Environment

Mexican cartels poisoning US national parks through hidden pot growing operations: report

Mexican cartel members – who for years have carried out large scale, hidden pot-growing operations in U.S. national parks in California – are poisoning water and wildlife through the use of illegal pesticides banned by the Environmental Protection Agency, according to a new report published Tuesday. Two Mexican nationals and suspected cartel members were arrested in September during a raid on an illegal marijuana operation hidden beneath the thick tree canopies in California’s Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Authorities found 8,656 growing marijuana plants and 232 pounds of processed marijuana, Monterrey, Calif.’s KQMS reported. About 3,000 pounds of trash, including discarded clothing, propane tanks and spent cans of insecticide, in addition to three miles of plastic irrigation pipes and open bags of fertilizer were also discovered at the site, suggesting the operation had been in use for years, National Public Radio reported. “The true crime here is the fact that they’re killing off basically America’s public lands, killing off the wildlife, killing off our water,” Kevin Mayer, a U.S. Forest Service law enforcement assistant special agent in charge, told NPR. “This is stuff that, you know, it’s not going to repair itself.” Though California’s national parks have been plagued by illegal pot-growing operations in the past, some of which were operated by hippies, the cartel operations are usually larger scale, well organized and use heavy-duty, illegal poisons to more vigilantly protect their cash crop from rodents and insects. Wildlife ecologist Greta Wengert, who was called in to survey the operation after September’s raid, told NPR she discovered gallons of concentrated carbofuran at the site. Carbofuran is banned by the EPA, European Union, Canada and Brazil for all legal purposes. It is produced in the U.S. by Pennsylvania-based FMC Corp and exported to Mexico, India and other nations. “It is incredibly toxic,” Wengert told NPR. “A quarter-teaspoon could kill a 600-pound black bear. So obviously just a tiny amount can kill a human. It remains in an ecosystem for a long period of time.” She said she’s detected these deadly toxins in cannabis plants, native vegetation, water, and infrastructure. Exposure to these chemicals can prove deadly for humans and wildlife alike. A California coalition – made up of environmentalists, law enforcement agents, politicians, wildlife ecologists and members of the legal cannabis industry – have joined forces to clean up the pollution caused by illegal cartel operations, according to NPR.

Wow..   Consider the irony here…  The next time you see someone smoking pot, tell them they’re hurting the environment.  When they go, “huh?”…point them to this article.   🙂

Joe Bastardi: Climate change agenda is being driven by hysteria, not facts

Throughout my 40 year career as a meteorologist, I have tried to live up to the responsibility I inherited from my predecessors. I was taught to strive for objective truth, irrespective of where the data would lead. Science is not a belief system based on feelings or subjective motives. It is about facts, evidence, theories and experimentation in search of a conclusion. The impassioned speech by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., to Congress last week revealed volumes about the intent and commitment of those pushing the Green New Deal. I can’t help but question if their positions are based on facts. Ocasio-Cortez’s statements about adverse climate effects and policy proposals reflect a lack of knowledge about energy policy and the geopolitical and financial impacts of abandoning fossil fuels in a quick and reckless manner. “The world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change,” she said earlier this year – a statement clearly designed to elicit panic but hardly based on fact. In this age of political hysteria, we must all educate ourselves on the facts – the actual science. Unfortunately, there seems to be a total lack of awareness about important issues that scientists like myself – who aren’t paid by research grants – are concerned about. Instead, climate science is being used as a political weapon, and the voices of scientists like me are being ignored or even vilified. I was under the impression that in the United States, all voices and arguments should be heard. Climate science is not settled science. If it was, why would there be a continuous flow of money to research it? For example, is AOC aware that in the fossil fuel era, in spite of a four-fold increase in population, deaths have plummeted? Or that personal GDP and life expectancy – true measurements of progress – have dramatically increased? Or that world prosperity is rising while poverty is falling? And does AOC know that in the geological history of the Earth, there is no apparent direct link between carbon dioxide and temperature? AOC is trying to capture the imagination of young people to exact a specific result – the adoption of policies that cripple our way of life and push us towards socialism. But the charts above are only a few examples of data that should cause us to pause and ask questions about the direction that the Green New Deal wants America to go in. We should also ask why there is such a hurry to get there. For every current event that is used to whip up hysteria, there has been a past event that was even worse, but that people either ignore or are ignorant about in the first place. Extreme weather has always occurred and will inevitably continue. If climate alarmists do not know about the many arguments that question the credibility of their ideas, how is it even possible for their ideas to be seriously considered? Much of what is being proposed in the Green New Deal should not only cause skepticism, but should be considered draconian and even geopolitically dangerous. The migration towards cleaner, alternative energy needs to be done in a methodical, sustainable and intelligent way, otherwise, the consequences could be far worse than anyone can imagine. Perhaps we should pause and consider why none of the global warming models from two decades ago have come to fruition. Perhaps we should slow down and think about the consequences of allowing our adversaries to supply the world with cheap energy, because one thing is for sure – wind farms and solar panels won’t get the job done. The objective reader should examine all sides of the climate debate and should ask himself: Are the consequences of acting hastily worse than not acting at all? I think many are skeptical of rushing forward. We must rein in the political hysteria and fear-mongering that is driving the climate change agenda.

