Letter: Climate change and the Tooth Fairy

Sam Outcalt: Climate change and the Tooth Fairy

08/06/2012 09:18:37 AM MDT The Boulder Daily Camera, also submitted to WUWT.

Within Boulder County there is a strong and widespread belief that the current extreme weather events are produced by anthropogenic global warming. Without considering the scientific merits of this theory or religion a simple consideration of the implications of its validity might be instructive.

If true, the vast expenditure of global, national, state, county and municipal funds to attenuate its effects have failed.

If false, the current climate shift is the result of natural processes over which mankind has no control.

These options suggest that the current efforts to regulate the global climate are either ineffective or misdirected.

I doubt that this short note will diminish the strongly held belief within the county that these efforts are effective. Redirection of some funds spent in Boulder County on the study and regulation of the Earth’s climate might be better spent on an Annual Tooth Fairy Festival, as the Tooth Fairy is a much cheaper abstraction based on similar logic.

The remainder of the funding should be terminated to aid in balancing the city, county, state and federal budgets.

SAM OUTCALT

Longmont

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59 thoughts on “Letter: Climate change and the Tooth Fairy

  1. Well look, it’s scary to think we are at the whim of a climate that will do what it will do without meaningful concern for what we are doing. It’s better to believe we’re breaking the weather because that necessarily means we have the ability to stop breaking it. Which means we’re in control. Which is better.

  2. Actually this is a highly flawed piece. You see, when I was young and lost a tooth and put it under my pillow, I woke up and there was money there instead. So there is actually some minor circumstantial evidence for the tooth fairy’s existence. The same really can’t be said for the perpetually rebranded catastrophic anthropogenic global warming.

  3. At an elevation of ~ 5344 ft msl (dependent on which rock you stand) , there might be a correlation between altitude and mindless thinking.
    The all time highest recorded temperature in Boulder of 104 °F (40 °C) occurred on June 23 and July 11, 1954. The lowest temperature ever recorded in Boulder was −24 °F (−31 °C), which occurred in February 1989 and December 1990. Since the record highs precede the record low does that mean anthropogenic climate change is getting colder???
    Maybe some funding for warm clothing.

  4. Obviously, not being in or from the USA, I have no idea whether the implication that Boulder(ites?) folk are really that gullible to fall for the CAGW scam – but if so, I’d suggest some targeted ‘assistance’ by all those who know folk there. Just remember that it is those that have followed the duping so religiously, and drunk the kool-aid so wantonly, who will be the most angry and despairing when the truth is finally revealed. It would be easy to mock the afflicted sheeple – but really, they do need our help!! I don’t care about the likes of Hansen et al getting depressed and throwing themselves under a bus – but ordinary folk may need saving from themselves!

  5. This has been going on since the start of sivilization, last 7.000 years. We should now be
    Iiving in the age of enlightenment, but instead wake up every morning with belief based ideology based similar claims in the media.
    It’s crazy and I wonder is the people of the Western World really that stupid?

  6. No, it’s witches. We had the medieval warm period, then we started burning witches, and things cooled off. Just round up a few and add them to the coal and the strange weather, maladies, famine, plague, and other terrible judgments of Gaia will stop! We don’t have time to figure out the causal link, we must start now!

  7. Yes, it’s scary not to be in control. It’s even scarier to believe you are in control when you are not. You cannot bend reality with your will and there are consequences to trying to avoid reality. Admitting we are not in control and adapting to the changes in weather is a much better choice.

  8. The Tooth Fairy Fest is a waste of money. All of the “climate funding” should be returned to the taxpayers. The best way to “balance” Fed, State, and County budgets is to pare them down to necessary services only.

  9. What is up with the full court press of all the ” Studies, preparing for sea level rise, blah blah blah.” that is littering the good science at sites like google science news. Is AR5 due out like real soon?

  10. The Tooth Fairy traditionally has historically been supported solely by parents, and, has always taken a media backseat to Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Groundhog, and CAGW, so, this suggestion is a breath of fresh air and a real chance for some equality of recognition.

  11. No, it’s witches. We had the medieval warm period, then we started burning witches, and things cooled off. Just round up a few and add them to the coal and the strange weather, maladies, famine, plague, and other terrible judgments of Gaia will stop! We don’t have time to figure out the causal link, we must start now!

