Global Warmists Angry Half The Earth Isn’t Covered In Ice

I’ve said any number of times that I don’t believe that the case has been made for anthropogenic global warming/global cooling climate change. That’s especially true in the last 50 years as the industrial nations have cleaned up their act, well the first world ones, anyway.

Climate change has been happening ever since climate got started, that’s a different story. Is it conceivable that we did affect the climate when the industrial revolution was going strong. Yes, it is. Like the current scenarios, it’s not proven but as this article shows, I think it is more likely than the current crony capitalist/rent seeking scenario. Think about this for a while, maybe industrialization came just in time to save us from an ice age. Wouldn’t that be ironic?

A newly published study indicates human-caused global warming starting shortly after the Industrial Revolution may have helped the Earth narrowly avert a catastrophic ice age, and global warming advocates and their mainstream media allies are very angry about it. Yes, really.

For the past 3 million years, the Earth has undergone a regular cycle of long ice age glaciations occasionally interrupted by short warm periods. The glaciations last approximately 100,000 years and the warm periods last an average of only 10,000 years. Our present warm period has been in existence for 10,000 years, leading many scientists to worry that a new ice age glaciation may be imminent.

A study in the science journal Nature examined the natural cycles that cause the cyclical glaciations and warm periods and concluded that by the 1800s—after 500 years of cooling temperatures during the Little Ice Age—the conditions were at hand for the Earth to end its 10,000-year warm period and plunge into another full-blown glaciation.

During glaciations, ice sheets more than a mile deep cover much of Europe, Asia, and North America. The Nature study concluded human-caused global warming may have been the deciding factor preventing the plunge into another ice age. The study also noted that ongoing human-caused global warming may be preventing such a plunge even today.

via Global Warmists Angry Half The Earth Isn’t Covered In Ice.

Think We Can Say Goodbye To Obama In 2017? Think Again

Well, one year from today, we’ll have a new president, for good or ill. That’s up to us, between now and then. If we do the right thing, perhaps we’ll travel to those “sunlit uplands of peace” that Churchill talked about, if we don’t we’ll likely descend into the chaos, in one way or another. Either way, we’re going to be stuck listening to Obama natter on for a good many years, just like Carter, and for the same reason.

You see, if you accomplished something, like Washington, or Lincoln, or either Roosevelt, or Eisenhower, or Reagan, you don’t have to defend your legacy, others will take care of it, even if you’re dead. But if you were ineffectual, you have to spend every minute of the rest of your life protesting how great you were, like Carter has done. And make no mistake, Carter was a pretty good president compared to Obama. So you can guess how strident the coming years will be, as all the ‘true believers’ attempt to defend their failed hero.

Jack Butler had some thoughts about this, as well:

The authors of the Federalist Papers, a series of Founding-era “op-eds” that advocated adopting the Constitution, predicted this—specifically, in Federalist No. 72, which defended unlimited presidential terms. It argued that unlimited terms would keep presidents in power for as long as they could get reelected, which would encourage better behavior, as opposed to automatic removal, which could encourage recklessness if removal from office resulted regardless.

It would also limit the number of dissatisfied ex-presidents haunting the public square. “Would it promote the peace of the community, or the stability of government,” Federalist No. 72 asks,

…to have half a dozen men who had had credit enough to be raised to the seat of the supreme magistracy, wandering among the people like discontented ghosts, and sighing for a place which they were destined never more to possess?

Is there anything the founders did not think of?

He also said this:

The Cult of the Presidency

Although these examples suggest a partisan divide, the ex-presidential temptation is bipartisan, for three reasons. First, the aura of the presidency has risen and become a sort of currency, with which one can buy all sorts of influence and attention. Second, our media environment welcomes these newly elevated figures to lend authority to whatever narratives happen to duel on a given day. Third, and perhaps most important, the conventional wisdom of a president’s time in office is still forming in its immediate aftermath, which encourages the post-president to attempt to shape the inchoate opinion of this legacy.

One doubts Obama will spend his life after the presidency ‘on a beach somewhere drinking out of a coconut.’

Will President Obama resist these powerful incentives or succumb to them? Evidence from the Obama universe so far suggests not. According to The New York Times, Obama seeks a “blend” of the quiet and the loud post-presidency, as David Plouffe, his former campaign manager, put it.

via Think We Can Say Goodbye To Obama In 2017? Think Again.

Yay, us! Something to look forward to! :)

The serious lesson in here is that the president  has less power than we (and the candidates, usually) think he really has to change things, that’s why we endured as long as we have.

Are Low Oil Prices Good or Bad? Yes

0621_WTIC_Crude_Oil_Prices_Per_Barrel_HistoryIt seems that oil prices, like climate temperatures, are an all-purpose villain, when they go up they hurt the economy, and when they go down, they hurt the economy, and when they stay put, they are a drag on the economy. Steven Hayward had something to say about it yesterday.

There’s just no pleasing some people.

