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Government Food Guidelines Reject Autonomy, Independence

Somewhat Reasonable - February 23, 2015, 6:31 PM

 

Leave it to Enviro-wackos to crawl into bed with public health scolds in order to restrict individual Americans freedom to eat as they choose.

You knew it was coming. First you’re forced to buy government mandated health insurance then, because the insurers that collaborated with the President Obama to create the monster known as “Obamacare,” want to reduce payouts, the government now wants to tell American’s what they can eat and how much TV and computer time they can have.

Think I’m exaggerating? Think again.

According to an article in The Washington Free Beacon, the federal committee responsible for nutrition guidelines, Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), is calling for the adoption of “plant-based” diets, taxes on dessert, trained obesity “interventionists” at worksites, and electronic monitoring of how long Americans sit in front of the television.

The government will use the DGAC’s far-reaching 571-pages of recommendations to  to develop the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans that are the basis for government food assistance programs, nutrition education efforts, and for making “decisions about national health objectives.”

The DGAC wants “trained interventionists,” inserted into schools, hospitals, work sites, restaraunts and public building to ensure people are eating what the committee believes are the right things. To discourage backsliding in private, the DGAC is calling for limiting peoples access to high calorie foods in public buildings, “limit the exposure” of advertisements for junk food, a soda tax, and taxing high sugar and salt items and dessert.

In addition the DGAC is recommending “coaching or counseling sessions,” “peer-based social support,” and “electronic tracking and monitoring of the use of screen-based technologies” as a way to limit screen time. Yes, you read right, they want to tell everyone how much time they can spend in front of the TV.

Now comes the recommendations that trod on my special area of expertise. The DGAC (climate experts all, I’m sure), had the temerity to recommend Americans move towards plant based diets, not for health reasons, but to improve sustainability and reduce the threat of global warming.

There is no evidence, though there is much speculation and hype, that current diets in the developed countries are unsustainable (whatever that means). Only those wedded to the idea that the Earth’s food system is a fixed pie, with limited slices, can one argue how we eat today is unsustainable. However, if you’ve followed agricultural, technological and population trends over the centuries since Malthus first foisted upon us the idea that population would outstrip food supply, you’ll recognize that the pie’s size is not fixed, but ever growing. Why should people eat like their much poorer, less healthy ancestors once did? I know populations in developing countries want diets more like our own, and less like the ones they are currently restricted to by faulty economic and corrupt political systems.

The committee also said that “altering individual and population dietary choices and patterns” would be necessary to meet its sustainability goals, as well as policy changes.

Sadly, I am all to often reminded that the hubris of government planners know no bounds.

As the Beacon reports, outside of the communities of radical environmentalists and would be public health wardens, response to the DGAC guidelines have been negative.

Per the Beacon:
“The Committee’s foray into the murky waters of sustainability is well beyond its scope  and expertise. It’s akin to having a dermatologist provide recommendations about cardiac  care,” Barry Carpenter, president and CEO of the North American Meat Institute, said in a  statement.

 Jeff Stier, a fellow with the National Center for Public Policy Research, said the report  “was heavily influenced by activists’ plans to change the nation’s dietary guidelines to  promote foods that they believe have ‘a smaller carbon footprint.'”

This country was founded on the ideal of individual freedom, not big-state nannyism, which is what has made it the envy of the world.

I’d like to leave my size 9 1/2 carbon footprint on the DGAC’s members behinds.

 

Categories: On the Blog

From Internet to Obamanet

Stuff We Wish We Wrote - Homepage - February 23, 2015, 5:59 PM
Critics of President Obama’s “net neutrality” plan call it ObamaCare for the Internet. That’s unfair to ObamaCare. Both ObamaCare and “Obamanet” submit huge…

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Out of the Storm News - February 23, 2015, 4:44 PM

Testimony to Utah House Business and Labor Committee

Out of the Storm News - February 23, 2015, 4:27 PM

Chair Peterson, ladies and gentlemen of the committee, my name is Ian Adams and I am the Western region director of the R Street Institute. Thank you for hearing my testimony today.

