Worst Winters than the Current U.S. Winter

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 28th, 2014

History 101

The 1993 Storm of the Century killed some 318 People

If you live in the Northern Plains, the Midwest or the Northeast you’re probably thinking about one thing.  Spring.  Having had enough of snow and cold.  Alberta clippers.  Polar vortexes.  Nor’easters.  Enough.  Some people have already shoveled more snow in January than they did all of last winter.  Feeling that this winter was the worst winter ever.  But is it?  No.

The 1993 Storm of the Century is the only storm that I literally ran away from.  Or, rather, drove away from.  I was in New York State at the beginning of the snowfall heading to some New England ski resorts in March.  The forecast was not good for the drive ahead.  So we raced north.  To get above this monster that dumped some 4 feet of snow where we were and were about to drive through.  And skied at Mont-Tremblant north of Montréal for a day.  Then headed east.  On the drive from Montréal to Québec City for a day of skiing at Mont-Sainte-Anne there was drifting snow and whiteout conditions on the Quebec Autoroute 40 freeway.  It took about 8 hours to travel what normally took 4.  High winds buffeted the car.  And snow drifts crept in from the shoulder.  Covering icy roads.  The drive was stressful to say the least.  And we had skirted north of the worst of this storm.  Which reached as far south as Central America.  With hurricane storm surges, tornadoes and arctic temperatures killing some 318 people.

Before the 1993 Storm of the Century people in the Northeast called the Northeastern blizzard of 1978 the storm of the century.  Some still do.  This was an extra-tropical cyclone that blew up the east coast and crashed into an arctic cold front in February.  Hurricane-force winds, heavy snow and rain and a storm surge pounded the Northeast.  Snow fell for 33 hours straight.  Then turned to an icy-snow mix.  Putting a layer of ice over some 2 feet of snow.  And weighing down tree branches and power lines.  Which fell under the weight of this ice.  Adding power outages on top of everything else.  By the time it was over approximately 100 people were dead.  With close to $2 billion (in current dollars) in damages left in its wake.  Making the Northeastern blizzard of 1978 a close second to that other storm of the century.

The Great Blizzard of 1888 produced Snowfalls between 2 and 5 Feet

The Armistice Day Blizzard of 1940 was a 1,000 mile wide winter storm from Kansas to Michigan in November.  Temperatures plummeted and winds grew.  Then came rain then sleet then snow.  As a low pressure system from the south crashed into a cold arctic air mass creating blizzard conditions.  Over 2 feet of snow fell and the howling winds blew that snow into 20 foot snow drifts.  By the time this storm was over it killed approximately 154 people.  Including 66 sailors lost when three Great Lake freighters sank in the storm.  And duck hunters who got trapped unaware in the approaching storm.  Who were swamped by 5-foot waves washing over islands in the Mississippi River.  Then froze to death in single-digit temperatures and 50 mph winds.

A November witch in 1975 claimed the bulk ore carrier S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald and all of her crew.  But the November witch of 1913 was even worse.  The Great Lakes Storm of 1913 was a blizzard with hurricane-force winds.  Dry cold air moved down from Alberta, Canada, while warm moist warm air from the Gulf of Mexico moved up.  These two systems met over the Great Lakes and started to spin around each other.  Growing to hurricane-force winds.  Which created waves over 30 feet high.  Hammering coastal areas.  While dumping up to 2 feet of snow in its path.  The worst of the storm was on the lakes.  Claiming 12 ships.  And 258 souls.

The Great Blizzard of 1888 was another nor’easter hitting New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut in March.  This blizzard produced snowfalls between 2 and 5 feet.  And its 45 mph winds produced snowdrifts in excess of 50 feet.  The storm paralyzed cities.  And trapped people in their houses for up to a week.  Even the firemen.  Causing fires to burn out of control.  Until they burned themselves out.  The snow soon began to melt.  Causing severe flooding.  By the time it was over the storm claimed more than 400 lives.

We warmed up from the Little Ice Age without Centuries of Carbon Emissions

Everyone knows of that terrible winter at Valley Forge (1777–1778).  Where the Continental Army persevered and left Valley Forge a stronger and more disciplined army.  Thanks to Baron Von Steuben.  But the Winter in Morristown in 1780 is largely forgotten to history.  Why?  Because that winter was worse.  And the men were shamefully neglected more.  The Revolutionary War was fought during the Little Ice Age.  A period of global cooling from about 1350 to about 1850.  Making for some fierce winters.  Like in 1780.  When it was so cold that coastal seawater froze.  Including New York Harbor.  People rode in horse drawn sleighs across the ice between Manhattan and New Jersey.  In Morristown, New Jersey, a winter storm hit the army so hard that it blew tents away and buried men in snow.  Heavy snowfalls made it impossible to supply the army.  Even if the impoverished Continental Congress could.  The starvation and exposure to the elements and their abandonment by the people they were fighting for caused something to happen in Morristown that didn’t happen at Valley Forge.  Mutiny.  Lucky for the nation a delivery of food diffused the mutiny.

The Great Snow of 1717 was a nor’easter that blew in on March 1.  Then another one on March 4th.  And yet another one on March 7th.  In all some 3-5 feet of snow fell.  With drifts as deep as 20 feet.  Burying one-story homes past their chimneys.  While people with 2-story homes entered and left their homes via the second floor.  Livestock died from starvation.  Froze to death.  Or were buried alive in the snow.  Even the deer in the area were nearly wiped out.

So, no, the current winter is not the worst winter ever.  And, no, the current brutal winter is not the result of global warming.  Just as mild winters are not the result of global warming.  For we’ve had both going back through time all the way back to the onset of the Industrial Revolution.  And before.  Even before smoke from burning coal filled the air.  And internal combustion engines filled our roads.  We warmed up from the Little Ice Age without centuries of carbon emissions.  Yet even with that warming we’ve still had storms of the century.  Alberta clippers.  Polar vortexes.  And nor’easters.

