Global Warming Archives


Eric Scheie at "Classical Values" points out that the word "deregulation" doesn’t mean what some users of it think it means.  After noting that some consider it an unmitigated evil, it seems that they are making it the scapegoat for many of our economic ills when in fact quite the opposite is true.

I’m no economist, but the problem is that deregulation is being seen in a vacuum, without reference to the bigger picture, and I think the bigger picture was influenced — possibly even dominated — by something worse than regulation.

I refer to the complete absence of any standards. Not long ago, Glenn Reynolds made a nostalgic reference to the stuffy uptightness of old-fashioned bankers:

You know, we may just find that all those "stuffy" and "uptight" traits that old-fashioned bankers used to be mocked for were actually a good thing. . . .

Truer words have never been spoken and I’ve blogged about this before. It used to be that you had to actually qualify for a loan. You had to demonstrate income, creditworthiness, equity in the home, that the downpayment wasn’t borrowed, etc. before the stuffy uptight pinstriped guys would even think about giving you a loan. It was good that they were uptight. The "system" (for lack of a better word) worked.

So, what made these stuffy uptight guys decide they could get away with ditching the old uptight unfair standards that said (among other things) that some people are more worthy of getting loans than others?

The answer, as most of us know, is the government. It wasn’t as if these guys just stripped off their pinstripes and dove into the economic orgy room; they did something that’s really perfectly in character for stuffy uptight guys — they did as they were told. And they were told not to ever under any circumstances do anything that might in any way be interpreted by anyone at ACORN to have so much as a smidgen of an appearance of anything resembling discrimination. (A word denoting pure, unmitigated evil.)

Bad as the loss of banking standards might be, it’s not what I think is the overarching problem.

In my view, the biggest the loss of standards came in the form of the all-encompassing government guarantee. It was a gigantic blank check, and it operated to cover all sins. That no bank could ever be allowed to fail, and every mortgage would be backed by big daddy at FANNIE and FREDDIE meant that there really was no downside to anything, whether deliberate irresponsibility or government-mandated irresponsibility. The taxpayers would be responsible.

This may be many things, and it may of course be profoundly immoral, but to call it "deregulation" or "an excess of the free market" is absurd.

This is the same thing as when Barney Frank blamed the housing crisis on a failure of the free market.  At the time, Republicans wanted to regulate more heavily Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; two entities that are themselves a demonstration of how non-free-market the mortgage industry is.  Democrats are blaming all the usual suspects and hoping their base isn’t paying attention.

Shire Network News #169: Ian Plimer

Shire Network News #169 has been released. The feature interview is with Professor Ian Plimer, author of "Heaven and Earth: Global Warming, the Missing Science". Click here for the show notes, links, and ways to listen to the show; directly from the web site, by downloading the mp3 file, or by subscribing with your podcatcher of choice.

Below is the text of my commentary.

Hi, this is Doug Payton for Shire Network News, asking you to "Consider This!"

This is a tale of two countries.  Both have what they call "freedom of religion".  But one imprisons people for converting to a religion that is not the official one.  The other does not. 

Now tell me, which country would you believe if it told you something?  OK, one data point does not a trend make.  Fair enough, then, let’s continue.

Clearly, simply writing something down on paper does not necessarily mean that a country will abide by those things written.  Let’s take a look at a recent event by the country that has freedom of religion but doesn’t, and see the manner in which it practices it.

Two women were arrested on March 5th and later "convicted" of converting to … well, that would be telling, wouldn’t it?  Let’s just say, converting to "a non-approved religion", and we’ll let your imagination get to work.  Into the slammer with them.  [I’m sorry, but I know I’m going to mangle their names.]  Maryam Rustampoor, 27, and Marzieh Amirizadeh, 30, were tried on August 9th and told to recant their faith, which they did not.  Back to the slammer, this time with a death penalty on their heads for daring to practice "freedom" of religion.  Oh, and by the way; medical attention for these young ladies?  Not gonna’ happen.  Injury, meet insult.

