Of Pancho Villa, Global Warming, the End of the World, and Other Tall Tales

Guest essay by David Nabhan
Many long-established families in El Paso and Juarez have stories about Pancho Villa to relate—mine is no different. My great uncle, Massoud, brought before the generalissimo either before, during or after the Battle of Juarez, was given thirty minutes to run through the desert and across the Rio Grande back into El Paso after Pancho relieved him of his boots. Massoud was a mathematical genius and it was in deference to my great uncle’s former professorial chair in Lebanon that he was given the reprieve rather than being shot on the spot. It’s a good story; too bad it doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. There were very, very few Americans in Juarez around the time of the battle—since El Paso is literally yards away from Juarez, as close as Minneapolis is to St. Paul. The only Americans foolish enough to remain in Juarez as Villa’s forces approached would have been drunks, lunatics and freebooters. Of course, no family member has ever asked why Uncle Massoud didn’t simply stroll across the bridge—still wearing shoes—days or hours before the battle.

That’s hardly unusual though; people want to believe good stories, even those that make no sense at all.

Take the end of the world, for example. One might be fairly stunned to note how often its coming has been foretold—at least a thousand times over the last few thousand years. The list is almost interminable but includes 1000 AD, 1666 AD, when Halley’s Comet’s tail passed through the atmosphere in 1910, due to the chaos wrought by Y2K in 2000, or in accordance with the Mayan Long Count in 2012. All of these goofy episodes of human foolishness have added up to the same thing: nothing. One might expect that after five thousand years of embarrassing doomsday flops sophisticated people in the twenty-first century wouldn’t sit still for it anymore. Think again, however, for the end is coming, yet again. This time it’s unlike the previous thousand, it’s real. Forget Heaven’s Gate, the Fifth Monarchists and all the rest, it’s “global warming” that’s going to get us when all the other mega-disasters produced ridiculousness. This one, though, is the McCoy.

Except that’s almost certainly not true at all. Global warming most probably is going to wind up in the same trash heap of history with all the rest. It’s a good story, for those eager to look forward to some impending catastrophe, but alas, just like my great uncle’s spine-tingling encounter with desperados, far, far too many things simply don’t add up. And just as one need not be an US/Mexico expert, an historian, a boundary commissioner, a mathematician or a boot maker to realize that Uncle Massoud’s story is most likely a tall tale, likewise, climate scientists and all other such specialists are not required to weigh this particular head-scratcher: only pure, simple common sense is required. And nothing the global warmers say passes that bar.

Where, for example, is the hue and cry to extinguish coal seam fires? For the average person who has been completely taken in by the “climate change” mantra, this is most likely the first time the topic has been seen to be raised in public. And that is odd in the extreme, stunningly strange, in fact. There are 10,000 coal-seam fires burning out of control worldwide. Those fires pump out massive amounts of carbon dioxide — equal to 20% of the entire carbon footprint of the US. Hollywood schedules no concerts to “Put Out the Fires,” even though it would fit nicely on a T-shirt, and no one in Washington has said the first word about it. If common sense rules the argument, decades ago that would have been the first thing on the agenda: extinguish the coal seam fires. How odd that the activists of the world leap-frogged over this astoundingly obvious target and decided that dismantling the West’s industrial infrastructure would be a better place to start.

Most “activists,” however, won’t deign to answer that question, or any other. Their self-assurance is beyond debate. They’ve declared this matter “settled science,” not bothered that the rest of us realize that it took several millennia for humanity to even get the fuzziest picture of the Earth’s true place in the cosmos. It doesn’t trouble them that there are only the very rarest of scientific facts that weren’t gleaned by no less than centuries of endless toil, trial and error by the greatest minds. Their “settled science,” indeed, harkens to a different age, one in which the Earth didn’t spin, when leeches were part of physicians’ medical kit, when plague was kept at bay by pleasant aromas, when Inquisitors did the “settling,” and “science” could get one roasted alive. Unfortunately, nothing correct came out of that epoch, so if the climate change activists turn out to be right, it be will recorded as the most enormously implausible outlier: for only once then in human history will a great truth have been pulled right out of the hat, ipso facto, and required nothing further. This will be the first time something so beautifully and sublimely true had been seen that it didn’t require the normal and customary vetting demanded of everything else: the scientific method. This one exception will have surpassed Newton’s papers on gravity and Einstein’s work on relativity, since both are still to this day being tested and probed for any sign at all of some exception, some error, some nuance—but, not “global warming.” It will never have lingered in the realm of hypothesis, nor waited to be promoted to theory. This incredible and incomparable work of genius will have shot straight to the highest rung of the temple of science, and immediately. It will be law, and all accomplished within the span of a few short years—not decades or centuries or millennia. We are all witnessing something grand taking place…or much, much more likely, something our descendents will use to look back on us to wonder how such gullible people managed to pull up their pants properly.

There are many good and decent people who have been taken in by the faux-altruism peddled by the climate changers, many millions who imagine they’re on the right side of this question, but who might also open their minds to the possibility that they may well have been deceived—and monumentally. Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner, former Chairman , International Commission on Sea Level, calls the entire business “the greatest fabrication in modern history.” The most pre-eminent living scientist on Earth, Freeman Dyson, colleague of Einstein at Princeton, not only doesn’t buy the canard, but has posited that the moderate increase in carbon dioxide over the last decades has contributed to what he calls a “great blooming,” pointing out something that every sixth grader knows, that carbon dioxide, the piston of photosynthesis, is the great engine of life on Earth. A titan such as Dr. Dyson is far from alone: the list is long and impressive. It includes Nobel laureates—such as Dr. Ivar Giaever, of super-conductor fame—and progressive, yet unbrainwashed voices like former president of Greenpeace, Dr. Patrick Moore. Insofar as the childish and absurd tactic of pretending to count up how many scientists say “yes” and how many say “no,” this is probably the greatest indication that something other than science is taking place. We’ve all heard the “97% of scientists” fable; as someone who has spent the last two decades exchanging correspondence with “scientists” on four continents, this is proof positive, for me at least, of the surest sign of a propaganda lie.

