Monday, August 12, 2019

The psychology of Warmism

A group of Jonathan Haidt's disciples have made an attempt to see if there is something distinctive psychologically about Warmists.  Sadly, it was a good attempt but no cigar.  They looked in what I regard as the wrong places.  So all they found was that Warmists were just regular-grade Leftists who claimed beliefs in compassion and fairness.  If I had been designing the study, I would have looked at paranoia, gullibility, superstition and mental rigidity

Which Moral Foundations Predict Willingness to Make Lifestyle Changes to Avert Climate Change in the USA?

Janis L. Dickinson et al.


Jonathan Haidt’s Moral Foundations Theory identifies five moral axes that can influence human motivation to take action on vital problems like climate change. The theory focuses on five moral foundations, including compassion, fairness, purity, authority, and ingroup loyalty; these have been found to differ between liberals and conservatives as well as Democrats and Republicans. Here we show, based on the Cornell National Social Survey (USA), that valuations of compassion and fairness were strong, positive predictors of willingness to act on climate change, whereas purity had a non-significant tendency in the positive direction (p = 0.07). Ingroup loyalty and authority were not supported as important predictor variables using model selection (). Compassion and fairness were more highly valued by liberals, whereas purity, authority, and in-group loyalty were more highly valued by conservatives. As in previous studies, participants who were younger, more liberal, and reported greater belief in climate change, also showed increased willingness to act on climate change. Our research supports the potential importance of moral foundations as drivers of intentions with respect to climate change action, and suggests that compassion, fairness, and to a lesser extent, purity, are potential moral pathways for personal action on climate change in the USA.


El Paso shooting was a vile act of eco-terrorism

The killer’s manifesto was riddled with environmentalist anti-humanism

Is Extinction Rebellion to blame for the El Paso massacre? Maybe Greta Thunberg is? Or any one of the commentators who spends their every waking hour bemoaning mankind’s ‘carbon footprint’ and insisting we need to rein in people’s rapacious consumerist behaviour.

After all, these misanthropic ideas, this green miserabilism, this anti-modern guff about humanity being a plague on poor Mother Earth, is a central feature of the El Paso killer’s manifesto. And if Trump can be held responsible for the shootings on the basis that the manifesto echoes his Mexican-bashing, why shouldn’t greens, who pollute public debate with the kind of anti-humanist ideology that clearly moved and enraged the El Paso murderer, shoulder some responsibility, too?

Of course, to those of us who believe in free will and holding individuals morally responsible for what they choose to do, only one person is to blame for the barbaric attack in a Walmart in El Paso – the man who did it. But it is striking that the people cynically rushing to blame this mass murder on Trump and his anti-immigrant rhetoric have next to nothing to say about the killer’s green thinking. This attack is being branded ‘white-nationalist terror’ – why isn’t it being called environmentalist terror? It was motored in part by a loathing for humanity based on the tragically mainstream, pseudo-leftish idea that we are a planet-polluting force.

In his alleged manifesto, the killer, alongside his racist rants about Hispanic people and the ‘replacement’ of whites, attacks modern society for being eco-unfriendly. Westerners’ lifestyles are ‘destroying the environment’ and ‘creating a massive burden for future generations’, he says. He seems obsessed with the core element of green thinking – the idea that mankind is overusing limited natural resources. We are ‘shamelessly overharvesting resources’, apparently.

As with green ideology in general, there is a strong streak of anti-humanism in his eco-obsessions. He attacks ‘urban sprawl’ – also known as human habitation – and the way it ‘destroys millions of acres of land’. As for ‘consumer culture’ with its production of ‘thousands of tonnes of unnecessary plastic waste and electronic waste’ – he slams that as another part of humankind’s ‘decimation of our environment’. The solution? Surprise, surprise: population control. Echoing the numerous eco-Malthusians who have spent decades calling for a restrictions on human natality in order to save the planet, he says we need to ‘decrease the number of people in America using resources’.

His targeting of a Walmart makes more sense in the context of his eco-Malthusianism. Alongside clearly setting out to kill Latinos, whom he claims are ‘invading’ the US, perhaps he also wanted to attack supermarket-users, Walmart automatons, slaves to cheap consumer products – the kind of people who are so often criticised by elitist greens for their immoral shopping and eating habits.

