U.N. Climate Report: Cloudy, with No Chance of Silver Linings

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has come forth with a new sixth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2022: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability. In it the IPCC pretends science can predict what is impossible to predict: the variables in something as complex as climate. (If something is impossible to predict it is not based on science).

The IPCC's solutions are no better than its science. Given the IPCC’s leftist political orientation it ignores the data which show that increases in available energy sources and capitalism demonstrably lift more boats and improve the environment faster and more substantially than handing over money to government agencies and restricting conventional energy production.

The proposals the IPCC advances require a lot of fast and fancy footwork to obscure the fact that they can’t withstand close scrutiny:

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Wildfires

The section on the effect of climate change on wildfires begins with an assertion that in the Amazon, Australia, North America and Siberia wildfires are burning wider areas than in the past and human-caused climate change has driven the increases in the forests of western North America but, that “elsewhere, deforestation, fire suppression agricultural burning, and short-term cycles like el-Nino can exert a stronger influence than climate change.” It’s of a piece with claims made earlier by others, including NASA, and just as false.

In fact, bad land-management policies in western North America are a more significant driver of wildfires than anthropogenic climate change.  Depending on moisture content, most fuels must reach ignition temperatures between 644°F (340°C) and 795°F (440°C) to start a fire. The IPCC report makes the same mistake that NASA earlier made:

Stronger winds are more dangerous in part, because they transport larger embers. Small embers lack adequate energy to raise fuels from ambient temperatures of 70°F or 90°F to an ignition temperature of 644°F and higher. More so, the 2°F increase in global air temperatures since the Little Ice Age, increases the fuel’s temperature insignificantly and thus highly unlikely to increase 'the likelihood of a fire starting, or increasing the speed at which it spreads' as NASA claimed.

Reduction in both fire -uppression policies and the creation of fire breaks are a more likely driver of western wildfires. The warmer dry periods in these areas cannot be sufficient to reduce the humidity inside trees so as to affect wildfires: “From a global warming perspective, if relative humidity is kept constant during California’s rainless summers, for every 2 °F increase in temperature anomalies, calculations estimate that moisture content will only decrease by a rather insignificant 0.056% .” In any event the drier air is more closely related to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), the el Nino and la Nina events over which man has no role. Historically, wildfires increased in the southwest when “let it burn” policies were instituted; and ice cores reveal that “maximum fire activity in boreal forests occurred during the Little Ice Age between 1500-1700 AD and was attributed to the failure of Asian monsoons about which, again, man has no control and as to which he had no impact.

Dr. Jon Keeley, a U.S. Geological Survey scientist who researched the topic for four decades was clear: “We’ve looked at the history of climate and fire throughout the whole state [of California] and through much of the state, particularly the western half of the state, we don’t see any relationship between past climates and the amount of area burned in any given year.”

 Every politician, every environmental group and every scientist trying to scare up more funding by uncritically blaming wildfires on CO2- induced climate change are not only ignoring good published science, but they’re also pushing wrong remedies and downplaying the correct remedies needed to benefit society and our environment. Better managed landscapes that control fuel supplies, and the re-introduction of fires via prescribed burns, will create more effective firebreaks and more healthy open habitat that coincidentally also increases wildlife diversity.

I cannot fathom the motives of the IPCC authors of this section but if one were to suggest it was to cover the rear end of California governor Newsom and his blinkered forest management policies, you’d be hard pressed to refute that. Of course, given the overall tenor of the report one might as well suspect the idea is to enrich Third World countries at our expense under the guise of preventing a disastrous climate change.

Trust us.

Plastics

As if there weren’t enough U.N. generated, we’re-all- going- to- die scenarios, it has added plastic pollution to its doomsday tallies. Representatives of 175 nations at the U.N. committed to creation of a plastic treaty that would not only deal with recycling, but as well to the production of plastics. They hope to get it written by 2024, which I suppose gives us some breathing room in which legislative virtue-signalers can further beset us with limitations on useful products.

 “We are making history today,” said Espen Barth Eide, Norway’s climate and the environment minister and president of the United Nations Environment Assembly, which took place for the past week in Nairobi, Kenya. In an earlier interview, he said that, given Russia’s war in Ukraine, it was particularly significant that “this divided world can still agree on something, based on science.”

Based on science? The effort seems, like much in the IPCC report, short on the concepts of human ingenuity and mitigation. Locality after locality in the United States has jumped on the band wagon, banning plastic straws, and banning or taxing shopping bags. For what end, besides virtue signaling and grift? (As in the District of Columbia where the tax on plastic grocery bags supposedly to clean up the Anacostia River went to fund a project by the council member who proposed it and when, having left the council, now heads the non-profit which has nothing to do with cleaning up the river?)

Ninety percent of the plastics in the ocean come from ten rivers, and those rivers are all in Asia. In descending order, the waterways are the Citarum River in Indonesia, the Yangtze River (China), the Indus River (Pakistan), The Yellow River (China), the Hai River (China) the Ganges River (India), the Pearl River(China) the Amur River (China and Russia) , the Niger River( 5 African countries), the Mekong River (China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam).

Most of these countries have several things in common: They are poor or have substantial numbers of poor citizens and are generally poor managers of their public spaces and community hygiene. You can bet that, just like China and India’s exemption from international carbon emissions controls, they will angle for and receive exemption in this yet-to-be devised treaty . Claims that richer nations have fobbed off the environmental degradation caused by plastics by shipping off plastic trash to such countries, ignores the benefit to them and the environment of recycling this material.

Import of plastic waste in lower-income countries like these also has been associated with growth in gross domestic product. It seems a great deal of the plastic waste shipped there from places like the United States and Britain are recycled and used instead of virgin materials to make useful products. That  process results in fewer carbon emissions and  ocean pollution. It’s an economical practice which uses less fossil fuels, the climate-change advocates' bogeyman. For a time, the used plastics from the U.S. and Britain were sent to China, but because of scandals involving mixing toxic waste into these plastics and dumping instead of reprocessing them, China stopped allowing their importation. Naturally, the doomsters believed this would only add to ocean pollution. Instead, it went to even poorer Asian countries where recycling it has been evolving into big business. There people such as Seah Kian Hoe, who as a kid used to collect scrap door-to-door for reuse now employs 350 people to run Heng Hiap Industries one of the top five plastic recycling businesses in his country which processed tons of waste per year.

There's gold in them thar bottles.

It's labor-intensive work and like clothing manufacturing takes less skilled workers and less capital. It’s a normal national economic progression. Such work is done in poorer countries and as they get richer they can hire more skilled workers, invest in more advanced technologies, and they can use those technologies to simplify and increase production, improve workers health and safety, and reduce pollution.

