Sometimes the rants of Alarmists amuse me. Rather than moan softly and roll my eyes, I sit back and admire how something ordinary can be turned into something that sells newspapers (and/or attracts grant-money.)
In my last post I mentioned how a “blocking high-pressure” has persisted over Greenland, leading to lots of sunshine and far fewer North Atlantic gales ramming into the mountains and dumping copious amounts of snow onto the icecap. I warned this would reduce the yearly increase in Greenland’s “ice-balance”, even without including any summer melting. A massive amount flows off the ice-cap as glaciers and calves off into the sea, all year long, and, if not replaced by huge snows, the “ice-balance” dips. Alarmists were mute when the “ice-balance” blipped upwards the past two years, but I warned they would find their voices this summer as the ice-balance fell.
I neglected to include a further warning. Some ice might actually melt, especially with the blocking high-pressure making sunshine so persistent. Ice and snow always does melt on Greenland, especially at the very edge, although it doesn’t melt back as far now, as it did in the Medieval Warm Period, when the Vikings were able to raise several thousand cattle and over 100,000 sheep and goats. Though summer thaw is normal, when any sort of thaw occurs you can expect the Press to beat their drums. As the start of summer thaw has occurred yet again, and the Press has gone ape, I thought I’d give examples of some of the stages the Press’s hoop-la typically goes through.
First, a dramatic photograph is needed. Such pictures are usually of the dramatic meltwater rivers that form in the south of Greenland, where very thick ice pushes south into milder Alantic air and nearly twenty-four-hour-a-day sunshine, and also slopes down from an altitude of over 10,000 feet, where its cold, towards sea-level, where its above freezing. Obviously the top of the ice will melt, especially where a slope faces south, and the streams of melt-water that then get going in June and July can thunder. In New England we call such abrupt melting of snow and ice a “freshet” and they are usually brief, as we run out of snow to melt, while in Siberia the Lena River can rise sixty feet as the snows melt. However in Greenland the supply of snow and ice is not only boundless, but the streams are not running over rock and sand, but ice, and they cut crystal canyons and even find crevasses where they plunge underground. Ice-geologists have to be very careful, because one slip and you get no second chance and can’t hit the “replay button”, be they do take wonderful pictures of fantastic formations. The holes melt-water pours into are called “moulins” and they can be small:
Or they can be huge:
And I can understand why a young, strong geologist would want to get someone to pay him to look at such wonders. I myself prefer to stay home and, on a hot day in July, to type “Moulin images” into my search engine, and then sift through the thousands of pictures from glaciers all over the world.
I assume the Press does the same, to find a picture to sensationalize the screaming headline GREENLAND MELTING, (though sometimes they accidentally use a moulin from a glacier in Alaska or Tasmania.) But the picture the Press used this year was really unique, and made me chuckle.
The Press of course will fail to mention this is not an icecap. It is a lake or inlet, nice and flat, which does what lakes and inlets do, (freeze in the fall and thaw in the spring). This is a picture of some coastal-Greenland meteorologists heading out to retrieve some equipment before it sinks to the bottom.
You can tell this pictures is taken from a lower elevation because the mountains are snow-less and brown. To the upper right of the picture there is some evidence of the edge of the true Greenland icecap.
Once you move up onto the actual icecap and move away from the edges, temperatures rarely nudge above freezing, and are often far below. The deep snow compacts under the weight of year after year’s worth of snow, becoming this compact (yet surprisingly drafty) stuff called “firn”, and then finally compacts into the glacial ice, roughly a mile thick, from which ice cores are drilled. These ice-cores, when examined, do show a difference between winter snow and summer snow, which creates a yearly layer and allows the dating of cores. But they apparently show something else which is interesting.
Around once every 40 years a “blocking high-pressure” creates enough sunshine to actually create a thaw which can be noticed in the ice core records.
Such a thaw can’t merely be a few minutes above freezing. It must last long enough to soften at least the top sixteenth of an inch of snow, making it more like the sticky stuff that boys fling at each others in snowball fights, than the drifting powder which boys find fairly useless.
Please observe that, in the eyes of the media, a photo of the sun softening the top sixteenth inch of snow up at 10,000 feet would make a boring picture, (which is why the Press uses pictures from other places, in order to increase the sense of drama and sell more papers).
Also sometimes the temperatures nudge above freezing for such a brief time that the snow doesn’t even soften, nor leave a permanent record for ice cores. I assume the recent event was just such a brief thaw. However it is still possible to drum up drama and sell newspapers, even from such an inconsequential event….as follows:
First of all, the Press can stress the inconsequential event occurred over a vast area, and a sub-headline may scream, “40% of Greenland thawing.” Then the Press will include a graphic that is honest, but misleading if misinterpreted, such as this:
The above map has nothing to do with how much water was produced, or how much the sea–levels rose, but rather shows where temperatures inched above freezing enough to make snow sticky. It is a large area, for June. To me it demonstrates how the “blocking high-pressure” has made it especially sunny up there (and especially dismal, cold and rainy down in New England, where I live.)
The next step is to take the above data, (which involves “area” and not “amount”), and sensationalize how early the “area” is. But in fact, even if the top sixteenth of an inch of the snow over the entirety of Greenland softened, it wouldn’t produce even a trickle of water. It takes more serious melting to produce melt-water creeks and moulins. However to sell newspapers (and get grants) a graphic is created that is all about “area.”
It may be true that the mid-June “area” is “unprecedented” for so “early” (though in actual fact it should be expected, as the sun is near its highest), and it furthermore may be true the word “unprecedented” sells headlines, (especially when coupled with pictures of floods), but I must say, at the risk of being a “party poop” and “wet blanket”, that “area” is not the same thing as “amount”.
The records we have from the Greenland icecap are gathered by tough men in rough conditions, and I will not put such men down, but the data they gather are records that are recent, and can’t show the scope of history. The “average” of the above graph can’t include unseen variations hinted at by the history of Vikings in the Medieval Warm Period. And they don’t include “amount”.
Let me give you an example of how “area” can mean next to nothing, in terms of “amount”.
When we read that this “unprecedented” area is above freezing, it involves individual stations. Let us look at such a station, way up over 10,000 feet.
As you can see, at this station temperatures poked above freezing twice in a period of roughly fifteen minutes. (Not enough to flood Florida or the Netherlands). (And maybe not even long enough to soften the snow enough to be noted in future ice-core records.)
Yet this station’s temperatures are included in the blaring headline, “40% of Greenland Above freezing. Thaw Unprecedentedly Early.”
I suppose the above station deserves its fifteen minutes of fame as much as the next man, but I am not expecting a wall of melt-water to descend upon us, from the north, any time soon.
It has occurred to me that age does not merely make us infirm and decrepit. It also has a benefit, in that some of us become, (unlike certain professors), less likely to fall prey to the goofs of youth, chief of which is infatuation. We are less likely to seize upon an answer and think we have found the solution before we have even gotten our feet wet with the actual problem. The escape from infatuation is to know you do not know the answer, and this realization is fundamental to being truly responsive, which is fundamental to being truly loving.
Every dawn is fresh and new. We may think we know what the weather will be, but in fact we don’t. The most fabulous computers our world has seen (so far) have been devoted to telling us what the weather will be when we get out of bed, and we have seen them proved wrong. Before we go to bed we can study the work of brilliant minds, the computer weather-models of Europe, Canada, the USA, Japan, and others, and they may all promise us a sunny day, but when we rise from bed and step outside to sniff the air we hear the roll of morning thunder. Our Creator has his own plan, and does not heed the computer models. So who should you obey? What your government states the weather will be? Or what our Creator states the weather actually is?
I tend to side with the Creator, for He is the Truth. Computer models are but an approximation, sort of like a four-year-old’s drawing of my face, at my Childcare. I don’t scold the child for a lousy drawing, and I don’t suppose God scolds the fellows who devise computer models. But, when push comes to shove, I tend to consult a mirror before a four-year-old, when it comes to how my wrinkled, toothless, old face looks, and, when it comes to the morning’s weather, I prefer to step outside and sniff the air, and trust my nose more than I trust bureaucrats staring at computer read-outs, far away.
When I step outside to sniff the air I can’t tell you how many times the weather has surprised me. This proves I am not in control. Despite all the effort I’ve put into comprehending the complexity of New England weather, I’m still ignorant. I am faced with my own imperfection on a daily basis, but does this make the dawn imperfect? No, for even when the daybreak annoys me with snow I must shovel, it is perfect. I may call it perfectly annoying, but still it is perfect. If there is any imperfection involved, it is in my grouchy responses.
As a child-care-professional I make no claim to be perfect, though the government regulations at times seem to want to demand perfection, and to desire bubble-wrapping childhood so no child’s knee is ever seen with a scab. Instead of pretending perfection, I wear my imperfections as a reason to laugh, like a joker, like the child-care-professional Yorick, the court jester of Hamlet’s father in Shakespeare’s play. Hamlet recalls riding Yorick’s shoulders as a boy, and kissing him, and the way Yorick could make everyone laugh, but Yorick’s single appearance in the play is as a skull.
Facing mortality is a great blow to the optimism and infatuations of youth, which also owns a completely contrary sense of invulnerability. This is what makes Hamlet’s comment to Horatio so timeless:
Mortality is the great equalizer, because the exact same fate that befalls a jester befalls a king, and awaited Stalin and Sennacherib. Physically we are all doomed. But in terms of minds, Stalin and Sennacherib were downright depressing, whereas Isaiah, Shakespeare, and Norman Rockwell were (and remain) lively. The difference seems to be that the tyrant seeks power while the poet seeks love’s joy, and worldly power is perishable, while love is not.
A sort of epiphany occurred to me during the final weeks before our national elections, here in the USA, last November. At that time Alarmists were sticking with their arguments about sea-ice, despite the fact their arguments were utterly refuted. Worse, young and naive voters were convinced by Alarmist’s baldfaced lies. In effect I was zealously informed by youth (who didn’t know penguins don’t live with polar bears) that I knew nothing about arctic sea-ice.
If you look back across five years on this site you will see how I have sought to learn all I could about sea-ice, and to patiently share what I have learned. And yet some loud child, just barely of voting age, presumes to tell me what the Truth is, about sea-ice?
It stopped me in my tracks. Truth is such a beautiful thing, and I wanted so badly to share the joy and laughter, yet ignorance has power, and a virtual entity like “Google”, that exists unseen, can seek to demote me, so I sink twenty pages down on it’s “search engine”, so impatient youth will never “search” long enough to hear the truth I’ve learned about sea-ice. Instead they will just parrot the falsehood they have been indoctrinated with, by the politically-correct, who may not be aware of it, but are behaving in a Maoist manner.
Call me discouraged if you will, but I needed time to think.
It seems to me that, if Truth has the power I claim it has, and the pen has the power I claim it has, then there has been a singular lack of evidence that corroborates my belief. I seem to be standing in the same shoes that the sane people of Hitler’s Germany, of Stalin’s Russia, and of Mao’s China, stood in.
What was the use of telling the Truth? I seemed to be beating my brains against a brick wall.
I have recently finished reading “In The Garden Of The Beasts” by Erik Larson, describing the days leading up to the ugliness of the night Hitler first revealed the capacity of his hate and his inability to love, called, “The Night of the Long Knives,” from the view of the American ambassador and his somewhat randy and rambunctious daughter.
I don’t like that period of history, for I always see how Hitler could have been stopped, but none would heed the sane voices. Yet a fascination drags me to look at what I don’t like, perhaps to see how the sane managed to stay sane.
For example, when I first read “The Last Lion” by William Manchester, I couldn’t comprehend how Churchill stayed sane during the period 1933 to 1939. He could see where Hitler was headed, and what his aim was, and knew that if Hitler wasn’t stopped then war, and the death of millions, would be the result. But Churchill, (who knew first-hand the horrors of the trenches, and who wanted to avoid a major war), was called a “war monger” for stating Hitler must be confronted and stopped with a minor war. How great must have been his level of frustration! To be ignored, year after year, and to have his own imperfections magnified, as Hitler’s were forgiven. How did he manage to keep a shred of sanity, as the politically-correct steered civilization to a holocaust?
He must have had a mystic faith in some higher power, called Truth, which would win in the end. In a speech Churchill stated that if Hitler was not stopped, and achieved his goals, the world would face a new, prolonged dark age, made worse by the powers of modern science, but even that statement hints at an underlying belief in goodness. How? It suggests that even if the darkness is “prolonged”, it must lose eventually to the dawn of enlightenment.
It is ironic that Churchill was seen as a hawk and war monger, when what he desired was to confront Hitler in 1933, when Hitler was still weak, and when confrontation would allow the world to enjoy peace, and avoid the hell of war. He was the opposite of a war-monger. He was a peace-lover. But perhaps “peace”, at that time, was too intellectually attached to a royalty, wealth, and empire which God had decided to hit with His “ax”, because the empire’s rich exploited the empire’s poor, and when a rich man died “vultures would gather”, and that rich man’s “widow would be destitute”. People in power put the wrong things ahead of the right things, and lustful infatuation came before love.
When I read Churchill’s speeches from the 1930’s I have an odd sense the dude wasn’t really a politician. He was a poet. His prose has a cadence that your toes want to tap to, as you listen. There are some things that touch your heart, even as your mind objects. Such things have their origins in Truth, and seem to me evidence Churchill was a man living in proximity-to and association-with Truth.
That being said, it must be admitted Churchill (like all of us) had his weaknesses, one of which was a fierce loyalty in 1936 to the new English king, Edward.
Such respect of royalty may seem odd in Churchill’s case, for Churchill had an American mother, and gladly embraced a family-legend that his mother’s great-grandmother, (who had the wonderful Puritan name “Experience Martin”), had skin darker than her siblings and may have been the result of an indiscretion involving an Iroquois Indian. This would make Churchill a sort of “half breed”. (I should add that I’ve found no documentary evidence the family-legend is true). However it seems Churchill himself didn’t seem to mind the possibility he had some fierce Iroquois warrior blood in his veins. This may have given him reason to dislike Hitler’s emphasis on “racial purity.” If so, it perhaps should have also made him dislike King Edward’s contempt towards “inferior races” as well. Instead, Churchill enacted intense patriotic respect for the monarchy, (which American patriots can’t comprehend, unless they can comprehend that back then badmouthing the British monarchy was the English equivalent of an American spitting on the American flag.)
Edward is an odd character, for, at a time when great men craved power, he wanted to be done with it. Where Stalin and Hitler would kill for power, and Churchill would take the most unpopular stances with bulldog determination seeking to gain power through persuasion, Edward seemingly was more comfortable as an obedient and even subservient follower. Not that he didn’t have some strong opinions.
Edward had reason to hate communists, as his aunt had been murdered along with her husband, (the Russian Czar), and all her four children. Therefore he approved of Hitler’s hatred of communists. He also didn’t mind Hitler’s love of Germans, as he was largely German himself. He shared Hitler’s belief that some races were “inferior”, and in his travels around the British Empire he had little sympathy for his impoverished subjects, tending to see poverty not as a choice, or as a misfortune, but as brought about by the genetically diminished intelligence of an inferior race. Lastly, he didn’t mind Hitler’s autocratic mindset, because democracy had been such a shambles in Germany, which suggested an autocrat was necessary. To Edward the alternative to a fascist tyrant seemed to be a communist tyrant. Europe had seen few examples of revolution having results like America’s; largely European revolution resulted in some sort of “Terror” like France’s, and to resulting in people falling back to the “safety” of some sort of monarch, or a dictator like Napoleon.
One thing that made the royalty and the upper class so despised by communists of that time was that their lifestyle made them dependent on a staff of servants. Royalty were freed from doing their own laundry, which may have given them time to attend to other matters, but meant they were in fact inept, in terms of doing laundry. But some did not see themselves as inept, but rather as “more civilized”. People who lived more minimalist lifestyles, wherein one prepared ones own food, cut ones own firewood, and washed ones own clothes, were sometimes deemed “less civilized”, simply because such minimalists had little free time to sit about discussing politics at cocktail parties. It was not uncommon for the wealthiest English Brahman to not merely have clean clothes laid out twice a day, but to have a servant who dressed them. In some cases the servants were appreciated and well cared-for, (Churchill’s staff were largely devoted to him), but in other cases the staff felt disdained, because their unappreciative bosses looked down their noses and said the “inferior” should “know their place”. This belittling was what the communists most despised, and a servant’s natural dislike of an employer’s unappreciative snobbery was a resentment communists tended to nurture, like a small cut into an abscess, from a pout towards rage and revolution.
In a simplistic manner this tended to divide a nation’s naturally united people into Royalists and Antiroyalists, or the Bourgeoisie and the Prolatariate. To continue this simplistic division, Edward was faced with a choice between Hitler and Stalin, and, because Stalin was on the side that had murdered his Aunt and Uncle and all their children, the choice seemed simple. Though the pictures below are from a year later (1937) they demonstrate a friendliness between Edward and Hitler that likely would have made Churchill cringe. (Between the two pictures Hitler likely gallantly kissed the lady’s hand).
The woman in the above pictures is the American divorcee, Wallis Simpson, who the king eventually gave up his throne for. The king was likely warned the relationship with her was unwise, (as “intelligence” [IE: gossip and spies] stated she had not only enjoyed an affair with Hitler’s foreign minister, Ribbentrop, but years earlier had an affair with Mussolini’s son-in-law [while in China, of all places]). However Edward likely knew much about the indiscretions of the upper class, having been a playboy himself, nor was he particularly upset about prewar, (pre-genocide) fascism, having been brought up to believe he was a king and superior to “commoners”, due to his “royal blood” alone. Ms Simpson likely was a person with whom he could be frank, about the foibles of leaders, and was a woman who knew much about the presumptions of the powerful, and with her he likely enjoyed a level of understanding he didn’t find elsewhere, and he fell in love.
Because king Edward had access to “red boxes” holding state secrets, (to keep him abreast of government decisions), and because Mrs.Simpson was suspected of being a spy, some were alarmed by how open he was with her. A private detective was hired to trail them. But in 1936 the upper class were oblivious to the approaching holocaust. Churchill’s deep distrust of Hitler, and of fascism in general, was not a widely held view. Many of England’s upper class, like Edward, felt Hitler was a good opponent for Stalin, and Hitler ought be supported, to stand as a “bulwark” against the rise of communism in Russia, and that Hitler could be controlled. Meanwhile Hitler felt England would eventually side with him, and that Edward could be controlled.
