Friday, October 31, 2014

Word for the Day: Heuristic

Heuristic - enabling a person to discover or learn something for themselves. "a “hands-on” or interactive heuristic approach to learning".  Computing - proceeding to a solution by trial and error or by rules that are only loosely defined.
 
Wikipedia

Heuristic (/hjʉˈrɪstɨk/; Greek: "Ερίσκω", "find" or "discover") refers to experience-based techniques for problem solving, learning, and discovery that finds a solution which is not guaranteed to be optimal, but good enough for a given set of goals. Where the exhaustive search is impractical, heuristic methods are used to speed up the process of finding a satisfactory solution via mental shortcuts to ease the cognitive load of making a decision. Examples of this method include using a rule of thumb, an educated guess, an intuitive judgment, stereotyping, or common sense.  More precisely, heuristics are strategies using readily accessible, though loosely applicable, information to control problem solving in human beings and machines.


 
 

 

Rhode Island flooding not West Virginia’s fault

Whitehouse is misguided on sea level rise: seacoasts won’t be flooded due to coal burning

Tom Harris & Bob Carter

It must have taken the patience of Job for West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin to participate in Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s climate change tour of the Ocean State on October 10. Whitehouse promised Manchin that he would go to West Virginia to learn about the coal industry if Manchin would come to Rhode Island to view the supposed effects of global warming on sea-level.

It is important to put the concerns of the two senators in perspective.

On the one hand, Manchin is fighting for the survival of West Virginia’s coal sector, his state’s most important industry, the source of 95% of its electricity, and the foundation for thousands of jobs in dozens of communities. The state’s use of abundant, domestically mined coal gives West Virginia the 7th lowest electricity costs in America – at about one-half the price in California, New York, Rhode Island and several other states.

But West Virginia’s coal sector is under siege from increasingly damaging Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules. Those rules have meant total coal production in West Virginia declined 9% between 2012 and 2013, a period during which 17% of the Mountain State’s coal mines closed, and coal employment decreased 6.4% for a loss of 3,457 jobs already. Even before the EPA’s new Clean Power Plan regulations, which Whitehouse promotes, come into force, the EPA and Obama Administration’s “war on coal” has already cost West Virginia billions of dollars.

Senator Manchin, in other words, is concerned about the immediate, real-world impacts of climate change regulations on real people, families and businesses in his state.

Senator Whitehouse has a different perspective and is apparently not concerned about the cost of EPA emission regulations. Rhode Island gets none of its electricity from coal, having chosen less-carbon-intensive natural gas as its preferred source of power.

As a result, the state has the 7th highest electricity prices in the continental United States. The impact of these high prices on hospitals, schools, churches, businesses and families is significant.

The White House, of course, shares Senator Whitehouse’s perspective. Neither seems worried that, under the EPA rules, electricity prices will “necessarily skyrocket,” as Obama put it when describing his energy plans as Democratic candidate for president in 2008.

Mr. Whitehouse is, however, worried about the hypothetical future impact of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from coal-fired power stations on “global temperatures.” He believes this will cause “dangerous” sea-level rise along Rhode Island’s coast. Mr. Whitehouse does not hide the fact that, because of these beliefs, he sees his mission as “more or less” to put the coal industry out of business.

If it were known with a high degree of probability that dangerous human-caused sea-level rise was right around the corner, then Mr. Manchin might have reason to sacrifice his constituents’ livelihoods to help save Rhode Islanders from being submerged. But this is not the case.

The September 2013 report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change states: “Sea-level rise is not accelerating. The global average sea-level continues to increase at its long-term rate of 1–2 mm/year [0.04-0.08 inches/year] globally” – or four to eight inches over the next century.

As it happens, sea-level rise on the coast of Rhode Island is slightly faster than the global rate – about a tenth of an inch per year in Newport, for example – or ten inches over the next 100 years. Nonetheless, such a slow rate of rise is relatively easy to adapt to, and certainly not worth ruining West Virginia’s economy on the off-chance that it would make any difference to coastal conditions in Rhode Island.

Bear in mind that sea levels have already risen nearly 400 feet since the end of the last Pleistocene Era ice age some 12,000 years ago.

The conflict between the two senators arises because of Mr. Whitehouse’s outmoded belief that rapid CO2-driven global warming is occurring. This, he believes, will cause accelerated glacial melting, the ocean volume to expand, and global sea-level to rise quickly. That in turn would subject low-lying coastal areas of Rhode Island to increasingly intense peak-tide or storm-surge flooding.

Drastically reducing our CO2 emissions is necessary to avoid this looming crisis, he asserts.

However, every step in Whitehouse’s chain of reasoning is either wrong or misleading and based on computer models that falsely assume rising atmospheric CO2 levels will cause rapid global warming. In reality, no global (atmospheric) warming has occurred for the last 18 years, even though CO2 levels have risen 9% during this time.

Neither has there been significant ocean warming since at least 2003. As a consequence, the ocean is not expanding and cannot be causing extra sea-level rise. In fact, the global rate of sea-level rise has actually decreased over the last decade.

The only way the sort of sea-level rise feared by Mr. Whitehouse is possible is if massive quantities of the Antarctic and Greenland ice-caps melted. Not only did that not happen even during the two-degree warmer Holocene Optimum, five to nine thousands years ago, but both the Greenland and Antarctic ice fields have been expanding in recent years.

Moreover, rates of modern sea-level change are controlled by the volume of water in the ocean (which is dependant on worldwide volumes of land ice at any given time), by dynamic oceanographic features such as movements in major ocean currents, and by the uplift or subsidence of the solid earth beneath any measuring station. Humans control none of these factors.

