Surging Arctic Ice Nov. 30

The growth of Arctic ice extent has been slower than usual this year.  After showing resilience in September, ending higher than 2007, ice growth lagged in October, and is only now ramping up toward the averages.  The map above shows the lack of ice is mainly in Hudson Bay, and the slow freezing of Kara and Barents Seas.  Everything else is locked in ice, except for some open water in Bering and Chukchi.


In the last five weeks, 2016 ice growth has surged twice, firstly from day 303 to 314, and then the current surge the last 10 days starting day 325.  The chart also shows the variability of ice extent over the years during this season.  2015 was the highest ice recovery rate in the last decade, while 2006 was the lowest.  The chart also shows Sea Ice Index (SII) from NOAA is lagging over 300k km2 behind.

There is no need to panic over Arctic ice this year, or any year.  It fluctuates according to its own ocean-ice-atmospheric processes and we can only watch and be surprised since we know so little about how it all works.  Judah Cohen at AER thinks the much greater snowfall in October will make for a very cold winter.  We shall see.




On Warming Holes (Global Warming Gaps)


Animation showing the 25-year and 40-year trends in surface air temperature in the Cowtan and Way v2.0 dataset, with plots to the right showing the fraction of the earth surface in a cooling trend (the blue areas in maps).

Ed Hawkins at his blog provides above the display of variability of warming and cooling across the globe. The post is entitled Regional Temperatures This Century (here).

We found that some regions experience periods of cooling at this timeframe even when global temperature is increasing rapidly. Cooling periods of 25 years duration occurred in 13 to 74 % of the earth surface through the observed record, and cooling periods of 40 years occurred in 6 to 71% of the earth surface, including in the most recent decades. Cooling periods are more prevalent where the long-term trend is low such as in the Southern Ocean, and/or where decadal variability is high such as Pacific Ocean regions influenced by the Inter-Decadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO). However, there are cases where low trend or high variability due to the IPO (or Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation) are not the only factors, and there may be a role for forcings and other regional effects. These cases include the well-known ‘warming hole’ in the south east US through the last half of the 20th Century (noting this ‘hole’ has an important seasonal aspect to it) and the recent cooling in northern Australia linked to increasing cloud and rainfall.

He refers to the cooling regions as “warming holes”. Since there are periods where cooling dominates globally, we could also refer to exceptional regions as “warm spots.” This shows dynamically how regional climate trends differ over time. For example, over the last century in the continental US, about a third of land stations showed cooling trends contrary to the slightly warming average overall.

Cautionary note regarding the Cowtan and Way 2.0 Dataset

This dataset is controversial in its use of “krieging” to spread temperature readings from a handful of land stations across the full extent of the Arctic (and Antarctic) including surfaces of ocean, ice and mixtures of the two. As the charts show, this results in extra warming in the Arctic, double the trend shown by UAH (satellite) dataset.

Another example of the inconsistency of “global warming” is provided by NOAA’s presentation of continental temperatures. (here) The table below is for October 2016, and shows not only variability, but also how land temperatures are falling following El Nino’s disappearance.

CONTINENT ANOMALY (1910-2000) TREND (1910-2016) RANK
°C °F °C °F YEAR(S) °C °F
North America +1.33 +2.39 +0.05 +0.09 Warmest 7ᵗʰ 1963 +2.16 +3.89
Coolest 101ˢᵗ 1919 -1.94 -3.49
South America +0.85 +1.53 +0.17 +0.30 Warmest 15ᵗʰ 2014 +1.60 +2.88
Coolest 92ⁿᵈ 1922 -1.04 -1.87
Ties: 1994
Europe +0.40 +0.72 +0.11 +0.20 Warmest 41ˢᵗ 2006, 2001 +1.96 +3.53
Coolest 67ᵗʰ 1912 -1.99 -3.58
Africa +1.35 +2.43 +0.09 +0.16 Warmest 2ⁿᵈ 2015 +1.59 +2.86
Coolest 106ᵗʰ 1910 -0.65 -1.17
Asia -0.15 -0.27 +0.10 +0.18 Warmest 69ᵗʰ 2011 +1.76 +3.17
Coolest 39ᵗʰ 1912 -2.22 -4.00
Oceania +0.21 +0.38 +0.13 +0.23 Warmest 44ᵗʰ 2015 +2.71 +4.88
Coolest 64ᵗʰ 1910 -1.15 -2.07


Today’s Arctic Compares with 150 years ago

Imagery date refers to Google Earth capture of land forms. Ice extent is for August 31, 2016 from MASIE. Serenity is docked at Devon Island. Click to zoom in.

Imagery date refers to Google Earth capture of land forms. Ice extent is for August 31, 2016 from MASIE. Serenity is docked at Devon Island. Click to zoom in.

