Saturday mid-day roundup (and Open Thread)

Victorian posy of pansiesI have learned something about myself over the past 5.5 weeks:  I will never master crutches.  After all this time, I still fall going up the stairs, get vertigo going down the stairs, topple over when trying to reach light switches, get abrasions on my skin, and exhaust my injured shoulder.  My big hope for this coming week is that the doctor tells me I can ditch the crutches and use a cane or go unaided on my own two feet.  In the meantime, though, I’ve got stuff I want to share with you:

In 2008, Obama won in significant part by hooking up with pop culture and making himself “cool.”  The implication was exactly what it is in high school:  if you hang with the cool kids, you’ll be cool too.  Obama was cool because he hung with Hollywood . . . and young voters were cool because they wore Obama t-shirts.  Obama is trying to reprise that cool factor with his current campaign to get healthy young people to sign up for Obamacare.  Now that actually money is involved, I suspect he’ll have less success than in 2008, when all you needed to be cool was a t-shirt and a vote.

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When it comes to understanding how the media functions as the PR arm for the Democrat party, you can’t do better than to read John Hinderaker’s article describing the downstream fallout from the Washington Post‘s cheap and false attack on the Koch brothers. (Hinderaker’s challenge to the original WaPo article is here.) Not only does Hinderaker strip bare the ugliness behind the Post’s defense of its own bad reporting, he also analyzes why the Left is so obsessed with the Koch Brothers, the problems Democrats are starting to have with the “green” worldview, and the money behind the Democrats’ attacks on the Kochs.

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Two Democrat politicians, one in Arkansas and one in Alaska, have rather foolishly chosen to attack their Republican opponents for having been in the military. The GOP has done an ad highlighting these attacks and focusing on the fact that there is something honorable about having served in the military. I agree, but for me there’s more than that going on.  When I think about military service, what I think about is competence and responsibility. In a society where young people avoid both — and, indeed, are encouraged by law to remain infantile until their 26 — the military forces young people to step up. I know that there are shirkers in the military, but the statistical likelihood is that someone who spent many years in the military is probably a can-do and will-do kind of person.

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Over the years, I’ve written about the fact that people who support abortion use a very dishonest debate tactic when they pretend that the world is the same as it was before Roe v. Wade. The implication is that, if abortion again becomes limited to life-of-the-mother (and perhaps rape and incest) cases, young girls will be thrown starving into the streets and children will be raised with the stigma of bastardy. In a world in which single mothers are one of the fastest growing demographics, this is ludicrous. The Left also pretends that women will once again return to back alley abortions, complete with unsanitary coat hangers. Indeed, one pro-Abortion outlet is giving “cute” little coat hanger necklaces to those who donate money to the cause.

Here’s something interesting, though: Just as the pro-abortion crowd lies about the world as it is, implying that unwed pregnant women will once again be driven into the snow (barefoot, of course), so too is it lying about the world as it was. Kevin Williamson finds contemporaneous evidence from Planned Parenthood itself saying that, back in the 1960s, while abortion was illegal, it was also safe — indeed, probably safer than at places like Kermit Gosnell’s House of Abortion Horror.

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J. Christian Adams asks a good question: Why does Michelle Obama’s mother live rent-free in the White House? It might have made sense when the Obama’s first arrived in D.C. with two fairly young daughters, but it makes no sense now. I guess, though, that Michelle loves her Mommy and wants to make sure that Mrs. Robinson also gets to enjoy the pleasures of staying in $8,000 per night suites in Beijing (taxpayer-funded, of course).

“White Trash” is not a skin color, it’s a state of mind. One aspect of the WT state of mind is the person who, when he knows someone else is paying the restaurant bill, orders the most expensive thing on the menu. The Obamas are quite definitely White Trash.

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In my real-me Facebook world, my friends still cling to the Anthropogenic Climate Change theory. In the real world, actual scientists (as opposed to PhD-holding crusaders looking for large government grants) are finally waking up and smelling the con-job coffee. It remains to be seen whether the climate-change generation is going to be able to walk away from this false God.

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A couple of weeks ago, I said that the hate-crime hoaxes coming from the Left meant that I didn’t believe a gay guy who claimed (without corroboration) that his aged Baptist minister grandfather, who had been married for 65 years, confessed on his deathbed that he was gay. Maybe grandpa did; maybe he didn’t. It’s just that, as I said, absent ample evidence, I don’t believe the Left. In that vein, I point out that yet another hate-crime has proven to be a hoax.

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Last week, I showed a picture of a school workbook telling students that the Second Amendment gives citizens the right to bear arms provided that the government first gives them permission to do so. Someone asked for the provenance of that image. It turns out that (surprise! surprise!) it comes from an Illinois Middle School.

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Reading travel tips that Chinese give those of their compatriots heading to America I thought to myself, “What a nice country we have.”

Wednesday afternoon quick hits (and Open Thread)

Victorian posy of pansiesIt’s raining!!!  In California, that’s cause for celebration.  Rain in Marin doesn’t mean it’s raining elsewhere, but it certainly matters to use Marin-ites — we have our own reservoir system, so we’re wholly dependent on local rainfall.  Ironically, the rain is slowing down our major yard renovation, and we have to get that renovation down before April 1, when rationing kicks in (and rationing will happen unless we get enormous amounts of rain).  Sigh.  To ever silver lining, there seems to be a cloud.

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Since I’m on the subject of weather, here’s a two-fer about the grand hoax that is climate change. The first, from American Thinker, provides compelling evidence that every single carbon centered computer model about the climate has proven to be wrong. Not just sort of wrong, mind you, but absolutely, completely, super-duper wrong. Climate theorists are now blaming volcanoes for the warming failure, but they’ll blame anything, won’t they? If you have a non-falsifiable doctrine, you can always blame external forces for your doctrine’s inevitable failure.

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I’ve also got three great articles about Israel. The first looks as all the wonderful things going on in Israel despite the world’s efforts to squash that tiny, brilliant nation. The second looks at the grotesque hypocrisy that sees gay rights advocates champion Palestinians at the expense of Israel. The third looks as the fact that Israel stands poised to save Syrians, the rest of the Middle East, and perhaps the whole world, from the unfathomable danger of a nuclear Syria.

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Traditionally in America, a state attorney general is sworn to uphold the laws of the state. After all, if the AG doesn’t do that, what’s his purpose? He’s there to represent and ensure the stability, reliability, and credibility of the law.  If he doesn’t carry out that task, he just becomes another functionary in a banana republic. And that banana republic status is precisely what U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder dreams of, for he has instructed state AG’s to ignore any law that supports traditional marriage.

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I’ve written here frequently about the lunacy that is the modern American college or university. This is a subject that exercises me a great deal because I have two children heading towards college in the next few years. As many Americans do, I’m deeply offended by the cost of college, especially the cost of the once prestigious liberal arts colleges back East. It’s insane to spend or borrow $250,000 so that your child can move into your basement and become a barista. In a changing world, colleges have actually changed in the wrong direction.  They’ve turned away entirely from educating young people to become useful and productive citizens.

What colleges have done, instead, is train youngsters to become lunatics, which is my second reason for being upset about modern American higher education. Last week, Bruce Bawer warned about a lunatic Leftist at Harvard. This week, Chicks on the Right warns about a whole cadre of potentially violent lunatic Leftists as Dartmouth. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that this collection of young people expensively unmoored from reality comes from deep within the fever swamps of the gay rights movement.

I’ll say here what I always say: I believe that the government should stay out of people’s bedrooms. I believe that gay people should be free from discrimination, harassment, violence, etc. I believe that the heart loves where it will. But let’s get real here: These loony-toonz aren’t about gay rights.  They are about using the gay agenda as a wedge issue to destroy America as a free-market, individual-centered society, and to replace it with a hard-core centralized government and a socialized economy. I wonder if these “idealists” have any inkling that, when/if they’ve finally achieved their agenda they’ll meet the same fate that leading-edge revolutionaries always experience, whether in 18th Century France, or Russia, or China:  The new statist government identifies them as troublemakers and kills them first.

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My sister lives in Oregon, a state that has as its primary goal the creation of happiness. We’ve talked before about the fact that a state can impose “happiness” only if it first has the right to define “happiness.”  The reality, is that there’s only a slender likelihood that the state bureaucrat’s idea of what constitutes “happiness” is the same as your idea.  Moreover, if not everyone is happy — and no one can ever be — the situation is ripe for constant revolution. Still, Oregon tries. The libertarians on the Eastern side are constantly besieged by the statists on the Western, coastal side, who have turned Oregon into one of the most heavily regulated, and least economically successful, states in America. (For more on happiness, at a deep, philosophical level, rather than at a pop-culture, “everything is free” level, check out Happiness Is a Serious Problem: A Human Nature Repair Manual.)

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And finally, knowledge that I gleaned in my youth catches up with the present. I’ve written before about my years at Berkeley, when I socialized with ultra-Leftist professors who lived in lavish houses in the Berkeley hillside, all of which seemed to be tended by Hispanic maids and Japanese gardeners. These effete, armchair revolutionaries enjoyed their Marxism because they lived on the straining back of the servant class.

That was a long time ago, but one modern-day Leftist has finally admitted that, yes, needing servants is precisely why the Leftist idle rich are so gung-ho about illegal immigrants:

As a friend of mine said after watching that, “If a conservative of any stripe were to insinuate undocumented workers were all gardeners, landscapers, and hotel workers the race card would have been played before he could even finish the sentence.”

Helping Mark Steyn’s epic battle to defend freedom of speech

mark-steyn-photo-600x345I’ve written before about Mark Steyn’s epic battle and equally epic Answer and Counterclaim in the suit that discredited “Hockey Stick” artiste, Michael Mann filed against him and the National Review.   What I forgot to tell you is that there is a way you can help Mark Steyn, who is not sharing his defense with National Review, pay the costs of this suit.  (Steyn’s currently representing himself, although I do not know whether he parted ways with his lawyer because they had a substantive disagreement or because Steyn could no longer afford him/her.)

Click here to learn about buying a Mark Steyn gift certificate.  You can choose not to redeem the gift certificate, leaving all the money in his hands, or you can redeem it for actual merchandise, which still leaves him with the profit margin.  It’s a good deal all around.

Friday morning thoughts (and Open Thread)

The other day, Victorian posy of pansiesI wasn’t able to get to my desktop computer, which is where I write with ease and fluidity.  I was also was quite depressed that day.  Thinking about it, I told my sister that I wasn’t depressed because life is temporarily inconvenient.  I was depressed, instead, because I didn’t get my “writer’s high.”  For many years, I’ve kept myself buoyant through two endorphin-releasing activities:  martial arts and writing.  For the past six months, I’ve been unable to do martial arts, but I still had my writing.  When writing is also denied me, my endorphins vanish, and I get into a funk.  Just an hour at the computer is equal to several bowls of chocolate ice cream — without the calories.

