Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Global warming killing people with ice and snow in North Carolina

Is ManBearPig to blame for global warming?

Is ManBearPig to blame for global warming?

President Barack Obama, you need to stop golfing and fix the global warming! Radically leftist CNN reluctantly reports.

Excerpt:

Get off the roads, and stay off.

That was the message in Georgia and the Carolinas as a snow and ice storm swept through Wednesday, bringing some of the Southeast’s most populous cities to a standstill.

The warnings came as freezing rain brought heavy ice accumulations from Atlanta to Charlotte. Across a large swath of the South, hundreds of thousands of people were without power and thousands of flights were canceled.

Calling ice the biggest enemy, Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency. School districts canceled classes and government offices were shuttered in an attempt to avoid a repeat of the traffic paralysis caused by a storm last month.

Up to three-quarters of an inch of ice was expected to accumulate in Atlanta and up to 10 inches of snow and sleet were expected in Raleigh and Charlotte, making travel treacherous.

Also in the storm’s path were Virginia and Washington, with much of the Northeast to follow.

All federal offices in the nation’s capital were ordered closed, and thousands of employees were being told to stay home, according to the Office of Personnel Management.

[...]More than 600,000 customers were without power in the Southeast, power companies told CNN. About 180,000 were Georgia Power Co. customers, the utility said.

South Carolina was the hardest hit, with about 220,000 customers without electricity, while Wilmington, North Carolina, accounted for more than 58,000 outages.

The utilities said Wednesday morning they expect those numbers to rise over the next 24 hours.

Georgia Power, the state’s largest utility, warned that hundreds of thousands could be without electricity for days.

[...]At least 10 deaths have been blamed on the weather, including a 55-year-old man who was killed in a head-on collision in Virginia, authorities said. Two people were killed in Georgia, and two died in North Carolina, they said.

In Texas, three people died when an ambulance driver lost control on an icy patch of road outside of Carlsbad, the state Department of Public Safety said. A patient, a paramedic and another passenger were pronounced dead at the scene.

In Mississippi, authorities blamed the storm for two traffic deaths.

Meanwhile, former NASA climate scientist finds that 95% of global warming predictions have failed when measured against actual global temperatures.

The Daily Caller reports:

Environmentalists and Democrats often cite a “97 percent” consensus among climate scientists about global warming. But they never cite estimates that 95 percent of climate models predicting global temperature rises have been wrong.

Former NASA scientist Dr. Roy Spencer says that climate models used by government agencies to create policies “have failed miserably.” Spencer analyzed 90 climate models against surface temperature and satellite temperature data, and found that more than 95 percent of the models “have over-forecast the warming trend since 1979, whether we use their own surface temperature dataset (HadCRUT4), or our satellite dataset of lower tropospheric temperatures (UAH).”

[...]Climate scientists have been baffled by the 17-year pause in global warming. At least eight explanations have been offered to explain the lapse in warming, including declining solar activity and natural climate cycles.

We are spending millions and even billions trying to stop this global warming, but clearly, we aren’t doing enough. We need to borrow even more money from our children, otherwise they will be burned to cinders when the Earth turns into Hell.

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Will global warming alarmism undermine the authority of science?

This is a must read article from Forbes magazine about a new paper in an Australian journal by Garth Paltridge. Dr. Paltridge is an Australian atmospheric physicist who holds a BSc from the University of Queensland, a PhD from University of Melbourne and a DSc from the University of Queensland.

The article introduces the author and his thesis:

Will the overselling of climate change lead to a new scientific dark age? That’s the question being posed in the latest issue of an Australian literary journal,Quadrant, by Garth Paltridge, one of the world’s most respected atmospheric scientists.

Paltridge was a Chief Research Scientist with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO).  The latter is Australia’s equivalent of the National Science Foundation, our massive Federal Laboratory network, and all the governmental agency science branches rolled into one.

Paltridge lays out the well-known uncertainties in climate forecasting. These include our inability to properly simulate clouds that are anything like what we see in the real world, the embarrassing lack of average surface warming now in its 17th year, and the fumbling (and contradictory) attempts to explain it away.