Heng Hiap Industries works with over 28,000 domestic plastic recyclers to buy and convert plastic scraps into high performance resin before selling it to clients that include top South Korean appliance manufacturers and Japanese automotive companies… By digitally transforming its plastic recycling operations, Heng Hiap aims to collect more and better-quality plastic by extending its collection infrastructure beyond informal collectors and grassroots recyclers, all the way to the household level, through a simplified and user-friendly collection process. In the long term, the plastic recycling company envisions creating a truly circular economy for plastics by helping its business-to-business (B2B) customers address the growing pressure from eco-conscious consumers for greater transparency and traceability.

This is not a new phenomenon. We’ve seen over and again how capitalism, ingenuity, and adaptability all combine to lift poor nations up. And higher GDP correlates with better environmental practices. In other places, we’ve seen poor countries go from labor-intensive but capital-short clothing manufacturing to such things as chip manufacturing in a very short time. As the process of recycling plastic has gone from low-level Chinese recycling to countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, we are seeing improved infrastructure, products,  returns for  both the manufacturers and the customers of the end products, and the environment.

The 'Science' of Climate Hysteria

There are two sorts of societies that embrace mass civil hysteria: those that are stable and secure, and those that inherently unstable. In the first case, mass hysteria can be employed as a political tool because the institutions of a stable society are strong enough to endure the exercise. In the second, mass hysteria doesn’t matter because the wheels have already come off.

Lately, we've been treated to a modern version of the former phenomenon, as leftist politicians and their minions in the legacy media described the January 6, 2021 protests in Washington as “an insurrection” and equated the importance of January 6, 2021 to December 7, 1941 and September 11, 2001. Personally, I found the actual attack on the Capitol that occurred on March 1, 1971 more troubling than the protesters who showed up a couple of months short of thirty years later, but that’s probably just me. Some people are obviously as frightened by fake Viking caps as they are by actual explosives.

That theme is such a feature of American society today and there is no better example of how important the tool of hysteria has become among the ruling class than their continuing, unrelenting efforts to normalize the idea that we’re suffering a “climate crisis.”

Sidebar before we move on. The chances are that I know a great deal more about how atmospheric science works than 99 percent (or more) of the people who will read this piece. I’m quite certain that is true if you compare my personal understanding of the physics, the thermodynamics, the chemistry and a whole bunch more the complex interactions that define atmospheric science than, say, Al Gore, or Bill Nye, or Greta Thunberg, or Joe Biden, et al.

On the other hand, I freely admit that I’m not an actual climatologist like alarmists Michael Mann and Phil Jones, nor like skeptics Roy Spencer and Judith Curry. However, I do believe that my generally more-informed opinion is worth a lot more in the scheme of things than that of clueless politicians, naïve kids, and mechanical engineers who exercise their Constitutional right to offer opinions about issues they don’t actually understand.

The basic problem here is that some guys fall in love with their research. It’s a common disease in the scientific community, one that “consensus” breakers from Copernicus, through Einstein, through George Lemaître have battled (look up the last my friends, he’s a modern day hero who transcends the supposed barrier between science and faith). For the alarmist to even consider, much less address, the idea that their predictions may be even slightly off equates, in many (if not most) cases to admitting they might have screwed up, invalidating much of what they said and wrote over the past years.

How many of us can deal with the concept of admitting the last couple of decades of our work is useless, or at best questionable? Not many. Sure as hell I don’t want to think about my forty-some year career as an exercise in futility. But everybody – me included – has to come to grips with the idea that there are certain intellectual paths that are worth exploring, but are ultimately dead ends, and that’s a good thing.

Edison: try, try again.

To paraphrase Edison, he didn’t spend years failing to figure out how an electrically powered lightbulb could work. He rather spent those years defining how an electrically powered lightbulb can’t work. The same should be true, but sadly is not, when we consider the populist “climate-crisis” message more than thirty years after it was first proposed as a clear and immediate danger.

Many conservatives and libertarians consider the “climate crisis” in solely political terms. This view holds that the leftists and their mainstream media allies are pushing an agenda they know to be untrue, for malicious political ends. I disagree. I don’t argue with the idea that the left’s agenda is largely untrue and largely motivated by malicious political ends. But I do believe there is a significant portion of sincerity in the fear of the future expressed by many who believe there is a “climate crisis.” I don’t demonize such people, I simply believe they are wrong.

Here's an example. Next time somebody tells you that “scientists agree” that carbon dioxide is creating catastrophic changes in earth’s climate, ask them a simple question: why isn’t December 21 the coldest day of the year in the northern hemisphere? The winter solstice occurs every December 21. During that day the northern hemisphere receives less sunlight than any day of the year. If carbon dioxide acted as a blanket, as countless You Tubers have tried to demonstrate using heat lamps and carboys filled with carbon dioxide, wouldn’t it make sense that the day with the least sunlight should be the coldest?

As anyone who grew up in a northern climate knows, the coldest months are January and February, when the days are longer and the amount of solar energy received is greater than on December 21. What does this tell us?

It tells us the climate science is a whole lot more complicated than two inputs. There’s a bunch of factors that come into play which make the months following the winter solstice the coldest each year. I’m not using this simple logic experiment to claim that carbon dioxide has no effect on the climate, but to point out that it's but one of many variables that the climate models wrestle to properly represent.

You cannot, in other words, draw a direct correlation between carbon dioxide concentrations and heat retention in the atmosphere, no matter how much the alarmist’s PR folks want to push that message down our throats. It’s a helluva lot more complicated than that, which is something all scientists can actually agree on.

The Perils of Consensus: Beware 'Climate Change'

Many today believe that the globe is heating up and that something must be done to prevent a looming apocalypse. Carbon is ravaging the planet and fossil fuels must be replaced by wind and solar. The science is apparently settled. Yet predictions of global devastation have predictably failed for as many years as we can remember. Wind and solar are prohibitively costly, land defiling, and almost entirely unreliable, as every significant study has shown.

Important books by top-tier scientific investigators like Bruce Bunker (The Mythology of Global Warming), Rupert Darwall (Green Tyranny), Bjorn Lomborg (False Alarm), Michael Shellenberger (Apocalypse Never), and John Casey (Dark Winter) credibly put paid to the accepted narrative of rising seas and falling skies—though such books seem to have gone unread. Here in Vancouver, BC, winter came early this year, with temperatures clearly falling—we were bundling up in October; yet, it is difficult to get people merely to observe and assess for themselves, given sensationalist and misleading news reports to the contrary.

Consensus is always moot, regardless of how many people adhere to a general theory or a global assumption, as Charles Mackay has definitively shown in his classic study Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds and Eric Hoffer has laid out for us in The True Believer, an analysis of mass movements and the dynamics of fanaticism. It’s hard not to get swept along when we are told every day by our news anchors, newspaper editors, digital platforms, elected politicians and “science guys,” who have their own agenda of profit and power, that flood, fire and hurricane are our imminent future, that icebergs are melting by the minute and polar bears are starving, that Pacific islands are sinking, and that millions of people are about to starve. The overwhelming consensus of our experts and authorities cannot be accidental or wrong, can it?

