American Elephants


The Covid-19 Crisis and The Climate Crisis, Entwined! by The Elephant's Child

Confined at home, I have been wandering in the world of  opinion which is varied, ranging from vast ignorance to possible but not probable information.

Consider that the first printing press in America arrived in Cambridge Massachusetts in 1638. This was an age when there were still town criers, and news was carried from one town to another on horseback. 1844: the first telegraph message was sent from Washington DC to Baltimore.  The Pony Express carried messages from the East to the West Coast from April 3, 1860  to October 24, 1861. Exciting dodging Indians, but a failed enterprise meant to challenge messages having to be carried around the horn by sailing ship.

The first transcontinental telegraph was completed on October 24, 1861 (So much for the Pony Express). By 1866, a telegraph line had been laid across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe. Then there was the transcontinental railroad, roads, highways and freeways, now blissfully manageable with everyone confined at home. And think of the increases in the flow of information: telegraph, telephone, radio, television, computers, cell phones, mobil phones and when will we get our implants?

There was a time when mere opinion was considered to be unreliable and not worth much, or even a little embarrassing. What started all this is the conflation of Covid-19 with the Climate Crisis. Huh? Al Gore came up with that one, I don’t know that he was the first, but the general idea seems to be that the Covid-19 Crisis is interfering with our more proper concern with the Climate Crisis, or something like that. The general approach can be summed up in this article from the Santa Barbara Independent. Do read it, it’s short, and remember that Santa Barbara was going to paint a line across the city streets to show how much of the city was going to be underwater from the rise of the oceans.

So possibly there is a connection. If the freeways everywhere are seeing less traffic…oh never mind.  If you start prowling around in this area, you run into Greta’s demand for more climate concern, and how the Swedes are dealing with the corona virus.

Then there is the territory of models. Do computer models tell us anything real about climate change? Or the spread of the corona virus for that matter? When big government grants became available for those professors in science departments who thought they could write a good grant proposal for studying the science of possible climate change, and get some new equipment and maybe even an assistant — they borrowed the programs investment houses were using to predict what the stock market would do, and put in what they knew about the climate and the ocean, and temperatures, and what they thought might be true and a bunch of guesses for the stuff they didn’t know and then came up with things like the infamous “hockey stick”.

I recommend a used copy of Democracy and Irs Discontents by Daniel J. Boorstin, the former Librarian of Congress. A new paperback will cost you around $60. Worth every penny, but good used copies at Amazon  can be had for closer to $3.00 or borrow it from your friendly public library. He has a lovely and lively discussion of Opinion and its discontents which you would enjoy. Anything by Dr. Boorstin is very worth reading.

In the meantime, Democrats are hunting for something in the Covid-19 crisis for which they can impeach President Trump, perhaps because it is making him ignore the climate crisis which they expected to be more useful in their political maccinations. So there you go. I think I have been cooped up in the house a little too long.


2 Comments so far
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Articles such as th one in the Santa Clara Independent really worry me. It reminds me of Jim Jones and the Jonestown Massacre where one man convinced over 900 men, women, and even children. They were convinced the world was going to end and they had to commit suicide and murder to ensure they’d be first in line for Heaven, or some other nonsense.

It could happen again if some fast-talking huckster tried a similar game.

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Comment by philohippous

I think that is always a potential, as long as people are taught to be dependent, rather than standing on their own two feet. And I’m not sure that our schools are teaching kids to rise.

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Comment by The Elephant's Child




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