« Phoenix, 1969 | Main | The plot against light rail »

July 29, 2019


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Very good Jon !

It's really quite simple. If the democratic house starts the impeachment process, they will signal that they are for country over party.

Senate won't convict? Not the issue.

You either do what's right or you don't. Party or country.

Well, okay...I have a lot of issues with my generation (millennials), the biggest of which being our seeming lack of civic pride and engagement. I'm hesitant to say we're a completely lost cause (I think the generation after us, whatever the hell they're called, are a lot more proactive about the problems we face), but what is it going to take to get my generation to become more engaged and prideful? How can we stress the importance of thinking about how our actions affect us in the long term? That seems to be the issue non of us can resolve while we flail wildly from reacting to each and every tweet from the current occupier of the White House...

Ouch - this didn't age well...


At first I was amused. Then I was bewildered. Now I'm concerned.

Rogue and many readers of this blog are so invested in this bizarre fantasy. One of "stolen elections" (Rogue amusingly declares that our Constitution is in a moment of crisis - and in the same vein denounces the electoral college. The electoral college is, quite literally, in the Constitution) and POTUS as a "quisling for a foreign prince" (can't bear to write Russia! Not after those sticky web strands from genus spideris muellericus aided in that fatal venomous sting!).

This is an addiction. One, almost pornographic in nature. You beat the same schtick - over and over and over - without any regard for your physical, mental, or social well-being. Give it a rest mate - you're raw.

It does turn out that I was right. You and many posters here were wrong. Go back and read some of my previous posts if you want to see what's next - hint: lots of lefties are going to jail.

Keep losing and keep denying it CCP bots!

Impeachment is a distraction and a waste of time. Even if there was a chance of conviction, it wouldn't play out before the election. Better to focus energies on that. Hillary was certainly more qualified, and proceeded to run the worst campaign imaginable (how do you lose to Trump!! for god's sake!) and Dems may well nominate some "revolutionary" who can also lose to him. Bill, I don't know how to get millenials to look up from their phones long enough to notice that they matter and need to get off their asses, shed the purity doctrine, and get behind someone who can remove this blot on out democracy.

“We have only two crises: climate and Constitution. The rest are challenges, problems, conditions to which constructive or destructive policies and individual responsibility can be applied.”

I am further to the Left than you are, Jon, but I fully agree with this statement. Here in Denver, migrating geese are now staying put due to a warmer climate, sullying local parks and waterways. The city decided to cull them (donating the meat to charity) and, of course, goose fans have emerged to protest, unable or unwilling to connect the dots to bigger issue of climate change. It’s maddening.

The "purity" pejorative gets thrown around a lot by, ahem, "centrists," and it's sounding more and more like the "PC" accusations that the right used against, again, the left. To me, anyway.

I assume by "purity" you are referring to the list of things considered a "crisis" (scare quotes, thx) that you listed.

I guess that what is misunderstood about those issues is that they are no longer looked at as a litany of special-interest identity-politics divisions (the "circular firing squad.")

Those of us who are "mad with Wokeness" (saying that you "dare not write about [your] disagreements for fear of driving away" readers is transparently disingenuous if you dare to say "mad with Wokeness")... what was I saying?

Oh, yea. Those of us who are "made with Wokeness" no longer see this list of "crises" as separate grievances, but rather now perceive the intersectionality (I know, another confusing lib big word) of these issues. And the heart of most of them are enabled by the clearly failing neo-liberalism of the ascendant politics of the day, capitalist-centric politics of the day.

And I will tell you this. If another neo-liberal is the Democratic nominee - Biden, Harris, (to a lesser extent) O'Rourke, then the Dems will get spanked again just like the last time they put a status quo candidate (Clinton) against a vulgar character who at least represents the popular desire for change or fuck-you.

If the "circular firing squad," on the other hand, manages to push a real leftist to the fore, then you just might see the populace get sane again and dump the clown for long-needed systemic change in this country.

That would be nice, wouldn't it now?

That comet was scary! I definitely agree that the Left (and the Right, too) claim far more crises than reality would probably require. I’m with you on the Constitution crisis, though probably for very different reasons.

What I would like to comment on, though, is the climate threat. If Rogue will indulge me, I want to give a case for being skeptical of Catastophic Manmade Climate Change. I mentioned several weeks ago in the Hot Enough column that I had an interest in challenging the good commenters here with my contrary take on the issue.

