July 2021 Oceans Warm Slightly


The best context for understanding decadal temperature changes comes from the world’s sea surface temperatures (SST), for several reasons:

  • The ocean covers 71% of the globe and drives average temperatures;
  • SSTs have a constant water content, (unlike air temperatures), so give a better reading of heat content variations;
  • A major El Nino was the dominant climate feature in recent years.

HadSST is generally regarded as the best of the global SST data sets, and so the temperature story here comes from that source, the latest version being HadSST3.  More on what distinguishes HadSST3 from other SST products at the end.

The Current Context

The year end report below showed 2020 rapidly cooling in all regions.  The anomalies then continued to drop sharply well below the mean since 1995.  This Global Cooling was also evident in the UAH Land and Ocean air temperatures ( See Adios, Global Warming)

The chart below shows SST monthly anomalies as reported in HadSST3 starting in 2015 through July 2021. After three straight Spring 2020 months of cooling led by the tropics and SH, NH spiked in the summer, along with smaller bumps elsewhere.  Then temps everywhere dropped the last six months, hitting bottom in February 2021.  All regions were well below the Global Mean since 2015, matching the cold of 2018, and lower than January 2015. Then the spring brought more temperate waters and a return to the mean anomaly since 2015.  June Global SST anomaly cooled off back to April due to dropping temps in SH and the Tropics. Now in July warming in all regions reversed the June cooling and brought the Global temp anomaly slightly above the mean since 2015.

Hadsst072021A global cooling pattern is seen clearly in the Tropics since its peak in 2016, joined by NH and SH cycling downward since 2016.  

Note that higher temps in 2015 and 2016 were first of all due to a sharp rise in Tropical SST, beginning in March 2015, peaking in January 2016, and steadily declining back below its beginning level. Secondly, the Northern Hemisphere added three bumps on the shoulders of Tropical warming, with peaks in August of each year.  A fourth NH bump was lower and peaked in September 2018.  As noted above, a fifth peak in August 2019 and a sixth August 2020 exceeded the four previous upward bumps in NH.

In 2019 all regions had been converging to reach nearly the same value in April.  Then  NH rose exceptionally by almost 0.5C over the four summer months, in August 2019 exceeding previous summer peaks in NH since 2015.  In the 4 succeeding months, that warm NH pulse reversed sharply. Then again NH temps warmed to a 2020 summer peak, matching 2019.  This has now been reversed with all regions pulling the Global anomaly downward sharply, tempered by warming this year in March to May.  June dropped below the global mean anomaly since 2015, and July has reversed that.

Note that in previous years the global release of heat was not dramatic, due to the Southern Hemisphere offsetting the Northern one. However, in 2021 the warming pattern appears in all regions, resulting in a return from cooling to the mean.  The typical NH summer pulse at this point resembles 2017 rather than the much warmer 2019 and 2020.

A longer view of SSTs

The graph below  is noisy, but the density is needed to see the seasonal patterns in the oceanic fluctuations.  Previous posts focused on the rise and fall of the last El Nino starting in 2015.  This post adds a longer view, encompassing the significant 1998 El Nino and since.  The color schemes are retained for Global, Tropics, NH and SH anomalies.  Despite the longer time frame, I have kept the monthly data (rather than yearly averages) because of interesting shifts between January and July.

Hadsst1995 to 0720211995 is a reasonable (ENSO neutral) starting point prior to the first El Nino.  The sharp Tropical rise peaking in 1998 is dominant in the record, starting Jan. ’97 to pull up SSTs uniformly before returning to the same level Jan. ’99.  For the next 2 years, the Tropics stayed down, and the world’s oceans held steady around 0.2C above 1961 to 1990 average.

Then comes a steady rise over two years to a lesser peak Jan. 2003, but again uniformly pulling all oceans up around 0.4C.  Something changes at this point, with more hemispheric divergence than before. Over the 4 years until Jan 2007, the Tropics go through ups and downs, NH a series of ups and SH mostly downs.  As a result the Global average fluctuates around that same 0.4C, which also turns out to be the average for the entire record since 1995.

2007 stands out with a sharp drop in temperatures so that Jan.08 matches the low in Jan. ’99, but starting from a lower high. The oceans all decline as well, until temps build peaking in 2010.

Now again a different pattern appears.  The Tropics cool sharply to Jan 11, then rise steadily for 4 years to Jan 15, at which point the most recent major El Nino takes off.  But this time in contrast to ’97-’99, the Northern Hemisphere produces peaks every summer pulling up the Global average.  In fact, these NH peaks appear every July starting in 2003, growing stronger to produce 3 massive highs in 2014, 15 and 16.  NH July 2017 was only slightly lower, and a fifth NH peak still lower in Sept. 2018.

The highest summer NH peaks came in 2019 and 2020, only this time the Tropics and SH are offsetting rather adding to the warming. (Note: these are high anomalies on top of the highest absolute temps in the NH.)  Since 2014 SH has played a moderating role, offsetting the NH warming pulses. After September 2020 temps dropped off down until February 2021, then all regions rose to bring the global anomaly above the mean since 1995  June 2021 backed down before warming again in July 2021.  The present level compares with 2017.

What to make of all this? The patterns suggest that in addition to El Ninos in the Pacific driving the Tropic SSTs, something else is going on in the NH.  The obvious culprit is the North Atlantic, since I have seen this sort of pulsing before.  After reading some papers by David Dilley, I confirmed his observation of Atlantic pulses into the Arctic every 8 to 10 years.

But the peaks coming nearly every summer in HadSST require a different picture.  Let’s look at August, the hottest month in the North Atlantic from the Kaplan dataset.
AMO Aug and Dec 2021The AMO Index is from from Kaplan SST v2, the unaltered and not detrended dataset. By definition, the data are monthly average SSTs interpolated to a 5×5 grid over the North Atlantic basically 0 to 70N. The graph shows August warming began after 1992 up to 1998, with a series of matching years since, including 2020.  Because the N. Atlantic has partnered with the Pacific ENSO recently, let’s take a closer look at some AMO years in the last 2 decades.
AMO decade 072021This graph shows monthly AMO temps for some important years. The Peak years were 1998, 2010 and 2016, with the latter emphasized as the most recent. The other years show lesser warming, with 2007 emphasized as the coolest in the last 20 years. Note the red 2018 line is at the bottom of all these tracks. The black line shows that 2020 began slightly warm, then set records for 3 months. then dropped below 2016 and 2017, peaked in August ending below 2016. Now in 2021, AMO is tracking the coldest years, warming slightly in June and July.

Summary

The oceans are driving the warming this century.  SSTs took a step up with the 1998 El Nino and have stayed there with help from the North Atlantic, and more recently the Pacific northern “Blob.”  The ocean surfaces are releasing a lot of energy, warming the air, but eventually will have a cooling effect.  The decline after 1937 was rapid by comparison, so one wonders: How long can the oceans keep this up? If the pattern of recent years continues, NH SST anomalies may rise slightly in coming months, but once again, ENSO which has weakened will probably determine the outcome.

Footnote: Why Rely on HadSST3

HadSST3 is distinguished from other SST products because HadCRU (Hadley Climatic Research Unit) does not engage in SST interpolation, i.e. infilling estimated anomalies into grid cells lacking sufficient sampling in a given month. From reading the documentation and from queries to Met Office, this is their procedure.

HadSST3 imports data from gridcells containing ocean, excluding land cells. From past records, they have calculated daily and monthly average readings for each grid cell for the period 1961 to 1990. Those temperatures form the baseline from which anomalies are calculated.

In a given month, each gridcell with sufficient sampling is averaged for the month and then the baseline value for that cell and that month is subtracted, resulting in the monthly anomaly for that cell. All cells with monthly anomalies are averaged to produce global, hemispheric and tropical anomalies for the month, based on the cells in those locations. For example, Tropics averages include ocean grid cells lying between latitudes 20N and 20S.

Gridcells lacking sufficient sampling that month are left out of the averaging, and the uncertainty from such missing data is estimated. IMO that is more reasonable than inventing data to infill. And it seems that the Global Drifter Array displayed in the top image is providing more uniform coverage of the oceans than in the past.

