Blast From The Past

One of the moments that made me realize my old former friend known to all of you as “Dog Gone” had slipped the surly bonds of reason was their claim that gender reassignment surgery altered the patient’s biological makeup at the DNA level – that it changed gender-related chromosomes [1]

I told myself “nobody can possibly be this deluded”…

…even while knowing deep in my soul that there’s always someone more delusional out there.

And sure enough:

Part of me wants to say “someday we’ll look back on this whole period of Western history and shudder”. But I realize that’s optimistic.

[1] Side issue – if they did have surgery or medication that altered the human body’s entire chromosomal makeup, it occurs to me that curing cancer would be a pretty trivial matter, wouldn’t it?.

Purity Test

SCENE: Mitch BERG is cleaning out his garden boxes. Busy hauling stalks to the truck, he doesn’t notice Avery LIBRELLE, patrolling the alley, looking for over-filled recycling bins to report to the city.


BERG: Hey, Avery…

LIBRELLE: Shut up. The GOP’s new Speaker of the House is anti-science. I have proof!

BERG: Huh. So since the Speaker’s job has nothing to do with developing theories, formulating hypotheses, designing and conducting experiments and documenting results, much less trying to figure out how the universe “really” formed, what difference does it make?

LIBRELLE: Who wants our leaders to believe fairy tales?

BERG: Let’s ignore for a moment that theology, like mathematics, logic, physics, even history, are different ways of analyzing different evidence about the universe. Let’s say that you have a brain tumor, and you need brain surgery, or you’re going to die, but quick. So you go to the world’s leading brain surgeon – the one person who can save your life. So far so good?


BERG: That person has got to be a person of impeccable scientific credentials, right?

LIBRELLE: Of course.

BERG: So you meet that surgeon, and he explains his record – overwhelmingly successful – and his technique, his reasoning, and his plan. And everything sounds right. So far, so good?


BERG: Then he tells you he believes the universe is 6,000 years old and was created in six days by an imnipotent God.

LIBRELLE: Oh, I’d cancel the surgery instantly!

BERG: Why?

LIBRELLE: He clearly doesn’t believe in science! But why are you wasting time with a hypothetical example?

BERG: Nothing hypothetical about it.

LIBRELLE: When I know more about science than the world’s leading brain surgeon…

BERG: Your degree was in what?

LIBRELLE: Grievance studies with a minor in Sociology!

BERG: Right. Hey, look (points down the alley) I think the Gruenbergs mixed green glass in their clear glass…

LIBRELLE: (Looks down the alley. BERG makes his escape. LIBRELLE doesn’t notice, heading down the alley and getting his…er, her…er, a smart phone camera ready to go…).


Settled Science

The part of me that works with engineers knows that for every decision where engineering meets design, there is an elaborately calculated rationale.

And the other part of me thinks that the eighth-grade prankster in so many engineers has just pulled the prank of a lifetime.

False Idols

Don’t Create False Idols” is a Biblical commandment; essentially saying don’t turn God into a token object.

It is important enough to the Christian faith to rate as one of the ten standing orders for the faithful.

And, really, it’s great advice for life in general.

For example – I’m not one who creates an artificial separation between faith and science.

But if you do? If you claim to exalt reason over “blind” faith, and adulation of physical objects or people over empirical rigor?

It’s still good advice.

Remembering The CFL

No – not the Canadian Football League. That still exists, believe it or not.

No – does a nyone out there remember the “compact fluorescent light”, or CFL?It seems like just yesterday when the green mafia wheedled the government into mandating the replacement of the incandescent bulb with the CFL – a miniature fluorescent tube that screws into a light socket and resembles the “poop“ emoji.

People resisted them. They were much more expensive than incandescent bulbs, the light (being a fluorescent tube), gave people, headaches, and they were hazardous to dispose of in landfills.

It wasn’t long after that the free market came up with the “LED bulb“ – an adaptation of “light emitting diode“ technology that had been around for decades. it used very little power, it created a much more pleasant brand of light, and it wasn’t toxic waste.

The federal mandate was apparently forgotten. As has been, near as I can tell, the compact fluorescent.

I’m reminded of that when I see how clumsy and ill thought out the governments, current mandate Ridge, the electric vehicle“ is, compared with a potentially much more palatable option, the hydrogen powered car.