But consensus is a funny thing. It can change unpredictably, very much like our weather reports. Paradigms tend to shift rapidly. Not so long ago, we might recall, we were all getting ready to freeze. As I indicated in a previous article for The Pipeline, in 1971 the Global Ecology network forecast the “continued rapid cooling of the earth.” In 1975 the New York Times brooded that the earth “may be headed for another ice age.” In the March 1975 issue of Science, we were informed that “the approach of a full-blown 10,000-year ice age [was] a real possibility,” and in the July 1975 issue of National Wildlife, C.C. Wallen of the World Meteorological Organization warned that “the cooling since 1940 has been large enough and consistent enough that it will not soon be reversed.” (Much of this information can be found in a provocative Forbes article by Gary Sutton).

Turn the calendar page and we are all getting ready to bake. As Robertas Bakula explains in The American Institute for Economic Research, dodgy statistics, ideological zealotry and partisan massaging of data work to falsely establish that “the scientific consensus on the human origins of climate change is beyond doubt.” Nothing could be further from the truth. He continues: “Thus it is not surprising to see an array of messiahs, from honestly concerned activists to self-righteous politicians, gather in their congregations, prophesize doomsday, and come up with their genocidal plans to banish all evil, that is, reliable energy.” 

Coming to a planet near you.

The original consensus may have been closer to the truth. Climatologist Kenneth Tapping of the National Research Council of Canada concluded in 2008 that sunspot activity, the driver of global temperatures, had diminished to the point of presaging the onset of colder winters and widespread cooling. Global warming was a temporary phenomenon. A decade later, The Science Times reported that it would appear the earth is indeed cooling, signaled by “a surprisingly long period of very low sunspot activity.” A decreasing number of sunspots is crucial, leading to changing climate cycles and declining temperatures.  

Such events were experienced during a period known as the Dalton Minimum (1790-1830) and earlier during the Maunder Minimum (1645-1715), established from data based on carbon-14 content in tree rings. Both minima were synonymous with the Little Ice Age (1350-1850).

As Brian Fagan writes in The Little Ice Age, evidence for the period derives from radiocarbon dating of dead plant material collected from beneath the ice caps of Greenland and the Arctic. In the words of Historical Climatology, “growing seasons shortened, food shortages spread, economies unraveled, and rebellions and revolutions were quick to follow.” This suggests the time may now have come for political caution and scientific revaluation of the warming hypothesis. As the journal Phys.Org observes, “The sun is now on track to have the lowest recorded sunspot activity since accurate records began in 1750.”

Further corroboration is provided by Arnab Rai Choudhuri’s fascinating study Nature’s Third Cycle, which explains the daunting complexities of “solar dynamo theory” and “meridional  circulation inside the sun’s convection zone,” furnishing evidence for drastically reduced sunspot activity and the prospect of cooling summers and harsh winters to come. Although “precise theoretical calculations are hardly possible in climate science,” Choudhury remarks, we seem to be heading toward a cryogenic future, utterly unprepared to adopt contingency plans to adjust to and cope with colder temperatures and its attendant miseries—a condition that Choudhuri calls “the verdict from the Sun-God.”

Old and busted: "global warming."

The debate will continue to rage. The science is quite definitely “unsettled,” as Steven Koonin, a moderate among climatologists, tells us in his book of that title. In his just released Hot Talk, Cold Science, Fred Singer believes that “modest warming is likely to occur in the century ahead,” and that it should be welcomed. Carbon is our friend.

Brian Fagan, whose knowledge of the Little Ice Age is unquestionable, is a true believer in global warming and the advent or “record-breaking heat, mild winters [and] Category 5 Hurricanes.” Unlike Singer, he stresses that global warming must be mitigated. Energy and Technology scientist Peter Taylor’s Chill: A Reassessment of Global Warming Theory, which appeared ten years before Fagan’s volume, is a penetrating antidote to Fagan’s consensus thinking.

The prestigious Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, for its part, vigorously disagrees with both Singer and Fagan. “Our main message,” it proclaims, “is that global climate is moving in a direction that makes abrupt climate change more probable… and the consequences of ignoring this may be large. For those of us living around the edge of the N. Atlantic Ocean, we may be planning for climate scenarios of global warming that are opposite to what might actually occur.” Resistance to the prevailing narrative of thermogenic catastrophism is growing. 

In its November 23 edition, The Epoch Times reports on an interview with British scientist Valentina Zharkova, a member of the department of Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering at Northumbria University, who foresees “the onset of a grand solar minimum between 2020 and 2053 [that could] reduce global temperatures by up to 1 degree Celsius.” Zharkova warns that “governments in the Northern Hemisphere should prepare their citizens for a sharp downturn in temperatures during the next several decades.” She also believes that some scientists involved in promoting global warming are aware of the prospect of terrestrial cooling, but want to profit from green technology “as soon as possible, because they will be exposed very quickly.”

Into the sunny uplands of Green! Maybe.

Admittedly, the dilemma of consensuality is not easily resolved. One can only go with the best evidence available after diligent inquiry and honest appraisal, aided by a certain saving skepticism. As Peter Taylor advises, “I would urge these people uneducated in science to trust their ability to think for themselves and to use this material to open up discussion and further study.” Whenever one hears the word “consensus” in the news or on any Internet site, a warning light should flash where the idea bulb is presumably located.

In the present circumstance of cold fury and heated controversy, the global cooling hypothesis is well attested by reputable scientists who do not depend on academic approval and government grants serving to promote a political ideology—and who are regularly censored as iconoclasts and purveyors of “misinformation” by social media and the influential digital platforms, generally a sign that a maverick truth is being deliberately suppressed. However unsettled the issue remains, they are worth attending to.

Suffer the Little Children

Headlined in an article published in Nature on July 20, 2021: “Deaths from Covid ‘incredibly rare’ among children.” The figures tend to be murky. Deliberately so, I’m inclined to believe. Nevertheless, it seems clear enough that almost all, perhaps all, of the relatively tiny number of children aged 5- to 11-years-of-age who have died from Covid have, in fact, died with Covid; having had serious underlying illnesses or disabilities of one kind or another, including untoward obesity.

Choose your virologist, immunologist or epidemiologist if you want a view that suits your own. They can be found. One of my choices is Yale epidemiology professor Dr. Harvey Risch. He’s often on Fox News. I prefer his cautionary approach when it comes to children. Keep them home-schooled rather than compulsorily vaxxed in school, he argues. Do no harm, rings a bell with me. This, from Dr. Eric Rubin, doesn’t. He’s professor of immunology at Harvard, and a member of the FDA advisory committee. When asked, prior to FDA approval, about the safety of the Pfizer vaccine for children, he reportedly replied:

We’re never going to learn about how safe the vaccine is until we start giving it. That’s just the way it goes.

