The Week That Was: 2021-01-23 (January 23, 2021)
Brought to You by SEPP (www.SEPP.org)
The Science and Environmental Policy Project
Quote of the Week:“A lie doesn’t become truth, wrong doesn’t become right, and evil doesn’t become good, just because it’s accepted by a majority.” – Booker T. Washington [H/t Art Robinson]
Number of the Week: – 6.3 times
By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP)
Logarithmic Relationship: A post in No Tricks Zone on earth’s climate being governed by the Sun led TWTW to search for a 1971 article on global cooling by S.I. Rasool and Stephen Schneider, then of NASA-GISS, now both deceased. Rasool was an atmospheric chemist who has written on the atmospheres of other planets as well as the earth. Stephen Schneider was a climatologist who was a lead author of the Third Assessment Report (TAR, 2001) of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and a strong advocate for cutting greenhouse gas emissions. The abstract of the paper states:
“Effects on the global temperature of large increases in carbon dioxide and aerosol densities in the atmosphere of Earth have been computed. It is found that, although the addition of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere does increase the surface temperature, the rate of temperature increase diminishes with increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. For aerosols, however, the net effect of increase in density is to reduce the surface temperature of Earth. Because of the exponential dependence of the backscattering, the rate of temperature decrease is augmented with increasing aerosol content. An increase by only a factor of 4 in global aerosol background concentration may be sufficient to reduce the surface temperature by as much as 3.5 ° K. If sustained over a period of several years, such a temperature decrease over the whole globe is believed to be sufficient to trigger an ice age.” [Boldface added]
The paper made the headlines of the New York Times, the authors later backtracked on their claims in the paper stating they underestimated the warming effect of carbon dioxide (CO2) and overestimated the cooling effects of aerosols. Schneider also gave a famous interview with Discover magazine in which he said:
“On the one hand we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but & which means that we must include all the doubts, caveats, ifs and buts. On the other hand, we are not just scientists, but human beings as well. And like most people, we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climate change. To do that we have to get some broad-based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So, we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This double ethical bind which we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.”
Schneider’s views on abandoning the scientific method to be effective is a major problem in climate science and some other sciences today. That is one reason why policy makers and the public should discount the term “scientists say” as possibly meaningless. What is meaningful is the evidence.
The first quote shows that the authors and the editors of Science Mag realized that decades of laboratory experiments showed that the influence of carbon dioxide on the surface temperatures of the earth is logarithmic. This was in the early 1970s when the fear was that the earth was cooling. By 2001, the fear was that the globe was warming.
Page 6 of the “Summary for Policymakers” of the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report (TAR, 2001) shows that the recognized logarithmic relationship – the declining influence of CO2 with greater concentrations – has been replaced. It is now the inverse, an exponential relationship –increasing influence of CO2 with greater concentrations. No supporting physical evidence was offered. But discredited Mr. Mann’s hockey-stick was thrown in for good measure. The section is followed by the statement:
“Concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases and their radiative forcing have continued to increase as a result of human activities.”
The IPCC, Science Mag, NASA-GISS and other government science organizations conveniently eliminated past concerns of an oncoming ice age and continue to ignore contradicting evidence to assert the popular claim of the day. Is there any reason why the public should believe government scientists who assert dangerous global warming? Or the politicians who claim a climate emergency? See links under Problems in the Orthodoxy, https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/2018/02/WG1_TAR-FRONT.pdf and
Radiation Transfer: As discussed in recent TWTWs, physicists such as William Happer, who specializes in Atomic, Molecular and Optical physics (AMO), which deals with the greenhouse effect, call the specific topic radiation transfer, not radiative forcing as the IPCC calls it. Also, the IPCC and its followers ignore the tremendous benefits of the greenhouse effect. Without it, the planet would not support complex life, perhaps except for geothermal vents. Certainly, land masses would be too cold at night to support plant life and animal life that depends on it.
This knowledge of the tremendous benefits of the greenhouse effect is ignored by those who claim carbon dioxide is causing dangerous warming, even though it was established around 1860 with experiments by John Tyndall who showed different greenhouse gases have different properties in absorbing radiant energy (heat). This was a landmark in the history of absorption spectroscopy of gases. Tyndall demonstrated and quantified that visually transparent gases absorb and emit infrared energy. If the goal of the IPCC and its followers is to show the warming effects of CO2, they are using the wrong field of physics.
The high-resolution transmission molecular absorption database (HITRAN) is a molecular spectroscopic database used to simulate and analyze the transmission and emission of light in gaseous media, with an emphasis on planetary atmospheres. Using the HITRAN database, Wijngaarden & Happer and Howard Hayden have shown the effectiveness of CO2 in blocking infrared transmission of energy transmission from the surface to space declines significantly even when CO2 concentration reaches about 100 parts per million (ppm) (a concentration below the IPCC-asserted “pre-industrial level” of 280 ppm). Further, CO2 blocks only a rather narrow range of infrared energy. Organizations that ignore the rather narrow limits of CO2 blocking of infrared radiation are ignoring the scientific method and are not engaged in science, regardless of name.
Paul Homewood posted on his website, in two parts, a study by physicist David Coe who for the past 20 years has been developing a range of sensors for the monitoring of gaseous emissions to atmosphere using infra-red absorption spectroscopy. Coe uses the HITRAN database and concludes:
“CO2 levels of 3000ppm [parts per million, currently the CO2 level is about 410 ppm] will only raise temperatures by a further 1.5K. These temperature increases are in fact well within natural variations seen in the past, including the medieval warm period and the little ice age of some 300 years ago.
“The possibility of positive feedback from water vapour is discounted by the simple fact that the H2O spectrum is incapable of absorbing significant further amounts of radiated energy and the modest increase in temperature due to increasing CO2 levels is unable to deliver any significant increase in H2O concentration due to the specific relationship of H2O saturation vapour pressure and temperature. It would take an increase in temperature of 10 deg C to double the mean H2O atmospheric concentration, and that doubling would only result in a temperature increase of 2 deg C.”
“The ‘greenhouse effect’ is dominated by the absorption spectrum of H2O with a little help from CO2. At current concentrations of both gases, it is inconceivable that further increases in concentrations will lead to any significant warming. Increasing CO2 concentration to 3000ppm and doubling the mean H2O level to 2% would result in a global temperature increase of 3.4K.