In spiritual terms both royalists and communists (in my view) are birds of a feather, for they both are based on autocratic concepts, and tend to want to be rid of restraints to absolute power, such as “constitutional monarchy” or “democratic socialism.” Royalists and Communists see each other as absolute opposites, and are unaware that, because “every action has an equal and opposite reaction”, they actually create each other, and are dependent on each other, due to the perverse, Karmic nature of hatred. This was about to become horribly clear in the Spanish Civil War, but in 1936 that nightmare hadn’t started yet.
Churchill clearly saw that Hitler could not be controlled by appeasement, and that force would be required, but had a difficult time marshaling public opinion, as the British public loathed the thought of another war. He finally seemed to making some headway in 1936, after Hitler ignored signed treaties and broke trust by marching troops into the demilitarized Rhineland. Hitler himself later stated that, if the French had marched their own troops in to meet him, he would have had to back off, and that his move was a big gamble. Confronting Hitler was exactly what Churchill urged. He was winning support, and at this point, (when reading “The Last Lion“) I feel a surge of hope (even though I know the future), for Churchill’s power-of-persuasion was on the verge of saving Europe from the approaching holocaust. But then, right when an ordinary politician would make sure to keep cultivating a popular position, mincing and smirking towards cameras and the press, Churchill does something in his bulldog manner that was bound to lose votes.
It was right then Edward announced his intent to marry the divorced commoner Ms. Simpson. The public was horrified. The outrage was not so much that Ms. Simpson was a commoner, (or a fascist spy), but that that she was divorced not merely once, but in the process of divorcing a second husband.
It is difficult for people nowadays to understand the shame and disgrace involved back then, when people broke their marriage vows. Not that the upper crust didn’t cheat on each other, but they didn’t divorce. (In fact some upper class marriages involved couples able to have tremendous rows about the affairs they discovered each other were having, who still were able to make-up, and laugh about their moral indiscretions, later in their marriages.) (King Edward VII (Edward’s grandfather) may even have had a door put in at the back of the palace, so Queen Victoria would not see his lovers coming and going, but he would never, never divorce his queen.) In conclusion, while an affair might be dismissed as a “foible”, a divorce was a big deal. In 1935, when Edward had introduced Ms. Simpson to his mother and father (IE “presented her at court”) his father was furious when he discovered she was divorced, for divorced women simply were not allowed in to be present at court. The English church deemed relations with a divorced woman “adultery”. The British press was silent about the kings “affair”, (even as the American press blared the news), hoping that the new king would get over his “infatuation”, and the affair could be discreetly dismissed. The British press imposed this self-censorship for they were well aware of the outrage that would occur if the public was asked to accept such a woman as their queen.
There was a lot of behind-the-scenes speculation about what gave Ms. Simpson her power. Edward seemed “under her thumb” and “to enjoy being ordered about”. Various pseudo-psychological ideas were bandied about, basically involving her being really good in bed, and the king being masochistic, but none of this solved the problem, which was that Edward was smitten. Finally the press couldn’t hide the romance much longer, as the English who visited United States read the great delight the American Press got over the idea of an American queen. Finally Prime Minister Baldwin visited Edward to bring things to a head, basically telling him the English people would not accept Ms. Simpson as their queen.
As this news broke Churchill was immediately loyal to the king, which cost him much of his new-found popularity. It was typical for Churchill to take unpopular stances, but when I read this part of “the Last Lion” I groaned and rolled my eyes. Why should Churchill be loyal? Edward disagreed with Churchill and felt Hitler should be allowed to militarize the Rhineland. He disagreed with Churchill and said the Italians should be allowed to march into Ethiopia. When the Ethiopian king visited England seeking aid, Edward refused to meet him. Yet Churchill remained loyal. Churchill floated the idea of a “morganatic marriage”, where the king could remain king but his wife would not be called “queen”, and it floated like a lead balloon.
Perhaps Churchill’s loyalty was in part due to the fact his own father had married an American, so he was less scandalized by Edward’s choice of a foreign commoner, but it also was founded on an old-fashioned British belief in near-blind loyalty to the king, (as a figurehead, if not in fact). As a rebellious American, I, of course, have problems with such loyalty to any worldly king, preferring a concept, “liberty”, as my ruler, (though that too can be a false god, if “liberty” is anything short of true Truth.)
In some ways the loyalty of those times seems quaint and archaic, though “those times” are relatively recent times. It is an indication of how brutalized ordinary faith has become, that fidelity, whether to a marriage or to a leader, is now something we deem laughable, and even sneer at. However loyalty was in Churchill’s blood, and even when he opposed he was “the loyal opposition”. He would lose all the political capital he had painstakingly gained before he would throw his king under the bus. This made me groan as I read about it, for Hitler marched into the Rhineland unopposed.
This was all the more exasperating because Edward had more compassion towards Hitler than he had towards Churchill. Fascists could be loyal to royalty, while communists killed royalty. Furthermore, if you want to play at being a pseudo-psychologist, Edward preferred heiling someone else, to being a king and shouldering the burden of responsibility. There are embarrassing pictures of him teaching the future queen of England to heil when she was just a child.
There are other pictures of Edward supposedly “heiling” Germans (when he may have been merely waving.)
But then Edward did something that baffled the mind-set of both Hitler and Stalin. He gave up power. For what? For loyalty to a lady he loved, loved more than power. In this manner he was equal to Churchill, (though not in matters of insight and intelligence.)
A picture that chills me is from 1937, which demonstrates Edward’s lack of insight and intelligence and especially foresight. He is inspecting the troops of the cruel and merciless Nazi SS.
One odd thing about this picture is that it may be photo-shopped. I have seen other versions of the same picture, wherein Edward has an arm raised and “heiling”. The question then becomes, which is the photo-shopped photo? Has the above photo been “cleaned up” by monarchists, or was the “heiling” photo “made politically-correct” by communists?
It doesn’t really matter, for both sides are haywire, in my humble opinion, for both sides are autocratic, and therefore cut off from the healing powers of Love. However even as late as 1937 Edward could have thought he was wise and politically-correct to heil the SS, and that Churchill was the naive and foolish poet. (Although Churchill was loyal to Edward, I see little evidence Edward returned the favor.)
The idea at that time was that Hitler could be controlled. By flattering here, and appeasing there, Hitler could be utilized as a useful puppet in the real war, which was against the communists who were determined to murder the upper class. Stalin was the beast, and Hitler was merely beastly.
By 1937 it was clear Hitler was a murderer. He didn’t merely disenfranchise and rob Jews; his insanely patriotic Brown Shirts didn’t merely beat American tourists who didn’t know enough to “heil” passing troops. Hitler himself had Rohm, his good buddy and leader of the “Brown Shirts”, executed, (just as Stalin had his former comrade Trotsky assassinated). Such behavior was definitely not proper among the English upper crust, but, because Hitler respected royalty where Stalin didn’t, Hitler’s atrocities could be winked at. The politically-correct felt Hitler could be cultivated, advised, and used as a useful tool, for Germans would eventually wage war with Russia (as Hitler promised to do in his autobiography). Then, as Germans and Russians slaughtered each other, the English politically-correct could sit back and enjoy the benefits of peace, and of being “better”, like Brahmans served by Untouchables, superior-to and more-civilized-than and intellectually-smarter-than murderous barbarians, like Stalin and Hitler.
In my humble opinion, if, ( and I stress “if”), these smug people, discussing international politics over scotch-and-soda at a cocktail party, actually had the control they imagined they had, then they should be included in the ranks of mass murderers. Of course, they would flatter themselves, and think they were saving the lives of British troops, and it would only be “other” soldiers dying, out of view. They would be deeply offended if I told them they were plotting the murder of millions of Germans and millions of Russians, to preserve their own lives of soft, plush, upper-class luxury. In a sense they were no different than Mao, certain that what was good for them was good for not merely Britain, but the entire World.
Such upper-class intellectuals had no real excuse for their vanity. They had attended the best schools, and had been forced to study dreary poetry, and had seen the work of the poet John Keats, who in fact describes just such hardhearted people as the elite of 1936 became, when describing (In 1818) two brothers who killed their own sister’s lover:
“With her two brothers this fair lady dwelt, Enriched from ancestral merchandize, And for them many a weary hand did swelt In torched mines and noisy factories, And many once proud-quiver’d loins did melt In blood from stinging whip;–with hollow eyes Many all day in dazzling river stood, To take the rich-ored driftings of the flood.
For them the Ceylon diver held his breath, And went all naked to the hungry shark; For them his ears gush’d blood; for them in death The seal on the cold ice with piteous bark Lay full of darts; for them alone did seethe A thousand men in troubles wide and dark: Half-ignorant, they turn’d an easy wheel, That set sharp racks at work, to pinch and peel.
Why were they proud? Because their marble founts Gush’d with more pride than do a wretch’s tears?– Why were they proud? Because fair orange-mounts Were of more soft ascent than lazar stairs?– Why were they proud? Because red-lin’d accounts Were richer than the songs of Grecian years?– Why were they proud? again we ask aloud, Why in the name of Glory were they proud?”
What naive fools the politically correct of 1936 turned out to be! But they were sure they had things all figured out. To them politics was like a game of billiards, and they were certain they saw how all the balls lay, and that they had all the shots all figured out and arranged, but then the layout of things changed, because others shot first.
To jump ahead, rather than Germany and Russia exhausting themselves in a war between communists and fascists, in August 1939 Stalin and Hitler, supposedly worst and irreconcilable enemies, agreed to be friends. Who could have ever predicted that? But both evil men stood to gain, as they had agreed to together wipe Poland off the face of the map, dividing the spoils.
Then Stalin got to sit back and laugh, for he likely knew Hitler had been cultivated to destroy him, but, instead of communists being destroyed, he got to to see Hitler turn the full brunt of his military might onto peaceful and unsuspecting non-communists, as for two years communists enjoyed, if not peace and prosperity, at least time to recover from self-destructive purges, and an utterly bungled war with tiny Finland. (Little did Stalin know the enormous price Russia would pay for these two years of peace. It is never a wise thing to feed a mad dog, nor to help a Hitler.)
But now allow me to jump back to 1936, when the politically-correct were completely unaware of what lay ahead. It should have been obvious to these ignoramuses (and was all too painfully obvious to Churchill) that they were making some serious mistakes, (but instead they continued to believe they held the strings and others were the puppets, until they were completely embarrassed by the falling of France, when it started looking like Hitler held the strings, and that they themselves were the puppets, at which point they turned to Churchill, [likely not because they they thought Churchill could bring victory, but because they they themselves wanted to escape the blame of defeat.])
(In actual fact Truth held the strings, but powerful people seldom give credit where credit is due.)
1936 also marked the start of the Spanish Civil War. My take is that the nation was suffering the birth-pains of reform, with the people who desired reform arguing with those who liked the old ways, and, rather than a two-party-system allowing these disagreements to be worked out in a civil manner, things became uncivil. (This is called a “civil” war, though it is the exact opposite of civility.) What is particularly horrible is how outsiders exacerbated the incivility, rather than making peace. Hitler and Mussolini supported the traditionalists, as Stalin supported the reformers, and both sides got to try out their new weapons and their techniques for “controlling the masses”, and in the process did much to destroy both Spanish traditions and reforms. Meanwhile the politically correct of England didn’t lift a finger to help. They had a “hands off” policy, publicly stating the civil war involved the “internal affairs” of Spain, and needed to be resolved by the Spanish, while privately gloating how the Fascists and Communists were spending so much money, as they didn’t spend a dime. I think some patted themselves on the back, seeing Spain’s horrible suffering as proof they were successfully employing Hitler as a “bulwark” against Stalin.
Yet despite the government’s official non-involvement, the Spanish agony touched the hearts of all sorts of young poets. Even when doing so broke certain laws, they rushed to Spain to fight, some for Republican principles, winding up with Stalin’s troops, and some for Jesus and the Church, winding up with Hitler’s troops. Most were profoundly disillusioned by what they went through, and many accurately wrote about the complete inhumanity and stupidity involved. (A good example is Hemingway’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls.”) My favorite example of an artist being disillusioned was Eric Arthur Blair, who joined the anti-fascist Republican side, and got shot through the throat by Franco’s fascists, yet, surviving that, also nearly got killed by the side he had joined, as the communists involved felt he should be “purged”.
Most know this poet by his pen name, “George Orwell”, (and whose work I didn’t at all like, when I was forced to read it, [“Animal Farm” and “1984“], in high school English classes, when I was fifteen, for I found his work “depressing”, and utterly unlike what I called “true poetry”, [which “inspired” rather than “depressed]”.) However Eric Arthur Blair’s view of Truth was based on grim, ugly facts, and on what he actually experienced, and he has been rewarded with the adjective, “Orwellian”, which describes how ugly life looks, if politically-correct standards are upheld.
Neither Hitler nor Stalin cared much for the advice of Jesus, but, along those lines, neither did the Catholic Church of Spain. The Spanish Inquisition is a horrendous example of a church disgracing the name of Jesus. And, if Karma is a reality, and if it is true that what goes around comes around, perhaps the Spanish Catholic church was merely reaping what it sowed, when priests, friars and nuns were murdered without trial in the Spanish Civil War. (The Wikipedia figures are: 4,184 priests, 2,365 monks and friars, and 283 nuns.)
However, in terms of propaganda, it doesn’t seem entirely wise for communists to have a picture like the picture below appear in the London Newspaper, the Daily Mail, with the heading “Spanish Reds war on religion.” (The picture below was such bad publicity that the cynic in me thinks it may well have been posed, and be propaganda.)
While it may be a Marxist belief that “religion is the opiate of the masses”, to actually execute Jesus a second time seems like unwise publicity for communists, for many of the proletariat, even when they dislike priests, like to go to the sanctuary of a church and to idealize that a Superior to priests is present on the alter. Therefore it was also bad propaganda to take an alter that looked like this:
And make it look like this:
However the worst publicity the communists could have ever imagined was named Andre Marty, who brought the paranoid insanity of a Stalinist purge to the struggles in Spain. Like Mao he felt it was necessary to “purify”, not by killing the enemy, but by killing soldiers on his own side. He held some title like “Commissar Of Foreign Troops,” which gave him the power to execute, (with only a pretense of a trial), any who begged to differ with him. This might include idealistic young poets who came to Spain to sacrifice their lives fighting Fascism, but who happened to think Trotsky had some good ideas. Rather than fighting a fascist they got killed by a communist. Of the roughly 5000 foreigners who died fighting for the anti-fascist side, only 4500 were killed by fascists, for Andrè Marty rather proudly stated he had executed 500.
But Marty couldn’t kill all the poets, and those he let slip through his nets are not kind to his memory. Hemingway is cruel, describing Andrè Marty, (not even bothering to change his name), in “For Whom The Bell Tolls“. In the case of Eric Arthur Blair, who barely escaped Marty’s purges, Marty (and Stalin) will be immortalized, as long as the book lives, as the evil pig Napoleon in “Animal Farm“.
Eric Arthur Blair had surprising difficulty getting “Animal Farm” published. Even when he found a publisher, the publisher changed his mind after a visit from a prominent member of England’s “Ministry of Information” (who later turned out to be a Stalinist double agent.) Such opposition seems a bit odd, considering Eric’s tale is basically a fairy tale and fable, involving talking animals. However those who read it seemed to know it held dynamite: Truth too true for revelation. (Stalin had become an Allie of England, after being double-crossed by Hitler, when the book was being written, and the book could have been censored then, because war-time censorship ruled, and being “anti-Russia” was unhelpful to the war effort. However, after the war was won, when the publisher initially accepted the book, such censorship should have been relaxed, yet still many of the politically-correct didn’t want to see the fairy tale published, and publishers continued a sort of censorship, taking on the role of “gatekeepers”.) This suppression not only didn’t discourage Eric Arthur Blair; it encouraged him to write “1984“.
However I have leaped ahead of myself. In 1936 the politically-correct had no idea where England would be in ten years, nor that they’d ever have to get Churchill out of power, in an attempt to regain their odd mode of highly hypocritical moral leadership. In 1936 they smugly sat back and watched Spain as fascists butchered communists, and communists butchered fascists, and thought to themselves, “This is how the game is played.”
This is not how the game is played. You are not allowed to sit back, when gifted with power, and to passively observe inhumanity. Sooner or later you will repent your inaction, as the inhumanity rises up to bite you. Yet so many politically-correct people in history believe it is wise to turn a blind eye to immorality, and then over and over are flabbergasted to find their own necks stretched on the guillotine. (The inventor of the guillotine was beheaded by his own invention.)
By 1936 Stalin’s inhumanity was obvious, as was Hitler’s. Stalin was purging many of his best generals, (which may explain why his army was pathetic when it tried to overpower tiny Finland in 1939.) Hitler had purged many of the Brown Shirts who were responsible for bringing him to power. Stalin in fact purged every “founding father” of Russia’s rebellion in 1917, because they were not Stalinist enough, because they were not Stalin. And, in like manner, Andrè Marty was killing the poets who bravely came to Spain to fight fascism. Is it any wonder his side lost?
This is not how the game is played. Killing the people on your own side is distinctly unwise. And, while Stalin and Hitler made this a “sin of commission”, to sit back and smugly watch was a “sin of omission”, (unless you, as an editor, censored or used “gatekeeper” status to silence those poets attempting to be whistle-blowers, in which case you were involved in a sly and subtle “sin of commission”). In all cases such politically-correct behavior will rise up to bite you, history shows.
For the sake of argument I’ll briefly entertain the concept that “desperate times require desperate deeds.” Some will argue that the Republican position in Spain was so perilous that Andrè Marty was justified in hacking off heads, to “discipline” troops.
I will counter by comparing his behavior with the behavior of George Washington, when he was in an equally desperate and perilous situation in December, 1776.
In twelve months Washington had fallen far. He had fallen from marching into Boston victorious, after driving the English out, to being driven from New York City defeated, and getting his army’s butt booted by Cornwallis clear across New Jersey and across the Delaware River, to where some of his his ill-fed, ill-clothed and ill-supplied troops wrapped their bootless feet in rags and left bloody footprints in the snow at Valley Forge. People who had praised him twelve months before, stating “We” are winning, were now grumbling that “You” are losing. He desperately needed help but wasn’t getting any. What did he do? Kill people who criticized?
No. Instead he was truthful, and expressed to everyone that he needed support urgently.
First, he told the colonial congress that if they didn’t send food and clothing they soon would have no army. Instead of food they sent four representatives unannounced, and Washington interrupted his busy schedule and showed them the army’s dire need in person, and the representatives got the message loudly and clearly, and brought the message back to Philadelphia, and then supplies-for-troops became a top priority among politicians in Philadelphia, (as did extra pay for the troops).
