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From the Wall Street Journal:

Can You See the Future? Probably Better Than Professional Forecasters

By JASON ZWEIG

Three-quarters of all U.S. stock mutual funds have failed to beat the market over the past decade. Last year, 98% of economists expected interest rates to rise; they fell instead. Most energy analysts didn’t foresee oil’s collapse from $145 a barrel in 2008 to $38 this summer — or its 15% rebound since.

A new book suggests that amateurs might well be less-hapless forecasters than the experts — so long as they go about it the right way.

I think Philip Tetlock’s “Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction,” co-written with the journalist Dan Gardner, is the most important book on decision making since Daniel Kahneman’s “Thinking, Fast and Slow.” (I helped write and edit the Kahneman book but receive no royalties from it.)

Was I the only reviewer in the world who wasn’t totally wowed by Kahneman’s laborious documentation that people can be tricked?

Prof. Kahneman agrees. “It’s a manual to systematic thinking in the real world,” he told me. “This book shows that under the right conditions regular people are capable of improving their judgment enough to beat the professionals at their own game.”

The book is so powerful because Prof. Tetlock, a psychologist and professor of management at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, has a remarkable trove of data. He has just concluded the first stage of what he calls the Good Judgment Project, which pitted some 20,000 amateur forecasters against some of the most knowledgeable experts in the world.

The amateurs won — hands down. Their forecasts were more accurate more often, and the confidence they had in their forecasts — as measured by the odds they set on being right — was more accurately tuned.

The top 2%, whom Prof. Tetlock dubs “superforecasters,” have above-average — but rarely genius-level — intelligence. Many are mathematicians, scientists or software engineers; but among the others are a pharmacist, a Pilates instructor, a caseworker for the Pennsylvania state welfare department and a Canadian underwater-hockey coach.

The forecasters competed online against four other teams and against government intelligence experts to answer nearly 500 questions over the course of four years: Will the president of Tunisia go into exile in the next month? Will the gold price exceed $1,850 on Sept. 30, 2011? Will OPEC agree to cut its oil output at or before its November 2014 meeting?

It turned out that, after rigorous statistical controls, the elite amateurs were on average about 30% more accurate than the experts with access to classified information. What’s more, the full pool of amateurs also outperformed the experts.

The most careful, curious, open-minded, persistent and self-critical — as measured by a battery of psychological tests — did the best.

“What you think is much less important than how you think,” says Prof. Tetlock; superforecasters regard their views “as hypotheses to be tested, not treasures to be guarded.”

Most experts — like most people — “are too quick to make up their minds and too slow to change them,” he says. And experts are paid not just to be right, but to sound right: cocksure even when the evidence is sparse or ambiguous.

So the project was designed to force the forecasters “to be ruthlessly honest about why they think what they do,” says Prof. Tetlock.

A reader sends along a section from the last chapter of Tetlock’s new book:

THE KTO-KOGO STATUS QUO

… Like many hardball operators before and since, Vladimir Lenin insisted politics, defined broadly, was nothing more than a struggle for power, or as he memorably put it, “kto, kogo?” That literally means “who, whom” and it was Lenin’s shorthand for “Who does what to whom?” Arguments and evidence are lovely adornments but what matters is the ceaseless contest to be the kto, not the kogo. It follows that the goal of forecasting is not to see what’s coming. It is to advance the interests of the forecaster and the forecaster’s tribe. Accurate forecasts may help do that sometimes, and when they do accuracy is welcome, but it is pushed aside if that’s what the pursuit of power requires. Earlier, I discussed Jonathan Schell’s 1982 warning that a holocaust would certainly occur in the near future “unless we rid ourselves of our nuclear arsenals,” which was clearly not an accurate forecast. Schell wanted to rouse readers to join the swelling nuclear disarmament movement. He did. So his forecast was not accurate, but did it fail? Lenin would say it did exactly what it was supposed to do.

Dick Morris—a Republican pollster and former adviser to President Bill Clinton—underscored the point days after the presidential election of 2012. Shortly before the vote, Morris had forecast a Romney landslide. Afterward, he was mocked. So he defended himself. “The Romney campaign was falling apart, people were not optimistic, nobody thought there was a chance of victory and I felt that it was my duty at that point to go out and say what I said,” Morris said. Of course Morris may have lied about having lied, but the fact that Morris felt this defense was plausible says plenty about the kto-kogo world he operates in.

You don’t have to be a Marxist-Leninist to concede that Lenin had a point. Self and tribe matter. If forecasting can be co-opted to advance their interests, it will be. From this perspective, there is no need to reform and improve forecasting, and it will not change, because it is already serving its primary purpose well.

But before giving up, let’s remember that Lenin was a tad dogmatic. People want power, yes. But they value other things too. And that can make all the difference.

 
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  1. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    ‘Forecasting’ to ‘promote the interests of the individual or tribe’ is, of course, not forecasting but propaganda pure and simple.
    As Tetlock notes, the way to call out propaganda is to take heed of who is actually issuing the propaganda, and what does he personally have to gain from disseminating those opinions.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    A good, blatantly obvious and very recent example of this can be seen with official statements coming out of Germany regarding the so-called 'migrant' crisis.

    We are most sternly lectured that the 'migrants' are 'good' for Germany since, as we are reminded, that Germany has 'dire demographics' and is in urgent need of a transfusion of young, fresh blood to do all the work, (the rantings of vampires, apparently).

    Strange that a mere 6 months ago, before all this rubbish kicked off, nobody but nobody, least of all the German government was sending out desperate appeals to the world to round up every spare warm body in sight and to pack them off to man German factories.

    As Johnny Rotten famously smirked ' Ha..ha..ha....ever get the feeling you've been cheated?'
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  2. I took part in the last season. I quit at the half-way point, after considering doing so from early on in the proceedings. I found the questions, even when possibly important cogs in the big machine, to be overwhelmingly arcane and intrinsically uninteresting to me. I spent about two hours per day on the task, for about five months, and I consider the whole experience to have been a waste of my dwindling time– time that I could have spent more plausibly by watching (or re-watching) about one hundred and fifty old films, on Turner Classic movies. “Live and learn!”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    I signed up a year or two ago, but when I got the questions, I said, "Wow, this looks a lot of work and even if I did all the work I probably wouldn't be very good at it." So I didn't go ahead with it.

    But it is a quite good test of fox ability.

    Here's a good example of a hedgehog in baseball stats analysis:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voros_McCracken

    In 1999, Voros McCracken put forward the hypothesis that a large part of pitching statistics is just luck at whether or not the ball was hit at a fielder or not.

    This was a revolutionary idea because it was so easy to come up with an exception to the rule he was putting forward: Tommy John is one of the half dozen most famous players not in the Hall of Fame. He won 164 games after having Tommy John Surgery in his early 30s. And he did it by giving up a huge number of singles off his sinker, but not many homers, and getting out of jams with double plays.

    But still ... it turns out that that surprisingly few pitchers are Tommy John. Or perhaps unsurprisingly, since Tommy John remains extremely famous.

    Anyway, McCracken's idea has help up quite well as a way of predicting which pitchers will be good next year by figuring out which ones were just lucky this year.

    Zack Greinke of the Dodgers uses one of the "Defense Independent Pitching" stats to guide his game, and he's pretty much unhittable this year.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  3. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous
    'Forecasting' to 'promote the interests of the individual or tribe' is, of course, not forecasting but propaganda pure and simple.
    As Tetlock notes, the way to call out propaganda is to take heed of who is actually issuing the propaganda, and what does he personally have to gain from disseminating those opinions.

    A good, blatantly obvious and very recent example of this can be seen with official statements coming out of Germany regarding the so-called ‘migrant’ crisis.

    We are most sternly lectured that the ‘migrants’ are ‘good’ for Germany since, as we are reminded, that Germany has ‘dire demographics’ and is in urgent need of a transfusion of young, fresh blood to do all the work, (the rantings of vampires, apparently).

    Strange that a mere 6 months ago, before all this rubbish kicked off, nobody but nobody, least of all the German government was sending out desperate appeals to the world to round up every spare warm body in sight and to pack them off to man German factories.

    As Johnny Rotten famously smirked ‘ Ha..ha..ha….ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?’

    Read More
    • Replies: @Robert Abrahamsen
    Japan also has "dire demographics," and yet admits negligible numbers of foreigners, refugees or otherwise, for settlement. I predict that in a generation from now, Japan will be far wealthier, healthier and more stable than western Europe. (That is, assuming Japan isn't bullied into opening its borders to whomever might wish to settle there.)
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  4. @D. K.
    I took part in the last season. I quit at the half-way point, after considering doing so from early on in the proceedings. I found the questions, even when possibly important cogs in the big machine, to be overwhelmingly arcane and intrinsically uninteresting to me. I spent about two hours per day on the task, for about five months, and I consider the whole experience to have been a waste of my dwindling time-- time that I could have spent more plausibly by watching (or re-watching) about one hundred and fifty old films, on Turner Classic movies. "Live and learn!"

    I signed up a year or two ago, but when I got the questions, I said, “Wow, this looks a lot of work and even if I did all the work I probably wouldn’t be very good at it.” So I didn’t go ahead with it.

    But it is a quite good test of fox ability.

    Here’s a good example of a hedgehog in baseball stats analysis:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voros_McCracken

    In 1999, Voros McCracken put forward the hypothesis that a large part of pitching statistics is just luck at whether or not the ball was hit at a fielder or not.

    This was a revolutionary idea because it was so easy to come up with an exception to the rule he was putting forward: Tommy John is one of the half dozen most famous players not in the Hall of Fame. He won 164 games after having Tommy John Surgery in his early 30s. And he did it by giving up a huge number of singles off his sinker, but not many homers, and getting out of jams with double plays.

    But still … it turns out that that surprisingly few pitchers are Tommy John. Or perhaps unsurprisingly, since Tommy John remains extremely famous.

    Anyway, McCracken’s idea has help up quite well as a way of predicting which pitchers will be good next year by figuring out which ones were just lucky this year.

    Zack Greinke of the Dodgers uses one of the “Defense Independent Pitching” stats to guide his game, and he’s pretty much unhittable this year.

    Read More
    • Replies: @D. K.
    Fifty years ago, three of the White Sox players visited my Little League, in Gary. Tommy John might have been one of them, although I think that the pitcher who visited was more likely Gary Peters!?! The one player that I am fairly certain of is catcher J. C. Martin. I think third baseman Pete Ward might have been the third one that came. Where I grew up, you loved one Chicago team and usually hated the other. In my case, I was a born-and-bred Cubs fan. (I now own my late mother's four ticket stubs from the 1945 World Series.) I was not about to pass up seeing three big leaguers standing on my own Little League field, though, even if they were only White Sox! (Truth is, in the early- through mid-1960s, it was the White Sox who fielded very competitive teams in Chicago; the Cubs finally picked up steam, beginning in 1967, after first hitting the bottom in Leo Durocher's first year as their manager, in 1966.) Anyway, if three of the Cubs players had visited, instead, I am sure that I still would remember just which three-- even if they had been Bill Faul, Chris Krug and Joey Amalfitano, rather than, say, Ernie Banks, Ron Santo and, my own favorite player, Billy Williams.

    Many things have cooled my ardor for Major League Baseball, in the intervening half century; but, the mainstreaming of arcane baseball statistics, in recent decades, is certainly right up there with the likes of divisional play, the designated hitter, wild cards, interleague play, unbalanced schedules and, the anti-Christ himself, 'Bud' Selig! I think that George Carlin's famous comedy routine in which he compared and contrasted baseball with football would have lost something immeasurable, if he had had to bring sabermetrics into the discussion. I do not begrudge the teams themselves for using them, of course; I only begrudge announcers and fans spouting them. When I watch a game, I just want to see it unfold in front of me; I do not want a coaching clinic, complete with strike zones actually projected onto the live action, and every pitch sequence then replayed, like the Zapruder film in Oliver Stone's "JFK" (1991), or on that "Seinfeld" episode. You folks in L.A. are lucky that Vin Skully is still at it, after all these decades. When he goes, you will be like the rest of us: left overhearing an insider discussion between two or three inside-baseball types, trying to impress and amuse each other, instead of having a one-to-one relationship with an announcer who is having a conversation, albeit one-sided, with you, the audience member, putting the game in perspective, rather than under a clinician's microscope.
    , @BubbaJoe
    Voros McCracken. That beats Svante Pääbo.
    , @ScarletNumber

    [Tommy John] won 164 games after having Tommy John Surgery in his early 30s.
     
    Well he certainly didn't have Joe Horlen Surgery.
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  5. “What’s more, the full pool of amateurs also outperformed the experts.”

    But did they perform better than random? Maybe it’s not that amateurs are so good, but that experts are more prone to confirmation bias.

    Read More
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  6. Hence – eg ‘Climate Change’ – once people have control of the levers of power they can make whatever forecasts will best serve their agenda, and everyone else has to believe it or be punished.

    Read More
    • Replies: @SFG
    That is true, but I am convinced of the climate change thing. Some things are true even if the Party says so. Ice melts, New York floods, weather patterns change...something is going on, and we know CO2 traps heat.

    Of course, I suspect many people here would like to see the eastern seaboard flood. Vladimir Putin is another example: I'm sure he knows and intends to do as little as possible, because if the earth gets warmer, over the long term that will only help miserably frozen Russia.
    , @Jason Roberts
    Or ridiculed, case in point the documentary, "Merchants of Doubt."
    , @sabril
    One thing that's cool about the internet is that it's easy enough to look up the dire predictions of global warming from the 1980s and see that none of those are coming true. Unfortunately, that doesn't deter the modern day warmistas.

    It's also true that virtually nobody seriously believes these predictions. Beachfront property continues to command a high price, even among liberals. Nobody is snapping up cheap farmland in Alberta.
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  7. @Simon in London
    Hence - eg 'Climate Change' - once people have control of the levers of power they can make whatever forecasts will best serve their agenda, and everyone else has to believe it or be punished.

    That is true, but I am convinced of the climate change thing. Some things are true even if the Party says so. Ice melts, New York floods, weather patterns change…something is going on, and we know CO2 traps heat.

    Of course, I suspect many people here would like to see the eastern seaboard flood. Vladimir Putin is another example: I’m sure he knows and intends to do as little as possible, because if the earth gets warmer, over the long term that will only help miserably frozen Russia.

    Read More
    • Replies: @carol
    I have to agree. It's definitely changing to a warmer climate here in the Northwest. Thirty years ago we could go for a month in winter without rising above zero. It protected us from the plague of rats, cockroaches, termites and fleas. Whether we can really control things or not, I don't know.

    Now I'm afraid the area will become too attractive to wandering refugees and Section 8ers, especially since RINO legislators have collaborated with Dems to expand Medicaid. With any luck the local economy will remain tepid, but I am seeing more NAMs here every day, walking the street and waiting at bus stops.

    , @Anonymous
    The foremost atmospheric scientist at MIT,
    Richard Lindzen, doesn't buy into any of the man-made global warming/climate change theories.
    , @sabril
    "Ice melts"

    Sure, and a lot of the melting ice is uncovering human structures which were there before the ice. Strongly suggesting that current temperatures are within the range of natural variation.

    Back in the 1930s, people noticed that the north polar ice was melting and receding. Which it probably was, primarily due to the Earth's emergence from the Little Ice Age.

    "something is going on"

    Sure . . . and that something has been going on for millions of years. It is a myth that the Earth has a normal temperature.

    "we know CO2 traps heat."

    Yes . . . but you need to ask how much extra heat. If you do the math, the amount of global warming which can be expected from mankind's CO2 emissions is not all that much. The dire predictions come from added assumptions that CO2-induced warming will be magnified through positive feedback.
    , @Robert Hume
    Dr. Thomas Painter of JPL, and several other workers have published work suggesting that ice melting is due to deposition of soot and dust due to burning coal and disturbance of earth die to farming. Of course it is ice melting that leads to sea level rise regardless of the cause.

    Soot and dust also may increase absorption of sunlight and increase the temperature of the earth. This effect may be greater than that of CO2. It may be that our efforts at amelioration of climate change are misguided; we should be improving retention of soot and improving farming practices as well as or possibly instead of minimizing the emission of CO2
    , @Simon in London
    "That is true, but I am convinced of the climate change thing"

    I guess their work is done, then. :D
    , @Mr. Anon
    "That is true, but I am convinced of the climate change thing. Some things are true even if the Party says so. Ice melts, New York floods, weather patterns change…something is going on, and we know CO2 traps heat."

    The something that is going on is perhaps less dire than what the proponents of AGW think. They have been working hard over the last ten years to doctor the temperature record so as to make the warming trend look greater than it likely has been.

    Also, yes CO2 traps heat. but that is not all there is to the Earth's climate. There are other things that affect it too. And people like Kevin Trenberth, Michael Mann, and Gavin Schmidt (to name only a few) don't seem to care about those. They have their answer and they will not be disuaded. Nor will those climate scientists who recently sent a letter to the Attorney General recommending that dissenting opinions be crushed using the RICO statute. They have ceased to be disinterested scientists and have become very interested activists.
    , @Anonym
    Hitler and Napoleon would disagree with you.
    , @MarkinLA
    I was in Bernaul Russia in southern Siberia. Of course it is cold in winter but I was there in summer and it was quite nice weather-wise. The Altai mountains (not very high) were also quite nice.

    http://www.tripadvisor.com/SmartDeals-g737147-Barnaul_Altai_Krai_Siberian_District-Hotel-Deals.html
    , @Coemgen
    What percentage of the Earth's atmosphere is CO2? If you don't know this without having to look it up you probably should start re-thinking your belief in AGW.
    , @International Jew
    This is an un-Stevey subject but I'll jump in because this is one of the few places left where a calm discussion is possible.

    There's more than one issue. There's

    1. Is the planet warmer than 100 years ago?
    2. Is the last 100 years' warming a large change compared to the typical century-to-century variation of the last 10,000 years?
    3. Are humans the cause?
    4. Is it going to keep getting warmer?
    5. Is the rate of warming going to accelerate?

    The true believers say Yes to all five. And they love saying that 98% of scientists agree with them, when in fact the only point that enjoys such universal support is #1. And #2, but there's considerable uncertainty about the crucial question of How Much.

    A great source here, and IMO neutral and sensible with no axe to grind is Richard Muller from LBNL:
    http://muller.lbl.gov/pages/IceAgeBook/history_of_climate.html

    , @MarkinLA
    I just saw a show about looking for Noah's Ark. The Black Sea was a large lake until 9400 years ago when the sea level rose and the water from the Mediterranean Sea flooded into it causing it to turn brackish. They used mud cores to determine the change from fresh to salt water. I guess the climate always changes just like now.
    , @Bob Evermon
    My story about going to Calgary in 2009 to do a study for the UNs IPCC.
    I have been an Artist and University level Art professor most of my adult life. I have always been interested in science, the Milankovitch orbital variations and my art work mostly deals with the science of nature, so I thought it was important to do more research before I left for Calgary... I might as well have done nothing!!! At this time, like most people I thought that CO 2 was causing global warming and we were like lemmings heading for a cliff. I found out that climate change is a very complex problem and no one really understands Milankovitch or Maunder Minimum but we do know that someday there will be glaciers once again sitting on Chicago.
    There is also a climate change war of scientists (http://www.petitionproject.org/index.php) saying some very convincing things today that maybe it’s mostly nature not man and that the climate is always changing. There are things in man’s history that tell us CO2 does not cause global warming, something called the Medieval Warming Period when the Vikings moved to Greenland and had farms where there are glaciers today in a 300 year period that was much warmer then it is today It is part of a scientist’s duty to be skeptical, consensus is not science, maybe solar sunspots (cycle 24) are at work here. So I was off to Calgary. What I didn’t know was that the IPCC had already set up the program with World Wide Views that made the outcome say what they wanted it to say! It was fixed right from the start. The IPCC is a BIG billion dollar business and I was already in the church of CO 2.. I felt like a cat walking into a dog kennel.
    We sat in groups of about eight for one session of voting; there were about seven sessions with some mixing of people between sessions. Then there was a brain washing video before each session telling us how CO 2 was the villain in global warming and then we were to discuss the degree of badness. The questions to vote on were fixed as to the many different degrees of monster CO 2 was.
    So I stood up and tore off my dog costume, I AM A CAT! “Yes. I am a heretic and proud of it”, a few of my converts stood up with me and I was not tied to a stake, after all this was the University of Calgary with an open mind to skeptics. A shortened story - The End
    Bob Evermon Davis Bay BC one of one hundred from Canada.
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/424689381017698/
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  8. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Didn’t Hayek already make this point (inherent to public choice economics) like, 40-50 years ago? i.e. that command by technocratic specialists can only at best intersect with the public interest and more often serves the parochial ends of the specialists before everyone else’s. His own relatively bad track record of political predictions certainly doesn’t argue against the idea that a “pure” forecaster is mythical — you always either have information you’re trying to leverage, or you’re just not invested in the outcome either way. Gambling is at root a way to pass time, not a puzzle-obstacle on the quest to become the #1 right-all-the-time smartypants.

