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Putting fish first. From USA Today, Calif. farmers say feds make drought worse
FIREBAUGH, Calif. — The road to Todd Allen’s farm wends past irrigation canals filled with the water that California’s hot Central Valley depends on to produce vegetables and fruit for the nation. Yet not a drop will make it to his barren fields.
Three years into a drought that evokes fears of a modern-day dust bowl, Allen and others here say the culprit now isn’t Mother Nature so much as the federal government. Court and regulatory rulings protecting endangered fish have choked the annual flow of water from California’s Sierra mountains down to its people and irrigated fields, compounding a natural dry spell.
“This is a regulatory drought, is what it is,” Allen says. “It just doesn’t seem fair.”
More at the link.
Not even the departed are safe from greenie control freaks in Great Britain. From The Telegraph, Eco-friendly shrouds to reduce cremation emissions
Council crematoria have banned families from dressing the deceased in their favourite outfits, under the strict rules against man-made fabrics.
Parents have even been forbidden from placing soft toys insides their children’s coffins because they could pose a risk to the environment when burned.
Instead, grieving relatives are being told they must pay £60 for a council-approved “fluffy and frilly” shroud made of 100 per cent natural fibres.
Will this be the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back for the people of Great Britain’s Nanny State? Bet the local government makes a nice piece of change on the requirement, too. I can’t think of any other single action that demonstrates so clearly how far their government control has gone, when people must honor their dead according to the state-sanctioned religion of Environmentalism. Wake up, Brits, and rise up.
Thanks to Green Hell which has a video on the green funeral phenomenon.
The war of words for your heart and mind is on. Seeking to Save the Planet, With a Thesaurus
The problem with global warming, some environmentalists believe, is “global warming.”
The term turns people off, fostering images of shaggy-haired liberals, economic sacrifice and complex scientific disputes, according to extensive polling and focus group sessions conducted by ecoAmerica, a nonprofit environmental marketing and messaging firm in Washington.
It makes me think of purse-lipped Puritan-fundamentalist types whose hair styles are irrelevant, but that’s just me. I can see how talking about “global warming” is a big problem for them, though, because it’s not true, and people know it. The Earth has actually been cooling for about ten years, and ice at the poles is not disappearing. And there is a lot of scientific dispute about it because of the faked data and flawed methodology and uncooperative computer programs whose models don’t come near to predicting reality, all of which were used to hype it. The increasing numbers of respected scientists who are becoming more vocal about their reservations doesn’t help, either. And it has already entailed economic sacrifice, as has been shown in Europe.
So, what to do about these inconvenient and hurtful truths? In the PR world you ignore them. You dumb it down, personalize it and accentuate the positive, even if the positive is non-existent:
“Another key finding: remember to speak in TALKING POINTS aspirational language about shared American ideals, like freedom, prosperity, independence and self-sufficiency while avoiding jargon and details about policy, science, economics or technology,” said the e-mail account of the group’s study.
Instead of grim warnings about global warming, the firm advises, talk about “our deteriorating atmosphere.” Drop discussions of carbon dioxide and bring up “moving away from the dirty fuels of the past.” Don’t confuse people with cap and trade; use terms like “cap and cash back” or “pollution reduction refund.”
Apparently people are tuning out when they hear “the environment,” so that will disappear, to be replaced by blather about saving money for a more prosperous future, the air we breathe, the water our children drink. I guess we won’t have Al Gore to kick around anymore.
The other side’s doing it, too:
Opponents of legislation to combat global warming are engaged in a similar effort. Trying to head off a cap-and-trade system, in which government would cap the amount of heat-trapping emissions allowed and let industry trade permits to emit those gases, they are coaching Republicans to refer to any such system as a giant tax that would kill jobs…
Which has the virtue of being a fact, again looking to the European experience.
One thing professional manipulators agree on:
And, Mr. Luntz and Mr. Perkowitz agree, “climate change” is an easier sell than “global warming.”
Have you noticed how everything is green lately? The exhortation to go green shows up in TV shows and in advertising everywhere you look and listen. You can’t find a weather forecast on the Weather Channel without a reminder. Comcast has a Green channel. Even the NBA stuck its toe in the water. This propaganda blitz has to be historic.
But to what end? What is really being advocated? An article in The Objective Standard slices and dices the philosophy underlying the environmental movement and reaches this simple conclusion: it’s all about who lives and dies, and environmentalists aren’t cheering for the human team.
