Uncle Sam is Coming for Your IRA

“I rob banks because that’s where the money is.”  (Willy Sutton)
Uncle Sam is Coming for Your IRA
By: George Noga – November 17, 2019

        Our headline is incomplete. Uncle Sam is not coming just for your IRA; he is coming for your 401(k), 403(b) and corporate and government pension. In short, he is coming for all your retirement assets. The government is coming for your pension for precisely the same reason Willy Sutton robbed banks – because that’s where the money is. It already has begun with the imminent passage of the Secure Act.

      The “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement” Act, known euphemistically by its acronym, the Secure Act, passed the House of Representatives 417-3 in May. It is expected to pass the Senate with widespread support although a few senators are holding it up for various reasons. The Secure Act is a poster child for two MLLG principles. The title of a law is inversely related to its effect and the more euphonic the name, the greater the harm. Second, any law that has near unanimous support is, ipso facto, bad for the nation – if both parties like it, we’re screwed.

Politicians and IRAs are analogous to grave robbers and King Tut’s tomb

         The Secure Act destroys decades of meticulous planning by millions of middle class Americans by eliminating the stretch IRA – that allows savers to leave their IRAs to children and grandchildren and to stretch distributions over their lifetimes. This taxpocalypse gobbles up 35% of inherited IRAs without Congress having to vote for a tax increase; it upends college planning; and, it creates an estate planning cataclysm. Although the Secure Act targets IRAs, it also ensnares Roth IRAs, 401(k)s and the entire panoply of retirement assets which can be rolled into IRA accounts.

The Secure Act is only the beginning; it gets worse – much worse

        Among the Secure Act’s occult provisions is a mandate that annuities be offered as a payout option on all retirement accounts. This is the camel’s nose under the tent and could lead to mandatory annuitization of all retirement accounts. That would force distributions into higher brackets, accelerate taxable distributions and eliminate all inherited IRAs – not just the stretch ones. Best of all for politicians, they could accomplish this without voting for a tax increase. But wait; it gets even worse.

        The spending crisis will reach critical mass – likely in the coming decade. Please see our four-part series on the US spending crisis that ran from April 28 to May 19, 2019; it is on our website: www.mllg.us.  US public debt will approach $40 trillion by the end of the coming decade. By a calamitous coincidence, US retirement assets also will approach $40 trillion in exactly the same time frame. BINGO!

         When the debt crisis is tearing America asunder and there is a pool of money that would pay off the entire debt, is there any sentient person who believes the ineluctable won’t happen? The government, either piecemeal or in one fell swoop, will seize all your retirement assets and convert them into government pensions to be paid in fiat currency. Think this is farfetched? In recent years, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, Ireland and France have, through one artifice or another, seized money from pension assets.

        It’s so obvious Willie Sutton and King Tut’s grave robbers understood it. Uncle Sam must go where the money is and that is your retirement assets. The Secure Act is but the first step in what will be a long train of usurpations of your retirement assets.


Next up on November 24th is our special Thanksgiving posting.
      .
More Liberty Less Government  –  mllg@mllg.us  –  www.mllg.us

Climate of Confusion – Part VII It’s Not About Climate; It Never Was

Manmade warming is nothing but a phantasmagoria, i.e. a sequence of imagined horrors.
Climate of Confusion – Part VII
It’s Not About Climate; It Never Was
By: George Noga – November 10, 2019

         This is the seventh and final post in this series; all prior posts are available on our website: www.mllg.us. The following summarizes our beliefs about climate change.

        Climate always is changing; climate change is a tautological phrase intended by proponents of manmade warming to weaponize every weather event. Earth has been warming for nearly 200 years in fits and starts, with pauses and even intervals of cooling. We are in a 20-year pause, with no warming since 1998 other than El Nino years. This warming is a normal part of climate cycles caused by changes in solar irradiance, eccentricity of Earth’s orbit, obliquity (axial tilt) and position at perihelion. Humanity’s contribution, if any, to warming is minor and inconsequential.

        The highly touted 97% scientific consensus that mankind is responsible for most warming originated with John Cook, whose work has been discredited. All other sources, including NASA, alleging a scientific consensus are equally spurious. If, a arguendo, a consensus existed, it would be limited to man causing most warming and nothing more. Other scientific groups, including 31,487 physicists, have reached an opposite consensus. The 2018 Nobel Prize in Economics went to an economist whose work proved that mitigating warming causes humanity more harm than good.

        Data showing rising temperatures result from human adjustments to terrestrial data, nearly all of which lowered temperatures in earlier years to create a misleading impression of a warming trend. Satellite data, which have no human adjustments, show no significant recent warming pattern. Other credible data show no recent increase in record temperatures, extreme weather or net melting of icecaps. Even if all these things were happening, it would be evidence only of secular – and not manmade – warming.

