Free Markets, Free People
It’s a cold day in hell here as I favorably quote someone who I usually savage. And I have to revise my thoughts on the left not getting irony – apparently some do. Who am I taking about? Joe Klein. Yup that Joe Klein, TIME’s Joe Klein. He actually gets it:
Revolutions everywhere–in the middle east, in the middle west. But there is a difference: in the middle east, the protesters are marching for democracy; in the middle west, they’re protesting against it. I mean, Isn’t it, well, a bit ironic that the protesters in Madison, blocking the state senate chamber, are chanting "Freedom, Democracy, Union" while trying to prevent a vote? Isn’t it ironic that the Democratic Senators have fled the democratic process? Isn’t it interesting that some of those who–rightly–protest the assorted Republican efforts to stymie majority rule in the U.S. Senate are celebrating the Democratic efforts to stymie the same in the Wisconsin Senate?
An election was held in Wisconsin last November. The Republicans won. In a democracy, there are consequences to elections and no one, not even the public employees unions, are exempt from that.
I know … you’re wondering, “what did they do with the real Joe Klein”, but hey give the devil his due (keeping with the cold day in hell metaphor) – he’s exactly right.
The other Klein, the Ezra type, not so much.
Let’s be clear: Whatever fiscal problems Wisconsin is — or is not — facing at the moment, they’re not caused by labor unions.
That, sir, is irrelevant. Whatever “fiscal problems” are present need to be solved by having across the board spending cuts and that’s the point of requiring public service labor union members to pitch in a little more on their benefits. Essentially what Wisconsin is trying to do is put state employees on an even par with private employees in terms of benefits.
Here’s the bottom line of what is triggering these protests:
Besides limiting collective-bargaining rights for most workers—excepting police, firefighters and others involved in public safety—it would require government workers, who currently contribute little or nothing to their pensions, to contribute 5.8% of their pay to pensions, and pay at least 12.6% of health-care premiums, up from an average of 6%.
Wow. No more free lunch. Can’t imagine that, can you? You know, actually having to pitch in for your pension and health-care? Privately employed citizens have been doing that forever. So why are the public sector folks exempt? Well that’s the dirty little secret isn’t it?
Let’s go to Matt Welch for the answer:
We are witnessing the logical conclusion of the Democratic Party’s philosophy, and it is this: Your tax dollars exist to make public sector unions happy. When we run out of other people’s money to pay for those contracts and promises (most of which are negotiated outside of public view, often between union officials and the politicians that union officials helped elect), then we just need to raise taxes to cover a shortfall that is obviously Wall Street’s fault. Anyone who doesn’t agree is a bully, and might just bear an uncanny resemblance to Hitler.
There is Wisconsin in a nutshell – distilled as well as you’ll find it anywhere. These deals were mostly pay for play and the state’s taxpayers were sold down the river. I noted some months ago that the Democrats have become the party of public service unions instead of the party of the blue collar worker. They are dependent on the money and machine those powerful unions provide to stay in power.
And when that machine falters? Well, you get tantrums like this. Remember the union protesters in Illinois a few months ago clamoring for the governor there to raise taxes instead of cutting their benefits? Just like Ezra Klein they want to lay off the fiscal mess on others instead of recognizing its reality and understanding that the free ride has come to an end. It doesn’t matter if the unions had anything to do with the mess – the mess says everything is on the table. That’s the only way out of the mess.
But, this is Armageddon for the Democrats and their stakeholders. If states succeed in breaking the hold public service unions have on government, Democrats stand to lose substantial power. That explains why President Obama has entered the fray. While he wouldn’t back the protesters in Iran because it might be seen as meddling in the internal affairs of the state, he has no qualms whatsoever of meddling in the internal affairs of the state of Wisconsin. Apparently elections only have consequences when he wins.
What has the unions so terrified of the Walker plan? Well here’s the plan:
His plan allows workers to quit their union without losing their job. He requires unions to demonstrate their support through an annual secret-ballot vote. He also ends the unfair taxpayer subsidy to union fundraising: The state and local government would stop collecting union dues with their payroll systems.
Under that plan, union membership would be an actual choice instead of a mandated requirement to hold a job. Horror of horrors. How dare a governor advance something which actually enhances freedom (choice = freedom) – why that makes him a dictator, of course and akin to Hitler.
