Neil Armstrong, RIP

From ABC News:

 Neil Armstrong, the astronaut who became first to walk on the moon as commander of Apollo 11, has died. He was 82 years old.

He was born in the small town of Wapakoneta, Ohio, on Aug. 5, 1930.

On July 20, 1969, half a billion people — a sixth of the world’s population at the time — watched a ghostly black-and-white television image as Armstrong backed down the ladder of the lunar landing ship Eagle, planted his left foot on the moon’s surface, and said, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”…

Symbolic of a nation which used to be able to do everything – Armstrong’s death reminds us of what we used to be, and should inspire us to be that nation, again.

Climate Change Update

It looks like another semi-prominent member of the Climate Alarmist community has gotten caught with his whole arm in the cookie jar.  I’ve been waiting to see how the story that has become known as FakeGate (bet you haven’t seen any mention of that in the MSM) would play out before posting a summary, but The Weekly Standard has saved me the trouble.  Wattsupwiththat has also been keeping the story at the top of its site since the first revelations about 2 weeks ago, and is up to their 58th update as of today.

The Weekly Standard article ends with some interesting comments and revelations:

More than a few observers have asked why anyone should trust Gleick’s scientific judgment if his judgment about how to deal with climate skeptics is so bad. -Gleick’s defense of his motives would be laughable if it weren’t so pathetic: “My judgment was blinded by my frustration with the ongoing efforts—often anonymous, well-funded, and coordinated—to attack climate science and scientists and prevent this debate, and by the lack of transparency of the organizations involved.”

Let’s take these in order. Anony-mous? True, Heartland’s board documents reveal seven-figure contributions for their climate work from one “anonymous donor,” but environmental organizations take in many multiples of Heartland’s total budget in anonymous donations washed through the left-wing Tides Foundation. The Environmental Defense Fund thanks 141 anonymous donors in one recent report. “Well-funded”? Heartland’s total budget for all its issues, which include health care, education, and technology policy, is around $4.4 million, an amount that would disappear into a single line item in the budget for the Natural Resources Defense Council ($99 million in revenues in 2010). Last year, the Wall Street Journal reports, the World Wildlife Fund spent $68.5 million just on “public education.”

The dog that didn’t bark for the climateers in this story is the great disappointment that Heartland receives only a tiny amount of funding from fossil fuel sources—and none from ExxonMobil, still the bête noire of the climateers. Meanwhile, it was revealed this week that natural gas mogul T. Boone Pickens had given $453,000 to the left-wing Center for American Progress for its “clean energy” projects, and Chesapeake Energy gave the Sierra Club over $25 million (anonymously until it leaked out) for the Club’s anti-coal ad campaign. Turns out the greens take in much more money from fossil fuel interests than the skeptics do.

Finally, “coordinated”? Few public policy efforts have ever had the massive institutional and financial coordination that the climate change cause enjoys. That tiny Heartland, with but a single annual conference and a few phone-book-sized reports summarizing the skeptical case, can derange the climate campaign so thoroughly is an indicator of the weakness and thorough politicization of climate alarmism.

The Gleick episode exposes again a movement that disdains arguing with its critics, choosing demonization over persuasion and debate. A confident movement would face and crush its critics if its case were unassailable, as it claims. The climate change fight doesn’t even rise to the level of David and Goliath. Heartland is more like a David fighting a hundred Goliaths. Yet the serial ineptitude of the climate campaign shows that a tiny David doesn’t need to throw a rock against a Goliath who swings his mighty club and only hits himself square in the forehead.

As most regular readers here know, I’ve followed this issue for a long time, although after the second release of emails known as ClimateGate 2 a  few months ago, my interest in what will eventually become known as the greatest scientific scam of all time began to wane.  FakeGate may well be the final nail in the AWG coffin.  One can only hope.

Climate Change Update

It’s been a while since we’ve had a good, old-fashioned, knock-down, drag-out discussion about the whole topic of climate change.  My own feeling, as many regulars on this blog know, is that the issue of global warming/climate change is one of, if not THE greatest scientific frauds ever foisted on mankind, and now information is becoming public at an increasing rate that backs up that assertion.

