Thursday, January 30, 2014

Another Environmental Lie Exposed: Bees Are Thriving


By Alan Caruba

I cannot say it strong enough. Do not believe the lies that environmental groups, particularly those that receive millions from liberal foundations and from members who never question the “science” they claim to justify massive scare campaigns.

One such organization is Friends of the Earth (FOE) and its latest claim is that bees are dying all over the world as the result of the use of pesticides in agriculture and by people protecting their gardens.  It is a lie.

The attack on the use of pesticides began in 1962 with the publication of Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” that claimed that their use posed a threat to human life. She said “Only within the moment of time represented by the present century has one species -- man -- acquired significant power to alter the nature of the world.”

The problem with her opinion is that humanity cannot alter nature, but can protect itself against the diseases and other problems. Humanity endures nature in the form of climate that currently is cooling much of the Earth. Were it not for science, we would not have put an end to polio and reduced other diseases such as malaria by killing the mosquitoes that spread it. We would not have learned how to create water purification systems that protect the residents of cities worldwide. We would not have learned how to increase crops that feed millions thanks to genetic modification.

Is humanity at risk? There are seven billion of us, more than any previous time on Earth.

Why do I defend pesticides? Because, since the 1980s, I have served pest control trade associations by providing communications programs. In the 1980s I worked for a corporation that produced one of the most extraordinary pesticides invented; one that was applied with water! It so alarmed the Environmental Protection Agency, that it insisted that its multi-million dollar registration be repeated and that company decided to cease making it available in the U.S.

What do pesticides do? They protect us against trillions of insect and rodent pests that spread diseases while some represent millions in property damage—termites—every year. In June 2011, the EPA announced it intended to ban the sale of “the most toxic rat and mouse poisons, as well as most loose bait and pellet products” to residential customers. The only result of such a ban would be millions more rats and mice in their homes!
Rachel Carson’s book predicted the massive loss of bird species due to the use of pesticides. It was a bestseller and is still in print. She was wrong, but she triggered the beginning and growth of environmental groups that have used the same bad “science” to unleash all manner of fears on Americans and worldwide. Friends of the Earth is just one of them.
Recently I received a FOE email from Lisa Archer, its food and technology program director, in which she reported a Valentine’s Day project to stop Home Depot and Lowe’s stores from selling pesticides. The project is based on the totally false claim that all the bees are dying from the use of pesticides; in particular neonicotid pesticides that are widely used in agriculture.

The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) disputes this while acknowledging that “In the last decade, a massive decline in bee populations was detected. It was given the name of “Bee Colony Collapse Disorder” and “while the problem seems to have abated somewhat after 2010, periodic declines continued, and fears of recurrent major extinctions persisted.” The fears have been fanned by environmental organizations, but the ACSH revealed new research by scientists affiliated with the Department of Agriculture here and in China, reviewed in “The Scientist” that “provides the first evidence that the bee problem in fact, stems from the tobacco ringspot virus (TRSV), not from pesticides.”

Not from pesticides despite the FOE’s claim that “neonicotinoid pesticides are killing bees” noting that Europe is banning them. Europe is a hotbed of environmental fears and, ironically, is reversing its trend toward solar and wind energy after it has driven up the cost of electricity there and harmed its economic growth.

The ACSH reports that “the bees may pick up the virus from the pollen of plants that they feed upon, and that the virus may be spread to other bees by mites that feed on them. Once it has gained a foothold in a bee, the researchers determined that TRVS can replicate itself in the bee’s body.” 

“This process of a virus moving from one species to another is call ‘host shifting’”.

Writing in 2012, Rich Kozlovich, a pest control expert, reported that “it is not true that there has been a mysterious worldwide collapse in honey bee populations. In fact managed bee hives (which contain the bees which do the vast majority of our pollinating) have increased by a remarkable 45 percent over the last five years.”

He also noted that “most staple foods—wheat, rice and corn—do not depend on animal pollination at all. They are wind-pollinated, or self-pollinating.”

These well-established facts mean nothing to FOE or other environmental organizations seeking to demonize pesticides. It means nothing to the EPA that has banned many extraordinarily effective pesticides from use to protect humans and property.

It is the advances of modern science that have protected and extended human life. Banning them just exposes Americans to a range of diseases, some of which kill. Until more Americans understand that the real threat is the EPA and the environmental groups spreading baseless fears, they will continue to be at risk.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I Am Afraid of My Government

By Alan Caruba
I came into this world when Franklin D. Roosevelt was President and I have never been afraid of my government until now.

I am not alone. A consistent and growing theme of commentaries on the conservative news sites and blogs that I read every day is the fear of the Obama administration that has been cracking down on those who criticize it. They get audited by the IRS. They are refused the same status as non-profit entitles engaging in public education as Left-leaning organizations. They are accused of being racists, homophobes, anti-immigration, and anti-women.

This goes beyond the ordinary disagreements between individuals and groups that express opposition to the Obama administration. It has the look of a deliberate campaign and we have three more years of Obama as President in which to endure it.

In a speech to the leftist nonprofit Center for American Progress, Sen. Chuck Schumer, (D-BY) recently urged the IRS to “redouble” its intimidation tactics against the Tea Party. He represents a State whose governor recently said that conservatives were not welcome to live and do business. Its largest city, New York, just elected a Marxist as its mayor.