Make no mistake, these protests in Madison aren’t about democracy, freedom or liberty. They’re about the left’s power and something they love to project on the right and Wall Street – selfishness. The protests are a collective tantrum from adolescents who refuse to acknowledge that their special-interest Candyland no longer exists and while it did, it existed on the back of the tax payers who were made to unwillingly subsidizing their way of life.
This is the wrong fight, in the wrong place at the wrong time, and Democrats are on the wrong side. Public sector unions are not popular and despite Ezra Klein’s denial, are held responsible for some of the fiscal problems the states face (like pensions):
A new poll from the Washington-based Clarus Group asked:
Do you think government employees should be represented by labor unions that bargain for higher pay, benefits and pensions … or do you think government employees should not be represented by labor unions?
A full 64% of the respondents said "no."
That includes 42% of Democrats, and an overwhelming majority of Republicans. Only 49% of Democrats think public workers should be in unions at all.
So, as you watch these “protests” keep them in context. They’re an astroturfed attempt, orchestrated from the highest office in the land, to keep the power current structure in place that underpins the political power of the Democrats. This isn’t about rights or liberty or freedom, this is about power and money. And it has finally unmasked the left in this country and revealed what it is really all about.
And why was the Oscar nominated 2007 “documentary” film banned?
Authorities feared footage of gleaming hospital in Michael Moore’s Oscar-nominated film would provoke a popular backlash.
Or said another way, it was propaganda that even those who were made to look good found so dishonest they refused to show it. A communist regime. One steeped in propaganda designed to make them look good.
Yup, Michael Moore’s work in a nutshell.
More irony? This info was contained in a confidential cable released by Wikileaks and Moore just helped bail Wikileaks founder Julian Assange out of jail.
Get your “Captain Krugman” decoder rings out and follow me through this Paul Krugman piece.
Today the line of attack on what he calls the “Obama-McConnell tax cut deal ” is to put forward the argument that the reason we’re in this mess to begin with is because of the debt carried by American families. Yes, that’s right – you did it, now shut up and take the medicine. Oh and the banks – yes, the banks because they “abandoned any notion of sound lending and because everyone assumed housing prices would never fall”.
Yeah, you guessed it – not a thing about the Community Reinvestment Act, Congressional pressure on banks to lend to very marginal borrowers or Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. It was you, dear citizen … and the banks. The government? Sparkly clean by omission.
Anyway, because that debt is so high in relation to income and the families are in the middle of trying to deleverage that debt, they’re not spending much – or as much as is needed to kick start the economy, in Krugman’s opinion (they might if they had more but then that means even deeper tax cuts and Krugman ain’t going there). And of course there’s that problem with high unemployment to factor in as well.
So, backing into this favorite theme of the past two years (Deficit? Screw the deficit – spend, spend, spend), what or who should be spending to get the economy going?
Why yes Sparky, he means the government.
What the government should be doing in this situation is spending more while the private sector is spending less, supporting employment while those debts are paid down. And this government spending needs to be sustained: we’re not talking about a brief burst of aid; we’re talking about spending that lasts long enough for households to get their debts back under control. The original Obama stimulus wasn’t just too small; it was also much too short-lived, with much of the positive effect already gone.
It’s true that we’re making progress on deleveraging. Household debt is down to 118 percent of income, and a strong recovery would bring that number down further. But we’re still at least several years from the point at which households will be in good enough shape that the economy no longer needs government support.
But wouldn’t it be expensive to have the government support the economy for years to come? Yes, it would — which is why the stimulus should be done well, getting as much bang for the buck as possible.
Remember that last phrase because that’s the point of the post. Now, with all of that background, Krugman says that this “Obama McConnell tax cut deal” will provide some stimulus but not the sustained stimulus Krugman says is needed from government. And that first stimulus was too small – even though it was much larger than Krugman said was necessary at the time. Nope a massive stimulus is still needed no matter what we have to do to pump that money out there (even while the Fed is trying to sponge up the multi-trillion dollar spill of cash they tossed out there before):
The point is that while the deal will cost a lot — adding more to federal debt than the original Obama stimulus — it’s likely to get very little bang for the buck. Tax cuts for the wealthy will barely be spent at all; even middle-class tax cuts won’t add much to spending. And the business tax break will, I believe, do hardly anything to spur investment given the excess capacity businesses already have.
