Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at intelligent and rational individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

"Observe that the 'haves' are those who have freedom, and that it is freedom that the 'have-nots' have not." Ayn Rand

"The virtue involved in helping those one loves is not 'selflessness' or 'sacrifice', but integrity." Ayn Rand

17 October 2019

My Tax Rate as an Individual and as an Employer

Bernie Sanders is proposing raising the highest bracket of the federal income tax from 37% to 52%.  This caused me to think once again about the taxes I pay.

I pay all of the usual personal taxes such as federal income tax, Social Security tax, Medicare tax, Maryland income tax, real estate taxes on my home, and the Maryland state sales tax.  In addition, I am a small business owner.  As a small business owner, I pay the following taxes:

Social Security (half for each employee)
Medicare (half for each employee)
Federal Unemployment
Maryland Unemployment
S Corporation Tax
Workman's Compensation Insurance (required by state)
Real Estate Property Tax
Personal Property Tax (laboratory equipment, supplies, computers, furniture, etc.)
Sales Tax

The sales taxes are too onerous to calculate, so I am going to leave those out of my calculation of the tax burden I carry as an individual and as an employer.  I did this calculation for the year 2018.

Leaving sales taxes out of the calculation for both the company and at home, the other taxes I paid equal 99.0% of my income.  Taking into account the sales taxes, that percentage goes beyond 100%.

Now most of you are likely to argue that many of the taxes I paid are just a cost of doing business and it is not as though the various governments ganged up on me and took every penny I earned and more and left me to actually starve in the streets.  But it is true that if these governments did not tax me, my personal income could have been more than twice what it was and close to about four times what I was actually able to spend after the ordinary personal taxes on the personal income I had in the year 2018.  Viewed from this perspective, I was likely only able to control the spending of about one-quarter of the income I could have had were it not for the many government taxes I pay both as an individual and as a small business owner.  I am one hell of a taxpayer.

Is it any wonder in the modern era that so few people choose to be employers and so many prefer to be employees.  This does not even consider the many risks involved in being an employer and a business owner.  It does not include the paperwork burdens.  It does not include the weight of the responsibility for your employees' welfare.  It does not include the cost of complying with the many regulations imposed by governments, many of which have little regard for a cost-benefit ratio that is rational.

Reducing the costs and the many other burdens that governments put on employers has a truly dramatic effect on encouraging entrepreneurs, who are under extremely heavy burdens at present.  The entrepreneurial spirit in America is being squelched.  Let it flourish and the growth rate in our economy will skyrocket.  Even small improvements in the growth rate have a tremendous impact on compounding the growth of the economy over the 40 year period that most people have yet to live. 

Think about this when the Democrat Socialist Party politicians propose more taxes to partially cover the expenses of their many proposed new welfare programs.  Not only are they not going to allow entrepreneurship to grow the economy more, but they are actually determined to further squelch it, to smother it, to brutally murder it.  They simply view employers as the enemy, which is exactly what is to be expected of socialists.

More and more employers will go on strike -- they will shrug their shoulders and let all of these heavy burdens crash to the ground.  Atlas will shrug.  The many American employees will have far fewer jobs with far fewer people willing to bear the many burdens of being an employer.  The number of employers has fallen dramatically over our history as governments have grown.  This is not the only reason for this, but it has been an important reason for it.

12 October 2019

Executive Branch Corruption Prevention vs. Foreign Contributions of Value

The President of the United States of America is constitutionally tasked with enforcing the laws of the nation within its constitutionally delimited powers.  That enforcement function implies that he must not allow corruption within the Executive Branch.  It is his duty to root it out, reveal it, and prosecute it.

During the Obama presidency, his administration had numerous incidences that appeared to be examples of severe corruption and which he ought to have seriously investigated.  However, it is highly plausible that Obama was actually involved in some or all of these instances of very plausible corruption.  None of these corruption instances were properly investigated.  It is not unusual for an administration to fail to investigate instances of corruption for fear of embarrassment or for fear that they will lose votes in the next election because they were caught in their planned corruption.  This is especially true of the Democrat Party, whose corruption is commonly so pervasive that they cannot even be embarrassed by the fact of it and are only ever embarrassed by the ineptness that caused them to be overtly caught engaging in it.

Now let me give you a few of the very plausibly corrupt actions that occurred by politicians under the Obama administration:

