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Ed Driscoll

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Huh; I don’t recall people wearing sandwich boards promising the end of the world* ever advising people to “stay calm” during the apocalypse until now.

But then, “Science” works in mysterious, mystical, talismanic ways, as Mollie Hemingway writes in the Federalist today.

In recent news coverage of the Ebola virus, I noticed that reporters tended to use the word “science” the way some people refer to Jesus. I myself am a fan of both Jesus and science, but I’m referring to the way some people use the terms more as jargon or verbal talisman than as anything meaningful or instructive.

Take this Frank Bruni column. (Please!) OK, let’s all go through it together. It’s headlined “Sinners, Meet Jesus,” no, wait, it’s “Republicans, Meet Science.”

It begins with his frustration that yet another passionate warning from the UN about climate weirding failed to yield a worldwide turn toward progressive policies. The phrase “science” is used 11 times in the typically painful-to-read column. What I notice about the uses is how well they could be switched out with Jesus with little or no changes to the surrounding words.

He writes, “Come January, they will take control of the Senate. However else they use it, I fervently hope that they start to show more respect for science.” Do you not have an Uncle Frank or someone else in your life who would utter that same phrase except he might say people need to start showing more respect for Jesus?

Bruni trusts the claims that global weirding will yield food shortages and climate so drastically altered that people won’t be able to work or play outside. It’s almost like a vision of Hades that you would hear from an enthusiastic Sunday School teacher.

As Cab Calloway told Jake and Elwood, “You boys could use a little churching up.” The Church of…Science!

Incidentally, NDT may need to remind his flock to “stay calm” many times over the next two years. Many times.

* Start here and just keep scrolling for some of global warming / cooling / climate change’s greatest “final countdowns.”

Watching the Goalposts Being Moved

October 7th, 2014 - 6:50 pm



Bay Area radio evangelist Harold Camping was properly excoriated throughout both the legacy media and the Blogosphere for his prediction that the world would end on May 21st, 2011. How many not-so-final countdowns are the gnostic high priests of climate allowed to issue before being similarly called out as false prophets?

Tammy Bruce spots the latest howler at the little-watched cable network co-owned by NBC and Comcast:

And last week, on MSNB.S. MSNBC, Dr. Reese Halter, a conservation biologist, stated that if we don’t do something soon, the oceans, and the forests, will shut down in twenty years.


Oceans and forests can “shut down” ?

Who knew?

Via Breitbart: MSNBC Guest: Global Warming To Cause The Oceans to Shut Down In Twenty Years

….SCHULTZ: Dr. Halter, what happens over the next 20 years if we as a country do nothing?

HALTER: Good evening Ed and Michael. It is an unimaginable scenario — spending over 36 billion tons of greenhouse gases this past year, if we continue at this rate sometime soon after 2030 we will have spent the entire carbon budget for this century. We will then be in the realm of eclipsing 7 degrees Fahrenheit, and it will be an uninhabitable planet for our children. The oceans will shut down. The forests globally will shut down. Ed, that is a scenario that we are not going near.

There’s another snippet of their conversation quoted by Jeff Poor of Breitbart.com that’s fascinating in its cognitive dissonance. Halter goes on to tell Ed Schultz:

But let us not dwell on doom. Let us look to the future as the biggest challenge for the entrepreneurs of United States of America to innovate, to provide solutions for green energies. Look, we just passed a moment last month with super critical steam from solar thermal in Australia, which is a game changer. This is analogous to the late 1940s and mach one when we broke the sound barrier. There’s a lot to be excited, and at the same time we need to protect all of the standing forests now.

But wasn’t breaking the sound barrier a bad thing, since it encourages pilots to use that much more fuel? In the early 1970s, when Boeing proposed an SST jetliner, environmentalists and their leftwing celebrity groupies had a meltdown. The French-British Concorde was hated by this gang throughout its service life.

And since no one at MSNBC is proposing turning off the cameras and the klieg lights and the air conditioned studios and server farms and shutting down the network, or going across the hall to NBC Sports and demanding that they cease covering fuel-guzzling NASCAR (which the network signed a multimillion dollar deal last year to promote through 2024, just six years before Halter’s fever-dream eco-apocalypse occurs), we know this is all just the leftwing equivalent of boob bait for the bobos, to paraphrase Pat Moynihan.

Besides, in January of 2009, NASA’s James Hansen told the world that then-newly inaugurated President Obama “has four years to save the planet.” As with every previous not-so final countdown issued by the Chicken Little enviro-left, that deadline has come and gone, and planet earth no worse for wear, in sharp contrast to this cult’s collective reputation as fortune tellers.

Of course, there are steps that the rest of us can take to help lower NBC’s carbon footprint:

Heh. I’ve been doing my part to help the network minimize its energy output for years now!

Related: From Anthony Watts, “Great moments in failed predictions.” It looks like you’re going to need a bigger blog.

(Via SDA)

Here’s Robert Kennedy in a 1968 campaign ad that, as I wrote in 2011, shows how quickly the rot seeped into the post-JFK left. Compare RFK’s rhetoric as he tells a classroom of young kids that they are doomed to spend their adult lives trapped in a Soylent Green-style eco-apocalypse, with the can-do optimism of his brother, and it was clear that the end of the New Frontier was well in sight.

That was from my post titled “Welcome Back My Friends, to the Malaise that Never Ends,” which tracked the left’s increasing sense of lethargy from their disillusionment when it became obvious that the Great Society would fail, to their freakout over the election of Richard Nixon in 1968, to the Jimmy Carter “Malaise” speech of 1979, to Occupy Wall Street.

And the malaise goes on today! Here’s RFK Jr. revealing his “climate rage,” as our YouTube caption writer neatly described his freakout, when PJTV’s Michelle Fields asked him if he would give up his cell phone and other electrically powered devices made from a petroleum derivative (plastic) in order to lead by example. His rambling statements about the Koch brothers running the entire country from dog catcher to Congress and the cognitive dissonance that allows him to recommend “free market solutions” to the environment — which consist of all but banning automobiles — is a sight to behold:

Tom Wolfe popularized the phrase “the dark night of fascism is always descending in the United States and yet lands only in Europe.” Similarly, the enviro-apocalpyse has been continuously been this close to descending upon the world, but as the above clips featuring RFK and RFK Jr. 46 years apart illustrate, despite a half century of Chicken Littles predicting the world will come to an end, the sky never quite seems to fall.

