Hurricane Joaquin: Latest Poster Boy for Uninformed AGW Alarmists

Hurricane Joaquin. Pretty scary, eh?

Hurricane Joaquin. Pretty scary, eh?( Source: Daily Beast)

Well, sure enough, as I guessed they would, the Global Warming alarmists are out touting their newest poster boy, Hurricane Joaquin,-as here in the Daily Beast. At this writing, the storm seems most unlikely to make landfall in the CONUS, making it close to a decade since a category III or larger hurricane hit the coastal US. The last one was in 2005, when there were three Cat III’s, one of which was Katrina. “Super Storm” Sandy was Category I at landfall. High tide and a cold front turned it into a very bad time for millions. The last Category V, was Andrew in 1992.

How do I know this stuff?

Another view of Joaquin. Nah. It's something or other from

Another view of Joaquin. Nah. It’s something or other from “The Day After Tomorrow,” 2004. A year before the very active hurricane season of 2005, followed by the 10-year “Hurricane Drought.”

Well, gosh, I checked the NOAA historical data website. Have a look and you will see no pattern of increased storm activity, nor strength that in anyway correlates to increases in atmospheric CO2 concentrations. And the last decade has been very quiet, despite predictions to the contrary from NOAA itself.

But, as we’ve been told now for a very long time, it will get really bad. IN THE FUTURE. SWEARSIES.  NatGeo was speculating about this ten years ago.  Still waiting.

The writer of the Beast piece, Michael Shank, is a Phd, as his byline tells us. I smelled a rat when I saw that he is “Director of Media Strategy” at Climate Nexus. The polite term for a media strategist is PR flack; the accurate definition is propagandist.

But hey, he has a doctorate, so maybe he’s a scientist?


PhD, Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University
M.A, Conflict Transformation & Peacebuilding, Eastern Mennonite University
B.F.A Theater, Kent State University
Graduate Certificate, Maryknoll Institute of Language and Culture

Also, Adjunct Faculty at S-CAR, George Mason University. So, no tenure. Getting poppycock like this published helps put (most likely organic, or perhaps vegan) groceries in the larder.

Shank’s PhD is in “Climate Conflict.”  Kurt Vonnegut had this kind of doctorate figured out:  “I’m a doctor of cowshit, pigshit, and chickenshit…When you doctors figure out what you want, you’ll find me out in the barn shoveling my thesis.”

For all his sheepskins, he seems to have missed instruction on the most basic research techniques.

This guy is no more qualified to comment on this stuff than I am. Frankly, I’d say I’m more qualified: I have an MA in creative writing and could easily come up with more plausible bullshit. (OK, anyone with a mastery of high school English Composition could do so.  My degree is bullshit, too.)

Serious proponents of the AGW hypothesis do themselves no favors by giving any credence to such poppycock

Who is a “Climate Scientist?” Maybe You Are.


Michael Crichton: “Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.”

Whether Climate Change (nee Global Warming) is  as serious a problem as scientific, academic, governmental  and media elites tell us, is open to debate in my view, so I guess that makes me a “denier.”

The term “denialist,” with its subliminal echo of Peter turning his back on Jesus, is clever, but typical of the triumphalist crowing that is standard in AGW (Anthropogenic  global warming) proponents’ appeals to the larger public.

The framing of these appeals ranges from rude bullying, adolescent snark, to arrant silliness.  The physical sciences relevant to the study of climate change are not only beyond me, but beyond the mastery of any one person, but the tone of a message is a clue to the veracity of its originators.

“Consensus” and “the Science is settled” sound aimed to stifle dissent.

A case in point is this page from NASA, headlined “Consensus: 97% of climate scientists agree.”  So do nine out of ten dentists, according to Crest..

How is the casual reader is to determine the truth of this statement?  Most will simply accept it.   This is NASA, after all, the organization that led the Moon missions, and continues to expand planetary and cosmological knowledge.  It is, however,  also an agency past its glory days and hardly immune from unscientific posturing as a result of political pressure, as in its 2010 outreach to Muslims.

The consensus assertion is footnoted to three journal articles, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Eos Transactions American Geophysical Union Vol. and Science, 2010, 200, 2004, respectively.

