Why do we have an Oil Glut?

The world is awash in oil and gas. Amazing.  Less than two decades ago in 1998, the predictions were by this time in 2016 oil production would be past its peak. In fact the gloom and doom experts were called Oil Peakists. Note this from Science magazine back in 1998:

From Science magazine’s “The Next Oil Crisis Looms Large—and Perhaps Close,” Aug. 21, 1998:

This spring . . . the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reported for the first time that the peak of world oil production is in sight. Even taking into account the best efforts of the explorationists and the discovery of new fields in frontier areas like the Caspian Sea . . . sometime between 2010 and 2020 the gush of oil from wells around the world will peak at 80 million barrels per day, then begin a steady, inevitable decline, the report says.

However, technology, especially here in the U.S., relegated that prediction to the proverbial dust bin of history. With the private developments of  revolutionary shale fracking and horizontal drilling technology, vast new energy resources were opened up in places like North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and even in the older Permian field in West Texas. The U.S. is now pumping 9 million barrels of oil a day, and trillions of cubic yards of gas. We are no longer dependent on importing Middle East oil. In fact much of the oil that we import comes from our neighbors Canada and Mexico.

In the wake of lifting sanctions against nuclear Iran, oil is beginning to flow again to the European Union from Tehran which says it could add another 500,000 barrels in production this year.  U.S. oil is also flowing to Europe now that the 43 year old ban on oil exports was lifted and signed in law late in 2015. The first shipment of sweet crude drawn from the Eagle Ford Shale field in South Texas left the port of Corpus Christi, Texas on New Year’s eve and landed at the port of Marseilles on Friday. Another shipment out of Houston made it to Rotterdam on Thursday. A third one out of Houston is on its way to Marseilles. The oil is the equivalent of the so-called Saudi light or sweet crude which doesn’t require as much refining producing profit margins for the refiners.

So, why do we have this glut? 

The world’s economies are not growing as fast or rather slowing down, especially in the big consumer of raw materials and energy, China.  China’s economy and trade is impacting on those exporters of commodities like oil, gas,  copper, aluminum  and  iron ore like Australia,  Brazil, Canada,  Russia, Venezuela  and African countries. Where China was growing at a purported 10 percent plus, annually, the evidence is it has fallen to less than a third of that towering inflated level. We have come to realize those growth estimates were based on questionable figures  prepared by the Chinese government.  Some economic experts suggest the annual growth in GDP may be less than three percent.  So with that news came the sudden plummeting in the world trading markets for commodities, especially oil.

There is  also the great geo-resource political game in the Middle East going on between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and let’s not forget Russia.  Saudi Arabia as the keystone in the OPEC oil Cartel is not listening to the complaints of the other members of the group at meetings in Vienna demanding that it reduce domestic production. It is pumping oil and still making money, because it costs less than $5 a barrel. This despite a yawning budget deficit of $98 billion. The Saudis have an estimated $600 billion in hard currency reserves, which provides a cushion to ride out the geo-political storm. They are using the oil weapon to beat back competitors including Iran across the Persian Gulf, Russia which  has military in Syria supporting the Assad regime, and  the newly resurgent producer, the US.   Russia, as Shoshana Bryen of the Washington, D.C.-based Jewish Policy Center pointed out in a recent interview, mispriced its budget at $119 a barrel of oil, then redid the numbers at $87 dollars only to see it plummet to less than $30 at one point.

So what is the impact here in the U.S.?

When was your last trip to fill up your car at the gas station?  Here on the Gulf Coast in the U.S., regular unleaded gas is currently selling for less than $1.80 a gallon.  That means savings to consumers who appear to be putting away the difference awaiting a return to a more confident economy.   Diesel that at one point was priced at nearly $1 dollar a gallon above gasoline has shrunk to less than ten cents a gallon differential. That means that the cost for moving shipments via long haul truckers has gotten cheaper. It means that jet fuel cost is less reflected in the huge profits being declared by the major airlines. Some of that may be due to the lagging airline ticket surcharges that remain in place.  However, the drop in oil production is also impacting the profit margins of rail carriers who minted money from train loads of combustible leaving the Bakken formation in North Dakota. The drop in oil prices occasioned by the glut also means that the cost of petro chemical feed stocks is enhancing profit margins for plastics,.

Remember, the discussion about lifting the 43 year old oil export ban?

One of the by-products of that was the convergent pricing of U.S. crude has converged with world pricing.  If you went onto the COMDEX oil trading floor in lower Manhattan, you would see traders vying for futures contracts in West Texas Intermediate (WTI) versus Brent-the so-called North Sea crude oil benchmark. The lifting of the oil export ban in the U.S. virtually eliminated the difference making Brent the world standard.  As of Friday, January 22, 2016 WTI was $32.19 per barrel for March 2016 deliveries, a 9.0 % jump, and Brent priced out of the London ICE was $32.18. Heavier grades like Canadian Tar sands or Venezuelan heavy sulfur crude require more refining to produce various products. These grades actually sell at discounts from those benchmarks by as much as five dollars.

Can we expect the oil glut to last? Hardly. The current excess supply will work itself off and oil futures will gradually begin to rise again. That will bring rigs on stream here in the U.S. to start producing again, it may cause Iran to produce more than the declared 500,000 barrels  annually and the Saudis would just be minting more billions to add to its hard currency reserves. However, by mid century those fabled Saudi sweet crude reserves may likely begin to tail off. Energy, whether oil or gas will reflect the cyclical demands of the world economies.  The U.S. stands in pretty good shape to weather the current volatility in trading markets; thanks to technology, entrepreneurial prowess and the lifting of the oil export embargo. Don’t panic and consider investing in contrarian values in the equity and debt markets. That is what the long term value investors do. They buy when values are relatively cheap compared to long term returns.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. An earlier version was published in the Newsletter of the Lisa Benson Show National Security Task Force Newsletter, January 23, 2016.

MIT: Incandescents Now More Efficient than LEDs by Jeffrey A. Tucker

Researchers at the MIT are publicizing that they have fixed the incandescent light-bulb with a brilliant improvement. They have wrapped the interior filament in a crystal glass that both bounces light and contains heat. It recycles energy in a way that addresses the main complaint against Edison’s bulb: It burns far too much energy for the light that it produces.

Why is this interesting? About a decade ago, governments around the world developed a fetish for banning incandescents (through an efficiency rule) and replacing them with expensive LED technology and florescent bulbs. It happened in Europe first but eventually came to the United States. The last American factory to produce them closed in 2010, and they are ever harder to find in even the big-box hardware stores. (As with all such bans, there are exceptions for elites who desire specialty bulbs.)