Why are children akin to lab rats among those on the left? Rubin will be of the left; no doubt about that. You will know them by their utterances. I struggle, but think it is to do with the greater good, as they see it, trumping individual rights. If a child must die to save ten old people; well, do the sums.

Do it for the children.

Used to take coffee each week with a couple of blokes who lived in the same apartment building. Unsurprisingly, both were somewhat to the left of me but the conversation was convivial. Progressively, pun intended, the group grew by another four, including one dreadful feminist harpy. As the group grew, so did its centre of gravity move radically leftwards. I divorced the group to remain sane. I doubt they missed me, being unchallenged henceforth when swapping agenda-driven distortions and lies.

There was a gay marriage postal plebiscite in Australia in November 2017. As you might imagine I was the only one of seven who voted no, but that’s by the way. One bloke, a member of Australian Skeptics (skeptical of everything except for global warming) and vice president of a humanist fringe group, the Secular Party of Australia, was particularly far gone. He provided us all with a draft of a submission his party intended to make to government; arguing, in part, that the needs of gay ‘married’ couples needed to be weighed in deciding whether they could adopt babies and young children. I annotated his draft, before returning it, with NO, NO, NO! It didn’t influence his final submission.

But you see, being far gone leftwards, he took very little account of the rights of babies and infants who can’t speak for themselves. He seemed not to comprehend that their welfare in the matter of adoption is not only paramount but all that counts, whoever is adopting them. It isn’t something that can be put in the context of the greater good. But he was prepared to stack the interests of gay couples against the interests of babies and infants; presumably, to serve, in his warped mind, the greater good. And by this route, I come back to my point.

Governments and medical authorities seem prepared to stack the interests of aging adults against the interests of children. This thinking is so estranged from the thinking of yesteryear that we, those of us who’ve retained moral standards of the quite recent past, are thrown off balance. Effectively, we are at sea. Answer: set the compass due north and steer towards truth, justice and the American way, so to speak. No compromise. Put false trails into stark relief.

There is no medical justification for vaccinating young children against Covid.  Older children too for that matter. To all intents and purposes, they face no risk from the virus. How much risk they face from the vaccine, whichever one, is unknown with any certainty. In normal course, the vaccines would not be given to children. If the principal rationale is to inhibit the spread of the virus among adults; it’s unconscionable. Close enough to evil to scare me. Yet it’s happening.

What am I, a lab rat?

Countries are already doing it. Israel started in late November, as did Canada and the United States. Reports out of the U.K. suggest it may start there in the spring.  When the FDA gave its tick of approval for vaccinating twenty-eight million 5- to 11-year-olds in the U.S., Emma McBryde, an infectious-diseases modeller at the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine in Townsville said, “it will save lives.” She went on:

But it could also have a broader impact, given that many US children aged 5 to 11 have returned to school unvaccinated in the past few months, and the group now accounts for a significant portion of new Covid-19 cases, capable of transmitting the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 to others… For every child’s life you save, you may well save many, many more adult lives.

Catch the pointed end bit. Exactly how many children are worth putting at unwarranted risk from vaccines to save adult lives; and mostly aged adult lives? Median age of death from Covid in Australia in 2020 equals 87 years (82 years for deaths from all causes). No child has died.

But, amid the ridiculously hyped-up Omicron kerfuffle, Professor Paul Kelly, Australia’s chief medical officer, said that he was awaiting advice from the TGA (Australia's equivalent to the FDA) on offering vaccines to 5- to 11-year-olds. For what possible legitimate purpose?  And notice the word offering, implying a free choice. Really, exactly how long would it be before little Jill and Johnny were singled out as unvaxxed pariahs?

Finally, I have begun to realise that my erstwhile coffee companion is, in fact, no further gone leftwards than is the whole apparatus of governments throughout most of the world; and throw in most of the media; and, regrettably, most of the medical establishment. There is little remaining to know about the malign influence of the left. Yet, its influence has been even more pernicious than might have been thought possible. Locking children out of school is bad enough. Societies which are prepared to play fast and loose with children’s very lives have surely lost all moral compass.

Science Ain't What it Used to Be

The year 1905 is referred to as Albert Einstein's Annus Mirabilis. In that twelve-month span Einstein published four papers which revolutionized our understanding of the laws of physics. The titles of those papers are as follows: First, "On a Heuristic Viewpoint Concerning the Production and Transformation of Light;" Second, "On the Motion of Small Particles Suspended in a Stationary Liquid, as Required by the Molecular Kinetic Theory of Heat;" Third, "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies;" and last of all, "Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?"

Don't worry -- I will not attempt a gloss of any of these essays, nor any discussion of "special relativity" or that most famous of equations (first proposed in the final paper) E = mc2. I mention them only to point out that, once upon a time, scientific papers were generally about science. Nowadays, well, not so much.

This is the thought that occurred to me as I read through a new paper out of Cornell University by Mark Lynas, Benjamin Houlton, and Simon Perry, entitled "Greater than 99 percent consensus on human caused climate change in the peer-reviewed scientific literature." As the title suggests, the object of the paper is to demonstrate the tired old talking point that 99 percent of scientists accept the supposed scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change.

Everybody agrees!

According to the abstract, "questions over the scientific consensus of the role of human activities in modern climate change continue to arise in public settings," (might this have something to do with the fact that one side of the debate cites it constantly?) the authors have decided to demonstrate said consensus "by searching the recent literature for papers [skeptical] of anthropogenic-caused global warming." They compiled 88,125 "climate-related papers" published since 2012, "examine[d] a randomized subset of 3000" of those papers, and searched them for keywords which would suggest that they are, in fact, skeptical of the standard environmentalist argument. As fewer than one percent met the criteria, the authors concluded,

[W]ith high statistical confidence that the scientific consensus on human-caused contemporary climate change—expressed as a proportion of the total publications—exceeds 99 percent in the peer reviewed scientific literature.

This, it needs hardly be said, is not science. Science is, in the words of Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, a method for testing "empirical theories through controlled investigation." "Scientific knowledge," he goes on, "is always, at least in theory, subject to further disproof by further experiment." This is why appeals to "consensus" ring so hollow --the sheer number of scientists doesn't matter at all. What matters are their arguments, and an engagement with the actual arguments of skeptics is notably lacking here. So notably in fact that the authors feel compelled to point it out: "An in-depth evaluation of [the] merits [of the skeptical papers] is outside the scope of this paper." To which one must reply, 'then what does your paper contribute to this discussion?' Almost nothing, except that it enables gullible journalists to claim that, according to a new paper, 99 percent of scientists agree. This whole project was in the service of future headlines.

