Category Archives: Global Warming / Climate Change

Bezos says we need to leave Earth in order to survive

jeff bezos

You go first, Jeff.

From Fox News: The recently anointed richest person in the world, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, says we need to colonize the moon — and time is of the essence.

“We must go back to the moon, and this time to stay,” he said.

Speaking at the Space Development Conference in Los Angeles over the weekend, Mr. Bezos made the argument that in order to protect Earth and allow the human species to continue growing, we need to move much of our industrial activity to the moon, or even asteroids.

The 54-year-old billionaire said moving heavy industry into solar-powered space outposts is the only way to ensure that our planet can cope with the rising demand for energy and the stresses of a growing population.

“We will have to leave this planet,” he said, according to Geek Wire. “We’re going to leave it, and it’s going to make this planet better. We’ll come and go, and the people who want to stay, will stay.”

Mr. Bezos believes it will happen in our lifetime because the human race has little alternative. “The alternative is stasis,” he said, adding that without space settlements, societies around the globe “will have to stop growing” due to environmental and other constraints.

“That’s not the future that I want for my grandchildren, or my grandchildren’s grandchildren.”

The US government has stated it wants to pursue sustainable outposts in space and the Trump administration has shown renewed interest in returning to the moon. The Amazon CEO expects US government funding taxpayers to play a vital role in efforts to build habitats in space but said his rocket company, Blue Origin, would push on with its mission even if it doesn’t receive funding help from NASA.

“It won’t be done by one company” or by NASA, he said but by “thousands of companies working in concert over many decades”.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has previously outlined his idea for sending humans to colonize Mars but Mr. Bezos clearly thinks our planet’s moon is a better option for an initial outpost. As he pointed out during the conference talk, the moon is more conveniently located and reachable in just a couple of days with the right rocket.

The e-commerce entrepreneur also seems excited by the fact that in the past decade scientists discovered the existence of icy water near the poles that could theoretically be converted into hydrogen and oxygen and used for drinkable water, breathable air and propellants for reusable rockets.

“It’s almost like somebody set this up for us,” Mr. Bezos said.

If you’re a billionaire leader of industry, it’s become rather fashionable to use your means to push humanity towards the final frontier.

Jeff Bezos previously said he sells about $1 billion a year in Amazon stock to pursue his plans for space tourism and called his rocket company “the most important work I am doing”.

Read the rest of the story here.

DCG

Prominent gay rights lawyer burns himself to death to protest fossil fuel

david buckel sets self on fire

Wonder if he used biodiesel fuel to set himself on fire?

From Fox News: A “green” activist who was a pioneering lawyer for gay and transgender rights — including in the notorious “Boys Don’t Cry” rape murder case — committed suicide by setting himself on fire Saturday morning in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park in a grisly act of protest against the ecological destruction of the Earth.

David Buckel, 60, left behind a charred corpse and a typed suicide note that said he was burning himself to death using “fossil fuel” to reflect how mankind was likewise killing itself, police sources said.

He left the note in a manila envelope marked “To The Police,” recovered from inside a black metal pushcart he discarded at the scene.

“Most humans on the planet now breathe air made unhealthy by fossil fuels, and many die early deaths as a result,” Buckel wrote in his note, which he also sent to the New York Times.

“My early death by fossil fuel reflects what we are doing to ourselves.”

He added, “Honorable purpose in life invites honorable purpose in death.”

Passers-by were horrified to see Buckel’s burned remains. “It was just lying there, on its back, knees slightly bent like someone would lie on the sand at the beach,” said Irena Ryjova, 44, a rollerblader who passed by at about 7 a.m., less than an hour after the immolation.

“It’s a shock; it’s a shame,” said mom Dana Lall as she shepherded a crowd of Catholic-school kids past the horrific scene, en route to a baseball game.

As a senior attorney with Lambda Legal defense, Buckel was a lead lawyer in a 2000 lawsuit on behalf of transgender “Boys Don’t Cry” rape-murder victim Brandon Teena, helping the family recover additional damages from neglectful Nebraska law enforcement.