Second, he was truthful with his troops. He confessed they were in dire straits, and ordered that they fast and pray, for God’s help. He also pleaded for their help. Many had only enlisted for the year 1776, and had every right to to go home to their farms (where they would be warmer and better fed) on January first. Washington begged them to stay just two more weeks, promising them ten dollars extra in their pay, and also explaining that their nation desperately needed them, and that they had a great power and influence, in the present tense, that they might never, never have again. For a moment none of the sullen troops stepped forward, but then, slowly and somewhat reluctantly, most of them did.
Third, on a practical level, he demanded General Charles Lee bring 2000 troops down from the north and Colonel John Cadwalader bring recruits from Philadelphia north (around 1000). He got no response. Just then a letter from Lee to Cadwalader passed through Washington’s camp. In his need to know if reinforcements were coming, Washington opened the letter.
The letter continued an ongoing discussion between the two men about how Washington might not be a general fit for the job of freeing America. Such doubt might be expected from Lee, who had made it fairly obvious that he felt he, and not Washington, should command the Army, but Cadwalader was a friend and confidant of Washington’s, and the exposure of his dwindling faith likely hurt. (Basically the letter wondered if Washington lacked the necessary assertiveness to be decisive, suggesting he was too prone to back off. In essence it stated Washington retreated too much, and didn’t know how to attack.)
Stalin or Hitler or Andrè Marty would have had the two men immediately “purged”. Immediately “Liquidated.” Washington? He apologized for reading their mail, and explained why he had done so.
Washington’s gentleness might not be politically-correct among those of a dog-eat-dog mentality, but I think it was very effective. Honesty always is. At the very least it told both men that Washington respected their exchange of thoughts. How they then felt, I don’t know. However it seems that, rather than executing the two men, Washington took their accidentally revealed “advice” to heart, for he immediately became more decisive, and attacked.
He was helped by two things. First, his troops, who had felt neglected and forgotten, abruptly felt cared for, as Washington’s efforts succeeded in bringing foodstuffs, and perhaps more importantly blankets (which meant more than we can imagine, as the blankets were actually hand-made by supporters), and furthermore brought news that the public was touched by the soldier’s efforts and their suffering. Thomas Paine’s inspiring and poetic broadsheet, “The Crisis”, may even have reached the troops, though it is dated December 23 and they first crossed the Delaware December 25, (and communication was slower before the internet.) “These are the times that try men’s souls.”
Ten days later the situation had radically changed. Washington had crossed the Delaware three times and defeated the English at Trenton, and then stalled Conwallis’s counterattack with delaying skirmishes at Five Mile Run and Shabakunk Creek, and a stand at the bridge in the Battle of Assunpink Creek. Then Washington out-maneuvered Cornwallis, for as night fell Cornwallis drew up his forces and planned to attack across the creek in the morning, certain he was about to “bag the old fox”. Across the creek bright fires burned and the clinking and clanking of picks and shovels made it sound like trenches were being dug and earthworks erected, but the fires and noise was made by a group of men left behind to create the illusion Washington was still there, as he slipped away. These noisy men slipped away as well, in the first dusk of dawn, and when Cornwallis attacked the next day he found no Americans. They were away, winning the Battle of Princeton. At this point the winter was growing harsh, so the British retreated north to await the warmer weather of spring. The Americans also hunkered down to await the spring, but in far more comfortable circumstances, as they had captured all sorts of provisions.
Though seemingly small victories, the news that Washington wasn’t in retreat, but that he had fought back and won, did wonders for American morale. On the streets of New York City, behind enemy lines, the news Washington had captured a thousand Hessian troops was spread by mouth, and the effect was electric.
But their joy is off the point. The point I wish to make is that Washington didn’t need to “purge” a single soul, to turn the tide.
In many senses Washington was down to his last dime; he was very nearly a general without an army, and had to plead with his troops not to abandon him, as so many had only enlisted for 1776, and were free to go home on January first. Yet he never threatened them. They were given a choice. Some did depart on January first, but most chose to stay, and to be part of tiny army that defeated a superpower.
When I compare Washington’s behavior to Andrè Marty’s, I sense I am seeing something missed by those who subscribe to certain unspiritual ideas about power-politics. It seems to be a difference between being crudely politically-correct or having a more high-minded Karmic-Correctness.
Once again the two different ways of behaving basically boils down to the difference between infatuation and love, yet this distinction eludes the logic of many. They cannot see why the American Revolution didn’t result in the “Terror” of the French Revolution, or the dual “Red Terror” and “White Terror” of the Spanish Civil War, or the terrible “Night Of Long Knives” of Hitler’s accent, or the terror of Stalin’s terrible purges or of Mao’s “Proletarian Cultural Revolution”.
If Truth must be known, the American Revolution also had its “terrors.” War is hell, and the American Revolution could well be called “The First American Civil War”. In areas under the Crown’s control Loyalists felt free to dispossess “traitorous” Patriots, (including some men who signed the Declaration of Independence), jailed other Patriots in prisonships so abysmal that many died, and hung some, (like Nathan Hale, a mere school teacher), as spies, but later these same Loyalists found themselves dispossessed of all wealth and property and sent penniless north by the thousands, to trudge to Canada. Yet, as these Loyalists trekked north, many would not have made it to Canada, were it not for the mercy of rural farmers whom they had formerly scorned as “bumpkins,” and had called “enemies of the Crown.” All in all, comparing the American Revolution with other Revolutions in other lands, it was a civil war with far more civility than usual.
To even suggest suggest history holds the fingerprints of anything “High” opens a can of worms, for many find belief difficult when they look at genocides, slaughters, and demoralizing behaviors. They do have a belief, but it is a belief in disbelief. In Truth, they are mistaken, and there is a reason for hope. And I could end this writing with that (but will go on).
As soon as I state, as an American, that the revolution that created the United States had a higher and more ethical side than other civil wars, I fully expect to “catch it from both sides”; for being a mushy dreamer who lacks the spine to take a stand. Why? Because in many situations I feel both sides are wrong. I assert that, unless one prefers to see a revolution and civil war wherein millions die, and wherein both the principles of reform and the principles of tradition are shattered, and wherein humanity degenerates to foulness and lowness, a so-called “centrist” position is desirable. All this means is one listens to others; one respects others; the reformer listens to the traditionalist as the traditionalist listens to the reformer; in other words, a “two-party-system”, where respect and honor and even loving-one’s-enemies are held in high regard, and beheading opponents is regarded with disdain.
People do not become faithless without reason. A baby is born with faith that its cries will be answered, but if left all alone in a cold and dark room it may be deeply scarred. In like manner many young idealists have wild hopes in a compassionate Almighty, and believe they are invulnerable because a kind Deity watches over them, and then, like the youth who dashed off to help “the right side” in the Spanish Civil War, have their faith mangled by the hell of war. They often then bounce from one extreme to the other; from naive faith to fierce atheism. In actual fact faith needs to mature, and become centered.
History demonstrates, over and over, that when a society loses faith in the decency of respect and honor, they in some way become disconnected to the roots of Truth. A withering of the lush, green and vigorous vines springing from love and liberty occurs. Even a “Chosen People” like the Jews can suffer ruinous exile from their capital of Jerusalem, as Jeremiah so poignantly describes in “Lamentations.” Conversely, when a people behave in an opposite manner, they become filled with some sort of sap springing from the roots of Truth, and they prosper and gain powers no one expected.
Allow me briefly sidetrack to an example of how things unexpectedly worked out for George Washington. It involves General Charles Lee, who was not being as helpful as he could have been, and who Stalin would have purged. Lee was taking far longer than he should have taken to bring the 2000 troops he commanded south to help Washington in the time of crisis. It has been suggested he had ulterior motives for his delay, and that either, (when he accused Washington of lacking the courage to battle) he was doing what psychobabble calls, “projecting”, (and he himself feared battle), or that he slyly calculated that if Washington’s troops were decimated as his force remained unscathed he would become de facto commander. He lacked Washington’s commitment to the cause; where Washington served without pay Lee’s letters complain he should be paid more. Then, as if divinity stepped in, Lee was removed, and no “purge” was necessary.
It happened like this: As his troops slowly preceded south Lee decided to forgo the discomfort of winter tents and to spend a night in a comfortable tavern three miles behind the lines. It has been suggested “a lady of the evening” may have been involved. Early the next morning a raiding party of 25 British horsemen, carefully avoiding the 2000 troops, came galloping up to the tavern. Lee hid in his nightgown, but the tavern owner’s wife, fearing her property would be torched, ran outside screaming that she was a Loyalist, and that General Lee had forced her to house him against her will. The English were delighted to capture a general. Then, with Lee out of the picture, the second-in-command led the 2000 troops south to Washington with haste.
(As an aside to an aside, General Lee did not go to a dismal prison-ship, but was housed well in New York City, (because officers treated officers with dignity, back then), and later was returned to Washington in a “prisoner-exchange.” Washington gave him a second chance, because trained generals were in short supply among ragtag troops, but when Lee again refused to follow orders, this time refusing to attack in the heat of a battle and allowing the English to escape a trap, Washington was done with him. And if you wonder how Washington could replace such a skilled person, again divinity seemingly stepped in, for Tadeusz Kościuszko unexpectedly arrived from Poland.)
Call me a dreamer if you will, and dismiss such events as luck and coincidence, but when I see these events sprinkled through history I always shake my head in amazement. It seems to me there is a Power whom the powerful are deaf and blind to, yet Whom the deaf can hear and the blind can see.
The politically-correct, who think they know all there is to know about power, are always blind-sided by this Mystery. This occurs because they see worldly power as an end-all and be-all, when it is actually a byproduct of a greater things: Life, Liberty and Love. Because political power is a byproduct, it actually is a bit like manure. Manure is a byproduct of farming, and valuable for enriching the soil of a garden, but it would be absurd to see manure as being so important that one blew up entire farms for piles of shit. Yet the politically-correct, one way or another, always seem to succumb to this lunacy, and, because they ignore what is important, preferring shit, they are always utterly amazed when power is snatched away and given to those who do not subscribe to their views; consequently they are blind-sided.
For an ancient example, when Genghis Khan was born around 1162 few cared a hoot about a bunch of crazy cowboys riding about and fighting neighboring cowboys on a remote prairie, far from the centers of power. When he died seventy-five years later, Japan, China, Russia, Persia and all of Europe feared him. How the heck did such a rural hick gain such power?
It seems to me that, though people now primarily see Genghis Khan as a mass murderer, he did have some spiritual qualities. He did slaughter large populations who resisted him, but also absorbed people who would work with him. He seemed to have a keen awareness of his own weaknesses, and knew that he needed others. For example, as a nomad he had no idea how to run a city, so he sought people who knew how to run the cities he conquered. Yet he did not always seek such governors from the politically-correct; he would ignore a Brahman of high rank in favor of an Untouchable who had a proven record of getting things done. In like manner, he ignored religious big-shots who thought they were high priests, in favor of humble friars and monks who could simply talk the talk and also walk the walk. This ability to judge men by the quality of their character, rather than the political-correctness of their caste, enabled him to first unite a collection of warring cowboys into a powerful nation, and, second, to unify the peoples he conquered into a religiously tolerant empire, (which was [and is] an unexpected tolerance to see, in one whom many now regard as a mass murderer).
In 1162 the politically-correct in China were likely imagining they had complete control over the Mongol cowboys to their north, and that they were clever and crafty to pit Mongol against Mongol, supporting one group of cowboys one month and another the next. And yes, such diplomacy might wreck havoc among the Mongol tribes, and cause much misery upon those distant steppes, but making misery elsewhere only proved (supposedly) that the Chinese were smarter and superior to northern-barbarian neighbors. When they tricked such loser Mongol tribes into killing each other off, what harm could come of it?
The politically correct of China were completely blind-sided by the Karmic consequences and repercussions. They never saw the Mongol cowboys coming, never envisioned unified hoards galloping south from over the horizon and taking over their entire land, and ruling it. Yet, like the Jews of Jeremiah’s Jerusalem, they got the “ax” they deserved. In fact, they got a worse “ax” than the Jews, for after the Mongols, China saw the invading Manchus of Manchuria, and then got Imperialistic Europeans. But would any of this Karmic backlash have happened, if they had treated Mongols (and other non-Chinese) differently, in the first place?
In like manner, in 1450, who, of all the politically-correct in Europe, as laser-focused (as they were) on the post-Byzantine treachery of the spice-wars between the Ottoman and Venetian Empires, payed any attention to three tiny kingdoms far to the west, at the very periphery of Europe, called Portugal, Aragon, and Castile? Yet, a half century later, the Pope was dividing the entire planet between the Portuguese and Spanish empires. Yet, even as Spain and Portugal gained their power, who was paying attention to the obscure Island to the north, Britain? Who then could dream that, (as I described earlier), Britain would come close to ruling the world? And yet, as the English first felt their power, who paid much attention to their thirteen impoverished colonies clinging to the east coast of North America?
The point I am trying to make is that the politically-correct often don’t see what is coming, even though they often exude a plush assurance that purrs like a sleek cat’s, and radiate confidence that insists they have power, and control. They don’t control, which is shown by how often history demonstrates them being blind-sided by shifts in power. They like to think they see the future and have invested wisely, but often wind up looking like an investor in horses and buggies just before the invention of the car, or an investor in typewriters just before the the invention of the word-processor. Their vision of the future is clouded, because they ignore Truth, and instead are besotted by power. They fail to see the true Source of power, and that power itself is a byproduct like manure. In this manner the politically-correct are worshiping a “false god” and are led by “false prophets.” To be blunt, they worship shit.
Not that there is anything wrong with a byproduct, in and of itself. As a farmer I call manure “brown gold” and recognize its power to be helpful in the nourishment of plants in my garden. But I do not value the shit more than the animals that produce the shit, which is what, in a manner of speaking, the politically-correct seem all too prone to doing. History seems to over and over demonstrate how the politically-correct put shit ahead of what matters more, and how they are then are astonished when their future turns brown and stinks.
In many ways the more wicked of the politically-correct are comical, if one is able to detach oneself from all the unnecessary heartache they cause. Like jealous schoolgirls, anxious to be seen as fashionable, they rush hither and thither from fad to fad, glad to be seen in the right place and in a panic when fashion shifts and what was right becomes wrong. Though pompous and vainglorious, (and highly offended if you equate them with schoolgirls), top-hatted bankers can be a joke. They are full of themselves when stocks soar, and then verge on suicide when markets crash. While money is no more evil than manure, love of money is a madness worthy of laughing at, reminiscent of a gambler’s yo-yoing mood as he makes ten thousand at nine o’clock and has lost it by ten. At nine he is radiant and struts through the casino with a babe on either arm, and at ten he trudges in despair with his complexion green, all alone, as his fair-weather-friends have all fled. Without roots drinking deeply of Truth, people are reduced to being but panicky lemmings dashing back and forth between two cliffs.
Sadly, faith in the Truth has been shattered by horrible amounts of unnecessary heartache. The very people entrusted with the upholding of faith have abused the trust so severely, and been such awful hypocrites, that people have lost faith in faith. Where Washington once ordered his troops to fast and pray, such faithful behavior is now deemed politically-incorrect. To suggest civility might have political benefits tends to be laughed at, in our cynical times. It tends to spoofed, (for example, in Monty Python skits). However even the spoofing of civility has an odd peacemaking power, because it makes people laugh, and it is hard to strike out in rage when you are laughing.
In fact I once knew a cheerful young man at an English public school, (back when corporal punishment was commonplace, and bullying and baiting were the norm), who sailed through many dangerous social-situations and escaped unscathed, simply by pretending to be terribly offended and challenging people twice his size (even teachers) to fisticuffs. In a voice halfway between an English Lord and Foghorn Leghorn’s, he’d shout, “Sir! You have pushed me too far! Honor is at stake, sir, honor! Prepare yourself for a pummeling!” Then he would prance about furiously shadowboxing jabs for one or two seconds with a fierce scowl, before predictably pausing, raising an index finder and one eyebrow, and inquiring in the most polite manner, “Queensbury Rules?” Somehow the way the young fellow’s eyebrows shifted from incivility to civility never failed to win over his enemy, often buckling his foe over at the waist with paroxysms of laughter. He made Foghorn Leghorn look dull.
Of course, certain politically-correct people no more like the humor of cartoons than they like the talking animals of “Animal Farm”. Why? Perhaps the antics of a loudmouthed rooster too closely resembles their own sophism. When a cartoon character expects one result, and another occurs, it too closely copies situations such as the the politically-correct of 1936 feeling smug about arranging things so Hitler would fight Stalin, and then being flabbergasted when Hitler and Stalin signed their non-aggression pact. In the first case it may seem a mere cartoon, with a silly rooster facing a chicken-hawk and/or cat and/or farm-dog and/or sex-crazed hen and/or younger-generation, while in the second case it may seem a deadly serious reality, but I see a similarity in the disapproval of the politically correct, and how they seek to censor not merely a political fable such as “Animal Farm”, but even cartoons.
It is not the soldiers on the battlefields who attempt to banish the slapstick humor of “Tom and Jerry” cartoons, but rather it is the politically-correct. Why are they so offended by a mouse clobbering a cat with an impossibly over-sized hammer? Is it not just a modern version of “Punch and Judy” puppets? Yet with pious expressions they state “Tom and Jerry” “encourages violence”. Encourages violence? Who is encouraging violence? Do they think those soldiers are out on the battlefield getting shot-at and shelled for the fun of it? Do the politically-correct think “Tom and Jerry” cartoons cause war, and war has nothing to do with their own lusts for luxury, privilege, power and sex?
Besides taxing my wallet, the politically-correct tax my patience. They seem to feel they can hold on to all the accouterments of love without the bother of actually loving. For, in Truth, love does tend to make a person rich and gives them power, but another gift is joy, yet the politically-correct have a terrible tendency to frown at laughter, and shame people for joking, and to gain more glee from scolding, than from confessing an embarrassment with a chuckle. They are epitomized by the garlic-faced priest, the dour schoolmarm, the glowering headmaster, and become absolutely furious when you demonstrate that they themselves are the joke.
