Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Desperate Greens claim fracking causes rise in STDs

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Oil and natural gas production through hydraulic fracturing (fracking) leads to an increase in sexually transmitted diseases, environmental extremists claim in a desperate new attack. The desperate attack comes as natural gas, rather than wind and solar power, replaces coal power throughout the United States.

Outlandish claims about global warming causing more wife beatings, school violence, genocide, etc., are common in the global warming debate. Researchers at the Yale School of Public Health now seek to takes such ridiculous claims to the next level by applying them to fracking.

According to the Yale researchers, incidences of gonorrhea and chlamydia in nine Ohio counties with the most fracking activity in the states are approximately 20% higher than in counties without fracking. The researchers claim fracking is the cause. However, as the researchers admit, fracking itself does not cause the modest rise in these sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Instead, the researchers claim economic growth lures workers with higher rates of STDs to the region.
When a strong economy creates new jobs that exceed the local labor pool, workers with high mobility migrate to the region to fill the jobs. More workers with high mobility, the researchers assert, tend to have higher rates of STDs.

The objection that fracking causes an increase in STD rates is, therefore, an argument against strong economic growth of any kind. Deliberately overlooking the very real harms caused by economic squalor in the previously depressed Appalachian economies in Eastern Ohio where fracking is most prevalent, environmental extremists argue it is better for people to remain economic squalor because more jobs, higher incomes, better schools, and higher living standards might tangentially attract workers who have higher rates of STDS.

Try telling that to people living in poverty.

About the Author: CFACT

CFACT defends the environment and human welfare through facts, news, and analysis.

“May Allah Destroy Your Houses and Burn You All!”

The terrifying lives of Christians under Islam.

Emerging Islamist Political Clout Accelerates Europe's Self-Islamization

Jihad by culture.

April 24, 2018 Abigail R. Esman 

Forget the beheading videos, the ISIS propaganda on social media, even the terrorist attacks themselves. Europe, says counterterrorism expert Afshin Ellian, is Islamizing itself, and in the process, the Western values on which its democracies are built are increasingly put at risk.
Take, for instance, Belgium's ISLAM Party, which now hopes to participate in the country's October local elections in 28 regions. (Its name serves as an acronym for "Integrité, Solidarité, Liberté, Authenticité, Moralité.)

Its ultimate aim: transforming Belgium into an Islamic state. Items high on its agenda include separating men and women on public transportation, and the incorporation of sharia law – as long as this does not conflict with current laws –according to the party's founder, Redouane Ahrouch.

His own behavior, however, suggests that his respect for "current laws" and mores has its bounds: He reportedly refuses to shake hands with women, and in 2003, he received a six-month sentence for beating and threatening his wife. Currently, the Islam Party has two elected representatives in office – one in Anderlecht, the other in Molenbeek – both regions that happen to be known as hotbeds of extremism.........To Read More...

Entitlement Rogues: Alive and Well on America's Campuses

Who deserves free education, lower financial burdens and the right not to work at all?

Feel the Barn: What education in Venezuela?

It's Fine to Call for the Firing of Randa Jarrar

"Conservatives should not want Randa Jarrar to be fired," conservative writer Megan McArdle lectures us from (what a surprise!) the Washington Post. In case you missed it, Randa Jarrar has tenure in an English department at Fresno State University in California. She tweeted vile remarks about Barbara Bush in the wake of Mrs. Bush's death. The tweets were not only incoherent, but also reflective of a dark, morbid inhumanity. Prof. Jarrar compounded her stupidity by then musing that because she is tenured, she can never be fired. This YouTube compilation gives a quick overview of Prof. Jarrar's rather provocative intellectual output as a "queer woman of color"...........

The entire mystique of academic freedom is nonsense.  

I have written voluminously about this, but if you do not want to read Wackos Thugs & Perverts, then feel free to read this short piece.  The university system is based on tenure, which nullifies every romantic thing you have ever heard about academic freedom.  In fact, the committee of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) that deals with academic freedom is also the committee that deals with tenure.  That is because only tenured people have academic freedom.........Tenure needs to be taken down, so let's start with this person..........Read more

Who Deserves Blame for the Oppressive Tax System, the IRS or Politicians?

For the past 30 years, I’ve been criticizing both the tax code and the IRS. Which raises an interesting chicken-or-egg question about who should be blamed for our nightmarish tax system.
Should we blame IRS bureaucrats, who have a dismal track record of abusing taxpayers? Or should we blame politicians, who have been making the tax code more onerous ever since that dark day in 1913 when the income tax was adopted?
In this exchange with Stuart Varney, I take an ecumenical approach and blame both.

As you can see, I am slightly conflicted on this debate.
There are plenty of reasons to condemn the IRS, and not just because of what I mentioned in the interview about its deplorable campaign to suppress political speech by Tea Party organizations.
IRS Cartoon 7
Yet there is an equally strong case to be made that politicians are the real problem. They are the ones who created the tax system. They are the ones who make it more complex with each passing year.
And they are the ones who constantly give more power and money to the IRS in hopes of generating more cash that can be used to buy votes.

