JLH spends most of his time out translating German for Gates of Vienna, so he needs a break every now and then. On this occasion he’s channeling the shade of Rudyard Kipling, who is revenant here tonight to offer some relevant commentary on the 21st-century American political scene.

by JLH

If you can CYA while all about you
      Are losing theirs because of what you’ve done;
If you conceal the truth when all men doubt you,
      And smear them with no proof and just for fun;
If you illegally screw the opposition,
      Say slyly that it’s someone else’s fault,
And when no one will buy that inanition,
      Haughtily bring the questions to a halt:

If you can parse the atmosphere around us
      And find that fully half of it is bad,
So you can break the coal-made chains that bound us,
      And give us wind and sun and other fads
To starve the carbon-eating vegetation,
      And slice and fricassee our feathered friends,
While putting out of business half the nation,
      And subordinating us to UN trends:

If you can get a world of US-haters
      To love us just because we’re led by you;
Apologize to terrorist race-baiters,
      Bow and scrape, retract, relent, renew;
If Christians can be killed and mauled at will,
      While a murmured imam’s blessings solace you;
If soon Ukraine and Taiwan feel the chill,
      Because no one in this brave world is true:

If the Constitution’s old and rather dated,
      And freedom’s really somewhat out of style,
And independent thinking’s overrated,
      Then Common Core will go the final mile;
If you can pass a law outlawing killing —
      Except executive agents, no more guns —
You’ve done it all! Who cares if they are willing?
      For now you are a Lefty Loon, old son!

22 thoughts on “If…

  1. Oh my…so hard to pick a favorite line or image…

    perhaps this?

    And slice and fricassee our feathered friends,
    While putting out of business half the nation…

    In two darkly comic lines you capture the insanity of our coming doom.

    Bravo! nonetheless.

    • I prefer:

      “If you can get a world of US-haters
      To love us just because we’re led by you;
      Apologize to terrorist race-baiters,
      Bow and scrape, retract, relent, renew;”

      I recently learned that BHO’s deep bow to the Saudi Arabian “King” – such Kingdom dating all the way back to the 1920’s – was witnessed by a visibly stunned Nicolas Sarkozy. And that on the very same day BHO refused to bow to Queen Elizabeth II and his wife not only refused to curtsy to QE II but gave her a big hug. I don’t really mind if the POTUS and First Lady indulge themselves and breach protocol when meeting the British monarch but it certainly throws the POTUS deep bow to the Saudi autocrat into starkest relief.

      Respect shown to a hideous, corrupt man who rules a backward, cruel, profoundly undemocratic regime, disrespect shown to a constitutional monarch who ably serves a English-speaking democracy with which the USA has had a strategic partnership in global leadership for a century.

  2. Sorry, but CO2 really is a greenhouse gas and more of it in the atmosphere really is a bad idea. We can talk about whether the president has the authority to decree measures to reduce emissions. There’s really no room for reasonable dissent from the key points though: CO2 levels are rising, it’s because of human use of coal etc., and those rising levels are driving temperatures higher. Since already we would be better off with a tad cooler rather than with yet warmer, this is not a good thing.

    • The gases and particulate released last week by that volcano in Indonesia will wipe out our puny efforts to lower CO2 levels by getting rid of coal so we can have questionably cleaner air in a world that doesn’t pay attention to your concerns about CO2 because they don’t have that luxury yet. So our unilateral moves will be smothered by world-wide pollution.

      This move will impoverish many. The new laws already in place, mandating 14% “green” energy for all electric utilities, when the technology to produce 14% is not yet possible and will be a long time coming, have already had a deleterious effect on the economy. The cynical law that charges all electric utilities for their failure to procure what doesn’t exist is already driving up the costs. Anecdotally, we were hit with a $500.00 end-of-heating-season surcharge to cover these new laws. Our electric cooperative has pared down its operating expenses to the point that sometimes we wait longer during outages because they have to depend on contract linemen now, and those men have to make it here to begin working. This is not a municipal bureaucracy but a small, private (government regulated) cooperative. In other years we sometimes had a small surcharge or credit. Now the deficits are huge and the areas they serve are poor people.

