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.
I read an article in a Russian shipping-periodical recently that basically derided Americans for being fools about sea-ice. Once sentence, roughly translated, stated, “Two things that don’t go away in the summer are sea-ice and American’s insistence it will.” This demonstrates that Alarmists are making America a laughingstock.
As Alarmist’s error becomes increasingly obvious the only truly alarming thing is the behavior of Alarmists themselves. They resemble a man at a bar defending his beloved home team, when he has had too much to drink. The actual statistics may show that his team is in last place, but one tends to be reluctant to bring such facts forward, because the drunk cannot be relied upon for rational responses, and is clenching his fists.
It used to be fun to debate Alarmists, because they would bring up actual facts and statistics, and this forced me to think. I was constantly learning things I hadn’t known about oceanic currents and atmospheric circulation and the chemistry of the atmosphere and sunspot cycles and the history of the arctic. Now that seems to have largely ceased, as the responses have degenerated to the level of, “Your mother is fat and wears army boots.” Or even, “Fossil fuel leads to child-porn”:
This could be dismissed as the grousing of a sore loser, or of a dangerous drunk at a bar, were it not for the fact many Alarmists are adamantly prone towards socialist thinking of the sort that allows “purges”.
Some of the most disgraceful behavior seen in human history has involved one section of a society blaming another without much rhyme or reason. Christian Germans fought alongside Jewish Germans in World War One, but after the Germans lost that war so-called Christians blamed the Jews for their defeat, and their society went through a decade-long paroxysm of neighbor attacking neighbors. In like manner Russia took umbrage at its more prosperous yeoman farmers when its socialism led to hunger, and dubbed them “Kulaks” (tightfisted), and sent hundreds of thousands to Siberia, with a suspiciously large percentage dying before they even arrived in Siberia. Getting rid of the better farmers contributed to one of the worst famines in Russia’s history. Over and over history demonstrates such hateful “purging” behavior proves to be a case of biting-the-hand-that-feeds, and/or cutting-off-your-nose-to-spite-your-face, and such atrocious behavior towards neighbors should be resisted wherever it appears. Even if such wolves don sheep’s wool, point out their teeth; resist the so-called “resistance”; point out when so-called “Christians” are not Christian.
Partially this involves firmly pointing out when Truth is obfuscated with the shallow, hypocritical deceits of doublespeak. This is a topic that could go on for 10,000 words, but it boils down to being clear and specific, and not getting swept up by waves of generalization. For example, when I speak of the “elite” I need to be aware some leftist protesters don’t have a penny to their name. In like manner when leftists claim they are the “resistance”, they need to be asked to be specific about who exactly and what exactly they are “resisting”. For another example, the word “liberal” means “generous”, but some so-called “liberals” fail to qualify, for what they give is never their own money but instead is other people’s tax-dollars. If you are truly generous your wallet should get thinner, but their’s get amazingly fat.
A second way to avoid the socially disastrous “purge”-mentality is to reduce the other’s arguments to absurdity. This is particularly easy to do, concerning sea-ice. Just as it was an embarrassment to Democrats to have protesters outside their 1968 convention chanting, “The whole world is watching,” it will be equally embarrassing to have protesters outside the 2020 convention chanting, “The whole world is laughing.”
Why is the whole world laughing? Because the doom-and-gloom Alarmists stated the low sea-ice of 2007 was the beginning of the end, and the Arctic would be open water by 2012. They got very excited in 2012, for that was a very low sea-ice year as well, even lower than 2007, and they could shout, “See?!! See?!! It’s happening!!!” The problem was, it wasn’t. The Arctic was nowhere near ice-free in 2012, which proved their 2007 prediction incorrect. They should have been hanging their heads, not dancing in glee. And since then the sea-ice has only increased, which is in direct violation of the “Arctic Death Spiral” theory, (which states decreases should “accelerate”, due to changes in “albedo.”)
It is now seven years since the arctic was suppose to be ice-free. Can you believe it? (Time flies when you are having fun.) Seven years! But will the Alarmists stop their antics? No. Now they are saying it will be 2030 that the Arctic will be ice-free. I likely won’t live so long.
At what point do you stop taking such panic-prone people seriously? Up to a point you try to be polite, but its hard when they are never polite in return, and instead use the word “Denier” like Hitler used the word “Jew” and Stalin used the word “Kulak.” Eventually you simply have to be impolite, and just laugh in their faces.
Reality speaks Truth, and the facts say the sea-ice has been low because the AMO has been in its “warm phase” for most of our adult lives. Now the AMO is hithering and thithering about the neutral state, and will perhaps tip into its “cold phase” within five years.
The reduction of sea-ice extent this spring has been fairly typical for recent years. There is no sign of an accelerating “Death Spiral.”
You’ll have to forgive me if I don’t get as excited by this graph as I used to get. I used to get excited if it dipped into “lowest-for-date” territory, but after following this graph for approaching two decades, (and also studying history), I’ve come to see the behavior as typical for a warm AMO. In other words, it is pretty humdrum. At my age I have to increasingly chose my battles, and it isn’t worth my time to bulge veins in my forehead about what is humdrum.
The “area” and “volume” graphs are also fairly humdrum, but the temperatures-above-80-degrees-latitude graph is worth a comment.
This graph is interesting because it hasn’t followed a pattern established in recent years. In the past decade the temperatures have shown warm spikes during the winters, as relatively moist and mild plumes of air have come north, and then temperatures would abruptly fall below normal in May, once the sun was up and beginning to influence temperatures, and then temperatures tended to remain below normal through most of the summer. This year the winter spikes were far more modest, but temperatures haven’t fallen below normal in May. What has changed?
An honest answer is, “I don’t know.” But I have noticed changes in the “pattern”. There has been high pressure at the Pole much of the spring, with little sign of the anomalous low pressure I used to call “Ralph.” The low pressures have politely circled the Pole down near the Arctic Circle, behaving themselves and obeying the textbooks.
One effect of having high pressure at the Pole is that there are fewer clouds and more sunshine, and, when the sun is up 24-hours a day, this may explain the temperatures in the above graph moving from a degree below normal to a degree above normal. At the same time I need to be cautious that I am not doing what Alarmists do: Deny the facts. The fact is that I assumed the “Quiet Sun” was what led to the cooler summer temperatures at the Pole. My assumption is shot full of holes, so far, and I will be watching temperatures at the Pole carefully, as Spring gives way to Summer.
The high pressure over the Pole has extended south as a “blocking high” over Greenland, which has led to a loopy jet-stream bringing colder-than-normal temperatures in sub-polar regions, especially the Central USA and Northwest Europe. This blocking high will also lead to a lower “ice mass balance” in Greenland, but this is not due to melting (so far in the spring) but rather is due to much less snowfall. (It is important to be aware of such changes, as Alarmists are prone to cherry-picking data; they didn’t like to bring up Greenland the past two summers when the ice-balance was increasing, but the subject will likely be brought up this summer, with ice-balance decreasing.)
Currently the low pressure systems rolling around the periphery of the high pressure squatting on the Pole are becoming a bit larger, and the one between Western Russia and Franz Josef Land has been wobbling east in a manner that encroaches upon the Pole, and is even a little “Ralph-like”. (Typical; no sooner do you figure out a pattern then it changes!) A smaller storm sits in the Canadian Archipelago, and the High Pressure is reduced to a weak ridge over the Pole.
The lows rolling along the north coast of Eurasia have pushed a lot of sea-ice north out of the Kara Sea, and then west and then south into the northern Barents Sea. As always, it is amazing how mobile the ice is. After a fuss about there not being enough sea-ice against the east coast of Svalbard for polar bears, a great deal crunched south, not only against the east coast but even into the west coast regions of Fram Strait, usually kept open by a warm tendril of the Gulf Stream.
There has not been so much “wrong-way-flow” in Fram Strait as last year, and increased amounts of ice flushing south should reduce the volume of sea-ice in the Arctic but may increase the cooling of the North Atlantic.
Across the Pole the extent of sea-ice in Bering Strait has been less, as sea-ice was pushed north there. In terms of the Northwest Passage, both the eastern approach from Baffin Bay and the western approach from Bering Strait seem to be opening up, so I have hopes we may gain some actual pictures from the adventurers who have the time and money to attempt the passage. But I fear they may be discouraged by a major clot of ice persisting in the central passage around 100 degrees west latitude.
It is interesting to note that semi-circle of thicker sea-ice created by the northward push of sea-ice in Bering Strait during the winter. Such features tend to persist, and are helpful when attempting to gauge the flow of the ice during the summer. Often ice-watchers think ice has melted when it has merely moved.
It’s also interesting to see the ice seems to be nudging the coast of Alaska at Barrow. As Barrow is one of the few places left where we have an actual webcam, I thought I’d take a look, and the midnight sun revealed….a wall of fog. Oh well, we’ll wait on that.
Without any buoys with webcams, or any adventurers (so far), there is little eyeball evidence to use, assessing the situation. One can track the paths of buoys without cameras, and surmise the sea-ice is not being flushed from the central arctic:
However I must confess the above squiggles sorely lacks the fascination I derived from the old buoy-webcams. I miss them greatly. If anyone discovers any new ones, please tell me, and I’ll jump for joy. With the hot days of July approaching, views of sea-ice are wanted.
The only other news is that the Hudson Bay thaw has just begun in the Northwest, with the ice still quite thick to the south. While the sea-ice is less in areas of the Arctic Sea’s periphery, it is quite compacted in the Central Arctic.
I have lost a lot of my interest in the arctic, because the nameless “left” has largely retreated from that battle. Not that they have surrendered, and confessed that their “Global Warming” panic was merely a political creation. In the last month one young Democrat running for president (in 2028) has claimed the world will end in 12 years “if we don’t do something” about Global Warming. Not to be outdone, a second Democrat candidate (for 2020) claimed the world would end in only 10 years, “if we don’t do something.” The political posturing gets far more attention than any actual facts about sea-ice, which makes truly interesting science hard to find.
Unfortunately (for such candidates) the public is growing jaded. The situation is like being long ago told, by a commercial, “Buy Now! The sale ends at midnight!” The ploy might have worked the first time, but a lot of midnights have passed since then, and yet the same inane advertisement keeps running. The public has realized the sale really doesn’t end at midnight, and all further exclaiming about such an “end” looks increasingly insincere, if not silly. No one is buying it…….or are they?
I find myself studying the delusion and the deluded more than the actual sea-ice. The arctic sea-ice was suppose to be gone by now. We’ve been hearing the Alarmist guff about an ice-free Pole for at least thirteen years. (I first heard an earlier hippy-version way back in 1971, back when we used to sit around deciding how the world was going to end, so we wouldn’t have to get a Real Job.) This headline’s from 2008:
The only way politicians can continue to repeat such refuted claims, without understanding it makes them look stupid, is because they have been educated that making such refuted claims makes them look wise. Not only have they been spoon-fed untruths, but they have not been taught to analyze and correct. They have “drunk the Kool-aid,” ingesting the poison of false values while blithely thinking it is virtuous to do so. I am turning into an old crank, for while my own children seem to have grown up with brains that function, young politicians make me feel that beyond my walls we have raised a generation of imbeciles.
While I do not like the word “reeducation”, (due to its association with communist atrocities and brutality), it seems to me these brainwashed people need to be awoken to the fact they have been lied to. Not that I advocate any sort of forced “deprogramming”, but mistaken people need to see their mistakes. But such persuasion is never easy, for a number of reasons.
First, the human ego never likes being told it is wrong. Being wrong involves crumpling up neatly-drawn plans and throwing stuff away and going back to the drawing board, which is work. In the game of “snakes and ladders”, facing-a-mistake is a snake, and people prefer ladders. People prefer progress, however, as engineers know, it is far better to face mistakes early, before you build, than to build and then have a building come crashing down. (“Global Warming” may be now be facing a political version of the latter.)
Second, young people have an innocent trust that their teachers know what they are talking about. Some teachers don’t, and only repeat what they see in books, in a robotic manner. It hurts young idealists to have their trust in teachers broken, and to understand some teachers define “teaching” as being more like a parrot, than as being a person who truly understands the subject they are talking about.
Third, people find it hard to believe that their fellow man could lie to their face, willingly and willfully, and with full knowledge they are perpetuating a deceit. One might expect such evil behavior in a “bad guy” with a black hat and twirled mustache who snickers “Nyah-ha-ha” in a movie, but not in someone they feel is a friend. To realize another is treating you as a sucker admits you have been, to some degree, a sucker, (up to that point, at least), and no one likes admitting they’ve been a fool.
The above difficulties are exacerbated when false values include making-money and/or gaining-awards and/or basking-in-the-flattery-of-social-prestige. We tend to prefer employment to being unemployed, financial security to anxiety, acceptance to rejection, and acclaim to being ostracized. Because we cannot get everything we desire, we must at times compromise and, sad to say, some of our compromises are mistakes. For money we compromise when we shouldn’t, for acceptance we compromise when we shouldn’t, for peace we compromise when we shouldn’t, and so on.
In the case of Global Warming the exacerbation was extreme because literally trillions of dollars were involved. In attempting to seek out the origins of the fallacy, one suspects some very rich people had to be at Global Warming’s roots.
For this reason some suspect the very wealthy members of the “Club Of Rome”, (formed over a half century ago in 1968), have been behind much of the Global Warming advocacy. They announced, (in “The Limits To Growth“, published in 1972), that mankind was running out of resources and time. Because they had so much money and power, they seemed to feel God had placed them in the position to save mankind from a disaster, which they felt was sure to come if populations kept increasing as resources ran out. They gloomily foresaw the degradation of the environment to a degree where the entire planet would become an overgrazed, industrial wasteland and desert, (and they based their ideas on computer models, even back when only very rich men could afford computers). In 1970 they foresaw the disaster would be upon us by 1990.
