Sea-ice debate has lost much of its appeal. The Alarmist spreaders of the false sea-ice narrative have pretty much admitted they can’t debate. How so? By silencing the voices who would debate with them.
This childish, “la-la-la I’m not listening” attitude was always there, in the debates between sea-ice Skeptics and Alarmists, especially on Alarmist platforms and within Alarmist websites, but on some non-Alarmist sites an Alarmist once could be lured into an old-fashioned, all-American debate.
I use the word “all-American” because lively debate has been one, major reason the United States rose to prominence in the way it did. Prominence was a direct consequence of Freedom of Speech. Debate is the anvil on which great ideas are hammered out. Whether the debate occurs in the Ivory Towers of academia, (through the process of truthful peer review), or in the down and dirty Corridors of Power (among pugnacious politicians), or even in a fair marketplace where shoppers can prefer a small company’s product over a large company’s, the clash of debate is a good thing, as long as both sides honor and respect each other.
“Honor and respect” suggests both sides have allegiance to a common ideal. In England the ideal was symbolized by the king, and those who opposed the party which held power were referred to as, “the loyal opposition”, because they remained loyal to the king, (even while not exactly loyal to those in power.)
In my America we replaced loyalty to a mortal king with loyalty to immortal God, or at least to that which our “Creator” had “endowed” to us as “certain inalienable Rights” (with “Rights” capitalized). This loyalty to a higher ideal infers respect towards those with whom you debate. You allow them Freedom of Speech as they allow you the same.
Unfortunately, at first in the obscure world of Arctic Sea-ice, and later spreading like cancer throughout American society, I’ve seen some felt they didn’t need to respect the Freedom of Speech which allows healthy debate.
I think this occurred, in the world of sea-ice, because Alarmists lost the debate about sea-ice with Skeptics. This did not occur because the Skeptics persuaded the Alarmists. (Even when Skeptics won specific arguments, Alarmists refused to concede.) What really defeated Alarmists was the sea-ice itself, which obstinately refused to behave in the manner Alarmists foretold, and instead made them look like flaming morons.
You think I exaggerate? Please consider how foolish the Alarmists must now feel, after having bought into the idea that the North Pole would be ice-free by the summer of 2008.
Or by 2010:
It becomes obvious, after nearly two decades of failed forecasts, that the Alarmists are full of -bleep-. This year is no different. The extent of sea-ice, though low, is not as low as other recent years, and shows no signs of vanishing completely.
In a saner world Alarmists would admit their forecasts were wrong. We all are humbled in such a manner as we bungle through life. We all make mistakes, and hopefully learn from our mistakes. (The world’s best weathermen became the best from being mistaken, to some degree, every day for decades. Weather forecasting defies perfection.)
However, if you refuse to be humbled, you do not admit your forecasts are wrong. Instead, you hide the evidence you were in error, and that sometimes includes attempting to hide, erace or “disappear” the very people who, often very gently and kindly, attempted to point out that you were mistaken. You hide them by censoring them. You ban them. You muffle their voices, deny their funding, isolate and marginalize them. Once the informed are “disappeared” you attempt to make the uninformed continue to believe your “side of the argument”, (which isn’t reality), is reality.
Sorry, but reality is reality. Truth remains true even if not a single mortal has the guts to say so. Sea-ice does not obey politicians, but the Almighty. And it just, plain ain’t melting away. And eventually even the uninformed notice.
Outside of the world of sea-ice the uninformed are noticing other narratives are failing to be confirmed, especially regarding the coronavirus, and this is making the censorship of skeptical voices increasingly look foolish. Polls have shown an alarming lack of trust, on the part of the general public, towards what the news reports. In some circles it has even reached a point where whatever is reported on the news is instantly regarded as being some form of disinformation, and the opposite is taken to be the actual fact.
This is of course very frustrating, to the honest, who like to be objectively informed. Some of us like to bring actual facts to the table and to share them with others who bring other actual facts showing other things, and then to attempt to make heads or tails of any variance that becomes apparent. There is much about the expansion and contraction of sea-ice which is worthy of wonder, and deserves further research, but censorship prevents it.
Currently there is a narrative being bleated which perpetuates the tired, dogeared fear that the sea-ice is going to melt away this summer, (with dreadful, doom-and-gloom consequences), despite decades of evidence to the contrary. This blather is allowed and even encouraged on certain platforms, while even attempting to counter such blather, (blather which at this point has so lost scientific credibility that it has gained the status of being pure propaganda,) will get you promptly censored or at least shadow-banned from those same social platforms.
In like manner, regarding the coronavirus, it was scientifically known right from the start that masks would do little to halt the spread. Anthony Fauci himself quoted the peer-reviewed papers which established this truth. But somehow a political narrative made masks far more advisable than they ever actually, scientifically were, and Anthony Fauci flip-flopped to support this political narrative, and anyone who stated masks were basically useless was banned from social media. As with sea-ice, even the uninformed eventually became leery of the “official” line, but the “official” line remained the accepted propaganda.
All of this nonsense has made a mess of the natural process enacted by healthy debate. We should be able to talk to each other about what we have observed in a manner which combines our observations into a sum far greater than our individual efforts. Indeed, that is what Freedom of Speech is all about. Censorship denies us the Liberty of speaking our minds, substituting the slavery of propaganda.
What foments the nonsense? I suppose it is that when we “speak our minds” we have minds which are imperfect, and which to some degree are selfish. And it is the nature of selfishness to want its own way, even at the expense of others. In other words, our minds do not merely contain the altruistic concept of Freedom of Speech, but also a less patient side which just wants to tell others to “shut the f— up”.
There are those who believe that the “shut-the f— up” impatience is good governance. It is foundational to the ideas behind any dictatorship. It sees opposition as a wrench-in-the-works of progress. Dictators are certain that the way to progress is to remove the wrench. And so it is that dictators tend to remove even their closest comrades from the picture.
While such an approach may lead to great power, it tends to leave one very alone and without advisors, and a lack of advisors is bound to leave one ill-advised.
The United States embarked on a different policy, which accepted differing opinions, and allowed people to be a wrench-in-the-works. (This is drifting far from the topic of sea-ice), but it is interesting to go back to the early days of the United States, when the idea of Free Speech was still in its infancy. People were aware how novel the idea of Free Speech was, and relished it, and even small towns had gatherings where people vented their views, and eventually this became the local event called a “Lyceum”. (Abraham Lincoln’s first public speech was at a Lyceum in 1838.)
Lyceums were the internet of those pre-electricity times, and some individuals made a good living just traveling town to town and speaking. Of course, certain subjects were taboo, and even back then there were some who wished to censor certain speakers, but they lacked the ability of modern censorship. If banned, even outlandish speakers (or snake oil salesmen) could just move on to the next town. For the most part the public displayed a thirst to hear new ideas of all sorts, and illiteracy greatly declined. Back then I might have traveled from town to town, speaking all I know about sea-ice, without fear of being “shadow-banned”, (IE: seeing all my writing, even my posts which have nothing to do with sea-ice, [such as my most-popular “Why We Don’t Domesticate Deer”] sink from view on search engines.) Lyceums occurred during an age which was innocent, in some ways, though back then Americans were also well aware the idea of Free Speech tread upon new and dangerous ground, full of patches of thin ice and slippery-slope pitfalls.
The danger became almost immediately apparent when France attempted to copy us, replacing its King with a republic, and saw things spiral into The Terror. Their guillotine made it apparent American Liberty and Freedom required guidance. What had lead France astray?
This brings me back to the selfishness I spoke of earlier; a selfishness we all own. A guillotine is just a way of saying “shut the f— up.” Even in our homes, any time we are tempted to say that, whether it be to a parent, a spouse, or a child, we’re in a sense anti-American, for we’re denying Free Speech.
Considering I myself have been told to “shut the f—up” for stating obvious truths about sea-ice, I hope you will forgive me if my interest strays, (away from the sea-ice maximum), to the despotic maximum we are now experiencing. I will return to the actual subject of sea-ice before the end of this post, but I digress into the subject of Free Speech because I am confronted by it’s destruction. We are all confronted by it. Cancel Culture is in-your-face censorship, basically saying “shut the f— up” to us all, and we need to deal with it.
At this point it is interesting and perhaps instructive to look back to at the lyceums at the beginnings of the United States, and see what was the motivation behind many of the ideas.
After much thought I decided the motivation boiled down to putting food on the table. It may sound a bit lowering to state so much depends on a man’s stomach, but the gut is a great motivator of both hard work and revolution, and thrones become hot seats when the commoners go hungry. Therefore, it follows that much that Free Speech debates about, concerning the high-sounding word “economy”, involves how a society keeps its people fed. The basis of all high principles and lofty ideals is basically dirt, and also the brine fish are netted from. This low-seeming fact is an inescapable truth people in Ivory Towers can become blind to. In a computer age a majority of society can live in Ivory Towers, seemingly divorced from dirt and salty spray, but in truth still trapped by the simple realities of Earth.
When I state putting-food-on-the-table is man’s motivation, it sounds as if man would be easy to manipulate, like a donkey tricked into plodding forward by dangling an apple on a string just in front of its nose. In actual fact putting-food-on-the-table has always involved a thing called “risk”. The risk might be a swarm of grasshoppers eating your entire garden in a couple of hours, or a storm sinking your fishing boat, or, (if you were a caveman), the woolly mammoth you just hurled your spear into turning around and stamping you flat.
Once you add “risk” into the equation you create a sort of schizophrenia. How so? Because putting-food-on-the-table is “security”, and “risk” is the opposite of “security”. This creates a tension between two sides, and a reason to debate. One needs to weigh the “risk” involved in achieving “security.” Is the safety worth the danger? Is the danger worth the safety?
In the eyes of academics in Ivory Towers, the people who created the United States were very unsafe people. Academics have tenure and can’t be fired even if they are obnoxious, possess plump pensions, and have health insurance which allows them to be sicker than dogs and never lose a cent. They are exceedingly safe, and therefore must be forgiven if they cannot comprehend the unsafe people who created America, people who hoed their corn with a flintlock nearby in case war whoops sang from the woods, or sailed ships without engines or GPS’s through dangerous seas to net or long-line codfish.
