Are Climate Cultists Ignoring History?

 

I love history and historians. Not all, but many, like my friend Dr. Alvin Felzenberg, whose classes at the University of Pennsylvania or Yale University he would occasionally invite me to guest lecture. Felzenberg is the author of many terrific books, including “The Leaders We Deserved (And A Few We Didn’t).” It is an incomparable survey and grading of US presidents from George Washington through George W. Bush.

As Secretary of the US Senate, I was also responsible for the Senate’s Historical Office, ably led during my tenure by the legendary Dr. Richard Baker and later by Dr. Don Ritchie. He gave me the best US Capitol tour I’ve tried replicating for almost 30 years. You’ve likely seen both remarkable historians on the networks.

They all have one great trait in common. They are magnificent storytellers.

But today, my friends take a back seat to Brad Belk.

Bartlesville, Oklahoma, in July 1954. Air conditioning wasn’t much of a thing then.

I’ve never met Belk. He’s the “community historian” at Missouri Southern University in Joplin. But he penned an op-ed for the Joplin Globe about a weather incident from 1954 that makes me appreciate a few consecutive days of 95+ degree weather here in Northern Virginia (we’ve yet to hit the 100-degree mark this summer).

Local historians do great deep dives into local events. Belk does here:

The summer of 1954 will be remembered for the scalding heat reaching an astounding high of 122 degrees on July 14 in Pittsburg, Kansas. The searing heat lasted for 52 days, beginning in mid-June and continuing through Aug. 7. Forty-five days the mercury indicated 100 degrees or better. Over 25 of those days, the mercury broke 105 degrees. Temperature recordings were collected from daily newspaper reports from The Pittsburg Headlight.

Pittsburg led the region by suffering 11 days of 110 degrees or better. Three of those days Pittsburg received national recognition for leading the country in being the hottest spot in America.

The summer of 1954 was a result of a heavy mass of hot, dry air settling over much of the Midwest. The air’s origin was from Arizona and New Mexico. The brutal heat and extreme drought conditions continued because this broiling, arid system simply refused to budge.

The heat wave of 1954, coupled with a drought of almost three years, caused at least 83 of the 418 Kansas communities with municipal water supplies to impose some sort of restrictions on water use, according to the State Board of Health.

The shortage of water the cities and towns experienced in 1954 was largely due to the lack of wells, the scant supply of distribution facilities and an insufficient amount of surface water. The lack of wells and lack of distribution facilities were simply cases of shortsightedness, because by 1950 the consumer demand for water had increased. In 1930, water use averaged about 50 to 60 gallons per person, per day; by 1950, a resident of Kansas used a daily average of about 135 gallons of water.

Remember that air conditioning was around for the few who could afford it. It wasn’t anywhere near as prevalent as today, not to mention city and county water systems.

Belk’s op-ed focuses on just one event he was probably around to experience. There have been others. Many others.

But that hasn’t stopped lunatics and propagandists in the media from their usual fear-mongering. Like this lovely headline in the uber-lefty Texas Monthly: “Is This a Typical Texas Heat Wave or the Coldest Summer of the Rest of Our Lives?” Or this, from MIT Technology Review: “Do these heat waves mean climate change is happening faster than expected?” Or maybe this will send you screaming into your basement, triple-masked and quadruple-boosted, from Reuters: “Explainer: How climate change drives heatwaves and wildfires.”

Dust Bowl, 1936.

Let’s revisit the Great Depression and Dust Bowl year of 1936, as told by Gizmodo.com, on one of the seven most miserable heat waves in history:

JUNE 1936

June of 1936 saw unusual heat build initially in two nodes, one centered over the Southeast and another over the Rocky Mountains and western Plains. This differs from the current heat wave that began mostly over Texas and the Deep South.

