How the GOP Should Explain Climate Change

December 7th, 2011 at 2:00 pm | 89 Comments |

| Print

The GOP nomination race has proven to be a hostile environment for concerns about, medicine or even an acceptance of the reality of, anthropogenic global warming.

Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney have made statements that they don’t know what’s causing climate change, in contradiction of earlier statements indicating that they did know. Jon Huntsman now has expressed doubts about the validity and clarity of the science involved. The other candidates have been broadly dismissive of the issue.

Interestingly, Republican voters may not share such positions. A recent poll found widespread belief that global warming is happening, with 72 percent of Republicans (and 92 percent of Democrats) agreeing on that point. This makes me wonder whether there is an approach a GOP candidate could take that would both appeal to the primary electorate and lead to meaningful action to address the issue.

Such an approach should also enable the candidate to demonstrate a contrast with how President Obama and the Democrats have tackled, or failed to tackle, climate change.

I have drafted a speech that may help some current or future GOP candidate achieve all of the above. Any candidate who wishes to use the following material is more than welcome:

My fellow Republicans,

I am a conservative and I believe that facing up to reality is essential to conservatism. Today I outline how I will lead our nation in addressing a difficult and complex — but very real — problem. That problem is climate change, and specifically the global warming that is being caused by humanity’s use of fossil fuels such as coal and oil.

There is ample evidence that global warming is happening and that human activities are the key factor causing it. Scientists overwhelmingly agree the temperature rise is real. Moreover, they have examined possible factors ranging from volcanoes, to the sun’s fluctuations to cosmic rays that bombard the Earth from space. There is a strong scientific consensus that fossil fuels are the main cause — as pumping carbon into our atmosphere creates a greenhouse effect that traps the sun’s energy and heats the Earth.

Science never gives us absolute certainty, but the real uncertainties here are about the future. We do not know how fast temperatures will rise over decades, or the full effects this will have on our world. We do know that the risks are great — for example, large sections of American farmland becoming unusable, coastal cities flooding, 100-plus-degree heat waves, massive wildfires and other extreme events becoming common.

We must address those risks but not by weighing our economy down with taxes and regulations. On the contrary, a dynamic free-market economy is crucial to limiting the risks and managing the effects that do occur. My plan does not involve picking winners among energy companies and technologies with subsidized loans. Nor is it a cap-and-trade scheme that includes handing out credits to the politically connected. And for that matter, I note that President Obama never actually managed to bring a climate-change plan to a vote in Congress.

My plan is straightforward and honest. We will raise taxes on carbon emissions across the board, while cutting taxes on payrolls and incomes. That means more money in people’s pockets, and more incentives for industry to develop cleaner and safer energy supplies.

We will phase in these tax changes, to avoid any sudden economic shocks, and to give an ever-stronger basis for improving our energy supply. The goal is not to make fossil fuels go away altogether — that’s impossible — but to reduce their environmental impact while expanding American production of cleaner energy technologies.

This will bring greater energy security for America, including less reliance on imported oil from unfriendly parts of the world. It also means less of the air pollution, strip mining and oil spills that threaten our environment even aside from global warming.

Note that we are not waiting for other nations to act before we act. We will continue to press foreign countries to reduce their own carbon emissions, but we will move forward with an American plan that not only cuts back the large U.S. share of global emissions, but also ensures that our nation will be a leader in tomorrow’s energy industries.

The global warming issue is too serious to leave to foreign nations to lead the way, and it won’t be solved by saddling the U.S. economy with undue burdens and government micromanagement. The conservative approach I have sketched out here is the right one for our economy, our environment and our national security.

Recent Posts by Kenneth Silber

89 Comments so far ↓

  • heap

    how about the speech they could give to their corporate backers?

    do you honestly think the reason the GOP is fanatically opposed to the findings of climate science is because of the voters?

    • balconesfault

      And look out for the backpedaling when Limbaugh and Fox News calls them on the carpet!

  • ottovbvs

    Nice try Kenny, but they’re too locked into denials that global warming even exists and even if it does, it’s not man made. How about “Global warming is not going to do serious damage to the planet and or to the environment your children and grandchildren will inhabit. You know you can take my word for it.”

  • wileedog

    “That problem is climate change, and specifically the global warming that is being caused by humanity’s use of fossil fuels such as coal and oil.”

    The average GOPer just tuned you out right there. Its all a hoax, remember?

  • Reflection Ephemeral

    A recent poll found widespread belief that global warming is happening, with 72 percent of Republicans (and 92 percent of Democrats) agreeing on that point. This makes me wonder whether there is an approach a GOP candidate could take that would both appeal to the primary electorate and lead to meaningful action to address the issue.


    Remember, during the debt ceiling hostage negotiations, Democrats offered a deal that was to the right of what even rank-and-file Republicans said they wanted. Republicans said “no”. See: This dynamic repeated itself in the Supercommittee negotiations. See:

    The people running today’s Republican Party are completely indifferent to mainstream Republican political opinion. And on the GOP’s list, “established scientific fact” comes in somewhere below even that.

    Nor is it a cap-and-trade scheme that includes handing out credits to the politically connected.

    Cap and trade was a conservative reform plan, with C. Boyden Gray present at the creation. It was supported by the McCain-Palin campaign, and by Bush Sr. And you’re going to sit here and say it sucks because that’s what today’s Republican talking points demand?

    You’re saying bad stuff about reasonable ideas in an effort to suck up to people who will never listen to you.

    If you think climate change is real, then leave the GOP and regain your soul.

    • ottovbvs

      “then leave the GOP and regain your soul.”

      It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it
      Upton Sinclair

    • JohnMcC

      You could have added, my friend Mr Ephemeral, that ‘cap and trade’ has the wonderful (and conservative!) benefit of having actually been tried successfully by a Republican administration. It controlled the sulfur dioxide/acid rain problem quite neatly without massive federal expenditures.

      Strange that there was no one back in ’88 and ’89 saying that acid rain was a hoax. Conservatives were slower back then I guess.

  • TerryF98

    You are whistling in the (polluted) wind!

  • balconesfault

    Here’s the problem for the GOP.

    In 2010 polling, 67.6% of the Republicans who believe in climate change agreed that “Global warming is partly or mostly caused by things people do”. In 2011, that fell to 54.1%.

    (For the Democrats, that number is 87.7% – and my guess is that the Democratic support for climate change legislation is as big a factor in climate change denialism among GOPers as anything else.)

    So … almost 30% of Republicans don’t believe that climate change is occurring. And of the 66% who agree it is … about half of them believe that humans have nothing to do with the increase.

    Considering what that means for the GOP primaries … you do the math.

    “[T]here is — there are questions about the validity of the science, evidenced by one university over in Scotland recently. I think the onus is on the scientific community to provide more in the way of information, to help clarify the situation.”

    Jon Huntsman clearly has done the electoral math. And the electoral math trumps his faith in the scientific community.

  • Secessionist

    It is easy to see why the climate alarmists are frustrated (they like to traffic in pejorative labels like denier, so I will too). The climate agenda has stalled. They should have thought twice about taking the low road in the public debate and using doomsday rhetoric.

    Some observations:

    1) The GOP has enough representation in Congress to ensure that Obama’s climate agenda will never see the light of day until 2015 at the earliest and only then if the Dems make big gains in the mid-terms.

    2) The climate alarmists’ opponents are financed by some of the deepest pockets in the world, Big Energy. They have no chance of winning the lobbying and donation war ever.

    3) Many of the climate alarmists’ policy proposals go directly against human nature, so they are unlikely to rally support for those policies in much larger numbers than they already have now.

