2020’s First “Presidential” Debate

I watched the debate and think I had pretty much the same reaction to what I saw as most people did. That is most people except those on “cable news”. But once the debate was over I was interested to see what the coverage would be in the Gazette. And boy was there coverage! Thursday’s paper four articles and a cartoon on the debate and an additional article related to the election. Fridays Opinion Page had to columns, a cartoon and an additional column about a topic covered in the debate, but not directly about the debate discussion on the topic.

I wasn’t really interested in what others thought about the debate or o[pinions on who analysts thought had won it, I was perfectly capable of coming to my own conclusions. What I was very interested in seeing was any “fact checking” that was done. I’m still waiting for an article like that.

The debate covered some serious topics, though the responses to the questions were overshadowed by name calling and speaking over each other. Topics that I expected some “fact checking on” were:

Covid-19: Vice President (and his running mate) has been claiming that President Trump had no plan early on and still doesn’t have a plan. I wasn’t disappointed as he made those claims again. But what is the truth of the claims?

Without addressing whether the Trump Administration’s plan was timely or effective, there is no question they had a plan. I happen to watch Fox News and for what seemed at least two months we were subjected to daily Covid-19 Task Force updates. We were introduced to the leadership team, their responsibilities, updates on their progress and the latest Covid-19 statistics. While I could go into some of the details of their plan, that isn’t necessary to say that VP Biden’s statement that the Trump Administration had no plan and still has no plan is FALSE!

Climate Change: President Trump was asked if he believed in “climate change” and what he would do about it. He gave a lukewarm answer that he did and then claimed it was 37th on the list of things voters were concerned about. VP Biden went through a list of things the suburbs need to worry about if we don’t bring global warming under control. That was an obvious attempt to court suburban women voters. He then went on to include a pledge to make the Federal Government 100% Carbon Neutral during his time in office.

I was very disappointed in both candidates’ answers to the question. After all, the debate was being held in Cleveland! Less than 15,000 years ago what is now Cleveland was covered by a huge sheet of ice called a glacier. It had been in place for possibly 10,000 years. (The reached Chillicothe approximately 22,000 years ago.) That glacier is gone. And that glacial advance was the third in “recent” climate history. It is the reason why Michigan and Minnesota are “flat as a pancake” as is 2/3 of what is now Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and much of Wisconsin. So the obvious correct answer to the question is NO! Man’s use of fossil fuels is not the main factor in warming temperatures and rising sea levels. The climate has been warming and sea levels have been rising for around 20,000 years. Their answers were FALSE!

Condemning Extremists and Trump is a Racist: Once again President Trump was asked if he condemned extremists and he was accused of being a racist by VP Biden. I rate Trump’s response to the requirement to condemn extremists as a bit weak, but he did do it. However with the dozens of times over the last four years that he has made clear statements and the acts he has taken it seemed like a foolish question to ask. And as far as VP Biden calling President Trump a racist, it might be another case of a Democrat practicing “projection” considering his recent comments. It is strange that Chris Wallace didn’t ask Biden about them? Or is it?

So basically there has been no official “fact checking” the things they said in the debate covered in the Gazette? That’s strange considering some of the insignificant things they carried fact check articles on in the past!

Sept 2, 2020: “Biden OK to sidestep court question”

By Carl Golden; Guest Columnist of USA Today Network

I was a bit taken aback by the heading to this column, but after reading it found the column to be well written and thought out. Carl makes the case against packing the court (Supreme Court) with additional judges. His position is best wrapped in this paragraph:

“Demanding a reconfiguration of the court to meet their (vocal left) demands, however only serves to undermine public confidence in the judicial process and promotes the belief that a fair and unbiased application of the law and constitution has taken a back seat to an obsession with political victories.”

I certainly agree with those thoughts.

My only disagreement is with the following that he included: “Democrat leaders were privately aghast at the court packing scheme…”. After seeing Sen. Chuck Schumer’s and Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s comments on last night news it didn’t seem they were all that “aghast”. Instead it looked like they were threatening to do just that. Pack the court. And they are the Democrat’s leadership in the House and Senate. However that really doesn’t take away from Carl’s column.

