California Energy Policies are Fueling the Housing Crisis and Homelessness

By Ronald Stein – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Founder and Ambassador for Energy & Infrastructure of PTS Advance, headquartered in Irvine, California

California’s green crusade direction and actions are increasing the costs of electricity and fuels which guarantees growth of the homeless, poverty, and welfare populations, and further fuels (no pun intended) the housing affordability crisis.

It’s scary that our leaders can’t “see” that the regressive energy policies have serious consequences for working families. Their misguided directives are intertwined with every aspect of daily life and is causing the continuous growth of poverty and homelessness from the Oregon state line on the north all the way to the Mexican border on the south.

California professes to be the leader of everything, but spouting voracious pride of being the only state in America that imports most of its crude oil energy from foreign countries, and the State that and imports more electricity than any other state, may not be in the best interest of California’s 5th largest economy in the world. Its fine to import when you get bargain rates, but both oil and electricity, are two commodities that are ultra-expensive to import and drives up the cost of everything.

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Explaining the Discrepancies Between Hausfather et al. (2019) and Lewis&Curry (2018)

[This is a technical analysis of climate models vs observations by an econometrician who helped show that Michael Mann’s “Hockey Stick” was false.  –Bob]

By Ross McKitrick – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Challenging the claim that a large set of climate model runs published since 1970’s are consistent with observations for the right reasons.

Introduction

Zeke Hausfather et al. (2019) (herein ZH19) examined a large set of climate model runs published since the 1970s and claimed they were consistent with observations, once errors in the emission projections are considered. It is an interesting and valuable paper and has received a lot of press attention. In this post, I will explain what the authors did and then discuss a couple of issues arising, beginning with IPCC over-estimation of CO2 emissions, a literature to which Hausfather et al. make a striking contribution. I will then present a critique of some aspects of their regression analyses. I find that they have not specified their main regression correctly, and this undermines some of their conclusions. Using a more valid regression model helps explain why their findings aren’t inconsistent with Lewis and Curry (2018) which did show models to be inconsistent with observations.

Outline of the ZH19 Analysis:

A climate model projection can be factored into two parts: the implied (transient) climate sensitivity (to increased forcing) over the projection period and the projected increase in forcing. The first derives from the model’s Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (ECS) and the ocean heat uptake rate. It will be approximately equal to the model’s transient climate response (TCR), although the discussion in ZH19 is for a shorter period than the 70 years used for TCR computation. The second comes from a submodel that takes annual GHG emissions and other anthropogenic factors as inputs, generates implied CO2 and other GHG concentrations, then converts them into forcings, expressed in Watts per square meter. The emission forecasts are based on socioeconomic projections and are therefore external to the climate model.

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2019 Indian Monsoon — Blessing or Curse?

By Kip Hansen  – Re-Blogged From WUWT

In India, the monsoons that bring the rains are not just weather or climate phenomena — they are  mystical and mythical entities —  entwined into the national character and the annual cycle of life.

Now that the 2019 Southwest Monsoon is officially over, it is reported to have delivered 110% of the long-term average amount of rain to this mostly dry sub-continent.  It was just months ago that the international press was touting stories about water problems in Chennai.    You may be more familiar with the previous name of the city, Madras.  The NY Times covered the story and threw in a line: “And then there’s climate change. It doesn’t bear direct blame for Chennai’s water crisis, but it makes it worse“

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Climate Change Destroyed Assyrian Empire… without fossil fuels!

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Megadrought Helped Topple the Assyrian Empire
Paleoclimate records shed light on the ancient civilization’s meteoric rise and catastrophic collapse.

By Mary Caperton Morton 15 January 2020

Around 2,700 years ago in what is now northern Iraq, the Assyrian Empire was at its zenith, dominating the cultural and political landscape of the Fertile Crescent. But within a few years, the empire collapsed, leaving the once thriving capital of Nineveh abandoned for nearly 200 years. The cause of this catastrophe is an enduring mystery, but a climate record preserved in a cave formation now is revealing that the timing of the empire’s rise and fall coincided with a wet period followed by a 125-year-long megadrought.

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #396

The Week That Was: January 25, 2020, Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them.” – George Orwell

Number of the Week: 50 Million Gallons of drinking water per day at a cost of 0.5 cents per gallon.