Senator Whitehouse should recognize that Rhode Island’s coastal management problems are his own state’s responsibility, not those of West Virginians. As sea-level continues its natural slow rise along Rhode Island’s coast, flooding due to peak tides and storm surges will continue much as it has for the past century. The way to cope with any small increase in the magnitude of these events is to apply and strengthen current strategies that increase coastal resilience.

In his June 4, 2008 speech on winning the Democratic primaries, President Obama said, “If we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that, generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment ...when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”

Senator Whitehouse may still believe this pious dream. However, Senator Manchin must resist the nonsensical demand that West Virginians sacrifice their livelihoods and living standards in a vain and King Canute-like attempt to stop the seas from rising.

_____________
Tom Harris is Executive Director of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition (www.ClimateScienceInternational.org). Bob Carter is former professor and head of the School of Earth Sciences at James Cook University in Australia.

 

From Benny Peiser's Global Warming Policy Foundation

10/28/2014
Britain Announces Emergency Measures To Prevent Winter Blackouts
Cold Winter Could Cause Britain’s Lights To Go Out


 Emergency measures to prevent blackouts this winter have been unveiled by National Grid after Britain’s spare power capacity fell to just 4 per cent. --Emily Gosden, The Daily Telegraph, 27 October 2014

The capacity crunch has been predicted for about seven years. Everyone seems to have seen this coming – except the people in charge. --Andrew Orlowski, The Register, 10 June 2014

National Grid has warned that there has been a significant increase in the risk of electricity shortages and brownouts this winter after fires and faults knocked out a large chunk of Britain’s shrinking power station coverage. The grid operator admitted that in the event of Britain experiencing the coldest snap in 20 years – a 5 per cent chance – then electricity supplies would not be able to meet demand during two weeks in January. --Tim Webb, The Times, 27 October 2014

The UK government will set out Second World War-style measures to keep the lights on and avert power cuts as a "last resort". The price to Britons will be high. Factories will be asked to "voluntarily" shut down to save energy at peak times for homes, while others will be paid to provide their own backup power should they have a spare generator or two lying around. --Andrew Orlowski, The Register, 10 June 2014

Big businesses are to be offered money to turn off their power to stop Britain suffering from a winter of electricity power cuts. It follows warnings that the number of power cuts has soared in recent years, amid fears that Seventies-style rationing will be needed to ensure supplies can be maintained. --Matt Chorley, Daily Mail, 26 October 2014

Advanced economies view interruptions to power supply as unacceptable. Therefore they typically operate with a great deal of spare capacity allowing them to absorb a substantial number of unexpected events - say 10. However, going into this winter, UK energy policy had reduced our ability to absorb unexpected events substantially. Unfortunately, the UK has now seen three unexpected events before the clock change. Another one or two could cause a serious security of supply event, and a probable surge in wholesale prices. The odds are still that UK will escape a security of supply crunch this winter. But the mere fact that a security of supply crisis is a material possibility is in itself a sign of huge policy failure in our view. --Peter Atherton, Liberum, 20 October 2014

Britain will struggle to “keep the lights on” unless the Government changes its green energy policies, the former environment secretary will warn this week. Owen Paterson will say that the Government’s plan to slash carbon emissions and rely more heavily on wind farms and other renewable energy sources is fatally flawed. He will argue that the 2008 Climate Change Act, which ties Britain into stringent targets to reduce the use of fossil fuels, should be suspended until other countries agree to take similar measures. If they refuse, the legislation should be scrapped altogether, he will say. Mr Paterson will deliver the lecture at the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a think tank set up by Lord Lawson of Blaby, a climate-change sceptic and former chancellor in Margaret Thatcher’s Cabinet. – Christopher Hope, The Daily Telegraph, 12 October 2014


10/29/2014
Scrap Unilateral Emissions Targets, UK Climate Rebels Demand
Ann Widdecombe: The Climate Change
Rebels Were Spot On

It is now 6 years to the day since the House of Commons voted for the Climate Change Bill at Third Reading, by a majority of 465 to 5. The five of us have seen nothing in the intervening 6 years to change our view that the Climate Change Act was a profound mistake. It is time to bring to an end the pointless damage being inflicted on British households, British industry and the British economy by the unilateral commitment to unnecessarily expensive energy, and to suspend the Climate Change Act's unilateral targets until such time as a binding global agreement has been secured. -- Christopher Chope MP, Phillip Davies MP, Peter Lilley MP, Andrew Tyrie MP, Ann Widdecombe (MP 1987 - 2010), 28 October 2014

1) Suspend Unilateral Emissions Targets, UK Climate Rebels Demand
The Times, 29 October 2014

2) Ann Widdecombe: The Climate Change Rebels Were Spot On
Daily Express, 29 October 2014

3) Reminder: Andrew Tyrie MP Leads Tory Rebels On Climate Change Bill
Conservative Home, 10 June 2008

Ben Webster

Laws forcing Britain to cut carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050 must be revoked to protect householders and businesses from rising energy costs, say the five MPs who defied an overwhelming majority to oppose the legislation.

Only five Conservative MPs voted against the Climate Change Bill in 2008 even though it required Britain to meet the world’s toughest emissions targets. Since then, only Finland and Mexico have adopted similar targets.

In a statement, Christopher Chope, Philip Davies, Peter Lilley, Andrew Tyrie and Ann Widdecombe, said: “The five of us have seen nothing in the intervening six years to change our view that the Climate Change Act was a profound mistake. The Act was intended as an example to the world which would lead to a binding global agreement. Despite a succession of conferences devoted to this objective, no such global agreement has proved possible.

