7/24/2014

Ten Reasons Why A Leftist Abandoned Leftism

It is amazing to me, even after all this time, to see what happens when someone comes to realize that everything they've been taught to think, say, or feel since they were young adults has been a lie. Some are aghast at the realization that those they thought of as friends, mentors, or fellow believers are in truth close-minded bigots filled with hatred and capable of spewing invective towards those they see as the “other”. They find that many of the actions they thought were “helping the downtrodden” were in fact keeping many of those same people trapped in a life poverty, ignorance, want, hopelessness, and oppression. And so it is with Danusha V. Goska.

How far left was I? So far left my beloved uncle was a card-carrying member of the Communist Party in a Communist country. When I returned to his Slovak village to buy him a mass card, the priest refused to sell me one. So far left that a self-identified terrorist proposed marriage to me. So far left I was a two-time Peace Corps volunteer and I have a degree from UC Berkeley. So far left that my Teamster mother used to tell anyone who would listen that she voted for Gus Hall, Communist Party chairman, for president. I wore a button saying "Eat the Rich." To me it wasn't a metaphor.

I voted Republican in the last presidential election.

What led to her change of viewpoint, one she'd held almost her entire life? One could say that reality finally intruded in her life and she was no longer able to deal with the cognitive dissonance that so many on the Left blissfully ignore every day.

Goska didn't make the change from idealistic leftist drone to free-thinking adult in one fell swoop. It took a series of events over a number of years that motivated her to question the path she'd been on, to cause her to analyze the basic assumptions about people that had been drummed into her since she'd been a child. Over time she found that almost every assumption she made were not just wrong, but egregious in the depths of their wrongness. She goes on to list ten reasons why she is no longer a Leftist and provides a lot of context behind each reason. It's well worth delving into as I found myself nodding in agreement with every point she brought up, every anecdote that led to her change of heart.

In descending order they are:

10. Huffiness
9. Selective Outrage
8. It's The Thought That Counts
7. Leftists Hate My People
6. I Believe In God
5. Straw Men
4. “In order to make an omelet you need break a few eggs”
3. It Doesn't Work
2. Other Approaches Work Better
1. Hate

It's not a real surprise to me that Hate is the number one reason Goska is no longer a Leftist. When you think about it, hate can be found to be a motivation behind the other nine reasons. They merely refine the hatred into specific categories and targets.

If hate were the only reason, I'd stop being a leftist for this reason alone.

I experienced powerful cognitive dissonance when I recognized the hate. The rightest of my right-wing acquaintances -- I had no right-wing friends -- expressed nothing like this. My right-wing acquaintances talked about loving: God, their family, their community. I'm not saying that the right-wingers I knew were better people; I don't know that they were. I'm speaking here, merely, about language.

But language defines thought, does it not? Otherwise why does the Left try so hard to impose politically correct speech? Their argument is that it's to prevent offending anyone. However it has nothing to do with preventing offensive language and everything to do with controlling thought. Control language long enough and it will become impossible to express dissatisfaction with, or worse, expose the corrupt motivations and totalitarian actions of those in power. Words have meaning. Words have power. Eliminate some words or phrases and dissent becomes nearly impossible. That is the aim of the Left – eliminate any dissent to the creation of their Socialist Utopia. (As one of my dearest friends once told me, “Politically correct speech is fascism!”)

But as we have known for some time and what Goska has discovered on her own is that such utopias can only exist within the Leftist mind. The reality of such utopias is harsh, totalitarian, and bleak. There certainly are enough examples of this throughout history, and some few still cling to a miserable existence to act as modern day examples of why we don't want any part of such dystopic “utopias”. If history nor some of the present day socialist havens aren't example enough, we have some right here in the US that give us a taste of just how effed up the Leftists are.

I went to hear David Horowitz speak in 2004. My intention was to heckle him. Horowitz said something that interrupted my flow of thought. He pointed out that Camden, Paterson, and Newark had decades of Democratic leadership.

Ouch.