  • Lois Lerner and the IRS holding up more than a hundred Tea Party, Constitutional Government, and Patriot tax-exempt status requests which kept many of them from expounding policy arguments that the Democrat Socialist Party did not want Americans to hear before the 2012 election.
  • The Uranium One, whose controlling ownership was Russian, but also partly Canadian, deal to buy American uranium which required the approval of several Obama agencies, including the State Department, then headed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  Prior to these approvals and during the approval process, huge donations were made to the Clinton Foundation by Uranium One officers and Bill Clinton was offered $500,000 to give a speech in Moscow at a meeting that recommended investments in Uranium One.
  • Hillary Clinton stole more than 60,000 e-mails from the U.S. government while Secretary of State, routing them through an insecure server in the basement of one of her homes.  When these were demanded back, she destroyed about half of them, claiming they were only personal notes.  Even among those that were returned, numerous instances of information requiring secure handling were found.  The hard drive and other storage media for the e-mails had been destroyed, in violation of the legal requirement that the e-mails be returned to the government and for a proper investigation into security violations.  After Clinton had the e-mails destroyed she and the media pretended that Trump had called upon the Russians to steal these already destroyed e-mails.  This is the Democrat Socialist Party way to turn a violation of the law to advantage.  This invitation to steal narrative became part of the myth of Russian collusion by Trump.
  • A deal was made by the Obama Attorney General Lynch with Bill Clinton on the tarmac of an airport not to prosecute Hillary Clinton for her theft of the State Department e-mails and for any security violations.
  • Violations of the FISA court requirements occurred at least four times in requests made by the Obama FBI and intelligence agencies for FISA warrants to spy upon the Trump presidential campaign.  This violation of law is at least as serious as the Watergate burglary that ended the Nixon presidency.  Numerous high-level Obama officials were involved in the Spygate scandal and were collaborating with the intelligence agencies and other persons in the United Kingdom, Russia, Australia, Ukraine and Italy.
  • Vice President Joe Biden using his special envoy assignments with Ukraine and Red China to win sweetheart deals for relatives who had nothing to offer in exchange for large sums of money except the fact that they were related to Joe Biden.
Since Obama did not root out, reveal, and prosecute these likely cases of corruption under his administration, it is the very proper job that the following President do so.  Indeed, the following President would be slacking his responsibilities if he did not do so.

Ah, but note that in several of these cases there are actors from other countries.  During the 2016 election, had Trump actually received any useful information from the Russians on e-mails they may very well have stolen from Clinton's insecure home server, the Democrats would have said he had received something of value from a foreign country in violation of campaign finance laws!  This is a Get out of jail free card for a corrupt politician.  The same would have been true if Trump had received damning evidence against Clinton from a Canadian or a Russian source connected with Uranium One.

Now, the claim is being made that because Joe Biden is running for President, any evidence of his corrupt activities in Ukraine and China obtained by the Trump administration is something of value received from a foreign country in violation of campaign finance law.  So all a corrupt politician needs to do to be forever protected from investigations of his crimes is to be sure that the witnesses of his crimes are all foreigners and that he continue his political career without end so he can never be investigated and prosecuted.  What an incredible trick and the Democrat Socialist Party appears to have discovered its utility.  Corruption safe and forever.  Rather like Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton staying married forever, so neither can ever be forced to testify to the crimes of the other.  The abuse of power through foreign corruption and a political career are a marriage made in heaven, apparently.

As always, context is extremely critical in rational thinking.  One can understand how the campaign finance laws came to be and their intent.  One can understand how those who wrote the laws may not have anticipated the way the Democrats are currently trying to use these laws to prevent the proof of corruption of some of their leading politicians.  The rational man must understand that any valid intent of the campaign finance laws was to prevent corruption, not to enable it.  

The rational man understands that no campaign finance law can stand in the way of a President's core constitutional functions to execute the laws with proper respect for the individual rights of every citizen and that must mean to do so without corruption.  A President must be free to root out, reveal, and prosecute corruption in the Executive Branch of the government.  And we must note that both Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden may have been guilty of corruption as officials of the Obama administration.  That very plausible possibility needs to be seriously investigated and to do so requires that foreign actors be able to deliver information about their deeds to the present administration headed by President Trump.

25 September 2019

It is not Science, It is Politics at the UN IPCC


This is the UN IPCC web page for a report entitled

IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate

The text under the image says:

The chapters posted are the Final Government Draft versions. They are subject to correction, copy-editing, layout and “trickleback” adjustments to the text of the full report to ensure consistency with the approved Summary for Policymakers
Take note that "adjustments to the text of the full report to ensure consistency with the approved Summary for Policymakers" means adjustments to the science will be made as necessary to support the political aims of the Policymakers, that is the politicians.  Yes, science is but the handmaiden to those who want still more power to micromanage our lives.  It is ever so important for the elitists who run our governments to dictate to the Deplorables who are over-populating the world and offending the elitists with their efforts to improve their standard of living, sometimes without the permission of the government elitists.


23 September 2019

More buckets of icy cold energy reality by Paul Driessen

Democrats, Green New Dealers and UN gabfest attendees need to get ‘woke’ on eco-energy

The full-court press is on for climate chaos disaster and renewable energy salvation. CNN recently hosted a seven-hour climate event for Democrat presidential aspirants. Every day brings more gloom-and-doom stories about absurd, often taxpayer-funded pseudo-scientific reports on yet another natural event or supposed calamity that alarmists insist is due to fossil fuels that provide 80% of US and global energy.

MSNBC just hosted another two-day Democrat presidential candidates climate forum at Georgetown University – where I spoke at a contrarian program. Meanwhile, a big Climate March took place in New York City, while protesters tried to block Washington, DC streets. They were all kicking off the UN’s “Global Climate Week” in NYC, featuring a Youth Climate Summit and UN General Assembly event where world leaders will demand “global action” to supposedly stop the supposed climate crisis.

Their standard solution is biofuel, solar, wind and battery power. My recent article dumped buckets of icy cold reality on several of those claims. They obviously need to be doused with a few more icy buckets.

To reiterate: Wind and sunshine are free, renewable, sustainable and eco-friendly. However, the lands and raw materials required for technologies to harness this widely dispersed, intermittent, weather-dependent energy to benefit humanity absolutely are not. In fact, their environmental impacts are monumental.

