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Response to PA Gov. Tom Ridge on Conservatives & the Environment

On April 22nd this year, Earth Day, The Atlantic published an opinion piece by former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge, about conservatives and the environment (https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/04/environment-gop-out-touch/610333/). The Atlantic solicited responses to Ridge’s essay, and so I submitted one to them, but received back no indication they would publish it. They did not publish it, because liberals like those at The Atlantic accept and publish only liberals, and reject conservatives.  So here it is, my response to Governor Ridge’s essay about conservatives and the environment.

I felt compelled to respond to Governor Ridge’s essay, in part because I worked in his administration, and in part because I have met few Republicans who can articulate a truly conservative view of environmental policy, which Governor Ridge failed to do. I was also afraid of being seen as attacking someone I hold in high esteem, and I need to say that while I may disagree with Governor Ridge’s essay and some of his recent public stances, like supporting PA governor Tom Wolf’s covid19 lockdown, I remain impressed by Governor Ridge’s high character. I am proud to have served in his distinctively excellent administration.

Governor Ridge’s  essay slightly opens a doorway that I am both pleased and also reluctant to push all the way open. But it needs to be opened, all the way, because for far too long establishment Republicans have claimed to be conservatives, while acting like liberals.

Governor Ridge writes his essay “as a conservative,” and despite boldly leading by example in placing highly competent gays, women, and minorities in senior government positions literally decades ago, long before most Democrats followed suit, Governor Ridge was, in fact, a true conservative. His achievements in conservative policy are legion, including Pennsylvania becoming a shall-issue concealed firearm carry state and his administration’s brownfield land recycling program.

Nonetheless, the emphasis today is on he “was.”

Governor Ridge was a conservative, and by today’s standard, he is not. This is not because Governor Ridge has changed, but because what now defines a conservative has changed so dramatically since the time he was governor. The same holds true for liberals, by the way, in their own way (we see the Democrat Party now a totally, openly, violent, racist, anti-America Marxist organization).

And like so many, if not all other political elites, especially Republicans, and most especially establishment Republicans from the hide-bound, bunker-mentality Pennsylvania GOP, Governor Ridge has not changed with the times. Governor Ridge was a conservative, and today he often speaks like a liberal, and sides with liberals on policy disputes. He is not alone in this, but each Republican who does so still causes pain to us conservatives in the political trenches. It is frustrating as hell to experience a former Republican appointee or elected official try to speak with authority as some sort of representative of conservativism, when in fact, they are simply liberals. Or RINOs for short (Republican In Name Only – not conservative).

Probably the biggest indication that Governor Ridge is out of synch with today’s conservatives is how he encourages us to adopt a laundry list of liberal environmental policies in his The Atlantic essay. This means that his solution for conservatives to succeed is for us to adopt liberalism. Even though most of the “environmental” groups are simply employment offices for Democrat Party operatives pushing Marxist, partisan policies. Very few environmental groups today are even seeking solutions, because they are busy dreaming up new problems.

Most of the policies pushed by environmental groups today are by definition Big Coercive Government, Small Defenseless Citizen, anti-Constitution, disregard for private property rights, mountains out of mole hills, and so on. These groups are not about the environment, they simply use the subject of the environment as another avenue to push Marxism and the Big Government necessary to force it down our throats. Governor Ridge should know this, of all people.

What Governor Ridge failed to address is: How can we conservatives embrace the very same failed and inferior liberal policies that drove us to becoming conservatives in the first place? If we adopt liberalism, then we are abandoning conservativism, and failing as conservatives.

Every single environmental policy recommendation that Governor Ridge lists in his essay directly contradicts core conservative principles, like small government, less intrusive government, less spendy government, less activist government, less regulatory government, accountable government and accountable taxpayer-funded government employees. Literally every single policy he lists requires the government to intervene in a big, coercive way, often over trifling differences or demonstrably false premises.

Governor Ridge’s environmental ideas are not conservativism; they are quintessential big government liberalism.

Perhaps the centerpiece of his essay is that conservatives must concede at least a bit on “climate change.” Yet, for conservatives, this particular issue, more than any other, highlights the distinction between us and liberals. For conservatives to agree with the Marxist, disproven, and notoriously phony climate change religion would be to abandon basic, solid, conservative principles altogether….like Capitalism 101, solid math and science, and transparency. Again, we are unpersuaded the climate warming-cooling-change-whatever issue even exists, let alone that a government solution consistent with America’s Constitution could be found.