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USS Pearl Harbor deploys Global Drifter Buoys in Pacific Ocean

 

 

Greenlight for Ivermectin in Japan

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Article at gnews reports on announcement by Dr. Ozaki, chairman of the Tokyo Metropolitan Medical Association Greenlight for Ivermectin in Japan.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Since Tokyo summer Olympic Game ended on August 8, 2021, the urgent status of the pandemic as Japan is now in its worst surge of the COVID-19 pandemic since the onset of the crisis in such a megacity of 14 million. Most recently, a record number of new cases were reported at 20,140 on August 14. Deaths aren’t as high as successive waves of the pandemic from February 2021 to the end of May, but nerves are frayed with record numbers of infections. Dr. Ozaki, The chairman of the Tokyo Metropolitan Medical Association, recently led an emergency press conference on August 13, Dr. Haruo Ozaki shared those 18,000 new infections are reported daily. However, the death count has eased as compared to previous surges.

How to deal with the current dilemma is a huge challenge to Japanese government and medical agencies? Fortunately, India has an excellent testimonial. Since April 28, India medical officials started providing Hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin to its massive population. As India is the major pharmaceutical manufacture in the world, they were ready for this massive drug distribution. Miraculously, COVID cases have plummeted quickly since then thanks to the new rules.

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Much like what was successfully accomplished in India, parts of Bangladesh, and places like Argentina and Mexico,
Chairman Ozaki calls for the immediate use of ivermectin as cases surge in Japan.

Dr. Ozaki declared that ivermectin has demonstrated significant benefits in reducing infections and deaths where the regimen is prophylactically administered for another indication. With the encouraging medical data from ivermectin clinical trials’ reports worldwide, especially the one from FLCCC of US and BIRD of UK, the head of the Metropolitan Medical Association declared that while clinical trials were important, it was time to greenlight doctors to prescribe ivermectin in association with giving the patient informed consent.

Finally, greenlight for Ivermectin is on in the first developing country since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, giving hope to all countries and regions. Perhaps this time because Japan did not have the big Pharma entering the COVID vaccine market, the government did not get much pressure.  So the Japanese government’s anti-epidemic policy basically reflects a normal democratic regime should do, that is, to protect the health of the people. Expect the miracle of ivermectin in India to happen again.

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Protocols with HCQ or Ivermectin plus nutritional supplements fill the need for early home treatment.

Footnote: Many people are confused about the fact that IVM has long been approved for human use, 

The FDA approval is here  The issue is that the list of infections does not include Covid19.

The same thing is true for HCQ:

Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are both FDA-approved to treat or prevent malaria. Hydroxychloroquine is also approved to treat autoimmune conditions such as chronic discoid lupus erythematosus, systemic lupus erythematosus in adults, and rheumatoid arthritis. Both drugs have been prescribed for years to help patients with these debilitating, or even deadly, diseases, and FDA has determined that these drugs are safe and effective when used for these diseases in accordance with their FDA-approved labeling. Of note, FDA approved products may be prescribed by physicians for off-label uses if they determine it is appropriate for treating their patients, including during COVID.  

Source:  FDA NEWS RELEASE

What If It’s Global Cooling, Not Warming?

IOGP oil and gas plumbing

Chris MacIntosh has an article at zerohedge Global warming or cooling? Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Wouldn’t it be ironic that instead of the planet-warming over the next 30 years, it actually went into a cooling phase?

When we first heard of sunspot activity and forecasting climate based on the level of solar spot activity we thought this was pixyland stuff.

However, when we “opened our minds” and started to dig deeper we realized there was something going on here. Make your own minds up. We aren’t trying to change anyone’s view but rather encourage you to open your perspectives.

You might like to read this:
“THE NEXT 30 YEARS WILL BE COLD,” SAYS CLIMATE SCIENTIST DR. WILLIE SOON

And this:
NEW PAPER USES AI TO PREDICT THE SUNSPOT CYCLES: LOW SOLAR ACTIVITY UNTIL 2050

Frankly, I’m no scientist but I ran a VC firm for some years, and I’ll tell you what. You are presented with such a ton of “opportunities” that it will make your head spin.

Sorting the wheat from the chaff is quite literally a full time role, and one thing that gets honed like a sword on an anvil is the skeptical critical thinking part of our brain.

Trust but verify is so very important. And what I do know is that the entire global warming narrative, together with “the science is settled,” is complete utter nonsense. It has been extraordinarily successful, too.

Kids these days are being taught it. Mind you, my daughter, who had to present a project on it at school, provided a shocking red pill (Dad helped her on her project) to the class and her teacher.   We literally have a class of people in the world today who are successful as professional hysterics.

However, what we do know is that global energy markets (and a whole host of other second order consequences) are not priced for a cooling of the planet over the next 30 years.

That is why we can get a payback of our investment in coal assets after about 5 years but it will take 100 years to get a payback from investing in Tesla.

What would happen to energy prices (natgas, coal, oil) if the world did in fact get colder over the next 30 years?

Well, the world would start using more fossil fuels and ditch the renewable thing faster than that crazy ex girlfriend/boyfriend that stalks you.

But after years of under investment in fossil fuels (particularly outside of shale), the supply would not be able to be increased meaningfully (i.e. prices would rocket higher and stay there for as long as it takes to bring on more supply), and given the underinvestment and treatment of anyone who would suggest doing so as if they’ve committed mortal sin… well, it’s not coming back in a hurry.

Now, think of every good and service that is tied to the price of fossil fuels. This picture should illustrate the point — life as we know it.

IOGP oil and gas plumbingHmmm… isn’t the rising price of all the “stuff” mentioned above a good definition of inflation? But isn’t the world perfectly positioned for deflation?

Global cooling and inflation… what a toxic cocktail. But we are perfectly positioned for both. Ah, such poetry. Bring it on!

See also Worst Threat: Greenhouse Gas or Quiet Sun?

Elite Consensus Opinion Minority Contrary Opinion
Expect +1C Warmer from now to 2050 Expect -1C Colder from now to 2050
Mitigate Warming by Stopping Fossil Fuels Adapt to Cooling from Quiet Sun
Goal is Net Zero CO2 Emissions by 2050 Goal Robust Energy supply and Infrastructure Now

Climate Crisis Consultancy Race $$$

Consultants Race

Terence Corcoran writes at Financial Post Let the carbon consultancy games begin! Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

How does one avoid hell on earth? Who ya gonna call? Send in the consultants

After the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) latest report, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson called it “sobering reading” and a “wake-up call” for the world’s politicians heading into the 26th Congress of the Parties (COP26), which is schedule to take place in Glasgow in November. Johnson, of course, did not intend his comments to be taken literally.

The IPCC report, formally titled “Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis,” runs to 3,949 pages and contains approximately three million unreadable words from the deepest bowels of United Nations climate science that, if attempted, would induce readers to dip into the cabinet and ultimately leave them in the opposite condition, being neither sober nor awake.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called the report a “code red” for humanity. I had to look up the meaning of “Code Red,” which turns out to have been the title of a 2020 blast from the heavy metal group AC/DC, with the opening lyrics:

Loading up the battery
Raising up insanity
Feeling like the old-time blues …
Don’t mess with fate
Hard fight, rough night
Dead in your sight
Fire light, a fire bright
Fire in the night

Maybe Guterres is hipper than we thought.  Not that it matters, since the dense content of the report, or even its 42-page “Summary for Policymakers,”  . . . is in fact irrelevant; the message is in the message carried by the media, which is that urgent action is needed at this “critical time,” to fight a crisis that requires a radical reduction of our greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the grave consequences of global warming.

Time Is Running Short To Avert ‘Hell On Earth,’ screamed a headline in the Financial Times.

How does one avoid hell on earth? Who ya gonna call? Send in the consultants.

The IPCC report was instantly seized upon by one sector of the economy that has been hyping itself up for one of the greatest money-making bonanzas of all time. Global consultancies — from big-names such as PwC, Deloitte, E&Y and KPMG, to the scores of less famous law firms and institutes — see the climate business as a profit-making bonanza.

