With the latest news about Drakes Bay Oyster Co.’s legal counsel, what’s a good Marin liberal to do?

People in Marin have been extremely upset about the decision Ken Salazar (Secy of the Interior) made to shut down Drakes Bay Oyster Co.  The oyster company is a fixture in Point Reyes, and has been sustainably harvesting oysters for decades.  It is insufficiently pure for ObamaWorld, though, so it’s got to go:

On November 29, Ken Salazar, secretary of the interior, announced his decision not to renew Drakes Bay Oyster Co.’s lease on National Park Service land about 30 miles north of San Francisco. Citing the 1976 Point Reyes Wilderness Act, the National Park Service intends to establish a federally designated wilderness area, the first on the West Coast, on the land where the oyster farm has long operated.

The Lunnys and their 31 full-time employees, many of whom have worked for decades on the oyster farm, will lose their jobs. Fifteen who lived on the premises will also lose their homes. And the company has only three months to vacate.

What’s worse is that there’s a very strong case to be made, not only that Salazar was going for an impossible purity, but that Drakes Bay Oyster Co. is the victim of a government fraud:

In 2007 [Corey] Goodman [professor emeritus at Stanford and Berkeley] received a phone call from Steve Kinsey, a member of the Marin County board of supervisors. Kinsey told him of the Park Service’s allegations of environmental damage from a small oyster farm with an otherwise impeccable reputation, then he asked Goodman to fact-check the government’s claims. Goodman agreed, reviewed the data, and attended a public hearing on Drakes Bay Oyster Co. He had never met the Lunnys, but he was appalled at what he heard from the Park Service officials. Their statements completely conflicted with what Goodman had found.

“I sat and listened to the Park Service that day make the most incredible claims,” he tells National Review Online. “We hadn’t heard exaggeration,” Goodman recalls. “We’d heard things that were simply not true.”

His interest piqued, Goodman embarked on what became a five-year examination of the Interior Department and National Park Service studies of the oyster farm.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Goodman says. “It’s a stunning misuse of science by our federal government. . . . They have spent a huge amount of money trying to find harm when it doesn’t exist. . . . The Park Service was determined to get rid of the oyster farm, and they simply made [the environmental damage] up. . . . These people aren’t following the data. They’re following a predetermined agenda.”

Judging by the posts on my real-me Facebook, my Marin friends are extremely upset about this one.  They’re traditionalists (and Drakes Bay Oyster Co. has been around a long time), and they like their oysters.  Many Marinites consider it a fun family outing to pick up some oysters as part of a trip to Point Reyes.  They therefore believe that the Department of the Interior should back down on this one.

Today, though, the Marin Independent Journal dropped a bombshell that’s going to have these liberal Drakes Bay supporters spinning and confused — it turns out that the Koch brothers have a connection to the Oyster company.  Oh, no!

The head of Cause of Action, the Washington D.C.-based nonprofit representing the Drakes Bay Oyster Co. in its lawsuit against the federal government, has had ties to the Koch brothers, wealthy industrialists who have funded ultra-conservative and libertarian policy and advocacy groups, most notably the Tea Party.

Dan Epstein, Cause of Action’s executive director, worked for the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation from June 2008 to January 2009, according to Mary Beth Hutchins, a spokeswoman for Cause of Action.

When Epstein left the Koch foundation he took a job for the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, headed by California GOP Congressman Darrell Issa. Under Issa’s leadership, the committee has mounted a series of investigations into the Obama administration since the Republicans took control of the House in 2010. Those investigations included the National Park Service’s handling of the Drakes Bay Oyster Co.’s request for a special use permit.

Epstein left that job to head the newly formed Cause of Action in August 2011.

How in the world are the Marin people going to square this circle?  Will it force them to see that the Koch Brothers are not evil industrialists who destroy “the little people” but, instead, are principled constitutionalists who believe that the government should leave the little people alone?  Or will they decide that the Drakes Bay Oyster Company that they lauded so tearfully last week is, in fact, part of the vast right wing conspiracy, and that Salazar is correct to use fraud and coercion to destroy it?

It will be interesting to watch my friends struggle with this one.  No, I take that back.  One of the things I’ve noticed is that, once political issues get intellectually difficult, they just stop thinking about them altogether.  You can practically see these bright, highly educated people sitting there going “Owie.  My brain hurts.”

Cargo cults and E-cons

During WWII, New Guinea natives noticed that whenever Allied soldiers built airfields, airplanes would magically appear out of the sky bearing gifts. Thus, reasoned the islanders, all they had to do was to build airfields to propitiate the gods and magic airplanes would appear bearing gifts. Sounds logical.

Ha, ha, ha…silly islanders! But hold on…who are we to laugh? We practice the very same logic in our society today. Consider the ever-lengthening string of taxpayer-funded environmental “green energy” companies going belly-up busted broke. Here’s a recent list of these taxpayer-funded E-conomic disasters (up-to 34 and growing fast):

http://blog.heritage.org/2012/10/18/president-obamas-taxpayer-backed-green-energy-failures/

Quite clearly, our own environmentally sensitive natives believed that all one needed to do was to build bricks, mortar and steel into modern-looking structures, pick an environmentally friendly “technology” with a cool sounding name and, voila! Magic benefits would come out of thin air – endless BTUs of cheap, pollution-free, guilt-free, Gaia-approved energy that defied the laws of physics, engineering and economics. What did fall out of the air was never-ending wads of taxpayer cash.

