The real smoke is the politicization of “Climate Change” which you know you’ll be subjected to if you read much further in the above tweet.

First of all, the climate always changes. Always has and always will.

Second of all, there often isn’t a thing we can do about it beyond pray and prepare, which is much like the old motto from the battlefield, “Pray and pass the ammunition.”

Currently the climate is undergoing several “changes” we need to study. One is what happens when the AMO swings from a “warm” phase to a “cold” phase. A second is what happens at the peak of a sunspot cycle when the sunspot cycles are in a “Quiet Sun” phase. A third is how an El Nino behaves when influenced by the first two variables. We have never seen this before, and should be taking notes, not pretending we know why it is happening.

I like how the above tweet ends with the word “unprecedente…” Right there gongs and sirens should go off, for the word has been so overused even the dogs are barfing. It has the effect of violins in a bad movie, or a drum roll before a joke that flies like a lead balloon.

My fingerprints are unprecedented. Do I rate a drum roll? Why not?

The fact is there is something in every day that is fresh and new. Our Creator had no desire to bore us. I think He wants to pique our interest, and lure us in the right direction; not scare our socks off. But Climate Alarmists seemingly live in an ecstasy of dread, and are titillated by shuddering, and relish walking with knocking knees. “We are doomed” they cackle, smacking their lips, “for this has never been seen before.” Then they get mad at me because I suggest maybe it is good that things are fresh and new.

The current fresh and new storm track was utterly unexpected by Alarmists, who seem to score worse than even TV weathermen when it comes to making accurate forecasts.

How can I say such a thing? Because Alarmists were, only eleven months ago, in spasms of joy over the doom of a mega-drought which was about to ruin the American Southwest. In my opinion the people of the Southwest need to be more thoughtful about how they allocate their water-resources, but they were draining Lake Mead in a drought and it was reaching such low levels that (among other things) a body gangsters had disposed-of in waters over a hundred feet deep was exposed.

Alarmists stated the falling water levels were unprecedented, and proof of Climate Change, and we should therefore obey them, but almost a soon as they said this the drought ended, and lake Mead began rising, and rising, and rising, until even in May and June, when history tells us Lake Mead almost always falls, it is still rising. It is rising because water is pouring into it from upstream, and also rising because there is less demand to drain it. Why drain Lake Mead to water a lawn or golf course when it is raining on the lawn or golf course? And just today, (June 7), a swirl of rain fell west of Los Angeles to Nevada, where it simply isn’t suppose to rain in June. It is unprecedented!

Why are not the Alarmists focusing on the unprecedented end to the “mega-drought”? Last time I looked, Lake Powell had risen nearly fifty feet, despite the fact all the reservoirs (34 are tracked) upstream have been holding back waters and are now more than 80% full. And the snow-melt which feeds this replenishing has far to go, and in fact today it was not melting, but snowing, on the higher peaks. The unusual swirl of rain I mentioned moved east of LA, watering lawns and golf greens, and also wetting crops which usually require irrigation that usually drains Lake Mead. But do Alarmists so much as squeak about this climate change?

Why not? I suppose it is too hard to make beneficent rains sound like “we are doomed.” Also they might be asked to explain why their forecasted mega-drought busted. In any case, they changed the subject.

If this new and interesting storm track brings the moisture south, to the north it likely will be drier, and drier forests are more likely to experience fires. Fire! This lit the Alarmists’ eyes up.

And of course there was the usual talk about whether the fires were unprecedented and due to Climate Change.

Well, of course they are due to Climate Change, because the climate is always changing. However it is the subject of whether they are “Unprecedented”, or not, that involves some study of history. Oddly, Alarmists are not eager to look back too far or dig too deeply.

Careful examination of records discovers a somewhat brutal truth. All forests experience fires. Even rain forests. After fires, a fascinating process called “succession” occurs where the ecosystem seeks to revert to a “Climax Forest”, (wherein the forest can get back to behaving as if fires never happened). The swings between Climax Forest and the smoldering start of “succession”, and the various steps “succession” goes through, as it returns to being a Climax Forest, involves various plants and animals which exploit the environment when they can and dwindle away when they can’t, but apparently they never completely disappear, for they are there waiting, the next time the cycle occurs.

