Help Me Out Here

To:  Colgate
From:  Mitch Berg, Uppity Peasant
Re:  Your Super Bowl Ad


So I watched the teaser for your Super Bowl spot:

I get it.  There’s big money in appealing to the altruism of the soft-core social justice warrior.  There’s a whole generation of Millennials out there who are impressed by symbols.

And I am not one of the people who “wastes” water like the guy in the ad.  I’m way too frugal for that.

But I have a question.  Several, actually:

  1. If I did leave the faucet running, what do you think would happen (other than inflating my water bill)?   Would the water disappear from the face of the earth, never to be seen again?    Of course not; it runs down the drain, through the sanitary sewer, back to sewage plant and a holding pond, where it evaporates, turning into humidity, clouds, and eventually rain or snow, falling…somewhere in the world, usually to repeat the cycle over and over and over.
  2. For that matter, what do you think happens to the water I drink?  That it disappears from the earth for good?  No – it comes back out in one form or another; #1, #2, sweat, tears, spittle, whatever.  It eventually gets back to the environment, where it evaporates and becomes humidity, clouds, fog, snow, rain, ice, glaciers, or something.  And then repeats the cycle, over and over again.
  3. You end the ad with a young, ethnically-ambiguous girl (Asian? Central American?  Briilliant casting, actually) thirstily and heart-rendingly slurping up every drop of the “wasted” water she can get her hands, literally, around.  Now, I live in a part of the world blessed with a lot of water.  My city water comes from the Mississippi River.  And any water I don’t physically consume eventually probably gets back there, or seeps down into an aquifer, or evaporates back into the atmosphere to go heaven-only-knows where.  So please tell me; if I don’t use a gallon of water, how do you propose that it gets to that little girl in Myanmar or Honduras?  Can I pack it up in a jug and send it there, with Colgate paying the freight? Will you be holding a water drive?  How is my use of water – which, between nature and a government that handles basic services with some degree of competence, is plentiful where I live – related to the availability of water in a third-world hellhole beset by banana-republic socialists, corruption and incompetence?   Can the water I don’t use be re-purposed to drowning the successive waves of dictators that have managed to make places like the little girl’s hometown short of water, even though they’re by a freaking rain forest.

Thanks in advance.

Climate Change Via Hunter S. Thompson

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Driving SUVs burns fossil fuels gives off carbon, which causes a greenhouse effect, which heats the planet, causing global warming.

Except the planet isn’t getting warmer, according to temperature measurements.

Ah, but that’s because driving SUVs burning fossil fuels also gives off sulfate aerosols which cool the local area where they’re generated and therefore causes artificially low temperature readings, masking the extent of heating elsewhere around the world.

End result: global warming is worse than we thought because it’s hidden.  Secret Global Warming.  So hand over your money, quick!

I preferred “epicycles,” that was a more elegant solution to explain why the theory was correct in spite of the evidence.

Joe Doakes

I have a hunch Hunter S. Thompson’s legendary Samoan Lawyer is behind it all.  “It’s not necessary for you to understand the theory, or even that it be legitimate.  Merely that you keep the checks coming”.

Be The Racket You Want To See

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

What the world needs now, is tin pot mayors and local dept heads to flit off to Paris, to save the environment by telling everyone else to stop using fuel to flit about. And to agitate for more outdoor refrigerated hockey rinks so no child ever needs to know the tragedy of soft ice in a January thaw.

Idiots. Has all the class and sense of a local ordinance to condemn war in the holy land, or to admonish the Boko Harem kidnappers, or other sweeping consequential mouthings of liberal platitudes.

Check out the list of dept heads, bike czars, you name it. Anyone with a government expense account is getting in on this one. Exhibit director at the Science Museum? I suppose that makes them the anointed climate expert? What with having created from plaster of paris and scraps of cloth an exhibit that is every bit as scientifically sound as the so-called consensus evidence.

Also – look who’s paying for it. Some do-gooder group. Which is funded by tax dollars. Which are contributed by cities, run by the politicians who are getting a free vacation in Paris. Money-laundering their graft and pretending it’s noble effort to save the planet. They never hold these conferences in Darfur or Mogadishu.

joe doakes

If this were the private sector, the regulatory authorities would squat on it like a rhinoceros with diarrhea.

Unintended But Inevitable Consequences

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Britain is ahead of the US in shifting to green power generated by wind and solar panels, the cost of which is subsidized by government.

Except when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow; then they need back-up power provided by diesel generator farms, the cost of which also is  subsidized  by government.

