Monthly Archives: May 2015

BACKGROUND

RANTS FROM THE NEUSE RIVER CURMUDGEON

 

 

A little background to start out this blog. I grew up in Tampa, went to high school in Anchorage — and was in the 9.3 Good Friday earthquake – and then returned to Florida for college. I have a BS in Chemical Engineering, an MBA and a law degree. I was also on a fellowship at the Kennedy School of Government in Harvard. I was on the faculty of a law school; worked for a city as an environmental engineer and then the Planning Division Director in the sewer department; engaged in the private practice of law and for close to 30 years was an attorney with a federal regulatory agency. I was also a janitor, a lifeguard and a golf driving range attendant. I worked my way through engineering school as a co-op engineer at the Naval Air Rework Facility Jacksonville, Florida which overhauled the Navy’s carrier based jets.

The views expressed here are mine and mine alone, and curmudgeon is a pretty accurate description of me, and under no circumstances would I ever consider running for dog catcher or any other political office.

Politically, I am a fiscal conservative and social liberal (maybe libertarian) – which really means I think the government should spend my money wisely and then stay out of my life. Lest anyone confuse me being a social liberal with what that seems to mean to the present democrats, I am totally and completely against the nanny state, the pc police, the politics of division and identity, micro-aggression and trigger word victimhood nonsense [life is tough, grow a pair or wear a cup], and the criminalization of everything.  As far as I’m concerned, present day democrats are not believers in the Bill of Rights; they believe you only have freedom of speech if it is speech they agree with, and you only have the freedom to believe in whatever they believe in at this moment. Don’t get me wrong, republicans are no different in theory on social issues. They also believe that you have the freedom to believe only what they believe.

My favorite inspirational sayings, if you will, are “No one is completely worthless, they can always serve as a bad example,” and “When all is said and done, there is usually a lot more said than done.” Unfortunately, I can’t tell you who said those things because I never knew. On the other hand, while I was at the Kennedy School, George Will was the Godkin lecturer that semester. He stated that he was a believer in the 1895 – it was 1890 something – Ohio theory of history. Apparently in whatever year that was there were two cars in the state of Ohio and there was an accident. I have always appreciated that statement, which I consider an interesting way of restating Murphy’s Law – or maybe just “shit happens.”

The purpose of this blog is probably therapy for me to keep from screaming at the TV about all the nonsense that passes for intelligent discourse these days. I plan to post every week or so about a variety of subjects that happen to get my attention. Certainly politics, climate change, tax reform, immigration, police relations, civil forfeiture, the Clinton slush fund, AA vs. Vivitrol, maybe sports and undoubtedly humor will show up from time to time. I did a lot of litigation work over the years and was quite good at it because I have a very good BS meter and a gift for noting contradictions.

As an example, remember when the story first broke about Hillary’s private email server. All the reports started out noting that she registered the server on the day her confirmation hearings for Secretary of State started. When she finally addressed the issue, she said it was Bill’s server and protected by the Secret Service. It quickly came to light that the former President only ever wrote two emails, but no one asked the obvious question of why Bill Clinton would even decide to set up an email server more than 8 years after leaving office and coincidentally on the day his wife’s confirmation hearings started. Also, am I the only one or does Hillary in that famous photo on the plane wearing sunglasses and holding her blackberry look like the cartoon character Maxine.

And just so you know, I don’t really care if you agree or disagree with me. To paraphrase Steve Harvey at the start of one of his standup routines, this is my blog and these are my opinions, and therefore they are the only opinions that matter. If you’ve got different opinions keep them to yourself or write your own damn blog!

While I would welcome your comments, I will probably not respond to them. The primary reason for this is that as I indicated above the rants will not be on one subject. They will be all over the place depending on what’s ticking me off at the moment, and I’m not interested in engaging in a urine exchange with you over your opinion. And if you want to tell me I’m an idiot or an asshole, save yourself the effort or get in back of the long, long, long line. I don’t do Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or any other social media probably because I’m not all that sociable, being a curmudgeon and all, and I’m not the least bit interested in what you’re having for dinner or where you are going on vacation or what your kids are doing; and in all likelihood, news flash, nobody else is either.

Now onto the rants. The first which will be posted tomorrow, will be my pet peeve with the “science” of global warning, or as Gertrude Stein once said, ‘There is no there there.”

THE SCIENCE OF CLIMATE CHANGE OR THERE IS NO THERE THERE

In this rant, I will use “global warming” and “climate change” interchangeably because even though the supposedly settled scientists, or is that sedentary scientists, are still claiming that global warming is going to lead to Armageddon, they and the politicians are now using the term climate change because global temperatures have been holding steady for close to two decades and that’s the real “inconvenient truth.”