And now to a variety of quick links that have come my way:

An artist in South Florida deliberately destroyed a 7,000 year old Chinese vase to protest the fact that the arts community in Miami isn’t paying enough attention to local artists.  If you’re like me, your first thought upon reading that story was “That man is just crazy.”  Well, if he’s crazy, so is Prince William.  Little Willy has announced that he wants to destroy the monarchy’s priceless 1,200 piece ivory collection to protest the illegal ivory trade.  He’s apparently unimpressed by the fact that these ivories span the centuries, meaning that they come from times long-predating modern environmentalism.  The combination of an appropriately Progressive education and a credulous, rather stupid father clearly has had its effect on the Prince’s reasoning skills and values.

One of my friends, upon hearing about Prince William’s proposal, had the perfect response:  “Perhaps he should also dismantle the monarchy since it has caused so many wars, slavery, and other human suffering. While he’s at it, why not return all the Egyptian treasures spread throughout London the monarchy looted?”

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Mark Steyn is representing himself in the case that Michael Mann — creator of the completely discredited hockey stick graph — has brought against him and against the National ReviewOne can argue that Steyn will find that there’s truth to the saying that “the man who represents himself has a fool for a lawyer.”  I’m not so sure.  In my experience, judges give an enormous amount of leeway to parties who appear on their own behalf.  The smart man representing himself may well be in a better position than the smart man trapped behind a mediocre attorney whose only virtue is that he’s affordable.

If Steyn’s answer and counter-claim is anything to go by, Steyn’s doing just fine.  He understands that the law is on his side.  This is a pure First Amendment case and doesn’t require complex legal analysis.  The only way to win is to make the facts come alive and to reveal Michael Mann for what he is:  a discredited scientist who has used shoddy research and false reports to make himself famous, and who now tries to cling to his dishonestly-won fame by bullying people through the legal system.

Not only does Steyn understand the necessary strategy, he’s taken advantage of his pro per status to write one of the most delightful pleadings I’ve ever seen.  My first drafts usually have the same puckish quality (although I lack Steyn’s wit, erudition, flair, and musicality), but I always take those bits out for fear the judge will think I’m making sport of him.  Steyn, however, is clearly, and deftly, making sport of Mann:

69. Denies the allegations in Paragraph Sixty-Nine of the Amended Complaint, and thinks we’re going round in circles here.

[snip]

111. Denies the allegations in Paragraph One-Hundred-And-Eleven of the Amended Complaint, and feels Plaintiff is going round like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a
wheel, like the circles that you find in the tree-rings of your mind.

[snip]

129. Plaintiff Michael Mann is a widely known figure in the scientific and public policy spheres of global warming research who has thrust himself into the politics of the
global warming debate by appearing in TV commercials for political candidates, writing newspaper columns regularly for The Guardian, The New York Times and others, serving as scientific advisor to and appearing in a climate-change TV series starring climate experts Matt Damon and Jessica Alba, and is therefore a public figure. In March 2012, Plaintiff published a book called The Hockey Stick And The Climate Wars: Dispatches From The Front Lines, the “front lines” presumably referring to his media appearances with Miss Alba et al.

[snip]

131. At the other end of the spectrum, Plaintiff and his counsel have issued demands that have no basis in law, as they well know – including the preposterous assertion, in response to a parody video by “Minnesotans for Global Warming”, that “Professor Mann’s likeness” is protected from parody and satire. (See attached letter from Plaintiff’s counsel.) Plaintiff has engaged in serial misrepresentation and false claims to authority, including (in his original Complaint against Defendant Steyn) purporting to be a Nobel Laureate and (in his current Complaint and elsewhere) purporting to have been exonerated by multiple investigations and by fellow scientists who have, in fact, pronounced Mann and his work “inappropriate”, “exaggerated”, “non-robust” and his defense of it “incorrect”. There is a smell to the hockey stick that, in Lady Macbeth’s words, “all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten” – nor all the investigations. And so Dr Mann has determined to sue it into respectability.

Speaking as a well-seasoned litigator, I wish I’d written that.

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At African-American Conservatives on Facebook, a picture that perfectly illustrates why I’ve had a problem with electric cars — and with the fact that Obama is using my money to fund them, all under the umbrella of “anthropogenic climate change”:

Dirty electrical cars

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The more I know about Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, the more I like him. And the more the Left knows about Walker, the more it fears him. I have a feeling all the fishing expeditions will come up empty. After the recall vote, all the dirt that can be dug probably has been dug.

allen-west-20101Speaking of presidential candidates, even my apolitical sister asked me, “Who’s going to be the Democrat nominee? Hillary? I don’t think she can win, and there doesn’t seem to be anyone else.” Exactly. I told her to keep an eye on Walker. I also really, really like Allen West, and I think he could make an Eisenhower-esque claim to having executive experience notwithstanding his lack of a governorship. He and Walker could be a very exciting President/Vice President package. I also have to admit to something of a girlish crush on West. I think he’s just amazingly good-looking. He looks so crisp and fresh.

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Proof that not all news anchors are just talking heads. These two, stuck without any audio, are really funny.

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Do we need to say again that true science is never settled? Or that stifling dissent is unscientific? Probably we do. We need to say it again and again and again until we are like the horns bringing down the walls of Jericho. And if someone’s going to be your trumpet, Charles Krauthammer is the Louis Armstrong of intelligent dissent.

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Every year in Laredo, something amazing happens:  on both sides of the border, people gather together to celebrate George Washington, but they do so with an exquisite Tejano twist.  As with the last Independent Lens documentary I wrote about, the documentary maker isn’t very good, but the subject matter transcends the production.

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Do you remember this creepy video, with elementary school children singing about the glories of the imagined hope that the Messiah Obama would bring to America? Well, someone’s updated it (h/t Sadie):

A high school dissident takes on global warming

Burning earthBack in October, I wrote about one of my children’s classmates at high school.  This kid is handsome, athletic, and extremely popular.  He also made disparaging remarks about Obamacare and illegal aliens without getting push-back from either students or teachers.  Such is the power of popularity.

That kid’s at it again.  For his English class, he wrote an essay calling out anthropogenic climate change as a hoax.  I wonder whether his popularity will be sufficient to survive this dissident act, both socially and academically.

The young man’s brave stance got me thinking about the whole notion of unfalsifiable theories. As I explained to my own children, the normal way science works is that, if all your hypotheses prove to be false, you’ve established that your underlying theory is wrong.  Only in the world of climate change do a series of failed predictions and hypotheses serve as proof that your underlying theory isn’t merely true, it’s even more true!

Since I had climate change on the brain, when my daughter later pointed out that our little mutt, who had curled up in her lap, had buried his nose in her armpit, I exclaimed, “That’s because of climate change.”

Having said that, it occurred to me that it may be time to resurrect a college game with a twist.  Back in the day, whenever friends and I dined at a Chinese restaurant, when we opened the cookies and read aloud our fortunes, we’d add the phrase “in bed.” So, for example, a fortune that said “You will meet an interesting stranger” would be read as “You will meet an interesting stranger in bed.”  It was juvenile, but funny.

Nowadays, a variation of the game would be to response to any observation by saying, “that’s because of global warming (or climate change).”  So, someone might say, “Look, there’s a hawk circling your yard.”  And your answer would be “That’s because of climate change.”

“The furniture delivery man is running late.”  “That’s because of climate change.”

“My hair looks terrible today.”  “That’s because of climate change.”

“Does this dress make me look fat?”  “Honey, thanks to climate change, everything looks fat.”

NPR offers a perfect example of how an unfalsifiable, infallible theory works

Burning earthNPR didn’t mean to offer a perfect example of how an unfalsifiable, infallible theory works.  It’s stated goal was to have people better understand what a polar vortex is.  However, when it chose to interview “Andrew Freedman, senior science writer for Climate Central, an independent non-profit organization that researches and reports on the science and impact of climate change,” Mr. Freedman, true to his climate change beliefs, came up with a good one.

Before I get to Mr. Freedman’s words, let me make sure we’re all on the same page about an unfalsifiable, infallible theory.  Mike McDaniel has an easy-to-understand, elegantly stated explanation.  An unfalsifiable theory “requires no proof, for like religious dogma, it is rooted in faith.  One either believes or not; proof is not necessary and opposing proof may therefore be disregarded.  Such beliefs are, in the language of science, non-falsifiable.”  Non-falsifiable theories do not stand alone.  Because they cannot be proved wrong they are, by definition, infallible.  Like God, they are what they are, with no actual explanations required.

With that in mind, please enjoy Mr. Freedman’s response to the NPR interviewer’s question about the current polar vortex and climate change:

GREENE: I mean, is climate change playing some sort of role here in the cold we’re seeing this week?

FREEDMAN: We actually have these possible connections between the Arctic – which is warming rapidly, and which is losing sea ice – and these perturbations, these shifts in the jet stream over North America and over Europe. And many scientists are convinced that there’s enough circumstantial evidence to potentially convince a jury that there is this link, and that the weather patterns are becoming more and more suspicious as being influenced by human activities. But the physical connections, the actual smoking gun that would link Arctic warming to weather patterns that we see right now – like this one – isn’t quite there yet. It hasn’t quite been proven. So whether or not it would convince a jury of scientific peers in this case is unclear. And I think in the next few years, we’ll know a lot more. But certainly, climate change is influencing every weather pattern that occurs today, in some ways large and small.

Without all the unnecessary prevarication, what Mr. Freedman said is “We have no actual evidence that anthropogenic global warming has anything to do with this. That doesn’t worry us, though, because our operating, unchallengeable baseline is that anthropogenic global warming (which we now call “climate change” so as to be more encompassing) is behind every weather phenomenon that has ever happened since we decided that there’s something called anthropogenic global war. . . . er, climate change.”  This is unsurprising.  Mr. Freedman’s paycheck comes from an “independent non-profit organization that researches and reports on the science and impact of climate change.”  No climate change means no non-profit organization, which means Mr. Freedman and his cohorts are out of a job.

Just to demonstrate further that Mr. Freedman is operating within a closed, unfalsifiable system, let’s scoot over to Time Magazine for a minute.  As Ed Driscoll reports (in a post beautifully titled Time Magazine Swings Both Ways), the United States experienced a whopper of a polar vortex in 1974. Back then, Time breathlessly informed its readers that the problem was global cooling and that we trembled on the verge of another ice age.  This time around, of course, the pathetic shadow that was the once might Time, now reports equally breathlessly that global warming caused the big chill.