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher’s (R-CA) speech on the House floor on December 8th, re-printed at Watts Up With That yesterday, addresses  just about every aspect of the debate covering the last couple decades, including numerous new revelations that cast serious, if not discussion-ending doubt on the whole issue.

I realize this is not a problem that ordinary bloggers are going to solve, but it doesn’t mean we can’t discuss it.

Global Warming Hoax Update

From Climate Depot:

Nobel prize winner for physics in 1973 Dr. Ivar Giaever resigned as a Fellow from the American Physical Society (APS) on September 13, 2011 in disgust over the group’s promotion of man-made global warming fears…

…Giaever announced his resignation from APS was due to the group’s belief in man-made global warming fears. Giaever explained in his email to APS: “In the APS it is ok to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves, but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible? The claim (how can you measure the average temperature of the whole earth for a whole year?) is that the temperature has changed from ~288.0 to ~288.8 degree Kelvin in about 150 years, which (if true) means to me is that the temperature has been amazingly stable, and both human health and happiness have definitely improved in this ‘warming’ period.”…

I know, I know – our liberals will swiftly discover that Giaever is just a shill for Big Energy, or some such…never mind facts and logic; Al Gore says anthropogenic global warming is true, and so it must be…

But, it isn’t.  If the world is warming, then it is almost certainly not primarily caused by human CO2 emissions.  Additionally, if it is warming there is no conclusive evidence that it will be a net detriment to life on earth.  The whole thing of global warming is a double-edged scam…for leftists to gain political power in the name of saving the planet, and for con artists like Gore to make bags of money.  That is it – never has been anything else, never will be anything else.

Turns Out, It Doesn’t Take a Village

From Physorg:

“In the African villages that I study in Mali, children fare as well in nuclear families as they do in extended families,” said U-M researcher Beverly Strassmann, professor of anthropology and faculty associate at the U-M Institute for Social Research (ISR). “There’s a naïve belief that villages raise children communally, when in reality children are raised by their own families and their survival depends critically on the survival of their mothers.”…

Only in modern, liberal times can it require a study to find out that families raise children and do just fine with it.  Sorry, Hillary, but we don’t actually need a “village” populated with Department of Education and Health and Human Services bureaucrats…

All government policies must be directed towards this end:  making it possible for one man and one women to raise their children as they see fit.  If it helps in that task, it is good and must be done…if it harms that effort, it must be stopped.

HAT TIPInstapundit

Liberal Fascists Strike Again

From the Powerline:

About six weeks ago Dr. Roy Spencer of the University of Alabama Huntsville (a center for lots of NASA activity and climate research) published an important new paper with William Braswell in the Journal of Remote Sensing entitled “On the Misdiagnosis of Climate Feedbacks from Variations in Earth’s Radiant Energy Balance.”  Translated from the scientific lingo, the paper essentially argues that discrepancies between what the climate models say should be happening and what we actually observe happening (namely, the pause in warming over the last decade) means we still don’t have a complete picture of cloud behavior…

…Well, you can imagine what happened next.  Not content with attacking Spencer and Braswell for their heresy, the Climate Inquisition has forced the resignation of the editor of the Journal of Remote Sensing

The BBC also finds another problem with Dr. Spencer – seems he’s a committed Christian!  Well, that tears it – when Christians are involved you know that something is fishy!  Can’t have Christians casting doubt upon climate change orthodoxy, now can we?  In classic Stalinist mode, liberal fascists have not only got the editor to resign, but got him to state that he shouldn’t have published the article.

Some years back I wrote an article entitled The Death of Science…about how politicized scientists, themselves, were destroying the respect science had among the public.  For well more than a century, if you put the label of “science” on an assertion, belief among the public was automatic…but now we’ve all seen just too much nonsense dressed up as science.   It just makes matters worse when we see dissenting scientists persecuted for speaking up.

