The U.S. Navy says it is a global force for good. President Obama doesn’t seem so sure. However, the freedom of the seas that encourage trade and prosperity has only happened when some strong military force has protected safety on the high seas. That always has meant fighting off the bandits, pirates, and trade-blocking forces that would have made trade too expensive to supply people’s needs.
Trade requires freedom of the seas because ships are always the cost-effective way to move heavy stuff. In fact, the U.S. Navy’s first real triumph was suppressing the Barbary pirates who were seizing American ships and enslaving our sailors in the early 19th century. Continue reading
A Wall Street billionaire is pledging to spend whatever it takes to make manmade global warming the defining issue of our generation. Most recently, he sent airplanes with banners over Boston that read Steve Lynch for Oil Evil Empire. Lynch, a fellow Democrat and Senate candidate, favors the Keystone pipeline and the jobs it would create.
The goal here is not to win, says Tom Steyer, who assembled his $1.4 billion fortune as a hedge fund manager. The goal here is to destroy these people, We want a smashing victory. Smash any politicians who might wimp out on the harsh policies necessary to change the world into Steyers green energy image. Spoken like a true Big Board Type-A personality! Continue reading
Author Eugene Linden writes books on the far edge of the environmental movement. He recently wrote, a bit hysterically, in The Daily Beast: we need leaders with the courage to steamroll the deniers and the vested interests . . . Climate change is a civilization killer, and if we go on down the climate rapids
I am not sure what steamrolling entails; but I do know, that the warmer periods are the civilization savers. Continue reading
Mitt Romney says he could create 12 million jobs in a four year term. Could he really do it? The odds are he could.
Romney would start, of course, with energy, where gasoline prices have doubled under Obama. High energy costs have scuttled lots of small businesses; people could no longer afford their goods or services. High gas prices also drove some employees out of the job market as they could no longer afford commuting to a job with modest pay.
Obama campaigned on raising energy costs even higher; to protect us from the man-made global warming that is not occurring. He even hints about further slashing fossil fuel use after he wins more flexibility in a second term. Continue reading
Congress has failed put in place a farm bill for the first time in more than 60 years, says a reporter for station WBNG in New York State. U. S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack debates this however: President Obama has a strong record of supporting Americas farmers, ranchers, and rural America. Today, agriculture is thriving. . . . Today there is a record amount of biofuel production. The administration recently announced new renewable fuel standard targets that will increase biodiesel production. . . . And he has increased the amount of ethanol that can be blended into gasoline.
Thats not a farm bill. Thats a costly, short-sighted biofuels policy. Continue reading
Recently I watched John Stosells program on Politicians Top Ten Promises Gone Wrong. Ethanols promise gone wrong was surpassed only by the housing subsidy bubble and the promise that more and bigger Europe-style government was the answer to the future.
Six years ago, when President Bush expanded the corn ethanol mandate, I wrote that producing more corn ethanol would take too much of the scarce prime cropland the world needs to produce its food. Almost immediately, in 2008, a spike in oil prices created a global shortage of corn, with food riots in two dozen countries. (The price of corn is inevitably global.)