This is the point where cognitive dissonance smacks right into the Krugman “reasoning”. A) he wants a new and much bigger stimulus – that’s no secret. B) he claims this bit of stimulus (tax cut deal) will “cost” more (deficit) than it will deliver (bang for buck). C) you can’t be trusted (shades of Clinton) to spend your own money the way the government would (perfectly, of course – properly, with no waste, and at exactly the right time and in the right place – having a coughing fit yet?).
For such a supposedly gifted economist it is like he missed Econ 101 in favor of Propaganda 101. Either that or he really does believe, in the face of much evidence to the contrary, that a government spending money in a recession always returns “more bang for the buck” than does an individual (millions of individuals) in a market being allowed to keep and spend more of his money. I am forever at a loss to explain that sort of thinking.
Pushing money out into an economy just to be getting it out there isn’t going to solve our economic problems. In fact, if government has to be the big consumer of loan money to do so, guess what there’s less of for the private side of things? Can you say “vicious circle”?And what does Krugman think a pure borrowing-based second stimulus plan is going to do to the debt? Given the “bang for the buck” we received with the last stimulus, what makes Krugman think this one would be a better deal and superior to letting people keep more of their own money?
What I expect, instead, is that we’ll be having this same conversation all over again in 2012, with unemployment still high and the economy suffering as the good parts of the current deal go away.
The long and short of it is, this about isn’t economics, it’s about politics. What Krugman wants is anything he can call economic improvement because he knows that Obama and the Democrats are in awful political shape. His belief is if the Obama administration will quickly pass a huge stimulus and pump money into the economy, things will look somewhat better than they do now and he can make rosy predictions that should help carry the day for Obama’s re-election in 2012. If it all collapses after that, who cares? There will be plenty of time to make stuff up on the fly again and, of course variously blame the Republicans, the American people and, of course, the banks for any problems the economy may suffer.
Strongman Hugo Chavez says the flooding in Venezuela that has resulted in 70,000 homeless and 32 deaths is easy to understand. It’s the result of “criminal capitalism” and it’s effect on the world’s climate:
"The developed nations irresponsibly shatter the environmental order, in their desire to maintain a criminal development model while the immense majority of the earth’s people suffer the most terrible consequences," he said on Venezuelan television Sunday.
You may be wondering why this sort of stupidity is even worth mentioning. It is worth mentioning because it is a sterling example of the nonsense that has been precipitated by AGW scaremongering that I discuss below. This is a dictator’s excuse, however absurd it sounds, for his regime’s inability to control the flooding in his country.
"The world’s powerful economies insist on a destructive way of life,” he said on Sunday. "And then refuse to take any responsibility."
I’m sure it doesn’t take much imagination to figure out what taking "responsibility" would mean. In the past this would be viewed as another in a long line of failed socialist dictators who, because of their crippling of their country’s economy, have rendered unable to cope with natural disasters. But with the convenient excuse of AGW to pin the blame on, and by extension the richer nations, shifting the blame is a natural.
Any bets as to whether this will be a topic in Cancun?
If you’ve ever wondered what pure “spin” looks like, you have as your most current example an article under Nancy Pelosi’s name in USA Today. It is a marvel of context free and, frankly, fact free verbiage designed to do nothing more than paint an alternate picture of reality. It is an attempt to effect how history will be written. And it is laughable on its face.
Essentially what Pelosi does is provide a list of discredited Democrat talking points in essay form, never once acknowledging that most if not all have been debunked, shown to be untrue or simply a figment of very fertile imaginations.
My favorite part is where the soon to be minority leader, if that, finally lays out the welcome mat for Republicans – after 6 years of all but shutting them out of the Congressional process.
And, in the running for the most appalling lie among many is this line included after Pelosi lists the “accomplishments” of the 111th Congress:
And we did all of this while restoring fiscal discipline to the Congress by making the pay-as-you-go rules the law of the land.
Good lord. An estimated 6 trillion in further debt heaped upon the country during her watch and she has the audacity to play the PAYGO card? This and the previous Congress under Democratic rule have been the most profligate in our history. And Ms. Pelosi attempts to say everything has been paid for?
Democrats – if you keep this person in your leadership after her 4 years as the Speaker what little is left of your tattered credibility is as good as gone. She is divisive, extreme, partisan to a fault and the perfect leader to ensure you don’t see a majority in the House again for a decade or so. She is the gift that keeps on giving for the GOP.