R Street is a non-profit, free-market think tank based in Washington, D.C., though I hail from Sacramento. We maintain the largest insurance-focused project of any non-industry think tank and also engage in research concerning disruptive technologies.

Though we are free marketers, we also believe there is a productive role for regulation to play in preventing consumer harm.

The controversy presented by the current interpretation of Utah’s anti-rebating statute is at the intersection of insurance and innovation. For this reason, I have examined the Utah situation in a recently released white paper entitled “Anti-rebating laws and the Utah experience.”

My research indicates that, from a free-market perspective, the current interpretation of Utah’s anti-rebating law requires legislative correction.

As you are aware, insurance is largely regulated by the states. Anti-rebating laws are widespread. 48 of 50 states have anti-rebating laws. Among the states, there is a high level of interpretive uniformity about what constitutes an “inducement.”

These laws were first introduced in the 19th century to achieve two overarching objectives:

  1. To maintain insurer solvency; and
  2. To prevent impermissible discrimination between customers.

To the extent that Utah’s anti-rebating law still seeks to further the policy objectives of the original anti-rebating laws, the interpretive judgment of the Department of Insurance concerning “inducements” accomplishes neither of those goals. Solvency concerns have been resolved by the introduction of risk-based capital standards and there is scant evidence in the states that do not maintain anti-rebating statutes that discriminatory treatment is an issue.

Even if there were evidence of impermissible discriminatory conduct, other legal proscriptions against discriminatory market conduct are already on the books and are much more effective.

By removing the nexus between the sale of an insurance product and an inducement, Utah’s interpretation of what constitutes an inducement has become an aberration unmoored from original intent. What’s worse, it does not remedy a clear consumer harm, which is the principal test of the need for regulatory intervention.

At a higher level of abstraction, for innovation to flourish, predictability and consistency are necessary. Thus, while no anti-rebating laws anticipated the innovation in question here, a permissive interpretation of the law is a preferable public policy outcome in the absence of a clear harm to consumers. For markets to flourish, innovation must be as permissionless as possible.

A near-term solution that affirms Utah’s status as a mainstream jurisdiction on this issue will allow consumers in Utah to benefit from a genuine and normatively desirable innovation.

Thank you for your time, I am happy to field any questions that the committee has.

 

Heartland Daily Podcast – John Davidson: “Medicaid Expansion by Another Name”

Somewhat Reasonable - February 23, 2015, 3:57 PM

In this edition of the Heartland Daily Podcast, Research Fellow Sean Parnell sits down with Texas Public Policy Foundation’s John Davidson. Davidson discusses his latest paper, “Medicaid Expansion by Another Name,” which describes the largely unsuccessful efforts of several Republican governors to get even modest reforms of Medicaid in exchange for expanding the program under Obamacare.

Instead of getting real work requirements, minor premium payments, and increased cost sharing for inappropriate use of the emergency room, these governors have settled for cosmetic changes with little real chance of reforming the broken Medicaid system.

Davidson also shares his thoughts on what the starting point needs to be for real medicaid reform, block granting funds to the states and allowing them to innovate and design programs that meet their needs, not those of politicians and bureaucrats in Washington, DC.

[Subscribe to the Heartland Daily Podcast for free at this link.]

Categories: On the Blog

The Climate Con Goes On

Somewhat Reasonable - February 23, 2015, 3:56 PM

Some 200 nations may sign a “modest” Kyoto II climate treaty, say December 2014 media reports from Lima, Peru. But will developing nations agree to stop using coal to generate electricity? No. Curtail economic growth? No. Cease emitting carbon dioxide? Maybe, but only a little, sometime in the future, when it is more convenient to do so, without binding commitments. Then why would they sign a treaty?

