Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Truth About ANWR

Apparently I am an "anti-environmentalist."

I had no idea.

I was reading an online article about the new Discovery Channel show "Sarah Palin's Alaska" and found a list of reasons why Palin is considered a notorious anti-environmentalist.

One of the reasons was “Palin pushed to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is home to unique and diverse arctic species. The protection and preservation of these areas is vital to the world as we know it.”

When I researched ANWR, I discovered that there are many “environmentalist” websites that decry drilling there, but the objections posed have already been debunked.

The truth is the Arctic National Wildlife refuge consists of over 19 million acres of land in the northeast corner of Alaska. The section where they want to drill is a 2,000 acre piece of land in the coastal plain.

It is flat, treeless, almost featureless section of ANWR with nine months of harsh winter and 56 days of total darkness each year. This is not the land pictured on television. Those pictures are of the hills and mountains of the Brooks Range in the southern part of ANWR, where nobody is suggesting we drill for oil.

The U.S. Geological Survey and the federal government's Energy Information Administration estimate that there are possibly 16 billion barrels of oil beneath the surface in the coastal plain. Even at the low end--with about 3.2 billion barrels--the field would be the second-largest ever discovered in the United States.

The first largest is a few hundred miles away at Prudhoe Bay, which was estimated in 1968 to hold 9 billion barrels of oil, but which has produced nearly 13 billion barrels--or 20 to 25 percent of the oil produced in this nation for the last 23 years.

How would drilling affect the animals in this 2,000 acre section of the coastal plain?

Only five species of birds, some polar bears (who den on the Beaufort Sea pack ice) and lemmings (who burrow beneath the snow-pack) remain during the winter. The spring thaw comes in late May or early June. This increases the bird count and brings back the arctic fox and, most significantly, the Porcupine caribou.

While only a portion of the caribou herd shows up each year, many environmental activists refer to the coastal plain as their traditional calving grounds. The females endure the conditions of the tundra for protection against most predators and for the cotton grass that will help to fatten their offspring.
The caribou travel to the coastal plain from Canada, passing near 89 dry wells drilled by the Canadian government and crossing Canada's Dempster Highway--all of which seems to be development that does not hinder their migration or survival.

Our only experiment with oil fields and caribou has taken place nearby on Alaska's North Slope in Prudhoe Bay. The Central Arctic caribou herd that inhabits part of Prudhoe Bay has grown from 6,000 in 1978 to 19,700 today, according to the most recent estimates by state and federal wildlife agencies.
In fact, there is some evidence that the caribou use un-vegetated and elevated sites such as river bars, mud flats, dunes, gravel pads and roads in the existing oil fields as relief habitat from mosquitoes and from oestrid flies that attack their nostrils. The 1995 legislation vetoed by President Clinton would have given the secretary of Interior the power to stop development and exploration during the summer months if there were any threat to the caribou.

Environmentalists also worry about the polar bear, though most biologists will tell you that the bears rarely den on land in this region, preferring the arctic ice. Alaska's polar bear population is healthy and unthreatened. The Marine Mammals Protection Act takes care of the polar bear in the existing oil fields--and would do the same on the coastal plain.

What do these protections mean to the oil workers in Prudhoe Bay? They are not allowed to harm a polar bear. There are steel cages around many of the doors of the facilities in Prudhoe. That way, workers can look off into the distance for bears before they venture out. No polar bear has been injured or killed as a result of extracting oil in Prudhoe Bay.

In fact, there are no listed endangered species on the North Slope or in the coastal plain. Alaskans have always trod lightly on the land and have honored the animals as a source of sustenance.

Those who would develop the coastal plain, including the oil companies, maintain they can do it on about 2,000 acres or less. Exploration and development is done in the harsh winter months, which allows the use of ice airstrips, ice roads and ice platforms. It is done when no caribou are present.
If the well is dry, it is capped. When the ice melts in late spring, there is little remaining evidence of the work--and minimal impact on the land.

The environmentalists say the trade-off isn't good enough to justify the development.

In other words, they don't think there's enough oil there to warrant the exploration.

But wouldn’t the success of nearby Prudhoe Bay make it more likely to be a good investment?

