Sunday, April 19, 2015

Stinky kids: EPA Tells Kids to Avoid Baths and Asks them to Check Toilets for Leaks

As part of its effort to help save the planet from the dangers of taking too many baths, the EPA’s WaterSense program is trying to convince kids they should avoid bathtubs in favor of showers, which it says is a far more efficient use of water.

“To save even more water, keep your shower under five minutes long—try timing yourself with a clock next time you hop in!” the “WaterSense for Kids” website says.

In addition to convincing kids to stay away from the tub, the EPA’s website instructs children to be careful not to give plants or the yard too much water, to ask parents to use car washes that recycle used water, and to avoid using hoses whenever possible. The EPA even suggests kids conduct experiments with parents to test toilets for leaks.

When kids aren’t busy timing their showers to ensure they remain as unclean as possible and training to be future plumbers, they can “test” their “water sense” by playing EPA’s Pac-Man-inspired online game starring the “water-efficiency hero,” Flo. The goal of the game is to move Flo, a cartoon water drop, “through water pipes and answer water-efficiency questions while avoiding water-wasting monsters.”

There’s nothing kids hate more than those darn water-wasting monsters.

You can add this pathetic attempt by the EPA to brainwash kids into feeling guilty every single time they flush the toilet to the long list of ridiculous efforts the federal agency has made recently to control every aspect of Americans’ lives.

In February, the EPA announced it had serious concerns over the expansion of the Keystone Pipeline, a project projected to create thousands of jobs. “Construction of the pipeline is projected to change the economics of oil sands development and result in increased oil sands production, and the accompanying greenhouse gas emissions, over what would otherwise occur,” the EPA said.

Citing EPA’s findings, President Barack Obama vetoed a bill that would have finally approved the pipeline expansion in late February.

In March, it was revealed the EPA provided a $15,000 grant to the University of Tulsa to develop a device that could “modify” hotel guests’ behavior by monitoring shower times and water use, adding a whole new creepy dimension to the concept of “big brother.”

The EPA has a responsibility to ensure the United States’ environment is not absolutely destroyed by human development, and it’s reasonable to say all Americans have a legitimate right to ask its government to protect certain lands, waterways, and natural resources from abuse. But the EPA has consistently gone far beyond what’s reasonable, entering into a realm of regulation development that attempts to bring the nation back to the 17th century.

For instance, the EPA recommends businesses consider installing “composting toilets,” which are just as disgusting as they sound, to save the maximum amount of water.

Teaching our children to conserve nature is important, but unreasonable and unsanitary mandates from bureaucrats in Washington, DC—who, by the way, expel countless tons of carbon dioxide in their behemoth urban office buildings—hinder economic and cultural growth and mislead impressionable kids into believing it’s a grave sin to take a bath or wash the family car with a garden hose.


Will there be a National Conversation after environmentalist shoots energy worker?

Get ready for a week of introspection from the press, particularly the left-leaning media, as a wave of tortured self-criticism characterizes coverage of what is sure to dominate the news cycle for the foreseeable future… LOL. Just kidding!

A disturbing story flagged by The Washington Free Beacon’s Lachlan Markay out of West Virginia indicates that a man, enraged by the drilling taking place in his state, shot an employee of an energy exploitation company on Monday.

A man dressed in camouflage with his face painted black approached Mark Miller, an employee with HG Energy LLC, on Joe’s Creek near Sod, Napier said.

“At that time he played Mr. Miller a recording that said ‘Stop the drilling’ and then stuck a gun through the window of the passenger side of the truck,” [Lincoln County Chief Sheriff’s Deputy J.J.] Napier said.

A reporter with The Charleston Gazette called a member of the West Virginia Sierra Club for comment and received unequivocal condemnation of this violent incident, but the episode has received little attention in the national press.

For a media culture that is quick to blame conservatives for every episode of violence with a potential political motive, the commentary community’s silence on this incident is deafening.

The Washington Examiner’s T. Becket Adams, formerly of The Blaze, has a solid set of examples of the media’s lamentable impulse to link conservative rhetoric to episodes of violence.

