What Will It Take To End Anti-Greenhouse Gas Insanity?

It was nearly six years ago, in one of the very early posts on this blog, that I wrote as to the global warming scam, “[E]ven as the cause becomes more and more ridiculous, the advocates just double down again and again.” At the time, world temperatures had failed to rise in accordance with alarmist predictions for about 15 years running, and I still had the naive idea that the politics of this issue ultimately would follow the scientific method; in other words, that the hypothesis of catastrophic human-caused warming would inevitably be forced to face the test of empirical evidence. Over time, empirical evidence would accumulate. As it became more and more clear that the evidence failed to support the hypothesis, the whole thing would gradually fade away. But up to that point, as I reported in that April 2013 post, what was happening was closer to the opposite. Extremely weak or completely negative empirical evidence for the hypothesis only made the advocates more and more extreme in their demands for immediate transformation of the world economy to “save the planet.”

The intervening six years have seen the ongoing accumulation of considerably more evidence, essentially all of it negative to the catastrophic global warming hypothesis, but my faith that actual evidence could resolve the issue has been almost completely shattered. Massive alterations have been made to the world thermometer temperature records by US and UK bureaucrats — almost entirely to reduce early-year temperatures and thereby create an apparent warming trend far greater than exists in the raw data. I have covered this issue extensively in a now-twenty-two part series “The Greatest Scientific Fraud Of All Time.” Meanwhile, every hurricane, tornado, drought, flood, or other damaging act of nature is presented by the progressive press as evidence of human-caused “climate change” — even as the actual occurrences of such events have been definitively shown to have no increasing trend over time. Actual evidence gets massively altered, buried and/or ignored.

And now here we are in 2019, and the demands of the anti-greenhouse gas activists have only become more shrill and strident. Exhibit A is the so-called Green New Deal, a call to end most or all GHG emissions by 2030 at a cost of maybe 100 trillion dollars or so. And we are treated to claims by seemingly serious elected officials that the world will end in 12 years if we do not follow these prescriptions. If mere adverse empirical evidence cannot end this insanity, what can? . . .

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If There Is "White Privilege," What Does It Consist Of?

You can’t have helped noticing that assertions of “white privilege” are all the rage on the left these days. Or maybe it’s “white male privilege.” For example, back in January, there was CNN’s Nia-Malika Henderson throwing down the “white privilege” gauntlet on Beto O’Rourke: “Beto's excellent adventure drips with white male privilege.” Beto, of course, promptly acknowledged that Henderson was right, stating in Iowa on March 16, “As a white man who has had privileges that others could not depend on, or take for granted, I’ve clearly had advantages over the course of my life.” 

When I first heard the term “white privilege” gaining currency, my initial reaction was to doubt that it could amount to much of significance. In my own experience, ever since I was old enough to notice, every institution that I came in contact with, to the extent I could tell, was making every effort it possibly could to attract and advance minorities candidates, particularly African Americans. In many cases, these efforts would clearly have the effect, explicit or implicit, of disadvantaging whatever white candidates were competing for a limited number of slots. For example: . . .

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On The "Cost" Of The Green New Deal

A few weeks ago on February 7 and 8, I had a couple of posts (here and here) commenting on the so-called Green New Deal, which had just been dropped on Congress by the team of Socialist it-girl Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and long-time Massachusetts Congressman and now Senator Edward Markey. In those posts, I did not attempt to put any “cost” figures on these proposals, but rather offered this general reaction:

In short, in the aggregate, this would be the total takeover of all economic activity in the United States.

According to the FAQ released along with the GND resolution, at least the following Democratic candidates for President support the GND: Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Jeff Merkeley, Julian Castro, Kirsten Gillibrand, Bernie Sanders, Tulsi Gabbard, and Jay Inslee.

In the interim, a few intrepid souls have gone where I had not, and have put some fairly specific cost estimates on the socialists’ proposals. Most notably, there is something called the American Action Forum, headed by Douglas Holtz-Eakin. On February 25, AAF came out with a Research Report titled “The Green New Deal: Scope, Scale, and Implications,” with Holtz-Eakin as the lead author. Holtz-Eakin is not nobody in this game, having headed the CBO for about three years (2003-05) during the George W. Bush administration. If there’s anybody who ought to be able to put credible cost figures on proposals for new government programs, it would be a former head of CBO. The fact that CBO is a non-partisan operation would also seem to give an added level of credibility to the conclusions of its former leaders.

After introducing their Report with a series of qualifiers (e.g., many of the changes “are impossible to quantify at this point”), the AAF guys nonetheless forge ahead with the exercise to at least put some broad ranges on the potential costs. In the aggregate the sums of the lows and highs of their ranges come to about $51 trillion to $93 trillion over the course of the 10 year span of the GND. The $93 trillion figure is the one most frequently attributed to the Report in subsequent press accounts.