“The UK accounts for less than 2 per cent of global emissions. It is time to bring to an end the pointless damage being inflicted on British households, British industry and the British economy by the unilateral commitment to unnecessarily expensive energy, and to suspend the Climate Change Act’s unilateral targets until such time as a binding global agreement has been secured. A full reconsideration of the deeply flawed economic methodology to support the Act is also now urgently needed. This served as the justification for so many regulatory and other measures that has forced up energy prices for millions of householders, without any clear long term benefit.”

Owen Paterson, the former environment secretary, voted for the act but has since called for the 80 per cent target to be scrapped.

See also:
Climate Rebels: Climate Change Bill at Third Reading Anniversary Statement

2) Ann Widdecombe: The Climate Change Rebels Were Spot On
Daily Express, 29 October 2014

SIX years ago Parliament passed the Climate Change Act with a mere five MPs, all Conservatives, voting against it. I am proud to have been one of those five MPs and I wonder how many others would join us if the vote were happening now.

This week I returned to the House of Commons to join the other four for an anniversary dinner. Andrew Tyrie, Peter Lilley, Christopher Chope and Philip Davies are still there fighting the nonsense but I have simply joined the ranks of the long-suffering British public who view the increasing “lights will go out” stories with grim foreboding.

Support for the then Labour Government’s bill was all part of Cameron’s campaign to “modernise” the Tory Party. It was the same campaign which saw him driving huskies and putting a ridiculous wind turbine on his roof so he was pretty displeased with the five of us but we were right. Oh, so right.

The wretched Bill committed us, at huge expense, to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions by a staggering 80 per cent. Yet that was supposed to be part of a global agreement and, as was easily foreseeable, there has been no such agreement but we have soldiered on despite accounting for about 2 per cent of all the world’s emissions. We have shunned the obvious answer of nuclear power in favour of vast, ugly, inefficient, bird-mashing wind farms which benefit none but those who take the subsidies from them. The phrase “political correctness gone mad” could have been invented for this stupidity alone.

Meanwhile the science of climate change is robustly disputed where once it was regarded as having all the authority of Holy Writ. So much was this the case that Nigel Lawson, whose book An Appeal To Reason is still the best refutation of the doom mongers, found it difficult to get published. In 1930s Germany they burned books that challenged state orthodoxy: here we just try to bury them.

I am proud to have been one of those five MPs and I wonder how many others would join us i
f the vote were happening now.

3) Reminder: Andrew Tyrie MP Leads Tory Rebels On Climate Change Bill
Conservative Home, 10 June 2008

Yesterday the Commons debated the Government’s Climate Change Bill and a commitment to reduce the UK’s carbon output by at least 60% by 2050. Although the Conservative leadership supported the Bill it only imposed a one line whip fearing a big rebellion from sceptical Tory MPs. Christopher Chope, David Heathcoat Amory, Peter Lilley, John Maples and John Redwood all raised tough questions about the Bill while Peter Ainsworth, Tony Baldry, John Gummer and Tim Yeo spoke in its support. Concern was led by Andrew Tyrie, MP for Chichester. We republish three key extracts from his contribution below.

There is not a scientific consensus: "I note that the only reliable survey that has been conducted of 550 of the world’s leading climate scientists says that two thirds are convinced that most of the observed warming is related to human action. In other words, a third are not convinced of that. It is worth bearing in mind that many of the so-called 2,500 scientists in the IPCC process vehemently disagree with the panel’s conclusions, even though they support the section on the science in the main report on which they have worked."

The dangers of unilateral action: "No other country has been foolish enough to consider such a measure. It is a profound mistake to take the unilateralist route. First, we contribute only 2 per cent of global emissions. Secondly, if we go ahead unilaterally, the UK will be disproportionately hit because we will increase our cost base when other countries have not increased theirs. A third reason is that although UK emissions will fall, they will reappear, probably at even higher levels, as the industries that we closed down with our higher cost base reopen in China and elsewhere. Finally, once we have acted unilaterally, the Chinese will have every incentive to delay an international agreement. That point has not been made at all today. After all, why should they rush to agree anything when they can acquire our industrial base and those of other countries silly enough to go it alone? It is regrettable that the Government have not even thought through the issue enough to make the Bill’s implementation conditional on some action by others. At least the EU approach to cutting carbon emissions contains some conditionality."

The hounding of climate change sceptics: "The subject has acquired some of the characteristics of a religion: apocalyptic predictions abound, and they make good copy. Over nearly 20 years since I first looked at the issue when I was at the Treasury working for John Major, I have become saddened by the way in which the calmer voices of many orthodox scientists and economists, particularly those who do not agree with the current policy prescriptions, have often been drowned out. All the incentives are against speaking up about the subject. Some have described Professor Lindzen of Massachusetts Institute of Technology as the father of modern climate change. He wrote recently that “scientists who dissent from…alarmism have seen their grant funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves libelled as industry stooges, scientific hacks or worse… Only the most senior scientist today can stand up to this alarmist gale.”

I have spoken to a number of the UK’s most senior specialists on the subject, and some feel similarly coerced. I shall read to the House a quotation from one of the major businesses in the UK. It says that “the more one looks behind…climate change policy…the more it is based on patent absurdities… Anybody who reveals the truth is scorned.”

A leading economist has said: “I have learnt that to say anything about the subject is to be assailed by fundamentalist crackpots.” Those people are concerned about speaking up but cajoled into not doing so. That is a bad climate in which to take such decisions as this Bill."
 

 10/30/2014
US Midterm Elections
Will Shale Revolution Sink Obama’s Green Party?


