A conversation with Howard Bloom, for The Postil Magazine

Howard Bloom photo 2  Howard Bloom started in theoretical physics and microbiology at the age of ten and spent his early years in science. Then, driven by the desire to study mass human emotion through the lens of science, he went into a field he knew nothing about, popular culture. He founded the biggest PR firm in the music industry and worked with superstars like Prince, Michael Jackson, Bob Marley, Billy Joel, Queen, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Billy Idol, Joan Jett, Styx, Hall and Oates, Simon & Garfunkel, Run DMC, and Chaka Khan. Bloom went back to his formal science in 1988 and, since then, has published seven books on human and cosmic evolution, including The God Problem, Global Brain, and The Lucifer Principle. Called “next in a lineage of seminal thinkers that includes Newton, Darwin, Einstein, [and] Freud” by Britain’s Channel 4 TV, and “the next Stephen Hawking” by Gear magazine, he is the subject of BRIC TV’s documentary The Grand Unified Theory of Howard Bloom.

  Grégoire Canlorbe: As an entrepreneur in the public relations industry, you were particularly active under the Reagan era. How do you explain that the eighties saw both a return to some conservative values and an explosion of creativity and coolness in music and movies?

  Howard Bloom: That’s a very good question. I’ve never thought of that connection before. My wife had been a socialist when I met her in the 1960s. And then in the 1970s she became a conservative. So she was siphoning money out of our bank account and giving it to Ronald Reagan’s political campaigns—without telling me. She knew I hated Reagan. But I never connected Ronald Reagan with what was going on in popular music at that point. In the 1960s popular music was the music of rebellion. Rock music was about raising your fist and saying to adults: “I have a right to be an individual. I have a right to exist.” Rock was in tune with the hippie philosophy: “Don’t trust anyone over 30.” And, “We’re here to overturn the establishment.” In other words, rock and roll was part of a rebellion whose political activists were working to toss people our parent’s age out of power. That was the 1960s. But there was no overt philosophy—there was no ideology—of rebellion in the 1970s and the 1980s. However if you look at the attitude of the artists who emerged, it was sheer rebellion.

  Joan Jett got onstage and raised her fist. And the way she raised her fist was the strongest part of her message. She was a woman. And as a woman, you were expected to be like Grace Slick or Janis Joplin: the guys had the guitars, the power instruments, and you did not. You simply crooned into the microphone. But Joan was saying: “I’m going to take over the fucking guitar, myself. I have the power. I own the power on stage. And I am going to rebel as a self-contained entity not needing the “weapons” of “males with guitars.” My band? Hey, that’s just an extension of me.” Joan’s was the rebellion of girls who had been raised with working mothers. And for a middle class girl to be raised by a working mother was something brand new. It was a result of the invention of indoor plumbing, the washing machine, the drier, and the dishwasher. Women were no longer the slaves of water-hauling and clothes washing. And the women’s liberation movement had given them the freedom to compete with men in the workplace. Now the daughters of these liberated women had a very new experience of what it meant to be female. And that sense came to a head in Joan Jett. Or it came to a fist. But as for men, I mean, look at several of my other clients. Billy Idol also raised his fist in a gesture of rebellion. Did the anger of these fists have anything to do with the Reagan era? It’s hard to tell.

  John Mellencamp also came to the lip of the stage with his fist raised. If you were here, I could show you the difference between the raised fist of each of those three artists. Each made a slightly different muscular statement—a statement made with muscles. And then, there were bands that were already slipping into acceptance of a parent’s generation, and acceptance of an older generation. Not rebellion, but acceptance. And those were bands like Spandau Ballet, Berlin, which were both my bands, and a bunch of others. Later, the whole attitude of rebellion would disappear from popular music. At least, it would be minimized significantly. In fact, Michael Jackson would live with his mother, his father, and his brothers—an unthinkable act among the rock rebels. And that business of raising your fist on stage would no longer be part of the package, if you were a rock ‘n’ roller. In Michael Jackson it would be replaced by fierce pointing.

