Story #1 is an interesting one telling us what happened that turned China around back in the 1970s. #2 is a must read. It’s an educational lesson for the Democrats. #3 has Marco Rubio relating how Obama made everything worse. #4 are a couple of polls that show a lack of a SOTU bounce for Obama. #5 tells us that in England, the Met office and CRU have both admitted that there has been no warming in the last 15 years. You probably won’t read about this in the regular newspapers or the MSM, but it appears the AGW hypothesis is falling apart. #6 is a conjecture of how people in the future will look back at the AGW hypothesis and explain what happened.
1. China’s Miracle
In 1978, the farmers in a small Chinese village called Xiaogang gathered in a mud hut to sign a secret contract. They thought it might get them executed. Instead, it wound up transforming China's economy in ways that are still reverberating today.
The contract was so risky - and such a big deal - because it was created at the height of communism in China. Everyone worked on the village's collective farm; there was no personal property.
In Xiaogang there was never enough food, and the farmers often had to go to other villages to beg. Their children were going hungry. They were desperate. So, in the winter of 1978, after another terrible harvest, they came up with an idea: Rather than farm as a collective, each family would get to farm its own plot of land. If a family grew a lot of food, that family could keep some of the harvest.
This secret meeting, though innocuous to anyone accustomed to the benefits of private property, was dangerous in the then-wholly communist country. Most importantly, the agreement was hashed out with a document that goes hand-in-hand with private property: . With a formal contract established and plots of land assigned to each family, the incentive was now in place in order for those farmers wishing to improve their own standard of living to do so by virtue of their own labor. While a certain portion of food still had to be given over to the collective, surplus quantities could be kept for private consumption.
And with that, the tragedy of commons mentality vanquished, and starvation ceased to be an issue. The simple rule of "keep what you make" had transformed the barren economy overnight. The hallmarks of capitalism which brought hundreds of years of increasingly material prosperity to the West were ironically established in a hut that lacked both plumbing and electricity. The results were immediate, as that year's harvest was bigger than the last five years' harvests combined. According to one farmer, "we all secretly competed -- everyone wanted to produce more than the next person."
As a man obtain the means of production -- be it factory equipment, the contractual pledges of workers, land, etc. -- he becomes both an entrepreneur and speculator. If he has any interest at all in maintaining the value of his assets, he will use them efficiently and judiciously to maximize their output.
In collectives, however, the mindset is quite different. Man loses his right to the sweat of his brow. He therefore loses any incentive to produce beyond a certain threshold, as he can no longer enjoy the excess of his labors. The mindset envelops the whole community, as performing the least amount of work necessary and living off the labor of others becomes commonplace.
This communal syndicalism is in fact what nearly brought an early end to the American experiment. When European settlers first arrived at the colony of Plymouth, they established a communist-like agrarian economy, where all harvested food was kept at a common storehouse for members of the community to enjoy at their pleasure. And much like China, rampant starvation forced a change in practice. After two years, privatized farming was adopted, which in turn lead to an abundance of food production and the very first Thanksgiving….
An interesting story which conservative will nod their heads in agreement while liberals will look upon in disbelief.
2. Obama needs to own up to the truth
“Human nature and the laws of physics, not technocratic liberalism, are still the best guides to the madness around us. Money borrowed has to be paid back or the debt eaten by someone, period. Poverty is defined by a want of material necessities, not by lacking the appurtenances that someone else better off enjoys. Gas and oil are miracle fuels and it is very hard to find alternate energies at comparable costs and reliability. And as a rule, the green class of environmental elites usually uses more fossil fuels per capita than do the muscular classes who mine and drill them out of the ground — and who do not jet, drive, or live in the comparable fashion of their critics.”
There is a lot of truth in this posting. I recommend you read it.
3. Rubio: Obama 'made everything worse'
Freshman Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) panned President Obama’s State of the Union speech during the weekly Republican address, saying the president largely ignored his own record because he has made the economy worse during three years in office.
“It was an opportunity for the president to talk about his accomplishments over the last three years and to lay out his plans for the year ahead. And he missed on both counts,” Rubio said. “You didn’t hear much talk about the success of his administration—and that’s because there isn’t much.”…
…“This president didn’t talk about his record for one simple reason; he doesn’t want you to know about it. But you do know about it, because you feel the failure of his leadership every single day of your life,” Rubio said.
“The bottom line is this president inherited a country with serious problems. He asked the Congress to give him the stimulus and Obamacare to fix it. The Democrats in Congress gave it to him. And not only did it not work, it made everything worse.”…
This is what you are going to hear from the Republicans this year. In the meantime the Democrats will talk about the flaws of the Republican candidates and how this is all Bush’s fault. It’s been 40 plus months since the financial meltdown. The new coach owns the disaster now and he has done a horrible job with it.
