The wheels are coming off the climate change bus

I haven’t blogged about climate change lately because any serious blogs about science change require science talk — data and stuff — and I simply haven’t had the energy to acquaint myself with and regurgitate all those numbers.  After all, that’s what the marvelous Watt’s Up With That blog is for. They do the science so you don’t have to.

Not knowing the numbers, though, hasn’t kept me from knowing a few principles with absolute certainty.  Here are my principles:

  • Al Gore is an idiot and a con man.  If he advances global warming, there’s a very good chance it’s false.  Knowing that saved me from damaging credulity.
  • The earth has warmed and cooled repeatedly.  As any history student knows, in the early middle ages, the earth was warmer than it is now, which is why Greenland wasn’t called Snow and Ice Land.  A mini Ice Age hit in the late middle ages, which is why pictures of royals in the time of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I show them attired in such heavy, furred clothes.  It wasn’t just for fashion, it was for warmth.  The Thames actually froze while Elizabeth was queen.  The earth started warming at the end of the 18th century.  We’re at the tail end of that warming period.
  • Science cannot predict next week’s weather with any accuracy.  How can it predict the next bazillion years of the earth’s warmth.  Moreover, the temperature gauges upon which “scientists” rely are placed randomly and, quote often, in positions that attract warm from heat vents, airplanes, etc.
  • Climate Gate showed the leading climate “scientists” lying about and suppressing facts like crazy.  They wouldn’t have to do that if the facts supported their theories.
  • The sun is bigger and more important than we puny humans are.
  • Pollution is awful.  I remember the filthy air and water in the late 1960s and early 1970s.  There is much virtue to being good stewards over our earth and using our wealth and knowledge to keep our environment clean. This is not, however, the same as turning ourselves back into a pre-industrial Third World nation to appease an overheated Gaia.
  • When global warming “stopped,” and the Left suddenly announced that henceforth we would deal with “climate change,” not “global warming,” that was a sure sign that there was no global warming.  When everything in the world fit neatly into the “climate change” theory, even if today’s facts proved that yesterday’s theories were false, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the whole anthropogenic global warming/climate change thing was a money-making scam for some and an article of blind faith for others.  Obama summarized that latter point when he had the audacity to say, after he won the Democrat primary, that “this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”  When a Democrat with a shady background declares himself the Messiah, you’re being scammed.

With this knowledge behind me, I am not the slightest bit surprised to learn that the mainstream media is finally catching up to the fact that climate change isn’t happening.  As you and I know, it is now, and always was, a way to enrich the cognoscenti, and to transfer First World wealth to anybody but the First World (including the scam artists at the leading edge of this con). Sure, the faithful are still trying to claim that something awful is happening even thought nothing is happening at all, but those of us who refused to drink the Kool-Aid know that we’re finally seeing the end of this decades’ long scam, one that cost Americans billions of dollars and lowered their standard of living.

Here’s one thing I can guarantee, though:  The Left, its actors and acolytes, will never apologize for the children made terrified by the thought of a burning earth, or for the billions of dollars and Euros and Yen wasted on this shell game.  Instead, they’ll let a decent period go by during which time they don’t report on the earth’s climate at all, and then they’ll come up with a new scam to take our money and make us very afraid.Sick earth global warming

With his attack on the NRA, former VP Al Gore stands fully revealed as an American-hating nut

You all know how much I dislike and disrespect Al Gore.  With a recent attack against the NRA, he’s managed to drop even further in my estimation, something I didn’t think was possible.  The following post (which I wrote) originally appeared at Mr. Conservative:

*******************

Al Gore’s name has become synonymous with hypocrisy. He tells Americans they most freeze in the winter, bake in the summer, and drive microscopically small cars to afford $5/gallon gas. Meanwhile, he has a disproportionately huge carbon footprint. He owns numerous properties, all of which suck up more energy than the average American home, and he uses jets and SUVs to travel between his homes and his speaking gigs.

Recently, he refused to sell his failed “Current TV” cable station to Glenn Beck, citing incompatible values. When he eventually sold it (netting himself $100 million) the purchaser was Al Jazeera, an America-hating, anti-Semitic Qatari media empire that now has a foothold in America.

To Gore (or, as we here like to call him since that sale, “alGore”), the sale made perfect sense because Al Jazeera shares its values with this man who once stood a heartbeat away from the President and hoped to be elected to that office in his own right:

Current Media was built based on a few key goals: To give voice to those who are not typically heard; to speak truth to power; to provide independent and diverse points of view; and to tell the stories that no one else is telling.

Al-Jazeera has the same goals and, like Current, believes that facts and truth lead to a better understanding of the world around us.