I fail to see how drilling on the coastal plain of ANWR would harm the environment and how supporting the idea makes me an “anti-environmentalist.”

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Why I am a Conservative

Kim Priestap's networked blog has a great summary of conservatism...

Conservatism is an ideology that believes that when government gets out of the way, the American people are capable of achieving great things.

If you’ve followed politics for a while, then you probably picked up from that one sentence that I am a Reagan Conservative.

And you would be right. One of my favorite Reagan quotes is this one:

Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it. –Ronald Reagan

I am a conservative because I believe in these ten principles:

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot help little men by tearing down big men.
You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
You cannot build character and courage by destroying men’s initiative and independence.
And you cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves.

–William J. H. Boetcker, 1916

I am a conservative because I believe that Capitalism is the only economic, social, and political system that truly allows man to be free.

I am a conservative because I believe in the sanctity of life.

I am a conservative because I believe in the individual’s right to bear arms.

I am a conservative because I believe in peace through strength. Weakness only encourages those who want to do you harm.

I am a conservative because I support wholeheartedly our troops who voluntarily risk their lives for us and our country.

I am a conservative because I believe the private sector does virtually everything better than a government program.

I am a conservative because I believe competition helps us to rise above mediocrity and achieve, produce, or perform better than we ever thought we could.

I am a conservative because I believe in American Exceptionalism, that our country was founded by a group of brilliant, selfless men who put their lives at risk the moment they signed the Declaration of Independence.

I am a conservative because I believe that our rights come from God, not from government.

I am a conservative because I do not believe the Constitution is a “living” document that should change with the whims of society.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Myth of Neutrality

One of the all-time great deceptions is the myth that one can approach life's most important questions from a neutral perspective.

Contrary to popular belief, people don't make their decisions based on objective analysis of the "facts".

They decide what to do based on their reinterpretation of "facts" as filtered through their preconceived ideas.

This is how two equally intelligent persons can come to completely opposite conclusions based on the same information.

And nowhere is the myth of neutrality more evident than the "school prayer" debate.

"The question of prayer in public schools is one controversy that seems never to go away.
In 1962, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a generic prayer written by New York authorities for use in public-school classrooms represented an unconstitutional establishment of religion.
The following year, the Court held that Bible readings and the praying of the Lord's Prayer in public schools were also unconstitutional.
Then in 1985, the Court judged unconstitutional an Alabama moment of silence for prayer or meditation at the start of school days."

Now I hear that the state of Illinois has banned "the moment of silence" in their public schools.

The kids formerly started their day with 15 seconds of quiet refection before the pledge of allegiance and morning announcements.

That was until Federal district court judge Robert W. Gettleman decided this practice was unconstitutional because it might imply state endorsement of religion.

What most people seem to be missing is the elephant in the room.

No matter what you teach, you are endorsing one point of view and thereby denying it's opposite.

When you treat prayer like a toxin and remove all references to God, you have not removed religion from the public school system; you've just replaced it with another.

Secular Humanism.

Secular Humanism is not neutrality.

The dictionary definition of religion is "a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe."

Just like Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism, this is a religion.

It's almost comical how these judges are so "educated," having degrees from prestigious universities and such, and can overlook something so obvious.

This myth of neutrality has caused us to completely excise God from our public education, and thanks to our judicial branch, has been one of Satan's most successful ventures in the last hundred years.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Inauguration Day Blues

I can't stand double standards... or political correctness... or media bias.

So I decided not to ruin my Tuesday by watching the television broadcast of the swearing in of Obama, which I was sure would have no shortage of all three.

Unfortunately, my day job requires me to spend much of my time at customer's homes.

...and much to my chagrin, the morning of the inauguration I was forced to spend three hours with a guy who watched the whole thing.

Did anyone else see what I saw?

The first thing that came to mind was Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey. Obama's reception was messianic. Quite disturbing. Like one might expect for a king, not a public servant.

As the morning wore on, I started to get a foreboding sense of something gone wrong.

Though I have never felt it, I imagine it would be akin to the feeling of knowing you just married the wrong person.

"I've got a bad feeling about this," I said to myself.

My intuition tells me that having a super liberal president in an unholy alliance with mass media is a recipe for the end of all that remains of our Christian heritage.

