Summary: Fear rules our hearts, affecting people on both the Left and Right. It makes us easy to manipulate. We fear minorities. Terrorists. Socialized Health Care. Running out of oil. Chemicals. Climate change. And many more things. All of these are rational concerns. It’s the fear that makes us vulnerable to propaganda, which our ruling elites have seen and exploited (as rulers have done so often in the past, to so many peoples). Here’s a small example, nicely illustrating how fears are fed — and reason flees.
I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone
…. I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.
— The Litany against fear is an incantation used by the Bene Gesserit (from Frank Herbert’s 1965 book Dune)
Naked Capitalism posted links to How we became what we are today. See some dark origins of the New America and The secret, simple tool that persuades Americans. That molds our opinions. The replies showed that these posts hit a raw nerve. Rebuttals discussed things I didn’t say; some were to the opposite of what I said. I suspect their fear prevented them from directly addressing the issues I raised (which were, of course, speculative). It gets better.
One rebuttal was that I was a “climate denier”. I replied that —
I rely on the the IPCC and major climate agencies. … The larger firm conclusions of climate scientists: two centuries of warming, coming in pulses (ie, waves) … Anthropogenic warming has been the dominate factor for a century or longer (only since WW2). … The Earth’s atmosphere continues to warm, at an accelerating rate (not since roughly 2000).
The replies were quite odd, most assertions of tribal identity rather than debate. One reply in particular illustrated how fear works, this comment by Lidia:
The North Pole is a frickin’ LAKE, you ass. You are either being paid well for these posts, or you are off your meds. I swear, these Baghdad Bobs are going to be crowing about the earth cooling right up until their proteins start congealing from the heat.
Lidia links to one of the of stories about this photo, with the headline “The North Pole is now a lake” (82 thousand entries on Google).
Feel Lidia’s hysterical fear, fed by all the lies she’s been fed. Although she is no doubt intelligent and educated, Lidia’s fears appear to have driven away her sense. Note her delusional belief that I think the Earth is cooling, and that the Earth might warm more than today’s hottest deserts). Her statement is wrong on every level. She’s an eager consumer of a fake story that went viral — passed on by people who didn’t check with the source (exactly the same behavior they mock when conservatives circulate disinformation).
But times are changing. Two years ago a fable like this would circulate without rebuttal, except by skeptics — professional and amateurs — who would be ignored by journalists and science institutions. No longer. The scientists at the North Pole Environmental Observatory, operator of the cameras, quickly responded by posting “The NPEO web cameras and summer melt ponds”.
- The cameras are not at the North Pole, but 345 miles south.
- The melt pool lies on top of the ice, is only about 16 inches deep, and extends only 60 to 170 feet from the camera (it’s a wide angle lens).
- Most important, melt ponds are typical for this time of year at this location (there are pictures from summers in the 1950s of US submarines surfaced at the North Pole in open water).
Andy Revkin gently debunked this in an article at the New York Times’ Dot Earth column. This information was pointed out to Lidia — in vain, of course. Alarmists run from science like vampires from holy water.
More about the melting polar ice
Melting of the arctic ice is driven by warming, but there are other factors at work. The two most important are a natural one — changing wind patterns — and an anthropogenic one — increased deposits of soot (largely from burning of that arch-pollutant, coal in China). The IPCC reports spell this out, as it is mainstream consensus science. Here are some sources of more information.
(a) Non-technical articles about the effect of winds on polar sea ice:
- ”Winds, Ice Motion Root Cause Of Decline In Sea Ice, Not Warmer Temperatures”, Science Daily, 20 December 2004
- “NASA Examines Arctic Sea Ice Changes Leading to Record Low in 2007“, NASA, 1 October 2007 — “Nghiem said the rapid decline in winter perennial ice the past two years was caused by unusual winds..”
- “Wind contributing to Arctic sea ice loss, study finds“, The Guardian, 22 March 2010 — “New research does not question climate change is also melting ice in the Arctic, but finds wind patterns explain steep decline.”
- A major factor is The Arctic dipole anomaly, as explained by the National Snow and Ice Data Center, June 2010
- Report from the Alfred Wegener Institute, 8 June 2012 — “North-East Passage soon free from ice again? Winter measurements show thin sea ice in the Laptev Sea, pointing to early and large scale summer melt. … these clear differences are primarily attributable to the wind.”