Gore couldn’t have made himself clearer: He has more in common with anti-American Al Jazeera than he does with all-American Glenn Beck.

Now Al Gore has taken yet another step to distance himself from American values, while still claiming to represent American interests. In a keynote speech he gave to the annual South By Southwest Conferences (SXSW), a gathering spot for stars in film, music, technology, and politics, Al Gore launched a direct attack on that most American of institutions – the NRA:

The NRA is a complete fraud because it is financed by the gun manufacturers.

Right. Got it. Al Gore’s plan is clear: pull the plug on the energy usage that makes American a dynamic, first-world country; disarm Americans by backing gun control and attacking the NRA, an organization that has been a bastion of individual rights since the end of the Civil War; and use Al Jazeera to indoctrinate Americans with its toxic blend of anti-American and anti-Semitic news.

Gore’s boiling frogs versus real boiling frogs: can we save ourselves?

Al Gore got a lot of mileage out of likening the slow accretion of anthropogenic climate change to a frog in cold water that was gradually being heated to boiling point. He contended that, just as the frogs were lulled by the gradual heat to be the point at which they’d fail to react when the heat became deadly, so too were we humans going to allow our planet slowly to boil us to death.

Except that everything Al Gore said was untrue.  First of all, there’s increasing evidence that anthropogenic global warming doesn’t exist.  Climate change definitely exists, and always has.  Sadly for Gore’s inflated sense of self, though, the earth’s climate does not bend to human will.  Humans are capable of polluting their environment, something that they’ve done since time immemorial, but the evidence for them changing the climate doesn’t add up.  Second of all, frogs do not allow themselves to be slow-boiled.

Unlike the earth’s climate, humans have direct responsibility for economic changes.  In America, the tension is between free markets and a government-managed economy.  At the federal level, voters opted for government-management.  At the local level, it was a mixed bag.  As a resident of California, I can tell you that a government-managed economy, especially one further tainted by union favoritism, is a recipe for economic disaster.  In California, we are the frogs in the hot pot.

Here’s the question:  will we humans react like real frogs and try to escape from the government-managed economic mess we’ve created, or will we go Gore and sit there was we boil to death?

Al Gore brings new levels of chutzpah to the expression that one should find a need and fill it

“Find a need and fill it.”  That’s great advice in a capitalist society and it’s how many people have gotten rich while improving other’s lives.

Al Gore has a different twist on that adage:  Use false data to create an artificial need, and then fill that need using pork:

The man who was within sight of the presidency 12 years ago has transformed himself, becoming perhaps the world’s most renowned crusader on climate change and a highly successful green-tech investor.

Just before leaving public office in 2001, Gore reported assets of less than $2 million; today, his wealth is estimated at $100 million.

[snip]

Fourteen green-tech firms in which Gore invested received or directly benefited from more than $2.5 billion in loans, grants and tax breaks, part of President Obama’s historic push to seed a U.S. renewable-energy industry with public money.

Please understand that I value a clean environment.  But proposing solutions for dealing with pollution is not how Gore got rich.  Gore got rich by creating an artificial panic structured around his hysterical insistence that human activity was turning the earth into a giant oven.  That’s fraud.  And using taxpayer created slush funds to fund his boondoggle is indecent — and it’s also Progressive politics as usual.

A new show makes me wonder about life in the Gore Veep House

We have been watching a new HBO show called Veep, a comedy that stars Julia Louis-Dreyfus as a fictional Vice President.  The show isn’t about politics (we never see or hear from the President, although a goofy jerk is his liaison to the Vice President’s office).  Instead, it’s about office dynamics.  Louis-Dreyfus’ character is the ultimate narcissist, and those who serve her are manipulative, narcissistic, cruel, and pathetic.  Humor derived from such an unsympathetic group of malcontents kind of eludes me.

Aside from finding the show un-amusing, I also find it somewhat offensive insofar as the “F-bomb” constitutes about 25% of the script.  The staff in the Veep’s office is almost as obscene as a gangsta rap song.

What’s interesting about a show that presents a Veep’s office as chaotic, narcissistic, mean-spirited, and obscene is the fact that Louis-Dreyfus spoke with Al Gore to help prepare for her role:

Veep” star Julia Louis-Dreyfus got some help from famous friends before taking on her new role on HBO’s “Veep” (premiering Sunday, April 22 at 10 p.m. ET).

In a new The New York Times Magazine interview, Louis-Dreyfus, who plays “Veep’s” Vice President Selina Meyer, revealed she spoke to Al Gore, various chiefs of staff, speechwriters for vice presidents and fellow “Saturday Night Live” veteran Senator Al Franken about everything — including whether the Secret Service goes to the bathroom with them.