    Read More
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  9. @Steve Sailer
    I signed up a year or two ago, but when I got the questions, I said, "Wow, this looks a lot of work and even if I did all the work I probably wouldn't be very good at it." So I didn't go ahead with it.

    But it is a quite good test of fox ability.

    Here's a good example of a hedgehog in baseball stats analysis:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voros_McCracken

    In 1999, Voros McCracken put forward the hypothesis that a large part of pitching statistics is just luck at whether or not the ball was hit at a fielder or not.

    This was a revolutionary idea because it was so easy to come up with an exception to the rule he was putting forward: Tommy John is one of the half dozen most famous players not in the Hall of Fame. He won 164 games after having Tommy John Surgery in his early 30s. And he did it by giving up a huge number of singles off his sinker, but not many homers, and getting out of jams with double plays.

    But still ... it turns out that that surprisingly few pitchers are Tommy John. Or perhaps unsurprisingly, since Tommy John remains extremely famous.

    Anyway, McCracken's idea has help up quite well as a way of predicting which pitchers will be good next year by figuring out which ones were just lucky this year.

    Zack Greinke of the Dodgers uses one of the "Defense Independent Pitching" stats to guide his game, and he's pretty much unhittable this year.

    Fifty years ago, three of the White Sox players visited my Little League, in Gary. Tommy John might have been one of them, although I think that the pitcher who visited was more likely Gary Peters!?! The one player that I am fairly certain of is catcher J. C. Martin. I think third baseman Pete Ward might have been the third one that came. Where I grew up, you loved one Chicago team and usually hated the other. In my case, I was a born-and-bred Cubs fan. (I now own my late mother’s four ticket stubs from the 1945 World Series.) I was not about to pass up seeing three big leaguers standing on my own Little League field, though, even if they were only White Sox! (Truth is, in the early- through mid-1960s, it was the White Sox who fielded very competitive teams in Chicago; the Cubs finally picked up steam, beginning in 1967, after first hitting the bottom in Leo Durocher’s first year as their manager, in 1966.) Anyway, if three of the Cubs players had visited, instead, I am sure that I still would remember just which three– even if they had been Bill Faul, Chris Krug and Joey Amalfitano, rather than, say, Ernie Banks, Ron Santo and, my own favorite player, Billy Williams.

    Many things have cooled my ardor for Major League Baseball, in the intervening half century; but, the mainstreaming of arcane baseball statistics, in recent decades, is certainly right up there with the likes of divisional play, the designated hitter, wild cards, interleague play, unbalanced schedules and, the anti-Christ himself, ‘Bud’ Selig! I think that George Carlin’s famous comedy routine in which he compared and contrasted baseball with football would have lost something immeasurable, if he had had to bring sabermetrics into the discussion. I do not begrudge the teams themselves for using them, of course; I only begrudge announcers and fans spouting them. When I watch a game, I just want to see it unfold in front of me; I do not want a coaching clinic, complete with strike zones actually projected onto the live action, and every pitch sequence then replayed, like the Zapruder film in Oliver Stone’s “JFK” (1991), or on that “Seinfeld” episode. You folks in L.A. are lucky that Vin Skully is still at it, after all these decades. When he goes, you will be like the rest of us: left overhearing an insider discussion between two or three inside-baseball types, trying to impress and amuse each other, instead of having a one-to-one relationship with an announcer who is having a conversation, albeit one-sided, with you, the audience member, putting the game in perspective, rather than under a clinician’s microscope.

    Read More
    • Agree: Vendetta
    • Replies: @Marty
    The White Sox have largely escaped infamy for being the organization which threw away the most talent. Callison, Cash, Battey - and Denny McClain: first two minor league starts, no-hitter and one hitter. Then left unprotected in minor league draft because he'd leave the team to visit his girlfriend.
    , @Pat Casey
    Somehow I'm reminded of the late Stan Evans making fun of George Will's annual baseball-as-metaphor-for-x,y,or z column: "I was thinking about writing a column on baseball," in his peerlessly droll manner, "Baseball---baseball as a metaphor... for softball."
    , @Reg Cæsar

    with the likes of divisional play, the designated hitter, wild cards, interleague play, unbalanced schedules
     
    Those things aren't baseball. They're football.

    Except for "wild cards". That's poker.
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  10. Putting aside the advance to medical knowledge, has Tommy John surgery really improved the quality of baseball (other than by handing rotisserie geeks another delicious interminable argument over multiple eras)? This is from a casual fan. It’s not like being a quarterback, where you’ve picked up some things at 32 or 33 that it would’ve helped to know earlier. My own experience of the resulting product is watching a carousel of middle-aged guys each go pitch a relief inning or two, not very different stylistically from the younger crop, just they’re slower.

    Read More
    • Replies: @hodag
    Tommy John makes and sells a fairly prominant line of underpants nowadays.
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  11. @SFG
    That is true, but I am convinced of the climate change thing. Some things are true even if the Party says so. Ice melts, New York floods, weather patterns change...something is going on, and we know CO2 traps heat.

    Of course, I suspect many people here would like to see the eastern seaboard flood. Vladimir Putin is another example: I'm sure he knows and intends to do as little as possible, because if the earth gets warmer, over the long term that will only help miserably frozen Russia.

    I have to agree. It’s definitely changing to a warmer climate here in the Northwest. Thirty years ago we could go for a month in winter without rising above zero. It protected us from the plague of rats, cockroaches, termites and fleas. Whether we can really control things or not, I don’t know.

    Now I’m afraid the area will become too attractive to wandering refugees and Section 8ers, especially since RINO legislators have collaborated with Dems to expand Medicaid. With any luck the local economy will remain tepid, but I am seeing more NAMs here every day, walking the street and waiting at bus stops.

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  12. If the Leninist version of “Who, Whom?” is going to become popular now I would just add that it should be pronounced “k-to k-vo”, stress on the second syllable, but a short ‘o’. (Unstressed syllables in Russian tend to be elided and the “go” declension in genetive-accusative is always pronounced as a “v”.)

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  13. @SFG
    That is true, but I am convinced of the climate change thing. Some things are true even if the Party says so. Ice melts, New York floods, weather patterns change...something is going on, and we know CO2 traps heat.

    Of course, I suspect many people here would like to see the eastern seaboard flood. Vladimir Putin is another example: I'm sure he knows and intends to do as little as possible, because if the earth gets warmer, over the long term that will only help miserably frozen Russia.

    The foremost atmospheric scientist at MIT,
    Richard Lindzen, doesn’t buy into any of the man-made global warming/climate change theories.

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  14. @Simon in London
    Hence - eg 'Climate Change' - once people have control of the levers of power they can make whatever forecasts will best serve their agenda, and everyone else has to believe it or be punished.

    Or ridiculed, case in point the documentary, “Merchants of Doubt.”

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  15. @Simon in London
    Hence - eg 'Climate Change' - once people have control of the levers of power they can make whatever forecasts will best serve their agenda, and everyone else has to believe it or be punished.

    One thing that’s cool about the internet is that it’s easy enough to look up the dire predictions of global warming from the 1980s and see that none of those are coming true. Unfortunately, that doesn’t deter the modern day warmistas.

    It’s also true that virtually nobody seriously believes these predictions. Beachfront property continues to command a high price, even among liberals. Nobody is snapping up cheap farmland in Alberta.

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  16. @SFG
    That is true, but I am convinced of the climate change thing. Some things are true even if the Party says so. Ice melts, New York floods, weather patterns change...something is going on, and we know CO2 traps heat.

    Of course, I suspect many people here would like to see the eastern seaboard flood. Vladimir Putin is another example: I'm sure he knows and intends to do as little as possible, because if the earth gets warmer, over the long term that will only help miserably frozen Russia.

    “Ice melts”

    Sure, and a lot of the melting ice is uncovering human structures which were there before the ice. Strongly suggesting that current temperatures are within the range of natural variation.

    Back in the 1930s, people noticed that the north polar ice was melting and receding. Which it probably was, primarily due to the Earth’s emergence from the Little Ice Age.

    “something is going on”

    Sure . . . and that something has been going on for millions of years. It is a myth that the Earth has a normal temperature.

    “we know CO2 traps heat.”

    Yes . . . but you need to ask how much extra heat. If you do the math, the amount of global warming which can be expected from mankind’s CO2 emissions is not all that much. The dire predictions come from added assumptions that CO2-induced warming will be magnified through positive feedback.

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  17. I also tried last year. After a few months of calling obscure friends overseas for tidbits about elections around the world, I decided I did not know what I did not know and quit to spend more time on golf and beer.

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  18. @SFG
    That is true, but I am convinced of the climate change thing. Some things are true even if the Party says so. Ice melts, New York floods, weather patterns change...something is going on, and we know CO2 traps heat.

    Of course, I suspect many people here would like to see the eastern seaboard flood. Vladimir Putin is another example: I'm sure he knows and intends to do as little as possible, because if the earth gets warmer, over the long term that will only help miserably frozen Russia.

    Dr. Thomas Painter of JPL, and several other workers have published work suggesting that ice melting is due to deposition of soot and dust due to burning coal and disturbance of earth die to farming. Of course it is ice melting that leads to sea level rise regardless of the cause.

    Soot and dust also may increase absorption of sunlight and increase the temperature of the earth. This effect may be greater than that of CO2. It may be that our efforts at amelioration of climate change are misguided; we should be improving retention of soot and improving farming practices as well as or possibly instead of minimizing the emission of CO2

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    • Replies: @Robert Hume
    Oops ... tens or hundreds of meters of sea rise is potentially due to ice melting in Greenland and Antarctica. One or two meters can be expected from water expansion due to higher temperatures. It's generally thought that that is the cause of recent sea level rise.
    , @Forbes
    And in the '70s the Global Cooling mob wanted to spray the arctic with carbon black to combat global cooling. Pretty sure Time magazine had a write up on that suggestion.
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  19. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    It’s too bad you can’t somehow eliminate self-selection effects. People become “experts” in fields often because they want to change something, feel they are on a mission from god, and so on. Sometimes they really care about something in the field, and sometimes they just want to be there to push something bigger, sometimes in cahoots with a likeminded group.

    It would be cool if every prediction by an expert came with a short bio of the pontificator; a short list of the positions the expert is known to advocate; and a handful of extracts of his more relevant (or outrageous) sayings or writings about why he things the way he does about what he is pontificating about; that sort of thing. Kind of the equivalent of statistical margin of error but aimed at motivation.

    An interesting app could probably be written that could come close to automating something like this. It would also be interesting to be able to “trace back” a lot of trope-level arguments to their source. Of course, if it was written by a large multi-national or someone with an agenda…

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  20. @Steve Sailer
    I signed up a year or two ago, but when I got the questions, I said, "Wow, this looks a lot of work and even if I did all the work I probably wouldn't be very good at it." So I didn't go ahead with it.

    But it is a quite good test of fox ability.

    Here's a good example of a hedgehog in baseball stats analysis:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voros_McCracken

    In 1999, Voros McCracken put forward the hypothesis that a large part of pitching statistics is just luck at whether or not the ball was hit at a fielder or not.

    This was a revolutionary idea because it was so easy to come up with an exception to the rule he was putting forward: Tommy John is one of the half dozen most famous players not in the Hall of Fame. He won 164 games after having Tommy John Surgery in his early 30s. And he did it by giving up a huge number of singles off his sinker, but not many homers, and getting out of jams with double plays.

    But still ... it turns out that that surprisingly few pitchers are Tommy John. Or perhaps unsurprisingly, since Tommy John remains extremely famous.

    Anyway, McCracken's idea has help up quite well as a way of predicting which pitchers will be good next year by figuring out which ones were just lucky this year.

    Zack Greinke of the Dodgers uses one of the "Defense Independent Pitching" stats to guide his game, and he's pretty much unhittable this year.

    Voros McCracken. That beats Svante Pääbo.

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  21. Propaganda however risks Koolaide drinking. It is often vital to know the likelihood of events, example oil price direction for a petrostate. Koolaide drinking often ends up as nothing more than revolutionary suicide.

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  22. or as he memorably put it, “kto, kogo?” That literally means “who, whom”

    My first instinct was to say that this is gonna catch on here and become a permanent fixture, so, in Steveian fashion, I’m going to predict that it’ll be a total dud.

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  23. ‘Who, Whom’? They’re ripping you off again. Saletan, Yglesias, Brooks… now Tetlock.

    Depressing thing is, Brooks actually tried to give you credit and got slammed for it.

    I keep wondering if there’s some way you can rehabilitate yourself. Pretend to have gone non-racist and then slip economic justifications for limiting immigration into the Zeitgeist. I mean, your #1 priority is limiting immigration. Is there any way we can raise a movement that will accomplish that? If you had to lie about IQ and race but it would stop mass Mexican immigration, would you do it?

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Oh, they'll still know he's 'racist' but he'll lose his underground credibility as well.

    Off topic

    Soros has a great proposal to solve the crisis. Super commenter Peter Schaeffer does a wonderful job there, either.
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  24. Marty [AKA "coot veal or cot deal"] says:
    @D. K.
    Fifty years ago, three of the White Sox players visited my Little League, in Gary. Tommy John might have been one of them, although I think that the pitcher who visited was more likely Gary Peters!?! The one player that I am fairly certain of is catcher J. C. Martin. I think third baseman Pete Ward might have been the third one that came. Where I grew up, you loved one Chicago team and usually hated the other. In my case, I was a born-and-bred Cubs fan. (I now own my late mother's four ticket stubs from the 1945 World Series.) I was not about to pass up seeing three big leaguers standing on my own Little League field, though, even if they were only White Sox! (Truth is, in the early- through mid-1960s, it was the White Sox who fielded very competitive teams in Chicago; the Cubs finally picked up steam, beginning in 1967, after first hitting the bottom in Leo Durocher's first year as their manager, in 1966.) Anyway, if three of the Cubs players had visited, instead, I am sure that I still would remember just which three-- even if they had been Bill Faul, Chris Krug and Joey Amalfitano, rather than, say, Ernie Banks, Ron Santo and, my own favorite player, Billy Williams.

    Many things have cooled my ardor for Major League Baseball, in the intervening half century; but, the mainstreaming of arcane baseball statistics, in recent decades, is certainly right up there with the likes of divisional play, the designated hitter, wild cards, interleague play, unbalanced schedules and, the anti-Christ himself, 'Bud' Selig! I think that George Carlin's famous comedy routine in which he compared and contrasted baseball with football would have lost something immeasurable, if he had had to bring sabermetrics into the discussion. I do not begrudge the teams themselves for using them, of course; I only begrudge announcers and fans spouting them. When I watch a game, I just want to see it unfold in front of me; I do not want a coaching clinic, complete with strike zones actually projected onto the live action, and every pitch sequence then replayed, like the Zapruder film in Oliver Stone's "JFK" (1991), or on that "Seinfeld" episode. You folks in L.A. are lucky that Vin Skully is still at it, after all these decades. When he goes, you will be like the rest of us: left overhearing an insider discussion between two or three inside-baseball types, trying to impress and amuse each other, instead of having a one-to-one relationship with an announcer who is having a conversation, albeit one-sided, with you, the audience member, putting the game in perspective, rather than under a clinician's microscope.

    The White Sox have largely escaped infamy for being the organization which threw away the most talent. Callison, Cash, Battey – and Denny McClain: first two minor league starts, no-hitter and one hitter. Then left unprotected in minor league draft because he’d leave the team to visit his girlfriend.

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  25. But before giving up, let’s remember that Lenin was a tad dogmatic. People want power, yes. But they value other things too. And that can make all the difference.

    My version: “Some people want only power, yes. But other people value other things. And what the latter want makes no difference if it stands in the way of what the former want.”

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  26. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I found the questions, even when possibly important cogs in the big machine, to be overwhelmingly arcane and intrinsically uninteresting to me.

    That’s because it was CIA-funded. Wikipedia says that they have now founded a spin-off company that, presumably, would be willing to superforecast whatever questions that are of sufficient interest to you.

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  27. @Robert Hume
    Dr. Thomas Painter of JPL, and several other workers have published work suggesting that ice melting is due to deposition of soot and dust due to burning coal and disturbance of earth die to farming. Of course it is ice melting that leads to sea level rise regardless of the cause.

    Soot and dust also may increase absorption of sunlight and increase the temperature of the earth. This effect may be greater than that of CO2. It may be that our efforts at amelioration of climate change are misguided; we should be improving retention of soot and improving farming practices as well as or possibly instead of minimizing the emission of CO2

    Oops … tens or hundreds of meters of sea rise is potentially due to ice melting in Greenland and Antarctica. One or two meters can be expected from water expansion due to higher temperatures. It’s generally thought that that is the cause of recent sea level rise.

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  28. @Steve Sailer
    I signed up a year or two ago, but when I got the questions, I said, "Wow, this looks a lot of work and even if I did all the work I probably wouldn't be very good at it." So I didn't go ahead with it.

    But it is a quite good test of fox ability.

    Here's a good example of a hedgehog in baseball stats analysis:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voros_McCracken

    In 1999, Voros McCracken put forward the hypothesis that a large part of pitching statistics is just luck at whether or not the ball was hit at a fielder or not.

    This was a revolutionary idea because it was so easy to come up with an exception to the rule he was putting forward: Tommy John is one of the half dozen most famous players not in the Hall of Fame. He won 164 games after having Tommy John Surgery in his early 30s. And he did it by giving up a huge number of singles off his sinker, but not many homers, and getting out of jams with double plays.

    But still ... it turns out that that surprisingly few pitchers are Tommy John. Or perhaps unsurprisingly, since Tommy John remains extremely famous.

    Anyway, McCracken's idea has help up quite well as a way of predicting which pitchers will be good next year by figuring out which ones were just lucky this year.

    Zack Greinke of the Dodgers uses one of the "Defense Independent Pitching" stats to guide his game, and he's pretty much unhittable this year.

    [Tommy John] won 164 games after having Tommy John Surgery in his early 30s.

    Well he certainly didn’t have Joe Horlen Surgery.

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  29. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I predict that Germany will have their own Rotherham-child-rape-by-Muslims epidemic, with authorities conspiring to suppress reporting of the crimes.

    OH WAIT… it’s already begun..

    “At yet another migrant camp in Detmold, a city in central Germany, a 13-year-old Muslim girl was raped by a fellow migrant. The child and her mother had fled to Europe to escape a ‘culture of sexual violence’ in their own country.

    Astonishingly, police kept silent about the rape, which took place in June. Only this month, after a local newspaper revealed that it had happened — and claimed German authorities are not ‘going public’ about crimes involving migrants because they don’t want to ‘give legitimacy’ to critics of mass migration — did they confirm it had taken place.
    The area’s police chief, Bernd Flake, insists the official silence was meant to protect the rape victim. But he adds: ‘We will continue this policy (of not informing the public) whenever crimes are committed in migrant facilities.’

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  30. @SFG
    'Who, Whom'? They're ripping you off again. Saletan, Yglesias, Brooks... now Tetlock.

    Depressing thing is, Brooks actually tried to give you credit and got slammed for it.

    I keep wondering if there's some way you can rehabilitate yourself. Pretend to have gone non-racist and then slip economic justifications for limiting immigration into the Zeitgeist. I mean, your #1 priority is limiting immigration. Is there any way we can raise a movement that will accomplish that? If you had to lie about IQ and race but it would stop mass Mexican immigration, would you do it?

    Oh, they’ll still know he’s ‘racist’ but he’ll lose his underground credibility as well.

    Off topic

    Soros has a great proposal to solve the crisis. Super commenter Peter Schaeffer does a wonderful job there, either.