Indeed, the most important thing I said in the interview is that the IRS budget has dramatically increased over the past few decades. And that’s after adjusting for inflation!

So while I’m surely not a fan of the IRS, I’m probably even more critical of politicians since they’re the ones responsible for the bad laws that empower bureaucrats.

But that doesn’t really matter because the solution is the same regardless of whether one blames politicians or the IRS. Throw the tax code in the garbage and replace it with a simple and fair flat tax (or, if there are ever sufficient votes to undo the 16th Amendment, replace the internal revenue code with a national consumption tax).*

Let’s close with some humor. First, here’s a painful reminder (h/t: Reddit‘s libertarian page) of the relationship between taxpayers and politicians, though it’s worth noting that they want to grab your income regardless of whether there’s a lot or a little. In other words, the taxpayer could be holding a minnow and nothing would change.

Maybe I should add this image to my archive of IRS humor, which already features a new Obama 1040 form, a death tax cartoon, a list of tax day tips from David Letterman, a Reason video, a cartoon of how GPS would work if operated by the IRS, an IRS-designed pencil sharpener, two Obamacare/IRS cartoons (here and here), a collection of IRS jokes, a sale on 1040-form toilet paper (a real product), a song about the tax agency, the IRS’s version of the quadratic formula, and (my favorite) a joke about a Rabbi and an IRS agent.

*In my libertarian fantasy world, we would return to the limited government created by the Founding Fathers, thus eliminating the need for any broad-based tax.

Europe Reaping What It Sowed With Refugee

Rachel Alexander Posted: Apr 23, 2018

The refugee and immigrant problem in Europe continues to worsen. Europeans opened their borders during the last few years to radical Islamists and others fleeing oppressive or impoverished conditions in Syria and other parts of the Middle East and North Africa. But instead of encouraging the new immigrants to assimilate, many of the European governments are bending over backwards to help them not assimilate. This is a losing proposition, since many of the refugees subscribe to radical Islam. It is incompatible with Western culture. ............Germany has been one of the most welcoming countries for refugees. German Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted last month that there are no-go zones in Germany, something European politicians had been denying existed. She stated in 2010 while in Potsdam that multiculturalism had "utterly failed." But that did not stop her from opening Germany’s borders to the refugees in 2015. She ignored a European Union rule instructing countries to deport Syrian refugees back to their own country, and instead let them stay. Obama praised Merkel in April 2016 during a trip to Germany for being on "the right side of history" with her open-border immigration policy...........To Read More.....

My Take - Let's face it - Western and Northern Europe are doomed due to their immigration policies and they will take Eastern Europe down with them.  There's an all Europe civil war coming that will dump these multicultural socialists and bring in nationalist socialists.  But by that time the European economy will have collapsed ushering in an unparrelled era of civil violence.  For how long that continues remains to be seen, but it's coming.  One more thing.  The other alternative is conversion to Islam, which some are doing, but does anyone really believe that will bring peace or proserpity. History and reality shows otherwise. Islam is one of the great evils of the world, as Winston Chruchill noted:
  • "the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world."
  • "How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apa­thy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property—either as a child, a wife, or a concubine—must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men."

Club For the Galacticly Stupid: Randa Jarrar

Randa Jarrar: Bigot of Fresno State A professor's long record of promoting violence and hate unearthed.

April 23, 2018 Lloyd Billingsley

“Barbara Bush was a generous and smart and amazing racist who, along with her husband, raised a war criminal. F*** outta here with your nice words.”........she said, “a lot of the farmers now are Trump supporters and just f.....g stupid.” As she told the students, “I’m inspired by several things, usually my hatred for the man.” As she explained, “I can’t f.....g stand the white hetero-patriarchy.” And she has also boned up on into history........."The resistance fighters in the 60s and 70s. They didn’t kill anyone (Editor's Note:  Which is untrue.  RK) but they scared the s..t out of people. They would hijack the plane and say ‘we are not going to hurt anyone on this plane but we are going to f.....g hijack this plane.’” In the present, she wonders, “Why is Spencer’s (?) house still standing. I don’t understand. It needs to be like, f.....g broken into. People need to f.....g throw grenades into it. I don’t give a f..k.”.......  Ha ha, f..k you...........“a person hones their writer’s voice by telling people to shut the f..k up when they annoy them.  You know, call them out for their inappropriate and spilling out masculinity. Make fun of them in front of other people, that were at an event.” The jovial professor also had some advice for her comrades........... “F..k white supremacy,” Jarrar said. “F..k white people who think they can steal from us with impunity.........To Read More.....