At PwC’s United Kingdom office, the consultancy’s global sustainability and climate change leader instantly issued a response to the IPCC report that pumped up the firm’s net-zero agenda. Emma Cox urged all large businesses to engage with the IPCC’s monstrosity of a report. “For companies with a global footprint, the report provides the most detailed analysis of where and how your operations, supply chains and markets are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change,” she said.

The report actually does none of the above, but Cox continued: “Climate science should remain the hard basis for all decision making and target setting. In parallel, it must be used to inform and instigate a strong policy response to close the remaining ambition gap to keep the Paris Agreement objectives alive.”

How do corporations go about making climate science the basis for “all” decision making and target setting? No doubt PwC has an answer, as does Deloitte. A recent article on Deloitte’s website warned that the net-zero carbon target requires an urgency that exceeds previous industrial revolutions: “What’s needed is a more holistic system of systems approach that unlocks critical opportunities in the transition to a low-carbon economy by working at the intersection of emerging low-carbon initiatives.”

When consultants sound like UN bureaucrats, you know something is up.

The leadership at another global giant, KPMG, has created a management team called KPMG IMPACT that’s dedicated to pursuing the UN’s sustainability development goals, which is essentially a leftist takeover of world governance.

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In a report issued last November, the KPMG IMPACT team made its sales pitch to corporate executives and managers: “Business is not only a critical player in achieving the net zero goal; it is also at risk from the physical effects of the climate crisis and the economic impacts of transitioning to a net zero economy.”

The world’s corporate executives, managers and directors are ultimately caught between 3,949 pages of incomprehensible and speculative IPCC science pumped up by the media, and the exhortatory offerings of consultants eager to capitalize on IPCC climate alarmism.

And so, the great consultants’ Olympic are underway, a multi-year marathon competition among firms, legal teams and sustainability gurus to cash in on the promoted fears of hell on earth if corporations do not get behind net-zero with detailed planning, strategies and policy — and big dollars.

On your mark! Get set! Call your consultant!

7403a-money-down-the-drain

Socialists Command, Failures Ensue. Here’s why.

quote-social-engineering-the-art-of-replacing-what-works-with-what-sounds-good-thomas-sowell-133-50-80We are witnessing again politicians attempting to command social outcomes, which in market societies not only fails but makes matters worse.

An insight is provided by an observer of the “Blue State Model” example of NY under Cuomo and DeBlasio.  At AMAC newsline Cuomo Might Be Leaving Office, But His Failed Blue State Model Remains.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Following a sexual harassment scandal that captured the attention of the nation over the past several months, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday that he will resign as governor, effective two weeks from yesterday. But while New Yorkers may finally be rid of their creepy, handsy governor, the legacy of Cuomo’s disastrous policies will unfortunately continue its negative impact on the Empire State and weigh down attempts at economic recovery and growth.

Ironically, if Cuomo had prioritized working with small businesses, eliminating bureaucratic red tape, and removing onerous taxes, he could have had more small businesses and lower costs. But he instead chose to move in the opposite direction and, as is usually the case, more government involvement in private industry created a nightmare for companies and consumers.

One law in particular from earlier this year is a perfect case study, not only in Cuomo’s dreadful governing record, but in the bullying, Big Government, Blue State model that he so vividly represented. On April 16, 2021, Governor Cuomo signed legislation to impose price controls on high-speed internet. Under this bill, providers were only allowed to charge $15 a month to low-income residents, regardless of the cost of providing service. Governor Cuomo celebrated the law, stating, “This program – the first of its kind in the nation – will ensure that no New Yorker will have to forego having reliable home internet service and no child’s education will have to suffer due to their economic situation.

Almost immediately, the law was challenged by representatives of the telecommunications industry. They asserted that it was grossly illegal and that the state has no legal basis that would permit them to set or regulate the price of internet access.

Cuomo’s office was defiant. They immediately declared, “If these companies want to pick this fight, impede the ability of millions of New Yorkers to access this essential service, and prevent them from participating in our economic recovery, I say bring it on.” The infamously pugilistic Governor made it clear he wasn’t backing down – a trait that would again haunt him during his trial by media over sexual assault allegations a few months later.

In June, a federal court found merit in the industry’s challenge and temporarily banned the measure from being instituted. In the proceedings, it was revealed that the ban and its justification were almost ludicrously ill prepared and planned. When the state was challenged as to how it could legally set the price of a private industry service, they insisted that they weren’t actually setting the price at $15 because providers were free to charge less than $15. Additionally, the $15 price point wasn’t based on any research or knowledge. Even a cursory understanding of the telecom industry would reveal that many providers pay more than $15 per person in taxes and fees alone.

Needless to say, the judge wasn’t buying Cuomo’s argument. Within a matter of months of signing the bill, the state of New York abandoned it and chose to discontinue the case. The decision surprised few insiders. Some analysts theorized the Cuomo plan was mere “political theater.” They alleged that it was an attempt by the Governor to appear tough on corporations while accomplishing very little.

While Cuomo attempted to portray himself as standing up against “big business,” the truth is far more complicated. Many of the fiber optic cables laid across the country are not placed by large corporations. There are a number of small providers who specifically service areas that large providers ignore due to perceived inefficiency and cost. Currently, hundreds of thousands of homes are serviced by these small providers.

These companies had to spend millions of dollars and countless hours fighting Cuomo for their very survival. Additionally, although they technically won the battle, the legacy of the law could lead to a major chilling effect in which providers will be hesitant to provide low-cost fiber optic cables, out of fear they will be financially ruined should a future court rule in favor of a more cunning and well-prepared administration. In effect, Cuomo’s attempt to make internet access more ubiquitous and affordable would have made it more restricted and expensive.

Mercifully, with the three-term governor on his way out, New Yorkers will have a chance to pursue a different direction under hopefully more capable leadership. Unfortunately, however, the failed progressive model that tale exemplifies remains stubbornly in place in Blue State capitals across the country.

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Of course the same Blue State model of governance has produced a mess in California, resulting in a recall campaign against the perpetrator, Gavin Newsom.  Meanwhile at the US federal level, 2021 has seen political command behavior on steroids, and social and economic destruction unprecedented in such a short period of time.

Lisa Benson cartoon

A deeper discussion of failed progressive administrative behavior is from a previous post reprinted below.

Why Technocrats Deliver Catastrophes

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Mark E. Jeftovic writes insightfully on the ways technology backfires when applied by bureaucrats in his article Why the Technocratic Mindset Produces Only Misery and Failure. H/T Tyler Durden at zerohedge. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Technocrats have the most fundamental aspect of reality backwards

Saw this article come across, come across my news alert for “Transhumanism”. In it Dr. David Eagleman talks about how not only can we augment human senses with fantastic new abilities (like to “see” heat and electromagnetic patterns), but how we’ll even be able to build machines that think too.

There is a line in his thinking that one can glean from the article: on one side of the line are enhancements and augmentations to the human experience which are startling and amazing and which will transform our societies: even more radical life extension will be in the cards quite soon (for those who can afford it).

Where Eagleman crosses into technocratic thinking is when he veers into the idea of being able to build thinking machines. The logic is that because we’ll be able to increasingly bioengineer our own living bodies, it means we should also be able to bioengineer a mind into machines using the same principles.

I think this is wrong and it’s the same theoretical mistake that leads directly to technocratically inspired catastrophes.

Yes, we continue to build on technological advancements, but we also commit a lot of unforced errors that inflict incalculable misery on humanity. These errors may manifest as policy blunders, economic crises and worse. Most recently, for example, we seem to have gotten ourselves into a global pandemic because a bunch of technocrats funded some gain-of-function experiments in hopes of preempting the next pandemic. Do you see the dynamic here?

Over the years a lot of thinkers have pointed out that technocratic policy tracks, devised by centralized groups of experts within an elite managerial class, often bring about the very conditions they were impaneled to obviate.

• Raising minimum wages increases unemployment.
• Holding interest rates to zero creates economic instability and increases wealth inequality.
• Forcing green energy initiatives creates systems with lower energy efficiency and higher carbon footprints.
• Banning guns increases gun violence.
• Censoring “hate” speech fosters more hatred and polarization.

It’s almost as if the managerial class has no awareness of second-order effects. When they inexorably come to pass they are often blamed on the very people who were counselling against the initial policy in the first place.