Others pointed out, and continue to point out, that their computer models contained some underlying assumptions that were very pessimistic, and which over the past half-century have proven untrue. Robert Solow, winner of the Noble prize for Economics, described the Club of Rome’s ideas as “amateurish” and “simplistic”. The Club Of Rome in fact didn’t see how innovative humanity can be, when faced with problems. (This has not discouraged the Club Of Rome from continuing to forecast doom, and their computer models continue to foresee the collapse of civilization, now confidently expected to occur in the middle of the 21st century.)
The Club of Rome likely does not stand alone on the pedestal of blame, but they publish their ideas, and therefore are more exposed. After the Soviet Union fell on Christmas, 1991, they didn’t rejoice at the end of the Cold War, but instead worried that mankind would lack an enemy to fight, stating, in The First Global Revolution, “Every state has been so used to classifying its neighbours as friend or foe, that the sudden absence of traditional adversaries has left governments and public opinion with a great void to fill. New enemies have to be identified, new strategies imagined, and new weapons devised.”
Particularly cynical (to me) is the statement by King & Schneider, “In searching for a common enemy against whom we can unite, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like, would fit the bill. In their totality and their interactions these phenomena do constitute a common threat which must be confronted by everyone together. But in designating these dangers as the enemy, we fall into the trap, which we have already warned readers about, namely mistaking symptoms for causes. All these dangers are caused by human intervention in natural processes, and it is only through changed attitudes and behaviour that they can be overcome. The real enemy then is humanity itself.”
This gloomy view of mankind and its future seemed to generate a need to create a scapegoat for man to fight, and furthermore to encourage a sort of “ends-justify-the-means” mentality wherein it was acceptable to lie, in the process of creating the scapegoat humanity could rally around fighting. I don’t know why they didn’t feel they could just tell the truth, but I imagine an element of condescending snobbishness was involved, wherein they felt humanity was just too stupid to be told the truth. In truth they themselves were the stupid ones, for in the end Highest Truth inevitably works its way to the surface, and it is then that liars have egg on their face.
In a sense we are now seeing that Abraham Lincoln spoke truth when he stated, “You cannot fool all of the people all of the time,” but Lincoln began that statement with, “You can fool some of the people all of the time”, and that is what we are now dealing with: A sort of residue of trusting people, brought up to see “carbon” as a scapegoat, and as a foe.
Some describe these trusting people as “sheeple”, which seems a bit snide and condescending to me. I actually find trusting people far easier to work with. But a problem occurs when it dawns on them they can’t trust. An entire range of reactions is then possible, from apathy to panic to fury to humor to a white-hot determination to stand for Truth. History demonstrates that when faced with such duress some nations crumble, while others experience a “Finest Hour”.
It seems plain to me the United States has arrived at such a tipping point. I have no idea how things will turn out, but do know that at such times every voice matters. While it can be difficult and even dangerous to speak the voice of reason among the raging, often such a voice can turn the tide, and has great influence among the silent even if the speaker is shown the door. The “left” has been all too willing to utilize this “voice” in a shrieking and impolite manner, protesting as conservatives attempt to speak, but conservatives must persist, (hopefully in more soothing tones), if the United States is to remain a two-party-system where Freedom, especially Freedom Of Speech, is a way of life.
Therefore, yawning slightly, I will again debunk what has already been debunked. And that is the idea that the sea-ice over the North Pole is in a “Death Spiral”, and also that, if the sea-ice ever did melt completely away, it would have terrible consequences. While debunking I’ll also point out some attributes of the strange mental state called “Alarmism”.
The “Death Spiral” idea is silly because the sea-ice has melted away in the recent past, without terrible consequences, (and in fact likely with pleasant consequences, in many northern lands).
The evidence is there, but there has been an effort to hide it. I know this sounds a bit paranoid and crazy, but in order to create a “narrative” wherein people could become bug-eyed about sea-ice melting, one had to “erase” the fact it has happened before. The most notable incident involved a scientist being told “we have to erase the Medieval Warm Period”. However the effort to “erase” evidence that disproves the so-called “narrative” has been far more widespread and absurd. Because so much money has been involved, it has pulled the strings of weak people who allowed themselves become puppets for the production of propaganda. Meanwhile such manipulation of monies completely baffled the honest scientists, who care far more about science than “propaganda”, even to a degree where they forget to deposit their paychecks at the bank, until the bank (or their wife) complains.
I wish I had the time to entertain you with all the examples of this silliness I have witnessed. The book would be hilarious, were it not for the fact some very decent and honest scientists have abruptly seen their funding denied, because their honesty clashed with the “narrative”.
I don’t have the time, and instead will merely mention the funding dried up, all of a sudden, when it came to placing cameras on the sea-ice on the Arctic Sea. Where we once could see what was going on up there, a sort of iron curtain has fallen. Only four years ago there were, at one point, eight functioning cameras sending us pictures. Now there are none. What happened?
I’ll give you my take, which is that initially the pictures supported the “narrative”, but then slowly such images began to undermine the “narrative”, at which point the pictures were no longer welcome. I know this sounds like a conspiracy theory, but it just seems odd that, even as it became far cheaper to place such cameras, suddenly there was no money available to do so.
Initially the cameras supported the “narrative” because they showed sea-ice melting in the summer. In actual fact, the sea-ice had always melted in the summer, but normal people didn’t know this. (I myself didn’t know this, back when I was normal.)
In fact, the sun never sets for six months, at the Pole. There is no “cool of the evening” because there is no evening. The sun just rides around the horizon, around and around, higher and higher, so of course temperatures rise. Temperatures commonly rise above freezing in May and then, on average, remain above freezing day after day, week after week, all the way to August. So is it any wonder the sea-ice melts?
This has nothing to do with Global Warming. It has been happening for millennium. But the cameras allowed us to see what only a few hundred arctic explorers had ever seen before. It was wonderful! It was beautiful! But I’m afraid it failed to be alarming enough.
Not that they didn’t try. The cameras showed the melt-water pools that form on the sea-ice during the summer, and sensationalist headlines made it sound like such pools were a new thing. But then a cantankerous old coot like myself would point out such pools were described by arctic explorers clear back to Henry Hudson in the 1600’s, and also that, when a crack formed in the ice, the water typically drained down and the pool vanished. This could result in embarrassment for Alarmists. For example, in 2013 they dubbed one such pool “Lake North Pole”, claiming it signified the beginning of The End, but no sooner had they drawn everyone’s attention to that camera’s view, when the pool drained and vanished, and instead the camera showed a view of a midsummer snow on polished sea-ice.
The fact the cameras at times embarrassed Alarmists, showing freezing where Satellites indicated thaw, or snowfalls at the peak of the melt-season, or waters clotted with sea-ice in a location other “official” maps showed open water, made them seem unhelpful, to those most interested in the “narrative”. The cameras, initially supportive to the “narrative”, had become a liability. As a cynical old coot, I feel it is no great wonder that the funding dried up.
Nor is it a great wonder to me that richer Alarmists no longer invested in other arctic endeavors. We used to be able to get pictures from all sorts of crazy dudes who planned to prove how bad Global Warming was by being the first to row to the Pole in a bathtub. Or, well, maybe not a bathtub, but in other inadequate craft.
What amazed me most about such young adventurers was: They always got funded. The money was flowing like rivers, but now it has dried up. I think they tended to show too much sea-ice and not enough melting, and failed to support the “narrative.”
I was sad to see that, for the first time in years, there was no “Barneo” base at the Pole this April. Many tourists were willing to fork out $20,000 to ski at the Pole, but there was apparently not enough extra “science money” to make the truly marvelous event, (which even included a yearly marathon), worth the organizers getting over various political differences.
Officially the 2019 Barneo base didn’t happen because of bickering between Russia and Ukraine, but in the past such bickering was lubricated out of existence by a surging inflow of money. Now the money has dried up. Forgive me if I sound overly suspicious, but I think Barneo was also unhelpful to the “narrative”. There was something about the sight of jets landing on the ice (to unload wealthy tourists) that failed to support the idea the Pole would soon be an open ocean.
To me this seems to demonstrate how, as soon as you agree you must “erase” some element of Truth to promote your “narrative”, you have become compromised. Some idealism has egged-you-on into a predicament where you will wind up with egg-on-your-face.
This is not to say that the people who promoted the “narrative” didn’t mean well. They deemed their lies “white lies”. However when they had money and power they could seduce all sorts of people to do what they wanted, and to be at their beck and call. Sad to say, but many scientists, faced with a choice between working in the field they went to college to study, or flipping burgers in a fast-food joint, will chose to work in the field of science, even if it requires some compromise. Some “white lies.”
Nearly every job I’ve ever worked has involved putting up with stuff I’d rather not put-up-with. Compromise is part of life. But it should not involve too great a disregard of Truth.
I’ve worked for employers who demanded discipline. For example, I worked for a place where you could be fired if you “punched in” one second late. This seemed ridiculous to me, because some people tended to sit around the time-clock shooting the bull and drinking coffee for a half hour after they punched-in, while other got right to work. The Truth was that the time-stamp on the time-clock’s punch-card didn’t indicate how hard a man worked. But the boss didn’t want to hear my debate, so I compromised, for a while, and made sure to never be one second late. Eventually I would refuse to obey such discipline, and got fired, but I knew I deserved it. However I knew I could just go get another job. If I left a job in a factory I could go work in a cannery.
I think it isn’t so easy for scientists. It is harder for them to just go get another job. Albert Einstein did need to flee fascism and Germany, but if he had been driven to get a job running a fork lift, I shudder to think of the complete disaster which might have ensued. (To be honest, I didn’t always do so hot myself, as a poet operating a forklift.) (Cue sound-effect of much breaking glass.)
It seems a bit sad to me that funding is no longer flowing like wine, to study melting-at-the-Pole, because I know there are certain scientists who were hired, and asked to compromise a great deal, to make that subject their specialty. Employers shouldn’t just cut the funding for such faithful slaves. Sadly, whoever is funding the Global Warming idea is now treating some scientists like industrialists once treated coal miners, once the miners got old and were no longer useful. This is unwise. Kipling stated there is no fury like the fury of a woman scorned, but I think the fury of an abandoned slave may be as bad. When you deny a man all income, honor, and dignity, despite loyal service, a mere mouse may become a cornered rat.
Fortunately I don’t need to worry about losing income, honor and dignity, concerning sea-ice, because such study is only my hobby. True, due to some stuff I don’t understand concerning “search-engines”, my old posts about sea-ice used to get me over 700 views, and this post will likely get only 40, but this will not effect my income. Or my honor and dignity. After all, sea-ice is just my frickin’ hobby, and I’ll do it even if nobody “views.” The best things in life are free, but sometimes you are the only viewer. For example: That sunrise you saw, a while back. You might have wished there was someone you could share it with, but there wasn’t, yet it was majestic all the same. It was a joy just for you, and all your own (nor were you truly alone, in a spiritual sense).
Some Alarmists lack such joy, and sadly are lodged in unhappiness. They are unhappy because the sea-ice refuses to obey them. Here is the latest evidence:
The sea-ice “extent” graph seems to show a “recovery”. Rather than the “accelerating decline” predicted by “Death Spiral” theory, we are above the depths reached during the low-ice years in 2007 and 2012. The recent “maximum” was higher than last year’s, and, despite great excitement by Alarmists about a recent dip in “extent”, we are not in any way, shape or form headed towards an ice-free summer, this year.
As I look at the above graph, it with an awareness Alarmists seem to lack, concerning the past. I can only suppose it is because, where they must “erase” for the sake of a “narrative”, I simply accept history as it is.
And even most-recent history shows April cannot predict September’s minimum. In 2006 the extent in April was one of the lowest, in recent history, but by September the 2006 minimum was one of the highest, yet this highness, while making 2007 far higher than 2006 the next April, didn’t keep 2007 from having a September minimum which was the second lowest, in recent memory. Obviously the situation in April means little. If it meant much, 2006’s minimum would be lower than 2007’s, in September. In actual fact 2006 is one of the highest recent September extents, as 2007 is one of the lowest. April’s extent, in and of itself, is a lousy predictor.
Because I know recent history, I had a hard time getting all bent out of shape by a recent dip in the above “extent graph”, which some Alarmists claimed was proof all Capitalists should become Communists. Yes, you heard me right. They did claim such a preposterous thing. Look at the small downward blip in the graph, and imagine the leap of faith required to conclude it had such a huge political significance.
Forgive me, but I didn’t even want to join the discussion.
Such discussion has always repelled me. This is a bit of a side track, but I think my dislike was formed by a mildly traumatic event at the end of my boyhood. Back when I was a grubby little boy some elders felt I might be improved by cleaning up what I wore, or having my hair cut more often, but I always found such fussing annoying. I had better things to do, and preferred hiking and fishing to being neat and tidy.
My slovenliness reached a peak around 1965, when, as youngest in my class, I was the last to show any sign of growing pubic hair, in the showers after gym class. I was the last true boy, and got in trouble with authorities by being grubby and careless, and wearing jeans to school ( illegal, back then) and having hair over the tops of my ears (also illegal) or wearing tattered sneakers, (you were suppose to wear shoes). I didn’t mean to rebel; I simply was neglectful. Meanwhile my pals were hit by hormones and abruptly became insanely interested in fashion and females. They got in different trouble by daring to wear fashionable clothing, which broke certain school dress-codes. Their jet-black pants were too tight and too short; so tight about their ankles they could barely get them over their feet when they put them on, and they wore expensive footwear called “Beatle Boots” which the grown-ups banned because they were boots and not shoes. None of this made a lick of sense to me, for, after all, I was still a boy. What made sense was hiking and fishing.
I think the experience shaped me. Because I was youngest I saw, like the child seeing the Emperor had no clothes, that what was politically correct in 1965 was silly. My mind was impressed, and my thought was shaped in a way which saw the “fashion” others desired was actually repellent.