Perhaps it’s time for the left to update its century-old playbook on agitating the masses and enter the 21st century along with the rest of us, especially as so many examples of their not-so-final countdowns keep piling up.

Related: Mark Steyn spots “The Barbra Streisand Effect on Steroids.”

Apocalypse Mau-Mau

April 21st, 2014 - 11:13 pm

“The global-warming apocalypses that didn’t happen,” are rounded up by Richard W. Rahn of the Cato Institute, who notes that “The defining moment for climate change has come and gone, again.” But we’ll keep seeing newer and ever-more frightening (not so) final countdowns:

Because crisis sells. It allows politicians to tax, spend and assert more control. Undoubtedly, more people would have read this column, if the headline had been, “World to end.” So ignore the “experts” and enjoy the summer, which most of us will find is too short.

And with “Earth Day” coming up, it’s worth revisiting I Hate the Media’sEarth Day predictions of 1970. The reason you shouldn’t believe Earth Day predictions of 2009″ — and the Earth Day predictions of this year as well. And then burn some rubber down the Information Super Highway over to Iowahawk’s Website, to enter your charp chort in competition in the Bard of Des Moines’ 2014 Earth Week Cruise-In.

Earlier: Interview: James Delingpole on The Little Green Book of Eco-Fascism.

Barry Eat World

April 12th, 2014 - 7:19 pm

“Liberalism Is Eating Itself,” Jon Gabriel writes at Ricochet, adding that it’s alwaysa grand time sticking it to The Man until the moment when The Man is you:”

As President Obama assumed power, his Alinskyite past served as the template for a renewed politics of envy, personal grievance and payback. The One Percent must be punished for their wealth. Traditional marriage supporters are hateful bigots on the wrong side of history. Mitt Romney gave old women cancer and locked the younger ones in binders. “The Cambridge police acted stupidly” and “if I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.”

As one blogger notes, “Barack Obama thinks his job is to lead the mob, not the country.”

But as is often the case with politics, the Left’s success bore the seeds of its own destruction. Any ideology that stokes anger and  neo-Jacobin tactics is innately unsuited to popular governance. It’s a grand time sticking it to The Man until the moment when The Man is you.

And The Man isn’t only in charge of the White House and Senate. He owns a controlling interest in the television industry and movies and technology and classrooms and music and art and sports. What’s a self-styled revolutionary to do once he has eliminated his most prominent enemies?

Create new enemies, of course.

Read the whole thing; I believe it’s outside the Ricochet 2.0 paywall.

Of course, this isn’t the first time that Democrats devoured themselves and took plenty of innocent bystanders with them in the process. With the exception of Barry Goldwater’s stillborn candidacy in 1964, virtually all of America’s internal conflicts in the 1960s were Blue Versus Blue, starting with the Vietnam War and its later discontents, as David Gelernter wrote in his 2012 book America-Lite:

That the liberal establishment came to oppose the war bitterly makes it hard to remember that America in Vietnam was a liberal idea—especially the militarily disastrous first phase, before Abrams replaced Westmoreland in command and Nixon replaced Johnson as president. But more than that, America in Vietnam represented just the same kind of heedless intervention by intellectuals in real life that was vigorously pursued by left-liberal intellectuals at home.

And as Gelernter wrote elsewhere in America-Lite, the antiwar movement actually preceded Johnson’s escalation; it was a creation of the nascent new left, about to devour the staid old left, which birthed the New Deal and Great Society:

What caused the American mood to crumble [in the period between the mid 1960s through the 1970s]? The civil rights struggle couldn’t be the answer; for one thing, it united rather than divided the country, except for the segregationist Old South. Maybe the bitter split over the war in Vietnam explains it. But that can’t be right; can’t be the whole truth. Antiwar protests were powered by the New Left and “the Movement,” which originated in Tom Hayden’s “Port Huron Statement” of 1962, before the nation had ever heard of Vietnam. And the New Left picked up speed at Berkeley in the Free Speech Movement of 1964 and early ’65, before the explosion of Vietnam. Bitterness toward America was an evil spirit shopping for a body when Vietnam started to throb during 1965.

The ’60s was leftism at war with itself all the way down: The Civil Rights movement was the New Left versus Democratic National Committeeman Bull Connor. Center-left JFK was assassinated by Communist true believer Oswald. Bobby Kennedy ran ads in 1968 repudiating his brother’s New Frontier optimism before he in turn was assassinated by a Palestinian nationalist. The riots in Detroit happened on the watch of Democrat mayor and Kennedy acolyte Jerome Cavanagh; the riots at the Chicago Democrat National Convention were, again, the New Left versus the last gasps of the New Dealers.

The GOP’s Richard Nixon understandably became synonymous with the words “Law and Order” that year, but again, upon election, in terms of domestic policy, governed as a continuation of FDR and LBJ’s alphabet soup bureaucratic-birthing New Deal and Great Society. Under his administration, the EPA, OSHA, the DEA, CPSC, and Amtrak were all spawned, and Nixon would attempt to curb inflation by — disastrously — attempting to institute wage and price controls, and was quoted as proclaiming ”I am now a Keynesian in economics.”  (Hence the recent, albeit grudging reappraisal of RMN by those who once hated his very existence, such as uber-Keynesian Paul Krugman, in-between calling for alien invasions and a rerun of World War II.)

