I don't buy Mero's argument that addressing climate change is bad for the
economy or the poor. Indeed, reducing our carbon footprint means changing our
energy, transportation, and building sectors -- all of which means revitalizing
domestic, local and rural economies. Specifically, on energy, the solution to
climate problems means turning to domestic renewable energy technologies that
will bring profits to rural communities (e.g., wind power on farms; geothermal
in rural communities) -- rather than sending our money for oil in foreign,
politically-unstable lands. Efficient building means creating domestic jobs for
construction and retrofitting old buildings -- jobs that can't be outsourced!
And fuel efficient cars -- and plug-ins that will use domestic electricity
rather than oil (which funds terrorism) -- can revitalize Detroit. Why does
Mero believe the status-quo -- America's oil dependency, which hurts us
economically, and our energy-wasteful lifestyles -- is somehow preferrable to a
cleaner, more energy independent future for our kids? Policies and strategies
for addressing climate change directly impacts our energy woes and can steer our
energy dollars into domestic markets to boost America's economic opportunities.
The status quo is not all worth preserving!
This is interesting. I was walking across campus yesterday morning with a
distinguished senior professor of plant science, a Mennonite, and he said how
stupid it was for the radicals to pooh-pooh global warming. He really was upset
with people who cannot see that the science is not religion, and that science is
just that: science. Remove yourself from the religious view, and global
warming is real.I trust the man's thinking. It is the same that
another distinguished prof. of forestry told me a month ago in the hall way of
our building. These two are not in collusion. They simply know how
to read the tea leaves. And to think. And think.I am
sorry that Utah just can't separate religion and their dichotomies from reality.
Hurray for Mero and any others who haven't succumbed to the lemming-like mob
mentality that typify so many "environmentalists" these days.I come
from the original environmental movement and probably live a more
“green” life than most of the people who are now genuflecting at the
Earth-Day alter of “global warming”. And, I am terribly dismayed by
their increasingly non-scientific and totalitarian intolerance of any dissenting
voices.I will continue to wear sweaters and keep my house at 62
degrees during Winter. I will happily flush my toilets with grey water. I will
persist in encouraging use of evaporative coolers rather than the much less
efficient air conditioners. All these things, and many more, are things people
can, and I think should do to help us all live more efficiently, pleasantly and
prosperously.But, none of those things are as important to me as
living in a society that is free. Where the principles of freedom of thought
and speech, in particular, are enshrined as inviolable. The current trend
toward an inflexible and intolerant devotion to a still very scientifically
debatable vision of our climatic future is, frankly, more frightening to me than
a hundred SUVs.
If you think that Paul Mero and the Sutherland Institute have not looked at the
science, you are wrong! The truth is that NOT ALL SCIENTISTS agree with the
Global Warming hysteria.
I don't know why you're so upset. High oil prices should have you
environmentalists jumping for joy because they spur conservation and provide
financial incentive find alternative fuels.But then, if
evironmentalists did reveal their secret enthusiasm for $5.00 per gallon
gasoline, they would have a hard time convincing the hicks in flyover country
they care for them. So they have to paint a rosy picture of high-paying jobs
springing up out of nowhere the instant a wind turbine goes online.In truth, the Global-warming agenda of the hard-Left environmentalists would
impoverish us all, not just poor rural folk.
Great piece! Good job, Sutherland Institute, Paul and Lee! I printed the
article, single-sided, of course, to share with my spouse and children. The five of us live in a small, two-bedroom apartment; the three
children share a bedroom. My spouse and teenage son walk to work and school. We
sometimes walk to the grocery store. We own one vehicle and fill the gas tank
once a week, if needed. We don't litter. Our Boy Scout sons participate in
community clean-ups and enjoy the outdoors. We Freecycle, shop at Goodwill and
used book stores, and haven't even been in our local mall. We rarely eat out.
We've square-foot gardened and dumpster dived.We are a
home-schooling, freedom-loving, religious, conservative, Republican family, and
proud Americans!We are weary of politicians and celebrities who live
in mega-mansions, own multiple cars, and constantly jet back and forth across
the country, telling our family how to save the planet. We wish they would work
for increased freedom, less government regulation and lower taxes with the same
Mero didn't say we should adopt better energy sources. He said we shouldn't
accept draconian fiscal policies and product use policies based on unproven
science. Most scientists believe in global warming, the issue is, is it man
made. As far as religion and science are concerned, each should be seeking
truth and eventually honest science and honest religion will meet at the same
point. But neither side can sprecify when and were that point is.