I grew up among "Greatest Generation" Americans who had helped build these cities. One older woman told me, "As soon as I got my weekly paycheck, I rushed to Main Ave in Paterson, and my entire paycheck ended up on my back, in a new outfit." In the 1950s and 60s, my parents and my friends' parents fled deadly violence in Newark and Paterson.

Within a few short decades, Paterson, Camden, and Newark devolved into unlivable slums, with shooting deaths, drug deals, and garbage-strewn streets. The pain that New Jerseyans express about these failed cities is our state's open wound.

Once great cities have decayed into No Man's Lands, all under the governance of the Left, something Goska experienced first hand. To see that those of the same political bent, the so-called “Defenders of the Downtrodden”, are the ones responsible for the downfall of those cities, as well as Detroit, a prime example of the effects of decades of Leftist leadership. Is it any wonder Goska now sees the folly of her earlier beliefs?

We can only hope others with the same close-minded belief system can find the wherewithal to closely examine themselves and the truth of their ideology to see it for what it is. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, it is a philosophy of failure, a creed of ignorance, and a gospel of envy whose only virtue is the equal sharing of misery.

7/23/2014

Using Atlas Shrugged As A Manual

If anyone is looking for an example of how not to regulate an economy, the the perfect example exists in South America.

Once a country with a bustling economy and rising per capita incomes, Venezuela has become an economic basket case as government control crippled wider swaths of the economy to the point where nothing works, prices are skyrocketing, goods are scarce and becoming more so, and where what few factories have managed to survive to this point are grinding to a halt because they have no way to pay for parts and other supplies needed to continue production.

The Socialist Utopia ushered in by the late dictator Hugo Chavez has finally reached its goal with the total destruction of the “capitalist hell” the Venezuelan people were forced to live in under previous governments. Now that everyone (except the elites) are equal, they know share equal amounts of misery, privation, poverty, lack of necessities, and lack of rights.

One has to wonder whether Chavez and his successor read Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged and mistook it for a manual rather than a warning. From what I've seen of the results of Chavismo in that once wealthy country, I'd have to say that's exactly what they've done. Considering Venezuela's oil reserves are huge, one would think there would be more than enough money coming in to support government spending. But oil production has plummeted as the country's oil infrastructure has started failing because those who knew how to keep it running were kicked out, cronies moved in, and hard cash needed to buy parts to keep it running has become scarce.

And to think our President admired Hugo Chavez.

7/20/2014

Thoughts On A Sunday

The weather has been a little schizo over the weekend, with sun, high clouds, borderline humidity (almost dry but not quite), and no wind. Not that it's affected any summer weekend activities with the exception of hanging out laundry to dry. Under those conditions it takes hours to dry. It certainly put a crimp in my usual laundry routine.

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It was 45 years ago today that man first landed on the Moon.

I remember watching it on my grandmother's big 25-inch console TV at her home on the Connecticut shoreline. Our whole family was supposed to have been well on our way home from there after having spent three weeks there. But because Armstrong and Aldrin were going to step out onto the Moon, we ended up staying to watch the whole thing.

I had always been a big fan of space exploration. I even had a model of the Saturn V rocket in my bedroom. The whole thing stood over three feet tall and the various stages could come apart just like the real thing. The Apollo could even dock with the LEM. I spent countless hours playing with that thing. But on this day back in 1969 I didn't have to imagine anything. I could see it all on TV and listen to the commentary of Walter Cronkite as everything unfolded.

The memory is as clear to me as the day it happened all those years ago.

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Russia's propaganda war over the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 continues. Russia still insists it was Ukraine that shot down the airliner even though that makes no sense.

Considering the flight was coming from the Netherlands and was on a East South Easterly course, there's no reason Ukrainian air defense would have engaged the airliner, particularly after it had already overflown most of the country. But if the Russian separatists saw an aircraft on that course coming from central Ukraine that might conclude it was a Ukrainian Air Force aircraft and shot it down.

More than one TV news report showed a Russian mobile SAM transporter leaving the area from where the missile that shot down the airliner had been launched. What made it unusual was that two of its missile were no longer on its launch rails. That implies the missiles had been expended, possibly with one or both of them having destroyed the airliner.