Government may have learned something from the CFL fiasco, of course; and that “something“ is most likely not “listen to the free market“. As the Covid lockdowns show us, “strong arming the media and big tech into helping jam acquiescence down” also works.

Things I’d Do If I Had A Time Machine

Speaking for myself?

I”d go back and try to show…

…well, not “the idiots who shut down nuclear power”, so much as the mushy minds that believed them, how much trouble and misery they would eventually cause around the world.

Of course, destroying cornucopia in general is a goal of the totalitarian left. Poor people don’t solve problems – but they do demand strongmen to solve the problems for them.

Peak Progressive

Spanish environment minister Teresa Ribera…:

  1. Took a private jet to a climate conference – her 17th private jet trip of 2023.
  2. Took a limousine downtown to get to the conference
  3. Stopped a block away from the conference, took out a bike…
  4. And rode the last 1-200 yards, as her entourage followed in their government issue “impress the peasants” rides.

It seems to be all the rage among the “progressive” “elites” these days:

Out: Greta Thunberg. In: Reddy Kilowatt

Big day for Greta on the blog today, huh?

Sweden has ditched the Greens “100% Renewable” goal, doubled down on nukes:

More than 40 years after the country voted to phase out nuclear power, Sweden is now looking to build more nuclear reactors after its parliament formally abandoned its 100% renewable energy target to meet net-zero by 2045.

“Living close to Russia focuses the mind, and the Swedish people not only wish to join NATO, but also to ground their economy in an energy source, nuclear, that is physically sound and secure, unlike renewables which are neither,” said Dr. John Constable, NZW’s energy director.

This follows close on the utterly unrelated move to bar “Gender-Affirming Care” for minors in Sweden…

…and the Minnesota DFL’s uncritical mad dash to embrace unicorn power and allowing people who can’t buy vape, rent a car, consent to sex, buy a beer or sign a contract to commit to

Borrowed Time

Some people are hopping up and down about Greta Thunberg’s prediction from five years ago:

Me? I say we’re still on borrowed time from the Ozone Layer, the hole in which (we were told by noted physicist Ted Danson, was going to kill us in 10 years.

Starting in 1988.

Ripped From The Headlines Of Junk Pop Culture

Is there anything “climate change” (TM) can’t do?

Like, spawn a zombie apocalypse?

No, it’s no the Babylon Bee:

Of course it’s Berg’s Seventh Law in effect; most adherents to the Religion of Climate are pretty much the Walking Intellectual Dead already.

The “Party Of Science” (TM) In Action

I was down at the State Capitol yesterday morning for the Gun Owners Lobby Day.

While there, I ran into a bunch of legislator friends, including former Representative, now Senator Eric Lucero.

Who told me this story, which I’m pleased to pass on to all of you now.

Anyone get the impression Senator Mitchell was a “Meteorologist” at a failing small-market TV station before becoming part of the DFL machine?

Maybe Steve Carell studied her before doing “Anchorman?”

New Feudalists Vs. The Free Market

Remember Compact Fluorescent Bulbs?

Government and the expert class all but brought them to your house and forced you to change out incandescent bulbs at gunpoint. Government tried to jam them down with by force of law, notwithstanding their cost (to purchase, and to dispose of), and their many other drawbacks.

And then, just about the time the jamdown was complete, the free market came up with the LED bulb: cheaper, better light, easier to dispose of (and they last longer, so there’s less need to dispose of them) and they use even less energy.

Point, free market!

That same expert class is saying we need to switch to electric vehicles to “save the planet”.

Steven Hayward at Breitbart spells out how there’s no rational way to look at this as anything but returning the world to feudalism.

Hate flipping through Twitter threads? I unroll the thread, below the jump.

We’re already getting there, under “unusual” (for the moment) circumstances.

Of course, yet again, the free market may well have a better answer – more sustainable (especially if society kicks its unscientific superstition about nuclear power), more affordable, and capable of keeping the world, not just the top 10% of it, mobile. More on this in the future.

Watch to see how the would-be ruling class tries to gundeck hydrogen power.

