Sunday, June 30, 2013
Wildlife tragedies lie at the feet of the Greenies and the food freaks
The food freaks tell food manufacturers that saturated fats and trans fats are harmful to health (both claims are a fantasy but tell a big enough lie often enough ....) so many manufacturers have moved to the next workable possibility -- which is palm oil. But now that's no good either! Using palm oil harms wildife. But it is the fanatics that have created the problem, not the food manufacturers.
If Greenpeace were a serious organization (I will wait for the laughter at that idea to subside), it is the food freaks they should be attacking. But food freaks and Greenies seem to be largely the same people so there is not much hope of that. The Greenies themselves want palm oil as "biodiesel". It's "sustainable", you see. "Green" Germany is particularly big on using palm oil as a biofuel. If Germany stopped its environmentalist nonsense (some hope!) elephants and Orang Utans would get a big break
I find it rather despicable that the writer below blames food manufacturers without a whisper about WHY food manufacturers use palm oil. But he is a Greenie too, you see. There's no such thing as a happy Greenie. He would probably now stop the palm oil craze fostered by his fellow Greenies if he could but humpty dumpty is now well and truly off his wall
By Mark Shand
In all the 30 years I have been working in Asian elephant conservation, I thought I had seen it all – blatant corruption, the rape and total disregard of our beautiful planet and sickening wildlife atrocities, to name but a few. All due to the most dangerous animal of all: homo sapiens.
Not much shocks me any more, but something happened in recent weeks that shook me to the core when the charity Elephant Family and the Ecologist Film Unit set out to document the environmental genocide that is out of control on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia.
Sumatra is special to me because I spent a lot of time there on expeditions when I was younger. It was a paradise – vast pristine forests, intact coral reefs and abundant wildlife.
All this has changed now and their elephants are the most endangered on the planet. In a single generation, the population has been cut in half, with countless other animals disappearing at breakneck speed.
During the filming, a helpless, emaciated baby male elephant called Raja, who was barely a year old, was found in a village, shackled with heavy chains to a tree. He had been taken hostage by the villagers, who were demanding compensation from the Sumatran government for the damage his family had done to their crops.
Can you believe that we are now living in a world where people are actually holding baby elephants to ransom? It is almost unthinkable. But just look at the photographs – look at Raja, as he strains against his chains, waving his little trunk for food and reassurance. He is bellowing in desperation for his mother.
I have heard that sound of distressed calves many times in my life. It never fails to haunt me. But it is his eyes that haunt me more than anything – pleading for help – innocent, desperate and helpless.
A war is being waged across Asia. In the face of relentless deforestation, elephants are being forced out of their natural habitats and they have no choice but to share their living space with humans. As the elephants’ forest home is destroyed, stressed and starving herds flee from the chainsaws straight into villages.
They demolish everything in sight, trampling crops, flattening houses and often killing people. Frankly, you really cannot blame the villagers for taking such drastic steps in the sheer desperation to survive and feed their own families.
Capturing a baby elephant and holding it to ransom is grisly and depressing, but it is reality as humans and elephants fight for space.
People need to know why this is happening. They need to understand what is driving this madness.
The cause is an innocently named product called palm oil. It’s a constituent part of almost everything that we use and consume – biscuits, margarine, ice cream, soap, shampoo. The list is endless.
And the blame lies firmly with the greed of the large corporations in the East that produce it as a cash crop to fuel the insatiable consumerism of the Western world.
The thirst for palm oil is apparently unquenchable and its cultivation is ripping out the last great rainforests.
Although forest destruction and its lethal impact on endangered species are plain to see, palm oil is practically an invisible ingredient, listed under the generic term ‘vegetable oil’.
April, Duta Palma, Sinar Mas and Sime Darby may not be household names, but these are just some of the companies producing palm oil in Indonesia and selling it on to the market for about £500 per ton.
L’Occitane, Ferrero, Cadbury, Ginster’s pasties, Clover margarine, Pringles, Kellogg’s, Haribo, Nestlé and Mars are just a few of the more familiar names of those that use palm oil.
All the major supermarkets use palm oil in their own-brand products. Some are better than others in getting palm oil from responsible sources, but the point is that it is everywhere and in everything. It is a silent assassin. Not until 2014 will there be a legal requirement for manufacturers to label palm oil on their products.