Frankly, it would have been better for Russia if Vladimir Putin admitted up front that the 'separatists' had shot it down in error and expressed dismay that such a horrible event took place. But by using the same old Cold War tactics of deny and accuse, it makes Russia appear to be complicit in the downing of MH17 and that they're covering it up.

One would think that Putin would learn from our history that the act itself may be bad, but the cover-up is even worse.

Of course this just backs up the impression that Russia has become dangerous again, just as Mitt Romney predicted.

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The Greens are at it again, this time setting their sights on New England and its electricity supply.

The delusion that all of the electricity that we need can be generated by 'green' means is just that, an illusion. A number of power plants have been shut down because they no longer meet the even stricter EPA regulations. The problem is that not much in the way of new capacity has been built to replace them even as demand for electricity grows. Natural gas-fired plants are in abundance now, but the problem is that there isn't a single pipeline that brings that gas into New England and plans to actually build one have been opposed by the Greens at every step. That makes the supply iffy at best. Wind and solar are a bust because they aren't always available when needed and they cost a hell of a lot more than traditional means of generating electricity. Wind also has a downside in that the turbines kill a lot of wildlife, specifically birds, including a number of endangered species, and the infrasound generated by the blades as they turn has deleterious health effects on animals and people.

An abundant supply of clean, renewable hydropower is available just over the border in Canada, but the Greens don't want anyone building the transmission lines needed to get it into New England.

Of course there is nuclear power, one of the greenest supplies of energy around, but the Greens have a hatred for nuclear that borders on the pathological.

No matter what, the Greens, and most particularly those “upper-educated elites snugly ensconced in the digital economy or sitting in Washington writing regulations telling everybody else what to do,” are against anything that might actually bring reliable power to New England. They don't have to deal with the consequences of their actions. We do, which is why these idiots should be the last people making decisions that affect us negatively while they are safely insulated from damage they are causing.

(H/T Maggie's Farm)

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Remember how the claim that ObamaCare would drive up costs was called “a lie” by supporters? It turns out it was the truth, at least in Louisiana where health care premiums are expected to are expected to increase by between 15.5 and 24 percent.

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Gateway Pundit gives us a comparison between Elizabeth Warren's 11 Commandments of Progressivism and Adolph Hitler's 25 Points of the Nazi Party and points out the eerie similarity between the two.

Cap'n Teach has his own take on the matter.

(H/T Pirate's Cove)

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Eric the Viking offers a twofer in regards to the national debt and the nation's unsustainable deficit spending. He explains it with a simple three word phrase: “We're Going Broke.”

You know the problem is getting bad when even the Washington Post is slamming Congress, the White House, and the rest of the Washington naysayers for not addressing the problem now before it becomes bad enough that it can no longer be ignored, or worse, it becomes to late to do anything about it and country goes bankrupt.

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Why do liberals think “profit” is a dirty word? They certainly seem to use it in their efforts to disparage or discredit people, corporations, and even court decisions. If a business isn't profitable how is it supposed to survive? Or do they think all businesses should lose money and become dependent upon government to survive? (That's my take on it.)

They are hinting that profit is different from other motivations. Less noble. Maybe even wicked.

As Glenn Reynolds so aptly put it, “A company that turns a profit is self-sufficient.” Aye, and there's the rub. They don't need government to survive and can choose their own course.

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And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the weather is going to get hotter and more humid, the sound of corporate jets leaving the local airport is building, and where yet again Monday has returned too soon.

7/19/2014

Summer In The 603


As Bogie writes: Money quote in my book: The Devil Went Down to Georgia because Daniel Webster kicked his ass!

Indeed.

Does Socialism Breed Dishonesty?

As if we need even more evidence that socialism is a system of failure, ignorance, and envy, there this experiment run by the University of Munich and Duke University to determine people's willingness to lie for personal gain.

Some 250 Berliners were randomly selected to take part in a game where they could win up to €6 ($8).

