greenpower

Kimberley A. Strassel at the Wall Street Journal writes about the growing number of skeptics on “human caused global warming”:

Among the many reasons President Barack Obama and the Democratic majority are so intent on quickly jamming a cap-and-trade system through Congress is because the global warming tide is again shifting. It turns out Al Gore and the United Nations (with an assist from the media), did a little too vociferous a job smearing anyone who disagreed with them as “deniers.” The backlash has brought the scientific debate roaring back to life in Australia, Europe, Japan and even, if less reported, the U.S.

And:

The number of skeptics, far from shrinking, is swelling. Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe now counts more than 700 scientists who disagree with the U.N. — 13 times the number who authored the U.N.’s 2007 climate summary for policymakers. Joanne Simpson, the world’s first woman to receive a Ph.D. in meteorology, expressed relief upon her retirement last year that she was finally free to speak “frankly” of her nonbelief. Dr. Kiminori Itoh, a Japanese environmental physical chemist who contributed to a U.N. climate report, dubs man-made warming “the worst scientific scandal in history.” Norway’s Ivar Giaever, Nobel Prize winner for physics, decries it as the “new religion.” A group of 54 noted physicists, led by Princeton’s Will Happer, is demanding the American Physical Society revise its position that the science is settled. (Both Nature and Science magazines have refused to run the physicists’ open letter.)

The collapse of the “consensus” has been driven by reality. The inconvenient truth is that the earth’s temperatures have flat-lined since 2001, despite growing concentrations of C02. Peer-reviewed research has debunked doomsday scenarios about the polar ice caps, hurricanes, malaria, extinctions, rising oceans. A global financial crisis has politicians taking a harder look at the science that would require them to hamstring their economies to rein in carbon.

I’ve always been very cautious in saying definitively that humanity is causing the lion’s share of climate change. The Earth is a dynamic system that is ever-changing and evolving. If you chart the Earth’s climate over the millions of years, peaks and valleys are the rule, not the exception. That is enough evidence for me to keep the door open on both sides of the debate and research. I don’t see this as a liberal/conservative issue. But a scientific issue that needs more research and continued debate. So when I see Speaker Nancy Pelosi working overtime to ram through the Waxman-Markey Cap and Trade bill, my warning lights fired up.

The Waxman-Markey Cap and Trade bill basically forces companies and individuals to switch from using relatively cheap, abundant energy sources like oil, coal and natural gas to more expensive “alternative” sources. That’s my interpretation and it’s difficult for me to sway from that. Looking at the Great Recession that we are in, coupled with the growing skepticism of human based global warming, why push the Waxman-Markey bill through? I understand President Obama ran a campaign on fighting global warming. But the evidence that a large amount of jobs will be lost coupled with the not-realized “Green Jobs Explosion” as of yet, is just a recipe for on-going and worsening pain if the Waxman/Markey Bill has its way.

I’m a “journeyman” futurist and lover of science fiction. I dream of the day where we live in a futuristic society with ultra clean and green power. But when your in a bad situation, dreams won’t cut it. People need to keep working. People need to keep expenses low. People need stabilized finances. Steering individuals and companies into higher energy expense without realized benefits (as of yet) is just bad, bad politics and bad, bad economics.

T-STEEL, Site Administrator
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jchem
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jchem
7 years 2 months ago
So when I see Senator [sic] Nancy Pelosi working overtime to ram through the Waxman-Markey Cap and Trade bill, my warning lights fired up. I know you mean Speaker Pelosi I’m with you there, T_Steele; you know things are bad if Greenpeace comes out against this bill. They claim the bill isn’t science-based. I’ll need to read more on it to better understand where they are coming from, but if what they say is true, this bill deserves to die. If the “science is settled”, as is heard so often in this debate, then they should have the greatest minds… Read more »
DLS
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DLS
7 years 2 months ago
Yes, the extremism _and_ the rushing is what offends better people. The activists have formed a religion in which they profess unquestioned faith, and they have not only their demons, but they treat with Inquisition-like style anyone not sufficiently faithful enough (robotic enough), for to question or to hesitate or to be smarter, or to denounce their misconduct is to engage in heresy. They have their apocalpytic fiction to use as propaganda (simply a change from the “population explosion” nonsense we were treated to in earlier decades, anti-growth sentiment (Club of Rome), etc., with the same pathological fixation on the… Read more »
T-Steel
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7 years 2 months ago

Thanks for the catch, jchem! Corrected.

