American Elephants

Panics, Crazes, Manias and Fads. by The Elephant's Child
November 19, 2008, 9:43 pm
Filed under: Energy, Environment, Liberalism | Tags: , , ,


The Wall Street Journal today reviewed a new book called Plumes about the fashion craze for ostrich feathers from roughly 1905 to 1914. Ostrich plumes adorned women’s hats, capes, gowns, gloves, shoes and more and it was thought (as in all crazes) that it would last forever.

The famous Tulip mania of 1634 didn’t last so long, but speculation reached dizzying heights.  One collector paid 1,000 pounds of cheese, four oxen, eight pigs, 12 sheep, a bed and a suit of clothes for a single Viceroy tulip bulb.

The demand for beaver hats in England led to our mountain men braving the dangers of the Rockies in the search for fur. The desire for warm beaver hats coincided with the Little Ice Age.  The greatest fur trading company received its charter in1670, just three years before there was a record of ice three feet thick on the Thames River in London.

There are little crazes too, that come and go fairly quickly. Do you remember pet rocks?  Or mood rings? Most of us have only to look back at our high school yearbooks to cringe and remember a few more fads.

Back in the 70s there was a fear that we were entering another ice age for the planet had cooled slightly.

On Monday, NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, which is one of four bodies responsible for monitoring world temperatures, and is run by Al Gore’s chief scientific ally, Dr. James Hansen, announced that last month was the hottest October on record.

This was astonishing.  It had snowed in Boise.  On the day that they were debating climate-change legislation in London, it snowed.  China reported that Tibet had suffered its “worst snowstorm ever”. NOAA had registered 115 lowest-ever temperatures in the US.

These temperature records are used by scientists all over the world in their work.  What happened?  The freak figures were not based on October readings at all, they had just repeated the figures from the previous month.  When that was promptly caught, GISS began hastily revising its figures, and claimed to have discovered a new “hotspot” in the Arctic. Then they said they did not have the resources to maintain proper quality control over their incoming data.

Dr. Hansen set the whole “global warming” scare going in 1988 with his summer testimony to a US Senate committee chaired by Al Gore.  In 2007, he was forced to revise his published figures for US surface temperatures to show that the hottest decade was not the 1990s, as he had claimed, but the 1930s.

Professor Bob Carter points out in Quadrant that:

Climate change knows three realities: science reality, which is what working scientists deal with every day; virtual reality, which is the wholly imaginary world inside computer climate models; and public reality which is the socio-political system within which politicians, business people and the general citizenry work.

The global warming scare is slowly coming apart. The science reality is negating the virtual reality, and the public is becoming dubious.

Fads, crazes and manias come and go. Some last far longer than they should and do far more damage because politicians get involved.

This particular craze has consumed vast funds, and promises to consume far, far more.

9 Comments so far
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Since all of our cars emit carbon monoxide, how isn’t that a problem, eventually?

This isn’t a topic to be taken lightly and comparing the possibility of global warming to mood rings and pet rocks is absurd.

\*two cents*/


Comment by Daniel

You are correct, it isn’t a topic to be taken lightly; history shows us that liberals with ill-conceived notions in their heads can do a great deal of damage. Now they are threatening to do great damage to America’s, and in turn, the world economies over a myth, that is every bit as much a fad as pet rocks or mood rings, except mood rings and pet rocks, unlike global warming, existed outside of highly flawed computer programs and the minds of liberals. And pet rocks and mood rings never threatened to thrust millions of people world-wide into poverty and starvation as liberals will do, if allowed, by crippling the US economy with wrongheaded regulation.

Are you aware that the global temperature has decreased dramatically over the last 10 years, and that last year was the coldest year on record since 1900? Are you aware that the United States reduced emissions of so-called “greenhouse” gasses in all of the past 8 years by far more than any nation in Europe?

Are you aware that throughout history carbon dioxide increases have always come after global warming, and not before?

Are you aware that the computer models upon which EVERY single global warming claim is based have been proven, in peer review studies to be so completely flawed that they cant even accurately predict our current known climate conditions? let alone the future?

Are you aware that water vapor (aka clouds) accounts for approximately 98% of all so-called “greenhouse” gasses, and scientists dont even take it into consideration in their computer models because they dont know how to?

Are you aware that the scientists pushing global warming, assuming for the sake of argument that all their theories were true, are completely unable to say that the climate wouldnt compensate for increases in greenhouse gasses by itself?

So, yes, it is very serious business. Liberals are once again threatening millions of very real people because of their beliefs in false gods.

And by the way, carbon DI-oxide is the supposed “greenhouse gas”, and even then it is only a trace gas, and makes up only 0.03% of the atmosphere. Of that humans only are responsible for approximately 0.3% of the 0.03%. And yes, our cars emit Carbon dioxide, but you are also emitting it right now. And plants eat it.

And while cars also emit carbon MON-oxide, as you mentioned, it is not an active “greenhouse” gas because A) its only a trace, trace, trace gas which makes up a tiny fraction of the tiny fraction of the atmosphere that CO2 makes up and
B) It doesnt remain in the atmosphere long, it reacts with other gasses and dissipates.