Jim Lakely, the director of communications of The Heartland Institute, a free market think tank that has led the effort to debunk the global warming hoax, recently posted a commentary, “The Unceasing Political Thuggery of Obama’s Gangster Government.” He noted Michael Barone’s description of the Obama administration as a “gangster government.”

Lakely cited the growing list of actions taken against who have expressed criticism. It includes Dinesh D’Souza who produced a documentary about Obama’s life, “Obama’s America” and who arrested on felony charges for violating campaign finance law. “This is beyond absurd—especially in light of what the FBI and IRS have found not worthy of any investigation, let alone indictment” in the past. A Hollywood group of conservatives, the only one there, received an IRS demand for its complete donor list; this is a repeat of similar demands of Tea Party groups seeking non-profit status. James O’Keefe whose Project Veritas exposed the nonprofit status of the leftist ACORN is being audited as was Frank VanderSloot, a big Republican donor as was conservative journalist Wayne Allen Root—twice. The list keeps growing.

The Heartland Institute was subjected to the stealing of its confidential budget and planning documents by global warming activist Peter Gleick “for the purpose of harassing” its donors, but no action has been taken against him by law enforcement authorities.

“Never in the history of this country have we seen such a broad and coordinated abuse of the government’s power to threaten criminal prosecution and ruin the lives and livelihoods of people the President and his party see as political ‘enemies’”, says Lakely.

“This should be the political scandal of the century—if only we had an honorable and competent MSM (mainstream media) press corps in this country.”

Ordinary Americans have cause to share my fear as they discover the wreckage that Obamacare is inflicting on our healthcare system, losing their insurance plans, and now we are hearing that the insurance industry may have to be bailed out as it is subjected to major losses. The government’s website is not only a disaster, but it subjects anyone using it to the threat of identity theft as experts testify it can be hacked with ease.

The economy of a nation with enormous energy reserves, enough to make us energy sufficient for decades, is being undermined by a deliberate campaign to shut down coal-fired plants and make the construction of new ones impossible. The Keystone XL pipeline from Canada has been delayed for five years despite the jobs it represents and access to oil at the same time the government has slowed the provision of leases to oil companies seeking to explore and extract our own reserves.

And millions of Americans are out of work or have ceased looking for work as the result of the worst economic “recovery” in the history of the nation. This is occurring at a time when the Obama administration has added $6 trillion to the nation’s debt, causing a leading credit agency to downgrade the nation’s credit rating for the first time in its history.

The scandals attributed to the Obama administration keep mounting from “Fast and Furious” that transmitted weapons to Mexican drug cartels, to the failure to provide security to our Libyan consulate despite many requests, leading to the Benghazi killing of a U.S. ambassador and three brave security personnel who went to his aid. The list keeps growing.

There is ample reason for Americans to fear their government these days and the mood of the nation is growing worse as they realize that they have a President who lies all the time and pursues “climate change” policies that have no basis in known science and a campaign of class war based on “income inequality” as the incomes of Middle Class Americans have suffered a decline. The solution to income inequality has always been an increase in the national economy.

The nation’s military is being undermined by budget cuts and policies that encourage open homosexual participation and the introduction of women into its combat forces. A growing list of generals and admirals have been forced to retire.

It has taken only five years to bring the nation to this point and none of the scandals has resulted in anyone in the Obama administration being held accountable.

They have good reason. When they can no longer depend on the Department of Justice, the Internal Revenue Service, and other elements of the government to act lawfully, this nation—a nation of laws—we are all in jeopardy.

For these and other reasons I and many Americans are growing fearful. We have good reason.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Monday, January 27, 2014

A Very Cold Reality

By Alan Caruba

It’s not as if those in the Northeast have not experienced bone-chilling cold or that it is predicted to extend from the Midwest down into our southern States. There may possibly be a snow storm that will require the National Football League to reschedule the Sunday, February 2nd Superbowl at the MetLife stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Crews spent 18 hours working to remove the snow from last week’s storm.

A visit to yielded headlines of news stories last week that included “Record Cold—Millions of Americans hit by Propane Shortage”, “Ice and Snow Closed Texas highways This Morning”, “Ice-cover Shuts Down Work on New Hudson River Bridge”, and so you understand this is a global phenomenon, “Kashmir—Heaviest January Snowfall in a Decade”, “Heavy Snowfall Sweeps Eastern Turkey”, “Romania—Heavy Snowfall and Blizzard”. And “Bangkok Suffers Coldest Night in Three Decades—Death Roll Mounts.”

Meteorologist Joe D’Aleo of WeatherBell Analytics and editor of says that, as the President addresses the nation on Tuesday, every State will have freezing temperatures and parts or all of 27 States will be below zero.

All this is occurring as President Barack Obama is anticipated to talk about “climate change”, a warming Earth, during his Tuesday State of the Union speech. He will be speaking to the idiots who still think the Earth is warming because they are too stupid or lazy to ask why it is so cold.