The science is settled, Albert.

There's more to be said on this topic -- we could cite the work of Princeton physicist and self-described climate "heretic," Freeman Dyson, who passed away last year, or the more recent work of Michael Shellenberger and Bjørn Lomborg (the latter of whom once had a pie thrown at him by the lead author of this paper for his climate skepticism), who've done yeoman's work pushing back on the scientists who thoughtlessly accept environmentalist readings of the data at hand. We might even mention the gobs of money pumped into climate science every year with the implicit understanding that it will go towards demonstrating that we're doomed.

But it will suffice to say that Albert Einstein's papers were, in fact, a major deviation from the consensus of his day. We're all richer for his having dared to disagree.

How Covid-19 Killed Academic Tenure

Academic tenure has long been controversial and imperfect—and now, in one fell swoop, it is dead, killed by progressives under the guise of Covid-19 safety. The manner of its killing tells us much about progressives’ respect for individual rights. 

Defenders of tenure for university professors once claimed that it offered necessary protection against the combined forces of corporate funding and political correctness, a multi-headed hydra which if unchecked would prevent academics from conducting honest research into topics of their choosing.

Others argued that tenure was mainly harmful, making it costly to dismiss university faculty members who collected large salaries without fulfilling their teaching and research duties. In practice, as organizations such as the National Association of Scholars and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education warned, tenure repeatedly showed itself incapable of protecting those who needed it most. Dissident intellectuals often found themselves on the wrong side of disciplinary committees, dismissed from their positions for alleged harassment and/or vaguely defined “misconduct.” Many of these academics’ troubles began because they were ideological outliers in a punitively progressivist milieu.  

Guilty!

Until now, however, there was at least a semblance of due process. Though they were often targeted unfairly, persecuted academics were at least notified well in advance of proceedings against them; allowed to attempt a fact-based self-defense; examined by a committee convened for the specific purpose of hearing the evidence; given the opportunity to hire a lawyer or enlist the assistance of their faculty association/union; and if terminated given written notice of their particular transgressions. Inadequate and biased as it often was, some formal fact-finding procedure was observed.

In the time of Covid, however, mass firings are in preparation at universities across North America without even a pretense of case-by-case consideration or rational weighing of evidence—tenure be damned. 

The mere evocation of “safety” is now enough to authorize firings without investigation on grounds not covered by any faculty member’s Collective Agreement and notably without public protest from faculty associations, bodies which once existed solely to protect the working conditions and rights of faculty members. Outside of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, this is an unprecedented situation so far being greeted with stunning silence from the professoriate. 

Under the new Covid dispensation, professors are simply notified that, if they do not produce proof of vaccination by a certain (arbitrarily chosen) date, a disciplinary process will be commenced with an end-point of termination. 

The University of Waterloo, a large research university in southern Ontario, is one among many universities that began sending out the equivalent of pink slips on the Friday before Canadian Thanksgiving (Oct. 11 this year), informing what it called “non-compliant” employees that the deadline to provide proof of vaccination is October 17, 2021.  

The letter, sent to me by a University of Waterloo employee, states that unless “alternative work options” (left conveniently vague) can be found, employees who do not provide the required proof of vaccination will be placed on a 42-day “unpaid suspension,” presumably in order to think over the prospect of the total wreckage of a once-secure and remunerative career. Then, “[i]f the individual remains non-compliant 14 days before the end of the 42-day suspension, they will receive a letter indicating that their pay and benefits will cease as at the end of the suspension.” No appeal procedure is mentioned.

Following up on this dire statement, the letter informs employees that “the vaccination form is quick and easy to complete”—as if mere cumbersome documentation were hindering compliance—and that “personal information will be kept confidential in compliance with statutory privacy requirements and will only be shared with individuals for the purpose of program administration.” It’s presumably a relief to know that, having been coerced to take an experimental medication in order to keep one’s position, the violation takes place under cover of confidentiality. The obvious fact that hundreds of people on campus will easily guess why “non-compliant” employees are being suspended—thus violating the privacy promised—is not acknowledged.   

No science-based rationale is offered for the extraordinary statement of compulsion. The extremely low infection-fatality rate for Covid-19, particularly for healthy individuals under 65 (the super-majority of those studying and teaching on campus) is never mentioned. The now well-documented failure of vaccines to protect against infection and transmission is also left unmentioned; alas, the evidence reveals that vaccinated individuals are just as likely as the unvaccinated to transmit Covid-19, even in conditions where all are vaccinated. The unseemly haste reeks of a political desire to purge the non-conforming. 

No attempt is made in the letter to explain why provisions in the Universal Declaration on Bio-Ethics and Human Rights are flagrantly violated by the measure. The Universal Declaration makes clear that medical treatments must never be coerced, must always be informed and entirely voluntary (not carried out under conditions of duress) and that the good of society or of science must never take precedence over the individual human right to choose. 

No provisions are made in the letter for individuals with natural immunity, which scientific evidence shows to be at least as effective as, and likely far more effective than, vaccination. The humane alternative of enabling the unvaccinated to carry on their duties off campus—as had been done for well over a year before the advent of the vaccines—is gestured toward, but not in any way guaranteed. 

Accommodation is offered only “for unique cases where individuals cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons or protected human rights grounds,” but it is not made clear how such accommodation decisions will be made or why university administrators are qualified to make them. One of the main grounds for a human rights accommodation would be an exemption for a sincerely-held religious belief, and it is far from self-evident that a group of secular leftists—with many avowed Marxists—can discern or appreciate the sincerity of any such beliefs.

No velvet glove needed any more.

In a final paragraph full of unintended irony, the letter informs the non-compliant that “If you are struggling with your mental health during these changing times, reach out for support […],” providing the names of various university agencies, none of which, of course, will provide any actual support in resisting the vaccination mandate, and none of which, given the demonizing tenor of communications regarding non-compliance, will likely even be able to express genuine empathy for an employee about to be terminated. If the termination of your employment leads to suicidal despair or health-damaging stress, you’re on your own. 

This is the new university: fully collectivist and tyrannically indifferent to individual rights of conscience or choice. Over the past 30 years, the progressivists infiltrated and took over the academy. Their ruthless determination, always under cover of benign rhetoric about "inclusion" and "safety," should always have been evident; now its vaunting brutality is unmistakable.

Pelosi's Delusion: Catholics Can be Pro-Choice

No doubt the fires of Hell burned a little warmer and brighter at the Vatican this weekend as Pope Francis met with U.S. speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

The geriatric speaker, 81, and the daughter of a mobbed-up family of Baltimore politicians whose brother Franklin D. Roosevelt d'Alesandra was once arrested for statutory rape, and of course skated on both that charge and another for perjury, was lucky in her choice of popes. Although Francis has called abortion "murder," as the Church has long taught, he has also resisted the notion of some American bishops to deny the sacrament of communion to nominally Catholic politicians who support it.

