“Why do we assume that today’s climate can’t or won’t change?”
You can’t cut the irony with a chain saw.
Everywhere you turn in our politicized culture, political conservatives (as well as orthodox Christians and Jews) are routinely categorized by the corrupt corporate-owned media shills for the radical socialist Democratic Party as “anti-science,” or my favorite, “science-deniers.”
It’s a classic Alinskyite tactic employed by left-wing radicals; project your transgressions and misdeeds onto your opponents. Nowhere is this better demonstrated than the Chinese-caused coronavirus pandemic and the staggering duplicity surrounding “climate change.” Virtually everywhere one turns, lies, misrepresentations, and the brazen looting of public money characterize these world-changing events. Yet, to challenge any aspect of them is to be attacked as “anti-science.”
In the case of the pandemic, anyone who referred to the actual science concerning the relative value of masks, lock-downs, the so-called vaccines, or the constantly changing explanations, contradictions, and predictions in the federal government’s health care apparatus found themselves publicly attacked as “anti-science.” No discussion nor deviations from the “official” line were allowed.
With climate change, there are three decades of documented lies and manufactured representations of data at the highest level organized to arrive at predetermined outcomes. (We’re all going to die in eight years!) And even when the manipulated “computer” data is wildly exaggerated or wrong, there is never a mea culpa or an “Oops, we’re sorry.” The left simply picks up the goalposts and moves them. “The science is settled,” they scream.
As with the “pandemic,” the reason for the left’s devotion to climate change isn’t about public policy or whether or not climate change is “man-made.” The world’s power elite could care less. It’s about cold, hard cash. Greed. The ruling class has its eye firmly fixed on trillions of dollars pouring out of western capitals. Academia, corporations, governments, green foundations, and don’t forget, the lawyers are lining up at the money spigot like teenage girls at a Justin Bieber concert.
Former President (and Supreme Allied Commander during WWII) Dwight D. Eisenhower warned the public about this turn of events in his farewell address to the nation on January 17, 1961. Made famous by the President’s warnings and misgivings about the rise of the “military-industrial complex,” the former five-star General was also concerned about the power of federal funding in academia and the sciences. “[We] must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.” He also accurately predicted that government control over funding would change the nature of the “free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery.”
President Eisenhower hit the proverbial nail squarely on the head.
All of this comes to mind as parts of the Western US are enduring an ongoing “drought,” and now a “heat wave” is covering much of the Midwest and South. Listen or read descriptions of these effects, and you’ll find that “experts” invariably link the conditions to “climate change.”
This is part of the fever-pitched climate theater without context that consumes the politicians and media. It’s an effort to drive fear into the public and soften them up for transferring trillions of dollars and power to the ruling class potentates and the “scientific-tech” elite.
Part of the climate theater is ignoring, misrepresenting, or selectively using historical information about climate and natural events. (I’ve written many articles on this – my most recent here and here – over the years, and it never gets old.)
You cannot understand climate change unless you compare it to an expected standard. What is typical or “normal” weather? And when you look at historical data, you find that the climate changes often. Usually, the pattern is that there is no “normal” historically.
Right now, much of the western US is in a drought, and the Northwest is fighting wildfires – again. That information is presented in the media as a real-time example of “climate change,” with the attendant implication that if we spend trillions of dollars and up-end our lives, we can control these specific events.
On June 30, the Los Angeles Times had a piece that exclaimed, “Extreme heat, drought will permanently scar California and its social fabric [sic] (here).
To the Times credit, the article confirmed that drought and heat are no strangers to California but qualified that history. “But unlike [ancient civilizations that have disappeared], California’s current transformation is being accelerated by carbon emissions and human-caused climate change, which is creating not only longer and more severe droughts, but also hotter ones. It’s a process known as aridification, and many say it’s here to stay.”
A year ago, I wrote how The Hill more typically [here] promotes blatant hysteria and misinformation that ignore the scientific facts. The lede read, “Fires and devastating heat waves are raging across the Western United States, leading climate experts to worry it has become trapped in a cycle of extreme heat, droughts and fires [sic].”
While a dramatic and catchy piece of “climate change” propaganda, the truth is droughts and heatwaves in the Western and Central US are relatively regular and often long. And this isn’t true only for the 20 and 21st centuries; it appears to have been true for thousands of years.
A study authored by Richard R. Heim, published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (here), classifies the 13 “major” droughts episodes from 1900-2012. These involved at least ten percent of the land in the US to over sixty percent. He found that the 1998-2012 drought was comparable to the major droughts of the 1930s (the Dust Bowl years) and the extended drought in the 1950s (the great Texas Drought), which had the largest drought area for the most prolonged period. (California droughts were recorded in 1841, 1864, 1924, 1928–1935, 1947–1950, 1959–1960, 1976–1977, 1986–1992, 2006–2010, 2011–2017, 2018.)
