Of Pancho Villa, Global Warming, the End of the World, and Other Tall Tales

By David Nabhan – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com
Many long-established families in El Paso and Juarez have stories about Pancho Villa to relate—mine is no different. My great uncle, Massoud, brought before the generalissimo either before, during or after the Battle of Juarez, was given thirty minutes to run through the desert and across the Rio Grande back into El Paso after Pancho relieved him of his boots. Massoud was a mathematical genius and it was in deference to my great uncle’s former professorial chair in Lebanon that he was given the reprieve rather than being shot on the spot. It’s a good story; too bad it doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. There were very, very few Americans in Juarez around the time of the battle—since El Paso is literally yards away from Juarez, as close as Minneapolis is to St. Paul. The only Americans foolish enough to remain in Juarez as Villa’s forces approached would have been drunks, lunatics and freebooters. Of course, no family member has ever asked why Uncle Massoud didn’t simply stroll across the bridge—still wearing shoes—days or hours before the battle.

That’s hardly unusual though; people want to believe good stories, even those that make no sense at all.

Take the end of the world, for example. One might be fairly stunned to note how often its coming has been foretold—at least a thousand times over the last few thousand years. The list is almost interminable but includes 1000 AD, 1666 AD, when Halley’s Comet’s tail passed through the atmosphere in 1910, due to the chaos wrought by Y2K in 2000, or in accordance with the Mayan Long Count in 2012. All of these goofy episodes of human foolishness have added up to the same thing: nothing. One might expect that after five thousand years of embarrassing doomsday flops sophisticated people in the twenty-first century wouldn’t sit still for it anymore. Think again, however, for the end is coming, yet again. This time it’s unlike the previous thousand, it’s real. Forget Heaven’s Gate, the Fifth Monarchists and all the rest, it’s “global warming” that’s going to get us when all the other mega-disasters produced ridiculousness. This one, though, is the McCoy.

Except that’s almost certainly not true at all. Global warming most probably is going to wind up in the same trash heap of history with all the rest. It’s a good story, for those eager to look forward to some impending catastrophe, but alas, just like my great uncle’s spine-tingling encounter with desperados, far, far too many things simply don’t add up. And just as one need not be an US/Mexico expert, an historian, a boundary commissioner, a mathematician or a boot maker to realize that Uncle Massoud’s story is most likely a tall tale, likewise, climate scientists and all other such specialists are not required to weigh this particular head-scratcher: only pure, simple common sense is required. And nothing the global warmers say passes that bar.

Where, for example, is the hue and cry to extinguish coal seam fires? For the average person who has been completely taken in by the “climate change” mantra, this is most likely the first time the topic has been seen to be raised in public. And that is odd in the extreme, stunningly strange, in fact. There are 10,000 coal-seam fires burning out of control worldwide. Those fires pump out massive amounts of carbon dioxide — equal to 20% of the entire carbon footprint of the US. Hollywood schedules no concerts to “Put Out the Fires,” even though it would fit nicely on a T-shirt, and no one in Washington has said the first word about it. If common sense rules the argument, decades ago that would have been the first thing on the agenda: extinguish the coal seam fires. How odd that the activists of the world leap-frogged over this astoundingly obvious target and decided that dismantling the West’s industrial infrastructure would be a better place to start.

Most “activists,” however, won’t deign to answer that question, or any other. Their self-assurance is beyond debate. They’ve declared this matter “settled science,” not bothered that the rest of us realize that it took several millennia for humanity to even get the fuzziest picture of the Earth’s true place in the cosmos. It doesn’t trouble them that there are only the very rarest of scientific facts that weren’t gleaned by no less than centuries of endless toil, trial and error by the greatest minds. Their “settled science,” indeed, harkens to a different age, one in which the Earth didn’t spin, when leeches were part of physicians’ medical kit, when plague was kept at bay by pleasant aromas, when Inquisitors did the “settling,” and “science” could get one roasted alive. Unfortunately, nothing correct came out of that epoch, so if the climate change activists turn out to be right, it be will recorded as the most enormously implausible outlier: for only once then in human history will a great truth have been pulled right out of the hat, ipso facto, and required nothing further. This will be the first time something so beautifully and sublimely true had been seen that it didn’t require the normal and customary vetting demanded of everything else: the scientific method. This one exception will have surpassed Newton’s papers on gravity and Einstein’s work on relativity, since both are still to this day being tested and probed for any sign at all of some exception, some error, some nuance—but, not “global warming.” It will never have lingered in the realm of hypothesis, nor waited to be promoted to theory. This incredible and incomparable work of genius will have shot straight to the highest rung of the temple of science, and immediately. It will be law, and all accomplished within the span of a few short years—not decades or centuries or millennia. We are all witnessing something grand taking place…or much, much more likely, something our descendents will use to look back on us to wonder how such gullible people managed to pull up their pants properly.