Paltridge writes:

“The trap was fully sprung when many of the world’s major national academies of science (such as the Royal Society in the UK, the National Academy of Sciences in the USA and the Australian Academy of Science) persuaded themselves to issue reports giving support to the conclusions of the IPCC [the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change]. The reports were touted as national assessments that were supposedly independent of the IPCC and of each other, but of necessity were compiled with the assistance of, and in some cases at the behest of, many of the scientists involved in the IPCC international machinations. In effect, the academies, which are the most prestigious of the institutions of science, formally nailed their colours to the mast of the politically correct.

[...]“In the light of all this, we have at least to consider the possibility that the scientific establishment behind the global warming issue has been drawn into the trap of seriously overstating the climate problem—or, what is much the same thing, of seriously understating the uncertainties associated with the climate problem—in its effort to promote the cause. It is a particularly nasty trap in the context of science, because it risks destroying, perhaps for centuries to come, the unique and hard-won reputation for honesty which is the basis of society’s respect for scientific endeavour.”

None of this is a surprise to Christian apologists, because we’ve been through this before with Darwinism. Yes, it really can happen that science is hijacked by religious people who want to support their ideologies. Science is wonderful, but it’s not immune to being abused.

Forbes also posted an excellent long article re-capping how climate scientists manipulated data in order to prove what they wanted to prove. This article takes about the Climategate scandal, which is useful  to show how far these scientists will go.

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Global warming causing accidents and deaths in the South, thousands stranded

Leftist CNN explains the results of global warming.

Excerpt:

Chicago saw a record low of minus 16 (minus 27 C) on Monday. The day’s high was minus 11, with a windchill of minus 34. It’s part of an Arctic blast that plunged deep into the central United States on Monday, leaving Nashville, Tennessee, 40 degrees colder than Albany, New York; Memphis 20 degrees colder than Anchorage, Alaska; and Atlanta colder than Moscow — Russia or Idaho, take your pick.

The bitter cold that a “polar vortex” is pushing into much of the United States is not just another winter storm. It’s the coldest in 20 years in many areas. The South was downright balmy compared to the Great Lakes region, where temperatures hovered in the negative 20s — before wind chill, which dropped temps to the negative 40s and in places like Minneapolis.

[...]Authorities have blamed a total of 15 deaths on the cold so far, 11 of them from traffic accidents.

But the the death of an Indianapolis woman found in her backyard early Monday “is believed to be weather-related,” police spokesman Kendale Adams told CNN. A man in Wisconsin died of hypothermia, and an elderly woman with Alzheimer’s disease who wandered away from her home in New York state was found dead in the snowy woods about 100 yards away, authorities there said.

In addition, hypothermia was a contributing factor in the death of a patient at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, hospital spokesman George Stamatis told CNN.

[...]The deep freeze has also snarled air traffic across the country, with more than 3,800 flights canceled by Monday evening, according to flightaware.com.

More leftist CNN:

A winter storm that paralyzed the South churned up the Eastern Seaboard Tuesday, threatening heavy snowfalls and more misery for the Northeast.

The Southern storm left a trail of treacherous conditions from Arkansas to the Atlantic, closing schools and government offices and contributing to the traffic deaths of at least three people.

Southern states were crippled — covered in sheets of ice that formed on roads, pavements, cars and atop the crunchy snow.

Meanwhile, with memories still fresh of a monster Christmas weekend storm, Northern states again braced for heavy accumulations of snow and potential blizzard conditions. The National Weather Service predicted 4 to 8 inches of snow in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, area, 4 inches or more in northern New Jersey and 2 to 6 inches in southern Delaware from Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday morning.

It will be all snow as well for the Interstate 95 corridor Tuesday night and Wednesday, with 8 to 12 inches predicted for the New York City area and between 12 to 16 inches in Boston, Massachusetts. The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for coastal Massachusetts, including Boston, on Tuesday night.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo activated the state’s emergency management plan in an effort, he said, to ensure resources and equipment are positioned to clear roadways and respond to the approaching storm.

Officials declared a “weather emergency” and advised motorists to stay off the roads. The move restricts parking and allows authorities to remove vehicles that block roadways or impede snow plows.

[...]The city of Philadelphia declared a snow emergency Tuesday night, while public schools in Boston will be closed Wednesday because of the predicted snowfall.

At least 30 states were under some sort of winter storm watch or warning Tuesday, and states of emergencies were declared in Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas. Florida is currently the only U.S. state with no snow, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Snow emergencies and record low temperatures, all caused by high carbon emissions and global warming.