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FT203: “People vacationing in warmer climes know global warming is better than global cooling.” —Old Pithy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 3rd, 2014

Fundamental Truth

It is very rare for People to Vacation somewhere where they have to wear more Clothes

People love a white Christmas.  Looking out your front window as a gentle snow falls.  Christmas lights and reindeer on the lawn poking out from the fields of snow.  Coming in from the cold and shaking the snow off.  Then warming up with a cup of cocoa in front of the fireplace.  Feeling the warmth radiate out while listening to the pops of the burning wood.  The warm memories of Christmases past.  Then comes New Year’s Day.  And then you just hate that foul white stuff as you shovel it for the umpteenth time.

As you shovel and your back aches and you feel what may have been a hernia you now understand why people retire to someplace warm.  To get away from this.  Before they have a heart attack shoveling it.  Because you’re sick and tired of shoveling snow.  Cleaning the snow off your car.  Fearing for your life when cars ahead of you spinout.  Wondering how many times can you slip and fall before you start breaking something.  But most of all you just hate being cold.  All you can think about is the joy of last summer sitting in the shade with a cold beer.  Doing nothing.  And loving it.

Even young and healthy college kids hate the cold.  Which is why when they go on spring break they head south.  And between the boozing and the sex they spend time lying on the beach doing nothing.  And loving it.  With the ladies practically naked in tiny bikinis sunning themselves.  And the men looking at the practically naked ladies.  For it is very rare for any vacationer (other than those on a ski getaway) to vacation somewhere where they have to wear more clothes.  Because people just don’t like being cold.

The Fall Harvest feeds most People most of the Year

But we complain when it’s too hot, too.  During the dog days of summer.  When it’s the humidity, not the heat, that makes it so insufferable.  Until we step inside our air conditioned home.  Or sit in an air conditioned movie.  While enjoying a cool beverage.  And some delicious popcorn.  Or spend time in the pool.  Or at the beach.  Where the ladies are practically naked.  Or going out to eat.  Enjoying cool adult beverages and a nice meal at an outdoor cafe while wearing shorts.  Or dining inside an air conditioned restaurant.

You may sweat and stink when you get home.  But you won’t be tracking snow and salt into the house.  Soaking the rugs and carpets.  Or leaving puddles of water on the tiled floor.  No.  During the summer there’s no mess.  There are no wet socks in your shoes.  No frost bite.  No hypothermia. If you car breaks down in the summer you don’t have to worry about freezing to death before someone rescues you.  Whereas if you slip off the road and down the embankment on an expressway during a blizzard frostbite and hypothermia are real possibilities.  As is freezing to death.  Because being cold is dangerous.  And being cold when you’re stranded a long way from home or help can be lethal.

Another bad thing about cold is that things don’t grow in the cold.  Which is why farming is seasonal.  A problem throughout history.  As people’s need to eat is not seasonal.  So not only did farmers have to grow food to eat during the summer they had to grow enough during the summer to feed everyone throughout the winter.  With the fall harvest feeding most people most of the year.  Making a long growing season essential for survival.  Because if you ran out of food before the next harvest you went hungry.  Or died.

If we have another Little Ice Age we may suffer Recurring Famines once More

There were recurring famines during the Little Ice Age.  Which ran from approximately 1350 to about 1850.  The climate cooled enough to shorten the growing season.  Which were cooler and wetter than they are today.  And because of that they didn’t grow enough food to feed everyone.  With the occasional famine wiping out about 10% or more of a country’s population.  As masses of people starved to death because of global cooling during the Little Ice Age.

The United States suffered some droughts the past few growing seasons.  And food prices went up because of these droughts.  But there were no famines in the United States.  Or in the countries the United States exports food to.  No, today the only countries having recurring famines are hard-line communist or other such closed and oppressive states.  Such as North Korea.  Al Gore has been warning us about the perils of global warming since the Nineties.  We did nothing.  And a few decades later there are still no famines.  Because even in regions suffering from the worst drought farmers can still irrigate their land.  And grow food.  Food may be more costly but there will be food.  But no famine.

People who worry about global warming fret about these droughts.  And the lack of fresh water.  But about 70% of the earth is nothing but ocean.  And we can desalinize seawater.  It’ll make water more costly.  But there will always be water.  Even during the worst of droughts.  So even if global warming does its worst to us we will be all right.  No.  The real fear is global cooling.  Because global cooling will shorten our growing seasons.  Which will reduce our food supply.  And if you ever looked at an aerial view of our vast farmland you will understand the problem that is.  It’s just too big to bring indoors.  If we have another Little Ice Age we may suffer recurring famines once more.  And not just in North Korea.  But throughout the world.  Those people vacationing in warmer climes know it.  Global warming is better than global cooling.  For our personal comfort and safety.  And our food supply.

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Democrats Lie because they Must

Posted by PITHOCRATES - January 2nd, 2014

Politics 101

Democrats lie because they have a Track Record of doing things Poorly

Democrats lie.  They have to.  Because they want power.  And they have no good reason for accumulating it.  They lied about Obamacare to pass it into law.  With the top Democrat telling the biggest lie of 2013.  President Obama.  “If you like your insurance plan you can keep it.  Period.”  They lied because they want the power to control one-sixth of the U.S. economy.  Even if they reduce the quality of health care.  Which they will.  So they can spend the ensuing years demanding more money (i.e., higher taxes) to fix Obamacare.