    To win more support for policies such as carbon taxes, they will have to convince people who don’t already agree with them to accept increased costs now versus intangible, alleged benefits in the distant future. They have little chance of winning that split.

    5) On a global level, the US has never ratified the Kyoto treaty, and now other nations are backing away from it as well because it is too costly in light of the global recession.

    In sum, the climate alarmists are suffering defeats and setbacks all over the world, and outside of their own ranks, no one cares and many people are quite happy about it.

    As I said in the other thread, the one and only remaining policy area where the 2008 – 2012 GOP has done a good job is in the area of climate policy.

    • balconesfault

      It is easy to see why the climate alarmists are frustrated (they like to traffic in pejorative labels, so I will too). The climate agenda has stalled.

      FWIW, I could care less about the climate agenda stalling, if the earth would just quit warming up.

    • Reflection Ephemeral

      Facts indicate that climate change is real, and that, as you point out, it’s not too hard (in the US) to mount a campaign to obscure those facts:

      • Rick123

        I think one of the biggest problems for the climate change advocates is that they often tout scientists’ beliefs about climate change as evidence for climate change (as you do here). This is fine, but a stronger approach would be to present the evidence itself, rather than beliefs about the evidence. If it is a belief about evidence, people can easily counter-argue by saying “all beliefs are equal” or “it’s just a theory.” However, it is hard to counter-argue direct evidence. In fact, the average global temperature was 1.04 degrees F warmer in October 2011, compared to the 20th Century average. This is not debatable.

        Now, people will argue that it’s not clear why global temperature is rising, but that is a different argument, and an easily addressed one: Even if the temperature is rising for reasons other than pollution, etc., we still need to do something about it. If a meteor was approaching Earth, we would try to destroy it, even though we didn’t cause the meteor.

        • Xunzi Washington


          I’m a bit baffled by what you just said. Did you just say that non-scientists should stop believing scientists who are trained to assess the data and evidence on climate change and instead focus their non-expertise at understanding the data itself?

          I realize that this is what your typical Republican wants. After all, after scientific expertise is dismissed, all that really is left are a bunch of uninformed laymen spouting off their ignorant interpretations of climate data. In that arena, everyone’s (equally uninformed) opinion is equal.

          Since the experts disagree with Republican dogma here, it makes sense for Republicans instead to deauthorize expertise itself.

        • Rick123

          Did you just say that non-scientists should stop believing scientists who are trained to assess the data and evidence on climate change and instead focus their non-expertise at understanding the data itself?

          No, I didn’t say that at all. Sorry for any confusion. My point has to do with scientists being more persuasive. Since Republicanism in its current form is anti-science, appealing to the authority of scientists is not going to be an effective tactic.

          An alternative would be to bombard people with simple and clear facts that are indisputable. It really is true, as I said in my original post, that the globe is 1.04 degrees warmer now than in the past. It really is true that October, 2011 was the 8th warmest on record. No Republican would be able to say, “No, it’s not the 8th warmest.” Whereas they could say that “Many scientists disagree…” (even though that’s a distortion).

    • LFC

      My, my, my. What an interesting list. I actually have to agree with some of these, especially #2 which state that the denialists are funded by some of the deepest pockets in the world.

      One thing that’s interesting is that all 5 points address political gains and losses. Not one thing here about the science and how it’s getting broader, deeper, and more accepted as fact. Not even a shred.

      At least it’s nice to know that FF’s biggest denialist has gone pure politics on the subject and isn’t attempting to cite widely debunked crap like the “hockey stick” is fake, the temperature readings are wrong, temps have gone down since 1998(George Will’s personal favorite moronic statement), the tree rings are wrong, it’s sunspots, it’s natural, it’s the earth’s wobble, snow in one place means it’s colder, etc.

    • JohnMcC

      A simple google search for ‘glaciers in retreat, photographs’ would establish that our fellow commenter has seceded from reality.

    • Secessionist

      A denier?

      “Global warming has become a new religion.” – Nobel Prize Winner in Physics, Ivar Giaever.

    • Secessionist

      Must be working for Exxon Mobile.


      [blockquote]Let me be quite clear. I am not a ‘denier’. I fully accept that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, the climate has been warming and that man is very likely to be at least partly responsible. When a study was published recently saying that 98% of scientists ‘believe’ in global warming, I looked at the questions they had been asked and realized I was in the 98%, too, by that definition, though I never use the word ‘believe’ about myself. Likewise the recent study from Berkeley, which concluded that the land surface of the continents has indeed been warming at about the rate people thought, changed nothing.

      So what’s the problem? The problem is that you can accept all the basic tenets of greenhouse physics and still conclude that the threat of a dangerously large warming is so improbable as to be negligible, while the threat of real harm from climate-mitigation policies is already so high as to be worrying, that the cure is proving far worse than the disease is ever likely to be. Or as I put it once, we may be putting a tourniquet round our necks to stop a nosebleed.

      - Matt Ridley on “Scientific Heresy”, in the Millar Lecture of the Royal Society of the Arts Edinburgh[/blockquote]



      bishop-hill [dot] net/storage/ScientificHeresy.pdf

      • balconesfault

        The problem is that you can accept all the basic tenets of greenhouse physics and still conclude that the threat of a dangerously large warming is so improbable as to be negligible

        And what constitutes “dangerously large warming” in his world? Rapid habitat changes leading to species losses? Disappearances of glaciers around the world, putting water supplies in danger? Losses of polar ice leading to major changes in global climate patterns – radically changing farming seasons and water availability in many of the worlds breadbaskets?

        The kicker is that the same things we would/should do to respond to climate change are largely the same things we will need to someday do when our fossil fuel reserves are too expensive to supply the same lifestyles which we have today. And that rapid climate change is going to actually force us to spend a HUGE amount of money on new infrastructure projects to protect people and capital investments around the globe.

      • Ogemaniac

        “I am not a ‘denier’. I fully accept that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, the climate has been warming and that man is very likely to be at least partly responsible.”

        Bzzzttt. You are still a denier. The latest odds are here.

        You are vastly underestimating the amount of the observed warming that is caused by humans, and its odds of being such.

        “Of the forced signal during that particular period, 102% (90–116%) is due to anthropogenic and 1% (−10 to 13%) due to natural forcing…. ”

        Yes. Note that 102%. “Natural variation” actually appears to be curbing AGW, not accerlating it.

        Now that you have the facts, will you change your mind? If not, you are a denier.

        • Secessionist

          Think Progress is a propaganda site.

        • Ogemaniac

          But Nature Geoscience is not.

          Go ahead and refute the article if you can. Or even tell me what is inaccurate about Romm’s coverage of the journal article. You called him a propagandist. Now back up your claim, or retract it. That’s a quadruple dog dare, btw.

        • Secessionist

          Romm cites Michael Mann as an authority and describes him as a “climatologist” rather than as a political activist who works and masquerades as a researcher.

          I stopped reading at that point.

          I don’t think you realize how bad the climategate emails are for your side.

          The climategate emails have exposed Michael Mann as one of the worst offenders in trying to bully, intimidate and ruin the careers of anyone who disagrees with his views on global warming.

          That is not the approach of a disinterested, neutral researcher.

        • Bagok

          Here’s the link to the article in question, skipping the alarmist site you so despise.

          Perhaps now you can comment on the science?

        • Secessionist

          1) Even if their data shows what it purports to show, it is not evidence for any particular policy solution (carbon taxes, cap and trade, etc.).

          2) It looks like another yet another AGW study that uses a combination of empirical evidence and human-designed computer models to support the main conclusions rather than observation and empirical evidence alone.

          In other words, they appear to have relied on models and simulations that they themselves created to support their own conclusions.

