Monday, December 26, 2011

Monumental fault in manmade global warming notion hiding in plain sight

I don’t mean promoters of the issue comically spinning failed predictions for more frequent hurricanes and warmer snow-less winters into covering any hot/cold/wet/dry extremes. Or Al Gore’s Texas-sized carbon footprint undermining demands for ours to to be minuscule. Sure, the IPCC also has appearance problems as a supposedly ‘unbiased’ organization, caught red-handed with assessments authored by people in environmentalist groups, and its own “ClimateGate” scientists behaving badly doesn’t help, either.

We have an arguably more far reaching problem – one that imperils the issue itself, and the mainstream media’s basic integrity.

This plain-sight problem is invisible when anyone accepts the issue as settled science. No hint of the problem is seen when the media moans about extreme weather and melting icecaps, while offering advice for sustainable lifestyles that use carbon-free renewable energy. Of course, no hint whatsoever is seen when armchair psychoanalysis is offered about public opinion, like when the NY Times’ David Brooks said, “..we have had a lot of information about global warming from Al Gore and many others. And, yet… support for a response to global warming has gone down”,

This monumental problem only becomes evident when we point to skeptic scientists claiming human activity is not a significant part of global warming. The immediate, predictable diatribe is, “Skeptics are few in number, don’t have published papers to their credit, and are on the payroll of big coal & oil.” The problem fades out of sight again when no one challenges those assertions.

Try asking instead, “You can prove any of that?”, and watch what happens.

If the response is that anyone defending skeptic scientists is an ignorant, mind-numbed talk radio listener / right-wing blog reader / Fox News zealot, or is a person who won’t give up their SUV to save the planet, then you see the problem plain as day. This is a sleight-of-hand shell game to ensure the public never thinks there may be legitimate scientific opposition criticism.

A second opinion ought to be welcomed, especially if it’s good news that the little warming we do see is a natural process.

I’ll let others psychoanalyze the bizarre opposition to such news, and I’ll let the scientists explain the science and the actual number of people on each side of the issue. What I am able to do is show what the mainstream media buries, namely all the red flags surrounding accusations against skeptic scientists.

Al Gore’s 2006 movie, An Inconvenient Truth, exposed the heart of the problem, and although it didn’t start there, he faces tough questions about his role with the problem’s origins. After describing all kinds of potential climate disasters – which have thus far failed to happen – Gore takes a short length of time near the end of the movie to equate skeptic scientists with tobacco industry ‘science experts’ who downplayed cigarette smoking health concerns. His comparison is quite effective, he literally spells out the words “reposition global warming as a theory rather than fact” in red letters across the screen, saying they were from a leaked memo no different than an old tobacco company’s leaked internal document, “Doubt is our product, since it is the best means of creating a controversy in the public’s mind.” Pick up a copy of his 2009 “Our Choice” book, and both sentences are spelled out in half-inch tall letters on pages 356 and 357.

There’s an enormous red flag here. A complete context scan of the Brown & Williamson “Doubt is our product” memo is found on the internet within seconds, web sites quoting it link directly to the scan, and there is no question it was a top-down industry directive.

The “reposition global warming” memo literally cannot be found that way. The only web links to the otherwise incredibly hard to find Greenpeace archive scan of the memo are in my own online articles, and when astute readers look through this set of interoffice instructions for a small TV and radio campaign, it becomes abundantly obvious that the sentence has been taken out-of-context in order to portray it as the main goal of a sinister industry directive.

It gets worse. Gore’s companion book to his movie says the memo “was discovered by the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Ross Gelbspan”. Two problems are easily found. First (as Steve Milloy pointed out long ago), the Pulitzer organization does not recognize Gelbspan as a prize winner, and second, other book authors and reporters refer to the “reposition global warming” sentence prior to Gelbspan’s earliest mention of it in a December 1995 radio interview. Nevertheless, Gore’s 2009 “Our Choice” book again referred to him as a Pulitzer winner and said the memo was “uncovered by investigative journalist Ross Gelbspan” on page 358. Inexplicably in his June 22 Rolling Stone article, Gore instead attributes the memo sentence to a 1991 NY Times article, which was not written by Gelbspan.

There are more red flags. The 1991 NY Times article says it received the memo in a packet provided by the Sierra Club. Yet, intensive searches through current and archive Sierra Club web pages yield not a solitary word about finding what any environmentalist would call the central ‘smoking gun’ evidence of a fossil fuel industry / skeptic scientist conspiracy.