Going to sea was, with 20-20 hindsight, a high-risk activity, considering the nature of the flimsy ships, but involved a thing called “trade”. Trade could put food on the table without one needing to grow food or net food. Therefore, one might, from an Ivory Tower, think man had escaped the power of the stomach, but it is interesting to note the trade-items most desired by Native Americans were copper cooking pots, (preferable to birch-bark stewpots and more durable than pottery), for cooking, and iron axes for cutting the wood people used to fuel cooking fires with. The gut still ruled.
So important did “trade” become that three of the ten largest cities in the future United States were crammed together on the coast of Massachusetts: Boston, Gloucester, and Newburyport. Their affair with the ocean involved a great deal of “risk”, and many died at sea, but the gamble was obviously worth it to those who survived, which caused those three cities to prosper and be among the largest. New Englanders become skilled traders, and Cod was king, and a wooden codfish was hung as a sort of false god in the city hall of Boston.
Meanwhile, in the South, Cotton became king. This involved the small farms moving from hiring farmhands to buying farmhands from Africa. This involved all sorts of risks, but they seemed worthwhile, even before the cotton gin was invented in 1797 and made cotton so profitable other crops were abandoned.
Thirdly, to the west, were lands the indigenous population seemed to use unwisely. Where they used a thousand acres in a manner which could feed few, settlers could use the same thousand acres in a manner that would feed many. The settlers therefore could outnumber the original inhabitants, and overran them, resulting in wars, which the indigenous and outnumbered natives lost. However, risks remained. Out of every ten farms started by homesteaders, five failed, resulting in bankruptcy for people who had gambled all, and lost all. Risk.
All three developments, North, South and West, involved problematic situations, with inherent frailties. Debate was needed. But in those days not that much breathing space was allowed for American people to discuss the spirituality of their behavior in a leisurely manner. Fights were breaking out on all sides, involving Indians to the west and Europeans to the east, and Barbary Pirates. Therefore, the three regional developments accepted risks and developed responses without much thought beyond survival, as the United States staggered through a precarious period when even the White House was burned, and the United States faced, with a Navy of only six big ships, a British Empire with six hundred.
Those odds have always astounded me. How was it the United States wasn’t crushed? The odds were a hundred to one.
The answer seems to have been that the ordinary risk-taking nature of American seaports produced sleek, swift merchant ships which, with a few added cannon, became “privateers”. Privateers are basically pirates with a license for piracy given by a government. American privateers gave the six-hundred-ship British navy fits. In my view privateers saved the United States from being reabsorbed, as a mere formerly-rebellious colony, back into the British empire.
Not that piracy is spiritual, or anything a society ought to encourage. But in a warring world full of risk, it was a necessary evil. And one redeeming element of America’s piracy is that its pirates desisted from piracy the moment the war ended. (The same cannot be said of other privateers in other places, for when their governments revoked their licenses to steal, they were too addicted to theft to stop.) (See John Ward, [who inspired the Disney pirate “Jack Swallow” in “Pirates of the Carribean”].)
As a child of the North, I was brought up to understand the North had little to gain from the War of 1812 and was reluctant to face the ruination of its trade. The main gripe of the North was that its sailors were impressed by the English navy to crew its six hundred ships to fight Napoleon, but Napolean had done the same thing to crew his French ships, and war with France had been avoided by Jefferson. Negotiation was preferable with the French, (especially when the Louisiana Purchase was thrown into the bargain,) and therefore it seemed negotiation should be preferable with the British. It was the South and West that blustered most loudly against the British and dragged the nation into a war that ruined the economy of the North. By 1814 there was even talk of the North quitting the United States, but in the end the North remained loyal to the Union and fought the British to a draw at sea. The British blockades were eluded by swift American privateers who brought home loot seized from British ships bound for Canada, (and often the ships themselves,) and these swashbuckling privateers even made it unsafe for traders to sail from port to port on the coast of England. At that point sane economic policy in England made it seem wiser to avoid risk and to call the stupid war off. The war was, if not won, most definitely not lost, and the United States had defended its right to exist among nations, when the peace treaty was signed.
News traveled slowly, and it was after peace had been officially declared (but not ratified) that the South and West fought a battle which may have had no significance in terms of written treaties, but had huge significance in gray areas outside of treaties.
Because Napolean had been defeated, the treaties he had made while in power were to some degree vetoed, and this included the Lousiana Purchase. Napolean had won this vast area from Spain and then sold it to the United States. There was some thought among thinkers in Ivory Towers that this land should be returned to Spain. Of course, such thinking was countered by realities on the ground, and the reality was that the United States occupied New Orleans, but England had sent 8000 of its best soldiers to retake it. An English occupation would basically create a situation where it would be hard for the United States to prove its claim that it “owned” the Louisiana Purchase. New Orleans itself was in a panic, for the soldiers advancing on their city were the same men who had defeated Napolean, and the city only had roughly 1000 official soldiers to defend it, and these soldiers knew little of fighting as Europeans fought.
It turned out to be a good thing they didn’t fight as Europeans fought, though it made a mess of the calculations made in Ivory Towers.
What happened was a thing called a “militia” appeared, coming down the Mississippi by the thousands, from as far away as Kentucky. Also nearly 500 freed slaves, as well as fierce warriors from Native American tribes, swelled the ranks. There were even some Cajun-French pirates from the delta rushing in. Soon the English were facing a substantial army, led by a very hard-nosed commander, Andrew Jackson. The British were demoralized by the fierceness of the resistance, as they had been led to believe the attack would be a cakewalk.
It might have actually been a cakewalk, as the British came precariously close to penetrating the American lines in the skirmishes leading up to the battle, but they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by safely retreating from those skirmishes. Then, in the actual battle, the British suffered a terrible trouncing. Facts and figures vary, but British casualties were around two thousand, while the Americans lost nineteen dead.
This seems so much like American propaganda that even as a schoolboy I scratched my head and wondered if it was true. Such staggered odds demanded an explanation. The explanation is that the European battlefield tactics were basically neutered by the American defenses.
The Europeans relied on a barrage of bullets delivered by Brown Bess muskets, which was followed, if necessary, by a charge with fixed bayonets, but the Americans had erected breastworks, in some places made of bales of cotton, behind a canal they had deepened, and this kept the American’s safe from both a barrage of bullets and a bayonet charge. In actual fact the British milled about awaiting their lousy logistics to catch up to the troops with ladders to cross the canals with, as the American artillery lobbed grapeshot into their ranks. (Grapeshot was horrible stuff, because it threw shrapnel, including lengths of chain, when it landed and exploded.) The British were suffering terribly even before the battle officially began. Then, when they finally drew close enough to the Americans to actually shoot at them, the Americans, who had been waiting, got their barrage off first, and it was far more effective than Napolean ever managed against the same troops.
Why? This is actually a footnote, for only around five minutes of the actual battle involved soldiers actually shooting at each other, but a British sergeant noted that an amazing number of his men fell with bullet holes in the center of their foreheads. Americans did not merely shoot “towards” the foe, in the European manner. Americans actually aimed their guns, because the American militia included marksmen from the frontier who had to hit a squirrel, if they shot at it. This was no big deal in the American west, but to the British sergeant it was astounding to see a single barrage mow down so many of his men.
In any case, in barely more than a half hour the history of North America was utterly changed, for the English understood winning New Orleans was not a cakewalk. They headed back to their ships and sailed off to safer ports in the Caribbean. This meant the Western border of the United States did not halt at the Mississippi, and that the Sioux were not ruled by England or Spain. The Louisiana Purchase, for better or worse, was America’s problem.
What were the problems? The problems were, if you are sitting in an Ivory Tower as safe as can be, fairly obvious: IE: If you truly believe all men are created equal, you should not buy farmhands from Africa as the South did, nor should you believe you have more right to lands than Indians do, as the West did. However, if you live in an Ivory Tower, and believe all men are created equal, you should believe all men deserve Ivory Towers. All men deserve tenure, even if their ideas are stupid. Fishermen deserve codfish, even if they sail smack dab into a reef. Farmers deserve bountiful crops even if they sow in September. Right? No, wrong, and in the cutthroat reality of the time people did not live in an Ivory Tower. They lived a tough reality where existence, even the existence of the United States itself, was day to day.
Just consider this factoid: At that time a man could work all day and be paid ten cents. At the same time a strong, young African slave cost $2000.00. Therefore, if you were an employer who needed some strong man to do a risky job, (for example, dig a New Orleans canal where the mucky walls might collapse and drown the diggers in ooze), who would you rather risk? Your slave who cost $2000.00? Or some immigrant who cost ten cents? Obviously, you would not expose your slave to such risks, but would expose the immigrant. Take this one step further and you can argue the slave-holder-south treated enslaved-workers better than the anti-slavery-north treated its freedmen. But that assumes Freedom of Speech allows such topics to be discussed. During the desperation of those times there was little time to sit in Ivory Towers and hold such discussions.
Yet I believe there was some spiritual ideal whispering in the ears of Americans at that time, despite all the chaos people were amidst. Not that they could not be savage in battle, but within the risk-taking they took, they risked being idealistic. This idealism’s hard to describe, but it is very different from what is described by Critical Race Theory, which denies the idealism.
It is quite easy to sit in an Ivory Tower, taking no risks, and sneer at the risk-taking of others. But those who stay safe on shore eating sardines should not sneer at those at sea netting the herring. Those who currently desire seafront cottages cannot imagine a world where entire coastal communities were abandoned, because Barbary Pirates might swoop in to grab people to sell to the Ottoman Empire as slaves. Estimates of how many Europeans were enslaved by the Barbary Pirates can surpass a million, and this factoid is a handy tool when debating Critical Race Theory. Just mention that in the year 1619 there were far more white people enslaved in Africa than there were Africans enslaved in Europe. But that is assuming people who dislike debate would dare debate.
Don’t get me wrong. I believe all men are created equal and am dead set against slavery of any and all sorts. I have a high (and some would say naive) idealism which envisions bosses caring for employees who care for bosses. But I have worked for some tough bosses and have a hard-nosed acceptance of how brutal making a dollar can be. There is a tension between reality and idealism verging upon hypocrisy, involving the clash between security and risk. This friction is necessary for traction necessary for progress, but it needs to be exposed and talked about, It should be discussed and debated. There needs to be lyceums, and censorship is a bad thing.
