Hard times in the Church of Global Warming

January 31, 2012

Today’s a busy day, but I wanted to share three stories that, taken together, almost make one feel sorry for those who cling bitterly to their faith in the fraud that is anthropogenic global warming …er… dangerous man-caused climate change …no, wait… extreme weather events that are really our fault whatever they want to call it, this week.

First, yet another prediction of DOOM falls flat. Among the various disasters sure to befall us as we pump CO2 (aka, “plant food”) into the atmosphere and Earth takes her revenge in the best Hollywood manner was supposed to be an increase in violent hurricanes.

There’s a small problem: it ain’t happening.

What was learned
The four researchers’ reconstructed record of intense hurricanes revealed that the frequency of these “high-magnitude” events “peaked near 6 storms per century between 2800 and 2300 years ago.” Thereafter, it suggests that they were “relatively rare” with “about 0-3 storms per century occurring between 1900 and 1600 years ago,” after which they state that these super-storms exhibited a marked decline, which “began around 600 years ago” and has persisted through the present with “below average frequency over the last 150 years when compared to the preceding five millennia.”

What it means
It is instructive to note that over the past century and a half of ever-increasing fossil fuel utilization and atmospheric CO2 buildup, the frequency of the most intense category of hurricanes in the Northeastern Gulf of Mexico has been lower than it was over the prior five millennia, which speaks volumes about the climate-alarmist claim that continued anthropogenic CO2 emissions will lead to more frequent super cyclones and hurricanes.

Dontcha just hate it when empirical evidence gets in the way of perfectly good religious dogma scientific theory? Granted, this study was only in Florida, but, also in fairness, Florida is one of the places alarmists claimed would be worst-hit by AGW-caused super-storms. Certainly, this is worth testing elsewhere to see if the results hold up.

But wait, there’s more!

Far from the Earth becoming a steam bath thanks to Man’s folly, we may well be headed toward another Little Ice Age, such as that which plagued us from the mid-17th to the mid-19th centuries, when the Hudson and the Thames would freeze-over in winter. Apparently, the sun just won’t cooperate:

Based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations, the data was issued last week without fanfare by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. It confirms that the rising trend in world temperatures ended in 1997.

Meanwhile, leading climate scientists yesterday told The Mail on Sunday that, after emitting unusually high levels of energy throughout the 20th Century, the sun is now heading towards a ‘grand minimum’ in its output, threatening cold summers, bitter winters and a shortening of the season available for growing food.

Solar output goes through 11-year cycles, with high numbers of sunspots seen at their peak.

We are now at what should be the peak of what scientists call ‘Cycle 24’ – which is why last week’s solar storm resulted in sightings of the aurora borealis further south than usual. But sunspot numbers are running at less than half those seen during cycle peaks in the 20th Century.

Analysis by experts at NASA and the University of Arizona – derived from magnetic-field measurements 120,000 miles beneath the sun’s surface – suggest that Cycle 25, whose peak is due in 2022, will be a great deal weaker still.

According to a paper issued last week by the Met Office, there is a  92 per cent chance that both Cycle 25 and those taking place in the following decades will be as weak as, or weaker than, the ‘Dalton minimum’ of 1790 to 1830. In this period, named after the meteorologist John Dalton, average temperatures in parts of Europe fell by 2C.

However, it is also possible that the new solar energy slump could be as deep as the ‘Maunder minimum’ (after astronomer Edward Maunder), between 1645 and 1715 in the coldest part of the ‘Little Ice Age’ when, as well as the Thames frost fairs, the canals of Holland froze solid.

(h/t the ever-readable Delingpole)

The Met Office and the Climatic Research Unit (1), as you may know, have been two of the chief centers for climate alarmism, constantly pushing a message of impending DOOM!!, unless we all submit now to a transnational bureaucracy that will tax and control us all the way to Salvation. Naturally, since the report came from the Met, they feel obliged to explain that it really means nothing and that the power of CO2-induced warming will overwhelm the influence of the sun (2).

So, does this mean AGW is now good, since it will keep us from freezing our tootsies off? I’m so confused…

Finally, a group of 16 (real) scientists co-authored an essay in the Wall Street Journal arguing that while there is no need to panic over global warming, we should decry the corruption of science in the name of “consensus” and, yes, profit:

The fact is that CO2 is not a pollutant. CO2 is a colorless and odorless gas, exhaled at high concentrations by each of us, and a key component of the biosphere’s life cycle. Plants do so much better with more CO2 that greenhouse operators often increase the CO2 concentrations by factors of three or four to get better growth. This is no surprise since plants and animals evolved when CO2 concentrations were about 10 times larger than they are today. Better plant varieties, chemical fertilizers and agricultural management contributed to the great increase in agricultural yields of the past century, but part of the increase almost certainly came from additional CO2 in the atmosphere.

