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Monday, March 12, 2018

Patrick of Ireland

Patrick was 12 years old. One day he and his buddies decided to go swimming instead of going to school.  It was about the year 397, a long time ago. And Patrick lived in Britain.  At that time, the Roman Empire, which had protected everyone, no longer did it very well. What Patrick and his friends didn’t know was that some fierce Irish Celts were waiting to capture them and take them across the ocean to Ireland as slaves.  And so Patrick and friends just disappeared and their parents were heartbroken.  As a slave Patrick had only a gunny sack to wear, hardly anything to eat and he had to watch and herd about a hundred head of cattle in the pastures.  He had to herd the cows, day and night, winter snows, summer heat, rain, come what may, Patrick was out in it.  If he lost calves, he was beaten. What do you do when you are in such an impossible situation?  Patrick began to pray.  He didn’t just pray about what he wanted, but he began to talk to God as if God was his last friend on earth.  He would pray hundreds of times a day telling about all his troubles and just trying to remember the Christian faith he had been taught.  The Irish weren’t Christians.  They worshiped a sun god and thought that spirits were everywhere in plants and rocks and animals. So everything in nature was important to the Irish. Patrick knew he was going to be a slave for the rest of his life. He learned his job and all about the land he now found himself in, a green country of clover (shamrock) pastures and lots of rain.  Patrick had truly become Irish by the end of 10 long years.  He talked to God continually and had dreams.  Finally one night, a dream came with orders to leave. If he was caught he’d be killed!  Yet Patrick, not knowing where he was, just started walking, walking, walking.  It was amazing that no one saw or bothered to stop this runaway slave! Eventually he walked to the seashore.   Patrick saw a merchant ship and went to talk to the sailors, telling them plainly that he was from Breton and wanted to go home.  Sure, said the crafty sailors, thinking they would just sell him again when they got to another place.  So they invited Patrick aboard and set sail first for the coast of Gaul (France), to trade a few things. 

     When they got to Gaul, it was disaster everywhere.  The seaport had been burned to the ground and no longer existed. There were no people or animals.  It was the year 408 AD and the previous winter had been a record cold one.  The Rhine River rarely freezes but it had frozen so solidly that thousands of barbarian Germans could walk across the river.  Over a quarter million Germans swarmed into Gaul. They were fiercer than the even the Irish.  They stole everything they could from the towns, ate the food and killed most of the people.  This is what the surprised sailors now saw.  After finding nothing to eat, the starving sailors taunted Patrick about praying to his Christian God.  Patrick looked them squarely in the eye and said that if they would pray with him, then God would provide for them as He had done so many times before.  So the hungry sailors tried a moment of faith, and in the midst of the prayer, a herd of hogs came running over the hill and down the road straight at the men.  A feast.  Hogs were killed and they held a barbecue. At that point the sailors began to say maybe they should take this slave kid home since he had some sort of power they were scared about.

    Home in Britain, Patrick struggled to catch up in school and didn’t do very well.  He became a priest but wasn’t very good at just holding church on Sunday.  Still he prayed tirelessly and had dreams.  One night an old Irish friend appeared in his dream begging him to come to Ireland again.  If he did that, would they just capture him and make him a slave again?  Despite his fears, Patrick wanted to share the good news about Jesus and all it meant with the Irish.  So he left for Ireland.  He walked right into the head king’s judgment hall and told his story boldly, bravely.  Why didn’t the King of Limerick have him arrested and enslaved?  In a warrior society, bravery, a good storyteller, generosity, and loyalty were the signs of a great fighter.  Here was Patrick coming fearlessly and ardently wanting to give the king the secret to all of life.  Now that’s generous! He told a fascinating story of how God led him to freedom. Now he was here, more loyal to Ireland than to Breton his home.  That was really impressive to the Irish Celts.  Right there and then, the king decided that he wanted to be a Christian like Pat.  Patrick went out with the king’s blessing and traveled to his former owner, who was so astonished by Patrick that it moved him to praise Patrick’s God and ask if he could have such faith.  From one end of Ireland to the other, Patrick traveled preaching the message and converting the Irish.  They asked a lot of questions.  How could there be one God yet 3 persons?  Patrick reached down and pulled up a shamrock leaf.  See, there are three leaves but one shamrock leaf, he told them, and all of the pastures of Ireland tell us this.  How could Mary have been a virgin and yet have given birth?  It was God’s miracle, just like a cow having twins, Patrick said.  But was this God of Christ as important as the old Irish Sun god, whose symbol was a ring? Patrick drew a cross overlapping the ring and told them that God in heaven is both the creator (ring) and the One who sent his Son to die because he loved them so much (cross). Surely, such love is the greatest of all things. Patrick also taught them how to read and farm as well.  And so a strange thing happened.  As the Roman Empire collapsed and barbarians took over, Ireland became more civilized.  By the time Patrick died, the Irish, had built churches and monasteries around the country and were copying not only the Bible but also other old books eagerly.  Much of the classic Roman literature we have today comes from books saved and recopied by the Irish.  Some decided they wanted to be like Patrick and take the gospel message back to the continent and convert those bloodthirsty German barbarians.  Over about 200 years this happened as well. 