And if his ideas sound familiar, that’s because the same kind of thing was published in the manifesto of the anti-Muslim bigot who attacked two mosques in Christchurch last year. That mass murderer also raged against ‘a society based on ever-increasing industrialisation, urbanisation, industrial output and population increase’. He criticised people’s ‘ignorance of environmental health’ and called for the creation of ‘an environmentally conscious and moral society’. The Christchurch killer explicitly said he is not a Nazi but an ‘eco-fascist’.

These vile anti-human manifestos, and the racist murders that sprung from them, are a chilling reminder that eco-extremism has historically been closely associated with far-right causes. And yet somehow in recent years, this backward, anti-modern obsession with cleansing nature of foul mankind’s uncaring, destructive behaviour has morphed into a supposedly progressive, leftish outlook. And it is now utterly mainstream, being promoted by virtually every public and political institution. That it is an outlook – an ideology, in fact – that can grab the attention of extremist misanthropes like the El Paso and Christchurch killers should surely give green ideologues pause for thought.

No green-leaning writer or activist bears even the remotest responsibility for the horrific acts of eco-fascism in Christchurch and El Paso. However, what is clear is that, in their search for ideological justifications for their loathing of their fellow human beings, both of these killers landed very firmly upon the environmentalist ideology. They clearly spied in it a moral-sounding, pretend-scientific justification for their belief that human beings are scum, a plague, who deserve to be punished. When your belief system so readily lends itself to violent misanthropy, it is time, surely, to rethink that belief system. The fashionable misanthropy of green thinking is in dire need of public questioning and public challenge.


Bring back the plastic straws

McDonald’s new paper straws are rubbish. And they don’t even help the environment

If you’ve been to McDonald’s in the past few months, you will have noticed a change. Along with seemingly every bar, restaurant, and cafĂ© in central London, it has replaced its plastic drinks straws with paper ones, in a bid to be more environmentally friendly.

McDonald’s had been spurred into straw-changing action by a combination of the fuss generated by the BBC’s Blue Planet II, in which David Attenborough showcased the impact of single-use plastics on our oceans, and the UK government’s decision to ban plastic straws, stirrers and cotton buds from April 2020.

But there’s a big problem. As reported by the Sun, the 1.8million paper straws used every day in McDonald’s restaurants are not recyclable, while the now-scrapped plastic versions were recyclable. In fact, the paper versions – which customers have complained dissolve in soft drinks, are difficult to use in milkshakes, and even change the taste of some beverages – are going straight in the bin and then into the incinerator.

This is a perfect example of bad policymaking, driven by companies and politicians who care more about chasing headlines than looking at the evidence and making informed decisions. In a bid to appear environmentally friendly, McDonald’s has actually increased its carbon footprint and has forced an inferior product on millions of customers.

Such kneejerk and ill-thought-out decision-making is common when it comes to the climate-change debate.

Take Prince Harry’s decision last week to urge the world to have fewer children. He seems to be oblivious to the fact that many Western countries actually face the problem of an ageing population, meaning there are too few working-age taxpayers to support those living longer in retirement and needing expensive healthcare. As public finances come under increasing pressure, we need more, not fewer, babies.

Yes, people are rightly concerned about plastic pollution in the world’s oceans, but we risk exacerbating existing problems through kneejerk decision making. Plastic straws account for 0.03 per cent of plastic in our seas. Fishing nets make up almost half. By making changes that make us feel good – or make businesses look good – without considering whether the policy has the impact it is supposed to have, we often end up doing more harm than good.

In order to make a lasting impact on pollution and climate change we need to have an honest conversation about what consumers want and what effect certain materials have on the environment. Plastic is a very modern bogeyman, but until affordable and effective alternatives are available, companies and governments would do well to call time on the plastic bans.


Politically Toxic: Germans Rebel Against Tax On Meat

Through human history, the basic standard of well-being has been the ability to afford an adequate diet, especially one that includes animal protein.

But, in classic first-world style, some German politicians have decided that Germans eat “too much” meat. Hence a campaign to raise taxes on meat: “Green tax on sausages a step too far for Germans.”

Germany has raised the prospect of imposing a hefty tax on meat to encourage carnivores to cut down on their consumption.

This week MPs from the ruling parties flirted with abolishing meat’s special status in the tax system and nearly trebling the levy on each product to 19 per cent. A 19 percent tax on meat!

Alongside staples such as bread, milk and coffee, Germany levies only a 7 per cent VAT rate on meat products, while charging 19 per cent VAT on baby food, restaurant meals and mineral water.

