October 2007

Just last week conservatives cheered obvious progress in derailing the bipartisan push to quietly adopt the sovereignty-eroding Law of the Sea Treaty or “LOST” that would collectivize the world’s seabed resources (covering 70% of the earth’s surface), among other undesirable things.  Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell joined a rump group of pro-sovereignty Senators led by Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and Trent Lott (R-Miss.) to tell the White House that this is one “legacy” item that they should give up on.  Their message was echoed by Republican presidential candidates Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney.

Is it any wonder people who rely on sound bites and mainstream news account think global warming is sending us to hell in a handbasket? Even when the story shoots down the premise, it’s couched in language that implies otherwise.


This item from the L.A. Times starts off straight enough:


“Are the massive fires burning across Southern California a product of global warming? Scientists said it would be difficult to make that case, given the dangerous mix of drought and wind that has plagued the region for centuries or more.”


Then the iffy languages begins. You know the type. The sentences laced with words like “suggest,” as in “Research suggests that rising temperatures are already increasing fire damage…” and like “could,” as in “But eventually global warming could make…”

“Suggests” means maybe. And maybe not.


“Could” means “could be,” or “could not be.”


Then there’s the double waffle: “The study suggested that the transformation may already be underway.” Which means “perhaps” it “may be.” Any length to keep the possibility alive.


But when do you ever see the converse language in print? Only the “may be” and “could.” Never the “on the other hand, maybe not” or “could not be.”

Do you ever wonder why?

Senator James Inhofe spoke before the US Senate for almost two hours about the human consequences of climate change mitigation policy last Friday, October 26. Here’s a sample:


Both the Energy Information Administration (EIA) and Wharton Econometric Forecasting Associates analyzed the costs of Kyoto when it was signed, and the costs were staggering. For instance, EIA found the annual cost would be up to $283 billion a year, and that's in 1992 constant dollars. Wharton put the cost even higher, at more than $300 billion annually, or more than $2,700 per family of four each year.

The estimated costs to comply with carbon legislative proposals in the U.S. would also be unreasonable. The NCEP approach would do nothing to lessen global warming even according to the alarmists, but according to EIA, it would still cost more than 118,000 American jobs simply to make a symbolic gesture.

And according to an MIT study, the Sanders-Boxer bill would cost energy sector consumers an amount equal to $4,500 per American family of four. The same study found the Lieberman-McCain bill would cost consumers $3,500 per family of four. Similarly, EIA found that it would have cost 1.3 million jobs. A new EPA analysis shows the Lieberman – McCain bill would cost up to half a trillion dollars by 2030 and $1.3 trillion by 2050.


Read the rest by clicking here, which will take you to Marc Morano’s invaluable EPW Web Log.

Is there really anything new to be said about climate change? Hasn't the issue become the public-policy equivalent of Groundhog Day, with the same arguments playing out in the same way every week?


Perhaps there is.

Almost nonstop, gargantuan 145-ton trucks rumble through China's biggest open-pit coal mine, sending up clouds of soot as they dump their loads into mechanized sorters. 

FIRST HE WON the Oscar — then the Nobel Peace Prize. He's being called a "prophet."

Impressive, considering that one of former Vice President Al Gore's chief contributions has been to call the debate over global warming "over" and to marginalize anyone who disagrees. Although he favors major government intervention to stop global warming, he says, "The climate crisis is not a political issue. It is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity" Give me a break.

Al Gore has called on humans to address climate change "as a species." Inconveniently for Gore, however, Homo sapiens are parsed into nation-states that have always pursued their own, sub-species interests. As there is no evidence the threat of a changing climate is making nations less selfish, expectations of a global response to global warming are unrealistic.

Corn ethanol is the answer to global warming and American energy independence. Right? Wrong.

A bipartisan Senate bill to limit greenhouse gases will have a hard time getting the 60 votes needed to overcome parliamentary roadblocks unless it addresses some of industry's concerns, a Republican senator said Friday.

Imagine you are an advocacy group and want to sway a government's policy development, but really want to keep your activism a secret. You could learn a lot by observing and then avoiding the practices of the Center for Climate Strategies, a group of global warming worrywarts.