“What are you doing, Dave?”
—Douglas Rain as the voice of HAL 9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey
I suppose nothing should surprise me anymore.
I read last week that the Department of Homeland Security is getting into the business of fighting “climate change.” Not EPA. Not NOAA. Homeland Security. You know, the federal agency created in response to terrorism that has all the guns and armored vehicles, and whose stated “vital mission” is “to secure the nation from the many threats we face.”
Under the guise of ensuring “disaster resiliency,” DHS has started conducting studies on the resilience of infrastructure such as roads and the electrical grid, and how to protect against what it claims are rising sea levels and saltwater intrusion. Apparently, all of this stems from a heightened awareness in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, as though Sandy was in fact caused by “climate change.” I can only assume from that chain of logic that there were no major hurricanes prior to the 1930s when evil mankind started to bake the planet.
Tell that to the 8,000 or so people killed by the Category 4 hurricane that struck Galveston, Texas on September 8, 1900 (Sandy, by contrast, was a Category 2 storm when it made landfall in the northeastern U.S.).
I’ll get to the “climate change” thing in a bit. Let’s first just think for a minute about this. DHS is worrying about polar ice caps and sea levels at a time when the border is so porous that investigative reporter James O’Keefe—the guy who brought down the ACORN scam—was able to wade across from Mexico, unmolested, while dressed as Osama bin Laden. And if you think that’s not a significant issue, consider that the government is in the process of putting up a massive residence hall to house thousands of illegals on a 50 acre tract outside of San Antonio. Or if strain on infrastructure is a concern, how about the 85,000 students speaking 85 languages other than English now crowding Las Vegas schools? Or the fact that in Nashville—not exactly right on the border—the school population is now 20% Hispanic. And because we’re not deporting the few people who do get caught and some 70% of them don’t show up for their immigration hearing, 40,000+ people a year are disappearing into this country even after DHS had them in custody. That, of course, is on top of the nearly a million a year we don’t catch.
The fact is that the immigrant population, legal and illegal, is at an all-time high, and DHS is doing essentially nothing to control it. And before you start on me with the predictably ridiculous cry of racism, or the we’re a nation of immigrants tripe, I’m not against immigration or immigrants. What I’m against is uncontrolled immigration. We have no idea who is coming into this country. 300,000 people in the last 3 years have come here from predominantly Muslim countries. If even 10% of them accept some or all of the violent tendencies of the militant Islamists and sharia law—and as I’ve demonstrated before, that percentage has the potential, if not likelihood, to be considerably higher—we’re talking a group roughly the same size as the entire ISIS fighting force that’s sympathetic to a worldview that wants to impose sharia law and kill—literally—everyone who disagrees, and they’re already here inside the U.S.
And DHS does nothing, choosing instead to play around with barometers and weathervanes.
Not only is DHS essentially ignoring its most basic security function, but it’s diverting its attention and resources to a man-made climate change fantasy that is so politicized and bogus that even the founder of Greenpeace had to resign and distance himself from it. Aerospace pioneer Burt Rutan does an excellent deconstruction of the data (to get all his slides and then some, look here), and it is interesting because he focuses less on cause/effect and the fraud and conflicts of interest (although he gets into those), and more on the magnitude of the observations in a historical context, even if you accept the alarmists’ data at face value (for detail on why you shouldn’t, watch here). Among his points are these nuggets:
- Recent CO2 increases are insignificant, and not necessarily bad.
The “climate change” panic focuses on CO2 emissions. Why? Because if CO2 emissions are endangering the planet, then Government can regulate and tax all human activity, including breathing. Rutan points out, however, that if you take a longer view of history than the 100 – 200 years typical of alarmists’ “analysis,” we are in fact in a period of relatively low CO2 levels. During the age of dinosaurs, atmospheric CO2 levels were 6 – 8 times what they are today, and not only was the planet not catastrophically overheating, but it was immensely more fertile and covered in foliage than it is now. Higher CO2 is better for plant growth and life in general.
Furthermore, the levels that have the alarmists all in a tizzy are miniscule. The CO2 limit for confined spaces according to OSHA is 0.5%. The average CO2 level over the time life has evolved on this planet has been about 0.3%. The level of increase the alarmists want you to be afraid of is something like 0.04%.
And because it’s only man-made CO2 that we can control, it’s worth noting that greenhouse gases make up only 2% of the atmosphere, and only 3.6% of that 2% is CO2; 96.4% of greenhouse gases are something other than CO2 (mostly water vapor—you know, the stuff that turns into rain). Of that 3.6% that is CO2, only 3.4% is caused by humans. So man-made CO2 comprises a grand total of 0.12% of all greenhouse gas; 99.88% of all greenhouse gas is something other than human-emitted CO2, despite Al Gore’s mansions, private jet, and SUV.
- Any recent warming is neither unusual, nor a significant threat.
Rutan takes a similar tack when he looks at the data for temperature. Alarmists focus on the last 100 – 200 years to argue that there’s a sudden and dangerous spike over the last century after what they suggest was an otherwise stable global thermometer since the dawn of time. But as Rutan points out, even if you accept the alarmists’ data, that claim needs some broader context.
First, consider that the seasonal temperature fluctuation on earth (hottest summer day vs. coldest winter night) is about 200 degrees. The average U.S. city experiences temperature changes of over 100 degrees over the course of a given year, and 25 – 30 degrees or more on any given day. In other words, the temperature changes fairly dramatically all the time. The alarmists are all worried over temperatures that they “project” will rise about 3 degrees globally over the next 100 years.
Even if we assume that’s going to happen, this is not unusual behavior for the planet, and it long predates Man, much less planes, trains, and automobiles. The fact is we are in a temperature trough relative to the last 2 million years. But even focusing just on that trough over the last half-million years, according to Rutan we find that every 85,000 years or so we get a temperature spike; the rest of that time was ice age. Over the last 11,000 years—pre-dating civilization, so you can’t blame it on Man—the earth has been in one of those ice age recoveries, but it is the longest, most stable, and coolest of those non-ice age periods. And even within that “spike,” we are nowhere near the hottest time in history, the history of Man, or even in recorded history. The earth was significantly hotter during the time of Moses, the time of the Egyptians, and the time of the Romans than it is today. Yet it, and we, are still here.
This is what your Department of Homeland Security is spending its time and your money on. It’s not securing the border, and it’s not deporting people who cross it illegally, even as ISIS is actively saying it plans to initiate attacks within the U.S. Instead, it’s chasing rainbows in an attempt to protect you against nothing.
So I have two questions for you to ask yourself:
One, what do you think they’re really doing?
Two, do you feel safe?
EDITOR’S NOTE: This marks the 250th installment of Chasing Jefferson. In my wildest dreams I never thought we’d get this far. Thank you so much to all of you who have stuck with me and given me so much encouragement.