Many other notable droughts have come and gone, including the Civil War Drought and the 1874 drought known as the Year of the Locusts (here). A drought that covered the eastern slope of the Rockies and Colorado triggered an exodus of untold billions of voracious locusts in search of food. They swarmed over the Plains states to Texas in hordes so large that they “blotted out the noonday sun,” eating crops to the nub and stripping trees bear.
But these were hardly the worst droughts. From 900 AD to 1300 AD, the Northwestern Great Basin and the Sierra Nevada were devastated in what is known simply as the “Megadrought.” It was so protracted in scale and severity that it permanently altered the area’s wildlife, plants, and trees.
In 1350 the weather patterns shifted in North America, and bone-dry arctic air replaced the moisture carried on the winds from the Gulf of Mexico into the vast Central Mississippi Valley. The once-great Mississippian American Indian culture collapsed in a generation as the “Little Ice Age” settled in for 500 years until the 1850s. [The world is in the Holocene inter-glacial period at present, which began at the end of the last glacial period, ending about 10,000 years ago.]
Among the recurring themes is that wildfires are more frequent and intense now because of climate change. But it simply isn’t that clear.
Forest fires in the Northwest, especially California, have always been a significant issue, historically more than now. Malcolm North of the US Forest Survey stated in a 2020 Forbes article, “California was a very smoky place historically. Even though we’re seeing area burned that is off-the-charts, it’s still probably less than what used to be burned before Europeans arrived.”
Wildfires are an ever-present part of the far west. Massive fires were recorded in the San Francisco Chronicle and the New York Times in the late 1800s (and reports go back to the late 1700s.) Before that, American Indians burned off forests regularly to remove fuel for the frequent wildfires that occurred.
(As I write, the Washburn Fire is threatening Yosemite’s famous Mariposa Grove of mighty Sequoia Trees, the most massive tree on Earth with a life span of up to 3,500 years. The Sequoia grows on the western slopes of the Sierra Mountains of California and is uniquely prepared for droughts and wildfires, testifying to its ever-changing environment. Its colossal seed cones, known as “widow makers” because of their size, open only in forest fire heat. The tree’s bark can be nearly two feet in depth, offering the tree a degree of natural fire protection.)
Perhaps more critical to the uptick in wildfires is that in the last 100 years, California’s population has grown from 3.5 million in 1921 to nearly 40 million in 2021, with cities and towns expanding into semi-arid regions already prone to fire. As that expansion took place, aggressive fire suppression became commonplace.
According to many experts, fuel debris in the last 100 years is up to five times greater than before Europeans arrived without regular burns or clearing dead brush and trees. (One interesting observation is that California has 52% of its land owned by the federal and state governments and 48% owned by the private sector. Texas has more forest and higher temperatures, yet 95% of its land is owned privately with far fewer fire issues.)
Even the temperatures as a contributing factor are open to debate. Perhaps the last 100 years have warmed up – while that is subject to the debate of who, where, and how the temperatures were recorded. But, it’s not clear that this fluctuation is unusual. The continental US is a unique landmass with the most violent weather events in the world. And it’s notoriously unstable and unpredictable.
The Desert Southwest – and especially California’s Death Valley situated in the Mojave Desert along the Great Basin Desert is hotter than a frying pan. But, some years are just hotter than others. At least in modern times, the high temperature (and arguably the hottest temperature recorded on Earth) was in Death Valley in 1913 at 134 degrees.
But scorching weather is not unheard of across the southwest, and the American Plains states – even up to 120 degrees. Ten states in the southwest and both North and South Dakota have reached over 120 degrees or higher. Another 27 states have high temperatures of 110 degrees up to 120 degrees. And every state in the Union, including Hawaii and Alaska, has had a high temperature of at least 100 degrees. Many of these records go back over one hundred years ago or to the Dust Bowl years in 1936. (“Heat bursts” have supposedly driven temperature well above 140 degrees and even higher in various locations, but the methodology or accuracy have been suspect.)
Science informs us that over the millenniums changes in climate have turned a verdant Sahara into a desert and a tree-rich Antarctica into a giant freezer. Ancient peoples could walk across the ice between what is now Russia into the New World. All over the planet, the Earth is pot-marked with change. Undoubtedly, climate change has driven more human transformation and migration than wars. Why do we assume that today’s climate can’t or won’t change? What makes our time unique?
Most Americas are all for conserving and protecting our environment. Most of us will be tickled pink if cleaner fuels or technologies are developed. But, to set out, which the government is doing through the Green New Deal and other international programs, to radically alter our national life by destroying the energy systems that light our homes, fuel our factories, and propel our transportation – should require more honest and careful thought – and serious science.