My Take - And this lunatic is a professor in an American university?  If any had trouble deciding there's something seriously wrong in academia - this should be a big help in developing the correct understanding.  This should also clarify why we need to change immigration policies as soon as possible.  One more thing.  As you read about who she is and what she practices in her life you begin to understand why she's such a hater of others.  She hates herself. It's easy to see why!

A Culture of Murderous Hate at Fresno State
When a university normalizes calls for the death of Republicans.

April 20, 2018 By Daniel Greenfield 200

  • Students are no longer educated in our universities, they are indoctrinated by Sixties radicals who never left campus and became "professors". They have infiltrated the teaching ranks for every university since the Sixties. And they're not just in our educational institutions, they are in every institution and they are winning because we have a life and their mission is their life.
  • Or just cut all public funding to all humanities departments and thus kill their programs. Let the humanities survive in private schools on private money.

Caruba's Corner: Barack "Climate Change" Obama

By Alan Caruba Tuesday, May 26, 2015 @ Warning Signs

“Woe to the land that’s governed by a child.”  - Shakespeare, Richard III

I have been wrestling for some kind of explanation why the President of the United States, Barack Obama, would continue to talk about climate change and urge the global transition from fossil fuels to wind, solar and bio-energy. I have concluded that he thinks everyone, not just Americans, are idiots.

We know he lies about everything, but these two topics are clearly near and dear to his heart.

My friend, Paul Driessen, is a policy analyst for the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, a free market think tank. Among the pundit class he’s ranked very high by his colleagues. Here’s what he has to say about climate change:

“Earth climate always has changed, is always changing, and always will change—but not from fossil-fuel use. Solar fluctuations, deep ocean circulation patterns, and other powerful natural forces have driven climate change and weather events throughout Earth’s history and will continue to do so.”

“President Obama’s hubris is breathtaking. He now thinks an army of regulators can control our planet’s temperature and climate by tweaking emissions of plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide, a mere 0.04% of the atmosphere.”

“America’s communities do not need to be protected from climate change. They need to be protected from the excesses of authoritarian presidents and bureaucrats.”

Driessen and I look at and listen to Obama and wonder if others too see and hear someone uttering some of the most absurd claims about the climate. Then we worry that this someone is the President of the United States with the power to turn his ignorance into national policy.

At this point we have suffered his initial failure to respond to the recession he inherited from the 2008 financial crisis. More than six years later the economy has barely moved toward a normal rate of growth. Then we were gifted with ObamaCare and the disruption of what was widely regarded as the best health system in the world. And, for good measure, he imposed Common Core on an already weakened educational system. It is being repealed and opposed in many states. For good measure, his foreign policy, if he has one, is widely regarded as a total failure.

How is it a former “community organizer” possesses a seemingly vast understanding of meteorology? Did they also teach that at the Harvard Law School? “Climate change,” said Obama, addressing a graduating class of the Coast Guard Academy, “constitutes a serious threat to global security, an immediate risk to our national security, and make no mistake; it will impact how our military defends our country.”

“Our military and our combatant commanders,” the President told the Academy graduates, “our services—including the Coast Guard—will need to factor climate change into plans and operations, because you need to be ready.” For what? For a rainstorm? For snow? Wind?

This is the same President who sees no threat to our national security from Iran whose leaders shout “Death to America” every day when they aren’t also shouting “Death to Israel.” He has zealously been pursuing a deal that would enable Iran, the leading supporter of terrorism, to have nuclear weapons. Meanwhile Islamic State (ISIS) is taking over more territory in northern Iraq and into Syria. Obama might as well be dropping bags of marshmallows on them.

He blamed climate change in the form of “severe droughts” for the rise of Islamism in the Middle East and Africa. Someone needs to tell Obama that there have always been severe droughts somewhere on the planet, and floods, and forest fires, and blizzards, and hurricanes. Even so, in the last eighteen years, there have actually been LESS of these natural events, along with the flatlining of the planet’s overall or average temperature—there has been no warming!

Not content to blame climate change for the rise of terrorism, the White House issued a report that was described as “a doomsday scenario of health, security, economic and political issues.” The thing about climate is that it measured in centuries, not years. As for the weather, while records are maintained, it is usually reported as today’s news with a forecast of the coming week.

So you shouldn’t be surprised that the report blamed “asthma attacks” on climate change!

Suffice to say there isn’t a glimmer of hard evidence to support anything the President is saying these days about climate change.

And this is the same President that wants the U.S. and the rest of the world to give up the use of fossil fuels—coal, oil and natural gas—to “stop climate change.” 

IF Obama’s climate change idiocy is just a way to distract Americans from the real problems we have encountered thanks to his failure to address them, then it is purely cynical and political.

IF Obama really believes this stuff, he is unfit to be President.

© Alan Caruba, 2015

Energy & Environmental Newsletter: April 23, 2018

By -- April 23, 2018 @ Master Resource, A Free Market Energy Blog

The Alliance for Wise Energy Decisions (AWED) is an informal coalition of individuals and organizations interested in improving national, state, and local energy and environmental policies. Our premise is that technical matters like these should be addressed by using Real Science (please consult WiseEnergy.org for more information).