On top of all that, many people point to Ross Gelbspan’s 1997 book, “The Heat is On”, as the first exposé of this memo sentence evidence. The other words he mentions a paragraph after it on page 34 of his book are from other memos in the packet, concerning targets of the coal industry PR campaign: “…older, less-educated men…” and “young, lower-income women”. Meanwhile, page 360 of Al Gore’s 1992 “Earth in the Balance” book says his Senate office received documents “…leaked from the National Coal Association…” which said, “People who respond most favorably to such statements are older, less-educated males from larger households, who are not typically active information-seekers… another possible target is younger, lower-income women…”

Identical words from the same memos in Gore’s Senate office as much as four years prior to Gelbspan, the man he credits with discovering them – a huge red flag if there ever was one. And not a word about this contradiction in the mainstream media. Had reporters taken just a few hours of their time to talk to a now-former employee of that coal organization – as I did just recently – they would have been told that these specific memos were a rejected proposal for the PR campaign, and were never actually implemented, thus they would not have been seen by other fossil fuel company executives. There was no industry directive to “reposition global warming”, period.

There is a sea of red flags to be analyzed, more than space allows here. Ross Gelbspan and John Passacantando, the head of the enviro-activist group Ozone Action from ’93 to 2000, claim to have obtained the “reposition global warming” memo in 1996 while jointly working to publicize it as evidence of skeptic scientists’ guilt, but they never say who gave it to them. Passacantando became the executive director of Greenpeace USA in 2000, merging Ozone Action into it, and his former co-workers now have influential positions elsewhere: Phil Radford is Greenpeace USA’s current director, Kelly Sims Gallagher is an official reviewer of IPCC reports, and Kalee Kreider is Al Gore’s spokesperson.

It is entertaining to note how Ms Kreider started working at Ozone Action in 1993 and transferred to Greenpeace in 1996, and was seen just a year later in a 1997 IPCC Regional Impacts of Climate Change Special Report, in its Annex H USA section for “Authors, Contributors, and Expert Reviewers”. Al Gore says this about her in “Our Choice”, page 411, “[she] has been of invaluable assistance in all of my climate work”. Considering she joined his current staff in 2006, and his “climate work” goes back to 1988, it might be worthwhile to ask him exactly what he meant there.

Legitimate scientific criticism could wipe out the so-called global warming crisis. What’s been the response for twenty years? Don’t debate skeptic scientists, assassinate their character – but hide the evidence proving their corruption.

The monumental fault in global warming is right there in plain sight, and the mainstream media either can’t spot it or offers strangely vague answers when I try to alert them about it. This issue showcases a genuine divide of inexcusable proportions: We have 1% of the media elite who have committed journalistic malfeasance for over twenty years, and we are the 99% who no longer trust them! Expose this problem for all to see, and we knock down not only the politics of global warming, we also potentially put news reporting back to the way it should be done, telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.


Tent Collapsing on Climate Change Circus

During his 2008 campaign, President Obama made his support of climate-change interventions clear, stating that his presidency would slow the rise of the oceans and begin to heal the planet. He promised that a cap-and-trade system would curb global warming.

He was elected, but the electorate hasn’t liked many of his policies. Cap and trade never passed Congress. To this day, President Obama has remained comparatively popular, but people believe he is taking the country in the wrong direction—toward a European system. Even his Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu, believes our gasoline prices should be higher, like Europe’s.

Two weeks ago, my column addressed China’s act (ring #1) in the climate-change circus. Last week, I looked at Europe’s staunch support for climate-change intervention when the majority of the industrialized countries have rejected or resisted a Kyoto-style deal (ring #2). Using Italy as an example, I suggested that the country’s lack of natural resources made expensive renewable energy a viable option for them—though an economic tightrope destined to failure.

While Italy is in the news for its brutal economic woes, it shares several components with the US.

Italy has a declining private sector with growth in government, disappearing industrial production being filled in with goods from China, and high gas prices/imported oil. Italians are still consuming, but now their euros are going to other countries—most notably China and the OPEC countries, resulting in exploding trade deficits. (Sound familiar?)