Faith is a wonderful — and dangerous — thing.

Back to School Open Thread

Victorian posy of pansiesWinter break this year was very pleasant.  As I may have written before, while I’m not a big fan of small children, I really like teenagers, especially the teenagers my kids bring home.  We live in a tight-knit community and my house is often a gathering spot for the kids in the neighborhood.  When our pool is non-operational (as it is every winter), the kids swarm my living room for old-fashioned parlor games and new-fangled board games.  (My favorites are Telestrations, the Telephone Game Sketched Out!, The Resistance, and Quelf Board Game, all of which make me laugh.)  Nicely, the kids always ask me to play, and genuinely seem to want my participation.  Playing board games turns out to be one of the few things I’d rather do than blog.

Still, the kids are back in school, and Mr. Bookworm is almost back at work, so the house is almost back to me.  Since I’m a person who enjoys solitude, despite being quite gregarious, I can’t wait until it’s just me and the dogs (and the computer, of course).  When I’m alone, I can think.  I haven’t had any thoughts yet, but I’ve saved up other people’s thoughts for you:

The DiploMad is just like me, only smarter, more articulate, and with more real world experience.  But other than that, I would have written this post about the state of the world as we enter 2014.  (Hat tip:  Tom Elia.)

Mike McDaniel is always kind enough to say that I gave him the idea for a post.  Reading his post about non-falsifiable and infallible theories (such as guns and global warming), it’s quite clear that he didn’t need me.  He’s brilliant enough on his own.

Speaking of non-falsifiable theories, fellow Watcher’s Council member Simply Jews has a scathing indictment about the BBC’s approach to reporting on climate change — and even located its Ground Zero for scientific ignorance.

Those Americans who still think feminism is about equal pay for equal work need to understand that, nowadays, it’s about postcolonial milk.  This is the horror that academia has wrought on a legitimate demand, one stretching back centuries, that women not be denied education and opportunities on the sole ground that they are women.

I’m beginning to understand Obama’s approach to Obamacare.  Because it bears his name, it’s his law, and he can therefore do whatever the heck he wants with it.  Constitutional rules about the separation of powers — especially lawmaking versus executive — are for the little people.  A man of Roman columns and control over the oceans is not (in his own mind at least) a little person.  (I bet if you ask him, he explain that he brought about the polar vortex to impress upon Americans that global warming means climate change that freezes 90% of the U.S.)

If Pope Francis doesn’t make Asa Bibi a worldwide cause célèbre, he may well be the Leftist shill the Leftist shills think he is.

I may not be financially savvy, but when I’ve seen articles about Obama policies once again forcing banks to make bad loans so that poor risk people can buy real estate, I think “Hey, we’re heading for another housing market crash.”  I’m not the only one thinking that.  Add to that the Feds’ money printing, which has created a stock market bubble based not on value but on paper money, and I foresee a recession that will make 2008 look cute by comparison.

The War on Poverty is over . . . and poverty won.  This fifty year failure is an indictment of government market management, but nobody’s paying attention.

Okay, I’ve now depressed myself.  I’m going to walk the dogs.

 

Work day round-up

Victorian posy of pansiesWork and family call, but that doesn’t mean I’m not sneaking quick peeks at articles that I can then share with you.

Is the global warming tipping point nearing?  It will inevitably happen, but far too late to save the billions of dollars wasted, the lives lost in revolutions it fomented (e.g., Egypt’s tumultuous years were caused, in significant part, by rising food prices attributed to shortages as Egypt’s food was diverted to America’s biofuel), and the generation of children raised in apocalyptic fear.

My bet is that New York’s going to revert to savagery very quickly under Mayor de Blasio, and I have no sympathy for the more than 70% of New Yorkers who voted for him.  I have the deepest sympathy for the small remainder who are about to face Progressive Armageddon.  The Clintons, however, are banking on the hard-Left’s success in New York.

Speaking of de Blasio, he’s auditioning for the role of “bad guy” in a remake of Bless the Beasts and Children, since his first policy initiative means killing off animals (in this case, horses).

It’s Obama versus the Church, with Obama claiming to know more about Church doctrine than the Church does itself.  Hubris plays out in interesting ways.

The disaster that is America’s adoption system.  The dreadful numbers — hundreds of thousands of children languishing in foster care — are directly attributable to the Democrat’s racial agenda, which bars adoption “miscegenation” (meaning that whites are barred from adopting non-whites).

Lebanon is getting sucked into Syria’s civil war.  Expect human casualties on a massive, hitherto unseen-in-the-Middle-East scale.  Obama will wring his hands and then side with whichever strongman he can find to give him cover.  Currently, those strong men reside in Moscow and Tehran.  This will not end well — although it may give Israel something of a respite as Muslims take a break from trying to kill Jews — ultimately these internecine battles between Sunni and Shia spill over all sorts of borders.

I’m with Jonathan Last:  2014 will be the year Obama’s chickens come home to roost.  Or as another Illinois politician once said, “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.”

Keith Koffler is always interesting, so I enjoyed his analysis of the Duck Dynasty versus GLAAD match-up.

And if you were wondering where Bloomberg played Nanny in New York, here’s the list.

Christmas in Marin

Christmas ornamentsI’ve had a very nice Christmas, both Eve and Day.  I also had a very Marin Christmas.  I was at a party this afternoon and met some very nice people.

In a discussion about rising college prices, one man told me that this problem resulted from income inequality.  He was surprised when I suggested that tuition inflation probably had more to do with government loans enabling colleges to get away with charging money, as well as with top-heavy administrations and overpaid professors.  I didn’t push it and nor did he, but I do think I gave him something to think about.

Another man earnestly told me that all of his food allergies were the result of genetically modified food.  He was at a loss to explain how I, who had myriad food allergies growing up, no longer have any.

Finally, a third man said that Marin’s current (very disturbing) drought is the product of anthropogenic global warming.  When I mentioned that we’d had a drought here way back in the late 1970s and that most of America was freezing and deluged with snow and sleet, he was nonplussed and fell silent.

With all three men, I didn’t push the agenda.  It was a congenial party and I had no intention of raising the temperature in the room.  I do hope, though, that I planted little seeds in their minds from which something might sprout.

By the way, speaking of Marin County, Daniel Henninger today published a very funny letter (behind a paywall) purporting to come from a Marin County navigator to “His Excellency, President Obama.”

“I told you so” edition: Increasing proof that anthopogenic global warming was a scam

Earth__Space_HD_wallpaper

For a decade, those liberals who know that I think that anthropogenic global warming is a scam that was invented to make some people very rich (AlBore, is that you?), even while it transfers vast sums of wealth from the First World to the Third World, have called me some pretty nasty things:  ignorant, flat-earther, climate denier, stupid, etc.

That’s why I really love articles such as this one, by Michael Fumento, which neatly sum up why I was right and my critics were wrong.

Incidentally, I’ll add my usual caveat:  I believe that humans are stewards of the earth, both for those plants and animals sharing the planet with us and for future generations of humans.  We have a responsibility to encourage, not destroy, its bounty and its beauty.  But I do not like being brow-beaten by Leftists into believing that we are facing imminent apocalypse unless I give up all trappings of 21st century life and ship my money to Leftist organizations or redistribute it to fulfill Leftist utopian goals.  Nor do I like seeing my children on the receiving end of an un-ending stream of Leftist propaganda, all of it wrapped up in a global warming package.

And why shouldn’t the poor have free cars? The rich are already getting green car subsidies

Working class and lower middle class people can't afford to own this car, but they can help offset the costs for the rich guy who wants one.

Working class and lower middle class people can’t afford to own this car, but they can help offset the costs for the rich guy who wants one.

One of the things that drives me bonkers-nutso about the green movement is the way that it subsidizes rich people when they make “green” purchases.  I dislike subsidies generally, because they’re a form of wealth redistribution.  But I really dislike it when government takes taxpayer money and hands it over to the very wealthy so that they can buy themselves an electric sports car, such as the Tesla.*  I know that the rich pay the largest percent of taxes in America, but the non-rich middle and working classes are paying some taxes too, and they shouldn’t be subsidizing luxury automobiles simply because they’re “green.”  (And I’ve mentioned before that their “green” claims are dubious, since they rely on electricity generated through dirty means at far-away plants.  It seems to me that all they do is move pollution, not decrease it.  And let’s not even talk about the toxic batteries….)

In a perverse way, therefore, it makes sense for the broken and broke California government to play around with the idea of giving free green cars to poor people.  After all, since the shrinking middle class is already paying for rich people’s “green” playthings, why shouldn’t they pay for poor people’s cars too?  Each increasingly poverty-stricken middle class taxpayer can take pride in the greening of California and can only hope that he goes broke (and therefore qualifies for a free green car) before all the other taxpayers go broke too.

The worst part is that the “green” subsidy, which currently benefits rich folks, is all part of a giant con to prevent an apocalyptic event that’s not going to happen.  If anything, we should be hoping that the increasingly ephemeral, even illusory, greenhouse effect really does kick in, because we’re hosed if there’s another ice age.  Water and sunlight — both of which are plentiful during warming periods — are good for all living things.  Barren, frozen wildernesses are not.

_______________________________

*These green subsidies also fund the solar panels you see on rich people’s houses.  Indeed, they fund everything green that the rich can afford without subsidies and that the poor can’t afford even with subsidies.

Same old, same old, which I enliven with predictions for the next twelve months *UPDATED*

bored-baby

Here’s an old joke:

An established comedian invited a friend to join him at a very exclusive “comedian’s club.”  The guest instantly noticed something peculiar.  In the main room, a person would periodically stand up and shout out a number.  “57,” one would say, and a few people in the room would chuckle.  After a moment’s silence, someone would holler, “18,” and be rewarded with a chorus of good-natured “boos.”

This pattern continued for a while, until someone shouted out “77.”  While a few people let out a short bark of laughter, one guy in the corner was utterly beside himself.  He roared with laughter, until tears were rolling down his face.

The guest turned to his host and asked, “What gives?  What is it with these numbers?”

“Well,” the host explained, “it’s like this.  We’re all professional comedians here and, to be honest, there are only so many jokes around.  It got tiring and boring for someone to tell a joke that everyone already knew, so we started assigning them numbers.  It’s kind of like a joke short-hand.  People still laugh — if they want — but it definitely saves time.”

“Okay,” said the guest.  “I get that.  But what about that guy in the corner who collapsed with laughter when someone shouted out ’77′.”