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  31. @Anonymous
    A good, blatantly obvious and very recent example of this can be seen with official statements coming out of Germany regarding the so-called 'migrant' crisis.

    We are most sternly lectured that the 'migrants' are 'good' for Germany since, as we are reminded, that Germany has 'dire demographics' and is in urgent need of a transfusion of young, fresh blood to do all the work, (the rantings of vampires, apparently).

    Strange that a mere 6 months ago, before all this rubbish kicked off, nobody but nobody, least of all the German government was sending out desperate appeals to the world to round up every spare warm body in sight and to pack them off to man German factories.

    As Johnny Rotten famously smirked ' Ha..ha..ha....ever get the feeling you've been cheated?'

    Japan also has “dire demographics,” and yet admits negligible numbers of foreigners, refugees or otherwise, for settlement. I predict that in a generation from now, Japan will be far wealthier, healthier and more stable than western Europe. (That is, assuming Japan isn’t bullied into opening its borders to whomever might wish to settle there.)

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    • Replies: @rod1963
    In a few more years Japan will be the last man standing. The U.S. is rapidly going down along with the EU because both bet on a unsustainable welfare society coupled with a strong dose of neoliberal economics which is now blowing up.

    Even now our only claim to power are our aircraft carrier strike groups and bribing poor EU heads of state like those of Greece, Poland, Romania, etc.

    Once the stock market sours and people's 401k turn into 201k's and the state pension funds go poof, the people who run the U.S. will be running for their lives.

    And if the SNAP cards stop working, watch out. We'll have a race war on our hands, albeit a short and bloody one.
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  32. @D. K.
    Fifty years ago, three of the White Sox players visited my Little League, in Gary. Tommy John might have been one of them, although I think that the pitcher who visited was more likely Gary Peters!?! The one player that I am fairly certain of is catcher J. C. Martin. I think third baseman Pete Ward might have been the third one that came. Where I grew up, you loved one Chicago team and usually hated the other. In my case, I was a born-and-bred Cubs fan. (I now own my late mother's four ticket stubs from the 1945 World Series.) I was not about to pass up seeing three big leaguers standing on my own Little League field, though, even if they were only White Sox! (Truth is, in the early- through mid-1960s, it was the White Sox who fielded very competitive teams in Chicago; the Cubs finally picked up steam, beginning in 1967, after first hitting the bottom in Leo Durocher's first year as their manager, in 1966.) Anyway, if three of the Cubs players had visited, instead, I am sure that I still would remember just which three-- even if they had been Bill Faul, Chris Krug and Joey Amalfitano, rather than, say, Ernie Banks, Ron Santo and, my own favorite player, Billy Williams.

    Many things have cooled my ardor for Major League Baseball, in the intervening half century; but, the mainstreaming of arcane baseball statistics, in recent decades, is certainly right up there with the likes of divisional play, the designated hitter, wild cards, interleague play, unbalanced schedules and, the anti-Christ himself, 'Bud' Selig! I think that George Carlin's famous comedy routine in which he compared and contrasted baseball with football would have lost something immeasurable, if he had had to bring sabermetrics into the discussion. I do not begrudge the teams themselves for using them, of course; I only begrudge announcers and fans spouting them. When I watch a game, I just want to see it unfold in front of me; I do not want a coaching clinic, complete with strike zones actually projected onto the live action, and every pitch sequence then replayed, like the Zapruder film in Oliver Stone's "JFK" (1991), or on that "Seinfeld" episode. You folks in L.A. are lucky that Vin Skully is still at it, after all these decades. When he goes, you will be like the rest of us: left overhearing an insider discussion between two or three inside-baseball types, trying to impress and amuse each other, instead of having a one-to-one relationship with an announcer who is having a conversation, albeit one-sided, with you, the audience member, putting the game in perspective, rather than under a clinician's microscope.

    Somehow I’m reminded of the late Stan Evans making fun of George Will’s annual baseball-as-metaphor-for-x,y,or z column: “I was thinking about writing a column on baseball,” in his peerlessly droll manner, “Baseball—baseball as a metaphor… for softball.”

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  33. @SFG
    That is true, but I am convinced of the climate change thing. Some things are true even if the Party says so. Ice melts, New York floods, weather patterns change...something is going on, and we know CO2 traps heat.

    Of course, I suspect many people here would like to see the eastern seaboard flood. Vladimir Putin is another example: I'm sure he knows and intends to do as little as possible, because if the earth gets warmer, over the long term that will only help miserably frozen Russia.

    “That is true, but I am convinced of the climate change thing”

    I guess their work is done, then. :D

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    • Replies: @The most deplorable one
    Heh.

    It is possible to distinguish the deep thinkers from the dilettantes.

    It's almost as if that issue was made to measure.
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  34. The most deplorable one [AKA "Fourth doorman of the apocalypse"] says:
    @Simon in London
    "That is true, but I am convinced of the climate change thing"

    I guess their work is done, then. :D

    Heh.

    It is possible to distinguish the deep thinkers from the dilettantes.

    It’s almost as if that issue was made to measure.

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  35. @SFG
    That is true, but I am convinced of the climate change thing. Some things are true even if the Party says so. Ice melts, New York floods, weather patterns change...something is going on, and we know CO2 traps heat.

    Of course, I suspect many people here would like to see the eastern seaboard flood. Vladimir Putin is another example: I'm sure he knows and intends to do as little as possible, because if the earth gets warmer, over the long term that will only help miserably frozen Russia.

    “That is true, but I am convinced of the climate change thing. Some things are true even if the Party says so. Ice melts, New York floods, weather patterns change…something is going on, and we know CO2 traps heat.”

    The something that is going on is perhaps less dire than what the proponents of AGW think. They have been working hard over the last ten years to doctor the temperature record so as to make the warming trend look greater than it likely has been.

    Also, yes CO2 traps heat. but that is not all there is to the Earth’s climate. There are other things that affect it too. And people like Kevin Trenberth, Michael Mann, and Gavin Schmidt (to name only a few) don’t seem to care about those. They have their answer and they will not be disuaded. Nor will those climate scientists who recently sent a letter to the Attorney General recommending that dissenting opinions be crushed using the RICO statute. They have ceased to be disinterested scientists and have become very interested activists.

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  36. Perhaps this describes the whole progressive project. Our societies died a while ago and are now decaying, so progressives are simply rationalising away the decay.

    Although by rationalising away the decay they are also furthering it and so we putrefy even quicker.

    Ironically this means that those who suffer most are also often progressivism’s greatest proponents.

    ‘I’m a childless, withered and entirely undesirable middle aged women who has an extremely mundane and unrewarding office job…but I want to feel positive about myself at least, what else do I have, go girl power!’

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    • Replies: @Deduction
    Furthermore, since the greatest victims of progressivism often become its greatest advocates, I think that the best way to talk to them is in terms of their mental health. This circumvents their self defensiveness by circumventing the cause of the problem and instead starts with the effect.

    It is also likely to create cathartic response that is crucial to engaging them.

    Lukianoff and Haidt are really in on something. As is Heartiste sometimes, and 'Submission' is an absolute treasure.
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  37. @SFG
    That is true, but I am convinced of the climate change thing. Some things are true even if the Party says so. Ice melts, New York floods, weather patterns change...something is going on, and we know CO2 traps heat.

    Of course, I suspect many people here would like to see the eastern seaboard flood. Vladimir Putin is another example: I'm sure he knows and intends to do as little as possible, because if the earth gets warmer, over the long term that will only help miserably frozen Russia.

    Hitler and Napoleon would disagree with you.

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  38. I recently set up a study to find individuals who could correctly predict a coin toss. I had 100,00 people make their prediction, and then I flipped the coin. About half predicted heads, which happened to be right. I then repeated the process with those who were successful.

    I found that, in a population of 100,000 persons, only 3% were really exceptional, which I defined as being able to correctly predict the results of the coin toss five times in a row. But still, it’s pretty amazing that there are people who can repeatedly predict a random outcome correctly.

    Isn’t it?

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Anon7, you are a moron. Sorry, there is no other way to put it. The people that Tetlock describes have improved the accuracy of their forecasts year after year. How do you do that with a perfectly random outcome?
    , @Deckin
    Anon7: Yes! The Stock Picker from Baltimore lives.
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  39. What is the purpose of political polling except as a forecast used to influence the outcome? Questions are regularly structured (biased) to achieve preferred answers/outcomes. And the lapdog media uses these polls as news hooks in reporting, as if answers to tortured questions amounts to informing the public of matters of importance. That such polling is a fraud–an intentional deceit perpetrated on the public–matters little, it’s still an effort to create a bandwagon effect in mass psychology and groupthink in public opinion.

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  40. Steve,

    I’m too hung over to re-read your foxes and hedgehogs post, but I think the valuable part of this book would be the psychological profile of the superforecasters.

    In your opinion, is the game set up in such a way that those who are successful in it are a plausible model for those who would be successful in most of our everyday predictions? In other words, if the game poses arcane questions and expects you to spend a long time doing research and thinking, maybe it rewards neuroticism as against pure intelligence more than the real world?

    On the other hand, we have the example of the large portions of academia who were bully on USSR.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    My impression is that the people who do well in Tetlock's game deserve to do well.
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  41. @Deduction
    Perhaps this describes the whole progressive project. Our societies died a while ago and are now decaying, so progressives are simply rationalising away the decay.

    Although by rationalising away the decay they are also furthering it and so we putrefy even quicker.

    Ironically this means that those who suffer most are also often progressivism's greatest proponents.

    'I'm a childless, withered and entirely undesirable middle aged women who has an extremely mundane and unrewarding office job...but I want to feel positive about myself at least, what else do I have, go girl power!'

    Furthermore, since the greatest victims of progressivism often become its greatest advocates, I think that the best way to talk to them is in terms of their mental health. This circumvents their self defensiveness by circumventing the cause of the problem and instead starts with the effect.

    It is also likely to create cathartic response that is crucial to engaging them.

    Lukianoff and Haidt are really in on something. As is Heartiste sometimes, and ‘Submission’ is an absolute treasure.

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  42. Tetlock not that profound when you try to nail him down. Are futures prices like oil easy to forecast? If he really knew, people would be throwing money at him.

    Once at the end of a big lecture where he talked about being a fox and being a hedgehog, noting the strengths and weaknesses of both, someone asked him if he was a hedgehog or fox. He said ‘a little of both.’ Isn’t every thoughtful person?

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  43. @Chrisnonymous
    Steve,

    I'm too hung over to re-read your foxes and hedgehogs post, but I think the valuable part of this book would be the psychological profile of the superforecasters.

    In your opinion, is the game set up in such a way that those who are successful in it are a plausible model for those who would be successful in most of our everyday predictions? In other words, if the game poses arcane questions and expects you to spend a long time doing research and thinking, maybe it rewards neuroticism as against pure intelligence more than the real world?

    On the other hand, we have the example of the large portions of academia who were bully on USSR.

    My impression is that the people who do well in Tetlock’s game deserve to do well.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ezra
    Well, if anyone who has anything better to do with their time quits the game in the middle, then I am pretty dubious about the results. Probably there are smart guys with boring jobs (amateurs) who play this game and do well. Most real experts have fun jobs doing what they are interested in andso they drop out. The experts who play this game to the end are probably pretty lackluster.
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  44. @SFG
    That is true, but I am convinced of the climate change thing. Some things are true even if the Party says so. Ice melts, New York floods, weather patterns change...something is going on, and we know CO2 traps heat.

    Of course, I suspect many people here would like to see the eastern seaboard flood. Vladimir Putin is another example: I'm sure he knows and intends to do as little as possible, because if the earth gets warmer, over the long term that will only help miserably frozen Russia.

    I was in Bernaul Russia in southern Siberia. Of course it is cold in winter but I was there in summer and it was quite nice weather-wise. The Altai mountains (not very high) were also quite nice.

    http://www.tripadvisor.com/SmartDeals-g737147-Barnaul_Altai_Krai_Siberian_District-Hotel-Deals.html

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  45. @Anon7
    I recently set up a study to find individuals who could correctly predict a coin toss. I had 100,00 people make their prediction, and then I flipped the coin. About half predicted heads, which happened to be right. I then repeated the process with those who were successful.

    I found that, in a population of 100,000 persons, only 3% were really exceptional, which I defined as being able to correctly predict the results of the coin toss five times in a row. But still, it's pretty amazing that there are people who can repeatedly predict a random outcome correctly.

    Isn't it?

    Anon7, you are a moron. Sorry, there is no other way to put it. The people that Tetlock describes have improved the accuracy of their forecasts year after year. How do you do that with a perfectly random outcome?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon7
    I guess I'll call you "credulous" back. Am I mistaken, or is this the same Tetlock who, a few years ago, concluded that it was impossible to predict very well?

    "Philip Tetlock, a psychology professor at Penn and author of Expert Political Judgment (here’s some info on Tetlock’s latest forecasting project) provides a strong empirical argument for just how bad we are at predicting. He conducted a long-running experiment that asked nearly 300 political experts to make a variety of forecasts about dozens of countries around the world. After tracking the accuracy of about 80,000 predictions over the course of 20 years, Tetlock found …

    "TETLOCK: 'That experts thought they knew more than they knew. That there was a systematic gap between subjective probabilities that experts were assigning to possible futures and the objective likelihoods of those futures materializing … With respect to how they did relative to, say, a baseline group of Berkeley undergraduates making predictions, they did somewhat better than that. How did they do relative to purely random guessing strategy? Well, they did a little bit better than that, but not as much as you might hope …'"

    (http://freakonomics.com/2011/06/30/freakonomics-radio-hour-long-episode-4-“the-folly-of-prediction”-2/)

    Now, though it's time to sell a new book! Tetlock now apparently believes that "It turned out that, after rigorous statistical controls, the elite amateurs were on average about 30% more accurate than the experts ..."

    I note that the Superforecasting book focused on shorter-range forecasts, the longest of which, about 12 months, being only as long as the shortest forecasts in the earlier Expert Political Judgment project.

    30% more accurate than what? Can he point to particular individuals and say "when this one predicts an outcome with very few facts, he's always right?" If not, then it's just another book that sells you on a cool idea, and the author collects his 12% royalty, as well as all of the related speaker's fees. People have been trying to find ways to think more clearly since the time of the ancient Greeks if not earlier; as far as I'm concerned, thinking is a hominid work in progress.

    I don't know if I'm more or less of a moron than you are, Anonymous, but I am much less credulous.
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  46. @SFG
    That is true, but I am convinced of the climate change thing. Some things are true even if the Party says so. Ice melts, New York floods, weather patterns change...something is going on, and we know CO2 traps heat.

    Of course, I suspect many people here would like to see the eastern seaboard flood. Vladimir Putin is another example: I'm sure he knows and intends to do as little as possible, because if the earth gets warmer, over the long term that will only help miserably frozen Russia.

    What percentage of the Earth’s atmosphere is CO2? If you don’t know this without having to look it up you probably should start re-thinking your belief in AGW.

    Read More
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  47. @honest question
    Putting aside the advance to medical knowledge, has Tommy John surgery really improved the quality of baseball (other than by handing rotisserie geeks another delicious interminable argument over multiple eras)? This is from a casual fan. It's not like being a quarterback, where you've picked up some things at 32 or 33 that it would've helped to know earlier. My own experience of the resulting product is watching a carousel of middle-aged guys each go pitch a relief inning or two, not very different stylistically from the younger crop, just they're slower.

    Tommy John makes and sells a fairly prominant line of underpants nowadays.

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  48. @D. K.
    Fifty years ago, three of the White Sox players visited my Little League, in Gary. Tommy John might have been one of them, although I think that the pitcher who visited was more likely Gary Peters!?! The one player that I am fairly certain of is catcher J. C. Martin. I think third baseman Pete Ward might have been the third one that came. Where I grew up, you loved one Chicago team and usually hated the other. In my case, I was a born-and-bred Cubs fan. (I now own my late mother's four ticket stubs from the 1945 World Series.) I was not about to pass up seeing three big leaguers standing on my own Little League field, though, even if they were only White Sox! (Truth is, in the early- through mid-1960s, it was the White Sox who fielded very competitive teams in Chicago; the Cubs finally picked up steam, beginning in 1967, after first hitting the bottom in Leo Durocher's first year as their manager, in 1966.) Anyway, if three of the Cubs players had visited, instead, I am sure that I still would remember just which three-- even if they had been Bill Faul, Chris Krug and Joey Amalfitano, rather than, say, Ernie Banks, Ron Santo and, my own favorite player, Billy Williams.

    Many things have cooled my ardor for Major League Baseball, in the intervening half century; but, the mainstreaming of arcane baseball statistics, in recent decades, is certainly right up there with the likes of divisional play, the designated hitter, wild cards, interleague play, unbalanced schedules and, the anti-Christ himself, 'Bud' Selig! I think that George Carlin's famous comedy routine in which he compared and contrasted baseball with football would have lost something immeasurable, if he had had to bring sabermetrics into the discussion. I do not begrudge the teams themselves for using them, of course; I only begrudge announcers and fans spouting them. When I watch a game, I just want to see it unfold in front of me; I do not want a coaching clinic, complete with strike zones actually projected onto the live action, and every pitch sequence then replayed, like the Zapruder film in Oliver Stone's "JFK" (1991), or on that "Seinfeld" episode. You folks in L.A. are lucky that Vin Skully is still at it, after all these decades. When he goes, you will be like the rest of us: left overhearing an insider discussion between two or three inside-baseball types, trying to impress and amuse each other, instead of having a one-to-one relationship with an announcer who is having a conversation, albeit one-sided, with you, the audience member, putting the game in perspective, rather than under a clinician's microscope.

    with the likes of divisional play, the designated hitter, wild cards, interleague play, unbalanced schedules

    Those things aren’t baseball. They’re football.

    Except for “wild cards”. That’s poker.

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  49. @Anonymous
    Anon7, you are a moron. Sorry, there is no other way to put it. The people that Tetlock describes have improved the accuracy of their forecasts year after year. How do you do that with a perfectly random outcome?

    I guess I’ll call you “credulous” back. Am I mistaken, or is this the same Tetlock who, a few years ago, concluded that it was impossible to predict very well?

    “Philip Tetlock, a psychology professor at Penn and author of Expert Political Judgment (here’s some info on Tetlock’s latest forecasting project) provides a strong empirical argument for just how bad we are at predicting. He conducted a long-running experiment that asked nearly 300 political experts to make a variety of forecasts about dozens of countries around the world. After tracking the accuracy of about 80,000 predictions over the course of 20 years, Tetlock found …

    “TETLOCK: ‘That experts thought they knew more than they knew. That there was a systematic gap between subjective probabilities that experts were assigning to possible futures and the objective likelihoods of those futures materializing … With respect to how they did relative to, say, a baseline group of Berkeley undergraduates making predictions, they did somewhat better than that. How did they do relative to purely random guessing strategy? Well, they did a little bit better than that, but not as much as you might hope …’”

    (http://freakonomics.com/2011/06/30/freakonomics-radio-hour-long-episode-4-“the-folly-of-prediction”-2/)

    Now, though it’s time to sell a new book! Tetlock now apparently believes that “It turned out that, after rigorous statistical controls, the elite amateurs were on average about 30% more accurate than the experts …”

    I note that the Superforecasting book focused on shorter-range forecasts, the longest of which, about 12 months, being only as long as the shortest forecasts in the earlier Expert Political Judgment project.

    30% more accurate than what? Can he point to particular individuals and say “when this one predicts an outcome with very few facts, he’s always right?” If not, then it’s just another book that sells you on a cool idea, and the author collects his 12% royalty, as well as all of the related speaker’s fees. People have been trying to find ways to think more clearly since the time of the ancient Greeks if not earlier; as far as I’m concerned, thinking is a hominid work in progress.

    I don’t know if I’m more or less of a moron than you are, Anonymous, but I am much less credulous.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    Anon7,

    You could at least admit that your coin flip example was totally stupid...


    30% more accurate than what?
     
    Than CIA analysts with access to classified information.

    Can he point to particular individuals and say “when this one predicts an outcome with very few facts, he’s always right?”
     
    But then, you are a moron if you cannot understand what probabilistic forecasting is. Tetlock is not claiming to have discovered infallible oracles. He is not stupid.