Therefore, when hormones hit me only a year later, I had no desire the wear pants tight around the ankle and Beatle-boots, because that seemed silly. Rather I would do what was not silly. Quite accidentally I was seeking an “alternative lifestyle”. And what was the alternative? At that time it was to remain a child, a Huckleberry Finn, and to continue hiking and fishing, but to do so with the fever of an adolescent rather than the quietude of a boy. I learned to have a (nearly) complete disregard for fashion and political correctness. I had no idea this made me more adult than many adults. I was merely “thinking for myself”.
I think by 1967 the fashions of the politically correct became so shameful that many men have zealously burned all evidence, and developed amnesia. It was a fashion called “mod”. Men wore polka dots. I remember it quite clearly: Absurd, brightly colored polka dots. Not just ties, but sport coats. But nearly all evidence has been erased, like the Medieval Warm Period. What man would confess to being such a fool of fashion?
There was no way you were going to get me to dress in polka dots. Sorry, but even the slight chance, (very slight), that I could seduce a babe couldn’t trick me into wearing such peacock buffoonery. I stuck with my dirty jeans, and stuck with neglecting to get my hair cut until my shaggy locks got me rebuked by the school principle, and I stuck with hiking and fishing.
Then, in 1969, to my complete astonishment, dirty jeans and shaggy locks became fashionable and politically correct. As the youngest senior in my class I was abruptly the guy who was ahead of the curve, the guy who saw what was hip before all others, the guru of fashion.
I won’t pretend the flattery didn’t sway me. Every dog has his day. But, as fashion moved on to “disco”, I was like a guru wistfully watching all his disciples rush off to John Travolta.
Forgive me if I am belaboring my point, but it has been the experience of my life that a large part of “political correctness” is superficiality. It has next to nothing to do with the underlying Truth. At best “political correctness” is a dirty reflection through a warped mirror of what is actually occurring in the honest foundations of society, and at worst it is a complete misrepresentation.
There is much in my life I am not proud about, but one thing that makes me smile is that I still walk about in dirty jeans. I am what I am. I have been spared a great deal of bother and nuisance, by skipping fashion (most of the time) and instead focusing on work, and skipping political correctness, and instead focusing on Truth.
The Truth is that we are not threatened by the melting of arctic ice. The Truth also is we would be better off if the sea-ice totally melted. If it melted, we might return to climatic periods described as “Optimums”. If the sea-ice utterly melted northern climates under “arctic regimes” might instead experience “maritime regimes”.
In terms of Greenland, replacing the current “arctic regime” with a “maritime regime” would have a huge benefit. Permafrost would fade away, so you could dig a grave, as the Vikings once did. You could raise fodder, and deliver midwinter water, to 100,000 sheep and goats and 2000 cattle, as the Vikings once did. On good summers you could grow barley for beer, as the Vikings once did.
But some assume such evidence must be erased, along with other proof the Medieval Warm Period was warmer. What perverse ideology can be so stupid? Why erase what actually happened? Why erase actual experience which provides science with data, and which then corrects our past mistakes and furthers our future’s thought?
Who would do this? It is at this point my sense of humor kicks in, and I remember the persons who felt it was so dreadfully important to dress in “mod” fashions in 1967. I always wondered how the minds of such people work. What are you telling yourself when you don a ridiculous polka-dot outfit? For that matter, what was Abraham Lincoln telling himself when he donned his stove-pipe hat? (I like to believe he was muttering curses under his breath, the way I did when my mother made me dress in a suit and go to dancing school, when I’d rather be fishing.)
And why did George Washington wear that silly wig? Oh…wait…..he didn’t wear a wig. That was his natural hair, (though he may have powdered it.) Wigs were for people who went prematurely bald, especially when they went bald as teenagers.
Why should you go bald at such an early age? It was a side-effect of a revenge Native Americans had upon Europeans. (No, not the addiction to tobacco.) The revenge was a sexually transmitted disease which Columbus (or his crew) brought back to Spain, and which swept through Europe as the worst epidemic since the Black Plague. To abruptly go bald (often in a patchy manner) as a teenager became a sign you had not been chaste, and to hide from the shame (made so blatant by the abrupt, patchy baldness), people wore wigs, if they could afford them. (Even a cheap wig cost a week’s wages), (but a side-effect was that wigs helped people avoid the annoyance of lice. They shaved what hair they had left, and if lice got in their wig they could just boil the wig. Problem solved). But, as wigs were expensive, they became status symbols, and the rich bought and wore amazingly tall and curly and flowing wigs, whereupon they were called “bigwigs”.
The irony is, of course, that wearing such a wig would not fool the wise, who would know you wore wear the hairpiece because you had been immoral and contracted a SID which might (before antibiotics) eventually rot your brain and cause tragic insanity.
But, to the simple, a bigwig is impressive. The wigs in the above painting may have costed more than a layman could make in half a year. (Isn’t it odd how people can turn hiding shame into a status symbol)?
In my humble opinion “Global Warming” is a sort of polka-dotted “bigwig” that silly people use to impress other silly people with. Alarmist dogma has little to do with virtue, just as contracting syphilis has little to do with virtue, but the dogma becomes a sort of “bigwig” that intellectually bald people use to hide their intellectual shame. In actual fact they may be as weakened and clipped as Samson was after Delilah was done with him, but, (by virtue signaling), the politically-correct state, “Look at me! I have more hair than Samson had, at his most mighty!”
I wonder if they think they are fooling themselves. After all, at some point men took off their “mod” suits, and they did not put those absurd outfits in the closet, and wait for such bizarre garb to come back into fashion. They threw the polka-dot suits into the rubbish, (or perhaps burned them), to destroy all evidence they had ever been so ridiculous.
In like manner Alarmists are backpedaling from their fashionable statements, regarding the Arctic being in a “Death-Spiral”.
One last-ditch effort to prove there was less ice, even when the “extent” increased, involved stating that, while the “extent” might have increased, the expanding ice was thinner and had become something they dubbed “rotten ice.” What mattered was suddenly not “extent”, but “volume”.
Of course measuring the “volume” was very difficult, and involved variables and margins-of-error much greater than measuring “extent”, (and indeed the best-science involving volume-measurement may be worse than the best-science is regarding what the weather will be ten days from now), but, for what it was worth, the “volume” graph was going down, even as the “extent” went flat and even rose slightly. “Volume” became the new talking-point, and the new proof the “Death-spiral” was ongoing.
But drat! Wouldn’t you just know it? Just as “Lake North Pole” vanished as soon as they got people looking at it, as soon as they got people looking at the “Volume” graph, it shot upwards last winter. Don’t you just hate it, when that happens?
I myself figured the sea-ice volume grew because last year a sort of “Wrong-way-flow” prevented sea-ice from being flushed south through Fram Strait in the more usual manner. At times these wrong-way winds even pushed the ordinarily-piled-up sea-ice away from Greenland’s north coast. ( Sensationalist Headline: “Open Water North Of Greenland Proves Sea-ice Is About To Vanish. Polar Bears Will Drown”). This year has seen the wrong-way winds quit, and lots of sea-ice has been flushed south through Fram Strait to cool the Atlantic. As such sea-ice melts its “volume” drops to zero, and is subtracted from the total, so I expected the “Volume” graph to fall. Surprisingly, it hasn’t (so far):
If you are actually interested in arctic sea-ice, the refusal of “volume” to diminish is a fascinating development. But if you are interested in promoting a “narrative” it is incredibly annoying. This is one heck of a way to run a “Death Spiral”.
In fact, where we formally saw an attempt to “erase the Medieval War Period”, we may now be seeing an attempt to “erase the Death Spiral”.
I can’t say I blame whosoever may be involved. It is darned embarrassing to be predicting a sort of end-to-the-World, (though I reiterate that I think an ice-free Arctic Ocean would be a good thing), but then to, year after year, have your prediction be proven wrong. It seems quite normal and natural to change the subject. In a way it seems like burning an old, “mod” suit with blaring polka dots. Some things are best forgotten.
The problem is, we are not talking about mere silly outfits people chose to wear. We are talking about trillions of tax-dollars, the sweat of hard-working taxpayers, and how such dollars are spent. Are they spent wisely, or are they wasted on polka-dots?
With funding for cameras, and crazy adventurers, and the Barneo blue-ice jetport, all mysteriously vanished, just about the only pictures of sea-ice I can observe come from postings on the small-town websites of little communities in Alaska and Canada, who sit by the sea and have to deal with sea-ice, as it clogs their harbors every winter. Often the ice can keep boats from bringing fresh groceries, and the local people must either hunker down and subsist on stored-up blubber and canned goods, or rely on icebreakers and airlifted goods.
On Labrador Island they rely on icebreakers and ferries with strengthened bows, but there were shortages last winter. There is always a struggle to get supplies across the Strait Of Belle Isle, due to sea-ice.
(First, I should note that, if the “Death Spiral” is real, that ice shouldn’t even be there. Last winter it was described as “the worst in thirty years”. But never mind that.)
Second, with all the advancements in technology, surely last winter should have seen more fresh vegetables than ever, out on the island.
The lady in the picture has been running her market forty years, and she stated last winter was the worst, in terms of getting fresh vegetables.
How is it possible that 40 years ago, way back in 1978, the Canadians who lived back then could do a better job delivering groceries than the modern generation of politically-correct idealists can do?
Attempting to poke into the details, I had to descend into the bizarre world of Canadian politics, which currently involves lots of polka-dots, and not much sanity. Apparently they replaced an old, tired, but adequate ferry called the “Apollo” with a ferry that butchers the English language with the ungrammatical name, “Qajaq”.
As a boy I learned it was very bad luck to ever use the letter “Q” without the letter “U” after it. (After all, look what happened to Iraq). (Also, if I wrote “Q” without “U”, I might be kept after school, which was very bad luck). No good could possibly come of naming a ship “Qajaq”, but for Canadians it has become very stylish to write “Q” without a “U”, as doing so is apparently a sort of virtue-signaling, indicative of “sensitivity” towards “indigenous peoples.” (I’m not sure how sensitive naming a ferry “Qajaq” actually is, for I think in Inuit “qajaq” is the plural of “qyaq”, which is a skinny little kayak; in any case, an odd name for a car-carrying ferry.)
Qajaq lived up to my superstitions. Even with the help of ice-breakers, it could not deliver the groceries, and for weeks couldn’t even leave port. The people who live out on the island, and the truck-drivers dependent on the ferry to earn their living, grew scornful of the politicians who had mismanaged. After around a month the coast guard used ice-breakers to barge a minimum of groceries out to Labrador Island, but the ships were not designed for cargo and many groceries froze solid and had to be returned.
I learned all sorts of bits about the Canadian government, eavesdropping in small town chat-rooms. Apparently a large amount of money was squandered on “cronies” who built a road to the ferry terminal, but not enough money was spent on the ferry itself. Also, although the politicians were very proud of the Qajaq, because it had only half the “carbon footprint” of the Apollo, the local people scornfully stated this goal was achieved only by having a puny engine, merely half as strong as Apollo’s, which meant that, even with a reinforced bow, that the Qajaq couldn’t push through sea-ice the Apollo had once shouldered through.
I bit my tongue, for it is not my place to butt into a neighbor’s business, but I did want to mention that their politicians seemed to spend far too much time being “sensitive” about naming their ships, and far too little time being “sensible” about shipping.
The way to avoid mismanagement is to hire sensible managers, and the way to be sensible is to take a hard look at facts. It is distinctly unhelpful to “erase” the facts, yet much political-correctness seems aimed at not-allowing certain facts to be faced. Certain subjects must not be broached, certain realities must be avoided, certain sleeping-dogs must not be disturbed even with a ten-foot-pole, until one is reduced to mincing about on eggs, more focused on polka-dots and big-wigs than what really matters. It is only then that politicians cease being helpful and begin to be hazards, more concerned with genuflecting than with making sure groceries are delivered. Even the most garrulous old store-owner knows there comes a time to “stop talking and to start stocking” (the shelves). When a politician can’t see this, and becomes more busy erasing things such as the Medieval Warm Period than with delivering the goods, then troubles arise. It is when shelves are empty that people tend to dust off an old Winston Churchill quote:
“The loyalties which center upon (the leader) are enormous. If he trips he must be sustained. If he makes mistakes they must be covered. If he sleeps he must not be wantonly disturbed. If he is no good he must be pole-axed…”
This was what got Donald Trump elected. People were sick of mismanagement. The politically-correct were horrified, and attempted to pole-ax Trump even before he took office, which demonstrates they did not read the rest of the Churchill quote:
“…But this last extreme process cannot be carried out every day; and certainly not in the days after (the leader) has been chosen.”
The simple fact of the matter is that what matters is not polka-dots, nor how big your wig is, but how you manage the cards dealt out to you. There are people dealt nothing but deuces who amaze all with their success, and there are those who are dealt aces who fall flat on their faces. (Hmm. Might be a poem in that.)
Some people, though seemingly dealt only deuces, Become locomotives and never cabooses. Other elite ones are dealt only aces Yet traipse into trouble and fall on their faces.
It is true that a lot depends on your teammates; a fantastic soccer player will never be a winner if his goal-tender takes his eye off the ball to admire a blond babe in the stands; a great quarterback will have trouble completing a pass if his blockers are spineless and his coach is the moronic relative of a moronic owner. However some, even when dealt the worst hands, still manage to manage. There are ordinary people you meet every day who only manage to be ordinary by defying incredible odds. Conversely, there are pompous bigwigs who think their feces smell better than everyone else’s, utterly oblivious to an impending pole-ax.
The nice thing about a two-party system is that no actual pole-ax is involved. No guillotine is rolled out to chop off your head. There is no “Terror”, no Stalinist purges, no horrible Maoist “Cultural Revolution”, no “Night Of The Long Knives” where Hitler assassinated his best-friend Brown-Shirts although they had lifted him to power. Instead, in a two-party system, you are subjected to what the sports-world calls “being benched.” You are not kicked off the team, but you are told to go sit down and think about how you contributed to the fact the team lost the last game.
