Tag Archive: environment


People’s Climate Demarche
The anticarbon campaign stalls even at the United Nations.
Tens of thousands of environmental protestors paraded through New York City on Sunday, in a “people’s climate march” designed to lobby world leaders arriving for the latest United Nations climate summit. The march did succeed in messing up traffic, but President Obama won’t achieve much more when he speaks Tuesday at this latest pit stop on the global warming grand prix.

Six years after the failure of the Copenhagen summit whose extravagant ambition was to secure a binding global treaty on carbon emissions, Mr. Obama is trying again. The Turtle Bay gathering of world leaders isn’t formally a part of the international U.N. climate negotiations that are supposed to climax late next year in Paris, but the venue is meant to be an ice-breaker for more than 125 presidents, prime ministers and heads of state to start to reach consensus.

One not-so-minor problem: The world’s largest emitters are declining to show up, even for appearances. The Chinese economy has been the No. 1 global producer of carbon dioxide since 2008, but President Xi Jinping won’t be gracing the U.N. with his presence. India’s new Prime Minister Narendra Modi (No. 3) will be in New York but is skipping the climate parley. Russian President Vladimir Putin (No. 4) has other priorities, while Japan (No. 5) is uncooperative after the Fukushima disaster that has damaged support for nuclear power. Saudi Arabia is dispatching its petroleum minister.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon excused these truancies at a press conference last week: “In any event, we have other means of communications, ways and means of having their leadership demonstrated in the United Nations.” In that case, why not do a conference call?

To understand the coldness of this brush off, global CO2 emissions increased to 35.1 billion metric tons in 2013, a new record and a 29% increase over a decade ago. Of the year-over-year carbon climb, China at 358 million metric tons jumped by more than the rest of the world combined and is responsible for 24.8% of emissions over the last five years. Over the same period, developing nations accounted for 57.5%.

What this means is that regardless of what the West does, poorer countries that are reluctant to sign agreements that impede economic progress hold the dominant carbon hand. No matter U.S. exertions to save the planet from atmospheric carbon that may or may not have consequences that may or may not be costly in a century or more, the international result will be more or less the same, though U.S. economic growth will be slower.

Mr. Modi is unlikely to indulge the rich world’s anticarbon politics when a quarter of the Indian population still lacks electricity. Mr. Obama might also pause to reflect that 30.6% of the 114.8 million American households qualify for low-income energy subsidies. Thus by the Administration’s own reckoning they can’t afford current energy costs, much less the higher costs of a zero-carbon future.

In his first speech as White House budget director, Shaun Donovan nonetheless told the Center for American Progress on Friday that “the scale of our ambition at home is going to be the single most important driver” for climate action by China and other nations. In fact, the costly anticarbon regulations that the Environmental Protection Agency is developing will by the EPA’s estimate address a mere 0.18% of world-wide carbon emissions. Some effort in persuasion.

Opinion Video
Editorial Page Editor Paul Gigot on why this week’s United Nations summit on climate change won’t help the environment. Photo credit: Associated Press.
This reality has now led more than a few climateers to claim that decarbonizing the economy will be magically cost-free. Mr. Donovan lectured that “climate denial will costs us billions of dollars,” as a hotter planet reduces GDP and drives up deficits, while natural disasters like coastal superstorms impose new relief costs on the federal fisc.

So the problem is so dire that we must impose huge new costs on carbon and energy production, but don’t worry—you won’t feel a thing. The government will create all new energy industries and wealth in a seamless transition. Caveat emptor: Supposedly professional economists who promise that scarce resources can be made scarcer at zero cost have stopped practicing economics. They have become politicians, if not as honest.

Rather than debasing economics, perhaps the climate lobby should return to the climate science and explain the hiatus in warming that has now lasted for 16, 19 or 26 years depending on the data set and which the climate models failed to predict even as global carbon dioxide emissions have climbed by 25%. Their alibi is that the new warming is now hidden in the oceans, an assertion they lack the evidence to prove.