Primarily because they expect to get free energy technology transfers, and billions of dollars a year in climate “mitigation, adaptation and reparation” money from Western nations that they blame (and which blame themselves) for the “dangerous climate change,” rising seas and “extreme weather” that they claim are “unprecedented” and due to carbon dioxide emissions during the 150 years since the Industrial Revolution began. These FRCs (Formerly Rich Countries) have implemented low-carbon energy policies and penalties that have strangled their economies, dramatically increased energy prices and killed millions of jobs. But now poor developing countries demand that they also transfer $100 billion per year, for decades (with most of that probably going to their governing elites’ Swiss banks accounts).

Where is this likely taking us? President Obama has long promised to “fundamentally transform” the U.S. economy and ensure that electricity prices “necessarily skyrocket.” His edicts are doing precisely that. And now Christiana Figueres, the UN’s chief climate change official, has declared that her unelected bureaucrats are undertaking “probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the [global] economic development model.” [emphasis added] Her incredible admission underscores what another high-ranking IPCC official said several years ago: “Climate policy has almost nothing to do anymore with environmental protection. The next world climate summit is actually an economy summit, during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated.”

Why would any sane families or nations consign their fates to such insane, perverse arrangements? The arrangements are being imposed on them, through force, fabrication and fraud.

Poor, middle and working class families will get little but more layoffs, further reductions in living standards and longer postponement of dreams. But meanwhile Climate Chaos, Inc. (Big Green, Big Government, alarmist scientists, crony corporatist “green” energy companies, and allied universities and scientific groups) will become richer, gain more control over our lives and livelihoods, and rarely be held accountable for the damage they cause. Retracting their “dangerous manmade climate change” tautologies would endanger their money, power and reputations.

That’s why their hypotheses, assertions, intentions and computer models always trump reality. It’s why they are increasingly vicious and relentless in vilifying realist scientists like Willie Soon who challenge their “97% consensus” and “manmade climate catastrophe” mantras – and in demanding that the news media ignore experts and analyses that do not toe the Climate Chaos line. They denigrate realists as “climate deniers” (deliberately suggesting Holocaust denial) and “oil industry shills” (while hiding their own suspect ethics, data “adjustments,” and Big Green billion-dollar Russian and other funding sources).

Realists get precious little (or no) oil money and constantly underscore the role of climate change throughout Earth and human history. What we contest is the notion that climate and weather fluctuations today are manmade, unprecedented and dangerous. Alarmists deny that Earth’s climate is often in flux, solar and other natural forces drive weather and climate, and atmospheric carbon dioxide plays only a minimal role. Real-world evidence demolishes virtually every alarmist claim.

The climate reality record is presented in a readable, thought-provoking new book, About Face: Why the world needs more CO2; The failed science of global warming, by late U.S. economist Arthur Hughes, Australian geologist Cliff Ollier and Canadian meteorologist Madhav Khandekar. Sea level is rising at only1.5 mm per year now (six inches per century), they note, and there is zero evidence that the rate is escalating or that coastal communities are at risk. Nor is “ocean acidification” a legitimate problem.

Alarmists use it to replace other disproven scares with a new panic. Earth’s oceans have never been acidic. They are mildly alkaline. Their enormous volumes of water cannot become acidic – that is, plummet from an 8.2 pH level 150 years ago and their current 8.1 pH into the acidic realm of 7.0 or lower, due to the tiny amount of atmospheric CO2 attributable to fossil fuel use, in less than five centuries, experts explain.

The tiny effect of rising CO2 levels on climate contrasts sharply with their enormous benefits to plant growth and agriculture. Not only is more CO2 “greening” deserts, forests and grasslands; it is increasing grain and food yields worldwide, and helping people in developing nations live longer, healthier lives.

Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are not in danger of collapsing, the About Face authors demonstrate; in fact, they are growing. Similarly, contrary to another scare, extreme weather events are not increasing.