DLS
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DLS
7 years 2 months ago
“They claim the bill isn’t science-based.” They’re right. The bill is ideological as well as political in nature. The new fuel efficiency regulations for motor vehicles recently passed were another example of this. Some states have begun to flirt wrongly with “alternative energy” minima for new generation, which is unrealistic and has people already worried about higher future electricity bills. (The blantant politics in place of science and sensibility are illustrated by typical mindless rejection of nuclear energy as an option along with the demon coal.) “Cap and trade” is just a more indirect and softer club to use than… Read more »
DLS
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DLS
7 years 2 months ago
“If you chart the Earth’s climate over the millions of years, peaks and valleys are the rule, not the exception. ” The climate in the past has been _warmer_ than today’s climate, numerous times. CO2 is a greenhouse gas, but there have been numerous climate warmings in the past dwarfing modern times that didn’t involve a post-1850 man-made increase in greenhouse gases. CO2 increase by man should eventually raise the “baseline,” but this remains to happen and isn’t necessarily a catastrophe. The warmer climates even during human times (Roman era, Little Optimum) were _superior_ to today’s climate. Warmer is _better_,… Read more »
$199537
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$199537
7 years 2 months ago

In fairness it looks like Greenpeace doesn’t like it because it’s not strong enough.

There is a correct answer on how much man contributes to global warming, unfortunately we’ll probably never know it because it’s been turned into a political football. We need to get the politicians and demonstrators out of this issue in order to properly evaluate it, but that won’t happen.

JSpencer
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JSpencer
7 years 2 months ago
Of course caution and healthy skepticism are required when assessing a phenomenon with the potential impact GW could have, and broad claims about “consensus”, and the inevitability of dire effects shouldn’t be thrown around without certainty. That said, none of us are well-served when science is trumped by politics. From what I’ve seen, there are as many people who have chosen their stance on AGW because they dislike Al Gore as there are people who have bothered to follow the science. I doubt Kimberley Strassel’s own position is as informed by science as it is by her ideology for that… Read more »
Ouvert
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Ouvert
7 years 2 months ago
I’m not sure I can agree that Pelosi et al are “rushing” the climate change bill. Concern about global warming has been building for decades – remember that as far back as 1993, Al Gore tried get a “BTU tax” included in the budget bill to raise the price of carbon and spur the development of alternative technologies. Since then, there have been god knows how many scientific papers on global warming and many, many white papers describing and debating possible carbon tax and cap-and-trade schemes. And if there are doubts, the clear majority still believe (1) that warming is… Read more »
Jim_Satterfield
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Jim_Satterfield
7 years 2 months ago

The fact that CO2 is a greenhouse gas has been known for over a century. It’s not the only one but we do pump trillions of tons of it into the atmosphere every year. It’s concentration in the atmosphere has increased 35% since the beginning of the industrial revolution. So how can it not have had an effect? Somehow I never hear the denialists explain that one. I also haven’t heard of one of their alternative theories that hasn’t been debunked.

T-Steel
Guest
7 years 2 months ago
Jim_Satterfield said: “I don’t believe you fell for an article that includes Inhofe’s list of scientists in it.” I didn’t “fall” for this article. I agreed with some of Kimberley Strassel’s point (and yes I know the political leanings of Strassel). My overall point is aligned with JSpencer’s statement: “It’s terribly unfortunate that science has become so politicized in a time when using it and understanding it is more critical than ever.” And I feel that the Waxman-Markey bill is too politicized to do much good. And I’m ULTRA concerned about jobs. We can’t keep losing them without having replacement.… Read more »
GreenDreams
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7 years 2 months ago
Leaving aside the whole debate about global warming, let me address the comment about “cheap abundant oil”. Our purchase of oil is, really, and no ideologically driven debate about it, as TB Pickens puts it “the greatest transfer of wealth in human history” from the West to frankly unfriendly regimes in the Middle East, Russia, Venezuela, etc. Our oil dollars brought down the WTC, as we fund the very hostile fanatics we fight with our blood and treasure. If you think of all the oil North America has ever had as a six-pack, we have consumed 4 and opened the… Read more »
T-Steel
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7 years 2 months ago