4. State of the dead cat bounce
Lucianne Goldberg calls it the dead cat bounce when reaction to a political event is nil. The president gave his fourth State of the Union speech (officially it is three as for some reason the first one is always considered an address to Congress) and the crowd went mild. Let us go to the charts:
The Gallup Approve Disapprove
Pre-SOTU 44% 46%
Post-SOTU 43% 49%
Rasmussen Approve Disapprove
Pre-SOTU 48% 51%
Post-SOTU 46% 52%
So although the media spun the SOTU as a huge success, it doesn’t seemed to have had an effect on BHO’s popularity.
5. Global Warming No longer the issue
The supposed ‘consensus’ on man-made global warming is facing an inconvenient challenge after the release of new temperature data showing the planet has not warmed for the past 15 years.
The figures suggest that we could even be heading for a mini ice age to rival the 70-year temperature drop that saw frost fairs held on the Thames in the 17th Century.
Based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations, the data was issued last week without fanfare by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. It confirms that the rising trend in world temperatures ended in 1997.
Meanwhile, leading climate scientists yesterday told The Mail on Sunday that, after emitting unusually high levels of energy throughout the 20th Century, the sun is now heading towards a ‘grand minimum’ in its output, threatening cold summers, bitter winters and a shortening of the season available for growing food….
…Yet, in its paper, the Met Office claimed that the consequences now would be negligible – because the impact of the sun on climate is far less than man-made carbon dioxide. Although the sun’s output is likely to decrease until 2100, ‘This would only cause a reduction in global temperatures of 0.08C.’ Peter Stott, one of the authors, said: ‘Our findings suggest a reduction of solar activity to levels not seen in hundreds of years would be insufficient to offset the dominant influence of greenhouse gases.’
These findings are fiercely disputed by other solar experts.
‘World temperatures may end up a lot cooler than now for 50 years or more,’ said Henrik Svensmark, director of the Center for Sun-Climate Research at Denmark’s National Space Institute. ‘It will take a long battle to convince some climate scientists that the sun is important. It may well be that the sun is going to demonstrate this on its own, without the need for their help.’..
… Nature is about to carry out a very interesting experiment,’ he said. ‘Ten or 15 years from now, we will be able to determine much better whether the warming of the late 20th Century really was caused by man-made CO2, or by natural variability.’
It does appear we should know in the next decade whether the AGW phenomena was actually what Al Gore and James Hansen told us it would be, or if it was just another up and down we’ve experienced before on the planet.
6. What if CO2 has nothing to do with the Climate?
….Here I ask this. Suppose it turns out that CO2 has essentially nothing to do with the earth’s climate. How will the history of this colossal mistake be written?
They will say that a mechanism called the “greenhouse effect,” was postulated long ago (~1824 by Joseph Fourier) and gained adherents in the late 20th century. They will say that the theory was seemingly invalidated by the decrease in global temperatures from 1940-1975, but that the adherents patched this up by explaining the cooling with pollution, specifically sulfur, from industry…
….They will say the theory was seemingly invalidated by the evidence that the atmosphere was already nearly opaque in the wavelengths that are absorbed by CO2 and so the additional CO2 could have, on its own, little effect, but that the theory was patched up by positing a feedback mechanism between the small temperature increases directly due to CO2 and the production of water vapor which is the main greenhouse gas.
They will note that the theory of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) proceeded much like any scientific theory (cf. Thomas Kuhn, in that it was modified and patched up and adjusted to fit empirical challenges until it finally collapsed altogether under the weight of incontrovertible evidence. But, the scientific historians will have a new phenomenon to consider, and that is the social and political context of this particular scientific theory.
Kuhn describes very well the build-up of evidence that ultimately leads to the over-turning of accepted orthodoxy , of some particular theory. But AGW is intrinsically wrapped up with political ideology and, increasingly, with economics and government (cf. “Solyndra”). The only apt comparison I can think of is Lysenkoism, the anti-genetics theory of Trofim Lysenko that was bought wholesale by Stalin and ultimately hobbled the entire Soviet biological establishment for generations (to say nothing of its role in leading to the starvation of people who followed its tenets in regard to things like agriculture).
Scientific revolutions are difficult and traumatic enough without the added inertia of government sponsorship. To put it more bluntly, scientists have difficulty enough admitting that they have egg on their faces. Throw in the Solyndras of the world and the United Nations and the entire anti-capitalist Global Left and the backing out of this theory will be nothing short of a fiasco.
If someone were, for instance, to come up with indisputable evidence tomorrow that CO2 has essentially no impact on earth’s climate, could the world accept it? With the development of frakking and the concomitant extension of carbon based energy resources hundreds of years into the future, what would they do with all the windmills?
Well, the truth of this issue should be apparent within about 15 years…at which point we may be allowed to buy incandescent light bulbs again.
The falling apart of the AGW Hypothesis is likely to have serious political consequences as well. The left has taken this to heart looking to use it to try to overthrow free markets and free enterprise. The arrogant position that anyone who didn’t toe the line on this “theory” was a denier and anti-science is likely to make their warnings be treated like those of the “Boy who cried wolf.” In short their credibility will be seriously damaged.