The Climate Pendulum

The current climate debate might be described as the discussion of a motionless pendulum.

I think that all participants seem to agree that climate change is so slow as to be almost imperceptible over a lifetime, or several lifetimes. So at any one point in time the climate appears unchanging, motionless.

I think that all participants would also seem to agree that we’re currently living in a warm interglacial period that has lasted about 12,000 years. So the motionless pendulum is near one end of its swing. And all concerned are wondering what will happen next. And there’s no agreement about this.

Since most people never experience any climate change during  their lifetime, most people think that there is no climate change happening. In their view the pendulum is motionless because it’s simply not swinging, or swinging so slowly that it’s hardly swinging at all. The lack of motion of the pendulum at right is indicated by the red dot on it.

Perhaps the strongest evidence that the climate really is changing comes from the Vostok ice cores, which show that the temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere has been swinging up and down by about 10º C every hundred thousand years for the last 400,000 years:

The Earth’s climate swings from one extreme to another, very like a rather irregular pendulum. It seems to warm up very quickly when an ice age ends, and cool down slowly when an ice age starts, and reaches its coldest just before this ice age ends.

Global warming alarmists think that the climate is warming, and the pendulum hasn’t reached the top of its swing. And they think that it’ll only reach the top of its swing when both the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have melted, causing a 60 m rise in sea levels. And they think that the pendulum is being given a kick upwards by the addition of CO2 to the atmosphere.

About 18 months ago I began to become a bit of a global cooling alarmist. I think that the pendulum has passed the peak of its upswing, and has begun its downswing. Just visible on the extreme right of the Vostok temperature graph above is a slight (1º C) downturn in air temperature over the past few thousand years, which is the prelude to a likely prolonged accelerating downswing in temperature. I’m not convinced that human CO2 emissions are sufficient to turn this incipient downswing into an upswing. And also I don’t think that CO2 is the sole determinant of the Earth’s climate. I think it’s just one of several factors affecting climate. I think (and I seem to be entirely alone in thinking this) that what happens during these cycles of glaciation and de-glaciation is very largely driven by the fall and rise in the temperature of the Earth’s surface rocks. When these rocks cool down, snow and ice can settle on them. And when deep layers of insulating snow and ice have built up on the surface of the Earth, they cause the surface rocks beneath them to warm up, and melt the overlying snow, and then start to cool.

So I think there are 3 legitimate positions that can be adopted. Firstly that the climate isn’t changing. Secondly that the climate is warming. And thirdly that the climate is cooling.

There might be a fourth position, which is that the climate is changing, but there’s no way that its behaviour can be predicted, because it’s far too complex, like the double pendulum shown at right. And there’s nothing we can do about it.

Each of these various positions is accompanied by recommendations for some sort of remedial action. Those who don’t think there is any climate change happening don’t see the need for any remedial action. Those who think that the climate is warming call for human CO2 emissions to be reduced or completely stopped. And those like myself who think that the climate is cooling will call for CO2 emissions to be if anything increased rather than decreased. So warmists and coolists will make opposing recommendations.

At present, it would seem that most people either don’t believe that there’s much climate change happening, or they believe that there’s nothing that we can do about it. And so they’re not prepared to undertake the kind of drastic action recommended by the warmists. They’re not significantly reducing CO2 emissions.

And from my coolist perspective, this failure to act to reduce CO2 emissions seems to be the exact right thing to be doing. Because the more CO2 gets added to the atmosphere, the longer the coming new ice age can be delayed. My only question is: how long can the inevitable be deferred?


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De Facto Ex-smokers

The new Brexit party didn’t win the Peterborough by-election after all, They came second.

I’m not very surprised. They won a lot of seats in the EU elections at the end of May. But the EU elections are a bit of a joke. MEPs are almost completely powerless. The European parliament is a rubber stamp for proposals by the European Commission.