However, I am left wondering who came up with the heading for the column. “Biden OK to sidestep court question.” No where in the column does he state that reflects his opinion. In fairness to his well written column, it seems to go against the position he states. If he is against “packing the court” because it would undermine the judicial process why would he think it was okay for Biden and Harris to sidestep the question? I doubt he would. It seems he would be in favor of insisting they take a position and hope it was against packing the court.

From my experience, headlines are not created by the columnist but instead are created by someone associated with the Opinion Page. It is usually the role of an “editor”. So is that who created the heading? Did they actually read the column before coming up with the heading? Often headings are what readers most remember. So it appears the heading was purposefully created to mislead.

We see deception too frequently in the Chillicothe Gazette when it comes to state and national news. The question is how are they held accountable so that it doesn’t happen in the future.

If you agree with my assessment you might want to drop them a note at: gaznews@chillicothegazette.com.

Sept. 30, 2020: “How rich Americans avoid high taxes”

By Nathan Bomey of USA Today

It might surprise some people to find out that in a recent tax year 33.4% of tax payers paid $0.00 in Federal Income Tax. In fact a significant number of them got tax refunds larger than the amount of taxes that had been withheld. Is this another case of the wealthy avoiding paying their fair share of taxes? No, it’s the result of the a tax code that includes an Earned Income Tax Credit, standard deductions and other opportunities made available to low income filers. In the latest information I came across (2016) the lowest 50% of filers by Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) paid only 3.04% of Federal Personal Income Taxes. That’s something that was never anticipated by those who first put forward the plan for a Federal Tax on Incomes.

I first became aware of the original income tax rates and formula when Steve Forbes’s organization, Americans for Hope, Growth and Opportunity, mailed out copies of the original tax forms. You can see a copy of the form on the Bradford Tax Institute website along with a brief history of the top tax rates.

The form was two pages long. The second page included a listing of the various types of income and a place to put the total for each. The first page included the seven rates and a way to calculate the amount of income each rate would be applied to. It is interesting to note that every citizen earning income was required to pay Federal Income tax. The bottom rate was 1% and it applied to income up to $20,000. There were six higher rates, each adding an additional 1%, making the top rate 7%. It was applied to income over $500,000 or over $11 million in today’s value. Those were the rates in 1913. Prior to 1913 there was no Federal Income Tax with the exception of during the Civil War. Prior to 1913 Taxing income was unconstitutional!

The low rates of the first Federal Income Tax didn’t last long with the top rate hitting 77% five years later in 1918. The top rate reached an all time high of 94% during WWII. Rates have varied since then in an attempt to encourage economic activity (lower rates) or to fund Federal spending (higher rates). Over this same period of time the two page tax form was increased to reflect new changes to the tax code. The changes reflected categories of income, deductions, allowances and credits reflecting various priorities of Congress. But those priorities often rewarded one at the expense of others. I offer two examples:

Mortgage Interest Deduction: This deduction was introduced to reward home ownership and spur the real estate market. The result of the deduction is those with large and expensive homes pay less in taxes than they otherwise would, while people who rent while saving for a home pay more than they otherwise would.

Child Tax Credit: The child tax credit was put in place to help families with children. Individuals who are saving to get married and eventually have families pay higher rates than those who have children. So do those who have previously raised children and are now saving for retirement.

One of the major issues over the years has been how to handle gains on the sale of assets. This includes the sale of one’s home. For many years selling your home could create a Federal Income Tax liability. The difference between what you sold your home for and what you paid (its basis) for it was called a “capital gain”. That required a home owner to keep an extensive set of records on what improvements they had made to their home because they could be used to increase the “basis” by being added to the original purchase price.

The term capital gain took on real consequences during the 80’s when we had high inflation. Inflation wasn’t considered in the formula so the capital gain you had on your home or other asset might only be the result of inflation, not a real inflation adjusted increase in value. Yet you still paid taxes on the increased value?