Continue reading

Cloud Control

Senator Amy Klobuchar thinks the stakes of this election are very, very high:

Sen. Amy Klobuchar was slammed Tuesday for appearing to suggest that voting for Democrats in the November midterm elections could help thwart hurricanes and the effects of climate change.

The evidence is all around us: Democrats not only think their voters are stupid, they are counting on it.

Cranking The Screws

If it seemed to you that the Administration and Dems jammed down the “Inflation Reduction Act” – an agglomeration of “Build Back Battered“ and “Green New Deal“ policies – really really hard?

You were probably right. It’s because people are losing interest in “climate change“:

mericans are less concerned now about how climate change might impact them personally — and about how their personal choices affect the climate — than they were three years ago, a new poll shows, even as a wide majority still believe climate change is happening…Overall, 35% of U.S. adults say they are “extremely” or “very” concerned about the impact of climate change on them personally, down from 44% in August 2019. Another third say they are somewhat concerned. Only about half say their actions have an effect on climate change, compared with two-thirds in 2019.

The story is, in fact, more climatemongery, and goes on to try to re-bury the lede – but between the lines, the message is there; other priorities are taking over for people in the real world, outside the upper-middle-class progressive bubble.

And if people ever make the connection between the output of the “green/sustainable/equitable“ mafia policies, and the depression in their standard of living, that’s going to be a big problem for the greens.

Poor people don’t solve problems.

Stuff Linguistics Geeks Love

Linguists determine cattle in the UK develop local accents:

In a major breakthrough in bovine linguistic research, experts have confirmed that cows moo with accents distinct to their herd, the BBC reports.

John Wells, professor of Phonetics at the University of London, examined West Country farmers’ claims that their beasts were mooing with a local twang.

And the “twang” is, the researchers say, influenced by the local human dialect.

The accent noted is that of Somerset – in the West of England. Where, as Jimmy Carr notes, if you want to nail the accent, just sound like a pirate:

Does this work in America?

I mean, I can’t be the only one wondering of Kamala

The music of the spheres

And to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings
The music of the spheres

-This Is My Father’s World, hymn

Music is mathematical. You hear it instantly when a talented musician opens their mouth to sing, or when they play their instrument. Our brains recognize the consonance when notes are played within the same key. That is because the frequencies of notes in the scale form integer ratios.

Octaves are a 2:1 ratio, thirds are 3:2, fourths are 4:3 and so forth. These combinations of notes are pleasing to the ear.

Integer ratios don’t occur by chance in random noise. We instinctively respond to the intent behind the notes, the intelligence that deliberately put the notes together in that order.

Our brains are wired to look for patterns, though. Even when we hear seemingly random noise, such as these radio emissions from around Jupiter, we can’t help but go looking for those integer ratios and the notes behind them.

But, while Nature may not play the same notes that Bach knew, integers have a surprising way of popping up in nature, if we know where to look.

The Fibonacci Sequence appears often where a swirl is present, such as in the pattern of a snail’s shell, or spiral galaxies, or arrangement of seeds in a plant.

Integers are also found in something called orbital resonance. This is where two satellites have orbital periods that form integer relationships. For instance, the Earth and Moon have a 1:1 relationship. The Moon spins once on its axis for every trip around the Earth. (This is why one side of the Moon always faces the Earth.) Pluto and Neptune have a 2:3 relationship. Heading back to Jupiter, the moons Ganymede, Europa and Io have a 1:2:4 relationship. It’s not exactly magic, it just turns out that these are gravitationally stable orbits.

The heavens sang again last night. It was quite a performance, though, perhaps not surprisingly, not a random one. The interval between successive lunar eclipses can be 1, 5 or 6 lunar months. The music of the spheres indeed. Bravo to the Composer.

Pay To Play

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

An individual who kills an eagle can be fined $100,000 and sentenced to a year in jail. An organization, $200,000. Penalties increase for subsequent offenses.

But a windmill energy company will be paying less than $30,000 each for dead eagles, with no jail at all.

Quite a deal: a bulk discount on dead birds and immunity from imprisonment. I guess that’s the price Mother Nature pays for saving the planet from global warming.

Joe Doakes

I fully (and only partially satirically) expect electric car drivers to get away with traffic tickets for running down pedestrians.

Trust but Verify

Some exciting news from sunny California… The power of the sun has now been harnessed.

