all.”
(Email The Landmark’s Brian Kubicki at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @bkparallax)
WHY IS NO ONE TALKING ABOUT THE MENENDEZ CASE?
This Judge Roy Moore situation has illustrated left-wing media bias in all its odious hypocrisy.
Whether Moore is guilty or innocent of the claims made, Alabama voters must decide, at the election booth. You cannot find a news program that doesn't cover the story front-and-center.
But what about a case involving another currently-sitting senator, New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez? Why is nobody covering that, outside of Fox News?
Menendez is being tried for corruption and taking bribes for political favors. According to the criminal complaint, the New Jersey Democrat greased the wheels for a Florida ophthalmologist.
Among other things, Menendez was accused of helping obtain visas for several of Melgen's girlfriends as well as lobby the State Department on his behalf regarding a $500 million port security contract in the Dominican Republic.
Melgen, in turn, paid for private jets, hotel rooms and forked over nearly $75,000 in campaign contributions to Menendez.
On top of all that, claims have been made of Menendez having sexual relations with underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic.
Though a bribery conviction doesn't mean Menendez would be forced to resign, the 63-year-old lawmaker likely would face intense pressure to step down.
And for true evidence of left-wing bias, jurors have been repeatedly instructed not to read reports about the case. Guess we can't allow them to be swayed by biased journalism!
The case marks the first time in almost a decade that a sitting U.S. senator faced a federal bribery charge.
If Menendez steps down from the Senate before Jan. 16, outgoing and widely unpopular Republican Gov. Chris Christie would get to appoint a successor. If Menendez steps down or is forced out after that date, the decision would go to newly elected Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy.
Bet the house that the politics of this decision will weigh heavily on Menendez's fate.
•The great Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus Center and visiting professor at Copenhagen Business School, wrote a fine editorial piece recently on the realities of wind and solar energy. Some highlights follow.
“President Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris accord prompted a resolute response from other world leaders: The deal would go ahead without the U.S.A. But the threat to climate success doesn't just come from Trump's White House ignoring climate change. It also comes from leaders left in the Paris accord, who are unwilling to acknowledge that they're supporting a policy that is failing.
The Paris agreement was always oversold. Despite rhetoric about keeping temperature rises to 2 or even 1.5 degrees Celsius, the United Nations body that oversees the Treaty estimates that if every country were to achieve every promise by 2030, the total greenhouse gas cut would be equivalent to just 60 billion tons of carbon dioxide. Keeping the global temperature rise below 2 degrees C requires a reduction in emissions during this century of almost 6,000 billion tons. Even with complete success, Paris makes only 1% progress toward the least ambitious target.”
“New research in the journal Nature finds that 'no major advanced industrialized country is on track to meet its pledges.' The very leaders who criticized the U.S. for withdrawal are themselves failing to deliver. Not a single wealthy, major emitter is set to meet its treaty promises.”
The pledges were a joke and were really only intended to redistribute wealth.
“The story is the same around the globe: An Australian electricity market review has recommended weak emissions cuts that would make that nation's Paris commitments difficult to deliver; emissions in Mexico and South Korea are not shifting much, and the latter's government is considering mothballing its nuclear power plants, which would make it even harder to shift away from fossil fuels.”
The answer to all future energy concerns is not to abandon cheap fossil fuels. The answer is to work to develop more ways to find fossil fuel resources AND develop more nuclear power.
“Despite having excellent PR, green energy remains expensive and inefficient compared to fossil fuels. The International Energy Agency finds that this year, more than $115 billion will be spent on subsidies just for uncompetitive solar and wind, meeting less than 1% of global energy needs. It is electorally implausible for nations to live up to their Paris promises: doing so requires ever more expensive subsidies, along with slowing growth by reducing use of cheaper energy sources.”
Inefficient and expensive. That means poor people get hurt the most.
(Email Brian Kubicki at firstname.lastname@example.org)
SORRY, NFL, IT'S TOO LATE TO HIDE THE PROTESTING PLAYERS
•Amazing to watch the NFL try to stem the drop in ratings resulting from the player protests of the national anthem by not televising the playing of the anthem. It's too late for that. Everyone knows the players are still protesting.
The national anthem needs to be shown to the people without protests occurring.
•Much was made last week about the climate assessment that holdovers from the Obama Administration put out and how much it veered from the policy of the Trump Administration.
The esteemed Dr. Pat Michaels put out an essay in response. Some highlights with my commentary follow.
“Under the U.S. Global Change Research Act of 1990, the federal government has been charged with producing large National Climate Assessments (NCA), and today the most recent iteration has arrived. It is typical of these sorts of documents–much about how the future of mankind is doomed to suffer through increasingly erratic weather and other tribulations. It's also missing a few tidbits of information that convincingly argue that everything in it with regard to upcoming 21st century climate needs to be taken with a mountain of salt.”
Make that a BIG mountain of salt.
“The projections in the NCA are all based upon climate models. If there is something big that is systematically wrong with them, then the projections aren't worth making or believing.”
“The difference between the predicted changes and observed is striking, with only one model, the Russian INCM4, appearing realistic. In its latest iteration, its climate sensitivity (the net warming calculated for a doubling of the atmosphere's carbon dioxide concentration) is 1.4°C (2.5°F) compared to the average of 3.2°C (5.8°F) in the family of models used in the National Climate Assessment. In fact, the temperature trajectory the earth is on, along with an expected large-scale shift from coal to gas for electrical generation (already underway in the U.S. and Canada) will keep total human-caused warming to less than 2.0°C (3.6°F) between 1950 and 2100, which is the goal of the Paris Climate Agreement.
That's a far cry from the extremism of the National Assessment.”
Think you can tell the difference between 28 degrees Celsius and 26 degrees Celsius, much less over a time period of 150 years!
“But the situation gets truly horrific as one goes up in the atmosphere. The models predict that there should have been a huge 'hot spot' over the entire tropics, which is a bit less than 40% of the globe's surface. Halfway up through the atmosphere…the predicted warming is also twice what is being observed, and further up, the prediction is for seven times more warming than is being observed.
The importance of this is paramount. The vertical distribution of temperature in the tropics is central to the formation of precipitation. When the difference between the surface and the upper layers is large, surface air is more buoyant, billowing upwards as the cumulonimbus cloud of a heavy thunderstorm. When the difference is less, storm activity is suppressed…In reality, the opposite is occurring over much of the tropics, which should result in an increase in precipitation, rather than the decrease forecast by the climate models.
…A vast amount of the moisture that forms precipitation here originates in the tropics. Getting that wrong trashes the precipitation forecast, with additional downstream consequences, this time for temperature.”
Read below for a simplified example of this…
“When the sun shines over a wet surface, the vast majority of its incoming energy is shunted towards the evaporation of water rather than direct heating of the surface. This is why in the hottest month in Manaus, Brazil, in the middle of the tropical rainforest and only three degrees from the equator, high temperatures average only 91°F (not appreciably different than humid Washington, DC's 88°F). To appreciate the effect of water on surface heating of land areas, high temperatures in July in bone-dry Death Valley average 117°F.
Getting the surface temperature wrong will have additional consequences for vegetation and agriculture. In general, a wetter U.S. is one of bumper crops and good water supplies out west from winter snows, hardly the picture painted in the National Assessment.
So this one, like its predecessors, suffers from serious and obvious flaws that are simply ignored…the first (Climate) Assessment used models that were worse than a table of random numbers when applied to 20th century…U.S. temperatures, and the chief scientist for the report knew it and went ahead anyway!
Ignoring the massive and critical errors noted above—along with a whole other emerging story on the arbitrary nature of the climate models—is certainly going to lead for some to call for a re-examination of EPA's 'Endangerment Finding' from carbon dioxide, which is the basis for regulation of greenhouse gases.”
It's another example of the attempts by Barack Obama to continue his influence on American federal government after he left office – have people he appointed throw monkey wrenches into the gears of his successor's administration.
(Email Brian Kubicki at email@example.com)
THE LUNACY OF ELECTRIC CARS
The Trump Department of the Interior gets it! (From Climate Depot)
In the next five years, millions of acres of America's public lands and waters, including some national monuments and relatively pristine coastal regions, could be auctioned off for oil and gas development. The Department of the Interior's (DOI) expressed strategic vision states that the DOI is committed to achieving “American energy dominance” through the realization of “vast amounts” of untapped energy reserves on public lands. Thankfully, the policy blueprint—a 50-page document—does not once mention climate change or climate science; a definite departure from Obama policy. The previous Obama plan, covering 2014–18, referred to climate change 46 times and explicitly stated that the department was committed to improving resilience in those communities most directly affected by global warming.
Out with the old nonsense!
•The DOI's new strategic plan fits within a broader effort by the Trump administration to avoid wasting time and resources on global warming nonsense. Last week the EPA abruptly withdrew two of its scientists and a contractor from a conference in Rhode Island, where they were due to address the impacts of global warming on coastal waters. EPA websites have also been scrubbed of most references to climate change. At the DOI and the Department of Energy, scientists have been discouraged from referring to climate change in grant proposals or press releases. Earlier this month Joel Clement, a top policy adviser and climate scientist at DOI, resigned after being transferred to an accounting position. Clement, who had spoken out about the impacts of climate change on Native American communities in Alaska, alleges that his reassignment was politically motivated.
Don't you love it when they try to marginalize a government action by calling it “politically motivated?” EVERYTHING is politically motivated in government.
“Understanding the threat of climate change had been an integral part of the DOI's mission,” said Elizabeth Klein, who served as associate deputy secretary at the DOI from 2012 to 2017 and was involved in drafting the earlier strategic plan. That document sought to address a number of the risks associated with global warming, including drought, sea-level rise, and “severe” flooding.
One section referred specifically to the need for more research on erosion along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, which are particularly vulnerable to hurricanes. To completely ignore climate risks, Klein said, is an abdication of the DOI's responsibility as a manager and steward of the nation's public lands. “It's yet another example of an unfortunate regression,” she said.
I prefer the term, correction of previous bad policy.
•While disregarding global warming nonsense, the 2018–2022 strategic plan places a premium on facilitating oil and gas development. It calls for speeding up the processing of parcels nominated for oil and gas leasing on public lands. It establishes an Executive Committee for Expedited Permitting to facilitate on-shore and off-shore leasing, and aims to reduce the time it takes to green-light energy projects on Native land by 50 percent. The department is also seeking to speed up the application process for drilling permits, even though industry is currently sitting on thousands of approved permits. “It is bewildering that the agency would prioritize approving more permits—at the inevitable expense of your environmental responsibilities—when companies have plenty and appear to be simply stockpiling them,” wrote Representative Raúl Grijalva, ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee, in an April letter to the acting director of the Bureau of Land Management.
Instead of the protection of landscapes and ecosystems, the new report emphasizes Interior's role in policing the US-Mexico border.
•Not surprisingly, one of the DOI's key performance indicators for the next five years will be the number of acres of public lands made available for oil and natural-gas leasing. Interior's role in promoting renewable-energy development largely goes unmentioned. The new plan also has little to say about conservation, a word mentioned 74 times in the previous strategy blueprint and only 25 times in the new version. Instead of the protection of landscapes and ecosystems, the new report emphasizes Interior's role in policing the US-Mexico border. The department manages nearly half of the southern border region, the report notes, as well as the third-largest number of law-enforcement officers in the executive branch. It intends to deploy them “to decrease illegal immigration and marijuana smuggling on DOI managed public lands.”
(Reach The Landmark’s Brian Kubicki on Twitter @bkparallax or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org)
THE LUNACY OF ELECTRIC CARS
Now that tax reform is on the agenda on the federal level, I am enraged whenever I hear that “the rich should not get a tax cut.”
How about some facts?
Walter Williams wrote about this subject recently. According to the latest IRS data, the payment of income taxes is as follows. The top 1 percent of income earners, those having an adjusted annual gross income of $480,930 or higher, pay about 39 percent of federal income taxes. That means about 892,000 Americans are stuck with paying 39 percent of all federal taxes. The top 10 percent of income earners, those having an adjusted gross income over $138,031, pay about 70.6 percent of federal income taxes. About 1.7 million Americans, less than 1 percent of our population, pay 70.6 percent of federal income taxes.
Williams asks, “Is that fair, or do you think they should pay more? By the way, earning $500,000 a year doesn't make one rich. It's not even yacht money.”
•One of the most comforting fantasies common to affluent liberals is that they are 'saving the world' by driving an expensive, rechargeable electric car (e-vehicle).
In fact, they are doing the opposite, with their desire to signal their virtue causing intense human suffering on the part of some of the most powerless people on the planet.
They overlook the fact that 39% of America's electricity comes from coal-fired generation, and that owing to losses of energy in transmission, more hydrocarbons must be burned than if gasoline were used to power the car directly.
But, if you believe, as I do, that atmospheric carbon dioxide is a trivial concern because any rise causes more plant life to flourish and consume more CO2, an equilibrating mechanism characteristic of the power of Mother Nature, then this is more a matter of particulates emitted by the burning of coal than it is of CO2, and the non-polluting advantage goes to gasoline power.
My worries about rechargeable electric cars center on the toxic raw materials needed to manufacture powerful lithium-ion batteries, which are the most expensive component of electric vehicles.
For one thing, when a battery is spent (and they do wear out after a certain number of recharges), recycling the heavy metals and other ingredients is expensive, dangerous, and absolutely necessary.
Putting these batteries in a landfill is the last thing any decent human being wants, but far, far cheaper than properly disposing of the time bomb that is a lithium-ion battery.
Of all the war materials necessary for these batteries, probably the most problematic is cobalt. All the smug, affluent drivers of Teslas, Nissan Leafs, and BMW i3s (the most popular models in Berkeley) need to think about how the cobalt in their batteries got to the factory. The UK Daily Mail reports:
Almost every big motor manufacturer striving to produce millions of electric vehicles buys its cobalt from the impoverished central African state. It is the world's biggest producer, with 60 per cent of the planet's reserves.
The cobalt is mined by unregulated labor and transported to Asia where battery manufacturers use it to make their products lighter, longer-lasting, and rechargeable.
The planned switch to clean energy vehicles has led to an extraordinary surge in demand. While a smartphone battery uses no more than 10 grams of refined cobalt, an electric car needs 15kg (33lb).
The UN's International Labour Organisation has described cobalt mining in DRC as 'one of the worst forms of child labour' due to the health risks.
Soil samples taken from the mining area by doctors at the University of Lubumbashi, the nearest city, show the region to be among the ten most polluted in the world. Residents near mines in southern DRC had urinary concentrates of cobalt 43 higher than normal. Lead levels were five times higher, cadmium and uranium four times higher.
