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The Expansionist
Saturday, December 12, 2009
 
Dubious Premise, Wrong Culprit. The "science" of "anthropogenic"/man-made global warming is at best questionable and at worst fraudulent. Data are not reliable, nor even available for much of the world for the period before weather satellites were put in place in the 1960s; the temperature differences in densely populated areas for which we have good data going back decades or even centuries are too slite to be meaningful; the (assertedly) greatest temperature increases are where there are the fewest people; and one entire side of the climate equation is being completely ignored.
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As a UN climate-change conference deliberates in Denmark, 2/3 of the United States, the world's third-largest country, spanning climes from the Arctic to the tropics, is subnormally cold, and by a lot. In the Northeast, which is not nearly as hard-hit as some other regions, the temperature today did not quite reach (going up from overnite frigidity) freezing (32°) in my city, Newark, NJ, when the normal high temperature for December 11th is 44°. The normal low is 31°, which was instead the high today. Last nite, temperatures dropped to about 21°, 10° below normal. And winter isn't even here yet!
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In Copenhagen, where the conference is being held, today's high was 41°, but only very briefly, in a day whose average was 39°. The average temperatures in Denmark overall in December are 39 high, 33 low, and that is an average of early and late December. So today was absolutely typical, if not even warmer because this is only 1/3 thru December, and late December is colder than early. The Copenhagen forecast for the next nine days is for slitely subnormal temperatures. But the delegates to a conference in Copenhagen are expected to ignore the actual temperatures and their relation to norms, and believe instead that the planet is burning to a crisp. What do you call it when people insist on believing conditions contrary to fact? "Delusion" is the nice word. "Madness" isn't so nice, but it fits.
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A quick Internet check for Denmark's average temperatures for December and January overall shows two different sets of figures. One source says December temps are 39 high, 33 low, and January's, 36 and 28. Another source says 39/32 for December, 37/30 for January. This 1° to 2° discrepancy in current averages from one source to another is comparable to the entire extent of "global warming" on the planet overall — and Denmark is a place where we have had good records for a long time. So the base issue is, whose data do you believe? Do ALL records from all observers agree absolutely? If not, is the discrepancy smaller than the asserted change in climate, equal to that asserted change, or greater than the asserted change? Either of the latter two data alternatives would completely void the assertion that the world's temperature is rising.
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The National Geographic Society's website says:
Average temperatures have climbed 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degree Celsius) around the world since 1880, much of this in recent decades, according to NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies.
Do all observers agree with the Goddard Institute's figures?
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Even if they do, and there is reason to believe they do not, huge projections are being asserted, based upon tiny temperature changes, which could be wholly explained by differences in data-gathering. In much of the planet — oceans, Antarctica, backward countries — reliable weather records do not exist for any period prior to the orbiting of weather satellites. The first weather satellite wasn't launched until 1959, and lasted only 78 days. Competent weather satellites didn't start orbiting until 1964. So in fact we have significant amounts of data about large swaths of the planet only since 1964, not 1880.
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National Geographic goes on to say:
The Arctic is feeling the effects the most. Average temperatures in Alaska, western Canada, and eastern Russia have risen at twice the global average, according to the multinational Arctic Climate Impact Assessment report compiled between 2000 and 2004.
Why would that be, if people are responsible for planetary warming? There are very few people in the Arctic, only about 2 million within the Arctic Circle, and almost none of them are in Alaska and western Canada. Alaska has less than 300,000 people overall, and almost all of them are south of the Arctic Circle. If human activity is responsible for planetary warming, shouldn't there be a temperature gradient, in which the most densely populated areas, or those that emit the most CO2, are most affected and the areas with the lowest density of population and least emission of CO2 would be least affected? The idea that the Earth is a closed system, so causes of warming do not remain in the areas they first affect, sounds reasonable, until you realize that the tropics are hot and the poles are cold, so heat is not uniformly distributed within this "closed system". Tropical heat remains largely within the tropics, with some spillover into the temperate zone, but none of it gets to the poles. So why are the poles, empty of people, MORE affected by "man-made" global warming than are the areas of the world with the bulk of the world's population?
