Archives for the month of: December, 2015

It has all happened before.

Watts Up With That?

Political cartoonist Rick McKee of the Augusta Chronicle sees what you and I do – that any weather event can be pinned on climate change.

The warm weather on the eastern half of the USA this winter has prompted  many climate alarmists blame it on global warming/climate change/climate disruption even though in 1955, a similarly warm and record breaking warm winter occurred well before CO2 was out of the “safe” zone as some call it. This map illustrates:


h/t to Steve Goddard

McKee of course sees right through the hype of blaming any weather event on climate change with this cartoon…


What is funny is that there was some climate scientists who actually did a paper and a wheel of climate as a PR prop

see this

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Isn’t this an embarrassment?

Section XIII-4: Compulsory school attendance.
The Legislature shall provide for the compulsory attendance at some public or other school, unless other means of education are provided, of all the children in the State who are sound in mind and body, between the ages of eight and sixteen years, for at least three months in each year.

Compulsion is evil. Yet, here we require it in our state constitution. We institute evil in our governance at its inception.

Coercion is evil. Compulsion is evil. It can only be justified in the prevention of worse evil.

Can we argue that granting someone the freedom, the right, of self-determination is a worse evil than forcing attendance at education?

We all know better. We know it is right and good to allow each self-determination. It is unalienable. Liberty, freedom of association, these are rights with which we are each individually created. Certainly parents and responsible adults owe protection to our young, our childish ones, until they gain modest maturity, but the longer I live, the less mature I realize we all are. Responsibility must accompany privilege, but self-determination is not a privilege, it is innate right. Self-determination is a property of a person. It is part of the very definition of what each of us is.

No one can argue that coercion, compulsion is other than evil. We aver religious freedom. We generally allow so many freedoms, even some freedoms most of us judge as immoral. Yet, we want to deny the right of self-determination and free association to all our citizens less than 16, even 18, years of age.

We all instinctively, rightly, understand that being forced to do anything deprives us, degrades us. Most will comply, but the degradation remains. No matter the end results, the end never justifies evil means.

The end never justifies evil means.

Coercion, compulsion is evil.

The end never justifies coercive means.

Education is a good that has been sought hard through all history. Knowledge is power. We instinctively know that. We understand that information and understanding, with wisdom and sound judgment empower us to fulfill our dreams and to live our lives well. No one has to force us to do good things for ourselves. Indeed, no one can.

Yes, we are always tempted to sloth, but we know the ant. We know the fiddle-playing grasshopper.

It is not possible to justify righteously the compulsion of the grasshopper for his own good. It does him no good, and it diminishes the rest of us, at best decreasing our own productivity and efficiency, and often going much farther bringing forth in us the worst of human nature, especially arrogance, self-righteousness, condescension, and even worse.

There is no need for compulsion in education. Mothers understand its value for their children. Children understand its value when simply allowed to enjoy the process. Joy cannot flourish under compulsion. Children do not enjoy being told they must. No one enjoys being told what to do. Children must learn self-discipline, but that is an entirely different thing than education. Children learn when they play. They learn when they interact. They learn when they are shown how to do something new. They learn when they are shown the usefulness of reading, writing, and mathematics. The same applies to skills in all areas of interest, including sports and trade or industry.

The state must ensure access. The state must protect those seeking education. I will even support state provision of schools and educational resource, but no good can come of forcing our young citizens and their parents to participate and attend.

It is my right to be ignorant if I so choose.

It is mama’s right to insist her child participate in education. Mama can insist her child attend. The state cannot. The state has no right to coerce with regard to self-determination and freedom of association. Mama will choose what is best for her child. We need only ensure her right is unhindered. It is mama’s right to raise her child anyway she sees fit. There are limits. We acknowledge abuse occurs, and sometimes the state must intervene, but in nearly all cases, mother really does know best. Empower her, and protect her from hindrance, and ensure she has at least one adequate option, such as a public school, and let her prove it. Mothers the world over have been proving it over and over since time immemorial.

I will always stand for mothers and fathers, for families. It is what works. For the exceptions, coercion cannot help.

Societally, we must work together and try to make up for shortfalls. We must also stand with those who see things nontraditionally, even when we have sound studies and reproducible data that show the traditional works best. But, we cannot do so by trying to force behavior.

Focus on what is most important. Freedom, self-determination, acceptance of responsibility, owning what we earn, be it for better or for worse. These are the things that are important for human dignity. These are the essentials of society. Understanding these is much more important than acquisition of some arbitrary standard of education as guessed at by some standardized test.