“In short, there is no climate emergency, at least due to ‘greenhouse gases’.”
An addendum posted a week later deals with problems from using the concept of “equilibrium climate sensitivity.” Using this concept requires a large set of assumptions that may be refuted. A major issue is what happens if water vapor changes (the dominant greenhouse gas).
Coe presents numerous tables of calculations for concentrations of CO2 between 0 and 3000 ppm and concentrations of water vapor (H2O) ranging from 0% to 4% of the atmosphere. He added a number of calculations for climate sensitivity, not “equilibrium climate sensitivity.” Coe concludes:
“In producing these results no assumptions have been made about the mechanisms of heat transfer within the atmosphere, other than the fraction of absorbed outgoing IR radiation that remains with the earth/atmosphere lies between 0.4 and 0.6. Values outside this range result in unreasonable equilibrium earth temperatures.
“These results are totally at odds with the IPCC version of climate sensitivity ranging between 1.5 and 5deg C and suggest quite clearly that CO2 is not, repeat not, a significant driver of global warming and climate change.” [Boldface added]
In his Figure # 1 (not shown here) Coe plots the Atmospheric IR (infrared) Absorptivity change with CO2 concentrations changing from 0 to 3000 ppm and atmospheric water vapor at 0%, 0.1%, 0.25%, 0.5%, 1.0%, 2.0% and 4.0%. As suggested in the Hayden paper using calculations from Wijngaarden & Happer, at concentrations of CO2 above 100 ppm the influence of CO2 on temperatures quickly flattens out. There is little change in influence going from 500 ppm to 1000 ppm or above. Those claiming “runaway warming” on earth have no basis for their speculation. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.
Climate Sensitivity: Fortunately, Coe added the addendum giving specific calculations for a range of CO2 and H2O values. Pursuing climate sensitivity by using models is like hitting a barn with an arrow then drawing a target around it. It is whatever the modeler seeks. As stated above, Schneider quickly adjusted his values for CO2 and aerosols depending on the direction the wind is blowing. Is it an ice age or global warming?
Last week TWTW discussed the Climate Change Information Brief by Christopher Essex: “Can Computer Models Predict Climate?” When discussing the current fad of “ensemble averaging” he writes:
“The average over these is presented as the future. It seems technical, but in terms of the future it is something like the difference between, ‘You will meet a tall handsome stranger,’ and ‘you may or may not meet an average person.’ Forecasts like that are difficult to falsify.
“The depth of difficulty of the scientific problem is obscured by the machinery inherited from the radiative-convective-model picture originating in the 60’s, which is peculiarly imposed on modern models. We imagine in accordance with radiative-convective model thinking that an integral over a temperature field (temperature index) is proportional to an integral over the radiation field (changes in infrared [absorbing] gas amounts). The constant of proportionality is known as the ‘climate sensitivity.’ Much effort has gone into determining its ‘correct’ value in the context of climate models. But such a relationship implies that these integrals can be related to each other in a function, which can ignore the underlying meteorology. That is, it is a claim of closure, and tantamount to a definition of climate. There is no reason to support this claim in Nature. If this function does not exist, neither does climate sensitivity, and the models that conform to this picture are falsified.” [Boldface added] See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy.
Bandwagon Science: Last week TWTW asked the question what to call the thousands of papers that seem scientific but have highly questionable assumptions that are not tested or ignore physical evidence that the researcher or supporting entity wishes to mask. Richard Courtney’s term Bandwagon Science appears appropriate. The bandwagon fallacy is a form of Argumentum ad populum, an appeal to a common belief or to the masses. For example, “97% of scientists believe….”
A great example appeared in “Science Advances” put out by Science Mag. The effort is to find examples in history where high levels of CO2 coincided with high temperatures to claim the CO2 was the cause of high temperatures. This one covered the Cenozoic Era which started about 66 million years ago after a great extinction wiped out three-quarters of the plant and animal species on Earth, the K–Pg extinction event.
Since the beginning of the Cenozoic Era, the earth experienced significant periods of warming and cooling and CO2 dropped significantly from about 3000 ppm to about 180 ppm during glaciation periods in the current Quaternary Period, an ice age starting about 2.6 million years ago.
Rather than presenting current observations of the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere, where it occurs, Science Mag is focused on speculating what the climate was like 66 million years ago when the Pakicetus, the probable ancestor of whales, such as the blue whale, walked on land on all fours. There is no way to realistically apply whatever value the research indicates for CO2 and temperatures to today’s earth. See links under Defending the Orthodoxy – Bandwagon Science
Urban Heat Island Effect: Writing in WUWT, Andy May brings attention to a new paper by Nicola Scafetta in Climate Dynamics, “Detection of non‐climatic biases in land surface temperature records by comparing climatic data and their model simulations.” The Urban Heat Island Effect (UHI) is largely discounted by the IPCC. Scafetta points out that from 1950 to 2020 the world’s population tripled, going from 2.5 billion to 7.5 billion, an increase of 5 billion. Given that surface measurement instruments are largely located near population centers, this increase has to have a significant impact on measurements, particularly in areas undergoing urbanization. The only temperature-measuring system that averages over the entire earth, giving no excess weight to urban areas is the satellite system.
Urbanization is a major issue in the developing world. Prior to his death Fred Singer was convinced that locating many instruments near airports was influencing the measurements because the land around airports was being developed, also resulting in an increase in UHI. See links under Measurement Issues — Surface
Change in Administrations: No doubt, some of those who joined the Trump Administration to foster an open debate on how increasing CO2 increases the greenhouse effect are frustrated by the experience. He appeared as erratic as wind power. The American public deserves an independent investigation of the strengths and limits to the claims that carbon dioxide is causing dangerous global warming. The Trump Administration was not willing to provide one. The Biden Administration probably won’t. The demand by some Senators to review the science used to justify the Paris Agreement is a positive step, but one that will likely fail.
Biden has made clear that he is rejoining the Paris Agreement. At this time, the terms are not clear. It is important to remember that the Paris Agreement is an executive agreement, not a treaty. According to Article II, Section 2 of the US Constitution:
“He [The President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur;”
In the US, a treaty has the force of law, an executive agreement does not. Obama danced around the issue of was it an agreement or a treaty? Yet, Obama made last minute changes assuring it was an agreement so he would not have to send it to the Senate for approval.
