Coal, Death Trains, Climate, and Weapons of Mass Destruction

Guest essay by Charles Battig, M.D.


Mike Huckabee’s recent comment about President Obama, “He would trust the Iranians and he would take the Israelis and basically march them to the door of the oven,” produced much shock, indignation, and verbal condemnation from the media, late-night news airheads, and some members of the Jewish community…perhaps not so much for the accuracy of the claim of the real-world net result of implementing the proposed nuclear treaty with Iran as for the transgression of invoking disturbing imagery of the Holocaust.

However, the outpouring of such moral indignation is apparently modulated by the occasion upon which it is invoked, and by the status conferred by the media upon the one uttering such comments.  A federal employee as director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), James Hansen, opined:

“The trains carrying coal to power plants are death trains.  Coal-fired power plants are factories of death.”

His testimony before Iowa’s Utility Board included: “If we cannot stop the building of more coal-fired power plants, those coal trains will be death trains — no less gruesome than if they were boxcars headed to crematoria, loaded with uncountable irreplaceable species.”

In response to Andrew Revkin’s New York Times article: “Peter Singer, the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton, who has spent decades examining the relationship between humans and other species, wrote: ‘I’m sensitive to comparisons that might trivialize the Holocaust, because 3 of my 4 grandparents were murdered by the Nazis. But we should look strictly at what Hansen writes. Although Hansen invokes the images of the Holocaust, with boxcars and crematoria, he doesn’t compare global warming with the slaughter of Jews. He says, rather, that he thinks of these coal trains as bringing ‘uncountable irreplaceable species’ to their extinction. Given the facts about global warming, that seems to be exactly what continuing to burn coal will do, as long as we use existing technologies that mean that burning goal contributes to, and will accelerate, climate change. So while the image is vivid and unsettling, I don’t find it objectionable.’”

Evidently, Holocaust imagery is objectionable for some causes but not in the service of climate change…termed “today’s greatest threat to humanity” by President Obama in his inaugural address.  Obama is now pushing the Iran nuclear deal.  The architect of this Iran nuclear agreement, Secretary of State John Kerry, is also an expert inranking global threats: “climate change can now be considered the world’s largest weapon of mass destruction, perhaps even the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction.’’

Mr. Huckabee has undoubtedly noted that hypocrisy is an occupational hazard for those in the political arena.

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David L. Hagen
August 4, 2015 1:11 pm

For such hypocrisy the;NIV (5:20-22) pronounced:

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil,
who put darkness for light and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
and shrewd in their own sight!
Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine,
and valiant men in mixing strong drink,
who acquit the guilty for a bribe,
and deprive the innocent of his right!

David L. Hagen
Reply to  David L. Hagen
August 4, 2015 1:13 pm

Mae culpa: Isaiah 5:20-22

Reply to  David L. Hagen
August 4, 2015 4:42 pm

Psalm 144:11: “…deliver me; rescue me from the hands of foreigners whose mouths are full of lies, whose right hands are deceitful.”

Leonard Lane
Reply to  David L. Hagen
August 4, 2015 10:30 pm

David, thank you.

Jim G1
Reply to  David L. Hagen
August 5, 2015 6:54 am

“I have come into the world, to testify to the truth.” John 18:37

Reply to  David L. Hagen
August 4, 2015 1:15 pm

Superbly chosen quote!
To you, David, no woe whatsoever!!! … & you know where I stand!!!

David L. Hagen
Reply to  David L. Hagen
August 4, 2015 1:59 pm

Now Iran publishes book on how to outwit US and destroy Israel.

Khamenei makes his position clear from the start: Israel has no right to exist as a state.
He uses three words. One is “nabudi,” which means “annihilation.” The other is “imha,” which means “fading out,” and, finally, there is “zaval,” meaning “effacement.” . . .
Khamenei describes Israel as “a cancerous tumor” whose elimination would mean that “the West’s hegemony and threats will be discredited” in the Middle East. In its place, he boasts, “the hegemony of Iran will be promoted.” . . .
This is what Iran’s leaders are preaching to their people and their allies in the Middle East. Do we really want to give succor?

Is not Huckabee accurate in his assessment? Should we not take Ali Khamenei his word and stop this second Holocaust? Or will our inaction enable those who seek to aid and abet his actions?

Hugh Eaven
Reply to  David L. Hagen
August 4, 2015 2:35 pm

What is so hard to understand about the words “as a state” (the one forcefully created in 1948)?
If someone would take such a strong stance against lets say, the EU, or the former apartheid regime of South-Africa, nobody would make such a fuss. This statement is clearly aimed at a federal state apparatus and divisive ideology that upholds it and has great consequences for the region.
This is almost opposite to what happened in WW2 where people were persecuted because they were stateless, nationless and of a “wrong race”. Or displaced and deported because they didn’t belong in some imaged “greater nation” of someone else
It helps if one travels a bit through Israel, Palestine and Iran. The human factor becomes apparent.