Indeed, Pelosi was recently criticized by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, her place of residence, after the Speaker claimed to be a devout Catholic who supports a woman’s right to have an abortion.

No one can claim to be a devout Catholic and condone the killing of innocent human life, let alone have the government pay for it,The right to life is a  fundamental—the most fundamental—human right, and Catholics do not oppose fundamental human rights. To use the smokescreen of abortion as an issue of health and fairness to poor women is the epitome of hypocrisy: what about the health of the baby being killed? What about giving poor women real choice, so they are supported in choosing life? This would give them fairness and equality to women of means, who can afford to bring a child into the world.

There are really three distinct ways to look at human life. One, that human life is unique and involves a God-given soul that is given to each person at the moment of conception. Anyone who believes that cannot and should not support abortion in any way. If you are of this frame of mind, then no one has a “right” to an abortion any more than any person has a “right” to blow away an annoying two-year-old.

We should certainly be tolerant of women who choose abortion, as we should be tolerant of all sinners since, after all, we  too are sinners. But to love the sinner does not mean one should approve of the sin.

Why is this man smiling?

The second way to look at human life is to say that we are uncertain of its significance. Perhaps it is unique and perhaps it involves a soul. Perhaps it is neither. Perhaps one applies, but not the other. We simply do not know and it is up to each person to figure out what he or she believes.

This is of course the classic path that justifies the legality of abortion. Since people can disagree about when human life begins and what makes human life different, each prospective mother should be able to make a choice that is consistent with her beliefs.

Speaker Pelosi is free to be an advocate of this line of thinking, but she needs to be crystal clear that to a Catholic – specifically the “devout Catholic” she claims to be – this reasoning is completely and unalterably inconsistent with the Catholic faith. It is as inconsistent as claiming to be a devout Catholic who supports a communicant’s “right” sell the Eucharist to devil-worshipers.

Catholics believe some things are sacred, such as the Eucharist and human life from the moment of conception. There is no “wiggle room” that allows us to say its all right for someone to abuse or destroy what is sacred.

It is worth noting that the original Roe v. Wade decision recognized that medical advances would make the life of a fetus outside the womb more and more possible at earlier and earlier stages of pregnancy as medical science advanced. Thus the “trimester formula” was part of the decision: no abortions allowed in the third trimester, abortions possible but limited in the second trimester, and abortions allowed in the first trimester. (And yes, I’m over-simplifying, but this is a column, not a legal treatise).

So why are late term abortions routinely performed? Because there were two escape clauses incorporated in Roe: 1) the court said that a fetus is not a person and thus not entitled to protection under the 14th amendment (thanks Potter Stewart), and 2) if the health of the mother was at stake, then abortions could happen at any time. In a subsequent decision the court decided that the “health of the mother” essentially included her emotional state, ergo if being pregnant made a woman sad, she could have an abortion whenever she wants, ergo any woman can have an abortion whenever she wants.

There is third way to look at human life: that it is neither unique nor involves a soul. It is a mere accident of nature. This is the depressing view of the atheist, a materialistic doctrine that values human life no more than that of a rat or a stalk of corn. It holds that we blinked into existence for our short stay in the material world and will blink out of it, never to manifest any other form of existence. We just disappear.

You can say that again.

This mindset not only finds abortion a perfectly reasonable proposition, it eventually leads to the horrors of eugenics and euthanasia. Indeed, Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger was primarily interested in using birth control as a means to prevent the spread of what she considered to be “mongrel races” like our black- and yellow-skinned brothers and sisters. It is an evil way of thinking that spawns systems like Nazism and Communism.

As a Catholic, I fully recognize the problems my church has had and the mistakes that it has made. It is a human institution and human beings are fallible. But there is no mistaking the Catholic view that abortion is the taking of a human life and no Catholic should support it. Pelosi, like Joe Biden -- another nominal Catholic -- needs to pick a lane.

Of Coin Flips and 'Climate Change'

Heads I win, tails you lose. That might as well be the motto of the left these days, and not least of its Green flank.

For instance, it has become a commonplace that whenever anyone anywhere jokes during winter that global warming sounds nice right about now, for leftist condemnation to come in hot and heavy. As Eric Felton reminds us, when Donald Trump tossed off a one-liner to that effect during a speech on a frigid day in 2019, he was bitterly mocked by environmentalists. Anthony Leiserowitz of Yale's project on climate change communication (yes, such a thing does exist) said that the then-president's comment was "scientifically ridiculous and demonstrably false," adding,

There is a fundamental difference in scale between what weather is and what climate is. What's going on in one small corner of the world at a given moment does not reflect what's going on with the planet.

Good to know. But its hard not to notice that whenever it suits their purposes Greens will unreflectively sling bowls of hot, steamy, anecdata with the best of them. Have you noticed that you hear more about hurricanes during hurricane season these days? Climate change! Still wearing shortsleeves on Halloween? Climate change! Catch the news about that big tornado down south? Climate change!

As noted college drop-out and rich guy Derek Jeter said at Davos a few years ago, "[W]e’re seeing more and more natural disasters each year... Something has to be causing it.” Something other than the 24 hour news cycle and the rise of social media, I think he means.

Felton has a helpful evaluation of this summer's hottest example of this observation bias, the heat wave that hit the Pacific Northwest which saw temperatures consistently exceeding 100ºF. In a piece for RealClear Investigations, he discusses an organization called World Weather Attribution, "a group organized not just to attribute extreme weather events to climate change, but to do so quickly." While the heatwave was still ongoing, WWA put out a statement claiming that they'd analyzed the data and that the extreme weather would have been “virtually impossible without human-caused climate change.”

Considering their mission statement, it's hard to label this conclusion a shocker. But their claim of scientific objectivity gave cover to virtually every mainstream media outlet to confidently report that the heat was attributable to climate change. So saith the science!

Science!

Or saidth -- until a climatologist named Cliff Mass took the time to actually look through the data himself and came to an entirely different conclusion. Mass happens to be an expert in the weather of the Pacific Northwest -- he has actually written a book entitled 'The Weather of the Pacific Northwest' -- and his own weather models accurately predicted the heatwave.

According to Felton, Mass's modeling suggested that "global warming might have been responsible for two degrees of the near 40-degree anomaly. With or without climate change, Mass wrote, the region 'still would have experienced the most severe heat wave of the past century'." In short, the true culprit was the environmentalist movement's least favorite -- “natural variability.”

Mass made it a point to call out the shoddiness of World Weather Attribution's analysis, and they responded to his critique, saying that his report was "misleading and incorrect." But Felton notes that, after the release of Mass's study, WWA's statements on the topic were much more cautious and equivocating.