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A conversation with Daryl Kane, for The Postil Magazine

Daryl Kane  Daryl Kane is an American politician best known for his book Cultural Cancer: Treating the Disease of Political Correctness, his podcast Right Wing Road Trip, and the journal Revenge of the Patriot whose editor he is. He runs as a Republican candidate for POTUS in 2024.

  Grégoire Canlorbe: You are campaigning for the presidential election of 2024 under the banner of Christian morality, economic freedom, ethnic identity, and the fight against leftist cultural cancer. On the issue of immigration, how exactly does your program stand in relation to Trump’s politics?

  Daryl Kane: Immigration obviously is such an important topic and I give Trump credit for emphasizing it in his campaign. Rhetoric aside, how much has he achieved? I’m not sure, I think a lot of good has been done but really when he, when we’re talking about slowing, even stopping the tide, this is a stopgap mentality, it’s not a conversation about solutions. Very clearly, the American people, and really just about all citizens of Western nations—look, this is has been political warfare and the damage sustained is reaching, has really passed a point where we can just end this nonsense without also taking remedial, restorative measures. This is naturally a very charged topic and one which must be approached with sobriety but also with care and humanity. On the one hand we have a ship that is sinking and you know, we can’t just plug the holes, we have to also start removing some of the water. But we’re not talking about water, we’re talking about God’s children so you know, perhaps to the chagrin of some, no I’m not just going to arbitrarily throw everyone out. But you know, I actually don’t think we really have to either. One big talking point for Trump is about moving us to fully merit based immigration which strikes most conservatives as a tough, sensible response. Certainly this is better than the prior lunacy, things like “diversity visas” which for me is a term that I often instruct people to pause for a moment and think about. What exactly is a “diversity visa?” Well, obviously it’s a seat in our country which we are setting aside, reserving for people on the basis of them being less similar to our current citizens than other would be immigrants. For me, you know, I’m not sure we do want to move away from identity based immigration. I think maybe we keep a lot of that stuff, and by the way this pertains to domestic programs as well, where you know we spend billions a year to promote this or that group, really any group that we don’t usually associate with mainstream Americanism. Maybe we keep a lot of this diversity infrastructure, at least the concept of them but we actually invert them, or you know replace them with a desire to reinforce or advocate for traditional Western identity. Maybe we start setting visas aside for, oh I don’t know, white, English speaking Christians? (Laughs)

  You see, no one ever really bothered to explain to Americans why they needed things like diversity visas, diversity scholarships, etc. They were just sort’ve injected in, draped in this very flowery, humanistic rhetoric. I think it’s time to start talking about things like homogeny visas and see what happens when the Left has to justify why it’s ok for them to play this game but not us. Let’s have a national dialogue about the benefits of both ends of spectrum and let’s see which of the two seems more beneficial at this point in time. And look, I’ve said this too, I’m not an anti diversity person. Diversity can be good, it can be bad. I do like being able to enjoy all sorts of unique ethnic cuisine in cities and things of that nature. A lot of people scoff at equality now and you know, I don’t know, that ideal still resonates with me and I don’t want us to lose that ability to make friends from different places, to connect and be decent to one another. But I think quite clearly the level of diversity which we now have, frankly—and this is putting it mildly, it’s plenty.

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A conversation with Joachim Son-Forget, for Gatestone Institute

1200px-Joachim_Son-Forget_16312  Joachim Jean-Marie Forget, also known as Joachim Son-Forget, is a South Korean-born, French politician and professional radiologist. Since 2017, he has been a member of the French National Assembly (lower house of the French Parliament) representing French residents overseas. He works part-time as a radiologist in Switzerland. He has held Kosovar citizenship since 2018. Adopted by a French family as a child, and holder of a doctorate in cognitive neuroscience, Son-Forget was previously active within the French Socialist Party and later La République En Marche (LaREM) until he resigned from the party in late 2018. He has since founded his own political party, first called “Je suis français et européen” (JSFee), then “Valeur absolue.”

  The following conversation with political journalist Grégoire Canlorbe happened in December 2019, in Paris. An abridged version was first published by Gatestone Institute, in December 2019.