One theme which appears in truthful debate is that to make an endeavor successful one wants to pay as little as possible while charging as much as the market will bear. A boss would actually prefer having devotees to having employees, because devotees are cheaper. A boss would also like to have customers dependent on him, and have competition banned, (and, if at all possible, to have his product be addictive). However, such selfishness would likely be bad for society as a whole. How so? Well, an honest debate would bring up historical examples of times bosses got what they wanted, and what became of the societies they ruled. Some came to a bad end. The Terror in France was an example much discussed in the lyceums during the childhood of my nation. But there were other dangers to avoid, amidst all the risk-taking.
Critical Race Theory seems to be based on the idea that people of that time sat around in Ivory Towers like modern Critical Race professors do, planning how to be exploitive. In actual fact society was reeling from calamity to calamity, fighting for its very existence, and what is amazing is not that they were in some ways savage, but that they so often were noble savages. You may say there was merely honor among thieves, but there was definite decency even among the pirates. In fact, “honor” was a very big word back then, even among slaveholders, even among factory owners who employed little children, even among those who stole Indian’s land, and, if you offended a gentleman, you might be challenged to a duel. (I suppose a pistol was the Cancel Culture of that time.) The point that I am driving is that despite all the brutality of that time, idealism persisted. Likely it was what saved my homeland from extinction when it was young, though Karma could be a bitch: (The very people who built mansions on the land grabbed from Cherokee in 1835 saw Sherman’s troops burn down those mansions, only thirty years later…….so there is no need for restitution now, when Karma has already been so vicious.)
Idealism seemed to manifest, even as the burned White House smoldered, with the appearance of three gifted individuals who personified the South, the North and the West, and who for four decades glorified Congress with the brilliance of Free Speech. They represented very different parts of the growing nation, and agreed about very little, except the value of Free Speech (and perhaps, for a time, about the fact President Andrew Jackson needed to be restrained.)
(Judging from their faces, I wouldn’t pick a fight with them, even regarding something as nonconsequential as Arctic Sea Ice.)
These three men, Calhoun, Webster and Clay, began representing the South, North, and Frontier at a time that the experiment called the United States was less than forty years old. The concept of Freedom of Speech and “lyceums” achieved a high point as they debated, usually disagreeing. Hushed crowds swarmed the galleries of Congress just to listen to them. They debated from the War of 1812 to their final compromise in 1850, which they hoped would prevent the nation from fracturing into Civil War. If truth be known, they prevented the Civil War, but only for a decade, by which point they were long gone, as all three perished by the end of 1852, before that national catastrophe occurred.
Their departure left a void none stepped forward to fill. People seemingly became afraid. The nation walked on eggs, and leaders adopted a go-along-to-get-along policy of refusing to deal with the issues, (Northern, Western and Southern), that loomed, blacker and taller, like approaching thunder. America elected weak, go-along-to-get-along presidents who quailed from leading, from grabbing the bull by the horns, preferring men who petted the hamster of the status quo. As Freedom of Speech withered due to gutless politicians, censorship entered government, and it was actually forbidden at that time to bring up the subject of slavery (or its abolition) in the halls of congress, because it was too contentious. They feared they might start a war. They may have caused it.
How so? Because, as a child of New England, I know how badly the war of 1812 hurt my ancestors, and how close the North came to seceding from the union at that time. However Freedom of Speech and fiece debate (and God’s grace) preserved the union in 1815, and the North did not have to fight the South at that time. In like manner, if people had the balls to actually talk, and penetrate the clouds of selfishness to the illuminated facts of how-to-treat-employees, a series of step-by-step compromises might have been arrived at between the Missouri Compromise and the national meltdown in 1860. (I confess my idealism, but nearly anything seems better than the fate the nation actually chose.)
It is interesting to study this period of history because we are in strangely similar shoes, with our nation again heading towards an apparent catastrophe, and people again rendered mute by Cancel Culture and by the sheer ugliness of the discussions which do occur, when debate is allowed.
One thing apparent, looking back to the past catastrophe, is that people were given time to face their problems, between the Missouri Compromise of 1850 and the outbreak of war in 1860, but they frittered away that time in a strange state of paralysis wherein no one wanted to rock the boat. They were years “eaten by locusts.” People clung to the security of the status quo even as the risks involved ripened like an abscess swelling with pus. Each area, the North, the South, and the Frontier, was on some level aware their successes involved exploitations which eventually would have to be paid for, through some sort of reform, but… But reform is like a New Year’s Resolution, easy to speak of in an Ivory Tower, but hard to bring into the harsh daylight of January Second. It was easy for the North to say the South should renounce slavery, and it was easy for the South to say the North should renounce child labor and sweatshops, and it was easy for people with property to say homeless settlers shouldn’t settle. Morality is easy from afar.
However, when some outsider came in and told people to give up their way of making a good living, people tended to become as angry as the original natives were, when settlers came in and told them to give up their way of making a good living. It was not enough to merely have a vote, for the settlers outnumbered natives and could outvote the natives, and the Northerners could outnumber and could outvote the Southerners.
Had the Northerners been outvoted, (perhaps with an allied combination of Southerners, Settlers and Native Tribes), and had outsiders told the Northern factories they had to shut down because child labor and sweat shops were immoral, it would have been the Northern states which would have talked about “nullification”.
“Nullification” was the idea that no outsider (IE: The Federal Government) should be able to cancel the “States Rights” of local people. However, because the Northern states were not the minority and could outvote the south, it was the South that brought up the idea of “nullification”, which, in a sense, every single Native American tribe agreed with. Indeed, the issues involved in “nullification” were deeply discussed and debated while Calhoun, Webster, and Clay were alive. Upon their demise, a silence descended, and the abscess swelled until it erupted as war.
My homeland’s first Civil War was terrible. More Americans died in it than in all other wars the United States has been involved in combined. 620,000 soldiers died in a nation with a population of 31 million. In modern terms, it would be as if we had a war where seven million men died. (And, because modern war involves women and children, the numbers would be far higher.)
No American escaped unscathed. A few profiteered, but it was at a terrible cost. Intellectuals in Ivory Towers can speak of the high-sounding “principles” involved, (such as the preservation of a union and of liberty for all), but that involves a complete blindness to the actual slaughter, mayhem and heartache of war. Every small town in New England, far from the battlefields, contains a monument to young men who never “came marching home again”, and who are buried far away. And why? Because Freedom of Speech failed, and “Shut the f— up” won.
Now we are facing a second catastrophe, involving subjects such as how we should heat our homes, whether fossil fuels are bad, whether we should eat meat or not, whether we should have old fashioned families and marriages or be freed from such disciplines, and similar debates about similar constraints, and people have no idea of the danger they face when they abandon civil procedure and resort to “shut the f— up”.
Particularly repulsive is the strategy of simply talking-over the person you are debating with, which seems to inevitably force the person being talked-over to reply in kind, and to talk-over the talk-overer. (sic). I never thought I’d see the day when an interview of a point-counterpoint nature would devolve into two people simultaneously talking as loudly and as rapidly as possible, yet now it has become painfully common on news broadcasts. It solves nothing.
Such behavior is not civil. It is incivility. It is an abandonment of the idea we all are created equal, because it dismisses the idea the opinions of others have value.
(It is absurd to make this point, but I’ll make it because some novice might need it.) The opinions of others have value because others are positioned differently, and they have views we are not privy to. For example, if the lights went out in a dark cave, and we had to find our way out, and only one person was positioned where he could see a glimmer of daylight in the distance, that lone person would be the minority whom the majority should heed. Conclusion? Love your neighbor. Listen to the minority.
Unfortunately, dictators always assume that they themselves are that one person in the cave who sees the daylight no other can see, and that this justifies their ignoring the views of everyone else. This may indeed be true, for a short while in a cave, but do we want to live forever in a cave? Eventually we emerge into daylight, and at that point the dictator should be humble and revalue the views of others.
But what is the solution?
The solution, as always, is Truth, and the golden Liberty to seek Truth with Free Speech. The concept of propaganda needs to be repudiated in all its guises. The idea that any good can come from intentional falsehood needs to be soundly rebuked. Those who lie for a living need to be made ashamed. “Fake News” must be abolished, not by censorship, but by a rising-up of masses who are utterly sick of it.
On our smallest coin it states, “In God We Trust.” And what is God, but Truth? Truth should be what we honor, even to a degree where dishonest advertisements are altered towards honesty, and even to a degree where politicians avoid hyperbole. This should be done because we are witnessing the alternative, and it is utterly repulsive.
Why is it repulsive? Because it is in some ways itching to start a Second Civil War. The erection of razor wire around the Capital shows how certain some individuals were that Second Civil War was upon us. The exaggeration which described an extremely peaceful post-election protest as an “insurrection” once again shows that some feel so guilty that they expect the backlash of war. Much to their amazement, (and I admit also my own), the public refused and refuses to act as the paranoid expect. Apparently, the public prefers peace to a Second Civil War.
I find this very inspiring and beautiful. It seems to indicate the uneducated public, which largely knows little of the history I’ve taken pains to share with you (in a Reader’s Digest way), nor which cares a whit about sea-ice (which I’ve taken pains to describe in past posts), has an ability, free of all intellectual garbage, to recognize crap is crap, and to prefer Truth.
I sometimes think there are other, contrary people who do desire the death of millions in a Second Civil War, because they live in an Ivory Tower so detached from reality that they can believe the death of billions would be a good thing, as they believe the current population of earth is too many. What gives them such authority I cannot say.
Obviously, they don’t believe, as I believe, “the more the merrier.” They see no value in others. They think countless throbbing hearts are just an excess the world would be better off without. They speak of risk with an icy detachment born of their Ivory Tower’s divorce from what risk actually entails, and they like to smugly say things such as, “You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.”