Scientists don’t lend their names to insipid public opinion surveys. Scientists don’t allow poll takers into their offices and research facilities. Scientists don’t interrupt their important work to involve themselves in political prattle nor flatter themselves or others by publishing their guesses. Men and women of science find conjecture and opinion anathema to everything to which they’ve devoted their lives. The scientific method is the antithesis of brainless “polls.” Scientific fact isn’t determined by taking a straw vote. The propagandists who decided to promote this absurdity really aren’t very good at it. I can vouch that scientists are the most tight-lipped people on the planet. To imagine them blabbering about something so complicated and controversial as climate change—and then to have 97% of them supposedly agreeing, when 97% of scientists have never agreed on anything, anywhere, at any time—is beyond ludicrous. That amazingly inflated figure speaks for itself; all one need do is give it some thought.

My family never gave Uncle Massoud’s tall tale too much thought. It was just accepted as part of the family chronicle. That’s understandable; good stories like that are hard to come by, and it never did any harm. Global warming, or climate change, or whatever moniker is chosen next as one prediction after the other over twenty years has failed to come true, is far from harmless, but for those who insist on some hair-raising yarn to take its place, we all might give an ear to the one that follows. Trust that it’s got some Armageddon mixed in as well.

The history of the Pleistocene, over the last two million years, is well documented: dozens and dozens of cyclical shifts between approximately 100,000 year long glacials (Ice Ages), followed by roughly 10,000 year interglacials. All of human history has transpired within the current mild period, the present interglacial, the Holocene. The problem is, the Holocene has lasted approximately 11,000 years already. The peoples of the Earth, all seven billion, haven’t the slightest business occupying themselves with what may or may not happen two hundred or three hundred years from now when the temperature might be a few degrees warmer than now. What is most certainly coming is not going to be a kindler, gentler, warmer Earth. What our descendents of some generations into the future are much more likely to face is something that actually kills: cold—bitter, unending, crop-killing, planet-changing cold.

Celebrities, government mouthpieces, and the West’s adversaries at the UN couldn’t care about any of this because they didn’t dream it up, it doesn’t paint factory owners as villains, it doesn’t harm and weaken the economy and military of industrialized nations, and put an horrific burden and onus on us for the sins of our great, great, great grandparents. But anyone with a child should care. I can look back on my great uncle with love and respect. He never did anything to harm me or anyone else, and aside from telling a few tall tales, was a great and decent man.

I wonder if our great nephews and nieces will be able to say that about…us?


David Nabhan is a science and science fiction writer. Web site: http://www.earthquakepredictors.com

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151 thoughts on “Of Pancho Villa, Global Warming, the End of the World, and Other Tall Tales

  1. ..Wow, I was shocked to learn the number is over 10,000…Even Wikipedia agrees !! Thanks, more studying for me ..

  2. I am just about to send this to my federal politician in Australia. He has admitted to me that he is scientifically illiterate but I am sure he will be able to understand this article.

  3. Good artical – BUT….

    “There are 10,000 coal-seam fires burning out of control worldwide. Those fires pump out massive amounts of carbon dioxide — equal to 20% of the entire carbon footprint of the US”

    That’s very exact figures, could we have a reference please.

    I’m 97% certain that they are made up numbers.

  4. The climate in one sentence: We are at the end of a brief interglacial within an ice age and in one of only two CO2 crashes in earth’s history.

  5. “We are all witnessing something grand taking place…or much, much more likely, something our descendents will use to look back on us to wonder how such gullible people managed to pull up their pants properly.”

    Indeed. The Green and Red Left seem utterly intent not on pulling up their pants, but.instead dropping theirs and everyone.else’s too, what with the.Democratic Party’s obsession with sex, open bathrooms, preferred pronouns, Planned Parenthood, 56 genders and only God knows what other inventions.

    Indeed, the global.warming idolatry.is their way of sacrificing something to assuage their moral guilt over all that unrestrained sex. Of course, they don’t actually get to the sacrifice part; they impose.that on you and me.

    • “Democratic Party’s obsession with sex, open bathrooms, preferred pronouns, Planned Parenthood, 56 genders and only God knows what other inventions.”

      Your gullibility is showing.

      • Hyperbola. An article of speech. An exaggerated comment, not to be taken seriously. That’s OK, speech is not something they teach in public schools nowadays.

  6. All one has to do is look at the 1970’s to determine what will happen when it gets cold again. The world was down to one month’s worth of food. Back to back super harvests brought on by a warming trend saved us. That was the year the US government had farmers planting ” fence post to fence post”. The current crop of climate experts deny that happened. ( oh yea, it was in the popular media, not in the scientific) Too bad they weren’t there having to make decisions. They’d have an entirely different view of global warming. You mean it might warm an additional 2 C by 2100!! Thank goodness!! Yes the 1970’s were cold, but not LIA cold. Talk about a real doomsday, I can’t imagine. We have nuclear weapons now. And there are a couple of crazy groups of people who have stated they will win by ” any means necessary”. And a few others, that pushed to the limits, would join them.

    • Very true.
      I remember the 70’s. We starved …the Carter democrats poured food into ditches and burned it to prop up prices.
      Now we have bumper crops…and incredible machines driven by diesel to plant and harvest them

      • That’s true. Dumping food and burning it happened after the super harvest when temperatures started to recover. We have bigger crops now for several reasons, one of which is genetics . Without a doubt the infrastructure of the US is very effective at producing food. Food, however, won’t grow if it’s cold. And there were some cold years in the early 70s. But again, not LIA cold.

  7. This is plain English with real guts. Thank you Mr. Nabhan.

    It is a pleasure to read: wonderfully written and a real pleasure.

    Regards,
    WL

  8. Any b.s. that makes reference to the “end of days” is likely coming from the same small group of sick men who are descendants of those who deliberately mis-interpreted the scripture.

    Its about messing with the fat and water between the ears.

    Who stands to gain from all that propaganda??

  9. great post. I had a friend who was the youngest of 8 whose father experienced the war in Mexico. According to that eye witness testimony mounted banditos entered town and demanded Villa o Carranza? and the villagers hoped they guessed the right answer to the question.

  10. Great article.
    “What is most certainly coming is not going to be a kindler, gentler, warmer Earth. What our descendents of some generations into the future are much more likely to face is something that actually kills: cold—bitter, unending, crop-killing, planet-changing cold.”

