Howdy All, a few Interesting Items for your information. Enjoy –
In this issue:
- AFN. The Alaska Federation of Natives (AFN) is the preeminent organization among Alaska natives, combining both the business side of the regional corporations and the social side of the regional social organizations. It is crumbling, mostly due to divergent interests and goals of its members. Local writer Craig Medred wrote a great piece a couple days before Christmas describing the problems. The AFN board was originally made up of representatives of what would become the 12 regional corporations under 1971’s ANSCA. ANSCA was designed to help Alaska natives sidestep the reservation system that simply isolated them in enclaves. In exchange for dropping legal claims to all of Alaska, the feds agreed to grant title to 44 million acres, help set up 12 regional and hundreds of village corporations and seed those new businesses with $952 million. It took the villages a decade or two to figure out that the regional corporations weren’t going to help them but had created a small group within the 12 corporations who were doing quite well. In order to tamp down resentment, the AFN Board brough in private, non-profit social service entities. A third expansion brought in 12 more members, representing villages in each region. The original 12-member corporate board now had a membership of 37, dominated by the social service and village votes. The 12 regional corporations still pay most of the bills for the AFN. Clinton’s Interior Department under Ada Deer designated 229 Alaskan villages as individual tribes, bypassing the ANSCA agreement 22 after it was signed. This lit the fuse to the impending dissolution, as it gave the native sovereignty movement here in Alaska what it had started demanding. Congress approved the new list in a funding measure a few years later. What we have today, is a continuing push–pull between the dueling power structures – the regional corporations dependent on success in the business world, and the social side dependent on government funding. These worlds to not coexist well. In recent years, the social side has increasingly hung their hats on climate change as a vehicle for increased federal funds to move villages off crumbling barrier islands and other maladies real and imagined. This hasn’t sat very well with the regional corporations, heavily invested in resource development. And they have started leaving the AFN, taking their checkbooks with them. The irony in all this is that the social side of the AFN is hurtling just as quickly as humanly possible toward replicating in every awful detail the failed reservation system of the Lower 48 here in Alaska. Where the very solution to the endemic maladies in Bush Alaska (alcoholism, domestic violence, drug use, sexual assault, suicide, etc), jobs is the solution that you will never get from governments. Worse, the social side is actively involved in fighting tooth and nail, hammer and tong, any attempt to increase resource development (new oil and natural gas development on the North Slope, and mining at Pebble and Donlin Creek). In short, they are becoming that which they deign to hate the most.
- Opioids. Yet another example of the fraud the CDC has become over the years comes from an Oct 18 column in the Pain News Network entitled Study Finds Only 1.3% of Overdose Victims Had Opioid Prescription. This comes on the heels of acknowledgement that the nationwide panic orchestrated by the prohibitionists at the CDC against vaping was entirely caused by ingestion of either THC or vitamin E oils in black market vaping products. In that one, the CDC used a few deaths as an excuse to attempt to shut down vaping completely. Similarly, the Pain News Network, reports that CDC guidance from 2016 stating
“Sales of opioid pain medication have increased in parallel with overdose deaths. Having a history of an opioid prescription is one of many factors that increase risk for overdose.”
This claim is patently false, demonstrated by research out of MA that prescription opioids are usually not involved in overdoses. Even when they are, the overdose victim rarely has a prescription for them, meaning they were diverted, stolen or purchased on the street for use. The doctors involved in the study took a look at 3,000 opioid deaths 2013 – 2015 when the problem was surging. They found that multiple drugs were involved in most of these, with heroin detected in 61% and fentanyl in 45% (China, anyone?) of them. Prescription opioids alone were detected in just over 16%, with those who had legal prescriptions for opioids only 1.3% of the total. And the CDC has access to this very same data, data they chose not to use in their pronouncements. How many pain sufferers have been dragged through the Hell of chronic pain due to the public pressure by anti-opioid zealots in the medical community, all based on fraudulent conclusions? And if these clowns can do it to opioids for pain control and vaping products, they can do it for literally anything else.
