What explains the rise of statism in America, a nation founded on laissez-faire capitalist principles? Leonard Peikoff takes up this question in this 1980 lecture to a group of businessmen. After considering popular yet insufficient explanations, Peikoff identifies the ideas dominating Western philosophy as the crucial determinant.
Philosophy & Living
Kerrington Powell and Vinay Prasad make some important points on Fauci and the government’s “Noble Lies” surrounding COVID-19:
“When experts or agencies deliver information to the public that they consider possibly or definitively false to further a larger, often well-meaning agenda, they are telling what is called a noble lie. Although the teller’s intentions may be pure—for example, a feeling of urgency that behavioral change is needed among the lay public—the consequences can undermine not only those intentions but also public trust in experts and science.”
“Experts on infectious diseases are not necessarily experts on social behavior. Even if we accept Fauci’s claim that he downplayed the importance of wearing masks because he didn’t want to unleash a run on masks, we might wonder how he knew that his noble lie would be more effective than simply being honest and explaining to people why it was important to assure an adequate supply of masks for medical workers.”
“We worry that vaccine policy among supporters of vaccines is increasingly anchored to the irrational views of those who oppose them—by always pursuing the opposite. Exaggerating the risk of the virus in the moment and failing to explore middle ground positions appear to be the antithesis of the anti-vax movement, which is an extremist effort to refuse vaccination. This seems a reflexive attempt to vaccinate at all costs—by creating fear in the public (despite falling adolescent rates) and pushing the notion that two doses of mRNA at the current dose level or nothing at all are the only two choices—a logical error called the fallacy of the excluded middle.”
“Public health messaging is predicated on trust, which overcomes the enormous complexity of the scientific literature, creating an opportunity to communicate initiatives effectively. Still, violation of this trust renders the communication unreliable. When trust is shattered, messaging is no longer clear and straightforward, and instead results in the audience trying to reverse-engineer the statement based on their view of the speaker’s intent. Simply put, noble lies can rob confidence from the public, leading to confusion, a loss of credibility, conspiracy theories, and obfuscated policy.” [The Noble Lies of COVID-19, Slate, July 28, 2021.]
Such lies, no matter the motive for them, always come back to bite you, as reality is a whole. “All facts are interconnected.” To cover up one lie, one must create another, or reveal the truth one should have made in the first place.
From the Ayn Rand Institute:
In the legendary 1984 debate against socialists Jill Vickers and Gerald Caplan, the team of Leonard Peikoff and John Ridpath defended capitalism against their opponents’ criticisms and roundly refuted the socialists. ARI is delighted to showcase this illuminating debate on YouTube and to bring it to the attention of a new generation of viewers. The remastered video will be premiered this Friday and hosted on ARI’s YouTube channel by permission of the copyright holder, Sandra Shaw.
Philosophers Ben Bayer Ph.D. and Onkar Ghate Ph.D. discuss Sam Harris’s argument against the existence of free will.
The dynamic duo discusses: “Harris’s Humean argument equating causality with causation by prior events; Why free will doesn’t mean self-creation out of nothing; Harris’s argument for why we have no introspective experience of free will; How Harris’s thought experiment involves superficial attention to our experience of freedom; Why Harris can’t explain why his argument isn’t self-refuting; Rand’s view of why man is a being of self-made soul; Whether individuals with certain psychiatric conditions have volition; The issue of soft determinism (compatibilism).”
A fantastic discussion on an important topic.
On Jan. 6 a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol Building because they were upset with the results of the presidential election. How did this happen — in America? What, fundamentally, enabled this shameful event? What philosophic ideas and trends brought us here? And, what do they portend for the future of freedom? Join Onkar Ghate and Elan Journo as they analyze the moral meaning, the implications and the consequences of the attack.
Here are a few alternatives to Goole Search, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp Messenger with less filtering restrictions and/or more privacy.
Duck Duck Go: Pro-Privacy Alternative to Google Search
Duck Duck Go makes use of google search results but without tracking you and it seems to not have the filtering problems associated with the mysterious google “algorithm.”
MeWe: The No Ad, No SpyWare Alternative to Facebook
MeWe does not data mine or sell your private data. No ads either. Your feed has nothing but content from those you follow.
Parler: “Free-Speech” Alternative to Twitter
Parler is a popular “free-speech” alternative to Twitter.
Signal: Alternative to WhatsApp & Facebook Messenger
Signal is the messaging app for people worried about their privacy. It’s end-to-end encrypted, free, and available on all major mobile platforms. Used by Ed Snowden and the U.S. military.
Have a recommendation? Let us know.
Dr Andrew Bernstein on discovering the values you want to pursue in life.
Don Watkins discusses John’s career, how to tell powerful stories about liberty, and what liberty advocates can do to make their ideas more appealing to journalists.
