Richard Cohen — Rick Perry Is Joe McCarthy Because He Is A Global Warming Skeptic

Seriously, Cohen believes Perry is a McCarthyite unqualified for president because he is an anthropomorphic global warming climate change skeptic:

Maybe more important, Perry waxed wrongly on global warming. He rejected the notion that it is at least partially a product of industrialization, asserting that “a substantial number of scientists have manipulated data” to make it appear that mankind — our cars, trains, automobiles, not to mention China’s belching steel mills — is the culprit. He said that an increasing number of scientists have challenged this notion and that, in conclusion, he stood with them — whoever they might be. In Appleton, Wis., Sen. Joe McCarthy’s skeleton rattled a bit.

In Cohen’s world, it is skepticism that is unscientific rather than models that are not falsifiable, and are inconsistent with observational data, rife with errors and manipulations, based on secret data, and ultimately faith-based. 

Remember, the conventional wisdom in scientific circles is often discredited.  Researchers have been trying to prove that coffee is an evil menace for generations, without avail.  Salt causes high blood pressure.  Oops, maybe not.  And so on.  Skepticism is a core value of scientific inquiry, and one that climate change dogmatics such as Cohen and the primary climate change proponents do not share.

Then note the quick switch here:

Perry’s quaint belief in the utter innocence of mankind when it comes to polluting our precious atmosphere might seem like an innocuous tick, a conviction without consequence.

I thought we were talking about whether man-made emissions were causing a demonstrable shift in climate, not about whether “mankind . . . [has been] polluting our precious atmosphere.”  Silly me.  Of course, sitting here in Los Angeles today, I cannot deny the former.  And I seriously doubt Perry does. 

What we both apparently doubt is that man-made emissions — and the carbon boogeyman in particular — are pushing us toward climate Armageddon.   And skeptics further doubt whether we should spend Trillions of dollars fighting a phantom menace we cannot even say — based on science — is a big problem, a little problem, or no problem.  Moreover, we cannot fight such a menace — assuming it is one — by crippling our economy while China and the rest of the developing world go about their carbon-emitting ways. 

The thing so annoying about columns such as Cohen’s is that he refuses to engage on the merits of an argument, and just declares his opinion to be correct and those who disagree with him to be unthinking idiots.  Mr. Cohen, that is ideology, not science.

Published in: on August 23, 2011 at 9:18 am  Comments (1)  

Regulation: The Silent Job-Killer

Most people have no idea how pervasive and expensive regulatory compliance is in the U.S.  It is increasingly worse, especially under the Obama Administration’s EPA. 

Fresh on the heels of sacrificing U.S. industry on the mantle of global warming by taking over carbon emissions, the EPA has now set its sights on ozone.  The EPA itself estimates that compliance with a new standard for ozone emissions will cost industry at least $90 Billion per year. That’s $90 Billion — per year — that won’t be spent on increasing productivity and competitiveness, hiring new workers, or increasing wages. 

Oh, research by a Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI economist concludes that the costs are slightly higher than that:

• GDP would be reduced by $676.8 billion in 2020 (in 2010 dollars), an amount that represents 3.6 percent of projected 2020 GDP in the baseline case (2.5 percent annual GDP growth);

• Total U.S. job losses attributable to a 60 ppb ozone standard are estimated to rise to 7.3 million by 2020, a figure equal to 4.3 percent of the projected 2020 labor force;

• Job jeopardy and the impacts of a 60 ppb ozone standard are largest in states where there is considerable manufacturing and refining activity. The states with the largest job losses include: Texas, which would lose nearly 1.7 million jobs at a total attainment cost and reduction in GDP of $452 billion (in 2010 dollars); Louisiana, which would lose 983,000 jobs at a cost of $270 billion; California, which would lose 846,000 jobs at a cost of $210 billion; Illinois, which would lose 396,000 jobs at a cost of $98 billion; and Pennsylvania, which would lose 351,000 jobs at a cost of $86 billion;

• Together, annual attainment costs and reduced GDP in 2020 would total $1.7 trillion.

This, of course, is on top of the costs of carbon emissions regulation, the forthcoming 100,000+ pages of ObamaCare regulation, the FCC’s new net neutrality regulation, and so on.  Over-regulation is a large part of the reason that 9%+ unemployment and anemic growth is the new Obama normal.  Hope for a change in 2012.