A problem arises when one wants so badly to have star-status they cannot abide even the thought of any sort of demotion. Their mother told them they were wonderful, and it hurts them tremendously when they find out they are merely ordinary. They received a trophy in school, (sometimes a “participation trophy” for doing nothing beyond showing up), and they expect life to give them another. They feel “entitled”, and feel they should be quarterback even if not gifted in that regard. Even if they are five-foot-two and can’t throw, they feel some “injustice” is involved if the best way they can help the team is to sell hot-dogs in the stands. They have lost the ability to see the facts a good manager sees, preferring to “erase” certain aspects of Truth, and to live in a rosy dream-world that can only remain rosy if reality doesn’t rear its head with ugly repercussions.
If one erases things such as the “Medieval Warm Period”, one eventually winds up with a so-called “false narrative” one is dependent upon, and then one becomes overly focused on things such as naming a boat, or “carbon emissions”, and the repercussions are empty shelves. Karma then tends to be ruthless. What goes around comes around.
In a way it is amusing, for often a reason some get sidetracked is because they feel “life isn’t fair”, and then, after their sidetrack leads them deep into a forest of buffoonery involving polka-dots and big-wigs and other forms of virtue-signaling political-correctness, they become extremely indignant when it turns out life is fair, after all.
It is difficult to explain the unfairness of life, for God’s Creation involves a vast, intricate complexity beyond the capacity of the human psyche to completely comprehend. Why are some born rich and some born poor, some born beautiful and some born ugly, some born sharp and some born dull? Is it due to the Karma of past lives? Is it due to evil White Men exploiting? Is it due to carbon emissions? Is it due to eating too much beef and not enough kale? Or is it merely a given in life, called “troubles?”
Having spent most of my life attempting to avoid trouble but getting into plenty, I tend to feel troubles are part of life, (and that, in fact, life would be boring without them).
If anyone was going to successfully avoid trouble, I would think it would be a man with super-powers, who could walk on water, and raise the dead, and give sight to the blind, such as Jesus is believed by some to have been. But even Jesus didn’t seem to avoid trouble, nor promise his followers an easy road: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
This is not to say that some elements of truthfully facing-trouble don’t defy basic mathematics:
As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury.He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins.“Truly I tell you,”he said,“this poor widow has put in more than all the others.”
To people only focused on the mathematics of money, and not the entirety of Truth, this statement made by Jesus is illogical. Their minds, in over-focusing on money, have “erased” other things that matter.
I seem to see, in history, a rising and falling of people nearly as predictable as the rising and falling of tides. Initially people focus on Truth in its vast and incomprehensible entirety, and are made swiftly aware of their inabilities and mistakes, but are equally swift to respond to Truth’s corrections. People call Truth inanimate, but Truth does give people a swift boot in the posterior if they neglect to factor-in certain elements. Call it “Divine Intervention” or call it “Murphy’s Law”, Truth is swift to correct and discipline those people humble enough to admit their mistakes, and who eagerly learn from them. Because they are swift to learn they rise on a tide of Truth, and often gain prosperity, popularity, and power.
But then the rot sets in. People enjoy prosperity, popularity and power, and these three things are seen as being worthwhile in and of themselves, even to the point where Truth slips from the center of people’s attention. The “erasure” is slight at first, but the addiction is insidious, and slowly makes inroads upon the initial, steadfast focus on Truth. The tide is falling, though the people heading down often think they are richer, more famous, and more powerful than ever. Towards the end they become the butts of jokes, utterly focused on polka-dots and big-wigs, and amazingly blind to the Truth that brought about prosperity, popularity and power in the first place. This downfall is described by some as “being given to sin.”
This realization has been an unexpected side-effect of studying sea-ice. It has occurred because one cannot talk about what the sea-ice is actually doing, in actual terms, without at some point treading upon the vast and duck-like flat-feet of Alarmists, and being exposed to the sputtering bombast of their wrath.
(Pause, if you will, and reflect back upon the painting of the pompous “bigwigs” I portrayed earlier in this post. Better yet, go back and look at the picture, and imagine telling those gentlemen about the real reason they wore their wigs. Do you think they’d be nice, hearing your words?)
In other words, even if you want to talk about sea-ice and sea-ice alone, there are individuals who change the subject. They seem to prefer to distract one’s focus away from the Truth about sea-ice, and instead towards their personal ire. Their logic smells of red herrings. They don’t want Truth to be the center of attention, preferring that they themselves be the center. Have pity on them. They are very needy fellows, because they need help.
As interested as I am in sea-ice, I feel Alarmist’s cries for help must be respected. That is why I go on such long side-tracks, attempting to explain the antics of my fellow man, when sea-ice is often more interesting. To walk heedlessly past a person dressed in polka-dots and big-wigs, when they are crying out for help, is in some ways like walking past a person sinking in quicksand.
Of course, they are unaware they are crying out for help. Part of their derangement is that they think I am treading on their vast toes. Which is why solving their silly problem is taking so much longer than it should.
It is a pity Alarmists are so needy and require so much pampering, because there is actually some interesting stuff going on at the Pole. With the “Death Spiral” now a dogma undergoing what seems to require an erasure much like the “Medieval Warm Period’s”, there are far fewer pictures to look at, so we aren’t able to closely examine the changes we dimly see in other data.
What are the changes?
There was a shift in weather patterns that led to fewer charges of Atlantic air north over the Pole, especially in Fram Strait. But on the Pacific side there was a push of sea-ice north through Being Strait. If I had time I’d love to study this shifting pattern in greater detail, (rather than deal with the denials of those who, for over a decade, have called me “a denier. “)
The air was a little milder than normal over the Pole, when compared against thirty-year-norms, last winter, yet it was far colder than most recent winters.
Notice how the red line actually dipped below the green line twice during the depth of winter, which hasn’t happened since 2015. Also the “peaks” above normal were far more modest. Compare the warm surges last winter (above) with the warm surges the prior winter (below).
If you add up the area of the space between the red lines and green lines you get a rough estimate of the amount of chill the sea-ice was exposed to, which can allow you to make a guess at how much thicker the ice got. However the milder air also tends to lead to more snow, which further insulates the ice from chill, and may further decrease the thickness of the ice. Therefore, because last winter had colder temperatures, and likely less snow, the ice may have thickened more, which may partially explain the failure of volume to decrease, despite more sea-ice being exported south through Fram Strait.
However less snow may have a contrary effect, now that the sun has risen north of the Arctic Circle. The snow has the ability, due to its high albedo, to delay the melting. Less-deep snow may mean an earlier start to the formation of melt-water pools. (And here is where cameras would be such a help.)
Despite the fact temperatures (and likely humidity) have been above normal during recent winters, this has changed, year after year, during the month of May. Often May has seen the first below-normal temperatures in many months, and quite often temperatures have remained more often below-normal than above-normal through much of the following summer. I’ll be interested to see if it happens again this year.
The fact summer temperatures are below-normal tends to suggest the sunshine is weaker. The so-called “Quiet Sun” may be showing its effect. Oddly, the “Quiet Sun” may also be showing its effect even when it doesn’t shine at the Pole, during the winter, and may be causing the warmer winters at the Pole.
This is utterly contrary to ordinary thought. How could a weaker sun make it warmer?
Warming might happen because the sun’s energy does not merely manifest in a way measured by thermometers, but also as energy measured by anemometers. A weaker sun might lead to weaker winds. If those weaker winds happened to be Trade Winds, the result would be less up-welling of cold waters to the west of continents down towards the equator. Less cold water at the equator would allow there to be more warm water (an El Nino rather than a La Nina), and this leads to warmer and more-moist air heading north to the Pole.
The arctic is in many respects a desert, with air that is very cold and very dry. The introduction of even a slight amount of moisture can have a huge effect in terms of temperature. The same amount of evaporated moisture which would result in a very small temperature rise at the equator, (and might even lower temperatures if a thunderstorm resulted), can result in a spike of winter temperatures at the Pole of over twenty degrees, (still below freezing). It is therefore wrong to give arctic temperatures the same “weight” as tropical temperatures.
In fact, if you give arctic temperatures the same “weight” as tropical temperatures, and created an “average” between the two, you might even create a statistical error, wherein the increase at the Pole would have the effect of “masking” a growing decrease elsewhere. A slight amount of mere moisture, at the Pole, could consequently corrupt the “Global Average Temperature”, which some politicians place so much importance upon.
I wish I had time to continue. I have only brought up two lovely variables which thermometers don’t measure, namely Trade Winds and humidity at the Pole. Truth is far more complex and beautiful, and includes far more subtlety than temperature, humidity and wind-speed. It is for the best, if we wish to be good stewards of the gift we call “our planet”, to remain humble, concerning our relationship with Truth. We must be constantly ready to be corrected.
The alternative seems to me to be an arrogant refusal to accept correction, and a behavior which seems basically adolescent. It seems but an immature, audacious certainty that “the science is settled”, and that Truth has nothing more it can teach us. It is the ossified enunciation of paralyzed thinking, addicted to polka-dots and enamored of big-wigs, and the great irony is that, in seeking to avoid correction, it invites more and greater corrections. In the end such Alarmism is simply a way of cruising for a bruising.
I apologize, to those who enjoy my past postings about sea-ice, for my failure to post very often, but various factors have ganged up on me like a bunch of bullies, and I retreated to a sort of Bastogne (See “Battle of the Bulge”) for the Christmas holidays. And there I have stayed. The redoubt seemed cozy. To give all the reasons for my retreat would be exceedingly boring, (except to my own ego), and therefore I will give a greatly simplified excuse for my undone homework. It boils down to two basic points.
1 .) My original reason for studying the sea-ice was poetic. I liked the beautiful ivory and azure views from the many cameras upon the ice. It allowed me to commune with nature without the bother of facing all the mosquitoes and ticks in the woods, and was especially refreshing in hot weather. Also I relished the fact that placing the cameras out on the arctic ice involved men who had the guts to put their lives on the line, facing the dangers of grinding floes and bitter cold and 1500 pound bears, pressing their limits to push forward the frontiers of Truth. Such scientists struck me as being more like Arctic Explorers such as the Vikings and first Eskimos, or Henry Hudson, or Fridtjof Nansen, who had fascinated me since my boyhood. They seemed unlike dweeby nerds who sit behind a computer screen (as I now do.) Sadly, this vanguard of Truth has gone unfunded, as have their cameras. Therefore the very reason that attracted me to sea-ice in the first place no longer exists. What am I watching, with the pictures all gone?
2.) The secondary reason for studying sea-ice involves the pursuit of Truth. Once I started to comment on the poetry of sea-ice, and to comment on the physical poetry of the gutsy arctic explorers who (for various reasons, across the centuries) risked death to form a vanguard and make history, I discovered I was facing a furious Alarmist counter-attack, though I myself never meant to attack anyone, and only to advance what I thought all desired, namely, Truth.
This involved me in the peculiar power-politics of Global Warming, which I have been uncomfortable with from the start, because I have never liked politics. I am possessed by the peculiar belief that poetry is more powerful than power. In fact I recall (as a teenager) being quite angry at the great English Poet, John Milton, for “wasting” his time and talent with the politics of Free Speech, and the politics of the Puritan Revolution against the Catholic monarchy in England, when I felt his time would have been better spent writing “pure” poetry. (Milton likely stirred slightly, in his grave.) I vowed I would never waste my time in such a manner.
Well, that’s yet another vow I’ve gone and broken. Or it seems that way, for, if you go back to the summer of 2013 in the archives of this site, you can see where I was seduced by politics, and sea-ice stopped being a poetic fascination and became more of a battle between truth and propaganda.
At this point I want to embark upon what the Alarmist-vs.-Skeptic political battle has been teaching me about the tension between Truth, in its rarefied, poetic, and pure form, and politics, in its low, crude, prosaic, and selfish form. (Those of you interested in sea-ice alone should skip this post.) The lessons I’ve been learning are every bit as interesting as the motions of ice floes in the arctic. Furthermore it involves me in a sort of psychic brawl, occurring between conservatives and socialists in my homeland, which stains all fabrics of society, and which you can’t even escape if you run away to the North Pole to look at sea-ice. (And a good intellectual brawl can be enjoyable, for an gray-haired man who has gotten to old for the barroom sort.)
The thing I don’t like about politics is that, despite all efforts to be broad-minded, it tends to result in the disintegration of spiritual unity; it cannot help but be one-sided. One hopes that the side one is siding-with is the side of Truth, but an open-minded person is always double-checking, and sincerely examining both their own thoughts, and also their so-called “opponent’s” thoughts, even when the other’s thoughts are contrary. Truth should be the lodestone. (Abraham Lincoln responded to a person who stated, during the Civil War, “I hope God (Truth) is on our side” with, “My hope is that we are on God’s (Truth’s) side.”)
Some then respond, “But what is Truth?” To me that has often seemed a sign of a person who has never taken the time to search their own soul for the bias and blindness bred by selfishness. For example, (as lust has made fools of most of us, at least once in our lives), suppose an old person tells a lusty young person that the Truth is: Lust needs to be in some way checked, or at least channeled, and suppose it then happens that the young person is at that time enjoying the fun of lust and not seeing any consequences; the young person will nearly always reply, “That is your old-person truth; my truth is different.” The elder seems a mere party-poop and spoil-sport. It is only later, after being taught by Professor Sorrow in The School Of Hard Knocks, that the young start to entertain the possibility that some truth (about lust, and many other topics), is more lasting other truths, and there may even be a truth with a capital “T”, “Truth”.
Though some think of art and science as opposites, I think both, at their best, aim at the same higher and universal Truth. Science (at its best) seeks to constantly test every theory for weakness, and tends to be based around physical laws that can be physically measured, while art involves things less easy to measure. For example, what does my life weigh? If I put my deathbed on the most sensitive scale, I doubt my body will be a jot lighter the moment my soul departs, (or a jot heavier, for that matter). Does that mean my life (and everyone’s life) has no weight? Is an unscientific thing? Not to be included in the subject of Truth? No; for life, (and art), simply deals with truths we haven’t learned to materially measure. The pen has a power, but we have no meter to measure it with (besides pentameter and hexameter).