Researchers found that ice conditions in the 19th century were remarkably similar to today’s, observations falling within normal variability. The study is Accounts from 19th-century Canadian Arctic Explorers’ Logs Reflect Present Climate Conditions (here) by James E. Overland, Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory/NOAA, Seattle,Wash., and Kevin Wood, Arctic Research Office/NOAA, Silver Spring, Md.   H/t GWPF


This article demonstrates the use of historical instrument and descriptive records to assess the hypothesis that environmental conditions observed by 19th-century explorers in the Canadian archipelago were consistent with a Little Ice Age as evident in proxy records.  We find little evidence for extreme cold conditions.

It is clear that the first-hand observations of 19th-century explorers are not consistent with the hypothesized severe conditions of a multi-decadal Little Ice Age. Explorers encountered both warm and cool seasons, and generally typical ice conditions, in comparison to 20th-century norms.


There were more than seventy expeditions or scientific enterprises of various types dispatched to the Canadian Arctic in the period between 1818 and 1910. From this number, we analyzed 44 original scientific reports and related narratives; many from expeditions spanning several years. The majority of the data come from large naval expeditions that wintered over in the Arctic and had the capacity to support an intensive scientific effort. A table listing the expeditions and data types is located at The data cover about one-third of the possible number of years depending on data type, and every decade is represented.

Our analysis focuses on four indicators of climatic change: summer sea ice extent, annual sea ice thickness, monthly mean temperature, and the onset of melt and freeze as estimated from daily mean temperature. Historical observations in these four categories were compared with modern reference data; the reference period varied, depending on data availability.  Both sea ice extent and the onset of melt and freeze were compared to the 30- year reference period 1971–2000; monthly means are compared to the 50-year period 1951–2000. Modern sea ice thickness records are less continuous, and some terminate in the 1980s; the reference period is therefore based on 19 to 26 years of homogeneous record.



(a) Proxy record of standardized summer air temperature variation derived from ice cores taken on Devon Island. This proxy record suggests that a significantly colder climate prevailed in the 19th century. Shading indicates temperatures one standard deviation warmer or colder than average for the reference period 1901–1960 [Overpeck,1998].

(b) Historical monthly mean temperature observations compared to the 20th-century reference period 1951–2000. Sixty-three percent of 343 monthly mean temperatures recorded on 19th-century expeditions between 1819 and 1854 fall within one standard deviation of the reference mean at nearby stations (reference data from Meteorological Service of Canada,2002; and National Climatic Data Center,2002).

(c) Onset of melt observed by expeditions between 1820 and 1906 expressed as departures from the mean for the reference period 1971–2000. The period of melt transition observed by 19th century explorers is not inconsistent with modern values.

(d) Onset of freeze observed between 1819 and 1905 compared to the reference period 1971–2000. The onset of freeze transition is frequently consistent with modern values,but in some cases occurred earlier than usual. The incidence of an early onset of freeze represents the largest departure from present conditions evident in the historical records examined in this study. Melt and freeze transition dates for the reference period 1971–2000 were calculated from temperature data extracted from the Global Daily Climatology Network data base (National Climate Data Center, 2002).


Fig.2. The ship tracks and winter-over locations of Arctic discovery expeditions from 1818 to 1859 are surprisingly consistent with present sea ice climatology (contours represented by shades of blue). The climatology shown reflects percent frequency of sea ice presence on 10 September which is the usual date of annual ice minimum for the reference period 1971–2000 (Canadian Ice Service,2002). On a number of occasions,expeditions came within 150 km of completing the Northwest Passage, but even in years with unfavorable ice conditions, most ships were still able to reach comparatively advanced positions within the Canadian archipelago. By 1859, all possible routes comprising the Northwest Passage had been discovered.


As stated here before, Arctic ice is part of a self-oscillating system with extents expanding and retreating according to processes internal to the ocean-ice-atmosphere components. We don’t know exactly why 19th century ice extent was less than previously or less than the 1970s, but we can be sure it wasn’t due to fossil fuel emissions.


Explorers encountered both favorable and unfavorable ice conditions. This drawing from the vicinity of Beechey Island illustrates the situation of the H.M.S.Resolute and the steam-tender Pioneer on 5 September 1850 [from Facsimile of the Illustrated Arctic News,courtesy of Elmer E.Rasmuson Library,Univ.of AlaskaFairbanks].

Speaking Truth About Power

Recent Headlines have reported the Canadian federal government intends to eliminate coal for electrical production, replacing it with renewables. For example: Ottawa to phase out coal, aims for virtual elimination by 2030

Ontario is not part of this because they have already done it. How is that working out for Ontario? A cautionary tale follows.

Arrogant Ontario politicians thought they knew better than engineers how to manage the supply of electricity to the citizenry. Pursuing their dream of “green” energy, they enacted policies that have failed in every possible way: power costs are skyrocketing for businesses and residents, emissions reductions are outrageously expensive, and worst of all, more future renewables will increase CO2 emissions.

The Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) are speaking the truth about power (not for the first time), and maybe finally the powers that be will wake up or be voted out of office. From OSPE presentation, Ontario’s Electricity Dilemma – Achieving Low Emissions at Reasonable Electricity Rates

The outline includes everything that a reasonable person needs to know.  Two of the most important sections are excerpted below

Why Are Electricity Rates Rising So Fast in Ontario?

The major drivers of rapidly rising rates in Ontario:

  • Incremental cost of wind/solar energy compared to displaced generation.
    Over 1 B$ in 2014, rising to over 3 B$ in 2021
  • Loses for curtailment and exporting at very low price.
  • Conservation and demand management programs have reduced financial value during periods of excess capacity (2013 Long Term Energy Plan predicts excess capacity will persist from 2009 to 2019).
  • Higher costs for refurbishment of older plants.
  • Higher costs for power system upgrades to accommodate renewables and Bruce A restart.

In the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) residential “energy” rates have risen about 70 to 90% in the 7 years since 2008 depending on when the utility switched you to TOU rates.


Why Will Emissions Double as We Add Wind and Solar Plants?

Wind and Solar require flexible backup generation.

  • Nuclear is too inflexible to backup renewables without expensive engineering changes to the reactors.
  • Flexible electric storage is too expensive at the moment.
  • Consequently natural gas provides the backup for wind and solar in North America.
  • When you add wind and solar you are actually forced to reduce nuclear generation to make room for more natural gas generation to provide flexible backup.
  • Ontario currently produces electricity at less than 40 grams of CO2 emissions/kWh.
    Wind and solar with natural gas backup produces electricity at about 200 grams of CO2 emissions/kWh.
  • Therefore adding wind and solar to Ontario’s grid drives CO2 emissions higher.
    From 2016 to 2032 as Ontario phases out nuclear capacity to make room for wind and solar, CO2 emissions will double (2013 LTEP data).

In Ontario, with limited economic hydro and expensive storage, it is mathematically impossible to achieve low CO2 emissions and reasonable electricity prices without nuclear generation.

Truth about power falls on deaf ears

From Terence Corcoran at the Financial Post  Boondoggle: How Ontario’s pursuit of renewable energy broke the province’s electricity system

Paul Acchione, an OSPE engineer with long experience in the electricity industry, said the government was “hiring political scientists and environmentalists because they thought they were the experts.” As a result, the government has issued more than 100 ministerial directives that ignored the dramatic decline in demand and the realities of managing an electrical grid where new expensive supply was mushrooming all over the province.

Expensive wind and solar supply needs to be backed up by expensive new gas plants that in turn operate at a fraction of optimal capacity. The new capacity came at the wrong time of day or season, forcing curtailment in which producers were paid for electricity that wasn’t needed.

The result, Acchione said, is “everything costs more.”

Through the years, escalating government control was cheered on by a growing industrial complex of wind and solar promoters backed by a large contingent of financial firms, big name consultants, fee-collecting law firms and major corporations. All were anxious to play a lucrative role fulfilling renewable objectives.

The provincial auditor general last year delivered a devastating report on the Liberal green electricity campaign. The report estimated that by 2014, electricity consumers had “already paid a total of $37 billion, and they are expected to pay another $133 billion in Global Adjustment fees from 2015 to 2032.” That’s $170 billion over 30 years.

As for job creation, Rick Smith and company promised hundreds of thousands of new jobs. The government now claims 42,000, although it is widely conceded that job creation is minimal. The auditor general said the jobs appear to be mostly short-term subsidized jobs for workers installing wind turbines and solar panels.


The Ontario green electricity regime is a monumental failure. The costs to consumers are prohibitive and damaging the economy. The environmental and health benefits are debatable and likely non-existent. Worst of all, while the few jobs that have been created are mostly temporary, the high prices it foisted on consumers are permanent.



Damages Averted by Hillary’s Loss


Since the US election there has been much consternation and hand-wringing over what Trump may or may not do as President. Little has been said about what Hillary was promising and the ruinous effects directly upon the US and indirectly Canada, whose economic prospects would have suffered collateral damages. Kevin Libin corrects that omission in his National Post article: Cheer up, Canada — President Donald Trump just might be good for you (here)

It’s still impossible to tell which of Trump’s often-wild promises he will actually keep, given how unpredictable he has demonstrated himself to be. But the risk with Clinton was always the opposite. It was her political determination. Had she been allowed to govern as she was resolved to, Canada would have paid the price for as long as eight more difficult years — probably more than they will under even a loose-cannon amateur like Trump. A president Hillary Clinton would have implemented policies that would have been sure to drag down the economic growth of an economy upon which Canada overwhelmingly relies for its own.