          It doesn’t mean they’re wrong, or that their data is false, but come on — how can you not be just a little skeptical given those circumstances?

        • PNHTrueNorth

          Whether or not Think Progress are propagandists, the numbers presented above do not, that I can find, appear in the IPCC’s 4th report so they are the opinion of 1 or a few scientists, not the consensus that is so often quoted by GW fanatics. One of the problems, in my view, with the IPCC is that is says little more than anthropomorphic is a very likely factor in the last 50 years; it will not venture to say how much or if countervailing natural forces will grow and offset warming in the next 50 or 100 years. I conclude this is because the consensus and evidence is far less convincing. (9.7 Combining Evidence of Anthropogenic Climate Change, IPCC 4).

          Finally, regardless or what the science says, how much faith you have in what is being presented by how many scientists (and don’t forget, Galileo was in the minority in his day among the learned-i.e. consensus is not the be all end all) and of what the US, or Canada or Western Europe does, if China and India are not on board GHG will only grow as 2.5-3 billion people come fully online and grow the economies without GHG restrictions.

  • LFC

    Kenneth, I’d like to just say that what you wrote accepts reality and proposes a common-sense solution. That solution has the added bonus of helping us get away from energy sources controlled by our enemies or at least by nations that are vaguely our friends. If you represented the core of the GOP, I’d still be a registered Republican today.

    • Banty


      It strikes me as possibly a bit simplistic, but it’s good in its outline.

      Everyone else is saying “hah hah you think they would go with that”, but keep putting this idea out there. You never know when something may catch on.

    • balconesfault

      If you represented the core of the GOP, I’d still be a registered Republican today.

      And if there was a chance that 30-40% of Republicans believing that climate change is occurring, a product of human activities, and something that needs to be addressed by our public policy … could translate into 30-40% of Republican congressmen being willing to vote in favor of some kind of comprehensive climate change bill … that would be wonderful.

      But it does not translate. Instead, it translates into probably less than 5 GOP House Members and 2 or 3 GOP Senators who could ever be be persuaded to vote with their Democratic counterparts on such a bill. And thus, no matter what Kenneth’s statistics may say, we are still in a reality where a vote for any Republican for the House, Senate, or Presidency is just pushing off any day when we may have climate change bill.

      Until then – thank God we at least have a President in office who has been willing to push industry via the only tool available to him, the Clean Air Act.

  • zachsteph

    Enough name calling and finger pointing already. This is actually a sane observation on this issue. Perfect, no. Sensible, yes. Pass this on to all your conservative AND liberal friends, post it to your Twitter and Facebook accounts. Let’s get back on track and demand more of our politicians.

  • Emma

    Ken – the ship of reason has sailed on this one for the GOP. Just too far gone to be retrieved though I appreciate your try.

    BTW, a genetic difference between Repubs and Dems: in moments of crisis, real crisis, Repubs will sweeten the medicine for their confreres with lots of insults directed at Dems (as you have done – ¨And for that matter, I note that President Obama never actually managed to bring a climate-change plan to a vote in Congress¨). Dems have more class than that.

  • Graychin

    Good luck with that.

    Republican dogma is firmly on the side of global warming as myth.

    Or if GW is happening ,it’s not because of all the fossilized carbon (coal and oil) that humans are pumping into the atmosphere at a record pace. It’s sunspots or something.

    Besides, Jesus is coming back any day now to set things right. God is in control.

    Anyone questioning the dogma gets chastised by Rush and must recant – like Huntsman.

    That’s quite a party you have there, Mr. Silber.

  • Frumplestiltskin

    There is a good element here and a bad element here. In the not too distant future the earth will kick mankinds ass all over the planet and these morons in the Republican party will then get the thrashing they deserve. The good element will be watching them get thrashed, the bad element is…well, it is my planet too. I kind of want my children to have one worth living in.

    Or maybe Jeebus will come first.

    • Baron Siegfried

      The rather horrifying reality is that many of the baggers actually think that way. I had to pick my jaw up off the ground when one told me smugly that global warming was a good thing, because when things got REALLY bad, well that would be when Jesus would return and all the good christians would go to heaven while all the evil democrat / socialist /not-one-of-them would be ‘left behind’ to reap the suffering they so richly deserve.

      One of the problems I have with the right is the apocalyptic element – these are people who actually DO want the world to end so they can be proven right. Scary . . .

      • balconesfault

        Christianity has always bred a strange eschatology fetish among a subset of its adherents.

        Unfortunately, as the human race progresses, we give them better and better tools with which to indulge their fetish.

  • bbbeard

    My plan is straightforward and honest. We will raise taxes on carbon emissions across the board, while cutting taxes on payrolls and incomes. That means more money in people’s pockets, and more incentives for industry to develop cleaner and safer energy supplies.

    Even if one provisionally accepts the “consensus” that carbon dioxide emissions are causing an undesirable disruption in climate in many locations around the world, there is no evidence that the kind of meager reductions in carbon dioxide emissions that would result from increased carbon prices would have any effect on climate at all. The idea that the problem will be solved by sending more money to Washington is risible. This would be a stupid speech for anyone to give — even Obama.

    • balconesfault

      The problem in my mind is that there needs to be a two sided approach – not only penalize profligate fossil fuel combustion – but pump money into renewable energy and energy conservation technologies that the marketplace may take awhile to support.

      IMO any revenues from a carbon tax should turn around and pump a lot of money into the type of renewable energy projects which will make up a lot of the difference and lower the sticker shock for energy consumers.

  • think4yourself

    This article actually works pretty well with the comments on the Gold standard article. On that one, in the event of an apocalypse I said I didn’t want to carry gold around, only non-perishable foods, water and ammo. I guess I need to add extra strong sunblock and a canoe for get around in the rising waters.

    Kenneth, I appreciate the attempt. Please let me know how many of the GOP House and Senate members sign on. I’m guessing it will only be the ones that are absolutely safe from being primaried.

    • balconesfault

      I’m guessing it will only be the ones that are absolutely safe from being primaried.

      I don’t think there is a GOP Congressman safe from being primaried if he voted to create a large new taxing mechanism like this one – even if paired with other tax cuts.

  • ConnerMcMaub

    Thanks for the piece, Ken Silber.

  • sdspringy

    Who is this guy, HEY KENNY, even Canada is abandoning Kyoto, the EU, everybody knows it’s a joke.

    WAKE UP you Silly Sallies.. Read lately about ClimateGate II??

    Climate change just like Hot Wheels as Christmas gifts is no longer fashionable. You guys have to get out of your Mama’s basement more often and breathe the fresh air.

    No more Nancy and a Climat Couch, no more Al and the Stupid Truth, no more Hollywood actors crying on TV and flying off in their private jets. Time to find a new cause, maybe you could join OWS and leave tonnes of garbage lying around and crap on sidewalks

    • Secessionist

      Yeah, the wheels have definitely come off this thing.

      Here is another story from the British press concerning the Climate Gate 2.0 emails.

      The lying basta*ds ought to slink away in shame.


      [blockquote]More than 5,000 documents have been leaked online purporting to be the correspondence of climate scientists at the University of East Anglia who were previously accused of ‘massaging’ evidence of man-made climate change.

      Following on from the original ‘climategate’ emails of 2009, the new package appears to show systematic suppression of evidence, and even publication of reports that scientists knew to to be based on flawed approaches.

      And not only do the emails paint a picture of scientists manipulating data, government employees at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) are also implicated.

      One message appeared to show a member of Defra staff telling colleagues working on climate science to give the government a ‘strong message’.