Jim_Satterfield said: “The fact that CO2 is a greenhouse gas has been known for over a century. It’s not the only one but we do pump trillions of tons of it into the atmosphere every year. It’s concentration in the atmosphere has increased 35% since the beginning of the industrial revolution. So how can it not have had an effect?”

It may be having an effect. But how does the Waxman-Markey bill REALLY help in that arena? That’s the question.

GreenDreams
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7 years 2 months ago
Jim S. Good catch on the shockingly low quality of “expert witnesses” put forward by Inhofe. BTW, as I posted off topic on another thread: I support the clean energy bill, but am conflicted on “cap and trade.” Personally, I think a true emissions tax would be a more honest way to disincentivize bad carbon behavior. Sadly, we have so demonized the very concept of taxation that it’s a nonstarter. The problem with cap and trade, in my opinion, is that it furthers the exodus of dollars from the country, because many of the carbon reduction schemes involve tropical rain… Read more »
T-Steel
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7 years 2 months ago
GreenDreams said: “Now, there’s a good chance that reports like this one will convince us to slow our efforts, scuttling our only chance to lead in the green economy of the 21st Century. So instead of being in both the driver’s seat and at the cash register, innovation will come from Japan, and China will manufacture it. India will do the tech work, and we’ll do… wait. what WILL we do?” I want us to lead the green economy for the 21st century and BEYOND! As I said, I dream about this (actually I think about it too much). But… Read more »
Ryan
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Ryan
7 years 2 months ago

Wow. A huge collection of people discussing an important scientific issue with a grand total of zero experts among them. Surely this is a recipe for success.

$199537
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$199537
7 years 2 months ago

Wow. A huge collection of people discussing an important scientific issue with a grand total of zero experts among them. Surely this is a recipe for success.

Are you talking about us, the House and Senate, or all of the above?

JSpencer
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JSpencer
7 years 2 months ago

Hey, we’re just talking about the weather here. 😉 Seriously, you should realize that many opinions here are informed by access to information which comes from… (wait for it) . . .
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Experts!

(Welcome to the 21st century Ryan!)

Ryan
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Ryan
7 years 2 months ago

js: Quoting someone else is not the same as understanding it yourself, nor is clinging to someone with letters after their name because the alternative happens to be inconvenient for you.

dagoat: All of the above and then some.

AustinRoth
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AustinRoth
7 years 2 months ago

Waxman-Markey is, in essence, the Enron-ization of CO2. No real value add, just a numbers game pretending to be commodities trading that will make some people very rich, cost a lot of people a lot of money, make a few people smug they are helping Gaia, and in the end be exposed as just another shell game, but this time government sanctioned.

DLS
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DLS
7 years 2 months ago
“In fairness it looks like Greenpeace doesn’t like it because it’s not strong enough.” Yep. (Not extreme enough.) “There is a correct answer on how much man contributes to global warming, unfortunately we’ll probably never know it because it’s been turned into a political football.” That is the real problem here. And sadly, we’ll see research neglected or abused due to politics (neglected to the extent that Washington instead chooses to epend money and time on harmful interventionism instead; abused because of additional politics affecting and infecting the subject and the related research, choice of topics to investigate, and so… Read more »
DLS
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DLS
7 years 2 months ago

“There has to be a better way to head towards ‘green futures’ without the mud-slinging political nonsense.”

“Green,” or you may mean “clean,” which is certainly very desireable. I even wouldn’t mind some reasonable regs on tire noise (often worse than engine noise on roads) and other sources of noise pollution.

Unfortunately, the environment and the economy are both sources of harmful, destructive politics (aimed primarily at the economy and at society).

There’s so much for research and even government R&D and production if that’s what people want.