Actually, that saying is French and had to do with making pancakes, not revolutions. It apparently first entered the English language (in its revolutionary sense) via François de Charette in 1786, and he was a Royalist talking back to revolutionaries when the French revolution was merely murmurs in the wings, as France faced financial ruin and its king considered calling an Estates General. (1788) When Charette spoke of “breaking a few eggs” he did not dream of what The Terror unleashed. (1793)
People in Ivory Towers always seem to take being respected for granted. They are aghast when one of the first things dismantled by revolution is Ivory Towers. How surprised the leftist college professors of China were when Mao sent the Red Guard marching into their classrooms, and nearly every teacher China had was sent off to be “reeducated” in the rice paddies. Likewise, the intellectuals of Cambodia were shocked when Pol Pot decreed literacy was “counterrevolutionary”, and consequently having a writer’s callus on your middle finger became a crime that carried a death sentence. But, until the storm breaks upon them, inhabitants of Ivory Towers feel wonderfully immune, and think, “It can’t happen here.”
There is something downright flippant about the heartlessness of people who deem the death of millions “a statistic”. Considering how horrible such concepts are, you might expect an equal and opposite backlash. Some Elitists in Washington DC apparently did, erecting the aforementioned razor wire after a questionable election. They apparently expected a Second Civil War, and perhaps even the death of millions. But the American public refused to be so stupid.
How did the American public remain calm and sane? I don’t know. They just did it. Whatever the opposite of stupid is, that was what they were, and I think their sanity has made a mess of the plans of some who thought the public was boorish and predictable. All attempts to control the public like sheep went astray, because people are not sheep. Powerful people discovered they are not the only power, and that apparently some other Power is in control.
What Power might this be? Truth. It stands on Its own, and no amount of propaganda can alter It. The powerful fear It, and can attempt to quell It with things such as a “Disinformation Governance Board”, but such efforts are like shouting at the wind. Truth cannot help but be true, and facing this almighty Truth is part of the “risk” we need to face if we are to achieve “security.”
And with that I return with a thump to the truth about sea-ice.
I’ll begin by discussing the increase in sea-ice volume, which has been impressive. Here is a chart from my Post of sixteen months ago, showing that at the start of 2021 the sea-ice volume was at the very bottom of recent years, at roughly 17,000 cubic kilometers on January 1.
Now compare that with the same chart from this year, which shows that….hey! Wait a cotton-picking minute! What did they do to the 2021 figures? Rather than showing 2021 began with a volume of 17 cubic kilometers they are now showing it as 14.8! (Turquoise line.)
Now how do you suppose they misplaced 2.2 thousand square kilometers of sea-ice like that? Even a single square kilometer is no small thing, and nothing you’d ever be likely to see slip away behind your living room couch cushions. Yet the Danish meteorological service managed to lose 2,200 of them? Amazing.
The “adjustment” obviously came after the fact, because, if the volume had been reported at 14.8 thousand km3 in January of 2021, you can bet there would have been a wild uproar among Alarmists, as it would have verified their dire predictions that sea-ice was dwindling away. As it was, even at 17.0 thousand km3 the total was close enough to “lowest ever” to generate some interest among Alarmists, but, as the year progressed, interest faded, for the 2021 volume climbed with remarkable rapidity, rising through the ranks until it was above all recent years and even approaching the gray line which represents the mean, and then, just before that 2021 volume became “above normal” for the first time in a long time, the “adjustment” was mysteriously made, and 2.2 thousand km3 of sea-ice mysteriously vanished, not merely at that time (which might have produced a suspicious down-jag on the graph) but including the past as well.
I have never heard any explanation of how this “adjustment” came to pass. Perhaps there is an explanation based on some error made in the observations, starting back in 2019. But the real explanation may sadly be that having sea-ice be “above normal” simply didn’t fit the political narrative. Then maybe, just maybe, the scientists at DMI faced an angry bureaucrat who stormed in and demanded they “fix” their graph. I know such a response sounds absurd (to some), but such things can happen when socialism goes awry.
When I was a boy, my father was a surgeon at the Massachusetts General Hospital, which at that time led the world in terms of many medical advancements. The hospital freely shared its advancements with doctors from other lands, even (because science was supposedly above politics) with our political foes behind the Iron Curtain. Due to this generous policy a doctor from communist Poland visited at some point, and one evening he came to our house in the suburbs for dinner. After dinner he sipped an Old Fashioned or three with my father in our comfortable Library. He mentioned he found America’s generosity and openness remarkable, and said he was not able to be so open in Poland.
Because my Dad had a insatiable curiosity, which at times approached rudeness, and because the Polish doctor had been plied with liquor, the Polish doctor eventually did open up and did confess what it was like to be a scientist in a nation where the bureaucrats held the power in hospitals.
He said the bureaucrats would bully and bluster about the most absurd and unscientific things, and he had to simply nod and smile. For example, he should not call a red corpuscle “diseased” because that made red, the color of communism, look bad, and therefore he must change the wording of his report and state the red corpuscle was exposed to “counterrevolutionary factors”. And that was on the better days, when the bureaucrats were at least making a pathetic attempt to look like reason prompted them; on the worst days they were just throwing their weight around.
At times the poor Polish doctor found it very hard to smile and nod. He felt like either bursting into crazed laughter, or else strangling the bureaucrat on the spot, but, for his wife and children’s sake, and for the preservation of his job and life, he smiled and nodded, and looked up towards a cleft in the molding which ran about the edge of the ceiling in his office. Unbeknownst to the bureaucrat, the doctor had placed a tiny crucifix up there, and it calmed him to think Christ was looking down at him, and also down at the bureaucrat, as he suffered.
As he heard this tale my Dad looked baffled. It made no sense to him. How could people who knew nothing about medicine walk into hospitals and boss doctors around? The Polish doctor looked at him and smiled a gentle smile, and simply said that’s how it was in Poland: The communists ruled, and you had better obey, or else.
It sad to think of the same dynamic appearing in the Danish Meteorological Institute, and of science being vetoed by politics. Science always gets the short end of the stick, in such situations. In fact, science can even cease to be science, as was the case in Russia with Lysenko.
Of course, just because you disappear 2,200 km3 of sea-ice on a graph, it doesn’t disappear in reality, in the Arctic Ocean. Or…well…perhaps a few square inches are melted by the heated balderdash of political hot air…but satellite views didn’t show the abrupt disappearance of 2,200 km3. Nor did the NRL (Naval Research Lab) thickness map. There did seem to be a thinning of sea-ice in the modeled DMI map, on the Russian side of the Pole, which would make sense, for if your model disappears so much ice the tweaking of data should also appear in the model’s thickness maps. However, the steady growth of the sea-ice’s volume couldn’t be entirely denied, and continued, and a comparison with the 2021 line with the 2022 line shows a current increase of what appears to be more than the 2,200 km3 that was subtracted, (which suggests the bureaucrats might have to again beat down the data).
This divergence between what it politically correct and what is scientifically correct is bound to lead to embarrassments. Increased volume of sea-ice may not be politically correct, but, should the Danish fishing fleet run into some of that thicker sea-ice, survival is at stake, and reality throws political correctness right out the window. Should calamity ensue, then there is a mad scramble among bureaucrats to find a scapegoat, and sadly they all too often do not face the Truth and blame themselves, but rather find some poor professor or scientist to serve as their scapegoat.
This only makes the divergence worse, and the calamities worse, until it becomes impossible to avoid the facts. (For example, though Lysenko’s bizarre genetics were politically correct, and pleased Stalin, Russia’s wheat crops suffered, and people went hungry. This was embarrassing because the United States held genetic theories which were shamefully incorrect, in Russia’s view, but America produced bumper crops. Eventually pragmatic bureaucrats in Russia decided they’d like to have bumper crops too, and suddenly Lysenko slipped from favor.)
One of the oddest aspects of the divergence between political correctness and scientific correctness is how the politically correct insist they are avoiding calamity when they cause it. After all, the very label “Alarmist” indicates people are alarmed about a catastrophe they imagine they foresee and seek to avoid. However, their way of avoiding the catastrophe is to often to leap to a conclusion, and then ban all further discussion.
The sort of erroneous conclusions one can leap to can be found in Paul Ehrlich’s book “The Population Bomb”, which was a best-seller in 1970, when I was a senior in high school, and which influenced the way many of my generation thought. It contained the idea that the planet’s resources were limited, and once the world’s population passed three billion there would not be enough food (and other resources) to go around. He predicted terrible famines. He most definitely did not predict that a major problem, as the world’s population passed seven billion, would be obesity.
Ehrlich’s attitudes are basically Malthusian, and doubt the ability man has to solve problems, when man simply faces the Truth and studies Truth. In a sense it belittles Truth and mocks all who get down on their knees before Truth, seeking an answer, and indeed such pessimism is automatically a sort of Atheism even if you attend Mass. It assumes Creation is cruel, and Truth is cruel, and there are no answers. However, the Truth is benevolent and does supply humble seekers with answers, which people tend to call “ingenuity”.
For example, thousands of years ago it was seeming like the Bronze Age was going to have to end, because in order to harden copper and create bronze you needed to add tin, but the tin mines were running out of tin. According to Mathus and Ehrlich, progress had reached a high point and the only course of action was retreat. However, some scientist back then went forward, not backward, and an entirely new metallurgy, a new process of turning iron ore into iron, began, and stunned the status quo and began the Iron Age. IE: “Ingenuity” manifested.
There is an interesting incident in the Bible from around this time, where the Jews had gotten lazy and forgotten to pursue the Truth, while the Philistines, in a less devout way, had pursued the Truth. The result was that the Hebrews got their butts kicked in battle after battle. The deciding factor seemed to be that the Israelites had swords of soft metal while the Philistines fought with new-fangled iron. (I imagine it can be discouraging in a swordfight to have your foe cut your sword’s end off, as if you fought with a stalk of celery.) But what gave the Philistines this advantage? Was it not because they had pursued Truth, albeit secular and scientific Truth, with a zeal that brought them into the Iron Age whilst that lazy generation of Jews dawdled back in the Bronze Age? (Spoiler Alert: After getting their butts kicked clear up into the hills, the Jews got down on their knees and apologized to Truth for skipping church for…um…well… decades, and Truth then enabled them (in a way I can’t explain in a secular, scientific manner), to create a “thundering sound” which so demoralized the Philistines that they turned tail and ran clear back to the sea, when the Israelites came charging down from the hills.)