You might want to talk to your pals on the Met Council about requesting additional funding now to establish diesel backup generator farms alongside the solar panel farms, to keep the lights on when the sun goes down and the wind goes calm. No point waiting for a crisis to re-invent the wheel in Minnesota when we can see clearly how it’s already being done in Britain.

Joe Doakes

I know that they used to have these…things that utilized huge generators and economies of scale to generate massive amounts of power, powered by gas, oil, coal, or even nuclear power.

What were those?


Repeat What Often Enough?

JoeDoakes from Como Park notes the same thing I did yesterday:

Global warming alarmists lie with statistics to panic the public, hoping they’ll react in fear instead of reason.

This article from Powerline explains how to make a chart look scary by changing the scale.

I think gun controllers do it, too. I’ll look for examples.

Joe Doakes

You can pretty much name the issue:  “war on women”; “Obamacare will lower the deficit”; Obama has added less to the debt than any president since the War; more gun laws equal less crime; the science is settled.

The Big Lie is a key part of the Democrat Party’s approach; to make up an alternate reality for their low-information base, without fear of being “fact-checked” by a media that is their PR agency Praetorian Guard.




Here’s the send-off line of Michelle Malkin’s piece on the ill-advised nature of the Pope’s jeremiad against air conditioning:

If the pontiff truly believes “excessive consumption” of modern conveniences is causing evil “climate change,” will he be shutting down and returning the multi-million-dollar system Carrier generously gifted to the Vatican Museums?

If not, I suggest, with all due respect, that Pope Francis do humanity a favor and refrain from blowing any more hot air unless he’s willing to stew in his own.

What is Malkin talking about?

Read the rest of the piece.

I’ve been saying for years – when you add politics to science, you don’t get scientific politics – you get politicized science.

I can’t see how the same doesn’t go for religion.

Settled Science

The NYTimes sloooooowly backs away from the “Settled Science” of 47 years ago:

The New York Times just published an extraordinary “retro report”—a short video paired with an article—looking back at Paul Ehrlich’s “population bomb” theory, the fear that an uncontrolled human population would outstrip the ability of the Earth to support it.
The Times lays out some of the evidence for the theory’s failure, including the fact that the world’s population was about 3.5 billion when Ehrlich first made his apocalyptic prognostications in 1968. It’s 7 billion now, and we haven’t starved, we haven’t run out of resources, and we’re better off than we’ve ever been.

Although they never really admit wrongdoing:

And the Times is still committed to an outgrowth of the same apocalyptic theory. It cites British journalist Fred Pearce: “In Mr. Pearce’s view, the villain is not overpopulation but, rather, overconsumption. ‘We can survive massive demographic change,’ he said in 2011. But he is less sanguine about the overuse of available resources and its effects on climate change.” Perhaps some day they’ll do a look back on the failure of the global warming hysteria—though at this rate, we should expect to see that some time around 2062.

Or not.  The existence of billions of people who weren’t supposed to be alive is pretty easy to prove.  The climate is nice and nebulous and ambiguous.  It’s the perfect lefty crisis-not-to-be-wasted.

Settled Science

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

One year ago . . . the End of Snow.  One year later . . . Woist Blizzahd Evah!

Well, worst in our lifetimes, which is all that matters, right?

It’s possible weather runs in cycles, but the cycles last so long that humans don’t recognize them.  “It hasn’t snowed this hard in 50 years” may be perfectly true and yet perfectly normal . . . if snowfall runs in 100 year cycles.

The reason Global Warming Alarmists have to fudge their data and shift from tree rings to temperature readings to make their models work, is because we don’t have reliable data from a long-enough time period to draw honest conclusions or propose sensible solutions.

It’s like checking the thermometer at 7:00 am and again 8:00, lowering the 7:00 am temperature to account for not being fully awake when you took that reading, then drawing a line on a graph and predicting the world will be aflame before midnight unless we all stop drinking hot coffee.   If temperatures are cyclical, rising and falling with the sun, then you don’t have enough data to support your prediction – whether or not you fudge the data – and your proposed cure won’t solve anything.

Joe Doakes

What part of “settled” are people missing, doggonnit?

Climate Of Ridicule

 A friend of mine in the insurance industry sent me this:

The Minnesota Department of Commerce sent a Climate Risk Disclosure Questionnaire to Minnesota insurers yesterday and ended up on my desk. It is ridiculous.

Here’s some background to it.