The change has been seriously annoying for many consumers. It has even given rise to hoarding and gray markets (in Germany, such bulbs were repackaged as “heat balls”). It has produced something of a political backlash, too.

On a personal note, my own dear mother replaced all her incandescents with fluorescents several years ago. I was sitting in her house feeling vaguely irritated by the searing lights in the room — cold and dreary — and had to turn them off. Sitting in the dimly lit room, my thought was: this is what the government has done to us. A great invention from the dawn of modernity is being driven out of use. Do I have to bring my own candles next holiday season?

Why should governments be in the position of deciding what technologies can and cannot be used, as if consumers are too stupid to make such decisions for themselves? Who is to decide what is efficient, and what the proper trade off should be between the energy expended and the light produced?

Maybe some people don’t mind the “inefficiency” of incandescent bulbs relative to the warm and wonderful light they produce. Entrepreneurs need to be able to discern and serve their needs.

The bans have given rise to a vast debate about which bulb is best and what kind of light technology governments should and should not permit. But these are really the wrong questions. The real issue should be: Why should governments be in the business of picking right and wrong technologies at all?

As the MIT innovation in lighting suggests, there are possibilities yet undiscovered that regulators have not thought of. If you write detailed regulations about existing technologies, you are forestalling the possibilities that scientists and entrepreneurs will discover new ways of doing things in the future.

A vast regulatory apparatus on cell phone technology in 1990 could never have imagined something like a modern cellphone. Regulations on digital commerce in 2000 might have stopped the rise of peer-to-peer services like Uber. Indeed, one of the reasons that the digital world is so innovative is precisely because the regulators haven’t yet caught up with the pace of innovation.

Regulations on technology freeze the status quo in place and make it permanent. How, for example, will regulations respond to the news that a new and improved form of incandescent bulb is possible? Early tests show it to be more efficient than the replacements which the regulations favor. Will there be a new vote, a rewrite of the law, a governing body that evaluates new lightbulbs, the same way we approach prescription drugs? None of this can possibly match the efficiency of a market process of trial and error, of experimentation, rejection, and adoption.

In government, a ban is a ban, something to be enforced, not tweaked according to new discoveries and approaches.

Herein we see the problems with all attempts by government to tightly manage any technology. Bitcoin is a great example. As soon as the price began to rise and the crypto sector began to appear viable, government agencies got in the business of regulating them as if the sector was already taking a shape that would last forever. And because technology and industry are always on the move, there is never a rational time to intervene with the proclamation “this is how it shall always be.”

Regulatory interventions stop the progress of history by disabling the limitless possibilities of the human imagination.

By the time regulators get around to rethinking the incandescent, the industry will probably have moved on to something new and even better, something no one can imagine could exist today.

Jeffrey A. TuckerJeffrey A. Tucker

Jeffrey Tucker is Director of Digital Development at FEE, CLO of the startup Liberty.me, and editor at Laissez Faire Books. Author of five books, he speaks at FEE summer seminars and other events. His latest book is Bit by Bit: How P2P Is Freeing the World.  Follow on Twitter and Like on Facebook.

Marco Rubio’s Recent Climate Change of Heart ‘Disingenuous’

ken fieldsNEW YORK, NY /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — In response to Marco Rubio’s recent campaign event in New Hampshire where the candidate appears to have made a climate change of heart and has called for America to be “number one in wind, and number one in solar, and number one in biofuels, and number one in renewables, number one in energy efficiency. Let’s lead in all of these things,” independent presidential candidate Ken Fields (pictured right) responded by saying:

“For someone who has so vehemently opposed any acknowledgement of the scientific consensus backing the evidence of human-caused climate change due to our planet’s reliance on fossil fuels, Rubio’s change of heart seems disingenuous at best. He has voted against energy efficiency and clean energy tax incentives. It’s hard to believe him.”

When pressed for further comment, Fields stated, “The recent and continued volatility in global oil markets should be evidence enough that energy security is not simply a matter of having and exploiting our own fossil fuel resources, but rather being completely independent of fossil fuels altogether.”

Fields officially launched his campaign last week on January 8th, 2016. His platform revolves around his slogan, “Greatness Must Be Earned” and to do great things, he has advocated the transition to 100% renewable energy for the country over the next 20 years. His policy plan includes, but is not limited to, creating the public and private mechanisms to encourage and nurture the financial markets to participate, a tax holiday for repatriated corporate capital that is invested in renewables and a carbon tax and dividend plan.

For further information on his policies and positions feel free to visit www.kenfields.net.

Devastating Impact of Marijuana Legalization on Colorado’s Children

National Families in Action reports:

colorado marijuana use youth coverPast-month marijuana use among Colorado’s adolescents, ages 12-17, was 74 percent higher (12.56% vs. 7.22% nationwide) than the national average for the two years following legalization in the state, according to a new report from the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.

Further, the average usage rate in states that have not legalized marijuana for medical use is lower (5.99%) than the average in states that have (8.52%) and far lower than the states that have fully legalized pot (11.31%).

Past-month marijuana use among college-age young adults, ages 18-25, was 62 percent higher than the national average (31.24% vs. 19.32%). Use in full legalization states was nearly double that of use in non-medical pot states (27.86% vs. 16.43% in 2014).

Adult past-month use was 104 percent greater than the national average (12.45% vs. to 6.11% in 2014). Adult use in full legalization states was 11.83% vs. 4.7% in non-legalization states.

Read the Rocky Mountain HIDTA Report here.


ABOUT NATIONAL FAMILIES IN ACTION (NFIA)

NFIA consists of families, scientists, business leaders, physicians, addiction specialists, policymakers, and others committed to protecting children from addictive drugs. Our vision is:

  • Healthy, drug-free kids
  • Nurturing, addiction-free families
  • Scientifically accurate information and education
  • A nation free of Big Marijuana
  • Smart, safe, FDA-approved medicines developed from the cannabis plant (and other plants)
  • Expanded access to medicines in FDA clinical trials for children with epilepsy

RELATED ARTICLE: Last Thing Struggling Students Need is More Marijuana – Hudson Institute

Obamacare Is Bondage and Bureaucracy

Governments world-wide are in a crisis that will widen and deepen till they crumble like the image in the 2nd chapter of Daniel. The US Constitution was a gift of freedom by godly men who honored the biblical model of self-government. If people will not govern themselves well, there are not enough inspectors or police to control the sheeple and there will be a rebellion to the growing tyranny. The easiest example is the government healthcare plan, says Dr. Ruhling.

