Combs Spouts Off

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Posts Tagged ‘environmentalism’

Save the wight bulb

Posted by Richard on March 6, 2011

If you were to mash up Richard Wagner, Elmer Fudd, and some scruffy Greenpeace activist, the result might be something like this. Enjoy!


[YouTube link]

HT: Legal Insurrection via American Digest (where you can read an excerpt from Ayn Rand's Anthem that's quite apropos)

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Great moments in environmentalism, part 2

Posted by Richard on January 28, 2011

Tracy Province, a convicted murderer who escaped from an Arizona minimum-security prison and went on a crime spree before his capture, told authorities he went to Yellowstone with the intention of overdosing on heroin and becoming bear food.

Unfortunately for Gaia and its worshippers — and for some hungry grizzly — just before shooting up, he chickened out. Because, he claimed, of divine intervention. And it was too cold.

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Great moments in environmentalism, part 1

Posted by Richard on January 28, 2011

Scientists at Carnegie's Department of Global Ecology and the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology claim their "research" shows that if you kill enough people over a long-enough period of time, it's good for the environment:

His empire lasted a century and a half and eventually covered nearly a quarter of the earth's surface. His murderous Mongol armies were responsible for the massacre of as many as 40 million people. Even today, his name remains a byword for brutality and terror. But boy, was Genghis green.

Genghis Khan, in fact, may have been not just the greatest warrior but the greatest eco-warrior of all time, according to a study by the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Energy. It has concluded that the 13th-century Mongol leader's bloody advance, laying waste to vast swaths of territory and wiping out entire civilisations en route, may have scrubbed 700m tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere – roughly the quantity of carbon dioxide generated in a year through global petrol consumption – by allowing previously populated and cultivated land to return to carbon-absorbing forest.

Apparently, the "research" was all done with today's favorite science toy, computer models. Why bother with all that tedious gathering of empirical data or messy experiments, when you can just write software that embodies your assumptions and cranks out conclusions? ("What are you going to believe, reality or my carefully constructed, elaborate, and expensive computer model?")

They had a lively and fun discussion in the comments at Mother Nature Network. The defenders of this "research" insisted that it was just a study, not advocacy, and everyone should calm down. But I can't help but think that the environmentalists who publish such dispassionate, objective studies are only one part of a green movement that includes many passionate advocates. And the eco-fascists of the green movement have a long history of expressing sentiments like these

We have wished, we ecofreaks, for a disaster or for a social change to come and bomb us into Stone Age, where we might live like Indians in our valley, with our localism, our appropriate technology, our gardens, our homemade religion — guilt-free at last! — Stewart Brand

We advocate biodiversity for biodiversity’s sake. It may take our extinction to set things straight — David Foreman, Earth First!

If radical environmentalists were to invent a disease to bring human populations back to sanity, it would probably be something like AIDS — Earth First! Newsletter

Human happiness, and certainly human fecundity, is not as important as a wild and healthy planets…Some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along. — David Graber, biologist, National Park Service

The collective needs of non-human species must take precedence over the needs and desires of humans. — Dr. Reed F. Noss, The Wildlands Project

If I were reincarnated, I would wish to be returned to Earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels. — Prince Phillip, World Wildlife Fund

I wonder what these scientists are working on next — maybe a computer model to determine whether the ecological benefits of the Third Reich's population reduction efforts outweighed the harm done by the emissions from those ovens? 

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More green supremacist imagery

Posted by Richard on October 7, 2010

On Tuesday, I posted the environmentalist 10:10 Campaign's execrable little movie, "No Pressure," and quoted James Taranto, who dubbed these anti-human slimeballs "green supremacists." On Wednesday, Ed Driscoll posted about green supremacists, too, and added another disturbing example of the mindset:

And of course, as was the wont of the original White Supremacists, the Green Supremacists really dig fantasizing about a few lynchings, as Australian journalist Andrew Bolt recently discovered. …

Writing in Australia’s Herald Sun, Bolt notes that the photo below is a screen capture of a flier promoting a tradeshow last year put on in Cannes by ACT-Responsible — the ACT stands for “Advertising Community Together.” Not at all surprisingly, Kofi Annan was announced as attending, meaning that presumably he was OK with this image:

green supremacist lynching ad

Read the whole Driscoll post, which has much more fascinating information. This image is apparently admired by the leftist advertising community and enviro-bloggers.

Then be sure to check out this Photoshopped version of the above ad, which says all that needs to be said. 

