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Posts Tagged ‘Climate change’

Better keep stockpiling those incandescent light bulbs, folks, because yesterday Congress voted not to overturn the phase-out of conventional incandescent light bulbs that begins less than six months from now.

Libertarian types have long opposed the virtual ban for lofty-sounding (although perfectly correct) reasons — government overreach, violation of free-market principles, blatant flouting of the Constitution — but I confess that my own visceral revulsion at the light-bulb mandate comes from more practical, down-to-earth considerations.

First, fluorescent light gives some people migraine headaches, it torments those of us with visual and/or auditory hypersensitivity, and it aggravates ADHD, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. (Could that be one reason ADHD rates have gone through the roof the last few decades, as schools have phased out incandescent lights as well as good old-fashioned windows?)

Secondly, compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) contain mercury. Have you read the EPA’s official guide on handling CFLs? Heaven help you if you ever break one of the darn things. The first thing you have to do is turn off the air-conditioner or heater (any forced-air system) and open all the windows, so that the mercury vapor released when the bulb broke can be aired out of the house. The guide hasn’t yet been updated to reflect the latest findings that some of the mercury may remain in your house for up to 128 days.

All the materials you use to do the cleanup have to be put into a sealed glass or plastic container and taken to the nearest Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Disposal Center. If you live in a rural area, as I do, and that center is a long way away, you’ll just have to set aside the container of hazardous stuff in a safe place until your next trip to the big city. But you’d better call ahead; some HHW centers are only open one day a week, or month. (How many whipped American citizens does it take to change a broken light bulb? Three. One to open all the windows, one to keep the children out of the room, and one to call the HazMat team.)

Even bulbs that don’t get broken require special disposal procedures. Ideally, they should be recycled — either at a HHW disposal center, or at certain commercial establishments such as Ace, Lowe’s, Home Depot and IKEA. The EPA has a handy-dandy guide for that, too.  Unfortunately, according to the Association of Lighting and Mercury Recyclers, only about 2% of CFLs are being disposed of properly. The other 98% end up in landfills. Is anyone surprised?

And what is all of this folderol and rigmarole for, anyway — to save energy? When you factor in all the costs — manufacture and disposal — of these confounded bulbs, I’m not so sure that they save energy at all. But assuming they do save a little, why have they become such a sacred cow for the Left? Because of “global warming” (AGW)? Are you kidding me? It’s as if ClimateGate never happened. The veil has been lifted on what is probably the greatest scientific fraud ever perpetrated — but our government leaders continue to walk around with a blanket over their heads.

Unfortunately, they have little incentive to come out from under it. Al Gore with his billions he’s made in the global warming con game is only the tip of the iceberg. Vast multitudes of EPA and DOE bureaucrats, along with the scientists to whom they dole out grants (i.e., our tax dollars), make their living off of the “climate change” scam.

Molly Ivins was a diehard leftist, but I’ve always thought she got one thing right. She said that no matter how solid your facts and how logical your argument, you will never get someone to see the plain truth if they have a vested interest in not seeing it.

I think of that bit of wisdom when I consider GE, the largest manufacturer of CFLs as well as the largest manufacturer of the turbines used for wind power. Given that its CEO, Jeff Immelt, is one of Obama’s closest advisors, don’t expect any light bulbs to go on over the heads of either Immelt or Obama — or their legions of lackeys.

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Don’t get me wrong. I recycle every kind of paper, metal, glass and plastic; I take my own reusable canvas tote bags with me to the grocery store; I purchase from local and/or organic farmers as much as possible. I believe in good stewardship of the earth God has given us. What’s changed is my attitude toward “environmentalist” advocacy groups.

I joined the Sierra Club in 1982 because at that time I bought the establishment-media line that Reagan’s Interior Secretary, James Watt, was evil incarnate and had to be stopped. I joined Audubon because I love birds. I joined World Wildlife Fund because I was concerned about the rate at which tropical rainforest was disappearing.

Well, I still love birds, trees and everything else God created besides us humans — but I quit all three of the above organizations quite a few years back because they crossed the line from love of animals to hostility toward humans; all of them, especially Sierra Club, vigorously promote population control — which always comes down to abortion. It’s bad enough I’m forced to pay for abortions with my tax dollars; I’ll be darned if I’m going to donate to abortion promoters of my own free will.

