Friday, July 29, 2016

Food for Thought on the Eve of the Real Hurricane Season

Joe Bastardi
There are many examples of hurricane seasons that start quickly then fall apart completely before they come roaring back.

We believe this is a big impact season on the U.S. coast. Our pre-season forecast was initially released in April — with the biggest concern in the Gulf of Mexico — which we then finalized in May, lighting up the western Atlantic and Gulf. The closer to the U.S., the bigger the worry about the intensity of storms this year given the very warm sea surface temperatures near the shore.

That warm water is eerily similar to the hurricane seasons of 1954 to 1960, when eight major hurricanes impacted the U.S. East Coast in seven years, including five in the back-to-back years of 1954 and 1955. This means that storms may not be much way out in the Atlantic, but as they get closer to the U.S. we have the threat of them increasing in intensity rather than backing off a peak reached out at sea.

Now imagine it’s 1960. Kennedy vs. Nixon is looming and up comes the ultimate East Coast storm, Hurricane Donna. It hits Florida as a Category 4, North Carolina as a Category 3, New England as a Category 2. The monster brings hurricane winds to every state on the East Coast, never before recorded in the nation’s history (and never since!). And as the storm is marching across the Atlantic a set of people decide to use it as a wedge issue in the election.

Think about it — the admonitions that this is the “worst ever” from a set of politicians using hysteria about something that nature is in control of, who then blame it on policies that their ideological opponents are advocating. And a willful press, which simply follow along with anything they are told, without examining facts, parrots it. Some of the politicians even suggest people who don’t side with what they believe should be prosecuted. Given that the nation had just spent time, treasure and blood on defeating that ideology and was still battling it in the form of the Cold War, can you imagine the response of the nation to something like that? Add to this the heat and hurricanes of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, and no person in their right mind in 1960 would even think to push such an idea.

But it’s not 1960 anymore. And we have people who willingly do these things. So here is a forecast: If the kind of worry I have about this season — which I have been very public about since spring — occurs because of a plainly natural cause, we will hear the very thing that was laughable in a day and age when JFK was running for president.

The people who become targets had better have their facts lined up, because I still believe in 2016 you can counter fantasy with fact. And so part of this is to get our forecast idea out there, for one, but also to lay the ground work before it happens. What would not even be an issue in 1960 after 30 years of record heat and hurricane hits (and there has been nothing close since) would be today in spite of the relative calm we have had been blessed with as far as hurricanes go.

Sandy may have changed the course of history given the actions and reactions of the people involved as a nation. It’s one of those events in history that, years from now, people may look at like the sinking of the Spanish Armada in a storm off England. Or the weather for D-Day. History favors the bold, and I would suggest a bold response be at the ready for whatever comes out of this hurricane season. The why before the what is not in the hands of any party, but nature. Those who know how to use it to educate the public as to the reasons are the ones that could win the hearts and minds of people in this pivotal time in our nation’s history.

And the weather could certainly be a player!


Weak Minds Think Alike

Belief in climate catastrophism is a social phenomenon, and requires an explanation in terms of the social sciences. There are a number of interesting psychological theories around – in fact every climate sceptic seems to have one. But while a psychological analysis may explain why certain people choose to be environmentalists, it can never explain how environmentalism – and in particular its most acute form, climate catastrophism – came to conquer the world; how, in other words, belief in climate catastrophism managed to attain a critical mass that permitted it to impose itself as a consensus belief, or ideology. Only a sociological explanation can do that. And a sociological explanation must account for a unique event – the rise of climate catastrophism – in terms of unique, or at least rarely repeated, social phenomena.