Climate-change mitigation adds to the problem as it artificially inflates energy prices through the troubled Ponzi-like cap-and-trade scheme and creates more government jobs, regulation, fees, and hidden taxes. With the increasing production costs, industry declines and unemployment rises. Over time, some of those put out of work in industry may get absorbed by government—which keeps the unemployment numbers from looking as grim as they might without the government jobs. Government jobs do not create wealth, as mining and farming do, but like a funhouse mirror, they distort the true picture.

All of the above sounds eerily similar to the US—except we did not sign on to the Kyoto protocol, nor did we pass cap-and-trade legislation. However, President Obama has not given up on his plans to “curb global warming.” Instead of cap and trade, we have the EPA directed by President Obama’s appointee, Administrator Lisa Jackson—who, by her own admission, aims to level the playing field. The EPA is doing everything it can to raise the cost of energy, which, if left unabated, will continue the demise of American industry and the growth of the government sector—resulting in exploding trade deficits. (Sound familiar?)

While Italy’s situation and the US have several similarities that are worth noting, there are also some crowd-pleasing differences.

As noted, Italy lacks quantities of large natural resources—America has them in abundance. We often lack the access to our own resources.

Italy is a part of Europe’s cap-and-trade scheme intended to curb manmade global warming. We have Lisa Jackson’s EPA—but Congressional action (encouraged by America’s citizens) can thwart her, and the 2012 election can replace her.

Italy’s economy is collapsing, leaving the stronger countries—mainly England and Germany—to bail it out. The US isn’t quite there yet.

With the economic damage that climate-change interventions deliver, why is the administration still using them as an excuse to implement regulations that will make electricity more expensive for industry and consumers? Maybe, it is because they are, as Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper described Kyoto: “a socialist scheme to suck money out of wealth-producing nations.” More and more, it seems that it never was about saving the planet.

If, in fact, reaching a binding global emissions-reduction agreement is really about global government—with the Green Climate Fund sucking money from the “wealthy” countries and redistributing it to the poor countries, Europe gives us a prime example of why the US should follow Canada’s lead and shun the “at-any-cost” green agenda that stunts economic growth and job creation.

Back to Italy. In EU terms, Italy is one of the “poor” countries—along with the other Club Med countries: Greece, Spain and Portugal. In the mini-global government known as the EU, the “wealthy” countries no longer want to carry the “poor” ones.

Germany and Italy are both EU members and in good times, Italy’s growing government sector could mask the harsh economic realities. By comparison to Italy, Germany has abundant energy supplies from nuclear and coal-fueled power, a strong industrial sector, and a good work ethic. Germany “has”; Italy “has not.” In EU terms, Germany is expected to carry Italy—but they don’t want to.

The US “has” abundant energy supplies; the EU “has not.” The EU has to depend on schemes like carbon trading, about which Rob Elsworth of the climate-campaign group Sandbag in London said: “is a pretty important revenue stream for most member states.” He asks, “If you take away this green-economy narrative, what's really left of Europe?”

The EU’s economic crisis provides the US with living proof that we do not want to play in the global-government game where the “haves” are expected to carry the “have nots.” We have the resources; we still have industry; and we still have a good work ethic. Will we use them to save America and the free market system that has allowed us to grow to strength, or will we be drawn into the green big top?


American Mules Must Eat Certified Weed-Free Hay

Nevada has the highest unemployment rate in the country and is one of the worst in foreclosures. “In my district,” Nevada Assemblyman Hansen reports, “one in seventeen houses is in foreclosure. One in eight is vacant. The people are economically desperate. Meanwhile we have an industry that would love to open up mines and create jobs with an average salary of $80,000. Unfortunately we also have a government that takes ten years to permit a mine.”

No wonder 77% of Americans believe the country is heading in the wrong direction.

“Couldn’t we streamline the process or eliminate some steps?” asks Nevada State Senator Settelmeyer. He points out that the high gold and silver prices present a huge opportunity but he’s afraid that if we do not strike while the iron is hot, gold prices may fall before the mining projects get approved and get into production. “We have the resources and people need the jobs.”

In 1900 silver and gold were found in Tonopah, Nevada. Within weeks of the discovery, there was digging and within a year the mine was fully operational. In 1900 dollars, the mine brought in $125 million. Today, it would be multi-billions of dollars.