“A Pro-Freedom Approach to Infectious Disease: Planning for the Next Pandemic” is the Ayn Rand Institute’s white paper on America’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, authored by the Institute’s chief philosophy officer, Onkar Ghate. You can read it online or download a PDF.
Some key points made by Ghate include:
- We must not commit the error of assuming the only form of effective action is coercive, governmental action. That assumption is un-American: it is prejudiced against freedom.
- Instead of admitting that their lockdowns were panicked reactions to months of inaction, our elected officials continued to order us around as though the economy and the entire country were the government’s property.
- In a free society the government’s public health goal is and must be different from minimizing at all costs the number of deaths from an infectious disease.
- America is the land of self-responsibility. We each must think how health is best achieved and disease best avoided in our individual circumstances.
- There is no such thing as “our” health or “our” wealth. There is only the specific health and wealth — the specific lives and livelihoods — of separate individuals. To ask government to “balance” these two is a euphemism for asking it to decide who will be sacrificed to whom.
- “Flatten the curve” graphs assume that the supply of healthcare is projected to remain stagnant. Why? If providers could profit from meeting the increase in demand, no one would think of healthcare capacity as a flat line.
- Government-controlled healthcare means rationed healthcare. It is our government’s responsibility to explain clearly how healthcare will be rationed in a pandemic.
- We must have the freedom to think and act for ourselves. If the law focuses government on the task of testing, isolating and tracking carriers and removes government’s power to order statewide lockdowns, we will have that freedom.
- Government must specify when an infectious disease rises to a level severe enough to warrant coercive intervention. And when the threat from an infectious disease is severe enough, government must act to end the threat posed by carriers.
- Government’s powers must be highly circumscribed. It certainly should not possess anything resembling the power to order coercive statewide lockdowns. The guiding principle is that when government lacks specific evidence about a threat, it cannot act.
- Most people will take voluntary countermeasures if they are given reason to do so.
- Had the government been forced to adopt a more surgical approach because the use of the blunt instrument of statewide lockdowns was prohibited, its actions would have been both less destructive and more effective.
- What we need and what is realistically achievable is an approach to infectious disease that codifies into law the best aspects of what Taiwan, South Korea and Sweden have implemented.
- Voluntary countermeasures, not coercive statewide lockdowns, are what the 2017 CDC guidelines for an influenza pandemic as severe as that of 1918 recommend.
- Vital to South Korea’s success is that it appreciates the need to test widely but does not assume this means government must control all aspects of testing.
- Only when we have codified into law the government’s goal — to neutralize active carriers of sufficiently threatening diseases — and its delimited powers — to test, isolate and track — will we get an American response to an infectious disease pandemic.
- The government of a free society has the responsibility to monitor the threat from infectious diseases, to be actively on the lookout for new ones like Ebola or Zika or COVID-19.
- The basic issue is to define when coercive action against the carrier of an infectious disease is warranted because the threat he poses to others is severe enough.
He concludes with the following:
- On the positive side, we need the law to focus government with laser-like precision on its proper goal: to remove the active threat posed by carriers of severe infectious diseases.
- Second, on the negative side, the law must strip federal and state governments of the power to lock down entire states or even just cities in the name of public health.
- What we need and what is realistically achievable is an approach to infectious disease that codifies into law the best aspects of what Taiwan, South Korea, and Sweden have implemented.
- Write to your representatives in state and federal governments. And then keep contacting your representatives until they make the necessary legislative changes.
Benjamin Bayer has a summary “We can maintain a free society while effectively addressing pandemic” published in the OC Register.
In this Analysis (download) of the Christine Blasey Ford Allegations, a 25-year prosecutor of sex-crimes shows that in a criminal court of law, Dr. Ford’s accusations against Justice Kavanaugh would be found baseless.
Or in her the Prosecutor’s words,
“In the legal context, here is my bottom line: A “he said, she said” case is incredibly difficult to prove. But this case is even weaker than that. Dr. Ford identified other witnesses to the event, and those witnesses either refuted her allegations or failed to corroborate them. For the reasons discussed below, I do not think that a reasonable prosecutor would bring this case based on the evidence before the Committee. Nor do I believe that this evidence is sufficient to satisfy the preponderance-of-the-evidence standard.”
Some of the reasons for this include:
“Dr. Ford has not offered a consistent account of when the alleged assault happened.”
“Dr. Ford has struggled to identify Judge Kavanaugh as the assailant by name.”
“When speaking with her husband, Dr. Ford changed her description of the incident to become less specific.”
“Dr. Ford has no memory of key details of the night in question—details that could help corroborate her account.”
“Dr. Ford’s account of the alleged assault has not been corroborated by anyone she identified as having attended—including her lifelong friend.”
