Why Trump is president

June 25, 2019

Mark Steyn:

If respectable politicians are forbidden to raise certain subjects, the voters will turn to unrespectable ones. The people are telling their rulers something important here. The longer the ruling class – in Washington, London, Paris and elsewhere – refuse to listen, the worse it is going to be.

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Climate change

June 5, 2019

After seeing yet another post today about “climate change” and “denying science” I thought I’d post my thoughts on the subject, in the form of questions and my answers.

Q: Is the climate changing?
A: Yes. The climate is always changing, and always has been changing.
Q: Is human activity, in particular the burning of fossil fuels, affecting the climate?
A: Yes, CO2 is a greenhouse gas. Other human activities also have the potential to affect climate.
Q: Will human emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gasses cause serious harm to the environment, including runaway heating of the atmosphere?
A: Here’s where it gets interesting. There are models, based on scientific properties of greenhouse gasses and other scientifically measured factors, that show results along these lines. However, models like this have been around since the late 1990’s, and still haven’t produced a track record of accurately predicting future climate change. How could this be? Well, the climate is a complicated thing, and including all the factors that affect it in your model is quite difficult. For example, most climate models assume solar radiation hitting the earth is constant, but it actually varies. (Some of our best models of solar activity predict that we are entering a period of reduced solar radiation, which if nothing else were affecting the climate would lead to significant cooling.) So the claim that “Science!” proves continued use of fossil fuels will doom us is a serious exaggeration.
Q: Is it imperative that the government Do Something™ to prevent catastrophic climate change?
A: The track record of massive government programs to fix large problems is not very good. I believe that, even if the worst predictions of climate models turned out to be correct, the odds that government action would ameliorate the problem are infinitesimally small, while the odds it would make things worse are high.

Edited to add: You’ll note that the last question isn’t really about science, it’s about public policy. However, most of the “climate change” discussion is really about those policy issues, with “science” invoked to justify the policy.

The adult in the room

June 1, 2019

The United States is truly blessed to have William Barr as our current Attorney General.