When oil and gasoline prices at the pump are high, liberals (and Bill O’Reilly) complain that the oil companies are gouging us, even though certified enlightened opinion among environmentalists is that cheap oil and fuel prices are bad because it encourages consumption and makes it harder for their (subsidized) renewable energy unicorns to compete in the marketplace. I still have somewhere the New York Times headline from 1991, the second-to-last time oil prices were this low, that read “Low Oil Prices Are Bad, Some U.S. Experts Say.”

“Experts” would say that. That’s why they’re experts. (Or “top men,” as they’re rightly called in Raiders of the Lost Ark.)

But there is a bit more to the story, that you likely haven’t heard.

Six Years Later, 93% of U.S. Counties Haven’t Recovered From Recession, Study Finds

More than six years after the economic expansion began, 93% of counties in the U.S. have failed to fully recover from the blow they suffered during the recession.

Nationwide, 214 counties, or 7% of 3,069, had recovered last year to prerecession levels on four indicators: total employment, the unemployment rate, size of the economy and home values, a study from the National Association of Counties released Tuesday found. . .

via Are Low Oil Prices Good or Bad? Yes | Power Line.

As Steve noted, it’s remarkable that Obama hasn’t told us about that, isn’t it?

Is Donald Trump is destroying the Republican party?

David Frum published an article in the Spectator this morning. It’s pretty good.

[…]The day after the State of the Union, I’ll take the train to New York to debate opposite David Miliband at the IQ Squared Series. The motion: ‘The United States should accept 100,000 Syrian refugees.’ When the debate was planned, sceptics of the mass resettlement of Middle-Easterners in the West were taunted by President Obama as ‘scared of widows and orphans’. A few weeks later, the government of Germany has been rocked by mass co-ordinated sex assaults by migrants and refugees on German women in Cologne and other cities.

The first response of the authorities was, of course, to suppress accurate information about what had happened. It was like Rotherham, only in full view of thousands of people in the centre of one of Europe’s greatest cities.

Only this time… the suppression didn’t work. The truth, or some of it, came into the light at last. Past evasions have served nobody — except of course the Trumps and the Front National and all the other extremist groups that have flourished because more responsible leaders have ignored or denied urgent voter concerns.

via America notebook: How Donald Trump is destroying the Republican party » The Spectator.

That in one way is the meat of the article. It’s very true, the trouble with covering things up, as we’ve known since at least Nixon, is that whatever you want to cover-up is not good wine: it doesn’t get better with age. This immigrant thing in Europe has the power to deliver them right back to the ’30s if they aren’t careful. Increasingly, I’m beginning to feel that the Britsh referendum on the EU is redundant, the EU itself is about to implode, leaving a continent of angry people behind.

What happens then, is anybody’s idea, but it’s unlikely to be pretty.

Frum’s main point, and it is not unconnected, is that Trump seems to be running like a buzzsaw through the Republican candidates. Trump is hardly my candidate, I consider him a sleazy crony capitalist. But the answer to that is that he didn’t write the rule, but he played the game to win, and did. Fair enough, I guess. Would I vote for him? Maybe. I would vote for Mickey Mouse before I voted for any of the Democratic nominees this year. I don’t think, or more importantly, believe that any of them have the best interest of the US as their main goal. That is completely unacceptable to me. Obama is going to leave a hell of a mess behind him to clean up, and that is the first prerequisite.

But there are some very good republican candidates in the campaign, who, I think, would be quite good presidents, especially to my mind, Ted Cruz. There are also clunkers, who would make me consider Trump on a third party. We’ll simply have to see.

Then there is the headline, “Is Donald Trump Destroying the Republican Party?” You know, I don’t know. I do know this. the party has long since lost touch with people like me. Like everybody, I liked Ike, but unlike the Republicans I liked Goldwater, and Reagan I adored. So maybe it is time for the GOP to join the Whigs on the scrapheap of history, if he does that, it may come to seem Donald trump’s signal gift to history, because I think the GOP is pretty much played out, and as obsolete as a buggy whip.

All that said what we really need is Calvin Coolidge, but who would listen to a man who spoke softly these days?

The tectonic plates shift?

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I grew up, as most of us did, in a world where the Cold War was a constant. In between the bouts of anxiety at times like Cuba or the deployment of Cruise Missiles, it was almost restful, if that’s not too odd a way of putting it. You knew where you were, who the bad guys were, and that we were the good guys; you could tell because no one much was taking huge risks with life and limb to climb the Berlin Wall to go their way. Sure, there were some leftists who saw it differently, but not even they were knocking at the door of the Soviet Embassy to say ‘let me in’. So, when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan (learning nothing from what had happened to the Brits when they did it in the nineteenth century) we rushed to help those fighting them – fellow called bin Laden even got a celebratory write up as a freedom-fighter. But it turned out the world was more complicated, and it turned out that the Cold War was not for ever, and as it receded into history, like a flood when the waters go, it left some odd stuff on the road. But we still assumed one thing, the USA, and NATO, were top dogs, we’d won and the world would be the safer for it. We could disarm a bit, spend less on the military, and concentrate on the stuff that really mattered, climate change. But history had not ended, and the tectonic plates are shifting. Our perceptions have not caught up, and unless they do, there will be hell to pay.