      The emails paint a clear picture of scientists selectively using data, and colluding with politicians to misuse scientific information.


      dailymail [dot]

      • Bagok

        Ah yes, the Daily Mail. Did they mention the five or six different inquiries that cleared Mann and colleges of any wrong doing?

        • Secessionist

          Mann and the East Anglia scientists/activists have yet to be cleared of wrong doing by an impartial organization.

          The six organizations that “cleared them” all previously took positions on AGW. They were not neutral.

          House of Commons Science and Technology Committee (UK);
          Independent Climate Change Review (UK);
          International Science Assessment Panel (UK);
          Pennsylvania State University (US);
          United States Environmental Protection Agency (US);
          Department of Commerce (US).

  • sdspringy

    For you lazy Libs and Little Kenny KlimateChange, I will post from one of the links:

    “It is hard to know where to begin, after a week which opened with The Sunday Telegraph’s exclusive on a blast of realism from Prince Philip over the folly of our Government’s infatuation with useless windmills. Then came an excoriatory report from the House of Lords on how we have so run down our nuclear expertise that it is doubtful whether we can hope to run a new generation of nuclear power stations. Next, there was a report from a leading Swiss bank finding that the EU’s “emissions trading scheme” has wasted $287 billion (£186billion) over six years – paid by all of us, to achieve nothing in terms of reducing “carbon emissions”. There was also a front page story in another newspaper, warning that (as readers of this column have long been aware) within nine years we could all be paying nearly £300 a year to subsidise solar panels and those same useless windmills. “

    • balconesfault

      Ah yes – Christopher Booker, who has also made such arguments in the past such as claiming asbestos is not harmful, and that Intelligent Design is a superior scientific “theory” to evolution.

      Fortunately for him, the Daily Telegraph, house organ of the Conservative Party in Great Britain, likes to publish his claptrap.

  • anniemargret

    How interesting. The GOP has to be advised to ‘explain climate change.” Mountains of scientific data, a majority consensus from the experts (not the politicos) and photographs showing the ensuing devastation.

    But they need to ‘explain’ it. Meaning to ‘explain’ with a political slant. Give it up GOP. You are emblematic of what’s wrong with your party. Not a smidgeon of truthiness to your push to keep your party members stupid and unaware. Knock your socks off.

    Yet another reason why anyone who care about the planet and environment should never ever vote Republican.

    • balconesfault

      Well at least until, as I noted earlier, Republicans in Congress actually feel any obligation to represent the more moderate GOP voters. Unfortunately, at the present, they do not – the GOP caucus acts as if their only constituency they are responsible to are the most radical voters in the party.

      On environmental matters, it would be like the Democrats voting as a block to support the Greenpeace agenda, and immediately start shuttering any chlorine based organic chemical plants and blowing up hydroelectric dams.

      • sdspringy

        Don’t let the facts prevent the faithful from continuing to kneel to the GRU.

        Canada leaving Kyoto along with the EU, rampant fraud over carbon credit trading, subsidizing ineffective and wasteful wind and solar power boondoggles. Kyoto is dead and will not be extended. There is no faith in the science, the scientists or the politicians that waste taxpayer money to support a scam.

        As a cause, either political or as a science, AGW is dead.

        • balconesfault

          Canada, Russia, and Japan are leaving Kyoto – in large part because of the US abandonment of trying to ratify the treaty in 2001, and they are unwilling to suffer economic disadvantage versus the country with the highest per capita greenhouse gas emissions on the planet.

          Everyone who voted for George W. Bush over Al Gore can be happy that the world is following the leadership of the US in this respect.

          For some, like Springy, that no doubt is a source of pride and joy.

          For those like Frum, Silber, DiPeso, and Jenkins … it is what it is. There is no putting lipstick on this pig.

        • Velocity

          “As a cause, either political or as a science, AGW is dead.”

          Wishful thinking. Speaking as someone who works in the field of scientific publishing, I can assure you that climate change science is not “dead”. Quite the opposite, in fact.

          Deny all you want, stick your head in the sand all you want, climate change is not going away.

        • anniemargret

          And that is the question isnt’ it? It is about the reality of climate chance which we are already witnessing on this planet, affecting the fauna and flora of the earth, rising seas, melting ice and eventually affecting humans. It is the capacity for shortsightedness that is the hallmark of the average human being.

          So we have a national party that much prefers to dumb down the American public whenever they can and in this regard they are doing a great job. The U.S. should be leading the charge against climate change not settling in for mass denial.

          I don’t think Rush LImbaugh has any kids. With his millions he can afford to sit and enjoy his luxury lifestyle not worried about the next generation or the next. The rest of us who have children and grandchildren and/or have a concern that we don’t leave the natural earth scourged really do care that a national party shows intelligent discourse on the subject.

          Yet another reason why intelligent people should not vote Republican.

  • Ogemaniac

    So you mean that Republicans should respond to climate change by becoming centrist Democrats?


  • LFC

    Secessionist quoted… “Global warming has become a new religion.” – Nobel Prize Winner in Physics, Ivar Giaever.

    Wow! You found one. A very quick search found this:

    A 2010 paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences analysed “1,372 climate researchers and their publication and citation data to show that (i) 97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in the field support the tenets of ACC outlined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and (ii) the relative climate expertise and scientific prominence of the researchers unconvinced of ACC are substantially below that of the convinced researchers”.

    So at 97% of 1,372 the score is now me 1,331 and you 1. Your serve. Just 1,330 for the tie … unless I easily dig up thousands more. (I also love the part about the climate expertise being lower in skeptics.)

    BTW, I noticed how selectively you extracted your quote. Hell, it was so bad that you could write Romney ads. Let’s expand into a few more words he said at the same time.

    I am Norwegian, should I really worry about a little bit of warming? I am unfortunately becoming an old man.

    Translation: I come from a nation that is cold, so I don’t care if the science is correct or not. There’s no need to be concerned about the tropical island and Arctic coastal people who are being submerged. Or to quote Drew Carey, “screw the grandkids, I’m cold now!”

    We have heard many similar warnings about the acid rain 30 years ago and the ozone hole 10 years ago or deforestation but the humanity is still around. The ozone hole width has peaked in 1993.

    Let’s look at the replay of that one, shall we?

    The impact of acid rain was proven beyond a doubt. Entire watersheds were collapsing with huge losses of fish (primarily trout), birds, amphibians, invertebrates, etc. The Clean Air Act cut down on much of the impact and allowed ecosystems to recover, at least somewhat. So his citation is a success story of science consensus, not a failure. Looks like he blew that one, big time.

    Next up, the ozone hole. REALLY? This clown so senile that he doesn’t understand that the width of the hole that “peaked in 1993″ occurred six freakin’ years after Reagan and Thatcher signed the treaty to limit CFCs, and that the global use of CFCs declined ever since then? Does he even grasp that skin cancer rates have jumped in the southern hemisphere because of this? Again, another success for science consensus. He really blew that one too. But of course there were “skeptics” (a.k.a. deniers) who refuse to accept the overwhelming evidence then too. Does this sound familiar?

    As late as 1986, the Alliance for Responsible CFC Policy (an association representing the CFC industry founded by DuPont) was still arguing that the science was too uncertain to justify any action. In 1987, DuPont testified before the US Congress that “we believe that there is no immediate crisis that demands unilateral regulation.”

    And deforestation? Actually it’s still causing massive problems in the Amazon basin with agricultural areas drying up. Looks like strike #3.

    Yowzer! Is it even possible that you could have picked a worse example of a climate change skeptic? He blew 3 major proven problems impacting actual humans in one sentence! Perhaps the only vast blunder he missed in that statement was stating that DDT was not harmful to birds of prey.

