Hurricane Hysteria [Updated] | Power Line

This cartoon, from Watts Up With That, sums it up:

This cartoon, from Watts Up With That, sums it up:

From Powerline, with no comment,  because none is required.

The much-hyped Hurricane Matthew still hasn’t made landfall. It has been downgraded to a Category 2 hurricane as it makes its way up the Southeastern coast. It may yet do great damage here, as it already has in Haiti, but the disappointment in some quarters is palpable. Matthew had been hyped as the poster child for global warming, striking just in time to give Hillary Clinton a boost in Sunday’s debate. That plan likely will have to be shelved.

For the record, the U.S. is in the midst of the longest stretch in recorded history without being struck by a Category 3 or higher hurricane–more than ten years. Many expected that streak to be broken by Matthew, but it didn’t happen. There has been no increase in hurricanes either in the U.S., or throughout the North Atlantic, since 1880.

Still, there is no doubt that if Matthew had struck the U.S. as a Category 3 or 4 hurricane, we would have heard about nothing for days except global warming. […]

Global warming hysteria stopped having anything to do with science a long time ago. It is now 100% politics.

UPDATE: Roger Pielke has updated his chart to show how the current hurricane drought shatters all previous records, going back to 1900. The rising trend line means more days between Category 3+ hurricanes:

via Hurricane Hysteria [Updated] | Power Line

The Politics of Energy

I try pretty hard not to write about politics overmuch, it angers and tires me, and I suspect it does the same to you, especially this year, when the noise level decidedly indicates hearing protection, much like an unmuffled chainsaw. Still, it matters, so let’s let Bill Whittle tell us why.

King Coal and Freezing in the Dark

michaelbaume_specaus-08-october_postWe talked about the South Australia blackout the other day, but I want to say a bit more. The Spectator AU tells us this:

State governments are sheltered workshops for mediocre politicians rarely good enough to make it in the Canberra big league. They have just one basic task in the Australian federation: to maintain basic public infrastructure that keeps communities going. Roads, rail, schools, hospitals, police, fire, emergency services. And electricity networks.

Last week, the South Australian Labor government of Jay Weatherill delivered an unenviable energy efficiency target: a 100 per cent reduction in the state’s electricity supply. The catastrophic failure of his state’s power grid forced Crow-Eater Mr Weatherill to eat a huge helping of crow.

To be sure, South Australia was hit by a huge weather event. Extremely high winds twisted steel electricity towers like flimsy tinfoil, bringing down key power lines interconnecting the South Australian grid with the Victorian network supplying the majority of its power, especially when demand surges.

True enough, but Andrew Bolt tells us the winds never exceeded 100 km/hr (about 62 mph for Americans). A distribution line that fails to stand up to sixty mph winds is defective, either in design, execution, or maintenance. I note that I once helped replace about 10 miles of heavy distribution after an ice storm because one clamp either wasn’t tightened properly or had vibrated loose. Details matter, and so does competence and honesty. Crony built infrastructure lacks both of the latter.

But South Australia’s internal power generation capacity failed to take the strain for one simple reason: its utter dependence on renewable energy. The irony of wind power is those landscape-dominating wind turbines have to be shut down for safety in high winds. And when there’s no sun and insufficient storage of solar energy, rooftop solar panels and newfangled solar farms are as useful as a tit on a bull.

Bizarrely, just this May the Weatherill government proudly shut down (and blew up) South Australia’s last coal-fired power station, making the state’s dependence on wind and solar for its home-grown energy almost absolute. Adelaide’s basket-weavers deliriously welcomed a new Green Age of progressive power generation and the banishment of Old King Coal.


via Stormy Weatherill | The Spectator

The Spectator also tells us that the Australian coal industry has a pretty good future, mostly in exporting to China and India, if the greenies don’t kill it, and several million Asians along the way.

I believe in progress devoutly, but I also believe in reality. And carbon-free energy is a drug induced dream. It can happen if government forces it, but it will force us back at least a century, more likely to the age before electricity, and if we can’t burn wood or coal, well, there always one option. Freezing in the dark.

I hear many of you saying, “So what, that’s Australia, nothing to do with us.” But it does, we’re the people that have bankrolled any number of pie-in-the-sky ideas without a hope in hell of them working, except, of course, to put taxpayers money into the the scammer’s pocket. Anybody remember Solyndra? I have no problem with renewable energy, as long as it is developed by private capital, and can compete on a level field with coal, and gas. It can’t, and I doubt it ever will.