    Sorry, your hypothesis doesn’t pan out. The actual data indicates that it is pirates:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flying_Spaghetti_Monster#Pirates_and_global_warming

    Note well that Somalia has the highest number of pirates and the lowest carbon emissions of any country. Note also that since the late 90’s the number of global pirates has actually increased, and global temperatures over this interval have levelled. If indeed there is global warming evident in Colorado, I strongly suggest that they combat it in the only way that actually can be statistically proven to work — federally subsidized piracy. Urge your congressman to take no prisoners as they loot the treasury! Open the prisons and free the pirates! And don’t forget national pirates day, coming up on September 19. Arrr!

    rgb (a.k.a. Whitebeard the Pirate, Grand Conchiglie of the Church of the F. S. M.)

  12. Kev-in-UK,

    Boulderites would mean brain dead hippies if I do not miss my guess. Anecdotal evidence would include the the TV series “Mork and Mindy” was set there.

  13. Don’t forget about Sasquatch! How do you explain all those plaster footprint casts? He must be real! There’s even an old film of an actual Bigfoot in the wild:

    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Patterson+film&oq=Patterson+film&gs_l=youtube.3..0l7j0i5l3.315.790.0.1884.4.4.0.0.0.0.120.374.3j1.4.0…0.0…1ac.R5ZkoDGT6aI

    Given the fact that much more evidence supports the existence of Bigfoot than the theory of AGW, I’m surprised academics aren’t clamoring for more research funding.

  14. “If true, the vast expenditure of global, national, state, county and municipal funds to attenuate its effects have failed.

    If false, the current climate shift is the result of natural processes over which mankind has no control. “

    What a beautiful dilemma on which to spear a Warmist politico! If they’ve “failed”, We The People are 100% justified in getting rid of these failures. If they are wasting public money, We The People are 100% justified in getting rid of these wastrels. So, which is it, my little political friend? Think very carefully before you answer … :-)

    And I thoroughly approve of the redirection of the funds to the Tooth Fairy. (As every reader of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series – and every parent! – knows, the Tooth Fairy is a franchise, not an individual.)

  15. The truly ironic thing here in Boulder County is that the county sits over the second oldest oil field west of the Mississippi. While the citizens of Boulder are protesting opening the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, their own county is seeing a huge boom in new wells being drilled every day. They don’t see that it doesn’t impact them in their daily lives, but somehow it’s supposed to cause the demise of hapless creatures that… wait for it… migrate!

  16. For those not in the know about Boulder politics, it is notoriously left wing, often garnering the nickname “Peoples Republic of Boulder” – that might help put this letter to the editor in context for some.

  17. This is what I would expect out of Boulder. Remember, the University of Colorado is in Boulder. Some years ago, Boulder passed an ordinance limiting growth of the city, causing housing prices to skyrocket. So I’m not surprised by this at all.

  18. I like the tooth fairy theme.

    I wonder if the letter writer knows of Hansen’s dispassionate comments last year over renewable energy. He wrote this in another of his ‘papers';

    “But suggesting that renewables will let us phase rapidly off fossil fuels in the United States, China, India, or the world as a whole is almost the equivalent of believing in the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy.”
    James Hansen, 8/2011

  19. I thought Boulder still relied on a coal-fired power plant? The same question applies to the coal plant that supplied the U.S. Capitol and Mall.

  20. Good article, though your supposition that not many of those die hard believers will listen will probably be validated. The political component many times keeps even the technically competent from seeing (or admitting) the unscientific flaws in the green story. Plus many younger folks have been seriously indoctrinated over the years as well as not being technically competent to evaluate what they are being sold.

  21. They’ve always suffered from a bit of hypoxia up there in Boulder. As Robin Williams used to mumble when filming there… naano naano… and the tooth fairy will fit in there fine.

  22. highflight56433 says: “At an elevation of ~ 5344 ft msl (dependent on which rock you stand) , there might be a correlation between altitude and mindless thinking….”

    I once lived in Denver and soon concluded that hypoxia accounted for many of the strange behaviours and customs there. The driving is as bad as I’ve seen anywhere. Many drive on snow tires, winter and summer. Bald snow tires. The driving schools there use former kamakaze pilots to teach passing strategy.