And, to make matters worse, the only certification body to monitor the production of so-called ‘sustainable’ palm oil is immensely flawed. Consumer industries are hiding behind a fallacy.
The verdant rainforest of Aceh in North Sumatra is one of the largest left in South-East Asia. It is the only place in the world where elephants, tigers, orang-utans and rhinos all still live together – a real life Jungle Book.
But, right now, the Aceh government is close to adopting a plan that would see hundreds of thousands of hectares of this forest opened up for the cultivation of palm oil. This ironically titled ‘Spatial Plan’ is nothing more than a deforestation plan – an extinction plan, seeking to legitimise the illegal felling that is already happening.
Environmentalists agree that we need to protect about 65 per cent of Aceh’s forest if we are to save its biodiversity. The government plan would allow for only 45 per cent to be protected – that’s a difference of way over a million hectares, or more than a million football pitches. The result would be a death blow for wildlife.
Not only will these iconic species be pushed to extinction, the local communities that rely on this forest will be even more exposed to natural disasters. Devastating landslides have already washed away buildings, including entire schools.
They will become unrelenting and vast areas of land will flood.
Wildlife will be forced into ever greater conflict with people, and elephants like Raja won’t stand a chance.
Sadly for him, it is too late. He died alone, still chained to that tree, though Elephant Family worked tirelessly for a week to negotiate his release.
Greens don't like fracking because they don't like prosperity
You'd think Greens would be delighted by the shale gas bounty under our feet. Here is a plentiful energy supply which does not emit soot (as coal does), nor jam estuaries (as tidal turbines do), nor starve Africans (as biofuels do), nor slaughter rare birds (as wind farms do). It does not require public subsidies (as both nuclear and renewables do). On the contrary, it will generate a healthy stream of tax revenue for the Exchequer. It will diminish our reliance on nasty regimes, from Tehran to Moscow – precisely the sorts of regimes that Greens march against. Oh, and it will reduce our carbon emissions, by displacing coal in electricity generators.
What, then, is the problem? Some campaigners talk of water pollution; others, a touch histrionically, of earthquakes. If either was a remotely serious prospect, we'd know by now. There has been a great deal of fracking in the United States, but not a single instance of groundwater being contaminated. As for earthquakes, well, yes, technically any tremor qualifies as an earthquake, but the kind caused by fracking is, according to the most comprehensive report to date, “about the same as the impact caused by dropping a bottle of milk”. The process has been pronounced safe by the Royal Academy of Engineering and by the Royal Society.
Of course, people are more prepared to believe the worst when they live in the areas likely to be affected. And, there's no denying it, fracking will cause some disruption in the early stages, as all construction projects do. There will be lorries and workmen and general bustle. These things, though, are never as bad as opponents claim – just as, to be fair, the jobs are never as numerous as supporters claim. In any event, both the jobs and the disruption will be temporary. The gains will outweigh the inconveniences a thousand times over – and I say so as MEP for a region that will be more affected than most.
This morning's headlines warn us of electricity rationing and coming blackouts. Fracking won't just solve that problem; it will drag us back to growth, much as it has the United States. The find has come, fortuitously, at the very moment that North Sea oil and, especially, gas reserves deplete. We already have the gas infrastructure in place. Now it turns out that we are sitting on the largest shale hoard in Europe. It seems almost providential.
In much the same way, our distant fathers found a way to access almost unlimited amounts of coal just as Britain was beginning its eighteenth century expansion. In consequence, the industrial revolution happened here rather than in, say, China or Italy. We became the greatest and wealthiest nation on Earth. Coal is why the world speaks our language.
But here's the difference. Despite the horrible dangers of eighteenth-century coalmining – pit collapses, floods, explosive gas – the industry was allowed to develop, gradually becoming safer and cleaner. In our own age, by contrast, an industry safer and cleaner than even the safest and cleanest coalmines is threatened by a coalition of envious Eurocrats and Greens.