The other country?  Well, let’s just say that nobody gets sent to prison for simply believing.  Sometimes doing based on believing can land you in hot water, but just believing?  Well, not even the guys at Gitmo, not even the ones who were shooting, and then released to shoot again, were incarcerated for believing.

Oops, I think I slipped up there a bit.  Well, just pretend I still have you pondering about that particular country, just for a bit.

Now, let me ask you; who comes to the defense of these poor women, still in the hoosegow, awaiting their sentence, for believing?  Not some astroturf organization trying to boost an overall image of their religion, but a group dealing specifically with Christian persecution worldwide.  The web page of International Christian Concern lists place after place where Christians are not the most welcome folks, and indeed this incident is currently mentioned on the front page.  They’re not drumming up feigned offense at perceived slights.  Bodies rotting in slums, rape, murder, physical assault; all for believing

The countries mentioned in the current articles on the front page include Somalia, India, Cuba, Egypt, Pakistan, Burma, Iraq, and one of our mystery countries, Iran.  Are you catching a trend here?  Most of these are Islamic countries with the occasional Hindu and officially atheist country thrown in. 

But Iran gets the Oscar this week for Best Persecution in an Official Capacity for sentencing to death two young women for believing.  For them, there will be no Brian De Palma movie made.  (That broad brush is reserved for the military.)  The United Nations will not pass a resolution on their behalf.  (That remedy is reserved for when Israel so much as blinks.)  The media will not report on them.  (They have better things to do. Michelle Obama’s outfits must be investigated.)  No, Iran gets a pass because Iran knows the world, and so far, the world is ignoring these potential martyrs.

And by the way, these are martyrs; people who could die solely because of what they believe.  If you go on a shooting rampage and get killed in the process, or if you get captured and sent to the Guantanamo Hilton, with 3 squares a day and your every religious requirement fulfilled, buddy, you ain’t a martyr.  I don’t think that word means what you think it means.

And finally, the other mystery country is … well, it’s any of the many countries in this world that was founded on New Testament and/or Old Testament principles — that old-time Judeo-Christian ethic — in which Western civilization is steeped.  Now, none of them are perfect because, so far, they’ve been run by imperfect humans.  But people don’t get incarcerated simply for believing, no matter the religion they’re coming from or going to.  So if you think that one culture and its religious foundation is just as good as any other, and if you think that one country’s word is as good as the other, well then I think you need to take just a bit more time to Consider This.

Climate Doing Its Own Changing

A new peer-reviewed study claims that "[v]irtually all changes in global atmospheric temperatures in the late 20th century were the result of nature rather than human activity". 

Yeah, that "settled" science continues to get unsettled.

“It goes against the orthodoxy,” said climate scientist Chris de Freitas of New Zealand’s Auckland University. The new findings called into question the politically-correct, politically-motivated assumptions driving the climate change debate, he said.

De Freitas and Australian scientists John McLean and Bob Carter reported that at least 80 percent of climate variability tracked over the past half a century could be attributed to internal climate-system factors including the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Pacific warming phenomenon and its cooling twin, La Nina.

This left little room for human-caused factors like emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other so-called greenhouse gases. Intermittent volcanic activity, producing significant cooling, was found to have been a factor.

The paper was published Thursday, following a six-month peer review process, in the American Geophysical Union’s Journal of Geophysical Research.

All of our efforts trying to stem this may be for naught.

Religious Environmentalism & Idolatry

Don Sensing has noted in the past how the environmental movement morphed from a Teddy Roosevelt conservation into Earth worship, to the detriment, in this case, of highly unemployed Latinos.  Rev. Sensing also observes that the increase in this idolatry seems to coincide with its economic decline.

God is not mocked. 

Global Warming Update

The White House has become as hypocritical on the matter of global warming as Al Gore’s house. 

The capital flew into a bit of a tizzy when, on his first full day in the White House, President Obama was photographed in the Oval Office without his suit jacket. There was, however, a logical explanation: Mr. Obama, who hates the cold, had cranked up the thermostat.

