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NASA satellite spots cause of unprecedented spike in atmospheric CO2

Nice try but no cigar.  El Nino just shifts rainfall around. Warmer oceans would in fact have increased it overall.  Yet the article below seems to posit an overall increase in drought.

And in 2017, well after El Nino, CO2 levels have never been higher.  So blaming higher CO2 levels on El Nino just will not fly.  They are independent phenomena.

But it's nice to see NASA blaming ANYTHING on El Nino. They mostly try to ignore it -- as with the 2015 temperature spike.  At least they now admit that it happened


Since the Industrial Revolution in the early 1800s, atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations have been steadily increasing, but 2015 and 2016 saw an unprecedented spike. A NASA study has now analyzed data gathered by the atmosphere-monitoring satellite, the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2), over more than two years and pinpointed the cause: the El Nino weather effect caused certain tropical regions to release far more CO2 than they normally would.

Although there's been some huge efforts to reduce the amount of CO2 produced through human activity, the amount of the gas pumped into the atmosphere has still increased by an average of 2 parts per million (about 4 gigatons of carbon) annually, in recent years. But 2015 and 2016 broke the trend with the largest spikes on record: up to 3 parts per million, amounting to 6.3 gigatons of carbon. Emissions from human activity stayed roughly the same in those years, so where was it all coming from?

The climate cycle El Nino was a prime suspect, but it wasn't clear exactly how. This phenomenon occurs over the Pacific Ocean every few years, when warmer water from near the Phillipines and Indonesia drifts east towards South America, and the effects can be strong enough to alter weather across the entire planet. Warmer waters at the surface of the ocean drag the rains with it, lowering precipitation and causing droughts in areas like Australia, India, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, northeastern South America, while increasing rainfall in places like Peru, Chile and Ecuador.

The El Nino event in 2015 was one of the strongest since the 1950s, so it's no coincidence that 2016 was the hottest year ever recorded. To study what effects the event may have had on atmospheric CO2 concentrations, NASA researchers analyzed 28 months of data gathered by the OCO-2 satellite, which can take thousands of readings of carbon dioxide levels per day in a given area, as well as measure how well vegetation is processing the gas via photosynthesis.

The team compared that data to 2011 as a reference year, when weather and carbon cycle processes were normal. Their conclusion? The increase was due to warmer-than-average temperatures and drought in tropical parts of South America, Africa and Indonesia, which in turn were caused by El Nino.

The effects of the 2015 El Nino event in different tropical regions, which in turn caused...

"These three tropical regions released 2.5 gigatons more carbon into the atmosphere than they did in 2011," says Junjie Liu, lead author of the study. "Our analysis shows this extra carbon dioxide explains the difference in atmospheric carbon dioxide growth rates between 2011 and the peak years of 2015-16. OCO-2 data allowed us to quantify how the net exchange of carbon between land and atmosphere in individual regions is affected during El Nino years."

The researchers combined the OCO-2 data with that gathered by other satellites, to figure out the specific processes in each of those regions that were contributing to the extreme increase in CO2. Drought ravaged eastern and southeastern tropical areas of South America, bringing about the driest year in the last three decades. Coupled with higher than average temperatures, vegetation in these regions were stressed and as such, photosynthesis slowed, meaning the plants plucked less carbon from the atmosphere.

Meanwhile, tropical Asia suffered through its second-driest year in 30 years, which increased the severity of forest fires that in turn pumped more carbon into the air. During the same time, tropical Africa endured hotter temperatures but no drought, which sped up the rate of decomposition of dead trees and plants, resulting in more CO2 emissions.

"We knew El Ninos were one factor in these variations, but until now we didn't understand, at the scale of these regions, what the most important processes were," says Annemarie Eldering, Deputy Project Scientist on the OCO-2 mission. "Understanding how the carbon cycle in these regions responded to El Nino will enable scientists to improve carbon cycle models, which should lead to improved predictions of how our planet may respond to similar conditions in the future. The team's findings imply that if future climate brings more or longer droughts, as the last El Nino did, more carbon dioxide may remain in the atmosphere, leading to a tendency to further warm Earth."

SOURCE

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What I learned as a guest house proprietor

I learned about poverty.  The house had 22 rooms and was located in a lower socio-economic area.  The inhabitants were all poor. But they weren't "down on their luck".  They made their luck.  They were generally pleasant people to talk to and were quite prone to conservative views on social issues.  None of them had any time for "poofters" (homosexuals), for instance.  They were however much prone to larceny. They stole from one another with considerable regularity. I got on quite well with them in general. I would not have been able to run the place otherwise.  My own working class background undoubtedly helped.  I could use their own language and idioms in talking to them.

But because I got on well with them, I got to know a fair bit about them.  None of them had a job so lived on welfare payments. And by the time the next payment came around there was nothing left of the previous payment.  Their pockets were empty.  They didn't save a cent.  There was just one exception, a very black TI man (a Melanesian) by the name of Apu.  As he handed me his rent one day he remarked that he had got into a fight last night and lost his money.  He then went on to say: "So I went to the bank and got some out".

So why was it only a black man who was able to save? Christianity is strong on TI so I guess Apu learnt some good habits from that. There was no religion among my white tenants.

So it was amusing to see what happened on "payday".  A steady stream of "goon" (sweet white wine,  mostly "Fruity Lexia") in cardboard boxes would arrive.  I don't begrudge them that but it is part of where their money went.  Goon gives you the biggest hit for your buck but even goon is not cheap.

And the other money habit I observed was that my tenants were hopeless shoppers.  They would buy rubbish food -- like bags of potato crisps -- and buy it off a nearby service station where prices were generally at least a third higher than at a  supermarket,  And there was a good supermaket only about 10 minutes walk away.  Had they made a point of price-conscious shopping they would have had substantial money left over by the end of the week.

So they made their own poverty.

There are of course some people whom the Victorians called "the deserving poor" -- people who are poor due to some sort of misadventure rather than due to fecklessness -- but I saw none of those.  I have to conclude that they are a small minority of the poor -- albeit a minority who do deserve compassion and help.

So what policy lessons do I draw from what I saw?  For a start, most of the ones I saw would be only marginally employable.  Their skills, habits and attitudes were not really consistent with a job. Training would probably lift some of them into employability but whether they would actually  take a job would be an issue.  Some of them were clearly quite happy to live fancy-free on welfare payments.

The only way I see forward is something the Australian Federal government is already trying in some localities -- giving welfare payments in the form of a debit card that can be used only to buy essentials but not such things as alcohol and tobacco products: similar to the American SNAP system ("food stamps").  But we know that such a system has its limits.  The card holder buys goods that SOMEONE ELSE wants and exchanges those goods for money.  But such a system should in some cases make the getting of a job more attractive

The Victorian attitude of DISAPPROVAL of poverty would probably also help but any return of that is most unlikely. Society has come to accept its parasites
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The case for colonialism

I reproduce below just the abstract and a bit of the Introduction of a most "incorrect" academic article.  It provoked a huge outcry from the usual suspects and was promptly withdrawn by the journal that originally published it.  At least as far as Britain's African colonies are concerned, there is little doubt that they have steadily gone downhill in all sorts of ways since independence -- so it is long overdue for a systematic survey of that

Note, for instance, a recent report that Zimbabwe is again on the point of collapse, with a worthless currency and food shortages creeping in again.  As Rhodesia under British rule, Zimbabwe was a prosperous and well-run country that was a major exporter of grains and other agricultural produce --JR

Bruce Gilley

ABSTRACT

For the last 100 years, Western colonialism has had a bad name. It is high time to question this orthodoxy. Western colonialism was, as a general rule, both objectively beneficial and subjectively legitimate in most of the places where it was found, using realistic measures of those concepts. The countries that embraced their colonial inheritance, by and large, did better than those that spurned it. Anti-colonial ideology imposed grave harms on subject peoples and continues to thwart sustained development and a fruitful encounter with modernity in many places. Colonialism can be recovered by weak and fragile states today in three ways: by reclaiming colonial modes of governance; by recolonising some areas; and by creating new Western colonies from scratch.

Introduction

For the last 100 years, Western colonialism has had a bad name. Colonialism has virtually disappeared from international affairs, and there is no easier way to discredit a political idea or opponent than to raise the cry of ‘colonialism’. When South African opposition politician Helen Zille tweeted in 2017 that Singapore’s success was in part attributable to its ability to ‘build on valuable aspects of colonial heritage’, she was vilified by the press, disciplined by her party, and put under investigation by the country’s human rights commission. It is high time to reevaluate this pejorative meaning. The notion that colonialism is always and everywhere a bad thing needs to be rethought in light of the grave human toll of a century of anti-colonial regimes and policies.

SOURCE

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Homosexual community won’t forgive those who voted "no" to homosexual marriage

The homosexual writing below makes large and unwarranted assumptions about other people's motives so it is no surprise that he is filled with hate. He says, for instance, that  the plebiscite on homosexual marriage was a deliberate delaying tactic.  It was not.  It was a buck-passing exercise.  The Liberal party was disunited over the matter so they did the democratic thing and handed the decision to the people.

