Historic parallels in our time: the killing of cattle -vs- carbon

From our perspective as a modern society, the actions of the Xhosa would seem foolhardy, even insane. First let me say, I’m not at all against alternate energy, or improved or even different technology. Heck, I drive an electric car myself and have done two solar power projects. But Waxman-Markey, if enacted, will be the equivalent of killing all our cattle at once. It took us over 100 years to get where we are now, we can’t expect change overnight, it must be gradual.

If NASA’s James Hansen can be an advocate, then I may as well suggest that you send this story to your elected federal representatives and to your local letters to the editor, as is our right in the US Democracy constititional republic – Anthony

Death of a Civilization

by David Deming

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3254/2938034098_e3051fc1b6.jpg?v=0

This memorial is situated near Bisho in the Eastern Cape, South Africa. It commemorates the mass killing of cattle in the Eastern Cape that took place in the 1850s . A Xhosa prophetess had delivered a message from the ancestors saying that the Xhosa must slaughter their cattle (wealth) so that they could rise again anew after defeats by the British colonialsts and mass deaths of their cattle from a lung disease. Following the massacre, some 40000 Xhosa died of starvation. The inscription reads "HERE REST MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN - INNOCENT VICTIMS OF THE 1856/7 CATASTROPHIC CATTLE KILLING".

Over the past several years we have learned that small groups of people can engage in mass suicide. In 1978, 918 members of the Peoples’ Temple led by Jim Jones perished after drinking poisoned koolaid. In 1997, 39 members of the Heaven’s Gate cult died after drugging themselves and tieing plastic bags around their heads. Unfortunately, history also demonstrates that it is possible for an entire civilization to commit suicide by intentionally destroying the means of its subsistence.

In the early nineteenth century, the British colonized Southeast Africa. The native Xhosa resisted, but suffered repeated and humiliating defeats at the hands of British military forces. The Xhosa lost their independence and their native land became an English colony. The British adopted a policy of westernizing the Xhosa. They were to be converted to Christianity, and their native culture and religion was to be wiped out. Under the stress of being confronted by a superior and irresistible technology, the Xhosa developed feelings of inadequacy and inferiority. In this climate, a prophet appeared.

In April of 1856, a fifteen-year-old girl named Nongqawuse heard a voice telling her that the Xhosa must kill all their cattle, stop cultivating their fields, and destroy their stores of grain and food. The voice insisted that the Xhosa must also get rid of their hoes, cooking pots, and every utensil necessary for the maintenance of life. Once these things were accomplished, a new day would magically dawn. Everything necessary for life would spring spontaneously from the earth. The dead would be resurrected. The blind would see and the old would have their youth restored. New food and livestock would appear in abundance, spontaneously sprouting from the earth. The British would be swept into the sea, and the Xhosa would be restored to their former glory. What was promised was nothing less than the establishment of paradise on earth.

Nongqawuse told this story to her guardian and uncle, Mhlakaza. At first, the uncle was skeptical. But he became a believer after accompanying his niece to the spot where she heard the voices. Although Mhlakaza heard nothing, he became convinced that Nongqawuse was hearing the voice of her dead father, and that the instructions must be obeyed. Mhlakaza became the chief prophet and leader of the cattle-killing movement.

News of the prophecy spread rapidly, and within a few weeks the Xhosa king, Sarhili, became a convert. He ordered the Xhosa to slaughter their cattle and, in a symbolic act, killed his favorite ox. As the hysteria widened, other Xhosa began to have visions. Some saw shadows of the resurrected dead arising from the sea, standing in rushes on the river bank, or even floating in the air. Everywhere that people looked, they found evidence to support what they desperately wanted to be true.

The believers began their work in earnest. Vast amounts of grain were taken out of storage and scattered on the ground to rot. Cattle were killed so quickly and on such an immense scale that vultures could not entirely devour the rotting flesh. The ultimate number of cattle that the Xhosa slaughtered was 400,000. After killing their livestock, the Xhosa built new, larger kraals to hold the marvelous new beasts that they anticipated would rise out of the earth. The impetus of the movement became irresistible.

The resurrection of the dead was predicted to occur on the full moon of June, 1856. Nothing happened. The chief prophet of the cattle-killing movement, Mhlakaza, moved the date to the full moon of August. But again the prophecy was not fulfilled.

The cattle-killing movement now began to enter a final, deadly phase, which its own internal logic dictated as inevitable. The failure of the prophecies was blamed on the fact that the cattle-killing had not been completed. Most believers had retained a few cattle, chiefly consisting of milk cows that provided an immediate and continuous food supply. Worse yet, there was a minority community of skeptical non-believers who refused to kill their livestock.

The fall planting season came and went. Believers threw their spades into the rivers and did not sow a single seed in the ground. By December of 1856, the Xhosa began to feel the pangs of hunger. They scoured the fields and woods for berries and roots, and attempted to eat bark stripped from trees. Mhlakaza set a new date of December 11 for the fulfillment of the prophecy. When the anticipated event did not occur, unbelievers were blamed.

The resurrection was rescheduled yet again for February 16, 1857, but the believers were again disappointed. Even this late, the average believer still had three or four head of livestock alive. The repeated failure of the prophecies could only mean that the Xhosa had failed to fulfill the necessary requirement of killing every last head of cattle. Now, they finally began to complete the killing process. Not only cattle were slaughtered, but also chickens and goats. Any viable means of sustenance had to be destroyed. Any cattle that might have escaped earlier killing were now slaughtered for food.

Serious famine began in late spring of 1857. All the food was gone. The starving population broke into stables and ate horse food. They gathered bones that had lay bleaching in the sun for years and tried to make soup. They ate grass. Maddened by hunger, some resorted to cannibalism. Weakened by starvation, family members often had to lay and watch dogs devour the corpses of their spouses and children. Those who did not die directly from hunger fell prey to disease. To the end, true believers never renounced their faith. They simply starved to death, blaming the failure of the prophecy on the doubts of non-believers.

By the end of 1858, the Xhosa population had dropped from 105,000 to 26,000. Forty to fifty-thousand people starved to death, and the rest migrated. With Xhosa civilization destroyed, the land was cleared for white settlement. The British found that those Xhosa who survived proved to be docile and useful servants. What the British Empire had been unable to accomplish in more than fifty years of aggressive colonialism, the Xhosa did to themselves in less than two years.

Western civilization now stands on the brink of repeating the experience of the Xhosa. Since the advent of the Industrial Revolution in the late eighteenth century, Europe and North America have enjoyed the greatest prosperity ever known on earth. Life expectancy has doubled. In a little more than two hundred years, every objective measure of human welfare has increased more than in all of previous human history.

But Western Civilization is coasting on an impetus provided by our ancestors. There is scarcely anyone alive in Europe or America today who believes in the superiority of Western society. Guilt and shame hang around our necks like millstones, dragging our emasculated culture to the verge of self-immolation. Whatever faults the British Empire-builders may have had, they were certain of themselves.

Our forefathers built a technological civilization based on energy provided by carbon-based fossil fuels. Without the inexpensive and reliable energy provided by coal, oil, and gas, our civilization would quickly collapse. The prophets of global warming now want us to do precisely that.

Like the prophet Mhlakaza, Al Gore promises that if we stop using carbon-based energy, new energy technologies will magically appear. The laws of physics and chemistry will be repealed by political will power. We will achieve prosperity by destroying the very means by which prosperity is created.

While Western Civilization sits confused, crippled with self-doubt and guilt, the Chinese are rapidly building an energy-intensive technological civilization. They have 2,000 coal-fired power plants, and are currently constructing new ones at the rate of one a week. In China, more people believe in free-market economics than in the US. Our Asian friends are about to be nominated by history as the new torchbearers of human progress.

May 13, 2009

David Deming [send him mail] is associate professor of Arts and Sciences at the University of Oklahoma.

Copyright © 2009 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.

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126 thoughts on “Historic parallels in our time: the killing of cattle -vs- carbon

  1. Mass cognitive dissonance struck the Xhosa. Now it is afflicting otherwise normal Westerners. Even as contrary evidence has mounted, proponents of the AGW hypothesis have begun to display the unmistakable signs of cognitive dissonance.

    The famed social psychologist Leon Festinger, developer of the concept of cognitive dissonance, conducted early studies of the phenomenon. Cognitive dissonance explains that their odd belief system must become part of the afflicted person’s identity, their self, and that information at odds with that belief system is viewed as an attack on the self. Thus, anger and hostility arise when it is pointed out to those afflicted with CD that the planet’s temperature has been declining even as carbon dioxide levels steadily rise — thereby falsifying the central, core belief of the AGW hypothesis.

    This explains why the CD-afflicted can be so completely resistant to any information that contradicts their adopted belief system. Festinger’s book, When Prophecy Fails, tells of a group of doomsday believers who predicted the end of the world on a particular date; but the believers would be saved by a UFO. When those events didn’t occur as predicted, the believers became even more determined they were right. They become louder and proselytized even more aggressively after the disconfirmation of their belief. So we can expect ever more extreme, opaque, strange and irrational defenses from AGW proponents as evidence against AGW continues to mount. For example, we are now told, in all seriousness, that the current global cooling is caused by global warming.

    Those afflicted with CD take the verifiable fact of declining temperatures, not as a reason to re-think their hypothesis, but as a personal attack on their self, their ego, and their public status in society. They have taken an irrevocable stand, and they have pinned everything on their hypothesis being verified. But when the hypothesis is falsified, they loudly proclaim that the end is even more nigh, and they ratchet up their alarming scenarios… while the planet itself is falsifying their belief: as CO2 rises, the climate is cooling.

    Rather than re-thinking their hypothesis, the AGW believers dig in and become as closed-minded as Dr. Fetsinger’s UFO believers, who, when the UFO didn’t arrive as predicted, simply moved the goal posts by changing the date of the UFO arrival, rather than coming to the obvious conclusion that no UFO will arrive as predicted. Like the Xhosa, AGW believers can not admit they were wrong.