  Grégoire Canlorbe: You are known for your stormy positions, for example on ART [assisted reproductive technology]. Do you espouse Julie Graziani’s polemical claim that (in substance) it is better not to divorce for a woman who lives on minimum wage, knowing that everyone, rich or poor, must shoulder its responsibilities?

  Joachim Son-Forget: My point about ART is different from that of pro-life parties, in that it does not carry a desire to discriminate against homosexual people who would like to educate a child. I only notice that nature has made that two men together or two women together cannot give life, and I think we should have the wisdom to respect nature in that case. Certainly we were able—thankfully!—to go beyond nature in various fields: thanks to modern medicine, infant mortality has become practically insignificant in the West (whereas before the nineteenth century, one child in four died before the age of one, and one child in two reached the age of ten). Technical progress has given us opportunities for transportation and communication that were inconceivable for our ancestors. But all of that is out of proportion with the fact of wanting to go beyond nature in the field of gestation. It is a barrier that it would be unwise to cross… were it only out of regard for the existential questions of children born through surrogacy.

  Once again, there is no homophobic discrimination in my speech: I cannot find fault with entrusting orphans to homosexual couples, on the contrary! Regarding Julie Graziani, whom I do not know, and whom I believe is absolutely unknown in France beyond a meager buzz already forgotten, I usually try to look up, and to comment, if not renowned thinkers, at least people who are somewhat existing. So expressing myself about what the housewife of the neighborhood thinks (perhaps her opinion is, in fact, more valid than that of that lady), no I wouldn’t do that! Now, to answer you on the subject matter: family is indeed the traditional economic model of survival in a precarious situation. For those who are penniless, and who live in the anxiety of a blackout or a banking ban, getting married was—and could still be—the opportunity to found a tribe whose members will provide for the needs from each other and will bring assistance, comfort and solidarity to each other. In a world subject to biological or social determinisms like ours, it is a bit illusory to call people to “shoulder their responsibilities.” Epigenetics teaches us how acquired traits such as violence can be rendered heritable (via the messenger RNA game). Certainly education can, in part, remedy determinism just like the eviction of deleterious conditions… at least I like to think it to keep a bit of utopia to move forward.

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A conversation with John Christy, for Association des climato-réalistes

johnchristy  John Raymond Christy is a climate scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) whose chief interests are satellite remote sensing of global climate and global climate change. In February 2019 he was named as a member of the EPA Science Advisory Board.

  Grégoire Canlorbe: You have been at pains to show that climate models are over-predicting warming by roughly a factor of two. Could you come back to this alleged falsification?

  John Christy: We should be applying the scientific method to claims scientists (and others) are making about the climate. In this case I downloaded the output from 102 climate model simulations used by the IPCC and compared the tropospheric temperature since 1979 between the models and several observational datasets, including the satellite dataset we generate. The models on average were warming the atmosphere at a rate significantly greater than the observations. This is a test result from which we can say the models failed, and thus one shouldn’t depend on model output to characterize the future climate.

  Grégoire Canlorbe: You are notably known for your involvement—along with Roy Spencer—in devising the first successful satellite temperature record. It turns out that beforehand you had already built your “first climate datasets” at the age of twelve, “using a mechanical pencil, graph paper, and long-division (no calculators back then.)” Could you tell us more about this life of invention?

  John Christy: I was fascinated with the weather conditions around my home in the San Joaquin Valley of California (a desert basically) and the contrast with the climate of the Sierra Nevada Mountains immediately to the East. I was curious as to why some years were wet, others dry… why the Sierras had more precipitation and why the snow levels varied so much. I was the first high school student in California to write a simple program to predict the weather and to calculate the snow level in the mountains. These were very crude, statistical models in 1968, written for computers that were far less sophisticated than today’s cell phone. But, they introduced me to computer coding and to the power that was required to study. That was over 50 years ago.

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A conversation with former Czech President Václav Klaus, for John Bolton’s Gatestone Institute

Vaclav_Klaus_headshot  Václav Klaus is a Czech economist and politician who served as the second President of the Czech Republic from 2003 to 2013. He also served as the second and last Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, federal subject of the Czech and Slovak Federative Republic, from July 1992 until the dissolution of Czechoslovakia in January 1993, and as the first Prime Minister of the newly-independent Czech Republic from 1993 to 1998. He is known for his euroscepticism, denial of man-caused global warming, opposition to mass immigration, and support of free market capitalism.