Thus, financial meltdowns are blamed on runaway free markets and capitalism gone wild. Global warming (if it truly plays out along prognosticated lines) is blamed on industries who are most rapidly transitioning toward greener energy anyway (like Bitcoin mining).

Climate change is another theme that exemplifies the technocratic dynamic: As a society we’re going to transition off of fossil fuels no matter what anybody thinks about the environment because we’re already past peak oil, and peak demand will probably flatline around 100M bpd and start coming down from there in a secular downtrend, for a variety of reasons (prolonged economic malaise and the ascent of green energy).

Yet the most viable pathway toward transitioning away from fossil fuels, nuclear (and in this I include Thorium), is currently relegated as problematic by technocrats and ideologues.

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It all seems backwards and for a long time I’ve been positing a fundamental root cause of this backwardness. The premise is: We have the mind/matter equation completely backwards in the way we think about how the world works.

Conventional thought is that what we experience as consciousness is something that emanates from the brain. Like steam from a kettle. This is also the core assumption of AI. If we build something that resembles a brain, it’ll think. It’s a kind of Frankenstein approach that Eagleman alludes to in his article.

That won’t work and AI will never be achieved as long as the mechanistic, material reductionist worldview persists. Yet, technocrats put a lot of faith in AI, and they think models derived from AI are or will be superior to anything we can figure out on our own because they were outputted by machines with a bigger/faster/hardware brains.

It is completely… wrong.

I think that what we experience as matter are energy patterns that emanate from an underlying, and conscious sub-strata of reality. This is basic quantum theory. Quantum theory can be problematic because it opens the door to all kinds of New Age Woo Woo, which may not even be entirely wrong at its core, but is prone to deeply flawed implementations (like anything, I guess).

People, and probably most living things, have a sense, an intuitive awareness of this sub-strata of reality. Our mythology and sacred texts are probably the stories of sometimes being more attuned to it and sometimes less so. The late British writer Colin Wilson wrote at length on the consciousness of the Egyptians of the upper kingdom, possibly over 7500 years BC. Their consciousness and language was pictorial not linear. It may even be possible (my extrapolation, not his) that the demarcation point between conscious awareness between individuals was blurred somewhat. 

So what happened?

Into this awareness came religions. Organized structures that would begin to dictate the basis on which members of society were to comprehend and approach this Great Sub-Carrier. Priesthoods evolved – the first monopolies. Religions. Hierarchies. Rulers. Subjects.

One of the earliest forms of social deviance was heresy: approaching the Divine Sub-Carrier from a direction outside the religious structure. Can’t have that.

This dynamic is as old as humanity. It could even be argued that historical progress is the story of the public coming to realize that the monopoly thought structure they were in was flawed or obsolete and then society moving on to the next one. The elites of the day would endeavour to halt the progression or when that failed, co-opt whatever came next.

Then new elites would erect a new orthodoxy that placed them directly in the nexus of what was unknowable and what the rabble thought they needed to know in order to perform their primary function of ….servitude.

Today the great sub-carrier is best described by science, not religion. But again, the priesthood is saying that all knowledge of the sub-carrier should come through them. That’s Scientism. That’s Technocracy. Management by Experts.

The last two years of life on earth are a foretaste of a full blown technocracy. Follow The Science™, plebes.

Only our elites can fathom how to approach and extract knowledge from The Great Externality, but this time they’ve made things even worse because they have it exactly backwards. They think the Great Externality doesn’t even exist. It’s for flakes and Bible bangers. The technocratic priesthood holds that material reality is near completely understood and that our minds are side effects of chemical reactions in our brains.

They hold that if only we can crunch enough Big Data and calculate out all the models we’ll be, like God (who doesn’t exist), able to fix everything and eliminate all bad outcomes, for everybody, everywhere. We may even be able to eliminate death, and we could upload our consciousness (which is an illusion) into the cloud and live forever.

Because of this backwardation, we will always be careening from one catastrophe to the next, and most of them will be of our own making. We collectively suffer from an illusion that we are in control.

But we are not in control. We’re a pattern. A dance. A cycle. Waveforms. Vibrations. What we as humans do specifically well, which is our superpower and has led to our technological advancement which could conceivably continue on a trajectory that makes humanity an interstellar phenomenon, is adapt.

What technocrats can’t understand, or admit is that we can’t control what is going to happen. Either on an individual scale of people thinking in ways they’re not supposed to think, or geological, cultural, geopolitical or cosmic scales. We can’t get interest rates right, we can’t get everybody to agree on whether it’s “Gif” or “jif” and somehow we’re going to change the trajectory of the climate? Achieve immortality? Crank out a Singularity?

That is highly unlikely and in trying to preempt theoretical bad outcomes we typically bring about horrible actual outcomes.

The lab leak from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, if it occurred and it is looking increasingly likely that it did, was the result of gain-of-function studies on bat coronaviruses. They didn’t do it as a bioweapon. It’s not a global conspiracy to institute a Great Reset (all that talk is opportunism more than planning).

They were trying to figure out how to plan for a future global pandemic that may catch humanity off guard and cause incalculable damage. What did they accomplish? They unleashed a global pandemic that caught humanity off guard and caused incalculable damage. Soon to be compounded by global, de-facto compulsory inoculations with experimental vaccines that have a distinctly politicized impetus behind them.

That same dynamic is applied to economics (its where the .COM crash and Global Financial Crisis came from), and social policy (the Woke movement), to climate is all the same technocratic mindset that doesn’t understand the order of reality (mind, then matter) but even worse thinks it knows it.

We’re stuck with that for awhile because the technocratic mindset is incapable of introspection or entertaining the possibility of being wrong about anything. The only move it knows is to double-down on failure.

The antidote to all this is massive decentralization on a global scale, which has the added benefit that decentralization by definition, is not something that gets decided from the top (it never is). It just happens, even in spite of the people in the centre of power who may feel something about their gravitas melting away.

That’s what has started to happen. A global opt-out. The Great Reject. As sure as the Reformation gave way to the Enlightenment despite the protestations of the Church, we’re headed into a world of networks and the sunset of nations. All the while the propagandists of the old order shrieking that in this direction lies certain doom.

The Enlightenment arose from an increase in the level of abstraction, structurally the universe changed from the Ptolemaic worldview (the world as the centre of all existence) to the Heliocentric solar system.

Now we’re experiencing a similar shift away from static top-down hierarchical structures as the natural shape of civilization and toward shifting, impermanent, overlapping networks.

Footnote:  Another Example of Technocratic Adventurism

From American Thinker The Grave Perils of Genetic Editing.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

A company called Oxitec, based in the U.K., is piloting a program using gene-/information-modified mosquitos to eliminate the invasive female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in the Florida Keys. The mosquitoes potentially spread diseases such as Dengue fever and Zika.

Dr. Nathan Rose, head regulator of Oxitec, said mosquito-borne diseases are likely to worsen as a result of climate change. According to the CDC, in a ten-year span between 2010 and 2020, there were 71 cases of Dengue fever transmitted in Florida. In essence, the experiment is being conducted for fear of climate change causing a drastic increase in incidence of Dengue fever. In the Fox article, Rose states that Oxitec will first experiment in Florida, collect data, then “go to the U.S. regulatory agencies to actually get a commercial registration to be able to release these mosquitoes more broadly within the United States.”

Don’t think the Florida Keys just opened their arms with a great big bear hug to this experiment. No, there were pushback and questions. In fact, Oxitec had been pushing this experiment to Key Haven and Key West for years, only to be rejected. Many other places have also declined this experiment. When it was conducted in Brazil, it initially seemed to work, but in the end, the mutated mosquitos transferred mutations to the general public. Thankfully, gene drive was not used in the Brazil experiment, for this type of gene manipulation cannot be reversed and can wipe out a species over time.

Evidently, Oxitec has created a second-generation “friendly mosquito” technology, where new male mosquitoes are programmed to kill only female mosquitoes, with males serving and passing on the modified genes to male offspring for generations. Yes, they are programmed to kill. Oxitec CEO Grey Frandsen announced in 2020 that Oxitec looked forward to working with the Florida Keys community to “demonstrate the effectiveness of our safe, sustainable technology in light of the growing challenges controlling this disease-spreading mosquito.”