By the end of June 1936 all-time state monthly records for heat had been established in Arkansas (113° at Corning on June 20th), Indiana (111° at Seymore on June 29th), Kentucky (110° at St. John on June 29th), Louisiana (110° at Dodson on June 20th), Mississippi (111° at Greenwood on June 20th), Missouri (112° at Doniphan on June 20th), Nebraska (114° at Franklin on June 26th), and Tennessee (110° at Etowah on June 29th). A total of 8 states and all these monthly records are still standing.

JULY 1936

By July the dome of heat locked in place over the central and northern Great Plains and remained there for the entire month.

Around July 8-10 the ridge briefly extended all the way to the East Coast when virtually every absolute maximum temperature record was broken from Virginia to New York. This held true for most sites in the Ohio Valley, Upper Midwest, and Great Plains as well. There are so many superlatives that it is impossible to list them all. In short the following states broke or tied their all-time maximum temperatures that July:

Add to the above list a 120° reading at Gann Valley, South Dakota on July 5th…

On July 15th the average high temperature for all 113 weather stations in Iowa measured 108.7°. Similar to the current heat wave the nighttime low temperatures were also remarkably warm. Bismarck recorded a low of just 83° on July 11th. Milwaukee, Wisconsin endured five consecutive nights above 80° from July 8-13. Even near the normally cool shores of Lake Erie amazing temperatures were recorded such as the low of 85° and high of 110° at Corry, Pennsylvania on July 14th. And most amazing of all was the low of 91° at Lincoln, Nebraska on the night of July 24-25th warming to an all-time record of 115° on the 25th.

Residents of Lincoln, Nebraska spend the night on the lawn of the state capital on July 25, 1936. The temperature that night never fell below 91°, perhaps the warmest night ever recorded anywhere in the United States outside of the desert Southwest.

AUGUST 1936

By August the heat dome shifted a bit further south from its position over the northern Plains and became anchored over the southern Plains.

Of course, climate cultists will quickly trot our statistics that purport to demonstrate an increase in “extreme” weather events since the Industrial Revolution of the 19th Century. And they’re only going to get worse, they promise.

They won’t mention perhaps the most cataclysmic drought and heat wave of . . . wait for it. . . 1540. They didn’t measure CO2 back then, but I bet it was less than now. The world’s population was about 500 million compared to 7 billion today. And factories weren’t a thing.

Even the far-left Daily Kos (a propaganda outfit affiliated with MoveOn.org) couldn’t ignore studies of the severe conditions in Europe in 1540:

South of the Alps the disaster started in 1539.  By October processions supplicating God for rain were being conducted in Spain, and an Italian chronicle describes the winter weather as being as dry and warm as in July.  The drought spread north early in 1540; an Alsatian vintner noted that there were only three days of rain in March.  The soil dried out and cracked; according to one chronicle, you could dangle your legs in some of the fissures.  This resulted in a positive feedback cycle that stabilized the heat wave: less water available for evaporation meant less cooling of the air and hence more drying out of the soil.

And the heat wave was ferocious.  The number of days with temperatures over 30°C (86°F) was at least three times as great as usual.  Wells and springs dried up that had never done so before.  A Swiss chronicler reported that not a drop of water could be found even a metre and a half below the beds of many streambeds.  Even some major rivers became small enough to be crossed on foot.  In 2003 the volume of water in the Elbe river was about half the usual amount; the researchers estimate that in 1540 it was only a tenth of the usual amount.  Middle Europe as a whole is estimated to have received only about a third as much precipitation as usual.

The human consequences were terrible.  Thousands died of dysentery from drinking contaminated water.  Many animals died, either of thirst or of heat stroke.  Agricultural workers collapsed in the fields and vineyards.  Tempers flared, and violence surged.  The harvest was of course very meagre, and the price of grain and bread went through the roof.  Forest fires and bush fires broke out all over and spread to the towns, and smoke covered the continent.

The causes of the 1540 catastrophe are unclear; plainly modern climate change is not the culprit.