I’m sure a lot of the information Louis-Dreyfus got was indeed of a practical nature, such as info about the Secret Service and potty breaks.  I wonder, though, how much of the show’s mean-spiritedness and potty mouth is also attributable to information gleaned from the Gore Veep House.

Incidentally, Louis-Dreyfus is very good in the role.  I just happen not to like shows in which the characters are too unsympathetic.  Even if there’s real humor there, I’m so uncomfortable spending time in the presence of such people, fictional or not, that I’m not laughing.  This is why I don’t like Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm.  I get the jokes.  I’m just not laughing because I’m so revolted by the icky, mean premise.

Is it unseemly for an elected official to host a weekly chat TV show?

Everything flows from the top.  I’m not saying that Obama encouraged his advance Security Service team to have riotous orgies, but I’m also not surprised that a corrupt administration ends up having corrupt employees.  A leader’s ethos will always trickle down.

Speaking of which, I see a continuum between Michelle Obama sully the White House by hosting a game show in the East Room and the fact that California’s Lt. Governor (which is, after all, an elected position) is going to host a chat show on Gore’s soon-to-be defunct CurrentTV.  (And no, I can’t prove that it will be defunct; it’s just that it has an Air America stench floating above it.)

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is getting a new platform for sharing his made-in-San Francisco values — a cable television talk show.

Current TV, the liberal-leaning cable channel co-founded by former Vice President Al Gore, announced Wednesday that it had retained the telegenic lieutenant governor to host a weekly hour-long program during which he will chat up “notables from Silicon Valley, Hollywood and beyond.”

I’m sure that both Current TV and Newsome’s own people have checked the law carefully to make sure he isn’t violating any rules and regulations by tearing himself away from his political obligations, slender though they may be, in order to have his Oprah moments.  Nevertheless, there is something unseemly about an elected official moonlighting as a TV chat show host.

Help wanted to understand a climate change post

I’ve been skeptical of climate change because (a) I think Al Gore’s an idiot; (b) the climate changers see everything in terms of climate change, which is nonsensical; (c) the Climate Gate emails indicated fraud and information suppression to advance the climate change narrative, suggesting that the actual facts do not advance that narrative; and (d) the manifest goal of those backing climate change is to transfer wealth from America to other nations and to downgrade the American standard of living.  I therefore wholeheartedly believe blogs such as Watts Up With That? when they put up posts challenging the climate change narrative.

The problem for me is that I’m not well-versed in science, and can easily be led down the primrose path.  So, while I have practical and ideological reasons for rejecting climate change, I can’t boast that I understand science well enough to add scientific reasons to my skeptical stance.

This gets me to the crux of this post.  One of my liberal Facebook friends, writing with a big “A-ha!”, linked to a blog post that claims to prove that climate change skeptics are cherry-picking data and are scientifically ignorant.  Since I’ve already admitted to scientific ignorance, I’m as incapable of analyzing this post, with which I disagree on principle, as I am of analyzing the Watts Up With That posts, with which I agree on principle.

So here’s the help I need from you:  Do those of you with better scientific chops than I have (that would be just about everyone) have any opinion on the relative merits of the post contending that climate change skeptics are arguing out of their rear orifice?

Those chortling over the Santorum yearbook photo should remember that both time and photos can be cruel

Yesterday, my sister emailed me a “cheer up” email that’s making the rounds.  It’s intended for women, who tend to feel more strongly than men do that the mirror is their enemy.  The tag line is “It isn’t just us who suffer changes over the years!”  The rest of the email is photos of former male sex symbols in their prime and now.  Here, see for yourself:

Val Kilmer

Mickey Rourke

Russel Crowe

Brendan Fraser

Alec Baldwin

Pierce Brosnan

Richard Gere

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Roger Moore

Clint Eastwood

Rod Stewart

I wasn’t amused by these photos nor did I have a pleasant frisson of schadenfreude.  Instead, I was saddened.  Age is cruel.  Maybe I’m more aware of that right now than I would have been otherwise because of my mother’s health issues.  A certain part of my memory has her locked into place as a fresh, vital, energetic, extremely pretty woman, about the age I am now.  But the lady I’m dealing with today is so very, very different:  she’s fragile, shrunken, wrinkled, sad, and tired.  She’s still my mother, and I love her, but she also feels like a stranger to me.

Famous people, the ones who had their gorgeous youth played out in the spotlight, have an exceptionally sad fate when they age:  We laugh at them.  People delight in the fact that the same people who used to make them feel inferior are now suffering the same fate as everyone else.  Unless you want to take the punk rocker advice of “die young, stay pretty,” age will lay its hands upon you.