Expert predicts 20 yeas of global cooling

Why is this happening after we have spent billions on trying to stop the global warming that all the leftists predicted?

CNS News explains what comes next:

Dr. Don Easterbrook – a climate scientist and glacier expert from Washington State who correctly predicted back in 2000 that the Earth was entering a cooling phase – says to expect colder temperatures for at least the next two decades.

Easterbrook’s predictions were “right on the money” seven years before Al Gore and the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for warning that the Earth was facing catastrophic warming caused by rising levels of carbon dioxide, which Gore called a “planetary emergency.”

“When we check their projections against what actually happened in that time interval, they’re not even close. They’re off by a full degree in one decade, which is huge. That’s more than the entire amount of warming we’ve had in the past century. So their models have failed just miserably, nowhere near close. And maybe it’s luck, who knows, but mine have been right on the button,” Easterbrook told CNSNews.com.

“For the next 20 years, I predict global cooling of about 3/10ths of a degree Fahrenheit, as opposed to the one-degree warming predicted by the IPCC,” said Easterbrook, professor emeritus of geology at Western Washington University and  author of 150 scientific journal articles and 10 books, including “Evidence Based Climate Science,” which was published in 2011. (See EasterbrookL coming-century-predictions.pdf)

In contrast, Gore and the IPCC’s computer models predicted “a big increase” in global warming by as much as one degree per decade. But the climate models used by the IPCC have proved to be wrong, with many places in Europe and North America now experiencing record-breaking cold.

Easterbrook noted that his 20-year prediction was the “mildest” one of four possible scenarios, all of which involve lower temperatures, and added that only time will tell whether the Earth continues to cool slightly or plunges into another Little Ice Age as it did between 1650 and 1790.

“There’s no way to tell ‘til you get there,” he told CNSNews.com. But he lamented the fact that governments worldwide have already spent a trillion dollars fighting the wrong threat.

We really should be listening to people who made predictions that have been proven right – not people who are just looking for grant money and political power.

The real motivation of global warming alarmism is socialism

My good friend Letitia posted this Daily Caller article, which discusses a possible motive for pushing a theory that is in conflict with the evidence we have.

Excerpt: (links removed)

United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres said that democracy is a poor political system for fighting global warming. Communist China, she says, is the best model.

China may be the world’s top emitter of carbon dioxide and struggling with major pollution problems of their own, but the country is “doing it right” when it comes to fighting global warming says Figueres.

That’s what all this nonsense is really about.

We have had no statistically significant warming in 17 years, and now we have record cold, with predictions now of 20 years of global cooling. What is really driving this counter-factual mythology is socialism. It certainly isn’t science.

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United Nations climate chief explains the real motive of global warming alarmism

Previously, I’ve documented many problems with global warming, and I’ve also noted that contrary to the predictions of the global warming socialists, we have had no significant warming in 17 years and Arctic ice is at a 35-year high. If global warmists are trying to convince us of something that is true, then they will have to show us better evidence for their views. A lot of us have given up on global warming as science, especially after the whole Climategate scandal, where it was proved that scientists at the University of East Anglia sent e-mails showing how they were trying to “hide the decline” in temperatures and suppress scientific articles critical of their theories.

My good friend Letitia posted this Daily Caller article, which discusses a possible motive for pushing a theory that is in conflict with the evidence we have.

Excerpt: (links removed)

United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres said that democracy is a poor political system for fighting global warming. Communist China, she says, is the best model.

China may be the world’s top emitter of carbon dioxide and struggling with major pollution problems of their own, but the country is “doing it right” when it comes to fighting global warming says Figueres.

“They actually want to breathe air that they don’t have to look at,” she said. “They’re not doing this because they want to save the planet. They’re doing it because it’s in their national interest.”

Figueres added that the deep partisan divide in the U.S. Congress is “very detrimental” to passing any sort of legislation to fight global warming. The Chinese Communist Party, on the other hand, can push key policies and reforms all on its own. The country’s national legislature largely enforces the decisions made by the party’s Central Committee and other executive offices.

Communism was responsible for the deaths of about 94 million people in China, the Soviet Union, North Korea, Afghanistan and Eastern Europe in the 20th Century. China alone was responsible for 65 million of those deaths under communist rule.