David L. Hagen
Reply to  Hugh Eaven
August 4, 2015 3:15 pm

The Jews were brought back to their land, and Israel was restored as predicted (about 2550 years before.)
The international community voted to establish Israel:

United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181 called for the partition of the British-ruled Palestine Mandate into a Jewish state and an Arab state. It was approved on November 29, 1947 with 33 votes in favor, 13 against, 10 abstentions and one absent

Reply to  David L. Hagen
August 4, 2015 2:46 pm

Hugh, creating “stateless’ Jews in the middle East is no problem for you? This would presumably result in (in Khamenei’s words) “nabudi” (which means “annihilation”) of these now stateless Jews? To me this would be classed genocide. The “human factor”, as you call it, is likely caused not by some Jewish conspiracy, but by good governance and a lack of corruption.

Reply to  David L. Hagen
August 4, 2015 2:49 pm

David L.
Sadly, I thought – for decades – that the Iranian leadership was basically honest in their desire to
fade out
the State of Israel.
I am a Brit, and Israel is not perfect (IMHO) – but annihilation seems a bit drastic [and permanent].
And yet POTUS is handing – it seems – freedom to the Iranians to do – well, more or less whatever they want.
Or possibly the bit about a five year limitation on centrifuges missed me – or BO.
Auto – hoping I’ll have handed my chips in before the middle east (West Asia to India and points east] goes mushroom-cloudy.
I know this is a climate website, and this is off-real-thread – but even a limited nuclear war in latitudes 32-41 North may affect the climate [as well as making sudden dramatic alterations to cityscapes [there’s the Local Heat Island sorted until the landscape stops glowing . . . .]]

Reply to  David L. Hagen
August 4, 2015 4:08 pm

“Should we not take Ali Khamenei his word and stop this second Holocaust? ”
Observing how tough Israel is and who is also thought to have a considerable number of nukes(150 to 300 per Robert Gates), I would suggest that would mean total oblivion for Iran and any local supporters (assuming that the extremely efficient Mossad even allowed Iran to get that far). Of course many Islamics might welcome that end (virgins and all) but the Iranians would be the ones that would basically cease to exist. Now the downside to that would be the potential for WWIII if Russia or China became upset enough.

Reply to  David L. Hagen
August 4, 2015 5:05 pm

I love the way anti-semites like Hugh have to rewrite history in order to justify their desire to kill Jews.
No, Israel was not created by violence.

Reply to  David L. Hagen
August 4, 2015 6:30 pm

Hugh Eaven wrote, “What is so hard to understand about the words “as a state” (the one forcefully created in 1948)?”
Please note that the state of Israel was created peacefully by a United Nations resolution. It was defended forcefully, but only after 5 Arab armies attacked, all the while bragging on the radio that they would either exterminate or otherwise ethnically cleanse the entire Jewish population.
As for your assertion that the expressed Iranian desire to eliminate Israel is “clearly” aimed at changing some state apparatus and ideology, this notion would appear to be clear only to you. Iran’s enthusiastic funding, arming, and support for terrorist armies on Israel’s borders that openly declare their desire for Jewish genocide would argue against it, as would Iran’s senseless murder of 87 people at a Jewish community center in Argentina, along with a very long list of other violence and verbal threats.
Regarding your counter-example, if a country were to declare that they wanted to eliminate the EU, routinely encouraged their citizens to scream “Death to the EU!” while burning effigies of Europeans, funded nasty terrorist armies that rained missiles down on EU citizens, was run by a self-appointed group of religious fanatics, and actively pursued nuclear weapons while making bellicose threats- then, yes, people would presumably take a pretty strong stance. And the ones that didn’t take a strong stance would be fools.
It’s no so hard to understand.

David L. Hagen
Reply to  David L. Hagen
August 4, 2015 7:28 pm

Joel Rosenberg explores these issues in his books and presentations.

Reply to  David L. Hagen
August 5, 2015 2:51 am

I am strongly against racism in all its forms but I see no evidence of antisemitism in the comment from Hugh Eaven. Indeed, his post reviles racism when it says in total

What is so hard to understand about the words “as a state” (the one forcefully created in 1948)?
If someone would take such a strong stance against lets say, the EU, or the former apartheid regime of South-Africa, nobody would make such a fuss. This statement is clearly aimed at a federal state apparatus and divisive ideology that upholds it and has great consequences for the region.
This is almost opposite to what happened in WW2 where people were persecuted because they were stateless, nationless and of a “wrong race”. Or displaced and deported because they didn’t belong in some imaged “greater nation” of someone else
It helps if one travels a bit through Israel, Palestine and Iran. The human factor becomes apparent.

That is an opinion about the assertions of Iran concerning the state of Israel.
But you have replied saying

I love the way anti-semites like Hugh have to rewrite history in order to justify their desire to kill Jews.
No, Israel was not created by violence.

Hugh expressed no “desire to kill jews”.
And you need to look at both sides of the history. You are ignoring the Zionists who murdered British forces attempting to maintain order in Palestine. And today’s Palestinians resent the Israeli expulsion of inhabitants of Palestine in 1948.
For an example of another view of that history read this
Political change is rarely achieved by only good behaviour on one side and only bad behaviour on the other.

David L. Hagen
Reply to  richardscourtney
August 5, 2015 10:42 am

Britain was limiting or excluding Jews from immigrating to Palestine despite Germany’s pogram’s and holocaust. That directly breached its Balfour Declaration.

“His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

When Britain refused to Colonial constitutional rights guaranteed under Magna Carta, the Colonialists took up arms to defend their liberties, resulting in the Declaration of Independence 1776.

