Sunday, December 06, 2015
How can global warming be a hoax when most important people everywhere in the world accept it? Surely they can't all be wrong?
When President Eisenhower warned that American politics risked being captured by a military-industrial complex his warning was widely taken seriously -- on both the Left and the Right of American politics.
And he had good grounds for his warning: Just about the whole of human history. The whole of human history is a history of elite dominance via elite collusion. As far back as we can go, human societies have mostly been ruled by the King and his barons. The ordinary people had no say in government at all. There was the Athenian democracy for a while and then the Roman Republic but neither lasted as the old ways steadily reasserted themselves. And even those two were very limited democracies by modern standards
Then out of the woods of Germany emerged primitive hunter-gatherer tribes whose lifestyle was inimical to centralization and who needed the co-operation of all to defend themselves from other warring tribes. So they all had systems of consultation which worked toward consensus action. Even their system was not a direct democracy, however. It was a "Senate" ("Witan") of elders who made the decisions. But the elders really were what the name implied: Heads of family who really represented their families and could bring their families with them if common action was required.
And when some of those tribes invaded and took over Romanized Britannia and made it into England, they brought their ideas of governance with them. There was some survival of that in Germany too. Even such a powerful and militaristic state as Prussia had a parliament that not even Bismarck could ignore for long.
And when, after huge religious struggles, those ideas of governance became allied with ideas of religious tolerance, the individual in those lands was freed to think for himself. And that eventually led to the leap of technological progress in Britain known as the Industrial Revolution. And when others copied the British model, the Western world as we know it today was created.
With ups and downs, England has been a democracy of one sort or another for around 1500 years now -- already lasting 3 times longer than the Roman Republic.
But "ups and downs" is the word. Britain was on various occasions theatened by a drift into the sort of tyranny that ruled most of the world. Along the way, Magna Carta had to be signed and a King beheaded to defend traditional English liberties.
But the battle has always been a close-run-thing. And even now it has not been totally won. The graduates of the Greater Public Schools (i.e. private schools) and the two great universities still run Britain. The present Prime Minister is an Oxford graduate, as is the Chancellor of the Exchequer (treasurer, finance minister) and as is the Mayor of London. Even the recently defeated leader of the Labour party was an Oxford graduate. So even in Britain, elitism makes only some compromises with democracy.
Let me point out two examples of how that elitism still rules -- regardless of what the people want.
The classic example is the death penalty for serious crime. Outside the USA, most Western governments now forbid that penalty altogether. Yet, as I pointed out long ago, that is not the popular will. Clear majorities of the national populations concerned want the death penalty retained. The elite has over-ridden the popular will.
A rather different but much more pervasive example of elite dominance is the phenomenon of trade protectionism: taxing imports with "tariffs". Repeatedly, big business will collude with big labour to restrict competition from overseas. With both business and labour lining the pockets of politicians, the people are readily betrayed.
Who does not want to spend less to acquire his purchases if that were possible? There must be very few of us who don't respond favourably to the possibility of a "bargain". Yet the whole point of protectionism is to keep prices up. It takes money out of the pockets of ordinary people in order to benefit special interest groups. The elite do what suits them and who cares about the average Joe?
And a very contemporary example of elites defying popular sentiment is the way the elites worldwide treat popular anger with Muslims and call it "Islamophobia". An unending sequence of great horrors done in the name of Allah is not deemed sufficient justification for criticism of Islam. Anger at Muslim deeds is not only ignored but actively criminalized. History has seen many examples of whole populations being expelled for bad reasons so, in a kneejerk way, Western elites are determined not to let their Muslim populations be expelled for good reasons.
So we come to global warming: A classical example of elite collusion over-riding the best interests of the people. Scientists, journalists and politicians all benefit from the scare so that is what dictates policy. It is a steamroller that flattens most opposition. Almost every national leader is bowing down to the scare in Paris as I write this. And they are doing that in the context of global warming having stopped over 18 years ago. Here's the graph:
So on a mere PROPHECY of global warming resuming, the great and the good of the world are trying to upend the world's electricity supplies.
It is understandable, however, that people with little historical awareness find implausible the idea that all the serious people endorsing the scare are just participating in a racket. How can so many people be getting it wrong, they ask? This little essay is designed to show them how. Elites regularly co-operate, and when they do, anything is possible. And scientists, journalists and politicians all have good reasons to co-operate on this one.
It is basically scientists who keep the whole racket afloat. If they universally pooh-poohed it, the whole scare would fall apart. And their support for the scare is well understood in the light of the old courtroom enquiry: "Cui bono" -- who benefits?
