Robert Bennett: Cool off the global warming debate

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    April 30, 2013 8:00 p.m.

    Let me respond for Mr. Bennett.

    History shows beyond a reasonable doubt that there is a direct correlation between the wealth of the nation and how well it takes care of the environment. Standard of living is also directly related to cost of energy. Measures that artificially increase the cost of energy also reduce the standard of living, and inevitably result in long-term harm to the environment in spite of the intentions of those who promote such a course.

  • Demo Dave Holladay, UT
    April 30, 2013 3:45 p.m.

    Dear Mr. Bennett,

    Even if humans weren’t a contributing factor in global warming, wouldn’t we be wise to reduce pollution and curb our human tendency for excessive material consumption and its subsequent disposal, slow the overuse of natural resources, limit our unchecked population growth, stop the destruction of ecosystems, wildlife and their habitats, drive fuel-efficient cars, live in smaller homes, understand that all resources are finite, and begin to realize that everything humans do has a negative effect on the Earth?

    Even if humans weren’t a contributing factor in global warming, what would it hurt to act as if we were? I can only see good coming out of it.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    April 30, 2013 12:48 p.m.

    The liberals are funny. They are agreeing that global warming my not be true, but still wants to continue down the same broken path. According to the liberals who produced the film "Cool It", the proposals that involve more taxes and cutting emissions is wrong.

    Thanks to global warming, the earth will be capable of feeding millions of more people. Why do you liberals want to cut our food supply on a project that your own economists and environmentalists say is not effective?

  • Baron Scarpia Logan, UT
    April 30, 2013 7:24 a.m.

    The problem is that climate change and proposals to fix the problem don't fit conservative values and sensibilities of free market principles, belief that God would allow climate change to hurt humanity's ability to live, love of oil and coal given its cultural significance in America's history, etc.

    Consequently, one needs to discuss climate change's solutions to fit the world view of conservatives.

    For example, Iowa -- that conservative, agricultural state full of good farmers and Republicans -- now gets almost 25 percent of its electricity from wind power! Yes, it's true. In fact, wind is growing fast in windy conservative states, and bringing significant economic benefits to good conservative folk. Even Wyoming is building a power line through Utah to get its wind power to Nevada!

    Here's another nice thing about wind. It is price stable. The price of wind is the same today as it will be 20 years from now because it has no fuel costs. Can't do that with oil, natural gas, or coal. The conservative economic value of wind and solar is that it diversifies energy sources to stabilize future energy costs, reducing risks in the marketplace. Republicans like that!

    April 29, 2013 7:39 p.m.

    Senator Bennett did not go far enough. He could have reported that nobody has succeeded in establishing statistical correlation between atmospheric CO2 and global temperature. If it were an important factor in global temperature, there would be an obvious correlation.

    I'm not aware of any scientist who doesn't think the direct effect of atmospheric CO2 is a bit of greenhouse effect. Fortunately, it apparently isn't strong enough to make a measurable difference.

    The only measurable impact of increased atmospheric CO2 is increased plant growth. Based on that, the "right thing" would be to stay the course. Of course, the burning of fossil fuels releases other junk into the air, so we really ought to be making electricity with nuclear energy. Wind and solar are not sustainable, but nuclear is.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    April 29, 2013 7:22 p.m.

    Re: "Please take off your political glasses and look at the big picture without greed in your heart."

    Clearly, you're talking to liberals.

  • Allisdair Thornbury, Vic
    April 29, 2013 6:46 p.m.

    You have got to love Robert Bennett comments for side stepping the issue as they say the devil is in the detail.

    Firstly “China passing the United States as the world's largest source of CO2”. Well lets look at per capita figures Australia is the world's biggest emitter of CO2 emissions at 19 tonnes, followed by the US at 17.3 tonnes and Saudi Arabia at 16.5 and China have reached 7.2 tonnes (let than HALF the US and Australia). It would be interesting to know how much of the Chinese CO2 is due to export manufacturing.

    “But temperatures have not risen with them. The planet is right about where it was in 1997”. Such a simple statement which clearing does not look at the detail already alluded to in other comments. Maybe Robert now he has retired should look at “Chasing Ice” the documentary.

    Please take off your political glasses and look at the big picture without greed in your heart. We have one planet and we are all equal in Heavenly Fathers eyes, lets start acting that way.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    April 29, 2013 2:24 p.m.

