Climate and CO2 Hysteria Is Optional

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

David Simon shines a light of sanity in his Real Clear Markets article To End Climate Lunacy, Stop Treating Warming & C02 Hysterically.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

Those who oppose economically destructive “climate” policies – like those promoted by the Biden administration and at the recent United Nations COP27 conference – will continue to fail to stop the advance of these policies so long as they continue to accept the false claim that warming of the planet and carbon dioxide emissions are harmful.

They are not. On balance, global warming and CO2 emission are beneficial.

Before getting to why that is, however, it is crucial to understand why accepting the false climate claim is so harmful.

When the destructiveness of climate policies is shown, the response is that the policies nevertheless are necessary to address what President Biden refers to as the “existential threat” of global warming and increased CO2 emissions.

When it is noted that these climate policies will at most microscopically and insignificantly reduce temperatures and CO2 emissions, climate policy mandarins push for even more draconian policies.

The result has been that since the 1990s, climate policies have become increasingly destructive and wasteful. Even worse, their continued intensification appears unlikely to be stopped until the public and policymakers are persuaded that global warming and CO2 emissions are not harmful. As Margaret Thatcher famously said: First you win the argument, then you win the vote.”

To win this argument, it is necessary to focus on the scientific facts.

A warming planet saves lives. 

Analyses of millions of deaths in recent decades in numerous countries, published in the British medical journal The Lancet, show that cooler temperatures killed nine times (July 2021 study) to seventeen times (In May 2015 study) more people than warmer temperatures. The planet’s recent modest warming (by 1.00 degree Celsius on average since 1880, as calculated by NASA) thus has been saving millions of lives.

A 2015 study by 22 scientists from around the world found that cold kills over 17 times more people than heat.

CO2 emissions do not pollute and instead are environmentally beneficial. 

In 2017, over 300 scientists, including Richard Lindzen of MIT and William Happer of Princeton, signed a statement that made this point: “carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. To the contrary, there is clear evidence that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is environmentally helpful to food crops and other plants that nourish all life. It is plant food, not poison.” Every one of us, indeed, also exhales carbon dioxide with every breath.

Spatial pattern of trends in Gross Primary Production (1982- 2015). Source: Sun et al. 2018.

Since 1920, deaths each year from natural disasters have decreased by over 90 percent. 

And this happened, data from EM-DAT – The International Disaster Database presented by The University of Oxford show, not only as the planet has warmed, but as world population has quadrupled.

Global warming has not increased hurricanes.

 A NOAA report, updated on November 28, 2022, states that “there is essentially no long-term trend in hurricane counts. The evidence for an upward trend is even weaker if we look at U.S. landfalling hurricanes, which even show a slight negative trend beginning from 1900 or from the late 1800s.”

The same report sums it up in bold: “We conclude that the historical Atlantic hurricane data at this stage do not provide compelling evidence for a substantial greenhouse warming-induced century-scale increase in: frequency of tropical storms, hurricanes, or major hurricanes, or in the proportion of hurricanes that become major hurricanes.”

Global warming also does not increase land burned by fires. 

As environmental statistician Bjorn Lomberg has shown using data from the Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, Remote Sensing of Environment, and Earth’s Future, the percentage of global land burned per year in 1905-2021 has been declining.

Sea levels are rising – but only by a small fraction of an inch each year. 

An EPA report updated on August 1, 2022, states: “When averaged over all of the world’s oceans, absolute sea level has risen at an average rate of 0.06 inches per year from 1880 to 2013,” including a slightly increased rate since 1993 of “0.12 to 0.14 inches per year.”

The UN climate models that President Biden, John Kerry, and other climate doomsters use to predict future global temperatures are so speculative and unreliable that they have been unable even to reproduce the 20th century’s temperature changes. This is a key point in the must-read book by Obama Department of Energy Under Secretary for Science Steven Koonin, Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters.

These kinds of facts should persuade the public and policymakers to stop accepting the false claim that global warming and CO2 emissions are harmful.

When this false claim is no longer widely accepted, policymakers will stop imposing climate policies that particularly impoverish the world’s poor.

They will stop holding international boondoggles like COP27 and that demand vast climate-related foreign aid programs.

They will stop spending hundreds of billions of dollars on domestic climate sinkholes.

And they will stop using purported “social cost of carbon” factors (even though the true social cost of carbon is zero) to regulatorily restrict domestic fossil fuel production, transportation, and use.

For additional climate science facts see Climate Problem? Data say no.


Cleaning Toxic Pollution from Social Media

Jordan Peterson recently spoke with Piers Morgan on this topic (and related matters) in the video above.  Below is a lightly edited abridged transcript for those who prefer reading. (PM is Piers Morgan and JP is Jordan Peterson).  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

PM:  Jordan, it’s good to see you again. I was absolutely astonished (maybe I shouldn’t have been) by the reaction to our last interview worldwide. The sheer volume of people that watched the whole interview–the way the clips were disseminated on tick tock, on Facebook and on Twitter–it was a really interesting Insight actually into a whole world that doesn’t even involve conventional television anymore

JP: Well I’m still continually surprised about it but I think it shows that there’s really no way that Legacy TV in some real sense can compete with the absolutely wide open Frontier of online video distribution, where the cost is low and people can access it everywhere. It’s fundamentally the consequence of a Technological Revolution, and there’s all sorts of good things about that. And one of those would be the ability to widely disperse complex and sophisticated information, which YouTube has been particularly good at in the long form.

But it’s also problematic in that it produces all sorts of alterations and social behavior, and some of them very dangerous, many of which we’re only just beginning to understand.

PM: Right, Elon Musk has just bought Twitter and it’s creating a huge furor obviously, in many different ways. He’s admitted he’s going to do lots of things in the next few months and may get some wrong and have to try something else. And he’s going to try and work out a way of making a sustainable business model. But also he wants to bring back what he perceives to be genuine free speech on the platform. Is it possible Jordan, do you think that he can do that or are we now so entrenched in tribalism, particularly on social media that it’s almost impossible.

JP: Well you couldn’t have picked a better day to talk about this with me because I just got a paper sent to me by Jonathan Haidt. He didn’t write the paper but it’s published in a journal called Personality and Individual Differences. And it’s an examination of the personality traits associated with, let’s say, excessive and self-promoting internet usage. And if you don’t mind I’d like to read you a couple of the descriptions of what the people found, because it’s so absolutely spot on and relevant.

I don’t think we are descending into tribalism, but what’s happening in the virtualization of the world is enabling people who behave in a particular anti-social way in a self-aggrandizing and self-promoting anti-social way. I’ll just read you the descriptions that are taken directly from this paper. So it was an actual study of online Behavior.

Women characterized by high self-centered antagonism, neurotic narcissism, Machiavellian views Machiavellian tactics. So that’s manipulation, meanness, dis-inhibition, physical sadism and indirect sadism used Instagram for a longer time and more frequently than did men.

Honesty, humility and conscientiousness was associated with a shorter Facebook usage time

Women high in agenic extroversion, so that’s manipulative self-promotion and indirect sadism, used Facebook for a longer time and more frequently than men.

I’ve thought for a while that as we virtualize the world, we’re enabling the small percentage of people (it’s usually about three percent in general populations) who use manipulation and reputation savaging and denigration and self-promotion.

So the genuinely Psychopathic types dominate the social conversation and spew their poisonous and manipulative Venom into the public domain. And not only with no fear of being stopped and no inhibition, which is almost all applied socially but also being monetized and promoted by the people who run the social media channels.

Every society in history has had to contend with a small percentage of people
who will utilize all the benefits of society only for themselves.

They had to contend with the fact that those people if not brought under control can demolish the structure of the entire society. I think the polarization that we’re feeling is a consequence of their untrammeled expression online, Instagram, Facebook and in online comment forums like Twitter.

PM: That stuff you read out seemed to be gender specific to women but presumably also applies in other ways to men as well on social media

JP: Oh yes, I think the reason that it applied in this study in women is because Instagram involves heavy use of images. And there are reasons to assume because of that it attracts women who are directed towards short-term impulsive mating strategies, another sign of impulsive anti-social and Psychopathic Behavior.

I think you’d see the same thing in men. In fact I’ve been talking to psychologists, great psychologists to make sure that I’m on the right track about those who post repeatedly, say in online forums, especially in relationship to comments. And you certainly see that same pattern of sadism, machiavellianism psychopathy and narcissism characterizing with the Men who who are also incentivized to use what used to be classic female anti-social strategies to advance themselves in the reputational hierarchy.

PM: But the bottom line is: there is a small percentage of people generating a vast amount of noise.  What impact is that having on society, do you think?

JP: Well I think it it skews our perceptions of what normal people are like. We assume what we’re getting when you sample the world, when you’re walking through it, you you assume that you’re getting an unbiased representation of the things going on around you. And when you’re on an online platform and reading comments, you also think you’re seeing something like a sample of public opinion.

But it’s not you know. Because if 10 strangers came up you randomly in the street, then you’d have a bit of a sample of what people randomly think. But online behavior online isn’t random and the people who post aren’t aren’t precisely normal

I have been talking with Jonathan Haidt and Jean Twenge about this. And they might know more about it than anybody else in the world. It’s pretty clear to them that the people who are dominating online comment sections, and especially true of the people who post anonymously, and there’s other markers for for this sort of behavior as well. They dominate the political discourse

What’s happening in some sense is that we have a new form of pollution, that’s also corporate sponsored, and it’s pollution of the domain of public discourse.