            Patrick of Ireland was the first Christian missionary after Paul. The one-time slave brought civilization and salvation to the Celts who in turn saved much of Europe in the Dark Ages. Green, the national color of Ireland, is the color of new life in Jesus Christ, Patrick told them.  That is why we wear green on St. Patrick’s Day.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Free Trade?

Has trade ever been free?  I’m serious.  I farmed the first 26 years of my life and read extensively about Ag tariffs.  Seems that Europeans and Japanese (whose farmers aren’t efficient as Americans—no big tractors and large farms—have a lot of people still on the land, hence many voters) get squeamish about lowering Ag tariffs while we beg for it.  In the end, we charge no taxes and they continued to load taxes on.  That ain’t fair!  Taxes on autos are 2.5% incoming into USA.  They are about 25% on average on US cars going to foreign ports. Trump knows this chicanery well and embedded in his tax on aluminum and steel was the proviso that if any other country would simply adjust tariffs down to equal US (level the playing field) they’d be exempt on exporting to us.  Or bring your plants to this country.  Or lower your trade surplus. Exemptions can be had in a variety of ways.

            But here’s the reality.  The Economist, a European mag, has been seething with Trump-hate long before he was elected.  Why?  Many in this country were pointing out that he is more of a moderate than an arch-conservative. Wuropeans should love this!  But they hated him passionately because he spoke about the trade deficit and unfair trade that he vowed to change.  Scared them spitless.  Importing into Uncle Suckerville with no taxes while protecting your own products in Lower Slobovia is the heart of their game. 

            So will Trump create a trade war and sink our economy?  Not likely since trading partners can still get an exemption by simply playing fair. Mexico and Canada may get exemption simply by making some other adjustments.  But don’t trade wars hurt us?  Time for a personal story.  When I went to college in the 60s, you could ask econ profs what caused the Great Depression.  Why did 12 pitiful years happen here but recession was soon over in Europe/Orient.  You couldn’t get a similar answer from any two profs.  That, for a 19-yr-old, was a red flag that adults didn’t know Jack.  But beginning with the Monetarist School of Economics in the 80s, it was proven that the G.D. largely happened because a normal recession was turned into a long-term depression when USA killed off international trade.  Congress passed the Hawley-Smoot tariff that rocketed tariffs from 17% to 68%.  Fast forward to the 1990s when I was teaching elderhostels for OU.  We had a class on the 20s and 30s.  One day I noted the recent proofs that FDR’s tariff caused, not alleviated, the Depression. The class of 70 and 80-aged people, many of whom thought FDR was God, couldn’t believe it!  Even when I invited a guest lecturer from OSU to talk about the evidence, they refused to believe. 

            The short answer: If we quadruple or even double tariffs on All Goods, we risk economic troubles.  But simply demanding fair trade is a much smaller game. And consider, what if Trump wins? Then USA will come out a big winner.  Those R’s who steadfastly defend Free Trade must be reading a different financial report than the ones Trump and I do.  Or they are just standing up for a theoretical free trade while having approved many trade deals which are anything but. They mean to change nothing.  Since I’ve come to appreciate just how entrenched the Swamp is, I suspect this later.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