“Devil-in-the-details” Bureaucracy:  A sample of 1%–the first 200 of 20,000 pages:

  1. Mandates government audit of all employers that self-insure.
  2. Healthcare “rationing” You can only receive so much ‘care’ per year: $5000/person, $10,000/family
  3. A government committee will decide what benefits you receive. Pg 30, Section 123.
  4. Healthcare will be provided to all non-US citizens, illegal or otherwise. (you pay) Pg 50, Section 152.
  5. National ID Card. Government access to your bank account for elective fund transfer. Pg 58-59.
  6. “Healthcare Exchanges” bring private healthcare plans under government control. Pg 72.
  7. AARP members will have healthcare rationed. Pg 85.
  8. Automatic enrollment in Medicade—you have no choice. Pg 102.
  9. No Judicial Review against Government monopoly. Pg 124
  10. Employers must pay for healthcare of part-time employees AND their families, Pg 126.
  11. Any person without healthcare acceptable to the government will be taxed (Aliens exempt), Pg 167.
  12. Cancer treatment rationing, Pg 272.

Watch this video:

As a retired physician who taught Health Science at Loma Linda University. Enjoying great health in his mid-70’s, he hasn’t paid for a prescription since a case of diarrhea in 1988. He’s been a vegetarian since age 14, never smoked or had a drink of alcohol or coffee and he thinks most people could choose to do so too if they would face the problem of withdrawal from their addictions.

Why should he be taxed to pay for medical care of those who want to eat, drink, smoke or sex as they please?. When we don’t govern ourselves, we need help. A prescription will solve our problem for a while and then we may need another. It’s a slippery slope because sooner or later the body gets toxic to the drug (a chemical) and then problems begin to multiply.

Adverse drug reactions have made medical care a leading cause of illness, disability and death according to medical literature that Ruhling was sharing with US Senators until one senator said, “You are wasting your time—they own us” speaking of drug company donations to their re-election.

I reminds you the drug companies wrote most of Obamacare to make it easy for people to take drugs and get their prescriptions free or cheap. It’s a masterpiece of population control that even Congress understands enough to not want it for themselves, but its bondage for poor ignorant people who don’t know any better. Since the mid-70’s, the government calls it ‘healthcare’ and we swallowed the bait.

In medical school, I learned that Moses wrote the first comprehensive health code with all the ingredients for good health: pure air, sunlight, rest, exercise, a diet that excluded unclean animals listed in the 11th chapter of Leviticus (and supportable by science), use of water, trust in God. Also they were not eat the fat or blood of the slaughtered animal that was carefully inspected—not like six cattle carcasses that pass a US government inspector on a conveyor belt every minute in Omaha.

Healthcare is the first of eight levels of control to be obtained before you can create a social state, according to Saul Alinsky, a favorite author of Obama and Hillary—she did a college thesis on him, and as Dr. Carson said, Obamacare is “the worst thing since slavery”–maybe because it’s where we’re headed.

EDITORS NOTE: Dr. Richard Ruhling was board-certified in Internal Medicine and had a Fellowship in Cardiology before teaching Health Science at Loma Linda University. The DVD on his website featuring Bill Clinton’s cardiologist, Dr. Esselstyn, is the best motivator for a better diet that Ruhling knows and it’s working for Clinton! Readers can see 5 minutes of it at http://RichardRuhling.com  Ruhling also authored ‘Why You Shouldn’t Ask Your Doctor” available at http://amzn.to/1I22otT

The Future of Travel Is Cheaper, Faster, Safer, and Autonomous by Ryan Hagemann

In a classic op-ed, “Why Software Is Eating the World,” Marc Andreessen argued “that we are in the middle of a dramatic and broad technological and economic shift in which software companies are poised to take over large swathes of the economy.”

From service and retail to manufacturing and the public sector, innovation in software has become a powerful source of increased productivity, efficiency, and economic growth. Many industries have been disrupted — and in some cases upended entirely — as a result of this software revolution. The transportation industry is on the verge of a massive software-driven market disruption, setting the stage for a significant change in the way we work and the way we think about travel, city design, and transportation more broadly.

Take driverless cars. This technology holds the potential to significantly drive down a variety of costs associated with human-operated vehicles. The most striking is the human toll: nearly 100 Americans die every day as a result of human error on the roadways. Automated cars could reduce this number by significant orders of magnitude.

But the benefits don’t stop there. As Adam Thierer and I noted in a research paper last year, the rise of automated vehicles on American roadways could ultimately cause 90 percent of the cost of insurance premiums to vanish, prevent over 4 million car crashes annually, and save more than $350 billion every year.

Despite the regulatory hurdles standing in the way of their widespread adoption, the arrival of autonomous vehicles on our roads is not a question ofif but when. As driverless cars become more cost-effective and socially accepted, the transportation sector will undergo dramatic changes. Over time, it may become cheaper and more convenient to simply hire the services of circulating robot cars than to own, insure, store, and maintain personal fleets. The days when owning a car is the norm are likely coming to an end, for better or worse.

But autonomous vehicles are just one example of transformative innovation in transportation technology.

Electric cars are beginning to find their stride in the market. It’s not clear, at this point, whether they’re really more efficient or eco-friendly than gas-powered cars, but Tesla Motors has shown that people will buy electric cars. Elon Musk has combined savvy reliance on government subsidies and municipal tax breaks with high-quality design and manufacturing, leaving Tesla Motors well-positioned to become a market leader in electric vehicles. The primary consideration when assessing the prospects electric cars is not the current or potential future valuation of Tesla Motors, or other electric car manufacturers, but the price and efficiency of the battery storage technology.

Currently, Tesla motors is estimated to have the lowest per-kWh (kilowatt-hour) price for lithium ion batteries (Li-ion), which is estimated to be about $200 per-kWh. As recently as May 2013 McKinsey Global Institute report examined the future of Li-ion energy storage. It predicted that once per-kWh prices fell to approximately $160, plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles could finally be cost competitive with traditional internal combustion engine vehicles.

However, McKinsey argued that the $160 price point wasn’t likely to be achieved until 2025. Given how low Tesla Motors’ current per-kWh price point is already, that cost-competitive price could very well be achieved sometime in 2016-2017–almost ten years ahead of predictions.

So autonomous cars are heading our way and battery storage technology is making electric vehicles competitive on the market. But the disruptions don’t stop there. Musk is leading the pack in the electric car market, but he also has a grandiose mass transportation project in the works: the Hyperloop.

The Hyperloop was first announced back in 2013, and was touted by Musk as the future of cross-continental and inter-city transportation. The idea is to use electromagnetic propulsion in a closed tube to accelerate pods at speeds in excess of 700 miles per hour. To put that into context, an average commercial airliner travels at speeds up to 500 miles per hour. Musk’s open source design proposal was floated as a challenge to engineers, largely in response to what he viewed as an outdated, disruption-prone, and costly American rail system.