Thus did the E-natives expropriate $-billions and $-billions of other peoples’ labor and monies to build their false idols and propitiations to Mother Gaia. And, now…nothing! The money is gone and the losses pile up as useless junk. Just as with the airport idols in New Guinea, Gaia remained strangely silent.

There is, of course, one very big difference between this modern chain of events and that of the New Guinea islanders. And that is this: the sharks and grifters (E-cons) who took their cuts from those $-billions of taxpayer funds in the form of inflated salaries, over-generous pension plans, consulting fees, legal fees, subcontracts, illegal equity payouts, Washington lobbyist budgets, Democrat party donations and union crony deals. Somehow, I suspect that these variables did not factor in the New Guinea islander cargo-cult politics. With bankruptcy, the paper-trail remnants of these shady, underhand practices will pretty much be shredded from public view.

The New Guinea Islanders may have been guilty of faulty logic and misplaced idol worship. The modern day cargo-cult environmentalists have been just as guilty of false-idol worship, but, supposedly, they had “education”, “science” and “reason” on their side.

However, herein lies the critical difference: today’s Gaia’s acolytes have waged a far-more corrupt and damaging game than any New Guinea native ever did, through the enormous waste of resources that can never be recaptured by a world that is currently bleeding capital in a time of desperate need. That lost capital will not be available to drive the economic growth that this world needs.

I can only hope that some day, soon, this growing list of E-con-driven bankruptcies will be submitted to extensive forensic audit in the public domain to cast light on those who benefited from this exploitation of the Gaia cult fantasies and to detail just how the taxpayers got shafted in this growing list of debacles.

Let there be a full accounting.

Then, bring out the pitchforks.

La Media – Misleading by Misdirection

Years ago, the Bookworm Room took a leadership position in challenging man-made global warming dogma and I would comfortably assert that we have been winning the arguments. However, the battle is far from over.

Today’s Chicago Tribune posted a column published by two credentialed climate scientists from the U. of Illinois, attributing this winter’s warm winter conditions and tornado activity to man-made CO2 emissions in the atmosphere.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/ct-perspec-0606-climate-20120606,0,1084142.story

This column misleads by misdirection.

The warmer-than-normal weather this winter and early spring was the result of an extended Pacific Ocean-warming phenomenon called “La Nina”. This phenomenon has been linked to diverse weather conditions around the world, from severe drought conditions in our Southwest and Brazil, to warmer-than-normal winters in the upper Midwest to reduced monsoon activity in southern Asia. Warmer-than-normal winter and spring temperatures are also conducive to tornado formation when they clash and create turbulence with cold air from the winter jet stream.

Keep in mind that one of the paramount principles of scientific endeavor, routinely violated by man-made climate change proponents, is “Occam’s Razor”, which stipulates that you look at the simplest, most obvious explanations first!

So, let’s ask the question… are increasing levels of atmospheric CO2, present in concentrations measured in parts-per-million, responsible for massive warming events in the central Pacific? Does this sound like a reasonable explanation?

The best leading indicator of a La Nina event is not the amount of CO2 in the air, but subsurface water temperatures (i.e., below the ocean surface, not at the surface where CO2 would be absorbed from the air) around the Pacific Rim. The most likely cause for these temperature upwellings, supported by satellite and deep-sea surveyor data, is underwater volcanic activity, which we are only just beginning to understand. Bookworm aficionados are very well-read and aware, so they will recall reading that these past few years have been seismically active around the Pacific Rim. Undersea volcanos, like terrestrial volcanos, release huge amounts of heat, which must go somewhere. In water and in air, heat rises.

http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/18084

After La Nina ended this spring, we returned to cooler than normal temperatures in the Midwest and eastern U.S., which will probably persist through 2012, as a countervailing, cooling El Nino begins to form in the Pacific. In fact, the last 10 years have seen a consistent, measurable period of global cooling, not heating, even as atmospheric CO2 concentrations increased.

In addition, the pioneering work of Danish astrophysicist Henrik Svensmark, a man who’s name may one day rank in the Astronomer’s pantheon with Galileo and Copernicus, has laid out testable theories on how solar activity affects cloud cover, precipitation and global temperatures that are completely changing perceptions regarding climate change and, frankly, render the effects of CO2 (which, in the end, is just an insignificant greenhouse gas when compared to water) on climate as irrelevant. Thus far, the tests of his theories are coming out very positive and serve to explain both observed climate warming and cooling cycles.

The facade of man-made global warming is crumbling, but far too many credentialed “scientists” have vested their reputations and research budgets in man-made global warming postulations for them to give up lightly. So, they double down because they have to. Unfortunately, too many citizens will be fooled by their credentials to question their premises.

