Streetwise Professor

October 24, 2009

A Few Questions on Random Subjects

Filed under: Climate Change,Military,Politics — The Professor @ 9:44 am

The latest pissing contest between the Obama administration and Dick Cheney leads me to wonder: If the Bush administration was so criminally negligent in its waging of the war in Afghanistan, why did Obama retain Robert Gates as Secretary of Defense?  And if Obama has only became aware in recent months of how truly inept the Bush-Cheney-Gates policy was, why does Gates still have a job?  (Note that Gates’s assumption of SecDef duties in November 2006 corresponds closely in time with the serious deterioration of the situation in Afghanistan.)  Put differently, how credible is it for Obama and his minions (although henchmen is probably a better description of some) to claim that the Bush policy was negligent and inept while retaining the services of one of the major architects of that policy, who was also primarily responsible for its execution?

And now for something completely different.  (Yes, I’ve been ODing on the Monty Python documentary and movies on the Independent Film Channel.)

A recent poll reports that Americans are increasingly skeptical about anthropomorphic climate change.  Now, to me it is most likely that what is really going on is that Americans are becoming increasingly cognizant of the costs of measures being advanced to combat climate change, don’t feel that the benefit is worth the cost, and express this belief by casting doubt on the existence of climate change.  That’s neither here nor there, though.  What really interests me is the response to these poll results.

One reaction has been to write them off as the result of relentless propaganda by right wing news outlets, lobbyists, and politicians.  Which leads me to ask: If said news outlets, etc., are such mesmerizing Pied Pipers who can convince large swathes of a gullible American public to follow them down a false path, why is Obama president, and why are the House and Senate solidly Democratic?  And what does it say about the efficacy of the mainstream media outlets–the New York Times, the WaPo, virtually every other major urban daily and weekly newsmag, the used to be big 3 networks, CNN, BBC, etc.,–all of which reliably routinely echo the Chicken Little view?  It doesn’t seem that the Left is getting its money’s worth.

The AP article contains a gem that is quite revealing:

Andrew Weaver, a professor of climate analysis at the  University of Victoria in  British Columbia, said politics could be drowning out scientific awareness.

“It’s a combination of poor communication by scientists, a lousy summer in the Eastern United States, people mixing up weather and climate and a full-court press by public relations firms and lobby groups trying to instill a sense of uncertainty and confusion in the public,” he said.

The point about mixing up weather and climate, and extrapolating from a cool summer in the US, is a fair one.  But what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, Dr. (I presume) Weaver.  For the most strident advocates of draconian measures to control climate change have shamelessly and repeatedly exploited every weather extreme to raise alarm about climate change.  Indeed, the most famous and influential of climate change Cassandras, James Hansen, first brought climate change (then referred to as “global warming”) to the public consciousness by testifying before Al Gore’s Senate committee during a severe drought in the summer of 1988.  Hansen warned that the drought was the harbinger of our planet’s fate unless measures were adopted immediately to reduce CO2 emissions.  (As I recall, 21 years ago Hansen said we had 10 years to take action or we were doomed).  There is considerable evidence that the 1988 drought was caused by the Southern Oscillation, and was not the effect of AGW; similarly, the 1998 temperature spike was also SO related.  (No, not S-O related, nor So? related.  LOL.)  But global warmists have used both temperature spikes to advance their cause.

So, Dr. Weaver, I would be perfectly happy to be scrupulous about the distinction between weather and climate, as long as you and your confreres do the same.  For you all have been far more sinning than sinned against.

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  1. […] here to read the rest: Streetwise Professor » A Few Questions on Random Subjects Saturday, October 24th, 2009 Film Channel TAGS: angeles, are-increasingly, channel, film-channel, […]

    Pingback by Streetwise Professor » A Few Questions on Random Subjects | I Film Channel — October 24, 2009 @ 3:11 pm

  2. Top 10 AGW Denial Myths

    Actually, as you can see 1998 was a spike, but temperatures since 2002 have been continuously at around the 1998 level despite the reduction in solar irradiance seen for the period (

    And I think Hansen was 100% correct. It is already too late to prevent runaway global warming. The current CO2 concentrations were only present at these levels 15mn years ago when mean global temperatures were 3C+ higher. The only solution is the building massive geoengineering projects (which I predict we’ll be seeing by the 2030’s).

    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — October 24, 2009 @ 3:49 pm

  3. I’ll say this regarding your first paragraph, American foreign policy has been criminal for many administrations now. 43, Obama! As a foreigner I say, so what?

    Beating up on Cheney is just good clean fun! Too bad the rest of that administration has gone into hiding, f^ckers every one!

    Comment by TRex — October 25, 2009 @ 2:21 pm

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