The pollution occurs because the social media companies are either enabling or failing to control those known in the popular parlance as Trolls. But they’re not comical trolls you know, using derision in some cute way and and having their say in the Free Speech domain. They’re really poisonous individuals and they’re poisoning the entire domain.

PM: What can Elon Musk do about it, if you were advising him on this? I mean ironically at the moment you’re not on Twitter? Would you do you want to come back now that musk is in charge? Secondly what would you advise him to do about this issue of the trolls and so on?

JP: Well I’m going to be talking of precisely this to some of the political people over the next few weeks. I’ve discussed this with twangy and height to make sure that I’m not off on a personal tangent. The first thing I would say: There’s no excuse for including the anonymous posters with the real human beings. Social media platforms who have a certain reach, maybe a million subscribers, whatever figure is appropriate, should be required to implement known customer laws. And that the genuine verified human beings who are posting and are willing to abide by their words with their personal reputation should be put in one comment section. And then the online Anonymous cowardly narcissistic pathological troll demons who are polluting the public discourse should be put in a different comment section. So if you want to go to hell and visit the troll demons and see what they have. Dispute you can, but otherwise you can be among the normal human beings engaged in normal civil human discourse. That would separate the bloody Psychopaths from the bulk of decent normal people. You know 97 percent of people aren’t Psychopathic and so we are talking about a small minority here, but they have the upper hand.

Look it’s often the case that people in the industry that you’re in, and this would be true for politics and journalism, as well anything with a public face, are more likely to be extroverted and also more likely to be somewhat disagreeable. And those those personality traits can tilt you towards a style of callous exploitation. But there are other personality factors like conscientiousness that mediate against that. And so people who are hard-working and reliable, for example, aren’t parasitic in the same way that the classic psychopath would be.

So it’s complicated and it isn’t the case that extroversion and even a certain degree of disagreeableness in and of themselves are dangerous. But they lead like everybody’s led to Temptation in the direction that’s in accordance with their temperament. And the fact that you are a public-facing person and that you like that would tilt you in one direction of potential temptation.

But that’s not necessarily diagnostic. It probably is the case that politics and journalism and entertainment attract a disproportionate number of machiavellians and Psychopaths because of the of the status that goes along with those Enterprises. But it’s not diagnostic: it doesn’t mean that if you’re in that industry and you’ve had a long career that you are one. That’s also another marker for failure or for lack of psychopathy because in the normal world, Psychopaths exploit and they get a reputation for doing so quite quickly, and then people avoid them and stop working with them. So it doesn’t work over the medium to long run as a general rule.

PM: Jordan, let’s talk about Donald Trump. What is he is he a narcissist, a sociopath, a psychopath, all of those things, none of them?

JP: I don’t think he’s a psychopath because he’s been successful in repeated Enterprises over long periods of time, and he has a variety of people who are remain intensely loyal to him. Now he’s definitely extroverted to a very great degree, and he’s definitely disagreeable. So that gives him some of the traits that are associated with those personality features.

But from what I’ve been able to understand, he’s also very conscientious and hardworking, for example. So that’s a real mitigating factor. I think it’s very easy to demonize someone that you don’t approve of. Certainly Trump is being subject to more demonization than any political leader in the west that I can remember in my entire lifetime, including Richard Nixon.

So that’s also set him back on his heels and made him somewhat embattled and defensive, which I don’t think did any great things for for his personality.

So I think it’s a mistake to assume that that Trump is a psychopath. I think it’s a big mistake to assume that someone potent is a psychopath. T he evidence suggests that you don’t want to throw those labels around casually. And you know, how could it be Trump was Psychopathic, since he did a pretty good job of keeping the United States clear of War for four years. That’s pretty damn remarkable, and he did have a big hand in promoting the Abraham Peace Accords, also pretty remarkable.

Those aren’t the sorts of things that you would expect from the psychopath. He also seems to have a pretty good hand with the working class. So I I don’t think those are reasonable diagnostic labels to place on someone.

Whether or not Donald Trump should be president, it would be good for Americans to sort out in the public sphere debated intensely and subject to an election. It might be very interesting to see him put himself forward on the Republican ticket. If I had my druthers, and I say this I hope with due care, I would rather see someone like DeSantis step forward, who shares some of that forthright strength let’s say that characterizes Trump at his best. But seems to be a more cautious administrator and a less divisive figure. Because Trump, for whatever virtues he might have, and I think he has the virtues of a Washington Outsider, I think that his behavior in the political realm raises the political temperature to a dangerous degree.

PM: There’s somebody else who may well have presidential Ambitions and has been the subject of a lot of negativity: Meghan Markle. Prince Harry’s wife. She seems to perennially play the victim, the female victim of all outrages, and your name got dragged into this. Let’s take a listen to what she said.

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been called crazy or hysterical. Or what about nuts, insane, out of your mind, completely irrational. I don’t think that men can control crazy women. The use of these labels has been drilled into us from movies and TV, from friends and family and even from random strangers.  And the fact is no one wants this label.

What did you make of that Jordan–to be suddenly appearing on Meghan Markle’s podcast as a villain?

JP: The first thing: I’m calling women crazy. Well the first thing I make of it is that her voice drips with the same falsehood as does the voice of Kamala Harris. It’s this sanctimonious, full compassionate talking down to her audience, and trying to be sure that we’re all really on the same compassionate page here. And we’re all being victimized by terrible forces that are arrayed against us. And none of that’s really fair.

You played a bit of a clip from me talking to Camille Paglia the literary critic. I do believe that it is very difficult to control female anti-social Behavior of the type that’s been pilloried as hysterical. And there is no shortage of clinical evidence to support precisely that. It’s very difficult for women to control female anti-social behavior. And females who are anti-social exhibit that feminine pattern of reputation savaging under the guise of Compassionate Care.

It’s extraordinarily destructive and so I stand by my words. And I do think it scales online because you can use an anonymous reputation savaging to unbelievably great effect online with absolutely no punishment for your sins so to speak. That is certainly one of the things that’s contributing to so-called Cancel Culture, and there’s no shortage of that coming from the female side.

Now men can engage in exactly the same strategies and they do so online and that’s enabled. It’s definitely seen with men which I’ve said before. And I do believe the ever-present threat of the potential for physical violence keeps men from doing that to each other most of the time in person.  But all that disappears online, which means that those who are prone to do such things: to use corrosive and denigrating derision, for example, and reputation savaging can have a free hand at it. And that includes no shortage of women. And women are very often the targets of that behavior from their own fellows so to speak.

PM: We’ve talked about Trump and Meghan Markle. I wanted to just ask you again about Elon Musk, what you thought of him as a character?

JP: Well I know people who know him very well and have worked with him very closely and these are very solid people; extremely competent and extremely creative and they’re admirers of Musk. I talked with my brother-in-law Jim Keller who’s one of the world’s great chip engineers and he worked very closely with Musk for years. He believes that in many ways Musk is exactly what you’d think he was. He’s a genius, a Visionary genius; but he’s also someone who’s very very good at implementing. He’s very good at running companies as you can tell because he has a multitude of impossibly successful companies. And so he goes into a company and he cleans house and puts things in order and makes things work efficiently.

Maybe he can do that with Twitter. I hope he can because Musk is doing all sorts of things that appear to be useful and difficult and it would be a catastrophe to see him derailed in his efforts. I dipped into Twitter this morning. It instantly struck me the same way I was struck the last time I was on Twitter. It’s such a den of pathology that I think using it is psychologically damaging. If it’s possible for Musk to get the the trolls under control (and they’re not trolls, they’re Psychopathic Machiavellian sadistic narcissists), then it’s possible that the platform might be useful. I like to share information and I like to follow people to see what they were up to; A lot of the people that I’ve met over the years. But man it’s a snake pit

PM: Should people be compelled to wear poppies for example, and I guess this goes to the wider thing about General displays of signaling your virtue in any way that you choose. Should anyone be compelled to whatever the cause whether it’s a black Square on Instagram when George Floyd died, or a poppy for Armistice Day or so on.

JP: I think that that compulsion especially in matters of public policy is a sign of bad policy. If you can’t get people on board voluntarily by motivating them with the proper story, then you’re a poor leader. So I certainly would be opposed to anything approximating legal compulsion. Now we use social compulsion frequently to produce consensus and to enforce it. that’s never going to go away and there’s some utility in that.

But my general take on the world Is that people should be allowed to go to hell in a hand basket pretty much any way they choose once they’re adults, although they might be encouraged not to do that and invited not to do that. But I’m not a fan of compulsion for any reason, it is a sign of bad policy. If you and I can’t play together voluntarily, then we don’t have a very good relationship and it’s not going to be efficient and productive forced to continue.

See also American Soviet Mentality

Americans have discovered the way in which fear of collective disapproval breeds self-censorship and silence, which impoverish public life and creative work. The double life one ends up leading—one where there is a growing gap between one’s public and private selves—eventually begins to feel oppressive. For a significant portion of Soviet intelligentsia (artists, doctors, scientists), the burden of leading this double life played an important role in their deciding to emigrate.