It’s easy enough to identify the social group which has most fervently adopted the climate catastrophism ideology. It’s the university-educated, upper-middle-class intelligentsia:- metropolitain; left-liberal; more likely to be humanities graduates than scientists; often working in academia, the media, or in related professions involved in the collection and exchange of information of all sorts. The libertarian social theorist Thomas Sowell in his book “Intellectuals and Society” defines “idea workers” as “people whose occupations deal primarily with ideas (writers, historians, academics, etc.) [and who] usually consider themselves as “anointed”, or as endowed with superior intellect or insight with which to guide the masses and those who have authority over them.”[Wiki]

I’ve often mentioned the work of the French historian Emmanuel Todd and its usefulness for understanding the catastrophist phenomenon (though he has never, to my knowledge, mentioned environment policy in his numerous comments on current politics).

One of his major achievements is to have convincingly demonstrated the close correlation between political revolutions and the attainment of universal literacy: in 16th century Germany at the time of the Protestant Reform; in England in the 17th century, announcing the Civil War and the Glorious Revolution; in France in the late 18th and in Russia in the early 20th century. His demonstration that literacy, rather than economic exploitation, is the prime cause of social upheaval destroys a major pillar of Marxism, but it also confirms Marx’s fundamental insight about the importance of class struggle in the evolution of society.

In an aside somewhere on the decline of the French Socialist Party Todd highlights one of the unintended consequences of advances in education. Whereas the attainment of universal literacy naturally reinforces egalitarian tendencies in society – leading, if not always to democracy, at least to nominal respect for the Common Man – the advent of mass tertiary education has the opposite effect.

For most of the 20th century university education was the reserve of a tiny élite, highly concentrated in the professions (law, medicine, academia..) Though they undoubtedly exercised disproportionate influence, as does any élite group, whether in Parliament, in their clubs and learned societies, or in the letter page of the Times, they were too few and isolated to be able to ignore entirely the opinions of their less educated fellow citizens, particularly as the latter included a large number of people (in industry, finance, the armed services, the media, as well as in the organised working class) who were obviously their intellectual equals.

[The late Guardian political correspondent Simon Hoggart recalled arriving at the Guardian in the fifties as one of just two graduates who were allowed in every year, by-passing the union rule that demanded two years’ apprenticeship on a provincial paper before setting foot in Fleet Street. Sixty years on, I transcribed a Greenpeace debate moderated by Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger, who spent an inordinate amount of time boasting that his ten or eleven environmental journalists all had three or four degrees apiece. Hasn’t he heard that anything above two degrees is dangerous?]

In just over a half a century the percentage of graduates in the twenties age group has risen from a few percent to 20-30%. Graduates in my crusty generation of baby boomers were always conscious of being members of a privileged minority (about 5% in the sixties I believe) and of the fact that the most talented members of our generation (Lennon, Jagger) only entered college to drop out again. Todd points out that when graduates are counted in millions, accounting for 20-30% of an age group, they cease to be a dispersed minority and become an autonomous class, with their own culture and ideology, firmly anchored on the centre left and in the professional classes, but largely transcending traditional social categories. Whether in hippy commune or government-sponsored thinktank, they share a common belief in their superiority to the undiploma-ed masses. They notoriously rule the centre left parties, having all but ousted their traditional working class core, and have, via their control of academia and the media, imposed their ideologies on society at large: (pro-Europeanism and wilful blindness to the effects of uncontrolled immigration at the expense of the working class; militant sexual liberalism at the expense of the feelings of religious minorities; climate catastrophism at the expense of scientific rigour and common sense). Their disdain for the common man was long masked by their leftwing pose, but their reaction to the victory of the Brexit campaign has brought it out in the open. (See for example the emails in Ian Woolley’s recent article).

The idea of an autonomous educated class reversing the trend of several centuries of increasing egalitarianism and unconsciously adopting anti-egalitarian policies (while continuing to declare itself as “of the left”) because of supposed intellectual superiority has tremendous explanatory power, not least in accounting for catastrophic enviro-mentalism. As with many of Todd’s creative perceptions, it is highly speculative, but also scientific, because rooted in empirical data.