Agreed!!  And well said, Joe.  Joe Bastardi is a pioneer in extreme weather and long-range forecasting and the chief meteorologist at weatherbell.com. He is the author of “The Climate Chronicles: Inconvenient Revelations You Won’t Hear From Al Gore — and Others.”       🙂

Greenpeace co-founder tears into Ocasio-Cortez, Green New Deal: ‘Pompous little twit’

Patrick Moore, the co-founder of the environmentalist group Greenpeace, ripped into New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over the weekend as a “pompous little twit,” saying the Green New Deal plan she’s advocating is “completely crazy.” In a series of tweets, Moore argued Ocasio-Cortez, who has called for drastically reducing fossil fuel production, doesn’t realize what would happen across the world if the radical plan were implemented. “If fossil fuels were banned every tree in the world would be cut down for fuel for cooking and heating,” Moore said in a tweet Saturday directed at Ocasio-Cortez. “You would bring about mass death.” Moore left Greenpeace after 15 years and is now critical of the group, later writing the book, “Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout: The Making of a Sensible Environmentalist.” Greenpeace, years ago, distanced themselves from Moore and say he overstates his past affiliation with them. Referring to the New York Democrat as a “pompous little twit,” Moore said, “You don’t have a plan to grow food for 8 billion people without fossil fuels, or get food into the cities.” Moore also unloaded on her for calling climate change “our World War II.” “It’s her @GND that would be worse than WW2,” he said. “Imagine no fuel for cars, trucks, tractors, combines, harvesters, power-plants, ships, aircraft, etc. Transport of people & goods would grind to a halt.” In another tweet, Moore called the Green New Deal “so completely crazy it is bound to be rejected in the end.” He also referred to Ocasio-Cortez as a “garden-variety hypocrite,” in response to a New York Post story that said the Democrat frequently used gas-guzzling Uber and Lyft rides during her 2018 campaign instead of taking the subway station near her campaign office. “You’re just a garden-variety hypocrite like the others. And you have ZERO expertise at any of the things you pretend to know,” Moore said. Ocasio-Cortez responded to that story over the weekend saying she’s “living in the world as it is.” But she said that shouldn’t be “an argument against working towards a better future.”

What a weak response!  Kudos to Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace, for calling AOC out like that.  Excellent!!    🙂

Trump signs law to curb foreign ocean dumping

In a rare display of bipartisanship, President Trump signed legislation Thursday to reduce ocean waste dumped by other countries, and to authorize more money for coastal cleanup in the U.S. Mr. Trump said in a White House ceremony that the Save Our Seas Act will help to stop other nations “from making our oceans their landfills.” “We’re being inundated by debris from other countries,” Mr. Trump said. “We will be responding and very strongly.” Among the lawmakers attending the event in the Oval Office was Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, Rhode Island Democrat and a frequent critic of the administration. The president shook his hand during the bill signing. “See, we can shake hands,” Mr. Trump told reporters. The legislation reauthorizes and amends the Marine Debris Act to promote international action to reduce marine debris. It’s aimed at boosting the federal government’s domestic and international response to ocean waste, and allows the federal government to declare “severe marine debris events” and to authorize additional funds to states for cleanup. The president said previous administrations “did absolutely nothing to take on the foreign countries responsible” for ocean dumping.

