Climatologists think El Nino might return this year, but aren’t sure

They tell us the science is settled. Global warming will melt the polar ice caps, submerging the coasts under feet of water in 100 years if we don’t hand over our economy to bureaucrats, trashing our economy in the process. However, when push comes to shove, the same crowd predicting, with certainty, doom and gloom in one hundred years can’t tell us what is going to happen in the next three months:

According to NASA climatologist Bill Patzert, “a pattern of sea surface heights and temperatures has formed that reminds me of the way the Pacific looked in the spring of 1997.” Data collected by a NASA satellite shows a series of “Kelvin waves,” or massive oceanic ripples that could suggest an upcoming El Nino. It will take a few months before we know whether or not we’ll seen a El Nino this year.

O.K. they aren’t sure if an El Nino is forming. But if it does form, you would think climatologists would have an idea what will happen. Right?

If we do see an El Nino event in 2014, it’s not totally clear what that would mean for the U.S. The Midwest could see a cooler than usual— or warmer than usual —summer depending on when the weather event hits, reports CBS Chicago

Could be warmer than normal, or it could be cooler than normal. Way to narrow it down guys.

Of course, our government is planning to cripple our economy based on this sketchy pseudo-science.

Take that Twitter Hashtag: Armed Nigerian villagers strike back against Boko Haram

The only way to stop bad guys with guns is good guys with guns:

Locals in Nigeria’s northern states have been forming vigilante groups in various areas to resist the militant group who have held more than 270 schoolgirls captive since last month.

In Kalabalge, a village about 250 kilometers (155 miles) from the Borno state capital of Maiduguri, residents said they were taking matters into their own hands because the Nigerian military is not doing enough to stem Boko Haram attacks.

On Tuesday morning, after learning about an impending attack by militants, locals ambushed two trucks with a gunmen, a security official told The Associated Press. At least 10 militants were detained, and scores were killed, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to give interviews to journalists. It was not immediately clear where the detainees were being held.

Oh… BTW, Nigeria has very onerous gun laws. However, when the rubber meets the road, and people need to defend their homes and families they were able to scrounge up the necessary firearms to fight back. Imagine if the citizens of Nigeria had an actual, guaranteed right to keep and bear arms.

*** H/T TTAG ***

Detroit Free Press cite Masters Candidate report as justification for GPS based mileage tax

Leftists at Detroit’s more liberal paper are so giddy at the prospect of implementing new (and more importantly, higher) mileage tax, they will grasp at anything to bolster their case, even a college student’s paper:

“Instead of continuing to raise fuel taxes to pay for transportation infrastructure, a mileage fee could more fairly allocate costs based on the number of miles driven, the time of day, the route taken, and the weight of the vehicle,” the report says.

Elizabeth Treutel, a master of urban planning candidate at U-M and one of the authors of the report, said moving to such a system is probably five to 10 years away, but the report is partly intended to start a conversation.

“Having Michigan in the forefront would kind of allow Michigan to take the lead and shape and control how this is done,” Treutel said.

Several states and public institutions are studying the potential for a mileage fee policy, including Texas, Minnesota, Florida, Wisconsin and Nevada. There’s also a legislative proposal in California.

Well, if a college student, working toward their master’s degree says this is a good idea, why, it should be good enough for us simple rubes who commute to our job’s day in and day out.

Of course, the geniuses working on their ‘advanced’ degrees seem to miss the gaping hole in their ‘master’ plan:

There are also issues surrounding whether motorists would think the system is fair, what technology would be used, and how the fee would be administered and paid.

Treutel said such a system would allow motorists to adjust the size of car they drive, how far they drive, and possibly when and where they drive to save on costs.

Heavier vehicles would pay more, and one possible plan would charge more for driving heavily congested roads at peak times and offer a discounted per-mile rate during off-peak times.

It’s not like we are in this situation because our beloved government mandated higher fuel efficiency standards and implemented weak dollar fiscal policies driving up the cost of fuel, causing drivers to purchase less fuel, cutting into the government’s tax receipts. If a mileage tax comes to fruition, you know people will work overtime circumventing this latest cash grabbing scheme.

Plus, I’m sure everyone is going to more than happy having the government track when and where you drive…

Liberalism run amok: University bans fencing due to zero tolerance “weapons” policy

fencing

Seriously, lib’s need to get a grip:

The newly formed fencing club at North Dakota State University (NDSU) cannot practice on campus thanks to the university’s weapons policy.

“The current interpretation of the non-weapon policy in NDSU…understands our fencing equipment as weapons,” Enrique Alvarez, the club’s coach, told Valley News Live.

