Overpowered By Smug

In one of the most glorious moments in the history of cable television, the late Christopher Hitchens told Bill Maher’s audience – basically the same species of smug droogs that dutifully clap on command, just like Jon Stewart’s and Steven Colbert’s and Samantha Bee’s audiences, and those at pretty much every other liberal Bread and Circus show.


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Hitchens didn’t stanch the wave of smug liberals – indeed, they’ve only gotten worse since they’ve been relegated to the minority.

The left’s trait – condescend first (often, lately, by smugly wrapping themselves in a “scientific” banner that few understand and fewer still earn – has been most egregiously on display in last weeks’ flap over Bret Stephens’ apostasy on climate change.

David French on the Smug Liberal plague and Stephens:

Let’s be clear about what Stephens actually said. Here’s his summary of the current state of climate science: While the modest (0.85 degrees Celsius, or about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit) warming of the Northern Hemisphere since 1880 is indisputable, as is the human influence on that warming, much else that passes as accepted fact is really a matter of probabilities. That’s especially true of the sophisticated but fallible models and simulations by which scientists attempt to peer into the climate future. Here’s the translation: Science teaches us that humans have helped cause global warming, but when we try to forecast the extent of the warming and its effects on our lives, the certainty starts to recede. In addition, the activism has gotten ahead of the science. Indeed, Stephens even quotes the New York Times’ own environmental reporter, Andrew Revkin, who has observed that he “saw a widening gap between what scientists had been learning about global warming and what advocates were claiming as they pushed ever harder to pass climate legislation.” Not only did the “hyperbole” not “fit the science at the time,” but — Stephens writes — “censoriously asserting one’s moral superiority and treating skeptics as imbeciles and deplorables wins few converts.” As if on cue, parts of liberal Twitter melted down. Stephens was instantly treated as, yes, an imbecile and a deplorable. Not only did the vast majority of commentators ignore his argument, they treated it as beneath contempt.

I have yet to have a liberal at any level answer this question for me:

Let’s say, for purposes of argument, that global warming is exactly what the Warmist faith says it is.  OK – so why is “turning the keys to the entire world’s economy over to the people who’ve made the Congo a massive lake of blood” the only possible solution?

I think i know – but I don’t think they do.

Liberals?  Sound off!

Blinded By “Science”

I sort of cringed when I watched the “Science March” – because “Science” is being dragged down the same Orwellian linguistic rathole that has claimed so many other once-useful/meaningful words.

At one point, science meant “You have a theory.  You frame a hypothesis.  You come up with experiments that can disprove the hypothesis.  You publish the theory, the hypothesis, the experiments, and the results, with an aim toward allowing other scientists to check your work and see if your results could be repeated.

Today?  It’s just another word for peer pressure (from the left).

Ben Shapiro on the appearance of the loathsome Bill Nye at the marches:

But this is demonstrative of the Left’s take on science: Science is actually just the name for anything the Left likes. Worried about the humanity of an unborn child? Concerned that fetuses have their own blood types and their own DNA? Stop it! You’re quoting science, not Science™! Wondering how it is that a genetic male is actually a woman? You’re worrying about science, not Science™!

This is the dirty little secret of the Left’s sudden embrace of Science™ — it’s not science they support, but religion. They support that which they believe but cannot prove and do not care about proving. Bill Nye isn’t interested in a scientific debate about global warming — how much is occurring, the measurement techniques at issue, the sensitivity of the climate to carbon emissions, the range of factors that affect the climate. He wants you to accept his version of the truth — not just that global warming is happening, but that massive government intervention is necessary in order to avert imminent global catastrophe.

Worse?  This is just one front in the battle for something more important than science – the battle for the language itself.

And the good guys are losing that one, too.

Heads We Win, Tails You Lose

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

We took very precise, very careful climate temperature measurements that did not show the result we wanted, then ran them through a black box that nobody understands and we cannot replicate.  And what do you know, now the results DO show the result we wanted.  You can’t deny science.  

 Joe Doakes

When you politicize science, you don’t get scientific politics;  you get politicized science.

“I Will Gladly Present You The Data Next Tuesday, If You Accept My Conclusion Today”

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

When you read a science report claiming that 2016 was the hottest year on record, you might expect that you will get numbers. And you would be wrong.

 “Note to the New York Times: ‘trouncing’ and ‘blown past’ are phrases appropriate to sports reporting, not science reporting. Except that no sports reporter would dare write an article in which he never bothers to give you the score of the big game. . . . It’s almost like they’re hiding something. And that is indeed what we find.”

