American Elephants


Comparisons Are Perhaps Inevitable! by The Elephant's Child

Wilfrid M. McClay, a professor of history at the University of Oklahoma is the author of a new history of the United States: Land of Hope: an Invitation to the Great American Story, which is receiving excellent reviews.

He just wrote a short piece for Hillsdale College’s Imprimis, an always interesting publication, with an essay from an important scholar, free on request from the college. The copy I just received contained this interesting portion of a longer essay.

A related lesson of history is that acts of statesmanship often require courage and imagination, even daring, especially when the outcome seems doubtful. Take the case of Lincoln. So accustomed are we to thinking of Lincoln in heroic terms that we forget the depth and breadth of his unpopularity during his entire time in office. Few great leaders have been more comprehensively disdained, loathed, and underestimated. A low Southern view of him, of course, was to be expected, but it was widely shared in the North as well. As Lincoln biographer David Donald put it, “Lincoln’s own associates thought him “a Simple Susan, a baboon, an aimless punster, a smutty joker” Abolitionist Wendell Phillips called him “a huckster in politics, a first-rate, second rate man.” George McClellan, his opponent in the 1864 election, openly disdained him as a “well-meaning baboon.” For much of that election year, Lincoln was convinced, with good reason, that he was doomed to lose the election, with incalculable consequences for the war effort and the future of the nation.

We need to remember that this is generally how history happens. It is not like a Hollywood movie i which the background music swells and the crowd in the room applauds and leaps to it feet as the orator dispenses timeless words, and the camera pans the room full of smiling faces. In real history, the background music does not swell, the trumpets do not sound, and the carping critics often seem louder than the applause. The leader or the soldier has to wonder whether he is acting in vain, whether the criticisms of others are in fact true, whether time will judge him harshly, whether his sacrifice will count for anything. Few great leaders have felt this burden more completely than Lincoln.



Don’t Let Them Fool You! Carbon is NOT a Pollutant. Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate. by The Elephant's Child

Can people get it through their heads? Carbon is not a pollutant. We are carbon life forms. We exhale carbon dioxide every time we breathe. Plants absorb the carbon dioxide as fertilizer – that makes them grow, and releases oxygen. You were supposed to have learned that in high school biology. It’s a cycle called photosynthesis.

Climate models predict disaster and a carbon crisis, but real world evidence shows no such thing is occurring. Back when the first faint screams of climate crisis were appearing, governments wanted some kind of proof. Federal grants were available to scientists who were studying climate. Well, lots of professors in mostly ignored labs in American universities knew how to write a grant proposal, or studied up quickly on how it was done, and said that with a grant, they could surely figure it all out very quickly. The grants brought money and prestige for professor and university. Professors turned quickly to computerized  models used for predicting future outcomes for the stock market. Prediction is just prediction, right? So they entered what they knew about the climate, and then what they thought might be probable, then some educated guesses and a few wild guesses, and assumed that to be an accurate projection of the future climate. Well, the computer said it was.

Speaking at the 13th International Conference on Climate Change, held July 25 in Washington, DC, Dr. Roy W. Spencer of the University of Alabama in Huntsville said: “There is no climate crisis. Even if all the warming we’ve seen in any observational dataset is due to increasing CO2 (carbon dioxide), which I don’t believe it is, it’s probably too small for any person to feel in their lifetime.”

Then there was a story published from the IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, It begins this way:

The same oceans that nourished human evolution are poised to unleash misery on a global scale unless the carbon pollution destabilizing Earth’s marine environment is brought to heel, warns a draft UN report obtained by AFP.

Destructive changes already set in motion could see a steady decline in fish stocks, a hundred-fold or more increase in the damages caused by superstorms, and hundreds of millions of people displaced by rising seas, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) “special report” on oceans and Earth’s frozen zones…

Again, Carbon is not a pollutant. Carbon dioxide is the greenhouse gas the IPCC is most worried about, yet what each of exhale each time we breathe. Without carbon dioxide, all life on this planet would perish.

The IPCC is a political organization composed of representatives from various governments. The report also said:

While the underlying science – drawn from thousands of peer-reviewed studies – cannot be modified, diplomats with scientists at their elbow will tussle over how to frame the findings, and what to leave in or out. [bold added]

Here’s More from No Tricks Zone

And here is a report from the Science and Environmental Policy Project/  S. Fred Singer




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