Let’s hope the Florida mosquitoes experiment is truly a necessity and not some type of climate-change fear-mongering “sustainable” technology based on speculation.

Fear Not for Arctic Ice Mid August 2021

Arctic2021226

The graph above shows mid July to mid August daily ice extents for 2021 compared to 14 year averages, and some years of note.

The black line shows during this period on average Arctic ice extents decline from ~8.3M km2 down to ~5.9M km2.  The 2021 cyan MASIE line started ~400k km2 below average but as of yesterday was slightly surplus.  The Sea Ice Index in orange (SII from NOAA) started with a deficit to MASIE (in cyan) of ~300M km2.  August 14 saw the two indices mid August close together, close to average and surplus to 2007.

Why is this important?  All the claims of global climate emergency depend on dangerously higher temperatures, lower sea ice, and rising sea levels.  The lack of additional warming is documented in a post Adios, Global Warming

The lack of acceleration in sea levels along coastlines has been discussed also.  See USCS Warnings of Coastal Flooding

Also, a longer term perspective is informative:

post-glacial_sea_levelThe table below shows the distribution of Sea Ice across the Arctic Regions, on average, this year and 2007.

Region 2021226 Day 226 Average 2021-Ave. 2007226 2021-2007
 (0) Northern_Hemisphere 6066634 5889687 176947 5727937 338697
 (1) Beaufort_Sea 915133 688804 226329 777766 137366
 (2) Chukchi_Sea 572339 404505 167834 260048 312290
 (3) East_Siberian_Sea 624917 556990 67927 196982 427934
 (4) Laptev_Sea 52213 252434 -200221 316363 -264150
 (5) Kara_Sea 173342 88626 84716 201115 -27772
 (6) Barents_Sea 5256 29027 -23771 17324 -12068
 (7) Greenland_Sea 118995 224977 -105982 316155 -197160
 (8) Baffin_Bay_Gulf_of_St._Lawrence 23528 59670 -36142 86165 -62637
 (9) Canadian_Archipelago 465880 420722 45157 375241 90638
 (10) Hudson_Bay 83051 74370 8681 91653 -8603
 (11) Central_Arctic 3031058 3088557 -57499 3087868 -56810

The overall surplus to average is 177k km2, (3%).  Note large surpluses of ice in BCE (Beaufort, Chukchi and East Siberian seas).  Meanwhile Laptev on the Russian coast melted out early, as has Greenland Sea.  Kara and CAA (Canadian Arctic Archipelago) are holding considerable ice.  We are about a month away from the annual minimum mid September, but at this point it does not appear it will be out of the ordinary.

bathymetric_map_arctic_ocean

 

Illustration by Eleanor Lutz shows Earth’s seasonal climate changes. If played in full screen, the four corners present views from top, bottom and sides. It is a visual representation of scientific datasets measuring Arctic ice extents.

Climate Hysteria is a Global Psy-Op

Iron triangle Crisis

Iron Triangle of Public Crises

Alasdair Macleod writes at Goldmoney The problem with climate change politics. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Climate change bears all the hallmarks of a state-sponsored crisis, useful to shift attention from other political failures. But the absence of financial accountability which characterises government actions also introduces behavioural errors.

The absence of a profit motive in any state action exposes the relationship between governments and their electors to psychological factors. We all know that governments use propaganda and other tools to manage crowd psychology and influence their electorates. What is less understood is that governments themselves are misled by a crowd psychology in its own ranks which contributes to policy failure.

This article does not question the climate change debate itself. Instead, it examines the debate in the context of the psychology driving it. The release of government-sponsored propaganda on climate change in the form of a unanimous IPCC report predicting the end of the world as we know it is the latest example of a political and bureaucratic phenomenon, making the timing of this article highly relevant.

Six psychological factors

 In Chapter 6 of Desrochers & Szurmak’s work, they identify six distinct psychological factors which we will take in turn to enhance our understanding of the psychology of climate change. I list them under the following headings:

♦ The iron triangle of crisis
♦ The psychology of entrenched arguments
♦ Motivated reasoning
♦ The core theoretical theme
The anointed elite and
♦ Optimism and pessimism

The Desrocher and Szurmak reference is to their book Population Bombed.  My synopsis with links is Control Population, Control the Climate. Not.

The iron triangle of crisis

Even from before the time of Malthus, there have been political influencers and activists who have promoted pessimistic assumptions about uncontrolled population expansion, and the ability of the planet’s resources to feed them. Despite these fears being subsequently proved to be unfounded they continue to prevail among those who don’t need to pursue profits for a living. It is a bias to which politicians and their advisers are especially vulnerable.

The public naturally expects its elected representatives’ unbiased endeavours when bringing national threats to its attention. After all, it is arguably a primary function of government to protect its population from dangers, real and potential. There are government departments tasked with assessing dangers to society, their likelihood, and in their event how government should respond. These are tasks that require unbiased research. But political guidance from the top is rarely neutral, seeking to influence outcomes.

And we now find that climate change science has become heavily politicised.

Climate change is the gift that goes on giving to politicians. It creates an impression of tackling the big issue of our times. And it is a source of crisis giving cover for failings over lesser priorities. Observing how Boris Johnson maintains his popularity through a combination of leading the world in the battle against climate change while seeking every photo opportunity possible and at the same time presiding over the Covid disaster has been a masterclass in practical politics. One is left wondering how vacuous his politics would appear without the prop of climate change.

On his watch, the politics of climate disaster have taken on a new life in the UK. Government spending plans angled at reducing carbon emissions has accelerated, as has the support and credibility given by state-funded scientists producing alarming forecasts. Radical environmentalism is not only embraced, but actively promoted through the media.

This trinity, this iron triangle of crisis as Desrochers and Szurmak put it, is therefore comprised of establishment interests, the promotion of fear, and media management. It focuses the public’s mind on a specific threat to the exclusion of others. It is a feedback loop of career and protectionism driven by the psychology of entrenched arguments, which is our next topic.

The psychology of entrenched arguments

A rational approach to absorbing and understanding new information would be to address it logically and without bias. Clearly, this does not happen. Our brains are still wired as they were in our hunter-gatherer days when our decisions were based on a choice of fight or flight. We therefore have a natural tendency to hold onto a protected position after it becomes untenable.

Imagine being part of a community of primitive cave-dwellers and fight or flight becomes a group decision. We will support each other in uncertainty well after a crisis point has passed, breaking ranks after flight has become the only option. It is survival by inward-looking mutual defence, not attack. It is the deep psychology behind groupthink, or the psychology of entrenched arguments. It leads to the cliff-edge of crisis.

Researchers from Cornell University have examined the phenomenon.[iii] They found that “participants prefer to learn information from in-group sources and agree more with in-group members on moral and political issues”. This takes groupthink into persistence territory after the flight option has long passed, and existing views become defensively entrenched. Awareness of the true situation becomes compromised through self-ignorance of the flaws in the group’s knowledge and judgement. It even has a name: the Dunning-Kruger effect.[iv]

To this self-ignorance can be added a group’s overestimation of its understanding of controversial issues, leading to the illusion of “understanding bias”. The more members of a group who debate an issue, the more understanding bias is reinforced. You see evidence of understanding bias in wider politics, particularly when opinions coalesce over time into different political ideologies. In America, the Democrats are as intellectually capable as the Republicans, yet the two parties have retreated into sharply differing understanding biases.

Entrenched arguments are reinforced by naïve realism. A naïve realist assumes he or she personally is both rational and unbiassed in the assimilation and assessment of the facts, and further assumes that those who do not reach the same conclusions are ignorant, biased or both. Naïve realism is the product of a false consensus, under which those that agree with the naïve realist are seen to be more rational than those that do not. Entrenched arguments and naïve realism become the driving force behind motivated reasoning.