Reply to  David L. Hagen
August 5, 2015 11:11 am

BFL wrote: Observing how tough Israel is and who is also thought to have a considerable number of nukes(150 to 300 per Robert Gates).
Israel is a tiny country. If Tel Aviv was nuked the most of Israel would essentially be uninhabitable.

Reply to  David L. Hagen
August 5, 2015 3:50 pm

richard, someone who repeats anti-semitic slanders is anti-semitic.
Beyond that, it’s quite possible to claim to be against racism yet still be anti-semitic. Leftists in both the US and Europe do it all the time.

Reply to  David L. Hagen
August 5, 2015 11:33 pm

David L. Hagen:
Britain was attempting to fulfill the UN mandate of protecting the indigenous population of Palestine from uncontrolled immigration and, importantly, to protect them from the acts of Irgun (i.e. the terrorist organisation led by Menachem Begin). That did not – and does not – justify, for example, the bombing of the King David Hotel.

By bombing the hotel, the Irgun believed, it could destroy the seized documents and at the same time send a strong message to the British, whom it was actively fighting as part of the Zionist bid to end the Mandate and establish a Jewish state.

It is undeniable fact that – contrary to the assertion of MarkW – Israel was created by violence and that sadly in the real world – as I said – Political change is rarely achieved by only good behaviour on one side and only bad behaviour on the other.

August 4, 2015 1:16 pm

How about the millions of the world’s poor who are going to be further starved by the hunting of the CO2 Will ‘O the Wisp? Energy cost is a regressive tax.

Reply to  enginer007
August 4, 2015 2:06 pm

Regressive? It is pure evil spawned with evil intent.

Leonard Lane
Reply to  cnxtim
August 4, 2015 10:36 pm

Right on!

Reply to  enginer007
August 4, 2015 2:24 pm

Energy cost is a regressive tax“…
Sadly your astute comment wreaks of common sense and a grasp of basic economics…
Neither of these ‘properties‘ are accounted for by those striving for overall control…

Reply to  enginer007
August 4, 2015 2:59 pm

In particular, energy empowers. Who would deny it to the least among us?

Leonard Lane
Reply to  kim
August 4, 2015 10:38 pm

Kim, please see Matt 25: 40

Reply to  kim
August 5, 2015 4:23 am

Surely they bear our griefs.

August 4, 2015 1:21 pm

Thanks Dr. Battig, though I would have more expected this posting to appear on the American Thinker website. The big race is on to pad, sterilize and control the planet so that we can cheat death as long as possible, even if it means depriving other parts of the world the means to affluence and natural population decline. The myopia among the pundits who aspire to implement global planning is appalling, to say the least.

Ernest Bush
Reply to  Dawtgtomis
August 5, 2015 10:24 am

Myopia is not the disease that infects these pundits. Their disease has more to do with that which afflicted Hitler, who thought to produce a God-like race even if he had to destroy all of civilization to do it. They don’t seem to be able to take a lesson from what happened to him and his dream. We are a creation of Nature and in their foolish quest, they could destroy us all with their tampering.

August 4, 2015 1:42 pm

Is Bioethics Ethical?
In mainstream bioethics, human beings per se have no special rights or moral value. The movement as a whole no longer thinks in that idiom
The Bioethics Mess
Peter Singer, the Ira W. DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, is a prime example of such academic barbarism. Despite acknowledging that “ethical ideals, like individual rights, the sanctity of life, justice, purity, are incompatible with utilitarianism,” he remains a champion of utilitarianism and a leading exponent of animal rights, assisted suicide, euthanasia and infanticide.
Smith points out that, for utilitarians, there is neither objective right nor objective wrong. “Lacking a firm commitment to the sanctity of human life,” he writes, “utilitarians may justify profoundly dangerous and immoral schemes and not even blush.” Thus in Applied Ethics, a book of readings edited by Singer, a British bioethicist, John Harris, has suggested, “Whenever doctors have two or more dying patients who could be saved by transplants, and no suitable organs have come to hand through ‘natural deaths,’ they (should be allowed to) ask a central computer to supply a suitable donor … at random and he will be killed so that the lives of two or more others may be saved.”
Smith explains: “To the radical utilitarian Harris, saving two or more lives at the expense of one murder would bring greater overall happiness than the suffering caused by the killing of one man or woman. And since under utilitarianism, no individual possesses human rights per se, why not go ahead and perform the human sacrifice?”
Such is the “Brave New Bioethics” dissected by Smith in Culture of Death. It’s a profoundly important book that eminently fulfils Smith’s stated aim: “to alert my readers to the intentional undermining by bioethicists of the fundamental moral principles that have long governed our society, and to invite them into the crucial, ongoing debates about their health care debates that will, quite literally, determine the future of Western medicine.”
The War on Humans by Wesley J. Smith