    And, it's not just the book - it's four years of work that involved thousands of participants. The book is merely a simple summary of it all, written to be accessible by general public. (Which apparently excludes you.) In the book, Tetlock himself admits that he was very surprised by finding the "superforecasters" phenomenon.

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  50. @SFG
    That is true, but I am convinced of the climate change thing. Some things are true even if the Party says so. Ice melts, New York floods, weather patterns change...something is going on, and we know CO2 traps heat.

    Of course, I suspect many people here would like to see the eastern seaboard flood. Vladimir Putin is another example: I'm sure he knows and intends to do as little as possible, because if the earth gets warmer, over the long term that will only help miserably frozen Russia.

    This is an un-Stevey subject but I’ll jump in because this is one of the few places left where a calm discussion is possible.

    There’s more than one issue. There’s

    1. Is the planet warmer than 100 years ago?
    2. Is the last 100 years’ warming a large change compared to the typical century-to-century variation of the last 10,000 years?
    3. Are humans the cause?
    4. Is it going to keep getting warmer?
    5. Is the rate of warming going to accelerate?

    The true believers say Yes to all five. And they love saying that 98% of scientists agree with them, when in fact the only point that enjoys such universal support is #1. And #2, but there’s considerable uncertainty about the crucial question of How Much.

    A great source here, and IMO neutral and sensible with no axe to grind is Richard Muller from LBNL:

    http://muller.lbl.gov/pages/IceAgeBook/history_of_climate.html

    Read More
    • Agree: SPMoore8, ic1000
    • Replies: @HA
    I would add to the list the various degrees of skepticism regarding climatologists' models (which is perhaps implicit in your #4, though strictly speaking, there's a difference between doubting that warming will continue and doubting the ability of current models to predict temperatures years and decades into the future).

    Likewise, there are degrees of skepticism regarding efficacy and practicality with respect to many of the believers' proposals about what has to be done.

    As you say, you'll be branded a petroleum-whore denialist for most any lapse of orthodoxy, and the likes of Lindzen are routinely lumped in with those who refuse to believe anything about the climate that did not come from the lips of Megyn Kelly.

    , @reiner Tor
    Actually I think global warming and the manner in which it is being promoted is a very iStevey subject. I think the only reason Steve never mentions it is that probably he lacks the expertise to tell whether the evidence and the scientific consensus are convincing or not, and he doesn't want to put his credibility at stake for a subject (probably only marginally interesting to him anyway) where he could easily turn out to be wrong either way. In any event I'd be interested in his take on it.

    I used to totally believe in it (and I think that if true, it's a good argument against immigration!), but recently I've grown somewhat skeptical. To be honest, I don't have the expertise to tell if it's similar to the 'all human groups and sexes were created equal in terms of mental abilities' dogma or if it's more similar to 'the theory evolution is true' dogma, the latter being supported by sound science while the former not.
    , @Vendetta
    Further question:
    6. Can humans actually do anything meaningful to slow/reverse the change in temperature?

    Maybe it is man-made, but if it is, I doubt we'd have a prayer of reversing it without deindustrializing the planet.

    Fluorescent light bulbs and other gimmicks aren't going to save us. Best spend more time thinking about where the Hell 300 million Bangladeshis are going to end up.
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  51. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The cool thing about global climate change for agit-prop purposes is that the climate is always changing. The gift that keeps on giving, no matter what happens.

    It also is an area that does deserve continuous ongoing research. Heck, just advances in predicting rainfall would be swell.

    But how to do this type of research and discuss it in public without full-on scare tactics coming to the fore needs to be addressed. This just doesn’t feel like something about which Galileo would approve, seems pretty Jesuitical:

    “Climate Alarmists to Obama: Use RICO Laws to Jail Skeptics!”, Breitbart, James Delingpole, 19 Sep 2015:

    “Twenty alarmist climate scientists – including UN IPCC lead author Kevin ‘Travesty’ Trenberth – have written a letter to President Obama urging him to use RICO laws to crush dissent by climate skeptics.

    We appreciate that you are making aggressive and imaginative use of the limited tools available to you in the face of a recalcitrant Congress. One additional tool – recently proposed by Senator Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) – is a RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) investigation of corporations and other organizations that have knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change, as a means to forestall America’s response to climate change.

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist

    The cool thing about global climate change for agit-prop purposes is that the climate is always changing. The gift that keeps on giving, no matter what happens.

     

    Excellent point. Also, since virtually every useful human activity generates CO2, the scope for potential taxation, regulation, heretic-shaming, virtue-point scoring, etc., is essentially limitless. All human life is fair game.

    It's this point that convinces me of the utter scamminess of the entire climate change enterprise. People often say a thing is so useful that if it didn't exist it would have had to have been invented -- I think in the case of climate change, that's exactly what happened.
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  52. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Anon7
    I guess I'll call you "credulous" back. Am I mistaken, or is this the same Tetlock who, a few years ago, concluded that it was impossible to predict very well?

    "Philip Tetlock, a psychology professor at Penn and author of Expert Political Judgment (here’s some info on Tetlock’s latest forecasting project) provides a strong empirical argument for just how bad we are at predicting. He conducted a long-running experiment that asked nearly 300 political experts to make a variety of forecasts about dozens of countries around the world. After tracking the accuracy of about 80,000 predictions over the course of 20 years, Tetlock found …

    "TETLOCK: 'That experts thought they knew more than they knew. That there was a systematic gap between subjective probabilities that experts were assigning to possible futures and the objective likelihoods of those futures materializing … With respect to how they did relative to, say, a baseline group of Berkeley undergraduates making predictions, they did somewhat better than that. How did they do relative to purely random guessing strategy? Well, they did a little bit better than that, but not as much as you might hope …'"

    (http://freakonomics.com/2011/06/30/freakonomics-radio-hour-long-episode-4-“the-folly-of-prediction”-2/)

    Now, though it's time to sell a new book! Tetlock now apparently believes that "It turned out that, after rigorous statistical controls, the elite amateurs were on average about 30% more accurate than the experts ..."

    I note that the Superforecasting book focused on shorter-range forecasts, the longest of which, about 12 months, being only as long as the shortest forecasts in the earlier Expert Political Judgment project.

    30% more accurate than what? Can he point to particular individuals and say "when this one predicts an outcome with very few facts, he's always right?" If not, then it's just another book that sells you on a cool idea, and the author collects his 12% royalty, as well as all of the related speaker's fees. People have been trying to find ways to think more clearly since the time of the ancient Greeks if not earlier; as far as I'm concerned, thinking is a hominid work in progress.

    I don't know if I'm more or less of a moron than you are, Anonymous, but I am much less credulous.

    Anon7,

    You could at least admit that your coin flip example was totally stupid…

    30% more accurate than what?

    Than CIA analysts with access to classified information.

    Can he point to particular individuals and say “when this one predicts an outcome with very few facts, he’s always right?”

    But then, you are a moron if you cannot understand what probabilistic forecasting is. Tetlock is not claiming to have discovered infallible oracles. He is not stupid.

    And, it’s not just the book – it’s four years of work that involved thousands of participants. The book is merely a simple summary of it all, written to be accessible by general public. (Which apparently excludes you.) In the book, Tetlock himself admits that he was very surprised by finding the “superforecasters” phenomenon.

    Read More
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  53. @International Jew
    This is an un-Stevey subject but I'll jump in because this is one of the few places left where a calm discussion is possible.

    There's more than one issue. There's

    1. Is the planet warmer than 100 years ago?
    2. Is the last 100 years' warming a large change compared to the typical century-to-century variation of the last 10,000 years?
    3. Are humans the cause?
    4. Is it going to keep getting warmer?
    5. Is the rate of warming going to accelerate?

    The true believers say Yes to all five. And they love saying that 98% of scientists agree with them, when in fact the only point that enjoys such universal support is #1. And #2, but there's considerable uncertainty about the crucial question of How Much.

    A great source here, and IMO neutral and sensible with no axe to grind is Richard Muller from LBNL:
    http://muller.lbl.gov/pages/IceAgeBook/history_of_climate.html

    I would add to the list the various degrees of skepticism regarding climatologists’ models (which is perhaps implicit in your #4, though strictly speaking, there’s a difference between doubting that warming will continue and doubting the ability of current models to predict temperatures years and decades into the future).

    Likewise, there are degrees of skepticism regarding efficacy and practicality with respect to many of the believers’ proposals about what has to be done.

    As you say, you’ll be branded a petroleum-whore denialist for most any lapse of orthodoxy, and the likes of Lindzen are routinely lumped in with those who refuse to believe anything about the climate that did not come from the lips of Megyn Kelly.

    Read More
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  54. @Robert Abrahamsen
    Japan also has "dire demographics," and yet admits negligible numbers of foreigners, refugees or otherwise, for settlement. I predict that in a generation from now, Japan will be far wealthier, healthier and more stable than western Europe. (That is, assuming Japan isn't bullied into opening its borders to whomever might wish to settle there.)

    In a few more years Japan will be the last man standing. The U.S. is rapidly going down along with the EU because both bet on a unsustainable welfare society coupled with a strong dose of neoliberal economics which is now blowing up.

    Even now our only claim to power are our aircraft carrier strike groups and bribing poor EU heads of state like those of Greece, Poland, Romania, etc.

    Once the stock market sours and people’s 401k turn into 201k’s and the state pension funds go poof, the people who run the U.S. will be running for their lives.

    And if the SNAP cards stop working, watch out. We’ll have a race war on our hands, albeit a short and bloody one.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Romanian
    I get the feeling a lot of people would welcome a straight up and honest contest of will, as opposed to what they have today.

    I wish someone would bribe our leaders to actually get their jobs done.
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  55. @anonymous
    The cool thing about global climate change for agit-prop purposes is that the climate is always changing. The gift that keeps on giving, no matter what happens.

    It also is an area that does deserve continuous ongoing research. Heck, just advances in predicting rainfall would be swell.

    But how to do this type of research and discuss it in public without full-on scare tactics coming to the fore needs to be addressed. This just doesn't feel like something about which Galileo would approve, seems pretty Jesuitical:

    "Climate Alarmists to Obama: Use RICO Laws to Jail Skeptics!", Breitbart, James Delingpole, 19 Sep 2015:


    "Twenty alarmist climate scientists – including UN IPCC lead author Kevin ‘Travesty’ Trenberth – have written a letter to President Obama urging him to use RICO laws to crush dissent by climate skeptics.

    ...

    We appreciate that you are making aggressive and imaginative use of the limited tools available to you in the face of a recalcitrant Congress. One additional tool – recently proposed by Senator Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) – is a RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) investigation of corporations and other organizations that have knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change, as a means to forestall America’s response to climate change."

     

    The cool thing about global climate change for agit-prop purposes is that the climate is always changing. The gift that keeps on giving, no matter what happens.

    Excellent point. Also, since virtually every useful human activity generates CO2, the scope for potential taxation, regulation, heretic-shaming, virtue-point scoring, etc., is essentially limitless. All human life is fair game.

    It’s this point that convinces me of the utter scamminess of the entire climate change enterprise. People often say a thing is so useful that if it didn’t exist it would have had to have been invented — I think in the case of climate change, that’s exactly what happened.

    Read More
    • Agree: International Jew
    • Replies: @tbraton
    I share your and Anonymous' skepticism when it comes to the climate change scam. But it is interesting to see the headline in today's NY Times' paper edition proclaim "Progress Seen In New Goals on Warming." (I would note that the online edition now states "Limited Progress Seen Even as More Nations Step Up on Climate.") The article's first sentence does revert to form when it states in the first sentence that "The pledges that countries are making to battle climate change would still allow the world to heat up by more than 6 degrees Fahrenheit, a new analysis shows, a level that scientists say is likely to produce catastrophes ranging from food shortages to widespread extinctions of plant and animal life." It was just a few years ago that the change was made (uniformly at the same time by virtually all the MSM) from AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming) to "climate change." Some skeptical observers attributed the change to the fact that the measureable surface temperatures had leveled off for more than a decade, which made use of the term "global warming" somewhat embarrassing to its ardent advocates. And, of course, who could possibly question "climate change" since the climate has been changing throughout the 4-1/2 billion years of planet Earth's existence?
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  56. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I’m old enough to remember a time, back in the early 1970s, when ‘expert’ opinion confidently predicted another Ice Age in the not too distant future – the polar opposite, if you will, of global warming.
    Do others here remember all that blather, opinion and dire commentary? – it all disappeared sometime around 1975, a few years before we started hearing about global warming.
    I distinctly remember an issue of the Radio Times with a picture of a wooly mammoth on the front cover.

    Read More
    • Replies: @SPMoore8
    Yes, I remember the Ice Age panic back in the '70's, and I remember a Twilight Zone story (in book form) back in the '60's that dealt with "too hot" and "too cold" simultaneously.

    I have a partial theory on this. I am originally from the Bay Area, where the weather is basically the same all year long. That is, there are temperature fluctuations but you rarely have much in excess 90 or below freezing at 32. On the East Coast, however, heat waves are common in the summer and cold snaps are common in winter, and something I have noticed over the years is that people obsess over the patterns. Thus you are more likely to read about Global Cooling (or associated concepts) after a very cold winter and you are more likely to read about Global Warming (and associated etc.) after a long hot summer.

    Rainfall, flashfloods, hurricanes, stagnant air (smog): all part of the mix. The personal is political, and the personal is also universal.

    Are we undergoing "Climate Change"? Probably. The geologic ages and including the Ice Ages indicate as much. Are we undergoing "Global Warming"? Probably. Is it "caused" by human activity? Probably as a contributory cause. Will it wreak havoc on the environment? Maybe. What's the proposed solution?

    This is where it always breaks down, because the people who are weeping on airport telephones when they talk to their wives about how there's no hope for the planet because they just saw the latest report only have one solution: taxes. And those taxes are supposedly going to be used to fund renewable energy sources that will not generate CO2. In the meantime, however, the culprit, human beings, are going to continue to reproduce, continue to burn things to cook food, heat their homes, commute to work, create the synthetics that furnish much of our consumer goods (including clothes and furniture), and all of these processes also involve burning at some level and thus more CO2.

    I mean: Virtually everyone wants to maintain a green planet, along with rare fauna and megafauna. And virtually everyone is OK with paying more taxes to achieve this, particularly insofar as these additional taxes aren't used to pork barrel some special interest. But we are short on evolutionary practical solutions and long on sanctimonious hysteria. And that creates Climate Change skeptics. Like me.
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  57. There will always be people who are ahead of the curve, and people who are behind the curve. But knowledge moves the curve.

    I didn’t care about the statistics in anything else. I didn’t, and don’t pay any attention to the statistics of the stock market, the weather, the crime rate, the gross national product, the circulation of magazines, the ebb and flow of literacy among football fans and how many people are going to starve to death before the year 2050 if I don’t start adopting them for $3.69 a month; just baseball. Now why is that? It is because baseball statistics, unlike the statistics in any other area, have acquired the powers of language.

    1985 Baseball Abstract

    https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Bill_James

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  58. Actually before the 1965 immigration act, 70% of the slots were going to Germany, UK, and Ireland, and they were not using all their slots, plus before the 1965 act, the average age of immigrants was more than twice as old and the US population at 57 years old, so the average age of the workforce is a lot younger now due to the 1965 act.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-28/how-changes-in-immigration-law-have-transformed-the-u-s-

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    One consequence of the national quota system imposed by the 1926 Act was that the enormous British quota was hardly ever filled.
    'West Indians' soon got wise to this and started to pack out the 'British' quota massively. Hence the annual New York festive bloodbath.
    Something called the McCarran-Walter Act in the early 1950s stopped this immigration of Jamaicans etc, and it is no coincidence from roughly that time onwards Britain started to get flooded West Indians.
    Another consequence was that ethnic whites were effectively shut out of the USA in order to make space for Jamaicans.
    Bit of 'rough justice' on all sides there.
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  59. @Steve Sailer
    My impression is that the people who do well in Tetlock's game deserve to do well.

    Well, if anyone who has anything better to do with their time quits the game in the middle, then I am pretty dubious about the results. Probably there are smart guys with boring jobs (amateurs) who play this game and do well. Most real experts have fun jobs doing what they are interested in andso they drop out. The experts who play this game to the end are probably pretty lackluster.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Do the experts also play the game, or is it simply that the non-experts play the game and then their results are compared to real-life expert forecasts?

    E.g. non-experts are asked to predict Russian GDP growth in 2016, and then their their predictions are compared to IMF, World Bank etc. forecasts. Or the non-experts are asked whether Assad will still be president of Syria on June 30, 2016, and then it's compared to what CIA analysts have to say on the subject (partly based on classified information they have access to). At least that's my understanding how it works.
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  60. @International Jew
    This is an un-Stevey subject but I'll jump in because this is one of the few places left where a calm discussion is possible.

    There's more than one issue. There's

    1. Is the planet warmer than 100 years ago?
    2. Is the last 100 years' warming a large change compared to the typical century-to-century variation of the last 10,000 years?
    3. Are humans the cause?
    4. Is it going to keep getting warmer?
    5. Is the rate of warming going to accelerate?

    The true believers say Yes to all five. And they love saying that 98% of scientists agree with them, when in fact the only point that enjoys such universal support is #1. And #2, but there's considerable uncertainty about the crucial question of How Much.

    A great source here, and IMO neutral and sensible with no axe to grind is Richard Muller from LBNL:
    http://muller.lbl.gov/pages/IceAgeBook/history_of_climate.html

    Actually I think global warming and the manner in which it is being promoted is a very iStevey subject. I think the only reason Steve never mentions it is that probably he lacks the expertise to tell whether the evidence and the scientific consensus are convincing or not, and he doesn’t want to put his credibility at stake for a subject (probably only marginally interesting to him anyway) where he could easily turn out to be wrong either way. In any event I’d be interested in his take on it.

    I used to totally believe in it (and I think that if true, it’s a good argument against immigration!), but recently I’ve grown somewhat skeptical. To be honest, I don’t have the expertise to tell if it’s similar to the ‘all human groups and sexes were created equal in terms of mental abilities’ dogma or if it’s more similar to ‘the theory evolution is true’ dogma, the latter being supported by sound science while the former not.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    " I think the only reason Steve never mentions it is that probably he lacks the expertise to tell whether the evidence and the scientific consensus are convincing or not, and he doesn’t want to put his credibility at stake for a subject (probably only marginally interesting to him anyway) where he could easily turn out to be wrong either way."

    Yup. That's about the size of it.

    A lot of it is opportunity cost when it comes to Raising Awareness: lots and lots of people talk about global warming, and lots of people say it's not important, so my ability to Raise Awareness at the margin is pretty limited. But virtually nobody mentions the U.N.'s forecast of the population of Africa quadrupling over this century:

    http://www.unz.com/isteve/the-graph-that-explains-the-2015-migrant-crisis/

    So far, I've mostly succeeded in Raising Awareness of this gigantic issue in Poland, where my graphs have gone viral, but it's not wholly unreasonable for me to assume that if I keep graphing the United Nations' "Population Prospects," well, maybe Lithuanians or Slovaks will eventually have their Awareness Raised about it too. I presume that it's hopeless for me to expect many of my native countrymen to ever notice the U.N. forecast, but maybe someday I can at least make a difference in the intellectual climate in, say, Slovenia.

    I'd add that I'm not a global warming skeptic either. In particular, I'd note that the the energy companies have a lot of money to put out disinformation and confusion.

    But on the other other hand, I'd point out that if anybody was really serious about global warming, they'd notice the sizable role that Third World to First World mass immigration _has_ to play in worsening the problem under their assumptions:

    http://www.vdare.com/articles/the-mexicans-in-the-living-room-why-wont-greenies-admit-immigrations-global-warming-impact

    But nobody seems to notice that.

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  61. @Ezra
    Well, if anyone who has anything better to do with their time quits the game in the middle, then I am pretty dubious about the results. Probably there are smart guys with boring jobs (amateurs) who play this game and do well. Most real experts have fun jobs doing what they are interested in andso they drop out. The experts who play this game to the end are probably pretty lackluster.

    Do the experts also play the game, or is it simply that the non-experts play the game and then their results are compared to real-life expert forecasts?