They don all the trappings of love’s successful bounty, but are like small children dressing up as kings and queens. They flounce about, forgetting love works from dawn to dusk and puts in constant overtime, and instead they desire the harvest without the hard work. Then they become strangely irate when they see joy descend not upon themselves, but upon their servants. I think it makes them honestly angry to see there is more humor in a cottage than a castle, more good-natured hilarity on a noisy factory floor than in the morgue-like mansion the factory supports, and far more laughter in a reeking cannery than among the erudite nibbling pickled herring. Having experienced both sides, I know this to be true, but many poor envy the rich, as many rich resent the poor, because the grass is always greener on the far side of a fence.
In Truth, it is more blessed to give than to receive, and blessed are the poor, which in effect conversely means that the politically-correct are accursed. In their smugness they parody amazing ignorance, and are dunces to such a delightful degree that the heavens shout with laughter at their downfalls, which they richly deserve. However such humor is often hidden, here on earth. It is funny to see another slip and sit down hard on an icy pavement, but not so funny to be the one who falls. The haughty call another’s laughter at their discomfiture politically-incorrect, and even “unspiritual”. Then, when such humor bursts from tightly pressed lips, it appears sardonic or ironic or sarcastic, as a sort of gallows humor. However its persistence is a proof joy cannot be quenched any more than Truth can be destroyed. This is never made more clear than in the humor of poor soldiers suffering the hell of war.
The people who actually suffer on the battlefields, and in the trenches, are living so close to the end of life that they do experience joy in situations where the politically-correct deem it politically-incorrect to laugh. An example of soldier’s humor that struck me as amazingly incorrect, in all polite society, dates from the Korean war. But telling this tale involves explaining a great deal, (perhaps creating a long run for a short slide), because the actors on the stage need a background.
We need to jump ahead 13 years from 1936 to 1949, when Mao moved from doing good to doing bad. He moved from unifying China to attacking people outside his borders. In this manner he was a bit like Hitler. If Hitler had dropped dead in 1938, just after he annexed the “German” part of Czechoslovakia, he might be remembered as the man who unified the German people, and freed them from foreign oppressors. In like manner, if Mao had dropped dead in 1949, he would be remembered as the man who unified China, freeing it from the confusion of divided Chinese warlords, and foreign oppressors, ( non-Han “imperialists” from Manchuria and Europe and Imperial Japan). But no, Mao couldn’t stop at his own borders. Just as Hitler felt compelled to advance his fascist concept of German superiority outside his homeland, Mao felt compelled to advance his communist agenda outside his own borders.
Mao’s aggressiveness is in some ways understandable, if you look at the belittling attitude Europe had towards China during Europe’s most obnoxious and imperialistic period, towards the end of the 1800’s. The Chinese felt they were the most civilized people on earth, and Europeans were just a different form of barbarian, but Europeans felt the Chinese were primitive and in need of Europe’s supposedly-superior and politically-correct intelligence and modernization, and were busily dividing China up into “spheres of economic interest” which Europeans would control (just as India had been subjected to European control.) The Chinese revolted, with the “Boxer’s Rebellion”, which resulted in a humiliating defeat for Chinese patriots, and an increase in the imperialistic powers of foreigners in China.
The patriot who actually began throwing the foreigners out of China was Sun Yat-sen, (who Americans approved-of because he admired George Washington). He devised a uniquely Chinese blend of foreign ideas, using parts of American democracy and parts of European communism, which he called “The Three Principles of the People.”
The first principle is called by some “nationalism” or even “fascism”, but basically stated the Han Chinese should be ruled by the Han Chinese, and not a Manchu royalty. The second principle stated an individual had rights, and was downright American. But the third principle stated the government should be concerned with people’s welfare, and was European and socialistic. These three ideas never had a chance to jell and be properly worked out, as Sun Yat-Sen died in 1923, and no one followed who upheld his sane and “centrist” concepts, and instead things degenerated to a communist dictator on one side and a royalist-fascist dictator on the other, much like the situation in the Spanish Civil War, only in the case of China the communists won. Nor did the communist Mao display the sanity of the fascist Franco. Where Franco was made wise by the civil war that bled Spain dry, and kept Spain out of World War Two, Mao was eager for more bloodshed.
Why? Partly it was because Mao believed communism was good and would sweep over the entire planet like a new religion. He wanted to continue the “good work” he felt he had done in his homeland, extending communism beyond his shores. Second, he wanted to counter the idea that China was a dissolute push-over, and couldn’t fight back. Third, he wanted recognition on the world stage, as he wasn’t yet recognized as the legal government of China by the United Nations, and the defeated Nationalists, (relegated to the island of Taiwan), still held China’s seat on the UN Security Council. Lastly, like Hitler, he desired to conquer (or “gain-influence-in”) neighboring lands for China’s economic benefit, and to have satellite-puppet nations, like Stalin had. This made Mao, the second he stepped beyond his own borders, just as “imperialistic” as the imperialistic nations he so despised, only he saw his own imperialism as something higher and finer, and used double-speak to call it “liberation.”
At this point most in the United States appear gullible and naive. Americans thought war was over and treaties were binding, and that aggression-beyond-one’s-borders was something all had agreed was unwise, and that imperialism was wrong. America was busily (and somewhat proudly) working to grant America’s lone “colony”, (the Philippines), their independence. When Churchill gave his “Iron Curtain” speech in 1946, many Americans distrusted Churchill more than they distrusted Stalin, seeing Russia’s “excesses” (purges) at home, (which most Americans knew very little about), as an unfortunate side of a civil war, similar to brutalities which occurred in America’s Civil War, while seeing Churchill as an old-school 19th century imperialist, primarily focused on propping up the crumbling British Empire. (In fact some American socialists detest Churchill to this day, including a recent American president who had a bust of Churchill removed from the White House.) Churchill didn’t care. He squared his shoulders and, as an old man in his mid-seventies, thrown out of office by the people he had saved, once again expressed an unpopular view, which was poetic because it held Truth. It is well worth rereading, 72 years later, as much he said stands the test of time, and hints the old man may have had some degree of the “gift of prophesy”.
Two sections which strike me as particularly poetic (including the famous “iron curtain” section) are as follows:
” …We cannot be blind to the fact that the liberties enjoyed by individual citizens throughout the United States and throughout the British Empire are not valid in a considerable number of countries, some of which are very powerful. In these States control is enforced upon the common people by various kinds of allembracing police governments to a degree which is overwhelming and contrary to every principle of democracy. The power of the State is exercised without restraint, either by dictators or by compact oligarchies operating through a privileged party and a political police. It is not our duty at this time when difficulties are so numerous to interfere forcibly in the internal affairs of countries which we have not conquered in war, but we must never cease to proclaim in fearless tones the great principles of freedom and the rights of man which are the joint inheritance of the English-speaking world and which through Magna Carta, the Bill of rights, the Habeas Corpus, trial by jury, and the English common law find their most famous expression in the American Declaration of Independence… “
“…From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an iron curtain has descended across the Continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia, all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and, in some cases, increasing measure of control from Moscow. Athens alone — Greece with its immortal glories — is free to decide its future at an election under British, American and French observation. The Russian-dominated Polish Government has been encouraged to make enormous and wrongful inroads upon Germany, and mass expulsions of millions of Germans on a scale grievous and undreamed-of are now taking place. The Communist parties, which were very small in all these Eastern States of Europe, have been raised to pre-eminence and power far beyond their numbers and are seeking everywhere to obtain totalitarian control. Police governments are prevailing in nearly every case, and so far, except in Czechoslovakia, there is no true democracy…”
Many in the United States did not want to hear this, in 1946. A huge effort was being made to beat swords back into plowshares. American military expenditures plunged from nearly 40% of the American GNP during World War Two to down around 5% just afterwards. The war had forced America to hugely increase its military from roughly 350,000 to at least 12,000,000 men, (some sources count 16,000,000), and, with roughly 60% of that force comprised of military men who didn’t volunteer and were drafted, huge numbers of men (and some women) wanted out of the military. They wanted to go home, and raise a family. The shift of so many from war-based-employment to the ordinary pursuits of working men made peace as great a shock to the economy as war was. Furthermore, few homes had been built during the Great Depression, and nearly none during the war, and now all the returning soldiers all required housing. People in the United States figured there were problems enough, inherent with facing peace, even in the United States which had no bombed cities, and that places which had seen cities leveled would be even more interested in building. Who in their right mind would desire more war and destruction?
Mao was who. Why? Because for him the war was not over. He must “liberate” Asia and the world from “imperialism”. He consequently brought horror to peaceful lands, certain he was improving society. He was not much different from the Spanish Inquisition believing it was righteous to chop off the hands of Native Americans in Mexico, because they were “heathens” who needed to be brutalized into seeing the Truth. Mao, like Stalin, felt he was pushing mankind to a higher and better level, by being brutal.
Ordinary Americans of that time appear in many ways baffled by the attitude of communists. In 1945 China and Russia were our friends. How could they be shooting at us in 1950, only five years later? Much of the United State’s policy seemed conducted midst bewilderment and confusion. For example, when hostilities resumed in Korea there was a need for Sherman tanks. Where were all the tanks we built to fight Hitler? In city and small town parks, where they had been placed as monuments to World War Two. Just imagine the dismay of peace-loving townsfolk, as mechanics arrived on town commons to rewire engines, and the tanks were then taken off the pedestals and went clanking up onto transport trucks.
Now skip ahead to young soldiers finding themselves yanked from plopping nickles into American jukeboxes and from slurping at ice-cream sodas, to being plunked into hellish battlefields in Korea.
The United Nation’s “police action” in Korea surged from the the 38th parallel to the extreme south, to the extreme north, south again and north again. However I will skip all that, and merely describe American soldiers laughing in a situation which no politically-correct person would think was a scene anyone could even smile about.
Korea has hot summers and frigid winters, and the laughable event occurred during the summer’s heat. The situation was this: After a savage fight, exhausted American troops were slumped in a farmer’s field. It was a period of relative calm which no one would call peace, except a soldier. The summer sun was beating down, and the soldiers were so tired they had not the strength to form a burial party to deal with the corpses of North Korean soldiers bloating all around them. What they desperately needed to do was to drink water and eat some food, but no one had much of an appetite, with not only dead bodies all around, but the hot and humid air thick with the stink of excrement, because Korean farmers fertilized their fields with human feces. The sergeant of this squad had to get his troops nourished so they would have the strength to stand up to an expected counterattack.
Most of the squad were were teenagers, or barely over twenty, (as the draft of that time had a deferment for people who had served in World War Two), but the the sergeant had seen action in the past, and seemed very old to the young men. He was described as a a heavyset man with an square, jutting jaw and a sour expression, stereotypical for a sergeant, but his age wasn’t stated.
If he lied about his age when he joined the army (as was quite common back then) he may have been as young as 28 or as old as 52. If he claimed to be 21 when he was only 17, he might have joined in 1918 (in the great excitement of that time), or in 1939 (to escape Great Depression poverty and unemployment, and also perhaps to escape working for FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corp). In any case he was “an old campaigner” and had experience on the battlefield. Korea was the third ferocious war that the United States had seen in thirty-two years. The sergeant had likely served in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, Southern France, and Germany by 1945. He knew it was important to eat, no matter how horrible the restaurant was, so he attempted to set a good example, as the veteran in the situation. Perhaps he berated his squad for complaining, but then sat on some wreckage, stolidly chewing a spam sandwich despite the fact the bloating body of a dead invader lay right in front of him. No matter how disgusted he may have felt inwardly, externally he was stoic, munching with machismo. But just then the dead body in front of him, due to decomposition creating gasses in its guts, produced a long, loud, and bubbling belch. The sergeant’s immediate and involuntary response was to vomit the entire sandwich he had just eaten.
His squad’s reaction was to promptly dissolve into helpless, weeping laughter. After looking around with a wounded expression for a moment, the sergeant began laughing himself. The prolonged laughter was the last thing any of the men expected, and was amazingly relieving and refreshing, and was an event one of the soldiers recalled with vivid clarity years later.
The humor in the situation is not all that different from the humor of seeing a pompous snob slip and fall on ice, the primary difference being that that sergeant was able to laugh at his own discomfiture. What is more surprising to me is that some politically-correct people, sipping drinks far from the battlefield, seem completely unable to get such a joke, and rather look down their noses at the resiliency of the human spirit. They seem to display a dour intellectual skill at downplaying courage, and to instead see joy in grim circumstances as a type of mental illness, as masochism, or sadism, or some other warped behavior, and to justify their disdain with extraordinary psychobabble.
The simple fact of the matter is that suffering cannot kill the Truth, and in fact can make appreciation of Truth keener. Not all hearts are hardened like Stalin’s when broken. Stalin is purported to have stated, regarding his first wife, “She softened my hard heart, and when she died I never again (was soft)”, but the poet John Keats, if anything, grew more tender due to the suffering he experienced nursing first his mother, and later his younger brother, as they died of tuberculosis. His beautiful “Ode to Melancholy” states:
“…Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows, Emprison her soft hand, and let her rave, And feed deep, deep upon her peerless eyes.
She dwells with Beauty—Beauty that must die; And Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips Bidding adieu; and aching Pleasure nigh, Turning to poison while the bee-mouth sips: Ay, in the very temple of Delight Veil’d Melancholy has her sovran shrine, Though seen of none save him whose strenuous tongue Can burst Joy’s grape against his palate fine; His soul shalt taste the sadness of her might, And be among her cloudy trophies hung.”
In a way Keats is merely speaking a truism commonly expressed as, “You’ve gotta pay the dues if you want to sing the blues.” When the politically-correct seek to avoid suffering they inadvertently deny themselves much that is most beautiful.
An amazing example of a poet finding beauty in hell is the war-poetry of Wilford Owen. Owen seemed a poet specifically born to tell the truth about the trenches of World War One, for fate had him survive, against all odds, until the final week of the war. (His mother received the telegram announcing his death as the church bells rang, celebrating the war’s end.) Various psychobabble tends to degrade the compassion he felt for his comrades-in-arms, (and even for the Germans he killed), as “homoerotic”, when in fact he was a somewhat delicate, prissy poet who adored green fields and flowers, yet was plunged into the exact opposite. The spiritual crisis he went through, and the amazing maturation he displayed, (moving from “songs of innocence” to “songs of experience” like William Blake), deserves admiration and not psychobabble.
Basically he wrote most of his best poetry when in a hospital, before returning to the trenches. We have rough drafts he never had time to fine-tune. In some ways it portrays a mind experiencing flash-backs, (what is now called “post-traumatic-stress” but back then was called “shell shock”). He simply tells the truth. One great poem describes witnessing the death of a fellow soldier who didn’t quite get his gas mask in place in time, and how “as under a green sea, I saw him drowning.” He describes the slow torture of a man gradually dying as lungs fill with blood, and mocks the statement that to die for one’s country is a glorious thing.
However, midst the realism of describing the true hell of war, he also describes the true heroism of the soldiers, and how in that heroism is both beauty and joy. In “Apologia pro Poemate Meo” he begins, “I, too, saw God through mud…” and concludes:
”…I have perceived much beauty In the hoarse oaths that kept our courage straight; Heard music in the silentness of duty; Found peace where shell-storms spouted reddest spate.
Nevertheless, except you share With them in hell the sorrowful dark of hell, Whose world is but the trembling of a flare, And heaven but as the highway for a shell,
You shall not hear their mirth: You shall not come to think them well content By any jest of mine. These men are worth Your tears: You are not worth their merriment.”
The above poem, with its echo of “Ode to Melancholy”, does an amazing job of both describing the sheer, unnecessary hell of war, and also the heaven of brotherhood which appears among men in deplorable circumstances, from factory-floor to storm-at-sea to the gruesome landscapes of war. But who is the “you” Owen speaks to, at the end? It seems (to me) to be the politically-correct, who mix the oblivion of ignorance with downright condescending psychobabble. People undergoing shell shock don’t need psychobabble; they likely can only be truly helped by another who has been through similar hell, who has faced the crucifixion of simple men, (and who understands Christ truly did sweat blood before his humiliation, for they have witnessed ordinary soldiers undergoing hematidrosis.)
One mysterious poem among Owen’s notes contains amazing assonance, and also describes meeting a German soldier who he bayoneted the day before, in a dream. He may not have shown the poem to anyone. Reluctance would have been understandable, for one knows what psychobabble would state, about the peculiar “vision” he shared in “Strange Meeting.” In the eyes of many, dreary, so-called pragmatists, “Strange Meeting” is but the raving hallucinations of a shell-shocked madman.
Yet one needs to also ask, what is so sane about war? The First World War was basically a disagreement between Cousin George and Cousin Willy, and began with prancing horses and fancy uniforms. It was suppose to be “over by Christmas,” and there was even a somewhat accidental and unofficial truce in 1914 on Christmas, when the German and English played soccer in No-Man’s-Land.
The soldiers in the above picture faced trouble, for they were “fraternizing with the enemy”, and their starched superiors demanded “discipline”. Not that the men were immediately willing to stop “fraternizing” with their new friends, but when the officers ordered the artillery behind the lines to start firing on Boxing Day the men had to return to their trenches. The killing resumed, and it does not take too long, when friends standing beside you are cut down, before feelings of incidental friendship turn to hate. But I think the episode demonstrates war’s origins lie not among the ordinary soldiers, who the politically-correct like to call “low”, but rather among the “high”, the erudite sophists greedy for power. And perhaps it also explains why poetry gets along so poorly with politics, (unless you include mocking limericks).
I’m preoccupied working on my “Manifesto”, and am currently involved studying the madness of the French Terror, and Stalin’s purge of all Russia’s successful farmers, and Mao’s “Cultural Revolution”, because the way some people fanatically insist Global Warming is real despite all evidence presented to them reminds me a little of the Red Guard.
Trying to argue with the Red Guard was a bit like arguing with a Freudian, only rather than seeing everything as sexual they saw everything as political. (Don’t the above gals look lovely? But they couldn’t wear make-up, for either it was evil because it was “traditional’ or was evil because it was western and “imperialistic.”)
Who the heck needs all that? I’m in the mood to run away to the North Pole and just watch sea-ice for a bit.
For a while now there has been high Pressure towards North America and Greenland, and Low pressure towards Eurasia, which sets up a cross-polar-flow from the Pacific to the Atlantic.
This has pulled a feeder-band of milder and moister air from the Pacific up over the Pole.
This is not as dramatic as the surging feeder-bands that came north from the Atlantic last winter, but it has caused a spike in the temperatures north of 80 degrees latitude.