Oh, him,” answered the host.  “I guess he hadn’t heard that joke before.”

Yes, it’s a surreal joke, but it also explains why I’m having problems blogging lately.  When I read a story about Obamacare, I can’t add much to posts I’ve written going all the way back to 2009.  I predicted then what would happen now.  “You’ll find that in posts 384, 943, 6749, and 34052.”  Events in the Middle East?  I foresaw those too, including Obama’s love affair with Iran, and Israel’s and Saudi Arabia’s entirely predictable coming together against that common enemy.  “See posts 3489 and 9492.”  Government data manipulation?  We covered that too, as we did with gun control, amnesty, foreign policy, etc.

I’ve moved out of fresh and into “I told you so.”  As a writer, “I told you so” is boring.  It’s also especially boring for all of you, because you were right there with me, making the same predictions.  We all saw all of this coming.

The only thing that’s kind of newsy now is watching the oh-so-smart Leftists figure out that they’ve been had.  It’s not actually real news, of course, because we all saw this coming too, but it’s still fun to watch.  As to these Obamabots, it’s not just that a specific politician has “had” them.  Their entire ideology is disintegrating in front of their eyes.  Most, of course, will plunge into frenetic denial.  That’s old stuff too.  For 100 years, communists have been saying that communism is perfect; it’s the implementation that’s flawed.  When today’s Leftist’s rant against the president, the party, and the people, they’re foll0wing an old script.

A few Leftists, however, will draw back and say, “We were wrong.  We were wrong about everything.”  That’s been done too.  They’ll be joining David Horowitz, Michael Medved, Thomas Lifson, David Mamet, Sally Zelikovsky, the Power Line guys, and scores of other people who already had their Road to Damascus moment when they realized that Leftism isn’t poorly implemented; it is, instead, fundamentally flawed.  I certainly won’t think as highly of these new converts as I do of the older generation.  The older generation didn’t need to see America’s economic collapse and her fade into international irrelevance to see which way the wind was blowing.

Since everything seems to be “same old, same old,” except even more so, what would be new and exciting news for a blase blogger in the next twelve months?

1.  Obamacare’s repeal, although unscrambling that egg will be virtually impossible.  Even if they wanted to, huge institutions such as heavily-regulated insurance companies and hospitals cannot turn on a dime.  The somewhat functioning market will have been destroyed, which nothing lined up to take its place.  Worse, we know that Republicans politicians are incapable of using the headwinds of repeal to revitalize the free market.  (Remember:  Democrats have bad ideas and effective politicians; and Republicans have good ideas and brain-dead cretins in office.)

2.  A groundswell of popular support for Obama’s impeachment.  Of course, that would leave Biden in charge, which is not a pretty thought.  The likelihood is that, if he could, he’d move Elizabeth Warren into the Veep seat to stymie Hillary.  It would be amusing, but just as bad for America as Obama himself.

3.  Israel’s alliance with the Gulf States to launch a devastating attack against Iran’s missile systems and nuclear centers.  With strong American leadership, this could actually have a good outcome, freeing Iranians from decades of appalling Islamist repression and destabilizing tyrannies in a way that leads to genuine freedom throughout the Middle East.  With our current leadership, a leadership that will have made such an attack necessary in the first place, one can only imagine that the Middle East, the entire Middle East, will manage simultaneously to implode and explode.  The human costs will exceed imagination and, because of oil, those costs will encompass the entire planet.  Canada, Brazil, the US, and other places may be coming up as major oil producers, but losing Middle Eastern oil in a single day would have incalculable consequences on modern life.

4.  The 2014 elections resulting in a Republican sweep the likes of which has never been seen in America.  In a way, though, coming as it would midway through Obama’s so-far disastrous second term, this would also be ho-hum news, even if both House and Senate changed hands.  What would be more interesting would be to see places such as Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, and San Francisco jettison their Democrat ruling class.  I’m not holding my breath on that one.  The residents in those cities routinely use elections to double down on failure.

5.  Obama comes out of the closet.  (And, come on, you know he’s in there.)  That wouldn’t affect anything politically, but it would make for great headlines, especially if Hillary refuses to be one-upped and comes out too.

6.  Schadenfreude here, but I will enjoy watching New York in the first year of the de Blasio administration.  I should start running a pool taking bets as to how long it will take de Blasio to reduce New York to its 1970s status.  We all know that it’s easier and faster to tear down and destroy something than it is to renew and revitalize.

7.  The New York Times will declare bankruptcy.  I see that as inevitable, although would actually be surprised if it happened in the next twelve months.

8.  People definitively reject anthropogenic global warming.  As with the New York Times’ bankruptcy, this is inevitable.  I just don’t see it happening in only 12 months.

9.  Oprah recants and announces that she’s no longer calling for the genocide of “racist” people who don’t support Obama.

10.  Palestinians lay down their arms.  The previous nine hoped-for headlines all have a possibility, even a small one, of coming true.  This one does not, but it sure would be great news, and it would snap me completely out of my writer’s doldrums.

And, for those joining me in ennui, some music:

UPDATE: Hmmm. A James O’Keefe tweet suggests that tomorrow may bring some news we haven’t already heard before.

Los Angeles Times decides what’s true and what’s false when it comes to climate change and Obamacare

For at least a couple of hundred years in America, the “letters to the editor” section of any newspaper has been the one place where people can express views opposing a newspaper’s editorial content.  Newspapers felt sufficiently strong in their viewpoints that they figured that a few crackpot letters wouldn’t be enough to damage the paper’s reputation.  Now, though, the Los Angeles Times has announced that conflicting views are a bridge too far:

Regular readers of The Times’ Opinion pages will know that, among the few letters published over the last week that have blamed the Democrats for the government shutdown (a preponderance faulted House Republicans), none made the argument about Congress exempting itself from Obamacare.

Why? Simply put, this objection to the president’s healthcare law is based on a falsehood, and letters that have an untrue basis (for example, ones that say there’s no sign humans have caused climate change) do not get printed.

So the Los Angeles Times has taken it upon itself to pronounce anthropogenic global warming as settled science, despite the fact that even the IPCC is trying to squirm around the fact that all of its earlier data and hypotheses were wrong.  That tells you  pretty much everything you need to know about the drive-by media, which works in an ideologically closed system that makes no allowance for new, and especially conflicting, evidence.

And then there’s that other thing:  the Los Angeles Times also says that it’s false that Congress exempted itself from Obamacare.  That too is a giant leap of fact and faith for the Los Angeles Times.  While it’s true that Congress didn’t exempt itself from Obamacare, it made sure to insulate itself from Obamacare, which is just as bad.  In that regard, I think that Noel Sheppard, of Newsbusters, gives up a bit too quickly on the Obamacare point:

Of course, readers are likely just as concerned that the Times is also not publishing letters claiming Congress is exempt from ObamaCare.

After reviewing fact checks on this issue published by CNN, the Washington Post, and Yahoo, it appears the Times has a point here.

I respect Sheppard for being honest enough to concede on the facts but the facts actually support conservative complaints.  The CNN link is a good start explaining why Congress has effectively exempted itself:  CNN purports to do a fact-check on the claim that Congress gave itself a pass:

When Obamacare was passed into law, Sen. Charles Grassley, the Iowa Republican, attached language to the bill that mandated members of Congress and their staffers would have to buy health insurance on the newly created health insurance exchanges. What nobody accounted for at the time was that members of Congress and their staffers currently have health insurance through their employer – the federal government. No other employer has been legally required to drop its employee’s health care plan and have them buy coverage on the exchanges.

Like most other large employers, the federal government contributes a portion to the premiums of its employees. In fact, like many employers, the federal government pays most of the premiums for its workers; an average of 72 percent on Capitol Hill. The law didn’t account for the continued employer contribution for these federal workers who would now be buying their insurance on the exchanges. The exchanges were designed to help people without health insurance and people with overly expensive health insurance. It became clear that without their employer contribution, members and their staffers would essentially be getting a cut in pay and benefits equal to thousands of dollars. Even Grassley, the provision’s author, had said the government should continue to contribute to lawmakers’ and staffers’ premiums. What the Obama administration has done is ruled that the congressional workers will continue to receive the employer contribution to help them buy their insurance on the exchange.

All those words!  What they boil down to is this:  The Obamacare health exchange is so expensive, in large part because plans must contain expensive benefits that people neither need nor want, that requiring employees to go into it will cost them thousands of dollars out of pocket which, as a practical matter, decreases employees’ take-home pay at the end of the day.  Therefore, Congress is giving employees (congress people and staffers alike) a stipend to offset that cost.  So yes, congress people and their staffers, unlike other Americans, are being forced into the exchange, but Congress has made sure to insulate them from its devastating economic impact.  This insulation is tantamount to an exemption, because Congress won’t feel the pain.

In this regard, it’s unlike other Americans who are feeling the pain very badly.  The law’s terms mean that they too are being forced into the exchange, but without the nice little stipend to offset costs that Congresws gave itself.  For example (h/t Gateway Pundit):

Across North Carolina, thousands of people have been shocked in recent weeks to find out their health insurance plans will be canceled at the end of the year – and premiums for comparable coverage could increase sharply.

One of them is George Schwab of Charlotte, who pays $228 a month for his family’s $10,000 deductible plan from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina.

In a Sept. 23 letter, Blue Cross notified him that his current plan doesn’t meet benefit requirements outlined in the Affordable Care Act and suggested a comparable plan for $1,208 a month – $980 more than he now pays.

“I’m 62 and retired,” Schwab said. “This creates a tremendous financial burden for our family.

“The President told the American people numerous times that… ‘If you like your coverage, you can keep it,’” Schwab said. “How can we keep it if it has been eliminated? How can we keep it if the premium has been increased 430 percent in one year?”

[snip]

Under the new law, all insurance plans must cover 10 “essential health benefits,” including maternity care and pediatric dental and vision care. Plans must also provide certain preventive services, such as mammograms and colonoscopies for free.

Today, people who buy individual policies often choose plans without maternity coverage, for example, to reduce premiums. That choice is gone, too.

“Now maternity is loaded into everybody’s plan,” Blount said.

That means men will generally be paying more than they did before. But women, who can no longer be charged more just for being female, will probably pay less.

[snip]

Blue Cross spokesman Lew Borman said Friday that large premium increases will affect about one-third of the approximately 400,000 North Carolina customers who buy Blue Cross insurance in the individual market. Some of their policies were canceled because they didn’t meet the new federal standards, he said.

[snip]

Michael Hood, 46, who lives near Winston-Salem, is another of the Blue Cross customers who is suffering sticker shock after receiving a recent renewal letter.