The Obama administration and congressional Democrats have struggled to identify themselves with the success of the shale revolution, given the party’s reputation as anti-fossil fuels. If the Democratic Party loses its control of the U.S. Senate following the mid-term elections, a small but significant part of the reason will be because it has found itself on the wrong side of the energy revolution. --John Kemp, Reuters, 27 October 2014

Environmental groups are on track to spend more than $85 million on key races this year, more than ever before, according to an internal memo. The record spending comes as green groups are worried about the fate of the Senate and the future of President Obama’s climate agenda. “The era of climate science denial will soon come to a close, and voters will demand leadership from their elected officials on this pressing threat,” the document states. Whatever the outcome [of the elections] on November 4th, all of the momentum is on the side of climate groups and candidates who want to act. --Laura Barron-Lopez, The Hill, 27 October 2014

The green movement has grown into a formidable political force, launching a broad and sophisticated operation this election cycle that rivals many of the most established groups. Still, even as the greens work to expand their influence ahead of the 2016 presidential election, their efforts may only help stanch the bleeding for their Democratic allies this year, who appear likely to lose their majority in the Senate. This [election] certainly looks set to be the biggest test yet of environmental groups’ effectiveness. --Andrew Restuccia and Darren Goode, The Hill, 28 October 2014

San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer has spent a staggering $76 million to promote climate change as a political issue in this year’s elections, but the subject isn’t exactly firing up the electorate. Polls show voters continue to rank climate change at the bottom of their priority lists. Even in races featuring the “Steyer Seven,” the Democratic candidates selected by Mr. Steyer as the chief beneficiaries of his largesse, the issue is barely registering on the campaign trail. --Valerie Richardson, The Washington Times 29 October 29, 2014

Democrats are justifiably worried about holding onto control of the United States Senate in the midterm elections Nov. 4. Most forecasts have Republicans winning seven seats for a 52-48 advantage, which would almost certainly spell doom for any action on climate change. But here's the real catch: Even if Democrats win the Senate by a slim margin, climate action could still be foiled for the next few years by members of their own party. In several critical races, particularly in energy-producing states, Democratic candidates' stated climate change beliefs somewhat echo their Republican opponents'. --Katherine Bagley, InsideClimate News, 21 October, 2014
 
With only a week to go before the 2014 midterm elections, polling from key battleground states indicates a small but widening advantage for Republicans. A six-seat net gain in the Senate would put both chambers of Congress under GOP control, uniting the two houses in opposition to many of the hallmark policies of the Obama presidency, including rules to curb carbon emissions from the nation's power sector. Whether a Republican Senate could seriously imperil the president's Climate Action Plan, as the party's leadership has promised to do, is another matter. --Nathanael Massey, E&E, 28 October 2014

The risk of blackouts in Europe will grow in the coming winter as thermal power-generating capacity has been shuttered amid the region’s economic slump and a greater reliance on renewables, a study warned. A growing share of renewable energy is pushing out conventional sources of power, reducing the “electricity system’s margin to meet peak demand in specific conditions such as cold, dark and windless days,” the report said. --Tara Patel, Bloomberg 27 October 2014


Please visit the Global Warming Policy Foundation site. 

From the American Council on Science and Health

OId garbage from the "Food Babbler" resurfaces, just in time for Halloween - It's almost Halloween, and perhaps the scariest thing you'll see this year is the resurfacing of a 2012 piece by Vani Hari, aka "The Food Babe." At the time, she attacked "toxic" chocolate. Maybe she should get her facts straight. Read more.

Vaccine approved in the US protecting against Meningitis B - Meningococcal disease is a bacterial infection that can lead to serious complications. A new vaccine created by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Inc. protecting against Meningitis B, has just been approved in the US. Read more.

Shoutout to ACSH friend Jack Dini for an informative column on chemophobia - ACSH friend and author Jack Dini published a column in the Canada Free Press countering fears regarding common substances found in plastic. A quick, informative read for anyone interested in what recent literature has to say about these substances. Read more.

Ebola quackery should come as no surprise, says Jon Entine - Jon Entine of the Genetic Literacy Project writes about the supreme idiocy of the organic movement with regard to the Ebola outbreak. Especially appalling is that they are arguing against the use of an Ebola vaccine that does not even exist. Unbelievable. Read more.

Indian government sees the light on GMO crops - Indian government gives green light to testing some GMO crops. This decision reverses a moratorium set in 2009 by the previous government on testing such crops. But Greenpeace, as usual, objects with no scientific rationale. Read more.

Is ibuprofen as effective as morphine for children with fractures? - A recent study suggesting that ibuprofen and morphine are equally effective for pain reduction in children with fractures has been gaining a lot of media attention in the last couple of days. But we say not so fast. Read more.

EWG rates foods for "healthfulness" - by their definition of course - Fear-mongering activist group is at it again - EWG is promoting their ratings of 80,000 food items, based on their own, "unique" parameters (are GMOs really dangerous?). If there's an ingredient that can be dissed, leave it to EWG to do so. Read more.

A colonoscopy alternative? It would seem so - Colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the US. It is also preventable. A new home test developed by the Mayo Clinic, Cologuard, may present an alternative to those who cannot or will not tolerate the "prep" for a colonoscopy. Read more.

Swedish studies find evidence of a link between Herpes simplex and Alzheimer's - Studies find link between exposure to Herpes virus and Alzheimer's disease. Will there prove to be a cause-and-effect relationship? There is no evidence of that now, but more research is needed. Read more.