She has been unapologetic about her plan to increase taxes, promising to raise the estate tax and capital gains taxes (where she planned to hike the top rate from 23.8 to 43.4 per cent) and she had proposed to tax high-frequency stock-market trades. She had said she was open even to new payroll taxes, which would have injured American competitiveness yet further. And her campaign said she would “take a look at” a carbon tax, if Congress had proposed one. Congress, still firmly in the hands of the Republicans, will now entertain no such thing.

Throughout her campaign, Clinton also distinguished herself as the candidate of multiplying regulations to rein in Wall Street, and more spending on entitlements: Where Trump said only he would not cut social security, Clinton went further and said she would “expand it.” She showed no interest in tax relief for corporations or personal incomes, focusing instead on raising tax revenues, $1.4 trillion over 10 years, another trillion dollars the following decade, in an attempt to reduce inequality through redistributionist schemes.

All of these were growth-killing policies overlooked by Canadian pundits who prioritized their distaste for Trump’s vulgarity and jingoism over the prospect of a robust American economy that could help Canada enhance its own prosperity. The U.S. GDP has been growing at not much more than two per cent a year for over a decade, much to Canada’s economic detriment; under Clinton, that seemed bound to continue.

The U.S. economy is nearly six years into its current economic expansion cycle and overall economic numbers continue to disappoint. From the US Money Reserve 


Will a Trump administration, as unhinged as some might fear it will be, prove more propitious for Canada? There is at least now some reason for optimism.

A Republican House and Senate are even more apt to stand firm for continued free trade with Canada than a Democratic Congress would have. And in the most probable scenario, if our exporters can maintain open trade with the U.S., Trump’s preference for economic growth looks far more likely to benefit Canada than Clinton’s preference for an expanded welfare state ever would have. It is too early yet to be certain whether these promising economic changes come to pass under Trump. But on Tuesday night, Canadians at least won some hope of finally escaping from the last 11 years of more muddling along, with our largest export market politically fated to remain underperforming and torpid.


Lomborg Lucidity

Lots of guessing and worrying about climate change policy since Trump’s election.  As usual, Bjorn Lomborg sees through the fog of confusion, and points to the way forward.  His recent article is entitled Trump’s climate plan might not be so bad after all in the Washington Post (here).  Synopsis:

What really matters is not rhetoric but policy. So far, we know that President Trump will drop the Paris climate change treaty. This is far from the world-ending event that some suggest and offers an opportunity for a smarter approach.

Even ardent supporters acknowledge that the Paris treaty by itself will do little to rein in global warming. The United Nations estimates that if every country were to make every single promised carbon cut between 2016 and 2030 to the fullest extent and there was no cheating, carbon dioxide emissions would still only be cut by one-hundredth of what is needed to keep temperature rises below 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius).

The Paris treaty’s 2016-2030 pledges would reduce temperature rises around 0.09 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century. If maintained throughout the rest of the century, temperature rises would be cut by 0.31 degrees Fahrenheit.

At the same time, these promises will be costly. Trying to cut carbon dioxide, even with an efficient tax, makes cheap energy more expensive — and this slows economic growth. My calculations using the best peer-reviewed economic models show the cost of the Paris promises – through slower gross domestic product growth from higher energy costs — would reach $1 trillion to $2 trillion every year from 2030.

So Trump’s promise to dump Paris will matter very little to temperature rises, and it will stop the pursuit of an expensive dead end.

Statements by Trump’s campaign also indicate that the next administration will create a global development and aid policy that recognizes that climate is one problem among many.

Asked about global warming, the campaign responded, “Perhaps the best use of our limited financial resources should be in dealing with making sure that every person in the world has clean water. Perhaps we should focus on eliminating lingering diseases around the world like malaria. Perhaps we should focus on efforts to increase food production to keep pace with an ever-growing world population.”

This would be a big change. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development analyzed almost all aid from the United States and other rich nations and found that about one-fourth is climate-related aid.

This is immoral when 2 billion people suffer from malnutrition, 700 million live in extreme poverty and 2.4 billion are without clean drinking water and sanitation. These problems can be tackled effectively today, helping many more people more dramatically than “climate aid” could.


But, surprisingly, there is now an opportunity. To seize it, the Trump administration needs to go beyond just dumping the ineffective Paris agreement, to an innovation-based green energy approach that will harness U.S. ingenuity. Far from being a disaster, such a policy could mean a real solution to climate change and help the world’s worst-off more effectively.

In sub-Saharan Africa, two out of every three people are without access to electricity, and it is this energy poverty that is handicapping the region’s economic development

Bjorn Lomborg is president and founder of the Copenhagen Consensus Center and a visiting professor at Copenhagen Business School.

