As you probably know, the IRS recently apologized for targeting organizations with names including “patriot” and “tea party” for tax audits and tax-exempt application delays prior to the 2012 election.
In response to that, on Tuesday, May 21 during the noon hour, the Whatcom Tea Party held a rally at the corner of Cornwall and West Magnolia.
Lining all four corners of the intersection, protesters held signs that said, "IRS Apology Not Accepted", "End IRS Corruption", "Stop IRS Political Discrimination", "Enemies Lists Are So 1970's", "Now, Just Taxes. Next, Just Health Care", "We Warned You About Things Like This", "We the People..." and more.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but the kind of government corruption that the IRS is guilty of, really is what the tea parties have been warning us about. At the same time the IRS story was breaking, President Obama was telling Ohio State University graduates,
Unfortunately, you've grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that's at the root of all our problems. Some of these same voices also do their best to gum up the works. They'll warn that tyranny always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices.
A bushel of Pinocchios for IRS’s Lois Lerner
In the days since the Internal Revenue Service first disclosed that it had targeted conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, new information has emerged from both the Treasury inspector general’s report and congressional testimony Friday that calls into question key statements made by Lois G. Lerner, the IRS’s director of the exempt organizations division.
The clumsy way the IRS disclosed the issue, as well as Lerner’s press briefing by phone, were seen at the time as a public relations disaster. But even so, it is worth reviewing three key statements made by Lerner and comparing them to the facts that have since emerged. (Continue reading...)
If the current scandalabra that we're seeing in Washington D.C., doesn't give us pause to question authority, and to be wary of tyranny, then what the hell does?
Update: Offer Expired!
The comment period has closed. Let's hope the BNR at the DNR do the right thing, and listen to the voices of citizens about the importance of this state-managed property.
The Lake Whatcom Reconveyance will remove 8,800+ acres of land from timber harvest rotation that the Department of Natural Resources has used to support schools, county government, the port, other taxing entities and the Whatcom County timber industry. The Growth Management Hearings Board has been asked by a citizen named Jack Petree to determine whether the Whatcom County Council violated the Growth Management Act in requesting this reconveyance. (Read more at News About The Reconveyance Challenge...) Zoning is a part of the issue.But the heart of Petree's concern is that active forestry as a resource should be protected just like agriculture is supposed to be protected
under the GMA (growth management act). And, the DNR has a duty to keep forest resources productive.You still have a last-minute chance to write to the Board of Natural Resources
in Olympia to ask the board to hold off on their decision in early June about the Lake Whatcom Reconveyance until the Hearings Board has had a chance to make a decision.
The cutoff date is Friday, May 17 for any letters, emails or calls to the BNR.
WE encourage readers who want to see active forestry continue to send an email
right now. The Board of Natural Resources should wait for the Hearings Board to consider case 13-2-0016.
While the Whatcom Land Trust has always claimed that to have no financial motivation or interest in the outcome of this case, it's filed to intervene and be a party
in the Hearings Board case. Surprised? WE aren't.NEWS: Now foresters have become involved
. This blog
just reported that "Tom Westergreen, Richard Whitmore, and the A.L.R.T. corporation (a timber harvesting firm) have lawyered up and challenged the reconveyance. The Hearings Board has consolidated the Petree challenge and the new challenge so, a new timeline is established."
This is not a "right wing - left wing" issue. Active recreation supporters have questioned this too. See this extremely good letter
that was posted at the Whatcom Watchdog
It's important that this resource protection issue should be sorted before the state BNR makes its decision. Ask them to wait.
Here is the contact information:Board of Natural Resources
1111 Washington St. SE
PO Box 47001
Olympia, WA email@example.com
Fax: 360-902-1775Today is your last chance
to contact the DNR with your concerns!
Those of you who have been following the saga of Dr. Easterbrook
on these pages might be interested in where this has gone since the last time WE spoke.
Dr. Donald Easterbrook was interviewed along with Gordon Fulks with Kim Greenhouse on May 6, 2013
for a podcast (audio
) called Data, Dogma and Discovery
. Dr. E. says: I always end each of my talks with a thought that comes from Patricia Wentworth who was an author in 1949. So this is a quote of hers, and not originally mine. And the quote is that, "Dogma is an impediment to the free exercise of thought. It paralyzes the intelligence. Conclusions based upon preconceived ideas are valueless. It is only the open mind that really thinks.”