A key element of AWED’s efforts is public education. Towards that end, every three weeks we put together a newsletter to balance what is found in the mainstream media about energy and the environment. We appreciate MasterResource for their assistance in publishing this information.
Some of the more important articles in this issue are:

Why some rural communities are fighting back against wind development
Wind turbines delivering next to nothing to grid despite hysteria
Environmental activists ignore energy security realities
America’s Next Energy Crisis
Short video: Overcoming Bias in Energy Conversations
The World Bank’s anti-energy policy betrays its core development mission
Offshore Wind States: Beware
Wind Projects Worry Federal Meteorologist
Environmental justice and the expanding geography of wind power conflicts
Duke Energy Considering Extending Nuclear Plant Life to 80 years
Study: Wind turbines impact bat activity, leading to high losses of habitat
Study: Gone with the Wind – Wind Development and Raptors
All wind energy avian mortality research and reporting is just deception
Solar panels could be a source of GenX and other perflourinated contaminants
Study: Model falsifiability and climate slow modes
IPCC report deleted uncertainties about human caused climate change
Climate Change, Catastrophe, Regulation and the Social Cost of Carbon
Climate Change Wackos Exposed in California Court
Four Questions on Climate Change
DDP: Ten Key Questions about Climate Change
A Challenge to the American Planning Association (re Sustainability)
Startling New Discovery Could Destroy Global Warming Doomsday Forecasts
Scott Pruitt – Warrior for Science
Crushing the Global Warming Cult at the EPA
Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks
Will advances in groundwater science force a paradigm shift in sea level rise attribution?
Peer Review — Why Skepticism is Essential
The Irreproducibility Crisis of Modern Science

Greed Energy Economics:
Wind turbines affect property values
Wind Turbines vs Property Rights
Time for Industrial Wind to pay its fair share of Oklahoma’s education costs
NH energy strategy shifts from subsidizing renewables to lowering rates
Offshore Wind Surge Threatens Merchant Generator Profits
NextEra selling Ontario wind & solar assets
Solar facilities receive more cash from green subsidies than selling the energy they produce
Court Sees if Church Solar Panels Break Electricity Monopoly
NY PSC eyes plan to offer incentives for wind energy companies
U.S. Wind Power Slows Despite Tax Policy Meant to Boost It
Oklahoma wind tax reform pitched despite litigation threat

Turbine Health Matters:
Indiana Town takes aim at wind turbines: approves 38 DBa Noise limit
Calculating absolute minimum safety margins around wind turbines

Renewable Energy Destroying Ecosystems:
Study: Wind turbines impact bat activity, leading to high losses of habitat use in a biodiversity hotspot
Study: Gone with the Wind – Wind Development and Raptors
All wind energy avian mortality research and reporting is just deception
Solar panels could be a source of GenX and other perflourinated contaminants
VA Solar Facility is Turning a Local River Brown
Decommissioning old turbines becoming a ‘Big New Problem’
How fishermen could thwart Cuomo’s offshore wind master plan
Science’s ‘irreproducibility crisis’ is a public policy crisis too

Miscellaneous Energy News:
Why some rural communities are fighting back against wind development
Wind turbines delivering next to nothing to grid despite hysteria
Environmental activists ignore energy security realities
America’s Next Energy Crisis
Short video: Overcoming Bias in Energy Conversations
The World Bank’s anti-energy policy betrays its core development mission
Offshore Wind States: Beware
Wind Projects Worry Federal Meteorologist
Environmental justice and the expanding geography of wind power conflicts
Duke Energy Considering Extending Nuclear Plant Life to 80 years
Tennessee legislators pass their first state wind regulation law: HB 1731
Amazon Wind Project interference with military radar remains a concern
Fort Drum JLUS Report (with much about wind energy)
In Sweden, wind turbines and military aircraft battle for airspace
Fracking, BREXIT and an oil and gas shale bonanza
Tomorrow’s Grim, Global, Green Dictatorship
Archive: Research points to serious under-reporting of wind turbine fires
Chautauqua County (NY) says No to Big Wind
Cuomo’s renewable flop continues
Wind industry mogul claims to be giving up on Vermont
Short Video: Energy Images Are Deceiving
Contesting energy transitions: wind power and conflicts in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec
Sierra Club Likes Offshore Wind – Just Not This New Jersey One
Why NY Ocean Wind Project Decision Will Be Biggest Ever
New York set to become a leading hub for offshore wind?
Green Insanity: Offshore Wind Project Cost Mind-Boggling $10K Per KW
Apple Falsely Claims it Uses ‘100-Percent Renewable’ Energy
Activists’ letter to FERC re gas pipelines — use for wind energy
US Wind Turbine Database (AWEA, LBNL)
The Seriousness of the Hydro One Purchase of Avista
Duke Energy Considering Extending Nuclear Plant Life to 80 years
India slashes plans for new nuclear reactors by two-thirds
NuScale eyes first SMR module by 2020
The World’s First Floating Nuclear Facility