The game was simple enough. Each participant was asked to throw a die 40 times and record each roll on a piece of paper. A higher overall tally earned a bigger payoff. Before each roll, players had to commit themselves to write down the number that was on either the top or the bottom side of the die. However, they did not have to tell anyone which side they had chosen, which made it easy to cheat by rolling the die first and then pretending that they had selected the side with the highest number. If they picked the top and then rolled a two, for example, they would have an incentive to claim—falsely—that they had chosen the bottom, which would be a five.

Honest participants would be expected to roll ones, twos and threes as often as fours, fives and sixes. But that did not happen: the sheets handed in had a suspiciously large share of high numbers, suggesting many players had cheated.

The authors found that, on average, those who had East German roots cheated twice as much as those who had grown up in West Germany under capitalism.

All the same, when it comes to ethics, a capitalist upbringing appears to trump a socialist one.

None of that surprises me. I've known more than my share of dyed-in-the-wool European socialists, and very few of them displayed what I would consider ethical behavior, particularly in regards to those who might not be of the same political bent as they.

That also brings up the question: Would they lie for political gain? From my experience, the answer is 'Yes'.

(H/T Instapundit)

7/18/2014

California Catch-22

This could only happen in California.

Considering the once Golden State is in the midst of a severe drought, the drive to conserve water has been taken up by local municipalities and residents. But what happens when the actions homeowners are taking to conserve water under the direction of state government mandates conflict with local ordinances that require residential landscaping be kept looking healthy and green? They get stuck in a Catch-22 situation: no matter what they do they'll be fined $500 either by the state or their home town. The state will fine them for watering their lawns during the water restrictions and the town will fine them for not watering their lawns.

How is it that the folks running these towns and cities can think it's a good idea to use what little water is available to water lawns rather using it for drinking, cooking, bathing, or doing laundry? These nuts need to get a clue and focus on what's really important, and it ain't lawns.

7/17/2014

Quote Of The Week

There's nothing I can add to this:


Indeed.

7/16/2014

Is The Tea Party A Religion?

Is the Tea Party a religion as the Daily Beast claims? Or is it something else?

Says the Daily Beast's Jack Schwartz:

America has long been the incubator of many spiritual creeds going back to the Great Awakening and even earlier. Only one of them, Mormonism, has taken root and flourished as a true religion sprung from our own native ground. Today, however, we have a new faith growing from this nation’s soil: the Tea Party. Despite its secular trappings and “taxed enough already” motto, it is a religious movement, one grounded in the traditions of American spiritual revival. This religiosity explains the Tea Party’s political zealotry.

But when religion is thrown into the mix, all that is lost. Religion here doesn’t mean theology but a distinct belief system which, in totality, provides basic answers regarding how to live one’s life, how society should function, how to deal with social and political issues, what is right and wrong, who should lead us, and who should not. It does so in ways that fulfill deep-seated emotional needs that, at their profoundest level, are devotional. Given the confusions of a secular world being rapidly transformed by technology, demography, and globalization, this movement has assumed a spiritual aspect whose adepts have undergone a religious experience which, if not in name, then in virtually every other aspect, can be considered a faith.

By that definition the Democrat Party is a religion, and the Progressives within that party are a cult, a deluded and deadly offshoot that “knows the Truth Revealed!” One of those commenting to Breitbart piece covering this particular view from Schwartz nails it perfectly:

The DB is also using V.I. Lennon's dictum: "Call your enemy what you are." Liberalism is a designer substitute for revealed religion. It has an apocalypse called "climate change". It has a system of indulgences called "carbon credits". It has a messiah named Obama and an enemy it holds to be demonic known as the Tea Party. Liberalism has a blood sacrifice called abortion and an inquisition known as political correctness. Liberalism has a tithe known as the income tax and and a confession called criticism of privilege. In every respect, and in every way, the corrupt religion of Liberalism serves it's jealous and devouring god of secularism such that no competing faith is allowed in the public square. So the acolytes of Liberalism seek to defame and destroy all who refuse to bow before their religion and all who refuse to give them the pinch of incense.