    Instead, AGW believers simply move the goal posts again. We see it all the time. First, it was “global cooling,” which then became “global warming.” Then, “climate change.” Now, the goal posts are moved again: mysterious and undetected “heat in the pipeline” explains why the planet is cooling, as CO2 steadily rises. The fact that no such heat has been found only makes the CD-afflicted look for other ways to move the goal posts. The one thing that the CD-afflicted will never do is to arrive at the obvious conclusion: that CO2 has much less effect on temperature than their hypothesis allows. And because of their affliction, taxes will rise many thousands of dollars higher per person per year. But to the CD-afflicted, that very expensive outcome is preferable to admitting that they were wrong about the minor, beneficial effect of CO2.

  2. The modern equivalents of Nongqawuse can be seen in movie’s like “2102″, “The day after Tomorrow”, and “An Inconvenient Truth”.

    ‘Stop producing, stop being prosperous and it’ll all be wonderful’ is their message. Not true.

  3. This story hits the nail right on the head.
    AGW alarmism is the modern equivilent of Cattle Killings, with one difference.

    AGW alarmism is worse.

    NO TAX OR EMISSION REDUCTION OF CO2, THE GAS OF LIFE, FREEDOM AND PROSPERITY!

  4. Great article. But forgive me for having to point out an error in the introductory paragraph. We are not a Democracy. We are a constititional republic. Democracy, also known as mob-rule, is two wolves and a sheep deciding what’s for lunch.

    REPLY: Point taken.

    As Benjamin Franklin left the Constitutional Convention, on September 18, 1787, a certain Mrs. Powel shouted out to him: “Well, doctor, what have we got?,” and Franklin responded: “A Republic, if you can keep it.” Like many of the Founding Fathers, he was intensely concerned that the democratic institutions they were crafting would deteriorate over time. In particular, they were concerned—and talked ceaselessly during the convention about the risk that, under pressures and exigencies of war, a tyrant would collapse their system into something closer to the monarchy that they had just defeated. Over the intervening 220 years, the republic has maintained itself, though not without close calls. And today, while we face what may be the gravest challenge in the nation’s history, our media will serve up the next chapter in the life of Paris Hilton.

    From Harpers magazine – Anthony

  5. I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords.

    Hey! I’m dressed like a turnip!

    Dee de dee…

    I guess I’ve finally blown my cerebral cortex.

  6. I’m a left-wing European atheist, as far from Professor Deming politically and culturally as I could be, and I’d like to say that this is the best thing on Global Warming hysteria I’ve read for ages. This movement can’t be understood in conventional left-right terms.
    Professor Deming’s historical parallel re-introduces the humanist dimension to the debate which Mike Hulme, ex-Met Office climatologist, has been pleading for. This was thrown out when Mann’s hockeystick was used effectively to abolish the Mediaeval Warming Period. By saying “My statistical games with tree rings are wiser than your history books” Mann enacted a minor Cultural Revolution, which, like Chairman Mao’s, was aimed at abolishing the past the better to manipulate the future. We need historians as much as scientists to counter this menace.

    REPLY: Well said sir, and thank you. – Anthony

  7. Count me as one of the few who seriously believes in the superiority of Western society. But Prof. Deming is right; we are few. Almost all of my European friends (and many of my American acquaintances) vehemently reject the view of Western exceptionalism. It makes it very difficult to hold a rational discussion with them about anything, when they begin from the premise that the last 200 years of western civilization have been the greatest evil humankind has known in its history. It’s difficult to find common ground when your opponent insists, without hope of comprimise, that we must destroy, in the name of ‘saving the planet’ all I hold dear. Like Dr. Deming, I am pessimistic about our future.

  8. As a professional historian, I must disagree with your basic premise comparing the 19th century Xhosa with the 21st century climate change advocates. The key difference that you gloss over is the degree of cultural powerlessness and destruction faced by beach entity. In the 1850s, the Xhosa had witnessed their culture face near complete destruction at the hands of the Boer and English colonists. They had met multiple defeats with a resulting loss of autonomy and of lands – most importantly, their religious worldview was called into question.

    It anything, the opposite applies to climate change advocates. They inherit education and political power from the wealthiest and most powerful societies on earth. Both individually and organizationally, they represent those with power and affluence, not the dispossessed. A far more apt comparison would be with millennial movements in American history that attracted the more affluent – such as Millerism. In the case of Millerism, people who were among the advantaged cast off their worldly vices in the expectation of the immediate Second Coming. Unfortunately, October 22, 1844 came and went without the return of the Messiah – an event now known as the Great Disappointment.

    Google “Great Disappointment” – the comparisons are far more apt.

  9. Chris (09:32:27) :

    ” We are not a Democracy. We are a constititional republic. ”

    “I thought we were an autononous collective” (Monty Python and the Holy Grail.)

    Seriously though, thanks for an interesting and thought provoking article.

  10. The whole of Western society is thusly afflicted.
    One has to wonder how many other instances there are of civilizations imploding themselves.
    And, there are always ‘other’ countries and civilizations more than happy to step into the gap left. Nature abhors a vacuum.
    I can hear the roars of laughter and picture the faces smirking in wild-eyed glee around the fireplaces in the East, as the West proceeds to fall upon its sword.

  11. I blogged that piece last month and it was amazing how many people attacked it. Bottom line…. some people just don’t see beyond political spin and agendas.

    One of the things that I harp about is that will all of the focus on CO2 / Global Warming / and a mad rush for alternative energy the populace is being done a great disservice. Man has been blessed with a fairly stable climate during the Holocene, the current interglacial. We were blessed during the 20th century with a very, very, stable climate. But, that not the nature of earth’s climate. Sooner or later it will once again become more volatile and place grave challenges before man. Deep cooling would be the worst scenario, but, regardless of the direction climate takes man needs to be learning to adapt and prepare for that adaptation.

    Alternative energy does play a role. However, the technology that is given the most focus must be capable of functioning not only in great warmth and sunlight but also in frigid conditions. Further, though some improvements have been made, much of the worlds electrical grid systems are susceptible to failure due to ice storms, etc. Few care because they are being assured of a warmer climate. A dangerous oversight and reliance on the climate warming.

    Food production, transportation, and industry are all at risk whether we warm or cool. Cooling again being the worst scenario. Yet, most programs in the mix fail to adequately address the complications which may arise. Other potential issues are not addressed at all. There is no contingency plan for human survival. Everyone thinks that life is always going to progress and thrive as it always has. It can, but only if we work on adaptation to climate changes in either direction.

    On my blog I have a video series titled Stories From The Stone Age. Not only does this documentary provide and insight into the advancement of man it also shows early civilizations adapting to an ever changing climate and regional conditions. Something that we really should be aware of and prepared for. They faced an ever changing climate. Can modern man?

    Many feel that ‘modern man’ is better suited to adapt than early man was. We are, however, in some ways less capable. We are dependent upon modern technology for heat, for cooling, for water, for food, for transportation. If any one, or combination of those, is compromised we have a very serious problem. We are so tied to them that our societies would quickly crumble without them. Where early man could quickly adapt, we cannot.

    Modern man has been most fortunate, lucky. But, geologic history indicates we cannot expect to live in our current utopia forever. It is time for man to focus on adapting to the climate. Attempting to control it, to change it, is futile and irresponsible. Part of the science community, and most of the political community are failing to maintain ethic and pursuit of the moral responsibility they have to mankind. They have been seduced by ill gotten fame, power, and money.

    Al Gore and others promise a great deal. The problem is; their track record as prophets is dismal.

  12. The American philosopher Ken Wilber identified what he calls the “Pre-Trans Fallacy”.

    This is where people take an interest in radically new ideas, which go beyond conventional thinking, but along the way end up mistakenly believing pre-conventional ideas.

    For example, people in the West have taken up Buddhism. A book on Zen may talk about freeing oneself from the mind and dualistic thinking. Students try to do this and end up in a state where they just go with their gut feelings, even when those gut feelings are nothing more than selfish impulsivity.

    When I read Hansen talking about “saving Creation”, I can’t help but wonder that there is a great deal of confusion going on in a similar fashion.

    There is indeed a lot to be said for post-conventional ideas–new ideas, radical thinking, outside the box, and progressive, but PRE-conventional stuff takes us back to pre-rationality, to beliefs, to blind faith, to magical thinking, which is what those people of that tribe were stuck in.

  13. I am greatly concerned that the earth’s rotation is slowing and feel as a precaution we should introduce human sacrifices at noon to lower inertia and ensure that the sun will go down each day.

  14. There was a 2 hour long line up for the new iPhone si. Yet we are told that we have to stop industry and growth and revert to a “simpler” way of life. We cannot have it both ways. We need technology to develop cleaner and more efficient energy sources. This has been happening. We need to be strong economically for this advancement to take place. The youth of today want all the conveniences that tech will afford, but do not seem to understand that this stuff doesn’t just “appear” out of the blue. Great article and I have always been shocked by what people will fall for when under stress. Is this what the fear-mongering is for? To create stress (where there is none) so that people will do anything to be relieved of the false threat? Me thinks it is so.

  15. Love the article.

    The idiocy of us westerners will become apparent very soon as we spend money to make money and tax to give prosperity.

    I’m sorry my son will live through it because while I can’t predict the future, we aren’t being left with an option to avoid it. What will the pretty liberal college girls eat when we’re all starving. All this just to give greedy politicians more of the power they already abuse.

    And we’re only talking about a couple degrees C.

  16. Interesting piece, I always thought that Eugenics, and perhaps Prohibition, were reasonable parallels to AGW, at least in the US, maybe worldwide though.

    Popular movements with the political and science “elite”, scientific “consensus” on the overall benefits to humanity (ignoring the costs), Main Stream Media onboard, ground swell of public support, laws are enacted, popular support dwindles, and then a long period to recover from mass hysteria and assess the overall damage done.

    Some of the Eugenics laws did not come off the books until the 60′s/70′s, so much for a short period of cap and trade eh?