Governor Ridge writes “The Republican Party has largely abandoned environmental issues.” To which I and a host of other conservatives would respond, No, but many Republicans have abandoned the citizen voters and the forgotten taxpayers of America. Many careerist Republicans have embraced popular culture and its feel-good-now bubblegum policies. For Republicans to respect openly partisan “environmental” groups and embrace liberal nonsense like so-called ‘climate change’ and similar policies would only be one more betrayal in a long line of policy and political betrayals committed by the Republican establishment. Conservatives have perfectly sound environmental policies based on perfectly sound, all-American principles. If you but ask us, we will explain them. We conservatives didn’t abandon environmental issues, nor did we leave the Republican Party. The Republican establishment abandoned us.

Josh First is president of Appalachian Land & Conservation Services, LLC. He has worked at the US EPA in Washington, DC, The Conservation Fund, the Central Pennsylvania Conservancy, and was Director of Environmental Education and Information at the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources in the Governor Tom Ridge administration.

Climate Change’s Story, as Told by a Rock

The subject of climate change has been a political issue for about ten years. Before that it was called global warming. Before that it was called global cooling. Despite having dramatically different, even diametrically opposed, oppositional names, this subject of earth’s changing climate has been treated the same by political activists for about 30 years. No matter how different, under all rubrics it has been presented as a result of planet-altering human intervention into Planet Earth’s fundamental forces.

In all of the undocumented claims presented about this subject over the past thirty years, especially the fake junk science claims, the ignored elephant in the room has always been the very well and long-documented evidence of great periods of climate change pre-dating the appearance of humans on Planet Earth. In other words, climate change/ global warming/ global cooling did not automatically appear in 1985 because Al Gore wrote a book about humans emitting too much carbon dioxide. Nope. The scientific elephant in the climate change room was standing here all along, because decades of non-politicized scientific inquiry demonstrated how mile-thick ice glaciers covered northern America, Canada, and northern Europe and Asia many times over the past 100,000 years.

That is, a natural ongoing cycle of climate change, real dramatic alterations to the face of the planet, even without one human being present to contribute one breath of carbon dioxide to it.

Well, here is the short and easy story of actual, real climate change; the long documented climate change that shaped the land you are standing and driving on every day. This big story is told by a simple humble rock. Here is a picture of that rock (below), unearthed the other day. It was unearthed about 600 feet above the Pine Creek stream bed and channel. Until it was unearthed, it was entombed on a hillside way above the existing channel, in mostly clay dirt amid sharp shards of shattered sandstone, all jumbled together like a giant mixer had tossed them around.

Look carefully at this stone.

It is rounded, unlike most of the other rocks around it in the dirt from whence it recently emerged. Someone with a bit of curiosity would ask “Gees, this rock looks totally different from the rocks around it. It is rounded like a typical long water-washed and tumbled river cobble I can find in any stream bed in the world. Now why is this rounded rock sitting hundreds of feet above the Pine Creek river bed? How did it get all the way up here?”

Great question! In most American class rooms, asking this question might get you ejected, or a bad grade from a fake educator who doesn’t want you asking good questions, but instead you are supposed to repeat a mantra of junk science that ignores the actual science represented by this simple little rounded rock.

Pine Creek’s history is retold at Leonard Harrison State Park, in DCNR geology circulars available online, and in many other places and publications. It won’t be reiterated at length here. But we do provide a history lesson in a nutshell.

Essentially it goes like this: Until about 15,000 years ago, Pine Creek flowed northward into the Genesee River watershed. After the last glacial age ended 20,000 years ago, the Laurentide Glacier began to melt, as prior glaciers there before it had melted. As the glacier melted, a pool of water built up against an ice dam, which eventually broke from the weight of the water and the thinning ice. When the ice dam broke, an enormous torrent of water was unleashed southward as a tidal wave. As it raced southward, the tidal wave followed the landscape’s natural contours, including the river bed of north-flowing Pine Creek.

As soon as the tidal wave hit the Pine Creek stream bed, the tidal wave followed that natural channel southward, scooping up hundreds of millions of tons of stream bottom rocks, as well as surrounding ledgerock. We have seen the videos of the Japanese tsunami from several years ago, and this one probably looked similar. Thus, an increasingly muddy tumultuous mess of water, dirt, and rocks flowed southward to the West Branch of the Susquehanna River. Along the way rocks like our little rounded river cobblestone here were picked up and deposited high up on the river channel’s slopes.

Even though the rock had come from deep down in the river bed, it remained in place on the hillside as the roaring water receded to the stream flow we know and love today. The rock is an artifact of climate change, real honest-to-goodness climate change, devoid of any human causation or intervention.