T-Steel
Guest
7 years 2 months ago

Ryan, what’s the point of telling us that we aren’t experts and thus, shouldn’t talk about it? This is a group blog with comments the last time I checked. I wrote an opinion and people are commenting about it. I take lumps, give some, we banter, postulate, etc. American freedom in a virtual world! We don’t have to necessarily be experts, but those elected to make the decisions do. So target them. Not us regular folks for speaking/writing.

Ryan
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Ryan
7 years 2 months ago

TS: I’m not saying we shouldn’t discuss it, I’m saying that it’s going to involve lots of people with strong opinions about things they don’t understand, so the quality of the discussion will be appropriately low. Most people aren’t very big on science to begin with, even on settled issues. ( http://www.gallup.com/poll/27847/majority-republicans-doubt-theory-evolution.aspx )

DLS
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DLS
7 years 2 months ago

Even the experts don’t agree. Plus, so often what is “expertise” is thinly disguised or undisguised lefty politics.

As to the “cap and trade” scam, Austin Roth describes it very well. I wonder to what extent this was chosen in lieu of some kind of energy tax out of cowardice, and to what extent out of a desire to enjoy manipulating the economy and people. (Plus I have said, don’t be surprised if Obama, Gore, and the rest are benefiting financially from the middleman or facilitator or intermediary role eventually.)

GreenDreams
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7 years 2 months ago
AR, I think I’m with you. I’ve soured on cap and trade, as, more specifically the Golman-ization of CO2. I still think CO2 is a pollutant (as SCOTUS agreed recently) and needs to be controlled, but the “carbon market” is increasingly scary to me. Anyone who wants to learn way more about Goldman, the “bubble machine”, and their designs on creating and profiting from the next bubble, take a look at this painfully long article by Matt Taibi. http://zerohedge.blogspot.com/2009/06/goldman-s… Here’s the, er, money quote from the article: Having seamlessly navigated the political minefield of the bailout era, Goldman is once… Read more »
Lit3Bolt
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Lit3Bolt
7 years 2 months ago
Not to mention that the Earth itself can spew poisonous toxins all by herself (volcanos, anyone?). I don’t doubt man made emissions have an effect, but I would cheer for the money being poured into R&D rather than industry slapping measures, because the net benefit to the earth is virtually nil if only we do it. Instead, why not pour millions into fusion research, geothermal research, solar cell research, updating the power grid, changing farm subsidies (which have a large environmental impact), etc etc. The Goblinization of Industry is a wrong headed approach, especially since the Government enabled many of… Read more »
Jim_Satterfield
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Jim_Satterfield
7 years 2 months ago
“It may be having an effect. But how does the Waxman-Markey bill REALLY help in that arena? That’s the question.” I’m not that thrilled with this bill or much else when it comes to the politics, but the kind of denier stuff that Inhofe represents is one of the reasons we can’t get anything meaningful done. But the WSJ editorial you cited brought Inhofe into it and that sort of blows the credibility of the entire thing. The question is can we get anything accomplished so long as there are people who keep putting forth BS excuses for science. My… Read more »
DLS
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DLS
7 years 2 months ago
“AR, I think I’m with you. I’ve soured on cap and trade, as, more specifically the Golman-ization of CO2.” Cap and trade is a scam, is as I described before (I used someone else’s beautiful analogy: rather than tax cigarettes to reduce smoking, the government is awarding Soviet-style production quotas and permits instead), and is an excuse for the little green fascists to do what? Meddle — to “play market” and to manipulate it. Those who are intermediaries (middlemen) can get rich off this, and as I had said earlier, it would not be surprised if Obama, Gore, Browner, and… Read more »
DLS
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DLS
7 years 2 months ago
” But the WSJ editorial you cited brought Inhofe into it and that sort of blows the credibility of the entire thing.” It may raise the hackles of some, and doesn’t necessarily merit cheap-shot, misdirected accusations of _ad_hominem_ in response, but (and more importantly), Inhofe is far from the other-side case we’ve seen with this subject from the likes of Union of Concerned Scientists and that crowd, which is much worse. * * * “Instead, why not pour millions into fusion research, geothermal research, solar cell research, updating the power grid, changing farm subsidies (which have a large environmental impact),… Read more »
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