Environmentalists often hail China as a model for fighting global warming, since they are a “leader” in renewable energy. The country set a goal of getting 15 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2020. In 2012, China got 9 percent of its power from renewables — the U.S. by contrast got 11 percent in 2012.

However, the country still gets 90 percent of its power from fossil fuels, mostly from coal. In fact, Chinese coal demand is expected to explode as the country continues to develop. China has approved 100 million metric tons of new coal production capacity in 2013 as part of the government’s plan to bring 860 million metric tons of coal production online by 2015.

China has publicly made big efforts to clean up its environment. The country’s booming industrial apparatus has caused so much pollution that the skies have been darkened over major cities and the air quality has heavily deteriorated.

The Wall Street Journal notes that China’s air quality was so bad that about “1.2 million people died prematurely in China in 2010 as a result of air pollution” and Chinese government figures show that “lung cancer is now the leading cause of death from malignant tumors. Many of those dying are nonsmokers.”

The Soviet bloc’s environmental track record was similarly dismal.

Letitia also posted this USA Today article from last Thursday to show you just how far off base this UN communist is.

Excerpt:

Beijing’s skyscrapers receded into a dense gray smog Thursday as the capital saw the season’s first wave of extremely dangerous pollution, with the concentration of toxic small particles registering more than two dozen times the level considered safe.

[...]The city’s air quality is often poor, especially in winter when stagnant weather patterns combine with an increase in coal-burning to exacerbate other forms of pollution and create periods of heavy smog for days at a time. But the readings early Thursday for particles of PM2.5 pollution marked the first ones of the season above 500 micrograms per cubic meter.

The density of PM2.5 was about 350 to 500 micrograms Thursday midmorning, though the air started to clear in the afternoon. It had reached as high as 671 at 4 a.m. at a monitoring post at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. That is about 26 times as high as the 25 micrograms considered safe by the World Health Organization, and was the highest reading since January 2013.

It seems tha the global warmists are very fond of big government, such as we find in the (mostly) communist China. This is not surprising since many of them receive government money (e.g. – Solyndra) if a global warmist President gets elected. In my experience talking to people about global warming, I am generally able to win the debate about the science, but then they explain to me that we must promote global warming alarmism because we need the public to do something about overpopulation and natural resource depletion. The comments of the UN woman seems to indicate that the something they want is bigger government, which can be used to nudge people away from having more children and restrict their use of natural resources.

So I think we need to be careful when science is being misused to support an ideology, especially one that is obviously false. (Global birth rates are dropping below replacement and shale oil reserves are abundant)

Having said all that, I want to reiterate that science itself is a great thing, and I support it. If it wasn’t for real science, Christian theists would not have the argument from the origin of the universe, the argument from the origin of life, the cosmic fine-tuning, the Cambrian explosion, molecular machines, galactic habitability, stellar habitability, planetary habitability, and so on. We also would not have many good things that make us freer, more prosperous and more healthy. Science is a good thing. But hijacking science to serve a power-hungry ideology (or just greed) is not a good thing. I oppose it.

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My conversation with a leftist friend about basic economics and rent control

My conversation with a leftist friend about “Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy, 4th Edition“, by Thomas Sowell.

Him: I remember why I stopped reading that book when you asked me to read it.

Me: Why did you stop reading it?

Him: Because of the chapter on rent control.

Me: Chapter 3 is the chapter on price controls. It talks about rent control.

Him: I expect an economist to present both sides of rent control. He has to present the arguments for and against rent control.

Me: There are not two sides to rent control. There is only one side to rent control. He chose that because it is a clear cut example of the problems caused by price controls. Economists universally condemn rent control, across the ideological spectrum.

Him: No they don’t.

Me: The chair of the Department of Economics at Harvard University, Greg Mankiw, reports in his economics textbook that 93% of professional economists agree that rent control reduces housing supply and housing quality. It is the most agreed upon position among economists across the ideological spectrum, number one in his list of facts on which professional economists agree. And obviously they have reasons for agreeing on that, specifically the experience of trying rent control policies in different times and places. It has always failed.

Him: Somebody must like rent control, because they have it in New York city.