(b) Some of the large body of research about wind’s effect on the arctic, usually ignored by journalists (it would ruin the narrative):
- “Fram Strait Ice Fluxes and Atmospheric Circulation: 1950–2000”, Torgny Vinje, Journal of Climate, August 2001
- “Response of Sea Ice to the Arctic Oscillation” by IGNATIUS G. RIGOR, Journal of Climate, 2002
- “Arctic decadal and interdecadal variability” by Igor V. Polyakov and Mark A. Johnson, American Meteorological Society, 15 September 2002
- “Variations in the Age of Arctic Sea-ice and Summer Sea-ice Extent”, Ignatius G. Rigor & John M. Wallace, Geophysical Research Letters, 8 May 2004
- “Arctic climate change: observed and modelled temperature and sea-ice variability“, Ola M. Johannessen et al, Tellus, August 2004
- “Rapid reduction of Arctic perennial sea ice“, S. V. Nghiem, Geophysical Research Letters, 4 October 2007 — Free copy here.
- “Global and regional climate changes due to black carbon“, V. Ramanathan, Nature Geoscience, August 2008
- “Summer retreat of Arctic sea ice: Role of summer winds“, Masayo Ogi, Geophysical Research Letters, 18 December 2008 — Free copy here.
- “Influence of winter and summer surface wind anomalies on summer Arctic sea ice extent“, Masayo Ogi et al, Geophysical Research Letters, 2 April 2010 — Free copy here.
- “Recent wind driven high sea ice export in the Fram Strait contributes to Arctic sea ice decline“, L. H. Smedsrud, et al, The Cryosphere Discussions, 5 May 2010
(c) For non-technical explanations about the effect of soot on polar ice:
- “Soot’s Dirty Hand in Global Warming“, Scientific American, 8 February 2001
- “Soot More Culpable in Climate Warming Than Expected“, Scientific American, 23 December 2003
- “Impure as the Driven Snow“, Scientific American, 8 June 2007 — “Soot is a bigger problem than greenhouse gases in polar meltdown.”
- “Best Hope for Saving Arctic Sea Ice Is Cutting Soot Emissions, Say Researchers“, ScienceDaily, 28 July 2010
(d) Samples of the large peer-reviewed literature about the effect on climate of soot (black carbon) deposits:
- “Soot climate forcing via snow and ice albedos“, James Hansen and Larissa Nazarenko, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 13 January 2004
- “Climate response of direct radiative forcing of anthropogenic black carbon“, Serena H. Chung and John H. Seinfeld, Journal of Geophysical Research, 1 June 2005 — Free copy here.
- “Aerosol organic carbon to black carbon ratios: Analysis of published data and implications for climate forcing“, T. Novakov, Journal of Geophysical Research, 8 November 2005 — Free copy here.
- Present-day climate forcing and response from black carbon in snow“, Mark G. Flanner at al, Journal of Geophysical Research, June 2007 — Free copy here.
- “Global and regional climate changes due to black carbon“, V. Ramanathan and G. Carmichae, Nature Geoscience, April 2008 — Free copy here.
- “Black soot and the survival of Tibetan glaciers“, Baiqing Xu et al, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 29 December 2009
- List of articles, with links, about black carbon deposits’ effect on climate, AGW Observer
For More Information
For more information see the other FM Reference Pages:
- Posts on the FM website about Climate and Science
- Science & nature – studies & reports
- Articles from the 1970′s about global cooling/warming
Other posts about the melting polar ice:
- About that melting arctic ice cap, 17 April 2010
- Fear or Fail: about the melting Greenland ice sheet,
24 May 2010
- About the coming sea ice Armageddon!, 19 June 2012
- Mother Jones sounds the alarm about global warming! This time about the north pole, 10 December 2012
Posts about Climate change propaganda:
- An example of important climate change research hidden, lest it spoil the media’s narrative, 22 May 2009
- An army of Davids storm the walls of the scientific establishment, 19 June 2009
- About those headlines of the past century about global cooling…, 2 November 200
- Quote of the day – hidden history for people who rely on the mainstream media for information, 12 February 2010
- The hidden history of the global warming crusade, 19 February 2010
- Fear or Fail: about the melting Greenland ice sheet, 24 May 2010
- Lies told under the influence of the Green religion to save the world, 30 July 2010
- Puncturing the false picture of a scientific consensus about the causes and effects of global warming, 20 September 2010
- More about the forecast for flooded cities in the late 21st century, 16 October 2010
- Looking into the past for guidance about warnings of future climate apocalypses, 17 October 2010
- Kevin Drum talks about global warming, shows why the Left’s credibility has collapsed, 17 October 2012
- Hurricane Sandy asks when did weather become exceptional?, 28 October 2012