Many companies are now proposing designs for an upcoming prototype test in January. Bibop Gabriele Gresta, Chief Operating Officer of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, hopes that the project will not only consume less electricity than it produces, allowing for the resale of the excess energy, but will allow the company to recoup its $100-150 million investment within a decade. Now one knows if this untested technology will pan out, but it’s possible that we are about to witness the dawn of the age of the hyperloop.

Looking even further ahead, drones could alter the way we think of inter- and intra-city transportation. It may not be that far-fetched to imagine advances in drone technology that take advantage of underutilized, low altitude airspace in new ways. Drone delivery is exciting, but consider the possibilities of the drone as a low-cost, efficient, and speedy form of transportation.

Advances in battery life, autonomous flight software, and sensor suite technologies could lead to orderly flows of traffic along “highways” in the skies above cities. The energy costs associated with such systems are currently prohibitively expensive. But as energy storage costs continue to decline, and as drone technology continues to develop, we could very well one day find ourselves in a world where regular people commute through the air.

Whether the future of transportation is autonomous, electric, looped, airborne, or some combination of all these is uncertain. What is certain, however, is that whatever form the future of transportation takes, it’s likely to be of immeasurable benefit to ordinary people. To paraphrase Andreessen’s sentiments, the future can’t come soon enough.

This post originally appeared at CapX.

Ryan HagemannRyan Hagemann

Ryan Hagemann is a civil liberties policy analyst at the Niskanen Center.

How the Energy Industry Makes Christmas (and Life) Magical

I’m writing this from John Wayne Airport in Orange County, contemplating just one small example of the wondrous, high-energy world we live in. This morning I swam in the Pacific Ocean. Tomorrow I will be snowboarding at Snowbird, a resort in Utah. I hope I never lose the ability to appreciate how magical it is that human beings can roam the earth so quickly and freely.

It will take just over two hours to take me and my fellow passengers to Salt Lake City. If you ask any of them how they’re getting to Salt Lake City, they’d say “I’m flying.” But what does that mean? What it really means is that certain people are flying us–not just the pilot, co-pilot, and flight attendants, but also the airline that coordinates flights, the manufacturers that build planes, and, closest to my heart, the people who work day-in/day-out to fuel the planes–the people who work in the oil industry.

It’s important to think about energy not just in terms of fuels but in terms of people because it helps us think about things more justly. Certain individuals are taking once-useless ancient dead plants and transforming them into a state-of-the-art liquid hydrocarbon fuel (jet fuel) that we voluntarily pay for because it is the best way (by a long shot) to get us anywhere we want with almost magical speed. Yet, in popular vernacular this is an “addiction to fossil fuels” or “Big Oil selling us dirty energy.” This wildly inaccurate vernacular enables opponents of fossil fuels to perpetrate a horrendous injustice, as occurred recently in Paris. They can fly on planes, which means–choose to use the products created by the virtuous fossil fuel industry, on the implicit premise that the positives far outweigh the negatives–while condemning those who are carrying them through the sky.

This is my view: either use a product and take full moral responsibility for it–or don’t. Invent something better or wait till someone else invents something better or live like the 99% of human beings who didn’t have fossil fuels. But don’t spit on the people who make your life magical.

I’m not directing that sentiment toward subscribers to this list but rather the people and ideas you may well encounter during the Christmas season. I hope that these thoughts serve as a good reminder that the high ground belongs to those who create, with all the challenges that entails, not those who simply consume and criticize. And when you do meet creators during the Christmas season, thank them. Without what they do, we could not have the comfort and enjoyment that typifies this time of year.

On a related note, I’ll repeat a message from last week and remind you of 3 potential gifts that one of your loved ones might enjoy—or that you might enjoy for yourself. Each of these gifts is designed to be, above all, empowering.

How to Talk to Anyone About Energy

As you gather around the table this holiday season, you’re no doubt going to hear some inflammatory comments about our addiction to fossil fuels, climate change deniers, a renewable future, and fracking earthquakes. And you know that these comments can lead to long, drawn out, and ineffective discussions.

What if there were a way to make your discussions far more enjoyable and effective? In “How to Talk to Anyone About Energy” I’ve broken down the exact method I use to turn almost any conversation into a pleasant, influential, and to-the-point experience. The course includes 6 easy-to-understand video modules plus a database of powerful talking points, a flowchart of how to have an effective conversation, a checklist of rules to follow in every conversation, and real-life footage of the principles in action.

If you want to buy yourself a Christmas present, this may be the one to get. Or if you know a couple friends or students who would like to feel more confident in conversation, you can change their lives. I promise it will. In the words of one enrollee, “every time I [had] a discussion with others about fossil fuels and the environment it still always seem[ed] to end in an emotional ‘you don’t know what you’re talking about’…. this course has provided me with a great framework with which to approach these conversations in a strategic way to persuade others without harming the relationship.”

The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels

Did you know The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels is available in hardcover, ebook, MP3 CD, and Audible? However you like to read (or listen).

You can also get large bulk discounts for your group or company—but you need to order this week.

I Love Fossil Fuels T-Shirts

I’ve found this shirt to be the perfect thing to wear to dozens of occasions—from anti-fossil fuel rallies to Presidential debates to family gatherings to beach parties. Get your own—I highly recommend green—make a confident statement and provoke lots of interesting conversation.

Click here to get the shirts.

Power Hour: Dr. Richard Keen on the Truth About Temperature

On the latest episode of Power Hour, I talk to Dr. Richard Keen, Meteorologist Emeritus at the University of Colorado and an official temperature measurement collector. Ever wonder where the numbers on global temperature graphs come from–and how accurate they are? Dr. Keen gives you an insider’s view.

Listen to this Power Hour episode.

As always, if you’d like to suggest a new guest for Power Hour, or have me appear on your show, you can send me an email at support@industrialprogress.net, or just reply to this one.

NOAA: Earth’s Hottest Period was Before Man Existed

Penny Starr in a CNSNews.com article titled “NOAA Website on Climate: Earth’s Hottest Period Occurred Before Man Existed” reports:

The global climate change agreement adopted at the United Nation’s conference in Paris is making headlines, but a federal government website dedicated to weather makes the case that the warmest time on Earth happened before mankind existed, and in fact, it was at one time so hot that crocodiles lived among palm trees in the Arctic Circle.An Aug. 12, 2014 article posted on climate.gov and titled, “What’s The Hottest The Earth’s Ever Been,” stated, “Earth’s hottest periods—the Hadean, the late Neoproterozoic, the PETM—occurred before humans existed.” It added, “Those ancient climates would have been like nothing our species has ever seen.”

