Now that Alarmists have gone whole hog on the sheer malarkey of their non-science, it is hardly worth the time rebutting their pathetic contentions any more. This frees me up to spend more time simply watching the most splendid rebuttals of their contentions, which are the realities of the weather. Compared to the glory of nature, the propaganda of politicians seems like the nitpicking of spiders in front of a tsunami. With their tweezers they can tweeze all they want; they sound as sad as a piano with one string.
Originally I looked at the reality of the weather to ascertain if what the Alarmists claimed was truth was truly true, and when I found evidence it wasn’t, I thought they might be interested to know they were in error. They weren’t. Instead they called me a “denier”, and subjected me (and many others) to censorship and shadow banning.
I suppose this treatment did bum me out, in some ways, but in other ways it was life as usual. I was never of the “popular” crowd in school, and was not the sort of young fellow a young woman would want to see approaching, to ask them to dance. Often I wasn’t even accepted among the nerds. Therefore I had to learn how to survive without flattery. I had to play the game without cheerleaders.
I think that attempting to live midst such disdain is actually too much to ask of any man, especially a young man, for we all need, if not praise, then uplifting. And the thing I found as a substitute for public acclaim, which was most uplifting, was the reality of the weather; AKA the beautiful clouds out the classroom window.
One wonderful thing about the reality of the weather is that it doesn’t care a hoot about our politics. It does what it does, irregardless of whether we throw virgins in volcanoes or buy electric cars. The only politician who seemed to grasp this was King Canute, when he ordered the tide to stop rising, in order to demonstrate to his flattering courtiers that he lacked the omnipotence of God.
It seems Alarmists utterly lack the humbleness of King Canute, for they feel they can stop the seas from rising. This audacity would be a joke if it was not actually spoken in their speeches.
Two reasons for the awe that leads people to believe in a Higher Power, (even if they detest religion and think they are Atheists,) involve the macrocosms and the microcosms of human understanding and comprehension. Once one understands how huge our galaxy is, and how many stars it contains, and then moves on to grasping the fact our universe contains more entire galaxies than can be counted, then some part of our tweezering intellect burns out, and we just shake our heads in wonder. In like manner, when we turn our minds to minutia similar wonders overwhelm us, as we wander into the worlds of sub-atomic particles and “energies”.
Perhaps the most depressing thing about Alarmists is that they miss this wonder. They feel God is out of business, for now they control the macrocosms and microcosms. They control the weather and they control the viruses. Oh! How powerful they are! They are like the puffed-up, adolescent football stars and cheerleaders whom all other students were suppose to honor and flatter, back in high school. Only it is not high school we are talking about. It is real life, and we are not immature teenagers.
To me there is something fundamentally insane about people who think they control the weather, and have jurisdiction over who shall get sick or not. They have elevated themselves to the status of God, and in the process have dismissed God as a higher power. This is insane because, sure as shooting, a day will come when a storm they did not forecast looms, and sickness they claimed they’d cured afflicts them, and on that day they will have no one to pray to.
This is not to say that there are some others among us who are mysteriously gifted, in terms of weather and/or in terms of healing. But such such people have no need to mock God while enacting Alarmism’s mockery of omnipotence. Why deny a Creator exists, when stating that same Creator gave you a gift?
My father was a surgeon who loved science and who loathed quacks, and snake-oil salesmen, and malpractice lawyers who exploited misfortunes. A story-teller, one tale my Dad loved to tell was about a witch doctor in Africa. The witch doctor made missionaries angry by curing people with a foul, stinking tea, when missionaries could not cure the same people with prayer. As my father told the tale, there was one missionary who did not condemn the witch doctor as a witch, and actually sent his sick converts to the witch doctor to drink his putrid tea. Not only did the sick get better, but the witch doctor became much more friendly, because he had finally met a Christian who didn’t condemn him for curing people. The missionary and the witch doctor developed a friendship that lasted decades, and eventually involved them hearing the news that penicillin had been discovered in England. The production of purified penicillin involved a long and complicated process. The witch doctor, in concocting his rancid tea, also employed a process that involved many steps. But how could an uneducated man in darkest Africa stumble upon penicillin? The only answer is: It was a gift. Maybe some degree of experimentation, of trial-and-error, was involved, but the guiding light was a gift.
In like manner I’ve met some in my time (usually men who spend much time outdoors) who are gifted, when it comes to sniffing out a storm which even the weather bureau doesn’t see coming. They are gifted. When you ask them how they know, they often just shrug, or give some unsatisfactory answer such as “they felt it in their bones.” In their cases as well the gift doesn’t seem to be given without some degree of trial and error. In other words, work is involved. Yet I too have worked, and my trial and error continues to mostly involve error. I am like a person who practices the piano but happens to be tone deaf. I lack the gift.
Gifts might appear to manifest in some cases without a lot of hard work, for example in the case of Mozart writing music at an early age, but even he was not above work. After all, a child picking out chords on a harpsichord at age three is practicing, just as a child learning to walk is practicing, and practice is work. However the gifted seem to have done a lot of the work before they were even born. Is it some memory from a past life? Is it a skill picked up during preincarnation in Limbo? Is it due to the mutation of some chromosome? Heck if I know. I just work under the general principle that every child is born with some gift, and therefore has value and a part to play in creation. That statement alone can get me into enough arguments to keep me busy.
But the point I am trying to work my way around to is that the people gifted do not deny the existence of the Giver of the gift. They are humble, and lack the audacity of Alarmists. They do not think they control weather, or sickness and healing. They do not claim to be all-powerful and all-knowing. Only Alarmists are so insane.
I’m weary of their bragging insanity, and of the media blaring their braggart nonsense, so I have clicked off the news, and also have largely withdrawn from debate about Global Warming. Why plunge into fog when one can remain elevated under clear skies? Why depart from pure waters to the company of those who delight in intentionally muddying waters? Some feel one can “win” a debate about Truth with lies. It is best to just skip their juvenile reality. Far better is the beautiful reality of the weather.
On a different site a commenter made me laugh by pointing out that, in terms of weather, “average” weather never happened. Surely he was indulging a bit of hyperbole, but it derived power by being so close to the Truth: “Average” is a theoretical number created by a reality which almost always is either “above” or “below” the theoretical number.
The theoretical number around the hills where I live in New Hampshire sees temperatures drop to a winter rock-bottom where the “average” high is 29 degrees and the “average” low is 9 degrees, which gives us a “average” mean temperature of 19 degrees, (-7 degrees Celsius).
In other words, if things were “average” then we should go through a prolonged period in the depth of our winter when temperatures do not rise above freezing. But they almost always do. It is so noticeable and even predictable that it has its own name, “The January Thaw”, and people expect it, as if it was an “average” thing to occur even thought it is not “average”.
This year the “January Thaw” has been especially prolonged, so you could say it has been longer than “average”. (Around this point the word “average” is starting to look a bit tattered and dog-eared.)
Several times the temperature 29 degrees Fahrenheit (-1.67 Centagrade) has not been our high temperature, but our low temperature. This has given us mean temperatures at least ten degrees above “average”. However 29 degrees is still cold enough to make snow. Such snow is not the light, dry, drifting powder-snow one expects when mean temperatures are 19 and “average”, but rather is heavy, dense and wet stuff local folk call “glop.”
It strikes me as a bit amusing that having temperatures more than ten degrees above normal at times, in the depth of our winter, has not given us the snow-free landscape where, according to several Alarmists (who apparently copy each other), “our children will not know what snow is any more.” Instead we have glop. Glop is snow so heavy plows sometimes break down trying to push it around. And, as I run a Childcare, I can tell you children know all about glop. Would you like to know what they, who have not been educated at liberal colleges, know?
If so, then allow me to describe our last glop-storm.
Sunday should be a day of rest, but I was physically active, for an old coot pushing seventy, cleaning up from our last glop-storm and making ready for the next. As I huffed and puffed, loading firewood on the porch, I had to stop and catch my breath, and attempted to look picturesque, by pretending I was merely scanning the skies and sniffing out changes in the weather. And because I did that so often, I actually did notice the changes, which were so subtle and beautiful it made me want to quit the work, and go write a poem.
The north winds behind the prior glop-storm had brought temperatures down to nearly “average”, but those winds shifted to the south and you could feel the north relenting. The cut of the wind relaxed into a sort of softness. I felt the next storm surely must be rain, but the forecasters were sure we’d get snow.
What they somehow knew, and I didn’t, was those south winds from a storm to our west would shift to northeast winds, as that primary storm to our west occluded and basically vanished from the map, and a secondary “coastal development” took over.
In the map below you can see the secondary has taken over, and the only sign of the primary is dashed orange lines, and a curl of clouds.
I was impressed by the forecaaster’s skill, as snow began falling as I went to bed Sunday night. The forecast was for six-to-ten inches by morning. (School had already been cancelled, though we keep our Childcare open, as we are needed.) But the rain-snow line was very nearby to our south, and I was well aware how difficult it is to forecast what amounts to a difference between 32.1 degrees and 31.9. I was not particularly surprised when I awoke at two in the morning, and saw rain out the window. Apparently the primary low, which didn’t even exist on maps any more, pushed just enough warmth north to switch the snow to rain, as the radar map showed.
The radar showed purple, indicative of freezing rain and sleet, and my thermometer read 32, so I knew this was not the sort of rain that melts snow much. When I went to open our Childcare at 6:45 it was still 32, and the windows of my Jeep were suggestive of freezing rain and not rain. As I shoveled the front walk I noticed the snow had a crust on top, more like freezing rain than wet rain. Temperatures might be thirteen degrees above normal, but the glop was still glop.
The forecast insisted the rain would change back to snow as the secondary low grew stronger and moved over Cape Cod into the Gulf of Maine, but I was in no mood to send children out to get wet in cold rain, so I had to endure innocent darlings totally trashing the Childcare indoors.
The children were excited to see the rain change back to wet snow out the window…
…And I confess I was glad to get the children dressed in their body-armor snowsuits and out the door. I hoped to put them to work rolling snowballs, which they adore, but we were disappointed to discover the crust of ice that freezing snow put on the snow made rolling snowballs impossible. However the snow was very sticky, and could be shoveled to the sides of our igloo-in-progress.
I was doing most of the work, as the children were persuaded by a cynic in their midst that a roof on a snow-fort was one of those silly ideas adults have, like tooth fairies or Santa Claus. I didn’t mind. Occasionally I had to break up snowball wars, but mostly they did their thing, (which seemed to involve making paths), and I worked on the impossible roof. But I did notice the kindly south winds, and the the southerly movement of low skud, shifted around to the north, as the storm headed by to our east.
One thing that seemed odd was that there was no increase in the winds. The trees were still white with the burden of the last glop-storm, and more burdened by freezing rain, and now were being further frosted by wet snow, but there was no wind to blow the white from the boughs. The flakes were big and wet, as the passing low created bands of snow. (If you want to show off your meteorological jargon, call the bands “mesoscale”.)
We were short-handed, but, because school was cancelled. a high-school-aged “intern” showed up to make some extra money, and this meant I did not need to bring the children in for lunch, and put all their wet snow suits in the drier, and get them settled down for nap time. Rather, she did all that, while, huffing and puffing, I could stay out and complete the igloo, which, because the small cynic doubted me, had become a thing my old ego deemed important. It was likely unwise to huff and puff so much at my age, but I managed to finish the job.
Rather than noticing my masterpiece, please notice the woods in the background, burdened with glop. From those woods, as I worked in the child-free silence of falling snow, I heard occasional loud cracks, like the report of a pistol, followed by crashing and thumping, like large limbs falling to earth. This is not a good sign.
We lost power at our Childcare around 2:30, when the children were just rising from their naps. The place was still warm, and it was not particularly hard to dress them to go out and play again. I’d rushed off to attend to other details, but was glad to hear the kids were very impressed my igloo had a roof, and my wife took a picture for our website of seven small children sitting within. Then I rushed back to watch kids play in the dwindling light of the ebbing day, (made especially dark with no power), as one by one their parents arrived to pick them up. Nearly every parent had an adventure to talk about, describing trees down across highways, and losing power at workplaces.
I spend so much time with small children, dealing with the way they think, that I have come to value the all-too-short time I get to spend with actual living and breathing adults. Perhaps it is because I am coming from a different perspective, but it strikes me adults have no idea how amazing they are. A tree can close a highway as they go to pick up their child, and they just make a joke out of the experience. They find their way around the obstacles. They lose power at a workplace, yet get their job done. They don’t like glop, but accept it as “average” and get on with life.
But for Alarmists, glop is a disaster. Rather than above “average ” temperatures causing less snow, glop creates snow so heavy and dense it shuts down schools.
The storm was heading off, just a feature on my “fisherman’s map”:
But the glop took time to clean up. Arriving at work at 6:45 this morning to shovel the inch of overnight snow and salt the walks, I discovered the schools needed a two hour delay before opening. Also we had no power at our Childcare. But we opened, with a wood-stove’s fire upstairs to warm the children, and with snow melting in pots on that stove to use, if we needed to flush the toilets. Power came back on at 9:30, so we never needed to flush toilets with melted snow, but the point I want to make is that glop didn’t stop us.
Actually, when the sun snuck briefly under the cloud deck at sunrise, the way glop bent a pine’s up-reaching boughs down like a hemlock’s was downright beautiful.
It is important to remember Glop is beautiful, because our local forecast is for more of it. Tomorrow night we are suppose to get a quick thump of a half-foot of snow, turning to heavy rain, which will turn snow to slush, which will freeze as solid as iron as winds turn north afterwards.
If “above average” gives us so much winter, what shall happen when things swing to “below average”? For surely things must do so, in order for “above” and “below” to average-out into the “average” (which hardly ever happens).
I’m less prone to erupting like a volcano at Alarmists than I used to be. Instead I’m feeling a bit sorry for the falsifiers, who think they have won. They are in their glory, able to spew whatever poppycock they want without fearing rebuttal, for they are on the side of the Fake News, and those who speak against them are censored or shadow-banned. Therefore they imagine they are fearless, for they imagine they can make things up with impunity, and no one can rebuke them. However Truth needs no voice. It simply stands there, awesome and beautiful, as they scuttle about like cockroaches in the dark, delighting in their forgeries.
However it doesn’t take much to reveal how fearful the falsifiers actually are. Throw a loose cannon like Elon Musk into the mix, and even a drab of free speech sends the cockroaches scuttling like a light-bulb clicking on in the kitchen.
They are, midst their glut, a bit like the Amalekites 3000 years ago, rejoicing after their successful raids of both Philistine and Judaic lands, and their burning of Ziklag. They must have been very pleased with themselves, for they took advantage of the fact the Philistines and Israelites were midst a war to raid both. And they succeeded and were far from the scene of their crime. The ancient Biblical tale states: “(The Amalekites) were spread abroad over all the land, eating and drinking and dancing, because of all the great spoil they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from the land of Judah.” What the Amalekites failed to recognize was that their “great spoil” included two of the wives of soon-to-be-King David, and he was royally pissed off. His arrival at their celebration was the kitchen light bulb clicking on for those cockroaches, but most failed to scuttle fast enough. “And David struck them down from twilight until the evening of the next day, and not a man of them escaped, except four hundred young men, who mounted camels and fled.”
There are certain climate scientists I’ve wanted to send fleeing on camels, ever since the Climate Audit site caught James Hansen fudging his numbers back in August, 2007.
And then the Climate-gate fiasco in 2009 just affirmed my suspicion that some, and indeed many, of the climate scientists were not the slightest bit interested in Truth. They only pretended to be scientists. Their real interest was in promoting an agenda in order to earn filthy lucre provided by bigwigs, who were the ones who truly wanted the agenda promoted. And the agenda? It was an effort to create an imaginary calamity, and use the “crisis” to waylay public expenditures, and to plunder trillions of dollars which could have been far more wisely spent. And they have gotten away with it. 2007 is a long time ago, and I have now been watching them for a decade and a half.
Because they have been so deceitful and crooked it is inevitable that Karma will get them in the end. It may not manifest as a King David crashing their party, but a Sword of Damocles hangs over their heads. But I’m not sorry for them because of that.
I’m sorry for them because they miss so much that is awesome and beautiful, by preferring their fraud. All the time they spend censoring Skeptics, all the attention they devote to seeking threats to their scam, all the imagination they squander inventing fabricated poppycock for an ever-gullible media, is time wasted for a nothing. If they had spent time contemplating Truth, what wonders they might have witnessed.
However the same decade and a half I’ve been amazed at their audacity, and the fact they never get properly rebuked for what is fraud, (and for at times even lying under oath), is the same decade and a half they have stunted their minds. They think they have gained money, and prestige, and positions at public institutions, but money cannot be more than a Midas curse, without Truth, and pretentiously puffing about public institutions can be as whacko as a man strutting about a mental institution claiming he is Napoleon, if divorced from Truth. What might they have been, had they spent the decade and a half more wisely? What might they have discovered? Maybe, just maybe, they might have even been a true scientist. But now the years are wasted, and they shall never know.
I do know, for I have been under no compunction to insist everything that happens is due to CO2 (caused by evil fossil fuels). What a strain and burden shouldering that presumption must be! The list of things blamed on Global Warming is completely ridiculous, ever increasing, and amazing.
For a time a certain website kept a list, but after several hundred articles blamed several hundred events on Global Warming, the website apparently gave it up. The fact was that the media suggested everything was Global Warming’s fault. This was handy for mindless people, for they never needed to think.
However it did and does present a problem: If everything is caused by Global Warming, then even good things are caused by Global Warming, and then one is then cornered, and must say good things are bad. Good things must be bad because they are caused by Global Warming. And once you say good is bad your moral compass is shot; it is like having a compass at the North Pole, where every direction is south. You have lost your ability to discern good from evil, or even up from down. All the measuring sticks scientists have painstaking designed to study Truth with cease to function; you lose the power to discern; you are lost. The professorship at a bigwig University you sold your soul for turned out to be a lobotomy. Science is a study of Truth, but you can’t even spell the word.
But the Truth stands unmoved by the idiocy of mortals. “But what is Truth?” then ask the ones who do not want to know.
In terms of mundane reality, Truth is a kalidoscope of variables, an interplay of countless possibilities too huge for even the most enormous computer to calculate, a system called Chaos by some and The Universe by others, which requires omniscience to fathom, which, because we lack omniscience, is either annoying, if you don’t like to think, or a wonder, if you do.
I like to think. I like to wonder. I don’t need to understand a sunrise to feel moved. Yet I am moved to greater understanding. This is the power of Truth, and is how it is that both impractical poets and practical scientists study the identical thing: Truth.
That being said, I’d like to move on to the very little I understand, and the enormous amount I wonder about, concerning volcanoes on the floor of the arctic sea.
I think that, when people first start to pay attention to sea-ice, they tend to be shocked by the amazing amount of melting that occurs every summer. I know I was. Initially it dismayed me, for it seemed to fit into the narrative of man-caused Global Warming, but then I looked deeper, and studied history, and became aware such melting occurred every summer, as far back as records go. For example, back in the early Cold War records of military outposts out on the sea-ice, (in places like Fletcher’s Ice Island), there are requisitions for hip-waders, because the slush got so deep in July. In any case, my alarm turned to wonder.
My wonder increased when I became aware of a fascinating factoid. The North Pole actually receives more heat on a given day than the equator, during the height of summer. This seemed impossible, and it was difficult for me to get my mind around the idea, for the sun at noon on the equator is so hot that only mad dogs and Englishmen go out into it. Meanwhile at noon at the Pole the sun (at the equanox) is only at 23.5 degrees, and beats down with nowhere near the intensity.
However, that is only at noon. At a location in an equatorial time zone where the sun rises at 6:00, by 4:45 in the afternoon it has sunk to 22.5 degrees, and is actually lower than the polar sun, and at 6:00 it is setting, and abruptly not shining at all. The next morning it rises at 6:00, but is lower than the polar sun until 7:30. Meanwhile the polar run rolls around and around the horizon, neither rising nor setting (visibly), but simply shining from 23.5 degrees constantly. What this means is that the equatorial sun only outshines the polar sun nine hours a day, and the other fifteen hours the polar sun dominates the scorecard. In essence it is like the race between the tortoise and the hare. The equator races ahead for a while, but the plodding Pole wins the race.
I found an interesting chart which shows how powerful the Polar sun gets in terms of Watts per square meter per day. The first chart shows that by around May 12 the Pole is matching the equator, with both areas receiving around 412 w/m2.
By June 2 the Pole has increased to over 500 w/m2, while the equator has actually decreased slightly (due to the sun drifting north towards the Tropic of Cancer.)
By the equinox the Pole is receiving 550 w/m2 a day while the Equator dips below 400 w/m2, at which point we should ask ourselves, “Why aren’t palm trees growing at the Pole?”
Or at least we should ask, “Why doesn’t the sea-ice melt completely?”
The answer is that it very nearly does. When we look at the “volume” graph it swiftly becomes apparent that a colossal amount, roughly 20,000 km3, melts every year, leaving barely 5,000 km3. I’d like to see a calculation involving how much heat is used up simply moving all that water through the phase change from solid to liquid, changing available energy into potential energy, without changing the actual temperature a single degree. A fabulous amount of heat must be sucked up. Of course, all that heat is released when the phase change goes the other way in the autumn, and roughly 20,000 km3 of sea-ice is recreated. But that is what is so fabulous and wonderful about the yearly undulations.
The downward blips in this year’s line in the above graph occur because some goodly surges of thicker-than-usual sea-ice have been expelled down through Fram Strait, especially compared to last year. (In fact some of the ice was thicker precisely because it was held back last year.) This will effect the Atlantic to the south, which I may wonder about later in this post, but the focus of this current wondering is the enormity of the melting that goes on up there every summer.
Back when I was first learning about sea-ice I liked to peruse old aerial photos of the polar ice. I noted some showed meltwater pools that formed wandering channels on their way to some weakness in the sea-ice, where the water vanished down through a crack or a hole. At times these channels would approach a hole in the sea-ice from all sides, creating a look like a spiderweb, except spiderwebs don’t usually have so many branches, nor do webs get smaller and finer, away from the center of the web. I also noted that as soon as the sea-ice began to crack up these ice-geological formations ceased to be, and even meltwater pools found it harder to grow to a significant size. I was not particularly political; I was merely observing.
In those days there were wonderful cameras drifting about the Arctic Sea, sending us pictures via satellite. In 2013 the “North Pole Camera” witnessed the formation of a particularly splendid meltwater pool. Here is a time lapse of that pool’s creation:
The media got wind of the pool and dubbed it “Lake North Pole” and suggested it was alarming, leading to sensationalist posts on websites such as “Treehugger”. Here is a post from that time from their archive, (although it lacks a little of its authenticity because they “updated” it in 2021.)
At the time I commented at the “Treehugger” site what I had observed from aerial photos, stating the sea-ice was particularly thick at the “Lake North Pole” location, or else the water would have drained down through a hole or a crack, and adding such drainage likely would soon happen. To my astonishment my comment was deleted. It was not rude or scornful at all, but I suppose my observations did oppose the idea the meltwater pool was especially alarming. I felt a little sad about being excluded from an interesting discussion, but there were other websites where discussion was allowed, so I abandoned “Treehugger.” Also, I had started an obscure website of my own, and could post observations (even silly ones) to my heart’s content there.
Shortly thereafter a crack or hole did form, and Lake North Pole vanished in a twinkling. Furthermore, the NorthPole Camera showed the buoy draped in a fresh fall of snow. The media lost interest with amazing speed, but I noted my observations, and got quite a surprise. My obscure website, which seldom got more than 20 views, abruptly got 300 in a few hours. Here is the post where it happened, and I haven’t “updated” it, so it retains authenticity.
Considering my writing had brought me nothing but rejection slips for a half century, perhaps it is understandable that I was swayed by the attention I received. But it is also a little embarrassing, looking back, especially because I was not an authority. I was merely an observer, and wondered about what I was witnessing, and while I had been right about Lake North Pole vanishing some of my other conclusions were dead wrong, and I to admit it, which is never much fun (unless you are among especially good-hearted people.)
A lot of good discussion occurred, and I met good people who corrected me and who also shared wonderful observations of their own, but, sadly, there were also people who could never confess their conclusions were dead wrong. “Winning” the debate was more important to them than seeing the Truth. I think “winning” became overriding because “winning” brought money, fame, and power among a particularly repulsive bunch, now disparaged as “The Swamp”. In my view the “winners” sold their souls to the devil, and lost their grip on Truth, which is beauty and power and all we need.
In any case, a decade has now past, and now if you type “Lake North Pole Vanishes” into the “Bing” search engine you will see it is I who have vanished. In the “google” search engine “Lake North Pole Vanishes” still allows my old post to come up as around the eighth link, but if you search “Lake North Pole” I am nowhere to be found, even ten to twenty pages in. “Arctic Sea-ice” will not find me either, which is ironic, because initially I put “Arctic Sea-Ice” as a heading to all my sea-ice posts because it originally tended to raise my standing on search engines.
This is sad, for being shadow banned in this manner gets in the way of having discussions with non-political people who simply want to share observations, and to wonder. Now it seems hard to find that sort of innocent discussion. And at times all current wondering seems to be about political ploys, rather than about the sea-ice at all. But there is a good side to being shadow banned as well.
The good side? I suppose it is that I was originally drawn to sea-ice for reasons that had little to do with drawing attention to myself. The focus was upon sea-ice, not me. But once you become infatuated with “clicks” you unconsciously gravitate towards drawing attention to yourself, hogging the spotlight, and tap dancing across the sea-ice with a top hat and cane. Shame on me! I confess. I did it, and what’s more, at times it was jolly good fun!