Here’s the exact survey I received yesterday, it’s a pretty standard form used by other states.
Here’s how I really want to answer. I think this accurately captures how all insurance companies ought to answer.

Your friend,

I’ll include the survey (and my friend’s answers, in italics) below. 


Climate Risk Disclosure Survey

Question One: Does the company have a plan to assess, reduce or mitigate its emissions in its operations or organizations?


Question Two: Does the company have a climate change policy with respect to risk
management and investment management? If yes, please summarize. If no, how do you
account for climate change in your risk management?

Yes, we look for industries that will are particularly vulnerable to higher taxes and fees from proposed carbon credit trading and excessive carbon taxes. In addition we are monitoring industries that are vulnerable to higher energy prices caused by an expected government policies which will force industry away from cheaper, safer, and more efficient carbon-based energy sources.

Question Three: Describe your company’s process for identifying climate change-related risks and assessing the degree that they could affect your business, including financial implications.

Since all of the scientific models predicting climate change are completely unreliable, an actuarial assessment of climate-related risks would also be completely unreliable. Therefore no financial implications can be adequately factored in to our financial modeling.

Question Four: Summarize the current or anticipated risks that climate change poses to your company. Explain the ways that these risks could affect your business. Include identification of the geographical areas affected by these risks.

Since all of the scientific models predicting climate change are completely unreliable, an actuarial assessment of climate-related risks would also be completely unreliable. Therefore no financial implications can be adequately factored in to our financial modeling.

Question Five: Has the company considered the impact of climate change on its investment
portfolio? Has it altered its investment strategy in response to these considerations? If so,
please summarize steps you have taken.

Yes, we look for industries that will are particularly vulnerable to higher taxes and fees from proposed carbon credit trading and excessive carbon taxes. In addition we are monitoring industries that are vulnerable to higher energy prices caused by an expected government policies which will force industry away from cheaper, safer, and more efficient carbon-based energy sources.

Question Six: Summarize steps the company has taken to encourage policyholders to reduce the losses caused by climate change-influenced events.

We have not taken any.

Question Seven: Discuss steps, if any, the company has taken to engage key constituencies on the topic of climate change.


Question Eight: Describe actions the company is taking to manage the risks climate change
poses to your business including, in general terms, the use of computer modeling.

We are monitoring the additional carbon-related taxes and fees being imposed by all levels of government and building these into our financial models which predict higher costs of doing business and we are planning to raise our premiums to cover these additional fees.


I think that was a perfectly useful template.

All In The Timing

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Is it coincidence that the Leftist areas of the nation are growing hotter fastest? Couldn’t possibly be that the weather monitoring and recording is tweaked the most there?

The article admits cities that rely on just one weather station are the most unreliable for records. Oh really, you think? So the relocation of trees and buildings that redirect shade, wind and other elements of the weather may have something to do with the measured results over time?

I’m skeptical. I suspect weather runs in longer than 30-year cycles. For example, Great Plains drought in 1880, dustbowl in 1930’s, present drought started in 2010 or so, all accompanied by significant temperature changes from the between-drought range.

The scientists specifically say they picked 1984 to avoid cherry-picking. Spontaneous denials make me suspicious.

Joe Doakes

Somebody needs to tell Joe that suspicion just isn’t scientific, these days.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The President campaigned for re-election on the grounds that General Motors was alive but Osama Bin Laden was dead.

Except . . . if Global Warming threatens the very existence of human life on this planet, and autos cause Global Warming, shouldn’t he have let General Motors die?

And if Islamic Terror is merely a law enforcement nuisance, shouldn’t he have let Osama Bin Laden live?

Maybe he read the articles in the newspaper out of order and got confused?

Joe Doakes

Polar Bears don’t vote.

The Global Carbon Credit

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Minnesota is having the worst winter in 30 years.  Meanwhile, Australia just had its hottest Summer.  Plainly, the Aussies are no allies: they’re heat thieves.  They’ve stolen our global warming and I, for one, want it back.

I say we invade at once, at least through April; then we can call it off and be home in time for the fishing opener.

Joe Doakes

Minnesotans who are that upset about weather could at least rehearse an invasion…

Snowed In

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Our oldest son is a Senior Chief Petty Officer stationed near Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.  He sent this photo of his front yard, taken Tuesday, February 11, 2014.

They received 8-1/2 inches of new snow with sleet and freezing rain expected [late last week].

More proof of global warming?

Joe:  All evidence supports global warming.  As does all lack of evidence, and all contradictions in evidence.