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Eco-fascist humor

Posted by Richard on October 6, 2010

The big-name, big-budget environmentalist mini-movie "No Pressure" has drawn sharp reactions in the last few days, with criticism coming from both the right and the left. James Taranto did the most thorough job I've seen of taking apart this light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek, gory eco-fascist murder fantasy. He observed that in the past, white supremacists have blown up children, as have Islamic supremacists. "Green supremacists" are still only joking about it — for now: 

There's a new kind of supremacist on the scene: green supremacists. They haven't blown up any children–not in real life. But they've been thinking about it.

A British outfit called the 10:10 Campaign hired Richard Curtis, a writer and producer of cinematic comedies, to produce a four-minute video promoting its effort to encourage people to cut "carbon emissions." The result, titled "No Pressure," struck James Delingpole, a global-warming skeptic who writes for London's Daily Telegraph, as "deliciously, unspeakably, magnificently bleeding awful." He's being too kind.

Read the whole thing. And watch the movie: 


[YouTube link ]
[alternate YouTube link]
[another alternate YouTube link]

Taranto closed with: 

One may hope that Jim Edwards is right when he denies that "this is actually what environmentalists want." But it's bad enough that this is what they fantasize about–and that they manifestly felt no inhibition about airing such a depraved fantasy in public.

But we have plenty of evidence that this — or much worse — actually is what quite a few environmentalists want. We have their own words

We have wished, we ecofreaks, for a disaster or for a social change to come and bomb us into Stone Age, where we might live like Indians in our valley, with our localism, our appropriate technology, our gardens, our homemade religion — guilt-free at last! — Stewart Brand

Everything we have developed over the last 100 years should be destroyed. — Pentti Linkola

I suspect that eradicating small pox was wrong. It played an important part in balancing ecosystems. — John Davis, editor of Earth First! Journal

Human beings, as a species, have no more value than slugs. — John Davis, editor of Earth First! Journal

The extinction of the human species may not only be inevitable but a good thing….This is not to say that the rise of human civilization is insignificant, but there is no way of showing that it will be much help to the world in the long run. — Economist editorial

We advocate biodiversity for biodiversity’s sake. It may take our extinction to set things straight — David Foreman, Earth First!

If radical environmentalists were to invent a disease to bring human populations back to sanity, it would probably be something like AIDS — Earth First! Newsletter

Human happiness, and certainly human fecundity, is not as important as a wild and healthy planets…Some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along. — David Graber, biologist, National Park Service

The collective needs of non-human species must take precedence over the needs and desires of humans. — Dr. Reed F. Noss, The Wildlands Project

If I were reincarnated, I would wish to be returned to Earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels. — Prince Phillip, World Wildlife Fund

That's just a portion of the quotes collected at one site. There are many more here, here, and elsewhere. 

The leadership of the environmentalist movement is full of people who are anti-capitalist, anti-industrial-revolution, anti-modernity, anti-progress, and ultimately anti-human. There's nothing amusing about the sick self-loathing that causes a person to wish most or all the members of his species were dead. 

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Circumventing the ban on incandescent bulbs

Posted by Richard on September 28, 2010

Human ingenuity is a wondrous thing. With an opportunity for profit as a motivator, human ingenuity can find a way to overcome the best efforts of bureaucrats to stifle, regulate, control, and harass us. Case in point: The European Union's phase-out of incandescent light bulbs is well under way, with clear bulbs over 100W and all frosted bulbs already banned. (Similar regulations hit the US in January 2012, so start stockpiling traditional light bulbs now.)

The enviro-fascist busybodies behind these bans argue that incandescent bulbs are very inefficient, wasting a lot of energy as heat and thus contributing to greenhouse gas emissions, global warming, and the destruction of the planet. So they mandate CFLs that are much more efficient — produce less heat per lumen of light output. 

These EU regulations define lamp as a device to produce visible light. So it occurred to a clever German that the regulations don't apply to heating appliances. When a heater produces heat, it isn't waste — it's the intended output. Thus the Heatball was born. The page is in German. Here's my translation (with a little help from Babylon) of some key bits:

HEATBALL® What is that? 

A HEATBALL® is not a lamp, but it fits into the same socket!

The best invention since the light bulb! Heatballs are technologically very similar to classic light bulbs, but they are intended to heat instead of to illuminate.