Ursus Augustus
Reply to  brent
August 4, 2015 3:28 pm

Bioethics would have to be the progenitor principiae of all oxymorons wouldn’t it?
There is no ‘ethics’ to biology, it just happens. Life develops, evolves and goes on in its own self interest. As it becomes more complex it evaluates that, to some extent at least, mutual cooperation rather than ruthless competition is in its own longer term interest and that strategy delivers a bigger dividend than short term considerations. Its just a compounding return on investment vs consumption, literally. That said it still works withing a competitive paradigm as a merit sensing mechanism. If a strategy delivers a better and sustainable outcome then it has merit, if not then it doesn’t.
It seems to me that “bioethics” comes from trying to mix what is ultimately religious dogma or some other irrelevent consideration with biology. Oil and water doesn’t quite evaluate the absurdity of it. As for Professor Singer he sees no moral or ethical problem with bestiality provided its done gently as I understand his thinking. That could be applied to children too I suppose, provided its done gently… where have we heard that before? I think Tom Regan has made this point clear at some length.
Ironically, although Singer supports animal liberation, i.e. not eating them, his ‘done gently’ argument sits about right with most people’s attitudes to raising and killing them for food. Such is the circularity of self referenced nonsense?
Singer was once a Greens candidate in Australia so his rationalisation of the holocaust slur of the coal trains is perfectly explicable as his mobius mind on other matters. Hey but he is ‘contravurshul’ and attracts students interested in edgy, ‘contravershul’ matters so WTF, Eh? (psst They pay $$$fees)

David L. Hagen
August 4, 2015 1:55 pm

High EROI Energy Essential for Development
Hansen et al. seek to condemn the billions in the developing world to miserable life and poverty with little opportunity. We in the West developed on the foundation of abundant available cheap fuel. Frank Clamente (2014) observes: Coal Lifts Billions from Energy Poverty and Increases Access to Low-Cost Electricity at Scale

In the United States, coal has provided over 50 percent of electricity for the last century – a period that saw the United States move to the center of the world’s economic stage, population increase 225 million, life expectancy increase by 30 years and the rise of the Internet. . . .since 1990, China has used coal-based energy to lift 650 million people out of poverty, reduce female illiteracy by almost 80 percent and decrease infant mortality by 70 percent. . . .
In short, more coal-based electricity is needed for the world community to achieve the goal of poverty eradication. Without coal, economic growth will be stunted, the environment will be degraded and the crisis of energy poverty will not be solved.

Sustainable replacement fuel
We further need to develop cheap sustainable fuels to replace depleting fossil fuels, NOT subsidize expensive “green” fuels and power.
In the US, green hypocrisy touts corn ethanol which has only 1/3rd to 1/7th the critical Energy Return On Energy Invested (EROI) of 3-7 needed to sustain society. Yet is touted as the “green” fuel. Taxpayers are now forced to subsidize ethanol production in 29 states because it buys corn state Senate votes.
See Charles Hall et al. (2014) EROI of Different Fuels and the Implications for Society Energy Policy 64(2014)141–152
Energy, EROI and the Quality of Life
Sustainable replacement fuel is the greatest challenge ahead of us – not starving agriculture of essential plant food to prevent an imeasureably small rise in temperature.

Reply to  David L. Hagen
August 4, 2015 3:18 pm

Geothermal is such a fuel

Roberto Russo
August 4, 2015 1:57 pm

The war ended 70 years ago. Why are people still speaking in hushed tones about some WW2 nastiness? The Holocaust religion is getting worse by the year.

Reply to  Roberto Russo
August 4, 2015 4:45 pm

Why do we talk about WWII’s evil? Because those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.

Alan the Brit
Reply to  jorgekafkazar
August 5, 2015 2:11 am

Well said. I am staggered to say that there are still some people who claim the Holocaust was a myth, a fantasy made up by the Jews! These people are barking, truly barking!

August 4, 2015 2:07 pm

“The trains carrying coal to power plants are death trains. Coal-fired power plants are factories of death.”
The governments using an agenda that will deprive the poor from affordable and abundant energy are institutions that desire misery, disease, and death to humans by the hundreds of millions.
Fixed it – no need to thank me Mr. Hansen

August 4, 2015 2:19 pm

They are really life giving trains. Inexpensive electricity, good paying jobs for miners, railroad workers and power plant employees.

Reply to  Pathway
August 4, 2015 2:31 pm


Reply to  Pathway
August 4, 2015 2:52 pm

And manufacturing and service industries which need cheap [or not-expensive] energy.

Reply to  Pathway
August 4, 2015 3:00 pm

I think they can, I think they can.

michael hart
Reply to  kim
August 4, 2015 4:49 pm

Here comes the Can-can in Paris…
[which also prompts the question: “So what were they doing Cancun?]

August 4, 2015 2:28 pm

When oh when will we address the incredibly serious issue of the Death Cows and other green house gas emitting Livestock? Death trains and factories of death – give us a break!

Reply to  nankerphelge
August 4, 2015 3:01 pm

All aboard, meateaters!

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
August 4, 2015 2:38 pm

The rhetoric used by both politicians and pundits who report on them is often chosen for shock value rather than clarity. I think it’s pointless to argue over who does and does not have the right to make holocaust references; let’s talk about the substance of the proposed regulations.
It’s hard to improve on a comment from one of Mark Steyn’s readers regarding the Obama Administration and its relative risk assessment (I don’t have the exact quote, so I am rendering this from memory):

After negotiating for five years Obama has decided it is dangerous to let Canada build a pipeline. After negotiating for two years he has decided it is safe to let Iran build a bomb.

