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Adam Weinstein and His Call to Jail Global Warming Skeptics

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“Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”

–President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Farewell Address, 1961

A young man named Adam Weinstein recently called for incarceration of disbelievers in the cult of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW). His argument mirrors the argument Goebbels used in 1930s to quash dissent from eugenics and to take immediate policy actions for the betterment of humanity.

I intend to demonstrate the parallels between the current cult of CAGW, public proponents of aggressive political action in response to their faith in CAGW, and their ideological ancestors of Nazi Germany.

 The Holocaust’s American Roots

We can’t talk about Nazi racial policies without talking about the debunked and discredited scientific consensus around eugenics. According to Wikipedia, Eugenics is:

the belief and practice of improving the genetic quality of the human population.[2][3] It is a social philosophy advocating the improvement of human genetic traits through the promotion of higher reproduction of people with desired traits (positive eugenics), and reduced reproduction of people with less-desired or undesired traits (negative eugenics).

When we think of racial crimes against humanity, genocide, and holocaust, we think of Nazi Germany. But Hitler and Josef Mengele, the most notorious of Hitler’s scientists, relied on the American Eugenics Movement for inspiration, ideas, and legitimacy. Why not? Look at the pantheon of American political, business, and social leaders and institutions who supported eugenics:

  • Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States
  • Margaret Sanger, Founder of Planned Parenthood
  • Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States
  • H.G. Wells, Author
  • Alexander Graham Bell, Scientist
  • Hermann Joseph Muller, Nobel Laureate
  • Robert Andrews Millikan, Nobel Laureate
  • David Starr Jordan, President of Stanford University
  • The Carnegie Institution
  • Harriman Railroad Corporation
  • The Rockefeller Foundation

Not to mention prominent British thinkers:

  • John Meynard Keynes
  • George Bernard Shaw

What might eugenics look like in practice? We don’t have to guess. From the same Wikipedia article:

American William Goodell (lived from 1829 to 1894) advocated castration and spaying of the insane.[6] Mortality rates from “Battey’s operation”, the surgical removal of healthy ovaries, was as high as one in five deaths at the time, but the surgery kept being performed.[7]

Francis Galton, a distant relative of Charles Darwin, founded eugenics in the 1860s, but eugenics floundered until picked up and dusted off by American academics and politicians in the 1900s. Stanford president David Starr Jordan turned on the whole academic, progressive, do-gooder world with his 1902 article, Race of a Nation.

Most states in the US passed eugenics laws beginning in the 1920s. In a famous eugenics Supreme Court case, Beck v. Bell, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes defended the practice by writing:

It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind… Three generations of imbeciles are enough.

Imbeciles of the world, UNITE!

Today, CAGW skeptics find difficulty getting published or winning faculty seats in universities. Likewise, scholars who opposed or questioned eugenics were shunned in the 1920s and 1930s. America’s major universities, its most respected business leaders and institutions, its dominant politicians, its newspaper editors, and its state legislators considered anti-eugenicists crackpots—possibly the sort of feeble-minded imbeciles the enlightened progressives were trying to exterminate. Speaking out against eugenics was tantamount to volunteering  as subjects for scientific human experimentation. As Hans Schantz writes on the technology blog AetherCzar:

Eugenics supporters advocated immediate and sweeping actions to keep society from being overwhelmed by the higher birth rate of social undesirables. More than thirty states in the U.S. had compulsory sterilization for certain individuals aimed at keeping undesirables like mental patients, “imbeciles,” and criminals from polluting the genetic pool. [emphasis added]

There was no to time to waste! The science of the day was overwhelming and clear. Anyone who opposed eugenics was opposed to civil society and, thus, an existential threat to humanity. To the planet! To God and His angels in Heaven.

“Kill the heathens!”

Think American ingenuity would stand by while Hitler showed the world how to identify and round up undesirables? Think again, you doubter of American Excellence:

The Harriman railroad fortune paid local charities, such as the New York Bureau of Industries and Immigration, to seek out Jewish, Italian and other immigrants in New York and other crowded cities and subject them to deportation, trumped up confinement or forced sterilization. [source]

Somehow, the Hennessys  slipped that noose, escaping to the yay-hoo world of Middle America where highfalutin ideas like eugenics hadn’t yet arrived. (Washington University was, after all, was only 50 years old when the Harrimans were rounding up the Hennessys and Harrigans in New York City.)