WWU faculty continue attack on Easterbrook
posted at Icecap
After a vicious character assassination attack on Dr. Don Easterbrook by the Geology Dept at Western Washington University (WWU) following his testimony at a Washington State Senate hearing, the attack continues this week from other WWU faculty (May 8 article at the Herald).
In the latest attack, John Hardy, a retired professor of Huxley Environmental College at WWU characterizes the Easterbroook data as “selective half-truths chosen to support a pre-conceived idea, i.e. that humans are not having significant effects on the Earth's climate.”
Hardy states: “yes it is true that there have been multiple periods of warning over the past 10,000 to 15,000 years (since the last ice age). And, yes, at times it was warmer than the present. Yes, this happened before the rise in atmospheric carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuel. What the author fails to explain (but surely knows) is that these warming periods are largely the natural result of the Milankovich Cycle, i.e. changes in the orbital configuration and distance between the Earth and sun that determines how much solar energy and consequent heat the Earth receives.” Two things are apparent in this statement: (1) Harding doesn’t understand the basis for Milankovitch cycles—they involve much more than the distance between the Earth and sun, and (2) he didn’t look at Easterbrook’s data (see below). Milankovitch cycles are very, very slow, taking tens of thousands of years and could not possibly be responsible for the sudden, abrupt climate shifts of 20-30 years shown in Easterbrook’s data.
Figure 1. Two periods of global warming this century.
Figure 2. Twenty periods of warming in the past 500 years
Figure 1 shows two periods of 20-30 year global warming this century, separated by a 30 year cool period. The first warming period (1915-1945) occurring before CO2 emissions began to soar after 1945 so it cannot have been caused by rising CO2. From 1945 to 1977, while CO2 emissions were soaring, the climate cooled, just the opposite of what should have happened if CO2 causes global warming. Thus, CO2 has little or no effect on climate.
Figure 2 shows 20 periods of global warming, each averaging 27 years, in the past 5 centuries. All of these occurred prior to significant increase in CO2 so could not possibly have been caused by CO2. Nor could they have been caused by Milankovitch cycles, which take many thousands of years. Thus, Harding’s conclusion is demonstrably false.
Harding states: “Past global temperature variations are also related to natural variations in atmospheric carbon dioxide. Global temperature rose five degrees Celsius 56 million years ago in response to a massive injection of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere from volcanic activity.” Temperatures were indeed warmer 56 million years ago, but there has never been any evidence to support the idea that they were due to increased CO2 from volcanic activity. Volcanic eruptions typically cause global cooling, not warming, and last only a few years. The Eocene warm period lasted for tens of millions of years so could not be due volcanic eruptions.
Harding states: “Today, burning of fossil fuel is releasing greenhouse gases to the atmosphere at 10 times that rate. Indeed, it is the speed of today's human-caused temperature increase that is more troubling than the absolute magnitude, because adjusting to rapid climate change will be difficult. For example, the natural warming since the last ice age 18,000 years ago to about 1850 (the beginning of the industrial revolution) was about 5 degrees Fahrenheit or less than 0.0003 degrees per year. The average global temperature increase from 1850 until now has been almost 2 degrees Fahrenheit, or 0.0122 degrees per year - a rate 41 times faster than the pre-industrial warming.” This statement is truly astonishing! Harding apparently (1) did not look at the Easterbrook data (see Fig. 3 below) and (2) apparently knows nothing about temperatures since the last Ice Age.
Figure 3. Temperatures from Greenland ice cores.
From 18,000 to about 10,000 years ago, temperatures warmed and cooled as much as 20 °F in a single century. Virtually all of the warming from the last Ice Age to recent times occurred abruptly in a very short period of time about 10,000 years ago at rates of tens of degrees per century. It didn’t rise slowly over 18,000 years and to calculate an average over that whole period would not even be considered by any real scientist! Thus, Hardy’s conclusion that temperatures over that time period rose “less than 0.0003 degrees per year” is totally absurd. And to conclude that warming since 1850 has occurred at “a rate 41 times faster than the pre-industrial warming” is so ridiculous (just look at Fig. 3) that it is hard to imagine any real scientist reaching such a conclusion
Harding states that temperature records for Bellingham show that average February temperatures rose 5 °F from the 1920s to the 1990s. This number is highly suspect since the 1930s were warmer than the past decade and the temperature change is therefore much smaller.