Michael Bastasch, writing for The Daily Caller on Saturday, confirmed D’Aleo’s and other meteorologist’s forecasts. “The bitter cold that has hit the U.S. East Coast is expected throughout February, and on Jan 28—the day of the address—the Mid-Atlantic region is expected to be hit with freezing cold air that could drive temperatures below zero in big cities among the I-95 corridor.”

Washington, D.C. will be one of those cities, but as Bastasch reported, “Environmentalists and liberal groups are urging Obama to use the speech to reaffirm his commitment to fighting global warming. ‘President Obama should rank the battle against climate change as one of his top priorities in his State of the Union speech next week’, said Center for Clean Air Policy president Ned Heime.”

For environmentalists, it does not matter if the real climate is a deep cold. They committed to the lies about global warming in the late 1980s and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel and Climate Change (IPCC) has maintained the hoax ever since. Along the way we learned that the computer models on which it based its assertions and predictions were rigged and bogus, but that has not deterred the IPCC which is now referring to a “pause” in global warming. This is lying on a global scale.

It was the environmental group Greenpeace that put out a television advertisement featuring a Santa Claus telling children that he might have to call off Christmas because the North Pole was melting. How malicious can they get? When a group of global warming scientists and tourists took a ship to the Antarctic to measure the “melting” ice down there, the ship got caught in the ice which also resisted the efforts of two icebreaker ships to rescue them.

We are dealing with environmental groups, the IPCC and government leaders like Obama for whom the telling of huge and blatantly obvious lies about global warming is nothing compared to the billions generated by the hoax for the universities and scientists that line their pockets supporting it and industries that benefit by offering ways to capture carbon dioxide or conserve energy by first banning incandescent light bulbs.

The “pause” has lasted now for seventeen years and, as is the case with all climate on the Earth, the reason is the Sun.
A report published by CBN News noted that “The last time the sun was this quiet, North America and Europe suffered through a weather event from the 1600s to the 1800s known as ‘Little Ice Age’ when the Thames River in London regularly froze solid, and North America saw terrible winters. Crops failed and people starved.”

Jens Pedersen, a senior scientist at Denmark’s Technical University, said that climate scientists know the Earth stopped warming 15 years ago. But the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, of which Pedersen is an expert reviewer, suppressed a recent report from its own scientists that the U.N.’s climate model has been proven wrong.

“Global warming is nowhere to be found,” said David Deming, a geophysicist at the University of Colorado, in a January 16 commentary in The Washington Times. “As frigid conditions settled over the nation, global-warming alarmists went into full denial mode”, adding that “weather extremes also seem to bring out the lunatic fringe” and that is why the public is being told that cold weather has been caused by global warming!

Whatever the President has to say about “climate change” should be taken as just one more example of five years of lies to advance policies that have nothing to do with the welfare of Americans needing jobs or the execrable Obamacare attack on the U.S. healthcare system.

The cold reality may well be a Superbowl played on another day and a President for whom the truth is incidental to his shredding of the U.S. Constitution, the increase in the nation’s ever-growing debt, a lagging economy, and his intention to by-pass Congress rather than working with it.

That kind of thing will put a chill up any American’s spine if you think about it.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Endangered Animal Act of Futility

By Alan Caruba

David W. Snook, 57, of Bridgewater, New Jersey died on Wednesday, January 15, when two deer leaped into the path of his Dodge Ram on Route 206. One of them was airborne when it smashed through the front windshield, striking him before exiting out the rear window. This caused the truck to veer into the guard rail and come to rest in a ravine.

In 2012, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection estimated that the Garden State was home to 110,000 deer. Each year about 35,000 are killed in hunts and those of us who live here owe the hunters a debt of gratitude. In my county of Essex, home to Newark, the freeholders regularly hire hunters to cull the herd that shares its home with one of the most densely populated counties in the state.

Need it be said that the animal rights crowd is always upset about this. New Jersey also has a fairly sizeable bear population and during the hunting season, between 250 and 450 are “harvested” as the Fish and Game agency calls it. They have been found in all 21 counties of the state. And state officials now estimate that there are more coyotes in New Jersey than bears.

Suffice to say New Jersey’s animals are not suffering from a decline in species, nor facing extinction any time soon. My guess—and it’s only a guess—is that this is true nationwide. However, to justify one of the dumbest laws ever passed, the Endangered Species Act, some 1,500 species are classified with fuzzy definitions of being “threatened”, “endangered” or “recovered.”

The Act was signed into law in 1973 by Richard Nixon, who also gifted us with the Environmental Protection Agency, currently doing everything in its power to destroy the coal industry and plants that use it to generate electricity. They claim that the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are a threat to the climate, but ignore the many other natural sources of CO2, including all seven billion humans that exhale six pounds of it a day. And that all species would die without CO2 maintaining all the vegetation on Earth.

What is never mentioned is that species extinction has been around as long as there have been species. It was not CO2 that killed the dinosaurs and 75% of other species that had dominated the Earth for 180 million years and there were no humans around to blame for the Great Permian Extinction when more than 90% of all life on Earth disappeared—animals, plants, trees, fish, and even algae. Most geological eras have come to a close with calamitous events.

