UNEXPECTED KAVANAUGH REPERCUSSION: Getting Over It

I’m certain I’ll offend some by stating this: Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s apparent inability to leave a teen-aged affront in her dead past seems a sad testimony of how psychology fails to help people.  The fact she is a “doctor” should indicate some skill at healing,  but the only nursing involved seemed to be the nursing of a grudge.

We all have traumas in our past.  Some are worse than others. As a writer I used to hang around with other “sensitive artists”, and we could become absurdly competitive about which one of us had suffered the most. Then, in California in 1983, I met a Cambodian woman who had been through the nightmare of Pol Pot, and a further nightmare involving pirates, as a “boat person” escaping Indochina’s horror and fleeing to the United States, and, after hearing her tales, the worst traumas I had ever endured paled in comparison. I even felt a little sheepish about ever having called my pains “trauma”.

Yet traumas we have been through, both major and minor, are bound to effect us. This is only natural, for we learn through our experiences: “Once burned, twice shy.” Our successes are only the result of a great many failures. Even as I now write, these words are part of a rough draft I will later go over, and improve upon. It would be a sad thing if the rough draft could not be improved upon, and instead indicated “trauma” that would burden me for the rest of my life.

While I recognize Justice Kavanaugh strenuously asserts Dr. Ford’s recollection is a false memory, and that he never did what she “remembers”, I’ll mention that even if he was guilty of inappropriate groping as a teenager (and many of us were) it should not be held against him for the rest of his life. Nor should Dr. Ford be permanently scarred by the discomfort of unwelcome advances. Considering the society of that time tended to mock abstinence (AIDS didn’t become a major concern until later in the 1980’s), and considering adolescents are not known for a lack of social clumsiness, the goofs of youth should be expected, and forgiven, if not forgotten.

The question then becomes how we “get over” the traumas of our past.

The most natural thing to do is to forget about it. For example, as we learned to walk we experienced the trauma of losing our balance and sitting down hard. After a brief spell of bawling we forgot about it. The lesson was learned,  and became part of our “experience.” This natural process allows us to do many things without thinking. For example, there have been many times I’ve driven long distances with an engaging conversationalist, so engrossed in the conversation I hardly remember the drive at all. The simple fact I didn’t crash into anyone (or a tree) demonstrates that my learned “experience” was able to do the driving, even as my consciousness was elsewhere. In this example the action of driving was “unconscious.”

Psychologists ask the question, “What is driving you?” There is the assumption that our past traumas make up our current identity. The reason that we turn left or turn right in life is that we are avoiding past pains. (Some focus more on pleasure, as a motive, but pleasure can be seen as avoiding-pain.)

In spiritual terms the same dynamic can be seen as our frustrated or gratified desires. What are desires? Well, some things attract us and some things repel us, due to “impressions” we gather. Some things impress us positively and some things impress us negatively. (There is actually a word for these impressions: “Sanskaras.” A sanskara is a sort of sub-sub-atomic particle of mind, and collected sanskaras make up sub-atomic particles of energy, which make up material atoms.)

Because psychologists have an awareness we are “driven” by things that we don’t even think about, they have a tendency to root about in the backs of our minds, seeking what motivates us. Our subconscious mind is an interesting place to explore, but unfortunately some investigative psychologists are clumsy, even brutal, and often their efforts to “fix” us are not helpful.

For example, when a person is troubled, some psychologists simply zap the brain.  The idea is that the brain needs to forget, so electricity is used. Such psychologists like to justify their zapping by pointing at what they see as “positive results”, though they have no idea what they are doing. I have always felt that “electric shock therapy” is the equivalent of giving a malfunctioning TV a whack. If the picture improves it does not make the whacker an electrician, (and sometimes the whack breaks the TV).

Drugs are the same sort of thing. More harm than good has come of trying to deal with troubled people with pills, whether the “cure” is doctor-prescribed or self-medication,  although some forms of self-medication, (such as Churchill’s cigars), are not entirely ruinous. (After all, he was over ninety when he retired from politics.)

A third form of foolishness, which I myself was very involved with, involves rooting about in the past, when you should be facing the future by attending to the present. There were times I would have benefited more by simply going out and getting a job, but instead avoided getting a job by thinking deeply about the psychological roots of my dreads and desires (when my desire was to hide in my mother’s basement). In such cases I was seeking in the wrong direction; the cure lay out in the fresh air, but I stayed stuck, thinking the cure lay in “psychology.”

Psychology should free people who are stuck. A great irony is that some psychologists prosper by keeping people stuck on a sort of treadmill of problem-causing thought, because some psychologists stand to gain more by advising people to sign up for fifty-two psychological sessions than they would gain by advising the person to go get a job.

The greatest irony is when a psychologist does this to themselves. I am not saying Dr. Ford did this, but her peer-reviewed paper on self-hypnosis and creating false-memory does suggest the possibility of her being overly inward. (The expressed idea suggests that, if you are controlled by a real memory of a past trauma, you can escape that control by using self-hypnosis to create the new control of a false memory.) The danger of such inwardness is that, rather than going out into the fresh air and interacting with real people in reality, one stays stuck in the musty halls of academia, diddling with old ideas attempting to make something new out of fossils. Rather than the fresh outlooks of another’s view one instead is stuck with their same old mind’s same old views, and one reviews, and re-reviews, and re-re-reviews…

In my own life I called this becoming “ingrown”. I tended to fall prey to it because writers do withdraw a lot, and do look inward a lot. Also I often found other people’s minds very boring, even disgusting, and would want to run away and be a yogi on some mountaintop far away, in a beautiful landscape. However sitting around without the input of other minds gradually made me bored, even disgusted, with my own mind, as I became “ingrown.” Eventually I’d be driven to come down from the hills and rejoin the human race.

Not that I’ve ever completely conformed to the world’s boring ways. In some ways I am still as imaginative as I was in first grade. In first grade I always found “Show-and-Tell” tremendously dull, and would attempt to liven things up a bit with sheer balderdash, (which I suppose could be called an example of “False Memory Syndrome”).

When I was young school was a bore
And so I said, “A dinosaur
Came walking through my yard today.”

The time was “Show and Tell”. I told.
The teacher didn’t have to scold.
My neighbor coughed and scoffed, “He lied!
There was no dinosaur outside!”

“He lied! He lied!” The taunting burned.
“He lied! He lied!” The taunt returned
In midnight flames that made me mad.

So I went mad, and didn’t care.
From the blackboard’s deep despair
The window’s view would lure my eyes
To peek to see how moved my lies.

Did you know angel’s paint the skies?

                                                            (1973)

I wrote the above poem when I was twenty, and deeply involved with “getting in touch with my feelings” through men’s groups and sessions with psychologists. As I recall, I did a lot of weeping and wailing about how teachers abused me and tried to make me sensible, rather than appreciating that I was a sensitive poet.

What did this accomplish? Well, I certainly felt a lot better. Originally no one had wanted to read my poems, so I felt unheard,  but “therapy” let me feel heard.

(Of course, if I had paid people as much to read my poems as I paid the therapist, they might have read my poems. But I didn’t want to pay people, I wanted people to pay me, to read my poems).