The Santorum yearbook photo demonstrates that aging is a process that places its benefits and burdens on different people at different times.  For those who didn’t peak young, age can be a blessing.  Rick Santorum is a very nice looking man.  He doesn’t make my heart beat faster (that privilege is reserved for Keanu) but I do think that, for a guy in the middle of middle age, he’s got nothing to be embarrassed about.

For the MSM, Santorum’s ordinary good guy looks are a problem.  Fortunately, help is on the way in the form of a yearbook picture that isn’t very flattering, unless you’re a fan of Napoleon Dynamite:

Rick Santorum high school picture

Rick’s features are good, but the disco design shirt, the wide lapels, the huge square glasses, and the bowl haircut (complete with sideburns) are, well, in a word “dorky.”  At The Atlantic, you can feel the thrill of excitement:

A quick office straw poll here at The Atlantic, conducted amidst uproarious laughter, confirms that this is, in fact, the single worst year book photo that most of us have ever seen. An outright disaster. I suppose it’s Santorum’s misfortune to have been in high school during this era. I’m pretty sure that 1976 wasn’t too kind to anyone. But still. Wow–he looks like McLovin in polyester. I have yet to meet the political consultant talented enough to spin this one. My condolences to Santorum. Brave of him to have struggled through this and made something of this life.

The Atlantic includes yearbook pictures of the other Republican candidates at the same link.  Mitt was good-looking then, and he’s good-looking now, but everyone else has changed.  They all look young, they all look very much like products of their own time period, and in all of them, in the smile, the eyes, and the bone-structure, you can see the adults they would become.  Some have improved, some have just aged.  Again, rather than feeling smug when I look at them, I’m simply awed by Time’s power.

The Anchoress, naturally, makes a very good point about these photos.  For most of us, high school was not our peak time:

Let’s face it, yearbook photos suck. They just do. They’re a snapshot of a moment, and usually not a great moment. I think everyone tries to do the best they can.

In the interests of fairness, The Anchoress includes at her post high school (and college) pictures of the past Democrat candidates.  Obama looks like an extra in Kentucky Fried Movie; John Kerry looks as if he was auditioning for the part of Lurch in the Addams Family, except that he overacted and lost the part; and Al Gore looks pompous (so I guess some things never change).  Mostly, they look young, and they look like their peers.  That’s life — and to savage a candidate or even a movie star, because he looked bad then or looks bad now is, as The Anchoress says, “high schoolish.”

As for me, unlike The Anchoress, I will not include a photo of myself here (and hers is much prettier than she would give you to believe).   Aside from my commitment to my anonymity, I am notorious for shying away from cameras.  I don’t take pictures, I don’t like having my picture taken, and, when pictures of me exist, I don’t spread them around.

 

After graduation, 32 students attempted suicide

I have to say that this video actually made me giggle, because having all of Al Gore’s doom-and-gloom compressed to less than 2 minutes, and then playing Pomp & Circumstance in the background, is more like a cartoon than anything else.

Then again I didn’t have to listen to the whole blather, and I wasn’t a student who has spent my life being indoctrinated by the Chicken Little crowd.  For those students, watching this pompous boor go on and on about the imminent end of the world must have been a most disheartening end to their educational experience:

You get the message:  Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.

Hat tip:  Hot Air

Does algore have any tone other than hysterical?

I truly intended to fisk algore’s op-ed at the New York Times, in which he explains why global warming is still so important that the world should continue its task of turning him into the first green-based billionaire.  I was foiled, however, by the fact that I couldn’t step giggling as I read his hysterical hyperbole.  I mean, really, just look at this opening paragraph (italicized emphasis mine, although I’m sure algore heard that shrill emphasis in his own head as he wrote):

It would be an enormous relief if the recent attacks on the science of global warming actually indicated that we do not face an unimaginable calamity requiring large-scale, preventive measures to protect human civilization as we know it.

The hysteria continues unabated in subsequent paragraphs:

Of course, we would still need to deal with the national security risks of our growing dependence on a global oil market dominated by dwindling reserves in the most unstable region of the world, and the economic risks of sending hundreds of billions of dollars a year overseas in return for that oil.

[snip]

We would no longer have to worry that our grandchildren would one day look back on us as a criminal generation that had selfishly and blithely ignored clear warnings that their fate was in our hands.

[snip]

But unfortunately, the reality of the danger we are courting has not been changed by the discovery of at least two mistakes in the thousands of pages of careful scientific work over the last 22 years by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In fact, the crisis is still growing because we are continuing to dump 90 million tons of global-warming pollution every 24 hours into the atmosphere — as if it were an open sewer.