In 1914, Harry H. Laughlin published a study with recommendations for the final solution to the problem of Jews, Italians, Irish, Emancipated Negroes, and other feebleminded peoples under the pithy title, Preliminary Report of the Committee of the Eugenic Section of the American Breeder’s Association to Study and to Report on the Best Practical Means for Cutting Off the Defective Germ-Plasm in the Human Population. (I’m guessing he got paid by the word.) The link takes you to a PDF of the entire document, which pairs well with a medium-rare filet and a 1989 Russian River Valley Hemlock. I’ll treat you only to the table of contents for section 3, “Suggested Remedies”:

  • Life Segregation
  • Sterilization
  • Restrictive Marriage Laws and Customs
  • Eugenical Education
  • Systems of Matings Purporting to Remove Defective Traits
  • General Environmental Betterment
  • Polygamy
  • Euthanasia
  • Neo-Malthusianism
  • Laissez-Faire

In the work, Laughlin praised Spartan mothers for drowning their weaker offspring, but stopped short of calling for mass extermination of America’s Least Wanted. A few years later, though, American eugenicists were calling for stronger action:

At the First National Conference on Race Betterment, University of Wisconsin eugenicist Leon J. Cole lectured on the “dysgenic” effects of charity and medicine on eugenic progress. He made a clear distinction between Darwin’s concept of natural selection and the newer idea of simple “selection.” The difference, Cole explained, “is that instead of being natural selection it is now conscious selection on the part of the breeder.…Death is the normal process of elimination in the social organism, and we might carry the figure a step further and say that in prolonging the lives of defectives we are tampering with the functioning of the social kidneys!”

While American eugenicists sorted out the thorny issue of whether to get on with killing the unwanted or if regular beatings would suffice, the American movement developed a big fan across the Atlantic. New York Times best-selling author, Edwin Black, describes the fan mail a young Austrian sent to two prominent American eugenicists:

America had established the value of race and blood. In Germany, the concept was known as Rasse und Blut. Yet the catch phrase was developed by David Starr Jordan, the racist president of Stanford University. U.S. proposals, laws, eugenic investigations and ideology were not undertaken quietly out of sight of German activists. They became inspirational blueprints for Germany’s rising tide of race biologists and race-based hatemongers, be they white-coated doctors studying Eugenical News and attending congresses in New York, or brown-shirted agitators waving banners and screaming for social upheaval in the streets of Munich.

One such agitator was a disgruntled corporal in the German army. He was an extreme nationalist who also considered himself a race biologist and an advocate of a master race. He was willing to use force to achieve his nationalist racial goals. His inner circle included Germany’s most prominent eugenic publisher. In 1924, he was serving time in prison for mob action. While in prison, he spent his time poring over eugenic textbooks, which extensively quoted Davenport, Popenoe and other American raceological stalwarts. Moreover, he closely followed the writings of Leon Whitney, president of the American Eugenics Society, and Madison Grant, who extolled the Nordic race and bemoaned its corruption by Jews, Negroes, Slavs and others who did not possess blond hair and blue eyes. The young German corporal even wrote one of them a fan letter.

In The Passing of the Great Race, Madison Grant wrote: “Mistaken regard for what are believed to be divine laws and a sentimental belief in the sanctity of human life tend to prevent both the elimination of defective infants and the sterilization of such adults as are themselves of no value to the community. The laws of nature require the obliteration of the unfit and human life is valuable only when it is of use to the community or race.”

One day in the early 1930s, AES president Whitney visited the home of Grant, who was at the time chairing a eugenic immigration committee. Whitney wanted to show off a letter he had just received from Germany, written by the corporal, now out of prison and rising in the German political scene. Grant could only smile. He pulled out his own letter. It was from the same German, thanking Grant for writing The Passing of the Great Race. The fan letter stated that Grant’s book was “his Bible.”

The man writing both letters to the American eugenic leaders would soon burn and gas his name into the blackest corner of history. He would duplicate the American eugenic program—both that which was legislated and that which was only brashly advocated—and his group would consistently point to the United States as setting the precedents for Germany’s actions. And then this man would go further than any American eugenicist ever dreamed, further than the world would ever tolerate, further than humanity will ever forget.

The man who sent those fan letters to America was Adolf Hitler.

Hitler’s infatuation with American science was a mutual admiration society.  By 1935, American eugenics found its perfect, if lethal, advocate.

The Scientific Consensus of 1935

“To that great leader, Adolf Hitler”

–American eugenicist Clarence G. Campbell, 1935 Population Congress in Berlin

Scientific consensus is nothing new. Numerous hypotheses have earned a consensus of interested scientists. Usually, consensus involves data-driven  hypotheses of large systems that are not easily subjected to laboratory tests.

Many scientific consenses are wrong. Long held but recently debunked scientific myths include:

  • Eggs cause heart disease (they don’t)
  • Saccharin causes cancer in humans (it doesn’t)
  • Dietary fiber reduces chances of colon cancer (it doesn’t)
  • Sustainable cold fusion is just around the corner (it isn’t)
  • Coal-fire electric plants cause deforestation through acid rain (they don’t)
  • Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) deplete the ozone layer (they don’t)

Six scientific consensuses you’ve learned about, all which were dead wrong or dramatically overstated by breathless, emotionally blinded advocates. All lies or errors backed, not by some mob of Walmart shoppers, but by United States Surgeons General, television doctors, and leading climate scientists. Just as eugenics was once the scientific consensus accepted without question by Alexander Graham Bell, Woodrow Wilson, John Maynard Keynes, the faculty of Harvard, and the president of Stanford University, catastrophic anthropogenic global warming is, today, accepted without question by Al Gore, Barack Obama, the faculty of Harvard University, and the president of Stanford. And many more.No, they weren’t blithering idiots. And they didn’t seek to do evil. They were blinded by cognitive biases and faulty heuristics into accepting as truth a flawed prescription for the betterment of humanity.