The Gathering – Davos: Generally, TWTW ignores political speeches because, regardless of political faction, today, they are usually a collection of sound bites having little meaning. They lack the careful logical reasoning of the speeches by Abraham Lincoln. This week, an exception occurred at the meeting of World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Perhaps Walter Russell Mead writing in the Wall Street Journal summarized the Davos meeting best:

“There is something inescapably ridiculous about a gathering this self-important; certainly Marie Antoinette and her friends dressing up as shepherdesses to celebrate the simple life has nothing on the more than 100 billionaires descending, often by private jet, on an exclusive Swiss ski resort for four days of ostentatious hand-wringing about the problems of the poor and the dangers of climate change.”

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Which Data to Believe

Re-Blogged From WUWT

Today, at the big 100 year anniversary shindig of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) there was a press release session that featured NOAA and NASA GISS talking about how their climate data says that the world in 2019 was the second warmest ever.

Here is their slideshow presentation, released today: https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/briefings/20200115.pdf

In my opinion, the NOAA/NASA press release (and slideshow) is inconsistently presented. For example, they can’t even agree on a common base period for comparisons. Some graphs use 1951-1980 while others compare to 1981-2010 averages to create anomaly plots. NOAA and NASA owe it to the public to present climate data with a consistent climate period for comparison, otherwise it’s just sloppy science. NASA GISS has consistently resisted updating the 1951-1980 NASA GISS baseline period to the one NOAA and other datasets use, which is 1981-2010. GISS stubbornly refuses to change even though they have been repeatedly excoriated for keeping it.

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No Meat for You!

By Jim Steele – Re-Blogged From WUWT

hat’s Natural?

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced NYC’s New Green Deal and his plan “to save our earth”. He stated NYC will reduce beef purchases by 50% and phase out ALL purchases of processed meat by 2030. It’s not clear how he defines processed meats, but the World Health Organization defines it as “meat that has been transformed through salting, curing, fermentation, smoking, or other processes to enhance flavor or improve preservation.”

Processed meats evolved before the era of modern refrigeration for good reason. Salting, curing, fermenting, and smoking meat increased the shelf-life of a limited food supply and thus increased human survival. But now processed meats are demonized. Certainly, some chemical additives are unhealthy, but demonizing all processed meats is just wrong. With good labeling people can freely choose what foods they trust.

Figure 1. Africa’s Serengeti with Abundant Meat on the Hoof

Figure 1. Africa’s Serengeti with Abundant Meat on the Hoof

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Merchants of Thirst

By Kip Hansen – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Water tankers ply the city streets bringing essential supplies of fresh potable water to thirsty neighborhoods.

“For city authorities that are already struggling to maintain the current supply as climate change strikes, let alone source additional water, tankers can seem like a safety net they feel powerless to resist.’’

So Peter Schwartzstein writes in a feature piece in the New York Times titled “The Merchants of Thirst” in the 11 January 2020 online edition.

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Gold-Miner Valuations

By Adam Hamilton – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

The gold miners’ stocks have spent the past half-year mired in a high consolidation.  They haven’t been able to break out, but aren’t breaking down either.  This technical purgatory is working to slowly bleed off overboughtness and rebalance sentiment.  This necessary process to eradicate greed from the last upleg peak is never exciting.  But today’s low gold-miner valuations reveal great upside potential in their next upleg.

The world’s leading and dominant gold-stock trading vehicle and benchmark is the GDX VanEck Vectors Gold Miners exchange-traded fund.  It commanded $13.2b in net assets in the middle of this week, 2.7x larger than its next-biggest competitor GDXJ.  The major gold miners’ stocks included in GDX soared this past summer, blasting higher after gold’s decisive breakout to its bull market’s first new highs in several years.

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3 Upside And 1 Downside Risk For Gold

By Arkadiusz Sieroń – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Our base scenario for 2020 is that it might be a worse year for gold than 2019 was. However, there are three major upside (and one downside) risks for the gold market, which could materialize in 2020. Today’s article will introduce you to these potential catalysts that could send gold prices higher (or significantly lower) in 2020.

