Climate Activist Frustration: Nobody is Paying for Our Free Lunch

Official White House Photo of President Trump

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

From Mozambique to the Caribbean, green groups used to easy money from Obama are expressing frustration that President Trump is cancelling their global warming funding.

Trump’s Cuts In Climate-Change Research Spark a Global Scramble For Funds

By Natalie Meade

During Barack Obama’s final year in office, his Administration launched an ambitious, twenty-five-million-dollar partnership with a little-known research organization in Belize called the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre. The goal of the program was to study climate change in the Caribbean and develop strategies to minimize its impact. Scientists consider the region one of the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change; rising sea levels, coral-reef bleaching, and drought threaten the infrastructure and economic health of the Caribbean’s forty-four million people, many of whom depend on tourism and agriculture for their well-being. “Our area is one of the most exposed to risks,” Zadie Neufville, a spokesperson for the Centre, told me, in an interview in her office, in Belmopan. “In order to live here comfortably and host tourists, we have to mitigate, build resilience, and adapt.”

After the 2016 Presidential election, the Trump Administration and the Republican-controlled Congress reduced U.S. support for climate-change-related research, causing the Centre’s program and similar initiatives around the world to scramble for funding. A U.S.A.I.D. official told me that American funding for the Centre’s project will end in 2019, instead of in 2020, because of a change in “the Administration’s foreign-policy and national-security priorities.”

In Africa, the Trump Administration has moved to eliminate all funding for climate-related or environmental projects across the continent, including in Senegal, Ethiopia, and Mozambique. Indonesia is one of the largest carbon emitters in the world, and, in 2017, U.S.A.I.D. planned to spend $23.3 million on environmental projects there, including a reforestation project designed to control carbon emissions. Only seven million dollars has been allotted to the country in Trump’s 2019 budget proposal. “Across the board, there has been a rollback on federal climate-change investments as a result of executive direction,” Kit Batten, a former U.S.A.I.D. climate-change coördinator, told me.

Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris accord has also fuelled uncertainty in developed countries that export fossil fuels regarding how much to invest in renewable energy. “The Republicans seem to have an antipathy towards anything that seems it would challenge the ability of the U.S. and other countries to export fossil fuels,” an official familiar with the conversations told me.

Atlantic hurricane season began on June 1st, and researchers fear a repeat of last summer: extreme storms with little planning on how to mitigate their impact. “It’s a source of frustration for a lot of people,” a former U.S.A.I.D. adviser told me. “The money flows into the countries for a disaster, and, as soon as the disaster’s over, it will completely disappear with no prep work for the next one.” Climate change in the Caribbean will eventually have a direct impact on the United States, he argued. When large hurricanes occur, many victims in the West Indies flee to the nearest country with the most stable conditions, which is often the United States. “This is a problem for the U.S.—migration,” Trotz told me. “The issue, basically, is a hemispheric problem that we have to be careful about.”

Read more: https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/trumps-cuts-in-climate-change-research-spark-a-global-scramble-for-funds

What really gets me is the sheer arrogance. The money flows in for the disaster then stops, and they complain. They think US should just keep giving them a free lunch indefinitely.

There are US citizens living with insane levels of poverty. In one part of Alabama, 34% of those tested were infected or had recently been infected with hookworm. People infected with hookworm can’t just go out and get a job, because the infection makes them listless and anaemic – hookworm literally drains their blood, severely impairs their ability to do things most of us would consider normal. Even people who aren’t infected are affected – infected children are particularly vulnerable to the debilitating effects of hookworm. Although hookworm is fairly easy to treat, hookworm eggs are endemic in the area – reinfection is a constant serious risk.

These are the sort of people who really could use a little help, US citizens living in the USA suffering with desperate problems they’re struggling to address by themselves, not ungrateful greens running expensive foreign climate “centers” who took their free lunch for granted under former President Obama.

Update (EW): Added the link to the quoted article

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markl

It’s about time we start taking care of our own house first. Pockets of poverty, unchecked health problems, insufficient education funding, homeless, undernourished, all deserve help with money that we are pissing away on partisan projects, questionable foreign aid, and political posturing with other nations.

Felix

Only four countries studied (in 2014, with 2011 data) by the OECD spend more per primary and secondary pupil that the USA. They’re all small and homogeneous:

Secondary per-pupil spending

Luxembourg $16,182
Switzerland $15,891
Norway $13,939
Austria $13,607
United States $12,731

https://read.oecd-ilibrary.org/education/education-at-a-glance-2014_eag-2014-en#page4

sycomputing

I’m with you…the problem isn’t “insufficient education funding,” but rather, the education being funded teaches the children more how to remain stupid than how to think.

gnomish

nature doesn’t do stupid. it’s naturally rejected.
it takes a village and state education.

sycomputing

“nature doesn’t do stupid. it’s naturally rejected.”

I deny the proposition:

https://www.popsugar.com/news/Who-Won-Popular-Vote-2016-Election-42872395

yjim

This wasn’t nature it was nurture. The nurturing of the masses by our schools and media. If it’s allowed to continue the demise of our country as we know it will happen.

ThomasJK

Can you spell F. U. B. A. R.? When historians look back from mid-21st century or later, they are likely to conclude that this country passed the point of no return sometime shortly after the mid point of the 20th century — late fifties or early sixties.

Bill Powers

Billy Joel was wrong. The Baby Boom Generation DID start the fire.

MarkW

Back in the 80’s, a government commission concluded that if our educational system had been imposed on us by a foreign power, it would be considered an act of war.
Education has continued to get worse in the 30+ years since then.

David Thompson

Had the popular vote mattered it would have been a different election with different campaign strategies. Different people would have voted and military votes would have been counted in deep blue states. Cheating and voter fraud would have had different effects too. Fact is, we don’t know who won the popular vote because we DIDN’T have that election.

Still there are way too many out there.

Dave Bufalo

Wikipedia reports: Take away the popular vote for both Hillary and Trump in California, and Trump would win the national popular vote by over 2 million votes.

Felix

And of course lots of illegals and otherwise ineligible “voters” voted in other states.

Trevor

Sycomputing :
You ARE exhibiting “The Egyptian Effect” my friend !
You are literally “up the creek” and in Egypt…..that’s De nial !
STUPID is roughly 10% of the population !
This is based on having and IQ below 65 !
THESE are the people that WELFARE is supposed to assist !
NOT some expletive “Greens” organisation and especially
NOT some “foreign expletive Greens organisation ” !!
PHYSICALLY DISABLED people also need and can appreciate
and respond to some aspects of WELFARE to improve their
lives , what they often need is support NOT interference !
The STUPID don’t even realise WHAT is happening most of their lives !
So…some compassion is necessary too !
As for the hookworm…….TREAT IT ASAP !!
Then everyone benefits !

Sceptical Sam

Trevor,
Your 10% figure is nonsense. Only 2.1% of people have an IQ below 70. Below 65 would be even less. Stupid is not an IQ classification. It’s a political one.

Here’s a good primer for you:
https://fellowshipoftheminds.com/tag/iq-normal-distribution-curve/

Paul Schnurr

Trump’s campaign strategy was based on winning the presidency which, despite partisan whining, is done by winning the electoral college not the popular vote. If the popular vote was the lawful pathway to the presidency a completely different campaign may have been used.

Trump’s rejection of the childishly simple climate change theories of the left was the pinnacle of his election for me. The arrogance that we can control the climate or that we can destroy the planet is colossal.

Cube

@sycomputing: you are a case in point, thanks for providing an illustration! Griff?

sycomputing

????

Taphonomic

Ain’t it amazing that those Russians colluded such that Hillary won the popular vote and still lost the the election!

Life is good.

Tom in Florida

Hillary didn’t “win” anything. The popular vote is just an anecdotal statistic, like corner kicks in a futbol match.

Pamela Gray

4 marks. Our elections are configured to conform with our republic form of government that values individual rights over majority rule. If we had a democratic constitution, Hillary would be the president and majority rule would strip the constitution clean away of our individual right to, among others, the right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.

MarkW

Stupid is anyone who cares who won the popular vote.
As Al Gore’s campaign manager said when asked about the popular vote.
“If the election had been a popular vote election both parties would have run radically different campaigns.”

PS: of course the Democrats completely discount the possibility of illegal votes.

sycomputing

“Stupid is anyone who cares who won the popular vote.”

No dude…”stupid” is that Clinton WON the popular vote, and if you don’t see that as a problem then you need to reevaluate your position. In fact that such was the case is scary.

Why do I have to explain every itty bitty thing to you people??

Did you all vote for Clinton as well or something?

🙂

MarkW

Stupid is someone who keeps touting something meaningless and insulting anyone who doesn’t agree with him.

Some of the problems with the alleged popular vote were detailed above.

Another problem is how many people didn’t even bother to vote because either Clinton or Trump was way ahead in their state?

Popular vote is only of interest to those who lost and can’t deal with it.

sycomputing

“Stupid is someone who keeps touting something meaningless and insulting anyone who doesn’t agree with him.”

Well then don’t you contradict yourself?

“Stupid is anyone who cares who won the popular vote.”

“Another problem is how many people didn’t even bother to vote because either Clinton or Trump was way ahead in their state?”

Is this a question?

This is and always has been a problem. It’s nothing new. Some don’t bother to vote because they don’t care. Nothing new there either.