  This conversation with Grégoire Canlorbe took place in Paris, in December 2017. It was first published on John Bolton’s Gatestone Institute. You may find the Czech translation here.

  Grégoire Canlorbe: People are often defined by a common worldview rather than by genetics or where they live. In view of the situation in the Czech Republic, do you agree?

  Václav Klaus: I would return the issue to the defense of the Nation-State. I truly believe in the Nation-State, therefore I am so critical of the continental ambitions of many European officials. I do not believe in the European Union or the European integration. This is for me the starting point.

  For me, the Nation-State is the only possible way to have democracy. Democracy simply cannot exist at a higher level, as in continents, let alone global democracy in the world. So, my starting point is the Nation-State, the defense of the Nation-State, and the fighting continental integration.

  In this respect, I am in favor of Trump. Donald Trump is not my cup of tea personally, intellectually, but his position on many issues is a positive one. I especially think of his refusal to sign the Paris Agreement, his important speeches like that in Warsaw in the summer or that in the United Nations in September, defending the Nation-States, culture, traditions, habits, mores and behaviors, lifestyles. It is something that I feel is with Trump, something that Hillary Clinton would never, never say.

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A conversation with Frédéric Delavier, for Counter-Currents Publishing

Frédéric Delavier  Frédéric Delavier is a French author of books on bodybuilding, who also became a philosopher. His book Guide to Bodybuilding Movements first published in 1998 was a worldwide bestseller with over 2 million copies sold. It has been translated into more than 30 languages. Frédéric Delavier is also known as an educational or critical videographer on his YouTube channel. He recently published a treatise in philosophy, The awakening of consciousnesses [in French: L’Éveil des Consciences], which is awaiting translation into English. The following interview was first published on Counter-Currents Publishing.

  Grégoire Canlorbe: Could you start by telling us about what motivated your decision to pursue a career in sculpting the body and in writing books on the subject?

  Frédéric Delavier: To tell the truth, I have never been a bodybuilder, despite the fact that everyone presents me as such. I do bodybuilding because I like it, and because I like to walk around with a solid form; but I never wanted to have a bodybuilder physique. When I started bodybuilding in my youth, I saw it as a complement to the combat sports that I practiced: a way to increase my strength and therefore my dangerousness on the tatami. I naturally frequented, and observed, bodybuilders on this occasion.

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A conversation with Jared Taylor, for Counter-Currents Publishing

3-12-18-4-768x965  Samuel Jared Taylor is a Japan-born American white advocate. He is the founder and editor of the online magazine American Renaissance. Taylor is also the president of American Renaissance’s parent organization, New Century Foundation.

  Grégoire Canlorbe: With the benefit of hindsight, what was the Golden Age of race relations in the USA? May it have been segregation?

  Jared Taylor: There has never been a Golden Age of race relations. I think it’s impossible to have a Golden Age of race relations because race relations are inherently conflictual.

  Segregation was better in the sense that when Blacks and Whites do not come into contact, there is less conflict. It was also better in some respects for Blacks because, today, an intelligent, hardworking black person can get out of a black neighborhood and live in a white neighborhood. During segregation, competent, intelligent Black people lived in Black neighborhoods, and they could be role models. For that reason, there are many Blacks who say that segregation was better for Blacks because they had a full range of rich people/poor people, working people/non-working people, married people/single people, whereas, now, the black neighborhoods often have only the worst of the Blacks. Many have become areas of great degeneracy, which are very bad for Blacks and very bad for the country.

Many readers will not believe this, but at least in the South, when there was a clear hierarchy with Whites above and Blacks below, it was easier to have genuine, affectionate relationships. No one dares talk about it now, but there was often a sentiment that can only be described as love between whites and the blacks who worked for them. I believe this was possible only because the hierarchy was clear—people of both races knew what to expect of each other. The depiction of Huck and Jim in Huckleberry Finn captures something of this kind of affection. It is much more difficult to have genuine friendship that crosses racial lines in our current era of equality by fiat despite biological inequality and in a time ofuckHucHu strident Black identity politics.