By contrast Westminster MPs are far more powerful. They can bring down the government, and have quite often done so. Theoretically the European parliament can use a motion of censure to dismiss the European Commission, but no single group has ever held a majority in the EU parliament., so it’s never happened.

‘Politics Has Fundamentally Changed,’ Says Farage After Brexit Party Comes Close Second

I think UK politics will only fundamentally change if and when the Brexit party (or some other party) starts winning seats in the UK parliament rather than EU parliament. For I think voters will think much harder about where to place their vote in a UK election than in an EU election.

And also we’re supposed to be leaving the EU.

Yesterday I was watching Claire Fox, who was elected to the EU parliament in May as a Brexit party MEP, being interviewed on  So What You’re Saying Is:

It was an interesting interview. She said she’d been shocked when the UK government failed to deliver Brexit after the 2016 referendum. She said that a great many people were shocked.

I wasn’t shocked. I never expected Brexit to ac.tually happen, given that most MPs in parliament are Remainers rather than Brexiters. Once elected, they do what they themselves want, not what their voters want, or what’s in their party manifesto. Most of these MPs don’t see their job as being one of representing the people in their constituencies.

The 2007 UK smoking ban best exemplifies the contempt with which MPs in parliament view the British public: they quite happily voted to exile 10 million or more British smokers to the outdoors, ignoring the Labour party manifesto that promised to allow some pubs to permit smoking. What made anyone think that these self-righteous bastards were ever going to deliver Brexit? They weren’t going to. And they aren’t going to.

So I don’t see why Claire Fox expected the British government to actually deliver Brexit. Particularly when it seems to be the case (image at right) that she’s a smoker, and even has – like me – her own naughty page on Tobacco Tactics.

But Brexit aside, in the half hour interview Claire Fox never once mentioned the UK smoking ban. Nobody ever mentions the smoking ban. In another interview, Rod Liddle – another smoker, last time I heard – also didn’t mention the smoking ban.

In fact, when was the last time that Nigel Farage mentioned the smoking ban? I heard him speak about it in 2011 at Stony Stratford.

Maybe they’ve all stopped smoking? Claire Fox, Rod Liddle, and Nigel Farage. They probably seldom ever get a chance to smoke anywhere, and so they are probably all de facto ex-smokers.

If she’s still smoking, Claire Fox’s interview with Peter Whittle above would surely have been a perfect opportunity to light up, if it had been conducted in somebody’s home. Is this someone’s private house below?

Anyway, it’s what I find most disappointing about these people. They never smoke in public, and they never mention smoking bans, and so they may as well be fully-paid-up members of Tobacco Control.

And I have the same complaint about all the US “alt-right” pundits, like Alex Jones and all the others. None of them smoke either. And none of them ever mention smoking bans.

About the only place you ever see anyone smoking, and talking about smoking bans, is the Smoky Drinky Bar, where I will be at 10 pm tonight.

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Green Values

What are Green values?

According to Derek Wall, a prominent British Green proponent, there are four pillars that define Green politics:

Ecological wisdom
Social justice
Grassroots democracy

The only green thing in that list is grass. And it’s lost in a lot of other words.

What’s the logo of the Green party? The one on the right looks like it’s a good candidate, but actually it was the UK Conservative party logo in David Cameron’s day, when he set about making the Conservative party look environmentally friendly.

The actual universal symbol for the Green movement seems to be a sunflower, and in the UK the image at left seems to be one of their current logos. Sunflowers are yellow, but this one is green, and it has lost a few petals, and the middle has become a map of the Earth. (A question for gardeners: what is the middle part of a flower called?)

It seems to me that the Greens must have something to do with a liking for leaves and trees and forests, and a dislike for concrete and steel and glass, and Green architecture would be buildings covered in plants.

That’s always been my understanding of what the Greens are essentially about. They primarily want a green world, covered with forests. They don’t want a world that’s a barren desert. All the rest – justice, non-violence, democracy – is secondary.