    Even in much shorter term there is a need to be aware and prepared. This is what I wrote only yesterday
    “……. it is necessary for sceptics to tell truth as they understand it to be, not the way we like it to be.
    This could be important, since in the decades to come I expect N. Hemisphere to revert its past trend of warming into a trend of cooling.
    While warming was and is beneficial, consequences of falling temperatures could be serious, not only directly for the ‘older’ section of population, but also for the efficiency of food production. If cooling does happen, population needs to be made aware of problems it would bring.
    Warmers might jump on the band wagon but no one would believe them any more.
    If sceptics stick to the truth now, they may not be, and must not be seen as scaremongers in a possible falling temperature scenario.
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/04/24/particulates-aerosols-and-climate-the-more-important-story/

    • I concur, vukcevic . . and wonder mightily about these words from the post;

      “One might expect that after five thousand years of embarrassing doomsday flops sophisticated people in the twenty-first century wouldn’t sit still for it anymore. ‘

      This is very troubling talk to me . . Bordering on incitement to persecute any who warn of serious danger . . I denounce such calls in the strongest possible terms.

  11. There was a world-ender that came true — for the dinosaurs. What is neglected, though, is that a few million years before the end, a new species of dinosaur evolved (the “Troodon”) which was human-sized, had binocular vision and an opposable thumb. It is usually said that had they had a few million more years, they could have evolved into dino-people. But that misses the very salient point that perhaps they did indeed do so, built a civilization, and then wiped themselves out along with all the other dinosaurs — i.e., the “impact event” which left a layer of residue all over Earth could instead have come from the end game of that civilization. Maybe we just don’t have Troodon fossils from the last million years before the end.

      • binocular vision = eyes in front of head, like us. The fingers were semi-opposable, they could rotate individually. Go back 2M years and I suppose our own ancestors were also nothing more than “raptors”.

      • NZ Willy,

        I’d be r4eal skeptical about what has been said of critters like toodon, certainly in regard to it’s human-like atributes. From the dino-wiki;

        ” Its eyes were large (perhaps suggesting nocturnal activity) and slightly forward facing, giving Troodon some depth perception. In fact most reconstructions give Troodon eyes which point in a more forwards direction than almost any other dinosaur, which implies that it had better binocular vision than most dinosaurs.”

        Not “eyes in front of head, like us”, and the smarts talk is really about them possibly being as smart as birds . .

      • My last sentence was “Maybe we just don’t have Troodon fossils from the last million years before the end”. So I was supposing that the Troodon could have evolved to become even more human-like in the last 2M years before the end, and that we just don’t have those fossils yet. I’m not saying it *was* that way, but that there’s plenty of scope for saying it *could have* been that way.

  12. but CO2 is a personal thing….according to the greenies

    Qatar has the highest CO2 emissions…per capita
    …but that doesn’t fit the narrative of “developing countries”

    Qatar looks pretty developed to me…

  13. Brilliant article! I’ve bookmarked this one. David? I hope you give talks too because you’re good at it.

    As for the ideology of today, some will still be screaming “global warming” with chattering teeth while the snow and ice closes around them. What will our great nephews and nieces have to say about our current conjecture of imminent and catastrophic warming? I hope to live long enough to find out. It won’t be flattering I’m sure!

  14. I agree with everything except poisoning your list by including Y2K as a “goofy episode of human foolishness”. It was a serious problem, taken seriously, analyzed and solved reasonably. The many who helped solve it are not well served by that part of your argument.

    • I think the point there is that we coped with it and there was no disaster. We weren’t “doomed” as many claimed we were at the time – that claim (roughly that civilization as we knew it would end) was indeed “goofy”.

    • There were two frames of reference. One referred to a technical problem, observable and repeatable. The other, and this is where it became “goofy”, was the prophecy of a catastrophic anthropogenic global waning caused by a comprehensive [technical] dysfunction.

  15. Are you referring to times that it was generally agreed that climate did not change and that humans had no influence whatsoever? We have been there, overcame it because of evidence, glacials/inter-glacials first, thereafter the recognition AGW is real. Taking centuries to convince people by evidence in both cases.

    https://www.aip.org/history/climate/index.htm

    • Never in the Earth’s 4.6 billion year history has the climate NEVER changed..It is you liberal greenies who are pretending that the climate does not change NATURALLY..again and again..all by itself ! You and yours are the real climate change D’nyers…

      • Settled science being overturned by evidence. 1) climate does not change. Overturned by geological evidence of glacials/inter-glacials. Scientist agree because of evidence.

        2) humans cannot influence climate. All evidence show they do. Scientist agree because of evidence (receding glaciers, Arctic and Antarctic melt, heat increase in ocean, sea level rise, species migratory pattern, surface temperature, tlt temperature).

      • ..The only ones that EVER claim that the science is “settled” is you and yours !! .The only ones that EVER claim that ” The climate never changes” is you and yours..CAGW critics do not claim that man has no influence on the climate, just that it is small and not catastrophic !! Last but not least, Antarctic ice has been growing, not shrinking and the little bit of Arctic ice melt is caused mostly by Nature..

      • Somebody needs to tell wagen that correlation is not causation. It’s been warming now for hundreds of years and the ipcc claims that possibly as little as half of the warming of the last half century is caused by mankind. (and the ipcc’s record on modeling is so shaky that their claim is shaky at best as well) A hypothesis is but a hypothesis until verifiably proven true…

      • Wagen,

        Few would deny that humans influence climate. What living thing doesn’t? But all of the evidence you provide to make the case is just evidence of a warming planet. None of it makes the case that it is influenced by us.

      • Wagen,
        “Whatch the arctic ice this season. ”
        Maybe you should look at the data on Arctic (with a capital A) sea ice plots and find out that they have not be working correctly for some time now and no recent data is shown.
        What are you imagining is the current sea ice plot just now without data?

      • Wiggins says: “2) humans cannot influence climate. All evidence show they do. Scientist agree because of evidence (receding glaciers, Arctic and Antarctic melt, heat increase in ocean, sea level rise, species migratory pattern, surface temperature, tlt temperature).”

        All of those things happened before humans were around, and will happen after we’re gone. No evidence that we’re the cause of these things happening now. Are you saying glaciers have never receded before? Aren’t advancing glaciers more of a problem? Ice has never melted at the poles before now? Seal levels have never risen, receded, risen, receded, etc, before now? You can’t be serious.

      • “ipcc claims that possibly as little as half of the warming of the last half century is caused by mankind”

        IPCC’s best guess is about 110%

    • Saying AGW is real is like saying gravity is real. It’s a meaningless statement. There were eighteen years of no warming. The equivalent would be an apple suspended in air for eighteen years without falling.

      The AGW theory has no predictive value. All of the (model) predictions have been wrong, all of them. It’s a political movement not a scientific one.

