Free Markets, Free People

Daily Archives: February 28, 2010

Quote of the day – Nancy Pelosi edition

How desperate is this bit of pretzel logic?

“But let me say this,” Pelosi continues, “The bill can be bipartisan, even though the votes might not be bipartisan, because they [Republicans] have made their imprint on this.”

By George, Queen Nancy will make this bill bipartisan even if she has to redefine bipartisan.

Does that now make the GOP the party of “yes” since they supposedly imprinted themselves on that “bipartisan” bill?

No?

Who’s confused?

~McQ

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Podcast for 28 Feb 10

In this podcast, Bruce, Michael and Dale discuss the Obama Administration’s security policies and the healthcare summit.  The direct link to the podcast can be found here.

Observations

The intro and outro music is Vena Cava by 50 Foot Wave, and is available for free download here.

As a reminder, if you are an iTunes user, don’t forget to subscribe to the QandO podcast, Observations, through iTunes. For those of you who don’t have iTunes, you can subscribe at Podcast Alley. And, of course, for you newsreader subscriber types, our podcast RSS Feed is here. For podcasts from 2005 to 2009, they can be accessed through the RSS Archive Feed.

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BlogTalk Radio – 8pm (EST) Tonight

Call in number: (718) 664-9614

Yes, friends, it is a call-in show, so do call in.

Subject(s):

Obama I or Bush III?: Well let’s see, GITMO is still open, Iraq proceeds as planned, we’re surging in Afghanistan and, oh, the Democratic House just passed a one year extension to the Patriot Act.

Health Care Summit: Did the Democrats accomplish what they’d plan? How’d Obama come off? Were you surprised by the Republicans?

The Goracle surfaces
: He’s back in an NYT op-ed and he’s trying to justify the “science” to get to the real reason for the alarmism – cap-and-trade.

Health Care Reform: Forget reconciliation, forget the summit – does Nancy Pelosi have the votes in the House to pass the Senate bill into law?

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Thus spake the Goracle

Heee’s baaaack – and of course he picks a forum to voice his opinion which allows for no debate.  I’m speaking of the Al Gore op-ed in the New York Times.

Even the title is misleading – “We can’t wish climate change away”? Who in the world is wishing it away?

The climate has been changing ever since this rock got an atmosphere. To wish it wasn’t constantly changing would obviously be a) giant waste of time and b) contrary to the history of our planet. No one is wishing climate change away. Instead they’re wishing away the unproven narrative that man is causing climate change and pointing to the history of the planet that says what is happening is most likely natural and unstoppable.

But back to Al:

It would be an enormous relief if the recent attacks on the science of global warming actually indicated that we do not face an unimaginable calamity requiring large-scale, preventive measures to protect human civilization as we know it.

Hmmm … interesting. See, “human civilization as we know it” has survived in eras like the Medieval Warm Period – with nary an single SUV on the planet – quite well. In fact, “human civilization as we know it” settled and farmed Greenland during that period and seems to have flourished under those warmer conditions. Of course still unanswered is how they did so without a combined and concerted effort by mankind of that period to prevent the same “unimaginable calamity” from happening then? It appears that instead of wringing their hands and relying on cherry picked data and false claims called “science” they accepted, assessed, adapted and thrived.

Of course, we would still need to deal with the national security risks of our growing dependence on a global oil market dominated by dwindling reserves in the most unstable region of the world, and the economic risks of sending hundreds of billions of dollars a year overseas in return for that oil. And we would still trail China in the race to develop smart grids, fast trains, solar power, wind, geothermal and other renewable sources of energy — the most important sources of new jobs in the 21st century.

We just hit one of the largest finds of natural gas in the world (in fact, it makes us the world’s largest NG producer) and each year the remaining oil reserves climb as we find new ways to extract it (remember – we’ve seen peak oil predicted for decades and to this point all that happens is the forecast continues to be moved out). So that’s not exactly as great a lever as it once was. Of course Al seems to think that just because we’re not buying into the chicken little pronouncements about oil we don’t agree that alternatives and a smart grid aren’t “good things”. They are – but we don’t need all the scare tactics to understand and agree Mr. Gore. They actually can stand on their own merit. However, we also understand that until they’re viable, oil and gas are critical to our economy and will most likely continue to provide the fuel for 70 to 80 percent of our economy for decades to come.