  17. John Egan (10:08:50) :

    While the Millerites might be deemed to be more akin to modern day doomsayers in that they were not disenfranchised or culturally dislocated, the movement was not culturally important to Western civilization as a whole. Most people thought these people were nut cases and most of these cases in Western history are merely interesting vignettes into human nature but not historically important. The story of the Xhosa is one of complete self immolation of a people due to a faulty world view. If it is slightly further removed from AGW catastrophism as an analogy, in its results I fear it may be closer to the mark because of its prevalence throughout Western civilization.

  18. The analogy breaks down. Alarmists can’t say it has gotten colder because we didn’t stop burning CO2.

  19. Chinese… have 2,000 coal-fired power plants, and are currently constructing new ones at the rate of one a week.

    If only the US would do this. The people who are suffering the most from the US not doing this is the elderly. Their monthly heating bills in the winter would be lowered if we would build more coal power plants. They have to cut all costs to the bone already to make it month to month.

    Do James Hansen and Darryl Hannah know how much suffering they could cause with higher energy bills?

  20. I generally appreciate stone monuments to causes lost, won – celebrated or mourned.

    This one featuring the bovine horns is creepy. Can’t say just why.

    So one wonders. What shapes and symbols will future monuments commemorating the AGW scam feature?

    Maybe the other end of the cow?

    Suggestions welcome.

    REPLY: Probably some artistic variation on a spiral light bulb – Anthony

  21. I thought the Zulus had a lot to do with Xhosa decline–it doesn’t change the article much, since it still suggests that they were responding to pressure not from ‘superior’ civilisation, but from more successful competitors. Also, didn’t their cattle have TB? The xhosa were prone to a food scare now and then, I think….

  22. Pierre Gosselin (12:15:46) :
    7% chance Arctic sea ice will be below 2007 levels in September.

    And the other prediction there gave it a 28% chance.

    They may need an expedition with a bunch of blow torches.

  23. Mr. Egan makes a good point. Although mass delusion can afflict any society, cognitive dissonance is a polite description of comfortable, vain, self-absorbed twits.

    Death to the dyspeptic bovine!

  24. I have sent this link to my senators and congressman asking for them to give it wide distribution in the senate and congress relative to Waxman-Markey. If you agree with me please also send out to your representatives.

    Jim Cudahy

  25. Excellent article.
    The same type of “thinking”, a.k.a. “hysteria”, was written about in the 1840s by Mackay in “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds” (which is still worth reading).

    Ian

  26. This reminds me of no limit hold’em. America is going all-in before the flop with a 7 2 unsuited, while China has the deck stacked with a royal flush. Could we be any more naive?
    We have about as much chance of winning as those poor Xhosa’s did…

    Perhaps the Chinese will find that Americans who survive will prove to be docile and useful servants.

  27. What the Xhosa did sounds very much like the practices of the Cargo Cult that sprang up as a result of US military action on small islands in the Pacific during WWII. I believe that (long after the war) some people discarded the necessities of life to attract airplanes full of “cargo”, supplies to support them. It is my understanding (this is many years later) that at least one time the people had put themselves into such a dire condition that aid had to be taken to them. In airplanes, of course.
    I haven’t heard any recent reports. I hope that flying in survival aid didn’t encourage them to do the same thing again.

    Ian

  28. Sorcery and superstition is still popular. In the case of swine flu, egypt killed all their swine a few weeks ago. No science. Just intuition.

  29. Please don’t think that we in the ‘modern’ world might have outgrown the reaction of the Xhosa to their ‘prophets’.
    I read a response in the ‘Climate Progress’ blog which I simply had to reproduce here because it illustrates perfectly the mind-set with which we (WUWTers) are trying to deal.
    Here goes …

    Rob Spooner wrote: “‘Denier’ is a loaded word, bringing to mind the phrase ‘holocaust denier.’”

    Which is exactly what I intend when I use the word “denier” with reference to anthropogenic global warming. Global warming deniers are worse than holocaust deniers — more precisely, they are the moral equivalent of those who denied that the holocaust was happening in the 1930s and 1940s, when something might have been done to stop it.

    The cranks and malicious frauds who deny the holocaust today are despicable, but their denials will not cause one person more or less to die in the holocaust, because it already happened. But as part of a corporate-funded, pseudo-ideological movement to block action on global warming, today’s global warming deniers are contributing to the deaths of hundreds of millions of people in decades to come.

    Rob Spooner wrote: “A good many of us are simply skeptical.”

    No, you are not skeptical. The so-called “global warming skeptics” are either deliberate liars, delusional cranks, or gullible idiots. Any genuine “skeptic” would quickly become skeptical of the blatant lies and phony pseudoscience of the global warming deniers and recognize it for the rubbish that it is.

    Erl Happ wrote: “I see very little that is worthy of my attention here … Not one person takes the trouble to comment on my observations.”

    Then please go away. You are an arrogant, ignorant, delusional crank and your so-called “observations” are pseudoscientific rubbish that is unworthy of serious comment.

    If you really believe that you, and you alone, have discovered the simple and obvious reason that all of climate science is wrong — a simple and obvious reason that has somehow escaped the attention of thousands of highly-trained, hard-working, diligent climate scientists who have studied this issue in depth and detail for decades — and if you really believe that the IPCC and the national scientific academies of every nation in the world are engaged in a massive, coordinated conspiracy to cover up the simple and obvious flaw in climate science that you, and you alone, have discovered — then you are mentally ill.

    But by all means submit your “observations” to an appropriate scientific journal for peer review and publication. Perhaps it will somehow get past all the peer review scientists who are plotting against you. And the IPCC’s Nobel prize will be rescinded and given to you instead.


    REPLY:
    I hear you Stephen. Most of it springs from people like dhogaza, whom I consider to be the new poster child for bad behavior, a position formerly held by TCO. dhogaza has been banned from further commentary here because of his inflammatory nature, and because as an “anonymous coward”, he’s simply irrelevant. It is just not worth the effort to try communications through the spewing angry rhetoric. Rational people soon tire of it, as Erl demonstrated. Notice that dhogaza tends to rule most all the threads on CP. That’s the danger when trolls go unchecked, your conversation thread decays into a single person rant followed by a chorus of “mee toos”. – Anthony

  30. don’t tarp me bro (14:07:00) :

    I am all for fasting. Get rid of demons. Algore, you go first.

    Over the centuries, mankind has tried many ways of combating the forces of evil…prayer, fasting, good works and so on. Up until Doom, no one seemed to have thought about the double-barrel shotgun. Eat leaden death, demon…

    – (Terry Pratchett, alt.fan.pratchett)

  31. re.:
    Stephen Brown (14:21:05) :

    Dear Stephen,
    you should store the post, you wrote here.
    Look in 10, 20, 30 years again on it.

  32. Phil Nizialek (09:51:17) : …the last 200 years of western civilization have been the greatest evil humankind has known in its history…

    Oh, if they could only be stuck living in India, Zimbabwe, Albania, Cuba, or the Philippines of a few years. They may suddenly love America.

  33. Forrest Gump said it best:

    “Crazy people make even sane people crazy!”

    The mantra of AGW.

  34. An intersting historical tale. Will it also serve as an eerily prophetic vision of the future of Western Civilization? When a movement offers up self immolation as an ideal, all that you will be left with is … self immolation. And the opportunity for someone else to pick up the pieces.

  35. Mike Bryant (14:03:53) : Perhaps the Chinese will find that Americans who survive will prove to be docile and useful servants.

  36. Mike Bryant (14:03:53) : Perhaps the Chinese will find that Americans who survive will prove to be docile and useful servants.

    I’m not good with chop sticks so I’m not interested.

  37. Martin Meenagh (11:58:33) :

    didn’t their cattle have TB? The

    Doing a little bit of cross-checking, it seems this is true. The term used at the time (or least in accounts) is ‘lungsickness’ and the Xhosa tried quarateening as well as fencing of pasture lands and the burning of grasslands as ‘buffers’.

    Gleaned from the only academic history of the movement written to date, “The Dead Will Arise”, by Jeff Peires, excerpts may be found at:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=Xrey5fkzMkwC&pg=PA70&lpg=PA70&dq=Xhosa+cattle+infected&source=bl&ots=Q0Sgcau0gq&sig=N2iQx3h3DKpARGKAWsW2rTCTAhY&hl=en&ei=I2Q9SpXgK5PIM9qW3L4O&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1

    I think this ‘story’ by David Deming on LewRockwell.com is just a little too ‘pat’ without all the facts and events at the time being known.

  38. Stephen Brown (14:21:05),

    Those quotes from climateprogress were eye-opening. I don’t click on them, so I didn’t realize how obnoxious and insulting they are.

    Joe Romm and the gang must be getting extremely frustrated that the planet no longer agrees with their pet hypothesis.

  39. It will not take much to demolish the verneer of civilization. We brag of our ability to control everything, but when the Internet dies, mad panic sets in. I think we are far more vulnerable than our ancestors. I spent the past three days rebuilding my computer and my business came to a halt (retired only in that I don’t go to work, it comes to me). And this was a planned rebuild.

    England may soon experience the huge benefits of carbon reduction induced energy shortages. On this side of the pond, we are not far behind. All except our leaders, of course. They need to keep their houses warm. Perhaps we will understand how the Mayans vanished so quickly.

  40. Who was it that said – those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it ?? Let’s hope it’s not the case here.

    Stephen Brown (14:21:05) :
    That whole post is scary! There is no reasoning with someone who won’t listen, & if you can’t reason with someone, is there really any way to communicate with them??

  41. So after the cattle were slaughtered and people died of starvation, did global temperatures magically drop due to less c02?

  42. What!!?? a blocked comment? What happened to my reference to a substantial printed work titled “The dead will arise” By Jeffrey B. Peires that bears directly on the veracity of certain aspects of the ‘story’ written by David Deming?

    Google Book Link

    Okay, okay. Maybe ITS vercity is being checked …
    .
    .
    .
    REPLY: No blocked comment, just a long URL that earned it a flag in the spam filter automatically. As you can see it has been restored.

