Kanapou (Hawaii) in 2012. Cite.

by baldilocks

28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

— Genesis 1:28 (KJV)

Thinking about skipping the fish course after reading this. Forever.

Environmentalists expressed concern in October 2016 after a team of researchers from The Ocean Cleanup Foundation surveyed the vortex of trash piling up between California and Hawaii, spotting chunks of plastic glued together measuring more than a yard.

“[It’s a] ticking time bomb because the big stuff will crumble down to micro-plastics over the next few decades if we don’t act,” Boyan Slat, founder of Ocean Cleanup, a nonprofit that helps remove pollution from the world’s oceans, told Newser at the time.

The size of the trash pile has nearly doubled in size since then, containing at least 79,000 tons of plastic — “a figure four to sixteen times higher than previously reported,” Scientific Reports said.

Researchers gathered 1.2 million samples during a multi-vessel expedition in October 2017, exactly one year after their previous test.

They used large nets to scoop the debris and took several aerial images to examine the extent of the GPGP.

Large items such as bottles, ropes, plastic bags and buoys were the most common objects spotted in the pile. Fishing nets had an overwhelming presence, accounting for nearly half of the weight of debris picked up by research vessels.

Los Angeles and other municipalities may have had a point when they decided to “ban” plastic grocery bags. They’re not actually banned; one just has to pay for them, now. Reusable bags are now ubiquitous, if the doorknobs in my apartment are an indication, but I do use plastic bags as liners for my trash can. I’m rethinking this.

But what about bottled water? I do recycle every empty container, but what happens to them after that?

And though most Americans are consistent recyclers – optimistically speaking – what about citizens of other countries, the one to the south of us, for example?

For years, we have been inundated with propaganda about the alleged calamity of Global Warming/Climate Change – whatever it’s been called this decade – as if individuals or governments possessed the ability to do something about the weather.

Then, come to find out that an ocean containing a continent-sized trash heap is a true problem that human beings can fix, or, at least, try not to make worse. I’m not usually a collectivist, but this is a problem that all of humanity owns.

I look forward to our betters making a global issue out of this. For once, I would listen.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar for his new not-GoDaddy host!

Or hit Juliette’s!

Oscar the Grouch is jealous. (Daily Mail)

by baldilocks

But it isn’t trash when they trash the place. From March:

[President Trump] signed an executive order to get the Dakota Access and Keystone pipeline projects moving—and the environmental left has been defeated. They caused much grief when they descended into North Dakota to make a stand for mother Earth. Now that the project is back on track, they left, among other things, mountains of garbage as they vacated the area. Additionally, they left their pets as well. Local animal rescue groups have been combing the protest camps searching for abandoned dogs. They also set their camp on fire. In an ironic twist, the amount of waste left at these sites presented a danger that it could pollute waterways if the spring melt washes this garbage and debris into the Missouri River system; this is one of the main reasons why green protesters staged a weeks-long campaign against the pipeline project.

Well, it’s all done now at the cost of $1.1 million and 835 dumpsters worth of trash.

Emphasis mine. Oh yes and much of the trash was frozen.

It’s difficult for a sane person to wrap her head around environmentalists protesting a project in the name of environmentalism while poisoning their protest space at the same time. It’s almost as if the protesters have been driven mad…or didn’t know what they were there for.

People like me have contended that almost all protests—especially those done in the name of Leftist causes—are funded. The nature of this one seems to make that theory more plausible.  Think of it. If you’re getting paid just to plant yourself in a place for a certain length of time and act up a bit, you don’t care about the alleged reason you’re there. As a matter of fact, squatting and acting up were the true purposes–not to mention funded recreation.

Personal speculation: the type of person who is a paid protester couldn’t care less about the explicit contradiction in protesting “poisoning” while poisoning. It’s just party time until the party is over. Then it’s time for someone else to pick up the pieces–anyone but themselves. And, this is a consistent aftermath of Leftist-generated protests.

About the abandoned pets: lucky dogs.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done on April 2017! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!

Autumn pipes
Next stop Atlantic Ocean?