$93 trillion compares to total U.S. GDP currently running at about $20 trillion per year. In other words, if you think that Holtz-Eakin and AAF are right, or even close to right, then they are saying that the GND will “cost” close to half of the entire U.S. GDP over the next decade or so. . . .

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More Flagrant Alteration Of The Past: Patrick Moore As Founder Of Greenpeace

By far the most-read posts on this site are the ones in my now twenty-two part series The Greatest Scientific Fraud Of All Time. The specific subject of that series is the alteration by government bureaucrats of historical temperature data in the ongoing campaign to convince the public that there is dangerous global warming going on. At this point, the showing that earlier-year temperatures have been materially altered downward is completely definitive, made by simple comparison of currently-published official data to previously-published official data that can still be found online. Yet the bureaucrats at NOAA and NASA continue to disseminate the altered data, and even to make further ongoing “adjustments” to make the past appear to have been even cooler. And every time a NOAA or a NASA puts out a new breathless press release about the current year or month being the “hottest ever,” you can count on a dozen or more mainstream media sources to parrot the announcement without ever mentioning that the result derives entirely from fraudulently altered data.

The past has been changed. It’s official! Comparisons to the alteration of history by Stalin are completely appropriate.

In the last week, we have seen an even more ridiculous effort to change history in the enforcement of climate change orthodoxy. You may already have seen several references to it, but let me take you through the timeline of the story.

A week ago today (March 12) a guy named Patrick Moore appeared on the Fox morning news program “Fox and Friends.” I didn’t see the show, but apparently during his segment Moore was identified as a “co-founder” of the Greenpeace environmental group. Moore also took the occasion to call the so-called climate crisis “fake science.”

It seems that President Trump was watching the show. . . .

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"Pied-à-Terre" Tax Brings Excitement To The Air In New York City

What brings excitement to the air in your home town? Perhaps some annual festival, or the first flowers of spring, or maybe the arrival of the Christmas season? Well, here in New York it’s a little different. We feel excitement in the air when our politicians finally figure out how to stick it to the evil rich people who are so offending us by coming here and spending their money. And thus right now there’s some real excitement in the air, because we are about to teach those sinister people the lesson of a lifetime in the form of a brand new “pied-à-terre” tax.

Just a couple of months ago — January 23 to be precise — things were different. Then, it wasn’t excitement that was in the air, but rather the seething resentment felt by all right-thinking highly-successful Manhattanites when they find out that there is somebody out there who is even more successful and is going around showing off the wealth. January 23 was the day that the Wall Street Journal reported that a hedge fund guy from Chicago by the name of Ken Griffin had just closed on the purchase of the most expensive home ever bought in the United States. The home in question is a multi-level penthouse apartment at a new tower just being completed on Central Park South, lately known as “billionaires’ row.” The Journal reported the closing price as $238 million. Worse still, Griffin doesn’t even live principally in New York; and even on top of that, he’s been going around snapping up hugely expensive properties in one city after another. . . . Really, can we stand for this? . . .

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Fox Butterfield Returns To The New York Times With The February Jobs Report

We humans are always trying to understand our world by asking why, why, and why? And sometimes people look at the same set of facts and come up with exactly opposite answers as to what is going on.

For example, probably the fundamental difference between my own world view and that of progressives is found in our respective views of what drives economic growth and wealth creation. Are economic growth and wealth creation driven principally by the the striving of millions of individuals working in their own self-interest under conditions of private property and free exchange? Of are economic growth and wealth creation driven principally by government spending and programs that “create” the jobs and the wealth? Supporters of the Green New Deal, for example, clearly subscribe to the latter view.

The progressive confusion of cause and effect reached a true high water mark with a famous series of New York Times articles about crime and incarceration rates, written by then reporter Fox Butterfield between about 1997 and 2004. The November 8, 2004 iteration had the headline “Despite Drop in Crime, an Increase in Inmates.” Butterfield noted that, “[t]he number of inmates in state and federal prisons rose 2.1 percent last year, even as violent crime and property crime fell, according to a study by the Justice Department released yesterday,” a phenomenon Butterfield labeled “the paradox of a falling crime rate but a rising prison population.” James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal proceeded to get a lot of mileage by identifying and calling out one example after another of what he called the “Butterfield fallacy.” Here is a January 2013 WSJ piece by Taranto containing a history of the subject. As to the seeming “paradox” of the crime and incarceration rates, Taranto writes: “The Butterfield Fallacy consists in misidentifying as a paradox what is in fact a simple cause-and-effect relationship: [As Butterfield himself recognized at one point,] ‘Of course, the huge increase in the number of inmates has helped lower the crime rate by incapacitating more criminals behind bars.’” . . .

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