We are introducing a new feature to the Langstaff Letter called “Odds & Ends.” These letters will serve to cover some important things that do not require a whole article. Here is our first issue. We hope you enjoy it.
In May 2021, a new book on climate change was published entitled: “Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters.” The author is Steve Koonin.
“‘Settled science,’ an oxymoron, is anything but settled, says the author. Holman Jenkins, in his recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, captures the author’s contribution to the climate change literature succinctly: ‘Mr. Koonin argues not against current climate science but that what the media and politicians and activists say about climate science has drifted so far out of touch with the actual science as to be absurdly, demonstrably false.’
Koonin points out scientific facts supported by hard data and the peer-reviewed literature that stand against the reigning climate change narrative: humans have had no detectable impact on hurricanes over the past century; Greenland’s ice sheet isn’t shrinking any more rapidly today than it was eighty years ago; tornado frequency and severity are not trending up; the number and severity of droughts are not rising over time either; the extent of global fires has been trending significantly downward; the rate of sea-level rise has not accelerated; global crop yields are rising, not falling; the net economic impact of human-induced climate change will be minimal through at least the end of this century even if global average temperatures rise by 3 C which is double the Paris Agreement goal.
To be sure, what Koonin points out as facts and convincing scientific interpretations have been covered by other equally qualified scientists such as William Happer (Professor of Physics, Emeritus, at Princeton University), Richard Lindzen (atmospheric physicist, retired Professor of Meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Roger Pielke Jr. (previously Director of the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research at the University of Colorado Boulder) and Judith Curry (American climatologist and former chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology)” (forbes.com).
What is so significant about this book? Well, it is not written by a “climate denier” but by an eminently qualified scientist who was the secretary for science under the Obama administration. He served under President Obama, who once tweeted, “Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: #climate change is real, manmade and dangerous.” (manilatimes.net). This is precisely what Koonin’s book testifies against.
Koonin argues not against climate change science. Instead, he argues that what the media, politicians, and activists say about climate change has drifted so far out of touch with the actual science as to be absurdly and demonstrably false.
TRANSGENDER RAPISTS TRANSFERRED TO WOMEN’S PRISON
“On January 1, a California state law allowing male inmates who identify as female to request transfer to women’s prisons went into effect. Since then, the state has received over 250 transfer requests from men asking to be transferred. According to documents obtained by Women’s Liberation Front (WoLF), more than one man who has already been transferred has been convicted of sexual assault. Due to a similar policy in Washington state, Washington Correctional Center for Women currently houses a serial rapist. Connecticut and Massachusetts have both passed similar legislation.
Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Abigail Shrier explains that, unlike most men’s prisons, women’s prisons do not separate inmates based on the severity of their crimes. Also unlike men’s prisons, Central California Women’s Facility in Cowchilla, which currently houses eleven male inmates, houses eight inmates to a room, with a sink and toilet inside the cell and only a cowboy door for modesty. This allows neither privacy nor escape for women who are uncomfortable or feel unsafe being housed with male prisoners.
Inmates in these women’s prisons have spoken up, expressing fear and discomfort as they prepare for an influx of male inmates. Staff have also raised concerns, and according to one whistleblower, a woman at Washington Correctional Center has already been assaulted by a male prisoner who requested transfer.
Ignoring the biological distinctions between men and women puts women’s safety and privacy at risk. Policies that force women to share an enclosed space with little to no privacy with men who have committed violent crimes violate the safety and dignity of those women and violates the Constitutional commitment not to inflict cruel and unusual punishment. President Biden’s insistence that sexual identity is based on an individual’s feelings, rather than biological reality, is dangerous” (mfc.org).
AFTER COVID-19 – WHAT’S NEXT?
As we come towards what appears to be hope for the end of COVID-19 in America, “what’s next?” is the question that arises. There are two major possibilities.
#1 – Going Back to the Old Normal
After 12 months or more of restricted activities, lockdowns, face masks, restrictions on numbers in gathering, churches, restaurants, etc., we are now faced with the restrictions being lifted. What now?
As I wrote 12 months ago, it will never be the same. Life will, in many ways, never be the same again in regard to many areas, including:
- Education – Online Learning
- Shopping – Online Shopping or curbside pickup
- Eating Out – Not as much as before or curbside pickup
- Health care – Phone consultation on online video visits
- Communication – How people relate to each other
- Churches – Yes, churches are changing.
You could go on, but let’s face it; you can’t go back to how it was before the pandemic. The world has changed, and we will need to accept the change.
There is another possibility.
#2 – Time for a Reset.
“Behavioral scientists have long known that times of disruption and trauma also create new opportunities for growth and change” (thetimes-tribune.com). When that happens, our normal routines are shaken. For example, work at home rather than in the office. Now for some people, that never happened, as their jobs, their routines continued on more or less as normal. However, for others, it was totally disrupted. If it was, then it is a wonderful opportunity to consider some changes in your life and certainly in your regular routines. It can be a time to start fresh. Think about some of the things you have always want to pursue and have kept putting off. Well, now can be the time where you start building them into your goals for the future.
BLACK LIVES MATTER
The founder of Black Lives Matter (BLM) in St. Paul, Minnesota, recently released a video in which he called out the group’s “ugly truth,” by which he meant their positions on family and education.
“‘In 2015, I was the founder of Black Lives Matter in St. Paul,’ said Rashad Turner, who now leads the pro-school choice group Minnesota Parent Union. ‘I believed the organization stood for exactly what the name implies – Black lives do matter. However, after a year on the inside, I learned they had little concern for rebuilding Black families,” he added. Turner’s video, published to YouTube last week, highlighted how the group’s website stated that it wanted to “disrupt the nuclear family structure.’
‘And they cared even less,’ Turner added, ‘about improving the quality of education for students in Minneapolis. That was made clear when they publicly denounced charter schools alongside the teachers’ union.’
‘I was an insider in Black Lives Matter, and I learned the ugly truth – the moratorium on charter schools does not support rebuilding the Black family. But it does create barriers to a better education for Black children.’
BLM did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment. Turner’s comments touched on an ongoing criticism of BLM – namely that its goals and political positions are much more left-wing than the name might suggest” (foxnews.com).
Go back to the previous Langstaff Letter entitled ‘An examination of Black Lives Matter’ for a more in-depth discussion on this topic.
CHURCHES – CLOSING & OPENING
A study by Lifeway Research, which analyses church data in the United States from “34 Protestant denominations and groups, found that 4,500 churches closed in 2019, while about 3,000 new congregations were started… ‘Even before the pandemic, the pace of opening new congregations was not even providing enough replacements for those that closed their doors,’ said Scott McConnell, executive director of Lifeway Research” (ministrywatch.com).
Still, bear in mind that there are between 320,000 and 350,000 Protestant churched in the USA. The close of 4,500 churches represents a loss of 1.4% (ministrywatch.com).
Now the biggest reason for churches closing is a decline in church membership. This is happening mostly in older established Protestant churches, as currently Evangelical and Pentecostal churches appear to be growing.