“Popular vote is only of interest to those who lost and can’t deal with it.”

On the contrary, the popular vote is an excellent indication of the overall mood/thinking/philosophical swing of the nation.

From among the set of all voters who did vote, that so many voted for Clinton to the point that more than voted for Clinton than for Trump, is a problem for the thinking man.

She should’ve been stomped beyond all recognition if all was well with the world.

Felix

Yup. Definitely it’s how the money is spent which keeps US kids’ performance in the dumps.

Way too many administrators and educrats, for starters.

sycomputing

I found an old second grade instructor’s curriculum published in the 1800’s. The subjects of study were at least (I’ve forgotten them all) these:

Latin
Algebra
English
History

and maybe one other language…can’t remember.

I didn’t learn squat until I learned how to think, and then it didn’t matter anymore, because everything became subject to logic and reason.

“It’s the curriculum, stupid!”

Felix

Algebra in the second grade?

Sorry, but I’m dubious.

Secondary school, ie high school, yeah. Second grade. Don’t think so.

comment image

sycomputing

Seems like it…maybe Geometry…purty sure ’twas one ‘o the two…I and those around me were shocked as well.

yjim

I don’t know if it’s true or not. Read some letters written by US Civil War solders that are archived in many museums. Many solders are far more articulate than most of us today. Not officers, just every-day enlisted. I wish I had the ability to express myself the way these men had.

Felix

True. Especially Union soldiers were well educated. It makes US Civil War historiography much easier, than, say for the English Civil War.

Training manuals from WWI also assumed literacy. Today, we rely on cartoons.

Second grade Singapore Math Challenge. Here’s a problem for you.
* + O = 25
* + * + * + O + O = 65
* = ? O = ?
Not even at the end of the book…

Felix

That’s a national contest, not what every kid is expected to be able to solve.

Although it’s not that hard.

Few climate alarmists would even understand the question…

Greg

Yes they would: the answer is CO2 and we must act NOW!

Rich Davis

Don’t forget “It’s even worse than we thought!”

Daelyn75

Don’t forget “contributing to.”

For you an adult who has had algebra not so much. For a second grader? It doesn’t look like just a few are expected to know how to do this. They add, subtract,divide, and multiply differently and there are more word problems. After 5 years of this they get get pretty good at solving problems. This is incorporated into the curriculum. I doubt some adult Americans could do some of the second grade word problems.
You are going to give me my high school degree for showing up. …

I don’t add, subtract, multiply or divide the way it is taught in the American school system.

Hugs

”Second grade Singapore Math Challenge. Here’s a problem for you.
* + O = 25
* + * + * + O + O = 65
* = ? O = ?”
Won’t take 30 seconds if you have learned to do what is neatly called linear algebra but boils down to subtracting the upper equality from the lower one twice. My daughter probably could do that before the second grade.

Duane Johnson

Funny, I had to substitute x and y for * and O before my brain would let me solve it.

Marcus

me too, in my head…lol

Mike Macray

Me too Duane!

texasjimbrock

Lemme see. Hmm. O= 25-*
Substituting, 3* + 2O = 65, or 3* + 2(25 -*) =65
simplifying, 3* + 50 – 2* = 65
Solving for *,
*=65-50= 15
O=25 – 15 = 10
QED

Jim Brock

Marcus

Wrong…

* + * + * + O + O = 65
15+15+15+10+10 = 65
or
x+x+x+y+y=65 (x=15, y=10)

Took 7 seconds…

D. J. Hawkins

@Marcus;
If you’re replying to Jim, you owe him an apology. Your “y” is his “O”.

Ben of Houston

My daughter was doing something similar in first grade, as was I way back when. If you just replace the X with a question mark, it’s a standard Math Blaster problem.

If you mean true algebra, with graphing, then no, you can’t do that in second grade.

This is like comparing memorizing times tables with true multiplication. We do one (counting by Xs) in first grade, but the true usefulness doesn’t come until third.

Michael 2

* is 15, O is 10.

Multiply the top factors each by 3: 3* + 3o =75
Subtract the bottom: 3* + 2o = 65
Leaves o=10, figuring * is easy.

Mike McMillan

i”What is the use of a book,” thought Alice, “without pictures or conversations?”

I was taught algebra at age 10 and calculus at age 11

Felix

Second grade is age 7.

sycomputing

“I was taught algebra at age 10 and calculus at age 11”

See there?

“Second grade is age 7.”

Folks was smarter back in the day…

Felix

Maybe, but they were still taught subtraction in the 19th century at age 7, not algebra:

comment image

noaaprogrammer

They may have also been older. My grandfather (1891-1958) was a teenager when he was in the 4th grade because so many of his younger years were expended helping his parents farm.

Greg

I’m pretty sure this is supposed to be Secondary School. ie age 11+ not “second grade”.

Eustace Cranch

Where? Not in a standard-curriculum U.S. public school, that’s for sure.

texasjimbrock

Leo: I was almost taught differential equations at age 20.

richard verney

Some year back, I saw my dad’s 11 plus paper of the 1930s, I could not answer all the questions despite having a Master’s degree with distinctions.

Obviously, I could do all the maths questions, but there was complex geometry involving the the time required to fill a swimming pool (with shallow and deep ends) by water being pumped through a cylindrical hose. There were no calculators and everything was in feet and inches so even basic multiplication was not easy unlike today’s decimal system

There is no doubt that in the UK (and I expect that this is everywhere in the West) that educational standards, at least in basic and general education, has dropped very substantially these past 70 or so years.

texasjimbrock

We have dumbed down the curricula because…equality. Time is long since passed for us to get back to selective education: Challenge the gifted, dumb down for those not quite so.
And recognize that intellectual gifts are not required for a helluva lot of jobs. Teach those skills; revive the old apprenticeship practice of the early union movement.

tty

Things have changed in a century. Read “Daddy long-legs” (1912) and note the subjects Judy studied in college…

ozspeaksup

i heard Canada and usa i gather are going to hand a lot of “teaching” and record keeping to the googie monster
some idiotic spin about them having better teaching methods
was on a CBC Spark podcast i heard in aus earlier this week
sounded insane and if i was a parent id be taking my kid OUT fast!

Kristi Silber

Hmmm. Maybe the problem has something to do with parents’ attitude toward the education their kids are receiving.

Personally, I thought much of Core Curriculum was a step in the right direction as far as teaching kids to think, but Republicans hated it because they thought (wrongly) it was an Obama thing. That was my impression, anyway, straight from my Trumpist best friend. (I can love, admire and respect others even when I disagree with them. Weird, huh?)

Sunsettommy

My daughters HATED common core, since it created confusion with language that elementary students do NOT use in their lives.

Ben of Houston

My problem in common core was mostly with the math. It has a lot of drawing and manipulation that is supposed to make it easier to learn, but in fact adds a host of places to mess up. My daughter at one point came home in tears after failing a quiz on addition asking if she could do “real math” instead.

I had taught her mental addition in preschool by playing blackjack. However, she kept confusing the dots and lines she was supposed to draw.

Tom in Florida

You are confusing Common Core with Core Curriculum. No soup for you .

D. J. Hawkins

The rubric for Common Core assigns evaluations on a scale from 1 to 4. Now, 4 doesn’t mean the best. It means that you comprehend the material and advance with little or no assistance, or, basically, asking questions. So my son, who scores 100-103 on his tests (bonus words), gets a “3” because he asks questions in class where a fellow classmate getting low 90’s who doesn’t say a word, gets a “4”. What do you think this teaches my son? There are also approximately 51 categories requiring evaluation. On top of that, a “4” at the beginning of the year isn’t the same as a “4” at the end of the year since you’re supposed to be advancing with less assistance by the end of the year. Still scoring 97’s but asking more questions? No “4” for you.

slyrik

as a teacher in the Isle of man… I pull my hair out and work damn hard to get the children to ask questions…. I challenge them to ask me questions I cant answer… then we can all learn together… it is my aim despite the curriculum and all the box ticking and assessment rubbish we have to do… to teach the children how to learn… arrrghhhh

Ben of Houston

I don’t know what you are talking about, but I’ve never heard that kind of counter-intuitive rubric. It might not be common core so much as an idiot principal

Dipchip

Ignorance can be overcome thru education, Stupid is lack of intelligence or ability to comprehend complex problems.

Tom in Florida

And you can’t fix stupid.

texasjimbrock

But, Tom, even people who are not gifted with a 130+ IQ can learn valuable skills.

Tom in Florida

But they are not stupid, just not trained. If a person is plain stupid they have real limitations, although most of them don’t even realize how stupid they are.

Mike Macray

“…most of them don’t even realize how stupid they are.”

1. He who knows not and knows not that he knows not….is
a fool—–Avoid him!
2. He who knows not and knows that he knows not…can be
taught—–Teach him!
3. He who knows but knows not that he knows….
is asleep—Wake him!
and 4. He who knows and knows that he knows…is
a prophet—-Follow him!

Cube

I recently had an entry level employee with a degree from a prestigious north eastern college and a 3.4 GPA. This person was effectively illiterate: incapable of writing documentation, or even taking notes and subsequently editing a document according to my instructions. Fortunately this person has moved on: to a strategy department in a competing firm. Good for them!