    For a Nobel Laureate, this guy sounds like a moron. But maybe we need to simply look at his standard. His statement doesn’t seem to show that his standard is whether the science is right or not, but rather that “humanity is still around.” By that standard there’s no reason to regulate any pollutants, safety of any sort, or even murder. After all, humanity will still be around.


    • balconesfault

      Naomi Oreskes excellent new book, “Merchants of Doubt”, notes that physicists are notorious throughout the scientific community for their arrogance. Basically, they tend to believe that superior knowledge of physics gives them the intellectual foundation to understand pretty much everyone else’s work – even in different scientific disciplines – better than the researchers in those disciplines themselves.

      Thus, for example, when Big Tobacco wanted to find scientists to cast doubt on evidence that smoking caused cancer back in the 50s and 60s, they found themselves some prominent physicists to lead the charge. And funny enough – they didn’t even have to pay them a ton of money. Basically just giving them a forum to pontificate on other scientists work is enough incentive for a lot of prominent physicists to jump into the breach.

      • LFC

        Wow. It sounds just like Sheldon Cooper from “Big Bang Theory”. From the scripts it’s been obvious from the start that the writers are extremely tapped into the scientific community.

        UPDATE: I just found the following notation on Dr. Giaever’s “expertise” in the field of climate science:

        According to Rensselaer Polytechnical Institute, the University of Oslo and Google Scholar, Dr. Giaever has not published any work in the area of climate science.

        He’s an 82 year old expert in biophysics. Like the analysis I cited from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences said, he appears to have “relative climate expertise” that is “substantially below that of the convinced researchers.”

        • balconesfault

          Wow. It sounds just like Sheldon Cooper from “Big Bang Theory”.

          One of my favorite shows from the first season, in no small part because the Sheldon character has the high functioning Aspergers personality nailed so well (my son, a Comp Sci major graduating at age 21 and about to step into a job that will pay him close to 6-figures despite a GPA south of 3.0 is one of those).

          I hadn’t thought of that, but another place where they have the typecast spot on.

    • Secessionist

      So he has not published in a field shown by way of the climate-gate emails to be filled with hucksters and unethical researchers like Michael Mann and the East Anglia researchers?

      So what?

      I really think you jumped the shark with this remark calling a Nobel prize winner a moron.

      It shows what I have been saying all along — your side of this debate can never just stick to the facts.

      At a minimum, Giaever and the minority of scientists who disagree with the majority on AGW disprove the dumb talking point that anyone who questions the majority “doesn’t believe in science.”

      • Velocity

        Just out of curiosity, why didn’t you quote one of the 2500+ climatologists who contributed to the IPCC, also a Nobel Prize winner?

        • Secessionist

          Because I wanted to disprove a talking point, the idea that everyone who expresses doubt about AGW “doesn’t believe in science.”

        • Velocity

          Giaever is a biophysicist who won his Nobel in 1973. He does not now and never has worked on climatological issues. He’s never done the research, analyzed the data, submitted to peer review, been published, etc, on anything to do with climate change. Why in the world would his opinion be considered on par with scientists who actually work in the field? It’d be like if I were to quote EO Wilson’s opinion about biosphysics – he’s a smart guy, he’s a scientist, but he’s not a biophysicist.

          In other words, kind of pointless.

      • LFC

        “So he has not published in a field shown by way of the climate-gate emails to be filled with hucksters and unethical researchers like Michael Mann and the East Anglia researchers?”

        Do you mean the East Anglia nonsense that was investigated by 6 committees in both the U.S. and Britain, every one of which found zero wrongdoing?

        FYI, their big offense was saying that sharing data with the right-wing deniers is useless since they will simply cherry pick tiny parts and repeat them endlessly. The wingnut reaction to the IPCC report has proven these scientists to be right. Exhibit A is the glacier nonsense the denialist community spouted over and over which was simply fundamentally dishonest at every level.

        “I really think you jumped the shark with this remark calling a Nobel prize winner a moron.”

        I don’t. As I pointed out, he obviously does not understand the history of the 3 other man-caused environmental issues he cites or doesn’t care about their impacts on humans, so I don’t expect him to perform any better with this one. All of this points to a person who is not particularly bright, or at least one who has a big mouth on topics about which he is highly uninformed. But I will retract “moron” and instead insert “eccentric”.

        “It shows what I have been saying all along — your side of this debate can never just stick to the facts.”

        From the person who said “so he has not published in a field shown by way of the climate-gate emails to be filled with hucksters and unethical researchers like Michael Mann and the East Anglia researchers.” Kettle, black.

        • Secessionist

          RE: East Anglia specifically, it is anything but nonsense, and you are repeating talking points again.

          You write as if the East Anglia matter was investigated by six impartial committees. It was not. It was investigated by six *biased* organizations that previously took positions on AGW.

          House of Commons Science and Technology Committee (UK);
          Independent Climate Change Review (UK);
          International Science Assessment Panel (UK);
          Pennsylvania State University (US);
          United States Environmental Protection Agency (US);
          Department of Commerce (US).

          In the case of East Anglia, you appear to want to selectively ignore and minimize evidence that proves Mann and the East Anglia researchers are not disinterested, neutral researchers.

          In addition to the information that came to light in 2009, the latest leaked emails dubbed Climate-gate 2.0 prove that Mann and others were involved bullying, intimidation, and data manipulation. The evidence is their own words, not anything from “right-wing nuts.”

          Now, why does this matter? It matters because the IPCC relies on people like Mann and the researchers at East Anglia to support their conclusions.

          At least some of the evidence for AGW can now be traced to people known with a certainty to use dishonest and unethical methods.

        • LFC

          All “biased”, including the freaking Dept. of Commerce? I know I shouldn’t even bother asking since you’re mind is made up overwhelming evidence be damned, but what is your “unbiased” source?

          In the world of reality, the second batch of emails (from the same time period) and the data are still deemed accurate by those who understand it and by those who actually read all the email. In fact the emails do NOT “prove that Mann and others were involved bullying, intimidation, and data manipulation.” What they prove is that the team discussed the flaws in the first draft of one chapter of the IPCC report 2 years before it was published. If you understood science, engineering, or any other discipline, you’d understand that this is exactly what they are supposed to do.

          There is no secret cache of hidden data all set to take down all of the rest of the climate change data. There was no grand conspiracy to alter, hide, or cherry pick the data (unlike the right-wingers which do it all the time). Actually that view is getting pretty close to tin foil hat territory.

          If you choose to get your head out of your right-wing “news” sources, try these reports on how much the climate deniers lied and misrepresented this entire story, just like they lied and misrepresented the science of Himalayan glacier melting.

          But let’s play in your sandbox for a moment, suspend reality, and say Mann was a rogue operator who fudged all of his data. Why would any reasonable person for even a moment think that this defines the literally thousands of other climate scientists who contributed to the IPCC report and the thousands upon thousands who work in the field but did not contribute are all from industrialized nations across the entire globe? Why would one rogue scientist somehow prove that the all the rest are “hucksters” and “unethical researchers”?

          And finally, since virtually all the climate scientists are supposedly in on this big fraud, what do you have to say about the findings that Exxon is bankrolling organizations that are literally telling lies, cherry picking data, and citing old and obsolete data on a continual basis? Using your metric, doesn’t this mean that every one of your sources is a “huckster”?

  • alanmazer

    This suggestion makes perfect sense to me except for 3 things: it raises taxes (which no Republican will do), it raises costs to corporations (which no Republican will do), and it tackles a problem that none of the candidates really thinks exists. I fear your time typing was wasted.

  • sdspringy

    Wring you’re hands, and stomp you’re feet as well it will not matter. AGW is dead.