The 1999 movie earned Hilary Swank an Oscar for her portrayal of Teena. “It’s a very important case, not only within Nebraska but nationally,” Buckel had told the Daily Nebraskan newspaper in 2001, ­after helping win an $80,000 judgment.

DCG

When atheist Stephen Hawking died . . .

Yesterday, March 14, 2018, theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking died at age 76.

Hawking was a longstanding Labour Party supporter. He recorded a tribute for the 2000 Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore, supported stem cell research, universal health care, action to prevent climate change, and opposed Brexit.

Hawking is famous not just as a scientist, but as a celebrated pop culture figure. One of the perks of being a celebrity — a perk shared by Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew — is access to billionaire convicted-pedophile Jeffrey Epstein‘s “pedo” island in the Virgin Islands.

JeffreyEpsteinStephenHawking01.jpg

Stephen Hawking enjoys a barbecue on Jeffrey Epstein’s Caribbean island Little St James while attending a conference on gravity organized for 21 of the world s top physicists by Epstein’s foundation on a nearby island in March 2006.

Hawking is also famous for his atheism.

In his co-authored book, The Grand Design, Hawking wrote (see my Sept. 5, 2010 post, “No Need For God“):

“Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the Universe going.”

To Hawking, this just happened by accident — the Ring Galaxy, which spans about 100,000 light years and lies about 600 million light years away:

Ring galaxy

I wonder how Hawking could account for the law of gravity existing BEFORE there was the physical Universe, i.e., before there was any object on which gravity could exert its force?

I also wonder if Hawking, wherever his soul is, still thinks there is no God?

Atheism is an empirically untenable belief because the assertion “There is no God” is a categorical or universal negative, which requires that one knows EVERYTHING in the Universe so as to dismiss the existence of God, just as you can’t say “There is no pink elephant,” unless you’ve been to every planet and star in the Universe, seen everything and can verify that no pink elephants exist — anywhere.

Hawking was diagnosed with the incurable motor neurone disease ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s disease) in 1963 when he was 21 years old. The average survival of ALS from onset to death is two to four years. About 10% survive longer than 10 years.

Hawking is the only known person with ALS to not only live to a ripe old age of 76, but got younger-looking the older he got. It must be a miracle! /sarc

See “Conspiracy Theory: Stephen Hawking died and was replaced a long time ago“.

~Eowyn

Feinstein loses California Demorat Party’s endorsement

feinstein

More delegates voted for Kevin de Leon, the State Senate’s current President pro tempore. More about de Leon:

In December 2016 (after the death of Kate Steinle), de Leon proposed a bill that would prohibit state and local law enforcement, including school police and security departments, from using their resources for immigration enforcement. From my post:

Senate Bill 54 would also create “safe zones” at public schools, hospitals and courthouses where immigrant enforcement would be banned, and require state agencies to update their confidentiality policies so that information on individuals’ immigration status is not shared for enforcement purposes.

“To the millions of undocumented residents illegal aliens pursuing and contributing to the California dream, the state of California will be your wall of justice should the incoming administration adopt an inhumane and overreaching mass-deportation policy,” de León said in a statement. “We will not stand by and let the federal government use our state and local agencies to separate mothers from their children.”

In July 2015, de Leon was caught on film making a racist comment. From Dr. Eowyn’s post:

“The WND reports, June 3, 2015, that an independent undercover journalist has secretly filmed Democrats being racist about blacks.

The undercover video (posted by Ryan Sorba), dated May 2, 2015, is posted at Barbwire.com. It captures Democrats and homosexual activists calling conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas an “Oreo cookie” (black on the outside, white on the inside) or race traitor, who doesn’t know he’s black.

He (Sorba) turns to California State Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de Leon and asks: “On the question of the marriage issue, if we use watermelon, can we get Thomas to side with us on one case?”

De Leon laughs hysterically and turns to another man: “Hey, John, he’s got a good question right here!”