Renewable electricity met just shy of 100% of California’s demand for the first time on Saturday, officials said, much of it from large amounts of solar power produced along Interstate 10, an hour east of the Coachella Valley.

While partygoers celebrated in the blazing sunshine at the Stagecoach music festival, “at 2:50 (p.m.), we reached 99.87 % of load served by all renewables, which broke the previous record,” said Anna Gonzales, spokeswoman for California Independent System Operator, a nonprofit that oversees the state’s bulk electric power system and transmission lines. Solar power provided two-thirds of the amount needed.

It is an achievement. However, Canary Media points out that there’s a bit more to the story…

Understanding the full picture requires first unpacking how CAISO calculated the 97% figure. California’s in-state renewable energy production was calculated as a percentage of energy demand after accounting for transmission losses. This demand figure omits demand met by rooftop solar, which generates power for more than 1 million California customers. Because large hydropower does not qualify for the state’s renewable portfolio standard, it is also not included in this figure.

Another important caveat: The figure does not account for all demand in California, even leaving aside demand met by rooftop solar. CAISO’s system does not include the areas served by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District, two publicly owned utilities that together make up roughly 10 percent of electricity sales in the state.

April 3 was a big wind and solar day for California, coupled with relatively low demand due to mild spring weather. Across the whole day, wind contributed 24% toward meeting demand and solar contributed 22%, followed by large hydro at 8% and geothermal at 4%. Add in minor contributions from biomass, biogas and small hydro projects, and the total renewable percentage for the day was 61%.

But even on this banner day for renewables, 39% of CAISO’s demand was met by non-renewable sources. And even at the 3:35–3:40 p.m. interval when CAISO hit 97% non-hydro renewables, other power plants in the state were running, including gas, nuclear and hydro facilities.

That means California still burned enough gas to meet about 15% of demand at the same moment that it had enough non-hydro renewable production to meet 97% of demand; again, the excess was exported to other states.

Adding large hydro and nuclear into the CAISO mix during the renewables peak yields a maximum of 107% carbon-free power that day, as shown in the chart below. During the three hours when clean electricity was being produced in excess of demand, California was exporting its carbon-free energy to neighboring states, almost certainly offsetting fossil power.

The Party Of #Science

So over the weekend, DFL representative Kelly Morrison, and other DFLers, ran a loooong series of tweets from her district (SD45, the far west ‘burbs) endorsing convention on Saturday.

Looks like a typical bunch of urban DFLers; masked up like bank robbers:

I mean, their healthcare decision, their business. I don’t tell them what to do, and they don’t tell me…

…oh, Right.

But then we move on. Her staff was certainly with the program…

…as was her (presumably) husband or significant other…

(I mean, I have no idea who he is, or about Ms. Morrison’s personal life).

But wait – apparently you go to the other corner of the building, and – apparently, the Russians have invaded, because Covid has vanished – or at least, the masks:

And then – people with masks shunted to the back of the shot?

And then, posing cheek-to-cheek with Congressman Phillips, with their masks scientifically dangling from the ears – perhaps waiting for word of Russian invasion?

Good thing the #science is so settled…

Panic in Donkville

It’s almost impossible to put enough lipstick on the porcine Biden administration. All the polls are in the crapper and the only numbers that are going up are in the grocery aisles. Meanwhile, as Joel Kotkin notes, Biden and the rest of the party are doing their best Thelma and Louise imitation, especially where the environment is concerned: 

The cave-in to the greens has increased the Democrats’ economic vulnerability, particularly in the wake of Russian aggression and the continued role of China as the world’s dominant greenhouse-gas emitter. The well-funded American environmental elite lack the grudging sense of realism of their German counterparts, who have been forced to reconsider some of their energy policies in light of the invasion. But in resource-rich America, the green grandees still oppose boosting fossil-fuel energy supplies, despite 80 per cent of voters, and an equal percentage of Democrats, favouring the use of both fossil fuels and renewables. Public support for Net Zero / the Green New Deal hovers around 20 per cent.