I have been working on my essay since then, which I wrote specifically to comment here. It is extremely long for a Rogue Columnist comment, but yet barely scratches the surface of this complex issue. I have tried to make it as short as I can to get my main points across. Hopefully some of you will be interested enough to read it.

Climate change skeptics come in all sorts. I’m probably a relative moderate, because I agree with many of the skeptical scientists that there has in fact been warming and that manmade CO2 is likely a cause of some degree of it. Where my skepticism begins is in questioning the certainty that many people have about how much the warming is, how much it will be and how much humans are to blame.

The certainty that promoters of catastrophic manmade(anthropogenic) climate change have has led them to push hard for policies like the brilliantly named but half-baked Green New Deal and other extreme prescriptions for cutting CO2 emissions. The consequences of such policies would be severe, which I will get into at the end. It seems to me that to justify such consequences would require a certainty that just doesn’t exist sciencewise.

I’ll divide my reasons for skepticism into science and non-science reasons divided into two comments, with subsections in each to try to make it as readable as possible.

Like we have time for that.

Science Reasons

Climate Models

Predictions of catastrophic anthropogenic climate change are based the well-accepted principle of radiative forcing (greenhouse effect) as applied through climate-modeling computer programs. The predictions are treated with great certainty, yet there are great degrees of uncertainty involved in any attempt to predict climate changes. Computer programs are not magic and their output is dependent on what is put into them.

Models don’t account for natural climate change at all and climatologists don’t agree on the degree that feedbacks counter or enhance the greenhouse effects of CO2, such as negative (temp decreasing) cloud feedback and positive (temp increasing) water vapor feedback.

There is abundant evidence that there has historically been natural climate change, e.g. the prehistoric Ice Age, the Roman warm period (around 0 C.E.), Medieval warm period (around 1000 C.E.) and the Little Ice Age (around 1300-mid 1800’s). Modern thermometers have only been used since the mid 1800’s, and worldwide temperatures have been generally increasing since then. Scientists agree that C02 levels were not high enough before 1950 for manmade causes to be blamed, so the 100 years of increase prior to that must be natural.

So little is understood about long term natural climate changes, they are not factored into computer climate models and are specifically factored out as “drift”. So the models cannot simulate natural climate change and are therefore dominated by manmade climate change, then they are used as proof that only humans cause climate change. Seems a little too circular to me!

Actual observed temperatures over the last 100 years through 2016 show a change of 1.5 degrees Celsius while the average of computer climate models used by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicted 3.2 deg.C. This suggests their predictions of future warming are off by a factor of 2, and if natural causes are responsible for at least some of the increase, their predictions may be off by much more.

Lack Of Catastrophe

Despite the attribution of every severe weather event to climate change by the media and climate change promoters, the real-world evidence that we are heading for a catastrophe is scant. Climate change promoters love anecdotes, but anecdotes are not statistics and weather is not the same as climate.

-As mentioned above, actual atmospheric and deep ocean warming is less than half that predicted by climate models.

-Storms, tornados, droughts and other weather events have not increased outside of the range of historical variability.

-Sea level rise has been about 1 inch per decade since the late 1800’s. The causes of sea level change are complex and there are many natural factors. Rise has increased about 0.3 inches/decade additionally since 1950 (era of potential human cause). Even if all of the recent increase is caused by human activity, 0.9 inches every 30 years is not terribly alarming.

Engine exhaust is pollution, but the CO2 component is the same gas as is found naturally in our air. It’s currently 0.041% of air, up about 0.0135% since preindustrial times. CO2 is necessary for plant photosynthesis, thus necessary for the food chain.
There is satellite evidence of worldwide greening since the 1980’s , from increased plant growth. Crop yields have been increasing worldwide for several decades, over what can be attributed to improved agricultural technology and techniques. At least some of the effects of increased CO2 may in fact be beneficial.

Much of the science facts above are sourced from Roy Spencer Ph.D., an accomplished meteorologist and climate researcher who is a well-known skeptic.

Non-science reasons

Scientific Consensus?

Climate change promoters often cite the figure that 97% of scientists believe in anthropogenic global warming (AGW). This is based on a 2013 survey of published science papers, the conclusions of which are questionable. Still, that 97% figure is not exactly earth-shattering since even most scientists who are skeptical of catastrophic climate change would still agree that there has been at least some warning which is human-caused. Be that as it may, it is fair to say that a majority of scientists believe in AGW (e.g. 67% according to a 2016 survey of 4000 members of the American Meteorological Association).