They blamed the killing of 4 Americans including our ambassador in Benghazi on a YouTube video.  Even the left-leaning (it leans so far left it has actually fallen over) New York Times is rehashing this story.  Saying it was a spontaneous uprising over that YouTube video that had nothing to do with al Qaeda.  Despite using military armaments like rocket propelled grenades and pre-sighted motors.  Things crowds don’t typically have on them to commit spontaneous mischief.  But President Obama’s 2012 campaign claimed that President Obama had al Qaeda reeling.  And just couldn’t let the American people know that they were negligent in protecting Americans in Benghazi.  Which was so dangerous that the British had pulled out before the anniversary of 9/11.  But they still denied Ambassador Stevens’ request for more security.  Despite the anniversary of 9/11 being around the corner.  Because it wouldn’t look good during a campaign that claimed to have al Qaeda reeling.

So Democrats lie.  Because they have a track record of doing things poorly.  Preventing them from saying “let us do this and that and the other thing because we have a great track record of doing this and that and the other thing.”  When in fact their track record is so poor that no one would ask them to do more so we can enjoy more failure.  So they lie.  To expand the size of government.  So they can reach out and strangle the private sector.  Such as with their lies about global warming that raised the cost of heating our homes.  As well as to light our homes.  Making the incandescent light bulb now illegal.  Forcing us to use more costly lower wattage lamps.  Compact fluorescents.  And LEDs.  So we use less energy.  And put less carbon into the atmosphere.  Because manmade global warming is killing us.

You can irrigate a Desert and grow Grass but you can’t grow Grass where Ice and Snow cover the Soil

One of the iconic images of the American Revolutionary War is our troops freezing at Valley Forge.  The winter was brutal.  And for good reason.  It was part of the Little Ice Age.  A period of cooling from approximately 1350 to about 1850.  Where temperatures fell.  Making the winters colder.  Longer.  And snowier.  Rivers and harbors froze that don’t freeze today.  Glaciers destroyed mountain top villages.  And the shorter and wetter growing seasons caused famines in many countries.  Famines in France, Norway and Sweden killed about 10% of their populations.  Famines in Estonia and Finland killed more.

A cooling climate is dangerous.  It shortens the growing season.  Leaving people hungry, malnourished and sickly.  For you need sun, warmth and moist soil (not mud) through many months to grow food.  If you don’t you have poor harvests.  Providing less food for the people to eat.  And less forage to sustain livestock over the winter.  Which reduces the food supply during the winter further.  Giving you famines.  Like those in the Little Ice Age.

Dubai is a city in a desert.  From May through September they get less than one inch of rain each month.  The average high in July is 105.4 degrees.  The average high in January is 75.2 degrees.  The average annual humidity is 59.8%.  So Dubai is hot and dry.  A city of buildings and sand.  But you know what else Dubai has?  Lush, green, championship golf courses.  Something Greenland doesn’t have.  Because you can irrigate a desert and grow grass.  But you can’t grow grass where ice and snow cover the soil.  And the same holds true for food.  Making a cooling climate far more dangerous than a warming climate.  As those valiant soldiers at Valley Forge could have attested to.

Because of Global Warming Dr. David Viner said in 2000, “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is.”

The global warming alarmists have been warning that the polar ice caps are melting.  And the poor polar bears have no ice to rest on.  Soon the ice will all melt and flood our coastal regions.  They say this even today.  Interestingly, a ship is retracing the steps of Australian explorer Douglas Mawson in the Antarctic.   Whose expedition suffered horribly during the winter months there about a century earlier.  The current expedition is aboard the MV Akademik Shokalski.  Which has been stuck in the ice since Christmas Eve.  And this during the summer months in the Antarctic.

Noted climate ‘scientist’ at the University of East Anglia, Dr. David Viner, said in 2000 that because of global warming “Children just aren’t going to know what snow is.”  Currently, the eighth winter storm this year, Winter Storm Hercules, is dumping over a foot of snow from Buffalo to Boston.  With blizzard warnings for Cape Cod and Long Island.  And bitter cold Arctic air will follow the snow.  About as bad as it was at Valley Forge.  With another winter storm following Winter Storm Hercules.  Funny.  Here we are almost 14 years later and there is still snow.  Proving how wrong the global warming alarmists have been.

Still, the global warming alarmists say we must fight global warming.  To allow the climate to cool.  Even though history has shown that a cooling climate leads to hunger, malnourishment and sickness.  And famine.  But the left fights for those things.  Why?  Because there ain’t a damn thing you can do with regulations to warm the planet.  But if you paint manmade global warming as the villain you can blame carbon.  And regulate the hell out of the economy.  And that’s something they will never let go of.  Hence their lying.  Because they just don’t want to give up the power that allowed them to make the incandescent light bulb illegal.

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Little Ice Age, Protestant Reformation, Louis XIV, Enlightenment, Seven Years’ War, American Revolution and French Revolution

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 28th, 2013

Politics 101

(Originally published August 30th, 2012)

King Louis XIV remained Catholic as Protestantism was Breaking Out in Europe and Britain

It’s been awhile since the last ice age.  In fact the last time we had a real ice age predated the first civilizations.  We still wore animal skins and hunted and gathered our food.  Long before we first farmed.  But it would get cool again.  Shortly after the Black Death (during the 1300s) it did get unseasonably cool.  So cool that we now call it the Little Ice Age (from 1350 to 1850 or thereabouts).  The glaciers didn’t cover Europe.  But it was cold.  And wet.  The spring took forever to change into summer.  While summer was quick to turn into fall.  Which led to short growing seasons.  Poor harvests.  Hunger.  And famine.

Martin Luther was no fan of the Pope.  Especially because of the indulgences he was selling.  A shortcut to heaven.  For those with money.  Which is what the Pope wanted.  Money.  For he was doing some costly renovations in Rome.  So in 1517 Martin Luther nailed up his Ninety-Five Theses to the church door demanding reform.  And kicking off the Protestant Reformation.  Well, the Catholic Church wasn’t interested in reform.  So Luther set up a new church.  With a new religion.  Protestantism.  A more plain religion.  With masses in the common language of the people.  Instead of Latin.  And no fancy things in the church.  No altars.  No stain glass.  No icons.  Just the word of God.  With over a thousand years of Catholicism already under their belt, though, a lot of people took offense to this.  And their offense offended the new Protestants.  So they went to war with each other for a few centuries or so over their religious differences.