Now this years Corn Belt drought has brought us face to faceagainwith high-priced hunger for the worlds poor, no answer to global warming, and a sinful waste of the worlds currently scarce financial resources. Continue reading
During a symposium held recently at the Holocaust Memorial Museum, Yale historian, Tim Snyder told the attendees: Climate change acts as a multiplier of other resource crises leading to the ecological panic that Im afraid will lead to mass killings in the decades come. In his attempt to predict the future, he is relying on historic resource crises that have led to mass killings, revolts, invasions, and famines. However, almost all of those resource crises came during the earths little ice ages, not during our planets warm cycles. (Neither Hitler nor Mao Tse Tung were driven by resource crises; Japan may have thought it was, but their invasion of China cost a terrible price) Continue reading
A Canadian couple of my acquaintance has just published a book provocatively titled The Locovores Dilemma: In Praise of the 10,000 Mile Diet. A new review in Publishers Weekly calls it a daring, bare-knuckled, frequently sarcastic defense of the status quo in Western industrial agribusiness. From the point of view of the well-off, well-fed North American who does not have to toil much of the day for his subsistence, whats not to praise in the Wests ability to provide the world with cheap, fast, uniform, reliable, bug-resistant, vitamin-enhanced food? Continue reading
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change admitted last week it had no evidence to support the various claims that the planets weather is becoming more extreme. The new IPCC report on weather extremes reads: While there is evidence that increases in greenhouse gases have likely caused changes in some types of extremes, there is no simple answer to question of whether the climate, in general, has become more or less extreme. Continue reading
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control finally confirmed that drinking raw milk is more than twice as dangerous then drinking pasteurized milk. And the raw milk disease outbreaks are more dangerous especially for kids and the elderly. This is the CDCs reluctant response to a craze among the alternate believers for all natural. CDC made the announcement after a 13-year review!
Dr. Robert Tauxe, director of CDCs division of foodborne diseases said The states that allow sale of raw milk will probably continue to see outbreaks in the future The CDC and FDA also say pasteurized milk has all the same benefits as unpasteurized milk.
This bolsters the federal governments argument to go after farmers who sell unpasteurized milk across state lines said The Washington Times online February 21st. Continue reading
Here we go again. Regular readers will remember that a couple of weeks ago Christopher Columbus was being blamed for the Little Ice Age (AD 1300 to 1850). Now, a new computer study announced that volcanoes caused the Little Ice Age! A research team led by Gifford Miller of the University of Colorado says eruptions of four volcanoes just before AD 1300 spewed huge amounts of sulphates into the air, which cooled the Arctic and grew the Arctic ice sheets and glaciers.
I find a few problems with this news, starting with the reality that the Little Ice Age lasted about 550 years! How do volcanic eruptionseven from four very big volcanoesthrow up enough space dust to cool the planet for five centuries!? Two years, certainly, perhaps even ten years for an awesome eruption such as Krakatoa in 1883but not 500. Climate historian Hubert Lamb notes that in 1783, when there were two very great eruptionsin Iceland and in Japanin the same year, the combined effect may have been a cooling of the northern hemisphere by 1.3 degrees C, gradually tailing away to zero over the following four or five years. Continue reading
In a remarkable example of human-centeredness, Stanford University geochemist Richard Nevle blames Christopher Columbus for a sharp reduction in atmospheric CO2 during the 16th and 17th centuries. It seems that man-made warming believers never tire of telling us how powerful humans are, usually for the worse, in our ability to change nature.
Nevle claims that the deaths of American Indians, due to the sudden spread of European diseases after Columbus landed, would have stopped the Indians from burning so many forests to enhance their hunting. He says this would naturally lead to re-forestation of a land area at least as big as California. He estimates the billions of tons of CO2 withdrawn from the atmosphere as the new trees grew should just about explain a sudden drop in atmospheric CO2 during the years from 1500 to 1700 ADas measured in the Antarctic ice cores. Continue reading
Can we successfully grow more plants per acre as a future strategy for increasing our crop yields and food production? Sixty thousand corn plants per acretwice Iowas current averagecould be one route to higher productivity. The world will need twice as much food in 2050, and well need to triple the crop yields on the best land. Doubling would be a very good start.
Otherwise, well see one of two bad things: Either lots of people will starve, or well plow down all the wildlife for low-yield crops. The stakes are high. But the basic ways to raise yields over the past half-centurycross-breeding plants, irrigation, pesticides, and lots of nitrogen fertilizerare already widely used. Another three-fold yield increase will be tough. Continue reading
Africa is the only continent where food production per capita is falling as its population continues to expand. Three-fourths of Africas food is produced on small farms that get radically lower crop yields than its experimental farms.