No Category 3-5 hurricane has struck the United States for a record nine years, and Earth’s temperature has not budged for 18 years. Claims that 2014 was “the hottest year on record” are based on airport and urban measurements that are higher than rural locations and are always “adjusted” upward, with year-to-year differences expressed in hundredths of a degree. Outside those areas, for most of the world – the 70% of Earth’s surface that is oceans and 85% of land area that is mountains, deserts, grasslands, tundra, and boreal or tropical rain forests – practically no data exist. So NASA and other alarmists falsely extrapolate from their manipulated urban data to fill in massive gaps for the other 95% of the Earth.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Northeast is suffering through record snows and its lowest winter temperatures in decades, and America’s East Coast air has been 25-30 degrees F below normal. England’s winter death rate is almost one-third higher than normal: nearly 29,000 deaths in a two-week period in January 2015, largely because people can no longer afford to heat their homes properly, due to UK climate policies.

What’s really going on? Our sun “has gone quiet again, during what is likely to be the weakest sunspot cycle in more than a century,” dating back to 1906, says Vencore weather analyst Paul Dorian.

Alarmists don’t want to talk about that – or about what is happening in Asia. BP’s Energy Outlook 2035 report forecasts that China’s oil, natural gas and coal use will increase by some 50% and its carbon dioxide emissions by 37% over the next 20 years. India’s energy production will soar 117% – with fossil fuels accounting for 87% of all demand in 2035. Its CO2 emissions will also skyrocket. So even if the USA and EU eliminated fossil fuels, atmospheric carbon dioxide would continue to climb.

Climate alarmists want the newspaper and television media to ignore this information and the “skeptics” who might present it. Bill Nye “the science guy” recently asked MSNBC to link all weather events to climate change. “Just say the words climate change” when you talk about this winter’s cold and snow,” he begged. A new study shows how widespread these repulsive practices have become.

Quoting one journalist, a George Mason University analysis found that U.S. media outlets “pretty much” agree that climate change “is real, it’s happening, and we’re responsible. That debate is over.” As a result, “critics are no longer being interviewed,” the study said. In the view of “mainstream” media outlets, seeking or presenting both sides on the climate issue is a “false balance.” At least one news organization now has an explicit editorial policy “discouraging reporters from quoting climate change deniers in environment or science coverage,” the Washington Examiner noted.

Media reputations are at stake. They’ve been in bed so long with the Climate Chaos complex that acknowledging the critical role of natural forces, the expertise of climate realists, the debate that still rages, or the Grand Canyon between climate crisis claims and real-world evidence would destroy what little credibility the media still has. It would also start the collapse of the Climate Chaos house of cards.

But the real stakes are much higher. They are the businesses, jobs, families, living standards and liberties that will be increasingly threatened if President Obama, EPA, Big Green and the United Nations remain free to impose their climate and energy agenda. Responsible governors, state legislators and members of Congress must get involved, block these actions, and roll back the destructive policies.

Categories: On the Blog

America’s Title II Protectionism Will Hurt Google & Silicon Valley in EU

Somewhat Reasonable - February 23, 2015, 3:31 PM

Last November, President Obama effectively abandoned America’s longstanding free trade Internet policy established by President Clinton, in favor of a protectionist Internet industrial policy to benefit America’s national champions, Silicon Valley, under the guise of “net neutrality” policy.

Flipping U.S. Internet policy from global digital free trade to maximal national Internet regulation could end up hurting Silicon Valley the most, because they most benefit from, and depend on, the current free flow of information globally on the Internet.

Ironically, America also is forfeiting the digital free trade policy high ground by leading the world toward a “Splinternet” vision of more nationalistic maximal utility regulation of the Internet and its content.

In particular, it will be much harder for the U.S. to credibly object that the EU’s: creation of a European Digital Single Market (DSM), tightening of the EU-U.S. Data Protection Safe Harbor, and its aggressive enforcement of EU antitrust, privacy, and tax laws against Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple, is protectionist, when America’s new FCC utility regulation of the Internet is a transparently protectionist American industrial policy to advantage America’s national champions in Silicon Valley.

