A Reality Check For The Eco-nuts

Something we must remind our more radical environmentalist brethren: The Earth is not a god. Unfortunately too many of them believe exactly that which in turn leads some of them to propose actions that are, on the face of it, genocidal.

The seventeenth-century philosopher Sir Francis Bacon argued that the human mind had been squandered on superstition: metaphysical speculation, theological disputation, and violent political delusions. Bacon’s greatest American disciple, Benjamin Franklin, agreed. It would be better, both believed, to focus on the conquest of man’s common enemy: nature. Bacon and Franklin were right, but they misjudged superstition’s staying power. Fast-forward to a conversation I had with the late Arne Naess, the Norwegian father of “deep ecology” and guru of the European Green movement. With a straight face, Naess told me that the eradication of smallpox was a technological crime against nature. For Naess’s deep ecology, the smallpox virus “deserved” and needed our protection, despite having maimed, tortured, and killed millions of people.

So in this guy's eyes, the smallpox virus has more value than human life. He sounds almost like some of the eco-nut characters in Michael Crichton's novel State of Fear. Those same eco-nuts got the chance to live (or die) by their philosophy when they were 'induced' to strip themselves of their clothing and make a trek across 100 miles of jungle back to civilization. They found out the hard way that their ideology didn't match up with the realities of the real world, finding out that their beloved Nature was indeed “red in tooth and claw.” But I have no doubt that they would have no problem with the rest of us having to live like that as long as they didn't have to do so.

Then there are ecological apocalypse prognosticators who always get it wrong.

Why do hysterical warnings about sustainability and depletion persist despite the failure of the crackpot 1960s and 1970s predictions? Because the non-impact standard—conceiving of the environment as a loving but finite God—sees the environment as having a limited “carrying capacity” of gifts, such as arable land, water, and crucial minerals, in addition to fossil fuels. The more people on the planet, the closer we are to maxing out that carrying capacity, the thinking goes.

Epstein argues brilliantly that the carrying-capacity superstition amounts to a “backward understanding of resources.” The fact is that nature by itself gives us very few directly supplied energy resources: most resources “are not taken from nature, but created from nature,” he maintains. Every raw material in nature is but a “potential resource, with unlimited potential to be to be rendered valuable by the human mind.” Right now we have enough fossil fuels and nuclear power to last us thousands of years. “The amount of raw matter and energy on this planet,” Epstein writes, “is so incomprehensibly vast that it is nonsensical to speculate about running out of it. Telling us that there is only so much matter and energy to create resources from is like telling us that there is only so much galaxy to visit for the first time. True, but irrelevant.”

Two hundred years ago one could believe that the fuels needed to keep society warm and to power industry were indeed limited. But they couldn't conceive of the power sources and natural resources available to today, something that would seem magical to them. We have also developed means of reusing some resources again and again and again, lessening the burden on natural resources. Better technologies and new discoveries have lessened the demand for some resources, and in some cases, eliminated them altogether. But that isn't good enough for some of these “Earth is a god” believers, and it never will be.

Too bad for them that 99.999% of the human population disagrees with them and their goals.


Thoughts On A Sunday

The latest snowfall ended before sunrise, leaving behind about 4 inches of snow. At least this time there were no below zero temps following it, at least not immediately. The lows for tomorrow morning will be below zero, so we'll be back into arctic air for the next few days.

The warm temps today made it easier to clean part of the driveway down to the pavement, meaning it will be unlikely we'll have to deal with ice come morning, something that is always problematic for us, making it difficult to get out considering the driveway has a pretty steep slope.


I find it interesting that the Democart-Operatives-With-Bylines, i.e. the MSM, have been trying to twist the battle of words between Rudi Giuliani and Barack Obama into a litmus test for potential GOP presidential candidates. Their first target was Scott Walker, slamming him for not commenting upon the kerfuffle, stating that he has “remained silent” about it, but in truth informing the MSM that “The mayor can speak for himself,” he said on CNBC the next morning. “I’m not going to comment on what the president thinks or not. He can speak for himself as well.”