Those who join in the hounding face their own hazards. The more loyalty you pledge to a group that expects you to participate in rituals of collective demonization, the more it will ask of you and the more you, too, will feel controlled. How much of your own autonomy as a thinking, feeling person are you willing to sacrifice to the collective? What inner compromises are you willing to make for the sake of being part of the group? Which personal relationships are you willing to give up?

The practice of collective condemnation feels like an assertion of a culture that ultimately tramples on the individual and creates an oppressive society. Whether that society looks like Soviet Russia, or Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, or Castro’s Cuba, or today’s China, or something uniquely 21st-century American, the failure of institutions and individuals to stand up to mob rule is no longer an option we can afford.

Western Energy Hari-Kari Update


Current global maps of energy prices show western nations, especially in Europe have begun bleeding their economies and societies by self-imposed misguided climate policies.  Tyler Durden reports at zerohedge Mapped: Global Energy Prices By Country.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

For some countries, energy prices hit historic levels in 2022.

Gasoline, electricity, and natural gas prices skyrocketed as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine ruptured global energy supply chains. Households and businesses are facing higher energy bills amid extreme price volatility. Uncertainty surrounding the war looms large, and winter heating costs are projected to soar.

Given the global consequences of the energy crisis, Visual Capitalist’s infographics below shows the price of energy for households by country, with data from

1. Global Energy Prices: Gasoline

Which countries and regions pay the most for a gallon of gas?

Source: As of October 31, 2022. Represents average household prices.

At an average $11.10 per gallon, households in Hong Kong pay the highest for gasoline in the world—more than double the global average. Both high gas taxes and steep land costs are primary factors behind high gas prices.

Like Hong Kong, the Central African Republic has high gas costs, at $8.60 per gallon. As a net importer of gasoline, the country has faced increased price pressures since the war in Ukraine.

Households in Iceland, Norway, and Denmark face the highest gasoline costs in Europe. Overall, Europe has seen inflation hit 10% in September, driven by the energy crisis.

2. Global Energy Prices: Electricity

Extreme volatility is also being seen in electricity prices.

The majority of the highest household electricity prices are in Europe, where Denmark, Germany, and Belgium’s prices are about double that of France and Greece. For perspective, electricity prices in many countries in Europe are more than twice or three times the global average of $0.14 per kilowatt-hour.

Over the first quarter of 2022, household electricity prices in the European Union jumped 32% compared to the year before.

Source: As of March 31, 2022. Represents average household prices.

In the U.S., consumer electricity prices have increased nearly 16% annually compared to September last year, the highest increase in over four decades, fueling higher inflation.

However, households are more sheltered from the impact of Russian supply disruptions due to the U.S. being a net exporter of energy.

3. Global Energy Prices: Natural Gas

Eight of the 10 highest natural gas prices globally fall in Europe, with the Netherlands at the top. Overall, European natural gas prices have spiked sixfold in a year since the invasion of Ukraine.

Source: As of March 31, 2022. Represents average household prices.

The good news is that the fall season has been relatively warm, which has helped European natural gas demand drop 22% in October compared to last year. This helps reduce the risk of gas shortages transpiring later in the winter.

Outside of Europe, Brazil has the fourth highest natural gas prices globally, despite producing about half of supply domestically. High costs of cooking gas have been especially challenging for low-income families, which became a key political issue in the run-up to the presidential election in October.

Meanwhile, Singapore has the highest natural gas prices in Asia as the majority is imported via tankers or pipelines, leaving the country vulnerable to price shocks.

Increasing Competition

By December, all seaborne crude oil shipments from Russia to Europe will come to a halt, likely pushing up gasoline prices into the winter and 2023.

Concerningly, analysis from the EIA shows that European natural gas storage capacities could sink to 20% by February if Russia completely shuts off its supply and demand is not reduced.

As Europe seeks out alternatives to Russian energy, higher demand could increase global competition for fuel sources, driving up prices for energy in the coming months ahead.

Still, there is some room for optimism: the World Bank projects energy prices will decline 11% in 2023 after the 60% rise seen after the war in Ukraine in 2022.

Background Post G7 Ministers Pledge Energy Hari-Kari

G7 Climate, Energy and Environment Ministers’ Communiqué, Berlin, May 27th, 2022

Excerpts in italics with my bolds

Recognising that accelerating the international clean energy transition and phasing out continued global investment in the unabated fossil fuel sector is essential to keep a limit of 1.5 °C temperature rise within reach, we commit to end new direct public support for the international unabated fossil fuel energy sector by the end of 2022, except in limited circumstances clearly defined by each country that are consistent with a 1.5 °C warming limit and the goals of the Paris Agreement. (pg. 33)

We note with concern the scale of private finance currently still supporting non-Paris aligned activities especially in the fossil fuel sector. (pg. 22)

We are thus further strengthened in our resolve to accelerate the clean energy transition towards a net zero emissions future by 2050, while also keeping energy security and affordability at the core of our action, including through the rapid expansion of low-carbon and renewable energies and an increase in energy efficiency.  (pg. 29)

In this regard, we acknowledge the IEA net zero scenario which suggests that G7 economies
invest at least US$1.3 trillion in renewable energy including tripling investments in clean
power and electricity networks between 2021 and 2030. (pg. 31)

We confirm our strong financial commitments for the market ramp-up of low-carbon and renewable hydrogen and its derivatives, thereby signalling an irreversible shift towards a world economy based on low carbon and renewable energy sources. (pg. 31)

In view of the Russian attack on Ukraine, financial support for companies and citizens affected by severely rising prices for fossil fuels is now on the political agenda for several countries. Nevertheless, we aim for our relief measures to be temporary and targeted and we reaffirm our commitment to the elimination of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies by 2025. (pg. 32)

We also highlight that we have ended new direct government support for unabated international thermal coal-fired power generation by the end of 2021, including through Official Development Assistance, export finance, investment, and financial and trade promotion support. (pg. 33)

We commit to increase national efforts to decarbonise building heating and cooling systems by using appropriate policy tools, including regulations and incentives, with the ultimate objective of transitioning away from fossil fuels. (pg. 37)

This will also guide our approach in public finance institutions and on the boards of MDBs and bilateral DFIs. We therefore call on other major economies, the MDBs and bilateral DFIs, multilateral funds, public banks and relevant agencies to also adopt these commitments. We commit to review our progress against our commitments. (pg. 33)

(Note: Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), Development finance institution (DFIs)

See also Michael Kelly on Energy Utopias and Engineering Realities synopsis Kelly’s Climate Clarity

And Dieter Helm Seeking Climate and Energy Security

Data Explain Midterm Election Results

Figure 4: Senatorial polling results, shown graphically

Joe Fried presents the data based analysis in his American Thinker article Surprised by the Midterm Election Results? Take a Look at the Data.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds

For many Republicans, the final midterm election results were surprising— especially in the states of Arizona, Nevada, and Pennsylvania. Based on polling, it looked likely that Kari Lake, Adam Laxalt, and Mehmet Oz would win their contests. I believe that there are only three likely explanations for the unexpected results: late campaign surges, polling error, or aggressive ballot-harvesting.

A late surge?

Some Republicans are falling for an illogical narrative put forth by Democrats and the mainstream media. It goes like this: Although Republican candidates were higher in the polls, at the last minute people voted for Democrats because:

  • they feared the end of democracy
  • they hated Donald Trump
  • they were angered by the Dobbs abortion decision
  • they saw more anti-Republican campaign ads, due to financing differences
  • they were turned off by fighting during the primaries
  • they weren’t impressed by the poor quality GOP candidates

Certainly, these were real and very potent factors for many if not all Democrats, and for some independents. However, they were all “baked into the cake” long before the election and long before pre-election voter polls were administered. They were not last-minute issues.

I can think of a couple significant last-minute campaign developments, but they worked against the Democrats— not for them. Many pundits thought John Fetterman’s late October debate performance would put him into a political death spiral. Indeed, he was polling lower than Oz, just before the election. However, he ended up winning by over 4 points— somehow.

And Katie Hobbs was roundly criticized for her deer-in-the-headlights interviews near the end of the campaign. Just before the election, Hobbs was polling substantially below Lake, yet she won. Lake’s pre-election dominance is evident from the polling averages compiled by FiveThirtyEight:

Figure 1: Lake-Hobbs polling trends Oct 1 to Nov 8

When we look at the trend shown in Figure 1, and at the ending polling disparity (2.4%), it is hard to see how Hobbs managed to win.

Polling error?

Of course, polls could have been wrong all along. However, that seems unlikely, given the consistency of the results in a number of polls, administered by many different polling organizations. For the Lake-Hobbs contest, the results displayed by FiveThirtyEight came from 13 different polling organizations, as shown in Figure 2. Only one (Marist) had Hobbs winning:

Figure 2: Lake-Hobbs polling organizations and results

Did 12 out of 13 companies make the same error, and in the same direction?

We see the same pattern with the senatorial contests. Figure 3 displays the final polling averages, as produced by RealClearPolitics, for seven key races. In each case the GOP candidate was leading just before the election, even though these races were in different states and conducted by different pollsters, and for different candidates. This pattern does not suggest polling error. The actual election results (courtesy of Reuters) are also shown.