The Democrat candidates and their supporters want to replace coal and gas backup power plants with batteries, to ensure we have (much more expensive) electricity even when intermittent, weather-dependent wind and sunshine refuse to cooperate with our need for 24/7/365 power for our electricity-based homes, schools, hospitals, factories, businesses, computers, social media and civilization.

So let’s suppose we blanket the United States with enough industrial-scale wind and solar facilities to replace the 3.9 billion megawatt-hours Americans used in 2018 – and we manufacture and install enough king-sized batteries to store sufficient electricity for seven straight windless or sunless days.

We would need something on the order of one billion 100-kilowatt-hour, 1,000-pound lithium and cobalt-based battery packs – similar to what Tesla uses in its electric vehicles. (This does not include the extra battery storage required to charge up the cars, trucks and buses we are supposed to replace with EVs.)

All these batteries would support the millions and millions of Green New Deal solar panels and wind turbines we would have to build and install. They would require prodigious amounts of iron, copper, rare earth metals, concrete and other raw materials. And every one of these batteries, turbines and panels would have to be replaced far more often than coal, gas, nuclear or hydroelectric power plants.

Indeed, what are we going do with all those worn-out and broken-down turbinespanels and batteries? The International Renewable Energy Agency has said disposing of just the worn out solar panels that the UN wants erected around the world by 2050, under the Paris Climate Treaty’s solar energy goals, could result in two times the tonnage of the United States’ total plastic waste in 2017!

So another icy cold reality is this: All this “free, renewable, sustainable, eco-friendly, ethical” energy would require the biggest expansion in mining the world has ever seen. But when was the last time any environmentalist or Democrat supported opening a single US mine? They detest mining.

Which brings us to the dirtiest pseudo-renewable, pseudo-sustainable energy secret of all – the one these folks absolutely do not want to talk about: slave and child labor.

Because of rabid environmentalist opposition, the United States and Europe no longer permit much mining within their borders. They just import minerals – many of them from China and Russia. And the same groups that extol the virtues of wind, solar and battery power are equally opposed to Western mining companies extracting rare earth, lithium, cadmium, cobalt and other minerals almost anywhere on Planet Earth – even under rigorous Western labor, safety, environmental and reclamation rules.

That means those materials are mined and processed in places like Baotou, Inner Mongolia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, mostly under Chinese control. They are dug out and processed by fathers, mothers and children – under horrific, unsafe, inhuman conditions that few of us can even imagine ... under almost nonexistent labor, wage, health, safety and pollution standards.

Those renewable energy, high-tech slaves get a few pennies or dollars a day – while risking cave-ins and being exposed constantly to filthy, toxic, radioactive mud, dust, water and air. The mining and industrial areas become vast toxic wastelands, where nothing grows, and no people or wildlife can live.

For cobalt alone – say UNICEF and Amnesty International – over 40,000 Congolese children, as young as four years old, slave away in mines, from sunrise to sundown, six or even seven days a week. That’s today. Imagine how many will be needed to serve the “ethical green energy utopia.”

Green New Dealers demand sustainable, ethical, human rights-based coffee, sneakers, T-shirts, handbags and diamonds. Absolutely no child labor, sweat shop, or toxic, polluted workplace conditions allowed. But they have little or nothing to say about the Chinese, Russian and other companies that run the horrid operations that provide their wind turbines, solar panels, smart grids – and batteries for their cell phones, Teslas, laptops and backup electrical power.

I’ve never seen them make ethical wind turbines, solar panels and batteries an issue. They’ve never protested outside a Chinese, Russian or Congolese embassy, or corporate headquarters in Beijing, Moscow or Kinshasa. They probably don’t want to get shot or sent to gulags.

And just a few weeks ago, California legislators voted down Assembly Bill 735. The bill simply said California would certify that “zero emission” electric vehicles sold in the state must be free of any materials or components that involve child labor. The issue is complicated, the legislators said. It would be too hard to enforce. It would imperil state climate goals. And besides, lots of other industries also use child labor ... they “explained.”

As Milton Friedman said, there is no free lunch. Wind, solar, biofuel and battery power are not free, clean, green, renewable or sustainable. America must not let delusion, dishonesty and ideology drive public policies that will determine our future jobs, prosperity, living standards, freedoms and civilization.

What Green New Dealers are talking about has nothing to do with stopping dangerous manmade climate change – or with real sustainability, resource conservation or environmental protection. It has everything to do with increasingly socialist, largely taxpayer-financed activists, politicians, regulators and crony capitalists controlling people’s lives; dictating our energy use, economic growth, job opportunities and living standards; and getting richer, more powerful and more privileged in the process.

Meanwhile poor, minority and working class families – pay the price. And destitute families in hungry, impoverished, electricity-deprived nations pay the highest price. China, India, Indonesia and Africa are not about to give up their determined efforts to take their rightful, God-given places among Earth’s healthy and prosperous people. They are not going to stop using fossil fuels to reach their goals.

They are not going to let anyone – including the UN, EU, US Democrats and other eco-imperialists – tell them they can never enjoy those blessings. Or they will be “allowed” to improve their health and living standards only at the margins, only to levels achievable with wind, solar and cow dung power.

That’s why, even as the United States reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by 12% between 2000 and 2017 – India’s plant-fertilizing CO2 emissions soared by 140% and China’s skyrocketed 194% – further greening Planet Earth. In 2019 alone, China alone will add more coal-fired generating capacity than what all existing US coal-fired power plants generate.

