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Today’s topics are climate and guns. Two topics upon which left/liberals go absolutely bonkers. Few things better illustrate their urge to coerce and command. Why is it their solutions always increase the state’s power?
We start with a post from Watt’s Up With That. Says the Paris confab has produced voluntary mush.
Paris climate talks this week descended into madcap all-night negotiations, as delegates desperately tried to salvage some kind of agreement beyond empty promises to do something sometime about what President Obama insists is the gravest threat to our planet, national security and future generations.
He gets far more energized about slashing energy use than about Islamist terrorism, even after the Paris and San Bernardino butchery. Determined for once to lead from upfront, he took a 500-person greenhouse gas-spewing entourage to the City of Light, to call for preventing increasing droughts, floods, storms, island-swallowing rising acidic ocean levels and other disasters conjured up by alarmist computer models.
Legally binding carbon dioxide emission targets were too contentious to pursue. So was modifying the concept of “differentiated responsibilities.” It holds that countries that historically caused the recent atmospheric carbon dioxide build-up must lead in cutting their emissions, while helping developing countries eventually do likewise, by pouring trillions of dollars in cash and free technology into the Green Climate Fund for supposed climate change adaptation, mitigation and compensation. Developing countries had insisted on that massive wealth redistribution as their price for signing any binding document.
Although China now emits far more CO2 and other greenhouse gases (GHG) than the USA or EU, it refused to fast-track reducing those emissions. China and wealthy petro-states also opposed paying into the Climate Fund. Other major bones of contention were likewise never resolved.Thus, in the end, what we apparently got out of Paris is voluntary emission caps, voluntary progress reviews, no international oversight of any voluntary progress, and voluntary contributions to the Fund. …
David Harsanyi writing for the Center for Individual Freedom says the climate talks reveal progressives true hypocrisy.
What do you call it when elites fly their private jets to an international climate change conference to forge a deal with despots that caps American prosperity without our consent? You call it progressivism.
It’s estimated that 50,000 carbon-spewing humans participated in the Paris climate conference. …
… On Wednesday, Obama alleged that without a climate change agreement, there could be “submerged countries, abandoned cities, fields that no longer grow” — assertions that are no more than fearmongering, ratcheted up over the decades by frustrated environmentalists and now confidently thrown around by presidents. These prophecies are tethered to reality in the same way Donald Trump’s whoppers are, although the media treat the former with undeserving respect.
Transforming ideology into a “science” is not a new development on the left. But the most useful indicators tell us that humanity’s prospects are on the upswing. Poverty is declining; crops are producing higher yields; and humans are living longer and healthier lives despite the mild warming we’ve experienced. And in spite of these advancements (or maybe because of them), Western leaders are prepared, conveniently enough, to cap growth, spread wealth and centralize power in the way progressives have always wanted to cap growth, spread wealth and centralize power. …
John Hinderaker says if you follow the money you’ll learn what climate meeting was about.
Yesterday in Paris, Secretary of State John Kerry inadvertently said something true, admitting that the policies the Obama administration has pursued with the ostensible object of fending off global warming are worthless:
“The fact is that even if every American citizen biked to work, carpooled to school, used only solar panels to power their homes, if we each planted a dozen trees, if we somehow eliminated all of our domestic greenhouse gas emissions, guess what – that still wouldn’t be enough to offset the carbon pollution coming from the rest of the world.
If all the industrial nations went down to zero emissions –- remember what I just said, all the industrial nations went down to zero emissions -– it wouldn’t be enough, not when more than 65% of the world’s carbon pollution comes from the developing world.”
So what is global warming hysteria really all about? Money, mostly. The Paris conference is going into overtime, as we all knew it would, as the parties debate who is going to pay whom, and how much: …
Craig Pirrong turns our attention to gun control.
