J.C. Moore Online
Current Events from a Science Perspective

Posts Tagged ‘al-gore’

Book Review : Resisting the Green Dragon

Tue ,10/04/2012


Preface: I first encountered the Green Dragon on a blog post by Publius Redux where he introduced it with: “Now, here is a novel analysis of the undercurrent of urgency and irrationality characteristic of climate doomsayers’ prophecy. This explains the haunting familiarity of the preaching and proselytizing we have endured from the climate change fearmongers.” Curious, I tracked down an article about Resisting the Green Dragon by Dr. James Wanliss, Associate Professor of Physics at Presbyterian College. Finding no religious or scientific arguments that could possibly address the issues in the article, I wrote a play about what the future might hold for Dr. Wanliss, Publius and their followers.Sometime later I received a critique of my play from Dr. Wanliss and  subsequently offered to write a proper review if Dr. Wanliss would send me a copy, which he did. Dr. Wanliss said he wrote the book in part because he had been bullied by environmentalists. That is certainly a very bad thing, however replying in kind is usually not the correct response and revenge often hurts others than its intended victims. If you identify with environmentalism, mainstream religions, or believe we should be good stewards of the Earth, you may feel bullied while reading the book.

 The book claims not “to provide scientific or economic answers” as that is done by “multiple excellent resources that appear in the endnotes.” However those resources and end notes do not accurately represent the views of scientists, economists, or environmentalists – but are carefully picked from extreme positions, as are his examples. Dr. Wanliss gives examples of vegetarians, PETA members, Eco terrorists, environmental extremists, and someone who thinks men are “useless breathers” – and tries to claim they are representative of the Christian stewardship movement. They are not. Environmentalists may want you to make responsible choices, but that does not mean they want to “control how you live, eat, drive, and even the light you use to read by .” Environmentalists may have a goal of achieving balance in nature and sustainability, but Dr. Wanliss claims sustainability places “human life directly in the crosshairs of violent men.” And, are those violent men found in the Christian stewardship movement?

 The Cornwall Alliance: The book was published by the Cornwall Alliance which has chosen the Green Dragon as a symbol of their opposition to the growth of environmentalism in Christian churches. The Cornwall Alliance describes itself as a grassroots Christian movement. It does not disclose its funding sources but many paths to it come from corporations and fossil fuel interests and its message is certainly favorable to them. Dr. Wanliss says that he did not receive an advance from the Alliance and profits only from the royalties on the book. The Alliance has produced a series of videos based upon Resisting the Green Dragon , assailing its hold on the churches. There is little truth to much of the propaganda in the videos. They seem designed more to protect the profits of the fossil fuel companies than to protect the Earth, or the people who depend on the Earth for survival.

It became apparent in the early 1980s that carbon dioxide released by burning fossil fuels was causing changes in the environment that would impact mankind, particularly those in poor and indigenous societies who do not have the resources to adjust to the changing climate. Many churches have adopted statements encouraging environmentalism based upon good stewardship, some specifically mentioning the threat of greenhouse gases. For example, the denomination sponsoring the Presbyterian University where Dr. Wanliss teaches stated in 1989 and reaffirmed in 2008, its “serious concern that the global atmospheric warming trend (the greenhouse effect) represents one of the most serious global environmental challenges to the health, security, and stability of human life and natural ecosystems.”

Dragons: The Green Dragon on the dust cover of the book is a very ugly Dragon, but Dr. Wanliss may have misjudged what is in its heart. Though some mythical dragons were portrayed as evil, Draco in Dragonheart and Sapphira in Aragon imparted their ancient wisdom to mankind and helped them in the times of crisis. And it was the flying dragons in Avatar who helped the Na’vi drive out the greedy corporation destroying their planet and their homes for the sake of ore. Perhaps the Green Dragon is being vilified by the Cornwall Alliance so that we will not heed its message.

 Science: Although Dr. Wanliss is a physicist, there is very little climate physics in the book. He seems to have arrived at many of his opinions about climate science, not from peer-reviewed literature, but by films made by Al Gore and Martin Durkin, neither of which are scientists. Dr. Wanliss points out the errors in The Inconvenient Truth, and rejects it entirely. However, Al Gore received a Nobel Peace Prize for his environmental work and his movie won an Oscar. The movie also had its day in court in Dimmock v Secretary of State for Education, a suit which sought to prevent the educational use of An Inconvenient Truth in England. The court ruled that, though the film had some errors, it was substantially founded upon scientific research and fact and could be shown.

