Elon Musk is being targeted by the conservative political action committee, Citizens for the Republic. The group's so-called Sunlight Project is behind an incendiary lobbying campaign and website called, "Stop Elon Musk from Failing Again," with a mission of divesting the Tesla/SpaceX/SolarCity boss from federal clean energy subsidies.
Musk himself has tweeted about the recent rash of attacks.
Can anyone uncover who is really writing these fake pieces? Can't be skankhunt42. His work is better than this. https://t.co/Qs69AFMGE5— Elon Musk (@Elon Musk)1479831018.0
"The Musk empire appears to be nothing more than a collection of failing startups and plummeting stock options," Citizens for the Republic said in a statement to the Washington Examiner. "Even the once-touted SolarCity had to be bought out by Tesla" to survive.
"Following the victory of President-elect Donald Trump and a majority of Republicans in the House and Senate, government corruption and spending abuse at all levels must end," the group added in reference to Musk's subsidies.
The "Stop Elon" website is a giant hit piece on Musk's several companies and his endeavors. Its
about page states:
"Elon Musk has defrauded the American Taxpayer out of over $4.9 Billion in the form of subsidies, grants, and other favors. We are challenging not just Elon, but the entire culture of corporations making billions of dollars off of the American people for almost zero return to the consumer. CEO's like Musk are taking advantage of Americans, and it is our intention to end their free ride."
The $4.9 billion figure stems from a debunked Los Angeles Times story. While Musk said that government subsidies are "helpful" they are also "not necessary" for his company to run. He pointed out that $4.9 billion is from "adding up everything that's ever happened and including things that will take the next 20 years."
Musk suggested that the Times report was planted after the International Monetary Fund's staggering report that the fossil fuel industry receives more than $5 trillion in subsidies a year. During a talk in May, the sustainable transport/clean energy advocate urged a revolt against Big Energy for allegedly feeding negative stories about his work to the press.
"We need to appeal to the people—educate people to sort of revolt against this and to fight the propaganda of the fossil fuel industry which is unrelenting and enormous," Musk said.
Elon Musk: We Must Revolt Against the Unrelenting Propaganda of the Fossil Fuel Industry https://t.co/eGrR4QXjtT @BusinessGreen @CSRwire— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1462571118.0
On its website, the misleadingly titled Sunlight Project considers the solar industry "Big Energy," calling it a pet project of "the Obama Administration and those who claim to care about the environment." It accuses Washington of funneling millions in tax credits to solar companies "despite posting losses year after year." (Actually, the solar industry has reported record-breaking growth in recent years).
Several new reports have determined that the anti-solar/anti-Musk campaign has dubious ties with conservative interests and Big Energy lobbyists.
Electrek writer Fred Lambert reported that Citizens for the Republic, which was first launched by Ronald Reagan in the 1970s and later dismantled, is now spearheaded by none other than conservative radio host and climate change denier Laura Ingraham. Ingraham, a top Donald Trump surrogate, happens to be in the running for press secretary under the Trump administration.
Right-wing group led by Trump propagandist launches campaign against Elon Musk, Tesla and SpaceX… https://t.co/mocmYI3Xxp— Electrek.Co (@Electrek.Co)1479819611.0
The Drive's Liane Yvkoff also reported that Citizens for the Republic's board members Craig Shirley and Diane Banister are partners of the right-wing public relations firm Shirley and Banister Public Affairs, that has represented the National Rifle Association, commentator Ann Coulter and the Tea Party Patriots. Posts on "Stop Elon Musk From Failing" are authored by someone called "stopelon," the same user name on Alt Left Watch, which also happens to be managed by the PR company.
Not only that, Yvkoff noted that Shirley has previously lobbied for Citizens for State Power that "actively fought deregulation of utilities—in the years 1999, 2000, and 2001." The Washington Post revealed that utility companies secretly funded millions to Citizens for State Power to lobby Congress for energy deregulation. Shirley served on the board of the United Seniors Association that lobbied on behalf of the Republican party for energy deregulation in 2000, according to Public Citizen.
According to Yvkoff, Citizens for State Power and Stop Elon Musk From Failing "probably isn't a personal project of Craig Shirley or Diane Banister, and is more likely to be supported by energy companies that want to end the tax credits that help Tesla and other renewable energy companies build infrastructure."
These Are the Lobbyists Behind the Site Attacking Elon Musk and Tesla: https://t.co/l6u1MTrm0P— The Drive (@The Drive)1479926037.0
However, when Bloomberg asked Banister if oil companies are contributing to the campaign, she responded, "We reached out to them [for donations], but they haven't responded.'"
The Sunlight Project produced a video that delves into their overall mission and touts the tagline, "We believe sunlight is the best disinfectant."