(The real question isn’t so much “is the climate changing” as “if it is, would the best response be to give unlimited power to the United Nations and groups of unelected, meritless bureaucrats to sandbag the world’s economies even further at the time when they need prosperity the most”?).


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

If global warming is causing the snow in Atlanta today, it must have been blazing a century ago when we saw the Great Blizzard of 1888 on the East Coast.

The prairies have always had blizzards, going back to the Schoolhouse Blizzard followed by theArmistice Day Blizzard in 1940 and the 1952 Blizzard. Nobody thinks anything of them – it is supposed to snow like mad on the prairie and that’s not evidence of anything.

But Lake Superior is freezing over for the first time in decades.  Duluth is having the coldest wintersince Kennedy was President.  That’s got to stand for something.

Joe Doakes

All evidence that supports global warming, supports global warming. On the other hand, all evidence that undercuts global warming, actually supports global warming.

There’s a pattern here.


Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

A global warming skeptic thinks he has figured out why the computer models don’t match the thermometer outside – the government data is wrong.  Not accidentally wrong, but intentionally wrong.

According to his January 19, 2014 blog post, the US government lowered the temperature readings from years gone by but left alone current temperature readings.  That makes it look as if the Earth was colder in the past and getting warmer nowadays.  They converted a 90-year cooling trend into global warming by faking the data.

The most graphic illustration is the fifth chart down the page, an animated chart of US Temperature that shows how changing the data changes the result.  Look for this chart on the website and watch as it changes.

Next thing you know, you’ll be saying that the Government is using the executive branch to stifle speech.

Doakes Sunday: Blinded By The Cold

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

My Dad taught himself to play “Oh! Susanna” on the guitar.  The clever juxtaposition of opposites in the lyrics made us kids laugh: “rained all night the day I left, the weather it was dry.  The sun so hot, I froze to death, Susanna don’t you cry.”

Stephen Foster may have been an early advocate of global warming because alarmists are singing the same blues today – it’s cold because it’s hot.

The reason we’re freezin’ is not the season, it’s that there is no pleasin’ the freezin’ chillun drivin instead of standin’ at the light rail station.

Joe Doakes

And then with a very unpleasin’ freezin’ and wheezin’ the light rail crashed to the ground.

Then some go-kart Mozart was checkin’ out the weather charts, seeing if it was safe outside, and some early curly-wurly sat up in his hurly-burly and asked me if I needed a ride.

I guess Springsteen was on top of the weather back in 1973…

And Then A Miracle Occurs

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The reason it’s so cold is because of global warming.  See, the Earth being so much warmer, that warm air has spread to the North Pole, where it dislodged a spinning top full of cold air that’s spilling over the nation, making the US colder.  It’s colder because it’s warmer.

True, none of the climate change models predicted this effect; but that only means we have a lot to learn about how badly humans have screwed up the planet by driving SUVs and eating beef.

Okay, I concede I know nothing about climate science so it’s at least possible the new and improved theory is true.  But adding Polar Vortex now smells a lot like adding Retrograde Motion to explain why the other planets really do revolve around the Earth.  I remain skeptical.

Joe Doakes

Turns out the thing I never learned about the scientific method during my semester as a biology major – “all evidence for AND against a theory supports the theory” – was the thing I needed most.

The Power Of Nothing

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

The Obama Administration has a 69-point plan how the federal government can better respond to hurricanes in a time of global warming. The underlying premise is the federal government should do anything. The premise is wrong, it should do nothing

First, there is no Constitutional authority to spend money to rebuild people’s houses after natural disasters. Second, there is a perfectly viable alternative way to achieve the objective of not having to endlessly rebuild coastal areas.

If you built in a flood zone and get flooded, no federal money to rebuild. And if you do rebuilt, you must build on stilts, which is so expensive nobody will do it and without government guarantees, they couldn’t get property insurance anyway. Those who can afford to build will self-insure. Attrition will solve the problem of damaged buildings and the abandoned ground eventually will revert to coastal wetland barriers, at no federal cost at all.

Sometimes the right answer really is: do nothing.

Joe Doakes

But “doing nothing”, even when it’s the right thing (not) to do, creates no government union jobs.

(Not So) Magic Mike

The bourough’s au pair

Michael Bloomberg dresses up as Ray Nagin for Halloween.

Perhaps the symbolism is apt.  As New Yorkers and assorted guests from around the world gather in Staten Island to race in the New York City Marathon, Gotham’s Mayor finds himself running for his political life.

