Two U.S. Supreme Court decisions in 2001 and 2006 resulted in a huge setback for the overly expansive interpretation and implementation of certain aspects of the 1972 Clean Water Act (CWA) by federal regulators. The Supreme Court rulings restricted the scope of the EPA and the Corp of Engineers’ governance — whose regulators routinely interpret the law in the broadest fashion possible — when applied to small bodies of water, intermittently flowing streams, and wetlands.
Today’s headlines are reminiscent of an old cartoon depicting a weather reporter predicting a sunny day, as rain falls outside his window. Some things are too obvious to be noticed by “experts.” Which perhaps explains why those still stubbornly pushing the theory of man-made global warming still have not noticed that most of the Northern Hemisphere has been struggling with one of the harshest winters in recent memory. It has not been just Minneapolis and Chicago that have been pounded with snow this winter, but also Dallas and Atlanta.
The “expert” quoted in February 25th’s news was Professor Neville Nicholls, of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, a climatologist who had stated the previous day: “January, according to satellite data, was the hottest January we’ve ever seen.”
What’s more, continued Nicholls, “Last November was the hottest November we’ve ever seen. November-January as a whole is the hottest November-January the world has seen.” Nicholls spoke at an online climate change briefing, added: “It’s not warming the same everywhere but it is really quite challenging to find places that haven’t warmed in the past 50 years.”
The authors of a scientific paper published in Nature Geoscience on July 29, 2009 predicting that sea levels would rise by as much as 2.7 feet by the end of the twenty-first century have retracted that assertions.
A report in Fox News noted that the paper had also “reinforced the conclusions of the U.N.'s controversial Fourth Assessment report, which warned of the dangerous of man-made climate change.”
In Nature Geoscience for February 21, authors Mark Siddall, Thomas F. Stocker, and Peter U. Clark published a retraction of their earlier findings, noting:
What happened to global warming? That was the question that ran as a headline on a BBC report on climate that the British news agency published on October 9.
"This headline may come as a bit of a surprise, so too might that fact that the warmest year recorded globally was not in 2008 or 2007, but in 1998," the report noted. In fact, it continued, "For the last 11 years we have not observed any increase in global temperatures."
This won't shock too many people in the Poconos or anywhere in northern Pennsylvania. To see the cooling trend, residents there just need to look out their windows.
On October 16, Philly.com reported that the earliest snow on record, as much as in 9 inches in some locations, blanketed parts of the state, including the Penn State campus.
The early snow storm started on Thursday, October 15. According to reports, trees and power lines are down all over State College, PA, leaving pedestrians to worry about falling limbs. "You can actually hear them snapping as you walk underneath them," reported National Weather Service meteorologist Aaron Tyburski, who warned, "we may see another one or two inches tomorrow."
Despite the early cold and snowy weather afflicting Pennsylvania, and the unusually cool weather stretching back west across the nation's midsection, it's important to note that one local or regional weather anomaly does not indicate that there is a major trend in the climate.
That said, and despite the fact that warming alarmists in the mainstream media keep up the rhetoric about man-made global warming every time a summer day reaches 90 degrees, the previous two winters have been very cool, corresponding with the BBC report about the apparent cooling trend.
How might winter be shaping up this year across America? Cold, if October is any indication. Take a look at some of the weather headlines from around the country:
- Oct. 10, Sauk Prairie Eagle, Wisconsin: “Break out the winter coats this weekend”
- Oct. 10, Examiner.com: “Denver breaks 104 year old cold temperature record as Arctic chill sets in”
- Oct. 11, The Missoulian, Montana: “Western Montana shatters cold-weather records, with more on the way”
- Oct. 11, DesMoinesRegister.com, Iowa: “Chilly weather follows record early snowfall”
- Oct. 16, Omaha World Herald, Nebraska: “So far, it’s been Octobrrr”
And it is not just in the U.S. — From Europe and Australia:
- Oct. 8, WeatherZone: “Adelaid’s coldest start to October in half a century.”
- Oct. 16, Reuters: “European cold snap kills four in Poland”
Despite the cold start, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts warmer than normal winter in the U.S. because of El Nino. Noted Accuweather long-range forecaster Joe Bastardi, though, has predicted that winter will be stormier and colder than in recent years with a weakening El Nino, according to Reuters.
The upshot? While the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) crowd wants to keep talking about increasing global temperatures, sea level rises, and various climate catastrophes, both the last decade, and the current weather situation amply demonstrate that climate is much more variable, in the short run, the medium term, and the long term, than the simplistic AGW hypothesis suggests.
Great Britain’s Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is proposing a zero waste policy in an effort to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions and landfill usage which would ban all food and food scraps, cans, paper, and glass items from being deposited in land fills. Violators of the ban will be fined.
Environment Minister Hilary Benn is hosting a “waste summit” in order to develop the details necessary to achieve the very strict goal of a zero waste policy. Why, you may ask — “Because does it make sense to put food into landfill? No it doesn't," Benn offers.
It doesn’t? As food scraps are organic and biodegradeable, banning food and food scraps from landfills then becomes a curious idea. Except that there are other plans afoot to collect the food scraps separately, to be used to generate electricity. This can only be accomplished by using updated technology and plenty of taxpayer money to install the proper generators for a process that is still not yet cost-effective and fraught with various glitches.
To handle the British government’s latest scheme, there may be as many as five different wheeling bins and recycling boxes issued per household for the task of enabling homeowners to become compliant with the new directives: Compost — grass clippings, garden wastes, and cardboard, (oddly enough); Food — all cooked and uncooked scraps; Recyclables — glass, plastic, cans, aluminum foil, clothes, shoes, batteries; Paper — clean paper, shredded paper, envelopes with plastic windows removed, telephone directories; Landfill — pet litter, diapers, drink cartons, plastic caps and lids, various packaging, toothpaste tubes, and foam.
Matthew Elliott, of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said, “Voters are sceptical about recycling policy. The Government should sort out the current recycling policy before starting on new barmy ideas.” Adding, “The fact that food waste could be banned from landfill — effectively treating it as a kind of toxic waste — is a recipe for disaster.”
There were no specifics available as to the overall cost of such an undertaking, and how much of a bureaucracy would be needed to oversee and enforce the policy — £1,000 per violation — not to mention the effect on the global environment of producing all those plastic bins and containers, along with the urban blight such containers pose, disfiguring neighborhoods, floating around from location to location, convenient and favorite targets for arson in crime-ridden areas.
There are few who have little problem with reducing real waste in an ever increasing materialistic and consumeristic society; most believe, in theory at least, in good stewardship of the Earth and its resources. But what citizens are really hankering after, both in Great Britain and in the United States, is a zero waste policy applied to government, letting competition and free enterprise handle the trash.
It is excessive government that is most wasteful; thick bureaucracies and a multiplication of public agencies marked with corruption and abuse are the real wasters of money and resources, as these disregard private enterprise and individual freedom and responsibility.