Remembering Dr. Jonas Salk, creator of the polio vaccine - Today marks the 100th birthday of Jonas Salk, creator of the polio vaccine. In honor of Dr. Salk, we urge the public to stop listening to ideas being promoted by the anti-vaccine movement and do what's best for you and your family's health - get vaccinated. Read more.
 
Ebola in New York City - should Americans be worried? - As New York City sees its first Ebola case, Dr. Craig Spencer, fear continues to circulate of an Ebola outbreak in America. Two New York Times articles argue that despite the new Ebola case, Americans should still not be worried. Read more.

LA City Council pushes a 'symbolic' GMO ban - We've heard of useless laws before, but this one may take the cake. LA City Council is considering banning GMO crops from LA county - even though there is no agriculture going on there. So what gives? Consider political expediency. Read more.

VT Sen. Bernie Sanders should stick to maple syrup - he's all sticky about the cost and value of drugs for hepatitis C - Sen. Bernie Sanders plans to hold a hearing on the high cost of drugs, especially hep C drugs which have revolutionized treatment of the infection. If Sanders is looking to make a point, he is picking the wrong area. Read more.

"If this paper were about science," says Geoffrey Kabat: Purported link between BPA from cash receipts and health effects - Frederick vom Saal, anti-BPA activist, tries to link "high" levels of BPA from handling receipts to increased risk of serious diseases. ACSH advisor, Dr. Geoffrey Kabat, calls out the study as an attempt to alarm consumers and get media attention. Read more.

Ohio By the Numbers - September 2014

Labor Force Sees Biggest Increase of the Year, Private Sector Up 3,000 Jobs

The latest Ohio By the Numbers report (now available on The Buckeye Institute's website) shows that Ohio's private sector economy saw modest improvement in September, picking up 3,000 jobs. Meanwhile, the government sector also added 3,000 jobs. However, local governments lost 3,400 jobs in September, partially offsetting the large unadjusted gains seen in August. Year over year, local government employment is up by 1,000 jobs since September 2013.

The unemployment rate ticked down to 5.6 percent from 5.7 percent in August. This small decline in the unemployment rate coincided with particularly large growth in Ohio's labor force--over 11,000 people were added to the labor force. Unless this figure is subsequently revised substantially downward, the gain in September will stand as the largest one-month labor force gain since well before the Great Recession in October 2006. It also put an end to five straight months of decline in the labor force. Despite this gain, Ohio's labor force is still down 31,000 people since the beginning of 2014.

Though it is only one month, the declining unemployment rate combined with the increasing labor force indicates that the economy could be picking up steam as people re-enter the labor force and find jobs.

  • Overall highlights from the report:
  • Ohio gained 3,000 private sector and 3,000 total government jobs in September;
  • Ohio's unemployment rate dipped slightly to 5.6 percent;
  • Ohio ranked 28th nationally in private sector job growth since January 2010, increasing 7.5 percent;
  • Ohio currently ranks 47th nationally with a 10 percent growth in private sector jobs since January of 1990 (top-ranked Nevada grew 99 percent during the same time span).

For the full report, please click here.

For the full labor force update, click here.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Book Review: Cracking Big Green To Save the World from the Save-the-Earth Money Machine

By Rich Kozlovich

Cracking Big Green To Save the World from the Save-the-Earth Money Machine was written by Paul Drissen and Ron Arnold.   By way of openness, I know Paul Driessen, I've been in communication with him for some years, and I have had communications with Ron Arnold – both whom I've admired and respected for years. 

I’ve believed those opposing these ‘green’ agendas have won the battle of facts.  They always have.  Those supporting these ‘green’ issues win the battle on emotion.  They always have.  In order to win the war means winning the battle of facts and emotion.  This book does that.
 
In order to understand any issue means understanding the history of that issue, and this is clearly demonstrated.  The green movement started out with people with good intentions but it didn’t take long for it to be corrupted to what it is now, and the authors clearly show how this was done and by whom.   They show how and why extremely rich people and foundations fund these groups to amounts of money that can only be considered amazing.  They show why no trade association in the nation can stand against them financially.  
These bureaucracies openly and illegally flaunt legislation and even court orders, while demanding the strictest interpretation of law by everyone they oppose while ignoring clear violations by those they support.   The green movement and their allies in government are in cahoots in order to gain authority the legislature never intended for these agencies to have, via sue and settle lawsuits, and behind the door closed deals with the most important green groups, which would normally be illegal under the “Administrative Procedures Act.”
This book shows how the greens have not only infested government and science, but every aspect of life, including religion, where they formed a group called Interfaith Power and Light that “dutifully disparaged coal and oil as “fuels from Hell”, while praising costly wind and solar schemes as “fuels from Heaven” – without mentioning the “godly” energy sources’ extravagant and not-so-divine federal subsidies, or their less than ecological impacts on birds, bats and other wildlife.”  And then there’s the “Office of Faith- Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the EPA”, and more. 
This isn’t just here in the U.S. Their abuses are a worldwide activity, showing complete contempt for humanity and the lives they’re destroying.  This gives lie to their continuing smoke screen that what they do is “for the children”.  What they really do is “to the children".  This book names names and outlines events and describe how they occur.  Events that have at time been reported in the media, but mostly largely unreported, going on for decades - and most importantly the outcome of those events. 

The intent of the authors is to state the facts and let those facts outrage our natural sense of justice.  It does.  This is a book that needs to be read by every honest regulator, legislator, industry trade association member, every journalist and most importantly.  The public!  

Cracking Big Green: To Save the World from the Save-the-Earth Money can be ordered here from Amazon. 