With the Eastern seaboard in shambles, power and transportation cut off to some boroughs in New York, and 19 dead at the Marathon’s starting line alone, it’s not hard to see what Mayor Michael Bloomberg thought he was accomplishing by pronoucing that the run would continue, Sandy or not.  The Marathon has been held every year since 1970 (a relatively short time for a city with a history stretching into the early 17th century).  A continuation of that tradition could project a calming influence on a battered city and provide Bloomberg the sort of popularity boost badly needed amid his sagging approval ratings.

Instead, Mayor Mike is being seen as diverting police and rescue resources from a city in dysfunction while simultaneously diverting his attention to Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.  That Bloomberg has couched his work in the latter as due to Obama’s nearly nonexistent work against “climate change” might strike Gothamites as a sick joke from a Mayor whose lack of flood preparation has submereged their city while unleasing an estimated 8 million-plus rats from the sewers.  Bread and circuses might be the order of the day, but rat-traps, canned goods and diesel might be required.

Gotham hasn’t suffered this much since Tom Hardy donned a goatse mask.

Writing in The American Interest, Walter Russell Mead has penned what might be the penultimate political obituary of Michael Bloomberg, save for whatever New York’s technocrat-in-chief plans for the remainder of his term.  For if its anything like his third, it won’t be much:

The Mayor decided to run for a third term, but he was caught by his own term limits. The hacks on the City Council made clear that they wouldn’t give him an exemption from term limits unless the limits were lifted for everybody else. Disgracefully, Bloomberg took the deal and helped the corrupt political class destroy his greatest achievement….

The third term saw the Mayor struggle for a theme. His issues grew smaller and smaller: saturated fats, Big Gulp sodas—did Bloomberg really think it was worth wrecking term limits to campaign for these things? The air leaked out of his national political ambitions and the city waited patiently for his tenure to end.

Left unspoken in Read’s otherwise expansive review of Bloomberg’s legacy are the series of public-service failures that predated Hurricane Sandy.  The late 2010 snowfall that bedeviled most of the country snarled NYC’s traffic for days, leading even Bloomberg to sheepishly declare that “we’ve looked at some things that we probably could have done better.”  A city that had made significant progress against crime (a holdover from the Giuliani days), reversed itself in 2012 as crime stats rose for the first time in 20 years.  One of Bloomberg’s few public successes had been handling Hurricane Irene; the lessons of which apparantly weren’t taken to heart a little over a year later.

It is those failures, and many smaller ones, that strike at the heart of what was once Michael Bloomberg’s appeal – results-oriented governance.  Bloomberg may have been a cold, aristocratic figure who lacked much of a “common-touch” with the plebs of NYC, but he stood between many average New Yorkers and the army of liberal partisans who saw City Hall as Grand Central Station for a variety of socioeconomic engineering ideas.  So what if Bloomberg liked to chase grandoise ambitions of national office or dabbled in Nanny-state legislation that brought him media acclaim?  As long as the power stayed on, the trains ran on time, and crime was down, who cared if your fried chicken tasted like crap since it wasn’t cooked with trans-fats?  For most New Yorkers, it was the small price of electoral business.

In politics, like business, people are willing to pay for flaws as long as they outweigh the perks (witness the long lines for the latest iPhone).  Today, few New Yorkers will be thinking about sodium intake or banned salt shakers.  But they will be asking themselves if Michael Bloomberg cares more about his agenda than the city’s.

ADDENDUM:  Mayor Mike listens – sort of – and cancels the NYC Marathon.  But not without casting a few stones at those who criticized his decision to Keep Calm & Run On:

“We would not want a cloud to hang over the race or its participants, and so we have decided to cancel it,” Mr. Bloomberg and the organizers said in a joint news release. “We cannot allow a controversy over an athletic event—even one as meaningful as this—to distract attention away from all the critically important work that is being done to recover from the storm and get our city back on track.”


More of that universal consensus on global warming in action:

Based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations, the data was issued last week without fanfare by…

By whom?

What bunch of tea bagging wing nuts released this bit of heresy?

…the [UK] Met[eorology] Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. It confirms that the rising trend in world temperatures ended in 1997.

Meanwhile, leading climate scientists yesterday told The Mail on Sunday that, after emitting unusually high levels of energy throughout the 20th Century, the sun is now heading towards a ‘grand minimum’ in its output, threatening cold summers, bitter winters and a shortening of the season available for growing food.

It might be lonely at those “Nuremberg Trials for Denialists”.

Lonely and cold.