Given Biden’s climate team, no doubt they will pretend it is a treaty when it’s convenient for them. They will pretend they use the correct field of physics when they do not; they will pretend they use the correct databases to establish evidence of dangerous global warming when the databases do not; they will pretend that the models they use establish dangerous global warming when the models do not. They will pretend the resulting work is rigorous science when it is deficient speculation. It is questionable whether the team understands the difference between science and science fiction.
Given what has happened in the past, the finger pointing and personal attacks against those who dare stand up and demonstrate deficiencies in the claims of a climate crisis will only intensify, not diminish. But this has been part of the history of the US, and the schoolyard name-calling is minor when compared to what occurred in the effort to abolish slavery in some states and limit it in territories before the Civil War.
Number of the Week: 6.3 times. According to the calculations by David Coe, using the HITRAN data base that is well established and verified, an increase in atmospheric CO2 from current levels of about 410 ppm to 3000 ppm will increase temperatures by about 1.5 K (ºC), well within the range since the Little Ice Age. The increase in CO2 concentrations will be 6.3 times the current level. A warming of 1.5 K since 1880 is the latest number the UN and other organizations are claiming to be a climate crisis. To get to 3000 ppm, massive volcanoes will have to erupt, creating a real crisis. See links under Challenging the Orthodoxy and https://www.un.org/en/sections/issues-depth/climate-change/
NEWS YOU CAN USE:
Science: Is the Sun Rising?
Japanese Climate Scientist Kyoji Kimoto: “Climate Change Governed By The Sun”, CO2 Lesser Role!
By guest author Kyoji Kimoto, No Tricks Zone, Jan 22, 2021data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==
[SEPP Comment: Does solar activity influence the jet stream? In periods of low solar activity causing large variation in the jet stream and in periods of high activity causing periods of small variation?]
Commentary: Is the Sun Rising?
Exploring the Solar Wind With A New View of Small Sun Structures
By Sarah Frazier, WUWT, Jan 19, 2021https://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/2021/exploring-the-solar-wind-with-a-new-view-of-small-sun-structures
Deus ex digital machina
By Charles Battig, CFACT, Jan 20, 2021https://www.cfact.org/2021/01/20/deus-ex-digital-machina/
Challenging the Orthodoxy — NIPCC
Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science
Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), 2013
Idso, Idso, Carter, and Singer, Lead Authors/Editors, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), 2014
Climate Change Reconsidered II: Fossil Fuels
By Multiple Authors, Bezdek, Idso, Legates, and Singer eds., Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change, April 2019
Download with no charge:
Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming
The NIPCC Report on the Scientific Consensus
By Craig D. Idso, Robert M. Carter, and S. Fred Singer, Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), Nov 23, 2015
Download with no charge:https://www.heartland.org/policy-documents/why-scientists-disagree-about-global-warming
S. Fred Singer, Editor, NIPCC, 2008
Global Sea-Level Rise: An Evaluation of the Data
By Craig D. Idso, David Legates, and S. Fred Singer, Heartland Policy Brief, May 20, 2019
Challenging the Orthodoxy
The IR absorptive characteristics of “greenhouse” gases–David Coe
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Jan 17, 2021The IR absorptive characteristics of “greenhouse” gases–David Coe
Link to full paper: CO2 The Miracle Molecule
By David Coe, Physicist, Accessed Jan 22, 2021
The IR absorptive characteristics of “greenhouse” gases– Addendum -David Coe
By David Coe, Not a Lot of People Know That, Jan 22, 2021The IR absorptive characteristics of “greenhouse” gases– Addendum -David Coe
Longwave Radiation & The Arctic
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Jan 20, 2021Longwave Radiation & The Arctic
[SEPP Comment: Comments on “Radiation Transfer” by William Happer of the Climate Change Information Briefs.]
Can Computer Models Predict Climate?
By Christopher Essex, Climate Change Information Brief, Accessed Jan 22, 2012
Proof Of Warmer Earlier Climate! Swiss Geologist Studies 10,800-Year Old Tree Trunk Under Alps Glacier
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Jan 17, 2021data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==
[SEPP Comment: Will those who cry CO2-caused global warming ignore how it grew there?]
The Natural Warming Of The Global Oceans-Bob Tisdale
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Jan 17, 2021The Natural Warming Of The Global Oceans-Bob Tisdale
“Worldwide sea surface temperature trends since 1980 show no correlation with GHGs
“Instead they exhibit a series of step changes up, which follow the major El Nino events of 1982/83, 1987/88 and 1997/98.”
Bob Tisdale – Part 2
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Jan 18, 2021Bob Tisdale – Part 2
“It is of particular relevance from 8 minutes in, where Bob discusses why most historical ocean heat data is utterly worthless, and how even the ARGO data has been tampered with:”
Fake Invisible Catastrophes and Threats of Doom
If you read one book on climate change, let it be this one
By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, WUWT, Jan 20, 2021data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==
[SEPP Comment: Review of book authored by Patrick Moore.]
Measuring Old Corals & Coral Reefs (Part 2)
By Jennifer Marohasy, Her Blog, Jan 20, 2021
“I actually think that there are major problems with the methodology used by Professor Hughes to decide on the state of our coral reefs. I think it inappropriate to attempt to categorise the state of corals from such a high altitude, from more than 100 metres away. I think that the professor should be getting in, and under, the water.”
[SEPP Comment: Comparing what an alarmist sees from an airplane to what actually exists!]
Climate and carbon cycle trends of the past 50 million years reconciled
Press Release by University of Hawaii at Manoa, Jan 22, 2021 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]https://phys.org/news/2021-01-climate-carbon-trends-million-years.html
Link to paper: Reconciling atmospheric CO2, weathering, and calcite compensation depth across the Cenozoic
By Nemanja Komar* and Richard E. Zeebe, Science Advances, Jan 22, 2021https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/7/4/eabd4876
Human activity behind nearly all warming: study
By Patrick Galley, Paris (AFP) Jan 18, 2021https://www.terradaily.com/reports/Human_activity_behind_nearly_all_warming_study_999.html
“The researchers examined 13 different climate models to simulate expected temperature changes under three main scenarios: one in which just aerosol affected temperature, one where only natural forcings occurred, and another where greenhouse gas emissions are factored in.”
No link to paper
Scientists say (4)
By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Jan 20, 2021
Questioning the Orthodoxy
4 Weird Things About the Climate Summit
By Donna Laframboise, Big Picture News, Jan 20, 2021data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==
“UN bureaucrats perch up there in the clouds, atop pedestals, insisting they know best. They have no skin in the game. When things turn to dust, they shrug their shoulders and hop over to the next job.