It was this impulse that led ABC News reporter Brian Ross to link a 52-year-old tea party member to the mass murder of Colorado theater-goers in 2012. It was this impulse that led some to ponder whether “racism” and “the tea party movement” led University of Alabama in Huntsville professor Dr. Amy Bishop to shoot 12 of her colleagues in 2010. It was this impulse that prompted some accused Andrew Joseph Stack of being an ardent conservative when he flew a small plane into an IRS building in Austin. It was this impulse that inspired editorialists like Paul Krugman, Matthew Yglesias, and Dana Milbank to blame Sarah Palin for Jared Lee Loughner’s attack on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her staff.

Nor would this episode in West Virginia constitute the only example of violence committed in the name of ecological consciousness in recent memory. In 2010, James Lee took two starter pistols and an explosive device into the Maryland headquarters of Discovery Communication where he took three people hostage for several hours. “Humans are the most destructive, filthy, pollutive creatures around and are wrecking what’s left of the planet with their false morals and breeding culture,” Lee wrote in his manifesto. Police shot and killed Lee, but not before he terrorized Discovery employees because he was allegedly enraged by Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth.

This incident didn’t seem to inspire many on the environmental left to lead a “national conversation” about the “culture of hate” their zealotry had wrought.

But for all the left’s efforts to impugn the tea party movement as replete with violent sociopaths, they often find it impossible to fathom the notion that their rhetoric could be prompting the violent to behave violently.

When Floyd Lee Corkins attacked the Family Research Council and shot a security guard because, as he told investigators, the group was listed as an anti-gay organization by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the left did not blame the SPLC for Corkins actions. When two police officers were assassinated in Brooklyn following weeks of anti-law enforcement hysteria on the left, liberals did not castigate their own for demanding posthumous justice for Eric Garner and Michael Brown. And the left will not raise much of a peep over this episode of terroristic violence in West Virginia.

As the right has been pointing out for the better part of half a decade, the only people responsible for acts of violence are those who commit violent acts. If conservatives think the Sierra Club is responsible for this attack in some way, they will find a rather onerous burden of proof on their shoulders. But it isn’t a trait native to the right to blame others for the actions of one criminal individual. Too often, it is the left that is consumed with identifying societal explanations for the behavior of a deranged few. Maybe identifying those societal causes, however dubious, provides progressives with a sense of control over what are fundamentally chaotic developments that can neither be predicted nor prevented. Maybe they merely want to tar their political opponents. Who knows? But it is clear now that the root causes for violence don’t seem to bother the left so long as those roots are embedded in liberal soil.


The American people aren’t stupid enough to buy the man-made climate change crisis narrative

By Marita Noon

climate changeLate last year, the name Jonathan Gruber became part of the public consciousness for his newly public declarations that Obamacare passed due to the “stupidity of the American voter.” While there are many cases one can cite affirming that most Americans don’t closely follow politics and/or the political process and, therefore, may be called “stupid,” the campaign to sell the man-made climate change crisis narrative proves otherwise.

We are smarter than they think. We are not buying what they are selling.

Global warming has been the most expensive and extensive “public relations campaign in history” — as David Harsanyi calls it in his post at He identifies the “25 years of political and cultural pressure,” as including “most governmental agencies, a long list of welfare-sucking corporations, the public school system, the universities, an infinite parade of celebrities, think tanks, well-funded environmental groups and an entire major political party.” Yet, despite all the “gentle nudging,” “stern warnings,” and “fear mongering,” Harsanyi states: “Since 1989, there’s been no significant change in the public’s concern level over global warming.”

Based on new polling data from Gallup, Harsanyi points out that with the past 25 years of messaging, even among Democrats those who “worry greatly” about global warming has only increased “by a mere four percentage points” — with no change in the general public in the past two years.

A Pew Research Center poll on the Keystone pipeline — also the target of years of intense messaging and fearmongering — offers similar insights: “Support for the Keystone XL pipeline is almost universal,” reads the Washington Post headline. The poll results report that only those who self-identify as “solid liberals” oppose the pipeline.

