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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Jim

Amen. Excellent piece.

Gary Pearse

He’s sticking his neck out in Boulder!

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.

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.

SanityP

Soon enough we will see this logic: “The climate is changing the weather”.

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.

Joachim Seifert

No better conclusions can be made. I sign 100%. JS

Kev-in-Uk

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!

Jon

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?

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!

Reality check

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.

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.

Jeff D.

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?

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.

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.)

Tom in Worcester

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.

Louis Hooffstetter

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.

Steve C

“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.)

Bern Bray

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!

Jeff L

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.

John

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.

chris y

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

Resourceguy

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.

Jim G

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.

wayne

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.

jorgekafkazar

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.

So, that’s “Boulderdash” explained

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.

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!!!

BioBob

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.

@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.

Anteaus

“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.

NoAstronomer

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”.

tadchem

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).

Pathway

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.

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.

TerryG

There must be an “optimum” climate that we are striving to get back to…but what is it?

mike g

@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.

Paul Coppin

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.

Luther Wu

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.

Maurice@TheMount

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.

I move we tax on the ‘rich’ to purchase costume jewelry for those who are energy-deficient.

John

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.

leftinbrooklyn

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…

Doug Proctor

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.

clipe

Letter to the Bishop of Exeter cc. Archbishop of Canterbury Bishop of London Archbishop of Westminster As the spirit moves
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100166881/another-even-better-letter-to-the-bishop-of-exeter-on-the-subject-of-wind-farms/
Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others.
Groucho Marx

Streetcred

No question about it, those Boulder(ite)s are as dense as rock !

James Hein

@tz2026
I was drinking my coffee when I read your witches comment, I laughed so hard I had to clean up the desk 🙂

Larry Ledwick (hotrod)

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

Anne Knecht

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