The article noted that the Arctic Circle was once a tropical hot spot:

“Stretching from about 66-34 million years ago, the Paleocene and Eocene were the first geologic epochs following the end of the Mesozoic Era. (The Mesozoic—the age of dinosaurs—was itself an era punctuated by ‘hothouse’ conditions.)

Geologists and paleontologists think that during much of the Paleocene and early Eocene, the poles were free of ice caps, and palm trees and crocodiles lived above the Arctic Circle. The transition between the two epochs around 56 million years ago was marked by a rapid spike in global temperature.”

In its earliest days “when [Earth] was still colliding with other rocky debris,” the temperature was “upward of 3,600 degree Fahrenheit,” the article noted.

During the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, or PETM, “the global temperature appears to have risen by as much as 5-8 degrees” Centigrade (9 to 14 degrees Fahrenheit), the article stated. (Note: the Paris climate change agreement is designed to stop Earth’s temperature from rising 2 degrees Fahrenheit, an increase caused by human activity, according to the U.N.)

Read more.

PARENTAL WARNING: Children’s ‘Nugtella’ laced with Marijuana

National Families in Action reports:

California was the first state to legalize marijuana for medical use in 1996. But that did not happen spontaneously. Major investors began pouring money into organizations working to legalize marijuana in the early 1990s, just as marijuana use among high-school students reached its lowest levels since the Monitoring the Future survey began in 1975.

In 1991, 3% of eighth-grade students, 9% of tenth-grade students, and 14% of twelfth-grade students used marijuana in the past month. Today, eighth-grade use has doubled (7%), and tenth- and twelfth-grade use (15% and 21%, respectively) has nearly doubled. What made that happen?

Legalization proponents have hammered home the idea that marijuana is A) medicine and B) harmless. As increasingly more states have passed legislation based on these ideas, young people have gotten the message. Some 79% of high-school seniors believed smoking marijuana regularly was harmful in 1991. Today, only 32% do, the fewest since the survey began. Similar declines in belief in harm have occurred among younger students as well.

The 23 states that legalized marijuana as medicine gave birth to a commercial marijuana industry which creates and promotes products, including marijuana-infused foods, that appeal to teenagers. “Nugtella,” pictured above, is just one example. Others include marijuana-infused, multi-flavored “soft” drinks, gummi bears, and lollipops.

Says Stu Gitlow, MD, immediate past president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine and science advisory board member of SAM: Smart Approaches to Marijuana, in a press release about the survey SAM issued this morning, “Medical research is very clear that marijuana is both addictive and harmful. One in six adolescents that use marijuana develop an addiction, and use is associated with lower IQ, lower grades, and high dropout rates in that same population.”

Which makes all the more disturbing another finding from the survey: 1 in 16 high school seniors uses marijuana daily. At 6%, seniors’ daily marijuana use is now higher than their daily cigarette use (5.5%) and daily alcohol use (2%).

Read Monitoring the Future Survey here. Read SAM press release here.

EPA’s ‘Covert Propaganda’ Campaign to Sell Its Water Rule Explained

Covert propaganda” is something you’d expect from a foreign spy agency not from EPA. Yet that’s what the Government Accountability Office (GAO) concluded in a report on the agency’s efforts to sell its water rule– Waters of the United States (WOTUS), The New York Times reports:

Federal agencies are allowed to promote their own policies, but are not allowed to engage in propaganda, defined as covert activity intended to influence the American public. They also are not allowed to use federal resources to conduct so-called grass-roots lobbying — urging the American public to contact Congress to take a certain kind of action on pending legislation.

As it promoted the Waters of the United States rule, also known as the Clean Water Rule, the E.P.A. violated both of those prohibitions, a 26-page legal opinion signed by Susan A. Poling, the general counsel to the G.A.O., concluded in an investigation requested by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

“E.P.A. appealed to the public to contact Congress in opposition to pending legislation in violation of the grass-roots lobbying prohibition,” the report says.

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EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. Photo credit: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg.

The story came on the radar earlier this year when EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy bragged to a Senate Committee about the outpouring of public support for its (then) proposed water rule:

We have received over 1 million comments and 87.1 percent of those comments we have counted so far… are supportive of this rule.

As I wrote in May, The New York Times told us how that outpouring of support came about; EPA drummed it up.

Led by Tom Reynolds, the agency’s top communications adviser, EPA fired up its propaganda machine to counter critics of WOTUS—farmersranchers, home builders, the golf industry, and other businesses–who pointed out how the rule will empower federal bureaucrats to regulate “wetlands, intermittent streams, ephemeral steams (those that only flow after a rainfall or snowmelt) , and man-made bodies of water like ditches, ponds, and canals,” federalize local land use decisions, and make it even harder to build things in America.

One cog in that machine was social media. In September 2014, the agency used social media tool Thunderclap to push pro-WOTUS messages on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr.

EPA’s Thunderclap campaign said, “Clean water is important to me. I support EPA’s efforts to protect it for my health, my family, and my community,” and included a link to an EPA webpage (now unavailable) that directed the public to submit comments on the draft regulation. The effort reached 1.8 million people.

EPA WOTUS Thunderclap social media campaign

GAO determined that EPA’s use of Thunderclap was a “covert propaganda” campaign and broke the law. EPA pushed pro-WOTUS messages without properly disclosing that the agency was the author of the messages:

While EPA’s role was transparent to supporters who joined the campaign, this does not constitute disclosure to the 1.8 million people potentially reached by the Thunderclap. To those people, it appeared that their friend independently shared a message of his or her support for EPA and clean water.

In addition, the Thunderclap campaign appears to have violated the spirit of internal EPA policy. A 2010 memo on indirect lobbying from EPA’s general counsel states:

EPA employees may not explicitly or implicitly encourage the public to contact Congress in support of, or opposition to, a legislative proposal, nor explicitly encourage the public to contact state or local governments for that purpose.

EPA’s Thunderclap campaign asked the public to leave comments in support of WOTUS, which EPA Administrator McCarthy then referenced in testimony before Congress to claim overwhelming public support for the controversial rule.

Not only was EPA caught producing propaganda, GAO also found the agency engaged in inappropriate grassroots lobbying of Congress, The Times reports:

The agency is also said to have violated the anti-lobbying law when one of its public affairs officers, Travis Loop, wrote a blog post saying he was a surfer and did not “want to get sick from pollution.” That post included a link button to an advocacy group that discussed the danger that polluted water posed to surfers and, at least at one point, also included text that said “Take Action,” telling the public to “tell Congress to stop interfering with your right to clean water.”

It’s bad enough that EPA is engaging in such unprecedented regulatory overreach by crafting WOTUS, but its aggressive (and illegal) advocacy of it shows how out-of-control that agency is.