About Gerrymandering


The mathematician in me chuckles every time they bring up gerrymandering.  Everybody thinks they know how to spot gerrymandering but they are usually mistaken. They see a district that has a contorted boundary and say, Aha! Gerrymandering!   However, the definition of fair district representation is one that reflects the demography and voter registration of a state as a whole.  Districts must be weighted with voters and demographics.  It’s not just spatial topography.  Consider Illinois, an easy example which has one large metro. The state is 56% Democrat in registration.  How would you construct a perfectly gerrymander-free state map?  Northeast is Chicago where most Dems and blacks reside.  The rest of the state is R and suburban or rural.  If you were to construct entirely rectangular districts with a high density of small rectangular districts in Chicago, you’d still be quite gerrymandered.  There is hardly any black representation in the larger part of the state. (well, okay, East St. Louis but that's just 55,000 people nowadays) Chicago is heavily Democratic. Hence the Chicago districts would vote D but the thin D-population in the other districts would probably make them become R districts. And that results in majority R representation for the state.  You’ve done the thing that gerrymandering has always achieved for the party in power. The opponents are forced into “ghettos” that vote highly their way.  The rest of the districts then distribute the remaining opposition voters into defeatable portions.  So if Illinois is 56% D and has 15 districts but the 6 districts of Chicago contain 75% Ds, the other 9 districts would be 55-45% R’s, and the state delegation would be, counterintuitively, 9 R’s and 6 D’s. 

            The “Fair” thing would be to have districts whose boundaries are like rays that begin in Chicago and extend across the entire state.  Thus an equal proportion of blacks would live in all districts as well as 56% Ds vs. 44% Rs.  But here lies the irony.  Nobody wants this. If blacks have less than 20% representation in all districts, they would find elections difficult and there would likely be very few black representatives—unless like Mia Love of Utah, you are a conservative that gets white votes moreso than even blacks.  That is, there would be no black “safe” districts. Secondly, politicians would hate campaigning simultaneously in Chicago and Cairo. Perfect demographics (that you can solve with a computer) makes for hard politics and pricey advertizing.

            Because D’s tend to gather in small areas of large metros, and engage in identity politics, they will be forever tormented by gerrymandering. But in fact this may have been what the Founders envisioned when their constitution installed the Electoral College and the Senate that would not allow, as Madison called it, “one corner of the country to rule us all”.   

Friday, February 2, 2018

Obama, not Trump, was a narcissist

Stung by criticism of Obama as being narcissic, Democrats have taken to calling Trump the same thing.  But narcissism is an actual psychological syndrome.  And it differs from egotism, a common symptom of politicians.  You have to think big of yourself to run for office because the opposition will be making all sorts of salacious, dire, wrongful allegations about you.  Most people would just say To Heck With It, but a pol drives on, desiring to change or advocate for the better of their country. 

            Narcissism is characterized by grandeur and complete lack of humility, ego that shuts out all others, self-worship that makes enemies of all who disagree, inability to learn from mistakes, and thin-skinned of criticism. When Trump picks up the Marine’s hat that blew off in the wind next to the helicopter, but Obama demanded the Marine hold an umbrella over him in the rain, that shows some humility in Trump but calls to question that in Obama. 

            Grandeur means an individual who dreams of his greatness, above all others in history.  The sun rises and sets on his opinion.  He thinks he is the smartest person in every room.  This was quite true of Obama.  Shortly after he became President, Treas. Sec. Geitner told him, “Your legacy is going to be preventing the second Great Depression.”  Obama replied, “That’s not enough for me.”  His cabinet meetings were few and according to former Secretaries, consisted in him doing virtually all the speaking.  Implication: The rest of you are fools. Listen to me. In Berlin, before he was elected, he gave a speech and said, “I’m the One you have been waiting for, the one the world has been waiting for.”  Narcissism is considered to have been the character of a number of hideous dictators of the 20th century--Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Idi Amin and Saddam Hussein.  These kind of leaders do autrocities with little remorse because in their minds everything is justified to promote them personally.  Of course, in a lesser individual, the delusion of being Napoleon or Caesar is grounds for institutional mental health. They are often incapable of achievement because, in gradeur, they attempt jobs for which they have not assembled skills, the guy who interviews for CEO who can’t read a treasurer’s report.

            Obama wrote not one but 2 autobiographies by age 40. He hardly showed up in the Illinois House for debates.  He only gave lectures that were My Way Or The Highway. When it came to foreign policy, Obama made all his own decisions, according to John Kerry, because he believed only he  understood the issues. When asked which President he was most like, Obama chose Wilson, a character whom historian Forrest McDonald said considered himself “little short of messianic.”

            Contrast this to Trump who addressed Li and China as equals, who loved throwing out packages to hurricane workers.  Trump has shown ability to make connections with people, has a pragmatic problem-solving skill, and is said by almost everyone that he listens a lot when you come into his office.  This was shown in the Immigration negotiations that were broadcast live TV with Democrat and Republican leaders in the White House. 

