I spent a couple of nights in Berkeley. That may bring student radicals to mind, but they are long gone. Some of the professors still at the university no doubt filled the bill, but now they hold the whip hand and obedience is what they expect. And receive. A current professor tells me that Berkeley students believe what they’re told. They seem to be mostly female (54%) and/or Asian. I did see one or two blacks, but no more than that, and they looked more African than American. I walked past a couple of open-door classrooms where the students — how absurdly young they look! — sat with pencils poised, ready to take dictation.
My hotel, at the corner of Bancroft and College, close to Boalt Hall Law School, was well situated, and the absence of elevators gave my legs a much needed workout. At breakfast there were two other guests, plus skinny copies of the San Francisco Chronicle. It survives, but barely.
Searching for items which might seem strange to future generations, I came across this. The hotel has “all organic cotton bedding” and “drapery made from recycled soda bottles.” It was an “Alameda County Green Certified business.” So I felt better right away.
GLOBAL WARMING BECAME the environmentalists cause celebre in the late 1980s. They had turned on a dime, for only a few years earlier global cooling had been their mantra. They didn't know what had caused that earlier "cooling trend," but its effects were sure to be bad. "The drop in food output could begin quite soon, perhaps only in ten years," Newsweek reported in 1975. "The resulting famines could be catastrophic."
Now warming is the specter, with its melting glaciers, inundated cities, and the Gulf Stream reversing course. But I doubt if the enviros can keep on fomenting the scare much longer. It has been based on little more than extrapolated temperatures and spurious charts. What are the facts? Surface temperature measurements show a global warming period from about 1910 to 1940, followed by a cooling period until 1975. Since then we have experienced a slight warming trend. These three periods add up to a surface-temperature increase of perhaps one-degree Fahrenheit for the entire 20th century.
THOSE WHO WORRY about the integrity of our southern border rarely pay attention to the economic conditions in Mexico. They ought to. The wave of Mexican migration is a recent phenomenon, beginning only in the 1970s. Few expressed concern about the (mostly) unguarded Mexican border in the 1960s. In the 1940s and '50s we actively encouraged temporary Mexican agricultural workers to come north. The point is that something changed down there, relatively recently. What was it?
It is a drastic thing for a man to leave his wife, family, and home; to travel hundreds of miles to a strange land where he does not speak the language, there to engage in manual or menial labor; all the while running the risk that he will be arrested, imprisoned, turned back empty-handed, reduced to thumbing rides and trudging miles down dusty roads. When hundreds of thousands do it, there is something seriously amiss.