    E.g. non-experts are asked to predict Russian GDP growth in 2016, and then their their predictions are compared to IMF, World Bank etc. forecasts. Or the non-experts are asked whether Assad will still be president of Syria on June 30, 2016, and then it’s compared to what CIA analysts have to say on the subject (partly based on classified information they have access to). At least that’s my understanding how it works.

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  62. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @frggr
    Actually before the 1965 immigration act, 70% of the slots were going to Germany, UK, and Ireland, and they were not using all their slots, plus before the 1965 act, the average age of immigrants was more than twice as old and the US population at 57 years old, so the average age of the workforce is a lot younger now due to the 1965 act.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-28/how-changes-in-immigration-law-have-transformed-the-u-s-

    One consequence of the national quota system imposed by the 1926 Act was that the enormous British quota was hardly ever filled.
    ‘West Indians’ soon got wise to this and started to pack out the ‘British’ quota massively. Hence the annual New York festive bloodbath.
    Something called the McCarran-Walter Act in the early 1950s stopped this immigration of Jamaicans etc, and it is no coincidence from roughly that time onwards Britain started to get flooded West Indians.
    Another consequence was that ethnic whites were effectively shut out of the USA in order to make space for Jamaicans.
    Bit of ‘rough justice’ on all sides there.

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  63. @reiner Tor
    Actually I think global warming and the manner in which it is being promoted is a very iStevey subject. I think the only reason Steve never mentions it is that probably he lacks the expertise to tell whether the evidence and the scientific consensus are convincing or not, and he doesn't want to put his credibility at stake for a subject (probably only marginally interesting to him anyway) where he could easily turn out to be wrong either way. In any event I'd be interested in his take on it.

    I used to totally believe in it (and I think that if true, it's a good argument against immigration!), but recently I've grown somewhat skeptical. To be honest, I don't have the expertise to tell if it's similar to the 'all human groups and sexes were created equal in terms of mental abilities' dogma or if it's more similar to 'the theory evolution is true' dogma, the latter being supported by sound science while the former not.

    ” I think the only reason Steve never mentions it is that probably he lacks the expertise to tell whether the evidence and the scientific consensus are convincing or not, and he doesn’t want to put his credibility at stake for a subject (probably only marginally interesting to him anyway) where he could easily turn out to be wrong either way.”

    Yup. That’s about the size of it.

    A lot of it is opportunity cost when it comes to Raising Awareness: lots and lots of people talk about global warming, and lots of people say it’s not important, so my ability to Raise Awareness at the margin is pretty limited. But virtually nobody mentions the U.N.’s forecast of the population of Africa quadrupling over this century:

    http://www.unz.com/isteve/the-graph-that-explains-the-2015-migrant-crisis/

    So far, I’ve mostly succeeded in Raising Awareness of this gigantic issue in Poland, where my graphs have gone viral, but it’s not wholly unreasonable for me to assume that if I keep graphing the United Nations’ “Population Prospects,” well, maybe Lithuanians or Slovaks will eventually have their Awareness Raised about it too. I presume that it’s hopeless for me to expect many of my native countrymen to ever notice the U.N. forecast, but maybe someday I can at least make a difference in the intellectual climate in, say, Slovenia.

    I’d add that I’m not a global warming skeptic either. In particular, I’d note that the the energy companies have a lot of money to put out disinformation and confusion.

    But on the other other hand, I’d point out that if anybody was really serious about global warming, they’d notice the sizable role that Third World to First World mass immigration _has_ to play in worsening the problem under their assumptions:

    http://www.vdare.com/articles/the-mexicans-in-the-living-room-why-wont-greenies-admit-immigrations-global-warming-impact

    But nobody seems to notice that.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    I've met a Hungarian reader of yours (not me) on a Hungarian site spreading your graphs.
    , @Anonymous
    Exactly.

    The British 'Green Party' is the biggest and most passionate political advocate of 'open borders' and mass immigration into Britain.
    Far, far worse than Labour.

    It's pretty damned obvious that in the UK, at least' the 'Greens' are just Marxists by another name.
    , @International Jew

    the energy companies have a lot of money to put out disinformation and confusion.

     

    Think of Affirmative Action: corporate America has every reason to oppose it, but is that what they do?

    The energy companies do have a lot of money, but if they're spending much on countering global warming orthodoxy, I haven't seen it.

    I haven't seen any magazine or newspaper ads. Conservative think tanks are said to get money, but look up Heritage or AEI's sites and their priorities seem to lie elsewhere (and how big are their total budgets anyway?) I suppose there's lobbying in Congress, ok. Research grants? Who'd touch 'em?

    As against that, we've got Obama...
    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/assets/legislative_reports/fcce-report-to-congress.pdf&ved=0CDQQFjADahUKEwims_yg6pnIAhXXnIgKHdloDAM&usg=AFQjCNHeZBRAlSt3UexRthrL2RxtOWZvMw&sig2=k9BA21ld_4DYbpxmrCWDLw
    ...reporting $20 billion in funds for climate change this and that (including $2.5 billion for research). You know every recipient of this money has a vested reason to become an advocate (if he isn't one already).

    Add the media's efforts -- 99% on one side -- and I'd say it's far from a fair fight.

    Now we're in legitimate "iStevey" territory--moving beyond science to meta issues!

    , @International Jew

    they’d notice the sizable role that Third World to First World mass immigration _has_ to play in worsening the problem
     
    This points to a parallel with the Narrative on evolution. In both cases, taking the right position is a way to signal your moral and intellectual superiority. But again in both cases, the Narrative has a curious gap: as it's blind to the immigration's role in global warming, so it insists human evolution halted 50,000 years ago.

    (BTW, while I have all kinds of misgivings about global warming orthodoxy, I don't for a moment doubt that evolution happened and continues to happen.)

    , @Sean

    But on the other other hand, I’d point out that if anybody was really serious about global warming, they’d notice the sizable role that Third World to First World mass immigration _has_ to play in worsening the problem under their assumptions:

    http://www.vdare.com/articles/the-mexicans-in-the-living-room-why-wont-greenies-admit-immigrations-global-warming-impact

    But nobody seems to notice that

     

    Yes but you have to lead with immigration restriction being a truly humanitarian policy of the greatest good for the greatest number. https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22730382-800-europes-refugees-making-a-drama-out-of-a-crisis/

    Global warming is a way for educated folk like scientists to show everyone else how parochial they are. Science magazines are, like the Economist, 100% pro immigration. A solution that does not go against folk wisdom is anathema to scientists. For example the New Scientist said a few weeks ago without qualification that climate change caused the Syria civil war. Saying that is the capable people stay in their own countries and preventing accelerating brain drain from those countries, which do not descend into hell holes where all the trees get cut down is considered extremely weird. It sounds like traditional politics, which everyone wants to show they have transcended. Paul Collier has got a big "no sale" for his ideas for limiting emigration from poor countries because it seems to be saying nations are actually rather useful for delivering the goods. Only the humanitarian left can save us from immigration. (Paul Collier on climate change ).

    How Diabolical is Unz's Proposal? Caplan comes up with something to make it even more evil (yes he calls it evil) "Give a green card to any illegal immigrant who testifies against his employer for labor law violations. ".

    , @tbraton
    I have been arguing for years that the real threat to planet Earth is not man-made global warming but overpopulation. Here is what I posted on TAC about three years ago in response to a blog by Phil Giraldi:

    "tbraton says:
    November 3, 2012 at 1:55 pm
    Tom B, I am a skeptic when it comes to man-made global warming, not a denier—just like many other thinking conservatives and liberals. The case just hasn’t been made. I think it is undeniable that geological records establish that the Earth has experienced many periods of “climate change,” both cooling and warming, long before man became a significant factor on this planet. In fact, one of the most disturbing things about the pro-global warming crowd is the way they have tried to manipulate the data to eliminate any suggestion of earlier periods of global warming—the infamous hockey stick graph which failed to show the well-established Middle Age warming period, for example—which makes a skeptic ask who is really ignoring science. I am all in favor of national parks and preserving as much of our natural environment as we can. I think the real threat to our planet is not man-made global warming but overpopulation by humans which puts great stress on the natural environment. I also favor trying to make our automobiles and manufacturing plants as pollution free as possible, not to forestall global warming but to preserve the cleanliness of the air we breathe and the water we drink.
    BTW, if we really want to curb the use of gasoline, we don’t need complicated cap-and-trade programs adminstered by government bureaucrats; we should simply slap on a tax of $1 or more on each gallon of gas. That will make people use less gas, and it would be much simpler to administer."

    We may not agree on man's role in causing climate change, but we are in total agreement when it comes to overpopulation.

    "I’d add that I’m not a global warming skeptic either. In particular, I’d note that the energy companies have a lot of money to put out disinformation and confusion."

    I believe the amount of money spent by energy companies pales in comparison to the huge amount of government money that is subsidizing the global warming propagandists, who come up with endless models of how global warming is going to result in the destruction of planet Earth. As I noted on one of my comments on TAC, even Al Gore, the high priest of AGW, admitted a few years ago that the ethanol subsidy was a complete boondoggle, something that has been evident for 20 years. Gore admitted that he pushed ethanol as a Senator from Tennessee to placate the farm vote in his home state and did the same when he was running for the Presidential nomination in 2000 to placate the farmers in Iowa, which, as everybody knows, holds the first nomination contest in both parties. BTW tests at CERN in Switzerland confirmed that it was cosmic rays that were responsible for climate change. http://www.theamericanconservative.com/2012/11/02/the-politics-of-sand/comment-page-1/#comment-603211
    , @Inquiring Mind
    Communists were famous for embracing causes that were really peripheral to what they cared about if they thought there was the least bit of tactical advantage. Taking a page from Lenin and Mao, couldn't, say, Steve and his acolytes simply concede Climate Change as a serious threat, better yet, make common cause with the crusaders for Climate Change, to embrace Climate Change and enthusiastically preach it.

    Not this hedging your bets if-you-believe-in-Climate-Change-why-do-you-support-immigration but a full throated endorsement and infiltration of the pro Climate Change political apparatus. That position is a "tell" that broadcasts "Hey, I am not a Conservative, I am a full-throated Moldbugian Reactionary" and people won't take you seriously.

    Having infiltrated Climate Change, having hijacked Climate Change, can we make it a "front" for restricting immigration? Or would people see through this, that we are just playing along and we are secretly not-Progressive?

    You have these "radical environmentalists" who regard humanity as an "infection upon the Earth", who would gladly see the world's population reduced 10-fold in defense of the environment, and they rarely create much of a still among the Correct Thinking. Or would people just ignore us as they do the Radical Environmentalists, a fringe that no one chooses to fight because No Enemies on the Left?
    , @Brutusale
    As Adam Minter pointed out in his book Junkyard Planet, the amount of waste you produce directly correlates with your income.

    Bringing Third World peasants to the First World and giving them benefits is destroying the planet. Funny, as you say, how nobody notices.
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  64. @Steve Sailer
    " I think the only reason Steve never mentions it is that probably he lacks the expertise to tell whether the evidence and the scientific consensus are convincing or not, and he doesn’t want to put his credibility at stake for a subject (probably only marginally interesting to him anyway) where he could easily turn out to be wrong either way."

    Yup. That's about the size of it.

    A lot of it is opportunity cost when it comes to Raising Awareness: lots and lots of people talk about global warming, and lots of people say it's not important, so my ability to Raise Awareness at the margin is pretty limited. But virtually nobody mentions the U.N.'s forecast of the population of Africa quadrupling over this century:

    http://www.unz.com/isteve/the-graph-that-explains-the-2015-migrant-crisis/

    So far, I've mostly succeeded in Raising Awareness of this gigantic issue in Poland, where my graphs have gone viral, but it's not wholly unreasonable for me to assume that if I keep graphing the United Nations' "Population Prospects," well, maybe Lithuanians or Slovaks will eventually have their Awareness Raised about it too. I presume that it's hopeless for me to expect many of my native countrymen to ever notice the U.N. forecast, but maybe someday I can at least make a difference in the intellectual climate in, say, Slovenia.

    I'd add that I'm not a global warming skeptic either. In particular, I'd note that the the energy companies have a lot of money to put out disinformation and confusion.

    But on the other other hand, I'd point out that if anybody was really serious about global warming, they'd notice the sizable role that Third World to First World mass immigration _has_ to play in worsening the problem under their assumptions:

    http://www.vdare.com/articles/the-mexicans-in-the-living-room-why-wont-greenies-admit-immigrations-global-warming-impact

    But nobody seems to notice that.

    I’ve met a Hungarian reader of yours (not me) on a Hungarian site spreading your graphs.

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  65. @Steve Sailer
    " I think the only reason Steve never mentions it is that probably he lacks the expertise to tell whether the evidence and the scientific consensus are convincing or not, and he doesn’t want to put his credibility at stake for a subject (probably only marginally interesting to him anyway) where he could easily turn out to be wrong either way."

    Yup. That's about the size of it.

    A lot of it is opportunity cost when it comes to Raising Awareness: lots and lots of people talk about global warming, and lots of people say it's not important, so my ability to Raise Awareness at the margin is pretty limited. But virtually nobody mentions the U.N.'s forecast of the population of Africa quadrupling over this century:

    http://www.unz.com/isteve/the-graph-that-explains-the-2015-migrant-crisis/

    So far, I've mostly succeeded in Raising Awareness of this gigantic issue in Poland, where my graphs have gone viral, but it's not wholly unreasonable for me to assume that if I keep graphing the United Nations' "Population Prospects," well, maybe Lithuanians or Slovaks will eventually have their Awareness Raised about it too. I presume that it's hopeless for me to expect many of my native countrymen to ever notice the U.N. forecast, but maybe someday I can at least make a difference in the intellectual climate in, say, Slovenia.

    I'd add that I'm not a global warming skeptic either. In particular, I'd note that the the energy companies have a lot of money to put out disinformation and confusion.

    But on the other other hand, I'd point out that if anybody was really serious about global warming, they'd notice the sizable role that Third World to First World mass immigration _has_ to play in worsening the problem under their assumptions:

    http://www.vdare.com/articles/the-mexicans-in-the-living-room-why-wont-greenies-admit-immigrations-global-warming-impact

    But nobody seems to notice that.

    Exactly.

    The British ‘Green Party’ is the biggest and most passionate political advocate of ‘open borders’ and mass immigration into Britain.
    Far, far worse than Labour.

    It’s pretty damned obvious that in the UK, at least’ the ‘Greens’ are just Marxists by another name.

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  66. @Anon7
    I recently set up a study to find individuals who could correctly predict a coin toss. I had 100,00 people make their prediction, and then I flipped the coin. About half predicted heads, which happened to be right. I then repeated the process with those who were successful.

    I found that, in a population of 100,000 persons, only 3% were really exceptional, which I defined as being able to correctly predict the results of the coin toss five times in a row. But still, it's pretty amazing that there are people who can repeatedly predict a random outcome correctly.

    Isn't it?

    Anon7: Yes! The Stock Picker from Baltimore lives.

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  67. No, Anonymous, I really like my coin flip example, because it forces the credulous people to recognize how hard it is to rise above random chance in predicting anything more difficult than saying an egg will break when you’ve seen it roll off the table and head toward the floor. Which, I gather, is how Tetlock has gotten to “superforecasters” – he’s contracted the timeframe enough (apparently to as little as a month) so that there are some forecasters who can do better than random chance.

    I’m also not impressed by the years of work he (and many others) have put in. You’d be surprised at how often years of work totally fail to pan out; that’s why the reward for success should be huge. In academia, years of work always produce something – you can at least write a paper, or a book. But in business, or other real-world pursuits, years of work may produce nothing of value, and you might as well admit it and move on.

    Read More
    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    I liked your example because it showed how simple luck can be misconstrued for wisdom and intelligence well above mere mortals.
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  68. @Steve Sailer
    " I think the only reason Steve never mentions it is that probably he lacks the expertise to tell whether the evidence and the scientific consensus are convincing or not, and he doesn’t want to put his credibility at stake for a subject (probably only marginally interesting to him anyway) where he could easily turn out to be wrong either way."

    Yup. That's about the size of it.

    A lot of it is opportunity cost when it comes to Raising Awareness: lots and lots of people talk about global warming, and lots of people say it's not important, so my ability to Raise Awareness at the margin is pretty limited. But virtually nobody mentions the U.N.'s forecast of the population of Africa quadrupling over this century:

    http://www.unz.com/isteve/the-graph-that-explains-the-2015-migrant-crisis/

    So far, I've mostly succeeded in Raising Awareness of this gigantic issue in Poland, where my graphs have gone viral, but it's not wholly unreasonable for me to assume that if I keep graphing the United Nations' "Population Prospects," well, maybe Lithuanians or Slovaks will eventually have their Awareness Raised about it too. I presume that it's hopeless for me to expect many of my native countrymen to ever notice the U.N. forecast, but maybe someday I can at least make a difference in the intellectual climate in, say, Slovenia.

    I'd add that I'm not a global warming skeptic either. In particular, I'd note that the the energy companies have a lot of money to put out disinformation and confusion.

    But on the other other hand, I'd point out that if anybody was really serious about global warming, they'd notice the sizable role that Third World to First World mass immigration _has_ to play in worsening the problem under their assumptions:

    http://www.vdare.com/articles/the-mexicans-in-the-living-room-why-wont-greenies-admit-immigrations-global-warming-impact

    But nobody seems to notice that.

    the energy companies have a lot of money to put out disinformation and confusion.

    Think of Affirmative Action: corporate America has every reason to oppose it, but is that what they do?

    The energy companies do have a lot of money, but if they’re spending much on countering global warming orthodoxy, I haven’t seen it.

    I haven’t seen any magazine or newspaper ads. Conservative think tanks are said to get money, but look up Heritage or AEI’s sites and their priorities seem to lie elsewhere (and how big are their total budgets anyway?) I suppose there’s lobbying in Congress, ok. Research grants? Who’d touch ‘em?

    As against that, we’ve got Obama…

    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/assets/legislative_reports/fcce-report-to-congress.pdf&ved=0CDQQFjADahUKEwims_yg6pnIAhXXnIgKHdloDAM&usg=AFQjCNHeZBRAlSt3UexRthrL2RxtOWZvMw&sig2=k9BA21ld_4DYbpxmrCWDLw

    …reporting $20 billion in funds for climate change this and that (including $2.5 billion for research). You know every recipient of this money has a vested reason to become an advocate (if he isn’t one already).

    Add the media’s efforts — 99% on one side — and I’d say it’s far from a fair fight.

    Now we’re in legitimate “iStevey” territory–moving beyond science to meta issues!

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    On the other hand, being an AGW skeptic is a quite safe "far conservative" position, even somewhat close to the mainstream, like evolution denial. It only invites ridicule, but not accusations of racism. In some ways it's even encouraged by the left, or at least is purported to be a mainstream conservative position, so that conservatives can be painted as dumb ignoramuses.

    It's strange that the left creates dogmas, but then some are more or less accepted by conservatives as well and so become impossible to criticize (mostly things about race) while some (like evolution or climate change) are possible to criticize, but not in intellectual environments - i.e. only dumb criticism is allowed, but universities police opinions more effectively. The few leftist opinions (like taxing the rich or punishing the banks etc.) which are possible to criticize in an intellectual manner (like freshwater universities) are probably so because the 'left' doesn't really believe them - they also enjoy tax cuts for the rich (which includes themselves, or at least their donors).
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  69. @Steve Sailer
    " I think the only reason Steve never mentions it is that probably he lacks the expertise to tell whether the evidence and the scientific consensus are convincing or not, and he doesn’t want to put his credibility at stake for a subject (probably only marginally interesting to him anyway) where he could easily turn out to be wrong either way."

    Yup. That's about the size of it.

    A lot of it is opportunity cost when it comes to Raising Awareness: lots and lots of people talk about global warming, and lots of people say it's not important, so my ability to Raise Awareness at the margin is pretty limited. But virtually nobody mentions the U.N.'s forecast of the population of Africa quadrupling over this century:

    http://www.unz.com/isteve/the-graph-that-explains-the-2015-migrant-crisis/

    So far, I've mostly succeeded in Raising Awareness of this gigantic issue in Poland, where my graphs have gone viral, but it's not wholly unreasonable for me to assume that if I keep graphing the United Nations' "Population Prospects," well, maybe Lithuanians or Slovaks will eventually have their Awareness Raised about it too. I presume that it's hopeless for me to expect many of my native countrymen to ever notice the U.N. forecast, but maybe someday I can at least make a difference in the intellectual climate in, say, Slovenia.