The swords the club uses have no sharp points or blades. The tips are flat and spring-loaded. Still, the university deems them weapons; as such, possession or use of the swords is prohibited on university owned or controlled property.

Liberals have descended into absurdity.

7000 Touch-screen kiosks: McDonald’s answer to high cost of doing business in Europe

McDonald’s replaces 7000 cashiers in restaurants across Europe with touch-screen kiosks:

The hiring picture doesn’t look quite so rosy for Europe, where the fast food chain is drafting 7,000 touch-screen kiosks to handle cashiering duties.

The move is designed to boost efficiency and make ordering more convenient for customers. In an interview with the Financial Times, McDonald’s Europe President Steve Easterbrook notes that the new system will also open up a goldmine of data. McDonald’s could potentially track every Big Mac, McNugget, and large shake you order.

Make it more expensive to do business (i.e. increase the minimum wage or corporate taxes) and it’s the lower skill workers who bear the brunt of the cutbacks.

h/t Insty…

Robin Hood Tax: Another bad European idea that will find its way here

obama hood

Does this remind you of a developing Democrat election campaign?

At its best, the financial services sector provides important services to people across the income spectrum. But in its current guise, it is failing to do so. In fact, it has become a powerful driver of inequality. The huge increase in speculation in the financial markets has pushed the volume of financial transactions to more than 70 times the size of the world economy. And we are all still suffering from the irresponsibility of this sector, which led to the global financial crash.

Lord Turner, former chair of the Financial Services Authority, described much of the financial services sector as “socially useless” and said it had grown too big. Calculating the difference between what people take out of the economy in terms of their pay, and what they put in in terms of the value to society of their work, the New Economics Foundation estimated that many people in the financial services sector were a burden on the rest of us.

If you really want to look at the difference in what people take out of the economy versus what they put in, look no further than the worlds third largest economy, the United States Federal Government.

**** h/t Timmy ****

Regional blackouts coming to an electrical outlet near you starting in 2015

Obama and his henchmen are working overtime turning the United States into a backwater third world country.

According to Master Resource, FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) Commissioner explains that due to EPA regulations shutting down nearly 25% of our nations coal power plants in 2015, creating the very real possibility of regional blackouts across the United States:

On Sunday morning’s Platts Energy Week with Bill Loveless, FERC Commissioner Philip Moeller gave a bombshell interview regarding the clear and present danger to electric reliability posed by the EPA.
An excerpted transcript is posted below:

FERC Commissioner Philip Moeller: “We’re closing an enormous amount of coal generation, through a variety of rules, and a good number of those plants are set to retire next April. But most people would say about 90% of that capacity was running and used and necessary during the polar vortex events. So the question is: Are we going to have mild weather for the next 2-3 years? If so, we can probably get through it. But if we have more extreme weather events, like we had this winter, and that power is no longer available, we could be in a real situation that’s not good for consumers.

Platts Energy Week: Are regional blackouts a possibility?

FERC Commissioner Philip Moeller: They are a possibility.

When Moeller refers to a wave of coal-fired power plants that are “set to retire next April,” he is talking about the consequences of EPA’s Mercury and Air Toxics Standards, also known as the Utility MACT, which will shutter up to a quarter of the nation’s coal power capacity starting in the spring of 2015, according to a recent EIA analysis.

In the interview, Moeller is warning that many of the coal plants in the northeast that are slated for retirement were called into service during the unusually cold winter of 2013-2014. Had they not been available, electricity and heating costs would have “skyrocketed,” to borrow from President Obama’s energy phrasebook. For more, see this recent New York Times article, whose headline says it all: “Coal to the Rescue, But Maybe Not Next Winter.”

How, exactly, is the EPA justifying this foolish (and potentially dangerous) regulation?

The EPA claims it is protecting a population of pregnant subsistence fisherwomen, who consume hundreds of pounds of fish from exclusively the most polluted inland bodies of fresh water.

No, really:

In addition to this looming threat to keeping the lights on, EPA’s Utility MACT will cost $10 billion annually. Both the agency and industry agree on this figure, which renders the regulation one of the most expensive ever.

And for what? Surely, there must have been some awesome threat to public health, in order to justify such staggering costs and dire ramifications, right? Wrong.

The actual justification for the Utility MACT, one of the most expensive and consequential regulations of all time, is to protect a supposed population of pregnant subsistence fisherwomen, who consume hundreds of pounds of self-caught fish from exclusively the most polluted inland bodies of fresh water.

I guess its time to pick up a natural gas-powered whole home generator.