       Other convincing arguments against man’s role include, inter alia, warming throughout the solar system, argument from authority, Occam’s Razor, history of junk science, failure of all climate scares to materialize, meltdown of computer models, refusal to debate, outright (hockey stick) frauds, politicization and political correctness of science and media, science is never settled, Singapore and changes in CO2 sensitivity. There also are powerful economic, political and religious arguments.

        A potent argument against government action to reduce emissions is its global scope. If the USA reduced carbon emissions to zero, it would cut greenhouse gasses by 29 ppm in 80 years with no effect on temperature. Unilateral climate actions wreck our economy, harm ordinary people and achieve no benefit. When developed nations seek to reduce greenhouse gasses, they export pollution to dirtier undeveloped nations.

        The Green New Deal doesn’t protect against an existential threat, it is one. Green energy is a dead end, a reality obvious to Warren Buffet and many western nations that are quietly expanding fossil fuel resources. Renewables are running into immutable physical limits of energy density and economic limits of cost. Wind and solar must be 100% backed by fossil fuels. Humanity should adapt to any future climate-caused dislocations instead of impoverishing ourselves in a futile attempt at mitigation.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

        We tried hard to be objective and presented every known argument for manmade warming, but the facts and logic overwhelmingly are aligned on the opposite side. In the end, manmade warming is nothing more than a phantasmagoria, i.e. a sequence of imagined horrors. Future generations will judge climate change as an historic mass delusion, rivaling tulip mania, the South Sea Bubble and the Salem witch trials.

        All progressive movements consist of two groups. There are a few leaders, who either know or who are agnostic that manmade warming is a giant hoax. Then there is a large cohort of acolytes and media who guzzle the cool aid. To progressives, truth is irrelevant because the ends justify the means. They know that their ideas are so toxic they can’t ever get what they want at the ballot box. So they search for another way, i.e. manmade climate change. It is not about climate; it never was!


Next on November 17th – The  government is coming for your IRAs.
More Liberty Less Government  –  mllg@mllg.us  –  www.mllg.us

Climate of Confusion – Part VI Global Scope – Green New Deal – Green Energy – Adaptation

The Green New Deal doesn’t protect us against an existential threat; it is one!
Climate of Confusion – Part VI
Global Scope – Green New Deal – Green Energy – Adaptation
By: George Noga – November 6, 2019

        This is part six of seven parts; all prior parts are on our website: www.mllg.us.  The global nature of climate is of supreme importance and is where we begin.

Global Scope of Greenhouse Gas Emissions  

        Climate intrinsically is global. Unilateral actions by the USA, and even by the entire western world, are insignificant because the west already has taken stringent measures vis-a-vis the rest of the world. If the USA went totally carbonless, the effect would be 29 parts per million in emissions by 2100 and would result in no discernible difference in temperature. A billion people still are without electricity and population will grow 3.6 billion by 2100 – nearly all outside the west. This moots any climate actions that exclude China, India, Africa and the rest of the non-western world.

          A closely related issue is carbon dioxide leakage. When western nations impose unilateral measures to reduce CO2, it usually “leaks” or shifts to less developed nations resulting in no net reduction. Emissions often increase because less developed nations are energy inefficient. When economic activity shifts from the USA to say Bangladesh, our emissions go down but global emissions increase. Earth would be much better off if manufacturing remained in the USA, even if our own emissions stayed higher.

The Green New Deal (“GND”)

       The environmental movement took a sharp left turn after the fall of the USSR. Former commies, with nowhere to go, infiltrated the green movement becoming watermelon environmentalists, i.e. green on the outside and red on the inside. But their goals never changed; now they are trying to achieve them by hijacking climate change.

        Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabarti, said: “The interesting thing about GND is that it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all . . . we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.” The GND is like a progressive wish list; it includes: (1) family sustaining wage; (2) medical leave; (3) family leave; (4) paid vacations; (5) retirement security; (6) health care; (7) affordable housing; (8) anti-discrimination measures; and (9) pro union provisions. The GND opposes every reliable, affordable and abundant form of energy and costs up to $100 trillion. The Green New Deal doesn’t protect America against an existential threat; it is one!

Why Green Energy (Renewals) is Not the Future

        Green energy is not our future. No one says it out loud because they are too busy virtue signaling; but their actions speak. Across the world, nations (including Sweden, Germany and the USA) have concluded green energy can’t ever supply their needs and are busy adding massive amounts of fossil fuels to the grid. Warren Buffet just invested an additional $10 billion in oil and gas resources. Despite massive subsidies, green energy remains too expensive and nations cannot risk running out of electricity.

        It all comes down to the physics of energy. Technical innovations cannot solve the fundamental problems of green energy; they are inherent in nature. We can make more and bigger solar panels and wind turbines, but we can’t make the sun shine or the wind blow more often. Also, wind and solar must be 100% backed by fossil fuel capacity.