The pen loses its power when it is wielded by a foppish poseur, who only is a copy-cat of fad, fashion and political-correctness. Such concerns seldom stop to focus on Truth, instead swaying to and fro like a pendulum, depending on who is in power, and on stances taken by other foppish poseurs who also scurry back and forth, always eager for acceptance and tidbits of acclaim, irregardless of Truth. The most clever of them do get their tidbits, (some acceptance-in-snobby-circles here, and some five-minutes-of-fame there), (and some money, which they see as a measure of honor), but their pens have no power. Nothing they blather will be long remembered, unless as an example of idiocy. For example, the fops of Rome mocked Saint Peter and Saint Paul, and laughed as they perished, and laughed again as Christians perished before lions in the Roman Colosseum. But now? Are such Roman frops remembered? No. Their names are dust in the wind. Even the name of the Roman emperor they worshiped as a god is seldom remembered. And in Rome? The laughed-at and soon-executed Peter and Paul now have vast structures erected in their name, while the Colosseum is but a ruin, and “Caesar” is but a name we give to our dogs.
The same fate awaits many who think they are now prancing in the glory of the spotlight. The power they seek is fad and fashion and forgotten. They will be forgotten because mistakes are best forgotten. Our modern mistakes will include many publishers and editors, who are “gatekeepers” who think they do good, making certain only a modern “Caesar” is praised. But they invite amnesia upon themselves because they care for power of a shallow sort, avoiding the true wellspring of power, which is Truth.
When I was young and studious I thought the people who would teach me about the real Wellspring of power would be teachers of art, and also history, but such classes usually disappointed me. A good teacher was like an oasis in a desert of dull ones. Most teachers seemed to feel their degree in art or history was pretty much useless in the Real World, and that the only way their education could make money was to hide out in a school and teach a watered-down and enfeebled and “safe” version of art or history. As there were only a limited number of such jobs available, teachers certainly didn’t want to create any competition. Rather than seeking to create proteges, teachers seemed to see their eager and curious students as potential threats.To some students (such as myself) it seemed that the only students they really encouraged were the ones they wanted to sleep with. These teachers failed to see the enormous power Truth holds, or that It was applicable outside of a classroom. Such teachers displayed little faith that the art and history they studied had any real value. Even if they stated their studies had value and power, they couldn’t see how to apply such hypothetical power outside a school in the Real World, (or they would have dared do so), nor even how to apply such hypothetical power to their own insular and rarefied academia. Therefore, when they talked about the Real World, it was usually with the drastic attitude that the Real World needed to be politically restructured so they could become applicable, (as if their ineptitude would vanish if they were promoted, and they became some sort of commissar). To me they seemed cowardly, hiding in musty hallways and clinging to tenure, avoiding their intense insecurity by donning a pretense of smug, intellectual superiority, and displaying their power by flunking students (such as myself) who questioned their wisdom.
Though their names are largely forgotten, and though they never produced memorable art or essays, they felt highly qualified to sneer at those who did produce. For example, a teacher who never wrote a book (that anyone could read) would deem himself an authority on how to write an introductory paragraph, and he’d deride how a writer such as Edward Bulwer-Lytton began a book with, “It was a dark and stormy night.”
Besides immediately challenging me (because I was in some ways a punk) to begin my next work with “Once upon a time”, such teachers made me wonder why those who don’t achieve are so critical of those who do, and also why the critisized are memorable while critics aren’t. After all, while the name “Edward Bulwar-Lytton” may not be well known, “It was a dark and stormy night” is known worldwide, as are some other phrases Bulwar-Lytton penned, such as “the almighty dollar”, “the great unwashed”, and my favorite, “the pen is mightier than the sword.”
Does the pen really have such power? Much of my life has been spent doing what those cowering professors never attempted. To find out if the pen (and art, and history,) had any power at all out in the Real World.
I confess I held (and still hold) the (extremely debatable) view that a truly exalted poet like Shakespeare may have displayed an immeasurable power. To me it seems a power beyond the imagination of dreary English Literature professors, when you consider the possible effect he (like the Beatle’s) had on the English people, and upon all who speak English. We say, “He inspired people in the theaters,” as if people were only moved there, and went about their workaday existence the next day unaffected. I think audiences were deeply moved, and he may have empowered the English to rise, and to rise in a way no one expected a backwater island at the very edge of Europe to rise, around 1585, when the young poet came wandering into London, (to perhaps begin by parking horses at a theater). He exalted the language in a way that effects listeners to this day: After being forced, initially against their will and strong objections, to watch a Shakespearean play, I have witnessed schoolboys on a playground wave sticks as make-believe swords and adopt antiquated language and absurdly grandiose exhortations: “Forsooth thou varlet! I shalt not stand for thy knavish insults!”
The youngsters are not forced to do this. They catch it like the ‘flu. I then ask: Is it such a stretch to think the people of Shakespeare’s time were not also infected by the invisible fever of inspiration, in the same manner? I go so far as to suggest that Shakespeare effected the way an entire nation spoke, thought, and even the way they walked: A slouch became a strut, walking developed a swagger, and you can perhaps see his influence in the way Queen Elisabeth spoke to her troops as the Spanish Armada neared her coasts in 1588, and the way the King James Bible was written between 1604 and 1611, and even (perhaps) in the way Hindu speak English in Calcutta, and Chinese speak English in Hong Kong.
What gave this Stratford-Upon-Avon bumpkin’s pen such power? I like to think it was it’s proximity-to and association-with Truth. A moral backbone runs through his plays, wherein even his most evil characters speak to God, in a sense, for they face a day of reckoning wherein their tragic flaw faces them with the bitterness of tragic consequences, and as these characters complain about their fate they are revealed as being so utterly human, and so like the rest of us, that we feel oddly sympathetic, even though we know they are getting what they deserve. Shakespeare uplifts us to an archangel-like level where we are almost eye-level to our Creator, who loves all even though all (except very rare saints) don’t deserve it.
Never for an instant does Shakespeare waver from a firm belief that the wicked will face a day of reckoning, but he also does not waver from a liberal belief that the wicked are human, and are not all that different from you and I. Therefore his wicked characters, his Macbeth, his Iago, his Claudius, are characters we can relate to, who felt emotions we feel, but who chose to go ahead where we (usually) choose to abstain. (We feel much better about abstaining when we see how they suffer). But we feel sorry for them, because we would have chosen as they chose, were we not wimps. (Sometimes, when we say, “There, but for the grace of God, go I,” we are in effect saying, “Thank you, Oh Creator, for making me a wimp.”)
In essence Shakespeare’s power rests in his ability to show morals and morality exist for a good reason: They are associated with Truth. This association gave the English (and also the English language) an astonishing ability to overpower other peoples (and languages.) The English came close to ruling the entire world, in Queen Victoria’s time. Her grandchildren were to, in 1914, be king of England, be kaiser of Germany, and be wife of the czar of Russia. Outside of Europe they controlled vast areas of Africa, India and Pakistan, Indochina, and Hong Kong. Also Canada and Australia and New Zealand were closely linked as part of the commonwealth, and the United States, as a recalcitrant rebel, was able to obtain commonwealth status if it ever wanted to, and had control over the Philippines and a de facto Monroe-Doctrine ephemeral-control over Central and South America. If sanity had prevailed, world peace and prosperity were possible. But sanity did not prevail. The association with Truth Shakespeare made so clear became clouded. A century of hell has resulted.
Now I am sure some are rolling their eyes when I assert a single poet could have such a huge effect on the history of the planet, but Bartlett’s Book Of Familiar Quotations demonstrates how we quote Shakespeare without even knowing it. Nor were the people of his time aware of the reverberations emanating from a theater in London; his plays were not published until after his death, and likely few outside of London knew much about them. In terms of what politicians of that time surmised influenced the masses, theater didn’t matter much; politicians would have pointed to kings, armies, and the preachers in the pulpits; and many preachers disapproved of plays and wanted the theaters shut down. But few preachers could move people in the manner Shakespeare could; few swagger after hearing a sermon, (though they would, if the Truth was ever adequately explained.)
At this point I should confess that the power of the pen has not been scientifically established. Not that any has taken the time to attach electrodes to my pen, as I write. (They ought at least try. They might be shocked.)
Though the might of the pen has not been established, evil men recognize the power the pen has, and seek to gain its power, without the bother of associating themselves with the morality and Truth involved. This never works. They always wind up a Macbeth, an Iago, a Claudius. But they never stop trying. They who do not study Shakespeare are like those who do not study history: Doomed.
The problem with doomed people is they are like thrashing children throwing a tantrum: They break stuff and hurt innocent bystanders. I do not mean to sound flippant. Hitler’s doomed tantrum killed millions of innocent bystanders, as did Stalin’s. But both men were doomed from the start.
The question always asked by innocent bystanders is, “Why, God? Why?” Not being God, I cannot answer. But I can share an answer I personally got, when I asked the eternal question.
As a very old-fashioned farmer, I prefer hand tools to bulldozers. It brings me closer to the land to cut down a small tree with an ax, rather than to just mush it with a backhoe’s scoop. I prefer swinging a grub-hoe, when I rip up a tree’s roots. Not that I can do it any more, and I will confess I do humble my fat ego, and allow my oldest son to show up in a backhoe and rip up a stump in five minutes that would have taken me five hours, back in the day, but I stubbornly prefer grub-hoes to backhoes. I have my reasons. One is that an ax or grub-hoe is not hard to start on a sub-zero morning (and often work more quickly, when its cold). Another is that backhoes are not mentioned (that I can find) in the Bible, (or ancient scriptures of other lands.) But the ax is mentioned.
As an old-fashioned farmer I have the powers of a micro-creator. I love trees and I love grass, but I have to decide where the trees will grow and where the grass will grow. If you are grass, you call me a cruel creator when I grow a woodlot, but, if you are trees, you call me a cruel creator when I clear a pasture. But I am the boss, and my ax is just a tool.
Therefore my ears perked up with interest when I heard a mighty king described as a mere “ax”. The “ax” was a mighty Assyrian king called Sennacherib, and the fellow who dared call him a mere tool, a mere “ax”, was a poet of Judea called Isaiah. Please notice in the map below that, despite all the expansion of the Assyrian empire, culminating in the might of Sennacherib, Judea persisted as a unconquered land, (yellow in the map below.) This time, when Jerusalem remained unconquered, was a sort of British “Finest Hour” for the Jews.
(This story may seem to have little to do with arctic sea-ice, but give me time. I’ll show you the similarity).
I refer to Isaiah as a “poet” rather than a “prophet” because most of his writing, in the original Hebrew, is amazing poetry. He did not write the drab prose of a tedious historian, but rather employed all sorts of difficult forms, as hard or harder to master than the sonnet form. For example, Hebrew poetry utilizes a form called “Parallelism”, which can be roughly divided into various types, namely Climactic, Synonymous, Antithetic, Emblematic, Synthetic, Composite, and Chiasmus. As you read Isaiah you don’t really notice this highly structured thought (especially in the translation) but you do notice the writing “flows” and “sounds right.”
At this point I suppose a drab historian has every right to complain it is too hard to write history using all sorts of difficult poetic devises, and even to say poets are the tedious ones, with all their rules.
I assert complying with such rules is not difficult, to one gifted with poetic instincts. It may be as unintelligible to those not-gifted as the tug of a dowsing rod is to one who (like myself) is not gifted with the abilities of a dowser, but complying with difficult harmonies is easy, if you have the gift. It is harder not to do it. It would like be asking Bach not to write harmony, and have all his music be in unison.
I furthermore assert the power is not in the poet, but in the Truth they are in touch with. When one is in proximity-to and association-with Truth, a sort of enchantment and rapture occurs, and one simply cannot help but sing. Just as one can’t help but tap their toes to a lively tune, one is carried away by celestial rhythms. One becomes intoxicated by a gigantic harmony and beauty, and, in Isaiah’s case, the proximity-to and association-with Truth extended to an awareness of cause-and-effect that made him a “prophet”. Why? Because Truth follows certain laws, which some call Karma and some call reaping-what-you-sow, and a prophetic poet is able to glimpse inevitable consequences more clearly than most. In a way Isaiah is much like Shakespeare: Never for an instant does he waver from a firm belief that the wicked will face a day of reckoning, but he also does not waver from a liberal belief that the wicked are human, and are not all that different from you and I, and Isaiah has compassion towards them, and wants to see even the evil rescued.
This made Isaiah appear naive to the politically-correct politicians of Judea, 2750 years ago. Isaiah had the simplistic belief that Truth is animate, and if you stand by the Truth then the Truth will stand by you, but the politicians didn’t think that highfalutin attitude was very smart, and instead trusted in all sorts of crafty and worldly alliances to oppose the growing Assyrian menace. All sorts of sneaky and devious arrangements were considered, when Assyria was smaller (the dark green in the above map), involving Syria, Babylonia, Israel, Egypt, Judea and other smaller kingdoms. There was even a plot that pitted Jew against Jew, as the ten tribes of Israel grew impatient with the two tribes of Judea, and thought the way to get Judea to comply was to conquer it with the help of Syria, and then (with Judea forced to be on-board), to turn as a united front to face Assyria. All this political trickery and back-stabbing seemed opposed to Truth, to Isaiah, and he blithely warned that Israel and Syria would come to a bad end, if they followed such a course. He stated they should trust Truth (God) and not their own crafty plots, and they thought he was a naive chump. Isaiah stated that if they didn’t trust God then God would use Assyria as His “ax”, and chop them down, which was exactly what happened. Assyria rose in might and by the time of Sennacherib it seemed nothing could stand in the way of the Assyrian juggernaut.