King Louis XIV was one of the great French monarchs.  Under his rule France was the dominant European power.  The Sun King believed in the divine right of kings.  Absolute monarchism.  Doing pretty much as he pleased.  Which included a few wars.  And growing an empire with oversea colonies.  It cost a pretty penny.  And a lot of lives.  Louis remained Catholic as Protestantism was breaking out in Europe.  And in England.  For a couple hundred years or so England and France were bitter enemies.  Contesting colonial lands throughout the globe.  And defending the true faith.  Catholicism.  Or Protestantism.  The Catholic-Protestant battle lines stretched across Europe.  And to distant lands across the globe.  Including the New World.  Where they would both spend fortunes in waging war.

For the French the American War of Independence had nothing to do with the Americans

The Enlightenment, or the Age of Reason, gave the French Voltaire.  One of the great Enlightenment philosophers.  When Benjamin Franklin was in France the French were eager to bring two of the world’s greatest Enlightenment philosophers together.  And did.  The French also gave us the great Charles-Louis de Secondat, baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu.  The greatest influence on the Founding Fathers as they drafted our Constitution.  So there was some great thinking percolating in France.  Thoughts that focused on science and reason.  Not tradition and faith.  Even questioning some long-held beliefs about the Catholic Church, the aristocracy and the absolute monarchy.

Louis XIV built a great French empire.  The French seemed invincible.  Until Louis XV took over.  Who lost the Seven Years’ War to the British.  And saw French North America become British.  (And the Louisiana Territory go to Spain.)  That was tough having their eternal foe humiliate them.  The Protestant British.  It was a blow to French pride.  French commerce.  And French finances.  The near-perpetual state of war that had existed between Britain and France had cost both nations a lot of money.  The British decided to recoup some of that money by taxing their American colonies.  Which didn’t go over well with the Americans.  For unlike France the British had a constitutional monarchy.  Where the Parliament restricted the king’s powers.  That great institute of the people.  Which the Americans had no representation in.  Leading to their rebellion.  Because they didn’t like being treated like second-class subjects of the British Empire.  Which brought about the American Revolutionary War.

After the Americans defeated a British army at the Battle of Saratoga the French joined the Americans in their fight for independence from the oppression of a constitutional monarchy.  Which seemed rather odd being that the French at this time was still an absolute monarchy (though now ruled by Louis XVI).  Which was far more oppressive than the constitutional variety.  But for the French the American War of Independence had nothing to do with the Americans.  It had to do with French interests.  It was a chance to strike back at their eternal enemy.  The Protestant British.  And more importantly, when they won they could get back all their colonies they lost in the Seven Years’ War.

The French were Intoxicated with all of those Enlightenment Ideals and the American Win over an Oppressive Monarchy

The Americans won their independence.  But the French didn’t get anything they wanted.  All they got was a lot of debt.  To add to the enormous pile of debt they already had.  One of the French conditions for their alliance was that the Americans would not make a separate peace with the British.  Which is what the Americans did.  Why?  Because the French and the Spanish were conspiring against the Americans during the peace talks.  So they could expand their holdings in North America at the expense of the British and the Americans.  The French were even willing to trade American Independence away.  The British, who would rather have Americans on their former lands than the French or Spanish, made a separate peace with the Americans.

This act of diplomacy stunned the French.  For they had assurances from the American Congress that they would take the lead in the peace talks.  The Americans double-crossed them before they could double-cross the Americans.  This wasn’t supposed to happen in the world of European diplomacy.  Especially with rubes like the Americans.  But it did.  And the French were now in a world of hurt.  Broke.  And facing bankruptcy.  Desperately needing new tax revenue King Louis XVI called an Assembly of Notables.  The nobility and clergy.  But they didn’t want to pay any more taxes.  So the king called the Estates-General of 1789.  Which included the clergy, the nobility and everyone else (i.e., the Third Estate).

Meanwhile there was widespread hunger and malnutrition.  Poor grain harvests (in part due to the Little Ice Age) pushed the price of bread out of reach for many.  People were cold, hungry and poor.  In the Third Estate, that is.  For though they may have been suffering they saw that the nobility and the Catholic clergy were not.  In fact, they were living rather well.  Which inflamed the masses.  Who became intoxicated with all of those Enlightenment ideals.  And that American victory over an oppressive monarchy.  It got the people thinking.  That they didn’t need a nobility any more.  The Catholic Church.  Or a king.  And the people would get rid of these things.  For awhile, at least.  With something called the French Revolution.

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Global Warming Alarmists ignore Historical Record and claim Cooling is Better than Warming

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 2nd, 2013

Week in Review

Do you know why it was so cold at Valley Forge during the American Revolution?  We were in a mini ice age at the time. The Little Ice Age (from about 1350 to 1850).  Introduced by the Black Death.  The greatest plague in human history.  As the earth continued to cool we got shorter growing seasons.  And wetter growing seasons.  Leading to a little famine.  And war.  As nations struggled to feed themselves with shorter, colder and wetter growing seasons.  Plunging the world into centuries of world war.  Including the previously noted American Revolution.  Which followed the Seven Years’ War.  And was a prelude to the Napoleonic Wars.  And there were plenty more wars before, after and in between.

Disease, famine and war.  No, cold isn’t good.  Warm is good.  Just ask Napoleon.  Who was beaten by the brutal Russian winter.  Or those who died from cold, famine and disease at Valley Forge.  Yet there are those who believe that cold is better than warm (see Warming report sees violent, sicker, poorer future by Seth Borenstein, AP Science Writer, posted 11/8/2013 on Yahoo! News).