“He’s from Hawaii, O.K.?” said Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, David Axelrod, who occupies the small but strategically located office next door to his boss. “He likes it warm. You could grow orchids in there.”

Oh, well, that explains it.  Cranking up the thermostat is OK for native Hawaiians. 

Where’s Jimmy Carter when you need him?  I’m sure he has some spare sweaters.

Global Warming Update

With a hat tip to NewsBusters, a report on polar ice from this past June:

It seems unthinkable, but for the first time in human history, ice is on course to disappear entirely from the North Pole this year.

The disappearance of the Arctic sea ice, making it possible to reach the Pole sailing in a boat through open water, would be one of the most dramatic – and worrying – examples of the impact of global warming on the planet. Scientists say the ice at 90 degrees north may well have melted away by the summer.

"From the viewpoint of science, the North Pole is just another point on the globe, but symbolically it is hugely important. There is supposed to be ice at the North Pole, not open water," said Mark Serreze of the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Colorado.

That was then.  This is now.

Thanks to a rapid rebound in recent months, global sea ice levels now equal those seen 29 years ago, when the year 1979 also drew to a close.

Ice levels had been tracking lower throughout much of 2008, but rapidly recovered in the last quarter. In fact, the rate of increase from September onward is the fastest rate of change on record, either upwards or downwards.

(That rapid recovery in the last quarter is what we in the northern hemisphere call "winter".)

So all the experts and nifty computer models were absolutely wrong.  We’re not sailing ships through Santa’s workshop; instead we’re seeing ice levels we haven’t seen for 30 years.  Why were predictions so wrong?  The article explains:

Researchers had expected the newer sea ice, which is thinner, to be less resilient and melt easier. Instead, the thinner ice had less snow cover to insulate it from the bitterly cold air, and therefore grew much faster than expected, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Maybe, just maybe, the earth has cycles and this icing is just one of them.  Cycles like this are one of the reasons that the Huffington Post — no member of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy they — are now preemptively accepting Al Gore’s apology for the lies he’s been telling us.

Mr. Gore has stated, regarding climate change, that "the science is in." Well, he is absolutely right about that, except for one tiny thing. It is the biggest whopper ever sold to the public in the history of humankind.

What is wrong with the statement? A brief list:

Harold Ambler tics off the top 4 reasons to not believe "the science is in".  He mentions the vast changes in climate we’ve seen over the centuries, the data showing that rises in temperature precede rises in CO2 levels, the changing stories we get from the Gore camp, and that the alleged mechanism by which CO2 warms the earth has never been shown to exist.  He covers this last point in greater detail, including talk of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and the issue of sunspots, which have more to do with global temperatures than any trace atmospheric gas (like, say, CO2).  Oh, and he also bring up sea ice in a postscript. 

And for doing his research, other HuffPo writers retaliated with a simple link-fest and an ad hominem attack.  Speaking truth to power?  Heh, more like speaking names to data.

In the personal attack, Kevin Grandia appeals to data from NASA, but it appears that some people there have their own agendas and don’t look at the data with a critical eye.  Wes Pruden explains:

This is similar to the science practiced by Dr. James Hansen at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, the source of much of the voodoo that Al Gore has been peddling since the doctor showed up at a Senate hearing in 1988 and told ghost stories that Al swallowed whole. Only last month Dr. Hansen’s institute announced that October was the hottest on record, and then said "uh, never mind." The London Daily Telegraph calls this "a surreal blunder [that] raised a huge question mark about the temperature records that underpin the worldwide alarm over global warming."

In this account, the institute had to make the humiliating climb-down after two leading skeptics of the global-warming scam, Anthony Watts, an American meteorologist, and Steve McIntyre, a Canadian computer analyst, discovered that temperature readings from September had been carried over and repeated for October.

We should sigh, shrug and give the scientists at NASA the benefit of the doubt that this was a mistake and not a deliberate howl at the moon. A spokesman for the institute explains that readings borrowed from Russia, which had been described as 10 degrees higher than normal for October, distorted the figures but, after all, the data had been obtained from others. So we should blame someone else.