“Dr. Ford has not offered a consistent account of the alleged assault.”
“Her account of who was at the party has been inconsistent.”
Such is not the case with the account given by Tara Reade of her 1993 encounter with Biden.
The response — or rather the non-response and silence — of the Democrats and their media allies, to Tara Reade’s allegations against Joe Biden, is ominous.
It demonstrates that to the Democrats and their media allies, the #MeToo movement to “Believe Women” was nothing more than a weapon to smear their political enemies, such as Republican Supreme Court nominee, Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
It is a vivid demonstration of the moral hypocrisy of the Democratic Party and its supporters.
Well, not all of them.
Rose McGowan, the actress from the popular series Charmed, also a victim of convicted rapist Harvey Weinstein, slammed her co-star Alyssa Milano — a Biden supporter — on Twitter, saying:
You are a fraud. This is about holding the media accountable. You go after Trump & Kavanaugh saying Believe Victims, you are a lie. You have always been a lie. The corrupt DNC is in on the smear job of Tara Reade, so are you. SHAME https://t.co/B7NHK4k09K
— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) April 6, 2020
Furthermore, according to McGowan, the Washington Post’s “report” on the Reade allegations was nothing more than “victim shaming”:
“This is not journalism, this is an agenda. This is a hit piece. You’ve sunk to a new low in slanted journalism and victim shaming @WashingtonPost …
“As a survivor, the way you launched into this woman’s assault is truly vile …. Your motto is ‘Democracy Dies in Darkness’ well I guess it’s dead because you are dark. Evil lives and it loves the DNC.”
Whether you agree with McGowan or not, at least she is consistent.
Of course, Biden should be held with the presumption of innocence by any objective standard.
Yet, where was this presumption in the Kavanaugh House
Witch Hunt Hearings?
But the presumption of innocence — a legal application of the ethical principle of justice — is not the professed standard of the Democratic Party and the Anti-Capitalist “Progressive” New Left.
To the Democrats and their media allies, “justice” is only necessary when it can be used as a political weapon to advance their lust for power, and like the Communist call for freedom of speech, can be dispensed with when it no longer serves their unjust purpose: the destruction of the American Capitalist Republic.
Update: Cathy Young over at the Quilette on “Tara Reade’s Dubious Claims and Shifting Stories Show the Limits of #BelieveWomen” (March 14, 2020) examines Tara’s Reade’s allegations and does not find her top be a “credible complainant.” Writes Young:
Last week, this theater of the absurd got slightly more surreal when a prominent feminist wrote in the New York Times that she thinks Biden is a rapist, but will vote for him anyway. Linda Hirshman, a retired professor of women’s studies and philosophy, and a prolific author (most recently of Reckoning: The Epic Battle Against Sexual Abuse and Harassment), explained to Times readers that she believes Reade, but also believes that “the cost of dismissing Tara Reade—and, worse, weakening the voices of future survivors” is justified on purely utilitarian grounds, since (as she sees it) Trump is the greater evil. Hirshman argued that the Democrats’ current strategy of defending Biden’s innocence is both cowardly (since it avoids the “hard work of moral analysis”) and harmful, since it means “casting a reasonably credible complainant as a liar.”
By casting the Democratic leadership as dishonest and cynical, Hirshman is kneecapping the party she says she supports.
And she is doing it quite needlessly, because the totality of evidence suggests that Reade is in no way a “credible complainant.” Her credibility is further undermined by court documents that contradict her account of an entirely separate 1996 episode involving her ex-husband. In an ironic twist, these documents, part of Reade’s 1996–1997 California divorce files, were uncovered not through a dirt-digging expedition, but by researchers seeking evidence corroborating her allegations against Biden.
After much analysis of Reade’s complaints, she ends that whatever the outcome the Democrats have played into Trump’s hands:
Biden will probably ride out this scandal: As Hirshman candidly notes, there’s simply too much at stake in the election for Democrats to follow their #MeToo conscience. But if Reade’s claims really do sink Biden in November, the Democrats will merely be reaping what their moral panic has sowed. Hamstrung by slogans that depict half of the human population as inveterate truth-tellers incapable of dishonesty, the party has backed itself into a corner. Democrats must either stipulate that the church of #MeToo shall provide Biden with a one-off indulgence—or else urge Americans to vote for a presumed rapist. It’s hard to say which narrative would make Trump happier.
By Andrew Bernstein
In 2017, I published an essay, “The Truth About Climate Change,” showing the evidence that climate periods cycle–and that climate change is natural, on-going, and likely incessant. The Modern Warm Period from the late-19th to the early 21st centuries, is only trivially man-made and not pernicious, but rather, is overwhelmingly natural and fully benign.[i] It is to be neither deplored nor curtailed–but to be celebrated. Now, after further research, I present more evidence supporting these conclusions.