Let us all be inspired by their belated humility. Caution is king, at least where climate science is concerned. Better to be cautious than embarrassed when someone comes along and checks your work.

A Telescope for Social Justice: No White Men Need Apply

A cosmic storm is roiling the Astrophysics community. Focused on the name of a NASA space telescope, the controversy is one more in a decade-long whirlwind of accusation that has made clear to straight white men that their days of pursuing science free of guilt and obeisance are decisively over. 

As an academic field, Astrophysics became 'woke’ years ago and is now one of the most rigidly doctrinaire of the hard sciences. It has seen numerous purity campaigns against non-believers, first against insufficiently feminist-compliant men. A blog called Women in Astronomy promotes indignant tales of female suffering, profiling young women shattered when men expressed sexual or romantic interest, or deeply hurt when researcher Matt Taylor, whose team put a space probe on a comet, appeared on television wearing an ‘inappropriate’ shirt

In one of the field’s most public spats about female victimhood, renowned Italian particle physicist Alessandro Strumia was ejected from CERN, the prestigious European center for high-energy physics research, after he presented a meticulously documented conference paper arguing that the targeted hiring of women into STEM positions was neither necessary nor wise. For this, he was denounced as a misogynist in a histrionic open letter by Particles for Justice, a posse of modern-day Puritans who hunt academic thought criminals, led by New Hampshire University physicist Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, a self-described “activist for equality in science” and AI researcher Brian Nord of the University of Chicago.

On guard against toxic masculinity.

Strumia need not have bothered. Fealty to the principles of “diversity,” especially to the dogma that women and people of color should always be hired and promoted over white men, is now an accepted requirement in Astronomy departments across the western world. Denunciations of misogyny, heterosexism, and anti-blackness have become the primary preoccupations of many astronomy researchers, at least some of whom seem to spend far more time and energy agitating for social justice than studying the heavens. Last year, these crusaders organized a one-day Strike for Black Lives, during which they stopped work to discuss white supremacy (it says something about the nature of their work that nobody noticed the stoppage) and joined with Indigenous activists to prevent the building of the world’s largest telescope on Mauna Kea, a Hawaiian mountain deemed sacred.

The latest ideological conflict is more purely symbolic. It concerns NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, the flagship NASA project due for official launch later this year. According to NASA’s website, the Webb will be “the largest, most powerful and complex space telescope ever built and launched into space,” and will provide unprecedented opportunities for research on the origins of galaxies as well as on stars and planetary systems in process of formation. Complementing and extending the work made possible by the Hubble, Webb will revolutionize insight into our universe.

James E. Webb (1906-1992) was NASA’s administrator in the years 1961-1968, shepherding NASA through what was arguably its period of most outstanding progress. He transformed the agency into a highly focused research organization intent on achieving manned flight and a moon landing. It was as a result of Webb’s prescience that NASA developed rockets not only for military and propaganda purposes but for scientific ones as well, with the aim of using American technology to learn about Earth’s solar system and beyond. Without that focus, the Hubble would never have been constructed and astronomical research would have been set back by decades. Every astronomer working today owes a debt to Webb. 

But gratitude is in short supply among today’s warriors for social justice, who object to honoring Webb’s memory. Led by Particles for Justice founders Prescod-Weinstein and Nord, and joined by Sarah Tuttle and Lucianne Walkowicz, they are lobbying NASA to find a more suitable (i.e. non-white and non-male) candidate, one who represents “our highest values” for which they conveniently nominate themselves the arbiters. Webb is disqualified because of a less than pristine personal history as a government official during the Cold War. 

James Webb: on trial for insufficient Wokeness.

According to the four doyennes of woke Astronomy, who recently published in Scientific American their argument for why “The James Webb Space Telescope Needs to Be Renamed,” Webb was complicit “in homophobic discrimination in the federal government.” It is now well known that federal government employees who were homosexual were believed particularly vulnerable to blackmail by Soviet agents; Webb worked for the federal government at the time the policy of barring homosexual employees from the civil service was discussed and implemented, resulting in hundreds of firings over a period of more than a decade. 

It is not known that Webb himself pursued the policy with any zeal—or even that he did anything more than passively acquiesce, as the vast majority of people today acquiesce in workplace policies that may, more than half a century from now, be deemed discriminatory and unjust—but for the proponents of LGBTQ liberation, he was “a facilitator” of homophobia who deserves to be purged in turn. The sum total of the case against Webb deserves to be quoted at length so as to reveal its lack of substance:

When he arrived at NASA in 1961, his leadership role meant he was in part responsible for implementing what was by then federal policy: the purging of LGBT individuals from the workforce. When he was at State, this policy was enforced by those who worked under him. As early as 1950, he was aware of this policy, which was a forerunner to the antigay witch hunt known today as the lavender scare. Historian David K. Johnson’s 2004 book on the subject, The Lavender Scare, discusses archival evidence indicating that Webb, along with others in State Department leadership, was involved in Senate discussions that ultimately kicked off a devastating series of federal policies.

In other words, there is no evidence whatsoever that Webb himself favored, developed, or actively implemented anti-gay legislation. He was, in the authors’ deliberately vague words, “in part responsible” and “aware” of a policy “enforced by [others].” The worst that can be said, it seems, is that “there is no record of him choosing to stand up for the humanity of those being persecuted.” Note, here, how absence of evidence becomes evidence of absence, a classic logical fallacy.

The question that remains is what any of this has to do with a space telescope; or, more specifically, why the astronomy research community should care about James Webb’s failure to be a pro-gay activist at a time when being one would almost certainly have accomplished nothing aside from the sabotaging of his own career, likely with the result that he would never have been able to promote astronomical research at NASA.

The anti-Webb activists have no answer except the melodramatic assertion that “many queer scientists fundamentally do not feel safe in their workplaces” today and a febrile rhetorical question: “What signal does it send,” they ask, “to current and future generations of scientists when we prioritize the legacies of complicit government officials over the dreams of the next generation?” 

I’m not sure who nominated these authors the adjudicators of the next generation’s dreams, but even conceding them such authority cannot disguise their use of a false dilemma. Naming a telescope after Webb doesn’t send any particular signal about gay rights, now firmly established in American law and attitudes. If the naming sends any signal, it is simply that a man like Webb deserves recognition for his demonstrated contribution to astronomical research. 

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. Maybe you should.

Purging him, on the other hand, sends a stark signal about the runaway craze of cancel culture, confirming that decades after one’s death, one’s legitimate achievements can be smeared by activists who comb through every recorded utterance and action to find the taint of a retroactively-imposed ethical failure. So convinced are the authors that they have arrived at the end of history that they cannot imagine themselves condemned for an insufficient defense of another’s humanity.