Trump Revolution World Outlook


Lots of scorn, slurs and insults directed at Trump’s appointment of his chief advisor, Steve Bannon. The invective is so pervasive and intense, it exemplifies a new phenomenon in the global village: the Lie Swarm.  From the Streetwise Professor (here)

Bannon, and especially Trump, are primary targets of the Lie Swarm, especially since Trump had the temerity to actually prevail in the election. Don’t get me wrong–there is much about Trump to criticize. But there has been a kind of Gresham’s Law at work here: the bad criticism has driven out the good. Screeching “racist!” “Anti-Semite!” “Fascist!” on the basis of the most twisted and biased interpretation of the flimsiest evidence has overwhelmed substantive argument.

And the Swarm really hasn’t figured out that their attack will do little to get Trump supporters to change their minds. If anything, it will do the opposite, because the “deplorables” know that they are being attacked and smeared as much as Bannon and Trump. Furthermore, the Swarm seems hell-bent on living out Einstein’s definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results. Hillary’s whole campaign was based on personal attacks on Trump and his supporters, and she enlisted the Swarm in this endeavor.

Bannon in his own words

Martin Luther King said people should be judged by the quality of their character, not superficial identifiers like race, gender or religion. So someone like Steve Bannon should be evaluated by what he himself says and thinks, not by the words of others. And in fact if you listen with a mind to understand him, you discover why Trump values his advice on world realities and strategies to move America forward.

This Is How Steve Bannon Sees The Entire World is a transcript of an extended presentation by Steve Bannon from 2014, published at Buzzfeed (here). Some excerpts that struck me as particularly insightful.

Inclusive Capitalism Saved Us

That war (WWI) triggered a century of barbaric — unparalleled in mankind’s history — virtually 180 to 200 million people were killed in the 20th century, and I believe that, you know, hundreds of years from now when they look back, we’re children of that: We’re children of that barbarity. This will be looked at almost as a new Dark Age.

But the thing that got us out of it, the organizing principle that met this, was not just the heroism of our people. . . The underlying principle is an enlightened form of capitalism, that capitalism really gave us the wherewithal. It kind of organized and built the materials needed to support, whether it’s the Soviet Union, England, the United States, and eventually to take back continental Europe and to beat back a barbaric empire in the Far East.

That capitalism really generated tremendous wealth. And that wealth was really distributed among a middle class, a rising middle class, people who come from really working-class environments and created what we really call a Pax Americana. It was many, many years and decades of peace. And I believe we’ve come partly offtrack in the years since the fall of the Soviet Union and we’re starting now in the 21st century, which I believe, strongly, is a crisis both of our church, a crisis of our faith, a crisis of the West, a crisis of capitalism.

Modern Perversions of Capitalism

But there’s a strand of capitalism today — two strands of it, that are very disturbing.

One is state-sponsored capitalism. And that’s the capitalism you see in China and Russia. I believe it’s what Holy Father [Pope Francis] has seen for most of his life in places like Argentina, where you have this kind of crony capitalism of people that are involved with these military powers-that-be in the government, and it forms a brutal form of capitalism that is really about creating wealth and creating value for a very small subset of people. And it doesn’t spread the tremendous value creation throughout broader distribution patterns that were seen really in the 20th century.

The second form of capitalism that I feel is almost as disturbing, is what I call the Ayn Rand or the Objectivist School of libertarian capitalism. And, look, I’m a big believer in a lot of libertarianism. I have many many friends that’s a very big part of the conservative movement — whether it’s the UKIP movement in England, it’s many of the underpinnings of the populist movement in Europe, and particularly in the United States.

However, that form of capitalism is quite different when you really look at it to what I call the “enlightened capitalism” of the Judeo-Christian West. It is a capitalism that really looks to make people commodities, and to objectify people, and to use them almost — as many of the precepts of Marx — and that is a form of capitalism, particularly to a younger generation [that] they’re really finding quite attractive. And if they don’t see another alternative, it’s going to be an alternative that they gravitate to under this kind of rubric of “personal freedom.”

Crony Capitalism Gives Rise to a Populist Revolt

General Electric and these major corporations that are in bed with the federal government are not what we’d consider free-enterprise capitalists. We’re backers of entrepreneurial capitalists. They’re not. They’re what we call corporatist. They want to have more and more monopolistic power and they’re doing that kind of convergence with big government. And so the fight here — and that’s why the media’s been very late to this party — but the fight you’re seeing is between entrepreneur capitalism, and the Acton Institute is a tremendous supporter of, and the people like the corporatists that are closer to the people like we think in Beijing and Moscow than they are to the entrepreneurial capitalist spirit of the United States.

The underpinning of this populist revolt is the financial crisis of 2008. That revolt, the way that it was dealt with, the way that the people who ran the banks and ran the hedge funds have never really been held accountable for what they did, has fueled much of the anger in the tea party movement in the United States. . . In addition, I think you really need to go back and make banks do what they do: Commercial banks lend money, and investment banks invest in entrepreneurs and to get away from this trading — you know, the hedge fund securitization, which they’ve all become basically trading operations and securitizations and not put capital back and really grow businesses and to grow the economy.