We stated earlier that unless something bad happens, 2020 may be worse for the yellow metal than 2019, as gold fundamentals seem to have deteriorated since the last year. Of course, bad things are happening all the time, but do not result in any possible negative developments. Rather, we have in mind three downside risks to our macroeconomic outlook, or three upside risks for gold. What are they?

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Irrational Fears Of Deflation

The benefits of a deflation of prices brought about by a combination of sound money and markets free from government intervention have been demonstrated to be the best economic environment, the denial of which in favour of inflationary financing has led to repeated monetary and systemic failures.

This article explains how this has come about and puts the record on deflation straight. The development of macroeconomic theory had to deny the benefits of a deflation of prices, unbelievably telling us we need higher prices to stimulate our consumption.

Deflation and investment funded by savings is a far better, natural economic environment than the false gods of easy debt and money printing. There can be no return to the stability of gentle price deflation without seismic shifts in economic thinking and government responsibilities.

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Fireside Chat With Dennis Prager #118

More than a third of millennials now approve of communism. Dennis Prager discusses why this disturbing fact is a result of the poor education system. Students today are not taught to understand the evils of communism and why it is a dangerous ideology.

Please watch the VIDEO.

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Trump Administration Approves Controversial Keystone XL Pipeline

Associated Pres – Re-Blogged From Headline Wealth

The Trump administration on Wednesday approved a right-of-way allowing the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline to be built across U.S. land, pushing the controversial $8 billion project closer to construction though court challenges still loom.

The approval signed by Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and obtained by The Associated Press covers 46 miles (74 kilometers) of the pipeline’s route across land in Montana that’s controlled by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said Casey Hammond, assistant secretary of the Interior Department.

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Breaking the Bank for Climate Emergencies

Re-Blogged From WUWT

Progressives and climate alarmists have proposed various plans to lower CO2 emissions. These plans are ineffective to lower emissions and associated increases in global warming, are prohibitively expensive and limit individual energy choices while making energy more expensive. In the 1950s, Dutch dam-builders turned fossil fuel energy into protection from Mother Nature at a fraction of the cost of today’s green proposals.

The EU’s declaration of a climate emergency takes resources away from real emergencies and stifles evaluation of practical, cost-effective alternatives that can shelter people from the potential impact of climate change.  Emergencies provide an opportunity for a power grab to advance a collectivist aim:

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #395

The Week That Was: January 18, 2020, Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: The day we see the truth and cease to speak is the day we begin to die.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

Number of the Week: +/- 0.003⁰C

The Greenhouse Effect – Different Results: It appears that no one involved in climate change issues disagrees with the concept that the greenhouse effect occurs in the atmosphere. A major issue is how to best calculate it. The key component is estimating: How much humans are changing the greenhouse effect by adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere?

As readers realize, TWTW considers the finest comprehensive temperature dataset is that from the Earth System Science Center of the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). The world-wide temperature average, after all, requires data from the entire earth, not just samples scattered around from place to place on land, and even more sparsely in the oceans. Moreover, after issues with orbits were discovered, UAH now has one satellite that is rigorously kept at constant altitude to serve as a standard for the others.

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Why the U.S. Postal Service Keeps Losing Money Year After Year

Craig Eyermann, Independent Institute – Re-Blogged From Headline Wealth

The government-run U.S. Postal Service began in 2020 with a dubious track record. It has lost money in each of the past 13 years.

In 2019, USPS made $514 million more in revenue than it did in its previous fiscal year, thanks to increases in postage rates and its package delivery business. But the agency also recorded a net loss of $8.8 billion, with 80 percent of that loss attributable to employees’ health-care benefits after retirement.

Losses stemming from retirement-benefits have occurred annually since 2006 when the U.S. Congress passed a law requiring the Postal Service to pre-fund the cost of providing its retiree health benefits, similar to how many businesses in the private sector are required to do.

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Mortgage Rates Fall to 3-month Lows

By Associated Pres – Re-Blogged From Headline Wealth

U.S. long-term mortgage rates fell this week to their lowest level in three months, deepening the incentive for prospective homebuyers although they face eroded affordability as prices continue to climb.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage declined to 3.60% from 3.65% last week. The benchmark rate stood at 4.45% a year ago.

The average rate on a 15-year mortgage eased to 3.04% from 3.09% last week.

Mortgage rates have shown stability in recent months, buoyed by positive economic data, a strong job market and improved sentiment in the housing market.

