Needles, California last week

By John Ruberry

While I’m watching snow fall outdoors at Marathon Pundit world headquarters in Morton Grove, Illinois, the rest of my family is vacationing in southern California.

When they drove into California at Needles, just as the Joads did in The Grapes of Wrath, they were also greeted by more desert, as well as this 76 sign, which informs motorists that regular gasoline is selling for $3.79-a-gallon, more than a dollar above the national average.

Taxes are of course the reason and late last year the Tarnished State increased its gas taxes by 12 cents-a-gallon, to pay for road improvements.

California’s problems are vast. When the cost-of-living is figured in California suffers from the nation’s highest poverty rate. Modern day Joads are better off staying in Oklahoma. California’s roads are in bad shape because of onerous financial obligations in other parts of the budget. CalPERs, California’s public worker pension plan, is a sinkhole, so much so that Governor Jerry Brown is suggesting that pension benefits might be lowered–even for state workers currently paying into the program.

Another budget-buster is California’s high-speed rail project. Eight years ago voters approved the $40 billion project because government would pay for construction, which would make it “free.” Cost estimates for it have already climbed to $64 billion. If completed, and right now that might be stretch at best, it will run between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The relatively inexpensive segment where construction has begun, between Madera and Bakersfield, is already beset by delays, so much so that Victor Davis Hanson is musing that what little has been built could end up as nothing more than a modern Stonehenge. While the project is receiving federal funds, an increase of cash from Washington DC is not going to happen during the Trump presidency. So don’t count on a bailout, Californians.

Liberalism is expensive. And liberals love trains because, unlike cars and buses, they only go where there are tracks.

Moving up the Pacific Coast Highway into Oregon we learn that legislators are considering implementing an expensive cap-and-trade scheme that will punish large energy users, who are of course also large employers, in order to fight global warming. California has a cap-and-tax racket going already.  But there is some good news out of Oregon. Earlier this year, a new law took effect that allows drivers to fill up their own gas tanks–without an attendant. Of course some Oregonians freaked out, No, this was not an episode of Portlandia. Now only another coastal blue state, New Jersey, bans self-serve gas stations.

Blogger in Aberdeen, Washington

Heading north over the Columbia River into Washington, legislators in that blue state are debating a $10-a-ton carbon tax, one that a Democratic legislator who opposes it calls a “pretty sizable gas-tax increase.” Washington’s governor, Democrat Jay Inslee, who prefers a $20-a-ton tax, laughingly calls his plan a jobs creator.

The United States has much cheaper energy costs than Japan and most nations in Europe, which is one of the reasons, along with President Trump’s slashing of regulations–many of them involving energy–why the American economy is booming.

Does the West Coast want to be left behind as the rest of our nation enjoys prosperity? California, as it has been for decades for good and for ill, is already ahead of the curve.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

There are many reasons why one should not fall for the insanity of climate change panic, the unwillingness of those who claim it’s a crisis to act like it’s a crisis, the massive amounts of money spent to massage a particular answer and the simple question of who has benefited from the vast amounts of cash generated by grants and subsidies for those who are most deeply invested in this nonsense.

But for my money the best reason is illustrated by these paragraphs from this story on Tropical storm Irma (emphasis mine).

As of late Thursday morning, Irma was a category 2 storm packing sustained winds of 100 mph and was located more than 3,000 miles away from Florida. The storm is headed west toward the Leeward Islands.

U.S. and European computer models show Irma heading in different directions.

“The American models take it to the Carolinas by next Sunday (Sept. 10). The European models have it going to Cuba and possibly threatening South Florida,” News 6 meteorologist Troy Bridges said. “It’s just too early to tell.”

Now consider these words for a second.

At this moment our understanding of Hurricanes is more advanced that at any time in human history and our knowledge continues to grow.  Consider this bit from the Earth Sciences page of Carlton College about studying Hurricanes:

Why Study Hurricanes?

Hurricanes are life-threatening, building-flattening, property-flooding storms. They are complex natural phenomena that involve multiple interacting processes, offering real-world reasons to understand concepts such as air pressure and heat transfer. When a hurricane is occurring, the human connection to our planet is real and immediate: land, water, air, and life are all whirled about by these intense storms.