“It’s much harder to avoid taxes on your paycheck than on your investments.” This section of the article talks about the difference between wages and investment earnings and when taxes on both are paid. What it doesn’t address is how did the individual get the funds they invested. Typically funds for investment come from left over wages after the wages have been taxed. People make choices on what to spend their wages on. Some use it to pay for houses. Others for cars, vacations and lifestyle. Some opted for saving some of their wages for investment purposes. So if their original investment was made with money that was already taxed as wages is it fair for gains on those investments to be taxed? Especially since gains aren’t adjusted for inflation? Aren’t investments what spurs on our economy? Aren’t investment gains what helps many individuals have a successful retirement rather than depending solely on Social Security?

The article goes on to talk about “Unrealized Gains”. That is the amount an asset has increased in value since it was acquired. It implies that unrealized gains are somehow unfair. The solution to unrealized gains is to tax gains in the year they occur, rather than when they are realized (the asset is sold). There are two major problems with that. First taxing gains when they occur usually would require the sale of some of the asset(s) in order to pay the tax. One of the biggest sources of unrealized gains is land. So if farmers were required to pay for the increasing value of their land when it occurs, they most likely would have to sell some of their land to pay for it. Couple that with the fact that much of the increase in value of land is due to inflation and it would create real issues for them.

A second issue with taxing gains when they occur is investments go up and down in value. So a large increase in value one year may be followed by a decrease in value the following year. If you are required to pay tax on the increased value in the first year, where does the money come from to pay the tax? And what happens if it decreases in value the next? These are the reasons why taxes on investment gains are paid when the investment is sold, not as it occurs.

“Benefitting from death tax policies”: The basic question on “death tax” “is it fair to benefit from your ancestors’ decision to not spend all their wealth during their life time.” It is really important for business owners and farm families. If the heirs of business owners and farmers are required to pay taxes on the value of what they inherit will they have to sell the items they inherit to pay the taxes? But it applies to all of us when we die. If you decide to save some of the wages you earn, why should the government get it rather than your grandchildren?

The original income tax form required all individuals with income to pay at least some Federal Income Tax. We’ve come a far cry from that. Maybe it is time to go back to that simple formula. It would cost a lot of tax accountants their careers, but it would make the tax code much simpler and “fairer”. And it might cause voters to think differently about increased Federal spending.

The 16th Amendment to the Constitution allowed for a Federal Income Tax. It was passed in 1909 and ratified in 1913. While we can debate whether it was a wise policy to implement, one thing is certain. By not including, in the amendment, the actual rates that would be used and a formula for calculating the income the rates would be applied against, Congress was allowed to buy votes by proposing changes that favored one group of voters over others. We see that occurring in every election!

That, and the failure to have a Balanced Budget Amendment in the Constitution, will result in the downfall of our nation, just as the Founding Fathers predicted it would. That’s probably why they made it unconstitutional for the Federal Government to tax incomes!

Opinion: “Meet Sen. Markey (D-MA)”

U.S. Senator Edward John Markey of Massachusetts has served in both the House of Representatives and Senate since first being elected in 1976. That makes him one of the longest serving members of Congress. He is a member of the Democrat Party, serving as Massachusetts junior Senator since being sworn in in 2013 after a special election victory. He won reelection in 2014. Sen. Markey is up for election in 2020 and is being opposed by Republican Kevin O’Connor.

Markey is a progressive who has focused on climate change and energy policy and was chair of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming from 2007 to 2011. Markey is the Senate author of the Green New Deal.” Source: Wikipedia

While in the House, Markey was the lead, along with Rep. Waxman, in promoting legislation including a call for the development of a “Cape & Trade” program for greenhouse gases. The Waxman – Markey bill passed Congress in the summer of 2009.

Sen. Markey has long criticized Republicans who have opposed the supposed science that has driven the UN’s IPCC initiatives and Congress’s plan to impose restrictive legislation. He continues to support legislation despite the fact that the science supporting his legislative proposals has lost all credibility.