Our pet Pine Creek stream bed rock now in Lycoming County, PA, probably originating due north in Steuben County, New York, 15,000 years ago, already rounded from thousands of years of tumbling in a stream bed

Ever since that melting glacier released that tidal wave and placed our little rock here on the hillside, Pine Creek has flowed south, into the West Branch of the Susquehanna River, and not northward into the Genesee River. And as a result of that huge rushing torrent southward, the Pennsylvania Grand Canyon was cut and shaped.

Climate change, folks. It is as natural as the Sun rising and setting on the Earth’s horizon. It can be real. It was real, and still is real and ongoing, even without human involvement. But you probably won’t find the real climate change science taught any more, because it is contrary to a radical political narrative that tells us modern capitalist societies are evil and destructive and must cease and desist, because we alone are destroying the Earth’s climate.

Which just goes to prove that Marxism really is anti-science, anti-truth, anti-fact, and anti-human. Shame on the Marxism Climate Change fraudsters who represent themselves as guardians of the environment. They are no such thing. They are destroyers of the environment, as every Marxist society’s destroyed environment demonstrates.

Shhhh! Don’t tell anyone you saw this, because the “climate change” activists will have me locked up for disseminating actual science!

All this climate change happened before humans were even present on the planet, let alone before we and our cows began farting so much and creating green house gases…

Be careful showing this glacial map to a New Yorker. They believe that New York City pre-dates all human civilizations and was founded by the gods, who would never let a mile of ice stand on top of their sacred ground.

Showing this image in a modern class on “climate change” is like showing a crucifix to a vampire, and you will probably be ejected from the classroom and declared unfit for indoctrination by the fake teacher. Be careful how you use this science.

Oh no, we did it, we showed New York City under ice. NYC mayor Bill DeBlasio will probably ban me from entering NYC henceforth.

 

Earth Day: Protect What Matters

Today is Earth Day, a day annually marked for environmental protection. Good, we need it. We all need to breathe clean air, drink clean water, and eat clean food.

All kinds of organizations run advertisements today promoting a clean environment, a protected environment, wildlife habitat conservation, and so on. Most of the ideas we will see promoted today are worthy of attention and worthwhile policy efforts, while some of the more heavily marketed ideas are Marxist anti-capitalism dingbat stuff.

The two biggest challenges we have on Earth Day are overcoming the fake issue of human-caused “climate change,” and protecting the American economy. Achieving both of these goals will actually maximally protect the environment.

“Climate change” on its face is a factual thing, because Planet Earth has had constant climate change since its creation. Glaciers have come and gone on their own, sea levels have risen and fallen on their own, and plants and animals have come and gone as the greater environmental forces around them directly shape their habitat, the salinity of the water they live in, and the air they breathe. All of this dynamism has happened without any human intervention. In fact, most of it has happened without any humans existing at all.

Climate change continues on today just as it always has since the Earth was born, and though human actions might contribute to it in some minuscule way, the fact is that humans have a far greater and more measurable impact on more important environmental issues.

The problem with the current human-caused climate change hoax is that it sucks all of the air out of the room, leaving no oxygen for other real, actual, measurable and documented issues like lost wildlife habitat, farmland loss, water quality, forest fragmentation, and controlling the invasive plants and animals that are literally destroying our native environments and species.

All of the “climate change” policy bandied about is a result of bad modeling using flawed data, junk science, topped off with deliberate fraud and public shaming of heretics. The fake but well-heeled climate change industry is fueled by juicy foundation and government grants, making all kinds of financial incentives for people to continue this fakery. Fake climate change junk science can be a hell of a good business for a few private bank accounts!

Normal people see this obvious policy fraud and end up writing off the entire quest for environmental quality as just a bunch of “environmentalist wackos” trying to destroy Western Civilization. And indeed, a great many of the climate change advocates are in fact America-hating Marxists, whose suspect opinions aren’t worth spit. But it is not fair to roll all environmental quality efforts in with the climate change nonsense. Leftists include the real issues together with fake climate change to give climate change unwarranted credibility, while magical-thinking meatheads on the right also do it to discredit all environmental quality issues.

If there is one thing we have all witnessed over the past month of China Flu coronavirus here in America, it is that in addition to weakening America by sending our technology and jobs there, for decades Americans have exploited Chinese slave labor and the Chinese environment so that we could have more cheap junk available to play with at home. It is an undeniable fact that like the Russians before them, Chinese Marxism has destroyed the Chinese environment, while American capitalism has created the high living conditions here necessary for our citizens to expect environmental protection.

Capitalism protects the environment, while Marxism and communism destroy it through unbridled industrialism to buoy up their ruling elites.