In passive houses [?], incandescent lamps contribute significantly to heating the rooms. When incandescent lamps are replaced by energy-saving lamps, that heat must be replaced. …

A Heatball is an electrical resistance device intended to produce heat. Heatball is [also] performance art! Heatball is resistance against regulations that exceed democratic and parliamentary powers and that disempower citizens. Heatball is also resistance against extremist measures to protect our environment. …

That is so cool … I mean, hot! The Heatball is simply (ahem) brilliant, and it should stymie the nanny-staters in Brussels for now.

At least until they impose regulations limiting how much energy a heater can "waste" as visible light. 🙂

(HT: Slashdot)

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Best Paul Shanklin parody

Posted by Richard on September 20, 2010

In response to my "Obamaville" post, someone asked me offline what I considered Paul Shanklin's best parody song. That's tough, but I know which is my favorite: Elvis Presley (or someone like him) singing "In a Yugo" (to the tune of "In the Ghetto"). The lyrics are just priceless — and timeless.


[YouTube link]

As the snow flies…

At a used car lot on the edge of town
A liberal guy and a liberal gal
Buy a Yugo
And they drive with pride

'cause if there's one thing that this world needs
It's environmental friends who'll take the lead
In a Yugo

They say, "People don't you understand?
Those Suburbans are ruining the land!"
But they'll wish they had a full-size van one day

They're pointing fingers at you and me
They say we're too blind to see
But do we simply use our heads
And choose a better way
As those small wheels turn

Fifty miles to the gallon and their knees on their chests
We're gonna save enough gas for all the rest
In a Yugo
Then one day on the interstate
They suddenly lose control
They swerve to miss a baby duck
And are squashed beneath a produce truck
But they drove with pride

And as the crowds drive past the little flat car
You know they saved a lot of gas but they didn't get far
In a Yugo
And as they're trapped inside

At a used car lot on the other side of town
A liberal guy and a liberal gal
Buy a Yugo
And they drive with pride…

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Yet another climate scare

Posted by Richard on August 3, 2010

You've got to hand it to the True Believers in anthropogenic global warming — they just don't quit. Some of their leading lights were pretty thoroughly disgraced, and the laughable "investigations" that purported to clear them have been torn to shreds. But that doesn't stop them. They just crank up a new computer model, feed it a handful of dubious data, and it spits out a new prediction of the dire consequences of climate change.

Case in point: Princeton "environmental scientist" Michael Oppenheimer and some economist colleagues have come up with a computer model predicting that, by 2080 (!), as much as 10% of Mexico's adult population, or 6.7 million people, will migrate to the US due to climate change. Really.

The University of Colorado's Roger Pielke (who thinks "climate change is real and worthy of our attention") didn't mince words regarding the value of this study: 

To be blunt, the paper is guesswork piled on top of "what ifs" built on a foundation of tenuous assumptions. …

To use this paper as a prediction of anything would be a mistake. It is a tentative sensitivity study of the effects of one variable on another, where the relationship between the two is itself questionable but more importantly, dependent upon many other far more important factors. … It is almost as if the paper is written to be misinterpreted.

… The paper reflects a common pattern in the climate impacts literature of trying to pin negative outcomes on climate change using overly simplistic methods and ignoring those factors other than climate which have far more effect.

A commenter on Pielke's post pointed out that the math makes little sense:

"The silly PNAS paper makes three mistakes"

add another oops..

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/mx.html

Total mexican labor forces 46.2 million
Percentage involved in agriculture 13.7%.

46.2 * 13.7% = 6.3 million agricultural workers.

Projecting more then 100% of the Mexican Agricultural labor force emigrating due to 'tough times on the farm' seems somewhat unrealistic.

Tom Nelson noted that, according to a 2007 NewsBusters post, Michael Oppenheimer is a "science adviser" to the radical Environmental Defense Fund who helped NBC News smear "global warming deniers." 

I can't wait to see what the next climate scare will be. I'm surprised, really, that someone hasn't come up with a computer model blaming climate change for all the foreclosures, the persistent unemployment, and the failure of the economy to recover during "Recovery Summer." After all, that "blame Bush" mantra is getting pretty stale. 

UPDATE: It occurs to me that, as I was writing the above, I forgot that this stupid study projects migration through 2080 — I suppose because that's such a ludicrously long period of time that it didn't really sink in. That means that both Oppenheimer's claim that the total migration amounts to 10% of the current adult Mexican population and the observation of the commenter I quoted that it represents more than 100% of the current agricultural labor force are pointless and meaningless.