Part One: Endless Climate Predictions Endlessly Wrong
Does anyone remember the great ice age fear of the 1970s? Although during the 20th century the Earth generally warmed slightly, there was a cooling period roughly from 1940 to 1975. It triggered a mini-hysteria in response. For example, on April 16, 1970, the Boston Globe ran a story entitled, “Scientist Predicts a New Ice Age by 21st Century.” James P. Lodge, a scientist at the national center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado claimed that within the first third of the 21st century ice age conditions might prevail on Earth.[ii] Similarly, on July 9, 1971, the Washington Post published a story entitled, “U.S Scientist Sees New Ice Age Coming,” in which Dr. S.I. Rasool of NASA predicted possible ice age conditions within the next 50 or 60 years.[iii] Continuing, on January 29, 1974, the British newspaper, The Guardian, ran a story with the sensational headline, “Space Satellites Show New Ice Age Coming Fast.”[iv] Time, on June 24, 1974, in its Science section, published an essay entitled, “Another Ice Age?” It fretted that declining temperatures since the 1940s might herald the dawn of a new ice age. Finally, one of many other essays that could be cited to this effect, “The Cooling World,” published by Newsweek on April 28, 1975, worried that declining temperatures of the past few decades might signal a “reversion to the ‘little ice age’ conditions that brought bitter winters” to northern Europe and North America between 1600 and 1900.[v]
It is important to note that many of these media reports cited scientists considered experts at the time. Dr. George Kukla of Columbia University is referenced many times, for example, as are numerous other scientists. A New York Times essay, “International Team of Specialists Find No End in Sight to 30-Year Cooling Trend in Northern Hemisphere,” is especially noteworthy. It mentions that with increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, rising temperatures, not falling ones, should be expected. The aforementioned Dr. Kukla said that “the cause of the apparent cooling remained unknown…”[vi] This New York Times article, claiming that no end to the cooling was in sight, was published on January 5, 1978. By 1979-80, the Earth started slowly warming again. Oops.
It is fascinating that Dr. Kukla (and presumably other scientists who believed that rising atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide should cause warming) did not know the cause of the apparent cooling. For part of the answer shined on them virtually every day: The Sun. But more on the sun-climate connection to come.[vii] So from roughly 1979 until the present day, the Earth gently warms again…as it did in the early years of the 20th century. By the late-1980s, a full-blown hysteria regarding warming, to dwarf the previous one regarding cooling, is underway.
Let’s cite a few examples. An Associated Press story of June 30, 1989, quoted “a senior UN environmental official” to the effect that “entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000.”[viii] Less than a year before this prediction, in September 1988, the Environmental Affairs Director of the Maldives claimed that these Indian Ocean islands could be entirely submerged “within the next 30 years.”[ix] In March, 2000, Dr. David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) at Britain’s East Anglia University predicted that, in England, winter snows “will become a very rare and exciting event.”[x] In December, 2008, Al Gore warned that the “North Polar Ice Cap would be completely ice free in five years;” in 2009, Gore amended his prediction to claim that the Arctic would have ice-free summers by 2014.[xi] In July 2013, a report in Britain’s The Guardian quoted scientist, Peter Wadhams, who claimed that the Arctic would be ice-free by 2015.[xii] And on it goes….Including the prediction that the Arctic polar bear population would be severely diminished, if not made extinct.
How about a reality check? No nations were wiped off the face of the Earth by 2000, nor by 2019, nor were any close to it–and the Maldives are still above water. By 2018, there were still millions of square kilometers of summertime Arctic Ocean with at least 15 percent sea ice[xiii] and, in 2017, ice increased in parts of Greenland and the Arctic.[xiv] As for snow in England, a severe snowstorm hammered the United Kingdom, including England, in March 2018;[xv] October 2019 saw record cold temperatures across significant swathes of the country;[xvi] and, also in 2019, snow fell across parts of Wales, England, and Scotland during the second weekend of November.[xvii] The polar bears, of course, are flourishing. Due to a ban on hunting, their population has increased from some 5,000 in the 1960s to roughly 22,000 to 30,000 today.[xviii]
Why are the doomsday warming predictions always flagrantly wrong? Why, for thirty years now, are the warnings regarding dangerous consequences of warming never accurate? Why do the hyperbolic warming claims turn out to be as repeatedly mistaken as the earlier hyperbolic cooling ones? Let us approach these questions like intellectual detectives seeking to unravel a mystery, and we’ll find the truth.