The hypocrisy of urging other nations to “do as we say not as we do” has never been a winning trade negotiating strategy.

President Clinton’s 1997 “Framework for Global Electronic Commerce,” was inherently a global internet free trade vision, with the primary goals that “the private sector should lead” and “governments should avoid undue restrictions on electronic commerce.” The phenomenal Internet we know today is a result of that global-oriented vision.

In stark contrast, President Obama has called for an inherently nation-centric protectionist Internet vision in urging America’s FCC to impose the “strongest possible” utility regulation of America’s Internet, via a quasi-nationalization of America’s Internet infrastructure by reclassifying the Internet from a non-price regulated “information service” to a price-regulated “telecommunications” service under the “Title II Common Carriers” section of the 1934 Communications Act.

February 26th, the FCC is widely expected to make operative the President’s November statement of new American Internet policy in a partisan 3-2 vote.

How is Title II a protectionist Internet policy?

This is not only a domestic decision, but also a seminal trade and foreign policy decision.

By asserting the legal authority to change the legal status of the Internet in America to a “telecommunications” service, the FCC decision will effectively legally activate “telecommunications” trade treaty obligations for the Internet under the United Nations International Telecommunications Union’s (ITU) constitution.

Specifically, ITU agreement ITU-T D.50 “recognizes the sovereign right of each State to regulate its telecommunications” as it determines.

Historically, ITU “telecommunications” regulation has long been a “sender party pays” economic model, where every country can set its own per-minute tariff for telephone calls coming into the country much like a nation can set a protectionist tariff on certain types of imports.

However, the phenomenal growth of Silicon Valley’s now dominant Internet companies has flowed directly from the Internet’s opposite “receiving party pays” economic model.

Receiving party pays” has been brilliantly re-branded in America as “net neutrality” and “innovation without permission” because ISPs and users inherently must implicitly subsidize dominant Internet companies’ substantial costs of distributing their highly-asymmetric streams of downstream Internet traffic. To illustrate, in the U.S. two companies, Netflix and Google-YouTube, comprise roughly half of all American Internet downstream traffic per Sandvine.

Thus the current free flow of global information that we know of as the Internet today is a direct result of the free trade arrangement of the “receiving party pays” model.

This lucrative model generates an enormous implicit digital trade surplus for America vis-à-vis the world because America’s Silicon Valley companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple dominate Internet products and services, and hence downstream Internet traffic, internationally.

Only in the U.S. does it make economic sense to define the Internet as “telecommunications” to mandate a “receiving party pays” model.

However for the roughly two hundred other countries in the world, the new powerful economic incentive is to legally define their national Internet traffic like America now has as “telecommunications.”

That way, under existing ITU agreement ITU-T D.50, they can legally replace their current Internet implicit “receiving party pays” model that generates large implicit digital trade deficits with the U.S., with a per-megabyte import tariff under the ITU’s “telecommunications” “sending party pays” model to create explicit, large, and highly-lucrative digital trade  surpluses at America’s and Silicon Valley’s expense – all while being able to say they are only doing what the U.S. is doing – looking out for their own nation’s economic interests.

This issue moved front and center this week after President Obama publicly accused the European Union of technology protectionism for pursuing a European Digital Single Market.

President Obama told Re/Code: “We have owned the internet. Our companies have created it, expanded it, perfected it in ways that they can’t compete. And oftentimes what is portrayed as high-minded positions on issues sometimes is just designed to carve out some of their commercial interests.

In sum, as the old adage says, those in glass houses should not throw stones.

America’s Title II Internet utility regulation to protect America’s domestic economic interests, will beget other countries imposing their own nationalistic Internet utility regulation to protect their own national interests.