Starvation, poverty, flooding, heat waves, droughts, war and disease already lead to human tragedies. They’re likely to worsen as the world warms from man-made climate change, a leaked draft of an international scientific report forecasts.

Actually, history has shown all of these things are worse during times of global cooling.  When disease, famine and war were the norm.  Hitler invaded the Soviet Union for Lebensraum.  Living space.  Which meant taking the breadbasket of Europe for the German people.  The Ukraine.  A lot of wars have been fought over food.  And the less food there is the more frequent and brutal the wars.  For those who have no food suffer famine and die.

We’ve been putting carbon in the atmosphere since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution (1760ish).  We’ve been burning coal in our steam engines, locomotives, ships, steel plants, and our home furnaces for centuries.  The smoke, soot and ash was so thick and heavy that we made our city trains electric.  Because they don’t block out the sun when they run like our steam locomotives did.  Then coal gave way to petroleum products.  And the glorious internal combustion engine.  The greatest game changer in the history of man.

We’ve just been putting more and more carbon in the air since 1760.  And in those 250 or so years has any of the global warming doom and gloom come to pass?  No.  The world population has grown.  Because our food supply has grown.  And life expectancies have grown longer throughout this period because there have been fewer plagues, famines and wars.  The Pax Britannica (the British Peace) lasted about a century (1815–1914).  And the Pax Americana (the American Peace) has been going on since the end of World War II (1945).  We suffered some horrendous wars during these periods of peace but they were the exception not the rule.  In large part because the Little Ice Age had ended.  And the world was warming once again.

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Little Ice Age, Protestant Reformation, Louis XIV, Enlightenment, Seven Years’ War, American Revolution and French Revolution

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 30th, 2012

Politics 101

King Louis XIV remained Catholic as Protestantism was Breaking Out in Europe and Britain

It’s been awhile since the last ice age.  In fact the last time we had a real ice age predated the first civilizations.  We still wore animal skins and hunted and gathered our food.  Long before we first farmed.  But it would get cool again.  Shortly after the Black Death (during the 1300s) it did get unseasonably cool.  So cool that we now call it the Little Ice Age (from 1350 to 1850 or thereabouts).  The glaciers didn’t cover Europe.  But it was cold.  And wet.  The spring took forever to change into summer.  While summer was quick to turn into fall.  Which led to short growing seasons.  Poor harvests.  Hunger.  And famine.

Martin Luther was no fan of the Pope.  Especially because of the indulgences he was selling.  A shortcut to heaven.  For those with money.  Which is what the Pope wanted.  Money.  For he was doing some costly renovations in Rome.  So in 1517 Martin Luther nailed up his Ninety-Five Theses to the church door demanding reform.  And kicking off the Protestant Reformation.  Well, the Catholic Church wasn’t interested in reform.  So Luther set up a new church.  With a new religion.  Protestantism.  A more plain religion.  With masses in the common language of the people.  Instead of Latin.  And no fancy things in the church.  No altars.  No stain glass.  No icons.  Just the word of God.  With over a thousand years of Catholicism already under their belt, though, a lot of people took offense to this.  And their offense offended the new Protestants.  So they went to war with each other for a few centuries or so over their religious differences.

King Louis XIV was one of the great French monarchs.  Under his rule France was the dominant European power.  The Sun King believed in the divine right of kings.  Absolute monarchism.  Doing pretty much as he pleased.  Which included a few wars.  And growing an empire with oversea colonies.  It cost a pretty penny.  And a lot of lives.  Louis remained Catholic as Protestantism was breaking out in Europe.  And in England.  For a couple hundred years or so England and France were bitter enemies.  Contesting colonial lands throughout the globe.  And defending the true faith.  Catholicism.  Or Protestantism.  The Catholic-Protestant battle lines stretched across Europe.  And to distant lands across the globe.  Including the New World.  Where they would both spend fortunes in waging war.

For the French the American War of Independence had nothing to do with the Americans

The Enlightenment, or the Age of Reason, gave the French Voltaire.  One of the great Enlightenment philosophers.  When Benjamin Franklin was in France the French were eager to bring two of the world’s greatest Enlightenment philosophers together.  And did.  The French also gave us the great Charles-Louis de Secondat, baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu.  The greatest influence on the Founding Fathers as they drafted our Constitution.  So there was some great thinking percolating in France.  Thoughts that focused on science and reason.  Not tradition and faith.  Even questioning some long-held beliefs about the Catholic Church, the aristocracy and the absolute monarchy.

Louis XIV built a great French empire.  The French seemed invincible.  Until Louis XV took over.  Who lost the Seven Years’ War to the British.  And saw French North America become British.  (And the Louisiana Territory go to Spain.)  That was tough having their eternal foe humiliate them.  The Protestant British.  It was a blow to French pride.  French commerce.  And French finances.  The near-perpetual state of war that had existed between Britain and France had cost both nations a lot of money.  The British decided to recoup some of that money by taxing their American colonies.  Which didn’t go over well with the Americans.  For unlike France the British had a constitutional monarchy.  Where the Parliament restricted the king’s powers.  That great institute of the people.  Which the Americans had no representation in.  Leading to their rebellion.  Because they didn’t like being treated like second-class subjects of the British Empire.  Which brought about the American Revolutionary War.

After the Americans defeated a British army at the Battle of Saratoga the French joined the Americans in their fight for independence from the oppression of a constitutional monarchy.  Which seemed rather odd being that the French at this time was still an absolute monarchy (though now ruled by Louis XVI).  Which was far more oppressive than the constitutional variety.  But for the French the American War of Independence had nothing to do with the Americans.  It had to do with French interests.  It was a chance to strike back at their eternal enemy.  The Protestant British.  And more importantly, when they won they could get back all their colonies they lost in the Seven Years’ War.