The Holy Grail of scientists is research grants. Without research grants, they cannot do research and research is their lifeblood. And the global warming scare has produced a downpour of research grants onto any scientist working in climate-related fields. They would be mad to do or say anything to dry up that blessed shower. To use another metaphor, they would be mad to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. So a small and unscrupulous minority actively promote the myth while most just keep "shtum", but give token support if demanded.
And the participation of journalists in promoting the scare is perhaps even more easily understood. Scares sell papers.
And the scare suits the political Left extremely well, which is why belief in it is heavily polarized along political lines. To quote Obama, Leftists want to "fundamentally transform" the societies in which they live. And the global warming scare also calls for a complete upheaval of how we live. Leftism and Warmism are two peas in a pod.
So elite collusion is nothing new and it's clear what is behind it. Warmism suits a lot of elite people and it is mainly their voices that are heard -- JR
Gov’t-Funded Study: Skeptics Are Winning The Global Warming Debate
A government-funded study has bad news for environmentalists: skeptics are winning the battle to sway public opinion on global warming.
Michigan State University (MSU) researchers gave nearly 1,600 participants fake news articles about global warming — both skeptical and alarmist — and had them complete surveys about their beliefs on the issue. The study was funded by the National Science Foundation.
Researchers found none of the alarmist arguments about global warming changed “core beliefs” on the subject, but survey participants presented with skeptical arguments said they are more likely to doubt man-made global warming.
“This is the first experiment of its kind to examine the influence of the denial messages on American adults,” says Aaron McCright, an MSU sociologist and the study’s lead author. “Until now, most people just assumed climate change deniers were having an influence on public opinion. Our experiment confirms this.”
The study comes as President Barack Obama meets with world leaders in Paris to negotiate a global agreement to cut carbon dioxide emissions — the greenhouse gas blamed for rising temperatures. Obama warns that “no nation — large or small, wealthy or poor — is immune to what this means.”
World leaders met Monday to kick off the United Nations 21st climate summit, and hopes are high a global agreement on CO2 cuts will be reached. But Obama seems more concerned about global warming than the Americans he represents.
A November Fox News poll finds only 3 percent of American voters listed global warming as their top concern, down from 5 percent in August. Only 6 percent of Democrats listed global warming as their top concern, compared to 1 percent of Republicans.
American voters are much more concerned with issues like terrorism, immigration and the economy over global warming. McCright’s research seems to add to evidence that people aren’t being convinced the world is headed for environmental catastrophe.
“That’s the power of the denial message,” says McCright. “It’s extremely difficult to change people’s minds on climate change, in part because they are entrenched in their views.”
Most shockingly, McCright finds both conservatives and liberals are more likely to become skeptics when presented with arguments doubting man-made global warming. Even when researchers put up fake news stories arguing the positives of global warming, liberals and conservatives aren’t convinced.
“Medical experts argue that dealing with climate change will improve our public health by reducing the likelihood of extreme weather events, reducing air quality and allergen problems, and limiting the spread of pests that carry infectious diseases,” reads one fake news article on the alleged health impacts of global warming.
On the other hand, negative messaging on global warming — trying to frame it as a conspiracy of the left — was able to get liberals and conservatives to become skeptics, or become further entrenched in their already skeptical views.
“However, most conservative leaders and Republican politicians believe that so-called climate change is vastly exaggerated by environmentalists, liberal scientists seeking government funding for their research and Democratic politicians who want to regulate business,” reads on of the fake articles on global warming skeptics.
Hannity on Obama’s Climate Change Claim: I Have a Whole List of Threats Bigger Than Climate Change
On his show Tuesday, nationally syndicated radio host Sean Hannity argued against Obama’s claim at the 2015 Paris Climate Conference that, “It’s hard to come up with a tougher problem than climate change.”
“I can name a few,” Hannity said. “Radical Islamic terrorism. … Radical Islamic mullahs getting nuclear weapons, threatening to wipe Israel off the map.”
Here is a transcript of Hannity’s comments:
“Do you realize with every problem we have our president, so delusional, so out of touch with reality, thinks it’s harder to think of a tougher problem than climate change.
“I can name a few. Me! Me! Oh! Oh! Pick me! Pick me, in the back! Radical Islamic terrorism. One! Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding.
“Radical Islamic mullahs getting nuclear weapons, threatening to wipe Israel off the map. Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding!
“Americans in poverty on food stamps, unemployed, labor force participation rate down, doubling of the debt – all bigger problems than climate change – but our president thinks it’s climate change.
“Now here’s an interesting side note to all of this. All these people are going into Paris, and the president’s flight, a whopping 300,000 tons of carbon dioxide is going to be churned out during this two week climate change summit that began yesterday in Paris.
“Now the bump in dangerous greenhouse gas comes—get this—50,000 people, including the media, world leaders, the Anointed One, gathering to discuss ways to wean the world off fossil fuel.