Tellingly, the UK House of Lords is now recommending just that, i.e. that the UK regulate the UK Internet as a national utility.

Apparently the FCC doesn’t appreciate another relevant old adage here: look before you leap.

Categories: On the Blog

Innovation and a Carbon Tax: Unexpected Views from the Right and Left

Out of the Storm News - February 23, 2015, 3:11 PM
This event has passed 09/16/2014 @ 6:30 am - 8:00 pm

Australia has just repealed one, South Africa is just getting one going, and British Columbia has a popular one that nobody seems to know about.  In the United States, it is generating ever more divisiveness — or is it?

Discover the unexpected areas where the right and the left agree and disagree on a carbon tax.  Learn their thoughts on innovation and energy policy through a thought-provoking panel co-organized by the R Street Institute and Future 500.

Moderated by David Baker, Energy & Clean Tech reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle, the panel will feature:

  • Andrew Moylan, R Street Institute
  • Jeremy Carl, Hoover Institution
  • Ted Nordhaus, Breakthrough Institute
  • Bill Shireman, Future 500

The event is free to public, although we kindly ask that you RSVP through this page.Catered fare and alcoholic refreshments will be provided.

For more information, please contact Brendon Steele at bsteele@future500.org.

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Loading Map.... R Street Institute
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R Street Institute

Out of the Storm News - February 23, 2015, 3:11 PM
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  • The California Model: What We Can Learn from the Golden State’s Approach to Ridesharing

    Out of the Storm News - February 23, 2015, 3:09 PM
    This event has passed 11/10/2014 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

    Join the R Street Institute and Engine for a candid discussion about ridesharing legislation featuring key stakeholders and policy analysts. The panel will coincide with the release of a new joint paper scoring the top 50 cities in America for transportation friendliness, looking at what worked, what didn’t, and what jurisdictions still considering how to deal with ridesharing can learn from California’s approach.

    Featuring:
    Ian Adams, California Director – R Street Institute
    Andrew Moylan, Executive Director and Senior Fellow – R Street Institute
    Evan Engstrom, Policy Director – Engine
    Michael Gunning, Vice President – Personal Insurance Federation of California
    David Mack, Director of Public Affairs – Lyft
    Luis Quinonez, Chief of Staff – California Assemblywoman Susan Bonilla

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  • Panel: Conservative Thought and Sustainability

    Out of the Storm News - February 23, 2015, 3:04 PM
    This event has passed 11/13/2014 @ 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm

    R Street’s Lori Sanders will be speaking on the panel “Conservative Thought and Sustainability” at the ASBC Annual Business Summit on November 13, 2014. Details below:

    Join us at the 3rd Annual Business Summit in Washington, D.C. for an up-close and  candid opportunity to exchange ideas with senior Administration officials,  regulators and members of Congress and gain valuable insight into where policy is evolving in 2015. With a new Congress coming to D.C., the 2014 Summit enables sustainable businesses and organizations to influence the policies that will make the American economy more vibrant and just.

    Open to ASBC Members and Invited Guests

    Cost: Organizational Members = $225 / Business Members = $395 / Non-Members = $600

    Agenda: http://asbcouncil.org/sites/default/files/agenda2014a.pdf

    RSVP: http://asbcouncil.org/join-asbcs-2014-white-house-summit#.VDa13SldVwY

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  • Ridesharing in the District: How the Nation’s Capital Is Regulating Drivers-for-Hire

    Out of the Storm News - February 23, 2015, 3:01 PM
    This event has passed 11/19/2014 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

    Join the R Street Institute and the Washington Examiner for an in-depth discussion of the state of transportation in America’s 50 largest cities. Centered on R Street’s recently released “Transportation Regulation Scorecard: 2014,” the panel will examine how cities foster or stymie a healthy transportation economy and will make recommendations for how cities can improve their rankings.

    The panel will take a particularly close look at the District of Columbia, the top scoring city in America, and the District’s new ridesharing legislation which helped vault it to the top of the list.