I can just about see what's upsetting the Eurocrats: they don't like capitalism, they don't like fossil fuels and they don't like Britain. Green objections are harder to understand: here is a clean, secure supply of power that will benefit everyone, but will disproportionately benefit the least well off, who spend a higher proportion of their income on energy bills. When I spoke in the European Parliament in support of fracking, most of the negative comments I received did not focus on specific safety concerns. Rather, they complained in general terms that fracking would 'poison the planet' or 'bleed Mother Earth' for no higher cause than 'greed'.
What is meant here by 'greed' is the desire for material improvement that has driven every advance since the old stone age. Someone sees an opportunity to offer a service that other people will pay for and, in consequence, wealth is created where none existed before. What happened with coal in the eighteenth century could happen again now: prices will fall, productivity will increase, and people will be released to new jobs, raising living standards for everyone. 'Greed', in this sense, is why we still have teeth after the age of 30, why women no longer expect to die in childbirth, why we have coffee and computers and cathedrals. 'Greed' is why we have time to listen to Beethoven and go for country walks and play with our children. Cheaper energy, on any measure, improves our quality of life.
But this is precisely what at least some Greens object to. What they want, as they frankly admit, is decarbonisation, deindustrialisation and depopulation. They regard the various advances we've made since the old stone age – the coffee, the computers, the cathedrals – with regret. What society needs, they tell us, is not green consumerism, but less consumerism. Which is, of course, precisely what most Western countries have had since 2008. The crash brought about all the things that eco-warriors had been demanding: lower GDP, less consumption, a decline in international trade. Yet, oddly, when it happened, they didn't seem at all satisfied. There's no pleasing some people.
Obama throws down green gauntlet
By Rick Manning
The President’s Climate Action Plan was released in an obvious attempt to change the subject away from the various scandals that have engulfed Obama to something where he hoped to get favorable press.
The plan itself outlines Obama’s determination to push the limits of his Executive branch power through bypassing Congress and instituting policies through a series of regulations and Executive Orders.
With the Environmental Protection Agency expected to be the point of the spear in this war on American energy production, the nomination of Gina McCarthy to head that agency becomes an important test of the Senate’s support for the now declared war.
McCarthy is an EPA veteran who has come under fire for incompetence in her running of the radiation detection system, when it was discovered during the Japanese nuclear power plant meltdown that the U.S. system was largely inoperative.
She also has approved plans to actively encourage the use of a new refrigerant in vehicles that the Daimler Corporation found to be so dangerous that they voluntarily spent millions of dollars recalling vehicles in Europe that contained it. Now, McCarthy is trying to get this coolant into every American new car under the guise of climate change.
On the coal front, McCarthy has been at the forefront of efforts to impose regulations that are designed to drive electric utility providers away from burning coal toward other fuels, particularly natural gas.
The decision by Obama to release his “Climate Action Plan” prior to an anticipated vote on the McCarthy nomination in early July, turns the already contentious confirmation into a referendum on Obama’s plan to by-pass Congress and impose draconian measures through executive fiat.
This puts two senators squarely on the hot seat.
West Virginia’s Joe Manchin, who won election largely due to a brilliant ad where he shoots a copy of the cap and trade environmental legislation, now with the McCarthy vote, will be voting on whether he wants to approve the implementation of much of that regime. But for Manchin, it is not enough to just oppose McCarthy, he needs to convince other energy state Democrats like Heidi Heitkamp from North Dakota to join him. If he fails, his case that he can make a difference in the War against Coal will be lost.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is the other member with the most at stake in the McCarthy battle.
If McConnell fails to hold his Conference together in opposition to McCarthy and allows Obama to claim bi-partisan support for his Kill Coal campaign, it becomes very difficult for him to claim an us-against-them argument as he seeks re-election in Kentucky’s coal country.
McConnell needs to explain in no uncertain terms to his colleagues Kelly Ayotte, Lisa Murkowski, Mark Kirk, Lamar Alexander, Bob Corker, Lindsay Graham and Susan Collins that if they choose to support McCarthy’s nomination, they are putting a knife through the heart of Senate Republican hopes to gain a majority in 2014. Failure in this D.C. battle has real consequences in Kentucky, and if McConnell doesn’t hold his Republican colleagues together, one can bet that coal miners across the state will know about it before the week is out.