By John Ruberry

President Obama may soon find out what how it feels to be un-upped by Canada in a hockey-style shootout.

Since his inauguration nearly six years ago, Obama has been dragging his feet in regards to approving the Keystone XL pipeline. The proposed pipeline will bring much-needed petroleum from our friends in Alberta in Canada to the United States, which will lessen our need to import oil from hostile regimes such as Venezuela and Saudi Arabia. I can’t imagine America buying oil from the Islamic State, but more oil on the market means cheaper prices, which will of course harm ISIS and bolster our national security.

The northern segment of Keystone will pass through the Dakotas and Nebraska. There is a smattering of local opposition in the Cornhusker State and some legal obstacles, but let’s be clear: Obama, the man who bragged earlier this year that he doesn’t need Congress to make things happen because, “I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone,” would have found a way to break ground for Keystone XL by now if that’s what he wanted.

But Obama is of course more concerned about the needs of his wealthy environmentalist donors, who either believe that the era of fossil fuels is over or that the use of this Canadian oil will contribute to global warming. Obama, who once promised to heal the planet, is on the verge of being outmaneuvered.

TransCanada Corp., the mover behind Keystone, is strongly considering an-all Canada pipeline for the Alberta petroleum, Energy East, the terminus of which will be at St. John, New Brunswick on the Atlantic Ocean. The oil can be shipped from there to America or to western Europe, which will be welcomed with open spigots by countries fed up with buying petroleum from Vladimir Putin’s Russia.Canada

Bloomberg News is reporting that the supporters of Energy East are very confident that it will be built. A proposed western Canadian pipeline could still be constructed, although that route faces opposition from some Canadian First Nations people.

But if Keystone is built, it will mean up to 40,000, good paying–and are you reading this Obama?–union jobs. If the new pipeline from Alberta never crosses American soil, those jobs will taken by Canadians. Meanwhile, we have to go back to the sad Jimmy Carter years to find a time where the American labor participation rate has been lower than it is now.

I can imagine Obama looking north soon, as Jay Gatsby did from West Egg at the green light at the end of Tom and Daisy Buchanan’s pier, at those thousands of new jobs north of the border.

The last words are for the environmentalists: Despite your numerous protests and your arm-twisting of Obama, that oil is going to be pumped from the sands of Alberta whether you like it or not. Your Canadian War is over.

You lost.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Montana state line

By John Ruberry

It seems that the Obama White House, made up of urban elitists,  favors fish over farmers. The president sides with the unremarkable three-inch long delta smelt over the farmers who have grown bushels of all kinds of food for the rest of the nation for generations.

Beginning with a court decision in 2008, a man-made drought that carries on today was initiated in the valley.

In eastern Montana, another assault on agriculture could be underway, just as its fields turn green after a long winter.

From the Billings Gazette:

It has been like this for 105 years, ever since Theodore Roosevelt promised to raise irrigated communities from the arid dust of the West. The 26th president signed the Newland Reclamation Act in 1902 and communities like Sidney started to bloom.

Lately, there has been a lot of concern in this community that the government’s century-old promise has come into conflict with yet another pledge to preserve the pallid sturgeon, a rare ray-finned fish with a spoon bill that has been fading in number largely because dams downstream from the Yellowstone, on the Missouri River, have made survival difficult for the species.

Federal biologists hope the sturgeon will thrive if given room to roam upstream from the Missouri, in the Yellowstone. But that plan entails work on the diversion dam that has watered the Sidney area since 1909.

“Everything. Everything we have is irrigated in this valley, pretty much,” said farmer Dan Strasheim, who was seeding his fields with Soron spring wheat in anticipation of the canals, eight months dry, flowing again.

While endangered, the range of the pallid sturgeon is vast: nearly the entire Missouri River and the lower Mississippi is home to the fish.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, not the Bureau of Land Management, is behind this possible reversal of a longtime Washington promise. The federal government, as we learned in the Cliven Bundy case, owns nearly all of Nevada, but the understanding until recently that these public lands could be used, yes, by the public.

Yellowstone River
Yellowstone River from Interstate 90

Back to Montana: What of the farmers and the workers at the nearby sugar beet processing plants? Beets are another crop grown with the aid of irrigated water on the Montana plains.