Like scientists, you’ll study hurricanes in satellite imagery and visualizations, and do some hands-on experiments. You’ll also explore over 150 years of storm data to find out when and where these storms occur. If you’re studying hurricanes during hurricane season, you’ll be able to monitor the position and status of storms in real time.

So when it comes to Hurricanes we have exact data that can be gleamed in real time of every aspect of a storm as it happens to add to the various computer models.  Additionally we have live data dating back to the mid 19th century that has been studied by experts in the field for a century and a half to tell us how hurricanes have acted in the past including information made by first hand observation by the most advanced instruments available at the time.

Furthermore the computers now being used are leaps and bounds over machines of just a decade or two ago and unlike the mid 19th century we many venues all over the world that are a source of training in this information and an even larger pool of potential meteorologists available to allow those tasked with making these predictions to choose the very best.

Yet even with all of this, two weather services each with all the advantages listed,  have 850 mile gap between where they think this storm will go over the next 72 hours.

Now as a person familiar with both mathematics and computer science, this variation is not odd, in fact it’s completely understandable. After all a computer model is based on the best possible guesses from the available data and hurricanes are “complex natural phenomena that involve multiple interacting processes” so there is nothing at all odd about there being a 850 mile variation as to where it will it.  As we get closer to Sunday and we have true data to input the variation in the models will correspondingly decrease.

Now apply this to climate change models telling us we face disaster in 100 years.

You aren’t dealing with a single “complex natural phenomena that involve multiple interacting processes” you are dealing with EVERY complex natural phenomena that involve multiple interacting processes that exists on the earth. Every single additional item you add increases the variation of the data models. Furthermore you are also dealing with variations in the sun, variations in the orbits of the earth, its moon and more.

And that’s just the variations in natural phenomena, imagine the variation in industrial output on the entire planet for a period of 50 or 100 years.

Think of the computer modeling and tracking of that single hurricane and apply this thinking to the climate of the earth as a whole. How accurate that model is going to be over 100 years, 50 years, 25 years or even ten years?

Would you be willing to bet even your short term economic future on it, would anyone in their right mind do so?

And as you are pondering the answer to that question consider the most important distinction between the NGO’s and Institutions pushing the “climate change” models and those advancing competing hurricane models.

Neither the Americans whose model says Irma will hit the Carolina nor the Europeans who claim it’s heading to Cuba have any financial incentive or social incentive to vary their models to conform with the other, which is why you don’t see the folks at the National Hurricane center point to their European counterparts calling them “Irma Deniers” or vice versa.

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Ten Years ago Al Gore gave a speech saying that we have only 10 years to save the planet from Global Warming.

At that time Rush Limbaugh started a countdown clock at 10 years.

This is January 27th, 2006. We will begin the count, ladies and gentlemen. This is just… You have to love these people — from afar, and from a purely observational point of view.

Today it ran out


and Unexpectedly not only are we all waking up alive but if you are waking up in either NY or Washington odds are you are still seeing the snow on the ground from this week’s record setting blizzard and global warming as an issue ranks below , well everything.

But that’s OK, Al Gore has already made his millions off of it and there are still a few suckers out there to be taken who will be but the best thing to do today, is to look at the few fools who still fall for this hoax, and laugh

Closing thought: Taking Al Gore at his word it is now too late to do anything about Global Warming shouldn’t we immediately stop spending money on it?

Shino Sakon:Waking half a mat, Sleeping one mat, Rule the nation a fist full of rice, but but when we die a fistful of ash.

Lone Wolf and Cub Vol 3

Yesterday at Instapundt Ed Driscoll linked a piece by Joel at the Orange County Register that asks a question:

What is the endgame of the contemporary green movement? It’s a critical question since environmentalism arguably has become the leading ideological influence in both California government and within the Obama administration. In their public pronouncements, environmental activists have been adept at portraying the green movement as reasonable, science-based and even welcoming of economic growth, often citing the much-exaggerated promise of green jobs.

His piece talks about some historical philosophers, neo-Malthusians, eco modernists and asks this question concerning environmental solutions:

As we can see in California, such steps will greatly increase energy costs and especially hurt middle- and working-class people. Is there any alternative that gets us to reduced carbon emissions without exacerbating poverty?