While nomination battles in D.C. are often strictly “inside the Beltway” affairs, the Gina McCarthy nomination is so much more. If confirmed, Obama will claim a three year mandate to move his job killing environmental agenda.
And that would be disastrous for our nation’s economic future.
Obama's Climate Five-Year Plan
The president proposes ecological central planning to solve global warming
The central planners in communist governments were notorious for issuing massively detailed top-down five-year plans to manage every facet of their economies. The accumulating inefficiency and waste produced by this sort of rigid planning led eventually to the demise of those regimes.
Speaking at Georgetown University on Tuesday, President Barack Obama outlined his “new national climate action plan,” which amounts to a federal top-down five-year plan—although he has only four years to implement it. Obama’s plan ambitiously seeks to control nearly every aspect of how Americans produce and consume energy. The goal is to cut the emissions of greenhouse gases and thus stop boosting the temperature of the earth. The actual result will be to infect the economy with the same sort of sclerosis seen in other centrally planned nations.
Let’s take a look at four aspects of the Obama five-year plan: rationing carbon, boosting renewable energy and energy efficiency, subsidizing climate resilience, and negotiating international limits on emissions.
Way back in January 2008, when he was just a senator running for the presidency, Obama told the San Francisco Chronicle that he “was the first to call for a 100 percent auction on the cap and trade system, which means that every unit of carbon or greenhouse gases emitted would be charged to the polluter.” That way, he explained, “if somebody wants to build a [conventional] coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.”
Five years later, Obama is doing what he said he’d do. His plan directs the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “to work expeditiously to complete carbon pollution standards for both new and existing power plants.” The EPA is still formulating those standards, but in their current draft form they would limit new power plants to emitting 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour of electricity generated. Since conventional coal-fired plants typically emit around 1,800 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour generated, the new rule would essentially be a ban on building new coal-fired power plants.
If the EPA were to establish a uniform 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour standard, that would eliminate nearly all coal-fired plants in the United States, which generated about 37 percent of the country’s electricity last year. In comparison, natural gas plants generated 30 percent, nuclear 19 percent, hydropower 7 percent, wind 3.5 percent, biomass 1.4 percent, petroleum 1 percent, geothermal 0.4 percent, and solar 0.1 percent.
Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency
Obama did say in 2008 that he supported the development of clean coal technologies. The president’s new national climate plan includes $8 billion in loan guarantees for “advanced fossil energy projects,” presumably including clean coal technologies involving carbon capture and sequestration (CCS). The Department of Energy is currently supplying $1 billion in a stimulus grant to the FutureGen CCS project in Illinois.
The FutureGen project proposes to capture 90 percent of the carbon dioxide emitted by its 200-megawatt plant and inject about a million tons annually underground. If it works, the overall emissions from a coal-fired plant using CCS would certainly meet a 1,000 pounds per megawatt-hour standard. However, the Energy Information Administration’s 2013 analysis of the levelized costs (including capital, fuel, and operation and maintenance) of new power generation sources reports that in 2018 CCS would boost the cost of coal-fired electricity by about 35 percent over conventional generation. Assuming coal still accounted for 37 percent of generation, a quick calculation implies that monthly household electricity bills could jump from an average of $110 to more than $124.
The president’s national climate plan also sets “a goal to double renewable electricity generation once again by 2020.” That would mean that wind power would produce 7 percent and solar power 0.2 percent of America’s energy by then. For what it’s worth, the Energy Information Administrtion estimates the levelized costs in 2018 for conventional coal would be $100 per megawatt-hour; conventional natural gas $67; nuclear $108; wind $87; and solar photovoltaic $144.
In his Georgetown speech, President Obama declared, “Countries like China and Germany are going all out in the race for clean energy.” The president did not note that German electricity prices have soared as the country subsidized the installation of solar and wind power. German households in 2012 paid an average of 35 cents per kilowatt-hour, compared the U.S. average of 12 cents per kilowatt-hour. If Americans were paying for power at German rates, our households' monthly power bills (at 940 kilowatt-hours) would average $330 instead of $110, or an additional $2,640 per year for household electricity. The president also neglected to mention that China’s much-lauded and much-subsidized solar panel industry is going through a bit of a financial rough patch.