He also says that "no" voters were motivated by a feeling that homosexuals are inferior. That may have been true in a few cases but he is totally ignoring that the case for the "No" vote was almost entirely put by Christian organizations.  Nobody could be in any doubt that homosexuality is condemned in the Bible and there are still many people who respect Bible teachings as at least wise.  I do myself, despite being an atheist.  The "No" vote was almost certainly a vote in favour of Christian teachings in most cases.

So he ignores both the virtue of democracy and the teachings of Christianity.  No wonder he is bitter and twisted and full of vindictiveness.  Ignoring reality is never wise.

What about the "hurt" that homosexuals have experienced when they heard their practices condemned?  They can only have felt that if they were previously unaware that people disapproved of them.  Being hauled into an awareness of reality must be regarded as a generally good thing. Political correctness normally inhibits people from speaking negatively of homosexuality so this was an occasion where the truth could come out.  Surely that must be on balance a good thing


FEW things have united the ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ voters in the divisive, drawn-out campaign for same-sex marriage.

Mathias Cormann’s suggestion back in August that the postal ballot would be a “unifying moment” for the country now seems utterly laughable.

But if one thing unifies, it’s surely the relief that this postal ballot plebiscite finally ends today. People in both camps have felt injured or insulted over these six long weeks. Many of the public feel fatigued. They just want it to be over.

Make no mistake: this is what anti-equality MPs wanted. The optional, non-binding, expensive, unnecessary postal vote was a delaying tactic to prohibit or at least postpone marriage equality — and certainly to exhaust existing public appetite for it.

Turnbull’s continued insistence that this has been a “respectful debate” isn’t just a lie — it’s offensively ignorant. Trains were defaced with ‘Vote no to fags.’ Two lesbians in Redfern woke up in October to discover that dog excrement had been thrown on their doorstep. Graffiti instructed people to ‘Bash a gay today’. Respectful? This is incitement to homophobic violence.

A ‘No’ voter was sacked from her job for being public about how she’d vote. At Sydney University, food was thrown and threats made to “stomp on the face” of ‘No’ voters, which resulted in the police being called.

This is what happens when you put people’s human rights, basic dignity and simple equality up for debate. People get passionate. It gets ugly. And it was always going to.

Of course, passion makes the headlines. Many, myself included, tried to have the polite, respectful debate Turnbull wanted. I volunteered for the ‘Yes’ campaign, making calls to voters and asking if they’ll, pretty please, consider treating me equally. It was a demeaning exercise — but one I did on behalf of the anxious, upcoming generation of LGBTQI people who deserve to share in the happily-ever-after optimism that every young person does.

A typical response to asking a caller if they’d consider voting ‘Yes’ was offered by one particularly aggravated woman: “I don’t actually think that’s any of your fucking business, do you?”

What I wanted to say was: “Neither is the validity of my relationship with my boyfriend actually any of your fucking business, but you’ve still been invited to have your say on its legitimacy, haven’t you?”

What I actually said was: “No worries madam, sorry for interrupting your evening!” It’s a conversation, through gritted teeth, I had dozens, possibly hundreds of times.

But where did that politeness get me? Even if we win the postal ballot, we lose. A Sky News ReachTEL poll found 64 per cent voted ‘Yes’. But if that’s the case, I still find it devastating to know that over a third of the country have been encouraged to post a letter saying they don’t want to treat me equally.

That 36 per cent have been influenced by a ‘No’ campaign to solidify their gut feeling that I’m inferior to them. They could be my future employers. They could be people whose livelihoods I help fund by buying goods or services from them. And that makes me very uncomfortable.

Something unforgivable has occurred here. MPs were widely warned a plebiscite would unleash a Pandora’s box of harm. Gay people warned it’d give licence to homophobia and further ostracism. We pleaded with MPs to think of the suicide risk to vulnerable young LGBTQI people. Rainbow families travelled to Canberra to warn of the harm this’d do to their young kids. Bill Shorten listened, and reversed his initial support for the plebiscite.

Not only did Coalition MPs ignore and dismiss these warnings, they fought them at the High Court — and won. Look what happened. As Tanya Plibersek said on last night’s Q & A, gay people were distraught to discover members of their own family would be voting ‘No’.

I’ve seen gay people asking anyone on Facebook voting ‘No’ to de-friend them: from cousins and acquaintances to those they thought were their friends. Employers have been encouraged to turn against their staff for voting a different way. I’ve even seen divisions within the gay community itself emerge as a debate rages about how much tolerance or acceptance we should offer those who don’t want us to have equality.

With all this grimly predictable polarisation, I can think of one unifying moment for the LGBTQI community. It’s a reclaiming of power too often denied us, and one of the greatest powers of all: the withholding of forgiveness.

If gay people are angry that they’ve been pitted against each other and against their friends, family and colleagues, they have the power to punish at the ballot box — not just at the next election, but for a lifetime.

I’m hoping it galvanises LGBTQI people not just to vote for any other party than the LNP, but to join one, and campaign for one.

Why should we trust or forgive MPs who’ve ignored us, dismissed our legitimate concerns, made us beg for equality?

The real unifying moment is that the gay community now knows who has our backs. If you’re gay, and now consider voting LNP in your lifetime, shame on you.

SOURCE

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Plain truth can be hate-speech on Quora

I responded to the following question on Quora.com:

"Why has the free movement of people between Canada, Australia, New Zealand & the UK not been implemented? There are similar population sizes, common language, & social, political, economic, & educational systems are all based on the British model"

I replied:

"Australia and NZ don’t want the blacks — too crime-prone"

Quora deleted my reply on the grounds that it violated their Be  Nice, Be Respectful policy

I wrote in response to them:

"Since when is the truth simply expressed disrespectful? The alternative is BS"

On behalf of Quora, Amelia then replied:

"Thanks for your email. We'll be more than happy to clarify our moderation decision here.

Your content was in violation of our Be Nice, Be Respectful policy. This core Quora principle requires that people treat other people on the site with civility, respect, and consideration.

More specifically, your content contained what we consider to be hate speech:

Users are not allowed to post content or adopt a tone that would be interpreted by a reasonable observer as a form of hate speech, particularly toward a race, gender, religion, nationality, ethnicity, political group, sexual orientation or another similar characteristic. Questions and question details about generalizations in these topics should be phrased as neutrally and respectfully as possible.

Our decision is final, and your content will not be reinstated"

My closing comment:  "I imagine Amelia is just an apparatchik at Quora so shares the current politically correct hysteria about any mention of blacks that fails to praise them -- but her action deprives their questioner of the answer to his question.

Is that what Quora is about?  Is it a cover-up service or an information service?  No American is in any doubt about the black crime-rate so why can it not be mentioned in an objective information context?  I have had many articles published in the academic journals of the social sciences on questions about race and racism but such discussions must be kept from the general public, apparently. So I suppose that this episode is just another example of Leftists having big problems with the truth -- JR. 

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Even without an El Nino kick, 2017 heads for top-three ranking for global heat

An amusing bit of Warmism below.  Now that 2017 is trending much cooler than 2016, they suddenly admit that the 2016 temperature was pushed up by El Nino.  They previously avoided mentioning the El Nino effect and pretended the warming was part of anthropogenic global warming.

The authors below say that there was no influence of ElNino in 2017 so therefore the warmth must be  traceable to the higher CO2 levels in 2017.  What they omit to mention is that the ocean is a very slowly-changing heat sink and that ElNino was affecting  temperatures for nearly two years.  So one must expect that heat absorbed in that time will take a similar period to dissipate.  And we are only half way through that period.  So a drop back to pre 2015 temperatures is the trend and a continuation of that trend should bring us right back to "stasis" temperatures and a resumption of the infamous "pause".

Most amusingly, note that although global temperatures are dropping, CO2 levels are higher in 2017 than they have ever been.  Once again the exact opposite of what Warmist theory predicts.  Much fun!

You can't beat going back to the numbers.  The CO2 figures are here (see column 4) and the temperatures are here.  The numbers show you what the carefully selected guff below never would


The world is headed for its third warmest year on record, even without the boost from an El Nino, as the signs of climate change continue to mount, the World Meteorological Organisation said.

In a report released to coincide with the opening of the Bonn climate conference in Germany on Monday, the WMO said the five-year average was now running at about 1 degree warmer than the average for 1880-1900 period. The same conference two years ago in Paris agreed to keep warming to below 2 degrees.
Headwinds for climate change conference

A UN-led climate conference in Bonn begins this week with President Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement in a potentially awkward sticking point.

Based on the first nine months of the year, 2017 is unlikely to match 2016 - the hottest year on record - or the previous year. Still, it is likely to dislodge 2014 as the third warmest.

Such a ranking for 2017 will be notable not least because El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) conditions have been neutral this year, removing the warming boost the past two years had from an El Nino.

"It's clearly the warmest year [on record] that doesn't have a warming influence," said Blair Trewin, senior climatologist at the Bureau of Meteorology and scientific coordinator of the WMO report.

According to the first 10 months of the year, Australia will have its third-warmest year on record, the bureau said in a separate report.