The problem with this piece is it pretty much over thinking the environmental movement and what their goals & allies are all about.

C. K. Chesterton famously said “The Christian faith has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and left untried.’  To the foot soldier, the young mush for brains kids who don’t know better and the elderly hippie who first rebelled against the moral code it is said code’s replacement.  They are able to claim superior morality by simply holding a sign or not eating beef or riding a bike.

But to the Pol, to the Bureaucrat, to the lobbyist to the chair of the organizations and their upper echelon it’s even more simple.  Here are some clues:

51 plane flights in six months for an environmental author and lecturer

U.N. GREENHOUSE CONFERENCE WILL overload Bali’s airport with private jets:

Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, the chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, flew 443,243 miles in a 19 month period while speaking against global warming.

BBC lectures us incessantly on climate change. So why did their bosses make 68,000 domestic flights in two years?

Copenhagen climate summit: 1,200 limos, 140 private planes and caviar wedges.

More importantly the average climate change conference is invariably held in a comfortable location and well stocked with fine food, fine wine and fine women for the even larger stock of global bureaucrats who attend.

That’s the point, the “endgame” for these folks  isn’t about the condition of the earth, the end game is their personal condition,  to eat a fine meal, drink a fine wine, sleep in a comfortable room and get laid with an impressive partner which will be provided at the cost of the taxpayers and the companies who will be getting the grants that the men will allocate.

Think of them as rich televangelists without all that pesky talk about Christ, it isn’t about leaving a better planet when their gone, it’s about enjoying the good life while they’re alive and being lionized for it.

Keep that in mind & you’ll never be confused by these guys again.


At the tablet Liel Leibovitz laments the NYT playing fast and loose with historical data concerning the Temple Mount:

But hey, never mind any of that. Never mind the physical existence of the Western Wall, which the Times mentions in passing in the fourth-to-last paragraph, even though the existence of an enormous external supporting wall directly below the site where the temple is said to have stood should sort of answer the question. Never mind plentiful Roman historical accounts of the structure built by Herod that was widely regarded as one of the wonders of the ancient world. And never mind the fact that among scholars who actually study this stuff, there is no controversy whatsoever about the existence of Jewish Temples on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, anymore than any controversy that exists between Judaism and Islam on this point, or the fact that there is no contradiction between Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Roman or pagan sources. Don’t bother the Times with any of these facts: Just as long as it is possible to make any Jewish claim on Judaism’s holiest site seem like yet another irrational piece of fiction invented by feverish religious Jews, Zionists, and other troublemakers who are very unlike the good and logical and educated and clean Jews who read and write for the Times.

I’m a big fan of Historical truth in the face of political pin so I’m right behind him on the facts, but Mr. Leibovitz lost any claim to my sympathy in the paragraph that followed:

Denying that a Jewish temple stood on the Temple Mount is not a form of historical argument. It is akin to denying that the earth is not flat. Or denying that global warming is real.

And here we see illustrated for all to see one of the facts of life.  We see the equating of a historical fact with literally thousands of years of evidence behind it with a fad so tenuous that witnesses under oath in congress are unwilling to testify that they’d change their views based on evidence is against them and that attempts to sue critics like Mark Steyn into silence.

Leibovitz is correct about the Temple Mount but he forgets one of the primary reasons the left in general and the  anti Israel NYT in particular has the credibility to push this nonsense is the support of liberal jews who have backed them tooth and nail for decades.

Yeah the NYT and the left have decided the Jewish state & jewish history are expendable, yes they’ve decided the useful idiots aren’t useful anyore but at least they’re not those icky christian conservatives or tea party types.

Sowing, meet Reaping

Update:  the Times has had 2nd thoughts

By Timothy Imholt, (extreme hat tip to Devon Crowe),

We hear about Global Warming or Climate Change so often it has become background noise. Most of us just ignore it at this point. Let me give you two scientists bottom line on this, after we did a reasonably in depth look at the literature (and claims) that are being made by both sides of the discussion.