Given the credentials of the authors of this Chicago Tribune column, they in all likelihood knew all of this. They just didn’t feel that the Chicago Tribune’s readers should know about this details, because it doesn’t happen to fit their ideological meme. So, they misdirect.

Lynch mobs and hit lists

You already know how I feel about the George Zimmerman – Trayvon Martin affair and the Obama Administration and its lap dog-media sycophants ginning up a lynching party to “get” Zimmerman and a few random white people to fill the role pending trial. Zimmerman’s guilt has already been decided in the media’s public square.

Now, via the Wall Street Journal‘s inestimable Kimberly Strassel, comes news that Administration is, in the words of Washington beltway attorney Ted Olson, putting up the names of major Romney donors on “wanted posters” in government offices, releasing their names to the public, and libeling their reputations.

“The message from the man who controls the Justice Department (which can indict you), the SEC (which can fine you), and the IRS (which can audit you), is clear: You made a mistake donating that money”, writes Strassel.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304723304577368280604524916.html?mod=WSJ_article_comments#articleTabs%3Darticle

I don’t know if you can access this article without a subscription, but Strassel’s “The President Has a List: Barack Obama attempts to intimidate contributors to Mitt Romney’s campaign” article in today’s WSJ points out a litany of presidential abuses of power by the Obama regime, including:

  • Making individual citizens the object of his vitriol.
  • Personal attacks on corporations and industry segments.
  • Legal assaults on constitutional rights of free speech by corporations.
Add to that list the looting of American taxpayers through government policy-driven largesse to Democrat crony capitalists and political insiders. For an excellent review on one way how this is done, I highly recommend reading entrepreneur Jerome J. Schmitt’s excellent insights in today’s American Thinker:

We continue our slouch into the serfdom of Liberal Fascism. Sad to say, I suspect that the large segments of the population that are not cheering these developments are either yawning in general ennui or too glued to the mindless drivel of videoworld to realize how our /their wealth and freedoms are irrevocably slip, slip, slipping away.

“Keynes” and other back-pats

Here’s a Robert Samuelson article, “bye bye Keynes” that should give us all pause: the arguments he uses to write Keynes’ obituary are arguments that we all posited in our own excoriation of Keynes in years past, in response to a string of commentators, ranging from A to Z.

I’ve been reviewing our last few years at Bookworm Room and I think that we all deserve a round of huzzas and raised beer mugs or wine glasses, whatever is at hand. We’ve been so right about so many issues, be it “Keynesian”economics; anthropogenic global warming; the Islamist threat; U.S. fossil fuel reserves; “green” energy; Iraq; Obama; the EU’s collapse…and on and on und so weiter.  Sometimes, our prescience has preceded events on the ground by years.

To all of you Bookworm guests and, especially, to Bookworm, our hostess: I’m so d*** proud to know you! I am so much smarter for having enjoyed the many experiences of your insights and commentary.

Mother Earth now has legal standing in Bolivia

You’re thinking my post title is a joke, right?  Wrong.  It’s the God’s — er, I mean Gaia’s — honest truth:

With the cooperation of politicians and grassroots organizations, Bolivia is set to pass the Law of Mother Earth which will grant nature the same rights and protections as humans. The piece of legislation, called la Ley de Derechos de la Madre Tierra, is intended to encourage a radical shift in conservation attitudes and actions, to enforce new control measures on industry, and to reduce environmental destruction.

The law redefines natural resources as blessings and confers the same rights to nature as to human beings, including: the right to life and to exist; the right to continue vital cycles and processes free from human alteration; the right to pure water and clean air; the right to balance; the right not to be polluted; and the right to not have cellular structure modified or genetically altered. Perhaps the most controversial point is the right “to not be affected by mega-infrastructure and development projects that affect the balance of ecosystems and the local inhabitant communities”.

Once again, I’m at a standstill.  I’d like to say something clever or insightful, but this reversion to a pre-Judeo-Christian primitivism has me absolutely hornswoggled.

I assume that the next law passed will be to authorize human sacrifice to assuage Mother Nature’s hunger.  Any virgins in Bolivia might want to start sidling to the exit just about now.

Dying certitudes

On the heels of Bookworm’s excellent, hard-hitting essay on narcissism comes a nice coda on man-made global warming that is emblematic of Bookworm’s theme.

Because of major discoveries involving the interaction of atmospheric aerosols and cosmic radiation, “climate models will have to be revised,” stated a communication from CERN that promises to completely overhaul scientific understanding of climate science. CERN is the European center for nuclear research. These discoveries are important, because they deal directly with the dynamics of the overwhelmingly dominant atmospheric greenhouse gas, water.

The complete article by Andrew Orlowski, in the U.K.’s The Register, is found here complete with supporting links:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/08/25/cern_cloud_cosmic_ray_first_results/

These recent discoveries regarding cosmic ray effects on climate pretty much render obsolete all previous climate prognostications by self-proclaimed experts. To use an analogy, it is as if these experts had tried to authoritatively explain the inner workings of an automobile by studiously ignoring the engine.