With China now officially committed to transforming its vehicle fleet and becoming the world's dominant producer of electric cars, demand for cobalt will skyrocket, and there will be a lot more work for people at the cobalt mines in Katanga:
No one knows quite how many children have died mining cobalt in the Katanga region in the south-east of the country. The UN estimates 80 a year, but many more deaths go unregistered, with the bodies buried in the rubble of collapsed tunnels. Others survive but with chronic diseases which destroy their young lives.
Girls as young as ten in the mines are subjected to sexual attacks and many become pregnant.
Given the level of human suffering imposed by battery production, the lavish subsidies to buyers of electric cars cannot be justified. And the faces of those kids do drive away the smug factor that I see on the faces of so many drivers of the rechargeable beasts.
Drive gasoline-powered cars, and do it for the children!”
I couldn't have expressed it any better!
(Email The Landmark’s Brian Kubicki at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @bkparallax)
KIMMEL'S COMMENTARIES DRIVING AWAY VIEWERS
•Well, nobody said you had to be particularly smart to host a late night TV talk show.
Late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel said this past weekend he doesn't regret his political commentaries that have driven away conservative viewers.
Using his monologue to preach his liberal views on gun control and health care has cost him Republican viewers, Kimmel admits:
"Three years ago, I was equally liked by Republicans and Democrats. And, then, Republican numbers went way down, like 30 percent, or whatever. And you know, as a talk show host, that's not ideal, but I would do it again in a heartbeat.
"If they're so turned off by my opinion on health care and gun violence then, I don't know, I probably wouldn't want to have a conversation with them anyway.”
Asked if he's saying “Good riddance” to those viewers, Kimmel responded:
"Well, not good riddance, but riddance."
Not sure what the difference it between the two, but again, smarts not required.
•As of Jan. 1, 2018, it will no longer be a felony in California to knowingly expose people to HIV.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislature on Friday that lowers the former felony to a misdemeanor.
Prior to the passing of the new law, those who failed to disclose their HIV status to sexual partners could be punished with up to eight years in prison.
The new legislation will lower that punishment to a maximum of six months behind bars.
The tweaked law will also lower penalties for knowingly donating HIV-infected blood from a felony to a misdemeanor.
For some odd and inexplicable reason, California lawmakers are hoping to lower HIV cases by reducing the penalty of attempting to murder another person by infecting them with a disease that has no cure and will eventually kill them.
Lawmakers standing behind the bill expressed a feeling that the original bill was outdated and perpetuated stigmas about people living with HIV.
So you can now purposely infect people with HIV, get out of jail sooner or stay out of jail altogether and just pay a fine, which frees you up to infect more people.
How exactly does that reduce HIV infections?
Only in California!
•Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl pleaded guilty on Monday to desertion and to endangering the American troops sent to search for him.
It will now be up to an Army judge at Fort Bragg to decide his punishment, following testimony at a hearing that is scheduled to begin next week. The desertion charge carries a potential five-year sentence, and the charge of endangering troops — formally known as misbehavior before the enemy, carries a potential life sentence.
Monday morning, Sergeant Bergdahl stood before the judge, Col. Jeffery A. Nance, and described his actions as inexcusable.
“You just walked away?” Colonel Nance asked him.
“Yes, sir,” Sergeant Bergdahl replied. “Unfortunately, I got lost in my first 20 minutes.”
Sergeant Bergdahl previously claimed he intended to walk from his unit's outpost to a larger base about 18 miles away to report what he felt were leadership problems in his unit. He said he wanted to cause a major stir, to ensure that he received an audience with a high-ranking officer.
But he told Judge Nance on Monday that he never meant to set off the huge manhunt that followed his disappearance.
“At the time, I had no intention of causing search and recovery operations…I didn't think they would have any reason to search for one private.”
Bergdahl was captured by Taliban militants within hours of disappearing from his remote outpost, and was held captive for five years.
He was released in May 2014, when the Obama administration freed five detainees from Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, in exchange for him.
His case soon turned into a politically charged referendum in Washington on the Obama administration's foreign policy. After he was freed, President Obama's national security adviser, Susan Rice, said Sergeant Bergdahl, who was promoted while in captivity, had served with “honor and distinction,” and Obama appeared with his parents at the White House.
Army prosecutors say that Sergeant Bergdahl's departure from the outpost forced the military to drastically alter its operations and strategy during the manhunt, hurting the war effort. And they will present evidence of the serious wounds suffered by searchers, including Master Sgt. Mark Allen of the Army and Senior Chief Petty Officer Jimmy Hatch, a Navy SEAL.
Sergeant Allen was shot in the head during a firefight a little more than a week after Sergeant Bergdahl disappeared. He now uses a wheelchair and is unable to speak or care for himself.
During a separate mission around the same time, Chief Hatch suffered a severe leg wound that required dozens of surgical procedures and an agonizing recovery.
No comment from anyone from the Obama Administration about why they lied to us about Bergdahl's service and why they released 5 terrorists for one American traitor.
(Brian Kubicki can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
EVEN BILL MAHER MOCKING DEMS FOR OVER-REGULATING
•This Harvey Weinstein scandal certainly has a lot of famous names (Meryl Streep, Judy Densch to name a few) shrugging their shoulders claiming they knew nothing of the uber-powerful studio head's nefarious deeds while side-handedly condemning them. Thus far, there appears to be only one famous name who was saying something early on…Rose McGowan.
Jon Nolte has a great piece at Breitbart.com about it. Some highlights…
“So far there appears to be only one hero in the mushrooming story surrounding decades of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, and that hero is actress Rose McGowan.
Compare McGowan's story to Ashley Judd's. According to Judd, she was sexually harassed by Weinstein way back in 1997. Moreover, Judd admits she knew of other women who had been harassed. Nevertheless, Judd did not come forward until now. Instead, she chose to remain silent for 20 years, even during those few years when she was a powerful movie star. It is only now, after her movie career flamed out, after she has done two Weinstein films, that she has decided it is time to blow the whistle.”
Boom goes the dynamite on that point! Where was that courage she exhibits on screen? She must be a fine actor.
“McGowan, however, at the tender age 24, and just when her career was starting off in 1997, did not remain silent about Weinstein's alleged misconduct. According to the New York Times, she raised legal hell 'following an incident in a hotel room during the Sundance Film Festival' and won $100,000 from the mogul. That is an extraordinarily brave thing for young actress to do, especially when her film career is just starting to take off.
While her reported settlement with Weinstein requires that she remain silent about the specifics in her case, McGowan has not remained silent about the overall scandal. In a statement to the Hollywood Reporter, she called on the entire Weinstein Company board to resign.
'I'm calling on the board to resign effective immediately,' she said Sunday night. 'And for other men to stop other men when they are being disgusting.'”
You go girl!
•I generally can't stand watching Bill Maher's “Real Time,” HBO show, but he will at least call out Democrats when warranted.
Maher addressed a bill introduced by Senate Democrats who want a process implemented by vehicle manufacturers to install motion sensors in cars to help remind Americans that their children are in the back seat. The idea of the bill is to help prevent heat-related deaths in children who are accidentally left in hot cars.
Maher asked, “Should reminding you not to forget your baby really be Toyota's problem?”
Maher mocked Democrats for overregulation, and referenced a new Honolulu, Hawaii law which makes it illegal for pedestrians to look at their phones while crossing the street.
“But wait,” he mocked. “What if I'm getting an important message like that I've left my baby in a hot car?!”
Maher admits that over-the-top regulation efforts of Democrats are only making them look bad when compared to Republicans.
“[Overregulation efforts] feed into the Republican message [that Democrats] don't want to help people; they just want to micromanage their lives,” he said.
•From the Wall Street Journal, the Trump Administration is giving the economy a boost with its deregulatory agenda, and the latest example came Tuesday EPA Chief Scott Pruitt proposed to repeal the Obama Administration's Clean Power Plan.
The Obama EPA imposed the rule in 2015 to regulate carbon emissions nationwide and force the retirement of coal-fired electric power plants. The Clean Power Plan over time impels states to substitute coal with natural gas and ultimately solar and wind.
The Supreme Court stayed the rule in February 2016 after 27 states and 37 electric co-ops sued. In March Pruitt launched a formal review of the rule, and a draft of the EPA's new analysis that we've seen estimates that rescinding the carbon rule would save $33 billion in compliance costs by 2030.
Pruitt's proposed rule-making starts the 60-day window for public comments. EPA notes that it hasn't decided whether it will follow its repeal of the Clean Power Plan with a new rule that regulates greenhouse gases from existing power plants and is considering “whether it is appropriate to propose such a rule.” The decision in part will depend on how well Mr. Pruitt thinks EPA can defend any new rule under the inevitable legal challenges from the environmental left.
But repealing the regulatory overreach of the Obama Administration is the first crucial step that is already paying dividends in less economic uncertainty and more confidence in the reliability of the future electric grid.
(Follow The Landmark’s Brian Kubicki on Twitter @bkparallax and email him at email@example.com)
EVIL PEOPLE DO NOT FOLLOW LAWS
•Thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims and their families resulting from the tragedy in Las Vegas.
The propensity of evil to succeed is limited only by the greater ability of free people to be vigilant standing in its path.
As we have seen, the disgusting Liberal mantra to “Never let a crisis go to waste!” was out in full-force literally within minutes after news of the shooting broke Sunday night. Some evidence:
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, “Tragedies like Las Vegas have happened too many times. We need to have the conversation about how to stop gun violence. We need it NOW.”
Perennial loser Hillary Clinton, “The crowd fled at the sound of gunshots. Imagine the deaths if the shooter had a silencer, which the NRA wants to make easier to get.”
And for the record, it is currently illegal in the United States to own an automatic weapon, and has been since 1986. Evil people do not follow laws.
•But back to Hillary, her comments were an apparent reference to the NRA's push to ease federal rules for silencers or suppressors.
But once again, the truth and science prevail. So-called “silencers” would only moderately reduce the sound of gunfire in this kind of attack – particularly since this appeared to come from a high-powered weapon.
Suppressors only reduce the muzzle blast sound by an inconsequential amount. A centerfire muzzle blast measures about 160 dB measured 1 meter away from the gun. A suppressed blast measures about 120 dB. While 40 dB is a LOT of noise reduction, 120 dB is still plenty loud to be heard a great distance away.
•Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro, editor in chief of The Daily Wire, blasted Clinton's tweets as “Ignorant, irrelevant and exploitative.” They were.
Radio host and CIA veteran Buck Sexton had a similar take: “Appallingly stupid, and entirely irrelevant, Mrs. Clinton. She knows nothing about firearms, and even worse, she doesn't care.”
•It is heartwarming to learn that in less than 24 hours after the shooting, hundreds of people have been gathered to donate blood to the hospitals, and over ¾ of a million dollars have been raised to aid the victims. See the link below…
In spite of the evil that lurks in the shadows, it is good to see that there is WAY more good in the world.
•One thing I hate hearing is that this was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
Deadly is deadly. Does it really matter to the victims or their families whether there were 1, 20, 40, 50 or more victims? Why set a bar that the next evil entity in the world will strive to surpass?
•Back to the subject of gun laws and automatic weapons, due to current gun laws, crimes with fully-automatic weapons are extraordinarily rare. As National Review's Charlie Cooke mentioned Monday, legally-owned fully-automatic weapons have been used in only three crimes since 1934. So, a person who's “not a gun guy” has either expended untold thousands of dollars to legally purchase fully-automatic weapons, somehow found them on the black market, or purchased and substantially modified multiple semi-automatic weapons — and did so with enough competence to create a sustained rate of fire. This same person also spent substantial sums purchasing just the right hotel room to maximize casualties. I cannot think of a single other mass shooter who went to this level of expense and planning in the entire history of the United States. And there was no real warning? His family was unaware? His brother also reported that the shooter had no meaningful political or religious affiliations. “He just hung out.”
Once again, evil will find a way.
2016: Nice, France: 86 killed, 458 injured.
2017: Barcelona, Spain: 13 killed, 130 injured
Timothy McVeigh carried-out the Oklahoma City bombing, killing 168 people and injuring nearly 700 more in 1995 with a truckload of fertilizer and fuel oil.
Evil has many tools, but good has more.
•And from the weird coincidence fact page, while imprisoned, McVeigh was housed in "Bomber's Row," the same cell block as Ted Kaczynski (The Unabomber) and Ramzi Yousef (one of the main perpetrators of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, bombing of Philippine Airlines Flight 434, and a co-conspirator in the Bojinka plot.) Yousef made frequent, unsuccessful attempts to convert McVeigh to Islam.
Perhaps even weirder, the recently released from prison unconvicted double-murderer OJ Simpson spent his first night away from prison in a private home in Las Vegas not far from the site of the shootings. You can't make up stuff any stranger!
•Have a great week and celebrate the freedom we enjoy, and further, continue to strive to protect it.
OKAY WITH TRUMP USING TWITTER
I've heard many people say that Pres. Trump should stop posting things on Twitter.
While I understand the motivation for those sentiments, I profoundly disagree.
Donald Trump is the president of the United States. People have been taught by the media that the president is an almost god-like figure in that everything he says is doctrine and his word is the law. We certainly saw that with President Obama and his fawning media.
That belief is incorrect.
The president is a person just like the rest of us. In President Trump's case, he is a successful real estate developer and reality TV star who just so happened to win the election. The more Trump portrays himself as a real person while acting as president, the more the notion that U.S. presidents are some form of deity where all power resides and emanates gets dispelled.
The real power in this country emanates from its citizens and from the states. That's why this is called the United STATES of America. The way in which this country was founded involved the citizens of each state electing their representatives in their states and for their states to the House of Representatives.
Then the state legislatures voted to elect that state's U.S. senators. That way, the U.S. senators answered to their states directly and not to some conjured perception of what they believe the people of their state believe. We ought to go back to that practice.
That will take repealing the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Americans did not directly vote for senators for the first 125 years. The Constitution, as it was adopted in 1788, stated that senators would be elected by state legislatures.
Until we get there, I'm O.K. with President Trump using Twitter to help reduce the perception of power that resides in and emanates from his office and the federal government.
•Climate alarmists have finally admitted they got it wrong on global warming.
A landmark paper published in Nature Geoscience finally admits the computer models have overstated the impact of carbon dioxide on climate and that the planet is warming more slowly than predicted.