As for Tom Reynolds, who spearheaded EPA’s illegal WOTUS communications efforts, he got a promotion and is now working on climate issues in the White House.

RELATED ARTICLE: Report: EPA Broke Federal Law With ‘Covert Propaganda’ on Social Media

King Canute vs. the Climate Planners by Jeffrey A. Tucker

“With a small hammer you can achieve great things.”

Oh really?

This claim comes from French foreign minister Laurent Fabius as he banged his gavel at the close of the Paris climate summit. To the cheers of bureaucrats and cronies the world over, Fabius announced the deal that the press has been crowing about for days, the one in which “humanity” has united to stop increases in global temperature through the transfer of trillions of dollars from the rich to the poor, combined with the eventual (coercive) elimination of fossil fuels.

And thus did he bang his gavel. To his way of thinking, and that of the thousands gathered, that’s all you have to do to control the global climate, cause the world to stop relying on fossil fuels, and dramatically change the structure of all global industry, and do so with absolute conviction that benefits will outweigh the costs.

One bang of a gavel to dismantle industrial civilization by force, replace it with a vague and imagined new way of doing things, and have taxpayers pay for it.

Markets Yawn

Interestingly, the news on the Paris agreement had no notable impact on global markets at all. No prices rose or fell, no stocks soared or collapsed, and no futures responded with confidence that governments would win this one. The climate deal didn’t even make the business pages.

Investors and speculators are perhaps acculturated to ignoring such grand pronouncements. “The Paris climate conference delivered more of the same — lots of promises and lots of issues still left unresolved,” the US Chamber of Commerce said in a statement. And maybe that’s the right way to think, given that the world is ever less controlled by pieces of paper issued by government.

Still, breathless journalists wrote about the “historic agreement” and government officials paraded around as planet savers. Meanwhile, the oil price continues to fall even as demand rises, and the Energy Information Administration announced the discovery of more reserves than anyone believed possible. As for alternatives to fossil fuels, they are coming about through private sector innovation, not through government programs, and successful only when adopted voluntarily by consumers.

It’s a heck of a time to announce a new global central plan affecting the way 7 billion people use energy for the next century. Anyone schooled in the liberal tradition, or even slightly familiar with Hayek’s warning against the pretensions of the “scientific” government elites, shakes his or her head in knowing despair.

The entire scene looks like the apotheosis of the planning mentally — complete with five-year plans to monitor how well governments are doing in controlling the climate for the whole world and do so in a way that affects temperature 10-100 years from now.

King Canute?

The scene prompted many commentators to compare these people celebrating in Paris to King Canute, who ruled Denmark, England, and Norway a millennium ago. According to popular legend, as a way of demonstrating his awesome power, he rolled his throne up to the sea and commanded it to stop rising.

It didn’t work. Still, the image appears in many works of art. Even Lego offers a King Canute scene from its historical set.

Historians have challenged the point of the story. The only account with have of this incident, if it occurred at all, is from Henry of Huntingdon. He reports that after the sea rose despite his command, the King declared: “Let all men know how empty and worthless is the power of kings, for there is none worthy of the name, but He whom heaven, earth, and sea obey by eternal laws.”

He did and said this, say modern experts, to demonstrate to his courtiers and flatterers that he is not as wonderful and powerful as they were proclaiming him to be. Instead of subservience to his own person, he was urging all citizens to save their adoration for God.

His point was that power — even the absolute power of kings — has limits. During his rule, King Canute was enormously popular and evidently benefitted from the common tendency of people to credit authority for the achievements of the spontaneous evolution of the social order itself. His sea trick, if it happened at all, was designed to show people that he is not the man they thought he was.

The Pretensions of the Planners

Lacking a Canute to give us a wake-up call, we might revisit the extraordinary speech F.A. Hayek gave when he received his Nobel Prize. He was speaking before scientists of the world, having been awarded one of the most prestigious awards on the planet.

Rather than flattering the scientific establishment, particularly as it existed in economics, he went to the heart of what he considered the greatest intellectual danger that was arising at the time. He blew apart the planning mindset, the presumption that humankind can do anything if only the right people are given enough power and resources.

If the planning elite possessed omniscience of all facts, flawless understanding of cause and effect, perfect foresight to know all relevant changes that could affect the future, and the ability to control all variables, perhaps their pretensions would be justified.

But this is not the case. Hayek called the assumption the harshest possible word: “charlatanism.”

In the climate case, consider that we can’t know with certainty whether, to what extent, and how climate change (especially not 50-100 years from now) will affect life on earth. We don’t know the precise causal factors and their weight relative to the noise in our models, much less the kinds of coercive solutions to apply and whether they have been applied correctly and with what outcomes, much less the costs and benefits of attempting such a far-flung policy.

We can’t know any of that before or after such possible solutions have been applied. Science requires a process and unrelenting trial and error, learning and experimentation, the humility to admit error and the driving passion to discover truth.

In other words, science requires freedom, not central planning. The idea that any panel of global experts, working with appointed diplomats and bureaucrats, can have the requisite knowledge to make such grand and final decisions for the globe is outlandish and contrary to pretty much everything we know.

Throw the reality of politics into the mix and matters get worse. Fear over climate change (the ultimate market failure “problem”) is the last best hope for those who long to control the world by force. The entire nightmare scenario of rising tides and flooded cities — one that posits that our high standard of living is causing the world to heat up and burn — is just the latest excuse. That fact remains whether or not everything they claim is all true or all nonsense.

Pretensions Everywhere

Hayek explains further: “To act on the belief that we possess the knowledge and the power which enable us to shape the processes of society entirely to our liking, knowledge which in fact we do not possess, is likely to make us do much harm.”

Why? Because planning overrides the spontaneous discovery process that is an inherent part of the market structures.

We are only beginning to understand on how subtle a communication system the functioning of an advanced industrial society is based — a communications system which we call the market and which turns out to be a more efficient mechanism for digesting dispersed information than any that man has deliberately designed.

He went further. The planning fallacy doesn’t just affect economics. It is a tendency we see in all intellectual realms, including climatology and its use by governments to justify the desire to manage the world from on high.

Hayek’s conclusion is so epic that it deserves to be quoted in full.

If man is not to do more harm than good in his efforts to improve the social order, he will have to learn that in this, as in all other fields where essential complexity of an organized kind prevails, he cannot acquire the full knowledge which would make mastery of the events possible.

He will therefore have to use what knowledge he can achieve, not to shape the results as the craftsman shapes his handiwork, but rather to cultivate a growth by providing the appropriate environment, in the manner in which the gardener does this for his plants.