    Not that Wikipedia is any final authority on things, their writeup supports Demings view, though lung disease also figures in. I’m reposting it here for posterity in case it gets edited by the World Climate Police Team (Petersen/Connolley) that purges Wiki entries that connect to unfavorable views on climate. – Anthony

    From Wikipedia:

    Xhosa cattle-killing movement and famine

    The Xhosa tribes gave the colony few problems after the war. This was due, in large measure, to an extraordinary delusion which arose among the Xhosa in 1856, and led in 1857 to the death of some 50,000 people. This incident is one of the most remarkable instances of misplaced faith recorded in history. The Xhosa had not accepted their defeat in 1853 as decisive and were preparing to renew their struggle with the Europeans.

    In 1854, a disease spread through the cattle of the Xhosa. It was believed to have spread from cattle owned by the Settlers. Widespread cattle deaths resulted, and the Xhosa believed that the deaths were caused by ubuthi, or witchcraft. In April, 1856 two girls, one being named Nongqawuse, went to scare birds out of the fields. When she returned, she told her uncle Mhlakaza that she had met three spirits at the bushes, and that they had told her that all cattle should be slaughtered, and their crops destroyed. On the day following the destruction, the dead Xhosa would return and help expel the whites. The ancestors would bring cattle with them to replace those that had been killed. Mhlakaza believed the prophecy, and repeated it to the chief Sarhili.

    Sarhili ordered the commands of the spirits to be obeyed. At first, the Xhosa were ordered to destroy their fat cattle. Nongqawuse, standing in the river where the spirits had first appeared, heard unearthly noises, interpreted by her uncle as orders to kill more and more cattle. At length, the spirits commanded that not an animal of all their herds was to remain alive, and every grain of corn was to be destroyed. If that were done, on a given date, myriads of cattle more beautiful than those destroyed would issue from the earth, while great fields of corn, ripe and ready for harvest, would instantly appear. The dead would rise, trouble and sickness vanish, and youth and beauty come to all alike. Unbelievers and the hated white man would on that day perish.

    The people heard and obeyed. Sarhili is believed by many people to have been the instigator of the prophecies. Certainly some of the principal chiefs believed that they were acting simply in preparation for a last struggle with the Europeans, their plan being to throw the whole Xhosa nation fully armed and famished upon the colony. Belief in the prophecy was bolstered by the death of Lieutenant-General Cathcart in the Crimean War in 1854. His death was interpreted as being due to intervention by the ancestors.

    There were those who neither believed the predictions nor looked for success in war, but destroyed their last particle of food in unquestioning obedience to their chief’s command. Either in faith that reached the sublime, or in obedience equally great, vast numbers of the people acted. Great kraals were also prepared for the promised cattle, and huge skin sacks to hold the milk that was soon to be more plentiful than water. At length the day dawned which, according to the prophecies, was to usher in the terrestrial paradise. The sun rose and sank, but the expected miracle did not come to pass. The chiefs who had planned to hurl the famished warriors upon the colony had committed an incredible blunder in neglecting to call the nation together under pretext of witnessing the resurrection. They realised their error too late, and attempted to fix the situation by changing the resurrection to another day, but blank despair had taken the place of hope and faith, and it was only as starving supplicants that the Xhosa sought the British.

    Sir George Grey, governor of the Cape at the time ordered the European settlers not to help the Xhosa unless they entered labour contracts with the settlers who owned land in the area. In their extreme famine, many of the Xhosa turned to cannibalism, and one instance of parents eating their own child is authenticated. Among the survivors was the girl Nongqawuse; however, her uncle perished. A vivid narrative of the whole incident is found in G. M. Theal’s History and Geography of South Africa (3rd edition, London, 1878). The depopulated country was afterwards peopled by European settlers, among whom were members of the German legion which had served with the British army in the Crimea, and some, 2000 industrious North German emigrants, who proved a valuable acquisition to the colony.

    Historians now view this movement as a millennialist response both directly to a lung disease spreading among Xhosa cattle at the time, and less directly to the stress to Xhosa society caused by the continuing loss of their territory and autonomy. At least one historian has also suggested that it can be seen as a rebellion against the upper classes of Xhosa society, which used cattle as a means of consolidating wealth and political power, and which had lost respect as they failed to hold back white expansion.

  43. I think the difference now is the general population is quickly understanding, they just don’t say much. One day the dam will break and it will be onto something else to worry about. We have had nucular war, ice ages, ozone holes, rocks from space, have I missed anything. We as a species seem to need something to worry about. This too will pass.

  44. geoffchambers (09:35:12) :

    As a right-wing, God loving and proud subject of Her Britannic Majesty can I just say I agree with every word you say (this time)

    Smokey (16:00:14)

    Joe Romm and all those others who are starting to panic that Man Made Climate Change is, well, not working out, can relax. There are plenty of clever people out there that will find something else for us to be guilty of. Next.

  45. -Jim– that’s an interesting source. Mine was a dimly remembered-set of BBC programmes on Zulu expansion that a friend taped for me once. I agree, on reflection, that things sound a little too ‘pat’. Thanks for the link to the books

  46. Jim – Thanks. Your link also includes: “The line between what is known scientifically and what has to be assumed in order to support knowledge is impossible to draw.”

    I’d post that to RC or CP, but I doubt they’d understand it.

  47. Therein lies the danger of humankind. We are far more driven by internal tickling than we are by dry observation. Even when observations are to the contrary, humans tend to go the path that tickles their innards. Internal motivation, that of the emotions and gut, has far more potential to draw both small and large groups of people together and to their own demise, often taking the opposition with them. We are, by and large, still animalistic in our group behavior and will readily throw our collective selves off a cliff.

  48. Wow, all the analysis, examination of theory,
    alternative conclusions to observation, and
    it all boils down to a bucket of stupid.

  49. Sir George Grey, governor of the Cape at the time ordered the European settlers not to help the Xhosa unless they entered labour contracts with the settlers who owned land in the area.

    I just knew the empire would have done everything it could to help ease the situation.

    At least when you’re dealing with empires you can be pretty sure that they are working for the best interests of the said empire. I’m not sure this cult we’re up against at the moment has anyones interests at heart.

  50. Good intentions still sink ships. The downside is that it is MUCH harder to defeat good intentions than it is obviously evil ones. Why? Because we get blindsided by it. Belief among a large group of people is always peppered with talk of good intentions and beneficial outcomes. While there is always a fringe of evil intentions (how can I make hay out of this), by and large the group-think is one fueled by public thoughts and desires of benevolence wanting to be shared with the larger population for their own good. So the larger population is willing to tolerate these missionaries because we feel they are only trying to do what they do for our good. Until that is we find ourselves fighting a, for example, school board that has quietly (but with good intentions) morphed into a structure that now has the power to impose belief, not just share it.

  51. “Wayne Liston (10:43:22) :

    I am greatly concerned that the earth’s rotation is slowing and feel as a precaution we should introduce human sacrifices at noon to lower inertia and ensure that the sun will go down each day.”

    No No No

    Call in the spin doctor

  52. I wish I had not read this article. Now I will be awake again at 3am staring at the walls. We have seen a another disaster in the last ten years when Mugabe began stealing farms and giving them to his thugs who did not know how to farm. I said when I read about it, that Zimbabwe would go from a food exporter to famine within a few years. When it was a British colony the life expectancy for women was 65 years. It is now the lowest in the world at 34.

    Over the last year, there has been a lot of sleepless nights. After a while fear turns into hate. The GCCI report from NCDC with its deceit did not help. Nor did, “Despite decades of research vindicating the insecticide, the World HealthOrganization recently announced plans for a “zero DDT world.” 100,000,000 dead of malaria since DDT was banned. (Mostly children)

    Maybe it was watching the violence in Iran, but today I found myself doing a line fit to the year and the spacing between assassination attempts. It’s down to 2 years. Last one in 2001. Std Dev.= 5, correlation=-0.86 What was scary is the google search for the numbers showed it was a very common search topic. I need more sleep.

  53. “Just Want Results… (15:10:15) :
    I’m not good with chop sticks so I’m not interested.”

    Me either… I’m for America, God and apple pie.

  54. Prof Deming is, of course, describing a millenarian movement, a phenomenon that includes the example another poster gives: cargo cults.

    The definitive book on the millenarian aspects of environmentalism is perhaps: Gelber, Steven M. and Martin L. Cook (1990) Saving the Earth: The History of a Middle-Class Millenarian Movement. University of California Press, 1990.

    Cognitive dissonance is not confined to millenarian movements, but it does explain the defence mechanisms used by the adherents to dismiss inconvenient observations. We are all prone to such defence mechanisms. As Carl Sagan put it: ‘Where we have strong emotions, we’re liable to fool ourselves.’ This is why celebration of dissenting view is inherent to science and the cognitive dissonance device of ‘denier’ is anathema to science.

    I discuss this in my 2007 book Science and Public Policy: The virtuous corruption of virtual environmental science. The relevant passage (if Anthony will permit me a very ling post) is as follows:

    Modern environmentalists would nevertheless do well to ponder where a rejection of humanist values and a belief in a transcendental ecocentric value system might lead them, just as there is value in studying the resonance between the Nazi war on cancer and their wars on communism and Judaism, which were included in their cancer metaphor. In this regard, Ehrlich’s invocation (1968: 152) of the metaphor of cancer to describe human population growth in The Population Bomb is somewhat disconcerting. But it is simplistic in the extreme to suggest that environmentalism leads to the gates of Auschwitz. It is equally mistaken however, to assume that that environmentalism somehow precludes such a path and leads instead to some progressive future. There are indeed some worrying connections between ecologism and various extreme political views, not least of which are the celebrated racist views of Haeckel, the father of ecological science. It is more plausible to suggest that there are many complex factors at work. Indeed, Nazism and ecofacism or other darker contemporary manifestations of ecological thought are better seen as reflective of similar underlying factors in history and culture.