In other words, great scientists are just as susceptible to falling in love with an error as is the average Walmart shopper.

So go ahead and spray some CFC-infused saccharin sweetener on your whole egg cheese omelet while basking in the glow of your coal furnace. Just don’t let the miseducated paragons of climate and health virtue catch you, or you’ll be fed to Clarence Campbell’s lethal chamber. (Burning human flesh is, no doubt, a form of renewable green energy eligible for tax deductions.)

But enough of our modern pseudo-plagues.

In the early 20th century, population and social problems dominated studies of human conditions and societal extinction, much as CAGW dominates today. As with CAGW, scientists interested in these human problems reached a consensus on the cause and final solution to problems of population, poverty, inherited disease, racial capacities, crime, and feeblemindedness. The scientific and political consensus was called eugenics:

At the peak of its popularity, eugenics was a widely held scientific consensus with broad social support. It reinforced existing prejudices and racism. More competent and rigorous analysis has shown the sweeping claims of eugenics to be grossly overstated, if not completely wrong. But, eugenics led to the implementation of far-reaching policies and practices that in the fullness of time we have come to deeply regret. [emphasis added]

–Hans Schantz, AetherCzar, July 1, 2010

Nazi Germany, eager for international support for its racial policies, looked to the international scientific community for support. From The Nazi Connection: Eugenics, American Racism, and German National Socialism by Stefan Kühl:

In the summer of 1934, one and a half years after the Nazis came to power in Germany, the International Federation of Eugenic Organizations (IFEO), meeting in Zurich, passed a resolution to which Nazi propaganda frequently referred in order to illustrate the international acceptance of their race policies. In this unanimously [consensus!] passed resolution . . . the IFEO state that, despite all differences in political and social outlooks, the organization was “united by the deep conviction that eugenic research and practice is of the highest and most urgent importance for the existence of civilized countries.” It recommended that all governments “make themselves acquainted with the problems of heredity, population studies, and eugenics.” It stated that eugenic principles should be adopted as state policies “for the good for their nations . . . with suitable regional modifications.”

Replace “IFEO” with “IPCC” and “eugenics” with “global warming,” that paragraph might well appear in tomorrow’s Washington Post. Here, I’ll do it for you:

In the summer of 2010, one and a half years after the Obama administration came to power in the United States, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), meeting in Brussels, passed a resolution to which American propaganda frequently referred in order to illustrate the international acceptance of their climate policies. In this unanimously passed resolution . . . the IPCC stated that, despite all differences in political and social outlooks, the organization was “united by the deep conviction that climate change research and practice is of the highest and most urgent importance for the existence of civilized countries.” It recommended that all governments “make themselves acquainted with the problems of greenhouse gasses, global warming studies, and climate regulation.” It stated that climate change principles should be adopted as state policies “for the good for their nations . . . with suitable regional modifications.”

International consensus on bad science finds fertile soil in the minds of madmen. As we saw at the end of the previous section, Adolf Hitler fell in love with the science of eugenics and the political case eugenics provided. Hitler’s dark obsession with Jewish treachery against Germany was mere prejudice in Hitler’s mind—until American scientists armed his mind with scientific proof.

When Hitler seized control of the German government, he made eugenics the official state policy. Racial laws and regulations, academic regulations, racial propaganda, and discrediting of “deniers” were all justified by the scientific consensus that had formed around eugenics and metastasized to every country in the industrial world.

German racial hygienists and Nazi race politicians viewed this resolution as confirmation of German and American dominance in the eugenics movement and as international approval of the 1933 German sterilization law. . . . Nazi racial hygienist Heinz Kürten, who led a Committee for the Implementation of the National Revolution with the goal of forcing Jews out of medical positions in Germany, explained that the conference had shown eugenicists from all over the world that the implementation of comprehensive eugenics measures in Nazi Germany represented an important step in global eugenics. [source]

At the next eugenics conference in Germany, the world toasted its new, global, scientific consensus for the preservation of civilized society. Again, from The Nazi Connection:

The 1935 International Congress for Population Science in Berlin marked the apex of international support for Nazi race policies and represented a great success for the Nazi race propaganda machine. This Congress assembled prominent eugenicists, anthropologists, population scientists, and geneticists from all over the world. German racial hygienists constituted the largest group of participants, delivering 59 of the 126 presentations. [source]

How could mere science launch a holocaust? Because the scientists who defended their non-scientific consensus used existential fear-mongering to promote and defend their work. Pro-eugenics scientists, politicians, and philosophers locked themselves into a logic-tight echo chamber and launched the world on the fast track toward the Holocaust.