There is danger in the exuberant feeling of ever growing power which the advance of the physical sciences has engendered and which tempts man to try, “dizzy with success”, to use a characteristic phrase of early communism, to subject not only our natural but also our human environment to the control of a human will.

The recognition of the insuperable limits to his knowledge ought indeed to teach the student of society a lesson of humility which should guard him against becoming an accomplice in men’s fatal striving to control society — a striving which makes him not only a tyrant over his fellows, but which may well make him the destroyer of a civilization which no brain has designed but which has grown from the free efforts of millions of individuals.

Or we could just quote King Canute after the tides failed to respect his edict: “Let all men know how empty and worthless is the power of kings, for there is none worthy of the name.”

Jeffrey A. TuckerJeffrey A. Tucker

Jeffrey Tucker is Director of Digital Development at FEE, CLO of the startup Liberty.me, and editor at Laissez Faire Books. Author of five books, he speaks at FEE summer seminars and other events. His latest book is Bit by Bit: How P2P Is Freeing the World.  Follow on Twitter and Like on Facebook.

Some Recent Energy and Environmental News

The latest Energy and Environmental Newsletter, is now online.

Special Note 1: All U.S. citizens should take 1 minute to formally object to a proposed extension of the wind PTC. (Please pass this request onto your lists.)

[FYI, the “PTC Elimination Act” now has 50 cosponsors, 7 U.S. Senators Opposed to Extension of PTC, and Horse Trading in Congress: Lifting Oil Ban for Extending Wind PTC.]

Special Note 2: Since the dust is still settling, we’ll have a specialNewsletter edition just about the Paris talks later this week.

Some of the more interesting energy articles in this issue are:

UK’s energy ‘policy’ is an act of national suicide (similar for US, Canada, Australia, etc.)

New Video: Real World Experiences Living with Wind Turbines

Movie: Blue Beats Green

National Association of Scholars study about Fossil Fuel Divestment (esp note “recommendations” on page 3)

Learn what our opponents are saying:

Some Wind Energy Tactics to Win Over Local Community

The Puzzle of Energy Policy

Study: Waterfowl and Industrial Wind Turbines (p 115+)

Some of the more informative Global Warming articles in this issue are:

Nobel Laureate, PhD Physicist: video on Climate Change (exc)

What they Haven’t Told You About Climate Change: short video

Why Scientists Disagree about Global Warming

The Ugly Face of Climate Cultists

U.S. Senate Hearings on Climate Change: Data or Dogma?

Archive: Global Warming is a Myth

Archive: 100 reasons why climate change is natural

VIDEO: Protesters, police, chaos! Climate Hustle ‘staged its triumphant world premiere’

Watch Exclusive Video of Climate Hustle Premiere in Paris:

More on CFACT’s Climate Hustle coverage:

Breitbart Review: ‘Climate Hustle is dynamite’ – ‘The Perfect Antidote To Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth’

James Delingpole review: Climate Hustle ‘staged its triumphant world premiere in Paris last night.’

‘Climate Hustle is dynamite – at least it will be to most viewers, especially younger ones – because what it says is so totally at odds with almost every documentary, TV programme and film that has ever been made on the subject of global warming.’

‘Every person who has ever been exposed to the lies of An Inconvenient Truth should watch Climate Hustle immediately afterwards an antidote.’

Climate Hustle is a ‘jaunty, likeable, fact-rich journey through the history of the ‘global warming’

‘Morano – even if he does look and dress a bit like a junior Mafiosi – makes a funny, engaging, no-nonsense presenter.’

‘One of the most powerful sections of the documentary is the one where various scientists and academics who have dared speak the truth about global warming describe how they have suddenly found themselves ostracised by their peers.’

Breitbart News: Climate Hustle ‘staged its triumphant world premiere in Paris last night’ – ‘Police turned up’

“Howl! Howl!” bayed two men dressed as giant spoons.

‘Then the police turned up and in characteristic no-nonsense French style forced the protestors to disperse before the stars – including 92-year old rocket scientist Fred Singer and Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore – in black tie arrived in their stretch limos and walked up the red carpet. It was the perfect launch for Marc Morano’s climate skeptical movie Climate Hustle – the skeptics’ long-awaited answer to Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth – which staged its triumphant world premiere in Paris last night.’

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Politico features Morano & Climate Hustle movie premiere in Paris: ‘Warmists see us as the turd in the punch bowl’

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Will he do perp walk?! Morano ‘WANTED’ posters for being a ‘Climate Criminal’ go up in Paris on eve of ‘Climate Hustle’ premiere

RELATED ARTICLES:

NYT features ‘Climate Hustle’ Red Carpet Premiere – Film to ‘go on as planned’ in Paris despite ‘criminal’ status

E&E on Climate Hustle Premiere: The mood was ‘festive’ – ‘Skeptics donned tuxedos & walked the red carpet’

Breitbart Review: ‘Climate Hustle is dynamite’ – ‘The Perfect Antidote To Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth’

‘MOST WANTED climate criminal’ in Paris

‘Wanted’ posters targets Climate Criminals at Paris summit by Sanjev Dev Malik

climate wanted poster

The seven most insidious fossil fuel lobbyists in Paris to weaken attempts to agree a global climate deal have been named and shamed as ‘climate criminals’ in a dossier published by the global citizens movement Avaaz.

The seven most insidious fossil fuel lobbyists in Paris to weaken attempts to agree a global climate deal have been named and shamed as ‘climate criminals’ in a dossier published by the global citizens movement Avaaz.The group, which spearheaded last weekend’s climate marches which saw 785,000 people take to the streets globally, posted over a thousand ‘Wanted’ posters outside 5-star hotels in the French capital on Monday morning.

The poster highlighting the seven most notorious dirty energy lobbyists unearthed from the list of more than 50,000 delegates at summit.On Monday morning,  Avaaz ‘Climate Cops’ will hand out flyers outside key Metro stations leading to the Le Bourget with photos of the lobbyists, who are expected to ramp up their efforts to derail a deal when ministers arrive this week to negotiate the deal.

Emma Ruby-Sachs, Acting Executive-Director of Avaaz says:

“These lobbyists have come to Paris to sabotage a global deal for ambitious climate action, despite over 3.6 million citizens around the world calling for 100% clean energy. Ministers must listen to their people, not polluters, and refuse meetings with climate criminals who want to derail a deal the whole world wants.”