Then there is this from The Weekly Standard:

Last week the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia heard arguments challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s effort to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants. The Clean Power Plan, as it is called, is central to President Barack Obama’s overall Climate Action Plan. West Virginia and Texas are leading the 27 states and state agencies now in opposition to the CPP regulations, and some 120 companies and organizations have filed in support of the coalition’s complaint.

CPP is designed to bring about what the EPA calls an “aggressive transformation” of electricity generation throughout the country. It would do this by systematically “decarboniz[ing]” power generation and ushering in a new “clean energy” economy less reliant on carbon. CPP requires that, by 2030, power-plant carbon emissions be reduced by a third from what they were in 2005.

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the plan would drive up electricity costs for businesses, consumers, and families, impose tens of billions of dollars in annual compliance costs, and reduce America’s global competitiveness—without any significant reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions.

But whatever you might think of the rule as energy policy, the biggest problem with it is this: The rule is illegal, indeed unconstitutional.

Under the Constitution, Congress makes law, and the executive enforces it. Unfortunately, over the past 80 years Congress has delegated to executive agencies the power to regulate in many areas. But that is not a blank check to the executive: If Congress has not made a specific delegation, then regulations in that area created by the executive branch are not valid. And that is what has happened here.

As Chief Justice John Roberts said in his dissent in City of Arlington v. FCC (2013), “Agencies are creatures of Congress.” He then quoted what the Court said in an earlier case, Louisiana Public Service Commission v. FCC (1986): “an agency literally has no power to act .  .  . unless and until Congress confers power upon it.”

True enough, and hopefully The Court will recognize that it is so. But my read of it as energy policy is that it will put the United States in exactly the same place as South Australia visited last week. Given the other things that so-called environmentalists support (and oppose) these days, I’m not too sure that is not the goal.

TSA: Terrorists Seeking Access

This illustration is an older report, from a Congressional Committee. But its title never goes out of style.

This illustration is an older report, from a Congressional Committee. But its title never goes out of style.

You know, I could just about, maybe, kind of, sort of, understand the unwarranted, and unwarrantable intrusions into our persons and possessions of the TSA, if they had any record at all of reducing terrorism. The thing is, they don’t. It’s pure theater of the absurd, the only purpose of which is evident, is to cow the people into submission. I first saw this at the Powerline Blog, which had something to do with bringing it to light. But I like this write up better, I’m becoming weary of calm civilized tones on this.

Remember when the bozos in DC redefined the mission of NASA as “Moslem outreach?” That was pretty weird — they’re alien, but notthat kind. But if you were wondering whether an agency ever could top that for Mecca-facing featherbrained imbecility, wonder no more. And you know what agency did it.

No one good, decent, honest, competent, moral, ethical or intelligent has ever been employed at the TSA in any capacity whatsoever.

The latest outrage that these no-good, indecent, dishonest, incompetent, immoral, unethical and unintelligent payroll patriots have inflicted on us, actually took place in 2014 and 2015 and has been previously reported: special guided tours of security areas and procedures, exclusively for… Somali Moslems. It’s back in the news because Judicial Watch finally pried the documents loose with a FOIA request, and they’re pretty bad.JW summarizes:

On at least two occasions—December 18, 2014 and February 18, 2015—federal authorities granted the unprecedented excursions of the facility’s sterile and secure areas, according to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) records obtained by Judicial Watch. The DHS agency that conducted the expeditions, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), provided the Muslim participants with “an in-depth, on-site tour and discussion of CBP’s airport, including both inbound and outbound passenger processing,” the TSA files state. Besides multiple roundtable meetings between CBP and Somali community leaders including imams, the records show that a luncheon and “cultural exchange and educational brief” also took place between December 2014 and February 2015 so that attendees could ask about the agency’s “specific practices” at the airport.

The roundtable events and airport tours were organized by Abdirizak Farah, who is identified in the records as a policy advisor in the DHS Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL). Farah joined DHS in 2010 with an annual salary of $89,033 and by 2015 his yearly pay increased to $130,453, according to a government database. The TSA’s “Somali liaison officer” in Minneapolis, Andrew Rhoades, told Judicial Watch that the special airport tours were organized for Somali Muslims after they complained to Johnson that they felt “harassed and profiled” by CBP at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport. The DHS secretary had “a sympathetic ear to that,” Rhoades said, adding that no other group has been granted such airport access by DHS. “Now, I will say we’ve never done that, or we don’t do that, to let’s say the Hmong community living here in Minneapolis, uh, the Christian community, the Catholic community, the Irish… whatever you want to call it. This has been the only one,” Rhoades said.