The San Bernardino massacre unleashed an all-too-common phenomenon: literally (and I am using the word properly) before the bodies were even cold, politicians, pundits, and the hoi polloi (especially on Twitter) were using the atrocity to advance their own preferred narrative. The most common of these on the left was the gun control narrative. Hillary Clinton was one of the first off the mark to use San Bernardino to call for more stringent gun control measures. You know, before anyone–most notably one Hillary Rodham Clinton–knew anything about what had happened, beyond the fact that more than a dozen people had died. Obama was actually somewhat reserved, by his standards on this issue, and unexpectedly soft-pedaled his gun control message in his Oval Office speech on Sunday. But on the left the gun control drum was pounded for all it was worth, notably in a New York Times front page editorial.
Mass shootings like San Bernardino and Colorado Springs catalyze a flurry of calls for further restrictions on gun ownership, though these calls are frequently lacking in specifics, and are often more like ritual acts and political signaling of right-thinking (or should I say left-thinking?) views than concrete proposals. Moreover, mass shootings also unleash a volley of bad and misleading statistics. So bad, in fact, that those using them are almost certainly doing so in bad faith.
This phenomenon is not limited to activists, or the left generally. Even allegedly reputable mainstream publications like The Economist also peddle agitprop. The MO is to claim that mass shootings occur almost daily in the US: when brought up in the context of a Newtown or Aurora, the clear intent is to suggest that these types of mass shootings are representative. But even a cursory look shows that this is definitely not the case. …
More on guns as Kevin Williamson writes on “Irish Democracy.”
It isn’t even St. Patrick’s Day, but we are all Irish now: In Connecticut, the boneheaded state government passed a law demanding the registration of certain firearms, and the people of Connecticut, perhaps communing for a moment with their independent-minded Yankee forebears, mainly refused to comply. On the other side of the country in the heart of California’s technology corridor, the city of Sunnyvale demanded that residents hand over all firearms capable of accepting magazines holding more than ten rounds — effectively, everything except revolvers and some single-shot rifles — and the good men and women of Silicon Valley responded by turning in a grand total of zero firearms. Similar initiatives in other jurisdictions have produced similar results.
Political scientists call this “Irish democracy,” the phenomenon by which the general members of a polity resist the mandates of their would-be rulers by simply refusing to comply with them. It is a low-cost form of civil disobedience, but one that can be very effective at times: Mohandas K. Gandhi was entirely correct in his famous declaration to the British powers that they would eventually be forced to simply pack up their tiffin pails and go home, because 300,000 Englishman could not control 300 million (at the time) Indians if those Indians didn’t cooperate.
One way of considering the radical potential of simple noncompliance is the “10 percent synchronous subversion factor,” the proposition that if 10 percent of the U.S. population refused to (for instance) pay taxes or answer jury-duty summonses, then the rules would have to change, because they would be unenforceable: There aren’t enough tax agents, constables, slots on court dockets, or jail cells to enforce the rules against 32 million Americans if they should decide to refuse to comply with a given law. …
The No Pasaran blog found its way into the NY Times with a rebuttal to the front-page editorial.
… It is easy to tout the success of gun control laws in the rest of the Western world and to say that “this just doesn’t happen in other countries” when you ignore : the 1996 massacre of 16 children at a Scottish primary school; the 2000 killing of eight kids in Japan; the 2002 deaths of eight people in Nanterre, France; the 2002 killing of 16 kids in Erfurt, Germany; the 2007 shootings to death of eight people in Tuusula, Finland; the killing of 10 people at a Finnish university less than a year later; the 2009 killing of 15 people in Winnenden, Germany; and, needless to say, Anders Breivik’s 2011 mass murder of 77 Norwegians, most of them teenagers.
Is it unrealistic to wonder whether the tolls would have been lesser had a few of the adults in each place — as well as in Paris’s Bataclan a couple of weeks ago — carried a weapon and tried to shoot back at the respective killers? …
Late Night from Andy Malcolm.
Fallon: Sting will perform at a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton this month. Hillary says she’s been a huge Sting fan ever since he agreed to perform at her fundraiser.
Fallon: Mark Zuckerberg is taking two months’ paternity leave now that his first child is born. That marks the first time anyone’s had a baby and tried to avoid Facebook.