The paper – titled Emission budgets and pathways consistent with limiting warming to 1.5?°C – concedes it is now almost impossible that the doomsday predictions made in the last IPCC Assessment Report of 1.5 degrees C warming above pre-industrial levels by 2022 will come true. For that to happen, temperatures would have to rise by a massive 0.5 degrees C in five years.
Since global mean temperatures rarely rise by even as much as 0.25 degrees C in a decade, that would mean the planet would have to do 20 years worth of extreme warming in the space of the next five years.
Scientists admit this is next to impossible. Also, the computer models they've been using to scare the world with tales of man-made climate doom are wrong too.
This represents the most massive reversal of the alarmist camp.
Benny Peiser of the Global Warming Policy Foundation said this is a “landmark” moment in the history of great climate change scare.
“It's the first official confirmation we've had that CO2 is not as big a driver of climate change as the computer models have claimed; and it's the first official admission that the planet is not warming dangerously.”
But this is not, unfortunately, enough alone to cause celebrations in the street. Alarmists are not yet ready to admit the full scale of their errors.
This is little more than a damage limitation exercise by scammers who know they've been caught cheating and have now been forced to concede at least some territory to their opponents for fear of looking ridiculous.
1) We have known for several years that the climate models have been running far too hot.
This rather belated admission is welcome, but a cynic would wonder why it was not made before Paris.
2) Part of the motivation is to keep Paris on track. Most observers, including even James Hansen, have realized that it was not worth the paper it was written on.
This new study is designed to restore the belief that the original climate targets can be achieved, via Paris and beyond.
3) Although they talk of the difference between 0.9C and 1.3C, the significance is much greater.
Making the reasonable assumption that a significant part of the warming since the mid 19thC is natural, this means that any AGW signal is much less than previously thought.
4) Given that they now admit they have got it so wrong, why should we be expected to have any faith at all in the models?
5) Finally, we must remember that temperatures since 2000 have been artificially raised by the recent record El Nino, and the ongoing warm phase of the AMO.
Yup. But at least we climate skeptics have been proved right yet again, that's the main thing. Oh, and by the way, snooty alarmist scumbags: that word you were looking for to describe the current state of global warming science is: “Sorry.”
Read more at www.breitbart.com.
(Follow The Landmark’s Brian Kubicki on Twitter @bkparallax and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org)
COWBOYS' COACH: THE NATIONAL ANTHEM IS SACRED
Personally, there is nothing more aggravating than watching NFL players protest the National Anthem by sitting, kneeling, or otherwise not paying attention to the American flag during the traditional playing of the song before athletic events. Nearly as aggravating though is the Chiefs' brass sitting on their hands when given the opportunity to address the protests.
Chiefs Chairman Clark Hunt has stated that he prefers people stand during the anthem, but he has expressed little else. Head Coach Andy Reid stated that he personally chooses to stand but understands others have different feelings.
Why so wishy-washy?
Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones feels “very strongly” players shouldn't protest anthem; “I like the way the Cowboys do it.”
During a recent radio appearance in Dallas, Jones was asked his thoughts on the increasing number of protests by NFL players last year and this year.
"I just feel so strongly that the act of recognizing the flag is a salute to our country and all of the people that have sacrificed so that we can have the liberties we have…I feel very strongly that everyone should save that moment for the recognition of the flag in a positive way, so I like the way the Cowboys do it."
The Cowboys have not had a player protest the national anthem.
Last week, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett also commented on anthem protests, saying, "There's no question in my mind. The national anthem is sacred. The flag is sacred. And our team has demonstrated that."
Jones last broached the topic last September, saying: "We strongly, strongly support the flag. In every way, we support -- it's almost ridiculous to be saying it -- the people that for generations and generations have given it all up so we can get out here and show off in front of millions of people on television. We respect that so much. That's the real business. The forum of the NFL and the forum on television is a very significant thing. I'm for it being used in every way we can to support the great, great contributors in our society and that's people that have supported America, the flag, and there's no reason not to go all out right there. For anybody to use parts of that visibility to do otherwise is really disappointing."
Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters sits during the anthem and has said last year after he raised a fist in protest during the anthem, “I was just stating how I'm black, I love being black…I'm supporting Colin (Kaepernick) and what he's doing as far as raising awareness with the justice system. But I didn't mean anything (bad) by it.”
Nothing “bad?” The “movement” is ripping police officers as racist murderers! Police officers in Dallas last year were murdered while protecting Black Lives Matters protesters.
I think Marcus Peters needs to rethink his protest.
•The Hill reported Saturday that President Trump made good on his promise to donate $1 million to Harvey relief efforts.
Directly following the hurricane, Trump made generous donations to aid relief. The Salvation Army and American Red Cross received $300,000 each. Reach Out America and the Samaritans Purse, two Christian relief organizations, received $100,000 each and eight other groups — ASPCA, Catholic Charities, Direct Relief, Habitat for Humanity, the Houston Humane Society, Operation Blessing, Portlight Inclusive Disaster Strategies and Team Rubicon received $25,000 each.
I have looked throughout the internet and can find no record of either Presidents Bush or Obama contributing personal funds toward the Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy relief efforts. Those storms occurred during their respective presidencies.
•Chiefs' head coach Andy Reid and the media seem to be struggling to convince Travis Kelce to stop acting like an idiot on the field and accruing unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, which he did again on Sunday's win over the Eagles. Whatever Reid is doing behind the scenes is not working and Kelce is simply ignoring the media's attempts to question him about it.
How about this approach? “Travis, any comment on the realization that your teammates are taking ferocious hits on numerous plays to grind-out those yards on offense; taking bone-crushing hits that may affect them seriously in their future lives, and you give those yards right back 15 yards each, with every juvenile act on the field. What do you say to those players?”
(Email The Landmark’s Brian Kubicki at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @bkparallax)
HURRICANES AND TRUMP'S EARLY DECISION TO EMBRACE RINOs
•Well, now that Hurricane Irma has made landfall and once again exhibited the tremendous ability of Floridians to prepare and deal with Mother Nature, we now have to deal with a man-made disaster, global warming fear-mongers who are flooding the airwaves with the wrong-headed notion that man's use of fossil fuels and capitalism are to blame for hurricanes and their intensity.
•So what exactly is a hurricane, where does it come from and what really causes their varying intensity?
Whether they are called a Hurricane, Typhoon, Willy-willy or Cyclone, tropical storm systems can bring devastating weather to tropical locations throughout the world.
Referred to as hurricanes in the eastern Pacific, north Atlantic, Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, tropical cyclones are large swirling storm systems that have a common pinwheel shape in satellite images.
Tropical cyclones are powered by the energy stored in the warm tropical waters, and they go through numerous stages. They often begin as a cluster of tropical thunderstorms called a tropical wave. When conditions are right, these waves will eventually organize into an even larger system with a central circulation. Interesting to note that these storms spin counter-clockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise south of the equator.
Once top sustained winds reach 39 mph or higher, they become classified as a tropical storm and are usually given a name off a list of storm names maintained for that region of the world.
If they stay over tropical waters with temperatures greater than 80 degrees Fahrenheit and remain in a relatively low shear environment, these storms have a good chance to grow stronger. Once maximum sustained winds exceed 74 mph, they become classified as a hurricane, typhoon, Willy-willy or Cyclone.
These systems, when making landfall, can cause massive and devastating wind and flood damage, unless the building in the path are properly designed and constructed. Note that though the storm surge in Florida raised water levels in the streets, but the major buildings all remained standing. Nice work!
•Interesting that President Trump seems to be finally settling into the job of being commander-in-chief and has settled into a consistent “voice” which conveys a common “presidential” theme behind his Make America Great Again slogan.
Say what you will about his missteps along the way from Jan. 20th to here, there is little question that Donald Trump loves this country and its citizens and that's a far departure from the preachy tone of his predecessor.
•I enjoyed 60 Minutes Sunday for a change, but only for a part of the Steve Bannon interview by Charlie Rose, noted liberal interviewer. When Bannon described Rose's CBS along with the New York Times and the
Washington Post as “pearl clutching mainstream media” I could almost hear the steam squirting out of Rose's hairy ears!
•As good as that was, the following Bannon observation was probably the most telling about the current state of the Trump Administration:
Bannon said immediately after Trump won the election, a “fundamental decision” was made to embrace the establishment GOP; the RINO's, to staff-up the government.
“Our whole campaign was a little bit the island of misfit toys,” Bannon said. “So [Trump] looks around and I'm wearin' my combat jacket, I haven't shaved, I got — you know, my hair's down to here, and he says — he's — he's thinkin'. 'Hey, I've gotta put together a government. I've gotta really staff up somethin'. I need to embrace the establishment.'”
That decision will serve to be the albatross on the Trump Administration, and why he doesn't get his major things done.
•Watching 9/11 remembrances today and the wounds of that day, which now are punctuated by the 9/11/2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, remain as vivid to me as the day each occurred.
Condolences and prayers go out to all the family members affected.
(Email The Landmark’s Brian Kubicki at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow him on Twitter @bkparallax)
KELLYANNE CONWAY PUNKS CNN'S ANDREW CUOMO
•CNN's Andrew Cuomo (Fredo from the Godfather series of films) last week had an interesting exchange with White House advisor Kellyanne Conway that ended up making Cuomo look like a fool (thus the Fredo moniker). Cuomo asked Conway whether the Trump administration would be open to a conversation about whether or not climate change had an impact on the Harvey storm and flooding in Texas.
Conway replied, "Chris, we're trying to help the people whose lives are literally underwater, and you want to have a conversation about climate change?"
Conway went on to tout the administration's focus and commitment to helping the victims of Hurricane Harvey.
"I work for a President and a vice president and a country that is very focused on the millions of affected Texans and god forbid Louisianans," she said. "I'm going to focus on them in the short-term, perhaps the long-term."
Cuomo responded, "Good, you should. But it doesn't mean you do that to the exclusion to the question of why storms happen. At some point, that could be part of the conversation."
Cuomo went on to erroneously claim that storms like Harvey happen “every other year,” completely ignoring that it has been nearly 12 years (4,300 days) since a major tropical storm hit the United States coastline. Conway closed-out Cuomo by noting that the Trump Administration would continue helping people harmed by the storm while Cuomo can continue playing “amateur climate scientist.”
•From EcoWatch via Climate Depot, Pope Francis, who has a strong belief in global warming, called upon world leaders on Wednesday to "listen to the cry of the Earth and the cry of the poor, who suffer most because of the unbalanced ecology."
In 2015, the Pope designated September 1 as "a precious opportunity to renew our personal participation in this vocation as custodians of creation," framing the preservation of the environment as a moral responsibility.
Pope Francis has long pressed for strong climate action. In May, during their meeting at the Vatican, the pontiff gifted President Trump a copy of the climate encyclical right as POTUS considered whether the U.S. should exit from the Paris climate agreement. Trump, a clear climate skeptic who does not agree with Francis about the global phenomenon, didn't take the Pope's message to heart—he withdrew the U.S. from the Paris accord just a month later.
I'm not a strong believer in the notion that we are near the Biblically-predicted end-of-times such that the prophesied false prophets and the anti-Christ are afoot. But IF a force was to present itself to mankind with the intent to undo all the good that exists among humankind, wouldn't it want to attack the most effective force ever devised at lifting people out of grinding poverty? Capitalism has proven itself again and again as the best way to advance people's lives. Pope Francis attacks capitalism and free markets repeatedly. Is Pope Francis the Anti-Christ?
•Now for something completely different - what really causes the planet's temperature and climate to change?
As we well know, the sun lies at the heart of the solar system, where it is by far the largest object. It holds 99.8 percent of the solar system's mass and is roughly 109 times the diameter of the Earth — about one million Earths could fit inside the sun.
The visible part of the sun is about 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit (5,500 degrees Celsius), while temperatures in the core reach more than 27 million F (15 million C), driven by nuclear reactions. One would need to explode 100 billion tons of dynamite every second to match the energy produced by the sun, according to NASA.
The sun is one of more than 100 billion stars in the Milky Way. It orbits 25,000 light-years away from the galactic core (wouldn't you LOVE to see what is at the galactic core?), completing a revolution once every 250 million years or so. The sun is relatively young, part of a generation of stars known as Population I, which are relatively rich in elements heavier than helium. An older generation of stars is called Population II, and an earlier generation of Population III may have existed, although no members of this generation are known yet.
The sun was born about 4.6 billion years ago. Many scientists think the sun and the rest of the solar system formed from a giant, rotating cloud of gas and dust known as the solar nebula. As the nebula collapsed because of its gravity, it spun faster and flattened into a disk. Most of the material was pulled toward the center to form the sun.
The sun has enough nuclear fuel to stay much as it is now for another 5 billion years. After that, it will swell to become a red giant. Eventually, it will shed its outer layers, and the remaining core will collapse to become a white dwarf. Slowly, this will fade, to enter its final phase as a dim, cool theoretical object sometimes known as a black dwarf.
Guess what causes the temperature of the planet to change?
(Follow The Landmark’s Brian Kubicki on Twitter @bkparallax or email him at email@example.com)
WEATHER DISASTERS HAPPEN, WITH OR WITHOUT THE HELP OF HUMANS
•It took almost no time for the global warming crazies to point to Hurricane Harvey as attributable to man-caused global warming.
However, Princeton University Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory said in its March 17, 2017 Global Warming and Hurricanes Overview, “…it is premature to conclude that human activities…have already had a detectable impact on Atlantic hurricane or global tropical cyclone activity, [because] the historical Atlantic hurricane record does not provide compelling evidence for a substantial greenhouse warming-induced long-term increase.”
My favorite climate scientist, Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D., penned a great piece tying it all together. (Edited by me for brevity.)
“In the context of climate change, is what we are seeing in Houston a new level of disaster which is becoming more common?
The flood disaster unfolding in Houston is certainly very unusual. But so are other natural weather disasters, which have always occurred and always will occur.
Major floods are difficult to compare throughout history because [of] the ways in which we alter the landscape. For example, as cities like Houston expand over the years, soil is covered up by roads, parking lots, and buildings, with water rapidly draining off rather than soaking into the soil. The population of Houston is now ten times what it was in the 1920s. The Houston metroplex area has expanded greatly and the water drainage is basically in the direction of downtown Houston.
There have been many flood disasters in the Houston area, even dating to the mid-1800s when the population was very low. In December of 1935 a massive flood occurred in the downtown area as the water level height measured at Buffalo Bayou in Houston topped out at 54.4 feet.
By way of comparison, as of 6:30 a.m. this (Monday) morning, the water level in the same location is at 38 feet, which is still 16 feet lower than in 1935. I'm sure that will continue to rise.
