What do Greta Thunberg, Al Gore, Willie Nelson, and a butterfly have in common?
You have probably heard the concept that when a butterfly flaps its wings in some far-off place it can set off catastrophic weather events in unintended ways in unforeseen places. This has come to be known as the butterfly effect and is an effective way to illustrate connections between seemingly unconnected events. It shows up in everything from metaphors for human connections, the stock market, political events, to random occurrences in just about every segment of our society.
But where did the “Butterfly Effect” originate? In 1961 an easygoing MIT meteorology professor named Edward Lorenz was studying weather patterns. By just rounding off a few decimal points in a predictive weather model he changed science forever. What Professor Lorenz proved was that tiny changes in complex calculations (any calculation really) can have massive repercussions in the final results. This simple example gave rise to what we know today as Chaos Theory. In Professor Lorenzo’s example, just the size, shape, and motion of a cloud in California can affect the weather in Spain.
In her novel, Fractured, Catherine McKenzie summarizes the Chaos Theory concept this way:
They say that if a butterfly flaps its wings in the Amazonian rain forest, it can change the weather half a world away. Chaos theory. What it means is that everything that happens in this moment is an accumulation of everything that’s come before it. Every breath. Every thought. There is no innocent action. Some actions end up having the force of a tempest. . . Perhaps only God knows which is which.
All I know today is that you can think that what you’ve done is only the flap of a butterfly wing, when it’s really a thunderclap. And both can result in a hurricane.
All of this brings us to the question: “How can three unrelated people with dystopian dreams that have now morphed into dystopian nightmares, bring the world to near total economic collapse?”
First in this chain of events is Willie Nelson. In a noble but ill-fated attempt to help farmers in the United States, Nelson started a campaign to force the introduction of ethanol into our gasoline as an additive and to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. It was the solution to help farmers in difficult times, as Willie saw it. Farmers have millions of acres where corn and other crops can be grown, for conversion into ethanol.
At one point in this process in 2004 Nelson even formed his own company, Willie Nelson Biodiesel, Inc., to cash in on the craze selling BioWillie as the brand name. Today even proponents of biodiesel admit that there are just as many disadvantages to this approach, including quality control, gelling at low temperatures, engine damage, relative production cost, food shortages, increased use of fertilizers, water shortages, and a lack of crop diversity. Production uses up vast quantities of energy, and smog production from biodiesel is a problem for the environment. In a world increasingly short of water, food, and money, biodiesel seems to us to be a fool’s errand. It has many environmentalists concerned because of the scale of the operations and unknown effects on ecosystems. Biodiesel does meet some of its claims and extends our stocks of petroleum, but at what cost?
Without Federal subsidies biodiesel would never have gotten off the ground, so we now have Biodiesel Tax Credits which began in 2004 and gives a $1.00 per gallon incentive to producers. The tax credits and incentives have fluctuated over the years with swings in opinions by Congress, but currently it is a favorite of the Department of Energy. There are at least eighteen incentive programs to support farmers in their effort to save the planet. We all know that once federal subsidies start and we become dependent on them, they rarely stop.
Willie had a great music career and is a humanitarian for many causes. But his extreme generosity resulted in several run ins with the IRS and has in the past been a proponent of marijuana use, so we know he does not always think clearly. But with biodiesel, he set in motion a chain of catastrophic events he could never have imagined. His noble efforts produced many ignoble results. In the 2000 election Willie backed Ralph Nader pulling his vote from Al Gore. His one vote might not have made a difference, but he is an influencer. Nader received over 97,000 votes in Florida, enough to put either Bush or Gore over the top. Willie flapped his wings and Al Gore lost the Presidency.
Now into the chaos mix comes this failed Presidential candidacy of Al Gore. After he lost his race for the White House, he retired from politics to focus on “building his fortune,” and build his fortune he did.
Gore gets some credit for waiting until he left public service to hit the wealth lottery. If he were still in government, his skills might even eclipse the Clintons or Bidens. When Gore retired from politics, his net worth was reported at $1.7 million. Today it is $330 million or more. He has ridden the climate catastrophe train to new stations, where the wealthy and powerful influence corporations, politicians, and governments to make virtue signaling changes that affect us all.
Gore has made some wise investments in companies like Apple, but he has also ridden his fame into lucrative speaking engagements, movies, and board rooms. His personal carbon footprint is questionable. It has been reported that his personal residence consumes from ten to thirty times the carbon of a normal home. He justifies this by installing solar panels and buying those elusive carbon offsets. But he also owns multiple residences, and his total carbon footprint would exponentially exceed most in the world. His wealth allows him to charter private jets to fly to climate conferences where he often commands speaking fees of $200,000 or more.