Other times? Well, preening in a mirror gets boring. Therefore, it was good that I was “marginalized” and “shadow banned”, because it got me away from those who encouraged me to make a spectacle of myself. And this allowed me to again focus on sea-ice, and furthermore to realize that sea-ice was never actually my primary focus.
Actually, my initial focus was Greenland Vikings, but when I thought about it, I realized that too was but a side-focus, part of a greater focus on sea-faring men of all sorts, which also was a side-focus on a greater focus on adventure in general, which in turn was a side focus on….Hey! What is my focus, anyhow?
This led to an interesting period of reflection, which reminded me a little of being small and being asked what I wanted to “be” when I grew up. I always felt a little awkward, for it felt a little like a trap. If I answered honestly to the grown-ups, (which I seldom dared do), I likely would have responded, “I want to be free.”
In a sense it is like the Cole Porter song Will Rogers liked to sing, “Don’t Fence Me In.” Only rather than riding across the open range, I am riding across the world of thought. Sea-ice is but one topic of many. If I got stuck on sea-ice I would be like a bee stuck in one flower, (perhaps a pitcher plant or Venus-flytrap).
I lack the discipline it takes to be a true authority. Even in the realm of sea-ice it seems that there are specific areas and fields of study, so that one person may be an authority on icebergs and another on the algae that grows on the underside of ice. Scientific authorities are specialists who have amazing focus and discipline and attend to meticulous details, and I simply can’t match them. I haven’t the time for that. I’d rather pick their brains like thieves pick pockets, and then go hopping off like a happy-go-lucky Brer Rabbit with the cream of their ideas, the culmination of all their hard work, as a bit of trivia to add to my vast store.
When I think hard about it, I am not a true scientist, though I love Truth. I bounce about from topic to topic too much, (as this post is doing). Thus, what I know is factual, but not deeply researched. It is disparaged as mere factoids, and trivia, and I agree it is factoids and trivia, but feel it has value. Perhaps I’m not a scientist, but, to coin a word, I am a “triviaist” (as opposed to trivialist), and to be a triviaist is not a trivial thing.
How so? Well, if you know a little about a lot of topics you may not have the depth of knowledge a scientist has in his specific cubicle, but you can spot when that same scientist is straying outside his cubical into “an area outside of his expertise.” Why? Because your casual knowledge of Greenland Vikings and the Medieval Warm Period torpedoes some statement he makes about “modern warming being unprecedented.” Or perhaps your knowledge of tree rings, because you have actually cut down trees and counted the rings and have seen which are widely spaced and which are not, discounts some claim they make about a particular tree proving the “hockey stick graph” is accurate.
As an aside I should mention that, years ago, I was not paid to count tree rings. I was paid to cut trees. In fact, the boss back then was likely annoyed I was wasting time counting rings, but didn’t fire me because I worked hard otherwise, and a boss has to put up with a certain amount of weirdness in his employees. But a triviaist has that weirdness. He gets off track, and counts rings when he’s supposed to be cutting wood.
As a further aside I’ll state some do not like people who don’t stay on track, as if people were trains. If you “can’t look at hobbles and can’t stand fences” they describe you as being “off the rails”. They love regulation and dislike liberty, which means they miss what a triviaist has to offer, for a triviaist demands the freedom to be fascinated by whatever fascinates, even if is tree rings when he is supposed to be cutting wood.
I don’t doubt a triviaist is a royal pain when young, if you are a boss and trying to train him, but if that same triviaist has managed to survive fifty years the sheer bulk of the trivia in his brain starts to have unforeseen benefits. Let me give an example.
As my mind jumps from topic to topic it can arrive at places that truly seem “off the rails”. For example, a casual study of a battle in America’s Revolutionary War focused on the essential aid given by a certain general from Poland, which made me curious about the general, which made me curious about Poland, which made me curious about why the rest of Europe wanted to wipe Poland off the map, which made me curious about democratic societies which monarchies didn’t like which were favorable to liberty in eastern Europe, in the general area of Lithuania, Poland and Ukraine, back into the mists of history. So now, if I meet a person from Poland (or Ukraine) they are amazed I in some ways know more about heroes of their land than they do, due to all the trivia I’ve collected.
What has this to do with sea-ice? Well, the last good pictures we got from the arctic sea (not including MosaIc Expedition pictures) were from the final Barneo blue-ice jetport, which was a Russian base served by Ukrainian jets. One became aware the man masterminding the unique Barneo experience had to walk a razor’s edge of diplomacy, concerning certain frictions between Russia and Ukraine, and that his death would leave a void it was unlikely could be filled. So maybe my trivia included knowledge of impending trouble, which an on-track person would not have seen coming.
Not that I’m a prophet. I am no better at forecasting humans than I am at the weather, which is not very good, (though better than some.)
What I think a triviaist does, in following his mind hither and yon “off the rails” is actually in a way “on track”, albeit a sidetrack. The various subjects are usually related, though often to onlookers they seem so dimly related the leaps of logic cannot be followed. But the triviaist is following something. I often wonder what prompted me to veer far from my intended subject, but there can be no denying the prompting is there. Call it a psychological problem, such as avoidance, or pretty-it-up by calling it “intuition”, the triviaist sees more broadly than a specialist.
So, personally, in my younger day I was not a master of any particular skill, but rather a Jack-of-all-trades. If you wanted a job done expertly you would hire an expensive plumber, but if your pipe was leaking and you couldn’t afford a plumber you might hire me. (I could handle the easy jobs, and also could say when you needed a real plumber.) (But if I really needed the money, I would do jobs I didn’t know how to do, learning as I progressed, which lead to some hair-raising problems I always seemed to find the answers to, sometimes at the last second and by the skin of my teeth, sometimes due to asking for help from experts, both worldly and Divine.)
I suppose a triviaist is what is described as being: “A Jack of all trades and master of none.” It involves humbling shoes to walk in, for most everywhere you look you see people superior, but the ego can cling to one bit of pride. One has more “general knowledge”. Then one asks, “What good is general knowledge?”
Rather than predict the future, what a triviaist gains through “general knowledge” is to see the Now. One sees the present tense in a far broader way than a specialist can. A specialist tends towards myopia and must struggle against being prone to being one-sided, while a triviaist can see from many angles because that happens to be what he or she likes to do. This is helpful, when it comes to seeing the Now, because the Now has an enormity which cannot be comprehended from any one chair. Despite all the scorn “committees” get (and sometimes earn) the real purpose of a “committee” is to look at an issue or problem from more than one angle, and to broaden the view. For this same reason kings had advisors.
There is very little prediction and prophecy involved. The simple fact of the matter is that the solution to a problem first involves taking a hard look at what the problem is, in the present tense. The future will take care of itself; first you must see the problem in the Now.
The problem with the Global Warming mind-set is that it is so pretentious, assuming it possesses prophetic powers, that it fails to see the Now. In essence it tramples all over the present tense, flailing at a future when it cannot see the Now.
I don’t much care about anything else but the Now. The future tends to be worry. What good is worry? The Now is enough for me, as it usually gives me a boot in the butt and determines what I do next. If my triviaist tendencies have me studying Poland when I should be making money, a threatening letter from a bill-collector is the Now, and the trivia that interests me next is my next way of paying the bills, whether it be to focus on hard work, or studying the value of my coin collection before selling it. The future takes care of itself when you attend to the Now.
Despite all evidence Global Warming is not a dire threat, the Global Warming mindset has gotten so completely out of hand that its illogic itself has become the Now. How so? Because its believers are doubling the cost of oil, and fueling horrific inflation which is crippling the fixed income of elders and reducing the life’s savings of younger people.
Today I saw a poll which indicated that a majority of ordinary people felt that the believers in Global Warming fully intended that all the hardships (which ordinary people are now suffering) to occur. It was no accident. The people of the so-called “Swamp” fully intended to inflict suffering. It was their solution to a problem which they, as prophets, could foresee. Ordinary people lack their prophetic powers, and their ability to control the weather and heal all viruses. They, as gods, must not be bothered by the observations of mere ordinary people.
What amazing arrogance! What audacious gall, to suggest you control the weather and control disease! They don’t. All they are doing is hurting the backbone of society, the salt of the earth. They are sawing off the branch they are seated on, expecting a couple of doves at the end of the branch to hold the branch up when they are done. They are in for a crash, cruising for a bruising.
I honestly feel that the worst of these arrogant people never really believed Global Warming was a threat. It was just a tool they used to scare people into compliance. Now they are somewhat relieved, for they no longer have to pretend sea-ice matters. They increasingly are showing their true colors. Sea-ice never did matter to them. When they acted interested, it was pure pretense. Their real interest was power. Not Truth.
As a triviaist I could offer them historical examples of what happens to people who put power above Truth, but, considering they couldn’t hear simple Truth about sea-ice, I doubt they can hear Truth now that they are going for broke. I could tell them that when they go for broke they will end up broke and broken, but they won’t listen, so now the main aim is to avoid going down in flames to a smoking ruin with them.
Earlier I stated that, while I am not an expert, a triviaist has an ability to see when an expert is “outside his area of expertise.” In like manner, while confessing I am not a prophet (and am certainly not a god), I have an ability to see that, when a politician becomes so drunk with power that he deems himself a prophet and a god, and when he will bully anyone who dares suggest otherwise, he is “outside his area of expertise.” He has no idea of the powers he is messing with, like a little child playing with a hand grenade.
The frustrating thing is that I am in no position to dole out what the bozos deserve. I am an unwilling pacifist. I am not made spiritual because of this scripture:
“Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.”
Rather I am made spiritual because the truth is I can’t do a damn thing about lunatics in Washington but cast a single vote, and they can negate my vote with evil fraud.
Therefore, as a triviaist, I just go to what next fascinates me. Currently growing food interests me more than sea-ice, (because I don’t want to starve), and most of my posts this summer will be about dirt rather than the North Pole.
Sadly, there are not even the cameras on buoys up there, which once gave me great relief when a heat wave was hitting me “down south.” I can no longer leave a sweaty garden and bask in views of cool sea-ice. However, true to my triviaist nature, I’ll likely annoy my boss (myself) by not weeding the garden on occasion, and instead wandering off to look at the sea-ice situation, even if it only involves graphs.
While there is no excuse for skipping work, I could attempt to justify my behavior by stating I was looking for hints next winter might be going to be especially cold. (Not that knowing would do me much good.)
And indeed, there are some “concerning” examples of cooling, the greatest of which is the fact the cold La Nina won’t quit, and in fact is stronger than it was on its first year. It is interesting to compare September 2020 (end of first year) with now, (start of third). (The maps I use are anomaly maps, and red does not indicate warm but rather above-normal. Blue does not indicate cold but below-normal. IE: They blue water at the equator is warmer than the red water at the Pole.) But here is September 2020:
And here is now:
Likely it is unfair to compare September one year with June on another, for they are at opposite ends of the melt-season. Therefore ignore the brick red arctic in 2020 compared with the white sea-ice of 2022.
But the equator is different, and knows no summer and winter, and I find it interesting that in 2020 the La Nina was mostly south of the equator, but in 2022 the cold has crept up to the coast of California.
Also notice that the waters south of Greenland, which were a hot spot in 2020, are now below normal. Very Interesting. I wonder if all the sea-ice jettisoned through Fram Strait (and to a lesser degree through Nares Strait on the other side of Greenland), may be cooling the Gulf Stream, which could cool Europe eventually.
Back before shadow-banning I had a wonderful on-line talk with an alert individual who awoke me to the idea that a “freshwater-lens” might not be a phenomenon restricted to the arctic but might also include waters around sea-ice ejected into the Atlantic. After all, while sea-ice is flat bergs seldom thicker than ten feet, glaciers calve amazing icebergs as huge as a mile long and a hundred feet tall, (which means they have keels nine hundred feet deep.) Sailors say that as you even near such massive bergs the air gets colder. So too the water must get colder. And the phenomenon of cold fresh water on top of warmer saline water could occur well south of the arctic.
Such a discussion would involve the Now, and have value because a chilled Gulf Stream may influence the productivity of European farms. Then informed farmers might alter what they planted, in order to be more productive with cold weather crops. (A huge discharge of sea-ice in 1817 may have caused “The Year With No Summer” in Europe, and the consequential famines.) But having such discussions would be problematic if the topic countered “Global Warming”.
Rather than bicker with Alarmists and cancel-culture, I’d rather just move on to a different topic: The “extent” and “volume” graphs. They disagree with each other, for “extent” shows sudden loss, as “volume” shows a complete cessation of loss. How is this possible? Before I explain, check out the two graphs. Here is the “extent” graph showing a drop from nearly “normal” levels to what has been more “normal” in recent years. (red line).
And here is the “Volume” graph for the same time, showing that the volume, which had been dropping, now refuses to drop even a bit. (black line)
This seeming contradiction is explained by the fact “extent” is not the same as “area” or “volume”. IE: A patch of sea which is 85% open water and 15% sea-ice may only be 15% covered, in terms of “area”, but it is 100% covered in terms of “extent”. However, should that same area be swept free of ice “area” only loses 15% while “extent” loses 100%. Meanwhile the place where all the ice is swept-to becomes crowded and perhaps is 90% ice, which increases “area” in that spot to 90%, even as that spot, in terms of “extent”, was100% ice-covered before, and remains 100% despite the increase of crowding. Lastly, if the winds are cold and the water is cold, not one bit of the ice may have melted, which means the “volume” stays the same despite the ways the other numbers change.
Coming up with these numbers is very difficult, and I pity the scientists stuck with the drudgery of such toil. They likely suffer eyestrain, scrutinizing satellite photos, and they make me glad I am a triviaist and can just pickpocket their work and skip away avoiding the work they do.
But what is especially fun is to become a lurker, and haunt the periphery of an Alarmist website where people are totally sold on the dogma of Global Warming, and watch how deeply concerned they are by any indication the sea-ice is not melting away at an unprecedented rate. They were especially upset when the “extent” graph touched “normal levels” briefly, but wildly enthusiastic when it soon plunged. Then one of their members noticed the “volume” graph didn’t drop, and innocently wondered if maybe they were just seeing how a fortnight of north winds spread sea-ice south in Barents Sea, and then a following fortnight’s south wind compressed the sea-ice north again. I cringed, for I knew what was coming. It is why I lurk and never comment on such sites. The innocent fellow got pummeled as a “denier”. But all he had done was see the Now.
I prefer the community of gardeners, for you are not accused of being a “denier” nearly so much. True, you can run into politics if you praise chemical fertilizer and pesticides, but largely you are among people who are desperately trying to keep their plants alive midst an onslaught of bad weather and bugs, and everyone is equal. It is so refreshing, after being called a “denier” for simply telling the truth.
The truth is that there is a slight chill in the air. It appears in the temperatures at the Pole, which, after the last spike of warm Atlantic air surged up that way last winter, have spent more time below normal than I remember ever seeing.
I don’t claim to know what this means. I just collect trivia. And a lot of trivia is not as warm as it was. The UAH temperatures for the planet dropped nearly a tenth of a degree in May, to .17 above recent normals, from .26 above in April.
Chances are that graph will drop further in June, if certain climate models are correct. Usually, such models are inclined to exaggerate warming, but check this model’s forecast out for June:
I selfishly like how this model shows New Hampshire as slightly above normal, for that bodes well for warmth-loving crops in my garden like corn, squash, beans, tomatoes and peppers, but it unnerves me slightly to see such a swath of the tropics a little cooler than normal. This model is usually as warmth-loving as my beans. What is it seeing? Especially southeast of South America. That big blue blotch is (I assume) an obvious model mistake, but the model must have been seeing something to make such a mistake, especially as it is usually mistaken in a warmer direction.
Chill in the tropics unnerves me because things there are usually so stable. The Pole gets six-month days and six-month nights, but the tropics get twelve hour days all the time. My neck of the woods gets wild swings in temperature due to warm fronts and cold fronts, but such fronts are washed out if they can even reach the periphery of the tropics. The tropics have no wild swings in temperature, and therefore it is disconcerting when Joe Bastardi, on his blog at the Weatherbell site, puzzles over the chill forecast over Mexico, Central America, and northern South America.
Mr. Bastardi noticed a similar chill over tropical Africa quite accidentally. He was merely investigating media reports of a heatwave on the north coast of Africa. The north coast was bright red on the anomaly map, but the tropical guts of the continent was blue and even green, on the anomaly maps.
To be looking at Africa in a post about Arctic Sea-ice may seem off track, but that is how a triviaist mind works. It knows the Now knows no boundaries, and that there may be some correlation between the equator and the Pole.
In any case I wish my friend Robert Felix hadn’t died due to an adverse reaction to the covid vaccine, and his “Ice Age Now” site hadn’t been effectively “disappeared” from the web. His site was a treasure trove of information about where on the globe it was cooling, which the media does not report.
In the current case some unexpected cooling is appearing, and I sure wish we could talk about it like sane people, witnessing the Now and deciding what would be best to do. The fact the mention of any cooling has become a politically incorrect subject (which some of the cancel culture are appalled by) strikes me as absurd. It is what it is. I note it and move on.
Sea-ice debate has lost much of its appeal. The Alarmist spreaders of the false sea-ice narrative have pretty much admitted they can’t debate. How so? By silencing the voices who would debate with them.
This childish, “la-la-la I’m not listening” attitude was always there, in the debates between sea-ice Skeptics and Alarmists, especially on Alarmist platforms and within Alarmist websites, but on some non-Alarmist sites an Alarmist once could be lured into an old-fashioned, all-American debate.
I use the word “all-American” because lively debate has been one, major reason the United States rose to prominence in the way it did. Prominence was a direct consequence of Freedom of Speech. Debate is the anvil on which great ideas are hammered out. Whether the debate occurs in the Ivory Towers of academia, (through the process of truthful peer review), or in the down and dirty Corridors of Power (among pugnacious politicians), or even in a fair marketplace where shoppers can prefer a small company’s product over a large company’s, the clash of debate is a good thing, as long as both sides honor and respect each other.
“Honor and respect” suggests both sides have allegiance to a common ideal. In England the ideal was symbolized by the king, and those who opposed the party which held power were referred to as, “the loyal opposition”, because they remained loyal to the king, (even while not exactly loyal to those in power.)
In my America we replaced loyalty to a mortal king with loyalty to immortal God, or at least to that which our “Creator” had “endowed” to us as “certain inalienable Rights” (with “Rights” capitalized). This loyalty to a higher ideal infers respect towards those with whom you debate. You allow them Freedom of Speech as they allow you the same.
Unfortunately, at first in the obscure world of Arctic Sea-ice, and later spreading like cancer throughout American society, I’ve seen some felt they didn’t need to respect the Freedom of Speech which allows healthy debate.
I think this occurred, in the world of sea-ice, because Alarmists lost the debate about sea-ice with Skeptics. This did not occur because the Skeptics persuaded the Alarmists. (Even when Skeptics won specific arguments, Alarmists refused to concede.) What really defeated Alarmists was the sea-ice itself, which obstinately refused to behave in the manner Alarmists foretold, and instead made them look like flaming morons.
You think I exaggerate? Please consider how foolish the Alarmists must now feel, after having bought into the idea that the North Pole would be ice-free by the summer of 2008.
Or by 2010:
It becomes obvious, after nearly two decades of failed forecasts, that the Alarmists are full of -bleep-. This year is no different. The extent of sea-ice, though low, is not as low as other recent years, and shows no signs of vanishing completely.
In a saner world Alarmists would admit their forecasts were wrong. We all are humbled in such a manner as we bungle through life. We all make mistakes, and hopefully learn from our mistakes. (The world’s best weathermen became the best from being mistaken, to some degree, every day for decades. Weather forecasting defies perfection.)
However, if you refuse to be humbled, you do not admit your forecasts are wrong. Instead, you hide the evidence you were in error, and that sometimes includes attempting to hide, erace or “disappear” the very people who, often very gently and kindly, attempted to point out that you were mistaken. You hide them by censoring them. You ban them. You muffle their voices, deny their funding, isolate and marginalize them. Once the informed are “disappeared” you attempt to make the uninformed continue to believe your “side of the argument”, (which isn’t reality), is reality.
Sorry, but reality is reality. Truth remains true even if not a single mortal has the guts to say so. Sea-ice does not obey politicians, but the Almighty. And it just, plain ain’t melting away. And eventually even the uninformed notice.
Outside of the world of sea-ice the uninformed are noticing other narratives are failing to be confirmed, especially regarding the coronavirus, and this is making the censorship of skeptical voices increasingly look foolish. Polls have shown an alarming lack of trust, on the part of the general public, towards what the news reports. In some circles it has even reached a point where whatever is reported on the news is instantly regarded as being some form of disinformation, and the opposite is taken to be the actual fact.
This is of course very frustrating, to the honest, who like to be objectively informed. Some of us like to bring actual facts to the table and to share them with others who bring other actual facts showing other things, and then to attempt to make heads or tails of any variance that becomes apparent. There is much about the expansion and contraction of sea-ice which is worthy of wonder, and deserves further research, but censorship prevents it.
Currently there is a narrative being bleated which perpetuates the tired, dogeared fear that the sea-ice is going to melt away this summer, (with dreadful, doom-and-gloom consequences), despite decades of evidence to the contrary. This blather is allowed and even encouraged on certain platforms, while even attempting to counter such blather, (blather which at this point has so lost scientific credibility that it has gained the status of being pure propaganda,) will get you promptly censored or at least shadow-banned from those same social platforms.
In like manner, regarding the coronavirus, it was scientifically known right from the start that masks would do little to halt the spread. Anthony Fauci himself quoted the peer-reviewed papers which established this truth. But somehow a political narrative made masks far more advisable than they ever actually, scientifically were, and Anthony Fauci flip-flopped to support this political narrative, and anyone who stated masks were basically useless was banned from social media. As with sea-ice, even the uninformed eventually became leery of the “official” line, but the “official” line remained the accepted propaganda.
All of this nonsense has made a mess of the natural process enacted by healthy debate. We should be able to talk to each other about what we have observed in a manner which combines our observations into a sum far greater than our individual efforts. Indeed, that is what Freedom of Speech is all about. Censorship denies us the Liberty of speaking our minds, substituting the slavery of propaganda.
What foments the nonsense? I suppose it is that when we “speak our minds” we have minds which are imperfect, and which to some degree are selfish. And it is the nature of selfishness to want its own way, even at the expense of others. In other words, our minds do not merely contain the altruistic concept of Freedom of Speech, but also a less patient side which just wants to tell others to “shut the f— up”.
There are those who believe that the “shut-the f— up” impatience is good governance. It is foundational to the ideas behind any dictatorship. It sees opposition as a wrench-in-the-works of progress. Dictators are certain that the way to progress is to remove the wrench. And so it is that dictators tend to remove even their closest comrades from the picture.
While such an approach may lead to great power, it tends to leave one very alone and without advisors, and a lack of advisors is bound to leave one ill-advised.
The United States embarked on a different policy, which accepted differing opinions, and allowed people to be a wrench-in-the-works. (This is drifting far from the topic of sea-ice), but it is interesting to go back to the early days of the United States, when the idea of Free Speech was still in its infancy. People were aware how novel the idea of Free Speech was, and relished it, and even small towns had gatherings where people vented their views, and eventually this became the local event called a “Lyceum”. (Abraham Lincoln’s first public speech was at a Lyceum in 1838.)
Lyceums were the internet of those pre-electricity times, and some individuals made a good living just traveling town to town and speaking. Of course, certain subjects were taboo, and even back then there were some who wished to censor certain speakers, but they lacked the ability of modern censorship. If banned, even outlandish speakers (or snake oil salesmen) could just move on to the next town. For the most part the public displayed a thirst to hear new ideas of all sorts, and illiteracy greatly declined. Back then I might have traveled from town to town, speaking all I know about sea-ice, without fear of being “shadow-banned”, (IE: seeing all my writing, even my posts which have nothing to do with sea-ice, [such as my most-popular “Why We Don’t Domesticate Deer”] sink from view on search engines.) Lyceums occurred during an age which was innocent, in some ways, though back then Americans were also well aware the idea of Free Speech tread upon new and dangerous ground, full of patches of thin ice and slippery-slope pitfalls.
The danger became almost immediately apparent when France attempted to copy us, replacing its King with a republic, and saw things spiral into The Terror. Their guillotine made it apparent American Liberty and Freedom required guidance. What had lead France astray?
This brings me back to the selfishness I spoke of earlier; a selfishness we all own. A guillotine is just a way of saying “shut the f— up.” Even in our homes, any time we are tempted to say that, whether it be to a parent, a spouse, or a child, we’re in a sense anti-American, for we’re denying Free Speech.
Considering I myself have been told to “shut the f—up” for stating obvious truths about sea-ice, I hope you will forgive me if my interest strays, (away from the sea-ice maximum), to the despotic maximum we are now experiencing. I will return to the actual subject of sea-ice before the end of this post, but I digress into the subject of Free Speech because I am confronted by it’s destruction. We are all confronted by it. Cancel Culture is in-your-face censorship, basically saying “shut the f— up” to us all, and we need to deal with it.
At this point it is interesting and perhaps instructive to look back to at the lyceums at the beginnings of the United States, and see what was the motivation behind many of the ideas.