The Daily Kos’s following words try to connect that with climate change today. Try hard not to laugh:

What is clear is that such extreme heat waves are more likely now than ever before in human history.  Christian Pfister of the University of Bern observes that a repetition of the drought and heat wave of 1540 would have dramatic consequences today on agriculture, transportation, and human health: ‘The catastrophe of 1540 should be a reminder of what can happen.’  He notes, however, that no one is prepared for anything so extreme.

Oh, please. All this tells me is that our influence over our climate isn’t what some may think. Weather happens. We deal with it.

For the record, there’s no doubt that average global temperatures have warmed a bit – about 1-1.5 degrees – since the little ice age that ended during the mid-1800s, around the time of our Civil War. Is it human-influenced? Possibly, even probably. The question is, what do we do about it? Do we cause massive starvation and economic dislocation through draconian environmental and industrial policies that don’t work, or do we take steps to mitigate, as Virginia and other states are doing now?

We shouldn’t allow partisans to use weather patterns and climate variations to make draconian predictions that drive big government agendas designed to control people’s lives and pocketbooks. And where that has happened, people are rightly pushing back in places like The Netherlands, Sri Lanka, and, soon, Canada.

One of the reasons we venerate history is to learn from it. Let history be our guide, not partisan propagandists and cultists. All they do is spread misery.

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  1. Chuck Thatcher
    Chuck
    @Chuckles

    Who remembers the sign on the theater: “Air Conditioned for your comfort”. People went to the movie house to get cool.

    (And to answer your question – yes!)

    • #1
  2. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Climate greedsters are a problem, too. 

    • #2
  3. navyjag Coolidge
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    Good one Kelly. We both remember the Oklahoma summers.  Working with my shovel by an old pipeline near Kingfisher in Aug. 1964.  112F.  Highest in the state that day. Why I thanked God for getting me to San Fran in the Navy, at least in the summers. So my accountant brain is trying out a new idea.  Would it cost less to buy every home in the U.S. a Carrier AC system if they don’t have one (the one I remember) than “transition” to zero fossil fuels. If that math works out let’s talk to the Europeans who never figured out AC. 

    • #3
  4. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell
    @JimMcConnell

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Climate greedsters are a problem, too.

    Speaking of which, how’s Al Gore doing at selling his Carbon Credits? Is that still a thing, or has Al moved on to other scams?

    • #4
  5. navyjag Coolidge
    navyjag
    @navyjag

    So you didn’t see the latest Bee? Back at it only pretending to be a Swedish female with long braids. Since they know so much about the climate. 

    • #5
  6. DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax)
    @DonG

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Climate greedsters are a problem, too.

    Speaking of which, how’s Al Gore doing at selling his Carbon Credits? Is that still a thing, or has Al moved on to other scams?

    The EPA had a carbon credit scheme, but SCOTUS ruled it unconstitutional just a few weeks back.   They will try again and again as the eco-commies never tire of trying to destroy the lives of people.

    • #6
  7. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    Anyone who reads history knows that there have been unusual heat waves, cold snaps, thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes, monsoons, droughts, rains etc etc etc throughout recorded- and even unrecorded history.  And for a long time, when these events happened, we wondered what we did to make the gods angry, and sacrificed animals or humans to the powers that be in order to get them to stop.   Now, the cowering environmentalists are willing to sacrifice Western economies to the carbon gods so they will show favor to us.  Don’t think it will work any better this time.  

     

    • #7
  8. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Jim McConnell (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Climate greedsters are a problem, too.

    Speaking of which, how’s Al Gore doing at selling his Carbon Credits? Is that still a thing, or has Al moved on to other scams?

    I was thinking more of the corporate greedsters who think the government corporation should have more money so it can regulate our energy-consumption and climate-changing activities more closely. 

    • #8
  9. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

     What we are experiencing today could be no more than a blip in a 60 million year cooling trend.

    • #9
  10. OmegaPaladin Moderator
    OmegaPaladin
    @OmegaPaladin

    I am still waiting some person with actual power to take steps to reduce their own carbon footprint.  