The campaign to redo the global energy economy has produced plenty of spectacle (the activists in Manhattan), contempt for democratic norms (the EPA), and the promise of a less prosperous future (Germany’s renewable fuels fiasco). But perhaps Mr. Modi has a better sense of priorities because while in New York he plans to attend a Central Park event on the theme of reducing global poverty as well as the 9/11 memorial that is a reminder of the renewed threat of terrorism.

The People’s Department…NOT

Part III in a series penned by a 29-year executive level veteran of the USDA that exposes the flawed underbelly of an Agency that is corrupted to the core by reverse racism and political correctness of the worst kind.

The first two articles exposed the racism, environmental excesses and unfairness to the farmers within the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that is purported to serve under Obama (see the responsibility avoidance exposed below). Those essays also exposed the cronyism within the management ranks, the racial quotas disguised as affirmative action and the self-serving liberal leadership at the “People’s Department”, as USDA calls itself.

Now let’s discuss “Double the Pleasure”, aka “redundancy”. Only three percent of Americans receive most of their income from farming. So WHY does the government have a monstrous USDA with 105,000 employees? When you figure there are 1.2 million farmers and farm workers you get a ratio of 1 employee for every 11.4 farmers. The USDA has more than 20 sub agencies some of which house more than 11,000 employees. How is this possible?

For starters, we have the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the Farm Service Agency (FSA) and the Rural Development Agency (RD). All are under the USDA umbrella and are housed in every state and territory of the United States. These agencies have offices that serve every single county of the United States. Great service delivery one might suppose. However, this is not the case at all.

In any given county across the US and its Territories there is an office with these three agencies. That means New York City, Detroit, Chicago have USDA offices. Imagine that for a moment. To support this wasteful structure there are three Level 15 ($140K/Year) Directors; three Level 13 ($125K) administrative officers; three Level 12 ($80K) human resources officers and an assortment of support staff for each agency.

Wait…it gets worse!

That bloated staff tends to trip over themselves while serving the same clientele. Taxpayer money is misspent by paying for salaries, benefits and real estate. Then we add three Level 12 District Directors plus an assortment of GS 9, 8, and 7 employees serving a few farmers in every County. They also give money to other organizations such as the Soil and Water Conservation Districts to augment and hide the actual size of the workforce.

It should be obvious that a single agency would be more efficient and less expensive. The Farm Service Agency (FSA) is more than capable of supporting the needs the public and a consolidated agency would eliminate administrative redundancy and serve clients better.

Remember, NRCS serves environmental special interest groups like “Defenders of Wildlife” by diverting Congressional appropriations meant for all American farmers into “special” environmental areas. That leaves other farmers waiting a long time for technical and financial assistance. Every time there’s talk of merging NRCS and FSA, the Soil and Water Conservation District (a national organization of local volunteers funded by Federal and State agencies such as NRCS) send $1,000 “suits” (lobbyists) to Washington to stop any downsizing. The goal is to keep the standalone agencies with three monstrous administrative support systems. But this is an incestuous relationship because the lobbyists are indirectly paid by a USDA cooperative agreement (non-competitive) with various state organizations. Those state chapters are charged membership fees and the funds come from both State and Federal Funds. Find all this ridiculous?

And don’t be deceived by the Federal “Gobots”. There are Senior Executive Service government employees who are paid $200K to figure out how to keep the agency’s doors open. Innocent? Not so much when you ask how many government employees are really needed for the job. But these well-groomed “Gobots” speak and write in perfect grammar and impress Congressional Agriculture Committees whose “distinguished” members who know little to nothing about agriculture. I helped write the 2008 Farm Bill for Congressional Conference Committees. What an exercise in futility!

Would that be all? No! All of these agencies are full of employees who sue and ask for court settlements for frivolous equal opportunity and civil rights complaints. There are many USDA employees who are given consolation prizes for mismanagement or for violating laws by allowing them to work from home. Example: a State Director who was accused of misconduct is now working from home with pay as a GS 15 ($140K salary) instead of getting suspended or fired. In the meantime, honest taxpayers are working hard as employees or business owners while these incompetent USDA people retire with steady paychecks and public sector benefits.