Earlier this week MPs floated the idea of moving meat into the more expensive category, in effect indicating that it is more of a luxury than an indispensable foodstuff.

I think most of us would agree that meat is indispensable. Most Germans apparently agree:

The meat tax was abandoned yesterday as the leaders of the mainstream parties fretted that it could become politically toxic and difficult to administer in Germany’s highly devolved federal structure.

The fundamental question, of course, is: what right do politicians and bureaucrats have to tell the rest of us we are eating “too much” meat so that the price should be inflated via taxation?


Could cooler years be coming?

There is an 11 year cycle, during which the sun becomes cooler and then warms again. The lowest energy point, which usually lasts one or more years, is called a solar minimum.

The term “solar minimum” comes from there being a minimum of sunspots (massive explosions on the surface of the sun), which is an indication that the thermal output of the sun is lessened.

When the solar minimums are longer the cooling of the sun is more significant and an “ice age” can occur on the earth. The most recent ice age occurred between 1300 and 1800. It was called the Little Ice Age. Unfortunately during that time the arrangement of our planetary system from 1645 to 1715 was in what is known as the Maunder Minimum (1645 to 1715) which further lessened the heat reaching that Earth from the sun. This produced catastrophic results in terms of crop loss, sickness, starvation and unemployment which led to a general collapse of European society.

The best solar science specialists and their mathematical model simulations are projecting a major Solar Minimum within the next 20 years. While all the talk today concerns a fear that the Earth may warm a couple degrees within a hundred years, we may be wiser to consider mitigating a cooler period within the next few decades.

Unlike the unwise desire to eliminate fossil fuels so as to reduce carbon emissions which some believe control the Earth’s thermostat, preparation for colder weather is far less costly and dramatic.

The areas in which effective mitigation can occur, provided there is sufficient time and resources include but are not limited to:

Food Production


Water Systems

Power (Electrical) Systems

A new book on this subject ICE AGE 2025 covers these subjects in detail.

As for food production, just as we have taken advantage of genetic engineering to make crops more stable in hot and dry conditions we will advance our knowledge to grow crops in colder conditions.

Regarding transportation, the present US urban methods of keeping roads open in winter are inadequate for the coming cold weather, but can readily be improved and advanced. Similarly most of the urban US water systems are ill equipped to deal with freezing temperatures over a long period of time but can be upgraded at reasonable expense with existing technology already in use in northern climates.

Power and energy will not be a problem as long as the calls to end use of our abundant oil and natural gas are ignored.

We are now in a solar minimum. It may be the first step toward a cooler Earth for a period of time. Different models project different dates for it, but most solar specialists believe it is not far away.

Society during the past Little Ice age was agrarian and the industrial revolution had not yet occurred. For the high technology urbanized societies today, the effects of solar minimums which could lead to “little” ice ages may be more difficult to deal with the climatic effects. Transportation, electricity, and food systems are more complex today but are managed with great advances in technology.

During the Little Ice Age, and particularly the Maunder Solar Minimum, it was not only cooler temperatures which brought chaos to society and agricultural life, some extreme weather occurred as well.

Some food crops did manage to survive the cooler temperatures and shorter growing seasons, were destroyed by storms of snow and ice or frost. Weather prediction today offers far advanced warnings of advancing weather, making mitigation protocols far more effective.

One interesting effect of potential cooling is the prevalence of noctilucent clouds over large parts of the Northern US.

As a result of the present solar minimum, much of the northern part of the US, can see astonishing blue clouds at sunset. Usually reserved for arctic areas, they are now at our door step if we are in the northern part of the US.

Could cooler years be coming?  Not only are these noctilucent clouds a different color, they have a different structure. Looking at these clouds, it’s not a very large jump to assume we can find other changes here on earth, and plant growth cycles are among them.

The most advanced solar model developed yet does project a major Solar Minimum.

Valentina Zharkova, a mathematics professor from Northumbria University (UK), presented a model that can predict what solar cycles will look like far more accurately than was previously possible.

Her model has been accurate with short term projections and she believes Earth is heading for a Super Grand Solar Minimum (that could be really cold) in approximately fifteen years.

That we are heading for cooler temperatures on earth, something quite opposite of the Global Warming movement mantra, seem much clearer than the evidence for a warming trend

The results of deep solar minimums are far more complex than simply cooler temperatures, and combined, these effects present a formidable challenge to prepare for. Taking a dispassionate focused look at the potential problems provides an opportunity to harden infrastructure against future challenges.



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