Exploiting the Earth—using the raw materials of nature for one’s life-serving purposes—is a basic requirement of human life. Either man takes the Earth’s raw materials—such as trees, petroleum, aluminum, and atoms—and transforms them into the requirements of his life, or he dies. To live, man must produce the goods on which his life depends; he must produce homes, automobiles, computers, electricity, and the like; he must seize nature and use it to his advantage. There is no escaping this fact. Even the allegedly “noble” savage must pick or perish. Indeed, even if a person produces nothing, insofar as he remains alive he indirectly exploits the Earth by parasitically surviving off the exploitative efforts of others.
According to environmentalism, however, man should not use nature for his needs; he should keep his hands off “the goods”; he should leave nature alone, come what may. Environmentalism is not concerned with human health and wellbeing—neither ours nor that of generations to come. If it were, it would advocate the one social system that ensures that the Earth and its elements are used in the most productive, life-serving manner possible: capitalism.
Capitalism is the only social system that recognizes and protects each individual’s right to act in accordance with his basic means of living: the judgment of his mind. Environmentalism, of course, does not and cannot advocate capitalism, because if people are free to act on their judgment, they will strive to produce and prosper; they will transform the raw materials of nature into the requirements of human life; they will exploit the Earth and live.
Much more at the link.
This view is more colorfully expressed in Green is the color of death:
The term “green” as used by environmentalists refers to the pristine beauty of nature free from the corrupting influence of humanity, but humanity where ever it exists, by our nature must use our environment for our survival. When it is broken down, the philosophy of environmentalism is the philosophy of life on earth without humanity at all. Green becomes the color of a forest that grows over unmarked graves.
…Really, what environmentalists usually think of when they look on the world is how humanity has sullied its pristine beauty. And they invented earth day to remind us all of what a blight we are on the planet. Don’t be fooled by their use of words like “balance” and “living in harmony”. In nature balance is the constant struggle between life and death, creation and destruction. Animals eat and kill, fires burn, waters flood; that is the nature of things. What environmentalists want humanity to do is give up the struggle, to die, and to leave the earth in peace. They won’t even extend the same courtesy they give to animals like wolves that eat other animals or beavers that cut down trees to build dams.
Environmentalism, like other successful religious movements, has exploited the time-proven tactic of guilting people into compliance with its views, playing on the tension between human nature and needs, and the moral laws posited in its creed. It also recognizes the value of molding unformed minds. Look at school curricula and children’s shows. It has been effective.
I’m a big fan of looking at results. To me, the inevitable result of following the path of environmentalism’s philosophy is the diminishment of humanity’s chances of survival, littered with the corpses of dreams and human potential. There’s an old proverb that goes something like, “Be careful what you wish for, you may get it.” The end result of of embracing green views is the fulfillment of a deathwish for humanity.
Go green? Hell, no. Go humanity.
In the past I have posted about my view that describing cap and trade and the carbon market in the language of capitalism is a deception intended to make people comfortable with the concept, when it is in fact a government-rigged process designed to favor some constituencies and ultimately extend its power over the economy.
The Foundry takes up this issue in a post that points out how deplorably centralized governments of the past, Russia specifically, have dealt with environmental issues. It goes on from there to the present:
..The left knows this, which is why they have tried so hard to drape their latest big government plans in free market rhetoric.
The problem is there is nothing free market about carbon cap and trading. New Zealand Climate Science Coalition chair Bryan Leyland explains why:
So, to my knowledge, carbon trading is the only commodity trading where it is impossible to establish with reasonable accuracy how much is being bought and sold, where the commodity that is traded is invisible and can perform no useful purpose for the purchaser, and where both parties benefit if the quantities traded have been exaggerated. … It is, therefore, an open invitation to fraud and that is exactly what is happening all over the world.
Carbon is ubiquitous in our lives and in our economy. The only way a cap and trade “market” could work is with round the clock and pervasive big government surveillance and monitoring of everything you do. Does that sound like a “free market” to you?
No, it doesn’t. Nor does government by unelected bureaucrat sound like democracy, but it’s happening all around us, in the form of TARP, the Federal Reserve and the EPA.
“The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them.” –Patrick Henry
Not just transactions are being concealed from us, but goals, too. Our liberty’s security is looking pretty shaky right now.
