GOP Votes Against Climate Change Reality

March 15th, 2011 at 4:45 pm | 70 Comments |

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Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee have just voted to deny reality. In particular, they voted against an amendment offered by ranking Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman that stated the following:

Congress accepts the scientific finding of the Environmental Protection Agency that ‘warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level.’

This amendment, failing on a party-line vote of 21-30 on March 15, was one of three amendments proposed by Democrats in a wrangle over Republican-backed legislation that would block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases.

The other two amendments affirmed that human-caused emissions are causing climate change, and that such climate changes poses threats to human health and welfare. Both of these too failed on party-line votes. Of course, worrying about whether climate change is anthropogenic or harmful makes little sense if you don’t believe climate change is occurring at all.

However, the position that climate change isn’t occurring is utterly untenable. The positions that it isn’t anthropogenic or harmful aren’t much better, but at least on those you could find small minorities of scientists who agree with you.

But outright denial that warming is taking place is a position that has virtually no support among scientists anywhere. It’s a position that puts one at odds not just with the scientific mainstream but also with those “climate skeptic” scientists who argue that solar fluctuations or other natural phenomena are causing climate change, or that human-caused climate change is happening but may not be so harmful.

And of course, one might acknowledge that global warming is real, anthropogenic and harmful, and still not think a particular policy proposal to mitigate it would be effective or affordable. There can be reasonable debate about what should be done about climate change. But the Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee have opted for something else: a pathetic denial of reality.


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70 Comments so far ↓

  • ottovbvs

    What’s the big deal. The Republicans create their own reality and when the tsunamis resulting from the rise of the oceans come rolling inland it will be Obama’s fault.

  • John Doe

    Republicans have a bad habit of denying that a problem exists when they (1) don’t think it can be solved, (2) don’t like the available solutions (e.g. if it involves government), and/or (3) don’t like the people who are raising a stink about it.

    (Democrats think all problems have solutions, typically in the form of a government program.)

    • ottovbvs

      (Democrats think all problems have solutions, typically in the form of a government program.)

      Not entirely true of course but…er…whose solving the problems in Japan at the moment?

  • Bebe99

    I’ve heard this argument many times before, shortened here to leave out all the pseudo-science: “Global warming is not happening and it is caused by completely natural cycylical phenomena.” Which is the more pressing problem, global warming or a basic lack of critical thinking in so many voting Americans?

  • armstp

    The tragedy is that the pollution lobby has been very effective in the last say 3 years at convincing whole new groups of people in the U.S. to doubt global warming. It is a travesty. You know the Republicans would not be doing this if the majority in their own party believed in global warming.

    It is amazing. You can argue with reasonably intelligent people on the right about global warming and when you present them with the proof, they still deny, based on very little, if not zero proof of their own, supporting their own denier beliefs. Just another example of how the rest of the planet is passing us by.

    “Democrats think all problems have solutions, typically in the form of a government program.” Yes, all problems can have a solution and yes governments solve very big and important problems all the time. Actually, governments are particularly very very good at solving very big problems like global warming, which is largely caused by private industry. Without governments there would be no way to put large groups of people together on this planet to solve these problems.

  • sinz54

    PRINCETON, NJ — Gallup’s annual update on Americans’ attitudes toward the environment shows a public that over the last two years has become less worried about the threat of global warming, less convinced that its effects are already happening, and more likely to believe that scientists themselves are uncertain about its occurrence. In response to one key question, 48% of Americans now believe that the seriousness of global warming is generally exaggerated, up from 41% in 2009 and 31% in 1997, when Gallup first asked the question.

    These results are based on the annual Gallup Social Series Environment poll, conducted March 4-7 of this year. The survey results show that the reversal in Americans’ concerns about global warming that began last year has continued in 2010 — in some cases reverting to the levels recorded when Gallup began tracking global warming measures more than a decade ago.

    For example, the percentage of Americans who now say reports of global warming are generally exaggerated is by a significant margin the highest such reading in the 13-year history of asking the question. In 1997, 31% said global warming’s effects had been exaggerated; last year, 41% said the same, and this year the number is 48%.