Motivated reasoning

We naturally believe in scientific research, on the incorrect assumption that all those PhDs from top universities conduct experiments for the same reasons as we were taught at school in chemistry lessons. Unfortunately, the scientific community’s motivation, in both the natural and social sciences, is not so pure. Scientists are human and need to earn a living, which is far easier to do if they go with the general confirmation bias. In the post-education world, a scientist needs a paid position, recognition and to publish frequently in respected journals. Good ideas become suppressed and poor data to back bad ideas are too frequently the result of this motivated reasoning.[v]

It was best summed up by John Ioannidis, a professor of medicine at Stanford University:

“Scientists in a given field may be prejudiced purely because of their belief in a scientific theory or commitment to their own findings… Prestigious investigators may suppress via the peer review process the appearance and dissemination of findings that refute their findings, thus condemning their field to perpetuate false dogma. Empirical evidence on expert opinion shows that it is extremely unreliable.”[vi]

Admittedly, Professor Ioannidis was writing about research in the natural sciences, but the methods and empirical evidence extends to the social sciences as well. It describes well the research papers published by central banks and the economist professors in universities. It is also characteristic of the opinion silos in government departments.

Motivated reasoning, such as on climate change and political correctness, is all about building a core theoretical theme.

The core theoretical theme

One way in which experts refute opposing evidence is by sticking to a core theoretical theme. I recall email correspondence I had with a well-known financial journalist in 2016, which ground to a halt when he declared,

“In my view, the record global savings rate (27pc) is the root cause of our problems. Some way must be found to rotate this into consumption to rebalance the global economy.”

In other words, he adhered to a core theoretical theme common to neo-Keynesian economists. By expressing it as his view, he was obviously not prepared to debate why he held that the record global savings rate was the root cause of our problems. We are not judging whether it is correct, only that he holds it, he assumes it. He was signalling he will not be shifted, so further debate is pointless. This is true of all state-funded economics, which this opinion reflects. Numerous papers have been written to justify this stance. We have lived with this view since Keynes published his General Theory in 1936. As in Keynesian economics, a core theoretical theme has emerged in the climate change debate

But if Professor Ioannidis is right about empirical evidence showing expert opinion is extremely unreliable, and which appears to be confirmed in the fields of economics and monetary theory, it explains the closed minds to balanced debate in fields such as climate change. So long as a core theoretical theme is adhered to, it becomes almost impossible to overturn.

A determination to stick to the core Keynesian theme on the savings paradox is my journalist friend’s membership card for the anointed elite.

The anointed elite

Many of us want to belong, to make a difference, to enhance society. We know that to do so we must have influence and the best way to do that is to join and promote a cause that has the establishment’s support. And there is nothing like that comforting feeling of an open invitation into the parlours of the great and the good. Well-known figures in the media with this access use their fame and position to anoint themselves alongside the elite and continue to have a career for so long as they play the elite’s game.

The anointed elite was the description of the economist and political theorist, Thomas Sowell, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He came up with it in his pithily named 1995 book, The Vision of the Anointed: Self-congratulation as a basis for social policy.

Even though we may not recognise it at the time, we have all come across it: the independent expert frequently called on by the media for comment in a specialist field. These experts rely on being informed by government insiders. They adopt the expert mantle, but it is never made clear that they owe their media status almost entirely to their membership of a government-anointed elite and their support of the elite’s objectives. But if they are stupid enough to turn critic, they will be immediately unanointed and they know it.

It applies to ex-politicians and media correspondents alike. If, say, a correspondent for a national newspaper doesn’t play along, he risks being dropped from background briefings by the elite, while his confrères at other journals continue to be invited. “That journalist from the Daily Screech is unreliable. Best not include him in our off-the-record briefings.” The threat of exclusion is the surest way for the elite to ensure that its message is the one that prevails.

Optimists v. pessimists

The glass-half-full optimists and the glass-half-empty pessimists are not split evenly across two sides of an issue. In practice, the establishment and those with a position in society are protective and pessimistic about change because it is a threat to their established position, while commercially minded outsiders tend to take a more positive view.

Psychologists tell us that as humans we have two personalities. One half of us protects what we have, giving us a sense of location, property, and home. The other half is a traveller in search of new vistas, foreign relationships, and trade. Journalist and activist Jane Jacobs (of New York City and then Toronto) identified and described these two patterns of moral precepts as guardian and commercial syndromes.[vii]

According to Jacobs, we have a different mix of these characteristics as individuals, communities and even at national levels. The two syndromes show different characters, which is why some of us are adventurers and others home birds. Commercial relationships are outgoing, and honesty in business is rewarded, while guardians are protective, favour loyalty and support the establishment. Commercials shun force and come to voluntary agreements, while guardians shun trading and exert prowess. Commercials are collaborative, competitive and respect contracts, while guardians are exclusive, take vengeance and respect hierarchy. Commercials are open to inventiveness and novelty, while guardians expect obedience and discipline. And so on.

The commercials’ activities encompass work in making and trading, while the guardians are political leaders, administrators, educators, and upholders of the law. The two syndromes are a neat explanation for the different mindsets and social duties of the private sector compared with governments.

The consequences of climate change politics

The purpose of this article is not to enter the climate change debate but to examine the flaws in the process. Realistically, it is too late to question the line being pursued, having gone beyond any influencer’s control. It is common knowledge that the science is politically influenced by state funding. But it is not widely appreciated that the process of hyping up climate change into a full-blown crisis has become the consequence of a crowd psychology rather than a pursuit of the facts.

The political advantages of introducing legislative targets for climate policies in 2030 or 2040 is that they are sufficiently far away for current politicians to have dumped the problem onto their successors. Without carbon fuels and having subsidised unreliable wind and solar energy to the point where other energy sources, notably nuclear, are uneconomic, the cost of climate change politics threatens to be ruinous for economic activity in the future, threatening the tax base and therefore the expenditure of the governments which have thoughtlessly promoted it.

brain on climate alarm

This is your brain on climate alarm.  Just say NO!

Biden Drops the Ball in Afghanistan. How Many Fumbles is He Allowed?

TOPSHOT-AFGHANISTAN-CONFLICT

James Carafano writes at Daily Signal Don’t Blame Trump for Afghanistan’s Collapse. Blame Barack Obama. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw abruptly from Afghanistan, without any discernable exit strategy, has plunged that nation into a bloody, ruinous chaos. After pleading with the Taliban to spare our embassy in Kabul, he has now redeployed 3,000 to conduct a hasty air evacuation of embassy staff.

At this stage, the only good that can come from this debacle is that our leaders might wake up and recognize that the Obama Doctrine of foreign policy is an abysmal failure and must be abandoned once and for all. Tragically, this lesson comes, yet again, at tremendous cost: widescale human misery and heightened threats to U.S. interests.

As we study what’s happened, let’s first dispense with the canards: that this fiasco was inevitable and that it’s all Donald Trump’s fault.

The reality is that, during Trump’s tenure and despite the Afghan government’s many imperfections, Afghanistan had made great strides. The government-controlled most of the country’s territory. There was real economic growth. Women could work. Children could go to school.

Further, the cost of fostering regional stability by maintaining a stable Afghanistan was well within reason. The U.S. was spending less in Afghanistan in a year than we used to spend in a week. American forces were training and advising Afghan forces. Our troops were not fighting wars and taking causalities. This was clearly sustainable.

And how, in heaven’s name, is Trump to blame for Biden’s disastrous decision to cut and run? Trump was negotiating with the Taliban, but there was nothing wrong with that. The negotiations were conditions-based, and Trump made clear the Taliban would be held accountable for their actions. Moreover, Trump’s team made sure that if, in the end, the Taliban proved untrustworthy, the remaining U.S. force had been sized and scoped to present a serious deterrent to the Taliban and be sufficient to protect U.S. interests.

Trump, in fact, handed Biden a problem mostly solved. All Biden had to do was negotiate a lasting settlement from a position of strength or maintain an economy of force presence in Afghanistan if the Taliban failed to deliver. Instead, Biden just decided to call it day and call the troops home regardless of what the Taliban did on the ground.

The Taliban’s offensive should surprise no one, given the conditions handed to them. Why would they not take advantage of Biden’s abandonment of Afghanistan? They knew full well the odds that this president would try to stop their orgy of murder, rape, forced marriages, and mayhem was near zero.