Part Two: Further Mistaken Predictions
One such truth is that atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide continue to rise but there is no corresponding acceleration in the rate of warming. The computer models deployed by the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predict that as atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide increase, the Earth’s rate of warming should accelerate. The models project that from 1995 to the present, the Earth should have warmed by just under a full degree Celsius (a significant amount in such a short time period). Finally, they predict that the rise in atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide occurring since 1880 should have increased Earth’s temperatures by 4.1 degrees Fahrenheit (roughly 2.3 degrees Celsius).
All of these predictions, when compared to real-world measurements, are mistaken. In fact, the rate of warming since 1995 has not increased; rather, the Earth has continued to warm at a gentle rate of 0.096 degrees Celsius per decade, that is, by less than one-tenth of a degree every ten years, the same as it was in 1995.[xix] A 2017 study in the journal, Nature Geoscience, acknowledges this truth. “‘We haven’t seen that rapid acceleration in warming after 2000 that we see in the models,’ said Myles Allen, professor of geosystem science at Oxford and one of the authors of the study. ‘We haven’t seen that in the observations.'”[xx] This truth is known via satellite data, which measures the entire atmosphere, not merely parts of it, and is consequently the most accurate data available.
Further, since the rate of warming is so slow, the Earth since 1995 has not even approximated a one-degree Celsius temperature rise; rather, the satellites show virtually no increase in temperature since the late-1990s.[xxi] Finally, real-world measurements show that since 1880 global temperatures have risen not by 2.3 degrees Celsius but by merely 1.2 degrees.[xxii]
AGW (anthropogenic or man-made global warming)supporters argue that 2016 was the hottest year on record. Insofar as this claim goes, it is true. But it is not the full truth. The full truth is that 2016 was a major El Nino year with the significant warming that this generates. Not surprisingly, early in 2017, global temperatures plummeted by some 0.6 degrees Celsius.[xxiii] As if all of this weren’t bad enough, it gets worse for the AGW Hypothesis.
Part Three: Inconvenient Truths For the AGW Hypothesis
Climate scientist, Dr. Fred Singer, points out that most of the 20th century warming occurred before 1940…before a significant rise in atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide. Then, as a post-War industrial boom pumped substantial amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere, the Earth cooled between roughly 1940 and 1975. “Most of the current warming occurred before 1940, before there was much human-generated CO2 in the air. After 1940, temperatures declined until 1975 or so, despite a huge surge in industrial CO2 during that period. These events run counter to the CO2 theory…”[xxiv] They certainly do. They coincide, however, with variations in emission of solar radiation, as well as with multi-decadal shifts in ocean currents, as will be seen.
Making matters worse, some 95 percent of all carbon dioxide spewed annually into the atmosphere comes from natural, not man-made sources. Given the hysteria over human-caused carbon dioxide emissions, this is an astonishing truth. Dr. Roy Spencer, one of the world’s leading climate scientists, confirms it. Dr. Spencer holds a Ph.D. in Meteorology from the University of Wisconsin, he was a Senior Scientist for Climate Studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, and he–along with his partner, Dr. John Christy–received NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal for their global temperature monitoring work with satellites. He points out: “…natural CO2 emissions are about 20 times what anthropogenic emissions are…(since human emissions are now close to 5% of natural sources and sinks)….we emit twice as much [carbon dioxide] as is needed to explain the atmospheric increase…”[xxv]
So, according to the best estimate of one of our best climate scientists, human beings emit twice as much carbon dioxide as is needed to explain observed atmospheric increases, and nature emits twenty times as much CO2 as we do. Where in hell does all the carbon dioxide go? The IPCC acknowledges that it does not know. We know there are “sinks,” i.e., natural repositories that absorb carbon dioxide. The oceans, for example, contain 50 times as much carbon dioxide as does the atmosphere.[xxvi] Is that a clue regarding where the “excess” carbon dioxide might go?
Dr. Tom Segalstad thinks it is. Dr. Segalstad is a Norwegian geologist, he has served as head of the Mineralogical-Geological Museum at the University of Oslo, and has accomplished much else besides in his distinguished career.[xxvii]He is a former expert reviewer for the IPCC. “The IPCC,” he asserts, “needs a lesson in geology to avoid making fundamental mistakes…most leading geologists throughout the world, know that the IPCC’s view of Earth processes are implausible if not impossible.”[xxviii]How so? Because the agency holds that man-made carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere for 50, 100, or even 200 years, leading thereby to substantial atmospheric accumulations. “This is nonsense,” Dr. Segalstad states. Dozens of real-world studies, conducted by numerous scientists, in varying disciplines, relying on differing methods of measurements, over a period of decades, have established that the shelf life of atmospheric CO2 is five to ten years, perhaps as long as twelve years.[xxix]
“Amazingly, the hypothetical results from climate models have trumped the real-world measurements of carbon dioxide’s longevity in the atmosphere.” The IPCC’s claim that “CO2 lasts decades or centuries [in the atmosphere] have no such measurements or other physical evidence to support their claims….Neither have they demonstrated that the quite various forms of measurement that support the traditional five-to-ten year view are wrong.