This is the science we’re expected to take on faith. The false figures – we must be generous and not say "faked" – were supplied by the United Nations International Panel on Climate Change. These are the most widely quoted readings, and consistently show higher temperatures than other "data sets." Would the United Nations lie? (No giggling, please.)

Wes notes that Hansen has done this more than once.  Fool me twice, and all that.

The globe is currently cooler than when George W. Bush took office.  No, really.  But frankly I don’t credit him with it, because the planet’s climate is such a vast and complex system that, as has been shown, we simply don’t understand it all.  Climate models have been overestimating the affect of particulate carbon in the atmosphere.  We’re having some of the coldest temperatures in decades all over the world.

And lost in all this is the sense of deja vu we should be having.  Read this report:

The Arctic ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from US Consul Ifft, at Bergen, Norway. Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers, he declared, all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone.

Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met with as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm. Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well-known glaciers have entirely disappeared. Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts, which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds.

United Nations from July, 2008?  No, US Weather Service from 1922

The idea that man is destroying the global climate is not something that should be driving governmental policy.  The science is not in by a long shot.

From Chuck Asay.  Click for full-size version.

On major things like global warming and the economy, expert opinions are good to have, but if we jump to conclusions too soon we may not have the whole story.  And predicting the future has been notoriously difficult, even for the experts.

Eco-Vandalism Now Legally Acceptable

Greenpeace vandals have been cleared in the UK of damaging a coal station.  It’s not that they didn’t do it, it’s that the jury thought they were justified.

The threat of global warming is so great that campaigners were justified in causing more than £35,000 [US$ 62,594] worth of damage to a coal-fired power station, a jury decided yesterday. In a verdict that will have shocked ministers and energy companies the jury at Maidstone Crown Court cleared six Greenpeace activists of criminal damage.

Jurors accepted defence arguments that the six had a "lawful excuse" to damage property at Kingsnorth power station in Kent to prevent even greater damage caused by climate change. The defence of "lawful excuse" under the Criminal Damage Act 1971 allows damage to be caused to property to prevent even greater damage – such as breaking down the door of a burning house to tackle a fire.

This act of vandalism was just graffiti…this time.  And Greenpeace has now been given license to cost power companies (and the people they service) $62,000 at a shot as many times as they want without repercussions.  That is incredibly foolish.

Solar Cooling

An event occurred last August that hasn’t happened since 1913, almost 100 years ago.

The sun has reached a milestone not seen for nearly 100 years: an entire month has passed without a single visible sunspot being noted.

The event is significant as many climatologists now believe solar magnetic activity – which determines the number of sunspots — is an influencing factor for climate on earth.

And how would this lack of sunspots influence Earth’s climate?

In the past 1000 years, three previous such events — the Dalton, Maunder, and Spörer Minimums, have all led to rapid cooling. One was large enough to be called a "mini ice age". For a society dependent on agriculture, cold is more damaging than heat. The growing season shortens, yields drop, and the occurrence of crop-destroying frosts increases.

The only thing worse for mankind than global warming is global cooling, if you want to look at it that way.  And it looks like we could be in for quite the cold snap.

The rest of the article is worth a read.  It includes charts showing sunspot activity since the year 1600 that seem to correlate with global temperatures (including a dip during the 1970s when global cooling was the cry of the scientists).

Global Warming Update

Monthly Temperatures since July 1989

Click image for a larger version.  Rev. Don Sensing queries, "Wasn’t it in July 1989 that the UN said we only had 10 years left to save the planet?"  Guess we did it.  Can we move on now?

Oh, well maybe not.  Sensing also points to this report (PDF) which starts:

Addressing the Washington Policymakers in Seattle, WA, Dr. Don Easterbrook said that shifting of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) from its warm mode to its cool mode virtually assures global cooling for the next 25-30 years and means that the global warming of the past 30 years is over.

That dive starting in 2006 may be just the beginning.  Expect environmentalists to have something to say about it.  Al Gore will probably not be the spokesman for it; too closely associated with that other natural phenomenon. 

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