And I suppose this has the Alarmists very excited:
I hate to mention to them that these surges push the colder air from the Pole south, and we in North America are going to be freezing our tootsies off for the next two weeks. So I won’t. Instead I’ll point out some interesting effects this has on the sea-ice. It is moving differently from last year. The south winds have pushed a lot of sea-ice from Bering Sea through Bering Strait and built a wall of thicker ice to the north, towards the Pole:
On the far side of the Pole the south winds become north winds, and push the sea ice south where it was getting pushed north last winter. Last winter there was great excitement among Alarmists when the open water of a polynya opened north of Greenland as the ice was pushed north, and also because there was less ice in Fram Strait and around Svalbard, but this year the ice has come crushing south, flushing through Fram Strait and crunching up against the north coast of Greenland and Svalbard.
The movement of the sea-ice gets me wondering about a couple of things. The first is how open the Northwest Passage will be this summer. It looks like there won’t be much ice in Bering Strait, but I’m a little worried about that wall of ice north of the Strait. It is liable to be chunky and contain piled-up pressure ridges and be slower to break up than usual, and any north wind could bring it to the northwest coast and create an impediment as yachts turn the corner to head east to Barrow.
Once east of Barrow the sea-ice ought break up fairly swiftly, as south winds much of the winter have pushed the thicker ice far out to sea. (The light blue sea-ice is over six feet thick. the vivid blue sea-ice is roughly 3 feet thick, and once the sea-ice gets lilac-purple it is less than three feet.) Down by the Mackenzie Delta it is only around a foot thick, not due to spring floods (as they don’t get going until April) but due to offshore winds. It would take a major shift in the weather patterns to crunch the ice back south to the coast.
As one heads further east next summer there will likely be problems, as the passage east of the Makenzie Delta and south of Parry Channel is very jammed with ice.
Further east, the eastern part of Parry Channel has been surprisingly mobile for the depth of winter, and over the past 45 days a lot of the ice flushed east into Baffin Bay and joined the parade of sea-ice heading south towards Newfoundland, along with a few far larger icebergs that have calved off glaciers. In a sense it seems a reflection of the Pacific-to-Atlantic press. Once again the Canadian Ice Service is noting many icebergs off Newfoundland. In fact this is the fourth winter out of the last six that the “extent” of sea-ice flushing out of Baffin Bay and down past Newfoundland (blue bar) has crept above normal (green line).
Last winter, when Newfoundlander fishing boats became trapped, a young “climate scientist” theorized the increase in ice was due to ice which had formerly been “fast ice” to the north being melted free by Global Warming. The problem with his theory was that the increased levels of ice were getting back to former levels, after ten years of reduced ice (which some had claimed was itself a sign of Global Warming, before the levels recently increased.) Also, way back between 1871 and 1873, the ill-fated Polaris expedition sailed up to the very top of Baffin Bay, and a group of survivors drifted on an ice floe from Nares Strait clear down to Newfoundland in the dead of winter. The sea-ice has always been very mobile.
This brings me to the second thing I’ve been wondering about, which involves the effects of an increased export of sea-ice into the Atlantic. This difference between last winter, which saw sea-ice prevented from surging south by “wrong-way-winds” in Fram Strait, (or at least slowed), and this year, when the flow has been assisted by a Pacific-to-Atlantic flow, might assist the study of such effects.
I wonder about this because back around 1816-1817 there was an amazing export of sea-ice south, with whalers noting open water north of Greenland yet icebergs grounding on the coast of Ireland. Some think this may have so chilled the water of the North Atlantic that it lead to “The year Without A Summer” in Western Europe in 1817.
The Arctic Sea must always be exporting sea-ice and very cold water, because it imports water four ways, and can lose little due to evaporation. Even though the Pole receives little precipitation and is sometimes described as a “desert”, air heading north is nearly always moister than the air heading south, which means moisture is left up there. Second, the northern tendrils of the Gulf Stream reach the Arctic Sea, ramming water north. Third, some of the largest rivers in the world pour into the Arctic Sea. (The Lena River is described as “tenth largest”, but I think it may be second or third largest when it is in full flood in August; its water-levels can rise sixty feet.) Lastly, the north-facing glaciers of Greenland and the Canadian Archipelago calve huge bergs.
The export of water occurs in cold currents down the east coasts of Asia, Greenland and Baffin Bay, and the Atlantic receives far more than the Pacific. The water heading south in a liquid form is more dense than warmer water, and at a certain point dives beneath the warmer water. In fact between Iceland and Greenland in Denmark Strait, where the bottom gets dramatically deeper, the cold current plunges down in a manner I have heard described as an “underwater Niagara Falls.” However the sea-ice, (whether the thinner chips of frozen ocean, or huger bergs calved off from glaciers), cannot sink beneath the warmer waters, and instead sails right into the warmer waters, significantly chilling it. Therefore I’ll be watching to see if the Atlantic becomes colder, perhaps influencing the weather in Western Europe.
The ambiguity of the situation is that it is opposite of what some Alarmists suggest. Less ice left up in the Arctic makes it colder, not warmer, to the south. If it chills the Gulf Stream heading north, then, after a lag, it can make it colder in the Arctic Sea as well. I wonder if this fluctuation could play a part in the roughly sixty year oscillation of the AMO.
I’ll be watching to see if there is any decrease in the “volume” graph. Last year, when sea-ice was prevented from coming south, there was an unexpected increase in “volume” that surprised many Alarmists, beginning in February. This year, so far, the “volume” remains above last year, but I’ll be keeping a sharp eye on it.
In terms of “extent” (which means little this time of year, as there still is little or no sunshine to reflect, and “albedo” is not much of a consideration), we may have already passed our winter “maximum”. Alarmists will be dismayed it already beat last year’s (by a hair). Once again the “Death Spiral” is debunked. Not that the facts ever penetrate certain thick skulls.
I’m taking a break from working on a sort of Grouchism Manifesto, (wherein I am more focused on the somewhat idiotic socialism involved with Global Warming, rather than the actual science), to note a change I’m observing up at the Pole.
Currently the big news is an arctic outbreak, bringing record-setting cold to the area just west of the Great Lakes in the central USA. This frigid air is being swept south and then east, crossing over the Great Lakes and generating big lake-effect snows, but, because the lakes are incompletely frozen over, the arctic air is being warmed somewhat in the transit. Therefore, here in southern New Hampshire, (east of the Great Lakes), it was “only” -6 degrees F (-20 degrees C) yesterday morning. (We can get twenty degrees colder, when the arctic outbreak comes directly from our north, and crosses no lakes.)
Usually, when a loopy jet-stream brings such extreme cold south, an invasion of milder air is sucked up to the Pole. Somewhat surprisingly, though an inflow is currently heading up over Barents Sea as a “feeder band” to an anomalous area of low pressure at the Pole, (IE: “Ralph”), the Pole is remaining quite cold, for the time being.
Last year at this time the arctic outbreaks were resulting in surges of milder air up to the Pole which pleased Alarmists greatly, (though I have always felt such “warmth” is largely lost upwards to outer space, and seems to do little downwards, in terms of increasing sea-ice.)
This year there hasn’t been upward spikes, so far. In fact temperatures have even dipped below normal for the first time since last summer:
I am actually expecting a dramatic upward spike in the red line of the above graph. After all, when so much cold air heads south it must be replaced, and the replacement seemingly must come from a warmer south, and (unless the air comes north from a frigid Siberia) such south winds are mild, and also hold moisture. Moisture is a big topic.
Even a small amount of moisture is a big deal at very low temperatures, because temperatures cannot drop below the dew point, and when you are talking about the humidity of air at temperatures between thirty and forty below zero, a lemming’s yawn can raise the dew point. Therefore air that to us (and our lungs) would seem bone dry can create a fog bank at the Pole. Any time the winds tear open a lead in the sea-ice sea-smoke rises from the exposed water. Although that salt water is a degree or two below the freezing point of fresh water, it steams like a cup of hot tea in the extreme cold. Locally temperatures rise, not merely because the exposed water is sixty degrees (F) warmer than the air, but because the latent heat in the steam is released as it solidifies as frost and grains of frozen fog. In like manner even a small amount of moisture coming north should spike temperatures in the arctic. (Joe Bastardi explains how a degree-above-normal in the arctic requires very little evaporated water, while a degree-above-normal at the equator involves an enormous amount, and therefore it is like comparing apples to oranges to combine the two temperatures into an “average” for the planet.)
In other words, a measure of energy besides “temperature” is the amount of moisture in the air, (because it takes energy to convert (“boil”) liquid water to gaseous water vapor). It therefore follows that the very dry air at the pole holds far less energy than the tropical air of the equator. Even the bone-dry air of the Sahara Desert holds enough moisture (and energy) to, (if such air could be instantly transported north), form a fog over the arctic, at minus forty. Even that bone-dry air holds enough water to raise the dew point, and temperatures cannot be below the dew point. Consequently the addition of even slight moisture to the polar atmosphere spikes temperatures in a manner all out of proportion to what the common sense of lower latitudes expects. A twenty degree rise from minus forty to minus twenty is roughly the equivalent of a degree rise at temperate latitudes, and a quarter degree at the equator.
Hopefully this explains why it is wrong to see temperatures at the Pole in the same light as temperatures at the equator. It is all wrong to give the same weight to Polar temperatures as to Equatorial temperatures, and wronger to dream up a worldwide “average” by combining the two. In terms of energy, they are not even in the same ballpark. The Pole is like a five year old child kicking around a soccer ball, and the Equator is like a professional in the World Cup. The average between the two is more or less a meaningless metric, and to say the skill of the world’s soccer-players has increased greatly because the five-year-old learned much by age six doesn’t mean much about the quality of play in the World Cup. In like manner, to have a spike in polar temperatures influence the metric of World Temperatures is a bit absurd.
At the Pole, the amount of water required to raise dew points, (and therefore temperatures) ten degrees is so small, by tropical standards, that it approaches becoming ludicrous. The tropics involve as much humidity-increase in the air between 10:00 and 10:20 on a typical morning. A big equatorial thunderstorm likely holds more water than the entire arctic, in the dead of winter. Yet a degree of temperature rise in the arctic has the same weight as a degree of temperature rise in the tropics, in the minds of some Alarmists.
I look at upward spikes in the above DMI graphs without the hysteria of Alarmists. I see them as intrusions of humidity to the Pole. No big deal. Unless it is a big deal that the jet stream is loopy, and that the exchange between arctic and tropics (which keeps our planet in poise, and has done so for billions of years) is enhanced.
My personal view is that when our planet has achieved a degree of relative poise, we see a zonal flow, with less exchange between the arctic and the equator, but, when things get out of whack for various reasons, we see a loopy flow.
As we are currently moving from a time when the sun was very “noisy” to a time the sun is apparently becoming “quiet”, we should not expect poise, because things are not the same. Rather we should expect a period of adjustment, which should be marked by a “loopy” flow.
One observation I have made is that, rather than chilled air descending on the Pole and creating high pressure, we see anomalous low pressure, which I have dubbed “Ralph”, whirling at the Pole, fed by “feeder bands” of southern moisture and relative mildness. This winter we’ve seen a continuation of this phenomenon, with most feeder bands coming from the North Atlantic, but recently some feeder bands coming up through Bering Strait from the Pacific. Currently we see a weak “Ralph” over the Pole.
Once I am confronted by the present tense, I see all sorts of reasons for Ralph to fade away. For example, in the above map the high pressure over the Kara Sea is not drawing North Atlantic moisture, but continental air from west of Siberia. But I currently have not the time for the day-by-day details I once was fascinated by. Let us just skip ahead from isobars to isotherms:
I prefer this isotherm map. It confirms my personal bias, and avoids all the inconvenient reality of isobars. The isotherm map show a nice, neat feeder-band of Atlantic moisture hooking up to Ralph at the Pole, allowing me to skip questions I haven’t the time to wonder about. But still it confronts me with a wrench in the works.
What is the wrench? Well, in simplistic terms it is that the Pole is too cold. With feeder bands feeding north, it should be warmer. Last year the temperature spiked upwards. This year (so far) it hasn’t. Even as my personal bias is confirmed I am challenged, because something isn’t the same.
The increased cold seems to be showing in the sea-ice volume graph:
I should mention that the calculation of “volume” of sea-ice involves much that can be criticized, despite the above graph being the best that can be expected, considering the challenges. I myself preferred to deal with “extent”, because that formerly was what really mattered . “Extent” is only the surface, and is therefore superficial, but, in terms of the the original Alarmist “Death Spiral” argument, the surface was all that mattered, because it was the surface that reflected the sunlight, and that made all the difference. Alarmists stated, using the word “Albedo”, that less extent would mean more open water, and, as ice is white and water is deep blue, less extent would result less sunshine being reflected and more sunshine being absorbed, resulting in warmer water. Warmer water would result in less ice. Less ice would result in more absorbed sunshine, resulting in less ice. It was a vicious cycle, a “Death Spiral.” The only problem was: It didn’t happen. In fact “extent” increased.
Only then did Alarmists shift to talking about “volume.” They suggested the sea-ice was continuing to decrease, and the increase in “extent” was only a skim of ice, as the bulk kept right on shrinking. (This didn’t matter, in terms of their “albedo” theory, for an inch of white ice reflects more sunlight than six feet of dirty ice,) And their new argument was hard to rebut. If you look at last year’s “volume” at the start of 2017 you can see it was near the lowest recorded. But this year?
This year we are nearly back to a so-called “normal”. How is this possible, if we are in a vicious cycle? The so-called “Death Spiral” was suppose to feed on itself. It was suppose to escalate. The black line on the above graph debunks the Alarmist arguments about “shrinking sea-ice volume” without me needing to become involved.
Never mind that they mocked and derided me in the autumn of 2017, when their ideas about shrinking “volume” made some shred of sense. Never mind that they mocked and derided, scorned and belittled, many others. Don’t expect they will ever apologize. Apology requires a bigness, and spirituality, which they singularly lack. Rather than apologize, they will seek some new, seemingly-scientific-way to scorn those who only want the Truth recognized.
And what is the Truth? The Truth is the volume of sea-ice has increased. (if you trust the data.) The Truth is that it is colder this year, so far, than last year, at the Pole. And, in terms of “extent”? Well, let us take a look:
The above graph shows we are above the last four winters, in terms of “extent”. Rather than proof we are in a so-called “Death Spiral”, the above graph might be used to suggest that we are past the bottom-of-a-cycle. Perhaps sea-ice is increasing. Some might see hints we are at the start of the next ice age.
I am skeptical about the start of an ice age, but I have to confess there is currently more proof of that, than of Global Warming.
The fact some Alarmists cling to to the idea that the “Death Spiral” is a reality, despite the weight of evidence, suggests that something besides science (or even common sense) is involved. That is why I am working on my Grouchist Manifesto, rather than focusing on the down-to-earth beauty of actual isobars. We are no longer dealing with facts and science, but are dealing with a “belief”.
You’ll just have to forgive me for departing from the reality of sea-ice for a while. It just seems that, when you are dealing with “beliefs” you enter a different world, a world which can involve both spirituality and derangement. Eventually I’ll post a 20,000 word essay about times in world history when societies have become deranged, and share my thoughts on this matter. For the moment I’ll just note that the “Death Spiral” continues to be rebutted, yet some insist they still see it happening.
As always there are year to year variations in where the sea-ice is thickest and how it is moving. For example, last year at this time there was more thick ice in the East Siberian Sea:
There is an urge to cherry-pick what parts of the arctic one focuses on, in order to confirm one’s bias. For example, an Alarmist would tend to focus on the East Siberian Sea, which has less thick ice this year:
The problem with giving-in to the tendency to confirm ones own bias is that a year later whatever you were using as “proof” tends to stop confirming your bias, which makes you appear to be a bit of a fool, unless you develop a short memory and conveniently forget what you used as “proof” the year before. For example, all the hullabaloo about shrinking sea-ice “volume” heard fifteen months ago has been replaced by the sound of crickets, now that “volume” has increased. To a person with a longer memory this merely makes the foolish appear more foolish. One has the sense some people are rushing hither and thither, from “proof” to “proof”, acting very excited about next to nothing and exclaiming “eureka!” far too often.
In actual fact all the shifting and changing of sea-ice is fascinating, and may very well be hinting at some general pattern or cycle; it just doesn’t happen to be a “Death Spiral.” I wish it was hinting at a warmer climate, as that would be beneficial to mankind, but currently that does not seem very likely.
One interesting change from last year involves the amount of sea-ice flushing through Fram Strait. Last year there were “wrong way winds” from the south, and the usual discharge of sea-ice through the strait was slowed and at times even reversed. Last February the ice was even pushed north, away from the north coast of Greenland, and the polynya of open water along the coast made some Alarmists very excited, as they felt it was a sign the ice was melting (when it was merely moved.) This year is more normal, and the sea-ice is piling up against that coast, and far more is flushing down the east coast of Greenland. In fact, if I were an Alarmist, I would point out that a greater “volume” of ice is exiting the Pole, and use that to explain why the increase in the “volume” graph is merely temporary, and insist the sea-ice is actually decreasing. (The problem with this idea is that, when more sea-ice flushes down Greenland’s coast in a solid state it cannot sink, as the cold East Greenland Current does, and instead, because it is bobbing along at the surface, it cools the surface of the Atlantic south of Iceland, countering the warming effect of the Gulf Stream, and sometimes cooling Western Europe, and also Barents Sea, which may lead to increased sea-ce in Barent’s Sea.)
There also seems to be more ice jamming into the central part of the Northwest Passage, which could spoil things for people attempting the passage next summer. I would find this disappointing, as I like to follow their adventures.
February should be interesting. I’ll be watching to see if temperatures remain cold up there. While cold temperatures seems to distress some Alarmists, it does not necessarily result in thicker ice, because the lack of warmth can lead to fewer storms. Storms smash up the ice more and expose more water, which increases the amount of water able to be frozen, and leads to larger pressure-ridges, which increases the volume without necessarily increasing the area. So I’ll be watching to see if any big “Ralphs” form, and also to see if any strong gales associated with high pressure appear.
The chill at the Pole may be associated with a “Strat-warm” event. Joe Bastardi has an elegant explanation of events he has noted follow each other, leading up to and following such an event. I’m not certain of the cause-and-effect involved, but when things have followed the same sequence a number of times the sequence itself earns a validity even if you don’t understand why it happens.