Harding states: “Dr. Easterbook correctly notes that carbon dioxide makes up only a small percentage of our atmosphere. This does not mean it is irrelevant, in fact it shows just how powerful a greenhouse gas it is.” CO2 makes up only 0.039% of the atmosphere, has increased only 0.008% during the most recent period of warming, and accounts for only 3.5% of the greenhouse gas effect. To conclude that this proves “just how powerful a greenhouse gas it is” can only be arrived at by first assuming CO2 is the cause of warming. Since we know that CO2 cannot cause more than about 0.1 degree of warming, that assumption is not plausible and his conclusion is meaningless.
Harding states that CO2 “has increased by 37 percent since the beginning of the industrial revolution.” But that is meaningless--if you double nothing, you still have nothing! But even more important, water vapor accounts for about 95% of the greenhouse effect and in order to make their climate models work, computer modelers include a large water vapor factor based on the assumption that water vapor increases in lock step with rising CO2. Harding claims that water vapor “is now increasing due to increased ocean evaporation from the warming itself.” But is this really true? Figure 4 (below) shows atmospheric water vapor since 1948 at various level of the atmosphere and water vapor is not only not increasing, it is actually declining, thus making all of the model predictions worthless.
Figure 4. Atmospheric water vapor since 1948.
Harding states that "The probability that the level of coherence between.CO2 concentration and temperature is due to chance alone is about 2 out of 1 million." In other words, he claims that there is good correlation between temperature and CO2 and that the odds of that being coincidence is only 2 out of 1 million. But is there really a good correlation between CO2 and temperature? Figure 5 shows that there is no correlation at all between CO2 and temperature! One wonders how any person calling himself a scientist could construe otherwise!
What we can conclude about all of this is that this could have been a real discussion of climate issues, but Harding’s article contains no data and all of his unsupported assertions are contradicted by Easterbrook’s data. (See more stories at Icecap)
... so, the battle continues.
Unfortunately, it seems the real battle is between truth (data and discovery) v. dogma. Will the truth out? Over time, it must.Bonus: A scholarly reader - a physics professor emeritus in Massachusetts - just submitted this link to an article by Will Happer and Harrison Schmidt. The prof noted, "I have the highest respect for Happer. In the '90's he was fired from his science post by none other than Al Gore because he (Happer) insisted on better measurements of CO2 than those taken at airports."
Here is a video about a county in Oregon that's so cash-strapped there's not enough money for law enforcement anymore. Citizen volunteers have stepped up to fill the void -- with "Citizens Against Crime" handling theft cases and patrolling their roads and neighborhoods. These are not "vigilantes" but law-abiding citizens protecting themselves from crime and chaos.
This government has been forced to cut back severely on one of its most central duties.
Watch this short video, and learn firsthand why the Oregon county bumbled into their predicament:
Spoiler alert: Josephine County is broke because the BLM and environmentalists shut down local logging (a major part of the local economy, and a source of county government revenue), and now the citizens have to perform a critical government service by themselves because their government is broke
. Read more about the story by clicking here
, and here
. The county tried to raise taxes, but with less work the people couldn't afford it and voted no. Whatcom County's just decided to give up over 8,800 acres of productive DNR timberland for a park, even though it's finances are often in crisis. Wages have been frozen for quite a while, furloughs and basic services are cut while planning, trail and park spending grows steadily.Law enforcement is a legitimate and necessary government function. Environmental protection has been over-prioritized to criminalize normal human activities at a tremendous cost to individuals and the collective. Whatcom County could go down hard if we don’t get our priorities straight. Just like that county in Oregon.
Freedom Foundation Liberty Blog
by Glen MorganApril 23, 2013
In 1968, during the Vietnam War, AP Correspondent Peter Arnett attributed a quote
from an American Army Major after the destruction of the Vietnamese Village Ben Tre, “It became necessary to destroy the village in order to save it.” This quote, which is still controversial, was repeated frequently by the anti-war protesters as an illustration of the lack of logic in the Vietnam conflict.
Today, this is also official policy and business as usual at Whatcom County
as they require property owners to destroy wildlife habitat and wetlands in order to save the wildlife and wetlands. Last Friday I visited with a property owner – Joe Remenar in North Whatcom County near Blaine. Not far from the Martin property which I discussed in this post a few weeks ago.