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NOT-Predictions For 2020

In the red corner, unpayable debt threatens to crush the US economy, stock and bond markets, and main street Americans.

In the green corner, the levitating power of the Fed might save the economy, stock and bond markets, and Wall Street Banks.

Red or green? Who wins?

Breaking news: Apple stock closed over $315. The S&P 500 Index closed over 3,300 in January. Liquidity rules, for now…

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Stocks Rise As Zombie Companies Proliferate

By Michael Pento – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

Share prices on the major US exchanges are hitting all-time highs at the same time that both the number and percentage of companies that do not make any money at all are rising.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the percentage of publicly-traded companies in the U.S. that have lost money over the past 12 months has jumped close to 40% of all listed corporations–its highest level since the NASDAQ bubble and outside of post-recession periods.

In fact, 74% of Initial Public Offerings in 2019 didn’t make any money as opposed to just 25% in 1990—matching the total of money-losing ventures that IPOED at the height of the 2000 Dotcom mania. The percentage of all listed companies that have lost money for the past three years in a row has surged close to 30%; this compares with just over 10% for the trailing three years in the late 1990s.

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Scientists Discover Immune Cell That Kills Most Cancers

By Kristin Houser – Re-Blogged From Futurism

“Previously nobody believed this could be possible.”

A newly discovered immune cell could lead to the creation of a universal cancer treatment — a “Holy Grail” treatment that would work for all cancers, in all people.

The treatment leverages T-cells, a type of white blood cell that helps our bodies’ immune systems by scanning for and killing abnormal cells. For background, scientists have recently started harnessing that ability in the fight against cancer through a therapy called CAR-T, which involves removing T-cells from a patient’s blood and genetically engineering them to seek out and destroy cancer cells.

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Rolls-Royce Is Building Tiny Nuclear Reactors

Lil Nuke

Rolls-Royce doesn’t just manufacture luxurious cars — it’s also involved in futuristic projects ranging from electric planes to laser weapon systems.

Now, the company is eyeing two sites for tiny nuclear power stations it calls “small modular reactors,” Popular Mechanics reports, in Wales and northern England — a program the UK government committed to funding in July 2019.

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Mysterious, Deadly Chinese Virus Officially Reaches the US

By Dan Robitzski – Re-Blogged From Futurism
This is bad. Officials just confirmed the first case in North America.

The deadly coronavirus that’s infected hundreds, and killed at least six in China, has officially made its way to the continental United States.

Authorities have now confirmed a case of 2019-nCoV, a mysterious virus that causes flu-like symptoms, in Washington State, according to The New York Times. While there are already cases in Japan, Thailand, and South Korea, the fact that the virus has now crossed into North America is bad news for the global effort to prevent a pandemic.

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Protester Killed as Iraq Police Struggle to Stem Unrest

Iraqi police fought running street battles with anti-government demonstrators on Tuesday, firing tear and rubber bullets to try to disperse stone-throwing youths pressing for an overhaul of a political system they see as deeply corrupt.

One protester was killed in Baghdad while another succumbed to a bullet wound sustained on Monday in Baquba city, medical sources said, adding at least 50 demonstrators were wounded.

Alaa al-Marjani/Reuters

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #394

The Week That Was: January 11, 2020, Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “The only thing more dangerous than ignorance is arrogance.” – Albert Einstein

Number of the Week: 79% up 16% in two years

Green Arrogance: Regardless of the political system, or ideology, arrogance can lead to destructive actions contrary to the interests of the public. History produces many examples, including major wars. We are seeing examples of arrogance in so called “green” laws and regulations which are actually contrary to nature. Humans can modify and use nature for their benefit but cannot regulate it. Unfortunately, politicians frequently ignore limits of power when passing sweeping laws and regulations. This week, three examples of arrogance, or hubris, are evident: 1) bushfires in Australia; 2) closing the Crescent Dunes power plant in Nevada; and 3) the continuation of a 2.5 gigawatt (GW) off-shore wind project off the coast of Virginia Beach ordered by the governor of Virginia.