Today, on Earth Day, the best thing we can do is to re-open the American economy and create the kinds of high quality living conditions here that incentivize environmental protection. Protect the world’s environment by repatriating American jobs from their thirty-year hiatus in China. Demonstrate to Americans that we can all enjoy high quality environmental protection without sacrificing our economy on the false altar of human caused climate change..or a Chinese virus whose effects are felt locally but whose costs are being applied equally everywhere across the United States.

One call I won’t take

Phony, fraudulent telemarketer calls are super annoying, and like you, I am fed up with them.

Another phony call just arrived, called “Call of the Wild,” a new movie loosely based on a Jack London book by the same name.

Jack London’s stories of tenuous life in the Yukon and Alaskan interiors are the stuff of pre-internet American boyhood. Just like coonskin Davey Crockett hats were all the rage among American boys in the 1950s and 1960s after Fess Parker starred in the same-named TV show, so too did London inspire many young men to get their forestry degree, build a canoe, cut down their grandmother’s favorite apple tree with a hatchet, or move to Alaska. His stories of nail-biting survival and creeping or sudden death in the boreal forests and frigid back country rang true, and a number of movies have been made about them. Some better than others, but all of them pretty good just because the story line is great.

London’s story about a young man caught at sundown in the winter time Alaskan bush, unprepared for the minus-forty-degree night, who gets down to his last match and finally succeeds at lighting a life-saving fire, only to have the snow from the branches above fall and smother the fire, is classic.

This latest iteration involves an unrealistic CGI human-like dog that giddy un-wilderness urbanites will fawn over. It also includes Harrison Ford, a man blessed with poor acting skills who nonetheless has landed a huge list of Hollywood roles and who made a huge pile of money. Play acting and playing dress-up; not exactly brain surgeon level or even bank teller level stuff.

And to be fair, Ford’s best movie roles are those that fit his kind of simple, bland, taciturn persona, like the Jack Ryan character, or Indiana Jones, or the emotion-less Blade Runner cyborg cop. Or those roles that are actually enhanced by his lack of acting skills, like Star Wars‘ Han Solo. Whenever Harrison Ford is tasked with actually acting, his lack of nuance or depth shines through bright and shiny. One suspects that this Call of the Wild will be one such role and performance. Or maybe not, because the 2020 movie poster for it shows Ford looking all serious and taciturn.

Now, because I am a wilderness hunter, fisherman, and trapper, any new movie like Call of the Wild immediately gets my attention. Bad acting or no, evil corrupt anti-America Hollywood or no, CGI human dogs or no, it is a movie I would naturally be inclined to go see. It is about nature and outdoor adventure, my favorite things. However, Harrison Ford finally performed honestly the other day and thereby blew up any chance of me seeing his film, and probably many other people feel the same way.

Last week, Ford appeared on not-funny Jimmy Kimmel’s late night show, and blasted Preident Trump, calling him “a son-of-a-bitch.”

Out of nowhere, and for no particular reason. Other than pandering to Hollywood.

What a shame, because at one time Ford was a spokesman for Conservation International, a worthy environment protection organization. His other opinions about so-called climate change and carbon reduction are the usual Hollywood hypocritical hilarity, because Ford is also the guy who flies his own plane on a 400-mile round trip to get a single hamburger to satisfy his craving for fast food. Talk about a carbon footprint, and yet his lecturing never ends.

Now, everyone is entitled to their opinions, and like Ford, I am entitled to mine, too. And my opinion is that I will not support with movie ticket purchases those celebrity Hollywood actors who insult me, my values, my lifestyle, or the people I vote for. So I will not be answering Harrison Ford’s Call of the Wild. Though I might play it on one of the many black market bootleg websites, just so I can take from Ford a tiny bit of what Ford took away from me: A good feeling.

Below is just one video of Harrison Ford actually whining about his wild success, as if it ruined him as some sort of serious artiste. Oh please. Ford is just another out of touch, spoiled rotten Hollywood jerk. Where is comedian Ricky Gervais when we need him most? Every Hollywood actor like Harrison Ford should have to spend a week with Gervais following him or her everywhere they go, commenting on their vapid lives and stupid statements.

Greta the baby pied piper parrot

Climate change is just the highest profile policy issue where its proponents have failed to persuade people with scientific facts. Instead of trying harder to explain the actual facts, and thereby win over convinced converts, climate change proponents always resort to bullying, shaming, and mocking people who remain uncertain, unpersuaded, unsure of what has been told to them, and then especially skeptical of all the resulting hype and abuse. Think of a teacher who, having failed to effectively explain a subject to a classroom then resorts to emotional blackmail and criticism of the audience. The truth is that the failure to connect with and educate the audience lies with the teacher, or in the case of climate change, its proponents.