Joe retired from the Department of Justice as a former special agent working with drug interdiction who had done overseas tours in places like Afghanistan. He purchased a small property and home not far from the Canadian border in Whatcom County. Enjoying the views out his back deck, he decided to improve the wildlife habitat on his property. He didn’t apply for a grant or take taxpayer dollars, he just spent his own time and money to improve the habitat for the birds, amphibians, insects, and other critters by building a pond. He was careful in his pond construction. He did not interrupt the flow of a stream (also known as an “instream flow” violation). The State Fish and Wildlife biologists reported that his pond was a clear and obvious wildlife enhancement project.
He was justifiably proud of his accomplishment and it changed a field with little habitat into a pond with nesting geese, feeding grounds for great blue herons, and other wildlife in the area. However, he made one crucial mistake – he did not get permission from the Central Planners at Whatcom County. For this crime against bureaucracy, he was going to be punished.
As further proof that the Nanny State isn’t just a thorn in everyone’s side, but it is also a thoughtless, rapacious beast – the geniuses at Whatcom County led by Whatcom County’s lead Central Planner – Lyn Morgan-Hill (no relation to the author), demand that Mr. Remenar must destroy the pond and wildlife habitat in order to save the wildlife habitat. This was the solution only a dedicated Central Planner could invent and justify. Just to be clear, of course – Mr. Remenar would also have to pay one of the “preferred” consultants approved by Whatcom County to create the plan on how to fill in the pond.
Like most people, Mr. Remenar doesn’t want to destroy the wildlife habitat on his property. He wants to save it, but the Central Planning mindset at Whatcom County has only one plan, and Whatcom County’s plan is not required to make sense. The faux environmentalists who attack property owners like Mr. Remenar never have to say they are sorry or even have a rational reason for their actions.
They just inflict harm on property owners like Mr. Remenar and care little about the consequences. To Central Planners like Lyn Morgan-Hill, it makes sense to destroy the environment in order to save it.
Last year WE posted a bit o' history about Earth Day
that's worth revisiting.That post included an article that described the heavy environmental guilt-trip being laid on children without remorse. Read it again, and watch the accompanying short video, Green Washing a Young Mind (below)Earth Day's message: Eliminate humans
by Brian Sussman, April 22, 2012
Yesterday I took a video crew to the Earth Day Festival in Santa Cruz, California. I chose this location because this city is known for being a model of greenness, and even maintains Department of Climate Change, complete with a director making $250,000 per year.
The question I posed in my man-on-the street-interviews was, “What is the greatest threat confronting mankind?”
In almost every interview, I was told the greatest threat was the human species.
Most troubling was an interview with a 12-year old girl who said she had been taught in school that global warming was real, that there were too many people on the planet, and that she occasionally thinks it might be best to end her own life to do her part to save the planet.
Her mom stood next to her, proudly looking on.
This is an example of what I write about in chapter six of Eco-Tyranny, entitled “Green Gospel.” What this girl has been taught is nothing less than green-child abuse. " (continue)
Here's the video Sussman described ... "Green Washing a Young Mind"
While kids are subjected to a steady diet of dire predictions in schools
, there's growing evidence that CO2 greenhouse gas correlations may be significantly wrong, and the planet's condition may even be greening
. But don't expect to get much honesty about that in Washington State
, from our local governments
, or in the press. The crisis scenario is too lucrative to abandon.
'Lest you think WE make this up, check out this Reuters story published just last week in Norway:
Climate scientists struggle to explain warming slowdown
(Reuters) - OSLO, April 16, 2013
Scientists are struggling to explain a slowdown in climate change that has exposed gaps in their understanding and defies a rise in global greenhouse gas emissions.
Often focused on century-long trends, most climate models failed to predict that the temperature rise would slow, starting around 2000. Scientists are now intent on figuring out the causes and determining whether the respite will be brief or a more lasting phenomenon.
Getting this right is essential for the short and long-term planning of governments and businesses ranging from energy to construction, from agriculture to insurance. Many scientists say they expect a revival of warming in coming years.
Theories for the pause include that deep oceans have taken up more heat with the result that the surface is cooler than expected, that industrial pollution in Asia or clouds are blocking the sun, or that greenhouse gases trap less heat than previously believed.
The change may be a result of an observed decline in heat-trapping water vapor in the high atmosphere, for unknown reasons. It could be a combination of factors or some as yet unknown natural variations, scientists say.