The disproportionality of these two judgements is so striking one really has to wonder just what the administration is thinking. In both cases it appears they have made no appraisal of likely consequences.
Enforcing a major reduction in US CO2 emissions will almost certainly result in exporting the “pollution”, and the economic benefits which go with it, to developing countries like India and China.
Permitting Iran to pursue a nuclear weapons program openly will likewise almost certainly lead to predictable responses from other countries in the region, notably Israel.
The Obama administration appears equally oblivious to both.

Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
August 4, 2015 3:06 pm

But – the Obama administration has run the models (assuming utmost good faith for ALL the various parties; that the BO worldview (?that America must be hamstrung?) is widely accepted outside America.
[I think the Kremlin thinks that way;
Peking may not object;
the Quai D’Orsay will likely acquiesce, at least;
and the UK’s own FCO – in its present bumbleheaded conformation, with no real experts – might be happy to go along with as the path of least resistance.]
And that’s carped our world.
Well done Barmy O’barack – mission achieved.
Just feeling a bit jaundiced about the whole ‘democratic project’.
A bit like DiscWorld, where the Patrician is strongly in favour of democracy.
You know – ‘One Man – One Vote’
He IS the Man – and he has The Vote.
And woe betide you if you have a different world-view.
His philosophy is that a world with him is marginally preferable to one without him.
And he is a trained assassin, and knows where you live.
Auto – not concerned at all about how Russia wont h 2018 World Footy Cup

Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
August 5, 2015 11:15 am

Alan, I believe you know the answers to your questions and you are trying to make others think. (At least that’s what I hope you are doing.)
Your comments:
“…it appears they have made no appraisal of likely consequences.”
“The Obama administration appears equally oblivious to both.”
You know that they have appraised the likely consequences and they are absolutely not oblivious. These are well planned out, calculated actions, taken by very smart men. Never underestimate them. Nothing done by this administration has had unintended consequences.

August 4, 2015 2:48 pm

A warmer world sustains more total life and more diversity of life. Paleontology shows no upper limit to the benefits of warming and always shows the immediate detriment of cooling.
The coal trains are trains of life, trains of prosperity, trains on golden rails delivering an improved life to everyone, a blessing, oo cook a choo choo.

Reply to  kim
August 4, 2015 2:49 pm

Note how the plants along trackside invariably wave gratitude and salute the passing trains. They know.

Reply to  kim
August 4, 2015 2:53 pm

Obiously there was a time (100+ years ago, think Oliver Twist) when coal was used everywhere, and massive air quality issues resulted due to incompleate combustion. That time is long gone. You are bang on, coal increases everyone’s quality of life.

David L. Hagen
August 4, 2015 2:55 pm

Fueling Hypocrisy
James Conca wrote: It’s Final — Corn Ethanol Is Of No Use

OK, can we please stop pretending biofuel made from corn is helping the planet and the environment? . . . In 2000, over 90% of the U.S. corn crop went to feed people and livestock, many in undeveloped countries, with less than 5% used to produce ethanol. In 2013, however, 40% went to produce ethanol, 45% was used to feed livestock, and only 15% was used for food and beverage (AgMRC). . . .
The United States will use over 130 billion gallons of gasoline this year, and over 50 billion gallons of diesel. . . . If all of the present production of corn in the U.S. were converted into ethanol, it would only displace 25% of that 130 billion.
But it would completely disrupt food supplies, livestock feed, and many poor economies in the Western Hemisphere because the U.S. produces 40% of the world’s corn. Seventy percent of all corn imports worldwide come from the U.S. Simply implementing mandatory vehicle fuel efficiencies of 40 mpg would accomplish much more, much faster, with no collateral damage. . . .
The grain required to fill a 25-gallon gas tank with ethanol can feed one person for a year, so the amount of corn used to make that 13 billion gallons of ethanol will not feed the almost 500 million people it was feeding in 2000. This is the entire population of the Western Hemisphere outside of the United States. . . .World grain reserves dwindled to less than two months, the lowest level in over 30 years. . . .Unfortunately, Brazil is clear-cutting almost a million acres of tropical forest per year to produce biofuel from these crops, and shipping much of the fuel all the way to Europe. The net effect is about 50% more carbon emitted by using these biofuels than using petroleum fuels (Eric Holt-Giménez, The Politics of Food). . . .

A temporary benefit of corn ethanol is a buffer against OPEC coercion of tax the rest of the world by $1 trillion/year.

Leonard Lane
Reply to  David L. Hagen
August 4, 2015 10:46 pm

Not to mention the ethics of using food for fuel in transportation when thee are people around the workd who are hungry,

Karl Compton
Reply to  Leonard Lane
August 5, 2015 10:13 am

The wisdom of fuel ethanol aside (assuming falsely that there is some):
Aren’t they the same ethics as buying a gallon of gas for a discretionary trip with money that could be used to feed a hungry person? (Assuming bountiful food that could be purchased with it.)
Or not using 100% of the food you purchased, and letting it turn into a science experiment in the back of the fridge? (Assuming scarce food.)
By those ethics we are all guilty of starving the world’s unfortunates.
“Am I my brother’s keeper?” – Cain
“Clean your plate! Think of the starving children in China!” – Mom

Reply to  David L. Hagen
August 5, 2015 12:06 am

100% of the edible portion of corn used to make bioethanol is converted to animal feed in the form of dry distiller’s grain with solids (DDGs). The waste starch portion (C H O only) is converted to bioethanol, to make the food business profitable (just).
This industry has nothing to do with the climate policy parasite on humanity, in 2015, so please stop pretending it does. I’m guessing anywhere people are starving, it’s because politicians are looking out for their welfare …..
…. and pocketing it (was that my outside voice?)