De Leon’s web site, which claims he is a “progressive voice for California,” touts his achievement/plans for California:

  • In 2016, Senator de León championed the “No Place Like Home” initiative, an innovative and ambitious proposal to address homelessness in California by securing $2 billion in bond financing for construction and rehabilitation of permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless Californians suffering from mental illness. (How’s that initiative working out, de Leon?)
  • With President Trump’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program, Senator de León was instrumental in negotiating $30 million to assist the nearly 250,000 Dreamers in California with legal services as well as “safety net” funding to help DACA students stay in school should they become unable to work to support their education.
  • Guided by a strong belief in a woman’s right to control her own health care, Senator de León has been stalwart defender for preserving federal funding for family planning as a Republican-led Congress continues to target Planned Parenthood for defunding.  Senator de León’s strong and unwavering advocacy for access and choice has been recognized by Planned Parenthood with a consistent 100 percent voting record and numerous awards, with special recognition in 2014 for legislative leadership.

Good luck thriving California, if de Leon wins.

From Stars and Stripes: California Democrats rebuked Sen. Dianne Feinstein at their annual convention this weekend, denying her the party’s endorsement in this year’s Senate race and giving a majority of their votes to her liberal primary challenger.

Just 37 percent of delegates to the statewide convention, held this year in San Diego, backed Feinstein in her bid for a fifth full term. More than 54 percent backed state Sen. Kevin de León, who entered the race in October and has run to Feinstein’s left on health care, taxes and immigration. Candidates needed 60 percent of the vote to win the party’s endorsement, making Feinstein the first incumbent senator in recent memory who will run in June’s primary without official backing.

“California Democrats are hungry for new leadership that will fight for California values from the front lines, not equivocate on the sidelines,” de León said Sunday morning in a statement. “We all deserve a leader who will take our climate action to Washington, and will fight each and every day to protect our human and civil rights, our immigrant families and Dreamers, champion universal healthcare and create good paying middle class jobs.”

Losing at the party’s convention does not stop any candidate from fighting to win in the primary. In 1990, as a candidate for governor of California, Feinstein was denied the party’s endorsement at the convention, in part due to her support for the death penalty. She went on to win the nomination, losing in November to Republican Pete Wilson.

Until Sunday morning, de León had little evidence that his challenge to Feinstein could succeed. The senator entered the year with more than $9.8 million in campaign funds; de León had just $359,261. A February poll from the Public Policy Institute of California found her leading de León by 29 points, albeit with 37 percent of voters undecided. And Feinstein, who since the start of her political career in San Francisco had crossed swords with her party’s left, had voted with the left of her Democratic caucus on issues around the status of immigrants brought illegally to the United States as children.

De León’s strong showing at the convention changed the narrative, demonstrating the trouble that Feinstein — who turns 85 this summer — will face in persuading a changing party to get behind her. The state senator has won the backing of more left-leaning unions, such as the SEIU and the California Nurses Association, and attacked Feinstein for conservative votes she cast after arriving in the Senate in 1993. (She is one of just four Democrats still in the Senate who voted for the Iraq War.)

Read the rest of the story here.

DCG

Robert De Niro travels to Dubai to bash President Trump on climate change

robert de niro

TDS causes ugliness both inside and out

De Niro’s flight is going to leave a large carbon footprint. DiCaprio would be proud.

From Yahoo: Hollywood star Robert De Niro took aim at the Trump administration’s stance on climate change, telling a packed audience in the Middle East that he was visiting from a “backward” country suffering from “temporary insanity.”

He said that in the country he’s describing, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency suggested last week that global warming may be a good thing for humanity.

“I am talking about my own country, the United States of America. We don’t’ like to say we are a ‘backward’ country so let’s just say we’re suffering from a case of temporary insanity,” he added.

De Niro received applause and laughs when he said the U.S. “will eventually cure itself by voting our dangerous leader” out of office. He spoke Sunday at Dubai’s World Government Summit.

See also:

h/t Twitchy

DCG

Feminists rejoice: UK determines that sandwiches should be replaced with more “environmentally-friendly” lunches

feminist

From The Independent UK: The UK’s annual consumption of sandwiches has a greater impact on the environment than the use of eight million cars, scientists have claimed.

Researchers at the University of Manchester calculated the carbon footprint of 40 different types of sandwiches – both home-made and pre-packaged – taking account how the ingredients were produced, the packaging, as well as food waste discarded at home and elsewhere in the supply chain.