       The cost of wind and solar has deceased but there is little room for further savings. Battery technology has run up against immutable natural limits. Wind and solar are not energy dense, require lots of land and are not economically competitive even with huge subsidies. Fossil fuels are not an existential threat, they are an existential resource.

Adaptation is Preferable to Mitigation

       Mitigation means lowering temperature via human action and is wrongheaded because: (1) Nobel Laureate William Nordhaus demonstrated the best policy is to do nothing; (2) there is a significant chance mankind is not causing warming and mitigation would be wasted; (3) the world will be much richer  in many decades when potential warming problems may surface; (4) mankind always has been adapting to  climate; (5) spending a dollar today costs much more (present value) than spending a dollar in the distant future; and (6) adaptation can much more precisely target spending to specific identifiable problems instead of indiscriminate spending on mitigation.

         Adaptation is safer and more cost-effective. Mankind, as it has since time immemorial, will adapt to whatever curve balls climate may throw at us. Besides, market economies work incredibly well to solve any challenges facing humanity.


You won’t want to miss the final part of Climate of Confusion on November 10th.
More Liberty Less Government  –  mllg@mllg.us  –  www.mllg.us

Climate of Confusion – Part V Economic, Political, Religious Case Against Manmade Warming

Voters worldwide reject climate change alarmism, carbon taxes and regulations. 
Climate of Confusion – Part V
Economic, Political, Religious Case Against Manmade Warming
By: George Noga – November 3, 2019

        This is the fifth of seven parts; prior parts are on our website: www.mllg.us. This post outlines the economic, political and religious case against man-made warming.

Economic Considerations Related to Man-made Warming

          Even if man is causing most climate change, everything we are doing is wrong. We need honest cost-benefit analysis to prioritize spending to do the most good for the most people. It is lunacy to spend trillions today in the hope of achieving uncertain and infinitesimal benefits in the distant future. Stanford University estimated we will spend $100 trillion to (maybe) reduce temperature by .3 (three-tenths) degrees by 2100.

          We must maximize economic growth to better deal with the effects of warming, should they materialize and cause problems many decades from now. We should continue to fund research in an unbiased manner, including for renewables, battery technology and conservation. In a bold move, we could offer $100 million prizes to unleash creativity and to incentivize predetermined technological breakthroughs.

Nobel economist: “We should do nothing at all about climate change.”

        William Nordhaus won the 2018 Nobel Prize in economics for his pioneering work on the economics of climate change. He demonstrated that economic policies (including an optimal carbon tax) necessary to limit warming to 1.5 C would do far greater harm to humans in reduced output and it would be better for governments to do nothing at all about climate change. Soon after Nordhaus won the prize, the UN released a report advocating governments limit warming to 1.5 C. The media reported extensively about the UN report but (surprise) ignored Nordhaus.

Political Aspects of Anthropogenic Warming

         Voters planet wide  reject climate change alarmism, regulations, and carbon taxes; see our 1/27/19 post on our website for a comprehensive discussion. Polls show Americans rank climate change last out of 20 issues. Warmists respond by ramping up the rhetoric: climate change is now climate apocalypse; a denier is now a heretic.

         There is an established 5-stage life cycle for political movements like climate change; it is described in detail in our post of 7/15/18 and yes, it is on our website. Stage 1 (problem identified) began in 1988. In stage 2 politicians and media embrace the issue. In stage 3 the public becomes skeptical about costs, benefits and underlying facts; this began with the Kyoto Protocol in 2005. In stage 4 from 2012 to 2017, public interest wanes. We now are in stage 5, the final post-problem phase, when the issue is dead politically; it began with our 2017 withdrawal from the Paris Agreement.

The Religious Dimensions of Climate Change

          Progressives and media have proclaimed a new, universal and omnipotent god who threatens to destroy our planet if we don’t obey its every diktat. This god demands total obeisance and commands that we expend all our planet’s resources, abandon all other priorities and slash our living standards to build obelisks – far grander in scale than even the great pyramids – in its honor. Those who resist are heretics. Following are but two examples of religion trumping science; there are many more.

        Nuclear power proves definitively climate change is a religion. Proponents of human causation screech that it will destroy life on earth, but they reject out of hand the single greatest solution. Nuclear has zero carbon emissions and offers reliable and cost-effective power. Moreover, it is safe; more people died at Chappaquiddick than at Three Mile Island and Fukushima (from radiation) combined. Even the Chernobyl disaster resulted in few casualties despite incomprehensible commie screwups.