The Nazis’ Scientific Justification for Eliminating Dissenters

Once Hitler’s dictatorship seized power, it really didn’t need a scientific consensus to implement its racial policies. But the scientific consensus behind eugenics didn’t hurt.

Hitler’s dictatorship, backed by sweeping police powers, silenced critics of Nazi eugenics and supporters of individual rights. After all educational and cultural institutions and the media came under Nazi control, racial eugenics permeated German society and institutions. Jews, considered “alien,” were purged from universities, scientific research institutes, hospitals, and public health care. Persons in high positions who were viewed as politically “unreliable” met a similar fate [source].

Few could argue that Hitler’s purge was anti-scientific. After all, a review of the world’s scientific journals of 1935 showed the overwhelming majority of published studies affirmed the validity of eugenics and the need for society to rid itself of undesirables. As Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote, “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.”

Even though Hitler didn’t need anyone’s permission to silence critics of eugenics, he justified the purge:

  1. Eugenics is the scientific consensus
  2. Eugenics proves that bad breeding weakens the race
  3. Dissenters seek to block implementation of our science-based policies to save the race
  4. Therefore, dissenters are an existential threat to humanity

Who wouldn’t want to silence an existential threat to humanity? To argue against Hitler’s racial purity laws was to argue for human suffering, misery, and eventual extinction. Scientists and profiteers of human suffering are despicable. They should pay for their crimes, and they should not be allowed to pollute the minds of people unfit to form a sound scientific judgment on such complex matters. That’s what we have scientists for, right?

Once a madman’s aims seem justified by a scientific consensus, Katy bar the door.

Parallels Between Eugenicists and Modern CAGW Proponents


Why do CAGW evangelists call skeptics “deniers?” Probably, because they want to link skeptics with Holocaust deniers. More than probably. CAGW-ist Nick Cohen says CAGW skeptics are exactly like Holocaust deniers—only worse:

And please, can I have no emails from bed-wetting kidults blubbing that you can’t call us “global warming deniers ” because “denier” makes us sound like “Holocaust deniers”, and that means you are comparing us to Nazis? The evidence for man-made global warming is as final as the evidence of Auschwitz. No other word will do. [emphasis added]

Not all CAGW proponents like the term denier. Joe Romm, for instance, cringes at the term, he says, because he lost family in the Holocaust.

Since I lost many relatives in the Holocaust, I understand all too well the unique nature of that catastrophe. The Holocaust is not an analogue to global warming, which is an utterly different kind of catastrophe, and, obviously, one whose worst impacts are yet to come.

Now, that we understand that CAGW evangelists use the term “denier” with a malicious purpose, we can return to our friend Adam Weinstein. And thank him for opening our eyes. My eyes, at least.

Until I read his Gawker rant, I laughed off the idea of jailing CAGW “deniers.” I’d scanned the stories about some third-rate philosophy professor wanting to round up “deniers” into concentration or re-education camps or whatever. I might even have tweeted to a link to one of these stories, but I didn’t take it seriously. Too often, political activists on all sides promote crackpot ideas by venting their outrage at an opponent’s idiotic ideas. I’m guilty, but I’m trying to reform.

I began reading Adam Weinstein’s article on my iPhone as the automated car wash whirred and hissed around me. Nothing like white noise of a car wash to kick off some premium lateral thinking. I can’t tell you exactly which sentence or paragraph released the memory in mind, but somewhere early—somewhere between Applying Pre-soak and Power Wash and long before Clear Coat Enhancer—Mr. Weinstein’s logic for jailing CAGW skeptics took on an eerie German accent. Perhaps it was his opening syllogism.

Man-made climate change happens. Man-made climate change kills a lot of people. It’s going to kill a lot more. We have laws on the books to punish anyone whose lies contribute to people’s deaths. It’s time to punish the climate-change liars [source].

As syllogisms go, Weinstein’s is pretty weak. He probably didn’t mean to form a syllogism, as the Nazi propagandists did in the 1930s. But it was a syllogism, nonetheless. The rest of Weinstein’s argument builds on this initial logic: a) CAGW is undeniable and b) CAGW kills people and c) knowingly making statements that get people killed is a crime, therefore d) we must rid society of those who get people killed by denying CAGW.

Like the Nazi’s syllogism, the CAGW syllogism relies on your accepting the premises. Mr. Weinstein and Mr. Cohen accept as established that a) human activity is the primary cause of climate change over the past century and b) continued human-caused climate change will be catastrophic. But anyone with even scant knowledge of science knows that neither a) nor b) can be proven. Statistics 101 teaches that causation cannot be determined by analysis alone. Causation requires a controlled experiment in which the investigator controls all the independent variables. Obviously, no one can control — or even reasonable catalog — all of the variables affecting earth’s climate. No responsible person even claims to know how to weigh the variables we suspect contribute to climate. And no climate model has ever reliably predicted future climate changes.

What Mr. Weinstein advocates, though, is not a closer examination of the science he believes. To the contrary, Mr. Weinstein hopes to use the criminal justice system to prevent further inquiry. Mr. Weinstein believes it’s time to do what the Nazi’s did to eugenics “deniers.”