About 11.5 billion sandwiches a year are eaten in the UK, according to the British Sandwich Association (BSA).

The study found ready-made “all-day breakfast” sandwich containing egg, bacon and sausage to have the highest carbon footprint, generating 1,441g of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2 eq) – the same as driving an average car for 12 miles.

Professor Adisa Azapagic, from the university’s School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Sciences, said: “Given that sandwiches are a staple of the British diet as well as their significant market share in the food sector, it is important to understand the contribution from this sector to the emissions of greenhouse gases. For example, consuming 11.5 billion sandwiches annually in the UK generates, on average, 9.5 million tonnes of CO2 eq, equivalent to the annual use of 8.6 million cars.”

Those containing pork meat, cheese, tomato or prawns were also deemed carbon-intensive by the researchers but home-made favourite ham and cheese was found to have the lowest CO2 eq.

The study, published in the journal Sustainable Production and Consumption, found the estimated impact of ready-made sandwiches ranged from 739g CO2 eq for egg and cress to 1,441g CO eq bacon, sausage and egg. The carbon footprint of the most popular home-made sandwich, ham and cheese, varied from 399g to 843g CO2 eq depending on the recipe.

Agricultural production and processing of ingredients were found to be the largest contributor to a sandwich’s carbon footprint, accounting for around 37 per cent to 67 per cent of CO2 eq for ready-made sandwiches. Packaging material contributed 8.5 per cent of CO2 eq and transporting and refrigerating adding a further four per cent.

Keeping sandwiches chilled in supermarkets and shops accounts for up to a quarter of their greenhouse gas emissions, researchers said, adding that making them at home using the same ingredients could cut emissions in half.

The team concluded that a combination of changes to the recipes, packaging and waste disposal could halve the carbon footprint of the sandwiches.

The BSA estimates that extending the shelf life of sandwiches could reduce waste by more than 2,000 tonnes a year. Prof Azapagic said: “We need to change the labelling of food to increase the use-by date as these are usually quite conservative. Commercial sandwiches undergo rigorous shelf-life testing and are normally safe for consumption beyond the use-by date stated on the label.”

Responding to the research, Friends of the Earth called for retailers to stock more environmentally friendly lunch options.

Clare Oxborrow, food campaigner for the green lobbying group, said: “The meat and dairy industry is one of the biggest causes of climate change, so cutting back on meat and cheese fillings will be good for the planet – as well as our health. But supermarkets need to step up to the plate and make sure their sandwiches aren’t toasting the planet. It’s almost impossible to find a plant-based filling among the meaty and cheesy offerings.”

h/t Moonbattery

DCG

LA Times asks, “Why is liberal California the poverty capital of America?

nancy pelosi tweet

Demorats own this.

Doesn’t take an econ major in junior high to solve this riddle.

Kerry Jackson at the LA Timeswrote this op-ed piece: Guess which state has the highest poverty rate in the country? Not Mississippi, New Mexico, or West Virginia, but California, where nearly one out of five residents is poor. That’s according to the Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure, which factors in the cost of housing, food, utilities and clothing, and which includes noncash government assistance as a form of income.

Given robust job growth and the prosperity generated by several industries, it’s worth asking why California has fallen behind, especially when the state’s per-capita GDP increased approximately twice as much as the U.S. average over the five years ending in 2016 (12.5%, compared with 6.27%).

It’s not as though California policymakers have neglected to wage war on poverty. Sacramento and local governments have spent massive amounts in the cause. Several state and municipal benefit programs overlap with one another; in some cases, individuals with incomes 200% above the poverty line receive benefits. California state and local governments spent nearly $958 billion from 1992 through 2015 on public welfare programs, including cash-assistance payments, vendor payments and “other public welfare,” according to the Census Bureau. California, with 12% of the American population, is home today to about one in three of the nation’s welfare recipients.

The generous spending, then, has not only failed to decrease poverty; it actually seems to have made it worse.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, some states — principally Wisconsin, Michigan, and Virginia — initiated welfare reform, as did the federal government under President Clinton and a Republican Congress. Tied together by a common thread of strong work requirements, these overhauls were a big success: Welfare rolls plummeted and millions of former aid recipients entered the labor force.

