Monday, August 23, 2010

Junk Science II: Gore-ball Warning

Has anybody noticed that the Politically Correct crowd have stopped wailing about "global warming" and have re-labeled it "climate change"?

Gee, could that be because, for the past four years (since the sun started into a low-sunspot activity cycle) the world's temperatures have been getting cooler? Down here in Arizona, for instance, this has been the coolest and wettest summer in 11 years. We've had only 5 days of 110-degree-or-better temperatures, and more than 7 days of heavy rain. (Yes, I know this is eye-popping to all you out-of-staters, but that really is cool and wet for Arizona.) Various scientists (underplayed in the mainstream media) have finally been able to make themselves heard on the subject of solar weather-cycles and their effect on Earth's temperatures, and "global warming" is slowly but steadily being recognized as a hoax.

Not that this matters to Al Gore (whose home uses more electricity than the average suburban city block, and who flies around in a private jet that uses more fossil-fuel than any dozen citizens' cars). He and his followers are still pushing that idea that evil-evil American industry is creating an excess of CO2 in the atmosphere which causes Global War-- ooops, "Climate Change". And what do they recommend as a solution? First, "Cap and Trade" -- which is just foreign aid under another name and a fiercer obligation. Second (perhaps their ultimate goal), that the US give up all its evil-evil industry and become the world's farm. These ideas (and the concept of Global Warming itself) was first pushed by Japan, of the Kyoto Accords, back when Japan was trying to become the new industrial leader of the world's economy -- which would necessarily mean making their rivals cut back. Later it was pushed by China, which is likewise trying to become the new industrial leader of Asia, at least. Both these cultures have a long history of practicing economic warfare, and there's no reason to think they've given up the practice.

They also knew which cultural buttons to push in order to sell this idea to the US, not to mention Europe; everybody knows how concerned we White Foreign Devils are about ecology. I'm surprised they didn't push the "racism" button too.

The problem is that so many otherwise-sensible scientists (not to mention the mainstream media) fell for it -- hook, line and sinker. Or did they fall? It's one thing to say that all those "climatologists" were spoon-fed faulty data, or were discouraged from looking very far into the history of Earth's weather. It's another thing that they deliberately censored other scientists who came up with opposing data, which we now know they did. Even the Nobel Prize committee gave Al Gore and his Global Warming movie the prize, without serious peer review. Why?

Gee, could it be that all those scientists were sold on a political agenda? Did they all tacitly (or otherwise) agree that, even if the story wasn't true, it would be a good idea to bleed money out of the US and even shut down its industrial base? Are we talking about a conspiracy here, or just a common bigotry?

A conspiracy, especially when pushed by rich and powerful people who can manipulate politicians and the media, is bad enough -- but a bigotry is worse, because it can continue under its own power without anybody pushing it.

There's an understandable laziness in otherwise hard-working people who, having made up their mind about some issue, don't want to bother with the effort of digging up the facts that might contradict their ideas. This is somewhat forgivable in people with ordinary jobs, who have other things to worry about, but when it comes to scientists and reporters -- whose jobs *are* to dig up the facts -- such lazy thinking can't be forgiven. Neither can their comfortable, and possibly profitable, bigotry.

--Leslie <;)))>< )O(


Antongarou said...

could you please link to scientific resources that back up what you say about global average temp getting cooler?In Israel we are having one of the hottest summers in living memory right now, same for Russia, but the multiple of "anecdote" is not "data".

Mark Horning said...

Antongarou, the satellite data shows a distinct cooling trend since around 2002. Oddly enough, it correlates perfectly with the solar output.

Cool yes, but not wet. We have only had two minor storms all summer; fortunately we had a wet winter. Cool and "not wet" go together here though. Heat causes the air in the Valley to rise which sucks in humid air from the Gulf of Mexico and Gulf of California.

AZ and Cali have been cool though. My Apricots were ripe almost a month late, and my dad's cherries in northern Cal were ripe about 3-weeks late. It actually wasn't 100 until May, and I think we have only had a single day over 116 so far.

Antongarou said...

Mark Horning- links please?All the data I found on Google indicates rising average temperatures.

Aya Katz said...

Leslie, I don't doubt that global warming is a hoax, or even if it were not, that the people who are pushing it have an agenda and that this is why the scientific community is so reticent to speak out on the subject.

Antongarou is right to ask for the hard data. Based on localized anecdotes we can't determine anything. Here in Missouri it's been an unusually hot summer and the peaches and pears are in top form.

While we may or may not want to become the "world's farm", I also don't think we should give up farming. A nation of independent farmers and shop keepers is a nation that respects private property and personal freedoms. It's in urban environments that people are most tempted to ask the government to supply them with bread and circuses.

Anonymous said...

Aya, what, are you kidding? Farmers receive lots of government subsidies, both direct cash subsidies, and indirect stuff like price supports and crop insurance. Ranchers, too (like being allowed to graze their herds of government-owned land at below-market prices). And then there's the Rural Utilities Service, which subsidizes rural electricity co-ops with low-rate loans.