The first thing noticed is an increase of thunderstorms over the western Indian Ocean. If you want to be a bit dramatic you call it an “explosion” of thunderstorms. It is an area much larger than a cyclone in the Bay of Bengal. Huge amounts of warmth and moisture are uplifted. This affects the stratosphere, especially to the north, on the far side of the Himalayas. Temperatures rise quite dramatically, by fifty degrees or so, and one sees this area of warmth, (cherry red in the animations of upper atmosphere maps), expand and enlarge northward until it is over the Pole. This is a “strat-warm” event. The warming of the stratosphere causes it to expand, pressing down on the troposphere below, and the squashed air beneath is squeezed south. It is nearly as regular as clockwork. “Strat-warm” events are followed by arctic outbreaks to the south, usually around thirty days later.
This sequence causes my poor brain to wonder about all sorts of things I can’t yet fathom. For example, shouldn’t the downward push of the expanding stratosphere create high pressure at the Pole? What the heck is “Ralph” doing, sitting up there? Also shouldn’t sinking air warm, like a Chinook? But the sequence does its dirty work without bothering to answer me. And I must admit I’m a bit nervous about what February and March will bring, here in New Hampshire. This winter reminds me a little of 1969, which I think was a “strat-warm” winter, and which saw Boston basically paralyzed by the “Hundred Hour Snowstorm”. I think we only had four days of school that February (admittedly there was a week’s vacation mid month) (and which I thought was proof that God does exist, as I didn’t like school). There were two big storms, and very nearly a third in early March which just barely was rain, in Boston, (leading to floods), but up here in New Hampshire that third storm was snow, and I’ve seen pictures of grinning old-timers, proudly standing with their snow shovels by cleared driveways, with the snowbanks by the driveways ten feet tall. I’m not so tough as those guys, and doubt I’d be grinning.
But back in 1969 the sun was “noisy”, while the current sun is observing silence. The ingredients are never the same, when dealing with what our Creator dishes out, which we call “meteorology”. One needs to have no preconceptions, and stay on ones toes.
In any case, the “strat-warm” is only one of several possible causes for the colder Pole. I hope to find time to discuss some other ways that distant oceans may effect the production and release of cold air at the Pole, but my thinking is still incubating, at the moment.
I will state, as I have stated before, that one of the cycles we see hinted at, in climate records, is roughly sixty years long, and sixty years ago was 1959, when there were no satellites giving us the wonderful data we now take for granted. We actually have only a very basic and rough idea of the changes that were occurring in 1959, and this means we are in many ways currently seeing that part of a “sixty-year-cycle” for the first time. We need to expect the unexpected, as the various changes or “phases” of that “sixty-year-cycle” are an unknown.
The Beaufort Sea is nearly completely skimmed with ice, at a date it was barely half ice-covered two years ago, and only three quarters ice-covered last year. This is a handy bit of sea-ice trivia I park in a holster, to use when nit-picking with Alarmists. If they insist upon cherry-picking certain data from certain warmer parts of the arctic, I am perfectly capable of counter-cherry-picking right back at them. Anyway, in my book cherry fights are far better than knife fights, (though about as red).
In Alarmist circles, nearly all eyes are focused on surges of Atlantic air, with occasional injections of Pacific air, rushing up to the Pole, and fueling anomalous low pressure I have nicknamed “Ralph”. This creates a definite warm anomaly in the DMI temperature-north-of-80°-latitude graph.
This suggests to some Alarmists that the Pole is warming, but there are some glitches in their gladness. For one thing, these warm surges have been going on for about as long as I’ve been talking about “Ralph”, and may be due to the “Quiet Sun” being at rock bottom minimum. The autumns showed above-normal anomalies in both 2016 (left) and 2017 (right).
If warm air surging to the Pole truly resulted in “less ice”, we should see a decrease of ice over the past three years, but we have not seen it, at the sea-ice minimum. Therefore Alarmists focus at the period after the minimum, where indeed extents are at low levels.
One should immediately be curious how the extent can be below normal, since we began this post mentioning how there was more ice than in recent years in the Beaufort Sea. The answer is that there is less ice on the Eurasian Side of the Pole. This actually remains a good year for making the Northeast Passage, even as it was a bad year for making the Northwest Passage. The arctic coasts of Eurasia remain ice-free, as the arctic coasts of North America are ice-bound.
Indeed things seem a bit lopsided in the Arctic, with things for Alarmists to cherry-pick on the Russian side, with counter-cherry-picking available on the Canadian side. This even includes the yearly increase of snow cover, which is ahead of schedule on the Canadian side but behind schedule on the Siberian side (although there is snow well inland from the Siberian coast in the above map, it should extend farther south towards China by now.)
There are certain short-term possibilities the current pattern might bring about, that we should be watching for. For example Hudson Bay is completely surrounded by snow, which may hurry its yearly freeze. The fact the Kara and Laptev Seas look like they may remain open later than usual may attract storms to track along the Siberian coast, and also cool the water (which would ordinarily be protected by ice, and allowed to stratify, with colder but fresher floodwaters from rivers like the Lena over warmer but saltier (thus dencer) sea-water sliding beneath.)
Lastly, if the Atlantic pumps heat north, dislodged northern cold must exit somewhere else, and so far it seems to be exiting east of Alaska, heading straight south through the Canadian Archipelago, across flat prairies and continuing south all the way to Texas. The “Ice Age Now” site has reported grain farmers in the Great Plains having problems harvesting due to early snows.
Though I live far from the arctic, people in these parts do become alarmed to some degree when our food is threatened, depending on our level of awareness. Also worry about potentially cold winters can be upsetting to those poor (and often elderly) who may have to chose between food or fuel. It is little concern to such people if the arctic is “only” -10°C, which is +10° of normal, when the displaced cold air drops temperatures to -20° of normal in Arizona.
It may well be that the increased sea-ice in the Beaufort Sea is indicative of the sort of nasty winter where a ridge builds up the Pacific coast of North America, bringing south winds to Alaska and pleasing Alarmists up there, but bringing the arctic plunging south, east of the Rocky Mountains.
It is interesting that both NOAA and Weatherbell see the sort of winter that plunges the Southeast USA into cooler weather, but NOAA sees merely “normal” cold in the Southeast, whereas Weatherbell sees nasty cold. (NOAA left, Weatherbell right:)
The above predictions will be a good test of the skill-level between the public sector and the private sector. (I could go off onto a rave at this point, but will save it until after Weatherbell triumphs. I expect they will, as they do not exist due to the beneficence of moronic socialists like Al Gore, but exist purely due to being better at forecasting than the public sector.) (Sorry. That was a rave, after all, but at least I kept it within parenthesis.)
The above also shows that both socialists and meteorologists are seeing the same thing. They both see the current pattern is heading the same way, and both know that a “current-pattern” has a sort of momentum that extends into the future. However I have seen patterns change, and I’m staying on my toes, watching for signs of an unexpected change. (I find that is the best policy to have, regarding the weather, for only God knows the future with absolute certainty, and is proved correct.) (Alarmists know the future with absolute certainty, but stated the arctic would be ice-free by by 2014.)
What is being seen is a “loopy” pattern, where warm air is brought north, dislodging cold air which comes south. Largely it all balances out. It is a case of six of one or a half dozen of the other. The planet’s temperature is currently less than two tenths of a degree “above normal”, and Al Gore looks foolish for stating “The planet has a fever!” The average healthy human’s temperature varies more than that, during an average day, without thinking any sort of “fever” is involved.
However I don’t deny things look different than a decade ago. I think we are seeing some changes, (or should be), because of the “Quiet Sun.”
In the short term, it may look like the quieter the sun gets, the warmer it gets:
Unfortunately the above chart fails to show sunspot cycle 19 was much bigger than 21 or 22, (and 18 was also big; bigger than 22 but not 21). So the start of the above graph is showing a hidden effect. But what is the effect?
We have actually measured an increase in cosmic rays bombarding the earth, as the sun goes quiet, which may increase the cloud cover. However I also noticed there were more La Ninas back when the sun was “noisy”, and more El Ninos now that the sun has gone “quiet”. It could be coincidence, but I have a hunch the energy of the sun may effect trade winds, making them ever so slightly faster when the sun is “noisy”, and ever so slightly slower when the sun goes quiet.
These very slight differences, immeasurable by our clumsy instruments, have big consequences. (Don’t roll your eyes. I’ve put up with years of Alarmists telling me a tiny change in the amount of a trace gas can have giant consequences, and I’ve been respectful, as I know a small pebble can cause a big avalanche. But, though I have been patient, we have seen no “avalanche”, connected with CO2. So now it is my turn to suggest a different tiny change can be the “pebble that starts an avalanche”. I expect Alarmists to be as respectful to me as I was to them.) (Unlikely.)
The thing of it is this: The best and most brilliant scientists may look a bit like morons, when it comes to predicting when a La Nina will shift to an El Nino, and vice versa. Whatever brings about the change is a force too small and too subtle to measure with our currently crude computers and currently too-clumsy instruments. Therefore I fall back on what we do know. And what we do know is that increased trade winds effect the up-welling of cold water that occurs hand-in-hand with La Ninas, and decreased trade winds decrease the upwelling, which goes hand-in-hand with El Ninos’ warmer surface waters.
We also know both El Ninos and La Ninas feed upon themselves up to a certain point, and then become authors of their own demise. La Ninas involve clear skies, which eventually allows the sun to warm waters, which encourages El Ninos. El Ninos, on the other hand, encourage cloudy skies, which cool waters, which encourages La Ninas. In other words, it is an oscillation. But why were there more La Ninos when the sun was noisy? And why are their fewer now the sun is quiet?
I don’t know why. But it seems it happened. I’d like to throw out this idea, which involves counter intuitive thought.
When the sun gets “noisy” the trade winds increase in some slight manner that effects the tipping-point between El Nino and La Nina. There is more up-welling of cold water, so the planet appears colder even as the sun is hotter. Cooler weather causes the tropical sky to be clearer, and consequently the tropical oceans are absorbing more heat even as the planet appears colder.
Currently the opposite is the case. There is less up-welling of cold water, so the planet appears warmer even as the sun is colder. More warmth increases the clouds in the tropics, so those seas are actually cooling even as they release more heat to make the planet warmer, for they are no longer absorbing so much sunshine.
These contradictions can’t go on forever. The contrary thought involved is too contrary. Eventually the colder sun will result in a colder planet. A new tipping-point will be reached, and a new swing of a new oscillation will dramatically change things. The oceans will run out of extra heat supplied by the noisy sun of cycles 18 and 19, and some new pattern will appear, and likely blow our minds.
I hope I live long enough to see it happen, because I love to see our Creator surprise us with his Majestic stuff. But in the meantime I’m happy watching the counter intuitive reality which includes the sun getting quiet, but the planet getting warmer.
There is one place where it has gotten colder when the sun is “quiet”. It has been the Pole, when the sun is shining. Summers have been colder at the Pole as the sun has gone quiet. It is a slight difference, less than a degree Celsius, but quite obvious in the DMI graphs going back to 1958. It is a cherry Alarmists refuse to pick, preferring to look at the above-normal temperatures apparent at the Pole when the sun doesn’t shine. I suppose you could call cooler-summer-temperatures a choke-cherry, for Alarmists find it distasteful when I pick it as a sort of counter-cherry-picking.
However it is also very significant, I think, outside of the silliness of cherry fights. Because the Arctic Sea is far from the Trade Winds, and, because it remains ice-covered through much of the summer and “upwellings” can’t effect air temperatures until patches of open water are seen in August, it is a sort of labratory where the effects of noisy and quiet suns can be seen without the intrusions of other, busy-body variables. And what do we see? We see the quiet sun is, in fact, cooler.
However this coolness is, in and of itself, a pebble that can trigger another avalanche, involving a different oscillation, different from the oscillation between La Ninas and El Nino’s. This different oscillation is the switching between a “Zonal” pattern and a “Meridional” (loopy) pattern.
My guess is that when the “quiet sun” makes the Pole colder even as it makes the tropics warmer, it creates an imbalance, and the way the planet ends this imbalance is to shift from a Zonal pattern to a Meridional (loopy) pattern. The excess warmth in the tropics finds a faster route to the Pole, where it is radiated to outer space. Because this milder air is displaced northward, the cold air that ordinarily resides over the Pole is bumped southward, bringing snow further south and somewhat “accidentally” further cooling the planet, as the albedo of southern snows reflects a lot of sunshine.
At this point my jaw starts to drop, and I stand in awe of the Creator. After all, these two oscillation are but two out of many “variables.” It is like we are trying to gauge the music of a Beethoven Symphony by watching an oboe and third violin. People who focus on CO2 are trying to measure a symphony by watching a little old man over to the side whose sole job in the majesty of the swelling crescendo is to ding a triangle, once in a while.
Meteorology is a awesome and majestic subject, but I fear we puny mortals are reducing it to complete absurdity, and missing much that is wonderful in the process. It reminds me of a hilarious scene in the French farce, “The Tall Blond Man With One Black Shoe”.
The entire movie is well worth watching, but you will have to scroll ahead to 41:00 to see the scene that I feel resembles the farce we have made of meteorology.
In a particular French orchestra, a male kettle-drum-player is married to a female harpist, but she is having an affair with the first violinist. If this disharmony wasn’t a bad enough wrench in the works of a group of people supposedly dedicated to making harmony, the first violinist has been mistaken as a foreign spy, because he wore one black shoe and one tan shoe at an airport. (An added disharmony is that the second-in-command of the the French spies is attempting to replace his boss.) In any case, the music which this situation produces is nothing like Mozart intended.
I like to think that the reason God doesn’t just sizzle us with a lightning bolt, for our foolishness, is that he is helpless with laughter, because to Him we look like the orchestra in the above movie. We, of course, take ourselves far more seriously, though not even I can match the seriousness of Alarmists.
Meanwhile the symphony of God’s creation is quite capable of proceeding without us. It does not require our understanding to manifest. Currently warm air streams up toward the Pole through the North Atlantic, fueling incarnations of “Ralph” around and over the Pole.
Yet in only 36 hours the transport of all this warmth into the North Atlantic can trigger a North Atlantic gale far larger than hurricane, (but largely unnoticed, as no one lives where they are centered.)
Even though these huge gales are caused by warm air, they have a completely opposite effect on Europe, as they drag cold air from Fram Strait past Iceland and east across Europe, creating yet another counter-intuitive situation: Warm air coming north can make Europe cold. (Credit to Weatherbell Models, for map seen below.)
Considering weather so often proceeds in a manner that is counter-intuitive, you might wonder why I find any delight in it. I suppose the reason I find delight in it is the same reason I find delight in the music of a master like Bach, Beethoven or Mozart. I think I am following the thread of their music, and can predict where it will go next, but they surprise me by taking off into a rhapsody I never expected. Although they prove me wrong, I delight in what they reveal.
In like manner, weather is constantly taking off into a rhapsody meteorologists didn’t expect. Good meteorologists are grateful for the chance to see something new and learn more. Bad meteorologists take offence.
Most absurd are non-meteorologist Alarmists who not only take offence when the weather proves them wrong, but think they themselves can control the weather. Maybe they don’t throw virgins (or Skeptics) into volcanoes, but they do buy curly light bulbs.
Don’t get me wrong. I do not deny the possibility men can to some degree control the weather, but if it occurred it would likely be more probable to occur if one respected the Creator than if one denied there was any such thing as a Creator. In other words, if there was such a thing as an Author of the amazing creation we live within, and people failed to see how amazing and how like a miracle ordinary days are, and had the nerve to suggest the everyday miracle could be bettered, the Author might be inclined to favor those who prayed over those who refused to do anything so silly as pray, and instead thought it was wiser to virtue-signal their political correctness by buying curly light-bulbs.
In other words, though I have no scientific proof, I think the person more likely to control the weather might be a small child praying for a white Christmas, whereas an atheist buying curly light bulbs would have no effect whatsoever.
Be that as it may, the weather largely proceeds in a miraculous manner, displaying harmony we but dimly comprehend, obeying laws we have yet to discover. Appreciate it.
Sea-ice thickness, October 19. Last year to left, this year to right:
It is interesting to note that last year the Laptev Sea had completely flash-frozen, while this year it is wide open. It is an area to watch, to see if it flash freezes shortly, or remains open. Hudson Bay is another area to watch for a flash freeze. (Flash freezes are interesting, as the freeze actually releases a lot of heat that was held as latent heat in liquid water.)
The increase in sea-ice along the coast of Alaska does not make up for the missing ice in the Laptev Sea, and this largely explains why the “volume” graph is back to low levels.
One thing to watch for, in terms of the “volume” of sea-ice, is how often the flow goes the “wrong way” in Fram Strait, as opposed to how often sea-ice is flushed out of the Arctic and down the east coast of Greenland. Last year a “wrong way” flow in late February led to open water north of Greenland as sea-ice was shifted north, but also to increased “volume” as the sea-ice piled up in the Central Arctic. (Alarmists picked the cherry of open water, and I counter-picked the increased volume, which was typical for cherry fights.) Currently the sea-ice is surging south in Fram Strait due to the enormous Atlantic gale, but this is common in the autumn.
The sea-ice totals vary greatly, depending on how much is exported south through Fram Strait. 2007 had a low extent due to a large export. Last year had much less export. One thing which affects the export is the positioning of the enormous Atlantic gales. When they are shifted over towards Europe there is more export. Last year the gales tended to slam into Greenland. (So Alarmists picked the cherry of less sea-ice in the Greenland sea, as I counter-picked the increased snows and consequently an increased mass-balance of ice on Greenland itself.)
Two things I can confidently predict.
First, the cherry fights will continue. Have fun, and don’t let them escalate to knives.
Second, the symphony arctic orchestra will play on, displaying a divine harmony.
The reporter was only attempting to add a bit of drama to his report, but likely was not on the best of terms with the man holding the camera. If it were not for the two people casually strolling by in the background (which an adept cameraman would have made sure not to include) his acting job would have been quite convincing. Instead he will be held up as yet another “epitome of fake news”, (and also will likely have to bear some nickname such as “Staggers” for the rest of his life).
This hype is old news in many ways. Here is Anderson “pooper” Cooper reporting from the gutter during Hurricane Ike.
The accompanying hysteria seemed to be reaching “jump the shark” proportions. I cannot help but wonder how many take the media claims that “It is all Trump’s fault” seriously.
The level of inanity astonishes me, and demands some sort of push-back. I was glad to see the “Watt’s Up With That” website immediately produced a series of posts countering the politicized editorials spewed by the mainstream media. Especially encouraging was a parody of media hype produced by firemen, for it seems to indicate ordinary people are not gullible “sheeple”, and see through the hype, and find the media laughable.