For more information, read:

Meet Prof. Michael Mann”:

“The Gazette and Climate Change: Pushing the Climate Change Hoax”

“Sept. 26, 2020: “Earth reminds voters what’s at stake in 2020”:

Also check out SEPP.org for the real science related to Climate Change.

Opinion: “Meet Prof. Michael Mann”

While not foremost on people’s mind as we prepare to vote in the upcoming election, Climate Change has been an important topic for many. But there is much about the topic that isn’t well known. Understanding who have been key figures behind the concern and their contributions on the topic are important. And there may not be a more important figure than Prof. Michael Mann of Penn State University. So why is that?

Background:

Concerns about Earth’s changing climate started to surface in the 1970’s. By 1992 the UN was working on change. That year they held an environmental conference in Brazil. At the conclusion of the meeting they agreed to hold an additional meeting in 1997 which became known as the Kyoto Conference. The attendees adopted the Kyoto Protocols requiring many countries to restrict green house gas emissions (CO2 in particular). China and India were to be exempted from the requirements of the protocols.

The Kyoto Protocols were to be adopted by the major countries in the world, including the U.S. However, for the U.S. to become a signatory, the Senate needed to agree through a formal vote, since it was considered a treaty. All treaties entered into by the U.S. must be ratified by the Senate. That became a problem. In July 1997 the Senate passed the Bryd – Hagel Resolution by a 95-0 vote. One of the motivating factors was people’s uncertainty as to whether recent climate change was naturally occurring or caused by the increased use of fossil fuels beginning with the second Industrial Revolution.

Prof. Mann’s Hockey Stick Chart:

In 1998 Michael Mann, along with others, produced a revised record of climate history for the prior 600 years. It was updated to cover 1,000 years in 1999. The revised version eliminated the fluctuations in climate known as the Medieval Warm Period and The Little Ice Age. This new chart of climate change became known as the “Hockey Stick Chart”. Because the new chart showed a steady decline in temperatures followed by a dramatic increase starting around 1850 (the start of the “second” Industrial Revolution) it became the center piece of the UN’s IPCC third report. This also reportedly eliminated the concerns expressed by the “skeptics” of man-made global warming that had been shown in prior charts such as the following.

The Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age are well documented in Art, Literature, History and Science so many people were skeptical of the new Hockey Stick Chart.

The controversy surrounding the Hockey Stick Chart heated up in November, 2009 (ten years after its release) when thousands of emails were released that showed a concerted effort to suppress any negative comments/publications regarding the new version of the climate history. This became known as “Climategate”. Following the release of the emails Prof. Mann’s work came under scrutiny and potential legal action. In an interview he took part in during the summer of 2010 Prof. Mann stated that he had always stated there were uncertainties with his chart and that it should never had been used for policy. But that’s exactly what Prof. Mann allowed it to be used for years when it was featured in the IPCC third report released in 2001.

Tim Ball Legal Suit

Climatologist Tim Ball went on record criticizing Prof. Mann and his Hockey Stick chart in an interview with the BBC saying that Prof. Mann should have been in the state pen rather than at Penn State. Prof. Mann sued Tim Ball for liable in a Canadian court asking for one million dollars. The case came down to two charts on recent climate history. Tim Ball’s showed both the MWP and LIA, while Michael Mann’s didn’t.

The judge eventually required Prof. Mann to share the basis for his chart with the court which Prof. Mann refused to do. Prof. Mann was held in contempt of court, his suit was dismissed and he was ordered to pay Tim Ball’s legal expenses.

The case was dismissed in August 2019! Yet we’ve seen little reporting on what is one of the most significant rulings in recent years. Since then we’ve still seen many stories on Climate Change that are based on the early use of Prof. Mann’s bogus Hockey Stick Chart. And if you do a search in Wikipedia for Medieval Warm Period or the Little Ice Age you will see they are now using the Hockey Stick Chart in the articles. This was not the case just a couple years ago.