Government Funding

Consider the nature of climate change research. Most research is government funded to look at the problem of dangerous climate change. That funding is overseen by elected officials, appointees and bureaucrats in an inherently political system. We like to think of science as being apolitical, but that is certainly not the case in this most political of issues.

Government seeks to address problems and would quickly lose motivation to fund research into a non-problem. It is in climate researchers’ interest to continue portraying the climate as a big problem. A climate researcher knows that he or she cannot build a career in the field being a skeptic (publicly skeptical scientists tend to be older or retired and don’t need the career advancement). The government pays scientists to find evidence of human impact on the climate and to predict dangerous changes to world, and they do an excellent job doing that. As Upton Sinclair said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary is dependent upon his not understanding it”.

Is Consensus Science?

Even if there is a consensus among climate scientists that AGW exists and is in fact a clear and present danger, since when is consensus the most important thing in science? Most every major discovery in science has bucked the previous consensus. Consensus is more a matter in politics. Science is supposed to be about a relentless and unbiased pursuit of evidence, following it wherever it may lead. Most scientists dependent on government funding wouldn’t dare release research that contradicted the prevailing assumption of dangerous AGW. It seems that climate science exists in a government-funded echo chamber dominated by groupthink. How is that science?


How about the politicians that push the issue of dangerous climate change? If we in fact do have a big problem with manmade climate change that can be mitigated by society-wide actions, the government will be the means to do it. That situation is ideal for politicians and government officials who want more tax money and more power over society. Democrats are most often associated with this, but Republicans are not immune. Solutions to climate change necessarily will increase government power and decrease the freedom of individuals and companies. People tend to be suspicious of politicians promoting an issue that takes away their money and freedom and gives it to those politicians

Remedies Worse Than The Disease?

About those solutions. Assuming all the scientific claims of global warming promoters are true, the only realistic solutions would involve a worldwide virtual elimination of fossil fuel use. Western countries decreasing their use somewhat would only be trimming around the edges without much long term effect. The Paris Climate Accord, even if fully implemented by all signatories would only be expected to decrease temperatures a small amount (the President sited 0.2C by 2100 when pulling out of Paris, here’s another source that says 0.05C by 2100). As I’ve heard it said about Paris for the U.S.: It’s all pain for no (or very little) gain.

Technology is nowhere near being able to replace fossil fuels with affordable alternatives. Not even close. Replacing fossil fuels in the short term (say over 10-20 years) would inevitably exponentially increase the cost of energy. AGW promoters tend to overlook the fact that the high living standards of modern man are hugely connected to the availability of affordable energy.

That is true not only of affluent western nations but also poorer countries that have experienced big increases in living standards in recent decades. Radically increasing energy costs would affect poor countries and the poor in rich countries most. The pain for the middle class would also be severe. The only folks who would coast through the changes comfortably would be the rich and elite, a group who just happen to be many of the ones pushing for these changes. In short, significantly more expensive energy will increase poverty. Poverty kills and on the scale imagined here, it would not be hard to argue that it would kill far more than a changing climate would.

Holy shit.

You're really into the denial thing, damn.

I tip my hat to you, you stupid, stupid, person.


What I'm sayin'


To quote from that article:

"We’ve been having this debate for 150, 200 years, and it never gets resolved, partly because a lot of it is district-dependent and candidate-dependent."

To which I would add, a WHOLE lot of it. Hillary was already too far left for most of America, to suggest she would have done better going even further is ludicrous to me. She lost because she was a terrible candidate.

And Jon7190, as the kids say, LOL. I think you will do well to go back to your particular echo chamber.

Of End Times and Climate issues i check in with the DOD for updates

Are the "purists" embracing the Turin horse. Insanity is upon us.

DoggieCombover - With all due respect (ain't that a phrase that telegraphs disrespect,) Hillary going farther left would have been nakedly disingenuous and, of course ineffectual.

Hillary was baked-in as Hillary, period.

Now, another candidate - a credulous leftist - I think the country is ready for that person.

If we put another status quo moderate up as the Democratic opposition... stand by for another four years (plus?) of the idiot-in-chief.

Do not fuck with the American electorate. They (we*) are crazy motherfuckers and are ready to burn down the whole deal if we keep this shit up.


*Not me. But let's be real.

"credulous leftist": Freudian slip

Good catch, Jon7190. :)

Too quote Cal on this site, "May all your dreams come true."

I think that Trump has so warped and twisted our politics that platforms and policy will be secondary factors in deciding who to vote for.