      Being impoverished for someone else’s ideology DOES matter, and the fact that it is done illegally does not bode well for our commonweal.

      Further, it has yet to be proved, except in the popular press, that the anthropogenic effects on our climate are anything but marginal. See Anthony Watts’ many, many reports from the silenced scientists who robustly dissent from this “settled” consensus.

      Your assertion that we’d all be better off with “a tad cooler” can be readily disproved by any gardener/farmer who gets the benefit of a longer growing season…or any person who dies of the cold – again, at the margins. I am quite sensitive to temperature extremes but having managed to survive through both, I well know I’d rather have heatstroke than hypothermia.

      Yeah, CO2 is a greenhouse gas but growing green things need it to survive.

      • The CO2 explaination of ‘global warming’ is but a small part of an ongoing science meme, as an engineer by training I expect ‘science’ to have a cohesiveness which can be put to practicval use.

        AGW has no such cohesiveness; there are too many factions and the ‘science’ is far from settled and in no state to be passed on to the ‘engineers’.

        AGW was used as political propaganda, this was blown wide open when the UEA emails were leaked, these emails confirmed exactly what the ‘conspiracy’ theorists had been claiming, vis. Mann’s model was a fraud, and gave the same results (the ‘Hockey stick’) whatever data was fed into it. Al Gore’s “inconvenient truth” was shown in a UK court to contain 9 ‘convenient’ lies. These situations do not inspire confidence.

        Added to this is the financial bandwagon; Climate sceptics do not get research grants, so there are very few climate ‘truthers’.

        This last is very problematic because there is no ‘opposition’ view which the science needs to move through the ‘stages’ of scientific method.

        The IPCC therefore ‘declares’ the science ‘settled’ which is a meaningless statement in terms of science generally, and exactly what one would expect from a committee of pseudo-scientific bureaucrats.

        • Global warming is part of the UN’s Agenda 21 control grab. Maurice Strong had much to say about it , including that it is a manipulation to control people through such things as cap and trade in order to bring about world-wide income redistribution. You can read over 700 pages on the UN website, or go to Democrats against Agenda 21 , which is more succinct.

      • Something I’d like to add, if I may, is to describe a pattern that I think most people don’t appreciate, but which may be surprisingly influential upon some “climate scientists.”

        From the 50s onward, youth (in USA at least) were positively bombarded with images (in fictional movies and TV) of virtuous wise “scientists” who save the desperate world from the foolish blind villains of our modern society, which has divorced us from our “natural state.” (This was defensible and laudable – how much more worthwhile, one can reason, to interest children in science than, perhaps, just sports. They will be inspired to regard education very positively, perhaps become engineers, etc, etc.) Early age impressions sink deep into a person’s mind and soul, and this was a powerful image. (For a more recent version, think Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park scolding the dinosaur company CEO for his “shocking lack of humility before nature.” There are so many examples.) Many such children followed that overly romantic image ever after, eventually embarking on a life path that led them to becoming “scientists” as adults. And some of these were not the most socially popular kids, and they’d sought remedy for that via the powerful “scientist” role they imagined for themselves.

        So a couple decades later, there they are – instead of possessing the romance and POWER of the “scientist” movie image they’d identified with in youth, the reality is astoundingly disappointing. They stand up in a classroom there each morning presenting the same frigging material to apathetic and hung-over undergraduates in some (mediocre?) university! That’s their “powerful” role they aspired to from childhood. They hide their disappointed dreams in being a “disheveled intellectual.” The pay isn’t even good.

        Then, around the nineties something new entered that discontented world – the mirage of “global warming.” This gift actually seems to provide that desperate need for them to save us all as if right out of the movies! They can take the role of the superhero-ish “scientists” of their childhood! OMG! Their dreams come true. The resonance is so deep, they want to shift into that role so much, that compromising scientific rigor becomes tolerable – there’s a starved ego to feed, and a disappointed social role to correct!