Isn't that always the case with the Leftist “faith'? - Turn truth upside down, make what was considered to be good to be bad, do away with the concept of good and evil and replace them with vaguely defined concepts that are nothing but shades of gray, and profess tolerance for other's beliefs while at the same time doing their best to silence those very same “others”? They profess to care for the poor, yet do everything they can to keep them poor and enthralled to the government all while pointing their fingers at the ones who truly care and have better ideas (and means) to lift the poor out of poverty and declaring them to be “greedy business owners whose only concern is making a profit.”

Oh, yeah, give that ol' time religion!

The list of grievances against the Religion of Leftism is long and could easily take up pages and pages, but I have better and more productive things to do.

7/13/2014

Thoughts On A Sunday

We've had yet another weekend with great weather, a big plus on a NASCAR weekend.

NASCAR is in town, or at least down at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, its first of two weekends here. (The next one is in September).

While my enthusiasm for NASCAR has waned over the years which translates as watching the races on TV rather than actually attending them, I never miss them when they're here in New Hampshire. After all, I have the best seat in the house, have instant replay, a fridge full of cold drink, and a bathroom with no line.

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This weekend also celebrates the 25th anniversary of the retail farm stand that is part of the farm where BeezleBub works. Farmer Andy and his missus had a real blowout party for all the farmhands, bakers, and retail employees.

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Dr. Roy Spencer, long a critic of the alarmism by the We're-All-Gonna-Die-If-We-Don't-Go-Back-To-Living-In-Caves Anthropogenic Global Warming proponents, asked a very important question at the recent Heartland Institute International Conference on Climate Change: What do we really know about Global Warming?

...the Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville began his July 9 address by warning attendees that the "science" of global warming really isn't much by way of science and that bias is everywhere in the field.

"Too many people think that all areas of science are created equal," Spencer said, "and that scientists objectively look for the answers, but no, there's two kinds of scientists, male and female. Other than that they're the same as everybody else, and in many instances [in the climate sciences] more biased than your average person."

He then delves into the issues that put much of the 'data' used by the alarmists into question, one of th biggest being discounting the Urban Heat Island Effect, something that has seriously skewed temperature readings over the past century.

As the saying goes, Read The Whole Thing.

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David Starr comments on the Federal Highway Trust Fund, its original purpose, and how it is now being used for anything but maintaining our highways. He also has some suggestions about dealing with it now that the money is running dry.

Better, would be to shut down the Highway Trust Fund altogether.  Lay off all the bureaucrats who run it. Cancel the Federal gasoline tax.  Let the states, who do the roadwork, pay for road maintenance out of state funds.  The states could even hike their gas taxes if needed.  With the Federal gas tax removed, the states could take a much bigger bite without raising the price of gas. 

Indeed.

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Nelson Abdullah presents us with some photos and tweets that show us what is wrong about liberals.

Two of their biggest problems: they often have problems telling fiction from reality; they have poorly developed critical thinking skills that prevents them from being able to tell the difference between a devout Christian mother who is pro-life and believes in the Second Amendment and an Islamofascist Pinhead woman who had no problems blowing herself up and killing three other people.

(H/T Pirate's Cove)

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Sarah Palin again makes her case for the impeachment of President Obama, pointing out his dereliction of duty, violation of his oath to “protect and defend our Constitution.”

Between his illegal actions delaying or overturning law by decree, making recess appointments when law clearly states Congress was not in recess, selective enforcement of the law, and an almost non-existent foreign policy that endangers Americans everywhere and makes our allies doubt us, there's no doubt to me that he's committed impeachable offenses.

Unfortunately the chance Obama would actually be impeached are almost zero despite him having committed far worse acts than Bill Clinton.

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Speaking of selective law enforcement, more about the IRS oppression of conservative political organizations keeps coming to light in spite of the “my dog ate my e-mails” excuse still being sold by the IRS.

That there appears to have been coordination between Democrats and Lois Lerner is becoming even more evident as investigations continue.

Even Nixon wasn't this brazen, nor did the IRS bow to his demands to 'audit' his political enemies. However, these days the IRS is little more than an extension of the Democrat Party.