Besides reducing the hysteria of the media to absurdity, it is important to factually counter their wild claims. I think Dr. Tim Ball did an excellent job in the following post, first by examining Hurricane Florence from a meteorological standpoint, and showing it was in many ways a fairly normal September hurricane at landfall, and second by pointing out how insurance companies stand to profit from hysteria. (Especially interesting and informative were his insights about how such storms “flatten” as they come north.)
I feel it is important to arm yourself with facts and figures, despite the fact some Alarmists will simply shout you down by screeching you are a “Denier.” Admittedly it can be scary to face a mob, and some elements of current politics has the definite feel of a witch hunt. One wants to duck for cover, for one feels like Dr. Frankenstein facing villagers bearing pitchforks and torches. But during such times I remember the importance of the character “Jojo” in the classic “Horton Hears A Who”, by the great American poet and master of anapestic tetrameter, Dr. Seuss.
Yes, it is important for every voice to be heard, for a grain of sand can start an avalanche. Do not allow yourself to be shouted down.
I’ll admit the struggle does get tiresome. It’s been going on for decades. I myself was first jolted awake to the element of nonsense within “Climate Science” when I opened the November, 2006 issue of National Geographic, as it was devoted to hurricanes and I had a long-time interest in such storms, and came across a article by “weepy” Bill MCKibben called, “A Deeper Shade Of Green”. It began,
“This is the year we finally started to understand what we are in for. Exactly 12 months ago, an MIT professor named Kerry Emanuel published a paper in Nature showing hurricanes had slowly but steadily been gaining in strength and duration for a generation. It didn’t gain widespread attention for a few weeks — not until Katrina roared across the Gulf of Mexico and…”
I knew enough trivia about hurricanes to recognize the article contained sheer balderdash misinformation, and began attempting to correct the record in small ways, but my efforts seemed to have no effect. Bill McKibben got lots of publicity generating hysteria that failed to verify, while I was either ignored or rebuked as a “denier.” However 2006 marked a clear increase in the number of “Skeptic” sites where you could be heard. As McKibben’s nonsense went on and on, year after year, he faced increasing push-back. I finally got a long and detailed rebuttal to his hysteria published at WUWT in 2012.
Long and detailed rebuttals didn’t seem to have the slightest effect on Weepy Bill himself, or on the more ardent Alarmists. They simply refused to respond. But this refusal to respond made their arguments look increasingly like they lacked any substance. They were like those hollow paper tubes that hold rolls of toilet paper. More and more they seemed to be using empty political slogans rather than any points that were remotely debatable. Getting hit by these empty slogans was like getting bopped over the head by a paper tube. All they did was rob you of a degree of your dignity, but they failed to make the attacker look civil, and did make them look a little insane.
The ineffectiveness of political slogans, and the failure of such propaganda to fool indoctrinate the public became apparent with the Brexit election, and the election of Donald Trump. At this point a certain degree of desperation set in, felt by those whose livelihood is dependent on empty slogans. However, if you only have empty slogans to use, using them more and more frantically persuades no one.
At this point I think it might be interesting to go to a network noted for slogans, MSNBC, and examine the introduction to a so-called “analysis” of the news. Usually such an introduction passes quickly as a stream of blather, but we shall slow it down and parse the sentences. If we analyse the analysis we can see if it is connected to reality, or not.
The speaker is Katy Tur and she begins,
“President Trump says FEMA is ready for Hurricane Florence but mounting evidence suggests it could be incredibly difficult to deal with this disaster if climate change deniers are on the front lines…”
Excuse me? Is there anything an Alarmist can do that a Skeptic can’t, on the “front lines?” Does an Alarmist have a witch doctor’s wand they can shake at the waves to make them retreat? No. In fact even the UN’s highly politicized IPCC report can see no “trend” in hurricanes, either increasing or decreasing, in recent years. If there is no “trend” there can be no “trend” caused by man, which therefore suggests there is no way puny humans can turn these mighty storms left or right.
In terms of the present tense, when Hurricane Florence battered our shores we didn’t need Climate Scientist’s theory from ivory towers, which accomplishes absolutely nothing, but rather we wanted hard-nosed people who understand the logistics of coping with a hurricane’s effect on our infrastructure. As is the case on battlefields in the fog of war, or on ships at sea in storms, it doesn’t matter if you are black or white, Republican or Democrat, religious or atheist, or even Alarmist or Skeptic. All that matters is the capability and grit you display, under the stress of a hurricane.
Katy’s next sentence is this appeal to authority:
“…A new study from the Princeton University is echoing the findings of previous research showing climate change as the cause of ocean conditions that produce fast storms like Hurricane Harvey…”
Oh brother! Hurricane Harvey was a slow storm, not a fast storm. Harvey’s excessive rainfall would have been less devastating if it was spread out over several states. However the hurricane stalled over Texas, and all the rain fell in one place.
In actual fact I doubt people at Princeton University are so ignorant, nor that they “echoed” any other “study” so ignorant, that that called Hurricane Harvey “fast”. Rather this is an example of atrociously bad reporting, and the above point is an attempt of an imbecile to look like they hang around with college professors. It is as silly as the video of the man staggering in a calm that began this post. It is an appeal to authority by a moron attempting to look like a genius by donning a white lab coat. (I won’t blame Katy, but rather the writer who wrote the balderdash she mouthed.)
(By the way, I fully expect to soon see a report stating that slower storms are caused by Global Warming.)
Her next sentance is:
“…NOAA is suggesting it’s 3 degrees Fahrenheit above average…”
The “it’s” Katy is referring to is the “ocean conditions that produce fast storms like Hurricane Harvey”, however NOAH doesn’t need to suggest. The have actual satellites that produce actual data. So let’s look and see if the ocean is three degrees Fahrenheit above average.
Oh! I see. The “it’s” Katy says NOAA is referring to isn’t the entire ocean. “Its” an area off the Northeast USA coast extending towards Europe. Elsewhere, the southern hemisphere is largely below normal. And Hurricane Florence actually formed over below-normal waters over towards West Africa. But never mind that. Let us proceed to the point she was driving at.
“…Where does the Trump Administration stand on climate change?…”
Eh? How does that follow? A sort of leap in logic has occurred. Is this a case of the-hand-is-faster-than-the-eye?
As best as I can figure, Katy has leaped from NOAA “suggesting” that some vague “it” is three degrees above normal, to politics. The assumption must be that “it” proves Global Warming is real, and now we should hurry on to how Trump is dealing with this “reality”. However we will need to come back later, and look more carefully at the “it” she has so hurriedly hastened away from.
“…President Trump rolled back Obama era mandates for leaks and oil and gas wells…”
Now we have completely left the topic of meteorology. We are into the fields of economics and energy production, and also public safety. The state of our infrastructure is a topic of interest to me, and well worth discussing. On September 13 a leaky gas line, (and perhaps a foul-up in the pressure in the lines), caused 60 fires and chaos not far from where I now sit and type.
I will return to this subject later. (But please note the solar panels on the above house.)
For the time being, let us continue with Katy’s logic:
“…These rules were part of Obama’s three part strategy for combating climate change.”
Whoa! Wait a minute. How did we get back to meteorology? I thought we were talking about leaky gas mains and infrastructure.
All in all Katy Tur has provided us with a splendid example of an intellect that fails to think deeply, or move cautiously. Instead she leaps from topic to topic with a splendid disregard for investigative reporting. In this manner she avoids that which would give a more ordinary thinkers reason to pause. It ignores the advice, “The buyer beware.” (I could likely sell her the Brooklyn Bridge).
I don’t really want to take Katy to task. She’s putting on a show for the cameras, just like the reporter in the video at the start of this post was putting on a show for the cameras. The above quotes were from Katy’s intro to an interview with “Bill Nye the Science Guy”, who also is hard to take to task, for he too is putting on a show for the cameras. And then Katy moved on to interview the former “White House Climate Change Task Force’s Director Of Communication”, (a position that paid a six-figure taxpayer-funded salary, which President Trump has abolished.) But what, may I ask, is a “Director Of Communications”? It is not someone in charge of putting on a show for cameras?
All these people putting on shows for the cameras are merely doing the job they are paid to do. If they show a falsehood, don’t blame them (though they must bear a certain shame for doing the job they do). Blame those who create the job, hire them, and pay them.
But the so-called “infrastructure” does not care how you look on camera. It must obey a fundamental reality or it fails. If you put too much pressure into the gas mains, big troubles can ensue. Allow me to be redundant and repost this picture:
This poor home-owner lost his house despite his virtue-signaling solar panels. Was his loss due to “Climate Change”? No, for the weather was nice. Was it due to “Climate Change Politics”? I suggest the answer is “Yes”. Why? Because too much focus has been on how things look on camera, and too little attention, time, and money has been placed on the basic facts of basic engineering. The infrastructure is not a thing thing that cares for cameras. A politician’s blandishments and pretty talk mean nothing to a rusting pipe. You cannot bribe a gas main.
Look again at the virtue-signaling solar panels. They are not very effective when the sun sulks down by the horizon, this far north, in December. Nor can wind turbines replace them, for our coldest weather occurs when the Arctic Highs are cresting, and the “Montreal Express” ebbs to a dead calm. At that point both solar power and wind turbines supply the infrastructure nothing, and we must turn to fossil fuels, or freeze. As coal power plants were “phased out” by the prior administration, natural gas became increasingly important as a “back-up” for “sustainable” energy (which isn’t sustainable, because it can’t sustain itself in a midwinter cold spell.)
But when neglected infrastructure, (neglected because Alarmists demanded attention be elsewhere), breaks down, the usual suspects reappeared, including the nemesis of sanity “Weepy” Bill Mckibben. (He tends to show up after every disaster, licking his chops like a vulture). Within hours of the Massachusetts explosions and fires he tweeted, “The Massachusetts gas explosions are a good reminder of the many reasons we need to get off fossil fuel.”
I am so sick of this “progressiveness”. In any disaster it holds the helpfulness of a hyena. It waves hands vaguely at some future prospect, and does absolutely nothing to remedy the current crisis, and (what is most annoying) it gets rich doing so.
What McKibben was suggesting in “A Deeper Shade Of Green”, way back in 2006, was that Katrina was the first of many massive hurricanes that would smash into the USA, due to mankind’s production of CO2. Time has proven him completely wrong. There actually have been fewer major hurricanes in the past thirteen years than his dramatic article, (containing the same appeals-to-university-authority that Katy employed), warned us to expect. In actual fact there have been fewer hurricanes than a ordinary scan of history would lead us to expect.
Can he be held accountable? According to some readings of the Old Testament, when a man stands before other men and states he is a prophet, and then, when what he prophesies does not come true, he has proven himself a “false prophet”, and the societal remedy is to haul him to the town green, and stone him to death. Fortunately for Weepy Bill we don’t follow this practice any more, perhaps due to Jesus stating, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” This is not to say he doesn’t get stoned, but if so it his own doing, perhaps due to what it is now legal to smoke in Massachusetts.
What annoys me is that some continue to heed such people, taking them as an authority despite the fact they have proven themselves persistently wrong. It does not help us with the real task at hand, which is to keep our infrastructure is the best possible shape, and to repair it after benchmark storms.
Rather than hype, the public should be informed about what is possible, which involves a clear comprehension of what a “benchmark hurricane” is.
A benchmark hurricane a worst-case-scenario. It is the worst storm a particular area has a record of.
As one moves up and down any coast one discovers the “benchmark hurricane” differs, because the worst winds and storm surge associated with a hurricane are in its eyewall, (usually the part with onshore winds), which in some cases can be a surprisingly tight area. For example, driving south of Myrtle Beach in November, 1989 I witnessed, moving through Surfside south towards Murrell’s Inlet, the devastation rapidly increased as one neared the place where Hurricane Hugo’s path plunged inland. Driving north, on the other hand, to North Myrtle Beach, (to where I once lived), there was only slight damage, and the relieved residents were joking about how they hadn’t needed to evacuate. But I could point out to them a place where I had put in a garden, behind the house where I had formerly lived, and explained that as I dug I found scattered bricks, from a hotel a hundred yards down the beach that Hurricane Hazel smashed in 1954. I stated they were wise to evacuate, for the weather bureau can never be exactly sure where a storm will make landfall, and if Hugo had veered fifty miles north the situation in North Myrtle Beach would have been entirely different. In any case, Surfside had Hugo as its “benchmark,” while North Myrtle Beach had Hazel. (An area between was spared the worst of both).
The word “benchmark” came from a mark a workman might put on his workbench as a handy reference point, so he would not have to take out a tape measure and re-measure over and over. It serves the same purpose for engineers, who must design structures to handle bad weather. They look to see what is the worst Mother Nature has dished up in the past, using it as a reference point, and then look to see if they can design anything that can withstand such fury.
The answer is seldom, “No”, which surprises some people. The Bible advises against building on sand, but the engineer’s answer is “Yes, you can build there, but it would be extremely expensive; do you have a couple billion dollars handy?” In such cases they are not building on sand, for they put in a deep concrete foundation, and build a sort of bunker.
The buyer, (and often the taxpayer) beware. Often the engineer is disappointed, and rather than a billion dollars only gets a hundred thousand. For example, there are rivers in Texas that are usually dry, but occasionally rampage due to tropical storms. An engineer could design a costly suspension bridge over the gully, or a cheap ford over the river bottom which would be closed when the river was in flood, and likely need to be replaced on a regular basis. The customer then looks in his wallet, and makes a choice.
There are some sections of coast that, for whatever reason, are luckier than others, and have dodged the bullet and therefore have less devastating “benchmark hurricanes”. In these cases engineers raise the benchmark, for they think the luck will not last. Perhaps they studied a channel cut through a nearby marsh, and noticed that within the layers of peat there were occasional layers of sand, washed all the way inland from the beach, during massive storms that occurred before records were kept. With the help of geologists they can determine the likelihood of such huge hurricanes, and advise customers about the likelihood of such a storm, giving us terms such as “once-every-500-year-storm”.
In Europe, where records have been kept longer, there are records of times the North Sea went on a complete rampage, and villages and parts of entire counties vanished, and on maps areas went from being land to being shoally seas. Because this is actual history the Alarmists should not use the word “Unprecedented” for modern storms in Europe, but history never seems to stop Alarmists from being overly dramatic (and therefore inaccurate) about the present.
Engineers need to be economical. A small road in a small town can’t afford a giant culvert for a small brook, to handle a once-every-500-year-storm. The taxpayers will pay for a small culvert, and then pay to fix the road if they have to. For this reason a wisely devised emergency-management-plan seeks to predict damages, not to prevent any and all damage from ever occurring.
When I was living in Myrtle Beach I was a bit scornful of everyone building on land that was only three to six feet above high tide, and one time I haughtily informed a construction worker that another Hurricane Hazel would wash away all his work with a twelve-foot storm surge. He smiled cheerfully at me and stated, “That will be great for construction workers, for we’ll have to build it all back again. You’re not going to stop people from enjoying the beauty of this beach.”
A few years later I returned to inspect the damage after Hurricane Hugo, and down past Surfside came to a stretch of beach where nothing but pilings remained of the beachfront homes. They had all been built atop twelve foot pilings, and only the pilings remained. Each and every house was a block or two back from the beach, smashed into other houses. But then I noticed a lone beachfront house remained. The garage beneath the house was gone, and the staircase up to the house dangled brokenly in mid air, but the house remained. As I looked at it and scratched my head a local fellow came up to me and asked, “Wondering about that house?”
“I don’t know why, but that fellow paid a bit extra for longer pilings, and his house’s floor was three feet taller than the rest.”
Surfside was a terrible mess, but now it is all cleaned up and people are enjoying vacations at the beach again.
And what is the moral of all this? It is to be practical. It isn’t to ban beautiful resorts in beautiful places, but to enjoy the best while being ready for the worst, with a wise contingency plan.
We also need a plan of how to deal with the Alarmists who have become addicted to a way of making money from the imaginary danger of Global Warming. They may number in the millions, if you include all government jobs, and they are facing a hurricane of their own making. They have mortgages to pay, children to clothe and feed, car-payments to make, but are facing homelessness, for the political construct they depended on is going to be swept away.
Either it will be swept away by wise choices and sane behavior, or by the social insanity of civil war, but it simply is not a sustainable construct, despite all the bather about “sustainability.”
I was going to headline this post “Polar Temperatures Plunge”, but that would too obviously be “click-bait”. Also, despite “the plunge”, temperatures are still above normal at the Pole, and therefore such hype would be misleading.
Alarmists resort to such hype all the time, so I suppose I could say, “they started it”, like schoolboys after a brawl. And some, for example Tony Heller at the Real Climate Science Site, can be forgiven if at times they simply make factual statements that perhaps are incomplete, and leave it up to Alarmists to complete the picture.
As an example (of my own invention), in the graph below the “spike” ends with a plunge back towards normal. One might measure that plunge (I haven’t), and might discover it was the biggest fall in temperatures between February 26 and February 28 on record. Then one could call it an “unprecedented” fall in temperatures in the headline, and only mention in paragraph twenty-two (if at all) that there have been greater plunges on other dates, and that temperatures are still above normal, and also that there may have been greater plunges back before records were started in 1958. In this manner one would tell no lies, but serve the ball back into the Alarmist’s court, and force them to run around digging all up the data that would counter the impression created by your headline. Alarmists certainly deserve such treatment, because they have been forcing Skeptics to play this sort of ball since 1986.
Today I am not in the mood to play ball with Alarmists, for the weather phenomenon we have just witnessed is more interesting than they are. I’m sorry if this hurts their feelings. I know how they love attention. I will mention some of their hype in passing, but largely focus on the pattern, and all the things it suggests to my over-active imagination.
For those in a hurry, the pattern first developed a cross-polar-flow from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and then went through an amazing flip that turned it right around to a cross-polar-flow from the Pacific to the Atlantic. Big deal. You are dismissed.
For those in less of a hurry, here are the details:
When I last posted the play-by-play maps, we wound up with a fascinating double-inflow to the Pole.
WARNING: POPPYCOCK AND BALDERDASH ALERT
Those who follow my posts know I suffer from an over-active imagination. Many scientists do not suffer from this problem. They have no imagination at all.