    Fewer Americans Think Effects of Global Warming Are Occurring

    Many global warming activists have used film and photos of melting ice caps and glaciers, and the expanding reach of deserts, to drive home their point that global warming is already having alarming effects on the earth. While these efforts may have borne fruit over much of the 2000s, during the last two years, Americans’ convictions about global warming’s effects have waned.

    A majority of Americans still agree that global warming is real, as 53% say the effects of the problem have already begun or will do so in a few years. That percentage is dwindling, however. The average American is now less convinced than at any time since 1997 that global warming’s effects have already begun or will begin shortly.

    Meanwhile, 35% say that the effects of global warming either will never happen (19%) or will not happen in their lifetimes (16%).

    The 19% figure is more than double the number who held this view in 1997.

    In a sharp turnaround from what Gallup found as recently as three years ago, Americans are now almost evenly split in their views of the cause of increases in the Earth’s temperature over the last century.

    In 2003, 61% of Americans said such increases were due to human activities — in line with advocates of the global warming issue — while 33% said they were due to natural changes in the environment. Now, a significantly diminished 50% say temperature increases are due to human activities, and 46% say they are not.

    My take:
    From this poll, it looks like this issue of global warming is not a winner for Dems. While the raw poll numbers show roughly an even split on the issue, that’s biased by the huge support for controlling global warming you’ll find in the highly populous state of CA and in the Northeast–which always vote Dem anyway. Take those regions out of the equation and there’s much less support in the rest of the nation–especially the swing states of the Midwest, which are heavily dependent on coal and oil.

    • armstp

      Sin,

      The question is why the new doubt in global warming? What has changed? Is there a flood of new evidence that says that global warming is not true? If there is I would love to see that new evidence.

      I simply ask those of you who do not believe in global warming, that it is not cause by humans and is not negatively impacting the planet, what proof do you have that this is not happening?

    • ottovbvs

      From this poll, it looks like this issue of global warming is not a winner for Dems.

      Sinz: yeah let’s not worry about destroying the planet let’s worry about whether this issue is a winner for Democrats. Have you left a living will Sinz?…You should I’m sure scientists are going to be very interested in dissecting one of the smallest brains in history.

    • medinnus

      Ah, the denialists repeat the lie “Global Warming is a myth” loud enough and long enough, and the idiots will believe it – after all, they’re used to believing impossible, stupid things (like Tea Party promises of fiscal responsibility).

  • Houndentenor

    Every conservative in my family (meaning just about everyone but me) believes that global warming is a big lie designed to bring about a One World Government. I don’t know where they get this stuff but they are getting it from somewhere.

    • armstp

      Hound,

      But how do logical or smart people even think that? I would love someone explain the theory and then prove some actual proof that it actually is happening (movement toward the one world government)?

      I guess when the world got together in the late 70s and banned CFCs we moved to a one world government at that time.

      • Houndentenor

        These are also people who don’t believe in evolution.

        • anniemargret

          These percentages that show people are less likely to believe in global warming should be broken down… I would tend to think that the more uneducated or unread a person is, the more likely they will buy the ‘let’s move along, nothing happening here’ crowd.

          Conversely, I would bet that the majority of college grads, post college grads would be more likely to believe there is truth to global warming and our role in it, because they are more likely to read more substantive material on it, then just listening to their favorite talking head on TV.

          As far as whether or not it is happening now, that should not be the issue. The issue is whether we do anything about it, or keep the status quo, which is basically stick our heads in the sand. I, for one, have children and hopefully, some day, grandchildren. I am not willing out of respect for future generations to leave a devastated earth to posterity.

    • forkboy1965

      @Hound: Perhaps you could suggest it is happening at the bequest of One World Corporation?

  • Elvis Elvisberg

    Yes, Kenneth. That’s what it means to be a Republican. Evolution, water fluoridation, and climate change are made-up commie plots against America by pointy-headed academics; reducing revenues balances the budget; foreigners all want our FreedomBombs; etc.

    This all would have been somewhat surprising 10 or 20 or 40 years ago. But it’s kinda the defining thing about our political system right now. Republican allegiance has nothing to do with policy beliefs; it is characterized, rather, by a series of resentments.

    Here’s more proof that this determined ignorance is a peculiar cultural manifestation of US right-wingery, not anything philosophical about conservatism.

