What The EPA Just Said About The Sun Has Everybody Scratching Their Heads

While the Environmental Protection Agency has a well-documented record of opposing a litany of manmade pollutants and human behaviors, a recent tweet posted to the agency’s Twitter account has even some environmentalists perplexed.

The latest villain in the Obama administration’s eco-friendly narrative is a resource vital to the preservation of virtually all life on earth: water.

An overwhelming majority of the social media responses that followed the above post served to ridicule what appeared to many users to be an absurd claim.

Several of the sardonic replies focused on the EPA’s ostensible history of convoluted restrictions and regulations.

The backlash was apparently enough to prompt a clarification from the federal agency.

For already incredulous observers, however, even the correction was worthy of mockery.

Does the sun’s presence in the sky cause you to worry about our environment? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

The Pope, Climate Change And VW

While Pope Francis shuttled around during his historic visit to the U.S. in a Fiat, he shared the news cycle with Volkswagen.

The pope made headlines with his calls for action on climate change. USA Today touted: “Obama, Pope Francis praise each other on climate change.” In his September 23 speech from the White House lawn, the Pope addressed President Obama, saying: “I find it encouraging that you are introducing an initiative for reducing air pollution.”

The core of the entire climate change agenda is the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, which proponents like to call “air pollution.”

The drive to cut CO2 emissions is at the root of Volkswagen’s unprecedented scandal.

With nonstop coverage of the papal activities, the Volkswagen story was likely overlooked by most Americans. But it is not going away.

On September 18, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency disclosed the scandal: Europe’s biggest auto maker, with 600,000 employees world-wide and 300,000 in Germany, utilized software on some VW and Audi diesel-powered cars to manipulate the results of routine emissions tests—allowing them to pass strict emissions standards in Europe and the U.S. The “defeat devices” have reportedly been fitted to more than 11 million vehicles since 2008, and may cost Volkswagen up to $18 billion in fines in the U.S. alone. Owners of the impacted vehicles will need to have a heretofore unavailable “fix” installed and may have to provide a “proof of correction certificate” in order to renew their registration and will suffer “loss due to the diminished value of the cars.” As a result of the scandal, Volkswagen’s stock price and reputation have both fallen precipitously, and class-action lawsuits are already taking shape. Fund managers have been banned from buying VW’s stocks and bonds. Tens of thousands of new cars may remain unsold. US News stated: “Whoever is responsible could face criminal charges in Germany.”

The question no one seems to be asking is: what would drive Europe’s biggest auto maker to make such a costly decision, to take a risk from which it may be impossible to recover?

While the question isn’t asked, Reuters’ coverage of the story offers the answer: “Diesel engines use less fuel and emit less carbon—blamed for global warming—than standard gasoline engines. But they emit higher levels of toxic gases known as nitrogen oxides.”

In short, the answer is the drive to lower CO2 emissions and the policies that encourage reduction.

If anyone could solve the dilemma, one would expect it to be the Germans, who excel in engineering feats. The reality of achieving the goals, however, is far more difficult than passing the legislation calling for the energy transformation.

Addressing German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s push for de-carbonization, Bloomberg Business points out: “Merkel has built a reputation as a climate crusader during a decade as Chancellor.” She “has straddled between pushing to reduce global warming while protecting her country’s auto industry.”

Merkel is apparently bumping up against reality. Those tighter emissions standards would have hurt Germany’s auto industry. At last week’s Frankfurt Auto Show, Merkel said: “We have to ensure politically that what’s doable can indeed be translated into law, but what’s not doable mustn’t become European law.”

The VW emissions scandal provides a lesson in the collision of economic and environmental policies that strive to reach goals which are presently technologically unachievable.

The fact that, while waving the flag of environmental virtue advocated by Pope Francis, those with the world’s best engineering at their fingertips used their expertise to develop a work-around should serve as a lesson to policymakers who pass legislation and regulation on ideology rather than reality.

The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). She hosts a weekly radio program: America’s Voice for Energy—which expands on the content of her weekly column. Follow her @EnergyRabbit.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

Obama’s Climate Obsession: Talk About Insanity On Steroids!