In any case, once I felt better I was more likely to stop sulking, and more likely to go out into the world and begin interacting. That was what all the weeping and wailing was good for. It didn’t really accomplish anything, but it put me in the “mood” to accomplish something.

Of course, some therapists didn’t really approve of me feeling so much better, as it would lessen their income if I was “cured”, and some might therefore start saying things that lessened my confidence. When I objected they could then state my “hostility” towards them was a sign of “resistance”, and that more therapy was needed. When I objected further it was a sign of “denial”. The interactions became a sort of downward spiral, and by the time I told the psychologists to “shove it where the sun don’t shine” I stood accused of all sorts of “subconscious sabotage”, no longer felt all that good about myself, and was back to sulking.

Besides wasting a lot of time and money, psychology taught me a lot of jargon I could use to describe the inner workings of my poetic side, and also let me see “feelings” were something more than a sign I was immature wuss. “Feelings” were a sort of sixth sense, able to “feel out” situations, and grasp the “shape” things were in, before the intellect could even begin to find the words to describe the same situation.

In some ways that difference between “feelings” and intellect is the boundary between poetry and prose.  Poetry grapples with indistinct shapes, with gestalts and Jungian symbols, whereas prose is more scientific and precise. Poetry, at its finest, (for example in the case of Shakespeare), has an adroit capacity to comprehend the subconscious that puts an ordinary psychologist to shame. Poetry playfully toys with what psychologists struggle to grasp, and too often mishandle. Once I became aware of this psychology seemed far less interesting to me. To be honest, my psychological knowledge felt more like a ball and chain than like wings. I longed to dismiss it, but it lurked like a post-traumatic ghoul in the back of my mind.

At this point (age twenty-one) I had “got religion”, (though I was not affiliated with any church), and had renounced the hippy concept of free sex and free drugs. I became rabidly anti-drugs , and grimly prudish. I felt that the natural consequence of sex was a baby, and I therefore should not have sex unless I was prepared to support the mother and child.  I did not merely talk the talk, but walked the walk, and women seemed to sense they were “safe” with me. This resulted in situations I did not enjoy at all.

At that time I held the simplistic view that women sought three things in a man. They wanted financial security, sexual gratification, and the emotional sensitivity of heart-to-heart talks. As a writer I was dirt poor, which was strike one. My spiritual discipline made me avoid sexual gratification, which was strike two.  But my poetic understanding (and complimentary understanding of psychobabble), allowed me to have heart-to-heart talks. With certain women this hit a home-run, for though their husbands were rich and very good in bed, they had the sensitivity of brass knuckles, and their wives had a deep longing to talk about mushy stuff that made their husbands gag. They found me a wonderful adjunct to their lives.

I didn’t like it. I felt like a sort of effeminate hairdresser, a man women felt safe to be close to because he wasn’t as threatening as a vibrant and viral man. In fact at this point in my life various homosexual men (and I knew many, in the world of writers), informed me their “gaydar” told them I was “gay”. I told them I wasn’t, and told them (and a few women) that the one thing I could never understand about women is why on earth such beautiful bodies would want to lay down with something as unlovely as a man.

It was tiresome, but for the most part I could handle women who made me be a sort of adjunct to their marriages to other men. This was largely because these woman also had the sensitivity of brass knuckles, when it came to being the slightest bit sensitive to what men care about. Having heart-to-heart talks with such women made me aware they really weren’t all that attractive. They may have felt heard when we talked, but I felt increasingly unheard and increasingly lonely.

It was when my loneliness was at a crescendo that I met a married woman who could hear me.  It struck me as a most remarkable thing, to be heard, without having to pay the price a psychologist charges.

To cut a long story short, I fell in love with her, which spoiled everything. I couldn’t live up to the high standards of my spiritual discipline, and was fed up with being a hairdresser, but she didn’t want to be more than a friend. Emotionally, it was devastating.

When you had troubles I was there.
When I had troubles, what?
When I was in my direst need
I found your doors were shut.
                                                           1980

Unrequited love is not a healthy situation to remain in, when your constitution cannot withstand it, so I hit the road and never returned.

Was this a trauma? Yes. Did the memory pursue me even as I ran away? Yes. Did it haunt me? Yes. Dr. Christine Blasey Ford does not have a monopoly on the trauma of heartache.

What’s more, whereas Dr. Ford claims she was grievously wounded by a man trying to have his way with her, I assert a man can be just as grievously wounded when he doesn’t have his way. Many women have the sensitivity of brass knuckles, when it comes to unrequited love.

But one more question should be asked: Did I get over it? Yes.

        AX-MAN’S SONG

Ask me why I’ve dropped my ax
And wear the fondest smile.
Ask me why the wood’s unsplit
For just a little while.

I now recall a girl I knew
Who had such lovely ways
That it is like I’m wrapped in warmth
Recalling her these days;
But when we split my mood was dark
For she was not for me
And if there’d been a clipper ship
I would have gone to sea.

Like Frenchmen in their legions far,
Far from friendly homes
I’ve known the skies that lack a star
To guide the man who roams.
Where some may slay a dragon’s wrath
And hope to win the fair
I had no hope; the foe I fought
Was my complete despair.

Without the path that leads one home
Or guiding star above
My only hope in hopelessness
Was, “God made life for love.”
Even though I couldn’t see
Examples this was true,
And wandered on without a dawn
Or midnight moonlight-blue,
And even though I saw all hope
As something of a sham
Like salmon to the springs of birth
My dreaming spirit swam,
And there, by clearest water’s spring,
I saw, when I began,
I had no dreams or hopes on earth.
I simply was a man.

I saw my hope of ownership
Had blinded me to light,
And that to lose that single hope
Had closed the lids of night.
Then, opening my eyes, I saw
Past greed and past desire,
And saw what’s true and beautiful
One always will admire.

Unplucked or picked, the rose must wilt
But beauty it revealed
Will ever be, unless my lids
Know sleep, and all’s concealed.
And that is why my face is softened
With this dreamy smile
Musing on the ways that were
For just a little while.
                                              1986

The ability to smile about something that once made you grimace is a sign you have “gotten over it.”  It involves more than merely erasing a memory, or repressing it. It involves digesting and assimilating experience, and moving from innocence to maturity.

This still doesn’t answer the question, “How does it happen?” The simple answer is to say, “I don’t know how it happens; it just happens.” It is like a cut on your finger. We do not really know how it heals; it just heals.

The confidence that a wound will heal, given time, goes a long way towards relieving the pain, because for many the pain involves a lot of baseless worry that they are forever maimed when they aren’t, especially when they feel worse than they have ever felt before. This confidence is also called “faith”, and even atheist doctors know how important faith can be in the healing process.

But simple answers aren’t enough for me; I’m like a doctor who isn’t satisfied with the knowledge a cut will heal, and who wants to know more about the process, and if there is any way to speed the process. Therefore I am always poking about in my past, and listening to the stories others tell, looking for clues concerning how people “get over” heartaches.  If you are at all inquisitive you can learn surprising things about the most dull-seeming people, and the adversity they have overcome, if you only ask.