Children are, first, citizens. Children are not resources of the state. Children are not resources of the economy. Children are not property. We adults, specifically, we parents, are responsible for helping our children grow, and we must provide them with the tools they need for success in life. We must prepare them to stand on their own and take our places. We cannot arbitrarily set the standard. We cannot pretend to know the STEM needs of the future. Heaven forbid that for anyone we ever try to determine for him or her. Each child has the right to pursue happiness. Each child must be allowed self-determination in it.

We must amend our state constitution. We must remove the words of Section XIII-4 and replace with words prohibiting coercion, prohibiting compulsory attendance. We must free our citizens, especially the teachers in our publicly funded schools.

“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”
― C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock: Essays on Theology (Making of Modern Theology)

These statistics aren’t particularly scary when considered in perspective, but the obvious fact is that increasing energy costs are hurting people today. The environmentalist religious dogma harms people today. Regardless of what people pretend in the future, green-policies cause pain, suffering, and death today, especially to the poorest among us.

Remember, first, do no harm.

Even when it is not within our power to do good, we can always refrain from harm.

Watts Up With That?

Impoverished British Family in London 1800s Impoverished British Family in London 1800s

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Falling living standards are contributing to a shocking surge in malnutrition, and diseases which were prevalent in the 1800s. My question – how much of this hardship is due to the skyrocketing cost of Britain’s green energy disaster?

According to the Independent;

Malnutrition and ‘Victorian’ diseases soaring in England ‘due to food poverty and cuts’

Cases of Victorian-era diseases including scurvy, scarlet fever, cholera and whooping cough have increased since 2010

Cases of malnutrition and other “Victorian” diseases are soaring in England, in what campaigners said was a result of cuts to social services and rising food poverty.

NHS statistics show that 7,366 people were admitted to hospital with a primary or secondary diagnosis of malnutrition between August 2014 and July this year, compared with 4,883 cases in the same period from 2010 to 2011 – a rise of…

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Worth contemplation.

Musings on Science and Theology

Ishtar Gate 2Jeremiah was a prophet in Jerusalem at the time leading up to the Babylonian captivity. He was freed from confinement by King Nebuchadnezzar and recorded the troubling reactions of the people of Judah during this cataclysmic event. Jeremiah 18:1-12 is a troublesome passage for many interpreters. Walter Moberly in Old Testament Theology: Reading the Hebrew Bible as Christian Scripture refers to this passage as “the passage whereby all other depictions of divine repentance elsewhere should be understood, when one is reading the Old Testament as canonical scripture.” (p. 116)

First the text (NIV):

This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands…

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We remember.

Watts Up With That?

This year the solstice occurs on Tuesday December 22nd at 04:49 GMT, about 15 hours from the time of this posting. This thought provoking article highlights what the ancient people in what we now call Ireland knew 3200 years ago.

One Moment in Time: The Solstice Seen from Newgrange

Newgrange.jpgDeep inside the world’s oldest known building, every year, for only as much as 17 minutes, the sun — at the exact moment of the winter solstice — shines directly down a long corridor of stone and illuminates the inner chamber at Newgrange.

Newgrange was built 1,000 years before Stonehenge and also predates the pyramids by more than 500 years.

Lost and forgotten along with the civilization that built it, the site was been rediscovered in 1699. Excavation began in the late 1800s and continued in fits and starts, until it was undertaken in earnest in 1962. It was completed…

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I absolutely agree that the Pope has given cause for division. This situation is Galileo all over again. Those who refuse to learn the lessons of the past are damned to repeat them.

It is an embarrassment for Christianity. It is especially embarrassing for the Catholic Church. It is also an embarrassment for science in accepting the endorsement.

“To equate a papal position on abortion with a position on global warming is worse than wrong; it is an embarrassment for the Church.”

It is worse than wrong. It is damaging.

Sadly, it will likely take as long to get past this embarrassment as it did with Galileo.

Watts Up With That?

Photo of Fr. Joseph Fessio, author TraLeSollecitudini, source Wikimedia Photo of Fr. Joseph Fessio, author TraLeSollecitudini, source Wikimedia

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The papal Laudato Si’ encyclical on global warming continues to be a source of division, and has prompted reportedly heated exchanges between senior church figures, at a recent top level meeting in Rome.