The Middle East is imploding. Islamic State butchers are annihilating Christian and other communities. Putin is sending arms to Assad. Under the Obama-Iran nuclear deal, the mullahs will get $100+ billion to expand their proxy terror war on Israel and the West. Saudi Arabia has 100,000 empty air-conditioned tents but won’t take any of the millions who’ve been driven from their homes. Neither will most of the other 22 Arab League nations or 57 Organization of Islamic Cooperation member countries.

Instead, millions of mostly Muslim migrants, militants and refugees are heading to Europe – with limited money, education, job skills, or desire to assimilate. They demand entry into EU countries whose energy, economic, employment and welfare systems are already foundering or nearing collapse.

EU nations have hobbled their nuclear and carbon-based energy systems so completely that unsubsidized German and Danish electricity prices are almost ten times higher than in US states that still rely on coal-fired generation. Industrial giant Siemens is cutting 1,600 jobs in its power and gas division, companies are hard-pressed to compete internationally, and 0.5% annual economic growth is deemed “robust.”

So naturally, President Obama, Pope Francis, the European Commission, United Nations, and many poor countries are obsessed with – climate change! It’s insanity on steroids. The alarmist assertions are absurd.

“Climate change is already disrupting our agriculture and ecosystems, our water and food supplies,” Obama recently inveighed. “If we do nothing, Alaskan temperatures are projected to rise between six and twelve degrees by the end of the century.”

Projected by whom? Who concocts these fables? Nature-driven climate change has disrupted lives throughout human history. Seas have risen 400 feet since the last mile-thick glaciers melted off the northern half of Asia, Europe and North America. How did “imperiled” Pacific islands survive that?

Some Alaskan glaciers have been retreating for decades, but Hubbard is growing and Glacier Bay’s ice retreat began around 1750. Arctic sea ice has increased some 26% (400,000 square miles) since 2012, in a cycle that’s continued for millennia. The sea ice “was thick in the 1920s, thin in the 1930s and 1940s, thick again in the 1960s and 1970s, and thinner in recent decades,” oceanographer Igor Polyakov noted in 2004.

“Not only in the summer, but in the winter the [Bering Sea region] was free of ice, sometimes with a wide strip of water up to at least 200 miles away from the shore,” Swedish explorer Oscar Nordkvist reported in 1822. “We were astonished by the total absence of ice in the Barrow Strait,” Francis McClintock, captain of the Fox, wrote in 1860. “I was here at this time in 1854 – still frozen up – and doubts were entertained as to the possibility of escape.” How did cars and power plants cause all that?

Meanwhile Greenland’s ice mass has grown by some 200 cubic kilometers (48 cubic miles) just since 2014. Vikings built homes, grew crops and raised cattle in Greenland between 950 and 1300, before they were frozen out by the Little Ice Age and encroaching pack ice and glaciers. Antarctic sea ice set another record in May, the US National Snow and Ice Data Center reports, climbing 12% above the long-term 1981-2010 average, to reach 12.1 million square kilometers (800,000 square miles) – almost as much as Alaska and Texas combined!

If it’s global warming and climate change, shouldn’t melting phenomena be constant and global?

Pope Francis nevertheless plans to meet with President Obama September 23, to discuss “dangerous manmade climate change” and how to ensure “preferential treatment of the poor,” by building “clean” energy economies and stopping “carbon pollution.” Their concerns and solutions are illusory.

They disdain fossil fuels and capitalism – though they have brought greater health and well-being to more people than any other systems in history. They prefer the socialism, centralized government control, higher energy prices, fundamental economic transformations and wealth redistribution schemes advanced by the UN and Climate Crisis, Inc. By denying the world’s poorest people energy, jobs and economic growth, this agenda will sentence them to perpetual poverty, disease and early death. By mandating the use of biofuels, wind turbines and solar panels, it will turn food into fuel, increase malnutrition, convert wildlife habitats into enormous inefficient energy facilities, and kill countless millions of birds and bats.

The pope and president dismiss these impacts. They insist that climate change is a far worse problem, and that modern energy, housing and living standards for the world’s poor would not be “sustainable.” They believe “morality,” “climate justice” and “preferential treatment” mean protecting people from hypothesized, exaggerated and fabricated climate disasters 25, 50 or 100 years from now – by destroying millions of jobs and keeping the world’s poor energy-deprived and impoverished now and in perpetuity.