Hearing the testimony of people who have survived what you are going through seems important, though it may be the last thing a suffering person wants to hear. When you have just hit your thumb with a hammer it does you little good to hear another say, “I did that once.” It can even make you mad. You are hurting and they aren’t, and you don’t want to hear about how they don’t hurt. That’s flipping obvious, because it your thumb that just got crunched; not theirs. There are times it is wisest for onlookers to simply keep quiet and do nothing, (unless they happen to have some Novocaine handy.)

Just as one may hop about for a while after hitting their thumb, there seems to be a sort of emotional equivalent. To a degree people need to rave, or have a good cry, or shiver with fright, as their emotions “feel out” what they have been through. I suppose at this point it is best for onlookers to reserve judgement, and just sympathetically listen.

Then, just as a day later one may gingerly flex and touch their sore thumb to see how the process of healing is proceeding, people seem to have a need to revive a past trauma. This can get boring, if you have already heard the sad tale thirty-six times, and I suppose one can be forgiven if one stops reserving judgement, at this point. It is at this point your testimony is more likely to be heard, if not accepted and assimilated.

Recently I’ve been going through old notebooks dating from my time as a drifter, looking for times I showed signs of maturing a little. I want to write a book about those times, but don’t want it to be a depressing collection of gripes, for, although those were hard times, I learned a lot, and I now smile, recalling my hardships. I didn’t smile so much back then, for I had no idea better days lay ahead, but one reason the future held better days was because I was well taught by the School Of Hard Knocks.  I have a feeling that, if I was able to testify about how I was taught, the tales might be eagerly read by youth in similar situations today, and they might gain some sort of uplift.

Back then I often camped during the summer, either where there was no fee, or at campgrounds where the fee was small, and one spring, after I moved out to a campground, I saw a spell of terrible luck give way to a period of such beneficence that I looked up at the sky and just said, “Thank You.” It was as if I was being rewarded for getting through the winter.

My routine was simple. If I couldn’t find day-labor I would return to the campground and write, chain-smoking and sipping coffee mixed with thick, powdered milk (which enabled me to avoid the bother of eating), deeply engrossed in my thoughts. For some reason many seemed to find the sight of a man chain-smoking at a typewriter at a picnic table irresistible, and they’d come strolling over and attempt to start a conversation. I usually found them a distraction, and I wasn’t very welcoming.

Often they would ask, “What are you writing?”

I might gruffly reply, “That’s what I’m trying to figure out.”

While this did end their nosy interest in my writing, many refused to be discouraged. They would laugh and sit down and change the subject to the weather, or the advantages of their camper over my pup tent, and with a sigh I’d light another cigarette and sit back to see what God had brought to my table.

On a couple of occasions I was somewhat startled by the sequences of fascinating people who appeared out of the blue, day after day. It seemed so contrived that I again glanced up to the sky. If I ever get around to writing a book people will think I am making it all up, especially when it was a sequence of truly kind people, after a winter without many crumbs of kindness in sight.

For now I’ll just describe one kind person, a woman who in some ways uplifted my attitude permanently.

I was not all that happy to see her approaching my table out of the corner of my eye, and tried to look very busy and focused on the page. It was a day I had devoted to writing, after making some decent money (for a bum) with day-labor the day before, and it furthermore was the time of day when I usually did my best writing; mid-morning, when the campground quieted down after many left, and before the day grew hot and the desert winds grew gusty and flapped my papers about. As she arrived at the picnic table she asked, “Do you mind if I join you?”

I gave her my stone-face, and responded, “Looks like you already have.”

“This is true,” she laughed, and sat down across the table, and continued, without much of a pause, “So, what’s your story?”

I did a quick evaluation. She wasn’t looking at the typewriter, so that wasn’t the story she was curious about. She was about my age, and reasonably good looking, considering she wore no make-up and her hair was tousled, yet I had zero sense she was considering any sort of sexual advance. The frankness and friendliness in her eyes was that of a sister I never knew I had, and we quickly fell into a long and comfortable conversation. It was all about me, for when I asked her about herself she deftly steered the talk back to me. I never learned where she was from or where she was going, nor heard even a tale about what she’d experienced in life, yet she struck me as wise. Around lunchtime she walked back to her car (which was already packed) and drove off and I never saw her again. Yet I felt on a different level.

She was blunt, in a disarming way, and seemed to have no fear of asking me if there was some woman behind my destitution. I was equally honest in return, and told her I had a whole harem of women, in my memory, but in real life I had given up on women. I confessed that over the years I’d met three I’d wanted to marry, but they had the good sense to lose me, and I’d concluded I was a complete fool, concerning women, and marriage was now out of the question. I said chasing woman is the normal behavior of a lusty, young man, but once a man passes thirty such behavior increasingly looked like the behavior of a dirty, old man.  I’d had my three chances, and three strikes meant I was out. I was too old.

These were lines I’d spoken so many times to so many strangers that I knew them by rote. She wasn’t buying it. She casually said,  “Oh, you’re not too old,  although I’ll admit…” she looked thoughtfully to the side, pausing before smiling at me and continuing, “….you’d be difficult to train.”

I remember smiling broadly, and shaking my head at her nerve. I admired the way she felt free to make statements people usually waltz around making. Later on she said something I had to scribble down in a notebook, telling her “I’m going to use that in a poem.”

I had been telling her what I fool I was, and how I was completely incapable of telling the difference between a good woman and a facade-witch. She wanted to know what a facade-witch was, and I explained it was a Norse demon that, from the front, resembles a beautiful woman, which always tries to face you, for from the rear it looks like a hollow shell, lacking any heart or guts. I added I’d met a girl like that, who only needed to smile and nod at me, and I was completely convinced she understood and agreed, though she did not agree at all. I continued that I had told the girl I didn’t believe in short-term relationships, and the girl had smiled and nodded when I said there must be “100% commitment.”  I explained I thought I had found my soul-mate. Then I bitterly laughed, “It wasn’t two months before that girl announced, ‘I’m not 100% committed any more.’ ”

“Actually,” the stranger responded from across the picnic table, “You are lucky she left if she loved you so little.”

       WISE WORDS

“You are lucky she left
If she loved you so little.”
So spoke the wise one I met on the trail.

I knew she was right
But my laughter was brittle.
Humor is humble when loving seems frail.

I thought and then answered,
“But she could say this:
‘I’m glad he is gone if he wouldn’t pursue.'”

She cocked her brow
As if I were amiss,
“Which one left whom?”
                                                   “I haven’t a clue.”    1986

Not only did this stranger give me a good first line for a poem, but she also gave me a totally different way of viewing the same situation. I went from “I am the victim of a facade-witch” to “I am lucky.”

Which returns me to an earlier point, which was that one should avoid being too ingrown, and instead should seek the fresh air of other’s views.  That is why we don’t have a single eye like a cyclops. Having two eyes gives us a third view, called “depth perception”.

And perhaps it is when we start to view life with the depth perception we gain from other’s views that we find we are able to “get over it.”