Nevertheless, all through the ’90s, I continued to support two watchdog groups, the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). Silent on the population issue, they instead focused on making sure that laws already on the books were enforced, and that governments and businesses were held accountable. I saw a place — and still do — for watchdogs. After all, when I was living in Texas in the ’80s, I myself had fought — and rightly so, I believe — to get the State of Texas to enforce its own regulations on several uranium mill-tailings dumps. The uranium mills not only were out of compliance, but were continuing to operate despite the fact that their licenses had long since expired.

NRDC and EDF were not involved with our effort on that front, but I’d always seen their mission as similar. Somewhere along the line, though, these groups came to represent, whether intentionally or not, an agenda that is less about holding corporations accountable than it is about destroying the free-market system altogether.

Of course, nowadays, these groups (which I no longer support) are largely redundant, since the Environmental Protection Agency itself has become the most radical anti-business entity of all  Case in point:

Shell Oil Company has announced it must scrap efforts to drill for oil this summer in the Arctic Ocean off the northern coast of Alaska. The decision comes following a ruling by the EPA’s Environmental Appeals Board to withhold critical air permits. The move has angered some in Congress and triggered a flurry of legislation aimed at stripping the EPA of its oil drilling oversight.

Shell has spent five years and nearly $4 billion dollars on plans to explore for oil in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. The leases alone cost $2.2 billion. Shell Vice President Pete Slaiby says obtaining similar air permits for a drilling operation in the Gulf of Mexico would take about 45 days. He’s especially frustrated over the appeal board’s suggestion that the Arctic drill would somehow be hazardous for the people who live in the area. “We think the issues were really not major,” Slaiby said, “and clearly not impactful for the communities we work in.”

The closest village to where Shell proposed to drill is Kaktovik, Alaska. It is one of the most remote places in the United States. According to the latest census, the population is 245 and nearly all of the residents are Alaska natives. The village, which is 1 square mile, sits right along the shores of the Beaufort Sea, 70 miles away from the proposed off-shore drill site.

The EPA’s appeals board ruled that Shell had not taken into consideration emissions from an ice-breaking vessel when calculating overall greenhouse gas emissions from the project. Environmental groups were thrilled by the ruling.  [emphasis added]

Got that? The EPA wants Shell to flush its $4 billion investment down the drain because of carbon dioxide emissions from a ship! (What does the EPA have to say about the carbon dioxide being emitted by every one of those 245 natives every time they exhale?) The world’s main institutions dealing with “climate change” (NASA, IPCC, CRU, et al.) have been shown to have engaged in scandalous fraud — egregious enough that the whole theory of man-caused climate change has been thrown into doubt, if not substantially disproven — and yet, the Obama administration persists in acting as if ClimateGate never happened!

At stake is an estimated 27 billion barrels of oil. That’s how much the U. S. Geological Survey believes is in the U.S. portion of the Arctic Ocean. For perspective, that represents two and a half times more oil than has flowed down the Trans Alaska pipeline throughout its 30-year history. That pipeline is getting dangerously low on oil. At 660,000 barrels a day, it’s carrying only one-third its capacity.

Production on the North Slope of Alaska is declining at a rate of about 7 percent a year. If the volume gets much lower, pipeline officials say they will have to shut it down.

“It’s driving investment and production overseas,” said Alaska’s DNR Commissioner Dan Sullivan. “That doesn’t help the United States in any way, shape or form.”

The EPA did not return repeated calls and e-mails. The Environmental Appeals Board has four members: Edward Reich, Charles Sheehan, Kathie Stein and Anna Wolgast. All are registered Democrats and Kathie Stein was an activist attorney for the Environmental Defense Fund.  [emphasis added]

Environmental “watchdogs”? No, they’ve become attack dogs — and they’re going for the jugular of the free-market system that keeps you and me and other human beings clothed, sheltered and fed.

Hat tip: Weasel Zippers

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Good golly, Miss Molly, some days I wake up and I still can’t believe my fellow Americans elected this creep to the White House:

President Obama said Tuesday he would not sign a budget agreement to keep the government running that cuts funding for Planned Parenthood and the Environmental Protection Agency.