But what a burden would be lifted! We would no longer have to worry that our grandchildren would one day look back on us as a criminal generation that had selfishly and blithely ignored clear warnings that their fate was in our hands. We could instead celebrate the naysayers who had doggedly persisted in proving that every major National Academy of Sciences report on climate change had simply made a huge mistake.

The only reason anyone’s grandchildren might think we’re a “criminal generation” would be due to the indoctrination they’ve received in their schools concerning the “science” of global warming. Al continues to cite reports that were derivative of the data now called into question by the climate-gate emails. Someone should explain to him that anything derived from bad data, no matter how prestigious the institution publishing it, is still wrong.

I, for one, genuinely wish that the climate crisis were an illusion. But unfortunately, the reality of the danger we are courting has not been changed by the discovery of at least two mistakes in the thousands of pages of careful scientific work over the last 22 years by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In fact, the crisis is still growing because we are continuing to dump 90 million tons of global-warming pollution every 24 hours into the atmosphere — as if it were an open sewer.

Well, of course, there are mistakes and then there are MISTAKES. Certainly a couple of small mistakes – you know like saying the Himalayan glaciers will melt by 2035 when real science says it would take over 300 years, may not invalidate the overall assertion that man is causing the climate to change. But when the foundational data upon which the whole of the “science” is called into question, then one MISTAKE within thousands of pages is more than enough to invalidate the entire mess. It is the latter which Al attempts to minimize.

It is true that the climate panel published a flawed overestimate of the melting rate of debris-covered glaciers in the Himalayas, and used information about the Netherlands provided to it by the government, which was later found to be partly inaccurate. In addition, e-mail messages stolen from the University of East Anglia in Britain showed that scientists besieged by an onslaught of hostile, make-work demands from climate skeptics may not have adequately followed the requirements of the British freedom of information law.

Huh – no mention of the “hockey stick” being found to be invalid, or the tree ring data being grossly skewed or the temperature data being cherry picked? No mention that the computer models being improperly built, or that the claim that AGW would reduce 40% of the Amazon rainforest to savannah coming from a non-peer reviewed article originally about logging? Nope, it only had to do with a little overestimate here some inaccurate data there and British scientists not following the FOI law.

What a hand wave at the facts. Because, you see:

But the scientific enterprise will never be completely free of mistakes. What is important is that the overwhelming consensus on global warming remains unchanged. It is also worth noting that the panel’s scientists — acting in good faith on the best information then available to them — probably underestimated the range of sea-level rise in this century, the speed with which the Arctic ice cap is disappearing and the speed with which some of the large glacial flows in Antarctica and Greenland are melting and racing to the sea.

But that’s real science’s mission – to attempt to be free of mistakes. Because it is upon that type of science that further scientific progress is built. It is when science becomes a political tool, as it has in the case of Mr. Gore’s “climate change consensus” that we begin to see the gross misuse of the discipline to advance an agenda.

Garbage-in doesn’t excuse garbage-out when the garbage-out is used to make political policy. Sticking to discredited consensus “science” about the arctic and antarctic isn’t particularly impressive either (for instance temps are colder in the Arctic now than they were in 1956 and have been trending downward for 3 decades).

Which brings us to this:

Because these and other effects of global warming are distributed globally, they are difficult to identify and interpret in any particular location. For example, January was seen as unusually cold in much of the United States. Yet from a global perspective, it was the second-hottest January since surface temperatures were first measured 130 years ago.

Similarly, even though climate deniers have speciously argued for several years that there has been no warming in the last decade, scientists confirmed last month that the last 10 years were the hottest decade since modern records have been kept.