And in many ways I’ve always been Green in this sense. When I lived in Devon, I let the garden grow, keeping only the lawn mown. I had a green garden, and ivy growing up the house walls.

But one thing that’s been brought home to me in recent months, as I’ve been considering a world covered in forest or sand or snow, is that the albedo (reflectivity) of forests is very low, and the albedo of snow is very high. A world that’s covered in snow is a cold world, not because snow is cold, but because snow reflects sunlight. And a world that’s covered in forests is a warm world, because green plants absorb sunlight.  And carbon dioxide is an essential component of plant growth. And regardless of whether carbon dioxide causes global warming by absorbing light, green plants most certainly absorb sunlight, and cause global warming.

At the end of the last ice age, 12,000 years ago, the world ceased to be covered in snow, and instead became covered in green forests. And simply the resultant large change in the Earth’s reflectivity caused a rise in the temperature of the surface of the Earth.

So if you’re a Green, you ought to also be someone who likes global warming, and you ought to be glad of all the carbon dioxide that we’re adding to the atmosphere. And the world does seem to have been becoming a greener place:

NASA has some good news, the world is a greener place today than it was 20 years ago. What prompted the change? Well, it appears China and India can take the majority of the credit.

But if green plants are making the world warmer, and global warming is a bad thing, shouldn’t we be discouraging the sort of tree-planting that goes on in India and China rather than encouraging it?

My view these days is that global warming is a good thing, and having lots of trees is a good thing too. But that’s because it seems to me that we should be much more worried about global cooling and the onset of a new ice age than about a bit more warming of our already warm world. What does it matter if sea levels rise by 60 m when the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets melt? It won’t happen overnight. And we’ve been living with rising sea levels for the past 12,000 years. The warmer our planet becomes, the less likely we are to see the return of the ice. And over the past 400,000 years the Earth has only enjoyed warm interglacials like our present one for about 30,000 years – less than 10% of the time.

I hope Nature is right:

Human emissions will delay next ice age by 50,000 years, study says

In the new study, published in Nature, researchers have worked out a formula for what triggers an ice age to start. The timing is based on two principal factors, they say: the amount of the sun’s energy the northern hemisphere receives during summer and the levels of CO2 in the atmosphere.

If they’re wrong, there’s going to be a global disaster far worse than anything global warming can bring.

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Donald Trump’s state visit to Britain ended today, and then, after visiting Ireland, he’s going to Normandy for the D-Day 75th anniversary.

He brought with him the full Trump Derangement Syndrome, of course, because it follows him wherever he goes. The current “stone cold loser” mayor of London seems to have been one of the principal deranged. And the current leader of the Labour party, Jeremy Corbyn, seems to have been helping him. No doubt the BBC were hurling brickbats at him as well, but I wasn’t watching.

But quite clearly the Queen likes Donald Trump, and Donald Trump likes the Queen. And that’s probably because his Scottish mother admired the Queen, and so he has his own unique special relationship with her.

And via Smoking Lamp, this:

The cigarette tax has saved millions of lives. A soda tax could too

You might want to think twice before downing that 12-ounce can of Coke. Since sugary drinks can cause a host of health problems, drinking one sugar-filled soda ends up imposing about 10 cents of health costs on others because the resulting medical bills are paid through Medicare, Medicaid or private insurers.

This is deranged.

I don’t think Coke kills anyone. And I don’t think cigarettes do either.

I think that the attack on Coke is simply yet another attack on America. And of course the war on tobacco is another attack on America.

It’s got nothing to do with health. This is just a cultural war. It’s a cultural war by the Progressive Left on everything American. And what’s more American than Coca Cola?

Donald Trump’s great crime. in the eyes of the Progressive Left, is to be an American who’s proud of America. He’s an American president who wants to Make America Great Again. And the Progressive Left want to destroy America.