Even if these little farms got adequate fertilizer and high-yield seeds, they still wouldnt get the higher yields produced by First World farmers because of the heavy weed populations fostered by Africas high temperatures, high humidity, and intense sunlight. A Nigerian field has an estimated 200 million weed seeds per hectare! Continue reading
Deirdre Schlunegger, the head of an organization named STOP Food borne Illness, warned recently on the Huffington Post website that the government wont have enough money next year to implement the new safety inspections authorized by the Food Safety Modernization Act. That act was signed into law by President Obama last January, but the federal budget cuts demanded by Republicans may now prevent the food protection agencies from carrying it out.
Ms. Schlunegger says food safety should come first among our priorities, not after people have gotten sick. The Centers for Disease Control estimates 48 million cases of food-borne illness in this country each year, with 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. She says, Farmers, food producers, transporters, and retailers of food products in this country need to be regulated by stricter laws that have deeper consequences. Continue reading
Michelle Bachmann recently promised that, if elected President, she would get gasoline prices back down to $2 per gallon, She reminded us that gas was $1.79 when President Obama took office.
Was this foolish campaign-speak? Probably not. An administration really dedicated to producing more U.S. energy could quickly make lots of progressand probably encourage similar energy efforts world-wide. Continue reading
Obamas Secretary of Agriculture thinks food stamps are an economic stimulus! I cant think of a sadder or more realistic commentary on the Obama Administrations clueless approach to economics. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says that each dollar of food stamp spending generates $1.84 worth of economic activity out there in the great economic beyond that he apparently never saw in his legal career.
If food stamps were such an economic stimulus, why havent we put everyone on food stamps and made ourselves all filthy rich with the profits? But that would be ludicrous, wouldnt it? Even Obama wouldnt pretend that far. Continue reading
A new natural food additive, discovered in a laboratory accident, is now ready to slash by half the number of hospitalizations and deaths from food-borne bacterial poisoning across the Western World.
In July, salmonella traced to ground turkey hospitalized 78 people in 26 states and was blamed for one death. Nationwide, such deadly food-borne bacteria as E. coli O157:H7, salmonella, campylobacter and listeria claim an estimated 48 million victims per year, with 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. The bacteria attack even more viciously in countries with cruder defenses. Continue reading
Its not just that man-made emissions dont control the climate, they dont even control global CO2 levels.
Thats the incredible message Dr. Murry Salby, Chair of Climate Science at the respected Macquarie University in Australia, presented recently to the Sydney Institute. Professor Salbys paper, with all the graphs, will be released in about six weeks. His book Physics of the Atmosphere and Climate will be released later this year. Dont expect an easy readbut if his research holds up, it could well change the direction of the entire climate debate. Continue reading
The worlds farm pesticide death toll has been cut radically with biotech seeds that carry their own internal pesticide. A new study in India has found that biotech cotton has reduced pesticide spraying by 50 percent, and spraying of the most toxic poisons by 70 percent. The reduced spraying is helping avoid several million cases of pesticide poisoning in India every year.
This is important progresswhich should be enough by itself to embarrass Greenpeace and the other anti-technology groups opposing biotech. But the big news Continue reading
CHURCHVILLE, VAGet ready for the next big bombshell in the man-made warming debate. The worlds most sophisticated particle study laboratoryCERN in Genevawill soon announce that more cosmic rays do, indeed, create more clouds in earths atmosphere. More cosmic rays mean a cooler planet. Thus, the solar source of the earths long, moderate 1,500-year climate cycle will finally be explained.