Over the 70 years covered by the computer model's projection, most of the current population of Mexico will have died and been replaced by succeeding generations (and total population will have grown). How the total number of migrants over such a long period compares with the current population doesn't matter. How does the annual rate compare with the current rate? The study claims up to 6.7 million will migrate over 70 years. OK, that's a maximum of not quite 100,000 per year.

In 2008, FAIR (an anti-illegal-immigration organization) claimed the annual rate of illegal immigration was 500,000, and they cited an INS figure of 350,000. So the Oppenheimer study's claim of what amounts to less than 100,000 is far less than the current level. Are they saying the current rate will increase by that amount? That's not what the news stories about the study suggest. They suggest that the 6.7 million number is absolute, not relative. If so, their computer model predicts a significant decline in illegal immigration due to "climate change."

If the study suggests an incremental increase by that amount — well, they should say so. And it's fairly modest as such things go — I'll bet the rate varies by more than 20% depending on economic conditions on both sides of the border. 

Either way, this study is garbage, and the way they present it is misleading, mendacious fear-mongering. Typical of global warming "science." 

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Time magazine says Rush was right about oil spill

Posted by Richard on July 29, 2010

Many weeks ago, early in the history of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Rush Limbaugh argued that calling it a crisis or an environmental catastrophe was unwarranted and mere environmentalist hype. He pointed out that the natural seepage of oil from the ocean floor every day in the Gulf was about equal to the amount being spewed each day from the well. He pointed out that the microbes in the ocean water consumed that natural seepage and would do the same with the plumes of oil spreading throughout the Gulf. He argued that, while the accident was serious and unfortunate, it was not a catastrophe and would not, as environmentalists claimed, do permanent and significant harm.

Now, more than a hundred days after the spill began, Time magazine's Michael Grunwald says that the "obnoxious anti-environmentalist" Rush was right

President Obama has called the BP oil spill "the worst environmental disaster America has ever faced," and so has just about everyone else. Green groups are sounding alarms about the "catastrophe along the Gulf Coast," while CBS, Fox and MSNBC are all slapping "Disaster in the Gulf" chyrons on their spill-related news. Even BP fall guy Tony Hayward, after some early happy talk, admitted that the spill was an "environmental catastrophe." The obnoxious anti-environmentalist Rush Limbaugh has been a rare voice arguing that the spill — he calls it "the leak" — is anything less than an ecological calamity, scoffing at the avalanche of end-is-nigh eco-hype.

Well, Limbaugh has a point.

The scientists I spoke with cite four basic reasons the initial eco-fears seem overblown. First, the Deepwater oil, unlike the black glop from the Valdez, is unusually light and degradable, which is why the slick in the Gulf is dissolving surprisingly rapidly now that the gusher has been capped. Second, the Gulf of Mexico, unlike Alaska's Prince William Sound, is very warm, which has helped bacteria break down the oil. Third, heavy flows of Mississippi River water have helped keep the oil away from the coast, where it can do much more damage. And finally, Mother Nature can be incredibly resilient. Van Heerden's assessment team showed me around Casse-tete Island in Timbalier Bay, where new shoots of Spartina grasses were sprouting in oiled marshes and new leaves were growing on the first black mangroves I've ever seen that were actually black. "It comes back fast, doesn't it?" van Heerden said. 

Read the rest — it's fascinating. Apparently, the harm to fish and wildlife has been very modest, the damage to the marshes is a mere blip compared to the coastal wetlands lost every year for other reasons, and the oil-eating microbes, as Limbaugh predicted, seem to be doing a bang-up job. It's becoming increasingly difficult to even find any remaining oil to clean up.

Limbaugh claimed (tongue firmly in cheek, as usual) that the missing oil is "hiding next to the 3.6 million jobs that have been saved, admiral.  It's hiding right next to all the heat that the global warming people can't find."

BTW, here's something that's peeved me about the coverage of the oil spill almost from the beginning: Crude oil is measured by the barrel. No one in the oil industry ever measures a volume of oil by the gallon. Gasoline, milk, and water are measured (in the US) by the gallon, but it wasn't gasoline, milk, or water that was spilled.

There are 42 US gallons per barrel of oil. Admittedly, many people don't know that. But rather than educate their audience by stating this in their stories, the MSM have routinely specified the spill rate and the total amount of oil spilled in gallons. It gives them bigger, scarier numbers to report. Lazy journalism? A reflection of their own ignorance? Or a subtle way to further their anti-energy-industry agenda? I don't know, but it annoys me. 