“When (leading CERN physicist) Dr. Jasper Kirkby first described the theory in 1998, he suggested cosmic rays “will probably be able to account for somewhere between a half and the whole of the increase in the Earth’s temperature that we have seen in the last century,” continues The Register‘s Orlowski.

The underlying theme here, however, is not cosmic rays or global warming, it is hubris. It is the self-righteous certainty and self-proclaimed wisdom with which scientists, politicians, media ideologues and demagogues could claim sufficent knowledge and command to engineer huge changes to society on the basis of their own self-righteous objectives. Their narcissism, in other words. In their world, their view was revealed truth, all else was anathema. We ourselves discovered some of this self-proclaimed righteousness from previous commentators on this blog. This is exactly the “fatal conceit” of which Friedrich Hayek.

http://www.amazon.com/Fatal-Conceit-Errors-Socialism-Collected/dp/0226320669

A qualifier is in order: I am in no way suggesting that the work by CERN is definitive. It does, however, illustrate how little we know and that, when pursuing any form of scientific inquiry, humility is a stellar virtue. No doubt, many more blockbuster revelations await us regarding  the complexities of climate dynamics, but we the main point is that we fallible humans are in no position and will never be in a position to mandate radical changes to either the globe or humanity on the basis of perceived knowledge. The believe otherwise is not just unwise, it is, forgive the term, stupid.

The CERN  announcement is emblematic of what is happening today, as we see other revealed truths such as socialism, Keynesianism, multiculturalism, peak oil, environmentalism and government central planning collapse under the repeated poundings of 2x4s called “reality”. It’s a painful process but, hopefully, it signals the birth pangs of a more practically-focused world to come, where the humility, skepticism and spirit of inquiry bequeathed by our Western philosophical traditions can once more hold sway over ignorance, dogma and ideology. Given the $-trillions of resources and human capital that have been wasted to date in pursuit of climate science and the other myths and illusions of our time, this would be a good thing.

We desperately need it.

I love the environment; it’s the environmentalists I hate *UPDATED*

I’m a somewhat contrary person.  (Right now, those who know me well are probably off laughing hysterically somewhere at my understatement.)  Because the environmentalists are pushing so hard, from Al Gore on down, my instinct is to push right back.  Pushing back makes me sound as if I don’t care about the environment, but that’s untrue.  I like a healthy environment, whether it’s clean air, potable water, or abundant wildlife.  The environment matters to me.

Some environmentalist initiatives are fine.  Just as women’s hats were perfectly good without egret feathers, so too is it pretty unnecessary for women to wear baby seal fur or for someone to have a genuine ivory pendant.  Giving up decadent fashion statements shouldn’t ever be a problem.  My multiculturalist chops, never very strong to begin with, also fail me entirely when I contemplate all the Asian men chomping away at the tusks and testicles of various exotic animals in a superstition-driven quest to further their own libidinous desires.

My problem is with the thoughtless, hysterical, emotion-driven initiatives that seem to be concerned with punishing humans than with helping animals.  The most recent example of this knee-jerk environmentalist destruction took place in Australia.  Someone took a video showing the horrible conditions Australian cattle experienced in an Indonesia abattoir.  That is a terrible thing.  Although I’m a carnivore, I vastly prefer meat that is humanely raised and humanely slaughtered.

Once the video went public in Australia, the subsequent outcry from the environmentalist/animals rights crowd resulted in immediate government action banning all meat sales to Indonesia.  Apparently no one thought to examine the whole baby – bathwater principle.

Yes, the cattle were spared the cruelty that was inflicted on them at some (not all, but some) Indonesian slaughterhouses.  However, there were two obvious consequences for anyone paying attention.  First, the Indonesians simply looked to a different marketplace, so that the ban had no impact whatsoever on the poor cattle in Indonesia.  Second, Australia suddenly had a surplus of cattle, and cattle ranchers without a marketplace or income.  In the short term, prices dropped.  The long term prognosis, though, was that ranchers were heading for bankruptcy, which meant no one to care for all those poor beasties.  Uncared for beasties die miserably from starvation or dehydration, or they’re shot to put them out of their misery.  Way to go, environmentalists!

Just today, faced with the threat of its own ranchers slaughtering thousands of cattle, Australia rescinded its ban on exporting the meat to Indonesia.  Instead, the government is doing what it should have done to begin with, which is to put some systems in place to protect the exported animals.

The Australian cattle story is not an isolated one.  Thanks to AlBore, corn crops that could have been used to feed animals (which feed people) or to feed people directly, have been diverted to ethanol.  Now even AlBore has conceded that ethanol, especially heavily subsidized ethanol, was a mistake.  Ethanol is also an environmental disaster, sucking up fossil fuels to produce lesser amounts of ethanol.  So the greenies had us spending bazillions of dollars on a quixotic environmental adventure that starves people and animals, uses up otherwise arable land, and consumes more fossil fuel than it produces.

And think about all those electric cars that are going to save the environment.  Except they’re not.  A recent study revealed the ugly truth, which is that it takes such enormous amounts of resources to produce electric cards that the average driver cannot put enough mileage on the car, before the car wears out, to offset that energy.  Another environmentalist dream out the window.

