Sunday, August 12, 2007

"At least Jesse James had a gun!" - To paraphrase what a conservative talk show host (whose name escapes me now) said recently, it is entirely likely that ordinary Americans have gotten bored with global warming even before it has happened. To be sure, it is tough to get exorcised about an event of uncertain timing or magnitude of effect - particularly when it's considered against real and present threats to humanity. This may explain a recent Newsweek cover story that aims to expose the network of global warming "deniers." (Nice job with the objective journalism guys!)

Since the late 1980s, this well-coordinated, well-funded campaign by contrarian scientists, free-market think tanks and industry has created a paralyzing fog of doubt around climate change. Through advertisements, op-eds, lobbying and media attention, greenhouse doubters (they hate being called deniers) argued first that the world is not warming; measurements indicating otherwise are flawed, they said. Then they claimed that any warming is natural, not caused by human activities. Now they contend that the looming warming will be minuscule and harmless. "They patterned what they did after the tobacco industry," says former senator Tim Wirth, who spearheaded environmental issues as an under secretary of State in the Clinton administration. "Both figured, sow enough doubt, call the science uncertain and in dispute. That's had a huge impact on both the public and Congress." (Emphasis added.)
So beyond the ham-handed use of the word "deniers" (lest we not get their intent, the article makes takes great pains to point out that two of the members of the cabal fled the Nazis), global warming zealots compare the give and take on the part of those scientists and others who simply wish to advance an alternative hypothesis to deliberate attempts to lie and mislead. The former is a requisite part of the scientific method, the latter was a means to protect the profits generated by an industry built on a product that is unhealthful at any dose.

Of course if one were to properly flesh out the analogy, it is clear that the aficionados of global climate change are doing the obfuscating. By attempting to tar and feather everyone from climate researchers (S. Fred Singer, Ph.D. and Richard Lindzen, Ph.D.) to politicians (the entire GOP Congress, to include Senators James Inhofe and Ted Stevens) to organizations like the American Petroleum Institute and the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Newsweek - and the global warming mafia more generally - confirm that their cause has little to do with science and much more to do with political agendas.
If you look at the temperature record for the globe over the last six years, it's gone no place. That's usually the way it behaves before it goes down. In fact, I suspect that's why you have this tsunami of exposure the last two years, with Gore's movie and so on. I think that this issue has been around long enough to generate a lot of agendas, and looking at the temperature records there must be a fear that if they don't get the agendas covered now, they may never get them. (Emphasis added.)
The forgoing was taken from an interview with Dr. Richard Linzen, Ph.D., Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at MIT. The wisdom of Dr. Lindzen's comments is underscored by a Reuters story on a recent U.N. climate change meeting which "focused on the world's rich countries" such that they should shoulder the majority of the financial burden of dealing with climate change.

British economist Nicholas Stern said poor and developing countries also need to participate in a "global deal" to curb the human-made emissions that swaddle the planet like a blanket.

Stern, author of a path-breaking report last year on the economic consequences of climate change, said the global target for reducing greenhouse gases -- notably the carbon dioxide released by coal-fired electric plants and petroleum-powered vehicles -- should be a cut 50 percent by 2050.

"Because of reasons of past responsibility and better access to resources, the rich countries should take much bigger objectives than that 50 percent," he said. "They should be looking for around 75 percent cuts."

That responsibility could extend to financing cuts in emissions in other countries, said Stern, formerly head of the British government's economic service and now at the London School of Economics. (Emphasis added here too.)

Doubtless, an infusion of new dollars from the West would be a boon to the U.N. (as well as to WMD seeking despots, corrupt kleptocrats and presidents of Swiss banks.) The U.N.'s voracious appetite for revenue is nearly matched by that of grant-hungry researchers. In his interview, Dr. Lindzen points out that "there's a lot of money floating in [global warming hysteria]."

While I cannot speak with absolute certainty as to the factors behind the relative apathy of Americans vis-a-vis global warming, but I do have my own theories. Bureaucracies being what they are, they crave more revenue as revenue equates to power; to be sure, the U.N. is nothing if it is not a vast global bureaucracy. For that reason alone, the global warming power structure has a vested interest in ensuring that paranoia outpaces science. But beyond burnishing its own liberal bona fides, it's unclear what agenda was served by Newsweek's attempt to tip public opinion in favor of those who fear the effects of CO2 on the climate more than the chilling effect of stifled scientific inquiry.

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