How We Got to Climate Crisis Hysteria

Background from previous post Rise and Fall of CAGW

On January 8, 2018 Ross Pomeroy published  at RealClearScience an interesting article The Six Stages of a Failed Psychological Theory

The Pomeroy essay focuses on theories in the field of psychology and describes stages through which they rise, become accepted, challenged and discarded. It has long seemed to me that global warming/climate change theory properly belongs in the field of social studies and thus should demonstrate a similar cycle.

Formerly known as CAGW (catastrophic anthropogenic global warming), the notion of “climate change” is logically a subject of social science rather than physical science. “Climate Change” is a double abstraction: it refers to the derivative (change) in our expectations (patterns) of weather. Thus studies of “Climate Change” are properly a branch of Environmental Sociology.

As a social psychology theory, CAGW/climate change bundles together three interdependent assertions.

From the beginning the claimed science, impacts and policies were bundled, which makes CAGW theory unusual. Psychological theories do not typically give rise to activism for changes in social and political policies. Thus the six stages above focus on the rise and fall of a scientific conclusion, with little or no reference to impacts and policies. At the end of this post are links to resources regarding these latter two points.

Examples of Failed Psychology Theories: The “Backfire Effect” and others

Ross Pomeroy (my bolds):
With the publication of his exhaustingly researched and skillfully reported article, “LOL Something Matters,” science writer Daniel Engber convincingly demonstrated that the “backfire effect,” the notion that contradictory evidence only strengthens entrenched beliefs, does not hold up under rigorous scientific scrutiny. Bluntly stated, the “backfire effect” probably isn’t real.

The debunking of this longstanding psychological theory follows similar academic takedowns of ego depletion, social priming, power posing, and a plethora of other famous findings. Indeed, much of what we “know” in psychology seems to be false.

There’s a good reason for this: psychology, as a discipline, is a house made of sand, based on analyzing inherently fickle human behavior, held together with poorly-defined concepts, and explored with often scant methodological rigor. Indeed, there’s a strong case to be made that psychology is barely a science.

How Theories Advance and Collapse

Seeing how disarray defines psychology, it makes perfect sense that the field’s leading theories are vulnerable to collapse. Having watched this process play out a number of times, a clear pattern has emerged. Let’s call it the “Six Stages of a Failed Psychological or Sociological Theory.”

Stage 1: The Flashy Finding. An intriguing report is published with subject matter that lends itself to water cooler conversation, say, for example, that sticking a pen in your mouth to force a smile makes things seem funnier. Media outlets provide gushing coverage.

Stage 1 CAGW Theory

For Climate Change, by many accounts the flashy finding was James Hansen’s famous 1988 testimony in the US Senate. Hansen’s claim to detect global warming was covered by all the main television network news services and it won for him a New York Times front page headline: “Global warming has begun, expert tells Senate.”

While Hansen’s appearance was a PR coup, he actually jumped the gun.  By 1995 IPCC scientists had not yet agreed that humans are causing global warming.  The story of that problem and the subsequent claim of first detection by John Houghton and Ben Santer is described in detail in Bernie Lewin’s fine historical account. (My synopsis is linked at the end.)

So in this sense, the actual Flashy Finding was published by Santer et al. just before Rio COP in Nature July 1996 entitled: A search for human influences on the thermal structure of the atmosphere
B. D. Santer, K. E. Taylor, T. M. L. Wigley, T. C. Johns, P. D. Jones, D. J. Karoly, J. F. B. Mitchell, A. H. Oort, J. E. Penner, V. Ramaswamy, M. D. Schwarzkopf, R. J. Stouffer & S. Tett  From the abstract:

The observed spatial patterns of temperature change in the free atmosphere from 1963 to 1987 are similar to those predicted by state-of-the-art climate models incorporating various combinations of changes in carbon dioxide, anthropogenic sulphate aerosol and stratospheric ozone concentrations. The degree of pattern similarity between models and observations increases through this period. It is likely that this trend is partially due to human activities, although many uncertainties remain, particularly relating to estimates of natural variability.

An article published the same month in World Climate Report was entitled:“Clearest Evidence” For Human “Fingerprint?” Results clouded if more complete data used  The WCR essay concluded:

We are frankly rather amazed that this paper could have emerged into the refereed literature in its present state; that is not to say that the work is bad, but that there are serious questions—similar to ours—that the reviewers should have asked.

The inescapable conclusions:

1. The vast majority of the “fingerprints” of the greenhouse effect are found way up in the atmosphere, especially in the stratosphere.

2. The “detection” models that were used either don’t predict very much future warming or were run with the wrong greenhouse effect and produce absurd results when the right numbers are put in.