Manmade Global Warming Articles:
Study: Model falsifiability and climate slow modes
IPCC report deleted uncertainties about human caused climate change
Climate Change, Catastrophe, Regulation and the Social Cost of Carbon
Climate Change Wackos Exposed in California Court
Four Questions on Climate Change
DDP: Ten Key Questions about Climate Change
A Challenge to the American Planning Association (re Sustainability)
Startling New Discovery Could Destroy Global Warming Doomsday Forecasts
Scott Pruitt – Warrior for Science
Crushing the Global Warming Cult at the EPA
Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks
Will advances in groundwater science force a paradigm shift in sea level rise attribution?
Peer Review — Why Skepticism is Essential
The Irreproducibility Crisis of Modern Science
Please consider signing this petition in support of the EPA’s good work
EPA 2017 Environmental Justice Report (Executive Summary)
EPA Gives North Dakota Power to Regulate CO2 Storage Wells
Interesting Twitter Thread: Roger Pielke, jr. and AGW Alarmists
Swiss Climate Institute Director: “Absurd” To Call CO2 “Pollutant
Top Climate Scientist: CO2 Model Assumptions “Invalid”…”Natural Climatic Variations Dominate”!
Scientist finds a warming error in satellite data, contradicts IPCC models
Which is the Most Accurate Satellite-Derived Temperature Dataset?
A Climate Science Tutorial Prepared for Hon. William Alsup
If California v. BP Implodes via Insufficient Evidence, so can NYC v. BP
Climate Change on Trial
EU carbon market emissions rise for first time in 7 years in 2017
Investors stunned over oil producer’s climate-change exemption
Does the Greenhouse Gas CO2 cool the climate?
Who Are the Real Science Deniers? It’s a Given
Archive: How simple physics demolishes the Greenhouse effect
Republicans more persuasive than scientists on climate change
U.S. Republican & Independent Climate Skepticism Spreading
Sea level rise acceleration (or not): Part VII U.S. coastal impacts

See Prior AWED Newsletters

Attachments area
Preview YouTube video Overcoming bias in conversations — Alex Epstein
Overcoming bias in conversations — Alex Epstein
Preview YouTube video Chautauqua County says No to Big Wind
Chautauqua County says No to Big Wind

Monday, April 23, 2018

More Government Spending = Weaker Economic Performance

April 11, 2018 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty
I’m in Brussels, where I’m participating in an “Economic Freedom Summit” on the unfriendly turf of the European Parliament.

My role was to chair a panel earlier today about whether Venezuela can recover from socialism. I obviously have an opinion on that topic, but I want to write today about some information that was shared on the panel about transition economies.

Andrei Illarionov, a former adviser to Vladimir Putin, gave a talk about economic reform in Russia. I also have an opinion on that topic, but that’s also not today’s issue.

Instead, I want to share some of his charts on the broader topic of government spending and economic growth.

As you might expect, he showed the negative correlation between the size of government and economic performance in Russia.

He also had numbers for the United States, though for a much longer period of time.

He also had the data for Germany.

And also the numbers for Japan.

Since the panel’s main focus was countries making the transition from communism, Andrei also looked at the relationship between government spending and growth rates in those nations.

Last but not least, here are his calculations based on 56 years of data in developed countries, on the impact of government spending on economic growth.

This is powerful data, even when you factor in the caveats Andrei mentioned in the discussion.
For all intents and purposes, the lines in Andrei’s various charts are measures of the downward sloping portion of the Rahn Cure. I explain in this video.

I’ve shared research on government spending and economic performance on any occasions, including some findings from a very good book published by London’s Institute for Economic Affairs.

And it’s worth noting that even the left-leaning OECD has produced findings very similar to Andrei’s data.
  • The OECD admitted in one study that “a reduction in the size of the government could increase long-term GDP by about 10%, with much larger effects in some countries.”
  • The OECD admitted in another study that “a cut in the tax-to-GDP ratio by 10 percentage points of GDP (accompanied by a deficit-neutral cut in transfers) may increase annual growth by ½ to 1 percentage points.”
  • The OECD admitted in a different study that “an increase of about one percentage point in the tax pressure (or, equivalently one half of a percentage point in government consumption, taken as a proxy for government size)…could be associated with a direct reduction of about 0.3 per cent in output per capita. If the investment effect is taken into account, the overall reduction would be about 0.6-0.7 per cent.”
And the IMF also has a statist orientation, but it also has confessed that larger governments hinder growth, writing that “A tax cut for the middle-class, financed from a lump-sum reduction in government spending, …raises the steady state GDP by just under 1 percent after 5 years… in the simple case where the tax cuts are paid for by lump sum cuts in government spending, the personal income tax multiplier is around 3.”