Trevor

TRY AUSTRALIA……….MORE SPENT……..MUCH MORE !
RESULT: DECLINING STANDARD by comparison with REST OF WORLD !
“In 2018, that is $10,953 for a primary school student and $13,764 for a secondary school student, with extra loadings for disadvantages.”
( THAT MEANS….think of an amount and then double it….at least !!.
…my comment !! )

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-30/school-funding-explained-without-mentioning-gonski/8555276

ozspeaksup

reckon Gonski gillards pet idea should be GONEski!
seemed to be a namechange of common core
and from what ive seen of that…god help us and our kids.
they can’t spell, most cant concentrate to read a page let alone a chapter, can’t handle cursive cos its too hard?
flunk after a year at uni (amazed they got in)
back to the 50s strict rote learning which i used to think was bad …but looking back…maybe not.
shtf in the 70s when we got the 60s teachers hitting our classrooms

richard verney

I am not sure how those figures are derived.

According to the UK Government, it spends (2017) just under £85 billion on its department of education (it was over £85 billion in 2010). Apparently, there are 8.5 million people in education so that works out at ~£10,000 per head.

The Pound/Dollar exchange is circa 1.33, so that puts UK spending at around US$13,333 per child.

This is, of course, one of the problems with immigration. If one has an immigrant family with 3 kids, they need to pay $40,000 tax each year as long as their children are in education, and yet the average earnings of an immigrant family is under US$30,000 per year! The tax that such a family (if both parents worked) would pay is around US$2,000 per year, so well short of the $40,000 just to cover the educational costs of the family to the UK tax payer.

The true cost of immigration is not simply paying welfare to those that are unemployed, but is subsidising the costs of educating large families. This is more acute since immigrant families have on average more than 3 children per couple, whereas indigenous families have less than 1.9 per couple,

It is one of the unspoken points of immigration.

PS. 1 in 3 children starting school, in the UK, is now from an immigrant family. The figure would be greater if one includes 3rd generation immigrants. So one can see how the education budget is disproportionately propping up immigrants.

Kurt in Switzerland

“… They’re all small and homogeneous.”

Small, yes.
Homogeneous? Most definitely not.
From Wikipedia Articles on language, demographics and immigration:

1) The foreign population resident in Luxembourg currently numbers over 238,800, corresponding to 44,5% of the total population (compared to 17% in the 1960s). A plethora of languages are spoken in Luxembourg, but the three primary languages are Luxembourgish (national and administrative language), German (administrative language), and French (administrative language). Additionally, people born in foreign countries and temporary guest workers make up more than a third (40%) of the population of Luxembourg. Although most of these foreign born people primarily speak German and French, a significant minority also are native Portuguese, Italian, and English.

2) Encompassing the Central Alps, Switzerland sits at the crossroads of several major European cultures. Its population includes a two-thirds majority of Alemannic German speakers and a one-quarter Latin minority (French, Italian and Romansh), see linguistic geography of Switzerland. 10% of the population natively speak an immigrant language. In 2013 there were a total of 1,937,447 permanent residents (23.8% of the total population of 8.14 million) in Switzerland.

3) In the last decades, Norway has become home to increasing numbers of immigrants, foreign workers, and asylum-seekers from various parts of the world. Norway had a steady influx of immigrants from South Asia (mostly Pakistanis and Sri Lankans), East Asia (mainly Chinese), and Southeast Asia (e.g. Filipinos), Eastern Europe (e.g. Russians and Poles), Southern Europe (Greeks, Albanians and people from former Yugoslavia etc.), and Middle East countries (especially Iraqis and Palestinians), as well as Somalis, Turks, Moroccans, and some Latin Americans. After ten Eastern European and Baltic countries joined the EU in 2004, there has also been a substantial influx of people from Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Immigrants constituted 13% of the population at the start of 2015, and an additional 2.6% were born in Norway by immigrant parents (up from 8,3% and 1,5% in 2006). The same year, 19% of births in Norway were to immigrant parents…

4) As of 2011, Statistik Austria official estimates have shown that 81% of residents, or 6.75 million had no migration background and more than 19% or 1.6 million inhabitants had at least one parent of immigrant background.[clarification needed] There are more than 415,000 descendants of foreign-born immigrants residing in Austria, the great majority of whom have been naturalized. According to Eurostat, there were 1.27 million foreign-born residents in Austria in 2010, corresponding to 15.2% of the total population. Of these, 764,000 (9.1%) were born outside the EU and 512,000 (6.1%) were born in another EU member state. 350,000 ethnic Turks (including a minority of Turkish Kurds) currently live in Austria. At about 3% of the total population, they make up the biggest single ethnic minority in Austria.

Michael 2

Nice stats, not persuasive. Norway has *pockets* of immigrants but is culturally divided into two (and not more than two) main groups separated by the Jotunheim mountain range. The western coast is linguistically more German because of the Hanseatic League as compared to the central valleys of Oslo and northward.

All of the Teutonic/Scandinavian countries have similar moral values and work ethic, in my opinion.

Switzerland has over 700 years of relatively undiluted cultural development within its borders; while they neighbor somewhat strongly different cultures, they have developed their own.

When you reach the Mediterranean nations is when you start to see significant differences in culture and morals.

Kurt in Switzerland

Michael 2,

Respectfully, you don’t know what you’re talking about. My comment was wrt the gentlemen’s claim that the four OECD countries spending more per capita on educating students than the USA were both small and homogeneous. Now focus on the claim of homogeneity.

Luxembourg and Switzerland are both far from homogeneous, have been for quite some time. Anyone claiming that Switzerland has had “over 700 y of relatively undiluted cultural development within its borders” doesn’t know much about Swiss history. For example, Switzerland’s borders were formed after the Napoleonic Wars, which ended slightly less than 700 y ago. / sarc off.

Norway and Austria (today’s borders) used to be relatively homogeneous. You probably weren’t aware that Norway is just over a century old and that the Austria of > 110 y ago was a vastly heterogeneous state. The rapid increase in immigration in all four states today is tearing at the social fabric, however.

Bill Powers

And Felix, our urban Public School Systems are graduating kids with an average 8th grade reading proficiency and 4th grade math skills. The good news is that means some of the kids are proficient at 12 grade levels. the really bad news is that some can’t read their diplomas nor tell you how many they are holding. So when we extrapolate the per-pupil spending to a successfully education it is more like $275,000 per student. But quiz them on global warming and they know it is bad and it’s their parents fault.

Kristi Silber

“Pockets of poverty, unchecked health problems, insufficient education funding, homeless, undernourished…” And what is the Trump administration, or conservatives in general, doing about it? Privatization of schools? Fighting universal health coverage? Complaining about welfare? Is all this supposed to be accomplished through private donations?

Tom in Florida

These problems are the result of a large, centralized socialist government trying to do what local governments can do more successfully.

Rich Davis

Yes, the principle of subsidiarity should be applied, that decisions should be made at the lowest practical level. But the ideal level is the individual and in a lot of our problems, less government is the answer.

Kristi Silber

America is not a socialist country.

Tom in Florida

It does have many socialist attributes imposed upon us by the federal government. Social Security and Obamacare to name just two.

MarkW

Maybe not, but you are trying your darndest to turn it into one.

sycomputing

“And what is the Trump administration, or conservatives in general, doing about it?”

Something different than what got these people where they are, else your solution wouldn’t itself require a solution.

Kristi Silber

“Something different”? What does that mean? Building a giant wall? Starting a trade war? Alienating our allies? Scrapping environmental protection? This is going to make our schools better?

You don’t even know what my “solution” is. Don’t blame me for the past or make assumptions about what I think – you are very likely to be wrong.

sycomputing

“You don’t even know what my “solution” is.”

You hide behind such claims quite a bit don’t you? Instead of vague references to wispy “solutions,” why don’t you describe your solutions?

If you don’t like liberal solutions, and you don’t like conservative solutions, then what’s Kristi’s solution?

All this schoolyard sandbox, “you don’t know me” balderdash is becoming both boring and it’s beneath you.

Perhaps I misjudged you after all, but I still have hope.

Kristi Silber

That’s a fair complaint, but I get very tired of people assuming they know what I think, and I shouldn’t have to explain myself just to correct their assumptions – usually they don’t care (pitifully pea-brained MarkW plagued me from day one), but you have been among the nicest here to me. Anthony has made it clear that I am not to talk off-topic, and that you are not supposed to encourage me because I’m a troll, but this is my last post at WUWT (or very nearly so).

It’s not that I don’t like liberal or conservative solutions. I don’t even know what they are. I am by choice out of touch with the media in general.

These issues are very complex, but I’ll give you a summary of my views about one particular issue, as an example: poor black communities.

First, some of the problems. I believe that many of their complaints about discrimination are legitimate (and supported by research). But an even bigger problem is psychological. Kids grow up with a self-image reflecting what they learn from their parents, communities and the media. They are often exposed to drugs, violence, bad role models, poor schools, sub-optimal parenting for a variety of reasons, incarcerated dads/other relatives/friends, mediocre health care, and sometimes homelessness and food insecurity. Even all the talk of the problems (such as educational achievement disparities) can lead them to have low expectations of themselves. I also believe that the effects of slavery, segregation, disenfranchisement, etc. can’t be expected to go away within a few generations. The welfare system is another problem, though it’s gotten better since reforms made it difficult to get cash support for long without getting a job or going to school. Welfare can be not only be abused, it also can lead to self-esteem problems if one wants to get off it but can’t afford to. (I can empathize. I’ve been on SSDI for years, and I HATE it, hate being exactly the opposite of what I wanted to be – I wanted to give to society, and now I’m a sponge. I work as much as I can, but it’s not enough to live on; neither is SSDI.) …Anyway, those are some of the problems. They are deep-rooted, complex, and very difficult to solve.