    Both might also be seen as millenarian movements, for example. This is quite clear with Nazism and its ‘Thousand Year Reich’, but there is a similar appeal to a stable utopian end point after apocalyptic collapse in much environmentalism (Gelber and Cook, 1990). The neo-Malthusian spectre of the Club of Rome was one of rapid, catastrophic growth in population and economy, demanding ‘zero population growth’ and ‘zero economic growth’ or (in its more sophisticated forms) a ‘stable state society.’ The origins of the word ‘sustainability’—‘that magic word of consensus’ as Worster (1993: 144) puts it—lie in the concept of ‘sustained yield’ which emerged first in scientific forestry in Germany in the late eighteenth century. As Robert Lee (cited by Worster, 1993: 145) has noted, it came not just as a response to the decline in German forests, but as a response to the uncertainty and social instability which wracked Germany at that time (and which were responsible at least in part for the decline in German forests). It was an instrument of a strong state for ordering social and economic conditions which stood as a ‘necessary’ counterweight to emergent laissez-faire capitalism.

    There is a long tradition of Western thought involving decline, often catastrophic decline, from some idyllic past—usually as a result of some sin or degeneration. Hanson (2006) lists Hesiod (the 8th-century BC Greek poet), Sophocles, Virgil, Ovid, the Biblical Fall, and numerous others through Rousseau, Nietzsche and Spengler to Rachel Carson, Paul Ehrlich and Jared Diamond. Diamond, author of two hugely popular books in Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse, manages in one to attribute the success of the West, not to freedom, rationalism, individualism, and consensual government, but to inanimate, natural forces at work; and in the other, the forthcoming collapse is predicted on the basis of a few atypical examples (Easter Island, Greenland, Pitcairn Island, and so on) because the failed societies degraded their environments through ignorance and greed and thus deservedly disappeared.

    What is telling is that environmental activists, most social scientists writing about environmental issues, and many ‘activist’ environmental scientists still cling to the myth of the ‘balance of nature’ that has long been rejected by ecology (Scoones, 1999). By accepting this myth in the face of the scientific evidence, any change in ecosystems or climate can be attributed to human agency, and imparted with deep social meaning—either apocalyptic or (if promising some eventual return to stable state of grace) millenarian. Regardless, Hanson suggests that such pessimism fulfils a need in affluent but guilty Westerners to feel bad about their privileges without having to give them up.

    There have been numerous analyses of environmentalism in millenarian terms. For example, Buell, (1995) has analysed ‘environmental apocalypticism’, while Killingsworth and Palmer (1996) and Lee (1997) have described the millenarian aspects of the contemporary environment movement. Stewart and Harding (1999: 289-90) saw environmental concerns as but one of a number of fin de siecle concerns:

    During the 1990s, apocalypticism, and, somewhat less flamboyantly, its millennialist twin, have become a constant and unavoidable presence in everyday life. Idioms of risk, trauma, threat, catastrophe, conspiracy, victimization, surveillance; social, moral, and environmental degradation; recovert, redemption, the New Age, and the New World Order permeate the airways.

    Stewart and Harding also point to attributes of apocalypticism that describe the constant ascribing of sinister motives to those who present dissenting views: climate sceptics are in the pay of fossil fuel corporations, Lomborg’s analysis will assist these interests, and so on. Such conspiracy theories at once serve to defend the prevailing paradigm, reinforce solidarity among the adherents and reinforce their sense of purpose:

    Conspiracy theories can identify absolute truths about the world while dismissing holders of power as sinister, corrupt, and deceptive; they can also resurrect agency and the sense of a privileged community ‘in the know,’ and an otherwise bleak present can become charged with purpose and focus (Stewart and Harding, 1999: 294).’

    Scientists such as Lord May who commit the genetic fallacy, attributing the dissident views of climate sceptics to the ‘sinister, corrupt and deceptive’ antics of ExxonMobil, and who make statements that are logically identical to accusations of witchcraft, probably do not think that they have much in common with pre-Enlightenment societies. But the mixture of climate change and witchcraft is not a new one (Behringer, 1995), and there is no reason to suppose that scientists are above the defensive psychology Festinger (1962) termed ‘cognitive dissonance’ — coincidentally developed in an earlier study of the state of denial found in millenarian movements when their prophesies failed to materialise (Festinger, et al, 1964). But May (and others) have agendas, are ‘concerned’ scientists, and no matter how much they consider they operate cognitively, this brings an ‘affective’ dimension too their thinking and they cannot rise above the same psychology all humanity exhibits. It is only scepticism and criticism that limits the extent to which affective factors intrude into science, and it is the nobility of the cause and thus the availability of strong moral arguments to disarm critics which facilitates it.

    Nazism and environmentalism are by no means the only movements in the Western mainstream which can be analysed in millenarian terms. Both Nazism and environmentalism may well both contain elements of the romanticism Jeffrey Herf (1984) called ‘reactionary modernism’ but this is not to say that either necessarily entails or leads to the other. Two other movements which can be subjected to a millenarian analysis are Marxism (which promises an unchanging communist utopia after a period of revolutionary upheaval) and Christianity, especially in those manifestations which emphasise the heavily millenarian Book of Revelation. It is facile to suggest that either entails or leads to the other, and it is similarly facile to suppose that environmentalism entails or leads to Nazism—though (as noted above) it is wise to exercise caution about some of its darker possibilities. But this analysis shows how wrong it is to assume that environmentalism somehow entails a liberal democratic political philosophy, or the social democratic ideology that is described as ‘liberal’ in the United States. Classical liberalism, with its emphasis on the separation between the individual and the state, nevertheless provides a protection against the darker possibilities of environmentalism.

    Culture and language might reflect and reinforce deep-seated cultural differences in responses to environmental threats: German environmental language frequently not only increases the threat image (‘Klimakatastrophe’) but also promises more control and salvation via state action (‘Klimaschutz’) (Boehmer-Christiansen, 1988). Steven Kelman has identified some aspects of Swedish political culture which he considered helped explain its position at the vanguard. Sweden has a somewhat circumspect political culture, institutions described as accommodationist, and a tradition of the ‘overhet’ state: ‘The people were expected to accept the notion of the good that the rulers defined.’ To illustrate the point, Kelman quotes the words of an eighteenth-century Swedish poet inscribed over the entrance to the main hall of Uppsala University: ‘To think freely is great, to think correctly is greater’ (Kelmann, 1981: 121).

    Culture, of course is a holistic concept, and political cultures cannot be readily disaggregated into neat constituent parts. Language, religion and attitudes are simply three facets of political culture. What is of interest here is the possibility that such cultural factors could exert an influence on the conduct of science. There is a range of possibilities in environmental concern, some ‘progressive’, some much darker. Environmental science does not lead ineluctably to ‘progressive’ political outcomes, and there are dangers in assuming that it does.

    Science can be affected by values and interests, and the seeming impossibility of achieving ‘objective’ knowledge of any phenomena—natural or social—is sometimes taken to enfranchise a kind of ‘anything goes’ approach to knowledge often found in postmodernist texts, and endorsed by Feyerabend, sometimes referred to as ‘postnormal’ science (Funtowicz and Ravetz, 1993). All attempts to develop knowledge are, according to this view, ‘just texts’. Any text becomes as ‘valid’ as another. But it does not follow logically that contamination of science by values and interests means we should assign it all some kind of equivalence. To draw attention to the pernicious effect of the extreme relativism of postmodernism on the use of science in the progressive cause Alan Sokal (1996) submitted and had published as a genuine paper a satire on postmodernist philosophy of science that mocked the idea of reality being inherently something of which we are unable to derive objective knowledge (as opposed to our understanding of it being always at risk of error and social construction). Sokal saw himself as a member of the progressive Left and lamented what had become of the place science as a progressive force under the postmodernist enthusiasm that was sweeping the humanities. (He invited those who thought that science was a mere construction to test the Law of Gravity from the window of his high-rise office at Columbia University).

    We do have canons which help us tell good science from bad. Insistence on consistency of argument and adherence to the scientific method has brought numerous advances, not just in knowledge, but also in human welfare, with improvements in life expectancy, for example, that are more than ‘just text.’ And (though the pitfalls might be larger) the same holds for the social sciences: for all its limitations, economics plays its part in improving welfare; political science helps improve the making of public policy decisions. Indeed, the great advances in life expectancy for ordinary people during modernity came about through the design and financing of great public works projects such as the sewering of Victorian London (ironically, based on the erroneous miasma theory of disease) rather than on advances in treatments based on medical science. Contemporary environmentalism too often entails a rejection of modernity, rationalism and the Enlightenment. These attributes are not just found in environmentalism as an ideology, but they are deeply ingrained within ecological science itself.

  55. The great leap forwards is period in history that comes to my mind. A economic and social plan to jumpstart China into a modern communist society wich eventually lead to somewhere between 20 to 43 million deaths.

    And if you look to the whole AGW and green movement you see a lot of things the sound very familiar. Perhaps they should organise a 100 Flowers Campaign.

  56. D.King (17:25:13) Thanks for coming out and posting an intelligent addition to the commentary. What a contribution. Stick around to discuss your position further. I am curious of your views and the basis for said views. Perhaps no one here is capable of comprehending those views due to our limited capacity. It is probably a waste of your valuable time to speak with us. But here is your chance to give us rational arguments that will at least plant the seed in our minds, so it can grow into complete understanding one day when we are deemed worthy. (Using a manure spreader to lay on the sarcasm, and it is certified organic sarcasm to boot).

  57. And in remarkable contrast to D. King, Professor Kellow’s analysis is balls on.

    We are confronted with an ontology in modern environmentalism — more than a world view, an ontology is a perception of reality that describes “reality” and so might be thought of a world, rather than a mere view. The world they live in is different from the world we live in.

    Cognitive dissonance implies a clash (conflict) between ideology (expectation) and empirical fact (observation). Yet those who live in a different world see “reality” entirely differently, and do not experience any clash between expectation and observation.

    Is “science” immune from ontology? Absolutely not. Nor is rationalism, for what may be irrational in one world can be consistently rational in another. The peers of witch doctors are other witch doctors, not medical school graduates.