    More details here: http://www.themonkeycage.org/2011/03/you_want_more_epistemic_closur.html . Being a Republican is about denying reality. This is old, well-established news.

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  • dmnolan

    The Bible says there will be no further flood. So there you jolly well are.

  • valkayec

    Don’t forget that the Republicans on the committee – and most of the GOP in the House – have taken very large donations from the oil companies and the Chamber of Commerce. It’s amazing how easy it is to buy legislation in the U.S. now.

    Speaking of which, the Chamber is now pushing to overhaul the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the government’s main enforcement mechanism to stop American-based multinational firms from bribing foreign governments in order to win special business advantages. The Chamber thinks the law is too burdensome for American businesses and makes them less competitive compared to foreign companies, which are freer to engage in corruption.

    The U.S. political system is thoroughly corrupt…and getting worse.

  • Diomedes

    Would it be possible to just change the title of these articles to just state:

    “The GOP votes against science”

    There really is no point in making reference to each particular scientific theory individually and have the GOP banter against it. Just state the obvious: if its not in the Bible and is proposed by elitist liberal scientists from top tier universities, then it is clearly not anything the GOP wants to hear.

    All that matters is what the polls say. As sinz aluded to. Because if its one thing that democracy and voter mentality has demonstrated over the years is that clearly, the majority is always right.

  • _will_

    this is such brazen baldfaced corporatist bs. conservatives in other countries around the industrialized world have to be scratching their heads and thinking “my god, the balls on these nitwits.”

    like, if the lobbyist overlords were to say “hey guys, if you could convince oh, say, half the voting public that the Earth is actually flat, you would reaaaallly be helping us out.” – cue the Luntzes, the FOX editorialists, the political arm of the Religious Right, the Alex Joneses and the Limbaughs’ assault on spherical Earth. and voila – you’ve got a flat Earth revolution. all of the sudden you’re getting unhinged email forwards from your infirm great aunt Edna. folks are screaming about “teach the controversy!” in public school science classes. the TX Board of Ed is trying to excise that commie muslim Magellan from the history books. and in a few years the GOP majority congressional committee is voting unanimously to deny the Earth was ever a sphere.

  • Kurlis

    Climate change reality? You mean the reality that the climate changes continually and has been changing for four and a half billion years?

    The premise of this article is stupid. It’s author a blithering idiot.

    • TerryF98

      EXCUSE ME!

      The world is only 6000 years old,teh bible and baby Jebus says so.

      So take back these billion years bullshit.

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  • ottovbvs

    It’s all the communists

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w86QhV7whjs&feature=related

    For those with a sense of humor it’s worth watching this. Can you recognize Sinz or Willy in the audience?

  • SFTor1

    It bears repeating that nothing unusual is going on with the climate. Nothing at all.

  • ktward

    Denial is the refuge of minds that cannot, or refuse to, grasp reality. For whatever reasons.
    The overarching tragedy, of course, is that the denialists are currently running The House. Compliments of voters like Frum who, come hell or high water or horrific policy, will loyally pull the lever for the GOP.

    Sigh.

  • Kurlis

    Why is it that climate change hypochondriacs aren’t able to defend their point of view with facts? One would think they might take a look at the available facts for themselves and THEN come to their own conclusions. Ah, but then they would have to think for themselves, and thinking for oneself is verbotten in the land of brainless progressivism. I suppose its much easier to simply rely on “expert” opinion. Stupid, lazy bums.

    “Liberal” my foot. This clearly demonstrates that the American Left is illiberal, unscientific and undemocratic: traitors to Western Civilization.

    • medinnus

      Mostly because when they do present scientific proof, the Denialists say something like “That’s not real science, its done by partisan hacks”; discredit the source, and force their opponents to then validate their source. Then attack that validation.

      When the GOP doesn’t want to believe fact, that’s what they do – claim the facts are lies.

      Just like after Obama presented his birth certificate – the Birther morons immediately said “Its a fake and a coverup! We want a DIFFERENT birth certificate?” And if he bothered replying to that, there would be another level of proof required.

      In short, never argue with a pig (even one with lipstick); it wastes your time and annoys the pig.

  • anniemargret

    Climatologists say climate change/global warming is real.

    Limbaugh says it is a liberal conspiracy.