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“We want to go back to work”

Posted by Richard on July 23, 2010

The Obama administration doesn't want a government of laws, it wants a government of men. And there's no better illustration of that than the ongoing struggle over off-shore drilling in the Gulf. Despite the fact that the administration's own hand-picked experts opposed a moratorium on deep-water drilling and in essence said the administration lied about their recommendations, despite the fact that two separate federal courts have slapped down the administration's moratorium, the administration merely rearranged a few commas in their edict, and the moratorium continues.

And it's not just the deep-water moratorium. By refusing to approve or renew permits and throwing up other regulatory and bureaucratic roadblocks, the Obama administration has also effectively imposed a moratorium on shallow-water operations — a moratorium that no reasonable person thinks makes sense. Because it fits their ideological agenda, and because they never want to let a crisis go to waste, the Obama administration has used the Deepwater Horizon spill to effectively end all energy production in the Gulf of Mexico.

Yes, this is the same administration that dithered and delayed for weeks, refusing foreign assistance that could have ameliorated the situation. Ameliorating the situation wasn't their goal. Remaking the American energy economy was their goal. 

On Wednesday, over 11,000 people attended the Rally for Economic Survival in Lafayette, LA. Gov. Bobby Jindal was one of the speakers. Here is a portion of his remarks: 


[YouTube link]

More of Jindal's speech here. As he said, the oil rigs are already starting to leave the Gulf for places like Nigeria and Brazil. In the words of Bruce Springsteen, "these jobs are going, boys, and they ain’t coming back." President Obama isn't stupid or ignorant. These aren't unintended consequences, this is what he wants. 

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Those “green” grocery bags can make you sick

Posted by Richard on June 29, 2010

Do you bring reusable grocery bags to the store, shunning the "paper or plastic" choice? Stop feeling so smug and self-righteous. Unless you're the rare exception who religiously washes them, you're putting yourself and your family at risk for serious illness:

They’re good for the environment, but reusable grocery bags can be a breeding ground for dangerous food-borne bacteria and pose a serious risk to public health, according to a new report.

Researchers randomly tested bags carried by shoppers in Tucson, Los Angeles, and San Francisco and found bacteria levels significant enough to cause a wide range of serious health problems and even death.

They are a particular danger for young children, who are especially vulnerable to food-borne illnesses, says Charles Gerba, a University of Arizona professor and coauthor of the study.

“Our findings suggest a serious threat to public health, especially from coliform bacteria including E. coli, which were detected in half of the bags sampled,” says Gerba. “Furthermore, consumers are alarmingly unaware of these risks and the critical need to sanitize their bags on a weekly basis.”

A full 97 percent of those interviewed never washed or bleached their reusable bags, adds Gerba, noting that thorough washing kills nearly all bacteria that accumulate in reusable bags. Most of the bags tested were made of woven polypropylene. New reusable bags and plastic bags were tested; none contained any contamination.

The report comes at a time when some members of the California Legislature, through Assembly Bill 1998, are seeking to promote increased consumer use of reusable bags by banning plastic bags from California stores.

“If this is the direction California wants to go, our policymakers should be prepared to address the ramifications for public health,” says coauthor Ryan Sinclair, a professor at Loma Linda University’s School of Public Health.

I'm going to stick to the plastic bags from the store. I use them for my trash, to line wastebaskets, etc. If the enviro-nazis ban them in Colorado, my stockpile will last a while.

After that runs out, I'll have to buy plastic bags to use for those purposes. So how will that be a gain for anyone except the sellers of plastic bags? Hmm, maybe they're secretly behind the "green" plastic bag bans.

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Turning an accident into a catastrophe

Posted by Richard on June 28, 2010

In a Financial Post column, Lawrence Solomon provided much more detail about the Dutch offers for help in the Gulf oil spill that I posted about ten days ago. It's clear now that the Obama administration has turned an accident into a catastrophe that could have been averted (emphasis added):

Some are attuned to the possibility of looming catastrophe and know how to head it off. Others are unprepared for risk and even unable to get their priorities straight when risk turns to reality.

The Dutch fall into the first group. Three days after the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico began on April 20, the Netherlands offered the U.S. government ships equipped to handle a major spill, one much larger than the BP spill that then appeared to be underway. “Our system can handle 400 cubic metres per hour,” Weird Koops, the chairman of Spill Response Group Holland, told Radio Netherlands Worldwide, giving each Dutch ship more cleanup capacity than all the ships that the U.S. was then employing in the Gulf to combat the spill.