          Gas powered cars, along with nuclear power, are sinful objects in the progressive catechism. All cars in the western world could be banned and it would make little dent in carbon emissions. Nonetheless, warmists go to insane lengths to wring meaningless  CO2 reductions from cars. But electric vehicles rank high in the progressive pantheon even though, over the life cycle of an EV, there is no appreciable difference in carbon emissions versus gas cars; they just pretend EVs all are charged with wind and solar.


Stay tuned for Part VI of Climate of Confusion on November 6th.
More Liberty Less Government  –  mllg@mllg.us  –  www.mllg.us

Climate of Confusion – Part IV Scientific and Logical Case Against Manmade Warming

Occam’s Razor: The simplest explanation is most likely the correct one.
Climate of Confusion – Part IV
Scientific and Logical Case Against Manmade Warming
By: George Noga – October 30, 2019

         This is the fourth of seven parts; prior parts are on our website: www.mllg.us.  We begin by summarizing the case against manmade warming made in prior posts.

  • Proponents consider manmade warming an existential threat but do not oppose secular warming. This is illogical and calls their motives into question.
  • There is no scientific consensus that warming is anthropologically caused.
  • The IPCC has stated that moderate warming is a net benefit to humanity.
  • Unadjusted satellite data show temperatures nearly unchanged for 20 years.
  • Weather-related insurance claims show no increase in extreme weather.
  • Icecaps are increasing in some places (Greenland) and decreasing in others.

Following are other compelling scientific and logical arguments in the case against manmade warming. They are not listed in any particular order.

Warming throughout the solar system: NASA has documented warming on 11 planets and moons in our solar system but not a single instance of cooling. The odds are over 1,000 to 1 against this occurring randomly if temperatures on Earth were rising mainly due to human activity. See our post of 12/8/13 (on website) for NASA sources.

Argument from authority: Citing a (false) scientific consensus, IPCC and media reports is the weakest form of argument. Authorities must prove claims like anyone else.

Warming and human welfare: During the past 200 years, a warming climate has been accompanied by the greatest increase in human welfare of all time.

Occam’s Razor: The simplest explanation is most likely the correct one; solar warming is a much simpler and less convoluted explanation than an anthropological one.

Failure of predictions: Warming predictions have been spectacularly wrong. Gore predicted Manhattan would be under water by 2010. The IPCC predicted entire nations would be wiped away and there would be 50 million climate refugees by 2010.

Science is never settled: To avoid debate, warming proponents argue the science is settled. So was gravity and heliocentrism until Einstein and Galileo.

Junk science: Our 11/25/18 post (see website) listed 50 recent instances of junk science promulgated by alleged experts and hyped by the media – all debunked. This creates a presumption of doubt for manmade warming. Remember acid rain and global cooling?

Politicization of science: Government funding, along with political  correctness, biases climate change research. Government funds $3,000 for every $1 from others.

Carbon dioxide sensitivity: New research shows the effect of CO2 on temperature is much less than earlier believed. Circa 2000, a doubling of CO2 was believed to raise temperature 3-6 degrees. By 2010 this was reduced to 3 degrees; now it is 1 degree. Models continue to use 3-5 degrees – explaining, in part, why they are so wrong. Mt. Pinatubo in 1991 spewed more greenhouse gasses than the entire human race ever has.

Failure of computer models: They have failed spectacularly. The logical explanation (Occam) is warming is not significantly anthropogenic and hence cannot be modeled.

Other scientific explanations: Climate is affected by changes in solar irradiance, sun spots, eccentricity of Earth’s orbit, obliquity (axial tilt) and position at perihelion.

Refusal to debate: If the science truly was settled, scientists and politicians would be eager to debate and to trounce their opponents. The simplest explanation (Occam) is they refuse to debate because they know they would lose – and likely be embarrassed.

Singapore: The average mean daily temperature in Singapore is 55 degrees warmer than the global average; yet, it is modern, clean, rich, high-tech, diverse and peaceful.

Fraud: Proponents of manmade warming repeatedly have engaged in fraud on a massive scale. Examples include the infamous hockey stick graph, UK deleted emails, adjustments to past temperatures and flagrant chicanery and flimflam by Al Gore.


Look for Part V in our series on November 3rd.
More Liberty Less Government  –  mllg@mllg.us  –  www.mllg.us

Climate of Confusion – Part III Remainder of the Case for Manmade Warming

There are numerous and serious flaws with reported terrestrial temperatures. 
Climate of Confusion – Part III
Remainder of the Case for Manmade Warming
By: George Noga – October 27, 2019

        This is the third of seven parts; you can read the first two parts on our website: www.mllg.us. In this part we address the UN-IPCC, US National Climate Assessment, rising temperatures, extreme weather, rising sea level and melting icecaps and glaciers.