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One website, of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming of the U.S. House of Representatives, claims:
Over the past 50 years average temperatures in the Arctic have increased as much as 7 degrees Fahrenheit. ... In the record-breaking year of 2005, parts of Greenland melted that have never melted during the 26-year long satellite record. A complete melting of Greenland would result in over a 20 foot rise in global sea level, presenting catastrophic consequences to coastal regions around the world.
I have boldfaced mutually contradictory passages within this single paragraph. No source is given for the assertion about a 7° increase. And it does not accord with the National Geographic statements that planetary temperature has risen by 1.4° and Arctic temperature at "twice the global average", which would be 2.8°, not 7°. So we can't even get consistent data about the extent of the so-called "problem". Yet we are to embark on drastic measures when we don't even know exactly how much temperatures have changed, if at all, nor why.
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Further, that (undated) Congressional webpage implicitly concedes that the entire climatological record for the area they are pronouncing upon is 26 years, that is, back to perhaps 1983, not 1880 — not even the 50 years that that webpage itself mentions! Or are we to believe we had excellent records of every other part of the Arctic except the Greenland ice cap — even the ice cap that covers much of the Arctic Ocean 8 months or so each year?
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Alarms about "climate change" and "global warming" speak of a historic shift from a century and more ago, but we just don't have records from that long ago for most of the planet: the oceans, icecaps, deserts, high mountains, and a large portion of the African continent. Heck, we didn't even have good MAPS of parts of the planet in 1880. (See a map of Africa from 1873 here and a map of the Arctic from 1885 here, which contains a large area marked "Unexplored".)
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The House Committee webpage also makes this astonishing claim:
Warming induced changes in tundra vegetation and plant life threaten caribou, reindeer and migratory bird populations. Loss of sea ice and wildlife also makes indigenous life in the Arctic increasingly difficult, endangering an entire way of life.
We are supposed to believe that vegetation flourishes with freezing but dies with (relative) warmth. That is exactly contrary to all human experience and botanical knowledge. No, gentlemen, vegetation does BETTER with warmth — we are not, after all, talking about tundra plants being suddenly subjected to temperatures of 135°F, but of temperature changes of only a few degrees — so vegetation should grow faster and remain productive longer with increased warmth, and herbivores, which depend on vegetation, should THRIVE, not die, if Arctic temperatures rise.
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Now, let's consider whom to blame and whom to require to change their behavior. In the matter of the buildup or reduction of CO2, there are two sides to the equation: output and uptake. If output increases but uptake does not also increase, CO2 can build up. If output stays the same and uptake diminishes, CO2 can increase. If output increases and uptake decreases, CO2 can build up, at a higher rate. But if output increases and uptake also increases, stasis may occur, or CO2 may actually decrease. And, finally, worst, if output decreases but uptake decreases more, CO2 can still build up! So it doesn't necessarily matter how much the advanced countries decrease CO2 emissions (and talk of eliminating 100% of CO2 emissions is utter nonsense — you couldn't burn even a single candle without producing CO2), if the natural mechanisms that destroy CO2 (mainly photosynthesis by green plants, of any size from giant sequoia to tiny photoplankton) are rendered inoperative, CO2 emissions, even tho much reduced, will still produce an increase in atmospheric CO2.
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The First World (industrialized nations) produces a lot of CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels in various fashions (automobiles burning gasoline, homes and businesses burning oil and natural gas for heating, power plants burning coal, oil, and other fossil fuels or renewable biomass to generate electricity). The forests, farms, grasslands, and coastal waters of the industrial countries are in very good shape, however, so large and tiny green plants in the First World are doing a very good job of taking up CO2 and producing oxygen and biomass from it.