3.And finally, down here in the lower atmosphere, the evidence is much more smudged and is based upon a highly selected set of data that, when viewed in toto, shows something dramatically different than what the paper purports.

The period that Santer et al. studied corresponds precisely with a profound warming trend in this region. But when all of the data (1957 to 1995) are included, there’s no trend whatsoever! We don’t know what to call this, but we believe that at least one of the 13 prestigious authors on this paper must have known this to be the case.

Stage 2: The Fawning Replications. Other psychologists, usually in the early stages of their careers, leap to replicate the finding. Most of their studies corroborate the effect. Those that don’t are not published, perhaps because the researchers don’t want to step on any toes, or because journal editors would prefer not to publish negative findings.

Stage 2 CAGW Theory

Following the human detection claim, the media increasingly filled its time and pages with reports of “multiple lines of evidence” proving CAGW.  Typically these consisted of :

Global temperature rise
Warming oceans
Shrinking ice sheets
Glacial retreat
Decreased snow cover
Sea level rise
Declining Arctic sea ice
Extreme events
Ocean acidification

However, all of these are equivocal, involving signal and noise issues.  And in any case, the fact of any changes does not in itself prove human causation.

Overview of the structure of a state-of-the-art climate model. From the NOAA website.

As suggested by the Santer et al. flashy finding, the claim of human causation was based upon climate models.  And the effort to substantiate that claim was primarily a campaign to construct and experiment with GCMs.  From History of climate modeling by Paul N. Edwards .

Like ripples moving outward from the three pioneering groups (GFDL, UCLA, and NCAR), modelers, dynamical cores, model physics, numerical methods, and GCM computer code soon began to circulate around the world. By the early 1970s, a large number of institutions had established new general circulation modeling programs. In addition to those discussed above, the most active climate modeling centers today include Britain’s Hadley Centre, Germany’s Max Planck Institute, Japan’s Earth Simulator Centre, and the Goddard Institute for Space Studies in the United States..

How many GCMs and climate modeling groups exist worldwide? The exact number can be expanded or contracted under various criteria. About 33 groups submitted GCM output to the Atmospheric Model Intercomparison Project (AMIP) in the 1990s.A few years later, however, only about 25 groups contributed coupled AOGCM outputs to the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP)—reflecting the greater complexity and larger computational requirements of coupled models.  Notably, while the AMIP models included entries from Russia, Canada, Taiwan, China, and Korea, all of the CMIP simulations came from modeling groups based in Europe, Japan, Australia, and the USA, the historical leaders in climate modeling.

The difficulties and uncertainties with climate models have been long understood, and have not been overcome  through the decades, as indicated by the failure to reduce the range estimates of climate sensitivity to CO2.  From Modeling climatic effects of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions: unknowns and uncertainties Willie Soon et al.

Specifically, we review common deficiencies in general circulation model (GCM) calculations of atmospheric temperature, surface temperature, precipitation and their spatial and temporal variability. These deficiencies arise from complex problems associated with parameterization of multiply interacting climate components, forcings and feedbacks, involving especially clouds and oceans. We also review examples of expected climatic impacts from anthropogenic CO2 forcing.

Given the host of uncertainties and unknowns in the difficult but important task of climate modeling, the unique attribution of observed current climate change to increased atmospheric CO2 concentration, including the relatively well-observed latest 20 yr, is not possible. We further conclude that the incautious use of GCMs to make future climate projections from incomplete or unknown forcing scenarios is antithetical to the intrinsically heuristic value of models. Such uncritical application of climate models has led to the commonly held but erroneous impression that modeling has proven or substantiated the hypothesis that CO2 added to the air has caused or will cause significant global warming.

Christy 2019 fig7

Figure 7 (Christy 2019): Tropical mid-tropospheric temperatures, models vs. observations.
Models in pink, against various observational datasets in shades of blue. Five-year averages
1979–2017. Trend lines cross zero at 1979 for all series.

Stage 3: A Consensus Forms. The finding is now taken for granted, regularly appearing in pop psychology stories and books penned by writers like Malcolm Gladwell or Jonah Lehrer. Millions of people read about it and “armchair” explain it to their friends and family.

Stage 3 CAGW Theory  

The Claims of 97% Consensus of scientists on the question of CAGW stem from five papers, conveniently referenced on NASA’s website (though none of them were written by NASA scientists).

The first claim of 97% came from a survey sample of 77 climate scientists who said “Yes” to 2 statements: “It has warmed since 1850.”; “Human activity has contributed to the warming.” That survey questionnaire was deliberately not sent to those known to be skeptical: scientists not employed by government or universities; astronomers; solar scientists; physicists; meteorologists.

