CAGW Skepticism

“My personal path“:

…being English I knew all about the vagaries of the weather, but the warnings about CAGW always seemed to be made in the most certain terms. Was it really possible to predict the climate so assuredly? The global climate must be an extremely complex system, and very chaotic. I had recently heard about financial institutions that were spending vast sums of money and picking the very best maths and programming graduates, but still were unable to predict the movements of financial markets with any confidence. Predicting changes to the climate must be at least as difficult, surely? I bet myself climate scientists weren’t being recruited with the sort of signing-on bonuses dangled by Wall Street. I also thought back to the ice age scare, which was not presented as an absolute certainty. Why the unequivocal certainty now that we would only see warming, and to dangerous levels? It all started to sound implausible.

The whole thing also seemed uncertain on the simple grounds of common sense. Could mankind really force such a fundamental change in our environment, and so quickly? I understood that ice ages could come and go with extreme rapidity, and that following the scare of my childhood, no one seriously claimed to be able to predict them. So in terms of previous natural variability, CAGW was demonstrably minor in scale. It seemed obvious that if natural variability suddenly switched to a period of cooling, there would be no CAGW no matter what the effect of mankind on the atmosphere. Even more fundamentally, how could anyone really be certain that the warming then taking place wasn’t just natural variability anyway? The reports I read assured me it wasn’t, but rarely in enough detail to allow me to decide whether I agreed with the data or not.

The other thing that really got me thinking was seeing the sort of people that would appear on television, proselyting about the coming tragedy that it would imminently become too late to prevent. Whether from charities, pressure groups or the UN, I knew I had heard their strident and political use of language, and their determination to be part of the Great Crusade to Save the World before. These were the CND campaigners, class war agitators and useful fools for communism in a new guise. I suddenly realised that after the end of the Cold War, rather than slinking off in embarrassed fashion to do something useful, they had latched onto a new cause. The suggested remedies I heard them espouse were always socialist in approach, requiring the installation of supra-national bodies, always taking a top-down approach and furiously spending other peoples’ money. They were clearly eager participants in an endless bureaucratic jamboree.

And remain so.

Obama’s Speech

…is a confession of impotence:

If you listened closely, the speech seemed like a confession that the president knows he can’t do much. The deep problems afflicting America — social and economic breakdown in inner cities and rural areas; rising economic insecurity; widening gulfs between ideologies, regions, and socioeconomic classes — are simply far beyond the president’s reach.

They’re particularly beyond this president’s reach, given the economic insanity of his fundamental ideology.

And then, there’s the completely unjustified arrogance and contempt for us and our intelligence:

Obama’s speech was a dreadful, cliché-ridden piece of writing. Here’s our favorite bit: “Rather than reduce our deficits with a scalpel–by cutting programs we don’t need, fixing ones we do, and making government more efficient–this same group has insisted on leaving in place a meat cleaver called the sequester that has cost jobs, harmed growth, hurt our military, and gutted investments in American education and scientific and medical research that we need to make this country a magnet for good jobs.”

Because as Ben Franklin sagely observed, you can’t make a magnet with cloven meat.

But wait. It’s worse than that. He’s criticizing “this same group” for leaving in place a meat cleaver. What happens when you leave a cleaver in place? Nothing!

“With an endless parade of distractions, political posturing and phony scandals, Washington has taken its eye off the ball,” the president harrumphed. There’s an image for you. Where exactly is the ball relative to the parade route?

Also, which scandals exactly are “phony”? The biggest scandal is the one that raises serious questions about the legitimacy of Obama’s re-election. Here is what President Asterisk himself had to say on the subject way back on May 13: “If you’ve got the IRS operating in anything less than a neutral and non-partisan way, then that is outrageous, it is contrary to our traditions. And people have to be held accountable, and it’s got to be fixed. . . . I’ve got no patience with it. I will not tolerate it.”

We’re sure his outrage over the phony scandal was genuine.

Yes. As genuine as most things he says. Though, as noted, he is occasionally honest:

On the other hand, Obama’s certitude about his own superiority, his utter contempt for his political adversaries, even for those whose priorities differ from his–now that’s genuine. It is the central feature of his political character, and the proximate cause of–pardon the cliché–Washington’s current “dysfunction.”


The Irony-Challenged Senator From Florida

I just got an email from someone will remain anonymous, to protect the guilty:

This weekend the Washington Post had this marginally interesting article on the Congressional resistance/support for the asteroid mission.

But buried within is a prizewinning quote from the irony-challenged senior Senator from Florida.

Nelson, the Florida senator who is a key advocate for NASA and the administration’s strategy, criticized the Republicans in the House for overreaching.

“A committee of politicians doesn’t know better than the experts in aerospace and science,” Nelson said.

This from a Senator who personally sponsored legislation forcing NASA to build a shuttle-derived heavy-lift launch vehicle, and when they balked, bullied NASA’s senior management to build that “monster rocket” (his phrase) despite their showing him that it didn’t fit in the budget. And that was before sequestration.

I guess committees of politicians are only experts in designing rockets, not in choosing where to send them.


Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!