Dr. Wanliss embraces Martin Durkin’s movie, The Great Global Warming Swindle, though it is based upon bad science and fraud. How do I know that? Mr. Durkin gives the impression he is a geophysicist but his degrees are in medieval history and financial journalism. The movie distorts the work of some of the scientists that appear in it. For example, Dr. Friis-Christensen, said, “parts of the graph were made up of fabricated data that were presented as genuine.” He should know as it was his research that was distorted to support claims that recent climate change was the result of solar activity. Also, Dr. Carl Wunsch points out that the movie uses his data but distorts it. Ihe ocean would have had to release more CO2 than they had absorbed, so impossible that he calls it fraud. The movie also distorts NASA’s temperature record, something that can be easily checked. The two graphs are below, with the screen shot on the left showing how Durkin redrew the graph to support his claim that most of today’s global warming occurred before 1940.

 A 2010 StanfordUniversity poll of 1,372 climate scientists found that 97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in climate science agree that global warming is occurring and man activities are the main factor. Research shows that global warming is causing many undesirable changes in the Earth and that no natural factors are significantly responsible.

 Ecology: Dr. Wanliss does not seem aware of the principles of ecology or the interrelation among species, as he says: “There has been, in past decades, a cosmic shift towards a social climate that begins to favor the environment — polar bears, trees, and bugs — over human beings.” Well, where would we be without the bears, trees, the environment, and umm … bugs?  He thinks that “destruction of one species can enormously benefit many others” and that man had a right to hunt sperm whales to extinction if we needed the oil. However, he does not seem aware that many species depend on the nutrients that the whales distribute throughout the ocean.  Passenger pigeons, once an important source of food, were hunted to extinction. And whooping cranes and buffaloes almost disappeared forever, but were saved from extinction by chance and a tremendous effort on the part of conservationists. Would we have missed them? The book tells the story about the Canary being used to test the safety of coal mines, using it to point out that some bird lover may have objected, putting the bird’s safety above that of the miners. Ecologists now tell us that many species are beginning to disappear from the Earth and many more are threatened by global warming. Would we want our grandchildren to go into a coal mine where the Canaries are dying?

Economics: Cap and trade is considered to be the free market solutions to reducing carbon emissions. It may not be the best, but it will help and it appears to be the way the nations are heading. Dr. Wanliss argues against it because he thinks it will lead to the creation of a world government and because of its high cost. We all share the same atmosphere and it is necessary that all industrialized and developing countries cooperate, but that is not the same as establishing a world government. Dr. Wanliss claims the cost of cap and trade regulations would amount to an annual cost of “$120,000 for the average family of four”. That value is unrealistically high – and it also ignores the cost of not acting. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the cost of the cap-and-trade program by 2020 would average about $175 annually per household.

It is possible to estimate the cost of inaction on global warming. The Stern Report, using the results from formal economic models, estimates the overall costs and risks of climate change is equivalent to losing at least 5% of global GDP each year. And unaddressed, the cost could rise to 20% of GDP or more by 2050 – and increase the risk of an environmental catastrophe. Using 5% of the US GDP for 2010 would give an environmental cost of $727 billion. Reducing carbon emissions would also reduce particulates which the American Lung Association  cites as the primary cause 38,000 heart attacks and premature deaths each year as well as 1.5 million cases of acute bronchitis and aggravated asthma – which they estimate has an economic cost of $281 billion. Those two add up to about $1.01 trillion annually, and that is just for theUnited States. And what cost was should we put on premature death?

Religion: Dr. Wanliss’ view of the relationship between man, other species, and the Earth’s resources is based upon the doctrine of Dominionism. He bases this belief upon his interpretation of Genesis 1:28 “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” From there, he uses a number of carefully selected Scriptures to argue how  “ the humans’ filling and ruling of the Earth can release it from bondage.” It is his view this will bring about the Second Coming which will render efforts to protect and sustain the planet useless.

 But, is the Earth not growing full? There are now 7 billion people on the planet and at our present birthrate, the population will double again this century. And have we not established dominion over the Earth? We now have fish and game laws, catch limits, and international treaties to protect other species as our needs have grown until we threaten their existence? The caveat in Dr. Wanliss’ argument is that the Second Coming will not occur until man has established Christian dominion. There are many religions on the Earth, and even among Christians, there are many different interpretations of the Scriptures. What he believes is necessary is very unlikely to happen in the next 50 years, and even if it did, there is no assurance that Dominionism is the true religion.

 Those who argue for Christian stewardship think that dominion means “benevolent rule”. Does it seem reasonable that God would make the heavens and the Earth and all the species, proclaim them good, and then give man a license to destroy them if he wished? And do some men have the right to seek dominion if by doing so they damage the lives and resources of other men? Dr. Wanliss makes a special point that dominion is not domination; however, men who wish to dominate and exploit the environment for profit will certainly find his arguments useful.