What Does This Mean

When you take Prof. Mann’s refusal to follow a court order to share the basis of his Hockey Stick chart with the court coupled with the Climategate email release in 2009 which showed a concerted effort to keep a real scientific discussion on recent climate history from taking place there is only one conclusion to draw. The claim that man’s use of fossil fuels is driving an alarming increase in current and future temperatures is fraudulent. The claim is based on political science, not natural science. Why hasn’t the biggest story of the last 30 years been covered by the media?

All I can say is shame on you for pushing this scientific hoax! That’s shame on the Chillicothe Gazette, on Gannett News, shame on Fox News, shame on the major media outlets, shame on universities and boards of education that teach our youth this hoax. And shame on all the major corporations that jumped on the band wagon because they figured out the hoax would allow them the chance to make huge profits!

Finally, shame on my alma, the University of Kansas, which gave me the basic educational background to know that the Hockey Stick and man-made global warming were a hoax, yet is now giving out “Climate Change Certificates” based on this very same political, not natural, science!

Opinion: “The Beauty of Renewable Energy?”

There is nothing prettier than_______.

How would you fill in the blank? I’ve lived and traveled through much of the United States so I can think of any nouns to use in answering that question. Early in my life we lived ‘back east” and vacationed in Maine. So places like Pemaquid Point, with its picturesque lighthouse or quaint New Harbor with its lobster boats and seagulls come to mind. But I shouldn’t forget Acadia National Park on Mt. Desert Island.

While in high school, we took a four week vacation “out west” to the Rocky Mountains, the Tetons and Yellowstone. Each of those National Parks are full of natural wonders worthy of consideration. Yellowstone Falls certainly was beautiful as was the Keyboard of the Winds or looking across Jenny Lake to the magnificent peaks of the Tetons.

As an adult I’ve flown across some spectacular natural wonders. There is nothing like flying over the Grand Canyon as the sun is beginning to lower in the west. Not so long ago I was amazed at the beauty below me as we flew out of Portland, Oregon over mountains covered with snow. It was some of the prettiest abstract art I’ve ever seen!

A few years ago I went on a birding trip to the Big Bend area of Texas. It is desolate as can be, but even in its desolation I could see real beauty.

After having lived in Texas for fourteen years, I moved back to the Midwest with its corn and soybean fields as far as you could see. While some find those fields monotonous or boring, I found beauty in them. Much like looking across a corn field to the Stark Farm from Polk Hollow Road here in Ross County.

My first experience seeing what renewable energy looks like was on a trip my wife and I took to Palm Springs. One windy afternoon we drove outside of town and came across an expansive valley filled with wind turbines. As your eyes scanned the valley of motionless monoliths you could scantly make out the mountains beyond. That was my first experience with the “beauty” of renewable energy. But it wasn’t the last.

Trips to Chicago have taken me by other “farms” of motionless turbines standing high above soybean and corn fields. Occasionally, when I’m lucky and the wind is blowing at just the right velocity, I’ve actually seen the turbines rotating in monotonous circles. But you have to be lucky to catch that beautiful sight.

Trips to Odenton, Maryland have taken me by a solar farm. Partially hidden behind some trees, I was still able to make out the rows after rows of manmade steel and glass face up to the sky. It almost reminds me of the beauty in so many of the modern sculpture we see in our cities. (I can remember when they unveiled the Picasso in downtown Chicago. I still wonder is it really supposed to look like a baboon?)

Now we’re lucky as its more common to see wind turbines on hills and solar panels in fields as you drive through our countryside. But the beauty is just starting to spread. Soon wind turbines and solar panels will be everywhere as our nation strives to meet the goal of 100% renewable energy powered by wind and the sun. As an example, we recently read how a company is looking to locate 1,500 acres for a massive solar farm here in Ross County. How beautiful that will be?