To protect against the possibility that its equipment wouldn’t capture all the oil gushing from the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, the Dutch also offered to prepare for the U.S. a contingency plan to protect Louisiana’s marshlands with sand barriers. One Dutch research institute specializing in deltas, coastal areas and rivers, in fact, developed a strategy to begin building 60-mile-long sand dikes within three weeks.

… The U.S. government responded with “Thanks but no thanks,” remarked Visser, despite BP’s desire to bring in the Dutch equipment and despite the no-lose nature of the Dutch offer — the Dutch government offered the use of its equipment at no charge. Even after the U.S. refused, the Dutch kept their vessels on standby, hoping the Americans would come round. By May 5, the U.S. had not come round. To the contrary, the U.S. had also turned down offers of help from 12 other governments, most of them with superior expertise and equipment — unlike the U.S., Europe has robust fleets of Oil Spill Response Vessels that sail circles around their make-shift U.S. counterparts.

Why does neither the U.S. government nor U.S. energy companies have on hand the cleanup technology available in Europe? Ironically, the superior European technology runs afoul of U.S. environmental rules. The voracious Dutch vessels, for example, continuously suck up vast quantities of oily water, extract most of the oil and then spit overboard vast quantities of nearly oil-free water. Nearly oil-free isn’t good enough for the U.S. regulators, who have a standard of 15 parts per millionif water isn’t at least 99.9985% pure, it may not be returned to the Gulf of Mexico.

When ships in U.S. waters take in oil-contaminated water, they are forced to store it.

The Americans, overwhelmed by the catastrophic consequences of the BP spill, finally relented and took the Dutch up on their offer — but only partly. Because the U.S. didn’t want Dutch ships working the Gulf, the U.S. airlifted the Dutch equipment to the Gulf and then retrofitted it to U.S. vessels. And rather than have experienced Dutch crews immediately operate the oil-skimming equipment, to appease labour unions the U.S. postponed the clean-up operation to allow U.S. crews to be trained.

There's more. Far superior Dutch dredging vessels aren't being permitted to build protective berms. Instead, the Dutch have been asked to train Americans to do the work. The Dutch are perplexed.

To be fair, Solomon noted that the US also turned down Dutch help with the Exxon Valdez spill in 1989. "Not invented here" syndrome and an inability to get priorities straight aren't unique to the Obama administration. Although I'd argue that in the wake of this unprecedented accident, they've taken insane environmentalism, protectionism, and loyalty to their labor union base to new heights. Or depths, depending on your perspective. 

(HT: Carpe Diem)

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Change! Dutch offer of help with oil spill accepted!

Posted by Richard on June 17, 2010

The Obama administration has now accepted one of the thirteen offers of help with the oil spill cleanup from foreign countries, a mere 54 days after the offer was made (emphasis added):

Three days after the Gulf oil rig explosion, the Netherlands offered to send in oil skimmers to pump oil off of the surface of the ocean. The Obama Administration turned them down because they were not 100% efficient and small amounts of oil would be pumped back into the Gulf with the excess water. EPA regulations do not allow for residue water to contain any oil. So rather than use equipment that was not 100% efficient the Obama Administration chose to let all of the oil run into the Gulf. This is not just bad policy, it is criminal.

Since the Obama Administration turned down assistance from The Netherlands at least 125 miles of Louisiana coastline has been ruined by the BP oil spill. Tar blobs began washing up on Florida’s white sand beaches near Pensacola days ago. And, crude oil has also been reported along barrier islands in Alabama and Mississippi.

According to The Examiner, the Dutch offer was to fly in the skimmer arms for mounting on American ships, not to send Dutch ships. So apparently I was wrong to suggest that the administration refused the offer because of the Jones Act and the administration's ties to labor unions. The refusal was instead due to the administration's mindless adherence to dumb EPA regulations and its utter stupidity (emphasis added):

As of June 8th, BP reported that they have collected 64,650 barrels of oil in the Gulf. That is only a fraction of the amount of oil spilled from the well. That is less than one day’s rated capacity of the Dutch oil skimmers.