Although the number of publicly dissenting scientists is growing, many young scientists furtively say that while they also have serious doubts about the global-warming message, they are afraid to speak up for fear of not being promoted—or worse. They have good reason to worry. In 2003, Dr. Chris de Freitas, the editor of the journal Climate Research, dared to publish a peer-reviewed article with the politically incorrect (but factually correct) conclusion that the recent warming is not unusual in the context of climate changes over the past thousand years. The international warming establishment quickly mounted a determined campaign to have Dr. de Freitas removed from his editorial job and fired from his university position. Fortunately, Dr. de Freitas was able to keep his university job.

(…)

Why is there so much passion about global warming, and why has the issue become so vexing that the American Physical Society, from which Dr. Giaever resigned a few months ago, refused the seemingly reasonable request by many of its members to remove the word “incontrovertible” from its description of a scientific issue? There are several reasons, but a good place to start is the old question “cui bono?” Or the modern update, “Follow the money.”

Be sure to read the whole thing.

And the next time you find yourself pitying a disconsolate global-warming cultist, forget it. Laugh and point, instead; it’s much more fun.

Footnotes:
(1) The CRU was also at the center of the Climategate and Climategate II scandals. How anyone can take them seriously after that is beyond me.
(2) Of course, this is the same crowd that claimed our children and grandchildren would not know what snow is, only to see Europe soon thereafter blanketed with record snowfalls. So we know what their predictions are worth.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Obama won’t be expecting the Spanish Inquisition

January 30, 2012

It isn’t bad enough that the majority of Americans oppose ObamaCare and want it repealed. No, the administration had to go and tick off the Catholic Church, too.

Background: As part of the implementation of ObamaCare, Secretary Sebelius of the Department of Health and Human Services issued regulations requiring religious groups to provide health insurance that would cover practices and procedures, such as abortion,  diametrically opposed to their beliefs. The groups were given a year to comply. (Or else?)

This was too much for Catholic bishops to take, and a letter denouncing this move as an assault on religious liberty was read in thousands of  parishes across the land this last Sunday. Here’s an excerpt from one:

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that almost all employers,including Catholic employers, will be forced to offer their employees’ health coverage that includes sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraception. Almost all health insurers will be forced to include those “services” in the health policies they write. And almost all individuals will be forced to buy that coverage as a part of their policies.

In so ruling, the Obama Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics our Nation’s first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty. And as a result, unless the rule is overturned, we Catholics will be compelled to either violate our consciences, or to drop health coverage for our employees (and suffer the penalties for doing so). The Obama Administration’s sole concession was to give our institutions one year to comply.

We cannot—we will not—comply with this unjust law. People of faith cannot be made second class citizens. We are already joined by our brothers and sisters of all faiths and many others of good will in this important effort to regain our religious freedom. Our parents and grandparents did not come to these shores to help build America’s cities and towns, its infrastructure and institutions, its enterprise and culture,only to have their posterity stripped of their God given rights. In generations past, the Church has always been able to count on the faithful to stand up and protect her sacred rights and duties. I hope and trust she can count on this generation of Catholics to do the same. Our children and grandchildren deserve nothing less.

Each bishop sent out his own letter, so there’s some variation. Bishop Zubik of Pittsburgh said the HHS ruling amount to telling Catholics “to Hell with you:”

Kathleen Sebelius announced that the mandate would not be withdrawn and the religious exemption would not be expanded. Instead, she stated that nonprofit groups – which include the Catholic Church – will get a year “to adapt to this new rule.” She simply dismissed Catholic concerns as standing in the way of allegedly respecting the health concerns and choices of women.

Could Catholics be insulted any more, suggesting that we have no concern for women’s health issues? The Catholic Church and the Catholic people have erected health care facilities that are recognized worldwide for their compassionate care for everyone regardless of their creed, their economic circumstances and, most certainly, their gender. In so many parts of the globe – the United States included – the Church is health care.

Kathleen Sebelius and through her, the Obama administration, have said “To Hell with You” to the Catholic faithful of the United States.