Reply to  philincalifornia
August 5, 2015 8:26 am

You have an acre. You can grow one type of corn, or another on that acre.

David L. Hagen
Reply to  philincalifornia
August 5, 2015 10:46 am

philincalifornia So when you eat corn on the cob, do you separate out the starch portion and only eat the dry distiller’s grain with solids? Invalid argument. Starch is edible and yet is used to make ethanol.

August 4, 2015 3:14 pm

“The trains carrying coal to power plants are death trains. Coal-fired power plants are factories of death.”
Hansen’s comments illustrate that he knows as little about American and world history as he knows about climate science.. There are millions of poor in the world who would see the coal train and coal generated electricity as a God send when compared to the dung they are forced to use for heating and cooking still today. Yet he and the other alarmists are knowingly denying this to the poor of the world and even to some of his fellow Americans . How uncompassionate this educated man is .

August 4, 2015 3:33 pm

On the Iran thingy. They sit on more than half of the world’s largest discovered natural gas field. CCGT is the most efficient, least cost electricity generating system yet invented. Any pretext that Iran needs nucler power generation is just that. A front for weapons. Something Obummer cannot figure out?

Reply to  ristvan
August 4, 2015 4:48 pm

Of course he knows. It’s his objective.

Mike Henderson
Reply to  jorgekafkazar
August 5, 2015 10:01 am


Reply to  ristvan
August 4, 2015 5:06 pm

I think this president suffers from legacy-itis and is attempting to go for a record. He got the ACA (Obama Care) in place, now about to succeed on Iran nuke negotiation and the highly secretive TPP trade agreement (which is highly supportive of corporations and therefore most of congress, being their tools, are for). If he can get CO2 rules in place I think that he will possibly have set a record maybe even close to FDR and Kennedy in terms of legislative impact. He obviously believes that it will be a good legacy and of course will never admit otherwise.

Reply to  ristvan
August 4, 2015 5:15 pm

The Gulf States that heavily subsidize domestic energy have an incentive to free up merchantable fuel for export and have a strong interest in doing so. The Saudis have a strong interest in freeing up Heavy Oil and Bunker that they use for internal power generation to garner export revenue.
Similarly Iran using nuclear internally for power generation would add potential for NG export sales eg to the EU
Could Iranian Gas Be The Solution For Europe?
Russia, beware, Iran is trying to get into the European gas market.
In recent months, Iranian officials have been signaling to potential customers in Europe, potential suppliers in the Caspian Basin, and transit country Turkey that Iran is not only ready to get into the game but that without Iranian participation the European Union’s Southern Gas Corridor will take many years to realize, or might never be realized.
Iran gas exports to Europe would take at least 5 years – experts
The Dash for Gas How Iran’s Gas Supply Can Change the Course of Nuclear Negotiations
Gas Supply from Iran: Europe’s Long-Term Saving Grace
While the European Union is not importing any oil and gas from Iran to date, the long-term potential of opening and stabilizing trade patterns with the energy-rich country should be carefully considered. This is especially important given that alternative energy suppliers en par with Russian gas exports are few and an EU increase in energy efficiency measures and renewable energy sources remains incomparable in scale and impact. With falling oil prices currently falling below the benchmark price required for the Iranian government to balance their federal budget, a window of opportunity has opened up for the two counterparties to find a way out of their impasse.
Iran Says Ready To Supply Natural Gas To Europe
Iran seeks to skewer Russia over EU gas sales

August 4, 2015 5:01 pm

If Iran gets the bomb, it will result in the deaths of millions of Jews. How is that not comparable to the holocaust?

August 4, 2015 6:52 pm

Why do so many GOP voters demonstrate more loyalty to a foreign nation than to their own one?
A Bloomberg News poll published this week found that 67 percent of Republican respondents agreed with the statement, “Israel is an important ally, the only democracy in the region, and we should support it even if our interests diverge,” while 30 percent agreed with the statement “Israel is an ally but we should pursue America’s interests when we disagree with them.” Among Democrats, 64 percent of respondents agreed with the latter statement.
Israel has a huge nuclear weapons arsenal, doesn’t permit inspections, and is not a signatory to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
Iran, otoh, has no nuclear weapons, has declared that it has no interest in building them, allows inspections of its nuclear facilities to demonstrate its integrity, and is a signatory to the non-proliferation treaty.
According to Benjamin Netanyahu, however, Iran has been “2-3 years” away from the bomb since…..
Perhaps he wasn’t trying to deceive the lowly goyim into waging war for the benefit of Eretz Yisrael. Perhaps he meant to say “23 years“.

John L
Reply to  Khwarizmi
August 5, 2015 1:25 am

Good drugs, huh?

Reply to  Khwarizmi
August 5, 2015 9:23 am

In case you haven’t noticed, in the US we are free (so far!) to disagree with our government on any number of issues.