Twenty years after the birth of the Great Society, as President Reagan liked to say, “In the sixties we waged a war on poverty, and poverty won.” And since then, we’ve recorded numerous doomsday global final countdowns having expired without the sky falling. But what happens when so many leftwing policies all come a cropper at the same time? That’s the topic — after a lengthy warm-up referencing the dreaded word “diverticulitis” (I feel your pain, brother), Jonah Goldberg explores in his latest G-File, titled, “When Liberalism Fails:”

I read some reviews of Jody Bottum’s new book (which I’ve now ordered). In, An Anxious Age: The Post Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of America, Bottum argues that today’s liberal elites are the same liberal elites that we’ve always had. They come from the ranks of mainline Protestants that have run this country for generations (with some fellow-travelling Jews and Catholics, to be sure). But there’s a hitch. They champion a

social gospel, without the gospel. For all of them, the sole proof of redemption is the holding of a proper sense of social ills. The only available confidence about their salvation, as something superadded to experience, is the self-esteem that comes with feeling they oppose the social evils of bigotry and power and the groupthink of the mob.

This strikes me as pretty close to exactly right. They’re still elitist moralizers but without the religious doctrine. In place of religious experience, they take their spiritual sustenance from self-satisfaction, often smug self-satisfaction.

One problem with most (but not all) political religions is that they tend to convince themselves that their one true faith is simply the Truth. Marxists believed in “scientific socialism” and all that jazz. Liberalism is still convinced that it is the sole legitimate worldview of the “reality-based community.”

There’s a second problem with political religions, though. When reality stops cooperating with the faith, someone must get the blame, and it can never be the faith itself. And this is where the hunt for heretics within and without begins.

Think about what connects so many of the controversies today: Mozilla’s defenestration of Brendan Eich, Brandeis’ disinviting of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the IRS scandal, Hobby Lobby, Sisters of Mercy, the notion climate skeptics should be put in cages, the obsession with the Koch brothers, not to mention the metronomic succession of assclownery on college campuses. They’re all about either the hunting of heretics and dissidents or the desire to force adherence to the One True Faith.

It’s worth noting that the increase in these sorts of incidents is not necessarily a sign of liberalism’s strength. They’re arguably the result of a crisis of confidence.

Which brings us to the other story of the week that’s been making the rounds, particularly on the Drudge Report: the Federal government siccing 200 armed agents on Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy. As to where that stands now, Rick Moran has you covered at the PJ Tatler.

Apparently, this front in the left’s ongoing Cold Civil War deescalated before becoming hot, but if so, do you get the feeling it’s only because the Obama administration (or perhaps Harry Reid) is having flashbacks to Ruby Ridge and Waco as distinct mile markers on the road to the GOP controlling both houses of Congress in 1994, and they want to avoid firing up a Republican base even more, one that’s already pressed to crawl over broken glass in November?

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It’s the Vinyl Cowtown!

March 6th, 2014 - 10:03 am

The Arctic Ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consulafft at Bergen, Norway

Reports from fishermen, seal hunters, and explorers all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes.

Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm. Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared.

Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds.Within a few years it is predicted that due to the ice melt, the sea will rise and make most coastal cities uninhabitable.

Click here for the punchline, and then add it to the following not-so-final countdowns, rounded up here.

And then send a copy to Chipotle

Time Magazine Swings Both Ways

January 7th, 2014 - 6:42 pm

Click to enlarge.

As spotted by Steve Goddard, and linked to by Climate Depot:

In 1974, Time Magazine blamed the cold polar vortex on global cooling.

‘Scientists have found other indications of global cooling. For one thing there has been a noticeable expansion of the great belt of dry, high-altitude polar winds —the so-called circumpolar vortex—that sweep from west to east around the top and bottom of the world.’

Another Ice Age? – TIME

Forty years later, Time Magazine blames the cold polar vortex on global warming

‘But not only does the cold spell not disprove climate change, it may well be that global warming could be making the occasional bout of extreme cold weather in the U.S. even more likely. Right now much of the U.S. is in the grip of a polar vortex, which is pretty much what it sounds like: a whirlwind of extremely cold, extremely dense air that forms near the poles.’

Polar Vortex: Climate Change Could Be the Cause of Record Cold Weather | TIME.com

To borrow from an item I wrote a few days before Christmas, as Zombie noted at PJM last year, the warnings for what industrialized man should do to fight global cooling are virtually identical to the warnings would-be “climate” “scientists” have given to fight global warming as well. You can also see the same cure for very different alleged symptoms in the clip below, of a “scientist” who was busted a few years ago for first predicting doom from global cooling, and decades later, predicting doom from global warming:

Related: Al Gore’s Final Countdown for the Polar Ice Caps Expires, complete with video of Al warning in 2008 that “the entire North ‘polarized’ cap will disappear in 5 years.”

At the PJ Lifestyle, Paula Bolyard notes that “Survivors of the Blizzard of ’78 Mock the ‘Arctic Vortex.’”

Well, I’m one of the “survivors of the Blizzard of ’78,” who’s mocking those who don’t remember what they were saying back then; close enough for anti-government work?

And Al Roker tweets a photo of a page from the 1959 AMS Glossary of Meteorology with the words “polar vortex” and their definition in it. As Twitchy adds, “If the polar vertex has been around that long, maybe it’s a bit premature to link this one to global warming.

I suspect more than a few warm-mongers might soil their drawers over that notion.

Update (7:55 PM PST): Welcome readers of the Drudge Report. Please look around the site; there’s lots here you might enjoy.

Help Us Leonard Nimoy, You’re Our Only Hope

December 22nd, 2013 - 11:44 am

“Hollywood — lending fake gravitas to junk science since 1978,” Kate writes today at Small Dead Animals, although I’d go back a decade earlier; it was in the late 1960s that Hollywood seemed to firmly embrace junk science, and began cranking out plenty of junk science fiction that warned us of the imagined horrors to come. (I’m looking at you, Charlton Heston.) Even Star Trek wasn’t immune in its final season; and certainly Leonard Nimoy’s In Search of series from the mid-1970s, complete with uber-cheesy first generation analog synthesizer score, wasn’t either.