Not that Judea’s politicians were inclined to abandon the sordid lowness of politics for some air-headed poet’s idealism. I often wonder what in the world Isaiah was doing, bopping around midst the politics of the palace. (My personal experience is that one is likely to get the old heave-ho, if one is too preachy with the politically pragmatic.) But apparently the fellow was literate at a time when most were not, so perhaps he was a “scribe”, and schoolteacher, (and may have even been the Judean King Hezekiah’s tutor.) Also Isaiah might have been the court historian, (for the only non-poetic chapters of the Book of Isaiah are nearly word-for-word-identical to the official Judea history, in the Book of Kings.) Lastly, as a poet he was somewhat respected as possessing prophetic powers, though people were often dubious of the authenticity of such powers back then, (as they are now). He was initially unpopular with the politically-correct, and was pressing his luck, and probably would have been done-away-with, had not a new king, Hezekiah, possessed a mystic streak. Hezekiah rediscovered the old Hebrew scriptures, (perhaps with Isaiah’s help), and was somewhat horrified by how far the Judean politically-correct had strayed from the established law. (Something like what a modern democrat might experience, if they ever bothered to read the US constitution.) He apparently underwent a sort of epiphany, and there is archaeological evidence Hezekiah didn’t just return to “the law” on paper, but tore down some houses of worship that were forbidden according to Jewish Law. In a sense he enacted a jeremiad before Jeremiah, but at the same time remained stuck in the pragmatism of politics.
The sixty-six chapters of The Book Of Isaiah are not arranged in chronological order, but rather are ordered for reasoning I don’t claim to understand. This apparently explains why we see Hezekiah stripping the gold off the temple doorposts to buy time, chapters before we see Hezekiah showing off all his temple’s gold to envoys from Babylonia. In attempting to put things in chronological order, my guess is that Hezekiah was co-regent with his father for a while, which makes their reigns overlap, and things then happened as follows:
Hezekiah became quite ill during the time when the threat was Israel and Syria to the north. Isaiah then came bopping in to the king’s bedroom and said it was wrong to stress politics before God, and that Hezekiah would be punished with death (the king was was in his sickbed at the time). Hezekiah was filled with remorse after Isaiah left, but Isaiah swiftly came bopping back into the king’s bedroom and said God had accepted the king’s apology, and the king wouldn’t die, and Jerusalem wouldn’t be plundered in his lifetime. The king was happy, but I imagine the politicians of the court thought both Hezekiah and Isaiah had both gone bonkers, and that Isaiah was a Rasputin-like bad-influence on their sovereign’s sanity, but they couldn’t say much because the king promptly regained his health.
Next some Babylonian envoys dropped by. After 2750 years the politics are unclear to me, for it seems Babylonia was already a tributary state to Assyria at this point, but from other sources it is apparent the Babylonians detested the Assyrians for wrecking their cities, especially their temples, so perhaps some political skulduggery was afoot. I imagine the politically-correct of Judea would have approved of fomenting some sort of rebellion within Babylonia towards Assyria, for if Assyrians were kept busy at home they wouldn’t bother with Jerusalem. In any case the Babylonians had heard about the king’s miraculous recovery from his death bed, and wanted to learn more about the power of the Hebrew Deity. King Hezekiah was only too glad to show off all the treasures God had blessed Judea with, whereupon Isaiah came bopping by to inform Hezekiah he was putting gold before God, and Jerusalem would be punished, as the Babylonians would remember the treasures, and come back to loot the city at a later date.
Isaiah’s prophesy must have seemed especially incorrect when Babylonia was further crushed, as Assyria began its blitzkrieg in earnest, but by that point the politically-correct were themselves starting to flip-out, for none of their crafty alliances and treaties seemed all that sane, either. Why? Because all the nations they held diplomatic talks with, (learned-diplomat scheming with learned-diplomat), one by one fell before the Assyrian onslaught. All their crafty wheeling and dealing came to naught, because the crafty people they were dealing with simply ceased to be.
I think it is at this is at this point we see Hezekiah stripping the gold off the temple doorposts in a desperate attempt to slow the Assyrian blitzkrieg and buy time. He seemed to want to use the time he bought to seek new allies, (perhaps even the Assyrians themselves). Also Hezekiah used the bought-time to engineer remarkable tunnels through solid stone, in order to channel springs outside Jerusalem to wells within its walls, so the city could withstand the siege Judea apparently knew was coming. Why should they plan for a siege even while making treaties with Sennacherib? Well, why did the British build spitfires, even as Chamberlain signed a treaty guaranteeing “Peace In Our Time” with Hitler? Let us just say that some peace is “uneasy”, and it was apparent to some Jews that Sennacherib, like most dictators, would not be sated by appeasement, and that, in the end, would demand Jerusalem obey his laws, and not their own laws [scriptures].)
Before Sennacherib arrived at the gates of Jerusalem he had kicked the butts of some mighty powerful people. He mocked all who claimed their “gods” could protect them. Babylonia prayed to their gods, and he kicked their butts. Egypt prayed to their gods, and he kicked their butts. Even the Jews of Israel had prayed, and he kicked their butts and sent those ten tribes of Jews off to captivity. Therefore he was feeling cocky when his forces arrived at the gates of Jerusalem. Sennacherib’s representative basically mocked the two remaining tribes of Jews, asking why they should think their God was any mightier than the gods of other nations. The Jewish king Hezekiah was scared right out of his socks, but the poet Isaiah came bopping forward and told the king to tell Sennacherib’s representative to back off, because the Jews of Judea were “not like the others”, and where others worshiped a false truth, Judea worshiped the plain Truth. And the plain Truth had a power you did not want to mess with.
Such confidence must have seemed too cocky, when the vast army of Assyrians arrived at Jerusalem and began to prepare to build ramps to overcome the walls. Although Hezekiah had seen the siege coming, and built amazing tunnels to supply the besieged city with water, things looked hopeless.
At this point history gets interesting, for we have more than one version of what happened next. Sennacherib arrived back at his capital and erected monuments to his own grandeur, bragging about how he trapped Hezekiah like “a bird in a cage,” forced him to pay tribute, and how he seized, and gave away, the people, cattle and lands left outside of Jerusalem, to other kings. He doesn’t bother to mention he never conquered Jerusalem.
The Jewish version is different. According to the Hebrew account, an “angel of the Lord” struck down a huge number of Assyrian soldiers, (roughly 185,000), overnight. The invasion was called off. It was seen as proof of the power of God, that not a single Jewish soldier had to draw a sword to send Sennacherib packing.
There are other versions of this tale as well, for even after 2750 years it riles people up. The statement that an “angel of the Lord” did the slaughtering of Assyrian troops does not sit well with the modern scientific psyche, so various attempts have been made to explain how a ‘flu or plague could have struck so swiftly. Some interesting theories have been put forth suggesting that, with the good springs diverted to within the walls of Jerusalem, the remaining springs were bad and perhaps even poisoned. And of course, there are those who dismiss the entire tale as a myth. (There is even an explanation, which may involve different Assyrian troops down in Egypt, which states a plague of field mice chewed all the Assyrian’s bowstrings.) And some complain about what became of the 185,000 bodies; shouldn’t there be a huge pile of bones somewhere?
When I look through the various versions I cannot help but feel that some historians are betraying their prejudice, despite their best efforts to appear objective and dispassionate. I notice two factors: The first is that some people simply do not like Jews, and the second is that some feel Truth cannot be animate. When faced with the miraculous salvation of Jerusalem, whispered across vast prairies of time, some are irked, and feel a seemingly involuntary urge to disparage, discredit, doubt and deny. They work very hard to either prove it never happened, or that it didn’t happen in the manner the amazed Jews of that time, who actually witnessed the miraculous event, reported.
I think this skepticism occurs because such people unconsciously know that they could be in big trouble, if Truth is not inanimate. They need Truth to be as lifeless as stone, for if it is at all responsive then they are not in control of it. For this reason they tend to adopt a condescending attitude when a poet such as Isaiah utilizes “personification”, and states the moon will be dismayed, or the sun ashamed, or the wilderness rejoice, or the mountains burst into song, or the trees “clap their hands.” They are prone to utilizing psychobabble to dismiss such ecstasy as being hallucination and madness. But, if it is true that a fundamental quality of Truth is that It is Love, then Truth must be animate, and indeed must respond; this may be a bit unnerving to the mindset of a mathematician, seeking a correct answer on the bottom line, for it suggests the Answer might answer them, (and even correct them, if their answer is wrong.)
In the end there seems to be two opposing responses to Truth. The inspired poets get swept up in ecstasy, and utilize rhyme and rhythm in an automatic and involuntary manner, harmonizing with harmony. The cynics, on the other hand, tends to disparage that which is exalted, and in some ways are hateful, or at least bitter, towards Truth.
This at long last returns me to the political struggle between Alarmists and Skeptics, in the debate about Global Warming, (especially as to how it concerns arctic sea-ice).
Initially I felt that Skeptics would be more prone to be cynical, but soon I became aware most Skeptics held Truth in high regard. It was the Alarmists who seemed more prone to resort to propaganda, and to think Truth didn’t matter, because some sort of Socialist “ends” justified the “means”, even if the “means” involved dishonesty.
This dishonesty became apparent because the Skeptics approached the scientific debate in good faith, and, over the last twenty years, have, one by one, defeated most of the Alarmist “Global Warming” arguments.
I was most personally involved in the idea of a so-called “Arctic Death Spiral”, which hypothesized less ice at the Pole would result in less sunlight being reflected away by the high “albedo” of sea-ice, and more sunlight being absorbed by the low “albedo” of dark-blue open water. This idea didn’t work because the open water didn’t appear, each summer, until the sun was sinking back down to the horizon, at which point open water reflected glancing sunlight even if it was dark blue, and could even have a higher albedo than dirty ice. Then, once the sun set, open water lost far more heat than ice-covered water. Also, as year followed year, the sea-ice failed to diminish in an escalating manner, as the “Death Spiral” predicted, and sea-ice actually increased a little. Lastly, it turned out the albedo calculations didn’t include the white snow-cover on land, which was increasing (in the short-term), in the autumn.
The Death Spiral was definitely debunked, but Alarmists refused to admit their ideas had shortcomings. It became increasingly obvious they were not interested in the Truth of science, but rather the politics, and they resorted to some pathetic political ploys to stand their ground. For example, when confronted with the facts, they put on a haughty air that seemed to suggest they didn’t need no stinkin’ facts, for a “consensus” involving “97% of all climate scientists” agreed with them. Nor did it matter that this so-called “consensus” of “97%” was exposed as statistical trickery. They insisted the “debate was over” because “the science was settled”, and no amount of further debate could dissuade them from their obstinate error.
At some point a poet like me slumps in dejection, and understands it is useless being patient and kind with people who argue in such a manner. Such arguing is not true debate, but rather is a ploy. Such Alarmists have no interest in what I am saying. No true conversation is occurring. They have no interest in sharing, and in fact they are only pretending to have a conversation, for they are utterly committed to a forgone conclusion.
It occurred to me that, while certain socialists state religion is “the opiate of the masses”, Alarmists are snorting poppies all their own. Where socialists like to point out historical examples of church intolerance, such as the Spanish Inquisition, Christians freely confess that such intolerance is in violation of Christian commandments to “love thy neighbor”. The Spanish Inquisition was in violation of Christian scriptures, whereas socialist intolerance is written down in their playbook, and intolerance is, in fact, the Marxist “scripture” they follow. Some socialist dogma might as well state, “Be deaf to your neighbor”. While it may sound intolerant to say so, comparing the words of Christ with stated Marxist procedures gives one the distinct impression they oppose Christ, and therefore are an anti-Christ.
How can I say such an intolerant thing? It is because when you really love another you are very interested in their views. But, if you only want to screw another, you only pretend to be interested. You can charm, but it is only to get your way. You are basically a sly rapist; it doesn’t matter if you drape your lust in roses. You are hell-bent to achieve your goal. You can even copy the speech of poets, but a carnal flush burns on your cheeks and glints in your eyes, and, even if such a look only flashes momentarily, a person who truly loves immediately recognizes it, and takes a step back. They understand you are the slave of a forgone conclusion. You are the victim of an infatuation. You are set on a certain goal, and other people are merely what the communists called “useful idiots”, or else an enemy that must be “purged”, (which means killed), or sent away to a “reeducation”, (which is tantamount to mental murder). Opponents are but foolish innocents (“useful idiots”) you exploit, (and you exploit worse than the capitalists you sneer-at do). You are set on your “ends” like a myopic rapist is, and your “means” are nothing but trickery.
The greater poets recognize a distinct difference between love and infatuation. Love is the active and ongoing appreciation of another, whereas infatuation already knows the forgone conclusion. Love has true compassion for another, (even a Macbeth, even an Iago, even a Claudius). Infatuation only pretends to care, while calculating how much they stand to gain from the pretense. When people who love give to charity their wallets become thinner. When infatuation gives to charity their wallets grow plump. The people effected know the difference. When you have been loved you feel uplifted. When you feel screwed, even raped, something different than love is involved. (Ask the people of Haiti how they felt about the United Nations and the Clintons “helping” them. Did they feel uplifted, or feel befouled?)
Love reaches out to understand others, whereas infatuation grasps others to use them. Therefore, if you take the advice of Christ seriously, and humbly serve others to a degree wherein you even “love thy enemy”, you are interested in those who debate you. The Antichrist has no such interest, nor such care for a foe. Even when anti-Christ socialists pretend to be part of a two-party-system, they intend to bump off all opposition as swiftly as possible.
In my youth I was friends with some radical communists. Fifty years ago, (as now), they liked to have a 1930’s communist propaganda-poster on their dorm’s wall. I carefully listened to all their explanations about why they had to murder and maim, “fighting fire with fire” (as they explained it), and learned all of their jargon. I had to do a lot of listening, because they talked so much, but I was a good listener, (while they felt “listening” was “too great a compromise”). One failure in their logic always amazed me.
They seemed to fail to see that, because we mortals are each as different as our fingerprints, a day must come when we will disagree with even our closest friend. On that day, if we don’t own a philosophy that promotes listening, and instead follow a dogma which sees disagreement as opposition, then even our best friend will need to be “purged”, or they will “purge” us. Either they, or we, will require “reeducation”. One of us will be called “counter revolutionary,” and it will not matter a bit how many times we called them “comrade” and embraced them. One of us will need to be erased from the picture.