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KAVANAUGH FALLOUT: BEHIND A PRETTY FACE LURKS…

I actually feel sorry for this young lady, who “shot herself in the foot that stepped in it”. She “tweeted” out, “So who is going to take one for the team and kill Kavanaugh”?  She soon realized it was not a wise suggestion for a part-time, special-needs schoolteacher to make, and deleted her tweet, but it was too late. Many had taken “screen shots” of her tweet.

https://web.archive.org/web/20181007052413/https:/twitter.com/lookitssammm

The above picture is from an innocent tweet that states, “I made a yarn butterfly today”. However she also seems to think of herself as a militant feminist, and tweeted, “Being called a fat ugly cunt by a random guy on Twitter is probably the highlight of my entire life,” (which I don’t claim to fully understand).

In any case, she very swiftly found herself called to task by more than “a random guy”. She was reported to the FBI and (worse) her school system, and placed on “paid administrative leave.” The hornet’s nest she stirred up wouldn’t die down, and yesterday she resigned from her position as a part-time “special education” teacher.

I think one reason I feel sorry for her is that she reminds me of a young teacher I knew back in the 1970’s who was in some ways “radical” (for that time), and who had a fair amount of anger to get off her chest due to the insensitivity of a boyfriend who felt he had better things to do than to listen a girlfriend’s long-winded angst. I did have time to listen, and of course the boyfriend eventually got jealous, but that is a soap opera for some other coffee break.

What I see in the current situation is that it is almost a form of “virtue signaling” for feminists to spew anger at men for their failures.  I am fairly sure this young woman didn’t really want the supreme court justice assassinated, but rather was indulging in hyperbole. If not, it seems a sort of madness for the same people, people who claim that gun-control and pacifism are good things, to  advocate murder.

The problem is that some fellows try to please such women:

Even if this is merely big talk and hyperbole it is bound to generate push-back on the part of those who feel death-threats towards a Supreme Court Justice are past the bounds of civilized behavior. There are demands the young teacher now spend time in jail.

Apparently the young teacher also works a second job at “Granite City Brewery”, and the manager of the place has been politely fielding phone-calls from all over the nation. He says his boss is aware of the situation and is “handling it”.

To me this seems much ado about nothing. Hopefully the young woman is getting attention she needs, and her behavior was a way of crying out for help.

However it does seem to me that the smear-campaign against Kavanaugh is generating corroborating evidence of wrong-doing, but not a bit of the corroborating  evidence involves Kavanaugh, but rather those who seek to destroy him. Rather than getting him in trouble they are getting themselves in trouble.

Cavanaugh swearing In DpBmBXeU0AELkzR

It is upsetting for me to watch my fellow Americans walk a cliff’s edge on the verge of social insanity, and I think I may just shut off my computer and utterly ignore the news for a while.  At times the brain needs a rest, and, with all the leaves changing, it is a beautiful time of year in these parts.

ARCTIC SEA-ICE –The 2018 Minimum–

Yawn.  Yes, we have reached and passed the minimum. Ho hum.

It should be obvious to even a mentally handicapped amoeba that the arctic is not remotely close to being ice-free. This in and of itself disproves a lot of the theorizing that was rampant more than a decade ago. This current decade is nearly over, and all the prophets of last decade have been proven false. I think I have been the epitome of tolerance and patience because, according to Moses, when prophets prove themselves  false they should be taken to the town square and stoned to death.

Somewhat amazingly, some of these false prophets are suggesting that I am the one who should be taken to the town square and be stoned to death, because I am a “denier”.

If I am a “denier “, it is because I denied the idea the arctic would be ice-free by 2014.  It wasn’t. Nor was it by 2015. Nor was it by 2016, Nor was it by 2017. Nor was it this year.

This argument is getting very old, if you ask me. I’m tired of explaining why I doubt the arctic will be ice free in 2014, when the proof that I am correct has been apparent for four years.  Alarmist’s homework was due four years ago, but I, like a patient and tolerant teacher, have listened to Alarmist’s lame excuses, and waited to see if they could hand in their homework late. They haven’t.

It is Alarmists who need to do some explaining. Instead they seem to resort to accusing.  It doesn’t seem to matter how polite and long-suffering I have been, they are unimpressed by my kindness, and prefer to be mean.  Brett Kavanaugh has only had to put up with a month of such meanness, while poor, old Sea-ice skeptics like me have had to put up with it for over a decade, and in some cases over two decades.

When we are discussing sea-ice, the subject should be sea-ice. It doesn’t matter whether I was a virgin Mommies-Boy, or a drunken rapist, as a teenager.  It is totally off the topic to attack my character, yet, over the past decade, I have been accused of both being a virgin Mommies-Boy, and a drunken rapist.

I have denied nothing, so there is no reason to call me a “denier.”  There is no reason for entities like Google and Facebook to see me as a threat, and to opine that my obscure website is an evil which should be made hard to find, if not entirely censored. All I have done is point out facts of two types. First, I have pointed out sea-ice that hasn’t melted away, and second, I have pointed out historical evidence that sea-ice did melt away in certain locations, in the past.

While doing so I have tried my best to be polite, and to jolly those who hold incorrect views into seeing more clearly. Look through my old sea-ice posts, and see how patient, careful, and humorous I have been. One good post was this old post from 2015:

https://sunriseswansong.wordpress.com/2015/08/03/arctic-sea-ice-not-all-its-cracked-up-to-be/

One attempt at humor in that old post was a mention that the words “climate optimum” were never used in the Bible. However the Bible’s ancient writers described holy lands as being green, and those lands now are brown. Therefore, in terms of the narrow confines of those specific, biblical lands, it very much seems that less arctic sea-ice back in the past’s climate optimums was a good thing.

Why? Because dry wastes in the Mideast were rained upon during climate optimums. Streams brimmed with sparking water. And efficient people like the Romans built bridges over those rivers. Now their bridges look silly, as the rivers are dry:

In fact evidence indicates that, when the Arctic was most free of sea-ice, at the height of the Holocene, not only was the Mideast lush, but the Sahara Desert was green, with hippos and crocodiles.

Therefore, judging from the past, any warming of the planet could potentially allow the Sahara Desert to be farmed. The desert would bloom. It would be the reverse of what initially gave the pharaohs their power.  6000 years ago a vast population of refugees moved from the drought-stricken Sahara to the Nile River. The reverse would see the vast population of Cairo moving back out into greening sands.

Not that all parts of the world would be effected positively. Greenland might again become green and grow barley, but the bread basket of the USA might become a desert. Overall, however, my assumption is that the world would likely be kinder place if it was warmer.

Considering I own this premise, as a hypothesis to be tested, it should be obvious I prefer warming, and own no huge bias that would make me prone to see cooling where it does not exist.  What I prefer is the facts.  What annoys me is to be slammed for presenting the facts. There are wonders to study. Who the heck wants to bicker and brawl?

            MARS PROWLING

Old men are pacifists, though I dare say
I might still surprise a young whippersnapper
With a flurry of trick jabs, but I’m gray
And, halfway through the first round, a dapper
Lawyer would appear in my expressions
And I’d negotiate an armistice real fast,
Or else soon see green comets and blue suns
Converse with canaries. Such fun’s in my past,
And therefore I dislike the rising red star.
I’ve dumped all old hippy astrology,
(Preferring reading tree-leaves), but few things are
As bad as having that red eye glare at me.
I hear you, old Mars, proclaim in the night
That even old men must stand up and fight.