Figure 3: Senatorial polling versus results

Three of the seven contests were won by Republicans, but look deeper. In every case, the Democrat candidate’s election results were sharply higher than the final polling percentage. For the most part, that was not the case for Republicans, as we can see in the right-side columns in Figure 3.

Figure 4, below, presents the same information in graphic form. Keep your eye on the “zero” line. It shows the expected results for both Democrats and Republicans. Democrats are entirely above the “expected” line, signifying that they beat the predictions in every case. On the other hand, Republicans are much lower, and mostly below the expected line.

Figure 4: Senatorial polling results, shown graphically

Before we address ballot-harvesting, let’s summarize: Perhaps I missed it, but it seems there was no last minute erosion of support for GOP candidates. And polling error is unlikely, given that the GOP lead was shown by many different pollsters, in different states, and for different candidates. Yet, the Democrat candidates consistently beat expectations by quite a lot. Why was that?


It is just a theory, but I believe that aggressive ballot-harvesting is the most likely explanation for the disparity between pollster predictions and actual results in the 2022 midterm elections. In the movie, 2,000 Mules, True the Vote (TTV), the organization run by Catharine Engelbrecht and Gregg Phillips, described the prevalence of ballot-harvesting in the 2020 election. Although its estimates are only rough approximations (based on cell phone analysis), TTV believes there were up to 200,000 and 275,000 harvested ballots in Arizona and Pennsylvania, respectively. Nevada was not included in the TTV analysis, but since the end of 2020, Nevada has taken all restrictions off of harvesting. It is now legal to harvest ballots in Nevada, and it can be done anonymously in any quantity with ballots from unregistered homeless people, drug addicts— anyone.   [Editor’s note: See also phantom voting, previously published at American Thinker by contributor Jay Valentine, here and here.]

When it comes to the legality of ballot-harvesting, there is confusion. As noted, it is now completely legal in the state of Nevada. In most other swing states, including Pennsylvania and Arizona, it is (technically) allowed only within tight limitations (e.g., for family members). That said, large-scale harvesting operations have been performed in many states, and I believe they often lead to serious election law violations. There are three reasons for this:

  • In some states, administrators ignore the practice, and may even see it as “empowering” for voters in “marginalized communities.”
  • It is very easy to cheat when ballots are returned via mail or drop boxes without a hard identification requirement.
  • Harvesters are usually paid “per piece,” and have incentives to find or steal as many ballots as possible.  It is ironic. Democrats are offended by the term “ballot-harvesting” because they see it as a demeaning pejorative. I also am offended by the term, but for a very different reason. I think it is too nice a term for the serious, organized criminal activity that is often associated with ballot-harvesting operations.

Harvesting advocates (mostly Democrats) claim the activity is simply a way to help disadvantaged voters deliver their ballots to a mail box or to a ballot drop box— sort of like a courier service. Do you buy that? Common sense and the polling results tell us that harvesting is much more insidious.

Some Republicans say that the GOP needs to start large-scale harvesting operations, to compete with Democrats. I hope they do not do it because it is a dirty, dishonest practice that should not be tolerated. It is a real “attack on democracy.”

Someday, a whistleblower may step forward to provide hard evidence (if it exists) that can be investigated and prosecuted. Until then, Republicans should consider how very lucky they are. They won a majority in the House of Representatives for, possibly, one reason:

Harvesters did not think their services were needed in the deep blue state of New York!




Left Replaces Thinking with the “Stochastic Terror” Lie

Christopher F. Rufo explains in his City Journal article The “Stochastic Terror” Lie  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

The Left’s latest gambit for suppressing speech is built on preposterous grounds.

[Note: Those of us who follow the global warming/climate change alarmists see how the same mentality operates in order to avoid proving cause and effect.  Just watch how climate reparations are being pushed presuming that any loss or damage from natural events is caused by humans using fossil fuels.]

I browsed the news recently only to discover that, according to a popular science magazine, I was responsible for the attempted murder of Paul Pelosi, husband to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

In an opinion piece for Scientific American, writer Bryn Nelson insinuated that my factual reporting on Drag Queen Story Hour was an example of “stochastic terrorism,” which he defines as “ideologically driven hate speech” that increases the likelihood of unpredictable acts of violence. On the night of the attack, Nelson argued, I had appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight to discuss my reporting, and, hours later, the alleged attacker, David DePape, radicalized by “QAnon” conspiracy theories about “Democratic, Satan-worshipping pedophiles,” broke into the Pelosi residence and attacked Paul Pelosi with a hammer.

This is a bizarre claim that, for a magazine supposedly dedicated to “science,”
hardly meets a scientific standard of cause and effect.

There is no evidence that DePape watched or was motivated by Tucker Carlson’s program; moreover, nothing in my reporting on Drag Queen Story Hour encourages violence or mentions Nancy Pelosi, QAnon, or Satan-worshipping pedophiles. My appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight and DePape’s attack against Paul Pelosi are, in reality, two unrelated incidents in a large and complex universe.

And Nelson, a microbiologist specializing in human excrement, is full of it.  But Nelson isn’t trying to prove anything in a scientific sense. Under the concept of “stochastic terrorism,” logic, evidence, and causality are irrelevant. Any incident of violence can be politicized and attributed to any ideological opponent, regardless of facts.

The scheme works like this: left-wing media, activists, and officials designate a subject of discourse, such as Drag Queen Story Hour, off-limits; they treat any reporting on that subject as an expression of “hate speech”; and finally, if an incident of violence emerges that is related, even tangentially, to that subject, they assign guilt to their political opponents and call for the suppression of speech. The statistical concept of “stochasticity,” which means “randomly determined,” functions as a catch-all: the activists don’t have to prove causality—they simply assert it with a sophisticated turn of phrase and a vague appeal to probability.

Though framed in scientific terms, this gambit is a crude political weapon.

In practice, left-wing media, activists, and officials apply the “stochastic terrorism” designation only in one direction: rightward. They never attribute fire-bombings against pro-life pregnancy centers, arson attacks against Christian churches, or the attempted assassination of a Supreme Court justice to mere argumentation of left-wing activists, such as, say, opposition to the Court’s decision in Dobbs. In those cases, the Left correctly adopts the principle that it is incitement, rather than opinion, that constitutes a crime—but conveniently forgets that standard as soon as the debate shifts to the movement’s conservative opponents.

In recent years, the Left has not only monopolized the concept of “stochastic terrorism”
but also built a growing apparatus for enforcing it.

Last year, left-wing organizations and the Department of Justice collaborated on a campaign to suppress parents who oppose critical race theory, under the false claim that sometimes-heated school-board protests were incidents of “domestic terrorism.” Earlier this year, left-wing activists and medical associations called on social media companies and the Department of Justice to censor, investigate, and prosecute journalists who question.

If this process is left unchecked, the consequences will be disastrous.

Left-wing NGOs, social media companies, and federal security apparatchiks will gain unprecedented power to police speech and criminalize political opposition. Conservatives and old-line liberals who still care about civil liberties must expose the scheme and work to dismantle the apparatus that supports it. The line of argument is simple: speech is not violence; statistical abstraction is not a substitute for evidence; and free-association fantasies cannot determine guilt. But the politics of fighting back are more complex. It will require dislodging a network of professionals who see the concept of “stochastic terror” as a path to power.

That concept is built on a lie. It deserves to be exposed and discredited.

See also Science + Politics = Politics

Climate Reductionism

Jen Psaki Will Be Deposed in Censorship Lawsuit

Julie Kelly writes at American Greatness Jen Psaki: Investigations for Thee, But Not for Me.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

It’s beyond ironic that the mouthpiece for a regime proceeding with yet another punitive and vengeful investigation into Donald Trump wants to be shielded from an inquiry into her own misdeeds.

Former White House Press Secretary Jennifer Psaki, much like her old boss, is a big fan of investigations.

From her perch at the podium in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room, Psaki routinely endorsed criminal, civil, and congressional inquiries into the events of January 6 and warned the individuals targeted—including Donald Trump and his former aides—that they must comply with the legal process.

Psaki announced that Biden would not extend executive privilege to his predecessor related to the January 6 select committee’s inquisition, giving investigators carte blanche access to all of Trump’s records for most of 2020—most of which had nothing to do with January 6. “We are, we have been working closely with congressional committees and others as they work to get to the bottom of what happened on January 6th, an incredibly dark day in our democracy,” Psaki said in September 2021.

And anyone who defied congressional subpoenas, Psaki noted, could face criminal charges.

But Psaki, unsurprisingly, is taking a different approach now that she’s a defendant in a sprawling civil lawsuit seeking to uncover the federal government’s deep collaboration with Big Tech to suppress free speech and promote Biden’s political interests.

Psaki is one of more than five dozen current and former federal officials—including Biden, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and Surgeon General Vivek Murthy—being sued by the states of Missouri and Louisiana for violating the First Amendment rights of American citizens.