 Summary: Increase is one-hundredth of a degree but the Margin of Error is a tenth of a degree. So it’s all bullshit.  No, worry, these are “alternative facts” but since it’s the Left doing it, that makes it alright. 

 Joe Doakes

Narrative Uber Alles.

Unsettled Science

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

New article in Nature says the Earth is getting greener, more plants sucking more CO2 out of the air.
The article mentions that elevated atmospheric CO2 explains some of the greening but carefully avoids linking CO2 levels to temperature. But if green plants suck CO2 out of the air, then shouldn’t global greening lower atmospheric CO2? And if global warming is caused by CO2, which more plants are now sucking out of the air, shouldn’t that mitigate global warming?
I wonder if the computer models used by climate scientists incorporate enough CO2 reduction due to global greening?
Joe Doakes

The models do what they’re told to do.

Failure Is A Green Orphan

Ten years or so ago, when Germany embarked on a trillion-dollar campaign to phase out fossil and nuclear power and replace it with wind, the Greens, the Climate-Change Mafia and the media – along with a whooole lot of Green Energy scammers – applauded like Comintern members at a Stalin speech.

Today?  Crickets.

The government plans to cap the total amount of wind energy at 40 to 45 percent of national capacity, according to the report. By 2019, this policy would cause a massive reduction of 6,000 megawatts of wind power capacity compared to the end of 2015’s capacity.
“The domestic market for many [wind turbine] manufacturers collapses completely,” Julia Verlinden, a spokesperson for the German Green Party, told Berliner Zeitung. “With their plan, the federal government is killing the wind companies.” Verlinden goes on to blame the political influence of “old, fossil fuel power plants.”

They can “blame” the fact that “Green energy” is not economically sustainable.

At all.

Settled Science

When I was a kid, the world’s social justice warrior crowd warned us that the world was headed for inevitable catastrophic famine.  Some of the very voices behind “global warming” today – Paul Ehrlich springs to mind – warned (and profited greatly from warning) us that India would be down to under 100 million people by 1990, and that Africa was going be pretty much revert to nature, its human inhabitants all starved out.  Even the US was going to be the subject of “inevitable” food riots by the mid-eighties.

Naturally, the only possible remedy was to socialize the world economy.

Today?

People are wondering with a straight face if we have “too much food”, as the world has more overweight than malnourished people for the first time in history.

I fully expect to see a Kyoto Treaty for fat, sooner than later.

Extreme Measures

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

It occurs to me that the Obama administration may be quietly supporting a Final Solution to global warming.

World population increased from 2 billion in 1950 to 7 billion today.  All those extra people exhaling carbon dioxide, raising cattle that produce methane flatulence, heating their homes with natural gas, driving cars, charging their iPhones with electricity generated from burning coal . . . they all contribute to global warming.  Hey, Liberals are right, global warming IS produced by mankind: the world simply has too many people emitting too much carbon.

It wouldn’t, if we could reduce world population back to 1950 levels.  But how would we do it in a politically acceptable way?  No Blood For Oil is still a favorite Liberal hymn.

If we support policies that undermine world-wide oil prices, the economy will collapse in oil-producing countries, leading to mass starvation, reducing the population, freeing up carbon credits for Americans.

If we release terrorists from Gitmo and also foment insurrection in Arab countries, civil war will break out leading to bloodshed, disease and starvation, reducing the population, freeing up carbon credits for Americans.

If we unleash the Ebola virus in Africa and the Zika virus in South America and warn women not to get pregnant for three years, we reduce the birth rate below replacement level, reducing the population, freeing up carbon credits for Americans.

If we let felons out of prison and decline to prosecute killers based on color, thousands will die in inner cities, reducing the population, freeing up carbon credits for wealthier Americans.

Europe is getting ready to eliminate millions of asylum seekers.  North Korea is making noises – maybe a major war on that peninsula will draw in some neighbors to die fighting?  And how are things between India and Pakistan right now, any chance they might massacre a few millions of each other’s citizens for us?

Genocide could turn out to be nicely guilt-free, as it’s not a choice, it’s a necessity to survive global warming.  Settled science, doncha know?  Maybe President Obama really will halt the rise of the oceans and begin the heal the planet.  Boy, would I have egg on my face.

Joe Doakes

Omelette/eggs.  Just saying.

Help Me Out Here

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

Colgate,

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.

 

 

Uncool

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,
[redacted]

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?

No.

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.

None.

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?

http://www.twincities.com/nation/ci_25899883/northeast-southwest-growing-hotter-faster-than-rest-u

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.

Priorities

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…