In December 2013, the Obama administration granted industrial wind farm operators a 30-year permit to kill legally protected bald eagles and golden eagles without being subject to legal repercussions. Wind energy has killed 1.4 million birds and bats every year, including those regarded and protected as threatened such as California condors, bald eagles, and Indiana bats. Apparently, if you are producing 1% percent or so of electricity, it’s okay to kill these creatures. Meanwhile everyone else pays higher electricity bills.

The dirty little secret about the Endangered Species Act is that environmentalists have used it for years to deter all manner of economic development by claiming some fish or other creature was endangered if you built a hospital, new homes, or in the case of the dunes sagebrush lizard which lives in the West Texas and Southeast New Mexico Permian Basic when oil companies want to explore and extract this energy resource that will generate jobs and huge tax revenues to help reduce the national debt.

It is insanity to think humans can or should do anything to “save” various species. The most dramatic and tragic evidence of this has been the twenty-year effort to “save” the northern spotted owl. The result was to close millions of acres of federal forests in the Northwest from logging, devastating the once flourishing timber industry.

In July 2011, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it would permit the killing of barred owls believed to be killing the spotted owls. The sawmills that once thrived are mostly gone, along with their jobs, and revenue. The forests are overgrown and are immense fire traps. And the Fish and Wildlife Service thinks that spending $127 million might restore the spotted owl population over the next 30 years.

This kind of stupidity is criminal.

How effective has the Endangered Species Act been? As it enters its 41st year it has “recovered” less than 2% of the approximately 2,100 species listed as endangered or threatened since 1973. A December 17 Wall Street Journal article reported that “it has endangered the economic health of many communities and created a cottage industry of litigation that does more to enrich environmental activist groups” that pays their salaries.

The Endangered Species Act is a huge failure. It should be repealed, but don’t expect Congress to do anything that sensible.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The EPA's Agenda: Undermine Capitalism and America

By Alan Caruba

The Environmental Protection Agency has been in a full assault on the U.S. economy since the 1980s when the global warming hoax was initiated. It has been assisted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA.

To put it in other terms, our own government has engaged in lying to Americans and the result has been the expenditure of billions of taxpayer dollars on something that was not happening and is not happening.

On January 22, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee released the deposition transcript of former senior EPA official John Beale. After defrauding the agency of nearly $900,000 and spending weeks and months away from his office by claiming he was on assignment for the CIA, the transcript contained a bombshell.

Discussing his job, at the time as a close associate of Gina McCarthy, the new EPA administrator, Beale revealed that he was there to come up with “specific proposals that could have been proposed either legislatively or things which could have been done administratively to kind of modify the capitalist system…”

Dan Kish, senior vice president of the Institute for Energy Research, responded to the revelation saying “In his testimony under oath, Beale, perhaps unwittingly, has laid bare the administration’s end goal. The President’s policies are not about carbon, they are not about coal, and they are not even about energy and the environment. They are about fundamentally altering the DNA of the capitalist system. These policies are not about energy, but power.”

When the new EPA administrator, Gina McCarthy, in testimony before a congressional committee in mid-January was asked by Sen. Jeff Sessions (AL-R) to confirm a statement made by President Obama last year that global temperatures were increasing faster in the last five or ten years than climate scientists had predicted.

She said, “I can’t answer that question.”

“You’re asking us to impose billions of dollars of cost on this economy and you won’t answer the simple question of whether (temperature around the world is increasing faster than predicted) is accurate or not?” Sessions responded.

“I just look at what the climate scientists tell me,” said McCarthy.

The Earth is in a cooling cycle that has lasted seventeen years at this point, but the EPA administrator was not inclined to accept this fact, nor question the climate scientists who provided the data based on computer models that have been consistently wrong now for decades.

We owe the Heartland Institute, a free market think tank a debt of gratitude for the eight international conferences it has held to debunk global warming. Joseph Bast, its president and CEO, has said, “The toll our EPA is taking on the country is staggering, putting hundreds of thousands of Americans out of work at a time when millions of people are unemployed and our reliance on foreign sources of energy threatens to compromise our nation’s security.” Heartland’s science director points out that “EPA’s budget could safely be cut by 80 percent or more without endangering the environment or human health, Most of what EPA does today could be done better by state government agencies…” I serve as an advisor to Heartland.

This is the same EPA that proposed restrictions for new wood stoves in early January. The reason given was to reduce the maximum amount of fine particulate emissions (soot) allowed for new stoves sold in 2015 and 2019. The soot is made up of solid particles and liquid droplets that measure 2.5 micrometers or less. The EPA claims, as it does for virtually all its regulations, that it is linked to heart attacks, decreased lung function, and premature death in people with heart and lung disease. This is worse than junk science. It represents no science whatever, being an invention of EPA employees who specialize in such nonsense. The Earth produces soot every day and circulates it globally.

The only way Americans will be protected against the EPA’s attack on our economy will be a Congress controlled by the Republican Party and a Republican President that will support the oversight that is needed and the reversal of its vast output of regulations. It will have to do this as well for NOAA, NASA, and other governmental departments and agencies that, until recently, spewed forth all manner of “data” supporting the global warming hoax.

At the heart of the global warming hoax, now called climate change, is the assertion that carbon dioxide (CO2) and other “greenhouse gases” have been dangerously warming the Earth by trapping heat, but you don’t have to be a scientist to know that the current cold spell, comparable to the 1500-1850 mini-ice age, is the result of lower solar emissions by a sun. CO2 is a minor (0.038) element of the Earth’s atmosphere, but the second most vital gas for all life on Earth because it is the “food” that maintains all vegetation.