The French were Intoxicated with all of those Enlightenment Ideals and the American Win over an Oppressive Monarchy

The Americans won their independence.  But the French didn’t get anything they wanted.  All they got was a lot of debt.  To add to the enormous pile of debt they already had.  One of the French conditions for their alliance was that the Americans would not make a separate peace with the British.  Which is what the Americans did.  Why?  Because the French and the Spanish were conspiring against the Americans during the peace talks.  So they could expand their holdings in North America at the expense of the British and the Americans.  The French were even willing to trade American Independence away.  The British, who would rather have Americans on their former lands than the French or Spanish, made a separate peace with the Americans.

This act of diplomacy stunned the French.  For they had assurances from the American Congress that they would take the lead in the peace talks.  The Americans double-crossed them before they could double-cross the Americans.  This wasn’t supposed to happen in the world of European diplomacy.  Especially with rubes like the Americans.  But it did.  And the French were now in a world of hurt.  Broke.  And facing bankruptcy.  Desperately needing new tax revenue King Louis XVI called an Assembly of Notables.  The nobility and clergy.  But they didn’t want to pay any more taxes.  So the king called the Estates-General of 1789.  Which included the clergy, the nobility and everyone else (i.e., the Third Estate).

Meanwhile there was widespread hunger and malnutrition.  Poor grain harvests (in part due to the Little Ice Age) pushed the price of bread out of reach for many.  People were cold, hungry and poor.  In the Third Estate, that is.  For though they may have been suffering they saw that the nobility and the Catholic clergy were not.  In fact, they were living rather well.  Which inflamed the masses.  Who became intoxicated with all of those Enlightenment ideals.  And that American victory over an oppressive monarchy.  It got the people thinking.  That they didn’t need a nobility any more.  The Catholic Church.  Or a king.  And the people would get rid of these things.  For awhile, at least.  With something called the French Revolution.

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Solar Activity causing Problems for Global Warming ‘Scientists’

Posted by PITHOCRATES - June 15th, 2011

Sunspot Activity is an Important Variable in Climate Forecasting

There’s a consensus in the global warming community.  And it says that global warming exists.  But there’s a problem now.  The sun, the source of our planet’s warmth, is throwing the global warming people a curve ball.  The sun may be getting cooler.  And, being the source of our warmth, our planet may now be getting cooler.  Amidst all this rampant global warming (see Scientists predict rare ‘hibernation’ of sunspots by Kerry Sheridan, AFP, posted 6/14/2011 on Yahoo! News).

According to three studies released in the United States on Tuesday, experts believe the familiar sunspot cycle may be shutting down and heading toward a pattern of inactivity unseen since the 17th century…and may contribute to climate change…”

Sunspot activity may contribute to climate change?  Interesting.  Because I never heard Al Gore say that.  He said man was causing climate change.  Warning that man’s carbon footprint on the planet would melt the polar ice caps and flood coastal areas.  By the way, after he said this he bought a beach house.  A mansion, really.  In a coastal area.  How brave of him.

Experts are now probing whether this period of inactivity could be a second Maunder Minimum, which was a 70-year period when hardly any sunspots were observed between 1645-1715, a period known as the “Little Ice Age.”

Now this is even more interesting.  Because the global warming people told us that unless we took action right now the planet was doomed.  Now we may save the planet by doing just that.  Nothing.  Scientists are saying we may have a cooling period of solar activity.  Just like that during the Little Ice Age.  Climate change caused by the sun.  Now that’s something you can’t blame man for.  Not even the Republicans.

The temperature change associated with any reduction in sunspot activity would likely be minimal and may not be enough to offset the impact of greenhouse gases on global warming, according to scientists who have published recent papers on the topic.

Even though the last time there was solar activity like this was one of the coldest periods known to man it probably means nothing now.  At least according to their computer models.  Those remarkable predicting machines.  That somehow failed to predict this solar activity.  Well, as long as solar activity isn’t a big climate variable.

If the cycle were to stop or slow down, the small fluctuation in temperature would do the same, eliminating the slightly cooler effect of a solar minimum compared to the warmer solar maximum. The phenomenon was witnessed during the descending phase of the last solar cycle.

This “cancelled part of the greenhouse gas warming of the period 2000-2008, causing the net global surface temperature to remain approximately flat — and leading to the big debate of why the Earth hadn’t (been) warming in the past decade,” Lean, who was not involved in the three studies presented, said in an email to AFP.

Wait a minute.  If it cancelled out a decade of global warming it must be a pretty darn big climate variable.  It’s so powerful it held global warming at bay for about a decade.  Single-handedly preventing all sorts of disasters.  And there were a lot of them predicted since the Nineties (and earlier).  Very specific disasters.  And they were all wrong.  Because they didn’t include what appears to be a pretty important variable.  A variable so important that it trumped every other variable in their computer models.  Which doesn’t say much for their predicting models.  Or the predictability of climate.

“A new Maunder-type solar activity minimum cannot offset the global warming caused by human greenhouse gas emissions,” wrote authors Georg Feulner and Stefan Rahmstorf, noting that forecasts by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change have found a range of 3.7 Celsius to 4.5 Celsius rise by this century’s end compared to the latter half of the 20th century.

“Moreover, any offset of global warming due to a grand minimum of solar activity would be merely a temporary effect, since the distinct solar minima during the last millennium typically lasted for only several decades or a century at most.”

Funny.  When sunspot activity correlates to similar activity during the Little Ice Age they use the word ‘may’.  Here they use the word ‘cannot’.  There is no way that a reduction in sunspot activity can stop manmade global warming.  Even though they got it wrong in the 2000-2008 period.  Because their models didn’t predict the cooling effect of a reduction in sunspot activity.  Nor did they predict a reduction in sunspot activity.  But despite these misses, their other predictions hold.  The planet is warming.  Because of man.  Even if we may have to wait another 100 years for those temperatures to get where the models said they’d be already.