           UN-IPCC: Other than the putative 97% scientific consensus described in Part II, the IPCC is the most frequently cited authority for anthropogenic warming. The IPCC has made many alarming, dire and even apocalyptic pronouncements; but they also have stated that “Moderate warming is a net benefit to humanity“. The IPCC, in its most recent report, simply states: “Human interference with the climate system is occurring and climate change poses risks for human and natural systems.” This hardly rises to the level of a clarion call for drastic action to fight an existential threat.

         IPCC reports, glommed onto by the media, are summaries of thousands of pages of raw data; they are written by politicians (not scientists) and often are at variance with the underlying data. As a governmental body, the IPCC is inherently political and its scientists are compromised by lucrative grants and cowed by political correctness. A recent IPCC report described a worst case scenario in which manmade warming would lower global GDP by only 14 one-hundredths of one percent per year to 2100.

        US National Climate Assessment: The most recent assessment stated that in the worst case, the GDP of the US would be 4% greater in 2090 if there were no human effect on climate. This is a nothing burger.

         Rising Temperatures: Frenzied media reporting of high temperatures makes this the third biggest reason people believe in manmade warming. But there are numerous and serious flaws with reported temperature data; the top ten are listed below.

  1. We are in a 200-year secular warming cycle independent of human causation.
  2. Temperature has not increased in 20 years except for a few El Nino years.
  3. Human adjustments to terrestrial data explain almost all the increase because prior years were adjusted downward to make it appear warming is increasing.
  4. Many terrestrial measurements are taken in UHIs – urban heat islands.
  5. Satellite data (which are unadjusted) show no significant recent warming.
  6. Record temperatures occur in normal years; there’s always a record somewhere. Days over 100 degrees have not increased in the US.
  7. Of all twentieth century warming, 75% occurred from 1910 to 1945.
  8. Cooling was the norm from 1946 to 1975; remember the global cooling panic.
  9. Warming resumed from 1976 to 1998 and has paused from 1999 to present.
  10. Temperature increases in fits and starts with pauses and intervals of cooling. This pattern is inconsistent with manmade warming but not secular warming.

Extreme Weather, Sea Level, Icecaps, Glaciers: These are the remaining reasons people believe in manmade warming. As with temperature data however, there are troublesome flaws and contradictions; the main ones are listed below.

  1. Reinsurance leader, Munich Re, analyzed weather-related losses and found: “No statistically significant trend for weather-related losses in the last 20 years.
  2. Harvey in 2017 was the first hurricane to hit Florida in 12 years, shattering the prior record of 5 hurricane-free years that had stood for 165 years.
  3. Until very recently, the Arctic icecap had been shrinking but the Antarctic icecap, which is ten times larger, had been increasing.
  4. Greenland has been discharging ice into the sea setting off a media frenzy. Per NOAA and Danish Meteorological Society, Greenland’s ice mass is increasing and it is this ice buildup that is pushing peripheral ice into the sea.
  5. The net effect of fires in the Amazon rainforest on oxygen is zero – per National Geographic. Thanks to CO2, Earth is the greenest it ever has been.
  6. Gore’s film cited Glacier National Park (adjacent to our Montana summer home) as ground zero for melting glaciers. Some GNP glaciers are growing again. GNP officials are busy replacing signs saying “Glaciers will be gone by 2020″ with new signs that proclaim: “Glaciers may disappear in future generations“.

Even if global temperatures were rising, there was more extreme weather, more record high temperatures, rising sea levels, shrinking icecaps and receding glaciers, there is no way to determine what, if any, part is the result of anthropological causation instead of the 200-year secular warming cycle.

Evidence of manmade warming is, at best, dodgy, leading us to ask where the burden of proof should lie? It can’t be with those who believe humans are not the cause, if for no other reason, because it is impossible to prove a negative. Logically, if believers in manmade causation want 8 billion humans to make enormous sacrifices, shouldn’t they be required to prove their case with clear and convincing evidence?


Next on October 30th is Part IV of Climate of Confusion – Don’t miss it.
More Liberty Less Government  –  mllg@mllg.us  –  www.mllg.us

Climate of Confusion – Part II Case for Manmade Warming – 97% Scientific Consensus

What are the sources for the 97% metric; is there really any scientific consensus?
Climate of Confusion – Part II
Case for Manmade Warming – 97% Scientific Consensus
By: George Noga – October 23, 2019

        This is the second of seven parts; read the first part on our website: www.mllg.us.

The most frequent, and likely strongest, argument by believers in manmade warming is the existence of a near-unanimous (97%) consensus of climate scientists. It is therefore critical to deconstruct this assertion, including its origin, accuracy and scope.

        The original and most referenced source is a 2013 study by John Cook, who runs a website promoting catastrophic climate change. Cook wrote that 97.1% of the papers he surveyed agreed the earth is warming and human emissions of greenhouse gasses are the main cause. Cook took data, much from non-scientists, from the internet using the search phrase “sea ice climate change“. Cook counted papers stating there was manmade warming but not how much and included papers he believed implied it. Only 2% of the papers explicitly stated humans were the main cause of warming.

