Archive for the 'The Environment' Category

The Elephant In The Room

Posted in Politics, The Environment on November 18th, 2017

Elephant In The RoomThe “Trump Administration” announced Thursday, November 16, 2017 that it has lifted an Obama-era ban on importing sport-hunted trophies of elephants from Zimbabwe and Zambia. As to be expected, the Liberals and Progressives, along with each and every opportunistic Democrat looking towards the 2018 elections went into acute paroxysms of their madness, ranting that President Trump did this because his sons like to “sport hunt.”

But the elephant in the room (pun intended) is the big pile of facts that contradict the Leftists’ narrative – not that their sort would ever allow facts to trump (again, pun intended) narrative and subjective experience.

President Trump was not involved with- or likely cognizant of the US Fish & Wildlife Service’s International Affairs department’s decision to end the Obama Era ban on the importation of elephant trophies from Zimbabwe and Zambia, just as Obama was not involved with their 2015 decision to enact that ban in the first place. The ban put in place in 2015 was was done by the USFWS because they determined that Zimbabwe could not adequately by both US and CITES standards prove it could implement laws to protect elephants. In 2018 the USFWS determined that these two countries had now reached compliance. In both cases these decisions were made by career employees of the USFWS without any direction from the White House.

The ban and it’s lifting were also both specifically targeted at Zimbabwe and Zambia. Importing elephant trophies from legal sport hunts in South Africa and Namibia were and are still allowed. Conversely, such imports from Tanzania were also banned in 2014 and remain so to this day. At no time relevant to this situation has the US government ever had a total moratorium on sport-hunted elephant trophies, nor does it now have a totally open policy towards it.

Also note that this isn’t a wholesale slaughter of the elephants. Zimbabwe has an estimated 82,300 elephants and Zambia has 21,700. As, under CITES export quotas Zimbabwe can only allow 500 trophy hunt exports per year and Zambia only 80, we’re speaking of 0.6% and 0.3% of their respective herds per annum. How many the US government allows imported – 2 animals per hunter per year – is separate from- and irrelevant to these figures.

Yep. That’s one, big elephant in the room. One that’s going to be hard to ignore, though the anti-Trump crowd will manage to do so.

Related Reading:

Melodious and Progressive Studies for Flute: Book 1
The Deep State: The Fall of the Constitution and the Rise of a Shadow Government
Curious Kids Nature Guide: Explore the Amazing Outdoors of the Pacific Northwest
Cite Them Right: The Essential Referencing Guide (Palgrave Study Skills)
Ants Among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India

Adieu Et Bon Débarras

Posted in Politics, The Environment on May 31st, 2017

Adieu Et Bon Débarras, Paris!

Adieu Et Bon Débarras, Paris!

Goodby and good riddance, Paris – specifically the The Paris Agreement which was brokered in France during the COP 21 talks. All the signs are present that President Trump will remove America from this Climate Change Agreement. Once again proving he’s a political outsider, strongly looks as if Trump will keep yet another campaign promise.

I’m happy with this and our domestic enemies are livid over it – weeping, wailing, gnashing their teeth, and promising retribution. I will, however give these Liberals and Progressives a small measure of credit this time. This isn’t just another episode of their derangement. President Trump pulling America out of Paris Agreement is apocalyptic for their hopes and dreams of a “greener,” weaker America.

And yes! I’m big enough to admit that I’m petty and mean enough so that a significant part of my happiness with leaving the Paris Agreement is that the Left is so butt-hurt over doing so.

Here, however, is one important point, though not the key point for me: This Paris Agreement isn’t actually that horrific from my point of view. It is and was largely meaningless and without any provisions – or even delusions thereof – of any of its various articles being actually binding or enforceable upon the the 196 signatories. In this it is a lot like NATO.

Is It A Treaty Or Not?

No. My primary reason for being happy about leaving the Paris Agreement is that it really wasn’t legally enacted in the first place or, at least, it was easily arguable that it wasn’t. This is because it’s a treaty or, at least it certainly seems to meet the legal requirement for being one, and Obama just signed it as if he were king without ever sending it to the Senate for ratification, which is constitutionally required. So, if it is a treaty, it is not one that America ever entered into and President Trump would just be correcting an illegal act by Obama.

Then again, some legal experts argue that the Paris Agreement isn’t a treaty, despite it easily meeting the prima facie standard of such under the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, which states “an international agreement concluded between States in written form and governed by international law” (VCLT art. 2.1(a)) is a treaty. It was, after all, specially and specifically crafted to not be a treaty so that it didn’t need to undergo the required scrutiny by the various states that such things entail. In other words, it was written in a manner that Obama could sign it unilaterally under the auspices of the UNFCCC, instead of sending to the Senate for approval. So it could be argued that this was just an Executive Agreement under the law.

If the latter is held to be true, this is ironic in the extreme since Obama’s signing the Paris Agreement violated the 1992 Executive Agreement with the Senate to submit for their review and ratification any future agreements which contained “targets and timetables” for emissions reductions by the US.

So, there it is. Either it’s a treaty; in which case, it’s null and void due to its unconstitutional and illegal enactment; or it’s simply an Executive Agreement by Obama; in which case, it ceased being binding on January 20th, 2017 and President Trump is well and completely within his rights to either formally rescind our nation’s participation or simply ignore it in whole or in part and to do so for any or no reason whatsoever.

Either way, President Trump would be doing the right thing in my opinion. Whether it was executive overreach on Obama’s part or his simply violating the agreement under which the Senate ratified the UNFCCC in the first place, putting an end to it would the right thing.

Related Reading:

From Kyoto to Paris
Constitutional Law [Connected Casebook] (Aspen Casebook)
Twenty-Five Easy and Progressive Studies for the Piano, Op. 100: Piano Solo
Burgmüller -- 25 Progressive Pieces, Op. 100: Book & CD (Alfred Masterwork CD Edition)
Law School in a Box: All the Prestige for a Fraction of the Price

Unchallenging Challenge

Posted in Politics, The Environment on March 16th, 2017

President Donald J. TrumpYesterday, President Trump announced that he plans to re-examine federal requirements that regulate the fuel efficiency of new cars and trucks. The Lamestream Enemedia instantly characterized it as the President’s moving forcefully against Obama-era environmental rules – because, of course, hysteria is their sole stock and trade and they know that the Warmists will go even further insane if properly goaded.

Vastly unsurprisingly, the truth of the matter is different than the MSM’s spin upon it. President Trump’s decision to re-evaluate Obama’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) emissions targets is a rather unchallenging challenge to the supposed centerpiece of Obama’s strategy to combat global warming. While it’s true that Obama’s EPA had promulgated regulations for cars and trucks that required auto manufacturers to reach a fleet-wide average of 54.5 mpg by 2025, it is also true that this rule was supposed to be reviewed in 2018 – but, in January – just seven days before Obama left office, the boy decided to cancel the review process. All that President Trump has promised to do is to reinstate the original, promised review of the CAFE standards that Obama imposed in 2012.

So really, like almost everything President Trump and his new administration has done so far, this is neither reason for Liberals and Progressives to scream, nor cause for Right Wing pundits and talking heads to crow and gloat.

Related Reading:

Climate Change and the Health of Nations: Famines, Fevers, and the Fate of Populations
Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News
Dream Big Dreams: Photographs from Barack Obama's Inspiring and Historic Presidency (Young Readers)
Climate Change: A Wicked Problem: Complexity and Uncertainty at the Intersection of Science, Economics, Politics, and Human Behavior
Climate Change: The Facts