“‘They don’t even try,’ says Prof. Segalstad. ‘They simply dismiss evidence that is, for all intents and purposes, irrefutable. Instead, they substitute their faith, constructing a kind of science fiction or fantasy world in the process.'”[xxx]
What, according to the real-world studies, happens within 5-10 years to CO2 pumped into the atmosphere? The studies show that the oceans have a “near-limitless capacity to absorb CO2.”
Herein lies one reason that the IPCC’s predictions are always wrong, and always overstate–never understate–the warming. AGW advocates consistently over-estimate the duration of CO2 in the atmosphere.
Part Four: The Failure of the AGW Hypothesis to Explain Climate Change
The AGW hypothesis cannot explain how or why most 20th century warming occurred before 1940, prior to human emission of large amounts of industrial CO2. The theory does not and cannot explain the mid-20th-century cooling that triggered the mini-hysteria regarding an impending ice age. Worse, it cannot explain why the rate of 21st century warming does not accelerate even as atmospheric levels of CO2 gradually rise. Nor can it explain why the total warming of the entire Modern Warm Period dating back to 1880 is significantly less than the models predict. Finally, it does not explain how the 5 percent of CO2 spewed annually into the atmosphere by humans contributes more decisively to rising CO2 levels than does the 95 percent regurgitated by natural sources.
The AGW Hypothesis has little evidence to support it. The best that might be said for it is this: There is a greenhouse effect, rising levels of atmospheric CO2 will cause a slight warming, human activities contribute marginally to rising CO2 levels–therefore, human activities might contribute trivially to the observed 20th century warming. But predictions based on this theory are relentlessly, manifestly false.
It is time to point out, as in Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale, that the Emperor has no clothes…or, at best, a few threads. What the AGW Hypothesis does have is a gigantic, noisy fan club. But, as I instruct my Logic students regularly, popularity does not equal truth. The scientific theories opposing such innovative minds as Copernicus, Galileo, Darwin, and Pasteur were widely held, as well. Their popularity among scientists did not make them true. Only evidence in support of an idea does that.
Rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide only trivially explain the Modern Warm Period and explain the mid-20th century cooling not at all. We need to look further and deeper to find the causal factor(s).
Part Five: The Sun-Climate Connection
Astrophysicists have identified that the Sun undergoes various cycles in its emission of radiation. To put it simply, at times it gives off greater amounts of energy, at other times lesser. The varying amounts of radiation reaching the surface of the Earth contributes to rising or falling temperatures. Further, diverging amounts of the Sun’s output trigger other natural processes, terrestrial and/or celestial, that in concert drive Earth’s temperatures up or down. One such process, identified by Danish astrophysicist, Henrik Svensmark, is the role of cosmic rays, and the complex relationship between the Sun’s varying output, the amount of cosmic rays reaching Earth’s atmosphere, and the role these rays play in generating cooling cloud cover.[xxxi] The complexity of factors impacting Earth’s natural climate cycle is staggering, still little understood, and extends way beyond atmospheric accumulations of CO2, which is merely one factor.
However, Fred Singer reproduces a graph published by astrophysicists, Dr. Sallie Baliunas and Dr. Willie Soon. It charts the relationship between amounts of solar radiation emitted and terrestrial temperatures from 1750 to 1995, a period of almost 250 years.[xxxii] Dr. Singer comments: “Given the variability of the temperatures, the close relationship between the two is startling.”[xxxiii]
Dr. Singer continues: “Richard Wilson, affiliated with both Columbia University and NASA, reported that the sun’s radiation has increased by nearly 0.05 percent per decade since the late 1970s [tracked from 1978 to 2003]….The trend is significant because the sun’s total energy output is so huge. A variation of 0.05 percent in its output is equal to all human energy use.”[xxxiv] This time line correlates exactly with the late-1970s resurgence of warming and the Earth’s continued warming throughout the rest of the century. The timing is also congruent with the Great Pacific Climate Shift. We know today that the Pacific Ocean (and the Atlantic, as well) undergoes multi-decadal oscillations. In 1976, the Pacific entered its warm phase and proceeded to warm the northern Pacific area by a full 3 degrees Celsius[xxxv] (roughly 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit). This event drove some of the warming observed by satellites between 1979 and 2000.