“Since they can never be held accountable for the damage they inflict, it will always be a bad idea to place our future in their hands.”
[SEPP Comment: Apparently, Global Center for Excellence on Adaptation was not an excellent idea. Now it is just the Global Center on Adaptation. But the bad ideas still remain.]
Trofim Lysenko Looks Down and Smiles
By Alistair Crooks, Quadrant Online, Jan 23, 2021
Biden’s Return to Paris Climate Blunders Will Benefit Beijing
By Larry Bell, Newsmax, Jan 19, 2021
Republicans call for Senate review before U.S. re-enters Paris climate deal
By Valerie Volcovici, Reuters, Jan 20, 2021https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-biden-climate-republicans-idUSKBN29P2WF
Change in US Administrations
Here Are All the Climate Actions Biden Took on Day One
As expected, the President signed executive orders to rejoin the Paris climate agreement and review Trump-era rollbacks
By Jean Chemnick, E&E News, Via Scientific American, Jan 21, 2021https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/here-are-all-the-climate-actions-biden-took-on-day-one/
Biden’s Climate Team: ‘Systemic Racism’ Is To Blame For Climate Change
By Ashe Schow, The Daily Wire, Jan 18, 2021 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]https://www.dailywire.com/news/bidens-climate-team-systemic-racism-is-to-blame-for-climate-change?itm_source=parsely-api?utm_source=cnemail&utm_medium=email&utm_content=011821-news&utm_campaign=position6
[SEPP Comment: Systemic – complete? If you believe climate has been stable for billions of years, you can believe anything.]
Trump Administration Accomplishments (Part I: ‘American Energy Independence’)
By Robert Bradley Jr. Master Resource, Jan 19, 2021data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==
Trump Administration Accomplishments (Part II: ‘Massive Deregulation’)
By Robert Bradley Jr. Master Resource, Jan 20, 2021data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==
Social Benefits of Carbon Dioxide
Another New Study Says Warming And CO2-Induced Greening Leads To COOLING Of Land Surface Temperatures
By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Jan 21, 2021data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==
Link to latest study: Predominant regional biophysical cooling from recent land cover changes in Europe
By Bo Huang, Nature Communications, Feb 26, 2020https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-14890-0
Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Aerosols: Effects of Large Increases on Global Climate
By S. I. Rasool, S. H. Schneider, Science, July 9, 1971https://science.sciencemag.org/content/173/3992/138
China’s 2020 coal output rises to highest since 2015, undermining climate pledges
By Muyu Xu and Shivani Singh, Reuters, Jan 17, 2021https://www.nasdaq.com/articles/chinas-2020-coal-output-rises-to-highest-since-2015-undermining-climate-pledges-2021-01-17
[SEPP Comment: One must understand the pledge: If the west succeeds in replacing fossil fuels without severely damaging its economy, China pledged to follow. It the west fails, then the west must try harder.]
Climate regulation threatens competitiveness of German auto industry – Deutsche Bank
By Charlotte Nijhuis, Clean Energy Wire, Jan 19, 2021 [H/t GWPF]https://www.cleanenergywire.org/news/climate-regulation-threatens-competitiveness-german-auto-industry-deutsche-bank
Climate could pay the price as Europe’s nuclear plants age
By Nina Chestney, Susanna Twidale, Reuters, Dec 21, 2020 [H/t GWPF]https://www.reuters.com/article/us-europe-nuclearpower-analysis-idUSKBN28V26D
Seeking a Common Ground
Committed warming and the pattern effect
By Nic Lewis, Climate Etc. Jan 19, 2021Committed warming and the pattern effect
Global Disasters: A Remarkable Story of Science and Policy Success
Believe it or Not, Disaster Trends are Moving in a Positive Direction
By Roger Pielke Jr., The Honest Broker, Jan 14, 2021https://rogerpielkejr.substack.com/p/global-disasters-a-remarkable-story
Can We Save the Planet, Live Comfortably, and Have Children Too?
By Joel Kotkin & Wendell Cox, Real Clear Energy, Jan 19, 2021https://www.realclearenergy.org/articles/2021/01/19/can_we_save_the_planet_live_comfortably_and_have_children_too_656954.html
Science, Policy, and Evidence
[UK] Government ordered to release Net Zero cost calculations
Press Release by Staff, GWPF, Jan 21, 2021
“This is a major embarrassment for the Treasury. It appears that it cobbled together a few numbers on the back of an envelope, and simply emailed them off to the Prime Minister without a blush. After Parliament’s decision to adopt the Net Zero target without any meaningful scrutiny, and without consideration of the economic and engineering implications, it is becoming clear that the whole project is misgovernance on a historic scale.”
The World Needs a Real Investigation Into the Origins of Covid-19
A team of WHO researchers has arrived in China but won’t investigate the possibility that the coronavirus originated in a lab.
By Matt Ridley, Rational Optimist, Jan 16, 2021http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/a-real-investigation-into-the-origins-of-covid/
“As a scientist and a science writer, we believe that both natural and lab-based scenarios of Covid-19’s origins must be rigorously investigated, not only to avert future pandemics but for the sake of science’s reputation. The formal investigation launched by WHO is only taking steps to look into natural origins. That needs to change.”
Review of Recent Scientific Articles by CO2 Science
1,000 Years of Treeline Change in Northwest Finnish Lapland
Helama, S., Kuoppamaa, M. and Sutinen, R. 2020. Subaerially preserved remains of pine stemwood as indicators of late Holocene timberline fluctuations in Fennoscandia, with comparisons of tree-ring and 14C dated depositional histories of subfossil trees from dry and wet sites. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 278: 104223. Jan 22, 2022http://www.co2science.org/articles/V24/jan/a9.php
Recent Trends in Snow Cover Area in the Chitral River Basin of Pakistan
Ahmad, S., Israr, M., Liu, S., Hayat, H., Gul, J., Wajid, S., Ashraf, M., Baig, S.U. and Tahir, A.A. 2020. Spatio-temporal trends in snow extent and their linkage to hydro-climatological and topographical factors in the Chitral River Basin (Hindukush, Pakistan). Geocarto International 35: 711-734. Jan 20, 2021http://www.co2science.org/articles/V24/jan/a8.php
Models v. Observations
Failing Computer Models
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Jan 21, 2021Failing Computer Models
Link to report: Climate Analysis
By Staff, Remote Sensing System, Updated June 30, 2017http://www.remss.com/research/climate/#:~:text=The%20RSS%20merged%20lower%20stratospheric%20temperature%20data%20product,in%20well-mixed%20greenhouse%20gases%20causes%20by%20human%20activity.