            Ego that blames all your problems on those you disagree with, who discards old friends and supporters with little thought is another characteristic.  Obama discarded Oprah, Jesse Jackson, and Jeremiah Wright suddenly. When a major supporter, labor leader came to the White House just days into Obama’s Presidency and asked him to reconsider a certain bill because it was adverse to the union’s members, Obama had him abruptly shown the door. He was never invited back.  This treatment was echoed by many others, including Oprah. Using Valerie Jarrett, a lesser-endowed intellect, and Michelle to be his gatekeepers, Obama locked to door to many supporters. Jarrett eventually locked horns with Rahm Emmanuel, a skilled politician, and Obama lost his legislative majority. They had disagreed over advocacy of Chicago as an Olympic destination and support of Solyndra.  Wealthy Jews complained that they gave Obama great sums of money and never heard from him.

            Contrast this with Trump who argues often with Tillerson and Ryan.  He has kept holdover Democrats in his administration thinking he can win them over, only to discover he couldn’t  (Comey).  He relies on Generals for military advice instead of purging them like Obama did. 

            Solyndra and other eco-companies are good examples of how Obama was so cock-sure of his opinion that he never learned—another common delusion of a narcissist.  When Boehner told him that the economy’s problem was uncertain on taxes, cap and trade and healthcare, Obama slapped his hand on the table, “you’re WRONG!” Boehner said after the meeting, “He’s got so little appreciation of how Congress works.  If you challenge him, he’s furious.  He gives you the death stare.  He has no close relationship with any member of the Senate and certainly not in the House.” Pelosi said his relationship with House Democrats was “frosty.”  Harry Alford, President of the Black Chamber of Commerce said, “we are all happy about the symbolism—America’s first black President.  His view of business is that it should be a few major corporations, totally unionized, working with government.” [the very definition of fascism]

            So for good reason, many would describe Obama as a genuine narcissist.  Trump is like that old loud guy you used to have for a boss.  Big ego, caustic comments, but he sure knew real estate (or banking, or farming, or auto mechanics). 

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The danger to Democrats

The politics of negativism works when the people feel bad about their situations.  It worked wonders when FDR lambasted the Hapsburgs and Boubons (meaning the rich) as people saw newsreels of Hoovervilles (shanty towns of poor people) and thought Hoover was clueless.  It worked for Reagan when Carter was stuck in malaise with a deep recession going on. It worked similarly for Obama to get elected.  But decrying during prosperity only makes you look like Eeyore, or worse, an out-of-touch wacko.  And that is the danger for Dems this year.  They refused to applaud low unemployment, veterans, and police working against MS-13 when Trump noted it in SOTU.  And if they don’t change their tune, it will start to work against them in the midterms. 

            Already, the generic ballot advantage to the Democrats has fallen from 13% to 5-7% with the passage of the tax reform.  In some ways R’s are lucky.  When I heard that Obama was going to pass a near trillion dollar infrastructure stimulus in 2009, I thought, “Well, that will provide short-term stimulus and the R’s will look bad.”  But it turned out that Obama had no such intents.  He handed out the money to unions like the federal workers and teachers to guarantee full employment for 4 years. “No such thing as a shovel-ready project,” he later told us sheepishly.  As a result, the US economy didn’t take off like a rocket after the recession, but growth languished, 1.7% after June ’09 while inflation was 2.1%.  The public said, we ain’t getting’ ahead, and elected Trump.  Trump walked into office preaching lowered regulation, tax reform, and security—a sure bet to spur growth.  And he cheer-led the markets to new highs.  Then, by doing a tax reform with simply majority for passage, he has brought about 3% growth.  This isn’t magic.  It’s a time-tested method.  Hence the fall in D-advantage in the generic ballot. 

            The Dems have roused their base with Tweet hatred and a tale of how Trump stole the election by colluding with Russians.  But the story grows anemic and false.  Now Trump gives a generic but truly rousing State of the Union.  He gets away with the less-issues presentation because the D’s have hardly any issues and certainly aren’t talking about them.  They are just full of vitriol.  (Boys and girls, what sound does the kitty make? Me-ow.  What sound does the piggy make? Oink.  What sound does the donkey make?  Ur RACIST!)  With Trump offering compromise on DACA and infrastructure, if Dems won’t talk to him, they run the risk of being perceived as a**holes. Moreover, they drive R’s to emotion, to organize, and to Get Out The Vote against them.  When they won’t stand for the flag or the military, many people will conclude “they ain’t us,” just as Trump’s tweets have led D’s to the same conclusion. If this continues, we may see the generic ballot poll drop to neutral. 

