Climate zealots’ projections border on criminality

Priests of the concept of manmade climate change and their followers are coming dangerously close to falsely crying “FIRE” in a crowded building. We consider this “speech” outside lawful limits because there is evidence that people have been killed by stampeding crowds trying to escape what they believe is a terrible threat—if there is no fire it is wrong to try the make people believe there is peril.

Similarly, I believe that politicians, government bureaucrats and media people who, without evidence, predict catastrophic weather events a hundred years in the future irresponsibly strike fear into people causing them to make bad decisions.

Consider, for example, a recent story in the Wilmington StarNews by Adam Wagner about the consequences of presumed sea-level rise as suggested by a demographic study in Georgia. (Link below)

No documentation was reported with the study—except the broad and highly questionable statement: “National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimates place sea-level rise by 2100 at somewhere between nearly 1 foot and 8.2 feet.”  The university demographer calculated the numbers of people in North Carolina counties who would “adapt” or “migrate” inland assuming a nearly 6-foot sea-level rise on the coast by the year 2100.

These bizarre numbers defy current scientific findings. Sea levels continue to have typical natural variability—rising in some places and falling in others. Best available data show that sea-level rise is not accelerating, and “has probably fallen.” Mean global sea-level variability over the past 200 years has been measured in 100 millimeters, not feet: 25 mm equal 1 inch. The global rate of rise and fall is less than 2 mm per year according to scientific studies reported by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change.

Wagner’s report cites a number of lifestyle changes and expensive coastal policies implied necessary to protect coastal life and property from flooding based on this “study”: movement of coastal residents to inland counties; relocating utilities; higher risk to property on barrier islands; greater hazards to coastal residents.

The data from “studies” such as the one reported in the StarNews are highly suspect. Most “climate change” information reflects politics rather than science; worse, the projections are badly flawed. Our policy-makers would be foolish to rely on those who cry FIRE when there is no smoke.

http://www.starnewsonline.com/news/20170522/study-rising-seas-could-influence-nc-migration-patterns

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Environmentalists need to understand humanity, not economics

Steven Horwitz writing at the Foundation for Economic Education for an esoteric audience under the headline “Why Environmentalists Need to Understand Economics”—few people understand economics, or care to (of course, they should); and no rational person understands environmentalists (they don’t care about humanity).

Prof. Horwitz believes that “sophisticated environmental arguments” are challenging and interesting because “they often use ideas and terms that are frequently used to describe economic systems.” With due respect to the professor he makes some good points about economics but, in my opinion, doesn’t understand the depraved minds of radical environmentalists. They have no “sophisticated” arguments because their objectives are flawed; often inhumane. They look for problems to match socialist solutions. Environmentalism is synonymous with socialism; in its ultimate goals.

Apparently, the professor has had encounters, although what he calls “miscommunication,” with some of these people. But he thinks “economics can add to the way environmentalists often see these issues” (in my experience, only one way—and the wrong way.) These people never compromise, back off, or give up.

Their mission is to subvert our economic system using Marxist tactics. The “environment” and many of its components emotionally resonates with most people—the baited hook that brings people into the religious tent of Gaia. But central planning and government force eventually is required to meet their demands that subvert free markets and reduce consumer choices.

The politics of climate change strongly illustrates the fallacy that capitalism-based economics and environmentalism are compatible in any way.

It’s possible that some skeptics of the theory of manmade climate change may add to their understanding with better knowledge of economics, but the “dismal science” will not influence the established cultish religion of cause and effect. For example: human activities cause climate change and the effects will be catastrophic—the science is settled; end of discussion.

Prof. Horwitz notes that environmentalists and economists use similar words such as “resources, scarcity, and efficiency” assuming that in some way these words unite our ideas. But economists use these terms and ideas in a positive and constructive sense, environmentalists use them negatively to frighten and mislead people.

Horwitz writes, “both ecology and economics share the same prefix.” So do ecotourism and ecoterrorism but they represent dramatically different methods in having people appreciate and use the environment.

The professor says we should “listen to each other more carefully.” That’s nice, but radical environmentalists (that set the agenda, propaganda campaign and the political tactics) don’t want to listen; they demand we not only listen to them but support their government policy proposals and obey radical regulations of existing law.

Recently, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency decreed that carbon dioxide is an air pollutant, leading to massive unnecessary and expensive regulations on our lifestyles based on a benign gas, ironically necessary for life on this planet. In fact, many earth scientists believe that higher levels of CO2—that increases following warming, not causes warming— would benefit many areas of the world.

It’s commendable of Prof. Horwitz to suggest engaging “more sophisticated environmentalist arguments” with “defenders of free enterprise.” As one of those defenders and a scientist I’ve had little success in attempts at reasonable dialogue with these people. Maybe I’m getting cynical, but I think we are too far apart in our worldviews to join with “the trickiest issues” increasingly forced on us by environmentalists.

