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Beck's Hypothesis

I better start off with the literature citation on this one: R. A. Beck (1993). “Climate, Liberalism and Intolerance.” Weather 48:63-64.

For a long time now climatologists, from time to time, have slipped off the slippery slope of environmental determinism. Yale's Ellsworth Huntington in the 1930s took the biggest plunge of record. He could have won ABC’s "agony of defeat" award.

Well, there is a new, sort of self-nominated candidate. Self-nomination comes in the form of an article published in the British journal, Weather. If you think what follows is sort of self-praise in a nationalistic way -- well, right on.

Beck's hypothesis is also his topic sentence in his paragraph 2:

Consider several cases of liberal tendencies in areas in mid-latitudes which have equable climate.

To prove his point he creates a TD index. TD is the difference in the temperatures (C) of the hottest and coldest month. The lower the TD the more liberal a people is! Britain scores a very liberal 12! One nice pat on the back for Beck's fellow citizens. He notes how little support Fascism got in England and how they have become a multiracial society.

He goes on to note that the greatest support for the Liberal Democrat Party came from the low TD areas of southwest England, western Scotland and the Scottish islands. He also notes that Laws of Jewish emancipation were written in countries with TDs in the 10 to 15 C range. Beck notes that Franco's homeland has a TD of 20! He praises New Zealand with its TD of 10; says nothing about Australia (it was the place where Beck's Liberal England dumped its convicts); and, has a liberal lust for San Francisco with it TD of 6! He notes the San Francisco is the "home of America's radical fringe."

His list of places with intolerant acts include: Spain, Germany, Italy and Austria in the TD 20s; U. S. states with capital punishment have TDs in the 20s; and, the Mongol "wreakers of havoc" with a TD of 30! Clearly, it not the fault of the Khans, their environment made them do it.

Peking has a TD of 31 and most of China has TDs in 20s. Beck notes that the TD versus liberalism rule has shortcomings in the low latitudes, i.e. it does not work. TDs are very low in equatorial regions. Somoza, Baby Doc, Idi and many other lovables come from places that put San Francisco to shame for its high TD of 6! Bob Waide's LTER site would score a nice 4.7 on the TD scale. Luquillo is our most liberal LTER site. We all know that. Our Attila the Hun (406?-453 AD) award goes to Bonanza Creek but to no PI in particular. They are all sweetie-pies in the CED book.

I have not taken the time to attach the Lead PI to this table. CED readers are quite capable of penciling in the names. I can't resist to ponder the fate of liberalism and global warming. In a 2XCO2 warmed world, Winter temperatures get a lot warmer and the Summer temperatures just a fraction warmer. That means that the TD index gets bigger! We will become more intolerant as a people.

Liberalism Index For LTER Sites
Site TD index Comment

AND

18.0

 

ARC

31.0

 

BES

20.0

 

BNZ

42.0

OMG

CAP

32.1

 

CCE

7.7

 

CDR

34.6

 

SGS

24.7

In the Franco range

FCE

7.7

 

CWT

18.5

 

GCE

20.4

 

MCM

????

but a nice bunch of people

HFR

27.0

 

HBR

27.0

 

JRN

22.0

 

KBS

24.0

 

KNZ

29.3

 

MOR

<5

 

LNO

22.0

 

LUQ

4.7

WOW!

NWT

21.5

 

NTL

31.6

 

PAL

17.0

 

PIE

20.9

 

SBC

8.1

 

SEV

22.0

 

VCR

21.3

 

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