The Comstock Lode was discovered in 1859 and during its six year run an estimated $50 million of ore was removed. The discovery was largely responsible for Nevada becoming a state and it is credited with helping the Union’s finances as it backed the paper money—assisting the Union’s ultimate victory in the civil war. If Comstock was burdened with today’s regulatory environment, the war would have been over long before an ounce of silver was legally extracted and the outcome could have been different.

Mining has played an important role in the development of the western United States—providing jobs and revenues. It should be doing the same now. In Nevada’s mining towns, the unemployment rate is among the lowest in the country: 5-7%—according to Tim Crowley President of the Nevada Mining Association who says there are hundreds of mining jobs available in Nevada. Skills from the hard hit construction industry can be transferred to mining.

General Moly plans to hire 450 people by the end of the year. There are major copper operations in permitting. Companies are looking at mining rare earths and lithium—both of which are essential for cell phones, batteries, computers, and wind turbines and solar panels.

Imagine the jobs and new wealth that could be created if mining was encouraged. Senator Settelmeyer says, “It is hard enough for companies to get through the regulatory process and get a permit. On top of that there is frivolous environmental litigation that lengthens the process—cutting off vital resources and delaying jobs.”

Last week environmental groups hailed a decision from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals that upheld a law prohibiting roads on nearly 50 million acres of national forest. Lawyers for the Colorado and Wyoming Mining Associations contend that the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule violated the law. Previous conflicting federal court rulings have both upheld and overturned the road-building ban.

Jane Danowitz, director of the Pew Environmental Group’s U.S. public lands program acknowledges that the roadless rule blocks “logging, drilling and industrial development.”

Expressing disappointment with the decision, Stuart Sanderson, President of the Colorado Mining Association said, “The decision does not reflect a practical understanding of the impact that the rule will have upon mining jobs or access to needed minerals here in Colorado and the U.S. It is important to develop high quality coal and other mineral reserves, both to ensure our nation’s energy security and reduce our dependence on minerals produced in other countries.”

How does this roadless decision impact mining and jobs?

In Montana’s Finley Basin there are known tungsten deposits. An Australian company wanted to bring revenue and jobs to the state by developing the resource. While the property was successfully drilled and recognized by Union Carbide in the seventies, it is now about 200 yards inside a roadless study area. The Forest Service was willing to offer a conditional drilling permit. Among the conditions were these requirements:

* The drill sites must be cleared using hand tools,

* The drilling equipment and fuel must be transported to the site by a team of pack mules,

* The mules must be fed certified weed-free hay, and

* Drill site and trail reclamation must be done using hand tools.

The company gave up. How can America remain competitive in a global marketplace when we are required to use pick axes and mules? How does this help America’s heavy equipment manufacturers like Caterpillar?

No wonder we are in trouble. We need these resources. They are salable both in the US and in a global market. The question is will we produce our assets—creating revenues, jobs, and new wealth? Or, will we allow countries, such as China, to have a monopoly and control the price?

The issue goes beyond mining. If we are not utilizing our own resources, we will have to buy them from other countries who are ramping up to take advantage of the boom. They can produce them more efficiently without the layers of bureaucratic red tape. Some countries are working to control the market and raise prices—which increases America’s cost of manufactured goods, the deficit, and reliance on foreign suppliers.

When America is struggling with the deficit and Americans are economically desperate, we need to be looking at more than spending cuts and tax increases. We need to eliminate redundant red tape in order to create new wealth, cheaper energy, and real jobs—all of which will contribute to a stronger America.


Photons are wave packages - not particles

In 1954, Albert Einstein wrote: "All these 50 years of conscious brooding have brought me no nearer to the answer to the question, '"What are light quanta?" Nowadays every Tom, Dick and Harry thinks he knows it, but he is mistaken."

The following is a summary of Professor Claes Johnson's paper entitled "Computational Blackbody Radiation."

Electromagnetic radiation does not exhibit a particle like nature. Planck's suggestion of this (made in desperation) appears to be wrong or, at the very least, unnecessary to explain physical phenomena.

The IPCC models depend upon an incorrect assumption that these fictitious particles from a cold atmosphere can warm the surface.

Electromagnetic radiation has been postulated as having wave-particle duality, meaning it can have the nature of both particle and wave motion. However, to consider it purely as a string of "photon" particles that, when it hits a "blackbody" will inevitably warm it is simply incorrect. This is the fundamental fallacy of the arguments about how "back radiation" supposedly warms the Earth.

