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Sperm Counts, Indian Residential Schools, and other reversals of enlightened opinion

If you live long enough, you will be able to count the number of occasions on which enlightened and progressive opinion has reversed itself. In the most haphazard count – my own scattered recollections – we have gone through the following opinion changes in my lifetine alone.

Animal fats bad (because cholesterol) to vegetable fats doubtful.

Indian residential schools a progressive and enlightened response to Indian backwardness to residential schools were an act of cultural genocide

Homosexuality is sinful to gay is good and natural.

Coronavirus was a freak cross over from bats to humans to coronavirus was a lab leak covered up by Chinese authorities.

Modern society is reducing sperm counts to doubt that sperm counts are in fact dropping.

Black people are inferior to white people are inferior.

Race is a meaningless ideological contruct to biological differences matter.

CO2 engendered by fossil fuels will engender a climate catastrophe to who cares about global warming, let us use nuclear fission- note: this one has not yet happened, but wait.

Soviet Communism in Russia is a permament part of the European power balance to [poof!] the whole regime collapses within a year or two.

 

Of the changes mentioned above, perhaps Communism was the most important geopolitical event. People born after 1990 can have no conception of the extent to which the 20th century was held in thrall to the idea of planned happiness through the elimination of private property and the centralization of decision making in governments, and of all power in the Bolshevik revolutionary vanguard.

I was reminded recently of how central Europeans, those whose countries had been occupied by the Soviet Union after WW2, were disbelieved when they insisted that the whole scheme was a construction of tyranny that would fall one day like Sauron’s tower of Barad Dur: instantly, into dust. The emigres insisted it was built on a lie, that nothing it said about itself was true, and that it was maintained by Soviet force and police terror. I can recall the  disbelief with which such views were entertained in polite discourse in the 1970s. But the Lubor Zinks and the anti-Soviets were exactly right.

You can arouse similar feelings of outrage and disbelief by posting pictures of snowfalls in April to social media and complain about the absence of sufficient global warming. The response of the Karens, male and female, is immediate.

In your opinion, what other major social beliefs are likely to be reversed in the next twenty years? Discuss.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steven Koonin on climate change

Steven Koonin, an advisor to Obama on climate change policy, has issued a sensible position on the issue.

His soon to be published bookUnsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters” notes that global average temperature has risen by about 1C degree since 1900. More important, it decries any notion that we are in a “climate emergency”. He expects another 1C increase in this century.

“Humans exert a growing, but physically small, warming influence on the climate. The results from many different climate models disagree with, or even contradict, each other and many kinds of observations,” he wrote. “In short, the science is insufficient to make useful predictions about how the climate will change over the coming decades, much less what effect our actions will have on it.”

 

The New York Post article on Koonin’s opinions says:

“Among the most significant revelations were that human activity had no significant influence on hurricanes over the past hundred years; Greenland’s ice sheet has been shrinking at the same rate for the past 80 years; and parts of the world that have been destroyed by wildfires have declined by greater than 25% since 2003, with 2020 being one of the lowest years on record.”

This is congruent with a more extensive set of graphs produced by Willis Eschenbach in Watts Up with That.

Among the charts that interest me most in Eschenbach’s article was the one on sea level rise. It shows that between 1990 and now, sea levels have risen about 80 mm in 25 years. Let us extrapolate this to 320 mm in 100 years, without further justification.   This is about 12 and one half inches in a century, which is far less than the rise expected by the physicist Lawrence Krauss, who wrote The Physics of Climate Change . He predicted a rise on sea level of about a meter (39 inches) by mid century.

Krauss situated the problem of global warming principally in rising sea levels, caused by melting glaciers and the expansion of water itself under the influence of greater heat. Krauss believes that places such as the Mekong Delta will be flooded with sea water at high tide, and rendered sterile, by 2100. This would have a disastrous effect on food production in a nation of 90 million people. Krauss is an alarmist but not a catastrophist, and his arguments are persuasive as long as you don’t look at contradictory data.

 

I have come to the views expressed by Koonin: that humans have had a small warming effect on the climate. and even if we stopped CO2 production right now, we would still be increasing global temperatures by a degree or two for another century at least. But in terms of the policies the elite wankers want us to adopt, I side with General Buck Turgidson in Stanley Kubrick’s Dr Strangelove. I have smelt it for a long time.

 

 

 One mania substituted for another

It is apparent that CO2 madness is being replaced by COVID as the mania of choice for members of the elite. The opportunities for direct social control with COVID are so much greater and more satisfying to the control freaks, and the willingness of people to go along with the scare so much greater than is the case with CO2. Decades of panic mongering about CO2 as the master control knob for global climate change have not succeeded in making the case for turning off our oil refineries and shutting down civilization as we know it. Always go with the panic that grows government authority most readily, and that is COVID, not atmospheric carbon dioxide.