I always knew that the “settled science” of global warming was highly questionable having lived through the 70’s when the same experts were using the same raw data to claim that we were heading into an ice age. When that didn’t happen, they flipped things around and said global warming instead of ice age and produced some new data charts cooling down the past and warming the present. Fortunately, unlike Hillary, they didn’t erase the original data records from the government computers. The following links will provide examples of settled scientists altering the temperature record to support a predetermined conclusion. See https://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/noaanasa-dramatically-altered-us-temperatures-after-the-year-2000/; https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2015/01/29/temperature-adjustments-around-the-world/; and https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2015/01/30/cooling-the-past-in-san-diego/. The examples I choose are posts with the old data versus changed data shown on graphs that flash back and forth between the data sets so you don’t even have to think — just sit back and enjoy the show. If you are interested in following this issue on a daily basis, I highly recommend that you check out Paul Homewood’s excellent blog – NOTALOTOFPEOPLEKNOWTHAT.wordpress.com.

And now the real purpose for this particular rant – PEOPLE THERE IS NO SCIENCE TO BE SETTLED!! There are no Newton’s laws of motion, or Einstein’s E=mc2, or Archimedes’ or Bernoulli’s principles, or Mendel’s laws of genetics or Boyle’s law, or proven mathematical theorems or chemical equations. (If you are unfamiliar with most or all of the preceding concepts, you should thank your democratically controlled education system for your lack of education. They were all covered in high school back in my time. I’ll bet if you’re under 30 or so, you have been indoctrinated in the settled science of global warming.)

There is NO scientific law which says that an increase of x parts per million (ppm) of CO­2 results in a corresponding temperature increase of y degrees Celsius.  What we’re dealing with here are empirical computer models, and if there is one thing I learned at Harvard, it’s that academia loves models. Prior to going to Harvard, if someone said let’s make a model, it would have engendered images of carnal knowledge gained at the expense of Christie Brinkley or Cindy Crawford. But at Harvard, they just loved modelling everything. DIRTY LITTLE SECRET ALERT: If you’re constructing the model, you can make it “prove” anything. (See Kevin Williamson’s excellent article making the same point about economics.   http://www.nationalreview.com/article/418234/paul-krugmans-pretense-economic-knowledge-kevin-d-williamson?target=author&tid=903320. )

Don’t believe it? Consider this fact. You could replace increase in CO2 level in their models with increase in illegal alien population in the US and get similar results. Now before you get bent out of shape, I don’t think Illegal immigrants are responsible for global warming, nor do I believe there has been ANY proven human induced global warming. On the other hand I do love Mexican food, and that could be part of the methane issue. The point is you could replace CO2 in the models with any factor that is increasing in a similar fashion and get the same projected results. Unfortunately for the settled modelers, there has been no increase in temperatures in the past 15 to 18 years.

But Curmudge you say, we know that illegals aren’t the cause of the nonexistent global warning, but don’t we know that an increase in the level of CO2 causes an increase in temperature. No we don’t!  As I indicated earlier, there is no scientific law to that effect and the evidence and common sense would seem to indicate otherwise. All you need to do is Google historic levels of CO2 throughout the history of the planet and you will find that in the past CO2 levels have been 4000 ppm, 5000 ppm and even as high as 6000 ppm, and the planet survived. The present level is around 400 ppm. Interestingly, during these elevated levels 10 to 15 times as high as present, there were periods where temperatures were warmer than present temperatures, similar to the present and more than one ice age. I challenge anyone of the settled science model makers to put 6000 ppm in their model and tell me their computer and the earth doesn’t spontaneously combust. Now some may respond that during those periods solar activity was lower or the earth’s tilt was slightly different, but that just proves my point – CO2 levels are not the controlling factor in the earth’s climate. They can’t be if they if they could be more than ten times present levels during an ice age. You cannot have a credible model that doesn’t cover the billions of years of climate on this planet, and if you have the ego to believe that you can create that model then you must think that Sheldon Cooper on “The Big Bang Theory” is “special needs.” The point is that you cannot take the data from the past 40 or 150 years, which isn’t even a blink of the eye in terms of earth’s history, and claim to model the planet’s climate. What that makes you is not a climate change advocate but a climate same advocate. You want to pretend that the planet is only 150 years old and that any changes from the temperature after the Little Ice Age, which ended in the mid 1800’s must have been caused by man-made activities – namely progress. You’re not progressive; you’re regressive!