    I'd add that I'm not a global warming skeptic either. In particular, I'd note that the the energy companies have a lot of money to put out disinformation and confusion.

    But on the other other hand, I'd point out that if anybody was really serious about global warming, they'd notice the sizable role that Third World to First World mass immigration _has_ to play in worsening the problem under their assumptions:

    http://www.vdare.com/articles/the-mexicans-in-the-living-room-why-wont-greenies-admit-immigrations-global-warming-impact

    But nobody seems to notice that.

    they’d notice the sizable role that Third World to First World mass immigration _has_ to play in worsening the problem

    This points to a parallel with the Narrative on evolution. In both cases, taking the right position is a way to signal your moral and intellectual superiority. But again in both cases, the Narrative has a curious gap: as it’s blind to the immigration’s role in global warming, so it insists human evolution halted 50,000 years ago.

    (BTW, while I have all kinds of misgivings about global warming orthodoxy, I don’t for a moment doubt that evolution happened and continues to happen.)

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Exactly. The science behind evolution is sound except for the part about how humans never evolved after some point in time 50,000 (or 100,000) yrs ago.
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  70. @International Jew

    they’d notice the sizable role that Third World to First World mass immigration _has_ to play in worsening the problem
     
    This points to a parallel with the Narrative on evolution. In both cases, taking the right position is a way to signal your moral and intellectual superiority. But again in both cases, the Narrative has a curious gap: as it's blind to the immigration's role in global warming, so it insists human evolution halted 50,000 years ago.

    (BTW, while I have all kinds of misgivings about global warming orthodoxy, I don't for a moment doubt that evolution happened and continues to happen.)

    Exactly. The science behind evolution is sound except for the part about how humans never evolved after some point in time 50,000 (or 100,000) yrs ago.

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  71. @Robert Hume
    Dr. Thomas Painter of JPL, and several other workers have published work suggesting that ice melting is due to deposition of soot and dust due to burning coal and disturbance of earth die to farming. Of course it is ice melting that leads to sea level rise regardless of the cause.

    Soot and dust also may increase absorption of sunlight and increase the temperature of the earth. This effect may be greater than that of CO2. It may be that our efforts at amelioration of climate change are misguided; we should be improving retention of soot and improving farming practices as well as or possibly instead of minimizing the emission of CO2

    And in the ’70s the Global Cooling mob wanted to spray the arctic with carbon black to combat global cooling. Pretty sure Time magazine had a write up on that suggestion.

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  72. @Anonymous
    I'm old enough to remember a time, back in the early 1970s, when 'expert' opinion confidently predicted another Ice Age in the not too distant future - the polar opposite, if you will, of global warming.
    Do others here remember all that blather, opinion and dire commentary? - it all disappeared sometime around 1975, a few years before we started hearing about global warming.
    I distinctly remember an issue of the Radio Times with a picture of a wooly mammoth on the front cover.

    Yes, I remember the Ice Age panic back in the ’70′s, and I remember a Twilight Zone story (in book form) back in the ’60′s that dealt with “too hot” and “too cold” simultaneously.

    I have a partial theory on this. I am originally from the Bay Area, where the weather is basically the same all year long. That is, there are temperature fluctuations but you rarely have much in excess 90 or below freezing at 32. On the East Coast, however, heat waves are common in the summer and cold snaps are common in winter, and something I have noticed over the years is that people obsess over the patterns. Thus you are more likely to read about Global Cooling (or associated concepts) after a very cold winter and you are more likely to read about Global Warming (and associated etc.) after a long hot summer.

    Rainfall, flashfloods, hurricanes, stagnant air (smog): all part of the mix. The personal is political, and the personal is also universal.

    Are we undergoing “Climate Change”? Probably. The geologic ages and including the Ice Ages indicate as much. Are we undergoing “Global Warming”? Probably. Is it “caused” by human activity? Probably as a contributory cause. Will it wreak havoc on the environment? Maybe. What’s the proposed solution?

    This is where it always breaks down, because the people who are weeping on airport telephones when they talk to their wives about how there’s no hope for the planet because they just saw the latest report only have one solution: taxes. And those taxes are supposedly going to be used to fund renewable energy sources that will not generate CO2. In the meantime, however, the culprit, human beings, are going to continue to reproduce, continue to burn things to cook food, heat their homes, commute to work, create the synthetics that furnish much of our consumer goods (including clothes and furniture), and all of these processes also involve burning at some level and thus more CO2.

    I mean: Virtually everyone wants to maintain a green planet, along with rare fauna and megafauna. And virtually everyone is OK with paying more taxes to achieve this, particularly insofar as these additional taxes aren’t used to pork barrel some special interest. But we are short on evolutionary practical solutions and long on sanctimonious hysteria. And that creates Climate Change skeptics. Like me.

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  73. @International Jew

    the energy companies have a lot of money to put out disinformation and confusion.

     

    Think of Affirmative Action: corporate America has every reason to oppose it, but is that what they do?

    The energy companies do have a lot of money, but if they're spending much on countering global warming orthodoxy, I haven't seen it.

    I haven't seen any magazine or newspaper ads. Conservative think tanks are said to get money, but look up Heritage or AEI's sites and their priorities seem to lie elsewhere (and how big are their total budgets anyway?) I suppose there's lobbying in Congress, ok. Research grants? Who'd touch 'em?

    As against that, we've got Obama...
    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/assets/legislative_reports/fcce-report-to-congress.pdf&ved=0CDQQFjADahUKEwims_yg6pnIAhXXnIgKHdloDAM&usg=AFQjCNHeZBRAlSt3UexRthrL2RxtOWZvMw&sig2=k9BA21ld_4DYbpxmrCWDLw
    ...reporting $20 billion in funds for climate change this and that (including $2.5 billion for research). You know every recipient of this money has a vested reason to become an advocate (if he isn't one already).

    Add the media's efforts -- 99% on one side -- and I'd say it's far from a fair fight.

    Now we're in legitimate "iStevey" territory--moving beyond science to meta issues!

    On the other hand, being an AGW skeptic is a quite safe “far conservative” position, even somewhat close to the mainstream, like evolution denial. It only invites ridicule, but not accusations of racism. In some ways it’s even encouraged by the left, or at least is purported to be a mainstream conservative position, so that conservatives can be painted as dumb ignoramuses.

    It’s strange that the left creates dogmas, but then some are more or less accepted by conservatives as well and so become impossible to criticize (mostly things about race) while some (like evolution or climate change) are possible to criticize, but not in intellectual environments – i.e. only dumb criticism is allowed, but universities police opinions more effectively. The few leftist opinions (like taxing the rich or punishing the banks etc.) which are possible to criticize in an intellectual manner (like freshwater universities) are probably so because the ‘left’ doesn’t really believe them – they also enjoy tax cuts for the rich (which includes themselves, or at least their donors).

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    • Replies: @tbraton
    "On the other hand, being an AGW skeptic is a quite safe “far conservative” position, even somewhat close to the mainstream, like evolution denial. "

    Oh, please. While there may be many "conservatives" who question evolution, like the Tea Partiers who insist that "the Government keep its paws off our Social Security" and "think" the Earth is only 6000 years old "because the Bible says so," there are many thinking conservatives who accept Darwin's scientific theory of evolution and still legitimately question the deeply religious theory of man-made global warming. BTW here's a question for you: what caused the melting of the 2-mile thick sheet of ice which used to cover large parts of the upper mid-west of the present U.S. and large parts of present Canada 10,000 years ago, when the previous ice age came to an end? Was it all those few Indians riding around in carbon-emitting snowmobiles?
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  74. @International Jew
    This is an un-Stevey subject but I'll jump in because this is one of the few places left where a calm discussion is possible.

    There's more than one issue. There's

    1. Is the planet warmer than 100 years ago?
    2. Is the last 100 years' warming a large change compared to the typical century-to-century variation of the last 10,000 years?
    3. Are humans the cause?
    4. Is it going to keep getting warmer?
    5. Is the rate of warming going to accelerate?

    The true believers say Yes to all five. And they love saying that 98% of scientists agree with them, when in fact the only point that enjoys such universal support is #1. And #2, but there's considerable uncertainty about the crucial question of How Much.

    A great source here, and IMO neutral and sensible with no axe to grind is Richard Muller from LBNL:
    http://muller.lbl.gov/pages/IceAgeBook/history_of_climate.html

    Further question:
    6. Can humans actually do anything meaningful to slow/reverse the change in temperature?

    Maybe it is man-made, but if it is, I doubt we’d have a prayer of reversing it without deindustrializing the planet.

    Fluorescent light bulbs and other gimmicks aren’t going to save us. Best spend more time thinking about where the Hell 300 million Bangladeshis are going to end up.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Let's consider coal. Burning crude oil has been recognized as a superior technology to burning coal. It's superior in almost any imaginable way - produces less pollutants (including CO2, soot, and many others), has higher energy density, is easier to handle, etc. And yet we're still burning coal. So even if we somehow invented Future Green Technology which would be easier to use and give us a higher energy output, we'd probably still continue to burn oil.

    Now since there's no magical Future Green Technology and oil happens to be cheaper and easier than basically all the alternatives, probably if we somehow reduced oil consumption in Western Europe or North America, oil prices would get lower, but then as a result oil consumption would go up elsewhere. In fact, probably the only thing that's happening is a redistribution of oil, but not a reduction in overall oil usage.

    I'm all for reducing emissions of pollutants, but for the above reasons reducing CO2 (which is not poisonous) is probably more questionable than reducing anything else - that CO2 will be emitted elsewhere, anyway. Reducing NOx or soot or whatever is a much more practical goal, because they poison the air in our own cities, and the soot is not going to be emitted elsewhere, and even if it will, it won't be our cities, it will be somebody else's cities.

    , @MarkinLA
    The biggest problem is deforestation to provide pasture lands for cattle that destroy the plants that remove CO2 from the air and create a huge source of methane gas which is far worse than CO2 as a greenhouse gas.

    It is remarkable how fast a habitat can be restored if there is an active management. I saw a video of a famous photographer Sebastião Salgado who was Brazillian. He talked about the wonderful farm he grew up on and how it was completely denuded by his father. We went about restoring it when he was elderly and in about 10 years it was completely restored including a running stream.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3674140/
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  75. @Steve Sailer
    " I think the only reason Steve never mentions it is that probably he lacks the expertise to tell whether the evidence and the scientific consensus are convincing or not, and he doesn’t want to put his credibility at stake for a subject (probably only marginally interesting to him anyway) where he could easily turn out to be wrong either way."

    Yup. That's about the size of it.

    A lot of it is opportunity cost when it comes to Raising Awareness: lots and lots of people talk about global warming, and lots of people say it's not important, so my ability to Raise Awareness at the margin is pretty limited. But virtually nobody mentions the U.N.'s forecast of the population of Africa quadrupling over this century:

    http://www.unz.com/isteve/the-graph-that-explains-the-2015-migrant-crisis/

    So far, I've mostly succeeded in Raising Awareness of this gigantic issue in Poland, where my graphs have gone viral, but it's not wholly unreasonable for me to assume that if I keep graphing the United Nations' "Population Prospects," well, maybe Lithuanians or Slovaks will eventually have their Awareness Raised about it too. I presume that it's hopeless for me to expect many of my native countrymen to ever notice the U.N. forecast, but maybe someday I can at least make a difference in the intellectual climate in, say, Slovenia.

    I'd add that I'm not a global warming skeptic either. In particular, I'd note that the the energy companies have a lot of money to put out disinformation and confusion.

    But on the other other hand, I'd point out that if anybody was really serious about global warming, they'd notice the sizable role that Third World to First World mass immigration _has_ to play in worsening the problem under their assumptions:

    http://www.vdare.com/articles/the-mexicans-in-the-living-room-why-wont-greenies-admit-immigrations-global-warming-impact

    But nobody seems to notice that.

    But on the other other hand, I’d point out that if anybody was really serious about global warming, they’d notice the sizable role that Third World to First World mass immigration _has_ to play in worsening the problem under their assumptions:

    http://www.vdare.com/articles/the-mexicans-in-the-living-room-why-wont-greenies-admit-immigrations-global-warming-impact

    But nobody seems to notice that

    Yes but you have to lead with immigration restriction being a truly humanitarian policy of the greatest good for the greatest number. https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22730382-800-europes-refugees-making-a-drama-out-of-a-crisis/

    Global warming is a way for educated folk like scientists to show everyone else how parochial they are. Science magazines are, like the Economist, 100% pro immigration. A solution that does not go against folk wisdom is anathema to scientists. For example the New Scientist said a few weeks ago without qualification that climate change caused the Syria civil war. Saying that is the capable people stay in their own countries and preventing accelerating brain drain from those countries, which do not descend into hell holes where all the trees get cut down is considered extremely weird. It sounds like traditional politics, which everyone wants to show they have transcended. Paul Collier has got a big “no sale” for his ideas for limiting emigration from poor countries because it seems to be saying nations are actually rather useful for delivering the goods. Only the humanitarian left can save us from immigration. (Paul Collier on climate change ).

    How Diabolical is Unz’s Proposal? Caplan comes up with something to make it even more evil (yes he calls it evil) “Give a green card to any illegal immigrant who testifies against his employer for labor law violations. “.

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    • Replies: @Bob Evermon
    http://www.petitionproject.org/index.php Climate Science is very complex.Like Dark Matter it is too complex for computer models. C02 is a heavy gas - clean and goes into the ocean to feed plankton and gives us half of our oxygen. In 2009 I worked with the IPCC in Word Wide Views and they tried to manipulate me to say what they wanted me to say. The study of Climate is not right or left in politics. Climate should only be about science so do your own research and don't trust what I say or anyone else says. Some of the videos might be right or left but look for the science and work it out yourself. Look to the past to see the future - ice core samples and tree rings. There are more good scientist saying that it is the SUN that we should be looking at. Climate Science Videos http://www.climatescienceinternational.orgICSC - International Climate Science International https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52Mx0_8YEtg XX The Great Global Warming Swindle https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SyUDGfCNC-kJohn Coleman

    We only have one turn to live on our little blue marble called earth and to understand how it works. We should not be manipulated by how the media works today. The squeaky wheel gets the grease
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  76. @The Last Real Calvinist

    The cool thing about global climate change for agit-prop purposes is that the climate is always changing. The gift that keeps on giving, no matter what happens.

     

    Excellent point. Also, since virtually every useful human activity generates CO2, the scope for potential taxation, regulation, heretic-shaming, virtue-point scoring, etc., is essentially limitless. All human life is fair game.

    It's this point that convinces me of the utter scamminess of the entire climate change enterprise. People often say a thing is so useful that if it didn't exist it would have had to have been invented -- I think in the case of climate change, that's exactly what happened.

    I share your and Anonymous’ skepticism when it comes to the climate change scam. But it is interesting to see the headline in today’s NY Times’ paper edition proclaim “Progress Seen In New Goals on Warming.” (I would note that the online edition now states “Limited Progress Seen Even as More Nations Step Up on Climate.”) The article’s first sentence does revert to form when it states in the first sentence that “The pledges that countries are making to battle climate change would still allow the world to heat up by more than 6 degrees Fahrenheit, a new analysis shows, a level that scientists say is likely to produce catastrophes ranging from food shortages to widespread extinctions of plant and animal life.” It was just a few years ago that the change was made (uniformly at the same time by virtually all the MSM) from AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming) to “climate change.” Some skeptical observers attributed the change to the fact that the measureable surface temperatures had leveled off for more than a decade, which made use of the term “global warming” somewhat embarrassing to its ardent advocates. And, of course, who could possibly question “climate change” since the climate has been changing throughout the 4-1/2 billion years of planet Earth’s existence?

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  77. @Steve Sailer
    " I think the only reason Steve never mentions it is that probably he lacks the expertise to tell whether the evidence and the scientific consensus are convincing or not, and he doesn’t want to put his credibility at stake for a subject (probably only marginally interesting to him anyway) where he could easily turn out to be wrong either way."

    Yup. That's about the size of it.

    A lot of it is opportunity cost when it comes to Raising Awareness: lots and lots of people talk about global warming, and lots of people say it's not important, so my ability to Raise Awareness at the margin is pretty limited. But virtually nobody mentions the U.N.'s forecast of the population of Africa quadrupling over this century:

    http://www.unz.com/isteve/the-graph-that-explains-the-2015-migrant-crisis/

    So far, I've mostly succeeded in Raising Awareness of this gigantic issue in Poland, where my graphs have gone viral, but it's not wholly unreasonable for me to assume that if I keep graphing the United Nations' "Population Prospects," well, maybe Lithuanians or Slovaks will eventually have their Awareness Raised about it too. I presume that it's hopeless for me to expect many of my native countrymen to ever notice the U.N. forecast, but maybe someday I can at least make a difference in the intellectual climate in, say, Slovenia.

    I'd add that I'm not a global warming skeptic either. In particular, I'd note that the the energy companies have a lot of money to put out disinformation and confusion.

    But on the other other hand, I'd point out that if anybody was really serious about global warming, they'd notice the sizable role that Third World to First World mass immigration _has_ to play in worsening the problem under their assumptions:

    http://www.vdare.com/articles/the-mexicans-in-the-living-room-why-wont-greenies-admit-immigrations-global-warming-impact

    But nobody seems to notice that.

    I have been arguing for years that the real threat to planet Earth is not man-made global warming but overpopulation. Here is what I posted on TAC about three years ago in response to a blog by Phil Giraldi:

    “tbraton says:
    November 3, 2012 at 1:55 pm
    Tom B, I am a skeptic when it comes to man-made global warming, not a denier—just like many other thinking conservatives and liberals. The case just hasn’t been made. I think it is undeniable that geological records establish that the Earth has experienced many periods of “climate change,” both cooling and warming, long before man became a significant factor on this planet. In fact, one of the most disturbing things about the pro-global warming crowd is the way they have tried to manipulate the data to eliminate any suggestion of earlier periods of global warming—the infamous hockey stick graph which failed to show the well-established Middle Age warming period, for example—which makes a skeptic ask who is really ignoring science. I am all in favor of national parks and preserving as much of our natural environment as we can. I think the real threat to our planet is not man-made global warming but overpopulation by humans which puts great stress on the natural environment. I also favor trying to make our automobiles and manufacturing plants as pollution free as possible, not to forestall global warming but to preserve the cleanliness of the air we breathe and the water we drink.
    BTW, if we really want to curb the use of gasoline, we don’t need complicated cap-and-trade programs adminstered by government bureaucrats; we should simply slap on a tax of $1 or more on each gallon of gas. That will make people use less gas, and it would be much simpler to administer.”

    We may not agree on man’s role in causing climate change, but we are in total agreement when it comes to overpopulation.

    “I’d add that I’m not a global warming skeptic either. In particular, I’d note that the energy companies have a lot of money to put out disinformation and confusion.”

    I believe the amount of money spent by energy companies pales in comparison to the huge amount of government money that is subsidizing the global warming propagandists, who come up with endless models of how global warming is going to result in the destruction of planet Earth. As I noted on one of my comments on TAC, even Al Gore, the high priest of AGW, admitted a few years ago that the ethanol subsidy was a complete boondoggle, something that has been evident for 20 years. Gore admitted that he pushed ethanol as a Senator from Tennessee to placate the farm vote in his home state and did the same when he was running for the Presidential nomination in 2000 to placate the farmers in Iowa, which, as everybody knows, holds the first nomination contest in both parties. BTW tests at CERN in Switzerland confirmed that it was cosmic rays that were responsible for climate change. http://www.theamericanconservative.com/2012/11/02/the-politics-of-sand/comment-page-1/#comment-603211

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  78. @Vendetta
    Further question:
    6. Can humans actually do anything meaningful to slow/reverse the change in temperature?

    Maybe it is man-made, but if it is, I doubt we'd have a prayer of reversing it without deindustrializing the planet.

    Fluorescent light bulbs and other gimmicks aren't going to save us. Best spend more time thinking about where the Hell 300 million Bangladeshis are going to end up.

    Let’s consider coal. Burning crude oil has been recognized as a superior technology to burning coal. It’s superior in almost any imaginable way – produces less pollutants (including CO2, soot, and many others), has higher energy density, is easier to handle, etc. And yet we’re still burning coal. So even if we somehow invented Future Green Technology which would be easier to use and give us a higher energy output, we’d probably still continue to burn oil.