 

Opinion/Analysis: Trump Vindicated as Paris Climate Agreement Unravels

The Paris Climate Agreement is a dead non-binding treaty walking. All the signatories know this, none of them will admit it. So instead, we have to endure the ritual spectacle of UN delegates racking up yet more air miles and dumping their carbon footprint on a new location in order to wail hysterically that much, much more needs to be done to save the planet from the greatest threat evah. This week the UN’s clown caravan has moved to Bangkok, Thailand – the preliminary to an even bigger meeting, COP24, in December in Katowice, Poland. As the South China Morning Post reports, the auguries aren’t good: “Time is running out to save the Paris Agreement, United Nations climate experts warned Tuesday at a key Bangkokmeeting, as rich nations were accused of shirking their responsibility for environmental damage.” That’s because – just as they were in Paris 2015 – the negotiations are caught between a rock and a hard place. Western countries don’t want to stump up for what is essentially an attempted shakedown by poorer countries demanding more handouts in the name of “climate justice.” Developing economies – as they have cunningly managed to designate themselves – like India and China and the rest of the BRICs have absolutely no interest in hampering their economies with carbon emissions cuts, not least because they recognise that “global warming” is just a scam invented by Euro Weenies who want to decide how the world is run. That’s why, as Townhall reports, they are all going mad for coal: “[Climate Justice] was the idea that developed countries should pay developing countries compensation for the slowing down of their economic growth that would result from the mandatory transition from coal to more expensive renewable energy sources, as proposed in the agreement. Despite the approval of such funding, both India and China continued to expand their coal consumption. They continue to import, export, and use coal extensively. At their current pace, neither country will ever achieve their emission targets as mentioned in their respective INDCs. Russia, meanwhile, is quietly developing its coal infrastructure despite its claims of reducing carbon dioxide emissions. In 2015, Russia’s coal production stood at 186.37 million TOE (Tons of Oil Equivalent). It jumped to 206.33 million in 2017. The country is expanding its coal infrastructure to enable more streamlined transport of coal across the country and to meet the increase in exports due to demand from its Asian neighbor China.” Meanwhile, in the other BRIC, the most likely candidate to win Brazil’s next elections – Conservative Jair Bolsonaro – has vowed to pull his country out of the Paris Agreement. So, all in all, President Trump has every right to feel vindicated at his decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement. All that is left for his critics to do is wail and gnash their teeth, making impotent demands like this one from a bunch of 200 arthouse luvvies – led by Oscar-winning actress Juliette Binoche. They have written to France’s Le Monde newspaper, claiming that climate change is the “greatest challenge in the history of mankind” and demanding that all necessary measures be taken by governments – no matter how unpopular their decisions may be. The signatories are a Who’s Who of some of the most attractive actresses in French cinema – Binoche; Isabelle Adjani; Marion Cotillard; Catherine Deneuve, plus a few Americans who want to be burnished by association with moody, arthouse French cinema (Tim Robbins, Rufus Wainwright, etc), plus some French rappers no one outside France has heard of. Unfortunately, no one cares.

More like “fortunately..”  lol   The whole Paris Climate Agreement was a con from the get-go.  The absolute worst pollution violators are India, China and Russia…all of whom had no intention of ever agreeing to these accords.  Yet, Obama was hell-bent on tying our hands behind our back economically and unilaterally agreeing to that nonsense.  Ironically, Obama never submitted it to the Senate for ratification, even when the Dems controlled it, because even the Dems wouldn’t ratify it.  So, instead, Obama did what he did throughout his presidency; brazenly violated the Constitution and just signed it anyway.  Then, Trump did the only thing he could do; pull the U.S. out of the accords.  The fact that a federal judge ruled Obama’s actions unconstitutional made the decision academic.