Enter the latest unpersuasive advocate of human-caused climate change, the Swedish child Greta Thunberg. Yes, an unremarkable 16-year-old high school drop-out is now the newest face in this highly politicized subject involving multidisciplinary sciences and an entire planet. Yes, Thunberg is a child without any education degrees or really any formal education at all, lecturing and hectoring adults about what they absolutely must do right now with their hard-earned money and freedoms, and just listen to her, dammit.

I have no idea where Thunberg came from, in the sense of how or why she became an activist media darling activist. Nothing about her is particularly outstanding; not charisma, not intelligence, not education or mastery of science. Suddenly she was The Voice Of Reason, or at least The Voice Of Pesky Mosquitoes That Won’t Go Away. This little kid is just a little kid, that’s all she is, so “Oh c’mon!” is what I am thinking.

How can she be taken seriously, how can the quality of our national policy debate have sunk this low? And then I remembered that the face of the big government civilian disarmament effort is an attention hog named Hogg, himself also an unimpressive annoying little foot-stomping brat. And like so many other 16-year-olds across the planet, Greta is a foot-stamping, pouting, demanding little brat who wants what she wants and she wants it right now. It doesn’t mean she knows anything, or that she is correct about climate change, or that my 16-year-old son actually should be handed the keys to my pickup truck and given five hundred bucks for the weekend, either. This is just the way that sixteen-year-olds behave, and real adults ignore them at least and often righteously put them in their place.

Sixteen-year-olds have this habit of wanting all the adult stuff without having actually worked hard and earned it. It is what makes sixteen year olds both exasperating and yet so adorable. They are so clearly in an in-between place, between child and young adult, between having their own thoughts and learning new things. In America, most sixteen-year-olds like Greta are high school sophomores.

Do you remember what the word “sophomore” means? Yes, that’s right, it means “wise fool.” That is, a sophomore is a person who exhibits the traits exactly in between wisdom and foolishness. True to being a sophomore in meaning if not in actual school, Thunberg has the language skills of a young adult, but the reasoning abilities of a child.

The more we think about this unphenomenal child phenomenon policy thing, the more evident it is what a game it is. Thunberg is just the young white equivalent of what Obama represented. If she can’t persuade us with actual facts, she will pout and cry and try to bully us with childish tantrums. And if our adult inclinations kick in, and we contest Thunberg’s bullcrap, why then we are just a bunch of big meanies who made little kids cry. It was the same argument used to buffer Obama from being held accountable for his endless lies — anyone opposing him was racist, mean etc. For shame that anyone would even dare to question these good people! (sarcasm)

And so today was Thunberg’s big day. She led a bunch of American government schools in a student “strike” over her inability to actually persuade thinking people that human caused climate change is real. While students at government (“public”) schools are too young to go on strike, the sound of the word ‘strike’ is so grown up sounding and exciting, and anyhow, it is kind of sexy Marxist chic. Thunberg thinks the strike is better than actually getting an education, and in her own words, climate change policy and socialism are inseparable.

Ah-hah!

And so a bunch of Democrat union controlled government school administrators and political activists posing as teachers actually encouraged their students to miss a day of taxpayer funded education and go do something else, maybe get more leftist indoctrination, maybe protest, against whom or for what none could really say. But a day away from school is what so many kids crave anyhow, and so away some of them went. Maybe some of them want to be just like Thunberg: A high school dropout and professionally aggrieved whiny brat on an endless mission to harangue her elders. Great; it sounds like another Chinese cultural revolution, except now in America by yet more foreigners who want more of our free taxpayer stuff given to them.

Thunberg does not know the science about climate change, but she does know how to parrot liberal talking points. And so maybe we can finally categorize her as a baby pied piper parrot, a malignant force leading small children astray, away from hearth and home and all that is good. I think this description is more scientifically accurate than anything Thunberg says about supposed human caused climate change.

Climate change turned this little human into a parrot

 

 

 

Scary and mean little kid!

“And Duetschland vill haff a glorious thousand year reich!” This angry child is frightening. Is she the next Adolf Hitler in training?

Even weather.com promotes fake news, fake science

The other day President Trump mocked the anti-science “climate change” political activism crowd when he tweeted about the need for some “global warming” to offset the record low temperatures descending upon  America. He was joking, and mocking, but everything he does creates an opening for enemies of America to attack him.

So cue up the faux indignation and mocking responses in return.