Published in: on August 2, 2011 at 9:41 am  Comments (1)  

More Trouble For Global Warming Alarmists

First, “NASA satellite data from the years 2000 through 2011 show the Earth’s atmosphere is allowing far more heat to be released into space than alarmist computer models have predicted, reports a new study in the peer-reviewed science journal Remote Sensing. . . . In addition to finding that far less heat is being trapped than alarmist computer models have predicted, the NASA satellite data show the atmosphere begins shedding heat into space long before United Nations computer models predicted.” 

Why does this matter?  Because global warming alarmism is based almost entirely on computer climate models rather than, you know, actual scientific observation.  The models have already been shown to be unable to accurately predict historical climate changes on a backward looking basis for periods in which we have observational data.  Now, they are once again proven wrong.  Garbage in; garbage out.

Second, “[a] federal wildlife biologist whose observation in 2004 of presumably drowned polar bears in the Arctic helped to galvanize the global warming movement has been placed on administrative leave and is being investigated for scientific misconduct, possibly over the veracity of that article.”  No conclusions yet, but it certainly fits the pattern.

Published in: on July 28, 2011 at 10:03 am  Leave a Comment  

Why No Traction For Pawlenty?

Robert Stacy McCain has the diagnosis:

Pawlenty tries to dismiss his embrace of global-warming theory as a silly mistake, but for him to have taken up a signature issue of liberalism after 2006 — i.e., after the disastrous mid-term election that made Nancy Pelosi Speaker of the House — looks an awful lot like opportunism.

Republicans were on the defensive, and Pawlenty grabbed hold of “renewable energy” as a way to appease liberals. Or that’s what it looks like, anyway, and Pawlenty has never given any explanation that would convince a skeptic it was anything else.

I have to agree, although Pawlenty’s mild-mannered personality is probably too laid back for the conservative base this year anyway.  But the timing of Pawlenty’s embrace of global warmingism could not have been worse, and the policies he supported to fight it are almost as bad.   Pawlenty seized on a leading liberal issue and tried to run to the left just as polls started showing that virtually no one but Al Gore remains obsessed with climate change, and climate change models and modelers were looking more and more shaky every day.

The real consensus now is that the cap-and-trade policy Pawlenty embraced would have devastating effects on the economy and absolutely no impact — zero, none, zilch — on global carbon emissions.  Bad politics + Bad policy = Trouble for T-Paw.

Published in: on July 19, 2011 at 4:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

Long Live The Incandescent Light Bulb

The House has voted to save the traditional incandescent bulb by barring the Energy Department from implementing or enforcing lighting-efficiency standards set by 2007 legislation that otherwise will ban the sale of incandescent light bulbs, starting with 100-watt bulbs next year.  I kind of doubt I will have gathered my hoard of incandescents in vain though, since the Democrats and those rent-seekers who will profit from banning the more popular inexpensive bulbs are resisting the effort.

Published in: on July 15, 2011 at 3:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

Crazy Denver Weather

After work last night, I got in a quick run in then headed home just in time for last evening’s thunderstorm.  For the uninitiated, Denver frequently has afternoon storms in the summer.  Typically, they roll in mid-afternoon, dump water for fifteen minurtes or so, then head out into the plains to pound Kansas. 

This year, however, the storms have been quite impressive.  Monday night it rained for hours.  Tuesday, it rained as hard as I have ever seen it — sheets you could bairly see through — accompanied by lightening so frequent it was like a strobe light. 

Yesterday, it was time for marble-sized hail.  In my Jeep soft-top, it was like being inside a drum.

 

Published in: on July 14, 2011 at 12:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

Carbon Hypocrisy At The NYT

Ann Althouse spots it, in reference to home pizza cooking:

The key to this recipe is a using the oven and broiler in combination. A hot oven heats the pizza stone, which bakes the bottom of the pizza crust. Then the broiler comes on and cooks the top of the pizza.

It works like this. Heat the oven and pizza stone at 500 degrees for one hour (if using a baking sheet, heat it for 30 minutes). Roll out the dough and top your pizza, then slide it onto the pizza stone or baking sheet. Bake it for three minutes. Then turn off the oven and turn on the broiler. Broil the pizza until golden, crisp and a bit blistery and charred in places for one to four minutes, depending on the heat of your broiler.

Although this sort of hypocrisy is trivial, it is illustrative.  Global warming alarmism is not about the environment; it is about manipulating the economy, controlling others, and limiting their options.  You guys in the sticks should drive Nissan Leafs (Leaves?) but we will continue to enjoy our pre-heated pizza stones and baked +broiled pizza.

As Althouse says, “Shut up about my light bulbs. Just. Shut. The. Fuck. Up.”  Funny, I just re-stocked my hoard of incandescent lightbulbs yesterday, though I still need more.