Having threatened and cajoled social-media platforms for years to censor viewpoints and speakers disfavored by the Left, senior government officials in the Executive Branch have moved into a phase of open collusion with social-media companies to suppress disfavored speakers, viewpoints, and content on social-media platforms under the Orwellian guise of halting so-called ‘disinformation,’ ‘misinformation,’ and ‘malinformation,’” the complaint reads. “Under the First Amendment, the federal Government should play no role in policing private speech or picking winners and losers in the marketplace of ideas. But that is what federal officials are doing, on a massive scale—the full scope and impact of which yet to be determined.”

The lawsuit cited numerous occasions when Psaki gloated about the White House’s partnership with social media platforms to ban content contradictory to the official narrative on COVID-19 and vaccines. For example, during a July 2021 press briefing with Surgeon General Murthy, Psaki publicly urged Facebook to deplatform accounts she considered purveyors of “health misinformation,” an alleged scourge that Murthy described as an “urgent public health threat.” Psaki made her expectations quite clear.

“[We] engage with [social media companies] regularly and they certainly understand
what our asks are,” Psaki bragged.

A few days later, Facebook banned the accounts Psaki had accused of spreading “misinformation.”

Now all of a sudden, Psaki doesn’t want to boast about how she strong-armed
Silicon Valley to do the regime’s bidding—especially under oath.

Judge Terry Doughty from the western district of Louisiana last month ordered Psaki to sit for a deposition, finding that the ex-spokeswoman “has personal knowledge about the issue concerning censorship across social media as it related to COVID-19 and ancillary issues of COVID-19.” Doughty further concluded that “any burden on Psaki is outweighed by the need to determine whether free speech has been suppressed.” On November 1, Psaki was served with a subpoena, ordering her to appear for a sworn deposition in Arlington, Virginia, near her home.

Psaki, however, doesn’t have time. The newly minted MSNBC contributor—Psaki is slated to host her own show on the network starting next year—is simply too swamped.

In a separate statement to the court, Psaki claimed that “sitting for a deposition in this matter would be extremely burdensome for me. Among other things, I understand that I would need to devote several days to preparing for the deposition, as well as attending the deposition itself, and that would be highly disruptive to both my work and my family.”

You don’t say!

Psaki’s interview also would create a big job for government lawyers who would need to determine “which of her conversations or recollections might be subject to executive privilege,” her legal team argued.

Setting aside the laughable hypocrisy of Psaki now invoking her status as a “private citizen” and “former senior official” when she offered no such consideration to Donald Trump, and further noting the hollowness of her complaints that a deposition would be far too time-consuming.  The notion is astonishing:  That somehow she is entitled to executive privilege, but a former president and his top aides including legal counsel are not.

Further, Psaki’s lawyers warned they will fight the production of “any Documents and Communications that relate to any member of the White House Communications Team or any other Federal Official communicating with Social-Media Platforms about Content on those Platforms.”

Funny how Psaki had no similar objection when she announced in October 2021 that the White House had ordered the transfer of thousands of Trump’s official records to the January 6 select committee.

Psaki’s lawyers attempted to bypass Judge Doughty. They filed a motion to quash the subpoena in the eastern district of Virginia, where Psaki lives and likely will sit for the deposition. But the Virginia judge wasn’t having any part of it, ordering the matter returned to the Louisiana court where the lawsuit originated.  In other words, the judge told Psaki to “circle back.”

It looks like Psaki has run out of options to avoid her scheduled
December 8 video-recorded deposition.

Which, by the way, Psaki wants under seal. Lawyers representing the eight officials ordered to be deposed asked Judge Doughty to issue a protective order on all recorded interviews, insisting that “civil servants—do not reasonably expect that they will be subjected to video-recorded, publicly disseminated cross-examination about the way that they carried out their job duties.”

Publicly releasing the videos, the lawyers said, creates a “significant likelihood that audiovisual recordings of federal employee depositions taken in this case will be manipulated or abused” and cherry-picked clips “will expose the deponents to undue harassment and invasions of privacy.”

Doughty partially granted their motion, sealing the taped depositions only until the interviews are docketed as discovery evidence before trial. “The public’s interest in access of this information is especially strong because this matter involves the [First] Amendment right to freedom of speech,” he wrote in a November 17 order.

It goes without saying—or should, at any rate—that a coordinated effort between the most powerful government officials and the most powerful information providers to silence and punish political dissent is a far greater “threat to democracy,” as they like to say, than what happened for a few hours on January 6.

And it’s beyond ironic that the mouthpiece for a regime proceeding with yet another punitive and vengeful investigation into Donald Trump wants to be shielded from an inquiry into her own misdeeds. Proof once again that accountability, transparency, and consequences only runs one way in Washington.

Background from previous post

Fed Govt./Big Tech Censorship Lawsuit Update: Senior Biden People Will Be Deposed

Zachary Stieber  reports at Epoch Times Judge Rejects Biden Administration’s Attempt to Block Depositions in Big Tech-Government Censorship Case.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty, a Trump appointee, rejected a request for a partial stay of his Oct. 21 order authorizing the depositions of eight officials, including President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Government lawyers asked the judge to impose the partial stay as an appeals court weighs a request to vacate the part of his order that enables the depositions of Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, a Biden appointee; Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Jen Easterly, a Biden appointee; and Rob Flaherty, a deputy assistant to the president.

Absent a stay, “high-ranking governmental officials would be diverted from their significant duties and burdened in both preparing and sitting for a deposition, all of which may ultimately prove to be unnecessary if the Court of Appeals grants” their request, the government said.

Doughty ruled that the government failed to show how the officials would be irreparably harmed apart from referencing a diversion from “significant duties.” That didn’t meet the standard for showing irreparable harm, he said.

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy speaks during a press briefing in the Brady Briefing Room of the White House in Washington on July 15, 2021. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)


For the reasons set forth herein, Federal Defendants’ Corrected Motion for Partial Stay is DENIED. (Excerpts in italics with my bolds.)

1. Surgeon General Murthy

Details regarding the allegations as to Murthy are set forth in the Memorandum Order Regarding Witness Depositions. Murthy was found to have first-hand knowledge by (1) publicly criticizing tech companies by asserting they were responsible for COVID-19 deaths due to their failure to censor “mis-information”; (2) issuing a Request for Information on March 2, 2022, requesting tech companies to provide him with “mis-information”; and (3) engaging in communication with high-level Facebook executives about greater censorship of COVID-19 “misinformation.”

Although Murthy was a high-ranking official, the potential burden imposed on Murthy was outweighed by the need to determine whether First Amendment rights of free speech have been suppressed. The Court found exceptional circumstances were present and that the substantive reasons for taking the deposition were sufficient.

2. CISA Director Jen Easterly

Details of the allegations as they relate to Easterly are set forth in the Memorandum Order Regarding Witness Depositions.  Easterly was found to have first-hand knowledge by (1) supervising the “nerve center” of federally directed censorship; (2) directly flagging alleged “misinformation” to social media companies for censorship; (3) stating that social media speech by Americans is a form of infrastructure that allows the CISA to police online speech; (4) being involved in extensive oral communications and meetings between CISA officials and social-media platforms; and (5) being personally involved in text messages specifically discussing how greater censorship of social-media platforms would be done by exerting federal pressure on social-media platforms to increase censorship.

The Court also conducted its analysis of Easterly as if she were a high-ranking official and found that her personal knowledge required her deposition. The Court further found that the burden upon her was outweighed by the need to determine whether First Amendment free speech rights are being suppressed. The Court found exceptional circumstances were present and that the substantive reasons for taking the deposition were sufficient.

3. White House Director of Digital Strategy Rob Flaherty

Details of the allegations as to Flaherty are set forth in the Memorandum Order Regarding Witness Depositions. Flaherty was found to have first-hand knowledge by (1) having extensive oral meetings with social-media platforms including Twitter, Meta and You-Tube on vaccine hesitancy and combatting “mis-information”; (2) directly communicating with Meta’s director of U.S. Public Policy through “Covid Insight Reports” (which details trends/posts by social media users on Meta); (3) Meta’s reporting to Flaherty about Meta’s intentions to censor disfavored opinions about vaccine effectiveness for new groups for which vaccines were authorized; (4) having specific knowledge on Meta’s attempts to censor groups referred to by Flaherty as the “Disinformation Dozen”; and (5) being aware of the President-Elect-Joe Biden transition team’s efforts to stifle “mis-information” through Meta.

The Court also assumed that Flaherty was a high-ranking official and conducted its analysis
as such. It found special circumstances were present to take his deposition. The Court further found the burden upon Flaherty was outweighed by the need to determine whether First Amendment free speech rights are being suppressed; therefore, the substantive reasons for taking his deposition were sufficient.

For the reasons set forth herein, the Court also finds Federal Defendants are not likely to
succeed on the merits of their mandamus petition.

Background from previous post: Fed Govt./Big Tech Censorship Lawsuit: 47 New Biden People Added

Zachary Stieber writes at Epoch Times 47 New Biden Administration Defendants Named in Government–Big Tech Censorship Lawsuit.  Excerpts in italic with my bolds.

Nearly 50 new government defendants have been added to the lawsuit that alleges the government induced censorship of state officials and others on social media.

The second amended complaint in the case, Missouri v. Biden, includes six new agencies, bringing the total to 13, and 41 new individual defendants, bringing the total to 54.