Me: Politicians and low-information voters support rent control. It makes politicians feel good, and it gets them elected, too – if the voters are economically illiterate enough, as they are in New York city.

Him: But what about global warming then? Isn’t the consensus against you there?

Me: There has been no global warming in the last 17 years, according to the New York Times. They were reporting on findings by the UN IPCC in 2013.

Him: The UN never said that. The New York Times never wrote that.

Me: Yes, they did. And I have the sources I can send them to you.

Him: I’ll bet you do. (walks away in a huff)

This is the relevant quote from the Greg Mankiw post from his survey of economists that appears in his textbook:

  1. A ceiling on rents reduces the quantity and quality of housing available. (93%)
  2. Tariffs and import quotas usually reduce general economic welfare. (93%)
  3. Flexible and floating exchange rates offer an effective international monetary arrangement. (90%)
  4. Fiscal policy (e.g., tax cut and/or government expenditure increase) has a significant stimulative impact on a less than fully employed economy. (90%)
  5. The United States should not restrict employers from outsourcing work to foreign countries. (90%)
  6. The United States should eliminate agricultural subsidies. (85%)
  7. Local and state governments should eliminate subsidies to professional sports franchises. (85%)
  8. If the federal budget is to be balanced, it should be done over the business cycle rather than yearly. (85%)
  9. The gap between Social Security funds and expenditures will become unsustainably large within the next fifty years if current policies remain unchanged. (85%)
  10. Cash payments increase the welfare of recipients to a greater degree than do transfers-in-kind of equal cash value. (84%)
  11. A large federal budget deficit has an adverse effect on the economy. (83%)
  12. A minimum wage increases unemployment among young and unskilled workers. (79%)
  13. The government should restructure the welfare system along the lines of a “negative income tax.” (79%)
  14. Effluent taxes and marketable pollution permits represent a better approach to pollution control than imposition of pollution ceilings. (78%)

And this is the relevant quote from the New York Times article, dated September 2013:

The global warming crowd has a problem. For all of its warnings, and despite a steady escalation of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, the planet’s average surface temperature has remained pretty much the same for the last 15 years.

As you might guess, skeptics of warming were in full attack mode as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change gathered in Sweden this week to approve its latest findings about our warming planet. The skeptics argue that this recent plateau illustrates what they always knew — that complex global climate models have no predictive capability and that, therefore, there is no proof of global warming, human-caused or not.

The author of the NYT article (a leftist) goes on to attempt to explain he is not concerned by the 17 year period of no significant warming, but the point is that the 17 year (not 15 year) period of no significant warming is A FACT acknowledged by the UN IPCC that has to be explained by those who believe in catastrophic man-made global warming. The IPCC may not like the temperature measurements, but those facts are not in doubt. The global warming crowd might make predictions about the future, but they made predictions about the past before, and we now know for a fact that those predictions (polar ice caps melting, Himalayans melting, significant global warming, etc.) were FALSE. They have been falsified by evidence, and that’s not in doubt.

Economic illiteracy is the problem

When people on the left voted for Barack Obama in 2012, they did not know based on evidence that they could keep their doctors and keep their health plans and that insurance premiums would drop $2500. They did not know it because the economic studies contradicted Obama’s words. They even believed Obama when he said that the Benghazi incident was caused by a Youtube video. Obama-supporters had a sincere belief in the words of his passionate speeches. They were impressed by the visuals of him talking to large crowds of young people. They believed him because they had feelings about him. And voting for him made them have good feelings about themselves. They felt that they were going to achieve good things by voting for this good man. They meant well, but they did not know. They did not have evidence.

Before the 2012 election, people on the right pointed to evidence from studies (like this one) showing that Obama was lying, but his supporters were apparently not interested in economic studies. They want to preserve the feelings of being good people. They want to preserve the belief that you can embrace policies that sound good, and that words that sound good will necessarily lead to good results for people who are at a disadvantage. I don’t question the motives of people on the left – they mean well. But meaning well doesn’t produce good results without knowledge of economics. In economics, policies that sound appealing to well-meaning liberals (rent control, tariffs, protectionism, minimum wage, trillion-dollar deficits) actually produce bad results for poor people. And we know this for a fact from our experience across different times and places.

If we can get people to accept the authority of our observations of policy experimentation in different times and places over and above their feelings and intuitions, then we can save this country.

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