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I spent a good portion of my free time this weekend configuring Deb's new computer, a replacement for her 7-year old XP machine, The file transfer between the old and new machines went without a hitch, though a number of programs from the old machine either had to be installed or updated to newer versions. About the only program I had to purchase was Quicken as the program on the old machine just wouldn't run on Windows 7.

So far Deb loves the new computer, it being so much faster than the old machine. The one thing she noticed immediately: it's a lot quieter than her XP machine. I don't think I've heard the cooling fans run once except at initial power up.

While it only has 4GB of RAM (the same amount in the old computer), it's still much faster. Of course the 64-bit version of Windows 7 might have something to do with it.

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And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the weather has gotten rainy and humid at the end of the day, the NASCAR folks are leaving, and where Monday has once again returned all too soon.

7/12/2014

Earth's Magnetic Field Weakening - Film At 11

It's been no secret Earth's magnetic field has been shifting. A few years ago both maritime and aeronautical charts had to be revised to include new magnetic deviation lines (the difference between Magnetic North and True North) and some airports had to have their runways renumbered because of the shift. (Airport runways numbers are derived from their magnetic compass headings.)

I has also been understood by scientists that Earth's magnetic field will 'flip' every so often, reversing the north and south magnetic poles. It happens about every 200,000 to 300,000 years, but the last time it shifted was over 750,000 years ago, so we're long overdue for the next one. It also appears that it's going to happen again sooner than scientists had originally predicted.

Earth’s protective magnetic field has been weakening at a faster rate than expected, according to data from newly launched European Space Agency satellites. The finding may indicate that Earth’s poles will switch sooner than scientists thought.

It was previously thought that the field was weakening by about 5 percent each century, LiveScience reports, pointing to a flip in about 2,000 years. But the new data shows a much more dramatic weakening, at a pace of 5 percent per decade — 10 times faster than previously thought.

So rather than taking place in about 2,000 years it will be around 200 years. That's certainly going to make it interesting to use magnetic compasses over the next couple of centuries. But then there's also the issue of how such a thing might affect life on the planet.

Though a magnetic flip sounds dramatic, no evidence indicates that it would cause any harm to life on Earth, according to Wired. Past flips are not associated with any mass extinctions or radiation damage. But changes could disrupt power grids and communications networks, which have been damaged by strong solar storms in the past.

I'm sure someone will find a way to blame this all of this on Anthropogenic Global Warming, too. Is there nothing it can't do?

7/10/2014

US Has Cooled Over The Past 10 Years - Warmists Heads Due To Explode

This must be an inconvenient truth for the doom-saying warmists.

If this article is accurate, and so far I haven't found anything that suggest otherwise, it may put one of the final nails in the coffin for Anthropogenic Global Warming. In this case is reporting that records from 114 “pristinely sited temperature stations spread out fairly uniformly throughout the United States” have shown temperatures in the United States have declined over the past 10 years.


Because the network, known as the U.S. Climate Reference Network (USCRN), is so uniformly and pristinely situated, the temperature data require no adjustments to provide an accurate nationwide temperature record. USCRN began compiling temperature data in January 2005. Now, nearly a decade later, NOAA has finally made the USCRN temperature readings available.

According to the USCRN temperature readings, U.S. temperatures are not rising at all – at least not since the network became operational 10 years ago. Instead, the United States has cooled by approximately 0.4 degrees Celsius, which is more than half of the claimed global warming of the twentieth century.

What is meant by “pristine” is that none of the stations are situated near urban areas, parking lots, HVAC exhausts, or other artificial means that will skew the temperature readings. It is this siting that makes adjustments to temperature readings unnecessary. It is also these sites that are putting the claims made by the AGW alarmists into further doubt. But, as the article states at the end, “Of course, to global warming alarmists, all real-world data are irrelevant.”

Any data that doesn't fit the narrative must be ignored, destroyed, or discredited with a harshly worded retort. After all, they can't have reality intruding upon their agenda and mucking it up, can they?

(H/T Maggie's Farm)