Another paper noted by NASA on their website is by W. R. L. Anderegg, at the time a PhD student in the department of Biology at Stanford University. He went on to become a professor at Princeton and Utah Universities in the field of ecology and biological sciences, studying the effects of global warming on forests.

Two papers were produced by John Cook  who has an undergraduate education in physics from the University of Queensland and a post-graduate honors year studying solar physics, worked as a self-employed cartoonist before founding a website pushing climate alarmism. For this he was given the title of the Climate Communication Fellow for the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland. He is currently completing a PhD in cognitive psychology, researching how people think about climate change.

Finally, a key paper was from Naomi Oreskes who received her PhD degree in the Graduate Special Program in Geological Research and History of Science at Stanford in 1990. Her fields are History of Science and Economic Geology, and she is a prominent activist for IPCC activities.

All five of these papers have been extensively criticized in the peer-reviewed literature for their poor quality. For example:

Regarding Anderegg et al. and climate change credibility, PNAS, Dec. 28, 2010 by Lawrence Bodenstein

The study by Anderegg et al. (1) employed suspect methodology that treated publication metrics as a surrogate for expertise.

In the climate change (CC) controversy, a priori, one expects that the much larger and more “politically correct” side would excel in certain publication metrics. They continue to cite each other’s work in an upward spiral of self-affirmation.

Here, we do not have homogeneous consensus absent a few crackpot dissenters. There is variation among the majority, and a minority, with core competency, who question some underlying premises. It would seem more profitable to critique the scientific evidence than count up scientists, publications, and the like.

Regarding purely scientific questions, it may be justified to discount nonexperts. However, here, dissenters included established climate researchers. The article undermined their expert standing and then, extrapolated expertise to the more personal credibility. Using these methods to portray certain researchers as not credible and, by implication, to be ignored is highly questionable. Tarring them as individuals by group metrics is unwarranted.

Publication of this article as an objective scientific study does a true disservice to scientific discourse. Prominent scientific journals must focus on scientific merit without sway from extracurricular forces. They must remain cautious about lending their imprimatur to works that seem more about agenda and less about science, more about promoting a certain dogma and less about using all of the evidence to better our understanding of the natural world.

A more complete list of published papers refuting these studies is here: All “97% Consensus” Studies Refuted by Peer-Review

More inclusive surveys with more pointed questions show much more diverse opinions. Most scientists agree it has warmed since 1850, the end of the Little Ice Age. Geologists have evidence that the earth was warmer than now during the Medieval Warm Period, more warm during the Roman Warm Period, warmer still in the Minoan period. So the overall trend is a cooling over the last 11,500 years.

Most agree that human land use, such as making dams, farming, building cities, airports and highways, all affect the climate in those locations. The idea that rising CO2 is causing dangerous warming is controversial, with dissenters a large minority.

Stage 4: The Rebuttal. After a few decades, a new generation of researchers look to make a splash by questioning prevailing wisdom. One team produces a more methodologically-sound study that debunks the initial finding. Media outlets blare the “counterintuitive” discovery.

Stage 4 CAGW Theory  

There have been many rebuttals of CAGW theory and in the blogosphere they are proclaimed and shared among skeptics.  But it is still rare for mass media outlets to acknowledge any finding that contradicts the prevailing “consensus” view of CAGW.  On the multiple lines of evidence, the NIPCC series of reports provide references to a trove of peer-reviewed literature that do not support CAGW.  The most recent report is Climate Change Reconsidered II and the list of scientists, authors and reviewers includes people who have objected to CAGW over the years.

An important proof against the CO2 global warming claim was included in John Christy’s testimony 29 March 2017 at the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. The text below is from that document which can be accessed here.

Figure 5. Simplification of IPCC AR5 shown above in Fig. 4. The colored lines represent the range of results for the models and observations. The trends here represent trends at different levels of the tropical atmosphere from the surface up to 50,000 ft. The gray lines are the bounds for the range of observations, the blue for the range of IPCC model results without extra GHGs and the red for IPCC model results with extra GHGs.The key point displayed is the lack of overlap between the GHG model results (red) and the observations (gray). The nonGHG model runs (blue) overlap the observations almost completely.

Main Point: IPCC Assessment Reports show that the IPCC climate models performed best versus observations when they did not include extra GHGs and this result can be demonstrated with a statistical model as well.

More discussion on this rebuttal is at Warming from CO2 Unlikely

See also Global Warming Theory and the Tests It Fails 

But the mass media is still in thrall of the catastrophic theory (bad news is good for business).

Stage 5: Proper Replications Pour In. Research groups attempt to replicate the initial research with the skepticism and precise methodology that should’ve been used in the first place. As such, the vast majority fail to find any effect.