Are the rainfall totals unprecedented? Even that question is difficult to answer. The exact same tropical system moving at, say, 15 mph might have produced the same total amount of rain, but it would have been spread over a wide area, maybe many states, with no flooding disaster. This is usually what happens with landfalling hurricanes.
Instead, Harvey stalled after it came ashore and so all of the rain has been concentrated in a relatively small portion of Texas around the Houston area. In both cases, the atmosphere produced the same amount of rain, but where the rain lands is very different. People like those in the Houston area don't want all of the rain to land on them.
There is no aspect of global warming theory that says rain systems are going to be moving slower, as we are seeing in Texas. This is just the luck of the draw.
Sometimes weather systems stall, and that sucks if you are caught under one…
•Even with the system stalling, the greatest multi-day rainfall total as of 9 a.m. this Monday morning is…39.7 inches, with many locations recording over 20 inches. We should recall that Tropical Storm Claudette in 1979 (a much smaller and weaker system than Harvey) produced a 43 inch rainfall total in only 24 hours in Houston….
Roger Pielke Jr. has pointed out that the U.S. has had only four Category 4 (or stronger) hurricane strikes since 1970, but in about the same number of years preceding 1970 there were 14 strikes. So we can't say that we are experiencing more intense hurricanes in recent decades.
Going back even earlier, a Category 4 hurricane struck Galveston in 1900, killing between 6,000 and 12,000 people. That was the greatest natural disaster in U.S. history. And don't forget, we just went through an unprecedented length of time – almost 12 years – without a major hurricane (Cat 3 or stronger) making landfall in the U.S….
•If we are talking about the 100 years or so that we have rainfall records, then it might be that southeast Texas hasn't seen this much total rain fall over a fairly wide area. At this point it doesn't look like any rain gage locations will break the record for total 24 hour rainfall in Texas, or possibly even for storm total rainfall, but to have so large an area having over 20 inches is very unusual.
They will break records for their individual gage locations, but that's the kind of record that is routinely broken somewhere anyway, like record high and low temperatures.
In any case, I'd be surprised if such a meteorological event didn't happen in centuries past in this area, before we were measuring them.
And don't pay attention to claims of 500 year flood events, which most hydrologists dislike because we don't have enough measurements over time to determine such things, especially when they also depend on our altering of the landscape over time.
•Bill Read, a former director of the National Hurricane Center was asked by a CNN news anchor whether he thought that Harvey was made worse because of global warming. Read's response was basically, No….
…Weird stuff happens.
Weather disasters happen, with or without the help of humans.”
(Email Landmark columnist Brian Kubicki at firstname.lastname@example.org)
BANNON WAS A VOICE OF REASON ON CLIMATE CHANGE
•People are making more of Steve Bannon's departure from the White House than it deserves. However, Mark Morano with Climate Depot wisely observed in a recent column that it severed a line into President Trump's inner circle for climate skeptics, degrading their influence on energy policy.
Bannon was a direct link to Trump for voices of reason on climate change. Now, with Bannon returning to the Breitbart News Network, the right-wing publication he ran before joining Trump's flagging campaign last year, climate skeptics are losing a key ally who pushed back against moderate forces.
“Bannon was a key climate skeptic in the Administration pushing President Trump to keep his pledge to withdraw from the UN Paris climate pact. Bannon's voice overruled other members of the Administration,” Marc Morano, of Climate Depot, said in an email. Bannon outmaneuvered high-profile advisers such as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, chief economic adviser Gary Cohn and the president's daughter, Ivanka Trump.
The immediate impact is that populists who questioned climate science and sought to kneecap environmental regulations have lost an influential voice. For people like Tillerson, Cohn, Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, it means a large hurdle in convincing Trump to take more moderate views on regulation, climate and international engagement is now gone, though many of Trump's pro-fossil-fuel campaign promises are already underway.
Morano said Bannon kept attuned to the populist grass-roots movement that backed Trump and has broadly questioned mainstream climate science. He added that Bannon was instrumental in keeping Trump focused on his campaign promise to nix the accord and that his “departure will leave a void at the White House that will likely be filled by someone more accommodating to the DC Establishment.”
“And that is bad news for climate skeptics,” Morano said. “He will be missed.”
Saw a message on Facebook where someone used the fact that the solar eclipse happened just as scientists had predicted as evidence that climate scientists are correct about global warming.
There are a couple of major differences though between the two subjects. First, there are no scientists claiming that the moon was not going to obscure the sun. Second, nobody is out there claiming that they need to raise our taxes in order to address the solar eclipse.
The coal industry is showing signs of a revival and breathing economic life into West Virginia and other coal states. It is also becoming more competitive as a fuel source since the price of natural gas has risen 63% since March 2016.
Not long ago liberals hailed the demise of coal as inevitable while the Obama Administration strangled the industry with regulation. But coal is showing signs of a revival and breathing economic life into West Virginia and other coal states.
Former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy proclaimed in 2015 that coal “is no longer marketable.” She planned to deliver the first shovel-full of dirt to the burial.
The Obama Administration worked tirelessly to fulfill her mission and may have succeeded had Hillary Clinton become President. “We're going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of work,” the 2016 Democratic nominee famously promised.
Yet the Trump Presidency seems to have lifted industry spirits and coal. Weekly coal production has increased by 14.5% nationwide over last year with even bigger bumps in West Virginia (19%), Pennsylvania (19.7%) and Wyoming (19.8%). Exports were up 58% during the first quarter from last year. Apparently coal can be marketable if regulators let it be.
•The Obama Administration first targeted coal consumption with rules on mercury emissions and ash disposal that would have made it next to impossible to build a new coal-burning power plant.
Then came the 2015 Clean Power Plan that would have forced the existing fleet of coal plants into early retirement.
Finally, the Obama anti-coal warriors sought to shut down coal's export potential.
Thick-seamed coal on federal land in the Powder River Basin overlying Wyoming and Montana is relatively clean-burning and inexpensive to mine. The Obama Interior Department suspended new coal leases on federal land last winter and then reassessed royalty payments—thereby reducing investment and profitability. In December came the intended killing blow: the Department of the Interior's stream rule usurping state authority over permitting.
President Trump has called a cease fire to his predecessor's “war on coal.”
Way to go President Trump! Now about that Obamacare repeal…
(Email The Landmark’s Brian Kubicki at email@example.com)
AL GORE'S 15 MINUTES OF FAME ARE QUICKLY ELAPSING
•The divisiveness occurring in this country is simply more of the Marxist divisions sewn by the Obama Administration in this country for the last 8 years - poor vs. wealthy, black vs. white, police vs. minorities, citizens vs. non-citizens, legal immigrants vs. illegal immigrants, etc. The function of a Marxist is to enflame these divisions for the benefit of the power of an ever-expanding central government. Trump is not a racist or a white supremacist. He's also not a politician, so he is immune to the pressures that liberals and the media try to place on him to impede his administration.
•If there is a public vote in KCMO on tearing-down KCI, the powers-that-be are ill-advised by peppering the airwaves now with propaganda ads. I'm already sick of hearing George Brett tell us how to make KC “world class.”
•Interesting to hear all the lamenting and criticism leveled on Pres. Trump for not specifically criticizing white-supremacist groups for their support of him and their work in fomenting violence such as occurred over the weekend in Charlottesville, VA, but none of those folks criticizing said a word about President Obama meeting with Black Lives Matter representatives at the White House and his remaining silent about the policemen killed in Dallas during a Black Lives Matter protest.
•It was good to see the KCMO city government and light rail activists stopped in their efforts to suppress voting on the notion to extend the train south to the UMKC campus. The measure to require voter approval of the entire city before the train can be extended passed last week. The mayor wanted the vote limited to only as small portion of the city around the track, even though the entire city would be required to fund the operation of the train. That would be taxation without representation and is unconstitutional. Also interesting was that the Democrats that run KCMO were more than happy to attempt to suppress votes by requiring voters get their registrations notarized in advance of the vote.
Apparently, Democrats like voter suppression when it suits their needs!
•The largest volcanic region on Earth has been found thousands of meters below the surface of the ice sheet covering Antarctica.
A survey of the region of the West Antarctic Rift System has revealed 91 new volcanoes hidden within the ice. The new volcanoes are on top of the 47 whose peaks are above the ice and were already known about.
The volcanoes range in height from 100m to a towering 3,850m tall. Geologists say the range has similarities to east Africa's volcanic ridge, which was previously thought to have the densest concentration of volcanoes in the world.
It is unclear whether the Antarctic volcanoes are active, but previous studies have suggested that during warmer periods volcanic activity does occur in the region. If the ice thins as the climate warms it is thought volcanic activity in the area could increase.
It would be WAY more interesting than a solar eclipse watching what would happen to the planet if these volcanoes started erupting!
•Al Gore's 15-minutes of fame are quickly elapsing! Frantic to promote dud, An Inconvenient Sequel, energy hog Al Gore has been telling people that “global warming” is a “spiritual issue.” It is a Truth with a capital T that must not be questioned, but rather taken as a sign of faith, the sole path to redemption for our sins.
Evidently, this is calculated strategy for him, as he has used multiple forums to make the claim, starting on the first of this month, he used the CNN airwaves and website for a massive campaign, as reported by The Daily Caller's Michael Bastasch:
“Former Vice President Al Gore told a Catholic priest that tackling man-made global warming is 'not a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual issue' during a town hall event on CNN Tuesday night.
'I'm a Protestant, but I can tell you because of Pope Francis I really could become a Catholic,' Gore said in response to the priest's question.
CNN hosted a “climate crisis” town hall with Gore on Tuesday night where people could ask him question about global warming. Gore's newest film “An Inconvenient Sequel” had its limited release Friday.
CNN promoted Gore's town hall event by flooding the front page of its website with “grim” global warming coverage. The news network highlighted two studies that came to “a grim conclusion on climate,” finding global warming could bring on “extinctions and super droughts.”
The anthropogenic Global warming hypothesis is not a scientific question for investigation, it is a religious truth handed down from “scientists,” who have apparently “voted” and handed down the doctrine that Must Not Be Questioned. Scientific skepticism, the very heart of the scientific method, must be shunned in the name of Gaia, and her prophet Al Gore.
Gore is a moron. Ignore him and his stupid movie.
(Follow Brian Kubicki on Twitter @bkparallax or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org)
STIGALL NAILS IT ON TRUMP CHARACTERIZATION
I think I'm going to be the only person working when the eclipse happens.
I may be misguided, but I can't muster a molecule of care about the fact that a solar eclipse is happening. If you've been in a coma, a full solar eclipse is occurring on Aug. 21, and the nation is going nuts! Companies are making plans for employees to be off work. Schools are delaying start of classes to allow students to watch. I'll bet there are animal crazies that are buying special glasses for their dogs and cats!
As seen from planet Earth, a solar eclipse is a type of eclipse that occurs when the moon passes between the sun and Earth, and the moon fully or partially blocks view of the sun. This can happen only at new moon when the sun and the moon are in alignment. In a total eclipse, which this one is, the disk of the sun is fully obscured by the moon. In partial and annular eclipses, only part of the sun is obscured.
Now, if the moon rotated the Earth in a perfectly circular orbit, and was a little closer to the Earth and in the same orbital plane, there would be total solar eclipses every month, and nobody would be making all this ridiculous fuss. However, the moon's orbit is tilted at more than five degrees to the Earth's orbit around the sun, so its shadow at new moon usually misses Earth.
It has been since February 1979 that a total eclipse been visible from the mainland United States. The path of sight of it will touch 14 states, though a partial eclipse will be visible in many more states. The event will begin on the Oregon coast as a partial eclipse at 9:06 a.m. PDT on Aug. 21, and will end later that day as a partial eclipse along the South Carolina coast at about 4:06 p.m. EDT.
Future total solar eclipse will cross the United States in April 2024 (12 states) and August 2045 (10 states), and annular solar eclipse will occur in October 2023 (9 states) and June 2048 (9 states). So this isn't all there is. Many, many people will likely be around to see those, so calm down people!
On second thought, I'm not going to be working during all the fuss. Somebody please wake me when it's over.
•I must give credit to our old friend and former Landmark columnist Chris Stigall, who currently hosts the WPHT Morning Show in Philadelphia, for a characterization that fits Donald Trump to a Tee. Stigall was describing the Swamp in D.C. and their desire to resist having their massive power drained as Pres. Trump has vowed to do. Trump is in effect Rodney Dangerfield's character in the movie, Caddyshack, Al Czervik, who was a wealthy real estate developer.
Trump, being duly elected, is a member of the “club.” But he just doesn't meet the “standards” at Bushwood and will never be accepted.
That really says everything about why both the RINO Establishment as well as the Democrats oppose everything-Trump.
•Marc Morano at Climate Depot interestingly noted that Al Gore's new film, “An Inconvenient Sequel,” came in a dismal 15th place in revenue this weekend at U.S. theaters.
Gore's defenders blamed Paramount Pictures for the dismal performance of the propaganda piece.
According to Deadline Hollywood, Gore's sequel “grossed $900K, averaging $5,000 (per screen). That brought its cumulative take over seven figures, landing at $1,052,000. Its weekend gross placed it 15th in the overall box office as of Sunday morning.
The box office performance will disappoint Gore, who had urged his followers to pack movie theaters to send a message to “Trump and the other climate deniers.”
“By filling theaters, we can show Donald Trump and the other climate deniers in the White House that the American people are committed to climate action –– no matter what they do, say, or tweet!” Gore wrote in an email alert sent to his supporters on Friday, Aug. 4, the day of his nationwide opening.
A prominent Ivy League Geologist who voted for Gore, was “appalled” after viewing his first 2006 film. “I voted for Gore in 2000, yeah. I think that if he ran again, depending on who he ran against, I might vote for him. He's a smart man,” said Geologist Dr. Robert Giegengack, who chaired the Department of Earth and Environmental Science at the University of Pennsylvania in the skeptical film “Climate Hustle.”
But after viewing Gore's film, Giegengack had this reaction. “I was appalled. I was appalled because he either deliberately misrepresented the point he was making or didn't understand it. So it was irresponsible of Al Gore.”
(Email Brian Kubicki at email@example.com)
SENATE REPUBLICANS GET STABBED IN THE BACK
•I'm sure you noticed that Republicans in the U.S. Senate were once again stabbed in the back by three liberals among their ranks: Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Susan Collins or Maine, and John McCain of Arizona in their efforts to repeal (ObamaCare) – at least partially. Only one of those three voting YES would have repealed ObamaCare.