And so it goes, with one overwrought opining after another.  What’s incredibly funny, though, is algore’s attempt to defuse the collapsing science.  Taking it like a man, he admits that there are just a few problems:

It is true that the climate panel published a flawed overestimate of the melting rate of debris-covered glaciers in the Himalayas, and used information about the Netherlands provided to it by the government, which was later found to be partly inaccurate. In addition, e-mail messages stolen from the University of East Anglia in Britain showed that scientists besieged by an onslaught of hostile, make-work demands from climate skeptics may not have adequately followed the requirements of the British freedom of information law.

But fear not, fair climate panic maidens — mistakes happen.  Fortunately for those whose life’s goal is to line algore’s pockets, consensus still exists notwithstanding these “little” mistakes completely undermining the AGW theory.  Read what algore writes carefully.  He offers no science to support AGW despite the mistakes.  Instead, he simply assures us that there is consensus and, to justify his assurance, reiterates, boot-strap style his existing, and increasingly discredited, theories:

But the scientific enterprise will never be completely free of mistakes. What is important is that the overwhelming consensus on global warming remains unchanged. It is also worth noting that the panel’s scientists — acting in good faith on the best information then available to them — probably underestimated the range of sea-level rise in this century, the speed with which the Arctic ice cap is disappearing and the speed with which some of the large glacial flows in Antarctica and Greenland are melting and racing to the sea.

[snip]

Here is what scientists have found is happening to our climate: man-made global-warming pollution traps heat from the sun and increases atmospheric temperatures. These pollutants — especially carbon dioxide — have been increasing rapidly with the growth in the burning of coal, oil, natural gas and forests, and temperatures have increased over the same period. Almost all of the ice-covered regions of the Earth are melting — and seas are rising. Hurricanes are predicted to grow stronger and more destructive, though their number is expected to decrease. Droughts are getting longer and deeper in many mid-continent regions, even as the severity of flooding increases. The seasonal predictability of rainfall and temperatures is being disrupted, posing serious threats to agriculture. The rate of species extinction is accelerating to dangerous levels.

I don’t know about you, but it seems tacky that algore ignores the icky little fact that earth’s climate has changed constantly for the past, oh, about 3 billion years.  Or maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that an incredibly wooden guy has a hard time comprehending a fluid situation.  (And yes, that’s a nasty, ad hominem attack on my part, but there’s no getting past the fact that, when you think algore, you don’t think of a flexible mind).

Suspecting that the ordinary American, after the past couple of years of cold winters and cooling global temperatures, might be inclined to discount his ravings, algore assures us that you should definitely discount the information of your own eyes and senses, not to mention all those newspaper articles you’ve been reading:

Because these and other effects of global warming are distributed globally, they are difficult to identify and interpret in any particular location. For example, January was seen as unusually cold in much of the United States. Yet from a global perspective, it was the second-hottest January since surface temperatures were first measured 130 years ago.

Algore’s reasoning, which seems to say that actual weather proves nothing, should come as a surprise to everyone who has noticed that, no matter the weather — heat, cold, snow, ice, sun, hurricane, even earthquakes — we are constantly assured that everything results from AGW.  So contrary to algore’s statement, one can apparently tell what’s going on just by looking out the window, as long as one always attributes what one sees to anthropogenic global warming.

If you feel the yen to giggle and be dismayed periodically, please take the time to read algore’s hysterical diatribe refuting collapsing science with algore-approved conclusions.  As for me, I’m simply grateful that the whole edifice is collapsing.  As the earth’s stewards, it is our responsibility, and it works to our benefit, to keep our environment as clean and beautiful as possible.  Doing so, however, does not require mass wealth transfer to algore and other Third World Nations (that word “other” is deliberate there), it does not involve upending our economy and lifestyle, and it does not require destroying our national security needs.  Instead, it simply requires us to use our American ingenuity to make things better, rather than to use our algore induced paranoia to make things insane.

Being a contrarian and NOT buying (or being) green *UPDATED*

Am I the only one who has had it up to here and more with the relentless imperative that I buy green?  I have this incredible urge to pollute and waste.  I do not like being bullied, and I am being bullied.

When I’m at the store, surrounded by all the little soldiers staggering under the weight of their reusable bags, I ask for paper and plastic.  After all, you never know which of those bags might rip.  The irony is that, if the store told me that its costs would be lower if I brought my own bags, and that it would then pass that savings on to me, I might be inclined for my own economic benefit to bring in reusable bags.  The green thing, however, sends me careening in the other direction.