I'm no global warming alarmist, but Mero and Sutherland lack credibility.
It's funny how global warming and the environment in general have become so
political and in some cases, even religious. Why is it that repubs don't believe
in global warming and demos do? What does it have to do with politics? Whether
global warming is true or not has nothing to do with the left or the right. The
fact is, even if the whole thing is a big farce -- which it very well could be
-- we should still each be doing our part to conserve resources and slow down
our hyper consumption. Why? Because our resources are finite and our air quality
is bad enough as it is.
Actually, no. Most scientists don't "believe" in global warming. Science is not
about belief. It's about making reasonable judgements using the best available
data. Most scientists have taken the available data and concluded that there's a
very strong chance of global climate change happening at an accelerated rate.
Of course you'll find scientists who are less certain about the
conclusions to be drawn and not at all sure about human involvement (I'd worry
if there weren't), but that's not the general view. The issue as I
see it is that there's a huge knowledge gap. What is generally understood by
science is not known by the public and policy makers. Benson and Mero exploit
that fact to perpetuate silly ideas and odd misconceptions.
Re: samhill @ 6:33"I come from the original environmental movement"Cool. Did you know Gifford Pinchot or John Muir? BTW, kudos for the
lifestyle. Practice what you preach and all that.It's disappointing
that a self-styled conservative "think tank" can only muster denialism in the
face of problems instead of proposing solutions based on conservative
principles. Ironically, it is the environmental movement, which conservatives
(like "Re: Gloom and Doom" above @ 8:11) dismiss as leftist, which promotes a
traditional optimistic American "can do" spirit, an understanding that actions
have consequences (isn't that what Dr. Laura always tries to teach us?), and
free market solutions (e.g. cap and trade). The conservatives serve up
pessimism and resignation and denial. Whatever happened to Reagan's "shining
city on the hill" and the examples of Horatio Alger and Thomas Edison? If the
Sutherland Institute truly embraced traditional American values, they'd be out
back tinkering in the shop inventing a more efficient windmill instead of
tilting at figurative ones.
Gary, what has religion to do with global warming? Are you implying that a
Utah religion has made a stand one way or the other about global warming or that
its members cause global warming? Are you sure your professor friend (the
Mennonite) has separated his from his religious views from science? I am sorry
that you can't leave religion out of what is hopefully a scientific discussion.
I believe Al Gor now about as much as I did when he invented the internet.What these invironmentalists are effectively doing is keeping us from
our energy. Soon we will not be able to fight a war against communists or....
because we can't get at our energy sources.
The key fact about global warming is that it is NOT a crisis that demands
massive government intervention to control our lives. The people who have
always wanted to control us, and to control all business transactions and
production, lost in their effort to persuade people that state control of the
economy is better for them (communism), so they are now trying to use global
warming to scare us into giving up our freedoms. It is ironic that in ten years
there may be more economic freedom in China than the US; Americans are poised to
give up their economic freedoms in return for a false promise of security from
global warming, while China is giving economic freedom to build up its national
wealth and power.None of the UN IPCC climate computer models
predicted that the warming trend would peak in 1998, and level out for 10 years.
2008 WILL BE EVEN cooler. In science, this means they are DISPROVED. We are
NOT in the midst of a warming trend worldwide. We are NO WARMER now than we
were in 1934! These are the simple facts. Global warming is a fantasy, a
theory lacking factual confirmation.
If you lisen to the current debate and arguements, it is for "Climate Change".
Virtually all climate scientists believe that there is "Climate Change". Where
they differ is on what the cause is.The funny thing about Al Gore is
that what he says is causing the climate change is exactly what was said in the
late 70's and early 80's about the world entering into an ice age.
The article makes valid points that a) not all scientists conclude mankind is
causing the atmosphere to warm, b) there is credible data that casts doubt on
anthropogenic warming, and c) there is very little rational discussion between
the "sides."These are not "denial" or "do-nothing" or "conservative"
conclusions, but science based on unbiased analysis of data. The lack of
rational, apolitical debate of the data is worrisome because debate is the
healthy norm in the scientific world. Without debate, dogma and politics can
rule and the end result is bad science (witness Alfred Wegner and his
"continental drift" hypothesis).The solid conclusion is that doubt
is significant enough that all should take pause. Turning this into a political
issue is counterproductive because it automatically puts up walls and stifles
discussion. Everyone--scientists, politicians, and citizens--need to set
politics and biases aside and rationally analyze data (not models, which are
interpretive, but DATA).