    Separate ontologies present a seemingly insurmountable barrier to communication. There can be no useful debate when the two “sides” have completely separate epistemologies. The would-be debaters make speak the same language, but the concepts expressed are differently understood, and the epistemological gap itself is obscure (or invisible) to both ontologies.

    It’s frustrating, perhaps to both sides. Nothing I say can make you understand, and vice versa, because we live in separate realities. Anger is a common reaction to the communication barrier.

    And there may be no cure. You might get Al Gore in a sound-proof room and smack him around, but you will never change his mind. Multiply Al by millions and the conflict is insoluble by anything short of lethal elimination on a mass scale. Hence the propensity of humanity to engage in Holocausts, World Wars, ethnic cleansing, jihad, and other forms of the Final Solution drenched in blood.

    But we must persevere in good faith and with respect for each other, no matter how challenging the communication barriers might be. One thing I admire hugely about WUWT is the tendency toward grace manifested by the proprietor. Nobody is perfect, but Anthony sets a fine example (most of the time), especially in comparison to alarmist websites.

    And who knows? Maybe grace will dissolve the barrier eventually. There really is only one planet, one world, and the various ontologies all live together on it. Warmer is Better, in matters of climate and in matters of co-existence and communion.

  58. Just heard in the news on the radio in Belgium (VRT: Flemish Radio and Television): ” Greenland is from now on qualified in matters of justice and police. (…) The subsoil in Greenland contains oil, gas, gold and diamonds. Now, it is still difficult to reach the potential riches but this will change because of the global warming.”

    The media are an extremely important factor in the whole discussion and subtle distinctions can make quite a difference. I think it cannot be ignored that in the 20 past years, there was a large warming in Greenland. But was it global? Will it proceed in the future? If so, will it proceed at the same rate? What if the conditions leading to the current warming will change in the near future?

    The media has taken the ideas of Al Gore for gospel truth without further questioning. This is a very dangerous evolution. The future remains always conditional and is never real. They should know better than that.

  59. This begins with our children. In the UK kids are taught to be ashamed of their history. The three main sciences; biology, chemistry and physics (if you are lucky enough to attend a school that actually distinguishes between them) are dumbed down to near idiocy and possess a very biased slant towards climate change and other revenue raising environmental issues.

    Bear in mind that the following GCSE papers are for 16 year olds:

    Biology: http://store.aqa.org.uk/qual/gcse/qp-ms/AQA-BLY1AP-W-QP-MAR08.PDF

    Chemistry: http://store.aqa.org.uk/qual/gcse/qp-ms/AQA-CHY1AP-W-QP-MAR08.PDF

    Physics: http://store.aqa.org.uk/qual/gcse/qp-ms/AQA-PHY1AP-W-QP-MAR08.PDF

    Here’s what one appalled physics teacher has to say:

    http://www.wellingtongrey.net/articles/archive/2007-06-07–open-letter-aqa.html

    Kill science and there’s a good chance you can eventually render reason ineffective. At least that seems to be the reasoning behind the systematic destruction of the UK’s educational standards, particularly where science and technology are concerned. And we wonder why scientific consensus and peer reviewed false data is becoming the norm? Thankfully there are many people who are not willing to be intellectually disenfranchised which is why sites like WUWT are so precious.

  60. Interestingly, I showed this post to a friend who read it completely, then skimmed through the comments. His observation was (paraphrased, but reasonably accurate):

    “It’s not the AGW worriers that are slaughtering their cattle, it’s those who continue to pollute the air, drive when they don’t need to, and live this general consumerist lifestyle that is harmful to the planet.”

    Oh well.

  61. Is Darwin correct? I think not. Red Cool aid is eco-friendly.

    Why does a current (young) generation project a concept of ‘I’ am the pinnacle of intelligence (meaning ‘you, dad, are out of touch’)?

    The U.S. may have stumbled into the abyss of mediocrity during-about the time of the Boeing 747 development project.

  62. ‘It all boils down to a bucket of stupid’
    As good a description of AGW as I have yet read in one sentance.
    Thanks, D. King.

  63. There is a saying in the north of England, where I come from (I don’t know how widespread it is):

    “Rags to rags in three generations.”

    We are just taking a little longer.

    Humans also invented the legend of the Lemmings leaping over cliffs.

    Perhaps the reason that me playing the Ferrari Steinway may have stopped the apocalypse, is that, being red, it represents a blood sacrifice. (Omnipotence is such fun.)

  64. Absolutely right.

    Britain’s wealth was based upon innovation and industrial production, but it is now claimed that we do not need any production (or exports) and somehow (like the Xhosa’s mythical new food source), the imports that we currently live on will continue unabated. The economics of illusion, magic and naked emperors.

    Any fool who looks at the modern Chinese economy would see that their recent rise in wealth is based upon industrial production, but this is somehow explained as being entirely remote to Britain’s situation.

    “Yes, Victorian Britain became wealthy and influential on the back of industry. Yes, Germany, the USA and China have done likewise in more recent eras. But you don’t fully understand that industry is incidental to this wealth creation – wealth just falls from the skies” (according to modern UK governmental thinking anyway.)

    The sooner we realise that the daydreams of liberal governments represent a modern manifestation of the delusions of the Xhosa, the better.

    Ralph

  65. >>The three main sciences are dumbed down to near
    >>>idiocy and possess a very biased slant towards climate change

    F***** me.

    I’m very sorry, I never use expletives, but that is the new UK GCSE physics exam??

    http://store.aqa.org.uk/qual/gcse/qp-ms/AQA-PHY1AP-W-QP-MAR08.PDF

    I knew things were bad, but not THAT bad. There is no science there at all. It is ALL Green propaganda about wind turbines, solar cells, pollution, radioactive waste, renewables, conservation, geothermal power and insulation.

    Where are the equations? Where are the underlying principles? Where is the science? Just where are tomorrows scientists and engineers going to come from??

    We are lost. Destroyed as a nation. I despair.

    Ralph

    P.S. For non-UK readers, we used to have a two-tier education system here. The dim students sat this type of GCSE exam, while the bright students took the more rigorous ‘O’ level.

    But the latter exams were deemed to be ‘elitist’ and ‘discriminatory’, and so in the name of ‘equality’ the government closed all our best (selective) schools and scrapped the ‘O’ level exam. Now, all students go to our second-rate schools, where the bright cannot be stretched to their limits, nor heard above the classroom chaos caused by the dim students who never wanted to learn in the first place. So, having leveled the playing-field to the lowest common denominator, nobody is allowed to excel.

  66. For years I have said that AGW is a social movement that uses science to achieve its ends. AGW uses climate science to justify its demands of public policy.
    CO2 is the sting of sin, and sinners are those who release ‘excess’ CO2.
    Taking Hansen’s style of thinking about those who disagree with his claims to the logical conclusion, and those who disagree with AGW are by their very lives releasing excess CO2.
    And if a few billions in the thrid world need to die to keep AGW from happneing, then it is well worth it.
    In the case of the Xhosa tragedy, magical thinking was plainly magical thinking. The destructive aspect of AGW is that it hides, like eugenics did, behind a vener of science just thick enough to fool many policy makers.
    Are the roots of this vulnerability feeding off the collapse of educational system? From the posts here on the UK educational tragedy, perhaps so.

  67. A buddy of mine was sent over to a US university to take some courses.

    He was a C student in high school back in the early ’70′s and now years later a perfect 4.0 student at university. (granted the guy is extremely intelligent and likely the C’s were a result of lack of effort) But he does claim the course was so dumbed down it was ridiculous and yet a large number of the students struggled.

    Ayn Rand pegged the government using science just for the purpose of controlling the populace in “Atlas Shrugged”. Everyday a little more of “Atlas Shrugged”comes to life.

  68. Hey, D.King, where did you go? My mind was open to new ideas and you just walked away. No,……. wait,……. you passed judgement and walked away. That is a clever tactic. I have learned much this day, ….. Thank you.

  69. Excellent post . While I see Deming’s article as more of a metaphor than an analogy , it is appropriate . To all of you who have posted far more articulate responses than I ever could – you are doing a great service , whether you realize it or not . Thank you .

  70. It’s not just science that is being dumbed down in British schools – Geography is all about climate change etc too. English is politically correct also, and is so badly taught that some of our young can hardly write a coherent sentence. This is the most damaging of all because people who are not educated in their own language do not have the means to cut through the lies and half-truths that they are told every day. Anyone would think it was deliberate, wouldn’t they?

  71. ["geoffchambers (09:35:12) :

    I’m a left-wing European atheist, as far from Professor Deming politically and culturally as I could be, and I’d like to say that this is the best thing on Global Warming hysteria I’ve read for ages. This movement can’t be understood in conventional left-right terms.
    Professor Deming’s historical parallel re-introduces the humanist dimension to the debate which Mike Hulme, ex-Met Office climatologist, has been pleading for. This was thrown out when Mann’s hockeystick was used effectively to abolish the Mediaeval Warming Period. By saying “My statistical games with tree rings are wiser than your history books” Mann enacted a minor Cultural Revolution, which, like Chairman Mao’s, was aimed at abolishing the past the better to manipulate the future. We need historians as much as scientists to counter this menace.

    REPLY: Well said sir, and thank you. – Anthony.]”

    ……. Yep. I second that.

  72. An infantile analogy if ever I saw one. You could use the same analogy for precisely the opposite argument. Consider the huge amount of waste resulting from the ridiculous levels of consumerism in recent years. We denude our planet of trees, suck all the fish out of the oceans and expect everything will remain hunky-dory. (Incidentally, I wasn’t aware that Gore advocated stopping using carbon fuels. Thats a neat little propaganda trick.) The world may not be about to end. That does not mean we should not find better ways of utilising the world’s existing natural resources. Of course the oil lobby and various other interested parties would have us believe otherwise, they are hardly impartial, and have plenty money to ply their case. What we need is an impartial, rational deliberation, not some self-promoting twaddle. Unfortunately its not likely to come anytime soon.