Stage 5 CAGW Theory

In the case of climate change, the rewards are all skewed in favor of CAGW.  Not only is that bundle of beliefs politically correct, the monopoly of research funding for consensus projects leaves contrarian scientists high and dry.  And to the degree that the case rests on complex and expensive computer climate models, few centers are in a position to challenge the conventional wisdom, and almost none would be rewarded for doing so.

Despite this, every year there are hundreds of new research papers published challenging CAGW.  Kenneth Richard at No Tricks Zone has done yeoman work compiling and summarizing and linking to such studies. His most recent review is Hundreds More Papers Published In 2021 Support A Skeptical Position On Climate Alarm

The papers are sorted into four categories of views questioning climate alarm.

N(1) Natural mechanisms play well more than a negligible role (as claimed by the IPCC) in the net changes in the climate system, which includes temperature variations, precipitation patterns, weather events, etc., and the influence of increased CO2 concentrations on climatic changes are less pronounced than currently imagined.

N(2) The warming/sea levels/glacier and sea ice retreat/hurricane and drought intensities…experienced during the modern era are neither unprecedented or remarkable, nor do they fall outside the range of natural variability, as clearly shown in the first 150 graphs (from 2017) on this list.

N(3) The computer climate models are not reliable or consistently accurate, and projections of future climate states are little more than speculation as the uncertainty and error ranges are enormous in a non-linear climate system.

N(4) Current emissions-mitigation policies, especially related to the advocacy for renewables, are often ineffective and even harmful to the environment, whereas elevated CO2 and a warmer climate provide unheralded benefits to the biosphere (i.e., a greener planet and enhanced crop yields).

As for climate models, there is a single center (the Russian Institute of Numerical Mathematics), working on GCMs that produce unalarming results.  Out of 33 CMIP5 generation models the INMCM4 appears in the earlier graph above as the only one tracking close to temperature observations.  And reports of the upgrade to INMCM5 appear promising.  For more on this topic:

Climate Models: Good, Bad and Ugly

Stage 6: The Theory Lives On as a Zombie. Despite being debunked, the theory lingers on in published scientific studies, popular books, outdated webpages, and common “wisdom.” Adherents in academia cling on in a state of denial – their egos depend upon it.

Stage 6 CAGW Theory 

Clearly, we are still a long ways from CAGW going to zombie status.  There is still way too much money and fame attached to climate advocacy. But it is fair to say that the position of CAGW has become more precarious.  The presence of a skeptical US President, and the withdrawal of funding and political support for alarmists makes it possible for others to express doubts and explore flaws in the consensus theory.  The collapse of green energy schemes in places like Germany and Australia may also portend the onset of stage six.

Of course, the only sure sign of a theory’s failure is when it becomes the butt of jokes and ridicule in mainstream media.  For that I do appreciate the work of cartoonist Rick McKee of the Augusta Chronicle:

 

More humor at Cavemen Climate Comics for Sunday

Background Articles

The Flashy Finding: Progressively Scaring the World (Lewin book synopsis)

The Fawning Replications: Climate Models Explained

A Consensus Forms: Talking ClimateNASA and Climate Dogma

The Rebuttal: Fossil Fuels ≠ Global Warming

Proper Replications: Climate Reductionism

Zombie CAGW:  World of Hurt from Climate Policies

Postscript: Charles MacKay on Collective Delusions

Of course the classical masterwork in this field is the book Extraordinary Popular Delusions And The Madness Of Crowds By Charles MacKay 1841.  Title is link to full pdf text.  Excerpts below with my bolds.

In the present state of civilization, society has often shown itself very prone to run a career of folly from the last-mentioned cases. This infatuation has seized upon whole nations in a most extraordinary manner. France, with her Mississippi madness, set the first great example, and was very soon imitated by England with her South Sea Bubble. At an earlier period, Holland made herself still more ridiculous in the eyes of the world, by the frenzy which came over her people for the love of Tulips. Melancholy as all these delusions were in their ultimate results, their history is most amusing. A more ludicrous and yet painful spectacle, than that which Holland presented in the years 1635 and 1636, or France in 1719 and 1720, can hardly be imagined.

Some delusions, though notorious to all the world, have subsisted for ages, flourishing as widely among civilized and polished nations as among the early barbarians with whom they originated, — that of duelling, for instance, and the belief in omens and divination of the future, which seem to defy the progress of knowledge to eradicate entirely from the popular mind. Money, again, has often been a cause of the delusion of multitudes. Sober nations have all at once become desperate gamblers, and risked almost their existence upon the turn of a piece of paper. To trace the history of the most prominent of these delusions is the object of the present pages. Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one.