    Re: ". . . we should reduce our use of foreign oil, reduce our emissions to clean the air and find better ways to use renewable energy sources."

    Agreed. But, that's not the question at the root of this issue.

    The real question is the velocity at which we should proceed, and the premium we should pay, in personal and national treasure, to produce quick, but misguided, even dangerously hubristic change.

    Lost-in-the-sixties "green" radicals, yesterday's malodorous demonstrators against everything American, insist we should "pay any price" to immediately reduce emissions. They disingenuously deny we've made significant progress in cleaning our air and water. They demand we run our economy into the ditch by foolishly, ruinously adopting every phrenology-influenced theory of climate change. That we mindlessly chase lower-quality, higher-cost energy, or that last, tiny percent of cleaner air or water.

    But then, they've never been very credible.

    The issue is not, should we be good stewards. It is, rather, should we run faster than we are able, in directions we are unsure will help?

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    April 29, 2013 1:38 p.m.

    Mr. Bennett ended where he should've started. Yes, let's do the right things anyway. The question is what are the right things? For conservatives, the right thing is to pay lip service to earth "stewardship," but if it interferes with making a buck, forget it. I'm an old man now and I have watched this pattern for many decades. Whenever it's a question of saving the environment or exploiting it, you can predict with infallible certainty who is going to be in favor of exploitation. It's the conservative, who ironically is never in favor of conserving anything.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    April 29, 2013 12:48 p.m.

    So, "One scientist" - who will not allow you to identify him or her and therefore cannot have their background and training or the validity of their words or anything else verified - told you something and because you are the one repeating it we are supposed to take this at face value?

    Why are there no sources listed in your article?

    Why should we take as fact a single utterance of this opinion piece?

  • L White Springville, UT
    April 29, 2013 12:48 p.m.

    The liberals are simply doing what they have always done - they manufacture data to support our fears so that they can raise taxes.

    Look at the root of what's going on. It is a tax grab, pure and simple. Does Al Gore care about global warming? Hardly! He flies around the world in his private plane that spews more emissions per trip than our individual automobiles will spew in a lifetime of driving. His palatial house uses more electricity than many small towns, i.e. it requires coal to be burned to generate that electricity.

    Has anyone suggested to Al Gore to "cool it"? Has anyone pointed out to him that commercial flights can take him where he needs to go without the added pollutants caused by his jet? Has anyone asked him to turn off 90% of the lights in his palace? Sure, we've asked, but our requests fall on deaf ears. He thinks he is "special", just like all the other activists who exempt themselves as they tell us what we need to do to save the planet.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    April 29, 2013 11:10 a.m.

    Tyler D,

    I have zero problem with doing the right things anyway. I do however think that most scientists urge a bit more speed than does Senator Bennett. The problem here is how to turn a battleship - an exceedingly large and lumbering battleship. We can spin the wheel hard but it won't begin turning for a long while. I think we need to make the right choices now. The problem with some of these arguments is that it gives us the feeling that we are okay (after all, we are making the "right" choices now).

    While I am no alarmist, I think we need a bit more concern in order to hurry our actions along.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    April 29, 2013 9:53 a.m.

    @HS Fan "...[M]an can, and will, exceed the carrying capacitiy [sic] of our environment."

    No, we can't, and we won't. By definition.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    April 29, 2013 9:45 a.m.

    "Of the nine hottest years on record, eight have come since the year 2000." And despite the early cooling effects of La Niña, 2012 was among the hottest 10 years ever recorded, exceeding the long-term average for the 36th straight year. (From a NASA and NOAA report.)

    So, who's right? I think I'll to with NASA and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association over a retired senator who has talked to a few scientists.

    See Barry Bickmore's column in the SL Trib for the view of a scientist who was a climate-change doubter, until he started looking at the data.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 29, 2013 9:41 a.m.

    "There is an old saying, "Your view depends upon your point of view""

    Here is my new saying. "more and more, your view depends on your politics"

    I never understood how views on climate change have become almost completely partisan.

    We used to choose our politics based on our views. Now politics dictates our views and deviation from that view is career ending for a politician.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    April 29, 2013 9:33 a.m.

    Tyler... great comments.... lets do the right things - regardless.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    April 29, 2013 9:10 a.m.

    Much of the blame for how polarized this issue has become must fall directly on Al Gore. He’s an alarmist of the first order and typical of an elite class of politicians whose hubris (and hypocrisy) knows no bounds.