The really bad news here is that we do need science – we need, that is, to be able to use our human reason to discover what we can of the truth.  God made the universe intelligible and gave us reason so that we may explore the universe.  From what we can see, God wants us to learn the truth…but we can’t learn the truth if we are forever cutting ourselves off because of some prejudice.  It used to be that religion was, at times, a bar to free inquiry…now the ostensible advocates of free inquiry are standing athwart the pursuit of truth yelling, “stop!”.  If these people get their way, we’ll shortly be back in a dark age…free inquiry will stop, innovation will dry up and we’ll even start to forget things we’ve already learned.

Everyone who is in favor of the truth – who is fearlessly determined that the truth be known, come what may, should be frightened about this sort of action.  A few corrupt purveyors of an ideology are trying to shut down debate…shut down the search for truth.  They are doing it because great, big gobs of money are at stake, as are the reputations of those who have most ardently advanced the notion that human CO2 emissions are a primary culprit in global warming…an assertion which is at the least entirely unproved, and at worst is outright false.  If we want to be a people of truth, we’d better darn well put a stop to this.

Global Warming Hoax Update

From Investors Business Daily:

Experiments performed by a European nuclear research group indicate that the sun, not man, determines Earth’s temperature. Somewhere, Al Gore just shuddered as an unseasonably cool breeze blows by.

The results from an experiment to mimic Earth’s atmosphere by CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, tell researchers that the sun has a significant effect on our planet’s temperature. Its magnetic field acts as a gateway for cosmic rays, which play a large role in cloud formation.

Consequently, when the sun’s magnetic field allows cosmic rays to seed cloud cover, temperatures are cooler. When it restricts cloud formation by deflecting cosmic rays away from Earth, temperatures go up…

Who woulda thunk it?  That big, bright, hot yellow thing in the sky is responsible for the temperature?  I’m telling you, this is the shock of all shocks…to think that for years we’ve been thinking it was driving cars which determined temperature!  How did our brave men of science like Al Gore miss this?  How are we going to save the polar bears, now?  For crying out loud, the Goron is quite a potentate, but I don’t know if even he can turn off the sun…

Hey, Guys, How About Another Evolution Thread?

We always seem to have fun with these – and the set-up asking Perry about evolution is an excellent place to start.

Perry answered the question well – no one knows how old the earth is, kid.  Rather disgusting that you can hear mom trying to prompt the kid to ask gotcha questions.  This is the level of the debate we’re going to have in 2012.

But, that aside, one of the more amusing aspects of the whole debate is the way the other side gets itself tied up in to knots.  Demanding that unless hard, provable science, it just has no place in the debate.  Missing is any understanding – any reasonable thought – about the fact that the person demanding that science be the measure of all things does not even begin to put the marvel of man in to the equation.  As G K Chesterton put it in The Everlasting Man:

It is not natural to see man as a natural product. It is not common sense to call man a common object of the country or the seashore. It is not seeing straight to see him as an animal. It is not sane. It sins against the light; against that broad daylight of proportion which is the principle of all reality. It is reached by stretching a point, by making out a case, by artificially selecting a certain light and shade, by bringing into prominence the lesser or lower things which may happen to be similar. The solid thing standing in the sunlight, the thing we can walk round and see from all sides, is quite different. It is also quite extraordinary, and the more sides we see of it the more extraordinary it seems. It is emphatically not a thing that follows or flows naturally from anything else. If we imagine that an inhuman or impersonal intelligence could have felt from the first the general nature of the non-human world sufficiently to see that things would evolve in whatever way they did evolve, there would have been nothing whatever in all that natural world to prepare such a mind for such an unnatural novelty. To such a mind, man would most certainly not have seemed something like one herd out of a hundred herds finding richer pasture, or one swallow out of a hundred swallows making a summer under a strange sky. It would not be in the same scale and scarcely in the same dimension. We might as truly say that it would not be in the same universe. It would be more like seeing one cow out of a hundred cows suddenly jump over the moon or one pig out of a hundred pigs grow wings in a flash and fly. It would not be a question of the cattle finding their own grazing ground but of their building their own cattle-sheds, not a question of one swallow making a summer but of his making a summer house. For the very fact that birds do build nests is one of those similarities that sharpen the startling difference. The very fact that a bird can get as far as building a nest, and cannot get any farther, proves that he has not a mind as man has a mind; it proves it more completely than if he built nothing at all. If he built nothing at all, he might possibly be a philosopher of the Quietist or Buddhistic school, indifferent to all but the mind within. But when he builds as he does build and is satisfied and sings aloud with satisfaction, then we know there is really an invisible veil like a pane of glass between him and us, like the window on which a bird will beat in vain. But suppose our abstract onlooker saw one of the birds begin to build as men build. Suppose in an incredibly short space of time there were seven styles of architecture for one style of nest. Suppose the bird carefully selected forked twigs and pointed leaves to express the piercing piety of Gothic, but turned to broad foliage and black mud when he sought in a darker mood to call up the heavy columns of Bel and Ashtaroth; making his nest indeed one of the hanging gardens of Babylon. Suppose the bird made little clay statues of birds celebrated in letters or politics and stuck them up in front of the nest. Suppose that one bird out of a thousand birds began to do one of the thousand things that man had already done even in the morning of the world; and we can be quite certain that the onlooker would not regard such a bird as a mere evolutionary variety of the other birds; he would regard it as a very fearful wild-fowl indeed; possibly as a bird of ill-omen, certainly as an omen. That bird would tell the augurs, not of something that would happen, but of some thing that had happened. That something would be the appearance of a mind with a new dimension of depth; a mind like that of man. If there be no God, no other mind could conceivably have foreseen it.

Try as they might, the fundamentalists of evolution cannot get ’round the fact of man being what he is.  We don’t naturally follow from what came before.  We are similar to chimpanzees in a large number of ways except in those ways which make a man a man.  Elsewhere, Chesterton notes that it isn’t a matter of a chimp doing something badly and man doing it better – man does things that no chimp ever did, or ever could do.  Go back a million years and there is nothing in the simian species you can find which indicates that at some future date, quite by accident, one of them will randomly evolve a capability and a desire to decorate his body with paint or clothes…there is nothing in the animal world or the concept of evolution which prepares for the time when a creature will suddenly spend time and energy making art, that indelible signature of Mankind.

And as the evolutionists refuse to consider this – a plain fact – the debate grinds forward in a rather sterile manner, and ever more clearly becomes not a defense of science and truth, but a mere desire to suppress an uncomfortable thought:  perhaps it isn’t all an accident?  Maybe there is a design and a purpose in the universe?  Maybe there is even a Designer who wants something of us?

My thinking on this subject is rapidly leading me to the conclusion that, at bottom, this rigid, hysterical demand that we turn away from what common sense proclaims is, in the end, no more than a fierce desire to defend adherence to a lie.  As it turns out, the lie being adhered to is the first lie of hell – “you will be like gods”.  Beings who evolved by accident from a senseless universe of no purpose owe nothing to anyone…they need not serve, and they are free to rule as far as their own power and inclination leads them.  Introduce even the possibility of God and purpose in to the universe, and all of a sudden you become a debtor who owes someone every last thing you have.  Some of us react with joy to this discovery and eagerly seek to thank our Benefactor…others furiously reject this and demand not only their right to believe differently, but further demand that no one else even bring up a question which casts doubt upon the evolutionist viewpoint.

To me it is a matter of perfect indifference whether the world is 6 billion or 6 thousand years old.  It doesn’t alter in the least the actual facts I have to deal with every day.  I don’t care if someone teaches about a 6 billion year old world and a slow, purely accidental evolutionary development.  I also don’t care if someone teaches that the world sprang directly in to being as it is at the command of God in 6 literal days.  Far more important, to me, than the mechanism of existence is the fact of my existence, and what I shall do with it.  But regardless of what I think, the fact is that those who hold to a rigid, ideologically blinkered view of the creation of the universe are trying to advance a particular agenda – an agenda which doesn’t so much question God but seeks to ban His presence from the public square.  My view is that the fight between Evolution and Design is not about the relative merits of the viewpoints, but about the right of people of different views to engage in the debate.