Instead of sharing their language (“words”) we must use our thinking to rebut their misguided ideas and fight against their political tactics. That will require understanding who they are; in what ways they attack our economic systems; and how they infiltrate and influence our political system. We should also learn to understand how they misuse science to support their unscientific ideas.

And rather than trying to get environmentalists to understand economics, we should try to make the case that they learn more about humanity.

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Who wants “race dialogue”?

Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones a Negro victim of “racial taunting” recently was featured in an Associated Press article by reporter Jim Suhr. According to Suhr’s report Jones was the target of “ugliness and hate” at a baseball game in Fenway Park, Boston, where someone, he says, called him “the N-word and had a bag of peanuts thrown in his direction.”

A careful read of the AP story reveals that 34 rowdy Boston fans were “kicked out of the game,” only one for “using foul language toward a player” (not clear it was directed at Jones). And the bag of peanuts someone threw hit a police officer (no report on whether he was injured or offended). Still, Jones claimed victimhood.

Jones chose this incident as “just a great time to talk about (race)”—two weeks later in front of the Kansas City Negro League Baseball Museum, “announcing his $20,000 donation to the shrine.” Hey, Jones; what would you say if white people started a Caucasian Baseball League? Would that be “racist”?

In the modern socially dysfunctional US of A it’s always a great time for racists to talk about race relations to focus attention on victim status; some choose rioting to gain notice. Race conflict is like the weather; many want to talk about it but no one can do anything about it–largely because it’s a figment of imaginations– an illusion.

That’s why some racial agitators want to stifle talk about the subject, especially from those rational people with some truthful ideas about it. But the truth won’t set race victims free; they will never forgive and forget presumed slights.

Ironically, our universities—once bastions of the “bedrock value” of free speech—have been infiltrated by ignorant subversives hell-bent on preventing race dialogue, or any talk that they say offends them; and encouraged by radical faculty and administrators.

Protesters (some paid) have aborted campus speeches by rudely disrupting the invited speakers; sometimes violently. This month “students” at a predominately black Florida university tried to shut down a commencement address by U. S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos because they said she “doesn’t understand the importance of historically black schools.” Of course, they don’t even understand the importance of civil behavior and common courtesy.

Many scholars and thinkers concerned about attacks on speech warn that we risk losing that precious right. According to an AP article by Collin Binkley, as reported from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE): “Since the beginning of 2016, nearly 30 campus speeches have been derailed amid controversy.”

These unruly brats should be hauled away, put in cages and expelled from school. Fortunately, a few State legislatures in Wisconsin, Virginia, Colorado, California, Michigan and North Carolina are considering expulsion or suspension of these nasty, immature perps. Young adults with this primitive mental attitude, lacking social skills, should never be admitted to any university.

For a more complete accounting of the miscreant’s activities within our colleges and universities see the article below published at the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal in Raleigh, North Carolina:

https://www.jamesgmartin.center/2017/05/free-speech-threatened-ever-must-respond/

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Scientists disagree about manmade ‘global warming’

Politicians and government agency heads for years have misled people with claims that most scientists agree “climate change is both manmade and dangerous.” With much of the American press continuously spreading this false news—and propaganda to support the flawed theory— many people now believe it. Worse, without skepticism they accept the “alarming,” bizarre projections spread about long-term catastrophic events for which there is no science-based evidence.

In 1998 a “Petition Project” was organized by a group of research physicists and physical chemists. The petition was signed by more than 31,000 American scientists, nearly one-third with PhDs. The petition urged the U. S. government to reject the 1997 “Kyoto” agreement putting limits on “greenhouse gases.”

The petition signers were qualified in science fields including atmosphere, earth, environment, computers, math, physics, aerospace, chemistry, biology, agriculture, biochemistry, medicine, general engineering and general science.

“The purpose of the Petition Project is to demonstrate that the claim of ‘settled science’ and an overwhelming ‘consensus’ in favor of the hypothesis of human-caused global warming and consequent climatological damage is wrong.”

The petition unequivocally stated:

There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.

***

  Details about this project, including names of the petition signers, can be found in:

Craig Idso and S. Fred Singer, Climate Change Reconsidered: 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), Appendix 4; Chicago, IL. The Heartland Institute, 2009.

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Push back against political activists

At the site below George Leef of the North Carolina Martin Center for Academic Renewal makes the case against activists who want to distort federal law to use it as a political tool for their misguided and biased agenda.

 

https://www.jamesgmartin.center/2017/05/woman-appointed-top-education-department-post-fire/

 

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Competition and choice in education

Media scenes with marching mobs of screaming street activists holding signs demanding government favors and expressing hatred toward opponents they consider enemies typically represent American fascism—and they often include public school unioneers.