While all these countries continue using more and more fossil fuels to improve their economies, health and living standards – why in heaven’s name would the United States want to join Green New Dealers and other crazies in an environment-destroying ban-fossil-fuels economic suicide pact?

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of books and articles on energy, climate, environmental and human rights issues.

12 September 2019

Calculating the Angular Dependence of Planar Radiation Upon a Sphere

The incidence of planar radiation upon a sphere, such as that from the sun upon the Earth, is an important calculation for climate science, so I am going to demonstrate that calculation.  This post repeats the previous post content, but adds graphs of properties as a function of surface normal angles of the sphere.


Let the amplitude of the planar radiation be P0, which is commonly expressed as W/m2.   The incident radiation on the sphere surface normal to the planar radiation will have an intensity of P0.  As one examines a unit surface area of the sphere which is non-normal to the planar wave of radiation, the unit area of the sphere intercepts less and less of the planar radiation the greater the surface normal angle is with respect to the direction of the plane wave.  Let us call the angle from the center of the sphere to the point on the surface upon which the planar wave has normal incidence and the surface annulus of points equidistance from the normal incidence point θ.  The surface of the hemisphere facing the planar radiation then consists of a normal point and a series of annuli, one for each Δθ that we choose.  The annuli have increasing radii perpendicular to the planar wave of radiation.  The angle θ to describe these annuli varies from 0 to π/2 radians or 90̊.  We will use the radian units.  Let the radius of the sphere be R.
Each annulus has a circumference of 2πR sin θ and it intercepts an annulus of the planar radiation wave with the same circumference, but with a narrower width than the annulus on the sphere surface has for θ > 0.  The width of the planar wave annulus that projects onto the sphere surface is given by Δθ R cos θ.  Thus, at angle θ the area of the plane wave of radiation intercepted by the sphere at angle θ, is
AI (θ) = 2πR2 sin θ cos θ Δθ
Integrating over the range from 0 to π/2 for θ, we find the area of the planar wave of radiation which is intercepted by the sphere.  The integral is
AI = 2πR2 ∫0π/2 sin θ cos θ dθ
The value of the integral is ½ sin2θ, which for these limits of integration yields a value of  ½.  Consequently, we have an obvious result that
AI = πR2
which helps to confirm that we have AI (θ) right. The total incident planar wave power on the sphere (all on one hemisphere) is then
IT = P0 AI = πR2 P0
The total area of the sphere, AS, is 4πR2, so we can rewrite this as
IT = (1/4) ASP0
Averaging over the entire area of the sphere, the total incident plane wave intensity average per unit area is then P0/4.

Let us examine the intensity of radiation on equal areas of the sphere surface now.  The first area is a circle on the sphere whose surface normal is perpendicular to the wave front and whose area is given by 


π ( R sin θ0 )2

The irradiance of this area is P0 times this area, so finding the irradiance per unit area means we divide by the area of this circle and arrive at P0.  To normalize this to one, we further divide by P0. to make the result more universal for any radiant power.

The subsequent total irradiance values are those of the annuli, which are given by AI (θ).  To find the irradiance per unit area on the annuli surface of the sphere for comparison with the irradiance per unit area on the normal facing circle, the AI (θ) values are all divided by the circumference of the annuli times the width of the annuli, so the per unit area relative irradiance values to compare with that of the center circle normal to the radiation wavefront are:

(2πR2 sin θ cos θ Δθ) / (2πRsin θ)( R Δθ) = cos θ


If we make the inner circle sized to have an arc of 1̊ or  π/180, then θ0 = 0.5̊.  Using a step size of   each annulus will subsume an arc of π/180, then we have the normalized irradiance per unit surface area on the sphere for θ shown in the plot below:





Let us now plot the total irradiance of the sphere as a function of the angle between the wave front and the sphere surface normal.  This is just

AI (θ) = 2πR2 sin θ cos θ Δθ,


where πR2 is just the intercepted area of the plane wavefront.  So to keep this a generalized function for any sphere radius R, we will divide AI (θ) by πR2.  Recall that the integral of the product sin θ cos θ over the range of angles from 0̊ to 90̊ is ½, so the integral of AI (θ) / πR2 over this range is 1.  What this means is that AI (θ) / πR2 is the fraction of the total incident radiation on the sphere at the surface normal angles θ.  This fraction of the radiation incident on the sphere for θ is plotted below using a 1̊ step size (The sum of the fractions of the incident radiation is 0.999898506, which is pretty close to 1.):





The total radiation incident upon the sphere maximizes at 45̊ even though the radiation density is greatest at 0̊.  This is because the circular area with a 1̊ arc at 0̊ is very small and the area of the annuli for larger angles gets larger and larger as θ increases, even as the radiation density decreases.


