Thursday, July 23, 2015
Sierra Club puts almighty dollar ahead of Mother Earth
One of America’s oldest, most respected environmental nonprofits has traded in one kind of green for another. Some of the Sierra Club’s board members and most important donors have put the almighty dollar before Mother Earth by encouraging the organization to engage in activities that bolster their bottom line.
In a new report, the Energy & Environment Legal Institute reveals that a number of environmental activists, including billionaires Nathaniel Simons, Roger Sant and Michael Bloomberg, benefit richly from their hefty donations to the Sierra Club.
Mr. Simons, a hedge fund baron worth an estimated $12 billion, has donated more than $14 million to the Sierra Club since 2009. Those contributions have largely been earmarked for campaigns to “educate the public about clean energy.” The donations have likely proven quite worthwhile to Mr. Simons. According to Fortune magazine, at the same time he was underwriting the Sierra Club’s efforts to promote renewables, Mr. Simons was quietly creating a clean-tech venture fund that invests in clean energy.
Mr. Sant, co-founder of Applied Energy Services, has donated as much as $4 million to the Sierra Club, according to IRS records. Mr. Sant, who still serves as chairman emeritus of the renewable energy company, is among the most outspoken advocates for a tax on carbon dioxide emissions, and it’s no wonder. Such a policy would mean millions of dollars for Mr. Sant and other Applied Energy Services investors. Few organizations have championed a carbon tax more fervently than the Sierra Club. Those efforts have undeniably been bolstered by Mr. Sant’s contributions.
Mr. Bloomberg, a former New York City mayor, has donated more than $105 million to the Sierra Club since 2011. Mr. Bloomberg, who is well-invested in the renewable energy industry, is able to fan the fire of Sierra Club’s unfounded fossil fuel hysterics. By using his Bloomberg L.P. media empire to give credibility to the organization’s war on fossil fuels, he is able to spur demand for renewables, padding his portfolio in the process.
This isn’t the first damning example of conflicts of interest between the Sierra Club and its directors uncovered by the Energy & Environment Legal Institute.
The Sierra Club’s well-known “Beyond Coal” campaign has been largely discredited because the campaign appears bought and paid for by board members and other donors who benefit financially from the organization’s anti-fossil fuel crusades,
Eight of the Sierra Club Foundation’s 18 directors are involved with organizations that profit from the Beyond Coal campaign, the Energy & Environment Legal Institute discovered.
Those directors are owners, founders and CEOs of renewable energy companies and investment firms that donated millions to the Sierra Club’s war on fossil fuels. These green energy tycoons knew lambasting coal, oil and natural gas would increase demand for renewables like solar and wind … and generate more money for their businesses.
Companies with top executives on the Sierra Club’s board of directors include solar firms such as SolarCity, Sun Run and the Solaria Corp., as well as the green energy investment funds at Barclays, Walden Capital and Boston Common Asset Management.
For those eight board members, earnings, not the environment, appear to motivate their involvement with the Sierra Club.
The organization’s largest donor – ultimately the funder behind much of the Beyond Coal campaign – may have the biggest investment of anyone in strangling America’s cheap and stable conventional energy market. That man, David Gelbaum, has spent $500 million starting, buying and investing in more than 40 green energy companies, from solar panel makers to electric car producers, all of which benefit from the Sierra Club’s attack on fossil fuels. For Mr. Gelbaum, the $100 million he has donated to the Sierra Club is a marketing expense; a way to vilify his competition and entice more people to buy into his expensive green energy schemes.
Obviously, today’s Sierra Club, which seems to operate first and foremost as a political lobbying firm focused on enriching its donors and board members, is a far cry from what celebrated naturalist John Muir had in mind when he created the organization in 1892. As Energy & Environment Legal Institute’s Legal Executive Director Craig Richardson points out, the Sierra Club’s war on fossil fuels is “an effort that clearly benefits the very same people who are donating the money – it’s clear the Sierra Club is now just a mercenary force beholden to the highest bidder.”