Mean temperatures are running 0.96 degrees above the 1961-90 average used by the bureau. Maximum temperatures were even more unusual, running at 1.34 degrees above average.

The WMO's report comes a week after the United Nations agency said greenhouse gases are now at levels not seen for perhaps five million years. Carbon dioxide levels rose the most on record last year, increasing 3.3 parts per million to 403.3 ppm.

SOURCE

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BOOK REVIEW.  "Young Hitler: The Making of the Fuhrer", interesting but amateurish

Yes.  From what the reviewer says, the book is amateurish.  He rightly says that Hitler was not initially antisemitic but does not know why he became so.  He offers no understanding of Hitler's psychology at all. Yet Hitler himself gives a perfectly clear and believable account of that in "Mein Kampf".

Hitler was a strong patriot who wanted to make Germany great   again.  That is normal enough.  Strong patriotism is common even in nations where there would seem to be little to be patriotic about. So there is no mystery or madness about his basic motivations.

And what turned that patriotism into anti-semitism is also clear.  People say it was because of his rejection by the Vienna art school -- but Hitler himself agreed with that  rejection.  The Rector told him that his main talent was in architecture and Hitler enthusiastically agreed with that. He was not antagonized at all.

What DID anger Hitler was all the revolutionary talk in postwar Vienna.  There were many orators calling for class war and a revolution.  But that went completely against Hitler's patriotism.  He wanted Germans to be one big happy family, not fighting among themselves.  And it was his constant belief in Germany and German unity that got him his following.  He came across as someone who loved his people.  And they followed him to the bitter end because of that.

And guess who the revolutionary talk came from?  Predominantly Jews.  Karl Marx was a Jew and many of the Bolsheviks were Jews and to this day, Jews tend strongly to support the political Left.  There is no doubt that there WERE many Jewish preachers of revolution in Vienna in the aftermath of WWI.  Hitler even lists the names of the ones he knew of.

So he saw the Jews as enemies of Germany.  Thus his hatred of Jews mirrored his love of Germany.  All perfectly understandable and straightforward in an era where EVERYBODY (just about) hated Jews. His ideas were perfectly normal in the context of his times. The vast majority of Germans would have nodded their heads wisely when Hitler demonized Jews.  It was a tragic overgeneralization but it was far from mysterious


Young Hitler is a new direction for Australian writer Paul Ham. His previous books have been about war, specifically defeats, disasters and grossly abnormal loss of life, such as Passchendaele: Requiem for a Doomed Youth (2016). His least blood-soaked book is Vietnam: The Australian War (2007), which remain­s the only one-volume treatment of the subject and is still useful, if in need of updating.

Now, however, he has turned to a biograph­ical study, albeit of a soldier and the instigator of the most widespread war in history. But Hitler! Why Hitler? Ham’s 18-page bibliography makes it clear that Adolf Hitler is hardly neglected by other writers.

The question Ham believes has not been suffic­iently answered is how “the experiences of Hitler’s youth, especially during the First World War, wrought the conqueror of Europe out of this unpromising human clay”.

In fact, Ham doesn’t quite mean that; he’s not trying to explain the Reich’s military success­es. Rather, what is it about World War I that “created one of the most murderous dictators of the 20th century”? Ham believes “the finest” biograph­ers of Hitler — Alan Bullock, Ian Kershaw and Volker Ullrich — “tend to give less emphasis to the role of the First World War in shaping Hitler’s character than it deserves”. His book is to remedy this flaw. It’s an ambitious if not cheeky aspiration.

Ham quotes Kershaw: “What happened under Hitler is unimaginable without the exper­ience of the First World War and what followed it.” So it must all be a question of degree, for what veteran’s personality and subsequent impac­t o­n the world is not influenced by war exper­ience?

What are the striking features of Hitler’s 1914-18? That he survived all 4½ years of it on the Western Front. That he was a brave soldier and deserved his two Iron Crosses. That he was exhilarated by the dangerous life of combat. That he was disgusted by defeatism on the part of his comrades (although any suggestion of intim­acy in that word hardly applies). That he resented whingeing and poor morale on the home front. That he saw the heavy losses in the First Battle of Ypres as the malign doing of the German political and military establishment.

Naturally, all or much of this played into the man’s evolving personality. But certain central traits of the “mature” Hitler don’t seem to have had a Great War genesis or particular encouragement — his anti-Semitism, for example. At length, Ham refers to the anti-Semitic miasma in the air in Hitler’s youthful days in Vienna and Munich, but keeps commenting that Hitler was not irrevocably infected then. And it wasn’t the war that did it either: Hitler’s Iron Cross First Class was recommended by his Jewish officer, and Hitler doesn’t seem to have noticed or minded, much less felt disgusted or ashamed.

If anything — and this seems the strong countercurrent of Ham’s book — it was ­Hitler’s experience of the aftermath of the war, rather than 1914-18 itself, that was responsible for the final fuhrer mould. Hitler bitterly embrace­d the myth of the stab in the back as an explanation for Germany’s defeat, and he threw himself into the business of fingering and nailing the assassin. In the end, this came down to being the entirely imaginary figure of Jewish Bolshevism.

Despite, it seems to me, arguing against himself, Ham has written an interesting primer. For the serious Hitler aficionados, brought up on Bullock and Kershaw, the obvious next step is Ullrich’s 2016 book Hitler: Ascent 1889-1939. But Ham’s Young Hitler works well as an introductory text. It has a good parade of the non-partisan witnesses to his youth, a discriminating account of Hitler’s war service, and offers just as much of Mein Kampf as a strong stomach can handle.

Yet a slight air of amateurishness hangs over the book. There’s a non-nuanced reference to the causes of the war, which seem to come down to Prussian militarism. Ham’s bibliog­raphy strik­ingly omits great Australian histor­ian Christopher Clark’s groundbreaking 2012 book The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914. And there is no trace of what I might even call empathy for Hitler. Despite the book’s avowed intention, there is no prising open the psyche of the as-yet-unformed young man. His devotion to his mother comes across more as an aberration than any kind of possible key to a flicker of a less-egocentric consciousness.

Ham’s earliest assessment of the child is as “sullen and resentful” and “by the age of 12 Hitler­ had grown into an emotionally indulged self-absorbed boy with a marked contempt for authority and the temper of a bully”.

It could be said that Ham has taken a pre­determined set against him. Maybe he can simply­ find no spark of humanity even in the child. “Whence came this juvenile rage at the world? … The answer has eluded the powers of psychiatrists.” It’s as though the evil machine was born ticking over and just waiting to be pointed toward­s its destined field of destruction.

Ham’s epilogue opens out into an analysis, a sermon, even a harangue on the present. Conventi­onal wisdom has long been that once you bring Hitler into your argument, you’ve lost it. Present times, however, seem to call for the overthrow of this maxim.

In April, historian Christopher Browning devoted his review of Ullrich’s Ascent in The New York Review of Books to a comparative, and very sane, essay on the rise of Hitler and the rise of Donald Trump. For Ham’s last eight pages he says “a few points are worth making about Hitler­’s legacy”. What follows is a fairly cosmic denunciation of white supremacists, far-right European parties, Steve Bannon, Islamophobia, trickle-down economics, Western inequity …

Ham then lays down his own combative program­ in a series of paragraphs that begin: “The solution …” As it happens, there’s little I dis­agree with, but the style is denunciatory, highly generalised and flamboyantly rhetorical. Is this intentional? Too much unnerving Hitler here.

SOURCE




An interesting collage



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Armistice day -- lessons from "Kanzler" Bismarck and General Monash

The 11th day of the 11th month (also known as Remembrance Day and Veterans Day) was originally made memorable because it marked the end of WWI.  And well might it be commemorated.  The war it ended was unbelievably grisly.  It has often been compared to a meat grinder.  And it was pretty much that.  Strong and healthy young men were marched forward ("over the top") into withering machine gun fire.  Most died instantly. It was if their lives did not matter.  They were deliberately killed by their own generals.  Both sides did it but Britain's general Haig was most known for it.  He became known as the "Butcher of the Somme"

This strange behaviour was because they could think of no other way of waging war.  An outright charge on the enemy was how wars had been conducted since time immemorial.  That was what you did in a war.  But it was madness in the era of the machine gun and rapid firing field artillery.

One would have thought that manpower would be seen as the ultimate resource in a war and that it should therefore be conserved and carefuly used.  It should not be squandered as in the disastrous Somme Offensive.

There was one General who did work to conserve his men:  Australia's General Monash, a son of emigrant German Jews.  As a  Jew he might well have been horrified by the mass deaths Jews had experienced and wanted no more of that.  A small excerpt about him:

"In July 1916 he took charge of the newly raised 3rd Division in northwestern France and in May 1918 became commander of the Australian Corps, at the time the largest corps on the Western Front. The successful Allied attack at the Battle of Amiens on 8 August 1918, which expedited the end of the war, was planned by Monash and spearheaded by British forces including the Australian and Canadian Corps under Monash and Arthur Currie. Monash is considered one of the best Allied generals of the First World War and the most famous commander in Australian history"

It's an irony that he spoke, read, and wrote German fluently.