It seems to me that the battle we are facing actually has little to do with sea-ice. Rather it is with a mentality that seems to believe excuses are more important than facts. Because this post is about sea-ice, I’ll leave this discussion largely alone. But allow me to say excuses don’t matter much if a fifteen foot tsunami rolls into town.

And if you have engineered an eight story hotel to withstand a 7.0 quake, and a 7.3 hits, excuses don’t matter to the people upstairs.

(Indonesian earthquake and tsunami pictures from “The Sun”.)

Someday we all will stand face to face with Truth, and I doubt our excuses will matter much. However some people seem to spend all their time making excuses, involved in a sort of pea-in-the-shell game they call “politics”. They tell me, “Caleb, you just don’t understand politics,” to which I reply, “I’d rather understand Truth.”

In terms of the sea-ice, excuse-making has moved from “extent”, (when “extent” failed to show continuous decreasing), to “volume”, but then “volume” failed to show continuous decreasing the past summer:

Volume 20180930 FullSizeRender

At this point the excuse-making becomes a bit sad. It reminds me of a few years ago when the increase of “extent” over a prior year was excused by calling the new ice “rotton” ice. It was deemed shoddy, low-quality sea-ice that didn’t count as much as the earlier sea-ice, and therefore even though the sea-ice increased it supposedly counted as a decrease.

This year, in a somewhat poignant manner, there was a lot of attention upon the “lateness” of the minimum. I thought I detected a wild hope that the sea-ice would continue to shrink right into October. Then there was sadness among Alarmists when it began increasing, as it always does.

Personally I was interested in the lateness of the minimum because it was largely caused by what I call “feeder bands” which fuel anomalous low pressure I call “Ralph” at the Pole. During September the “feeder bands” were particularly clear, gushing past Iceland and north past Svalbard:

The most recent “feeder band” shows up quite clearly on the DMI temperature-north-of-80º-latitude graph:

DMI5 0930 meanT_2018

I don’t claim to have any special understanding of “Ralph”. Mostly I take the Bob Tisdale approach of simply observing what I see, and pointing out when what-is-observed fails to live up to certain Alarmist preconceptions. Ralph is interesting because:

1.) Ralph fails to live up to the elegant global-circulation idea of there being a Polar Cell, with descending air and high pressure at the Pole.

2.) Ralph’s feeder-bands increase Polar temperatures, and although the Pole represents only 4% of the surface, a big fuss is made about “the warming Pole”. I think deeper thought is necessary, as it seems more heat up there means more heat lost. We may be seeing how the planet keeps things in balance.

3.) Ralph’s feeder bands also means more snow at the Pole, which influences the formation of sea-ice because snow insulates, and also snow complicates the ice-thickness measurements done by satellites, in at least three ways. (I’ve explained in prior posts.)

4.) We may need to adjust our nice, simple idea of “either/or”, regarding whether the flow is either “Zonal” or “Meridional”. At times Ralph seems to create a micro-environment where the Pole is meridional while the flow is zonal further south.

These are just four ideas off the top of my head, demonstrating how much more there is to study. Some Alarmists seem to take the attitude the study is complete.

Besides disturbing some Alarmists I also disturb some Skeptics, who seem to fear that I am “switching sides” when I state that the sea-ice is currently at low levels. But, to me, it simply seems to make sense that it should be at low levels, considering we are coming off a mini-climate-optimum, and there would be a time of lag before the “Quiet Sun” effects began to kick in.  In any case, I use Nimbus satellite pictures (that Alarmist ignore) to compare current sea-ice north of Alaska to 1969’s: (Sept. 9, 1969 left; Sept. 22, 2018 right.)

To me it looks like, despite the big areas of open water north of East Siberia and out in Beaufort Sea in 1969, there was more sea-ice in 1969, especially along the Alaskan coast.

(I should state that some Alarmists don’t like the Nimbus maps because it makes their computer simulations of past sea-ice conditions look wrong; the 1969 Nimbus picture shows far too much open water.)

But I think we need to use what we have. 1969 was a very interesting summer, especially as the flow over the arctic was likely zonal: (The DMI temperature graph shows a cold spring and summer, and Fletcher’s Ice Island was to the north of the “hole” in the satellite picture, and not in any hurry to depart through Fram Strait.) Also the PDO was in it’s cold phase. So there was no obvious reason for there to be so much melt. For me, this is a clue, hinting at a power effecting ice-melt we don’t grasp. Such clues should be seized, not discarded in the  “we need to erase the Medieval Warm Period” manner of certain Alarmists, (who seemingly see history as a political foe).

A comparison with last year shows a decrease of sea-ice north of Svalbard, and north of the  Barents, Kara and Laptev Seas, with more sea-ice towards East Siberia and the Alaskan Coast. (2017 to left, 2018 to right).

For Alarmists the late minimum and decrease on the Atlantic side is reason to hoot and holler. For Skeptics the increases on the Pacific side and increased thickness in the Central Arctic is a reason to hoot and holler. Both sides are focused on the wrong metrics, (which I think are largely politically-determined and have little to do with whether deserts will bloom), and because of this both sides are ignoring the elephant in the room, which is good old “Ralph.”

What would you expect, if the feeder-bands I mentioned earlier persisted? Would you expect:

1.) The northward push of relatively mild air to push the ice-edge north of Svalbard, and north in Barents, Kara and Laptev seas?

2.) All this ice being pushed north to crunch and thicken the sea-ice in the Central Arctic?

3.) The pushing of sea-ice from the Atlantic side to increase sea-ice on the Pacific side?

4.) Remember the fuss about open water north of Greenland earlier this summer? That was due to ice being pushed north, and not due to melting. (Also it was somewhat disingenuous of Alarmists to act as if open water up there was unheard of,  when Nord Station up there can be resupplied “by sea” every five to ten years.) Would you expect that ice to be pushed north?

All in all it seemed, to my little mind, that the feeder-band for “Ralph” persisted even when I myself theorized it would quit (because of La Nina coolness further south.)

Due to my observations of the Pole, and other observations further south, my little mind has come to the conclusion that the initial effects of a “noisy” and “quiet” sun are quite opposed to what many expect. Why? Because the sun effects the trade winds.

It seems to me the noisy sun increased trade winds, and the quiet sun decreased them. More energy from the sun therefore initially makes things colder, while less energy initially makes things warmer. Why? Because stronger trade winds increases the likelihood of La Ninas, which creates cooler air temperatures, while weaker trade winds increases the likelihood of El Ninos, which creates warmer temperatures. Therefore, initially, we have the counter intuitive situation where more energy makes things cooler, while less energy makes things warmer.

The place farthest from the trade winds is the Pole, where we seem to see a more intuitive responce: A “noisy” sun leads to warmer summer temperatures whereas a “quiet” sun leads to cooler summer temperatures.

If the above proved true, then it seems to me that a “quiet” sun might create a colder Pole at the same time as it created a warmer equator.  This seems like an imbalance that nature would seek to remedy. But how?