So yes, like pet rocks, mood rings, the Ice Age scare of the 1970’s, the DDT hyteria, the ALAR scare, and so much else that liberals believe, “global warming” is a fad. And a very dangerous one.


Comment by American Elephant

The first thing that clued me in that this global warming hysteria might be a hoax was the first comments like “it’s warmer now than it has been in 200 years.” Uh, OK. But what caused it to be so hot 200 years ago?


Comment by Demosthenes

how come reducing the size of our footprint is a bad thing?

Wouldn’t that goal create jobs and save the average person money?

If scientists don’t KNOW exactly what our weather is doing then how is it you do?

Also, pet rocks and mood rings DO ruin the economy since money is ultimately worth whatever you buy with it.


Comment by Daniel

You are assuming, Daniel, that carbon dioxide is a pollutant. It is not (despite the silly Supreme Court ruling) We exhale carbon dioxide. Plants use it to grow. It is a good thing. Increases in carbon dioxide FOLLOW warming temperatures by as much as 800 years, and thus cannot be the cause of warming. The carbon dioxide in the atmosphere comes from the oceans which release CO2 as they warm, take in CO2 when they cool.

If we reduce our “footprint” enough to affect the CO2 in the atmosphere, we would have to reduce our economy and lifestyle to that of Haiti or an even poorer economy. But the earth has been much warmer in the past, and there have been much higher concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere in the past without ill effects. In fact the warmer periods — the Medieval Warm Period was the finest weather known to man. It has also been much colder in the past — the Dark Ages, the Little Ice Age.

If you destroy a job in the coal industry, and gain a job building solar panels, there has been no increase in jobs. Look up Bastiat’s “Broken Windows” theory.

Pet rocks and mood rings were big fads very briefly, but probably never made it onto the economy destroying list.

I’m not a scientist, but I am a good reader.


Comment by elephantschild

Forget carbon and every other chemical waste of modern society. I think it’s obvious that we are heating up the planet merely by existing. Every match you’ve ever lit has changed our atmosphere. Every campfire has altered our weather in a very minuscule way. Even your body temperature is affecting our overall atmospheric temperature. Now, think about how many people there are compared to, say, 1000 years ago. So, yes, we Are slowly warming the globe and no, since we don’t fully understand the affect temperature has on weather patterns, we shouldn’t take it likely.

Two consequences we do know: more hurricanes and a higher sea level. Those aren’t things to be taken lightly.

Besides, I’d rather take action and be wrong than the alternative.


Comment by Daniel

Both Barbara Streisand and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. are deeply concerned about increased hurricane activity. You hear more about hurricane damage because more people have gone to live on the hurricane coasts. Max Mayfield, the current director of the National Hurricane Center, Neil Frank, the previous director of the Hurricane Center, Chris Landsea, the leading hurricane researcher, and Bill Gray, the famous seasonal hurricane forecaster doubt that manmade global warming is to blame for increased hurricane activity. 2004 and 2005 were above average, 2006 was below average. The fact that Al Gore purchased a waterfront condo in San Francisco should relieve your mind about higher sea levels. If not, then, the fact that sea level rise is measured in centimeters, not feet should help.

I recommend the book “Climate Confusion” by Roy W. Spencer highly. He is an important scientist with a PhD in Meteorology whose observational research is at the leading edge of climate science. The book is very clear on what we know and what we don’t know, and very accessible. Easy reading and quite enjoyable.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

How about this then:
Forget whther or not temperature is increasing or not. We are indeed polluting the earth and since what may come out of a belief in global warming (alternate sources of energy and a less polluted environment) we should believe in it whether it’s true or not.

Have you heard of garbage island?


Comment by Daniel

Daniel, you are confusing global warming or climate change with pollution of the environment. This is a fallacy that is usually a result of incorrect thinking about the “greenhouse effect” which has nothing whatsoever to do with pollution.

Yes, I am familiar with “garbage island”. Pollution problems are local, and amenable to correction. If you have a sewer running into a lake and polluting the water, you can deal with that specific problem. Some problems are more difficult, but they are not insurmountable. Read Bjorn Lomborg’s two books, keeping in mind that he is a statistician, not a climate scientist. He simply accepts the IPCC figures on global warming.

At present, there is no viable alternate source of energy. None. Wind energy requires a constant back-up of coal or gas-fired electricity, because the wind blows only intermittently, and blows at the right speed only intermittently.

At present 45% of our electric power comes from coal-fired power plants. We have enough coal to last for over 300 years. Clean coal is quite possible, but Obama has said that he is going to bankrupt the coal-fired industry so that coal power will become so expensive that we will turn to alternate energy. This just plain doesn’t make sense, but it is a demand from environmental activists who have backed him. There is serious doubt that wind power will ever be a significant source of power, and the same goes for solar. There are innovations in both fields, but an attempt to force a “switch” to “clean alternatives” by shutting down our present power supply borders on insanity. This is what they are doing in Britain, and they may be killing off the old and the poor in the process. The world is cooling, and far more people die from cold than from heat. More than one person has called this “committing national suicide”. As I keep saying, don’t take my word for it. Do your homework.


Comment by The Elephant's Child

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