The authors’ choice to replace Webb is almost laughably formulaic. They advocate the telescope’s renaming after an escaped 19th century slave woman and abolitionist, Harriet Tubman. It is not known that Tubman ever gave a thought to astronomical research, but the activists claim that she “almost certainly used the North Star […] to navigate her way to freedom.” If that seems a tenuous connection to high-level astronomical research, then you undoubtedly haven’t engaged in an extensive enough consideration of white male evil. As we are informed, “The time for lionizing leaders who acquiesced in a history of harm is over.” That puts 99.9 percent of the people who lived before us in the west firmly out of the running for commemoration.

Harriet Tubman: hidden figure?

Anyone thinking that a call of such manifest over-reach might be ignored has not taken the febrile temperature of Departments of Astrophysics over the last decade. The appeal has received widespread support, with signatories to petitions registering their opposition to Webb’s memorialization, and NASA officials now running scared. A ponderous article “NASA investigates renaming James Webb telescope after anti-LGBT + claims” explains that NASA officials are reviewing archival documents to investigate the extent of Webb’s “crimes” and will render a decision upon completion of the investigation. 

In the short term, NASA officials have little to gain and much to lose in standing firm for Webb. I won’t be surprised if the agency announces, after a suitable period of consideration, that it has found a progressive icon to replace the discredited white man. 

Like the forced acquiescence of sports teams, browbeaten into changing their names or removing mascots and logos, the chastisement and bullying of NASA will set an extraordinary precedent. Why should demands halt with Webb? How is it that the Hubble Space Telescope has retained its imprimatur: surely something insalubrious could be found in the life of its namesake? Why not purge all scientific instruments and discoveries of harmful white male names, beginning with Halley’s Comet, Newton’s Laws of Motion, and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity? Only time will tell which pale male will be next in line for elimination.

Regarding Covid, What Are 'Breakthroughs'?

Amid the welter of conflicting reports, contradictory information, breathless warnings and a veritable blizzard of confusing statistics regarding the efficacy of the Covid vaccines, especially with respect to the Delta variant, one is hard put to determine a proper course of action. Should people enthusiastically embrace the official push to vaccine compliance or retain a saving skepticism about these new wonder drugs, which have been rushed to market in record time and in a manner granting pharmaceutical companies immunity from liability?

In my estimation, there is every reason to remain skeptical. Organizations like Global Research, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeonstotalhealth.uk., the Belgian Medical Doctors and Health Professionals, various European Union Agencies and the CDC itself tell us that the vaccines are by no means reliable and may be hazardous to your health. In some cases, they may even be lethal. And most such findings are underreported by a factor of at least 5, since these rely on passive, voluntary sites like VAERS in the U.S. and Yellow Card in the U.K. 

Dr. Peter Doshi writes in the BMJ (British Medical Journal), a subsidiary of the British Medical Association, that the world:

has bet the farm on vaccines as the solution to the pandemic, but the trials are not focused on answering the questions many might assume they are… None of the trials currently under way are designed to detect a reduction in any serious outcome such as hospital admissions, use of intensive care, or deaths. Nor are the vaccines being studied to determine whether they can interrupt transmission of the virus… the truth is that the science remains far from clear cut.

As if this were not enough to induce a certain lack of confidence, renowned cardiologist Peter McCullough has added his testimony to the debate, asserting that the vaccines are not safe and should not be recommended. He is one of many.

A new category of alarm has recently entered the discussion about the prevalence of what are called “breakthrough cases” where the vaccines do not appear to have provided reliable immunity from the disease and its variants. Again, the statistics are confounding, depending on where one gets one’s information. On the one hand, breakthroughs may be infinitesimal. On the other, breakthroughs may be distressingly frequent, fully vaccinated people displaying all the symptoms of the disease. Which is it? I suspect that the fly in the ointment is more like the elephant in the room. 

Just say... let's think about it.

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, while recommending vaccination, admits that vaccines “still don't prevent the spread of the disease because of the mutation.” The New York Post reports on a CDC study claiming that the virus, primarily in the form of the Delta variant, and may be transmissible by vaccinated people who suffer “breakthrough” infections. A Covid-19 outbreak in Massachusetts occurred mainly among vaccinated people: “74 percent occurred among the fully vaccinated, according to a new CDC study.” The beat goes on.

The vaccines may be not only harmful as many top-tier virologists and immunologists have stated, but also basically ineffective against the virus. There is, however, another possibility to consider. As I have written in a previous article for The Pipeline, world-celebrated virologist and Nobel Laureate Luc Montagnier argues: 

the vaccines and viral variants go hand in hand, owing to a condition called antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE), a phenomenon in which virus-specific antibodies enhance the entry of the virus and may also cause viral replication. Variants will continue to proliferate as a direct result of the vaccines themselves.

His explication is technically complex but convincing, in my opinion. (Montagnier has been panned by “liberal” sites galore, but his credentials are impeccable and theirs are not.) Similarly, the highly respected medical journal Vaccine has released a study exposing the danger of vaccine-caused long-term healing complications. This means that the vaccines could aggravate viral infections, resulting in a “covid spike.” 

If such is in fact the case, the vaccines themselves may be responsible for the emergence of breakthroughs. Indeed, the word “breakthrough” may be deceptive. What we may be witnessing is not a “breakthrough” but a malignant side-effect of the vaccine itself, which will continue to be touted as an antidote when it might well be an amplifier.

Theories and hypotheses will obviously continue to abound and the issue will remain vexed, but there is more than sufficient confusion being generated to warrant at least some degree of hesitancy. The stakes are too serious to fiddle with solutions that could prove to be toxins, in particular when there exist benign remedies and countermeasures like HCQ, Ivermectin, Zinc and Vitamin D3 supplements, when natural immunity is a significant factor, and when the recovery rate for the vast majority is extraordinarily high, as even the CDC has admitted. (Warning: do not trust the preponderance of hostile social media and progressivist “factcheckers” that have adopted a duplicitous label.)

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The first principle of the Nuremberg Code treating of medical ethics establishes reads:

The voluntary consent of the human subject is absolutely essential. This means that the person involved should…be able to exercise free power of choice, without…any element of force, fraud, deceit, duress, over-reaching, or other ulterior form of constraint or coercion, and should have sufficient knowledge and comprehension of the elements of the subject matter involved, as to enable him to make an understanding and enlightened decision.

The issue is that the plethora of conflicting reports renders an informed decision regarding taking the vaccine difficult to make. Under the circumstances, it should certainly not be mandated. It should be left up to the individual to determine whether or not he will allow a problematic substance to be injected into his body. 

The real breakthrough would be to lucidly consider one’s options, to be skeptical of an officialdom that had far too much skin in the game of persuasion, profit and power, and to refuse to be stampeded into unreasoning panic.