In order to convert to internal thermal energy in the blackbody, the incoming radiation must have an energy level above a "cut off" value which depends on the temperature of that body. Put simply, most of the high energy associated with incoming solar radiation (direct from the Sun) is above the cut off and so does warm the surface. But there is some low energy infra-red radiation in the solar spectrum (some of which gets absorbed by carbon dioxide) and some other such radiation coming from the atmosphere. All such radiation which is below the cut off will be immediately re-emitted in the same frequency range, this explaining why only low energy infra red radiation is emitted from the surface and from the human body. As we all know, high energy UV radiation can warm and burn the skin, just as it warms the sand and rocks at the beach. But we feel no warming effect from the assumed large quantity of low energy "back radiation" supposedly received from the atmosphere at night.

According to Wien's Displacement Law, the (peak) cut off frequency, υ = kT/h where h is Planck's constant and k is Boltzmann's constant. (The maximum frequency is actually the above multiplied by a constant which is 2.821439..) Hence the cut off frequency is directly proportional to the absolute temperature, T. Whilst in fact there can be some radiation above the cut off, there will be strong damping of any such radiation.

Note that the familiar Stefan-Boltzmann's Law (SBL) is derived by integrating and summing frequencies in Planck's radiation law. The SBL deduces that total energy radiated by a black body is proportional to the fourth power of the absolute temperature. This is not in conflict with the linear relationship between cut off frequencies and temperature.

In contrast, the old Rayleigh-Jeans Law led to the so-called "ultra violet catastrophe” and so, to avoid such, Planck theorised about a “particle” nature of radiation consisting of "photons" which had no mass. Planck admitted that doing so was in desperation and both he and Einstein recognised that resorting to this "statistical mechanics" could be scientifically illogical.

Professor Johnson writes on page 291 of Slaying the Sky Dragon "If explanations can be given by wave mechanics, then both the contradiction of wave-particle duality and the mist of statistical mechanics can be avoided, thus fulfilling a dream of the late Einstein."

Johnson makes a highly significant "breakthrough" point here in that he finds that we can separate the two-way propagation of waves from the one-way propagation of "heat" energy by waves. This is not possible with particle theory, and that is the very reason why everything has gone wrong in the models which assume that particles of heat energy (photons) hitting the surface will warm it regardless of the temperature of that surface. The alarmists are basically claiming that you could use a mirror to reflect infra-red radiation back onto its source and thus further warm the source. This would be creating energy and it simply does not happen. But, yes, it would happen if there was only one-way propagation of "photon" particles.

I find that it helps to think of the night-time situation without incoming solar radiation. We have the surface still radiating infra-red as it cools after the warmth of the day. But would a mirror reflecting that radiation back again actually cause the surface to start getting warmer again? Hardly! Yet that in essence is what the alarmists are saying. Indeed, Professor Nahle has been constructing experiments which show what does happen in reality. Watch for his new one to be published in 2012, the results of which are progressing well I understand.

Professor Johnson sets out a detailed mathematical model which is consistent with (and in fact derives) the observed physical laws. It centres around the concept of resonance (and near resonance) of the wave nature of radiation and essentially disposes of any need to imagine "particles" having no mass.

Johnson's work is as revolutionary as that of any previous scientist, Einstein, Planck or whoever. "Planck's statistical mechanics is replaced by deterministic mechanics," he writes on page 300, explaining that this is "viewing physics as a form of analogue computation with finite precision with a certain dissipative diffusive effect, which we model by digital computational mechanics associated with a certain numerical dissipation."

His model and the computations explain why the spectrum of the incoming radiation from the Sun has hardly any overlap with that of the outgoing spectrum of infra-red radiation. The high frequency coherent radiation above the cut off temperature converts, in a one-way process, to incoherent thermal ("heat") energy, whereas any radiation (mostly from the atmosphere) which has a lower frequency than the cut off frequency will be immediately re-emitted and will not be converted to thermal energy.

Thus “back radiation” can never warm the surface and the "greenhouse effect" is a physical impossibility. Just as is the case with conduction, heat transfer is always from a warmer body to a cooler one even with radiation. The mechanism which ensures this is twofold: (a) the immediate re-emission of any radiation from a cooler scource and (b) the conversion to thermal energy of any radiation from a warmer source.

This is what true science is all about - deriving a theoretical model and then proving that it conforms with empirical evidence. This has never been done, and never could be done, with the back radiation theory - because it does not conform with reality. It is pseudo-science.