  23. Judith Curry has defected to the realists side folks. Phil Jones has gone into the witness protection program and Algore has made hundreds of millions of dishonest carbon-trading dollars. When we all wake up from this, the largest and most successful hoax in history, the skeptics will chortle and the [SNIP: We’re not applying that term to anyone, OK? -REP] (warmist fanatics) will seek to distance themselves from the antics of the IPCC, Peter Glieck, and Micheal get-me-a-lawyer Mann.

    The die-hards will, as always, grow old and gray decrying Big (fill in the blank), but the rest of us will just try to forget how stupid some of us ( eco-fascists) were.

  24. SanityP says:

    August 7, 2012 at 10:20 am

    Soon enough we will see this logic: “The climate is changing the weather”.
    You have already seen this in 2012. Remember: “This is what climate change looks like.” Extreme WEATHER more likely due to CLIMATE Change. Bring on the snow and cold!!!

  25. Well enough said, although there is always room for improvement.

    Climate is an abstraction whereas weather is reality. It is critical to the process of learning to understand natural processes that humans understand the difference between reality and abstraction.

    Time distant results of chaotic processes (weather) can not be predicted nor controlled with any precision but can be described within certain boundaries (climate) that are often exceeded by so called 10, 50, 100 year events, etc. which are merely reframing time component since humans always seem concentrate on the short term.

    We have done poorly at measuring temperature aspects of weather and even more poorly at generalizing those events/behaviors into climate. We should be doing a lot better and we certainly know how to do it with statistically adequate replicated random samples.

    so far, just Garbage In, Garbage Out — period.

  26. @Robert Brown: Note well that Somalia has the highest number of pirates and the lowest carbon emissions of any country.

    Au Contraire! The USA, European Union, and Australia have many more pirates than Somalia. The Pirates over here don’t wear eye-patches and are more likely to wear Gucci. They don’t ply the seas, but instead ply the halls of government. They enrich themselves by hijacking government agencies. Booty is moved from national treasuries to their comrades in arms in broad daylight and the dark of night. They do fly under false colors and they take no prisoners.

  27. “You cannot bend reality with your will…”

    The practicioners of high magick say you can. Though, their methods are more scientific and reproducible than those of the climate alarmists.

  28. I chuckled … because I once worked with somone whose child lost a tooth while on a vacation trip to Denver and who was told that there would be no money under the pillow that night “because the tooth fairy can’t fly up this high”.

  29. He may come home some evening to find a sofa or two aflame on his front porch (a popular pastime with the college fraternities in Boulder).

  30. These are the same folks that use to bus their homeless residents to Denver, so they could claim they didn’t have a homeless problem.

  31. When I was a kid, the tooth fairy replaced them with a dime. When my daughter was a kid, the tooth fairy replaced them with a dollar.

    This shows that the effect of AGW was minor in the 1950s and became 900% worse by the 1990s. Jim Hansen may be right after all.

  32. @Pathway

    What in the world would make you mention the “homeless” problem? Ever since the election of November, 2008, that problem has been solved. It must have been because I can’t recall hearing the word since then in the main stream media. Now, my eyes did deceive me the other day in Atlanta, when they saw a larger homeless congregation there than those eyes had ever before witnessed. Just goes to show how important it is to scientifically study a thing rather than trust your lying eyes.

  33. nuclearcannoli says:
    August 7, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Actually this is a highly flawed piece. You see, when I was young and lost a tooth and put it under my pillow, I woke up and there was money there instead. So there is actually some minor circumstantial evidence for the tooth fairy’s existence. The same really can’t be said for the perpetually rebranded catastrophic anthropogenic global warming.

    Actually, the parallel is apt. You put a naturally occuring biological waste product (tooth) in a certain environment laced with mythological symbolism and receive capital (parental cash).as a result.

    Warmists place a naturally occuring environmental event (climate) in a certain environment laced with mythological symbolism (mainstream media) and receive capital (government grants and foundationally laundered tax shelter cash) as a result.

    Note prime sources for funding both are the parents. The tooth fairy has significantly lower overhead and a much better ROE.