One of my favorite things to do is to take a ride in Ross County’s rural landscape and take pictures of aged barns. Many of them are in semi disrepair, but there is still beauty in them. I’m looking forward to doing the same a decade or two from now with rusting wind turbines and solar panels as the subject for my photos. Those will be pictures to treasure, won’t they?

The 1911 version of “America the Beautiful” includes the following words:

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

I imagine the 2021 version will go something like this:

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For massive solar farms
For towering wind turbine majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
Man spread his works on thee
And filled thy land with signs of renewable energy
From sea to shining sea!

I’m inspired already!

Sept. 28, 2020: Cartoon on “SCOTUS Hearings”

By Adam Zygus of Cagle Cartoons

The cartoon portrays Sen. Mitch McConnell riding an elephant towards the Supreme Court Hearings. Behind the elephant a little fly says “Give the People a Voice in the filling of this vacancy.” This is reported to reflect the dying wish of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The obvious question is “Which People?”.

In 2016 President Trump achieved an Electoral College victory and became our President. He was elected to serve FOUR years. That four year term ends in January 2021. In 2018 Republicans gained seats in the US Senate, maintaining a majority. So during the last two elections voters elected a president and a Senate controlled by Republicans. Most observers believe that Trump’s promise to nominate and Republican Senators’ promise to confirm conservative justices to the Supreme Court were major factors in those victories.

But now Democrats want Trump and the Senate to deprive those voters of the victories they gained? They believe “The People” are those who will vote in the upcoming elections. Of course the results of those elections won’t be known for some time.

But “The people” have already had a voice in filling of the vacancy! They elected President Trump and a Republican majority in the Senate.

It sure looks like Democrats want to deny them that voice.

Sept. 27, 2020: “200,000 souls are asking their fellow Americans why” (part2)

Opinion piece by USA Today

Each Chillicothe Gazette Opinion page includes the following in the heading:

“The First Amendment: Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for redress of grievances.”

While the Constitution only address these rights as they apply to the Federal Government, they typically are thought to be rights that apply regarding local and state governments too. So it is interesting that USA Today would make the following statements in their opinion piece:

… the banning of large indoor gatherings are not assaults on freedom, …”

Those who flout restrictions on gatherings – for … worship services, political rallies or anything else – are only putting themselves and others at risk.”

It is hard to see how putting in place banning large indoor gatherings isn’t denying the right of people to peacefully assemble. And restriction on worship services is certainly prohibiting the free exercise of religion. So how does USA Today not see them as assaults on freedom guaranteed in the First Amendment?

If state and local governments are allowed to assault those basic first amendment rights, does that mean a state or local government can restrict what the Chillicothe Gazette or USA Today can print in its newspaper? Or if they were to find what is in their papers to be alarming or threatening, can they ban the Chillicothe or USA Today from publishing their paper in the government’s domain? I expect that USA Today would see that as a major violation of the their first amendment rights.

Why can’t they see that restricting worship services and the right to assemble in whatever number people chose aren’t also first amendment rights violations?

I suspect it has more to do with politics than principles!

Sept. 27, 2020: “200,000 souls are asking their fellow Americans why” (part 1)

Original Opinion piece by USA Today

This posting will be the first of two I’ll be writing related to this USA Today opinion piece printed in the Gazette. As you might suspect, it will be covering questions the “200,000 souls” might be asking that weren’t covered.

“Why were Covid-19 positive patients sent to our nursing home?”:

Five states in particular, including New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Michigan and California are reported to have required nursing homes to accept patients that were suspected of having or had tested positive for the Covid-19 virus. In New York’s case, the governor still required nursing homes to accept them, even after the nursing home industry objected saying they weren’t able to properly handle those patients and protect their resident’s safety. At least four of those states had a high percentage of their Covid-19 deaths from nursing homes. Many of those deaths occurred in the nursing homes, but others were transferred to hospitals where they died. So the exact number who died from these directives is unknown. Inquiries have been opened up to look into this issue. I suspect that at least some of those who died in nursing homes in those states might be asking “Would I still be alive if Covid-19 positive patients hadn’t been admitted to my nursing home?” Answering questions arising from this might give us insight into the motivation, but it will do little to ease the minds of those souls who died as a result.