The remaining 14 footnotes are policy assertions from various organizations including the IPCC.

The question that hit me immediately upon viewing this page was:  what is a “Climate Scientist?”  I was puzzled to see geologists and medical doctors being cited as such. I suppose geologists might be concerned with core samplings and such, but how did the doctors become climate scientists?  Extension courses?

As I looked over  the PNAS article,the question was quickly answered::

“This result (97 percent consensus closely agrees with expert surveys, indicating that ≈97% of self-identified (Bold italics mine) actively publishing climate scientists.”

That was enough for me. I went on to read the references at the end of the article.  While the greatest number were from Scientometrics, and are concerned with methodology in citation analysis, there are also those that lead one to suspect we are not dealing with entirely disinterested science.

(2000) Challenging global warming as a social problem: An analysis of the conservative movement’s counter-claims. Soc Probl 47:499–522

 The mission statement of Social Problems, from its inaugural issue states that the journal “…will devote itself to original research, whether empirical or theoretical, which brings fresh light to bear on the concepts, processes and consequences of modern science. It will be interdisciplinary in the sense that it will encourage appropriate contributions from political science, sociology, economics, history, philosophy, social anthropology, and the legal and educational disciplines.”

I don’t see anything to do with “modern science” there.  None of the disciplines mentioned would require even high school physics or chemistry.


(2008) The organisation of denial: Conservative think tanks and environmental scepticism. Env Polit 17:349–385.

 A quick look at the free online sample of Environmental Politics will show that rather than science, politics – and environmentalist politics in particular – is exactly what it is about.


(2003) Defeating Kyoto: The conservative movement’s impact on US climate change policy. Soc Probl 50:348–373.

Those evil conservatives!

And then, there is this;

(2006) Science studies, climate change and the prospects for constructivist critique. Econ Soc 35:453–479.

Reminds me of the excruciatingly dull and largely content-free literary criticism I endured in grad school.


 (2009) Featuring skeptics in news media stories about global warming reduces public beliefs in the seriousness of global warming (Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University, Technical Paper), Available at

A technical paper?  Seriously?  Show me the math!  If AGW skeptics are featured anywhere save Fox(rarely) and Glen Beck, I missed it.

In addition to the risible assertion that one hundred per cent of climate scientists, whoever and whatever they may be have chimed in on AGW, neither the study nor the NASA page address the real issue which how devastating “experts” think this climate change will be, and how strong their support is for prevention and/or mitigation  measures, not to mention what and how extreme  such measures should be, or what they should be.

Climate Change/AGW may stem from science but as presented to the public it is all about politics, and the politics spread through both the mass media and obscure journals that almost no one will read form a positive feedback loop through peer approbation and shaming of outsiders with differing opinions.

polar bears

Drowning polar bears? Not these. But Al Gore is drowning in loot. He finally coughed up a license for the pic.

I would no sooner leave the fate of our economies and, ultimately, our civilization to members of this unelected and self described scientific elite than I would to a curia of priests.

How to Save America( for a while): Go Venezuelan

“Hey! Matilda, Matilda, Matilda, she take me money and run Venezuela.” Harry Belafonte, 1953

In the wake of the Keystone XL pipeline cancellation(or delay, depending on where you stand), the quantum increase in proven reserves of recoverable hydrocarbons in North America has been covered even more by those in favor of their development.  It isn’t just about opening ANWR anymore.  We are talking about oil and gas from North Dakota and Ohio, among other places.  That’s right, Ohio!

This has to do with oil prices pretty steady close to a hundred dollars a barrel and the “fracking revolution” which is actually  a refinement of long used techniques. Environmental lobbies predict near doomsday scenarios of poisoned aquifers and human  caused earthquakes, while proponents feel  we cannot afford not to develop these resources.

Given the Obama’ administration’s green predilection, it would seem we should  expect continued opposition to traditional energy development in the US. The congress thought so when Republicans  put a rider in an appropriations bill forcing Mr. Obama to say up or down within 90 days, when the administration planned to make its decision ion on the pipeline, already studied for three years, after the election this year.

Pro oil and gas folks naturally expected him to cancel it at that point so forced him to do it up front.  I’m not so sure it would played out this way.  Let’s try a little thought experiment.