            D’s win when they can pin the racist and unfair label on R’s, when they involve thousands of teachers and union members to campaign in the summer, when they outdo R’s on social media, and when they out-raise in funding.  So far the funding has been dismal for them.  The R’s are learning to do social media.  Private sector unions feel left behind by globalism, and are gradually leaning to Trump and the R’s.  They have lost a lot of the fairness narrative and calling half the population racist, a “basket of deplorable” didn’t work too well for Hillary. Their disdain for Christianity has a certain following, but it works against the evangelical vote.  Finally, the mid-terms will be about issues, both local and national.  Minimum wage might be an issue for the Dems, but with huge layoffs in Seattle and San Fran, this has lost popularity.  When people find out about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, billed as free trade, but secretly containing an unelected court that could dictate US policy about environment, copyrights, and health standards, TPP started to look like the EU and a loss of sovereignty.  Environmental issues have languished with many folks as dire predictions have not come true. So what’s left?  Trying to claim it is Armageddon to let people keep more of their own money via tax reform. 

            Usually mid-terms occur when the party who elected a President sees some of it’s programs turn sour.  People back down from voting for them.  It is also a time when traditionally, fewer young and more elders vote.  The old-timers are in the habit.  The youth have a girlfriend and weekend plans that extend a couple days.  And the seniors vote 60-40 Republican.  Add to this the fact that we see a growing trend of Republicans to hate and refuse to answer polls.  What a lot of people don’t realize is that only about 1 in 3 answers a pollster.  The old way of using telephones was easier for someone to answer.  If they got bored, they just hung up.  Now pollsters must rely on internet polls which cannot guarantee that a robo-device doesn’t vote a million times, knows not what party affiliation.  Or they rely on street polling, where respondents are busy, or don’t like the looks of the pollster, or a dozen other things. 

            All of this paints a very real possibility that if the Dems can’t keep their base steamed up about impeaching Trump, they may not make much gain in November.  We’ll all just have to watch.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Original meaning "merry" in Merry Christmas

Spent 4 days in Branson seeing 6 Christmas shows. The show part was great; the Christmas part was dismal.  No carols! It was an Irving Berlin/Aaron Copeland Christmas.  So help me if I ever hear about “having a merry little Christmas” for the rest of the year.  All the while the girls come out dancing in costumes like wrapped gifts, showing a lot of leg.  Finally a country group said they were going to sing about the real meaning of Christmas and I thought, ‘hot dog! Here comes.’  Doggone, it didn’t.  They sang a medley of gospel songs like “Amen” and even there, no meaningful lyrics.  But the steel guitar guy put on a terrific solo. 

            I never realized we have become so PC secular. Oh, I’m probably wrong on my details.  They do sing Silent Night but only the first verse which goes over most people’s theological heads.  Ditto the first verse of ‘What Child Is This?’ No second verse which tells the Christian story.  They make an exception once in awhile by singing the first verse of ‘O Holy Night’ which does contain strong meaning but the exception seems like it’s only to allow the Big Singer to show off the wonderful finale with her Great Voice. 

            So I propose that if you are surrounded by Agnosticland which only wants to glory in Winter Wonderland, here’s how to respond.  Say this.  Do you realize that the Old English word “merry” as in Merry Christmas originally meant “being at peace spiritually.”  The song ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ alludes to this,”God rest ye merry gentlemen…to save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray/ O tidings of comfort and joy!”  Merry Christmas meant being at peace with God, the Prince of Peace.”  Hence the Pilgrims, rather stern believers, didn’t believe in feasts and rabble rousing. They practiced fasting and meditation and repentance and watchfulness the 4 weeks before Christmas.  Advent (those weeks) were known as Little Lent.  So Divine Arrival means forgiveness and thus peace with God, “Merry Christmas.”

            It sure beats Silver Bells, though that’s a good song too.   And concerning that Berlin/Copeland Christmas, stripped of a chance to offend anyone, Christmas’ date was truly picked to do just that.  By picking the same week as the winter solstice and Roman orgies of Saturnalia, Christmas stood as a story of such a humiliating birth it would almost bring tears.  “Yet in that dark street shineth/ The Everlasting Light/ The hopes and fears of all the years/Are met in Thee tonight.”  Christmas upended everything, beginning with Roman macho triumphalism all the way to hopeless legalism by Jewish authorities. And it was nothing that man would have devised.  “God is Great!” the Muslims say, but here was God who could be as small as an embryo in Mary.  Heralded by a heaven full of angels, yet leaving shepherds with a very concrete verifiable sign—baby wrapped in rags, lying in a manger which could only be found in one of those manure-filled cave-outcrops that shepherds use in the rainy winter months.  Don’t believe the story?  Ask the shepherds who were still alive when the gospels were written. Ask Mary or other witnesses. God came to the poorest, most reviled, which shows a God who won’t let go of even the worst and most pitiful of us.   While the Broadway version of Christmas deals in the sacarine imaginary, God came among us in truth and fact and the only way possible to bring eternal forgiveness with no help on our part.  Peace with God. Thus, Christmas is Merry indeed.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Global warming and the Wood experiment