Weak economic growth and the pause in warming is undermining governments' willingness to make a rapid billion-dollar shift from fossil fuels. Almost 200 governments have agreed to work out a plan by the end of 2015 to combat global warming.
"The climate system is not quite so simple as people thought," said Bjorn Lomborg, a Danish statistician and author of "The Skeptical Environmentalist" who estimates that moderate warming will be beneficial for crop growth and human health.
Some experts say their trust in climate science has declined because of the many uncertainties. The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had to correct a 2007 report that exaggerated the pace of melt of the Himalayan glaciers and wrongly said they could all vanish by 2035.
"My own confidence in the data has gone down in the past five years," said Richard Tol, an expert in climate change and professor of economics at the University of Sussex in England.
Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius first showed in the 1890s how man-made carbon dioxide, from coal for instance, traps heat in the atmosphere. Many of the exact effects are still unknown.
Greenhouse gas emissions have hit repeated record highs with annual growth of about 3 percent in most of the decade to 2010, partly powered by rises in China and India. World emissions were 75 percent higher in 2010 than in 1970, UN data show."
The article goes on to say that even though anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change models driven by CO2 increases don't seem to be working very well, the IPCC will probably adjust its predictions and carry on anyway. No surprise there.
May the sane among you, and your little ones, make it through Earth Day without suffering pangs of guilt for living
.ADULT EXTRA - If you can bear a few F-bombs (bless his heart, you know George Carlin) watch this too...
Update: Glen led a "Freedom Academy" event at the Rome Grange on Mt. Baker Highway April 20th, attended by over 50 folks. Freedom Foundation encourages the public to learn about civics and become directly involved in local government "because people want to be free." (Well, most folks do. Some take juvenile pride in mocking liberty. )
April 17, 2013
Glen Morgan, Property Rights Director
Freedom Foundation, Citizens Action Network blogHow many government employees does it take to plant a tree?
It sounds like an old joke (the answer starts at five and grows from there), but it is a real question some of us have asked when we see the expansion of “Tree Ordinances” in local jurisdictions in Washington State. The City of Tukwila, for example
, is exploring a tree ordinance consisting of many pages of make-work rules to manage every aspect of pruning, planting, protecting, removing, and enjoying trees and landscaping. The question, unanswered, of course, is how did the City of Tukwila become one of the most heavily treed cities (47% according to their “consultant” report) in Washington State without this critical, crucial, crises ordinance process to save our trees from ourselves? This is indeed a mystery nobody in the Tukwila government appears able to solve. However the citizens and elected officials of Tukwila still have the opportunity to avoid the tree ordinance fiasco which the Mercer Island City Council attempted to impose on their citizens (and which was impressively rejected by the residents in 2001).
Anyone who has ever enjoyed driving around some of the older neighborhoods of Seattle, Tacoma, Bellingham, Spokane, Olympia, and other cities has been able to enjoy the wonderful landscaping located there– many of the trees are more than a century old. If you were to look back on photos from the late 1800s in most of these locations the ground was entirely barren before the homes were built. No hundred page tree ordinances with fees, fines, arborist requirements, or other complicated bureaucratic contortions existed at the time. Somehow, to our modern amazement – trees were planted and they grew without the Nanny State and Central Planners to micromanage the process. I’m sure this is a great mystery to the current Central Planners and naïve politicians who are writing, and passing these mostly worthless and pointless ordinances. It is something to ponder.
However, if what we are experiencing is “progess” then the “Progressives” have decided that trees can no longer grow on their own
, and in fact we would all live in a barren wasteland devoid of plants, trees, and beautiful landscaping without their critical ordinances - despite overwhelming common sense observations to the contrary. At some point, like George Orwell’s memory hole from the novel 1984,
the current Central Planners require the inconvenient fact that all those beautiful trees in all those old neighborhoods just somehow were planted, cultivated, and grew without Central Planning’s interference.
Unfortunately, what we are more likely to see with the proliferation of pointless, homogenous tree/landscaping ordinances provided by Central Casting at the American Planning Association
(this is the group that provides the cookie-cutter planning documents for most of our planning departments), is the reduction in both variety of landscaping/tree planting results, and the tendency to force whatever the fad of the day might be upon our communities with little local control or individuality allowed. Secret, midnight pruning, and using the ordinance as the excuse to file complaints against neighbors are certain and well-documented outcomes.