In this episode, and apparently not content with the fact that the left has failed to make Nazi, brownshirt, racist or thug stick to members of the Tea Party, someone named Charles Postel attempts to equate “conservative” with the John Birch Society (JBS) – and other labels. Amazingly (or not), it is Politico running this nonsense:
The Populist Coxey started a tradition of marching on Washington for economic and social justice. Consider the 1932 Bonus March of jobless veterans. And Martin Luther King Jr. spoke of his dream at the 1963 March for Jobs and Freedom. The focus of that march, often forgotten, was both civil rights and government action to create jobs.
Not all marches on Washington, however, have pursued populist goals of economic justice. In 1925 and 1926, members of the Ku Klux Klan marched down Pennsylvania Avenue. They protested threats to the Protestant religion and the white race posed by communism and immigration. These echoes seem to resonate in the current tea party slogans about birth certificates, immigrants and Muslims.
The tea party leaders disavow any racist appeals from their ranks. But historically, whether it was the JBS or Goldwater, the radical right has often had a soft spot for bigots.
An amazingly dishonset and blinkered view of the Tea Party. William Jacobson sums it up rather well:
The argument by extreme reflects left-wing epistemic closure, an inability to engage in meaningful discussion of the failures of big government, resulting in a series of strawman arguments and extensive hyperbole meant to marginalize those who disagree.
We have seen this time and again. It seems to be all they know.
I really want to take these people seriously, but it is hard. But then again, what do I know, I am the mob.
As the left continues these attacks it appears it doesn’t understand that those that are actually being marginalized by such attempts to demonize Tea Parties are – the left.
In this particular case, perhaps Roger Pilon at CATO@Liberty says it best. Calling them “desperate” he says:
This is absurd. An obscure assistant professor teaching in a middling university writes an opinion piece comparing the Tea Party movement to the John Birch Society — indeed, even to the Ku Klux Klan — and Politico Arena asks us to take it seriously for comment?! Res ipsa loquitur: The several recent elections speak more loudly than this professor ever will. Back to adult fare.
Indeed. And, as an aside, it appears QandO isn’t the only place plagued by obscure professors from middling universities. But Pilon is question is on the mark – what were Politico’s 3 layers of editors thinking by running this? Is it simply an indicator of another supposedly unbiased media source giving us a peek behind the curtain of reality? Such screeds do indeed point to a certain level of desperation on the left that is unseemly but fairly consistent. Why Politico felt compelled to put their credibility on the line to air it, however, remains a mystery.
And that is that the Southern Poverty Law Center is cynically paranoid and into fear mongering. “Cynically” because its all about donations – no fear, no paranoia, no money.
Strangely silent during the “hate Bush” years, it has suddenly again found its voice now that a left of center government is in office and it can serve up its “right rage” paranoia. However the SPLC never seems able to find any left wing hate (well except for a left leaning radio station that allowed some anti-semetic ranting apparently). Don’t believe me? Visit their website and type in “left wing hate”. Prepare to be inundated with instances of alleged right wing hate. Even the recent crash of an airplane into a Texas IRS office by a guy who left a letter blaming Bush is spun into a typically right-wing attack.
And check it out when they actually do go after a minority group as a ‘hate group’. They rationalize their doing so by saying if we go after white hate groups “we cannot be in the business of explaining away the black ones.” But they sure try:
Although the Southern Poverty Law Center recognizes that much black racism in America is, at least in part, a response to centuries of white racism, it believes racism must be exposed in all its forms.
But the question is are they left wing or right wing? In the world of the SPLC, every hate group is right-wing or unspecified.
Blaming Glen Beck, Michelle Bachman, Lou Dobbs and Sarah Palin for the rise is “right rage”, the SPLC claims:
“Another Oklahoma City is very much a possibility.”
Really? Like the rage of the Tea Parties, which DC police describe as one of the best behaved “protest” crowds ever?
Nope – it’s all about the usual nonsense with the “Patriot right”:
The growth of Patriot groups comes at a time when the number of racist hate groups stayed at record levels – rising from 926 in 2008 to 932 in 2009, according to the report. The increase caps a decade in which the number of hate groups surged by 55 percent. The expansion would have been much greater in 2009 if not for the demise of the American National Socialist Workers Party, a key neo-Nazi network whose founder was arrested in October 2008.
There also has been a surge in “nativist extremist” groups – vigilante organizations that go beyond advocating strict immigration policy and actually confront or harass suspected immigrants. These groups grew from 173 groups in 2008 to 309 in 2009, a rise of nearly 80 percent.