And in terms of settled science, I doubt you can find a credible scientist who would seriously contend that there will not be another ice age irrespective of CO2 levels. I know for a fact that it was a required assumption in one long term government project. I don’t know about you, but I would much rather be wearing flip flops than trying to survive under a thousand feet of ice.

The other thing you need to consider is just how miniscule a part of the atmosphere that carbon dioxide occupies. The scientists, on both sides throw around 400 or 425 ppm. To a lot of people, those sound like big numbers, but when you actually look at it what it means is that 1/25th of 1% of the earth’s atmosphere is CO2. The climate alarmists are trying to sell you a story that if the CO2 levels increased from 1/25th of 1% to 1/23rd of 1% of the atmosphere, Armageddon will ensue, the ocean’s will rise up to swallow the shore, the remaining land will be inhospitably hot and, according to one Congresswoman from – wait for it – California, women will be forced into prostitution. Wow that’s some powerful stuff! [Just as an aside, the FDA allows up to 9000 ppm of rodent feces in your food! Yummm.]

I defy Obama or Gore or Kerry or Clinton to stand up in front of a non-planted audience and say out loud that if the CO2 level in the atmosphere goes from 1/25th of 1% to 1/23rd of 1%, the world as we know it will cease to exist, and therefore you need to let me take over the energy sector, regulate and tax almost every decision you make, tell you what kind of transportation you can use, at what temperature your thermostat must be set etc. and then respond to a question asking if that’s true then how come there were ice ages when it was over ten times as high as it is now and how come the temperature has been steady for the past two decades while CO2 levels were rising – not to mention the fact that temperatures were cooling from the 40’s to the 70’s while CO2 levels were also increasing. If you wanted to make a climate model based on the data from those years, your model would say that rising levels of CO2 causes cooling, and they did predicting an ice age.

There are two terms I’ll be using to discuss what’s really going on here. Both may be familiar to any of you with any kind of technical background, or maybe it was just back in my day. The first is “SWAG”. It stands for “Scientific Wild Assed Guess” and that is charitably what all the climate models are – something that sounds like science, but is just a wild assed guess. They don’t know with any degree of certainty what makes the climate vary over time, other than solar activity. All their models are SWAG’s, and they are being funded overwhelmingly by the very government who is trying to use them to take over more of our lives. If you think the Obama administration is spending millions of dollars funding projects that conflict with their political agenda, then just stop reading because you are beyond help. You probably still believe, “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.”

The second term is “Finagler’s Variable Constant.” As anyone who has ever taken a physics or other science lab knows, this is the number you have to add to or subtract from or multiply or divide the number you got by to get the number you were supposed to get. If you took the time to check the earlier links contained in this rant, you see a perfect application of Finagler’s Variable Constant. If the actual raw temperature data doesn’t support the conclusion you’re being paid to get, come up with a lot of doubletalk and then change the data to support the conclusion you’re being paid to reach. In this case, it is doubly important to alter the data because if as was the case, the planet was cooling between 1940’s through the 1970’s at the same time that CO2 levels were increasing then the whole greenhouse gas business doesn’t hold together at least as a predominant driver of global temperatures. It’s just another unproven theory, i.e. SWAG. And if you’re going to say, well it’s true that temperatures were falling and CO2 was rising, but – – – just save it because whatever you say after the but just proves my point.

A few other points you should consider. The first is what I just alluded to above. Contrary to the popular political and media driven narrative, everybody who questions the “settled science” is not in the pocket of the fossil fuel industry, and more importantly the “settled scientists” ARE in the pocket of big government! They are almost all employed by various government bodies or work under contracts or grants from the government. That’s a long way from being the pristine, neutral knowledge seeking individuals they are portrayed as in the media. If there is one thing I know and you undoubtedly do too, if you watch TV, it’s that you can always find an “expert” willing to testify to anything if the price is right. This is not to say that there aren’t a lot of scientists out there trying to gather data and understand the complex interactions that result in the long term climate of the planet, there are, but they also know that if they don’t want to face loss of funding, ostracism and ridicule, when they present the data in a model, the end result had better be —- CO2 BAD!!

Another thing you need to consider is the marketing aspects of the way in which data is presented. When you see a graph of temperatures over time, pay attention to the scale of the graph on the vertical axis. It is sometime a degree or two max, thus making a jump or drop of a tenth or two-tenths of a degree appear as a big deal. Plot the average US yearly temperatures from the 1860’s to the present on a graph where the vertical axis is from 30 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit – the normal temperature range over the course of a year and that’s a damn flat line. Now I’m sure some will say that 1 or 2 degrees is a big deal in terms of climate change, and maybe it is, or maybe they have no idea just how resilient this planet may be in self-controlling temperature variations. And as I’ve indicated previously, the natural fluctuations in the earth’s climate go from warm periods to ice ages and back, and no credible scientist will tell you there isn’t going to be another ice age. Take a close look at the graph contained in the first link above to the Steven Goddard posting and you will note that the vertical axis basically covers 2 degrees. Am I the only one who finds it amazing that the average US temperature has fluctuated up and down within a range of 2 degrees, with the exception of when it hit what’s really the hottest year on record 1934.