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  • Westfields Marriott

    Out of the Storm News - February 23, 2015, 2:57 PM
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  • Fighting Poverty: Solutions from the Center-Right

    Out of the Storm News - February 23, 2015, 2:55 PM
    This event has passed 12/06/2014 @ 9:45 am - 12:00 pm

    R Street senior fellow Lori Sanders will be a featured speaker at a panel on poverty policy at the Republican Party of Virginia’s 31st annual conference:

    Save the Date! The 31st Annual RPV Advance is set for December 5th-6th at the Westfields Marriott!

    We’ve got a great line-up of speakers and conservative newsmakers, workshops to help you sharpen your message, and of course hospitality suites where the newsmakers, future leaders, and current elected officials meet the grassroots one-on-one!

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    It’s an Ice Age for Sure

    Somewhat Reasonable - February 23, 2015, 2:53 PM

    Some say in ice.

    From what I’ve tasted of desire.
    I hold with those who favor fire.
    But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate.
    To say that for destruction ice Is also great.
    And would suffice.

    — Robert Frost, American poet.

    Robert W. Felix borrowed from the poet Robert Frost for the title of his book, “Not by Fire, But by Ice”, first published in 1997 and devoted to the science of magnetic reversals and the Earth’s ice ages. I read it first in 2010 and was absolutely floored because Felix makes a very strong case for a reversal that would lead to a widespread extinction of life at some point in the future. In the near, more predictable future, he said the Earth was heading into a new ice age.

    “What would happen if a magnetic reversal occurred right here?” asked Felix. “The same things that happened in the past. Earthquakes, floods, volcanoes, giant snowstorms, rising land, plummeting sea levels—you name it—tectonic activity would go bonkers.” Don’t believe him? Think about the disappearance of the dinosaurs some 65.5 million years ago.

    The Earth had been in a cooling cycle that began in 1996 when the sun entered a cycle of reduced radiation. Such cycles were well known and most dramatically tied to the mini-ice age that occurred between 1300 and 1850. Solar observers had noticed many centuries ago that when there were few sunspots—magnetic storms—on the surface of the Sun, the Earth got colder.

    This has become especially dramatic because, on February 17 a post on http://thesiweather.com/category/climate-info/ called for a discussion of the fact that “The Sun has gone quiet again during the weakest solar cycle in more than a century.” The post says, “If history is a guide, it is safe to say that weak solar activity for a prolonged period of time can have a negative impact on global temperatures in the troposphere which is the bottom-most layer of Earth’s atmosphere—and where we all live.”

    “There have been two notable historical periods with decades-long episodes of low solar activity. The first is known as the ‘Maunder Minimum’, named after solar astronomer Edward Maunder, and it lasted from 1645 to 1715. The second one is referred to as the ‘Dalton Minimum’, named for the English meteorologist John Dalton and it lasted from 1780 to 1830.” Together they are referred to as the “Little Ice Age.”

    There are quite a few scientists forecasting a new ice age. The last ice age began approximately 1.6 million years ago in the Pleistocene epoch. We are currently in the Holocene epoch that began about 11,000 years ago and is regarded as an interglacial period of general warmth.

    In his book, “Dark Winter: How the Sun is Causing a 30-Year Cold Spell”, John L. Casey, a former White House national space policy advisor, says that whatever warming has occurred has ended as the result of “solar hibernation”, a term he applies to the reduction of energy output of the Sun. The “climate change” that is occurring is a long-term reduction in the Earth’s temperatures with, says Casey, “a high probability of increased earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.”

    In “Cold Sun”, another book by Casey, his says that “The most likely outcome from this ‘solar hibernation’ will be widespread global loss of life and social, economic, and political disruption. You must prepare for this life-altering event now!”

