I was captivated by a letter to the editor in last week’s Memphis Democrat. For the fourth time in five weeks, The Citizens Climate Lobby addressed the community in the pages of the local newspaper regarding their efforts to educate readers on their side of the climate change issue. If the letter had identified glaring issues with the opinion-editorial (op-ed), which the paper published at request of a reader to try to “balance” the debate (1 to 4 is still not quite even) this opinion piece likely would have remained unwritten
Instead, a few standard talking points for climate change were offered or repeated, almost as if to get the last word. Obviously, that won’t be the case.
While I am definitely no expert on the subject, my brief research on the issue has left me far from convinced that climate change is manmade, and even if it is, that any of the proposed solutions will improve our world.
Am I the only one who finds it ironic that the climate change lobby is clinging to God? Our Creator has no standing with the Supreme Court, should not be seen in public, or heard from in our schools, at government buildings or on our military bases and definitely has no place in public policy debate on such matters as marriage or abortion, yet now He is suddenly being touted as the #1 supporter of carbon taxes and over priced solar and wind energy thanks to the Pope and the Southern Baptist Convention.
It’s sort of like a bus load of people headed to the riot and looting party to demonstrate against police brutality, and when one of their members suddenly decides it would just be easier to rob his cohorts instead, they dial 911 for help.
I’m sorry but when you say the Pope knows nothing about abortion or marriage, it seems to bring into question his credibility as an expert witness on the weather.
And just like God, Republicans were also drawn into the commentary. It’s funny if you look up either of the two in conjunction with the climate change topic over the past decade, both were vilified by proponents of the crisis for having the audacity to question its validity.
Now suddenly climate change lobbyists are touting them as if to say “it must be true – look even some of these religious and conservative Neanderthals finally agree.”
Sorry I digress. The true point of this editorial was to address specific points of last week’s letter.
The main point I want to make is that scientific data does appear to support the fact that temperatures are higher than they used to be. I, just like many of my fellow Missourians and Americans, am simply not certain that it is man’s fault or can be blamed on that dastardly CO2 stuff.
The letter cited one of the good Republicans, George P. Schultz, Secretary of State under Ronald Reagan (back in the 1980s) stating “We all know there are those who have doubts about the problems presented by climate change. But if these doubters are wrong, the evidence is clear that the consequences, while varied, will be mostly bad, some catastrophic. So why don’t we follow Reagan’s example and take out an insurance policy?”
That sounds an awful lot like then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi at the Legislative Conference for the National Association of Counties in March 2010 saying “we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.” regarding Obamacare. I don’t know about the rest of you, but since they passed that law, I found out that my insurance rates went up and up and up, and now I’ll be searching for a new provider as the company is getting out of health insurance all together.
As far as Republicans supporting climate change, many do. The U.S. Senate voted 98-1 that climate change exists, as part of what essentially was a public poll, a non-binding amendment to the embattled Keystone Pipeline proposal.
However in a related amendment, only 5 Republicans voted for an amendment that said climate change is real and human activity significantly contributes to it, while 49 of their fellow Republican senators voted no, meaning the amendment failed by a 50-49 vote (60 yes votes required).
The letter cites a study that 84% of economists believed that global warming presents a clear danger to the US and global economies.
There are countless other studies and reports that show that the current proposals to curb climate change present similarly clear dangers to the national economy.
A Heritage Foundation report says that the President’s current Climate Action Plan that has seen such failures as the Solyndra solar fiasco, could through its war on coal lead to “hundreds of thousands of lost jobs and $1.47 trillion of lost national income by 2030”.
The report also points to a projected 42% price increase for natural gas. Could this possibly be a motive for big oil companies, such as ExxonMobil and ConocoPhillps, which the letter touts as current supporters of climate change efforts, to recently flip flop their position based on profits as much as change of heart?
Ironically, the letter closes with the old standby questioning the validity of an op-ed by “a lobby group funded by the oil and gas industry which continues to deny that there is a problem”.
And then there is the “Myth of the Climatic Change 97%“.
In a commentary by Joseph Bast and Roy Spencer, the Wall Street Journal questioned the origin of this magic bullet that has been fired by President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry and yes even NASA, as the local Citizen Climate Lobby reported in its letter to the editor last week.
“The assertion that 97% of scientists believe that climate change is a man-made, urgent problem is a fiction,” the story states. “The so-called consensus comes from a handful of surveys and abstract-counting exercises that have been contradicted by more reliable research.”
I found the most interesting part of the article, which debunks half a dozen different 97% reports, was the response to a widely cited source, a 2009 article “Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union” by Maggie Kendall Zimmerman, a student at the University of Illinois, and her master’s thesis adviser Peter Doran.
The report stated that “97 percent of climate scientists agree” that global temperatures have risen and that humans are a significant contributing factor, based on a two question on-line survey.
The WSJ article counters with:
“Most scientists who are skeptical of catastrophic global warming nevertheless would answer ‘yes’ to both questions. The survey was silent on whether the human impact is large enough to constitute a problem. Nor did it include solar scientists, space scientists, cosmologists, physicists, meteorologists or astronomers, who are the scientists most likely to be aware of natural causes of climate change.”
Finally, the letter, citing the Yale Climate Project, announced that “close to 60% of Northern Missourians actually believe that climate change is happening and will cause harm to future generations.”
Upon further review, the report, which was funded by a number of philanthropic groups led by billionaire foundations that will not feel the financial pain of higher energy costs often associated with climate change activism, notes that 50% of Missourians are worried about global warming, 46% believe it is caused by human activities, and only 32% believe it is currently negatively impacting them personally.
This data also is described as estimates, derived from a statistical model with “Margin of error estimates based on 95% confidence intervals using 199 bootstrap simulations” indicating the model is accurate to approximately ±5 percentage points at the state level, which means the numbers could be as much as 5% too high.
The same report notes that only 38% of Missourians believe that most scientists in the United States think global warming is happening.
As a cynical 44-year-old father of three daughters, I am accustomed to drama, and have become a tad bit doubtful of our government’s Chicken Little-esque claims of pending doom that can only be solved by more government and more taxes. Forgive me if I am a bit skeptical regarding some of the claims of this debate, and please don’t simply take my word for it. Prove you are not stupid enough to simply buy either side of the argument’s narrative.