09 September 2019

Calculating the Cross Section of Planar Radiation Upon a Sphere and Finding the Average Radiation Intensity Over the Sphere


The incidence of planar radiation upon a sphere, such as that from the sun upon the Earth, is an important calculation for climate science, so I am going to demonstrate that calculation.  Some people have doubts about the common claim that the average incident intensity of solar insolation upon the Earth per unit area is one-quarter of the radiation intensity at that part of the Earth where the surface is at normal incidence to the solar radiation.
Let the amplitude of the planar radiation be P0, which is commonly expressed as W/m2.   The incident radiation on the sphere surface normal to the planar radiation will have an intensity of P0.  As one examines a unit surface are of the sphere which is non-normal to the planar wave of radiation, the unit area of the sphere intercepts less and less of the planar radiation the greater the surface normal angle is with respect to the direction of the plane wave.  Let us call the angle from the center of the sphere to the point on the surface upon which the planar wave has normal incidence and the surface annulus of points equidistance from the normal incidence point θ.  The surface of the hemisphere facing the planar radiation then consists of a normal point and a series of annuli, one for each Δθ that we choose.  The annuli have increasing radii perpendicular to the planar wave of radiation.  The angle θ to describe these annuli varies from 0 to π/2 radians or 90̊.  We will use the radian units.  Let the radius of the sphere be R.
Each annulus has a circumference of 2πR sin θ and it intercepts an annulus of the planar radiation wave with the same circumference, but with a narrower width than the annulus on the sphere surface has for θ > 0.  The width of the planar wave annulus that projects onto the sphere surface is given by Δθ R cos θ.  Thus, at angle θ the area of the plane wave of radiation intercepted by the sphere at angle θ, is
AI (θ) = 2πR2 sin θ cos θ Δθ
Integrating over the range from 0 to π/2 for θ, we find the area of the planar wave of radiation which is intercepted by the sphere.  The integral is
AI = 2πR20π/2 sin θ cos θ dθ
The value of the integral is ½ sin2θ, which for these limits of integration is ½.  Consequently,
AI = πR2
The total incident planar wave intensity on the sphere (all on one hemisphere) is then
PT = P0 AI = πR2 P0
The total area of the sphere, AS, is 4πR2, so we can rewrite this as
PT = (1/4) ASP0
Averaging over the entire area of the sphere, the total incident plane wave intensity average per unit area is then P0/4.