“There can be some negotiation about composition,” Obama told reporters…. “What we can’t be doing is using last year’s budget process to have arguments about abortion, to have arguments about the Environmental Protection Agency, to try to use this budget negotiation as a vehicle for every ideological or political difference between the two parties.”

Well, Barry, I heartily agree that the government shouldn’t be shut down over disagreements about Planned Parenthood and the EPA.  So get the hell out of the way and quit obstructing the budget cuts that the majority of the American people want!

Riders included in the House budget bill would, among other things, defund Planned Parenthood and remove the EPA’s authority to regulate “greenhouse gases” blamed for climate change.

Let’s be clear, Barry. The plain fact is you’d rather shut down the government than allow We the People and our Congress to defund an organization that was founded by a eugenics fanatic, targets black babies for destruction, breaks the law, and aids and abets child molesters. And you’d rather shut down the U.S. government than lose your ability to use the EPA to destroy what’s left of the U.S. economy all for the sake of some mythical theory whose top proponents were caught red-handed committing gross scientific fraud.

“What we can’t do is have a my-way-or-the-highway approach to this problem,” Obama said.

Well, look who’s talking! That’s rich. Just rich.

“If you’re a small business right now and you’re counting on a small business loan, it may make a difference in whether or not you can keep that business going. And you find out you can’t process it for three or four weeks, or five weeks or six weeks, because of some bickering in Washington? What does that say about our priorities? It doesn’t make sense.”

Damn right it doesn’t make sense…  that our president is willing to hold every small business, every family, in America hostage — for the sake of his beloved baby-killers at Planned Parenthood and his beloved economy-killers at the EPA.

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In case you missed this at RedState:

OK guys. This is tough love time. I can’t put it any other way, things are getting really serious. While we have been distracted with goings-on in the Middle East those in the present administration are wrecking havoc on our domestic fossil fuels and will stop at nothing to cripple our whole energy system. And we know this has been the plan all along.

Make no mistake. It’s all. About. Control.

I am talking about Sunstein, Obama, EPA, Steven Chu (Dept of Energy), Ken Salazar, Soros, Brasil, BOEMRE, Working Families Party, the whole nine yards. Did I leave anyone out?

…People are going to have to start paying attention and this has to get to the right people who can legislate, go to court, enforce contempt of court rulings, etc. or we’ll be living in caves with no wood, no matches. Only solar panels where there is no sun and windmills where there is no wind.

And to Doc Hastings Chair of House Natural Resources: let me be perfectly CLEAR, I’m sure you are competent and a very nice man, but writing letters to Obama’s minions, doing op-eds in The Hill and issuing press releases is NOT going to get this fixed. Even if Obama does read these letters, which I highly doubt, I am sure he immediately tosses them in the huge trash can next to his desk which also contains wadded up copies of the Constitution. We are losing thousands of jobs. We are losing coal mines, natural gas and oil wells and exploration. Millions upon millions of dollars in revenue and taxes which should be keeping us energy independent from the Middle East especially now when things are so uncertain are going down the tubes.

I am not normally an alarmist, but what I am seeing is truly alarming. A four-alarm fire with no fire hydrant in sight. Gonna lay it all out:

  • EPA pulls permit for Arch Coal mine in WVA citing “Clean Water Act” abuse. Aleady in use. WVA is second in coal production in the country.
  • Troubled Massey Energy is bought by Alpha Natural Resources. George Soros had 59,800 shares in Massey. No wonder Arch Coal lost the bid. Soros is now the proud owner of MOST of WVA coal mines.
  • Chevron, who has been embroiled in a lawsuit in Ecuador for 18 years, and was a couple days ago ordered by an Ecuadoran court to fork over $8.6 billion announced it is exiting the coal business. Chevron on twit says “no connection.” But I ain’t so sure.
  • Shell, who was the sole grantee of a permit for oil exploration in the Beaufort Sea after Dept. of Interior announced its moratorium was slapped down by the EPA who pulled their air permits. Shell has apparently decided it ain’t worth the hassle to fight the EPA and is pulling the plug on offshore drilling in Alaska.
  • Interior Dept. in civil contempt of court for failure to lift Gulf drill moratorium.
  • Hey, Mr. Obama. Bet ya already knew this, but I’m gonna tell these folks here: where does the metallurgy come from to build those solar panels? You guessed it: China, which has a monopoly.
  • With the assistance of ACORN/Bertha Lewis-spawned Working Families Party and actor Mark Ruffalo, NY Gov. Paterson bans natural gas horizontal hydrofracking.
  • PA puts Ruffalo on terror watch list for promoting ultra-lib/inflammatory/anti-natural gas hydrofracking film “Gasland.” The film shows a young kid from PA tooling around PA and the country attempting to set tap water on fire, and blaming it on natural gas. FYI this film is up for an Academy Award. Unfortunately NOT in the fiction category, so let’s keep this one quiet and hope it doesn’t win otherwise the libs will be out buying it like hotcakes and causing more troubles.
  • At least 50 Texas coal and NG plants go down in cold weather and they have to buy electricity from Mexico. Did EPA orchestrate this with their new regs? Pat Dollard says “yea” but I can’t confirm this as yet. But mighty suspicious…
  • Obama loans Brasilian mega-oil company Petrobras $2 billion when they have tons of revenue and we have plenty of areas here for drilling. Coincidentally, Soros a couple days before dumps 22 million shares of common stock and buys 5.8 million preferred. FYI Common stock has voting rights but the preferred is paying in excess of a 10% dividend.

And for all those who think that wood and timber are not on the table, think again. I met a colleague at CPAC from California who told me they have “rolling blackouts” on wood burning fireplaces and 65 “chimney police” who patrol looking for smoke out of chimneys.

Do you notice that nearly all of the blocking actions above are done with the excuse of reducing “greenhouse gases”? It’s as if ClimateGate never happened — as if the completely unethical stunts pulled by major players such as the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia, NASA and the U.N.’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) did not completely invalidate their stated conclusions. I recommend http://www.climategate.com as the best, biggest, clearinghouse for information on this topic.

I hope I have overwhelmed and filled your brains which is what the Obama administration wishes: to deflect, to disorient and to distract.

That is classic Alinsky and Cloward-Piven tactics.

It gets worse.  The author of the piece spoke with Dan Simmons of the Institute for Energy Research, who read the piece and said that it “doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what is going on.”

You can find the members of the House Natural Resources Committee here which I suggest everyone contact pronto.

Members of Fred Upton’s House Energy and Commerce Committee are here.

Scan those lists of committee members and see if your Representative is on either of them; if so, you know what to do! The Congressional switchboard number is 202-224-3121.

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One of Allen West’s congressional campaign themes was “Restoring American Exceptionalism.” He can absolutely be counted on to stand up for our national sovereignty.

That’s not something you can take for granted in politicians these days, so the fact that Allen West will defend our sovereignty is one of the things we appreciate most about him.  American sovereignty is gravely threatened, especially by various initiatives in the U.N.  Reports supplied by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)  have been used to justify proposals for huge new power grabs by the U.N.  When the ClimateGate scandals came to light last year exposing much of the IPCC data to be fraudulent, or at best, questionable, many people began asking:  What is the real goal of the “climate change” hustlers?

Turns out that it’s…. “spreading the wealth around.”  Well, and the “global governance” that would be required in order to implement that.

Via Eye on the World:

Morano mentions the U.N.’s proposal of “global CO2 budgets for every man, woman and child on earth” and a U.N.-proposed “global carbon tax” — which would, essentially, require that you pay a fee for the privilege of breathing.

Those proposals expose the other real agenda of the U.N. and, among others, Obama funder George Soros and Obama’s top science adviser, John Holdren:  massive de-population — even if it requires coercive measures.

From EcoScience, a textbook co- authored by Holdren:  “The law regulates other highly personal matters. For example, no one may lawfully have more than one spouse at a time. Why should the law not be able to prevent a person from having more than two children?” He goes on to advocate forced sterilization, compulsory abortion, mandatory implantation of long-acting abortifacients in all teenage girls, and even rhapsodizes about his hope of discovering sterilant drugs that could be put in our drinking water and food supply. Remember:  This man is our President’s top science adviser.

The Truth has a great piece on  the population control agenda behind the global warming movement.  The chilling reality is that environmental extremists propose population reduction as the “cheapest” way to reduce carbon emissions.  It’s well worth your time to read the whole thing.

The Sovereign Independent has also done a lot of homework on these issues and has assembled a great collection of resources.  Check it out.

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