  34. Good Job, Mr. Outcalt, but you left out the most common reason given in history for failures of movements and states, that of “not enough”- the lack of purity and completeness of the movement- “not enough”.
    Socialists, Communists, Marxists and supporters of tyranny in general always use the excuse for this or that regimes failures as- they just weren’t “Socialist enough”, or “Communist enough”, or whatever. Lenin explained that the failures of the Socialist revolutionary Paris Commune was because they weren’t militant enough, they hadn’t seized complete and total power over all aspects of the state, they hadn’t killed enough people.
    They weren’t Socialist “enough”.

    And what do we see? Only about 300,000 people are known to have died so far due to efforts to control the climate- obviously not enough.

  35. Climate Change…..The only constant in Climate is Change.
    Climate Change has occurred over all time periods of Earth’s existence, and will continue into the future, and it is predominantly if not completely Natural.

  36. The City and County of Boulder should lead by example. Turn off the air conditioning in summer and turn down the heat in winter, wear sweaters. Lead by example.

  37. Maurice@TheMount says:

    “Climate Change…..The only constant in Climate is Change.”

    Exactly. ‘Climate’ and ‘Change’ are inseparable, at least on this planet. You could probably go as far as to say that we, if not ALL life, owe it’s existence to climate change. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

    When it STOPS changing is when we/this planet is in trouble—most likely means our sun has gone supernova…

  38. Working towards stopping CAGW is like working towards stopping poverty: for those who make the effort, the total erasure of the problem is not as important as knowing one has made a bad situation at least a little better. The story of thowing a starfish washed up on the beach after a storm comes to mind: although it makes no difference to the thousands of starfish on the beach about to die, it makes a big difference to the one you throw back in.

    At least that is how efforts towards ending CAGW can be viewed. Every bit helps, and if some of us start to help, perhaps a groundswell will occur that will go the distance. If nobody starts, nothing goes anywhere.

    There are many things we cannot control in this life. The outcome of something that needs a majority invovlement is one of them. We can control what we do, however. Making an attempt resolves at least the individual’s moral dilemma.

    Our individual effort make have no positive results, but we’ll never know until we try: the Schrodinger’s Cat problem.

  39. @tz2026

    I was drinking my coffee when I read your witches comment, I laughed so hard I had to clean up the desk :)

  40. John says:
    August 7, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    The City and County of Boulder should lead by example. Turn off the air conditioning in summer and turn down the heat in winter, wear sweaters. Lead by example.

    Oh that is already in the works, the public in Boulder county think they can do a better job or running a power company than Xcel energy, and are trying to “localize” their power with low carbon energy sources etc. I suspect that in about 5-10 years they will figure out that they have costs that are far higher than they expect and their “democratic and green” energy solutions are not as good as they expect. The rest of the state is just sitting back and watching as they quietly paint themselves into a corner.

    http://www.bouldercolorado.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=14730&Itemid=4923

    The bad news is that energy rate payers will have to foot the bill for this wishing well energy system they have in mind.

    Larry

  41. There is also in Colorado, the Peoples Republic of Aspen, also known as Chicago Lite. Tooth Fairy logic does real well there too.

  42. Lets not be too harsh on the citizens of Boulder. Having been there I thought it was a nice place with nice people. They suffer the same affliction as the rest of the western world: their political masters have been taken in by the green machine who have convined them that they can wield the power of superheroes and control the climate.

  43. “Doug Proctor says:

    “Working towards stopping CAGW is like working towards stopping poverty: for those who make the effort, the total erasure of the problem is not as important as knowing one has made a bad situation at least a little better. The story of thowing a starfish washed up on the beach after a storm comes to mind: although it makes no difference to the thousands of starfish on the beach about to die, it makes a big difference to the one you throw back in.

    At least that is how efforts towards ending CAGW can be viewed.”

    No, not similar at all. In the first you are doing something because you believe it makes your world a better place, a good and noble action. In the second you want to force me to do something because you think it will make your world a better place. A very big difference indeed. The very difference between liberty and slavery.

  44. Al Gore lost the election and initiated, and profits enormously from a terrorist campaign to ‘go ahead and install my policies in spite of the election or a whole bunch of you and, people around the world could die, and it is going to be your fault.’

    He uncovered those hillbillies’ scams, and improved on them, in order to vastly magnify his Occidental Oil fortune.

    Do you know how big Occidental Oil is? It’s about the third largest oil/energy company on the planet.

    Do you know why you don’t hear about it?