As far as the MSM is concerned, that is confirmation that Walker agrees with Rudi. All we have to do is remember is that's how the MSM works and their bleating about it becomes meaningless noise.


It's scary to think that over 40% of Democrats polled think it's perfectly OK for their messiah to be able ignore the courts and the laws and do what he wants. That's more than scary. That's how dictators rule. So now we know that those 40%+ Democrats are really totalitarians because they do not believe in the rule of law.

Who says the communists didn't win the Cold War? They just moved across the ocean and infected the Democrat Party.


I've always thought the push for multiculturalism was a crock, a false flag means of balkanizing any nation. It turns out I was right, just as Europe is finding out the hard way. The Progressives keep pushing diversity, but America has had it for over 200 years. Then again, their definition of diversity has no relation to reality, but that hasn't stopped them for pushing it for all its worth. After all, how else can they take over our society unless the create cultural rifts and then offer to 'fix' them?


As an offshoot of the above, the push by Progressives to kill off freedom of speech on college campuses continues, though not without increasing pushback.

Rather than using the usual excuses for limiting freedom of speech, the Progs say they are trying to shield the perpetually offended weaklings from speech they consider offensive, which these days means anything they disagree with.

Call this yet another step towards a Progressive totalitarian state.


David Starr explains the difference between real jobs and government jobs.

It all comes down to this: One creates wealth and expands the economy. The other doesn't.


Are we on the verge of being able to create Rearden Metal? If this new technology for producing metals proves out, the answer is yes.


First, it was the so-called “Red Scare”.

Then it was the day-care sex scandal that sent an untold number of people to prison for acts that never happened.

Today it's the campus sexual assault 'epidemic' being used as the basis for yet another witch hunt and the violation of the civil rights of anyone accused of such an act, specifically male someones. How many people will be adversely affected by this new panic, with lives and future careers ruined all on the basis of a ruling by a government sanctioned kangaroo court? How many lawsuits will be filed by students sanctioned by these kangaroo courts, and how many millions will the colleges end up having to pay in damages?

(A note: The Red Scare, though over the top, had its basis in truth. After the fall of the Soviet Union large numbers of KGB files became available and the activities of Soviet moles and sympathizers in the US during 1950's were exposed.)


The one thing we must remind ourselves about when it comes to Hollywood is that most of what they put up on the screen isn't reality.

We've seen that a number of times when Hollywood has tried to force the narrative on a number of issues, That's certainly true when it comes to things like nuclear power, with one of the first examples being the awful and thoroughly inaccurate The China Syndrome. Their latest foray into this subject is the cyber-thriller Blackhat which portrays the ease with which hackers could cause a meltdown of a nuclear power plant. Without belaboring the point, the movie got just about everything wrong, but it succeeded if its aim was to scare the bejeebers out of everyone when it comes to nuclear power, just as the aforementioned The China Syndrome. managed to do.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the brief bout of warmer weather has already fled, everything that melted is freezing again, and where we're still removing snow that fell two weeks ago.


Winter Observations

Since so much of the eastern half of the nation is suffering the effects of global warming, being hit with temperatures well below normal, I figured I'd at least chime in on what we've seen here in New Hampshire over the past couple of months.

While winter weather and cold temperatures are the norm here, the large amounts of snow over a relatively short period of time and the well below zero temps that just go on and on for weeks on end aren't what we usually see here. (Not that it hasn't happened before, but it is unusual.)

We've had snow totals here at the The Manse as high as 150 inches, but that was accumulated between the beginning of December until April. There were numerous small snowfalls on the order of 3 to 6 inches, and a couple of larger storms that dropped between a foot to a foot-and-a-half, all adding up to that 150 inches. Each snowfall was manageable and some of it melted away before the next one came along.