And it’s why I think Donald Trump is going to be re-elected president in 2020 by millions of Americans who are proud of America. I think that if (or rather, when) the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives starts impeachment proceedings against him for no good reason at all, they’re just going to be telling America that they just can’t stand this most American of US presidents, and that they can’t stand America. I think that the only result will be that in 2020 Americans will hand Donald Trump an even bigger victory than they did last time. And I think the US Democratic party could end up being destroyed. And it already seems to be destroying itself. And it’s destroying itself by becoming the anti-American party.

Soda taxes also counteract what behavioral economists call “internalities,” mistakes we make because we succumb to temptation or don’t have all the information we need before making a decision.

This is a religion. It’s a religion in which it’s a sin to succumb to the temptation of doing something we enjoy doing. It’s a killjoy religion. Antismoking and anti-sugar are two components of a miserabilist  anti-religion in which there is no God, but only a Satan. There’s nothing that these people are in favour of, only things that they’re against. Smoking. Alcohol. Sugar. Salt. Fat. The list is endless.

They can all go to hell.

But there’s no need to send them to Hell. They are there already.

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Anthropogenic Pulmonary Warming

These days I spend much of my time constructing computer simulation models of ice ages. It’s not possible to do the same with tobacco smoke in lungs. And that’s because there’s a big difference between tobacco smoke alarmism and carbon dioxide alarmism. And the difference is that global warming alarmism has a rational and scientific foundation, and the war on tobacco does not.

There is no science of tobacco smoke that explains how it causes lung cancer. But there is a science of carbon dioxide that explains how it causes global warming. And this explanation is that carbon dioxide absorbs long wave radiation from the surface of the Earth, and the more of it that there is in the atmosphere, the more it acts to warm the Earth’s atmosphere.

But there is no corresponding explanation for exactly how tobacco smoke causes lung cancer. It explains nothing to be told that tobacco smoke contains “carcinogens”, because a carcinogen is simply another name for something that causes cancer. And these “carcinogens” are everywhere, and not just in tobacco smoke. So why doesn’t everyone get cancer? And why don’t all smokers die of lung cancer?  If the true causes of cancer were known, there’d be a cure for cancer. And since there are no cures, its causes must remain unknown.

Not all sciences advance with equal speed. And the science of Physics is far more advanced than the science of Medicine. And in part this must be because the animate living things that are studied in medicine are much more complex than the inanimate objects that are studied in physics, and therefore much harder to understand. So we understand a lot about carbon dioxide, and little about cancer.

And wherever there is little understanding there is instead magical thinking. It’s not understood how tobacco smoke (or anything else) causes cancer, but it is believed that in some magic way it does so. Tobacco smoke has the magical property of causing cancer. In fact, it even has the magical property of causing all diseases. And it also possesses these properties even in homeopathic concentrations. In fact tobacco smoke has many magical properties. It can magically go through walls. It can magically climb multiple floors of buildings. It can magically linger for centuries on surfaces. And so on.

And where magical thinking reigns, it is not possible to mount rational, scientific arguments for and against any proposition. Or one kind of magical thinking can only be countered some other kind of magical thinking.

For example, if tobacco smoke has the magical property of being able to go anywhere and do anything, then there can never be any safe space anywhere in the world, and so banning smoking is futile.

And if the magical properties of tobacco smoke are only enhanced by dilution, then it follows that the most dangerous air to breathe is Fresh Air, in which there will always be some minuscule trace of tobacco smoke. And conversely, the safest air to breathe must be that which is found in the smokiest of smoky bars. And so the healthiest places in the world will be those in which smoky bars abound. And smoking bans must be extremely deleterious to health. For “smoke-free” air is a fiction. For all air, even the freshest of fresh air, contains carbon dioxide, and carbon dioxide is one of the invisible constituents of tobacco smoke.