It doesn’t matter, in such a sinister society, how close and valuable you think you are to your comrade. You can be a dictator’s bosom-buddy, the trusted head of his secret police, but you too can vanish.
As a lover of Truth, I was always perplexed by the effort made by such Antichrists to vanish the fact they fired an employee. Why not just say the employee failed to do the job as you expected, and as you required it be done? I could only suppose they couldn’t face the Truth. They didn’t like being reminded that they had killed a comrade. Truth hurts, and they couldn’t face the pain. Also, people might ask questions, and, if the reason for questions was not in the picture, perhaps no questions would be asked and no honest answer would be required. (As if Truth was not watching!) In conclusion, it was (and is) an attitude based upon the false notion that Truth is an inanimate thing, and instead is made of a malleable material like modeling clay, which you control.
One thing such people do not control, and that is the inevitability of death. They may control the life expectancy of others, but not of themselves. We all must eventually face death, and it is very sad to see a dictator face what he has mocked, flaunted, and postponed. It is then he becomes the Macbeth, the Iago, the Claudius. There is a huge pathos in the ends of those who clutched power with white knuckles, but finally must see it slip away. In the case of the mighty Sennacherib of Assyria, after appointing his younger son heir, he looked up as he worshiped at his place-of-worship and saw his eldest son approaching with a drawn sword and murder in his eye. In the case of the mighty Joseph Stalin, his final days were filled with dread he might see the ones closest to him with murder in their eyes.
Therefore Stalin took precautions. He noted that when older communists died, doctors always seemed to be involved, so he had doctors jailed and interrogated. This was standard communist procedure. After internment, and interrogation including, if necessary, torture, the suspect would “confess” at a soviet “show trial.” The Russian public would be spoon-fed a pablum stating that Stalin was “Uncle Joe”, a lovable character, who evil people (often Jews) were out to betray. Many of Russia’s better doctors ( of whom many were Jewish), found themselves hauled in for questioning for no earthly reason they could think of, as Stalin faced old-age, and death.
Stalin also went out of his way to make sure he could keep his eye on the communist equivalent of “heirs to the throne.” Rather than going about their business, all Russia’s most important leaders had to hang around Stalin’s old-age-home (resort) and endure daily cross-examinations, far from where business was being enacted. One of these individuals may have dared to attempt to hurry Stalin’s demise. It has been suggested that a large dose of blood-thinner was added to to Stalin’s bedtime toddy of watered wine. The hope was that it would cause a stroke that would kill him. Stalin did suffer a stroke that night, but it didn’t kill him.
The main reason to suspect that Stalin’s stroke wasn’t natural is because his servants did not behave naturally, the next morning. Ordinarily, if their master overslept, they would enter the room and raise the curtains in a respectful manner. However not a single servant dared enter the room, on that particular morning. It was as if they somehow knew “something was up.” When someone finally went in, they found Stalin stretched out on the floor, as if the stroke incapacitated him as he left his bed to reach for a water bottle on the dresser. But he wasn’t dead.
At this point a Jewish doctor, an expert in the treatment of strokes, was under the duress of merciless cross-examination in the jails of the secret police. He was being interrogated for some conspiracy Stalin imagined existed, but which the doctor in fact knew nothing about. As these interrogations continued, day after dreary day, the doctor abruptly noticed a bewildering change in the questions he was being asked. They went from, “Do not your Jewish scriptures state that…” to, “When a person has suffered a stroke, is it wise to…” The shift in the questioning was so unexpected the fellow couldn’t help but laugh about it, (though only to himself). Then he was abruptly plucked from jail and whisked to Stalin’s side, and asked to save his oppressor’s life.
If he could have, he didn’t. Stalin’s death was slow and tortuous and took over ten days; he basically slowly turned purple and strangled to death, all the while looking around with bulging eyes at eyes that feared him, but did not much love him (and some eyes were the eyes of those who might have actually poisoned him).
Despite the fact Stalin was portrayed by the state-controlled Russian media as a jovial and huggy “Uncle Joe”, so many millions had died under his despotism, and so many had been sent off to “reeducation” in Siberia, that I can’t help but think Russia breathed a sigh of relief, to have him gone. The following spring must have been hopeful. It seems to show in the May Day propaganda poster for the next “five year plan”, likely painted just after he died.
This poster happens to be one that was on the wall of a hip, radical friend’s dorm, back around 1969, when I was just a teenager. And I must admit it is full of springtime optimism. Nor do I believe it is wrong to propose a five-year-plan that will enrich society, nor to vow to make such a plan a reality. However, even as teen, I knew a vast gulf separated a dream from reality, and a vow from fruition. (My own parents had vowed to be true until death parted them, but the reality was they divorced.) Despite all my youthful idealism and optimism, I had a cynical streak, and tended to poke fun at commercials on TV. Therefore I was not going to join any communist five-year-plan, until I had a few questions answered by my radical friends.
Because I was so young, my questions were rude and irreverent. My young and radical friends were extremely annoyed at my disrespect.
Because I had sex on the brain at that age, I immediately and rudely pointed out the spotlight of light on the blond girl’s left nipple. I wondered, why focus there? And shouldn’t such a star of light be above the forehead of the recently-departed Stalin, now part of a “beloved” quartet-of-lore in the background?
Next I wondered if the artist had paid too much attention to the blond girl’s left breast, for her head was some four inches higher than it should be. Michelangelo would never make a mistake like that.
Then I wondered why the young man in the picture was such a dork. His hair was too short. He was obviously a “square”.
Then I pondered what they were looking up at, so joyously. It wasn’t Stalin, because he was dead, and it couldn’t be God, for communists believed God was also dead. Was it a big copy of the five-year-plan? And shouldn’t you wait until a plan was completed before celebrating? And didn’t their joy now look stupid, (in 1969), because we (in 1969) now knew Russia had failed to achieve their goals, (of 1953), while we Americans looked likely to beat them to the moon?
Carefully examining the eyes of the young man and young woman in the propaganda poster, I stated they were not even looking at the same thing. Whatever it was they were so happy about, it was not something they agreed about.
Around about that time my radical friends would tell me to get the heck out of their dorm, while informing me I was hopelessly brainwashed by capitalist propaganda, and that Russians were richer than Americans, their cities had no slums, and that a Russian and not Thomas Edison had actually invented the light bulb.
As a young cynic I was equally critical of the American dream of a-house-in-the-suburbs. I had watched my own home town turn from a beautiful small town where neighbors knew each other into a sort of ugly suburban sterility where they didn’t, and I had no illusions about money buying happiness. Norman Rockwell painted life as we wanted it to be, more than he painted what actually was, and as a teen I found his work “square” (and even “propaganda”), but it is interesting to compare a work of his from a spring six years before the above poster was painted, with the above poster:
It is striking to me how much humbler the glorification is, and how clear and definite the subject is, though (as with the propaganda poster) much is occurring outside the picture. (It is also interesting to see Stalin’s mortality was discussed six years before he actually died.)
When I think about the difference between the two paintings, I see they both speak of spring and of hope, but the American painting is closer to Truth. Stalinists denied problems under the gloss of propaganda, whereas Norman Rockwell could make us smile (and even feel a mysterious joy), without hiding a problem.
Here’s another example: Builders often neglect to include space for children to play, when rushing to engineer a new neighborhood, whether the housing is part of a five-year-plan or a new suburb popping up in a post-war boom. To criticize a five-year-plan could be death, in Stalin’s Russia, but Rockwell could tell the truth with a picture, in America, during the post-war building boom.
If I imagine Rockwell had been born in Stalinist Russia, I’m tempted to ask myself a few questions: First, would the Commissar Of Daubed Rectangles have issued him any permits for canvas or paint? Second, would Rockwell have dared paint such a picture? Third, would any Russian magazine have dared use it for a cover? Fourth, would Rockwell and the magazine have been punished for the above picture? Lastly, if his picture had somehow been seen by Stalin and Stalin had been moved, or at least amused, would the grim man then have made it mandatory for every Russian neighborhood to include a baseball field, whether people wanted it or not, and whether people even played baseball, or were instead a community of retired stamp collectors?
The problem with any sort of autocratic mortal is that their dislike of opposition causes them to cease to be truly responsive, (if they ever were). Their efforts (if made at all) are clumsy, and once their desire to dominate takes over, they cease to be loving, which cuts them off from a wellspring of benefits. Beautiful benefits. The benefits we call, “Joy”.
The thing that strikes me about a painter like Rockwell is that he is not taking orders from a worldly commissar; he often doesn’t know what his next week’s subject will be; he is waiting to see “what comes to him”, and what his response will be. In other words a good artist tends to be responsive whereas an autocrat is primarily interested in power, and is domineering. It is a difference like the difference between night and day, and can be seen in the results.
The joke of it all is that the autocrat thinks he controls the world, but the world controls him. Conversely the best artists often are poor, powerless, and have little more than a gift; a genius like Bach wore the same humble servant’s garb as a butler. Yet the genius of an artist’s powerlessness opens heaven’s gates, and their influence stretches out across centuries. People still hum Mozart’s melodies. People quote Shakespeare without knowing it. Isaiah’s words uplift even after 2750 years. Yet they wore no crowns on earth; nor did they command armies.
In the end, the power is derived from Truth. And Truth is Love. And Love is responsive.
The dictators of the world like to issue their personal little-red-book rules, motivated by the idea the “masses” (you and me), are better off controlled by rules written on stone. This may have been the case when God wrote the Ten Commandments on tablets of stone with burning brilliance for Moses, but that was only because the people Moses led had hearts hardened like stone, by 400 years of cruel slavery in Egypt. Elsewhere the Bible states the ten commandments are already written, on the hearts of every man, when hearts are created soft and innocent and childlike and new, in the newborn.
In other words we know, deep down, how to behave. We own a thing called a “conscience.” We need no tyrant. We need no big government. We need no welfare and government “benefits”. We need no so-called “charity” which makes the wallets of the so-called “giver” get fatter. All we need is the Truth.
The Truth is different every day. It is something we need to respond to. In order to respond correctly we need to love. Because we have the ten commandments etched on our God-given hearts, we don’t need some Chairman Mao demanding we obey his personal interpretation of a Marxist manifesto based upon distrust, and sadly founded on hate.
The things that upset me about Chairman Mao, and his “Great Leap Forward” and “Cultural Revolution”, are almost too numerous to mention. The man seemed possessed by a odd belief that the way to be Avant-garde was to absolutely destroy the Status-quo. It was as if, when you chop down a forest, you instantly can harvest a crop of wheat in the wasteland you have created, or as if, when you tear down a slum, there are instantly new buildings for the homeless you have created. He failed to consult farmers, which was odd because he was country boy, and failed to consult builders, which was odd because he so badly wished to build a new China. The results were predictably disastrous. The “Great Leap Forward” may have resulted in the death in as many as 40 million by starvation, (although as many as two million may have had their starvation hastened by being badly beaten for daring to suggest Mao’s five-year-plan had shortcomings.)
The inner circles doing Mao’s “central planning” seem to have imagined they had divine powers, and that, by the wave of a hand, they could make things healed, like Jesus touching a crippled hand and the withered flesh healing and becoming strong right before onlooker’s startled eyes. However they had no such powers, and some of their decisions appear like complete madness. To jerk China into the twentieth century they decided to sharply increase the production of steel, and they ordered entire rural districts to produce steel, and nothing but steel. The picture below was taken out in a rural area at night, as people, desperate to obey, produced not steel, but pig-iron.
With such enormous manpower redirected to making steel others had to grow the food, but farmers were ordered, under penalty of death, to ignore their own wisdom and instead to follow the advise of Trofim Lysenko, a Russian pseudo-scientist who had already contributed to a terrible famine in Russia, and now contributed to a worse famine in China.
In order to hide the resultant crop failures ridiculous propaganda pictures were created. The picture below (from 1959) shows “the wheat was so thick youth could stand on it”.
The absurdity of the above picture is not only that the youths are standing on a hidden bench, but that the wheat was transplanted from where it grew sparsely to create the illusion it grew far more densely than it in fact was growing. It was a lie, justified by the need to “boost morale”.
The problem with this dishonesty was that the central planners were not receiving honest reports. This is a problem created by governments, when the honest are punished for telling the Truth. It was worsened by the fact Mao apparently desired adulation, and was susceptible to flattery. He was taken to see examples of how successful his policies were, in the same manner foreign reporters were taken to see settings that were basically a sham, and nothing like the horrors actually experienced by the poor, starving Chinese people. In order to foster the illusion of bumper crops warehouses brimming with grain were kept locked, because it was important to have warehouses brimming. And sometimes, (because the grain sometimes had to be shipped away for economic and political reasons), the very people who grew the food received none. Mao had the heartlessness of English Lords during the Irish Potato Famine: Despite the starving people dying outside, crying for Mao to save them, the brimming warehouses were not opened for the people who grew the food.
When the nature of the famine became undeniable, rather than the central planners accepting responsibility for the mess they had made, they blamed the weather (which actually was bad at that time). However there was some murmuring among the leaders that Mao’s leadership was not bringing about the prosperity he had promised. Mao felt such murmuring was counter-revolutionary, and represented back-sliding from the true answer to all problems, which was a total break from the past. This was his excuse for what he deemed a “Proletarian Cultural Revolution”, which was essentially mob rule.
Mao felt that what was holding China back was “Old culture, old customs, old habits, and old beliefs.” His solution was to close the schools, and to set the students lose to attack the “revisionist” and “imperialistic” counterrevolutionary forces who would attempt to once again enslave the Chinese. As the civil war between the Communists and Nationalists had been brutal, and memories were relatively recent, (1949 was only 17 years in the past), it was possible to pick scabs and reawaken traumatic memories (focusing on Nationalist atrocities and ignoring Communist atrocities, or describing Communist cruelty as “justified” and “revolutionary”), and to utilize mob violence in an attempt to “cleanse” China of evil and make it sparkling clean.