Native people: The book claims that the environmental movement is” dreadfully harmful to the environment and humans, particularly the poor” and at one point claims that environmentalists may be responsible for millions of deaths. It is most cynical and wrong to claim that environmentalists are somehow responsible for deaths and damage in the poorer countries of the world. Global warming is changing the environment and increasing the probability of severe weather events, particularly droughts. Last year’s drought on the Horn of Africa led to widespread famine and many deaths among the poor. The people of Kashmir are concerned that the glaciers that feed their streams in the summer are receding – making less water available. The Sherpa of Tibet worry that their villages may be flooded by lakes that now form each summer from melting glaciers, held back by unstable ice dams.

The Inuit in Greenland cannot use their traditional hunting grounds at the ice is too thin for their dog sleds to traverse. Those in the Arctic are having to move their coastal villages to keep them from being eroded away by wave action of open seas, which used to be ice year-round. Their inland villages are threatened because the permafrost upon which they are built now becomes a quagmire in the summer. They are being forced to change a way of life that sustained them for centuries. While some may adapt, their way of life and culture will be destroyed, and many will likely end up among the poor and unemployed.

Population: Dr. Wanliss says God has commanded us to fill the Earth and that we should let God decide how many children we shall have. But do not men and women have free will and the right to decide such things?  And, what happens when the earth is full? The Earth’s population has just surpassed 7 billion people and, at our present birthrate, will reach 14 billion sometime in the latter part of the 21st century. The Earth is finite and evidence suggests that the carrying capacity of the Earth is somewhere between 10 and 12 billion. When a population exceeds the carrying capacity of its environment, there is usually a massive die off of the population. For us, this might mean the deaths of billions of people through starvation and wars over resources.

 Prudence: Dr. Wanless believes that man has a remarkable ability to reason, and that is certainly true.  God has given us science so that we may understand nature by observation and reason. Scientific research shows that carbon dioxide is a pollutant that is damaging the Earth and will do so even more in the future. The EPA has determined that CO2 is an endangerment that may be regulated under the Clean Air Act, and the Supreme Court has upheld that ruling. Dr. Wanliss opposes action to correct the problem and thinks that when the Earth is full and Christian dominion is achieved, God will make our problems disappear. What if he is wrong? We will have a very full and a very hot, inhospitable Earth through our own ignorance, and not through God’s will. The Green Dragon, though a mythical creature created by Dr. Wanliss, would be a good symbol for Prudence.

 Resist? Dr. Wanliss is advising us to resist the Green Dragon based upon his religious views and personal philosophy. His book would certainly encourage some interesting discussions about the meaning of Hebrew words, the interpretation of scriptures, the meaning of free will, and the responsibility Christians have toward mankind, other species, and the Earth itself. Those discussions should occur among scientist, theologians, and philosophers who have the knowledge to defend their ideas. However, it seems wrong to use the power and respect that people have for ministers and Scripture to criticize Christians who believe in good stewardship. The Cornwall Alliance does just that, as resisting the Green Dragon aligns with profit motives. The only time Jesus showed anger in the Bible was when he drove the money changers from the Temple. How might Jesus feel about the Cornwall Alliance using Dr. Wanliss’ book to bring their corporate interests into places of worship? Perhaps Dr. Wanliss should rethink whether he wishes for his book to be used in that way.

(c) 2012 J.C. Moore

Book Review: The Greatest Hoax by Sen. James Inhofe

Tue ,20/03/2012
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe’s long promised book, The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future is finally finished. It was published by WND Books, which has published other grand conspiracy books such as The Late Great USA: The Coming Merger with Mexico and Canada . The book will certainly be a hit with some lobbyists, politicians and corporate leaders. It may also be popular among scientists as it reveals some interesting things about Sen. Inhofe and gives scientists an opportunity to examine his ideas and arguments.

 Sen. Inhofe has served as the mayor of Tulsa and is the senior Senator from Oklahoma. He has been a strong advocate for many of his constituents and he has been a strong critic of the lack of openness of some congressional procedures. He was instrumental in getting federal Superfund money to clean up the Pitcher lead mines in northeastern Oklahoma. A large area of northeastern Oklahoma was affected and millions of dollars have been spent to try to mitigate the environmental damage. No one knew at the time that lead was toxic, and Pitcher is a perfect example of how what you don’t know can hurt you and be costly.