1909 Johns Hopkins physicist, R.W. Wood did an experiment that disproved “The Greenhouse Effect” for greenhouses.  That is, greenhouses mainly heat by trapping convection (air exchange), not by trapping infrared (heat) re-radiated. In as sense, the effect is misnamed. This has ticked-off global warming enthusiasts for years.  In 1980, physicist Vaughan Pratt of Stanford tried to duplicate the experiment and pronounced it a failure. Global warming enthusiasts rejoiced.  The heck of it is, they only read the headlines.  I laugh because I have done the experiment many times and Wood was basically right but a greenhouse is not an atmosphere.  Pratt was correct too. Put on your thinking cap and realize that climate change is terrifically complex. 

            Wood's experiment tried to test the effect of a visible-light transmitting glazing that won’t transmit infrared (heat) and compare it to one that will.  Glass won’t transmit heat, rock salt will.  So he built two “greenhouses” of insultated cardboard, one with a glass cover and the other with a slab of rock salt.  Set both in the sunshine and they both heat to about 130 F. Pratt built similar vessels and emplaced a number of thermocouples at various heights within the interior and found some differences in various vertical temp measurements of the two.  More heat was trapped under glass. 

            Well, that’s what you’d expect.  The glass greenhouse not only traps convection but also infrared radiation.  But the difference is not large in the two final enclosures.  What this shows is that convection is the larger method of transfer.  And because of this, you can make a greenhouse out of acrylic or polycyanurate or a host of plastics (Ha! even visqueen plastic) that are often used today as a substitute for glass without regard to heat losses due to infrared radiation losses.  It explains why, when you sit next to a large window on a cold night you get a draft.  The room air convects over the surface of the window and descends as cold air.  Convection counts for 90% of the transfer!  And this also explains why you can spend a fortune on windows of low emissivity and it only changes the R-factor (heat transfer rate) from .61 to .68.  Add cellular shades and the R-factor goes up by 2.0 or 3.0. Open the window or the greenhouse door and all the heat goes out (convection). And so the windows and greenhouse industry has happily shrugged and used the Wood result. And Pratt noted the bigger importance of convection deep within his paper.

            Pratt’s right as well.  There is an infrared component and a difference in the Wood greenhouse's temps.  Moreover, the atmosphere is not a sheet of glazing.  The only way for the atmosphere to transmit energy to space is by radiation.  There is no convection.  So does atmospheric chemical composition make all the difference?  That’s where the na├»ve go wrong in supposition.  There are other trapping mechanisms and they apparently work in differing conditions giving surprising results.  Cloud cover is not constant but apparently increases with CO2 content predominantly in the tropical regions. This is Roy Spencer’s finding.  And the tops of clouds reflect about 98% of incoming radiation. (When we add CO2, the earth corrects somewhat) There may be other self-correcting traps.  Ocean currents affect only the upper 500 feet of the ocean.  Below that depth, very little temperature change is observed even though the oceans are almost uniformly14,000-18,000 feet deep. Several historic climate changes due to melting ice ages have shown that current changes have altered temperature in large amounts, over 10 times as much as CO2 compositon.  What’s going on? Is the lower temp of deep ocean water being tapped like a heat(cold) sink? This needs more study.  And what of overall solar radiation?  We now realize that the sun’s magnetic field must change but how and what does it do?  More study.  Mega-vulcanism?  More study.  Finally there’s the wobble of the earth, known as nutation that occurs every 100,000 years and correlates almost perfectly with the previous 26 ice ages.  Until we can understand at least all but the last effect, we should admit our ignorance of man’s effect on global warming.

            Oh, if you want to do the Wood experiment with your grandkids, you can use a flat plate of acrylic and a plate of clear glass to make your “greenhouse”. (Acrylics transmit part of the infrared spectrum)  Make sure you put the thermometers in the exact same location to equalize measurements.