Between their synth score and Nimoy’s mock stentorian tone, all of the In Search of episodes were anti-classics in their own right, but the “The Coming Ice Age: In Search of Global Cooling” episode looks increasingly silly as time passes. Though it works in one precautionary sense, albeit not as its makers intended. As Zombie noted at PJM last year, the warnings for what industrialized man should do to fight global cooling are virtually identical to the warnings would-be “climate” “scientists” have given to fight global warming as well. Click over to Kate’s post to watch the whole thing, but not before viewing the clip below; that episode is even more fun if you know one of the players involved, who was busted a few years ago for first predicting doom from global cooling, and decades later, predicting doom from global warming:

Earlier: Al Gore’s Final Countdown for the Polar Ice Caps Expires, complete with video of Al warning in 2008 that “the entire North ‘polarized’ cap will disappear in 5 years.”

Yet Another Final Countdown Expires

December 14th, 2013 - 3:12 pm


Jim Hoft notes it was on yesterday’s date in 2008 that “Al Gore predicted the North Polar Ice Cap would be completely ice free in five years. Gore made the prediction to a German audience in 2008. He told them that “the entire North ‘polarized’ cap will disappear in 5 years.”

The YouTube clip of the Goracle’s prediction that Jim linked to in 2008 appears to have gone down the memory hole, but poking around the Interwebs, I found this, which looks to be from the same event:

In any case, as Jim notes, Gore’s been forecasting this moment since 2007, and his post yesterday included a clip of Gore making an identical prophesy in 2009.

Kate of Canada’s Small Dead Animals blog apologizes to Cairo for having to bear the brunt of the Al Gore Effect yesterday:

Big Oil-funded Al Jazeera should have known this would happen to the Middle East when they hopped into the same tent with Gore last year.

And ad this to the latest example of yet another not-so-final countdown passing without incident.

Update (12/16/13): Welcome to readers clicking in from:

And the post that started it all at Jim Hoft’s long-running Gateway Pundit blog.

The End of Doom

November 5th, 2013 - 12:18 pm

“Are human beings smart enough to overcome scarcities through their intellectual powers?”

Reason science correspondent Ron Bailey says this is the question that scientists and economists have been grappling with for decades. In a talk in front of a live, in-studio audience at Reason’s LA headquarters, Bailey answered that question with a resounding, “Yes!”

Bailey previewed his upcoming book, The End of Doom, in this thought-provoking talk of the same name. By documenting numerous errors in prediction from the past, from Paul Ehlrich’s famous commodities bet with Julian Simon to unfounded concerns about “peak oil,” Bailey takes on the doomsayers and argues that it’s much more rational to expect a more prosperous, resource-rich, and ecologically sound future than it is to fear armageddon.

Sounds like interesting stuff, perhaps projecting out into the future some of the material covered in Bob Zubrin’s 2012 book, Merchants of Despair: Radical Environmentalists, Criminal Pseudo-Scientists, and the Fatal Cult of Antihumanism.

I wonder if al Jazeera will have Bailey on to discuss his book?

Related: In the Wall Street Journal, Bret Stephens asks, “Does Environmentalism Cause Amnesia? Climate-change alarmists warn us about coming food shortages. They said the same in 1968.”

Considering that the sun is estimated to expire in about five billion years, it’s only a matter of time before environmentalism’s many not-so-final countdowns (just keep scrolling) pan out…


The psychological woes of the “The Wannabe Oppressed” are analyzed by Stanley Kurtz at NRO:

In his important new book, The Fanaticism of the Apocalypse: Save the Earth, Punish Human Beings, French intellectual gadfly Pascal Bruckner does the most thorough job yet of explaining the climate movement as a secular religion, an odd combination of deformed Christianity and reconstructed Marxism. (You can find Bruckner’s excellent article based on the book here.) Bruckner describes a historical process wherein “the long list of emblematic victims — Jews, blacks, slaves, proletarians, colonized peoples — was replaced, little by little, with the Planet.” The planet, says Bruckner, “has become the new proletariat that must be saved from exploitation.”

But why? Bruckner finds it odd that a “mood of catastrophe” should prevail in the West, the most well-off part of the world. The reason, I think, is that the only way to turn the prosperous into victims is to threaten the very existence of a world they otherwise command.

And why should the privileged wish to become victims? To alleviate guilt and to appropriate the victim’s superior prestige. In the neo-Marxist dispensation now regnant on our college campuses, after all, the advantaged are ignorant and guilty while the oppressed are innocent and wise. The initial solution to this problem was for the privileged to identify with “struggling groups” by wearing, say, a Palestinian keffiyeh. Yet better than merely empathizing with the oppressed is to be oppressed. This is the climate movement’s signal innovation.

But of course. In his new book, The United States of Paranoia, Jesse Walker of Reason magazine observed how easy it is for the proverbial blogger in his basement to feel like he’s in the command center with Ike and Churchill and Monty, leading the struggle against oppression:

Even if you set aside purely partisan fears, the 1990s, a time of relative peace and prosperity, were also a golden age of both frankly fictional and allegedly true tales of conspiracy. There are many reasons for this, including the not unsubstantial fact that even at its most peaceful, the United States is riven by conflicts. But there is also the possibility that peace breeds nightmares just as surely as strife does. The anthropologist David Graeber has argued that “it’s the most peaceful societies which are also the most haunted, in their imaginative constructions of the cosmos, by constant specters of perennial war.” The Piaroa Indians of Venezuela, he wrote, “are famous for their peaceableness,” but “they inhabit a cosmos of endless invisible war, in which wizards are engaged in fending off the attacks of insane, predatory gods and all deaths are caused by spiritual murder and have to be avenged by the magical massacre of whole (distant, unknown) communities.”  Many middle-class bloggers leading comfortable lives spend their spare time in a similar subterranean universe.

See also: the guys from the Big Bang Theory, who believe that the Nobel Prize for scientific research is theirs for the asking, in between rounds of “Dungeons and Dragons” and Star Wars lightsaber duels.