Injustice for all!

“Wait! It’s not my fault! I didn’t know this was going on.” Sound familiar? Yes, President Obama’s response to his responsibility for Veterans Administration, Internal Revenue Service, and USDA scandals. In the meantime, your employer holds you responsible for the results of your area of work. But the President is avoiding responsibility and allows his Cabinet to do the same.

Will this continue under Clinton – Bush – Obama…Clinton?

The fourth article (Epilogue) will be very personal. Fear of eternal litigation, however, requires that I solemnly state that all the accused are innocent until proven guilty. Republicans and Democrats should be held equally responsible for cleaning up this fiscal mess.

——————————————

H. Michael Hervey
Chairman
Conservative Party USA
hmhervey@cp-usa.org
Twitter: @cpartyusa_01

Video Sting Operation: Hollywood Elites Hate Fracking, but Would Take Money from ‘Big Oil’ and Hide It
Posted By Scott Blakeman On May 22, 2014 @ 3:07 pm In Energy,Front Page

Which do Hollywood liberals hate more: hydraulic fracturing – “fracking” – or oil from the Middle East?

According to the latest undercover sting by filmmaker James O’Keefe, it’s the former. He found that the Left and some of its Hollywood activists, in their haste to halt fracking in its tracks, are willing to acquire cash from “Big Oil” (which they allegedly hate).

Josh and Rebecca Tickell are looking to make an anti-fracking film entitled “Fracked.” The Hollywood Reporter [1] (THR) reports that this film “will argue a technique for extracting natural gas called fracking is bad for the environment.” This is unfortunate because fracking is safe, effective, and needed [2].

THR is reporting [1] that the sting occurred when actors Ed Begley Jr. and Mariel Hemingway joined the Tickells for a meeting and were “duped by a man named ‘Muhammad,’ who [was] looking to make an anti-fracking movie while hiding that its funding is coming from Middle Eastern oil interests.”

The filmmakers were all too eager to hide the source of prospective funding for their movie.

Here are some rather telling quotes uttered during the undercover operation from Josh Tickell and his wife:

We’re confident that we can keep this zip-locked. You know, tight. Tight. Air-tight forever…If we don’t protect who is kind of funding this thing … if we have to disclose that or that becomes a necessary part of it, the whole enterprise will not work.

And Rebecca added this bit:

Because if people think the film is funded by Middle Eastern oil it will, it will not have that credibility.

The Tickells may be hypocrites, but at least they’re astute hypocrites. To top it off, Josh had this to say:

We work for whoever shows up. Okay…if the oil company showed up and said will you make an anti-fracking movie, we would say yes…Money to us…it’s money…We have no moral issue.

O’Keefe’s video is being released at the Cannes Film Festival this week and is sure to cause a stir, and rightly so. It’s blatantly hypocritical, dishonest, and self-serving for the Left to harp on oil interests and then seek their money when it promotes an aspect of their anti-fracking agenda. It’s interesting what liberals will say when they think no one is listening.

Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org

URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2014/05/22/video-sting-operation-hollywood-elites-hate-fracking-take-money-big-oil-hide/

URLs in this post:

[1] The Hollywood Reporter: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/cannes-video-hollywood-environmentalists-anti-706051
[2] safe, effective, and needed: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/08/hydraulic-fracturing-critical-for-energy-production-jobs-and-economic-growth
Click here to print.

Copyright © 2011 The Heritage Foundation. All rights reserved.