Certain people, who love how amazing nature is, like to study how this succession-system works, and become aware of further variables. These other variables involve how much of the forest is reduced to ashes: Just a few acres, or the entire forest? Also, how often do such fires occur. Often, or once every thousand years?

If you love such study, and want funding, then you must find a way to make the amazing adaptability of forests sound frail and able to be ruined by “Climate Change.” In other words, make it sound like a forest is healthy if it has a fire every hundred years, but Climate Change will make fires more frequent. Then you may get funding to study places where they had two fires in thirty years. The interrupted succession of such ecosystems is wonderful stuff to look at and contemplate, and happens due to sheer coincidence, but because you made it look like it had to do with Global Warming, you are granted the money to study the subject you adore.

In fact such variability has nothing to do with funding or politics. It has more to due with “luck”. For example, at a casino a person playing slot machines is bound to lose more than they win, but may experience a time of “good luck” where they win more than they lose. Should that lucky person ascribe outside influences to the fact they won? Were they nice that day to a little old lady? Did they go to church the prior Sunday? Or was it just dumb luck?

Or… winning at a casino caused by Global Warming?

Actually I personally don’t believe there is such a thing as dumb luck. Creation is a magnificently crafted balance of actions and reactions. Also there is power in prayer, even the prayers of a gambler, though God alone knows how the prayers will be answered; one church may be praying for rain on the corn, as the church next door prays for sun on the Sunday School picnic; if God answers both prayers the clash between the two weathers would create a tornado that would blow both churches down; for this reason I leave such things up to God, and am glad I’m not in His shoes.

However, even if you simplify things down to a level of dumb luck, “unprecedented” things are surprisingly common. If a station has kept records a hundred years, there is a one-in-a-hundred chance any given day will be the record high or record low. If you have five hundred stations across a continent, one-in-a-hundred odds means that five stations should set a record high every day, even under most humdrum conditions. That is five unprecedented events every day, for headlines to screech about.

The fires in Canada seem like a new thing, for we are used to Canadian air being pristine, and refreshingly cool. It seems only yesterday the United States was the culprit, sending acid rain north. Now we have mended our ways, with scrubbers in our smoke stacks, and it is Canada sending us the dirty air. This is the third event in a month where Canada has turned our skies brown. First it was due to fires in the Canadian Rockies a month ago, and then last week it was fires Raging in Nova Scotia.

Perhaps someone prayed well, for a weak storm zipping out to sea stalled off Nova Scotia, and intensified, and rains drenched the Nova Scotia fires. However further west the same storm’s backside brought down bone-dry arctic air on strong winds, and fires in Quebec were whipped out of control. Perhaps the praying has continued, for, for after a single smokey day the storm retrograded further west, bringing us clean Atlantic air even as smoke funneled down the Hudson River Valley, and my son in NYC could smell smoke even within his apartment.

Note in the image below how clean and green the air is over New Hampshire, even as NYC gets the worst.

The storm, though weakening, has now retrograded so far west that sprinkles of rain are falling in Quebec, slowing the fires and, more importantly, washing the air. While the air is still listed as “hazardous” in NYC, the “air quality index” has dropped to 168, a third of what it was.

There is some discussion about how hazardous the smoke actually is. One side is in a tizzy about “fine particulate matter”, but it should be noted we are not talking about the fumes from diesel buses. Also these are the same people who want to ban gas stoves, and also wood stoves. But man has been breathing wood smoke since before the Neanderthal; Homo Erectus played with fire, perhaps as much as two million years ago.

Considering people used to be exposed to wood smoke 365 days a year and there was never any great movement to quit smoking, I doubt a few days will kill us. However as a former smoker with compromised lungs I will confess I now avoid the downwind side of campfires.

But, in terms of the smoke being “unprecedented”, I suggest a study of colonial history. Without any to fight forest fires in those days, some fires became gigantic, and the “dark days” they caused downwind were noted in colonial records, especially as, rather than Global Warming or Climate Change, people tended to leap to the conclusion “The Day Of Judgment” was at hand, and some would drop their axes or hoes and hustle off to church, as others made a beeline to the closest tavern.