The US is saddled with massive debt, and there is even greater liability off the books than the enormous sum the government does acknowledge.  Debt free government is a thing of the past, but  if we are to avoid default or monetizaton and hyperinflation,  the debt to GDP ratio needs to return to historic norms, and this appears politically impossible.

So we are screwed, right?

Perhaps not right away.

The President, in his State of the Union address,  while excoriating Big Oil ( who doesn’t? Not me, but I’m not a politician) announced a comprehensive plan to open up the majority of offshore potential for drilling.

Pre-election positioning or a sign of something larger?

Imagine a second Obama administration, free of any constraint, and without a need to secure its base.  The administration could then open the way to massive development of hydrocarbon based energy sources.  A  NIxon going to China moment?

Not at all,  More like Obama going to Venezuela.  The revenues could be used to support his statist projects in green energy, as well as maintain and expand the welfare state – and keep the bond ratings agencies at bay as deficits grew at a slower rate.

This tack could assure democrat administrations for some time to come, but Democrat or Republican in the White House, would the government be wise enough  to avoid the resource trap?

We could use the windfall to finance a sovereign wealth fund, as did Norway, squander it as did Britain, or if we really have as much as some experts figure, export it like crazy, and use the receipts to fund popular subsidies and prop up ailing nationalized industries, as in Venezuela.

Which would you bet on?

So, instead of “take me money and run Venezuela, it would be “Take the

money and run the country like Venezuela.”  Mr. Belafonte would no doubt approve.

Green Corruption

It's bad, and it's gonna get worse.

Last week I posted on what I see as the hopelessness of the all electric Chevy Volt ever finding a real market.  Commenter TFS took issue with me  I’m glad he did, because as so often happens, when I take a deeper look into an issue, I find that things are far worse than I first thought. The only green I can find in the various “Green Jobs” initiatives is the putrescent sheen of rotting pork.

Here is TFS’ comment:

dear master ranter,
Sorry to let facts get in the way of a good rant but the Volt development started in early 2005 when the car company was privately owned. Tesla technology was the first basis. So could you relate the basis of “And this company manufactured a vehicle using a power train technology that the government chose.” ? Or was that the keyboard that done it??again???
The piddling subsidy isn’t going to get people to buy it unless they can build a good car.
The government has a long history of funding research for military and scientific products that have led to breakthroughs in the public sector. Then the public sector responds to consumer pressure to lower the cost. Mass production of electric cars could help us get away from importing oil ( the Volt has an equivalent 93 miles per hour).

Enviros have gottn pretty good at turning pork into long green.

And that money stays in the US!!

Speaking of keyboard glitches I believe you mean 98 mpg, not MPH.  GMestimates a

EPA mileae sticker for Chevy Volt

sizzling 100 mph as the Volt’s top speed.  I had a ’78 Datsun two door that beat that by 20 on a straight away.

As to mileage, there is a little more to it than that. Check the “buts.”  I have no idea how the EPA came up with its MPG equivalent.  Electricity rates vary according to season, and location; as does the cost of gasoline.  I wonder if folks in Arizona, who have to budget all year long for their summer cooling costs, will be lining up to plug this one in.

And still on the subject of key boards, I think you just hit your macro for feel good green jobs “facts.”

Here's some government directed automotive technology that did work out. The VW bug was never mass produced by the Nazis but the air cooled engine was designed specifically for operations In Russia.

The government funding research for things it needs, and pushing a particular technology onto the private sector are two different things.  DARPA came up with the basis of the internet because it needed it for national defense. The same with GPS. That these were of immense benefit to all( when will the world send us thank you note?) is wonderful but was not the thrust of the original work. It’s a good thing Al Gore wasn’t allowed to build the information superhighway or we might have ended up with som3thing like France’s Minitel.

Now we haven’t reached the point – yet – where a politburo tells industry what to do, but the government is very influential. The pics of President Obama behind the wheel of a Volt are a very clear visual representation of what is going on here, which is the latest round in the CAFE two card monte game. Build the vehicles that bring the fleet averages in range, cars that no one really wants, so they are dumped on government and fleet buyers at fire sale prices, while making the vehicles that people really want,  a profit.