Here is the bottom line according to current computer models (yes it is a MODEL): atmospheric CO2 is going to increase well beyond double the current values. Doing your part to live “green” will not fix that (should we assume those models are correct and also assume nothing changes). Gargantuan investments to curb those emissions will not prevent this from happening. The United States acting alone will be unable to control what happens. Period, end of discussion. We need not discuss what the climate effect of that will be. That remains controversial since predictions are model-based. The point of this blog entry however is that a large CO2 increase is guaranteed, regardless of how much investment we make in green living here within our borders.

Many times we have watched as we are told that we have to “go green” to save life as we know it. Going green means many different things to different people, but in general it means conserving non-renewable resources and minimizing carbon emissions as well as non-recyclable products.

Certainly there are benefits to conservation and clean energy, such as saving money and extending the time frame during which we can replace non-renewable energy sources with sustainable energy sources.

Assuming we believe the models, always keep that in mind.

There are also extreme proposals costing billions to trillions of dollars in lost gross economic product as well as in the direct cost of retrofitting energy producing plants. The rationale behind these proposals is often that we only have a decade to fix the problem before we are past the point of no return toward creating an atmosphere with 1,000 ppm CO2. But, we are already past the point of no return, and we have heard that decade number at least twice.

The climate modeling green argument started circa 1990. Well before that greenhouse models predicted we only had about a decade to reduce carbon emissions if we were going to avoid significant global warming. The same thing was said after the decade had passed. Circa 2000 there was a larger set of scientists who agreed we had a decade to act. Circa 2010, it was still ten years. We have passed the point of no return twice already. It appears to be more of an ideological preference for living green than a science-based argument that tells us to live increasingly green because we only have a decade to act.

Now an increasing number of green advocates are starting to admit that we passed their deadlines already. An example is:

The green goal has been creeping upward. In 2010 we were told the maximum acceptable temperature increase was 2 degrees Celsius. But as the link above admits, the models say we have passed that inevitability already:


By now few people realistically believe that the United States will act decisively to alter the curve to below the red regions. In fact, the curve is a low-ball estimate that does not account for the fact that China may, in all likelihood, grow to exceed the U.S in emissions during this century. As a result, some green scientist advocates appear to be keeping their assumptions low to continue extending our 10-year deadline further into the future to continue encouraging green behavior and massive clean energy investments. This is not scientifically objective behavior.

It must be said that the error bars on model predictions are large enough that there is considerable uncertainly, not to mention overlap in the regions, in all of these predictions. However, our point here is not the accuracy of the predictions, it is that green behavior cannot succeed in avoiding the carbon emissions growth:



The most optimistic estimates of green behavior and investment still project over 500 ppm atmospheric CO2, while above 900 ppm is perhaps more likely.

If the most popular climate models among climatologists are correct, sea level will rise in this century from 3 feet to 10 feet, and global food production will be adversely affected. If there is no human effect at all, as the most optimistic among us estimate, then it will not happen, at least not from human-driven causes. Neither of those conclusions is relevant to our point, since we reach the same conclusion: Green behavior and investment, in all likelihood, will not be effective in improving the future of our environment, based on these current models put out by those telling us to change our behavior.

If the climate models are accurate, then we must prepare for the future of increased temperatures, sea level increases, increased weather variability, and the implied droughts, famine, and flooding.

These are all reasonable conclusions based on the papers and research available. The reason we did this bit of research initially was not just to write a blog (although that is fun). It was for another, more specific purpose.

This motivates speculative solutions and fiction about what humanity would do in that case, such as in Degrees Book 1: Saving the Earth:


The book accepts that green measures are not a cure for the environment, and then explores how humanity might react if the climate disaster models turned out to be correct.

It includes the fictional portrayal of a technologically feasible way to affect the global temperature, and uses a fast-paced action-based story line to illustrate the extreme dangers of human intervention (even well intentioned) into the earth’s climate.

In no case is there support for the claim that we can save the earth, at least during this century, by green measures such as reduced emissions and conservation of resources. At the two extremes of opinion, either “green” is unnecessary, or disaster is inevitable in any case. Those are the extremes. The answer, as it is in most cases in life, probably is somewhere in the middle, only time will tell.