    “The reasons for the changing political atmosphere in Europe are manifold. First, the global economic crisis has demoted green policies nearer to the bottom of the political agenda. Saving the economy and creating jobs take priority now.

    Second, disillusionment with the failed Kyoto Protocol has turned utopian thinking into sobriety. After all, most of the Kyoto signatories failed to reduce their CO2 emissions during the last 10 years. There are also growing doubts about the long-term viability of the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme. The price of carbon credits has collapsed as a result of the financial crisis. The drop in demand and the recession are likely to depress carbon prices for years to come. As a result, the effectiveness of the extremely volatile scheme is increasingly questioned.

    Third, a number of countries have experienced a political backlash over their renewable energy schemes. Tens of billions of euros of taxpayers’ money have been pumped into projects that depend on endless government handouts. Each of the 35,000 solar jobs in Germany, for instance, is subsidized to the tune of €130,000. According to estimates by the Rhine-Westphalia Institute for Economic Research, green subsidies will cost German electricity consumers nearly €27 billion in the next two years.

    Perhaps even more important is the growing realization that the warming trend of the late 20th century has, for the last 10 years or so, essentially come to a temporary halt. The data collected by international meteorological offices confirm this. This most peculiar fact is rarely mentioned in policy debates, but it certainly provides decision makers with a vital respite to reconsider their climate policy options.”

    Lets review that, even the most dedicated Kyoto idiots FAILED to lower their own CO2 footprint. Wasted BILLIONs of their citizen’s money, subsidized massive government projects that FAILED.

    And there has been NO warming for over 10 years, HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE??? It is a complete and utter fraud designed solely to empower nutjob UN types complete control over the global economy.

    Its over, thank the Lord and pass the coalfired power plant.

    • Secessionist

      The money, time, intelligence and energy wasted on the AGW agenda is tragic. All of those resources were diverted away from like stopping things the Keystone pipeline and numerous other more pressing threats.

    • balconesfault

      Perhaps even more important is the growing realization that the warming trend of the late 20th century has, for the last 10 years or so, essentially come to a temporary halt.

      This is patently untrue. The decade of 2001-2010 was demonstrably warmer than the decade of 1991-2000.

      Meanwhile, while 2011 was somewhat cooler, thanks to La Nina, it is still looks like the warmest La Nina year on record.

      But to say that the warming trend has come to a halt is intentionally misleading. Then again, it is the Murdoch WSJ…

      • LFC

        Balcone, you obviously didn’t read the in-depth reporting by climate change skeptics that unveiled a vast conspiracy based in East Anglia to flip all of the climate change graphs in the world. Flip it over and you’ll see the vast global cooling that they don’t want you to know about. Sneaky bastards!

  • LFC

    “And there has been NO warming for over 10 years, HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE???”

    The question can be dropped since there has been significant warming for the past 10 years. You’re just incapable of reading a graph and don’t understand a trend line. Get in line behind George Will who made the same mistake but doubled down on stupid when those who are vastly more informed corrected him.

    Here’s another graph that shows the departure from ’79-98′ average global temperature:

    And no, AGW is not dead. Getting people to do something about it might be stalled, but the world’s climate doesn’t give a damn about geopolitics.

  • Secessionist

    Incidentally, regarding another false alarmist talking point, the notion that only Teabagger “deniers” place a low priority on AGW is another whopper.

    Many people other than Teabaggers see no immediate need for aggressive action on AGW.

    Teabagger intransigence might explain gridlock in the United States, but what about the rest of the world?

    Teabagger “deniers” do not call the shots in Canada, Russia and Japan, yet those countries are all walking away from Kyoto.

    The authorities in those countries must not believe in science…

    • balconesfault

      The authorities in those countries know that while Canada, Russia, and Japan combine to total 4.4% of the global population, they produce 11.5% of the global CO2 emissions.

      Compare that to the US, which has 4.5% of the global population, and produces 18% of the global CO2 emissions.

      Why would you not expect there to be significant political pressure in those countries to end giving the US a significant competitive advantage, when we are all ready producing 50% more CO2 per capita than them?

      Climate change has become a macroscopic “Tragedy of the Commons”, with the US playing the role of the landowner who demands to run as many sheep out on the commons as he can until they start to die off.

    • baw1064

      Uh, no. If your country lies on the Arctic circle, global warming is desirable.

  • Secessionist


    LMAO. You are going to have to do better than that.

    The origin of the main talking point in your response at Dec 8, 2011 at 3:41 pm appears to be the George Soros funded hack machine Media Matters which is run by the known left-wing activist and LIAR David Brooks.

    David Brooks admitted to lying for the right-wing media publication The American Spectator when he wrote for right-wing media in the 90s.

    And we should uncritically accept the MM interpretation of the emails why exactly? Versus say the WSJ or NRO?

    The firedoglake writer you cite relied on the MM writer who said this:

    Astoundingly, [Wash Po writer] Eilperin does not tell readers that these email exchanges took place in February 2005 and were about the first draft of a chapter of the IPCC report released two years later. The emails depict the authors of the chapter hashing out what should be included — exactly what you would expect this process to look like.*

    And if you look at the MM article, you will see that the MM writer gives no evidence whatsoever for those claims; he just asserts them without evidence as climate alarmists are wont to do.

    Furthermore, the MM writer’s unsupported claims bear an amazing similarity to what you said here at Dec 8, 2011 at 3:41 pm:

    LFC: In fact the emails do NOT “prove that Mann and others were involved bullying, intimidation, and data manipulation.” What they prove is that the team discussed the flaws in the first draft of one chapter of the IPCC report 2 years before it was published. If you understood science, engineering, or any other discipline, you’d understand that this is exactly what they are supposed to do.

    Sometimes, we all have no choice but to use partisan media, because partisan media is often all there is on some issues.

    I don’t usually rely on partisan media to make my points, but on this particular issue, I have to — just like you apparently do.

    I will get my head of right-wing media when you get yours out of left-wing media. If did you not rely on the George Soros funded Media Matters for your information about these emails, you may have been duped by people who did — such as that writer at Firedoglake.

    Right-wing media is more reliable in this instance for one reason: At least the right-wing media sources are giving the actual quotes — the content that matters — that appears to show unethical behavior among some climate scientists.

    The left-wing sources, in contrast, at least the ones that I have seen, are asserting the quotes were “cherry picked” or taken “out of context, but without providing the full context to prove the full context is relevant.

    In sum, the notion that the email quotes were cherry picked and taken out of context and that therefore they are substantively misleading is a left-wing partisan interpretation. If they were taken out of context, the burden of proof is on the people alleging the context matters to show that it does. Until they do prove the context matters, their claims should be treated with some skepticism.

    Another interpretation is that the climate critics only quoted the portions from the 2009 emails that are relevant.

    “Observations do not show rising temperatures throughout the tropical troposphere unless you accept one single study and approach and discount a wealth of others. This is just downright dangerous. We need to communicate the uncertainty and be honest.”**

    *mediamatters [dot] org/blog/201111220024

    **nationalreview [dot] com/articles/284137/scientists-behaving-badly-jim-lacey

  • PNHTrueNorth

    I am not sure all your facts are correct, namely I think you present the anthropomorphic argument as being more settled than it is. Having said that, it is difficult to deny the fact that warming is occurring. The cause is uncertain, the depth and type of effects to occur are also uncertain and certainly those depicted by Al Gore are extremely unlikely.

    Before expanding on the above, I would note that what you propose for the GOP is similar to the “Greenshift” proposed by Stephane Dion and the Liberal party in Canada years ago. Times are different now, but even is Canada, which is less conservative than the US and has no real equivalent of the GOP (there is a Conservative party of course, but it is significantly more to the center than the GOP); the Canadian public massively rejected Dion’s approach.