Here are things I think might help, but it would take time and investment. There are no quick solutions.

– Penal system reform. Alternatives to incarceration such as psychiatric hospitals, addiction treatment, house arrest and closely-monitored probation. Ample educational and work opportunities within jails and prisons. Good psychiatric treatment. Preparation for return to society, and assistance in the period following. (Of course, not all criminals are good candidates for this stuff.)

– Education starting before birth: teach mothers how to care for themselves and their kids *before* they have them, using empirically-based methods and content. This includes everything from mom’s nutrition to the effects of TV/screen time on young minds.

– Early childhood education (Headstart)

– Gov’t subsidized child care, so single moms can work and get off welfare

– Whatever it takes, ensure people can earn a living wage in low-skilled labor, enough to support one adult and two kids (single motherhood is a reality in black communities that no one but they have a right to address).

– School desegregation

– Low-interest loans for black entrepreneurs to start businesses in black neighborhoods (preferably ones that employ a lot of people)

– Training blacks to do various kinds of outreach, role modeling and leadership in their neighborhoods. Some ex-cons are good for this.

– Community gardens have “sprouted” up around the Twin Cities. Fresh veggies are just one of the benefits. Veggies are expensive compared to processed foods.

I could go on, but you get the idea, I hope, that I’ve thought about this quite a bit (I’m not just repeating what I’ve heard somewhere!). One of the key underlying principles is that they need help, but only so that they can help themselves. White liberals can’t play the patrons. Blacks need to get beyond the victim mentality, and it must come from within themselves and their communities. But that’s where they are stuck now. I think it’s too much to ask that they simply change without addressing some of the root causes of their stagnation. Intergenerational poverty is very hard to overcome even without racial and historical baggage. It would cost money, but the investment would pay off in the long run with gains in productivity, lower costs of incarceration, more tax revenue, less welfare, crime and addiction, and finally putting behind us what I view as a source of national shame.

After writing all this just for you, Sycomputing, I sure hope you see it. My ideas are always subject to change. I don’t want to “come over to your side” – I am me, on no one’s side, but mostly liberal. Talking to conservatives is one way I learn, but I can’t deal with the animosity and blame here anymore. It’s poisoning my view of skeptics and conservatives (It would probably be similar on a left-wing site). Thanks for being an exception.

sycomputing

There you go. Now see if you’d just done that in the proper context rather than been “triggered” by what individuals here think you believe you wouldn’t have gotten upset. Naturally, that you were “triggered” is concerning and I’d argue you should avoid it on the basis that such a thing is common amongst an irrational group of individuals (in my opinion) that really are nothing more than adult children who cry when they don’t get their way. Don’t be like them because you’re a liberal. Be ready, however, if/when you buck the trend to be bucked by them as well. It’s herd mentality over there, as I hope you’ll admit.

This site does offer political articles aimed at political discourse once in a while – having that discourse in the proper context avoids the moderator’s admonition to “stay on topic,” which, btw, has happened to me more than once. While to some degree embarrassing to be publicly admonished, justifiably or not, for what reason would I rationally believe it follows that I’m no longer welcome? When that happens (i.e., “banning,” which, as I understand it, is very rare) then Mr. Watts prevents the offender from ever posting again.

Obviously, he has not you.

“Talking to conservatives is one way I learn, but I can’t deal with the animosity and blame here anymore. It’s poisoning my view of skeptics and conservatives (It would probably be similar on a left-wing site).”

Yes it would be similar and oh come now madam. First, you know very well that morons are in every group and that judging the entire group on the basis of what the morons say is irrational. Furthermore, getting “beat up” is good for you, it teaches you patience and self-control in the face of Stupid [sic]. Who cares what they think? Use the opportunity to teach, or have some intellectual fun tossing them about the intellectual room, if you have a rational argument, that is. Not that you’ll be teaching them, but who knows who will come along and read your post later? You might end up convincing someone! Nevertheless, of course only you know how much you can take before you can’t anymore.

“Thanks for being an exception.”

Well thanks for affirming that I’ve met that goal with you.

Take care!

Kristi Silber

Sycomputing, glad you read my comment! It’s fair enough to admonished for not staying on-topic. But Anthony’s words were, ‘This is wildly off-topic Kristi, stop it, and everybody else – don’t feed the troll” which wasn’t fair, since I joined the conversation loooong after it had gone off-topic – maybe my mistake was bringing in politics, but I’m hardly the first to do that, and it was about poverty and domestic spending. There was no reason to single me out. And as for “troll,” nearly everyone stopped that nonsense long ago. It wasn’t just this that made me feel unwelcome, it is the tone of the comments in general. Because of my views about climate change science, I represent the enemy. It’s understandable people would get angry at me, since I am wont to question people’s *reasoning* and no one likes that. ALL humans believe their reasoning is better than it is. No group has a monopoly on reason, no group is unbiased – but we are naturally inclined to think our group is better and smarter. It’s normal. That’s what I would most like to communicate, but I’m not very good at it. Pretty abysmal, actually, and that makes me want to give up.

I was always fully prepared, and expected to be “beat up.” I started out with Breitbart, after all! It was less the personal comments than the endless insults and generalizations about the Other, and assumptions about the way they think. It’s boring and irrational and mighty pervasive. Yes, there are doofuses in every group, but also good thinkers in every group. There are values and ideas to learn from in every group. I have always been put off by liberal condemnation and condescension toward conservatives, even before I came to better understand and respect conservative values.

I’m not sure what to do now. MarkW has just been admonished for his comments (which have been directed at others, too), which may be an indirect sign that someone thinks I should stay (???). I know there is room for improvement in my own attitude, and also know from experience that I come off sounding offensive and critical even when I have good intentions. Diplomacy has never been my strong point.

Kristi Silber

Back to the topic: I often find it illuminating to see what was omitted from the articles that are reproduced in posts. Eric left out what the money in the Caribbean was to be used for, which seems pretty important:

“As part of the partnership, the United States Agency for International Development, U.S.A.I.D., provided funding for aerial laser-mapping devices, to survey topography and underwater landscapes, and high-tech buoys that monitor the health of coral reefs and the surrounding sea. The initiative, formally known as the Climate Change Adaptation Program, was designed to bolster the region’s ability to monitor, withstand, and predict extreme weather fluctuations. ‘Data, as it relates to some of these parameters, has been one of our major challenges,’ Ulric Trotz, a scientist who is the deputy executive director of the Centre, told me. ‘We are data starved.’”

Since many hurricanes go through the Caribbean before hitting our coasts, it seems like this might benefit CONUS, too – not to mention Puerto Rico. Perhaps we could also learn something about the general dynamics of extreme weather.

Though I should know better, I sometime take the comments of some here and generalize to the group, especially when the comments aren’t debated. For example, a very common accusation is that the left is damaging the prospects of the impoverished in the developing world, yet the general reaction to this post is that Trump is right to cut international aid – and to me this seems hypocritical. USAID:

“The purpose of foreign aid should be ending the need for its existence, and we provide development assistance to help partner countries on their own development journey to self-reliance – looking at ways to help lift lives, build communities, and establish self-sufficiency.

“Our efforts are both from and for the American people.

“USAID demonstrates America’s good will around the world; increases global stability by addressing the root causes of violence; opens new markets and generates opportunity for trade; creates innovative solutions for once unsolvable development challenges; saves lives; and advances democracy, governance, and peace.”

Isn’t that what we want? There’s an argument that because it’s a federal program, it’s wasteful. I would counter by saying that private charities are also wasteful because they often have so much overhead, including money used for soliciting donations. Without a powerful diplomatic structure in place, they may be even more likely to have to resort to bribes. A federal program is more likely to result in benefits to the U.S. such as trade ties. Neither system is ideal, and each runs the risk of funds falling into corrupt hands, but does that mean foreign aid should simply be stopped?

And as I have said in the past, I fear that we (the U.S.) is losing our reputation as a world leader on many fronts by choosing to pull out of agreements like the Paris Accord and the Trans Pacific Partnership, implementing trade tariffs, and angering our allies. It seems to me that we are opting for short-term protectionism at the expense of long-term economic health and international credibility and reputation. Whether we like it or not, the world is moving toward interdependent economies and international alliances. And as Sycomputing put it, “Be ready, however, if/when you buck the trend to be bucked by them as well.”

sycomputing

“‘This is wildly off-topic Kristi, stop it, and everybody else – don’t feed the troll’ which wasn’t fair, since I joined the conversation loooong after it had gone off-topic…”

Well then perhaps you weren’t the “troll” being referenced? Perhaps he/she was farther up the thread?

Just a thought.

“I was always fully prepared, and expected to be ‘beat up.'”

Then with respect, you aren’t very good at it. 🙂

“I’m not sure what to do now…an indirect sign someone thinks I should stay (???).”

I can’t speak for anyone, however, I probably wouldn’t think the website’s owner is too concerned about your decision either way. I suspect that goes for most of those who comment here. That said, if he’d specifically wanted you to leave he would’ve banned you.

