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GUEST BLOGGER VIC SOCOTRA'SCommentary on Climate and the Economy
Cold Comfort(First posted on www.vicsocotra.com 12/21/2012 reprinted with permission)
Editor's note: December 21, 2012 was supposed to be the end of the world according to the Mayan calendar. This explains Vic's concerns expressed in the first few paragraphs. Obviously we all survived and will have to live through that ancient Chinese curse...."May you live in interesting times".
“We all know what to do, we just don’t know how to get re-elected after we’ve done it.”
- Jean-Claude Juncker ( "J-C" is 23rd and current Prime Minister of Luxemburg, who President Bush (43) once described as “a piece of work.” He is the longest-serving democratically-elected current head of any government in the world. Photo Richter Frank-Jurgen)
I think we survived the end of the world.
I have been awake since about 0124 to check. I woke after going down pretty early, the usual, but then after getting up to take care of one of the ravages of age, I found myself eyes wide open and picked up the iPad to see if I could read myself back to sleep.
I am most of the way through "State of Fear" by Michael Chrichton. While it is a thriller, it outlines the process by which a belief system has been perpetrated under a constantly changing series or rubrics. It started out as “Global Warming,” then got scarier as Anthropomorphic Global Warming (AGW), then Catastrophic AGW, and Ocean Acidification. Currently it is something called “Climate Change” and is blamed for anything that happens in the way of weather. The inconvenient truth is that it has not been warming for the last sixteen years despite the relentless tinkering with the historical record to make it seem so. Mother Nature is not cooperating.
This is a sensitive issue, of course. No one wants us to fry in our own juices, so it is important to keep thinking up newer and more frightening scenarios. That helps to keep our anxiety up and the money flowing to fund more surveys and generate bad public policy.
Here is the latest on that, just in case you have not seen it in the mainstream media. This is not produced by Big Oil, by the way, or the Second Hand Smoke lobby. It is the work of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The colored bands represent the predictions for global warming as outlined in the First (FAR), Second (SAR), Third (TAR) and Fourth (AR-4) annual reports of the IPCC. It is sort of a big deal, this draft, since the black bands below represent the actual measured temperatures, not the ones cooked up in computer models. In shorthand, it means there is something wrong with the whole carbon dioxide theory.
This is the work of real scientists supporting the real United Nations, and it shows that if we are waiting for the end of the world, we can relax. I doubt that it will make it to the final report- after all, these things are intended to drive policy makers around the world to do all sorts of stuff that is apparently not really that important. But check it out for yourself. I am just happy that is nothing to worry about this morning. (Important caveat below*)
Despite the good news, the chart was not enough to put me back to sleep.
No dice. Didn't happen.
So, I held off checking mail as long as I could, but wound up reading the NY Times in some detail. The “Plan B” disaster is what the paper was mostly concerned about. Speaker Boehner failed to rally his own troops, shrugged, lit up a Lucky, and sent his House home for the Holidays. So, I guess it is off the cliff we go. Damn, I had other plans for January- but oh well.
Down in the OpEd section, there was the usual irritating article by that pompous Paul Krugman, and then there was the counterpoint from the Time’s lap-dog in-house Republican.
For a conservative, David Brooks has always been a thoughtful guy- a token counterpoint to the implacable Krugman’s Keynesianism, but Brook's analysis of the stupidity of the Cliff thing also cited this article:
Give it a read if you get a chance- of course it is Partisan, but like you I am deeply troubled by the failure of any of these elected morons to come to grips with the imperatives of the future.
We are counting on our grandkids to take up the burden imposed by the expansion of the entitlement portfolio and the "stimulus" that apparently has no end.
I am not going to get Paul Ryan on you. I am way beyond saying that “debt is bad,” or that we should balance the budget right now in the face of a soft and sagging economy.
By now you know how I feel about all that: this was unnecessary. We are digging our way in deeper and deeper and in the end, someone is going to have to pay for it. Higher taxes? Fine. Whatever.
We all know how we got here and there is no one that seems to have a reasonable approach to going anywhere else except off the cliff.
I am way beyond assigning blame, or saying one cast of clowns is better than the other, or worse, primly saying that people ought to take care of themselves. I am trying to find a scenario that will permit retirement and not having a lot of luck.
Ever sat down with an investment guy and asked what the smart money would do if you had any? They don’t have any answers either.
I really had a different agenda for January than the one we are likely to have. So relax and get a stiff morning eggnog. If no one here is worried about how the public’s business is being conducted, why should the rest of us?
At least it is not getting any warmer. That is sort of cold comfort, though, wouldn’t you agree?
Copyright 2012 Vic Socotra
* Important note from the Daily Socotra Ombudsman: for goodness sake, this is no reason not to be prudent about energy use. Keep re-cycling. Stay fit. Don’t litter.
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