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The Only ‘Bubble’ That Counts

By Michael Ballanger – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

Ever since Sept. 19, 2008, when Hammerin’ Hank Paulson appeared in front of the U.S. Congress on bended knee and begged those clueless politicians for a bailout—which he did successfully—the spread of moral hazard throughout the world has been a contagion that makes the Bubonic plague appear as harmless as the common cold.

That was, in fact, the day that shall go down in fiscal infamy as a most dangerous precedent was etched into the fabric and soul of the U.S. financial system. Not only did it set the behavioral course for the banker-politico alliance, it laid out as an insidious blueprint the operation manual for treasury departments and central banks around the world, the result being where we are today, a global economy teetering on an Mount Everest of debt with no solution on any horizon.

Stock Market More Overpriced And Perilous Than Anytime In History

By David Haggith – Re-Blogged From Silver Phoenix

I’m not going to predict when and how the US stock market will crash as I did by laying out the stages of its fall for 2018. That was easy, but the times are different now.

Back then, the Fed had laid out a precise schedule for its tightening, and it was apparent to me where the big increases in Fed tightening would be sufficient to bring down the market that the Fed had artificially rigged.

Today, the Fed is back to easing — back to doing what it does to juice markets up. And the correspondence between what central banks do with their balance sheets and what the stock markets do is now almost 100%.

Trump Is Completely Remaking A Law Enviros Often Use To Stymie Oil Pipeline Construction

Re-Blogged From The Daily Caller

Daily Caller News Foundation logo

Chris White Tech Reporter

President Donald Trump announced Thursday his plans to dramatically change an environmental law activist groups and their attorneys often use to wrap oil projects in years of bureaucratic red tape.

Trump plans to exempt privately funded projects from undergoing environmental reviews, a significant change that would make building mines and pipelines much easier, The Washington Post reported. Energy producers are cheering the move.

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Carbon Sequestration

By Rud Istvan – Re-Blogged From WUWT

As most WUWT readers know, the issue of carbon sequestration is an important but largely IPCC undiscussed ‘anthropogenic global warming’ question. I got to thinking about it again as a result of the Australian brush fires that are dramatically releasing sequestered brush carbon. And it has been years since the topic was discussed in any depth here at WUWT, insofar as I know.

A cautionary note to WUWT readers. This guest post is a high level review, rather than a typically detailed and highly referenced analytic post on some paper. It is intended mainly to guide your own further research into a fairly complex subject by providing basic concepts and keywords.

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How To End White Privilege

Brandon Tatum

Brandon Tatum doesn’t forgive you for your white privilege. How can he forgive you for something that doesn’t even exist? So, where did the notion of white privilege come from? Who does it benefit? And who does it hurt? The answers might surprise you.

Please view the VIDEO

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ICE Ups Ante in Standoff w/ NYC

Re-Blogged From Liberty Headlines

‘This city’s sanctuary policies…are the sole reason this criminal was allowed to roam the streets…’

Federal authorities are turning to a new tactic in the escalating conflict over New York City’s sanctuary policies, issuing four “immigration subpoenas” to the city for information about inmates wanted for deportation.

“This is not a request — it’s a demand,” Henry Lucero, a senior U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement official, told The Associated Press. “This is a last resort for us. Dangerous criminals are being released every single day in New York.”

ICE Ups Ante in Standoff w/ NYC: 'This is Not a Request'

Matthew Albence, right/AP Photo

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US Set Record for Energy Consumption in 2018

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Every now and then, Real Clear Energy carries a story relevant to energy…

DECEMBER 23, 2019
In 2018, the United States consumed more energy than ever before

Primary energy consumption in the United States reached a record high of 101.3 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) in 2018, up 4% from 2017 and 0.3% above the previous record set in 2007. The increase in 2018 was the largest increase in energy consumption, in both absolute and percentage terms, since 2010.

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Rutan, Lovelock & Branson

By David Archibald – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Burt Rutan is one of the most interesting men on the planet. He has designed 46 aircraft, six of which are included in the collection of the National Air and Space Museum at Dulles Airport. One of his designs, Voyager, was the first to fly nonstop around the world on one tank of fuel. That was in 1986.

He started his career as a flight test engineer in 1965 and has spent 55 years doing data analysis/interpretation/presentation. In Burt Rutan’s experience of engineering data is critical and there are consequences for being wrong – witness the 346 people who died in 2019 in crashes of the Boeing 737 Max 8.