    In January 2012, Matt Ridley, a columnist for The Wall Street Journal, noted that “The entire 10,000-year history of civilization has happened in an unusually warm interlude in the Earth’s recent history. Over the past million years, it has been as warm as this or warmer for less than 10% of the time, during 11 brief episodes known as interglacial periods.”

    Those who kept warning of a “global warming” with dire results misinterpreted the climate. Ridley noted that “It’s striking that most inter-glacials begin with an abrupt warming, peak sharply, (and) then begin a gradual descent into cooler conditions.” That is what is occurring now.

    None of this has anything to do with carbon dioxide, ozone, or any other element of the Earth’s atmosphere. It is entirely the result of the lower solar radiation of heat.

    The United States should be taking steps to ensure a sufficient supply of electricity to cope with the lower temperatures, but has been wasting billions to support “renewable” energy, wind and solar, that is costly and ineffective. The U.S. Energy Department projects that solar power will make up 0.6 percent of total U.S. electricity generation in 2015. Wind power which is funded in part by taxpayer subsidies to stay in business has received $7.3 billion over the past seven years, but produces a minimal amount of electricity to justify its cost.

    At the same time, the Environmental Protection Agency’s “war on coal” has forced many plants providing electricity to close. A significant disruption of electricity over an extended period of time will cause many deaths due to the cold weather. It is inevitable.

    At the same time, instead of providing a source of food, tons of corn are being turned into ethanol in the name of reducing carbon dioxide even though CO2 plays no role whatever in a “global warming” that is not happening.

    It’s not just another typical winter. The U.S. and much of the northern hemisphere is experiencing increased cooling that is seen in record-breaking and record-setting new amounts of snow and ice. This is a trend tied to the Sun’s and the Earth’s cooling cycle.

    That is of no concern to those who are using “global warming” and “climate change” in order to bring about a transformation in the global economic system from capitalism, the most effective creator of growth and wealth, to socialism, a pathetic, failed system of income redistribution controlled by a central government. Directed out of the United Nations, their absurd claims are supported by the media and many deluded politicians.

    Is the U.S. government responding in a sensible way? No. When President Obama speaks of “climate change” he means “global warming.” The result over the past three decades has been the waste of billions for “research” and other schemes tied to this huge hoax.

    Real climatologists, meteorologists, and scientists paying attention to both the past and to present events are forecasting more intense and longer winters—for now a Little Ice Age.

    [Originally published at Warning Signs]

    Categories: On the Blog

    A Public Forum Leading on Climate

    Out of the Storm News - February 23, 2015, 2:46 PM
    This event has passed 12/07/2014 @ 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm

    R Street senior fellow Ian Adams will be a featured speaker at an upcoming panel discussion of climate policy:

    Climate change is hurting Oregonians. Pollution affects our health, economy, and infrastructure.

    Nearly every developed country wants the United States to hold polluters accountable for climate change. But Congress won’t act before a state can prove the model of effective policy.

    November’s election made this much clear: that state is Oregon.

    But if we send the bill for droughts and wildfires to the out-of-state corporations that cause them, what should we do with the estimated $2 billion in revenue every year? Cut taxes? Repair infrastructure? Invest in schools and clean energy? Should we send the money back to Oregonians as a $2,000 annual kicker? Or save for a rainy day?

    Join us on Sunday, December 7th at KOBI-TV Studio C in Medford for The Two Billion Dollar Question, an opportunity to celebrate the things we love about our home and get involved with the surest way to protect it: a fee on carbon pollution.

    Enjoy great food and music, meet the experts, and join the Two-Billion-Dollar-Debate.

    Now is the time for Oregonian exceptionalism. Don’t miss out on this exciting event!

     

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    Map Unavailable 12/07/2014 - 12:00 pm - 3:00 pm


    #LegalHack CopyNight Returns: February 10 Edition!

    Out of the Storm News - February 23, 2015, 2:43 PM
    This event has passed 02/10/2015 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

    RSVP and details at: http://www.meetup.com/DCLegalHackers/events/219834425/

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