Mass destruction 2.0
Here’s a friendly little quote from our friends at the United Nations. UN Chief Antonio Guterres said, “Extreme weather is becoming the new normal. All countries must respond and protect their people from the searing heat, fatal floods, storms, drought and raging fires that result.”
Today, we’re not discussing whether the war in Ukraine is a good thing, whether we should take sides, or which side to take. Nor do we know for sure whether or not the planet is heating up, whether it can be controlled, or whether it would be a good idea to try. Our goal is to try to understand how, why, and wherefore the currents of geopolitics lead us. Deep, silent, and apparently irresistible.
We think we can control where we are going. We think it matters what we think, whether we are for or against it. We think the future (talking about the future of our nation, not about our individual futures) is a matter of choice. You can vote for a change of direction, can’t you? You can come up with reasons why you are right with facts to support your position and persuade others to change course. Isn’t that the way it works? No, it isn’t. These currents control us; we do not control them. The only proper question is: ‘where are they taking us?’
The last great crusade for the USA was its campaign to make the world safe from terrorism. With the entire world watching, then Secretary of Defense Colin Powell provided what was neither a fact nor an idea but an outright lie. Iraq had ‘weapons of mass destruction,’ said he. Iraq had no such weapons, and the mass destruction in Iraq was brought in by the US. And the facts? Who wanted those? Brigadier General Vince Brooks made it clear that the US Army was not interested:
The war on terrorism was a disaster, and there are probably more terrorists today than there were 20 years ago. Today, terrorists are barely given a nod in the press. Now, we have a new crusade. Global warming is on every page, on every pair of lips, in every classroom, and in every business plan. I hear that in France, it was cooler than usual, and many even wore sweaters and put a quilt on the bed at night. I wasn’t there. But that is just a ‘fact’ from eyewitness observation. Turn on the news, and we discover that we must be on a different planet. The seas are no longer hot; they are ‘boiling.’ The desert no longer suffers the summer heat; it is an ‘inferno.’ We have no more hot spells, no more heat waves, and no more ‘hazy, hot, and humid’ forecasts. Now, we have the fires of Hell, fanned by five generations of fossil fuel sinners, ready to roast us all to cinders. Yes, our goose is not just cooked; it is scorched.
Just like the “weapons of mass destruction” that weren’t there, neither is there a “global warming” menace waiting to destroy us all. Things are unspectacularly normal.
Amid all of this “end-of-the-world ism,” you were probably surprised to find that the summer of 2023 has not been particularly hot at all. But you wouldn’t know that from the news. In early August, temperatures across the UK and Ireland were unseasonably cool, according to the Met Office, with London a fresh 66 degrees and Dublin a rainy old 60. Over on the European continent, it’s… well, summer. At the same time, Berlin was 73, Paris 69, Budapest 70, Prague 68, Vienna 62, Florence 84, Moscow 73, and Krakow 75. Of the 50 European capitals, the average temperature during the “hottest July on record” was a searing, sweltering, blood-boiling 76.1 degrees Fahrenheit.
In the United States, the summer across the Lower 48 states saw unspectacularly normal temperatures of a mere +0.07°C above average. Yes, August was hot in many places. It’s summer, and it gets hot in August! It always does. It is the same for practically anywhere that is not Phoenix, Arizona, which was virtually uninhabitable before the advent of air conditioning anyway. Death Valley, too, has been pretty hot. Who woulda thunk? Have you ever noticed when watching the weather report and they report a new record high, the old record might have been 10, 20, or sometimes 50 years ago? I guess it wasn’t global warming then and not just the normal up-and-down cycles of weather over the long term.
But what about all these “extreme heat waves” we’re hearing about? Perhaps some perspective might come in handy. The folks over at the EPA (the Environmental Protection Agency – that bastion of racist, transphobic, right-wing climate deniers) provide the US Annual Heat Wave Index going back 120+ years.
What the Annual Heat Wave Index shows is that the media is either mistaken or lying. It turns out the new normal is the old normal. The summer of 2023 looks much like any other summer. It is hot in Las Vegas and cool in Dublin. Who knew?
There were no Weapons of Mass Destruction. But that didn’t stop mass mayhem, as wrought by the military. Likewise, there may not be any real facts that support the Global Warming Hypothesis either. But my guess is that small inconvenience will not prevent the destruction and cost ahead as we gear up to fight the non-existent boogeyman.
Mark Twain famously said there are three kinds of lies: “Lies, damn lies, and statistics.” He also said that if your statistics don’t prove your point, you simply need more statistics. Just like weapons of mass destruction, they’re trying to scare you and the children into believing this nonsense. Don’t fall for it. Thanks for reading.
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About Nick Massey
Nick Massey is a retired financial advisor and CFP, and former President of Massey Financial Services. He can be reached at email@example.com.