The president plans to mandate improvements in the energy efficiency of appliances and buildings. This makes a kind of central-planning sense. Since his new regulations will raise the cost of electric power to consumers, he wants to lower the amount they use so that their monthly bills don’t go up. The hope is that consumers won’t notice that they are paying more for less energy.
In any case, thanks to market incentives, American consumers and businesses are already engaged in continually improving their energy efficiency. The amount of energy it takes to produce a dollar of GDP has fallen by more than 50 percent over the past 40 years, mostly without the help of central planners. That’s not enough for the president, who wants to double energy productivity between now and 2030.
Despite the spectacular flameouts of numerous federally subsidized "green energy" companies—Solyndra, Ener1, Abound Solar, Beacon Power, Fisker Automobile, Range Fuels, and others—the president still thinks that wise federal bureaucrats can profitably invest about $8 billion annually in “clean energy research, development, and deployment.” He also reiterated his support for the “renewable fuels standard” that requires refiners to add billions of gallons of bioethanol made from corn to gasoline. Due largely to the mandate, 43 percent of America’s corn crop ended up in our gas tanks last year. Surely, plowing up the extra farmland to grow corn for fuel ethanol can’t be good for the natural environment.
And the president commended Republicans in Congress for supporting $12 billion in tax credits for wind energy manufacturers and producers. If bioethanol and wind power really could compete with conventional power sources, they wouldn’t need mandates and subsidies.
The president’s plan proposes to aid communities to get ready for the deleterious effects of future global warming. Planners, businesses, and citizens should indeed take into account the increased possibility of floods, droughts, and rising sea levels. But it is questionable that they need a proliferation of federal rules and bureaucrats to help them.
Interestingly, the national climate action plan failed to mention two proposals that wouldn’t cost the taxpayers a dime and yet would strongly encourage people to take account of how the weather might affect them. One is to eliminate federal flood insurance. The program encourages people to destroy natural flood defenses such as swamps and dunes and to build in places that are prone to inundation; we'd be far better off without it. Second, in order to help communities cope better with droughts, cut all federal irrigation water and irrigation efficiency subsidies and establish water markets.
The president did offer two good ideas on the international front. One is for the countries of the world to eliminate $500 billion in annual subsidies to fossil fuels. Another is to begin World Trade Organization negotiations toward free trade in environmental goods, such as products used for managing pollution or harvesting renewable energy. He should take the second idea further, and eliminate trade barriers for all goods. Not only would that likely increase gobal GDBP by as much as $1 trillion per year, but the added wealth would enhance community resilience to whatever climate change occurs.
His other international ideas are less inspiring. As Obama noted approvingly, United Nations negotiations are supposed to result in some kind of legally binding global treaty by 2015 to cut greenhouse emissions, a kind of global 50-year climate and energy plan. Given the utter failure of the Kyoto Protocol, the predecessor accord, there is little reason to believe that most of the rest of the world will agree to pay substantially more for energy.
At Georgetown, the president warned that "the special interests and their allies in Congress" will say his plan "will kill jobs and crush the economy, and basically end American free enterprise as we know it." I don't think Obama’s national climate action plan is going to kill American free enterprise. But its costly patchwork of programs, directives, regulations, grants, and initiatives will surely wound it.
America at War: Coal replaces Terrorists as Enemy Number One
While the "hope" portion of the original campaign theme continues to be elusive, the evidence of what kind of "change" Barack Obama envisioned continues to mount.
For example, the "War on Terror" is no more. Last month the President all but took a victory lap and declared it over and done. Al Qaeda and all those other radical Islamist groups that have vowed "Death to America" no longer matter so much.
Obama's State Department turned on a dime this week and declared that Hezbollah's extensive network in Central and South America is just "confined to fundraising" activities. The new wishful thinking stands in stark contrast to volumes of intelligence data including Congressional testimony from Robert Noriega, the former U.S. Ambassador to the Organization of American States in 2011:
"The more broad implication for U.S. homeland security is that Hezbollah – via Iran and Venezuela – has engaged the United States in an offensive strategy of asymmetric warfare on our doorstep. It is aiming to win the mental battle of attrition and the moral battle of legitimacy – particularly with the youth in Latin America. Unless our government recognizes and responds to their efforts, our ability to protect our interests and our homeland will be gradually and dangerously diminished."