MacKay’s study was exhaustive for its time, comprising three volumes;

VOL I. Considered National Delusions, including:
THE MISSISSIPPI SCHEME
THE SOUTH SEA BUBBLE
THE TULIPOMANIA.
RELICS.
MODERN PROPHECIES.
POPULAR ADMIRATION FOR GREAT THIEVES.
INFLUENCE OF POLITICS AND RELIGION ON THE HAIR AND BEARD.
DUELS AND ORDEALS
THE LOVE OF THE MARVELLOUS AND THE DISBELIEF OF THE TRUE.
POPULAR FOLLIES IN GREAT CITIES
THE O.P. MANIA.
THE THUGS, or PHANSIGARS.

VOL. II described Peculiar Follies, including:
THE CRUSADES
THE WITCH MANIA.
THE SLOW POISONERS.
HAUNTED HOUSES.

VOL. III compiled more general popular madnesses under three categories:
BOOK I: Philosophical Delusions, down through history with particular recent attention to Alchemists
BOOK II: Fortune Telling
BOOK III: The Magnetisers, a fad only subsiding when the book was written.

In Denial of Election Fraud

Meaning of In Denial:  Refusing to look at information to avoid considering an undesirable reality.  Antonym: Facing Facts

The judiciary has now signaled from the very top Supreme Justices along with state and district judges that they will avert their eyes from any cases questioning the 2020 election.  The media as well attaches the adjective “baseless” to all claims of election irregularities.  The results are “valid” they say, without any effort to confront all the evidence of “invalid” activity before, during, and after November 3.  The undesirable reality is that a pre-meditated, nationally organized criminal enterprise stole the US election, meaning that one of the US major political parties should now be called the Undemocrats.  The infographic below presents the extensive legal case against this election process and results, summarized from numerous hearings attended by officials who actually want to know the truth.

Previous Post;  The Phishy Election

The age of distributed computers and internet connectivity results in everyone from time to time receiving phishing emails.  Just opening the link can get malware installed on your notebook, and can even generate a ransom demand from those who kidnapped your device.  The same kind of criminals working 24/7 to steal from you are suspected of using their methods to steal the Office of the President of the US.

As we know from TV shows and reading crime novels, any criminal investigation seeks to prove the perpetrators possessed three factors:  Motive, Opportunity, and Means.  No one doubts the Democrats had plenty of Motive, as evidenced by a four-year slow-moving coup against Trump from the moment the 2016 results were confirmed.  As we now see, the Opportunity came in Democratic control over big city strongholds in the large battleground states.  And as the legal affidavits confirm, the Means consisted of both Old School ballot stuffing fraud (ballot harvesting and overwriting) and New School counting fraud (using computer algorithms to warp the results). The allegations summarized in the exhibit above show how perpetrators added votes in big cities and suppressed votes in the countryside.

There is a short timetable for exposing these illegal tactics, and the media is looking to play out the clock, after having already declared Biden the winner.  An example is the recent Washington Post article Swing-state counties that used Dominion voting machines mostly voted for Trump.  At least they are finally admitting that the election results are questionable.  But like all the MSM, they are resolutely averting their eyes from anything that could sour the Biden victory they so covet. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

A review of 10 key states (Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin) finds that Dominion systems were used in 351 of 731 counties. Trump won 283 of those counties, 81 percent of the total. He won 79 percent of the counties that didn’t use Dominion systems.

The idea that Trump only lost, say, Pennsylvania, because of Dominion voting systems has to reconcile with the fact that Trump actually won more votes in counties that used Dominion systems (beating Biden by about 74,000 votes in those counties) but lost the state because he was beaten by 154,000 votes in non-Dominion counties. That same pattern holds in Wisconsin as well.

In other words, there’s nothing to suggest that counties using Dominion systems looked significantly different from counties that didn’t. The idea that Biden is president-elect because of some nefarious calculations simply doesn’t match the reality of the county-level vote results.

The WP conclusion ignores the analyses showing how the algorithms distort the results.  In order to shift votes from Trump to Biden, the perpetrators needed to identify large pools of Trump-only votes (ballots cast only for the President race) that could be switched to Biden-only votes.  By skimming in this way, Trump wins those counties as expected, but by enough fewer votes to lose the state. As well, it appears that forensic testing of seized ballot machines confirms that vote tabulations are converted from whole numbers to decimals so that weighting can be applied.  In one example, Biden votes were weighted 1.2 while Trump votes weighted at 0.8.  Thus the race results effectively shift votes from Trump to Biden.  Meanwhile in the big city precincts, large Biden margins were already organized through production of mail-in ballots stuffed into the machines.

See: Inside the Election Black Box

The forensics report for Antrim County makes for an interesting read.