Little wonder, during the government shutdown, more than 93% of EPA employees were furloughed when designated as “non-essential.” That was more than nine out of every ten employees!

In September 2013, the Republican members of the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee issued a report that EPA officials had, from the beginning of President Obama’s tenure had “pursued a path of obfuscation, operating in the shadows, and out of the sunlight.” It detailed violations of the Freedom of Information Act and other federal laws and regulations intended to encourage transparency and accountability in the government.

In mid-January, the Energy and Environmental Legal Institute revealed that emails obtained through the Freedom of Information Act revealed that the EPA used official events to help environmental groups gather signatures for petitions on agency rulemaking. “The level of coordination in these documents is shocking” said an EELI spokesman. The EPA has a long history of this, including a policy of “sue and settle” working with environmental groups to bring a suit to advance regulations and settling the suit to enable it to implement those regulations.

In an April 2013 article in Investor’s Business Daily, John Merline reported that “Overall air pollution levels dropped 62% from 1990 to 2012, while GDP grew 69% and population climbed 26%.” The pollution the EPA keeps claiming is rising includes carbon monoxide, soot, sulfur dioxide, ozone, and others, all well below the EPA’s safety threshold. Water quality, too, has also improved over several decades.

In May 2013, Paul Driessen, a senior policy advisor for the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) noted that the EPA, since Obama’s inauguration in 2009, had generated 1,920 new regulations. “The EPA’s actions are forcing us to expend vast financial, human and technological resources to achieve minimal or even zero health benefits.”

This is the same EPA leading the effort to shut down coal-fired plants that produce electricity. It is the same EPA seeking to stop the Pebble Mine, described as “a natural resource project in Alaska that could yield more copper than has ever been found in one place anywhere in the world.”

The EPA is the instrument of those who want to undermine capitalism in any way it can. Only that can explain why entire books have been written about its impact on the economy of the nation and the deceptive way it has imposed regulations responsible for it.

President Obama called for “hope and change” when he first ran for office. We can only hope that a new Congress and President will bring about the change we need to shut down the EPA and return control over the nation’s environment to its 50 sovereign states.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Obama's War on U.S. Energy

By Alan Caruba

There is no reason for the U.S. to be in such a slow recovery from the financial crisis of 2008. If President Obama would get out of the way, our national debt could be dramatically reduced and hundreds of thousands of jobs would be created in the nation’s energy sector, leading to the expansion of its manufacturing sector and still more jobs.

As Daniel Simmons, the Director of Regulatory and State Affairs for the Institute of Energy Research told the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Energy Policy, Healthcare and Entitlements in February 2013:

“The federal estate contains vast energy resources, but the federal government allows energy production on a very small percentage of taxpayer-owned federal lands. The Interior Department has leased just two percent (2%) of federal offshore areas and less than six percent (6%) of federal onshore lands for oil and gas development.”

“These technically recoverable resources total 1,194 billion barrels of oil and 2,150 trillion cubic feet of natural gas that is owned by the federal taxpayer…the value of the estimated oil resources is $119.4 trillion and the value of the estimated natural gas resources is $8.6 trillion for a grand total of $128 trillion.”

As 2014 began, Mark D. Green, editor and lead contributor to Energy Tomorrow, a project of the American Petroleum Institute, noted that “Oil and natural gas are the energies of our lives.” They heat and cool our homes and apartment dwellings. They fuel our vehicles and aircraft. They are components of products we use every day. “Every day 143 U.S. refineries convert an average of 15 million barrels of crude oil for these uses and more.”

Green also noted the important role the energy industries play in our economy, citing the “5.6 percent (5.6%) of total U.S. employment. “With the right policies in place—pro-development policies that increase access to domestic reserves—the industry could add another 1.4 million jobs by 2030.”

Jobs for younger workers would increase because 50 percent (50%) of the oil and natural gas industry’s skilled workers could be retiring within a decade. Pro-development policies would fuel a renaissance in manufacturing as lower energy prices would reduce out-sourcing and attract manufacturers to build and expand facilities in the U.S.

One factor stands in the way of this brighter economic future and that is President Obama and those who direct the work of the Environmental Protection Agency—an enemy of the coal industry—and the Department of the Interior which has slowed the provision of leases to energy companies to expand the discovery and extraction of energy resources.

Instead, Obama has delayed the construction of Canada’s Keystone XL pipeline, a project that would generate jobs to build it and jobs resulting from it. Green says that “As unimaginable as it might have been just five years ago, the right policy decisions could see the U.S. meet 100 percent (100%) of its liquid fuel needs domestically or from Canada by 2014.”

Energy industries already send $85 million a day to the U.S. Treasury in income taxes, royalty payments, and other fees. Obama, though, wants to raise the nation’s borrowing limits after having added six trillion dollars in debt in his first term.

It was Obama who wasted a trillion dollars on a failed “stimulus”, discovering belatedly that there were few “shovel-ready” jobs while at the same time wasting billions in loans to wind and solar companies that went into bankruptcy shortly after receiving them.

