Dear Readers: HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY! I wanted to share a few chestnuts with you that show two terms I overheard this weekend, and tie which into key news items I read.
CHUTZPAH: In Hebrew, chutzpah is used indignantly, to describe someone who has overstepped the boundaries of accepted behavior with no shame. And that term truly applies to President Obama. In this administration, there is a wealth of chutzpah to chose from. But this example is iconic: OBAMA REFERRED TO HIMSELF AS “THE GIPPER” IN A PRESS CONFERENCE..
Most citizens recognize “The Gipper” is the nickname for revered President Ronald Regan. Frankly, I think Obama misread TOTUS. Based on my conversations over at Covert Conservatives, I think he meant “Gypper“. His budget proposals will be one big gyp. Here is something I prepared specially for the 2012 campaign:
(Thank you, Trailboss!).
Another example of Chutzpah: A Ruling Class elite liberal media type (and graduate of Harvard) decides who won and lost at CPAC, the conservative conference held this weekend. My take: I think conservatives should have already learned that when one of the Ruling Class elites deems someone a “loser”, chances are high that the “loser” actually poses a serious threat to Ruling Class perks. Whatever Burns paid for his Harvard degree, he is going to find that it was way too much for its current value in the new American marketplace of ideas.
MOXIE:The ability to face difficulty with spirit and courage. Jan Brewer is the living, breathing example of MOXIE. She is leading Team Arizona’s counter-suit against the Obama Administration: Arizona to Sue Federal Government for Failing to Secure Borders and Enforce Immigration Laws. I say JAN BREWER FOR PRESIDENT. Here is something I prepped for her campaign:
A more local example of Moxie: Orange County Cities are leaving the leftist California League of Cities: “We in Orange County will no longer be sending our dues to the state and have our dollars used against our goals,” explains Mission Viejo Mayor Pro Tem Frank Ury, who is a director at large for the new association.
Finally, a guest essay today that shows scientific moxie — and the degree of difficulty that climate scientists face when they challenge the theology that is man-made global warming:
A Microcosm of Climate Science Bias in San Diego?
by Dr. Martin Fricke, nuclear physicist and Sr. Fellow of the American Physical Society
In these days of clamor about global warming on the federal level (the EPA’s authority to mandate its own cap-and-trade) and the state level (California’s homegrown cap-and-trade, AB32), some San Diegans may have experienced these political controversies at the local level.
The Lyncean Group has been a valuable part of our local community of scientists in San Diego. The Lyncean’s Charter begins with: “The Lyncean Group is the name given to a gathering of retired and semi-retired technical professionals who meet regularly to discuss subjects associated with science and technology, to learn from one another, to share thoughts and ideas, and to enjoy a mutual interest in science, technology and related fields.”
The Lynceans host talks at the Ruben H. Fleet Science Center at Balboa Park in San Diego and have invited eminent outside speakers such as Dr. Kip Thorne of Caltech, the world’s leading expert on gravity waves from black holes and a collaborator of Steven Hawking.
I was able to persuade the Lynceans to host two talks at the Fleet on anthropogenic (man-made) global warming (AGW), the first one by Drs. Cohen and Happer(1) and the second by Dr. S. Fred Singer(2). Both of these talks were reported by Leslie Eastman (see HERE and HERE). These talks dealt strictly with the newest science that bears on this subject, much of which contradicts the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) , the international body for the assessment of climate change established by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) .
During the time between these two talks, the Lyncean leadership invited Dr. Richard Somerville (3), a leading spokesman for the IPCC, to speak. The IPCC shared the 2007 Noble prize with Al Gore but was disgraced by the revelations in “Climategate” and elsewhere. In his talk, Dr. Somerville wasn’t content to leave it at science, vs. politics, and presented four slides accompanied by ad hominem remarks disparaging the work of the world famous scientists Freeman Dyson and Will Happer who had refuted the IPCC’s claims. And he declined to answer my questions on science after his talk, saying to the last one, “This is the kind of question that usually makes me walk out of the room.” Then Somerville refused to debate Dr. Singer when he came to town.
During and after the two climate talks I promoted, by Cohen-Happer and Singer, I was admonished by the Lyncean leadership for encouraging “controversial” talks (nothing said about Dr. Somerville). They then called for a business meeting on January 26 with an agenda including formalizing a procedure to select future outside speakers and barring the press from attending the talks. I showed up at this meeting and presented the following recommendation for the record:
First and foremost, I think you have to define your objectives:
Do you want the Lynceans to be restricted to mainly in-house, non-controversial subjects?