Remember lynching down in the old South? A lot of those lynchings were done by white farmers to kill or drive off black property owners and appropriate their land. There's some respect for property rights!

Aya Katz said...

Agrumer, so there's corruption everywhere. Is that your point?

Still, those who grow their own food get to eat it, and in turbulent times, that counts for a lot. And when it comes to international affairs, a country that doesn't grow its own food does not remain independent for long.

I live in a rural area. A lot of the people have farms, but they are not able to live off that, so they also have industrial jobs. I don't doubt that the Feds have their hand in every pie, but I think that minus the subsidies and the pork, farmers would be able to do better for themselves, if only the government stayed out of the economy.

Ori Pomerantz said...

Aya Katz: And when it comes to international affairs, a country that doesn't grow its own food does not remain independent for long.

Ori: That's true. However, that does not mean we need to be a nation of farmers. Modern agriculture requires a lot less laborers to produce food.

Anonymous said...

Aya, my point is that your initial claim -- that farmers and small shopkeepers have a greater respect for private property, and are less likely to ask for government handouts, than other people -- is false. If you're conceding (as you seem to be) that farmers are just as capable of asking for handouts as non-farmers, then you agree that your initial claim was false. (And where did you even get the idea that the US "should give up farming"? Nobody had said anything like that before you brought it up.)

Growing one's own food is certainly useful. Division of labor, so that one person who's good at growing grain can specialize in that, while another who's good at raising cattle can do that, and a third who's good at carpentry can do that, is even more useful. (See David Ricardo's Theory of Comparative Advantage.) It's often thought to be the fundamental basis of human civilization.

For most of human history, most human beings have been farmers, and miserably poor, on the perpetual edge of starvation. As recently as the 1950s, half of American farmers were poor. More recently, farmers have been doing better -- in 2003, only 14% of American farmers were below the poverty level. But that's the same period over which government intervention in farming (and in general) has been increasing in the US. If your thesis were correct -- if farmers really did "do better for themselves" when "the government stayed out of the economy" -- farmers would have been wealthier, on average, in the old days, instead of poorer.

Leslie Fish said...

Hi, Agru. I think you're overlooking something here. America has a lot of land that's marginally arable, or fit only for grazing. Since no individuals own that land, it technically belongs to the govt. -- state or fed. -- even though it's treated as "the commons" by the people. A century and a half ago there was no problem with free-range grazing on "the commons"; it was all free. Also, there was a lot of arable land that any enterprising person could claim -- for free, or a minimal fee -- for "homesteading", which usually included at least a subsistence farm.

Well, our population has quadrupled since then -- mostly in the cities, but a good bit in what used to be rural areas. Homesteading on federal land has ended (which is why I'm trying to get the Fan-Haven land by "mining claim" instead of "homestead"), though it still exists in some states. The real problem is that arable land is no longer free; you can't get it without paying big bucks. It's also true (as I learned the hard way!) that anyone "self-employed" must pay 15% taxes, no matter how poor they are. Given those circumstances, it's no wonder that farmers take advantage of any govt. subsidy, tax-break, grant, or anything else they can get.

It's true that farmers were often poor a century ago, but a lot of that was due to water-distribution problems and just plain poor farming methods. American farmers, on the whole, didn't upgrade their methods until after the disaster of the Dust Bowl. Nowadays, as MOTHER EARTH NEWS used to say, it's possible to subsist pretty well on four acres. It used to require 40, which is where that famous campaign quote "40 acres and a mule" came from. So the main burden on American farmers nowadays is not weather, drought, poor soil or insufficient methods; it's the man-made burden of govt. regulations and economics.

Nonetheless, it's still true that having your own land means you're unlikely to starve. If you think that farmers have always been "on the edge of starvation", think of how much worse it was for hunter-gatherers. That's why our ancestors invented farming in the first place -- at which point the human population on Earth began to rise, and has been rising every since. Yes, we need a base population of farmers, and yes, everybody should have enough farmable land to feed themselves in a crisis.

This is also why the American Dream has always included having one's own home -- *and yard*. In the US today, even apartment buildings have good-sized yards. When I lived in Chicago, I saw apartment buildings down in the slums whose residents had planted their back yards with vegetables, and even included cages of rabbits. Yes, everyone realizes, if unconsciously, that letting someone else control your food supply makes you subservient.

The irony is that "global warming", if it were real, would mean increased agricultural yields. As it is, this spring and summer, just as an experiment, I managed to successfully grow a crop of beets (which are *not* hot-weather plants) here in my back yard in Arizona. When the weather gets cooler, I'll start a crop of onions interplanted with peppers.

If the cooling continues long enough, our desert states just might become the new vegetable-basket of the country. When that day comes, perhaps we'll use Al Gore and all his co-conspirators as fertilizer.

--Leslie <;)))>< )O(

Antongarou said...