Todd has expanded his criticisms of the educated middle class and its epiphenomenon, the French Socialist Party, in a book on the reaction to the Charlie Hebdo massacre in January 2015 – “Qui Est Charlie?” (translated as Who is Charlie? Xenophobia and the New Middle Class: Polity Press) which has brought him media notoriety and the detestation of most of the French intelligentsia.

In this book Todd examines the relative strength of the turnout at the huge public demonstrations in sympathy with the families of the murdered journalists, in favour of Charlie, and in defence of its right to publish blasphemous cartoons mocking Mohammed. He discovered that turnout was highest, not in the centre and south of France characterised by an egalitarian family structure – the part of France which instigated the French Revolution and has voted left for two centuries – but on the East and West peripheries, characterised by an inegalitarian family structure and a continuation of an anti-republican Catholic tradition into the mid-twentieth century. He had already established in a recent cartographic study of French voting patterns that support for the Socialist Party had migrated in recent decades from the egalitarian Paris basin and Mediterranean coast to the ex-Catholic strongholds of the Atlantic coast and German border. This led him to posit the existence of a socio-political force he labelled “Zombie Catholicism”. As Catholic belief collapsed in the mid-twentieth century, ex-believers sought refuge in the Socialist Party, which shared some of the characteristics of the church they had so recently deserted (a universalist ethic, belief in social justice, internationalism…) This movement changed the nature of the Socialist Party, effacing its egalitarian principles and links with the urban working class, and raising pan-Europeanism and worship of the Euro to the status of an ideology.

Todd places himself on the centre left, but is a wicked critic of the ruling Socialist Party, President Hollande, and the chattering classes in general, who have betrayed a two hundred-year-old tradition of radical middle class activism in ignoring the suffering imposed on the working classes by austerity and endemic mass unemployment provoked by economic liberalism and the economic nonsense of the single currency. Add climate catastrophism to the list of ingredients of the blinkered dominant ideology and you have an excellent framework for analysing what’s wrong with the modern developed world.

Qui Est Charlie? was largely written off in the French media as a bilious anti-Hollande pamphlet. In fact it is a densely written sociological thesis, as are all his books. And it introduces one new theoretical concept which seems particularly apposite to the analysis of climate catastrophism: the explanation of how a weak affect arising from an unconscious social structure can be transformed into a strong social force.

After accusing the socialist governments since 1983 of having pursued economic policies which penalise the working class and maintain the immigrant minority in a state of apartheid which the socialists then accuse certain immigrants of maintaining in the name of “communitarianism”, Todd then proposes the following explanation of what seems to be a contradiction in his thesis: (The translation is mine, and sometimes deviates from the literal in the interest of transmitting its polemical flavour)

The Insignificance of the Actors and the Violence of their Ideologies

“I’m very conscious of the fact that the anthropological model proposed above is difficult to accept…The interpretation which I have given suggests, not only an extreme violence and an immense hypocrisy on the part of the people involved, but also a high level of conviction, of determination and of strength.

“It’s easy to imagine such characteristics in the case of far right politicians; or Moslem fundamentalists, or militant atheists, but how can you explain them in the case of people who place themselves on the centre left? The President of the Republic for example, is someone easy-going, insignificant, “an ordinary bloke”, according to his own description.

“The socialists are moderate in all things. Our thesis seems to be incompatible with the reality of a bunch of big girls’ blouses who believe in nothing very much, an army of militant softies. How to explain how such weak tendencies towards differentiation and inegalitarianism can result at the level of society at large, in an obstination of such a rare violence?”

Todd goes on to suggest that weakly held beliefs (such as the fundamentally inegalitarian world view unconsciously held by recently converted socialists emanating from a “Catholic Zombie” background) are particuarly prone to being transmitted in the holders’ milieu by a kind of mimetism: the weaker, the vaguer the idea, the more easily it can be adopted by the surrounding milieu. And Todd cites his personal experience of being able, in one-to-one conversation, to persuade a pro-European that current EU policies can only lead to the sacrifice of Southern European countries on the altar of a German ideal of economic rigour. But once the conversation terminated, the interlocutors revert to their (firmly held, because socially determined) belief in the importance of maintaining the Euro at any price, suppressing political dissent in recalcitrant countries, etc.