 

I wish I could illustrate 415 against a million, but a million is 10,000 (10 to the 4th) times greater than a hundred (10 to the second). I am not proposing that we need orders of magnitude more CO2 in the atmosphere. What I am saying is that a trace gas is vital to plant life. More of it is greening the planet.

It will be evident that any serious policy aimed at reducing carbon emissions will have to focus on more nuclear reactors, as our Liberal government now understands.

 

 

 

So is this truly the end of Greta Thunberg’s influence? Hardly. The damage is now institutionalized in the poilicies of governments that seek to shut down tar sands and other sources of petro-chemical energy. Fanatics like Greta are mascots for the movement. But the attention has moved on from long term abstractions like climate change to hospitalizations and actual deaths.

It’s just another branch of the culture wars

James Delingpole gets to the climate scare at 21:30, where he says “It’s just another branch of the culture wars”. That is the position I have reached. Above or aside from the science, or the “science”, of climate catastrophism, is a political purpose, which is to destroy capitalism, and have us buy into it, pleading to have shackles placed on our wrists, for our own good. It is very clever and many intelligent people believe it. Like Papal infallibility.

Mr. President, I’m beginning to smell a big fat commie rat!

crapper/john/loo/WC/toilet

Words can describe the same thing at various levels of politeness and social acceptability. Moreover, as soon as the euphemism becomes too clear, the word can be changed to something less vulgar. Euphemism piles on euphemism. Thus the place where we void our noxious bodily effusions goes through various evolutions. The incompatibility of shitting with the maintenance of personal dignity causes a continuous slow migration of words to describe the place where the deed is done.

Likewise climate alarmism has changed the terms of the debate whenever it suited them. “Anthropogenic global warming” is a scientific theory. “Global warming” hides the crucial term that attributes human causation to the reality that the world has been warming since 1850. “Climate change” obscures the causal relationship even further. Anything that happens in nature is assumed to be human caused, without that realization ever consciously arising in one’s mind.

The Guardian announced a few months ago that it was changing its terms from “global warming” to “global heating”. They write:

“The Guardian has updated its style guide to introduce terms that more accurately describe the environmental crises facing the world.

“Instead of “climate change” the preferred terms are “climate emergency, crisis or breakdown” and “global heating” is favoured over “global warming”, although the original terms are not banned.”

Not banned you say? How civilized of them!

The Guardian continues:

“Other terms that have been updated, including the use of “wildlife” rather than “biodiversity”, “fish populations” instead of “fish stocks” and “climate science denier” rather than “climate sceptic”. In September, the BBC accepted it gets coverage of climate change “wrong too often” and told staff: “You do not need a ‘denier’ to balance the debate.”

“Updated”? The use of the term “climate science denier” is not an update, it is a slander.

Yes the climate has changed. 11,000 years ago, where I write was under 4,000 feet of ice. I deny nothing, I merely allow for a wider range of facts to impinge on my understanding of climate.

11,000 years ago in North America

I will believe in a climate crisis when our leadership acts like they were in a crisis

The Obamas’ new digs on Martha’s Vineyard

Today’s sermon is on the purchase by Barack Obama and his dreadful wife of a place worth $14.85 million on Martha’s Vineyard, an island formed by the last continental glaciation, ironically. I need not dilate on the evident inconsistency of building a multi-million dollar house and land by the ocean which is expected to rise and swamp it. If he really believed in the dangers of melting glaciers, he might decide that Colorado was just the ticket.

Martha’s Vineyard stands off the coast of southern Massachusetts. Together with Long Island and Nantucket, it was formed by rubble pushed ahead by mile high ice fronts of the latest glaciation, which ended a mere 9-11,000 years ago, depending what latitude you are on the planet. when the ice retreated, the gap between Martha’s Vineyard and the Massachusetts shore became Long Island Sound.

But I digress. I had heard the phrase which is the title of this piece and went to Google to find its source. Someone has said it before me and I thought it should be the title, but I like to attribute quotes to their sources.

No such luck. I invite the readership of Barrelstrength to try its hand at finding who spoke this phrase. All you will find is quotations from Greta Thunberg, the sixteen year old Swedish climate fanatic, and page after page of denunciations and supposed refutations of climate science, climate alarmism, and climate catastrophism. So as I began with the evident hypocrisy of the Obamas settling on the shores of Martha’s Vineyard, I end with the worse problem of Google’s failures as a search engine.