ROME, December 18, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – A heated exchange regarding global warming and magisterial teaching between a top Vatican official and various other presenters ended a December 3 Acton Institute conference in Rome. Argentinean Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, a close advisor to Pope Francis and the Chancellor of both the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences stressed that the pope’s declarations on the gravity of global warming as expressed in the encyclical Laudato Si’ are magisterial teaching equivalent to the teaching that abortion is sinful.

Father Joseph Fessio, SJ, the founder of Ignatius Press who obtained his doctorate…

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Mr. Miller has comments about teacher evaluation.

Snippets with my comments:

“So, we are right back where we were prior to SB2033. Oklahoma can do anything we choose without the threat of federal interference. We can change this law during this legislative session, and we should.”

“That’s right. I vote to abolish TLE completely. Every part of it–The Tulsa Model, Marzano, McRel, roster verification, value-added models, teacher portfolios, student and parent surveys, benchmark testing, qualitative scores, quantitative scores…EVERY. Damn. Part.”

Absolutely. Get rid of all teacher evaluation requirements. We must trust our teachers and principals. If parents will stay involved, that will work just fine. It is, in fact, the only thing that will work.

Accountability means nothing unless the parents are involved. The state need not be involved if the parents are, and the state will only cause harm regardless.

“Adding layers of bureaucracy and mandates at the state level has done little to improve the quality of teachers in our state. This has always been–and will always be–a function of school leadership.”

Yes, absolutely. Local leadership and parental involvement. With no parents, there is no hope anyway.

“Therefore, the best method of teacher evaluation will always be to hire a great principal and let them do their job.

“Likewise, the best approach for our best teachers is to let them teach. We should provide the resources, training and supports they need and then get out of their way.

“The reality is that great teachers will be great teachers with or without TLE. They are intrinsically motivated and likely harder on themselves than any administrator could ever be. This does not mean they won’t appreciate meaningful feedback and suggestions from their administrators. But it’s just gravy for many of them.”

Actually, with TLE, the great teachers succumb. They find it too hard to love the children and teach them, piled on with the requirements to keep up with all the paperwork and restrictions. TLE doesn’t do much for the good teachers, but it does drive them away.

Mr. Miller speaks of improving incentives, but I don’t think incentives are the problem, restrictions and disincentives are the problem. First, we hold a gun to everyone’s head and force them to school. Then we tie the hands of the teachers with one-size-fits-all requirements. We restrict their options, and we force them to deal with those kids who refuse to cooperate, gun to their head or not.

Children love to learn. We do not have to instill a love of learning in them. It is there. We have to be careful not to squash it. Our system is very much geared for squashing love of learning. It also squashes love of teaching.

Likewise for critical thinking. Kids will, if we don’t throttle them every time they do so. We tend to, since there just isn’t time in the classroom to let the child’s thinking run its course. When Sally makes an astute observation followed by an off-the-wall conclusion, the ideal is to work with her and her peers to sort out the error and find better conclusions. She can and will if we can take the time, but we don’t. The typical response is to tell her that she was sharp to notice, but then the teacher must simply interject the correct conclusion because there simply isn’t time for the distraction. The distractions are important. In the distractions, our children learn to think for themselves. Distractions and focus on them develop the love of learning into lifelong habit. Figuring out and working through the errors and misjudgments develops the critical thinking that simply cannot be taught. Tests and lessons cannot teach critical thinking. Telling students what the critical points are teaches them nothing. They know a fact for a while; then it fades from mind. Doing the process of critical thinking instills it. Teaching it, accomplishes nothing.

During my years of nuclear-related research, my experience convinced me that we cannot measure temperature with a reliable accuracy better than ±1.5°C, not under any natural conditions, hardly even under ideal conditions in the lab. Given what Anthony is showing, it is really ridiculous, absurdly silly, to talk about earth warming with the data we have so far.

Sure, we have other evidence, circumstantial evidence, that earth is warming, but our best peleo evidence indicates it has all happened before, even at faster rates, though warmist refuse to acknowledge that obvious fact.

My bottom line is with the people. Acquiescing to the alarmists enslaves people, condemns the world’s poorest peoples to continued starvation and deprivation, and kills people today with all that goes on in the name of “Green.”

Make it personal: Grandma cannot pay the heat bill, and eat, and buy medicine. Left-leaners blame the government and right-leaners, but the the fact is, there is no excuse for the heat bill factoring into this situation. In the West, we can have, and should have, such abundant energy that heating bills are trivial. Instead, Grandma decides it isn’t worth it, and she spends her last night under the stars sleeping in her garden as the frost takes her.

