Category Archives: History


…as the Millennial religion:

The Millennials can’t remember very much – and they don’t learn very much either. It’s easy being hot for socialism or communism when you actually have a very little idea of what it is and what it did throughout the 20th century. And the Ys have that ignorance in spades; one third of them think that George W Bush killed more people than Stalin and 42 per cent have never heard of Mao – but over 70 per cent agree with Bernie Sanders. Some research suggests that only 15 per cent actually have a correct understanding of socialism. It’s not just politics; the Millennials are the most woefully undereducated and miseducated generation in a very long time. To be fair, that’s not strictly their fault; that attaches itself again to their Boomer grandparents who have been in charge of our failing education systems during this time. Combine the modern indoctrination-cum-dumbification taking place in schools and universities with the attention span-killing impact of information technology and social media, and you have a barely literate cohort, which is simply not equipped with the necessary mental tools to learn about the real world even if they wanted to.

Any surprises that socialism is now nearly synonymous with Gen Y?

This is a disaster.

[Late-morning update]

Socialists are parasites.


Government By Executive

The dangers of it.

I’m as unhappy about it as I am with all the other “national emergencies” that have been declared by other presidents (many of which are still in effect). I notice, though, that (as usual), many people are only about things that all presidents do when Trump does them.

As for why the next D president couldn’t do that, I fully expect (s)he will (and would regardless of the faux “precedent” that Trump is supposedly setting). The only legal way to rein in a president (as opposed to what Obama’s Justice Department was illegally doing to Trump prior to the election, in what the guy who was fired for lying to the FBI is now admitting was an attempted coup) is impeachment. It has been used far too seldom, which is why the president has accumulated too much power.

…constitutional structure aside, why is presidential unilateralism bad? Because our system was designed to make major shifts in government policy difficult, and that’s a good thing because it lowers the stakes of politics. We had experience in 1861 with what happens when a significant part of the country believes that the national government has become arrayed against it, and it’s not an experience we should want to repeat on any scale.

But the Left seems determined to do that, even though we have the guns.

Judith Curry

will be testifying before Congress tomorrow (if she can get out of Reno). Given that the Democrats are in charge of the House now, it looks like it will be a hostile audience. I wonder who invited her?

[Thursday-morning update]

Her post-testimony thoughts:

In 2003 or so, I hired Kim Cobb at Georgia Tech. During my later years at Georgia Tech, we disagreed on A LOT of things.

But I will give credit where it is due:

Kim walks the talk in her personal lifestyle: vegetarian, rides bike to work, solar panels, minimizes flying etc. Very few climate scientists do this.
She genuinely wants climate solutions, and is prepared to work with energy companies and Republicans. VERY FEW climate scientists do this.
Here is excerpt from the first paragraph of her written testimony:

“My message today is simple: there are many no-regrets, win-win actions to reduce the growing costs of climate change, but we’re going to have to come together to form new alliances, in our home communities, across our states, and yes, even in Washington. There are plenty of prizes for early, meaningful action. These include cleaner air and water, healthier, more resilient communities, a competitive edge in the low-carbon 21st century global economy, and the mantle of global leadership on the challenge of our time. I’m confident that through respectful discourse, we will recognize that our shared values unite us in seeking a better tomorrow for all Americans.”

She discusses adaptation, innovation, energy efficiency, land use practices, as well as CO2 emissions reductions.

Compare her recommendations with my closing recommendation (slightly modified on the fly, from what was given in my previous post):

“Bipartisan support seems feasible for pragmatic efforts to accelerate energy innovation, build resilience to extreme weather events, pursue no regrets pollution reduction measures, and land use practices. Each of these efforts has justifications independent of their benefits for climate mitigation and adaptation. These efforts provide the basis of a climate policy that addresses both near-term economic and social justice concerns, and also the longer-term goals of mitigation.”

Is it just me, or is there common ground here?

The no-regrets angle is key here. Richard Lindzen reminded me that ‘no-regrets’ used to be the appropriate framework for climate policy.

It’s now almost a decade since I proposed that we come up with a regret matrix. I’ve still never seen one.