And there is another very eminent German who might well have been horrified by mass deaths.  Prussia's "Iron Chancellor" and founder of united Germany, Otto von Bismarck.

One of Bismarck's better known remarks (misquoted by Churchill) was: "Der ganze Balkan ist nicht die gesunden Knochen eines einzigen pommerschen Grenadiers wert"  (The whole of the Balkans is not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier).  You can't get more conserving of manpower than that.

Bismarck died in 1898.  Had he lived and ruled a few years longer,  World War I might have been fought very differently, if it was fought at all.  Monash showed what could be done in the field.

I can't resist a few more quotes from Bismarck:


A little caution outflanks a large cavalry.

What we learn from history is that no one learns from history.

The most significant event of the 20th century will be that the fact that the North Americans speak English.

The secret of politics? Make a good treaty with Russia.

The Americans are truly a lucky people. They are bordered to the north and south by weak neighbors and to the east and west by fish.

Whoever speaks of Europe is wrong: it is a geographical expression.

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The role of specialization in progressivism

The following article is about the "progressive" era, before and after WWI. It makes a case that the specialization that is the mark of modern life turns people into serfs of a kind.  So to avoid that entrapment, there needs to be in people's lives some source of general cultural and historical knowledge.  The only likely source of that knowledge is the educational system, particularly the High School years.

Leftist educators have over the years ripped historical and cultural knowledge out of b education.  All tests of the matter show a profound ignorance of history among students.  We are lucky if they can name America's three branches of government -- let alone know anything of the teachings of the founders.  So it has become quite urgent to restore a general cultural and historical education to the schools. At the moment, only home schoolers are in a position to do that.  But it will be a very powerful education for their children if they do.

This article is to my mind the best case for a general education that I have so far seen. I myself had a very general education in a long-gone era when Eton was the model for government schools.  So I am constantly surprised at how little people know these days.  To take just a tiny example of that, I just last night found out that a generally aware person I know had no idea of what the word "chagrin" meant. And I will never forget finding out to my utter astonishment that my son had got to the final year of High School without even having heard the names of Wordsworth, Coleridge and Tennyson. He had however heard of Kath Walker, an angry black poetess of no distinction


The cultural role of specialization in progressive ideology has become more apparent to me over the years, especially as I learn more about them at the same time I am learning about the Founders. It shouldn't be overlooked any longer.

The progressives, they really enjoy specialization. Man #1, he is a professional organizer. Always has been, always will be. Man #2 is a professional Human Resources coordinator. Man 3# is a professional journalist. Man #4 is a professional teacher. Man #5 is a CEO. Man #6, he is a professional politician.

Wait a second. Professional politician? Go with me here for a second. What were the Founders?

Many of them were lawyers. But actually, they were historians. But actually, they were philosophers. But actually, they were politicians.

Some weren't lawyers, instead they were farmers. But actually, they were authors. But actually, they were theologians. But actually, they were politicians.

You see that? They weren't specialists. They were generalists. They did many things throughout their lives, and did not look at politics as a life-long career and certainly did not go off to college to achieve that one single goal.

This is actually a part of the problem - the old adage "those who don't know their history are doomed to repeat it" - well, what does a specialist know BUT his specialization?(and let's not forget the role of university indoctrination)

How can a specialist in, say, fixing some sort of complex machine possibly know about Article 3, section 2? That's not his specialization, that's for the Constitutional experts to handle.

How can a specialist in, say, nuclear physics, possibly know about the constitutional debates between August 6th to August 18th, 1787? That's for the history experts to handle.

How can a specialist in, say, medicine, possibly know the meaning of God's Law/Natural Law and the Enlightenment? That's for religious experts to handle. Add into the fact that the doctor who works 18 hours a day isn't then going to go home and read the Constitution before bed. Sure, there may be a small handful who will, but not nearly enough to make up the difference.

You see how the weakness is necessarily bred into the mix? I'm referring in all cases to super smart people here. This isn't an issue of lack of intellect. It's a lack of exposure.

Hyper specialists are natural suckers for tyranny. Serfs in the waiting. "Eh, politics? Bah, that's for the politicians to handle. Fake news? Bah, that's not for me. That's for the journalists to handle. History? No, I will leave that to the historians. Economics? I'm not touching that one. Go ask an expert." Specialization breeds large amounts of weakness.

Listen to the wording of this small preface:

In an age of specialization, one's activities are necessarily delimited by the professional interest. However, the great war has affected more than the vocational superstructure of our lives. It has rocked the foundations of civilization, and compelled the revaluation of many standards far more vital and more basic than the vocational. This fact may explain, if it does not justify, this excursion afield of a student of economics.

The war has changed many of the conditions of living which demand analyis. Unlike the chemist or physicist, the student of the social sciences cannot vary the conditions of his experiments, but must wait until the processes of history afford him an opportunity to observe variations In phenomena, and to study their causes.

The war has upset some accepted articles of faith, but it has confirmed many others, which not only stood the test of war, but determined the victory. Many new needs have arisen and some old tendencies have become clearer.

We are entering a new era. We may do so blindly, or we may attempt to crystallize our ideas on the issues arising out of the war for the purpose of intelligently controlling social forces.

The problems of social and of political adjustment, and of the conservation of human resources, are neither less pressing nor less significant to the country than are the economic and financial questions, which have riveted the attention of statesmen and publicists during the past year. The little attention which the social problems have received is not a criterion of their relative importance in the life of the American people. It is characteristic of human nature to neglect those problems which, though they deal with the most fundamental aspects of the national life, lack the driving force of the economic motive.

This volume is a sequel to "American Problems of Reconstruction, a Symposium on the Economic and Financial Aspects." In the treatment of their subjects the contributors were requested to discuss:

1 . What have been the effects of the war?
a. What pre-war conditions have become more clearly defined?
b. What new conditions has the war brought to life?

2. What should be our policy during the reconstruction period?

Thanks for suggestions are due to Drs. Dickinson, Rogers and Wolman, and others of the group of men who gathered at the Cosmos Club during the war. The volume has benefited as a result of the advice of Dean William H. Welch, of the School of Public Health of the Johns Hopkins University, and of my brother, David, particularly in the section dealing with the social aspects of medicine. Grateful acknowledgment is also made to President Frank J. Goodnow, Professors Charles H. Cooley, Franklin H. Giddings, M. M. Kaplan, T. I. Parkinson, Roscoe Pound, E. A. Ross, and Arthur J. Todd, and Mr. Abraham Flexner, for helpful suggestions.

That's from "America and the new era, a symposium on Social Reconstruction" It's a book written by progressives, for progressives. Social reconstruction? Who but progressives look at the progressive era through the era after World War 1 as an era of social reconstruction. Progressives are very intense when it comes to their "fundamental transformation" of America, and they have been since day one.

Notice how the theme of the preface is entirely geared toward social control, with a sprinkle of economic talk. That's the job of the new specialist in the progressive era, social control. Control over you, over your life. In part, this is also why progressives worship the false god of "the economy" so intently. They can use it for control purposes. Sure, it can be said that in the short term, an economy comprised entirely of specialists will be more productive and prosperous with fatter bank accounts than the corresponding generalists. However, at what price?

Here we are, one century past the progressive era. Tyranny is knocking at our door, demanding payment. You ready to pay the price for abandoning generalization? The generalists then had more freedom than the specialists do now. Choose wisely.

SOURCE


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US birth rates fall as deaths from age-related diseases climb according to the CDC's latest quarterly estimates

There is not much doubt that feminism plays a role in the birthrate reduction.  It has become accepted now that women should have a career -- and that means delayed child-rearing or even a complete abandonment of family creation. Some feminists even  criticize mothers as "Breeders".

Women who are merely delaying childbirth also take a substantial risk that when they are "ready" for a baby one may not come -- even with IVF.  There are now a lot of woebegone women in that situation.

Another way in which feminism is anti-birth springs from the draconian divorce law that they have inspired.  Wise men are no longer prepared to take the risk of marriage.  There are of course still a lot of ex-nuptial births but there is no doubt that a marriage does encourage children.  It's what marriage was once all about.

But there is a silver lining to it all.  The group least likely to have children would have to be feminists themselves. So the genes of these unhappy women will be much less likely to be passed on. To a degree feminists will breed themselves out of existence  -- leaving the world a much happier place



Birth rates are down by more than two percent this year compared to this time last year

As birth rates in the US continue to decline, deaths from age-related diseases are on the rise this year, according to new quarterly estimates released by the CDC today.

Deaths from cancer and HIV, on the other hand, are estimated to continue their steady declines, underscoring the successes of innovative treatments in the US, and infant mortality remains stable.

The CDC's numbers so far for 2017 confirm trends in US population growth decline that scientists and statisticians have observed in recent years.

The new stats come as baby boomers reach old age, and people are waiting longer to conceive and having fewer children than previous generations.

The CDC’s quarterly estimates report that the since this time last year, the birth rate has fallen from 61.3 to 59.2 in the US.