Let’s pretend Mr. Weinstein’s hopes come to fruition and look backward. In this scenario, a passaged quoted earlier in this post might be edited and reused:

Weinstein’s dictatorship, backed by sweeping police powers, silenced critics of American climate policy and supporters of individual rights. After all educational and cultural institutions and the media came under Weinstein’s control, CAGW permeated American society and institutions. Skeptics, considered “deniers,” were purged from universities, scientific research institutes, hospitals, and public health care. Persons in high positions who were viewed as politically “unreliable” met a similar fate [source]

Both eugenicists in Nazi Germany and CAGW alarmists today demand an end to inquiry and questioning of their beloved scientific consensuses.

Germany of the 1930s accepted that eugenics was settled science and complied. Many, if not most, Germans helped tamp down what they believed to be dangerous deviations from the accepted principles. Dissenters were arrested, or worse.

Now, Mr. Weinstein, an associate professor of philosophy, and others want the United States to follow Nazi Germany’s prescription for precisely the same disease: an existential threat to society and to the human race.

Weinstein isn’t kidding. Neither was Goebbels.  So what would Fuhrer Weinstein do?

CAGW Proponents Final Solution to the CAGW Denier Question

Earlier, we saw the list of remedies for the problem of undesirables propounded by Harry Laughlin in1914. Those remedies included forced sterilization, post partem murder of deformed or potentially deformed children, state laws controlling who may marry whom, and even euthanasia of undesirables.

When Hitler enacted his racial policies in Germany, American eugenicists–the Michael Manns of their day and cause–rejoiced.

Edwin Black recounts the story of a California eugenicist who gushed over the fact that Hitler was putting the movement’s ideas into practice:

“You will be interested to know,” Goethe’s letter proclaimed, “that your work has played a powerful part in shaping the opinions of the intellectuals behind Hitler in this epoch-making program. Everywhere I sensed that their opinions have been tremendously stimulated by American thought, and particularly by the work of the Human Betterment Foundation.

Human betterment, indeed. 

Again, consider that eugenicists dominated scientific journals of the 1930s, just as CAGW believers dominate today’s. The precepts of eugenics convinced the US Supreme Court and many inferior courts, not to mention over 30 state legislatures. In 1935, eugenics was as accepted as man-made climate change is today. Advocates of eugenics policies believed that the human race was doomed unless their policies became law. They saw their battle for centralized breeding and culling of the human race as a life or death struggle. Their science was every bit as sound as Michael Mann’s. And their supporters were every bit as serious about quashing dissent as Adam Weinstein.

So what are Mr. Weinstein’s suggested remedies for the final solution to the climate change question? I’ll let him answer:

I’m talking about Rush and his multi-million-dollar ilk in the disinformation business. I’m talking about Americans for Prosperity and the businesses and billionaires who back its obfuscatory propaganda. I’m talking about public persons and organizations and corporations for whom denying a fundamental scientific fact is profitable, who encourage the acceleration of an anti-environment course of unregulated consumption and production that, frankly, will screw my son and your children and whatever progeny they manage to have.

Those malcontents must be punished and stopped. [emphasis added]

But how? Under what laws would we round up and punish the “deniers?”

Under the same laws Italian courts used to punish six scientists who failed to warn the public about an earthquake before it happened!

The scientists weren’t convicted because they failed to predict an earthquake; no one can make such a prediction with reliable precision. But they were convened to study a series of tremors the week before the quake, and tacitly signed off on a government official’s public message that “the situation looks favorable” and residents should chill out with some wine.

Please don’t miss Mr. Weinstein’s implication here. Scientists should not form independent judgments based on the information available. Instead, in Mr. Weinstein’s world, scientists must conclude what he wishes them to conclude. The Italian scientists should not have used their own best judgment, but the judgment Weinstein and some associate professor of philosophy advanced–in hindsight.

To his credit–or perhaps as evidence of his disregard for individuals–Mr. Weinstein is not yet ready to round up the masses:

Let’s make a clear distinction here: I’m not talking about the man on the street who thinks Rush Limbaugh is right, and climate change is a socialist United Nations conspiracy foisted by a Muslim U.S. president on an unwitting public to erode its civil liberties.

You all know that man. That man is an idiot. He is too stupid to do anything other than choke the earth’s atmosphere a little more with his Mr. Pibb burps and his F-150’s gassy exhaust. Few of us believers in climate change can do much more—or less—than he can.

So us Walmart shoppers are safe. For now. Until we demand that Mr. Limbaugh be released from his prison cell.

At the start of the eugenics movement’s push toward the Holocaust, the Weinsteins of the time were more accommodating, too. Laughlin would let those who survived birth live in peace–so long as peace excluded having a family. Three generations of imbeciles are enough, after all.

