Thursday, December 10, 2009

Democrats like dogs trying to walk on their hind legs?

Why are the Democrats trying to pass a healthcare bill that meets none of the announced objectives of the White House,  that is opposed by an angry majority of likely voters, that will likely cost them control of the House and maybe even the Senate, and that the country manifestly cannot afford? One is reminded of Dr. Johnson's famous statement about dogs who walk on their hind legs: "One wonders not so much how they do it as why their bother?"

Of course, Democrats bother with this leftist drivel because they have convinced themselves that this is the only moment in years where it may be possible. They selectively look at the polls, normally the ones that are of "adults" and heavily tilted toward Democratic Party weighting (using data now quite obsolete and meaningless). Democratic Members of Congress who are in tough districts and states, no doubt, are more nervous. Maybe their aides are telling them that there is time for voters to forget by November 2010.

It is doubtful that anything will pass in my opinion. The longer the matters are pending, the stronger the public opposition. When folks figure out each new proposal it quickly falls into disrepute.

If anything does pass, look to 2010 to be a campaign based on who has the most credibility in claiming that they will vote to repeal it. Passage might actually make 2010 a mandate on these unpopular measures and be the death knell of the "new Democratic Majority," reminding us of Barnum's you cannot fool all of the people all of the time. 

Monday, December 07, 2009

Why did the CRU try to mask the temperature data?

The fraility of the anthropomorphic climate change theory is illustrated by the very exercise the East Anglia alarmists tried to pull off. Lacking any historical data that shows temperature changes have been caused by elevated greenhouse gas levels, the alarmists are struck with trying to make a weak hypothesis stick: that the warming trend in the last hundred years cannot be explained by other factors, so it must be greenhouse gases.

This hypothesis is about as weak as it gets in science. We do not understand the climate variables well enough to reconstruct past climate changes, let alone explain what is happening now. Several cyclic trends in climate occur with reularity over geological time. These are also affected in major ways by solar cycles, including the notoriously weak solar cycle 24 that we are now experiencing. Various "feed backs" among the many factors involved confound simple linear models.

Lacking any direct evidence that greenhouse gas levels cause any climate impact, the alarmists are left with a negative hypothesis. If we cannot explain recent warming (over a century or more), then it must be from elevated GHGs. Forget the fact that GHG levels have been ten times higher in the past with no climate impact. Forget the fact that we cannot accurately describe climate variables even when we are trying to fit the model to known facts. Forget the fact that climate changes in history take centuries to occur. Forget the fact that most 20th century warming occurred before 1940, before any elevated levels of GHGs due to human activities. Basically make the skeptics prove the negative: show us that it is not human activities that have caused gradual warming since 1850.

Lost in the current controversy over how much, if any, warmer it is getting since the recent peak in the 1930s, is the fact that nothing whatsoever in the alarmists playbook directly associates any of the changes to human activity and/or elevated GHGs.

The real tragedy of the climate scam will be its negative iompact on alternative energy sources, which will be even more necessary with global cooling (which is the projection for the next 15-20 years based on solar cycles).