The Maunder Minimum and the Little Ice Age

So did the Maunder Minimum cause the Little Ice Age?  According to some of the best climate ‘scientists’, it didn’t.  Because although a Maunder-type solar activity minimum held off devastating global warming from 2000-2008, there isn’t really a connection between an even bigger Maunder-type solar activity minimum (the Maunder Minimum itself) and the Little Ice Age (see Scientists see sunspot “hibernation” but no Ice Age by Deborah Zabarenko posted 6/15/2011 on Reuters).

They also wondered whether this possible slowdown, or even a long cessation of sunspot activity, indicates an upcoming return of the Maunder Minimum, a 70-year sunspot drought seen from 1645-1715…

They had no answer as to whether this might be true, and said nothing about whether the Maunder Minimum — named for astronomer E.H. Maunder — was related to a long cold period in Europe and other parts of the Northern Hemisphere known as the Little Ice Age.

How strong a connection is there between a Little Ice Age and a Maunder Minimum? “Not as strong a connection as people would like to believe,” Hill said by phone.

So the Maunder Minimum did not cause the Little Ice Age.  And we know this why?

“In my opinion, it is a huge leap … to an abrupt global cooling, since the connections between solar activity and climate are still very poorly understood,” he said in an e-mail.

Because we don’t understand the connections between solar activity and climate?  That’s your reason for saying there’s no connection between the two?  Because you don’t know?  Of course, if you don’t know, there could very well be a connection between the two.  Look, we know there’s a connection.  If the sun burned out the earth would freeze and all life would die.  Even with manmade global warming.  The sun is that important to the earth.  If you don’t have that factored into your computer models there’s something wrong with your models.

A Cooling Sun will Cool the Planet

Wait a tic.  Apparently there isn’t a consensus on this global warming thing after all.  While some poo poo solar activity’s affect on climate, others see a connection.  They see the correlation between the coldest period of the Little Ice Age and the Maunder Minimum (see Lack of sunspots may have aided ‘little ice age’ by Charles Q. Choi posted 6/6/2011 on MSNBC).

From the 1500s to the 1800s, much of Europe and North America were plunged into what came to be called the little ice age. The coolest part of this cold spell coincided with a 75-year period beginning in 1645 when astronomers detected almost no sunspots on the sun, a time now referred to as the Maunder Minimum.

There’s no connection between the Little Ice Age and the Maunder Minimum per the global warming ‘scientists’.  Yes, the coldest part of that ice age was during the Maunder Minimum.  But isn’t that just a coincidence?

Now scientists suggest there might have been fewer intensely bright spots known as faculae on the sun as well during that time, potentially reducing its brightness enough to cool the Earth.

The dip in the number of faculae in the 17th century might have dimmed the sun by just 0.2 percent, which may have been enough to help trigger a brief, radical climate shift on Earth, researcher Peter Foukal, a solar physicist at research company Heliophysics in Nahant, Mass., told LiveScience.

“The sun may have dimmed more than we thought,” Foukal said.

Guess not. 

A dimming of the sun may have caused a brief, radical climate shift during the Little Ice Age?  Really?  Wow.  That’s sort of the exact opposite of what the global warming ‘scientists’ said.  Being that the sun is the source of our warmth, it makes sense.  And the dimming may have been even dimmer than we once thought.  So it’s looking more and more like the Maunder Minimum may have caused the Little Ice Age.

Foukal emphasized this dimming might not have been the only or even main cause of the cooling seen during the little ice age. “There were also strong volcanic effects involved — something like 17 huge volcanic eruptions then,” he said.

Foukal also cautioned these findings regarding the sun did not apply to modern-day global warming. “Increased solar activity would not have anything to do with the global warming seen in the last 100 years,” he explained.

Now I’m confused.  Volcanic eruptions send ash, carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere.  So do coal-fired power plants.  Yet volcanoes cool the planet.  While burning coal warms the planet.  How can that be?  I guess anything is possible in the world of global warming and climate change.  Such as how the warming mechanism for the last 100 years can also been the cooling mechanism during the Little Ice Age.

There is no such thing as ‘Consensus’ in Science

We hear over and over again that only man is causing global warming.  But there’s been global warming before man and his Industrial Revolution polluted the planet.  The earth warmed after each ice age.  And the earth warmed after the Little Ice Age. 

And it’s looking like the Little Ice Age was caused by a decrease in sunspot activity.  Which may be happening again.  Which means the planet may start a cooling period.  During the height of global warming.  Which, if true, further lends credence to the claim that global warming is a hoax.  Created by man.  For political purposes.  Money.  Carbon permitsCarbon trading.  It’s all about the money.  As it always is.

This is the problem with scientific consensus.  There is no such thing.  A consensus is political.  Not scientific.  Because science is not about the money.  But politics is. 

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Global Warming Responsible for Record Cold and Snow?

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 26th, 2010

The Little Ice Age During Valley Forge Ended by Global Warming

Ice ages are cyclical.  The earth gets cold and glaciers move towards the equator.  Temperatures drop.  Growing seasons get shorter.  Wetter.  Winters are longer.  Colder.  And this happens a long time before the glaciers advance to cover habitable areas.

Sometimes an ice age teases us.  Sends out a little ice age some 10 thousand years or so before the real deal.  They fought the American Revolutionary War during one of these little ice ages.  The winter at Valley Forge?  It was so cold because of a little ice age.  All the winters during the Founding were pretty bitter and cold.

Of course, that little ice age ended.  It got warmer.  Without the aid of any manmade carbon.  Ditto for the full blown ice ages.  All of them.  They all ended.  Because it got warmer.  Without the help of manmade carbon in the air.

Global Cooling is Caused by Global Warming?

Now climatologists are saying up is down.  And black is white.  That circles are squares.  And that global warming caused that bitter cold winter at Valley Forge.