Beyond Clive Bundy: The Real Range War and Why We’re Losing
Posted by MOTUS on April 13, 2014 at 12:19pm
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range-war
Hopefully your Saturday night and Palm Sunday morning activities have given you enough perspective to join me for a brief recap of the attempted federal land grab at the Bundy Ranch and the showdown at the NV Corral. You’ve undoubtedly heard the story by now of how the Bureau of Land Management attempted to evict Clive Bundy and his cows from the family’s centennial ranch (two second argument: tortoise trumps cows; because we said so). And now they’ve backed down, with an agreement that results in the slaughter of Bundy’s cows, for which he will receive half the proceeds. That’s, at least theoretically, a win for the good guys.
Now, here’s the rest of the story: (h/t Infowars and Dana Loesch)
The Bureau of Land Management, whose director was Sen. Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) former senior adviser, has purged documents from its web site stating that the agency wants Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s cattle off of the land his family has worked for over 140 years in order to make way for solar panel power stations, or turtles. Or something. (more additional info here) “Back in 2012, the New American reported that Harry Reid’s son, Rory Reid, was the chief representative for a Chinese energy firm planning to build a $5-billion solar plant on public land in Laughlin, Nevada.”
Some people claim that what Harry really wants are the water rights, to divert to all his friends in Vegas, baby!
The stated reason for the land grab by the BLM was to protect a the desert tortoise – that is now so populous that the government i…
Although widely reported that Clive Bundy has not paid fees for use of his land, that isn’t quite accurate. He just hasn’t paid what the BLM thinks he should.
Last week hundreds of supporters (deemed the “militia” by the MSM, “armed anarchists” by others) showed up on the disputed land. Fevers were running high and anything might have happened. That is, prior to news of Harry Reid’s possible connections began to leak. Then, suddenly the Sherriff was able to work out a resolution with Clive, allowing the BLM armored division to back off.
web1_tresspasscattle_040514JL_01_14BLM snipers on BLM helicopter
I’m guessing the hostage negotiations were amicably settled for one of several reasons:
Barry didn’t want to be the second black President with blood on his hands.
Ricky didn’t want to be the first black Attorney General with blood on his hands.
Harry told them to back down, as the subsequent investigation would result in a midterm bloodbath.
The last time a story got a little too close to examining just why people call him “Dirty” Harry, the Feds also withdrew the complaint. Makes you wonder how many pictures, of whom, he has in private dossier.
harry reid wtf“Go ahead punk, make my day.”
So I think you’re pretty much up to speed now. When the story started to zero in on Democrat-nerve central, it had to be killed. Same as the cattle that the Feds have already rounded up from the Bundy ranch. Don’t worry though, they’re going to split the proceeds of the slaughter with the Bundy family, which is mighty generous of them, given all the trouble they’ve gone through – the Feds, I mean.
192131_5_
Anyway, this is certainly an interesting little story, butt there’s a much bigger, more interesting story that has been pretty much ignored in MSM.
A two-decades-old battle between a Nevada rancher and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has resulted in officials armed with machine guns surrounding the ranch and forcibly removing the owner’s cattle, according to the rancher’s family.
It’s one of those what-in-the-world is going on here storie: how is it that the Bureau of Land Management came to have armored vehicles and agents armed with military style arms in order to deal with trespassers on their national turtle refuge? If they want to evict someone occupying their land they should have to call the Sherriff – whose job is to enforce the law – just like everybody else. If the Sherriff needs backup, they call in the FBI – whose job is also to uphold the law. As far as I know, the Bureau of Land Management’s job is to, well, “manage the land” not scorch it.
Screenshot Studio capture #1885
I don’t see anything in BLM’s mission statement about protecting the Constitution (obviously), upholding the law, or forcing evictions. And yet, here they are, with armed agents, armored vehicles and “low-flying” helicopters to round up a rancher’s cattle. What’s wrong with this picture?
first_amendment_areaIt’s a constitutional right, not an “area”
Now every administrative agency (emphasis on “administrative”) in the U.S. government gets to have it’s own SWAT team. Seriously, “Homeland Security aims to buy 1.6b rounds of ammo” would have been a really big story at any other time in the history of the Republic, now it’s barely noted in the MSM.
It’s no wonder we’re going broke. Armies are very expensive. Maybe we should just merge them all into one civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded as the military.
cropped civilian military force-WM copy
So the moral of the story is this: Don’t count your liberties before they’re secured. Because in a range war between the tortoise and the Harry, freedom is only one generation away from extinction.
Posted from: Michelle Obama’s Mirror

Progressive Insanity and the Global Warming Cult

February 21, 2014 by 140216191222-kerry-jakarta-story-topProgressives will do virtually anything to advance their agenda. In the arena of global warming, they have resorted to hysteria and angry denunciation of those who dare to question their infallible “wisdom.” And as it is with every aspect of their agenda, such wisdom must be imposed at the expense of liberty.

