A cynical view of Syria and climate change
President Obama has agreed to begin discussion at the United Nations to, according to the White House, “explore seriously the viability” of the Russian proposal for Syria to give control of its chemical weapons to the international community. Mr. Obama later stated that the French and the British agreed to join in consultation with Russia and China to ensure the weapons are destroyed.
A cynic might hold that this is all nonsense. Even if Assad should actually agree to surrender his WMD, how in the world can anyone expect to collect Weapons of Mass Destruction from Assad in a country ravaged by civil war with five or six warring sides, each controlling small slices of the country? Even if such a venture is possible, the ultimate result is we have agreed to keep Putin’s Syrian client alive and granted him the freedom to kill another 100,000 people so long as he promises to do it the traditional way; that is with aircraft, artillery and rifles. That is a far cry from Mr. Obama’s repeated charge that “Assad must go.”
Putin saw an opening as news of congress’s reluctance to grant Mr. Obama the requested authority to engage the Syrian tyrant leaked to the world. The congress’s reluctance to back the president simply fortified the international communities’ reluctance to sign on to a venture that had neither certain goals or even direction and Mr. Putin grabbed the ball and ran with it.
Seriously, does anyone believe that Syria will surrender their WMDs? The process will be lengthy and frustrating and Putin will play a double game. According to Hillary Clinton, Russia’s feet will be held to the fire and we will insure Russia will be held accountable. Some threat. If you can’t hold a tin horn dictator like Assad accountable, how do you propose to hold Russia accountable?
We now have a new doctrine. We all remember the Monroe Doctrine, Franklin Roosevelt’s Arsenal of Democracy, and The Truman Doctrine that served us well throughout the Cold War Now we have the Obama Doctrine that warns any adversary that we are coming, but don’t worry, “it will be an unbelievably small, limited kind of effort.” What the president has so far failed to do, and failed to do Tuesday night, is to convince anyone that an unbelievably small, limited kind of effort is worth the effort.
Despite the news media’s attention to Syria, the climate change campaign is in full vigor. We are told by our betters to “stop stalling” on climate change. The only salvation for an endangered world is to embrace carbon taxes and carbon dioxide regulations before it’s too late. If we don’t act, we will be engulfed by monster storms, savage fires, draught, floods and rising seas will drown costal cities.
The climate is changing, of course, as it has since the dawn of time. Contrary to all the hysterical hype, the climate stopped warming 16 years ago which has gone far to prove the fallibility of the supposed climate models used to prove the “science is settled.” Both President Obama and Al Gore have warned us the sea levels could rise from 3 to 20 feet by the year 2100. In reality the expected rise is 8 to 12 inches, if at all.
If you doubt cynicism is warranted, consider two news items just 6 years apart that were cited in a column by Andrew Stuttaford.
BBC, December 12, 2007:
“Scientists in the US have presented one of the most dramatic forecasts yet for the disappearance of Arctic sea ice. Their latest modelling studies indicate northern polar waters could be ice-free in summers within just 5-6 years. Professor Wieslaw Maslowski told an American Geophysical Union meeting that previous projections had underestimated the processes now driving ice loss. Summer melting this year reduced the ice cover to 4.13 million sq km, the smallest ever extent in modern times. Remarkably, this stunning low point was not even incorporated into the model runs of Professor Maslowski and his team, which used data sets from 1979 to 2004 to constrain their future projections….
Former US Vice President Al Gore cited Professor Maslowski’s analysis on Monday in his acceptance speech at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo.
The Sunday Telegraph, September 8, 2013 (London)
“There has been a 60 per cent increase in the amount of ocean covered with ice compared to this time last year, the equivalent of almost a million square miles. In a rebound from 2012’s record low an unbroken ice sheet more than half the size of Europe already stretches from the Canadian islands to Russia’s northern shores, days before the annual re-freeze is even set to begin.
The Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific has remained blocked by pack-ice all year, forcing some ships to change their routes. A leaked report to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) seen by the Mail on Sunday, has led some scientists to claim that the world is heading for a period of cooling that will not end until the middle of this century…”
All this gives us another needed reminder that computer modeling is not infallible — indeed, not very accurate when dealing with something as complex as the climate. Russian climatologists have been predicting a cooling period commencing sometime this year, or in 2015, and lasting 40 or more years.
Al Gore once referred to global warming deniers as “cynics.” Maybe, on the other hand, the supposed cynics who didn’t buy the fallacies and fear mongering the mainstream media chose to headline were right after all. As Bernard Shaw once observed, “The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.”
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