..and with Democrats in control of the House and Senate, what recourse is there for God-fearing people in the face of such odds.

We are about to go past the point of no return.

Life in America in about to get jacked up.

Maybe the Lord allows such things to happen to drive us to our knees.

God help us to hear your voice and follow you wholeheartedly.

Even though things look bleak, I put my trust in you, Jesus...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Thank You, President Bush

Partisan hysteria has completely warped the reality of many Americans and most of the media outlets.

"Do you think Bush will go down as the worst president of the century or the worst president in American history?" the mainstream media asks.

"Neither," I reply. "Where have you been the last eight years???"

I guess I already know the answer. They've been working hard to make sure Bush got no credit for anything good that happened and blamed for everything under the sun that went wrong.

The bloodlust for destroying our 43rd president was beyond anything I had ever seen...

He never got credit for much of anything, simply because some people were too spiteful and dishonest to give it.

Like millions of others, I never fell for it-- the media's crusade to make W out to be the scapegoat for all that is wrong with America.

Thank you, President Bush for all you endured for us.

We never expected you to be perfect... only Jesus lived the perfect life.

We just wanted someone we could trust to do the right thing, no matter the cost.

...and you made us proud.

You kept us safe from the Islamic Terrorists after 9/11. For that we are forever grateful.

You did all you could to protect the unborn.

You never waivered in your support for traditional marraige.

The economy was strong for much of your time in office, despite the selective memory of our newscasters.

You endured the criticism and scorn of the liberals and the mainstream media, and few men could have done it with such dignity and class.

I believe history will remember you as a great leader, among the likes of Teddy Roosevelt and Abe Lincoln.

May God continue to bless you, and may you find time to rest and recharge, and grow in your relationship with Christ in the coming year.

Friday, January 16, 2009

What Is Your "Hope" For The Soon-To-Be President Obama?

From the way the Mainstream Media is worshipping the President-Elect, one would get the impression the only acceptable answer is "I hope he succeeds."

It is implied that all answers to the contrary would of neccessity have to come from an unpatriotic, mean-spirited, and/or ignorant person.

I am surprised at how many conservatives have taken the bait.

No doubt afraid the MSM will paint them as hateful, disrepectful, and possibly racist, even some Conservatives have replied to such promptings with the (apparently) obligatory "wishes for Obama's success."

My guess is that if one were to ask Mr. Obama how he would define a successful presidency, he would say something to the effect of "accomplishing as many of my goals as possible" or maybe "fulfulling the promises I made during my campaign for president."

Assuming Obama was telling the truth and has every intention of doing what he said he would, this is what success would look like:

The destruction of most if not all the progress of the pro-life movement, including parental notification for minors seeking abortions, informed consent laws , and conscience clauses for doctors who don't want to be forced to perform abortions.

The re-definition of Marraige to include same-sex marraiges. As many have already figured out, once you change the definition from man and woman only to anything else, there is no reason (using that same logic) to prohibit anything at all being called "marraige." One can only imagine what could happen with such a liberal court system... why not polygamy?

The nationalization of private industries - i.e. healthcare, child-care

As anyone who has ever been to the post office, department of motor vehicles, or division of child support enforcement can tell you, anything under government control is less efficient, costs more money, and takes more time than it should. Basically we will get less quality for more money, and have to wait longer to get it.

The closing of GITMO:

What are you going to do with all those terrorists, Mr. Obama? Didn't they do some super crazy things to end there in the first place? You're just going to set them free? In the U.S.? or are you going fly them back where we found them and drop them off? Either way, I'm pretty sure this is a bad idea.

The expansion of Big Government: the creation of over half a million new government jobs.

We've got a gigantic, bloated federal government already. The last thing we need is more government jobs. Once created, these positions seem to last long after they are needed. There are few politicians who will do the right thing and eliminate wasteful government jobs for fear of being labeled a "job-killer." If Obama has his way, our government will become even more obese under his watch.

I could go down the whole list of Obama's bad ideas, but you get the gist.

If Obama's success means that America will look like this in four years, why would anyone "hope he succeeds"?

I have to disagree with the well-wishers.

For my part, I hope he fails in his quest for a liberal utopia.