My recommendation is to dump most aspects of these pointless tree ordinances.
I’ve personally planted thousands of trees and dozens of varieties. I’ve also had to remove trees that were either unhealthy or becoming a problem where they were located. I am far from alone in this interest and activity, and miracle of miracles – nobody had to write a law to force me or most other people to do this. None of us need the Nanny State or Central Planning to tell us what to do. This is the cycle of life, and the beauty of landscaping and interacting with nature is that you can make it better now and for the future.
We do this because we enjoy watching the trees and plants grow, and if a community wants to encourage tree planting, they can do so without these ordinances. Use the history of Arbor Day
as an inspiration on how you can get your community to plant trees without government harassment. Review your local ordinances to see what is restricted, "managed," or "permited" where you live. To the Nanny State and those who support it – please just leave us alone and let us plant and manage our trees without your interference. To the amazement of the Central Planners the trees really will grow without their ordinances. Do we really need a tree ordinance to "manage" this?
Last month, Dr. Donald Easterbrook, professor emeritus from Western Washington University testified
at The Senate Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee in Olympia, criticizing the anthropogenic climate chaos hypothesis. A few days later, he was publicly attacked
by members of his own Department of Geology, in a letter which the Bellingham Herald obligingly published on Easter Sunday.
Several people came to Easterbrook's defense, including Lord Monckton
, who posted a reply to the article in the Herald's online edition
Today, WE discovered an interesting twist at the popular blog, Watts Up With That
, by meteorologist and anthropogenic climate chaos sceptic, Anthony Watts
. It is an article entitled, Rebuttal to the attack on Dr. Don Easterbrook
. The note by author Dr. David Deming
really caught our eye:
[author's note: this article was originally submitted as a "letter to the editor" to the Bellingham Herald, a newspaper that published an attack on Dr. Don Easterbrook. The Herald refused to publish my rebuttal. The executive editor, July Shirley (firstname.lastname@example.org) explained "We only print letters from residents of Whatcom County. We are not publishing your letter."]
Well, you just know WE had to do something about that! If they won't print it, WE will. It concerns news of local interest, after all. So here's the rejected letter to the editor of The Bellingham Herald, exactly as it appears on the WUWT blog:
Letter to the Editor by Dr. David Deming
I write in rebuttal to the March 31 letter by WWU geology faculty criticizing Dr. Don Easterbrook. I have a Ph.D in geophysics and have published research papers on climate change in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. In 2006 I testified before the US Senate on global warming. Additionally, I am the author of a three-volume history of science.
I have never met Don Easterbrook. I write not so much to defend him as to expose the ignorance exhibited in the letter authored by WWU geology faculty. Their attack on Dr. Easterbrook is the most egregious example of pedantic buffoonery since the Pigeon League conspired against Galileo in the seventeenth century. Skepticism is essential to science. But the goal of the geology faculty at WWU seems to be to suppress critical inquiry and insist on dogmatic adherence to ideology.
The WWU faculty never defined the term “global warming” but described it as “very real,” as if it were possible for something to be more real than real. They claimed that the evidence in support of this “very real” global warming was “overwhelming.” Yet they could not find space in their letter to cite a single specific fact that supports their thesis.
There is significant evidence that would tend to falsify global warming. The mean global air temperature has not risen for the last fifteen years. At the end of March the global extent of sea ice was above the long-term average and higher than it was in March of 1980. Last December, snow cover in the northern hemisphere was at the highest level since record keeping began in 1966. The UK just experienced the coldest March of the last fifty years. There has been no increase in droughts or wildfires. Worldwide hurricane and cyclone activity is near a forty-year low.
One might think that the foregoing facts would raise doubts in scientists interested in pursuing objective truth. But global warming is not so much a scientific theory subject to empirical falsification as it is a political ideology that must be fiercely defended in defiance of every fact to the contrary. In the past few years we have been told that not only hot weather but cold weather is caused by global warming. The blizzards that struck the east coast of the US in 2010 were attributed to global warming. Every weather event–hot, cold, wet or dry–is said to be caused by global warming. The theory that explains everything explains nothing.
Among the gems in the endless litany of nonsense we are subjected to are claims that global warming causes earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. Last year we were warned that global warming would turn us all into hobbits, the mythical creatures from J. R. R. Tolkien’s novels. I am not aware of any member of the WWU geology faculty criticizing these ridiculous claims. Their vehemence seems to be reserved for honest skeptics like Dr. Easterbrook who advance science by asking hard questions.