Terrorists may have gotten a reprieve of sorts, but Obama has identified a new enemy. Tuesday he declared a "War on Coal" – which according to a top adviser to the President is "exactly what's needed" in this country.
Obama's new War is a war against ourselves. Virtually all of the coal isdomestically produced supporting American jobs, families and communities, and providing a huge portion of the affordable energy necessary to support citizens and businesses throughout the nation. The U.S. also has more coal reserves than any nation in the world.
The day after the "War on Coal" speech, the Commerce Department reported a "dramatic" downward revision in first quarter GDP growth to just 1.8%. Economic analysts saw this as an indication of "substantial weakness in the U.S. economy" even as the nation enters the fifth year of a painfully sluggish recovery. Economists say around 3.0 percent growth is needed just to create enough jobs to keep pace with population increases.
It is anyone's guess how a "war" against the industry that is responsible for producing 40 percent of the nation's electricity makes any sense with an economy struggling, 2.5 million fewer jobs than before the recession, nearly 12 million Americans unemployed and 5 million more so distraught that they left the workforce.
It only makes sense if this is actually the kind of "transformational change" Obama wants to bring to America. This is not all just some accident, nor the result of a couple of bad policy decisions. It is quite intentional and quite by design. That's the worst part.
Risk of UK blackouts has tripled in a year, British regulator warns
"Green" policies to blame
The risk of future blackouts has trebled in the last year as Britain is facing an energy crunch that will push up bills, the energy regulator has said.
Ofgem warned there could be energy shortages in the middle of this decade as the UK has failed to build enough new wind farms and nuclear powers stations to replace old fossil fuel plants.
It also believes demand for energy may not fall as much as originally expected, as fewer households are insulating their lofts and switching to green appliances than predicted.
Ministers are so concerned that factories and large businesses may be asked to switch off their power during energy emergencies in return for compensation from bill-payers.
"Without timely action there would be risks to security of supply,” Ed Davey, the Energy Secretary admitted. "If we didn't do anything, if we allowed this supply crunch to happen, we would see spikes in power prices and that would be very damaging for the consumer. This intervention is meant to keep the lights on, which it will, but it's also meant to protect consumers from those price spikes.”
The supply crunch is the result of Britain forcing old coal and oil plants to switch off in favour of new green wind farms and nuclear plants.
Ministers are trying to encourage companies to spend more than £100 billion on new green energy infrastructure by offering huge subsidies. However, the new powers stations will not have arrived in time to avert the possible squeeze in 2015.
Ofgem said that the risk of blackouts in that year has trebled from the one-in-12 it estimated in October to just one-in-four, if Britain's energy demand remains at current levels.
It said any “tightening” of the electricity market would lead to an “increase in wholesale prices”.
Over the past year the situation has deteriorated as power companies have announced that they will mothball more gas-fired power plants because they are currently not profitable to keep open. Ofgem says that no new gas-fired power plants are expected until 2016 and it expects the equivalent of just one to start generating before the end of the decade.
If Britain substantially reduced its energy demand, in line with new National Grid forecasts, then the risk of blackouts could remain close to Ofgem's previous estimates at around one-in-12. However, Ofgem cast doubt on those forecasts, saying there was "uncertainty over projected reductions in demand".
National Grid's revised estimates would require big improvements in energy efficiency through programmes such as the Green Deal, which has seen just four households sign up since it was launched earlier this year. One industry source described National Grid's assumptions of energy efficiency improvements as "heroic".
The attempt to prevent blackouts would involve handing National Grid new powers to pay factories to switch off and pay mothballed power plants to come back online.
National Grid said one of the new proposals involved "seeking large consumers to reduce electricity use during times of high demand [between 4pm and 8pm on weekday evenings in the winter] in return for a payment".
Manufacturing group EEF said it could cost big industrial users millions of pounds to switch off and that for the largest energy consumers the process would take several days.
The other National Grid proposal would see the company "contracting with generators that would otherwise be closed or mothballed" to keep them available as back-up reserves.
For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.
Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here and here
Posted by JR at 5:05 PM