Altogether, 67 officials or agencies are accused of violating plaintiffs’ First Amendment rights by participating in a “censorship enterprise” through pressuring Big Tech firms like Facebook, Google, and Twitter to take action against users offering alleged misinformation.

Evidence backing the claims has been produced in discovery, including exchanges between White House officials and Meta, Facebook’s parent company and messages showing meetings between administration officials and the firms.

The new defendants include the FBI; former White House senior COVID-19 adviser Andrew Slavitt; Dana Remus, counsel to President Joe Biden; Elvis Chan, an FBI special agent based in San Francisco; Janell Muhammed, deputy digital director at the Department of Health and Human Services; Allison Snell, an official at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency; the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); the State Department; and Mark Robbins, interim executive director of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.

One or more of the Big Tech firms that were subpoenaed in the case identified the officials as possibly communicating with them on content moderation relating to “COVID-19 misinformation,” the New York Post’s story about Hunter Biden’s laptop, the administration’s since-disbanded Disinformation Governance Board, and/or “election security, integrity, outcomes, and/or public confidence in election outcomes (not to include issues of foreign interference or related issues).”

Slavitt was named because emails show he was in communication with Facebook regarding the combating of alleged misinformation. The messages show that Facebook was committed to censoring and de-emphasizing posts that were “departing from the government’s messaging on vaccines,” plaintiffs said. Slavitt also called for Twitter to ban Alex Berenson, an independent journalist, previously released messages show.

Muhammed, meanwhile, was in touch with Facebook to ask the company to take down pages and accounts that were allegedly misrepresenting themselves as representing the government. “Absolutely,” one of the Facebook employees responded.

Other discovery suggests the FDA “has participated in federally-induced censorship of private speech on social media about questions of vaccine safety and efficacy, among other subjects,” plaintiffs said.

The agencies that were added to the case did not respond to requests for comment.

U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty, a Trump appointee overseeing the case, recently ordered defendants named in earlier complaints to comply with demands, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, a top medical adviser to Biden. The new documents do not include any more information from Fauci or the White House press secretary’s office.


From Your news: Biden Admin Showered Millions On Government’s ‘Misinformation’ Czars After 2020 Election

The four groups in question – Stanford Internet Observatory (SIO), the University of Washington’s Center for an Informed Public, the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, and social media analytics firm Graphika – comprise the “Election Integrity Partnership,” which exists as a ‘concierge-like’ service for federal agencies such as Homeland’s Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and State’s Global Engagement Center to flag online content for censorship or monitoring by Big Tech using a “ticket” system.

Unsurprisingly, the head of Stanford’s Internet Observatory is a Clinton donor who previously served as Facebook’s Head of Security – while the University of Washington’s Center for an Informed Public is largely funded by the Knight Foundation, whose board exclusively contributes to Democrat or Neocon entities. 

Meanwhile, the Biden administration empowered three liberal groups to file tickets seeking censorship; the Democratic National Committee, Common Cause and the NAACP.

Seven Ways Climate Reparations Are Absurd

Dan Hannan explains at Washington Examiner Demands for ‘climate reparations’ are laughable Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

The demands for climate reparations from wealthy countries are so absurd, so unscientific, and so offensive to natural justice that it is difficult to know where the criticism should begin.

The argument is that, since countries that industrialized earlier produced a lot of carbon a hundred years ago, they now owe a debt to poorer states. Naturally, this argument appeals to assorted Marxists, anti-colonialists, and shakedown artists, and COP27 has been dominated by insolent demands for well-run states to pony up.

Some, including Austria, Belgium, and Denmark, have capitulated. No doubt others will follow. These days, once something is framed as poor-versus-rich or darker-skinned-versus-lighter-skinned or ex-colony-versus-ex-colonizer, the pressure becomes irresistible. Nevertheless, it is worth running through the absurdities in play.

First, the claims are rooted in indignation rather than science. For example, Pakistan, which leads the G-77 group of poorer states and is leading the campaign, claims that its floods are a product of climate change. But might Pakistan look a little closer to home? Although Europe and North America have seen significant reforestation over the past half-century, Pakistan has gone in the other direction. A third of its landmass was forest when it became independent in 1947. Now, it is one-twentieth, and the rains run straight off the mountains into silted-up reservoirs that then overflow, whence the floods.

But never mind all that — blame the colonialists, eh?

Second, there is the utter refusal to acknowledge what wealthier countries are already doing. I don’t just mean in terms of making direct monetary transfers — though, sticking with Pakistan for a moment, Britain has been borrowing around $400 million a year to give to that country, which pleads poverty while funding a nuclear weapons program. No, I mean in terms of impoverishing themselves through drastic action on carbon emissions. Britain has cut its carbon dioxide production by nearly half since 1990, largely by closing down its coal mines. Pakistan has more than 100 coal mines in operation.

But, again, blame the colonialists, eh?

Third, there is the ingratitude. One of the things I used to resent about the European Parliament was the entitled and hectoring way in which representatives of poorer countries (they were usually very rich people) would call for bigger transfers. “This is unacceptable,” they would say of whatever offer the Brits, the Dutch, or the Germans put on the table. Fine, I’d think, don’t accept it, then. Yet the numbers only ever got bigger. Look, I’m sorry to be blunt about this, but a 2-degree rise in temperature is far less menacing for Britain or Canada than it is for most countries.

The least-threatened countries are doing the heaviest lifting by far.
But don’t expect any gratitude.

Fourth, there is the implication that industrialization, the miracle that released our species from 10,000 years of backbreaking labor, is regrettable. In truth, as well as giving us longer, healthier, and freer lives, the wealth released over the past 200 years of specialization and exchange is cleaning up the environment. The air and water are purer in London than in Lahore because GDP is higher. For the same reason, natural disasters have become far less lethal. The 1950 floods in Pakistan killed many more people than this year’s, because they hit a poorer country.

Fifth, there is the related assumption that rich countries owe their wealth to exploitation, that one nation’s gain must mean another’s loss. This is palpable nonsense. The enrichment of a country, other things being equal, is good news for all of its trading partners. And countries get wealthy not by conquering others (a process that is always expensive) but by pursuing the right policies, such as secure property rights, low taxes, independent courts, light regulations, and free trade.

If you tax successful countries to pay unsuccessful ones, you will end up with
fewer of the former and more of the latter.

Sixth, and most preposterously, there is the ugly collectivism that lurks behind every shakedown attempt, from the return of artworks to slavery reparations. Our criminal justice system, like every Abrahamic religion, is based on the idea that we are individually responsible for our actions. But when it comes to these scams, we are all suddenly defined by ancestry or skin color.

It is precisely because Western nations broke out of that dispensation that they became rich in the first place. And it was by copying their individualist outlook that other countries were able to catch them up. Far from complaining about industrialization, the rest of the world should thank us for having developed capitalism, and they should seek to emulate it.

Postscript: Absurdity Seven

Climate reparations are a legal quagmire.  From Hulme et al. (2011):

At the heart of the loss and damage (L&D) agenda is the idea of attribution—that specific losses and damages in developing countries can be “associated with the impacts of climate change,” where “climate change” means human-caused alterations to climate. It is therefore not just any L&D that qualify for financial assistance under the Convention; it is L&D attributable to or “associated with” a very specific causal pathway.

Developing countries face some serious difficulties—at best, ambiguities—
with this approach to directing climate adaptation finance.

Investment in climate adaptation, they claim, is most needed “… where vulnerability to meteorological hazard is high, not where meteorological hazards are most attributable to human influence”. Extreme weather attribution says nothing about how damages are attributable to meteorological hazard as opposed to exposure to risk; it says nothing about the complex political, social and economic structures which mediate physical hazards.

And separating weather into two categories — ‘human-caused’ weather and ‘tough-luck’ weather – raises practical and ethical concerns about any subsequent investment allocation guidelines which excluded the victims of ‘tough-luck weather’ from benefiting from adaptation funds.

Contrary to the claims of some weather attribution scientists, the loss and damage agenda of the UNFCCC, as it is currently emerging, makes no distinction between ‘human-caused’ and ‘tough-luck’ weather. “Loss and damage impacts fall along a continuum, ranging from ‘events’ associated with variability around current climatic norms (e.g., weather-related natural hazards) to [slow-onset] ‘processes’ associated with future anticipated changes in climatic norms” (Warner et al., 2012:21). Although definitions and protocols have not yet been formally ratified, it seems unlikely that there will be a role for the sort of forensic science being offered by extreme weather attribution science.

See also: Climate Loss and Damage, Legal House of Cards



Climatists, Spare Us Your Guilt Trip!

An example of climate hysteria comes from the usual suspects published at the usual venue, Inside Climate News. Polar Ice Is Disappearing, Setting Off Climate Alarms

Excerpts below with my bolds: The short-term consequences of Arctic (and Antarctic) warming may already be felt in other latitudes. The long-term threat to coastlines is becoming even more dire.

“When you’re taking out 30, 40, almost 50 percent of the ice cover, that’s a big change in the environment,” Meier said. “Whether we’re seeing it yet, there’s still some debate, but whether there will be an effect as we continue to lose ice, I think that’s pretty obvious.”

