The monster two-thousand pages health reform bill is going to pass, I think. There are two silver linings to this disaster, First, I have never in my life seen Americans pay such attention to the mechanics of how legislation is made. (The 300 million bribe to Sen Landrieux of Louisiana is common currency.) Second, as I said, the Obama administration is making so many mistakes we may well have a one-term President and a groundswell of conservatism in three years.
Except, paradoxically, if there is a terrorist attack, it will save Obama. Americans rally around their leadership in times of calamity.
Don’t get discouraged. We can roll back everything, except massive debt, of course. We are stuck with it, especially you, starry-eyed, good-feeling young people who voted massively for Peter Pan.
The next disaster is going to be cap-and-trade legislation. There could be national security justifications for a tax on carbons, which include petroleum. We are getting too muchof it from bad neighborhood, Iran, for example and unstable Saudi Arabia. The fact is that Iran could shut down the Straight of Hormuz for a long time by sinking two dozen old ships in the right places. (Look up the Straight in an atlas; it’s good for you.)
Not the justification chosen by the administration, and with good reason. Instead, they insist on taxing carbon emissions because of our carbon footprint, because of climate change. Climate change was formerly called global warming. It was re-named because the climate stopped warming about ten years ago. Time to review systematically the absurdity of this set of beliefs. A systematic review is needed because, I noticed around me and among my radio listeners a tendency to lose the forest for the trees. Below are seven points worth keeping in mind that organize the issue somewhat. (My radio program, “Facts Matter” is available on ksco Santa Cruz 1080 AM, every Sunday, 11 am to 1 pm. You can also catch live on-line.)
1 There is no global warming trend, except over a very small number of years. Does not matter. Advocates have been caught repeatedly manipulating data to show a suddenly, abrupt climb in global temperature in the 19th and 20th century. (The “hockey stick.”) In fact, it was warmer in 1100 than it is now. The medieval viking settlers in Greenland ate beef. That means they grew grass in significant quantity, which you could not do now reliably in Greenland because it’s too cold. I got the information on the settlements and on their beef diet from Jared Diamond’ good book, Collapse. Diamond is a serious environmentalist and a climate change advocate but an honest man.
There is no scientific consensus on climate change, as the Obama Administration would have you believe. There is a a shared religious conviction among establishment scientists who depend on government funding. Advocates publicize every anecdotal item that could conceivably support the thesis and nothing that invalidates it: It’s unseasonably warm in NY in November, they say but early winter in Colorado does not get a notice.
For a small sample of the intellectual dishonesty among climate change advocates, follow the Times of London link below.
The main part of the story is not how vile many advocates are. It’s simply the observation that if you need to lie on behalf of your cause, it’s a bad cause. Period.
2 If there were a significant warming trend, it would not be reasonable simply to attribute it to the burning of petroleum, natural gas, and coal. Water vapor and bovine burps play a similar role. (I am not making this up!) Climate change advocates should tell us clearly what part each type of gas plays in alleged global warming. Or they should tell us that they don’t know. Clarity and thoroughness matter when you wish to impoverish billions, as carbon emissions reduction would do without a question.
3 If there were increased emission of carbon and if we cared about it, advocates would have to show that the normal natural means of absorption of carbon emission are not working, or not working well enough. The National Geographic, a strong advocate, just showed (December 2009 issue) a graph indicating that 56% of carbon emissions are absorbed by earth and ocean. The National Geographic is a consistent advocate of climate change, of course. This unaided rate of natural absorption suggests solutions to alleged global warming other than the reduction of carbon emission and the consequent crippling of the world economies. I don’t know if it’s feasible but I want climate change advocates to tell me: How about planting more forests instead? I mention this because hardly anyone is against planting trees, not even mean-hearted conservatives like me. By the way, enlarging forests could create jobs where they are most needed, in the poor countries. I, for one, go on the record to say that I would not mind being taxed to pay poor Indians and South Americans to plant trees that would benefit me as well as them
4 Advocates have to show strongly that increased carbon emissions stay trapped in the atmosphere. There are big doubts expressed in some scientific milieus about this assumption. It’s too technical for this blog. See the Watts reference below. Of course, if CO2 escapes into the ether as we create it, there cannot be global warming according to the advocates’ own religious dogma.
5 It’s the advocates’ burden of proof to perform a serious and evolving cost/benefit analysis of the drawbacks and advantages of global warming if it exists. Carbon is plant food. Warmer weather means bigger crops of the most important plant foods, especially wheat. Think Canada and Siberia. If the northern limit of wheat maturation moved as little as one hundred miles north in each region, the harvest gains would be enormous. Same thing for the southern limit of wheat maturation in Argentina. Climate advocates are, by and large, the same people who tell us that much of the world population is going hungry. You can’t have it both ways. You want to feed the hungry first or second, or third, or not at all. Just make yourselves clear!
6 If there were global warming and it were sure to be deleterious on balance, we would need to establish how urgent the problem is. Let’s take an easy measure proposed for years by climate change advocates: the supposedly rising sea level. According to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, winner of the 2007 (laughable ) Nobel Peace Prize, the maximum rise in sea level is less than three feet in one hundred years. That’s disturbing for many coastal areas but not an emergency. Gives us time to think better solutions. Again, that’s the maximum estimate.
7 Those who buy the whole climate change religion should be strongly in favor of nuclear energy. It’s the surest and quickest way to slow down petroleum and coal consumption. It’s not experimental, it’s well proven. The Japanese and the French have been relying on this form of energy for thirty years. Nevertheless, climate change advocates are not in favor of expanding nuclear energy production. This alone puts their good faith in doubt.
Overall, most of us don’t have time to consider everything in detail. Movements followers are trying to swamp with impossible quantities of info and pseudo-info regular people who need to make a living and to raise their children, I think. There are shortcuts, however. You don’t have to become an expert to form a valid opinion on this attempt to curtail your standard of living. Here is one: Judge a movement by the quality of its leaders.
The undisputed public leader of climate change-based policies is Al Gore. Al Gore is an ignorant moron. He proves it every time he goes on television. He said recently that the center of the earth is several million degrees hot. (It’s 5000 degrees F.) That was in defense of geothermal energy. I heard him with my own ears. This is not an Internet rumor. It’s also not a small mistake on an arcane point. A reasonably good high-school junior would know better.
Here are a couple of things you can do to make yourself informed without turning the endeavor into an unpaid second job. First, visit the eminently readable and scientifically respectful website :Watts Up With That
Second, if you take the trouble occasionally to read carefully reports put out by advocates of global warming themselves, you will often find statements that don’t conform with their views. That’s what I did above with Collapse and with the National Geographic.
Whats’ really going on? As is always the case with left-wing movements, you have a small elite of cynics, supported by religious frenzy, leading an army of dupes.
The cynics want three things:
1 A massive transfer of wealth from relatively civilized areas, like the US, to the poor countries that don’t know how to govern themselves;
2 The foundations of a future world government where we would have to end up having our lives determined in part by bloody and grotesques dictators. (Think of Libya and North Korea as the next Illinois and New Jersey.)
3 As always, more power for themselves. The fastest way to rise to the top is not hard work or initiative but the confiscation of public resources under the guise of government
The dupes are psychologically the same kind of people who believed in Stalin, and who were slaughtered by Stalin and whose lives were ruined by Stalin for several generations. They cried by the tens of thousands at the tyrant’s funeral. Some are genuinely ignorant. Many more are intellectually lazy. They also love to believe the world is going to pot in general. Good people will assent to anything if they are scared enough.
Man up, America! (That goes for you to, Miss.)