Leading the charge is Secretary of State John Kerry, who epitomized the above approach in a speech to Indonesian students, civic leaders and government officials in Jakarta, Indonesia. First he laced into one the left’s favorite punching bags, namely the coal and oil industries he accused of “hijacking” the conversation. ”We should not allow a tiny minority of shoddy scientists and science and extreme ideologues to compete with scientific facts,” he declared. ”Nor should we allow any room for those who think that the costs associated with doing the right thing outweigh the benefits. The science is unequivocal, and those who refuse to believe it are simply burying their heads in the sand. We don’t have time for a meeting anywhere of the Flat Earth Society.”

Possibly suspecting that his presentation might be insufficient to galvanize the unwashed masses, Kerry added a dash of fear to the mix. ”This city, this country, this region, is really on the front lines of climate change,” Kerry warned. “It’s not an exaggeration to say that your entire way of life here is at risk. In a sense, climate change can now be considered the world’s largest weapon of mass destruction, perhaps even, the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction,” he added.

Kerry is taking his cues from President Obama, who went to California, where he promptly explained that state’s worst drought in a century is linked to global climate change and greenhouse gases. “We have to be clear. A changing climate means that weather-related disasters like droughts, wildfires, storms [and] floods are potentially going to be costlier and they’re going to be harsher,” he explained.

That was apparently too much even for the New York Times, who contended that the president and his aides “were pushing at the boundaries of scientific knowledge about the relationship between climate change and drought.” Even worse, the so-called paper of record was forced to admit that the much-vaunted computer models the “consensus” scientists having been using to promote their global warming agenda “suggest that as the world warms, California should get wetter, not drier, in the winter, when the state gets the bulk of its precipitation. That has prompted some of the leading experts to suggest that climate change most likely had little role in causing the drought.” That included an assessment by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which noted that the drought “resulted mostly from natural variations in weather.”

White House science adviser John P. Holdren, who co-authored a book describing government forced abortions and putting sterilants in the drinking water as legitimate population control measures, rode to the president’s rescue. While agreeing that no single episode of extreme weather can be linked to climate change, “the global climate has now been so extensively impacted by the human-caused buildup of greenhouse gases that weather practically everywhere is being influenced by climate change.”

The Los Angeles Times brought another angle to the mix, one that plumbs the depths of climate change hysteria. It cites a study by Matthew Ranson of Abt Associates, a Massachusetts research and consulting firm, that contends climate change “can be expected to cause an additional 22,000 murders, 180,000 cases of rape, 1.2 million aggravated assaults, 2.3 million simple assaults, 260,000 robberies, 1.3 million burglaries, 2.2 million cases of larceny and 580,000 cases of vehicle theft,” between 2010 and 2099.

In a Wall Street Journal article, authors Richard McNider and John Christy underscored the irony of Kerry comparing global warming skeptics to flat-earthers of ancient times. It was the flat-earthers who maintained something similar to the 97 percent “consensus” Kerry used to justify his rant. It was a tiny minority of scientists who posited that the earth was round. With regard to the actual science leftists accuse skeptics of ignoring, the McNider and Christy acknowledge that “carbon-dioxide levels in the atmosphere have increased due to the burning of fossil fuels, and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is a greenhouse gas, trapping heat before it can escape into space.” Yet what remains unknown is the level of warming that will occur.

They then address the aforementioned computer models, rightly noting that those created to explain the phenomenon were built “almost entirely” by scientists heavily invested in the idea of “catastrophic” global warming. Unsurprisingly, those investments have tainted the science behind them, which explains why many of the dire predictions they engendered have turned out to be “spectacularly wrong.”