Dr. Leo Brewster: We used to tell people, eat this and you’ll live to be 100. Now it’s a death chart.

Empty Next The Mentor 1991

Capt. Picard: A good scientist doesn’t function by conjecture.

Meribor: A good scientist functions by hypothesizing and then proving or disproving that hypothesis.

Star Trek TNG  The Inner Light 1992

This has been a bad week for the “Settled Science crowd”.

First there was the anniversary of the NYT statement about the end of snow just as liberal Boston was breaking every snow record in the book

After setting a seven-day snow record last week, Boston had 22 inches of fresh snow, and the storm was forecast to last into Tuesday in some areas. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker declared a state of emergency, clearing the way for him to request snow-removal help from neighboring states.

Then there were the new revelations of altered climate data:

One of the areas that Homewood has looked at is Paraguay. In a post titled All of Paraguay’s temperature record has been tampered with, he found that GISS has systematically altered temperature records to make the past look cooler and the present warmer, and to create an entirely fictitious warming trend.

To show his findings, Homewood created animated GIFs of the data from each weather station in Paraguay, contrasting the “old” data–the data actually recorded by thermometers and reported at the time–with the “new” data, i.e., the massaged numbers that GISS now publishes. Here they are. The deception is obvious:

Then there was the “settled science on Cholesterol” is suddenly not so settled.

In a draft report issued in December, an influential federal panel — the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee — scrapped longstanding guidelines about avoiding high-cholesterol food. In the draft, cholesterol — found in foods such as egg yolks — is no longer listed as a “nutrient of concern.”

Now suddenly there are questions concerning the big bang:

“The Big Bang singularity is the most serious problem of general relativity because the laws of physics appear to break down there,” Ahmed Farag Ali at Benha University and the Zewail City of Science and Technology, both in Egypt, told

Ali and coauthor Saurya Das at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada, have shown in a paper published in Physics Letters B that the Big Bang singularity can be resolved by their in which the universe has no beginning and no end.

I’m sure many of my fellow Christians are pointing and laughing but there is a different principle here that is worth discussing.

There was a time when it was settled science that the earth was flat.

There was a time when it was settled science that the sun revolved around the earth.

There was a time when it was settled science that bleeding people was the way to remove diseases.

But because science was all about observations backed up by experimentation to come with deductions we could move beyond all of these things.

I’m old enough to remember when what I described above was the norm, lately it’s become all about the grant, about orthodoxy and pretty much all about advancing an accepted orthodoxy.  For those who have forgotten what was once in living memory let me remind you of some things.

There is a difference between a “theory” and a “law” in science.

There is a difference between offering a hypothesis and offering a proof

There is a reason why it’s called the Big Bang Theory and the Theory of Evolution etc etc etc and not the Big Bang Laws or the Laws of evolution.

Science is all about wondering aloud, testing our ideas and then changing them based on what we learn.  Once we stop questioning, once we stop trying to learn, once we turn scientific inquiry into a doctrine that if question makes one a “denier” then what we are doing is no longer science, it is a religion with it’s own inquisition

All of this isn’t science, it’s arrogance and narcissism but it doesn’t matter because in a 100 years now only will we be all dead but as our technology improves someone will prove it all wrong anyways most likely in ways that we can’t even imagine.

It will be fun

11th Doctor:  I’m missing something obvious, Rory. Something big. Something right slap in front of me. I can feel it.
Rory: [Who died & was erased from existence two episodes earlier] Yeah, I think you probably are.


Doctor Who The Pandorica Opens 2010

People often miss the obvious and as the Blizzard of 2015 continues let’s points out a few things.

1.  If you look out your window and you see the road relatively clean & plowed remember it’s because a bunch of people (mostly manly men) stayed up all night and worked very hard to make that happen.

2.  If you decide to drive on the roads and decide this is no big deal, it’s because that just about everyone else isn’t on the road & you don’t have to dodge them

3.  As a counterpart to those manly men in trucks there are a lot of women many of them older, who are braving the storm to get to nursing jobs or who stayed overnight at hospitals & nursing homes to take care of those who can’t take care of themselves, they, like the drivers deserve a lot of credit.