  73. My thanks to Mike D for the introduction to “ontology”, a useful concept that I will use in the future. And to Aynsley Kellow for a thought-provoking treatise that I will have to study more. Just two commenters who have added to our knowledge.
    And thanks, of course, to Anthony for making this excellent resource available to us.

    Ian

  74. I actually laughed out loud at BOS’s comment… proved my point.

    Anyone who rants about “the oil lobby” is probably living in that “bucket of stupid”.

  75. CodeTech, by the way, are you sure you’re not afflicted with cognitive dissonance by any chance?

  76. BOS, did you scroll back a few posts to see mine? You do realize, I hope, that your post was pretty much word for word what I was already laughing at…

    Nah, I usually dismiss cluelessness out of hand, it needs no further rationale.

  77. David Ball (23:35:58) :

    D.King (17:25:13) Thanks for coming out and posting an intelligent addition to the commentary.

    If I thought there was a chance, even a small chance,
    that rational argument and debate, could make any
    difference, I would engage in it. The problem is that
    we are arguing science and method, and they are arguing
    ideology. There is no common ground. Please watch this
    video and tell me what you see. This man is going to
    change your life, my life, and more importantly, the lives
    of millions of people in the third world. He hasn’t read
    the bill he is voting on, but assures us that the consensus
    vets the results. That’s what I meant by “bucket of stupid.”

    And more.

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=408_1243808281

    No matter how valid or eloquent your argument, the
    results will be the same. They’re not listening to you.

  78. Mike D. (01:36:38) :

    And in remarkable contrast to D. King, Professor Kellow’s analysis is balls on.

    And who knows? Maybe grace will dissolve the barrier eventually. There really is only one planet, one world, and the various ontologies all live together on it. Warmer is Better, in matters of climate and in matters of co-existence and communion.

    And we can all live happily ever after….in Sedona.

  79. Climate change or not – I like pollution free air and a world full of life. Finding alternative energy sources is not impossible. Yeah it might cost a little more but that’s because the negative externalities of the old source were never factored into the price. Try to grasp the bigger picture. The story about the Xhosa was interesting. The frenzied green preaching is just to get the public to put up with the price rises, it’s not going to change who controls your little world.

  80. D. King (13:43:31) :

    David Ball (23:35:58) :

    D.King (17:25:13) Thanks for coming out and posting an intelligent addition to the commentary.

    If I thought there was a chance, even a small chance,
    that rational argument and debate, could make any
    difference, I would engage in it. The problem is that
    we are arguing science and method, and they are arguing
    ideology. There is no common ground. Please watch this
    video and tell me what you see. This man is going to
    change your life, my life, and more importantly, the lives
    of millions of people in the third world. He hasn’t read
    the bill he is voting on, but assures us that the consensus
    vets the results. That’s what I meant by “bucket of stupid.”

    And more.

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=408_1243808281

    No matter how valid or eloquent your argument, the
    results will be the same. They’re not listening to you.

    The problem is that ideology is leading science and method.
    Now you need to know the objectives behind the ideology.
    And AGW/Climate Change is only a small part of the surprises the have in store for us.

    http://green-agenda.com

    Agenda 21 United Nations: http://www.un.org/esa/dsd/agenda21/

  81. Speaking of Solzhenitsyn, his most famous novel is “The First Circle,” –title taken I think from Dante’s Inferno– the first level of Hell. This is where rationalists and skeptics are sent. Their only punishment is to live without hope.

    So be it. Heaven for climate, Hell for company. It’s a true pleasure to discover a site like Anthony’s, and all the thoughtful people who congregate here. Just what I need in those times when I wonder if I’m the only sane person left.

  82. UK Sceptic, I was horrified, just horrified, by the degradation in UK Science examination which you showed in your links. Physics in my time was about grasping the basic principles of physics, doing experiments using equipment and methods that proved or used or at least verified the principles, in ways and with equipment not so far removed from the original discoverers that the experience of discovery and proof could get lost. Title, apparatus, method, observations, conclusion. Every time. Now, it seems parrots rule ok.

    Geoff Chambers, well said.

    I’ve been tussling with a South African PhD scientist who cannot distinguish between parroting peer-reviewed material and checking the proof for himself. Reckons I’m a danger, perverting folk from taking the action needed to stop AGW. Looks like folk like him are writing the syllabuses now. And he’s the one with the science degree, not me. God help us.

    All the time, I’m asking myself, WHAT CAN I DO to restore Science? I explode within, with frustration, then find another way to channel that frustration positively; then the whole process repeats… today I updated a page of bumper stickers. I’m still certain we NEED a skeptics’ Climate Science wiki… but I’m not the one to drive it through. But I’m being encouraged to turn my Primer (click my name) into a Dummies Guide… well, an Unconventional Dummies Guide… heck, we need a whole SERIES of Unconventional Dummies Guides, to restore and reclaim every department of real Science, the kind that everyone can participate in, that is about thinking for oneself, observing, looking for the patterns because patterns are beautiful and patterns yield the laws that give power…

    E M Smith, are you going to write an Unconventional Dummies Guide yourself, so your children CAN learn the science that the present system denies them?

    Aynsley Wellow, please rewrite your book as a small book in ordinary language for ordinary folk. Think of it like Schumacher’s “Guide for the Perplexed”. Condense the concepts and use diagrams /pictures to make them memorable, if appropriate, so that it can be the best-seller your $30 book cannot be. I’m sure your concepts will thereby actually improve. I’m sure they won’t lose out by pruning. We need reform in Science and that needs you. IMHO.

  83. Ron de Haan (14:56:30) :

    Ron,

    What I don’t get is why?

    Power and control seems petty and small minded.
    If that’s the case though, I’ve had pets more self-
    actualized!

    Dave

  84. Change built on a foundation of unbiased scientifically verifiable observation and tested hypothesis leads to great advances in human, environmental, and animal life. Change based on shadows and spin leads to horrific loss of human, environmental, and animal life.

  85. Stewart and Harding also point to attributes of apocalypticism that describe the constant ascribing of sinister motives to those who present dissenting views: climate sceptics are in the pay of fossil fuel corporations, Lomborg’s analysis will assist these interests, and so on. Such conspiracy theories at once serve to defend the prevailing paradigm, reinforce solidarity among the adherents and reinforce their sense of purpose:

    Conspiracy theories can identify absolute truths about the world while dismissing holders of power as sinister, corrupt, and deceptive; they can also resurrect agency and the sense of a privileged community ‘in the know,’ and an otherwise bleak present can become charged with purpose and focus (Stewart and Harding, 1999: 294).’

    Scientists such as Lord May who commit the genetic fallacy, attributing the dissident views of climate sceptics to the ‘sinister, corrupt and deceptive’ antics of ExxonMobil, and who make statements that are logically identical to accusations of witchcraft, probably do not think that they have much in common with pre-Enlightenment societies.

    ===

    I note with amusement that “Bucket of Stupid” used almost these same words – blaming the oil companies directly and exaggerating the impact of man on the environment to demand HIS IMAGED view of the world be imposed – with great harm to billions and tremendous loss of life to other millions – on the rest of the world of the population.

    Quoting BOS above:

    “Consider the huge amount of waste resulting from the ridiculous levels of consumerism in recent years. We denude our planet of trees, suck all the fish out of the oceans and expect everything will remain hunky-dory. (Incidentally, I wasn’t aware that Gore advocated stopping using carbon fuels. Thats a neat little propaganda trick.)”

    Yes, Gore and his ilk do demand that we stop the use of carbon fuels, they DO exaggerate trends – invent trends when they need to, create false data, and promote the IMAGE of false so-called “peer-review” process and “government agencies” of like-minded “peers” who create false reports.

    Yes, it IS about power. Money. Control. The enviro extremists CRAVE it and demand utter control over other people’s lives. The oil companies? Name their lies? Name their false reports? Name their propaganda and tell us how much they have paid? The environment socialists? Now, they are demanding 1.3 trillion in carbon taxes and a destroyed economy – for nothing. No good. No value. No useful product.

    Pelosi already USED the false AGW crisis to raise oil prices in 2007 and 2008 – THAT is destroyed the previous rising markets and directly led to today’s failure of the housing, stock, insurance, and banking and automotive markets. Hint: It wasn’t the oil companies and utilities that destroyed last year’s earnings. It was the deliberate work of the enviro interests.

    Trees? Give the poor more money, more energy, more “life” and THEY will stop burning trees. Today America has more forests than ever before – but YOU want to deny the poor overseas energy, health, and food, clean water, and life itself as you kill 100,000,000 by demanding THEY stop using DDT.

    Gore – and his cohorts – ARE demanding we stop using coal and carbon – but can replace it with nothing but the “perfect new cows” rising from the river as the African tribes wanted. There ARE NO alternatives to conventional energy now – we can come close, and need to as economics demand and the supply and demand cycle continue.

    FALSE promises of fake “renewable” energy claims only produce less energy at higher prices. And THAT kills people. The ultimate demand of most enviro’s sicne the 1970′s.

  86. Phil Nizialek (09:51:17) :
    Count me as one of the few who seriously believes in the superiority of Western society.

    Unfortunately Phil, as the general election of 2008 illustrates, only 46.3% of the U.S. population can be included in that category (give or take the several thousand in Florida who may or may not understand the voting process).

  87. Robert A Cook PE (16:53:43) :

    …but YOU want to deny the poor overseas energy, health, and food, clean water, and life itself as you kill 100,000,000 by demanding THEY stop using DDT.

    It’s O.K. Robert, the U.N. gave them bed nets.

  88. D. King (15:37:29) :

    Ron de Haan (14:56:30) :

    Ron,

    What I don’t get is why?

    Power and control seems petty and small minded.
    If that’s the case though, I’ve had pets more self-
    actualized!

    Dave

    It’s about population control Dave, nothing more, nothing less.

  89. @Max

    “So be it. Heaven for climate, Hell for company. It’s a true pleasure to discover a site like Anthony’s, and all the thoughtful people who congregate here. Just what I need in those times when I wonder if I’m the only sane person left.”