Published in: on June 21, 2011 at 11:38 am  Leave a Comment  

The Failure Of Climate “Science”

The Financial Post has a post by David Evans with a great summary of the problem with climate “science” as it exists today:

This is the core idea of every official climate model: For each bit of warming due to carbon dioxide, they claim it ends up causing three bits of warming due to the extra moist air. The climate models amplify the carbon dioxide warming by a factor of three — so two-thirds of their projected warming is due to extra moist air (and other factors); only one-third is due to extra carbon dioxide.

That’s the core of the issue. All the disagreements and misunderstandings spring from this. The alarmist case is based on this guess about moisture in the atmosphere, and there is simply no evidence for the amplification that is at the core of their alarmism.

Weather balloons had been measuring the atmosphere since the 1960s, many thousands of them every year. The climate models all predict that as the planet warms, a hot spot of moist air will develop over the tropics about 10 kilometres up, as the layer of moist air expands upwards into the cool dry air above. During the warming of the late 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, the weather balloons found no hot spot. None at all. Not even a small one. This evidence proves that the climate models are fundamentally flawed, that they greatly overestimate the temperature increases due to carbon dioxide.

This evidence first became clear around the mid-1990s.

At this point, official “climate science” stopped being a science. In science, empirical evidence always trumps theory, no matter how much you are in love with the theory. If theory and evidence disagree, real scientists scrap the theory. But official climate science ignored the crucial weather balloon evidence, and other subsequent evidence that backs it up, and instead clung to their carbon dioxide theory — that just happens to keep them in well-paying jobs with lavish research grants, and gives great political power to their government masters.

That’s right.  The global-warming skeptics are not the ones who reject science.  The folks who are anti-science are those who have so much invested in their models that they must ignore contrary empirical evidence and silence skeptics.

Published in: on May 17, 2011 at 3:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

“Save The Planet: Stop The Greens”

A guy named Tim Worstall has a great post up today about climate change as an ideology dedicated to pumping money into technology that doesn’t provide the claimed benefits while neglecting others that might for reasons that are, shall we say, not entirely connected to saving the planet from climate change:

To subsidise one uneconomic and unproven technology but not another, both equally capable of solving the problem supposedly under discussion, non-carbon (or rather low-carbon, there are no non-carbon systems) energy generation, well, there’s at least a soupcon of a suspicion that the choice there is being made on ideological, not practical grounds.

* * *

I just don’t get why we’re pumping tens, possibly hundreds, of billions into technologies like windmills, which we know won’t work, to solar which doesn’t need subsidies any more, but not willing to put money into other interesting things which might work, like thorium just as one example.

Unless, of course, I’m right in that what we should do about this problem has been hijacked by those who don’t in fact want to solve this single, particular, problem of requiring low carbon energy generation but who want to use this agreed upon problem as a means of imposing their vision of the desirable lifestyle upon the rest of us. And so we go with solutions which won’t in fact work because they desire that the problem not be solved, but that we should accord with their instructions upon how society should be.

Yes.  The climate change movement is in large part more about reshaping society to more closely correspond with the greens’ view of what a “sustainable” anti-globalization society should look like than protecting the environment. 

Otherwise, enviros would prefer, for example, to tap our natural gas and oil resources at and close to home rather than, as Obama recently did, exhort others who lack our environmental protection standards and resources to tap their reserves more vigorously.  If the world is one system — which in large part it is — encouraging more production in countries that less sensitive to environmental concerns than the U.S. is certainly not the answer.

But that is not what the green movement is really about for many adherents.  It is about social change, not climate change.

Via Ace of Spades.

Published in: on April 29, 2011 at 4:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Boston Herald Asks: “Where The Hell Did Barack Obama Learn Economics?”

He didn’t.  That’s one of his fundamental problems. 

In a letter sent to congressional leaders Tuesday Obama put part of the blame for the sharp spike in gas prices on “increased global demand” compounded by “unrest and supply disruptions in the Middle East.” Well, China’s demand didn’t spike overnight and any disruptions from the serial crises in the Middle East have far more impact in Europe than here.

So the president notes — again — that “there is no silver bullet.” However, when in doubt blame Big Oil and propose to “eliminate unwarranted tax breaks to the oil and gas industry,” which he insisted were “wasteful subsidies.” Now if you take away $4 billion in tax breaks from the oil industry, what do you suppose that will do to the price of gasoline? Make it go up or down?

As a general matter, I don’t favor subsidies of any industry.  Let ’em compete on a level playing field, and we’ll all be better off.  So if Obama wants to get rid of “wasteful subsidies,” I’m in (although somehow I don’t think Obama would want to get rid of wasteful subsidies for solar, wind, rail, etc.). 