Are we a nation of people? Or of fish?

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

I was thrilled to join DaTechGuy on the radio last Saturday as one of the new guest bloggers for this site.  During our discussion, one of the questions that came up is Agenda 21.  We didn’t have time to go into the details for those who are unfamiliar with it, so I thought I would take this opportunity to provide an overview here.  You may already be familiar as this was a hot topic (at least for Newt Gingrich) during the GOP primary.  But, in case you are wondering what it is, here is a primer:

Officially, Agenda 21 is described as:  “a voluntary action plan developed by the United Nations and national governments at the “Earth Summit” in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992. At the Summit, governmental leaders around the world agreed on the need to become more sustainable—to meet today’s needs without sacrificing our future. Agenda 21 presents a vision for how all levels of government—especially in the developing world—can take voluntary action to combat poverty and pollution, conserve natural resources and develop in a sustainable manner. One-hundred-seventy-eight nations adopted the agenda, including the United States under the Bush Administration.”

Agenda 21 is a comprehensive, UN-led, top-down approach to “sustainability.”  There are 4 major sections to the officially-adopted document, which basically cover every possible aspect of city and social planning.

Section I: Social and Economic Dimensions

Section II: Conservation and Management of Resources for Development

Section III: Strengthening the Role of Major Groups

Section IV: Means of Implementation

There are multiple subsections beneath each section covering all topics you can imagine from deforestation to protecting the ocean to disposing of toxic wastes to allocating the use of land.  Each section is extremely lengthy and goes into extensive detail about how each initiative should be implemented.  The whole document is 351 pages, you can read it here.

Agenda 21 is an environmentalist’s dream; its primary premise is that the UN’s central and global point of view is wiser than individual city planners and citizens at the local level.

If you don’t have the kind of time to read all 351 pages, here are a few highlights in its own words:

  • “Agenda 21 is a comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations System, Governments, and Major Groups in every area in which human impacts on the environment.”  Did you catch that?  “…in every area in which human impacts on the environment.”
  • Agenda 21 seeks for a “reorientation of existing production and consumption patterns that have developed in industrial societies and are in turn emulated in much of the world.”
  • “The primary need is to integrate environmental and developmental decision-making processes. To do this, Governments should conduct a national review and, where appropriate, improve the processes of decision-making so as to achieve the progressive integration of economic, social and environmental issues in the pursuit of development that is economically efficient, socially equitable and responsible and environmentally sound.”
  • “Governments, in cooperation, where appropriate, with international organizations, should strengthen national institutional capability and capacity to integrate social, economic, developmental and environmental issues at all levels of development decision-making and implementation. Attention should be given to moving away from narrow sectoral approaches, progressing towards full cross-sectoral coordination and cooperation.”
  • “The overall objective is to promote, in the light of country-specific conditions, the integration of environment and development policies through appropriate legal and regulatory policies, instruments and enforcement mechanisms at the national, state, provincial and local level.”
  • “The cost of inaction could outweigh the financial costs of implementing Agenda 21. Inaction will narrow the choices of future generations.”
  • “Develop and promote, as appropriate, cost-effective, more efficient, less polluting and safer transport systems, particularly integrated rural and urban mass transit, as well as environmentally sound road networks, taking into account the needs for sustainable social, economic and development priorities, particularly in developing countries…”

ICLEIUSA.org is the US-based organization responsible for rolling out Agenda 21 domestically. ICLEI has made it very clear that Agenda 21 is non-binding and goes to great lengths to state that this was adopted during a Republican administration and that it will not have the effect of compromising sovereignty:

Agenda 21 is a voluntary action plan developed by the United Nations and national governments… One-hundred-seventy-eight nations adopted the agenda, including the United States under the Bush Administration.

Agenda 21 is not a treaty or legally binding document and does not infringe upon the sovereignty of any nation, state, or local government. Agenda 21 does not advocate for abolishing private property or have any bearing on U.S. local and state land-use decisions. In other words, it isn’t being forced on anybody, anywhere, by any organization.”

