Monday, February 18, 2013

Rallying Against Enormous Wealth

By Alan Caruba

Did anyone notice that the estimated 35,000 who showed up for the anti-Keystone XL pipeline rally outside the White House on Sunday, Feb 17, were all bundled up against the cold? The temperature was about 25 degrees Fahrenheit. The Earth has been cooling—naturally—for sixteen years.

The pipeline which will not cost taxpayers a dime would be part of the existing 1,200 pipelines that traverse the same route. It would enable oil extracted from Canadian tar sands to be refined in America. Failing that, the same oil will be exported to China.

There are already 170,000 miles of pipeline in America, moving oil and natural gas to fuel our cars and trucks, warm our homes and apartments, and, in the case of oil, to be turned in the zillion uses of plastic and other products such as asphalt to pave our streets and highways.

The people who showed up and shivered through the rally lack sufficient brain cells to make the connection between the warmth to which they retreated and the energy that provided that warmth or the electricity that provided the light by which to read their anti-energy manifestos.

For an hour or two they listened as the Sierra Club and Natural Resources Defense Council spokesmen regaled them with an anti-energy, anti-jobs, and anti-wealth message that ignored the 20,000 jobs the Keystone XL pipeline is expected to generate, plus all the other jobs dependent on this source of energy. Not surprisingly, the AFL-CIO’s building and construction trade division has endorsed the pipeline.

In testimony before a House committee, delivery on Feb 13, Daniel Simmons, the Director of Regulatory and State Affairs for the Institute of Energy Research, addressed a hearing on “The Effects of Rising Energy Costs on American Families and Employers.” As far as I can tell there was zero media coverage, but here are a few of the facts he presented.

“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 of federal offshore areas and less than six percent of federal onshore lands for oil and gas development.”

“It takes 307 days for the federal government to process a permit to drill, but only 27 days for Colorado and ten days in North Dakota.” Both states are reaping the benefit in terms of jobs and revenue generated while “energy production on federal lands is stagnating.”

In a nation that is $16 trillion in debt with trillion dollar annual deficits this runs counter to anything that makes any sense at all.

Just how much wealth is represented in the energy reserves the Obama administration to which has and will continue to deny access?

“These technically recoverable resources,” Simmons told the committee, “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.”

If you wondering why the U.S. is borrowing trillions from other nations and contemplating the sequestration of funds for both domestic and defense when it sits atop enough energy reserves to wipe out our debt, reduce the importation of oil from nations that do not much care for us, and has millions unemployed when our energy industries alone could employ many of them and encourage manufacturing that would employ even more, you are asking the right questions.

Instead, the Obama administration has wasted billions on the most unreliable and uncompetitive energy producers, wind and solar, while promoting electric cars that no one can afford or wants to purchase. At one point the President was ballyhooing algae—pond scum—as a potential energy source! This lies somewhere between criminal stupidity or deliberate harm to the economy. For the record, in 2011, wind power produced 1.2 percent of the energy used in the United States and solar power produced 0.1 percent. Without subsidies and mandates they would not exist.

What is truly astonishing despite all the lies we’re being told about energy, in 2011 the U.S. produced 23.0 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, making it the world’s largest natural gas producer. Naturally, the federal government is dragging its feet on permissions to build gas export facilities.

In 2011 the United States produced 5.67 million barrels of oil per day. It could be the world’s leading producer if the government would permit access to just those parts of the more than 41 million acres of land it owns in our name under which can be found a treasure of oil, as well as natural gas, and coal.

The federal government currently owns or manages 755 million acres of onshore subsurface mineral assets. Offshore it owns or manages 1.76 billion acres of lands and mineral assets. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that state and national coffers could generate nearly $150 billion over a ten-year period if these resources were immediately opened.

Instead, the nation is so badly mismanaged that, while the New Depression lingers on, the Institute on Energy Research estimates the worth of the government’s oil and gas technically recoverable resources are worth $128 trillion, about eight times our national debt!

We are all the victims of the most incredibly stupid Congress and the present administration whose single goal seems to be to impoverish as many Americans as possible so that the few remaining job-holders can be taxed enough to pay for their government benefits.