The egregious conflicts of interest created when Sierra Club donors and board members use contributions to entice the organization to engage in advocacy efforts that benefit the donors’ pocketbooks aren’t just unethical. They’re also illegal.
According to the IRS, if a nonprofit’s donors or board members intentionally financially benefit from the actions of the organization, it “would lose its tax exempt status for at least one year.”
Obama’s new Americorps Resilience program for climate change preparedness
A "Greenshirts" Sturmabteilung?
This is surreal and frightening. As part of Obama’s Climate Action Plan, he established a Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience. A White House press release issued last week announced it has partnered with Rockefeller Foundation to launch a new Resilience AmeriCorps program and will recruit, train and imbed AmeriCorp Vista members in a dozen U.S. communities this year.
Other new actions the Administration is taking as part of its Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience include:
It is targeting native American tribes and colleges with $11.8 million in grants to indoctrinate tribal youth on climate change and elicit their participation.
HUD is giving $1 billion in National Disaster Resilience Competition grants to communities to “provide amenities that improve the quality of life for all,” with Rockefeller Foundation adding $3.2 million towards the effort.
Kresge Foundation is adding $10 million to support the agenda in low-income communities through community nonprofits.
Additional actions being taken by the Administration to prioritize resilience in every branch of the Federal government: targeting minority colleges, universities and institutions to focus education on environmental justice and climate change; mandating all federal facilities must be aligned with its climate preparedness and resilience goals; and mandating that all federal programs must also become aligned with its goals.
So, how will AmeriCorps make cities more resilient and prepare for climate change? They must have universal healthcare, sustainable development and “minimal human vulnerability.” The City Resilience Framework report defines “minimal human vulnerability” as:
“This relates to the extent to which everyone’s basic needs are met. Minimizing underlying human vulnerabilities enables individuals and households to achieve a standard of living which goes beyond mere survival. A basic level of wellbeing also allows people to deal with unforeseen circumstances. This is only possible once their physiological needs are met through a basic level of provision of food, water and sanitation, energy and shelter.”
It goes on to say that for a city to be resilient, everyone must have a living wage and “unrestricted access to legitimate occupations.” It would seem that a Resilient city must provide food, shelter, energy and unrestricted access to a job for its inhabitants.”
There is more here about what are very Marxist plans, demonstrating yet again that environmentalism and climate change is not about the environment, it is a political agenda.
Arctic ice was still increasing in 2014
According to the Europe's Cryosat satellite, Arctic sea ice volume has increased by a third in 2013 and that this growth continued into last year. Researchers have been examining data from the satellite to study the loss of Arctic sea ice volume. Researchers involved in the study believe that "shifts in summer temperatures have a much bigger effect on sea ice volume than previously expected," writes BBC News.
Compared to the average of the period between 2010 and 2012, a 33 percent increase in sea ice volume was found in 2013 and and in 2014 there was still a quarter more ice than during that period. The satellite uses a sophisticated radar that is capable of measuring the thickness of sea ice from its orbit in space.
The researchers have been studying sea ice volume over the last five years using the polar monitoring spacecraft to estimate the volume of the Arctic. They used "88 million measurements of sea ice thickness from Cryosat and found that between 2010 and 2012, the volume of sea ice went down by 14%." This is far less than what computer models predicted would happen in the Arctic.
Measurements for 2014 showed there was still a quarter more sea ice than there was between 2010 and 2012. Lead author Rachel Tilling, from University College London, told BBC News, "We looked at various climate forcing factors, we looked at the snow loading, we looked at wind convergence and the melt season length of the previous summer."
The colder temperatures in the polar region allowed more multi-year ice to persist northwest of Greenland because there were fewer days when it could melt. Temperature records also showed that the summer was about 5 percent cooler than 2012. "It would suggest that sea ice is more resilient perhaps - if you get one year of cooler temperatures, we've almost wound the clock back a few years on this gradual decline that's been happening over decades," Rachel Tilling told BBC News.
In 2009, Al Gore predicted the polar ice cap would disappear by 2014. Gore cited new scientific work at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School for his statement. The "computer modeling at the school stresses the "volumetric" and looks at both the surface extent of ice and its thickness."