That wrongness is invariably followed by a litany of excuses. One was the idea that an increased use of aerosols by human beings that ostensibly “skewed” the results. Moreover, the “consensus” scientists continue to ignore data that does not accrue to their political convictions.

Far more devastating, climate change promoters virtually ignore the disastrous economic effects their policies would engender. As Bjorn Lomborg, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, a nonprofit group focused on cost-effective solutions to global problems explains, 81 percent of the world’s energy needs are provided by fossil fuels, with billions of people depending on them for survival. “For many parts of the world, fossil fuels are still vital and will be for the next few decades, because they are the only means to lift people out of the smoke and darkness of energy poverty,” he writes.

That necessity explains much of the developing world’s resistance to the Obama administration’s initiatives. At this moment in time, they prefer raising their citizens out of poverty than kowtowing to an agenda they see as a First World problem created by wealthier countries that use the most energy. Despite this reality, the president quietly announced a major policy shift last June, whereby the U.S. would place severe restrictions on federal financing of coal plants in foreign countries. ”This new policy sends a message that coal is not an acceptable fuel source for the 21st century,” said Justin Guay, international climate and energy representative of the Sierra Club at the time.

That such a message condemns billions of people around the world to a life of subsistence survival — when they survive at all — is of little consequence. Apparently for progressives, “saving the planet” has little to do with saving the people who inhabit it.

While such an agenda has fewer life and death consequences in the United States, the administration is determined to pursue the same economy-ravaging policies here. And once again a president who has made a mockery of the rule of law and the constitutionally-mandated separation of power is determined to advance those policies “with our without” Congress.

Whether he can actually do so remains to be seen. On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a case on greenhouse gas emissions that could determine if Obama has so broadly interpreted the parameters of the Clean Air Act that he has rendered Congress irrelevant. Briefs filed by business groups and Republicans paint the president’s effort as another overreach by the Executive branch. A brief filed by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) contends the president is attempting “an intolerable invasion of Congress’s domain that threatens to obliterate the line dividing executive from legislative power,” and that regulation imposed under the auspices of the EPA were “perhaps the most audacious seizure of pure legislative power over domestic economic matters attempted by the executive branch” since President Truman’s attempt to nationalize America’s steel mills during the Korean War.

Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. countered with the administration’s argument. “The E.P.A. determined that greenhouse gas emissions endanger public health and welfare in ways that may prove to be more widespread, longer lasting and graver than the effects of any other pollutant regulated under the act,” he wrote in his brief.

The case is a challenge to a 5-4 decision made in 2007, when the Supreme Court required the EPA to regulate the emission of greenhouse gasses from motor vehicles if they endangered the public’s health and welfare. The administration wants to extend that decision to cover stationary power plants, as well as all sources that can annually emit 100 or 250 tons of relevant pollutants. That would give them the potential to regulate millions of pollution sources absent congressional authority to do so. Obama used the same rationale when he ordered the development of new standards for the nation’s heavy-duty trucks earlier this week.

Amanda C. Leiter, a law professor at American University believes a loss by the administration would not have a great impact, since they have other regulatory tools at their disposal. But the political damage could be significant because “it would be painted as another situation in which the Obama administration has overreached against the public will.”

Regardless of the decision, the administration will undoubtedly continue to overreach, aided an abetted by what authors David Horowitz and Jacob Laskin term the “New Leviathan.” They are progressive moneyed interests whose contributions dwarf those of their conservative counterparts, and who are determined to impose their agenda on the nation, regardless of the consequences. In the environmental arena, they are being led by billionaire Democrat Tom Steyer, whose political organization, NextGen Climate Action, aims to raise $100 million to support politicians who champion the man-made climate change agenda. Like so many leftist elitists, he is against the Keystone pipeline that would go a long way towards creating jobs and putting the nation further down the road towards energy independence. He considers climate change the ”generational challenge of the world.”

The real generational challenge, in America at least, is figuring out how to prevent progressives in general, and the Obama administration in particular, from fundamentally transforming the United States into a nation where liberty, freedom and free-market capitalism are regulated out of existence. Make no mistake: those who would employ questionable science to impose what amounts to a death penalty on millions of Third-World residents struggling for their very existence don’t think twice about imposing untold economic hardship on their fellow Americans, 76 percent of whom live “paycheck to paycheck,” for the same reason.