        In case you ever wondered how all these people – presumably well-trained in scientific skeptical thinking – can embrace the anti-scientific dogma that “the science is settled,” consider the above pattern. Greed probably wouldn’t make these people abandon logical rigor and intelligent skepticism to evangelize AGW, but the above psychological setup, for many, might, and I suspect has.

    • Sam grant: You are spouting so much PURE propaganda that it is hard to know where to begin to debunk your ill-reasoned ideas.

      As I understand it, the first person to seriously and publicly question the CO2 propaganda was a high level mathematician who simply wanted to investigate the problem to see if the math was right. Well, the high level mathematician found that, in addition to the math being wrong, the quantitative evidence for ‘global warming’ was literally nonexistent.

      The proposed evidence for global warming was qualitative (and easily challenged – a la wrong) observations of ice over an extremely short and non-representative period of time by a few (literally!) graduate students, highly speculative use of the size of tree rings to ‘document’ the amount of carbon emissions for most of time (when measurements were NOT taken by humans) with samples ‘cherry picked’ to provide the desired conclusions, and temperature readings from weather stations around the world that were ‘cherry picked’ to provide the desired conclusions. The purveyors of global warming simply discarded evidence from world-wide weather stations that provided temperatures that disproved global warming. I heard that some of the weather stations that were providing contradictory evidence were closed. In any case, weather stations have only been gathering temperature data for a very limited amount of time compared to overall time.

      Most importantly, keep in mind that, because weather has a wide range of variability over time and place, weather data can be quite EASILY employed to show EITHER global warming or global cooling depending on the point in time that you choose to start ‘counting’ the weather data.

      June 7, 2014: Weather stations show temperatures cooling for last decade: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/06/07/noaa-shows-the-pause-in-the-u-s-surface-temperature-record-over-nearly-a-decade/

      July 9, 2012: Tree rings show temperatures cooling for last 2,000 years: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/09/this-is-what-global-cooling-really-looks-like/

      February 4, 2014: Forbes admits global warming scientists have acted in a sketchy way: http://www.forbes.com/sites/larrybell/2014/02/04/global-warmings-tree-ring-circus/

      Ongoing: Steven McIntyre uses science and math to debunk fraudulent global warming – and climate change – claims: http://climateaudit.org/

    • Sorry, but there has been no global warming for 17 years. Look it up.

      Historically, CO2 has always lagged temperature, so cannot be the driver.

      Antarctica is cooling, and has ben for decades. Antarctic sea ice is at its highest ever levels, but they will not tell you this. It is a state secret.

      CO2 had gone down to such levels that plants were in danger of asphyxiation. They are lucky we are around, to save all plant life from extinction, by adding CO2 back to the atmosphere.

      The greatest danger to n Hemisphere life is the cold, not the heat. Since we sit at the top of an interglacial, and will soon be back in an ice age, it is perverse to be worrying about excess heat. And let us not kid ourselves that we have eradicated the ice ages. (Like Gordon Brown claimed to have eliminated economic boom-bust cycles in the UK, in 2007. i kid you not. He was the most brain-dead minister in British politics.)


      • You’d probably have a lot of other nominations for “Most Brain Dead” if you started naming British politicians. Trollope skewered them well in his time.

        But the American sub-species of Politicus Corruptus would top them out, sad to say.

    • how do you know more co2 in the atmosphere is a bad idea? you have prior experience? or just your crystal ball of computer model [redacted] bovine effluvia? eons before man existed the earth was warmer than it is now. you have an explanation, of course? please tell us exactly how a few points more co2 overrides all of the other factors that determine the earth’s climate. I await with held breath.

    • And this site/video will tell you it is all BS – let the experts in their fields tell you the real story. you are welcome . . .

  3. Well said Dymphna. While some of the points that Sam Grant makes seem to be valid, the worldwide impact of policies based on them is unclear and your assessment of the impacts is correct. It is uncertain what the result of the latest EPA venture in regulating coal fired power plants will ultimately be, but short-term, the results will be a disruption of our economy and harm to large segments of our population. The main result seems to be ever growing government control of the economy and the population.