Author Biographies:

RON ARNOLD is an author , columnist and citizen activist working with non-profit organizations to uphold American rights and liberties, advocate for productive harmony between man and nature, and counter threats to open and responsive government. He is executive vice president of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise and publishing editor for CFACT, the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow, non-profit public policy institutes with long track records of education and positive influence. He writes a weekly column for the Washington Examiner with insider views on national and local social and political issues. Arnold has written more than 300 magazine articles, numerous book chapters, and is the author of eight books and editor of ten books.

Between 1976 and 1981, he was a contributing editor of Western Conservation Journal and Logging Management Journal, where his 1979 magazine series, “The Environmental Battle”, won the American Business Press 1980 Editorial Achievement Award in a New York City ceremony. In 1981, Arnold was commissioned to write the authorized biography of President Ronald Reagan’s first Interior Secretary, James G. Watt. His growing political expertise brought an invitation to direct the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise in 1984, where he remains Executive Vice President. He subsequently founded the Free Enterprise Press to give a voice to writers on politically incorrect themes and edited ten of the Press’s books.

In 1988 he founded the Wise Use Movement to advocate for property rights and resource workers. His own highly acclaimed books on politics and the environment were distributed by Merril Press, which quickly became his publisher. His “EcoTerror” was included in the “100 Best Nonfiction Books of the 20th Century” Random House / Modern Library Reader’s List. His activism has been reported in major print media including Time, People, U.S. News & World Report, Outside, New York Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune , San Francisco Examiner and Los Angeles Times, and profiled in Playboy and Maxim magazines. He has been featured on CBS News 60 Minutes, ABC News Nightline, Fox News Big Story, and the evening news of all U.S. TV networks. He was first listed in Who’s Who in America in the 2000 edition, and has been listed in Who’s Who in Business and Industry since 1994. He is profiled on an Amazon Author Page, and is profiled in Wikipedia, the Online Encyclopedia.

PAUL DRIESSEN is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) and Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), public policy institutes that promote environmental stewardship, the enhancement of human health and welfare, and personal liberties and civil rights.

He writes and speaks frequently on the environment, energy and economic development, malaria eradication, climate change, human rights, corporate social responsibility and sustainable development. His articles have appeared in newspapers (Wall Street Journal, Washington Times , Investor’s Business Daily, New York Post , Houston Chronicle, and others) and magazines (Risk Management, American Coal, Hispanic Times and others) and on news and opinion websites in the United States, Canada, Germany, Italy, Peru, Venezuela, South Africa, Uganda, Bangladesh and other countries. Driessen’s book, Eco-Imperialism: Green Power - Black Death, documents the harm that restrictive environmental policies often have on poor people , especially in developing countries, by restricting their access to life-enhancing modern technologies . It is in its second US printing and has also been published in Argentina (Spanish), India (English), Germany (German) and Italy (Italian). He was editor for Energy Keepers - Energy Killers: The new civil rights battle, by CORE national chairman Roy Innis; Rules for Corporate Warriors: How to fight and survive attack group shakedowns, by Nick Nichols; and Creatures, Corals and Colors in North American Seas, by Ann Scarborough -Bull. He has also written detailed reports on the role of carbon dioxide in enhancing plant growth, modern mining methods in Peru, sustainable development, and Environmental Protection Agency regulations.

Driessen’s studies and analyses have also appeared in Conserving the Environment (Doug Dupler, editor), Resurgent Diseases (Karen Miller, Editor) and Malnutrition (Margaret Haerens, editor), all part of the Thomson-Gale “Opposing Viewpoints” Series used in many high schools and colleges; Redefining Sovereignty: Will liberal democracies continue to determine their own laws and public policies, or yield these rights to transnational entities in search of universal order and justice? (Orin Judd, editor); and other publications. He played a lead role in the “Kill Malarial Mosquitoes Now ” campaign, an international effort that restored the use of DDT to African and other malaria control programs, and served as an advisor to the film “3 Billion and Counting,” examining how environmentalist and EPA campaign against DDT have had devastating impacts on families in poor developing countries.

Paul received his BA in geology and field ecology from Lawrence University and a JD from the University of Denver College of Law, before embarking on a career that also included tenures with the United States Senate, U.S. Department of the Interior and an energy trade association. He has produced documentary films about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, immigration through Ellis Island, and marine habitats beneath offshore oil production platforms. Driessen is also a frequent guest on radio talk shows and college campuses, and at business and public policy forums. He participates in energy, health and environmental conferences, and was active in the Public Relations Society of America, where he served as Washington, DC chapter newsletter editor and in the Social Responsibility Section.).


 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

What Exactly is Debbie Wasserman Shultz’s "Normal"?

By Rich Kozlovich

An article appeared on Monday titled, “Democrats continue to claim GOP worse than Ebola, terroristsshowing two videos of an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” over the weekend, with Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus. “CNN host Candy Crowley asked Schultz about a Democratic campaign ad attacking Republican Senate candidate Cory Gardner as “too extreme for Colorado.” “So we’ve heard this in previous elections, too extreme, too extreme their Tea Party, we can’t work with them,” Crowley said. “So, it seems that the Democrats’ overall message is: Yes, ISIS is scary. Yes, Ebola is scary. But Republicans are a lot scarier.”Her comment?

“Well, that’s right”!

I'm always a bit amazed and amused at what Wasserman thinks constitutes extreme. Well, perhaps we should try and find out what exactly is Wasserman’s view of normal.