After much thought I decided the motivation boiled down to putting food on the table. It may sound a bit lowering to state so much depends on a man’s stomach, but the gut is a great motivator of both hard work and revolution, and thrones become hot seats when the commoners go hungry. Therefore, it follows that much that Free Speech debates about, concerning the high-sounding word “economy”, involves how a society keeps its people fed. The basis of all high principles and lofty ideals is basically dirt, and also the brine fish are netted from. This low-seeming fact is an inescapable truth people in Ivory Towers can become blind to. In a computer age a majority of society can live in Ivory Towers, seemingly divorced from dirt and salty spray, but in truth still trapped by the simple realities of Earth.
When I state putting-food-on-the-table is man’s motivation, it sounds as if man would be easy to manipulate, like a donkey tricked into plodding forward by dangling an apple on a string just in front of its nose. In actual fact putting-food-on-the-table has always involved a thing called “risk”. The risk might be a swarm of grasshoppers eating your entire garden in a couple of hours, or a storm sinking your fishing boat, or, (if you were a caveman), the woolly mammoth you just hurled your spear into turning around and stamping you flat.
Once you add “risk” into the equation you create a sort of schizophrenia. How so? Because putting-food-on-the-table is “security”, and “risk” is the opposite of “security”. This creates a tension between two sides, and a reason to debate. One needs to weigh the “risk” involved in achieving “security.” Is the safety worth the danger? Is the danger worth the safety?
In the eyes of academics in Ivory Towers, the people who created the United States were very unsafe people. Academics have tenure and can’t be fired even if they are obnoxious, possess plump pensions, and have health insurance which allows them to be sicker than dogs and never lose a cent. They are exceedingly safe, and therefore must be forgiven if they cannot comprehend the unsafe people who created America, people who hoed their corn with a flintlock nearby in case war whoops sang from the woods, or sailed ships without engines or GPS’s through dangerous seas to net or long-line codfish.
Going to sea was, with 20-20 hindsight, a high-risk activity, considering the nature of the flimsy ships, but involved a thing called “trade”. Trade could put food on the table without one needing to grow food or net food. Therefore, one might, from an Ivory Tower, think man had escaped the power of the stomach, but it is interesting to note the trade-items most desired by Native Americans were copper cooking pots, (preferable to birch-bark stewpots and more durable than pottery), for cooking, and iron axes for cutting the wood people used to fuel cooking fires with. The gut still ruled.
So important did “trade” become that three of the ten largest cities in the future United States were crammed together on the coast of Massachusetts: Boston, Gloucester, and Newburyport. Their affair with the ocean involved a great deal of “risk”, and many died at sea, but the gamble was obviously worth it to those who survived, which caused those three cities to prosper and be among the largest. New Englanders become skilled traders, and Cod was king, and a wooden codfish was hung as a sort of false god in the city hall of Boston.
Meanwhile, in the South, Cotton became king. This involved the small farms moving from hiring farmhands to buying farmhands from Africa. This involved all sorts of risks, but they seemed worthwhile, even before the cotton gin was invented in 1797 and made cotton so profitable other crops were abandoned.
Thirdly, to the west, were lands the indigenous population seemed to use unwisely. Where they used a thousand acres in a manner which could feed few, settlers could use the same thousand acres in a manner that would feed many. The settlers therefore could outnumber the original inhabitants, and overran them, resulting in wars, which the indigenous and outnumbered natives lost. However, risks remained. Out of every ten farms started by homesteaders, five failed, resulting in bankruptcy for people who had gambled all, and lost all. Risk.
All three developments, North, South and West, involved problematic situations, with inherent frailties. Debate was needed. But in those days not that much breathing space was allowed for American people to discuss the spirituality of their behavior in a leisurely manner. Fights were breaking out on all sides, involving Indians to the west and Europeans to the east, and Barbary Pirates. Therefore, the three regional developments accepted risks and developed responses without much thought beyond survival, as the United States staggered through a precarious period when even the White House was burned, and the United States faced, with a Navy of only six big ships, a British Empire with six hundred.
Those odds have always astounded me. How was it the United States wasn’t crushed? The odds were a hundred to one.
The answer seems to have been that the ordinary risk-taking nature of American seaports produced sleek, swift merchant ships which, with a few added cannon, became “privateers”. Privateers are basically pirates with a license for piracy given by a government. American privateers gave the six-hundred-ship British navy fits. In my view privateers saved the United States from being reabsorbed, as a mere formerly-rebellious colony, back into the British empire.
Not that piracy is spiritual, or anything a society ought to encourage. But in a warring world full of risk, it was a necessary evil. And one redeeming element of America’s piracy is that its pirates desisted from piracy the moment the war ended. (The same cannot be said of other privateers in other places, for when their governments revoked their licenses to steal, they were too addicted to theft to stop.) (See John Ward, [who inspired the Disney pirate “Jack Swallow” in “Pirates of the Carribean”].)
As a child of the North, I was brought up to understand the North had little to gain from the War of 1812 and was reluctant to face the ruination of its trade. The main gripe of the North was that its sailors were impressed by the English navy to crew its six hundred ships to fight Napoleon, but Napolean had done the same thing to crew his French ships, and war with France had been avoided by Jefferson. Negotiation was preferable with the French, (especially when the Louisiana Purchase was thrown into the bargain,) and therefore it seemed negotiation should be preferable with the British. It was the South and West that blustered most loudly against the British and dragged the nation into a war that ruined the economy of the North. By 1814 there was even talk of the North quitting the United States, but in the end the North remained loyal to the Union and fought the British to a draw at sea. The British blockades were eluded by swift American privateers who brought home loot seized from British ships bound for Canada, (and often the ships themselves,) and these swashbuckling privateers even made it unsafe for traders to sail from port to port on the coast of England. At that point sane economic policy in England made it seem wiser to avoid risk and to call the stupid war off. The war was, if not won, most definitely not lost, and the United States had defended its right to exist among nations, when the peace treaty was signed.
News traveled slowly, and it was after peace had been officially declared (but not ratified) that the South and West fought a battle which may have had no significance in terms of written treaties, but had huge significance in gray areas outside of treaties.
Because Napolean had been defeated, the treaties he had made while in power were to some degree vetoed, and this included the Lousiana Purchase. Napolean had won this vast area from Spain and then sold it to the United States. There was some thought among thinkers in Ivory Towers that this land should be returned to Spain. Of course, such thinking was countered by realities on the ground, and the reality was that the United States occupied New Orleans, but England had sent 8000 of its best soldiers to retake it. An English occupation would basically create a situation where it would be hard for the United States to prove its claim that it “owned” the Louisiana Purchase. New Orleans itself was in a panic, for the soldiers advancing on their city were the same men who had defeated Napolean, and the city only had roughly 1000 official soldiers to defend it, and these soldiers knew little of fighting as Europeans fought.
It turned out to be a good thing they didn’t fight as Europeans fought, though it made a mess of the calculations made in Ivory Towers.
What happened was a thing called a “militia” appeared, coming down the Mississippi by the thousands, from as far away as Kentucky. Also nearly 500 freed slaves, as well as fierce warriors from Native American tribes, swelled the ranks. There were even some Cajun-French pirates from the delta rushing in. Soon the English were facing a substantial army, led by a very hard-nosed commander, Andrew Jackson. The British were demoralized by the fierceness of the resistance, as they had been led to believe the attack would be a cakewalk.
It might have actually been a cakewalk, as the British came precariously close to penetrating the American lines in the skirmishes leading up to the battle, but they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by safely retreating from those skirmishes. Then, in the actual battle, the British suffered a terrible trouncing. Facts and figures vary, but British casualties were around two thousand, while the Americans lost nineteen dead.
This seems so much like American propaganda that even as a schoolboy I scratched my head and wondered if it was true. Such staggered odds demanded an explanation. The explanation is that the European battlefield tactics were basically neutered by the American defenses.
The Europeans relied on a barrage of bullets delivered by Brown Bess muskets, which was followed, if necessary, by a charge with fixed bayonets, but the Americans had erected breastworks, in some places made of bales of cotton, behind a canal they had deepened, and this kept the American’s safe from both a barrage of bullets and a bayonet charge. In actual fact the British milled about awaiting their lousy logistics to catch up to the troops with ladders to cross the canals with, as the American artillery lobbed grapeshot into their ranks. (Grapeshot was horrible stuff, because it threw shrapnel, including lengths of chain, when it landed and exploded.) The British were suffering terribly even before the battle officially began. Then, when they finally drew close enough to the Americans to actually shoot at them, the Americans, who had been waiting, got their barrage off first, and it was far more effective than Napolean ever managed against the same troops.
Why? This is actually a footnote, for only around five minutes of the actual battle involved soldiers actually shooting at each other, but a British sergeant noted that an amazing number of his men fell with bullet holes in the center of their foreheads. Americans did not merely shoot “towards” the foe, in the European manner. Americans actually aimed their guns, because the American militia included marksmen from the frontier who had to hit a squirrel, if they shot at it. This was no big deal in the American west, but to the British sergeant it was astounding to see a single barrage mow down so many of his men.
In any case, in barely more than a half hour the history of North America was utterly changed, for the English understood winning New Orleans was not a cakewalk. They headed back to their ships and sailed off to safer ports in the Caribbean. This meant the Western border of the United States did not halt at the Mississippi, and that the Sioux were not ruled by England or Spain. The Louisiana Purchase, for better or worse, was America’s problem.
What were the problems? The problems were, if you are sitting in an Ivory Tower as safe as can be, fairly obvious: IE: If you truly believe all men are created equal, you should not buy farmhands from Africa as the South did, nor should you believe you have more right to lands than Indians do, as the West did. However, if you live in an Ivory Tower, and believe all men are created equal, you should believe all men deserve Ivory Towers. All men deserve tenure, even if their ideas are stupid. Fishermen deserve codfish, even if they sail smack dab into a reef. Farmers deserve bountiful crops even if they sow in September. Right? No, wrong, and in the cutthroat reality of the time people did not live in an Ivory Tower. They lived a tough reality where existence, even the existence of the United States itself, was day to day.
Just consider this factoid: At that time a man could work all day and be paid ten cents. At the same time a strong, young African slave cost $2000.00. Therefore, if you were an employer who needed some strong man to do a risky job, (for example, dig a New Orleans canal where the mucky walls might collapse and drown the diggers in ooze), who would you rather risk? Your slave who cost $2000.00? Or some immigrant who cost ten cents? Obviously, you would not expose your slave to such risks, but would expose the immigrant. Take this one step further and you can argue the slave-holder-south treated enslaved-workers better than the anti-slavery-north treated its freedmen. But that assumes Freedom of Speech allows such topics to be discussed. During the desperation of those times there was little time to sit in Ivory Towers and hold such discussions.
Yet I believe there was some spiritual ideal whispering in the ears of Americans at that time, despite all the chaos people were amidst. Not that they could not be savage in battle, but within the risk-taking they took, they risked being idealistic. This idealism’s hard to describe, but it is very different from what is described by Critical Race Theory, which denies the idealism.
It is quite easy to sit in an Ivory Tower, taking no risks, and sneer at the risk-taking of others. But those who stay safe on shore eating sardines should not sneer at those at sea netting the herring. Those who currently desire seafront cottages cannot imagine a world where entire coastal communities were abandoned, because Barbary Pirates might swoop in to grab people to sell to the Ottoman Empire as slaves. Estimates of how many Europeans were enslaved by the Barbary Pirates can surpass a million, and this factoid is a handy tool when debating Critical Race Theory. Just mention that in the year 1619 there were far more white people enslaved in Africa than there were Africans enslaved in Europe. But that is assuming people who dislike debate would dare debate.
Don’t get me wrong. I believe all men are created equal and am dead set against slavery of any and all sorts. I have a high (and some would say naive) idealism which envisions bosses caring for employees who care for bosses. But I have worked for some tough bosses and have a hard-nosed acceptance of how brutal making a dollar can be. There is a tension between reality and idealism verging upon hypocrisy, involving the clash between security and risk. This friction is necessary for traction necessary for progress, but it needs to be exposed and talked about, It should be discussed and debated. There needs to be lyceums, and censorship is a bad thing.
One theme which appears in truthful debate is that to make an endeavor successful one wants to pay as little as possible while charging as much as the market will bear. A boss would actually prefer having devotees to having employees, because devotees are cheaper. A boss would also like to have customers dependent on him, and have competition banned, (and, if at all possible, to have his product be addictive). However, such selfishness would likely be bad for society as a whole. How so? Well, an honest debate would bring up historical examples of times bosses got what they wanted, and what became of the societies they ruled. Some came to a bad end. The Terror in France was an example much discussed in the lyceums during the childhood of my nation. But there were other dangers to avoid, amidst all the risk-taking.
Critical Race Theory seems to be based on the idea that people of that time sat around in Ivory Towers like modern Critical Race professors do, planning how to be exploitive. In actual fact society was reeling from calamity to calamity, fighting for its very existence, and what is amazing is not that they were in some ways savage, but that they so often were noble savages. You may say there was merely honor among thieves, but there was definite decency even among the pirates. In fact, “honor” was a very big word back then, even among slaveholders, even among factory owners who employed little children, even among those who stole Indian’s land, and, if you offended a gentleman, you might be challenged to a duel. (I suppose a pistol was the Cancel Culture of that time.) The point that I am driving is that despite all the brutality of that time, idealism persisted. Likely it was what saved my homeland from extinction when it was young, though Karma could be a bitch: (The very people who built mansions on the land grabbed from Cherokee in 1835 saw Sherman’s troops burn down those mansions, only thirty years later…….so there is no need for restitution now, when Karma has already been so vicious.)
Idealism seemed to manifest, even as the burned White House smoldered, with the appearance of three gifted individuals who personified the South, the North and the West, and who for four decades glorified Congress with the brilliance of Free Speech. They represented very different parts of the growing nation, and agreed about very little, except the value of Free Speech (and perhaps, for a time, about the fact President Andrew Jackson needed to be restrained.)
(Judging from their faces, I wouldn’t pick a fight with them, even regarding something as nonconsequential as Arctic Sea Ice.)
These three men, Calhoun, Webster and Clay, began representing the South, North, and Frontier at a time that the experiment called the United States was less than forty years old. The concept of Freedom of Speech and “lyceums” achieved a high point as they debated, usually disagreeing. Hushed crowds swarmed the galleries of Congress just to listen to them. They debated from the War of 1812 to their final compromise in 1850, which they hoped would prevent the nation from fracturing into Civil War. If truth be known, they prevented the Civil War, but only for a decade, by which point they were long gone, as all three perished by the end of 1852, before that national catastrophe occurred.
Their departure left a void none stepped forward to fill. People seemingly became afraid. The nation walked on eggs, and leaders adopted a go-along-to-get-along policy of refusing to deal with the issues, (Northern, Western and Southern), that loomed, blacker and taller, like approaching thunder. America elected weak, go-along-to-get-along presidents who quailed from leading, from grabbing the bull by the horns, preferring men who petted the hamster of the status quo. As Freedom of Speech withered due to gutless politicians, censorship entered government, and it was actually forbidden at that time to bring up the subject of slavery (or its abolition) in the halls of congress, because it was too contentious. They feared they might start a war. They may have caused it.
How so? Because, as a child of New England, I know how badly the war of 1812 hurt my ancestors, and how close the North came to seceding from the union at that time. However Freedom of Speech and fiece debate (and God’s grace) preserved the union in 1815, and the North did not have to fight the South at that time. In like manner, if people had the balls to actually talk, and penetrate the clouds of selfishness to the illuminated facts of how-to-treat-employees, a series of step-by-step compromises might have been arrived at between the Missouri Compromise and the national meltdown in 1860. (I confess my idealism, but nearly anything seems better than the fate the nation actually chose.)
It is interesting to study this period of history because we are in strangely similar shoes, with our nation again heading towards an apparent catastrophe, and people again rendered mute by Cancel Culture and by the sheer ugliness of the discussions which do occur, when debate is allowed.
One thing apparent, looking back to the past catastrophe, is that people were given time to face their problems, between the Missouri Compromise of 1850 and the outbreak of war in 1860, but they frittered away that time in a strange state of paralysis wherein no one wanted to rock the boat. They were years “eaten by locusts.” People clung to the security of the status quo even as the risks involved ripened like an abscess swelling with pus. Each area, the North, the South, and the Frontier, was on some level aware their successes involved exploitations which eventually would have to be paid for, through some sort of reform, but… But reform is like a New Year’s Resolution, easy to speak of in an Ivory Tower, but hard to bring into the harsh daylight of January Second. It was easy for the North to say the South should renounce slavery, and it was easy for the South to say the North should renounce child labor and sweatshops, and it was easy for people with property to say homeless settlers shouldn’t settle. Morality is easy from afar.
However, when some outsider came in and told people to give up their way of making a good living, people tended to become as angry as the original natives were, when settlers came in and told them to give up their way of making a good living. It was not enough to merely have a vote, for the settlers outnumbered natives and could outvote the natives, and the Northerners could outnumber and could outvote the Southerners.
Had the Northerners been outvoted, (perhaps with an allied combination of Southerners, Settlers and Native Tribes), and had outsiders told the Northern factories they had to shut down because child labor and sweat shops were immoral, it would have been the Northern states which would have talked about “nullification”.
“Nullification” was the idea that no outsider (IE: The Federal Government) should be able to cancel the “States Rights” of local people. However, because the Northern states were not the minority and could outvote the south, it was the South that brought up the idea of “nullification”, which, in a sense, every single Native American tribe agreed with. Indeed, the issues involved in “nullification” were deeply discussed and debated while Calhoun, Webster, and Clay were alive. Upon their demise, a silence descended, and the abscess swelled until it erupted as war.
My homeland’s first Civil War was terrible. More Americans died in it than in all other wars the United States has been involved in combined. 620,000 soldiers died in a nation with a population of 31 million. In modern terms, it would be as if we had a war where seven million men died. (And, because modern war involves women and children, the numbers would be far higher.)
No American escaped unscathed. A few profiteered, but it was at a terrible cost. Intellectuals in Ivory Towers can speak of the high-sounding “principles” involved, (such as the preservation of a union and of liberty for all), but that involves a complete blindness to the actual slaughter, mayhem and heartache of war. Every small town in New England, far from the battlefields, contains a monument to young men who never “came marching home again”, and who are buried far away. And why? Because Freedom of Speech failed, and “Shut the f— up” won.
Now we are facing a second catastrophe, involving subjects such as how we should heat our homes, whether fossil fuels are bad, whether we should eat meat or not, whether we should have old fashioned families and marriages or be freed from such disciplines, and similar debates about similar constraints, and people have no idea of the danger they face when they abandon civil procedure and resort to “shut the f— up”.
Particularly repulsive is the strategy of simply talking-over the person you are debating with, which seems to inevitably force the person being talked-over to reply in kind, and to talk-over the talk-overer. (sic). I never thought I’d see the day when an interview of a point-counterpoint nature would devolve into two people simultaneously talking as loudly and as rapidly as possible, yet now it has become painfully common on news broadcasts. It solves nothing.
Such behavior is not civil. It is incivility. It is an abandonment of the idea we all are created equal, because it dismisses the idea the opinions of others have value.
(It is absurd to make this point, but I’ll make it because some novice might need it.) The opinions of others have value because others are positioned differently, and they have views we are not privy to. For example, if the lights went out in a dark cave, and we had to find our way out, and only one person was positioned where he could see a glimmer of daylight in the distance, that lone person would be the minority whom the majority should heed. Conclusion? Love your neighbor. Listen to the minority.
Unfortunately, dictators always assume that they themselves are that one person in the cave who sees the daylight no other can see, and that this justifies their ignoring the views of everyone else. This may indeed be true, for a short while in a cave, but do we want to live forever in a cave? Eventually we emerge into daylight, and at that point the dictator should be humble and revalue the views of others.
But what is the solution?
The solution, as always, is Truth, and the golden Liberty to seek Truth with Free Speech. The concept of propaganda needs to be repudiated in all its guises. The idea that any good can come from intentional falsehood needs to be soundly rebuked. Those who lie for a living need to be made ashamed. “Fake News” must be abolished, not by censorship, but by a rising-up of masses who are utterly sick of it.
On our smallest coin it states, “In God We Trust.” And what is God, but Truth? Truth should be what we honor, even to a degree where dishonest advertisements are altered towards honesty, and even to a degree where politicians avoid hyperbole. This should be done because we are witnessing the alternative, and it is utterly repulsive.
Why is it repulsive? Because it is in some ways itching to start a Second Civil War. The erection of razor wire around the Capital shows how certain some individuals were that Second Civil War was upon us. The exaggeration which described an extremely peaceful post-election protest as an “insurrection” once again shows that some feel so guilty that they expect the backlash of war. Much to their amazement, (and I admit also my own), the public refused and refuses to act as the paranoid expect. Apparently, the public prefers peace to a Second Civil War.
I find this very inspiring and beautiful. It seems to indicate the uneducated public, which largely knows little of the history I’ve taken pains to share with you (in a Reader’s Digest way), nor which cares a whit about sea-ice (which I’ve taken pains to describe in past posts), has an ability, free of all intellectual garbage, to recognize crap is crap, and to prefer Truth.
I sometimes think there are other, contrary people who do desire the death of millions in a Second Civil War, because they live in an Ivory Tower so detached from reality that they can believe the death of billions would be a good thing, as they believe the current population of earth is too many. What gives them such authority I cannot say.
Obviously, they don’t believe, as I believe, “the more the merrier.” They see no value in others. They think countless throbbing hearts are just an excess the world would be better off without. They speak of risk with an icy detachment born of their Ivory Tower’s divorce from what risk actually entails, and they like to smugly say things such as, “You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.”
Actually, that saying is French and had to do with making pancakes, not revolutions. It apparently first entered the English language (in its revolutionary sense) via François de Charette in 1786, and he was a Royalist talking back to revolutionaries when the French revolution was merely murmurs in the wings, as France faced financial ruin and its king considered calling an Estates General. (1788) When Charette spoke of “breaking a few eggs” he did not dream of what The Terror unleashed. (1793)
People in Ivory Towers always seem to take being respected for granted. They are aghast when one of the first things dismantled by revolution is Ivory Towers. How surprised the leftist college professors of China were when Mao sent the Red Guard marching into their classrooms, and nearly every teacher China had was sent off to be “reeducated” in the rice paddies. Likewise, the intellectuals of Cambodia were shocked when Pol Pot decreed literacy was “counterrevolutionary”, and consequently having a writer’s callus on your middle finger became a crime that carried a death sentence. But, until the storm breaks upon them, inhabitants of Ivory Towers feel wonderfully immune, and think, “It can’t happen here.”
There is something downright flippant about the heartlessness of people who deem the death of millions “a statistic”. Considering how horrible such concepts are, you might expect an equal and opposite backlash. Some Elitists in Washington DC apparently did, erecting the aforementioned razor wire after a questionable election. They apparently expected a Second Civil War, and perhaps even the death of millions. But the American public refused to be so stupid.
How did the American public remain calm and sane? I don’t know. They just did it. Whatever the opposite of stupid is, that was what they were, and I think their sanity has made a mess of the plans of some who thought the public was boorish and predictable. All attempts to control the public like sheep went astray, because people are not sheep. Powerful people discovered they are not the only power, and that apparently some other Power is in control.
What Power might this be? Truth. It stands on Its own, and no amount of propaganda can alter It. The powerful fear It, and can attempt to quell It with things such as a “Disinformation Governance Board”, but such efforts are like shouting at the wind. Truth cannot help but be true, and facing this almighty Truth is part of the “risk” we need to face if we are to achieve “security.”
And with that I return with a thump to the truth about sea-ice.
I’ll begin by discussing the increase in sea-ice volume, which has been impressive. Here is a chart from my Post of sixteen months ago, showing that at the start of 2021 the sea-ice volume was at the very bottom of recent years, at roughly 17,000 cubic kilometers on January 1.
Now compare that with the same chart from this year, which shows that….hey! Wait a cotton-picking minute! What did they do to the 2021 figures? Rather than showing 2021 began with a volume of 17 cubic kilometers they are now showing it as 14.8! (Turquoise line.)
Now how do you suppose they misplaced 2.2 thousand square kilometers of sea-ice like that? Even a single square kilometer is no small thing, and nothing you’d ever be likely to see slip away behind your living room couch cushions. Yet the Danish meteorological service managed to lose 2,200 of them? Amazing.
The “adjustment” obviously came after the fact, because, if the volume had been reported at 14.8 thousand km3 in January of 2021, you can bet there would have been a wild uproar among Alarmists, as it would have verified their dire predictions that sea-ice was dwindling away. As it was, even at 17.0 thousand km3 the total was close enough to “lowest ever” to generate some interest among Alarmists, but, as the year progressed, interest faded, for the 2021 volume climbed with remarkable rapidity, rising through the ranks until it was above all recent years and even approaching the gray line which represents the mean, and then, just before that 2021 volume became “above normal” for the first time in a long time, the “adjustment” was mysteriously made, and 2.2 thousand km3 of sea-ice mysteriously vanished, not merely at that time (which might have produced a suspicious down-jag on the graph) but including the past as well.
I have never heard any explanation of how this “adjustment” came to pass. Perhaps there is an explanation based on some error made in the observations, starting back in 2019. But the real explanation may sadly be that having sea-ice be “above normal” simply didn’t fit the political narrative. Then maybe, just maybe, the scientists at DMI faced an angry bureaucrat who stormed in and demanded they “fix” their graph. I know such a response sounds absurd (to some), but such things can happen when socialism goes awry.