In other words, the research clearly shows that shrinking the burden of government spending is a great recipe to promote greater prosperity. Andrei’s data is simply another layer of evidence.

Climate adaptation, reparation and restoration

Boulder, CO wants oil companies to restore snowy winters of an idyllic past – and pay it billions

Paul Driessen
This Earth Day (April 22) we need to ask whether environmentalism has gone completely bonkers.
Back in the 1970s, I skied Colorado’s cross-country and downhill slopes pretty regularly. Some years were incredible: many feet of snow as glorious to behold as to ski on. Other years, like 1977, I’d come around a bend on my XC skis, see nothing but rock in front of me, and just ditch.
Who knew the industry I worked for in the later 70s was causing these climate and weather mood swings – even then, long before carbon dioxide levels hit the cataclysmic 400 ppm mark? Who knew profit-hungry oil companies were already preventing the Centennial State from having endless seasons of perfect ski conditions, followed by ample spring meltwater for cities, agriculture and trout streams?
I ask this because the People’s Republic of Boulder, CO has joined Oakland, San Francisco, New York and other liberal enclaves in suing for “climate relief.” Boulder doesn’t share the CA/NY worries about rising seas. Even Al Gore doesn’t claim the Pacific Ocean will reach the Mile High City anytime soon.
Boulderites want the courts to force ExxonMobil and Suncor to pay treble damages for causing too much snow and thus floods in some years, too little snow and thus droughts and poor ski conditions in other years; multiple heat waves in some years, bitter cold in others. They seek unspecified cash for climate adaptation, repair and reparation expenses – and restoration of idyllic conditions of selected past years.
Their 106-page, 478-paragraph complaint (with scores of sub-paragraphs) alleges that oil companies have committed public and private nuisance, trespass, continued sales of “huge amounts of fossil fuels,” and willful concealment of known harm from those sales – all to the great detriment of Boulder citizens.
These are the same fuels that saved whales from imminent extinction and gave Boulder and humanity prosperity, technology, health and longevity no one could even imagine when Colorado became a state in 1876. But now they’re suing the companies that have provided reliable, affordable fuels and raw materials that have brought them lights, heat, livelihoods, living standards, and countless products from paints, plastics, pharmaceuticals and fertilizers to skis, ski parkas, and vehicle fuel and asphalt roads to ski areas.
No wonder Para. 476 pointedly says “plaintiffs do not seek to enjoin any oil and gas operations or sales in Colorado.” To paraphrase Para. 453: plaintiffs received immense benefits from defendants’ products and actions, and it would be unconscionable and contrary to equity for plaintiffs to retain those benefits. Before collecting a dime, plaintiffs should reject future benefits and pay Exxon for past benefits received.
As to alleged fossil fuel damages in the form of wildfires and beetle kills, perhaps Boulder and its Sierra Club allies could employ better forest management – such as thinning trees, removing dead and diseased trees, and spraying to control pine bark beetles. It would be equally salubrious if they would stop abusing gullible children – by having little Sequoia berate Exxon for causing floods, fires and less snow.
As to the allegation that Exxon and Suncor have deprived Boulder of its once-snowy climate, the area’s annual snowfall records demonstrate how ludicrous the claim is.
Its heaviest calendar year snow was 159 inches in 1997; the worst was 36 inches in 1904. It had over 100 inches 20 times since 1897, including 11 times since 1970 and four times over 125 inches since 1985. It had under 50 inches 11 times since 1897: six times 1904 to1943, just three since 1970, and none under 61 inches since 1982. Anyone who sees a rising CO2/lower snowfall connection is smoking too much ganja.
So where does Boulder get the evidence to back up its allegations? As Alfonso Bedoya might have told Humphrey Bogart in a climate change version of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, “We don’t have to show you any stinking evidence!” Instead of evidence, the city has assertions, a phony 97% consensus that fossil fuels are causing dangerous manmade climate change, a report saying Boulder will have more heat waves and less snow by 2050, and computer models that supposedly back up the report.
In the real world, the 20-year temperature “pause” is back, the sun’s “quiet phase” may be reaching a “grand solar minimum,” and actual temperature, hurricane and other data contradict climate model predictions and scenarios. In fact, the models are little more than high-tech circular reasoning.
Since they are based on the assertion that rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels drive global warming, Garbage In-Garbage Out models will always generate the calamities that alarmist researchers and Boulder lawyers are blaming on Big Oil. Where reality contradicts models, reality must be wrong – and actual temperature measurements must be adjusted to reflect model outputs and dominant climate theory.
When did the sun and other natural forces cease being a factor? What caused the ice ages, interglacial periods, Medieval Warm Period, Little Ice Age and Anasazi drought? Questions like these are off limits.
Indeed, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and dominant, government-funded climate research have gone from seeking to identify human influences on Earth’s climate … to decreeing that only human influences matter, natural forces no longer play a meaningful role, and humans can control climate and weather by eliminating fossil fuels and regulating atmospheric greenhouse gas levels.
Those assertions now have the unwavering support of an entire industry – the $1.5-trillion-per-year Climate Industrial Complex: politicians, regulators, researchers, industrialists and activists, who protect and advance alarmist claims, promote allegedly “renewable” energy, resist examination and reform, and denounce anyone who questions climate chaos orthodoxy as “planet-threatening climate change deniers.”
Arrayed against the contingency fee seeking Boulder legal team is an oil industry whose spokesmen offer timid tripe: “Lawsuits like this do not solve the global problem of climate change.” It should be up to “appropriate regulatory agencies,” instead of judges, to decide how much CO2 a company may emit. Oil companies “should not be subject to liability for engaging in acts of commerce while adhering to our already stringent state and federal laws.” Can’t we have a more robust defense on the merits?
Boulder and its allied cities and counties have little reason to worry that their absurd assertions will be challenged on the merits in court. But they don’t even care about winning their case. They just hope Exxon and Suncor will pay them a few hundred million bucks – and pave the way for more lawsuits.
In fact, a 2016 “Lawyers for Better Business” report said climate lawsuits will soon “dwarf all other litigation in terms of the number of plaintiffs and the timeframe in which it can happen.” It’s likely to become a global industry, “with much bigger damages than seen with tobacco and asbestos.”
How else will profligate progressive politicians pay for all the welfare programs that keep them in power?
Such is the sorry state of US and international politics, education, science and jurisprudence.
What alternatives do these litigants and activists offer for the fossil fuel, nuclear and hydroelectric energy they want to ban? They seem to think the billions of tons of lithium, cobalt, iron, copper, manganese, rare earth metals, concrete and other raw materials needed for millions of wind turbines and solar panels are somehow “renewable” – and blanketing the planet with wind and solar installations is eco-friendly.
They seem convinced that it’s better for Planet Earth to ban drilling, and instead convert another billion acres of crop and habitat land into gigantic biofuel plantations. In fact, this year’s Earth Day organizers want future plastics to come from non-hydrocarbon sources – which would mean plowing under hundreds of millions more acres to grow crops for petrochemical feed stocks.
This is sheer lunacy. It’s the product of the fear, loathing, despair, intolerance and groupthink that pervade Big Green environmentalism today.
Will the Scott Pruitt EPA finally reverse the ridiculous Endangerment Finding that is yet another foundation for this climate nonsense? Will Neil Gorsuch be the deciding vote that brings a modicum of sanity back to our Supreme Court and legal system? Only time will tell.
Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of books and articles on energy and environmental policy.