And another thing to be on the lookout for is what year they start a graph. As indicated earlier, the US temperature which peaked in the 30’s fell through the early 70’s, so much so that “settled scientists” were predicting we were heading into an ice age. Thus, it is important to keep an eye on the starting point of the graph. Many like to start in 1970, when temperatures were at a low point, thus making everything look like a warming trend.

And finally, watch out for the hyperbole that is always involved when the alarmists make statements. For example, the President has been making the pronouncement, in his naturally condescending style, that 2014 was the hottest year on record!! Now, even if that were true, which it isn’t, the data to which he is referring makes last year either 0.01⁰ or 0.02⁰C hotter. Try to adjust your thermostat by 0.02⁰. But more importantly, the margin of error for that measurement is ±0.1⁰C, thus the margin of error is 5 to 10 times larger than the measurement, and therefore you can’t really draw any conclusions. Now I know he’s not a scientist, although he clearly believes himself the Stephen Hawking of politics, but when he’s pontificating he might try to be reasonably accurate.

Perhaps the best way to wrap your head around the fraud of the settled science modelers, is to consider a practical example of scientific modelling. We are all familiar with what happens when a tropical depression forms in the Atlantic Ocean. Shortly after, the Weather Channel and others fill the screen with a mishmash of spaghetti representing a number of different scientific models, and usually they go all over the place. Just to be clear, these are models dealing with a single real event, under a finite set of known climatological conditions over a short number of days and they are all over the place. You’ve never heard anyone get on TV and say, “Well the science is settled. This tropical depression may or may not strengthen into a tropical storm which may or may not strengthen into a hurricane which may or may not strengthen in to a major hurricane which may or may not make landfall somewhere between Mexico and New England or may go out to sea.” And the reason is simple; no one wants to pick a model when the timeframe for results is a week or so, because they will look like fools if their guess is wrong. Now consider that the variables involved in modelling the planet’s climate are almost infinite and the timeframe is infinite and you can understand why their models don’t work. However, you can get them to pontificate because the results are decades or centuries away, and no one will remember their failure.

Before I close this rant, and I will have another on the hypocrisy and real political reason behind all this nonsense in a few days, I would like you to consider the predictive accuracy of the climate alarmist crowd. Robert Tracinski wrote an excellent piece on the accuracy of the predictions made on the first Earth Day, which you should read to convince yourself that all this settled science is just one big SWAG after another. http://thefederalist.com/2015/04/24/seven-big-failed-environmentalist-predictions/. And just to pile on, when Obama calls those who question his global warming nonsense flat-earthers, remember that the flat-earthers were the settled scientists of their time. He can’t even get his snarky metaphors right!

And lastly, Republican candidates and pundits, stop falling into to the trap by always starting out with, “I’m not a scientist but” – Democrats have won the word war on this just like you won the word war on death taxes – don’t take the bait. Proudly say “THERE IS NO SCIENCE THERE IT’S JUST ONE BIG UNPROVEN SCIENTIFIC WILD ASSED GUESS AFTER ANOTHER!!!!

THE HYPOCRISY OF THE CLIMATE ALARMISTS AND THEIR REAL GOAL

I would be remiss in any rants concerning climate change not to point out the hypocrisy of the major players. I know you don’t really need me to do this, but indulge the Curmudge because it’s just too much fun to pass up. The President and the First Lady recently flew to the same west coast destination 30 minutes apart on separate government jets, and let’s not forget how much they loved to fire up Air Force One to fly to New York along with their entourage for date nights during which they would cause massive traffic jams. The Clinton’s own several houses and Hillary demands a private jet, I believe with a minimum occupancy of 14, as part of her speaking engagement requirements and has been chauffeured around for two decades. Kerry owns several mansions, yachts and a private jet. Gore has made multi millions pedaling his nonsense and has likewise acquired all the rich trappings to go with it, including private jet travel and a yacht. Perhaps the best example of this hypocrisy can be found in the recent conference of world leaders to discuss global warming in which 1700 private jets were used. https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2015/01/22/world-leaders-jet-out-to-davos-to-save-us-from-global-warming/

To all you global warming hypocrites with your sasquatch sized carbon footprints, let me just say when you move into a 1200 sq. ft. condo, only fly commercial or better yet teleconference for all your business, drive an all-electric car or better yet commute by bicycle – then and only then can you presume to lecture me about my carbon footprint which isn’t even close to the size of one little piggy on your monstrous hairy feet.