None of the above is to say that future electric cars or future alternative fuels won’t be useful and help the environment.  It is to say, though, that you can invariably trust environmentalists to go off half-cocked and scream so loudly that ill-informed politicians leap on unstable, unsustainable bandwagons without a second thought, all at great expense to consumers and the environment.

I also have a problem with environmentalist’s hostility to humans.  Sometimes they frame it in terms of protecting little lizards or owls, and sometimes they just come out and say that people should be downsized altogether.  Of course, that’s just for the hoi polloi.  The environmentalists obviously don’t ever consider doing away with themselves, and the famous ones are pretty sure that they still have breeding rights.

So I love the environment; it’s the environmentalists I hate.

UPDATE:  Going through my email, I discovered that, just coincidentally, Sadie had sent me a link to a story about a fishing ban destroying small fishermen’s livelihoods in the Northeast, without any evidence that it’s helping fish.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

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Walter Russell Mead dissects the failure of Al Gore

I had heard about a two-part article Mead wrote examining why Gore is a poor leader for the environmental movement, but I only now read it.  It is well worth your time.

Part I

Part II

My favorite quotation from Part I, which goes a long way to explaining the green failures:

Consider how Gore looks to the skeptics.  The peril is imminent, he says.  It is desperate.  The hands of the clock point to twelve.  The seas rise, the coral dies, the fires burn and the great droughts have already begun.  The hounds of Hell have slipped the huntsman’s leash and even now they rush upon us, mouths agape and fangs afoam.

But grave as that danger is, Al Gore can consume more carbon than whole villages in the developing world.  He can consume more electricity than most African schools, incur more carbon debt with one trip in a private plane than most of the earth’s toiling billions will pile up in a lifetime — and he doesn’t worry.  A father of four, he can lecture the world on the perils of overpopulation.  Surely, skeptics reason, if the peril were as great as he says and he cares about it as much as he claims, Gore’s sense of civic duty would call him to set an example of conspicuous non-consumption.  This general sleeps in a mansion, and lectures the soldiers because they want tents.

What this tells the skeptics is that Vice President Gore doesn’t really believe the gospel he proclaims.  That profits from his environmental advocacy enable his affluent lifestyle only deepens their skepticism of the messenger and therefore of the message.  And when they see that the rest of the environmental movement accepts this flagrant contradiction, they conclude, naturally enough, that the other green leaders aren’t as worried as they claim to be.  Al Gore’s lifestyle is a test case for the credibility of his gospel — and it fails. The tolerance of Al Gore’s lifestyle by the environmental leadership is a further test — and that test, too, the greens fail.

I’ve noted before that Mr. Bookworm’s greenism fails when we’re on vacation and someone else is paying the energy bills for his daily demand for two or three fresh bath towels.  I have no problem with being cheap.  I’m cheap, and therefore I conserve energy.  I’m also cheap on other people’s behalf — I think its dishonest to save my money on electricity, but to waste someone else’s.

The greens have wrapped themselves up in a mantle of moral superiority, and that’s a tough garment to wear all the time.  Their problem is that when they periodically cast that rigid mantle off for their own luxury or convenience, it’s pretty clear that they consider themselves so superior, they don’t even need the garb of moral superiority.

Nemesis and the elitism of the elites

Much has been written about playwright David Mamet’s coming-out as a conservative and his reasons for so doing, but there is still much gold to be mined from Mamet’s mind.

 

Today’s National Review Online revisits Mamet in this stellar piece by Matthew Shaffer that contains this one gem that perfectly encapsulates some of the alphabetized mindsets encountered and challenged on this blog:

“But liberalism, Mamet thinks, is dismantling culture. The problem is that “the Left today is essentially an elitist movement, and it has invested a lot of time and money in the idea that they know better.” Elites have been led to think “by getting the grades, and getting into good schools and think-tanks and government positions that they are fit” to reorder society more rationally. But this requires first demolishing the order produced by the organic processes of tradition, democracy, and markets — the culture. Why are some so susceptible to this fatal conceit? “They get out of elite schools being told nothing but, ‘You’re the best.’” Hubris — a dramatist’s area of expertise. (The liberalism of his own elite group, the literati, he blames on “devotion to fantasy — this sort of Manichean view.”)

 

You can read the entire article here: http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/270190/david-mamet-s-exodus-matthew-shaffer

 

Keep this in mind when considering the role that the Maryland school system has now openly assumed for itself as an indoctrination center for Liberal elitist belief systems, by requiring that all students must pass an “environmental literacy” test before being allowed to graduate.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/md-board-of-education-approves-environmental-literacy-graduation-requirement/2011/06/21/AGW53xeH_story.html

 

To reiterate what I’ve posted before, there is nothing scientific about “environmentalism” or “environmental sciences”, just as there is nothing scientific about “political science”. It is indoctrination, pure and simple, targeted toward the destruction of prevailing belief systems and culture.