“Why wasn’t I treated with a Hydroxychloride regiment?”

President Trump was highly criticized for taking a regiment including hydroxychloride as a preventive against the Covid-19 virus. At the same time, Detroit’s Henry Ford Hospital was using it to help protect frontline staff. Many doctors in private practice were also using it as a treatment for their Covid-19 virus patients and reporting very positive results. Just one story relayed by Fox News’ Medical Director, Dr. Seigel, related to how his father had recovered from the virus after receiving a Hydroxycloride regiment and recovered despite having been gravely ill. More reports from around the world are coming in how patients have responded positively once treated with it. I can only imagine that some of the “200,000 souls” who were denied the treatment might be asking “Is it possible I would still be alive if I had been treated with Hydroxychloride?” and “Why wasn’t I allowed to make the decision?”

USA Today states “Much of the blame lies at the hands of an astonishingly incompetent and politically motivated Trump administration…”. They then go on to blame many in the public “…manipulated by news organizations that profit from reinforcing people’s ill-informed opinions.” How true that statement is. But I suspect USA Today wasn’t commenting on their reporting. But maybe it is a case of “the Pot calling the kettle a very dark shade of gray“?

Note: In 1983 a prospective payment system was introduced into the Medicare program. Prior to that hospitals were reimbursed “cost” of caring for Medicare patients as determined by an annual cost report. A key component of the new program was the implementation of much tougher hospital admission criteria. This resulted in sicker patients remaining in nursing homes. However nursing homes weren’t necessarily prepared to keep those patients or properly reimbursed in order to increase the level of care available in their facilities. This has been an ongoing issue ever since.

Sept. 26, 2020: “Earth reminds voters what’s at stake in 2020”

By The USA Today Editorial Board

At a time when it looks like many of the scare tactics that the Gazette and Gannett News are no longer working, The USA Today Editorial Board went back to the tried and true “Man-made Climate Change” hoax. Here are a few of the things they say in their opinion piece:

“A feverish planet is telling voters it will not be ignored.”

“Massive Antarctic glaciers are breaking free as temperatures rise, threatening over time to raise sea levels 10 feet.”

“Actually, the science does know. Measurable rates of heat-trapping carbon dioxide are at level the world hasn’t seen in 800,000 years,…”

“… Global temperatures have risen significantly since the dawn of the industrial revolution.”

“But if …. melting glaciers carry any message, it’s that time is running out in the battle against climate change.”

So let’s take their concerns and facts one at a time:

Rising Sea Levels: What do the following have in common:

  1. Continental Shelf
  2. Bering Strait Land Bridge

Both were exposed during the Wisconsin Glaciation and are now under water. In an article on the Bering Land Bridge the author, Bryan Fagan, notes that “…approximately 20,000 years ago, when global sea levels were hundreds of feet below today’s levels…” It’s well accepted science that as the glaciers of the Wisconsin Glaciation melted they released massive amounts of water into the oceans and we had “rising sea levels”. In fact they have already risen “hundreds of feet”. (Nearly 400 feet.) The “projected” additional 10 ft. of rising sea level quoted in the opinion piece may have a significant impact on coastal cities, islands and beaches, but it is small in comparison with the sea level rise the Earth experienced long before the Industrial Revolution. So why is the editorial board so certain the Industrial Revolution will be to blame if the additional rise occurs.

Historic CO2 Levels:

According to science (biology) CO2 is an essential gas for life on Earth. Without CO2 in the atmosphere most, if not all, plants can’t exist. And without plants to take in CO2 and to give off oxygen, most animals can’t exist. Plants are also an essential food source for many animals. With higher levels of CO2 in the atmosphere for plants to take in, Earth greens (has more plant life). According to a study by NASA Earth has been greening the last 40 years. So if CO2 is essential to existence of life and a greener Earth is a good thing, then aren’t higher levels of CO2 actually beneficial? Won’t a greener Earth use more CO2 and produce more oxygen?