  • To Hell with your religious beliefs,
  • To Hell with your religious liberty,
  • To Hell with your freedom of conscience.

Want to know how seriously the Church in America takes this? One bishop directed that the Prayer to St. Michael be read at services within his diocese (h/t PJM):

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle;
be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray:
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.
Amen

Why is that significant? Between 1930 and 1965, when it was last included in regular services, the prayer was recited for the benefit of believers trapped behind the Iron Curtain.

This isn’t just opposition; this is a declaration of war.

It’s also incredibly risky (to put it nicely) for a president who badly wants reelection. Catholics amount to about 25% of the electorate and constitute significant voting blocs in several keys states. Naturally not all would agree with the bishops or think this as serious a matter as they claim. But I’m willing to bet that large numbers will, and that, combined with the already existing ire over ObamaCare and the economy, the President may well come to regret Secretary Sebelius’ highhandedness.

Especially on Election Day.

PS: About that subject line.

LINKS: Yuval Levin, Religious Liberty and Civil Society.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Did AG Holder know about Fast and Furious long before he claimed to have known?

January 29, 2012

I know, I know. The idea that Attorney General Eric Holder, that paragon of the Rule of Law, might have lied to the House Oversight Committee when he claimed he had heard of Operation Fast and Furious “only a few weeks” before his testimony last May is hard to accept. Inconceivable, in fact.

Except that’s not what the latest Friday-night dump of emails seems to say:

Also among the documents are Justice Department emails involving a former top aide to Attorney General Eric Holder. The emails show that then-deputy chief of staff Monty Wilkinson was notified by then-U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke the day after [Border Patrol Agent Brian] Terry was slain that guns found at the murder scene were connected to an investigation that Burke and Wilkinson had planned to discuss. The emails did not identify the investigation, but it was Operation Fast and Furious.

(Emphases added)

Keep this in mind: Wilkinson was Holder’s deputy chief of staff and, while the name “Fast and Furious” wasn’t used, it’s not credible that he didn’t know that was the investigation Burke was referring to. The mention in the email indicates a reference to an earlier conversation or conversations.

What’s even more unbelievable is that Wilkinson, having received news of the death of a federal agent by criminals using weapons they obtained as part of this “investigation” wouldn’t tell his boss, the chief of staff, and that neither of them would tell their “boss of bosses.”

Attorney General Eric Holder.

So, to ask of Mr. Holder the famous question from Watergate — What did he know and when did he know it? — we now have a pretty good idea.

He likely knew everything and he knew it at the latest the day after Brian Terry was murdered.

Months before he claimed in his testimony.

So either the Attorney General of the United States either lied under oath to the committee, or his memory is so bad regarding important DoJ events that he is incompetent to serve in his office.

Regardless (and my bet is on “liar”), Eric Holder is unfit to be US Attorney General and must go.

LINKS. More at Hot Air. Earlier Gunwalker posts.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Republican “Establishment” out to get Allen West?

January 29, 2012

Seriously? One of the rising stars in the Party and the Tea Party movement, and yet the Florida legislature tries to harm his reelection chances via redistricting?

After last night’s Republican Presidential debate, the candidates’ respective spinmeisters made their cases to the media as to why their guy won the debate. One of Governor Mitt Romney’s spokesmen was Florida Representative Will Weatherford, and during the course of his remarks in the “Spin Room”, he shed a very dim light on the ongoing redistricting process in the Florida Legislature. Over the past several weeks, many Republicans have voiced their disappointment towards the Republican legislature after the release of the preliminary redistricting maps. Much of the ire concerns the proposed boundaries of Congressman Allen West’s 22nd Congressional District that would be redrawn to include far more registered Democrats.

West’s congressional district inexplicably sheds the most out support as compared to all other incumbent Republican and Democrat Congressman. A few weeks back we quoted an unnamed legislator saying that, “Allen West was screwed”, a statement which was originally made about made five months before the proposed maps were made public, leading insiders to believe that the fix was in against Allen West. But in light of Weatherford’s comment, it is increasingly clear that this is a fait accompli.

According to State Rep. Weatherford, this is due to compliance with federal and state law. Color me unconvinced; after the way the Republican “elite” treated Sarah Palin (1) and with what now looks like a concerted effort to suppress the Gingrich campaign (2), it’s hard not to imagine that something… “funny” is going on here. Anyone who becomes a threat to the “established order” gets the political equivalent of a Mob hit.