Canada is Warming at Only 1/2 the Rate of Climate Model Simulations
By Roy Spencer, His Blog, Jan 21, 2021data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==
Improving long-term climate calculations
News Report by University of Copenhagen, Jan 19, 2021 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]https://phys.org/news/2021-01-long-term-climate.html
Link to paper: Multivariate Estimations of Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity From Short Transient Warming Simulations
By Robbin Bastiaansen, Henk A. Dijkstra & Anna S. von der Heydt, Geophysical Research Letters, Dec 11, 2020https://agupubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2020GL091090
[SEPP Comment: The academic pursuit of identifying equilibrium climate sensitivity by using climate modes is a pursuit of a myth.]
A New Look at the Urban Heat Island Effect
By Andy May, WUWT, Jan 22, 2021
By Nicola Scafetta, Climate Dynamics, Jan 17, 2021https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00382-021-05626-x
2020, climate statistics and all that
There has been no significant warming trend for 5 years. [Surface]
By David Whitehouse, GWPF, Jan 15, 2021
The Stratosphere Has Warmed Profoundly This Month. What are the Implications?
By Cliff Mass, Weather Blog, Jan 17, 2021https://cliffmass.blogspot.com/2021/01/the-stratosphere-has-warmed-profoundly.html
Late rainy season reliably predicts drought in regions prone to food insecurity
New indicator could help mitigate food insecurity in Sub-Saharan Africa
Research News by PLOS, Jan 20, 2021 [H/t WUWT]https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2021-01/p-lrs011321.php
Link to paper: A slow rainy season onset is a reliable harbinger of drought in most food insecure regions in Sub-Saharan Africa
By Shraddhanand Shukla, et al. Plos One, Jan 20, 2021https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0242883
[SEPP Comment: Strongly question opening clause: “Since 2015, Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) has experienced an unprecedented rise in acute food insecurity (AFI),…” Compared to what?]
Sea Ice Slows Ships In North China Ports
By Muyu Xu and Chen Aizhu, Reuters, Jan 12, 2021 [H/t WUWT]data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==
UCI researchers: Climate change will alter the position of the Earth’s tropical rain belt
Difference by the year 2100 expected to impact global biodiversity, food security
News Release, UCI (University of California, Ivine), Jan 19, 2021 [H/t WUWT]
[SEPP Comment: If climate change is human caused, what caused past changes in the tropical rain belt [Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ)]?]
148 papers for high sticking
By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Jan 20, 2021
New Study: Coral Bleaching ‘Repeatedly Occurred’ Throughout The Warmer-Than-Today Mid-Holocene
By Kenneth Richard, No Tricks Zone, Jan 18, 2021data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==
Link to paper; New evidence for the periodic bleaching and recovery of Porites corals during the mid-late Holocene in the northern South China Sea
By Hao Wang, et al. Global and Planetary Change, February 2121https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0921818120302885
[SEPP Comment: More zombie corals that came back from the death by sea surface temperatures and sea surface salinity?]
A picture is worth a thousand equations
By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Jan 20, 2021
“Any suitably trained non-fool can write equations that ‘predict’ the warming after 1980 and pin it on CO2. But they cannot write equations that also predict the cooling from 1940 to 1980 and pin it on CO2 or, crucially, predict the warming from 1900 to 1940 and pin it on CO2.”
Changing Cryosphere – Land / Sea Ice
Arctic Cool Off: Canada, Greenland And Iceland Have Seen Almost No Warming So Far This Century
By Kirye and Pierre Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Jan 20, 2021data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==
Greenland Ice Mass Loss Below Average In 2020
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Jan 18, 2021Greenland Ice Mass Loss Below Average In 2020
“What is evident is that there has been no acceleration in melt since the start of records in 2002. This runs counter to the alarmist message commonly perpetuated, for instance the ever reliable BBC!”
Antarctica: The ocean cools at the surface but warms up at depth
By CNRS, Phys.org, Jan 21, 2021 [H/t Bernie Kepshie]https://phys.org/news/2021-01-antarctica-ocean-cools-surface-depth.html
Link to paper: Southern Ocean in-situ temperature trends over 25 years emerge from interannual variability
By Matthis Auger, et al. Nature Communications, Jan 21, 2021https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-20781-1
“The study points to major changes around the polar ice cap where temperatures are increasing by 0.04°C per decade, which could have serious consequences for Antarctic ice.”
“This is the longest series of temperature records in the Southern Ocean covering north to south.”
[SEPP Comment: Very spotty data taken to a depth of 800 meters. 0.04°C per decade is within the range of error in measurement.]
Acidification impedes shell development of plankton off the US West Coast
News Release by NOAA Headquarters, Jan 19, 2021 [H/t WUWT]https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2021-01/nh-ais011921.php
Link to paper: Pteropods make thinner shells in the upwelling region of the California Current Ecosystem
By Lisette Mekkes, et al. Nature, Jan 18, 2021https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-81131-9
From the abstract: ‘Depth-averaged pH ranged from 8.03 in warmer offshore waters to 7.77 in cold CO2-rich waters nearshore. We thus infer that pteropods make thinner shells where upwelling brings more acidified and colder waters to the surface.”
[SEPP Comment: Note that the pH shows the solution remains alkaline. Could colder waters be the reason for the thinning shells?]
Have Your Say About The BBC!
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Jan 20, 2021Have Your Say About The BBC!
“They’ll probably ignore it, but at least it’s a chance to get it off your chest and let them know how you really feel!!”
Communicating Better to the Public – Make things up.
Study: Global Warming will Impact Children’s Nutrition
By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Jan 20, 2020
Link to study: Climate impacts associated with reduced diet diversity in children across nineteen countries
By Meredith T Niles, et al. Environmental Research Letters, Jan 14, 2021https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/abd0ab
By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Jan 20, 2021
[SEPP Comment: Addressing claims such as Anthony Fauci’s “We have entered a pandemic era.”]