The pope and president denigrate plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide as “carbon pollution” and say this 0.04% of Earth’s atmosphere has replaced the powerful natural forces that have always driven climate and weather fluctuations and events. They disregard satellite and weather balloon data and records from East Anglia University, which show there has been no planetary warming since at least late 1997, if not 1995.

They studiously ignore the fact that even full implementation of the EPA’s fraudulent and destructive Clean Power Plan would at best prevent a global temperature increase of only 0.03 degrees F and a sea-level rise of barely 0.01 inches by 2100. And those “benefits” assume CO2 is the culprit in climate change.

Like other climate alarmists, they refuse to recognize that some 2,300 coal-fired power plants are already operating worldwide, and almost 2,200 more are being proposed, developed or built. Nearly 900 are planned for China and India alone. In barely ten years, Asia’s energy consumption will increase 31%; and some two-thirds of that demand will be oil, natural gas and coal. So a US shutdown would do nothing.

Developed countries have dug a tiger trap – and walked into it. Their constant rants about “catastrophic manmade climate change” are driving policies that shut down carbon-based energy, economic growth and job creation in Formerly Rich Countries, while telling developing nations to hold us for climate ransom.

Following Obama’s recent GLACIER conference in Anchorage, China, India and Russia (three of the four biggest CO2-emitting nations) refused to sign a nonbinding declaration seeking greater international action to combat Arctic melting and climate change. Nearly all developing countries oppose agreements calling for binding emission targets or even “obligatory review mechanisms” of their voluntary efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Meanwhile, they now insist on $100 billion to $400 billion per year in climate change “mitigation, adaptation and compensation,” plus free energy technology transfers.

Denmark is dropping plans to phase out coal-fired power plants and be fossil-fuel-free by 2050. Britain is junking its wind energy subsidies and pushing ahead with fracking for gas to fuel more power plants. But meanwhile, Mr. Obama is thumbing his nose at Congress and American voters and unemployed workers – and imposing ever more restrictions on coal and natural gas use, and more taxpayer subsidies for wind, solar and biofuel programs, on top of water, ozone and other regulations. This will cost trillions of dollars, inflict heavy costs on poor and middle class families, and bring few or no health or ecological benefits.

The agenda being driven by President Obama, Pope Francis, the UN and Climate Crisis, Inc. means our huddled masses will be forced to share ever-greater scarcity, ever-lower living standards, ever-fewer jobs and opportunities. But of course it all will be apportioned “fairly and equitably” – by ruling elites and their cronies, whose desk jobs, six-figure salaries and upper crust lifestyles will be protected by the same executive powers they employ to protect the planet from climate raptors and hobgoblins.

It’s time for Congress to pass bills dismantling and defunding Obama’s energy and climate dictates – and dare Democrats to vote against them and in favor of this destructive Executive Branch power grab.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

The Reason Many Celebs Were Wearing Green Ribbons At The Emmys Will Have Obama Grinning

Many celebrities at Sunday night’s Emmys were wearing bright green ribbons. The cause they were promoting was fighting global climate change.

The Washington Post reports:

Sunday night’s green ribbons, stamped with the the hashtag #DemandClimateAction, are tied to a petition written by the National Resources Defense Council [NRDC]. It calls for world leaders attending the U.N. Climate Change Conference in December to take swift and decisive actions to fight climate change.

The hope is that the Paris meeting will end with an emission reduction plan that all members of the United Nations can agree to and follow, with the goal of minimizing global warming to just two degrees Celsius higher than pre-industrial averages.

Among the celebrities wearing the ribbons were Jeffrey Tambor and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, winner for Lead Actor and Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, respectively. Others included director David Nutter and writer George R.R. Martin, who both won for Game of Thrones.

The NRDC tweeted its thanks to celebrities involved for their participation.

President Obama has made implementing climate change regulations a top priority for his second term.

The Heritage Foundation released a study last fall that found the EPA regulations the Obama administration has announced to achieve its climate change goals would reduce the United States’ Gross Domestic Product by $2.5 trillion by 2030. Meanwhile, employment levels would “track nearly 300,000 jobs below the no-carbon-regulation baseline in an average year, with some years seeing an employment deficit of more than 1 million jobs.”