A forensic audit of Dominion Voting Systems machines and software in Michigan showed that they were designed to create fraud and influence election results, a data firm said Monday (Dec. 14)

“We conclude that the Dominion Voting System is intentionally and purposefully designed with inherent errors to create systemic fraud and influence election results,” Russell Ramsland Jr., co-founder of Allied Security Operations Group, said in a preliminary report.

“The system intentionally generates an enormously high number of ballot errors. The electronic ballots are then transferred for adjudication. The intentional errors lead to bulk adjudication of ballots with no oversight, no transparency, and no audit trail. This leads to voter or election fraud. Based on our study, we conclude that The Dominion Voting System should not be used in Michigan. We further conclude that the results of Antrim County should not have been certified,” he added.

Footnote:

Today, in the midst of an uproar over election violations, Covid restrictions,  and also illicit relations with Chinese Communists, this song came up on my playlist.

Lyrics:

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
Thats how it goes
Everybody knows

Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows that the captain lied
Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died
Everybody talking to their pockets
Everybody wants a box of chocolates
And a long stem rose
Everybody knows

Everybody knows that you love me baby
Everybody knows that you really do
Everybody knows that you’ve been faithful
Ah give or take a night or two
Everybody knows you’ve been discreet
But there were so many people you just had to meet
Without your clothes
And everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
Thats how it goes
Everybody knows

And everybody knows that its now or never
Everybody knows that its me or you
And everybody knows that you live forever
Ah when you’ve done a line or two
Everybody knows the deal is rotten
Old black joe’s still pickin’ cotton
For your ribbons and bows
And everybody knows

And everybody knows that the plague is coming
Everybody knows that its moving fast
Everybody knows that the naked man and woman
Are just a shining artifact of the past
Everybody knows the scene is dead
But there’s gonna be a meter on your bed
That will disclose
What everybody knows

And everybody knows that you’re in trouble
Everybody knows what you’ve been through
From the bloody cross on top of calvary
To the beach of Malibu
Everybody knows its coming apart
Take one last look at this sacred heart
Before it blows
And everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
Thats how it goes
Everybody knows

Footnote:

I doubt Leonard Cohen had politics or climate change in mind when he wrote this masterpiece.  But he did have a pertinent poetic insight; namely, that social proof is an unreliable guide to the truth.

 

The Phishy Election

The age of distributed computers and internet connectivity results in everyone from time to time receiving phishing emails.  Just opening the link can get malware installed on your notebook, and can even generate a ransom demand from those who kidnapped your device.  The same kind of criminals working 24/7 to steal from you are suspected of using their methods to steal the Office of the President of the US.

As we know from TV shows and reading crime novels, any criminal investigation seeks to prove the perpetrators possessed three factors:  Motive, Opportunity, and Means.  No one doubts the Democrats had plenty of Motive, as evidenced by a four-year slow-moving coup against Trump from the moment the 2016 results were confirmed.  As we now see, the Opportunity came in Democratic control over big city strongholds in the large battleground states.  And as the legal affidavits confirm, the Means consisted of both Old School ballot stuffing fraud (ballot harvesting and overwriting) and New School counting fraud (using computer algorithms to warp the results). The allegations summarized in the exhibit below show how perpetrators added votes in big cities and suppressed votes in the countryside.

There is a short timetable for exposing these illegal tactics, and the media is looking to play out the clock, after having already declared Biden the winner.  An example is the recent Washington Post article Swing-state counties that used Dominion voting machines mostly voted for Trump.  At least they are finally admitting that the election results are questionable.  But like all the MSM, they are resolutely averting their eyes from anything that could sour the Biden victory they so covet. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

A review of 10 key states (Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin) finds that Dominion systems were used in 351 of 731 counties. Trump won 283 of those counties, 81 percent of the total. He won 79 percent of the counties that didn’t use Dominion systems.

The idea that Trump only lost, say, Pennsylvania, because of Dominion voting systems has to reconcile with the fact that Trump actually won more votes in counties that used Dominion systems (beating Biden by about 74,000 votes in those counties) but lost the state because he was beaten by 154,000 votes in non-Dominion counties. That same pattern holds in Wisconsin as well.

In other words, there’s nothing to suggest that counties using Dominion systems looked significantly different from counties that didn’t. The idea that Biden is president-elect because of some nefarious calculations simply doesn’t match the reality of the county-level vote results.