    I know, I know. Anthony has created a place where we can huddle against the encroaching darkness and laugh, cry and blow on the flame of reason.

    And hope.

  90. “UK Sceptic (01:56:00) :

    This begins with our children. In the UK kids are taught to be ashamed of their history. The three main sciences; biology, chemistry and physics (if you are lucky enough to attend a school that actually distinguishes between them) are dumbed down to near idiocy and possess a very biased slant towards climate change and other revenue raising environmental issues.

    Bear in mind that the following GCSE papers are for 16 year olds:

    Biology: http://store.aqa.org.uk/qual/gcse/qp-ms/AQA-BLY1AP-W-QP-MAR08.PDF

    Chemistry: http://store.aqa.org.uk/qual/gcse/qp-ms/AQA-CHY1AP-W-QP-MAR08.PDF

    Physics: http://store.aqa.org.uk/qual/gcse/qp-ms/AQA-PHY1AP-W-QP-MAR08.PDF

    Here’s what one appalled physics teacher has to say:

    http://www.wellingtongrey.net/articles/archive/2007-06-07–open-letter-aqa.html

    Kill science and there’s a good chance you can eventually render reason ineffective. At least that seems to be the reasoning behind the systematic destruction of the UK’s educational standards, particularly where science and technology are concerned. And we wonder why scientific consensus and peer reviewed false data is becoming the norm? Thankfully there are many people who are not willing to be intellectually disenfranchised which is why sites like WUWT are so precious.”

    As a former UK resident and London Board GCE certificate(s) holder, this is such blatant destruction of the UK education system. It’s spreading however, to New Zealand and Australia unfortunately.

  91. Years ago (1966) in anthropology class (Culture and Personality) we were taught about these sort of things, the Xhosa, the Ghost Dance, and Cargo Cults. These phenomena occur in societies under stress. I think Nazi Germany was another case of the same.

    Look for things to get “Crazy Eddie” all over the world in the decades to come. Gorebull warming is just the beginning.

  92. Although I grasp the sentiment of the article, I sense that it will make AGW believers even more certain of their beliefs, because they think it is rooted in science rather than an extraordinary credence given to a few key personalities.

    I also think that it will take a generational change before scientists start analyzing critically the AGW panic and the personalities involved.

    I’ve already opined that this blog (amongst others) will be come an invaluable resource for historians of the future. And people will never believe how much hysteria happened over a total warming over the 20th Century of 0.7C

  93. D. King, please take your negativity elsewhere. You have still not contributed anything of any value to the discussion. I get the impression that you would be unable to do so. Best to just give up ’cause no one is listening. I think you are totally wrong about that. The paradigm is shifting as more people are waking up and starting to ask the tougher questions. I love all the bad mouthing this site gets from sites like RC, Climate Progress, DesmogBlog. We are having an impact and it is NOT being well received. Means we’ve hit a nerve. Time for a root canal, ……

  94. David Ball (21:28:23) :

    D. King, please take your negativity elsewhere. You have still not contributed anything of any value to the discussion. I get the impression that you would be unable to do so. Best to just give up ’cause no one is listening.

    You win. I’m out.

  95. This article does make some sense.
    “Someone” is indeed herding us all toward the cliffs.

    I think that this “CAGW crisis” is just another arm of the Cloward-Piven strategy of orchestrated crisis that was laid out in 1966. Connect the dots (and there are “dots” all over the internet). Saul Alinsky may have written Rules for Radicals but Cloward-Piven wrote the battle plan that’s being implemented right now.

    David Horowitz summarizes it as:

    “The strategy of forcing political change through orchestrated crisis. The “Cloward-Piven Strategy” seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse.”

    Cap and Trade (and poor innocent Co2) is the weapon.
    Every segment of our economy/society is being targeted.
    “Interesting Times”, indeed.

  96. This article is extremely timely. It parallels today’s eco-centric and left movements’ efforts to a tee. Each day they kill our cattle by putting energy resources off limits, using govt and enviro regulations to drive our factories and means of production overseas. Go visit a lefty site like Alternet, and see how many people there hate capitalism and American prosperity. Those are also people who worship the green movement.

    When I was in high school a guy could get out of high school and go right to work in a factory or machine shop and make a decent middle class living. In Milwaukee we were the world’s machine shop. We had heavy industry making equipment that built the rest of the world. The US had a steel industry, a mining industry, and even an electronics industry. It was a time of great prosperity and able tradesmen.

    Our modern day Xhosa (The political left) strangled our industry through government regulation, taxation, union corruption, liability lawsuit lottery, and extreme environmentalism. The once prosperous areas of Milwaukee are now ghettos with neighborhood after neighborhood of people unable to sustain themselves without the government’s help. We have killed the cattle, and we are now eating the remains. With the government out of money and begging China to fund our debt, the meat is now tainted, and will soon make us very ill.

    A question the frightens me is, what would happen if we needed a World War 2 sized industrial war effort? We have killed off our mining and raw materials resource base, our oil industry, our steel industry, our electronics industry, the machine and fabrication shops, and the big assembly lines. It has been so long that the production equipment and the means to make it, as well as many of those tradesmen are now gone. What are we going to do, harass our enemy into submission with insurance agents, investment advisors, and fast food workers? The best weapon that we would have would be to send our political left and environmental movement to their country, and wait 30 years for them to cripple them too.

    Slightly O/T- Yes I look at the SSN daily, and have concern about counting every pore and phage. As our minimum progresses and the AGW world falls apart, they will deny the minimum by using our new updated counts against the historical visible counts of Dalton or Maunder. There needs to be elaboration that the standards have changed.

  97. trying to better ourselves isn’t really quite the same thing. our ingenuity that was fueled by fossil fuels led to the creation of nuclear which emits no carbon while producing energy. It also lead to PV cells, solar thermal, and geo-thermal. We can move on . the people in the story could have eaten something else that the British brought like pork.

  98. Dear moderator,
    The email address I gave was valid: no-spam@pobox.com
    I get mail there daily.
    I have other email addresses, but don’t want to give one that would reveal my identity. I could loose my job for publicly making such statements.
    Sincerely,
    Student-J

    REPLY: Sorry, not buying it. The email appears generic, see http://pobox.com/ which is a generic email service “no-spam” has no obvious connection to a person.

    Here’s some advice, if you don’t want to risk your job by saying outlandish things on blogs that could be traced to you, best then to simply watch and zip it. I’m not in the anonymous coward day care business, so don’t waste my time. – Anthony

  99. @ David Ball (21:28:23) – I am appalled by your tone and response to the comments made by D. King (Dave), which, like others I actually agree with.

    As hunter (04:15:15) said: “‘It all boils down to a bucket of stupid’ – As good a description of AGW as I have yet read in one sentance”.

    He later points out, quite rightly the problems that we face because the AGW agenda is now being driven by an ideology, not by science and reason.

    I couldn’t agree more, and in the face of the tactics used by the AGW-droids, as you so tersely pointed out, we need as much humour as we can muster.

    Your dismissal of Dave’s light-hearted commentary was rude and unnecessary and I hope you will apologise.

    Anthony has shown that by a sensible, level-headed and, sometime homorous approach we CAN challenge the AGW myth; to start treating visitors here in the same way as the pro-AGW sites you mention makes us no better than them…

  100. All of those people who say we will develop alternatives to fossil fuels are overlooking the fact that, if there WERE such alternatives, we would ALREADY BE USING THEM. All of the low-hanging energy fruit have already been found. There are NO substitutes on the horizon for portable fossil fuel engines; wind and solar only work for stationary installations (and are NOT environmentally neutral, and DO have deaths associated with their use, and can NOT replace fossil fueled power plants because their power-gathering mechanisms require FAR more land for equivalent power generation, and are subject to inherent periodic shutdowns [clouds, nightfall, variable weather, etc.]) We have already seen what political approval of corn-based ethanol has done; it raised the cost of food in general, and meat in particular, and farming on a scale necessary to replace fossil fuels is going to have an environmental impact larger than that of fossil fuels. Hydrogen is NOT a power source; hydrogen is a very reactive element, so all hydrogen is already locked into compounds, which have to be broken down, with energy inputs, before it can be burned in an engine or run through a fuel cell, so using hydrogen for powering portable devices will require a LOT of stationary power generation (and I won’t even go into the problems of hydrogen storage). Personally, given all of the uses of petrochemicals as chemical feedstocks, I feel we are INSANE to keep simply burning the stuff, but for the foreseeable future, WE HAVE NO ALTERNATIVES. Wishful thinking is not going to change this.

    Pragmatically speaking, we can keep doing as we have been doing, while frantically looking for alternatives (someone MIGHT find one), and develop nuclear power to allow us to shift to hydrogen for portable devices (nuclear power will give us the excess energy to produce hydrogen on a mass scale). Politically, it ain’t gonna happen, but as long as the consequences are after the next election cycle, political trumps pragmatic.

  101. Max Smith (00:29:54) :
    @ David Ball (21:28:23) – I am appalled by your tone and response to the comments made by D. King (Dave), which, like others I actually agree with.

    As hunter (04:15:15) said: “‘It all boils down to a bucket of stupid’ – As good a description of AGW as I have yet read in one sentence”.

    What Max said. I also thought that with his “bucket of stupid” comment, D. King was referring to the Alarmists and their cattle/civilization-destroying ways. David Ball apparently thought D. King was referring to the discussion here.

    Perhaps if D. King checks back, he could confirm or deny my impression.

    /Mr Lynn

  102. Max,
    Thanks for your kind words.
    Mr. Lynn,
    Yes
    a fifteen-year-old girl named Nongqawuse heard a voice telling her that the Xhosa must kill all their cattle, stop cultivating their fields, and destroy their stores of grain and food. The voice insisted that the Xhosa must also get rid of their hoes, cooking pots, and every utensil necessary for the maintenance of life.

    And windmills would save them…..Oh wait, that’s today.

Comments are closed.