      • Wagen, follow the evidence.

        ‘the average global temperature across land and ocean surface areas for 2015 was 0.90°C (1.62°F) above the 20th century average of 13.9°C (57.0°F)’

        http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/201513

        ‘The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for March 2016 was the highest for this month in the 1880–2016 record, at 1.22°C (2.20°F) above the 20th century average of 12.7°C (54.9°F).’

        https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/201603

        Can you explain why the20th century average for global land and ocean has dropped a further 2.1°F Since the annual summary was released? Sure is a moving feast.

      • When the coming La Nina wipes out the temperature spike from the now past El Nino, will Wagen become suicidal?

      • Lee, nice catch. But the global average land and sea temp didn’t just drop between the 2015 annual report and the paragraph you cited early in the 2016 March report. Apparently, it dropped another 0.4°C (0.8°F) before they finished writing the Report:

        “The first three months of 2016 were the warmest such period on record across the world’s land and ocean surfaces, at 1.15°C (2.07°F) above the 20th century average of 12.3°C (54.1°F)…”

        That’s a total drop of 2.9°F, without which, both the March 2016 and the first 3 months of 2016 would be BELOW the 20th century average, rather than above – the first by 0.7°F the 2nd by 0.83°F.

      • “When the coming La Nina wipes out the temperature spike from the now past El Nino, will Wagen become suicidal?”

        And when it doesn’t will Marcus kill himself? Marcus do you have a point to make that can’t be deflected back as easily as I just did? I would be happy to hear one, bot expecting one through.

    • Except there is still no empirical evidence only model results

      what you and I call evidence are two very different things, experimental science trumps maths theories any day of the week

    • Oh and of course what a cherry “climate did not change”

      Yep, Wagen you said this in your desperation to be right you went full circle and outed yourself for the crazy you are lol.

      “Climate did not change”

      I’ll pass on getting into the meaning of “generally agreed” and it’s meaningless worth

    • ” We have been there, overcame it because of evidence, glacials/inter-glacials first, thereafter the recognition AGW is real.”

      Wagen, are you claiming that man caused glacials/inter-glacials ?? If not, ” thereafter the recognition AGW is real ” is nonsense !

      • Just follow the link. It explains the understanding of climate. Scientists first didn’t believe it but they had to be convinced by evidence

      • Markus, learn. Man thought climate didn’t change until they found it did .

        Man thought man can’t change climate until man found out man did and does.

    • This Website created by Spencer Weart

      “A hypertext history of how scientists came to (partly) understand what people are doing to cause climate change.”

      Spencer Weart?

  16. “I can vouch that scientists are the most tight-lipped people on the planet”

    Scientists? Tight-lipped? You got to be joking! You are making stuff up! The most prestigious professors I know are constantly asking questions while at the same time expressing what they think (annoyably unstoppable in that respect).

    • What are they professors of? Is this part of the CAGW crowd? They tend to be noisy, but then they have something to sell. Apologies if I sound cynical.

      • I’ll put it another way. If the professor you are talking about believes in the 97% consensus, then he is not of the quality of scientist David is referring to. He’s not in the same league.

      • General observation! Professors like to hear themselves. Think this works for all faculties. Have to be noisy to get on top of the heap after all.

        I do not think the author ATL knows much about science because of how he characterizes it.

      • Good point, Latitude, my mistake. :)

        Okay, so, Wagan, you’re talking general observation of teachers and the like? That’s fair enough. The way I understand it, the author here is talking about scientists who are deep into their science, as in tucked away in their labs, as in they don’t want to be disturbed, the type that doesn’t much come up for air and doesn’t give a hoot for consensus or politics. I don’t think they much care for getting or being “on top of the heap” either, that seems to be more a political concern (how one looks to friends and peers, how to advance one’s career, how much money they get or how many papers they can put their name to). I understand he is referring to those deeply in it for the science alone. “Pure” scientists for want of a better term.

      • wagen says, “like to hear themselves. Think this works for all faculties. Have to be noisy to get on top of the heap after all.”
        ==================================
        sounds like the entire CAGW list of who’s who, but it does not sound like serious scientists. Shooting one’s mouth off while not knowing what one is talking about, that sounds like a CAGW troll proponent, but it certainly does not sound like a scientist who follows the scientific method.

      • “sounds like the entire CAGW list of who’s who, but it does not sound like serious scientists. Shooting one’s mouth off while not knowing what one is talking about, that sounds like a CAGW troll proponent, but it certainly does not sound like a scientist who follows the scientific method.”

        “Shooting one’s mouth off while not knowing what one is talking about”

        Mmmm, now where else have I come across that.
        Oh, yes here.

    • Wagen, It’s mostly that true scientists speak less of “certainties” and more of “possibilities” when they honestly present their hypotheses.

      True scientists are always willing to discuss and defend their data and methods with any who feel they might have calculations or data which falsify their theory.
      After all, one’s time is wasted looking for more and more complicated ways to defend the flawed assumption which founded the theory.

      If you look at the statements Dr. Roger Revelle made recanting his assumptions of the warming potential of CO2, you will find that he was one of the last true scientists to dominate the study of “greenhouse” (a misnomer) gasses.

  17. This article could be called an anthropological analysis of the “world is ending” paradigm. A similar analysis could be done of “Big Science”. Have you ever spent a few hours in the library reading 100-year-old science journals? I have. Rarely have I seen such an unending roll-on of ludicrous pap. The laudatory articles are outnumbered by the claptrap 3-1 or 4-1. Those who extol Big science today, especially AGW, should explain why today is so different from science up to 2 generations ago.

    • Pat F

      At least it is not reasonable to blame ‘humans’ for coal seam fires. They start spontaneously and can burn for centuries. The huge coal dumps in Witbank, South Africa, caught fire years ago – it was one of the most Dickensenian places in the world, like that place that made black carbon in Romania. After huge efforts they were extinguished. If you leave coal out in the rain it self-ignites after a while. Oxidation is a bitch.

      Pumping water into the ground can just create hydrogen with the water gas shift reaction, making things worse. The best solution is to dig up the coal and burn it properly in a way that delivers some benefit to humanity such as delivering, by air, fertiliser for all plants on land and sea.

      • Some are, some aren’t.
        One coal fire in Pennsylvania was started when people started using an abandoned mine pit as a garbage dump and somehow the trash caught fire, lighting the coal on fire. The town has since been abandoned.