But set that aside.  How, exactly, does Obama think that extracting another $4 Billion in taxes from the oil and gas industry will lower the cost of gas?  There really are only two possible answers.  1) He’s an idiot.  2) He’s just demagoguing the issue; he wants to increase the price of gas (through higher taxation) while pretending to care that gas prices are high.

My money’s on a little of both.  Obama has shown pretty clearly that he has no understanding of economics.  And he has actually said that he wants gas prices to go up.  He’s perfectly willing to sacrifice the economy on the altar of global warming.

Published in: on April 28, 2011 at 11:59 am  Leave a Comment  

Weird Science — Global Warmist Sues Skeptic

Via Watt’s Up With That, we learn that University of Pennsylvania Professor Michael Mann is suing a global warming skeptic over his comment that Mann “should be in the State Pen, not Penn State,” for his role in the “climategate” email scandal:

Michael Mann, a professor in Penn State’s meteorology department and director of the university’s Earth Systems Science Center, claims that Ball defamed him when he said that Mann “should be in the State Pen, not Penn State,” for his alleged role in the so-called climate gate email tussle.

Mann says that Ball and the Centre refused to issue an apology and published the words with the “purpose of harming the plaintiff and exposing him to hatred, ridicule and contempt, lowering the plaintiff in the estimation of others, and causing him to be shunned and avoided.”

In my opinion, Mann certainly deserves to be shunned, avoided, held in low estimation and exposed to ridicule and contempt.  Mann is a hack of a so-called scientist. 

To recap, as detailed here, and here, Michael Mann is the guy who invented the discredited global warming “hocky stick” and then participated in a conspiracy to destroy information that was subject to Freedom of Information Act requests to prevent others from fully examining global warming claims.  That is, to put it mildly, not very scientific.

So, inevitably, Mann now argues Shut up! in court.

Published in: on April 8, 2011 at 2:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

Solar Cycle 24 Is (Finally) Well Under Weigh*

I have written before about lagging Solar Cycle 24, which never seemed to get off the dime.  I have also noted the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center’s recent history of fairly bad predictions requiring multiple revisions this time around.

So I should note that Solar Cycle 24 is now moving quite along, and the sunspot numbers are — for now, at least — more in line with the most current prediction.  See here, and here

It will be very interesting to see where it tops out and what, if anything, the protracted quiet period portends for climate.

* I note that “under weigh” is an archaic spelling and “under way” was probably more correct all along.  But I like it better and it’s my blog.  So there.

Published in: on April 7, 2011 at 1:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

Weather Ain’t Climate

But we will hear from the warminists about every single episode of “record heat” that will inevitably happen this summer.  So here’s an early inoculation:

More than 120 vessels have become stranded in ice in the Gulf of Finland, with their number growing by 20 ships every day, the St. Petersburg seaport administration said on Monday.

The Gulf of Finland has been iced over for more than a month, with dozens of ships waiting for assistance because they are unable to ply their way through the heavy one-meter-thick ice floes. The situation in the gulf deteriorated last week after a cyclone from the Norwegian Sea hit the region.

Weather is not climate.  Remember that.

Published in: on March 29, 2011 at 12:03 am  Leave a Comment  

Maybe It’s Because They Are Overpriced And Impractical

Meghan McArdle notes that the sales of Nissan Leafs (Leaves?) and Chevy Volts are, uh, slightly below expectations.

If it costs $45,000 to make a car, and the government subsidizes it by $5,000, but you still have to compete against cars with comparable fit and finish, normal car range, and decent gas mileage being sold for $15-20,000, your business model might have a few flaws.  Just a thought.

Published in: on March 3, 2011 at 11:52 am  Leave a Comment  

Who Would Want One Of These Things?

The headline is not exactly what Consumer Reports says about the Chevy Volt, but it’s close enough for Government Motors work:

“When you are looking at purely dollars and cents, it doesn’t really make a lot of sense. The Volt isn’t particularly efficient as an electric vehicle and it’s not particularly good as a gas vehicle either in terms of fuel economy,” said David Champion, the senior director of Consumer Reports auto testing center at a meeting with reporters here. “This is going to be a tough sell to the average consumer.”

At least it’s also really, really expensive.

The Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt are vanity toys for affluent green poseurs who like to whip out and compare the size of their carbon footprints at cocktail parties.  Even with massive government subsidies propping them up, both will be epic market failures. 

Via Michelle Malkin.

Published in: on March 1, 2011 at 4:51 pm  Leave a Comment