Free Markets, Free People
This is some good stuff folks. If you’re interested in the debate, you need to tune into the livestream of the conference. Just heard a great debate between Dr. Scott Denning and Dr. Roy Spencer on climate change. I was happy to hear some representation of the other side, although I’d have difficulty classifying Dr. Denning as an “alarmist” (he’s a scientist who thinks there’s adequate evidence that humans are having a decided effect on climate – but his main area of research is CO2 and how it interact with our climate so I’m inclined to take him much more seriously than a, say, Al Gore).
Spencer made a point that is important to absorb. If a tree has an effect on climate (and it does) then so do humans. The debate isn’t about whether humans are having an effect, it is about the degree – if any- of that effect.
Anyway, if you have the time, hit the livestream link. And at some point you should be able to see an archive of the debate.
I have a pretty good idea, but first, here’s the gist of the demand:
President Obama pressured Republicans on Wednesday to accept higher taxes as part of any plan to pare down the federal deficit, bluntly telling lawmakers that they “need to do their job” and strike a deal before the United States risks defaulting on its debt.
Declaring that an agreement is not possible without painful steps on both sides, Mr. Obama said that his party had already accepted the need for substantial spending cuts in programs it had long championed, and that Republicans must agree to end tax breaks for oil and gas companies, hedge funds and other corporate interests.
So how should the Republicans answer this demand?
Well, as I mentioned in my post about why the GOP should stand firm on declining to raise taxes, the problem isn’t tax revenue. It is, quite simply, spending.
What the Democrats and Obama will promise you is they’d use any increased revenue brought in by increased taxes to reduce the deficit and debt. But that is never how it really works and we know that. It’s like giving an alcoholic another shot – he’s going to drink it. Revenue isn’t the problem. Spending is the problem.
So what the GOP must do is say, “Mr. President, when the government has proven that it can indeed cut spending and cut it drastically, and it has done everything it can conceivably do in that regard, if there is a revenue problem at the bottom of it, then we can discuss tax increases. But until such a time that it is proven – through action, you know actual cuts – that the government has done all it can in the area of spending cuts, there’s nothing further to discuss in terms of tax increases.”
Well I’ve managed to make it to ICCC6, which has the theme of “Restoring the Scientific Method”.
I’ve discussed that, in previous posts on the subject of climate change. Anyone who has followed this discussion is aware of the fact that I don’t believe the scientific method has been used well at all in advancing the alarmist message. And of course, “consensus” has absolutely no place in discussions of science.
Anyway, on with the show. To answer Huxley’s question, I’d say this is mostly a skeptic’s conference. We’ll see how it proceeds.