Clearly, Americans aren’t that stupid after all. We can smell a rat.

It isn’t that we don’t believe the climate changes — it does, has, and always will — but, as Harsanyi states, “There is a difference in believing climate change is real and believing that climate change is calamitous.” He continues, “As the shrieking gets louder, Americans become more positive about the quality of their environment and less concerned about the threats.” He adds, “As the fear-mongering becomes more far-fetched, the accusations become more hysterical, and the deadlines for action keep being pushed right over the horizon, fewer people seem to really care.”

Harsanyi concludes, “If you haven’t been able to win over the public in 25 years of intense political and cultural pressure, you are probably down to two options: You can revisit your strategy, open debate to a wide range of ideas, accept that your excited rhetoric works on a narrow band of the Americans (in any useful political sense), and live with the reality that most people have no interest in surrendering prosperity. Or, you can try to force people to do what you want.”

With the huge investment of time and money, it appears the fearmongers have chosen the latter option. The regulatory scheme coming out of Washington reflects an acknowledgement that the PR campaign has failed, but that the effort is continually being forced on people who don’t want it — though they may not be following it closely or they may not be politically engaged.

The climate campaigners are continuing to do that which hasn’t worked for the past 25 years—somehow believing they’ll get different results (Isn’t that the definition of insanity?).

On March 6, Merchants of Doubt, “a documentary that looks at pundits-for-hire,” was released. It aimed to smear the reputations of some of the most noted voices on the realist side of the climate change debate — specifically Fred Singer who has been one of the original climate skeptics. But nobody much wanted to see it. In its opening weekend, reports Merchants of Doubt took in $20,300.

A week later, former Vice President Al Gore, as reported in the Chicago Tribune, called on attendees at the SXSW festival in Austin, TX to “punish climate change deniers” — which is the tactic being used now.

We’ve seen it in the widely-publicized case of Dr. Willie Soon, a scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, who claims “that the variations in the sun’s energy can largely explain recent global warming.” The New York Times accused him of being tied to funding from “corporate interests.”

Similar, though less well-known, attacks have been made on Henrik Moller — Denmark’s leading academic expert on noise research, who was fired by his university after exposing a wide-reaching cover-up by the Danish government of the health risks caused by wind turbine noise pollution. And on eminent meteorologist Lennart Bengtsson, who received worldwide pressure after he stated, “I believe it is important to express different views in an area that is potentially so important and complex and still insufficiently known as climate change.”

Even Senator Edward Markey (D-MA) and Congressman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) recently joined the crusade. Paul Driessen draws attention to a letter they sent to “institutions that employ or support climate change researchers whose work questions claims that Earth and humanity face unprecedented man-made climate change catastrophes.” The lawmakers warn of potential “conflicts of interest” in cases where evidence or computer modeling emphasizing human causes of climate change are questioned — but no such warning is offered for its supporters.  Driessen states, “Conflicts of interest can indeed pose problems. However, it is clearly not only fossil fuel companies that have major financial or other interests in climate and air quality standards — nor only man-made climate change skeptics who can have conflicts and personal, financial or institutional interests in these issues.” He quotes Dr. Richard Lindzen, MIT atmospheric sciences professor emeritus and one of Grijalva’s targets: “Billions of dollars have been poured into studies supporting climate alarm, and trillions of dollars have been involved in overthrowing the energy economy.”

But somehow, only those who may receive funding from “fossil fuel companies” are suspect. The anti-fossil fuel movement has been vocal in its funding for candidates who support its agenda.

I’ve experienced this on a small scale. I wrote an op-ed for the Albuquerque Journal warning New Mexico residents about concerns over SolarCity’s arrival in the state — which included offering 30-year financing for rooftop solar panels. A week later, the paper published an op-ed that didn’t discount my data, but accused my organization of receiving funding from the fossil-fuel industry. The op-ed was written by an employee of SolarCity — but this didn’t seem incongruous.

The little attack on me allowed me to ask for people to counteract the claim that the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy is not an “alliance of citizens.” The outpouring of support astounded me—though the newspaper didn’t post every comment.