He and his wife, who is expecting their third child, now pay $324 per month for a plan with a $10,000 family deductible. The comparable plan suggested by Blue Cross for next year would cost $895.27 per month with an $11,000 family deductible. Their annual payment would rise from $14,000 to $24,000.

Self-employed as part owner of a medical device distributorship, Hood said he and his wife “try to live a healthy lifestyle and keep our medical costs down.” They chose the high-deductible plan to keep their premium low.

Hood said his income is about $85,000 a year, which would mean he might be able to qualify for a subsidy. He said he checked the online marketplace, which has been operating only sporadically this week, and didn’t think it looked like his family would be eligible.

One of the pluses of any new plan is that it will cover maternity care, which his current plan doesn’t. But “is that really worth paying $1,000 a month more for?”

“I’m angry that legislation has been passed that is forcing me to purchase something that otherwise I would not have to purchase,” Hood said.

“The president told us Obamacare would make health insurance affordable and reduce costs. It is now impossible for our family to afford private health insurance.”

By enacting legislation that protects itself from the pain ordinary Americans are feeling, Congress has indeed exempted itself from Obamacare.  And that’s no lie.

An honest report on the earth’s climate that is not written by people with their hands in the till

Over at Power Line, John Hinderaker made an extremely important point about any allegedly “scientific” report that comes out now regarding climate change, especially if the report is connected with the IPCC:

The U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is about to release its fifth report on global warming. One of the problems with the IPCC, and with the alarmist cause in general, is that it is impossible to determine the extent to which alarmist scientists are in it for the money. Billions of dollars in government funding flow to alarmist scientists–much of it from our own government–while nothing, or virtually nothing, goes to the realists. So if you want to live high off the hog on taxpayer money, it isn’t hard to figure out what conclusions you want to advocate.

Wittingly or not, people are biased when big money is at stake. The Non-Governmental International Panel on Climate Change doesn’t stand to make any money one way or another in analyzing the impact (if any) that human’s have on the earth’s climate. Their more realistic report is therefore worth reviewing.  The report is detailed, but there are two summaries that are easy to understand, and that I’ll share with you here and now:

First, the overall summary of the NGIPCC’s findings:

• Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is a mild greenhouse gas that exerts a diminishing warming effect as its concentration increases.

• Doubling the concentration of atmospheric CO2 from its pre-industrial level, in the absence of other forcings and feedbacks, would likely cause a warming of ~0.3 to 1.1°C, almost 50% of which must already have occurred.

• A few tenths of a degree of additional warming, should it occur, would not represent a climate crisis.

• Model outputs published in successive IPCC reports since 1990 project a doubling of CO2 could cause warming of up to 6°C by 2100. Instead, global warming ceased around the end of the twentieth century and was followed (since 1997) by 16 years of stable temperature.

• Over recent geological time, Earth’s temperature has fluctuated naturally between about +4°C and -6°C with respect to twentieth century temperature. A warming of 2°C above today, should it occur, falls within the bounds of natural variability.

• Though a future warming of 2°C would cause geographically varied ecological responses, no evidence exists that those changes would be net harmful to the global environment or to human well-being.

• At the current level of ~400 ppm we still live in a CO2-starved world. Atmospheric levels 15 times greater existed during the Cambrian Period (about 550 million years ago) without known adverse effects.

• The overall warming since about 1860 corresponds to a recovery from the Little Ice Age modulated by natural multidecadal cycles driven by ocean-atmosphere oscillations, or by solar variations at the de Vries (~208 year) and Gleissberg (~80 year) and shorter periodicities.

• Earth has not warmed significantly for the past 16 years despite an 8% increase in atmospheric CO2, which represents 34% of all extra CO2 added to the atmosphere since the start of the industrial  revolution.

• CO2 is a vital nutrient used by plants in photosynthesis. Increasing CO2 in the atmosphere “greens” the planet and helps feed the growing human population.

• No close correlation exists between temperature variation over the past 150 years and human related CO2 emissions. The parallelism of temperature and CO2 increase between about 1980 and 2000 AD could be due to chance and does not necessarily indicate causation.

• The causes of historic global warming remain uncertain, but significant correlations exist between climate patterning and multidecadal variation and solar activity over the past few hundred years.

• Forward projections of solar cyclicity imply the next few decades may be marked by global cooling rather than warming, despite continuing CO2 emissions.

Second, the scientific problems with the IPCC’s model:

IPCC’s Three Lines of Argument

GLOBAL CLIMATE MODEL PROJECTIONS

IPCC modelers assume Global Climate Models (GCMs) are based on a perfect knowledge of all climate forcings and feedbacks. They then assert:

• A doubling of atmospheric CO2 would cause warming of up to 6°C.

• Human-related CO2 emissions caused an atmospheric warming of at least 0.3°C over the past 15 years.

• Enhanced warming (a “hot spot”) should exist in the upper troposphere in tropical regions.

• Both poles should have warmed faster than the rest of Earth during the late twentieth century.

POSTULATES

Postulates are statements that assume the truth of an underlying fact that has not been independently confirmed or proven. The IPCC postulates:

• The warming of the twentieth century cannot be explained by natural variability.

• The late twentieth century warm peak was of greater magnitude than previous natural peaks.

• Increases in atmospheric CO2 precede, and then force, parallel increases in temperature.

• Solar forcings are too small to explain twentieth century warming.

• A future warming of 2°C or more would be net harmful to the biosphere and human wellbeing.

CIRCUMSTANTIAL EVIDENCE

Circumstantial evidence does not bear directly on the matter in dispute but refers to circumstances from which the occurrence of the fact might be inferred. The IPCC cites the following circumstantial evidence it says is consistent with its hypothesis:

• Unusual melting is occurring in mountain glaciers, Arctic sea ice, and polar icecaps.

• Global sea level is rising at an enhanced rate and swamping tropical coral atolls.

• Droughts, floods, and monsoon variability and intensity are increasing.

• Global warming is leading to more, or more intense, wildfires, rainfall, storms, hurricanes, and other extreme weather events.

• Unusual melting of Boreal permafrost or sub-seabed gas hydrates is causing warming due to methane release.

Set out in that coherent table, even a high school science student can see the fundamental flaws underlying the studies that have driven a panicked world into a frenzy of useless wealth redistribution.  (Well, not useless, of course, if your actual goal was wealth distribution, not a quixotic effort to change the earth’s climate.)

The report has other easy-to-read charts and summaries, but I find the above two the most compelling because the first has actual science, while the second exposes the fallacy underlying the study that Americans are being browbeaten into believing is God’s own truth.

As for me, I’m feeling smug.  In our household, I’m the word person, while Mr. Bookworm is the science person.  And make no mistake, he’s very smart and very good at science.  In this instance, however, he allowed his rational brain to be overwhelmed by the hysterical emotionalism coming to him from all sides in his Progressive intellectual milieu.

Despite murmurings about my being a flat-earther and a climate denier, I have assured my children for years that they need not panic.  They are responsible for taking care of the earth on which we live, simply because a clean world is nicer than a dirty one.  Moreover, we know that, when things get too dirty, we can irrevocably change the local environment or leave it needing decades or centuries of renewal.  But we do not control the earth’s entire climate.  We are too puny for that.

Frankly, it’s nice to be proven right.

I’m not deluding myself, of course, that the true believers will come around any time soon.  After all, the NGIPCC got funding from the Heartland Institute, which is funded by the “evil” Koch Brothers.  The fact that data is data is irrelevant.  Indeed, the true believers have already made it clear that, to the extent data conflicts with their Gaia-centered religion, the data is irrelevant.  Also at Power Line, Stephen Hayward caught the perfect moment when someone invested emotionally and financially in climate change brushed off facts as if they were so many pesky flies:

I think I’ve spotted the “tell” of the climate campaign knowing that the end is near (for their energy-suppression crusade–not the planet).  It comes from European Climate commissioner (who knew they had such a post?) Connie Hedegaard, who told the Daily Telegraph yesterday:

“Let’s say that science, some decades from now, said ‘we were wrong, it was not about climate’, would it not in any case have been good to do many of things you have to do in order to combat climate change?.”

This is the “tell” of someone holding a very bad hand.  Strike “some decades from now” and you have it about right.  I give it to the end of this month, when the next IPCC climate science report comes out.  (By the way, the answer to her question is “No.”)

The high cost of ineffectual actions against hypothetical man-caused “climate change”

Australian Topher Field makes some of the smartest videos out there, poking factual holes in liberal fallacies.  Here, he demonstrates with actual numbers culled from the climate changers themselves that it costs 50 times as much to “combat” climate change (oh, we puny mortals and the things we think we can do) as it would simply to raise standards of living so poverty-stricken people have some bulwark against the earth’s continuously mutating climate:

My only quibble with the video is that for some reason — and the problem may be on my computer — the sound quality is very poor.

Coming as no surprise to anyone with half a brain, climate change helps California’s redwood stands

Muir Woods

I enjoyed this little story from the Marin Independent Journal, which characterizes the benefits of climate change as a “surprise.”  It’s no surprise to me, because plants like sunshine:

Surprise.

Marin’s majestic redwoods — and others around the state — are experiencing unprecedented growth due to warmer temperatures and sunnier skies brought on by climate change, according to a report released Wednesday by the Save the Redwoods League.

“Sunlight, enough water and warm conditions is the perfect recipe to grow happy redwoods and that’s what we are seeing,” said Emily Burns, director of science for Save the Redwoods League and lead researcher of the report.

You can read the rest here.  If any of the climate change fanatics had any knowledge of life on hearty B.aG. (Before alGore),they’d know that (a) the earth’s climate has changed regularly since the moment of its formation several billion years ago; and (b) warming has always been better than cooling, since plants — which are the bottom of the food chain — thrive when there’s more sun and, owing to melting glaciers and polar caps, more water.  When plants thrive, animals thrive, including the human kind.

I know, I know!  I’m being generous when I accuse the climate change fanatics of being ignorant.  The masses are certainly ignorant, but there’s no doubt in my mind that the “geniuses” behind the global warming/climate change movement fully understand that climate changes naturally.  They just don’t care, and their very careful to hide that basic knowledge from the rest of us.  Their goal is to get the West off of fossil fuel because the Left believes that fossil fuel allows the West, especially America, to exert imperialist control over the Third World.

Put another way, rather than desiring to bring the standard of living in the Third World up, which requires affordable, easily usable energy — something that perfectly describes fossil fuel, which can be burned fairly cleanly given appropriate technology and investment — they want to bring the West down.  The Left’s goal when it seeks to create mass hysteria about “climate change” isn’t the betterment of human kind; it’s the destruction of Western, Judeo-Christian, Capitalist civilization.