The state and local bureaucracies that implement California’s antipoverty programs, however, resisted pro-work reforms. In fact, California recipients of state aid receive a disproportionately large share of it in no-strings-attached cash disbursements. It’s as though welfare reform passed California by, leaving a dependency trap in place. Immigrants are falling into it: 55% of immigrant families in the state get some kind of means-tested benefits, compared with just 30% of natives.

Self-interest in the social-services community may be at fault. As economist William A. Niskanen explained back in 1971, public agencies seek to maximize their budgets, through which they acquire increased power, status, comfort and security. To keep growing its budget, and hence its power, a welfare bureaucracy has an incentive to expand its “customer” base. With 883,000 full-time-equivalent state and local employees in 2014, California has an enormous bureaucracy. Many work in social services, and many would lose their jobs if the typical welfare client were to move off the welfare rolls.

Further contributing to the poverty problem is California’s housing crisis. More than four in 10 households spent more than 30% of their income on housing in 2015. A shortage of available units has driven prices ever higher, far above income increases. And that shortage is a direct outgrowth of misguided policies.

“Counties and local governments have imposed restrictive land-use regulations that drove up the price of land and dwellings,” explains analyst Wendell Cox. “Middle-income households have been forced to accept lower standards of living while the less fortunate have been driven into poverty by the high cost of housing.” The California Environmental Quality Act, passed in 1971, is one example; it can add $1 million to the cost of completing a housing development, says Todd Williams, an Oakland attorney who chairs the Wendel Rosen Black & Dean land-use group. CEQA costs have been known to shut down entire homebuilding projects. CEQA reform would help increase housing supply, but there’s no real movement to change the law.

Extensive environmental regulations aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions make energy more expensive, also hurting the poor. By some estimates, California energy costs are as much as 50% higher than the national average. Jonathan A. Lesser of Continental Economics, author of a 2015 Manhattan Institute study, “Less Carbon, Higher Prices,” found that “in 2012, nearly 1 million California households faced … energy expenditures exceeding 10% of household income. In certain California counties, the rate of energy poverty was as high as 15% of all households.” A Pacific Research Institute study by Wayne Winegarden found that the rate could exceed 17% of median income in some areas.

Looking to help poor and low-income residents, California lawmakers recently passed a measure raising the minimum wage from $10 an hour to $15 an hour by 2022 — but a higher minimum wage will do nothing for the 60% of Californians who live in poverty and don’t have jobs. And research indicates that it could cause many who do have jobs to lose them. A Harvard University study found evidence that “higher minimum wages increase overall exit rates for restaurants” in the Bay Area, where more than a dozen cities and counties, including San Francisco, have changed their minimum-wage ordinances in the last five years. “Estimates suggest that a one-dollar increase in the minimum wage leads to a 14% increase in the likelihood of exit for a 3.5-star restaurant (which is the median rating),” the report says. These restaurants are a significant source of employment for low-skilled and entry-level workers.

Apparently content with futile poverty policies, Sacramento lawmakers can turn their attention to what historian Victor Davis Hanson aptly describes as a fixation on “remaking the world.” The political class wants to build a costly and needless high-speed rail system; talks of secession from a United States presided over by Donald Trump; hired former attorney general Eric H. Holder Jr. to “resist” Trump’s agenda; enacted the first state-level cap-and-trade regime; established California as a “sanctuary state” for illegal immigrants; banned plastic bags, threatening the jobs of thousands of workers involved in their manufacture; and is consumed by its dedication to “California values.” All this only reinforces the rest of America’s perception of an out-of-touch Left Coast, to the disservice of millions of Californians whose values are more traditional, including many of the state’s poor residents.

With a permanent majority in the state Senate and the Assembly, a prolonged dominance in the executive branch and a weak opposition, California Democrats have long been free to indulge blue-state ideology while paying little or no political price. The state’s poverty problem is unlikely to improve while policymakers remain unwilling to unleash the engines of economic prosperity that drove California to its golden years.

h/t PJ Media

DCG