This year, however, we'd see one storm after another dropping a foot or more of snow, with temperatures during these storms in the lower teens or single digits, and then temperatures would plummet and there would be no melt off. Icy roads remained icy because the salt the local and state highway departments normally used to de-ice the roads wouldn't work if the temperatures were below 17ºF. In a little bit less than three weeks we easily saw almost 60 inches of snowfall and we'd still be digging out as another storm approached. Some towns exhausted their snow removal budgets as well as their road salt supplies. Some cities were running out of places to put the snow. (Boston has received over 80 inches of snow in this same short period of time and they've had to resort to dumping snow into Boston Harbor, something to which the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Quality Engineering had to give its blessing because the city's normal snow 'storage' locations were full.)

One thing I noticed that was peculiar for this winter compared to all of the others I've experienced: I've had to use four-wheel drive far more often and for much longer periods than any other winter I remember. There have been some stretches where the trusty F150 was never out of four-wheel drive for days on end. Even the state-maintained roads were always snow covered, between the fresh snowfall and the drifting snow caused by the high winds that usually accompanied the well below normal temperatures.

Both here and elsewhere in New England roof collapses and failures have been all too common. Quite a few schools here in New Hampshire had to close due to the heavy snow loads on their roofs. In some cases teachers or other school staff would notice cracking walls or sagging ceilings, prompting the evacuation of the school and an all-hands effort to remove the snow before any further damage could occur. More than a few businesses and homes suffered roof collapses, something that happens rarely here. (Most homes and many of the smaller businesses have steep pitched roofs that, in theory, should prevent large snow loads from building up. But with the relentless snowfalls many of these roofs couldn't shed all of the snow on them before the snow loads exceeded the design limits, and they failed.) I spent part of this morning over at the WP Mom's, pulling snow off her roof with a roof rake as a means of reducing the load on her roof and preventing ice dams, something that can cause water damage inside a home as the snow on the roof melts.

All in all, I have to say this is probably one of the more brutal winters I have experienced in all my years, between the weeks and weeks of endless below normal temperatures and the well above normal snowfalls. Yet despite all of that, we are far better prepared to handle it than many of the others in the south who have been hit with record low temperatures and record snowfalls and/or ice storms. Watching the endless reports of highways with multiple accidents clogging them or ice coatings that bring traffic to a standstill has become all too common this winter, particularly over the past four weeks or so.

I still have snow to remove and will hopefully get it done today before the next round of snow arrives. There are decks to clear on the backside of The Manse and the main front door that needs to be shoveled out. (We can't open the door because of the snow piled up in front of it, a dangerous situation if we need to get out because of an emergency.)

And so it goes in winter-time New Hampshire.

Quote Of The Day

From this post about climate doom-mongering comes this quote that could easily apply to politics and ideologies in general:

Reality imposes constraints even on people who are detached from it.

When the 'detached' are slapped in the face by reality, they are usually the ones screaming the loudest about how “unfair” reality is being. They demand 'someone' do something about it, even if that something defies the laws of physics.

The rest of us understand that life in general is unfair. Bitching about it merely gives us some temporary emotional relief, but doesn't change life's basic unfairness. We just carry on living our lives and deal with life's inequities.


Thoughts On A Sunday

We're cleaning up after yet another bout of snow. While we didn't receive as much as had originally been forecast, there was still enough that needed to be moved. The winds certainly haven't helped, between the blowing snow and wind chill, making it more of a chore to snowblow and shovel out the driveway. But that's winter for you.


David Starr question whether the record labels shot themselves in the foot when they pushed hard for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which in turn has killed off Top 40 radio. What they forgot was that air-play drives sales, but since radio stations don't have to pay for copyright royalties for any songs prior to 1973, a lot of stations have switched over to “Oldies” format.

So much for driving sales of new music.


Here's a two-fer from Mister Starr, in this case dealing with the F-35, the long overdue and over budget Joint Strike Fighter.