Arizona's other senator, Jeff Flake, who voted for repeal, is in an interesting situation in his 2018 re-election efforts. As you know, John McCain is suffering from a serious brain tumor and faces a steep road toward any form of long term survival. McCain lied his way to re-election over a doctor that ran against him in 2016. Flake is going to face a primary challenger, most likely this same doctor, and she is chomping at his heels.
Now, if McCain decided to resign from his seat to focus on his health, Arizona's governor will name a replacement for McCain until a special election can be organized. Flake would probably prefer that this doctor be named to that position so he can get her off of his back in his re-election effort. No word yet on whether Flake has approached McCain in this regard.
•President Trump has forced out Reince Priebus as the White House chief of staff and replaced him with the homeland security secretary, Gen John Kelly. Newly appointed Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci, who has been feuding openly with Priebus, was also removed from his post just Monday.
Many are claiming this indicates a White House in upheaval, and Trump's various enemies in the Left, and in the Left media are applauding at the appearance of upheaval. Truthfully, it is good to see Trump move to fire people who don't fit in the positions they work in. I would be much more disturbed if Trump kept bad people in ill-suited positions. Also, I like Trump's affinity for tough-as-nails military generals.
White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said: “General John Kelly is one of the true stars of the administration. He has helped seal the border and reduced illegal immigration by 70%. He is respected by everyone, especially the people at the Department of Homeland Security.
She is solid as press secretary.
•Al Gore was recently confronted by PJ Media over his 2006 claim that “the world would reach a point of no return within 10 years” if countries around the world didn't take “drastic measures” to counteract what he saw as man-made global warming.
PJ Media asked, “Looking back on that prediction, why did you make the prediction at the time and are you making a new one right now given the current circumstances?”
Gore's answer: “Well, first of all, we've seen a lot of progress since the first movie came out. We have the Paris agreement now. The cost of renewable energy has come down so quickly that people are switching over. Unfortunately, some elements of the Earth system have crossed a point of no return.”
To expand on his comments, Gore explained that a “big chunk” of the west Antarctic ice-sheet “makes a considerable amount of sea-level rise inevitable in the future.” Gore, however, did not offer facts to back that claim.
“Inevitable?” He was wrong about his 10-year prediction of doom. What in the world makes him right about sea-level rise?
•By the way, did you realize that it has in fact been 4,300 days since the last U.S. major (Category 3 or higher) hurricane landfall? That is nearly 12 years! Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D. said Wednesday of this week marks the day. A Category 3 hurricane has sustained wind speeds of 111-129 mph. The last major hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. was Wilma striking Florida on Oct. 24, 2005.
So much for global warming causing more hurricanes!
•Many of the world's issues of poverty can be solved with the implementation of policies that advocate cheap energy. However, this can be achieved only through development of fossil-based fuel resources, not by forcing reliance on intermittent renewable energy sources like wind and solar.
As you well know, manufacturing wind turbines is expensive and requires raw and finished materials created by petroleum products, fossil fuels and rare earth metals. Plus, wind turbines are unreliable as a source of primary electrical generation. When they don't spin, there is no power. When the wind picks up and the turbines spin too fast, they're shut off. Unless there is some place in the world where the wind blows 8 to 12 mph, maybe higher, at a constant, converting to totally renewable energy will be unsustainable.
Though a mixture of many types of energy generation can be beneficial, sources like wind and solar do not generate enough power to provide adequate delivery for the world's energy needs. Half of the people in Africa, nearly twice the entire population of the United States, have no access to electricity!
(Email Brian Kubicki at firstname.lastname@example.org)
OPIOID ABUSE IS THE ZIKA VIRUS OF 2017
With all the back-and-forth in the media and Congress on repealing and replacing Obamacare, I grow very weary of hearing and reading people declare that they want their kids to remain on their parents' health insurance plans until they are 26.
If you are 21 or 22 years old, especially if you're no longer living with your parents, you should no longer be on their insurance policy. Get off your butts and go make your way in the world. Hopefully, once Congress does something on Obamacare, you will no longer be required to buy health insurance and can choose to purchase it on an open market if you want it.
America was made great by doers. Be one of those, not a taker.
•Have you seen Sen. Claire McCaskill seemingly looking for common ground with President Trump? She must be up for re-election…in a state Trump won in 2016.
She wrote a letter to the president that stated, “Given your remarks during your campaign for presidency and your recent establishment of a White House commission on opioids, I am encouraged that our goals in stopping this crisis are the same — to help as many afflicted by this crisis (?) through effective, strategic planning and implementation.”
Trump won Missouri by almost 20%. McCaskill, who campaigned for Hillary Clinton, says she's looking for areas to work with his administration, and she's set her beady eyes on combating the “opioid epidemic.”
What opioid epidemic and what exactly are opioids?
Opioids are substances that produce morphine-like effects and in medicine are used for pain relief and anesthesia. They are also frequently used for their euphoric effects (see heroin).
Dependence develops with continuous use, requiring increasing doses and leading to a withdrawal syndrome upon abrupt discontinuation. The euphoria attracts recreational users, typically resulting in addiction. Overdosing or concurrent use with other depressant drugs causes death from respiratory depression.
Because of opioid drugs' reputation for addiction and fatal overdose, most are controlled substances. In 2013 between 28 and 38 million people used opioids illegally. In 2011, an estimated 4 million people in the United States used opioids recreationally or were dependent on them. Current increased rates of recreational use and addiction are attributed to over-prescription of opioid medications and inexpensive illicit heroin.
So what are the numbers?
The total number of U.S. overdose deaths involving ALL drugs rose from about 23,000 to 53,000 from 2002 to 2015.
The total number of U.S. overdose deaths involving opioid drugs (including illegal use and heroin), rose from about 13,000 to 33,000 from 2002 to 2015.
The total number of U.S. overdose deaths involving opioid pain relievers rose from about 9,000 to 16,000 from 2002 to 2015, however, that number has been stable since 2011.
In other words, there has been no “opioid epidemic” since 2011.
Now, the total number of U.S. overdose deaths involving heroin from 2002 to 2015 has seen a sharp rise, from 2,000 to 13,000 from 2002 to 2015. That seems to be the source of any perceived sharp rise in the total overdose death statistics. As stated earlier, heroin has gotten cheaper apparently, so when it is cheaper the usage numbers will rise.
This isn't even close to an epidemic. An epidemic is a widespread occurrence of an infectious disease in a community at a particular time. This thing with opioids is not that.
If you have to identify the real source of something like this, it's that a politician fears she has nothing in common with her constituents and is trying to latch onto something that might give her a chance to keep her gravy-train (fed by our hard-earned tax dollars) running in 2018.
•And on the subject of causes of death, 16,000 people died in 2015 from opioid overdose. From the CDC, the following are WAY more likely to cause your death: Accidental Injuries – 147,000; Alzheimer's – 111,000; Diabetes – 80,000; and Influenza & pneumonia – 57,000.
I suppose McCaskill could mount a campaign based on saving us from skateboarding accidents or catching the flu, but it just doesn't have the glint of an “opioid epidemic.”
Opioid abuse is the Zika Virus of 2017. Whatever happened to the Zika Virus?
Obama wanted $2 billion to “fight Zika,” and Congress went on to approve “only” $1.1 billion. Where'd all that money go?
(Reach The Landmark’s Brian Kubicki by email to email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @bkparallax)
TAKING AWAY CHEAP ENERGY HURTS POOR PEOPLE
Earlier this week, former Al Gore compared climate activism with moral movements to abolish slavery, end apartheid and promote women's suffrage. (Hat-tip to ClimateDepot.com)
Black conservatives with the Project 21 leadership network question the accuracy and sincerity of Gore's wild comparison.
“This is truly rich coming from the son of a segregationist. When his father was filibustering against the civil rights for blacks in the Senate, where was Al Gore, Jr.'s concern?” asked Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper, a former assistant law professor at George Mason University. “Study after study demonstrate that the radical climate policies advocated by Al Gore, Jr. will hurt blacks and the poor most. Just as segregation and interracial marriage bans were purported to be for the good of all while clearly done to generate political support, today's climate alarmism is pushed solely to get the support of a small group of so-called eco-warriors at the expense of blacks. Please spare us any more of this.”
I have said this for years – if you want to hurt poor people, take away cheap energy.
At the EcoCity World Summit in Melbourne, Australia, Gore asserted global warming activism was “in the tradition of all the great moral causes.” In the July 13 address, Gore added: “The abolition of slavery, woman's suffrage and women's rights, the civil rights movement and the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, the movement to stop the toxic phase of nuclear arms race and more recently the gay rights movement… All of these movements have one thing in common. They all have met with ferocious resistance…”
“The abolitionist movement, the suffrage movement, the civil rights movement and the anti-apartheid movement were all unmistakably moral movements. Each sought social and economic equality and were met with 'ferocious resistance' to preserve a status quo of separate and unequal second-class citizenship,” noted Project 21 member Derryck Green, who has earned a doctorate in theology and spiritual leadership. “When Al Gore, Jr. associates these moral movements of history with one grounded in questionable data, he gives climate change activists unearned moral credibility they haven't earned and don't deserve. Gore trivializes the historical suffering and accomplishments of blacks and women in both the United States and South Africa. Climate change isn't and will never be the moral movement Gore and his acolytes want it to be.”
“The hysteria over America's cancelled participation in the Paris climate accord has the greens' minister-in-chief, Al Gore, Jr., behind the podium uttering nonsense,” said Project 21 Co-Chairman Stacy Washington, a syndicated talk radio host. “Gore's latest statement comparing efforts to redistribute hard-earned American taxpayer dollars to his cronies and other countries with the abolition of slavery in America, the anti-apartheid campaign in South Africa and other historic efforts is utter nonsense. Fighting people being owned as property and debased in an entrenched system enshrined in law is akin to worshiping the idea that humans can materially impact the climate? He cannot be serious!”
I like this group. I wonder if they'll accept me as a member if I pretend to be black like Shaun King and Rachel Dolezal?
•Take a look at these results from a recent Yale University poll…
Four in ten Americans (39%) think the odds that global warming will cause humans to become extinct are 50% or higher. Most Americans (58%) think the odds of human extinction from global warming are less than 50%.
Four in ten Americans (40%) say they have personally experienced the effects of global warming, six in ten (60%) say they have not.
Only one in three Americans (33%) discuss global warming with family and friends “often” or “occasionally,” while most say they “rarely” or “never” discuss it (67%). Additionally, fewer than half of Americans (43%) hear about global warming in the media at least once a month, and only one in five (19%) hear people they know talk about global warming at least once a month.
Six in ten Americans (63%) say the issue of global warming is either “extremely” (10%), “very” (16%), or “somewhat” (38%) important to them personally. Four in ten (37%) say it is either “not too” (22%) or “not at all” (15%) important personally.
Half of Americans say they have thought “a lot” (18%) or “some” (31%) about global warming. The other half say they have thought about global warming just “a little” (33%) or “not at all” (17%).
Summary, lots of Americans really don't care and fall for nonsense if all they are presented with is nonsense.
(Email The Landmark’s Brian Kubicki at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Here's what should happen at KCI Airport
•Those radio ads playing recently in the KC area trying to build support for abandoning KCI Airport's legendary convenience in favor of allowing yet another KC mayor to saddle the city with an overly expensive landmark to their “leadership” (remember Emmanuel Cleaver's “Turd Creek?”) make me want to vomit. I don't have a vote on the airport, but abandoning the brilliance of convenience dreamt, conceived, built, and proven to work over a period of more than 30 years should not be wantonly abandoned.
As I suggested weeks ago in this space, build a new single entry and ticketing terminal, construct overhead people-moving bridges to and between the existing terminals (no more red and blue buses!), and open-up/renovate the existing terminals so that the exit point is the current entry doors to the terminals. Do NOT allow Sly James to ruin KCI!
•Senators Ted Cruz (Texas) and Mike Lee (Utah) are advocating a new state waiver to the Senate's attempt at replacing Obamacare that would allow insurers offering at least one plan compliant with the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to offer any number of other plans that are not compliant. The implication is that insurers could charge whatever premiums they wanted for their non-compliant plans. In particular, this would mean healthy consumers could buy policies with premiums adjusted based on their lower risk of needing expensive care.
Wouldn't that be treating this plan essentially in a way that insurance should be – charging varied premiums based on risk to the insurer? If you require more health care services, you should pay for it. What's wrong with that?
But the amendment has drawn concern from critics who worry that it would “destabilize the risk pool that brings together healthy and sick individuals, and that it could mean higher coverage costs for less-healthy people.”
If this is insurance, then let it function like insurance. If it is an entitlement, then call it that. Health insurance premiums should not be an entitlement.
•For all the praise heaped upon Pres. Trump for removing the U.S. from the Paris Climate Fiasco, there is still a major turd in the punch bowl. Rather than simply dismissing the Paris Agreement as fundamentally unsound, a multitrillion-dollar wealth redistribution boondoggle devoid of sound science, President Trump said recently at an Energy Department event, “Maybe we'll be back into it someday, but it will be on better terms, fairer terms. We'll see.”
Understand this Mr. President, the Paris Agreement is based on the hypothesis that carbon dioxide emissions from industrial activities are causing, or will someday in the future cause, dangerous climate change. If carbon-dioxide emissions are harmless or, as Energy Secretary Rick Perry said last month, not “the primary control knob for climate,” then the main reason for something like the Paris Accord disappears. It makes no sense to boast, as Mr. Perry does, that, even though the U.S. is withdrawing from the agreement, “the United States already leads the world in lowering emissions.”
ALL efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions are a waste of time and money. That includes the capture and storage underground of carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. Amazing to me to see people crying that disposing of fracking wastewater underground causes earthquakes in Oklahoma but those same people say nothing when we spend millions trying to inject carbon dioxide underground!
At the end of the day, the fact remains that carbon dioxide is a gas that is essential to all life on this planet. We would not survive without carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.
•Have you ever noticed that among all the major professional team sports, there is no “flopping” in baseball? Basketball has lots of flopping to try and draw offensive fouls and now players feign brain injury in attempts to get flagrant foul calls.
Football has defensive linemen pretend they are being held, receivers pretend they are being interfered with, and strangely enough, running backs pretending that true head contact did not occur in efforts to avoid having to leave the game in accordance with concussion protocol. Diving, or embellishment, is a term used in ice hockey to describe a player trying to get the attention of the referee by embellishing an infraction from an opposing player in an attempt to draw a penalty. I don't even have to describe how soccer allows flopping to ruin their sport.