But this shot at Representative West could easily backfire; he was already in a tough district, so does the Party elite really want to encourage him to instead run for the Senate in 2012, when Florida’s statewide demographics are much more favorable to him?

May they get what they want and then live to regret it.

via Legal Insurrection

Footnotes:
(1) Remember how she was left to twist in the wind after being all-but-accused of inciting murder after the Tucson shootings?
(2) No, I’m not saying Newt is an “outsider” or a Tea Partier, nor that he hasn’t engaged in mudslinging, himself. (That’s an old tradition in US politics.) But he successfully linked himself to those groups in the eyes of many voters and has made himself a threat to the established order. Thus the double-barrel smear job against him, one that assumes we’re idiots.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Dear GOP Establishment: BOOM! Taste her nightstick!

January 27, 2012

The last few days have erupted in controversy as former Reagan-era politicians and bureaucrats have come forth to question hack with a meat axe at Newt Gingrich’s claims to have been a leading figure in the “Reagan Revolution” of the 1980s. Among the most hard-hitting was former Assistant Secretary of State Elliot Abrams’ broadside. (Rebutted by Jeffrey Lord, also a former Reaganite.)

To say the rhetoric has become angry and bitter would be like characterizing the Civil War as a “family argument.”

Enter Sarah Palin, who knows a thing or two about being the victim of a coordinated hatchet-job. Flawed as Newt is, Momma Grizzly is mad and breaks out her nightstick.

Boom.

I am sadly too familiar with these tactics because they were used against the GOP ticket in 2008. The left seeks to single someone out and destroy his or her record and reputation and family using the media as a channel to dump handpicked and half-baked campaign opposition research on the public. The difference in 2008 was that I was largely unknown to the American public, so they had no way of differentiating between the lies and the truth. All of it came at them at once as “facts” about me. But Newt Gingrich is known to us – both the good and the bad.

We know that Newt fought in the trenches during the Reagan Revolution. As Rush Limbaugh pointed out, Newt was among a handful of Republican Congressman who would regularly take to the House floor to defend Reagan at a time when conservatives didn’t have Fox News or talk radio or conservative blogs to give any balance to the liberal mainstream media. Newt actually came at Reagan’s administration “from the right” to remind Americans that freer markets and tougher national defense would win our future. But this week a few handpicked and selectively edited comments which Newt made during his 40-year career were used to claim that Newt was somehow anti-Reagan and isn’t conservative enough to go against the accepted moderate in the primary race. (I know, it makes no sense, and the GOP establishment hopes you won’t stop and think about this nonsense. Mark Levin and others have shown the ridiculousness of this.) To add insult to injury, this “anti-Reagan” claim was made by a candidate who admitted to not even supporting or voting for Reagan. He actually was against the Reagan movement, donated to liberal candidates, and said he didn’t want to go back to the Reagan days. You can’t change history. We know that Newt Gingrich brought the Reagan Revolution into the 1990s. We know it because none other than Nancy Reagan herself announced this when she presented Newt with an award, telling us, “The dramatic movement of 1995 is an outgrowth of a much earlier crusade that goes back half a century.  Barry Goldwater handed the torch to Ronnie, and in turn Ronnie turned that torch over to Newt and the Republican members of Congress to keep that dream alive.” As Rush and others pointed out, if Nancy Reagan had ever thought that Newt was in any way an opponent of her beloved husband, she would never have even appeared on a stage with him, let alone presented him with an award and said such kind things about him. Nor would Reagan’s son, Michael Reagan, have chosen to endorse Newt in this primary race. There are no two greater keepers of the Reagan legacy than Nancy and Michael Reagan. What we saw with this ridiculous opposition dump on Newt was nothing short of Stalin-esque rewriting of history. It was Alinsky tactics at their worst.

But this whole thing isn’t really about Newt Gingrich vs. Mitt Romney. It is about the GOP establishment vs. the Tea Party grassroots and independent Americans who are sick of the politics of personal destruction used now by both parties’ operatives with a complicit media egging it on. In fact, the establishment has been just as dismissive of Ron Paul and Rick Santorum. Newt is an imperfect vessel for Tea Party support, but in South Carolina the Tea Party chose to get behind him instead of the old guard’s choice. In response, the GOP establishment voices denounced South Carolinian voters with the same vitriol we usually see from the left when they spew hatred at everyday Americans “bitterly clinging” to their faith and their Second Amendment rights. The Tea Party was once again told to sit down and shut up and listen to the “wisdom” of their betters. We were reminded of the litany of Tea Party endorsed candidates in 2010 who didn’t win. Well, here’s a little newsflash to the establishment: without the Tea Party there would have been no historic 2010 victory at all.