Development may have been begun in 2005, but why exactly?  Did the Sages in Flint sense a ground swell in favor of electric vehicles?  I doubt it. However, California’s adoption of a zero emissions program, promulgated in 1998, was certainly an indicator of the way things were headed.

The Volt is a toy for people who don’t have long commutes, and who have the income to afford an additional  vehicle for things like family vacations, as the electric Chevy, with less than 40 miles on a 4 hour charge, won’t get you far. And who earn enough to offset against the tax credit.

So we have a vehicle that is zero emissions in electric mode.  Tres verte, n’est-ce pas? Hardly: the emissions are simply shifted to the power plant.  And this power won’t be coming from the coal fired plants going off line as EPA restrictions kick in.

China, however, is bringing lots of coal fired capacity on line, and will have plenty of juice to manufacture solar panels we can buy, our state subsidized industry certain to collapse as did the one  in Spain. Perhaps you believe G.E.’s claims that it will produce competitive panels without subsidy.  I don’t, especially since it’s G.E. And there is wind power too, still subsidized after decades, so we can cover our beautiful Southwestern deserts with acres and acres of glaring panels, and stud ridge lines with whirling bird killers.

And driving around with a big battery full of toxics doesn’t seem very green. How will these be disposed of, and who will pay?

I’m betting there won’t be a 2013 Volt.

Interesting that you should mention Tesla, where Mr. gore did lend a hand with a celebrity endorsement., ordering one himself( The former Vice President and arbiter of all  things green had a more direct hand in Fisker Motors, which is to produce a high end electric car in  with a U.S. government  loan. “Fisker Automotive, backed by a powerhouse venture capital firm( I thought venture capitalists put up their own money) whose partners include former Vice President Gore…”  These vehicles will be manufactured in Finland, not in Joe Biden’s Delaware, as he promised.  Even an insider gets shafted now and then. This time, it’s not evil businessmen off-shoring, but the U.S. government.

Tesla describes itself as a manufacturer of ”Premium Electric Vehicles.”  Model S starts at $49,000, after a Federal tax credit. At one point, in Colorado, total subsidies added up to a “piddling” $49,000.  They love their green in Boulder.

On the Tesla Motors website:

TESLA MOTORS was founded in 2003 by a group of intrepid Silicon Valley engineers who set out to prove that electric vehicles could be awesome.

Intrepid indeed, takes real courage to  lap up hundreds of millions in subsidies.

THE TESLA ROADSTER hit the streets in early 2008 as a car with no equal. Three years later, over 1,800 Roadsters drive emissions-free in more than 32 countries

Proof that you can find suckers with too much money to spend pretty much everywhere. 600 cars a year, wow!

The Tesla has somewhat better acceleration, while the Elise is faster. Tesla costs double the Elise, unless you score a subsidy.

Tesla likes to compare the   to a Lotus Elise, while the Model S may as well be a Toyota.  I couldn’t find any prices on the Tesla site( it appears that one must go through the order process to come up with a price, and I have better things to do), but one variant requires a forty thousand dollar down payment,  which gives you an order of magnitude at least.   I’ll settle for wikipedia: The Roadster has a base price of US$109,000 in the United States, £86,950 in the United Kingdom, and €84,000 in continental Europe.

Hardly a People’s car. These are the Volga sedans of the green nomenklatura.  These multi million, billion dollar experiments are not only stupid, but corrupt, venal, and brutally immoral.

Leo and his Fisker Karma. Wanker!

Ordinary people pay taxes and watch their government accrue even more debt so that Silicon Valley types, tenured professors, Hollywood figures(the first Fisker Karma was delivered to Leonardo DiCaprio)  the whole heedless “creative” crowd who have destroyed what was once considered a workingman’s party can show off their membership in the environmentalist elect.

DOE Secretary Stephen Chu: Should have stayed in the classroom.

It’s clear they don’t really want most of us driving anyway.  Steven Chu continues to repeat his call for higher gas prices. Four bucks a gallon is just spare change at his pay grade.  Even at ten bucks a gallon, you can be sure he and his ilk will be tooling by in something sporty while the rest of us wait at the bus stop, electric of course, or scan the tracks for the high speed rail that never arrives.