Fake science and lame-ass blatant political activism miraging as news reporting came from everywhere: Business insider, Newsweek, The Independent (UK), CNN, New York Times, Yahoo, Vanity Fair, and many other political activism outlets that pose as news outlets, including, amazingly, weather.com.

Weather.com, you ask?

And the answer is sadly, Yes, even weather.com, which you would think is just about the weather. Turns out that even weather.com is fully in the tank for anti-scientific climate change political activism. The one article weather.com staff wrote actually seriously evaluated just what more “climate change” would mean for America and the planet, and how terrible it is that President Trump wants this.

Either leftist activists have no sense of humor, or they are such crazed activists that no matter what someone says, it must always be turned into a political debate and crisis and a nuclear bomb aimed at whomever it is they disagree with at that moment. I vote for leftists being crazed, because nothing else explains their behavior. And so, weather.com published a very serious-sounding article about Trump’s tweet worthy of something from that source of awesome satire, The Onion. The article actually purports to be about how Trump is both a bad person for wanting more global warming, and how global warming is nothing to laugh at.

So weather.com wants it both ways: Trump is bad, and stupid, and by the way, just in case he wasn’t serious, he shouldn’t joke, either.

Every other mainstream fake news outlet followed suit with variations on this same theme, Trump bad and stupid, and global warming must not be mocked.

What surprised me was just how politicized weather.com is (and Business Insider, for that matter, being that it is aimed at business people). So I submitted a comment on the weather.com feedback page:

Your ridiculous article about President Trump calling for “global warming” was 100% political attack on the president and zero percent science. The president was obviously, plainly joking about having “more global warming” and your decision to treat his joke as something serious worthy of real analysis is either stupid or political activism by your website. I am guessing your article is political activism, because it criticizes the president as if his joke was meant to be serious. I object to weather.com politicizing the weather. I also object to weather.com relying on the opinion of politicized climate activists posing as academics, and then failing to obtain a balanced or opposing view from actual scientists who dispute human-caused climate. You are promoting a religious view, not a scientific view. At the very least human caused “climate change” is a nascent scientific subject to review and debate. Presenting it as settled is a subjective choice weather.com makes and thus, your credibility is damaged. Please leave politics out of your weather reporting. It certainly alienates me from wanting to use your web page or service.

And then I went further into weather.com and discovered entire sections of the website devoted to climate change fraud, and slickly packaged.

Why is it fraud? Because their assertion of human-caused climate change rests almost entirely on the provably false notion that “all scientists agree” that climate science is “settled.”

A) There is no such thing as climate science, and what science there is about climate change is all over the place. Real science is hardly ever “settled,” and it becomes settled then only after a long, robust and transparent debate. This kind of debate has not happened with climate change, because a great deal of it being politicized (“everyone says this is settled, so shut up”).

B) Scientists who have studied weather, climate, forestry, ecology, meteorology etc have come down all over the place. There is no universal agreement among scientists. Asserting there is universal agreement is like politics or religion. Leap of faith, or leap of belief in political outcomes.

So, add weather.com to the long list of political actors masquerading as scientists and humble service providers.

Duly noted!

Politics over weather science:

Hurricane Harvey: Land Use, Not Climate Change

If there has been one big lesson from the sad devastation in the Texas Gulf, it is that poorly planned and poorly implemented land use more than anything is responsible for the catastrophic results.

“Climate change” may be a political science exercise more than a science exercise, but there is no debate about the actual facts on the ground in the Texas Gulf communities like Houston: Residential developments built downstream from watersheds are in the path of a watery bullet or bulldozer. And to think that undisturbed, those watersheds perform highly valued ecosystem services, for free, that no amount of channelizing, dyking, levies etc can come close to reproducing.

For two hundred years America has described any kind of residential and commercial development anywhere as “economic development,” and therefore desirable. And yet, here we have a classic example that some places should not have development. Unless the buildings there can withstand serious flooding. Even then the costs far outweigh the benefits.

I feel terrible for the flooding victims in Houston. Our own home in Harrisburg was built in 1939, in the flood zone along the Susquehanna River. It is a foolish place to build a house, and in 2011 our home had nearly six feet of water in the basement. It is a traumatic, disruptive experience.

To the extent they can help, state and the national governments should try to figure out how to buy out development rights in areas subject to floods, wildfires, and other natural disasters. That is a concrete response to a demonstrated problem. This would be the actual function of government, versus a lot of the silly peripheral “social” functions slowly accreted by government over the past decades.

And this is one of my objections to alleged human-caused “climate change.” It reduces our focus on actual, tangible environmental issues like land use, which we can actually fix.