Note Mr. Gore’s link.  Yes, that’s right – NASA/Giss.  NASA/Giss’s data has come from what?  Data that is under heavy fire for being cherry picked from stations which best support the theory that man is responsible for the warming of the climate.  So again we have the claim being made with data which many scientists are more than a little skeptical about.  In fact, they believe the data to be wrong.  But, as Dr. Thomas Sowell pointed out in “The Vision of the Anointed”, facts mean very little to these people, it’s all about the claims of the vision being axiomatically correct.  Man is the cause of this pending catastrophe and “science” is built to say so.

Here is what scientists have found is happening to our climate: man-made global-warming pollution traps heat from the sun and increases atmospheric temperatures. These pollutants — especially carbon dioxide — have been increasing rapidly with the growth in the burning of coal, oil, natural gas and forests, and temperatures have increased over the same period. Almost all of the ice-covered regions of the Earth are melting — and seas are rising.

Of course, science isn’t finding that at all. While it may be true that some of the ice-covered regions of the earth are melting, there is a) no proof that it is due to a greenhouse effect, b) no proof that man’s “pollutants” are causing a greenhouse effect and c) much proof that it is natural solar cycles which may be the cause of any warming taking place.

Or said another way, there is more “settled science” on the side of those claiming it is natural solar cycles causing any warming taking place than there is on the side claiming it is man who is responsible.

Gore continues on with his nonsense for some time to get to the crux of his real concern – no cap-and-trade means no rich Al Gore:

When the Senate failed to follow the lead of the House of Representatives, forcing the president to go to Copenhagen without a new law in hand, the Chinese balked. With the two largest polluters refusing to act, the world community was paralyzed.

Some analysts attribute the failure to an inherent flaw in the design of the chosen solution — arguing that a cap-and-trade approach is too unwieldy and difficult to put in place. Moreover, these critics add, the financial crisis that began in 2008 shook the world’s confidence in the use of any market-based solution.

But there are two big problems with this critique: First, there is no readily apparent alternative that would be any easier politically. It is difficult to imagine a globally harmonized carbon tax or a coordinated multilateral regulatory effort. The flexibility of a global market-based policy — supplemented by regulation and revenue-neutral tax policies — is the option that has by far the best chance of success. The fact that it is extremely difficult does not mean that we should simply give up.

Gore’s game is obvious. Jump start the process within the US political system while Democrats are still in power and get cap-and-trade passed. Then, with the US on-board, China and India can be shamed and pressured to join. Result? Al Gore’s enterprise grows flush.

Of course you’ve probably noticed that to buy into Gore’s scenario, you have to accept any number of premises, most of them false. You have to accept that carbon dioxide is a pollutant and not a natural byproduct of any number of natural processes (oceans being the largest producer via water vapor). You have to believe the science which has said carbon dioxide is a lagging indicator (by 800 years) of warming trends has suddenly decided it is a leading indicator and a cause. And you have to apparently believe that man has more effect on the climate than does the sun. Last, you have to really buy into the hubris which says ‘we can fix that’ if we just spend enough money, tax enough people and regulate enough of everyone’s lives.

You’re welcome to read the rest of his piece – it ends up using marginal “science” to push a political appeal to pass cap-and-trade, the bread and butter of the riches he hopes to reap from the fraud he’s helped perpetrate. He knows his scheme is in trouble, so he ends his appeal with:

We have overcome existential threats before. Winston Churchill is widely quoted as having said, “Sometimes doing your best is not good enough. Sometimes, you must do what is required.” Now is that time. Public officials must rise to this challenge by doing what is required; and the public must demand that they do so — or must replace them.

Churchill would most likely roll over in his grave if he knew his name was being invoked in such a disingenuous attempt at fleecing the world. I’ll agree with Gore on one thing, I demand that public officals do something – send cap-and-trade to the dustbin of history forever. And corral the EPA and make them back off this insane attempt to regulate carbon dioxide. If they won’t – replace them with those who will.

~McQ

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