        Cook’s work was reviewed by four professors who read the same papers; their findings, published in Science and Education magazine, concluded only 41 of all 11,994 papers (0.3%) endorsed the claim that human activity causes most warming. Many scientists Cook included protested and asked their papers not be counted.

       The National Academy of Sciences published a survey by Stanford University student William Anderegg, who used Google Scholar to survey the 200 most prolific authors on climate change. He determined 97% to 98% believed man was responsible for most warming. His survey included only 200 out of many thousands published.

         NASA’s website cites Cook and Anderegg for its 97% scientific consensus claim, thus lending its imprimatur. The media then glom on repeating the claim as coming from NASA. After that meme is repeated year after year by government, politicians, media and educators, many people (especially youth) unquestioningly adopt it as their mantra. Nonetheless, those who cite NASA really are relying on Cook and Anderegg. Note: NASA has also stated that changes in the solar orbit of earth, along with alteration to its obliquity (axial tilt), are responsible for changes in climate.

 

        There are a few other sources alleging scientific consensus. A two-question online survey published in Eos claimed 97% of climate scientists agree temperatures have risen and humans are a significant contributing factor. Only 79 of 3,146 respondents claimed to be climate scientists. Last, in Science Magazine Naomi Oreskes alleged 75% of abstracts in scientific journals supported the view that human activity is responsible for most warming. However, many dissenting articles were excluded and the methodology was flawed. When subsequent researchers (Peiser, Schulte, et. al.) attempted to replicate the study, they found only 33% and not 75%.

         Readers can judge the veracity of the 97% scientific consensus, which alleges only that the planet is warming and man is the main cause. That the earth is warming is uncontested and hence meaningless. Man as the main cause means only at least 51%. Thus, the putative consensus, which includes only a tiny number of climate scientists, extends only to humans causing at least 51% of warming – no other consensus.

        It is imperative to understand what is not included in any claimed consensus: there is no scientific consensus about whether or not: (1) benefits from warming outweigh the harm; (2) warming is an existential, or even dangerous, problem; (3) we should attempt mitigation; (4) more CO2 is harmful; (5) CO2 significantly affects climate; (6) combatting warming is a high priority; (7) mitigation is preferable to adaptation; and (8) we should spend trillions today for uncertain and infinitesimal benefits in the distant future. None of these things are part of any claimed consensus.

Many Scientists Reach a Different Consensus

          The Environmental Science & Policy Journal published a study reporting most climate scientists question climate data and computer models and believe climate science can’t predict future climate change. An American Meteorological Society survey reported that only 39% believe manmade global warming is dangerous.

           In a particularly damning riposte, 31,487 physicists, 9,029 with PH.Ds, signed a petition stating: “We urge the US to reject the Kyoto Protocol. The proposed limits on greenhouse gasses would harm the environment and damage the health and welfare of mankind. There is no convincing scientific evidence human release of CO2 is causing, or will, in the foreseeable future cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric CO2 produce many beneficial effects upon the plant and animal environments of Earth.”

           The 2018 Nobel Prize in Economics was awarded to William Nordhaus for his work on the economics of climate change. His work demonstrated economic policies necessary to limit warming do far greater harm to humans in reduced economic output and that it is better for governments to do absolutely nothing about climate change.

        Finally, progressive arguments for scientific consensus ring hollow. Progressives embrace science when it suits their purpose but cynically deny science when it doesn’t as in, inter alia, nuclear energy, rent control, and minimum wage, all of which enjoy a genuine scientific consensus well above 90% opposed to their policies.


Next on October 27th is Part III – other arguments for manmade warming.
More Liberty Less Government  –  mllg@mllg.us  –  www.mllg.us

Climate of Confusion – Part I

If manmade warming poses an existential threat, why isn’t secular warming existential?
Climate of Confusion – Part I
Introduction – Anthropological vs. Secular Warming
By: George Noga – October 20, 2019

        Welcome to Climate of Confusion, our most ambitious effort ever. Our first posting in 2007 was about global warming and we have written about climate change more than any other subject. Despite harboring strong opinions, we tried hard to present an objective, fact-based, principled and logical analysis. We ask readers similarly to suspend their opinions and to consider climate change on a de novo basis as they read this series, presented in 7 consecutive parts over the next 20 days.