It doesn't help that the Air Force wants to kill off the A-10 Warthog, the most effective ground support aircraft ever built, stating the cost of continuing A-10 operations is seriously delaying deployment of the F-35. But as anyone familiar with both programs know, this is an outright lie as the cost of keeping the A-10 flying and fighting is a small fraction of the cost of flying the F-35.

The Air Force has been trying to kill the A-10 for decades, mainly because it isn't “sexy”, meaning it's ugly compared to the F-15 and F-16. But the ground troops love it, knowing that when they have air cover by the Warthogs the bad guys are going to die in large numbers when they do their job. They are also very tough and very hard to shoot down. Ground fire that would swat an F-15, F-16, or F-35 out of the sky is shrugged off by the A-10 and allows it to complete its mission.

If the Air Force really wants to get rid of the A-10, then perhaps they can give it to the Army and/or the Marines, despite the so-called Key West agreement that only the Air Force would have attack aircraft like the A-10.


This isn't the first time I've written about our dying shopping malls and I doubt it will be the last. But they are dying for a number of reasons, with one of them being the explosion of on-line shopping. Major 'anchor' chains like JC Penney and Sears are closing stores across the country, stores that helped drive foot traffic in the malls.

One of our malls in the state capitol has been slowly dying, never having achieved full occupancy since it first opened and present occupancy lower than an its peak. Even the food court is at less than 50% occupancy, not a healthy sign by any means.

That doesn't mean all shopping malls are doomed, but that is dependent upon their location, with urban malls like the one in downtown Boston doing just fine because the foot traffic is huge, it has more than one of its own subway stations, and it provides isolation from the weather even as it lets you traverse a couple of city blocks.

It will be interesting to see how many malls will close their doors and be converted to some other purpose having nothing to do with retail.


Yet another assault by the DRMA is on, believe it or not, tractors. The days of 'fix it yourself' by farmers on their $100,000+ tractors is gone, with the electronic control systems locked down, making it very difficult for them to look for or bypass problems.

Not that the lockdown has stopped them, with access to so-called 'gray market' computers, interface connectors, and software that allows them work on their tractors themselves.


BeezleBub and I have been watching (and recording) the Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary show. Lots of great memories as SNL has been a favorite show of ours on and off for years.


The bitter cold temperatures and high winds have kept us from dealing with the snow out on our driveway. It seems that five minutes after the snow has been cleared it's like it's never been touched. So we made the decision to tackle the job tomorrow morning after the winds have died down.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where it's bitterly cold, the winds are howlong, and where we may be in line for yet another snow storm.


Here We Go Again (Again)

(Cue ominous Storm Center music.)

OK, here we go again.

Yet another winter storm is going to drop a lot of snow on New England (again). There will be blizzard conditions along the coast (again). Boston has run out of room to put all the snow (again).

It's going to be freakin' cold as the storm pulls out, dropping temps below zero (again).

WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!! (again).

Yes, it's another typical winter of the like we haven't seen in well over 150 years. (This type used to be pretty common in the 1700 and 1800's around here.)

I expect we'll be seeing reporters out in the snow (again) holding up handfuls of fluffy snow (again) somewhere along one of the major highways or byways (again) just to show us how bad it is (again).


Thoughts On A Sunday

The winter snows have returned to New England, with 10 to 18 inches of snow expected here by the time its all done come Tuesday morning. At least this storm isn't a swift moving one with high winds and snowfall rates of over an inch an hour. Instead, this one is coming out of the west along a front that means it will be snowing all day today and tomorrow. This means it's easier to deal with as both the snow plows and our snowblowers can stay well ahead of it.


I have been reading Bill O'Reilly's Killing Patton , a fascinating book about Patton from the time after the Normandy Invasion until his death . O'Reilly makes the case that Patton's death wasn't an accident, but most likely an assassination. One party O'Reilly points to is Stalin, who feared Patton. But O'Reilly also makes mention of Wild Bill Donovan, head of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and later the CIA. Patton had a lot of enemies, both in and outside the US. A lot of people wanted him dead.