“By the way we’ve already discovered that here in this country, and I’ve actually talked about that on the program yesterday, that the U.S. has radically cut CO2 emissions, even though the president is apologizing for us being the second largest emitter in the world.
“But we cut back CO2 emissions more than any other country since 2006 according to the International Energy Agency, and emissions today are back to 1992 levels. And by the way, back then we had 50 million fewer people in this country. A lot of them are undocumented, but that’s a whole other story. A whole other argument for a whole other day.
“But this president, himself, flying to the beautiful City of Lights, emitted roughly 189 tons of carbon alone. The bump in dangerous gas, 300,000 tons of carbon dioxide will be churned out going to and from the summit.
“The president’s trip alone will burn 19,275 gallons of jet fuel. His entire trip will send more carbon dioxide into the air than the combined emissions of 31 U.S. homes over the span of a year.”
Misunderstandings, questionable beliefs mar Paris climate talks
By Freeman Dyson (Freeman Dyson is professor emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.)
REPRESENTATIVES FROM 196 countries are in Paris to negotiate an agreement about climate change, specifically a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. But the basic beliefs of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is organizing the talks, are questionable, and any binding agreement would likely do more harm than good.
The IPCC believes climate change is harmful; that the science of climate change is settled and understood; that climate change is largely due to human activities, particularly the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by industrial societies; and that there is an urgent need to fight climate change by reducing the emissions of carbon dioxide.
The most questionable of these beliefs is the notion that the science of climate change is settled and understood. The biggest of all climate changes have been the ice ages, which have covered half of North America and Europe with kilometer-thick sheets of ice. Ice ages happened repeatedly in the past, and we are about due for another one to start. A new ice age would be a disaster far greater than anything we have to fear from climate warming. There are many theories of ice ages, but no real understanding. So long as we do not understand ice ages, we do not understand climate change.
Another important thing that we do not understand is the possible effect of the sun on climate. The sun’s magnetic activity is strongly variable, and it appears to be correlated with the earth’s climate. When the sun is magnetically active, climate gets warmer. We do not know how much of the warming is caused by the sun. If the effect of the sun is large, any effort to control climate change by human action is futile.
The environmental movement is a great force for good in the world, an alliance of billions of people determined to protect birds and butterflies and preserve the natural habitats that allow endangered species to survive. The environmental movement is a cause fit to fight for. There are many human activities that threaten the ecology of the planet. The environmental movement has done a great job of educating the public and working to heal the damage we have done to nature. I am a tree-hugger, in love with frogs and forests. But I am horrified to see the environmental movement hijacked by a bunch of climate fanatics, who have captured the attention of the public with scare stories. As a result, the public and the politicians believe that climate change is our most important environmental problem. More urgent and more real problems, such as the over-fishing of the oceans and the destruction of wild-life habitat on land, are neglected, while the environmental activists waste their time and energy ranting about climate change. The Paris meeting is a sad story of good intentions gone awry.
The most important fact in the history of the 21st century is that China and India, with about half of the world’s population, are getting rich. To get rich in the next 50 years, they must burn prodigious quantities of coal and add big quantities of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. China and India have a simple choice to make. Either they get rich and cause a major increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Or they stay poor. I hope they choose to get rich. The choice is theirs and not ours. Whatever we may choose to do will not make much difference. The discussions in Paris will not make much difference. The good news is that the main effect of carbon dioxide on the ecology of the planet has nothing to do with climate. The main effect of carbon dioxide is to make the planet greener, feeding the growth of green plants of all kinds, increasing the fertility of farms and fields and forests.
Bill Nye Tells Another Whopper of a Lie
As hard as it sounds, someone actually managed to outperform Barack Obama for stupidest comment award at the UN climate summit. Bill Nye, who’s commonly known as “The Science Guy” — or “The Science Lie” in our humble shop — spewed more pompous rhetoric in an interview with the Huffington Post. “It’s very reasonable,” he asserted, “that the recent trouble in Paris is a result of climate change.”
Recall Obama’s remark earlier this week: “We salute the people of Paris for insisting this crucial conference go on. An act of defiance that proves nothing will deter us from building the future we want for our children. What greater rejection of those who would tear down our world than marshaling our best efforts to save it.”
Both comments are asinine, but Nye’s is downright astonishing.
“There’s water shortage in Syria, this is fact-based,” Nye went on to explain. “Small and medium farmers have abandoned their farms because there’s not enough water, not enough rainfall. And especially the young people who have not grown up there, have not had their whole lives invested in living off the land, the young people have gone to the big cities looking for work. There’s not enough work for everybody, so the disaffected youths … are more easily engaged and more easily recruited by terrorist organizations, and then they end up part way around the world in Paris shooting people.”