When I was a boy, my father was a surgeon at the Massachusetts General Hospital, which at that time led the world in terms of many medical advancements. The hospital freely shared its advancements with doctors from other lands, even (because science was supposedly above politics) with our political foes behind the Iron Curtain. Due to this generous policy a doctor from communist Poland visited at some point, and one evening he came to our house in the suburbs for dinner. After dinner he sipped an Old Fashioned or three with my father in our comfortable Library. He mentioned he found America’s generosity and openness remarkable, and said he was not able to be so open in Poland.
Because my Dad had a insatiable curiosity, which at times approached rudeness, and because the Polish doctor had been plied with liquor, the Polish doctor eventually did open up and did confess what it was like to be a scientist in a nation where the bureaucrats held the power in hospitals.
He said the bureaucrats would bully and bluster about the most absurd and unscientific things, and he had to simply nod and smile. For example, he should not call a red corpuscle “diseased” because that made red, the color of communism, look bad, and therefore he must change the wording of his report and state the red corpuscle was exposed to “counterrevolutionary factors”. And that was on the better days, when the bureaucrats were at least making a pathetic attempt to look like reason prompted them; on the worst days they were just throwing their weight around.
At times the poor Polish doctor found it very hard to smile and nod. He felt like either bursting into crazed laughter, or else strangling the bureaucrat on the spot, but, for his wife and children’s sake, and for the preservation of his job and life, he smiled and nodded, and looked up towards a cleft in the molding which ran about the edge of the ceiling in his office. Unbeknownst to the bureaucrat, the doctor had placed a tiny crucifix up there, and it calmed him to think Christ was looking down at him, and also down at the bureaucrat, as he suffered.
As he heard this tale my Dad looked baffled. It made no sense to him. How could people who knew nothing about medicine walk into hospitals and boss doctors around? The Polish doctor looked at him and smiled a gentle smile, and simply said that’s how it was in Poland: The communists ruled, and you had better obey, or else.
It sad to think of the same dynamic appearing in the Danish Meteorological Institute, and of science being vetoed by politics. Science always gets the short end of the stick, in such situations. In fact, science can even cease to be science, as was the case in Russia with Lysenko.
Of course, just because you disappear 2,200 km3 of sea-ice on a graph, it doesn’t disappear in reality, in the Arctic Ocean. Or…well…perhaps a few square inches are melted by the heated balderdash of political hot air…but satellite views didn’t show the abrupt disappearance of 2,200 km3. Nor did the NRL (Naval Research Lab) thickness map. There did seem to be a thinning of sea-ice in the modeled DMI map, on the Russian side of the Pole, which would make sense, for if your model disappears so much ice the tweaking of data should also appear in the model’s thickness maps. However, the steady growth of the sea-ice’s volume couldn’t be entirely denied, and continued, and a comparison with the 2021 line with the 2022 line shows a current increase of what appears to be more than the 2,200 km3 that was subtracted, (which suggests the bureaucrats might have to again beat down the data).
This divergence between what it politically correct and what is scientifically correct is bound to lead to embarrassments. Increased volume of sea-ice may not be politically correct, but, should the Danish fishing fleet run into some of that thicker sea-ice, survival is at stake, and reality throws political correctness right out the window. Should calamity ensue, then there is a mad scramble among bureaucrats to find a scapegoat, and sadly they all too often do not face the Truth and blame themselves, but rather find some poor professor or scientist to serve as their scapegoat.
This only makes the divergence worse, and the calamities worse, until it becomes impossible to avoid the facts. (For example, though Lysenko’s bizarre genetics were politically correct, and pleased Stalin, Russia’s wheat crops suffered, and people went hungry. This was embarrassing because the United States held genetic theories which were shamefully incorrect, in Russia’s view, but America produced bumper crops. Eventually pragmatic bureaucrats in Russia decided they’d like to have bumper crops too, and suddenly Lysenko slipped from favor.)
One of the oddest aspects of the divergence between political correctness and scientific correctness is how the politically correct insist they are avoiding calamity when they cause it. After all, the very label “Alarmist” indicates people are alarmed about a catastrophe they imagine they foresee and seek to avoid. However, their way of avoiding the catastrophe is to often to leap to a conclusion, and then ban all further discussion.
The sort of erroneous conclusions one can leap to can be found in Paul Ehrlich’s book “The Population Bomb”, which was a best-seller in 1970, when I was a senior in high school, and which influenced the way many of my generation thought. It contained the idea that the planet’s resources were limited, and once the world’s population passed three billion there would not be enough food (and other resources) to go around. He predicted terrible famines. He most definitely did not predict that a major problem, as the world’s population passed seven billion, would be obesity.
Ehrlich’s attitudes are basically Malthusian, and doubt the ability man has to solve problems, when man simply faces the Truth and studies Truth. In a sense it belittles Truth and mocks all who get down on their knees before Truth, seeking an answer, and indeed such pessimism is automatically a sort of Atheism even if you attend Mass. It assumes Creation is cruel, and Truth is cruel, and there are no answers. However, the Truth is benevolent and does supply humble seekers with answers, which people tend to call “ingenuity”.
For example, thousands of years ago it was seeming like the Bronze Age was going to have to end, because in order to harden copper and create bronze you needed to add tin, but the tin mines were running out of tin. According to Mathus and Ehrlich, progress had reached a high point and the only course of action was retreat. However, some scientist back then went forward, not backward, and an entirely new metallurgy, a new process of turning iron ore into iron, began, and stunned the status quo and began the Iron Age. IE: “Ingenuity” manifested.
There is an interesting incident in the Bible from around this time, where the Jews had gotten lazy and forgotten to pursue the Truth, while the Philistines, in a less devout way, had pursued the Truth. The result was that the Hebrews got their butts kicked in battle after battle. The deciding factor seemed to be that the Israelites had swords of soft metal while the Philistines fought with new-fangled iron. (I imagine it can be discouraging in a swordfight to have your foe cut your sword’s end off, as if you fought with a stalk of celery.) But what gave the Philistines this advantage? Was it not because they had pursued Truth, albeit secular and scientific Truth, with a zeal that brought them into the Iron Age whilst that lazy generation of Jews dawdled back in the Bronze Age? (Spoiler Alert: After getting their butts kicked clear up into the hills, the Jews got down on their knees and apologized to Truth for skipping church for…um…well… decades, and Truth then enabled them (in a way I can’t explain in a secular, scientific manner), to create a “thundering sound” which so demoralized the Philistines that they turned tail and ran clear back to the sea, when the Israelites came charging down from the hills.)
To me it seems history shows us adversity is not a problem which cannot be solved, and in fact Truth enables us to overcome adversity. It is therefore wrong to see adversity as an iron-clad fact which cannot be opposed. It is not wrong to see adversity, and to face adversity, nor is it wrong to be alarmed about adversity, but it is wrong to call adversity almighty.
In like manner, when Ehrlich wrote “The Population Bomb” he gloomily foresaw the world running out of farmland. He could see only famine lay ahead. He didn’t foresee the ingenuity of “Green Revolution” scientists, such as Norman Borlaug. Simply by developing a semi-dwarf, high-yield, disease-resistant variety of wheat, it is estimated Norman Borlaug saved a billion people from starvation.
It is interesting to compare the two men. In “The Population Bomb” Ehrlich proposed castrating the men of India and Pakistan, to lower populations. Meanwhile Borlaug enabled the men of India and Pakistan to double their wheat production. Basically, it is the difference between a can’t-do and a can-do attitude.
I assert Truth is a can-do reality. If you don’t repress Free Speech, and embrace civil debate, answers can always be found to impossible-seeming problems.
For example, once upon a time lamps were lit by whale oil, but the supply of whales was running low. What to do? Return to smokey, tallow candles made of lamb’s fat? Or dig wells and look for what made the dirt of Pennsylvania so oily? Or, for another example, when I was a teenager Ehrlich stated it was a scientific fact we would reach “peak oil” by 1980. What to do? Return to “sustainable” wood? (Which is what I did.) Or use ingenuity? (“Fracking” had already been invented, but few dreamed of its potential.) Lastly, as a final example, if we actually did run out of fossil fuels, technology has produced small nuclear reactors for ships, and technology could further this science and create thorium reactors so small (and incapable of meltdowns) that every town and indeed even every neighborhood might have one, which would greatly reduce the need for power lines, as well as the ugly and environmentally-damaging eyesores created by solar and wind “farms.”
After fifty years of doom and gloom it has occurred to me that nothing in Creation is truly “sustainable”, because Creation always changes; Creation is more like a kaleidoscope than like a stagnation. The very concept of “sustainability” is a mentality like treading water; it goes nowhere. “Sustainability” seeks to find a sort of equipoise which avoids the challenges of life; it quails from change and flinches from Free Speech; it clings to tenure, to the status quo of an Ivory Tower, and dislikes the pitching decks and salty spray of “risk”.
It seems to me the only truly sustainable thing seen over the past fifty years has been Ehrlich himself. On the half-century anniversary of Earth Day (Lenin’s Birthday) he still insisted, at age 87, that his forecasts were correct, (only just delayed a little-bitty bit). The Green Revolution was not sustainable, and we still are going to all starve. (And if people insisted upon being too ingenious and resourceful and refused to starve, President Biden would have to step in and legislate the starvation.) (No; that’s sarcasm; Ehrlich didn’t say that.)
Perhaps the saddest part of the divergence between political correctness and scientific correctness is the beauty which is not seen, when Truth is censored. As John Keats concluded 200 years ago:
‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.’
Keats, who himself would die at age 26, was well aware much in life is unsustainable and perishable, but while looking at an artifact two-thousand-years old, a Grecian vase created by a forgotten potter, he glimpsed something lasting. He called it Beauty and Truth.
That beauty is not merely in poetry, which some hard-nosed people call prissy, but also in the cold science of sea-ice. There is much to learn, but political correctness is so defensive, and so protective of its narrative, that anything outside of its preconceptions is seen as a wrench-in-the-works of progressive thought, an obstacle which must be removed.
Therefore, not only must be the increase in the volume of sea-ice be subtracted from volume graphs, but anything other than atmospheric CO2, which adds or subtracts from that volume of sea-ice, must also be denied attention. This includes some very cool stuff. For example, it includes amazing volcanoes two miles down on the Gakkel Ridge, on the floor of the Arctic Sea.
These volcanoes are fascinating because they are able to explosively erupt, leaving large craters, (including one of the largest super-volcano craters on earth), down so deep in the ocean that pressures are extreme. Indeed pressures are so extreme two miles down that CO2 exists in a liquid form, and the boiling point of water is increased by 350 degrees Celsius. There was some debate as to whether lava could do more than ooze from fissures, under such extreme pressure, for it seemed difficult to generate the gasses needed for explosive eruptions, but the curiosity of scientists in 1999, concerning a swarm of earthquakes in the Gakkel Ridge area, led to research which ended that particular debate around 2007.
Modern, submersible vessels were able to descend to great depth and investigate the area of 1999 earthquakes, and they discovered shards of pyroclastic deposits spread out over nearly four square miles. For an eruption to spread fragments, when the fragments must travel through dense water and not thin air, filled the scientists with awe. Various theories about the gases involved in such a blast were proposed, and one scientist (WHOI geophysicist Rob Reves-Sohn, chief scientist of the 2007 expedition) ventured, “This means that a tremendous blast of carbon dioxide was released into the water column during the explosive eruption.”
And then? And then, in my imagination, a bureaucrat came rushing into the room shaking his finger and scolding, “You are spoiling the narrative! Don’t go there!” I imagine this because, after a flurry of articles in 2008, a dead silence fell. Why? Well, I suppose it can be imagined that the volcanoes would be a sort of wrench-in-the-works, because they both created CO2 in a way that did not involve fossil fuels, but also melted sea-ice in a manner that did not involve fossil fuels. So, we were left with a nearly forgotten map of three undersea volcanoes named Odin, Thor and Loke, and a dearth of follow-up research.
The lack of follow-up was noticable to me because my curiosity had been piqued by the original event, and the flurry of debate it sponsored. For example, here is a blog-posting from 2008 where a gentleman states a volcano the size of Mount Saint Helens would only melt 300 km3 of ice, and make little difference to the big picture:
Back in those good, old days there were of course many counter arguments, and Free Speech sponsored lots of healthy debate which included observations and insights which intrigued me. I was alerted to other earthquake swarms in the area, and occasional holes that appeared in the sea-ice over Gakkel Ridge for a day or two, over the ensuing fourteen years, but there was never any further follow-up by the scientific community. Discussion only occurred in the comments-sections of websites, and the websites which encouraged such exchanges tended to suffer from shadow-banning and fade towards obscurity. However, the arctic does what the arctic will do regardless of censorship, and last summer a hole appeared over Gammel Ridge and lasted a lot longer than a few days. It lasted weeks, and didn’t move as the ice moved, but rather seemed to be bored, as if from a laser beam of heat, from somewhere beneath
This phenomenon was particularly interesting to me because it didn’t facilitate a decrease in the volume of the sea-ice, but rather seemed to be conjunct with an increase. This forced me to put my thinking-cap on.
One hypothesis I arrived at was that such an upwelling of water would completely derange the currents of that area. This is especially true when you consider it is an area where water ordinarily is cooling and sinking. Because the water sinks it must be replaced by water moving in from the side, at the surface, and one main supplier of surface water in that area is a northernmost tendril of the Gulf Stream called the WSC (West Spitsbergen Current), which flows north through the east side of Fram Strait. Interestingly, the WSC seemed to lose a lot of its impetus last spring, as the hole appeared above Gakkel Ridge. It only returned to its ordinary flow when the evidence of a warm upwelling faded away. I hypothesized the ordinary themohaline circulation had been deranged by the volcanic upwelling.
Another derangement would involve the freshwater lens, which ordinarily protects the sea-ice from below. This protection is provided because the water, though colder than the water beneath, is more buoyant, partly because fresh water is more buoyant than salt water, and also because, (if the fresh water is truly fresh and not merely brackish), it has a quality which saltwater lacks: Namely, very cold fresh water, close to freezing, adopts the ice-like quality of floating above less-cold water. These two qualities allow the sea-ice to avoid both warmth and salt which otherwise would melt it. However a plume of saltier and slightly warmer brine rising from beneath would hit the bottom of the sea-ice and flatten out like the top of a thunderhead, effective sweeping the protective freshwater-lens from a large area. And indeed, to my eyes, the sea-ice to the south and east of the Gakkel Ridge hole did seem to thin and melt away with unusual abruptness last summer.
So far my ideas seem to only decrease the volume of the sea-ice, but now comes the counter-intuitive ideas, which lead to increased volume.
The simplistic view is that there are two routes sea-ice can take. It can either stay up at the Pole by remaining in the Beaufort Gyre, or exit the Arctic by riding the Transpolar Drift down through Fram Strait.
The above mapping of currents seemed to fit the “narrative” back in 2007, (when there were actual scientists writing the narrative, and, if bureaucrats were involved, they largely stayed in the background). The Transpolar Drift flushed an extraordinary amount of sea-ice south in 2007, setting a modern-time record for low extent (though I would argue a greater flushing led to sea-ice beaching in Ireland in 1817, and whalers reporting waters were open north of Greenland). (There may not be satellite records for 1817 but there are plenty of written records.)
The Beaufort Gyre was said to hold, spiraled-in and mounded-up at its center, something like 10% of the arctic’s freshwater, injected by rivers and creating a vast Freshwater lens to protect the sea-ice. However, to perpetuate the gyre a clockwise high pressure was required above it, and some Alarmists theorized Global Warming would position a low pressure over the area, reversing the spin, and consequently allowing the Freshwater Lens to slosh outwards and perhaps even gush south into the Atlantic, creating theoretical disasters by halting the Gulf Stream, among other things. This was all very interesting stuff, in terms of Freedom of Speech and honest debate, and so everyone chimed in with what we should expect to see, to prove the theory, and what might disprove the theory.
For whatever reason, (not necessarily Global Warming) there did seem to be an increase in gales over high latitudes, and in August of 2012 a monster gale seemed to affirm many Alarmist ideas, for it so churned the sea-ice that it mixed the cold Freshwater Lens in the Beaufort Gyre with warmer and saltier water beneath, resulting in an amazing melt of the sea-ice above, and even less sea-ice in the arctic as a whole in 2012 than in 2007. A new record low extent was set.
At this point things began to go awry, in terms of the Alarmist narrative, because rather than continuing to shrink, sea-ice levels bounded back unexpectedly. Personally, I think it was because the 2012 storm not only wiped out the Beaufort Gyre Freshwater Lens, but it also wiped out the layer of warmer and saltier water under that lens. With that layer of warmer and saltier water erased, when another huge gale formed over the same spot in 2013, the sea-ice was tossed to and fro but hardly melted at all. I personally was astounded. The lack of melting was in some ways as astounding as the increased melting had been the year before.
I think it was at this point, nearly a decade ago, that I first started to see the bureaucrats get impatient with the science. There were some goodly scientists who had a certain bias towards the Alarmist beliefs who had no concept of an Alarmist agenda. They just loved the subject and were as astounded as I was by the amazing variability which Truth was showing us, and who were as eager as I was to debate what the Truth might be showing us. But these scientists became strangely absent in press releases. Increasingly the “authorities” dismissed the really cool and astounding stuff. They preferred to stick to the stuffy subject which was their narrative.
The narrative liked the simplistic Wikipedia presentation of a complex situation.
In actual fact Truth is not so simple. The Russians, (who had far more experience, when it came to the movement of sea-ice, for they had actually built floating bases on the ice for decades before the satellite era), had noticed drifts other than the Transpolar Drift. While usually their bases took the route of Nansen’s Fram, basically from the New Siberian Islands to Fram Strait, occasionally their bases would head straight for Canada, which Russia found uncomfortable and embarrassing, for reasons pertaining to the Cold War. In essence, during those unusual circumstances, the Beaufort Gyre expanded right to the New Siberian Islands, temporarily erasing the Transpolar Drift, and sucked all sea-ice towards Canada. (Here is my simplified map of such an event:)
Of course, sea-ice does not move in a straight (or curved) line like this. The above just shows the sum total of a great deal of erratically shifting sea-ice. I highly recommend the NRL 365-day-animation of sea-ice-thickness, if you want to gain a true idea of how sea-ice pulsates like an ameba, with surges like a heartbeat’s. But the sum total showed a sort of opposite to 2007. Where in 2007 a lot of sea-ice was flushed from the Arctic down into the Atlantic, in 2021 a lot of sea-ice was kept in the arctic, as it was shoved across the Pole towards a collision with sea-ice already in place towards Canada. The net result was that the sea-ice in the Central Arctic thickened and the Volume Graph showed an increase, when compared to prior years.
The question then becomes, could this shift in the movement of sea-ice have anything to do with the derangement of currents caused by the apparent eruption on the Gakkel Ridge?
I confess my bias, which thinks there is some linkage. But I also sorely miss the good old days, when I could confess my bias with people who were as interested as I was (and am), but who were biased differently. They always came armed with insights and observations which added to my knowledge, and often supplied me with links to papers and articles I’d never before read. Just as two eyes possess a depth perception which a myopic cyclops can’t even imagine, I always found the views of others deepened my understanding in a way the shallow cannot concieve.
For a final example, one beauty of those days was that the people handing out the money were apparently convinced Global Warming was established fact and that the scientists they sponsored would only verify what was a foregone conclusion. Many scientists tried very hard to please their patrons and developed a refined and, in some ways, laughable skill at making the final paragraphs of their papers make it sound like what they had discovered verified Global Warming, even when in fact their discoveries were a wrench-in-the-works.
A lot of their work was dangerous and grueling, for it involved working on shifting, grinding sea-ice in the general vicinity of 1500 pound man-eating bears. In the glaring sunlight of summer, they could suffer sunburn and frostbite on the same day, with some snow-blindness thrown in on the side. But, due to the flood of money supplied, they were able to bore holes in the ice and take measurements at various depths under the water and to travel in icebreakers to put in place entire arrays of buoys, all of which gathered wonderful data never before seen by man.
One fabulous amount of work traced the movement of Atlantic water into the Arctic Sea through Fram Strait, and followed it through various branchings, and shifts in depth, all around the Arctic Sea until it exited, on the far side of Fram Strait. This beautiful work was briefly accepted as if currents were riven on stone, but the next summer, to the dismay of some, the hard-working scientists discovered currents wander and meander. In fact maps of such currents may be much like a map of upper air jet streams: As honest and truthful as they may be on a Monday, things may be very different by Friday.
Such variances and subtleties are par for the course for an honest student of Truth, who is accustomed to facing wonder, but for a patron expecting proof of a foregone conclusion such honesty is annoying, and a good reason to invest money elsewhere. (Where there was the money for something like eight buoys-with-cameras bobbing about the Pole in 2012, now there are none.)
At this point it is helpful to look back in history (for the last time, I promice you.)
The ground-level meteorologists had to struggle even to create ground-level maps, back when they first formed into a weather bureau at the time of the Civil War. However even in the 1860’s, when only connected with telegraph, they were well aware a whole world of weather lay above them. They could see what sea-captains saw: That the high clouds moved differently from the low scud. They longed for inventions such as weather balloons, perhaps thinking they might achieve perfection in their forecasts with more data. Rather than perfection they tended to discover greater complexity, and increasing numbers of variables, which either depressed them deeply, or else filled them with wonder. Even the relatively recent adoption of Doppler Radar failed to live up to its promise, for rather than seeing thunderstorms as simple entities which it was easy to track, it reveled complex combinations of updrafts and downdrafts which could allow intense areas of storminess pop up and then swiftly vanish, making forecasting like the game of “whack-a-mole”.
In a sense sea-ice scientists area going through a similar period as upper-air meteorologists went through in the 1860’s, only they are looking down towards the depths rather than up to the firmament. Just as it must have been hard for scientists in the 1860’s to find people to fund research of the upper atmosphere, it is hard for sea-ice scientists to find people who will fund research of the deeps. For example, brilliant scientists like William Gray spent decades attempting to get the government of the United States to research thermohaline circulation, but was stonewalled by politicians like Al Gore, who deemed William Gray a wrench-in-the-works.
I think one thing that has recently made actual research look bad was the simple fact research made models look bad. After all, models are based on the hard facts produced by prior research, and when actual research amends prior research, then the models are based on bunkum. There is no evil intent in this ruination. It simply shows a weakness in the models. After all, if the models are based on Monday’s jet-stream, and are not tweaked to understand the jet-stream will be different by Friday (as atmospheric models actually are) then the model will be doomed to failure.
The fact of the matter is that the makers-of-models should welcome actual research, for it offers them an opportunity to tweak their models and make them better. Sadly, some makers-of-models failed to see things in this manner. They were as eager for funding as actual researchers were, and I fear at times they resented any who made their models look imperfect and threatened their funding, which made them see the Truth gleaned by actual research as a critic and as a threat. Because these computer geeks apparently had more political clout, a situation arose where computer models created by geeks (who had never stepped onto sea-ice in their life) got more funding than the actual researchers (who had). In cases where the computers were gigantic and even more expensive than actual arctic expeditions, the millions spent learned more about computers than about sea-ice.
Perhaps the last hurrah of actual research was the MOSAiC expedition, which parked Northstern in the Sea-ice in September of 2019 to drift roughly the same route Nansen did in the Fram. The leader was full of political savvy, and did a fine job of making the show politically correct, even as his underlings discovered wonder after wonder which were not.
For example, the Northstern in 2019 drifted faster than the Fram did in 1893, and this enabled the leader to announce that this proved Global Warming had made the sea-ice thinner and “more fluid and therefore faster”. I think this definately scored him points in the political circus, (which is too dense to see that, if the Northstern had set sail in September of 2020, it would have realized Nansen’s dream by drifting right across the Pole, but by now might be in serious trouble, jammed in thick ice somewhere north of the Canadian Archipelago.) But I admire the MOSAiC leader for he allowed his scurvy crew to gather all sorts of actual data, much of which was beautiful and wonderful and so unexpected it not only upset the conventions computer models are based upon, but the preconceptions my own ideas are based upon.
Coolest was the appearance of a seal chasing arctic cod in a deep camera’s video, in the dead of winter. It is theoretically impossible for a seal to even be there, for seals need to breath air, and theoretically the sea in January is lidded by thick ice. Of course, it is also was recently theoretically impossible for the cod to be there, as only twenty years ago it was a “scientific fact” that the Arctic Ocean was a sterile and basically lifeless desert, away from its shores. The MOSAiC expedition proved the underside of ice, like the underside of a ship far at sea, attracts all sorts of life, including long festoons of algae, and this under-ice ecology makes the Arctic Sea the richest and most-alive ocean, (away from shorelines), on earth.
Also very cool was their discovery of turbulence in the supposedly calm waters under the sea-ice. This likely wrecked some computer models by wrecking the assumptions of calm plugged into such models. Yet what they saw was so obvious I slapped my own forehead for not seeing it myself, earlier.
The turbulence was based upon the simple fact that nine tenth of an iceberg is underwater, and therefore where a satellite shows a fifty-mile-long pressure ridge, ten feet tall, there must be a fifty-mile-long keel to that pressure ridge, sticking ninety feet down. And when winter gales hit that fifty-mile-long sail sticking up at a perpendicular angle, the area of ice is pushed by that gigantic sail, and the ninety-foot-deep keel of that gigantic ship moves sideways. The keel becomes like the blade of an unimaginably big spoon, stirring the water it moves through. This reality made utter mincemeat of the idea I held, which was that the waters under the ice were quiet and calm, because the ice protected those waters from the wind.