One such dark day in 1780 occurred right around this time of year, on May 19. There was an east wind, as we now experience. It was noticed as far south as New Jersey, where George Washington noted it in his diary as he directed the Revolutionary War, but that day was darkest in New England. The sunrise was a lurid crimson, and then a darkness rose in the west and the sun vanished. The sky didn’t merely turn brown; it grew black, and people needed lanterns outside.

As this eerie darkness grew the Connecticut legislature was in session, and some of the members grew uneasy. It was wartime, and they were all guilty of treason in the eyes of the English government, so I would think they would be used to feeling nervous, but this growing darkness was a bit too much for some, who said it might be the Day of Judgement and at any moment trumpets could blare from the heavens, and they should adjourn the session. Then, to his everlasting credit, Abraham Davenport gave this wonderful 44 word speech:

“I am against adjournment. The day of judgment is either approaching, or it is not. If it is not, there is no cause for an adjournment; if it is, I choose to be found doing my duty. I wish therefore that candles may be brought.”

We could use some minds like that in modern legislatures, when faced with the fearful mindset that wants to take any fresh and new event and generate a panic, which they then use to strip men of their God-given liberties.

Do not fear the smoke and mirrors.

Nipigon Bridge Failure —Social Vs Real Engineering—

“Murphy’s Law” kicked in up in Canada, as a brand new bridge on the Trans-Canada Highway buckled. Nipigon 1 1297792332567_ORIGINAL

This obviously is due to a mistake in the engineering of the bridge. There is discussion about whether the buckling was caused by a storm’s high winds, or very cold temperatures causing cables to contract more than expected, or both, but it really doesn’t matter. Problems such as these are suppose to be discussed and solved before construction even begins. It is a bit late to be heading back to the old drawing board.Peter Arno drawing board cartoon, New Yorker 1941-8x6

It is at this point that the wonders of tracing down the reasons for the SNAFU start to appear. This is also known as “The Blame Game,” and involves the absurdity of politicians, and a sort of engineering that has very little to do with real engineering: Social Engineering. Call it “spin” if you will, but it involves attempting to warp reality in such a manner as to benefit some, and to basically crucify others.  It departs from firm foundations and launches into a sort of false reality which often creates the very engineering mistakes it later is in such a hurry to cover-up, or excuse, or blame on others, or in some way, shape or form deny responsibility for.

Already I’ve seen the “Blame Game” regarding the Nipigon Bridge blame Spain. I didn’t bother to dig into the details, but I gathered some thought the mystery of Canadian politics had involved employing a Spanish construction company, which had less-than-usual experience with arctic cold and what such cold can do to construction materials, in the building of the Nipigon Bridge. Others blamed China, because some of the materials had been obtained more cheaply abroad. It all struck me as somehow splendid. One can only marvel at the ability of some people to blame disaster, occurring on their own doorstep, on nations and peoples thousands of miles away.

This is not to say politics isn’t to blame, for often it is. Rather than the best engineer, some brother-in-law of a person who donated to the party-in-power’s election gets the job, though he happens to be a complete doophus. The result is then a doophus’s debacle, such as the buckling of a brand new bridge.

The buckling of the Nipigon Bridge was due to real problems with real engineering, and created a whole new set of real problems for Canada, as Canada’s major cross-country highway was cut. On one hand real engineers set to work coming up with real answers, to open at least one lane of the bridge. Nipigon 2 nipigonbridge02jpg.jpg.size.xxlarge.letterbox

However these real solutions to real problems swiftly began to overlap the world of unreality created by social engineering. For example, the real engineers stated the most heavy loads could not cross the bridge, and this includes the super-heavy engines for wind-turbines, (which happen to be an unreal solution to the unreal problem of Global Warming). Those in charge of the real problem of wind turbine logistics then began to seek alternate routes down through the United States, but this of course involved crossing a border, which is an imaginary line involving passports, paperwork, and all sorts of complications involving paying politicians what are basically bribes, but is excused by calling them “fees”, or perhaps “tariffs”, or some other fancy-pants word.