    Now since there’s no magical Future Green Technology and oil happens to be cheaper and easier than basically all the alternatives, probably if we somehow reduced oil consumption in Western Europe or North America, oil prices would get lower, but then as a result oil consumption would go up elsewhere. In fact, probably the only thing that’s happening is a redistribution of oil, but not a reduction in overall oil usage.

    I’m all for reducing emissions of pollutants, but for the above reasons reducing CO2 (which is not poisonous) is probably more questionable than reducing anything else – that CO2 will be emitted elsewhere, anyway. Reducing NOx or soot or whatever is a much more practical goal, because they poison the air in our own cities, and the soot is not going to be emitted elsewhere, and even if it will, it won’t be our cities, it will be somebody else’s cities.

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  79. @Steve Sailer
    " I think the only reason Steve never mentions it is that probably he lacks the expertise to tell whether the evidence and the scientific consensus are convincing or not, and he doesn’t want to put his credibility at stake for a subject (probably only marginally interesting to him anyway) where he could easily turn out to be wrong either way."

    Yup. That's about the size of it.

    A lot of it is opportunity cost when it comes to Raising Awareness: lots and lots of people talk about global warming, and lots of people say it's not important, so my ability to Raise Awareness at the margin is pretty limited. But virtually nobody mentions the U.N.'s forecast of the population of Africa quadrupling over this century:

    http://www.unz.com/isteve/the-graph-that-explains-the-2015-migrant-crisis/

    So far, I've mostly succeeded in Raising Awareness of this gigantic issue in Poland, where my graphs have gone viral, but it's not wholly unreasonable for me to assume that if I keep graphing the United Nations' "Population Prospects," well, maybe Lithuanians or Slovaks will eventually have their Awareness Raised about it too. I presume that it's hopeless for me to expect many of my native countrymen to ever notice the U.N. forecast, but maybe someday I can at least make a difference in the intellectual climate in, say, Slovenia.

    I'd add that I'm not a global warming skeptic either. In particular, I'd note that the the energy companies have a lot of money to put out disinformation and confusion.

    But on the other other hand, I'd point out that if anybody was really serious about global warming, they'd notice the sizable role that Third World to First World mass immigration _has_ to play in worsening the problem under their assumptions:

    http://www.vdare.com/articles/the-mexicans-in-the-living-room-why-wont-greenies-admit-immigrations-global-warming-impact

    But nobody seems to notice that.

    Communists were famous for embracing causes that were really peripheral to what they cared about if they thought there was the least bit of tactical advantage. Taking a page from Lenin and Mao, couldn’t, say, Steve and his acolytes simply concede Climate Change as a serious threat, better yet, make common cause with the crusaders for Climate Change, to embrace Climate Change and enthusiastically preach it.

    Not this hedging your bets if-you-believe-in-Climate-Change-why-do-you-support-immigration but a full throated endorsement and infiltration of the pro Climate Change political apparatus. That position is a “tell” that broadcasts “Hey, I am not a Conservative, I am a full-throated Moldbugian Reactionary” and people won’t take you seriously.

    Having infiltrated Climate Change, having hijacked Climate Change, can we make it a “front” for restricting immigration? Or would people see through this, that we are just playing along and we are secretly not-Progressive?

    You have these “radical environmentalists” who regard humanity as an “infection upon the Earth”, who would gladly see the world’s population reduced 10-fold in defense of the environment, and they rarely create much of a still among the Correct Thinking. Or would people just ignore us as they do the Radical Environmentalists, a fringe that no one chooses to fight because No Enemies on the Left?

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    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    Were it that easy. There are a million reasons to restrict immigration that would benefit many on the left and the left won't have any of them.
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  80. Priss Factor [AKA "skiapolemistis"] says:

    http://www.jpost.com/International/Trump-Carson-have-Republican-Jewish-establishment-worried-419150

    But why pay for something they can have for free?

    Trump and Carson are totally for Israel, Israel, and Israel.

    I suppose, apart from issues pertaining to Israel and Iran, Trump’s anti-immigration-ism makes some Jews nervous cuz it’s an implicit form of white American nationalism. Also, his non-apologetic brazen style would be problematic if it becomes a standard. If more and more politicians talk like the Teflon Donald does, maybe it will pave the way for a goy version of chutzpah or whitespah. Also significant is Trump isn’t anti-white-Russia, something that is alarming to both Liberal and Neocon Jews.

    As for Carson, he’s totally for Israel, but his opposition to the homo-agenda and defense of Christianity puts him at odds with the long-term goal of Neocons which is turn Christianity into a religion that puts homos above Jesus.
    Maybe that’s what they don’t like about him. Otherwise, he’s just an uncle tom to Neocons on stuff like foreign policy.

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    • Replies: @MarkinLA
    I don't see Trump ever going to war with Iran. This is something that cannot be tolerated to the Israel Firsters.
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  81. @reiner Tor
    On the other hand, being an AGW skeptic is a quite safe "far conservative" position, even somewhat close to the mainstream, like evolution denial. It only invites ridicule, but not accusations of racism. In some ways it's even encouraged by the left, or at least is purported to be a mainstream conservative position, so that conservatives can be painted as dumb ignoramuses.

    It's strange that the left creates dogmas, but then some are more or less accepted by conservatives as well and so become impossible to criticize (mostly things about race) while some (like evolution or climate change) are possible to criticize, but not in intellectual environments - i.e. only dumb criticism is allowed, but universities police opinions more effectively. The few leftist opinions (like taxing the rich or punishing the banks etc.) which are possible to criticize in an intellectual manner (like freshwater universities) are probably so because the 'left' doesn't really believe them - they also enjoy tax cuts for the rich (which includes themselves, or at least their donors).

    “On the other hand, being an AGW skeptic is a quite safe “far conservative” position, even somewhat close to the mainstream, like evolution denial. ”

    Oh, please. While there may be many “conservatives” who question evolution, like the Tea Partiers who insist that “the Government keep its paws off our Social Security” and “think” the Earth is only 6000 years old “because the Bible says so,” there are many thinking conservatives who accept Darwin’s scientific theory of evolution and still legitimately question the deeply religious theory of man-made global warming. BTW here’s a question for you: what caused the melting of the 2-mile thick sheet of ice which used to cover large parts of the upper mid-west of the present U.S. and large parts of present Canada 10,000 years ago, when the previous ice age came to an end? Was it all those few Indians riding around in carbon-emitting snowmobiles?

    Read More
    • Replies: @International Jew

    what caused the melting of the 2-mile thick sheet of ice which used to cover large parts of the upper mid-west
     
    It's stunning how the AGW warriors take the continuing shrinkage of the world's glaciers as evidence of "global warming", in total disregard of the fact that those glaciers were laid down during an ice age and they've been slowly melting for 15000 years.
    , @D. K.
    Do you have any polling data available to support your claim about the Tea Partiers' believing that the world is only 6000 years old? I never have heard that particular criticism of them before-- not even from any of the MSM critics who were quick to compare the Tea Partiers to Nazis!?!
    , @reiner Tor
    If you read my comments, you'd notice that I also accept evolution (including human evolution in the last 50,000 or 100,000 years), and that I've grown somewhat sympathetic to AGW-skepticism.

    What I wrote is that while it is possible for a more or less mainstream conservative politician to be an AGW-skeptic (or sometimes even creationist), it's totally impossible to be a 'last-50,000yr-evolution-believer' in the public sphere, i.e. it's impossible for a mainstream politician (or, indeed, almost anybody else) to openly believe in innate racial differences. It is painted in the media as a dumb opinion, but nowhere near as demonized as being a 'racist'.
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  82. @tbraton
    "On the other hand, being an AGW skeptic is a quite safe “far conservative” position, even somewhat close to the mainstream, like evolution denial. "

    Oh, please. While there may be many "conservatives" who question evolution, like the Tea Partiers who insist that "the Government keep its paws off our Social Security" and "think" the Earth is only 6000 years old "because the Bible says so," there are many thinking conservatives who accept Darwin's scientific theory of evolution and still legitimately question the deeply religious theory of man-made global warming. BTW here's a question for you: what caused the melting of the 2-mile thick sheet of ice which used to cover large parts of the upper mid-west of the present U.S. and large parts of present Canada 10,000 years ago, when the previous ice age came to an end? Was it all those few Indians riding around in carbon-emitting snowmobiles?

    what caused the melting of the 2-mile thick sheet of ice which used to cover large parts of the upper mid-west

    It’s stunning how the AGW warriors take the continuing shrinkage of the world’s glaciers as evidence of “global warming”, in total disregard of the fact that those glaciers were laid down during an ice age and they’ve been slowly melting for 15000 years.

    Read More
    • Replies: @The Last Real Calvinist

    It’s stunning how the AGW warriors take the continuing shrinkage of the world’s glaciers as evidence of “global warming”, in total disregard of the fact that those glaciers were laid down during an ice age and they’ve been slowly melting for 15000 years.

     

    Yes. This is so obviously true no one seems to see it.

    But you don't even need to go that far back into the cool mists of the past. I sometimes start climate change conversations (when I'm feeling feisty) with a simple question I asked myself as a kid: why is perpetually icy Greenland called Greenland?

    Your typical climatista will smirk, or say something like 'Right, wasn't it just advertising to get people to move there?', or something like that.

    But then just mention that within the past millenium, Greenland was settled and, to some extent, farmed. Then throw in the fact that this was possible only because Greenland was significantly warmer during the Medieval Warm Period, when the Vikings moved in, and that they had to leave because the climate got much colder -- and that Greenland in fact remains too cold today for any such agriculture.

    They may try to claim that this must have been a localized phenomenon, but a seed of skepticism is inevitably planted . . . .

    , @tbraton
    "It’s stunning how the AGW warriors take the continuing shrinkage of the world’s glaciers as evidence of “global warming” "

    Like you, I have to shake my head in disbelief that so many have fallen for this obvious scam. I am a little surprised that our host, Steve Sailer, who is otherwise such a skeptic when it comes to obvious scams, remains on the fence when it comes to AGW. I know from a post made on TAC by our uber-host Ron Unz that Unz, to his credit, has become a skeptic about AGW in recent years. http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/two-cheers-for-heresy-on-global-warming/

    BTW one of the interesting things I recently learned has to do with the ridiculous values used to construct the various "models" that ostensibly predict future global warming. I haven't taken the trouble to recover the link, but in the last 2-4 months I came across some information that was new to me. Either in something I read or a video I watched, somebody made the point that various AGW models use a number for CO2 composition of the atmosphere that is more than twice the highest number actually measured during various decades of the 20th century (apparently the number varied slightly from decade to decade). Based strictly on memory, I believe the actual numbers from the 20's to the 50's were in the 0.4-0.45 range while the AGW models used a number like 1.0, resulting in, surprise, surprise, a prediction of great increase in future global temperatures. I'll try to dig out the website when I get a chance.
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  83. @SFG
    That is true, but I am convinced of the climate change thing. Some things are true even if the Party says so. Ice melts, New York floods, weather patterns change...something is going on, and we know CO2 traps heat.

    Of course, I suspect many people here would like to see the eastern seaboard flood. Vladimir Putin is another example: I'm sure he knows and intends to do as little as possible, because if the earth gets warmer, over the long term that will only help miserably frozen Russia.

    I just saw a show about looking for Noah’s Ark. The Black Sea was a large lake until 9400 years ago when the sea level rose and the water from the Mediterranean Sea flooded into it causing it to turn brackish. They used mud cores to determine the change from fresh to salt water. I guess the climate always changes just like now.

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  84. @Anon7
    No, Anonymous, I really like my coin flip example, because it forces the credulous people to recognize how hard it is to rise above random chance in predicting anything more difficult than saying an egg will break when you've seen it roll off the table and head toward the floor. Which, I gather, is how Tetlock has gotten to "superforecasters" - he's contracted the timeframe enough (apparently to as little as a month) so that there are some forecasters who can do better than random chance.

    I'm also not impressed by the years of work he (and many others) have put in. You'd be surprised at how often years of work totally fail to pan out; that's why the reward for success should be huge. In academia, years of work always produce something - you can at least write a paper, or a book. But in business, or other real-world pursuits, years of work may produce nothing of value, and you might as well admit it and move on.

    I liked your example because it showed how simple luck can be misconstrued for wisdom and intelligence well above mere mortals.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    "I liked your example because it showed how simple luck can be misconstrued for wisdom and intelligence"

    Oh god. One would assume that regulars of this blog would be at least familiar with basic probabilities. Apparently not. Here is the rub:

    If Tetlock's superforecaters were selected merely on being lucky in the first year (someone had to be luckier than others), almost all of them would be expected to regress to the mean (e.g., 50%) in the following years. That is not what Tetlock observed! He observed exactly the contrary - his superforcasters got away from the rest of the field as the project/competition progressed.
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  85. @Vendetta
    Further question:
    6. Can humans actually do anything meaningful to slow/reverse the change in temperature?

    Maybe it is man-made, but if it is, I doubt we'd have a prayer of reversing it without deindustrializing the planet.

    Fluorescent light bulbs and other gimmicks aren't going to save us. Best spend more time thinking about where the Hell 300 million Bangladeshis are going to end up.

    The biggest problem is deforestation to provide pasture lands for cattle that destroy the plants that remove CO2 from the air and create a huge source of methane gas which is far worse than CO2 as a greenhouse gas.

    It is remarkable how fast a habitat can be restored if there is an active management. I saw a video of a famous photographer Sebastião Salgado who was Brazillian. He talked about the wonderful farm he grew up on and how it was completely denuded by his father. We went about restoring it when he was elderly and in about 10 years it was completely restored including a running stream.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3674140/

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    • Replies: @Hippopotamusdrome


    The biggest problem is deforestation to provide pasture lands for cattle that destroy the plants that remove CO2 from the air and create a huge source of methane gas which is far worse than CO2 as a greenhouse gas.

     

    So that's what was motivating Buffalo Bill.
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  86. @Inquiring Mind
    Communists were famous for embracing causes that were really peripheral to what they cared about if they thought there was the least bit of tactical advantage. Taking a page from Lenin and Mao, couldn't, say, Steve and his acolytes simply concede Climate Change as a serious threat, better yet, make common cause with the crusaders for Climate Change, to embrace Climate Change and enthusiastically preach it.

    Not this hedging your bets if-you-believe-in-Climate-Change-why-do-you-support-immigration but a full throated endorsement and infiltration of the pro Climate Change political apparatus. That position is a "tell" that broadcasts "Hey, I am not a Conservative, I am a full-throated Moldbugian Reactionary" and people won't take you seriously.

    Having infiltrated Climate Change, having hijacked Climate Change, can we make it a "front" for restricting immigration? Or would people see through this, that we are just playing along and we are secretly not-Progressive?

    You have these "radical environmentalists" who regard humanity as an "infection upon the Earth", who would gladly see the world's population reduced 10-fold in defense of the environment, and they rarely create much of a still among the Correct Thinking. Or would people just ignore us as they do the Radical Environmentalists, a fringe that no one chooses to fight because No Enemies on the Left?

    Were it that easy. There are a million reasons to restrict immigration that would benefit many on the left and the left won’t have any of them.

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  87. @Priss Factor
    http://www.jpost.com/International/Trump-Carson-have-Republican-Jewish-establishment-worried-419150

    But why pay for something they can have for free?

    Trump and Carson are totally for Israel, Israel, and Israel.

    I suppose, apart from issues pertaining to Israel and Iran, Trump's anti-immigration-ism makes some Jews nervous cuz it's an implicit form of white American nationalism. Also, his non-apologetic brazen style would be problematic if it becomes a standard. If more and more politicians talk like the Teflon Donald does, maybe it will pave the way for a goy version of chutzpah or whitespah. Also significant is Trump isn't anti-white-Russia, something that is alarming to both Liberal and Neocon Jews.

    As for Carson, he's totally for Israel, but his opposition to the homo-agenda and defense of Christianity puts him at odds with the long-term goal of Neocons which is turn Christianity into a religion that puts homos above Jesus.
    Maybe that's what they don't like about him. Otherwise, he's just an uncle tom to Neocons on stuff like foreign policy.

    I don’t see Trump ever going to war with Iran. This is something that cannot be tolerated to the Israel Firsters.

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  88. @tbraton
    "On the other hand, being an AGW skeptic is a quite safe “far conservative” position, even somewhat close to the mainstream, like evolution denial. "

    Oh, please. While there may be many "conservatives" who question evolution, like the Tea Partiers who insist that "the Government keep its paws off our Social Security" and "think" the Earth is only 6000 years old "because the Bible says so," there are many thinking conservatives who accept Darwin's scientific theory of evolution and still legitimately question the deeply religious theory of man-made global warming. BTW here's a question for you: what caused the melting of the 2-mile thick sheet of ice which used to cover large parts of the upper mid-west of the present U.S. and large parts of present Canada 10,000 years ago, when the previous ice age came to an end? Was it all those few Indians riding around in carbon-emitting snowmobiles?

    Do you have any polling data available to support your claim about the Tea Partiers’ believing that the world is only 6000 years old? I never have heard that particular criticism of them before– not even from any of the MSM critics who were quick to compare the Tea Partiers to Nazis!?!

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    • Replies: @tbraton
    I base that assertion on the fact that many Tea Partiers are fundamentalist Christians, and I believe from my reading that many fundamentalist Christians read their Bible literally and have concluded that the Earth, as created by God in six days (needing to rest on the seventh since his labors were so strenuous), must have an age of 6000 years based on reconstruction of the periods described in the Bible. Maybe I am wrong and there has been another Great Awakening (the 3rd or 4th, I have lost track) after which all fundamentalist Christians, being scientists at heart, now accept Darwin's theory of evolution and accept the scientific fact that the Earth is about 4-1/2 billion years old.

    BTW here is what Wikipedia has to say about the Tea Party:
    " The Bloomberg National Poll of adults 18 and over showed that 40% of Tea Party supporters are 55 or older, compared with 32% of all poll respondents; 79% are white, 61% are men and 44% identify as "born-again Christians",[169] compared with 75%,[170] 48.5%,[171] and 34%[172] for the general population, respectively."

    Forty-four percent is clearly not a majority but still a substantial portion of Tea Party members. I am confident that if a poll were taken close to or more than a majority would state that they believe that the Earth is roughly 6000 years old in accordance with the literal terms of the Bible. The great irony is that I share many of the political aims of the Tea Party (at least the original Tea Party movement before it got hijacked by political operatives), but I detest their apparent non-intellectual approach to political matters.
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  89. @International Jew

    what caused the melting of the 2-mile thick sheet of ice which used to cover large parts of the upper mid-west
     
    It's stunning how the AGW warriors take the continuing shrinkage of the world's glaciers as evidence of "global warming", in total disregard of the fact that those glaciers were laid down during an ice age and they've been slowly melting for 15000 years.

    It’s stunning how the AGW warriors take the continuing shrinkage of the world’s glaciers as evidence of “global warming”, in total disregard of the fact that those glaciers were laid down during an ice age and they’ve been slowly melting for 15000 years.

    Yes. This is so obviously true no one seems to see it.

    But you don’t even need to go that far back into the cool mists of the past. I sometimes start climate change conversations (when I’m feeling feisty) with a simple question I asked myself as a kid: why is perpetually icy Greenland called Greenland?

    Your typical climatista will smirk, or say something like ‘Right, wasn’t it just advertising to get people to move there?’, or something like that.

    But then just mention that within the past millenium, Greenland was settled and, to some extent, farmed. Then throw in the fact that this was possible only because Greenland was significantly warmer during the Medieval Warm Period, when the Vikings moved in, and that they had to leave because the climate got much colder — and that Greenland in fact remains too cold today for any such agriculture.

    They may try to claim that this must have been a localized phenomenon, but a seed of skepticism is inevitably planted . . . .

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  90. @D. K.
    Do you have any polling data available to support your claim about the Tea Partiers' believing that the world is only 6000 years old? I never have heard that particular criticism of them before-- not even from any of the MSM critics who were quick to compare the Tea Partiers to Nazis!?!