And its not about the environment. As a study by the Science and Public Policy Institute reveals, if Americans completely stopped emitting all carbon immediately — stopped driving, stopped cooling and heating our homes, shut down all the power plants, and even stopped talking – the global temperature would decrease by only 0.17 degrees Celsius by 2100.

As Bjorn Lomborg explains, the United States is already “showing the way” towards a future with cleaner fuel sources. That the Obama administration would sacrifice the well-being of millions of Americans and billions of impoverished people to force-feed that future is precisely what they did to the nation when they force-fed it ObamaCare based on the same litany of hysteria, lies and smears they are using here. One can only wonder when Americans will tire of the progressive lust for power wrapping itself as noble intentions.

Ben Shapiro

» The Left Preaches the Great Apocalypse of Global Warming » Commentary — GOPUSA

This week, Secretary of State John Kerry announced to a group of Indonesian students that global warming was “perhaps the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction.” He added, “Because of climate change, it’s no secret that today Indonesia is … one of the most vulnerable countries on Earth. It’s not an exaggeration to say that the entire way of life that you live and love is at risk.”

Meanwhile, Hollywood prepared to drop a new blockbuster based on the biblical story of Noah. The film, directed by Darren Aronofsky, centers on the story of the biblical character who built an ark after God warned him that humanity would be destroyed thanks to its sexual immorality and violent transgressions. The Hollywood version of the story, however, has God punishing humanity not for actual sin, but for overpopulation and global warming — an odd set of sins, given God’s express commandments in Genesis 1:28 to “be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it.”

This weird perspective on sin — the notion that true sin is not sin, but that consumerism is — is actually nothing new. In the 1920s, the left warned of empty consumerism with the fire and brimstone of Jonathan Edwards; Sinclair Lewis famously labeled the American middle class “Babbitts” — characters who cared too much about buying things.

In his novel of the same name, Lewis sneered of his bourgeois antihero, “He had enormous and poetic admiration, though very little understanding, of all mechanical devices. They were his symbols of truth and beauty.” Lewis wrote, through the voice of his radical character Doane, that consumerism has created “standardization of thought, and of course, the traditions of competition. The real villains of the piece are the clean, kind, industrious Family Men who use every known brand of trickery and cruelty to insure the prosperity of their cubs. The worst thing about these fellows it that they’re so good and, in their work at least, so intelligent.”

Lewis, of course, was a socialist. So were anti-consumerism compatriots like H.G. Wells, H.L. Mencken and Herbert Croly. And their brand of leftism was destined to infuse the entire American left over the course of the 20th century. As Fred Siegel writes in his new book, “The Revolt Against The Masses,” this general feeling pervaded the left during the 1950s, even as more Americans were attending symphony concerts than ballgames, with 50,000 Americans per year buying paperback version of classics. That’s because if the left were to recognize the great power of consumerism in bettering lives and enriching culture, the left would have to become the right.

Of course, consumerism is not an unalloyed virtue. Consumerism can be utilized for hedonism. But it can also be utilized to make lives better, offering more opportunity for spiritual development. It’s precisely this latter combination that the left fears, because if consumerism and virtue are allied, there is no place left for the Marxist critique of capitalism — namely that capitalism makes people less compassionate, more selfish, and ethically meager. And so consumerism must be severed from virtue (very few leftists critique Americans’ propensity for spending cash on Lady Gaga concerts) so that it can be castigated as sin more broadly.

In a world in which consumerism is the greatest of all sins, America is the greatest of all sinners, which, of course, is the point of the anti-consumerist critique from the left: to target America. Global warming represents the latest apocalyptic consequence threatened by the leftist gods for the great iniquity of buying things, developing products, and competing in the global marketplace. And America must be called to heel by the great preachers in Washington, D.C., and Hollywood.