07 September 2019

There is NO climate emergency! by Dr. Jay Lehr and Tom Harris

There is NO climate emergency!
Climate models predict disaster – but real world evidence shows no such thing
Dr. Jay Lehr & Tom Harris
Speaking at the 13th International Conference on Climate Change, held July 25 in Washington, DC, Dr. Roy W. Spencer of the University of Alabama in Huntsville said: “There is no climate crisis. Even if all the warming we’ve seen in any observational dataset is due to increasing CO2 (carbon dioxide), which I don’t believe it is, it’s probably too small for any person to feel in their lifetime.”
And yet, that same month, Democrat Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Earl Blumenauer and Democrat Senator Bernie Sanders introduced a non-binding resolution that demands a “national, social, industrial and economic mobilization” – to “halt, reverse, mitigate and prepare for the consequences of the climate emergency, and to restore the climate for future generations.” Six Democrat presidential candidates immediately supported the resolution, as a way to spur “sweeping reforms” to stem a “dangerous rise in global temperatures.”
In their view, apparently, asserting a climate emergency makes it a reality and justifies national or even global control and transformation of our energy, social, industrial, economic, legal and social systems.
Thus, in an effort to drum up support for its costly “carbon tax,” the Liberal government of Canada has also declared a climate emergency. So has Britain’s Parliament, to back up a call by opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn for “rapid and dramatic action” to protect the environment , following weeks of protests by the Extinction Rebellion climate movement, the Reuters News Agency reported.
The Climate Mobilization group proclaimed that “Over 790 local governments in 17 countries have declared a climate emergency and committed to action to drive down emissions at emergency speed.”
In considering whether this makes any sense, let’s take a page out of Blumenauer’s book and, as he put it, “tell the truth about the nature of this threat.”
The so-called emergency is based on nothing but the over-active imaginations of activists who put too much faith in computer model forecasts, while ignoring historic records and observational data that tell us nothing extraordinary or unprecedented is happening – and demonstrate that the models are wrong.
NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies asserts that between 1880 and 2017 there has been only slightly more than 1 degree C (1.8 F) rise in the so-called global average temperature, despite a supposed 40% rise in atmospheric CO2 concentration. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) database of state-wide extreme weather records, arguably the best of its kind in the world, shows that so far in 2019 only one weather record has been set: the lowest temperature in Illinois history.
In 2018, the only records set were: the largest hailstone in Alabama history; the most rainfall in a 24-hour period in Hawaii; and the most precipitation in one year in Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina and West Virginia. Many of these records broke, sometimes barely, records that had stood for many decades. 
In 2017, the only record set was for the fastest wind gust in California. No records were set in 2016. In 2015, only two records: the most precipitation in a year in Arkansas and the largest hailstone in Illinois history. In 2014, only one record: the most rainfall in a 24-hour period in New York.
And so it goes, year after year, as we move into the past with the occasional state record set, as one would expect due to natural climate variability. In the first 18+ years of the 21st century, only two states recorded their maximum temperatures: South Carolina in 2012 and South Dakota in 2006. Contrast that with 1936, when 15 states set their all-time maximum temperature records.
Meanwhile, NOAA’s updated coastal sea level tide gauge data for 2016 show no evidence that the rate of sea level rise is accelerating. Seas are rising no faster than they have for many decades.
NOAA’s hurricane records go back to 1851. The data show that for almost 12 consecutive years – October 24, 2005 (after Wilma) until August 25, 2017 (Harvey) – not one major or moderate (Category 3-5) hurricane made landfall in the continental United States. That is the longest such period in history. In 2018, for the first time ever, not one “violent” (F4-5) tornado touched down in the United States.
To the great frustration of climate alarmists, the real-world instrumental record clearly shows that, not only is no climate emergency underway, but today’s climate is actually quite stable. Aside from the drive for world socialism, the climate scare is based on only one thing: computer model forecasts of what some say could happen someday if we do not restrict our use of fossil fuels to reduce CO2 emissions.
However, the models do not work. That’s because they focus predominantly on greenhouse gases, and because scientists do not understand planetary climate processes well enough to know what mathematical equations to program into the models. Observations demonstrate that the actual rate of warming between 1979 and 2017 is one-third of what the average of 102 different climate models predicted. In fact, that climate model average is now almost one full degree Fahrenheit above what satellites have measured!
It is also important to realize that your own local weather forecasts just one week ahead are accurate only half the time. Let’s drill a bit deeper into this scandal.
For the better part of three decades, governments have financed more than one hundred efforts to model our planet. They continue to do so even though none of the models has been able to recreate (hindcast) the known past, or after a decade of study accurately predict what was to happen just ten years later.
People are led astray, because generally speaking, the public has no clue what mathematical models actually are, how they work, and what they can and cannot do. To provide a simple insight into this complex subject, before we build airplanes or buildings, we make small scale physical models and test them against the stress and performances that will be required of them when they are actually built.
When dealing with systems that are totally beyond our control, we try to describe them with computer programs or mathematical equations that we hope may give answers to questions we have about how the system works today and in the future. We attempt to understand the variables that affect the system’s operation. Then we alter the variables and see how the outcomes are affected. This is called sensitivity testing and is the very best use of mathematical models.
Historically, we were never foolish enough to make economic decisions based on predictions calculated from equations we think might control how nature works. Perhaps the most active area for mathematical modeling is the economy and stock market. No one has ever succeeded in getting it right, and they have far fewer variables than Earth’s climate, which is governed by many powerful natural forces.
Yet, today, in the climate sphere, we are doing just that – and using the models to justify massive changes in our energy and economic systems. While no one knows all the variables affecting climate, there are likely hundreds of them. Here are some important factors for which we have limited understanding:
1) seasonal, annual and decadal changes in solar irradiation; 2) energy flows between the ocean and atmosphere; 3) energy flows between the air and land; 4) balance between Earth’s water, water vapor and ice; 5) the impacts of clouds, both trapping heat below and preventing solar radiation from reaching Earth; 6) understanding the planet’s ice; 7) changes in mass among ice sheets, seal levels and glaciers; 8) our ability to factor in hurricanes and tornadoes; 9) the impact of vegetation on temperature; 10) tectonic movements on ocean bottoms; 11) differential rotation between Earth’s surface and its core; and 12) solar system magnetic field and gravitational interactions.
Despite this vast uncertainty, today’s modelers claim they can forecast our planet’s climate for decades or even a century in the future – by looking primarily or solely at “greenhouse gases.” And they want our leaders to manage our energy, economic, agricultural, transportation and other systems accordingly.
Yes, there is a climate-related emergency. It is the threat to our way of life in the free democratic world – imposed on us by climate alarmists, many of whom do not really care about climate change, people or the environment. It is an assault no less frightening and damaging than the wars that have plagued mankind since the dawn of time. It’s time for people and governments to stand up to the power-hungry alarmists.
Dr. Jay Lehr is Senior Policy Advisor with of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC) and former Science Director of The Heartland Institute, in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Tom Harris is Executive Director of ICSC and a policy advisor to Heartland.    

04 September 2019

The Wages of Progressive Elitist Political Sins in California

Progressive elitist political sins have very real consequences.  It is often said that California leads the nation in trends such as progressive elitism.  It is certainly the intent of many of the major Internet media companies based in California, such as Google and Facebook, to lead America into a socialist future.  The California Budget and Policy Center has compiled the data on low wage, mid wage, and high wage workers in California for the last 40 years.  The eye-opening inflation-adjusted, real wages are plotted below:


Apparently, progressive elitist policies only work for elitists and only hurt those the elitists claim they are trying to help.  Over 40 years, low wage workers in California were mostly worse off than they were in 1979 and only the recent expansion of the economy has managed to bring them to a very slight improvement over 1979 of 4%.  Mid wage earners have been very nearly flat in earnings per hour over this entire 40 year period.  The upper 10% of wage earners have done comparatively OK under California progressivism with a 43% real increase, though even this is only a 1.075% increase per year.

In comparison, the national real median personal income is:


Nationwide, real median personal income went up by 39% from 1979 to 2016 and it went up further in 2017.  This median national real income is not on a per hour basis, as is the data above on California workers.  However, in 1980 the average worker worked 38.1 hours a week and now the average worker works 34.4 hours/week, so one could multiply the gains in the national median income by about 1.1 for a comparison with the CA data above, though I am not doing that in the subsequent numbers I discuss.  If the national median personal income data excluded the population of California, whose population is about 12% that of the entire U.S., the increase would have been greater.  In fact, with some simple algebra one calculates that the median non-California worker's real income increased by about 44%, which means that outside of California, median income workers did as well as the top 10% of California workers did over the 40 years since 1979.  And that despite the fact that real incomes in many other states have also been held hostage to the sins of progressive elitist politics.