These three strands of the radical right – the hate groups, the nativist extremist groups, and the Patriot organizations – are the most volatile elements on the American political landscape. Taken together, their numbers increased by more than 40 percent, rising from 1,248 groups in 2008 to 1,753 last year.
Of course nowhere in this “report” will you find out the size of these new groups. Hundreds? Thousands? Or three nutballs who’ve splintered off from one of the other groups and put up a website? No telling. But do note, it’s all about the number of “groups”, not about the number of actual people involved in the “Patriot groups”. My guess is that would work toward badly diluting the paranoia the SPLC is trying to build.
Oh, and don’t forget the huge increase in violence:
There are already signs of radical right violence reminiscent of the 1990s. Right-wing extremists have murdered six law enforcement officers since Obama’s inauguration. Racist skinheads and others have been arrested in alleged plots to assassinate the president. Most recently, as recounted in the new issue of the Intelligence Report, a number of individuals with antigovernment, survivalist or racist views have been arrested in a series of bomb cases.
Of course the Ft. Hood and Little Rock Recruiting station killings were worse than any of that. There’s the Ft. Dix bomb plot and the Ft. Jackson 5 – none of them apparently worth mentioning. Nope – it’s all about the “radical right violence reminiscent of the 1990s” when it was Rush Limbaugh that was the cause.
And, let’s face it – as usual, these press releases come out from the SPLC just about the time it is pimping a new quarterly report, this one entitled “Right Rage”. It’s revenue generation time. What better way to scare up money than by scaring donors into opening their wallets.
Just to make sure you knew how horribly indecent Republicans were, Dana Milbank leads the charge against Sen. Coburn in the Washington Post today:
Going into Monday morning’s crucial Senate vote on health-care legislation, Republican chances for defeating the bill had come down to a last, macabre hope. They needed one Democratic senator to die — or at least become incapacitated.
At 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon — nine hours before the 1 a.m. vote that would effectively clinch the legislation’s passage — Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) went to the Senate floor to propose a prayer. “What the American people ought to pray is that somebody can’t make the vote tonight,” he said. “That’s what they ought to pray.”
It was difficult to escape the conclusion that Coburn was referring to the 92-year-old, wheelchair-bound Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.V.) who has been in and out of hospitals and lay at home ailing. It would not be easy for Byrd to get out of bed in the wee hours with deep snow on the ground and ice on the roads — but without his vote, Democrats wouldn’t have the 60 they needed.
While Dana and his media brethren certainly have difficulty escaping that conclusion, a more fair-minded and disinterested party might take note that the historic snowfall over the weekend, which caused local and federal government offices to close, is a more likely catalyst to Coburn’s prayer request. But fairness was not on Dana’s mind. Quite to the opposite, he attempted to draw a false equivalence to the tirade unleashed by Sen. Whitehouse at ObamaCare dissenters:
But Democrats weren’t in the best position to take the high road Sunday evening. One of their own members, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.) had just delivered an overwrought jeremiad comparing the Republicans to Nazis on Kristallnacht, lynch mobs of the South, and bloodthirsty crowds of the French Revolution.
“Too many colleagues are embarked on a desperate, no-holds-barred mission of propaganda, obstruction and fear,” he said. “History cautions us of the excesses to which these malignant, vindictive passions can ultimately lead. Tumbrils have rolled through taunting crowds. Broken glass has sparkled in darkened streets. Strange fruit has hung from southern trees.” Assuming the role of Old Testament prophet, Whitehouse promised a “day of judgment” and a “day of reckoning” for Republicans.
For some strange reason, while referring to Whitehouse’s comments as “ugly”, Milbank forgot to include the following tasty selections of hate:
“Voting ‘no’ and hiding from the vote are the same result. Those of us on the floor see it. It was clear the three of them who did not cast their yes votes until all 60 Senate votes had been tallied and it was clear that the result was a foregone conclusion. And why? Why all this discord and discourtesy, all this unprecedented destructive action? All to break the momentum of our new young president.
They are desperate to break this president. They have ardent supporters who are nearly hysterical at the very election of President Barack Obama. The birthers, the fanatics, the people running around in right-wing militia and Aryan support groups, it is unbearable to them that President Barack Obama should exist. That is one powerful reason. It is not the only one.”
Seemingly the conclusions of that statement escaped Dana.