I think it’s particularly more advanced in Europe than it is in the United States, but in the United States it’s getting pretty advanced — is that when you have this kind of crony capitalism, you have a different set of rules for the people that make the rules. It’s this partnership of big government and corporatists. I think it starts to fuel, particularly as you start to see negative job creation. If you go back, in fact, and look at the United States’ GDP, you look at a bunch of Europe. If you take out government spending, you know, we’ve had negative growth on a real basis for over a decade.

And that all trickles down to the man in the street. If you look at people’s lives, and particularly millennials, look at people under 30 — people under 30, there’s 50% really under employment of people in the United States, which is probably the most advanced economy in the West, and it gets worse in Europe.

So you can understand why middle class people having a tough go of it making $50 or $60 thousand a year and see their taxes go up, and they see that their taxes are going to pay for government sponsored bailouts, what you’ve created is really a free option. You say to this investment banking, create a free option for bad behavior. In otherwise all the upside goes to the hedge funds and the investment bank, and to the crony capitalist with stock increases and bonus increases. And their downside is limited, because middle class people are going to come and bail them out with tax dollars.

And that’s what I think is fueling this populist revolt. Whether that revolt is in the midlands of England, or whether it’s in Middle America. And I think people are fed up with it.

Secularization and the Rise of Islamic Fascism

The other (worrying) tendency is an immense secularization of the West. And I know we’ve talked about secularization for a long time, but if you look at younger people, especially millennials under 30, the overwhelming drive of popular culture is to absolutely secularize this rising iteration.

Now that call converges with something we have to face, and it’s a very unpleasant topic, but we are in an outright war against jihadist Islamic fascism. . .That war is expanding and it’s metastasizing to sub-Saharan Africa. We have Boko Haram and other groups that will eventually partner with ISIS in this global war, and it is, unfortunately, something that we’re going to have to face, and we’re going to have to face very quickly.

Because it is a crisis, and it’s not going away. You don’t have to take my word for it. All you have to do is read the news every day, see what’s coming up, see what they’re putting on Twitter, what they’re putting on Facebook, see what’s on CNN, what’s on BBC. See what’s happening, and you will see we’re in a war of immense proportions. It’s very easy to play to our baser instincts, and we can’t do that. But our forefathers didn’t do it either. And they were able to stave this off, and they were able to defeat it, and they were able to bequeath to us a church and a civilization that really is the flower of mankind, so I think it’s incumbent on all of us to do what I call a gut check, to really think about what our role is in this battle that’s before us.

I’m not justifying Vladimir Putin and the kleptocracy that he represents, because he eventually is the state capitalist of kleptocracy. However, we the Judeo-Christian West really have to look at what he’s talking about as far as traditionalism goes — particularly the sense of where it supports the underpinnings of nationalism — and I happen to think that the individual sovereignty of a country is a good thing and a strong thing. I think strong countries and strong nationalist movements in countries make strong neighbors, and that is really the building blocks that built Western Europe and the United States, and I think it’s what can see us forward.

Global Center-Right Populist Movement

Look, we believe — strongly — that there is a global tea party movement. We’ve seen that. We were the first group to get in and start reporting on things like UKIP and Front National and other center right. With all the baggage that those groups bring — and trust me, a lot of them bring a lot of baggage, both ethnically and racially — but we think that will all be worked through with time.

The central thing that binds that all together is a center-right populist movement of really the middle class, the working men and women in the world who are just tired of being dictated to by what we call the party of Davos. A group of kind of — we’re not conspiracy-theory guys, but there’s certainly — and I could see this when I worked at Goldman Sachs — there are people in New York that feel closer to people in London and in Berlin than they do to people in Kansas and in Colorado, and they have more of this elite mentality that they’re going to dictate to everybody how the world’s going to be run.

I will tell you that the working men and women of Europe and Asia and the United States and Latin America don’t believe that. They believe they know what’s best for how they will comport their lives. They think they know best about how to raise their families and how to educate their families. So I think you’re seeing a global reaction to centralized government, whether that government is in Beijing or that government is in Washington, DC, or that government is in Brussels.

And that center-right revolt is really a global revolt. I think you’re going to see it in Latin America, I think you’re going to see it in Asia, I think you’ve already seen it in India. Modi’s great victory was very much based on these Reaganesque principles, so I think this is a global revolt, and we are very fortunate and proud to be the news site that is reporting that throughout the world.


Good Things Trump Could Do (A Canadian View)

As liberals and Hillary supporters come to terms with Trump’s election, a few are realizing some improvements are more likely with Trump as President. Even those who thought him appalling saw changes needed, which did not fit under Hillary’s pledge of “More of the Same.”

Case in point is Margaret Wente, columnist for the Globe and Mail, whose recent article (here) was entitled:

A Trump presidency: It might not be all bad. Don’t get me wrong. I think the election of Donald Trump is a disaster. But he might actually do a few good things.