Finland pulls the plug on guaranteed basic income experiment

April 22, 2018 By Thomas Lifson

In oh-so progressive Scandinavia, Finland tried and quickly discovered that the latest hot idea among the techno-lords of Silicon Valley (and their lackeys in the California Democratic Party) is a dud. The failed idea for the way the rest of us should live is so-called Universal Basic Income.

Universal Basic Income is a policy that’s been lauded by tech leaders from Mark Zuckerberg to Elon Musk as a proposed solution to job loss due to automation. Last Sunday, it officially became part of California’s Democratic Party platform, signaling that the idea is beginning to enter the political mainstream at the same time Silicon Valley leaders are putting their weight behind it.......Business Insider Nordic reports that this is such a bad idea that when Finland actually tried it, the failure was obvious so quickly that the experiment was terminated..... Read more

Big Banks Target the Bill of Rights

Posted by Daniel Greenfield 2 Comments Sunday, April 22, 2018 @ Sultan Knish Blog

The American people lent $45 billion to Bank of America during the bailout. That bailout came with a hefty $100 billion guarantee against losses on toxic assets.

That money came from American taxpayers. It came from gun owners and non-gun owners.

But Bank of America has warned that it will refuse to lend money to manufacturers of “assault-style guns”. It had previously announced it was edging away from the coal business to fight global warming.

Citigroup got $476 billion in cash and guarantees: the most of any bank. Now Citibank is repaying the generosity of the American people by requiring its clients to impose their own gun control policies on their stores. Impose gun control on your customers or Citibank will discriminate against you.

Next up is Wells Fargo. The stagecoach brand has said that it’s up to the government to impose gun control, but that it is discussing gun safety with its clients. That’s not enough for outraged activists. The American Federation of Teachers, an organization that runs on extorting money from teachers and taxpayers, warned Wells Fargo that it had to choose between firearms manufacturers and the AFT.

Bank of America announced its move to Bloomberg. The eponymous media outlet is associated with the billionaire sugar daddy of the anti-second amendment lobby. That wasn’t a coincidence. Neither was Citigroup making its announcement through Ed Skyler, Bloomberg’s former Deputy Mayor.