Never fear, however, as our intrepid journalist manages to balance the ugliness and comes to this inescapable conclusion:
The day’s ugly words [from Sen. Whitehouse] were a fitting finale for the whole sorry health-care debate of 2009. Democrats have finally — and after jettisoning any trace of government-run health care while swallowing new abortion restrictions — found their way to success; the overnight vote proves they have the numbers to prevail in the remaining votes this week. But it certainly wasn’t pretty.
Senate Democratic leaders made the bill fit their fiscal requirements with a series of budgetary gimmicks, and even then the final cost estimate didn’t instill confidence. The Congressional Budget Office sent lawmakers a letter on Sunday saying it goofed and overstated the cost savings from the bill by half a trillion dollars. Then there were the goodies given out to buy the votes of Democratic holdouts, most notably Sen. Ben Nelson (Neb.), who got a “Cornhusker kickback” in the form of an extra $100 million in Medicaid payments for his state. On the Senate floor Saturday, Republicans forced Democrats into the embarrassing position of objecting to similar payouts to the other 49 states.
But all of that put together wasn’t quite as noxious as the two sentences that escaped Coburn’s lips on the Senate floor.
Don’t you feel all informed now? Good thing for us insufficiently nuanced Americans that we have the likes of Dana Milbank to help us keep score as to who is ugliest amongst our Senate representatives. Otherwise, we might have all these wonderful conclusions escaping us as easily as those “noxious” words escaped Sen. Coburn’s lips. Instead, we might be tempted to pay more attention to blatantly ugly slurs that drip like venom from the mouths of our ObamaCare heroes. And we can’t have that now, can we?
For the past decade or so, it’s been generally believed that global temperatures have at least leveled off, if not slightly cooled. That doesn’t make it true, but using the old eyes-ears-and-nose test has convinced most people that the 00′s were generally less warm than the 90′s.
Thankfully, we have scientists who keep track of these things for us. Of course, when temperatures don’t do what certain scientists expect them to do, we get expressions of confusion like the following (emphasis added):
From: Kevin Trenberth
To: Michael Mann
Subject: Re: BBC U-turn on climate
Date: Mon, 12 Oct 2009 08:57:37 -0600
Cc: Stephen H Schneider , Myles Allen , peter stott , “Philip D. Jones” , Benjamin Santer , Tom Wigley , Thomas R Karl , Gavin Schmidt , James Hansen , Michael Oppenheimer
Well I have my own article on where the heck is global warming ? We are asking that here in Boulder where we have broken records the past two days for the coldest days on record. We had 4 inches of snow. The high the last 2 days was below 30F and the normal is 69F, and it smashed the previous records for these days by 10F. The low was about 18F and also a record low, well below the previous record low.
This is January weather (see the Rockies baseball playoff game was canceled on saturday and then played last night in below freezing weather).
Trenberth, K. E., 2009: An imperative for climate change planning: tracking Earth’s global energy. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 1, 19-27, doi:10.1016/j.cosust.2009.06.001. [PDF] (A PDF of the published version can be obtained from the author.)
The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.***
That, of course, is from the infamous leaked Climate-Gate emails. It’s written by Kevin Trenberth who was commiserating with his fellow CRU scientists just a few weeks ago in October about how gosh darn cool its been, contrary to what their AGW models predicted. Not to be outdone by mere facts, Trenberth hopefully offers “the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.”
Well never fear, dear Kevin, for the UK Met Office and World Meteorological Organization has your back!
The first decade of this century is “by far” the warmest since instrumental records began, say the UK Met Office and World Meteorological Organization.
Their analyses also show that 2009 will almost certainly be the fifth warmest in the 160-year record.
Burgeoning El Nino conditions, adding to man-made greenhouse warming, have pushed 2009 into the “top 10″ years.
The US space agency Nasa suggests that a new global temperature record will be set “in the next one or two years”.
World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and Met Office scientists have been giving details of the new analysis at the UN climate summit in Copenhagen.
The WMO said global temperatures were 0.44C (0.79F) above the long-term average.
“We’ve seen above average temperatures in most continents, and only in North America were there conditions that were cooler than average,” said WMO secretary-general Michel Jarraud.
“We are in a warming trend – we have no doubt about it.”