Everybody, particularly when they’re young, wants to feel larger and greater than they are.  The whole self-esteem movement in school is based on that assumption. Once they’re in college, is it any wonder that a kid playing guitar in a bar band thinks if he could just get that big break, he’d be the next Jimmy Page? The student filmmaker with a handheld 16mm camera is convinced that he’s the next Stanley Kubrick. A budding author is sure he’s the next Saul Bellow, etc. TV series such as Taxi and Fame were filled with people who were convinced that the big break was just around the corner and superstardom was theirs for the asking. Scorsese and DeNiro’s The King of Comedy was essientially the darker funhouse mirror version of the same obsession. And because so much of the left’s mythology is built on “the moral equivalence of war” and action for its own sake, and storming the barricades for chaaaaaange, maaaaan, of course global warming obsessives feel like they’re refighting either civil rights or World War II – the two analogies that Big Oil spokesman Al Gore swaps out in every speech he makes.

That in reality, the earth isn’t coming to an end just makes them feel more emboldened, like a Kennedy assassination theorist or 9/11 truther who’s convinced that only he knows how big the conspiracy truly is. “You petty bourgeois people just can’t see it, can you? If you don’t turn off the lights in your kitchen, the world is doomed!”, to paraphrase NBC’s goofy message to its viewers in the middle of a nighttime professional football game.

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It’s Deja Boilerplate All Over Again

June 25th, 2013 - 2:43 pm

Now is the time when we juxtapose, Small Dead Animals-style:

Barack Obama has only four years to save the world. That is the stark assessment of Nasa scientist and leading climate expert Jim Hansen who last week warned only urgent action by the new president could halt the devastating climate change that now threatens Earth. Crucially, that action will have to be taken within Obama’s first administration, he added.

 “President ‘has four years to save Earth’ — US must take the lead to avert eco-disaster,” The Guardian, January 17th, 2009.

The timing of President Barack Obama’s long-awaited speech on climate change offers perhaps the first public sign of a White House acknowledging a disquieting reality: Presidencies end.

That might seem a remote worry for a president still in the flush of his second term, less than eight months after winning reelection. But the climate task is monumental enough that it could easily take up the rest of Obama’s time in office.

Tuesday’s rollout might give Obama just enough time to carry out the biggest environmental effort of his presidency — if he starts now.

– “President Obama’s race against time on climate, Obama house organ the Politico, today.

If we don’t heed this week’s latest final countdown du jour, snowfalls will just be a thing of the past!

Update: More fun with juxtapostions:

● “Do Democrats Really Want a War on Coal?

– Jonathan Tobin at Commentary today.

“Stunning revelation: Sen. Joe Manchin [D-WV] discovers Obama’s War on Coal; Facepalming ensues.”

– Headline at Twitchy today.

Or as Moe Lane of Red State warned this past Saturday, “Barack ‘Crazy Eddie’* Obama to announce plans to flip Senate in 2014.”

Related: “‘The Anointed’ vs. the ‘Beknighted’: Why Progressives Refuse To Learn From Bad Results.”

More Fun with Final Countdowns

March 1st, 2013 - 6:31 pm

“I just finished reading a terrifying new book about climate change,” Zombie wrote last year at PJM:

I learned this:

• Climate change is happening faster than we realize and it will have catastrophic consequences for mankind.
• There’s very little we can do to stop it at this late stage, but we might be able to save ourselves if we immediately take these necessary and drastic steps:

- Increase our reliance on alternative energy sources and stop using so much oil and other carbon-based fuels;
- Adopt energy-efficient practices in all aspects of our lives, however inconvenient;
- Impose punitive taxes on inefficient or polluting activities to discourage them;
- Funnel large sums of money from developed nations like the U.S. to Third World nations;
- In general embrace all environmental causes.

You of course recognize these as the solutions most often recommended to ameliorate the looming crisis of Global Warming. But there’s a little glitch in my narrative. Because although the book I read was indeed about climate change, it wasn’t about Global Warming at all; it was instead about “The Coming of the New Ice Age,” and it isn’t exactly “new” — it was published in 1977.

In a new post at his Watts Up With That Blog, Anthony Watts notes that “The 1970′s Global Cooling Compilation – looks much like today.”  At Power Line Steve Hayward links to this video, which has some fun juxtaposing “then and now” doomsday scares from the same “scientist,” 30 years apart, in 1978 and 2008:

YouTube Preview Image

Of course, as we noted yesterday, sometimes the final countdowns can occur within the space of little more than a decade:

Click to enlarge.

One huge reason why “Green fatigue” is setting in, as the ironically-named Independent noted yesterday, is because so many final countdowns have come due with mankind none the worse for wear — in addition to the scare industry’s leading spokesman having cashed in his chips and declared Mission Accomplished.

Final Countdown Nearing Conclusion

January 11th, 2013 - 12:50 am

“On January 17, 2009 – NASA’s James Hansen told us that Obama had only four years to save the planet. The clock is ticking, as Obama only has seven days remaining to rescue the Earth.”

If anybody can do it, Mr. Obama can. Still though, it’s all academic, since Al Gore called the game last week.

Speaking of Al, back in 2010, I wrote “Today’s Global Warming Fear-Mongering Is Tomorrow’s Late-Night Camp TV:”

A 1930s scare film such as Reefer Madness was seen as high camp by liberals by the time the 1970s rolled around, as were Jack Webb’s anti-communist efforts of the late ’1950s. But seventies liberals, perhaps spurred on by the title of Alvin Toffler’s 1970 book Future Shock, if not the actual contents, had plenty of fears of their own, and wanted you to share the cold sweat of their own brand of paranoia.

Recall the horrific slate of politically-oriented science fiction films that Hollywood churned out in-between 1968′s 2001: A Space Odyssey and 1977′s Star Wars. Films such as Soylent Green, Silent Running and ZPG were obsessed with the Malthusian nightmares of overpopulation and deforestation that dominated the overculture of the time. Rollerball depicted a world controlled by giant corporations, at precisely the same time that Steve and Woz were cobbling together the first Apples in their Bay Area garage. They were followed by Leonard Nimoy’s cheesy synthesizer-scored In Search Of TV series a few years later, which explored Global Cooling, Killer Bees, Deadly Ants, and other ’70s obsessions.