    Because about 40% of Occidental Oil – the Oil Company from whence his late dad’s fortune which came to him –
    is
    in
    Alternate
    Energy.
    NoW do you see why Al Gore can strike out at other oil companies and coal?
    His fortune depends on world economies steering from the other two
    to his: Alternate Energy.
    He did and is running a criminal international money scamming enterprise protecting the people that do it from
    Law
    Enforcement.

    That is how ThaT shakes out.

  45. IAmDigitap says:
    August 7, 2012 at 10:50 pm
    “NoW do you see why Al Gore can strike out at other oil companies and coal?
    His fortune depends on world economies steering from the other two
    to his: Alternate Energy.”

    AFAIK, Al Gore doesn’t own OXY shares anymore.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occidental_Petroleum#Gore_family

    ” and Gore owned shares in the company. Former Vice President Albert Gore, Jr. received much criticism from environmentalists, when the shares passed to the estate after the death of Albert Gore Sr., and Albert Gore Jr. was a son and the executor of the estate.[77][78] Albert Gore Jr. did not exercise control over the shares, which were eventually sold when the estate closed.[79][80]”

    Is there evidence to the contrary?

  46. I have lived near Boulder for nearly 20 years. The Daily Camera used to incite so much ranting in my house that we cut back to 4 days a week (I still had to have something to start the grill). Anyway, Boulder and the Daily Camera should be held up as examples of the experimental nature of our Republic. If you want to get an idea of the silly stuff, do an e-dive on prarie dogs at the Daily Camera site. Somebody already mentioned the power plant tempest. It’s worth a look too.

    Somewhere out in the future, but not now, I think the pixy dust theory of utopian paradise will loose its wheels and hopefully we can recover from the wreck. Until that time, everyone please study Boulder. Look at the politics, the ideas, the people, and most of all the results. This too could be your world. All you have to do is believe. You want to laugh at the crazy ideas but it is all too serious and has the potential to completely obliterate personal freedom; and all in the name of a better world.

  47. In Boulder, they have something called SmartRegs, which allowed the Green apparatchiks to have a look at the utility bills in my apartment building. Last summer, they came around to retro-fit new double-pane windows to all the apartments, which was a double-pain for the residents. The asbestos released in the reconstruction project on this c1970-era building was not of the toxic variety, or so we were told.

    The new windows did cut down on exterior noise – weed-whackers and power blowers mostly – but I didn’t notice any change in my utility bills on the south side of the building, probably because no attention was paid, nor action directed at the front doors in the apartments, which were uninsulated, non-weather stripped, and clearly, the number one source of heat-loss in the units. Direct measurement of temperatures on the floor inside the (closed) front door showed they dropped to near freezing on sub-zero mornings.

    Not so very smart, imo.

    Boulder is planning on shutting down the nearby Valmont power-plant.To make up for the eventual energy shortfall, Kansas is building a big coal-fired plant in the western part of the state where Colorado will be able to purchase extra juice from the Sunflower plant, but at least the hypocrites will have realized their NIMBY objective, and can now turn their attention to the nefarious, diabolical plastic bags, which they feel are ruining the planet. See the Daily Camera for many letters on this topic.

    I love Boulder, but no longer live there. I’ve come to the conclusion that it is a fool’s paradise.

  48. When I first saw David Archibald’s video where he stated that most of the carbon dioxide greenhouse effect occurs when the first 20 PPM of CO2 is added to the atmosphere, I thought that claim was totally bogus–it could not be true. But after checking this out, I found that this was an obvious consequence of the narrow band nature of the CO2 absorption spectrum and the fact that, even at 20 PPM, CO2 would be absorbing all radiation leaving the surface of the Earth over most of its preferred absorption bands. Adding more CO2 just lowers the altitude where total absorption occurs and ever so slightly widens the affected band. At current concentration levels, it appears that the raw effect of increasing CO2 in the atmosphere is a one degree C surface temperature increase for each full doubling of the CO2 concentration.

    I can only assume that the current widespread hysteria about CO2 is a result of a prejudicial, runaway “Don Quixote” effect among media and workers in the Climate Science field that is do to a concern about human degradation of the environment and a well-meaning, driving desire to find a way to address this problem in their professional work. In this case, however, they appear to be tilting *for* windmills rather than at them.

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