It didn’t happen. Instead the students, who beyond doubt had experienced oppression under dictatorial rule, unleashed their resentment towards all figures of authority and all symbols of tradition and all fashions that were remotely “western”. They were given the power to accuse teachers, principles and parents, and to interrogate them. They had the power to break into households and conduct searches for evidence of counterrevolutionary thought. Having an old dusty suit of a western fashion in a back closet, or an old keepsake from a grandmother made of gold, or a statue of Buddha or Confucius or a crucifix, or even a haircut deemed too “western”, could result in an interrogation and beating and exile to a place of “reeducation”. National landmarks, old temples hundreds of years old, were trashed. As this chaos descended upon China various units of the Red Guard accused each other of infractions, and gang warfare developed, echoing the warlords of China’s civil war. Industrial production dropped 12% between 1966 and 1968. Rather than sparkling purity and progress, the revolution resembled the Terror of the French Revolution, until even Mao himself felt some sense of threat.
Mao then used the policy of “rustication”, which he had originally begun as a sort of Utopian vision (with the statement, “The countryside is a vast expanse of heaven and earth where we can flourish”), as a way to get the Red Guard off the streets, with his statement, “The intellectual youth must go to the country, and will be educated from living in rural poverty.” A minimum of 16 million youths were sent off to a sort of penal labor, though getting many to give up their power as mini-warlords, and marching them off, wasn’t all that easy. During the Cultural Revolution the Red Guard was responsible for a half million deaths, while the army was responsible for twice as many, many of them members of the Red Guard who resisted army control. In the end the military ruled and China became a police state.
Mao’s claim, (that revolution was beneficial in and of itself), was refuted. If anything he caused China to conclude the exact opposite was true: Power should never be given to the people, especially to the young. But what his tragic example actually proves is that power corrupts leaders, and absolute power corrupts leaders absolutely. His so-called “philosophy” seems partly an old man’s yearning back towards simpler days, when revolution was easier, and the “bad guys” were obvious, (during his “Long March” across China), and it partly seems a desperate grasping to cling to power after the debacle of his “Great Leap Forward.” Above all his vision seems blurred by a dislike for Truth.
What has this to do with sea-ice? It is because, just as Mao had a deep dislike for what Truth was making self-evident, Alarmists have a deep dislike for what Truth is making self-evident, concerning the so-called arctic sea-ice “Death Spiral.” And it is when people see their relationship with Truth sour, that one either becomes humble, or the rot sets in.
Some may call it laughable to call a quibble about the fluctuations in the amount of sea-ice anything like the cruelty enacted by tyrants like Mao, Stalin and Hitler, but it is only a matter of degree. (Nor is it all that small a quibble, when one considers the billions of dollars involved, [dollars I think are wasted, if not completely corrupted into being mere “kick-backs”], in “Global Warming”), (not to mention the possible complete derangement of economies in the future.) Mighty weeds can grow from tiny seeds.
The entire twentieth century involved China in so much calamity it beggars the imagination. Even the death of hundreds of thousands in a terrible flood becomes, through comparison, a “small” event. But among all of China’s misfortunes Mao takes the cake, for the calamity he’s associated with was not nature’s floods, earthquakes or drought-caused famines, nor an invading foreign power, but rather a hell caused by a man who was native-born. Mao had some degree of love for his homeland and his people. How could his leadership go so terribly astray? Why, God, why?
Call me simplistic if you will, but I see Mao as a tragic character like Macbeth, or Iago, or Claudius, who faced the same moral choices we all face, and dared make the wrong choices we all are tempted to make, but seldom dare make, (or seldom make to the incredible degree Mao made them).
He murdered. He deceived on a regular basis, as a matter of political principle, and advocated that others deceive. (“Propaganda”) Much of his emphasis was based on hatred rather than love. (Hatred of the bourgeois, the petite bourgeois, landlords, royalty, wealthy people, western civilization, “revisionists”, “imperialists”, and, (by his end), basically anyone who differed from his warped idealism.) But to me his worst wrong-choice was to terribly misguide the hope of China, which was its youth. To direct the freshness, energy, enthusiasm and optimism of youth into the Red Guard’s atrocities was a child-abuse of unprecedented scale and ugliness, (which is envied and admired by wicked people even to this day).
One of Mao’s greatest hypocrisies was to loath people (other than himself) gifted with power (“bourgeois”) [irregardless if wealth came from privilege and parents, or through hard work], and instead to praise the peasant, (“proletariat”),[irregardless if the peasant worked hard or was slothful], while at the same time redefining himself as an all-powerful demigod, and his personal thoughts as a sort of Chinese Bible. His “little red book” was a sort of gospel of class warfare, based on hatred. It is also an example of a man so overly-proud of his own opinions he cannot hear the cries of others, even of the proletariat he claims to care for. He turned his arrogance into a sort of personality cult, and his “little red book” into a cudgel he used to crush people who dared disagree. Despite all the physical evidence that his policy was causing China harm, both in capitalistic terms and in terms of the physical and spiritual welfare of the Chinese people, he insisted the problem lay in any who dared disagree with him. By his end, it “was all about me”. Of what use were others? In his eighties, ravaged by strokes, an old, drooling, and in many ways demented man, he clung to his insistence that if it wasn’t good for Mao it couldn’t be good for China. Talk about vanity! Talk about a failure to appreciate others! Talk about hate and egotism triumphing over love and selflessness!
Talk about an Antichrist! Where Christ took a minuscule amount of bread and fish to feed 5000 Jews on one occasion and 4000 non-Jews on another, Mao took all the wisdom of China’s farmers and, with the “help” of Lysenko, caused the starvation of millions upon millions of good Chinese people.
It will be hard for China to ever admit how ignorant Mao was. It is hard, when you are brought up to treat “the little red book” as a Bible, to admit the writer wasn’t a Christ, and in fact was in many ways an Antichrist. But China is coming to its senses, (very slowly, it sometimes seems), and confessing that their worship of the “little red book” was as least as stupid as, and perhaps more stupid than, the screaming worship of western imperialist, capitalist, petite-bourgeoisie woman, at the same time, of the Beatles. (Mao was “more stupid”, because, at least, in 1967, the Beatles didn’t murder, and talked a lot about love.) In 1967, in China, the “Beatles”, that the teenage girls went wild about, looked like this:
It is interesting to compare the Maoist propaganda pictures with the Stalinist poster I showed above. Notice how no one smiles in the Chinese propaganda?
I can never look at these propaganda posters without considering the artist who painted them. What pressure was he under, and what was he thinking?
No artist can completely free themselves from Truth, even when they intentionally gird their loins and attempt to mold it into a half-truth. At times Truth leaks into their art in ways they do not intend It to (and which they may even be horrified by.) Sometimes such leakage is completely subconscious, and sometimes it is purposeful and involves daring. It occurs in political art, commercial art, and even when one is simply painting a portrait for an arrogant, paying customer. As hard as one tries to paint a fool looking intelligent, the truth may sometimes leak in around the edges. (If you do it well, the fool cannot see it, and you still get paid.)
For example, (putting on the cynical hat I wore as a teenager), in the above poster the youth holding the little-red-book has his arm in the unnaturally stiff “heil Hitler” salute of a Nazi. (As does the youth below seemingly reaching towards a bayonet.) Accident? Subconscious? We do not know what the painter of this picture underwent, but we do know that students at art schools saw their teachers humiliated and hauled off, and never saw them again. The copies of statues from other lands, including a careful facsimile of Michelangelo’s statue of David, were dragged outside and pulverized with sledge hammers. Who knows what secret feelings lurked in the heart of the painter of the above poster?
Wearing my hat (of a cynical teenager with sex-on-the-brain), I notice the artist certainly didn’t aim to make the women in the poster all that attractive. There is no spotlight on the left nipple. (The left nipple is in fact in shadow, but there is a faint trace of a right nipple, which Sigmund Freud would suggest may indicate the artist still had faint, youthful hopes.) Of course, any sort of mascara or face-powder or eye-shadow was deemed western and decadent, or else, if applied in an oriental manner, was deemed “traditional” and therefore equally decadent, so perhaps the artist was merely painting the truth he witnessed; however make-up is supposed to mimic natural attractiveness, and the artist saw little of that. The women he portrays are not exactly the sort whom a teenager would veer from his ordinary path to chat with.
But what seems oddest to me is at the bottom of the poster, and involves the positioning of the open palm and the bayonet. It may be that, with the art-teacher “liquidated”, the placement of hand and bayonet was merely a matter of poor, uneducated composition, but you could not ask for two more opposite symbols than an open palm (peace) and a bayonet (war), and, even if the bayonet is suppose to be behind the palm, the palm does appear to be reaching towards it. It seems a strange sort of juxtaposition, perhaps hinting at a desire for peace midst Red Guard violence, and, if I was a zealot of the Red Guard, I would have had the artist hauled off for immediate interrogation. (Just as a Freudian psychiatrist sees sexual symbolism everywhere, the Red Guard could see counterrevolution everywhere.)
Even when there isn’t a bullying politician or boss demanding that the artist portray certain things in a certain, inaccurate way, an artist is always struggling with Truth, especially when the artist is young. This occurs because an artist has a preconception of what they want to portray, but an artist also has an inner ear or eye or nose that can tell if the work “looks right” or “sounds right” or “smells right”, and these different factors are seldom in complete agreement. This battle in an artist is the same battle, (a battle between infatuation and love, between a foregone conclusion and ongoing appreciation), that one sees enacted on the bigger stage of world politics.
I first became aware of this battle when I was a young artist, for I had high hopes, and, because art is “self expression”, my high hopes appeared on the page. I would be sketching a boy-meets-girl plot and trying to get it to the boy-gets-girl climax, (the plot of both romance and pornography), and worked hard to write my story to the happy-ever-after ending I craved, but problems would unexpectedly appear. The lovely Susie Creamcheese in my tale would unexpectedly develop an IQ of 160, and become a high-maintenance individual. The story that had seemed so easy to write would grind to a halt, as I suffered what is called “writer’s block”.
In this microcosm I myself was the Mao, attempting to inflict my preconceived five-year-plan, but, within my creation, (far smaller than China), counterrevolutionary forces appeared. Unlike Mao, I stopped in my tracks. I knew intuitively that what I was attempting didn’t “look right” or “sound right” or “smell right”. So I would cross things out, and rewrite. At times I rewrote over, and over, and over, and over again.
Who was the editor that made me rewrite? It wasn’t a fellow mortal. At that time I longed for a worldly editor or agent to give me free advice, (as I had no money), but none were to be found. Instead I faced an editor available to all, who does not charge a penny for good advice, called Truth.
In order to access the free advice of this invaluable Editor all one needs to do be honest. When something doesn’t “sound right” one needs to confess. This confession doesn’t require a Catholic “confessional booth”, or any sort of ritual. All one needs to do is say, “my last effort seems to suck.” This admission of failure is the same for the scientist as it is for the artist. It opens the doors to improvement, and my experience has always been that a sweet breeze immediately refreshes, and also that stubbornly refusing to open the door results in stultifying mustiness.
Any success in life is built on the shoulders of many failures. In fact, when you look at the lives of fellow mortals we admire and call “great”, it is often startling to see what losers they were before they shone. Churchill in many ways was selected to be the individual that saved the world from Hitler, Stalin and even Mao, but what made him the perfect man for the job was a lot of failure beforehand. He was such a loser that the politically-correct called him “finished” in 1938, but a year later he was thrilling all who love freedom with his defiance of despots, leading ordinary people to fight the good fight against evil.
At this point, if you love a good debate, it is useful to point out Hitler was also a longtime-loser, who used failure as a fuel for meteoric (albeit short-term) success. The difference between the two men seems to be that Churchill knew the meaning of “magnanimous”, whereas the frustration of failure was, for Hitler, an excuse for white-hot rage and burning vengeance. (Being thrown-out of power was, for Churchill, a good excuse for champagne during breakfast.) (For Hitler, Stalin and Mao even the suggestion they relinquish power was an excuse to kill.)
Obviously, though it sounds ambiguous, there is great power in being a failure. It has nothing to do with being a quitter, (as Churchill was not a man known for accepting surrender). Rather it is a matter of learning from your mistakes, which is very hard to do if you insist you are correct. It doesn’t matter if your insistence takes the murderous form of a Hitler, Stalin or Mao, or is the merely offensive snobbery of the “politically correct”. If you insist on being called correct, and on being seen with the right people in the right places and never being seen as wrong, then you are a total fool, for you are denying yourself the advice of the Master, the King of kings and Emperor of emperors, called Truth.
Truth has no interest in shaming us, when It corrects us. It only wants to improve our quality of life. Truth wants to help. Shame makes no sense. Shame is the invention of the same idiot who invented war, rage, vengeance, and a lot of other stupid things.
Truth wants to stop the stupidity. In the end, Truth will succeed, because Truth is the stuff we are made of, and Truth is the Creator who made us. To resent the Truth that made us is like resenting the air that we breathe. Only silly people do it.
Why call yourself “correct” when it should be obvious none of us are? Not fully.
Because we are mortal we are imperfect, and because we are imperfect Truth is a standing challenge to our very existence; to our precious egos which are perhaps necessary, but are a necessary evil, for they are shells that make us lumber like a tortoise when we were born to bound like frogs. Truth wants us to shed our shells. Because Truth is Love it does not shame us, but rather wants us to compare our current state with what we might be, to compare our current art with what Truth is. Truth wants us to leave the rough draft behind, and to move on to the second, third, and fourth draft. Is that such a shameful thing?
What has this to do with Arctic Sea Ice? It is because, besides the actual science involved, I see some imbeciles employing Maoist tactics. It is as if the world learned nothing from China’s agony, or Russia’s agony under Stalinism, or Germany’s agony under Hitler. Just as Mao ignored the evidence under his own nose, a half century later certain college professors are blind. The Truth does not matter to such snobs; they think their vainglorious ideology makes them righteous.
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.