Part I        Introduction and Anthropological vs. Secular Warming

Part II       Case for Manmade Warming – 97% Scientific Consensus

Part III      Remainder of the Case for Manmade Warming

Part IV      Scientific and Logical Case Against Manmade Warming

Part V       Economic, Political, Religious Case Against Manmade Warming

Part VI      Global Scope, Green New Deal, Green Energy, Adaptation

Part VII     It’s Not About Climate; It Never Was

        We titled our series Climate of Confusion because many people are confused. Climate change is complex, involving science, economics, politics and religion with existential overtones. Manmade warming proponents rely heavily on the existence of a scientific consensus, UN-IPCC pronouncements and media reports. They also cite temperature data, extreme weather, shrinking ice caps and receding glaciers.

      Manmade warming opponents cite the failure of myriad climate scares to materialize and the computer model debacle. In 30 years of apocalyptic predictions, nothing dire has occurred and all scares proved exaggerated and unfounded. Opponents cite different data, which conflict with those of proponents, whose data they assert are politicized, biased and even fraudulent. They argue that spending trillions now for uncertain and infinitesimal benefits in the distant future makes no sense.

        Let’s establish a few basic truths. Yes – climate is changing, but it always is changing; climate change is a fatuous tautology intended by proponents to transform every weather event into a proof. Yes – global warming is real and has been occurring for nearly 200 years. Yes – mankind can affect climate, such as in urban heat islands. Yes – carbon dioxide is increasing and can affect temperature, although current research shows a much smaller effect than earlier believed. Yes – warming may be caused in part by man; it is impossible to prove a negative. And yes – a moderately warmer climate with more CO2 is a net benefit to life on Earth.

Anthropological or Secular Warming: What’s the Difference?
 

        We begin by posing a profound question we never have seen asked. Believers in manmade warming argue it is an existential threat justifying unlimited spending and regulation at the expense of all other human and environmental needs even if it entails sacrificing our lifestyle. The most ardent believers state we have only a few years remaining to avert Armageddon. In a gross misapplication of the precautionary principle, they demand we act immediately even without certainty about causation.

      This begs the obvious question: if warming is the greatest calamity in human history, does it matter whether its cause is secular, anthropological or a combination? Won’t the harm be just as existential? Shouldn’t we combat warming  just as vigorously regardless of cause? If humans can mitigate manmade warming by reducing CO2, shouldn’t we also be able to mitigate secular warming? If warming truly is a threat to life on Earth, why not focus on it instead of debating its causation?

        Yet, manmade warming proponents never argue warming per se is the problem. They oppose only manmade warming, even while acknowledging warming is, at least in part, attributable to solar activity. Could it be that it really isn’t about climate?


Look for Part II of Climate of Confusion in just a few days – on October 23. 
More Liberty Less Government  –  mllg@mllg.us  –  www.mllg.us

Happy Columbus Day 2019

Progressives weaponize history and use holidays to riddle Americans with guilt.
Happy Columbus Day 2019
By: George Noga – October 13, 2019

        TRIGGER WARNING: This post is beyond politically incorrect; it is radioactive! We at MLLG unabashedly wish you a happy Columbus Day – and not Indigenous Peoples Day, Aboriginals Day, Native Americans Day, First Nations Peoples Day or any other such PC claptrap. This post is the antidote to the progressives’ weaponization of history and to their mantra that western civilization (and therefore you) is hateful and genocidal and that all indigenous people were peace loving and noble.

          What happened following Columbus’s discovery of America was the same thing that occurred throughout human history whenever any aboriginal people encountered a more technologically advanced society. Through a 21st century prism this is seen as evil; but it is manifestly unfair to single out Columbus or western civilization for condemnation of a human behavior unchanged since men lived in trees. What would happen even today if we encountered a primitive people on a resource rich planet?

      Let’s address liberals’ favorite “G” word. Most native deaths resulted from infectious diseases brought from Europe, many of which first migrated from Asia; yet, no one accuses Asians of genocide. There were many one-sided beat-downs and brutal battles, but never any American or European government policy of genocide. What you learned in school and from the media was fake, weaponized PC history. Let’s look at just one  example – the progressive shibboleth that Wounded Knee was a massacre.

          The Indians suffered 197 casualties (146 killed, 51 wounded); the US Cavalry 64 casualties (25 killed, 39 wounded), for a ratio of 3 to 1. In the Iraq War, 50,000 Iraqis died to only 4,421 for the US – a ratio of 11 to 1. History is chock full of battles with far higher ratios. Henry V at Agincourt lost only 400 men to 6,000 French dead (ratio: 15 to 1). You decide: was Wounded Knee a massacre and, if so, why did the cavalry care for the 51 wounded Indians? Were Iraq or Agincourt massacres? For the record, real massacres were committed by the Apaches, Comanches and many other tribes.

        How do you believe a tiny number of  Europeans was able to conquer vast territories? Columbus allied with the Arawaks against the Caribs, who were vicious cannibals. Cortes, with only 500 conquistadors, conquered the Aztecs because he had 50,000 allied natives who feared the Aztecs’ ritual human sacrifice and enslavement. To be fair, the Europeans carried out their share of lese majeste acts, but it is dishonest to focus on those while ignoring the equal or worse atrocities of indigenous peoples.