    Back to the main argument. I look at it this way:

    1- Probability that Global Warming is occurring: LIKELY TO HIGHLY LIKELY;
    2- Probability that warming is “mostly” caused by man’s activity as opposed to natural variation or a mix of factors: LOW TO MODERATE
    3- Probability that changes man can make to his behavior and emissions will stop global warming: UNLIKELY or unlikely to produce a major reduction from current levels, both due to 2 above and the likelihood that too few countries producing the majority of emissions today and in the future (read China, India, Russia) will reduce emissions over the next 50 years even if the US does.
    4- Probability that global warming is a long-term phenomenon: UNKNOWN, but I am willing to concede that it is for the sake of argument;
    5- Probability that man will have to adapt to a warming world and cannot stop the warming, but at best can slow it somewhat to not at all: LIKELY.
    6- Probability that global warming will improve the climate: NOT LIKELY for large parts of the US, but may improve the northern areas (as an aside, since I am Canadian,in Canada the benefits probably outweigh the negatives: broadly more temperate climate, more arable land etc.);
    7- Best strategy and most effective and efficient strategy, (especially for Canada, which the GOP doesn’t care about): adapt to warming, minimize effort to curb alleged human sources, prepare for high pressures for population movement and challenges related to water (Warming cannot and will not be controlled by man so the best route is adaptation).
    8- This does not reduce the need for abatement of man-made pollution sources other than greenhouse gases; (which may coincidentally affect greenhouse emissions). These are proven to kill people and damage health, with certainty, today. Warming sometimes distracts from this discussion.

    This, or something like it, is a reasonable context for discussion and introduces the often ignored element of adaptation as a strategy for warming whether man made or otherwise. Personally I do not have a major problem with shifting some taxes to carbon and away from other forms of tax to create incentives (but spend some of that tax of adaptation). But do you really think a GOP candidate can win a GOP nomination base on a neutral tax change like this? It will be open to attack that, in fact it will not be neutral (one of the factors in Canada when it was proposed), among other things.


  • sailrick

    At least 97% of active climate scientists agree on AGW.
    Only two professional science organizations in the world, deny the science.

    American Association of Petroleum Geologists
    Canadian Association of Petroleum Geologists

    Over 100 professional science organizations, of national and international standing,
    have issued statements as to the validity of AGW, and that we must act immediately
    That includes every national academy of science in the world.
    The U.S. National Academy of Science has issued four such statements.

    Here is a partial list of science organizations that agree on AGW. There are at least 30 more than on this list.

    National Academy of Sciences (U.S.)


    Woods Hole Resesarch Center

    US Geological Survey (USGS)

    National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)

    NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS)

    American Association of State Climatologists

    American Chemical Society – (world’s largest scientific organization with over 155,000 members)

    Geological Society of America

    American Geophysical Union (AGU)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    American Association of State Climatologists

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

    American Astronomical Society

    American Institute of Physics

    American Meteorological Society (AMS)

    American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)

    Stratigraphy Commission – Geological Society of London – (The world’s oldest and the United Kingdom’s largest geoscience organization)

    Chinese Academy of Sciences

    Royal Society, United Kingdom

    Russian Academy of Sciences

    Royal Society of Canada

    Science Council of Japan

    Australian Academy of Sciences

    Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Sciences and the Arts

    Brazilian Academy of Sciences

    Caribbean Academy of Sciences

    French Academy of Sciences

    German Academy of Natural Scientists

    Indian National Science Academy

    Indonesian Academy of Sciences

    Royal Irish Academy

    Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei (Italy)

    Academy of Sciences Malaysia

    Academy Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand

    Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

    Union of Concerned Scientists

    The Institution of Engineers Australia

    Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (CMOS)

    National Research Council

    Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospherice Sciences

    World Meteorological Organization

    State of the Canadian Cryosphere (SOCC)

    International Council on Science

    American Physical Society (APS)

    Australian Institute of Physics (AIP

    European Physical Society

    European Science Foundation

    Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies (FASTS

    Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN)

    Network of African Science Academies

    International Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences (CAETS

    European Academy of Sciences and Arts

    InterAcademy Council (IAC)

    International Arctic Science Committee

    Arctic Council

    European Federation of Geologists (EFG)

    European Geosciences Union (EGU)

    Geological Society of Australia

    International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics

    National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT

    Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society

    Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society

    Royal Meteorological Society (UK)

    American Quaternary Association (AMQUA

    American Institute of Biological Sciences

    American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians (AAWV

    American Society for Microbiology

    Institute of Biology (UK)

    Society of American Foresters (SAF

  • sailrick

    Anthropogenic global warming is probably the most thorougly peer reviewed theory in the history of science.

    “Nicholls, a professor at Monash University in Victoria, Australia, said the IPCC 2007 Fourth Assessment report was subjected to several rigorous tiers of review. The study cites over 10,000 papers from the scientific literature, “most of which have already been through the peer-review process to get into the scientific literature.”

    The report went through four separate reviews and received 90,000 comments from 2,500 reviewers, all of which are publicly available, along with the responses of the authors, Nicholls said.” (And there are thousands more research papers since then)
    [from Solve Climate blog]

    The greenhouse gas effect was first proposed by Joseph Fourier in 1824, proven by John Tyndall in 1858, and was first quantified by Svante Arrhenius ~1896. In other words, the climate sensitivity to greenhouse gases was first estimated. And that estimate is very close to the IPCC’s consensus estimate, more than a century later.

    These 32 conservative ‘think tanks’ have all been involved in the tobacco industry’s campaign to deny the science showing the dangers of tobacco.

    They are all now involved in the campaign to deny the science of climate change.

    1. Acton Institute
    2. American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)
    3. Alexis de Tocquerville Institute
    4. American Enterprise Institute (AEI)
    5. Americans for Prosperity
    6. Atlas Economic Research Foundation
    7. Burson-Marsteller (PR firm)
    8. Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW)
    9. Cato Institute
    10. Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI)
    11. Consumer Alert
    12. DCI Group (PR firm)
    13. European Science and Environment Forum
    14. Fraser Institute
    15. Frontiers of Freedom
    16. George C. Marshall Institute
    17. Harvard Center for Risk Analysis
    18. Heartland Institute
    19. Heritage Foundation
    20. Independent Institute
    21. International Center for a Scientific Ecology
    22. International Policy Network
    23. John Locke Foundation
    24. Junk Science
    25. National Center for Public Policy Research
    26. National Journalism Center
    27. National Legal Center for the Public Interest (NLCPI)
    28. Pacific Research Institute
    29. Reason Foundation
    30. Small Business Survival Committee
    31. The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition (TASSC)
    32. Washington Legal Foundation

    #5 and #9 were created by the billionaire oil and lumber tycoon Koch brothers, who fund all kinds of anti-enviromental PR. They also fund denial of the science saying formaldahyde causes cancer. This is no surprise, since they are major owners of Georgia Pacific lumber company.

    “Forty public policy groups have this in common: They seek to undermine the scientific consensus that humans are causing the earth to overheat. And they all get money from ExxonMobil.”
    Chris Mooney

  • sailrick

    And how else, but by virtue of the fossil fuel industry’s influence in Washington, could it possibly be, that Congress, during congressional hearings before the House Science committee, gave more weight to the opinion of Pat Michaels than to that of their own scientists at NOAA, Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, and a co-chairman and lead author of the IPCC’s 1995 report? Well, they say Michaels has a charming personality. I’m sure.

