400-450 swag bags handed out at conference, estimated value $25 each?
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Although the Maricopa County supervisors have forced all of the other county agencies to cut 15% from their budgets, including law enforcement agencies, they continue to brazenly spend taxpayers' money on their Taj Mahal tower, their new civil attorneys division, growing their IT department, and various pricey junkets. I am in the private sector and am aghast at the tax dollars I have seen spent by this county. Their latest splurge was a fancy environmentalist conference put on yesterday at the luxurious Scottsdale Resort and Conference Center by their Air Quality Department. Attendees were provided with large bags of goodies, which included a windmill toy with batteries, a tire gauge, a nice pen, a day planner/calendar/notebook, another notebook, a CD and handout from SRP, and a fancy program.
The premise of the conference was that everyone needs to become environmentalists and reduce the amount of CO2 they release into the air because it is causing global warming. There was no discussion of how manmade CO2 causes global warming, apparently the liberal Republican supervisors don't consider it open to debate, even though their own party disagrees. The EPA has dinged Maricopa County in the past for air pollution, but with the lone exception of Rep. Ray Barnes expressing skepticism about the EPA, the Supervisors stifled all criticism of the EPA instead of standing up to their draconian regulations. Wouldn't it be nice to have a county that stands up to the most liberal, overreaching, overregulating federal agency in Washington? Don't expect the liberal Republicans on the Board of Supervisors to, they are right there with the EPA denouncing cow farting (see below).
Maricopa County Supervisor Fulton Brock opened the conference, saying "we are making progress, the good news is we are almost to the level of regulation that California has where it is a crime to take your leaf-blower out into your own yard." Considering later in the conference it was revealed that leaf blowers only account for 1% of the emissions in the county, that seemed rather draconian, like something Al Gore or Michael Moore would say. Supervisor Don Stapley bragged that the county is moving to environmentally-friendly cars quickly and is a leader in this area. This is disturbing considering the county is broke.
The keynote speaker was Denis Hayes, an environmentalist radical who founded Earth Day. Hayes is a proponent of ZERO population growth, a view he shares with China, which limits its people to two children per family, aborting many babies that go over this limit. Hayes is also a global warming true believer, and told the crowd that it doesn't matter if countries like China aren't reducing their emissions, we must reduce ours anyways because it all contributes to global warming no matter where it's emitted (he didn't address the problem that arises then of jobs going overseas to China where it's cheaper without all of the environmental regulations). He made some far out wild claims that would never hold up to reputable scientific scrutiny: He claimed that 100 species a day are going extinct, due to being squeezed out by humans (I am not making this up). He claimed that the great apes are on their way to extinction. The orangutangs will be extinct by 2025 and as early as 2020 due to oil palm plantations in Indonesia. There are more tigers in zoos now than in the wild. The growing population of humans is invading the sanctuary of nonhumans.
Perhaps the most ridiculous part of the conference was the lengthy serious discussion devoted to the alleged worst pollution in the state - Pinal County due to its 400,000 farting cows. I am not making this up. One of the panelists produced a chart which showed that Pinal County is now considered by Obama's EPA to be one of the worst counties in the nation for CO2 emissions due to its cows farting.
The vast majority of panelists repeated bland environmentalist cliches, saying things like "we need to expand public transit in the Valley."
Allen Wachter of the Maricopa Asthma Coalition said people need to stop using their fireplaces in the winter when it's 70 degrees. There seemed to be a lot of comments like this, which went way overboard into speculation of dubious value.
Seven people or organizations were given awards at the end of the conference for their environmental efforts. Considering it is doubtful that global warming is manmade, most of these efforts will do nothing except increase costs for consumers and businesses in Arizona to operate.
At the end of the conference, door prizes were handed out that included an electric mower, push mowers, rakes and brooms. Wonder how much they all cost, the electric mower alone must have been a few hundred. Were they really necessary? No. No one even knew about the door prizes; the same number of people were going to show up anyways. It was unfortunate to see taxpayers' money being spent by so-called mostly "Republican" supervisors on a politically correct cause that will end up hurting Arizonans costwise.