Formerly I imagined the only source for turbulence would involve waters becoming open, or at least open enough to allow the wind to create waves. But this created a problem at times, for a wave on the surface doesn’t stir water below it all that deeply. I noted submarines could avoid the waves of a gale by traveling only a hundred feet below the surface. The energy of waves twenty feet tall diminishes rapidly beneath the churned surface, and the “wavebase”, (which is a point where waves do not even stir the sediment on the sea bottom beneath) is roughly half the distance between two waves.
This caused me troubles in my back-of-an-envelope calculations regarding the 2012 gale, because the sea-ice melt seemed to require more turbulence than waves could generate. This trouble occurred because that melt truly did employ more turbulence than waves could generate, in and of themselves.
What a dope I was. I should have remembered the “keels”, for the submarine skippers I liked to refer to often mentioned keels of surprising size below the largest pressure ridges, and how American and Russian submarines would use such down-thrusting keels to hide behind, when playing Cold War games of hide and seek.
Now it is blindingly obvious such keels, thrusting down sometimes over a hundred feet, are able to stir waters surface waves can’t even touch. This explains a lot about the 2012 gale, especially the early stages where there was still a lot of sea-ice. It was not the waves of open water which so stirred the undersea that the Beaufort Gyre Freshwater Lens was basically destroyed due to being turbulently mixed with warmer and salter water beneath. Rather it was giant “spoons” stirring the sea. Considering the blades of these spoons were at least at a depth of ninety feet, one concludes the agitation was starting there and extending some distance below.
Besides exposing sea-ice to salt and warmth in the 2012 gale, and leading to that summer’s astonishingly swift melt, it also can be seen such “big spoons” would disturb the carefully calculated and painstakingly measured currents under the sea-ice. Nature seemingly has no regard for the hard work of scientists. Scientists can risk the wrath of 1500 pound bears researching and mapping currents in 2011, and with the whim of a single storm all that research is rendered obsolete, and further research is needed.
It also can be seen that when computer models depend on hard data, they can, and in fact must, become unreliable when the hard data gets mushy. This is not a disgrace for either the researchers gathering the hard data, nor the computer modelers utilizing the hard data, for neither has been dishonest. They have merely assumed things were less variable than things are. Corrections are needed and further funding is needed for further research.
In terms of the jet streams of the upper atmosphere, and the research done since the first attempts to map the weather after the Civil War, there have been many advancements, and each advancement involved the abandonment of prior assumptions. This is no disgrace upon the early meteorologists. The upper air maps created in the 1880’s are amazing, when you consider the fact the first weather balloon never set sail until 1892 in France, and the earlier meteorologists had to depend on kites which couldn’t fly when winds were too weak (or too strong) and couldn’t ascend above roughly a mile and a half (3 km). Much was assessed by men with craggy eyebrows simply squinting heavenwards and gauging the speed and movement of the highest cirrus, in the manner of sea-captains and shepherds millennium into the past. Yet there was always the desire to get better data, and somehow the meteorologists eager to learn were always able to scrounge up funding and find patrons.
Apparently, the patrons of yore didn’t mind when new discoveries made shambles of old ideas. Perhaps they were warmed by the glow of being part of a discovery, or perhaps they were more demanding and wanted a better product, a better forecast, and, as imperfect as forecasts always are (and likely always will be), there can be no doubt that (in my lifetime) they are improved.
I am often amazed when the vast learning of decades of research is compressed into a computer model, and that model sees a storm five days in the future I cannot see in the current maps. However, the same computer will over and over create a hurricane in the fifteen-day-maps, and, when that hurricane over and over never appears, it is called a “glitch” of that particular model. It is a “bug” that needs to be worked out, and a reason for further funding. There remains plenty of room for wonder, and for admission of error.
However, for the patron who expected proof of a foregone conclusion, the only wonder felt is a wonder whether he is wasting his money. He doesn’t like “admission of error” nor feel the new data is “cool”, in the manner I do. He only feels it is cool because his approval cools. When he spends his money he expects results, and he does not approve of Truth when it counters what he wants.
How sad. Such a person cannot see Truth is Beauty, and only desires the verification of a preconception. It is particularly pitiful when the preconception was incorrect. Yet some believe what is incorrect is to their advantage, and feel untruthfulness is “politically correct”, and even desire to cancel any who threaten their preconception, even if their preconception is a baseless infatuation. For this reason they threaten scientists who depend on them for funding with an end to funding, demanding those scientists abandon Truth to arrive at the “foregone conclusion”. Even those scientists who secretly believe Truth is cool can understand it is not so cool to say so. They must nod and smile, like the doctor from communist Poland I met in my boyhood.
How am I able to call such discoveries “cool”? I suppose it is because I have a fairly good relationship with Truth. You may say this is only possible because I am not a scientist, and my livelihood isn’t threatened. I beg to differ.
I can call Truth a “wonder” when it counters what I formerly believed, (my “foregone conclusion”), because I have had to see my ideas were wrong over and over in my life. It has always been for the best, though in the short term it could get me fired. For example, I’ve learned bosses do not appreciate truthfulness when you confess you were wrong in your estimation of their integrity. They would prefer you to kiss their ass.
To some degree I must have taken this ability to confess that I’d made a mistake too far, for I managed to offend so many people I wound up sleeping in my car. Few people like being called a mistake. I would have been wiser to call them human, for no mortal is perfect unless they have achieved the level of the Christ, and few will claim they’re Christ, if you corner them. They just don’t like being called a mistake.
Having confessed that mistake I made, I should also confess a pride I felt to be sleeping in my car. You may wonder how I could feel it was “for the best”, but I truly did feel there was no other way to go. Not that I didn’t wrestle with bitterness, but it was a proud bitterness, like the bitterness of Bob Dylen’s song, “Like A Rolling Stone,” which has the strangely sane diatribe:
Ah, princess on the steeple and all the Pretty people they’re all drinkin’, thinkin’ that they Got it made
Exchanging all precious gifts But you’d better take your diamond ring You’d better pawn it, babe
You used to be so amused At Napoleon in rags And the language that he used Go to him now, he calls you You can’t refuse
When you ain’t got nothin’ You got nothin’ to lose You’re invisible now, you got no secrets To conceal
Actually, to comprehend the pride in the bitterness its likely best to hear the then-young man singing.
Of course, Bob Dylan’s honesty made him millions, (which likely exposed him to a whole slew of troubles only he can talk about). For most of us honesty tends to get us fired. We tend to “kiss ass” only up to a certain point, after which job-security can’t outweigh “risk”, and we stand by Truth. We are not honored with millions of dollars, but I do assert we are honored.
Why? Because if we Stand by the Truth, then Truth will stand by us. Not that we achieve some sort of euphoric nirvana, but rather we feel decent. There is a certain well-being involved in decency many wealthy, famous and powerful people know very little about.
I could go (and have gone) on at great length about my life as an artist, and how, despite short-term poverty, standing up for Truth was always for the best. But such digressions involve seeking Truth as an artist, which is a different path from seeking Truth as a scientist. In some ways I think it is easier for an artist to be a dishwasher, after telling a prior boss he will not kiss that boss’s ass. It’s not so easy for a scientist. A scientist needs his microscope in the same way the Polish doctor needed his hospital. Despite the insultingly stupid bureaucrats, they have to kiss ass longer than artists do. If they really love Truth, they suffer more than poets suffer.
Just as doctors, who love the beauty of healing, suffer when some bureaucrat makes healing harder, sea-ice scientists must suffer when some bureaucrat makes study of the variables involved in the growth and melting of sea-ice harder. The study of sea-ice is far behind the study of the upper atmosphere, and in some ways its progress and development is analogous to where the study of the upper atmosphere was when the first weather balloons were launched in 1892. It’s far harder to take soundings downward in the frigid Arctic Sea than upwards among the lovely cumulous of sunny France. But the discoveries are of Truth, and of a beauty that is never-ending.
Who in their right mind would renounce such never-ending beauty for the sallow corruption of politics? Apparently, some do, but it is only because they are ignorant and do not know what they do. They think they gain when they are missing so much that is beautiful.
The Coronavirus hysteria hit even as the Polarstern drifted, and I must admit the MOSAiC expedition did a fine job of remaining scientific under extreme pressure, but since they made it back to their home port I have seen little in the ways of true science from the arctic. Blame the conflict between Russia and Ukraine if you will, but people have greater concerns than sea-ice. (Personally, I am concerned about food prices, and despite my vow to retire from farming, have felt compelled to plant enough potatoes to keep me fed next winter.) With such concerns at the forefront, what does sea-ice matter?
And my answer is? It never mattered, in terms of daily bread. If you look back to my first sea-ice post, you will see it confesses I was avoiding the harsh reality of my life, like a schoolboy looking out the window of an Algebra Class at the beauty of clouds. Back then, in the 1960’s, that now-long-dead teacher clashed the venetian blinds closed and shook her finger at me, warning me if I didn’t attend to Algebra I would wind up as a dishwasher and sleeping in my car. And she was correct. But it was worth it.
To me, sea-ice has never been about money, but rather about beauty. The more I study the Truth involved the more beauty I see. Yet it seems the most amazing thing to me that my admiration of something so divorced from my humdrum life should matter at all to anyone but me. Why should anyone care? It is as if I was a schoolboy gazing out the window at a thunderhead as it billowed in the sky. Why should anyone else care for that cloud?
I suppose people simply like beauty. I’m not the only person who saw better things out the window than on the blackboard, in school. I’m not the only one who watched clouds in wonder. And therefore, a young punk like Bob Dylan can utter a diatribe of brutal honesty, and much to his own astonishment find himself amazingly popular. Why? Because Truth is Beauty, and in his brutal honesty there was something people found beautiful. In like manner, in my early sea-ice posts, back when I was just learning about the subject, my simple honesty abruptly gained me hundreds and sometimes thousands of “views”. But this in turn led to censorship and shadow-banning, so now I’m lucky to get fifty “views.”
It doesn’t matter much to me. I’ve never had a “tip jar” on this site and do not write for money. I write to think deeper and see deeper and, by tracing beauty, to understand beauty better. And I must admit that my study of sea-ice has allowed me to see Truth better. Not only truths about sea-ice but truths about people. I also must say that having a website is superior to writing in a diary, because feedback stimulates thought, and even the most troll-like comments have led me to treasures.
However, the censorship and shadow-banning does make me sad, for obviously some are missing the beauty I see, and the beauty that true scientists see. It forces me to contemplate what gain they imagine they could get from so much loss. It is an oxymoron. How can they gain from loss?
They can’t. And midst the current collapse of decency, which we are all experiencing, I think there may be a sort of final admission we cannot gain from loss. The bully thinks he may gain the respect he desires from bullying, but in the end always learns all he gets is disrespect, when he behaves that way. The rapist thinks he or she will draw closer to the man, woman or child he or she abuses, but ends up far from humanity. The bureaucrat thinks….(oh, who the hell knows what nonsense they think)…but they think those who don’t work should be paid by those who do. It can’t continue. We’ve been given a long rope to hang ourselves with, but even a long rope is too short when the hanging draws nigh.
What has this to do with sea-ice? Very little, and that is what it so interesting about the times we are in. In some ways there is no escape:
When I was younger, to talk about religion or politics was dangerous, but to talk about weather was safe. To talk about the weather at the North Pole was doubly safe by being far away. But little did I know, back when I first posted about using sea-ice as a personal escape in 2013, that I was not going to escape. I could not have chosen less wisely. I chose about the most dangerous topic I could have chosen.
In some ways I wish I had chosen a better escapism: Perhaps the subject of the way frogs sing in the spring, and how their populations fluctuate, and how some springs are louder as populations surge, and then how the music changes as there are variations in which populations are surging, so sometimes the shrill frogs outnumber the low strummers. Maybe that would have only gotten me ten “views”, but at least I would not be shadow banned.
In other ways I’m glad I chose the escapism I chose, despite the furor it involved me with. Why? Because it taught me how much better it is to seek Truth than to obey propaganda. The propaganda in 2022 is the same boring stuff I heard in 2008, “Sea-ice may melt this summer and woe to all of us,” but actual study has taught me so much more.
In actual fact we are infants, and our study of sea-ice is in its infancy. We fans of sea-ice are like atmospheric scientists were in the 1880s, with primitive kites measuring the upper atmosphere. But we are learning. We see more and more. Much is astounding. Much is amazing. Much is stuff we have never seen before.
For example, one way of looking at things sees only a very slow and gradual decent of warm and salty water, after it is pulled to the north. Call this the “slowly-slanting” path. But other ways of looking at things see waters dive more directly, for example when sub-zero brine is created by freezing. And waters may also arise in a “non-slowly-slanting” manner, above volcanoes in Gakkel Ridge. In other words, you must devise a computer model that has both “slowly-slanting” and also “non-slowly-slanting” currents, and the model must allow for the fact such currents are not steady, but turn on and off with seasons, and also abruptly appear due to the whims of volcanoes.
This could verge us on despair, for there are too many variables, and how the heck can one forecast volcanoes? However, another discipline of science is doing exactly this.
Initially I thought such people were whack-jobs, especially when they talked about “solar cycles”. How could anything as gentle as a sunbeam effect anything so gigantic as a Krakatoa? However, because debate was allowed, and Freedom of Speech was allowed, I was alerted to certain correlations. And yes, “correlations are not causations”, but saying, “correlation is not causation”, is no reason to ignore correlations. In fact, it gives one an area to focus upon.
One thing much debated was the effect of the “Quiet Sun”, and one thing noted about past “Quiet Suns” was that they coincided, between 10 and 20 years after their onset, with massive volcanic eruptions. For example, the ice-cores from both Greenland and Antarctica show two layers of volcanic ash, over a decade after the start of the Dalton Minimum. One is associated with the massive Tambora eruption of 1815, but geologists are uncertain where on earth the earlier, equally massive eruption occurred, around 1810. I’ll leave that wonder to the geologists, and instead attend to wondering if the Modern Minimum will have two massive eruptions. It seems a good test of the correlation but leads us to yet more wonder.
More? Yes, for there may have been two massive eruptions already, only they didn’t show their stuff where the news media could see, but two miles down in the sea. One may (or may not) have made waters unexpectedly warm east of New Zeeland in 2020, and the second may have occurred on Gakkel Ridge last spring.
Is there even more? Yes, for the sheer number of wonders steers us to another wonder, which is that, when variables are so numerous, digital computers have a weakness. They can handle “either, or” but have a harder time with the “either, or, or, or, or, or,” of many variables. This may explain why they work so well in the five-day-forecasts, but so poorly in the fifteen-day-forecasts. And this leads us to consider whether we need to invest in analog computers, which are in a way much better with variables. How so?
Well, consider this: The injection systems in our vehicles are of a digital nature, while the old-fashioned carburetors they replaced worked in a more analog manner. We may prefer the exact nature of digital devices, and prefer injection to carburetors, but a carburetor only costs a hundred dollars while an injection system costs thousands. Hmm. One might be tempted to reconsider carburetors, when dealing with “security” and “risk,” while designing a better engine. At the very least it should be debated under the auspice of Freedom of Speech.
Much of this technical stuff is above my head, (especially stuff concerning computers), and I leave such stuff for younger minds to debate. I urge them to do so, even without my attendance, and even if such debate is deemed “politically incorrect” by the internet gangsters. Form a secret underground society which allows Freedom of Speech, for all the reasons I outline in this essay. I strongly believe that, if you do so, the thing called “ingenuity” will manifest. If you seek Truth it does not matter how far apart your fields of study may seem to be: It does not matter if one has walked the sea-ice and another has never left his computer; it does not matter if one studies sea-ice and another studies lava; varied views, when they kneel before Truth, wind up spliced into a beautiful braid, and “ingenuity” manifests.
But such debate requires Freedom of Speech. The only thing worthy of censorship is censorship itself.
This well may be my last sea-ice post, but, if I am bidding adieu, I must offer a final observation of the wonders of the actual ice.
(This is just an example of me sharing an observation I find “cool.” I am not saying I am any sort of authority, but I am a viewer, and while we may not be in a cave and I may not be the only person seeing daylight, I think even trivial views matter. That has a ring to it: “Trivial Views Matter.” (TVM) (Send funds.))
The wonder I’ll share has to do with a quirk in the “extent” graph which occurred at the end of January.
Back around 2005 such quirks were great fun, for back then Skeptic and Alarmists were like cheerleaders rooting their team, and when a graph quirked up like this the Skeptics would cheer wildly, but when it plunged the Skeptics would chew garlic as the Alarmists all went crazy with elation. Everyone was so wet-behind-the-ears back then that the line on the graph was all they attended to, but Freedom of Speech and debate made both Skeptics and Alarmists wiser, as they eventually sought the reason for the quirk.
Yowza! what a storm! Check out the central pressure. It’s below 940 mb, or 27.70 inches of mercury. Few hurricanes or typhoons ever get so low. When they do, (for example the Labor Day hurricane of 1935 dropped at least to 26.34) they have unbelievable power, (the 1935 hurricane blew locomotives off the rails.) It is fortunate the super-storms of the arctic effect so few people, but they do effect sea-ice.
The initial advancement in the intelligence of both Alarmists and Skeptics involved the birth of an awareness that sea-ice “extent” was at times like an accordion. The accordion can stretch out or squeeze shut, but it is the same accordion. “Extent” can rise and fall utilizing the exact same amount of ice. This prompted increased interest in both “area” graphs and “volume” graphs, which are far harder to create and involve guesswork that has difficulties withstanding harsh criticism. However, the advancement continued.
One thing apparent was that when the “accordian” of sea-ice spread out, it created areas of open water (visible even in winter darkness with infrared satellite imaging.) Open water in the dead of win ter initially produced wild cheering from the Alarmist cheerleaders. Further cheering was heard because open water immediately spiked surface temperatures. However, debate followed and both Alarmists and Skeptics learned more and more.
For one thing, the infrared imaging showed the open water nearly instantly froze over. Within hours there was sea-ice thick enough for 1500 pound bears to gingerly walk across, but such ice could not withstand the pressures created when gales shifted winds and the “accordion” squeezed shut. Then rather than a wide area of open water turning into smooth “baby ice” there was a narrow pressure ridge of crushed, mangled and jumbled sea-ice. (In fact the NRL animation shows even the area of thin ice created over Gakkel Ridge last spring became an area of thick, jumbled sea-ice, thiker than other nearby ice, only a few months later.) This awareness produced a wonderful contradiction leading to wonderful debates between Alarmists and Skeptics. Contradiction? Yes, for open water had led to thicker ice.
A final topic for debate was the fact that open water was not always a sign of warmer water, but sometimes a sign of chilling water. In fact, polynyas of open water, when blasted by midwinter cold, disturbed “slowly slanting” currents with downward-moving spikes of brine extracted from the swiftly freezing salt water, creating what some droll person in Antarctica dubbed “brinicles.”
Cool, aye? But the point is that, if there is no sea-bottom to halt the “brinicle”, it jabs straight down as a “non-slowly-slanting” current and makes modelling all the more challenging.
But my point is not that the challenge may make one want to fling their hands up in despair. My point is what fun it was back in the day when Alarmists and Skeptics had the Liberty of Freedom of Speech. Even when on opposing sides of a debate we in a sense were all on the same team, for we were all engrossed in the same Truth. In a sense there was the eagerness of children without the childishness of children. There was an eagerness to see the next discovery, without the childish demand that one get-the-credit for making the discovery. Getting-the-credit was in some ways out of the question, like taking-the-credit for a sunrise.
Of course, such fun had to be paid for, which introduced the topic of funding, which was quite a different matter. It was then people had to adopt attitudes and take credit for sunrises they didn’t create, and wear white lab coats, and make authorative statements about unproven hypotheses with a raised index finger, because some bureaucrat wanted that hypothesis stated as an established fact. In other words, the rot set in.
My point is that, once you abandon the joy of Liberty, it is as if one denies themselves the vast scope of thought which accepts wonder, and for what? For a mere myopia. One becomes like a cart horse wearing blinders, only able to see a narrow lane ahead. Not only does this pinch a person’s horizon down to a dot, but it denies the process that occurs when many views are involved, which results in “ingenuity”, and in solutions to problems which seemed insolvable.
Such a grievous loss is worthy of our grief. It should be nothing anyone desires. Any who see differing views as merely a wrench-in-the-works, worth the harsh treatment of Cancel Culture, needs to be gently reminded what they are in fact losing when they resort to such behavior. (People think differently if they see they lose more than they gain.) Even though the actual wrench-in-the-works of free discourse may be the Cancellers themselves, their view needs to be respected and they need to be gently persuaded to step from greater ignorance to lesser ignorance. For all are ignorant in some way. What matters is how civil we are about it.
Perhaps the best response is to simply defy censorship and form groups of thinkers who understand the joy of free thought, and to have a good time enjoying the Liberty of Freedom of Speech. Onlookers cannot help but notice the aura of light, and be drawn in. Furthermore, Truth benefits those who bow before It and honor It. And if you haven’t seen this for yourself yet, you’ll just have to take my word for it: If you stand by the Truth then Truth will stand by you.
As I begin this post it is Christmas Eve and a warm south wind is picking up. The piles of powder snow are wilting as only the most fluffy snow can wilt.
A few mornings ago the thermometer registered zero at dawn, (-17 degrees Celsius), and the fluffy snow wasn’t wilting a bit. Instead a storm that didn’t even show on weather maps drifted over. The weather map didn’t even show the orange-dashed-line indicative of an upper air disturbance.
As this disturbance passed over it gave us an extra inch of snow lighter than Pablum (before you add the water); fluff so unsubstantial that you could see through an inch of it, to the outline and brown color of a dead oak leaf that landed atop the prior powder before the current fluff fell. Meteorologists would note the snow had a 25:1 ratio, which basically means a bare .04 inches of what would have been rain crystalized into slightly over a inch of snow. Conversely, such snow has so little water-content that a bright sunbeam can turn an inch into .04 of an inch, which is turning something into next to nothing.
However before the sunbeams strike, such snow is not next to nothing. It is snow atop snow, and seems like adding insult to injury. With one’s muscles already aching from removing the prior foot, even a mere inch seems like mountains made of a molehill. Tires spin when one has last minute Christmas shopping to do. The dust of fluff makes one quiver in an un-Christmassy snit. The puff of snow is the straw that breaks the camel’s back. One needs a crow to shake the snow from a hemlock branch into one’s face, hitting one in the chops like a slapstick pie, to give one a change of mood. One needs a miracle.
It is now Christmas Day and the snow is all gone. The snow now is more than next to nothing; it is utterly nothing. The storm that moved north to our west has done a magic trick with south winds and warm rain.
Perhaps that is this year’s Christmas miracle: The snow that had plows out all night long, battling to keep roads open, has been disappeared by a snow-removal which has done far more than men’s plows can (merely shove the white burden to the curbs), and has even removed snow from the hills.
The Alarmists, of course, leapt from old worry to new worry, for the brooks all rose. With the rain combining with the snowmelt, we experienced a Christmas freshet. There were flash-flood warnings, but I didn’t heed them.
I drove about after the morning-unwrapping-of-gifts and before the afternoon-feast, simply admiring the bounding brooks, all at bankful, or just above, flooding a few low parking lots and the lower spaces in riverside campgrounds, but closing no streets. Temperatures were balmy for December, up around sixty (16 Celsius), and I drove with my windows open despite the rain.
In my eyes the freshet was also a Christmas miracle. What the Alarmists forget was how worried they were about drought and low well-levels only a month ago, when our rainfall totals for the year were more than ten inches below normal. I counted it a blessing to have it pouring on Christmas, for wells were being replenished.
The Alarmists were also fretting about possible wind gusts to sixty mph (97 km/hr), and falling tree branches taking down power lines and leaving kitchens cold, just when roasts were sliding into ovens. Never happened. We did get some good gusts that made me feel foolish for driving with my windows open. Sheets of driving rain entered the driver’s side window and exited the passenger side, and I needed wipers on the inside of my windshield. It wasn’t the same as a crow shaking down a dust of snow from a hemlock tree, but made me chuckle all the same.
It is now late evening on Boxing Day, and I’m feeling a bit warm and fuzzy, even with my house in some ways trashed. I’ll be able to heat tomorrow morning without using wood, just by lugging all the wrapping paper strewn about down to the cellar stove and burning it. The ashes will likely contain heavy metals and therefore won’t go into my garden.
In the future, I suppose, Alarmists will have us all wrapping presents in white paper to avoid the hazards of heavy metals, but in the present tense I’m fairly certain the local “recycling center” will not separate wrapping paper from more ordinary paper, excessively worried about heavy metals. In fact one fellow who works at the center confided to me entire truckloads of paper, as well as big bins of plastic and glass, are not recycled at all, when the price drops too low, and instead it is all trucked south to a massive “landfill” in Massachusetts where it is buried by bulldozers in dirt. If this is truly the case, then they likely appreciate that, rather than bringing them twelve huge trash bags of paper and cardboard, I bring them a small sack of ashes which I refuse to use in my garden.
It is amazing to me the heat generated by burning twelve big bags of paper and cardboard in a cellar stove. It only lasts around an hour, but the stove glows cherry red and the wooden floors upstairs become much nicer to walk upon, as the cellar becomes much less dismal and dank. It will not last, unless I add wood to the cellar stove (which I do when temperatures drop below zero [minus 17 Celsius]). But what is most applicable to this essay is the fact such a large amount of paper, literally three trips by car to the recycling center, is reduced to ashes I can carry to the trash in a small sack while whistling Dixie. Just think of all the gasoline I’ve saved by not driving, and the propane saved by generating heat burning paper in my basement. Surely the environmentalists will be pleased…..(not).