I’m not in charge of such things (thank God), but if I was, one thing I would do would be to get rid of the heat with feeder-bands to a low called “Ralph” at the Pole.

Genuine “climate scientists” should be considering such things. It is absurd that such ideas must instead come from a lowly “Child-care-professional” on an obscure farm in an obscure place on an obscure website, namely mine.

Millions, if not billions, have been spent to advance a preconception that made little sense to begin with, and which makes less sense the more you actually look at it. This preconception, (I will not even dignify it by calling it a hypothesis), states that the sun has no effect, and rather the trace gas CO2 has thrown the arctic into a so-called “Death Spiral”, and the arctic will be ice-free by 2014.

On one hand you have people wallowing in money, and on the other you have honest bumpkins like myself. They ruffle money at you, and I have nothing to offer but Truth. Be honest. What do you prefer? Money or Truth?

And I know, I know, I know. There are people who claim bumpkins like myself are paid by “Big Oil”, or “Big Childcare”, or some other “Big Wig”, but I swear before God I have never received a cent for my views. Mostly I get grief from mortal humans for my views. However I do get a genuine bliss from Truth.

In any case, in terms of sea-ice, the sea-ice is growing. An ice-free Pole is a mute point, until next June. For nine straight months ice will get thicker and thicker. If you include all lakes, the area of water covered by ice will triple in size. And Alarmists will do what?They will stay warm all winter by railing the ice is not thick enough.

Meanwhile, in northern apartments, elders will have to chose, during the next nine months, whether to pay for food or heat. Some will die, needlessly. But the meanest Alarmists will rail it is better that elders die, as they are “excess population”, and that it is better for grandchildren to watch grandparents freeze, as all the money Alarmists themselves are making off solar and wind power investments is “for the children.”

Excuses.

What do you chose? Money or truth? If you chose money, I assert a day will come when the nice new car you drive will meet the tsunami of Truth.

Until then, stay tuned.

ARCTIC SEA-ICE –Intentionally Sooting Sea-Ice–

While I am working on a post about the 2018 minimum, I am not all that interested in the subject, as the “Death Spiral” was disproved several years ago, and this year just does it again. To prove the same thing over and over is about as exciting as catching a fish, letting out line and allowing the fish swim away still securely hooked, and then catching the same fish again.

The only reason people get caught up in proving the same thing over and over is because the “Death Spiral” crowd insist on proving the wrong thing over and over again. I suspect that, for some, politics is involved and it is their version of telling “The Big Lie.” However in terms of scientific discover it is yawningly dull. I’d far prefer to move on to fresh discovery.

I started thinking about sooting sea-ice not because the Death Spiral Crowd talks about controlling sea-ice by buying curly light bulbs, but rather because Joe Bastardi was talking about seeding hurricanes. He was venturing that it might be possible to destabilize storms by weakening a section of the eyewall.

Joe has carefully examined every hurricane and typhoon he’s been able to, since he first became fascinated as a boy over fifty years ago, and his study has poured through history books to study storms before he was born, and he has noticed things have to be perfect to keep a hurricane mighty, and sometimes small things can cause a storm to lose its punch.  For example, Hurricane Katrina, though mighty, decreased from a Cat 5 to a Cat 3 storm as it approached land. Though awful, it could have been worse. Joe’s knowledge has been proven by his ability to foresee the strengthening and weakening of storms. He is mulling over how we might lessen damage by seeding storms as they approached land.

This idea is not new. Men flew into storms to test the idea of weakening them by seeding clouds back in 1947.  It was called “Project Cirrus”. A hurricane was chosen that appeared to be headed out to sea, but it began a turn even as planes flew out to seed it, and after being seeded, it continued to turn and headed straight for Savannah, and clobbered Georgia. Lawyer’s eyes lit up, there was all sorts of litigation, and meteorologists decided maybe they wouldn’t continue with the experiments.

However the idea wouldn’t die, and Hurricane Esther was seeded in 1961. Some were worried because Esther performed a remarkable loop. However it did weaken.

 

From the “success” of seeding Esther was born “Project Stormfury”. Here’s a picture of the crew in 1966:

 

The first hurricane Stormfury seeded was Beulah in 1963. The first days flights missed their targets, and the second day’s flight hit them. They looked to see if the expected results occurred.

Beulah’s inner eyewall fell apart and a larger eyewall formed, and it’s winds slowed by 20%. You can see why the fellows were encouraged. But was it man-caused, or was it what we now call natural “eyewall replacement”? They didn’t know about eyewall replacement back then. They were actually gathering data that both proved their theory and led to their theory’s demise.

They cancelled the seeding of Betsy in 1965 but forgot to tell the media, which reported the storm had been seeded. There was an uproar when Betsy smashed into Florida, and congress very nearly cut off their funding.

The final storm seeded was Ginger in 1971. I don’t know when it was seeded, but suspect they were blamed for the storms zany track, even if they seeded it after it performed its looping and backtracking.

They continued to exist as an entity for a decade longer, but did most of their study in their minds, marveling at the increasingly wonderful pictures made available by the swiftly improving satellites. But it doesn’t matter what you do, some people are bound to be suspicious. A “Chemtrails” crowd existed even back then, and Fidel Castro insisted that Stormfury was an attempt to “weaponize” hurricanes. A plan to move the project to the Pacific was torpedoed by outcries from both China and Japan. Maintaining the airplanes was expensive, and Stormfury eventually died a quiet death due to Reagan’s push for budget cuts and also because the researchers themselves were becoming aware that eyewall replacement could be normal and natural, and not due to seeding.

Two things become apparent looking at Stormfury. First, that scientists can take a hard look at data and disprove their own theories. Second, that people who know next to nothing about the data can raise an almighty fuss even when you don’t do anything (as was the case with Betsy.)

Suppose I leaked out that I’d sent a fireworks rocket I made at home and it exploded confetti in the middle of Hurricane Florence a couple of weeks ago, and claimed my confetti had diminished the storm from a Cat 4 to a Cat 1 at landfall. Rather than any praise I can bet you a hundred lawyers would now be knocking at my door, half to sue me for flooding in North Carolina, and half to sue me because Florence unexpectedly turned south into South Carolina. And not a single one of them would know a thing about hurricanes.

I far prefer the studious attitude of Joe Bastardi. He watched Florence with a fierce concentration, bringing fifty years of knowledge to bear but also displaying the obvious delight and wonder of a child when he saw something he had not noticed before. He is not too old to be constantly learning.

That is science as science should be. Before seeding a hurricane there should be concentration on what is to be expected, and awareness there may be unexpected consequences. (There will be the usual outcry from tree-huggers, who complain shooting polar bears is evil, until the bear is looking in the window of their child’s daycare.) Only after a careful assessment,  involving much input, should the experiment be undertaken. Then their should be careful observations of what occurs, and a follow-up assessment of results.

This is not the case in much of the fuss about sea-ice. Largely for political reasons an amazing amount of money has been poured into research about sea-ice, and we know far more than we did, and things the equivalent to “eyewall replacement” are  becoming evident, but the “Death Spiral” crowd stubbornly refuse to see anything but a Death Spiral. It would be as if the Stormfury scientists refused to see that anything, besides their seeding, could influence a hurricane’s eyewall.