Emphasis added. Read it all.

If there’s one person outside the candidates themselves who has sufficient respect and influence among the base to significantly influence the primary race, it’s Sarah Palin.

And she just shot a bullet at the feet of the GOP establishment.

Go, ‘Cuda.

RELATED: My blog-buddy ST has a long piece about this controversy, the dread charge of “RINO-ism,” and pols who try to manipulate voters. Legal Insurrection calls it a “thousand points of fright” for the GOP establishment.


Tell me again why you’d vote to reelect Obama?

January 27, 2012

When he has a record like this?

America Before President Obama Took Office and Now

  Before Now Change
Number of Unemployed1 12.0 Million 13.1 Million +9%
Long-Term Unemployed2 2.7 Million 5.6 Million +107%
Unemployment Rate3 7.8% 8.5% +9%
“High Unemployment” States4 22 43 +95%
Misery Index5 7.83 11.46 +46%
Price of Gas6 $1.85 $3.39 +83%
“Typical” Monthly Family Food Cost7 $974 $1,013 +4%
Median Value of Single-Family Home8 $196,600 $169,100 -14%
Rate of Mortgage Delinquencies9 6.62% 10.23% +55%
U.S. National Debt10 $10.6 Trillion $15.2 Trillion +43%

Source: House Ways and Means Committee (1)

The only reasons I can think of for voting to reelect this miserable Socialist failure are:

  • One actually likes what Obama is doing and believes these trends are a necessary price to pay to transform the nation and that “more cowbell” is the solution. In other words, a progressive;
  • One is addicted;
  • One is simply ignorant.

Forget Obama’s disastrous energy policies that will beggar the poor and the middle classes; forget his topsy-turvy foreign policy that slaps friends, hugs enemies, and makes the world a more dangerous place; forget his arrogance and his contempt for the Constitution, adherence to which is at the heart of our common bargain.

And forget that you’re unhappy with the Massachusetts Moderate, the Angry Muffin, or Mr. Sweater Vest, based on what they might do in office.

Forget all that.

Looking at the numbers above, which represent the president’s record, tell me how could any rational voter who cares about the fate of the United States of America and, indeed, the future of the world make a positive case to vote to reelect Barack Obama?

Well?

via Joel Pollak (2)

UPDATE: Argh, the table didn’t format right. Danged inflexible columns. To see the percentages, follow the committee link above.

UPDATE II: And here’s a nice graphic courtesy of Pirate’s Cove that further illustrates the point:

Heckuva job, Barry!

Footnote:
(1) Yeah, a Republican-controlled committee. So what? Statistics can be manipulated. And? Show me how those numbers are wrong.
(2) Who tried to unseat “Red” Jan Schakowsky in 2010 and is considering running again. Go, Joel!

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Entitlement spending as vote-buying heroin

January 27, 2012

Liberals decry all the corporate money in politics, while conservatives worry that President Obama plans to spend a billion dollars to fund his reelection campaign.

Bill Whittle calls that “chump change.”

In another of his Firewall videos, Bill examines what he calls “The Vote Pump:” the money the federal government can use to make sure you vote the way the statists want. It’s eye-opening, to say the least.

Interesting, isn’t it? We currently take in more than enough revenue to fund the actual government (setting aside for the moment how many of those are legitimate functions), but what’s killing us is the nearly 60% of all federal spending that goes toward entitlements.

And it’s a percentage that, under current conditions, is only going to go up as the population ages.

Bill calls this a vote pump — money in, votes out. I think of it more as a form of economic heroin: give people “free money” and make them dependent, afraid to give it up. And, no matter how much they realize intellectually that the system is unsustainable and bad for the nation, that fear will lead most to vote to keep in power those who promise to keep the smack coming — the statists, whether Democrat or Republican.

It’s as de Tocqueville once wrote:

The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money. (1)

So when conservatives mock Gingrich for proposing a lunar base (“Too expensive!!”) or lefties decry all the money for the military (“Think of the children!!”), just take another look at Whittle’s chart and remind yourself of what the real problem is.

And then look at Greece to see where it will lead.

Footnote:
(1) Arguably misattributed.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


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