To hell with the people. From NYT, Hundreds Protest Cuts in Water in California
With below-normal precipitation, many in the Central Valley have let their fields go fallow this spring. In March, the state projected that because of the drought as many as 23,700 full-time workers would go without jobs, and farmers would lose up to $477 million in revenue.
What they want and why:
Organizers are calling for a new canal that would divert water from the Sacramento River to Central Valley farms as well as a relaxation of the environmental protections given to threatened species like the delta smelt, a pinky-sized fish native to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, a critical aquatic byway for water from the wetter north part of the state.
Court rulings have limited pumping from the delta, while the drought has eliminated all federal water allocations to farms south of the delta for this growing season.
Critics say it’s all about the greedy farmers:
Still, some labor organizers and advocates for rural areas contend that the marchers’ goals reflect only the desires of agribusiness and not the real needs of farm workers.
Many of the protesters were paid by their employers to march in lieu of harvesting crops.
“In reality, this is not a farm worker march,” said Arturo Rodriguez, president of the United Farm Workers of America, the 27,000-member union founded by César Chávez, which did not participate in the march. “This is a farmer march orchestrated and financed by growers.”
In what alternate universe is there no connection between an operational business and that business’s employees’ welfare? Inquiring minds want to know.
And you’ll be happy to hear that your insatiable demand for oil won’t be disturbing marine life any time soon. Court Cancels Offshore Drilling
A program to expand oil and gas drilling off the Alaska coast has been canceled by a federal appeals court because of environmental concerns.
A three-judge panel in the District of Columbia says the Bush administration’s Interior Department failed to consider the offshore environmental impact and marine life before approving an oil and gas leasing program in the Beaufort, Bering, and Chukchi (CHOOK-chee) seas.”
I wonder how many environmental obstacles will stand in the way of Obama’s Crazy Train. At least it won’t bother any swimming creatures.
Children don’t do nuance. Their brains aren’t developed enough. If you want to communicate with a kid, black and white works best. Eco-freaks increasingly count on that fact to push their political agendas and philosophical ideas through children’s books, says the children’s book reviewer for the WSJ. Scary Green Monsters
The patriarch of the vogue for green-themed children’s books is surely Carl Hiaasen, the novelist and Miami Herald columnist who shot to eco-stardom in 2002 with “Hoot,” a novel for middle-schoolers about three children who foil a corporation’s attempt to build a pancake restaurant over a burrow of endangered miniature owls. “Hoot” won a Newbery Honor Award, and was followed in 2005 by “Flush,” a tale recounting the adventures of a different group of youthful oddball allies that is seeking to expose a casino-boat operator who’s been flushing raw sewage into harbor water.
Mr. Hiaasen’s latest, “Scat,” which came out in January, ever so slightly betrays the strains of extending the franchise. Here the story features a new group of three children who band together with an eccentric biology teacher and an armed eco-terrorist to stop a buffoonish Texas oilman from illegally extracting petroleum from the habitat of the endangered Florida panther.
In all Mr. Hiaasen’s books for children, young readers are asked to sympathize with environmentalists who thwart businessmen, even when the good guys take destructive measures such as sinking boats or torching billboards. And the eco-tropes that have worked so well for Mr. Hiaasen — Good nature! Bad capitalist! — are steadily creeping into books across the age range.
I have always been a voracious reader and have encouraged my own kids and grandsons to read, so I don’t think keeping kids from these kinds of stories is a good idea. The key here is to be aware of what ideas your child is being exposed to and counter them with your own. Earlier in the article the author remarks on the pervasiveness of the eco-message:
Contemporary children are so drenched with eco-propaganda that it’s almost a waste of resources. Like acid rain, but more persistent and corrosive, it dribbles down on them all day long. They get it at school, where recycling now competes with tolerance as man’s highest virtue. They get it in peppy “go green” messages online, on television and in magazines.
And from Nickelodeon.
Regardless of all that, children take their cues from their parents, at least before puberty strikes. Your child depends on you to provide security, including the comfort of consistency. Make sure your philosophical house is in order and monitor what your kids read. Apply your values to the stories and make sure you’re consistent in the message. For example, if you think it’s wrong to condone violence to gain a political end you should say so, and make it clear by repeatedly saying so every time you see that happening, not just in storybooks but in movies and TV shows. Kids absorb values and attitudes, even if it looks like they’re not paying attention. Parents have the most power to influence their children, and they should use it. It’s their job.