    • #10
  11. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    navyjag (View Comment):

    So you didn’t see the latest Bee? Back at it only pretending to be a Swedish female with long braids. Since they know so much about the climate.

    The article about the Gender Periodic Table had me laughing out loud . . .

    • #11
  12. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):

    I am still waiting some person with actual power to take steps to reduce their own carbon footprint.

    Here’s an easy way.  Just use the image settings. 

    • #12
  13. DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax)
    @DonG

    What’s with the hysteria over N2O ?   I read a lot of articles about Global Warming and nitrous oxide is rarely mentioned, but now we have The Netherlands and Canada shutting down farms (or other big users of fertilizer).  Did Klaus Schwab order a Code Red on farming ??

    • #13
  14. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte
    @Charlotte

    navyjag (View Comment):
    the Europeans who never figured out AC

    Why haven’t they, anyway? It gets really hot in Spain, Greece, Italy, southern France, etc. Is it illegal? Too expensive? Overly-regulated? Does anyone know what this is about?

    • #14
  15. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Great post.

    For those interested: Even the latest UN IPCC assessment reports (AR6) show the confidence level for predictions regarding severe weather and droughts to be low. Generally because of insufficient or unreliable data, they just don’t know if we’re seeing more severe weather or odd precipitation patterns, or not.

    You’d never guess that from the news, of course.

    (And don’t dare mention it on Twitter, or people will start making strangely personal comments that, while they don’t actually engage the point you’re making, nonetheless convey the fact that you are not appreciated for making it.)

    • #15
  16. Scott Wilmot Member
    Scott Wilmot
    @ScottWilmot

    Great post. The climate nuts not only ignore history, they ignore science. Look at the geologic record; the earth has gone back and forth between icehouse and greenhouse periods. To think that man can influence the global climate is preposterous in my opinion.

    It is hot down here in Texas. I live in Buffalo and we’ve had at least 3 weeks of 100+ dF temperatures and no significant rain since I can’t remember when. Normal summer except for the lack of rain. Farmers and ranchers are feeling it. Our livestock pond still has water and we have a 30,000 gallon rainwater collection/storage tank with a water well backup so we can survive better than those folks before us – but they were definitely more stout – I like my AC (we have a backup generator that powers our entire living quarters and water system).

    • #16
  17. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    Kelly D Johnston: For the record, there’s no doubt that average global temperatures have warmed a bit – about 1-1.5 degrees – since the little ice age that ended during the mid-1800s, around the time of our Civil War. Is it human-influenced? Possibly, even probably. The question is, what do we do about it? Do we cause massive starvation and economic dislocation through draconian environmental and industrial policies that don’t work, or do we take steps to mitigate, as Virginia and other states are doing now?

    This pretty much encapsulates my view of climate change.  

    The climate may be changing or it may not be.  

    Humans may be partly responsible or they may not be.  

    For #1, I should be surprised if the climate weren’t changing.  It always has and always will.  For #2,  I can be convinced that we are partly responsible although I don’t know how much. 

    But one thing I do know for sure is that whatever the answers to these questions, bankrupting the US and Western Democracies will not help. 

     

     

    • #17
  18. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    Global warming seems to be happening and humans may be contributing to it.  Since we control emissions better than almost everyone, certainly more than the Chinese, we should zero in on those who contributed more harm.  If we destroy our own economy for some minor marginal advantage it helps the Chinese do us in.  Are we insane, or already dominated by them?  Of course we can do more if it has marginal economic advantage for our economy.  

    • #18
  19. Bob W Member
    Bob W
    @BobW

    I remember the heat in the summer of 54! We lived in Columbia, MO, of course with no air conditioning.  The Temps never got below 95 for at least two weeks. And the humidity was about 95 percent for the whole time also. I got to go to the one theater  that had air conditioning in town once, it was the expensive one.