When I’m at Whole Foods, which requires a PhD in garbage just to figure out which bin is meant for your particular piece of garbage (paper, plastic, compost, compost with paper, petroleum based, etc.) I throw everything into the lone generic “trash” bin.  No more sorting for me, baby!

I just got invited to one of those neighborhood parties where a friend hosts someone intent on selling goods.  In this case, the goods are handbags.  I might have been interested (handbags, after all, are useful), if the invitation hadn’t stressed that everything was recycled, recyclable, sustainable, organic, and had received Al Gore’s personal seal of approval.  (I made the last one up, but everything else was right there on the invitation.)  I said no.  I’m planning on going to Target tomorrow and buying something cheap, big and PLASTIC.

This is entirely separate from the fact that I have long believed that the whole climate change thing is a giant hoax, meant to destroy the American economy and elevate Al Gore’s (and his friend’s) wealth and status.  The fact that it turns out the climate change people haven’t believe in it either, and have been using fraud, blackmail, bullying, and lies to perpetrate and perpetuate the hoax is just proof of what was already obvious to me, given the identity of those who scream about the whole human created global warming scam.

My green hostility is also separate from the huge element, not of class warfare, but of wealth warfare here.  It is no coincidence that some of the most hysterical greenies (Gore, Tom Friedman, the whole Hollywood crowd) also live the most lavish, ostentatious, un-green life-styles.  These nouveau riche nothings want to make sure that the rest of us don’t get too close in terms of lifestyle and purchasing power.  If we do, there’s nothing else to distinguish these otherwise indistinguishable human beings from the rest of us peons.

As I said, though, my rant today is separate from socialism, class warfare and Al Gore-fare.  Instead, it relates solely to my innate resistance to panic and pushiness.  Don’t start screaming fire in my crowded theater and then try to heard me to an exit that’s just going to lead me off a cliff.

So pardon me while I go run some water, turn on some lights, throw some plastic bags and bottles into the garbage can, and run an unnecessary errand in my gas guzzling van.  I feel the need to make a stand.

As Kermit lamented in the era before environmentalism became a moral imperative and apocalyptic movement, “It’s not that easy being green.”

UPDATE:  I should probably add here that, like most of my readers, I’m not normally a wasteful person (aside from the occasional anti-green temper tantrum).  My conservation efforts, though, come about, not because of green bullying, because I like to conserve my wealth and because I hate to fund Wahabbi-ism.

UPDATE II:  I’m going to clarify my prior update, because I want it to be clear that I’m not advocating profligate use of resources or rampant pollution.  There’s nothing wrong with conservatives being environmentally aware, whether because they’re cheap, or because they hate waste, or because they believe that humans are stewards for the earth, or because they hate funding Saudis, or for any number of reasons.  Those who know me know that I’m frugal to the point of being a cheapskate, and that I live a very low impact life for a middle class suburban person.

I’m just sick to death, however, of the apocalyptic moralizing and bullying, and the frenetic, hysterical tone that characterizes the discourse about respecting the earth’s resources.  As you can imagine, all of those negative influences reach a high pitch on a routine basis in Marin and, on those days when the din is too loud, I go and commit acts of waste as a form of civil disobedience.

Words and Music

I have an idea to throw out for you guys to chew on.  Laer, at Cheat-Seeking Missiles, in an email asked why Jindal’s speech, which looks great on paper, got such a bad reception.  The reception was bad on both the Left and the Right, so its being dissed wasn’t just a matter of media bias.  Here’s my response:

Maybe I’m hanging around my two little budding musicians too much, but I think a lot of it has to do with rhythm.  Did you know that, when you videotape families in action — say, in the kitchen — and then play those videos back without sound, it turns out that the happy families move with the same rhythm, while the unhappy families’ movements are out of synch? Jindal sounded choppy.  His rhythm was off.

When Obama has a speech memorized, his natural rhythms are good and appealing.  Put him on a teleprompter, with his head swinging back and forth between the left and right screens, and he ends up with no rhythm at all or, at best, a robotic, unnatural one.

Speech is a form of music, and our conservative politicians have not mastered it.  I think Reagan was a great communicator, not just because of his content, but because his speech patterns triggered the same pleasure sensors in the brain that music does.  (And conversely, think about the heat that both Romney and Gore have taken for their unnatural speech.  It’s not their words, it’s their music.)

I wonder how many homeowners are going to stay Green *UPDATED*

Green is fine if you can be cute about it:  cute little hybrid cars, cute little permanent shopping bags boasting about your green-ness, and cute locally grown arugala.  But is Green still fine if your City requires that, as a matter of law, you spend up to $30,000 to bring your home into compliance with the City’s eco ideas?  ‘Cause that’s what’s happening in Berkeley (emphasis mine):

Berkeley officials Tuesday stood by their plan to require homeowners to make extensive energy efficiency improvements to their homes, but appeared to back off the more costly elements of the proposal.