At this point, if I was clever, I would compare the huge amount of snow-removal avoided, simply by shifting winds from north to south and changing over an inch of snow to a mere .04 inches of water, with the huge amount of trash-removal avoided by heating your home for an hour with cardboard boxes and wrapping paper. However I have feasted more than is wise, and my paunch is bloated, and therefore my mind is less sharp than usual, so I won’t display such wit.
Later —- Instead I will simply add that life could be far simpler if Alarmists didn’t make everything so difficult. For example, life is much easier if you don’t walk around wearing silly masks which do no good, according to six peer-reviewed articles in the New England Journal Of Medicine and the English medical publication The Lancet. Yet Alarmists insist upon making what should be easy be hard.
Down in Boston, Alarmists became concerned about the salt spread on roads for snow removal, which made some sense for we don’t want salt in our wells and drinking water. However Boston’s streets largely were drained by storm drains which discharged into Boston Harbor, which was salty to begin with. This process was hurried along on snowy winters by front-end-loaders which filled dump trucks which drove to the harbor and dumped the snow into the water, but Alarmists made this illegal, claiming it hurt the ecosystem. Consequently mountains of snow would build up in parking lots and along curbs, clogging drains and causing street-flooding and, in the end, melting in the spring and winding up in the ecosystem anyway. The problem made me roll my eyes. To me it seemed that what should have been done was to determine if the road salts contained any “additives” which were actually harmful, and to ban those “additives”, but instead snow-removal itself was banned, which seemed a typical Alarmist case of overkill. It made life in the city far harder, especially a half decade ago when Boston had four snowstorms in a row. Once again Alarmists were making life harder.
But one thing about humans is that they are endowed with a creativity that finds a way, even in seemingly impossible circumstances, to make life easier. Sometimes life is even made more enjoyable.
For example, over a century ago, when the snow got deep, rather than remove it they brought out massive horse-drawn snow-rollers and pressed the snow flat.
Then people would park their wagons and take out their sleighs, or, if they couldn’t afford sleighs, they’d take the wheels off their wagons and attach runners. Then people glided about, making fond memories and songs about how fun it was, until snow turned to slush and you experienced what was called “rough sledding.” In any case it was ingenuity which made life easier.
The modern example of this ingenuity was a snow-melting-gadget some clever fellow invented which drives about above roaring propane burners, melting all the snow. It uses enormous amounts of propane, and costs something like $5000.00 an hour to rent, but Alarmists couldn’t complain because all the water running into the storm drains had no salt in it. The big-city parking lots treated by this gadget were clean and dry without any piles of snow around them. The bottom line was it was cheaper than plows, plus front-end-loaders, plus dump trucks, plus court battles with environmentalists. In fact it made life easier, and the gadget was, in the eyes of some businessmen, a blessing and even a Christmas Miracle.
One definition of “a Christmas miracle” is a hardship made easy. For example, one is ill, but wakes up well. One is exhausted, but gains a “second wind.” One is hungry, but is fed. One is freezing, but finds a friendly fire. One is oppressed, but is liberated. One is sick of wearing silly masks, and has the audacity to take them off.
I actually prefer Christmas miracles of a more stunning and supernatural-seeming kind. For example, as I explained in prior posts, one year I desperately needed five dollars, and then a five-dollar-bill blew across a parking lot and stopped at my feet on Christmas Eve. That was so amazing that to this day I don’t expect anyone to believe it actually happened.
Equally stunning, to my way of viewing life, was that a bum like me could abruptly become the father of three. That was a miracle in and of itself, and I felt asking for more would be ungrateful. Here is a picture of me with my future wife and children, when I was ending my time of sleeping in my car, and beginning my time as the patriarch and provider of a family of five. All who knew me were deeply concerned, for they felt I was about to precipitate a disaster.
Soon afterwards there came a Christmas eve when all three children were crabby and in no mood to help me get them to a Christmas Eve church service, where I had to be on time because I was part of a choir and relatively important, for I had to sing a brief solo. As I ushered the whining, miserable children a bit forcibly out the front door and down the front steps I recall my wry sense of humor kicking in, and rolling my eyes to heaven and saying it was enough of a miracle that a bum like me should have such problems, and I certainly should not expect more. And it was just then I received that year’s Christmas miracle.
I don’t expect anyone to believe it happened, but what happened was this: As I ushered the resentful, fretful children down the steps I think the pompom on my hat bumped against the wind-chimes that hung at the side of that porch, and those chimes played the first notes of a carol so distinctly my jaw dropped. Just guessing, it may have been the first nine notes of “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear.” Whatever it was, it was far too many notes, played too perfectly, to be easily dismissed as “coincidence”, and made me feel warm all over. Under my breath I think I said something like, “Lord, that was utterly awesome, but I think I might have preferred a five-dollar-bill.”
This year I kept my eyes wide open, for I was expecting the supernatural, but, to be honest, all I saw was a foot of snow vanishing between sunset and sunrise, and that is easy to scientifically explain.
I also saw my family expanded by thirty years of living. This too is easy to scientifically explain, and Alarmists will likely complain and worry about “over population.” My immediate family now looks like this:
This picture is from less than two months ago, as my youngest son was married in California. Please notice we wear no masks. Please notice we are not “social distancing.” Especially notice the old geezer in the middle is myself, a fool who smoked for 40 years who now suffers from COPD, who everyone should be avoiding, to keep me from getting the coronavirus, but, lastly, notice I would rather die than be separated from my family by Alarmists.
I’m the one who must die when it is time for me to die, so shouldn’t anyone ask me my opinion? Do I want the schools closed, for me? No. Do I want the churches closed, for me? No. Do I want the small businesses bankrupted, for me? No. Do I want dying elders denied family at their deathbeds, for me? No. So who wants such things?
Alarmists is who. They prefer making things difficult.
Without going into a very long sidetrack explaining Alarmists, I’ll simply point out my life disproves their logic. In some ways it seems the reason for my existence. To get from there to here involves what I personally believe is a miracle, for it involved beauty I cannot take credit for.
Go back to that first picture, when my family only numbered five, and realize how alarmed me and my wife-to-be made Alarmists. We nearly instantly decided we’d marry, but only confessed to each other after ten days, but we knew people would be alarmed if we told them we were going to marry after knowing each other so briefly. So we decided to keep it a secret, until they might be more approving. Yet the absurdity is we decided to keep our secret for a further 21 days. It seemed a very long time, to us, but to Alarmists? Actually, to be honest, I think they would have only have been pleased if we never married. There would never be a picture of a family of five, let alone a picture of a family of seventeen.
Thirty years have passed since I alarmed the Alarmists. If I was allowed the time to go into the details of the struggle my wife and I have seen this post would expand several hundred, or perhaps thousand, pages, but let me leave that for future posts, and simply state I called the Alarmist’s bluff. They stated I couldn’t, but I did.
Not that I did it alone. I relied on faith, on my belief in Christmas Miracles. I knew I was just a bumpkin, but had faith in Something Higher, and look what has happened! One Christmas I’m sleeping in my car as alone as alone can be, and another I’m the patriarch of a rather large and fascinating crowd of seventeen, encompassing three continents.
Alarmists cannot point at such increase as proof of their success. In fact they can only point at decrease. Abortion is only an example. They base decisions on the premise life will be worse if there is more of it. The exact opposite is the Truth.
I have many other things I’d rather write about, and in some ways would rather be in my garden weeding than be writing at all, but politics has a way of shoving its snout in your face, when you live in New Hampshire. I blame this political intrusiveness on the fact we are the first state in the United States to hold its presidential primary. If it weren’t for that event, no one would bother with us, for we are barely over a million people. Neighborhoods in New York City hold more people than our entire state does, and we only have two representatives to congress. There is not much reason to notice us, (and I don’t think it is always an entirely bad thing to go unnoticed).
Not that I haven’t craved fame in my life. Writers do hanker to have their efforts appreciated. However when I look at famous people I sometimes thank my lucky stars I never had to suffer what they are afflicted by. Some famous people are wonderful, but the majority strike me as….well, I’ll just say I don’t admire them.
And when I think back to the “popular kids”, (back more than fifty years ago), who I attended high school with, there were quite a number who I also don’t recall fondly. They may have felt they were “popular” back then, but they were not “popular” in my private estimation, and some were downright mean.
I think it was at that time I developed the habit of steering away from the sort of situations where “popular” people go to be “seen”. Not that I didn’t go to some high school dances, but I was usually drawn by a particular woman, and I tended to have such a miserable time that I eventually stopped going.
At some point I wondered if I was just a coward. I pondered that perhaps I was bigoted towards popular people, who might actually be nice, so, to test myself, I went and sat down at the “popular people” table in the school cafeteria. (Yes, a very beautiful woman did sit at that table, which did play a part in my decision to test my courage.) The “popular” people seemed so astonished to see me sit down that they forgot to tell me to buzz off, and I sat at the “wrong” table an entire week, contributing very little to the conversation, and somewhat astounded by how inane the conversation was. I concluded popular people were very boring, and I went my own way, and did my own thing.
Right at this point (1969) “doing your own thing” became fashionable. As a senior in high school I quite accidentally found myself “popular”. All the things I did because I couldn’t bother be politically correct, such as wear shabby jeans and have unkempt hair, suddenly became politically correct. I’d left school the prior June as an unpopular slouch, and when vacation ended and I returned in September I was abruptly “cool”. I was “hip”. I was the dude others wished they had the nerve to emulate. (That was the summer of Woodstock, and of men first landing on the moon, and of Kennedy driving off the bridge.)
I will not deny that being flattered for being “hip” swayed me to some degree. But all too soon fashion moved on to “Disco”, and abruptly wearing shabby jeans and having unkempt hair became emblematic of being a “has-been”. Flattery’s rosy glow faded to the gray of disillusionment, and I became aware that “doing your own thing” is often done because it is the right thing to do, and not always because it is rewarding.
I should hasten to add that being righteous is rewarding, but not in a way the world pays much attention to. The salt-of-the-earth gain no great wealth nor acclaim for being the backbone of the planet. They are why we are fed and clothed and sheltered. They are why things work, and the fact things work is their only reward. They may never be rich and famous, but they raise children and pay their bills and are the reason life goes on. They just “do their thing.”
When I look back through time it seems to me that times-of-trouble arise in human history when societies forget to value the salt-of-the-earth commoners, and become too enamored and infatuated by wealth, power and fame. It doesn’t matter if one is royalty spurning the commoner, or a Brahman spurning the Untouchable, or Hitler spurning the Jews, or Stalin spurning the Kulak. All hell breaks loose when people snub the very people they depend upon. Rather than loving your neighbor it is like sawing the branch you are seated upon.
The American Constitution was devised by men who thought long and hard about why this problem occurs, and how best to avoid the inevitable repercussions. It is a marvelous document, unique in human history, and most people who state it needs to “evolve” and who seek to “improve” it have not thought nearly as long and hard about human nature as the Founding Fathers did. This is especially true among those who refer to America’s salt-of-the-earth people as “Deplorables” and “Climate Change Deniers” and “Bitter Clingers”, and refer to the American Heartland as “Fly-over Country.” Unfortunately many such people were educated to dismiss the Founding Fathers as “rich, white slave-owners”, and to never themselves think long and hard about the mortal desire for wealth, power and fame, and how such desire can corrupt human endeavors in the manner the “Ring of Power” demented its wearer, in Tolkien’s “Lord Of The Rings”.
It seems to me that one thing that sets the American Constitution apart from other forms of government is a premise, (to some degree unstated), that power corrupts and is a vigorous root of evil. Therefore a framework was devised to keep any one person or group from gaining too much power. The three branches apportion power in a way that keeps power dispersed, and the Electoral College does the same thing. Therefore our constitution is very frustrating to those who want all power in their own hands, wrongly thinking that if there is no opposition there will be unity.
Such a one-sided “unity” is a farce. It is the “unity” of a dictator, a Hitler or Stalin or King George, who has little respect for the salt-of-the-earth commoner. It cannot conceive a commoner may do good by “doing his own thing”, and often seeks to outlaw commoner’s small pleasures, assuming “unity” knows better, (“unity” being the personal preference of a tyrant).
The tyrant sneers at the fact commoners may like to scoot across lakes on noisy jet-skis, claiming it disturbs the peace, and therefore bans jet-skis, but then inevitably goes out on the same lake on a diesel-belching, three-story cabin-cruiser. The tyrant scoffs at the commoner’s hot-rod, and demands they use electric golf-carts, while riding in a sleek limousine. The tyrant snubs roasted ribs at a commoner’s barbecue, and passes laws demanding vegetarian diets, yet holds feasts with apples in the mouths of pigs. The tyrant demands commoners use no hydrocarbon fuels, while scouring the skies in their private jets. Their hypocrisy knows no bounds. They hunt for sport, but call commoners who hunt for food “poachers”. Tyrants demand commoners, who are relatively faithful and respectful to their wives, bend over backwards respecting women, but then are less than respectful themselves. Perhaps their greatest hypocrisy is to demand commoners be honest, while in private stating it is smart to lie.
My personal view is that one never is wise to lie. Lies always backfire in the end. (I even have a hard time with surprise-birthday-parties). Truth has a purity and sanctity so clear and undeniable that, even among Atheists who who can’t stand the use of the word “God”, I can have uplifting, calm conversations simply by replacing the word “God” with the word “Truth.” Yet some believe it is wise to lie.
It isn’t. Even when you are selling something, and seek to attract buyers by pointing out the good attributes of what you are selling, honesty is the best policy. The moment you introduce a lie into the transaction then what was beautiful gets ugly.
A beautiful transaction is when a person has something a second person needs or wants, and is then rewarded for giving the second person what they need or want. Both people benefit. However, when a snake-oil-salesman conducts a transaction guaranteeing a bald man a full head of hair, promising the buyer they will save money because they won’t have to buy a hat to avoid a sunburned scalp, the transaction becomes ugly when the bald man remains bald. Such sneaky salesmen tend to hurry from town more often than they honor their guarantee, and give the money back.
The ugliness gets profound when some deem others “suckers” and “chumps” and “sheeple”, and think a good way to get rich is to gain another’s confidence with a lie, and then never deliver what they promised. If such people succeed with their con-artistry, they think that the money they then ruffle is proof that what they have done is wise, and they build upon a quicksand foundation which assumes success comes from harming others. However what they do does not go unnoticed, by the salt-of-the-earth commoner, or by God.
The average American has long been bombarded by commercials. One once could escape by turning off the TV and radio, and driving on a back road that had no billboards, but now one has advertising logos even on their dashboard and lapels and shoes; their wife’s pocketbook is a portable billboard; and even their little children’s toys are often a sales pitch. Madison Avenue spends billions to find better ways to convince people to want what they don’t need, and of course politicians noticed this phenomenon, and hired Madison Avenue to get people to buy into their election promises. However the average American is not as stupid as some sellers think. Just as mosquitoes developed a tolerance to DDT, and required larger and larger concentrations of spray, until in some places spraying no longer was feasible, lying to the American public required larger and larger audacity, until it finally fooled so few that Donald Trump was elected.
I think Trump won because he simply spoke the Truth. It sounded harsh and impolite to many, but to the salt-of-the-earth commoner it was a breath of fresh air. They had grown weary of being lied-to by bald-faced hypocrites, who basically said, “Trust us,” and then broke the trust again and again and again. And the bald-faced hypocrites? They were terrified, for they could not simply flee to the next town like a snake-oil salesman. Their power, which had seemed made of rock, abruptly seemed made of sand, and the commoners, whom they had mocked as chumps and sheeple, were rising like a tide.
This was actually exactly what the Founding Fathers intended to have happen, as they thought long and hard about how to devise a government. They knew very well that some become so enamored of money, power and fame that they will hurt others to gain such inanimate things, and then will hurt others to keep them. They knew this because they themselves had money, power and fame, and were well aware of the hazards such possessions bring. For example, even though Jefferson owned slaves he was able to criticize slavery, stating, “We hold the wolf by its ear.”
Like bosses everywhere the founding fathers had to deal with sloth and theft among those who worked for them, and were forced to dole out punishment to employees who broke the trust, yet at the same time they were mere “employees” of King George, facing punishments the king felt forced to dole out to them. Perhaps it was because they could see things from both sides, and then gathered together to think together long and hard, that they came up with a Constitution which comprehends that sloth can occur both in employees and in bosses, as can theft. Therefore they attempted to devise a system wherein all people, both rich and poor, could call-out others when they detected sloth and theft. Which is exactly what Donald Trump did, regarding the so-called “elite” in the so-called “Swamp” of Washington D.C.
The response of the so-called “elite” has been telling. Rather than accepting the results of the election, they doubled down on their dishonesty, wasting over two years attempting to inflate a false narrative that the Russians had somehow “stolen” the election, with Donald Trump complicit. They did not want to heed the results of the election, because the electoral college majority was telling them that the public was sick of the elite’s dishonesty, and tired of seeing the elite with their hands plunged up to their elbows in the cookie-jar of taxes. The so-called “elite” were then faced with a choice between democracy, and destroying democracy to cling to power, and many seem to have chosen destruction.
The salt-of-the-earth American commoner can’t help but think, like Queen Gertrude in “Hamlet”, that the elite “doth protest too much, methinks.” The public has undergone weary decades of seeing lies exposed, and seeing the exposure bringing no penalty to the elite. President Clinton was nicknamed “Slick Willy” because no wrong-doing stuck to him; he could lie, “I did not have sex with that woman”, and then, when “that woman” stated the truth, he just laughed it off. Consequently the public became so accustomed to lies they were no longer all that shocked by lies, or by corruption going unpunished, and indeed were so jaded that they rather expect to be lied to. The elite kept up a pretense of morality, thinking the common man consisted of fools to be fooled, but Abraham Lincoln stated “You cannot fool all of the people all of the time,” and it turns out he was right.
Just as an experienced fisherman can scan the smooth surface of a still lake, and spot ripples that tell him where the big fish move beneath the surface, an experienced person can look at the smooth talk of a skilled politician and spot the lies beneath the slick guff. In some sad cases the politician is fooling only themselves. Wise people recognize when a smile is not genuine, and where it may even hide the malice of a murderer. While people avoid leaping to conclusions, and don’t want to be guilty of developing an entire conspiracy-theory from a single, suspicious detail, people do notice when such coincidences pile up. “The List” (of deaths associated with the Clintons) has been kept since the 1990’s:
When Jeffrey Epstein was recently accused of allegedly running a sort of upper class whorehouse staffed by underage girls, cynics in my little town wondered aloud how long it would be before, (because Epstein “knew too much” about Bill Clinton and other “elites”), he would commit suicide under somewhat mysterious circumstances, and be added to “The List.” Then, when Epstein did commit suicide, a new cynical joke could be heard making the rounds among the local folk. It was to facetiously say, with very round eyes, “I know nothing about the Clintons. Nothing! Nothing! Nothing!”
Though spoken in jest, the humor does describe how repellent the elite have become in the eyes of the common man. Call the reaction “fear” if you will, but a common man with teenage daughters or granddaughters cannot think highly of men who attended Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged whorehouses. What is so elite about such depravity? And the fact such privileged people could look down their long, depraved noses and sneeringly label common men “deplorables” calls the very sanity of the elite into question. Do they never examine their own behavior? Or do they see a mirror as a thing only used to make sure their make-up is applied correctly, to hide the ashen hue of their spirits with the falsified rouge of health? (After all, the original “bigwigs” wore their big, faux-healthy wigs to hide their patchy baldness, caused by syphilis.)
I personally am so repelled by the rich and powerful and famous I want little to do with wealth and power and fame. I far prefer the small garden of a small man in a small town. The small pleasures of raising five children cannot be measured in money. Upon the edge of poverty one has a chance to be wholesome, and in that wholesomeness one owns riches surpassing that of billionaires wading in the reek of “The Swamp”.
Furthermore, I’m getting old. Though I likely will work until I drop, I am of “retirement age.” I can’t do what I once did, and must adjust my ambition downwards to some degree. While I don’t abandon the helm entirely like King Lear did, I do hand some batons of life’s relay-race to the young, who have ambitions that see a future I won’t live to see. Not that I don’t plant orchards, but I know I won’t live to see the apples. Rather than overrule the young, I respect their new ideas, for they are the ones who must reap crops I will never witness. Not that I don’t give them more advice than they sometimes ask for, but I have a different attitude toward power than The Swamp’s: I can give power up.
This retiring attitude is something I’m good at, for in a sense I’ve been retiring ever since I stopped going to dances as a teenager. It is part of being a writer, and is also called “withdrawal”. However it also makes Donald Trump a man beyond my comprehension, because he doesn’t retire and he doesn’t withdraw. To be quite honest, he puts me to shame. How does he take on The Swamp with the tenacity and courage he displays? It can only be because God formed him very differently than God formed me, and he is able to derive pleasure and zest from what would be, for me, a living hell.
There are times he makes me feel like a complete sissy. I feel like an anxious mother watching her child climb a tree or tall cliff. I can’t bear to watch, and turn away, not because I don’t admire what Trump is attempting, but because I don’t want to see him fall and be crushed.
I fully expected he would be assassinated by now, and am amazed by his survival and by what he achieves. One of his greatest achievements has been to so alarm the people addicted to wealth, power and fame that they have stopped pretending to be nice. They have thrown off their sheep’s-clothing and revealed themselves as wolves. Of course, some of us knew they were wolves all along, but if we said so we would risk being accused of “having a conspiracy theory”. How could we call a sweet, adorable lamb like Slick Willy a wolf? He had such a nice smile, as did other wolves. But now they are showing their fangs. Formerly they pretended to be part of a two-party-system and to be like Harry-Truman-democrats, but now their dictatorial, one-party-system tendencies towards tyranny are undisguised. Groups like Antifa resemble Hitler’s Brown Shirts, and clearly stand against the two-party-system our Founding Fathers established as a great and noble experiment.
I find their attack upon America deeply troubling. I lose sleep, and find politics bad for my health. Because it will do no one any good if I get sick, I prefer to retire to my garden. I have run my race, and it is up to the young to carry on.
But as I squat and weed, listening to birds sing, and watching thunderheads bloom in the summer sky, a little voice whispers in my conscience. “Have you been intimidated? Are you a coward? Have the bullies of Antifa silenced you?” If you pass by my garden you may hear me muttering to myself, from time to time, as I wrestle with this voice.
I certainly haven’t been silent on the web, concerning arctic-sea-ice and Global Warming. My posts on this site have been viewed by over a hundred thousand people, and my other posts and comments (on sites less obscure than this one) have been seen by millions. I have been part of a process that has exposed the falseness of a false narrative, to such a degree that thinking-people (including some cynical Alarmists) are well aware Global Warming has no scientific basis that justifies it being called a serious threat, and only exists as a political tool used to seize money and power.
Ten years ago there were wonderful and lively discussions involving the actual climate-science involved, but now such discussions have devolved to name-calling. I even heard a wonderful description of arguing-with-an-Alarmist: It was described as being like playing chess with a pigeon. No matter how brilliant your moves are, the pigeon just knocks your pieces over, poops on the board, and then struts around like it won.
To a certain degree one just gets weary of arguing with pigeons. It producing nothing, whereas weeding my garden produces delicious vegetables.
But then I pause, and think my arguments did produce something. It produced a degree of censorship from Google. If you type in “Arctic Sea Ice” on Google, you can scroll down through page after page of search-results, and not see any mention my past posts, though some of my posts have thousands of views. Formerly my posts appeared in the first few pages of search-results for “Arctic Sea Ice”. So my posts did have an effect. They forced some at Google to take off their sheep’s clothing. They think they have “silenced” one party in a two-party-system, (me), but what they have done is to “show their hand”. They cannot claim to believe in the First Amendment and Freedom of the Press when they, in essence, burn books. If they wanted silence they have gone about it the wrong way, for they have been too loud.
Having bragged (to a degree) about having had this effect, I cannot claim to owning much desire to become more deeply involved. Such one-party-system-people have a sort of reek about them, and I do not usually feel comfortable when in the proximity of a skunk, even when it wears a lovely fur coat. I would like to just be done with such nonsense. Let the young carry on with the battle. I have played my part. I’ll just become one of those silent people who do not appear in polls, (because I hang up when a pollster calls me on the phone), but I’ll still vote when the day comes.
But then that whisper occurs again in my conscience: “Have you been intimidated? Are you backing off because you are afraid? What if Donald Trump did that?”
When I heard a Trump Rally was going to be held only 45 minutes from my front door I had no desire to attend. While I like live concerts, I am uncomfortable once crowds get much larger than a hundred. I admire great athletes, but would rather watch them on TV than attend a Superbowl. There is something about a crowd that makes me uncomfortable, perhaps because I’ve seen crowds turn ugly, and also because I have seen involuntary goosebumps of thrill rise on my own arms, and know I am not unmoved by the group-think of a mob. I prefer to stand back and watch from a distance and mull things over. I am a retiring sort, and even these words I now type are words I will mull-over and rewrite many times, before I set them free. Spontaneity is not my middle name.
However when I heard a local branch of Antifa was calling for people to come and disrupt the Manchester Rally, seeking to intimidate people from showing Trump any support, a bit of spontaneity ruffled my feathers. I may be retiring, but I’m not dead yet, and I can’t stand the way Antifa calls Trump a bully for bluntly speaking truth, and then turns right around and behaves in a bullying manner, speaking balderdash propaganda. To argue with Antifa is another case of playing chess with a pigeon. Rather than speaking opposition to their concept of a one-party-system, sometimes it is better to simply show opposition by attending a rally.