At some point we are forced to stop and scratch our heads, and wonder why on earth we put up with Social Engineering.  All Social Engineering seems to do is to get in the way of doing jobs correctly in the first place, and then gets in the way of fixing the mistakes that Murphy’s Law makes all too common, even when we strive to do things correctly in the first place. Why don’t we strive to stick to what is real? Real Engineering seems to trump Social Engineering every day in every way.

I have thought long and hard about this subject, likely because as a schoolboy I was guilty of being a bald-faced liar, when it came to telling the teachers the truth regarding the whereabouts of my homework. The reality was too stark for me, and I sought to avoid facing reality. Had I been a true engineer I would have faced the facts, and the facts were I hadn’t done my homework and must bear the punishment. However I didn’t like those facts. I wanted to change the facts. And therefore I made up some of the most amazing stories teachers have ever heard. So incredible were my tales that teachers gaped, their jaws hanging in total astonishment, and they were unable to act. I paralyzed them with my bull, and then the bell rang, and I made a beeline out the door thinking I had escaped punishment.

Of course I didn’t escape punishment. You can’t escape reality, as real engineers know. A day comes when the bridge you built simply falls down, like the gorgeous structure over Tacoma Narrows known as “Galloping Gertie”.

In my case the punishment wasn’t quite so dire. It was basically a test I sat down to take, and then flunked because I’d never done any homework. This led to further punishment, because if you get poor grades then doors that are open to others are closed to you. The only doors open to me were the doors that open if you call tell a tale so amazing it makes teachers gape.

Obviously I should have gone into politics. I was such an excellent liar I likely could have gone far. The problem was that the real reason my bull could be spell-binding, and enchant teachers to a point where they forgot to punish, was because, as strange as it sounds, my fabrications were founded on Truth.

The Truth was that I hadn’t done my homework because I’d found something better, and finer, and higher than homework. It is something most boys know about but many forget as they grow up, and it isn’t politics. It is something Mark Twain attempted to describe when he wrote “Tom Sawyer” and “Huckleberry Finn”, and is every bit as much a Truth as the Truths incorporated by the best engineers. It is in some ways crucial to life, and is spiritual, and therefore is about as far from modern politics as one can get.

(I hope that explains why I was repelled from politics, despite apparently being an excellent liar. It is the best I can do.)

Now, when I start to speak of Higher Truths, I warn you I am starting to weave my enchantment, and you are in danger of becoming as spell-bound as my teachers once were. Keep in mind that Truth is Truth, and there is no way around it. Be firm, even grim. Remember that if a bridge isn’t built correctly it will buckle and sway, and that many more people than the stockholders in the shamed construction company will have to pay a price, to fix the mess made by incorrectness.

The point I wish to make is that there is a reason behind the bull of Social Engineering. Unfortunately it hidden from, and even called incorrect by, the politically-correct. The problem with political-correctness is that it seeks to profit from spirituality, which is basically ludicrous, and is in a sense like trying to make money off giving to the poor.

Suppose your brother-in-law is a complete doophus. The spiritual instinct is not to damn him, but rather to uplift him. The problem with the politically correct is that they assume uplifting the fellow means you should practice blatant nepotism, and give him the job of engineering a bridge that he will likely turn into a doophus’s debacle, meanwhile ignoring a far more qualified engineer who happens to be a total stranger, and unlikely to ever offer you any personal kick-back if you give him the job. And the problem with this political correctness is becoming increasing apparent, as brand new bridges fail, or major waterways silt up causing floods in England, or the US Navy’s latest high-speed troop transport is exposed as having a bow that crumples in gales.

However we should not blame the instinct to upraise doophuses for these increasingly common examples of doophus’s debacles. Rather we should blame the selfishness attached to politically-correct nepotism and cronyism.

The distinction between the Social Engineering that seeks to uplift a doophus even at our own expense, and the Political Correctness that seeks to profit off a doophus, should be blatantly obvious, but tends to be hidden in a haze of economic uncertainty, wherein fewer and fewer are self-reliant farmers, and more and more are holders of government jobs or government pensions or government welfare, and are completely reliant on so-called benefactors who are in fact beneficiaries of reliance. In this haze it is only when a bridge buckles that we are abruptly faced with the facts.