Why have a lot of little posts, when you can have one really big one?

I’ve been coming across so much interesting stuff this morning that I’m going to do another flotsam and jetsam post.

One of the things we’ve long known is that the Left lies about statistics.  Examples of this are “1 in 4 women have been sexually assaulted” canard and the “women earn 76 cents for every dollar men earn” lie which is (a) factually inaccurate and (b) misleading because it ignores the fact that women’s commitment to their children means many of them voluntarily take a different career track.  (The only place this is factually true, I think, is the Obama White House, where he definitely pays women less.)  Tom Elia therefore suggests that, before blindly accepting Texas Democrats’ charge that the proposed abortion law would close all but 5 of Texas’s 42 abortion clinics (because of the requirement that the clinic be within 30 miles of a hospital), we might want to check whether this is actually true.

Before you get your knickers in a twist about the revelation that the EU has been colluding with the US to hand over European data to the NSA program, remember that the source is a virulent anti-American, antisemitic truther.  This may explain why The Guardian, after touting the story, then pulled it.  Having said that, it’s not hard to believe Edward Epstein’s theory that this was never a whistleblower case but was, instead, a carefully thought out plan of espionage.

You’re my readers, so I know all of you are already aware that we’re on the verge of the 150th anniversary of Gettysburg.  Nevertheless, I thought I’d still mention it, along with the fact that at least some Americans are aware of how significant that battle was.  World War I saw bigger battles, with more deaths (Ypres, the Somme, etc.), but I’m not sure that any Civil War ever saw such ferocious days as the Civil War did at Antietam or Gettysburg, or any of the other sites where Americans clashed against each other.  I believe it’s very useful to remind some people (and I’m not naming names) that America is the only country in the world that has ever shed so much blood to fight slavery.

Just a moment to mourn Andrew Pochter, the idealistic American Jewish kid who went to Egypt to help raise up the poor Arabs and died in a welter of blood during an anti-Morsi protest.

I think things in Egypt are about to get much worseTwenty-two million Egyptians signed a petition demanding Morsi’s ouster.  Do they really think the Muslim Brotherhood is going to walk away?  If Egypt does fall into a Civil War, it will make what’s happening in Syria look like a Sunday school picnic.

Naive people think a mosque is just a House of Worship.  While it is definitely a House of Worship, it’s also something more:  a symbol of conquest.  That’s why it has to be higher than the surrounding buildings.  And that’s why, in Germany, the air is being filled with the amplified sounds of the muezzin calling the faithful to prayer five times a day.

Charlie Martin, one of my favorite PJ Media writers, is at it again, writing smart stuff, this time about climate change and a really important question:  is there any evidence that humans matter?

And while we’re on the subject of climate, Robert Zubrin explains in simple terms why Obama’s recently announced climate plans will impoverish America.  With Obama focusing on climate change (despite more and more data that the entire theory is wrong), even as the economy stagnates, national secrets go walking, and the Middle East is aflame, my first thought was that he was like Nero fiddling while Rome burns.  Reading Zubrin’s analysis though of the devastating Obama’s plans will bring to the economy, the better analogy would be Nero pouring accelerant on the flames licking at Rome.  If you doubt that, check out Obama’s recent appointees, all of whom have drunk full of the climate change Kool-Aid.

Republicans are saying that this time, really, for good and for true, their eyes are open.  That whole Gang of Eight thing made them realize that the Democrats are not their friends in Congress and they promise, never, never, never again to ever again, really ever, let the Democrats play them like that.  How dumb do Republicans think we are?  Republicans are Charlie Brown, Democrats are Lucy, and Americans are a poor, kicked-around, deflated football.

A New Jersey teachers union leader said that the rich send their children to public school so that they don’t have to have contact with the poor.  I know of at least one case where this is true.  Back in 1971, busing came to San Francisco.  I was bussed from one middle class school near my home to another slightly less middle class school far from my home.  It made friendships difficult (none of my friends were near), and there were a few more black kids, but otherwise it was no big deal.  My friend, however, was bussed from her middle class school to a school in Bayview-Hunter’s Point, one of the worst slums in San Francisco.  She could beaten up every day for the first two weeks of school.  Her parents, fortunately, had the money to pull her out of the public school system and they put her in Brandeis.  So yes, they didn’t want her to have contact with the poor — because the poor wanted to have a bit too much contact with her.

If you’re wondering what’s going on in Turkey, Claire Berlinsky will explain it to you.

This is an Open Thread, so please feel free to add to it.

In which I pretend to be Thomas Sowell and offer short takes on today’s headlines

I freely admit that I will never be as brilliant as Thomas Sowell, either in my analytical abilities or in my writing quality.  That doesn’t mean, though, that I can’t borrow his technique of writing the occasional post that consists of one or two sentence thoughts about interesting subjects.  So, I am for his style, even if I lack his substance.

As I understand it, striking down DOMA means that marriage in America is no longer defined as being between one man and one woman.  More than that, it’s no longer defined as anything.  In pre-21st century America, it was understood to be one man and one woman, but now those common understanding is gone.  It seems to me that the feds better act quickly to define marriage as a relationship between two consenting adult humans.  Otherwise, the door is open to polygamy, incest, bestiality, or NAMBLA- and sharia approved marriages with children.

Earl Aagaard forwarded to me a wonderful comment a friend of his made with regard to Obama’s disastrous efforts to engage with Russian President Putin regarding Edward Snowden, currently hanging out with impunity in the Moscow airport:  “It seems that Barack Obama, not content with losing the war on terror, is also trying to lose the Cold War.

I have to admit that I haven’t read closely any of the news articles about Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to revitalize the Middle East peace talks.  All I can think is that trying to get the Palestinians to agree to a two-state solution is a fool’s errand — and John Kerry is most certainly a fool.

I was saddened, but not surprised, to see that the Senate passed the Immigration bill (all 1,200 unread pages of it), including 14 “yes” votes from Republicans.  I have only two hopes now.  I hope that every Senate Republican who voted “Aye” gets killed in the primaries and I hope that House Republicans figure out that they can vote “no” on the bill by pointing to the fact that, as written, it destroys American jobs, both by drastically increasing the pool of legal, low-income workers and by blending with ObamaCare to give employers the incentive to fire current workers (for whom they must buy insurance or pay a fine) in favor of amnestied workers (who don’t fall under ObamaCare).  I just know, though, the Republicans are going to be sufficiently stupid to sell this as fear of too many Hispanics.  Raaacists!!

We’re having a heat wave here in temperate Northern California.  Oh. My. G*d!  It must be global warming.  We’re all going to die!  Oh.  Wait a minute.  Never mind.  I just remembered that it’s June and we’ve had a heat wave in the Bay Area every June since my earliest memories in the 1960s.

There’s a saying that one should never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.  There’s also a saying that even a stopped clock is right twice a day.  If Obama was merely stupid, one would think that, in his approach to foreign policy, he’d occasionally get things right.  But he never does.  Think about his instincts:  With the Iranian revolution, when he should have given moral support to the opposition, he was silent.  During the Egyptian Arab Spring, when he should have supported and then gently eased out our ally, Mubarak, he was silent.  He found his voice again with the Muslim Brotherhood, whom he supported — so much so that, now that ordinary Egyptians and, especially Coptic Christians in Egypt, are figuring out that they went from a bad secular government to a much worse theocratic government, Obama has fallen silent again.

Obama pulled us out of Iraq, where we had won, before we had a chance to consolidate a democratic infrastructure.  Iraq is now becoming an Iranian satellite and falling into a dystopian Islamic anarchy.  In Afghanistan, Obama didn’t even wait until we won.  He announced that we had lost and would be leaving soon, and by the way, would the Taliban please refrain from killing Americans and instead sit down with American politicians to negotiate the terms of our defeat.

Of course one can’t forget Libya, where we helped destroy a neutral (which is what Qaddafi had become) and replaced the power structure with a toxic, anarchic combination of the Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda.  That chicken came tragically home to roost on September 11, 2012, when al Qaeda killed four Americans in Benghazi.  Then there’s Syria, where Obama sat by the sidelines when he could have helped a democratic movement against Assad’s dictatorship, but decided to provide support only when the democratic movement had morphed into — yes, again — a toxic, anarchic combination of the Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda.  One starts to get the feeling that Obama likes the Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda, despite their clearly expressed goals of world jihad, with Israel as target No. 1 and America as target No. 2.

Obama’s bestest friend in the international world is Turkey’s Erdogan, who is doing his damndest to turn secular, functional, democratic Turkey into another totalitarian dictatorship.  Meanwhile, he’s alienated Russia’s Putin so much that Putin gleefully rubs America’s nose in its helplessness with regard to the gallivanting Snowden.

My conclusion:  It cannot be random that Obama gets it wrong every time.  This isn’t stupidity.  It is malice.

Speaking of Snowden, I’m still sticking with my first instincts:  Snowden did ordinary Americans a favor by revealing that the federal government is a spy state, and one that could easily tip into being like the East German Stasi.  That he did something important, though, doesn’t mean that his motives were good.  This is an anti-American man who was either working for a foreign power (probably China) from the get go, or who, having gotten his hands on America’s national security secrets, didn’t hesitate one moment when it came to selling out America.  He’s not a hero.  He’s a villain who incidentally did something helpful.

Do any of you feel like being epigrammatic?  If so, please chime in.

Could it be that CO2 has NOTHING whatsoever to do with the earth’s temperature? *UPDATED with help from Zombie*

Burning earth

You all know that I do not believe in anthropogenic global warming (“AGW”).  I believe in climate change, because the earth’s climate has always changed, since its first moment of existence.  I believe that humans do control pollution and that we have an obligation to ourselves and to the other life forms on earth to limit pollution as much as is reasonably possible.  It is unreasonable for us to go back to a pre-industrial world (or, if the climate changers had their way, to a pre-human world).

Most of us have thought that, if the earth is indeed warming (which it actually hasn’t done for more than a decade) than that warming came about because of solar activity.  We didn’t have hard proof, but we had a good working hypothesis, which conformed well to the actual evidence — and certainly worked a whole lot better than all of the AGW theories put together.

Now, though, there’s a new theory in town.  According to a new study in the International Journal of Modern Physics B, changes in the earth’s temperature correlate perfectly to chlorofluorcarbons in the earth’s atmosphere.

If you’re over 40, you probably remember chlorofluorcarbons and the great ozone layer scare.  Scientists announced that CFCs were destroying the earth’s ozone layer.  Until then, most products that came in a spray can had CFC as a propellant.  I don’t remember whether CFCs were banned or if manufacturers yielded to market pressure.  All I know is that they went away.