    Republicans believe Limbaugh. The party has hit rock bottom, dittoheads all of them.

  • Kurlis

    But the climate is ALWAYS changing. Of course there’s climate change. Why should climate change be an apocalyptic event? So what if the globe is warming? Is the current climate outside of the Earth’s climatic variability? No.

  • dmnolan

    What would have happened if Saddam Hussein had been linked to rising sea levels?

  • anniemargret

    No, weather changes. Climate change is an earth-changing event. And I will take my cues from the scientists, not Rushbo.

  • Kurlis

    More importantly, I want to know why and when the American Left turned away from science, rationalism, realism, democracy and freedom. What went wrong? How could progressivism have gone so terribly wrong?

    Part of the reason, I think is that progressives need to believe that global warming is an existential threat in order to maintain the illusion of their utopian dreams for the United Nations.

    It is extremely infantile and naive. Nevertheless, this is the true face of the progressive movement: morally inverted, illiberal, anti-democratic, anti-rationalist, anti-realist, and anti-scientific. But most of all, anti-American. They really do hate America.

    The progressive movement and the American Left today represent the very pinnacle of human stupidity. How could this have happened?

  • Kurlis

    You are confused.

    Scientists? You mean the names of the ones you’ve never heard of?

    Oh yea, right. That’s the really smart way to validate science. Ask some other brain-dead leftist partisan. How about Al Gore? Oh, yea, he’s a scientist. Good grief.

    • medinnus

      Typical of Denialists. When you can’t attack the data, attack the source.

      What scientists have you heard of, you complete tool?

  • Kurlis

    The fact is that climate change is not a problem. The climate is ALWAYS changing. So what if current temperatures are 0.3C greater, fully attributable to anthropogenic warming? Why should this appear as an apocalyptic event?

    It doesn’t make any sense. Use your brain cells. Think for a moment. Realize for one second that you are engaged in a politically motivated mass hysteria.

  • Russnet

    I’m gonna stay out of this one, though I will admit to having told a successful global warming joke once to a banquet room full of Republican women during the ’08 McCain campaign. Half of them were skeptical of McCain anyway and sneered when I even mentioned global warming, probably assuming I was some smart-ass moderate (fair assessment). I told them that scientists believe sharks are swimming to progressively farther northern latitudes in search cooler waters, but the good thing was that once they got to the Arctic Circle, they’d find a bunch of polar bears swimming around in the water. Got the laughs I was looking for then sweated out the rest of the surrogate spiel.

  • Bagok

    Yes Kurlis, the climate is always changing. Geologists have a pretty good idea how the climate has changed in the past and what normal climate change looks like. Thus they can say with some certainty that the climate is changing far faster than normal.

    But you really don’t care about that do you. You could care less what science has to say on this topic and no argument could change your mind. And it’s not because you’re dogmatists, it’s because you’re uber skeptics or something.

    Just makes me want to cry sometimes.

  • ottovbvs

    Oh yea, right. That’s the really smart way to validate science. Ask some other brain-dead leftist partisan. How about Al Gore? Oh, yea, he’s a scientist. Good grief.

    Needless to say a piece like this draws out the anti science global warming denial crowd who produce comments like this while accusing others of being brain dead. None of them are scientists, I’m certainly not, and thus none of us are really able to discuss this subject knowledgeably. What I do know is that by a absolutely overwhelming majority (it’s not even close and I’m not interested in these lists of 2000 phony scientists) of scientific opinion around the world believes we have a very serious global warming problem and it’s man made. The front groups in the global warming denial business all funded by energy companies (just as the smoking doestn’t cause cancer front groups were funded by the tobacco companies) have succeeded in convincing the usual know nothings but are doing a huge disservice to mankind.

  • balconesfault

    Kurlis illustrates the GOP brain with respect to climate change.

    It goes this way:

    a) if you accept that climate change is taking place, you have to consider it a possibility that climate change has anthroprogenic causes

    b) if you accept that its a possibility that climate change has anthroprogenic causes, you have to respect the overwhealming opinion of the scientific community and consider that man is most probably making a significant contribution to climate change, and that climate change will be very harmful to our ecosystems and eventually to the human race

    c) if you respect the scientific opinion that man is responsible for climate change and that climate change will be harmful in the long run to man – you have to believe that concerted action to counteract that threat is as necessary as, say, spending tens of billions a year to maintain a nuclear arsenal

    But GOP is largely self-selecting these days to reject the last point. And if you reject the last point, then you start working your way up the list until you reach the point necessary to maintain a certain level of cognitive dissonance and not have your head explode.