Earth’s temperatures do not correlate exactly with atmospheric levels of CO2, but they do with such natural occurrences as variations in emission of solar radiation–and with oscillations of Earth’s ocean currents. This includes the mid-20th century cooling, as well as the entirety of the Modern Warm Period.[xxxvi]
Related, the sun-based climate theory helps explain another truth regarding carbon dioxide. The oceans, it turns out, are a source of, as well as a sink for CO2. “The oceans swing both ways [between source and sink]: they have enormous capacity to absorb CO2, but sometimes they give it up.”[xxxvii] When do they function as a source of CO2? Dr. Habibullo Abdussamatov has one possible answer to the question. Abdussamatov, born in Uzbekistan in 1940, earned his Ph.D. at the University of Leningrad and headed the space research laboratory of the Russian Academy of Science’s Pulkovo Observatory. “If the temperature of the ocean rises even a little, gigantic amounts of CO2 are released into the atmosphere through the evaporation of water,” explains Dr. Abdussamatov. “It is no secret that increased solar irradiance warms Earth’s oceans, which then triggers the emission of large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. So the common view that man’s industrial activity is a deciding factor in global warming has emerged from a misinterpretation of cause-and-effect relations.”[xxxviii]
So total solar irradiance (TSI) increases–the Earth, including its oceans warm–the warmer water evaporates more quickly, releasing large amounts of CO2 into the air.
Although there are numerous factors that drive the natural climate cycle, the activities of the Sun are one of the principal causes. The bad news is that the Sun currently winds down toward the Dalton Minimum, a relative low point of the sun spot cycle. Diminished solar irradiance will reach Earth’s surface, bringing in its train a colder climate, as it has done in the past.[xxxix] Dr. Abdussamatov asserts that: “The depth of the decline in solar irradiance reaching Earth will occur around 2041 (plus or minus 11 years, he estimates) and ‘will inevitably lead to a deep freeze around 2055-60,’ lasting some 50 years, after which temperatures will go up again.”[xl] A colder climate means shortened growing seasons and diminished agricultural production. In poorer nations, this will inevitably unleash famine.
Dr. Abdussamatov’s prediction of a looming colder climate is not based in ignorance of its cause, as was the case during the 1970s scare; nor is it based on the relatively puny power of man-made carbon dioxide. Unfortunately, rather, it is based on known cycles of the Sun, and the colder climates associated with the Dalton Minimum in Earth’s past. Largely because of AGW hysteria, we are not paying attention to the colder climate looming before us. But reality has a way of painfully slapping the faces of those who try to ignore it. We need to pay attention. Now.
Andrew Bernstein holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the City University of New York. He lectures all over the world. He has written numerous books, including his novel, A Dearth of Eagles, recently published and available from Amazon.
[i] Andrew Bernstein, “The Truth About Climate Change,” www.andrewbernstein.net
[ii] Myron Ebell and Steven Milloy, “Wrong Again: Fifty Years of Failed Eco-pocalyptic Predictions,” September 19, 2019, cei.org/blog/wrong-again-50-years-of-failed-eco-pocalyptic-predictions. Retrieved on November 6, 2019.
[v] www.dennisdutton.com/cooling_world.htm Retrieved on November 10, 2019. An extensive list of 1970s essays predicting global cooling and/or possible ice ages can be found at: Dr. Roy Cordato, “Climate experts believe the next ice age is on its way…within a lifetime…” www.johnlocke.org/update/climate-experts-believe-the-next-ice-age-is-on-its-way-within-a-lifetime/ Retrieved on November 10, 2019.
[vi] Walter Sullivan, “International Team of Specialists Find No End in Sight to 30-Year Cooling Trend in Northern Hemisphere,” January 5, 1978, www.nytimes.com/1978/01/05/archives/international-team-of-specialists-finds-no-end-in-sight-to-30year.html Retrieved on November 11, 2019.
[vii] And a great deal regarding this issue is discussed in my first climate change essay.
[viii] Myron Ebell, Steven Milloy, “Wrong Again: Fifty Years of Failed Eco-pocalyptic Predictions,” September 18, 2019, cei.org/blog/wrong-again-50-years-of-failed-eco-pocalyptic-predictions. Retrieved on November 6, 2019.
[xiii] Anthony Watts, “Ten years ago, Al Gore predicted the North polar ice cap would be gone. Inconveniently, it’s still there,” December 16, 2018, http://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/12/16/ten-years-ago-algore-predicted-the-north-polar-ice-cap-would-be-gone-inconveniently-its-still-there/ Retrieved on November 8, 2019.
[xiv][xiv] “Global Warming: Who Are The Deniers Now?” http://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/global-warming-who-are-the-deniers-now/ Retrieved on November 8, 2016.
[xv] Andrea Tonks, “UK snow in Pictures as Met Office issues weather forecast warning for Beast from the East,” http://www.express.co.uk/news/weather/933224/snow-UK-latest-pictures-weather-forecast-Met-Office-warning-pics. Retrieved on November 8, 2019.