4.  If you question why various mom & pop diners are open remember those plow drivers have to eat somewhere.

5.  It won’t be until you actually start to move the snow that you’ll appreciate how much you actually got.

6.  There were several different models as to how this storm would turn out  only one of them (if any) could be right but when it comes down to it if you are a governor or mayor you really can’t win, if you underprepared and it gets horrible you will be blamed for not being ready and if you over prepare and it’s not as bad as expected you’ll be blamed for wasting money.

7.  I have no problem with people complaining about travel bans as long as they don’t expect the city or state to rescue them if they decide to defy it and get stranded.

and finally the most important lesson:

We were told just a couple of days ago NYC could get up to three feet of snow.  If our computer models aren’t good enough to be accurate 3 days out, what makes anybody think the Global warming models predicting disaster 1-50 years out are worth going broke over?

Think about it.

Frozen Chicago River
Frozen Chicago River, February 2014

By John Ruberry

Election results won’t be coming in until Tuesday night, but it’s already time to select the biggest loser of the midterms: environmentalists and their climate change agenda.

During the brutally cold 2014 winter, San Francisco hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer announced that he would be contributing $50 million to his NextGen Climate Action PAC–and he was hoping to raise $50 million more with the goal of making global warming and extreme weather a top political issue during the midterm campaign.

Last month a recent Gallup Poll found that climate change was the least important of thirteen issues it put before voters.  When I reported on Steyer’s $100 million objective–one he now claims he never set–on my own blog months ago, I wrote, “Anyway, a fool and his money are easily parted, which makes me wonder how Steyer became a billionaire.”

I certainly got the “fool” part right.

Our cold winter led to a short spring and a cool summer.  As for extreme weather, there have been fewer tornadoes this year. For instance, this August saw fewer twisters than any August since the 1960s–despite much better detection technology. While Pacific hurricane activity is up this year, for the second year in a row there have been few Atlantic hurricanes, something that wasn’t mentioned by the mainstream media when the second anniversary of Hurricane Sandy passed.

The Democrats may hang on to their majority in the US Senate, but the trends of late make the Republicans the favorite.

But the climate change activists will lose no matter the electoral outcome.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Gregory:   Is there any point to which you would wish to draw my attention?

Sherlock Holmes:  To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.

Gregory:  The dog did nothing in the night-time.

Sherlock Holmes:  That was the curious incident

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes Sliverblaze

Today in Mark Steyn’s latest update on his court fight vs Michael Mann includes a non-event of great significance.

Well, yesterday was the deadline, and not a single amicus brief was filed on behalf of Mann. Not one. So Michael Mann is taking a stand for science. But evidently science is disinclined to take a stand for Michael Mann. The self-appointed captain of the hockey team is playing solo.

Liberals like Paul Krugman might be willing to put out screeds calling those fighting Mann “evil” and the NYT might be willing to put such declaration on their website but apparently that not the same as putting one’s reputation on the line in a court brief.

This is in stark contract to Steyn who case has received amici briefs from both left and right

Regardless of the reason if this case goes to trial and Mann loses (and given the unwillingness of his Climate Change allies to defend him the likelihood of that seems ever-increasing) the reverberation of such a defeat is likely going to be huge for those pushing the Global Warming/Climate Change/Give me your tax money agenda.

And don’t think for one second it’s not about getting your money as Roger L. Simon reminds us:

Allow me to share a personal experience.  I went to Copenhagen in 2009 for this website to cover another UN climate conference (COP 15), then considered to be extremely crucial.  Several islands — Micronesia, I think — were supposedly about to go under from the rising tides.  I ran into the representative from one of those islands and asked him if he was worried.  He started to laugh and shook his head.  So I asked him what he was doing at the conference.  I want the money, he said.

and as long as they can credibly trick fools out of cash they will.

If I was the Climate Change mob I’d have Mann settle out of course on 1st Amendment grounds because if this gets to court the days of wine and roses are over, but I suspect Steyn will not let him off that easy.

Still on the bright side for the international leaches looking for their next wine filled conference, I’m sure given how easily the media climbed aboard this bandwagon they can come up with a new catastrophe to soak the gullible long enough to keep them living comfortably.