  Grégoire Canlorbe: Thomas Jefferson spoke in favor of freeing and deporting Afro-American slaves. As such, do you think he would welcome the re-emigration of Congoid and Arab colonizers out of Europe?

  Jared Taylor: Certainly. He would very much support that. Thomas Jefferson was not at all unique in wanting to repatriate black Africans. Many distinguished Americans wanted the same thing. President James Monroe was very closely involved in establishing the country of Liberia. The capital Monrovia is named for James Monroe because he helped establish Liberia. Even Abraham Lincoln—although he is revered in the United States as the Great Emancipator—wanted to send freed blacks away outside of the United States. He did not want the United States to be composed of free Blacks and free Whites living together. He wanted all the Blacks to leave the United States.

  These people could never have imagined a Europe in which there were many Blacks, many Arabs, many Asians. They would have considered this a terrible form of national, racial, and cultural suicide.

  Grégoire Canlorbe: Compared with that of Founding Fathers, does race consciousness mean a significant political issue for President Trump?

  Jared Taylor: I don’t think Donald Trump thinks seriously about race. He is always accused of being racist, but, although he understands that, for example, Muslims do not integrate very well in the United States and he does not like illegal immigrants coming into the United States and going on welfare, I don’t think Donald Trump understands that for the United States to continue to be part of Western civilization, it must have a white majority. He may understand this but simply be afraid to say so out loud, but I think it more likely that he just doesn’t understand.

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A conversation with Willie Soon, for Heartland Institute

a-dr-willie-soon-gc-article-11  Willie Soon is an independent solar physicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, who has been studying the Sun and its influence on the Earth’s climate for more than a quarter of a century. In September 2017, he had a conversation with Grégoire Canlorbe. Here Dr Soon speaks for himself.

Polar bears – the poster-child of climate panic

  Canlorbe: You say polar bears are far less endangered by global warming than by environmentalists dreading ice melt. Could you expand?

  Dr Soon: Yes, indeed. I have argued that too much ice will be the ultimate enemy for polar bears. Polar bears need less sea ice to be well fed and to reproduce. Why? Think about this for a minute: Polar bears eat a lot. Any large colony will need a great deal of food. The bears’ staple diet is seal blubber. But seals are a long way up the food chain. So a fully functional and healthy eco-system is required. And that means oceans warm enough to support the lower links in the food chain from plankton all the way up to seals.

  Indeed, a good puzzle for polarbear science is the answer the question how polar bears survived during the ice ages, when ice covered coastal zones and large parts of the global ocean. Ice was piled miles deep on land, making it extremely difficult for eco-systems to provide enough food. Of course, areas of relative warmth, which population biologists call refugia, always exist. They may well the key to explaining how polar bears survived the Last Glacial Maximum about 21,000 years ago.

Capture d’écran 2018-02-25 à 14.31.55

  The so-called “environmentalists”, who seem to allow unreasoning emotion and political prejudice to stand in place of rational thought and sound science, became very angry when I asked them whether they would prefer to see a billion polar bears instead of the 20,000-30,000 living now. The real threat to polar bears was unregulated hunting, which reduced the population to perhaps as few as 5000 bears in the early 1970s.

  After the November 1973 agreement to regulate hunting and outlaw hunting from aircraft and icebreakers, the polar bear population rebounded. By 2017 it was approaching 30,000. In 2016 a survey by the Nunavut government found a vulnerable population in the western Hudson Bay region to have been stable for at least five years.

  I should say categorically that this polar bear fear-mongering is evidence of mass delusion promoted by group think. As a physical scientist rather than a biologist, I am generally reluctant to get involved in such topics as the influence of climate on polar-bear population, health and biology. But in 2002, Markus Dyck asked me to examine independently these strange and insupportable claims by environmental extremists that polar bears are threatened with extinction by global warming.