The gotcha questions to Perry are part of that larger design – that effort to de-legitimize a different view.  The attempt was to try and trip Perry up and hold up Perry and the whole concept of a Divine order to ridicule.  And, so, we have to fight this out – if for no other reason than to defend human reason and liberty.  Reason because people who think can come to widely different views; liberty because if those widely different views cannot be brought in to the public square, then none of us are free.

Live for 150 Years? Goodness, Why Would You Want That?

From Popular Science:

Bill Andrews has spent two decades unlocking the molecular mechanisms of aging. His mission: to extend the human life span to 150 years–or die trying…

…“I want to cure my aging,” Andrews tells me, “my friends’ and family’s aging, my investors’ aging, their friends’ and families’ aging, and make a ton of money. And I want to cure everybody else’s aging too—I put that probably equal to making a ton of money.”…

Andrews is clearly a smart man, and driven by a vision…and, who knows?, maybe he can eventually manage it and get human life spans up to 150.  I hope to be long dead by the time he figures that out.  Andrews is a bit extreme about it, but what he is doing is an apt symbol of our age:  a fear of dying so large that we both never really talk about death, and go about doing everything we can to avoid risk and extend our lives.

In this, I admire my late Uncle Mike – my godfather and a good man.  He was told he could have a surgery which would have extended his life.  His attitude was, “what for?”.  His beloved wife was long deceased, he had no children of his own and he was pushing 80.  He refused the surgery, came ’round to see my father (they got gloriously drunk and sang old songs together in a pub – and that is how you say goodby to those you love, if you get a chance), and then went off to die.  There is a time to live, and there is a time to die…and anyone who hangs too tightly to this world will find that he loses everything, including the next world, for his efforts.

Just the mere thought of living to 150 fills me with dread.  Figuring that I’ll live to my father’s age (general luck and genetics being about the same), I’ll make it until early 2047.   Am I supposed to want to live another 60 0r 7o years after that?  Do I want to live until 2107?  Work, pay taxes, deal with traffic for that long?  For another 96 years be faced with endless temptations to reject God and ruin myself for good?  No, thanks very much…I’ll take my 80 or so and be done with it.  Find me medicines which allow me to keep my eyesight and wits until the end, but don’t try to make me in to someone celebrating his 150th birthday.

And then there’s this – supposed you did find the elixir to make us live to 150 years, what sort of people would we be?  The saints among us wouldn’t avail themselves of it…the people most likely to claw desperately to such expedients are the greedy and the base…cowards and criminals.  Imagine if Stalin had such a medicine…he’d be 133 years old…and still have 17 more left to go under that plan.  Stalinism would still be ruling in Russia…and imagine just how bad that cruel, lunatic man would have become had he been able to live these past 58 years!

We can’t stop people from trying, but we can stand aside and leave them to their own horrors…and hope that wisdom comes to them, including the wisdom which says that, eventually, its time to go.  Don’t stand there forever in the way of those who come after…move on and leave the future to those who will live in it.

Global Warming Hoax Update

From Rasmussen:

…The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of American Adults shows that 69% say it’s at least somewhat likely that some scientists have falsified research data in order to support their own theories and beliefs, including 40% who say this is Very Likely. Twenty-two percent (22%) don’t think it’s likely some scientists have falsified global warming data, including just six percent (6%) say it’s Not At All Likely. Another 10% are undecided…

How much you want to bet that Obama and his Democrats don’t make much of an issue of global warming next year?  On the glad morn of Obama’s election, he told us that his victory was the signal for the oceans to recede…now, unless it is at an environmentalist fund raiser, I bet he doesn’t even mention it on the campaign trail.

The problem with the theory of global warming was that it was a lie from start to finish – a  scam designed to extract power and wealth from average folks and transfer it to the Ruling Class.  This is not the only such scam we have but it is the largest in dollar terms.  Never has so much been stolen from so many to benefit so few.

It will, unfortunately, die a slow, expensive death. So many people have their hands in the pie that getting rid of the pie will provoke desperate rear-guard actions.  But if we win big next year, we can at least start the process of ending this scam, mostly by transferring the funds to other, more worthy environmental efforts.