Temperatures will now start to decline, as can be seen from the curved trend below..


Modern-day climate change witch hunt

What is it about freakishly cold winters that so agitates intolerant moralists? In Europe 500 years ago, any sign of a dip in the winter weather would be greeted by much gnashing of teeth from the morality police. Sometimes they'd even burn at the stake "witches" who were said to have caused the extreme cold through their wicked behaviour and sorcery.

Fast-forward to the 21st century and still there's nothing like a bitingly cold winter to drive moralists mad with priestly fury. Only today, in a more PC, less pyromaniacal version of what their forebears did, they don't burn people at the stake for causing cold winters - no, they prefer to hector us with op-eds and insults instead.

The last couple of winters in western Europe have been bitterly cold. Last year the British Isles were coated in thick snow, causing chaos. This winter is shaping up to be a bit warmer, though cold snaps are expected in the new year.

All this iciness has put green-leaning moralists in a tailspin. They scour the press and the blogs for any whiff of a hint of a suggestion that perhaps these cold winters disprove the global-warming thesis, and inform us that, actually, extreme coldness is yet another side-effect of man's constant farting of CO2 into the environment.

This week, a top Welsh scientist highlighted one of the key problems associated with very cold winters - no, not the possibility of elderly people going hypothermia or an increased risk of car accidents on slushy roads, but the danger that the dumb public will think all this snow proves hot-headed environmentalists wrong.

Professor Michael Hambrey of the University of Aberystwyth said "the public must not be misled into believing that a series of cold winters are evidence that climate change is a myth".

Echoing green activists, who get strangely defensive during very cold winters, Professor Hambrey reminded us that climate change is not only going to make the world hellishly hotter but will also lead to a situation where "more extreme winters become the norm".

Last year, during Britain's big freeze, greens incessantly lectured us about how cold winters are just as much the fault of greedy, hubristic, polluting man as recent heatwaves and droughts have been.

A writer for The Times said anyone who seizes the opportunity of a wicked winter to ask "what happened to global warming?" is an "idiot", because nobody ever claimed that climate change would "make Britain hotter in the long run". (Er, yes they did.)

A headline in the Guardian informed us that: "The snow outside is what global warming looks like", and the reason the plebs and simpletons who make up modern Britain can't understand this fact is because they are: "simple, earthy creatures, governed by the senses... What [they] see and taste and feel overrides analysis. The cold has reason in a deathly grip."

Perhaps. Or perhaps the reason the public's cynicism towards environmentalism goes up a notch whenever it snows is because for the past 10 years, before the recent big freezes set in, environmentalists told us we'd never see snow again.

"Snow is starting to disappear from our lives", declared the Independent in March 2000, quoting an expert from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia - a major producer of climate-change info - saying that "children just aren't going to know what snow is".

Mark Lynas, one of Britain's chief climate-change alarmists, told us in 2004 to prepare for life on a "hotter planet" in which "the traditional British winter [is] probably gone for good".

And yet today, any mortal who dares to wonder out loud why it's snowing so much if the planet is supposed to be getting hotter is told to shut up, branded an "idiot", pityingly looked upon as a "simple creature" lacking reason. Weird wintry weather is as manmade as hotness is, we're told. In short, snow, like floods and droughts and plagues of locusts, is another by-product of our destructive behaviour.

These greens don't seem to realise how much they sound like medieval witch-hunters. In the Dark Ages, before man enlightened himself, witches were frequently hunted and burned on the basis that they were causing climate change - specifically very cold winters.

One of the driving forces behind the witch-hunting mania in Europe between the 15th and 17th centuries was the idea that these peculiar creatures had warped the weather.

As the German historian Wolfgang Behringer argued in his 2004 book, Witches and Witch-Hunts, "large-scale persecutions were clearly linked to years of extreme hardship and in particular the type of misery related to extreme climatic events".

So during the Little Ice Age, the period of unusual coldness that started around the mid-1500s, there was an upsurge in witch-hunting. There was another outburst in 1628, described by historians as "the year without a summer", because once again people's crops failed and they were desperate to find someone to blame. As Behringer puts it, when the "climate stayed unfavourable or 'unnatural' the demand for persecutions persisted".