At the heart of the WWU geology faculty criticisms was the claim that peer review creates objective and reliable knowledge. Nonsense. Peer review produces opinions. Scientists, like other people, have political beliefs, ideological orientations, and personal views that strain their scientific objectivity. One of the most disgusting things to emerge from the 2009 Climategate emails was the revelation of an attempt to subvert the peer-review process by suppressing the publication of work that was scientifically sound but contrary to the reviewer’s personal views.
The infamous phrase “hide the decline” refers to an instance where a global warming alarmist omitted data that contradicted his personal belief that the world was warming. This sort of bias is not limited but pervasive. Neither is science a foolproof method for producing absolute truth. Scientific knowledge is always tentative and subject to revision. The entire history of science is littered with discarded theories once thought to be incontrovertible truths.
The WWU geology faculty letter asserted that technological advances arise from application of the scientific method. They claimed that airplanes were invented by scientists. But the Wright brothers were bicycle mechanics–not scientists. The modern age of personal computing began in a suburban California garage in 1976. The most significant technological advance in human history was the Industrial Revolution in Britain that occurred from 1760 through 1830. When Adam Smith toured factories and inquired as to who had invented the new machinery, the answer was always the same: the common workman. Antibiotics were not discovered through the rigorous application of scientific methodology but serendipitously when Fleming noticed in 1928 that mold suppressed bacterial growth.
Dr. Easterbrook’s contributions have furthered the advance of scientific knowledge and the progress of the human race. It matters not if a multitude of professors oppose him. As Galileo explained, it is “certain that the number of those who reason well in difficult matters is much smaller than the number of those who reason badly….reasoning is like running and not like carrying, and one Arab steed will outrun a hundred jackasses.”
Professor of Arts & Sciences
University of Oklahoma
email: ddeming [at] ou.edu
A list of Dr. Easterbrook’s credentials are listed here:
He Who Must Not be Named
Say the name, "Agenda 21" and a shocked pall falls over the room. Environmental collectivists glare menacingly, and cast a spell conjuring up incantations about tinfoil hats. Conservatives shrink in fear. Boo!
Agenda 21? It doesn't exist! Stop talking about it, you... you foolish conspiracy theorists! What Agenda 21...? Oh - the 21st Century Agenda
. Gotta stay current on the nomenclature.
Guess which sorcerer invoked "That Which Must Not be Named" by name
yesterday? That's right, the headmaster of the Forbidden Forests, Ken Salazar apparated yesterday into Anacortes, which isn’t even in the San Juans (but no matter, those with federal powers conjured the illusion). With a magic wand, the presidential pen
, these islands have been declared a national monument, an unusual new brand of territory with special magical places and waters that must be protected from Muggles, you know. Click here, if you dare!
Just make sure you have practiced your defenses against the dark arts.
The Magic New Map (with all of Lummi Island)
The little people can thank "conservative" councilman Sam Crawford
and Whatcom County Council for adding their blessings to this, back in 2011. WE can't imagine this was conjured-up to have no affect. What that will be, we shall see in time.
he expression "discrediting tactics" in politics refers to personal attacks against a public figure, intended to discourage people from believing in the figure or supporting their cause.
If there's one thing the public should join hands and reject, it's the injustice of blatant character assassination.
WWU Professor Emeritus, Dr. Don Easterbrook, a qualified and engaged local PhD (a lifelong scientist, not a dotty relic) has come under direct personal attack in the press and academia because his cause is only scientific truth.
to share information and raise questions about the adjustment of original data in testimony to a Washington State legislative panel last week
. He urged legislators to make policy but with eyes wide open, not eyes wide shut. Now for his sins, it's open "shoot the messenger" season on Dr. Easterbrook.
WE see that the press is loving every minute of it. You may have heard this saying in the press, "If it bleeds, it leads." The knives are out, and a truth-seeker is getting bloodied, and the sharks are in on the kill.
Western Washington University (WWU) has been reeling, with its Geology Department particularly incensed, that one of its own
professors emeritus would dare speak openly to share raw information, answer questions, and earnestly encourage legislators to weigh some widely held beliefs
. In what seems nothing short of retribution, WWU has launched not only an attack, but a series of them.