  18. Excellent article.

    I’ve written about coal seam fires several times over the years. Most of them are impossible to extinguish, and some have been burning for hundreds of years. A simple search will give examples.

    And regarding the Doomsday scares like 1000 AD, 1666 AD, Y2K, the Mayan Long Count in 2012, Heaven’s Gate, and all the rest…

    …it’s “global warming” that’s going to get us when all the other mega-disasters produced ridiculousness.

    That brings to mind Dr. Leon Festinger, who studied the “Seekers”, a 1950’s flying saucer cult. Despite their cult leader’s failed prediction that a flying saucer would arrive on a certain date and time to save the Seekers, while the earth was being destroyed, the group stayed together. In fact, they became even more determined that the flying saucer would still come get them.

    That sounds very much like the CAGW cult. Festinger explained:

    A man with a conviction is a hard man to change. Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point. We have all experienced the futility of trying to change a strong conviction, especially if the convinced person has some investment in his belief. We are familiar with the variety of ingenious defenses with which people protect their convictions, managing to keep them unscathed through the most devastating attacks. But man’s resourcefulness goes beyond simply protecting a belief. Suppose an individual believes something with his whole heart; suppose further that he has a commitment to this belief, that he has taken irrevocable actions because of it; finally, suppose that he is presented with evidence, unequivocal and undeniable evidence, that his belief is wrong: what will happen? The individual will frequently emerge, not only unshaken, but even more convinced of the truth of his beliefs than ever before. Indeed, he may even show a new fervor about convincing and converting other people to his view.

    Despite the fact that the climate alarmist crowd’s beliefs have been thoroughly deconstructed, they dig their heels in even more. We see it here every day. They’re no different from the Seekers.

    • You are right. It’s sad. There seems no way around it except to prepare our young to think critically, to question, to explore and to reason – and to not fall into that trap in the first place. Easier said than done, of course, particularly in this “progressive” world. Formal education was neglected first, it seems to me, all else followed thanks to the faulty thinking that was then deliberately introduced. A big – BIG – turnaround is needed. I rather doubt it will happen this century, if at all.

      We’ve got to be better than this. It’s too depressing if manipulation brings humanity down after all this time. We’re smart in so many ways, we have to find a way to deal with lies and liars, manipulation and manipulators.

  19. Not only the coal seams but the methane burns, including the one in Iraq called the gate to Hell. Just where are these CO2 contributors accounted for by the Greenies? Warm is good cold is a serious problem.

  20. Here is an e-mail exchange with Dyson from last year.

    E-mail 4/7/15

    Dr Norman Page
    Houston

    Professor Dyson
    Saw your Vancouver Sun interview.
    I agree that CO2 is beneficial. This will be even more so in future because it is more likely than not that the earth has already entered a long term cooling trend following the recent temperature peak in the quasi-millennial solar driven periodicity .

    The climate models on which the entire Catastrophic Global Warming delusion rests are built without regard to the natural 60 and more importantly 1000 year periodicities so obvious in the temperature record. The modelers approach is simply a scientific disaster and lacks even average commonsense .It is exactly like taking the temperature trend from say Feb – July and projecting it ahead linearly for 20 years or so. They back tune their models for less than 100 years when the relevant time scale is millennial. This is scientific malfeasance on a grand scale. The temperature projections of the IPCC – UK Met office models and all the impact studies which derive from them have no solid foundation in empirical science being derived from inherently useless and specifically structurally flawed models. They provide no basis for the discussion of future climate trends and represent an enormous waste of time and money. As a foundation for Governmental climate and energy policy their forecasts are already seen to be grossly in error and are therefore worse than useless. A new forecasting paradigm needs to be adopted. For forecasts of the timing and extent of the coming cooling based on the natural solar activity cycles – most importantly the millennial cycle – and using the neutron count and 10Be record as the most useful proxy for solar activity check my blog-post at http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/2014/07/climate-forecasting-methods-and-cooling.html

    The most important factor in climate forecasting is where earth is in regard to the quasi- millennial natural solar activity cycle which has a period in the 960 – 1020 year range. For evidence of this cycle see Figs 5-9. From Fig 9 it is obvious that the earth is just approaching ,just at or just past a peak in the millennial cycle. I suggest that more likely than not the general trends from 1000- 2000 seen in Fig 9 will likely generally repeat from 2000-3000 with the depths of the next LIA at about 2650. The best proxy for solar activity is the neutron monitor count and 10 Be data. My view ,based on the Oulu neutron count – Fig 14 is that the solar activity millennial maximum peaked in Cycle 22 in about 1991. There is a varying lag between the change in the in solar activity and the change in the different temperature metrics. There is a 12 year delay between the activity peak and the probable millennial cyclic temperature peak seen in the RSS data in 2003. http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1980.1/plot/rss/from:1980.1/to:2003.6/trend/plot/rss/from:2003.6/trend

    There has been a cooling temperature trend since then (Usually interpreted as a “pause”) There is likely to be a steepening of the cooling trend in 2017- 2018 corresponding to the very important Ap index break below all recent base values in 2005-6. Fig 13.

    The Polar excursions of the last few winters in North America are harbingers of even more extreme winters to come more frequently in the near future.

    I would be very happy to discuss this with you by E-mail or phone .It is important that you use your position and visibility to influence United States government policy and also change the perceptions of the MSM and U.S public in this matter. If my forecast cooling actually occurs the policy of CO2 emission reduction will add to the increasing stress on global food production caused by a cooling and generally more arid climate.

    Best Regards

    Norman Page

    E-Mail 4/9/15
    Dear Norman Page,
    Thank you for your message and for the blog. That all makes sense.
    I wish I knew how to get important people to listen to you. But there is
    not much that I can do. I have zero credibility as an expert on climate.
    I am just a theoretical physicist, 91 years old and obviously out of touch
    with the real world. I do what I can, writing reviews and giving talks,
    but important people are not listening to me. They will listen when the
    glaciers start growing in Kentucky, but I will not be around then. With
    all good wishes, yours ever, Freeman Dyson.

    Email 4/9/15

    Professor Dyson Would you have any objection to my posting our email exchange on my blog?
    > Best Regards Norman Page

    E-Mail 4/9/15

    Yes, you are welcome to post this exchange any way you like. Thank you
    for asking. Yours, Freeman Dyson.