Amidst Obama’s Scorched Earth Exit, Trump Dept. of Interior Pick a Huge Bright Spot

As one might expect of a spoiled, petulant, over-indulged man-child, Barack Hussein Obama is not following traditional presidential transitions.

Instead of spending his time talking about the greatness of America, its promise, its successes, its opportunity, and peacefully transferring power to his successor, Obama has gone on a wild spree of destruction and mayhem across America and in the international community.  Aided and abetted by the mainstream media, which share his anti-Western Civilization agenda, Obama has not been held accountable.

“Monkey-wrenching” might be the right term for this bizarre display of poor-loser behavior.

Dozens of useless but expensive new regulations with no basis in reason or science are being rammed through the executive branch. Same for executive orders. Nearly a thousand violent federal prisoners are being released, having obtained clemency from Obama; these scary men will surely bring unlimited suffering and horrors to American citizens over the next couple years. Like the Guantanamo Bay jihadists released by Obama for the AWOL traitor Bo Bergdahl.

Internationally, Obama has abandoned Ukraine to Russia, Iraq to Iran, Syria to Russia and ISIS, and Israel to its insane neighbors plus all of the anti-Jewish bigots around the world. Failing to veto a bizarre attack on the Jewish state at the useless United Nations last week, the Obama administration left the tiny island of democracy to its own devices while empowering the most radical, evil, violent anti-Western foes attacking Israel today, and America tomorrow.

This destructive scorched earth retreat from a failed eight years is the best that Obama can do. It just highlights his hatred for Western Civilization, Christianity, Jews, hard working normal American tax-paying citizens, goodness.

But you know what? Donald Trump is giving us hope every day for all of the great and positive things his administration will begin doing in three weeks.

My favorite two choices by the incoming Trump Administration are the selection of outsiders at EPA and the Department of Interior.

At EPA, Scott Pruitt is the right guy to take the fight over fake “climate change” directly to the religious fanatics promoting it.

I know EPA well.

It is where I started my career after graduate school at Vanderbilt University, and where I spent exactly seven years vainly trying to figure out liberalism and bureaucratic obstructionism. Oh I did some amazing jobs at EPA, and I had a big impact. But I grew tired of the liberal culture there among the staff. I grew tired of policy battles initiated by unaccountable bureaucrats at war with capitalism (yes, this is a straight up true fact from my own amazing experiences at EPA).

For me, changing EPA’s name to Department of Environmental Health would signal the correct staff culture change and professional alignment. “EPA” connotes a certain outsider status and identity, which suits radicals and gives cover to bomb-throwers in the taxpayer-funded ranks.

At Interior, Congressman Ryan Zinke is a perfect fit, and actually pretty inspiring from what I have read about him.

Zinke is a former Navy SEAL. Need anyone say more….a selfless, patriotic hero, basically. Thumbs up.

But Zinke is also a conservative conservationist, a rarity in my experience.

He’s a hunter. Thumbs up.

Way too many Republicans and conservatives actually oppose environmental protection and wildlife conservation, because in a certain simplistic view, these things get in the way of unbridled, maximal development. And if a bunch of Marxist econuts say one thing, then the truth must automatically be the exact opposite (not…why do conservatives always allow the Left to define the green battlefield?).

It is embarrassing, no, make that humiliating, to hear some Republicans slavering over the opportunity to liquidate public lands. This is proof that the Left does not have a total lock on policy insanity.

America’s public lands are a beautiful treasure, a dowry, a gold mine of recreational opportunity and personal exploration, a huge temple in which to worship God from desolate mountain tops to silent, tranquil remote valleys. I am blessed to have been able to really explore many, many national and state parks and forests from Maine to California over my 52 years, and God willing, I have plans for a lot more exploration of new places across America the Beautiful.

Camping, hiking, fishing, trapping, hunting in far-flung wilderness places are all favorite activities for me and for tens of millions of other Americans.

Being from Montana, Zinke innately understands the personal connection  healthy-minded Americans have to their scenic public lands.

Yes, it is true that public lands are a big government footprint in some places. But they are also one of the very few things that government seems to be able to do pretty well. Though I would suggest eliminating the Bureau of Land Management, as its original charter has long since expired and its staff culture sucks. And I would also look into creative ways to resolve some of the longstanding conflicts over natural resource management and extractive activities on public lands. And multiple use policies require some fine tuning. Like allowing hunting and trapping in the remote areas of most national parks.

I speak from experience here, too, having directly worked with the National Park Service, US Forest Service, and staff from other federal resource agencies.