WWU's first staff quote in the press about Dr. Easterbrook's testimony was cited as coming from a WWU "geology faculty position statement" which the AP had in hand the very same day
. Now folks, that was quicker than a Jack Rabbit on a date, as the old saying goes. WWU knew and cared enough to be that prepared?
What possible beef would this august temple of science and learning have with anybody sharing data with legislators? This first "geology faculty position statement" wasn't linked to the AP Olympia release, but WE'll try to obtain it. Here's the AP text that was published nationwide:
Western Washington University's geology faculty said in a position statement that they concur with rigorous, peer-reviewed assessments by the National Academies of Science, the National Research Council and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that global climate has warmed significantly and that human activities — mainly greenhouse-gas emissions — account for most of the warming since the middle 1900s.
"I think it's unfortunate that someone who really isn't an active expert in their field is being chosen to discuss this important topic," said Bernie Housen, chairman of Western Washington University's geology department.
In the wee small hours this morning (Easter, no less), the Bellingham Herald has joined in the feeding frenzy. Under the cover of "repeater" not "reporter" mode, it published another WWU Geology Faculty statement that bitterly discredits Dr. Easterbrook personally, under the cautious arms-length byline:
"By WWU GEOLOGY FACULTY — COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALD"
This chest-beating "submission" is loaded with ad hominem*
attack and politically charged spit, such as a claim that [Sen. Ericksen] “chose instead to, apparently, appeal to a narrow partisan element with his choice of speaker.” The faculty position rants a steady stream of derogatory characterizations of the scientist's work and integrity, while aggrandizing their own position and insisting their methods are so unimpeachable that the actual source data needn't be discussed
. ("Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain
" ring any bells?) Then it ends with incensed guidance to legislators and the public that critics of establishment processes and the status quo
harbor “conspiracy-based ideas.” (You'll find the scathing Herald item in its entirety here
Now - WE ask - who in their right mind would dare raise questions in such a hostile academic environment? A person with courage and integrity might
. But the message from these academics is clearly, "Don't dare to question ~
." Real peer-review could result in jeer review, of you
WE expect that Dr. Easterbrook would reel from the suggestion that he's a modern Galileo Galilei. He seems like a straightforward man who has simply questioned data and process. But WE have observed punishing intolerance and attacks of the person
, and the fervor does warrant comparison to prior inquisitions
. (Other highly-qualified experts have been battered in the Whatcom environs; Easterbrook's not entirely alone.) WE feel their pain.
The lesson and the warning is: When science is politicized, peer review flounders in a closed-minded loop. Reviewers are fearful of agreeing with “outliers,” or making a career-limiting statement. Fortunately, Dr. Easterbrook has retired from the crippling restraint of tenure, so he doesn't have to worry about that. (Could he have gone out on a a limb like this if he was still working at WWU?). There is a certain freedom in not being beholden to any politically motivated patron or employer.
A little tutorial on how critics are bloodied:Character assassination is a deliberate and sustained process that aims to destroy the credibility and reputation of a person.Agents of character assassinations employ a mix of open and covert methods to achieve their goals, such as raising false accusations, planting and fostering rumors, and manipulating information.*An ad hominem attack
(Latin for "to the man" or "to the person"), is short for argumentum ad hominem
, is an argument made personally against an opponent instead of against their argument.Ad hominem circumstantial
points out that someone is in circumstances such that they are disposed to take a particular position. Ad hominem
circumstantial constitutes an attack on the bias of a source. This is fallacious because a disposition to make a certain argument does not make the argument false
.The circumstantial fallacy
applies only where the source taking a position is only making a logical argument from premises that are generally accepted. Where the source seeks to convince an audience of the truth of a premise by a claim of authority or by personal observation, observation of their circumstances may reduce the evidentiary weight of the claims, sometimes to zero.In contrast, the wise know
~End of lesson~
(Except WE'd add that those who resort to personal attacks like this reveal fear and closed-mindedness. Mean-spirited bullying is patently cruel and unfair, too.)
If this bashing bothers you, what can you do? Let the attackers (WWU, its Geology Faculty and the press) know exactly what you think of it. It's low, and what's really disturbing is the thought that the world will miss critically important truths when messengers
get hammered to a bloody pulp.
President WWU: Bruce Shepard
WWU: Stephanie Bowers
WWU: Jeff Wright
Editor: Bellingham Herald
(Q - What's fair & balanced?)