This phase of the pressure campaign got its start from a New York Times column by Andrew Ross Sorkin which wondered, "What if the finance industry — credit card companies ... credit card processors ... and banks ... were to effectively set new rules for the sales of guns in America?"

If the banks wouldn’t play ball, then their biggest customers, "McDonald’s, Starbucks, Apple, Amazon, AT&T, CVS and others" would be pressured into pressuring them. That way a few corporations could decide which parts of the Constitution they’ll write out of existence in their Terms of Service.

And then Sorkin began calling up chief execs to discuss his bright idea for corporate government. They included Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat who had served on Obama's Advisory Council on Financial Capability and had hosted a retreat featuring Hillary Clinton. Citigroup had a long relationship with the Clintons and had warned that Trump’s victory could lead to an economic “slowdown”.

A follow-up article suggested modifying merchant control codes to single out any store that sells firearms and using GPS signals to shut off credit card transactions around gun shows.

The extensive surveillance powers of financial companies would be used to build a police state.

Ed Skyler’s Twitter account, which has plenty of gun control tweets, retweeted the police state proposal.

Citigroup's spokesman claimed that, "we created standards based not on ideology, but on established best sales practices." But Ed Skyler’s ranting announcement clearly shows that to be a lie.

"Over the same amount of time, we have waited for our grief to turn into action and see our nation adopt common-sense measures that would help prevent firearms from getting into the wrong hands," Ed Skyler had declared in his role as CitiGroup's Executive Vice President of Global Public.

That’s an Everytown political campaign ad that could have come from his old boss, Michael Bloomberg.

Citigroup can’t have it both ways. It can’t beat the drum for gun control and declare that it’s non-ideological. You can virtue signal or be apolitical. But you can’t do both at the same time.

Senator Kennedy (R-LA) responded to Citigroup’s secondary second amendment boycott blasting it for “threatening law abiding business owners for exercising their Second Amendment rights.”

“The only reason that Citigroup is even in business today is because American taxpayers bailed them out during the Great Recession,” he noted. The Senator also expressed concern that the country’s financial institutions are being split up into “red banks and blue banks.” Mick Mulvaney, head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, called the actions of the anti-second amendment banks, "troubling."

The left has come a long way from hating corporations to setting up a corporate shadow government to dismantle the Bill of Rights. Get the banks to ban guns and social media companies to censor conservatives. And the left can divest from democracy and run the country from Facebook.

But behind the big banks is an even bigger government.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago's biggest thug since Capone, is backing an ordinance that would ban banks from doing business with his corrupt city if they don't implement the same gun control boycott as Citigroup. According to its euphemistic Safe Guns Policy, “No financial institution would be eligible to do business as a City depository, underwrite municipal bond issues, or engage in a myriad of other financial transactions unless they file such an affidavit.” Capone could have said it briefer, but not better.

And Chicago’s gimmick would allow the failed city to impose gun control through the banks.

Chicago has been sliding toward bankruptcy almost as fast as its home state. But Chiraq put out $3 billion in AAA bonds, even though its bonds have been considered junk, through what one analyst called “smoke and mirrors”. But you can’t peddle Chicago junk bonds unless you also peddle gun control.

Not to be left too far behind Second City, New York State Comptroller Thomas J. DiNapoli sent letters to MasterCard among others, urging them to block credit card purchases of firearms and accessories.

New York is facing its biggest deficits in decades, and it has the second-highest debt in the nation. Behind California. But shrinking the Bill of Rights is more important than the financial health of the state.

Banking on gun control isn’t a new development. Under Obama, a covert version of it operated through an Obama DOJ program known as “Operation Choke Point.” Choke Point pressured banks into avoiding relationships with firearms businesses. The program was shut down by Attorney General Sessions.

Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd called it a "misguided initiative conducted during the previous administration.”

But Operation Choke Point is being laboriously reassembled by a coalition of activist groups, state officials and corporations. Its rebirth in the private sector follows in the footsteps of similar efforts at building a shadow government that would maintain the initiatives and rules of the Obama era.

Choke Point 2.0 is just a decentralized version of an unconstitutional government program. The banks enforcing it are dusting off the same old “reputational implications” argument from Choke Point.

After losing the White House, the Senate and the House, the left is rebuilding its regulatory infrastructure using some of the same financial institutions that were funded by the bailout. The advantages of this move are that monopolistic institutions don’t need to worry about accountability to the public or the Constitution’s restrictions on violating rights by abusing government power.

It’s no coincidence that Bank of America horror stories abounded during the Choke Point era. The financial institutions most likely to collaborate with Obama against their customers and the Bill of Rights are also the most likely to collaborate in the same way with the anti-second amendment lobby.

Choke Point 2.0 is an ominous development. But it is also an important reminder.

The left is not against big banks. It is against freedom.

Every institution exists only as a means for the left to exercise its power, to impose collective systems and tear down individual rights. It is only opposes businesses to the extent that they represent individual initiative and personal freedom. But it will rule the country and enforce its will on us by any means.