Instead, the majority of people-who don't support Trump-will look to any candidate who can convey a sense of decency, respect, and reverence for values to put an end to the current reality show madness.

Last nite i dreamt i was Duncan Idaho sauntering thru the Great Sonoran Desert in my Still Suit. I saw no other human beings. Was one of my better dreams.

Smokin much, Cal? Happy Birthday.

don't smoke, dudas, but thanks for the b day nod, Was in your town a couple of weeks ago and nobody on 4th Avenue seemed to know who you were? And I had enough pocket change to buy you a cup.

Cal Lash, you truly are one of "the untouchables"! Thanks for adding character to this blog.

Cal - 4th Ave is going bye-bye, as you probably saw on your last visit. Sky Bar was the last place I went to, some time ago; another memory we'll have to tuck away for when the shades are drawing neigh. I'm right behind you, fella. Keep the faith.

2020, Trump wins, GOP keeps the Senate and picks up seats in the House. Supported by white supremacists, evangelicals and black religious conservatives. Results, possible
re-enactment of the Civil War but more likely Trump goes for a third term to Kingship.
Supreme court gets another Trump and Leonard Leo choice. Barr indicts "enemies."
Goal: MAWA?
Suggestions: If you are not a white extremely conservative christian, find another country.

Talking to a climate-change skeptic:



Climate-change skepticism usually arises not from questions about methodology but from the discomfort which occurs when facts don't match personal belief. In this regard climate-change denial mirrors creationism — belief comes first and “facts” are fitted to belief.

Human beings have long demonstrated a preference for belief over evidence. And when evidence grows stronger, believers dig in their heels deeper. Specious arguments and conspiracy theories are always invoked to explain away the thing that causes discomfort. Humans want certainty, but certainly not truth.

What you say about human psychology may be true, but it certainly isn't exclusive to one side of any debate. Liberals have a dogmatic belief in catastrophic global warming not because they know much about science (and neither do I, admittedly), but because it's an essential part of the liberal worldview now and other liberals told them they have to believe it because (most) scientists told them it's true. They want to believe it because what's more noble than saving the earth?

I and lots of others smell something fishy when we are told this essential worldview will take a lot of money from regular people, give more power to the goverment and give up national sovereignty to empower international organizations. These are all things that our betters and the far left have wanted long before they came up with climate change. Seems awfully convenient and highly worthy of scepticism.

I would challenge anyone to spend some time on the less extreme skeptical websites and see if it doesn't make you doubt as well. The science behind climate change, which seems so unassailable, starts to look as sketchy as the motives of the politicians and other well known figures pushing it.

Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone

Joe, that was a really good post.

"For the left, everything seems to be a "crisis": homelessness, affordable housing, diversity, racism, missing and murdered female "Native Americans," police brutality, pronoun use, etc. etc. Many of these are problems or challenges."

This is sadlythe most obtuse thing I've ever seen Jon write for this truly beloved website. Its easy to say these things aren't crises if you have a home to sleep, if you are blessed enough to afford bills, or, frankly in the case of racism not being a crisis, are white. It's can be easy to dismiss racism being a crisis if you're white, but if you're Mexican/Latino the recent El Paso massacre (with its perpetrator saying he was out to kill as many Mexicans as possible) vividly asserts the existential crisis racism is in the fascistic Trump presidency.

To be sure, leftist identity politics on overdrive is not an effective strategy - I can fully agree with that.
But its grossly misguided to dismiss these problems outright simply because some of these causes might have outspoken advocates with a tendency to simplify complex social problems (doesn't everyone across the political spectrum simplify the issues they promote?)

The centrist and leftist factions of the anti-Trump opposition need to build bridges with one another, not antagonize one another, especially after the Democratic primaries are settled. It would go a long way if proponents of the political center stopped trivializing concerns that are front and present for the rest of us.

Man, there's some rowdiness in these comments this time around.

I think Jon is correct that no one knows exactly what percentage of global warming is anthropogenic. I personally believe it's probably pretty high, but I'm okay with arguing over numbers as long as someone concedes its reality. A LOT of people out there are complete denialists and won't even look at the mountains of data because to them it's not a scientific argument, it's just another political argument.

So, I'd much rather argue over the size of the problem rather than debate if the problem exists. And right now a LOT of people do not admit that the problem exists.

I also believe that polluting the planet and destroying wildlife and so forth are bad in their own right, and it irks me that protecting the earth in any way, shape or form has become a political issue.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

My Photo

Your email address:

Powered by FeedBlitz