The clip features Shirley as well as Heartland Institute-approved Greg E. Walcher, the president of the Natural Resources Group and the former executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. In 2004, The League of Conservation Voters added Walcher to their "Dirty Dozen" list of anti-environmental candidates during his run for Congress in Colorado's 3rd District.
Walcher boasts on his resume that he "helped forge a compromise and approval that allowed new technology to access oil shale in the Piceance Basin, leading to the first practical oil shale production in 30 years."
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It is undisputed that vitamin D plays a role everywhere in the body and performs important functions. A severe vitamin D deficiency, which can occur at a level of 12 nanograms per milliliter of blood or less, leads to severe and painful bone deformations known as rickets in infants and young children and osteomalacia in adults. Unfortunately, this is where the scientific consensus ends.
Where Does the Deficiency Begin?<p>Nobody knows exactly how much vitamin D a person actually needs. The question of when a deficiency starts is correspondingly controversial. However, vitamin D is becoming increasingly popular.Not only is the pseudo-scientific literature on the "sun vitamin" experiencing an upswing, but the number of published studies has also increased enormously in recent years. For example, in 2019 <a href="https://academic.oup.com/edrv/article/40/4/1109/5126915" target="_blank">a study found that</a> Vitamin D is responsible for keeping the skeleton functional and is associated with cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes and various types of cancer. <br></p>
An All-Rounder<p>Vitamin D levels in the body rise and fall according to sun exposure. If sufficient UV rays reach the skin, the body is able to produce the vitamin itself. However, the human body only derives an estimated 10 to 20 percent of its daily requirement from food.</p><p>The vitamin D that we synthesize from sunlight or food is not biologically active at first. Before the kidneys can produce the biologically active form of the vitamin, known as calcitriol, and release it into the blood, some metabolic processes must take place beforehand.</p><p>In addition, many organs have receptors to which the precursor of calcitriol binds. Further, this substance is also present in blood.</p><p>From this precursor, the organs then produce calcitriol themselves, which the body then uses for countless other processes in the body. This form of vitamin D thus regulates insulin secretion, inhibits tumor growth, and promotes the formation of red blood cells as well as the survival and activity of macrophages, which are important for the <a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/5/7/2502/htm" target="_blank">immune system.</a></p>
Low Vitamin D, Severe COVID-19 Disease?<p>A research study carried out <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352364620300067?via%3Dihub" target="_blank">at the University of Hohenheim</a> has now established a link between vitamin D deficiency, certain previous diseases, and severe cases of COVID-19.</p><p>According to the study, "there is a lot of evidence that several non-communicable diseases (high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome) are associated with low vitamin D plasma levels. These comorbidities, together with the often accompanying vitamin D deficiency, increase the risk of severe COVID-19 events."</p><p>"This statement is completely correct," said Martin Fassnacht, head of endocrinology at the University Hospital of Würzburg. However, he qualifies that it is a pure association, "i.e. a mere observation that these events occur together.</p><p>Dr. Fassnacht is very critical of the hype surrounding vitamin D, but not because he denies the vitamin serves important functions. However, studies on humans have not been able to show that vitamin D has the healing powers many often propagate.</p><p>Fassnacht says, "If you take a closer look, the hopes that the administration of vitamin D has a healing effect have not been confirmed so far."</p>
Association Versus Intervention Studies<p>Many studies on the vitamin are association or observational studies. "By definition, these studies cannot prove the causal relationship, but only point to mere correlations," said Fassnacht. The physician tries to illustrate this with an example:</p><p>"Imagine two groups of 80-year-olds. One group is spry, active and does sports. If you compare them with another group living in nursing homes, the difference in vitamin D levels will be dramatic. Life expectancy would also be extremely different."</p><p>But to try to explain the difference in fitness by vitamin D status alone is far too simplistic. "Vitamin D levels are a good measure of how sick someone is. But not more," says Fassnacht. </p><p>According to Fassnacht, none of the intervention studies carried out to date -- that specifically examined the effect of vitamin D on various diseases -- has been able to confirm the previous association and laboratory studies or the presumed positive effect of vitamin D.</p>
Further Research Is Needed<p>"If a coronavirus infection is suspected, it is therefore absolutely necessary to check the vitamin D status and quickly correct any possible deficit," said the recommendation of the paper published by the University of Hohenheim.</p><p>"Studies are underway to see whether vitamin D helps in COVID-19 infection, but I personally do not believe that this is really the case," says endocrinologist Fassnacht. Nevertheless, he says it is of course useful to carry out these studies.<br></p><p>"I don't want to rule out that there are actually subgroups of people who benefit from an additional vitamin D dose," he says. After all, this has been proven to be the case with a severe deficit.</p><p>In view of the study situation, Fassnacht does not think much of preventive, nationwide vitamin D substitutes. "My belief that the vitamin helps somewhere is very low. But, of course, I can be wrong."</p>
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