Cosmic rays and solar winds are interesting phenomenabut they are vastly more relevant when an undocumented theory is threatening to quadruple societys energy costs. The IPCC wants $10 gasoline, and soaring electric bills to reduce earths temperatures by an amount too tiny to measure with most thermometers. Continue reading
CHURCHVILLE, VA Im tired of reading about the American economys mysterious non-recovery. The lack of recovery isnt mysterious at all. The economy hates uncertainty, and Obama has introduced more economic uncertainty than weve had since Hoover and Roosevelt started violating the law of supply and demand 80 years ago. Continue reading
CHURCHVILLE, VA Is it the Science Story of the Century or the best kept American media secret of the year? Just-announced heavyweight new studies from the U.S. National Solar Observatory tell us to expect a long quiet period for the sunand decades of cooler global temperatures.
The Register in London headlined, Earth may be headed into a mini Ice Age within a decade . . . which could mean that the Earthfar from facing a global warming problemis actually headed into a mini Ice Age. Continue reading
CHURCHVILLE, VAOur ironic thanks to Smoky the Bears campaign manager, the Sierra Club, and all those well-meaning folks who have just delivered the second-largest wildfire in Arizona history. The Wallow Fire has burned more than 600 square miles of Ponderosa pine forest at this writingand it is still burning. It still has a chance at exceeding the 732 square miles of the Chediski fire in 2002. Continue reading
CHURCHVILLE, VAThis weeks headlines: Another huge, awful outbreak of food-borne bacteria. This time the worst, so far, in modern history; perhaps 2000 sickened, and about 20 dead. At least 500 cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome.. That means liver damageand potential death from kidney failure. More than 1000 cases of severe diarrhea. Usually it is the very young and the elderly who are most at risk of serious consequences, but this outbreak targeted young adults, mostly women.
All the known cases involved people who recently ate food in northern Germanybut scientists cant find the source of the infections. They seldom can. The deadly bacteria appear without warning, and usually disappear before they can be traced. Continue reading
CHURCHVILLE, VA In the old days, we cooked hamburgers rare, juicy and flavorful. In recent years, because of E. coli 0157:H7, weve had to content ourselves with hamburgers that were gray and dry or run the risk of serious illness. 0157:H7 is the relatively new and vicious Jack-in-the-Box bacteria that killed four kids in Seattle in 1993. It was seen first by researchers in the 1980s. Since then, it has killed hundreds and sickened thousands more with bloody diarrhea, severe abdominal cramps, and even liver failure. Continue reading
The air over northeastern Japan is slightly radioactivenot at dangerous levels for people, but an indicator that higher levels might come. The newspapers in Japan and here are talking earnestly about failures in pressure vessels and falsified safety reporting, as they should.
But now, a slightly hysterical Surgeon General of the United States is recommending that millions of U.S. residents buy iodide crystals to ward off potential thyroid cancerfrom a nuclear event thousands miles away. Four thousand people were on the site of the nuclear accident at Chernobyl in 1986; nine have died from thyroid cancer exposure. Continue reading
Churchville, VA Forty thousand researchers and clinicians have just written to the journal Science through their professional societiesasking for broader and quicker testing of new chemicals in our environment. Eight societies, including the geneticists, endocrinologists, developmental biologists and others say that 12,000 new substances are being registered with the America Chemical Society every day. They admit that not many of these new substances will ever make it into the environment. Continue reading
Churchville, VA Farmers, along with the rest of us, could get hit with a triple jolt of regulatory shock if the Environment Protection Agency goes forward with its announced controls on carbon emissions. Consumers are already paying heavily for the federal mandate that puts a huge chunk of our corn crop, as ethanol, into our gas tanks instead of into our meat, milk, and eggs. While food costs soar, along with fuel costs, it is a waste of good corn as it contributes almost zero to our energy independence. Continue reading
CHURCHVILLE, VA Paul Krugman is a big deal: Princeton professor, New York Times columnist and Nobel laureate (2008). Krugman wrote last week about the food crisis, the second one to hit the world in the last three years. His key statement: what really stands out is the extent to which severe weather events have disrupted agricultural production. And these severe weather events are exactly the kind of thing wed expect to see as rising concentrations of greenhouse gases change our climatewhich means that the current food prices surge may be just beginning. Continue reading