American Elephants

President Obama in Paris, Telling Fishy Stories About Alaska. by The Elephant's Child

720x405-R1245_COV_APresident Obama is in Paris, at COP21 the big climate meeting that is the successor to all the other failed climate meetings. Big hype, remarkable rhetoric, promises that will not be kept. The 1997 Kyoto Protocol was a grand plan to save the world, and failed in spectacular fashion. COP21 doesn’t even have such grand ambitions. The commitments, or lack thereof, by the nations have already been submitted and analyzed. The conclusion is that all the nostrums will add up to an effect on climate too small to be measured. All will congratulate themselves for doing something to Save the Earth. And they will make plans for their next big meeting. President Obama’s remarks at the first session included this:

Nearly 200 nations have assembled here this week — a declaration that for all the challenges we face, the growing threat of climate change could define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other.  What should give us hope that this is a turning point, that this is the moment we finally determined we would save our planet, is the fact that our nations share a sense of urgency about this challenge and a growing realization that it is within our power to do something about it.

He claimed that fourteen of the fifteen warmest years on record have occurred sine the year 2000, and 2015 is on pace to be the warmest year of all. Except there has been no net warming for 18 years and 9 months. The sun has gone quiet. NOAA made up temperatures for the vast areas of South America where there are no sources for temperature, and produced readings more agreeable for the president to take to COP21. Obama reported on his trip to Alaska last summer:

This summer, I saw the effects of climate change firsthand in our northernmost state, Alaska, where the sea is already swallowing villages and eroding shorelines; where permafrost thaws and the tundra burns; where glaciers are melting at a pace unprecedented in modern times.  And it was a preview of one possible future — a glimpse of our children’s fate if the climate keeps changing faster than our efforts to address it.  Submerged countries.  Abandoned cities.  Fields that no longer grow.  Political disruptions that trigger new conflict, and even more floods of desperate peoples seeking the sanctuary of nations not their own.

OMG the sea is swallowing villages. The permafrost is thawing and the tundra is on fire. Submerged countries! Abandoned cities! Fields that just don’t grow! More conflict and more people seeking sanctuary!  This is irresponsible nonsense. Visiting Alaska was clearly an unusual experience for Mr. Obama, and I believe I remember his being photographed holding a salmon, gingerly. A bit gullible out there in the Great Alone..

Were you ever out in the Great Alone, when the moon was awful clear,
And the icy mountains hemmed you in with a silence you most could hear;
With only the howl of a timber wolf, and you camped there in the cold,
A half-dead thing in a stark, dead world, clean mad for the muck called gold;
While high overhead, green, yellow and red, the North Lights swept in bars? —
Then you’ve a hunch what the music meant. . . hunger and night and the stars.
That’s Robert Service who was also inspired to flights of fancy in the Alaskan landscape. Here is Obama’s first speech at COP21. It’s worth reading at least part of it to understand the mindset. Never were so many whoppers told by a single head of state quite so publicly.  Embarrassing. Here he is with a small Alaskan salmon, which he didn’t catch himself.
ADDENDUM: I am mistaken about the burning tundra. Apparently the tundra is usually burning in places. Fires are ignited by lightning strikes, and they smolder on for ages. They are neither caused by global warming, nor encouraged by it. I don’t want to get in trouble with any of my friends in Alaska.

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