“There’s no evidence that anything is recovering here,” said Mark Serreze, the director of the NSIDC. “What we’ve seen historically is a downward trend in ice extent in all months. Superimposed on that are the ups and downs of natural variability. We’re going to continue to head downward.

“We are looking at an ice-free Arctic Ocean sometime in the 2040s,” said Serreze. “There’s no evidence that we’ve seen anything like this before.”

Ted Scambos, lead scientist with the National Snow and Ice Data Center, said that while the current pace of melting is not alarming, a series of papers “has led to a realization that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet may already be in an irreversible retreat.

Greenland is melting, too—for now, it’s the biggest threat. “Greenland has become Loserville,” said Jason Box, who tracks ice for the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland.

“New observations from many different sources confirm that ice-sheet loss is accelerating,” the United States Global Change Research Program said in its comprehensive special report on climate science. “Up to 8.5 feet of global sea level rise is possible by 2100” in a worst-case emissions scenario. That’s almost 2 feet more than scientists expected just a few years ago.

“So we’re guaranteed significant sea level rise no matter what we do, even under the optimistic Paris scenario,” Box said. “We had better prepare.”

These warnings of wolves are starting to sound the same: “It never happened before, is not happening now, but it will surely destroy us in the future if we don’t do something.”

Meanwhile the facts on the ground are not alarming: For example September minimums:

More details at 16 yr. Plateau September Arctic Ice 2022

And the refreezing is faster than unusual:

These outrageous appeals by alarmists in the face of contrary facts remind me of the story defining the term “chutzpuh.” A young man is convicted of killing his parents, and later appears before the judge for sentencing. Asked to give any last words, he replies: “Go easy on me, your Honor, I’m an orphan.”

Fortunately, there is help for climate alarmists. They can join or start a chapter of Alarmists Anonymous. By following the Twelve Step Program, it is possible to recover and unite in service to the real world and humanity.

Step One: Fully concede (admit) to our innermost selves that we were addicted to climate fear mongering.

Step Two: Come to believe that a Power greater than ourselves causes weather and climate, restoring us to sanity.

Step Three: Make a decision to study and understand how the natural world works.

Step Four: Make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves, our need to frighten others and how we have personally benefited by expressing alarms about the climate.

Step Five: Admit to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our exaggerations and false claims.

Step Six: Become ready to set aside these notions and actions we now recognize as objectionable and groundless.

Step Seven: Seek help to remove every single defect of character that produced fear in us and led us to make others afraid.

Step Eight: Make a list of all persons we have harmed and called “deniers”, and become willing to make amends to them all.

Step Nine: Apologize to people we have frightened or denigrated and explain the errors of our ways.

Step Ten: Continue to take personal inventory and when new illusions creep into our thinking, promptly renounce them.

Step Eleven: Dedicate ourselves to gain knowledge of natural climate factors and to deepen our understanding of nature’s powers and ways of working.

Step Twelve: Having awakened to our delusion of climate alarm, we try to carry this message to other addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.


With a New Year a month away, let us hope that many climate alarmists take the opportunity to turn the page by resolving a return to sanity. It is not too late to get right with reality before the cooling comes in earnest.

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

Lomborg & Peterson: COP27 Proposing Insane Emissions Policies

Bjorn Lomborg and Jordan Peterson wrote in The Telegraph Pushing the same old climate policies at COP27 is simply insane.  Excerpts in italics with my bolds and added images.

After decades of failure to curb emissions, let’s accept that capitalist investment is not the problem: it’s the solution

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” This famous quote – often misattributed to Albert Einstein – might very well become the unofficial motto of the UN Climate Change Conference in Egypt, the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties (Cop27).

Global CO₂ emissions have kept increasing since the world’s nations first committed to rein in climate change at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 – despite dozens of climate summits and the global climate agreements struck in Kyoto and Paris. This is the case, once again, in 2022, when we will collectively set a new emissions record. While rich countries increasingly promise draconian cuts (and then generally backtrack, as they import huge amounts of oil, gas and coal to save their citizens from energy poverty, as they have done most recently to address the current energy crisis), most of the future emissions will come from the currently poorer countries in Asia and Africa, as they power their climb out of abject poverty.

In the previous ten years, the world has focused more on remediating climate change than ever before. Despite this, we are not achieving anything, although no shortage of money has been wasted. In a surprisingly honest review of climate policies, the UN revealed a “lost decade”: The report found that it couldn’t tell the difference between what has happened and a world that adopted no new climate policies since 2005.

Consider that: all those climate summits and grandiose promises – all that expense and trouble – and no measurable difference whatsoever.

This state of affairs is unsurprising, unfortunately, because today’s renewable energy sources have two big problems. First, they occupy a vast amount of space, often displacing nature: replacing a square yard of a gas-fired power plant requires 73 square yards of solar panels, 239 square yards of on-shore wind turbines, or an astonishing 6,000 square yards of biomass. One study found that the United States would have to devote a land area four times the size of the United Kingdom to “clean power” to fulfill President Biden’s promise of a carbon-free economy by 2050.

Land in grey required for wind farms to power London UK, solar panels covering the yellow space.

Second – and of even greater importance – the two renewable energy technologies favoured by the vast majority of environmental activists are intermittent or unreliable. Solar energy simply isn’t produced when it is overcast or at nighttime. Wind energy requires a breeze. We are often told by green energy boosters that wind and solar energy are cheaper than fossil fuels. At best, that is only true when the wind is blowing, or the sun is shining. On a windless, dark night, the cost of wind and solar power rises to the infinite.

It is for such reasons that it is deeply misleading (although highly convenient) to compare the energy costs of wind or solar to fossil fuels only when it is windy and sunny. It is also important to note that since all solar energy is sold at essentially the same time (when the sun is up and shining), its value drops dramatically. When solar reaches 30% market share in California, as one study revealed, it loses two-thirds of its value.

Furthermore: because modern societies require 24 hours of non-stop power, backup is not optional – and that means reliance on fossil fuels, when there’s no sun or wind. As more solar and wind is introduced, moreover, fossil fuel backups become ever more expensive as they offer their services for fewer hours, to produce the necessary return on capital. And what of batteries? Globally, we have battery storage with the current capacity to store one minute and 15 seconds of the world’s electricity consumption. And that problem will not be ameliorated soon – even by 2030, global batteries will only cover less than 11 minutes of the global electricity consumption.

The scale of the challenge

All of this shows just the problems with moving electricity away from fossil fuel. When Biden promises ambitiously that all of America’s electricity will come from renewable sources by 2035, he is addressing the comparatively simple part of the climate challenge. Electricity constitutes just 19% of total energy use. We’re far further behind in developing solutions for agriculture, manufacturing, construction, and transportation. Of these, the latter is most often discussed by environmentalists and virtue-signaling politicians, who insist that a solution is already at hand: electric vehicles. Despite massive subsidies, however, just 1.4% of cars globally are electric, and that number is not going up quickly. The Biden Administration itself estimates that battery-electric cars will make up less than 10 percent of total US automobile stock – by 2050.

The scenario for the entire world is that less than one-fifth of all global cars will be battery-electric by 2050. We should remember, as well, that we do not yet have electric tractors, or heavy trucks, or airplanes, or ships – and that means that all the fossil fuel infrastructure that allows such machinery to operate will have to stay intact for our supply chains to continue their necessary operations.

And our current turbo-charge on electric cars will have very little impact on climate. The International Energy Agency estimates that the world would produce 231 million fewer tons of C02 if we achieve all our ambitious stated transport electrification targets in this decade. This reduction will lower global temperatures by one-ten thousandth of a degree Celsius (0.0001°C) by the end of the century, according to the UN’s own Climate Panel’s model.

Tackling climate change with current technology is essentially impossible.

This means that climate policy-makers tinker at the margins, offering deceptive solutions, and morally grandstanding. This pattern has repeated for three decades. Most of the promises made in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and in Kyoto in 1997 were disregarded. A 2018 study found that only 17 of the 157 countries that pledged emissions cuts in Paris passed laws mandating the required action. Which nations? Algeria, Canada, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Indonesia, Japan, North Macedonia, Malaysia, Mexico, Montenegro, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Samoa, Singapore, and Tonga. These are not the nations that will change global emissions. Even if every country did everything promised in the original Paris agreement, the emission cuts by 2030 would constitute just 1% of what is necessary to keep temperature rising under the 2°C target.

Failure, however, has not made politicians or the people they serve more careful and or more adamant about searching for better solutions. Instead, they (we) have doubled down, making ever-more ludicrous but emotionally attractive pledges, despite zero chance of either their implementation or their success if implemented. Attempting to implement the much-heralded and oft-trumpeted vision of a zero C02-emission world – whether by 2035 or 2050 – would be so ruinously expensive that extensive gilets-jaunes-style riots are certain long before the “goal” is reached.

A different approach

If we do care about fixing this challenge, we need to change course. Pretending that the proper technological answer currently exists, and is not being implemented because we lack conviction and willpower is reckless and misleading. Worse, it stops us from pursuing real solutions to the many problems that confront us – only one of which is climate change.