  Consider the facts. From 6000 to 10,000 years ago, the Earth was considerably warmer than today. Yet the polar bears survived. In fact, they had evolved from land-based brown bears some 150,000 to 200,000 years ago, and to this day they rear their cubs in land-based dens burrowed into the snow.

Capture d’écran 2018-02-25 à 14.34.42

  Readers curious about Al Gore’s false statement that a scientific survey had found polar bears drowning because they could not find ice should see my talk on how environmentalists are the real threat to polar bears: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmoKRz5VcbI. The survey cited by Gore in his sci-fi comedy horror movie in fact found that just four polar bears had drowned, three of them very close to land, and they had died because of high winds and high waves in an exceptional Arctic storm. The authors of the paper were later victimized by their academic colleagues at the instigation of environmental extremists because they had stated – correctly – that it was the storm, and not global warming, that had killed the bears.

  What is more, in the dozen years before the survey, the sea ice extent in the Beaufort Sea, where the survey took place, had actually increased slightly. At no point was Al Gore’s story true. In 2007 the High Court in London condemned Gore for his false statements about polar bears, whose Linnaean classification is ursus maritimus – the Bear of the Sea. It is now known that they can swim for more than 100 miles over periods of several days. Al Gore could not even ride a pushbike that far.

  One positive aspect of my work in science is that I have befriended many seekers after truth. A polar bear expert, Professor Mitch Taylor of Lakehead University, told me late in 2017:

  “Just finished up in Davis Strait with 275 DNA samples.  The bears were in better condition this year than they were during the 2005-2007 study years.  The Wrangel Island bears in the photo are in good condition, but the Davis Strait bears were even fatter.  Markus [Dyck] has found the same in the Cape Dyer area.  Local people confirm the bears are very fat this year and are also reporting a big increase in ringed seals (immigration, not local productivity).”

  Keen readers who may want solid information and frequent scientific updates about the overall health and trends of all 19 subpopulations of polar bears should visit the website of another friend of mine, Dr. Susan Crockford: http://polarbearscience.com.

Is climate change naturally cyclical?

Capture d’écran 2018-02-25 à 14.38.48

  Canlorbe: Climate change is surely nothing new. It is a long-established, cyclical behavior of our planet, which has long been oscillating between glaciations and interglacial warm periods. Should we diagnose Mother Nature with a bipolar disorder?

  Dr Soon: Earth’s climate system dynamically oscillates between icehouse and hothouse conditions in geological time or, to a lesser degree, between the glacial and interglacial climates of the last 1-2 million years. But, as with many interesting questions about the Earth’s climate, there is no certain answer. The data do not support over-simplistic accounts.

Sea level rise – mother of all scares

  I was fascinated to discover that changing sea levels, including extremely high global sea levels 65-250 feet (20-75 m) above today’s mean, occurred during the “hothouse Earth” era. One does not need an enormous ice sheet for sea level to be high, chiefly because the Earth’s coastal zones and ocean basins may be more porous and capacious than one would imagine. Indeed, deep geological studies proffer good evidence to support my position. I included this empirical evidence in an essay I recently co-wrote with Viscount (Christopher) Monckton of Brenchley.

  In addition to the ever-changing shape and depth of the ocean basins and coastal zone boundaries, one must also bear in mind the “leaky Earth”: there appears to be a continuous exchange of water between the ocean bottom and the Earth’s crust, as Professor Shige Maruyama of Tokyo Institute of Technology has shown.

  Sea level has risen by 400 feet over the past 10,000 years. For the past 200 years it has been rising at about 8 inches per century, and that rate may well continue. It has very little to do with global warming and much more to do with long-term climate cycles. In fact, so slowly has sea level been rising that environmental-extremist scientists have tampered with the raw data by adding an imagined (and imaginary) “global isostatic adjustment”, torturing the data until they show a rate of sea-level rise that has not in reality occurred.

Capture d’écran 2018-02-25 à 14.42.00

  My own examination of the Earth’s climate system extends beyond the solar system to include our place in the galaxy. When the solar system was born, we were 1–3 kiloparsecs closer to the galactic center than today. We are now 8 kiloparsecs from the galactic center.