However when the day came I was very busy with work at my Farm-childcare, and it seemed unlikely I could get in to the rally. The 12,000 who gained entrance to the arena arrived before 4:00, and I wasn’t off work until 5:30, and it would take me another hour to drive in through rush-hour traffic, and on the radio I heard parking was just about non-existent and that the traffic was especially terrible near the rally. To top it off I was dead tired. I decided to spend my time praying the rally wasn’t bombed, and went to bed before the rally even ended.
The next morning I didn’t bother listening to the news, for I knew networks would report a highly negative view of whatever had occurred. Instead I searched through the web until I found a film of the actual rally. I find it interesting to form my own impressions, and only later to listen to the impressions the media gathered, which they then brazenly state are opinions “everyone” should share.
Quite often I see the media’s impressions are in lock-step, as I switch from network to network, right down to the talking-heads parroting the same exact words, yet their impressions are so different from mine that you would find it hard to believe they were of the same event. The Press takes things so far out of context it becomes downright humorous listening to the “experts”, who make such an ado-over-nothing they resemble people throwing a tizzy over the warped view they see in a circus’s fun-house mirror, as if unaware their views are warped.
At his rallies Trump often states something, and then gestures towards the Press, poking fun at what they will make of his statement, and how his statement will be warped when it appears in the next day’s papers. Where the Press once had the ability to make or break a politician, Trump has emasculated them by pointing out a reality which all now call “Fake News”. He has turned the tables on them, for rather than the Press manipulating the politician, the politician is tweaking the Press, making them prance like puppets, and playing them like a violin.
I feel I have watched a deterioration of the media that has taken decades to manifest; a crumbling of the trust the public has in the news they are told. It began during the Vietnam War, and the irony is that back then it was the Press itself that stood up against the purveyors of propaganda. How times change. Now even events which were accepted as well-researched-truth sixty years ago are called into question by the unrelenting scrutiny of countless, private, investigator-bloggers on the web, and, while there are a lot of paranoid rants and nonsense to be sifted through, some attempts to manipulate a gullible public are exposed by bloggers in ways that brook no doubt. (For example, some horrific pictures of bomb-blasted, weeping children crouching by gory and apparently deceased mothers in Syria were rendered far less heartrending when before-and-after pictures revealed the mother and child laughing as they put on bloody make-up usually used to make triage-training more realistic for EMTs, and then relaxing after the photo-shoot; IE: The entire bloody scene was a scam created to move public opinion.)
It doesn’t matter which “side” one is on, one gets tired of having their heart played as if it were an inanimate violin, and one wearies of what seems to be a general acceptance of lying. Especially exasperating is that, rather than the Press working to make amends for past failures, by working harder to sift through various views and versions of truth, and by honestly seeking to show all evidence, the Press has seemingly abandoned all attempts at objectivity in favor of a total devotion to a one-sided one-party-system. Bias appears to have become a sort of virtue-signaling; reporters appear eager to be purveyors of propaganda, (though their eagerness perhaps demonstrates a child-like and frantic attempt to please Big Daddy, enacted by frightened employees leery of being fired).
As I watched a replay of the Trump rally I did not see anything like what the media described and reported. The media saw racism, because the crowd was 94% white, but the simple fact of the matter is that the population of New Hampshire happens to be 94% white. What the media was seeing was simple demographics, but at times they snarl like wolves at people merely being what people have no control over being. Meanwhile Trump looked glad to see everyone. Right off the bat this made him a mile more likable and winning than the suspicious, hostile media.
Then Trump began to talk about what he has been attempting to achieve, which the media seldom mentions. Instead the media has reported what never happened. They have clogged newscasts with misinformation, focused on how Trump’s election was due to Russia and not his supporters, which is a theory now disproved. The crowd seemed far more interested in what Trump was actually attempting, and untroubled by the three years of false accusations, (both before and after Trump’s election).
Because the media has been such a abysmal failure, in terms of telling the truth, in a sense Trump was doing what the media should do but doesn’t do, as he described his agenda at the rally. As he listed what he was trying to achieve there were some topics I recognized but others I didn’t, and as he described his critics there were some I had heard about but many I hadn’t. However when I thought about “what I already knew”, it occurred to me very little came from the mainstream media. Instead, much I have learned has come through diligent searches of non-mainstream websites. Sad to say, but the mainstream media offers almost no actual information.
For example, concerning the subject of illegal immigration, the media’s focus has largely been upon ideas, and not facts; they discuss the idea that “borders” are racist, and upon the ideas of individuals who feel “open borders” are a good idea, and upon the idea that Trump’s promise to “Build the Wall” is bound to be an abject failure.
To some degree I can commiserate with such no-borders idealism, for it holds the beauty of John Lennon’s song, “Imagine.” However, as a man who has lived long and still works hard “past retirement age”, I can look back across decades of experience and am well aware people have limits; people have to draw-the-line. I’ve seen that, while in a Perfect World there would be no borders, we do not live in a Perfect World.
I may be an old grouch, but once I was young and brimming with idealism, and visited a hippy commune where “everything was shared”. After an evening of profound talk I went to bed, and when I woke the next morning I couldn’t find my pants, (which were new bluejeans). When I meekly brought up the fact I had no pants, it turned out someone else had “shared” them. When I suggested it would be difficult to avoid arrest if I headed out into the world without pants, I was “shared” some pants. They were the most ragged, frayed, filthy, and in-need-of-mending-and-patching pair of pants I have ever worn in my life. This experience awoke me to the fact idealism can get ugly. I said I did not agree “sharing” was a good thing, and wanted my own pants back, which did not go over too well among the idealists at that commune.
It is experiences such as this which turn “Songs Of Innocence” into “Songs Of Experience” (William Blake) and leads to slightly cynical statements such as “If you’re not Liberal when young you have no heart, and if you are not Conservative when older you have no brain.” (Winston Churchill and many others). Many old hippies know exactly what I am talking about, even as many youngsters haven’t a clue.
In the end we come back to the dilemma the Founding Fathers were striving to deal with, when they wrote the United States Constitution. This dilemma boils down to facing the fact we do not live in a Perfect World, and that vices such as sloth and theft occur in the rich and poor alike, the young and old alike, and the Liberal and Conservative alike. In the face of our mortal weaknesses, (whether you call them “foibles” or “sins”), it is obvious a one-party-system cannot succeed, for eventually it will pit the old against the young, the rich against the poor, or masculinity against femininity. Instead a two-party-system must evolve, where there may be some discord and conflict, but good things such as “harmony” and “marriage” are also possible. “Vive la difference”.
Lastly, for a two-party-system to work, there must be a division between the two parties of some sort. There must be “borders”. There must be male and female, rich and poor, Liberal and Conservative, and buyers and sellers. This may not be utopia, (for in the State of God-Realization absolute Unity exists), but we are not God-Realized, and in fact we had darn well better recognize we haven’t realized God yet, or else we are possessed of such arrogance we are doomed to disaster.
Some members of the media bewail what they call “polarization”. Despite a superficial praise of “diversity”, they don’t like the existence of differing views. I think this is what lies behind the dislike some express towards the Founding Fathers, for the Founding Fathers not only accepted the fact views do differ, but devised a system to handle the differences.
If the Press desires to function in a healthy manner it needs to describe both sides of an issue, which involves departing from the idea-world of idealism and descending into the nitty-gritty landscape of facts. But if a Press is captured by bias, it becomes so affronted by differing views that it cannot handle them, and flinches into a sort of reflex of bashing. They leap to conclusions. When covering the situation at our southern border they are quick to report the idea that illegal immigrants are held in “concentration camps” and “drink from toilets”, but are slow to fact-check such distortions. Because the Press offers a dearth of facts, it is up to the president to say there is news the mainstream newspapers are not mentioning, which is what Trump does at his rallies.
I hope you recognize the irony. Fifty years ago the president (Johnson) was the purveyor of propaganda, and people turned to the Press (Cronkite) for news about Vietnam. Now the tables are turned. Rather than the Press, people turn to Trump for news. More news is dispensed by Trump, during a rally, about the situation at the United States southern border, in fifteen minutes, than is heard in months on mainstream media. What’s more, Trump not only reports about his own views, but also about his opponent’s views, and he does so in a cocky, off-hand manner which infuriates many.
I think I see one reason he infuriates some people. In their eyes he over-simplifies, and is breaking their complex system of rules, which happen to be rules that in many ways stifle free speech.
This exposes a second irony. Fifty years ago the people speaking freely and in a refreshing manner tended to be celebrities such as “The Smothers Brothers”. (It is interesting to watch reruns of their old shows from the 1960’s, and to realize what seems so innocent (to us now) eventually caused such a fuss (back then) that they were taken off the air.) Now celebrities tend to avoid causing a fuss, and spend most of their time fussing. They are far too busy virtue-signalling and being politically-correct to dare be so refreshingly incorrect as to bring up the Truth.
There is something about Truth that is refreshing. What’s more, it is something salt-of-the-earth commoners recognize and respond to, whether the speaker is on “their side” or not. It is for this reason that a good debate between two opposing politicians can be a delight to listen to, providing the opponents treat each other with respect, in a sense “loving their enemy”. But when that respect is absent then one sees the recognition of Truth bring about a quite different and somewhat rabid response, where the humorous jibes are absent and instead hatred of Truth manifests.
I saw a bit of such hatred, in a small way, after I watched the video of the Manchester Trump rally. I liked what I had watched, and was musing to myself about the strange similarity between Trump’s performance and an old Smother’s Brothers show: Despite the great differences in political views, there was an impishness and good humor I associate with Truth. Then I checked the clock.
I had found time to watch the long rally because insomnia had awoken me at three AM, and I saw that I still had a bit of time before heading off to my Farm-childcare, so I thought I’d scroll down and check-out the comments-section, which was below the video. I was curious how people had responded.
I was taken aback by the negativity of most of the comments, which were full of foul language and generally bashed supporters of Trump as being racist pigs. It took me a little while before I noticed seven straight comments by the same person, and then scanned backwards and saw that same person was responsible for many earlier negative comments. Further scrutiny showed other individuals were doing the same thing, and that most of the comments were written by roughly ten people, repetitively cranking out the same disproved talking-points, such as Trump being put in office by Russia, illegal aliens being forced to drink from toilets, the electoral college being a dumb idea invented by rich, white slave-owners, and so on. When anyone replied to such comments all ten Trump-haters piled on them, stating disparaging things about their sanity and their mothers, using fairly ugly language.
To me this suggested the ten people were “doing their job”, and I wondered if they might even be paid to do it, perhaps with the money George Soros is so generous with. They didn’t seem to have another job they had to get to, judging from the time-stamps beside their comments. They’d been at their job for hours.
With a second glance at the clock I decided I had just enough time to reply to one comment before work, and I chose a particularly snide comment about how only fools accepted Trump as a leader, because he wasn’t a legitimate leader as he had not received a majority of the popular vote. I pointed out Abraham Lincoln had only received 39% of the popular vote, and headed off to work.
A couple hours later a member of my staff contacted me in great alarm about negative comments appearing on our Childcare’s Facebook page. When I checked, it struck me as humorous. The site contains pictures of small children at play, with innocuous comments such as “Susie looks so sweet” and “Johnie is so cute”, but abruptly the comments switched to “You’re talking through your pie-hole,” and “Parents must be insane to let their children near a fascist pig like you.” However I doubted my wife would see the humor, and sought to find out how the leftists had tracked me down.
It turned out the original video of the Trump Rally had appeared on a Facebook page, and therefore when I replied, in the comments section beneath the video, my Facebook site had automatically appeared by my comment. Yikes! What a mess!
To extract myself from the mess I went back to the original video and deleted my comment, which “disappeared” me from the discussion under the video, and also “disappeared” the nasty replies to my comment from my business’s Facebook page.
However I don’t take kindly to being silenced in such a manner. Such a silence might make Antifa happy, and might make George Soros feel he invested his money wisely and perhaps even clap his hands in glee, but such silencing is unhealthy to those who seek to nourish Freedom of Speech, and understand the refreshing, healing quality Truth has, when spoken aloud.
Therefore I have refused to be silent, and have gotten up early all week to write this essay. Please share it if you like it. I have the sense the coming election will be particularly nasty, and it is particularly important to have all views, even mine, heard.
I’m preoccupied working on my “Manifesto”, and am currently involved studying the madness of the French Terror, and Stalin’s purge of all Russia’s successful farmers, and Mao’s “Cultural Revolution”, because the way some people fanatically insist Global Warming is real despite all evidence presented to them reminds me a little of the Red Guard.
Trying to argue with the Red Guard was a bit like arguing with a Freudian, only rather than seeing everything as sexual they saw everything as political. (Don’t the above gals look lovely? But they couldn’t wear make-up, for either it was evil because it was “traditional’ or was evil because it was western and “imperialistic.”)
Who the heck needs all that? I’m in the mood to run away to the North Pole and just watch sea-ice for a bit.
For a while now there has been high Pressure towards North America and Greenland, and Low pressure towards Eurasia, which sets up a cross-polar-flow from the Pacific to the Atlantic.
This has pulled a feeder-band of milder and moister air from the Pacific up over the Pole.
This is not as dramatic as the surging feeder-bands that came north from the Atlantic last winter, but it has caused a spike in the temperatures north of 80 degrees latitude.
And I suppose this has the Alarmists very excited:
I hate to mention to them that these surges push the colder air from the Pole south, and we in North America are going to be freezing our tootsies off for the next two weeks. So I won’t. Instead I’ll point out some interesting effects this has on the sea-ice. It is moving differently from last year. The south winds have pushed a lot of sea-ice from Bering Sea through Bering Strait and built a wall of thicker ice to the north, towards the Pole:
On the far side of the Pole the south winds become north winds, and push the sea ice south where it was getting pushed north last winter. Last winter there was great excitement among Alarmists when the open water of a polynya opened north of Greenland as the ice was pushed north, and also because there was less ice in Fram Strait and around Svalbard, but this year the ice has come crushing south, flushing through Fram Strait and crunching up against the north coast of Greenland and Svalbard.
The movement of the sea-ice gets me wondering about a couple of things. The first is how open the Northwest Passage will be this summer. It looks like there won’t be much ice in Bering Strait, but I’m a little worried about that wall of ice north of the Strait. It is liable to be chunky and contain piled-up pressure ridges and be slower to break up than usual, and any north wind could bring it to the northwest coast and create an impediment as yachts turn the corner to head east to Barrow.
Once east of Barrow the sea-ice ought break up fairly swiftly, as south winds much of the winter have pushed the thicker ice far out to sea. (The light blue sea-ice is over six feet thick. the vivid blue sea-ice is roughly 3 feet thick, and once the sea-ice gets lilac-purple it is less than three feet.) Down by the Mackenzie Delta it is only around a foot thick, not due to spring floods (as they don’t get going until April) but due to offshore winds. It would take a major shift in the weather patterns to crunch the ice back south to the coast.
As one heads further east next summer there will likely be problems, as the passage east of the Makenzie Delta and south of Parry Channel is very jammed with ice.
Further east, the eastern part of Parry Channel has been surprisingly mobile for the depth of winter, and over the past 45 days a lot of the ice flushed east into Baffin Bay and joined the parade of sea-ice heading south towards Newfoundland, along with a few far larger icebergs that have calved off glaciers. In a sense it seems a reflection of the Pacific-to-Atlantic press. Once again the Canadian Ice Service is noting many icebergs off Newfoundland. In fact this is the fourth winter out of the last six that the “extent” of sea-ice flushing out of Baffin Bay and down past Newfoundland (blue bar) has crept above normal (green line).
Last winter, when Newfoundlander fishing boats became trapped, a young “climate scientist” theorized the increase in ice was due to ice which had formerly been “fast ice” to the north being melted free by Global Warming. The problem with his theory was that the increased levels of ice were getting back to former levels, after ten years of reduced ice (which some had claimed was itself a sign of Global Warming, before the levels recently increased.) Also, way back between 1871 and 1873, the ill-fated Polaris expedition sailed up to the very top of Baffin Bay, and a group of survivors drifted on an ice floe from Nares Strait clear down to Newfoundland in the dead of winter. The sea-ice has always been very mobile.
This brings me to the second thing I’ve been wondering about, which involves the effects of an increased export of sea-ice into the Atlantic. This difference between last winter, which saw sea-ice prevented from surging south by “wrong-way-winds” in Fram Strait, (or at least slowed), and this year, when the flow has been assisted by a Pacific-to-Atlantic flow, might assist the study of such effects.
I wonder about this because back around 1816-1817 there was an amazing export of sea-ice south, with whalers noting open water north of Greenland yet icebergs grounding on the coast of Ireland. Some think this may have so chilled the water of the North Atlantic that it lead to “The year Without A Summer” in Western Europe in 1817.
The Arctic Sea must always be exporting sea-ice and very cold water, because it imports water four ways, and can lose little due to evaporation. Even though the Pole receives little precipitation and is sometimes described as a “desert”, air heading north is nearly always moister than the air heading south, which means moisture is left up there. Second, the northern tendrils of the Gulf Stream reach the Arctic Sea, ramming water north. Third, some of the largest rivers in the world pour into the Arctic Sea. (The Lena River is described as “tenth largest”, but I think it may be second or third largest when it is in full flood in August; its water-levels can rise sixty feet.) Lastly, the north-facing glaciers of Greenland and the Canadian Archipelago calve huge bergs.
The export of water occurs in cold currents down the east coasts of Asia, Greenland and Baffin Bay, and the Atlantic receives far more than the Pacific. The water heading south in a liquid form is more dense than warmer water, and at a certain point dives beneath the warmer water. In fact between Iceland and Greenland in Denmark Strait, where the bottom gets dramatically deeper, the cold current plunges down in a manner I have heard described as an “underwater Niagara Falls.” However the sea-ice, (whether the thinner chips of frozen ocean, or huger bergs calved off from glaciers), cannot sink beneath the warmer waters, and instead sails right into the warmer waters, significantly chilling it. Therefore I’ll be watching to see if the Atlantic becomes colder, perhaps influencing the weather in Western Europe.
The ambiguity of the situation is that it is opposite of what some Alarmists suggest. Less ice left up in the Arctic makes it colder, not warmer, to the south. If it chills the Gulf Stream heading north, then, after a lag, it can make it colder in the Arctic Sea as well. I wonder if this fluctuation could play a part in the roughly sixty year oscillation of the AMO.
I’ll be watching to see if there is any decrease in the “volume” graph. Last year, when sea-ice was prevented from coming south, there was an unexpected increase in “volume” that surprised many Alarmists, beginning in February. This year, so far, the “volume” remains above last year, but I’ll be keeping a sharp eye on it.
In terms of “extent” (which means little this time of year, as there still is little or no sunshine to reflect, and “albedo” is not much of a consideration), we may have already passed our winter “maximum”. Alarmists will be dismayed it already beat last year’s (by a hair). Once again the “Death Spiral” is debunked. Not that the facts ever penetrate certain thick skulls.
The Beaufort Sea is nearly completely skimmed with ice, at a date it was barely half ice-covered two years ago, and only three quarters ice-covered last year. This is a handy bit of sea-ice trivia I park in a holster, to use when nit-picking with Alarmists. If they insist upon cherry-picking certain data from certain warmer parts of the arctic, I am perfectly capable of counter-cherry-picking right back at them. Anyway, in my book cherry fights are far better than knife fights, (though about as red).
In Alarmist circles, nearly all eyes are focused on surges of Atlantic air, with occasional injections of Pacific air, rushing up to the Pole, and fueling anomalous low pressure I have nicknamed “Ralph”. This creates a definite warm anomaly in the DMI temperature-north-of-80°-latitude graph.
This suggests to some Alarmists that the Pole is warming, but there are some glitches in their gladness. For one thing, these warm surges have been going on for about as long as I’ve been talking about “Ralph”, and may be due to the “Quiet Sun” being at rock bottom minimum. The autumns showed above-normal anomalies in both 2016 (left) and 2017 (right).
If warm air surging to the Pole truly resulted in “less ice”, we should see a decrease of ice over the past three years, but we have not seen it, at the sea-ice minimum. Therefore Alarmists focus at the period after the minimum, where indeed extents are at low levels.
One should immediately be curious how the extent can be below normal, since we began this post mentioning how there was more ice than in recent years in the Beaufort Sea. The answer is that there is less ice on the Eurasian Side of the Pole. This actually remains a good year for making the Northeast Passage, even as it was a bad year for making the Northwest Passage. The arctic coasts of Eurasia remain ice-free, as the arctic coasts of North America are ice-bound.
Indeed things seem a bit lopsided in the Arctic, with things for Alarmists to cherry-pick on the Russian side, with counter-cherry-picking available on the Canadian side. This even includes the yearly increase of snow cover, which is ahead of schedule on the Canadian side but behind schedule on the Siberian side (although there is snow well inland from the Siberian coast in the above map, it should extend farther south towards China by now.)
There are certain short-term possibilities the current pattern might bring about, that we should be watching for. For example Hudson Bay is completely surrounded by snow, which may hurry its yearly freeze. The fact the Kara and Laptev Seas look like they may remain open later than usual may attract storms to track along the Siberian coast, and also cool the water (which would ordinarily be protected by ice, and allowed to stratify, with colder but fresher floodwaters from rivers like the Lena over warmer but saltier (thus dencer) sea-water sliding beneath.)
Lastly, if the Atlantic pumps heat north, dislodged northern cold must exit somewhere else, and so far it seems to be exiting east of Alaska, heading straight south through the Canadian Archipelago, across flat prairies and continuing south all the way to Texas. The “Ice Age Now” site has reported grain farmers in the Great Plains having problems harvesting due to early snows.
Though I live far from the arctic, people in these parts do become alarmed to some degree when our food is threatened, depending on our level of awareness. Also worry about potentially cold winters can be upsetting to those poor (and often elderly) who may have to chose between food or fuel. It is little concern to such people if the arctic is “only” -10°C, which is +10° of normal, when the displaced cold air drops temperatures to -20° of normal in Arizona.
It may well be that the increased sea-ice in the Beaufort Sea is indicative of the sort of nasty winter where a ridge builds up the Pacific coast of North America, bringing south winds to Alaska and pleasing Alarmists up there, but bringing the arctic plunging south, east of the Rocky Mountains.
It is interesting that both NOAA and Weatherbell see the sort of winter that plunges the Southeast USA into cooler weather, but NOAA sees merely “normal” cold in the Southeast, whereas Weatherbell sees nasty cold. (NOAA left, Weatherbell right:)
The above predictions will be a good test of the skill-level between the public sector and the private sector. (I could go off onto a rave at this point, but will save it until after Weatherbell triumphs. I expect they will, as they do not exist due to the beneficence of moronic socialists like Al Gore, but exist purely due to being better at forecasting than the public sector.) (Sorry. That was a rave, after all, but at least I kept it within parenthesis.)
The above also shows that both socialists and meteorologists are seeing the same thing. They both see the current pattern is heading the same way, and both know that a “current-pattern” has a sort of momentum that extends into the future. However I have seen patterns change, and I’m staying on my toes, watching for signs of an unexpected change. (I find that is the best policy to have, regarding the weather, for only God knows the future with absolute certainty, and is proved correct.) (Alarmists know the future with absolute certainty, but stated the arctic would be ice-free by by 2014.)
What is being seen is a “loopy” pattern, where warm air is brought north, dislodging cold air which comes south. Largely it all balances out. It is a case of six of one or a half dozen of the other. The planet’s temperature is currently less than two tenths of a degree “above normal”, and Al Gore looks foolish for stating “The planet has a fever!” The average healthy human’s temperature varies more than that, during an average day, without thinking any sort of “fever” is involved.
However I don’t deny things look different than a decade ago. I think we are seeing some changes, (or should be), because of the “Quiet Sun.”
In the short term, it may look like the quieter the sun gets, the warmer it gets:
Unfortunately the above chart fails to show sunspot cycle 19 was much bigger than 21 or 22, (and 18 was also big; bigger than 22 but not 21). So the start of the above graph is showing a hidden effect. But what is the effect?
We have actually measured an increase in cosmic rays bombarding the earth, as the sun goes quiet, which may increase the cloud cover. However I also noticed there were more La Ninas back when the sun was “noisy”, and more El Ninos now that the sun has gone “quiet”. It could be coincidence, but I have a hunch the energy of the sun may effect trade winds, making them ever so slightly faster when the sun is “noisy”, and ever so slightly slower when the sun goes quiet.
These very slight differences, immeasurable by our clumsy instruments, have big consequences. (Don’t roll your eyes. I’ve put up with years of Alarmists telling me a tiny change in the amount of a trace gas can have giant consequences, and I’ve been respectful, as I know a small pebble can cause a big avalanche. But, though I have been patient, we have seen no “avalanche”, connected with CO2. So now it is my turn to suggest a different tiny change can be the “pebble that starts an avalanche”. I expect Alarmists to be as respectful to me as I was to them.) (Unlikely.)
The thing of it is this: The best and most brilliant scientists may look a bit like morons, when it comes to predicting when a La Nina will shift to an El Nino, and vice versa. Whatever brings about the change is a force too small and too subtle to measure with our currently crude computers and currently too-clumsy instruments. Therefore I fall back on what we do know. And what we do know is that increased trade winds effect the up-welling of cold water that occurs hand-in-hand with La Ninas, and decreased trade winds decrease the upwelling, which goes hand-in-hand with El Ninos’ warmer surface waters.