As we’ve seen, though, activists who believe their cause is a life or death for the human race rarely settle for silencing critics and expunging universities of skeptical professors. At some point, the risk to humanity becomes too great to tolerate even the F-150 drivers and Mr. Pibb belchers. At some point, the Weinsteins of the world reluctantly call for lethal chambers to humanely free society of its existential threat.

From rounding up dissident scientists and pundits, it’s short ride to the concentration camps.


I am sure Adam Weinstein is a fine gentleman. I’m sure he’ll be offended by my comparing his call for silencing CAGW skeptics to the Nazis silencing eugenics skeptics. He might even be offended by the comparison between himself and American eugenicists of the 20th century.

Look, I’m not calling Weinstein a Nazi. I’m calling him a coward. An intellectual coward. A defender of a faith so fragile that challenges must be put down with weapons, handcuffs, and internment camps.

Mr. Weinstein wants a dictator to protect his beliefs from challenges. He wants protection from ideas and words he doesn’t like. He’s asking you, my brothers and sisters, to surrender your free thought and free speech to some all-knowing, all-seeing mastermind. He’s asking for a dictatorship of scientists he believes.

Mr. Weinstein is not a scientist. He believes scientists he chooses to believe. He has that right. For now.

Under his own rules, he would be subject to arrest were the scientific consensus on global warming to shift, as it did with eugenics. Under Weinstein’s plan for thought-purity, dissenters go to jail. Is Mr. Weinstein prepared to go to jail for his climate beliefs?

I am very wary of beliefs that cannot be questioned. History shows that beliefs protected from examination are not protected because they are strong, but because they are weak. Too weak to withstand even mild scrutiny.

Refusing to consider the possibility that they might be wrong leads men to horrible crimes. Hitler, Goebbels, Laughlin, Campbell, Goethe, and all the other eugenicists were as certain of their faith in the science of eugenics as Mr. Weinstein is certain of his faith in man-made global warming. Eugenicists were so convinced of their beliefs that they stopped questioning themselves and prohibited others from questioning, too.

I don’t think Weinstein is evil. I do think he has opened the door and invited the devil in for a cold beer and pizza. Adam Weinstein is the kind of man who never questions his own convictions. Neither did Hitler. Nor does Michael Mann.

Holocausts are never perpetrated by men of weak of conviction.

This report is cross-posted from  You can download a PDF of this report here.

How is Obama’s Julia Like Pristomyrmex Punctatus?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Before I answer that, a little science.

Scientists study all kinds of things. One thing they study is ants, because ants teach a lot about communities.

In a recent study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, ecologists Shigeto Dobata and Kazuki Tsuji studied the effects of “cheaters” in a colony of Pristomyrmex Punctatus ants.

P. Punctati segment their society into two groups by age. Younger ants tend to hang around the house reproducing asexually. (And why wouldn’t they?) As they age, the ants reproduce less and take on other duties like foraging for food and repairing the home. In other words, they mature and become more responsible for themselves and for their communities.

Both behaviors are cooperative. Both help the colony at the expense of some personal sacrifice, though I can’t figure out what the kids give up by sit around reproducing day and night.

So what happens when scientists introduce a “cheater” ant or two?

Cheaters are like cooperators in all ways but one: cheaters don’t stop reproducing to go out and forage. In short, they don’t grow up.

But they do consume. And defecate. Right there in the house. And because their reproduction is asexual, the damn kids are just as horny and lazy as the parent.  Since cheaters reproduce more than cooperators do, pretty soon most of the colony is cheater ants. They eat, they sleep, they poop, and they  . . . reproduce.

Of course, this can go on only so long. As less food comes in and less waste goes out, the colony becomes filthy, poor, and overcrowded. The cooperators move out or die, leaving the cheaters to decay among their own filth.

Which brings us to the Julias of the world.

Julia was (semi) fictitious character sprung onto a waiting world by the Obama-Biden campaign. Julia is a cheater. From age of three, Julia sponges off the colony. From head start through social security, Julia eats the food others foraged and occupies the home others built and maintain.

Despite free birth control and copious, publicly supported family planning instruction, Julia, of course, reproduces. The Julia in Obama’s video never marries–or even dates–a man, so I assume she reproduces asexually, like her P. Punctatus ancestors. Which would explain the failure of birth control. Julia’s offspring, of course, imitate their parent. (Here’s a video about Julia from The Five.)

Think this cheater behavior is unique to ants? Think again.

Researchers have recently evaluated these questions in systems involving viruses and cells (where cells may secrete protective substances, or self-destruct to form a spore-dispersing stalk) but not in multicellular organisms before. Yet the results are so similar, write Dobata and Tsuji, that they believe universal principles are at play.

What is one of those “universal principles?” Cheaters eventually eat out the substance of their cooperative cousins and destroy their society.

This phenomenon seems to be near a tipping point among us humans in the US of A. The punctatus is among us.