 

I think that this will backfire. Eventually forced to confront reality in the age of the internet, students will eventually realize when they have been corrupted and degraded by Leftwing ideologues and I predict that their reaction will be harsh. In the end, it is this narcissistic hubris of the Leftwing elites that will destroy them. I have no doubt that the students that today provide such ready fodder for indoctrination today will eventually turn on their teachers with the retribution of nemesis. It will be a cultural revolution.

Bookmark the Hoax

The last thing I want to do is to revisit the tedious back and forth discussions on global climate change, as each side, pressed for time, simply throws their favorite source links on the table. Unfortunately, because most of us have real lives, we lack the time to undertake the research we would wish to pursue in support of positions that we have learned over time.

 

However, for future reference, I can very highly recommend this link (below), published by credentialed scientists, as a very readable (to laypersons) take-down of the AGW dilemma faced by many scientists who were too quick to jump on the AGW bandwagon and must now confront the consequences to their credibilities. It’s a long article, but can be cherry-picked to address specific issues that (I’m proud to say) many of the commentators on this blog very accurately addressed over the preceding years.  It is also full of new information (and links) of which I was not aware.

Here’s an example:

A recent U.S. Senate report quotes 400+ scientists who originally bought the global warming hoax, and are now confessing that they don’t believe in it any more.” [link is provided]

The article is particularly good at explaining very clearly how data was either misinterpreted or manipulated to support the AGW position. The famous Mann “hockey stick”, for example.

 

So, here’s my advice: bookmark this article and use it as a reference the next time you find yourself in a rhetorical exchange on AGW.

 

Here’s the link:

http://www.middlebury.net/op-ed/global-warming-01.html

 

If you really feel compelled to argue this issue into oblivion, then I recommend using this as a starting point: argue cogently why it is wrong, using facts …not links.

The inconveniences (big and small) of environmentalism

Conservatives have been aware for a while that the Texas oil industry is being threatened by a lizard.  It’s not being threatened this way:

Godzilla Movie Poster

Instead, it’s being threatened this way:

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Logo

It turns out that the sand dune lizard, an innocuous little buff-colored guy, is (a) allegedly endangered and (b) living squat in the middle of 800,000 acres of Texas oil country.  If the lizard and its environmentalist supporters win their case before the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, all of those 800,000 acres will fall under the control of a federal agency.  Under the regulations as written, the lizard’s survival will trump oil production, farming, road construction — you name it, the little lizard will trump it.

Depending on how far the agency wishes to take it, this ruling could decimate a vast region in Texas, and, possibly, bring the United States to its knees too.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is currently saying that the oil industry is overstating the risks, but if there’s one thing we know about the bureaucratic mind, it’s that it will always go too far, especially when it’s doing so in the service of a Progressive agenda, with the agenda here being that Big Oil is eeeevviiilll.

I thought of the lizard when I got my hands on a letter that the City of Larkspur sent out to its residents.  The City was lucky enough to be the beneficiary of federal funding to rehabilitate Doherty Drive, which is a heavily traveled road that links two communities and serves both a middle school and a fairly large high school.

Doherty Drive, Larkspur, CA

The road renovation was to have taken place during the summer, when the schools are out of session, and traffic is therefore limited.  It turns out, however, that California Clapper Rails (flightless coastal birds) live in the waters along the construction route, and have their nesting season during the summer.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has therefore mandated that construction must be delayed.  As of now, construction is schedule for the first two months of the school year.  During that time, the road will be closed entirely:

Larkspur to close Doherty Drive for construction

The road closure means that traffic must be rerouted.  Had this happened during a quiet season, it would merely have meant somewhat heavier traffic on alternative roads.  Since it’s happening during peak season, it means substantial traffic jams all over Corte Madera, Larkspur and Greenbrae, which are the communities that will be used as alternative pathways to access the two schools and to travel from one town to another.  Traffic jams, as we know, are a major cause of CO2 emissions.

I should add here, in big, red letters, that I don’t think that two months of inconvenience and increased CO2 emissions are an unreasonable price to pay to protect a small bird during its short nesting season. I’m posting this here only as a reminder that environmentalism comes at a cost — and sometimes that cost is to the environment itself.  It also wouldn’t surprise me to discover that a lot of Marin-ites, after sweating it out in terrible traffic jams for a couple of months, blowing clouds of CO2 in the air, are a little less favorably inclined towards the small, flightless, hapless California Clapper Rail.

And in a related story, the EPA leaves unusable a vast Alaska mineral reserve.  (We currently relying on places such as China and Africa, which don’t have the resources to or the interest in mining those minerals in a way that has the smallest possible impact on the environment.)

The Bookworm Turns : A Secret Conservative in Liberal Land, available in e-format for $4.99 at Amazon, Smashwords or through your iBook app.

The moral imperative of American energy

Cheap fuel is an important key to peace, human welfare and prosperity. We have the key.

The world can’t do without fuel and the scramble for world fuel resources lies at the root of most of our current geopolitical problems. The high price of fuel affects the environment (e.g., 3rd world deforestation) and the price and availability of food for those that can least afford it.