How Air in the Pacific Northwest Became Dirtier Than Beijing

SPOKANE, Wash.—On a recent morning in this city bred on the great outdoors, the halls of Mt. Spokane High School were filled with some 600 football players throwing spirals, cross-country runners doing laps, and marching band members twirling batons. The air outside was too smoky to breathe. The Pacific Northwest, sandwiched between Canada’s smoldering British Columbia to the north and six fire-wracked Western U.S. states, is feeling the side effects of one of the worst fire seasons on record. For much of the past several weeks, clouds of choking smog have upended daily life and posed a health hazard for millions here. “It was like being at a campfire wherever you went,” said Paul Kautzman, Mt. Spokane’s athletic director, after a particularly noxious day. Flights have been delayed because of visibility problems, the Seattle Seahawks moved practice to an indoor facility, and people are showing up at hospitals and medical clinics with complaints of wheezing, shortness of breath and other ailments. Long-planned surgeries have been canceled because patients are too ill from the smoke. In Spokane last week, a thick, gray fog draped the sky, obscuring the view of Mt. Spokane and the fir trees that dot the skyline here. A YMCA camp had to shuttle 60 children from a park to its nearest indoor facility, a former Gold’s Gym, where they arrived wearing protective masks. This region has dealt with smoke pollution before, but this year has been significantly worse, residents and experts say. Aug. 20 was the worst day so far for Spokane, population 215,000. Its air was dirtier than that of any major city—outpacing typically smog-addled places like Beijing and Lahore, Pakistan, according to a global pollution survey by IQAir Group, a Swiss-based manufacturer of air-pollution equipment that has a data collection unit. Among 80 cities with populations of more than 300,000, Vancouver, British Columbia, had the worst air quality in the world that day, followed by Seattle, IQAir said. Under the Air Quality Index, a standard followed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 101 to 150 is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups, 151 to 200 is unhealthy for everyone, and over 200 very unhealthy. Spokane reached a high of 226 last week. Vancouver hit 165. Eric Lewis, chief executive of Olympic Medical Center in Port Angeles, Wash., on the Olympic Peninsula north of Seattle, said he has experienced a sore throat, raspy voice and difficulty breathing—even though he suffers from no respiratory illness and has forsaken his daily walks for more than two weeks. “It’s like suddenly becoming a smoker,” he said. Rain over the Spokane area cleared out the skies Sunday and Monday, but smoky conditions were expected to return later this week there and in other parts of the Pacific Northwest that got a reprieve. Experts say it is unclear when the smoke will lift for good. An unusually stubborn ridge of high pressure has blocked most of the cleansing onshore winds from the Pacific, said Ranil Dhammapala, an atmospheric scientist at the Washington State Department of Ecology. High-pressure systems and wildfires are frequent occurrences this time of year in the region, but the duration and extent of the pollution is unusual, said Mr. Dhammapala.

Crazy..  For more, click on the text above.

Analysis: Pruitt Is Gone, but Trump Is Still Winning the Energy Wars

Hollywood’s whoopings and ululations over the departure of Scott Pruitt tell you all you need to know. This was never about saving the environment. It was about desperate, vengeful progressives claiming a political scalp as their peevish sop to console themselves for their despair that Donald Trump is #winning. It’s a big scalp, too, to give them their miserable due. Scott Pruitt was not only the most effective Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief in the institution’s 48-year history (not difficult, admittedly, given the dismal quality of his predecessors). But he was also one of the most able facilitators of Trump’s project to Make America Great Again. He gave Trump the moral support he needed to make the key decision (opposed by many within the White House, notably Javanka and then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson) to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord. Also – after a bit of prodding: initially, Pruitt did not seem to get it, but with some good advice, he grew into the job – he began dismantling all the disastrous Obama-era legislation which had ostensibly been devised to protect the environment but was really just another facet of the left’s war on personal freedom and Western industrial civilization. The Waters of the U.S. Rule; the Clean Power Plan: these were not really about saving nature, but, respectively, a left-wing grab on property rights and a left-wing assault on industry. Under the new EPA, both those rattlesnakes have been defanged and will shortly be crushed underfoot. So whatever satisfaction the left may derive from the tiny victory of booting Pruitt out of office, they’ve still lost the war. They may gloat all they like, those “progressives.” But this is, at best, a Pyrrhic victory for them. Pruitt is gone. His replacement, Andrew Wheeler, though, is their worst nightmare.

To find out why that may be the case, and read the rest of this outstanding op/ed by James Delingpole, click on the text above.  James is exactly right..  Scott Pruitt may be gone at EPA.  But, his legacy of dismantling much of the out-of-control, Enviro-fascism imposed on us by the EPA spanning over 40 years, will be lasting.  So, we all owe Scott, despite his many personal shortcomings, a big debt of gratitude.  The extreme liberal nutcases at MSNBC and CNN, and Dems in the House, got their symbolic scalp.  BUT, as James correctly notes, the lost the substantive war.  And, they’ve lost it big time.   🙂