Ben Shapiro, 30, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, a radio host on KTTH 770 Seattle and KRLA 870 Los Angeles, Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org, and Senior Editor-at-Large of Breitbart News. He is the New York Times best-selling author of “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America.” He lives with his wife and daughter in Los Angeles. To find out more about Ben Shapiro and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at http://www.creators.com.

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By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, January 23 2014

Want to stump a global warming alarmist?

Just ask him to describe how the Great Lakes were originally formed.

At over 94,000 square miles, the Great Lakes constitute the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth, and possess fully 21% of its surface fresh water.  Lake Superior alone is the world’s largest continental lake, while Lake Michigan claims the title of largest freshwater lake entirely within one nation’s borders.

And how were those enormous lakes formed?  By fluctuating climate change approximately 10,000 years ago, as the Ice Age ended and giant glaciers receded so dramatically that they carved massive basins into the continental crust.  In other words, long before the first internal combustion engine or coal-fired electrical plant, the planet experienced a global warming period so pronounced that the world’s largest freshwater lakes were formed.  Imagine the hysteria and politicized attempts to place blame if that was underway today.

That geological history regained relevance this week, as another severe winter freeze descended upon the nation amid the ongoing climate change cacophony.  Specifically, the Great Lakes are currently experiencing their greatest level of freezing in 25 years.  That was several years before Al Gore inflicted “Earth in the Balance” upon the public.

The continually discredited Al Gore aside, The Wall Street Journal detailed the surprising magnitude of the new global cooling crisis this week:

“The Midwest hasn’t had this much ice on the Great Lakes and other bodies of water this early in the season for decades, and another blast of cold is expected this week.  Wind chills as low as 40 degrees below zero are forecast for the Upper Midwest, according to the National Weather Service…  About 60% of the Great Lakes will be under ice cover for the months of January and February, predicts George Leshkevich, a scientist with the Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  During the past three decades, the average maximum freeze-over has only been about 50% each year.  Last year, it was roughly 38%.  It has been 25 years since the lakes have had this much ice this early, said Mark Gill, director of vessel traffic services with the U.S. Coast Guard in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, which hit minus-16 degrees on January 3.” 

Over at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), meanwhile, climatologists also confirmed that the nearly two-decade plateau in global surface temperatures continued in 2013.  According to Gavin Schmidt, a scientist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, “The trends over the last ten to fifteen years compared to the trends before that do appear to be lower than they were.”  He continued, “We’ve been looking at this in separate work, and partially it seems to be a function of internal variability in the system, so the fact is that we’ve had more La Nina-like conditions over the last few years compared to earlier in the 2000s or in the late 1990s.”

According to climate change alarmists, however, that should not have happened.

Consider that in the two decades since 1997, when that temperature plateau began, China, India and other undeveloped nations have industrialized on a massive scale, meaning enormous increases in human carbon output.  The United States, Europe and other industrialized nations have also continued to grow, continuing their carbon output levels as well.  Yet none of the parallel and consequent increase in global temperatures has occurred, despite confident predictions from global warming alarmists.

“Given that the estimates that the average decadal increase in global surface temperature is 0.2 degrees Celsius, the world is now 0.3 degrees cooler than it should have been,” said BBC astrophysicist and science editor David Whitehouse.  “The pause in global surface temperature that began in 1997, according to some estimates, continues,” he added.  “Statistically speaking, there has been no trend in global temperatures over this period.”

So we’ve now experienced a global temperature plateau more enduring than the brief warming period that triggered the current politicized global warming movement in the first place.  As illustrated by infamous high-profile reports from The New York Times, Paul Ehrlich, Newsweek and Time in the mid-1970s, global cooling was the supposed climate crisis that decade.  Yet an even longer period of temperature stability hasn’t moderated their confidence or rhetoric.

Perhaps they’ll simply begin claiming that climate stability is its own crisis.

Regardless, global temperatures are constantly warming and cooling, as the geological history of the Great Lakes shows.  It’s something for climate alarmists to reconsider, as they ice skate over portions that haven’t been this frozen since Ronald Reagan was still in the White House and Al Gore was just a Senator.

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