More personal? Think cold, dark operating room with only enough emergency power to keep the vitals monitors running while the doctors open your daughter for a critical, life-or-death surgery, simply because the coal-fired power plants have all been shut down and the wind just doesn’t happen to be blowing.

Wind blows, but windmills suck!

Cold kills. Warmer is better!

Watts Up With That?

30 year trends of temperature are shown to be lower, using well-sited high quality NOAA weather stations that do not require adjustments to the data.

This was in AGU’s press release news feed today. At about the time this story publishes, I am presenting it at the AGU 2015 Fall meeting in San Francisco. Here are the details.



Figure 4 – Comparisons of 30 year trend for compliant Class 1,2 USHCN stations to non-compliant, Class 3,4,5 USHCN stations to NOAA final adjusted V2.5 USHCN data in the Continental United States

EMBARGOED UNTIL 13:30 PST (16:30 EST) December 17th, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – A new study about the surface temperature record presented at the 2015 Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union suggests that the 30-year trend of…

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Worth sharing.

Watts Up With That?


I’ve been reading the comments about my press release at WUWT, Bishop Hill, and at Dr. Judith Curry’s place and most have been positive. There is the usual sniping, but these aren’t getting much traction as one would expect, mainly due to the fact that there’s really not much to snipe about other than Steve Mosher’s usual whining that he wants the data, and he wants it now.

Sorry Mosh, no can do until publication. After trusting people with our data prior to publication and being usurped, not once but twice, I’m just not going to make that mistake a third time.

Some of the sniping in comments has to do with defending existing methodology for using all of the data in the surface temperature record, with warts, bumps, abscesses, and all that and expecting to be able to apply blanket algorithms to fix all those widely…

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attributed to George Patton: If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.

Big Picture News, Informed Analysis

The Paris climate summit is many things, including a cultural spectacle wrapped in lightweight media fluff.

The back cover of a commemorative edition of edition of Elle magazine, published in France.The back cover of a commemorative edition of Elle magazine, published in France. Click to enlarge.

I’ve been in Europe for a week. As one might expect following the November 13 Paris terrorist attacks, airports here are now patrolled by soldiers equipped with machine guns.

But it’s the holiday season. Lights are twinkling, Christmas trees are being sold on sidewalks, and the shops are crowded. I flew to Paris not to report on COP21, the official climate conference, but to participate in a counter-conference that presented alternative points of view. The slogan for that event is a quote attributed to George Patton: If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.

In the French media, COP21 is receiving the kind of attention associated with the Olympics or a film festival. Politicians have been extensively photographed, and pages…

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1984 reindoctrination.

Watts Up With That?


Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The BBC broadcast an obscure programme on state radio on August the 5th, on Radio 4, called “what’s the point of the MET office?”, which allowed the voice of climate skepticism onto British broadcast radio. As a result of this massive breach of BBC policy, there has been a major internal inquiry, and several BBC officials have been sent on mandatory climate re-education courses.

The Telegraph reports on the outcome of the internal hearing into this failure of editorial control;

A Radio 4 programme that claimed that the Met Office had exaggerated the threat posed by global warming as part of its “political lobbying” has been found guilty of serious breaches of the BBC’s editorial guidelines.

The BBC Trust said that What’s the Point of the Met Office?, broadcast on August 5 and hosted by the journalist Quentin Letts, had “failed to make…

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Regarding a bullet list about prohibition that my daughter shared Facebook:

The fact is, we are free. Also, coercion is evil.

We need some laws for civic tranquility, but mostly, we must count on people to behave according to good order.

Also a fact, the state wields power from the barrel of a gun. We need to consider all laws with this simple test: “Am I willing to force people to obey this law at gunpoint? Further, am I willing to pull the trigger if they don’t?”

Make it personal. Understand the logical conclusion, and consider it.

Is this or that law worth me taking a life over? Your answer should be no for nearly everything.

I’m still reluctant to legalize drugs, but our current status is broke. When something is broke, we must fix it. I see no alternative to legalization. Sure, there will be new problems. Overall, I’ll take the problems rather than participating in the evil of coercion.
We are all someone’s daughter or someone’s son.
How long will we look at each other down the barrel of a gun.

Some will recognize that line from “You’re the Voice”, written by John Farnham.

Rebecca St. James recorded it,

But Farnham sang it earlier, and at least as well.

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