The Ocean and Ice services of the Danish Meteorological Institute also shows that, "Arctic ice extent is right where it always is this time of year, and is tracking 2006 – the year with the highest extent of the past decade," Real Science notes. This is due to "cold temperatures over the Beaufort sea that is forecast for the next two weeks, making the odds of a big melt occurring pretty close to zero."
And Dr Peiser, from the Global Warming Policy Foundation, says that the poles are "much more stable" than climate scientists once predicted and could even be much thicker than previously thought. The Daily Express also notes that Arctic sea ice volumes in October and November this year averaged at 10,200 cubic kilometres. "This figure is only slightly down on the 2013 average of 10,900 cubic kilometres, yet massively up on the 2011 low of 4,275 cubic kilometres and the 6,000 cubic kilometres recorded in 2012."
Obama’s backward dishwasher rules just more of the same
By Rick Manning
The Obama Administration revealed one more of a string of regulations that have a practical impact of making the problem they claim to want to solve worse.
This time it is a Department of Energy regulation forcing new dishwashers to only use 3.1 gallons of water to wash a load of dishes.
What could go wrong?
Nothing so long as homeowners don’t mind grunge baked onto their dishes due to the failure to have sufficient water to clean off the food. No matter how much Cascade and JetDry you put into the system, not enough water means disgusting baked on egg, and other delights.
The purported reason for the water limitations is to cut those dreaded greenhouse emissions to comply with Obama’s on-going global warming jihad. In Obama’s Ivory Tower world, it is inconceivable that a dishwasher that doesn’t actually get dishes clean might cause people to take alternative action. The most likely of which is to use much more water by hand washing every dish before it goes into the dishwasher and effectively only use the appliance for killing bacteria through the high heat drying process. Or, perhaps people could go full Madge, and only hand wash dishes rendering the modern appliance and convenience useless.
Apparently, regulators at the Energy Department don’t wash their own dishes, so they are unaware of what a real person would do when their dishes come out of the dishwasher disgusting. But this is just the latest of many bafflingly out of touch decisions made by environmental regulators.
The New York Times reported that in 2012, oil refiners were forced to pay about $6.8 million in fines to the U.S. government due to their failure to mix a government decreed biofuel into their gasoline and diesel.
The only problem was that the government mandated biofuel did not actually exist outside of the laboratory. That’s right, the government mandated use of a product that wasn’t in production and still was in the laboratory testing phase, and turned a deaf ear toward those who complained, instead fining companies for failing to use a non-existent product. Eventually, the federal courts disallowed the fines, but left the mandate of a gradual shift to using additional biofuel in gasoline, leaving refiners uncertain about the availability on a year to year basis.
And this is not the only biofuel problem where the federal government pointyheads fail to understand how products like ethanol impact both automobile engines and the overall environment.
For years, the government has attempted to jam gasoline that contains 15 percent ethanol into the marketplace disregarding the damage that this level of ethanol does to the automobile engines themselves.
The perverse effect of ethanol is that according to the Department of Energy it reduces gas mileage by three to four percent, while the higher concentration of ethanol in E-15 reduces it by five percent. This government mandated gas mileage reduction occurs at the same time that the federal government is demanding dramatic increases in fuel efficiency standards.
In practical terms if a vehicle would normally get 400 miles on a 15 gallon tank of 100 percent gasoline, E-10 reduces this amount to between 388 and 384 miles, just under a full mile per gallon less than straight gasoline.
Yet, in spite of overwhelming evidence that corn ethanol is bad for both vehicles and for the environment, the mandates persist due to the apparent extraction of the common sense gene from anyone who works in the Obama Administration.
So, don’t be surprised when Obama refuses to relent on its crazy dishwasher rules that render the appliance obsolete while wasting water. After all, nothing can get in the way of their global warming quest, not even harming the environment along the way.