    The fact that he gave rise to equally knuckle-headed “hoax theory” folks like Rush Limbaugh is simply Newton’s Third Law of Motion playing out in the political arena.

    As the scientist in this article says, there are things we should be doing anyway that simply make sense – things like weaning ourselves off foreign oil, reducing pollution, funding basic research into sustainable energy (which will likely be exclusively the sun in 100 years), and conservation for its own sake - something that used to be a hallmark of the conservative party not to mention the “light cop” that was my conservative Grandpa.

    And is it ironic that both conservative and conservation contain the root “conserve?”

    We may not fully understand the planetary effects of our modern lifestyle, but it’s the only home we have so we should at least treat it with care and caution.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    April 29, 2013 8:29 a.m.

    Senator Bennett, I like you better as a writer than a senator. Washington politicians have been ducking the real issues for way too long and I think if you didn't know it then, you do now. Climate change, another opportunity for votes, captures all the fear about the future. The hullabaloo over 'overpopulation', 'scarcity', 'sustainable growth' is a fraudulent farce beyond compare. Let there be no mistake what I am saying. Should we be wise stewards? Yes! Should we indoctrinate kids with the idea that if we don't stop having babies, if we don't start living in huts, if we don't start walking to work, or riding bicycles, then somewhere in the near future two people huddled around the last berry bush will be the result. The earth is full; there is 'enough and to spare'. Respected scientists say that the earth is capable of taking care of upwards of 80 billion people. The energy resources of this country and around the world are just beginning to unfold. Even Barack Obama, socialist as he is, will benefit from what is going on despite his best efforts to thwart it. Yes to common sense. No to false premises!

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    April 29, 2013 7:55 a.m.

    The author is right. It is absolutely amazing and hypocritical beyond belief that so called environmentalists use unproven "science" theory to promote man made global warming but reject proven science that would actually save the planet! During the '70's a scientist named Norman Borlaug, concerned about the growing population and the stagnant food supply began to experiment with plant breeding, commercial fertilizers and pest control (real science). His work more than doubled the food production on the same acres of farm land and Dr. Borlaug was given the Nobel Prize and his work was called, "the Green Revolution" Agriculturalists called it "high yield agriculture" because it provided the most nutritious, most abundant and the most affordable food the world had ever seen. Rabid environmentalist opposed it, not with science but on emotion and fear mongering. Today the second green revolution has arrived which has unlimited potential for food production and could be the answer to world hunger. Its called genetic engineering and, yes, rabid environmentalists oppose it. again not with science but on emotion. Conclusion: Rabid environmentalism has always been based, not on science as they claim but entirely on emotion including and especially man made global warming.

  • HS Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    April 29, 2013 6:57 a.m.

    It still amazes me how critics of global warming continue to create so many straw man arguments. World population continues to grow an incredible rate and you don't have to be a scientist to know that man can, and will, exceed the carrying capacitiy of our environment. Also, what type of environment do we want our kids to live in? Climate change is just one of the consquences of over population. Human beings are no different than any other animal species on this planet. If we exceed the carrying capacity of the land, Mother Nature will cull us back as she has any other species that has ever roamed the Earth.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    April 29, 2013 6:10 a.m.

    ""We should be doing things that make sense anyway."

    That sums it up right there. Who cares if the planet went up a degree or two - or not. That isn't the point. We know that pumping lots of junk into our air is bad for us - we don't need global warming to know that. In the winter in Utah, the annual inversion layers go from being fog, to smog. And we know the source of where those pollutants come from. We don't need to know about global warming to understand the local impact of too much junk going into our air.

    So, lets let the scientist keep studying global warming... and lets address the things we do know. We know cars and industr put too much junk into the air. We can fix that... we really can....and still have cars... and still have industry. Let's stop arguing about what we don't know, and start acting on what we do.

  • kcmannn Salt Lake City, UT
    April 29, 2013 5:24 a.m.

    It doesn't really matter what the science will eventually show. If it turns out that WE are causing the planet to heat up we should reduce our use of foreign oil, reduce our emissions to clean the air and find better ways to use renewable energy sources. If it turns out that WE are not causing the planet to heat up we should reduce our use of foreign oil, reduce our emissions to clean the air and find better ways to use renewable energy sources. I agree that ones view depends on ones point of view but is there anyone who doesn't really think we need to do these things regardless of how the science pans out?