Not all of these challenges, or problems (yes, they are problems when they threaten to destroy entire pristine watersheds) require an either-or decision or black-and-white policy view. A lot of nuance can be brought to bear. Zinke seems like the guy to do that, which is incredibly refreshing.

See? The clean fresh breeze is blowing out the stench already. Despite the evil darkness of the Obama years, the penetrating shining light of the incoming leaders lightens and cheers my heart, gives me hope from the change.

Zinke and Pruitt cannot be confirmed soon enough.

Let’s make America great again.

In Harrisburg as in Washington, NYC, extremists parade as mainstream

This past weekend saw various political marches around the US.  Washington, DC, New York City, and elsewhere, largely groups of openly avowed communists, socialists, anti-capitalism activists, and other fringe extremists.

Claims of “Climate change” unified them.

If you had any questions about human-caused “climate change,” these marches should answer them. It is an utterly politicized, polarized issue from which science is having a tough time extracting itself. To these extremists, anything that happens on any given day anywhere in the world is evidence of their cause.

Blue skies in September? Climate change!

Rainy skies in September? Climate change!

Cold or hot weather in September, each is “evidence” of human-caused climate change.

Undoubtedly humans are having an impact on our planet, including the cell phone using and car driving socialists who advocate that the rest of us give up our cell phones and cars.

The question is how we can be dispassionate and calculating about identifying these impacts, and then fixing them in a way that does not require everyone to become a communist, wear a grass skirt, and live in a driftwood hut eating whole grains and dried fruit.

Similarly, here in Harrisburg we have another political group that takes the opposite approach to the socialists and communists.  Instead of openly avowing socialism and anti-capitalism, “Harrisburg Hope” misrepresents itself as a non-partisan, objective, aloof, dispassionate gathering for all interested political interests.

Of course that is not the truth about Harrisburg Hope, as the group has been deeply involved in the most partisan campaigns and was used as a vehicle to help Harrisburg’s present mayor get elected.  When other mayoral candidates wanted equal opportunity at Harrisburg Hope forums, they were denied.  Other political events hosted by Harrisburg Hope have been gaggingly partisan and faux civil rights.

Clearly Harrisburg Hope is a bare-knuckle political machine, designed to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Everywhere you turn, the Left has some organization designed to misrepresent itself in the interest of not alarming citizens about its true, radical, extreme goals.

The question a lot of people have is, Will the conservative movement fight back?

Forget sexy issues like “climate change,” let’s solve real environmental threats

By Josh First

Pennsylvania’s forests are suffering from a one-two punch-out by both invasive bugs and pathogens that kill our native and very valuable trees, and then by a following host of invasive vines, shrubs, trees, and other plants that are filling the void left after the big natives are gone.

Today yet another bulletin arrived from PSU plant pathology / forestry researchers, noting that ‘sudden-oak-death disease’ was detected on a shipment of rhododendron from Oregon.

Oregon got it from Asia.

Pennsylvania’s forests are becoming full of non-native, invasive plants, bugs, and pathogens. Each of our valuable tree species now has its own specific attackers. God knows what our native forests will look like in ten years.

The Asian emerald ash borer is literally making ash trees go extinct as a species. I see whole stands of forest, hundreds of acres, where not one ash tree is healthy. Dutch Elm disease killed off most of our elms in the 1980s. An Asian fungus killed off the once incredible and mighty American chestnut tree. Forget pathogens and bugs, because lots of aggressive, fast-growing invasive plants are taking up room on the forest floor, pushing out and overwhelming needed native plants. Few if any animals eat the invasives, which are often toxic and low value.

Human-caused climate change?  It is a sexy political issue, and it is highly debatable. But forest destruction from non-native invasives is a real, tangible, non-debatable, non-politicized issue we need to address immediately. So many people and wild animals depend upon our native forests, that without them, our rural economies could dramatically fall and our wildlife could disappear.

Forester Scott Cary had this to say, tongue somewhat in cheek: “With the 1000 cankers disease in Walnut now in southeast Pennsylvania, that area is quarantined…maybe we shouldn’t be so hard on black birch and red maple [low-value native species long observed to be acting like aggressive, non-native invasives, and therefore harvested aggressively by responsible forest managers], that may be all we have left to choose from. Of course, Asian long-horned beetle may get the maple, so that leaves us black birch, the tree of the future.”

That is a sad place to be, folks.  And to think that so much money is wasted selling the phony issue of human-caused climate change, while real environmental disasters are actually happening…it shows you just how dedicated the environmental Left is to political dominance, not useful solutions to environmental problems.