Old perceptions said that the USA could reset it relations with Russia and with the Middle East, but they seem to have blinded US policy makers to the reality we were now in a multi-polar world – and one where American perceptions of what mattered were not the only game in town. In this situation, a background in community organising was not the perfect cv for what was needed.

As it transpired it was not Obama’s old bogey – old white men – who held on to their religion and guns, about whom he really should have been worrying; nor was Islam quite what he’d been taught it was. It was the Shiite Muslims, who had collected quite a lot of our guns in Iraq, and who took their religion with lethal seriousness, we should have been worrying about. We read the “Arab spring” through the lenses of our secular preoccupations – liberal democracy was on its way we thought; the Islamists knew that ‘one man one vote’ might well give them a chance of power and took it in places like Egypt, and tried to in Syria. The Iranians, always happy to help their fellow Shiites, were happy to stir up trouble. The Russians, always happy to stir up trouble, added their bit too. Anything to distract us from the fact they’d just seized the Crimea and part of the Ukraine.

All this was clearly bewildering for our policy-making elites. This was not what they had trained for, this was not in their text-books or games. It looked as though the US was no longer the most powerful actor. That was because the tectonic plates were shifting. Power is often a matter of perception. In reality the British presence east of Suez was never very great in terms of armed forces. but the Powers of the region were frightened of British power, so they didn’t test that. When the Japanese did in 1941/2 the whole edifice collapsed at once – and not even Churchill thought it could be reconstructed. Obama has given the impression that America isn’t much interested in the rest of the world except as far as climate change is concerned, so the Chinese, the Russians and the Iranians have taken the cue. There’s no point having lethal power on the scale America has it if you are thought never likely to use it. No one thinks Obama will use it, and no one would believe him if he said otherwise.

Those in Europe – and America – who did not want the USA to be the world’s sheriff have gotten their wish. Hope they’re happy with it – many of us aren’t and want our sheriff back. But whether he comes back or not, if he does, he’s going to find the change in the tectonic plates hard to deal with. The landscape has changed, and unless our policy-makers come to terms with this, it is only going to get worse.

Democracy and disillusionment

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Well, friends, dear Neo is back, and safe and sound from his trip across these United States; whatever the disadvantages of air travel, it sure has one big plus – time (and usually money too). 2016 will be an election year in the USA, and since that’s Neo’s province, I’ll let him cover it as and when he’s ready. I’d like to thank you all for your forbearance with me, and leave you with a few political thoughts to pave the way for ‘business as usual’ (though I shall be back).

Across the Western world democracy is under threat – not from other ideologies (though there are such) but from its own imperfections.. In order to win votes, politicians have promised things, things which they have been unable to deliver, and things which they must have known at the time were undeliverable. Raised hopes get you into office, failure to meet them can get you unelected and the next guy comes along and repeats the trick. The net result is disillusionment. Aristotle warned that one of the results of a democratic constitution would be that demagogues would outbid each other to bribe the people with other people’s money; what he failed to foresee was that they would eventually bribe them with their own money.

It sometimes seems that politics is all about economics, but most economic decisions are political ones in the end – and politics is about vision – which is one reason Obama became President. His main Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, offered a kind of bureaucratic efficiency (despite having no record in that area), where Obama offered an uplifting message of ‘hope’. But what do you do when hopes are dashed? Ruling, General de Gaulle used to say, is choosing. Once in office, people generally find it harder to govern than they imagined, and the room for initiatives is far less than they imagined in the heady irresponsibility of opposition.

Here in the UK, the Conservative Party defied the pollsters and won an outright victory, but I doubt even Mr Cameron thought it was because of enthusiasm for his message. It was largely a negative result – that is too few people could see the Labour leader as Prime Minister, the Labour Party lost nearly all its seats in Scotland, and the electoral system ensured that despite getting millions of votes, the UK Independence Party failed to win more than one seat. There was no ringing endorsement of the Conservatives, more a resigned recognition that in times of austerity it was better to stick with nurse for fear of finding something worse. It is fashionable in the UK to say that the new and very left-wing Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, hasn’t a cat in hell’s chance of winning the next election, and I daresay fashion has it right. But his anti-politics as usual message is putting together a coalition of the discontented and the young, and depending on what happens on the political front in the next four years, it could be one which gathers momentum.

Mr Corbyn is a mirror image, politically, of Donald J Trump, but they are both products of a discontent with a ruling elite which seems out of touch with anything but its own interests. Both men appeal to a wider sense of what politics is about, and both seek to draw in those who feel disenchanted and disenfranchised. There the parallel ends. Donald J Trump appeals to an older vision of America and rejects political-correctness, whilst Mr Corbyn is painfully politically correct – it will be interesting to see which vision gains traction in this year.

But for millions of us, it still seems as though whatever is going on in politics is primarily about political elites positioning themselves for power. For all the insurgent rhetoric, Donald J Trump is hardly everyman, and for all his talk about ‘the people’, Mr Corbyn comes from a comfortable middle-class background and has never had a job outside politics. The more they talk of change, the more we count our tea-spoons!

Happy New Year to us all!

 

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