Communicating Better to the Public – Use Propaganda
As oceans warm, large fish struggle
News Release by McGill University, Jan 21, 2021 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]https://phys.org/news/2021-01-oceans-large-fish-struggle.html
Link to paper: Oxygen limitation may affect the temperature and size dependence of metabolism in aquatic ectotherms
By Juan G. Rubalcaba, PNAS, Nov 30, 2021https://www.pnas.org/content/117/50/31963
[SEPP Comment: The giant (15 to 18 meter) Megalodon did not exist during the Miocene, a warm Epoch prior to the current ice age?]
Expanding the Orthodoxy
Climate Activists Target ESG [Environmental, social and governance criteria]
By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Jan 22, 2021data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==
“No matter how noble the original concept, it has morphed into a tool to force Americans into making only those investments that radical environmentalists and governments deem appropriate.”
Fighting climate crisis made harder by Covid-19 inequality, says WEF
Environmental issues are biggest danger in coming years, says international organization
By Larry Elliott, The Guardian, Jan 19, 2021 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/jan/19/climate-crisis-covid-19-inequality-wef
Questioning European Green
An ill wind for hard-up electricity users
By Andrew Montford, The Conservative Woman, Jan 15, 2021data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==
“On Thursday, with wind speeds even lower, prices for balancing during the evening peak shot up again, reaching £1,400. By Friday’s peak, that figure had risen to a record-breaking £4,000.”
8 January 2021: Europe just skirted blackout disaster
By Henrik Paulitz, Kalte Sonne, Trans Via GWPF, Jan 17, 2021
A cold time in the old house tonight
By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Jan 20, 2021
Questioning Green Elsewhere
Climate Action Paradox
By Donn Dears, Power For USA, Jan 19, 2021data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==
[SEPP Comment: Europe’s neo-colonialism.]
Fossil fuels to dominate Africa’s energy mix this decade – report
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Jan 19, 2021Fossil fuels to dominate Africa’s energy mix this decade – report
Canadian firm cuts 1,000 jobs after Biden revokes Keystone XL permit
By Rachel Frazin, The Hill, Jan 21, 2021https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/535273-canadian-firm-cuts-1000-jobs-after-biden-revokes-keystone-xl-permit
Vauxhall plant at risk after ‘brutal’ 2030 ban, says Stellantis boss
Chief executive of newly formed carmaker warns future of UK production depends on government
By Jasper Jolly, The Guardian, Jan 19, 2021 [H/t GWPF]https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/jan/19/vauxhall-plant-at-risk-after-brutal-2030-ban-says-stellantis-boss-carlos-tavares
Legal bid to stop UK building Europe’s biggest gas power plant fails
Plan has been approved despite environmental objections and criticism over climate leadership
By Damian Carrington, The Guardian, Jan 21, 2021 [H/t GWPF]https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jan/21/climate-crisis-uk-legal-bid-stop-biggest-gas-power-station-europe-fails
Cap-and-Trade and Carbon Taxes
EU sees carbon border levy as ‘matter of survival’ for Europe’s industry
By Staff, EurActiv & Reuters, Via GWPF, Jan 19, 2021
Subsidies and Mandates Forever
Wind Power’s PTC: Chapter 14 (13th extension)
By Robert Bradley Jr. Master Resource, Jan 21, 2021data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==
[SEPP Comment: The infant industry is 28 years old and still needs to be subsidy fed.]
Energy Issues – Non-US
Last-Ditch Effort: Germany Weighs Electricity Rationing Scheme To Stabilize Its Now Shaky Green Power Grid
By P Gosselin, No Tricks Zone, Jan 19, 2021data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==
Energy Issues — US
The Power Grids Are Not Ok
By Conor Bernstein, Real Clear Energy, Jan 19, 2021https://www.realclearenergy.org/articles/2021/01/19/the_power_grids_are_not_ok_657067.html
The Power Purchase Agreement in Transition
By Editors, Power Mag. Jan 4, 2021data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==
Washington’s Control of Energy
Biden’s Attack on the Keystone XL Pipeline Is Politics, Not Policy
By Steve Milloy, Inside Sources, Jan 19, 2021
Biden Promises Science Will Guide Him. So Why Is He Canceling the Keystone XL Pipeline?
By Bryan Preston, PJ Media, Jan 18, 2021 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/bryan-preston/2021/01/18/biden-promises-science-will-guide-him-so-why-is-he-canceling-the-keystone-xl-pipeline-n1394574
Biden’s Interior Department temporarily blocks new drilling on public lands
By Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill, Jan 21, 2021https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/535224-bidens-interior-dept-temporary-blocks-drilling-on-public-lands
Biden To Cut Off His Nose To Spite His Face
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Jan 20, 2021Biden To Cut Off His Nose To Spite His Face
Return of King Coal?
Coal Powers China
By Viv Forbes, The Australian Climate Sceptics Blog, Jan 19, 2021http://theclimatescepticsparty.blogspot.com/2021/01/coal-powers-china.html
Nuclear Energy and Fears
The Nuclear Energy Advancements Of The Past Four Years Will Blow Your Mind
Fission energy can change America’s power for the better — and we’re finally seeing progress in revitalizing the field across the country.
By Jonah Gottschalk, The Federalist, Jan 15, 2021https://thefederalist.com/2021/01/15/the-nuclear-energy-advancements-of-the-past-four-years-will-blow-your-mind/
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Solar and Wind
Rare earths first? Or last?
By Duggan Flanakin, WUWT, Jan 22, 2021data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==
Will 2021 be the year offshore wind power finally takes off?
An administration ready to tackle climate change may help—but it’s the years of planning that could really pay off
By Tara Lohan, The Revelator, Jan 13, 2021data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==
[SEPP Comment: As usual, no mention that wind power is unreliable, and cost-effective storage is needed.]
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Energy — Other
John Constable: Why Europe’s ‘Green’ Hydrogen Hype Is Likely To Flop
By John Constable, GWPF, July 8, 2020
Link to report: Hydrogen: The Once And Future Fuel (pdf)
By John Constable, GWPF, June 2020
[SEPP Comment: Discusses the difficulty and costs in producing, storing, and distributing hydrogen.]
‘Carbon-neutrality is a fairy tale’: how the race for renewables is burning Europe’s forests
Wood pellets are sold as a clean alternative to coal. But is the subsidised bioenergy boom accelerating the climate crisis?