Of course, Biden will blame Trump. He will blame the Taliban. He can make all the excuses and spin all the narratives he wants, but a narrative can’t stop a bullet. This is a disaster. The situation did not collapse until he withdrew troops—and it is impossible not to conclude this happened because of what he decided.

Here is the bigger problem. This was not a one-off decision. This is part of a pattern of Obama-Biden foreign policy. And that should surprise no one since the current policies are being managed by much the same people.

In Iraq, after spending much time and effort stabilizing the country, Obama precipitously withdrew U.S. troops. It was like ordering firefighters who had extinguished a wildfire to not stick around after the wildfire in case the blaze rekindles. ISIS mushroomed overnight, creating the largest and most powerful terrorist state in modern history.

In Libya, Obama insisted on leading from behind. And once Gaddafi was gone from the picture, he ignored the spiraling decline in the security situation until our diplomatic facilities in Benghazi were smoking ruins.

This is the Obama-Biden playbook. Disengage in dangerous situations, and hope everything doesn’t go to hell in a handbasket. And when those fond hopes don’t pan out? Time to make excuses; shift blame; do anything but deal with the problem—unless there is absolutely no alternative.

In the face of America’s enemies, the default position of Obama-Biden foreign policy default is accommodation and appeasement. Unfortunately, the bad guys are not stupid. They had eight years to study the Obama playbook, and they know what to do with it: Exploit the deliberate self-weakening.

Biden is carrying on exactly the same foreign policy. Caving to Russia on Nord Stream 2. Refusing to confront China on the origins of COVID-19. Pleading with Tehran to let the U.S. back in the Iran nuclear deal.

No good will come of this.

Moving On Now Covid Pandemic is Over

cg60a31a950a20d-1

Before 2019, there were four coronviruses causing “common colds” world wide.  Now we have a fifth one joining the others in making infections of our respiratory systems.  It is important to understand how vaccines protect us, but do not prevent infections.  As explained below, there is a big difference between systemic immunity and mucosal immunity.  The first is the aim and largely successful outcome from the vaccines now available.  But equally important is the ability to stop the virus from multiplying at its entry point in the nose and mouth.

From Snithsonian Magazine:

In a collective display of scientific advancement, the Covid-19 vaccines from Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson seem to be astoundingly effective at preventing severe disease and death from Covid-19. All are intramuscular, meaning they are injected into the muscle tissue. Once the vaccine materials seep into the bloodstream, they induce the creation of antibodies, which then circulate in the blood throughout the body, protecting some of the most vital organs and creating what’s called systemic immunity. This immune response protects the body from serious illness and death, but the response only builds after the virus has fully entered the body.

Their ability to protect the human body from Covid-19 illness is truly incredible, but the SARS-CoV-2 virus still has an entryway into the body left unprotected by the vaccines: the nose and mouth. Those two gateways, and their ability to transmit the virus, are what mask mandates are all about. Face coverings have been shown to impede the spread of the aerosol virus, protecting their wearers and those around them from infecting each other.

I won’t go into the question of mask symbolism vs. medical effectiveness, but readers can delve into this by a previous post Covid Masquerade.  Suffice it to say,  the attempt to prevent infections by masks, social distancing and lockdowns is doomed to fail, and take our society and economy down with it.  The realistic approach is the same as in the past to deter the spread of flu-like illnesses:  Good hygiene certainly, and vitamins needed by our immune systems.  Self-isolation when feverish. And provision of anti-viral medications under supervision of family doctors and clinics.

But the drive to Zero Covid Infections is dangerous and wrong.  And the nanny state dictates are increasingly violating the social contract of every free enterprise democracy.

Tyler C. Chrestman writes at American Thinker  The pandemic is over: Time to return to normal.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

The pandemic is over. This statement might seem counter-intuitive, as COVID cases are on the rise and the Delta mutation is sweeping through the state, but it is the truth. The pandemic is over, and it is time for life to return to normal.

At this point, half of the Missouri population is vaccinated, but the number of vaccinations does not accurately represent the risk still facing the general public. The people who are most at risk from the virus, those individuals over the age of 65, are vaccinated at a rate somewhere between 75–85%. According to the CDC, almost 80% of all the deaths from COVID in the country came from people within this demographic. So if our at-risk population is vaccinated at such a high rate, why should everyone else continue to worry?

A lot of the public hand-wringing over COVID comes from a poor grasp of the actual risk factors associated with the virus. Less than 3% of all the deaths from COVID in the U.S. occurred in people under the age of 45. Fifty-seven percent of Missouri’s population falls within this age bracket. Almost all cases of severe illness experienced by people under 45 included numerous comorbidities such as obesity, diabetes, and hypertension.

In other words, if you are young and healthy, the risk of being hospitalized or dying from COVID has always been remote.

Mask mandates, lockdowns, and vaccine passports should be off the table indefinitely. If a person is vaccinated, the virus poses him almost no risk of severe illness or death. If someone has chosen to remain unvaccinated, despite the fact that the vaccine is now widely available, then the rest of society should not be expected to mask for his benefit. The population that makes up the unvaccinated and the people who oppose further government intervention overlap heavily. The government should not attempt to impose its will on people who explicitly do not wish to be protected.

People are capable of assessing their own risk factors and deciding what to do with their health, and governmental paternalism is not needed, nor is it appreciated.

Let us look at the risk the unvaccinated present to those who chose to get the jab. Breakthrough cases of COVID, despite the fact that they are becoming more prevalent, remain rare. Those who do come down with an illness after vaccination tend to experience mild symptoms. Of the 164 million people in the country who have been vaccinated against COVID, there have been only 1,500 deaths. This means that the odds of dying from COVID post-vaccination are less than 0.0001%.

The unvaccinated pose no threat to those who have chosen to get vaccinated.
Segregating our society by vaccine status, via vaccine passports, is both divisive and unnecessary.

The peak week for COVID deaths in the United States came back in January of 2021, when 25 thousand people died in a single week. Last week, that number was down to 1,600. This 15-fold improvement cannot be overstated. In Missouri, 116 people died of COVID last week, which is not nothing but is much less than the height of the pandemic, when that number was 600. This is even less than the numbers from mid-July, which were closer to 150. This drop in deaths mirrors data from other countries, such as the U.K., and suggests that we may already be on the downslope of the delta mutation.

When the inevitable Echo, Foxtrot, and Golf mutations of the virus surface, Missouri will get through those as well.

If the goal of those in power is to see the virus eradicated entirely, it is a goal that is bound to fail. The government cannot mandate its way to zero COVID, and it is misguided to think otherwise. With booster shots for the vaccinated on the horizon, COVID appears poised to remain a daily part of life for the foreseeable future. Mask mandates, lockdowns, and being forced to show your papers in public are not the answer for how to live moving forward.

Learning to assess personal risk factors accurately, trusting in the protection the vaccine provides, and working on improving individual immune systems are the best things we can do to mitigate future risks.

 

“I am Non-racial”

How to stop the new “anti-racism racism”:

I am non-racial.  When you call me “X” (white, black, yellow, red or whatever) that is just a social construct. 
I do not identify as “X”.  I am not a member of that or any category.

Lynn Uzzell writes at Real Clear Politics Three Words to Defeat CRT: ‘I Am Non-Racial’.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.  

Their apparent political success notwithstanding, foes of CRT warn that the only way to defeat the menace is through political activism, fundraising, and a cascade of litigation. And even then, they fear, the juggernaut that is CRT has become too powerful a force to be overcome in our public schools.

But there is a far simpler solution, and one that promises better success in the long run. It can be achieved through three simple words: “I am non-racial.”

For the past 20 years, CRT has achieved enormous success in placing race at the center of public discourse and convincing otherwise rational people that their race is the most important facet of their identity. If a substantial mass of Americans refused to identify as any race, the whole project would collapse.

Identifying as non-racial is morally right, politically expedient, socially advantageous, and it has the added benefit of conforming one’s identity to the racial reality of America.

The Morality of Being Non-Racial

Most of us, when we were little, were taught to believe that it was immoral to judge people according to their race. We were urged to share Martin Luther King’s famous dream, “that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” We understood that the dream was not fully realized in America, but nearly everyone felt committed to working toward that goal.