You don’t want to get crosswise of the ol’ 80/20 rule, but somehow the Donks have pulled it off. And it’s got the old Clinton hands up in arms. Back to Kotkin:

Cultural issues represent another fault line between the bulk of the electorate and the tin-eared elites of the party. Democrats’ have embraced what former Bill Clinton strategist James Carville scathingly labels ‘the politics of the faculty lounge’, such as support for the increasingly discredited Black Lives Matter movement and its calls to ‘defund the police’. This idea may be beloved at places like Harvard, but among the less elevated mortals it is widely unpopular, even among minorities, including two of the nation’s Democratic African-American mayors, Houston mayor Sylvester Turner and New York City’s Eric Adams.

Voters view crime as the second-most pressing issue, after the economy and inflation. Here again the survey results are equally distressing for the progressive agenda. Voters, according to one recent survey, blame the Democrats for the current crime wave by a margin of two to one. Moderate Democrats, like retiring Florida congresswoman Stephanie Murphy, herself a refugee from Vietnam, found her support for legislation that would penalise undocumented criminals got her labeled as ‘anti-immigrant’ by the party’s dominant progressive mob.

Now it may surprise those of us in Minnesota that Black Lives Matter is increasingly discredited; Esme Murphy and the KARE Bears haven’t mentioned it much. But it should surprise no one that someone like Stephanie Murphy would lose support of the party apparat; on the bright side, she has thus far avoided being called a Russian operative, but it’s early and she might still get the full Tulsi if she’s not careful. Closer to home, it will be interesting to see how self-styled moderates like Dean “Everyone’s Invited” Phillips navigate the electorate.

There’s a long time between now and November, but it’s difficult to envision a reversal of the trends. One should never underestimate the ability of the Republican Party to blow it. Still, the Donks find events in the saddle and all the narrative engineers at their disposal can’t change the prices at Hy-Vee or Holiday. For nearly half a century, Joe Biden has wanted to be president in the worst way. And he’s getting his wish.

The Next Battle

David Strom, writing on Facebook, sums up what I’ve been wanting/trying to say for much of this past 23 months:

Follow the science is a bullshit phrase, not because science itself is bullshit, but because science at best can only provide input and data on what are not scientific questions.

Science is a branch of knowledge seeking. It is not equipped to provide answers to what are in fact judgment calls. Public policy is at its root about making judgement calls–weighing risks and rewards, costs and benefits, and of course balancing competing rights and goods.

And in fact, no actual scientist believes that the scientific method is, in and of itself, superior to the other methods of seeking knowledge: history, logic, math, philosophy, and so on . They’re all just different tools to similar ends.

Science can help us better understand risks and rewards (when done well, with good data, and the right questions), but it can’t help us weigh those and come up with a “right” answer. If you have ever had a difficult conversation with a doctor you understand this. Doctors give you information upon which you make medical decisions, but in the end they ask you what you want to do based upon your own set of values.

When somebody tells you to “follow the science” they aren’t just making claims about what the science say (and in many cases it isn’t clear), but also to accept their values about how to weigh the costs and benefits.

Consider this extreme example of how important values are in making judgements about behavior (not a public policy example):

Alex Honnold is the world’s best “free solo” climber, and is admired by millions for his skill and grace. He is also, by any measure that values survival above all else, utterly insane. This is true of extreme athletes in general.

Science can tell us nothing about whether what he is doing is admirable or is just off his rocker, but if you watch any interview of him he seems perfectly rational–he just values preservation of his own life as less important than the things he gets from performing his craft.

It’s no different for a ballet dancer or football player, who both sacrifice their body and endure horrible pain to create their art/sport. They balance the risks and rewards based upon their own judgement of what is important. And obviously the answers vary by what individuals value most.

I’m going to emphasize this next bit:

Public policy exists in that same realm, although on a different scale. And public policy in a pluralistic society means that decisions about such matters are made with an eye to balancing the judgments of millions of people and finding artful compromises that garner enough support to be maintained. It’s why we have elections.

“Follow the science” is nothing more than a bullshit way to tarnish the values of people who have different visions of the good society. Science doesn’t speak to values and morals. Ask Josef Mengele. Science is just one of several means to get knowledge. A useful way. But no scientist can use it to tell you whether Monet is a great artist or not.

And yet we have bred a generation and change that believes science…

…no, conclusions given by people in real or rhetorial lab coats = morality.