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Disability is the New Normal


Up to 4 out of 5 disability recipients are frauds

If only Mitt Romney had seen the ant study before his infamous “forty-seven percent” statement during the 2012 campaign. He could have substituted “homo punctati”  for “forty-seven percent,” and no one would be the wiser. A few ambitious reporters (if there are any) might have googled “homo punctati” and found nothing, since I just made it up by combining the word for man (homo) with the description of a type of ant (punctatus). But you get the point.

People are, of course,different from viruses and ants. We have intellects and imaginations that allow us to project the effects of cheaters on our human colonies. And we have the ability and the right to ostracize cheaters–to tear them off the teat, so to speak.

The question is, will we?

What Climate Scientists Aren’t Telling You About Global Warming

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Allan Savory caused the slaughter of 40,000 elephants in a vain attempt to save the planet by stopping desertification.

It turns out that he succeeded only in turning lush grasslands into desert. And, of course, killing 40,000 elephants.

Orphaned Elephant and Its Dead Mother
Biologist Allan Savory lobbied for the slaughter of 40,000 elephants in a vain attempt to save grasslands. Instead, the grasslands died even faster. Savory devoted his life to finding out why he and other scientists were so wrong about desertification.

Savory loves animals. He grew up in Africa and adores elephants. So why did he kill them?

Scientists Often Do More Harm Than Good

Global temperatures are higher now, on average, than they were 100 years ago. I won’t deny that. Nor will I deny that human activity has contributed to that warming. It has.

The question is: which human activities contribute go global warming, or AGW (anthropogenic global warming).

Climate scientists like James Hansen labor to hide the truth. But they know.

The answer is shocking. And the solution is delicious.

In this TED talk, biologist Allan Savory explains how he and other scientists discovered that in their vainglorious attempts to improve nature climate scientists and biologists have, instead, nearly destroyed it.

Thankfully, Allan Savory had the humility to admit he was wrong and the tenacity to spend his life finding a solution to the problem his fellow scientists caused.

Desertification Before Dinner?

One of the biggest culprits is the US Department of the Interior. The United States government has promoted desertification—turning grasslands and forests into barren desert—by driving cattle and herds off of government property, believing that animals cause desertification.

But herds of animals that roamed grasslands for eons before man help create and support grasslands. In other words, animals don’t kill nature, people do.

global map of desertification
Areas in brown and yellow are deserts. You can see sand swallowing the planet. Savory’s field work shows that introducing herds of plant-eating animals can reverse desertification.

The Solution to Desertification Is What’s For Dinner

The answer is beef.

Savory and his team have reversed desertification over 15 million hectares by introducing herds of cattle and sheep to deserts.

The process is simple. It works exactly as nature planned—before pointy-headed scientists decided they knew more about nature than nature.

Reversing Desertification Feed The Hungry, Too

In most of the world, only animals can feed the human population. The environment will not support enough plant-based nutrition no matter what you do.

But herds of animals can live off the land, and feed the people.

Savory has proven it.

Ask Congress To Reintroduce Herds To National Parks

The US government and its expert scientists caused desertification over millions of acres of the US by forcing cattle and sheep out of national parks. And the same government policies caused the drought plaguing western states today. Savory writes:

I have also found that only two things we do cause billions of acres of such land to exhibit predominantly bare ground between plants:

  1. Too few large herbivores (mainly livestock today) on the land demonstrating  unnatural behavior in the absence of pack hunting predators. This leads to over-resting the land while overgrazing plants.
  2. Overuse and misuse of the tool of fire

Neither droughts nor any other action of nature cause billions of acres of the US and the world’s grasslands to exhibit such high amounts of bare soil between plants.

Put the cows back where they belong.

Ask your US Senators and Representatives to watch this video. Send them a link to this blog. Ask them to promote good policy and reduce destruction of grasslands. Then, please tell the world you took action by writing a comment on this post.

Here is the text of my message to Rep. Ann Wagner and Senator Roy Blunt:

Did you know that we can improve the environment and stop desertification of America’s grasslands by increasing grazing on national lands?

Please see this blog post and watch the video.

It’s time the Republicans get behind an important environmental cause that will actually make things better. This is good policy and good politics.

This is a matter of life and death for people and the planet. And it might prevent another 40,000 orphaned baby elephants.

Note: I replaced “climate scientists” with “scientists” in several places. Allan Savory is a biologist, not a climate scientist. He was not concerned with climate when he worked on the project that killed 40,000 elephants.

Why GOP Pandering to Young Voters Backfires

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Marco Rubio gave the Republican response to the State of the Union address for two reasons.

First, Rubio’s Cuban, and the GOP wants to court Latinos.

Second, Rubio’s relatively young, and the GOP wants to stop the bleeding when it comes to young voters.

But there’s a fundamental problem with the Republican approach, and it stems from the GOP’s least favorite discipline: behavioral science.

Young People Are Naturally Skeptical

You hear about scams that target older folks all the time. If you’re like me, you’re tempted to blame it on media sensationalism. After all, ripping off a retiree on Social Security pisses us off a lot more than stories of scamming a 24-year-old single guy.

But 80 percent of scam victims are over 65. It’s not sensationalism by the media to drive up ratings. And it’s not senility. It’s the human brain and aging.