To me it seems history shows us adversity is not a problem which cannot be solved, and in fact Truth enables us to overcome adversity. It is therefore wrong to see adversity as an iron-clad fact which cannot be opposed. It is not wrong to see adversity, and to face adversity, nor is it wrong to be alarmed about adversity, but it is wrong to call adversity almighty.
In like manner, when Ehrlich wrote “The Population Bomb” he gloomily foresaw the world running out of farmland. He could see only famine lay ahead. He didn’t foresee the ingenuity of “Green Revolution” scientists, such as Norman Borlaug. Simply by developing a semi-dwarf, high-yield, disease-resistant variety of wheat, it is estimated Norman Borlaug saved a billion people from starvation.
It is interesting to compare the two men. In “The Population Bomb” Ehrlich proposed castrating the men of India and Pakistan, to lower populations. Meanwhile Borlaug enabled the men of India and Pakistan to double their wheat production. Basically, it is the difference between a can’t-do and a can-do attitude.
I assert Truth is a can-do reality. If you don’t repress Free Speech, and embrace civil debate, answers can always be found to impossible-seeming problems.
For example, once upon a time lamps were lit by whale oil, but the supply of whales was running low. What to do? Return to smokey, tallow candles made of lamb’s fat? Or dig wells and look for what made the dirt of Pennsylvania so oily? Or, for another example, when I was a teenager Ehrlich stated it was a scientific fact we would reach “peak oil” by 1980. What to do? Return to “sustainable” wood? (Which is what I did.) Or use ingenuity? (“Fracking” had already been invented, but few dreamed of its potential.) Lastly, as a final example, if we actually did run out of fossil fuels, technology has produced small nuclear reactors for ships, and technology could further this science and create thorium reactors so small (and incapable of meltdowns) that every town and indeed even every neighborhood might have one, which would greatly reduce the need for power lines, as well as the ugly and environmentally-damaging eyesores created by solar and wind “farms.”
After fifty years of doom and gloom it has occurred to me that nothing in Creation is truly “sustainable”, because Creation always changes; Creation is more like a kaleidoscope than like a stagnation. The very concept of “sustainability” is a mentality like treading water; it goes nowhere. “Sustainability” seeks to find a sort of equipoise which avoids the challenges of life; it quails from change and flinches from Free Speech; it clings to tenure, to the status quo of an Ivory Tower, and dislikes the pitching decks and salty spray of “risk”.
It seems to me the only truly sustainable thing seen over the past fifty years has been Ehrlich himself. On the half-century anniversary of Earth Day (Lenin’s Birthday) he still insisted, at age 87, that his forecasts were correct, (only just delayed a little-bitty bit). The Green Revolution was not sustainable, and we still are going to all starve. (And if people insisted upon being too ingenious and resourceful and refused to starve, President Biden would have to step in and legislate the starvation.) (No; that’s sarcasm; Ehrlich didn’t say that.)
Perhaps the saddest part of the divergence between political correctness and scientific correctness is the beauty which is not seen, when Truth is censored. As John Keats concluded 200 years ago:
‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.’
Keats, who himself would die at age 26, was well aware much in life is unsustainable and perishable, but while looking at an artifact two-thousand-years old, a Grecian vase created by a forgotten potter, he glimpsed something lasting. He called it Beauty and Truth.
That beauty is not merely in poetry, which some hard-nosed people call prissy, but also in the cold science of sea-ice. There is much to learn, but political correctness is so defensive, and so protective of its narrative, that anything outside of its preconceptions is seen as a wrench-in-the-works of progressive thought, an obstacle which must be removed.
Therefore, not only must be the increase in the volume of sea-ice be subtracted from volume graphs, but anything other than atmospheric CO2, which adds or subtracts from that volume of sea-ice, must also be denied attention. This includes some very cool stuff. For example, it includes amazing volcanoes two miles down on the Gakkel Ridge, on the floor of the Arctic Sea.
These volcanoes are fascinating because they are able to explosively erupt, leaving large craters, (including one of the largest super-volcano craters on earth), down so deep in the ocean that pressures are extreme. Indeed pressures are so extreme two miles down that CO2 exists in a liquid form, and the boiling point of water is increased by 350 degrees Celsius. There was some debate as to whether lava could do more than ooze from fissures, under such extreme pressure, for it seemed difficult to generate the gasses needed for explosive eruptions, but the curiosity of scientists in 1999, concerning a swarm of earthquakes in the Gakkel Ridge area, led to research which ended that particular debate around 2007.
Modern, submersible vessels were able to descend to great depth and investigate the area of 1999 earthquakes, and they discovered shards of pyroclastic deposits spread out over nearly four square miles. For an eruption to spread fragments, when the fragments must travel through dense water and not thin air, filled the scientists with awe. Various theories about the gases involved in such a blast were proposed, and one scientist (WHOI geophysicist Rob Reves-Sohn, chief scientist of the 2007 expedition) ventured, “This means that a tremendous blast of carbon dioxide was released into the water column during the explosive eruption.”
And then? And then, in my imagination, a bureaucrat came rushing into the room shaking his finger and scolding, “You are spoiling the narrative! Don’t go there!” I imagine this because, after a flurry of articles in 2008, a dead silence fell. Why? Well, I suppose it can be imagined that the volcanoes would be a sort of wrench-in-the-works, because they both created CO2 in a way that did not involve fossil fuels, but also melted sea-ice in a manner that did not involve fossil fuels. So, we were left with a nearly forgotten map of three undersea volcanoes named Odin, Thor and Loke, and a dearth of follow-up research.
The lack of follow-up was noticable to me because my curiosity had been piqued by the original event, and the flurry of debate it sponsored. For example, here is a blog-posting from 2008 where a gentleman states a volcano the size of Mount Saint Helens would only melt 300 km3 of ice, and make little difference to the big picture:
Back in those good, old days there were of course many counter arguments, and Free Speech sponsored lots of healthy debate which included observations and insights which intrigued me. I was alerted to other earthquake swarms in the area, and occasional holes that appeared in the sea-ice over Gakkel Ridge for a day or two, over the ensuing fourteen years, but there was never any further follow-up by the scientific community. Discussion only occurred in the comments-sections of websites, and the websites which encouraged such exchanges tended to suffer from shadow-banning and fade towards obscurity. However, the arctic does what the arctic will do regardless of censorship, and last summer a hole appeared over Gammel Ridge and lasted a lot longer than a few days. It lasted weeks, and didn’t move as the ice moved, but rather seemed to be bored, as if from a laser beam of heat, from somewhere beneath
This phenomenon was particularly interesting to me because it didn’t facilitate a decrease in the volume of the sea-ice, but rather seemed to be conjunct with an increase. This forced me to put my thinking-cap on.
One hypothesis I arrived at was that such an upwelling of water would completely derange the currents of that area. This is especially true when you consider it is an area where water ordinarily is cooling and sinking. Because the water sinks it must be replaced by water moving in from the side, at the surface, and one main supplier of surface water in that area is a northernmost tendril of the Gulf Stream called the WSC (West Spitsbergen Current), which flows north through the east side of Fram Strait. Interestingly, the WSC seemed to lose a lot of its impetus last spring, as the hole appeared above Gakkel Ridge. It only returned to its ordinary flow when the evidence of a warm upwelling faded away. I hypothesized the ordinary themohaline circulation had been deranged by the volcanic upwelling.
Another derangement would involve the freshwater lens, which ordinarily protects the sea-ice from below. This protection is provided because the water, though colder than the water beneath, is more buoyant, partly because fresh water is more buoyant than salt water, and also because, (if the fresh water is truly fresh and not merely brackish), it has a quality which saltwater lacks: Namely, very cold fresh water, close to freezing, adopts the ice-like quality of floating above less-cold water. These two qualities allow the sea-ice to avoid both warmth and salt which otherwise would melt it. However a plume of saltier and slightly warmer brine rising from beneath would hit the bottom of the sea-ice and flatten out like the top of a thunderhead, effective sweeping the protective freshwater-lens from a large area. And indeed, to my eyes, the sea-ice to the south and east of the Gakkel Ridge hole did seem to thin and melt away with unusual abruptness last summer.
So far my ideas seem to only decrease the volume of the sea-ice, but now comes the counter-intuitive ideas, which lead to increased volume.
The simplistic view is that there are two routes sea-ice can take. It can either stay up at the Pole by remaining in the Beaufort Gyre, or exit the Arctic by riding the Transpolar Drift down through Fram Strait.
The above mapping of currents seemed to fit the “narrative” back in 2007, (when there were actual scientists writing the narrative, and, if bureaucrats were involved, they largely stayed in the background). The Transpolar Drift flushed an extraordinary amount of sea-ice south in 2007, setting a modern-time record for low extent (though I would argue a greater flushing led to sea-ice beaching in Ireland in 1817, and whalers reporting waters were open north of Greenland). (There may not be satellite records for 1817 but there are plenty of written records.)
The Beaufort Gyre was said to hold, spiraled-in and mounded-up at its center, something like 10% of the arctic’s freshwater, injected by rivers and creating a vast Freshwater lens to protect the sea-ice. However, to perpetuate the gyre a clockwise high pressure was required above it, and some Alarmists theorized Global Warming would position a low pressure over the area, reversing the spin, and consequently allowing the Freshwater Lens to slosh outwards and perhaps even gush south into the Atlantic, creating theoretical disasters by halting the Gulf Stream, among other things. This was all very interesting stuff, in terms of Freedom of Speech and honest debate, and so everyone chimed in with what we should expect to see, to prove the theory, and what might disprove the theory.
For whatever reason, (not necessarily Global Warming) there did seem to be an increase in gales over high latitudes, and in August of 2012 a monster gale seemed to affirm many Alarmist ideas, for it so churned the sea-ice that it mixed the cold Freshwater Lens in the Beaufort Gyre with warmer and saltier water beneath, resulting in an amazing melt of the sea-ice above, and even less sea-ice in the arctic as a whole in 2012 than in 2007. A new record low extent was set.