    Some stop at (b), and acknowledge that climate change is happening, but that the scientists don’t know what they’re talking about and (i) either we aren’t a cause of it (and thus can’t do anything about it), or (ii) it’s not a big deal even if it happens, so why bother doing anything.

    Most seem to be stopping at (a), and just deciding that all those scientists are engaged in some kind of cahoots because they’re all closet communists who want to force a one-world authoritiarian government on America, or something.

    That’s the easiest starting point if you want to not have anyone look funny at you when you talk at your bible study group or chamber of commerce meeting or GOP caucus meeting.

    But make no mistake – it’s endpoint oriented thinking. Most reject the ultimate logical conclusion of accepting climate change, and thus have to reject climate change. That of course is the kind of thinking that makes it so easy for them to dismiss the scientific community, who they are convinced are more interested in simply imposing rules on people than on scientific truth.

    • ottovbvs

      I’m sure your reasoning is correct balconesfault as it usually is but what a commentary on the state of mind of the Republican party where this denial of reality extends way beyond global warming into many other areas of scientific belief, economics, social policy, international relations, personal liberty, public morality and government. In the long run, like the violent anatagonism to hispanics, it’s going to be fatal to the interests of the party. We can see it playing out in the Republican house at present where the collision between ideology and reality is producing huge schisms which are probably going to explode when the wingnuts don’t get what they want. I was reading an article somewhere a few weeks back by a Republican expressing concern that slowly and imperceptibly the GOP is becoming seen as having a problem with reality and that impression once formed is going to take a very long time to dissipate.

  • jamesj

    Two generations ago the Republican party was a party of starchy old guys who made decisions based on sober, rational thought in the face of wild populism. Now the tables have turned. When the collective weight of the entire human scientific apparatus supports the likelihood of a specific conclusion, but politicians untrained in science vote to ignore that conclusion, it is a sad day for civilization. We really should demand better from these elected representatives. Are there any sober realists left in the party, or am I the last card-carrying pragmatist? Sometimes it feels that way.

  • Kurlis

    No one has any facts. All you have are feelings. Dingbats.

  • Kurlis

    Just FYI you bunch of morons, I am both ethnic Hispanic, AND a scientist – an applied scientist.

    Those facts happen to be irrelevant to everyone except you. Why are you people so dumb?

  • Kurlis

    At least Socrates knew that he knew nothing. You idiots are persuaded by a politically constructed narrative. I’m absolutely certain some of you airheads attribute the earthquake in Japan to climate change. You know its true.

    • balconesfault

      I’m absolutely certain some of you airheads attribute the earthquake in Japan to climate change. You know its true.

      I’m not surprised that you’re “absolutely certain” of this.

      You demonstrate the ability to be “absolutely certain” of things for which you have the scarcest of evidence.

      This differentiates you from most scientists, who often won’t use the term “absolutely certain” even when the preponderance of evidence is so strong that the average layman or politician would conclude that the case has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt.

  • Stewardship

    kurlis, would mind sharing a bit more about being an applied scientist? Which discipline specifically? In my mind, and according to web resources, I can’t find anywhere that would indicate that an applied scientist would have anymore knowledge about climate science than, say, John Boehner.

    One thing is obvious. The Republicans on the E&C Committee must have spent the night at a Holiday Inn Express before the vote. “We’re not climate scientists, but we spent the night….”

  • amazed foreigner

    Kurlis,

    give us a break, everyone is tired of listening to your BS. If you have any significant contribution to make to the climate change issue, which I seriously doubt, I suggest you communicate this to the National Academy of Science and all the other international scientific organization worlwide that have acknowledged the reality of this. But of course, they all hate america and are just a bunch of commies that want to bring this country onto its knees.

    As for the GOP, if it were one day truly interested in reality it would ask the same well regarded institutions about the state of science instead of relying on the crap produced by think tanks. Until this happens, the GOP will continue to demonstrate that it is just not interested in solving actual problems and lead the country, its sole interest lies in holding to power. Didn’t Boener recently said that it is not the GOP’s role to tell people what they should think, where is the leadership in there ?