Here is a sociological model that seems to apply perfectly to the case of climate catastrophism. Who has not had a conversation in which he has seemingly persuaded his interlocutor that global temperature measures are not all they’re cracked up to be; that maybe some environmentalists exaggerate a little; that scientists are not saints; that windpower and electric cars are rubbish: only to find at the end of the conversation the interlocutor activating the kind of spring mechanism that rewinds the cord on your vacuum cleaner and retracting all the admissions he’s made in order to revert to the position of faithful Guardian reader he assumed at the outset?

And who, among those of you who place sceptical comments at warmist articles (and Gaia bless you for your efforts) has not been astonished at the pathetic nature of the opposition? I’m thinking of a couple of articles at the New Statesman (a once great journal that boasted Bertrand Russell and George Orwell among its contributors) by Brian Cox and Naomi Klein. These are mega stars in the intellectual firmament, yet their pro-catastrophe articles provoked opposition from maybe a half dozen of us sceptics, and we found ourselves opposed, not by 97% of the intellectual world, but by a handful of peabrained greenies who couldn’t reason or form proper sentences. Environmentalism, like Gravity, is a weak force which appears to govern the universe – until a stronger force opposes it. (Neither Klein nor Cox have been back, and the Statesman has now suppressed all comments on its articles).

It does seem a bit cheeky to accuse the likes of Sir Paul Nurse and Professor Brian Cox of mimetism, as if they were some kind of rather unimaginative reptile, but – frankly – has anyone got a better explanation?


Greenie groups now seek overhaul of U.S. renewable fuel quota

Program blamed for boosting corn crops at prairie’s expense

Environmentalists who once championed biofuels as a way to cut pollution are now turning against a U.S. program that puts renewable fuels in cars, citing higher-than-expected carbon dioxide emissions and reduced wildlife habitat.

More than a decade after conservationists helped persuade Congress to require adding corn-based ethanol and other biofuels to gasoline, some groups regret the resulting agricultural runoff in waterways and conversion of prairies to cropland -- improving the odds that lawmakers might seek changes to the program next year.

"The big green groups that got invested in biofuels are tacitly realizing the blunder," said John DeCicco, a research professor at the University of Michigan Energy Institute who previously focused on automotive strategies at the Environmental Defense Fund. "It’s really hard for the people who really -- shall we say -- hate oil viscerally, to think that this alternative that we’ve been promoting is today worse than oil."

The green backlash could give a boost to long-stalled congressional efforts to overhaul the Renewable Fuel Standard, including proposals to limit the amount of traditional, corn-based ethanol that counts toward the mandate, as environmentalists side with anti-hunger groups and even the oil industry in calling for change. The RFS forces refiners to blend steadily escalating amounts of biofuel into the gas supply. Most of the mandate is currently fulfilled by corn-based ethanol, which makes up nearly 10 percent of U.S. gasoline and provides oxygen that helps the fuel burn cleaner.

Broken Promise

The Natural Resources Defense Council used a 96-page report in 2004 to proclaim boundless biofuel benefits: slashed global warming emissions, improved air quality and more wildlife habitat.

Instead, farmers plowed millions of acres of prairie grasses to grow corn for making ethanol, with fertilizer runoff contributing to a dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Scientists warned that carbon dioxide emissions associated with corn-based ethanol were higher than expected. And alternatives using switchgrass, algae and other non-edible plant materials have been slow to penetrate the market.

"The ethanol policy was sold to environmentalists as something that was going to clean up the environment, and it’s done anything but," said Democratic Representative Peter Welch of Vermont, who is co-sponsoring legislation to revamp the RFS. "It’s truly been a flop. The environmental promise has been transformed into an environmental detriment."
‘Unintended Consequences’

The Environmental Working Group, Clean Air Task Force and Friends of the Earth argue that the program has propelled corn-based ethanol without delivering a similar boost to advanced biofuels with potentially bigger climate benefits.