Read the whole thing™ here: TSA: Terrorists Seeking Access | WeaponsMan

Spin Cycle

As always, a heaping helping of truth.


This is the truth, whatever one thinks about Donald Trump.

Update on the Zika Plague

AlgerianWomanDDT1943_0Well, it’s almost time for the Olympics, at ground zero of the Zika outbreak, amidst the chaos and clutter, and perhaps the danger of a corrupt third world city, and its effects: unfinished and unsafe, or as the Australians said, unlivable buildings, corrupt government, out of control police. To the point that the nations are no longer sending their best, they’re sending those willing to risk their lives. But the Brazilian politicians and their buddies got rich, and will get richer, to the envy of their counterparts in Chicago.

Usually, I’m fairly blasé about the various health scares that we hear about, the various types of flu, and all that. Most strike me as a way to control the population, or make money, or something along that line. Zika is apparently different. It seems the boy really did see a wolf this time. Gene Veith over at Cranach tells us.

The Center for Disease Control has issued a travel advisory warning people to stay away from Miami’s Wynwood district, an artsy area where the particular mosquito that carries the Zika virus is resisting efforts at eradication.  Fifteen people in the district have come down with Zika, which causes birth-defects in new-born babies.  This is the first time that the CDC has issued a travel advisory for the United States.

Scientists have proven the direct link between the virus and micro-encephaly, or extra small heads in babies.

via Update on the Zika plague

And his linked article from the AP says this:

MIAMI (AP) — The mosquitoes spreading Zika in Miami are proving harder to eradicate than expected, the nation’s top disease-fighter said Tuesday as authorities sprayed clouds of insecticide in the ground-zero neighborhood, emptied kiddie pools and handed out cans of insect repellent to the homeless.

Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the mosquito-control efforts in the bustling urban neighborhood aren’t achieving the hoped-for results, suggesting the pests are resistant to the insecticides or are still finding standing water in which to breed.

“We’re not seeing the number of mosquitoes come down as rapidly as we would have liked,” he said in an interview with The Associated Press.

Mosquito control experts said that’s no surprise to them, describing the Aedes aegypti mosquito as a “little ninja” capable of hiding in tiny crevices, sneaking up on people’s ankles, and breeding in just a bottle cap of standing water.

Fifteen people have become infected with Zika in Miami’s Wynwood arts district, officials said Tuesday. These are believed to be the first mosquito-transmitted cases in the mainland U.S., which has been girding for months against the epidemic coursing through Latin America and the Caribbean. […]

“We have to totally rethink mosquito control for Aedes aegypti,” Doyle said. “It’s like a little ninja. It’s always hiding.”

Frieden complained that in the U.S., “we really dismantled the mosquito monitoring and control infrastructure over the past few decades.”

The result: “We have blind spots where we don’t know where the mosquito populations are and what the susceptibility is to different insecticides,” the CDC director said.

The U.S. government might have underestimated how difficult it would be to control Zika’s spread, said University of Florida public health researcher Ira Longini.

But he also said there aren’t enough of the disease-transmitting mosquitoes living in and around houses to cause long-term or widespread outbreaks in this country.

“In defense of the CDC and the government, it’s a difficult problem to solve,” he said.

via ‘Little ninja’: Zika-spreading mosquito puts up tough fight

Which is, of course, pretty much self-serving poppycock. This country, back in the 50s and 60s managed to eradicate malaria, itself and go far towards eliminating it in the world. Not many remember that, but we did, and yes, it was wonderful to play in the backyard without mosquitos, back in that long-lost golden age. Bet it would have worked just as well on this particular brand of mosquitos, as well.

But it won’t happen. Why? Because we banned that insecticide, based on unproven accusations, from essentially one author. It’s quite possible, of course, that we were over-using it, especially in agriculture. But it should also be remembered that it was responsible for preventing many outbreaks of typhus, malaria, and yellow fever, during and after World War Two.

What was this wonder chemical? Dichloro diphenyl trichloroethane (DDT). And more than anyone else, we can blame Rachel Carson and her book, Silent Spring, for every case of zika, malaria, and typhus that occurs now.

No wonder the Luddite left considers her a hero.

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