Turning down the Dutch skimmers just shows a total lack of leadership in the oil spill. To just leave the oil in the water because regulations do not allow you to pump slightly polluted oil back into the ocean is just plain stupid. The small amount of oil pumped back into the ocean with the Dutch system is tiny droplets of suspended oil that will be quickly broken down by naturally occurring bacteria.

Well, at least they've wised up. And it took them less than two months. 

Still, does the phrase "a day late and a dollar short" ring a bell? 

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Refusing foreign help with oil spill cleanup

Posted by Richard on June 16, 2010

The President's first Oval Office address, on Day 57 of the Gulf oil spill, was mercifully brief. But it was also pretty light on content. Stephen Green summarized one of its main points nicely: "Hurricanes are easy. Leaks are hard."

The President insisted that his administration is in complete control and right on top of this thing, and that they've got the best scientists and experts advising them. But he failed to explain why the administration ignored the experts' advice — and in fact misrepresented it — regarding the offshore drilling moratorium announced by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.

There was the predictable pitch for a "new energy economy" — the absurd argument that the government can create jobs for everyone and make us all better off by forcing families and businesses to switch to energy sources costing up to ten times as much as coal and oil.

The President also didn't explain why his administration has turned down a baker's dozen offers of help from foreign governments that have the equipment and expertise to greatly speed the oil cleanup. But the Heritage Foundation has an explanation: 

… Just three days after the Deepwater Horizon explosion, the Dutch government offered to provide ships outfitted with oil-skimming booms and proposed a plan for building sand barriers to protect sensitive marshlands. LA Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) supported the idea, but the Obama administration refused the help. Thirteen countries have offered to help us clean up the Gulf, and the Obama administration has turned them all down.

According to one Dutch newspaper, European firms could complete the oil spill cleanup by themselves in just four months, and three months if they work with the United States, which is much faster than the estimated nine months it would take the Obama administration to go at it alone. The major stumbling block is a protectionist piece of legislation called the Jones Act which requires that all goods transported by water between U.S. ports be carried in U.S.-flag ships, constructed in the United States, owned by U.S. citizens, and crewed by U.S. citizens. But, in an emergency, this law can be temporarily waived, as DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff did after Katrina. Each day our European allies are prevented from helping us speed up the cleanup is another day that Gulf fishing and tourism jobs die.

Now, why do you suppose such an internationalist would blow off all those offers of help from our European allies and insist on us going it alone? Why would he refuse to temporarily suspend a stupid 90-year-old protectionist law at the cost of greatly increasing the damage to the Gulf Coast environment and the livelihoods of its residents? Two words: labor unions. 

Or maybe Rush Limbaugh is right, and the Obama administration doesn't want a quick resolution to the problem. Maybe this is another one of those fortuitous (for them) crises that Rahm Emanuel doesn't want going to waste. It's an opportunity to further extend the reach of the federal government, to tightly regulate and control another significant sector of the economy, to ram through "cap-and-tax" or something similar.

Or maybe it's just incompetence and ineptness.

Stupid? Evil? Or simply in the pocket of the labor unions? I don't know. But I can't think of a fourth alternative. 

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Carbon pollution

Posted by Richard on June 9, 2010

Lots of people in the blogosphere are laughing over the latest evidence that Sen. Barbara Boxer is dumber than a box of rocks. Ed Morrissey has the video clip and money quote:

Let’s see how Senator Ma’am’s priorities work in this revealing clip from her speech earlier today in the Senate. We’ve had four terrorist attacks in less than a year, two of which succeeded in killing people and another two which only failed because of the incompetence of the terrorist. Iran is a year or less away from getting a nuclear weapon. Turkey is rapidly sliding towards Islamism. North Korea is doing their best to restart the Korean War.

And what keeps Barbara Boxer awake at night? A raging case of the vapors:

I’m going to put in the record, Madam President, a host of quotes from our national security experts who tell us that carbon pollution leading to climate change will be over the next 20 years the leading cause of conflict, putting our troops in harm’s way. And that’s why we have so many returning veterans who want us to move forward and address this issue, so we can create those new technologies that get us off this foreign oil.

Yeah, claiming that "carbon pollution" and "climate change" are greater threats to our national security than Iran, al Qaeda, or North Korea is pretty silly.

But what strikes me as absurd to the point of being surreal is that a carbon-based life form, standing on a planet full of carbon-based life forms, where carbon is one of the most abundant elements, would speak seriously of "carbon pollution" — as if the fourth-most-abundant element in the universe were some dangerous, unnatural substance being introduced into our environment by those evil chemical companies.

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