    • Talk about the “pause,” much beloved of those who do not agree with the evidence for human-caused global warming, has all but disappeared. To get the “pause” temperature graph to come out right, you had to pick the hottest spiked year recently, which I think was 1997.

      The overall trend continued to rise, but by cherry-picking that year gave a nice “hiatus.”

      But that kind of talk is disappearing. Why? Because the last couple of years blew past the 1997 number. That, and basically all world leaders meeting in Paris. I get the appeal of conspiracies, but to get *every world leader* to sign up to it?

      Oh, and I *love* Freeman Dyson. But basically no climate practitioners agree with what he’s saying.

      • lbertybell,

        You don’t understand how the ‘pause’ is calculated.

        And Prof Dyson’s view is essentially the same as Prof Richard Lindzen’s and most all of the 31,000 professionals — all with degrees in the hard sciences, including more than 9,000 PhD’s — who co-signed the OISM petition.

  21. David, this is an excellent explanation. You ask a question that had escaped me previously. My big question has been: why isn’t the documented expansion of greenery worldwide taken as the starting point of any discussion about CO2? After all, it is a present day fact, not a theory, and in accord with thousands of peer-reviewed studies, is certainly mostly due to human emission of life-giving CO2 plant food. That’s the positive side: how can the Greens simply pretend that benefit doesn’t exist, when it feeds maybe 600 million people?

    You have now added a critical negative side: There is a massive source of CO2 that could be tackled much more cheaply than wrecking the worlds advanced economies.

    Unfortunately these two issues are in conflict: if CO2 is good (it is) then coal seam fires are adding to the benefit. My response is that this is a problem for those of us here who want a better world and understand that cutting the supply of plant food isn’t part of it. We need a rational discussion about the conflict between renewability and promoting plant life. But for the Green leaders, it is a fatal attack upon their posturing: for them, CO2 is wholly bad, so why haven’t they bleeped a bleep about the simplest way to reduce it? The only possible answer: CO2 reduction is not their goal: using it as an excuse to make people poorer and institute worldwide socialism are the real goals of the fake exercise. I speak here if the ringleaders, of course; individual green supporters are most likely in the dark about coal seam fires.

    • CO2 is not “wholly bad” for an actual scientist in the climate field. Like any aspect of nature, or for that matter, of man, there are positive aspects as well as negative ones.

      Most of the evidence suggests AGW is a greater hazard than better plant-growing is a benefit. Few people in the climate field dispute the evidence that things are getting warmer because of human-forced C02 increase. This affects sea level and growing conditions.

      It is interesting, in this piece, Nabhan nowhere addresses the actual evidence for AGW. I get that that is not his purpose – the series of bad-science and puffed-up-history analogies is his topic here. But when he claims the “97% of publishing climate scientists” idea is false because scientists do not sit for opinion interviews, he completely sidesteps how those data were collected. The 97% number comes from counting scientific papers in peer-reviewed climate journals. Subsequent questionnaires to many of those publishing these papers did substantiate the 97% claim.

      Finally, I notice one piece of anti-AGW evidence has gone away: you notice now how climate deniers don’t talk about “The Pause” anymore? It has gone away. Why? It has continued to get hotter than that one hot year in 1997. Two hottest years on record – 2015, and now 2016.

      “The Pause” is no more.

      • lbertybell says:

        CO2 is not “wholly bad”… there are positive aspects as well as negative ones.

        Really? Name any negatives from the rise in CO2.

        Not your opinion. And not someone else’s opinion. I don’t care how many appeals to authority you can come up with. Opinions are not evidence.

        Produce verifiable, testable, empirical evidence quantifying global damage, or harm, as a result of rising CO2. If you can, you will be the first.

        But if you can’t, then it is reasonable to say that the rise in CO2 has been “harmless”.

        Next, you say:

        Nabhan nowhere addresses the actual evidence for AGW.

        It is not the job of skeptics to prove a negative, which is what you’re asking him to do. The alarmist conjecture is that AGW exists, and that it is dangerous. It is the job of the alarmist contingent to produce convincing evidence showing that to be the case.

        So far, they have failed (and for the record, I think AGW exists. But it is so minuscule that current instruments can’t measure it; therefore AGW is a non-problem).

        Next, the “97%” canard has been debunked repeatedly. Not only here, but in unrefuted peer reviewed papers. Put ‘97%’ in the search box. It’s fun reading for skeptics.

        Finally, I agree: the ‘pause’ is no more. But global warming stopped for almost twenty years, thus falsifying the CO2=cAGW conjecture. QED

  22. Interesting graph do you have one that includes CO2 levels? That would make the silliness re CO2 obvious to all.

    • @Jon, I have asked this before from everybody but can all of you please when answering please note time , the person you are answering to etc? Thanks there are times the thread gets unraveled.

    • “there are lots of peer-reviewed studies reaching similar conclusions.” And one that tried to actually quantify the human portion (Cook) found less than 3% of published literature (65 of over 12,000) could be categorized as “Explicitly states that humans are the primary cause of recent global warming” i.e. ‘The global warming during the 20th century is caused mainly by increasing greenhouse gas concentration especially since the late 1980s’

      Whatever the number is, using published literature to try and determine it will not provide an accurate number. See http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2010/12/13/the-truth-wears-off for the multitude of reasons why.

      The core questions here, is what definition of AGW are you associating with a 97% consensus?

      If you are claiming that 97% of scientists agree that humans influence climate there is no argument. If you are claiming that 97% agree that the human influence is a strong or primary driver and will lead to catastrophic warming then please cite the study that determined that.

    • thallstd said:

      If you are claiming that 97% agree that the human influence is a strong or primary driver and will lead to catastrophic warming then please cite the study that determined that.

      And as usual… *crickets*

  23. Nice article but a load of crap!! Not the science part but the fantasy of dispassionate truth seekers following the evidence wherever it leads. They are human too, have desires, and get really pissed off when their life’s work is disproved or rendered obsolete. Read a little history dude. Some of could have the inquisitors a thing or two.

  24. I feel vindicated. I have been saying for years that if we really want to worry about climate, we should think about the coming, overdue ice age for which we haven’t the slightest technical or infrastructural defense.
    Even so, the best approach is probably flat-out laissez – fairer, and deal with it as it happens.

    • Overdue Ice Age?

      Now that’s news to climate science, not to mention astronomy.

      Would you care to explain?
      With links to science.
      Specifically to graphs of the Milankovitch cycles that give rise to them.