“You can say, ‘Well stamp out the terrorists,’” he concluded. “But if everybody’s leaving their farms because of water shortages, that’s a little bigger problem.”
This isn’t the first time Nye’s made ridiculous surmises. This is the same person who last November blamed anomalous lake-effect snowfall on climate change, absurdly suggesting: “Everybody, when Lake Erie’s warmer, more water evaporates into the air and it snows more. I don’t make the rules, people.” Only Lake Erie was sitting at four degrees below average at the time. Oops. Just two months later, in January 2015, he again blamed a major nor'easter on man-made global warming without a shred of evidence.
Any rational scientists knows that long-term precipitation patterns naturally fluctuate. What does Nye believe is driving Boko Haram, the Nigerian terrorist group whose country has been abnormally wet for the last two decades? But that’s the problem — he’s not a rational scientist. As meteorologist Joe Bastardi recently opined, “[T]he fact is [Nye] is not a man of science. He is an actor. That is his profession.” As are most politicians. And so far, they are doing a terrible job convincing the public that global warming is “our greatest national security threat.” And with comments like these, it’s no wonder.
The ill-timed climate change talk
American energy can help defeat terrorism
President Obama has been mocked and appropriately so for his ludicrous comment that the upcoming climate change summit in Paris will be a “powerful rebuke” to the terrorists. No. This summit is a powerful rebuke to common sense.
It says a lot about the lack of clarity and commitment to the growing threat of the Islamic State that the world leaders are gathering in the city where the murderous attacks just happened with the blood barely dry and the prime topic off discussion will be stopping the rise of the oceans.
Amazingly, the White House then wonders why so few voters have any trust in his handling of the terrorism crisis.
The concern isn’t just that climate change derangement syndrome has such an obsessive grip over this president and other world leaders that they choose to take their eye off the ball. It’s worse than that: the entire global warming agenda is an impediment to the war against terror.
One of our most effective economic swords to use against ISIS — and Iran, Putin’s Russia, and OPEC — is America’s vast shale oil and gas reserves as well as our 500 years worth of domestic coal resources. This point should be self-evident: Every barrel of oil we produce here at home is one less barrel we have to purchase from abroad.
We know from intelligence reports that the Islamic State receives as much as one-half billion dollars a year in petro-dollars. ISIS’s access to Middle Eastern oil finances a growing army of terrorists that are well armed, trained and coordinated to wreak havoc on the western world.
Why then do we continue to buy oil from those who are trying to kill us? That’s especially crazy given that we now have the capacity to achieve real energy independence within five years by pursuing a pro-America energy development strategy.
Our own Energy Information Administration reports that we have access to more recoverable fossil fuel resources than any nation in the world thanks to the new and ever-improving smart drilling technologies. We have hundreds of billions of barrels of oil underneath us, and by 2020 we can and should become the energy dominant nation in the world. This could be an economic and geopolitical game-changer, yet President Obama recently nonsensically declared in a speech on climate change that we should keep these resources in the ground.
No matter how severe one believes the threat of global warming, the inescapable reality is that for at least the next decade and even with a rapid conversion to renewable energy, the United States and the rest of the world will continue to heavily rely on oil, natural gas and coal for about two-thirds of our transportation fuel and electricity. If we don’t produce our vast domestic fossil fuel energy, the world will buy oil and natural gas from somewhere else — and the terrorist networks will grow richer and more militant.
This may be inconvenient truth, but it’s an economic reality. Another inconvenient reality is that regardless of what the United States does to force-feed expensive and unreliable green energy on our economy, the rest of the world is building hundreds of new coal plants every year and drilling for oil wherever they can find it.
Mr. Obama could and should announce several emergency steps either with the stroke of a pen or with congressional approval to make America less reliant on terrorist oil and the blood money that too often goes with it.
First, immediately repeal the 1970s law that prohibits the exporting of American gas and oil. Doing so could increase U.S. production by as much as $50 to $100 billion annually.
Next, build the Keystone XL Pipeline and many other pipelines awaiting government approval so we can safely and swiftly transport North American oil to the markets where it is needed. This could create thousands of high-paying union jobs as well.
We should also allow drilling on federal non-environmentally sensitive lands. More than 90 percent of the drilling boom has been on private lands. Use the royalties to retire some of our debt and for an anti-terrorism fund.
Finally, suspend some of the more strident EPA rules that are shutting down our coal producers across the nation even as Asia is building 500 new coal plants this year alone.
For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC and AUSTRALIAN POLITICS. Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.
Preserving the graphics: Most graphics on this site are hotlinked from elsewhere. But hotlinked graphics sometimes have only a short life -- as little as a week in some cases. After that they no longer come up. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here or here
Posted by JR at 1:41 AM