Without Columbus There Would Be No Latinos

       Although the latte-left regards Columbus as an oppressor, he remains highly esteemed throughout Latin America. In Puerto Rico, Columbus is celebrated twice each year – on the federal holiday and again on November 19th commemorating his second voyage when he landed on that island. While his statues are being defaced or torn down in the USA, new ones are being erected in the rest of the hemisphere. In 2016 Puerto Rico erected a new Columbus statue taller that the Statue of Liberty.

         Throughout Latin America, the day Columbus landed is celebrated as Dia de la Raza, or Day of the Race. Without Columbus and the Spanish colonization of Latin America, Latinos as a people would not exist. The rich Latino culture incorporates skin colors and physical characteristics of Spanish, Africans and the indigenous people. By honoring the courage and daring of Columbus, Latin Americans celebrate their own place in a world he made possible. Without Columbus there are no Latinos.

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           Christopher Columbus is not the issue; he never was. The circus surrounding Columbus Day is a campaign by progressive Svengalis to indoctrinate your children to despise America and all of western civilization. Happy Columbus Day 2019!


Next week we begin our blockbuster multi-part series on climate change.
      .
More Liberty Less Government  –  mllg@mllg.us  –  www.mllg.us

California’s Condor Cuisinarts

Birds provide a gripping illustration of the hypocrisy of progressivism.
California’s Condor Cuisinarts
By: George Noga – October 6, 2019

        Progressivism is a bundle of inconsistencies, contradictions and outright lies, often taking opposite sides of the same issue when suiting its narrative. We have written on this topic before; visit our website www.mllg.us to see our posts of December 2, 2018 entitled Liberals Believe the Strangest Things and, if you have time on your hands, see our May 8, 2014 post www.mllg.us, Liberalism is for the Birds. Many other issues showcase liberal intellectual bankruptcy, but none finer than birds.

        Libs go gaga over birds whenever it suits their purpose. The Audubon Society estimated 2,300 birds were killed from the BP accident during which the media saturated us with photos of a pelican dripping with oil, only to later find the photo had nothing to do with BP. They hyped bird safety to try and kill offshore drilling.

        A pipeline leak, which killed a handful of ducks, became a progressive feeding frenzy to stop all new pipelines. Bird safety was a major part of the latte-left effort to halt the Keystone XL Pipeline and to oppose every fossil fuel project including fracking. Activists used the Endangered Species Act to list the prairie chicken and sage grouse as threatened species to try to stop all drilling on federal and private land.

          Now, let’s see how liberals regard birds when they don’t fit into their narrative.

         Saving the California condor was the holy grail of avian causes until condors ran afoul of an even holier progressive shibboleth – green energy. Over half the condors released in the wild have been killed, most by wind turbines; they are part of the million birds killed yearly by turbines, including bald eagles, hawks, golden eagles and owls. California wind farms have become veritable condor cuisinarts.

Liberals argue we must kill 126,000 eagles in order to save them.

        Just one wind farm (Altamont Pass near Oakland) kills 80 golden eagles each year. Progressives support the issuance of a federal taking permit to allow wind farms legally to kill 4,200 bald eagles each year for the next 30 years; that’s 126,000 eagles. In support of the taking permit, environmentalists argue climate change ultimately will kill even more eagles; therefore, we must kill eagles now in order to save them.

          In contrast, all fossil fuel activity kills about 1,000 birds a year versus 1 million for wind energy, i.e. 1,000 birds are slaughtered by wind farms for every bird killed by fossil fuels. Nonetheless, the Obama Administration filed criminal indictments against three oil companies for inadvertently killing 6 ducks. Liberals give the wind industry a get-out-of-jail-free card, while criminalizing oil companies for infinitesimally less.

          Solar energy projects also exterminate birds. The Ivanpah project, which covers five square miles (350,000 mirrors) in California’s desert, scorches birds, including peregrine falcons and great hawks, that fly overhead with its 1,000 degree heat. Solar farms also end up killing huge numbers of threatened desert tortoises. Just as with wind farms, progressives acquiesce while threatened species are savaged.

         Earlier this year in Scotland, a white-throated needletail was sighted for the first time in 22 years. Excited birdwatchers flocked to the Hebrides to catch a glimpse. While they were watching, the rare bird flew into a wind turbine and was killed. No doubt, progressives view this as a necessary avain sacrifice on the altar of wind energy. Imagine how they would have reacted if the needletail was killed in an oil spill.

         Progressivism is a lie and birds are but one way to showcase its hypocrisy.


Next up is our gloriously politically incorrect post honoring Columbus Day.
More Liberty Less Government  –  mllg@mllg.us  –  www.mllg.us