Do you want to have a wider scope, continue to have more outside experts speak on the most interesting, cutting-edge research which is usually controversial within, and often beyond, the scientific community? Remember the Bohr-Einstein debates? That the controversy might extend to the general public and politics is, I think, a non-issue here.
If the Lynceans should decide to have the broader scope, I think it’s a good idea to have a formal Program Committee to arrange for speakers. However, I think it should be a combination of the membership working together with that committee. It shouldn’t be strictly a top-down process but should take advantage of the experience of the general membership, especially of their capability to do bottom-up networking. E.g., if a member said he would like to hear Stephen Hawking speak, would someone from the Committee make a cold call? IF, on the other hand, a member informed the Committee that, in the course of his networking, Stephen told him he’d be in town during July and, after being told about the Lynceans, Steven expressed an interest in addressing us — and the member left it up to the Committee for any follow-up — I think the Committee would be more effective.
As regards prohibiting press in the audience, where would you draw the line? – prohibiting government officials from attending, banning any official spokesmen for academic or other institutions, and on down the line. Additionally, these days the definition of what is the “press” is elusive. Pretty much anyone can have a blog or comment on a blog. But why would we want to rule out anyone from attending based on where they come from? Also, that would be easily circumvented if someone simply invited Joe Blow as a personal friend and Joe turned out to be a conniver of some sort. Any organization sponsoring public talks must contend with this unless they are strictly a private club and restrict attendance to members only. But science should be open to the public. And “connivers” could be controlled at the talks by the Chair or Program Committee.
However, the Lynceans sent out an email with the results of their meeting, excluding my submission but rather announcing:
“[The leadership] shares the feeling that the group has recently been somewhat used to promote specific agendas…. [And] that the group should be careful when inviting speakers on controversial subjects that may have political implications. As a minimum, the possibility of the group being used for the promotion of a particular agenda should be considered and discussed by the members of the program committee before extending invitations to controversial speakers. [The leadership] would not encourage the participation of press members and bloggers that may report on previous talks or advertise future presentations by the group.”
The above-mentioned innuendo about “promotion of agendas” was the result of the purely scientific talks I helped arrange, which disputed AGW. And, per the above, the Lynceans don’t want their meetings covered by any press “that may report on previous talks or advertise future presentations by the group”. [Wow!]
The Lynceans should seriously consider becoming a secret society and using a secret handshake.(4)
Martin P. Fricke, Ph.D.
(1) Dr. William Happer is the Cyrus Fogg Brackett Professor of Physics at Princeton University and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. He was the previous Director of Energy Research, appointed by the President, and he now chairs a Standing Committee of the National Research Council. He testified before the Senate last year on global warming. Dr. Roger Cohen is a Fellow of The American Physical Society who was with the Exxon Mobil Research and Engineering Company as its Senior Director for Corporate Research and its Manager of Strategic Planning and Programs, managing research on climate science.
(2)Dr. S. Fred Singer is Professor Emeritus of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia and founding director of the US Weather Satellite Service (now NESDIS-NOAA). His book “Unstoppable Global Warming – Every 1500 Years” (Rowman & Littlefield, 2007) presents the evidence for natural climate cycles of warming and cooling and became a NYTimes best-seller. He is the organizer of NIPCC (Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change) and editor of its 2008 report “Nature – Not Human Activity – Rules the Climate”, and coauthor of “Climate Change Reconsidered,” published in 2009, with conclusions contrary to those of the IPCC.
(3) Dr. Richard C. J. Somerville is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego. He is a leading spokesman for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Somerville was a Coordinating Lead Author in a Working Group for the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, published in 2007, which led to the Nobel Prize shared by IPCC and former Vice President Al Gore. He has since lectured widely on the activities of the IPCC and is a staunch proponent of the dangers posed by AGW and a strong supporter of remedial measures.
(4) I sent a draft copy of this piece to the Lyncean leadership for their response. The comments I received were mainly as follows: Future in-house and outside speakers will be permitted to address controversial subjects determined by the leadership. We see the Lynceans as collegial scientific club holding meetings for our fellowship and curiosity. However, there remain concerns about admitting the press. You [Martin] are biased about global warming and have taken up far too much of the Lynceans’ time and energy and it would perhaps be better if we separated.