Thanks to Center For Consumer Freedom
A Clean Energy Summit was held in Washington Monday, convened by Senator Harry Reid and John Podesta, co-chair of the President’s transition team. From Reason:
The stated goal of the summit was to discuss the policies needed to construct a national smart grid to support new renewable energy generation and transmission, as well as how to best wean America off of foreign oil. In reality, the summit was a made-for-media event designed to show the breadth of the coalition pushing for a comprehensive federal green energy policy. Other participants included AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, Service Employees International Union President Andy Stern, Wal-Mart Chairman Lee Scott, American Wind Energy Association CEO Denise Bode, National Rural Electrification Cooperative Association CEO Glenn English, Sierra Club CEO Carl Pope, Owens Corning CEO Michael Thaman, Robert Kennedy from the Natural Resources Defense Council, American Electric Power CEO Michael Morris, and National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners President Fred Butler.
But just because the special interests are having fun doesn’t mean that they are all wrong—at least, not when it comes to bringing America’s national electric grid into the information age. This “most anesthetizing of issues,” as Wirth dubbed it, involves complex changes in regulatory procedures, new cost allocation formulas, and the setting of technical standards among power generators, transmission companies, and equipment manufacturers.
Senator Reed will introduce a bill this week giving the Federal government a much larger part in the planning and location of transmission facilities. Included in that bill is the requirement that utilities produce a specified percentage of their electricity by means of wind, solar, or geothermal sources. Reportedly those percentages start at 4% by 2012 and end at 20% by 2039.
The “smart grid” will make it possible to greatly expand energy production from renewables, because it can handle the intermitent production from solar and wind power, something the current grid cannot do.
Some unanswered questions:
During a post-summit press conference, I tried unsuccessfully to ask Reid the following questions: If Congress and the Obama administration are going to set a price on carbon dioxide emissions from conventional power plants, why wouldn’t that be enough to encourage utilities, consumers, and innovators to develop and switch to low carbon renewable fuels? Why does Reid think we need his proposed panoply of tax credits and mandated renewable energy portfolio standards? More pointedly, why does Reid think that Congress knows just what the right mix of energy sources is? I would still like to know the answers to those questions.
I saw no mention of new nuclear power plants, a carbon-free energy source. Wouldn’t that be the way to go if Congress is really interested in clean energy, instead of the proposed bureaucratic and economic nightmare of cap and trade, and the increasing Federal intrusion into states’ business that this “smart grid” will entail?
England is in the midst of implementing a similar energy policy, with higher percentage requirements. How is that working out there? Back in June 2008, Christopher Booker reported:
…This is the unavoidable fact that wind speeds around the British Isles are constantly varying, often providing no power at all – so that the electricity actually generated by these turbines represents only between a quarter and a third of their nominal ‘capacity’.
What this means is that conventional coal, gas, oil or nuclear-fired power stations must be on permanent stand-by to provide all the electricity the turbines are not able to produce when the wind is not blowing.
Earlier this month, Paul Golby, the chief executive of the German-owned E.ON (one of our largest electricity companies), came up with the shattering admission that the back-up needed for our new wind turbines would amount to 90 per cent of their capacity.
This alone would mean building scores more gas and coal-fired power plants, to guarantee continuous supply during those times when the wind is not blowing and therefore the turbines are not generating any electricity.
Sounds like a great big waste of money. This will be an issue for America, too, if Senator Reid’s bill is passed, as I’m sure it will be.
In the aftermath of 180 dead, Australians ponder deep causes behind devastation of worst-ever bushfires.
Australians, though no strangers to bushfires, are still shocked and baffled. They could not help wondering what factors are combining to have created the tragedy.
The police now have full evidence to believe that arsonists started the fire, but environmentalists and other experts are in search of causes that make the inferno so uncontrollable and devastating.
In an interview with Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Bushfire expert David Packham at Melbourne’s Monash University put the blame on the a green movement that opposes controlled clearance in forests.
Fire management has been taking place in Australia for centuries but present policies have changed those practices, Packham said. “If you can reduce your fuels by one-tenth, you actually reduce your fire intensity by one-hundredth.”
Ray Nias from the environmental group the WWF told the broadcaster that the recent fires should inspire discussion about whether it is safe to live in some areas of heavy bush-land at all.