Pope calls on world leaders to take a 'strong stand' on climate change ahead of UN summit
Popey has merged the RC church with the church of global warming
Pope Francis has urged world leaders to take a 'very strong stand' on climate change ahead of the United Nations summit in Paris this year. He was speaking at a conference of mayors and governors, who signed a declaration saying it may be the last chance to tackle human-induced global warming, at the Vatican today.
The meeting linked climate change and modern slavery because, according to an introductory paper, 'global warming is one of the causes of poverty and forced migration'.
It is the Vatican's latest attempt to influence the summit in December, which aims to reach a global agreement to combat climate change after past failures.
The cleric, speaking to the group in unprepared comments in Spanish, said he hoped the UN conference would address 'particularly how it (climate change) affects the trafficking of people.'
He added: 'I have great hopes in the Paris summit. I have great hopes that a fundamental agreement is reached. The United Nations needs to take a very strong stand on this.'
Mayors from South America, Africa, the United States, Europe and Asia signed a declaration stating that it 'may be the last effective opportunity to negotiate arrangements that keep human-induced warming below two degrees centigrade.'
It says that leaders should come to a 'bold agreement that confines global warming to a limit safe for humanity while protecting the poor and the vulnerable.'
High-income countries should help finance the cost of climate-change mitigation in low-income countries, it also reads.
In a rejection of so-called climate-change deniers, the declaration also says: 'Human-induced climate change is a scientific reality, and its effective control is a moral imperative for humanity.'
California Governor Edmund 'Jerry' Brown, whose state is suffering a severe drought, urged mayors to 'fight the propaganda' of big business interests that deny that climate change is human induced.
'We have fierce opposition and blind inertia and that opposition is well-financed,' he said.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called Pope Francis 'the most powerful voice on this earth for those whose voice is not being heard.' He added: 'He did not convene us here to accept the status quo but to indict it'.
De Blasio announced that New York City would commit to reduce carbon emissions by 40 per cent by 2030 on top of a previous commitment to reduced them by 80 per cent by 2050.
Tony Chammany, the mayor of Kochi, India, said coastal areas were already feeling the effects of rising sea levels. 'It is now or never, there may never be a replay,' he said.
The cleric issued an encyclical on climate change, the first ever dedicated to the environment, last month.
The call to his church's 1.2billion members could spur the world's Catholics to lobby policymakers on ecology issues and climate change.
Muscle-man chomps a cigar as he is selected by the French Government to address world leaders on climate change
He has drifted a long way Left since he married into the Kennedys. He has gained righteousness
Arnold Schwarzenegger was spotted chomping a stogie on the same day he was named an environmental advocate by the French Government.
The 67-year-old star looked in great form as he ran errands in Los Angeles after being selected to address world political and spiritual leaders ahead of a major climate change summit in Paris in December.
Meanwhile 10,000km away in Vatican City, a much more formal looking Arnie was addressing a room full of dozens of mayors from across the world and spiritual leaders of all faiths via pre-recorded video, urging them to get their leaders and followers involved in the fight against climate change.
'I've starred of course in a lot of science fiction movies and, let me tell you something, climate change is not science fiction; this is a battle in the real world, it is impacting us right now,' he said in the six minute clip.
The video appears to have been recorded in the actors personal office; wearing a navy suit and vivid green tie, he is flanked by the American and Californian State flags...while his rearguard appears to be a painting of a naked muscular back, presumably his own.
'I believe the science is in. The debate is over and the time for action is now,' he continued. 'This is bigger than any movie, this is the challenge of our time. And it is our responsibility to leave this world a better place than we found it, but right now we are failing future generations.'
After apologising for not being there in person because of a promotional tour, Arnie admits in the video that he was star-struck when he seen the line-up of who he was about to address.
He claimed environmental advocates were failing to communicate with the masses. 'We should be concerned about rising temperatures, and we should be concerned with the rising sea levels, and the melting ice caps and all of those things, but those are things that will happen down the line.
'But most people are concerned with what is happening right now: people worry about their jobs and healthcare and national security, they worry about putting food on the table for their families, they worry about their survival,' he said.
'And you know something? They should be concerned about their survival - 7million people die every year because of our pollution.'
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
Posted by JR at 12:37 AM