But baseball stands alone. You may see a catcher try to move his glove in an effort to show a pitch is in the strike zone, but the umpire is right there to call BS when it's necessary.
I like that about baseball!
I may be wrong, but the Chiefs firing John Dorsey was about Andy Reid not appreciating his General Manager running off his favorite player (Jeremy Maclin). Right, wrong, or indifferent…Andy Reid runs the Chiefs' show.
(Email The Landmark’s Brian Kubicki at email@example.com)
Trump may have a brilliant strategy with Twitter wars
•Am I alone in the belief that President Trump is using his Twitter war with the liberal media to distract them from criticizing his policy while he implements it?
Last week, while he was Tweeting about an MSNBC host's bleeding face, Congress passed two important immigration measures, Kate's Law and a sanction to stop sanctuary cities from shielding illegal aliens from detection and prosecution.
If this is indeed his reason for the Tweet wars, it's brilliant.
•Remember when I told you that Obama will not be able to keep his mouth shut after he leaves office? His ego is too massive to allow his successor that which his predecessor ably provided him when he first took office in 2009.
Former President Barack Obama while in Indonesia took a shot at President Trump, saying his successor had caused a "temporary absence of American leadership" on climate policy.
"In Paris, we came together around the most ambitious agreement in history to fight climate change," Obama said Saturday, per Bloomberg. "[A]n agreement that even with the temporary absence of American leadership will still give our children a fighting chance."
Trump wisely withdrew the United States from the Paris climate agreement, months after Obama's team scrambled to force America into an international climate accord before he left office.
"The agreement is a massive redistribution of United States wealth to other countries," Trump said in June when he announced the withdrawal.
"We will be environmentally friendly, but we're not going to put our businesses out of work," Trump said.
This message comes from the White House press office and is taken from a recent speech by President Trump.
President Trump promised Americans a new era of jobs, energy independence and the return of American energy dominance – unlocking, exploiting and exporting American fossil fuel energy around the world.
“We're here today to usher in a new American energy policy — one that unlocks million and millions of jobs and trillions of dollars in wealth. For over 40 years, America was vulnerable to foreign regimes that used energy as an economic weapon. Americans' quality of life was diminished by the idea that energy resources were too scarce to support our people. We always thought that, and actually at the time it was right to think. We didn't think we had this tremendous wealth under our feet. Many of us remember the long gas lines and the constant claims that the world was running out of oil and natural gas.”
Imagine an American president actually TRYING to make Americans suffer for leading the world in energy production, as President Obama did for 8 years.
“Americans were told (by Obama) that our nation could only solve this energy crisis by imposing draconian restrictions on energy production. But we now know that was all a big, beautiful myth. It was fake…The truth is that we have near-limitless supplies of energy in our country. Powered by new innovation and technology, we are now on the cusp of a true energy revolution.
“Our country is blessed with extraordinary energy abundance, which we didn't know of, even five years ago and certainly 10 years ago. We have nearly 100 years' worth of natural gas and more than 250 years' worth of clean, beautiful coal. We are a top producer of petroleum and the number-one producer of natural gas. We have so much more than we ever thought possible. We are really in the driver's seat. And you know what? We don't want to let other countries take away our sovereignty and tell us what to do and how to do it. That's not going to happen. With these incredible resources, my administration will seek not only American energy independence that we've been looking for so long, but American energy dominance.”
Those are refreshing words coming out of an American president!
“And we're going to be an exporter…We will be dominant. We will export American energy all over the world, all around the globe. These energy exports will create countless jobs for our people, and provide true energy security to our friends, partners, and allies all across the globe.
“We have to get out and do our job better and faster than anybody in the world, certainly when it comes to one of our great assets — energy. This vast energy wealth does not belong to the government. It belongs to the people of the United States of America. Yet, for the past eight years, the federal government imposed massive job-killing barriers to American energy development.”
Kind of sounds like Ronald Reagan, doesn't it?
(Find The Landmark’s Brian Kubicki on Twitter @bkparallax and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org)
OBAMA WAS FOLLOWING AGENDA 21
•The Facebook Live event last Sunday afternoon investigating the crawlspace under The Landmark offices was cool! I am disappointed there were no skeletons down there, though.
•President Trump's Travel Ban applying to several countries known to support global terrorism was reinstated by the Supreme Court on Monday, delivering a swift-kick-to-the-shins to those liberal activist appeals courts that tried to use the nonsensical logic that a president can't use powers given him by law because of statements he made when he was not yet president.
That would be like a court saying President Obama could not pardon known drug abusers because he admitted using marijuana and cocaine in his youth.
The Supreme Court will hear the case in its entirety in October.
•Ever wonder what was Obama's motivation for doing the things he did policy-wise?
Ever heard of Agenda 21?
Agenda 21 is a non-binding, voluntarily implemented action plan of the United Nations with regard to sustainable development. It is a product of the Earth Summit (UN Conference on Environment and Development) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992. It is an action agenda for the UN, other multilateral organizations, and individual governments around the world that can be executed at local, national, and global levels.
Agenda 21 is formalized in a 350-page document divided into 40 chapters that have been grouped into four sections:
Section I: Social and Economic Dimensions is directed toward combating poverty, especially in developing countries, changing consumption patterns, promoting health, achieving a more sustainable population, and sustainable settlement in decision making.
Section II: Conservation and Management of Resources for Development includes atmospheric protection, combating deforestation, protecting fragile environments, conservation of biological diversity (biodiversity), control of pollution and the management of biotechnology, and radioactive wastes.
Section III: Strengthening the Role of Major Groups includes the roles of children and youth, women, local authorities, business and industry, and workers; and strengthening the role of indigenous peoples, their communities, and farmers.
Section IV: Means of Implementation includes science, technology transfer, education, international institutions and financial mechanisms.
The United States is a signatory country to Agenda 21, but because Agenda 21 is a legally non-binding statement of intent and not a treaty, the United States Senate did not hold a formal debate or vote on it. It is therefore not considered to be law under Article Six of the United States Constitution. President George H. W. Bush was one of the 178 heads of government who signed the final text of the agreement at the Earth Summit in 1992, and in the same year Representatives Nancy Pelosi, Eliot Engel and William Broomfield spoke in support of United States House of Representatives Concurrent Resolution 353, supporting implementation of Agenda 21 in the United States. Created by a 1993 Executive Order, the President's Council on Sustainable Development (PCSD) is explicitly charged with recommending a national action plan for sustainable development to the President.
A June 2012 poll of 1,300 United States voters by the American Planning Association found that 9% supported Agenda 21, 6% opposed it, and 85% thought they didn't have enough information to form an opinion.
That sure sounds like part-and-parcel what President Obama tried to shove down America's throat over the last eight years. Combating poverty through wealth redistribution, trying to change how we consume things, trying to put government in control of health care, atmospheric protection (re: global warming/climate change), biodiversity, pollution control (as long as they can define what pollution is!)…it's all part of Agenda 21.
Why is it automatically assumed that something we build has to last forever? What's wrong with developing and building something better? Better can mean making us safer, more comfortable, cheaper to heat and cool, more attractive, more functional, etc. Nothing material lasts forever and it shouldn't.
Using true sustainability concepts, we'd still be living in the crawlspace under The Landmark Offices!
(Follow The Landmark’s Brian Kubicki on Twitter @bkparallax and email him at email@example.com)
DUNHAM HATES FATHERS
•From The Daily Wire, Lena Dunham (from HBO's never-watched show, “Girls”) Tweeted the following on Father's Day – yes, Father's Day:
"You don't need a father - so many families work so many ways- but if you have one he better werk"
Her nonsense was swiftly condemned online – as it should have been, so much so that she deleted the tweet.
Donald Trump Jr. Tweeted, “It never ends. Would be great to have just 1 day without the unnecessary SJW commentary. Doubt there was a similar comment on Mother's Day.”
Priscilla Rodewald Tweeted, “I run a non profit that works with pairing at risk youth with mentors. The majority, 80%, come from fatherless homes. Kids need dads.”
Ryan James Girdusky Tweeted, “People do need fathers, you have one that you seem to love & who has enriched your life. Why rob someone of that?”
Dunham responded to the universal vitriol, “I love men, I love alternative families and the only thing I hate is people who can't respect a diversity of family dynamics. Peace.”
Dunham's entire public work hinges on the demonization of men, as seen with her declaration that a man's role in a family is unnecessary.
Shall we see what the facts say?
63% of youths who commit suicide come from a fatherless home.
70% of all juveniles in "state-operated institutions" come from a fatherless home.
71% of all high school dropouts come from a fatherless home.
85% of all children who display behavioral disorders come from a fatherless homes.
Overall, children who experience fatherlessness have lower achievement in school and higher levels of aggression and delinquency.
•From Climate Depot, a team of scientists levelled a devastating rebuttal to global warming, stating in a recent report, “Advocacy masquerading as science should not be the basis for political decisions.”
In the last 20 years, mankind has released more than a third of all the CO2 produced since the beginning of the industrial period. However, during that time average surface temperatures have remained essentially constant for 20 years.
This was acknowledged by the IPCC, whose models failed to predict it. NOAA's State of the Climate report for 2008 said that periods of 15 years or more without warming would indicate a discrepancy between prediction and observation – i.e., that the models were wrong.
The computer models were wrong!
Just before the recent naturally occurring el Niño event raised global temperature, there had been 18 years and 9 months without any global warming at all.
The average sea level rise since 1870 has been about a twentieth of an inch per year!
There is no science unambiguously establishing that CO2 is the chief cause of the warming observed since the end of the Little Ice Age. The opposite has been repeatedly demonstrated. Ice cores have revealed that changes in CO2 concentration follow, rather than precede, changes in temperature.
The temperature rises, plants grow, and CO2 concentrations increase.
During the last deglaciation, the latest high-resolution records show atmospheric CO2 lagging temperature by 50 to 500 years. Our enterprises and industries return to the air some of the CO2 that was formerly present there, and some warming may be expected. That warming will be small and beneficial.
Small and beneficial!
Scientists have demonstrated that changes in CO2 concentration follow changes in temperature after about 8-11 months. The time-lag between changes in temperature and consequent changes in CO2 concentration are caused by outgassing of CO2 from the oceans when they warm and uptake by the oceans as they cool. In addition, the growth rate of the atmospheric CO2 has been slowing recently, linked to an enhanced terrestrial biosphere uptake. Our contribution to atmospheric CO2 adds to the effect of these fluctuations, but it does not add much.
The warmists' assertions that global temperatures can be regulated by an international agreement to atone for our sins of emission are in disagreement with scientific knowledge regarding cause and effect.
(Get more from Brian Kubicki on Twitter @bkparallax or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org)
COMEY IS JUST A 6'8" DRAMA QUEEN
•Has anyone noted that all this Russian attempted interference with the elections last year occurred while Obama was in charge? Shouldn't he be on the witness stand explaining how his administration allowed that to happen?
•The Comey testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee last Thursday raised a number of interesting questions, none of which the media seems to be asking.
A president saying he “hope(d)” an investigation finds nothing is not an order to stop the investigation, but if it was, why isn't former Attorney General Loretta Lynch facing obstruction of justice charges for ordering then-FBI Director Comey to change his reference to the Hillary Clinton unsecured home server from an “investigation” to a “matter?”
Why is a former hard-as-nails federal prosecutor in Comey so weak and intimidated by the likes of Donald Trump, whom he certainly seems to dislike and disrespect?
Why isn't Comey facing perjury charges for saying in previous Congressional testimony that he never leaked information to the press when he admitted last week that he in fact did leak the memo?
Precisely what lies does Comey attribute to President Trump? Comey said that he leaked the memo to the New York Times because he feared President Trump would lie again. How is stating an opinion about general morale at the FBI a lie?
Comey is nothing more than a 6 ft. 8 inch tall drama queen!
•President Trump recently lauded the opening of the nation's first new coal mine in many years.
Corsa Coal Company will operate the mine in Somerset County, Pa. – outside of Pittsburgh. Corsa CEO George Dethlefsen said the mine will be a boon to the struggling local economy. He praised Trump's easing of regulations and encouragement for fossil fuel exploration.
Dethlefsen noted that for the 70 jobs available in the mine, 400 people applied.
“It's a hard day's work every day, but it's worth it,” one miner said. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D), who endorsed Clinton, joined the mine company in watching a video message from Trump commemorating the occasion.
Go coal, go!
•Did you know that Trump's Mar-A-Lago was originally designed and built in 1927 by cereal-company heiress and socialite Marjorie Merriweather Post? Yes, the Post cereals family. Mar-a-Lago is an estate and National Historic Landmark in Palm Beach, Florida. Post upon her death in 1972 willed the land and estate to the US Government for use as a Winter White House, but Nixon used another mansion in Florida and Carter wasn't interested, so the government returned Mar-a-Lago to the Post family in 1981.
The Post heirs could not keep the property in suitable repair, so they put it up for sale. Donald Trump offered the Post family $25 million for it, which they rejected. Trump then put in a bid of $2 million to purchase the land between Mar-a-Lago and the ocean, stating he intended to build a home that would block Mar-a-Lago's beach view. The threat caused interest in the property to decline. Trump ended up getting the property for $7 million in 1985. Trump renovated the estate, adding a 20,000-square-foot ballroom to the 58 bedrooms, 33 bathrooms, a 29-foot-long pietra dura marble top dining table, 12 fireplaces, and three bomb shelters. The club also has five clay tennis courts and a waterfront pool.
Kind of interesting when you consider that his enemies consider Trump an evil wealthy person who only benefits other wealthy elites.
Name another president who developed and maintains his own White House.
•EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said last week the American people deserve “…a true legitimate, peer reviewed, objective, transparent discussion about CO2.” Pruitt called for the establishment of a “Red Team/Blue Team” of scientists to examine “what do we know, what don't we know, and what risk does it pose to health, the United States, and the world.”
EPA ADMINISTRATOR PRUITT: “What the American people deserve, I think, is a true legitimate, peer reviewed, objective, transparent discussion about CO2. the United States, and the world with respect to this issue of CO2.”
So, Republicans ask for open review of both sides of the global warming issue while Democrats demand that differing views that mankind is destroying the planet be disregarded and people with those views should be jailed.
(Get more Parallax Look from The Landmark’s Brian Kubicki on Twitter @bkparallax)
TRUMP GORES PARIS
•Kudos and abundant applause are due to President Donald Trump for standing firm on his pledge to exit the US from the Paris Accord!
Based on the weeping and gnashing of teeth from the liberal media, Hollywood, and Europe, the move was the right one.