However, keep in mind that the US did “adopt” the agenda and that the Federal government has spent millions funding them and recent headlines show that Obama wants to massively increase funding for these types of initiatives which means voluntary is likely not so voluntary in the near future, whether it be via ICLEI or some other initiative, nationalization of “sustainability” projects is real.  ICLEI also collects membership fees from the cities that participate in their program.

Here’s what people are saying about Agenda 21:

From The Foundry (Heritage Foundation blog):

As adopted, Agenda 21 was described as “a comprehensive plan of action to be taken globally, nationally and locally by organizations of the United Nations System, Governments, and Major Groups in every area in which human impacts on the environment.” That includes hundreds of specific goals and strategies that national and local governments are encouraged to adopt. And that translates into restrictive zoning policies that are aimed at deterring suburban growth. Ultimately, they suppress housing supply and drive up home prices, in turn imposing unnecessary costs, especially on middle- and lower-income households. These policies contributed to and aggravate the real estate bubble by putting inflationary pressures on housing prices.

From a site called democratsagainst21.com:

“In a nutshell, the plan calls for governments to take control of all land use and not leave any of the decision making in the hands of private property owners.  It is assumed that people are not good stewards of their land and the government will do a better job if they are in control.  Individual rights in general are to give way to the needs of communities as determined by the governing body.  Moreover, people should be rounded up off the land and packed into human settlements, or islands of human habitation, close to employment centers and transportation.  Another program, called the Wildlands Project spells out how most of the land is to be set aside for non-humans.”

From Canadafreepress.com:

“America was founded on the idea that private property is sacred. Americans cannot conceive their country without the right to own property. As they go about their daily lives, the United Nations Agenda 21 is methodically chipping away at our country’s solid foundation.

Under the guise of protecting the environment, water conservation, resources, reducing carbon footprint, reducing the use of electricity, smart grid, smart meters, cutting down the use of fossil fuels, separating people from their cars in favor of mass transit, biking and walking within five minutes of residence, returning land to wilderness by moving large rural and urban populations into high rise tenements in green zones, and social justice, the UN is taking over our lives.”


You can also go to the American Policy Center’s page on Agenda 21 for additional quotes and information.

Obviously, individual cities are perfectly of capable of making local decisions based on the needs of the local residents in a way that respects the freedoms of individual land owners.  But, Agenda 21 was devised and accepted by member countries across the world who do not value individualism and private property rights the way Americans do.  I fully expect many of these countries to buy into the idea that the U.N. knows best and any sort of global planning must be right.  But, I didn’t expect the United States to fall for this.

As mentioned already, the United States has technically already adopted Agenda 21.  However, since city membership is voluntary for now, you can monitor your own city’s involvement.  Go to ICLEIUSA.org, click on “About us” and then you will see a map of member cities.  Click on “View the member list” below the map of the U.S.  Is your city there?  If so, you know what needs to be done.  Find out why your city is there and work to remove them.

Awhile ago I attended a training by Americans For Prosperity where Agenda 21 was discussed.  One of the speakers was a local Tea Party leader (from Garland, which neighbors Dallas) who had worked with her city leadership to quit the ICLEI.  So, it can be done. There is even an anti-ICLEI Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stop-UN-Agenda-21-Stop-ICLEI/284021125057 . If you search for “quit ICLEI” in a search engine, you will see that many cities have quit and that there is quite a movement out there.  But, there is more to do.  So, next time you wonder, how can I have an influence?  This is a great local way to make an impact.

The Heritage Foundation article cited earlier mentions that this is really a local fight and many of the ideas in Agenda 21 have already been out there for decades.  Agenda 21 just organizes them.  So, the battle is really what it has always been, not just Agenda 21, but the micro-implementation at each and every individual city across the country.  So far, there is no mandate to follow Agenda 21, so it is up to citizens to remove its hooks from our cities and keep fighting for our rights.

Lisa @ AmericaisConservative.org

An Exxon-Mobil pipeline in Montana (just outside of Billings, near the Yellowstone River) ruptured yesterday. (NY Times story here.)  Crude oil spilled throughout the river and the land.  One hundred forty people in Laurel, Montana were evacuated; the oil poses a fire hazard.  Other pipelines to Billings were shut down.