  • Otto

    “Conservatives pride themselves on resisting change, which is as it should be. But
    intelligent deference to tradition and stability can evolve into intellectual sloth and
    moral fanaticism, as when conservatives simply decline to look up from dogma because the effort to raise their heads and reconsider is too great.”
    William F. Buckley

    Pretty fitting after reading the (R) comments so far on this thread.

  • PatrickQuint

    Kurlis: “I’m absolutely certain some of you airheads attribute the earthquake in Japan to climate change. You know its true.”

    Probably true.

    It’s worth noting that an increase in sea levels has likely made the resulting tsunami worse than it would otherwise have been. It’s also worth noting that further increases in sea levels in the future will increase the vulnerability of coastal populations. The damage done by earthquake-related disasters is indirectly tied to climate change, but it stands among a great many factors that affect vulnerability to environmental hazards.

    Climate change has nothing to do with tectonic activity, of course.

  • KBKY

    My previous comment is still awaiting moderation, so I erased it and am trying again. Hopefully, this one will go through:

    I will join Kurlis as someone who is a bit more skeptical about global warming. In terms of the entire debate, there’s some science both ways. Statisticians in general have been more skeptical of some of the data and it doesn’t help that some of the main graphs were seriously flawed in their construction (notably the hockey stick graph: http://www.amstat.org/meetings/jsm/2010/onlineprogram/AbstractDetails.cfm?abstractid=306224, http://cdmc.epp.cmu.edu/seminars.php?y=09, click on the 2009 year in the right hand column and look for the “Has the Hockey Stick Broken?” seminar). I’ve attended some of these talks and there is a legitimate statistical argument against some of the global warming data and graphs. I want to make it clear that I am not saying that global warming isn’t definitively happening (neither are the majority of statisticians), just that some of the major graphs and data that have been reported are flawed. Again, this doesn’t mean that global warming doesn’t exist or that we shouldn’t try to curb CO2 emissions, but it’s also not as 100% as many claim and the Copenhagen debacle didn’t help anyone’s credibility.

    For anyone interested in looking more in-depth at some of the statistical issues with the data and graphs, see http://news.uk.msn.com/forum/thread.aspx?board=00000071-0329-0000-0000-000000000000&thread=d0b9f693-cc2c-4312-909f-520f7c89a8ac, which discusses a (fairly) recent paper from the Annals of Applied Statistics. The full paper is fairly dense (find here: http://www.imstat.org/aoas/next_issue.html, just Ctrl+F and search for Climate Change and you’ll find the debate), but it shows that those who are a little more skeptical of some of the global warming hypotheses are not just idiots or “climate cranks”. This is an incredibly difficult and complex science and given that science, as a field, is dedicated to constant questioning, I find the responses here unfortunate. We should be open to all of the arguments, not just the ones that agree with our political ideology (we are all guilty of this from time to time).

    I should also note that there have been some strong responses to this paper that make excellent points as well; this debate is by no means one-sided. I also want to be clear that my point with these posts is not to be political or against any particular policies, it is merely to present a different point of view. I like the following article from NPR on the fact that the ocean’s temperatures haven’t been rising (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=88520025) because the point of the article isn’t to declare that global warming is definitely happening or not, but rather that we are still learning and exploring our planet and the way it operates. Just look at these two articles, not four months apart, from CBS years ago: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/01/14/tech/main324261.shtml and http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/05/14/tech/main508926.shtml. Again, I want to stress that I am not stating that there is no such thing as global warming, just that we are not as knowledgeable about the complex nature of our planet and its actions as many claim.

    • Bagok

      Thank you KBKY for being civil and rationally skeptical.

      I don’t feel like crying anymore.

  • KBKY

    Not sure if anyone actually managed to stick with that full post (and I know I joined this debate a little late), but I wanted to add that, personally, I think that the existence of global warming is (sort of) irrelevant at this particular point. There are plenty of justifications for curbing CO2 emissions, weaning ourselves off of oil, and conserving our natural resources that have nothing to do with the planet warming. In general, I think that many people are putting ideology before pragmatism by not focusing on some of the other benefits. I’m a global warming skeptic, but I still think it’s our duty as Americans to protect our natural resources and environment. Although this article has a definite pro-climate change bent, it also has a great example of how to better market pro-environmental regulations to climate skeptics: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/19/science/earth/19fossil.html.