Among Gore’s climate claims was a rise in sea levels of twenty feet as Greenland’s ice sheets melt. He also forecasted a total melting of the Artic ice by 2013, and that our greenhouse gases now trap enough heat to equal 600,000 Hiroshima bombs. If Al’s predictions had come true none of us would be reading this. All of these predictions, movies, and speeches earned him the Nobel Peace Prize, adding credibility to his resume.
From the older, frustrated sixties crowd to young and impressionable youth, millions are now worshiping at the altar of climate change. In true Jim Jones fashion, they stand ready to mix the Kool-Aid to save the world by our personal sacrifice. It is not they but you that must drink the poison brew. They are too busy flying to climate conferences and protesting to be expected to sacrifice. Al Gore flapped his wings to make some money and created a hysteria that touched off a worldwide climate phenomenon that has now evolved into a cult.
One of the impressionable youths infected with the climate influenza passed along the wings of change was eight-year-old, Swedish born, Greta Thunberg. Greta has become a child of the world, one with clarity of thought and vision the rest of us lack. She spoke before the U.N. at age sixteen, a privilege few will have outside the highest political class. She regularly goes to events where she venomously scolds adults for destroying the planet. She overlooks that our generation provides her generation with all the advantages of an advanced civilization. Her focus is rubbing shoulders with the rich and politically powerful to drive her climate agenda forward.
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, Greta has Asperger Syndrome, which is often associated with social interaction difficulties, but also with a tendency to focus on one idea or topic, and her focus became climate change. Because of her age, Aspergers, and persistence, few politicians are willing to criticize her. Instead, they have decided to ride the train she is conducting and capitalize on the benefits of the craze. In this way she has politicians, even whole countries falling in line with her agenda.
So here we have a twenty-year-old with no real-world experience and who has never had a real job directing the economic fortunes of some of the world’s largest corporations and nations. Developed countries are throwing trillions of dollars at a problem that is poorly defined with no clear mission or direction. It is notable that China and Russia only give lip service to climate issues while they continue to build coal fired plants, invade neighbors, and largely ignore highly publicized climate issues.
When Greta flaps her wings, we all suffer.
The Spontaneous Serendipitous Cabal
So here we have a spontaneous, serendipitous cabal composed of an aging country and western singer, a failed politician, and a child with no real-world knowledge or experience. This happy band is now driving the world to spend trillions on a fool’s mission, and our elected officials happily go along to curry favor with younger voters. They have the power of the media behind them because they make for good news and viewership. What started as a butterfly flapping its wings in Texas over ethanol is now the most destructive worldwide economic and political force that we have ever seen.
This brings us full circle, back to the original work by Edward Lorenz and the beginnings of Chaos Theory. Just as Chaos Theory can be used to explain why distant and seemingly unconnected events can combine to produce catastrophic events like climate change, it can also be used to illustrate that there are too many variables involved with climate to accurately predict anything. In December of 2021 in the Stanford News, Josephine Garthwaite noted that:
“But the problem of predicting specific weather beyond 10 or possibly 15 days in the future with perfect accuracy isn’t one that can be solved with more computing power or better models. The chaotic nature of Earth’s atmosphere imposes insurmountable limits on forecasting.”
But facts fly in the face of cult fanaticism and the climate alarmist beat goes on. Scientists agree that weather cannot be predicted more than ten or fifteen days ahead. The climate crowd believes we can predict it for decades, even centuries. The one thing politicians can all agree on is that there is a lot of money following and there are a lot of voters riding the Climate Train, and they want to buy a ticket to the promised land.
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Al Gore has history of climate predictions, statements proven false, By Thomas Catenacci, FoxNews.com.
Al Gore’s movie ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ says sea levels could rise up to 20 feet. Is this true?, By Rachael Rettner, scienceline.org, December 1, 2008.
Al Gore’s Stupendous Wealth Complicates His Climate Message. That Can Change., By Alexander C. Kaufman, huffpost.com, October 3, 2017.
Biodiesel is booming. It may help the climate, but there’s a big environmental risk, By Dan Charles, npr.org, October 28, 2021.
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‘Hanging by its fingernails’: U.S. biodiesel industry struggles without subsidy, By Stephanie Kelly, Reuters.com, November 15, 2019.
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