There are many good and decent people who have been taken in by the faux-altruism peddled by the climate changers, many millions who imagine they’re on the right side of this question, but who might also open their minds to the possibility that they may well have been deceived—and monumentally. Dr. Nils-Axel Mörner, former Chairman , International Commission on Sea Level, calls the entire business “the greatest fabrication in modern history.” The most pre-eminent living scientist on Earth, Freeman Dyson, colleague of Einstein at Princeton, not only doesn’t buy the canard, but has posited that the moderate increase in carbon dioxide over the last decades has contributed to what he calls a “great blooming,” pointing out something that every sixth grader knows, that carbon dioxide, the piston of photosynthesis, is the great engine of life on Earth. A titan such as Dr. Dyson is far from alone: the list is long and impressive. It includes Nobel laureates—such as Dr. Ivar Giaever, of super-conductor fame—and progressive, yet unbrainwashed voices like former president of Greenpeace, Dr. Patrick Moore. Insofar as the childish and absurd tactic of pretending to count up how many scientists say “yes” and how many say “no,” this is probably the greatest indication that something other than science is taking place. We’ve all heard the “97% of scientists” fable; as someone who has spent the last two decades exchanging correspondence with “scientists” on four continents, this is proof positive, for me at least, of the surest sign of a propaganda lie.

Scientists don’t lend their names to insipid public opinion surveys. Scientists don’t allow poll takers into their offices and research facilities. Scientists don’t interrupt their important work to involve themselves in political prattle nor flatter themselves or others by publishing their guesses. Men and women of science find conjecture and opinion anathema to everything to which they’ve devoted their lives. The scientific method is the antithesis of brainless “polls.” Scientific fact isn’t determined by taking a straw vote. The propagandists who decided to promote this absurdity really aren’t very good at it. I can vouch that scientists are the most tight-lipped people on the planet. To imagine them blabbering about something so complicated and controversial as climate change—and then to have 97% of them supposedly agreeing, when 97% of scientists have never agreed on anything, anywhere, at any time—is beyond ludicrous. That amazingly inflated figure speaks for itself; all one need do is give it some thought.

My family never gave Uncle Massoud’s tall tale too much thought. It was just accepted as part of the family chronicle. That’s understandable; good stories like that are hard to come by, and it never did any harm. Global warming, or climate change, or whatever moniker is chosen next as one prediction after the other over twenty years has failed to come true, is far from harmless, but for those who insist on some hair-raising yarn to take its place, we all might give an ear to the one that follows. Trust that it’s got some Armageddon mixed in as well.

The history of the Pleistocene, over the last two million years, is well documented: dozens and dozens of cyclical shifts between approximately 100,000 year long glacials (Ice Ages), followed by roughly 10,000 year interglacials. All of human history has transpired within the current mild period, the present interglacial, the Holocene. The problem is, the Holocene has lasted approximately 11,000 years already. The peoples of the Earth, all seven billion, haven’t the slightest business occupying themselves with what may or may not happen two hundred or three hundred years from now when the temperature might be a few degrees warmer than now. What is most certainly coming is not going to be a kindler, gentler, warmer Earth. What our descendents of some generations into the future are much more likely to face is something that actually kills: cold—bitter, unending, crop-killing, planet-changing cold.

Celebrities, government mouthpieces, and the West’s adversaries at the UN couldn’t care about any of this because they didn’t dream it up, it doesn’t paint factory owners as villains, it doesn’t harm and weaken the economy and military of industrialized nations, and put an horrific burden and onus on us for the sins of our great, great, great grandparents. But anyone with a child should care. I can look back on my great uncle with love and respect. He never did anything to harm me or anyone else, and aside from telling a few tall tales, was a great and decent man.

I wonder if our great nephews and nieces will be able to say that about…us?



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