    Pat Michaels was pitted against Jerry Mahlman, Chairman of NASA’s Mission to Planet Earth Scientific Advisory Committee, and director of NOAA’s Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory.
    They were questioned by Representative Rohrabacher (R CA), who by his own words doesn’t know the difference between carbohydrates, hydrocarbons or CO2. He grilled Malhlman, and didn’t listen to anything he said, then gave a free ride to Pat Michaels, praising him for his contribution. Mahlman had the disadvantage of talking in unemotional, factual scientific terms, which Rohrabacher couldn’t care less about.

    Scientists are not usually trained in public speaking. As a rule, they are not skilled debaters, and are at a disadvantage when debating media savvy skeptic mouthpieces, who are not really interested in truth, so much as winning the hearts and minds of an audience, and advancing the political agenda of their fossil fuel paymasters. Real scientists tend to understate conclusions and speak in terms of probabilities of outcomes, which to the untrained ear, make it sound like they are unsure of the science. This is all people like Rohrabacher need to hear, as they percieve this as a weakness to be exploited.

    Robert Watson
    lead author 1995 IPCC report on climate change impacts:
    Senior scientist of White House Office of Science and Technology
    Elected Chairman of IPCC by unanimous vote in 1996.

    He was pitted against Robert Balling who out and out lied (either that or he’s out of touch with reality) about what science knew about rising temperatures in the Arctic, claiming temperature there hadn’t risen in the last 50 years. In fact, NOAA had found temperatures at 9 Arctic stations in Alaska had increased by 5.5 C (9 F) over thirty years. Soil temperature had increased 2-5 C. Rohrabacher dismissed outright whatever Watson had to say, and only gave credence to Balling’s testimony

    Robert Watson headed the IPCC until the Bush adminisration used their influence to have him removed because he was convinced of AGW. They had him replaced by Pauchari, who was agnostic, but now is also convinced. So now the deniers attack him.

    The Bush administration played a major role in the propaganda campaign to discredit science. President Bush authorized a major study on climate change, then had a Petroleum Institute lawyer edit the report done by climate scientists, to water it down.

    They also tried to prevent world renowned climate scientist James Hansen from releasing a report about global temperature for 2005. There was a systematic attempt to stifle the free speech of climate scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, where Hansen works. They had public policy people inserted into the Institute to ride herd over the scientists. The same Petroleum Institute lawyer was involved in this censoring of scientists.

    To learn much more about this, read the book:
    “Censoring Science: the Political Attack on Dr. James Hansen and the Truth of Global Warming” by Mark Bowen

  • sailrick

    Speaking of books and the denier propaganda machine, there are several other books worth reading.

    “The Inquisition of Climate Science”
    by James Lawrence Powell

    “Climate Cover-Up”: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming”
    by James Hoggan with Richard Littlemore

    “Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming”
    by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway

    “Scorcher: The Dirty Politics of Climate Change”
    by Clive Hamilton
    He outlines the decade-long, coal-industry funded campaign in Australia to deny climate science.

    “Science as a Contact Sport: Inside the Battle to Save Earth’s Climate”
    by Stephan H. Schneider and Tim Flannery

    “Global Warming and Political Intimidation, How Politicians Cracked Down On Scientists as the Earth Heated Up”
    by Raymond Bradley

    “Climate War, True Believers, Power Brokers and The Fight to Save the Earth”
    by Eric Pooley

    “Climate Change Denial, Heads in the Sand”
    by Hayden Washington and John Cook

    By the way, if you peruse the book shelves at your local Barnes and Noble, you will notice at least as many, if not more, books by climate change skeptics, as mainstream climate science books. There is a reason for this. The same “think tanks” who are spreading the disinformation for the fossil fuel industry, are funding and or publishing most of these books. They promote 78% of skeptical books on climate change. This has resulted in at least 64 climate change skeptic books. Then they organize book buying, to push these books to the best seller lists.

    There wouldn’t be much of a denialist movement or literature, if not for these groups. Books are another way they have manufactured the impression of a controversy about climate science, where there really isn’t one.

  • sailrick

    This is who Republicans brought to a U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment hearing as an expert witness. Energy and Commerce Committee Minority Ranking Member Joe Barton (R-TX) referred to Monckton, in his opening remarks, as being generally regarded as one of the most knowledgeable, if not the most knowledgeable, experts on the skeptic side. Global warming is not a matter of opinion, its a matter of science.

    A prominent voice in global warming denial is Christopher Monckton or the Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley as he likes to be called. Monckton claims to have discovered the cure for many diseases. He is well known in the world of GW skeptics. He is a real slick showman who is constantly on the campaign trail spreading his psuedo science, and who lies, twists and distorts the science and is a complete fraud. Among real climate scientitsts he is something of a joke. He is considered one of the least credible of skeptics and that is saying a lot. Scientists consider him a joke, but are aware of the danger of men like this to the public’s understanding of science. He is clever and knows how to persuade an audience, unlike most real scientists, who aren’t very good at public speaking and being persuasive.
    He also makes lots of money spreading this confusion. The Koch brothers pay him to do his dog an poney show.

    Monckton’s claim to nobility has long been suspected of being false. That was recently confirmed by an inquiry to the British House of Lords, who said: “Christopher Monckton is not and has never been a Member of the House of Lords. There is no such thing as a ‘non-voting’ or ‘honorary’ member.”
    Despite this, Monckton has insinuated himself to the U.S. Congress as an envoy from the British Parliament. He likes to embellish his temperature graphs and such, press releases, etc. with a very close approximation of the crowned portcullis, symbol of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. He’s balmy, I tell ya.

    Monckton has no scientific background, his only higher education being in journalism. Yet, he is Chief Policy Adviser at the Science and Public Policy Institute a global warming skeptics group.

    Monckton is showman, not a scientist. And what he claims is science isn’t. He is known to make completely absurd claims, like that industrialization helps the environment and that global warming will be beneficial.

    And then in May 2010, U.S House Republicans chose Monckton as their ONLY expert witness for a hearing at the Select Committee On Energy Independence and Global Warming

    Some people never learn.

  • sinz54

    Silber: “We will raise taxes on carbon emissions across the board, while cutting taxes on payrolls and incomes. That means more money in people’s pockets”

    I walked out of Frum Forum after Frum stopped supporting the GOP, but I still lurk occasionally and I couldn’t let this proposal pass.

    Silber’s proposal means more money in the pockets of residents of large cities who can use mass transit. (No wonder the Blue States love this idea.) And it means less money in the pockets of rural Americans who have to drive miles and miles and miles to get anywhere.

    Consider: Even today, 60% of residents in New York City don’t own cars. They depend on mass transit–subways mostly–to get around. Under Silber’s proposal, they would come out way ahead–since they would get all these tax benefits while not ever having paid a dollar for gasoline.

    Whereas residents in rural areas without mass transit, who live in sprawling prairies and plains, would come out way behind because they would never get enough tax benefits to compensate for the higher gasoline prices. (Unless Silber’s proposal were not revenue-neutral, but instead created huge deficits so that everyone would get a break.)

    But residents of cities tend to vote Democrat, and rural voters tend to be Republican. Hence Silber’s proposal is a reward to Dems mostly.

    I don’t think that’s going to go over well with Republicans.

  • Having Only One Loud Minority Makes the Climate Change Debate Lopsided and Dangerous | Aaron Huertas

    [...] Commentary, Kenneth Silber advanced an argument he thinks might resonate with a conservative audience: get rid of some payroll taxes and make up [...]

  • rbottoms

    Good luck with that.

  • The Republican Clown Car Circus | Tea Party Patriots Online

    [...] frames the GOP as being mired with too many denialist dinosaurs and the party’s reply even to public opinion seems to be “polls schmolls.” In a [...]