“Our goal is to get into everyone’s home with a checklist of cost-efficient improvements,” said the city’s planning director, Dan Marks. “But I don’t see us forcing people to spend $30,000.”

Depending on the house and the residents’ energy habits, the improvements could be as little as $100 for caulking and sealant, or upward of $30,000 for a new roof, windows, appliances and furnace.

The upgrades are part of the city’s 145-page Climate Action Plan, which the City Council was expected to approve Tuesday night. In addition to home improvement requirements, the plan calls for a broad range of Earth-friendly programs intended to help the city meet its Measure G goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050.

The portion of the plan that applies to home improvements sparked an uproar this week from residents fearful the city would require them to spend large sums on new windows and other pricey amenities.

They may have to in the next 10 to 15 years, but probably not now, Marks said.

“Right now we’re talking more in the $10,000 range,” he said, noting that the improvements would only be required when a home is sold or remodeled, but that in the future, the improvements would be required of all homes. “If we’re going to meet these Measure G goals, we’ve got to get into people’s homes.”

Right now, I suspect that some homeowners have taken their little AlGore dolls, formerly placed in positions of honor on their desks and shelves, and are sticking pins in them.

UPDATE:  The Berkeley City Council discovered very quickly that, to the extent it affects their financial interests, people are green only if they want to be green, not if the government forces them to be.  The City has therefore withdrawn, at least temporarily, its plan to invade people’s homes and dictate the details.

Best article opening award

The award for the best opening in any article (at least for today), has to go to Jonah Goldberg:

Is Barack Obama the Messiah?

Before we answer that question, let me vent for a moment. In 2000 I was cruelly denied the Pulitzer despite being the only columnist in America to ask the pressing question: Is Al Gore an alien? The evidence was there for all to see. He was born nine months after the mysterious alien sighting at Roswell, N.M. His weird syntax and verbal rhythms are otherworldly. He often refers to “earth” or “this planet” as if he’s just passing through, and he once angrily complained to the Washington Post that it had printed a picture of the earth from outer space “upside down.”

There is no “upside down” in space — unless Gore had his childhood view in mind.

The rest of the article, detailing Obama’s “Messiah-ness” is almost as good, and I say “almost” only because it’s hard to top an opening like that.

More sense on climate change

I’m a scientific ignoramus.  Although I’ve been skeptical of global warming from the start, my skepticism hasn’t been rooted in a sound grasp of facts and scientific principles.  Instead, it arises because of my source problems:  I deeply distrust the people touting climate change.

From the moment Al Gore started mouthing off about it, and triggered massive hysteria in the MSM, Hollywood, and the Leftosphere, I backed off.  To me, these people’s embrace of the issue lacked any coherent thought or rigorous analysis.  For them, it was simply another nail in the Bush Derangement Syndrome coffin, and a convenient way to do indirectly what they’ve been trying to do directly : handicap America’s ability to compete in world markets.  That’s why, even though I agree with some of the goals — most notably getting the whole world off Arab Oil so that we’re not funding the Islamist instruments of our own destruction — I’ve absolutely refused to buy into the whole Global Warming mantra.

Others, fortunately, have more knowledge than I do, and they’re not buying into it either.  The latest knowledgeable person to speak out is Brian Sussman, a metereologist, who explains that the Global Warming crowd has made its case by ignoring some facts and exaggerating other facts completely out of recognition.  And he does it all in lucid prose, easy for the lay man to understand.

Anger on the Left *UPDATED*

My father was a very angry man. At whichever job he had, he was pretty darn certain that management was out to get him. At stores, he knew he was being cheated. My mother always attributed this anger, not to the poverty and dislocation of his youth (placed in an orphanage at 5, refugee from the Nazis at 15, fighter in the RAF at 19), but to the Communism of his youth.

You see, my father grew up in the Dickensian Jewish slums of Berlin in the 1920s. Unsurprisingly, these slums were hotbeds of Communism and, while his mother was apolitical, his brother and sister were fervent Communists. Although they were much older than he was, they nevertheless managed to infect him with their political ideology, so much so that, while he eventually was a rock solid Democrat (until 1980) his world view was colored by the concept of class warfare — in his mind, anyone who was better situated than he was, was by definition out to get him.