Birth rates peaked in 1990, and rose back again to around 70 per every thousand women in the US in 2007.

The declining birth rates are likely driven by a significant reduction in teen pregnancies.

In 2016, the teen birth rate fell to a record low, falling nine percent from 2015.

While birth control is aiding in the prevention of unwanted pregnancies, many experts have expressed concern that over the growing number of men and women that are infertile, or choosing to wait to try to get pregnant until later in life when the odds of conception are lower.

These trends are also linked to the aging population, a fact borne out by the CDC’s most recent statistics.

Their data show an estimated increase in deaths due to the majority of age-related diseases. Alzheimer’s deaths, for example, have risen by 1.6 percent since this time last year, according to the CDC’s quarterly estimates.

Heart disease, hypertension and stroke deaths are estimated to be continually climbing.

The new data presents more encouraging statistics for some of the most vicious diseases that affect younger people.

Last year, seven new treatments for various forms of cancer were approved by the FDA. The CDC’s most recent data shows, encouragingly, that the rate of cancer deaths has fallen by nearly two percent in just one year.

Similarly, HIV deaths have been in decline in recent years, corresponding with the increased prevalence of effective antiretroviral treatments and, more immediately, the advent of preventative treatments like PrEP. Since this time last year, HIV deaths have fallen by 0.2 percent, according to the CDC.

Overall, the CDC estimates that the death rate for the US has risen nearly five percent just since last year. Infant mortality, meanwhile, remains stable, but taken together, the sets of data support widely-observed trends that the country’s population growth is slowing.

SOURCE

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Is this guy joking or is he just one of history's most incompetent philosophers?

Milan Bharadwaj writes below.  He is a Tamil, a historic  Indian race. He correctly says that climate science has become non-Popperian in that it concentrates on abusing its critics rather than making its own case.  He deplores that.  But he also appears to be a warming believer, in that he refers to an "irrefutable greenhouse effect".

Yet it is a central point of Popper's teachings that something that is irrefutable or unfalsifiable is not an empirical statement.  So Bharadwaj is saying that the greenhouse effect is a faith statement, not an empirical one. So he is rejecting global warming claims as unscientific.  He is right about that but it makes him a very confused warmist!  Warmism really rots the brain. Perhaps it makes sense in Tamil


According to Karl Popper, one of the most influential philosophers of science in the past millennium, “In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable; and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality.”

In the wake of the recent slew of hurricanes which have barraged the American Southeast, numerous scientists and reporters have wasted no time in attributing these disasters to climate change. In fact, it seems like nowadays just about every meteorological phenomenon is a result of global warming. Whether it be increased temperatures, decreased temperatures, tornadoes, earthquakes or even volcanic eruptions, climate change is always the answer, and the majority of these conclusions are drawn with sparing evidence, if any.

Meanwhile, any skepticism or dissenting opinion regarding these countless studies is dismissed as unscientific, when in reality, it is quite the opposite. What started as simply a relationship between carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere and the temperature of our planet, via the irrefutable greenhouse effect, has morphed into non-Popperian pseudoscience, primarily because it is no longer falsifiable. However, an examination of this fundamental flaw in climate research first requires an analysis of what exactly science is.

In its simplest sense, science is the formulation of hypotheses and the evaluation of said hypotheses through observation, experimentation or a mixture of both. What distinguishes science from pseudoscience, though, is whether or not these hypotheses can be disproven as well as proven, a trait known as falsifiability. According to Karl Popper, one of the most influential philosophers of science in the past millennium, “In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable; and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality.”

In context, the field of astrology — the study of the divine effect of the positions of celestial bodies on our lives — is pseudoscience because it violates this rule. No matter what patterns the stars and planets might be exhibiting on any given day, those movements are interpreted to be influencing what is happening in our lives. There is no course of events that could transpire that would lead astrologists to believe that their horoscope predictions were incorrect. As a result, astrology, numerology and other pseudo-scientific fields are considered to be non-Popperian.

Similarly, it seems like any and all atmospheric occurrences are attributed to climate change — in part because its definition has become so broad. There is no combination of weather patterns that would cause climate change devotees to doubt their gospel. By contrast, even theories that are deeply ingrained in the fabric of our society, such as gravitation or evolution, are still capable of being disproven with counterexamples. It is for this reason that they are regarded as theories and not axioms. Climate change, on the other hand, has no counterexamples since every weather pattern is seen as a byproduct, therefore making it essentially pseudoscience.   

Returning to the topic of tropical hurricanes, the rate of these aquatic twisters has not significantly increased over time, and similar data can be found for other natural disasters supposedly caused by climate change. This raises the question — why are articles and scientific studies constantly being churned out that suggest correlations between climate change and these natural phenomena, even when none exist? I believe the reason lies in the politicization of global warming over the past decades, as climate change has become a focal point of certain political parties.

Climate change fear mongering and sensationalism following natural disasters has proven to be lucrative in terms of political capital, and is thus being done more and more by politicians. A concomitant of this politicization is the increased popularity of climate science in the public, which causes a surge in the monetary incentives for scientists to create these studies. As a result, modern day climate science has incredible amounts of data tampering, as referenced by a variety of recent examples. Naturally, when financial benefit or political gain becomes the goal of research, as opposed to the expansion of science, the field becomes bastardized, with the politicization of science in the Soviet Union serving as a historical precedent.

That being said, there is still an irrefutable connection between the level of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere and the temperature of our planet, and I believe this should be made the focus of the environmentalist movement once again. Instead of deriding and silencing skeptics, we should all have a healthy bit of skepticism whenever we read an inane “scientific” justification for some natural phenomenon. Questioning widely-held beliefs is the very foundation of science as we know it, and the dismissal of skepticism is counter to this ideology. If we want the progression of actual climate science, we must learn to discern the distinction between the science and the politics, and reject non-Popperian fear mongering.

SOURCE

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How can so many people be so wrong?

There are quite a lot of authors who produce scientific articles in support of global warming. Yet they must know of the many holes in the theory. In particular, they must know how vanishingly small are the effects and changes that they document.  They spend their lives studying and writing about minutiae. Some, such as the litigious Stefan Rahmstorf, even plumb the depths of absurdity by writing about temperature changes in thousandths of one degree Celsius. Why do they do it?  What makes them think that the energies they put into their calculations are well deployed?  Do they ever think that they are wasting their precious time?

I think I know the answers to that.  For a start, it is not a conspiracy.  It is however something nearly as powerful. It is an intellectual fashion. It is a testimony to the power of a bandwagon effect.  People want to be "in" with the crowd. So their writing is largely a game.  They want to show that they are doing significant and important work and joining in with what is currently accepted as wise is by far the easiest way to do that.

But that is only part of the story.  Participation in a folly has to satisfy deeper psychological needs.  And my background in psychological research exposed me to a quite extraordinary example of that.  Let me tell the story of it:

Most psychologists are Leftists.  And in the immediate aftermath of WWII that posed a big problem:  In the context of his day, Hitler was a Leftist too. The name of his political party gave the first hint of that --  it was (translated) "The National Socialist German Worker's party" (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei).  Hitler's antisemitism was normal among the prewar Left and even his nationalism had a long history on the Left.  None other than Joseph Stalin referred in his propaganda to his war with Germany as "The Great Patriotic war" (Вели́кая Оте́чественная война́). And Theodore Roosevelt, founder of America's "Progressive" party, did a pretty good line in conquering other countries -- with his involvement in taking over Cuba, the Philippines and Puerto Rico.

And nationalism even lingered on for a while in the post-war American Left.  JFK's "My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" was essentially what Hitler also preached to Germans.

Just to show that Hitler actually won his elections by socialist appeals, note one of his election posters below:



It translates as:  The Marshall and the corporal fight alongside us for peace and equal rights", which is very much what the American Left preached during the Cold War. Here's another one:



It translates as "With Hitler against the armaments madness of the world".  Again that could have been a slogan of the American Left during the Cold War.  The Left to this day criticizes military spending.

So there you have the very great and embarrassing problem that faced the American Left after 1945.  They somehow had to dissociate themselves from the reviled Hitler. He had actually put their ideas into practice.  Ideally, they had to blame Hitler on conservatives, as unlikely as that was -- considering that the most relentless foe of Hitler had been the arch-Conservative Winston Churchill.  But they accomplished their task.  To most people today, Hitler is known as "right wing".

So you can see where I am going here.  The big lie that Hitler was a "Rightist" shows the way for the big lie of global warming.

How did the Left do it?  With the complicity of the whole American Left, including the media.  With so many people preaching the lie, it became accepted as fact.  In truth, Hitler was to the right of Russia only, in that he was less destructive of the existing society.  But that shred of truth was focused on. The American Left as a whole adopted the Soviet "line".

But psychologists helped too.  They were overwhelmingly Leftist so had a vested interest in the lie too.  They became the equivalent of today's global warming scientific establishment.  They in fact went to work straight after the war to work on the lie.  The fruit of their labours emerged in 1950, in the form of a book under the lead authorship of Marxist theoretician Theodor Adorno:  A book called "The authoritarian personality".  The book claimed that American conservatives were authoritarian, just like Hitler and that authoritarianism was not a political system but rather a form of personality maladjustment.  They might not be politically the same but Hitler and American conservatives were psychologically the same.