As Simmons points out, “In 2011, wind power produced 1.2 percent (1.2%) of the energy used in the United States, solar power produce 0.1 percent (0.1%) and hydroelectric power contributed 3.3 percent (3.3%) of the total energy used. Solar and wind energy is unpredictable and require back-up from traditional electrical energy plants. “Today, there are 104 nuclear reactors in the United States and construction began for all of these reactors prior to 1974.”

Thanks to the EPA 153 coal-fired plants have been shut down!

What the public is not told is that the coal-fueled electric sector has invested $110 billion in a variety of clean coal technologies that reduced emissions by 90% and intends, over the next decade, to spend $100 billion more. Even so, the EPA continues to issue rules—New Source Performance Standard—that make operating coal-fired plants too costly to operate.

The Obama administration’s justification for its policies is the bogus claim that carbon dioxide (CO2) is responsible for “global warming” or “climate change” when it plays NO role whatever regarding the Earth’s climate.

The same lies the Obama and Democrats in Congress, as well as the Health and Human Services department told Americans about the Affordable Health Act are reflected in their lies about the nation’s energy sector.

Obama has been waging a war on America’s energy needs and the benefits that would result from its expansion.

Until Obama leaves office and voters remove the opponents of the nation’s energy sector, the enormous benefits to Americans in jobs and debt reduction will not occur.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Sunday, January 12, 2014

America's Unemployment Sinkhole

By Alan Caruba

A President who thinks that extending unemployment compensation “creates jobs” is so out of touch with reality that it should come as no surprise that Obama has the worst record of unemployment rates since the days of the Great Depression in the 1930s.

The latest employment figures for December showed that the economy only added 74,000 non-farm jobs, the fewest in three years! The government claims that the unemployment rate dropped 0.3%—the first time in 60 months that it dropped below 7%. And the official rate is bogus. The government only counts people as unemployed only if they are actively looking for work.

As of October 2013, The Wall Street Journal reported that “The U.S. now has 90.6 million ‘non-institutionalized’ men and women over the age of 16 not working—an all-time high. That’s 10 million above the 80.5 million when President Obama took office. With total unemployment at 144.3 million, for every three Americans over the age of 16 earning a paycheck there are two who aren’t even looking for a job. That’s an ugly portent for American prosperity.”

In a September 2013 edition of Investor’s Business Daily, Betsey McCaughey, a former lieutenant governor of New York and author of “Beating Obama-Care”, wrote that “After 4-1/2 years of the Obama presidency, an unprecedented number of Americans have given up looking for work, wages are stagnating, low-wage earners are suffering most and the U.S. is fast becoming a nation of part-time workers.”

You can thank Obamacare for the rise in part-time workers as it increased the cost of hiring full-time workers and many businesses have reduced the hours of workers to avoid incurring it. Obamacare is a job killer. From Jan 1 through July 31, 2013, 77% of jobs created were part-time. Fewer than one out of four people got hired for full-time jobs. This is the opposite of a normal economy.

The official Labor Department figure of seven percent (7%) unemployment is a fiction as it does not include the millions who have given up looking for work. Mort Zuckerman, the chairman and editor-in-chief of U.S. News & World Report, writing in a July 2013 edition of The Wall Street Journal, said “The unemployment figure so common in headlines these days is utterly misleading. An estimated 22 million Americans are unemployed or underemployed. That puts the real unemployment rate for June at 14.3%, up from 13.8% in May.”

McCaughey noted that since 2008 Congress has extended jobless benefits from a maximum of 26 weeks to as many as 99 weeks every year, but failed to do so for 2014. While benefits ended for more than 1.9 million unemployed, the President and Congress went on vacation.

Now the most important piece of legislation according to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is a three-month extension of benefits. In an election year, this is likely to be extended repeatedly as Republicans are being described as heartless and indifferent, but the facts reveal a President who has been responsible for the millions of unemployed.

According to Paul Harrington, the director of Drexel University’s Center for Labor Markets and Policy, “Back in 2007, 7% unemployment would seem disastrously high, but now it’s more like a humble brag.” For those that are working, the “fiscal cliff” agreement with Congress included an increase of the Social Security payroll tax that raised it from 4.2% to 6.2% which translates for a worker earning $30,000 a year to a loss of $50 a week less in take-home pay.

The percentage of Americans who have a job or are seeking one plunged to a 34-year-low in the spring of 2013 to 63%. Little wonder that a record number of Americans households saw their real income drop by $2,627 and the number of people in poverty increased by approximately 6,667,000 according to the Census Bureau.

A record 46,496,000 are now poor by government standards. This represents an increase of 16.73% from 2008 to 2012.

Obama’s policies have created a nation of millions on some form of government dole. By June 2013, a record 23,116,928 American households were enrolled in the federal government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program—AKA food stamps—according to data released by the Department of Agriculture. That outnumbers the population of the entire Northeastern United States or those living in the entire Western U.S.

By December 2013, the total number of people now receiving federal disability benefits hit a record 10,988,269, up from the previous record of 10,982,920 set in November, according to the Social Security Administration. The average monthly benefit was $1,146.43, an increase from the previous December. reported that the number of Americans getting disability benefits exceeded the entire population of Greece. The number has increased every month for 202 straight months.