© Alan Caruba, 2013

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What the Sex Lives of California Mice Can Tell You


By Alan Caruba

According to Cheryl Rosenfeld, an associate professor of biomedical sciences in the University of Missouri’s Bond Life Science Center, loading up a bunch of California mice with a mega-dose of bisphenol A (BPA) showed researchers that “What we have observed in those models is that BPA affects male rodents differently from females.”

The February 11 UM news release that announced this was titled “Bisphenol A affects sex-specific reproductive behaviors in a monogamous animal species” with a sub-headline that said “Animal findings suggest that gender may also influence chemical risks for humans.”

So, humans are expected to demand that BPA be banned based on the behavior of BPA-besotted California mice, but not the deer mice on which previous similar research was conducted. As noted in the release, “The two rodent species have contrasting mating behaviors.” That’s right, it depends on the sexual proclivities of the species of the mice involved and one has to make a mighty leap of faith that Ms. Rosenfeld’s research applies to humans.

Rosenfeld’s earlier work received notice in a January 2, 2013 Science Daily article which pointed out that, “Following a three-year study using more than 2,800 mice, a University of Missouri researcher was not able to replicate a series of previous studies by another research group investigating the controversial chemical BPA.”

A synopsis of the earlier study noted that “Rosenfeld’s group extended the studies to include animal numbers that surpassed the prior studies to verify their findings were not a fluke and to provide sufficient numbers of animals to ensure that significant differences would be detected if they existed. However, even these additional numbers of animals and extended experiments failed to reproduce the earlier findings.”

It’s worth noting that Ms. Rosenfeld’s later research involving monogamous California mice represented a dose that is a 1,000 times greater than a human would ingest. This research suggests that the anticipated outcome would demonstrate that BPA is harmful.

It reflects a global propaganda campaign to ban a chemical that has been safely in use for fifty years. This campaign is the subject of my six-part series on BPA that can be found at, a blog I maintain that includes other articles on the subject.

As noted on The BPA File, “In 2011, ‘the German Society of Toxicology released a review of more than five thousand previous studies of PBA exposure that concluded that BPA exposure represents no noteworthy risk to the health of the human population, including newborns and babies. Researchers concluded that BPA is neither mutagenic nor likely to be a carcinogen.”

Five thousand studies! At what point does 50 years of safe use to coat the insides of aluminum food cans, protecting the contents against food pathogens such as botulism, put this campaign by environmental groups and others to rest? How many more studies do we need to demonstrate the safety of BPA in making shatterproof safety goggles, DVDs, and scores of other products we use every day?

In March 2012 an Associated Press health reporter, Matthew Perrone, reported that “The Food and Drug Administration has rejected a petition from environmentalists (the Natural Resources Defense Council) that would have banned the plastic-hardening chemical bisphenal-A from all food and drink packaging, including plastic bottles and canned food.” The petition was rejected because the “petitioners did not present compelling scientific evidence to justify new restrictions…”

How compelling is yet another study that involved feeding California mice 1,000 times more BPA than humans would ever ingest? And how would any rational person conclude that alleged changes in monogamous California mice—but not the polygamous deer mice—could be extrapolated to suggest that humans would be affected?

An August 8, 2011 editorial in The Wall Street Journal, “Postscript to a Panic”, noted a study, “financed by the EPA…involved feeding (human) subjects a BPA-rich diet for 24 hours. Researchers then monitored their blood and urine for traces of the chemical” only to find that “the result was BPA levels too low to detect.”

The sheer absurdity of the campaign to get BPA banned reflects a deeper, more sinister agenda by environmental organizations like the Natural Resources Defense Council. It is the belief that the Earth’s human population must be reduced to protect it. Banning BPA would put millions at risk of death from food-borne diseases like botulism.

Given the tenacity with which such groups prosecute their agendas, we can be assured that these obsessed anti-BPA “researchers” aren’t going to go away.

© Alan Caruba, 2013

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Obama's Carbon Dioxide Lies


By Alan Caruba

The utter desperation of the “Warmists”, the advocates of global warming—now called climate change—is evident in a recent “study” reported in the Daily Caller in which “an international team of researchers” concluded that “earthworms could be contributing to global warming.” Earthworms!

