The Environmental Spectator

The Environmental Spectator

Rolling Back the Tide Just a Bit

By 10.7.15

The reason most often cited for the success of the nonpolitical candidates is the frustration with Washington; the sense that the system is broken. Voters feel that we have no control and that government has gone wild. Even people who don’t watch the news or closely follow politics are aware of the “overreach.” It seems that, perhaps, the messages the outsiders have been heralding on the trail has caught on.

Washington’s overreach has been rolled back—by courts and commissioners and, even, in response, the government itself. In little more than 30 days, there have been five distinct cases that you may have missed—each, a victory for responsible land use.

The Environmental Spectator

Our Fiat Pope in a VW World

By 9.28.15

While Pope Francis was 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.” Addressing that comment, Business Insider added: “He praised President Barack Obama for his proposals, which aim for the US to cut emissions by up to 28% over the next decade.”

The Environmental Spectator

The Climate Left’s Belief in Papal Infallibility

By 9.22.15

Pope Francis has yet to invoke the doctrine of papal infallibility for his environmental encyclical, Laudato si’. That would require the agreement of all of his bishops. Not all of the world’s leading Catholic clerics have concurred on the secular doctrine of environmental alarmism.

But an unconventional ecumenical ally has. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency co-wrote the encyclical, according to an op/ed by Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), a Catholic congressman who is boycotting the pope’s planned address to the Congress this week.

The Environmental Spectator

Regulatory Lunacy

By 8.19.15

Unless a federal judge issues a preliminary injunction, the definition of the “Waters of the U.S.” will change on August 28—giving the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the authority to regulate the water in your backyard (even the water that might be in your backyard due to a heavy rain). Even, according to West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, “any area where agencies believe water may flow once every 100 years.”

The Environmental Spectator

Millennial Voters Want Results, Not Regulations

By 8.11.15

Hillary Clinton’s absolutely authoritarian environmental policy scheme makes Barack Obama’s audacious clean energy pitch seem timid. On the campaign trail in Ames, Iowa recently, the former Secretary of State said she wanted renewable energy to account for 33 percent of America’s electric power by 2027, 13 percent more than the president proposed last week.

“I want more wind, more solar, more advanced biofuels, more energy efficiency,” said Clinton. “And, I’ve got to tell you, people who argue against this are just not paying attention.”

Her cry of more, more, more, is a bit disconcerting, considering that Obama’s plan would “wash away” the coal industry, even though the U.S. accounts for only 15 percent of the world’s CO2 output, and even now is a global leader in renewable power, according to analysts.

The Environmental Spectator

Enviro-Man Shows Signs of Climate Defeatism

By 7.20.15

Like a modern-day Sisyphus pushing his Prius hybrid up Nob Hill in San Francisco, today’s enviro-man has met his existential match. Tired of trolling online magazines, calling out the capitalists behind every skeptical op/ed on climate change, and reworking trite talking points on eco-health hazards before the next news cycle, enviro-man is finally giving up.

Retreating to rural Vermont, wearing only his Birkenstock sandals, and a tattered shawl, while carrying a handful of organic peanuts, he is prepared to walk the earth, alone inside his own tiny carbon footprint, never to agitate again.

According to a piece in this weekend’s MIT Technology Review, as the international climate talks in Paris approach this fall, many eco-activists are apparently too depressed about their real-world political ineffectiveness to get out of bed and join other revolutionaries on their parapets along the Seine.

The Environmental Spectator

Here Comes the Sun

By 7.14.15

Remember the climate catastrophe predicted by science savant Al Gore and 97 percent of his colleagues in climatology, meteorology, and alchemy? The world was warming, the seas were rising, and polar bears were packing up all their personal items, locking their tray tables, and putting their seats in the upright position.

Well, that rough landing, alarmist scenario is so last century, at this point. Literally, temperatures have not risen, visibly, annually, for going on 18 years now.

Thus, last week, another group of scientists came up with another, new hypothesis, based on computer models, rather than empirical evidence, like all “consensus science” should be. This time, the lads and lasses in the laboratory are convinced the world is heading for a cooling cycle, and there’s nothing former vice president Gore, and his friend President Barack Obama can do to stop the seas from rising, or whatever. Blame it all on the Sun.

The Environmental Spectator

The Environment Goes to Pot

By 6.30.15

Marijuana “grows” are the new environmental menace. Teams of sheriff’s deputies from three northern California counties found ample evidence of this in raids on several illegal grows last week. They were in a remote area called Island Mountain, where the three counties of the “Emerald Triangle” (Humboldt, Trinity, and Mendocino) converge.

The deputies served 20 search warrants, then seized and disposed of 86,578 “adult” marijuana plants, 4,394 pounds of processed marijuana, and 15 pounds of marijuana hashish in brick form. Along with these they seized 25 guns, 50,000 rounds of ammunition, and $8,877 in cash. They estimated the “street value” of the marijuana haul to be $26.5 million.

Officials of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife accompanied the teams to assess the effect of the grows on watersheds. They found 97 environmental violations. (Note: Combined, the seized plants required 50,000 gallons of water a day. One ounce of processed marijuana requires 34 gallons of water.)

The Environmental Spectator

The Death Star Is in Seattle

By 5.27.15

When Shell Oil’s massive arctic drill rig, the Polar Pioneer, floated toward the Port of Seattle’s Terminal Five on May 16, Seattle’s former mayor, Mike McGinn tweeted, “It’s like the deathstar landed in Seattle.” Based on the reactions of his fellow army of “kayaktivists,” he was not alone in that feeling.

Kayaktivists is name given to the protesters who created a flotilla of personal kayaks in an effort to interfere with the docking of the Polar Pioneer. In their multi-colored plastic, petroleum-based products, they created a spectacular visual and the best protest Seattle has seen in some time. After all, when the peaceful portion of your protest ends on the water, those who want to break windows or start fires have nothing to do.

The Environmental Spectator

Rain Dances in California

By 3.24.15

On February 14, 2014, President Barack Obama arrived on Air Force One in Fresno, California, with Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein aboard. They helicoptered to a 30-minute community roundtable in Firebaugh, 45 miles to the west. A half-hour motorcade then moved northwest to a Los Banos field for a photo op and official televised statement.

Joined by Gov. Jerry Brown, the President linked California’s lack of rain to climate change and carbon pollution.

The Democratic entourage, ringed by Secret Service, posed in the fallow field for Associated Press and the television cameras. It had no clue how to solve California’s water problems. It could have been doing rain dances, for all the good it was doing.

The fact is, the four were doing rain dances for MSM — all of them — Obama, Boxer, Feinstein, and Brown. This was wildly expensive, echt Obama, media spectacle.