    At I remember at night just laying on my bed next to the open window wishing I could get to sleep. After a few days you just kind of passed out. I was 13 then and as a kid you don’t  remember the weather much unless it was unusual. I remember that time very well.

    • #19
  20. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) (View Comment):

    What’s with the hysteria over N2O ? I read a lot of articles about Global Warming and nitrous oxide is rarely mentioned, but now we have The Netherlands and Canada shutting down farms (or other big users of fertilizer). Did Klaus Schwab order a Code Red on farming ??

    I just heard that not only animal agriculture but ALL agriculture is destroying the planet.

    George Monbiot: “Agriculture is arguably the most destructive industry on Earth”

     

    Even vegans are t safe…

    https://brandnewtube.com/watch/plant-agriculture-is-destroying-the-planet-must-watch_vG8qFqRqLTRJLSg.html

    • #20
  21. DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax)
    @DonG

    Charlotte (View Comment):

    navyjag (View Comment):
    the Europeans who never figured out AC

    Why haven’t they, anyway? It gets really hot in Spain, Greece, Italy, southern France, etc. Is it illegal? Too expensive? Overly-regulated? Does anyone know what this is about?

    It is a great excuse for spending the month of August at the coast.   It is a pretty smart situation.

    • #21
  22. DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax)
    @DonG

    I Walton (View Comment):

    Global warming seems to be happening and humans may be contributing to it. Since we control emissions better than almost everyone, certainly more than the Chinese, we should zero in on those who contributed more harm. If we destroy our own economy for some minor marginal advantage it helps the Chinese do us in. Are we insane, or already dominated by them? Of course we can do more if it has marginal economic advantage for our economy.

    Russia for sure has sponsored environmental groups in Europe.  I assume China is doing the same here.   Half the people are easily manipulated by propaganda and our enemies use them against us. 

    On what timescale do you think Global warming happening?  

    • #22
  23. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Charlotte (View Comment):

    navyjag (View Comment):
    the Europeans who never figured out AC

    Why haven’t they, anyway? It gets really hot in Spain, Greece, Italy, southern France, etc. Is it illegal? Too expensive? Overly-regulated? Does anyone know what this is about?

    Although it’s been many years since I have been in Europe, the explanation used to be 1) the very high cost of energy in Europe (European governments have for decades artificially elevated the consumers’ cost of energy, and air conditioning is a pretty big energy user), and 2) the high percentage of old buildings were difficult to retrofit. European heating is largely hot water or oil, not forced air, so they are not used to building with the air ducting required for air conditioning. 

    • #23
  24. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    Kelly D Johnston:

     

    For the record, there’s no doubt that average global temperatures have warmed a bit – about 1-1.5 degrees – since the little ice age that ended during the mid-1800s, around the time of our Civil War.

    Are you sure about that?  I haven’t looked at figures in a while but the general figure arrived at by the multiple measuring agencies used to be about 6/10ths of one degree Celcius or about one degree Fahrenheit.  I know they’ve been “massaging” the temperature data from the past, especially during the Dust Bowl era that you mentioned, in order to make it appear to be even warmer today but I didn’t think they were brazen enough to claim more than one degree.

    I like to ask people, “If you put your finger into a glass of water and I raised the temperature of that water one degree within the next minute, would you even notice the difference?  Now would you notice the difference if I raised the temperature one degree over a period of 150 years??”

    That shows what a trifling amount of temperature variation we are talking about.  It doesn’t even show up on a graph unless you stretch the y-axis tens or hundreds of times the normal amount, which is exactly what they do when they want to demonstrate Global Warming, otherwise the temperature line would be nearly straight across and show no change.

    • #24
  25. Steven Seward Member
    Steven Seward
    @StevenSeward

    Something that has always bothered me about the Global Warming theory is that the Earth’s atmosphere has an almost imperceptible amount of heat energy compared to the solid Earth itself.  Earth’s mass is approximated one million times greater than the mass of our thin atmosphere, and therefore carries the overwhelming brunt of temperature regulation for the planet. 