At this point things began to go awry, in terms of the Alarmist narrative, because rather than continuing to shrink, sea-ice levels bounded back unexpectedly. Personally, I think it was because the 2012 storm not only wiped out the Beaufort Gyre Freshwater Lens, but it also wiped out the layer of warmer and saltier water under that lens. With that layer of warmer and saltier water erased, when another huge gale formed over the same spot in 2013, the sea-ice was tossed to and fro but hardly melted at all. I personally was astounded. The lack of melting was in some ways as astounding as the increased melting had been the year before.
I think it was at this point, nearly a decade ago, that I first started to see the bureaucrats get impatient with the science. There were some goodly scientists who had a certain bias towards the Alarmist beliefs who had no concept of an Alarmist agenda. They just loved the subject and were as astounded as I was by the amazing variability which Truth was showing us, and who were as eager as I was to debate what the Truth might be showing us. But these scientists became strangely absent in press releases. Increasingly the “authorities” dismissed the really cool and astounding stuff. They preferred to stick to the stuffy subject which was their narrative.
The narrative liked the simplistic Wikipedia presentation of a complex situation.
In actual fact Truth is not so simple. The Russians, (who had far more experience, when it came to the movement of sea-ice, for they had actually built floating bases on the ice for decades before the satellite era), had noticed drifts other than the Transpolar Drift. While usually their bases took the route of Nansen’s Fram, basically from the New Siberian Islands to Fram Strait, occasionally their bases would head straight for Canada, which Russia found uncomfortable and embarrassing, for reasons pertaining to the Cold War. In essence, during those unusual circumstances, the Beaufort Gyre expanded right to the New Siberian Islands, temporarily erasing the Transpolar Drift, and sucked all sea-ice towards Canada. (Here is my simplified map of such an event:)
Of course, sea-ice does not move in a straight (or curved) line like this. The above just shows the sum total of a great deal of erratically shifting sea-ice. I highly recommend the NRL 365-day-animation of sea-ice-thickness, if you want to gain a true idea of how sea-ice pulsates like an ameba, with surges like a heartbeat’s. But the sum total showed a sort of opposite to 2007. Where in 2007 a lot of sea-ice was flushed from the Arctic down into the Atlantic, in 2021 a lot of sea-ice was kept in the arctic, as it was shoved across the Pole towards a collision with sea-ice already in place towards Canada. The net result was that the sea-ice in the Central Arctic thickened and the Volume Graph showed an increase, when compared to prior years.
The question then becomes, could this shift in the movement of sea-ice have anything to do with the derangement of currents caused by the apparent eruption on the Gakkel Ridge?
I confess my bias, which thinks there is some linkage. But I also sorely miss the good old days, when I could confess my bias with people who were as interested as I was (and am), but who were biased differently. They always came armed with insights and observations which added to my knowledge, and often supplied me with links to papers and articles I’d never before read. Just as two eyes possess a depth perception which a myopic cyclops can’t even imagine, I always found the views of others deepened my understanding in a way the shallow cannot concieve.
For a final example, one beauty of those days was that the people handing out the money were apparently convinced Global Warming was established fact and that the scientists they sponsored would only verify what was a foregone conclusion. Many scientists tried very hard to please their patrons and developed a refined and, in some ways, laughable skill at making the final paragraphs of their papers make it sound like what they had discovered verified Global Warming, even when in fact their discoveries were a wrench-in-the-works.
A lot of their work was dangerous and grueling, for it involved working on shifting, grinding sea-ice in the general vicinity of 1500 pound man-eating bears. In the glaring sunlight of summer, they could suffer sunburn and frostbite on the same day, with some snow-blindness thrown in on the side. But, due to the flood of money supplied, they were able to bore holes in the ice and take measurements at various depths under the water and to travel in icebreakers to put in place entire arrays of buoys, all of which gathered wonderful data never before seen by man.
One fabulous amount of work traced the movement of Atlantic water into the Arctic Sea through Fram Strait, and followed it through various branchings, and shifts in depth, all around the Arctic Sea until it exited, on the far side of Fram Strait. This beautiful work was briefly accepted as if currents were riven on stone, but the next summer, to the dismay of some, the hard-working scientists discovered currents wander and meander. In fact maps of such currents may be much like a map of upper air jet streams: As honest and truthful as they may be on a Monday, things may be very different by Friday.
Such variances and subtleties are par for the course for an honest student of Truth, who is accustomed to facing wonder, but for a patron expecting proof of a foregone conclusion such honesty is annoying, and a good reason to invest money elsewhere. (Where there was the money for something like eight buoys-with-cameras bobbing about the Pole in 2012, now there are none.)
At this point it is helpful to look back in history (for the last time, I promice you.)
The ground-level meteorologists had to struggle even to create ground-level maps, back when they first formed into a weather bureau at the time of the Civil War. However even in the 1860’s, when only connected with telegraph, they were well aware a whole world of weather lay above them. They could see what sea-captains saw: That the high clouds moved differently from the low scud. They longed for inventions such as weather balloons, perhaps thinking they might achieve perfection in their forecasts with more data. Rather than perfection they tended to discover greater complexity, and increasing numbers of variables, which either depressed them deeply, or else filled them with wonder. Even the relatively recent adoption of Doppler Radar failed to live up to its promise, for rather than seeing thunderstorms as simple entities which it was easy to track, it reveled complex combinations of updrafts and downdrafts which could allow intense areas of storminess pop up and then swiftly vanish, making forecasting like the game of “whack-a-mole”.
In a sense sea-ice scientists area going through a similar period as upper-air meteorologists went through in the 1860’s, only they are looking down towards the depths rather than up to the firmament. Just as it must have been hard for scientists in the 1860’s to find people to fund research of the upper atmosphere, it is hard for sea-ice scientists to find people who will fund research of the deeps. For example, brilliant scientists like William Gray spent decades attempting to get the government of the United States to research thermohaline circulation, but was stonewalled by politicians like Al Gore, who deemed William Gray a wrench-in-the-works.
I think one thing that has recently made actual research look bad was the simple fact research made models look bad. After all, models are based on the hard facts produced by prior research, and when actual research amends prior research, then the models are based on bunkum. There is no evil intent in this ruination. It simply shows a weakness in the models. After all, if the models are based on Monday’s jet-stream, and are not tweaked to understand the jet-stream will be different by Friday (as atmospheric models actually are) then the model will be doomed to failure.
The fact of the matter is that the makers-of-models should welcome actual research, for it offers them an opportunity to tweak their models and make them better. Sadly, some makers-of-models failed to see things in this manner. They were as eager for funding as actual researchers were, and I fear at times they resented any who made their models look imperfect and threatened their funding, which made them see the Truth gleaned by actual research as a critic and as a threat. Because these computer geeks apparently had more political clout, a situation arose where computer models created by geeks (who had never stepped onto sea-ice in their life) got more funding than the actual researchers (who had). In cases where the computers were gigantic and even more expensive than actual arctic expeditions, the millions spent learned more about computers than about sea-ice.
Perhaps the last hurrah of actual research was the MOSAiC expedition, which parked Northstern in the Sea-ice in September of 2019 to drift roughly the same route Nansen did in the Fram. The leader was full of political savvy, and did a fine job of making the show politically correct, even as his underlings discovered wonder after wonder which were not.
For example, the Northstern in 2019 drifted faster than the Fram did in 1893, and this enabled the leader to announce that this proved Global Warming had made the sea-ice thinner and “more fluid and therefore faster”. I think this definately scored him points in the political circus, (which is too dense to see that, if the Northstern had set sail in September of 2020, it would have realized Nansen’s dream by drifting right across the Pole, but by now might be in serious trouble, jammed in thick ice somewhere north of the Canadian Archipelago.) But I admire the MOSAiC leader for he allowed his scurvy crew to gather all sorts of actual data, much of which was beautiful and wonderful and so unexpected it not only upset the conventions computer models are based upon, but the preconceptions my own ideas are based upon.
Coolest was the appearance of a seal chasing arctic cod in a deep camera’s video, in the dead of winter. It is theoretically impossible for a seal to even be there, for seals need to breath air, and theoretically the sea in January is lidded by thick ice. Of course, it is also was recently theoretically impossible for the cod to be there, as only twenty years ago it was a “scientific fact” that the Arctic Ocean was a sterile and basically lifeless desert, away from its shores. The MOSAiC expedition proved the underside of ice, like the underside of a ship far at sea, attracts all sorts of life, including long festoons of algae, and this under-ice ecology makes the Arctic Sea the richest and most-alive ocean, (away from shorelines), on earth.
Also very cool was their discovery of turbulence in the supposedly calm waters under the sea-ice. This likely wrecked some computer models by wrecking the assumptions of calm plugged into such models. Yet what they saw was so obvious I slapped my own forehead for not seeing it myself, earlier.
The turbulence was based upon the simple fact that nine tenth of an iceberg is underwater, and therefore where a satellite shows a fifty-mile-long pressure ridge, ten feet tall, there must be a fifty-mile-long keel to that pressure ridge, sticking ninety feet down. And when winter gales hit that fifty-mile-long sail sticking up at a perpendicular angle, the area of ice is pushed by that gigantic sail, and the ninety-foot-deep keel of that gigantic ship moves sideways. The keel becomes like the blade of an unimaginably big spoon, stirring the water it moves through. This reality made utter mincemeat of the idea I held, which was that the waters under the ice were quiet and calm, because the ice protected those waters from the wind.
Formerly I imagined the only source for turbulence would involve waters becoming open, or at least open enough to allow the wind to create waves. But this created a problem at times, for a wave on the surface doesn’t stir water below it all that deeply. I noted submarines could avoid the waves of a gale by traveling only a hundred feet below the surface. The energy of waves twenty feet tall diminishes rapidly beneath the churned surface, and the “wavebase”, (which is a point where waves do not even stir the sediment on the sea bottom beneath) is roughly half the distance between two waves.
This caused me troubles in my back-of-an-envelope calculations regarding the 2012 gale, because the sea-ice melt seemed to require more turbulence than waves could generate. This trouble occurred because that melt truly did employ more turbulence than waves could generate, in and of themselves.
What a dope I was. I should have remembered the “keels”, for the submarine skippers I liked to refer to often mentioned keels of surprising size below the largest pressure ridges, and how American and Russian submarines would use such down-thrusting keels to hide behind, when playing Cold War games of hide and seek.