For example, we are now far more aware the sea-ice has greater mobility than some initially assumed, and at times is far more mobile than other times when it is far more static. Rather than any sort of focus on how such fluctuation might effect sea extent levels (and therefore effect albedo and other effects, which would have further effects),   the Death Spiral crowd claims CO2 is the culprit. That’s their story and they are sticking to it, as stubborn as mules.

This is especially exasperating when they refuse to use the resources provided by history. Where Joe Bastardi is always eager to read about what hurricanes did before he was born, the Death Spiral crowd seem determined to “erase the Medieval Warm Period”, and anything else that disagrees with what their model was programed to produce, which is basically that the Arctic Sea was wall-to-wall ice until just recently.

This is tantamount to a willful blindness, a refusal to see that which is marvelous and wonderful, that which can teach us much about how sea-ice behaves, and that which can teach us whether we would benefit by covering a large amount of the ice with black soot.

I’ll end with a comment I posted at WUWT. We were wondering if icebreakers might influence how able the sea-ice is to be flushed out of the arctic, or be melted in other ways, but I like my comment because it also describes how wrong scientific opinion can be, and how actual observation can correct errors:

“As an example (of how sea-ice can be relatively static and then very mobile) I’d like to point out the history of the good ship Jeanette, which set out for the North Pole from San Francisco in 1879. They were buoyed by three false hopes.

1.) They believed the North Pole could not be covered by ice, because salt water behaves differently than fresh water. The coldest fresh water rises, and therefore the surface of ponds freeze, but the addition of salt causes the coldest salt water to sink. This is scientific fact. Therefore the waters of the Arctic Sea could never freeze, (unless from the bottom up) for such waters would sink as they cooled, and be replaced by warmer waters rising from below.

2.) Sea ice was tested and found to be fresh water. Therefore it could not originate from salt water, and must be due to inflows of fresh water from rivers along arctic coasts. Therefore all sea-ice would be concentrated along arctic coasts, and if you could penetrate that sea-ice you’d find open water off shore

3.) Some whalers had reported landing on Wrangel Island with a lot of open water around, and therefore it seemed Wrangel Island might be a doorway to the open seas beyond.

Wrong. The Jennette was trapped by sea ice short of Wrangle Island, near Herald Island. The sea-ice had increased since the whalers found open seas, and during the following 21 months the sea-ice erratically took them barely a degree longitude per month to the west. (During this time an icebreaker would have been handy).

But then the sea-ice situation changed radically. The ice began to shift, and the Jeannette was crushed. The 33 members of the crew headed southwest, making it to the New Siberian Islands on ice, but facing open water as they headed to the swamps of the Lena Delta. (Only 13 made it out alive.)

Meanwhile two ships following behind, looking for the lost Jeannette, did not find the Jeannette because they (including the Naturalist John Muir) were able to land upon both Herald Island and Wrangel Island and dilly-dally about surveying both islands. They failed to find the Jeannette but found lots of open water, because the sea-ice was in motion, and moving far faster than it had formally moved.

We know how fast the sea-ice moved, because the crushed Jeannette didn’t sink (though parts of it likely sunk, being iron,) and instead moved, in the next 36 months, more than halfway around the earth, in terms of longitude. The sea-ice the crushed beams and planks were squeezed by moved west along the entire north coasts of Russia and Scandinavia, likely north of Svalbard, and took a left through Fram Strait and then down the entire east coast of Greenland, and then took a sharp right around Cape Farewell and were found nearly three years to the day of when the ship was abandoned, in Baffin Bay off Julianehåb. Miles? You figure it out for me, but the ship was abandoned at 77° 15′ north and 154°59′ east, and the wreckage was found at around 60° 70′ north and 46° 05′ WEST.

Yowza.

This incredible movement of sea-ice in 36 months is what gave Nansen the idea he could park the Fram in Sea Ice in East Siberia and drift across the Pole.

But me? I lack Nansen’s ambition. Instead I sit back and say, “Yowza!” I see that, once sea-ice takes it into its head to move, tremendous forces are involved, and the entire fleet of Russian icebreakers can’t matter much more than fifteen mice standing before an avalanche with stop signs.

And if the mighty Russian ships matter so little before such power, how stupid it is for silly people to think buying curly light bulbs and all other forms of virtue-signaling will have the slightest effect?

Not that we shouldn’t consider ways we might deflect disasters when they are apparent. We should consider spreading black soot on sea-ice the same way we consider seeding hurricanes. However such actions involve at least a basic understanding of the forces we are attempting to influence.

Sad to say, politics has utterly polluted the understanding of many, concerning sea-ice. Unless and until we remove this rot, the subject of sea-ice cannot even reach the level of a basic understanding. Politics is like taking a stupid-pill. It might be screamingly obvious that all mankind would benefit if we spread soot and reduced sea-ice, but political correctness would shout more ice was better.”

 

 

BENCHMARK STORMS AND HYPE

Unfortunately for this overly dramatic reporter, this video went viral, with over a quarter million views in mere hours:

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.

https://news.grabien.com/story-media-politicize-florence-blame-trump-storms-predict-mass-de

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.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/09/15/another-fakenews-video-cnn-anderson-cooper-hypes-hurricaneflorence-flooding-meanwhile-firefighters-spoof-tv-news/

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.)

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/09/16/hurricane-florence-culmination-of-exploitation-of-natural-events-by-government-extremists-and-business/

Another post, with further facts and figures was produced by James D. Agresti.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/09/16/the-washington-posts-slander-on-hurricanes-and-climate-change/

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.

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/21/hurricane-warning-mckibben-alert/

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.

She continues:

“…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 nodded.

“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.”

 

NOT LOCAL –A Bumpkin In Brooklyn–

Some mornings I feel like Washington at Valley Forge.NYC 8 IMG_7303

The propaganda of the Deep State is relentless. What a misnomer it is to call it “The Resistance.” It is obvious some big money is involved, when it blares from posters in glass cases in public places in New York City. It is not the voice of the sweltering poor. It is insidious, and is seen virtue-signaling from the plot of a Broadway play, when you head out to “take in a show.” However a truer “Resistance” shines from the efforts of the individual actors, striving not to be “the masses”, but the best of the best.

Liberal means “generous”, and there is nothing wrong with being generous. Jesus was generous. But it is not generous to tax the crap out of people to enrich your own greedy life. That is gross hypocrisy. It is far better to be an individual seeking to be superlative, the best ball player or the best actor. Then you are giving all you’ve got.

It is individuals giving all they’ve got that makes America great. It is seen in the boss, and in the boss visiting an obscure corner of his factory where a sort of family of workers do one step of a process better than it has ever been done before. The genius of the Founding Fathers was to tame the despotic tendencies of leaders and allow individuals to have rights, and it is the poison of the Deep State to remove those rights.