Others, with whom I have been in contact, while doing research for this writing, provided similar stories of support following the attacks.

In a Desmog post titled: “Climate deniers double down on doubt in the defense of Willie Soon,” the author states that Soon’s supporters “circled the wagons.”

In a Scientific American story about the Merchants of Doubt, Andrew Hoffman, a professor at the University of Michigan, who studies the behavior of climate skeptics, says, “Tit-for-tats between mainstream and contrarian researchers tend to raise the profile of skeptical scientists.” He concludes, “Frankly, this degradation benefits the skeptics.”

Because of the failure of the man-made climate-crisis campaign to capture the hearts and minds of the average American — who, after all, isn’t that stupid — we can expect the Gore-ordered attacks to continue. Expect the fearmongering to become more far-fetched, the accusations to become more hysterical, and the deadlines for action to keep being pushed right over the horizon. When this happens, “fewer people seem to really care.”

Like the mythical Hydra, when one “skeptic” is cut down, supporters “double down” — two more grow to take its place. While designed to silence, the attacks draw attention to the fact that there is another side to the “debate.”


Ship engine complexities after Green regulations

Since the implementation of Emission Control Areas (ECAs) on January 1, 2015, ships entering waters in the Baltic Sea; the North Sea; the North American ECA, including most of the U.S. and Canadian coast, as well as the French overseas collectivities of St. Pierre and Miquelon; and the U.S. Caribbean ECA, including Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands Sea had to use fuels with up to 0.1% sulphur content.

Shell Marine Products (SMP) was the first to introduce a complete line of ECA-approved marine lubricants in September 2014.  This complete portfolio includes Shell Alexia S3, formulated for use in two-stroke engines with low sulphur and distillate fuels up to 0.5% sulphur.  SMP also offers Shell Gadinia for medium-speed four-stroke engines like the one in the Harvey Energy, Shell’s new chartered offshore supply vessel (OSV) in the Gulf of Mexico.  Shell Mysella for gas-powered engines is used on Shell’s chartered barge Greenstream, the world’s first 100-percent LNG-powered barge which carries goods along Europe’s Rhine River.

“We have been pleasantly surprised by the demand that our ECA-approved lubricants have gotten.  We have been quick to expand availability of our product range throughout our port network.  Today, Shell Alexia S3 is available in over 330 ports in 20 countries, while Shell Gadinia and Shell Mysella are available throughout our global port network,” said Jan Toschka, General Manager of Shell Marine Products.

The combination of newer high-performance engines, practices like slow steaming and now, ECA zone implementation have presented increased complexity among ship operators, who tend to switch fuels and engine oils as they go in and out of ECA zones.


Why Environmentalists Will Eventually Hate Renewable Power

The proliferation of renewable energy will never please environmentalists. In fact, the more efficient and inexpensive energies like solar and wind become, the more environmentalists will fear and eventually hate them.

Currently, arguments against renewable energy are based on the accurate claim they are too inefficient to become widespread. The technology behind solar and wind power are just not where they need to be to justify widespread use.

In October 2014, data revealed the massive Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in the Mojave Desert fell well short of its anticipated output. During an eight-month period in 2013, the solar plant missed its goal by a whopping 40 percent.

Because of stories like these, many are reluctant to support large government subsidies for renewable energy projects. The lackluster performance of alternative energies have led several states to reconsider legislation requiring a portion of their energy to come from renewable sources. In January, West Virginia made headlines when the state ended its mandate in full.

The inability of alternative energies to compete with fossil fuels does not deter environmentalists. They see renewables as a solution to the problem of rising CO2 in the atmosphere and the climate change they say inevitably results from it. Their goal is to save Earth from climate disruption.

But what happens when renewable technology does become efficient enough to replace fossil fuels? What if another energy technology is developed that supplies us with abundant and pollution-free energy? The resulting scenario is one environmentalists fear the most: Civilization growth unconstrained by the threat of climate disruption.

This fear was exposed in 1989, when two scientists announced they produced excess energy through the process of cold fusion. This revelation, which turned out to be false, would have the potential to produce inexpensive and inexhaustible energy. People believed we were on the verge of creating free energy. This concept caused many environmentalists to show their true colors.