Critical race theory teaches a contrary vision of morality. It deliberately rejects the goal of a race-blind society. Authors of one textbook on CRT express their “deep dissatisfaction with traditional civil rights discourse.” They wish to replace it with an “explicit embrace of race-consciousness,” especially “among African-American and other peoples of color.”

This particular feature of the theory—the deliberate heightening of race consciousness—has been the most prominent aspect of CRT in schools today. One school district in Oregon has developed a “white identity development” strategy, because, after all, what could go wrong when white people are segregated from others and trained to view themselves as a unique interest group?

CRT has been remarkably successful in encouraging greater race-consciousness throughout America’s institutions. Use of the terms “racist” and “racism” have skyrocketed in the mainstream media in the last 15 years, especially in leading newspapers such as the Washington Post and the New York Times.

The moral choice is clear: Either we are aiming for a society where race no longer matters, or we are aiming for a society where race consciousness predominates. If the lessons we imbibed when we were young were correct, then refusing to identify as any race is the next logical step toward achieving true racial justice and harmony.

The Political Expedience of Being Non-Racial

American policy and public discourse have been focused on race for so long that it is easy to forget that it doesn’t have to be this way. France has long maintained an official stance of color-blindness: a law passed in 1978 explicitly bans most collections and computerized storage of race-based data.

In America, the collection of racial data is still voluntary, though it has become ubiquitous. But the march of CRT would be stopped dead in its tracks if Americans would stop volunteering any answer to the question of racial identity beyond “non-racial.” Imagine how transformative that option would be.

Schoolchildren could not be taught that they are “oppressors” on the basis of their “whiteness” if parents insist that their family opposes categorizing people by race and that their children do not identify as white.

Currently, the “Asian American penalty” means that Asians are significantly less likely to be accepted into elite universities than any other race, and it’s getting worse. California’s recent decision to do away with admissions tests for its UC schools is a barely disguised effort to reduce the number of “overrepresented” Asians admitted there. But the Asian American penalty would instantly evaporate if these students chose to be non-racial instead.

Seattle would not be able to hold training sessions exclusively for “city employees who identify as white” in order to teach them about their “complicity in the system of white supremacy,” if city employees, and all employees, would instead identify as non-racial.

Obviously, not everyone would benefit in the short term from the “non-racial” category. Currently, students, applicants, and workers who officially identify as historically marginalized races reap tangible benefits in admission, hiring, and professional advancement. And it is too much to ask that everyone would be willing to give up those privileges immediately. But in the long run, even those who now stand to benefit from the current brand of racialism will begin to see the benefits of working towards a truly post-racial society.

The Social Advantages of Being Non-Racial

Over the same period that CRT has achieved institutional hegemony in America, race relations have gotten much worse. As Charles Murray has shown, in just seven years—between 2013 and 2020—“Americans’ perceptions of race relationships had gone from solidly optimistic to solidly pessimistic.”

Correlation is not always causation, but in this case it is. Racial discord is not an unintended consequence of CRT; it is its lifeblood. As reductionist history, CRT teaches that America’s past and its essence are tethered to the unremitting march of white supremacy. As a reductionist political agenda, CRT teaches that underprivileged races must seize and redistribute the property and power hitherto accumulated by whites.

This teaching not only stokes racial competition, enmity, and grievance. It cannot survive without them. Just as Marxism is sustained by class conflict, CRT feeds off of racial conflict. If total racial harmony were ever achieved in this country—if all Americans of every race were ever to clasp hands in brotherly love—CRT would wither away and die.

The more that this hyper-racialized theory takes hold in our country, the more it drives a wedge between us and our in-laws, nephews, nieces, and neighbors.

Renouncing racial identities does not mean renouncing other social, religious and political identities that can actually draw us closer together. Those who choose to be non-racial do not have to give up celebrating Chinese New Year, St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, or Ethiopian Timkat. It simply means refusing to be subsumed under a contrived category that has always been more divisive than cohesive in America.

The Reality of Being Non-Racial

Although there is much to criticize in CRT, it contains some kernels of truth. In particular, it recognizes that race is “socially constructed (the idea of biological race is ‘false’)”; nevertheless, race has always been very “real” as an instrument of power.

Indeed, whatever scant biological reality might once have been attached to the idea of dividing humanity by races centuries ago, when peoples were divided by continents, race has never been a scientific way of categorizing the people who inhabit the United States. Take, as Exhibit A, the uniquely American and invidious “one-drop rule,” whereby a single ancestor from Africa could condemn a person to chattel slavery or to a subordinate caste. Racial categories in America have never been anything more than cynical attempts to advance one group’s interests over others.

Yet this acknowledgement of the unnaturalness of racial distinctions potentially posed a problem for CRT. Did it not follow that “it is theoretical and politically absurd to center race as a category of analysis or as a basis for political action,” if that category was nothing more than an artificial construct?

It is on this question that CRT takes a sharp turn against the traditional liberal order. Believing that systems ostensibly founded on the rule of law or meritocracy are actually blinds for consolidating and protecting structures of racial privilege (even if the racial categories benefiting from that privilege are arbitrary and artificial), CRT openly advocates distributing wealth, power, and privileges according to race (even if the newly privileged racial categories are based on no less arbitrary and artificial distinctions).

Hence, according to this logic, it makes perfect sense for Harvard to claim blue-eyed Sen. Elizabeth Warren as a diversity hire—even if her racial identity is based on no more than family lore and DNA evidence showing that her bloodlines can boast between 1/64 and 1/1032 indigenous ancestry. Today, we’re seeing one-drop redux in America. But now that single drop is being used to confer social, political, and economic advancement instead of stigma and exclusion.

According to this logic, even Rachel Dolezal’s choice to pass as black makes sense. If something as meaningless as a single drop can determine one’s racial status, why insist even on that single drop?

By refusing to identify as any race, we can stop this madness.

Choosing to be non-racial conforms to racial reality in this country. Most Americans, looking backwards toward their ancestors, see a mélange of nationalities, ethnicities, and races. Looking sideways, our own families are more racially diverse than ever before. And peering into the future, racial categorizations in America will become ever more absurd with every generation. It’s high time that our self-identities matched our objective reality.

Of course, we can expect that the same people who agree that race lacks any objective reality will also resist any attempts to banish self-identifications by race. And won’t it be ironic if the folks who insist that individuals be given the option to select “non-binary” when asked to choose between male and female are the same folks who object to the choice of “non-racial” when asked to choose a mere social construct?

Being Non-Racial in Practice

Our local school district’s anti-racism policy is just one example of the sort of policies being adopted across the country. It requires staff to “collect, review, and provide an annual report to the School Board on data regarding racial disparities in … student achievement.” The report must “also include evidence of growth” in reducing “equity gaps.”

Obviously, one way to reduce disparities between racial groups is to improve the academic achievement of historically under-performing races. However, parents beware: This aim can be achieved equally well—and at much less cost and effort—by diminishing the academic achievement of historically “over-performing” races. The goal of boosting one or more races’ standing—not in absolute terms, but only relative to the standing of other races—is wholly unrelated to, and potentially at odds with, the vocation of educating all children.

It may seem unfair to suppose that teachers and administrators might try to meet their “equity” goals by sacrificing the educational achievement of any portion of their students. Then again, it seems even more unfair that teachers—who have a hard enough job educating our youth—are now expected to single-handedly fix entrenched social problems that no one else has been able to solve.

Forcing schoolchildren to confess to “white privilege” is the poisonous fruit of CRT, and it’s understandable that such ripe, juicy stories receive the most notice. But the noxious weed invading our schools spreads underground, and parents could cut it off at the roots if they took the simple expedient of refusing to allow their children to be classified by race from the outset.

The beginning of the school year is an excellent opportunity to make this change.

Parents, remember, whenever you are asked to identify a race for you or your children, the most ethical and judicious answers are “Decline to answer,” “Other,” or “Non-racial.” Teach your children while they are yet babes: You are non-racial. Inoculate them early against the disease of racialism that has infected the schools, the universities, and the workplace. Don’t let anyone else saddle them with a racialized identity that will haunt them throughout their lives.

Lynn Uzzell is Visiting Assistant Professor of Politics at Washington and Lee University. She specializes in the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and the political thought of James Madison.