Burt Rutan also has an inquiring mind and is an early adopter of new technologies, particularly environmentally friendly ones. He built his own solar hot water heater in the 1970s:

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Agencies Seized Retiree’s Life Savings Because He Carried It in Cash

U.S. Supreme Court Takes up Presidential Electoral College Dispute

As the 2020 race heats up, the Supreme Court agreed on Friday to hear a dispute involving the complex U.S. presidential election system focusing on whether Electoral College electors are free to break their pledges to back the candidate who wins their state’s popular vote, an act that could upend an election.

The Supreme Court will take up appeals in two cases – from Washington state and Colorado – involving electors who decided to vote in the Electoral College process for someone other than Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016 even though she won the popular vote in their states.

Rick Wilking/Reuters

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Scientists Create “Strange Metal” Packed With Entangled Electrons

By Kristin Houser – Re-Blogged From Futurism

This could be the key to creating quantum technologies.

An international team of researchers has created what’s called a “strange metal” — and they say it could help harness the potential of the quantum world in a practical way.

Specifically, the metal provides evidence for the quantum entanglement nature of quantum criticality. But that’s a lot to unpack, so let’s start with something most of us probably learned about in elementary school: phase transitions.

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Drying The Sky

By Willis Eschenbach – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Eleven years ago I published a post here on Watts Up With That entitled “The Thermostat Hypothesis“. About a year after the post, the journal Energy and Environment published my rewrite of the post entitled “THE THUNDERSTORM THERMOSTAT HYPOTHESIS: HOW CLOUDS AND THUNDERSTORMS CONTROL THE EARTH’S TEMPERATURE“.

When I started studying the climate, what I found surprising was not the warming. For me, the oddity was how stable the temperature of the earth has been. The system is ruled by nothing more substantial than wind, wave, and cloud. All of these are changing on both long and short time cycles all of the time. In addition, the surface temperature is running some thirty degrees C or more warmer than would be expected given the strength of the sun.

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False Humility Will Not Save the Planet

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From WUWT

When I first saw this headline, I thought I was going to have fun ridiculing it… But once I started reading it, I realized that it was a polite version of the classic George Carlin routine

Published on January 2, 2020
False Humility Will Not Save the Planet
written by Maarten Boudry

At the root of our climate problem, writes Pope Francis in his ecological encyclical Laudato Si, lies our human pride and arrogance: “The misuse of creation begins when we no longer recognize any higher instance than ourselves, when we see nothing else but ourselves.” Coming from a Catholic Pope, such sentiments are hardly surprising. For centuries, Christians thinkers have railed against pride as the first and worst among the seven deadly sins. But Francis is far from alone in his view. Many climate activists today, even though they don’t necessarily believe in a personal deity, share Francis’ diagnosis of our environmental worries. They too believe that our climate crisis is the result of human overreach and arrogance, of overstepping natural boundaries. Indeed, this secular environmentalist worldview comes with its own account of the fall of man from an original state of harmony with Nature. Once upon a time, humans lived as an animal alongside other animals, keenly aware of our proper place within a larger ecosystem. We enjoyed nature’s bountiful resources, but we were respectful of her limits. But then along came the scientific revolution and, soon after that, the industrial revolution. By unravelling Nature’s mysteries we gained mastery over her, and we began to treat her as an object to be mercilessly exploited. We turned, as a species, into planetary plunderers.

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Why Is Bank Credit So Destructive?

“Because your question searches for deep meaning, I shall explain in simple words.”

– Dante, Inferno

Periodic economic destruction by bank credit is not new. It has been a problem for millennia. The basis of it, the ownership of bank deposits which should be safely held as assets in custody and not taken into ownership by the banks, goes back even to ancient Greece.

The Romans ruled that the practice was fraudulent in the third century, and empirical evidence ever since has shown that banks taking into their ownership depositors’ assets usually end up in crisis both for themselves and their borrowing customers.

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Trade Deal No Panacea for Rocky U.S. Relations With China

By Reuters – Re-Blogged From IJR

From Huawei to the South China Sea, deep political rifts between Beijing and Washington are set to persist, despite a trade relations breakthrough, as the United States pushes back against an increasingly powerful and assertive China.