While people rejoiced at the prospect of free energy, author and activist Jeremy Rifkin was quoted by the Los Angeles Times saying, “It’s the worst thing that could happen to our planet.” Rifkin envisioned a world filled with waste—a world where people were free to use up Earth’s resources.

Biologist Paul Ehrlich said, “[It’s] like giving a machine gun to an idiot child.”

These environmentalists and many others reacted this way because the real threat, in their eyes, is human development and growth.

In the same article referred to above, environmentalists voiced concerns that abundant energy would open the door to an increase in population growth, the result being a “crowded earth.” This fear is still held today by environmentalists like Bill McKibben.

McKibben, considered to be “America’s most important environmentalist” by the Boston Globe, became a big name in the global warming debate in 1989 with the publishing of End of Nature. Since then, McKibben has written several more books about mankind’s impact on the environment, such as Maybe One: A Personal and Environmental Argument for Single Child Families.

In Maybe One, McKibben makes the case for potentially painfulpopulation control. Population control is necessary in the minds of many environmentalists like McKibben because large populations inevitably lead to more homes, office buildings, cars, shopping centers, and trash. This is why McKibben wrote in his two books Deep Economy (2007) and Eaarth(2010) that he did not want to see an increase in development but rather a “controlled decline.”

Environmentalists do not see fossil fuels and CO2 as a threat to mankind; they see mankind as a threat to the environment. Advocating for renewable energy is just an excuse to implement a constriction of fossil-fuel use and development across the world. If the time comes where renewable, clean, and abundant energies become a reality, environmentalists will surely withdraw their support in the name of protecting the planet.


Cornel West warns of 'Planetary Selma' at Harvard fossil fuel  protest

West is primarily an entertainer, though his comment on Mr Obama has something to be said for it. He has called Obama "a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats."

The outspoken civil rights activist and academic Cornel West said Harvard University risked being on the wrong side of a “planetary Selma”, culminating a week-long campaign by students and prominent alumni campaigning for the most prominent university in the US to divest from fossil fuels.

The sit-in protest shut down the campus building that houses the president’s office for the entirety of so-called “heat week”, and forced the closure of another administration building for two days.

Harvard’s administration – despite a reported $79m worth of direct investments in coal, oil and gas companies and likely much more indirectly – has stayed relatively quiet on the growing issue of divestment, but there were signs that the movement had made progress.

Drew Faust, the university’s president, had been “moved” by the protest, said Bill McKibben, a Harvard alumnus and leading environmentalist who has worked closely with fossil fuel divestment initiatives across US college campuses and with the Guardian’s “Keep it in the Ground” campaign.

Faust, who has rejected divestment as “neither warranted or wise”, even reached out to a leader of the student protest movement for a one-on-one meeting.

The student, McKibben said, told the president she wanted a public meeting instead.

“It’s climate justice, more than anything,” McKibben said in an inteview with the Guardian. “And no one has stood on the side of reason and justice more than Cornel West.”

West, in a final protest organised by the student group Divest Harvard, pushed even further on Faust.

“Ecological catastrophe is as evil as white supremacist catastrophe, anti-Jewish catastrophe, anti-gay catastrophe, anti-Muslim catastrophe,” West said to loud applause on Friday. “Doctor Faust, we now have a planetary Selma. We want you on the right side.”

McKibben said he was realistic but hopeful about the long-term effect of the week’s protests and others at universities such as Yale and Syracuse.  “I don’t believe it’ll lead to Harvard divesting right away,” he said. “But the world around Harvard is moving, and the people here making such a noise are the reason it is moving.”

West, the longtime activist and academic who was recently arrested while protesting in Ferguson, said environmental activism had parallels to a new civil rights movement.

“We’re fighting against injustice,” he told the Guardian before his remarks at the protest on Friday. “We have to get a handle on the impending ecological catastrophe.”



For more postings from me, see  DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are   here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  

Preserving the graphics:  Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere.  But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases.  After that they no longer come up.  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 or here


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