Collin O’Mara, president of the National Wildlife Federation, told a House committee last month that the RFS program, created with "good intentions," has instead wreaked "severe, unintended consequences," including the loss of prairie land and water-supply damage that threatens wildlife.

Even the NRDC that once lobbied for the RFS bemoans that "the bulk of today’s conventional corn ethanol carries grave risks to the climate, wildlife, waterways and food security." In NRDC’s "OnEarth" magazine, an essay headlined "Played for a Fuel" argues that corn-based ethanol isn’t sustainable because it requires "huge amounts" of water, fertilizer and land.

NRDC spokesman Ed Chen said the group continues to monitor the RFS "because low-carbon cellulosic biofuels can play an important role in reducing transportation pollution,” but added that the organization is “far more focused” on other carbon-cutting strategies with more immediate climate payoffs.

Corn Belt

For supporters and opponents, the debate over the RFS is politically complicated. On Capitol Hill, it divides Republicans along regional lines, with Corn Belt lawmakers determined to preserve the program they see helping to boost prices for the commodity. Green groups that seek changes risk alienating or angering go-to allies, including environmental champions in the House and Senate who staked out pro-RFS positions years ago. And the push to revamp the RFS creates uncomfortable alliances between Big Oil and environmental groups who fight fossil fuels.
Some biofuel proponents say alternatives are worse.

"In the absence of ethanol, your next barrel of transportation fuel is going to be coming from petroleum from fracking or tar sands or deep-water drilling," Bob Dinneen, president of the Renewable Fuels Association, said in a phone interview. "So you sort of have to assess ethanol in the context of what its replacement would be, and quite frankly, by that measurement we are the stone-cold winner."

Experts disagree about the extent to which corn has displaced other crops, wetlands and prairie, though in the Dakotas, acreage was withdrawn from the federal Conservation Reserve Program at the same time corn plantings grew. Dinneen said land conversion has not been an issue.

But there’s no disagreement that corn production is up -- boosted by demand from China as well as ethanol sales. In July, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated this year’s crop would be the largest on record: 14.54 billion bushels. And nationwide, farmers grew corn on 88 million acres in 2015 -- a 7.6 percent increase since 2005, when Congress created the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Agricultural Assessment

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. When Congress expanded the RFS in 2007, environmentalists pushed for safeguards designed to prevent land conversion, including a requirement that biofuels accepted under the program only come from tracts that were in agricultural production before 2007. But instead of tracking the flow of corn from specific farms to refineries, U.S. regulators chose to assess agricultural land use in aggregate -- an approach that the Environmental Working Group’s Emily Cassidy says "obscures what’s happening locally."

Jeremy Martin, who leads fuel policy for the Union of Concerned Scientists’ clean vehicles program, said the RFS has become a scapegoat, unfairly blamed as boosting demand for ethanol that probably would have reached current levels in gasoline even without the program. He casts the climb in ethanol use and the expanding footprint of corn that accompanied it as a "a one-time transition" as the U.S. fuel sector made a big shift, essentially adopting a 10 percent ethanol blend as the default gasoline.

Even if the RFS is dismantled, Martin said, "that’s not going to go away."

House Vote

Still, the growing environmental outcry is fueling calls to revamp the RFS.

There now may be enough votes in the House to pass an overhaul, despite expected defections from corn-state Republicans, says analyst Tim Cheung, vice president of ClearView Energy Partners. Lobbyists for advanced biofuels manufacturers and refiners have been discussing a possible compromise. And the National Wildlife Federation’s O’Mara sees potential for a grand bargain that combines support for advanced biofuels with assistance for farmers, including strengthened incentives to set aside land for conservation.