      If you ever looked you would discover that we are 10’s thousands of years away from any IA.

      From: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/milankovitch.html

      “Astronomical calculations show that 65N summer insolation should increase gradually over the next 25,000 years, and that no 65N summer insolation declines sufficient to cause an ice age are expected in the next 50,000 – 100,000 years ( Hollan 2000, Berger 2002)”

      • ….I’m sure he was referring to the ” Little Ice Age”, which is overdue by 1,000 years or so…( 10.000 yr cycle )

      • I love the way the warmistas keep repeating the same tired lies over and over again.
        It’s just more proof that they have run out of ideas.

      • “I love the way the warmistas keep repeating the same tired lies over and over again.
        It’s just more proof that they have run out of ideas.”

        Repeating a tired mantra to the cheering fans of the echo-chamber does not make your alternative universe the one we actually live in my friend.

        Alternative as in that is exactly what happens here on WUWT.
        Regurgitated myths
        Regurgitated conspiracy ideation
        Regurgitated political hatred
        Regurgitated NIMBY selfishness.
        Regurgitated (in some cases) bonkers “dragon-sayer” *science*.
        And above all regurgitated hubristic ignorance

    • Correctomundo, MarkW. Who did the counting for that bogus chart? Probably the same clique that counted the “97%”.

      It’s from skepticalscience, so we know it’s unreliable.

  25. Mr. Nabhan, My family is also from Texas and, as the saying goes, no Texan would let the [exact] truth get in the way of a good story. But I bet that your family story about Pancho Villa has some kernel of truth in it. There were two Juarez battles (1911 and 1919). The first one was a victory for Pancho Villa while in the second the US Army came over the border and defeated him. I suppose your story probably deals with the first battle. At that time, wars were considered a spectator sport and apparently there were plenty of American civilians who watched these battles (and two were killed by stray rounds in the second battle). So watching the battle from Juarez may have been more sensible than those of us nowadays can easily appreciate, and to a badly fitted army like Pancho’s, a pair of boots might have been well appreciated.

    • Carl Brannan,

      About 30 years ago I worked with an old timer who’d spent a lot of time in Mexico as a young ‘un in the 1930’s. He said it was easy to tell the officers from the enlisted soldiers there. The officers had boots. The rest were barefoot. He wasn’t kidding.

  26. A few frost fair’s on the Thames and some occasional cold winters in Europe the eastern US, + the N Atlantic and other regionally non-coincident cool spels don’t add up to an “Ice age” my friends, however you may wish it to.
    Helped by some notable volcanic episodes cooling some summers.
    You need to have less TSI to cause the real thing.
    Ask Leif why it wasn’t.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Ice_Age
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_Without_a_Summer

    • Toneb,

      Again your drivel is embarrassing. “frost fair’s” and “cool spels”?

      The earth is and has been in an ice age for several million years; glacial periods punctuated by interglacial periods. The several preceding interglacials all warmer and shorter than the present.

      The Milankovitch Theory is just that; a theory, not a proven fact. It suggests orbital forcings may have an influence on climate, but it is far from a one to one correlation. And it is certainly not universally accepted as the cause of the current ice age.

      • “The Milankovitch Theory is just that; a theory, not a proven fact. It suggests orbital forcings may have an influence on climate, but it is far from a one to one correlation. And it is certainly not universally accepted as the cause of the current ice age.”

        Neither is GR SR or QT a “proven fact” but it fits re correlation and causation physics.

        You do know that there is a swing of (in extreme) ~100 W/m^2 in TSI at 65 deg N?

        If that doesn’t cause a IA then nothing will.

        Sometimes the “it’s the Sun stupid” types are correct.

      • WBWilson:
        “Again your drivel is embarrassing. “frost fair’s” and “cool spels”?”

        Only to the anti-science ignorants on here my friend.
        And I care not a jot about that.

  27. I did like the use of the term, “Climate Changers” as a means of describing the warmists among us. Had the term really caught on the natural elision of the two words would have given us the ‘Clangers’ – and as anyone who has watched children’s TV in the UK will be able to attest, this is readily recognised as a fitting title for these charlatans.

  28. There is a huge difference between the AGW doom scenario and all previous imminent doom teotwawki. I don’t think we ever dumped trillions of dollars into the previous dooms. Alarmist induced fear has modern Man disassembling our civilization and economies based on rumors and assumptions. A destructive and insane policy better described as the Chicken Little Syndrome or CLS reaction. GK

    • Phasing out CFCs due to bad science probably cost trillions world wide as billions of air conditioners had to be replaced.

  29. Hey, David, thanks for posting. I was wondering if you were still on that team!

    Have you noticed how quiet the critics of AGW seem to have become? I think having the “pause” go up in smoke, so to speak – that unhorsed some of the AGW-critics. That, and essentially every world leader assembling in Paris to consider doing something about AGW.

    I just don’t seem to be getting anti-AGW postings much anymore.

    To your credit, you did not reference the “pause” in your excellent piece. Almost entirely devoted to argument-by-analogy, from the cool Pancho Villa story to Galileo and Einstein and those who overturned some accepted scientific edifice. That is emotionally persuasive, but nowhere grapples with the evidence for AGW.

    And putting down the “97% of publishing climate scientists” number probably only yields fruit for the unbelievers. Your straw man of “scientists declining surveys” does not speak to the methodology of how the 97% number was obtained, and the fact that surveys of those publishing scientists have supported the consensus claim. And, you and I, in separate correspondence, have agreed the number is certainly in the 90’s.

    Still, the guys on your team reading it will find it reassuring!

    Finally, i LOVE the coal seam fire issue. To this day, you’re the only guy I’ve seen raise the point, and I suspect it does in fact account for several percent of world C02 emissions. Does anyone, anywhere, have a concept of how these fires might be put out? That’s what I’d like to see.

    Do me a favor. If you get a radio gig doing this issue, can you invite me along? You’ve seen I’m polite. You’ve seen I do not use the “D****r” word when speaking with you. And, since you’re an experienced broadcaster, the odds should be pretty favorable on that basis alone!

    ************

    [Note: Upthread you commented “…notice now how climate deniers don’t talk about “The Pause”…” Please don’t label people that way, as it violates site Policy. -mod]

    ************

    Keep in touch.

    • lbertybell says:

      Have you noticed how quiet the critics of AGW seem to have become?