  The solar system drifts along the  spiral density wave that orbits the center of the galaxy about  every quarter of a billion years. Sometimes, the solar system has lain above or below the plane of the galactic disk. Also, we need to consider the evolution of the Sun from its thermonuclear-burning core to its outer thermosphere. Furthermore, for 4.5 billion years the planets have continued to push and pull the Sun around the barycenter of the solar system.

  It was 13.82 billion years ago that, at the moment of creation that we now call the Big Bang, God said, Let there be light, and there was light. The solar system, including our planet, is thus one-third as old as the known universe. Our place and time in the universe cannot be ignored in assessing the climate. The original proposition to resolve the Faint Young Sun Paradox by WeiJia Zhang of Peking University concerned the relevance of Hubble expansion flow in affecting the mean distance between the Sun and the Earth over geological time. One must even consider our galaxy’s interaction with passing stellar systems, especially the coming merger (in a few billion years) between the Milky Way and the M31 Andromeda galaxy to form the Milkomeda cluster. This very likely event will occur within the five billion years of the Sun’s lifetime. Gravity rules even over very large distances.

  These are just a few of the considerations that lead me to insist on being open-minded in pursuing my scientific study. I study the Sun mainly to improve my own understanding. As A.E. Housman’s Greek chorus used to put it, “I only ask because I want to know.”

It’s the Sun, stupid!

  Canlorbe: You suggest that the Sun’s behavior is the driving force of climate warming, not factory smokestacks, urban sprawl or our sins of emission. Would you like to remind us of the keystones of your hypothesis?

  Dr Soon: For a quarter of a century I have studied the hypothesis that solar radiation is causing or at lest modulating climatic variations over periods of several decades. The most up-to-date report of my sun-climate connection research is in a chapter I and my colleague Dr. Sallie Baliunas contributed to a book in honor of my late colleague Professor Bob Carter of Australia (1942–2016). For the more serious science geeks, a fuller paper, with my two excellent colleagues from Ireland, the Connollys pere et fils, is worth reading. If your readers have any difficulty in finding these works, just contact me.

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A conversation with István Markó, for Watts Up With That

  20604491_527762360889101_3787449182197163589_nIstván Markó (1956 – 2017) was a professor and researcher in organic chemistry at the Université catholique de Louvain. Prof. Dr. Marko was an outspoken defender of the skeptical view on the issue of human-caused/anthropogenic global warming, appearing in numerous French-language media on the Internet, in public debates and diverse English-language blog postings. He also joined with Anglo-Saxon climate skeptics, publishing several articles together on Breitbart News.

  Grégoire Canlorbe: Climate activism is thought of as Marxism’s Trojan horse, a way for its followers to proceed with their face masked, in the never-ending holy war that Marxism claims will be necessary to establish communist totalitarianism. Yet it was actually Margaret Thatcher, the muse of conservative libertarianism, who kick-started the IPCC. How do you make sense of this?

  István Markó: More precisely, Margaret Thatcher, although a trained chemist and therefore aware of the mendacious character of such an allegation about carbon dioxide (CO2), was the first proponent to use the excuse of climate implications posed by CO2 to achieve her political ends. At the time, that is, in the mid-1980s, Thatcher was waging war with the almighty coal union. In those days, the UK coal unions were remunerating themselves with public monies and by lobbying via the Labour Party had managed to pass an enormous number of laws and subsidies to keep an industry afloat that was no longer profitable on its own.

  While facing a strike by the British miners, chaired by Arthur Scargill, (nick-named “Arthur the Red”) who was later to found and lead the Socialist Labor Party, Thatcher thought it worthwhile to enshrine the thesis of warming linked to CO2 emissions to wind up the trade unionists holding her country hostage. But she was not really the initiator of the IPCC. The “kick-off,” as you call it, came more from personalities who were involved in hard ecologism,[1] such as Norwegian Gro Harlem Brundtland, who chaired the UN Commission responsible for the famous 1987’s report “Our Common Future,” or Canadian Maurice Strong, who ranks among the founding members of the IPCC.