That's how stupid they think the public is.
It is useful to know the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere, the object of much fear-mongering by Greens and Warmists. According to Wikipedia, Air is the name given to the atmosphere used in breathing and photosynthesis. Dry air contains roughly (by volume) 78.09% nitrogen, 20.95% oxygen, 0.93% argon, 0.039% carbon dioxide, and small amounts of other gases. Air also contains a variable amount of water vapor, on average around 1%. While air content and atmospheric pressure vary at different layers, air suitable for the survival of terrestrial plants and terrestrial animals is currently only known to be found in Earth's troposphere and artificial atmospheres."

The amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere is extraordinarily low compared to its other elements. Edmund Contoski, the author of the award-winning “Makers and Takers”, a study of how wealth and progress is created or thwarted, has noted that “Not only is carbon dioxide’s total greenhouse effect puny, mankind’s contribution to it is minuscule. The overwhelming majority (97%) of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere comes from nature, not from man.”

Not only are worms contributing to the CO2 in the atmosphere, but Contoski notes that “Volcanoes, swamps, rice paddies, fallen leaves, and even insects and bacteria alone emit ten times more carbon dioxide than all the factories and automobiles in the world. Natural wetlands emit more greenhouse gases than all human activities combined.” Contoski’s data is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy which also notes that 98% of all the carbon dioxide emissions are absorbed again by Nature.

According to a February 5 Wall Street Journal article, President Obama’s forthcoming State of the Union speech “will lay out a renewed effort to combat climate change that is expected to include using his authority to curb emissions from existing power plants…Mr. Obama is likely to signal he wants to move beyond proposed Environmental Protection Agency rules on emissions from new power plants and tackle existing coal-fired plants…”

There is not a scintilla of evidence that reducing carbon dioxide to avoid global warming has any basis in science, but ample evidence that Obama sees it as a way to reduce the nation’s capacity to generate the energy—electricity—it requires for economic growth. The effort to impose a carbon tax would suck more wealth out of the private sector while fueling the government’s insatiable desire for more funding.

The administration’s efforts to maintain this absurd, baseless notion were on full display when a report was released in January by the National Climate Assessment and Development Advisory Committee, claiming that “humans have so altered the composition of the atmosphere that the next glaciation (ice age) has now been delayed indefinitely.” The northeastern states were hit with a monster blizzard in February.

In late December, The Heartland Institute brought together fourteen conservative think tanks and advocacy groups to urge Congress to oppose carbon taxes. In a letter sent to all U.S. Senators and Representatives, they pointed out that a new tax on carbon content of fossil fuels would be a job killer and raise energy costs across the board, “hurting every industry and every consumer.” The letter noted that carbon is already taxed enough and that U.S. carbon emissions are already declining, but the bottom line is that reducing U.S. emissions will have no effect at all on the so-called climate change. Why? Emissions from China, India, and other developing nations are rising rapidly.

The irony of this is that more carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere would contribute to healthier forests and jungles, and most importantly, to increased crop yields that provide food for mankind and livestock, as well as all other creatures that consume vegetation as part of their diet. Carbon dioxide is Nature’s fertilizer for vegetation from a single blade of grass to a giant Sequoia tree.

There is no “consensus” among scientists regarding global warming and many, like those warning about earthworms, have misled Americans and others around the world with the greatest hoax of the modern era.

Since 2008, the U.S. has wasted nearly $70 billion on “climate change activities.” A report by the Congressional Research Service revealed that, from fiscal years 2008 through 2012, the federal government spent $68.4 billion to “combat climate change.” In addition, the Department of Defense spent $4 billion on the same futile, idiotic efforts when, in fact, humans play no role whatever in the changes occurring in the Earth’s climate. The Earth has actually been COOLING since around 1998 and that is entirely the result of less solar radiation. Those billions are an obscene waste of taxpayer funding.

Obama is lying. And he is using the Environmental Protection Agency to advance his lies as they produce more and more regulations whose sole purpose is to shut down existing coal-fired utilities and render impossible the construction of more utilities using coal in a nation that has centuries-worth of affordable coal reserves for the generation of more electricity to serve our energy needs. He is no friend of any other fossil fuel if the delay of the XL Keystone pipeline is any indication.

Energy, indeed, energy independence and the wealth and prosperity that would be generated is within our grasp. The only person standing in the way is Barack Hussein Obama.

© Alan Caruba, 2013