The wages of California progressive political sins are even worse than is suggested by this data.  The inflation adjustment on California worker wages is a national inflation rate, not a California cost of living adjustment.  California progressive politics has caused housing costs to soar.  Their regulatory state has caused costs on many businesses to soar as well and these costs have to be passed on to the people living in California.  State taxes are high.  The cost of living in California is about 13.4% above the national average, or about 15.2% above the national cost of living excluding California.

The California practice of suppressing individual rights has bad consequences for more than one's economic well-being, but the economics of it are bad enough.  Once again, I will remind my readers that economic growth rates are like interest rates, as they go up they have a most remarkable compounding effect on the size of the economy.  A rapidly growing economy makes a very much bigger pie to benefit everyone over a 40 year period, which is the time that most Americans have to look forward to before they die.  Many of us have even longer time-horizons for our concerns, since we have children and grandchildren we love and want to see flourish in freedom, prosperity, and security.

My youngest granddaughter just celebrated her first birthday.  If the national economy grows at a rate of 3% a year for the next 90 years, it will be 14.3 times as big as it is today.  Such growth rates are very achievable, if our governments do not excessively interfere with the private sector.  A 2% growth rate for 90 years yields an economy only 5.9 times its present size.  I expect the 14.3 times larger economy will have much more to offer my granddaughter as her life comes to a close than will an economy 5.9 times larger.  It might even offer her many more years of enjoyable life.  Of course, a real Progressive Elitist government outcome could be a negative growth rate or a 1% growth rate, where the latter economy in 90 years would be only 2.4 times the size of the present economy.


02 September 2019

Hiding the Warm Past to Build Climate Alarmism

Tony Heller at Real Climate Science has provided another interesting post on how NASA GISS makes a practice of hiding the warm past to build the case for climate alarmism.  Here is how NASA GISS has massaged the data over time to leave out earlier, warmer parts of the climate record, cool the more distant past data with adjustments (fudges), and warm the recent past (despite increased urban heat island effects):


It is not the measurements that count, it is the result you want that counts at NASA.  This adulteration of governmental records should land these people in prison, as a reader, Tom Anderson, has pointed out in his comments from time to time.

Some might argue that the temperature data has not been accurate and it needs various corrections.  If corrections of this size are actually needed, then the data is simply not useful for the purpose of making decisions about the spending of hundreds of billions of dollars or tens of trillions of dollars and for the purposes of deciding which industries will be murdered and which will be subsidized.  I would argue that the corrections made are more likely to be of the opposite sign than the reality  of man-made effects on the local temperatures around weather stations justifies.


18 August 2019

The Washington Post Again Falsely Trumpets Global Warming Alarm

The August 14, 2019 Washington Post had a front page, above the fold article which continues to fill the entirety of pages A10 and A11:


This article is also posted on-line here:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/national/climate-environment/climate-change-america/?noredirect=on

There is a salient bias exhibited here.  The temperature change is measured from 1895 to 2018.  Why is 1895 the starting time for that measurement?  Because 1895 was a very cold year.  Let us examine the average US temperature plot below by Statistica:


The average temperature in 1895 was 50.34⁰F and in 2018 it was 53.53⁰F, so the temperature difference was 3.19⁰F or 1.77⁰C.  Had the Washington Post chosen to start the comparison in 1900 when the average US temperature was 52.77⁰F, then the increase in average temperature from then to 2018 would be 0.76⁰F or 0.42⁰C.  Now no one seriously believes that man-made global warming caused 1900 to be 2.43⁰F or 1.35⁰C warmer than 1895.  So, a change of weather, not a change of climate was the likely cause of this substantial difference in temperature over a 5 year period.  But this 5-year change is 67.5% of the 2⁰C temperature change that the Washington Post, on the authority of the UN, is claiming is a critically disastrous temperature increase.  The choice of a particularly cold starting point for a comparison of temperatures is a common trick of the alarmist game-plan.

The warmest spots on the map from the Washington Post article are about 3⁰C warmer relative to 1895.  Subtract the 1.35⁰C difference in the average temperatures to shift to a 1900 starting point in time and there are no spots in the U.S. with a 2⁰C increase relative to 1900.

There is a second interesting problem which is revealed by the map itself.  Carbon dioxide is always said to be a well-mixed atmospheric gas by the catastrophic man-made global warming crowd.  While it actually is not as well-mixed as they represent it to be, its variations are nonetheless gradual and spread over large areas.  Yet, the hot spots in the Washington Post U.S. map are in very much smaller sized areas.  If the warmer areas are warmer due to an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide, then those areas should be of much larger dimensions than those of the map.  The strong temperature differences in the map are much too localized and suggest that they are due to chaotic weather differences, not real climate differences.