Faint praise, anyone? But I am reblogging the essay in its entirety because she makes many very good points. And I thought her comment on climate change was lucid and balanced (below with my bolds).

I was in the Y the other day, in the women’s locker room. Everybody was in mourning. Some people had begun to prepare for the worst. “We could set up abortion clinics right across the border,” I overheard one woman say. The others nodded in agreement.

Their anxiety was understandable, but perhaps premature. I honestly don’t think President Donald Trump will order a wholesale rollback of women’s rights. (If the abortion issue ever is kicked back to the states, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.)

Nor do I think he’s Hitler, an analogy that’s been casually invoked by folks who are obviously clueless about history. (Apart from anything else, daughter Ivanka is an Orthodox Jew.) He’s not even a third-rate fascist. He’s more like Silvio Berlusconi – with infinitely more power to make mischief.

Mr. Trump might even do a few good things. Here are some.

He’ll boost the economy in the short run. Tax cuts and massive infrastructure spending will guarantee it. Even The New York Times columnist Paul Krugman – an implacable Trump foe – says so. “An accidental, badly designed stimulus would still, in the short run, be better than no stimulus at all,” he admitted grudgingly.

American infrastructure is in awful shape. Better airports, highways and major upgrades to the electricity grid are long overdue. Besides, infrastructure spending is exactly what our Prime Minister wants to do. So how can it possibly be bad?

He’ll approve the Keystone XL pipeline. Hey! Didn’t Justin Trudeau want Barack Obama to do that?

He’ll get rid of a lot of stupid regulations that make it hard for small businesses to get off the ground – and he’ll inspire the states to do the same. Do you really need a cosmetology licence (1,600 hours of training at an accredited school, plus a state exam) to do hair braiding? Maybe not.

He’ll get rid of the social-justice crusaders in Washington who dictate bathroom policies to local schools. And he’ll stop going after religious groups like Little Sisters of the Poor that don’t want to hand out free birth control.

He’ll roll back the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, which made preventing campus sexual assault a key issue for the Obama administration. The result was the creation of kangaroo courts without due process, as well as a vast administrative apparatus to deal with matters that rightly belong in the criminal courts. This is not a setback for women’s rights. It’s a setback for the rape-crisis hysteria that’s swept across our schools of higher learning. It’s a setback for the notion that campus bureaucrats are equipped to deal with the sexual and emotional lives of their adult students.

He’ll keep Washington out of the business of micromanaging local schools. The No Child Left Behind Act, introduced in 2002 by the Bush administration, had the noblest of intentions but was a disaster for everyone concerned. It introduced an era of test craziness and much gaming of the system, without any meaningful improvement in student achievement. A sweeping rewrite of the law has shifted power back to the states. Mr. Trump will keep it there. He’s a fan of charter schools – a much better idea.

He’ll stop the flow of U.S. funds to Palestinian terrorists, via aid money that goes to the Palestinian government and Hamas. Not everyone believes that would be a good thing, but I do.

Mr. Trump will essentially repeal everything that Mr. Obama did on climate change. This may make less difference than you think – and it may inspire a much-needed dose of climate realism. The non-enforceable Paris accord is basically no more than a statement of good intentions. The coal mines aren’t coming back anyway. Climate realists (who aren’t the same as climate deniers – see Bjorn Lomborg and the Breakthrough Institute, for example) acknowledge the man-made influence on the climate, but also correctly point out that only extraordinary technological breakthroughs will significantly reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. In the meantime, we’d better think harder about adaptation – unless you think China and India will be content to forgo all hope of a decent living standard for their 2.5 billion-plus populations.

He won’t repeal gay marriage. He said so.

Don’t get me wrong. I think the election of Mr. Trump is a disaster. But there’s enough to catastrophize about without adding to the list. Breathe deeply, and think happy thoughts!

Margaret Wente is one of Canada’s leading columnists. As a writer for The Globe and Mail, she provokes heated debate with her views on health care, education, and social issues. She is a winner of the National Newspaper Award for column-writing.

Ms. Wente has had a diverse career in Canadian journalism as both a writer and an editor. She has edited two leading business magazines, Canadian Business and ROB Magazine. She has also been editor of the Globe’s business section, the ROB, and managing editor of the paper. Her columns have appeared in the Globe since 1992. She now writes full-time for the paper, and she is a frequent commentator on television and radio.

Ms. Wente was born in Chicago and moved to Toronto with her family when she was in her teens. She has won numerous journalism awards. She holds a BA from the University of Michigan, and an MA in English from the University of Toronto. She is married to Ian McLeod, a television producer.

Shy Voters Revenge on Media Bullies

Under the theme of “Suspicions Confirmed” we have a report from the few polling firms who predicted a Trump victory in the US election.

Some intriguing comments from the pollsters are excerpted from the full article Trade Secrets From the Predictors Who Called a Trump Victory at Politico (here).  From their results, we can understand the election swung on shy voters who were silent and discounted in the face of social and mass media bullying.