    • balconesfault

      Not sure if anyone actually managed to stick with that full post (and I know I joined this debate a little late), but I wanted to add that, personally, I think that the existence of global warming is (sort of) irrelevant at this particular point. There are plenty of justifications for curbing CO2 emissions, weaning ourselves off of oil, and conserving our natural resources that have nothing to do with the planet warming.

      I agree with most of your post, but just one minor quibble.

      There aren’t that many reasons for curbing CO2 emissions in and of themselves if you’re not concerned about climate change.

      Oil geopolitics, and resource conservation – I wholly agree – have strong advocacy positions independent of climate science. But the only reason to be concerned about CO2 emissions (and to sink money into technologies like CO2 sequestration) is climate change.

  • Kurlis

    CO2 does not drive climate change. CO2 is a relatively insignificant greenhouse gas. It accounts for less than 4 hundredths of one percent of the atmosphere by volume. It’s an extremely small proportion.

    And we’re supposed to believe that the even smaller, incremental increase in CO2, attributable to human activity, is somehow driving climate change, and which will have apocalyptic consequences.

    What’s surprising is that more people aren’t skeptical of such a dubious, fantastical claim, and with very little evidence of anything, to show for it.

    I’ve read the IPCC reports on the scientific basis over the years. The first report was much more honest in its assessments of the likely accuracy of climate predictions. (That it simply wasn’t possible to do so accurately). Each successive assessment however has shown conclusions that are progressively much less uncertain. What one must understand is that the IPCC is a political body and its reports are political documents. They are not science. They are advocacy. In the IPCC, that advocacy manifests itself as a mandate for a particular relationship between Carbon Dioxide and Earth’s climate.

  • GEValle

    Why would anyone with a brain acknowledge that man-made global warming IS real??

    It isn’t.

    It’s a hoax designed to strip of your money, and redistribute it to the “less fortunate” peoples of the world.

    Nothing better exemplifies the nature of this hoax than the clause in the idiotic “Kyoto Treaty” that exempts India and China, the world’s two most egregious polluters, from it’s provisions.

    If stopping global warming is about stopping pollution (carbon emissions), then you CANNOT exempt the two biggest polluters and expect to be taken seriously.

    • balconesfault

      Why would anyone with a brain acknowledge that man-made global warming IS real??

      Huh. Maybe you should take that up with the vast majority of the scientific community.

      Maybe they just don’t have brains, however. Go figure …

  • mememine69

    Fellow Democrats:
    President Obama made no mention of the climate change crisis in his State of the Union Address as Obama knows that the majority of Liberal voters are now former climate change believers. But that DOES NOT mean the Republican deniers won anything since the neocons will always put environmental protection last. So we are left with the same battles of finding new energy, continued pollution controls, population control, environmental awareness, clean water management and promising our children that we will all them a sustainable planet.

    • balconesfault

      President Obama made no mention of the climate change crisis in his State of the Union Address as Obama knows that the majority of Liberal voters are now former climate change believers.

      Huh? “Former”?

      http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/03/14/poll-global-warming-fears-cooling/

      The belief that global warming is exaggerted was higher among respondents who identified themselves as Republicans, 66 percent, than those who identified themselves as Democrats, 20 percent.

      Meanwhile, from NOAA – http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2010/13

      For 2010, the combined global land and ocean surface temperature tied with 2005 as the warmest such period on record, at 0.62°C (1.12°F) above the 20th century average of 13.9°C (57.0°F). 1998 is the third warmest year-to-date on record, at 0.60°C (1.08°F) above the 20th century average

  • Newslinks for Wednesday March 16, 2011 | Conservative Home USA

    [...] "One might acknowledge that global warming is real, anthropogenic and harmful, and still not think a particular policy proposal to mitigate it would be effective or affordable. There can be reasonable debate about what should be done about climate change. But the Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee have opted for something else: a pathetic denial of reality." – Kenneth Silber for FrumForum [...]