Reply to  Khwarizmi
August 5, 2015 3:57 pm

“has declared that it has no interest in building them”
Wow, the self declared lunacy is strong in this one.

Steve P
August 4, 2015 8:00 pm

From Washington’s Farewell Address:
“So likewise, a passionate attachment of one Nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favourite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest, in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels & Wars of the latter, without adequate inducement or justification:
It leads also to concessions to the favourite Nation of priviledges denied to others, which is apt doubly to injure the Nation making the concessions–by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained–& by exciting jealousy, ill will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom eql priviledges are withheld:
And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favourite Nation) facility to betray, or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition corruption or infatuation.
As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent Patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practice the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the public Councils! Such an attachment of a small or weak, towards a great & powerful Nation, dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter.
Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence, (I conjure you to believe me fellow citizens,), the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake; since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of Republican Government. But that jealousy to be useful must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defence against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another, cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real Patriots, who may resist the intrigues of the favourite, are liable to become suspected and odious; while its tools and dupes usurp the applause & confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.

–George Washington, 1796

Steve P
Reply to  Steve P
August 4, 2015 8:07 pm

My bold, minor editing; this bit was meant to be bold, for emphasis, and bears repeating:
And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favourite Nation) facility to betray, or sacrifice the interests of their own country,

August 4, 2015 10:11 pm

For a weapon of mass destruction
Try Agenda 21,
But giving nuclear to Iran
What have they begun?
“….So in ten years’ time
We’ll see the world change,
When the Iranian nukes
Have us all in their range;
Iran can then sell them
To the Islamic State,
Nukes in the hand of jihadists
I bet you can’t wait!….”

Reply to  rhymeafterrhyme
August 5, 2015 1:51 am

I love my nuclear power
when it’s only in the hand
of someone that I love this hour
otherwise it’s contraband

August 4, 2015 10:34 pm

Stop the coal trains in their tracks today, count the bodies tomorrow. Coal is life. Ask elderly Brits in the dead (pardon the carefully chosen word) of this coming winter if they would rather have an unsupported promise of marginally cleaner air or coal-fired heat and they will take coal. Has any previous generation of Brits been left to rot in their rockers as has this? It is hideous that this happens year on year.
For those who don’t get out much, the excess death rate of the elderly in the UK grows each winter. Not, probably, from dirty air. These excess deaths do help the health care death squads from pulling the fiscal plug more frequently than they might, but that’s little comfort to those who die bundled up in old newsprint rather than in a clean hospital room. The hospital doesn’t allow pets. Consider the consequences of that.

Andrew N
August 4, 2015 11:56 pm

If the Palestinians laid down their weapons there would be peace.
If the Israelis laid down their weapons there would be genocide.

August 5, 2015 12:16 am

Sophistry. Another name for political hypocrisy science.

chris moffatt
August 5, 2015 5:13 am

“No, Israel was not created by violence”
Tell that to the descendants of Deir Yassin; tell that to the descendants of british soldiers murdered by the Stern gang; tell that to the survivors of the King David Hotel blown up by Begin’s jewish terrorists. The vote in the UN was the culmination of at least three years of violence aimed at the british, and at the arabs of palestine.

Reply to  chris moffatt
August 5, 2015 3:59 pm

I love the way idiots go out of their way to distort history.

Tim Groves
August 5, 2015 5:25 am

The atomic bomb is a paper tiger. The real bomb threatening Israel’s existence as a Zionist state is a demographic one that is ticking away relentlessly day by day.
Over 1.6 million of the 8 million people currently living in Israel identify as Palestinians and their birthrate is much higher than that of the just over 6 million who identify as Jews. It has been estimated that if current trends continue, Palestinian citizens of Israel will be a majority by 2050. If the 4.4 million Palestinians living in the territories under Israeli occupation are included, Palestinians will become the absolute majority very soon if they aren’t already.
One may suppose many Iranian Ayatollahs abhor Israel as an abomination, hate it as an existential enemy, or resent it as a rival regional power as much as many Israeli leaders abhor, despise and resent Iran. But why would the Ayatollahs contemplate using physical weapons to destroy Israel when they can look forward to prospect of sitting back and watching the place self-destruct through ethnic strife?

August 5, 2015 5:26 am

“climate change can now be considered the world’s largest weapon of mass destruction, perhaps even the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction.’’
It is unfortunate that America has such misguided leadership who seem to me to be more interested in their legacy than helping the poor of the world and even the less well of parts of their own country. The biggest threat to the world is not global warming but the lack of compassion by man toward his fellow human being. To be so blinded by the false climate change threat that you refuse to allow your nation to lend funds for fossil projects to help the poorer nations and poorer regions of your own country due to draconian regulations . Refusal to help the poor of our society and world to obtain less costly electricity and improve their standard of living is really the greatest tragedy of our leadership . They have forgotten their roots and how their ancestors got where they are today.

Steve P
August 5, 2015 9:10 am

August 4, 2015 at 4:45 pm
“Why do we talk about WWII’s evil? Because those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.”
August 4, 2015 at 5:05 pm
“I love the way anti-semites like Hugh have to rewrite history in order to justify their desire to kill Jews.
No, Israel was not created by violence.”