Starving, freezing and dropping dead by 30 years old is not a recipe for physical fitness

Sure, you wouldn’t live past 30 years old, but according to a ‘scientist’ at Cambridge University, being a hunter – gatherer would make you would be a top-tier athlete:

Mo Farah would have had some tough competition from ancient farmers living 7,300 years ago.
Scientists claim if they were to cross paths, our ancestors would have been capable of outrunning some of the world’s most talented athletes.

That’s according to recent research by Cambridge University which reveals just how far our fitness has fallen in just a couple of millennia.

‘Even our most highly trained athletes pale in comparison to these ancestors of ours,’ Dr Colin Shaw told Outside Magazine. ‘We’re certainly weaker than we used to be.’

The study looked at skeletons dating back to around 5,300 BC with the most recent to 850 AD – a time span of 6,150 years.

Naturally, this ‘study’ ties into the whole “save the planet” and “population bomb” thinking by the radical environmentalist crowd. The idea of ditching modern convinces and returning to a hunter / gatherer existence to make everyone more physically fit is completely insane.

“Leading from behind” isn’t inspiring confidence among our European allies

“The Pope? How many divisions has he got?”

Joseph Stalin

Obama’s penchant of “leading from behind” on Crimea isn’t inspiring confidence among our European allies. Via BBC:

Another nuclear power, mightier than Russia, will be watching – China is very interested in how far the US will go in defence of its friends.

However, this speech also contained a stern warning to Mr Putin – “hands off the Baltics!”

Mr Obama made it clear that if a Nato country was attacked, article five – pledging a common military response – would be invoked.

That having been said, Mr Obama is asking Stalin’s question of Nato – how many divisions do they have?

Both in terms of political will and fighting forces.

The US has long wanted Europe to spend more and do more as it is doing less and spending less. Next week the US will announce it is sending more troops and naval forces to Europe – but it wants its allies to match that.

They won’t.

After the European Union’s display of unity of the lowest common denominator over sanctions, none of this is very encouraging for those who believe this is a key moment for the US and the West.

Yep, and we have a community organizer occupying the White House during this key moment.

Can’t say we weren’t warned.

MCT response to lib critic regarding Detroit Public Schools plan to construct urban farm

Seems like a liberal nerve was struck by a recent MCT post illustrating the insanity of the Detroit Public School district plan to create an urban farm at an abandoned school campus. Via MCT:

Detroit Public Schools officials plan Thursday to announce details of a project to turn the sprawling site at the corner of Van Dyke Road and I-94 into a 26.9-acre urban farm.

The announcement will come as part of a real estate developers conference on what to do with Detroit’s dozens of vacant former school buildings.

The school district plans to build eight hoop houses and start growing vegetables on the new Kettering Urban Agricultural Campus in 2014, with later phases to include food processing and distribution to students and the community, officials said Wednesday.

As pointed out here @ MCT this effort is a colossal waste of time and sure money loser for the school district. Given the district’s chronic academic under achievement and the fact Detroit Public Schools have their very own Emergency Financial Manager, you would think most people understand the school district needs to get the basics under control before embarking on an urban farming boondoggle. If you thought that, you would be wrong.

Via MCT Twitter Feed:

“Education should proceed snark.” Really?

How about financial responsibility to taxpayers before embarking on a “hip, green” boondoggle? Or, more importantly, how about teaching children in your district to read and perform basic math before wasting time growing carrots at an abandoned school?

In case you are unaware of the scope of the Detroit Public School district failure to its students, here are a couple of eye-opening statistics outlining 8th grade student performance in math:

  • The percentage of students in Detroit who performed at or above the NAEP Proficient level as 3 percent in 2013. This percentage was not significantly different from that in 2011 (4 percent) and in 2009 (4 percent).
  • The percentage of students in Detroit who performed at or above the NAEP Basic level as 24 percent in 2013. This percentage was not significantly different from that in 2011 (29 percent) and in 2009 (23 percent).

DPS student performance in reading is just as poor:

  • The percentage of students in Detroit who performed at or above the NAEP Proficient level was 9 percent in 2013. This percentage was not significantly different from that in 2011 (7 percent) and in 2009 (7 percent).
  • The percentage of students in Detroit who performed at or above the NAEP Basic level was 46 percent in 2013. This percentage was not significantly different from that in 2011 (43 percent) and in 2009 (40 percent).

Detroit Public Schools (complete with an Emergency Financial Manager in tow) should reconsider their ‘urban farm’ pipe dream. When only 9% of their 8th grade students are considered at a ‘proficient’ reading level and a staggering 3% are considered at a ‘proficient’ level in math, failing to focus all their time and resources on the children in their classrooms is shameful.

So, who precisely, is putting snark ahead of education?