By Hazel Sheffield, The Guardian, Jan 14, 2021https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jan/14/carbon-neutrality-is-a-fairy-tale-how-the-race-for-renewables-is-burning-europes-forests
Alternative, Green (“Clean”) Vehicles
Inexpensive battery charges rapidly for electric vehicles, reduces range anxiety
News Release, by Pennsylvania State University, Jan 18, 2021 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]https://techxplore.com/news/2021-01-inexpensive-battery-rapidly-electric-vehicles.html
Link to paper: Thermally modulated lithium iron phosphate batteries for mass-market electric vehicles
By Xiao-Guang Yang, Teng Liu & Chao-Yang Wang, Nature Energy, Jan 18, 2021https://www.nature.com/articles/s41560-020-00757-7
Claim: Carbon Capture Vital to Meeting Climate Goals
By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Jan 18, 2021data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEALAAAAAABAAEAAAICTAEAOw==
California secretly struggles with renewables
By David Wojick, CFACT, Jan 16, 2021
Health, Energy, and Climate
Coronavirus vaccines wouldn’t be possible without oil and gas
By Kevin Mooney, Washington Examiner, Jan 18, 2021https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/the-covid-19-vaccination-campaign-would-not-be-possible-without-oil-and-gas
It’s a plot
By John Robson, Climate Discussion Nexus, Jan 20, 2021
“Thus in his new book, Michael Mann sneers that the forces of climate darkness have found a new plan. ‘The plutocrats who are tied to the fossil fuel industry’, he tells an interviewer, have adopted strategies perfected by the tobacco and gun lobbies. Then in the actual book ‘Malice, hatred, jealousy, fear, rage, bigotry, all of the most base, reptilian brain impulses — corporate polluters and their allies have waged a campaign to tap into all of that’, he raves about these lizard people. ‘The enemy is also employing PSYOP in its war on climate action… the forces of denial and delay are using our fear and anxiety against us so we remain like deer in the headlights… the most immoral act in the history of human civilization: not just a crime against humanity, but a crime against our planet.’”
[SEPP Comment: Is this considered refined, factual discourse at Penn State University?]
Kittiwake extinction risk and the death of Environmentalism
By John Constable, GWPF, Jan 19, 2021
[SEPP Comment; To the environmentalists, what is a few birds compared with saving the planet. There is more money to be made in saving the planet.]
Other Scientific News
Climate extinction theory faces extinction: Woolly mammoths may have lived thousands of years after supposed extinction
By Staff, GWPF & Scientific American, Jan 19, 2021
Other News that May Be of Interest
Biden Admin Deletes ‘1776 Commission’ from White House Website Immediately After Inauguration
By Alana Mastrangelo, Breitbart, Jan 20, 2021https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2021/01/20/president-trumps-1776-commission-removed-from-white-house-website/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=daily&utm_campaign=20210120
[SEPP Comment: It is now improper for anyone in Washington to question the false claim that slavery provided the economic strength of the US? The economic power of the slave states won the Civil War?]
It’s Fake News That the 1776 Commission Report Whitewashes America’s Past
By Victor Davis Hanson, The Daily Signal, Jan 21, 2021
1776 Commission Report Doesn’t Whitewash America’s Past (dailysignal.com)
BELOW THE BOTTOM LINE
Greenpeace Blame Cold Weather On Global Warming!!
By Paul Homewood, Not a Lot of People Know That, Jan 19, 2021Greenpeace Blame Cold Weather On Global Warming!!
“You could not make it up – but Greenpeace can!!”
Latest Climate Change Solution: Direct Air Capture Powered by Geothermal Energy
By Eric Worrall, WUWT, Jan 22, 2021
NASA data reveals the truth about Covid-19’s effect on climate change
“This is the warmest decade in the historical record without any question whatsoever.”
By Passant Rabie, Inverse, Accessed Jan 19, 2021 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]https://www.inverse.com/science/nasa-data-reveal-covid-effect-on-climate
[SEPP Comment: Funny headline, Covid influences climate change.]
Using 100-million-year-old fossils and gravitational-wave science to predict Earth’s future climate
Press Release by ARC Centre of Excellence for Gravitational Wave Discovery, Jan 19, 2021 [H/t Bernie Kepshire]https://phys.org/news/2021-01-million-year-old-fossils-gravitational-wave-science-earth.html
Link to paper: OPTiMAL: a new machine learning approach for GDGT-based palaeothermometry
By Tom Dunkley Jones, et al. Climate of the Past, Dec 23, 2020https://cp.copernicus.org/articles/16/2599/2020/
Trump and the Failure of the Expert Class
They were right about his character, but his defects were obvious to almost everyone. They were wrong about virtually all else.
By Barton Swaim, WSJ, Jan 22, 2021
TWTW Summary: The editorial page writer begins:
“The Trump years had something for almost everyone. Progressives had the satisfaction of righteousness and a justification for daily outrage. What they didn’t have were policy victories, although they might have had a few if they could have refrained, even for a few days, from treating the president as illegitimate. For conservatives, the case was exactly reversed: They had some major policy wins, but at the cost of frequent embarrassment and dismay at the president’s offensive behavior and self-defeating logorrhea.
“The worst of his conduct took place after the 2020 election and seemed to fulfill progressive commentators’ allegation that Donald Trump was carrying out an “assault on democracy.” Mr. Trump’s refusal to accept defeat, culminating in demands that Vice President Mike Pence overturn a lawful election on no legal authority, occasioned a debacle that may haunt the Republican Party, and the country, for years.
“Even so, the most salient theme of the past five years was not any challenge to democracy. The great theme of the Trump years, the one historians will note a century from now, was the failure of America’s expert class. The people who were supposed to know what they were talking about, didn’t.
“The failure began with the country’s top consultants and pollsters. Candidate Trump did almost everything lavishly paid political consultants would have told him, and did tell him, not to do—and he won. The most respected pollsters, meanwhile, predicted a landslide for Hillary Clinton. America’s best and brightest political adepts turned out to know very little about the elections they claim to understand.
“Also during the 2016 campaign, an assemblage of top-tier academics, intellectuals and journalists warned that Mr. Trump’s candidacy signified a fascist threat. Timothy Snyder, a historian of Nazism at Yale, was among the most strident of these prophets. ‘Be calm when the unthinkable arrives,’ he warned in a Facebook post shortly after the election. ‘When the terrorist attack comes, remember that all authorities at all times either await or plan such events in order to consolidate power. Think of the Reichstag fire.’ Many experts stuck with the fascism theme after Mr. Trump’s election and throughout his presidency. That these cultured authorities couldn’t tell the difference between a populist protest against elite contempt and a coup carried out by powerful ideologues will go down as one of the great fiascoes of American intellectual history.