The scramble for fuel lies behind Arabia’s, Iran’s, Russia’s and China’s geopolitical manipulations – in Arabia and Russia’s cases, to keep the availability low and the price high, in China’s case to exploit reliable fuel sources in many of the most political and economically vulnerable parts of the world, notably in Africa. We in the U.S., meanwhile, are forced to maintain hugely expensive military commitments to keep world fuel supply lines open in the interest of protecting a world economy upon which we depend. Demand for high-priced oil keeps Europe in dhimmitude to an increasing subversive Islamicist influence while, in the Middle East, oil revenues fuel subversive jihadi movements worldwide, further tying down our military resources and our economic infrastructures.

Fuel’s impact on food production and prices is one of the factors stoking popular revolts from Mexico to Egypt. Fuel protects human lives by keeping people warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It’s no accident that some of the most strident, anti-oil environmentalism derives from a narrow cafe latte strip of our Pacific coast that enjoys temperate climate year-round and no worries about food prices and availability. Climate “I-got-mine”ers, I guess we could call them.

Cheap oil, coal and gas, in short, would resolve many of our world’s problems. However, there are ideological obstacles that must be overcome, the biggest one being America’s environmental movement, which increasingly takes on the trappings of a fundamentalist religion. Ask most Americans today and I propose that the large majority believes profoundly that a) we are running out of fossil fuels; b) there are practical alternatives to fossil fuel energy and c) fossil fuels contribute to global warming, ergo, fossil fuels are bad. Besides, people say, oil derricks despoil the view…even in areas where nobody ventures.

Let’s just focus on (a) for now: it’s a false premise!

A November, 2010 report by the Congressional Research Service highlights just how rich in fossil fuels the United States is – richer, in fact, than any other country in the world…even without considering the huge potentials of shale oil and methane resources. You can find an excellent summary of the report, with a link to the original CRS report, here:

http://www.energytribune.com/articles.cfm/6933/US-Has-Earths-Largest-Energy-Resources

The U.S. has more than enough safe and reliable energy resources to meet our needs and those of other nations until practical alternatives inevitably come on-line. We’ve had a petroleum based culture for a little over 100 years. We have enough for another 100 years. Making those resources (and other under-developed global resources) available to the U.S. and the global marketplace will drop the price of energy worldwide. That’s just simple economics: increasing supplies reduces prices. It would also boost domestic jobs development, improve our trade deficits, and reduce the costs of domestic manufacturing. Added fossil fuel supplies will help defund our enemies and relieve pressures on our allies.

The obstacles to its development are ideological and enviro-religious, not economic or environmental. As long as these resources remained unavailable, the U.S. and much of the rest of the world will continue to pay huge costs…not just in terms of imported energy and high prices, but also in terms of lost jobs and a dangerously unstable world.

The world desperately needs cheap energy. That’s a hard fact. For the world’s richest resource of fossil fuel energy to withhold its resources from the world in the interest of the self-satisfied, comfortable bourgeoisie of the environmental left is not just irresponsible, it’s immoral. You can’t be against “Big Oil” and “Big Coal” and in favor of “World Peace”.

Oh, and one more thing: while this author benefits greatly from fossil fuels, he does not work or benefit directly from the fossil fuels industry, although his retirement savings and pension fund assets in all likelihood depend upon the success of an incentivized and profitable energy sector to fund his retirement, social security, medical care and all other government and private industry benefits. In that, he’s probably just like you.

Two posts to read and enjoy

The server was down this morning.  It’s back, but I’m heading out in a few minutes, so I don’t have the luxury of blogging.  Meanwhile, though, I have a couple of posts to recommend.

The first came courtesy of Danny Lemieux, who is traveling today and doesn’t have the luxury of posting himself.  It’s about the intellectual collapse of the green movement, as announced by George Monbiot, one of the lead greenies.  Monbiot is having major epiphanies left and right.  It was he who announced that the anti-nuclear activists have been lying for decades.  Next thing you know, he’ll be acknowledging that Israel is the only free and decent country in the Middle East.  As we all know, once the dominoes start to fall, they fall fast.

The second is an article by my friend Patrick O’Hannigan, saying that there is nothing wrong (although it might be a little “indelicate”) with the human impulse to celebrate an evil and dangerous person’s death.

I know I’m sending you to other sites to read articles, but come back here and leave your thoughts.  I’m interested.

Yes, a 3 inch lizard can collapse the Texas oil industry.

There’s a new bad guy in town in West Texas.  He’s called the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard.  He’s actually kind of cute, as lizards go.  He’s about three inches long, a nice tan color, and has a vaguely Winston Churchill-esque expression.  He seems harmless enough, but he comes packing a huge, powerful weapon:  the federal government.

It turns out that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is contemplating putting this little lizard on the endangered species list, not because he’s being hunted, but because his habitat might be threatened.  And what is his habitat:  Oil country.  Not just oil, but cattle and other agriculture too.  If the government goes forward with this plan, everything in little lizard’s neighborhood comes to a grinding halt:

“We are very concerned about the Fish and Wildlife Service listing,” said Ben Shepperd, president of the PBPA, noting the service also has proposed listing the Lesser Prairie Chicken next year. “The wolf at the door is the lizard; we’re concerned listing it would shut down drilling activity for a minimum of two years and as many as five years while the service determines what habitat is needed for the lizard. That means no drilling, no seismic surveys, no roads built, no electric lines.”