It appears the damage done to the Department of Justice by the Obama Administration is far worse than many have thought.

When a federal judge resigns from a panel whose oversight is supposed to ensure the DoJ pre-trial forensic evidence is within the bounds of actual science and meets the same burden of proof as is required by defense forensic experts, citing the DoJ's refusal to recognize the panel's authority and recommendations to ensure the credentials of forensic experts and the methodology used, you know the DoJ isn't interested in justice. It is only interested in winning its cases, and is more than willing to use evidence whose veracity and accuracy is impossible to establish.

As the judge, Jed S. Radkoff, put it, he sees the government “would rather keep its bad forensics and broken discovery procedures because it gives it the advantage when it comes to prosecution.”

Then again the Department of Justice hasn't had anything to do with justice ever since Eric Holder became Attorney General. It has been more about revenge and racial politics than the law.


To paraphrase Glenn Reynolds, if anyone says they're for controlling climate change but are against nuclear power, then they aren't really serious about controlling climate change.

Nuclear power is the only carbon-free electrical source capable of generating large amounts of power. While the argument will be made that building nuclear plants generates a lot of carbon dioxide, so does every other means of generating power, including wind and solar, so it's a straw man argument. Once online, nuclear plants have an enviable record of up time versus every other form of electricity generation. Newer plants based upon new designs (some of which are actually old designs abandoned because they didn't generate enough plutonium for US weapons production) won't generate the waste seen with existing plants and, in some cases, can make use of the existing waste to generate a lot of power.

Let's face it, we are a technological civilization and such civilizations require a lot of power to make them both clean, healthy, and wealthy.


David Starr lists a few actions we can take to help keep our home computers and laptops less vulnerable to hacking. No method is fool proof, but at least we can lessen the possibility of being hacked.


Eric the Viking links to and comments upon the situation in Greece, where the new government thinks they can schmooze the very people they condemned as being greedy and evil to give their country even more money they'll never pay back.

Yeah, that'll work.


The more we hear of ISIS's atrocities, the more I come to believe there is only one means of stopping it: total war. History has shown us the only way these folks will stop is if we defeat them utterly. If it comes to it, I have no qualms of using nuclear means to wipe them out. They do not deserve the benefit of doubt.

It seems that many who have joined ISIS aren't religious fanatics so much as people who love the idea of religion-backed brigandage, rape, and murder. They don't give a rat's ass about Islam, but love the idea of being able to get away with things that would get them imprisioned or executed in their home countries.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the snow is falling, the annual Ice Fishing Derby has finished, and where the skiing and snowmobiling is excellent.


Town Meeting 2015 - Part 1

It was town meeting in our little New Hampshire town last night, an annual ritual that is an expression of small town democracy. It is where the voters, and just as importantly, the taxpayers decide how much the town will spend over the coming year and on what. There are also changes in town ordinances that are presented and explained.

Twenty five warrant articles were read, motions were made, and in a few cases, debated.

One would think there would be lively debate, particularly on articles that spent our hard earned money. But you'd be wrong.

One would think people would question some of the new or changed ordinances because they affect what people could do (or not do) with their property. But you'd be wrong.

What was the most debated and hotly contested issue brought up before the people at town meeting?


A citizen's petition was filed that would ban all fireworks from being used in town unless they were handled by professional pyrotechnicians. The problem? Fireworks are legal in New Hampshire. The ban would even outlaw sparklers, something that is legal in just about every state of the union.

What prodded this petition into being? Something quite simple really: The Precautionary Principle.

The various reasons I heard ran the gamut, from “Someone could get hurt” to “It's usually someone who's drunk and can hurt others” to “I heard of a little girl whose clothes caught on fire because of a sparkler.” Of course no mention was made of actual injury rates or of the fact that these types of fireworks are legal here.

