American Elephants

In Which I Expose the Reason Why, More or Less. by The Elephant's Child

In his first inaugural address, Obama promised to “restore science to its rightful place.” Steven Hayward reminded us of that in a piece over at Powerline, and I remembered how the Democrats were all riled up about George W. Bush’s apparent lack of knowledge about science.

I had to really stop and think — to remember where that one came from. It was stem cells. Bush limited any investigation of embryonic stem cells to existing lines.  Christopher Reeve was promoting stem cell therapy in hopes of walking again, and Bush was considered anti-science because of his decision. Embryonic stem cells proved unsuitable anyway because they caused cancerous growths, among other problems.

Obama has been thrilled with the appointment of John Holdren as his science advisor. “He’s a real physicist,” Obama gushed. “If I have a question about science, all I have to do is call him up and he’ll explain it.”

Holdren-copy.jpg,qresize=200,P2C181.pagespeed.ce.GL8CVD06KeJohn Holdren is a neo-Malthusian, still expecting gloom and doom and overpopulation. It is a mindset for some, who are sure that really bad things always lurk just around the corner. Robert Bradley wrote about Holdren over at Master Resource, for Halloween, with some of Holdren’s better quotes.

“As University of California physicist John Holdren has said, it is possible that carbon-dioxide climate-induced famines could kill as many as a billion people before the year 2020.”

“Today the frontiers are gone, and the evidence is mounting that technology cannot hold the law of diminishing returns at bay much longer. Resources being stressed today are often being stressed globally; they will not be replenished from outside the “system’.”

“We are not, of course, optimistic about our chances of success. Some form of ecocatastrophe, if not thermonuclear war, seems almost certain to overtake us before the end of the century. (The inability to forecast exactly which one – whether plague, famine, the poisoning of the oceans, drastic climatic change, or some disaster entirely unforeseen – is hardly grounds for complacency.)”

“[Our] “gloomy prognosis” [requires] organized evasive action: population control, limitation of material consumption, redistribution of wealth, transitions to technologies that are environmentally and socially less disruptive than today’s, and movement toward some kind of world government.”

There are lots more quotations at Master Resource, but you get the idea. This is why the Pentagon is more concerned with the “immediate risks posed by climate change to U .S. national security.”. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says it is a “threat multiplier” that will increase the risk of terrorism.(?) Hagel says that “more extreme temperatures could threaten many of our training activities” and that “we will need to ensure our critical equipment works under more extreme weather conditions.” What?

Secretary of State John Kerry says that climate change “ranks right up there” with terrorism and is now “the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction.”

DHS treats global warming as “a major area of homeland security risk.” And Obama has called it “one of our most significant national security problems.”

If your boss embraces a catastrophic view of climate change, sure that dire things lie just ahead, well, I suppose you have to make noises like you are making a real effort to help your department to adjust to the change. After all his inauguration was “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and the planet began to heal.”

Who knew that Obama’s conviction that he was chosen to save the planet from the ravages of climate change would lead to billions of dollars of investments in useless solar arrays and acres and acres of wind turbines. Pipelines cancelled, a rogue environmental protection agency running wild over private property rights, attempts to fly our nation’s air force on biodiesel. Here we are in an increasingly difficult war with a 7th Century jihadist group who are running amok beheading their opposition and executing anyone in their way, and we are supposed to regard climate change as an equal or greater threat.

It has been estimated in a peer-reviewed study that something on the order of 900,000 bats may have been killed by our wind farms. In the meantime,  we are having a resurgence of malaria and some new mosquito-borne illness called chikungunya may spread northward from the Caribbean. It is apparently not fatal, but causes fever, joint pain, headache, muscle pain, joint swelling or rash. Bats consume insects, including mosquitos. A loss of 900,000 bats can mean a vast increase in mosquitos.  Actions have consequences, some of them unexpected. But if the heat of climate change is leading to terrorism, and climate change is threatening our training activities, and we have a dearth of bats to eat the mosquitoes — it all gets very complicated. I believe I’ll take two aspirin and think about it tomorrow.

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