But the editorial board didn’t argue that. They stated as fact that we are experiencing the highest levels of CO2 in the last 800,000 years. The level is now estimated to be around 410 PPM.

In SEPP’s September 12, 2020 issue Ken Haappala talks about the greenhouse impact of various gases. In particular he addresses CO2.

As the concentration of a gas increases, its ability to cause a change in temperature diminishes; this is called “saturation,” and it is accurate as well as convenient to represent the change by a logarithmic curve. In the case of CO2, its importance begins to decline even below 100 parts per million (ppm), and at 400 ppm the influence of carbon dioxide (CO2) is close to full saturation. – having little effect. Thus, enormous increases in CO2 are needed to have even a minor influence on temperature.”

Science has been testing the absorption rates of various greenhouse gases. His statement reflects science’s findings. So if he is correct, the fact we are now at the highest level of CO2 in the last 800,000 years may not have much importance. And higher levels in the future may not result in much of an increase in temperature, but could help green the planet even more.

Increased temperatures since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution:

According to articles on the Industrial Revolution, it began in England with the mechanization of the textile industry. The shuttle loom changed the production of textiles, especially cotton. Eli Whitney’s cotton gin was another major factor in not only allowing for the mass production of cotton textiles, but also for the development of the New England textile industry. Massive textile mills were built alongside New England’s many rivers and were powered by harnessing the rivers renewal water power. A second “Industrial Revolution” took place after the American Civil War with the use of oil and the development of the combustion engine. Manufacturing was no longer limited by access to water power.

Long accepted by science is a period known as The Little Ice Age. This was a bleak period in history. It is estimated to have lasted from the 1300’s to the mid 1800’s. While not a full blown ice age, it was a cold period that included increasing glaciers in the Alps and other areas. The Little Ice Age followed a warm period known as the Medieval Warm Period or Anomaly. Both are well documented in art, literature, history and science.

So did the Industrial Revolution introduce warming or was the warming that has occurred over the last 170 years been part of a naturally occurring warming cycle that started 22,000 years ago? Either way, it appears it has been beneficial, not destructive.

Melting Glaciers’ message that “time is running out”:

If you look at enough papers, you are bound to come across an article about melting glaciers. The last one I saw related to the melting of Greenland’s glaciers. So when did the melting start?

To get a clear picture, one must start with when did glaciers stop expanding. The last major glacial expansion in North America is known as the Wisconsin Glaciation. The Wisconsin Glaciation didn’t impact just what is now known as the state of Wisconsin, but impacted every New England and Midwest state.

Ohio is no exception. The glacier extended as far south as what is now Western Ave. in Chillicothe and covered two thirds of the state’s land mass. It is estiamted to have reached its maximum extent as recently as 18,000 to 22,000 years ago. By the time of the Industrial Revolution that huge sheet of ice could no longer be found in the United States or Canada. A few remnants could still be found in Greenland. While the estimated times for maximum expansion and retreating vary somewhat, the fact we’ve seen the advance and retreat of massive sheets of ice multiple times in the last 600,000 years is indisputable.

So if the melting glaciers are telling us that time is running out to fight climate change the time for humans to have acted would have been 20,000 or so years ago. But of course, humans weren’t impacting the climate back when the glaciers started melting or by the time the were mostly gone. So why are we so certain the recent minor increase in temperature and glacial melting we’ve experienced since the end of The Little Ice Age are due to the use of fossil fuels?

In Summary:

There is a source with a series of graphs of all three components: temperature fluctuation, CO2 levels and sea level fluctuation over the last 420,000 years. After viewing these graphs one can only concluded that Earth’s climate changes “regularly” and what we are now experiencing may not be out of the ordinary after all. We can also conclude that Earth will go through another major cooling and warming cycle sometime in the future.

The editorial board of USA Today might want to be careful about entering the debate on Climate Change. Their recent “opinion” piece sounds more like political science rather than natural science!