First things: I’ve been to that area of Montana and have a soft spot in my heart for it.   I’m trying to picture it covered in crude oil, and it’s… tough.  Second thing: a burst pipeline is an entirely different matter than an exploding well.

That said, this is one of the many reasons why the “environmental” opposition to drilling in ANWR, or near the coast, is so backwards.  By all accounts, Exxon-Mobil was able to contain the spill, shut down the pipeline, and is working to ameliorate the environmental effects.  The damaged pipe is hardly the Deepwaater Horizon oil well: the pipe was shut down in a half-hour, because it was buried all of six feet underground, not six thousand feet under water.  Likewise, even the flooded Yellowstone River is not the Gulf of Mexico; this isn’t going to create an oil slick the size of the state of Delaware or Ohio.  While oil spills always wreck havoc on the environment, they are much easier to shut down, contain, and clean up when on land.  Policies which discourage everything but far-offshore drilling are counterproductive, unless we magically will oil spills, equipment failures, and natural disasters away.

Further, to the extent that “environmental” concerns have discouraged companies from replacing aging infrastructure with new, more environmentally-safe pipes, wells, and nuclear reactors, they do us a disservice.  Now, I can’t find out how old that Exxon-Mobil pipe is – it could be brand-new – but it is likely aging and not being replaced because the onerous regulations create strong disincentives for companies to upgrade.  (We have this problem in America with nuclear reactors that simply cannot be replaced with brand-new structures, so old plants are being permitted and used far beyond their natural lives.)

Headline on CNN Money: Oil prices: back up a week after SPR [Strategic Petroleum Reserve] release.

On Thursday, West Texas Intermediate crude edged lower to $94.27 a barrel. But that’s still nearly $5 higher than last week, when prices fell over 4% following the oil release announcement.

As the article notes, the weakening value of the dollar is causing an increase in gas prices: it takes more American dollars to buy the same amount of oil, since those dollars are worth less.  Given that the Federal government has monetised over a trillion dollars since Obama took office, it should come as no surprise that the American dollar is weak. Furthermore, the United States needs a strategic petroleum reserve, so investors and speculators believe that the government will simply re-purchase the oil that it is putting out onto the market right now – therefore negating the increased supply.

The bigger issue is the anti-energy Obama Administration polices.  Obama’s moratorium on deepwater drilling resulted in a loss of 360,000 barrels of oil per day, according to the Institute for Energy Research; once the moratorium was partially lifted, it resulted in a loss of 150,000 barrels per day. Pro-energy groups have been encouraging development of AWNR since the 1970s and 1980s.  Had we developed that area in the 1980s, it would have been producing oil for the last fifteen or twenty years. Alaskans support development of ANWR by a margin of almost four-to-one. At a minimum, ANWR contains twenty times the petroleum as was released from the SPR.

Ultimately, the blocked production far eclipses anything that could be released from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which is why the price of oil will not go down and why we will continue to be dependent upon foreign nations for our oil  Further, the SPR is functionally borrowed oil – oil borrowed from future consumers.

When you spend more time flooding the market with currency that is not backed by value than by increasing oil production, the price of oil will go up.  No surprise to anyone except for the people who thought that the SPR would create a magical reduction in gas prices.

Update (Hat tip: Da TechGuy himself!): Drill, baby, drill!  Alaska Governor Sean Parnell, aka Sarah Palin’s successor of “pass the basketball” fame, announced that Alaska will open up state-owned land for drilling.  The state owns three miles of ocean along the Arctic Coast, near ANWR, which could allow access to the oil deposits in the field.  The procreating caribou were too busy emulating rabbits to be reached for comment.

To be serious: Alaska has long used its Tenth-Amendment given powers to produce energy.  Energy production in the lower 48 is regulated by the federal government (through FERC); the rationale is that since electricity passes through state lines, it’s an element of interstate commerce.  That rationale doesn’t apply to Alaska and Hawaii; free from onerous federal oversight, Alaska has become one of the nation’s leaders in traditional and renewable energy.