People have always complained about the weather, but now it’s different

Everybody complains about the weather but nobody does anything about it.

That’s an old joke that is humorous for its irony. The irony is that it places weather in the same category as common place circumstances that we humans can control, such as cleaning house,   mowing the lawn, reading a book, or fixing a broken water pipe.  Complaining about any if those sorts of things leads to doing something about them.

But of course, humans throughout time have understood that complaining about the weather is futile because it is beyond our control.  Until the late 20th Century, no human was silly enough to seriously suggest otherwise.  Only charlatans and quacks holding themselves out as “rainmakers” made ridiculous claims about be able to change the weather or the climate.  They were usually met with distrust and disbelief.

Suddenly, in the 1970’s a small group of hustlers began to claim that human activity was causing the earth to cool and that an ice age was coming that would wipe us all out.  A Los Angeles Times headline on January 15, 1970 read, Is Mankind Manufacturing a New Ice Age or Itself.  For a thorough and quite astounding compilation of news articles on the global cooling scare of the 1970’s go to Watts Up With That?, a terrific website maintained by Anthony Watts that follows the global warming and climate change scare which has replaced the cooling scare of the 1970’s.

When global cooling failed to show any signs of it actually happening these charlatans replaced it with the global warming scare. But there has been no warming at all in the last 17 years. Moreover, global warming scientists are deemed to be untrustworthy since the leaking of damaging and revealing private emails and the revelation that one of their heroes concocted false data to construct a graph that looks like a hockey stick and purports to show massive and unprecedented warming of the earth’s atmosphere in the 20th Century.  The alarmists have reacted to this development by creating a modified new scare called “climate change.”  That one is also one the way out, to be replaced by “climate chaos.”

Preposterous claims are not the problem.  There have always been those willing to make laughable claims about anything.  But ordinary people were usually and rightly skeptical. Now, as an historical first, a lot of people believe mankind can do something about the climate.  The joke about the weather isn’t funny anymore.

It would not be so depressing if it could be said that only fools and idiots are falling for this nonsense.  But otherwise intelligent and reasonable people have bitten into this apple.  No less a light than conservative economist James Pethokoukis, An American Enterprise Institute Scholar who usually sees through the big-government schemes of the collectivist left, recently saw fit to write the following:  “Balancing risks and accounting for trade-offs also seem like a political and policy smart way to being thinking about climate change and what to do about it.”

What to do about it?  Snap out of it Mr. Pethokoukis, please.  So I can continue to read what you write. So I can continue to listen to your podcasts. So I can continue to respect you.

See another take on Mr. Pethokoukis’s strange dip into the toxic atmosphere of climate scare here.