•Michael Bastasch with The Daily Caller had a superb review last week of Al Gore's silly environmental predictions in his film “An Inconvenient Truth.” It has now been 11 years since the propaganda flick flooded the liberal media and was shoved down our kids' throats via the public education system. The frenzy emboldened environmental activists to push for more regulations on American businesses.
Al Gore warned increasing carbon dioxide emissions would spur catastrophic global warming that would cause more extreme weather, wipe out cities and cause ecological collapse. To stop global warming, humans needed to ditch fossil fuels and basically change every aspect of their lives.
Have Gore's warnings actually come true - any of them?
From the column:
“Kilimanjaro Still Has Snow"
One of the first glaring claims Gore makes is about Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa. He claims Africa's tallest peak will be snow-free 'within the decade.' Gore shows slides of Kilimanjaro's peak in the 1970s versus today to conclude the snow is disappearing.
Well, it's been a decade and, yes, there's still snow on Kilimanjaro year-round. It doesn't take a scientist to figure this out. One can just look at recent photos posted on the travel
'There are ongoing several studies, but preliminary findings show that the ice is nowhere near melting,' Imani Kikoti, an ecologist at Mount Kilimanjaro National Park, told eturbonews.com.
Gore Left Out The 15-Year 'Hiatus' In Warming
Gore also claims temperature rise from increases in man-made carbon dioxide emissions were 'uninterrupted and intensifying.' He goes on to claim heatwaves will become more common, like the one that killed 35,000 people across Europe in 2003.
Sounds terrifying — until you actually look at what happened to global temperature after Gore's film was released. Global temperatures showed little to no warming trend after Gore released his film. In fact, surface temperature data showed no significant global warming for a period of about 15 years, starting in the early 2000s.
Satellite-derived temperature data showed, until the recent El Niño, no statistically significant warming trend for more than 21 years.
Gore's movie was released right in the middle of the so-called global warming 'hiatus.'
The Weather Hasn't Gotten Worse
Gore also famously predicted storms would become more frequent and intense as man-made emissions warmed the oceans.
‘And of course when the oceans get warmer, that causes stronger storms,' Gore said in his film. 'That same year that we had that string of big hurricanes, we also set an all-time record for tornadoes.’
Gore's film came out just after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast. Indeed, footage of the destruction from that storm featured prominently in Gore's film. He mentions how the U.S. was hit with a rash of severe storms in the early 2000s and how Japan saw a record number of typhoons.
'The insurance industry has actually noticed this,' Gore said. 'Their recovered losses are going up.'
But Gore's claim is more hype than actual science, since storms aren't more extreme since 2006. In fact, not even findings from the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) support Gore's claim.
The IPCC found in 2013 there 'is limited evidence of changes in extremes associated with other climate variables since the mid-20th century.' The IPCC also found 'no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency over the past century' and '[n]o robust trends in annual numbers of tropical storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes counts have been identified over the past 100 years in the North Atlantic basin.'
Gore should probably take these findings seriously since he shared the Nobel Prize in 2007 with the IPCC for its work on global warming.
Don't you just love facts? Go to www.DailyCaller.com for more.
(Reach The Landmark’s Brian Kubicki by email at email@example.com)
PARIS ACCORD IS ABOUT REDISTRIBUTING AMERICANS' WEALTH
Marc Morano of Climate Depot posted last week that “…CFACT has fed all the data into the most sophisticated computer models available and can project with 97% accuracy that the heads of global warming campaigners, the warming-compliant media and the entire political Left will explode if President Trump exits the UN Paris Agreement.”
They are going to go nuts!
The AP has asked their “team warming” to assume that all other countries honor their Paris commitments 100%, made assumptions about U.S. emissions outside of Paris and plugged that into their “worst case” computer simulations. Of course, they predict rising sea levels, extreme weather, etc.
They ignore the fact their computer models have consistently run far warmer than real world observations have indicated and there has been no meaningful warming since the turn of the millennium.
Here's what CBS claims will happen if President Trump breaks free from the Paris Agreement:
The U.S. economy loses $2 trillion
Hurricanes become stronger and “stranger”
Intense droughts and wildfires
Climate refugees flood inland
Americans will get sicker with more diabetes and heart disease
Warfare will increase
Africa will be destabilized
American defense capabilities will weaken
Rape, murder and assault will increase
Americans will starve
American foreign policy will “shrink”
The Paris Treaty doesn't save or generate money, it redistributes it. Economist Bjorn Lomborg's peer-reviewed estimate concludes that
Paris is “…history's most expensive treaty. It will slow the world's economic growth to force a shift to inefficient green energy sources…This will achieve almost nothing…even if every nation were to fulfill all their carbon-cutting promises by 2030 and stick to them all the way through the century—at a cost of more than $100 trillion in lost GDP—global temperature rise would be reduced by a tiny 0.3°F (0.17°C).”
That's assuming the models are accurate and they never have been!
•Weather, extreme or otherwise, has not been worsening. Most weather is currently mild or at historic lows confounding the modelers once again.
Sea level has been increasing at 1 to 3 mm per year (about the width of a paper clip) without accelerating since before the industrial revolution. Antarctic ice is stable and shows no signs of melting away.
Does anyone truly believe that the problems that plague Sub-Saharan Africa are caused by American electricity and SUVs? Africa is torn apart by tribalism, corruption and 20th century left-wing ideologies. What Africa needs is free markets, fair elections and the rule of law.
What you should be afraid of?
White House aides last week said President Trump's views on the Paris climate deal “absolutely are evolving” after he heard other world leaders' opinions on climate change during a Group of Seven (G7) meeting on Friday.
Trump and other G7 leaders discussed the environment and Paris climate agreement for about 20 minutes during a meeting in Italy on Friday.
Trump did not say when he would make a decision on the United States' involvement in the Paris climate deal, an international pact designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Actually, that's not what the Paris deal was designed to do. It was designed to redistribute Americans' hard-earned wealth. Read on…
•German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters that Friday's meeting included a “very intense exchange” on climate, one where all six of the other leaders teamed up in support of the deal.
“We made it clear that we want the U.S. to stick to its commitments," Merkel said, according to Bloomberg News.
The White House has said Trump will make a decision on the Paris deal after this week's G7 summit.
The draft of the international agreement to deal with climate change, which is being considered today in Paris by representatives from 195 countries, calls for the developed nations of the world (which include the United States) to transfer wealth to developing nations, including through “public funds.”
“Developed country Parties shall provide financial resources to assist developing country Parties with respect to both mitigation and adaptation in continuation of their existing obligations under the Convention,” says Article 9 of the draft agreement.
“As part of a global effort, developed country Parties should continue to take the lead in mobilizing climate finance from a wide variety of sources, instruments and channels, noting the significant role of public funds,” says the draft.
The draft agreement sets a goal for developed countries to dole out at least $100 billion per year by 2020.
$100 billion per year! Of our money!
'NO EVIDENCE OF WRONGDOING' IN TRUMP-RUSSIA
•Now that the Democrats, catalyzed by the liberal mainstream media machine, have been at work for several weeks trying to make a scandal out of the Trump Campaign/Russia collusion theory, a few items are coming into focus.
On last Thursday's Mark Levin radio show, he pointed out that the liberal media are ignoring an exclusive report from Reuters, citing anonymous “U.S. officials,” asserting that the Trump campaign had at least 18 “undisclosed contacts with Russians” during the closing months of the 2016 presidential campaign. Buried six paragraphs down in the report is the admission that there is “no evidence of wrongdoing or collusion between the campaign and Russia” from these leaked communications.
The media is ignoring that members of the bureaucracy – Congressional Democrats mostly – are illegally leaking information to the press. This information could only have come from one place - domestic surveillance and the unmasking of Mike Flynn. Levin pointed out that's the only way they know this information being leaked to Reuters. This is part of the domestic surveillance that took place. This is part of the unmasking of Trump advisers, Trump transition team members, Trump campaign members, American citizens.
This is part of the unmasking of American citizens and abuse of power by the Obama Administration prior to leaving office.
From the actual Reuters piece:
“Michael Flynn and other advisers to Donald Trump's campaign were in contact with Russian officials and others with Kremlin ties in at least 18 calls and emails during the last seven months of the 2016 presidential race, current and former U.S. officials familiar with the exchanges told Reuters.
The previously undisclosed interactions form part of the record now being reviewed by FBI and congressional investigators probing Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election and contacts between Trump's campaign and Russia.
Six of the previously undisclosed contacts described to Reuters were phone calls between Sergei Kislyak, Russia's ambassador to the United States, and Trump advisers, including Flynn, Trump's first national security adviser, three current and former officials said.
Conversations between Flynn and Kislyak accelerated after the Nov. 8 vote as the two discussed establishing a back channel for communication between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin that could bypass the U.S. national security bureaucracy, which both sides considered hostile to improved relations, four current U.S. officials said.”
So, there is no crime or wrongdoing in Trump's incoming cabinet speaking with foreign diplomats. However, there is a crime committed in those conversations being monitored, then Flynn's name being unmasked, and finally in that information being leaked to the media.
Who committed those crimes? Trump didn't. So who did?
“The people who described the contacts to Reuters said they had seen no evidence of wrongdoing or collusion between the campaign and Russia in the communications reviewed so far.”
“The 18 calls and electronic messages took place between April and November 2016 as hackers engaged in what U.S. intelligence concluded in January was part of a Kremlin campaign to discredit the vote and influence the outcome of the election in favor of Trump over his Democratic challenger, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.”
How was that different from the Obama Administration sending a team to Israel last year trying to unseat Benjamin Netanyahu? It happened. Look it up.
“Those discussions focused on mending U.S.-Russian economic relations strained by sanctions imposed on Moscow, cooperating in fighting Islamic State in Syria and containing a more assertive China, the sources said.
Members of the Senate and House intelligence committees have gone to the CIA and the National Security Agency to review transcripts and other documents related to contacts between Trump campaign advisers and associates and Russian officials and others with links to Putin, people with knowledge of those investigations told Reuters.
In the conversations during the campaign, Russian officials emphasized a pragmatic, business-style approach and stressed to Trump associates that they could make deals by focusing on common economic and other interests and leaving contentious issues aside, the sources said.
Veterans of previous election campaigns said some contact with foreign officials during a campaign was not unusual, but the number of interactions between Trump aides and Russian officials and others with links to Putin was exceptional.
'It's rare to have that many phone calls to foreign officials, especially to a country we consider an adversary or a hostile power,' Richard Armitage, a Republican and former deputy secretary of state, told Reuters.”
Remember, Armitage was the Colin Powell acolyte that leaked CIA Agent Valerie Plame's name – and he let someone else go to prison over the deal.
(Email Brian Kubicki at firstname.lastname@example.org)
TRUMP NEEDS TO CLARIFY HIS STANCE ON THE ENVIRONMENT
•Last Sunday, France officially installed former Socialist Party member Emmanuel Macron as the nation's next president.
Macron, who has been described by many European and American news outlets as a “centrist,” (If he's a centrist, I'm Al Gore's best friend!) is a noted believer in the theory humans are primarily responsible for climate change. In February, Macron posted a video on his Facebook page in which he invited all U.S. climate researchers to come to France to escape the Trump administration.
“I do know how your new president now has decided to jeopardize your budget, your initiatives, as he is extremely skeptical of climate change,” Macron said in the video. “I have no doubt about climate change, and how committed we have to be regarding this issue.”
Macron said to U.S. scientists that France will be their “new homeland.”
Can I buy tickets to send them to France?
“I want all those who today embody innovation and excellence in the United States to hear what we say: From now on, from next May, you will have a new homeland, France,” Macron said.
Apparently, there is some interest in the journey. The video has been viewed more than 19 million times and shared more than 200,000 times.
•President Trump, in his interview with Fox News' Jeanine Pirro last week, said that his communications people can't keep up with him. It almost seems like he actually wants to do his own communications without the aid of any staff.
That would be a nightmare for his administration. Trump must maintain a consistent and unwavering communications message. If not, he gives his enemies fuel to distract the liberal mainstream media which already constantly seeks to reinforce the Democrat message that Trump is illegitimate.
And Trump needs to enforce his messaging that man is not the principal driver of global climate change through his cabinet, and specifically to the State Department and his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
What is President Trump's policy on climate change and does he actually believe the United States should be obliged to follow the dictates of the Paris climate accord?
It is said that his daughter Ivanka and her husband are liberals that embrace the notion that man is bad for the global climate. Who knows if that's true because they almost never talk openly.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson represents the administration beyond our borders. Right now, American environmental policy is being pulled toward the climate change nincompoops who believe it is our most urgent mission to make war on climate change, which means to make war on capitalism and the free market.
Tillerson travelled to Alaska for a summit with the Arctic partners (whatever they are!). He signed the Fairbanks Declaration, which was a document that endorses the objectives of the Paris Accord. Tillerson wasn't only going along with the crowd. His participation in the discussions was not forced or compelled. Tillerson actually LED the discussion and enthusiastically forged unity among the participants!
Be afraid if a U.S. secretary of state earns praise from a member of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's cabinet. Be VERY afraid if Tillerson gets Trump to stay in the Paris nonsense deal.
Trump needs to loudly clarify his environmental position on Twitter, in the Rose Garden, in an address from the Oval Office, and everywhere else he communicates. The climate change movement is the largest tax grab in history because we are supposed to reduce carbon emissions by paying more for gas.
The ultimate objective of course is to reduce the population to a stone-age lifestyle that is bereft of any carbon-producing modern convenience or warmth-emitting fuel.
While the U.S. is raising their tee-pees and turning off their air conditioners, China and India blast away trying to overtake the U.S. as the world's lone superpower. If you've been following along, the Paris Accord allows those countries to set their own standards and you better believe they are moving full-steam-ahead!
(Follow The Landmark’s Brian Kubicki on Twitter @bkparallax or email him at email@example.com)
OBAMA PROVING TO BE THIN-SKINNED AND VINDICTIVE
•It seems apparent that Barack Obama is the most thin-skinned, vindictive, and classless former president I have ever seen! The constant efforts he seems to apply to hang around, stay in the public eye, and offer his opinions on policies undertaken by his successor are truly extraordinary.
Charles Krauthammer said Monday on Fox News that he is the most arrogant and condescending former president he has ever encountered, and followed with the words, “Good riddance!”
I couldn't agree more.
•Via Climate Depot, Ivanka Trump will head a review of U.S. climate change policy while President Trump considers pulling out of the Paris Climate Scheme.