    It’s like your kitchen oven, where the temperature may be 400 degrees, but you can put your hands inside and the air will not harm you because the air’s mass is so small that its heat energy dissipates almost instantly against your much more massive hands.  However, touch anything metal inside there and you’ll start screaming bloody murder.  The metal is hundreds of times more massive than the quantity of air.  Now imagine something one-million times more massive than the atmosphere.  It will not change any measurable amount even if you changed the temperature of the atmosphere by a thousand degrees.

    This is why we have a “freeze line” where you can sink water pipes in the ground up to a few feet and it will never get cold enough to freeze the water in the pipes.  Depending on where you live it is not very deep.  The coldest places in Alaska have a freeze line only eight feet deep.  The planet is hardly affected by the weather taking place on its surface.

    I said all that to get to my latest discovery – there is a completely new theory of Climate Change based on the fact that the Earth constantly pumps heat into its atmosphere through volcanoes, both above ground and underwater, and through Ocean Vents all along the tectonic plates of the Earth.  The guy in this video calls it “Plate Climatology.”  This makes a helluva lot more sense to me than some trace gases,  spray cans and cattle farts causing massive changes in temperature.  This is one hour long, but fascinating,  if you are interested.

    https://rumble.com/v1bpqpn-climate-alarmist-will-hate-this-video.-msm-too.html

    • #25
  26. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge
    Gazpacho Grande'
    @ChrisCampion

    Ekosj (View Comment):

    What we are experiencing today could be no more than a blip in a 60 million year cooling trend.

    Thanks.  The planet is billions of years old.  We take a day, a month, 10 years of data (inconsistently gathered, and often gathered near heat sinks), and say “This is the trend!”

    Garbage.  If anything, we should be hitting ourselves in the faces with anvils for assuming we know much of anything causal around warming or cooling trends, particularly since our weather patterns seem to highly correlate with solar cycles.  But shhh!  Alarms must be sounded and scams promulgated.

    • #26
  27. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Any measurement of debt to GDP, anywhere, is too high for this to be “solved” with anything except compact nuclear reactors. You are not going to overcome that with wishful thinking + government force. 

    A barrel of oil has $200,000 of human labor in it. etc. You are not going to overcome that with wishful thinking + government force. 

    I’m pretty sure every single mineral extraction capital expenditure is at least five years behind schedule, globally. So we are just going to build a brand new energy infrastructure. Sure. 

    One billion destitute poor people on the planet don’t give a damn about any of this, rightly.

    India and the Chinese communists put up 26 clean coal plants every single year.

    If things get bad enough, clean coal is going to look really good for a whole bunch of reasons. We make decisions like this all of the time.

     

    • #27
  28. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Another thing. That White House economic guy, Brian Deese, comes off as an academic or something. He came from Black Rock. When you look at his goofy rhetoric from the past few days, do you think he ever talked like that on the inside? 

     

     

     

    • #28
  29. BastiatJunior Member
    BastiatJunior
    @BastiatJunior

    I read a book that covered a single month out of history.  Mentioned in passing, temperatures reached 100 degrees in the San Fernando Valley during that month.  Not an unusual summer temperature for that region, but this wasn’t summer.

    What was the book? December 1941: 31 Days That Changed America and Saved the World
    by Craig Shirley 

    • #29
  30. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    RufusRJones (View Comment):
    One billion destitute poor people on the planet don’t give a damn about any of this, rightly.

    This is, for me, the nail-in-the-coffin argument. Anything short of truly plausible ecological disaster is easily countered, in my opinion, by the grim reality faced by hundreds of millions of people trapped in poverty by the unavailability of reliable cheap energy. The unwillingness of rich western activists to face this simple reality in pursuit of the boutique alternative energy solutions suggests to me that they really don’t understand how humans use energy.

    • #30
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