Before one can forget history, first one must learn it.
History lesson, quoting from:
———— Letters to the New York Times — December 4, 1948 ————–
Among the most disturbing political phenomena of our times is the emergence in the newly created state of Israel of the “Freedom Party” (Tnuat Haherut), a political party closely akin in its organization, methods, political philosophy and social appeal to the Nazi and Fascist parties. It was formed out of the membership and following of the former Irgun Zvai Leumi, a terrorist, right-wing, chauvinist organization in Palestine.
The current visit of Menachem Begin, leader of this party, to the United States is obviously calculated to give the impression of American support for his party in the coming Israeli elections, and to cement political ties with conservative Zionist elements in the United States. Several Americans of national repute have lent their names to welcome his visit. It is inconceivable that those who oppose fascism throughout the world, if correctly informed as to Mr. Begin’s political record and perspectives, could add their names and support to the movement he represents.
Before irreparable damage is done by way of financial contributions, public manifestations in Begin’s behalf, and the creation in Palestine of the impression that a large segment of America supports Fascist elements in Israel, the American public must be informed as to the record and objectives of Mr. Begin and his movement.
The public avowals of Begin’s party are no guide whatever to its actual character. Today they speak of freedom, democracy and anti-imperialism, whereas until recently they openly preached the doctrine of the Fascist state. It is in its actions that the terrorist party betrays its real character; from its past actions we can judge what it may be expected to do in the future.
Attack on Arab Village
A shocking example was their behavior in the Arab village of Deir Yassin. This village, off the main roads and surrounded by Jewish lands, had taken no part in the war, and had even fought off Arab bands who wanted to use the village as their base. On April 9 (THE NEW YORK TIMES), terrorist bands attacked this peaceful village, which was not a military objective in the fighting, killed most of its inhabitants – 240 men, women, and children – and kept a few of them alive to parade as captives through the streets of Jerusalem. Most of the Jewish community was horrified at the deed, and the Jewish Agency sent a telegram of apology to King Abdullah of Trans-Jordan. But the terrorists, far from being ashamed of their act, were proud of this massacre, publicized it widely, and invited all the foreign correspondents present in the country to view the heaped corpses and the general havoc at Deir Yassin.
The Deir Yassin incident exemplifies the character and actions of the Freedom Party.
Within the Jewish community they have preached an admixture of ultranationalism, religious mysticism, and racial superiority. Like other Fascist parties they have been used to break strikes, and have themselves pressed for the destruction of free trade unions. In their stead they have proposed corporate unions on the Italian Fascist model.
During the last years of sporadic anti-British violence, the IZL and Stern groups inaugurated a reign of terror in the Palestine Jewish community. Teachers were beaten up for speaking against them, adults were shot for not letting their children join them. By gangster methods, beatings, window-smashing, and wide-spread robberies, the terrorists intimidated the population and exacted a heavy tribute.
The people of the Freedom Party have had no part in the constructive achievements in Palestine. They have reclaimed no land, built no settlements, and only detracted from the Jewish defense activity. Their much-publicized immigration endeavors were minute, and devoted mainly to bringing in Fascist compatriots.
Discrepancies Seen
The discrepancies between the bold claims now being made by Begin and his party, and their record of past performance in Palestine bear the imprint of no ordinary political party. This is the unmistakable stamp of a Fascist party for whom terrorism (against Jews, Arabs, and British alike), and misrepresentation are means, and a “Leader State” is the goal.
In the light of the foregoing considerations, it is imperative that the truth about Mr. Begin and his movement be made known in this country. It is all the more tragic that the top leadership of American Zionism has refused to campaign against Begin’s efforts, or even to expose to its own constituents the dangers to Israel from support to Begin.
The undersigned therefore take this means of publicly presenting a few salient facts concerning Begin and his party; and of urging all concerned not to support this latest manifestation of fascism.
Isidore Abramowitz, Hannah Arendt, Abraham Brick, Rabbi Jessurun Cardozo, Albert Einstein, Herman Eisen, M.D., Hayim Fineman, M. Gallen, M.D., H.H. Harris, Zelig S. Harris, Sidney Hook, Fred Karush, Bruria Kaufman, Irma L. Lindheim, Nachman Maisel, Symour Melman, Myer D. Mendelson, M.D., Harry M. Orlinsky, Samuel Pitlick, Fritz Rohrlich, Louis P. Rocker, Ruth Sager, Itzhak Sankowsky, I.J. Schoenberg, Samuel Shuman, M. Znger, Irma Wolpe, Stefan Wolpe
New York, Dec. 2, 1948
———- End History Lesson———–
(my bold)
David L. Hagen
August 4, 2015 at 1:11 pm
“For such hypocrisy…”
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil,
who put darkness for light and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
and shrewd in their own sight!
Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine,
and valiant men in mixing strong drink,
who acquit the guilty for a bribe,
and deprive the innocent of his right!

–Isaiah 5:20-23

August 5, 2015 11:44 am

“President” Obama is today’s greatest threat to humanity…

August 6, 2015 3:34 am

Precedent establishes that we still have a couple thousand years left during which Native Americans can rightfully reclaim their land.

Tim Minchin
August 6, 2015 8:00 am

If this site starts supporting Israel it’s lost me

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