It’s just a website. Albeit a fun and informative one. And we’re all just people who come here for our various reasons.

Take care!

sycomputing

“I suspect that goes for most of those who comment here.”

Oops…by the way, this wasn’t meant in reference to you, Kristi, it was meant in reference to Mr. Watts’ thinking about the rest of us, as well as you!

I hope you stay, but I hope you have fun while you do.

Kristi Silber

No, not the owner. It’s quite a coincidence, if nothing else.

“Then with respect, you aren’t very good at it.” I’m not sure you realize how often I’ve been insulted. I’ve persisted for a long time, but it gets old. It’s not fun anymore. I was wavering, but after reading another couple threads…yuck.

Take care yourself.

MarkW

As is typical of Kristi, she can’t honestly state what it is her opponents believe.
For example, rolling back the extent of a few regulations is immediately converted into “scrapping environmental protection”.

[The mods suggest you attempt to add to the conversation, as sycomputing has done, rather than relentlessly attacking another commenter. There’s an effective and respectful way to make your point, and then there’s the method you normally choose, which is confrontational, belittling, and pugilistic. Please consider modifying your approach to enhance the conversation. -mod]

ferdberple

Give a man a fish or teach him to fish?

People are much better off with jobs than with welfare. Yet the government routinely makes it difficult to create jobs through a sea of regulations while at the same time rewarding people with free money for being failures.

If I can get $500 for spending 1 hour at welfare why am I going to take a job that pays less than $500 per hour?

Joe Crawford

Around here it’s worse than that. I know one couple where he draws around $1,200 a month from SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) because of a “bad back” and makes another $1,000 or so under the table doing rock work and laying cement block. Probably because of the lower cost of living, but I read some where that West Virginia has one of the highest percentages of disabled (this may include those living off what they call a ‘settlement’) among all the states.

Kristi Silber

Most people on welfare have jobs. Try living on $500 a month, see how far it gets you.

It’s always the government’s fault, isn’t it. When businesses don’t pay a living wage, it must be due to government regulations. When they don’t provide health care, it’s the bloody liberals who are standing in their way. Maternity leave? Government is holding business back from achieving their ethical standards. Corporations are victims of government subsidies, and we should feel sorry for them. Tax restructuring meant bonuses rather than job creation – again, that’s government’s fault.

It’s so much easier to blame than find solutions. You’d make an excellent Congressman.

Felix

Wrong again.

When will you learn to check facts before spouting more Loony Leftwing lies and drivel?

https://medium.com/2016-index-of-culture-and-opportunity/most-work-eligible-welfare-recipients-are-not-working-17d0004523b

Government is indeed the problem. It perpetuates poverty.

The solution is freedom and encouragement to work, not to be dependent.

This is wildly off-topic Kristi, stop it, and everybody else – don’t feed the troll

Felix

OK. How about a separate blog for political issues?

Kristi Silber

You’re blaming me??? Are you kidding? And on top of it, calling me a troll.

OK, Anthony, you win. You and your followers have one less person to challenge the skeptic dogma. Drive them all away and you can be happy patting each other on the back for being reasonable and knowledgeable while everyone else (greens, the left, the CAGW suckers) is stupid, corrupt, socialist and scientifically illiterate – and they all think exactly the same, each according to his label. I’ll just answer a few comments in ongoing discussions and be done.

MarkW

Trolls sure are sensitive.

MarkW

As usual, Kristi reacts without actually reading. Or perhaps she doesn’t know as much as she was taught to believe.

In the example that has your panties in a twist, the man is on disability for a bad back, yet he makes money under the table laying cement block. If you can’t see the problem there, then there is no hope left for your “brain”.

No company can be made to pay more than a job is worth. Any attempt to do so will either cause the job to be unfilled, or the company to go out of business.
It’s not a matter of fairness, it’s a matter of reality.

PS: When government makes it more expensive to stay in business, that money has to come from somewhere. I thought even a socialist would be smart enough to figure that out.

Tax restructuring created a lot of economic activity and is one of the reason’s why unemployment has gone down so much.

Rich Davis

You’re on to something as far as parental involvement is concerned. Public education too often equates to abdication of parental responsibility for education. When there are only a few “bad parents”, a school may be able to mitigate the impact of a few problem children. When they are the norm, the situation is hopeless.

I’m a libertarian who sometimes thinks Trump is doing ok and sometimes not, so I’m no Trumpist apologist.

You seem to disparage this, but I see a realistic path to a solution to the dilemma of low involvement of parents by privitizing all education and diverting all public funding to a voucher system that initially makes the same local government payment per student to the privitized school. Parents would be empowered to use the voucher to send their children to the school that does the best job of education, not only the formerly public school monopoly, but also competitor schools that may charge more or less for tuition than the voucher is worth. Schools would compete on both quality and price. The difference between the voucher value and the tuition would either be paid by the parents or go into the child’s college savings fund. The best teachers would be recruited by the best schools and the worst teachers in the schools that go out of business will move on to careers in fields where they are better suited. The primary problem is that there are no market forces allowed to play out in the public education monopoly. Parents disengage because there isn’t much they can effectively do. We could still choose to make the cost of the education of children something that is shared by the whole public just by funding the vouchers. We do this with food stamps and nobody dies for lack of public supermarkets.

Healthcare suffers similar distortions of the market. Insurance has morphed into a pre-paid plan for an all-you-can-eat buffet. Few people shop around for the best price on an MRI test or x-ray. Why would they when it doesn’t change their out-of-pocket expense? Few people question the need for expensive diagnostic tests that are often ordered unnecessarily to generate revenue to the hospital to offset the costs of providing free services to the indigent. It doesn’t cost them anything to go along with it. There is no process to know which specialist has the best quality of outcomes. There should be a process to make public information available about cost and outcomes. Wouldn’t you choose the highest quality you could afford? Right now it’s hit or miss. Maybe your insurance is paying for high quality at a low price or low quality at a high price. The only market force at play is the insurance company trying to drive down cost by denying coverage and pressuring providers to cut corners. Providers succeed by cutting costs rather than improving quality because that’s how they are being measured.

Kristi Silber

I’m from MN, the first state in the nation (I think that’s right) to have charter schools. The results are mixed, but overall they are doing worse than demographically equivalent public schools.

The one thing that seems to have consistently good results is desegregation, but that’s politically unpopular.

Monitoring results of medical procedures would be a statistical nightmare, and quite expensive to do well. There are too many confounding factors. I don’t know what the answer is, but it seems like we could learn more from countries that do have good health coverage, even if it means adopting some form of socialized medicine. I’m a capitalist, but I don’t believe in adhering to an ideology just for the sake of the ideology: I believe in doing what works best in a given situation. That said, maybe the American economic structure simply wouldn’t be able to accommodate socialized medicine – and it would be politically unfeasible at any rate. Again, I don’t know the answer.

Felix

If charter schools are so bad, why do parents want so much to enroll their kids in them, wherever they can?

http://www.startribune.com/charter-school-enrollment-is-surging-in-minnesota/415018793/

Is there any Loony Leftwing lie which you won’t swallow?

Kristi Silber

“It’s been spurred by grade additions and new facilities, plus an increase in the number of schools statewide…Academically, they run the gamut, with some receiving national honors and others struggling to meet basic proficiency benchmarks.”

As I said, the results are mixed.

This data is a few years old. Maybe things have improved.
http://www.startribune.com/how-charter-schools-compare-to-public-districts/300955491/

” On average, nationally, students in 17 percent of charter schools performed significantly better than if they had attended their neighborhood traditional public school.
On the flip side, students in 37 percent of charter schools performed significantly worse, and students in the remaining 46 percent of charter schools did not perform significantly better or worse than if they had attended their neighborhood traditional public school.” http://www.data-first.org/questions/how-do-charter-schools-compare-to-regular-public-schools-in-student-performance/

Rich Davis

Kristi, charter schools are essentially just alternative public schools. Like a bandaid on a compound fracture. There are so many problems with public schools, most of which revolve around teachers unions. The system needs to be scrapped to unleash competition on both quality and cost. High performing teachers need to be rewarded and failing teachers need to eventually lose their jobs if they don’t improve. There could be a diverse set of schools each more suited to the needs of the students attending them. Students would also have incentives to compete to get in the best schools.

You say like Bart Simpson, that it would be “too hard don’t try”, but data about outcomes relative to cost is what is glaringly missing in both the education and healthcare situations. This idea is the basis of a successful business model, Angie’s List. I don’t imagine that schools and medicine fit that model perfectly but it doesn’t strike me as a nightmare to collect satisfaction and cost data and aggregate it for public access.

Kristi Silber

The effectiveness of charter schools varies widely, and the systems of oversight vary from state to state. I agree with the complaint about teachers’ unions, but part of problem is the way teaching is taught, and what happens once new teachers start. My aunt was a public school math teacher for many years, working with a really tough demographic. She thought there should be more mentoring for new teachers, and I think that’s an excellent idea. Another problem is their pay. For the difficulty and importance of the job, and the education required, the pay isn’t great, and that means it doesn’t attract the best and brightest of society. Or they leave once they find out what it’s REALLY like.