Further examination of the U.S. temperature change map shows a large area in the Southeastern U.S. where the temperature has actually cooled since 1895 as shown in the light green color.  If one maintains that the warming of 3⁰C in some small areas is due to an increased carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere since 1895, then isn't the near 1⁰C cooling in the Southeastern U.S. also due to that same increase in carbon dioxide?  The larger area and more gradual changes in the cooled area is a better match for the somewhat well-mixed carbon dioxide gas in the atmosphere.  There actually are cooling effects due to carbon dioxide as I have many times pointed out in prior articles.  Those who have greatly exaggerated the warming effect of CO₂, claim the cooling effects are insignificant.  Remove the exaggeration of the warming effect and the several cooling effects are not so trivial and many of them are not saturating or saturating as rapidly with increased atmospheric carbon dioxide as is the warming effect.  I am not actually claiming that the cooling in the Southeast is due to carbon dioxide.  It is unlikely that it is.  However, if you are in the business of assuming that the temperature change since 1895 is due to carbon dioxide, then you ought to consider its cooling effects also.

Some of the hottest areas are near our two largest metropolitan areas, New York City and Los Angeles.  Perhaps these areas have warmed due to the urban heat island effect since 1895?  Virtually all the growth of population in southern California and in Arizona around Phoenix has occurred since 1895, undoubtedly contributing to that major hot spot in the Washington Post temperature map.  The article is full of stories about the warming of the state of New Jersey.  Averaging the population of that state from the 1890 and 1900 U.S. Census results to estimate the 1895 population, the 1895 population was about 1,660,000 people.  With the advent of automobiles, it became possible for people working in New York City and in Philadelphia to live in New Jersey, so those metropolitan areas expanded far into New Jersey.  The population of New Jersey in the 2015 estimate is 8,958,000, which is a increase by a factor of about 5.4 times compared to the 1895 population.  There are extensive urban heat island effects in New Jersey as a result.  The article bewails the fact that the only state in the contiguous 48 states with an average temperature increase above 2⁰C is little Rhode Island.  Its population in 1895 was about 387,000 people, which by 2015 has increased to about 1,056,300.  This factor of 2.7 increase in population in this high population density state has most likely also been accompanied by a significant urban heat island effect.  The warmer area around Miami is another area affected by a very large population increase since 1895.

Many of the areas showing the larger increases in temperature are also low population areas such as that on the California - Oregon border and southeastern Oregon, the area on the Utah - Colorado border, most of Maine, and the stretch across northern Michigan, northern Minnesota, most of North Dakota, and northern Montana.  An examination of the number and quality of weather stations in these areas used to generate this data might turn up interesting results.  Could it be the case that these high temperature areas are largely projections of temperatures outside these areas?  In any case, since the population density is low in these areas, any affects on humans is also likely to be low.  These are not particularly warm areas in the first place, so any warming that does occur is quite likely to be welcome.

Outside of the warmer areas of the Southwest and a small area around Miami, most of the areas showing the most warming since 1895 are rather cool parts of the U.S.  Given that Americans are much inclined to take vacations in warmer climes during the winters from such areas as the Northeast whose warmer winters since 1895 are much decried in the Washington Post article, it is hard to see the warming of such cooler parts of the U.S. as a general disaster.  People upon retirement still move to much warmer parts of the U.S. such as Florida and Arizona.  Apparently, they rather like warmth, however the Washington Post may pretend that warmth is a catastrophe.

Yes, it may be true, as lamented in the article, that ice cannot be cut from northern New Jersey lakes as it used to be for ice boxes, but then again we now have refrigerators. If we did not have refrigerators, the disappearance of that northern New Jersey ice might be a disaster.  Perhaps the Washington Post wants us to lose the use of electricity and to force us to return to the use of ice boxes as a result. In that context, it is a disaster that this return to primitivism in the name of radical environmentalism may be harder to accomplish.  This is not one of my goals and I do not believe it is a goal of most Americans either.

I have carried out the above discussion generally accepting the temperature record data provided by the Washington Post article.  However, the thermometer temperature data of 1895 and of 1900 has been heavily adjusted downward and recent data has been heavily adjusted upward by NASA GISS.  The U.S. temperature data given below is based on the USHCN2 historical network, which adjusts recent thermometer readings upwards by a substantial amount before releasing the data to the public.  Here is a comparison of the high and low daily temperature results for the measured or unadjusted data compared to the adjusted data, as discovered by Tony Heller in a 2010 post on Real Science:


The fact that this data cuts off about a decade earlier than 2018, makes little difference, since the temperature has changed very little in the last decade.  More of the country has cooled both at night and during the day since 1895 than has warmed according to the unadjusted measurement data. Parts of the Northeast have still warmed, as has much of the Southwest, including southern California.  There is some warming along the Utah - Colorado border, parts of northern Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Montana.  But most of the Southeast, the Midwest, and the Central and Southern Plains states have cooled.  Nighttime temperatures have cooled less and warmed more than daytime temperatures, which is generally a good thing in that the daily temperature differential is slightly decreased.

This Washington Post article by four of their radical Climate Change writers, is an excellent lesson in the massive dishonesty of the catastrophic man-made global warming alarmist faction.  There is no attempt to distinguish the general warming of the post Little Ice Age period from any real effects that might be caused by increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.  There is nothing but assumption that the official data warming since the particularly cold year of 1895 has been due to man's use of organic fuels.  They are most insistent that mankind should feel a strong, collective sense of guilt that it is destroying the Earth and the future of mankind.  This is baloney.  It is moldy, rotten baloney.

It is a very sad observation that so many Americans actually believe in this irrational nonsense.  It is even sadder that every scientist in the nation is not working hard to reveal this con game.  Quite a few of them are on the take and many of them are intimidated by the lockstep socialism, political correctness, and radical environmentalism of our academic institutions and most of our information media.