Tuesday, December 1, 2015


For those who do not already know, the fundamentalist sect of Islam know as Wahabbi, is the dominate religious order in Saudi Arabia. The powerful mullahs there are a major influence on culture and justice in that country. Is it a coincidence that they share much in common with Daesh?

Climate Assessments, Presidential candidates and the Paris talks

Some of our best and brightest people work at the Pentagon. A number of these dedicated folks are tasked with a single mission. Their mission is to analyze threats to the United States of America. The people in these positions are human and we may assume, have their own personal beliefs. However, in their professional lives, no kudos are awarded for advancing ideas based upon political, personal, or religious ideology. The only thing that counts is thoughtful research and evidence based analysis that is open to challenge by other experts. So, one might be given to wonder, what does this group say, if anything, regarding the whole climate change hullabaloo? 

“Global climate change will have wide-ranging implications for U.S. national security interests over the foreseeable future because it will aggravate existing problems — such as poverty, social tensions, environmental degradation, ineffectual leadership, and weak political institutions — that threaten domestic stability in a number of countries.”

So, let us take a moment and break this down. First we notice that the assessment was not couched in maybe's and possibly's. This is more surprising than one might imagine. Let us stop to consider. Every contributor/signer on to this statement if very bright, very well educated, ambitious, competitive, and likely has considerable ego. In a conference room full of those people, how many times do these folks arrive at a definitive opinion without qualifications or parsing of words? With the personalities and high stakes involved, we may reasonably infer the answer to be, not often.

It is also worth noting how they arrive at such an opinion. When they were researching the topic,  from where did they obtain solid evidence? I'm suggesting they familiarized themselves with the data from climate scientists, among others. Did they look in any credible dissent among the climate scientists? With their jobs on the line as well as the safety and security of our nation, we can safely assume they did not leave any stone unturned. If they had looked over the climate science data and had felt that it failed to provide adequate confidence, would they have decided to plow forward and make such a strong statement as the one above? Not likely. 

What else might we reasonably infer? The random thoughts and half-baked opinions of people including, but not limited to, the Republican candidates for U.S. President entered in to their assessments, not at all.  Furthermore, did the policy wonks weigh the likelihood of Jesus imminent return and how to factor that idea into their assessment? Perhaps some will wish to take a deep breath here, maybe put on the kettle? A calming cup of tea might be just the thing while absorbing this news. And the answer is- not only no, but hell no! Okay, sure, this does not prove JC won't be returning soon. We are agreed on that. The bare facts are, when making plans/choices about the down-to-earth business here on planet Earth, the people who know the most factor in such considerations, not at all.

It is about time to wrap this puppy but before we do, let's make a couple more quick but important inferences.

What might we say if the assessments of our most knowledgeable and qualified people are directly at odds with what many of our elected leaders are spouting? Many would consider this a sobering, or outright frightening, problem. What if large powerful media outlets were observed to be shamelessly devoted either to the blunting/distorting of the facts or flat out lying? What if such media outlets had millions of viewers whose entire view of the world arrived through the broadcasts of these media outlets? Oh, mercy me. That couldn't be a good thing.
Finally, no discussion of these topics would be complete without mentioning modern Western style Capitalism and its corrupting, greed-driven, monolithic influence on, well, almost everything. For the geeks who thought I had forgotten, I should mention the bastard son of the aforementioned Capitalism, the military-industrial complex. For those who love mysteries and detective stories, remember the old adage, follow the money.

And, so, here we are. We know the players and the assessment. Now for the extra credit portion. Name one person who is willing to predict the current climate talks in Paris will result in the requisite global policy changes adequately addressing our current situation. Caveats: the person named must be an acknowledged expert verifiably familiar with the evidence on the scientific and political fronts.

Name one.