The University of Waterloo, which authored the study, contends that CFC’s, not CO2, track warming precisely:

“Conventional thinking says that the emission of human-made non-CFC gases such as carbon dioxide has mainly contributed to global warming. But we have observed data going back to the Industrial Revolution that convincingly shows that conventional understanding is wrong,” said Qing-Bin Lu, a professor of physics and astronomy, biology and chemistry in Waterloo’s Faculty of Science. “In fact, the data shows that CFCs conspiring with cosmic rays caused both the polar and global warming.”

“Most conventional theories expect that will continue to increase as CO2 levels continue to rise, as they have done since 1850. What’s striking is that since 2002, global temperatures have actually declined – matching a decline in CFCs in the atmosphere,” Professor Lu said. “My calculations of CFC show that there was global warming by about 0.6 °C from 1950 to 2002, but the earth has actually cooled since 2002. The cooling trend is set to continue for the next 50-70 years as the amount of CFCs in the atmosphere continues to decline.”

[snip]

“It was generally accepted for more than two decades that the Earth’s was depleted by the sun’s ultraviolet light-induced destruction of CFCs in the atmosphere,” he said. “But in contrast, CRE theory says cosmic rays – energy particles originating in space – play the dominant role in breaking down ozone-depleting molecules and then ozone.”

[snip]

“The climate in the Antarctic stratosphere has been completely controlled by CFCs and , with no CO2 impact. The change in global surface temperature after the removal of the solar effect has shown zero correlation with CO2 but a nearly perfect linear correlation with CFCs – a correlation coefficient as high as 0.97.”

Data recorded from 1850 to 1970, before any significant CFC emissions, show that increased significantly as a result of the Industrial Revolution, but the global temperature, excluding the solar effect, kept nearly constant. The conventional warming model of CO2, suggests the temperatures should have risen by 0.6°C over the same period, similar to the period of 1970-2002.

I understand the general principle, which is that CFCs, not CO2, drive temperature changes.  I’m being stupid, though, insofar as I can’t understand whether the study says that humans are responsible for the CFCs (either currently or in the past) or if the the CFCs occur naturally because of solar activity.  Can someone clue me in on this one?

It seems to me that, if CFCs occur naturally, the entire AGW hysteria is instantly dead in the water.  We can (and, to a reasonable extent, should) control pollution.  We cannot, however, control global warming or any other type of climate change.  In other words, earth will survive if we don’t give up the incredible benefits to humanity that have come with fossil fuel.

If I’m wrong, however, and the study says humans are responsible for these CFCs, where does that leave the climate change movement?  Do they still have a sledgehammer with which to bludgeon capitalism and, especially, America?  Or was the human-generated CFC damage already done in the past and we’re just waiting for repair?

To all those out there more intelligent than I am, please explain.

UPDATE: Crowd sourcing is a great way to get information, especially because I know and trust my crowd. The remarkably well-informed, amazingly smart Zombie was kind enough to stop by and leave a solid, comprehensible explanation about CFC’s, what the future holds, and how it will drive the Left crazy:

Here’s the explanation you requested:

CFCs, as far as I know, are entirely artificial; there may have been trace naturally occurring amounts of them, but if so they were insignificant. CFCs were invented in the 1890s and found to be fantastically useful as fire suppressants, refrigerants, and propellants. All industrialized nations used them extensively, especially starting after WWII when CFCs became the standard ingredient in most refrigerators, air conditioners, fire extinguishers, and aerosol cans.

But in the ’70s and ’80s is was discovered and conclusively confirmed that CFCs had destroyed the southern polar ozone layer, and so there was an international treaty banning their production signed in 1989.
Since then, no nation had legitimately produced CFCs, and safer replacement chemicals have been found.

HOWEVER, the treaty allows for the fact that there are millions — hundreds of millions, more likely — of existing refrigerators and air conditioners already installed around the world which were made before 1989 and thus still contain CFCs. There was no reasonable way for everyone in the world to have their existing appliances replaced for free. So the treaty assumes that CFC release will not stop immediately, but slowly decrease over time as the existing refrigeration units break down and are junked and their CFCs escape into the atmosphere. The amount of CFCs is definitely and irrevocably on the decline, but it will still be decades before the existing CFCs in existing appliances expire, release their contents, and are replaced by modern non-CFC appliances.

(The problem, you see, is that while aerosol cans release their CFCs soon after purchase, the CFCs in appliances remain sealed and non-polluting while still functioning, and they only release the pollutant in one big plotz at their end of their functional lives, when they break and are junked and the refrigerant seal is broken. Well-made appliances can last for decades and decades, so even 30 years from now, half a century after CFC manufacture was banned, there will still be some release from junked old refrigerators.)

Another problem is the illegal manufacture of CFCs, in third-world countries, rogue states, and communist regimes, which smuggle them and use them to this day (because they’re cheap to make and quite useful as chemicals). We in the civilized industrial West try to crack down, but it’s difficult.

Anyway, the CFC theory of global warming has much stronger footing than the CO2 theory just on the face of it, because we have already proven beyond doubt that CFCs destroy the ozone layer (which is why there was almost no argument or fuss when their ban was proposed back in ’89), and it’s therefore not a stretch that their effects would extend to other atmospheric aspects as well.

Contemporary Global Warming Hysterics will hate and reject this new theory, because CFCs have already been banned completely, and thus there’s no way to use this new info to use as a sledgehammer to destroy the Western world’s economy (as the anti-carbon mania is being used).

Global warming is a global hoax

Global warming

Global fraud

I’ve never believed in global warming or anthropogenic climate change.  As would any sane, knowledgeable person, I believe in climate change, but that’s because I know that the complex interaction of earth and sun has meant that our climate has changed since the day the earth came into being.  But I don’t believe man does anything worse than create pollution and and cause waste.  Both of those are pretty darn bad, of course.  They can destroy vast swaths of land and water, and wipe out whole species — but they are still not the same as humans cooking the earth into an alternately arid or flooded globe, incapable of being inhabited by man or animal.

Others are catching up with me.  One of the best things I’ve read on the topic is a letter that David Deming, Professor of Arts & Sciences at the University of Oklahoma wrote to the Bellingham Herald, in Washington State.  The trigger for Deming’s letter was the fact that the Bellingham Herald had published a screed a group of professors at Washington Western University wrote attacking Don Easterbrook, a noted climate change skeptic.  The Bellingham Herald refused to publish Deming’s letter, say it only published letters from locals.  It doesn’t seem to have occurred to the paper that the letter stands on its own as an op-ed piece.  (Or maybe it did occur to the AGW drones at the paper, which is why they were so absolute in their refusal to give it space.)

Thankfully, Watts Up With That did publish Deming’s letter, so that it has garnered a much greater readership than anything the Bellingham Herald could have given it.  This letter deserves this maximum distribution because its logic and clarity are such that everyone over the age of ten can understand it.  It is a comprehensive, sustained, polite, logical, elegantly written, and perfectly clear attack against twenty-years of intellectual and emotional tyranny from the Left:

Letter to the Editor by Dr. David Deming

I write in rebuttal to the March 31 letter by WWU geology faculty criticizing Dr. Don Easterbrook. I have a Ph.D in geophysics and have published research papers on climate change in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. In 2006 I testified before the US Senate on global warming. Additionally, I am the author of a three-volume history of science.

I have never met Don Easterbrook. I write not so much to defend him as to expose the ignorance exhibited in the letter authored by WWU geology faculty. Their attack on Dr. Easterbrook is the most egregious example of pedantic buffoonery since the Pigeon League conspired against Galileo in the seventeenth century. Skepticism is essential to science. But the goal of the geology faculty at WWU seems to be to suppress critical inquiry and insist on dogmatic adherence to ideology.

The WWU faculty never defined the term “global warming” but described it as “very real,” as if it were possible for something to be more real than real. They claimed that the evidence in support of this “very real” global warming was “overwhelming.” Yet they could not find space in their letter to cite a single specific fact that supports their thesis.

There is significant evidence that would tend to falsify global warming. The mean global air temperature has not risen for the last fifteen years. At the end of March the global extent of sea ice was above the long-term average and higher than it was in March of 1980. Last December, snow cover in the northern hemisphere was at the highest level since record keeping began in 1966. The UK just experienced the coldest March of the last fifty years. There has been no increase in droughts or wildfires. Worldwide hurricane and cyclone activity is near a forty-year low.

One might think that the foregoing facts would raise doubts in scientists interested in pursuing objective truth. But global warming is not so much a scientific theory subject to empirical falsification as it is a political ideology that must be fiercely defended in defiance of every fact to the contrary. In the past few years we have been told that not only hot weather but cold weather is caused by global warming. The blizzards that struck the east coast of the US in 2010 were attributed to global warming. Every weather event–hot, cold, wet or dry–is said to be caused by global warming. The theory that explains everything explains nothing.

Among the gems in the endless litany of nonsense we are subjected to are claims that global warming causes earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. Last year we were warned that global warming would turn us all into hobbits, the mythical creatures from J. R. R. Tolkien’s novels. I am not aware of any member of the WWU geology faculty criticizing these ridiculous claims. Their vehemence seems to be reserved for honest skeptics like Dr. Easterbrook who advance science by asking hard questions.

At the heart of the WWU geology faculty criticisms was the claim that peer review creates objective and reliable knowledge. Nonsense. Peer review produces opinions. Scientists, like other people, have political beliefs, ideological orientations, and personal views that strain their scientific objectivity. One of the most disgusting things to emerge from the 2009 Climategate emails was the revelation of an attempt to subvert the peer-review process by suppressing the publication of work that was scientifically sound but contrary to the reviewer’s personal views.

The infamous phrase “hide the decline” refers to an instance where a global warming alarmist omitted data that contradicted his personal belief that the world was warming. This sort of bias is not limited but pervasive. Neither is science a foolproof method for producing absolute truth. Scientific knowledge is always tentative and subject to revision. The entire history of science is littered with discarded theories once thought to be incontrovertible truths.

The WWU geology faculty letter asserted that technological advances arise from application of the scientific method. They claimed that airplanes were invented by scientists. But the Wright brothers were bicycle mechanics–not scientists. The modern age of personal computing began in a suburban California garage in 1976. The most significant technological advance in human history was the Industrial Revolution in Britain that occurred from 1760 through 1830. When Adam Smith toured factories and inquired as to who had invented the new machinery, the answer was always the same: the common workman. Antibiotics were not discovered through the rigorous application of scientific methodology but serendipitously when Fleming noticed in 1928 that mold suppressed bacterial growth.