“People choose to live in places like the mountain ranges of Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales and elsewhere where there is a high bushfire risk and so, you know, we need to realize that people are, more and more people are living in those high bushfire prone areas and that in itself is an issue,” Nias said.
I wish the reporter had prompted Mr. Nias to expand on his statement, including possible solutions to the bushfire risk. All he says is “the recent fires should inspire discussion about whether it is safe to live in some areas of heavy bush-land at all.” Discussions with whom? Does he imagine the people who live in those areas are clueless about the risks? No, not likely. Then he must mean someone else. The government bureaucracy that laid down the laws? Maybe. But discussions about what? I think the “at all” at the end of his sentence gives an indication of where his thoughts lie.
The best conclusion I can draw from what he said is that he considers people to be the problem, not the environmental rules that led to the disaster. Not very enlightened, Mr. Nias. Blaming the victim is so 20th century. It’s almost as if he considers environmental dogma more important than human lives. If that’s not true, then environmentalists need to get better spokesmen.
H/T Chilling Effect
On April 22, Celebrate Exploit-the-Earth Day
Talking truth to environmentalist power:
Either man takes the Earth’s raw materials—such as trees, petroleum, aluminum, and atoms—and transforms them into the requirements of his life, or he dies. To live, man must produce the goods on which his life depends; he must produce homes, automobiles, computers, electricity, and the like; he must seize nature and use it to his advantage. There is no escaping this fact. Even the allegedly “noble” savage must pick or perish. Indeed, even if a person produces nothing, insofar as he remains alive he indirectly exploits the Earth by parasitically surviving off the exploitative efforts of others.
Exploiting the Earth—using the raw materials of nature for one’s life-serving purposes—is a basic requirement of human life. According to environmentalism, however, man should not use nature for his needs; he should keep his hands off “the goods”; he should leave nature alone, come what may.
Capitalism is the only social system that recognizes and protects each individual’s right to act in accordance with his basic means of living: the judgment of his mind. Environmentalism, of course, does not and cannot advocate capitalism, because if people are free to act on their judgment, they will strive to produce and prosper; they will transform the raw materials of nature onto the requirements of human life; they will exploit the Earth and live.
Environmentalism rejects the basic moral premise of capitalism—the idea that people should be free to act on their judgment—because it rejects a more fundamental idea on which capitalism rests: the idea that the requirements of human life constitute the standard of moral value. While the standard of value underlying capitalism is human life (meaning, that which is necessary for human beings to live and prosper), the standard of value underlying environmentalism is nature untouched by man.
Think “Save the Caribou.”
There’s no middle ground:
It comes down to this: Each of us has a choice to make. Will I recognize that man’s life is the standard of moral value—that the good is that which sustains and furthers human life—and thus that people have a moral right to use the Earth and its elements for their life-serving needs? Or will I accept the notion that nature has “intrinsic” value—value in and of itself, value apart from and irrespective of human needs—and thus that people have no right to exist?
One point I’d like to add is that responsible stewardship of resources is not the same thing as environmentalism. The meaning of “Environmentalism” has expanded (thanks in large part to our simple-minded media) to mean any action that can conceivably be twisted to fit the pre-determined story. So we see celebrities advocating using one square of toilet paper to save the forests–even though paper companies manage forests to maintain their supply of resources, giving employment and convenience to many people. Or other celebrities screeching about the inhumane practice of killing wolves, ignoring the fact that managing the wolf population in turn helps manage the caribou population, which in its turn helps feed people. The whole circle of life thing, in short. It seems as if they want to take people out of that circle, which goes to show that the article has it right.
Another thing I find amazing is the ease with which the environmentally-conscious use and are gulled by the very system they are condemning. Anywhere you look you see green this, eco-friendly that, selling almost any product imaginable. It’s the biggest marketing ploy in recent history. Al Gore wants to save the planet from man-made global warming, so he starts a company that deals in carbon offset credits. The failed Lehman Brothers and others factor the potential consequences (social and legislative) into their projections and plans. I see people buying eco-friendly cleaning supplies at the grocery store, and wonder if they realize the size of the (non-existent, in my opinion) carbon footprint from the manufacturing process they have just validated (or maybe they think it was produced in some magically non-traditional, non carbon-producing way). Exploitation is not just for money-grubbing capitalists any more, and caring about the Earth doesn’t innoculate you from stupidity.
I’m going to like annoying those people.