But what was the real issue here? Was it the nuisance factor, something no ordinance is going to stop? Was this a false flag operation, meaning the Precautionary Principle was used as an excuse to do away with what some saw as a nuisance they didn't want to deal with?

In the end it won't matter as the voters will make the decision in the voting booth next month.


Another Snowy Day

It's been another snowy winter day here in New Hampshire.

To hear some of the news reports one would think no one has seen snow before, or that everyone's memories are so bad they don't remember the snow we had just last week.

Today's snowfall was similar to last week's blizzard, meaning the very cold temperatures made for light fluffy snow which piles up quickly. The winds are picking up which means we're in fro blowing snow and some drifts overnight.

I figure we got between 8 and 10 inches here at The Manse and it's not done yet.


Thoughts On A Sunday

This is going to be a somewhat abbreviated Thoughts On A Sunday post as a number of real life events intruded on what would normally be a low-key Sunday.

First, I had to accompany BeezleBub in his search for a new truck. (Well, not 'new' new, but 'used' new.) His Dodge Dakota was getting to the point where the cost of repairs would be more than a truck payment, so after talking with me about his reasoning for replacing it, I said I had to agree.

He knew what it was he wanted, some of which was driven by price. Ironically, a used Ford F150 actually cost more than a comparable F250 or F350. One would think it would be the other way round. He did a lot of online research, both for what was available and read through reviews on Consumer Reports and Edmunds.

A trip to the dealer who happened to have what he was looking for in the price range he could afford was in the offing yesterday, giving him a chance to test drive a few trucks and then putting a deposit down on a 2005, two years newer than his Dakota. I made the trip down with him today, figuring the deal was struck and all that was needed was to fill out the loan application and other sundry paperwork. Yeah. That's what I thought. Just fill out the paperwork.

The problem was the dealer was seriously understaffed, Sunday being a slow day for them usually. But it seems everyone was out trying to buy plow trucks and this dealer had more than a few.

We left The Manse at a bit past 11AM and didn't get back until after 4PM. It took over 3 hours to get all the paperwork done.

However, in the end the deal was struck, the last of the paperwork signed, and we were on our way home with BeezleBub's 'new' truck.


Another thing eating into blogging time today was preparations for the Super Bowl this evening and yet another snowstorm predicted to drop about a foot of new snow here starting some time early Monday morning. I am trying to finish some of the usual Sunday chores before the game. Of course I have absolutely zero chance of completing them in time.

And on top of that, I also am dealing with one heck of a chest cold that has been knocking me for a loop.

All in all it hasn't been a great day.


Mike Hendrix links to a piece about how the Left has become so illiberal.

They used to be champions of free speech; and now they are its most vehement opponents.

They use to be able to give some sort of argument or logical reason for their position, even if an incorrect argument; now they have no argument, none of them, aside from wild and insincere accusations delivered in a mechanical fashion without any hope of being believed, phony as a three-dollar bill.

They used to be firmly on the side of the workingman; now they hate the workingman as a white racist oppressor.

They used to be in favor of free love and the sexual liberation; now they object to rocket scientists wearing shirts with cartoon women printed on them, they object to science fiction magazines showing a scantily clad warrior princess slaying a monster, and they call all sex rape, and demand strict segregation of women and men. On the same day as these protests, they appear in front of the Pope, writhing on the ground naked with crosses and crucifixes inserted into their vaginas. So the Puritan rules apply arbitrarily, without sense or order, to anyone or no one.

The list goes on and on and I agree with every single one of them.


A new paper goes against the CAGW grain, stating that global warming will not cause more extreme weather, but less.

Is this but the first step towards debunking the whole “We're all gonna DIE if we don't stop global warming” meme?

I don't know, but I must admit I do like that there is someone out there openly questioning the meme and raising serious doubts about the suppositions being used to fuel the CAGW hysteria.


And that's the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where it's cold and getting colder, snowy and getting snowier, and where the wood pile is slowly dwindling away.