Today, these ’70s efforts are seen as equally campy as Refer Madness became three or four decades after its release. The eco-doomsday films of the naughts, such as The Day After Tomorrow, M. Night Shyamalan’s The Happening, and Al Gore’s own An Inconvenient Truth are well on the way to becoming late night camp TV themselves, and at much faster rate as their equally schlocky predecessors.

Perhaps someone can recut Al’s film and dub it “Climate Madness.” Maybe hire William Shatner to cut an exaggerated Jack Webb-style parody opening.

Who knows: “Climate Madness” could eventually even have the same impact on its genre as his wife Tipper’s efforts to curb raunchy lyrics in pop music.

It focuses on Australia’s warm-mongers rather Al-Jazeera Al, but found via Tim Blair, this clip fits the bill nicely:

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Related: “The Times Spots a Squirrel.”

Al Gore Declares Mission Accomplished

January 5th, 2013 - 3:06 pm

Lurch out of balance: Rex Murphy of Canada’s National Post declares “Al Gore, friend of the petro-state,” in a nifty 500 word assault on Al’s reasoning:

Now comes the latest news that Al has sold Current, for the magnificent sum of $500-million, $100-million of which is his alone. Not bad for a TV station with less reach and inferior programming to most billboards.

To whom did the Lord of the Upper Atmosphere sell? Why to al Jazeera — which is to say, effectively to the ruler of Qatar, a wealthy country that has nothing else to sustain it but the sale of its huge petroleum resources.

Qatar is about oil, oil and more oil. It is a global warmer’s hell.

Surely there is some pill too tough to swallow in the idea of the world’s greatest alarmist on the subject of global warming, the evils of petroleum economies and the menace of fossil fuels accepting half-a-billion dollars from a state that utterly epitomizes the practices and product he most evangelistically despises.

But consistency or moral fortitude in the face of profit does not seem to be part of Al’s personal Powerpoint.

One other, not-to-be-missed note: Mr. Gore was very quick to make sure the sale took place before the New Year — the better to spare him, who is now one of the world’s superrich, his friend Barack Obama’s tax hike on those dreadful one-percenters.

That move alone was worthy of a Republican.

Ordinarily, I’d look at that last line and say something like, “that’ll leave a mark.” But of course it won’t — Al is utterly shameless, but we’ve known that for quite some time. Al’s enormous chutzpah has put $100 mil worth of “f*ck you money,” as they say in Hollywood into his bank account, but the inconvenient truth is that it was his pet cause that got f*cked.

Oh, and talk about coming full circle:

When you tell folks that your favorite TV program is Booknotes, you often receive somewhat disconcerted glances in return.  But there is a certain naive genius to Brian Lamb’s interrogatory technique.  Consider this exchange [from 1992, when Lamb interviewed Gore on Earth in the Balance]:  

GORE: I went through a change in my life when my son was almost killed a couple of years ago. It was a shattering experience for my family. He has had a miraculous recovery and we’re very blessed and very grateful to all the doctors and the nurses who — who — who helped to make it possible. But during the long weeks when my wife and I were in the hospital room with him, I began to really look at life a little bit differently and ask questions about what’s most important in life and, having already long since been deeply involved in this issue, I began to look at it differently also.

Instead of seeing it just as an outgrowth of the new scientific and technological salt on the Earth and the population explosion which is adding one China’s worth of people every 10 years now, I began to feel that the deeper causes are within our own lives as individuals. What gives us the notion that we are just isolated one from another with no responsibility to the future our children are going to live, no connection to the communities in — in which we live out our lives. And I began to explore, in a very personal way, what it is that leads to these false assumptions and how we can get on with the task of solving thi — this crisis and organizing a response that gives our children and grandchildren and generations to come an Earth that is not diminished and degraded by virtue of what we’re doing in our short lifetimes.

LAMB: How is your son?

That is simply brilliant.  This middle aged hack pol goes prattling on about how a sudden realization of human mortality forced him to reexamine his entire world view and deadpan Brian cuts to the quick to find out how the kid is.  The answer, thankfully, is that the Gores’ son is fine, which only makes their extravagant reaction to the accident even more frightening.   Suppose, God forbid, that Gore becomes President and something like this happens; you have to question whether a person who undergoes such a seachange in their personal philosophy at a moment of admitted stress but surely not of catastrophe is even fit to govern.

Rush may keep “Al Gore’s Doomsday Clock” running on the homepage of his Website until it reaches 00:00:00 in about three years, but Al’s had his final countdown — and with it, so has environmentalism in general. Who’s going to believe yet another hair shirt environmentalist screeching that “the earth has X years to live,” when its most prominent cultist, the man who once described global warming as “an ecological Kristallnacht,” has just signed his movement’s Non-Aggression Pact with the Soviet Union?

But Al’s got his payout now. All you other global warming zealots — you’re on your own.

(H/T: 5′F)

Related: “50 Reasons Why It Rocks to Be a Progressive in 2013.” — found via Steve Green, who writes, “I’m especially fond of #42, ‘Listen to Green Day albums on your Ipod while drinking Starbucks coffee and seriously complain that corporations are oppressing you.’”

The Goracle can relate to that — in more ways than one.

Rather than shoot the new video in the newsroom set we typically use as home base, I decided to borrow a used Apollo capsule and Saturn rocket to make my way to Space Station V. What better place to discuss the alien invasion that’s about to strike planet earth?

Or at least the one that Paul Krugman of the New York Times has publicly called for on two different occasions, first during an interview with CNN host Fareed Zakaria in 2011, and then just last month on Bill Maher’s HBO series. Here’s a partial transcript of Krugman’s CNN appearance, which he shared with Kenneth Rogoff, Harvard University economics professor:

KRUGMAN: Think about World War II, right? That was actually negative social product spending, and yet it brought us out.

I mean, probably because you want to put these things together, if we say, “Look, we could use some inflation.” Ken and I are both saying that, which is, of course, anathema to a lot of people in Washington but is, in fact, what fhe basic logic says.