The distinction is obvious to me, but sometimes I despair I’ll make it clear. The Big Lie of the Deep State blares on and on.  The true debate is between greed and generosity, but no one really talks about the real debate, and instead many blather about empty issues like Global Warming, which is an exercise in witlessness.  If you ask an Alarmist what an “isobar” is, they think it is where Santa drinks whisky. They haven’t a clue, but still manage to virtue-signal down their noses and call me a “denier”. I fight against depression and defeat.

DOUBLE SONNET — TESTED FAITH

My faith is too tested, and I wonder
What purpose can be served by bruising me.
Have I not proved faith, singing in thunder?
Have I not been so crushed I crawled, bowed free
Of all hope, yet looked to Your kind beauty
Like an innocent man on the gallows
Looks past this cruel, dark world, and can see
Spring’s dawn lies ahead? This lipsticked earth shows
No allure to me; I see the rank sores
On powdered skin. Why not show me Your smile?
You’re kind to the sickly; You walk with whores
As their friend. Please walk with me a mile
As the Dead Sea thumps surf on sighing shores.
Add Your flashing smile to my poetry.
What purpose is served by misery?

Yet I will trust there is a lesson hidden
In these scorched days: Some wrong wish for worldly
Fame or Wealth’s lodged like a splinter, and when
It is removed I will once again see
The Surgeon is my friend, despite His knife.
But for now I don’t see, and faith is blind
As the best faith always is; for the strife
We think matters has no weight, we will find,
On the true scales. For Justice, too, is blind
To the allurements that prompt bribery
And cause all corruption. A calm, clear mind
Wears a blindfold to be able to see.
I know it makes no sense, and so I must
Endure my scorched passages mustering trust.

Blind lady-justice-blindfolded_55d3389af74020f6

My mood was not at its best Sunday morning, for I’d been up long past midnight and also my youngest son drinks no coffee, whereas I am an addict. I was astonished a kitchen could even exist without coffee. Perhaps a caffeine-free  morning contributed to my gloom. However to my surprise I discovered I didn’t die, and in fact as I stepped out Brooklyn’s bricks astonished me with their orange brilliance,  and the green surprised me as well, as I was unaware a tree grew in Brooklyn.

It is bragged that 600 languages are spoken in New York City’s Burroughs,  by those who see it as being a sign of liberal diversity and multiculturalism.   I’m not so sure it is a good thing, because I cannot help but think that somewhere else 600 communities have been lessened, and perhaps even destroyed. A community is a sign of God’s creativity, but ignorance loves to destroy.  Some people think Satan will manifest as a sort of Godzilla tearing down skyscrapers, but it seems to me he has no problem with material things; he won’t bother bash skyscrapers; what he dislikes is Love, and in my time I have witnessed the destruction of families, neighborhoods, clans, tribes, and communities world-wide.

Liberals once decried the idea of a neutron bomb, which would kill people without the damage to material objects an atomic bomb manifests, yet they have said little as families and neighborhoods have been evaporated.  Some even clap their hands, deeming the small-scale patriotism of a tight family a type of racism, as if even a mother’s love is evil and opposed to a faceless ideal of one vast McCulture. How much of the world has been destroyed the past sixty years? With hardly a whimper.

Yet as I trudged the sweltering street, desperately seeking my first coffee, I had the strong feeling God cannot be denied. I might be only one language of six hundred, and my skin might be only one hue of six hundred, but there was no way this swirling I was midst was going to become a melting pot, creating a drab smear of a single, muddied hue. Already new clustering was occurring, as the will to excel individually combined and created new marriages, new families, new neighborhoods, on its way to the recreation of 600 springtimes, if not 601.

Having proven optimism does not require coffee, I did find a coffee shop. Then my optimism soared, helped out still further by finding a church.

Brooklyn Church FullSizeRender

Red Brooklyn brick in Sunday morning sunshine
Spreads awakening to the blue horizon
As if brick has no end, but green that’s mine
Lies over Earth’s curve, all made by the One
Who has no end; and now all gather
To sing of Love, of sweet brotherhood
With many voices; and though I’d rather
Be over Earth’s slow curve, this neighborhood
Enchants with the same beauty shimmering
Like symbols by snare drum; a song so good
That it will follow me like angels on wing
And dance when I’m back home in my green wood.
Why my surprise? It’s not unexpected
That One Light is in all eyes reflected.

NOT LOCAL –Eden’s Apple–

NYC 1 IMG_7246

I’m nervous I’m going to have to deal
With that Big Apple. I prefer to avoid
The fruit that felled Adam. I want to heal,
And for me that involves forests destroyed
By expanding cities: The rural green
Where a bumpkin like me can just be a bump.
You see, I don’t want what I’ve seen
Is a deserter: Fame and Wealth are a dump
Where rats scuttle. I far prefer what lasts
And that is Love…I know many will scorn
That statement, for they wear concrete casts.
Love broke them so bad…But pain’s just the thorn
Of a rose, and the rose tells us this:
“Thorns never stopped heroes from seeking sweet bliss.”

Arrived in NYC for my youngest son’s birthday and we strolled around town (9.1 miles, 31 staircases) talking about (among other things) the impossible job “city planners” face.  It’s unlikely anyone can herd 8.5 million cats.

I don’t think the Founding Fathers really wanted to herd the cats. They were more concerned with herding the cat-herders.  When Washington was inaugurated as the first president of a new experiment in government in 1789, New York’s population was only around 33,000.

NYC 6 IMG_7301  At that point the concept of laying out the streets of New York in an orderly manner was a quarter century away, (The “gridiron” Commissioners’ Plan was not published until 1811.) There was no socialist zeal to force order upon people, but this did not mean people disliked the idea of order. New York was only the national capital until 1795, as people dreamed of laying out a new capital to the south. But who was the dictator? How could order be, without a despot? Who would rule? Who could trust a dim silhouette in the distance?

NYC 4 IMG_7285

Some distrust the idea of allowing people to be free. They cannot believe anything but chaos will result without a committee. Yet individuals with liberty, seeking to improve upon a set design, created beauty, whether building boats or bridges.

NYC 5 IMG_7294

Which is not to say things don’t become chaotic, and confused,

NYC 3 FullSizeRender

However humanity’s hubbub is the true builder of cities, while those who think they control are just a facade.

NYC 7 FullSizeRender

One generation’s power struts and builds skyscrapers, but the glut is fleeting, and a generation later is faded, leaving a building as a historical site as final issues are printed from a warehouse.

NYC 2 FullSizeRender

 

As we headed home at midnight the subway shuddered to a halt on the bridge over to Brooklyn, and we saw how the best system cannot plan for all screw ups.  Somehow a metal trashcan wound up on the rails, and then crunched under the train. Midnight on a Saturday night, and tired people just want to get home, some after work and some after drinking,  but the trolley is stuck and blocking a major bridge. How’d you like to be the bureaucrat in charge? (You can bet the boss was home in bed.) Some of the herded cats squeezed out between cars and vanished into the dark walking, with the officials wailing it was illegal, as the rest more obediently trooped car to car to the rear of the train, and then into a “rescue train”, which then slowly backed over the bridge to a station some had left an hour before. At which point we turned to transportation none saw coming even a decade ago: Uber.

Leave it to Liberty and answers will come.