Dr. Easterbrook’s contributions have furthered the advance of scientific knowledge and the progress of the human race. It matters not if a multitude of professors oppose him. As Galileo explained, it is “certain that the number of those who reason well in difficult matters is much smaller than the number of those who reason badly….reasoning is like running and not like carrying, and one Arab steed will outrun a hundred jackasses.”

David Deming
Professor of Arts & Sciences
University of Oklahoma

Hat tip: Powerline

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

When it comes to North Korea,it’s good to know that our military has its priorities straight

The headlines have been deeply disturbing:  North Korea, led by an unstable 20-something, has reinstated war against the United States and South Korea after a fifty-plus year hiatus in active hostilities.  Admittedly, North Korea hasn’t fired any shots yet, but its rhetorical volleys have been incendiary.  Just yesterday, it cut the single communication line that ran between North and South Korea.

Although the full scope of North Korea’s nuclear capability is a mystery (indeed, the full scope of its entire military is a mystery), we know that it’s spent the last fifty-plus years building weapons aimed at Seoul.  Even if 90% of them are duds (entirely possible given North Korea’s fizzled rocket exercises living standards), the 10% remaining could wreak havoc on the densely populated South Korean peninsula.  Japan would also be in North Korea’s cross hairs.

With the war drums beating, the United States Navy is hard at work keeping a sharp eye on the most significant threat to the United States — climate change.

No, that’s not one of my typos.  That’s really what Navy Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III said.  Even the très liberal Boston Globe seemed taken aback:

America’s top military officer in charge of monitoring hostile actions by North Korea, escalating tensions between China and Japan, and a spike in computer attacks traced to China provides an unexpected answer when asked what is the biggest long-term security threat in the Pacific region: climate change.

Navy Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, in an interview at a Cambridge hotel Friday after he met with scholars at Harvard and Tufts universities, said significant upheaval related to the warming planet “is probably the most likely thing that is going to happen . . . that will cripple the security environment, probably more likely than the other scenarios we all often talk about.’’

“People are surprised sometimes,” he added, describing the reaction to his assessment. “You have the real potential here in the not-too-distant future of nations displaced by rising sea level. Certainly weather patterns are more severe than they have been in the past. We are on super typhoon 27 or 28 this year in the Western Pacific. The average is about 17.”

Put aside the fact that huge bodies of new, verifiable evidence show that all the hysterical climate models were grossly exaggerated.  Nature is just doing what nature has always done.  But even if you too believe that climate change is imminent and apocalyptic, right now you  need to stay focused on the fact that, with North Korea threatening imminent nuclear hellfire, our Navy is concerned focusing its efforts on hypothetical threats twenty or more years down the line.

Since I’m a big fan of the Navy, I absolutely refuse to believe that Admiral Locklear has drunk that deeply of the Kool-Aid.  This must be some elaborate double-blind technique.  I can think of two sneaky reasons to explain this idiocy:  The first is that the Navy is deliberately ignoring North Korea in order to show that the U.S. is a strong big dog, disinterested in a little dog’s inane yapping.  In other words, Locklear is engaged in an elaborate power play.  The second is that this is a ruse to hide the fact that the U.S. is planning a major and immediate response if North Korea sends so much as a toy dart over the Demilitarized Zone.  Even as the North Koreans think that we’re dumb as rocks, we’re planning a big defense or assault.

I hope I’m right.  Otherwise, our nation is in deep doo-doo.

Hat tip:  Ace of Spades

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.

The hypothesis fallacy; or please explain to me why EVERY scientific experiment (whether hard or social) needs a hypothesis

Scientist

Bear with me here, because I’m about to prove how simplistic and primitive my mind is.  I need you all to help enlighten me.

Some high school students I know got an assignment to set up and complete an experiment.  Some of the experiments they came up with include looking at plant growth under different circumstances, or rust development under different circumstances, or human responses to certain stimuli.  This strikes me as a very sensible project for budding young scientists.

Plant growth experiment

My confusion arises from the fact that the students are required, as part of setting up the experiment, to include a hypothesis — or, in other words, they have to begin the experiment with an assumption about its outcome.  For example, a student measuring the effect of different fertilizers on otherwise identically situated plants, in addition to establishing the controls and variable(s), must also announce before starting the experiment that she believes that the more expensive fertilizers will work better.  Then, she’s supposed to see whether the data she collects supports this hypothesis.  (I.e., she proves or disproves her hypothesis.)

Here’s my problem:  I don’t understand why there is a scientific virtue to going into an experiment with a pre-determined conclusion.  It seems to me that it’s much more intelligent, in most, if not all cases, to go in with a question, and then to create an experiment that has sufficient controls to answer that question and that question alone.  My hostility to the hypothesis as a prerequisite arises because I suspect that a pre-determined hypothesis risks affecting the outcome.  Sherlock Holmes thought this too:

Sherlock Holmes by Sidney Paget

It is a capital mistake to theorize before you have all the evidence. It biases the judgment.

Exactly.  The scientist who has decided in advance that spending more on fertilizer results in better plant outcomes may subconsciously lavish a little more care or do things a little differently with the plant getting the good fertilizer.  The experiment is less likely to be tainted by the scientist’s biases if the scientist begins by asking “Which fertilizer is better?” rather than announcing “I think the more expensive fertilizers are better.”

Birth Control Pills

This is not just an idle question about high school projects.  I’ve noted the disdain that I have for Bay Area breast cancer studies that assume the culprit for the unusually high cancer rate in the Bay Area arises from too much bacon (evil factory farming) or from power lines (evil global warming).  One could just as easily announce that the hypothesis is that Bay Area women have high breast cancer rates because they get too much radiation from too many mammograms, or they have too many abortions (at too young an age), or they delay childbearing for too long, or they overuse of the Pill, etc.  If my study focused as narrowly on my assumptions, as these heavily Leftist studies focus on their assumptions, both studies would show that women who had done one or more of those things had higher cancer rates.

Establishing these almost random correlations (given the ridiculously biased parameters underpinning the various hypotheses) wouldn’t prove causation; instead, they would just prove that the scientist’s own prejudices forced the data down a narrow pathway.  Doesn’t it make more sense to find out about everything from diet, to environment, to lifestyle/sexual choices, and then, a la Sherlock Holmes, to see where the facts lead?

Global warming

This same “hypothesis fallacy,” for want of a better phrase, strikes me as one of the major problems with the whole global warming hysteria.  Various Leftists advanced the hypothesis that fossil fuels (which we know can contribute to pollution, and that Leftists believe give an unfair economic advantage to the First World) are evil, and then they set about proving their evil-ness.  If climate change is a genuine concern, wouldn’t it have made more sense to start with the question — “what’s going on?” — than to start with the answer — “Fossil fuels are changing our climate.”  After all, if your set-in-stone hypothesis isn’t even in the ball park, it means that your experiments are not only worthless, but they’ve also managed to ignore other, more relevant, data.

I understand that the hypothesis is a standard requirement for scientific experiments and has been since the Enlightenment.  I’ve explained, with a little help from Sherlock Holmes, why I think the hypothesis requirement taints, rather than advances, science.  Now that I’ve acquainted you with the contents of my brain, can you please explain to me why the scientific community is correct, and why Sherlock Holmes and I are wrong.

 

Climate change Chicken Littles look at ordinary phenomenon and extrapolate their way to Armageddon

Approximately every ten years, Marin County floods.  Thinking back, the last big flood year in our neighborhood was around 2002 or 2003.  I remember taking the kids down from the hill on which we live to the marshy flat-lands nearby.  We waded through water that came up past our knees.  This high water was a combination of heavy rain and unusually high tides.

This year, those unusually high tides are back (as they invariably are).  Fortunately, they’re not coinciding with a wet storm, so we won’t have any serious coastal flooding:

San Anselmo flood 2005

This week, California will experience the highest tides of the year, peaking on Thursday morning in a condition known as “king tides.” At 9:45 a.m. Wednesday, 10:34 a.m. Thursday and 11:24 a.m. Friday some of the year’s highest tides — 7 feet and above, about a foot higher than normal — will hit Marin’s shorelines.

Water will lap high in Corte Madera, along Richardson Bay and at Gallinas Creek just north of China Camp, among other spots in the county.

[snip]

King tides occur several times a year, although this week’s are the biggest of 2012.

Luckily for coastal residents, this week’s tides aren’t expected to cause significant flooding because they are happening during relatively calm weather.

“Flooding would be a concern if we had a storm system coming through,” said Matt Mehle, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

The fact that this is an ordinary event hasn’t stopped the resident Chicken Littles from screaming about the global warming sky falling:

chicken-little

The gravitational tug of the moon and sun, not climate change, is responsible for the extreme tides. But volunteers with cameras across the state are using the event to document what California could look like in the coming decades as the warming Earth continues to raise sea levels.

This overwrought reaction is a reminder that you really can’t change a monomaniac’s mind.  It’s no use telling your average obsessed Climate Changer that, throughout the earth’s lifespan, the water has risen and the water has fallen again.  Glaciers have advanced and retreated. Deserts have become forests and forests have become deserts. The earth is a dynamic system.

Humans can definitely affect their immediate surrounding, whether it’s early man hunting the Mammoth to extinction or modern factories destroying all of the surrounding ecology.  As the Earth’s caretakers, it’s foolish and short-sighted of us willfully to destroy our own environment.  The more responsible we are, the better for us and for our children.

Global water levels, though, are bigger than we are, and they are timeless. Indeed, this seems like a very good moment to bring to your attention an article positing that it was glacial retreat that caused the flood that led Noah to build his Ark:

Noah's Ark

A flood of Biblical proportions just like in the story of Noah’s Ark may have actually happened, according to the oceanographer who found the Titanic.

Acclaimed underwater archaeologist Robert Ballard claims his team of researchers have uncovered evidence that suggests The Great Flood described in the Bible was actually based on real events.

Mr Ballard told how he investigated a controversial theory proposed by two scientists from Columbia University that there was a massive flood in the Black Sea region.

In an interview with ABC News, he said around 12,000 years ago much of the world was covered in ice and the Black Sea had been a freshwater lake surrounded by farmland.

But when the glaciers began to melt during a warming period in the cycle of the Earth’s temperature around 5600BC water rushed toward the world’s oceans, Mr Ballard said.

This, he claimed, caused floods all around the world and water cascaded through Turkey’s Straits of Bosporus towards the Black Sea.

If the seas do continue to rise, it will affect the way we live.  But trying to de-industrialize America will not stop the seas from rising.  These AGW Chicken Littles show megalomaniacal arrogance insofar as they believe that we puny humans can change weather cycles that happened with relentless regularity for billions of years.