Johann Weyer, the 16th-century physicist who spoke out against witch-hunting, described how one woman was forced to confess to causing climate change: "[A] poor old woman was driven by torture to confess - as she was about to be offered to Vulcan's flames - that she had caused the incredible severity of the previous winter of 1565, and the extreme cold, and the lasting ice."

Pointy-hatted Witchfinder Generals were convinced that foul, immoral people, through the magic of their thoughts and words, had conjured up climatic mayhem and icy conditions. Sound familiar? Yep - today, too, hectoring moralists hold wicked human beings responsible for causing unusual coldness.

In the old witch-hunting era, it was a powerful sense of social uncertainty and fear of the future which led the priestly class to view mysterious individuals as being culpable for climate change. Today, too, a similarly profound social and moral malaise has led elite greens to claim that the throng, with its reckless ways and insatiable material desires, is causing dangerously freezing/hot conditions.

Of course, in one important way today's green moaners are more enlightened than the witch-hunters of old: they don't hurl anyone on to "Vulcan's flames". But in another sense they're more backward than the medieval moralists since they don't only old a few sad old women responsible for climatic disarray, but rather point the finger of blame at everyone - all the "idiots" and "simple creatures" whose desire for stuff and wealth and holidays is apparently causing both cruel summers and harsh winters. In the eyes of the green lobby, we are all witches now.


Stuck On "Stupid Liberal" Mode


My dad builds custom homes in California and the regulators at all levels routinely give him new, maddening impediments to practicality. The example that I remember most had to do with toilets.

In response to the apparent public outcry about excessive tank capacity, sales of toilets that exceed 1.6 gallons per flush have been banned throughout America. United States Senator Rand Paul recently told a senior bureaucrat at a Senate hearing, “Frankly, my toilets don’t work in my house, and I blame you.”

If you are like Senator Rand and don’t think that it makes sense to have to flush twice to make up for a deliberately insufficient vortex, you can buy a Canadian-made 3.5 gallon toilet on the black market. Can you imagine having that crime on your rap sheet?


The government’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) at the Energy Department also thought it would be really swell if Americans would use less electricity to match their new toilets. So, they made some suggestions, through nationwide mandates, that we replace our bright, warm, inexpensive light bulbs with compact fluorescent lighting (CFL).

CFLs don’t lend as much ambience, they are vastly more expensive, and they take a while to warm up before they can perform their singular purpose in our lives. But, they do provide an element of mercury for you to deal with when they burn out or break.

The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that, if your CFL light bulb breaks, first get all people and pets out of the room, shut down your air conditioner for several hours (another excellent suggestion for saving energy), and thoroughly collect every bit of glass and powder into a sealed container.

The government’s Energy Star program argues that this mandate actually reduces mercury emissions in American households because CFLs demand less electricity from mercury-generating coal plants that poison the fish we eat.


About a year ago, I called the manufacturer of our dishwasher with a performance complaint. The 10-month-old appliance was simply no longer getting the dishes clean. The repair guy approached the situation like the main character on the TV show House.

His assessment was that all three name-brand detergents we had on hand were too low on phosphates to get the job done. It turns out that ours is one of millions of households victimized by the latest regulation - low detergent phosphates. We now dump in twice the normal amount of detergent and set the cycle to “stupid liberal mode” which runs the dishwasher for nearly three hours, using 50% more water and electricity.


It is hard to believe that these busybody bureaucrats are simply trying to improve the environment. Evidence to the contrary includes the results of an investigation by the Government Accountability Office. They received an Energy Star label for their application of a gas-powered clock radio (really).

With a full staff of uniformed gropers at every airport, Obamacare and government controlled thermostats on the horizon -- I mean, if one were to undertake the goal of listing the most personally intrusive acts that a government could commit against its people, I think this list would just about be it.

With their hands in my pants, my physical health, my home, and even my toilet, I have never felt so uncomfortably close to my government.



For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here


1 comment:

Joseph said...

On those occasions when there is a simple and clear line of evidence disproving some allegedly-scientific theory proclaimed by the left, they will try to pretend that it was right-wingers behind their former enthusiasm. (Example: eugenics.) When they can't get away with that, they will pretend that it's only fringe people who ever believed it. (Example: 9-11 truthers.) In extreme cases, they will ignore the topic entirely. (Example: Alar)

In other words, there is no simple disproof of AGW. They might be proclaiming AGW with inadequate evidence, but that doesn't mean there's much evidence against.