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Some parts of the Third World, however, are pouring out massive amounts of CO2 while simultaneously destroying forests and so badly contaminating coastal waters that the amount of CO2 that was once broken down by natural processes in the Third World has been drastically reduced, and is each day reduced further by rapacious and ultimately self-destructive practices by idiot barbarians. This is, in short, a case of savages destroying the portions of the planet they control, but civilized people being blamed for it.
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(There is no longer a linguistic "Second World". The Communist bloc, which was the Second World, no longer exists. Mind you, there are still some countries dominated by at least political Communism (totalitarian dictatorship), but they no longer constitute a bloc.)
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There is now a vast outpouring of "global-warming" claptrap from major media and free-agent Internet loons, blatantly dishonest nonsense about "climate refugees" and sea level rises that no one has quantified. For instance, NBC Nightly News today suggested that Egypt's coastal waters are "predicted to rise 3 feet in as little as three decades", and that 3 billion people are at risk from climate change!
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You have to think about these things to see the absurdities. Moments after the nonsense about coastal waters rising 3 feet, NBC's Jim Maceda in that same report gives some information that bears on what is really happening. The Nile's flow has been drastically reduced, not just by the High Aswan Dam, which many viewers will have known about, but also by further, more recent damming by the Sudan upriver, which has further reduced both the water and the silt that the Nile used to deliver to the Nile Delta at the Mediterranean coast. Coastal waters are not rising; the Delta is being worn away by natural processes of erosion, at the Nile as at the Mississippi, because of human restrictions placed upon those rivers' deposition of silt downstream.
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No such reality check can be made for the preposterous claim, by some organization nobody ever heard of, "the peace group Alert International", whom Maceda quotes without doing any independent checking, that "almost 3 billion people are at risk from environmental wars". And never mind that those "environmental wars" may take the form of old-fashioned squabbles over water diversion by one group of people that adversely affects other groups. There is nothing new about conflicts over water diversion. Some Egyptians consider the building of dams by the Sudan to be an act of war against Egypt. The Palestinians regard the diversion of the waters of the Jordan River to Israeli farms as yet another crime against Palestinians. None of that has anything to do with "global warming".
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To the extent that human activities could affect planetary climate, it is only because the Third World is destroying the forests that would flourish with increased CO2, which is literally plant food, and become even lusher and more extensive with more carbon dioxide and warmer temperatures, at least where there is adequate rainfall or periodic river flooding, were it not for the deliberate, massive destruction of forests by ignorant savages.
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The notion that we cannot condemn nor do anything about the savagery of savages is preposterous. Will it hurt the feelings of uneducated Indonesian and Brazilian slash-and-burn farmers to tell them that they are behaving extremely stupidly? Tuf. Facts are facts, and savage is as savage does. The people destroying the world's rainforest and other CO2-uptake mechanisms are indeed ignorant of the effects of what they are doing, and their behavior is indeed savage. They must be called to account and STOPPED.
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The outrageous nerve of some of these Third World countries is astonishing. Communist China is indignant that the United States says it does not want any U.S. global-warming money to be sent to China, because China can (damned well) take care of its own needs because it is sitting on $2 trillion in currency reserves. Without denying that fact, China nonetheless says it is entitled to international aid. No, it's really not.
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China's severe ecological problems are its own doing. The Chinese Government has destroyed vast tracts of forests and catastrophically polluted hundreds of thousands of square miles of their territory thru ill-considered projects that valued rapid economic development over safety. We had nothing to do with it, so have no responsibility for undoing it.
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In like fashion, we haven't destroyed tropical rainforests (our one tropical rainforest, in Hawaii, is doing splendidly), so have no obligation to try to compensate economically for the environmental devastation caused by ignorant, stupid savages. It is for the wise people in Third World countries to impose sensible environmental standards upon their own countries, and civilize their savages.