Assuming she agrees with all the positions of her party, it would appear that Wasserman thinks business people, who create all the jobs– no matter what Hillary thinks – are cheap and greedy, yet think nothing of charging $35,000.00 per plate for an Obama campaign fund-raising event, while having the nerve to claim America, a country with a black president, a black attorney general, approximately 20% work force in the federal government, where only 14% of the population is black, where 40+% of all federal entitlements goes to black Americans – 3 times the rate that go to whites, and 5 times the rate that go to Hispanics, is racist! So anyone who thinks this way is normal and anyone who disagrees is extreme?

A nation where the head of the Treasury Department, Timothy Geithner and one time Ways and Means Committee Chairman, Charlie Rangel can be tax cheats and continue to hold office without serious penalty. But that's not extreme?

A nation where terrorists kill people in the name of Allah and have the media and prominent people declaring Islam is a religion of peace, and whose primary reaction amounts to emotional outcries that Muslims might be harmed by the backlash - and that's normal?

A nation that has rules for people who wait for years in their home countries to come here legally and become American citizens, while discussing how to let anyone who sneaks into the country illegally can 'magically' become American citizens. A nation where you need to present a driver's license to cash a check or buy alcohol, but not to vote –and this is normal?

Wasserman apparently thinks it’s perfectly normal that government taxes on a gallon of gasoline is substantially higher than the profits taken by the oil companies. Taxing authorities that don’t search for the oil, don’t transport the oil, don't refine the oil, and don't deliver the final product to the public, but demand the government investigate whether oil companies are gouging the public because the price of gas went up when the return on equity invested in a major U.S. Oil company is less than half of a company making tennis shoes. The same people who were outraged that under Bush the price of gasoline went up substantially, yet think it’s perfectly normal for the price to go from $1.78 a gallon at the beginning of Obama’s administration to almost $4.00 a gallon now, and in some places peaking at 5.99 a gallon for premium.

They think the nations power grid should abandon all so-called fossil fuels for power generation, which is a system that's inexpensive and reliable, in favor of so-called renewable energy sources that are very expensive, very unreliable, and compared to traditional energy sources are more environmentally destructive. A power generation system that would be economically devastating – all in the name of ‘saving’ the world from Global Warming, supposedly caused by CO2, although the world stopped warming 18 years ago in spite of the fact that CO2 levels have risen dramatically during that time. And this is normal?

These are the same people who would stop every construction job in the nation and confiscate all private property in order to save some obscure bug they claim may be endangered. But that isn’t extreme!

These are the people who think the Constitution is just a dusty old document that can be ignored, twisted, and rewritten with regulations from administration bureaucrats - that the Congress must just do what the President says and be quiet - that mass murderers like Fidel Castro are just wonderful people - that aborting millions of innocent babies while weeping in sack cloth and ashes over the death penalty for the worst criminals in the nation, and giving rights to criminals while taking away the rights of honest people - that abandoning the Constitution and turning our 'unalienable' rights over to the judgment of the United Nations is normal.

Apparently Wasserman’s “normal” means collecting more tax dollars from the people than any nation in recorded history, while spending a trillion dollars more than it has per year - for total spending of $7-Million per minute, and complain that it doesn't have nearly enough money. Where accusing the rich people- who pay 86% of all income taxes - of not paying their "fair share" by people who don't pay any income taxes at all, and people who believe in balancing the budget, sticking by the nation's Constitution, and support the traditional values that made the nation great are extremists.

So now, let's see a show of hands. How many people think and believe - I mean really believe - Debbie Wasserman Shultz is normal?

Editor’s note: Some of this came from Jon Ray’s Dissecting Leftism website

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Paradigms and Demographics: Morning Edition

CourageousPregnant Mom With Cancer Refuses Cancer Treatment and Abortion - A pregnant mom in Rhode Island knows what sacrifice means. She served her country by serving in the military and now she is willing to sacrifice her own life not just for her country but for her own unborn child. Andrea Ryder served two tours of duty in the marines and undoubtedly showed admirable bravery during the line of duty. Now she is showing bravery of a different kind as she has been told months into her pregnancy that she has cancer. Doctors suggested she consider having an abortion as a result. But Ryder says that was not an option. Here’s more on her courageous decision:…..

Greenpeace claims GM technology eclipsed by ‘safer’genetic techniques, renews Golden Rice attack - Greenpeace is set to launch a series of attacks against crop biotechnology this week. It has scheduled a news conference for Friday titled “Ecological Agriculture, A Climate Resilient Model of Agriculture: The Way Forward,” which purportedly makes its case against vitamin-enhanced Golden Rice. According to the Greenpeace news release, the panel of speakers will address what it calls “Ecological Agriculture,” which Greenpeace says is a model of farming better adapted to deal with climate change. Janet Cotter, a Greenpeace scientist, will lead a parade of speakers including activist groups from the Philippines and Thailand and a farmer’s testimonial experience and opposition to GMOs. The anti-GMO advocacy groups claims that GMOs have been an expensive failure, citing among other examples vitamin-enhanced Golden Rice, which has been slow to develop and gain approval–in part because of protests by Greenpeace and other campaigning groups……..

Democrats Join The Ferguson Lynch Mob Right As The CaseAgainst Officer Wilson Collapses - Everyone who hasn’t drunk the progressive Kool-Aid is aware that during elections Democrats resort to the race card to scare African Americans, for whose intelligence they have limitless contempt, into voting for them. If Republicans are elected, their propaganda claims, “black churches will burn” or the racial clock will be turned back to the era of segregation, an era that Democrats happen to have been directly responsible for. This year it’s the mythical threat white policeman allegedly pose to black youth, as Democrats and their media enablers encourage a “lynch mob” mentality — as Howard Kurtz put it recently — in a desperate attempt to pocket black votes……..