Now it is blindingly obvious such keels, thrusting down sometimes over a hundred feet, are able to stir waters surface waves can’t even touch. This explains a lot about the 2012 gale, especially the early stages where there was still a lot of sea-ice. It was not the waves of open water which so stirred the undersea that the Beaufort Gyre Freshwater Lens was basically destroyed due to being turbulently mixed with warmer and salter water beneath. Rather it was giant “spoons” stirring the sea. Considering the blades of these spoons were at least at a depth of ninety feet, one concludes the agitation was starting there and extending some distance below.
Besides exposing sea-ice to salt and warmth in the 2012 gale, and leading to that summer’s astonishingly swift melt, it also can be seen such “big spoons” would disturb the carefully calculated and painstakingly measured currents under the sea-ice. Nature seemingly has no regard for the hard work of scientists. Scientists can risk the wrath of 1500 pound bears researching and mapping currents in 2011, and with the whim of a single storm all that research is rendered obsolete, and further research is needed.
It also can be seen that when computer models depend on hard data, they can, and in fact must, become unreliable when the hard data gets mushy. This is not a disgrace for either the researchers gathering the hard data, nor the computer modelers utilizing the hard data, for neither has been dishonest. They have merely assumed things were less variable than things are. Corrections are needed and further funding is needed for further research.
In terms of the jet streams of the upper atmosphere, and the research done since the first attempts to map the weather after the Civil War, there have been many advancements, and each advancement involved the abandonment of prior assumptions. This is no disgrace upon the early meteorologists. The upper air maps created in the 1880’s are amazing, when you consider the fact the first weather balloon never set sail until 1892 in France, and the earlier meteorologists had to depend on kites which couldn’t fly when winds were too weak (or too strong) and couldn’t ascend above roughly a mile and a half (3 km). Much was assessed by men with craggy eyebrows simply squinting heavenwards and gauging the speed and movement of the highest cirrus, in the manner of sea-captains and shepherds millennium into the past. Yet there was always the desire to get better data, and somehow the meteorologists eager to learn were always able to scrounge up funding and find patrons.
Apparently, the patrons of yore didn’t mind when new discoveries made shambles of old ideas. Perhaps they were warmed by the glow of being part of a discovery, or perhaps they were more demanding and wanted a better product, a better forecast, and, as imperfect as forecasts always are (and likely always will be), there can be no doubt that (in my lifetime) they are improved.
I am often amazed when the vast learning of decades of research is compressed into a computer model, and that model sees a storm five days in the future I cannot see in the current maps. However, the same computer will over and over create a hurricane in the fifteen-day-maps, and, when that hurricane over and over never appears, it is called a “glitch” of that particular model. It is a “bug” that needs to be worked out, and a reason for further funding. There remains plenty of room for wonder, and for admission of error.
However, for the patron who expected proof of a foregone conclusion, the only wonder felt is a wonder whether he is wasting his money. He doesn’t like “admission of error” nor feel the new data is “cool”, in the manner I do. He only feels it is cool because his approval cools. When he spends his money he expects results, and he does not approve of Truth when it counters what he wants.
How sad. Such a person cannot see Truth is Beauty, and only desires the verification of a preconception. It is particularly pitiful when the preconception was incorrect. Yet some believe what is incorrect is to their advantage, and feel untruthfulness is “politically correct”, and even desire to cancel any who threaten their preconception, even if their preconception is a baseless infatuation. For this reason they threaten scientists who depend on them for funding with an end to funding, demanding those scientists abandon Truth to arrive at the “foregone conclusion”. Even those scientists who secretly believe Truth is cool can understand it is not so cool to say so. They must nod and smile, like the doctor from communist Poland I met in my boyhood.
How am I able to call such discoveries “cool”? I suppose it is because I have a fairly good relationship with Truth. You may say this is only possible because I am not a scientist, and my livelihood isn’t threatened. I beg to differ.
I can call Truth a “wonder” when it counters what I formerly believed, (my “foregone conclusion”), because I have had to see my ideas were wrong over and over in my life. It has always been for the best, though in the short term it could get me fired. For example, I’ve learned bosses do not appreciate truthfulness when you confess you were wrong in your estimation of their integrity. They would prefer you to kiss their ass.
To some degree I must have taken this ability to confess that I’d made a mistake too far, for I managed to offend so many people I wound up sleeping in my car. Few people like being called a mistake. I would have been wiser to call them human, for no mortal is perfect unless they have achieved the level of the Christ, and few will claim they’re Christ, if you corner them. They just don’t like being called a mistake.
Having confessed that mistake I made, I should also confess a pride I felt to be sleeping in my car. You may wonder how I could feel it was “for the best”, but I truly did feel there was no other way to go. Not that I didn’t wrestle with bitterness, but it was a proud bitterness, like the bitterness of Bob Dylen’s song, “Like A Rolling Stone,” which has the strangely sane diatribe:
Ah, princess on the steeple and all the
Pretty people they’re all drinkin’, thinkin’ that they
Got it made
Exchanging all precious gifts
But you’d better take your diamond ring
You’d better pawn it, babe
You used to be so amused
At Napoleon in rags
And the language that he used
Go to him now, he calls you
You can’t refuse
When you ain’t got nothin’
You got nothin’ to lose
You’re invisible now, you got no secrets
Actually, to comprehend the pride in the bitterness its likely best to hear the then-young man singing.
Of course, Bob Dylan’s honesty made him millions, (which likely exposed him to a whole slew of troubles only he can talk about). For most of us honesty tends to get us fired. We tend to “kiss ass” only up to a certain point, after which job-security can’t outweigh “risk”, and we stand by Truth. We are not honored with millions of dollars, but I do assert we are honored.
Why? Because if we Stand by the Truth, then Truth will stand by us. Not that we achieve some sort of euphoric nirvana, but rather we feel decent. There is a certain well-being involved in decency many wealthy, famous and powerful people know very little about.
I could go (and have gone) on at great length about my life as an artist, and how, despite short-term poverty, standing up for Truth was always for the best. But such digressions involve seeking Truth as an artist, which is a different path from seeking Truth as a scientist. In some ways I think it is easier for an artist to be a dishwasher, after telling a prior boss he will not kiss that boss’s ass. It’s not so easy for a scientist. A scientist needs his microscope in the same way the Polish doctor needed his hospital. Despite the insultingly stupid bureaucrats, they have to kiss ass longer than artists do. If they really love Truth, they suffer more than poets suffer.
Just as doctors, who love the beauty of healing, suffer when some bureaucrat makes healing harder, sea-ice scientists must suffer when some bureaucrat makes study of the variables involved in the growth and melting of sea-ice harder. The study of sea-ice is far behind the study of the upper atmosphere, and in some ways its progress and development is analogous to where the study of the upper atmosphere was when the first weather balloons were launched in 1892. It’s far harder to take soundings downward in the frigid Arctic Sea than upwards among the lovely cumulous of sunny France. But the discoveries are of Truth, and of a beauty that is never-ending.
Who in their right mind would renounce such never-ending beauty for the sallow corruption of politics? Apparently, some do, but it is only because they are ignorant and do not know what they do. They think they gain when they are missing so much that is beautiful.
The Coronavirus hysteria hit even as the Polarstern drifted, and I must admit the MOSAiC expedition did a fine job of remaining scientific under extreme pressure, but since they made it back to their home port I have seen little in the ways of true science from the arctic. Blame the conflict between Russia and Ukraine if you will, but people have greater concerns than sea-ice. (Personally, I am concerned about food prices, and despite my vow to retire from farming, have felt compelled to plant enough potatoes to keep me fed next winter.) With such concerns at the forefront, what does sea-ice matter?
And my answer is? It never mattered, in terms of daily bread. If you look back to my first sea-ice post, you will see it confesses I was avoiding the harsh reality of my life, like a schoolboy looking out the window of an Algebra Class at the beauty of clouds. Back then, in the 1960’s, that now-long-dead teacher clashed the venetian blinds closed and shook her finger at me, warning me if I didn’t attend to Algebra I would wind up as a dishwasher and sleeping in my car. And she was correct. But it was worth it.
To me, sea-ice has never been about money, but rather about beauty. The more I study the Truth involved the more beauty I see. Yet it seems the most amazing thing to me that my admiration of something so divorced from my humdrum life should matter at all to anyone but me. Why should anyone care? It is as if I was a schoolboy gazing out the window at a thunderhead as it billowed in the sky. Why should anyone else care for that cloud?
I suppose people simply like beauty. I’m not the only person who saw better things out the window than on the blackboard, in school. I’m not the only one who watched clouds in wonder. And therefore, a young punk like Bob Dylan can utter a diatribe of brutal honesty, and much to his own astonishment find himself amazingly popular. Why? Because Truth is Beauty, and in his brutal honesty there was something people found beautiful. In like manner, in my early sea-ice posts, back when I was just learning about the subject, my simple honesty abruptly gained me hundreds and sometimes thousands of “views”. But this in turn led to censorship and shadow-banning, so now I’m lucky to get fifty “views.”
It doesn’t matter much to me. I’ve never had a “tip jar” on this site and do not write for money. I write to think deeper and see deeper and, by tracing beauty, to understand beauty better. And I must admit that my study of sea-ice has allowed me to see Truth better. Not only truths about sea-ice but truths about people. I also must say that having a website is superior to writing in a diary, because feedback stimulates thought, and even the most troll-like comments have led me to treasures.
However, the censorship and shadow-banning does make me sad, for obviously some are missing the beauty I see, and the beauty that true scientists see. It forces me to contemplate what gain they imagine they could get from so much loss. It is an oxymoron. How can they gain from loss?
They can’t. And midst the current collapse of decency, which we are all experiencing, I think there may be a sort of final admission we cannot gain from loss. The bully thinks he may gain the respect he desires from bullying, but in the end always learns all he gets is disrespect, when he behaves that way. The rapist thinks he or she will draw closer to the man, woman or child he or she abuses, but ends up far from humanity. The bureaucrat thinks….(oh, who the hell knows what nonsense they think)…but they think those who don’t work should be paid by those who do. It can’t continue. We’ve been given a long rope to hang ourselves with, but even a long rope is too short when the hanging draws nigh.
