Climate change? Blame John Deere.
New data is challenging the global warming agenda. The narrative employed by the global warming movement, however, is not new. The plot is the same. Only the characters have changed. It’s a recycled move out of an old government playbook…
News stories are circulating the Internet about the fact (alternative?) that the earth hasn’t warmed in the last 19 years. Climate change advocates are attempting to debunk the claim. Meanwhile, other sources say that a decline in sunspot activity is pointing towards the arrival of a new Little Ice Age.
So much data. So many facts. Which story best explains them all? And which dataset is most accurate? It’s hard to say. That’s why the narrative must be simple: the planet is in trouble, and people are the cause. Government expansion is the solution.
It was global cooling in the 1970s. That changed to global warming by 1988 thanks to the Congressional testimony of NASA climate scientist James Hansen. These days, “global warming” tends towards “climate change” to keep up with the revised conclusions that we may actually be headed towards a period of cooling again.
In any case, the push is always the same: “we” must do something. And “we” is always the government. There are calls for increased government spending and regulation of cheap energy sources, like coal. That’s because all that cheap energy is driving massive economic growth.
That conflicts with the population control movement.
The conclusions of the matter have even been pushed to the self-conscious absurd, which was exemplified by the EPA declaring carbon dioxide gas a pollutant. Humans exhale carbon-dioxide as a by-product of basic cellular respiration. So, in principle, humans are now inherently sources of pollution. That’s why we need government planning agencies, employing the world’s smartest scientists, to control what we do and how we do it.
But this is nothing new. The pattern of blaming humanity for creating life-threatening climate disasters was established at least as far back as 1936, if not earlier.
THE DUST BOWL MYTH
You are probably familiar with the Dust Bowl myth. But you might not be aware that it is, actually, a myth. The myth goes like this: American settlers moved into the Western frontier in the 1800s and began farming. They plowed up the fertile Great Plains and planted crops. Now, fast-forward to the 1930s. The region was in a 10-year drought. The soil dried up, and then it was blown away by prairie winds. The period became known as the Dust Bowl.
The claim is that farmers, who had been driven to plow those lands by the pursuit of profit, damaged the land because they did not apply proper farming techniques. It took the scientifically minded FDR administration and the New Deal to come in during the Great Depression, in the 1930s, and, using federal money, educate those farmers. The government also pulled some of the land out of use and planted trees instead. Thanks to this government intervention, which was backed by the greatest scientific minds of the day, the dust storms ended and the Great Plains were saved from further disaster.
This is the story that Ken Burns repeats in his 2012 documentary, “The Dust Bowl.” The problem is that it’s a myth. Like most things, the real history is complex. The details and chains of reasoning cause people to lose interest quickly.
Dust storms blowing through the Great Plains was nothing new. Droughts in the region were nothing new. What was new, however, was the desire for the FDR administration to take advantage of the situation to justify an increase in federal authority and funding.
They hired a director to produce a 30-minute “documentary” in 1936 to show “what happened to the Great Plains region of the United States and Canada when uncontrolled agricultural farming led to the Dust Bowl.” The documentary, which was really a government propaganda film, was titled The Plow that Broke the Plains.
THE PROPAGANDA WORKED
It was powerfully effective. The documentary cemented the story into the minds of Americans during the Great Depression. It helped propagate the myth that we cannot rely on God or ourselves to do the right thing. Instead, we need the central government with its scientific planning agencies to intervene into our lives and manage us like parents raising children to prevent us from ruining the world.
Ultimately, it wasn’t the government that saved the Great Plains — it was the return of rain in 1941. When that crisis was over, FDR refocused the attention of his propaganda boards on World War II. Pretty soon, that crisis would engulf the country.
Modern historians of the Great Plains now know the truth about the history of the region. They understand that the Dust Bowl period, with the complex network of facts to sort out, wasn’t the result of over-farming or mismanagement like the government so neatly explained.
DEERE IN THE LIMELIGHT
You see, it was a special invention that made Westward expansion possible in the first place. When settlers first encountered the prairie soil, they were amazed at its fertility and ability to produce crops in abundance. But after a few farming cycles, the soil became very sticky. The iron plows of the day couldn’t handle this sticky soil. It stuck to the plows. It slowed plowing to a crawl. People began avoiding purchasing that cheap prairie land altogether.
But in 1838, a man named John Deere invented a new plow that was made of stainless steel instead of iron. The steel could be polished, and it then cut through the sticky soil with ease. This made prairie farming possible.
Here’s the kicker: years before the 1935 propaganda film was released, Deere’s innovative plow became known as “The Plow that Broke the Plains.”
The modern climate change advocates are the ideological heirs of the big-government bureaucrats and politicians of the New Deal. They are still blaming capitalism, the profit motive, and American entrepreneurship and ingenuity on the looming ecological disasters they think are brewing.
Government must grow to effectively contain these problems. It worked in the Great Depression, so why shouldn’t it work again?
John Deere is to the Dust Bowl as human expansion is to global warming. It’s a pretty simple formula. Rinse, repeat, and bury, disguise, and manipulate the data to support the conclusion. Whatever the cost.
The scheming will stop when the money dries up.