It’s very hard to get inflation in a depressed economy. But if you had a program of government spending plus an expansionary policy by the Fed, you could get that. So, if you think about using all of these things together, you could accomplish, you know, a great deal.

If we discovered that, you know, space aliens were planning to attack and we needed a massive buildup to counter the space alien threat and really inflation and budget deficits took secondary place to that, this slump would be over in 18 months. And then if we discovered, oops, we made a mistake, there aren’t any aliens, we’d be better –

ROGOFF: And we need Orson Welles, is what you’re saying.

KRUGMAN: No, there was a “Twilight Zone” episode like this in which scientists fake an alien threat in order to achieve world peace. Well, this time, we don’t need it, we need it in order to get some fiscal stimulus.

But even if you hire Rod Serling to write your script, and Industrial Light & Magic to provide your special effects, it’s still simply an interstellar spin on William James’ Moral Equivalent of War concept from 1906, a “progressive” obsession that has led to a century of bad ideas — including, as we mention in the video, a few from History’s Greatest Monster himself. While the Malaise Speech of 1979 gets all the credit, Carter’s earlier “M.E.O.W” moment in 1977 arguably demonstrates the futility of his worldview just as well:

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And similarly, in April of 2008, Time magazine would illustrate Carter’s notion with this cover, which replaces the American flag the US Marines hoisted atop Iwo Jima with…a tree, and the headline “How to Win the War on Global Warming.”

Back in 2004, Thomas Sowell explored one reason why the Moral Equivalent of War and similar doomsday mongering is a staple of the left:

There’s something Eric Hoffer said: “Intellectuals cannot operate at room temperature.” There always has to be a crisis–some terrible reason why their superior wisdom and virtue must be imposed on the unthinking masses. It doesn’t matter what the crisis is. A hundred years ago it was eugenics. At the time of the first Earth Day a generation ago, the big scare was global cooling, a big ice age. They go from one to the other. It meets their psychological needs and gives them a reason for exercising their power.

But with Solyndra and other elements of Obama’s environmental themed venture socialism now seen as failed ventures, and with the idea of global warming having discredited itself during the infamous “Hide the Decline” scandal in 2009, and numerous doomsday final countdowns having come and gone and the earth no worse for wear, we’re left with Paul Krugman’s Twilight Zone fantasies to sell the idea of massive government spending.

Well, even more massive government spending than we’re doing already.

Click on the above video to watch; a handy embeddable YouTube version is available here. And click here for three years worth of earlier editions of Silicon Graffiti, including our previous trip to the Space Station.  We visited there back in the spring of 2009, when John Holdren, President Obama’s Dr. Strangelove-esque “science” “czar” told an apparently nonplussed AP reporter that he debating launching rockets to seed the upper atmosphere with pollutants to fight global warming. Ahh, the heady days of hopenchange…)

Update (7/2/12): PJTV subscribers can tune in here to watch.

Great Moments In Screencaps

May 15th, 2012 - 9:58 am

As spotted by the Watts Up With That blog. Note the 2007 date and the highlighted passage in the article:

Its always important to remember what has been predicted by the elders of science, and to review those predictions when the time is right. In four months, just 132 days from now at the end of summer on the Autumnal Equinox September 22nd 2012, the Arctic will be “nearly ice free” according to a prominent NASA scientist in a National Geographic article on December 12, 2007.

Fred Siegel of City Journal once dubbed this trend “Progressives Against Progress:”

Crankery, in short, became respectable. In 1972, Sir John Maddox, editor of the British journal Nature, noted that though it had once been usual to see maniacs wearing sandwich boards that proclaimed the imminent end of the Earth, they had been replaced by a growing number of frenzied activists and politicized scientists making precisely the same claim. In the years since then, liberalism has seen recurring waves of such end-of-days hysteria. These waves have shared not only a common pattern but often the same cast of characters. Strangely, the promised despoliations are most likely to be presented as imminent when Republicans are in the White House. In each case, liberals have argued that the threat of catastrophe can be averted only through drastic actions in which the ordinary political mechanisms of democracy are suspended and power is turned over to a body of experts and supermen.

Which is why, not at all coincidentally, such crankery went into overdrive in the naughts, culminating in Obama’s now failed rash of venture socialism. As many recent “not-so-final countdowns” will be coming due in the next few months and years, the Internet is going to have lots of fun pointing them out — something the MSM “unexpectedly” does so rarely.

(H/T: SDA)

Related: “Warmist Professor: I Call Global Warming Skeptics ‘Deniers’ So People Compare Them To Holocaust Deniers — What makes this even more grotesque is the professor is a Holocaust survivor.”

Despite the myriad of Chicken Little “Final Countdowns” over the last 40 years, somehow mankind will muddle through, Rob Long writes at Ricochet:

All of this doomsday talk is nonsense, says the New Scientist:

In 2008, researchers attending the Global Catastrophic Risk Conference in Oxford, UK, took part in aninformal survey of what they thought were the risks to humanity. They gave humans only a 19 per cent chance of surviving until 2100. Yet when you look more closely, such extreme pessimism is unfounded. Not only will we survive to 2100, it’s overwhelmingly likely that we’ll survive for at least the next 100,000 years.

Take calculations by J. Richard Gott, an astrophysicist at Princeton University. Based on 200,000 years of human existence, he estimates we will likely last anywhere from another 5100 to 7.8 million years (New Scientist, 5 September 2007, p 51).

According to most rational calculations, human beings will outsmart the various threats to their existence — runaway technology, killer viruses, supervolcanoes, that sort of thing.  There will be fewer of us, sure, if any of that stuff happens — death toll estimates in the case of a supervocano eruption that clouds the atmosphere with deadly ash are in the billions — but a hardy billion or two will still be writing television comedy or working the drive-thru window.

In other words, civilization will survive.

But only if we take action Right! This! Minute! on Goreball Worming, right? Well…

Our regular feature, “Quote of the Week” just doesn’t work here. Neither does decade or century. No, a whole new category all by itself is reserved for this quote from the newly appointed Climate Commissioner of Australia, Tim Flannery, noted zoologist and author of the book The Weather Makers.Here it is, brace yourself:

If we cut emissions today, global temperatures are not likely to drop for about a thousand years.