You mean tracking health care “success” like Angie’s List??? That would be extremely objective and unreliable. A patient may be more likely to give good marks based on attentiveness and personality of care givers rather than whether they are actually given good, necessary treatment and accurate diagnosis. How is a patient supposed to know whether an MRI reading was done well? While people often have experience with multiple auto repairs, they only have one heart transplant. For the system to work well, there would have to be follow-up feedback. A patient could be happy just after a Dr’s appt, only to learn later that the diagnosis and treatment were totally wrong. Perhaps variables such as rates of hospital-based infection, accuracy of diagnosis, number of malpractice suits won, and some treatment outcomes might be good, objective parameters to measure. I might choose a GP, but probably not a surgeon based solely on patients’ opinions. Then again, what else is there to go by? (Maybe you’re right, and I’m just letting my natural devilish advocacy take over!)

It is tough to assess schools, too, given the range of variables. The demographic makes a very big difference, and whether English is their native tongue. Do you rely on grades, standardized test scores, or improvement over time? Do you look at ranges or averages within a school? Do you track only how well a student does in school, or his SATs, college graduation rates or employment? And do you look only at academics, or include things like civic virtue or artistic accomplishment? How about athletics, for which a student could get a college scholarship? It may seem a foolish question, but given the emphasis schools put on sports and the amount of time kids devote to them, and the fact that for many kids making the pros seems like the only chance they have to get rich, it’s not a trivial matter.

But then again, as long as there are standard ways of comparing schools, I guess you could rely on those as long as you recognize their limitations. (See? I even debate myself!)

MarkW

Charter schools have become so weighed down with government regulations that they are little different from public schools. Especially in states that are in essence run by their unions such as MN.

Michael 2

Thomas Malthus might suggest that these problems cannot be solved, for all people, everywhere, EVER. These are the natural result of existence beyond immediately available resources.

Therefore you must choose who you are going to help and with whose money and labor you are going to conscript for the purpose.

Rich Davis

Your intent is a bit ambiguous. When I see an appeal to Malthus, I see a veritable proof that the argument is wrong, as his poisonous ideas have been discedited by his own failed predictions and the predictions of moral monsters like Paul Ehrlich in our time. But Ehrlich still retains credibility among anti-human watermelons so maybe you’re one of those who are so deluded by your pseudoreligion, that you can somehow still think that Malthus had valuable insights to offer.

Beyond that, why should we conscript anybody’s labor, or help anybody, if that dismal view is valid?

MarkW

Notice how the socialist assumes that absent government, nothing good will ever happen.

Kristi, all of those problems are a direct result of current government programs.
Why do you assume that only more government will solve them?

Cephus0

The whole ‘foreign aid’ thing is a totally out of control insanity which exists solely for the purpose of political virtue-signalling. The UK currently sends something like £14 billion to countries like India, China and Pakistan which are all nuclear-armed nations with huge military budgets and even their own space programs. All while the government tell us we cannot afford the NHS or an effective police force.

Over 50 years of foreign aid from The Netherlands to the whole of Africa. Yet every year the same thing: hunger, disease, starvation etc. Clearly foreign aid does not work. Stop it all together, just stop it.

Rick in Calgary

Re every year the same thing …. the names of the dictators occasionally change 😉

Kristi Silber

No, it’s not clear. In order to demonstrate that, you would have to show that lack of aid has the same or better results. Do you think aid from the Netherlands is going to cure the problems of all of Africa? Foreign aid is often just a bandage to deal with short-term problems, not to address causes, and it’s not always doled out well. This is the main reason I think the Green Climate Fund has value: it goes toward projects like improving resiliency to disaster rather than disaster relief, increasing urban energy efficiency rather providing more energy, providing those who have little hope of access to electricity with microgrids, and teaching people to manage their forests sustainably rather than handing out stoves (though there’s nothing wrong with that).

MarkW

You can compare progress both before and after foreign aid.
Rarely does foreign aid improve the lot of the people, rather than just making the corrupt elite even richer.

Kristi Silber

Baseline before aid. Aid starts. Five year drought. People just as impoverished as at baseline. Has aid helped?

Kristi Silber

“The whole ‘foreign aid’ thing is a totally out of control insanity which exists solely for the purpose of political virtue-signalling.” This is a disgusting, vile insult to those who really care, and I am one of them. F*** “virtue-signalling”! I’m sick to death of that lame excuse to blame others for wanting to help.

MarkW

In Kristi’s world view, all that matters is that you care and want to help.
It doesn’t matter what you do, so long as you care.
It doesn’t matter that you are making the situation worse, since you care.

It’s all about how she feels about herself. Actually helping people is incidental at best.

ThomasJK

For as long as “denizens of the swamp” can spend U. S. taxpayer dollars along with the mythical-magical money that the U. S. Federal Reserve magically conjures out of their magic hole in the air in ways that they think will enhance their status in the eyes of the people in the rest of the world then that is what we will get from “the swamp:” more and more money being spent wastefully on international ‘projects’ that the swamp critters believe will enhance their status in the eyes of the globalists, domestic and international.

“Our” Congress as well as “our” bureaucrats have been bought and paid for by the globalists. Expect nothing better before the next War for Freedom in this country.

Tom in Florida

Soon, very soon.

Plus the very large sum spent on illegal aliens every year for decades.

Ktm

Head Start was and is a complete waste of money. It’s a 40+ billion boondoggle, more costly than the Apollo program.

In the last several years, the government decided to fund a massive gold standard randomized controlled study to settle the question once and for all whether pre-k was a good investment or a waste of money. The results were clear and stunning. At no point did Head Start provide any lasting measurable educational benefit to any child. There were some fleeting temporary gains that disappeared within a few short years. There were some non-educational benefits like lower adult incarceration rates, but these were no better than similar gains from simple child care programs.

Despite the clarity provided by the science, many still clamor for universal pre-k and count pre-k spending toward educational investment. I live in the state that spends the lowest amount per pupil in the country. Some argue that the money alone is proof of failure, and most metrics of ‘quality education’ in various states rely heavily on spending. My state also has among the highest literacy rates in the country, but as i said such metrics are set aside.

We do have a crisis in education, but it’s not a funding crisis. We offer some of the best education in the world, but we also have some kids experiencing education no better than that found in many 3rd world countries. That’s the real problem, and it’s not driven primarily by spending.

spangled drongo

The whole world is being funded to believe in CAGW. Ah! the luxury of being paid to ride your favourite horse.

Sadly, turning off the money doesn’t get them out of the saddle.

Greg

At least it gives them a sore butt and something new to moan about.

MarkW

And Betty has succeeded in her real goal which was completely derailing the conversation.

David B

What bothers me is all the money we spent on science theory before we even know much about any potential threat. The trillions we spent on getting rid of CFCs without even understanding the process or actual scientific accuracy of the theory. And now hundreds of billions on CO2. When we spend almost nothing trying to be sure we don’t get hit by an unknown meteor, or even disastrous a west coast tsunami.

Liberals think its always someone else’s money – the ”governments’ – and what’s the problem, It sends the virtuous signals and it creates employment,

What’s not to like?

The fact that they can’t answer that question, is why they are Liberals.

Alan Tomalty

The world didnt spend trillions on the Ozone scam but maybe very high billions

richard verney

I suspect that it is very difficult to know how much was spent, and how much money is still being spent. I give you an example.

I have a holiday home in Spain with 6 air cons. All need regassing. Some are 15 years old, some are 30 years old. If I could simply regass them, it would cost me around $200. But I can’t because the gas has changed.

There are substitute gases on the market, but most people say that the units need to be modified to work with this, eg., new seals etc. This is very labour intensive and will cost perhaps $1,500. Do I spend $1,500 when these units are so old, and could go mechanically wrong next year or in a few years.

Would it be better for me to replace the whole lot, which would cost me perhaps about $4,000 to $5,000. They are then likely to have a useful life of 15 years plus.

There must be 1000s of such examples (just in Spain) where people are facing such a dilemma, and being forced to spend circa $5,000 rather than just $200. On a world wide basis, this all adds up.

.

Matthew Bergin

Buy underground Freon and recharge the old system. That is what I do. I Canada you can’t buy Freon 12 but you can buy Freon 12a so I use Freon 12a. Works just fine. Don’t know the difference but it works.

R. Shearer

It’s a mixture of propane and butane. Works fine as a replacement for F12 but is flammable, which makes is a little less safe. It’s outlawed in the U.S.

R. Shearer
Joe Crawford

Yep… to save most of that four or five thousand dollars you afford to fly to the Caribbean, pick up the Freon (check with some boaters that have been there recently), then fly to Spain and install it.

joelobryan

Party like its Y2K. Then One day rhe money runs out, as it always does.

Yeah, and what about that homeless epidemic in California, Portland, Seattle?
They are victims of decades of Liberal policies.

J Mac

‘Homelessness’ is an industry in Seattle.

gnomish

in bellingham i watched preachers poaching each other’s homeless lunch service clients to boost their numbers to better establish their NEED when they seek FUNDING.
USA went from manufacturing industry to activism – from production to fluffery.
HEADLINE: “10 yr old boy wants boobs” says it all

Latitude

What galls me….we send them $trillions in aid….and then bankroll their global warming on top of that…

and China, India gets a free pass….they should be paying/fined not getting paid

The fact that they get a pass…..is all you need to know global warming is a s c a m

Just forget what we spend on illegal immigration…and we can’t/won’t even take care of our own

Tom Halla

Help! The end of the world is coming soon! Our funding was cut!