The poverty rate has stood at 15% for three consecutive years, the first time that has happened since the mid-1960s, famed for LBJ’s “war on poverty.” More than $20 trillion has been spent on poverty since then. Today the government spends nearly $1 trillion annually on 80 federal means-tested programs providing cash, food, housing, medical care, and targeted social services for the poor and low-income Americans.

The poverty level is defined by the government as an annual income of $23,492 for a family of four. The poverty is directly attributable in part to Obama’s failed efforts to improve the nation’s economy.

To put it in other terms, the U.S. spent $3.7 trillion on welfare over the past five years that Obama has been in office.

New research from the Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee, reported in October 2013, noted that “The enormous sum spent on means-tested assistance is nearly five times greater than the combined amount spent on NASA, education, and all federal transportation projects.

It isn’t even the entire amount because states contribute more than $200 billion each year, primarily in the form of low-income health care. And, of course, Obamacare has already produced an increase of those enrolling in Medicaid.

The statistics all add up to a nation in which Americans are worse off since the election and reelection of President Obama and we have another three years in which to endure his historic failure to turn around the economy. What can we expect from a President who thinks that unemployment compensation “creates jobs”?

The government does not “create jobs”; the private sector does that and, under Obama, it has been under attack with a vast increase in government regulations and policies that produce unemployment.

Is there “income inequality” in America? Yes, there always has been, but what Obama does not talk about is the “income mobility” that permits low income Americans to secure employment and higher wages when the economy is improving. It is another Big Lie from a President who is wedded to Marxist “solutions” that have never worked.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Very Green Keystone Pipeline Delay

By Alan Caruba

Stopping the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline from carrying Canadian oil, a major trading partner and ally of the United States, is just part of a much larger environmental agenda aimed at preventing access to this energy source, but it is larger in scope; stopping or slowing the development of America’s huge reserves of coal, oil, and natural gas.

Just before 2013 came to an end, the Sierra Club sent out an email claiming that “2014 is shaping up to be a defining year for the environment” warning that “Superstorms, wildfires, and mass destruction from climate change threaten us all. Future generations and endangered species like wolves and bear are counting on us.” This is pure fear-mongering. In 2013, all the factors mentioned were in decline.

On the first Earth Day in 1970, here are just some of the predictions that were made:

“We have about five more years at the outside to do something.”
--  Kenneth Watt, ecologist

“Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.”
-- George Wald, Harvard Biologist

We are in an environmental crisis which threatens the survival of this nation, and of the world as a suitable place of human habitation.”
-- Barry Commoner, Washington University biologist

“Man must stop pollution and conserve his resources, not merely to enhance existence but to save the race from intolerable deterioration and possible extinction.”
-- New York Times editorial, the day after the first Earth Day

On December 29, 2013, the Sierra Club was celebrating the shutdown of the 150th coal-fired plant that provided electricity. They want more solar and wind power, the least reliable source of the smallest production of electricity. They applauded the Obama administration’s plans to restrict any drilling for oil in the Arctic and “proposed new EPA rules on carbon pollution.” There is no carbon pollution.

According to Wikipedia, “Carbon is the 15th most abundant element in the Earth's crust, and the fourth most abundant element in the universe by mass after hydrogen, helium and oxygen. It is present in all known life forms, and in the human body carbon is the second most abundant element by mass (about 18.5%) after oxygen. This abundance, together with the unique diversity of organic compounds and their unusual polymer-forming ability at the temperatures commonly encountered on Earth make this element the chemical basis of all known life. (emphasis added).

Calling carbon a threat to human life is so absurd that it defies known science, but that was exactly the basis for all the “global warming” lies, claiming that carbon dioxide would warm the Earth when it plays no such role in the atmosphere. Suggesting that humans have any role in “climate change” is the basis for the legislative and regulatory objectives of the Obama administration that declared a “war on coal” when it is in reality a war on electricity production, the most essential element of life in America.

My friend, David Rothbard, the president of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) a free market think tank, led a team to visit to Fort McMurray, Canada in 2012 to see first-hand the tar sands from which oil is being extracted. “I have to tell you,” he said, “not just by the technology being used to bring much-needed oil up to the surface in situ with hardly a trace of environmental impact…but much more so, by the infectious spirit of opportunity in this bustling frontier town. To me, Ft. McMurray is a symbol of the kind of progress and prosperity that can come when people are able to discover and access abundant natural resources in a way that serves society and protects the environment.”

What the Greens see in Northern Alberta and in Nebraska that is enjoying an economic boom thanks to the fracking technology that produces more natural gas are people having more wealth and freedom, more jobs, more energy for the rest of us

Pipelines in the U.S.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration: “The nation's more than 2.6 million miles of pipelines safely deliver trillions of cubic feet of natural gas and hundreds of billions of ton/miles of liquid petroleum products each year. They are essential: the volumes of energy products they move are well beyond the capacity of other forms of transportation. It would take a constant line of tanker trucks, about 750 per day, loading up and moving out every two minutes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to move the volume of even a modest pipeline. The railroad-equivalent of this single pipeline would be a train of 75 2,000-barrel tank rail cars every day.”