A handful of predictors bucked the crowd and told us something else was going on. One is Helmut Norpoth, a Stony Brook political science professor whose model suggested, all the way back in March, that Donald Trump had between an 87 and 99 percent chance at the presidency. Another is the team behind the USC-Dornsife/LA Times Daybreak poll, which followed a fixed pool of 3,200 respondents every week over the course of the campaign; their final forecast on Election Day had Trump leading 46.8 percent to 43.6 percent. Another was the Trafalgar Group, a Republican consulting firm that conducted surveys using automated phone calls to landline numbers in battleground states. They got Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida and North Carolina right—an achievement few others can claim.

We seem to see in our data that among the people that didn’t vote four years ago, there was definitely more support for Trump than among others. And even these people told us that their likelihood of voting, their self-reported likelihood of voting was lower than for those people who voted four years ago. So, you have this group that’s sort of underrepresented in many polls, and then they go to the polls a little more than expected, and then they’re also more Trump-leaning than expected.

When we went back and looked, we noticed a vast difference between those who voted in the Republican primary this year and those who voted in primaries historically. And it was one-sided [only on the Republican side].

We took that universe of those who have participated in 2006 or previous—we’re talking about people who voted for the last time in the ‘70s, in the ‘80s, in the ‘90s, and earlier 2000s, and we created the term Trump surge voters, and we added them into our call database as well as the newly registered, because in our experience, when people register to vote for the first time, the election that follows is the one that they’re most likely to participate in. So we had a good mix of newly registered voters as well as what we call our Trump surge voters.

So the big difference was the people they were surveying; and second is the fact that taking people on their face for what they were answering was not a smart move, because people were not being forthright as to who they were supporting.

There is some indication that the Trump voters were a little more uncomfortable with telling someone, but there were groups within the Trump voter camp that felt particularly uncomfortable. And one of those groups was women who planned to vote for Trump. And I think the other one—there was another paper that was done recently, it’s also college-educated Trump voters. So, there were just groups that—and I guess Latinos—groups that in the popular press, you know, people would sort of say, “Well, these groups are all going to vote for Clinton.” And, of course, within this group, you have big groups that actually wanted to vote for Trump, but they were the ones that were a little less comfortable with telling someone else.

I grew up in the South and everybody is very polite down here, and if you want to find out the truth on a hot topic, you can’t just ask the question directly. So, the neighbor is part of the mechanism to get that real answer. In the 11 battle ground states, and 3 non-battleground, there was a significant drop-off between the ballot test question [which candidate you support] and the neighbors’ question [which candidate you believe most of your neighbors support]. The neighbors question result showed a similar result in each state: Hillary dropped [relative to the ballot test question] and Trump comes up across every demographic, every geography. Hillary’s drop was between 3 and 11 percent while Trump’s increase was between 3 and 7 percent. This pattern existed everywhere from Pennsylvania to Nevada to Utah to Georgia, and it was a constant.

And so, I don’t accept that there were “shy Hillary voters.” And what we discovered is what he just said about a lot of minorities were shy voters and women were shy voters.

If you ask people that were in the field, that were out there visiting folks, they will tell you this was one of those elections where, yes, there were tons of Trump signs and Hillary signs in yards, but there were many, many millions of people who would have never put a Trump sticker on their car or a sign in their yard that literally could not wait to vote for him.

if you read something like the New York Times or you watch some of the major news shows and network shows, there was sort of a fixed notion that Hillary had this race in hand, that there was just a very difficult path for Trump to get to victory. From what I recall, there was never any notion that something like Pennsylvania or Michigan or Wisconsin would be in play. It was just going to be impossibly close for Trump to pull it off with the states Romney had and the battleground states—and I think that became such a fixed idea about this campaign and they didn’t consider an alternative.

So, I think this was sort of poll-driven, but it probably fed into a notion that Donald Trump was just unpalatable and unimaginable as a candidate. So I mean, this “it shouldn’t happen,” “couldn’t happen” sort of reinforced each other in the coverage on the New York Times and CNN and MSNBC.

We were surprised at how many people thought it was not going to be a Trump win. It was shocking to us the ridicule we were getting. I mean, you look at our Twitter as the election night unfolded, people saying, “You guys weren’t crazy,” just as much as they’ve been saying we were crazy for the three weeks before. There was one guy who simply tweeted us “bullocks” and that night he said, “May I withdraw my bullocks?”


Polling the electorate is a science, as is generating predictions of future climate. In the last US election, pollsters got it wrong as badly as have climatologists in their failed forecasts this century. However, election surveys get immediate and direct feedback from the real world when the votes are counted. Reputations take a hit when you are wrong, and you face reality, change your assumptions and methods, or go out of business. Climate alarmists have yet to see and admit the error of their ways.