The United States will continue attending United Nations climate change meetings next week in Bonn, Germany, but Pres. Trump's advisers will meet Tuesday to discuss what to do about the global pact known as the Paris agreement.
The conflicting signals suggested the administration was trying to keep its options open while Trump decides whether to withdraw, a move the international community would strongly oppose.
Though Trump's inclination has been to leave the agreement, he's allowed his daughter, White House adviser Ivanka Trump, to set up an extensive review process. The goal is to ensure Pres. Trump receives information from both government experts and the private sector before a making a decision.
To that end, Ivanka Trump will hold a separate meeting Tuesday with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, the official said. Pruitt is a chief proponent of leaving the deal and has questioned the science that says humans are contributing to global warming.
And the decision to participate in next week's UN climate talks shouldn't be construed as a sign that Trump has decided to stay in the Paris pact. To the contrary, the U.S. will be sending a “much smaller” delegation than it has in years past, the official said.
•Bill Nye is back with a new Netflix series, humbly titled “Bill Nye Saves The World,” and one particular episode is causing an uproar among parents on one side and transgender people on the other.
The bow-tied buffoon covered probability in his new Netflix series using clips from his old broadcast television series “Bill Nye The Science Guy,” taken from an episode also about probability.
One of the segments that aired in the original version explained:
“Inside each of ourselves are these things called chromosomes, and they control whether we become a boy or a girl,” the narrator explains. “There are only two possibilities: 'XX,' a girl, or 'XY,' a boy.”
That's how I learned it in biology class. But that's not how it was edited for Netflix. In the new version of his probability episode, Nye demonstrated that both sex and gender choice are non-binary. That is to say that a person's sex selection and the gender to which they identify, appear on a scale as opposed to in a check box labeled “male” or “female.”
But that's not scientifically correct. Gender choice may be non-binary, it may not be, that can be a matter of opinion apparently. But normal sex selection is based on either XX or XY chromosomes.
Gender, to some, is a social construct, not a scientific one, it may be caused by legitimate parts of people's consciousness, and it may be that transgenderism is a psychological malady. Society may recognize a person's gender selection– but that doesn't change the fact that sex is based on DNA.
THAT is science.
(Get science and more from The Landmark’s Brian Kubicki each week in Parallax Look. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @bkparallax)
BREATHE EASY, PLATTE COUNTY
•So I'm reading my favorite newspaper, the Platte County Landmark, last week and am intrigued by an article entitled, “A 'State of the Air' Report: How Fresh is the Air in this area? Clay County worst in KC for Ozone” by Landmark Editor Valerie Verkamp.
Now I don't live in Platte County anymore, but I did for a great while in the 90's and until 2009. It seemed to me that the air in Platte County was pretty fresh. What has happened to my favorite Missouri county?
The story details that the American Lung Association reported recently that almost 40% of the U.S. population lives in counties with unhealthy levels of ozone pollution or particle pollution.
So, I thought to myself, “What is ozone and what is 'particle pollution' and what are good vs. bad levels of both?”
The article says that the EPA stopped monitoring air quality in Platte County because the Kansas City area has met all ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards since 1979.
So, if that's the case, why did Clay County receive an “F” grade in ozone pollution?
The report says that Clay had 13 days where the air quality was unhealthy for residents who are more sensitive, such as asthmatics and those with chronic lung disease. I have a form of asthma and have relatives in Clay County. I haven't noticed a difference being in Clay on family visits. I breathe just as easy there as when I'm on the Kansas side.
Ozone near the ground, or tropospheric ozone, is a gas formed by the reaction of sunlight on air containing hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides. These react to form ozone directly.
Ozone is a key component of smog. The atmospheric lifetime of tropospheric ozone is about 22 days. Its main removal mechanisms are being deposited to the ground.
Cities with typically elevated ozone readings are Houston, Tex., and Mexico City, Mex. Houston has a reading of around 41 nmol/mol, while Mexico City has a reading of about 125 nmol/mol.
The EPA says 75 nmol/mol is the limit between healthy vs. unhealthy levels of ozone. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends 51 nmol/mol.
So how many nmol/mol did Clay County have? I haven't been able to find that information despite considerable looking.
I did go here: http://www.marc.org/Environment/Air-Quality/Reports/Ozone-Summaries and the Mid-America Regional Council says, “From March 1 – April 23, 2017 in the Kansas City region there have been no Ozone Alerts, and eight-hour ozone readings have not exceeded the 70 part-per-billion (ppb) standard within our Air Quality Maintenance Area.”
Clay County is certainly within that area, so why did they receive in “F” grade in the report? Counties with more “high” ozone days, 12.1 or higher, received a grade of "F."
So I guess Clay County had more hot days relative to the number of people living close together, so they get the bad grade. Everyone else in the KC metro area is apparently in good shape.
So let's wade through this. Ozone is a gas that can be a struggle for people with weakened respiratory systems to breathe when it is really dense – which is almost never around here. That's why when it gets very hot in the summer people in these groups are generally advised to stay indoors.
I understand being careful and accommodating for people, like me, with asthma. But I'll be fine. I will still run outdoors in the extreme heat. Don't feel bad if you drive your car or barbecue outside in the summer in Clay County. You aren't hurting me. I can take care of myself.
•I'm curious about something. Do we go to these extremes with monitoring of the smoothness and structural integrity of our sidewalks? It seems to me that there are many more walking-challenged people than there are respiratory-challenged ones. As of 2009, about 8% of the U.S. population has asthma. People who have trouble walking due to vision or leg disabilities total about 17%, so we should probably worry more about people tripping and falling on uneven sidewalks than a few folks who won't stay indoors when the temperature soars.
The EPA tells us to avoid doing fun outdoor things like driving around in our cars or cooking meat on outdoor grills when the temperature rises. I have a better solution. The only areas that have high levels of ozone are really big cities with lots of people living in them that also have very hot weather. California and really big cities along the East Coast have high ozone in the summer. Move out of the big cities. Spread out and live in the country away from big, dense cities. You will be healthier, happier, and the government will maybe stop wasting our tax dollars on nonsensical manufactured controversies.
Breathe easy, Platte County! I'm looking out for you.
(Brian Kubicki of The Landmark can be reached by email to email@example.com)
•With all the gender nonsense being spewed by the liberal left these days, it's a surprise that science has shown that human cells are either male or female. The distinction is more subtle at the cellular level, but it can actually affect how cells react in a variety of experiments. This was outlined recently in a paper published in the American Journal of Physiology.
Each cell line is derived from a single donor, and like every cell in the human body, each of the acquired cells contains 23 pairs of coiled DNA, called chromosomes. Included in this group are the two sex chromosomes: simply dubbed X and Y. Cells in women's bodies have two X chromosomes (XX), while cells in men's bodies have one X and one Y (XY). Thus, we get our male and female cells. Approximately 5% of the human genome resides on these chromosomes -- 1,846 genes on the X and 454 on the Y. This means that male and female cells are fundamentally dissimilar on a genetic level.
Got that Bruce Jenner? Despite what you pay a doctor to cut off your body, your cells on a genetic level are either male cells or female cells.
The scientists behind the paper, Kalpit Shah, Charles McCormack, and Neil Bradbury, all professors at Chicago Medical School of Rosalind Franklin University, say these differences are often ignored, despite the fact that genes expressed on sex chromosomes can impact cell function and how they react to all sorts of stimuli.
Previous research has made this clear. Female neurons uptake dopamine -- a neurotransmitter that helps regulate feelings of pain and pleasure -- twice as fast as male neurons. Female neurons and kidney cells are also more susceptible to chemical agents that lead to programmed cell death.
Plus, female liver cells contain more of the gene CYP3A. This last difference is especially crucial, as the actions of CYP3A account for how over half the drugs on the market today are metabolized.
What does this mean? The effectiveness of half of all drugs may be very different in females compared to males. Women are 50-75% more likely than men to experience adverse drug reactions. This is caused by a wide range of factors, chiefly because females weigh less, but cellular mechanisms undoubtedly contribute to it.
Over the years, differences in disease rates and drug effects among males and females have often been attributed to variations in hormone levels. But it's entirely possible that many of these dissimilarities result from underlying differences at the cellular level. Like people, cells are also male and female, and they are plainly not the same.
•Marc Morano at Climate Depot reminds us on the nonsense of Earth Day, which was last Saturday, that the inaugural festivities predicted death, destruction and disease unless we did exactly as the liberals commanded.
Behold the coming apocalypse, as predicted on and around Earth Day, 1970:
“Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.” — Harvard biologist George Wald.
“Population will inevitably and completely outstrip whatever small increases in food supplies we make. The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years.” — Stanford University biologist Paul Ehrlich
“Most of the people who are going to die in the greatest cataclysm in the history of man have already been born… [By 1975] some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.” — Paul Ehrlich
“Demographers agree almost unanimously on the following grim timetable: by 1975 widespread famines will begin in India; these will spread by 1990 to include all of India, Pakistan, China and the Near East, Africa. By the year 2000, or conceivably sooner, South and Central America will exist under famine conditions…. By the year 2000, thirty years from now, the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.” — North Texas State University professor Peter Gunter
“In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution… by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half.” Life magazine
These people were, and are, nuts.
(Reach Brian Kubicki via email to firstname.lastname@example.org)
THE RESPONSE TO NORTH KOREA SHOULD BE TELLING
•I must be honest on the decision to bomb Syria in response to their government's apparent use of chemical weapons in the ongoing civil war.
I agree that anyone targeting civilians with chemical weapons, particularly children, should be held to account. However, this response happened so very quickly after the attacks, can we be completely sure we targeted and hit the correct targets? I do like that President Trump apparently put his trust in the recommendations of his military leadership and acted accordingly without undue influence in either direction. That is the most believable part of Trump – he lets people he appoints to lead to do precisely that, which is what effective leaders do.
The response to North Korea should be telling.
•Marc Morano at Climate Depot noted recently that the U.S. refused to sign onto a statement with other G7 countries to commit to the implementation of the Paris climate agreement, which President Donald Trump promised to withdraw from on the campaign trail.
Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said the U.S. “is in the process of reviewing many of its policies and reserves its position on this issue, which will be communicated at a future date.”
The Trump administration would not sign onto a statement mentioning Paris, since the president is still deciding whether or not to keep his campaign pledge. Perry also wanted the G7 to include support for coal and natural gas in its statement.
EPA head Scott Pruitt reiterated recently that we need to leave the Paris climate accord, calling it a “bad deal” for Americans. China and India, he said, have no obligations to reduce CO2 emissions until 2030
even as the United States continues to lower its own emissions at the expense of its economy. The accord, Pruitt said, contracts our economy while serving European needs through an agreement that's not legally enforceable. (Redistribution of wealth is all it is!)
Pruitt also said he was investigating the EPA division in Las Vegas that bilked taxpayers out of $15,000 to pay for gym memberships. Pruitt visited some coal mines in Pennsylvania last week to further explain President Trump's executive orders to miners and to let them know the war on coal was over. He will also stress clean coal, which he says is not a myth, as well as shale oil and gas recovery.
The key to managing a Trump Presidency as a supporter is to keep pressure on Trump to keep his word. The caution of having a non-ideological leader as president is he can be easily swayed toward whoever is applauding the loudest.
Fortunately, it doesn't appear that Democrats are ever going to be applauding Trump with any degree of vociferousness.
Last year, Obama's Attorney General was threatening to file criminal racketeering charges against private citizens for what she termed “mockery” of state science. Last week the new administration announced the repeal of the ENERGY STAR mandate, essentially shutting down the EPA's Department of Junk Science.
Elections have consequences!
•Ending the ENERGY STAR program, easily one of the most corrupt federal programs in United States history is a huge boost for science, education and commerce.
The EPA owns the ENERGY STAR brand, which is allegedly
producing multi-billion dollar revenues in Global markets from 'certified' energy-efficiency. Just don't ask to see the evidence, or the government might throw you in jail - literally!
The repeal of the ENERGY STAR mandate is historic, which is why the mainstream media is, or will soon be, in a complete state of panic. The ENERGY STAR mandate served as a pay-to-play scam for all government contracting and services for decades. In terms of economic opportunity for the small business community in America, this was a complete sham.
ENERGY STAR is arguably the most corrupt federal program in US history. It has inflicted more damage on America's economy, scientific, educational and legal systems than an entire army of Obama Administration lawyers.
Built entirely on myth, fraudulent scientific research and bogus technical reports promoted by the mainstream media, this secretive program has been mired in scandal and controversy since day one.
ENERGY STAR's big break came rather suddenly in 2009, when EPA began boasting that their products save 25-50% more electrical energy than other identical products. Apparently EPA scientists were somehow able to infuse a 'Social Justice' component onto the electrons flowing in ENERGY STAR's certified products that don't exist in the rest of the universe. Or so it seems. No technological breakthroughs were involved in this miracle, only the reshuffling of words on paper were required to create this rare commodity.
Did you ever notice that your utility bills were never any lower after we were all forced to buy ENERGY STAR compliant heating and cooling equipment?
Neither did I.
END OBAMA'S RESTRICTIONS ON ENERGY PRODUCTION
•From the great Michael Bastasch at The Daily caller (via, Climate Depot), The Trump administration is working on an executive order to open new areas of the country to offshore oil and gas drilling, reversing Obama's decision to lock up most of the Arctic and Atlantic oceans.
President Trump promised to end Obama's restrictions on energy production. Already the Dept. of the Interior has raised $275 million in bids in a recent lease auction for the Gulf of Mexico.
Trump is expected to sign the order by the end of April, and it's sure to draw legal challenges from environmentalists who've argued Obama's indefinite ban on Arctic and Atlantic drilling can't be overturned – because he's God and all!
Obama's order took 125 million acres in Arctic seas and four million acres in the Atlantic Ocean out of future lease sales indefinitely. Supporters said the former president's actions “permanently” banned drilling in those regions.
But the drilling ban is only permanent if Congress doesn't change the law or Trump doesn't test it in court. Past presidents have reduced but never fully repealed the regulations. The U.S.-held portion of the Arctic Ocean is estimated to hold 27 billion barrels of oil and 132 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The oil and gas industry has struggled to access these vast energy reserves but new discoveries in northern Alaska have rekindled interest in the region.
Let's get it going!
•The EPA lied but they claim nobody died as their excuse.
Steve Milloy exposed a controversy five years ago that the Obama EPA was conducting human experiments with air pollutants. The National Academy of Sciences recently concluded that the tests were not dangerous to the human subjects — meaning of course that the Obama EPA has been lying to the public and Congress for years about the extreme danger of the “pollutants” used in the