American Elephants


Reforming Our Education System, One Small Step At A Time by The Elephant's Child

I’m beginning to think we need  a new course somewhere in our education system. It should focus on the history of the world – in the sense of the big sweep of time from the Big Bang down to the present. The movements of people across the globe, the inventions and discoveries that changed the world, like the domestication of animals, the invention of the wheel, that sort of thing. In one sense, to grasp history, you need a sense of the big picture, and we have way too many people that simply do not have one.

The other thing that seems to be missing is a real sense of what it means to be human, which seems to be missing in this age of “identity politics”.

The current trend is to erase any history of which one does not approve, which shows nothing so much as a complete ignorance of what history is. The attempt to tear down Confederate monuments and change the names of buildings was a shameful attempt at “virtue signaling” to demonstrate what a good person the “signaler” is. The purpose of history is to show where we have been so that we can learn from our successes and our mistakes. Historians bemoan the history that is missing because of all the stuff that gets thrown away. Tearing down history because you disapprove of it is deeply shameful — but the virtue signalers are utterly clueless.



The Temperature and the True Believers by The Elephant's Child

This graph was published on January 2nd, 2019 by Roy W. Spencer PhD. Dr. Spencer runs the satellite program that measures worldwide temperatures, with Dr. John Christy at the University of Alabama at Huntsville.  It’s the closest we can get to an official global temperature.

UAH_LT_1979_thru_December_2018_v6-550x317

The 2018 globally averaged temperature anomaly, adjusted for the number of days in each month, is +0.23 deg. C, making 2018 the 6th warmest year in the now-40 year satellite record of global lower tropospheric temperature variations. The 2018 globally averaged temperature anomaly, adjusted for the number of days in each month, is +0.23 deg. C, making 2018 the 6th warmest year in the now-40 year satellite record of global lower tropospheric temperature variations.

To clarify, that’s 25 100ths of one degree, and 23 100ths of one degree. Run for the hills!

Temperatures didn’t use to be such a big deal. There were certain vocations where people cared about how cold or how hot it was going to be, so the orange growers, for example, could put out smudge-pots if it was going to freeze. Ships captains kept track. But when it gets to historic temperatures there isn’t much of a record. When Global Warming became a big deal, scientists started looking at temperatures seriously. The earth just does not have weather stations everywhere, and vast areas have no records at all. When we started paying attention, some of the reports from our official stations seemed off.  Anthony Watts got his readers to take pictures of the government’s temperature measuring stations. Turned out that  great many were next to air conditioning outlets, in the middle of reflective concrete walls, next to airport runways, in all sorts of places where the real temperature would be compromised by the location.

Looking back in history, If I remember correctly, there was a British clergyman who had kept his own records for many years. We have paintings of people skating on canals, and when the weather was extreme, people wrote about it. I mentioned ships’ logs, but as you can see, accurate records range from thin to non-existent. But we do know about the big trends — the ice ages, the Potato Famine, the Renaissance. When the crops were destroyed by the weather, people starved. When people have no grasp of the big picture, nor no sense of history beyond their own few years, they may be inclined to think they know more than they do, and assume that calling for a grand big program to solve the country’s problems is just what a very young, very green, very new congressperson should do. Uh huh!




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