Tilting at Climate Windmills

The sheer egotism in big government mouthpieces claiming that they can rescue mankind from all the natural threats which afflict us should be laughable.  And make no mistake -- for many of us, it is.

For my money, the humor in such egotism doesn’t get any more obvious than then-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger telling lab workers in Toronto, “I look forward to curing all these terrible illnesses.”

Just imagine the scene, with those words being uttered in Arnold’s iconic accent while suggesting that he and the government programs which he advocated had the power to rid the world of threats like microbial disease and cancer.  The statement suggests that if only he could just elevate public awareness of these diseases and appropriate the public funds and authority, he would don the white lab coat, skillfully man the pipettes, and help find the solution to eradicate these diseases where the private sector has failed.  Maybe he’d even spit a trademark one-liner to every disease that mankind fears as he delivered it into oblivion.  “Hasta la vista, cancer.”

Well, that scene is silly to me, but none of that is silly to the more gullible or hopeful among us.  To them, government deliverance from natural circumstances is so progressive and uplifting a notion that it’s a downright moral imperative.  Pundits heralded his comment about spending Californians’ money as tough talk, a proud example of “The New Action Heroes” of government muscle, as TIME magazine did.

As ridiculous as that all might seem, there is something equally ridiculous in global warming… oops, I mean climate change… er, sorry, “climate disruption” alarmism, which a new report by the National Climate Assessment apparently finds a more fashionable packaging phrase.  For example, consider when President Obama told an audience in 2008 that the world would look back at his election as the identifiable moment when the “rise of the oceans began to slow, and our planet began to heal,” ending our oceans’ cursed rise that the Earth was doomed to suffer before his coming.

He should have been laughed off the stage for that nonsense.  Honestly, he spoke as if the earth, winds, and sky were simply elements to be manipulated at his whim, if only he could muster enough American tax dollars and the authority to tax energy consumption to his heart’s desire.  And yet again, masses of idiots swooned at the suggestion, as if Obama were Poseidon incarnate! 

Obama’s assertion was stupid even at the height of climate alarmism, but times have certainly changed, and it should seem doubly silly now.  Among the most damning of revelations came with the leaked emails written by East Anglia University climatologists in 2009 which provided the smoking gun about manipulated climate data, which James Delingpole launched as the global scandal known as “Climategate.”

It would seem to belabor the point to address this any further, obviously indicting as the East Anglia incident clearly remains for anthropogenic climate alarmists.  But repetition of obvious statements doesn’t hurt, so here’s the verbiage used by Professor Phil Jones of East Anglia.  As CNN reported, Jones wrote, “I’ve just completed ‘Mike’s Nature Trick’ of adding real temps to each series of the last 20 years… to hide the decline.”

The decline in real temperatures of which Professor Jones spoke has been a much discussed topic in the years since Obama’s messianic message in 2008.  And it has even been discussed by many level-headed scientists who seem to remain bound by the now-defunct idea that the data should “prove” the theory rather than be manipulated to “fit” the theory.  As Peter Ferrara of Forbes noted after attending the seventh International Climate Change Conference in 2012, “natural climate cycles have already turned from warming to cooling, global temperatures have already been declining for 10 years, and global temperatures will continue to decline for another two decades or more.”

Okay, the last observation (prediction, rather) is something I’ll take with a grain of salt.  Why?  Because I’m a human being.  I look for patterns.  And what patterns have I found?  Well, in the most basic sense, throughout human history, rises and falls in temperatures have been observed with rhymes and reasons that are quite beyond my comprehension. 

But climate scientists, it appears, do little more than observe patterns, too, when they’re not fudging the data to observe the patterns they seek.  Take one observation of the 20th century which the anthropogenic global warming… excuse me, “climate disruption,” crowd must still find rather troubling.  Also noted in Ferrara’s report of the same conference, “temperatures dropped steadily from the late 1940s to the late 1970s. The popular press was even talking of a coming ice age.  Ice ages have occurred roughly every 10,000 years, with a new one due about now.”

So temperatures “dropped” in a time of massive industrialized economic expansion?  Minor details?

Here’s another awkward observation for climate alarmists, also noted by Ferrara:

Don Easterbrook, Professor Emeritus of Geology at Western Washington University… publicly predicted in 2000 that global temperatures would decline by 2010.  He made that prediction because the PDO (Pacific Decadal Observation) had turned cold in 1999, something that political scientists at the UN’s IPCC did not know or think significant.

Well, the results are in, and the winner is… Don Easterbrook.  Easterbrook also spoke at the Heartland conference, with a presentation entitled “Are Forecasts of a 20-Year Cooling Trend Credible?”  Watch that online and you will see how scientists are supposed to talk: cool, rational, logical analysis of the data, and full explanation of it.  All I ever see from the global warming alarmists, by contrast, is political public relations, personal attacks, ad hominem arguments, and name calling, combined with admissions that they can’t defend their views in public debate.

But then, why should alarmists defend the reasoning which supports their views in public debate, when they can issue uncontested reports without the inconvenience of conflicting rationales to justify observations?

The aforementioned National Climate Assessment report does precisely that.  I admit that I haven’t waded through the entire 840-page report, but nothing I can find in the material provided for mass consumption offers convincing links between the report’s observations (or its outlandish predictions) and the potentially underlying causes.  It seems nothing more than mere presumption that the cause of the observations and predictions is carbon and fossil fuel proliferation.  You’re simply to assume that it’s true because they say so.  Think no more.

“Human-induced climate change has already increased the number and strength of these extreme [weather] events,” the National Climate Assessment report cites.  The extent to which humans “induce” weather patterns is never addressed.  Observations are simply made, and “human-induced climate change” is ruled responsible for the report’s observations as a given.  It’s as if any contrary assumptions, including variables which remain unconsidered, about underlying causes are null and void. 

My, how scientific theory and the “take all comers” mindset of its genuine practitioners has changed.

But a lingering question remains.  Just who is this group which published the report, the National Climate Assessment?  None other than an arm of the United States Global Change and Research Program.  Its research is funded by federal dollars, and its findings incidentally promote the federal agenda which has lain dormant in this time since Barack’s ascendency which has cast doubt on the extent of “human” culpability for “climate disruption.” (There, I finally got it right.)

So is it any wonder that Barack Obama is now touting its “findings” and “predictions” of Earth’s ruin at the hands of industrialized energy?  “This is not some distant problem of the future,” Obama says.  Climate disruption is “already affecting every region of the country and key sectors of the economy.”

And he should know.  The same president who swore he could take your tax dollars and lower the ocean’s tides has commissioned his own report as a testament to the fact that you really need him to regulate your energy consumption costs, in spite of your own troglodyte ignorance.

Our government elites are counting on us to help them combat the climate phantoms on the hilltop.  Will we play our role as Sancho Panza to their far more lucid and manipulative Don Quixote?  Given that Democrats are actively disowning the policy enactments of this administration, they are counting on us to do so in 2014, and they require that millions of Americans currently uninterested in “climate disruption” take up arms in a battle in which logic tells us, there is no natural, or even discernable, enemy.

William Sullivan blogs at politicalpalaverblog.blogspot.com and can be followed on Twitter.