We also know both El Ninos and La Ninas feed upon themselves up to a certain point, and then become authors of their own demise. La Ninas involve clear skies, which eventually allows the sun to warm waters, which encourages El Ninos. El Ninos, on the other hand, encourage cloudy skies, which cool waters, which encourages La Ninas. In other words, it is an oscillation. But why were there more La Ninos when the sun was noisy? And why are their fewer now the sun is quiet?
I don’t know why. But it seems it happened. I’d like to throw out this idea, which involves counter intuitive thought.
When the sun gets “noisy” the trade winds increase in some slight manner that effects the tipping-point between El Nino and La Nina. There is more up-welling of cold water, so the planet appears colder even as the sun is hotter. Cooler weather causes the tropical sky to be clearer, and consequently the tropical oceans are absorbing more heat even as the planet appears colder.
Currently the opposite is the case. There is less up-welling of cold water, so the planet appears warmer even as the sun is colder. More warmth increases the clouds in the tropics, so those seas are actually cooling even as they release more heat to make the planet warmer, for they are no longer absorbing so much sunshine.
These contradictions can’t go on forever. The contrary thought involved is too contrary. Eventually the colder sun will result in a colder planet. A new tipping-point will be reached, and a new swing of a new oscillation will dramatically change things. The oceans will run out of extra heat supplied by the noisy sun of cycles 18 and 19, and some new pattern will appear, and likely blow our minds.
I hope I live long enough to see it happen, because I love to see our Creator surprise us with his Majestic stuff. But in the meantime I’m happy watching the counter intuitive reality which includes the sun getting quiet, but the planet getting warmer.
There is one place where it has gotten colder when the sun is “quiet”. It has been the Pole, when the sun is shining. Summers have been colder at the Pole as the sun has gone quiet. It is a slight difference, less than a degree Celsius, but quite obvious in the DMI graphs going back to 1958. It is a cherry Alarmists refuse to pick, preferring to look at the above-normal temperatures apparent at the Pole when the sun doesn’t shine. I suppose you could call cooler-summer-temperatures a choke-cherry, for Alarmists find it distasteful when I pick it as a sort of counter-cherry-picking.
However it is also very significant, I think, outside of the silliness of cherry fights. Because the Arctic Sea is far from the Trade Winds, and, because it remains ice-covered through much of the summer and “upwellings” can’t effect air temperatures until patches of open water are seen in August, it is a sort of labratory where the effects of noisy and quiet suns can be seen without the intrusions of other, busy-body variables. And what do we see? We see the quiet sun is, in fact, cooler.
However this coolness is, in and of itself, a pebble that can trigger another avalanche, involving a different oscillation, different from the oscillation between La Ninas and El Nino’s. This different oscillation is the switching between a “Zonal” pattern and a “Meridional” (loopy) pattern.
My guess is that when the “quiet sun” makes the Pole colder even as it makes the tropics warmer, it creates an imbalance, and the way the planet ends this imbalance is to shift from a Zonal pattern to a Meridional (loopy) pattern. The excess warmth in the tropics finds a faster route to the Pole, where it is radiated to outer space. Because this milder air is displaced northward, the cold air that ordinarily resides over the Pole is bumped southward, bringing snow further south and somewhat “accidentally” further cooling the planet, as the albedo of southern snows reflects a lot of sunshine.
At this point my jaw starts to drop, and I stand in awe of the Creator. After all, these two oscillation are but two out of many “variables.” It is like we are trying to gauge the music of a Beethoven Symphony by watching an oboe and third violin. People who focus on CO2 are trying to measure a symphony by watching a little old man over to the side whose sole job in the majesty of the swelling crescendo is to ding a triangle, once in a while.
Meteorology is a awesome and majestic subject, but I fear we puny mortals are reducing it to complete absurdity, and missing much that is wonderful in the process. It reminds me of a hilarious scene in the French farce, “The Tall Blond Man With One Black Shoe”.
The entire movie is well worth watching, but you will have to scroll ahead to 41:00 to see the scene that I feel resembles the farce we have made of meteorology.
In a particular French orchestra, a male kettle-drum-player is married to a female harpist, but she is having an affair with the first violinist. If this disharmony wasn’t a bad enough wrench in the works of a group of people supposedly dedicated to making harmony, the first violinist has been mistaken as a foreign spy, because he wore one black shoe and one tan shoe at an airport. (An added disharmony is that the second-in-command of the the French spies is attempting to replace his boss.) In any case, the music which this situation produces is nothing like Mozart intended.
I like to think that the reason God doesn’t just sizzle us with a lightning bolt, for our foolishness, is that he is helpless with laughter, because to Him we look like the orchestra in the above movie. We, of course, take ourselves far more seriously, though not even I can match the seriousness of Alarmists.
Meanwhile the symphony of God’s creation is quite capable of proceeding without us. It does not require our understanding to manifest. Currently warm air streams up toward the Pole through the North Atlantic, fueling incarnations of “Ralph” around and over the Pole.
Yet in only 36 hours the transport of all this warmth into the North Atlantic can trigger a North Atlantic gale far larger than hurricane, (but largely unnoticed, as no one lives where they are centered.)
Even though these huge gales are caused by warm air, they have a completely opposite effect on Europe, as they drag cold air from Fram Strait past Iceland and east across Europe, creating yet another counter-intuitive situation: Warm air coming north can make Europe cold. (Credit to Weatherbell Models, for map seen below.)
Considering weather so often proceeds in a manner that is counter-intuitive, you might wonder why I find any delight in it. I suppose the reason I find delight in it is the same reason I find delight in the music of a master like Bach, Beethoven or Mozart. I think I am following the thread of their music, and can predict where it will go next, but they surprise me by taking off into a rhapsody I never expected. Although they prove me wrong, I delight in what they reveal.
In like manner, weather is constantly taking off into a rhapsody meteorologists didn’t expect. Good meteorologists are grateful for the chance to see something new and learn more. Bad meteorologists take offence.
Most absurd are non-meteorologist Alarmists who not only take offence when the weather proves them wrong, but think they themselves can control the weather. Maybe they don’t throw virgins (or Skeptics) into volcanoes, but they do buy curly light bulbs.
Don’t get me wrong. I do not deny the possibility men can to some degree control the weather, but if it occurred it would likely be more probable to occur if one respected the Creator than if one denied there was any such thing as a Creator. In other words, if there was such a thing as an Author of the amazing creation we live within, and people failed to see how amazing and how like a miracle ordinary days are, and had the nerve to suggest the everyday miracle could be bettered, the Author might be inclined to favor those who prayed over those who refused to do anything so silly as pray, and instead thought it was wiser to virtue-signal their political correctness by buying curly light-bulbs.
In other words, though I have no scientific proof, I think the person more likely to control the weather might be a small child praying for a white Christmas, whereas an atheist buying curly light bulbs would have no effect whatsoever.
Be that as it may, the weather largely proceeds in a miraculous manner, displaying harmony we but dimly comprehend, obeying laws we have yet to discover. Appreciate it.
Sea-ice thickness, October 19. Last year to left, this year to right:
It is interesting to note that last year the Laptev Sea had completely flash-frozen, while this year it is wide open. It is an area to watch, to see if it flash freezes shortly, or remains open. Hudson Bay is another area to watch for a flash freeze. (Flash freezes are interesting, as the freeze actually releases a lot of heat that was held as latent heat in liquid water.)
The increase in sea-ice along the coast of Alaska does not make up for the missing ice in the Laptev Sea, and this largely explains why the “volume” graph is back to low levels.
One thing to watch for, in terms of the “volume” of sea-ice, is how often the flow goes the “wrong way” in Fram Strait, as opposed to how often sea-ice is flushed out of the Arctic and down the east coast of Greenland. Last year a “wrong way” flow in late February led to open water north of Greenland as sea-ice was shifted north, but also to increased “volume” as the sea-ice piled up in the Central Arctic. (Alarmists picked the cherry of open water, and I counter-picked the increased volume, which was typical for cherry fights.) Currently the sea-ice is surging south in Fram Strait due to the enormous Atlantic gale, but this is common in the autumn.
The sea-ice totals vary greatly, depending on how much is exported south through Fram Strait. 2007 had a low extent due to a large export. Last year had much less export. One thing which affects the export is the positioning of the enormous Atlantic gales. When they are shifted over towards Europe there is more export. Last year the gales tended to slam into Greenland. (So Alarmists picked the cherry of less sea-ice in the Greenland sea, as I counter-picked the increased snows and consequently an increased mass-balance of ice on Greenland itself.)
Two things I can confidently predict.
First, the cherry fights will continue. Have fun, and don’t let them escalate to knives.
Second, the symphony arctic orchestra will play on, displaying a divine harmony.
The reporter was only attempting to add a bit of drama to his report, but likely was not on the best of terms with the man holding the camera. If it were not for the two people casually strolling by in the background (which an adept cameraman would have made sure not to include) his acting job would have been quite convincing. Instead he will be held up as yet another “epitome of fake news”, (and also will likely have to bear some nickname such as “Staggers” for the rest of his life).
This hype is old news in many ways. Here is Anderson “pooper” Cooper reporting from the gutter during Hurricane Ike.
The accompanying hysteria seemed to be reaching “jump the shark” proportions. I cannot help but wonder how many take the media claims that “It is all Trump’s fault” seriously.
The level of inanity astonishes me, and demands some sort of push-back. I was glad to see the “Watt’s Up With That” website immediately produced a series of posts countering the politicized editorials spewed by the mainstream media. Especially encouraging was a parody of media hype produced by firemen, for it seems to indicate ordinary people are not gullible “sheeple”, and see through the hype, and find the media laughable.
Besides reducing the hysteria of the media to absurdity, it is important to factually counter their wild claims. I think Dr. Tim Ball did an excellent job in the following post, first by examining Hurricane Florence from a meteorological standpoint, and showing it was in many ways a fairly normal September hurricane at landfall, and second by pointing out how insurance companies stand to profit from hysteria. (Especially interesting and informative were his insights about how such storms “flatten” as they come north.)
I feel it is important to arm yourself with facts and figures, despite the fact some Alarmists will simply shout you down by screeching you are a “Denier.” Admittedly it can be scary to face a mob, and some elements of current politics has the definite feel of a witch hunt. One wants to duck for cover, for one feels like Dr. Frankenstein facing villagers bearing pitchforks and torches. But during such times I remember the importance of the character “Jojo” in the classic “Horton Hears A Who”, by the great American poet and master of anapestic tetrameter, Dr. Seuss.
Yes, it is important for every voice to be heard, for a grain of sand can start an avalanche. Do not allow yourself to be shouted down.
I’ll admit the struggle does get tiresome. It’s been going on for decades. I myself was first jolted awake to the element of nonsense within “Climate Science” when I opened the November, 2006 issue of National Geographic, as it was devoted to hurricanes and I had a long-time interest in such storms, and came across a article by “weepy” Bill MCKibben called, “A Deeper Shade Of Green”. It began,
“This is the year we finally started to understand what we are in for. Exactly 12 months ago, an MIT professor named Kerry Emanuel published a paper in Nature showing hurricanes had slowly but steadily been gaining in strength and duration for a generation. It didn’t gain widespread attention for a few weeks — not until Katrina roared across the Gulf of Mexico and…”
I knew enough trivia about hurricanes to recognize the article contained sheer balderdash misinformation, and began attempting to correct the record in small ways, but my efforts seemed to have no effect. Bill McKibben got lots of publicity generating hysteria that failed to verify, while I was either ignored or rebuked as a “denier.” However 2006 marked a clear increase in the number of “Skeptic” sites where you could be heard. As McKibben’s nonsense went on and on, year after year, he faced increasing push-back. I finally got a long and detailed rebuttal to his hysteria published at WUWT in 2012.
Long and detailed rebuttals didn’t seem to have the slightest effect on Weepy Bill himself, or on the more ardent Alarmists. They simply refused to respond. But this refusal to respond made their arguments look increasingly like they lacked any substance. They were like those hollow paper tubes that hold rolls of toilet paper. More and more they seemed to be using empty political slogans rather than any points that were remotely debatable. Getting hit by these empty slogans was like getting bopped over the head by a paper tube. All they did was rob you of a degree of your dignity, but they failed to make the attacker look civil, and did make them look a little insane.
The ineffectiveness of political slogans, and the failure of such propaganda to fool indoctrinate the public became apparent with the Brexit election, and the election of Donald Trump. At this point a certain degree of desperation set in, felt by those whose livelihood is dependent on empty slogans. However, if you only have empty slogans to use, using them more and more frantically persuades no one.
At this point I think it might be interesting to go to a network noted for slogans, MSNBC, and examine the introduction to a so-called “analysis” of the news. Usually such an introduction passes quickly as a stream of blather, but we shall slow it down and parse the sentences. If we analyse the analysis we can see if it is connected to reality, or not.
The speaker is Katy Tur and she begins,
“President Trump says FEMA is ready for Hurricane Florence but mounting evidence suggests it could be incredibly difficult to deal with this disaster if climate change deniers are on the front lines…”
Excuse me? Is there anything an Alarmist can do that a Skeptic can’t, on the “front lines?” Does an Alarmist have a witch doctor’s wand they can shake at the waves to make them retreat? No. In fact even the UN’s highly politicized IPCC report can see no “trend” in hurricanes, either increasing or decreasing, in recent years. If there is no “trend” there can be no “trend” caused by man, which therefore suggests there is no way puny humans can turn these mighty storms left or right.
In terms of the present tense, when Hurricane Florence battered our shores we didn’t need Climate Scientist’s theory from ivory towers, which accomplishes absolutely nothing, but rather we wanted hard-nosed people who understand the logistics of coping with a hurricane’s effect on our infrastructure. As is the case on battlefields in the fog of war, or on ships at sea in storms, it doesn’t matter if you are black or white, Republican or Democrat, religious or atheist, or even Alarmist or Skeptic. All that matters is the capability and grit you display, under the stress of a hurricane.
Katy’s next sentence is this appeal to authority:
“…A new study from the Princeton University is echoing the findings of previous research showing climate change as the cause of ocean conditions that produce fast storms like Hurricane Harvey…”
Oh brother! Hurricane Harvey was a slow storm, not a fast storm. Harvey’s excessive rainfall would have been less devastating if it was spread out over several states. However the hurricane stalled over Texas, and all the rain fell in one place.
In actual fact I doubt people at Princeton University are so ignorant, nor that they “echoed” any other “study” so ignorant, that that called Hurricane Harvey “fast”. Rather this is an example of atrociously bad reporting, and the above point is an attempt of an imbecile to look like they hang around with college professors. It is as silly as the video of the man staggering in a calm that began this post. It is an appeal to authority by a moron attempting to look like a genius by donning a white lab coat. (I won’t blame Katy, but rather the writer who wrote the balderdash she mouthed.)
(By the way, I fully expect to soon see a report stating that slower storms are caused by Global Warming.)
Her next sentance is:
“…NOAA is suggesting it’s 3 degrees Fahrenheit above average…”
The “it’s” Katy is referring to is the “ocean conditions that produce fast storms like Hurricane Harvey”, however NOAH doesn’t need to suggest. The have actual satellites that produce actual data. So let’s look and see if the ocean is three degrees Fahrenheit above average.
Oh! I see. The “it’s” Katy says NOAA is referring to isn’t the entire ocean. “Its” an area off the Northeast USA coast extending towards Europe. Elsewhere, the southern hemisphere is largely below normal. And Hurricane Florence actually formed over below-normal waters over towards West Africa. But never mind that. Let us proceed to the point she was driving at.
“…Where does the Trump Administration stand on climate change?…”
Eh? How does that follow? A sort of leap in logic has occurred. Is this a case of the-hand-is-faster-than-the-eye?
As best as I can figure, Katy has leaped from NOAA “suggesting” that some vague “it” is three degrees above normal, to politics. The assumption must be that “it” proves Global Warming is real, and now we should hurry on to how Trump is dealing with this “reality”. However we will need to come back later, and look more carefully at the “it” she has so hurriedly hastened away from.
“…President Trump rolled back Obama era mandates for leaks and oil and gas wells…”
Now we have completely left the topic of meteorology. We are into the fields of economics and energy production, and also public safety. The state of our infrastructure is a topic of interest to me, and well worth discussing. On September 13 a leaky gas line, (and perhaps a foul-up in the pressure in the lines), caused 60 fires and chaos not far from where I now sit and type.
I will return to this subject later. (But please note the solar panels on the above house.)
For the time being, let us continue with Katy’s logic:
“…These rules were part of Obama’s three part strategy for combating climate change.”
Whoa! Wait a minute. How did we get back to meteorology? I thought we were talking about leaky gas mains and infrastructure.
All in all Katy Tur has provided us with a splendid example of an intellect that fails to think deeply, or move cautiously. Instead she leaps from topic to topic with a splendid disregard for investigative reporting. In this manner she avoids that which would give a more ordinary thinkers reason to pause. It ignores the advice, “The buyer beware.” (I could likely sell her the Brooklyn Bridge).
I don’t really want to take Katy to task. She’s putting on a show for the cameras, just like the reporter in the video at the start of this post was putting on a show for the cameras. The above quotes were from Katy’s intro to an interview with “Bill Nye the Science Guy”, who also is hard to take to task, for he too is putting on a show for the cameras. And then Katy moved on to interview the former “White House Climate Change Task Force’s Director Of Communication”, (a position that paid a six-figure taxpayer-funded salary, which President Trump has abolished.) But what, may I ask, is a “Director Of Communications”? It is not someone in charge of putting on a show for cameras?
All these people putting on shows for the cameras are merely doing the job they are paid to do. If they show a falsehood, don’t blame them (though they must bear a certain shame for doing the job they do). Blame those who create the job, hire them, and pay them.
But the so-called “infrastructure” does not care how you look on camera. It must obey a fundamental reality or it fails. If you put too much pressure into the gas mains, big troubles can ensue. Allow me to be redundant and repost this picture:
This poor home-owner lost his house despite his virtue-signaling solar panels. Was his loss due to “Climate Change”? No, for the weather was nice. Was it due to “Climate Change Politics”? I suggest the answer is “Yes”. Why? Because too much focus has been on how things look on camera, and too little attention, time, and money has been placed on the basic facts of basic engineering. The infrastructure is not a thing thing that cares for cameras. A politician’s blandishments and pretty talk mean nothing to a rusting pipe. You cannot bribe a gas main.
Look again at the virtue-signaling solar panels. They are not very effective when the sun sulks down by the horizon, this far north, in December. Nor can wind turbines replace them, for our coldest weather occurs when the Arctic Highs are cresting, and the “Montreal Express” ebbs to a dead calm. At that point both solar power and wind turbines supply the infrastructure nothing, and we must turn to fossil fuels, or freeze. As coal power plants were “phased out” by the prior administration, natural gas became increasingly important as a “back-up” for “sustainable” energy (which isn’t sustainable, because it can’t sustain itself in a midwinter cold spell.)
But when neglected infrastructure, (neglected because Alarmists demanded attention be elsewhere), breaks down, the usual suspects reappeared, including the nemesis of sanity “Weepy” Bill Mckibben. (He tends to show up after every disaster, licking his chops like a vulture). Within hours of the Massachusetts explosions and fires he tweeted, “The Massachusetts gas explosions are a good reminder of the many reasons we need to get off fossil fuel.”
I am so sick of this “progressiveness”. In any disaster it holds the helpfulness of a hyena. It waves hands vaguely at some future prospect, and does absolutely nothing to remedy the current crisis, and (what is most annoying) it gets rich doing so.
What McKibben was suggesting in “A Deeper Shade Of Green”, way back in 2006, was that Katrina was the first of many massive hurricanes that would smash into the USA, due to mankind’s production of CO2. Time has proven him completely wrong. There actually have been fewer major hurricanes in the past thirteen years than his dramatic article, (containing the same appeals-to-university-authority that Katy employed), warned us to expect. In actual fact there have been fewer hurricanes than a ordinary scan of history would lead us to expect.
Can he be held accountable? According to some readings of the Old Testament, when a man stands before other men and states he is a prophet, and then, when what he prophesies does not come true, he has proven himself a “false prophet”, and the societal remedy is to haul him to the town green, and stone him to death. Fortunately for Weepy Bill we don’t follow this practice any more, perhaps due to Jesus stating, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” This is not to say he doesn’t get stoned, but if so it his own doing, perhaps due to what it is now legal to smoke in Massachusetts.
What annoys me is that some continue to heed such people, taking them as an authority despite the fact they have proven themselves persistently wrong. It does not help us with the real task at hand, which is to keep our infrastructure is the best possible shape, and to repair it after benchmark storms.
Rather than hype, the public should be informed about what is possible, which involves a clear comprehension of what a “benchmark hurricane” is.
A benchmark hurricane a worst-case-scenario. It is the worst storm a particular area has a record of.
As one moves up and down any coast one discovers the “benchmark hurricane” differs, because the worst winds and storm surge associated with a hurricane are in its eyewall, (usually the part with onshore winds), which in some cases can be a surprisingly tight area. For example, driving south of Myrtle Beach in November, 1989 I witnessed, moving through Surfside south towards Murrell’s Inlet, the devastation rapidly increased as one neared the place where Hurricane Hugo’s path plunged inland. Driving north, on the other hand, to North Myrtle Beach, (to where I once lived), there was only slight damage, and the relieved residents were joking about how they hadn’t needed to evacuate. But I could point out to them a place where I had put in a garden, behind the house where I had formerly lived, and explained that as I dug I found scattered bricks, from a hotel a hundred yards down the beach that Hurricane Hazel smashed in 1954. I stated they were wise to evacuate, for the weather bureau can never be exactly sure where a storm will make landfall, and if Hugo had veered fifty miles north the situation in North Myrtle Beach would have been entirely different. In any case, Surfside had Hugo as its “benchmark,” while North Myrtle Beach had Hazel. (An area between was spared the worst of both).
The word “benchmark” came from a mark a workman might put on his workbench as a handy reference point, so he would not have to take out a tape measure and re-measure over and over. It serves the same purpose for engineers, who must design structures to handle bad weather. They look to see what is the worst Mother Nature has dished up in the past, using it as a reference point, and then look to see if they can design anything that can withstand such fury.
The answer is seldom, “No”, which surprises some people. The Bible advises against building on sand, but the engineer’s answer is “Yes, you can build there, but it would be extremely expensive; do you have a couple billion dollars handy?” In such cases they are not building on sand, for they put in a deep concrete foundation, and build a sort of bunker.
The buyer, (and often the taxpayer) beware. Often the engineer is disappointed, and rather than a billion dollars only gets a hundred thousand. For example, there are rivers in Texas that are usually dry, but occasionally rampage due to tropical storms. An engineer could design a costly suspension bridge over the gully, or a cheap ford over the river bottom which would be closed when the river was in flood, and likely need to be replaced on a regular basis. The customer then looks in his wallet, and makes a choice.
There are some sections of coast that, for whatever reason, are luckier than others, and have dodged the bullet and therefore have less devastating “benchmark hurricanes”. In these cases engineers raise the benchmark, for they think the luck will not last. Perhaps they studied a channel cut through a nearby marsh, and noticed that within the layers of peat there were occasional layers of sand, washed all the way inland from the beach, during massive storms that occurred before records were kept. With the help of geologists they can determine the likelihood of such huge hurricanes, and advise customers about the likelihood of such a storm, giving us terms such as “once-every-500-year-storm”.
In Europe, where records have been kept longer, there are records of times the North Sea went on a complete rampage, and villages and parts of entire counties vanished, and on maps areas went from being land to being shoally seas. Because this is actual history the Alarmists should not use the word “Unprecedented” for modern storms in Europe, but history never seems to stop Alarmists from being overly dramatic (and therefore inaccurate) about the present.
Engineers need to be economical. A small road in a small town can’t afford a giant culvert for a small brook, to handle a once-every-500-year-storm. The taxpayers will pay for a small culvert, and then pay to fix the road if they have to. For this reason a wisely devised emergency-management-plan seeks to predict damages, not to prevent any and all damage from ever occurring.
When I was living in Myrtle Beach I was a bit scornful of everyone building on land that was only three to six feet above high tide, and one time I haughtily informed a construction worker that another Hurricane Hazel would wash away all his work with a twelve-foot storm surge. He smiled cheerfully at me and stated, “That will be great for construction workers, for we’ll have to build it all back again. You’re not going to stop people from enjoying the beauty of this beach.”
A few years later I returned to inspect the damage after Hurricane Hugo, and down past Surfside came to a stretch of beach where nothing but pilings remained of the beachfront homes. They had all been built atop twelve foot pilings, and only the pilings remained. Each and every house was a block or two back from the beach, smashed into other houses. But then I noticed a lone beachfront house remained. The garage beneath the house was gone, and the staircase up to the house dangled brokenly in mid air, but the house remained. As I looked at it and scratched my head a local fellow came up to me and asked, “Wondering about that house?”
“I don’t know why, but that fellow paid a bit extra for longer pilings, and his house’s floor was three feet taller than the rest.”
Surfside was a terrible mess, but now it is all cleaned up and people are enjoying vacations at the beach again.
And what is the moral of all this? It is to be practical. It isn’t to ban beautiful resorts in beautiful places, but to enjoy the best while being ready for the worst, with a wise contingency plan.
We also need a plan of how to deal with the Alarmists who have become addicted to a way of making money from the imaginary danger of Global Warming. They may number in the millions, if you include all government jobs, and they are facing a hurricane of their own making. They have mortgages to pay, children to clothe and feed, car-payments to make, but are facing homelessness, for the political construct they depended on is going to be swept away.
Either it will be swept away by wise choices and sane behavior, or by the social insanity of civil war, but it simply is not a sustainable construct, despite all the bather about “sustainability.”