  The belief in a catastrophic greenhouse effect due to CO2 emissions provided Thatcher with an additional asset, in her arm wrestling with the union, to set up the United Kingdom to get out of coal and to transition to nuclear energy. It was a belief she knew to be unfounded, but one she largely helped to entrench and popularize. One can, admittedly, deplore Thatcher’s strategy based on a perversion of science. The fact remains that, at that time, the electric power generation industries, notably that from coal, did not do so under very clean conditions. Even though CO2 has absolutely nothing to do with a poison, there existed then a real pollution associated with coal burning due to a lack of modern emission control technology.

  Indeed, the combustion of coal not only produces innocuous CO2 emissions, it is accompanied by sulfurous and nitrogenous waste, produces SO2 emissions, SO3 emissions, and NOx emissions, ejects fine particles, and leaves nominally radioactive ashes (despite the fact that the epidemiological evidence and data for any serious health harms are still very controversial and hard to come by). Since the 1980s, the treatment of industrial pollution has however evolved. Today an electrical utility power generation plant that uses coal as a raw material now results in very little environmental pollution.

  Grégoire Canlorbe: According to you, a person sensitive to pastoral charms, smitten with lounges of greenery and variegated grass beds, can only celebrate the increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the air. Could you come back to the necessity to stop demonizing CO2 as a “Satanic gas” in view of the objective data of chemistry?

  István Markó: Again, CO2 is not, and has never been, a poison. Each of our exhalations, each of our breaths, emits an astronomical quantity of CO2 proportionate to that in the atmosphere (some >40,000 ppm); and it is very clear that the air we expire does not kill anyone standing in front of us. What must be understood, besides, is that CO2 is the elementary food of plants. Without CO2 there would be no plants, and without plants there would be no oxygen and therefore no humans. The equation is as simple as that.

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  Plants need CO2, water, and daylight. These are the mechanisms of photosynthesis, to generate the sugars that will provide them with staple food and building blocks. That fundamental fact of botany is one of the primary reasons why anyone who is sincerely committed to the preservation of the “natural world” should abstain from demonizing CO2. Over the last 30 years, there has been a gradual increase in the CO2 level. But what is also observed is that despite deforestation, the planet’s vegetation has grown by about 20%. This expansion of vegetation on the planet, nature lovers largely owe it to the increase in the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.

  If we study, however, what has been happening at the geological level for several million years, we realize that the present period is characterized by an extraordinarily low CO2 level. During the Jurassic, Triassic, and so on, the CO2 level rose to values sometimes of the order of 7000, 8000, 9000 ppm, which considerably exceeds the paltry 400 ppm that we have today. Not only did life exist, in those far-off times when CO2 was so present in large concentration in the atmosphere, but plants such as ferns commonly attained heights of 25 meters. Reciprocally, far from benefiting the current vegetation, the reduction of the presence of CO2 in the atmosphere would be likely to compromise the health, and even the survival, of numerous plants. To fall below the threshold of 280 or 240 ppm would plainly lead to the extinction of a large variety of our vegetal species.

  In addition, our relentless crusade to reduce CO2 could be more harmful to nature as plants are not the only organisms to base their nutrition on CO2. Phytoplankton species also feed on CO2, using carbon from CO2 as a building unit and releasing oxygen. By the way, it is worth remembering that ~70% of the oxygen present today in the atmosphere comes from phytoplankton, not trees: contrary to common belief, it is not the forests, but the oceans, that constitute the “lungs” of the earth.

  About the supposed link between global warming and CO2 emissions, it is simply not true that CO2 has a major greenhouse effect. It is worth remembering, here too, that CO2 is a minor gas. Today it represents only 0.04% of the composition of the air; and its greenhouse effect is attributed the value of 1. The major greenhouse gas in the atmosphere is water vapor which is ten times more potent than CO2 in its greenhouse effect. Water vapor is present in a proportion of 2% in the atmosphere. Those facts are, in principle, taught at school and at university, but one still manages to incriminate CO2 alongside this learning, in using a dirty trick that presents the warming effect of CO2 as minor but exacerbated, through feedback loops, by the other greenhouse effects.

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