Welch, one of the lead sponsors of legislation that would cap ethanol volumes at 9.7 percent of projected gasoline demand, said the concerns set the stage for congressional action.

"For the Democrats who have an environmental constituency, when you have these respected environmental groups change their mind and say corn ethanol doesn’t work, that’s going to be a big boost that will give them a lot of comfort and cover," Welch said. "You’re going to see more Democrats starting to question the wisdom of this mandate."


Hillary commissions her own disaster movie and gets James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Sigourney Weaver to issue an ominous warning about global warming

What might be the scariest Hollywood-produced movie of the year isn't airing in theaters – but it will be shown to delegates of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

Blockbuster movie director James Cameron has helped produce a teeth-rattling short film about the dangers of global warming, deploying skills he usually uses to jolt viewers in his epic thrillers to get them worried about the threat of climate changes.

'Crops are failing. Food prices are rising. … our children are at risk,' says narrator Sigourney Weaver, who starred in the 'Alien' movies.

Weaver later appeared at the Democratic National Convention to warn that Donald Trump doesn't care about climate change.

'Can Donald Trump look these people in the eye and tell them that climate change is a hoax? That he doesn't care about their pain.

'Hillary Clinton, she gets it - she cars.'

The film begins with scary images of burning forests, cracked earth, vicious storms, pollution, and waves slamming into a sea wall.

As the images of calamities roll, actor and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger weighs in: 'Because of global warming, mountain snow melts earlier each year. And when that happens, the ground dries up earlier too,' he says.

Weaver delivers the films most political anti-Trump lines in the film, which runs just under 5 1/2 minutes.

'It's not reality TV. Make no mistake – Trump's reckless denial of climate change is dangerous. A threat to your livelihood, your safety, your children, and the prosperity of this nation.'

The film is named 'Not reality TV' in another shot at Trump.

Then the films directors let Trump do the talking, with clips of him on the campaign trail ridiculing the science of global warming, notwithstanding the near consensus among climate scientists that the world's climate is rising due to man-made events.

'A lot of it's a hoax – It's a hoax!' Trump says.

'We're going to cancel the Paris climate agreement,' Trump says.

Then he is shown laughing off the threat. 'Speaking of global waring, where is ... We need some global warming. It's freezing!'

One interview subject calls it a non-partisan issue, while a pastor raises religious issues about global warming.

An unnamed woman who lost her daughter in a flood tells her own personal horror story. 'She said, 'Mommy, hold me, I'm scared.' I held her, and then a wave started coming up over me. I felt the water rising and then she went under. And I knew I lost her immediately.'

Then the film switches to Clinton, speaking in uncharacteristically soft tones. 'Our country is ready to tackle the challenge of climate change,' she says.

Former President George H.W. Bush and Pope Francis are both quoted speaking to the dangers of climate change.

'A threat to your livelihood, your safety, your children, and the prosperity of this nation,' says weaver.

An advance copy of of the film was sent out by Clinton's campaign press office.

Cameron has produced and director such films as Avatar, Terminator, The Abyss, and Titanic.

Weaver starred in the Alien movies, while Schwarzenegger starred in The Terminator, Predator, and Total Recall.

Schwarzenegger has longstanding connections to the Bush family, who notably skipped Trump's Republican convention. George H.W. Bush appointed him to head a council on physical fitness. While serving as governor, he appeared with George W. Bush during California wildfires.

In 1991, on a visit to Camp David, he went sledding with then-President George H.W. Bush.

'Not Reality TV' underscores that climate change is an urgent threat to our planet and a defining challenge of our time, and makes clear how high the stakes are in this election,' according to a statement from the Democratic convention press office.

'The video reminds viewers that Donald Trump has made clear that he believes climate change is a hoax, and how as president he would not only refuse to take steps to curb climate change but actually roll back the progress we've made.'


Law to fight global warming gets strong support in California

A new poll found that California voters strongly support the landmark state law adopted a decade ago to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and that voters favor expanding efforts to fight climate change.