I freely recognize my abundance of imagination may see things that are not actual fact. For example, once when I was far at sea, very hungry, and a long, long way from a good meal, I looked up at afternoon cumulus tainted a Rembrandt yellow-orange, and I’ll be danged if the clouds didn’t look like something. They didn’t look like a lamb or a fluffy puppy, or anything simple like that, but rather like an elaborate Rembrandt painting of a Christmas dinner, complete with a plump mother bringing in the roast goose. Doubt me if you will, but I could even smell the food. My mouth watered. I shrugged it off as a hallucination; for sailors suffer a sort of partial sensory-deprivation (hand in hand with a sensory-over-stimulation), and see differently than lubbers do, and they have to be on guard lest “sirens” tempt them to jump overboard. In any case, even if I had taken a picture of those clouds you would be unlikely to see what I saw. (Nor would I today, sad to say.) The incredible, beautiful scene was, as they say, a “figment”. It was a figment of my imagination.
Many scientists avoid figments like the plague. Poor fellows. They do not know what they are missing. The reason I turned away from science to art was that I far prefer figments to drab and dreary facts. In fact the divorce between art and science would be complete and terminal, were it not for a few scientists who astounded me by having imaginations, and liking figments. It amazed me that a scientist actually could have a mind.
This happened at an early age, in grade school, during a class I don’t think they teach any more, called “Geography”. A lot of the class was very boring, involving endless factoids regarding what city was capital of what nation, (many of the nations don’t even exist any more, so my memorization was somewhat in vain). However Geography also involved some basic Geology, which caught my imagination. I liked the sea, and mountains, and volcanoes. (Especially volcanoes). Therefore, during the more boring part of the class, my eyes would wander to the maps on the wall. I (along with roughly 200,000 other bored schoolboys) noticed South America was a puzzle piece that fit nicely against Africa. Of course, doing that fitting was a “figment”, but, boys being boys, it happened a lot. And, if you do it a lot, some of the fits of puzzle pieces are extraordinary. For example, the two coasts of the Red Sea fit together like hands to a glove. Still, the idea of land moving, and spreading that far apart, seemed preposterous. Yet, boys being boys, imagination went beyond the books.
Teachers, at that time, mostly taught by the book. If the book said up was down, (or Global Warming was a fact), they would go by the book. And the book, at that time, had an interesting explanation for the erection of mountain ranges. (I remember it because I got an “A” on that test.)
Mountains were erected, “scientists stated”, because the planet was cooling. Once the entire planet was molten lava, “scientists stated”, but it had gradually cooled. As it cooled the surface skimmed over with a crust of cooled lava. Then, as the planet continued to cool, the crust not only got thicker, but it obeyed a scientific law. As things cool they get smaller. (Every engineer knows this, and allows for expansion due to heating and for contraction due to cooling). However the skin of crust on the surface of the earth did not allow for contraction, and didn’t put in the “spacers” good engineers put in concrete sidewalks and highways. Therefore, as the earth shrank, the crust crumpled “like the skin of a shriveled apple,” and mountains arose.
I loved this idea as a boy. The logic seemed majestic to me. But there was a small problem. Back in those days children still knew what a shriveled apple looked like, (because we didn’t import apples from the southern hemisphere, and had to depend on the local supply), and when, towards spring, I took a shriveled apple from my brown, paper bag, (lunch boxes were for snobs), I noted the wrinkles were evenly distributed. On the skin of earth, (I noted when daydreaming at maps in Geography class), mountains were not so evenly distributed. I was especially struck by how mountains were a spine only to the west, in South America.
Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t figure out the theory of Continental Drift by myself, in Grade school. However my over-active imagination was seeing things that didn’t add up. I was in second grade, and Eisenhower was still president, before scientists began the research that, in only a few years, blew the minds of geologists.
What a great time to be a geologist! They were allowed to have imagination.
In only six years I was entering eighth grade, feeling the first dangerous effects of adolescent hormones, and Johnson was president and was confident he could make poverty a thing of the past. I knew all about the new discoveries concerning Continental Drift, for there were Scientific American articles about the subject, and an enthusiastic relative kept me informed. And it was just then I came face to face with an elderly science teacher who was still teaching by the book.
Oh what a glory it was, (considering I was slow to grow and was the most stunted boy in my class), to stand up to this know-it-all teacher and tell her she was wrong. And I have to admit she did respond in a wonderful way. When I slapped the evidence, (Scientific American articles, because it was worth reading back then,) down in front of her, she did not shame me by calling me a “skeptic”. She actually read what I showed her, and actually changed her mind. How I wish Alarmists of today had the elasticity-of-mind which that old lady, close to retirement, displayed. (How many Alarmists actually read Skeptic writings?)
But I blame that glorious moment of my youth for causing me to drift towards being overly imaginative. It is not pragmatic to put too much weight on our imaginations. Even sailors know this, and refrain from jumping into the sea though alluring “sirens” beckon. But I thought “figments” had power, when I mastered my eighth grade teacher, at a height of four foot eleven. It gave me the “figment” (also called the “false impression”) that when I grew to be six feet tall I could master bankers, and they would give me good money to write the “figments” called bad poetry. I was wrong.
So here it is, fifty years later. I am a little wiser. For example, I know President Johnson didn’t eradicate poverty, (first hand), and also think I may understand a little about what Jesus meant when he stated “Blessèd are the poor”. (IE: If you eradicate poverty you eradicate blessings; [take that, Karl Marx]). The most beautiful music and poetry and wisdom springs from suffering. (IE: “You gotta pay the dues if you want to sing the blues”). However this wisdom I’ve gleaned doesn’t matter a hill of beans in the unimaginative landscape of dullard scientists.
I actually like science, for it is a study of Truth, and I apologize to all good scientists for stating scientists lack imagination, but they do. They remind me of myself when I have to do my taxes (which I’m now doing). When doing taxes you have to stop living life in order to sift through receipts, because the nosy government insists on knowing, and gives the IRS great power. And life grinds to a halt. And you can’t help but ask yourself, “Wouldn’t life be easier without receipts? Wouldn’t we get more done without all this paperwork?” In like manner, in terms of imagination, certain scientists are like the IRS. They care more for receipts than for life, in that they care more for data than for discovery.
Me? I am a mad poet, and therefore care more for discovery than data. After all, how are we to know Truth that is not known, if we rely on what is already known, and do not bother discover?
In the world of orthodox science discovery is a laborious process, involving six thousand facts for a single utterance. It’s a long run for a slide so short it amounts to a jolt to a halt. To poets Truth is a heck of a lot easier. Poets just describe what they see. In the world of science this is called “observation”. But poets take it a step farther. How can I explain?
Let me put it this way: In a courtroom a witness is constrained. He can only state what he saw. If he states what he thought, a lawyer will holler, “Objection!” This is in one way being a stickler for the Truth, but it can approach absurdity. For example, if you saw a man jump from the seventh story window, ran downstairs, and saw him dead on the pavement, you’d conclude the man jumped to his death, but the lawyer would object, “But did you see the man hit the pavement?” What a waste of time! Do scientists really insist on wasting time in this manner?
Poets are lucky, for they can tell lawyers to go f— themselves. Scientists can’t, for science is governed by tedious, worldly laws poets don’t need to care a fig about. Who needs figs when you have figments?
However there is a tangent point between the world of poets and the world of science. It exists because both study Truth.
Both study Beauty. A poet who agonized between science (becoming a surgeon) and becoming unscientific (becoming a poet) was John Keats, and one of his most famous poems states, “Beauty is Truth.”
Unfortunately science has yet to come up with a thermometer or barometer that can measure beauty. Karl Marx be damned; beauty is beyond the measure of money and all economists.
Therefore, when I tell you what I have observed about arctic sea-ice, you need to know the observations spring from beyond the measure of bankers and money. It is beyond the measure of data from scientists and thermometers. It is just stuff that is simply, as we say in New Hampshire, “wicked beautiful”. (By the way, the misuse of the word “wicked” originated in New Hampshire. Boston copied us.)
But, to be beautiful, beauty must stand out against that which is ugly (or at least plain). Beauty calls the plain inferior. It seems hurtful to call another’s ideas plain, (or at least inadequate), but some ideas failed to explain what was occurring at the Pole.
I’ve explained in past posts how elegant ideas such as the interaction between the Ferrel and Polar Cell, and the positive and negative AO, failed to describe what Truth showed us was occurring at the Pole. It was a bit like saying mountains arose because the earth shrank like a withered apple. It was an idea that didn’t work, and begged for a new idea. A figment was required.
Because the elegant ideas of hard-working scientists were failing to see what my over-active imagination was seeing, I decided to share what I see in the clouds. Lord knows, I lack data. I’m not funded, and do this for the joy of it.
That is why I issue a “Poppycock and Balderdash Warning”. I’m a witness defying the lawyers by going a little bit farther than actual observations, and suggesting a thing or two (which is what makes poetry different from science).
Those of you who have put up with me for five years, with me tediously prattling while looking at DMI maps of isobars and isotherms in the Arctic, have seen me slowly start to suggest that some ideas which are missed by conventional concepts may be involved. Likely my ideas are comical and unscientific errors, but they are errors based upon fact, and as my ideas are ridiculed and debunked the process will force conventional concepts to be adjusted.
Here are my past ideas in a nutshell:
The above is not a highfalutin theory submitted to a scientific journal for peer review, but rather figments ( more formally called “a preliminary sketch of ideas from a witness’s notebook of observations”). While I respect the elegant and traditional ideas of positive and negative AO and Ferrel and Polar Cells, the recent past has been an exception to their rule, and has in fact made a shambles of their rule. Therefore I’m trying to come up with something that explains the exception to their rule. I don’t mean disrespect, but all rules have exceptions.
The circles represent views down at the North Pole. The upper section holds ideas I had about the anomalous area of polar low pressure that kept reappearing last year, which I dubbed “Ralph.” I concocted an idea the north Pole was like a chimney, and the “draft” had increased through some unknown process, (though I’ll venture some ideas about what controls the “damper” later). I felt the process was aided by the extra heat made available by the “super” El Nino of 2015. As that heat faded I felt the “draft” would lessen, Ralph would vanish, and instead we’d return to the traditional “zonal” flow sketched at the lower left. To my delight I was utterly wrong, and something new and interesting developed. Rather than a single “feeder-band” feeding into a counterclockwise swirl, there were two “feeder-bands” feeding into a clockwise swirl. It was draining off the earth’s heat through the “chimney”, but in an opposite way, like a Ying to Ralph’s Yang. I decided it needed a name, so I dubbed it Ralpheena, and sketched it out to the lower left.
None of this seemed to give me any ability to predict. I was mostly looking backwards and puzzling over what I saw. My lone prediction, (of a “zonal” pattern), had gone down in flames, and I didn’t feel inclined to embarrass myself further. (I knew my forecast was in trouble way back in October, when D’Aleo and Bastardi predicted a negative NAO at the end of the winter, which tends to be very loopy and not zonal.) Instead I decided to simply watch.
For the moment I’ll just post the maps. One thing I found fascinating is how the high pressure swung around to be exactly where Bastardi and D’Aleo said it would be. Those fellows amaze me.
I’ll add comments later. But duty calls.
We begin back on the 18th of February. The isotherms in the DMI temperature maps clearly showed the two mild feeds of “Ralpheena”, one from the Pacific and one from the Atlantic. This persisted into the 21st, at which point low pressure on the Pacific side interfered with the Pacific inflow.
The inflows always create low pressure, because the milder air has to rise in the colder environment it enters. But what goes up must come down, and therefore the inflow will also pump nearby high pressure (though I never am sure where). In the case of “Ralpheena” the high pressure seemed to be atop the Pole.
The Atlantic feed included a big gale that crashed into the southeast coast of Greenland on the 20th. Very cold temperatures in the Canadian Archipelago made headlines up there, but nowhere else (except the “Ice Age Now” site). Milder than normal temperatures in Svalbard did make the mainstream news.
The high pressure started to get nudged off the Pole towards Eurasia by the 21st. The low pressure created by the Pacific feed directed the inflow of Pacific air away from the Pole even as the Atlantic feed was pulled closer to the Pole. The mechanics seemed to involve the Atlantic feed clashing with cold air over the Archipelago, and generating low pressure on the Canadian side, contributing to the nudging of the high pressure towards Europe. The weak low northwest of Greenland could be called a weak “Ralph”. Another gale approached Greenland from the southeast.
By the 23rd the high pressure towards Eurasia was pumped up, and the contrast between it and the Ralph-like low pressure towards Greenland were generating a surge of Atlantic air up over the Pole. The south side of the high was creating east winds over Europe, and a major outbreak of Siberian air was moving from east to west towards and into Europe. Yet another major gale approached southeast Greenland, riding the southerly surge from the Atlantic.
By the 24th the gale hitting Greenland was a monster, with pressures down near 940 mb. Tremendous amounts of snow were increasing Greenland’s icecap. This generates no headlines. The air transited Greenland, releasing much latent heat as it snowed itself out, and descended to the north from over 10,000 feet as a Chinook (or Foehn) wind. Temperatures on the north coast were above freezing for a day, and the strong winds pushed the ice off the coast and created a polynya of open water. This did generate headlines, though the polynya was swiftly freezing over. (Note the temperature maps at no point are above freezing at the Pole).
At this point the hoopla about the “warm” Pole reached a cresendo, I think to counter the news of “The Beast From The East”. (A Dutch commenter noted he could find no Headlines in Dutch newspapers about their canals freezing and people skating, but instead gathered the news from a Turkish newspaper.)
The Hoopla spoke of temperatures thirty degrees above normal at the Pole, open water by Greenland’s coast, a brief time of above-freezing temperatures on Greenland’s north coast, and created the impression that melting was extreme and ongoing. There still was not yet much mention in the media of temperatures thirty degrees below normal roaring from Siberia into southeast Europe, as what came to be known as “The Beast From The East” gathered steam and became blatantly apparent.
Note the “Ralph-like” low forming north of Greenland, where warm Atlantic and Chinook air clashes with the cold air over the Archipelago. (Also note that at this point Bastardi and D’Aleo’s forecast of a blocking high forming over Greenland and Canada looks dubious.)
By the 26th the Atlantic flow is streaming as a cross-polar-flow all the way to the Pacific. Sea-ice is pushed north in Fram Strait and from Svalbard (making headlines) and, for one of the few times this winter, sea-ice is spread south through Bering Strait (making no headlines). Svalbard does experience a thaw, but note that above-freezing temperatures never reach the Pole. Much of the mild air must have risen, which likely, when it decended, was what pumped the high pressure as it started to slide down over Scandinavia. The “Beast From The East” clobbered Europe, south of these maps.
By the 27th the cross-polar-flow startws to be bent and repressed to the Eurasian side of the Pole. A good map from the “Tropical Tidbits” site showed the milder (but below freezing) stream extending all the way to the Pacific, and also showed howslender it was, compared to the bulk of bitterly cold arctic air it penetrated.
What shows less well is how this flow was pinched off, down at its source in the Atlantic. (This is because surface air temperatures immediately look warmer, once over water, even though that air retains much of its chill only a hundred feet above the water.) A west-to-east flow came under the big storms crashing into Greenland even as the high pressure over Europe brought a east-to-west flow (the “Beast From The East”) from the other direction. The winds, meeting and curving up to the north, made the southerly flow increasingly arctic in origin, (though moderated by their passage over the Atlantic). Also the “pinch” formed a gale much further south than the Greenland gales, and this gale, unable to head north due to the high pressure, rolled steadily east towards Spain, driving moisture into the cold air over Europe and creating deep snows.
By 12z on the 27th the cross-polar-flow was disintergrating, and the Ralph-like feature, (complete with the Ralph-like counterclockwise hook in the isotherm map), was forming between the Pole and the Kara Sea. The high pressure had decended over Scandinavia, (with some record lows set over Greenland Norway), and was spreading across the Atlantic to Greenland, which had in 48 hours switched from being attractive to gales to attracting high pressure.
24 hours later high pressure is building strongly over Greenland, and the negative NAO promised by Bastardi and D’Aleo has appeared, as it were, out of the blue. One has to have great respect for the analogues they use, considering they foresaw the development in October, whereas the computer models only started to see the development ten days beforehand (and I couldn’t see how it was going to happen only four days beforehand.)
The high pressure over Greenland pushed the Ralph-like feature down towards Russia, and with remarkable speed (to me at least) we had the situation completely reversed from when there were gales over Greenland and high Pressure over Russia. The Atlantic-to-Pacific flow was flipped around to Pacific-to-Atlantic, with the process completed by March 2.
At this point the cold was building back at the Pole, (ignored by the media) and something interesting occurred. As part of the blocking high settled down into Canada, part was left behind at the Pole. With a plume of milder air feeding north through Bering Strait, I wondered if the pattern was trying to revert to a “Ralpheena” situation, or to become a more “traditional” zonal pattern. The Pacific feed had faded by March 6, so now I watch and wonder. My forecast? “Continued wonder”.
I should mention that the sea-ice blown north from Svalbard hasn’t blown back, but the north winds have grown a fresh skin of “baby ice” over those waters. The sea-ice blown south in Bering Strait is starting to be blown north again. The polynya north of Greenland that the media made such a fuss about is skimmed over. One interesting thing (which I’ll likely write about later) is that the Laptev Sea’s export of sea-ice to the north is less this year; the polynyas that usually form along its coast as the sea-ice is pushed north have been rare. This should decrease the ice in the Central Arctic, but in fact the ice in the Central Arctic is thicker than last year.
I also want to play around with the idea of the Pole as a “chimney”, whose “draw” is controlled by a “damper”, but this post is getting too long.
I’ll close by mentioning that once the high pressure arrived in Greenland it created a classic “blocking pattern”, and we saw a magnificent gale explode off the east coast of the USA:
To the lower left in the above picture you can see the shallow, light-turquoise waters of the Bahamas, with the deeper, darker-blue “Tongue Of The Ocean” penetrating those reefs from the north. Nassau, sheltered at the north of the Tongue Of The Ocean, is protected from all directions except due north. The huge gale was to the due north, over a thousand miles away. Joe Bastardi shared this picture he received from a friend of the breakwater at the mouth of Nassau Harbor yesterday.
I recall sailing into that harbor in far more tranquil conditions. I can’t imagine being down there in a sailboat now. The sky is blue and the sun is warm, but the waves just start getting bigger…and bigger….and bigger….
Up here in New England the huge breakers ate away at the beach by the shore, but all the sand sucked away from the dunes builds an off-shore bar that breaks waves further out, and tends to protect the beach from the next big storm (scheduled to arrive tomorrow.)
I’m thinking I’ll take time off from taxes and bring my grandchildren to the scoured shoreline this coming weekend, to see what the sea has uncovered. (Hopefully a small chest of gold coins). Already the old timbers of a 250-year-old ship appeared from under the washed-away sands, up in Wells, Maine.