“Only” North America saw cooling? Pfft, who cares about that piddly little place and its historically superior instrumentation and methods of recording temperature? Or anyplace else that doesn’t fit the warmist model? It’s not like “Global Warming” means it’s actually global or anything. So just ignore all that and concentrate on what’s important here: the planet is boiling, people! DON’T YOU SEE THAT!!!!1!ONE!oNe
Before getting too cozy with that MET pronouncement, however, one might want to do a little data integrity check. Y’know, just to be sure we’re going to wreck the world’s economy for a good reason.
The media that couldn’t bring themselves to report on the growing scandal surrounding falsified data is all on board with reporting this latest news. Yet it is clear that the Huffington Post, CBS News, the New York Times and others didn’t even bother to check the data that was released from the the UK MET (UK Government Department of Climate and Weather Change). If they had they would have immediately discovered what I found, that the US csv (comma delimited) data dump from 1851 to 2009 is erroneous in its compilation. The January column for each year shows period information instead of temperature records and the latitude appears transposed as well. It appears that they incorrectly shifted the column headers when compling the dump. (Load the raw file into Excel and compare it with the UK csv data to see the erroneous data columns side by side. Data provided by the Guardian UK.)
Still, that doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s anything funny going here. It could just be an honest mistake, and maybe the planet (minus certain sections that are inconvenient to this narrative) really is sizzling away. After all, it’s not like they “adjusted” the temperatures to account … er, for something or other … resulting in a temperature chart that shows and unmistakable trend ever-upward.
Intrigued by the curious shape of the average of the homogenized Darwin records, I then went to see how they had homogenized each of the individual station records. What made up that strange average shown in Fig. 7? I started at zero with the earliest record. Here is Station Zero at Darwin, showing the raw and the homogenized versions.
Yikes again, double yikes! What on earth justifies that adjustment? How can they do that? We have five different records covering Darwin from 1941 on. They all agree almost exactly. Why adjust them at all? They’ve just added a huge artificial totally imaginary trend to the last half of the raw data! Now it looks like the IPCC diagram in Figure 1, all right … but a six degree per century trend? And in the shape of a regular stepped pyramid climbing to heaven? What’s up with that?
Those, dear friends, are the clumsy fingerprints of someone messing with the data Egyptian style … they are indisputable evidence that the “homogenized” data has been changed to fit someone’s preconceptions about whether the earth is warming.
One thing is clear from this. People who say that “Climategate was only about scientists behaving badly, but the data is OK” are wrong. At least one part of the data is bad, too. The Smoking Gun for that statement is at Darwin Zero.
Oh … hmmm …. well, then. There you have it. CAN’T YOU SEE THE WARMING!?!?!?
Of course, don’t expect the MSM to alert you to any of these little glitches, or when they eventually get “fixed”. The media will be too busy chasing down Tiger’s mistresses and copying press releases from the Copenhagen
Screw The World Climate Conference. They’ve got priorities you know.
UPDATE: Well thank goodness somebody is doing some actual science to get to the bottom of all this rampant warming around (certain, strategically located parts of) the world:
The Australian has an article out today highlighting two recent peer-reviewed (as if that has any credibility anymore) studies which disprove AGW. Both are studies of planet Earth, not buggy SW models with biased data meant to produce the desired result. They are empirical (measured), not theoretical (SWAG – a.k.a. scientifically based wild ass guess).
The first is from the historic CO2 record, and how it was many times hire than today over a period of hundreds of thousands of years WHILE THE EARTH COOLED DRASTICALLY!
Pearson’s work contains a couple of remarkable results.
First the greenhouse atmosphere pre-cooling contained a CO2 concentration of 900 parts per million by volume, or more than three times that of the Earth in pre-industrial days.
Second, while the cooling of the Earth took place over a time-span of around 200,000 years, the atmospheric CO2 first dropped in association with the cooling, then rose to around 1100ppmv and remained high for 200,000 years while the Earth cooled further and remained in its new ice ages cycle.
CO2 levels 3-4 times present day levels, and the result was global cooling. The UN believes only modest increases will cause out of control warming. But if it did not happen before at much higher levels -why not? Simple – the theory of CO2 as a green house feed back mechanism on a global scale is false (it never has been proven scientifically at the global level). Earth is much more complicated than the alarmists could possibly imagine.
The second study is from 3o years of satellite data … So here is the result of measuring planet Earth from space:
Building on a methodology published 15 years ago in Nature, climatologist and NASA medallist John Christy and colleague David Douglass studied global temperature impacts of volcanic activity and ocean-atmospheric oscillations (the “El Nino” effect) and separated these from global temperature trends over the past 28 years.