In a study, researchers found that older people are far less able to detect a scammer than younger people are. Follow-up investigations using functional MRIs that watch the brain while it’s working revealed that a part of the brain that signals danger declines as we age.

From “Why Old People Get Scammed” in Science Magazine:

In the study, appearing online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the“untrustworthy” faces were perceived as significantly more trustworthy by the older subjects than by the younger ones. The researchers then performed the same test on a different set of volunteers, this time imaging their brains during the process, to look for differences in brain activity between the age groups. In the younger subjects, when asked to judge whether the faces were trustworthy, the anterior insula became active; the activity increased at the sight of an untrustworthy face. The older people, however, showed little or no activation.

Aging depresses our bullshit detectors. And the Republicans better come to grips, because their message isn’t selling among people with strong BS detectors—people under 30. Like it or not, they are tomorrow’s voter.

Pandering might work with the elderly, but it becomes less effective as you move down the age scale.

Young People Are Cynical Idealists

Instead of pandering with Marco Rubio and amnesty, why not take John Mackey’s advice? That advice is simple: find your purpose.

Mackey is the co-founder of Whole Foods Markets. He’s a dyed-in-the-wool libertarian equally uncomfortable with the big brother government as with crony capitalism. His employees are young and cynical, but at the same time visionary and idealistic.

Mackey offers five big questions to help organizations their purpose:

  • Why do we exist?
  • Why do we need to exist?
  • What is the contribution we want to make?
  • Why is the world better because we are here?
  • Would we be missed if we disappeared?

Republicans should focus on that last question: would we be missed if we disappeared? They should ask people under 30 who call themselves fiscal conservatives, “would you miss the GOP if it disappeared tomorrow?”

More and more, the answer in my head is “not really.” (Frankly, I have almost the same response when applying the question to the tea party movement, and we need to fix that, too, or stop existing.)

If the Republican Party doesn’t provide a viable alternative to planned economies and regulated lives, another party will fill the void.

Let’s be honest: America and the ideals of liberty and free market capitalism need a vibrant, purposeful political engine more than they need a network of grassroots activists. And nature abhors a vacuum.

Imitating Reagan Isn’t Enough

Cynical idealists respond to people who demonstrate a clear sense of purpose and a commitment to making life better. Young people flocked to Reagan (as compared to many other Republican candidates), both as governor of California and as President of the United States. They may not have agreed with him, but they recognized a shared worldview: trust, but verified.

Trying to recreate the Reagan Era is as futile and counterproductive as trying to rebuild the Berlin Wall. But we can learn something from Regan’s vision.

Reagan simultaneously cast a jaundiced eye on our institutions and systems while maintaining in his mind’s eye the shining city on the hill. He was a cynical idealist, and it worked. The cynical idealist made the world better – for a time.

Science confirms that saying the right things but doing the politically expedient might endear you to the oldest voters, but it makes the youngest puke.

As long as the GOP believes pandering to the young will cure its problems, more and more people will come to realize we wouldn’t really miss the party if it disappears tomorrow.

Update: Rush Limbaugh agrees

Mackey, John; Sisodia, Rajendra (2012-12-25). Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business (Kindle Locations 886-887). Harvard Business Review Press. Kindle Edition.

Italy Erases 600 years of Scientific Progress

Reading Time: 1 minutes

The next time some liberal tells you the United States needs to act more like Europe, tell them, “no, we believe in science.”


Italy sentenced six scientists to prison for the felony of failing to predict an earthquake.


The people who brought us da Vinci, Columbus, and Marconi believe that those wizards in lab coats with all the machines that go “beep” are actually gods who control the earth and the stars.

Why not just force scientists to adopt the old Roman gods’ names: Jupiter, Juno, Neptune, Pluto, Apollo.

Most people with a 5th grade education know that science still cannot predict earthquakes with any degree of accuracy, anymore than Harold Camping could predict the end of the world.

By sending six scientists to prison for six years, plus fining them $130,000 each, Italy has likely ended its dalliance with modernity. Who in his right mind would work in a scientific field knowing that any error—or lack of capability—will bring on a prison sentence?

I hope our immigration laws will allow entry for great Italian Brain Exodus.

The left in America believes Europe has all the answers. Clearly, Europe believes it has answers that can’t be answered. And that’s scary in the year 2012.

Astonishing Science: Sun May Cause Global Warming

Reading Time: 1 minutes

Unbelievable! Scientists have discovered that the huge, glowing fireball in the sky may affect Earth’s temperature.

The latest evidence comes from . . . the Moon.

Back when we used to send astronauts to the Moon, we placed some temperature sensors on the Moon’s surface.  We still monitor those sensors. 

Guess what they show.  Yep, you’re right!  As temperatures rose on Earth, temperatures rose on the Moon.


Watts Up With That has all the details.

Meanwhile, Gateway Pundit found scientists who issued a crop warning because of an anticipated plunge in Earth’s temp, at least in North America.