The WP conclusion ignores the analyses that show how the algorithms effects show up in the results.  In order to shift votes from Trump to Biden, the perpetrators needed to identify large pools of Trump-only votes (ballots cast only for the President race) that could be switched to Biden-only votes.  By skimming in this way, Trump wins those counties as expected, but by enough fewer votes to lose the state. As well, it appears that forensic testing of seized ballot machines will confirm that vote tabulations are converted from whole numbers to decimals so that weighting can be applied.  In one example, Biden votes were weighted 1.3 while Trump votes weighted at 0.7.  Thus the race results effectively shift votes from Trump to Biden.

See: Inside the Election Black Box

Meanwhile in the big city precincts, large Biden margins are already organized through production of mail-in ballots stuffed into the machines.

From Previous Post:  Election Fraud Too Big to Fail?

Stalin’s Wisdom

John Daniel Davidson writes at The Federalist Yes, Democrats Are Trying To Steal The Election In Michigan, Wisconsin, And Pennsylvania Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

In the three Midwest battleground states, vote counting irregularities persist in an election that will be decided on razor-thin margins.

As of this writing, it appears that Democratic Party machines in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania are trying to steal the election.

Something strange happened in the dead of the night. In both Michigan and Wisconsin, vote dumps early Wednesday morning showed 100 percent of the votes going for Biden and zero percent—that’s zero, so not even one vote—for Trump.

In Michigan, Biden somehow got 138,339 votes and Trump got none, zero, in an overnight vote-dump.

When my Federalist colleague Sean Davis noted this, Twitter was quick to censor his tweet, even though all he had done was compare two sets of vote totals on the New York Times website. And he wasn’t the only one who noticed—although on Wednesday it appeared that anyone who noted the Biden vote dump in Michigan was getting censored by Twitter.

It turns out, the vote dump was the result of an alleged typo, an extra zero that had been tacked onto Biden’s vote total in Shiawassee County, Michigan. It seems the error was discovered only because Davis and other Twitter users noted how insane and suspicious the vote totals looked, and demanded an investigation that uncovered what was either a typo or an incredibly clumsy attempt to boost Biden’s vote count.

There was also something suspicious about the vote reporting in Antrim County, Michigan, where Trump beat Hillary Clinton by 30 points in 2016. Initial vote totals there showed Biden ahead of Trump by 29 points, a result that can’t possibly be accurate, as plenty of journalists noted.

Then another mysterious all-Biden vote dump happened in Wisconsin. Biden miraculously overcame a 4.1-point Trump lead in the middle of the night thanks to vote dumps in which he got—you guessed it—100 percent of the votes and Trump got zero.

Unless election officials in Michigan and Wisconsin can explain the overnight vote-dumps and, in Michigan, the “typo” that appeared to benefit Biden, and Pennsylvania officials can explain their rationale for counting ballots with no postmark, the only possible conclusion one can come to right now is that Democrats are trying to steal the election in the Midwest.

What Happened at That Debate Last Night

The First Take:

At least for now, the debate strategies seem clear.  On one side, let’s troll Trump with fake news and then pretend he is a clown when he objects.  On the other side, let’s bait Biden and see if he loses control and goes off the script beamed into his ears.

The Second Take:

A deeper reflection is provided by Chris Buskirk at The Critic  Trump is waging asymmetric warfare – and it’s working. Excerpts in italics with my bolds.

Biden came in for some rough treatment in the first presidential debate

One of the most interesting and telling exchanges came about an hour into the debate. In some ways each man showed himself in his purest form. Joe Biden delivered what was very obviously a well-rehearsed, set-piece attack on President Trump. You could see the windup, like a boxer pulling his arm way back, fist clenched, preparing to deliver the knockout blow. Biden started by repeating the accusation that Trump disrespectfully criticises the military, calling them losers and suckers. The story has been debunked repeatedly by multiple sources including those hostile to the president like John Bolton. But it’s part of the Biden campaign’s strategy. So he levels the accusations and then begins to eulogise his son, Beau Biden, who served in Iraq, and later died of brain cancer. This makes it all personal to Joe, you see. He’s defending his dead son against a mythical slander from the bad orange man. Biden even points a finger at Trump, “My son is not a loser!”

Trauma mining to score points in a debate is a desperately cynical piece of political theatre. But, I suppose they calculate that if it works you get to be president. (I’ll pass, thanks.) It was pure Biden: scripted, saccharine, playing by the rules of a game that has long since ended. In case you think I’m too cynical, that surely this couldn’t have been orchestrated, Joe Biden’s official Twitter account posted a photo of Joe and Beau with the caption, “Beau was not a loser” just as the debate ended.

And just so, Trump. He looked at his podium and quietly, respectfully, asked, which son Biden was talking about. Of course, he knew, but he played the game forcing Biden to respond, Beau. “Oh, I don’t know him. I know Hunter.”