They made those claims while the greatest authoritarian regime of C20 loomed over the world of politics:  The Soviet Union.  The Soviets were unmistakably Leftists but they were allegedly not authoritarians at the personality level.  They were just noble idealists who accepted that "To make an omelette, you have got to crack eggs".

It was all immensely implausible but the story was greeted with  glad cries by virtually all psychologists.  The individual liberty orientation of conservatives was held to flow from a love of authority.  Black might as well have been white.

There were of course many attacks on such an absurd theory and every aspect of it eventually wound up on the wrong side of the research evidence.  The first half of Altemeyer's 1981 book gives a good run-down of all the critiques concerned.

But the critiques and refutations were like water off a duck's back.  They were ignored just as critiques of global warming are now mostly ignored.

And although it must hold the records for the most refuted theory in psychology, it still seems to be accepted by most psychologists today.  Uncritical mentions of it continue to emerge.

So you can see that if a theory SUITS people's needs it will be accepted regardless of the evidence. People believe what they want to believe.  And that is what is happening with global warming.  It gives people a feeling of significance and even heroism.  What achievement can beat "Saving the planet"?  Intellectual fads and fashions are one thing but nothing beats saving the planet.  So the theory has to be saved too.  And that is what the climate scientists are doing when they write in support of global warming.  They are desperately trying to save a wonderful theory -- a theory which gives all sorts of psychological rewards.  So the tiniest scrap of apparently supportive evidence is seized upon and publicized.

That is what we read in mainstream climate science today.

REFERENCES

Adorno T. W., Frenkel-Brunswik E., Levinson D. J. and Sanford R. N. (950) The Authoritarian Personality. Harper, New York.

Altemeyer R. A. (1981) Right-wing Authoritarianism. University of Manitoba Press, Winnipeg. 


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The Lancet Countdown on health and climate change

By Dr Nick Watts and uncle Tom Cobleigh and all

This article is a real hoot.  The direct effects of the tiny upwards movement in temperatures in recent decades have to be equally tiny and hence probably below the level of detection.  So the article excerpted below focuses on extreme weather events, which Lancet asserts are warming-related and more frequent.  But even that dubious strategy is disappointing to them.  Note the highlighted (red) clause in the excerpt below. The allegedly more frequent events have NOT caused more frequent deaths.  The health effects of extreme events are NIL!

So the whole article boils down to a parade of things that SHOULD affect health but don't. What a laugh!

And claiming that warming is bad for you is crazy anyway. Winter is the time of increased deaths. Warming would alleviate that. Lancet has long been politicized and their claim that George Bush killed 655,000 Iraqi civilians shows how far they stray from what they know. But in this issue they have reduced themselves to absurdity. Global warming theory clearly rots the brain

Lancet seems to hope that an impression of "consensus" will make up for their lack of facts and logic. The number of co-authors they have listed for their article must be some sort of record. They truly are "uncle Tom Cobleigh and all"



The Lancet Countdown tracks progress on health and climate change and provides an independent assessment of the health effects of climate change, the implementation of the Paris Agreement,1 and the health implications of these actions. It follows on from the work of the 2015 Lancet Commission on Health and Climate Change,2 which concluded that anthropogenic climate change threatens to undermine the past 50 years of gains in public health, and conversely, that a comprehensive response to climate change could be “the greatest global health opportunity of the 21st century”.

The evidence is clear that exposure to more frequent and intense heatwaves is increasing, with an estimated 125 million additional vulnerable adults exposed to heatwaves between 2000 and 2016 (Indicator 1.2). During this time, increasing ambient temperatures have resulted in an estimated reduction of 5·3% in outdoor manual labour productivity worldwide (Indicator 1.3). As a whole, the frequency of weather-related disasters has increased by 46% since 2000, with no clear upward or downward trend in the lethality of these extreme events (Indicator 1.4), potentially suggesting the beginning of an adaptive response to climate change. Yet the impacts of climate change are projected to worsen with time, and current levels of adaptation will become insufficient in the future.

Additionally, in the longer term, altered climatic conditions are contributing to growing vectorial capacity for the transmission of dengue fever by Aedes aegypti, reflecting an estimated 9·4% increase since 1950 (Indicator 1.6).

SOURCE

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How Australia escaped the global financial crises of the last 25 years

A lot is not mentioned below.  No. 1 is that Australia is particularly conservative by First World standards.  When even Holy Ireland has homosexual marriage, we do not.  Though that seems about to change.  And Reagan/Thatcher type policies came to Australia via Bob Hawke, a Leftist Prime Minister. And Australia is the only Western country to have stopped illegal immigration.  And conservatism is a regular precursor of prosperity.

Secondly, Australia is not burdened by large parasitical minorities.  There are a few Muslims and even fewer Africans. And our big minority -- Han Chinese -- are huge economic contributors.  In short, we have better minorities overall


THERE’S more to Australia than good weather and a famous laid-back lifestyle — we’ve now powered through 25 years without tasting economic recession.

The quarter of a century milestone means Australia now has the longest period of recession-free growth of any developed country ever.

Famously dubbed “The Lucky Country” — economists believe our true blue good fortune has played a part in this stunning achievement, but there’s more to it than that.

“Luck has certainly played a role,” said Shane Oliver, chief economist at financial services company AMP.

“We are blessed with a lot of things that other countries don’t have like ample resources, space and relatively sensible politics in the grand scheme of things.

“But, really, we’ve been riding on the major economic reforms of the past and that makes us look like The Lucky Country.”

FLOATING THE DOLLAR

So what kept the Aussie economy insulated while the rest of world was reeling from global economic gloom?

“The moves to make the economy more efficient and deregulated through the ’80s and the ’90s resulted in a more flexible economy — in particular the impact of the floating of the Australian dollar,” Mr Oliver said.

“This means that whenever there’s been a downturn globally, the Australian dollar tends to go down which has shielded Australia somewhat.

“The Aussie dollar has fallen through the global recessions, which made our exports more competitive. But, more generally, the Australian economy is more flexible than it used to be.”

When the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) hit in 2008, this good financial management came in handy as the Labor government boosted public spending by a whopping 13 per cent in an attempt to stimulate growth.

China also held up pretty well through the GFC, according to Mr Oliver which some economists say shielded us and our exports during the darkest days of the latest major global downturn.

A DISCONNECTED ECONOMY

“Another element is the cycles across our economy have become disconnected,” Mr Oliver said. “For years we had a mining boom which boosted Western Australia and other parts of Australia which were exposed to the mining sector — but at the time, the rest of the economy was relatively subdued.

“And (at) times during the last decade, you could argue that NSW has been in recession but it’s all been smoothed out nationwide because of the mining boom.

“More recently, the mining boom has fallen into a hole which has enabled the pressure to come off NSW and Victoria because interest rates have come down, the Australian dollar has come down — that’s enabled the south eastern states to rebound.”

However, economist Jason Murphy said it hadn’t all been “tea, scones and sunny afternoons for 25 years.”

The national picture was good but misleading, he said, with several states falling into serious trouble over the last couple of decades.

“WA is the most recent example, with an economic bloodbath following the end of the mining boom,” Mr Murphy said. “It was hard yakka for people trying to provide for their families, as unemployment shot up and businesses went broke.

“But that human misery doesn’t show up in the national economic statistics because the statistics average out over all the other states.”

SO WHAT ABOUT THAT GOOD FORTUNE?

Tim Harcourt, an economics fellow at the University of New South Wales said Australia had made its own luck through good economic policies, the currency float, tariff changes and the embrace of Asia.

Apart from natural resources and Australia’s close ties with booming Asian economies, Mr Oliver also said we’ve even been lucky with our the way our national statistics fall.

“We’ve a bit more weakness around the time of the GFC and we could have ended up with two quarters of negative growth and it would have looked like a recession — but fortunately that didn’t happen,” he said. “We only had one quarter of decline in GDP.”

AND HERE COMES THE BAD NEWS...

Before we give ourselves a collective pat on the back, Mr Oliver reminds us that it’s not all rosy in terms of our actual living standards.

“The last few years have been a bit so-so,” he said. “We’ve had very high levels of underemployment, wages growth has stagnated and houses are completely unaffordable — so you don’t need a recession to have big issues.”

Mr Murphy said underemployment had shot up as unemployment had shrunk — which was a big part of why wages growth had been so weak in Australia recently.

“Underemployed represent a big source of untapped potential and the economy will need to add a lot of full-time jobs before it has soaked up all the people willing to work in them,” he said.

The Aussie economy was just “muddling along” according to Mr Oliver as housing slows and consumer spending remained weak.

And there was always the risk, after more than 25 years of growth, Australia could become complacent.

“We are probably going to go for at least another few years before we have that recession some people say is inevitable,” said Mr Oliver.

SOURCE

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Why do American Jews vote Democrat?