Pipeline systems are the safest means to move these products. The federal government rededicated itself to pipeline safety in 2006 when the PIPES Act was signed. It mandates new methods and makes commitments for new technologies to manage the integrity of the nation's pipelines and raise the bar on pipeline safety.”

So why has President Obama, for five years now, blocked the extension of the Keystone XL pipeline to America’s Gulf Coast where many of the nation’s refineries are located? Because it represents jobs and further economic development.

The AFL-CIO wants to see Keystone XL built. “The American construction industry has suffered greatly. The national unemployment rate for construction workers remains about 13% and far too many of our members have lost homes and are struggling to put food on the table. For many members of our unions, Keystone XL is not just a pipeline; it is, in the most literal sense, a life line.”

Typical of Obama’s lies was his view of the Keystone XL pipeline when he said “They keep on talking about this—an oil pipeline coming down from Canada that’s estimated to create about 50 permanent jobs—that’s not a jobs plan.” His own State Department estimated that 42,000 jobs would result from the construction of the pipeline.

Obama does not want more jobs. He wants more Americans on the unemployment dole and on food stamps. He doesn’t want more electricity, more gas and diesel for our vehicles. He wants to destroy the nation’s healthcare system. He wants to undermine the economic growth of America in every way he can.

And thanks to the Democratic Party and the millions who still believe in “global warming” and “climate change” he was elected to a second term in 2012.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Monday, January 6, 2014

Obama's "Climate Change" Lies

By Alan Caruba

The extreme cold that gripped the nation at the beginning of the year just added to the growing public dismissal of the claims that “greenhouse gas emissions” would lead to a dangerous stage of “global warming.”  Indeed, even the charlatans that have devoted decades to this hoax are now using the phrase “climate change.”

We tend not to recall what the weather was like a year ago. In May 2013, Dennis T. Avery, a senior fellow for the Hudson Institute, noted that “Lots of us are commenting on the U.S. having the second coldest spring in the official thermometer record (starting ca. 1860) and the coldest since 1975. This cold spring highlights another climate cycle that has nothing to do with carbon dioxide (CO2).”

Records of cold weather are being broken all around the nation and the world. That’s not exactly what the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been predicting since it was set up in 1988 to get nations to sign onto the Kyoto Protocols to reduce CO2 emissions, claiming they were causing warming.

We are all going to have to pay attention to what President Obama will have to say in his forthcoming State of the Union speech and other pronouncements about “climate change” because that is going to be a major theme of his as he begins the second year of his second term. Climate change ranks right up there with “If you want to keep your healthcare plan, you can. Period.”

Last February, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), an extremely liberal group, wrote Obama to say “We are inspired and gratified by your commitment to address the threat of climate change. Still gushing, they said that the “science of climate change…calls for action to swiftly and deeply reduce heat-trapping emissions and better prepare our nation for now unavoidable impacts.”

If one merely refers to “climate change” without specifically identifying it, how can the UCS be so sure that emissions from our cars, trucks, manufacturing, and of course the coal-fired plants that, until Obama arrived, provided half of all the electricity Americans need and use. To save us all from the “climate change” 150 of these plants have been closed since he took office.

To replace them, the Obama administration “invested” in a variety of wind and solar businesses, most of which promptly went bankrupt with our taxpayer funds. To get us to stop driving, Obama advocated high-speed railroads in a nation where people routinely get on an airplane to get to distant cities. Amtrak has never made a profit since it was created in 1970.

The President, however, can be counted upon to talk about “climate change” as if recent examples of it threaten our lives. The facts say something else. For example, there has been NO global warming for over 17 years. In 2013 there was a record quiet tornado season and severe tornadoes have been declining for 40 years.

Other than tropical storm Sandy in 2012, the U.S. has gone more than 8 years without a major hurricane strike and the U.S. has experienced the fewest forest fires in three decades and, over the same time period, there has been no sea level rise on the west coast of the U.S. or Canada.

In contrast, an Antarctic global warming expedition of 74 eco-tourists, certain that sea ice there was melting, was trapped by it. In the summer of 2013, all manner of yachts, sailboats, and others got trapped by sea ice while trying to sail the Northwest Passage after being told it would be free of ice. It turned out that 2013 recorded the second highest volume of sea ice ever recorded.

It’s not that the climate is not changing. The climate—measured in decades and centuries—has always changed and it does so in remarkably predictable cycles. The period between ice ages is 11.500 years. We are overdue for the next one, though we did have a mini ice age from 1300 to 1850.

All this scientific data guarantees one thing. The President is lying when he talks of “climate change” by which he means a warming cycle. He is lying when he blames it on carbon dioxide which plays no role whatever in climate change. The $7.45 billion his administration gave to 120 nations between 2010 and 2012 to cope with “climate change” was an utter waste of our taxpayer dollars. Given the nation’s $17 trillion in debt, it was money we did not have, but which added to our debt.

Recall, too, that Obama refused to negotiate with the Republican Party in 2013 when it wanted to reduce such spending, resulting in the government shutdown that was blamed on the GOP.

You can forget about “climate change”, but you should keep in mind what the President is doing to bankrupt America and deny it the production of the energy it needs as the weather gets colder.

© Alan Caruba, 2014