[xvi] “Central England Experiences Historically Chilly October,” http://electroverse.net/central-england-experiences-historically-chilly-october/ Retrieved on November 8, 2016.
[xvii] Faye Brown, “Snow blankets parts of UK as temperatures plunge to -7C,” November 9, 2019, http://metro.co.uk/2019/11/09/snow-blankets-parts-uk-temperatures-plunge-7C-11071817/ Retrieved on November 10, 2019.
[xviii] Craig Rucker, “Polar bear expert purged,” October 18, 2019, www.cfact.org/2019/10/18/polar-bear-expert-purged/ Retrieved on November 11, 2019.
[xix] “Another Global Warming Study Casts Doubt On Media’s Climate Change Fairy Tale,” November 30, 2017, www.investors.com/politics/editorial/another-global-warming-study-casts-doubt-on-medias-climate-change-fairy-tale/ Retrieved on November 9, 2019.
[xx] “Global Warming: Who Are The Deniers Now?”Op. cit.
[xxi] “Global Warming: Who Are The Deniers Now?” Op. cit.
[xxii] “Another Global Warming Study Casts Doubt On Media’s Climate Change Fairy Tale,” Op. cit.
[xxiii] “Global Warming: Who Are The Deniers Now?” Op. cit.
[xxiv] Fred Singer and Dennis Avery, Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1,500 Years (New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.: 2007), 10.
[xxv] Roy Spencer, “How Much of Atmospheric CO2 Increase is Natural?” August 27, 2014, www.drroyspencer.com/2014/08/how-much-of-atmospheric-co2-increase-is-natural/ Retrieved on November 11, 2019.
[xxvi] Lawrence Solomon, The Deniers: The World-Renowned Scientists Who Stood Up Against Global Warming Hysteria, Political Persecution, and Fraud–And Those Who Are Too Fearful to Do So (Minneapolis, Minn.: Richard Vigilante Books, 2008), 84.
[xxvii] Ibid., 84.
[xxviii] Ibid., 80.
[xxix] Ibid., 79-83.
[xxx] Ibid., 83-84.
[xxxi] Henrik Svensmark and Nigel Calder, The Chilling Stars: A New Theory of Climate Change (Cambridge, England: Icon Books, 2007), passim.
[xxxii] Singer and Avery, Unstoppable Global Warming, op. cit., 192. Source: S. Baliunas and W. Soon, “Solar Variability and Climate Change,” Astrophysical Journal 450 (1995): 896.
[xxxiii] Ibid., 192.
[xxxiv] Ibid., 192.
[xxxv] Brian Hartmann and Gerd Wendler, “The Significance of the 1976 Pacific Climate Shift in the Climatology of Alaska,” https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/full/10.1175/JCLI3532.1 Retrieved on November 15, 2019.
[xxxvi] The sun-climate connection is discussed much more extensively in my prior essay on this topic.
[xxxvii] Solomon, The Deniers, 80.
[xxxviii] Ibid., 163.
[xxxix] “NASA Predicts Next Solar Cycle Will Be Lowest In 200 Years,” June 18, 2019, https://electroverse.net/nasa-predicts-next-solar-cycle-will-be-lowest-in-200-years-dalton-minimum-levels-the-implications/ Retrieved on November 14, 2019.
[xl] Solomon, The Deniers, 163.
- Create a Department of the Attention Economy that focuses specifically on smartphones, social media, gaming and chat apps and how to responsibly design and use them, including age restrictions and guidelines.
- Create a “best practices” design philosophy for the industry to minimize the antisocial impacts of these technologies on children who are using them….
Sounds pretty innocuous (and unnecessary as the market is far better at doing these things than a tax-payer subsidized committee of political appointees), until we get to the last point:
- Direct the Department to investigate the regulation of certain companies and apps. Many of these companies essentially function as public utilities and news sources – we used to regulate broadcast networks, newspapers and phone companies. We need to do the same thing to Facebook, Twitter, Snap and other companies now that they are the primary ways people both receive information and communicate with each other.
So the New York Times, WaPo and WSJ are like the phone company? So much for the first amendment. And don’t get too successful at what you do — or if you are a “certain” company on Yang’s crap list, you will become a “public utility” and lose your rights under Yang style “public interest” censorship. Yang’s “Human-Centered Capitalism” sounds a lot of like old fashioned fascism mixed with socialist-style welfare schemes.
Who is the public interest? “C’est Moi!” says Fuhrer Yang.
For those “Yang Gang’ers” who welcome federal censorship under a Yang Presidency, ask yourself if you would like the President to have such powers under a Trump government?
(Yang has removed from his site his previous call for a Federal Censor or “News Ombudsman” who will provide “penalties for persistent and destructive misstatements that undermine public discourse.”)