Behind their demands for non-meritorious pay and perks unavailable to private American employees lurks the problem of monopoly. Charter and private schools are accountable for results, government schools are not. Why?—because they operate under taxpayer charity and political mandate with little incentive to provide better service to students.

Activist public employees hate the idea of competition because they function by bureaucratic rules and regulations designed to protect their positions and further self-serving administrative projects. Individual employees justify their positions based on how well they satisfy the personal interests of their supervisors—that help make them look good to their superiors.

The profit motive and beating the competition drive excellence in private enterprises.  With no institutional incentive in government to strive for excellence against competing services pay and perks depend on political pressure rather than merit. Fortunately, in the education business alternatives to government education exist.

In the April 25, 2017 print issue of FORBES magazine Amity Shlaes describes what she calls “academic ubers” now operating that can provide improved education to our children.

Ms. Shlaes is a scholarly author. She wrote several books and is chair of the Coolidge Foundation Board. Shlaes wrote a wonderful biography of President Calvin Coolidge and a great history of the 1930’s depression and the Roosevelt administration titled, “The Forgotten Man.”

Shlaes describes “private, independent or charter schools…just waiting for customers so they can disrupt, and improve the petrified sector of K-12 education.” She notes that parochial schools “stand ready to accept public vouchers…But there are plenty of lesser-known” education systems that can compete with government schools:

CLASSICAL CONVERSATIONS is a home-school curriculum available at about $1500 per year for high school students. The lesson plans restore Western civilization, memorization, recitation and strong science and math subjects. The program has more than 100,000 registered students.

BASIS school projects– founded by economists Michael and Olga Block; operate as charters and private schools in Arizona, California, New York, Texas, Virginia and Washington, D.C. Basis has 30 campuses but, according to the founders could have 1,000 without regulators and if Americans “had an inkling of the type of truly excellent education they’re missing.”

GREAT HEARTS ACADEMIES– Arizona and Texas; charter schools with waiting lists.

Here is North Carolina entrepreneur Robert Luddy has set up his own school system without federal support, including charter, Catholic and private schools. Mr. Luddy has more applicants than seats for his schools. Luddy is also a fellow trustee at the Calvin Coolidge Foundation.

Although not nearly enough of them, it’s good to know that these improved nongovernmental school systems are available to some of our children. Unfortunately, for practical purposes, the better schools are not available to all because parents can’t afford to pay extra to subsidize the government schools—often costing much more per student than private or charter schools.

Currently, massive amounts of tax money at all government levels is distributed to school districts to be spent by, and for, huge bureaucracies. If cash vouchers or tax credits were given directly for each qualifying school-aged child in a family to be used as the parents desired, real choice and better education would result.

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Science and progressive political science

The word science as we know it has nothing to do with politics. The scientific method can be used to support or reject human hypotheses about the physical world in which we live, but not ideologies. Unfortunately, the word has become bastardized by progressive (Marxist) ideologues and is beginning to lose its real meaning—the observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena.

Progressives have used the word to try to justify their social agenda on the politics of abortion, climate change, racism, gender fantasies, and other “justice” projects.

During “Earth Day” weekend last month progressives “marched for science” in cities around the U. S. I’m embarrassed to note that people at my almamater—the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse University—promoted and participated in March for Science events in that city and in Washington, D. C.

Fifty years ago the “College of Forestry” was renowned for its forest scientists and their teaching and research in forest management and forest products science and engineering. I was proud to have participated in those studies and associate with those men of science.

Today my former college (and many others in the U. S.) has become infiltrated with progressive “social justice” activists who make a mockery of real science and spread their leftist propaganda to gullible students and the public. Sadly, I have noted this evolution during the past fifty years by studying the alumni news and other college literature.

The real purpose of the “March” was to demonstrate against our President Donald Trump and to promote a plethora of left-wing agendas. This charade was exposed by several adult writers.

Eric Metaxas writing at http://www.cnsnews.com commented in an article titled, “The Liberal Crusade to Redefine Science”:

“But if there were ever going to be a ceremony inaugurating this new and useless definition of science, it’s got to be last weekend’s ‘March for Science’ in the nation’s capital, co-chaired by Bill Nye, ‘the science guy.’ Nye, a children’s TV host from the nineties with no formal training as a scientist, has recaptured the spotlight with his videos on climate change, abortion, women’s “rights,” and other highly politicized issues.

“To say his arguments in some of these videos are embarrassing is being kind. For instance, in one odd and rambling speech promoting abortion, Nye claimed that because many lives end through natural causes before they leave the womb that it’s okay for us to kill the unborn ourselves…That does not stop Nye’s supporters from honoring him as a champion of science…One wonders who, exactly, was in charge of this debacle.”

Who indeed?

Mr. Metaxas pleads with anyone who knows what real science is—who still believes science has a definition independent of politics—to speak up against political science. I intend to.

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