- Energy. A fun retrospective out of Axios last week entitled The decade that blew up energy predictions. Despite the best efforts of the O’Bama regime, the US blew away most of the energy predictions made in 2010. We ended up producing large quantities of clean natural gas and oil, to the point where the US just became a net energy exporter. Reason for both is the entrepreneurial combination of fracking and horizontal drilling applied to tight (mostly shale) oil-bearing formations. The US Energy Information Administration predicted that the US would by 2019 be producing 6.1 million bbl oil/day. Per barrel price was predicted over $100/bbl. Today, we are producing 12.5 bbl/day with an average price around $60/bbl. Oil imports were projected at 8.1 million bbl/day/ Today we are exporting 0.1 million bbl/day (as of Sept). Natural gas production was predicted at 19.8 trillion ft3 / year. Last actual production measured at the end of 2018 was 30.6. Actual coal use for electrical generation is half its projected level, natural gas nearly triple (and half again greater than coal), and renewables are 40% larger than projected. All this ties in with CO2 emissions, projected at 5.8 thousand million tons . Today that is down to 5.3, mostly due to switchover to natural gas fired electrical generation. This has been done privately, commercially, with little to no assistance form the feds, other than the O’Bama regime doing their level best to speedbump the entire industry. It is what all the democrats promise to do to the industry should voters be foolish enough to elect them in 2020. Finally, imagine the sort of improvement we as a nation get in all of this if we get ourselves into the position of adopting Gen IV nuclear electrical generation that is completely emissions free, burns its own waste, and safe from meltdown.
- Upzoning. Not being content to start a shooting war with firearms owners statewide, newly elected Virginia democrats have also declared war on owners of single-family homes. Borrowing heavily from former O’Bama HUD Secretary Julian Castro, the new democrat majority in the legislature introduced legislation that will centralize all local zoning laws at the state level. The legislation will allow high-density housing to be built in suburban neighborhoods, the same sorts of neighborhoods that put this majority in office. Rationale by the supporters is that urban lifestyles are better for the environment and that the suburbs are bastions of racial segregation. So, their goal is to turn your neighborhood (and mine) into the streets of San Francisco. Great. With this legislation, urban democrats have declared war on suburban residents especially suburban women who were foolish enough to vote for them last month. I bet they didn’t see that one coming. Northern VA is about to become HL Mencken Land, where they get the government they deserve and get it good and hard.
- Greta. This is a follow-on to my piece on Greta last week. With it, I will go down a bit of a laundry list of the things she (and her handlers) are wrong about. While everything is the correct response, it doesn’t provide a lot of useful data for the persuasion wars. With that in mind, here are excerpts from an Oct 17 The Stream piece entitled Climate Change Fears of Teen Activist Are Empirically Baseless:
- Greta calls herself one of the lucky ones, convinced that we are dying from global warming and CO2. This belief is common with young people, those under 35 who poll at 51% that it is likely the earth will become uninhabitable and humanity wiped out in the next 10 – 15 years. The media is doing its level best to cement and spread these fears.
- Fears about plant life are unrealized. Satellite data shows an increase in global greening over 25 – 50% of the global vegetated area 1982 – 2014. Forest and tree coverage increased 7.1% over the same period.
- Species extinctions are feared. Over 1.2 million have been cataloged. Yet there are only 27 confirmed extinctions, mainly on islands. There have only been nine extinctions of mammals and birds since 1500. This is simply not happening.
- Food production (agriculture) crash is feared. Yet since 2000, the global prevalence of malnourished humans has decreased 15 – 11% worldwide, as has its severity.
- Flooding is yet another fear, mostly due to sea level changes. Yet in reality from 1985 – 2015, the net amount of land area on Earth grew by 22,400 mi2, and the net amount of coastal land grew by 5,200 mi2. This is all satellite data.
- 1989 predictions of massive droughts due to rainfall stopping have been shorn false. There has been no significant trend in areas in drought over land over the last 30 years.
- Predictions of massive increases in hurricane frequency and severity since 1989 have likewise shown to be false, though fully 66% of US voters believe such increases have happened. They haven’t.
- Warnings of increases in tropical diseases introduced by higher temperatures are all tied to prohibitions in the use of DDT to control mosquitoes since the early 1970s.
- Tipping point predictions are particularly popular, especially those based on CO2 levels in the atmosphere increasing over the next trip-wire – 300 ppm, 350 ppm, 400 ppm, 425 ppm, etc. The problem with this is that the absorption curve of CO2 in the atmosphere is asymptotic, with perhaps 80% of all absorption taking place in the first 50 ppm. The marginal absorption simply does not increase with additional CO2 in the atmosphere.
The problem with all this is that Thunberg’s 30 years of scientific research simply do not support her conclusions, since none of the predictions made 30 years ago of impending disaster have come to be. Rather, the higher the CO2 levels get, the happier the plants are, the better the people in marginal parts of the world are fed, and the better things get for everyone, hardly the stuff of an impending apocalypse. When Thunberg rages against the people “… who have stolen my dreams and my childhood”, she is very clearly correct. Unfortunately, those people are her handlers, those who indoctrinated her, and those who are using her very real anguish and fear as the front of a political movement.
- Men. Chart of the day from AEI in response to the feminist For Every 100 Girls. This is what happens with you view the world as a zero-sum game.
More later –