How ManyElections Will Democrats Steal Next Week? - How extensive is voter-fraud, especially among non-citizens? Just bring up the question, or suggest we need to have voter-ID at the polls like every other advanced democracy, and the answer will be instantly supplied: You’re a racist. But as Dan McLaughlin points out over at The Federalist, Democrats seem to win a suspiciously high number of close elections, well beyond what a random statistical trial would suggest.  There’s a bombshell academic study out on this issue right now that the media is mostly ignoring (the only exception being the Washington Post’s very fine wonky MonkeyCage blog), in part because it appears in an obscure academic journal, Electoral Studies, that is behind an expensive subscription paywall, and in part because any reporter who does a story about it will be called a racist. Since I’m an academic these days, I’ve got access to the article, Do Non-Citizens Vote in U.S. Elections?”, by Jesse T. Richman and Gulshan A. Chattha of Old Dominion University and David C. Earnest of George Mason University.

The conclusion of the abstract alone ought to set off alarm bells:........

Minimumwage, maximum damage - There are few policies more popular than increasing the federal minimum wage. In a 2013 Gallup poll, 76 percent of respondents approved of the idea. It seems to make economic and moral sense on an intuitive level. President Obama reflected this sentiment in his Oct. 11 weekly radio address, saying, “We believe that in America, nobody who works full time should ever have to raise a family in poverty. … America deserves a raise right now.” Yet most economists oppose the concept of a minimum wage at all, and data back them up. In fact, the minimum wage harms those it is intended to help….

My Take – Quite frankly for me the real issue is this – It’s not the government’s job to determine what prices are charged or salaries to be paid and them impose them on society. Let’s try to remember they’re supposed to be our servants, not our masters.

From Benny Peiser’s
Europe’s Green Suicide
Heavy Industry Moves Investment Abroad

“We shift investment money from Europe into the U.S. as a consequence of the less competitive environment in Europe,” Harald Schwager, a senior member of BASF’s executive board, said in an interview. “Many European companies which are energy-intensive are finding out that the benefits of shifting investment from Europe to the U.S. are significant.” --Stanley Reed and Melissa Eddy, The New York Times, 25 October 2014

BASF executives say that German and European Union policies toward industry, particularly when it comes to energy, are forcing big companies to look elsewhere as they seek to expand. Especially in Germany, energy prices have jumped as a result of the government’s big push for renewable energy sources — a policy that the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel has labeled the Energiewende, or energy transition. And nearly a quarter of all companies in heavy industry are considering reducing production in Germany, according to a survey by the German Chambers of Commerce. --Stanley Reed and Melissa Eddy,
The New York Times, 25 October 2014

Last week’s European summit on climate change failed to address the hard reality that current policies are not working. The EU’s energy policy was grounded on the broad acceptance of four cornerstone propositions, which over time have turned to dust. The inconvenient truth is that none of these beliefs have proved to be true. Small wonder, then, that the political consensus that enabled the 2008 policy to go ahead has broken. Beyond accepting failure, it is important now to start again and to put in place a set of policies that have a better chance of working. --Nick Butler,
Financial Times, 27 October 2014

With a 2015 deadline looming large for a global pact on curbing climate change, six days of UN talks closed in Bonn on Saturday with delegates and observers deflated over a lack of progress. Rifts over responsibilities for galloping emissions of Earth-warming fossil fuels remain deeply entrenched, they said, preventing detailed negotiations on a new agreement. Many said the Bonn meeting merely restated well-known country positions on how responsibility for climate action must be shared, instead of discussing details like funding to help poor countries shift to less polluting fuels and adapt to change that can no longer be avoided. --Mariette Le Roux,
AFP, 25 October 2014

Investigations by the Mail on Sunday reveal the Green Blob is not just an abstract concept. We have found that innocuous-sounding bodies such as the Dutch National Postcode Lottery, the American William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Swiss Oak Foundation are channelling tens of millions of pounds each year to climate change lobbyists in Britain, including Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth. According to leading energy analyst Peter Atherton of Liberum Capital, current UK energy policies shaped by the Green Blob will cost between £360 billion and £400 billion to implement by 2030. He said this will see bills rise by at least a third in real terms – on top of the increases already seen over the past ten years. --David Rose,
Mail on Sunday, 26 October 2014

Meanwhile, it is clear that the sheer scale of this lavishly funded lobbying effort dwarfs that of its opponents. The Global Warming Policy Forum in London, Europe’s only think-tank which is sceptical about climate science and energy policy, has an annual budget of £300,000 and employs just three people. Its director, Dr Benny Peiser, said yesterday: ‘At the end of the day, someone will have to be held accountable for us committing economic suicide. We are the only organisation that does what we do – against hundreds on the other side, all saying the same thing.’ --David Rose,
Mail on Sunday, 26 October 2014

Public Health:  From the American Council on Science and Health

A very good Ebola debate - and a shoutout to Forbes' Matthew Herper -The fact that much of the impact of Ebola on the US remains unknown virtually guarantees there will be differing opinions. Forbes' Matthew Herper presented two very different opinions. Both make sense. Read more.

Organic Industry, not consumers, benefits from GMO fears - The Nov. ballot in Maui County, Hawaii will include an initiative that would ban growing GM crops. Oregon and Colorado will soon vote on GMO labeling laws. A Wall Street Journal op-ed explains why banning and labeling GMOs won't benefit consumers. Read more.

Study links flavanols found in chocolate to improvements in memory - Not so fast - Halloween is approaching and we're sure you're thinking about costumes and candy. If you need justification to eat chocolate, we suggest you find a better reason than the new research supposedly linking chocolate-flavanols to improvements in memory. Read more.