The result of their analysis is a CO2-induced amplification factor close to one, which has implications clearly at odds with the earlier IPCC position.
The result was published this year in the peer-reviewed journal Energy and Environment and the paper has not yet been challenged in the scientific literature.
What this means is that the IPCC model for climate sensitivity is not supported by experimental observation on ancient ice ages and recent satellite data.
Again, no runaway feedback from CO2. This is not a SW model – as the article notes. This is not clumsy or exaggerated statistical mysticism. This is measuring reality and learning what is happening.
This is real science, with small error bars.
Well, now that can’t be right. As Trenberth said, the data must be wrong.
So this can all be ignored then since it doesn’t actually have anything to do with fancy modeling that predicts, er, nothing very well really. But those models do prove, in a complicated consensusy way that you peons shouldn’t concern yourself with, that we’re getting warmer! All the time. Up, up, UP!
Now back to the limos. These citizens aren’t going to rule themselves!
To my mind, the biggest indicator of malfeasance in this whole Climaquiddick affair is the fact that researchers have been forced to use freedom of information laws to get to the underlying data that supposedly supports AGW. The leaked emails show that the CRU gang at least contemplated trashing data to keep it from private eyes, and with respect to original temperature data, in fact did trash it. Why, if the evidence is so overwhelming, would anyone want to keep such data from public view? Well, you know why, and it appears that NASA may have a similar problem:
Chris Horner, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said NASA has refused for two years to provide information under the Freedom of Information Act that would show how the agency has shaped its climate data and would explain why the agency has repeatedly had to correct its data going as far back as the 1930s.
“I assume that what is there is highly damaging,” Mr. Horner said. “These guys are quite clearly bound and determined not to reveal their internal discussions about this.”
The numbers matter. Under pressure in 2007, NASA recalculated its data and found that 1934, not 1998, was the hottest year in its records for the contiguous 48 states. NASA later changed that data again, and now 1998 and 2006 are tied for first, with 1934 slightly cooler.
Mr. Horner, a noted global warming skeptic and author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism, wants a look at the data and the discussions that went into those changes. He said he’s given the agency until the end of the year to comply or else he’ll sue to compel the information’s release.
My familiarity with FOIA requests stems from legal cases, and I know that there are some fairly systematic, and time-consuming procedures that a government agency must go through before delivering the requested material. Typically, in the legal realm, the biggest time-consumer is filtering the material for privileged and classified material that need to be redacted before responding to the request. However, in the realm of scientific fact (i.e. requesting raw data), I can’t for the life of me think of one reason why any such data would have to be redacted or withheld. Temperature records, in the very least, should be easily producible well within the the 20 day limit for such requests.
To be sure, Horner is also seeking emails (and presumably other documents) that discuss the GISS reasoning underlying decisions to change the warmest dates on record, which could take some extra time:
NASA’s GISS was forced to update its data in 2007 after questions were raised by Steve McIntyre, who runs ClimateAudit.com.
GISS had initially listed the warmest years as 1998, 1934, 2006, 1921 and 1931. After Mr. McIntyre’s questions GISS rejiggered the list and 1934 was warmest, followed by 1998, 1921, 2006 and then 1931. But since then, the list has been rewritten again so it now runs 1998, 2006, 1934, 1921, 1999.
The institute blamed a “minor data processing error” for the changes but says it doesn’t make much difference since the top three years remain in a “statistical tie” either way.
Mr. Horner said he’s seeking the data itself, but he also wants to see the chain of e-mails from scientists discussing the changes.
The Freedom of Information Act requires agencies to respond to requests within 20 days. Mr. Horner says he’s never received an official acknowledgement of his three separate FOIA requests, but has received e-mails showing the agency is aware of them.
He said he has provided NASA with a notice of intent to sue under FOIA, but said he also hopes members of Congress get involved and demand the information be released.
NASA and CRU data are considered the backbone of much of the science that suggests the earth is warming due to manmade greenhouse gas emissions. NASA argues its data suggests this decade has been the warmest on record.
On the other hand, data from the University of Alabama-Huntsville suggests temperatures have been relatively flat for most of this decade.
Obviously the numbers matter, as does the justification for changing them. If everything was done in good faith, then there shouldn’t be anything to worry about. That such stonewalling has been going on for two years (according to Horner) suggests that there is something to hide.