Now to the ultimate point of my rants on climate change. The purpose of the alarmists is not to save the planet from disastrous heating, but to use CO2 as a means to destroy capitalism and massively redistribute wealth from the countries that have it to those that don’t. I always knew that cap and trade was Obama speak for give them our stuff, after all he’s been about income redistribution for his entire presidency. (As an aside so are the Clinton’s, but in their case it’s about take from whomever is willing and keep it for themselves.) But I didn’t realize until recently that the whole climate change scam was about global wealth redistribution. I suppose that’s because it has never really been covered on mainstream media or even FOX. I am not normally a conspiracy advocate, unlike the Clinton’s, but consider the following:

“At a news conference (in February 2015) in Brussels, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, admitted that the goal of environmental activists is not to save the world from ecological calamity but to destroy capitalism.

‘This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution,’ she said.” Read More At Investor’s Business Daily: http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/021015-738779-climate-change-scare-tool-to-destroy-capitalism.htm#ixzz3a2g2MKky/.

Did you see that reported anywhere?

Want more?

“UN-sponsored and supported attributions of climate crisis and other environmental ills to capitalism are hardly something new. Dating back two decades ago to the 1992 Rio de Janeiro Earth Climate Summit which codified the UN’s central theme for the famous (or infamous) Kyoto Protocol, its chairman Maurice Strong suggested, “We may get to the point where the only way of saving the world will be for industrialized civilization to collapse. Isn’t it our job to bring that about?” Addressing the same Rio audience, former U.S. Senator Timothy Wirth, D-Colo. then representing the Clinton-Gore administration as U.S. undersecretary of state for global issues agreed, “We have got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.” Wirth now heads the UN Foundation which lobbies for hundreds of billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars to help underdeveloped countries fight climate change. As UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) official Ottmar Edenhofer admitted in November 2010, “One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. Instead, climate change policy is about how we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth.” Former Canadian Minister of the Environment Christine Stewart harbored no such illusion. In 1988, she told editors and reporters of the Calgary Herald, “No matter if the science of global warming is all phony … climate change [provides] the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.”  https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2014/08/09/un-conference-attacks-capitalism/

Also check the following link which documents through cartoons the failed alarmists predictions, and check out the link it contains to the Daily Caller article detailing all the UN claims of imminent doom from passing the so-called “tipping point”. Maybe they were thinking of the point you need to push a sleeping cow to tip it. https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2015/05/19/have-global-warming-warnings-reached-a-tipping-point/. Or maybe they are referring to the point when you’ll be so frightened that you’ll tip them to save the planet, and if you do, you can rest assured that, just like the Clinton Foundation, 8 or 10 cents on the dollar might go toward whatever they say and the rest will enrich a bunch of politicians and their friends. Can you say Solyndra?

People, that is why it doesn’t matter if the earth is said to be cooling or warming. Either provide politicians the opportunity to blame fossil fuels and further their agenda. And that is why the CO2 nonsense is so important to push. Water vapor is said to be a potent “greenhouse gas” – that’s right good old H2O is supposedly a potent greenhouse gas and methane is said to be very potent, many times more potent than CO2, but both are naturally occurring and thus cannot be regulated and taxed – unless you want to regulate the methane release from my flatulence. I pity the poor bureaucrat assigned to follow me around with the fart-o-meter to calculate the tax. By the way, if any one reading this didn’t know, carbon dioxide is also a naturally occurring gas without which life would not exist. If you really want to help underdeveloped countries, the best way to do that is to provide them with cheap, safe and dependable electricity. At present that means fossil fuels – it could also include nuclear power, but politics raises the cost extensively, and we don’t really want nuclear reactors all over third world counties for security reasons.

I won’t be addressing climate change anymore, I’m too lazy to keep up with all the nonsense, and Paul Homewood is much more dedicated and does an excellent job. In closing my rants on global warming, people just remember this. When politicians tell you they are going to increase your taxes or your cost of living or decrease your lifestyle because it’s for the overall good of the world, tightly clench your butt cheeks ‘cause you ain’t gonna like what’s coming next.

If these rants enlightened you or caused you to think or smile, then they were successful. Check back from time to time and you might find more enlightenment or amusement. Just remember to always question whatever the politicians and other talking heads are selling.

The subject of the next rants will be on tax reform and should be up in a week or so.