Lest you think that is an errant remark out of context, here’s the follow up from Flannery:

Just let me finish and say this. If the world as a whole cut all emissions tomorrow the average temperature of the planet is not going to drop in several hundred years, perhaps as much as a thousand years because the system is overburdened with CO2 that has to be absorbed and that only happens slowly.

Crikey! So much for the “think of the grandchildren” argument used by Dr. James Hansen.

And speaking of the AlGore himself, he’s now claiming “Our democracy has been hacked” — which pretty ironic coming from a guy who considers the opposition to be a gang of “digital brown shirts,” but it’s simply the Goracle’s latest attempt at dissembling how right wing media bias cost him the election in 2000 and the rest of his fellow Democrats a couple of years later. To overcome that, he’s launched his “Current TV” “network” — which is what you’d do too, to blow your carbon footprint even further into the stratosphere, if you thought we had less than four years left to save the earth before “an irreversible slide into destruction,”right?

Or to put it another way, “Gaia Worship: Like the Enlightenment Never Happened.”

At the American Thinker, S. Fred Singer writes that “Climate Deniers Are Giving Us Skeptics a Bad Name,” and near the end of his article, rounds up some fascinating quotes from the folks who seem to bring you new “Final Countdowns” and news of fresh disaster seemingly every day:

  • “The data doesn’t matter. We’re not basing our recommendations on the data. We’re basing them on the climate models.” -Prof. Chris Folland, Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research
  • “The models are convenient fictions that provide something very useful.” -Dr David Frame, Climate modeler, Oxford University
  •  ”It doesn’t matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true.” -Paul Watson, Co-founder of Greenpeace
  •  ”Unless we announce disasters no one will listen.” -Sir John Houghton, First chairman of the IPCC [Update: A reader flags us that Houghton has denied these words are his -- Ed]
  • “No matter if the science of global warming is all phony … climate change provides the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.” -Christine Stewart, former Canadian Minister of the Environment

As I’ve written before, it’s a fascinating development when people start admitting that they’re willing to lie for their cause.

Late last month, as a result of “GleickGate,” an author at Scientific American asked, “Should Global-Warming Activists Lie to Defend Their Cause?” It sure seemed to me that he was trying to answer the headline of his article in the affirmative, however reluctantly he arrives at his ultimate conclusion.

Given that the author was attempting to use the century-old “Moral Equivalent of War” argument, I wrote here in reply that as the old cliché goes, truth is the first casualty of war. Even eco-war, I guess. But perhaps what’s relatively new are members of the left who are willing to publicly admit they’re lying, as we explored in 2010, when a member of the Journalist, the self-described “non-official campaign” to elect Obama in 2008 tweeted:

As I noted back then, legacy media house organ Editor & Publisher ran a piece in 2007 that advocated similar tactics for the man-made global warming crowd titled “Climate Change: Get Over Objectivity, Newspapers.”

Not to mention former CBS anchorman Dan Rather telling Bill O’Reilly back in 2001 that “I think you can be an honest person and lie about any number of things:”

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Bill O’Reilly: “I want to ask you flat out, do you think President Clinton’s an honest man?”
Dan Rather: “Yes, I think he’s an honest man.”
O’Reilly: “Do you, really?”
Rather: “I do.”
O’Reilly: “Even though he lied to Jim Lehrer’s face about the Lewinsky case?”
Rather: “Who among us has not lied about something?”
O’Reilly: “Well, I didn’t lie to anybody’s face on national television. I don’t think you have, have you?”
Rather: “I don’t think I ever have. I hope I never have. But, look, it’s one thing – “
O’Reilly: “How can you say he’s an honest guy then?”
Rather: “Well, because I think he is. I think at core he’s an honest person. I know that you have a different view. I know that you consider it sort of astonishing anybody would say so, but I think you can be an honest person and lie about any number of things.”
— Exchange on Fox News Channel’s The O’Reilly Factor, May 15, 2001.

And Democrat former  Congressman Paul Kanjorski of Pennsylvania, who lost his reelection bid in 2010, telling his constituents in 2008 this his party lied to take back Congress in 2006:

“I’ll tell you my impression. We really in this last election, when I say we…the Democrats, I think pushed it as far as we can to the end of the fleet, didn’t say it, but we implied it. That if we won the Congressional elections, we could stop the war. Now anybody was a good student of Government would know that wasn’t true. But you know, the temptation to want to win back the Congress, we sort of stretched the facts…and people ate it up.”

Video here:

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Just this past month, “NY Democrat Rep. Kathy Hochul Admits at Raucous Town Hall: ‘Basically, We’re Not Looking to the Constitution’ when it Comes to ObamaCare Mandates.”

Back in 2004, Thomas Sowell said:

There’s something Eric Hoffer said: “Intellectuals cannot operate at room temperature.” There always has to be a crisis–some terrible reason why their superior wisdom and virtue must be imposed on the unthinking masses. It doesn’t matter what the crisis is. A hundred years ago it was eugenics. At the time of the first Earth Day a generation ago, the big scare was global cooling, a big ice age. They go from one to the other. It meets their psychological needs and gives them a reason for exercising their power.

And justifying lying. Fortunately, then and now, the American public as a whole are much smarter than “the nature fakers,” as Theodore Roosevelt once call them, and they don’t much like being bullied, Steve Hayward writes in the Weekly Standard:

The Gleick episode exposes again a movement that disdains arguing with its critics, choosing demonization over persuasion and debate. A confident movement would face and crush its critics if its case were unassailable, as it claims. The climate change fight doesn’t even rise to the level of David and Goliath. Heartland is more like a David fighting a hundred Goliaths. Yet the serial ineptitude of the climate campaign shows that a tiny David doesn’t need to throw a rock against a Goliath who swings his mighty club and only hits himself square in the forehead.

Which, incidentally, sounds very much like the worldview of someone who was willing to charge right into those Goliaths.

(H/T: Maggie’s Farm.)