And what do we know about carbon dioxide? We know that it absorbs long wave radiation emitted from warm surfaces. And that suggests an explanation for lung cancer that mirrors and reproduces the explanation of global warming: in the warm interior of their lungs, from the surface of which long wave radiation is continually being emitted, the carbon dioxide (which is present in higher concentrations in the lungs of smokers) is being heated, and causes internal lung heating – pulmonary warming -, and it is this warming, which is often concentrated in localised “hot spots” in the lungs, which causes cancerous tumours to appear. And it causes these fast-reproducing cancers because heat stimulates activity, stimulates growth, and stimulates reproduction. After all, if increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere encourages plant growth in the atmosphere, increasing carbon dioxide in lungs must encourage tumour growth inside them as well.

And here we have married climate science with medicine. It’s a magical wedding that (at last) provides a rational, scientific explanation for lung cancer. The same catastrophic global warming that is happening in the atmosphere is happening in the lungs of smokers, as catastrophic pulmonary warming. And it is also anthropogenic pulmonary warming, because smokers cause the warming by smoking carbon dioxide-emitting cigarettes. Carbon dioxide is causing not only anthropogenic global warming (AGW) but also a global epidemic of lung cancer through anthropogenic pulmonary warming (APW). And because atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide are rising, not only smokers are seeing increased lung cancer prevalence (because it isn’t actually smoking that causes lung cancer, but instead carbon dioxide).

And if global warming is the cause of increased climatic disturbances like hurricanes and tornadoes, then anthropogenic pulmonary warming is also the cause of other disturbances, like heart disease, and any other disease you may care to imagine.

It all hangs together beautifully.

…Unless of course carbon dioxide is not causing global warming. In which case it’s not causing pulmonary warming either. And the whole beautiful theory goes up in smoke, or turns into a pumpkin.

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Hot Wars and Cold Wars

Do wars ever end?

These days I see myself as a soldier in a war. Which war? The war on smoking and tobacco.

There are a lot of these sorts of wars under way. There’s also a war on alcohol. And a war on cannabis. And a war on opium. And these small wars are part of a larger War on Drugs. And none of these wars ever ends.

The war on tobacco broke out in about 1500 when Columbus brought back tobacco plants from the newly discovered New World. Some people loved the stuff, and some people hated it, and they’ve been at war ever since. And the tides of this war have been ebbing and flowing for 500 years, with neither side actually winning.

Did WW1 and WW2 ever end? I’m not sure that they did. After all, shortly after the end of WW2, the Cold War started. And the war on smoking and tobacco started at almost exactly the same time. It’s almost as if the soldiers who fought in those wars laid down their weapons, took off their uniforms, and started fighting new “cold” wars which were only slight variants of the hot wars they’d just been fighting. The wars ended in the sense that people stopped shooting at each other, but the convictions and beliefs that underlay those wars remained, and found expression elsewhere.

In fact it may be that “hot” wars are simply what happens when “cold” wars start to boil over. Because the cold wars heat up from time to time. And right now seems to be a time when a lot of cold wars are coming to a boil.

After all, the war on smoking and tobacco has never been more intense than it has been over the past ten years or so. It has seen hundreds of millions of smokers all over the world being exiled to the outdoors, in ways that have quite simply never happened before. The antismokers have been on a roll.

But the war on smoking is, in part, just one element of of a wider War on Carbon Dioxide. It’s part of an entirely new sort of war: a climate war.

And there are wars on obesity. And wars on sugar. And wars on salt. And wars on chocolate. There are small cold wars being fought over absolutely everything.

And today the war on Donald Trump has arrived in Britain. And this is a bizarre new American civil war which sees the USA almost as equally divided as it was during its hot civil war some 150 years ago. What is it that some Americans can’t stand about Donald Trump? That he’s from the Wrong Side Of Town, and he wants to “Make America Great Again.” And the last thing that his enemies want is to make America great again. They’re doing their level best to diminish and destroy America.