Um, Leslie, IIRC global warming doesn't necessarily mean everywhere is warmer- it means more energy in the climate system, and somewhat good indicator of that is *average* global temperature. As I have been saying anecdotes!=data. All the data I find by googling indicates continual rise of global average temperatures. As I mentioned- both Israel and Europe are suffering from the worst summer in living memory(38C in Scandinavia, etc)

Anonymous said...

The process by which "global warming/climate change" became orthodoxy in the sciences reminds me of the way that the "Black Egypt" cranks intimidated Egyptologists into support, or at least non-opposition, some years ago. Most, if not all, Egyptologists are dependent on government money some way or another, and if a large, powerful constituency is demanding something and a government-supported scholar is heard to oppose it...his job's in danger, and there's not much market for an Egyptologist who gets fired, now is there? Can't remember the last time I saw an ad for an Egyptologist on Craigslist.

The Raven said...

Scientists have long used the term "global climate change." The very first IPCC Assessment from 1990 had "climate change" on the cover. See

Scientists have long said that the warming is a global average. What global climate change translates into in practice is "more energy in the climate system and more extreme (but on average warmer) climate."

Scientific consensus on global climate change has emerged from overwhelming evidence, not conspiracy.


Anonymous said...

I'd take these cranks a little more seriously if they:

A) Explained why I read in the astronomy press (which I follow online) why Mars, Jupiter and other extraterrestrial planets seem to be warming, with nary a SUV in sight on them, and:

B) Had some solution, any solution, that did not require (by an amazing co-inky-dink) getting rid of things they hate.

John said...

Actually Leslie, Global warming will decrease crop yields.
The reason is that the grasses we eat have specific growing seasons, and specific needs tailored to the expected climate. That climate is heading northward at about 40miles per year, and will impact all species. The grasses (corn, oats, wheat, etc) will have to adapt, and most will not flourish.

For the rest, for a counter to much of what Leslie claims, see this url
search for the terms Passages, Antarctic, and 'Urban Heat Island'.
In among the tracking of hurricanes and such is much climate information, including some in the hurricane info itself.

John said...

Ok ravenclaw, you have something of a point, that it might not be greenhouse gases alone as the total cause. But those are what we can control.

The latest scare phrase is 'when the artic/greenland/tundra ice melts, the release of methane will be much worse than the CO2 as a green house gas.' But what if it is real not just scare?

And remember, Niven pointed out that the world should be experiencing an ice age now.

Leslie Fish said...

Bear in mind that not all crops are grain-plants, and that all grains are variations on a theme of grass. Grass, of various sorts, grows from the arctic to the equator. Here in my backyard in Mesa (anecdote again, but significant, I think), while I watered my beets, the abundance of water caused the local grass (Bermuda Grass, to be precise) to flourish like crazy. When I dig up those beets this week I'll have to dig through the grass to reach them. Now if I'd been raising a small goat in that backyard, it would have fattened (and, if a bred female, milked) abundantly on that grass. "Different strokes for different folks" applies to vegetables too; increased warming (if it were actually happening) would simply mean a change in locally applicable crops -- not an overall loss.

By far the greatest contributor to "energy in the system" is jolly old Mr. Sun, which has been at low output for the last four years and can be expected to provide a low output for another 16 years. This year may have been hot in some spots, but it's been noticeably colder in others. Let's see what the winter brings.

--Leslie <;)))><

Antongarou said...

Leslie- the question isn't how much energy the sun inputs, but how much gets trapped.For the last decade and a half more and more has apparently been trapped, for various reasons.

As to having various kinds of grass from the arctic down...that's just it:different kinds. and humans are dependent on specific kinds for food. Non grain food have much worse calorie/area relation, which is one of the reasons that the early civilizations were always in areas where grain flourished-like river valleys with rich soil.

Leslie Fish said...

Hi, Anton. This gets into an interesting question of nutrition. The biochemists have discovered that starches -- all starches, whether from grains or roots -- contain a chemical which signals the body to *put on fat*. This has been identified with America's plague of obesity. We would, in fact, do far better to avoid eating starches ourselves and feed our grains (and roots) to our livestock. The shaggy ancestors of ourselves and our livestock evolved eating primarily raw vegetables and fresh fruits for most of the year, also lean meat for ourselves and grass for our livestock -- and we all got to eat grains and roots only in autumn and winter, when a layer of fat was useful for surviving the hard season. Nowadays we distinctly don't need that pad of fat, for winter or any other time.

Whether our climate shifts to colder or hotter (and it's been a lot hotter -- and colder -- during recorded history), we and our livestock can survive well regardless of how the grain-crops shift. Note that Asians grow wheat (including winter wheat) in the north and rice in the south; a shift in climate would only mean a shift in the border of the wheat crop -- provided that the various Asian govts. have the sense to allow (let alone help) the farmers to accommodate the shift.

In any case, whether the weather warms or cools, we have the ability to alter our crops accordingly. Any climatic shift need not cause widespread hunger, regardless of what the alarmists are currently yelling.

Hey, I really did get those beets to grow to maturity here in Arizona!

--Leslie <;)))><