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If the premise that the buildup of CO2 could cause worldwide calamity were true, we would have to think about fundamental political change, whereby the responsible countries of the First World end the catastrophically bad mismanagement of the territories of the Third World by ending their independence and subjecting them to external controls. Call it "colonialism" if you like, but if the only way to end ecological destruction by savages is to take control of their lands away from people who have proved incapable of governing themselves, then it just has to be done.
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This could be done in the form of "mandates" given by the United Nations to responsible powers, which have as their purpose to put things in good order at the same time as the mandatory (for this purpose, pronounced maan.dáe.ta.rèe) power educates the local people on environmental issues and the responsibilities of democratic government. The areas subjected to mandates could have local autonomy within strict limits to prevent continuation of the insanely self-destructive practices, like slash-and-burn agriculture, that they have permitted for decades.
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With regard to areas close to the United States, the obvious mandatory power would be the United States. But the worst offenders in the Western Hemisphere may not be anything like the worst offenders on the planet. The European Union as a whole might be a better (and is certainly a closer) potential mandatory administrator than the U.S. for those parts of Africa being destroyed by their own people, and Japan the mandatory power for Indonesia, Malaysia, and any other country of Southeast Asia that may be willfully destroying the rainforest.
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Mandates would be regarded as temporary, pegged to specific accomplishments in environmental protection, democratization, and elimination of kleptocracy (the theft of a country's wealth by a self-interested governmental and business elite). The UN would periodically review progress to see if more self-government could be permitted — or would have to be rescinded if a territory regresses to unacceptable behavior.
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We cannot speak of "spaceship Earth" or "global warming" because this planet is a "closed system" without accepting that practices that are hugely destructive have to be stopped, and thus political and economic mechanisms have to be established to accomplish that.
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In the Western Hemisphere, we have a pre-existing provision in law to admit new States into the United States. If preserving the Amazon rainforest were understood to require the permanent addition of that rainforest's entire extent to the U.S. realm, we can offer statehood to sensibly-sized areas throughout the Amazon Basin. In similar fashion in the Eastern Hemisphere, the European Union could broaden its conception to admit key African territories into a politico-economic union in which all members are compelled to adhere to various standards, including environmental standards. If the EU were not willing to change its identity — and racial compelexion — by admitting African members, the EU, U.S., and UN could work with the so-called "African Union" to give that body real power to enforce sensible environmental standards, either after or in lieu of the creation of mandates in crucial habitats.
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What we need, in short, to think about is more than "global warming". Environmental devastation, whether it affects climate or not, is something we must all be concerned about and work to slow, then stop. In the widest view, the matter most basic to every issue of this sort is POPULATION. If the population of the Earth were to shrink to 5 billion (its size in 1987), the CO2 output would also shrink, and deforestation and desertification caused by overpopulation in the Third World would also shrink starkly. If the population of the planet were reduced to 4 billion, which it was in 1974, the bulk of problems caused by overpopulation would simply vanish, without more. When I was born, at the end of 1944, the population of the planet was only about 2.4 billion, which today is only about the size of the combined population of the two most populous countries, China and India, alone. If we had only the population we had in 1944, no one would be talking about climate change or an environmental catastrophe. So what we really ARE talking about is overpopulation, except no one will say it aloud. Overpopulation is the base cause of all the ugly and destuctive problems we are now asked to attack with extraordinary measures. We could reduce planetary population with far less drastic measures, which would have enormous, positive effects, but no one in power in the First World dares even to suggest that it is only the excessive human population of the Third World that is producing the most severe environmental difficulties. No, they'd rather spend $20 TRILLION and risk impoverishing the First World, all the while not solving ANY of the problems that that money is supposed to address, than spend a tiny fraction of that to bring the world's population down, which would solve ALL the problems. Boys and girls, can you say "morons"?
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(The current U.S. military death toll in Iraq, according to the website "Iraq Coalition Casualties", is 4,370 — for Israel.)



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