The move would impact activity in Andrews, Crane, Gaines, Ward and Winkler counties in Texas and Chaves, Eddy, Lea and Roosevelt counties in New Mexico.

Not only would the move impact oil and gas operations but agriculture, Shepperd noted, shutting down agricultural activities like grazing and farming — “anything that disturbs the habitat.” While the industry is perfectly willing to undertake conservation measures to protect the lizard’s habitat, he said, naming it an endangered species “would shut down activity and be devastating not only to Permian Basin economies but to the national economy. We are the one bright spot month after month; in our economic turnaround, the main driver is the oil and gas industry.”

As seems to be the case with these government fiats, the government is going off half-cocked:

The concern is, he said, that the Fish and Wildlife Service lacks enough data to conclude that the tiny lizard is endangered and is basing its action on flawed methodology. “They didn’t spend enough time looking for them or the right technique to find them,” he said.

In New Mexico, where the lizard can be found on both private and public lands, Shepperd said a number of companies have entered into voluntary agreements to help conserve the lizard’s habitat, mitigate threats to the lizard and remediate any damage while continuing to operate. He said he wants the same to happen in Texas. The association favors such joint agreements between the federal government and landowners to protect the lizard’s habitat while allowing drilling operations to continue responsibly.

When I ran this story by Don Quixote, he found it interesting, but suggested that it couldn’t happen, because the level of public outrage about shutting down drilling would make the decision suicidal.  I disagree.  Exhibit A is the spotted owl, up in northwestern logging country.  The logging community made a huge uproar, but the spotted owl won.  By 2000, thousands of acres of land that formerly provided wood to Americans and jobs to Oregonians were put out of play.  Much of the land was private property, so there was some serious government taking involved too.  The Clinton government survived.  Oregon continued to vote Democrat.

Exhibit B is the delta smelt, the protection of which has decimated large parts of California’s Central Valley.  The Central Valley used to be America’s bread basket.  If you drove down I-5 from the North Bay to L.A., once you got past the Altamont Pass and before you reached the grapevine, it was farm land and grazing land all the way.  Now, large parts of it look exactly like the Oklahoma dust bowl, circa 1930.  Both the Bush and the Obama government have survived this assault on America’s food supply.  California Democrats, comfortably sequestered in ultra urban Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, didn’t blink as the state’s agriculture infrastructure started to be destroyed.  Food prices have gone up, but they’ve stayed within tolerable levels.

Obama has already positioned himself with a narrative for rising oil prices, and it’s not the fact that he’s shut down Gulf oil drilling, or that he’s refusing to allow new drilling or even investigation into potential future drilling.  Instead, the prices are being driven by evil “speculators.”  Well, he’s right about the speculators.  If I had any market sechel (Yiddish for “smarts”), I’d be one too.  It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that, with the Middle East roiling with violent upheavals, and with the federal government trying to make drilling illegal, oil prices are going to go up and up and up.  The speculators are simply able to take advantage of the fact that, if demand remains roughly the same, but supplies diminish, prices go up.  Even a socialist president cannot change that reality.

As for the outrage –Americans are all out of outraged.  The Obama administration has attacked America’s economy and security and functionality at every single level.  As my teen says, “Whoa!  Too Much Information.”  Why contemplate the most recent administrative agency attack on America’s way of life, when you can watch American Idol or Oprah or whatever happens to be on ESPN?  As long as the economic and social fabric in your area looks as if it’s holding together, ignore the frays around the edges and the random holes in the middle.

I like animals.  I do not believe that humans can abuse and destroy them at will.  As I often say, we are stewards of this earth and of all its bounty.  But if we wish to survive, Mother Nature (or God, take your pick) mandates that, in any given environment, animals compete for resources.  Sometimes, one animal overdoes the competition, destroying other animals in the region.  Sometimes this is a disaster, as was the case with the protein deficit that led to Mayan cannibalism.  Sometimes, it doesn’t matter at all.  I’m sorry to say that, but it’s true.  The world ecosystem has survived without the wooly mammoth or the dodo.  The answer is balance.

The problem, always, is that government is a sledge hammer, when a ball peen would do.  It’s draconian power makes any situation unbalanced.  The oil men in New Mexico have worked with the Fish and Wildlife Department, and the oil men in Texas will too.  There is the potential for balance there, but that balance is not met by shutting down a whole region.

One can only hope that the Fish & Wildlife Service is playing a game of chicken in West Texas, hoping to bully the oil men into more accommodations than they’re currently willing to make.  But it was no game of chicken in Oregon nor in Central California, so I’ll be convinced that this is a negotiating tactic only when both sides reach an agreement.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News

The Bookworm Turns : A Secret Conservative in Liberal Land,
available in e-format for $4.99 at Amazon or Smashwords.