      Maybe on your planet. But here on Planet Earth the critics of the AGW scare are multiplying and getting louder. Count up the comments by skeptics, and compare them with the handful of climate alarmist comments. And since you apparently didn’t notice, Paris was a failure, no matter how much spin they put on it.

      And:

      To your credit, you did not reference the “pause”…

      That’s OK, lbertybell mentions it constantly. Probably because global warming had stopped for so many years, ite ‘pause’ was hard for anyone to ignore.

      Next:

      … the evidence for AGW.

      heh. What “evidence” would that be? You can’t even quantify AGW with an empirical, testable, verifiable measurement. Data is evidence. Measurements are data. But there are no measurements quantifying AGW. Thus, AGW is still merely a conjecture.

      Next:

      …I LOVE the coal seam fire issue. To this day, you’re the only guy I’ve seen raise the point…

      Then you’re a newbie, because it’s been discussed here on several occasions. I’ve commented on it a number of times over the years. You ask:

      Does anyone, anywhere, have a concept of how these fires might be put out?

      Now we’re getting somewhere. The answer is ‘No’. There are coal seam fires that have been burning for hundreds of years, if not longer. Many of them simply cannot be extiguished, because there are multiple air shafts that feed oxygen to the burning coal deep underground. A simple search will provide lots of information on the subject.

      Coal seam fires do add a substantial amount of (harmless, beneficial) CO2 to the atmosphere. But nobody knows how much, compared to industrial emissions. Therefore, trying to quantify AGW amounts to nothing more than opinions.

      Finally, regarding the bogus “97%” claims, that’s a consensus argument. Science isn’t consensus, and consensus isn’t science. But if you want to make that argument anyway, the 31,000+ OISM co-signers are a much larger ‘consensus’ than anything the alarmist crowd has ever been able to come up with.

      • @ db… most of the supporters of CAGW recently have to be newbies. I told the one person that the arguments are not only redundant but from 2006. They are arguing as if it’s 2001. All I can say is look at where the models, with 95 % certainty, say the temperature should be and where the temperature actually is. Was that a guess? No, it was based on math, and the math is wrong. Hello CAGW, that was as if we stopped producing co2 then. What’s laughable is that since 2005, we’ve supposedly produced more co2 in 10 years than in 30. Meanwhile, the temperature is so far below the lowest modeled as to render any statement that co2 has a controlling effect as detached from reality.

      • Huh? Most of those 31,000 are not in the climate field, and that sort-of-survey is several years old now. The 97% claim is anything but bogus. It refers to the percentage of climate scientists, publishing in peer-reviewed journals, who share the view that AGW is real, and a serious problem.

        Look, one time the Wall Street Journal published a Heartland rebuttal to the 97% idea. Following one of *their* links, there was a German study, of high quality, which found the vast majority of scientists, in the field, agreed that AGW was real, and important.

        Because of how their survey was worded, we cannot simply say it claims a specific number. But using it, we see the number has to be above 90%.

        David Nahban, in separate communication, has grappled with those data and come to agree it is above 90%.

        Is science, consensus? No – but in the evaluation of complex evidence (and yes, things continue to get hotter as predicted) – consensus is valuable for the layman to assess the state of the field.

      • rishrac,

        Exactly right. And Mark Bell (AKA: ‘lbertybell’) says:

        …things continue to get hotter as predicted

        Umm-m… NO. Wrong.

        The endless predictions were that global warming would rise along with rising CO2.

        That has not happened.

        For almost twenty years CO2 steadily increased, while global temperatures paused. So the alarmist crowd was wrong. And as Einstein said, all it takes is being wrong once. But the alarmist predictions were wrong for close to 20 years.

        So the planet didn’t “get hotter as predicted”. Bell is wrong. The predictions were wrong. They just can’t admit it.

      • Not only did it not get as hot as predicted, it may not even be as warm as they say it is. Calling it the warmest year when it’s in the error range, is hardly a milestone in modern science. I know that where I live isn’t the whole planet, but you know that stuff we aren’t supposed to know what it is, well it’s April 28 and we have about a foot of it.

  30. Thank you all for those immensely cogent, extremely intelligent comments. I must say, I’ve written quite a few pieces, published in quite a few places–causing literally thousands of comments to be posted (2,000 at the Drudge Report on one occasion alone!) Honestly, though, I’ve never seen such a group of well-spoken, educated, articulately expressed replies such as those above. My sincerest thanks and appreciation for taking the time to read the article and to have responded so eloquently.–DN

  31. There were very, very few Americans in Juarez around the time of the battle—since El Paso is literally yards away from Juarez, as close as Minneapolis is to St. Paul. The only Americans foolish enough to remain in Juarez as Villa’s forces approached would have been drunks, lunatics and freebooters. Of course, no family member has ever asked why Uncle Massoud didn’t simply stroll across the bridge—still wearing shoes—days or hours before the battle.

    That’s hardly unusual though; people want to believe good stories, even those that make no sense at all.

    Take the end of the world, for example.
    _____________________________________________

    People want to believe good stories – that’s how the lie comes into the world: and lasts on.

    The battle of Armageddon was fought*, it ended white out – the Meggido citizens never lived it through : they were evacuated weeks bevore; they lived on with Angst bevore the battle. They just never saw the ‘harmless’ end.

    ::: this cultural heritage lives on till today :::

    Yet thanks for a great Panorama about ‘mexican revolution’ – shines a light on SouthAmerica today.

    * between Hyksos and Egypts.

    ** every Religion lived through a bottleneck of threaten existence, so every Religion has its Armageddon.

    There were 7 tibetan tribes, their respective Lamas were PriestKings – the chinese named them ‘the 7 Dragons’ in the West / say Ursus and it comes devastating your Village /

    Now US women are died in Dalai Lamas message of peace.

    [??? .mod]

  32. I’d like to say a word in defense of leeches. Medical science is once again embracing the leech as a valid medical tool. The lowly leech is a wonderful, natural solution to the problem of localized swelling around infections and injuries. Why even maggots may be employed as medical devices to safely devour necrotic tissue around amputations and gangrenous areas. The lowly leech was dismissed from service by the medical profession with a prejudice against them similar in its hubris as that with which they were dismissed from service. The problem was NOT that leeches didn’t perform a valuable service. It was that blood-letting was not a valid treatment for illness, more generally.

    WebMD on the FDA approval of leeches as medical devices:
    http://www.webmd.com/heart/news/20040628/leeches-cleared-for-medical-use-by-fda

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