Jews vote overwhelmingly for Democrat candidates.  It is weird that they do.  They are generally very smart people so many must know that it was a socialist who burnt 6 million of them during WWII.  The media and the education establishment constantly regurgitate the old Soviet propaganda that Hitler was "Right-wing" but the truth is not far away for anybody who cares to enquire.  And for Jews, Hitler's national socialism is of life and death interest.  So most Jews must know the truth.  I have known it since I was a kid and I am not a Jew.

So why do they do it?  It's actually pretty simple.  Jews have taken incredible knocks from the world around them.  So they have to be deeply dissatisfied with that world.  They would love a just and brighter world.  But that is exactly what the Left claim to offer.  For their own various reasons, Leftists are dissatisfied with the world around them too.  So Jews buy into that. And that "buy" is sometimes literally true.  Jews are major donors to Leftist candidates and causes.

So what they do shows the power of propaganda.  People instinctively believe what other people say.  It would be a dismal world if we had to disbelieve it all. So Jews must hope that the Left really mean their "compassionate" pretences this time around.  Jews really NEED that hope and people are good at believing what they want to believe.

And the amazing thing is that antisemitism is only just beneath the surface of Democrat politics.  It rumbles to the surface at times, usually under the thin disguise of anti-Zionism. A Jew, Jonah Goldberg, has even written a book showing that Fascism/Nazism is/was Leftist but that seems to have had little penetration into Jewish minds.  The wish remains father to the thought.

Jews might ponder the ethics of their political decisions.  Conservatives are their friends.  It was a great Conservative, Winston Churchill, who was the most unrelenting foe of Hitler while Stalin allied himself with Hitler until Hitler attacked him.  So why do Jews support and fund the enemies of their friends?  Is that a principled stance?

Even worse is Jewish enmity towards Christians.  American evangelical Christian voters are the rock on which American support for Israel rests yet the ADL has long been an unremitting opponent and critic of Christian observance.  Christians were once enemies of Jews but that reality has reversed.  It seems strange that Jews cannot see that.  Old habits of thinking die hard I guess -- JR.

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Inside Hillary Clinton’s Secret Takeover of the DNC

Confirmation in the excerpts below that Hillary "bought" the Democratic nomination in 2016.  The famous Clinton fundraising came into its own.  But it's all rather ho hum to aware conservatives.  We expect Leftists to have no principles

The interesting thing in it all is that it may be Hillary's machinations that gave us Donald Trump. Hillary was an uninspiring candidate whose only real message was that she was a woman. She appears to have been blind to the fact that most women are attracted to an Alpha male (even though she married one herself) -- and Trump is an Alpha male. So 53% of white women voted for The Donald -- leaving the "sisterhood" aghast.

But Sanders was the opposite to Hillary.  He sounded like he had a good message and he aroused real enthusiasm among Democrat voters -- particularly America's education-deprived youth. So combine those followers with the usual "rusted on" Democrat voters -- particularly Blacks, Hispanics and Jews -- and a candidate Sanders might have been a President Sanders by now.


By DONNA BRAZILE 

I had promised Bernie when I took the helm of the Democratic National Committee after the convention that I would get to the bottom of whether Hillary Clinton’s team had rigged the nomination process, as a cache of emails stolen by Russian hackers and posted online had suggested. 

The Saturday morning after the convention in July, I called Gary Gensler, the chief financial officer of Hillary’s campaign. He wasted no words. He told me the Democratic Party was broke and $2 million in debt.

“What?” I screamed. “I am an officer of the party and they’ve been telling us everything is fine and they were raising money with no problems.”

That wasn’t true, he said. Officials from Hillary’s campaign had taken a look at the DNC’s books. Obama left the party $24 million in debt—$15 million in bank debt and more than $8 million owed to vendors after the 2012 campaign—and had been paying that off very slowly. Obama’s campaign was not scheduled to pay it off until 2016. Hillary for America (the campaign) and the Hillary Victory Fund (its joint fundraising vehicle with the DNC) had taken care of 80 percent of the remaining debt in 2016, about $10 million, and had placed the party on an allowance.

On the phone Gary told me the DNC had needed a $2 million loan, which the campaign had arranged.

“No! That can’t be true!” I said. “The party cannot take out a loan without the unanimous agreement of all of the officers.”

The campaign had the DNC on life support, giving it money every month to meet its basic expenses, while the campaign was using the party as a fund-raising clearinghouse. 

“Wait,” I said. “That victory fund was supposed to be for whoever was the nominee, and the state party races. You’re telling me that Hillary has been controlling it since before she got the nomination?”

Gary said the campaign had to do it or the party would collapse.

“That was the deal that Robby struck with Debbie,” he explained, referring to campaign manager Robby Mook. “It was to sustain the DNC. We sent the party nearly $20 million from September until the convention, and more to prepare for the election.”


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Atmospheric CO2 levels hit a record high in 2016: UN warns increase could fuel a 20 metre rise in sea levels and add 3°C to global temperatures

This is just publicity seeking -- but as long as the papers keep printing it, some galoot will keep churning it out and enjoy seeing his name in the papers.

It's not even news. CO2 levels have been edging up for many years but there has been no concomitant rises in temperature.  From 1945 to 1975 there was a temperature plateau yet CO2 levels rose sharply at that time.  CO2 levels do NOT drive temperatures up

And the article below generalizes from just ONE YEAR! That is a travesty of science.  You can't extract generalizations from one instance! But if you are going to be that fine-grained, why not mention  that for part of 2016, CO2 levels went down to 401ppm -- or mention that in 2017 levels went as high as 409 ppm before dropping back to 403ppm?  Clearly CO2 levels are rising but in an erratic and unpredictable way that makes absurd any dependence on one year for significance.


The Mauna Loa CO2 record from Dec 15 to date is below. Column 4 is the average.



Note that the high average is mainly the product of some high levels in the middle of the year.  There were also some rather low levels. And the December 2016 figure was only a little above the January figure.

Note however that these are total CO2 levels in the atmosphere, not just human emissions of CO2.  Human emissions did not rise in 2016.  So the rise observed was NOT due to human activities.  It was the product of natural factors.  The pretence below that that humans were responsible for the rise and are therefore to blame for something is plainly a bare-faced FRAUD.  The 2016 figures are in fact good evidence that CO2 levels can rise regardless of what humans do.  They tell us NOTHING about human activity

And what's this nonsense abut melting ice?  96% of the world's glacial ice is in the Antarctic and that is GROWING, not melting.  It also averages about 30 degrees below zero so a global temperature rise of 2 degrees would melt it only at the extreme margins, if at all.  Do I have to mention that the melting point of ice is zero degrees?

The amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere grew at a record rate in 2016 to a level not seen for millions of years, the United Nations has revealed.

This increase could fuel a staggering 20-metre rise in sea levels and add 3°C to temperatures.

Experts hope the findings will encourage environment ministers around the world to work on new guidelines for the Paris climate accord.

KEY FINDINGS

- Atmospheric concentrations of CO2 hit 403.3 parts per million (ppm) in 2016, up from 400.0 in 2015

- That growth rate was 50 per cent faster than the average over the past decade, driving CO2 levels 45 per cent above pre-industrial levels and further outside the range of 180-280 ppm seen in recent cycles of ice ages and warmer periods

- The last time carbon dioxide levels reached 400 ppm was three to five million years ago, in the mid-Pliocene era

- This increase potentially fuelled a staggering 20-metre rise in sea levels and added 3°C to temperatures

Atmospheric concentrations of CO2, the main man-made greenhouse gas, hit 403.3 parts per million (ppm) in 2016, up from 400.0 in 2015, the UN World Meteorological Organisation said in its annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin.

That growth rate was 50 per cent faster than the average over the past decade, driving CO2 levels 45 per cent above pre-industrial levels and further outside the range of 180-280 ppm seen in recent cycles of ice ages and warmer periods.

The WMO said: 'Today's CO2 concentration of ~400 ppm exceeds the natural variability seen over hundreds of thousands of years.'

The latest data adds to the urgency of a meeting in Bonn next month, when environment ministers from around the world will work on guidelines for the Paris climate accord backed by 195 countries in 2015.

The agreement is already under pressure because US President Donald Trump has said he plans to pull the US out of the deal, which seeks to limit the rise in temperatures to 'well below' 2°C (3.6°F) above pre-industrial times.

Human CO2 emissions from sources such as coal, oil, cement and deforestation reached a record in 2016, and the El Niño weather pattern gave CO2 levels a further boost, the WMO said.

Professor Piers Forster, Director of the Priestley International Centre for Climate at the University of Leeds, said: 'These large increase show it is more important than ever to reduce our emissions to zero - and as soon as possible.

'If vegetation can no longer help out absorbing our emissions in these hot years we could be in trouble.'

SOURCE


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Is it racist to own a gun?

The academic article below says it is.  To understand what is going on, you need to know what is meant by "symbolic racism".  Basically it means reasoned racism.  Below are the items of the most popular such scale.  Some items are pro-black and some are anti-black:

The Symbolic Racism 2000 Scale

1.   It’s really a matter of some people not trying hard enough; if blacks would only try harder they could be just as well off as whites.     