As reported by Western Journalism, the administration also seeks to go around Congress by signing a United Nations international climate accord in 2015 that would commit the United States to Obama’s climate change policy goals.

h/t: IJReview

It’s Back To Dysfunctional Washington

As Congress and their symbiotic bureaucratic, media and lobbyist co-conspirators return to Washington after a month’s vacation, they will find they missed all the explosive summer fun.

It was not pleasurable but the government did detonate the Colorado Gold King Mine in August when the Environmental Protection Agency tested how new procedures could be used to clean-up one of the hundreds of abandoned mines in the American west.

The EPA has been struggling with pollution control since 1980 when newspaper reports of benzene and dioxin traces were found in property owned by a school at Love Canal, New York and Congress established a Superfund under the EPA to clean up the most dangerous chemical waste sites.

Unfortunately, the EPA test turned into 3 million gallons of toxic mustard-tinted sludge containing lead and arsenic spilling into a river system extending into New Mexico and Utah. Unable to cleanse its own 1,300 sites, the EPA immediately changed the subject by issuing a new regulation ordering the private sector to clean up methane gas emissions, threatening recovery in the oil business.

True, much in Washington was less dramatic as the bureaucracy turned out millions and millions of checks to Social Security and government retirees, Medicare health enrollees, veterans, students, farmers, subsidized businesses, states, contractors, employees, researchers, and grant recipients. While sending checks is pretty simple, the fraud and error rates totaled 12 percent, with improper payments for seven Health and Human Services programs alone announced at $78 billion for 2014.

One of my first experiences in government was during the 1980s, on a visit to the Federal Aviation Administration. I was viewing its plans for a massive new mechanized air traffic control system and its need for more flexible personnel rules. Three decades later this August, FAA was finally installing new software. Unfortunately, this failed and cancelled 476 airline flights.

My old agency, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, announced that the number of hacked personnel and security clearance files increased from 18 to 22 million, which national intelligence head James Clapper said not only increased exposure risks, but that future hackers could change information to make the guilty appear harmless and the innocent compromised.

At the same time, the Internal Revenue Service found that 610,000 tax files had also been hacked.

Housing and Urban Development Inspector General David Montoya reported 25,000 low income public housing tenants were richer than allowed, one earning $497,000 a year. After setting the destruction of the Islamic State as a presidential priority, the summer found only 54 moderates graduating from the “train and equip” program to confront ISIL in Syria, although 72 more were promised soon.

Worse, five of the New Syria Force’s graduates were captured by an al-Qaeda affiliate and nominal ISIL opponent al Nusra soon after they arrived in Syria. The force has degraded since with many of their U.S. arms now in enemy hands.

Meanwhile, the economy struggled to exceed the anemic 2 percent growth against historic recoveries twice that rate. The administration’s solution was to increase the minimum wage and get tough on business. During the summer doldrums, Wendy’s restaurants announced higher minimums would cause them to cut jobs and increase automation. Likewise, investment bank Keefe, Bruyette & Woods estimated that “Since 2009, 49 financial institutions have paid various government entities and private plaintiffs nearly $190 billion in fines and settlements” with only one conviction. How many jobs could have been created with $190 billion?

Following last month’s embarrassment over 30 years of National Institutes of Health advice against cholesterol and fats proving wrong, a Columbia University study questioned the national Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommending breakfasts to reduce weight, finding the extra meal actually increased heaviness in overweight people.
A recent study in the journal PLOS Biology reported half of all such biomedical studies are flawed.

And all of this governmental incompetence happened over just one month.

What will Congress do? The leadership plans the old Kabuki routine of a stop-gap funding bill or a continuing resolution before the end of the September fiscal year and last minute increases in the debt limit and highway trust fund with no real reform. The leadership has promised that there will be no government shutdown and no debt default but the presidential aspirants and many back-benchers in both parties are threatening to do both.

The nation’s top public administration professor, Paul Light, concludes the national government cannot faithfully execute its laws. The national government is doing everything and nothing works. No wonder Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are toping the polls.

No one seems to care that the bloated ossified national government is simply dysfunctional. The administrative state is imploding and the only solutions are socialists more of the same, old statist bureaucracy or a blonde autocrat on a white horse promising personal benevolent authoritarianism.

Donald Devine is senior scholar at the Fund for American Studies, the author of “America’s Way Back: Reconciling Freedom, Tradition and Constitution”, and was Ronald Reagan’s director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management during his first term.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.