Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

17 November 2018

US Postal Service Subsidizes Chinese Package Delivery

Edward Hudgins, Ph.D., Research Director of the Heartland Institute, has written a very interesting article on how the Universal Postal Union (UPU) agreement forces the US Postal Service to subsidize the delivery of small packages sent from China to American addresses.  The USPS lost about $75 million in 2014 due to it having to deliver small packages from China.  It costs less for a Chinese business to send a package thousands of miles across the Pacific Ocean to most American addresses than it costs an American business to send a similar package 600 miles to an American address.  This is an unfair trade practice.  The Trump administration tried to get the UPU to change its archaic rules, but the US gets only one vote among 192 nations in the UPU.  The UPU basically shrugged the US off.  The Trump administration has responded with a termination of our membership in one year if the problem is not corrected.

16 November 2018

Climate Change and Forest Fires - Alarmists Desperation to Promote Fear

The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions says:
Large wildfires in the United States burn more than twice the area they did in 1970, and the average wildfire season is 78 days longer.
Research shows that changes in climate, especially earlier snowmelt due to warming in the spring and summer, have led to hot, dry conditions that boost this increase in fire activity in some areas. For much of the U.S. West, projections show that an average annual 1 degree Celsius temperature increase would increase the median burned area per year as much as 600 percent in some types of forests.
DW.com, a German news organization, says:
Unusually large wildfires ravaged Alaska and Indonesia in 2015. The following year, CanadaCalifornia and Spain were devastated by uncontrolled flames. In 2017, massive fires devastated regions of Chile - and now, a deadly blaze in Portugal has claimed dozens of lives. 
 So, have wildfires actually increased globally, or does it just seem that way because we're tuned in more to bad news and social media? 
Science suggests that over the past few decades, the number of wildfires has indeed increased,especially in the western United States. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS),every state in the western US has experienced an increase in the average annual number of large wildfires over past decades.
Extensive studies have found that large forest fires in the western US have been occurring nearly five times more often since the 1970s and 80s. Such fires are burning more than six times the land area as before, and lasting almost five times longer. 
National Geographic says:
Fires are natural in California: Many of its ecosystems, from the chaparral of Southern California to the northern pine forests, evolved to burn frequently. But since the 1980s, the size and ferocity of the fires that sweep across the state have trended upward. Fifteen of the 20 largest fires in California history have occurred since 2000

The graphic above shows why: Most of the state’s hottest and driest years have occurred during the last two decades as well.
Over the past century, California has warmed by about three degrees Fahrenheit. That extra-warmed air sucks water out of plants and soils, leaving the trees, shrubs, and rolling grasslands of the state dry and primed to burn. 

Let us provide some perspective and context to the relationship of forest fires to climate change by looking at a graph of US acreage destroyed by forest fires that Prof. Howard "Cork" Hayden drew to my attention:


We see that claims that "wildfires" are at an all-time high in the last couple of decades or that they are more severe in the 1999-2018 period than they were in the 1895-1914 period are clearly cases of cherry-picking the data to make a bogus point.  That bogus point is the claim that man's use of fossil fuels resulting in carbon dioxide emissions is the cause of more "wildfires", a scarier term than forest fires.  To be consistent with the claims, the atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide would have had to be at their maximum in the 1930s and they would have had to drop off greatly in the 1940s and 1950s, before rising slightly since 1999.  Unfortunately for these storytellers, carbon dioxide has generally risen throughout this time-frame.  But they count on the public not cross-examining them.  They only care to frighten people to get them to adopt energy policies that will cause energy use costs to soar and make energy supply much less reliable.  Their game is very similar when they claim that severe weather events are on the rise and caused by man's use of fossil fuels as well.

The Catastrophic Man-Made Global Warming and Climate Change alarmists are ever more desperate to create the fear they need to further damage free markets and the voluntary, cooperative associations people form to pursue their own self-chosen values and their own dreams.  A substantial fraction of these environmentalists literally want a planet with billions fewer people on it.  The welfare of mankind is not on their agenda.  The alarmists generally want ever so badly to scare people into giving up the exercise of their individual rights and to subject themselves to the ever-increasing demands of governments controlled by those elitists who claim they know better than we do what is good for us, or if not for us, for the planet.  They are sure that if we will only succumb to their use of force to micromanage our lives, they can provide us with better lives or with worse lives in the name of some planet god.

Of course those of them who actually do gain control of the levers of power do not actually care whether our lives are made better or not.  They have the track record to prove that their priority is power, not the improvement of our lives.  And now Nancy Pelosi is back to tell us that legislation has to be passed so we can find out what is in it.  There could not be a more blatant demonstration that it is the power given the government that is the real reason for the laws the elitist power-lusters want, not the welfare of the people. The Catastrophic Man-Made Global Warming scare is but one of their tools to acquire power, not just national power, but worldwide power.  To gain that worldwide power they must also subvert the U.S. Constitution in the name of a superior globalist law.