ATheoK

“twenty-five-million-dollar partnership with a little-known research organization in Belize called the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre”

I loved the article’s listing all of the wonderful things these programs developed and described in their achievements…

Felix

Going FDR’s make-work CCC two letters better!

TonyL

SCORE!!!

MarkW

Just one letter off CCCP.

J Mac

Trump: “America Will No Longer Be the Piggy Bank that Everyone is Robbing”

Message received? How copy, over?!!

commieBob

The money flows into the countries for a disaster, and, as soon as the disaster’s over, it will completely disappear …

That part is absolutely true. Foreign aid is a disaster in its own right. link

william Johnston

OK. What is a “reforestation project designed to control carbon emissions”? Oh, I see. Non-flammable trees. Got it.

J Mac

‘Sugar Free Trees’ – No carbohydrates!
Algore invented them, right after that ‘interweb’ thingy….

Tim

“reforestation project designed to control carbon emissions” … or was that “designed to feed wood-chip-biomass-fired power plants.”?

J Mac

“Obama pledged three billion dollars, a third of which was contributed before he left office.”

How many clean water wells could be drilled, at $8,000/well, with the $1,000,000,000 that was contributed before Obama’s regime ended?
125,000 desperately needed clean water wells could have been drilled in impoverish areas of the world… but the US taxpayers money was pissed away on crony socialism ‘projects’ of marginal real value to the world’s poor.

This is the ‘high priority/lost opportunity’ true cost of the environmental fraud that is ‘Climate Change’.

Oh come ON. Next you will be telling me that gay rights are infinitely less important than clean water.

I mean what’s the point of clean water if you feel a moral outcast?!

drednicolson

Tolerance was never the end goal, and reasonable accomodation was never good enough. You WILL morally affirm their behavior or be branded a hateful bigot. 😐

MarkW

Not just affirm, you must celebrate their behavior.

Kristi Silber

“The money flows in for the disaster then stops, and they complain. They think US should just keep giving them a free lunch indefinitely.”

The point is that if more were invested in disaster resilience and avoidance (through building sea walls, for instance), we wouldn’t have to spend so much on disaster relief.

Funding and regulations to alleviate domestic poverty are a separate issue. It’s not one or the other. If Trump’s cuts mean that projects can’t be completed, the aid we have given until may be wasted.

“There are US citizens living with insane levels of poverty.” Not compared to the levels of poverty seen in the developing world. Would you rather have hookworm and easy access to medical care, or have little access to medical care, no money for shoes, and a compromised immune system due to malnutrition, increasing the probability of developing anemia? Hookworm is easily treatable, and most people are symptom-free. Don’t go barefoot outside.

Would you rather live in post-hurricane Houston or Puerto Rico?

Besides, since when are conservatives concerned about impoverished Americans? Most want to cut welfare and health coverage to your hookworm-infested Alabamans, and vote against minimum wage hikes. Doesn’t the market take care of hookworms? (I don’t like making partisan generalizations like this, but Eric’s self-righteous blame and incessant insults bring it out in me.)

Felix

No one is more concerned about America’s (relative) poor than conservatives. We want them no longer to be poor. Welfare keeps them poor, but depriving them of incentive to be productive and to enrich themselves.

Roger Knights

Conservatives have a theory that minimum wage hikes, especially to a fairly high level like $15/hour, reduce employment, and so are bad for the poor on balance. Employment in Seattle is falling after it instituted such a minimum wage hike.

MarkW

It’s not just a theory, it’s reality.
If a company is forced to pay more for a job, than the job is worth, the company will always seek to find a way to do without the job. There’s a reason why companies are investing millions to find ways to automate more and more jobs.

drednicolson

Hunger feels the same whether you’re neighbors happen to be dirt poor or filthy rich. May even feel worse in the latter case. At least in the former, you have some solidarity from being in the same boat.

Minimum wage laws are secretly bad for the poor. They’re effectively a price floor on labor. Any sane business owner faced with a price floor will stick to that floor like glue and resist any voluntary request to pay more, regardless of justification. It deprives the talented and ambitious of the opportunity to haggle for a higher wage based on what extra value they could bring to the table. When BossBob can’t give SuperJob a raise and stay in the black, because he has to cut LazyLob an inflated paycheck he demned sure didn’t earn, SuperJob will eventually either find work elsewhere or become another LazyLob. He sure isn’t incentivized to keep being super where he works now.
Kinda punches the ol’ American Dream in the gut, don’t it?

In principle, I’m not against a reasonable social safety net. However, the point of a safety net is to soften your landing so you can climb back up to the trapeze with nothing broken. In many cases today, it would be better called the social ball pit. Easier and more comfortable to just keep wallowing in the ball pit than to struggle to climb out. And so-called progressives promise to keep it open, because they want you to stay there so you will vote for them to keep it open.

And I say all this as someone who has availed himself of state services during a difficult time, and made a point of being promptly taken off when the need had passed. Must be that old-fashioned masculine pride that tut-tutting academics want to so tirelessly cure us of.

(By the way, you come off as much more self-righteous than Eric ever does. Something about that Pharisee-like habit of declaring your virtues but rarely embodying them. If you really are kind and loving and open to other points of view, just show it and skip the moral preening. 🙂 )

Tom in Florida

Minimum wage increases are really FICA tax increases in disguise. For every dollar per hour per person increase the government collects 15%, 7.5% from the employee and a matching 7.5% from the employer. All done without having to go through the difficult process of voting for a tax increase. Unfortunately there is no required productivity increase to off set the expense which comes solely from the employer’s gross income.

Dipchip

Thank you: To be precise it is 15.65% total and everyone already over the old minimum wage expects a fair proportional increase also; right on up the pay ladder. The business owner then has a tax increase without representation. Taxation without representation. With 30 employees the vote was 30 to 1.

Dipchip

Wrong it’s 15.3% or 7.65 * 2

MarkW

Many union contracts have a minimum wage clause built in. Whenever there is a minimum wage increase, the workers get an automatic raise.

steve case

Felix & Roger

Political parties need a constituency that supports them.

The Republicans, the party of the rich, make sure there are enough rich people to vote them into office.

The Democrats, the party of the poor and the oppressed, what do you suppose they do?

beng135

Kristi sez: I don’t like making partisan generalizations like this, but Eric’s self-righteous blame and incessant insults bring it out in me.

Who brings it out all the other times?

J Mac

Kristi,
Yesterday at 5:45pm you lectured us: “Stop narrow, partisan thinking! Stop hating and despising ……”
At 10:08pm you told us: “..since when are conservatives concerned about impoverished Americans? ”

Does that sound like rather ‘narrow, partisan thinking’?
Does it sound hateful and despising?
And justified with a personal insult attack “Eric made me do it!” avoidance of your responsibility for your own words… ???

In the forlorn hope for a learning moment, I offer this again:
“But why lookest thou on the mote that is in the eye of thy brother, but observest not the beam that is in thine eye?”

Kristi Silber

I KNOW how I sounded! That’s why I said something – I took responsibility for my failure to ignore his maddening rhetoric. It’s not easy reading scores of comments and articles that insult and despise, and stay calm and reasonable. It’s really hard when people make endless false assumptions about me and my beliefs. I honestly try not to do the same, but I’m human, and very fallible. Yes, I’m wrong. I agree. I’m sorry.

Probably I should just leave the site altogether – I’m sure many would rather I did. But I find it intellectually stimulating to play the devil’s advocate; it’s a great way to learn. And it’s an escape from my thoughts. Here’s a personal revelation: I suffer depression that is severe at times. I loathe myself and want my life to end. I’m not asking for pity, I don’t want it, it’s meaningless to me. I’m not asking anyone to be nice to me. But when people call me a self-righteous *itch or whatever, I’m inclined to agree, and it’s not very healthy, so maybe you can try to forgive a few of my many errors. I’m sorry.

Felix

[snip stop it -mod]

Kristi Silber

I regret saying anything. I’m done here.

MarkW

You never started here.

drednicolson

So you keep your real beliefs and opinions nebulous, so that you can always accuse the other person of making false assumptions about you?

Coeur de Lion

I do hope I’ m not contributing as a UK taxpayer.

Susan

Disclaimer: English, not American.
I think there is a case for foreign aid on purely practical grounds (leaving humanitarian out of it for the moment), if a country wants to cut down on economic immigration from neighbouring countries then assisting those countries to improve may be a better investment than aggressive border controls. There is a difference between funding climate change activism and flaky research and funding practical assistance to mitigate genuine problems like hurricanes and floods which are going to occur anyway.

Bill Powell

Didn’t work with Mexico. We sent auto and other production plants down there decades ago and the immigration problem only became worse. No matter where we go or for what reason, it invariably seems to result in more of their people coming here. Maybe we should stay home more and keep our wealth and way of life.

jaffa68

All foreign aid should be voluntary, no-one should be forced to contribute. In the UK we’re foced to contribute to Pakistan (a country which hates us & supports terrorism) and India (a country with its own space programme). We’ve even funded the Ethiopian “Spice-Girls” pop-band, while many of our Veterans sleep on our city streets.

drednicolson

India even asked the UK to keep the foreign aid at one point. They don’t need it. But the UK insists, so India shrugs and pockets the free money.