Because it is important to highlight the distinction between uplift and personal profit, I searched about through the history of mankind for examples I could use, and quite by accident chanced upon an example involving the Father of my Country, George Washington. Of course, as soon as his name is evoked one is looked upon as being a bit maudlin, but this example was too perfect to ignore.

The year 1776 had pretty much seen Washington fall from the heights of popularity to the pits of what was close to ignominy. He’d moved from driving the British from an untenable position in Boston to attempting to defend an untenable position in New York, being driven from New York, and being driven in retreat across New Jersey. What was left of his army was half starved and in rags. 2000 troops had walked away simply because their enlistment was up. He was very nearly completely defeated. It was the black night that Tomas Paine described by stating, “These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman“.

It is all well and good to talk in that grand manner, but without any evidence besides retreats and defeats, the politically-correct “sunshine patriot” tends to shun the loser, even if he once was a winner. Even one of Washington’s most steadfast and loyal friends, Joseph Reed, was starting to feel Washington might be too “indecisive”.  Washington relied so heavily on Reed that he once pleaded for Reed to return to service because Washington needed someone who could do more than follow him; Washington needed someone could think for him, but now Reed apparently didn’t think much of him,  and said as much in a letter to Washington’s second in command, Charles Lee.General_Charles_Lee

Meanwhile Charles Lee, despite Washington’s clear requests for reinforcements, was very slow leading his forces south, as he apparently thought joining Washington was likely a lose-lose proposition, and also apparently felt he should replace rather than assist Washington. He sent a letter back to Reed, who Washington had sent south to enlist reinforcements, but this letter happened to pass through Washington’s camp. Washington, desperate to learn how close Lee’s reinforcements were, opened the letter, and the opinions of the two men became glaringly obvious.

One can only imagine how Washington must have felt. Rather than reinforcements and rescue coming from north and from south there was basically conspiracy and collusion. It was a position where other desperadoes in other lands, and where other dictators in other times, would have have lopped off the heads of their opposition, calling them traitors. What Washington did was somewhat amazing. He resealed the letter and sent its on its way, including an apology to Joseph Reed for having opened another man’s mail.

That’s the end of the story, because right there you have an example of a man living on a different and higher level than your ordinary dictator or desperado. Despite Lee behaving like a doophus, and Reed behaving like a doophus, Washington uplifted, apparently gaining nothing but self-respect.

Of course, you likely want the story to go on, so I will mention that Lee, leading an army of over 2000, managed to get captured in his nightgown by 25 English soldiers on horses, because he was lollygagging three miles behind his troops, writing letters in a tavern. His second-in-command promptly led his troops south more than three times faster than Lee had planned. They were as haggard as Washington’s troops, and many lacked boots and, with their feet wrapped in rags, left the famous bloody footprints in the snow. Meanwhile Joseph Reed was writing Washington that he should consider a counterattack, which Washington was already in the final stages of undertaking, and which is remembered as the “Crossing of the Delaware” which resulted in the victory at Trenton on Christmas morning 1776. That victory was like a bolt from the blue to many who deemed Washington already defeated, and was such a huge boost to the moral of the Revolution that it is seen as the point when a pendulum swinging one way started to swing the other way.

I, however, see the swing as occurring when Washington opened the letter he was never intended to see. Why? Because if you want proof your fellow man sucks and isn’t worth the time of day, that letter supplied proof. However Washington apparently didn’t need proof. He already knew his fellow man sucked and wasn’t worth the time of day, but he didn’t use that as an excuse to behave like low-life himself.

This is something worth musing upon, as we have to deal with buckling bridges, and likely other signs of bad engineering. There is bad engineering of many sorts, and that includes bad “Social Engineering”. Even as we strive to be clear about the distinction between Real Engineering, (which deals with that which is), and Social Engineering, (which deals with how that is viewed), we should also strive to see the distinction between Social Engineering that is spiritual and uplifts, and Social Engineering that is basically selfish, politically-correct greed.

PS  —GREEK ENGINEERS ALSO NEED TO BRUSH UP THEIR BRIDGE WORK–Greek Bridge downloadThis is after a nasty winter storm this week.

“Winter shows teeth” in Greece – Video