Dozens of the world’s top climate economists and three Nobel Laureates in Economics evaluated a whole gamut of climate solutions for the think tank Copenhagen Consensus. If we continued to do what the EU has been doing – cutting carbon with a mix of market and planning diktats – means spending one pound to avoid a mere three pence of long-term climate damage. That’s partly because cutting CO₂ output in the rich and already efficiently-producing EU is impractically expensive, and partly because EU climate policies are much more inefficient than necessary (the EU prefers using wind and solar, for example, to cut a ton of CO₂, over the more efficient option of switching from coal to natural gas).

The Nobel laureates and climate economists instead determined that investment in green innovation comprised the best long-term investment. Why? Consider how the world worried over starvation in the 1960-70s. If we had approached that problem like we are approaching climate remediation, we would have required the rich to eat less, while serving their leftovers to the poor. That would have failed – as our current approaches will fail – disastrously. What worked instead? The Green Revolution: the innovative development of higher-yielding crops. We thereby increased world grain production by 250% between 1950 and 1984, raising the calorie intake of the world’s poorest people and reducing the incidence of serious famines.

Innovative thinkers tackled the problem head-on, instead of tinkering around the edges. Innovation meant producing more with less, instead of requiring people to make do, with less. Would-be and even genuinely looming catastrophes have been continually pushed aside throughout human history because of innovation and technological development. Innovation gave us security and prosperity, and continues to drive the growth and the increased efficiency of the world’s largest economies.

In general, unfortunately, investment in long-term innovation is underfunded because it is hard for private investors to capture benefits. In areas where long-term innovation on the private front can be underfunded (because of difficulties of monetising benefits in a sufficiently short time frame), public investment and support is often warranted. A recent example – and a stellar success on the climate innovation front? The ten-year $10 billion US public investment in shale gas, which originated under President George W. Bush. Remarkably, this was not planned as part of the policy of climate change remediation. Nonetheless, it led the way for a production surge (with all the attendant economic benefits, particularly for the poor) that allowed natural gas to become cheaper than the dirtier coal it partially replaced. Energy derived from natural gas produces approximately half the CO₂ of coal. The consequence? The US has the best record of C02 emission reduction of any country in the past decade – and simultaneously reduced its reliance on foreign suppliers of uncertain reliability and cost.
Investing in innovation

Everyone, in principle, agrees that we should be spending much more on R&D. However, the fraction of rich countries’ GDP actually invested into R&D has halved since the 1980s. Why? Putting up inefficient solar panels and wind turbines offers the opportunity for good photo ops, and allows those who lead to convince us of their dedication to action, while funding researchers requires a more subtle and mature understanding and approach. We might remember, however, when considering such things, that our economic stability and opportunity is now at serious risk, and we are simultaneously not currently doing the planet any favors.

According to the Copenhagen Consensus Nobel Laureates, we should increase our current spending five-fold, to $100 billion per year. This doesn’t mean that in total we should spend more. We already devote $600 billion per year to financing ineffective climate remediation strategies. We could instead take a mere sixth of that poorly spent money and direct it toward the most effective means of addressing our problems.

A genuine innovation-led response would require the consideration of multiple solutions. We should improve today’s technologies rather than erecting currently inefficient turbines and solar panels. We should devote more attention to nuclear fission (perhaps in the form of modular reactors), and continue to explore fusion, hydrogen generation from water, and more. The geneticist who spearheaded development of the first draft sequence of the human genome – a technological tour-de-force, completed far earlier and at less cost than originally estimated – makes the case for research into algae that produces oil, grown on the ocean surface. Because such algae simply converts sunlight and CO₂ to oil, when producing it, burning it would be CO₂-free. Oil algae are far from cost-effective now, but researching this and many other solutions is not only inexpensive but offers our best opportunity to find real breakthrough technologies.

If we innovate the price of green energy down below fossil fuels, everyone will switch. This would be a far better solution, particularly for the poor, than increasing the cost of fossil fuel to the point of general penury to disincentivise use. The Copenhagen Consensus experts calculated returns from green energy R&D at eleven pounds for every pound invested – hundreds of times more effective than current climate policies.

Finding the breakthroughs that will power the rest of the 21st century could require a decade, or it could take four. But no other genuine solutions beckon, and we have already had three decades of spectacular failure pursuing the policies that are currently in place. We know that the world leaders gathered at COP27 won’t solve the problems that beset us with the same empty promises offered twenty-six times previously. Are we doing the same thing yet again? Remember the definition of insanity…

But innovation beckons, as it has so reliably in the past. We have better options, and ignore them at the cost of our economy, our opportunity, and the environment.

Dr. Bjorn Lomborg is President of the Copenhagen Consensus and Visiting Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. His latest book is “False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet.” A collection of his writings for the Telegraph can be found here.
Dr. Jordan B. Peterson is Professor Emeritus at the University of Toronto, and the author of three books: “Maps of Meaning: the Architecture of Belief”, “12 Rules for Life: an Antidote to Chaos” and “Beyond Order: 12 More Rules for Life”. A collection of his writings for the Telegraph can be found here.

Hypocrisy Parade at COP27

Bjorn Lomborg exposes the fake piety on display at IPCC Sharm El-Sheikh gathering in his Forbes article COP27:  A Parade Of Climate Hypocrisy. Excerpts in italics with my bolds

Every year, global climate summits feature a parade of hypocrisy, as the world’s elite arrive on private jets to lecture humanity on cutting carbon emissions. The current UN climate summit in Egypt offers more breathtaking hypocrisy than usual, because the world’s rich are zealously lecturing poor countries about the dangers of fossil fuels—after devouring massive amounts of new gas, coal, and oil.

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine pushed up energy prices even further, wealthy countries have been scouring the world for new sources of energy. The United Kingdom vehemently denounced fossil fuels at the Glasgow climate summit just last year, but now plans to keep coal-fired plants available this winter instead of shutting almost all of them as previously planned. Thermal coal imports by the European Union from Australia, South Africa and Indonesia increased more than 11-fold. Meanwhile, a new trans-Saharan gas pipeline will allow Europe to tap directly into gas from Niger, Algeria and Nigeria; Germany is reopening shuttered coal power plants; and Italy is planning to import 40% more gas from northern Africa. And the United States is going cap-in-hand to Saudi Arabia to grovel for more oil production.

At the climate summit in Egypt, the leaders from these countries will somehow declare with straight faces that poor countries must avoid fossil fuel exploitation, for fear of worsening climate change. These very same rich countries will encourage the world’s poorest to focus instead on green energy alternatives like off-grid solar and wind energy. They’re already making the case. In a speech widely interpreted as being about Africa, the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres said it would be “delusional” for countries to invest more in gas and oil exploration.

The hypocrisy is simply breathtaking. Every single rich country today became wealthy thanks to exploitation of fossil fuels. The world’s major development organizations—at the behest of wealthy countries—refuse to fund fossil fuel exploitation that poor countries could use to lift themselves out of poverty. What’s more, the elite prescription for the world’s poor—green energy—is incapable of transforming lives.

That’s because sun and wind power are useless when it is cloudy, night-time, or there is no wind. Off-grid solar power can provide a nice solar light, but typically can’t even power a family’s fridge or oven, let alone provide the power that communities need to run everything from farms to factories, the ultimate engines of growth.

A study in Tanzania found almost 90 percent of households given off-grid electricity just want to be hooked up to the national grid to receive fossil fuel access. The first rigorous test published on the impact of solar panels on the lives of poor people found they got a little bit more electricity—the ability to power a lamp during the day—but there was no measurable impact on their lives: they did not increase savings or spending, did not work more or start more businesses, and their children did not study more.

Moreover, solar panels and wind turbines are useless at tackling one of the main energy problems of the world’s poor. Nearly 2.5 billion people continue to suffer from indoor air pollution, burning dirty fuels like wood and dung to cook and keep warm. Solar panels don’t solve that problem because they are too weak to power clean stoves and heaters.

In contrast, grid electrification—which nearly everywhere means mostly fossil fuels—has significant positive impacts on household income, expenditure, and education. A study in Bangladesh showed that electrified households experienced a 21 percent average jump in income and a 1.5 percent reduction in poverty each and every year.

The biggest swindle of all is that rich world leaders have somehow managed to portray themselves as green evangelists, while more than three-quarters of their enormous primary energy production comes from fossil fuels, according to the International Energy Agency. Less than 12 percent of their energy comes from renewables, with most from wood and hydro. Just 2.4% is solar and wind.

Compare this to Africa, which is the most renewable continent in the world, with half of its energy produced by renewables. But these renewables are almost entirely wood, straws, and dung, and they are really a testament to how little energy the continent has access to. Despite all the hype, the continent gets just 0.3% of its energy from solar and wind.

To solve global warming, rich countries must invest much more in research and development on better green technologies, from fusion, fission and second-generation biofuels to solar and wind with massive batteries. The crucial insight is to innovate their real cost down below fossil fuels. That way everyone will eventually switch. But telling the world’s poor to live with unreliable, expensive, weak power is an insult.

There is already pushback from the world’s developing countries, who see the hypocrisy for what it is: Egypt’s finance minister recently said that poor countries must not be “punished”, and warned that climate policy should not add to their suffering. That warning needs to be listened to. Europe is scouring the world for more fossil fuels because the continent needs them for its growth and prosperity. That same opportunity should not be withheld from the world’s poorest.