    I base that assertion on the fact that many Tea Partiers are fundamentalist Christians, and I believe from my reading that many fundamentalist Christians read their Bible literally and have concluded that the Earth, as created by God in six days (needing to rest on the seventh since his labors were so strenuous), must have an age of 6000 years based on reconstruction of the periods described in the Bible. Maybe I am wrong and there has been another Great Awakening (the 3rd or 4th, I have lost track) after which all fundamentalist Christians, being scientists at heart, now accept Darwin’s theory of evolution and accept the scientific fact that the Earth is about 4-1/2 billion years old.

    BTW here is what Wikipedia has to say about the Tea Party:
    ” The Bloomberg National Poll of adults 18 and over showed that 40% of Tea Party supporters are 55 or older, compared with 32% of all poll respondents; 79% are white, 61% are men and 44% identify as “born-again Christians”,[169] compared with 75%,[170] 48.5%,[171] and 34%[172] for the general population, respectively.”

    Forty-four percent is clearly not a majority but still a substantial portion of Tea Party members. I am confident that if a poll were taken close to or more than a majority would state that they believe that the Earth is roughly 6000 years old in accordance with the literal terms of the Bible. The great irony is that I share many of the political aims of the Tea Party (at least the original Tea Party movement before it got hijacked by political operatives), but I detest their apparent non-intellectual approach to political matters.

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    • Replies: @D. K.
    A "born-again Christian" is not at all synonymous with a "Christian fundamentalist"-- let alone, specifically, a believer in the Earth's being only about 6000 years old. If you do not believe me, feel free to look up the former term, while you still have Wikipedia open....

    As for the cited percentages, only about 70% of American adults now profess to be Christians-- so nearly half of all American Christians are publicly proclaiming their "born-again" status! Since the Tea Party skews much older, whiter and conservative than 21st-Century America itself, it is very likely that the movement's Christians actually are less "born-again" than American Christians at large, let alone all Republicans or conservatives per se. Regardless, you have presented no credible evidence that any Tea Party members or supporters (which, again, are not necessarily the same thing) believe in a so-called Young Earth theology, based on a form of Christian fundamentalism, let alone that such an unscientific belief is characteristic of the Tea Party movement itself.

    The Tea Party has struck me-- as a paleoliberal nationalist and a religiously agnostic, long-lapsed Roman Catholic (and a long-lapsed Democratic activist)-- as a group of mostly middle-class and upper-middle-class, and mostly middle-aged and elderly, White-American patriots who believe that the American government has grown largely unresponsive to, and unrepresentative of, the American people, and who see their government now borrowing trillions of dollars that can never be repaid, in response to a panoply of special interests, which will ultimately render Americans' posterity into perpetual debt slaves to international financial interests. I never have had any sense that the Tea Party movement is a Christian-fundamentalist movement, dedicated to a retrograde form of American theocracy.
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  91. How about the argument that Australia needs to get to 100 million to counter Indonesia? If you have been to Hong Kong, Australia can accomodate 100 million people if everybody lives in 50 story apartments.

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  92. How come the USSR did not have mass immigration from the 3rd world despite being a communist country?

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    USSR had guarded its borders very vigilantly! Despite having the longest national border in the world, the Soviets protected it very well and any violations of it were punished mercilessly. And, it worked.
    , @snorlax
    Probably because the USSR was a third-world country.

    (Yes, I am aware of the etymology of "third world.")

    , @Hippopotamusdrome
    Uhh, because Communism sucks and people would gladly risk their lives to emigrate out to a third world country.
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  93. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @MarkinLA
    I liked your example because it showed how simple luck can be misconstrued for wisdom and intelligence well above mere mortals.

    “I liked your example because it showed how simple luck can be misconstrued for wisdom and intelligence”

    Oh god. One would assume that regulars of this blog would be at least familiar with basic probabilities. Apparently not. Here is the rub:

    If Tetlock’s superforecaters were selected merely on being lucky in the first year (someone had to be luckier than others), almost all of them would be expected to regress to the mean (e.g., 50%) in the following years. That is not what Tetlock observed! He observed exactly the contrary – his superforcasters got away from the rest of the field as the project/competition progressed.

    Read More
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  94. @International Jew

    what caused the melting of the 2-mile thick sheet of ice which used to cover large parts of the upper mid-west
     
    It's stunning how the AGW warriors take the continuing shrinkage of the world's glaciers as evidence of "global warming", in total disregard of the fact that those glaciers were laid down during an ice age and they've been slowly melting for 15000 years.

    “It’s stunning how the AGW warriors take the continuing shrinkage of the world’s glaciers as evidence of “global warming” ”

    Like you, I have to shake my head in disbelief that so many have fallen for this obvious scam. I am a little surprised that our host, Steve Sailer, who is otherwise such a skeptic when it comes to obvious scams, remains on the fence when it comes to AGW. I know from a post made on TAC by our uber-host Ron Unz that Unz, to his credit, has become a skeptic about AGW in recent years. http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/two-cheers-for-heresy-on-global-warming/

    BTW one of the interesting things I recently learned has to do with the ridiculous values used to construct the various “models” that ostensibly predict future global warming. I haven’t taken the trouble to recover the link, but in the last 2-4 months I came across some information that was new to me. Either in something I read or a video I watched, somebody made the point that various AGW models use a number for CO2 composition of the atmosphere that is more than twice the highest number actually measured during various decades of the 20th century (apparently the number varied slightly from decade to decade). Based strictly on memory, I believe the actual numbers from the 20′s to the 50′s were in the 0.4-0.45 range while the AGW models used a number like 1.0, resulting in, surprise, surprise, a prediction of great increase in future global temperatures. I’ll try to dig out the website when I get a chance.

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  95. @frggr
    How come the USSR did not have mass immigration from the 3rd world despite being a communist country?

    USSR had guarded its borders very vigilantly! Despite having the longest national border in the world, the Soviets protected it very well and any violations of it were punished mercilessly. And, it worked.

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    • Replies: @Hippopotamusdrome
    But they were keeping people in.
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  96. @frggr
    How come the USSR did not have mass immigration from the 3rd world despite being a communist country?

    Probably because the USSR was a third-world country.

    (Yes, I am aware of the etymology of “third world.”)

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  97. So brilliant people can out perform experts who aren’t as smart. Like in sili valley.

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  98. @Anonymous
    USSR had guarded its borders very vigilantly! Despite having the longest national border in the world, the Soviets protected it very well and any violations of it were punished mercilessly. And, it worked.

    But they were keeping people in.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    In and out. The USSR was extremely paranoid about being infiltrated by spies and other forms of wreckers.
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  99. @frggr
    How come the USSR did not have mass immigration from the 3rd world despite being a communist country?

    Uhh, because Communism sucks and people would gladly risk their lives to emigrate out to a third world country.

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  100. @MarkinLA
    The biggest problem is deforestation to provide pasture lands for cattle that destroy the plants that remove CO2 from the air and create a huge source of methane gas which is far worse than CO2 as a greenhouse gas.

    It is remarkable how fast a habitat can be restored if there is an active management. I saw a video of a famous photographer Sebastião Salgado who was Brazillian. He talked about the wonderful farm he grew up on and how it was completely denuded by his father. We went about restoring it when he was elderly and in about 10 years it was completely restored including a running stream.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3674140/

    The biggest problem is deforestation to provide pasture lands for cattle that destroy the plants that remove CO2 from the air and create a huge source of methane gas which is far worse than CO2 as a greenhouse gas.

    So that’s what was motivating Buffalo Bill.

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  101. @Hippopotamusdrome
    But they were keeping people in.

    In and out. The USSR was extremely paranoid about being infiltrated by spies and other forms of wreckers.

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  102. @tbraton
    "On the other hand, being an AGW skeptic is a quite safe “far conservative” position, even somewhat close to the mainstream, like evolution denial. "

    Oh, please. While there may be many "conservatives" who question evolution, like the Tea Partiers who insist that "the Government keep its paws off our Social Security" and "think" the Earth is only 6000 years old "because the Bible says so," there are many thinking conservatives who accept Darwin's scientific theory of evolution and still legitimately question the deeply religious theory of man-made global warming. BTW here's a question for you: what caused the melting of the 2-mile thick sheet of ice which used to cover large parts of the upper mid-west of the present U.S. and large parts of present Canada 10,000 years ago, when the previous ice age came to an end? Was it all those few Indians riding around in carbon-emitting snowmobiles?

    If you read my comments, you’d notice that I also accept evolution (including human evolution in the last 50,000 or 100,000 years), and that I’ve grown somewhat sympathetic to AGW-skepticism.

    What I wrote is that while it is possible for a more or less mainstream conservative politician to be an AGW-skeptic (or sometimes even creationist), it’s totally impossible to be a ‘last-50,000yr-evolution-believer’ in the public sphere, i.e. it’s impossible for a mainstream politician (or, indeed, almost anybody else) to openly believe in innate racial differences. It is painted in the media as a dumb opinion, but nowhere near as demonized as being a ‘racist’.

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  103. @tbraton
    I base that assertion on the fact that many Tea Partiers are fundamentalist Christians, and I believe from my reading that many fundamentalist Christians read their Bible literally and have concluded that the Earth, as created by God in six days (needing to rest on the seventh since his labors were so strenuous), must have an age of 6000 years based on reconstruction of the periods described in the Bible. Maybe I am wrong and there has been another Great Awakening (the 3rd or 4th, I have lost track) after which all fundamentalist Christians, being scientists at heart, now accept Darwin's theory of evolution and accept the scientific fact that the Earth is about 4-1/2 billion years old.

    BTW here is what Wikipedia has to say about the Tea Party:
    " The Bloomberg National Poll of adults 18 and over showed that 40% of Tea Party supporters are 55 or older, compared with 32% of all poll respondents; 79% are white, 61% are men and 44% identify as "born-again Christians",[169] compared with 75%,[170] 48.5%,[171] and 34%[172] for the general population, respectively."

    Forty-four percent is clearly not a majority but still a substantial portion of Tea Party members. I am confident that if a poll were taken close to or more than a majority would state that they believe that the Earth is roughly 6000 years old in accordance with the literal terms of the Bible. The great irony is that I share many of the political aims of the Tea Party (at least the original Tea Party movement before it got hijacked by political operatives), but I detest their apparent non-intellectual approach to political matters.

    A “born-again Christian” is not at all synonymous with a “Christian fundamentalist”– let alone, specifically, a believer in the Earth’s being only about 6000 years old. If you do not believe me, feel free to look up the former term, while you still have Wikipedia open….

    As for the cited percentages, only about 70% of American adults now profess to be Christians– so nearly half of all American Christians are publicly proclaiming their “born-again” status! Since the Tea Party skews much older, whiter and conservative than 21st-Century America itself, it is very likely that the movement’s Christians actually are less “born-again” than American Christians at large, let alone all Republicans or conservatives per se. Regardless, you have presented no credible evidence that any Tea Party members or supporters (which, again, are not necessarily the same thing) believe in a so-called Young Earth theology, based on a form of Christian fundamentalism, let alone that such an unscientific belief is characteristic of the Tea Party movement itself.

    The Tea Party has struck me– as a paleoliberal nationalist and a religiously agnostic, long-lapsed Roman Catholic (and a long-lapsed Democratic activist)– as a group of mostly middle-class and upper-middle-class, and mostly middle-aged and elderly, White-American patriots who believe that the American government has grown largely unresponsive to, and unrepresentative of, the American people, and who see their government now borrowing trillions of dollars that can never be repaid, in response to a panoply of special interests, which will ultimately render Americans’ posterity into perpetual debt slaves to international financial interests. I never have had any sense that the Tea Party movement is a Christian-fundamentalist movement, dedicated to a retrograde form of American theocracy.

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  104. @rod1963
    In a few more years Japan will be the last man standing. The U.S. is rapidly going down along with the EU because both bet on a unsustainable welfare society coupled with a strong dose of neoliberal economics which is now blowing up.

    Even now our only claim to power are our aircraft carrier strike groups and bribing poor EU heads of state like those of Greece, Poland, Romania, etc.

    Once the stock market sours and people's 401k turn into 201k's and the state pension funds go poof, the people who run the U.S. will be running for their lives.

    And if the SNAP cards stop working, watch out. We'll have a race war on our hands, albeit a short and bloody one.

    I get the feeling a lot of people would welcome a straight up and honest contest of will, as opposed to what they have today.

    I wish someone would bribe our leaders to actually get their jobs done.

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  106. @Steve Sailer
    " I think the only reason Steve never mentions it is that probably he lacks the expertise to tell whether the evidence and the scientific consensus are convincing or not, and he doesn’t want to put his credibility at stake for a subject (probably only marginally interesting to him anyway) where he could easily turn out to be wrong either way."

    Yup. That's about the size of it.

    A lot of it is opportunity cost when it comes to Raising Awareness: lots and lots of people talk about global warming, and lots of people say it's not important, so my ability to Raise Awareness at the margin is pretty limited. But virtually nobody mentions the U.N.'s forecast of the population of Africa quadrupling over this century:

    http://www.unz.com/isteve/the-graph-that-explains-the-2015-migrant-crisis/

    So far, I've mostly succeeded in Raising Awareness of this gigantic issue in Poland, where my graphs have gone viral, but it's not wholly unreasonable for me to assume that if I keep graphing the United Nations' "Population Prospects," well, maybe Lithuanians or Slovaks will eventually have their Awareness Raised about it too. I presume that it's hopeless for me to expect many of my native countrymen to ever notice the U.N. forecast, but maybe someday I can at least make a difference in the intellectual climate in, say, Slovenia.

    I'd add that I'm not a global warming skeptic either. In particular, I'd note that the the energy companies have a lot of money to put out disinformation and confusion.

    But on the other other hand, I'd point out that if anybody was really serious about global warming, they'd notice the sizable role that Third World to First World mass immigration _has_ to play in worsening the problem under their assumptions:

    http://www.vdare.com/articles/the-mexicans-in-the-living-room-why-wont-greenies-admit-immigrations-global-warming-impact

    But nobody seems to notice that.

    As Adam Minter pointed out in his book Junkyard Planet, the amount of waste you produce directly correlates with your income.

    Bringing Third World peasants to the First World and giving them benefits is destroying the planet. Funny, as you say, how nobody notices.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Moreover, I'd think there's diminishing pollution as your income grows: double the income usually means less than double the pollution. And it probably scales to the expected/average income in the country in question. Having the same income (in real terms, I'm not talking about exchange rates) in Mexico will probably lead to higher savings than in the US, because in the US you'll feel poorer compared to the general population. Also, part of their incomes will come from taxing the middle class, whose margin of pollution is smaller, so the reduction of middle class incomes will lead to less decrease in pollution than the increase caused by immigrants.

    Not to mention the fact that immigrants will want to visit home all the time, which means they'll travel way more than either Mexicans in Mexico or American Americans.

    So bringing third worlders over to richer countries might make them worse polluters even if their real income doesn't change at all.
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  107. @Brutusale
    As Adam Minter pointed out in his book Junkyard Planet, the amount of waste you produce directly correlates with your income.

    Bringing Third World peasants to the First World and giving them benefits is destroying the planet. Funny, as you say, how nobody notices.

    Moreover, I’d think there’s diminishing pollution as your income grows: double the income usually means less than double the pollution. And it probably scales to the expected/average income in the country in question. Having the same income (in real terms, I’m not talking about exchange rates) in Mexico will probably lead to higher savings than in the US, because in the US you’ll feel poorer compared to the general population. Also, part of their incomes will come from taxing the middle class, whose margin of pollution is smaller, so the reduction of middle class incomes will lead to less decrease in pollution than the increase caused by immigrants.

    Not to mention the fact that immigrants will want to visit home all the time, which means they’ll travel way more than either Mexicans in Mexico or American Americans.

    So bringing third worlders over to richer countries might make them worse polluters even if their real income doesn’t change at all.

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  108. […] Here’s another from The Unz Review […]

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  109. @SFG
    That is true, but I am convinced of the climate change thing. Some things are true even if the Party says so. Ice melts, New York floods, weather patterns change...something is going on, and we know CO2 traps heat.

    Of course, I suspect many people here would like to see the eastern seaboard flood. Vladimir Putin is another example: I'm sure he knows and intends to do as little as possible, because if the earth gets warmer, over the long term that will only help miserably frozen Russia.

    My story about going to Calgary in 2009 to do a study for the UNs IPCC.
    I have been an Artist and University level Art professor most of my adult life. I have always been interested in science, the Milankovitch orbital variations and my art work mostly deals with the science of nature, so I thought it was important to do more research before I left for Calgary… I might as well have done nothing!!! At this time, like most people I thought that CO 2 was causing global warming and we were like lemmings heading for a cliff. I found out that climate change is a very complex problem and no one really understands Milankovitch or Maunder Minimum but we do know that someday there will be glaciers once again sitting on Chicago.
    There is also a climate change war of scientists (http://www.petitionproject.org/index.php) saying some very convincing things today that maybe it’s mostly nature not man and that the climate is always changing. There are things in man’s history that tell us CO2 does not cause global warming, something called the Medieval Warming Period when the Vikings moved to Greenland and had farms where there are glaciers today in a 300 year period that was much warmer then it is today It is part of a scientist’s duty to be skeptical, consensus is not science, maybe solar sunspots (cycle 24) are at work here. So I was off to Calgary. What I didn’t know was that the IPCC had already set up the program with World Wide Views that made the outcome say what they wanted it to say! It was fixed right from the start. The IPCC is a BIG billion dollar business and I was already in the church of CO 2.. I felt like a cat walking into a dog kennel.
    We sat in groups of about eight for one session of voting; there were about seven sessions with some mixing of people between sessions. Then there was a brain washing video before each session telling us how CO 2 was the villain in global warming and then we were to discuss the degree of badness. The questions to vote on were fixed as to the many different degrees of monster CO 2 was.
    So I stood up and tore off my dog costume, I AM A CAT! “Yes. I am a heretic and proud of it”, a few of my converts stood up with me and I was not tied to a stake, after all this was the University of Calgary with an open mind to skeptics. A shortened story – The End
    Bob Evermon Davis Bay BC one of one hundred from Canada.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/424689381017698/

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  110. @Sean

    But on the other other hand, I’d point out that if anybody was really serious about global warming, they’d notice the sizable role that Third World to First World mass immigration _has_ to play in worsening the problem under their assumptions:

    http://www.vdare.com/articles/the-mexicans-in-the-living-room-why-wont-greenies-admit-immigrations-global-warming-impact

    But nobody seems to notice that

     

    Yes but you have to lead with immigration restriction being a truly humanitarian policy of the greatest good for the greatest number. https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22730382-800-europes-refugees-making-a-drama-out-of-a-crisis/

    Global warming is a way for educated folk like scientists to show everyone else how parochial they are. Science magazines are, like the Economist, 100% pro immigration. A solution that does not go against folk wisdom is anathema to scientists. For example the New Scientist said a few weeks ago without qualification that climate change caused the Syria civil war. Saying that is the capable people stay in their own countries and preventing accelerating brain drain from those countries, which do not descend into hell holes where all the trees get cut down is considered extremely weird. It sounds like traditional politics, which everyone wants to show they have transcended. Paul Collier has got a big "no sale" for his ideas for limiting emigration from poor countries because it seems to be saying nations are actually rather useful for delivering the goods. Only the humanitarian left can save us from immigration. (Paul Collier on climate change ).

    How Diabolical is Unz's Proposal? Caplan comes up with something to make it even more evil (yes he calls it evil) "Give a green card to any illegal immigrant who testifies against his employer for labor law violations. ".

    http://www.petitionproject.org/index.php Climate Science is very complex.Like Dark Matter it is too complex for computer models. C02 is a heavy gas – clean and goes into the ocean to feed plankton and gives us half of our oxygen. In 2009 I worked with the IPCC in Word Wide Views and they tried to manipulate me to say what they wanted me to say. The study of Climate is not right or left in politics. Climate should only be about science so do your own research and don’t trust what I say or anyone else says. Some of the videos might be right or left but look for the science and work it out yourself. Look to the past to see the future – ice core samples and tree rings. There are more good scientist saying that it is the SUN that we should be looking at. Climate Science Videos http://www.climatescienceinternational.orgICSC – International Climate Science International

    XX The Great Global Warming Swindle

    Coleman

    We only have one turn to live on our little blue marble called earth and to understand how it works. We should not be manipulated by how the media works today. The squeaky wheel gets the grease

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