The Public Policy Institute of California survey released Wednesday shows 62 percent of likely voters favor the law, with most support coming from Democrats and independent voters. Eight in 10 Democrats favor the law, while 56 percent of independent voters did. That’s compared with 44 percent of Republicans who favored the law.

The Legislature adopted AB32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act, in 2006. The law calls for California to reduce greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by 2020. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, methane, ozone, nitrous oxide and sulfur hexafluoride, which trap heat in the Earth’s atmosphere near the planet’s surface.

Under AB32, the state determined greenhouse gas levels were the equivalent of 431 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 1990. Emissions from factories, power plants, cars and farms spewed 441.5 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2014, according to newly released data from the California Air Resources Board, which oversees AB32. That was less than a 1 percent decline from 2013, but still puts the state on track to reach its 2020 goal under the law.

Last year, California reaffirmed its commitment to fighting global warming when Gov. Jerry Brown issued an executive order to lower the state’s greenhouse gas emissions to 40 percent of 1990 levels by 2030.

The PPIC survey found that 68 percent of adults and 59 percent of likely voters agreed with expanding the goals, with Democrats nearly twice as likely to support those targets.

While many voters supported AB32, a majority have never heard of the cornerstone to California’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions — the state’s cap-and-trade system. Some 55 percent of voters said they had heard nothing about the cap-and-trade program, which forces large carbon dioxide emitters in the state to reduce their output of greenhouse gases by putting a cap on carbon emissions and requiring that they buy permits for any additional greenhouse gases they release.

Support for AB32 comes despite voters acknowledging the targets mean higher costs to them. Among those who said gas prices will rise as a result of greenhouse gas reduction goals, 64 percent support AB32 and 63 percent favor expanding the targets. A majority of voters said they are willing to pay more for electricity generated by renewable sources like wind and solar in order to reduce global warming.

In the presidential race, 8 in 10 voters in the state said the candidates’ views on environmental issues were important. The PPIC poll found the gap of support between Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump grew in recent months. Clinton is favored 46 to 30 percent over Trump, which is up from May, when Clinton led 49 to 39 percent in the strong Democratic state.

In the U.S. Senate race, Kamala Harris leads fellow Democrat Loretta Sanchez 38 to 20 percent. Half of Republicans surveyed said they do not plan to vote in the Senate race.

The PPIC surveyed 1,703 adults in California between July 10 and 19 in English and Spanish depending on the caller’s preference. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percent.


Hypocrite Leonardo DiCaprio at his annual St. Tropez party: "We are the last generation that has a chance to stop climate change"

Leonardo DiCaprio and the usual celebrity crowd have again been partying in St. Tropez. And there is no end to the hypocrisy:

“While we are the first generation that has the technology, the scientific knowledge and the global will to build a truly sustainable economic future for all of humanity — we are the last generation that has a chance to stop climate change before it is too late,” DiCaprio said, according to EcoWatch.

The star’s weighty message didn’t dampen the festivities: del Rey and the Weeknd performed while Mariah Carey flitted about the room snapping pictures with her fellow celebrities. --

Dozens of A-list stars made the trek to the French Riviera for the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation’s annual Gala to Fund Climate and Biodiversity Projects, including U2 frontman Bono, actors Bradley Cooper, Edward Norton, Jonah Hill, Tobey Maguire and Chris Rock and singers Mariah Carey, Lana del Rey and The Weeknd.

The event’s co-chairs included Robert De Niro, Kevin Spacey, Kate Hudson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Penelope Cruz, Cate Blanchett and Charlize Theron.

Breitbart´s Daniel Nussbaum comments:

If just one of the celebrities who attended the event traveled the 12,000-mile round trip from Los Angeles to France by private jet, they would have burned enough fossil fuel to emit approximately 86 tons of carbon dioxide. The average American, for comparison, puts out around 19 tons of carbon dioxide on airline flights per year.



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.  

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