Relations between the world’s two largest economies have deteriorated sharply since U.S. President Donald Trump imposed punitive trade tariffs in 2018, igniting a trade war.

“The broader, darkening picture is not going to be brightened much by this deal,” Bates Gill, an expert on Chinese security policy at Macquarie University in Sydney, said of the initial trade deal signed on Wednesday.

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A Textbook Case of Inflation for College Students

By Megan Zogby – Re-Blogged From Headline Wealth

As college textbook prices have increased 88 percent since 2006, education reformers wonder how universities can make books more affordable. One simple thing they could do is to stop selling textbooks with absurdly high mark-ups, the difference between the cost incurred by the bookstore for textbooks and the price at which they’re sold. While some progress has been made within the UNC system, much room for improvement remains.

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, for example, signed a contract with Barnes and Noble in 2009 to merge its university bookstore with Barnes and Noble. That conjunction promised students lower book prices, bringing down the mark-up from 23 percent to 18 percent. However, merging the bookstore has meant that students still pay higher prices than they would if they bought books from an online competitor or the book publisher. The rationale for the merger may have been affordability, but textbooks remain expensive for students who trust UNC-Charlotte’s bookstore to offer the best price.

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Reform USAID Energy Aid Policies Now!

By Paul Driessen & David Wojick – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Apparently unable to grasp the cruel irony, USAID Commissioner Mark Green boasts that “electricity enables access to refrigeration to store fish, milk and vaccines. Electricity brightens the night and helps schoolchildren study. Electricity allows businesses to stay open later and makes communities safer.”

Abundant, reliable, affordable electricity absolutely does all of this, as developed countries prove daily. Expensive, intermittent power does none of these things. Unpredictable, on-and-off power cruelly promises refrigeration, heat, light, factories, businesses, jobs, modern schools and hospitals, better living standards, longer and healthier lives – then takes them all away, for hours, days or weeks at a time.

President Trump should direct USAID to support coal and gas, not just wind and solar

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Could EV’s Be Used to “Hack” the 2020 Election?

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From WUWT

This is fracking hilarious…

POWER TRIP
How electric vehicles could be used to hack the 2020 election
By Justin Rohrlich December 11, 2019

When former CIA director James Woolsey said in 2017 that he was “confident the Russians will be back, and that they will take what they have learned last year to attempt to inflict even more damage in future elections,” he was referring primarily to cyberattacks against electronic voting machines and voter registration databases.

That same year, professor J. Alex Halderman of the University of Michigan testified before the US Senate Intelligence Committee that the results of simulated cyberattacks on American voting machines were decidedly bleak.

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Weaker Than Expected Payrolls

By Arkadiusz Sieroń – Re-Blogged From Gold Eagle

The U.S. created 145,000 jobs in December, following an increase of 256,000 in November (after a downward revision), as the chart below shows. The nonfarm payrolls came below expectations, as the analysts forecasted 165,000 new jobs. The gains were widespread, but with a leading role of retail trade (+41,200), leisure and hospitality (+40,000), and education and health services (+36,000). Manufacturing again cut jobs (-12,000), which means that industrial recession has not ended. Mining and transportation and warehousing also dismissed workers.

Chart 1: U.S. nonfarm payrolls (green bars, left axis, change in thousands of persons) and the unemployment rate (red line, right axis, %) from January 2015 to December 2019.

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Bush Bull

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley – Re-Blogged From WUWT

This will be a long posting, because it is necessary to nail the childish myth that global warming caused the bushfires in Australia. The long, severe drought in Australia, culminating in the most extensive bushfires in recent history, ought to have aroused sympathy for the cattle-ranchers who have lost their livestock and the citizens who have lost their homes. But no. Instead, those who profiteer by asserting that global warming is the cause of every extreme-weather event have rushed to state – falsely – that an “overwhelming scientific consensus” (to cite the Greens’ website) blames the incidence, extent, duration and severity of the drought and bushfires on the somewhat warmer weather caused by our having increased the atmospheric CO2 concentration by about 1 part in 10,000 from 0.03% to 0.04% by volume.

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Iran Makes Arrests Over Plane Disaster as Protests Rage on

Iran said on Tuesday it had arrested people accused of a role in shooting down a Ukrainian airliner and had also detained 30 people involved in protests that have swept the nation since the military belatedly admitted its error.