To "Lagomorph" and "Mero?"--I invite you both take a few minutes and actually
read through our environmental policy materials on the Sutherland website.
Specifically, read our publications related to our Earth Week event. If you do,
you will find that both of your posts are without merit. I suspect
you both just have an axe to grind, but if you take a few moments to investigate
(with an open mind) before you accuse, you may elighten yourselves a bit.
Global Warming will be more convincing once the globe...is warming. But for now
it's not so...Now Dem's and Repub's disagree on global warming, not
because of what it will do, but because of how it is handled. Don't people see
that the government is only trying to take more freedom from us by controlling
what we can and can't buy and do. It's just like getting fat. You
know that it may be unhealthy if you eat McDonalds everyday, but do you think
the government has a right to control what you eat? Just because it's unhealthy?
If you say yes, then I see why you agree with the government
controlling global warming. But once the government can control what you can and
cannot do then you just gave up your freedom...
To "Al Gore @2:50" - I don't think that you have actually read enough of actual
scientific information.If we increase the temperature, then the
atmosphere is able to hold more water. If the air holes more water, then you
form more clouds. If you form more clouds, then you reflect more solar
radiation. If you reflect more solar radiation, then the heat is able to
dissipate. If you dissapate more heat, then the atmosphere won't be able to
hold as much moisture. If the atmosphere can't hold enough moisture, then you
get increased rain and snow fall. Then, the cycle can start all over again.So, the whole process is cyclic. Also, look up information about what
was being said about us heading into an ice age in the 1970's. The arguements
are nearly the same as what is being said about warming.
Derek Monson, I checked the Sutherland website. There were only two scholarly
environmental policy papers that I could find in a quick scan, the Best & Taylor
and the Bray & von Storch opinion surveys of climate scientists. Both show
inter alia a powerful consensus among climate scientists that 1) climate change
is happening and 2) it is anthropogenic. Sutherland should get credit for
posting papers that undermine positions taken in its public statements.
Otherwise, I found only press releases on the Earth Week programs that encourage
climate change skepticism (not the same as denial?), which was the central theme
of Lee Benson's column. Most of the Earth Week program has a negative bent,
seeing green ideas as a threat and not as an opportunity, which was the point of
my original post. BTW, I'm all for contrarians; in fact, environmentalism has
contrarianism as a core value. Look at folks like Rachel Carson and John Muir,
who questioned the status quo. But Sutherland seems merely dismissive. [As
a historical aside, the SDS in its Port Huron Statement also promoted nuclear
energy as a cure for society's ills. How does Sutherland feel about being
allied with the radical left? :)]
ENVIRONMENTALIST decried FREON as destroying our planet. There was much
political wrangling, press coverage, celebrity concernand almost no science.
Supposedly, Freon was destroying the ozone layer at the southern pole. Mankind
was DOOMED unless we acted immediately...the scientist all agreed & politicians
passed bans --and the earth was saved.However, like the current
assertion that mankind is CAUSING climate change, a few scientific issues are
being passed over. Freon is 4X heavier than air. No one has
provided a SCIENTIFIC explanation on how Freon, while MUCH heavier than air,
managed to FLOAT 2.5 miles up and 2,000 miles south...while leaving undisturbed
the ozone polluting our cities...where most Freon emanated from.Chicken-little now says that man-made greenhouse gases causes global warming.
So SCIENTIFICALLY, how do we explain the simultaneous climate change on Mars? Is
Mars upset about SUVs, or did an increased number of observed solar-flares cause
warming on both planets? With INCREASES in man-made greenhouse gases
last year, SCIENTIFICALLY explain why last winter was the coldest in a
decade...without mentioning a decrease in solar-flares. As the sun doesn't care
about protests, maybe controling CO2 emissions & Freon grants us an illusion of
control of spaceship Earth.Good politics--bad science.
Great column Benson. Don't believe the hype. The earth revolves around the sun.
Smoking is actually good for you. The earth is the center of the universe.
"Let's dump coal on the polar ice caps because science says we're in a global
cooling crisis" (1970's logic). Forget the internet, I prefer the Dewey Decimal
Carl Sagan once said, "you believe in things for which there is compelling
evidence". And there is compelling evidence for serious global warming.