And then listed the accusations against Hunter: he took a $1.5 billion investment from China into the fledgling investment company he ran with John Kerry’s son while his father was Vice President and en route to China. He received $3.5 million from the mayor of Moscow. He had a sinecure from a Ukranian energy company while his father was Obama’s pointman on Ukraine policy. (NB: Hunter had no experience in business let along the energy business.) It was as sweet a move as I’ve ever seen. The knockout punch was coming with all the force Joe Biden could muster and Trump simply sidestepped it and counterpunched.

It was an impressive display of natural animal cunning. And it could make the difference in the election. Trump was agile, aggressive, and vigorous, taking what he wanted when he wanted it. This offends some people’s sensibilities. He’s transgressive.

He doesn’t play according to the rules. But for others, that’s part of the appeal.

It’s no secret that the ruling class in America despises the country class. If you’re one of those people who don’t live in coastal cities and subscribe to the same worldview as the elite aspirants hoping for a job at a billionaire-backed NGO or an internship that might lead to a job at McKinsey then you’re a deplorable, a CHUD, and definitely racist and whatever bad things are happening to you, your family, and your inland town are your just deserts.

One of Trump’s main functions and biggest appeals is that he exposes the occupational elites that are credentialed but not expert in much of anything.

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Everyone knows it. Imposter syndrome is rampant. And Trump preys on their insecurities which is what provokes such outrageous reactions from his enemies. But a lot of Americans who live in interior America and get unglamorous jobs at slowly declining wages, raise their families want nothing more than to be left alone by the credentialed but unaccomplished strivers who hate them.

For those people, Trump is their champion.

They probably don’t aspire to be like Trump, but they like the fact that he exposes the bankruptcy of the undeserving ruling class. And for them, Trump’s debate tonight was a tour de force. It was aggressive, it was funny, he said the quiet part out loud, he broke the rules in public that are normally only broken in private. That won him the election in 2016. It won him the debate last night. And it might just get him re-elected in November.

Note: The debate began with Trump and Biden each making one uninterrupted comment. Biden then talked over Trump’s second comment without intervention by the moderator. And so the game was on.

On Covid Statistics

As reported previously, and increasingly confirmed by physicians around the world, the pattern of mortality is the same this year compared to previous history. For example, in Italy, the median age of those dying with the virus is 84, and more often males than females, with deaths rarely in younger age groups.

The virus is there along with one or more of the usual comorbidities: cancer, heart disease, arteries, chronic lung disease, and so on. Some Italian doctors have lamented that some patients who normally would have gone into palliative care in their nursing homes have instead died on ventilators in an ICU.

Andrew McCarthy writes at National Review The Problem with New York City’s COVID-19 Death-Rate Estimates

Still, quantifying fatalities and the mortality rate remains elusive. Case in point: New York City. As the New York Times reported yesterday, Gotham’s Health Department abruptly added 3,700 victims to the COVID-19 death toll even though these decedents were not tested.

Despite the lack of coronavirus diagnoses in these cases, the inference that it was a factor in death (or, as the city insists, the proximate cause) is not irrational. The Health Department says that 3,000 more people died in the last month than would ordinarily have been expected in the City this time of year. The City has been vexed by the sparse availability of testing. By counting only people who had tested positive, it was surely undercounting COVID-19 deaths to some degree.

But to what degree? We really don’t know. In truth, we will never know beyond educated supposition.

City health officials deduce that some of the spike in “excess deaths” is only indirectly attributable to the coronavirus. On this theory, COVID-19 infections so overwhelmed the health-care system that some non-infected people are assumed to have died of conditions that would otherwise have been treatable.

Meantime, health officials have been tracking deaths they’ve hypothesized could have been related to the virus, based on symptoms and medical history. But what does that mean? Was the coronavirus present in the decedents (unconfirmable because they weren’t tested)? Are health officials saying COVID-19 was actually the proximate cause of death? That it may have exacerbated underlying health problems? That such comorbidities would not have killed the decedents but for the (unconfirmed) presence of COVID-19?

New York City is dysfunctional, but this is not a New York issue. The guesstimating is being done at the express invitation of the federal Centers for Disease Control.

The CDC instructs officials to report deaths as COVID-19 deaths whenever the patient has either tested positive or, despite the absence of a test, presents circumstances from which presence of the infection can be inferred “within a reasonable degree of certainty” — such that its contribution to death is “probable” or may be “presumed.” This is drawn from CDC guidance, which directs that COVID-19 be specified in death certificates whenever “COVID-19 played a role in the death.”

Who knows? The fact is, they are just making estimates. But, as the Times computes it, this estimate has suddenly increased the overall U.S. death count from COVID-19 by a whopping 17 percent. And if the Big Apple is going to cook the books this way, what is to stop Newark, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, and the rest?