My Dad and his siblings, therefore, were Communists in the perfect Marxist sense. They emerged from the underclass. They were genuinely downtrodden. The cards were completely stacked against them. Their class animus was understandable. It also made them very, very angry, and fairly dysfunctional in ordinary capitalist circumstances. His sister, indeed, was so hostile to Israel for adopting a mild form of socialism that she returned to East Germany to live in the Communist paradise. His brother was incapable of working in a capitalist system, or even a semi-socialist system, and ended his life in squalor, a low-level civil servant in Copenhagen, living in a one room apartment with his wife and child.

As for my Dad, he married my mom. My mom, too, had a life time of poverty and dislocation, but was never tainted by Communism. She is, indeed, to this day, perfectly happy with Capitalism in theory, although the fact that she was married to my father meant she never got to realize any real economic benefits from the system. Because of my Mom, my Dad completed his education, had children, and held down a job. He bought a home, and he became friends with rich people because, while we had no money, my Mom has class. He discovered that rich people, at least in America, weren’t evil parasites but were, in fact, very nice — and very hard-working. He moved right, so far, in fact, that he was one of the Reagan Democrats. I’m certain that he would be a McCain Demcrat too, were he still living. But he still would have been paranoid, convinced that the world was out to get him.

Believe it or not, there is a point to all of this biographical rumination and it’s anger. One could accuse my Mom of being guilty of amateur armchair psychology, with her certainty that it was Communism, not poverty, that fed my Dad’s anger. I think she’s right, though. We see even today that the Left is very, very angry. Despite the fact that life in America is, for most people, very good and certainly is, again for most people, better than it’s ever been at any other time or place in history, the Left sees America in only the grimmest terms. America is an evil oppressor. America intentionally hurts people. America lives to abuse people for racist reasons. You’ve seen DailyKos and the Democratic Underground and the HuffPo and the New York Times and the WaPo, and you know these feelings are out there.

What’s peculiar about this evil capitalist mantra is that it no longer emanates from the underclass. Think about the proponents of these theories: John Kerry, billionaire; Al Gore, multi-millionaire; John Edwards, multi-millionaire; Hillary Clinton, multi-millionaire; Nancy Pelosi, multi-millionaire; Jeremiah Wright, rich pastor moving into exclusive white enclave; the Obamas, products of America’s top education systems and, within the past few years, millionaires; Harry Reid, multi-millionaire; Barbara Boxer, millionaire. I’m stopping here, but you can add your own names to the list.

These people I’ve named are not, as my father was, social rejects who live in (or came from) squalor that is almost impossible to imagine now. They haven’t been kicked from pillar to post by the upper classes, nor have they been refugees, nor have they been denied opportunities. These people are the cream of the crop, the ones who have benefited most from America’s economic and educational opportunities. For those of us working gazillions of hours a week, holding two jobs, watching fuel prices tick up, wondering how we’ll pay for our children’s educations, and hoping no one gets seriously sick, they are the ones to be envied. They are the ruling class.

And yet every single one of the people I’ve named, and all of the similarly situated people I didn’t think of but that you did, share something in common with my down-trodden, refugee father — they’re really, really angry. So I have to think that this overarching, paranoid anger does not arise because of someone’s economic situation or their vertical position in the social hierarchy. Instead, my Mom was right all along: Communism, or whatever form of Leftism is currently in vogue, is attractive to those who are angry, and it breeds anger in those who otherwise might avoid that emotion.

And while anger is a universal trait, and clearly operates to help us survive in dangerous situations, those of us who have lived with chronic anger know that its long-term effects can only be harmful. For the angry individual, the results are ill-health, as the heart and guts rebel against the streams of bile flowing through the system. For the person living with someone angry, the downsides run the gamut from stress, anxiety and depression, to actual physical danger (a situation that my father, bless him, never created). And for those who live in a country powered by the angry, one sees political self-loathing, which leads suicidal behavior when it comes to both the economy and national security.

One of the things I’ve come to like about John McCain is that, while he definitely has a temper, that seems to be a generic trait. That is, he suffers from situational anger. He has what, in the old days, used to be called a quick temper. He is, in other respects, a sunny optimistic soul, and that despite his years as a POW. What McCain clearly lacks is the brooding, paranoid anger that characterizes the Left, and for that reason I believe that, his temper notwithstanding, he’d definitely be a sunnier presence in the White House than his embittered opponents.

I also think that Americans share McCain’s more sunny optimism. I can’t imagine that, over the long run, they’re going to be attracted to professional paranoids who live in the mansions on the hill, sucking every bit of wealth they can from the system, all the while castigating ordinary Americans for being greedy, embittered fools.

UPDATEHere’s something to chew on regarding the basic decency and optimism that characterizes John McCain.