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    Tuesday, June 23, 2015

    Pope Francis Deserves a Revisit

    I'm not Catholic, and I have been a little harsh with Pope Francis and his latest encyclical.

    I think unfairly.

    Spend a little time at the Ace of Spades HQ group blog, and you'll discover all kinds of right of center thought, I highly recommend the site to be on your list of go-to places for your libertarian/conservative thought leadership.

    Today, I was reading Sean Bannion's open post on the Pope's Encyclical and it is well worth the read.  My eyes have been opened.   Kathryn Lopez over at NR has been a big Francis fan, and I understand what he's trying to do (I think) is draw many more into the Catholic Church's fold.  But, like Bannion, I would prefer the Pope have stayed away from this one.  Anyone who has read my Facebook rants on this or even here knows I am of the mind that regardless of the causes of climate change, the proscriptions being suggested will result in the continued impoverishment of billions who need electricity and clean water and safe eating supplies more than we need to prevent a few inches in sea level rise or a couple degress F temperature rise...even if we could stop those things from happening.

    Which we can't.

    So, I find it dangerous that a Pope who is making the cause of The Poor the center of his Papacy would take or endorse a position that will have the net impact of damning so many of them to continued poverty.

    Anyway, Bannion points out there is really much more in this encyclical that the Left would never get behind (well, like everything else in it).  If you're looking for a great place to start on this, with lots of links and reasoned thought, this article is a great one.

    On those lines, while you should check some of the links in the post, 11 Things You Probably Won't Hear About Pope Francis' Encyclical should be among them.  After you read them, you'll understand why the left's own media won't report them, instead focusing on the Pope's newfound status as a climate expert.  These alone may inspire you to give some thought to readng the entire thing (or seeking some trusted experts to interpret it for you), and help you explain to your friends why Caitlyn Jenner is so....icky (and wrong), but you can still ask me why I am not terribly bothered by what Jenner is up to, even though I accept it as an affront to God, and really more about what it says about Bruce Jenner.

    But, I digress.

    Wednesday, June 17, 2015

    Global Warming and the Military - Just Say No

    It was suggested in a post on The Stupid Shall Be Punished​ group that former RADML Titley was an honorable scientific mind who buys into the AGW story and we should bow to his will.  Since I had no knowledge of the admiral, I found this TedTalk he gave while still in uniform (he's now a Professor in the Met department at Penn State - more thoughts on that later)

    The tease on this Ted Talk was that he had been a AGW skeptic and had some massive epiphany and this was going to explain it.  So, since I am a skeptic, and I tend to give great deference to submariner's opinions, I decided to give the Admiral 22 minutes of my time and see what compelling evidence led him to convert.

    I must admit, I was underwhelmed.

    Titley goes through a litany of items that he claims don't explain the warming of the 20th Century.  He notes that we took on particulate emissions as part of the revision of the clean air act, and jokingly explains that an unintended consequence of this is that it actually contributes to global warming.  If he intends it to be ironic that this great accomplishment leads to more global warming AND it was unintended, in a speech where he's trying to convice you the science is immutable, he doesn't seem to be bothered by it.

    He even has the chutzpah to suggest that the models are part of what convinced him to change his stripes.  At the same time he admits ocean acidification is not really significant, he is touting the unproven, and unlikely party line that all the heat has gone into the oceans.  Huh?  If there's one thing the Global Warmists should stop doing, it is making predictions. These are not helping their case.

    Anyway, I don't find his reasoning that interesting, ground breaking, or compelling.  Like many in the Warmist camp, he exaggerates things and relies on the extreme case scenarios when discussing possible outcomes (things like a 21st Century prediction of a 6 foot rise in Global Sea Levels).  I'd refer him back to the models, that don't seem too great now after a 20 year pause.

    I also find his allegiance to Penn State an issue.  This is the group of scientists implicated in the ClimateGate emails as willing to fudge data and smear their opponents.  I am sure that were it me, and I wanted to be seen as a purely objective scientist on this issue, I might stay away from PSU.  I don't begrudge the guy his job there, but, I wonder how much a former skeptic, looking at retirement from the Navy after 32 years, and seeking to join academia, would be willing to reconsider his beliefs if he felt they might affect future employment opportunities.

    On this point, let's be clear.  Spending on Climate Change by the Warmists dwarfs that done by skeptics.  The biggest spender on AGW research is not Exxon/Mobil/Shell/BP/Etc.but the US Government.  The AGW crowd is involved in an industry that must have these research dollars to survive.  Like Claude Raines in Casablanca, they are happy to blow with the wind, and the prevailing wind is with the Warmists right now.

    Finally, let me address a couple of areas that concern me about the Navy in the last 25 years.  Back in 1992, the Navy decided to conduct a witch hunt in the turbulence of the Tailhook scandal.  Navy leadership has since then determined that being the most PC of the services was an effective means of securing and currying favor with Congress and Democratic administrations.  I can't say that, looking at the prevailing winds in 1991/1992 that this wouldn't have been a prudent, post-Cold War move for a service about to lose its primary reason for existence, the Soviet Navy.

    So, the Navy decided it would push hard on integrating women into the service.  This came at the expense of much of the male-centered culture that so dominated the service.  After 25 years of continual sexual assualt/harassment training and pushes to get more female sailors, I think it's largely a success in its broad goals - addressing manning issues and responding to the pressures brought by lawmakers on the Hill and 2 liberal democratic administrations.  That has come at a cost.  I'd just like people to acknowledge that the Navy really hasn't embraced this out of some actual desire to forge societal change, but really out of political self-presevation motives.

    The other area that not just the Navy, but all the services have decided to bow to political whim is the Global Climate Change cause.  If any Navy leader can look me  in the eye and say with all seriousness that Global Warming is the greatest challenge facing mankind, I would have to laugh at them (inwardly, if they outrank me).  I think this one is an even more cynical self-preservation tactic. I think it's particularly cynical for the Navy.

    Let's face it, what could be better for the Navy than 6 more feet of water on the planet and more choke-points and oceans to protect.  Hell, we may get our 600 ship Navy this way.  We'll need more submarines to prowl the Arctic and track the Russians operating there, as well as conduct GW research missions.  We'll need more ships and aircraft to patrol the world's new chokepoints, and we'll (ostensibly) need to retoool our bases that Titley reminds us will (I guess?) be submerged in more water.

    Of course, when the models that have failed today don't track on 2030 either, we'll need to re-evaluate this whole climate change thing, but, having gotten out front in 2015, the services, especially the Navy, will be well on the way to nirvana.