Wednesday’s shooting down of Ukraine International Airlines flight 752, killing all 176 people aboard, has led to one of the biggest public challenges to Iran’s clerical rulers since they took power in the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Protesters demonstrate in Tehran, Iran January 11, 2020 in this picture obtained from social media by Reuters via Reuters

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It has been hotter, fires have burnt larger areas

By Jennifer Marohasy’s blog – Re-Blogged From WUWT

The word unprecedented is applied to almost every bad thing that happens at the moment, as though particular events could not have been predicted, and have never happened before at such a scale or intensity. This is creating so much anxiety, because it follows logically that we are living in uncertain time: that there really is a climate emergency.

The historical evidence, however, indicates fires have burnt very large areas before, and it has been hotter.

 

Jan2003

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MEMGA! Leviathan natural gas field comes online $150M under budget

By David Middleton – Re-Blogged From WUWT

MEMGA! = Making the Eastern Mediterranean Great Again!

It seems like just a few weeks ago that some nitwit was bemoaning the death of the eastern Mediterranean…

Noble Energy’s first gas from Leviathan comes in $150M under budget
HOUSTON – Noble Energy announced the commencement of natural gas production from the Leviathan field, the largest natural gas field in the Eastern Mediterranean.

David L. Stover, Noble Energy’s chairman and CEO, stated, “This is a historic day for Noble Energy. The safe and successful execution of the initial phase of Leviathan development has been world-class, continuing our exceptional track record of major project delivery. First gas is online less than three years from project sanction and capital expenditures were $150 million under budget. Combined with Tamar, our Israel assets provide a differential production profile and cash flow outlook for Noble Energy far into the future.”

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Hijacking Australian 2019 Bushfire Tragedies to Fearmonger Climate Change

By Jim Steele – Re-Blogged From WUWT

As is customary now, whenever tragedy strikes, the internet buzzes with articles blaming climate change. Hijacking the tragic Australia’s bushfires was to be expected. For instance, Microsoft’s MSN website just published “Climate deniers are cooking themselves — and everyone else”. They wrote, “Fires get worse when things are hot, dry, and windy, and climate change has provided all of those conditions in abundance. The continent has warmed by about 2 degrees Fahrenheit (a bit over 1 degree Celsius) since the 1970s, and in keeping with the predictions of climate models, Australia has experienced steadily worse droughts and heat waves over the last 30 years. The current drought may end up being the worst in history — this spring was the driest ever recorded on the continent, and back on December 18 it set a new record for the hottest day ever measured with an average temperature across the entire country of 105.6 degrees.”

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Playing Taps For The Middle Class

It is not at all a mystery as to the cause of the wealth gap that exists between the very rich and the poor. Central bankers are the primary cause of this chasm that is eroding the foundation of the global middle class. The world’s poor are falling deeper into penury and at a faster pace, while the world’s richest are accelerating further ahead. To this point, the 500 wealthiest billionaires on Earth added $1.2 trillion to their fortunes in 2019, boosting their collective net worth by 25%, to $5.9 trillion.

In fact, Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan, made a quarter of a billion dollars in stock-based compensation in 2019. As a reminder, shares of JPM were plunging at the end of 2018; that is before the Fed stepped in with a promise to stop normalizing interest rates. And then, soon after, began cutting them and launching a bank-saving QE 4 program and REPO facility on top of it in order to make sure Mr. Dimon’s stock price would soar. Slashing interest rates hurts savers and retirees that rely on an income stream to exist, just as the Fed’s QE pushes up the prices for the things which the middle class relies on the most to exist (food, energy, clothing, shelter, medical and educational expenses).

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BBC: Blend 20% Hydrogen in Natural Gas to Reduce Home CO2 Emissions

By Eric Worrall – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Last time someone tried to create a Hydrogen economy – the Hindenburg Hydrogen Explosion Disaster – By Gus Pasquerella – http://www.lakehurst.navy.mil/nlweb/images/1213d.gif, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=632191

BBC’s Roger Harrabin and Keele University thinks it would be a great idea to pump vast quantities of hydrogen into people’s homes, to reduce CO2 emissions from gas powered appliances.

Hindenburg Hydrogen Explosion Disaster

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