The Left will grasp at whatever straws they can grasp to maintain their assault on capitalism.  And that’s what their global warming activism is.  Anti-capitalism.  They’re all a bunch of people that couldn’t hack it in the real world and depend on government grants for their subsistence.  To pay for their pseudoscience.  And if there ain’t no global warming, then all their grant money dries up.  Which means they would have to get a job.  A real job.  Not some phony baloney job hidden from the real world at some university with a bunch of pretty young coeds.

So they’re getting a little creative with their explaining.  They acknowledge that it’s getting colder.  But it’s getting colder because it’s getting warmer (see Bundle Up, It’s Global Warming by Judah Cohen posted 10/25/2010 on The New York Times). 

THE earth continues to get warmer, yet it’s feeling a lot colder outside. Over the past few weeks, subzero temperatures in Poland claimed 66 lives; snow arrived in Seattle well before the winter solstice, and fell heavily enough in Minneapolis to make the roof of the Metrodome collapse; and last week blizzards closed Europe’s busiest airports in London and Frankfurt for days, stranding holiday travelers. The snow and record cold have invaded the Eastern United States, with more bad weather predicted.

All of this cold was met with perfect comic timing by the release of a World Meteorological Organization report showing that 2010 will probably be among the three warmest years on record, and 2001 through 2010 the warmest decade on record.

Yes.  It’s getting colder because it’s getting warmer.  Hard to argue with that logic.  Unless it gets warmer.  Because if it gets warmer, then it must be getting cooler.  Because global warming doesn’t make it warm.  It makes it cooler.  Why?  Because they just said so.  So, if it keeps getting colder, we have a global warming problem.  If it gets warmer, I guess we can breathe a sigh of relief because there is no global warming.

I get it now.

Wishing Thinking and Fear Keep Global Warming Money Flowing

I’m just funning with you.  That’s an asinine explanation.  And so is this.

As global temperatures have warmed and as Arctic sea ice has melted over the past two and a half decades, more moisture has become available to fall as snow over the continents. So the snow cover across Siberia in the fall has steadily increased.

They’ve been predicting that the coastlines would disappear as the ocean levels rise and reclaim coastal areas.  But they haven’t.  Seaside resorts have been where they have been for a couple of centuries.  Or more.  Key West is still not under water.  Neither is Martha’s Vineyard.  Or Malibu.  Al Gore himself bought a coastal mansion in a place with very high real estate values.  They’re real high because that area has been around for long enough to become exclusive and difficult to move into.  And Al Gore appears to be betting on it being there for the indefinite future.

The only way for there to be more water available in the ocean to fall as snow is for the ocean surface area to grow.  Because it is only the surface water that evaporates.  And unless the surface gets bigger, there isn’t more water evaporating.  And rich environmentalists can still live in their seaside resorts.

The sun’s energy reflects off the bright white snow and escapes back out to space. As a result, the temperature cools. When snow cover is more abundant in Siberia, it creates an unusually large dome of cold air next to the mountains, and this amplifies the standing waves in the atmosphere, just as a bigger rock in a stream increases the size of the waves of water flowing by.

Well, it was cold when glaciers covered much of the earth.  And glaciers are white.  So maybe that’s why the ice ages came.  Because the earth was covered by glaciers.  Which reflected the sun’s energy back into space.  Making it cold.  Of course, that’s silly.  Explaining that ice ages were caused by glaciers cooling the earth.  Because the earth had to cool first before the glaciers advanced.

Global warming doesn’t only happen in the summer.  Temperatures throughout the year are averaged to arrive at a ‘global’ temperature.  If we’re having record cold in winter, then the summers would have to be far hotter than they have been to net out the cold winters and still show warming.  And they haven’t been.  It wasn’t that hot last summer.  Or the summer before it.  I mean, I can remember some real hot summers I suffered as a kid.  Driving on a family vacation in a heat wave without air conditioning in the car.  Feeling my feet burn through my shoes as I walked on a hot asphalt parking lot.  And I grew up where we our winters were full of snow.

The increased wave energy in the air spreads both horizontally, around the Northern Hemisphere, and vertically, up into the stratosphere and down toward the earth’s surface. In response, the jet stream, instead of flowing predominantly west to east as usual, meanders more north and south. In winter, this change in flow sends warm air north from the subtropical oceans into Alaska and Greenland, but it also pushes cold air south from the Arctic on the east side of the Rockies. Meanwhile, across Eurasia, cold air from Siberia spills south into East Asia and even southwestward into Europe.

I like the show Scrubs.  One episode Dr. Cox was belittling J.D. for a complex diagnosis he made while ignoring a much easier and more obvious explanation.  I think he asked J.D. if he heard of Occam’s Razor, the philosophical theory that says the easiest explanation is the best explanation.  He said if you hear running hoofs, don’t think zebras.  Think horseys.  Occam’s Razor applies to weather, too.  If it’s getting colder out, it’s because it’s getting colder.  Not warmer.

That is why the Eastern United States, Northern Europe and East Asia have experienced extraordinarily snowy and cold winters since the turn of this century. Most forecasts have failed to predict these colder winters, however, because the primary drivers in their models are the oceans, which have been warming even as winters have grown chillier. They have ignored the snow in Siberia.

Forecasters have failed to forecast “extraordinarily snowy and cold winters since the turn of this century.”  There’s a reason for this.  Climate is complex.  And forecasters suck.  Forecasting is nothing more than a ‘best guess’.  Their models are complex guessing machines.  They can’t forecast what’s going to happen.  I mean, it was only a couple of decades ago they were warning us about an impending ice age.  This from the same people that are warning us of global warning today.

Bare Footprints Moved Glaciers Farther than Carbon Footprints

These pseudo-scientists can rationalize all they want but they can’t explain away some basic facts.  Glaciers come and go.  They moved a whole lot farther some 10,000 years ago than they have in the last few centuries.  And back then the only footprint man made was with a bare foot.  Much like many of those at Valley Forge during that little ice age.

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