And, since all these small wars bleed into each other, the war on smoking and tobacco also happens to be part of the war on America. As I’ve often remarked, antismoking is anti-American. It’s anti-American because tobacco was America’s first gift to the world, and the original source of its great wealth. If you can’t stand tobacco, you can’t stand America, and vice versa.

And this is one sense in which the war on smoking and tobacco is the continuation of WW1 and WW2, which were both wars against America, or wars waged by America (depending from which side they are viewed).

And post-war European history is also a cold continuation of WW1 and WW2. The growth and expansion of the European Union has been another bloodless cold war which has seen one country after another getting consumed by this new monster. Unlike in WW1 and WW2, Britain was successfully invaded by the EU in 1975 or so, and is now trying to escape (which is why Donald Trump is in Britain, to try to help it escape).

In addition to all these various cold wars, there are also multiple trade wars under way, most notably between the USA and China, and the USA and Iran, and now the USA and Mexico (and several other places as well).

And all these various cold wars seem to only be getting hotter. At what point does a cold war become a hot war? There are already hot wars being fought in Syria and Afghanistan (is there ever not some hot war being fought in Afghanistan?)

For example, Trump’s pledge to Build A Wall on the US southern border with Mexico is part of a cold war against illegal immigration, which is seeing armies of migrants entering the USA from Mexico. But the proposed, partly-built wall on the Mexican border is over 2000 km long. Wouldn’t it be simpler to just invade Mexico, and establish a new southern US border in Guatemala or Panama? Then the southern US border would only be about 250 km long, and far more easily defensible. After all, the US states of Texas and New Mexico and Arizona were once part of Mexico.

Mexican Texas is the historiographical name used to refer to the era of Texan history between 1821 and 1836, when it was part of Mexico.

But an invasion of Mexico would entail a hot war. Maybe this is how cold wars turn into hot wars. If it is a matter of urgency for the USA to protect its southern border, what is the easiest and quickest way to do it? The more urgent the matter becomes, the more likely the USA is likely to look for a military solution to the problem.

I’m not predicting a US invasion of Mexico. I’m just using it to illustrate how a cold war can turn into a hot war. And how armies of immigrants can become armies of soldiers.

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Hooray! A third of NHS hospitals still allow smoking

Hat tip to Smoking Lamp for this:

Almost a third of NHS hospitals in England still allow smoking on their premises, according to an official report.

Health chiefs have called for hospitals across the country to stop people from lighting up on their grounds since 2013.

But a survey of NHS hospital trusts by Public Health England has found 31 per cent still allow smokers on their premises.

It remains legal to smoke on hospital grounds in England – despite it being outlawed in Northern Ireland and Scotland, and soon to be Wales.

Public health minister, Seema Kennedy, said she is determined’ to see a smoke-free NHS by 2020.

She added: ‘No-one should have to walk past a cloud of smoke in order to enter or leave their local hospital.

‘I am encouraged by this new survey, which shows great strides have already been made towards a smoke-free NHS, I strongly urge all trusts to follow suit.’

I find it cheering that a third of hospitals in England still allow smoking on their grounds. It sounds like there must be quite strong resistance from within hospitals.

And it’s easy to see why. When smoking is banned in hospital grounds, patients who want to smoke have to limp all the way to the hospital gates, complete with drips and catheters. And this is plainly extremely abusive towards patients, and no doctor who is genuinely concerned with the well-being of their patients would wish to see this happening.

And also people wouldn’t have to “walk past a cloud of smoke” to enter or leave a hospital if the smokers were provided with suitable covered areas where they can smoke. These are provided by a great many other organisations , such as pubs and restaurants, many of whom also provide ashtrays as well.

But the bullying bastards in Public Health have no intention of doing the same, because they’re actually trying to force people to stop smoking, and will never pass up an opportunity to make life as hard as possible for smokers.

It reminds me that I’ve been meaning to write to my MP about this. I’ve really only held off from doing so because MPs have clearly been completely overwhelmed with work during the long-running Brexit saga. But I think that now he’s not under quite as much pressure.

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