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Were you surprised?

Lead Summary
By Jim Thompson
HCP columnist

Running up to the elections this past November, the mainstream and side-stream pundits thought the congressional elections would be a “Red Wave” bringing the Republicans to a resounding victory.

In mid-December, did you anticipate the problems the Republicans would have electing a speaker of the House?

Did you anticipate three weeks ago the buzz that ChatGPT, the Artificial Intelligence software that burst on the scene in the last couple of weeks, would create?

As recently as a week ago, did you imagine that the Chinese were stupid enough to float a giant balloon over our country and we would be hesitant to shoot it down as soon as it entered our airspace (that would be over the Aleutian Islands)?

Well, maybe the first part of this one is filled with incredulity, the second part is par for the course given the feckless administration and the Pentagon brass.

We spend a lot of time talking about anthropogenic climate change. Anthropogenic is a fancy word for “human caused.” This word entered the lexicon about 1800. Its mentions in conversations started picking up steam about 1960, and it peaked in use about 2000, now running along at about a steady state of mentions since then.

Now, if all these matters have a human component, doesn’t it stand to reason that each can be filled with surprises? Additionally, other events can eclipse these and push them off the front page, depending on how dramatic the new, unanticipated events may be.

ChatGPT, the latest in technology, had barely reached headline status two weeks ago when the Chinese balloon – technology from the late 1700s – knocked it off the front page, so to speak.

Humans want to think the world is steady and predictable. It never has been and never will be. A close-to-home example is when a loved one passes away. This event is often described as a shock, even though it is very predictable – we are all going to die.

So, I ask you this. What makes anyone think we can predict climate change? Especially anthropogenic climate change? These predictions of temperatures rising over years, decades and centuries are a false narrative. We all know that as recently as the 1970s, the doom and gloom message was that we were entering another Ice Age. And I remember reading then of the fear that we did not have enough fossil fuels – including coal – to survive until the earth warmed again.

The powers that be, the mainstream press and others are, with a straight face telling us we must upset our entire way of life, expend vast, unimaginable sums, in order to save the planet from ourselves.

I mentioned Konstantin Kisin here a couple of weeks ago. He has stated that there are 120 million people in China who live with severe malnutrition. He further states that one third of all children in the world suffering from malnutrition live in India. He declares that because these people want a better life, these are the segments of the population which will decide the future of climate change for they don’t care about climate change. They want to eat and prosper.

And they will, unless Vladimir Putin, on Feb. 25, the anniversary of the start of the Ukraine War, has already decided our future for us – a scenario which could be one interpretation of his comments last week.

Jim Thompson, formerly of Marshall, is a graduate of Hillsboro High School and the University of Cincinnati. He resides in Duluth, Ga. and is a columnist for The Highland County Press. He may be reached at

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