What has this to do with sea-ice? Very little, and that is what it so interesting about the times we are in. In some ways there is no escape:
When I was younger, to talk about religion or politics was dangerous, but to talk about weather was safe. To talk about the weather at the North Pole was doubly safe by being far away. But little did I know, back when I first posted about using sea-ice as a personal escape in 2013, that I was not going to escape. I could not have chosen less wisely. I chose about the most dangerous topic I could have chosen.
In some ways I wish I had chosen a better escapism: Perhaps the subject of the way frogs sing in the spring, and how their populations fluctuate, and how some springs are louder as populations surge, and then how the music changes as there are variations in which populations are surging, so sometimes the shrill frogs outnumber the low strummers. Maybe that would have only gotten me ten “views”, but at least I would not be shadow banned.
In other ways I’m glad I chose the escapism I chose, despite the furor it involved me with. Why? Because it taught me how much better it is to seek Truth than to obey propaganda. The propaganda in 2022 is the same boring stuff I heard in 2008, “Sea-ice may melt this summer and woe to all of us,” but actual study has taught me so much more.
In actual fact we are infants, and our study of sea-ice is in its infancy. We fans of sea-ice are like atmospheric scientists were in the 1880s, with primitive kites measuring the upper atmosphere. But we are learning. We see more and more. Much is astounding. Much is amazing. Much is stuff we have never seen before.
For example, one way of looking at things sees only a very slow and gradual decent of warm and salty water, after it is pulled to the north. Call this the “slowly-slanting” path. But other ways of looking at things see waters dive more directly, for example when sub-zero brine is created by freezing. And waters may also arise in a “non-slowly-slanting” manner, above volcanoes in Gakkel Ridge. In other words, you must devise a computer model that has both “slowly-slanting” and also “non-slowly-slanting” currents, and the model must allow for the fact such currents are not steady, but turn on and off with seasons, and also abruptly appear due to the whims of volcanoes.
This could verge us on despair, for there are too many variables, and how the heck can one forecast volcanoes? However, another discipline of science is doing exactly this.
Initially I thought such people were whack-jobs, especially when they talked about “solar cycles”. How could anything as gentle as a sunbeam effect anything so gigantic as a Krakatoa? However, because debate was allowed, and Freedom of Speech was allowed, I was alerted to certain correlations. And yes, “correlations are not causations”, but saying, “correlation is not causation”, is no reason to ignore correlations. In fact, it gives one an area to focus upon.
One thing much debated was the effect of the “Quiet Sun”, and one thing noted about past “Quiet Suns” was that they coincided, between 10 and 20 years after their onset, with massive volcanic eruptions. For example, the ice-cores from both Greenland and Antarctica show two layers of volcanic ash, over a decade after the start of the Dalton Minimum. One is associated with the massive Tambora eruption of 1815, but geologists are uncertain where on earth the earlier, equally massive eruption occurred, around 1810. I’ll leave that wonder to the geologists, and instead attend to wondering if the Modern Minimum will have two massive eruptions. It seems a good test of the correlation but leads us to yet more wonder.
More? Yes, for there may have been two massive eruptions already, only they didn’t show their stuff where the news media could see, but two miles down in the sea. One may (or may not) have made waters unexpectedly warm east of New Zeeland in 2020, and the second may have occurred on Gakkel Ridge last spring.
Is there even more? Yes, for the sheer number of wonders steers us to another wonder, which is that, when variables are so numerous, digital computers have a weakness. They can handle “either, or” but have a harder time with the “either, or, or, or, or, or,” of many variables. This may explain why they work so well in the five-day-forecasts, but so poorly in the fifteen-day-forecasts. And this leads us to consider whether we need to invest in analog computers, which are in a way much better with variables. How so?
Well, consider this: The injection systems in our vehicles are of a digital nature, while the old-fashioned carburetors they replaced worked in a more analog manner. We may prefer the exact nature of digital devices, and prefer injection to carburetors, but a carburetor only costs a hundred dollars while an injection system costs thousands. Hmm. One might be tempted to reconsider carburetors, when dealing with “security” and “risk,” while designing a better engine. At the very least it should be debated under the auspice of Freedom of Speech.
Much of this technical stuff is above my head, (especially stuff concerning computers), and I leave such stuff for younger minds to debate. I urge them to do so, even without my attendance, and even if such debate is deemed “politically incorrect” by the internet gangsters. Form a secret underground society which allows Freedom of Speech, for all the reasons I outline in this essay. I strongly believe that, if you do so, the thing called “ingenuity” will manifest. If you seek Truth it does not matter how far apart your fields of study may seem to be: It does not matter if one has walked the sea-ice and another has never left his computer; it does not matter if one studies sea-ice and another studies lava; varied views, when they kneel before Truth, wind up spliced into a beautiful braid, and “ingenuity” manifests.
But such debate requires Freedom of Speech. The only thing worthy of censorship is censorship itself.
This well may be my last sea-ice post, but, if I am bidding adieu, I must offer a final observation of the wonders of the actual ice.
(This is just an example of me sharing an observation I find “cool.” I am not saying I am any sort of authority, but I am a viewer, and while we may not be in a cave and I may not be the only person seeing daylight, I think even trivial views matter. That has a ring to it: “Trivial Views Matter.” (TVM) (Send funds.))
The wonder I’ll share has to do with a quirk in the “extent” graph which occurred at the end of January.
Back around 2005 such quirks were great fun, for back then Skeptic and Alarmists were like cheerleaders rooting their team, and when a graph quirked up like this the Skeptics would cheer wildly, but when it plunged the Skeptics would chew garlic as the Alarmists all went crazy with elation. Everyone was so wet-behind-the-ears back then that the line on the graph was all they attended to, but Freedom of Speech and debate made both Skeptics and Alarmists wiser, as they eventually sought the reason for the quirk.
Yowza! what a storm! Check out the central pressure. It’s below 940 mb, or 27.70 inches of mercury. Few hurricanes or typhoons ever get so low. When they do, (for example the Labor Day hurricane of 1935 dropped at least to 26.34) they have unbelievable power, (the 1935 hurricane blew locomotives off the rails.) It is fortunate the super-storms of the arctic effect so few people, but they do effect sea-ice.
The initial advancement in the intelligence of both Alarmists and Skeptics involved the birth of an awareness that sea-ice “extent” was at times like an accordion. The accordion can stretch out or squeeze shut, but it is the same accordion. “Extent” can rise and fall utilizing the exact same amount of ice. This prompted increased interest in both “area” graphs and “volume” graphs, which are far harder to create and involve guesswork that has difficulties withstanding harsh criticism. However, the advancement continued.
One thing apparent was that when the “accordian” of sea-ice spread out, it created areas of open water (visible even in winter darkness with infrared satellite imaging.) Open water in the dead of win ter initially produced wild cheering from the Alarmist cheerleaders. Further cheering was heard because open water immediately spiked surface temperatures. However, debate followed and both Alarmists and Skeptics learned more and more.
For one thing, the infrared imaging showed the open water nearly instantly froze over. Within hours there was sea-ice thick enough for 1500 pound bears to gingerly walk across, but such ice could not withstand the pressures created when gales shifted winds and the “accordion” squeezed shut. Then rather than a wide area of open water turning into smooth “baby ice” there was a narrow pressure ridge of crushed, mangled and jumbled sea-ice. (In fact the NRL animation shows even the area of thin ice created over Gakkel Ridge last spring became an area of thick, jumbled sea-ice, thiker than other nearby ice, only a few months later.) This awareness produced a wonderful contradiction leading to wonderful debates between Alarmists and Skeptics. Contradiction? Yes, for open water had led to thicker ice.
A final topic for debate was the fact that open water was not always a sign of warmer water, but sometimes a sign of chilling water. In fact, polynyas of open water, when blasted by midwinter cold, disturbed “slowly slanting” currents with downward-moving spikes of brine extracted from the swiftly freezing salt water, creating what some droll person in Antarctica dubbed “brinicles.”
Cool, aye? But the point is that, if there is no sea-bottom to halt the “brinicle”, it jabs straight down as a “non-slowly-slanting” current and makes modelling all the more challenging.
But my point is not that the challenge may make one want to fling their hands up in despair. My point is what fun it was back in the day when Alarmists and Skeptics had the Liberty of Freedom of Speech. Even when on opposing sides of a debate we in a sense were all on the same team, for we were all engrossed in the same Truth. In a sense there was the eagerness of children without the childishness of children. There was an eagerness to see the next discovery, without the childish demand that one get-the-credit for making the discovery. Getting-the-credit was in some ways out of the question, like taking-the-credit for a sunrise.
Of course, such fun had to be paid for, which introduced the topic of funding, which was quite a different matter. It was then people had to adopt attitudes and take credit for sunrises they didn’t create, and wear white lab coats, and make authorative statements about unproven hypotheses with a raised index finger, because some bureaucrat wanted that hypothesis stated as an established fact. In other words, the rot set in.
My point is that, once you abandon the joy of Liberty, it is as if one denies themselves the vast scope of thought which accepts wonder, and for what? For a mere myopia. One becomes like a cart horse wearing blinders, only able to see a narrow lane ahead. Not only does this pinch a person’s horizon down to a dot, but it denies the process that occurs when many views are involved, which results in “ingenuity”, and in solutions to problems which seemed insolvable.
Such a grievous loss is worthy of our grief. It should be nothing anyone desires. Any who see differing views as merely a wrench-in-the-works, worth the harsh treatment of Cancel Culture, needs to be gently reminded what they are in fact losing when they resort to such behavior. (People think differently if they see they lose more than they gain.) Even though the actual wrench-in-the-works of free discourse may be the Cancellers themselves, their view needs to be respected and they need to be gently persuaded to step from greater ignorance to lesser ignorance. For all are ignorant in some way. What matters is how civil we are about it.
Perhaps the best response is to simply defy censorship and form groups of thinkers who understand the joy of free thought, and to have a good time enjoying the Liberty of Freedom of Speech. Onlookers cannot help but notice the aura of light, and be drawn in. Furthermore, Truth benefits those who bow before It and honor It. And if you haven’t seen this for yourself yet, you’ll just have to take my word for it: If you stand by the Truth then Truth will stand by you.