Ed Zuiderwijk

The money flows in and then stops.

And with nothing to show for it.

What the complainant actually says is that his neck of the world is ruled by incompetents, kleptocrats and nepotists and that any ‘aid’ just melts away like butter in the Caribean sun. Somehow this is a problem for the US because people will try to escape from it.

old construction worker

Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre scramble for funding? In 2016… Twenty-five-million-dollar partnership will end 2019 instead of in 2020. So they still get 25 million in 3 years instead of 4 years and this Natalie Meade is complaining? A hand full of people will get 25 million to study “Co2 induced climate change” I have been in the wrong business all my life. Instead of paying taxes I should have been fleecing my fellow tax payers in the “sky is falling” business.

BillP

As far as I can determine this is the programme:
http://www.caribbeanclimate.bz/climate-change-adaptation-program-ccap-2016-2020/

That says “the provision of up to US$25.6 million investment over the next four years” I cannot see how much they have already got or how much more they will get, if the programme stops early.

old construction worker

Who are they: Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre. At their website there are 38 people pictured who work or run CCCCC. From website: “It is a repository and clearing house for regional climate change information and data and provides climate change-related policy advice and guidelines to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Member States through the CARICOM Secretariat. In this role, the Centre is recognised by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and other international agencies as the focal point for climate change issues in the Caribbean. It has also been recognised by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) as a Centre of Excellence, one of an elite few. This reputation is a major honour for the Centre, and it should be a great source of pride for the people of the Caribbean as well.”
It’s nothing more than a lobbing and training center for learning to lobby and pass on “sky is falling” information to politicians. They will get $25,000,000,000 over 3 years?

bonbon

The only way to deal with the Central American migrant crisis is productive development south of the border as Mexican President Portillo well knew. Something like a Marshall Plan. The EU is right now incapable to consider what saved it, The Marshall Plan, for Africa. So China steps up with the Belt and Road Initiative, BRI. With the USA and Russia, hopefully India, poverty can be eradicated. China took 700 million out of poverty in 10 years, the USA has more official poor than China right now. Trump likes what China managed to do, proposed something like a $3 trillion credit for the USA, (China said it needs $8 trillion). So far Wall Street has sabotaged that, with strange PPP waffle.
The real problem with the whining AGW crowd is totally masking the Marshall Plan concept, in effect stealing it for no use, stealing the future, grand larceny.
Of course any kind of Marshall Plan will only work if FDR’s Glass-Steagall is back in force, as Trump also campaigned for. Only by so separating banks will national credit flow to productive use. Activating Alexander Hamilton’s Credit Clause is the key.

China lifted those poor people out of poverty with the aid of the US and Europe lending a helping hand through open trade. China appears to be very ungrateful for the aid received. Note the likely reversal of the North Korean disarmament process from yesterday. I would bet that China told Kim to go negative as payback for the tariffs which Trump Placed on China.

To that I say place full tariffs on China, and full restrictions on North Korea, and do not let up until they come to their senses. There is zero reason for China to be expanding their military power in the world at this time. No one threatens China. No one is going to invade China, and certainly not Vietnam or the Philippines. Force them to withdraw their weapons from those man made islands which do not belong to them as every other nation in the world knows. If we do not do this, then China will incrementally increase their military might, and military position in the world to their satisfaction, and future unknown goals.

J Mac

“There is zero reason for China to be expanding their military power in the world at this time. ”
I understand your point, goldminor, but disagree. China is pursuing economic, technological, and military dominance worldwide. This informs and guides all of their actions.

Bruce Cobb

I think the main point here is that foreign aid is one thing, as long as it’s for worthwhile projects. Anything that comes under the guise of “climate” is automatically suspect though, because “climate” can mean anything you want it to. That means it is subject to abuse and corruption. Now, take for example the re-forestration project in Indonesia. There are plenty of reasons why that could be a very good thing to do withought slapping the bogus one of soaking up “carbon”.

john

Dr. Ryan Maue, meteorologist and founder of Weather US, did a little research into hurricane names. He then came across this:

Ryan | weather.us
Ryan | weather.us
@RyanMaue
The name “Barack” first showed up in the U.S. Social Security data base in 2007 (5 names) presumably coinciding w/the Illinois Senator running for President. Then, in 2008 (n=52 baby Barack boys), 2009 (71) — until 2017 the name is rarely used for newborns n = 11.

Interesting….

Tom in Florida

But a great name for a hurricane, you know, a big blowhard that destroys things.

beng135

And it would always get way over-hyped by the media.

john

Deval Patrick ( good friend of Obama) is gearing up for a 2020 run.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2018/03/06/deval-patrick-says-presidential-run-radar-screen/YurDvBBJ6vvyxcw3Ie1FqM/story.html

The Trump witch hunt has been beyond outrageous. Especially with Mueller. Then I find this out:

https://www.fbcoverup.com/docs/library/2017-12-09-Mueller-Deval-Clinton-Obama-Diller-relationships-uncovered-Dec-12-2017.pdf

He also went to work after his term expired at Mitt Romneys Bain Capital.

http://fortune.com/2015/04/13/deval-patrick-bain-capital/

Now it starts to make sense.

Peta of Newark

Many folks mentioning ‘education’ and ‘when did it all start to go wrong?’

Easy.
It started with Eisenhower’s heart-attack – leading to the demonisation of dietary saturated fat and its replacement with carbohydrate.
Sugar by any other name. An addictive & depressant chemical.
A slow-acting cumulative poison (via the deposition of excess body-fat)

The 1960’s and the moon landings were the last gasps of clear headed and self-confident people & society – downhill into muddled, buck-passing and paranoid mediocrity ever since.

beng135

Oh, the poor Caribbeans! But wait, we shouldn’t forget the poor Philippines too. And the Chinese. And Taiwanese. And Japanese. Oh, that’s right, the people in the Bay of Bengal. Sometimes the Vietnamese get hit. Australia got hit couple yrs back. And the poor people of Madagascar. Don’t forget Guam. And sometimes the remnants of hurricanes go all the way up into Great Britain flooding and destroying — don’t forget them. West coast of Mexico too. Oh, wait, the US gets it too! It’s all just too much to worry about, unless the US taxpayers pony up NOW, before it’s too late. And BTW, stop driving all those cars and using all that energy!

Berzerk50

CO2 is down to a 37 year low… Why should we pay for their fraud? Go pound cow farts, envirowhacks…

Joz Jonlin

researchers fear a repeat of last summer: extreme storms with little planning on how to mitigate their impact.

“The money flows into the countries for a disaster, and, as soon as the disaster’s over, it will completely disappear with no prep work for the next one.

None of this has to do with climate. The writer is talking about weather events. If these other areas lack an emergency management agency, that’s on them. I spent 30 years in emergency management and there were few things we didn’t plan for over the decades. These other countries need to plan for extreme weather events. If they can’t, it’s not because we stop sending money to study climate change. The writer is either intentionally or accidentally conflating weather and climate, which seems to be typical of alarmists.

R Hall

The climate grifters have no shame. Perpetrating a fraud, and then expecting to get paid forever by the USA.

The Alabamans need to go south of the border then re-enter the US and hand themselves over to US authorities. Then, and only then, will they have our undying empathy. Why, Democrats will give them box seats to the next SOTU address.

Was just thinking that WUWT should apply for that money as there is ten tons of climate info here on this site. The Caribbean, and other concerned small nations can then read here to find out what they need to know about the climate. That would be a win win situation, imo.

Gamecock

‘When large hurricanes occur, many victims in the West Indies flee to the nearest country with the most stable conditions, which is often the United States. “This is a problem for the U.S.—migration,” Trotz told me.’

BS, it’s not migration. They are refugees from a bad situation. As soon as the bad situation is cleared up, they should return home. Or be returned home if required.

Any problem for the U.S. is caused by . . . the U.S.

Ray Boorman

Great comments at the end, Eric, even though they do mirror mine.

jim heath

We need to feed more goats in the volcano

Norman Blanton

tanstaafl

Mickey Reno

To those of you countries NOT hit with a major hurricane last year, news flash, the USA was slammed by 3 big ones, Harvey, Irma and Maria. Please stand by, as we’re busy rebuilding huge swaths of Houston, parts of the lower Florida Keys, and almost the entire Puerto Rico electrical grid, right now. These efforts necessarily constrain other spending that might go elsewhere. We understand that our economy can make American disasters seem much less intimidating than those in poor countries, but this should not be seen as unfair by anyone. Americans work hard for their money. Rather than bitching, you should try to emulate us. Keep in mind that we do and have helped, all over the world, many times in the face of disasters. All we ask is that you not take our money and our generosity for granted. As for you relentless world-wide UN and other NGO rent seekers, I would encourage you all to go suck on some eggs until your country has an actual storm or emergency, and then, if history is any judge, I’m sure the good people of the USA will be willing and ready to help your nation out with lots of things and money, within reason. Also, keep in mind that the USA may seem infinitely rich, but this is just an illusion. We are also the most indebted nation in the world, and if that debt continues to spiral upward, in order to politically satisfy every need of every person or country that wants it, we may lose our ability to help out at all. So be judicious, ask for only what is needed. And occasionally, it wouldn’t hurt to show a little gratitude. This goes for Americans as well as non-Americans. Remember, there is no such thing as a free lunch.