Skeptical Climate Documentary Set to Rock UN Climate Summit – ‘Climate Hustle’ To Have Red Carpet Premiere in Paris

RELATED ARTICLES:

Obama’s Ridiculous History Lessons on Climate Change

Memo to Poorer Countries: Congress Isn’t Going to Fund Obama’s Green Climate Fund

Skeptical Climate Documentary Set to Rock UN Climate Summit – ‘Climate Hustle’ To Have Red Carpet Premiere in Paris

Watch Now: Hannity on Fox News features exclusive clips of ‘Climate Hustle’: First Time Broadcast of Select Clips

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is of Marc Morano posing with his ‘Climate Criminal’ wanted poster in the streets of Paris during the CPO 21 Summit for Sustainable Development.

Morano issued this statement:

“I may have to relocate to a secure undisclosed location. I hope I don’t need a stunt double tonight to walk the red carpet at the ‘Climate Hustle’ premiere.”

Watch Now: Hannity on Fox News features exclusive clips of CFACT’s ‘Climate Hustle’: First Time Broadcast of Select ClipsWill Morano have to do a climate perp walk!? Will he need a stunt double to walk the red carpet tonight at premiere of ‘Climate Hustle’ due to security concerns? Stay tuned…

Chelm

I have been thinking of Chelm* lately, not the real industrial town in Poland, home to about 18,000 Jews (60% of the population) until they were annihilated in World War II. Rather, what comes to mind is the Chelm of Jewish folklore, penned by Elijah B’al Shem of the real Chelm, and commercialized by Isaac Bashevis Singer in the 1900s – because I believe there are Chelmites among us today.

Chelm, the legend, began when God’s angels inadvertently overlooked an area while they were populating the earth with a reasonable assortment of foolish and wise souls. As one obliging angel, armed with the two bags of souls, made his way back through the clouds to correct the omission, he snagged one bag on the jagged point of a particularly high mountain peak, causing all the foolish souls to float down to earth. Thus was Chelm created with foolish, like-minded people, although there were always a few citizens who deemed themselves to be above the rest, clever and capable of discovery, analysis, and problem solving for the community.

It was on a snowy, wintry night, in fact, that the Wise Men of Chelm were seated around a wood-burning stove, trying to explain why winter was cold and summer, hot. As they sat in the firelight, watching the sparks and smoke moving upward through the chimney, one of the philosophers reasoned that as people throughout the world were burning wood to keep warm, all the heat was rising into the sky. After months of buildup, the air became warm enough to provide summer. Then, of course, when the stoves were idle and the air cooled once again, winter would return. Little did these khakhamim know that their thoughts would become the “big question” of the 21st century – Climate Change.

Despite the difficulties of migration, the Chelmites managed to leave their village, travel and spread their wisdom to others. The first Democrat debate of 2015 is the perfect example as we heard Bernie Sanders respond to what he deemed the greatest threat to national security. Without hesitation, he cited “climate change.” Challenged by the moderator about terrorism, he continued, “Of course, international terrorism is a major issue that we have got to address today, but climate change is directly related to the growth of terrorism and international conflicts.” Can Sanders explain why only Muslims, specifically, are so imbued with the desire to kill because of the climate? If the syndrome has not yet been identified, we might consider “Thermocide.”

Another intellect, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, said, “Empirical evidence alone – without reference to climate models – suggests that a general warming trend is probably affecting weather and ecosystems, exacerbating the impact on humans.” Again we might ask why only the Muslim humans are so influenced as to increase the rapes in northern Sweden by more than a thousand fold since they first began arriving in the 1970s, or to detonate themselves while killing others.

Oblivious to the 14 centuries of Islamic carnage, our sages pursue a climate change issue that is scientifically constant, and not “change” at all. Climate is used by the Left to distract us from Islam’s complicity in drastically changing America. They would sooner discuss climate than the current knifing of Jews, beheading of Christians, and killing and injuring holiday revelers. Sanders and his like-minded sages should explore meteorology.

Secretary of State John Kerry, unquestionably a Chelm descendant, legitimized the Charlie Hebdo massacre and the murder of Jews in Israel as understandable, reasonable, and warranted. He proclaimed that terrorists are encouraged by poverty, despite the oil wealth and strong financial support from the Muslim Brotherhood. He denied our American exceptionalism, and pledged to appoint ambassadors, based on their sexual orientation.

Another intellectual of the Chelm mindset is Hillary Clinton, who declared: “Let’s be clear: Islam is not our adversary. Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.” She further offered, “These Muslims over here are just peaceful, faithful people living their lives, whereas those Muslims over there are radical and seek to impose a toxic strain of their faith via terror and violence.” It may be that she envisions arrowed road signs, “Terrorists this way to Europe” and “Moderates this way to America,” or she had them posted during her many trips to Islamic countries. Unfortunately, signs are no solution for the high illiteracy rate, which could account for the 900 Islamic terrorist cells in the US, as revealed by the FBI. Of the latest act of terrorism in San Bernardino, Hillary blamed the inanimate weapons themselves.

Remember that National Intelligence Director James Clapper said to Congress, “The term ‘Muslim Brotherhood’…is an umbrella term for a variety of movements, in the case of Egypt, a very heterogeneous group, largely secular, which has eschewed violence…” In fact, the Brotherhood was a co-conspirator in the trial of the Holyland Foundation, the largest terrorism-financing ever successfully prosecuted in American history. A major financier of the terrorist organization, Hamas, is dedicated to jihad, the destruction of Israel, and to turning America into a Muslim nation, to “eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within.”

The politically correct are inclined to say that a majority of Muslims loathe violence, but surveys prove that the majority of Muslims want violent sharia law to prevail over the host country’s laws, and a recent Fox News poll indicated that one in four admitted that violent jihad against America is justified. The Koran commands Muslims to engage in holy war (Jihad) in order to impose Islam and Sharia law on the entire world. Sharia demands support of terrorism and suicide bombings, and conversion to Islam or death.

To say that our Commander-in-Chief is also from Chelm, inexperienced and naïve, would in itself be naïve. He has been following a specific agenda to bringing our country to where it is today, without once veering off course. If he were inexpert and bungling, he could not have so thoroughly hidden his background, divided us into opposing factions and causing chaos on our streets, rejected and rewritten laws, dispatched the CIA for secret operations, created a runaway government, trivialized our Constitution, reduced our personal freedoms, and conspired to change our national identity and endanger our existence with tens of thousands of unvetted, Koran-inspired “immigrants.”

Now, if the incoming Syrians exhibit no violence, we may conclude that climate change is not a threat. If, however, we recognize Islamic violence in the Middle East also occurs in northern climes, we would have to ascertain which changes actually result in the atrocities, or identify their teachings and laws as the true link to violence.  As for our Commander-in-Chief, he is not of Chelm. It is his “dark impulses,” the same impulses of which he accuses Americans who seek to close our borders to jihadi invaders, that are failing us.

*Chelm, pronounced with the guttural KHelm, or the Spanish “J”