  4. The trouble with reading Kipling’s poetry is that whatever you read next, is read with the same rhythm. Consider the iambic pentameter of Dymphna’s last clause about CO2: “but growing green things need it to survive.”

  5. The History Channel broadcast an excellent two-part series titled “Little Ice Age, Big Chill” just a couple of years ago. It is available on line, and it should be required viewing for anyone who is worried about “Climate Change”.
    The gist of it is that the Little Ice Age of 1400 to 1850 was a disaster for the human race which caused widespread crop failures, starvation and plagues, and if this was widely known we would be probably be fearful of “Global Cooling”.
    Of course the switchover from “Global Warming” hysteria to “Climate Change” hysteria
    will enable the Left to pivot to a new hysteria which will minimize their embarrassment…at least in the eyes of their constituency, who don’t really care about such details as long as the checks keep coming.

  6. Plants split water and tack the hydrogen to carbon dioxide in the air to make carbohydrates and hydrocarbons. This is called photosynthesis. Animals strip the hydrogen from carbohydrates and hydrocarbons that the eat and tack it on oxygen to make water. This is called respiration. The water on your cold windshield is from this activity via your breath.

    All the carbon dioxide that we emit from fossil fuel comes from burning hydrocarbons which were once carbon dioxide in the early earth’s atmosphere and was converted by plants into oil and coal. We are putting back into the air that which was once in the air. This is called conservation.

    This sounds logical but the rates at which we return carbon dioxide to the atmosphere could be higher than the rate the primitive forests sequestered it, so that it’s level in the air could increase dangerously. Fortunately, each added increment of CO2 only affects air temperature by the log of the total. This means that most of the added temperature has already happened. Everyone, alarmist and skeptic alike, believes this mechanism has added about 1 degree C in a hundred years, but that in the future 100 years we will be warmer on the bottom of the troposphere by about 1.5-5C. This range is what separates the skeptics from the warmists. It’s called the climate sensitivity. Most of the best data supports a low sensitivity. Eg natural cyclical forcing of the climate has kept its low troposphere temperature from changing at all for 16 years. This means natural forcings are greater than CO2 forcings.

    The conclusion is that yes, the climate is getting a little bit warmer, but that most of this is probably arising from natural forcings (like orbital, solar activity and cosmic ray seeding of clouds, aerosols, El Niño effects) and very little from CO2( troposphere at about 30,000 feet should be getting warmer near tropics if CO2 is involved. This is not seen…well maybe a tiny bit.)

    Even though CO2 theoretically absorbs infrared wavelengths and re-radiates in the infrared bands, it is actually doing very little to affect lower tropo temps. This is where we live. The feeling is that natural climate processes are affecting our climate much more.

    We can’t do much anyway and it’s safer to be a little warmer than cooler.

  7. Whether or not global warming is caused by human activity, living in close proximity to coal-fired power stations is bad for humans (and other animals)- ask the Chinese.

    At the same time, it makes no sense to cripple Western economies to the advantage of the Chinese and others. I’m no expert, but fitting scrubbers to the chimneys of power stations sounds sensible. Yes, it means storing carbon as a problem for future generations, but we already do that with nuclear waste, which is far more toxic for far longer.

  8. Human activities and greediness produces by-products. Poisoning of the oceans by Japan’s Fukushima reactor. We have artificially produced more than 60 000 chemicals unknown to Earth. They end up in the oceans and combine producing deadly compounds to marine life. Our bees are dying. Poisons in our soil, and absorbed by foods we eat are increasing. Billions of tons of chemicals and poisonous gases from our cars, labs, and plants, ooze into the very air we breathe. I don’t think we need an expert to point out to us that. When we go downtown, I can taste the smog. If those poisonous vapors were confined to a building with a roof, death would be immediate and everyone would understand. But the same thing is happening under the sky except that it takes longer for things to be understood by most humans.

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