2.  Irish, Italian, Jewish and many other minorities overcame prejudice and worked their way up.  Blacks should do the same.

3.  Some say that black leaders have been trying to push too fast.  Others feel that they haven’t pushed fast enough.  What do you think? 

4.  How much of the racial tension that exists in the United States today do you think blacks are responsible for creating?                     

5.  How much discrimination against blacks do you feel there is in the United States today, limiting their chances to get ahead?

6.  Generations of slavery and discrimination have created conditions that make it difficult for blacks to work their way out of the lower class.

7.  Over the past few years, blacks have gotten less than they deserve.

8.  Over the past few years, blacks have gotten more economically than they deserve.

SOURCE

So a symbolic racist disapproves of perceived black characteristics.  But a  very prominent characteristic of blacks is their high rate of violent crime -- muggings, home invasions etc.  So a symbolic racist will also be sure to disapprove of black crime.  And if black crime is salient to you, it follows rather easily that you will be more likely to want to defend yourself from it.  And that is the whole of what the article below shows:  People who accept the reality of black crime are more likely to want to defend themselves from it.

But what are we to make of people who are critical of blacks?  Are they being unreasonable?  Leftists would say that they are.  But conservatives would say that Leftists are deliberately blind to black reality.

The way in which many newspapers refuse to mention the race of a black perpetrator in a crime report certainly does display a policy of deliberate blindness. So a broader interpretation of the finding would be that realists own guns.



Racism, Gun Ownership and Gun Control: Biased Attitudes in US Whites May Influence Policy Decisions

Kerry O’Brien et al.

Abstract

Objective

Racism is related to policies preferences and behaviors that adversely affect blacks and appear related to a fear of blacks (e.g., increased policing, death penalty). This study examined whether racism is also related to gun ownership and opposition to gun controls in US whites.

Method

The most recent data from the American National Election Study, a large representative US sample, was used to test relationships between racism, gun ownership, and opposition to gun control in US whites. Explanatory variables known to be related to gun ownership and gun control opposition (i.e., age, gender, education, income, conservatism, anti-government sentiment, southern vs. other states, political identification) were entered in logistic regression models, along with measures of racism, and the stereotype of blacks as violent. Outcome variables included; having a gun in the home, opposition to bans on handguns in the home, support for permits to carry concealed handguns.

Results

After accounting for all explanatory variables, logistic regressions found that for each 1 point increase in symbolic racism there was a 50% increase in the odds of having a gun at home. After also accounting for having a gun in the home, there was still a 28% increase in support for permits to carry concealed handguns, for each one point increase in symbolic racism. The relationship between symbolic racism and opposition to banning handguns in the home (OR1.27 CI 1.03,1.58) was reduced to non-significant after accounting for having a gun in the home (OR1.17 CI.94,1.46), which likely represents self-interest in retaining property (guns).

Conclusions

Symbolic racism was related to having a gun in the home and opposition to gun control policies in US whites. The findings help explain US whites’ paradoxical attitudes towards gun ownership and gun control. Such attitudes may adversely influence US gun control policy debates and decisions.

SOURCE

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White Fragility Is Keeping Racism Alive (?)

Unlike Leftists, I am always interested in hearing points of view different from my own.  So I read Leftist emissions with interest.  One such is below.  They want to inject "brown" authors into "white" literature. Like all Leftist  writing that I know, it leaves out half the story.  In its characteristically Leftist obsession with race, it does not concede that the issue might not be about race at all

Lovers of classical literature (I am one) see large differences between different types of writing.  They find (for instance) the stories of Chaucer to be of much higher quality in various ways than writing on the back of a cereal packet.  And in a world where there is so much to read, it pays to know where to look to find quality writing.  And that is where classical literature comes in.  Classical literature is simply that literature that has stood the test of time -- literature that many people over many years have read with pleasure and recommended to others.  It is literature that comes with some guarantee of quality.

And that is valuable.  It helps to ensure that your reading gives you pleasure.  So any attempt to inject into the canon of classical literature writing that has not stood the test of time is to mislead.  It can lead you into wasting your time on stuff that is not worth reading.

So that is what is at issue: An objection to introducing racism into a selection of literature that is normally concerned only with the quality of the writing.  The authors below seem unwilling to allow that some people might not be concerned with race and therefore object to having it introduced where it is not relevant.  Leftist racial obsessions simply pollute something to which race is irrelevant.  There is more to life than the colour of someone's skin and that needs to be acknowledged by all parties.  So a course of study designed to introduce students to great literature would simply be degraded by basing the selection of literature on race rather than on the quality of the writing.  It would make a useful course less useful.

So it is not "white fragility" that fuels objections to racist proposals.  It is a desire for quality and an objection to its dilution.

Let me however concede that there may be some sense in what is proposed below.  Someone might say:  "But there are good non-white authors and changing the curriculum might introduce you to something you would enjoy reading"

That is surely true but the key word is "might".  One asks for more than a maybe when one sets out to find literature with some guarantee of quality. If one suspected that some racially defined author or group of authors may be worth reading, by all means read them but don't try to mislead others into thinking they are classical literature.

But the fundamental objection below is simply unhappiness that the modern world is largely the creation of Northern European people and their descendants worldwide.  People who are not of that ilk may understandably regret that.  They may wish that their own forebears had been prominent in the creative changes that have given us modern civilization.

But is a lie the solution to that?  Do we change history by insisting on rewriting it?  Many people do just that but I doubt that such actions really console anybody in the long run.  The way Leftists rage against hearing what conservatives have to say surely tells us that they know that their fake history is fragile and easily taken away from them.

Many people, conservatives particularly, don't judge things by racial criteria and surely that is to be encouraged, not attacked.  Minority people can and should learn to do the same.  Thinking that you can defeat racism by being racist is surely brain dead.  Racism can only be defeated by encouraging people to judge others on their own individual merits, not on the colour of their skin.

And that is not blue sky.  The ethnic group in America that has the highest average income is Indians, who are notably brown.  Skin colour does not have to matter.  Do Indians have "brown privilege" or do they just work and study hard?


Recently, a group of Cambridge students petitioned the world-renowned university to "decolonize" the English syllabus by adding black and minority ethnic (BME) writers to the reading list. Once the media caught wind of the letter, written and signed by students, they began a frenzy of outrage at white authors being replaced on the reading list.

The British newspaper, the Telegraph, placed a black student, Lola Olufemi, on the front cover with the headline "Student forces Cambridge to drop white authors." The paper has been criticized by a senior lecturer at Cambridge University for "what looks like incitement to race war," and rightfully so. The placement of one student alongside such a misleading title made it seem like this was the work of a black woman on a crusade to rid the world of white men. The article totally ignored the fact that the majority of students who'd signed the petition were in fact white. The author pandered to a growing sentiment more and more white men are beginning to hold -  that white culture is being erased. As a result, Lola Olufemi was subjected to a tirade of hate from trolls on social media who saw themselves as being under attack by blackness.

In reality, the university had no intentions at all to replace any white authors with BME authors. The letter written by students was merely a suggestion for more diversity in reading and in no way did it advocate for the removal of authors based on the fact that they're white. Cambridge University released a statement addressing the subject in defense of the students.



Whilst it's great to see the university defending a black student against harassment, the harassment itself is very telling of the age we live in today. As we make more progress in the representation of BME people and fight against discrimination there has been a pushback from white people who feel unsettled by the very topic of race or don't want `political correctness' shoved down their throats. In this instance, we saw a group of young people saying they wanted to learn more about the global south through literature, and white people, for some reason, were offended by this. This is the white fragility that prevents people of color from speaking out to protect the feelings of white people.

White people often join discussions about race with no intentions to listen but instead wish to play the victim. They say things like `why does everything have to be about race?' or `if you keep dividing yourselves racism will never go away.' A culture of victim blaming has developed in which people of color are told they are asking for too much by simply asking to be included. White people feel attacked by this because, whether consciously or subconsciously, they see it as a threat to their dominance. They've been able to live so long without having to experience racism that anything which works to dismantle racism and bring equality is seen as anti-white.

The problem with this kind of attitude towards people of color is that it leaves us with two options: to accept our low status in society or to fight it with the consequence of being demonized in the media and brutalized for our efforts. White fragility is another way of upholding racism through self-victimisation. It is a more subtle form of racism that exists today as it can exist among those who see themselves as `not racist.' Not being a racist does nothing, it simply is a way to make yourself feel better about the racism of other white people. It's a way to distance yourself from your kin so you don't have to feel bad whilst still leaving room to complain about people talking about race because you're able to say `I'm not racist.'

For racism to be dismantled there must be an acknowledgment of privilege amongst white people. There must be an awareness that being anti-racism or pro-black isn't anti-white. There must be a realization that racism is a bad thing and people of color experience it which, therefore, makes them best qualified to talk about it and well justified in their asking for inclusivity. White people need to stop playing the victim and see that people of color want nothing more but to exist alongside them without fear of exploitation or brutalization, is that too much to ask?

SOURCE