American Elephants


Conservatives think facts are important, the Left is more interested in identity politics. by The Elephant's Child

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What a peculiar time this is.. Democrats and Republicans seem to be speaking different languages, each about completely different world. Jussie Smollett has dominated the news for days – that seem to be weeks, over an incident that never happened. The figure that controls much of our attention is a freshman congressperson who has not the slightest idea of what it is that Congress does nor why. Someone on the radio just pointed out brilliantly that “It’s not what she says, it’s the confidence of her cluelessness.”

That confidence has led to Conservative fascination with what she says specifically because it is so clueless. The Green New Deal, a big idea, was issued before anyone had read it, approved it, or even had chance  absorb the contents. “The New Deal” was Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s answer to The Great Depression brought on by the 1929 Stock Market Crash. FDR had not the slightest idea of what to do about the misery, so he assembled his “brain trust” which made what he was doing seem approved by superior wisdom.

In fact he had embarked on  course of endless tinkering – which, it has been determined, actually prolonged the Depression by seven long years. The Great Depression dragged on for almost 15 years, with breadlines and soup kitchens to feed the unemployed. There was not, at the time, the safety net we have today. But over the last half-century we have had one planetary scare after another. In the 1960’s it was an unstoppable human population explosion that would inexorably lead to global starvation. (Norman Borlaug saved us from that one). During the early 1970s the temperatures which had been gradually rising since the Little Ice Age some 400 years before, seemed to be falling again, and many eminent scientists warned that we were facing the horrors of a new ice age.

Ice ages are followed by global warming, Al Gore, Leonardo Di Caprio, Harrison Ford, and the extinction of the polar bears, and probably the caribou as well. What did  happen was that the government got interested, and suddenly there was grant money available. and  lot of professors who could write a grant proposal thought that with new equipment and more powerful computers, they could solve the problem. They started with the basic program that Wall Street had been using for figuring out where the stock market was going, and entered what they knew about the temperature, and what they knew about the atmosphere, and some significant information and some speculation, and  a few wild guesses, and they got their grants and money for ever fancier computers. The globe seemed to be warming inexorably, and they even got to hire some assistants and appear on the local news. Heady stuff.

The federal government had thermometer stations all over the country, often at airports, and it gradually turned out – next to air conditioner exhausts, or trash burners, reflective concrete walls, and it became clear that there was a lot of artificial warming built into the readings. We had 97 % of scientists agreeing, which was bunk, and anyone who did not agree with the meaningless 97% or questioned Michael Mann’s hockey stick graph, was called “a denier” and stuffed in the unacceptable category. So if you trust  Al Gore or Leonardo DiCaprio, then global warming becomes a real thing to be feared.

Thing is, our records of real temperatures range from thin to non-existent. City temperatures have a heat bias from too many concrete heat-retaining walls and streets and traffic, Tree rings have proved to be unreliable, and we just don’t have any reliable history. Paintings of people skating on the Thames tell us something, but not enough.

People who depend on what they’re told without questioning it must find  the whole thing scary – forest fires all over the west (no), hurricanes (no), tornadoes (no), In the past 40 years, since we have had satellites measuring the temperatures of the Global Lower Atmosphere the Climate Models have shown warming that is 67% greater than the average of 9 Observational Datasets. According to the Satellite measurements the Earth has warmed in the past 40 years about 25/100ths of one degree Centigrade.

Our own Governor Jay Inslee, on CBS’s”Face the Nation” said that ” if President Trump’s declaration of  a national emergency to get the funds to build  border wall on the U.S. Border with Mexico stands then Democrats will use those “new rules” to address climate change.  He says there is not a national security emergency, Donald Trump has a political emergency.” ” He added that the president should be responding to rel emergencies like forest fires. … and climate change is burning down our forests. ”

Governor Inslee wants badly to run for the presidency, but can’t get much attention when there are so many others who hit the Democrat brownie points, like being a woman or being black or both. The Cato Institute ranked him as the worst governor in the United States for his fiscal management of his state, but Democrats aren’t all that interested in fiscal management. Checking off the identity points is more important.




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