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Posted by on Jun 26, 2009 in Economy, Politics, Science & Technology | 31 comments

Keeping The Climate Change A-Changing


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.


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.