“The fascism charge was only the most acute form of the claim that Mr. Trump was carrying out an ‘assault on democracy.’ Some semantic clarification is in order here. When intellectuals and journalists of the left use the word ‘democracy,’ they typically are not referring to elections and decision-making by popularly elected officials. For the left, ‘democracy’ is another word for progressive policy aims, especially the widening of special political rights and welfare-state provisions to new constituencies. By that definition any Republican president is carrying out an ‘assault on democracy.’
“Mr. Trump assaulted democracy in the ordinary sense of the word, but he did so only after the 2020 election. That effort was discreditable and disruptive, but it was also delusional and ineffective. It was not the assault the president’s expert-class critics had foreseen.
“Perhaps those critics failed to understand Mr. Trump’s assault on democracy because they had carried out a similar sort of assault in 2016-18, with the support of the federal bureaucracy and the nation’s political and cultural elite. I’m referring to the Russia scare: the belief that Mr. “Trump won only because his campaign ‘colluded’ with agents of Moscow, and that his election in 2016 was therefore illegitimate. The theory made sense only if you couldn’t grasp the obvious reasons for Mr. Trump’s victory, namely that Hillary Clinton was a terrible candidate and that Obama-era progressivism had become sufficiently unpopular in the Midwest to throw the election to the nationalist candidate. Somehow it was easier for smart and accomplished people to believe that a TV celebrity and political neophyte with attention-deficit issues had entered into a diabolically ingenious pact with a foreign dictator in which the dictator helped him pick up just enough votes in the states he needed to win.
“It took a 22-month investigation by a special counsel to establish an absence of evidence that Mr. Trump’s campaign had conspired with the Russians. America’s best minds and most influential leaders had spent more than two years obsessing over an idiotic conspiracy theory.
This spectacular failure of the expert class would have been impossible without the willing support of a credulous news media. That Mr. Trump won the presidency largely by denouncing the media should have suggested to leading journalists and media executives that something in their industry had gone badly wrong. Instead most of them took his rise as license to indulge their worst instincts.
“Reporters treated every turn of events as evidence of Mr. Trump’s unique evil. They regarded every preposterous accusation put forward by his political foes as reasonable and likely true.”
After giving examples that news organization asserted “facts” without evidence the editorial writer continues:
“America’s foreign-policy elite didn’t perform appreciably better. For decades, they had insisted that peace between Israel and the Arab world was impossible without a long-term solution to the Israel-Palestinian problem. It was an axiom, no longer up for debate. Mr. Trump followed through on a promise long made but not kept by the U.S. government to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Foreign-policy experts the world over predicted hellish payback from the Arab world, but the recognition went forward, the U.S. Embassy moved, and the payback consisted of a day’s worth of inconsequential protests.’
After additional examples of successful establishing of diplomatic relationships between Israel and the Arab word the editorial writers continues:
“Then there are the public-health experts. We are still in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, so it is difficult to write about it with the perspective it demands. Yet political talking points aside, this much is apparent: No nation—or anyhow no nation that values individual liberty and isn’t an island—has managed even to slow the spread of Covid-19 without causing economic ruin and attendant disorder.
“The Trump administration made its share of mistakes during the early stages of the pandemic, although its chief failing was the president’s lack of rhetorical clarity. But the outstanding failure of the 2020 pandemic was the experts’ belief that the only sensible response involved sustained closures of businesses and schools. By any set of criteria outside the self-contained system of public-health best practices, the lockdowns failed. They purchased minor slowdowns in the spread of the virus at the cost of punishing economic destruction, untold social dysfunction, and mind-blowing public debt.’
“You get the sense that even proponents of the lockdown orthodoxy secretly recognize their folly when they advance the post facto argument that many more people would have died and the hospital system would have collapsed if we hadn’t shut down the economy. Upending this conveniently self-exculpatory claim is the fact that many parts of the country didn’t lock down, or did so only loosely and briefly, and managed to keep their hospitals running just fine.
“Controlling the spread of Covid-19 in the U.S. was always going to be a messy business: Many infected people don’t get sick and have no compelling reason to burrow in their homes, and America is an unruly nation with a long tradition of nonconformity. The experts might have accounted for these realities. They might have realized that the measures prescribed by their textbooks—contact tracing, forced quarantines, shelter-in-place orders—were mostly unworkable in America. They didn’t. Large parts of the country shut down on their advice, and the economy went into a needless recession.
“Once again, the people paid to know what they were talking about, didn’t. Mr. Trump’s aggressive gaucheries made the experts feel they couldn’t be wrong so long as they were against him. A policy maven or an academic historian or an experienced political consultant couldn’t help judging himself favorably against a Queens real-estate mogul who spoke in five-word sentences. And yet very often the mogul was right and the experts were wrong.
“In the wake of the Jan. 6 siege at the Capitol, members of the expert class are busy congratulating themselves for being right about Mr. Trump all along. He really was the would-be autocrat they always said he was! But the important question was not Mr. Trump’s true nature or innermost designs but whether America’s democratic institutions, especially the courts and Congress, were prepared, if required, to rebuff his designs. Of course they were. If this was an attempted coup, it was a comically inept one. Hardly anyone in Mr. Trump’s own administration, including the vice president, wanted anything to do with it.
“Mr. Trump’s character deficiencies were always obvious, even to many of his supporters. Other questions required judiciousness to answer, and about them the expert class had almost nothing useful to say, so fixated were they on the president’s unworthiness.
“The most regrettable part of this class failure is that, with rare exceptions, the experts themselves acknowledge no error. Nothing about the Trump years has occasioned soul-searching or self-criticism on their part. But today’s experts will eventually retire and pass from the scene. A newer, fresher generation of pollsters, academics, think-tank scholars and journalists will care more about the truth than they do about aligning with today’s consensus. They will feel no need to disguise their ignorance by signaling hatred of Donald Trump. And they will not fail to note that their most accomplished and revered forerunners were, at crucial moments, idiots.” [Boldface added.]
via Watts Up With That?
January 25, 2021 at 04:26AM