Sen. Inhofe has often stated “Global warming is a hoax” but proving that may be difficult. Every major scientific organizations in the world has adopted a statement similar to that of the American Chemical Society: ”Careful and comprehensive scientific assessments have clearly demonstrated that the Earth’s climate system is changing rapidly in response to growing atmospheric burdens of greenhouse gases and absorbing aerosol particles. There is very little room for doubt that observed climate trends are due to human activities. The threats are serious and action is urgently needed to mitigate the risks of climate change.” A 2010 Stanford University poll of 1,372 climate scientists found that 97–98% of the climate researchers most actively publishing in climate science agree that global warming is occurring and man activities are the main factor. The Greatest Hoax tries convincing us otherwise by quoting media sources, politicians, lobbyist, and the 2-3% of the scientists who claim to be skeptics, though some receive substantial rewards for being skeptical.  Legitimate science is based upon evidence and reason, but many of the ideas put forward in this book are not.

Politics:  Sen. Inhofe says: “I am not a scientist. I do understand politics. “He says he went into politics because a Tulsa city engineer would not approve his request to move a fire escape on his building. Mr. Inhofe told him that he was going to run for mayor and fire him when he won. And he did. It is possible that the engineer was following the building code adopted by the city’s elected officials, and that there may have been a good reason to leave the fire escape where it was, such as it being easily assessable in case of a fire. That incident, however, explains Senator Inhofe’s attitudes toward regulations, regulators, and scientists whose research show the need for regulations. It also explains the Senators approach to regulations. He sees them as an impediment to business but he does not see that most regulations are developed to protect the public. One of his favorite targets is the EPA, which was created by Pres. Nixon to protect the environment. Sen. Inhofe chose to work on the Senate’s Environmental and Public Works (EPW) committee so he could protect businesses from what he considers needless environmental regulations.

The Hoax: Sen. Inhofe was apparently convinced “global warming is a hoax” by one of the worse hoaxes in recent Congressional history. It started when Dr. Willie Soon managed to get a paper through the peer review process at Climate Reviews with the help of an editor sympathetic to his views. The paper reviewed the literature on climate science, and concluded that the global warming in the 20th century was not unusual and that natural forces, rather than man’s activities was the cause. An important piece of his evidence was the Medieval Warm Period, which he claimed was warmer than the latter 20th century. But there was something wrong with the paper. There were no accurate temperature records in Medieval Times, the Americas had not yet been discovered, and much of the Southern hemisphere was unknown. Dr. Soon’s paper contradicted the evidence from hundreds of other peer-reviewed papers. It caused quite a furor at Climate Reviews which ended with 3 members the editorial board resigning in protest and the newly hired chief editor stating the paper had serious errors and should never have been published. The EPA was unwilling to include the paper in its assessment of climate science, so Sen. Inhofe scheduled a meeting of the EPW committee to examine the paper.

Shortly before the meeting, the American Geophysical Union (AGU) issued a press release from 13 of the scientists whose work was used in Dr. Soon’s paper, saying the paper distorted their research. At the hearing, Michael Mann represented the scientific viewpoint, presenting evidence from multiple sources showing that the Medieval Warm period was not worldwide and resulted only in a small hump in the temperature record. Soon stood behind his work and testified that he had not received any funds that might have biased his objectivity. However, the paper lists the American Petroleum Institute as a major source of funding and documents received since from the Smithsonian Institution in response to FOIA requests, revealed that since 2001  Dr. Soon has received over $1 million in funding from oil and coal interests. Sen. Inhofe was upset by the turn of events and tried to get him fired – Michael Mann that is. At Sen. Inhofe’s insistence, the University of Pennsylvania, a Quaker University, has conducted 2 investigations into Dr. Mann’s research and found no misconduct. A 2010 Science article reviewed the investigations, declaring “Michael Mann is cleared, again. “ Dissatisfied with the ruling, Sen. Inhofe has tried to get the attorney general to charge Michael Mann with fraud. Sadly, for the first time in history, scientists are collecting a legal defense fund to defend scientists against political attacks. And even worse, the scientific opinion of the senior member of our Environmental and Public Works committee is apparently based on a paper that would not pass freshman English.

Endorsement: The Greatest Hoax was endorsed by Dr. R.M. Carter, a paleontologist from Australia, who was the star witness at Sen. Inhofe’s 2006 Senate hearing on Climate Change and the Media. No credible members of the media testified, and one might wonder why Sen. Inhofe would be interested in the media bias in Australia. Dr. Carter was likely there because he could be counted on to testify that historically the rise in global temperatures had always preceded rising carbon dioxide concentration; thus some natural cause must be releasing the carbon dioxide that is causing the temperature to rise. He was right about the role of carbon dioxide in increasing the Earth’s temperature, but he rather ignored the possibility that the CO2 concentration was rising because the burning of fossil fuels was releasing 30 billion tons of CO2 annually.

After the hearing, Dr. Carter was challenged by climatologists to produce research showing the natural variability he claimed, but the paper he belatedly produced was soon refuted when significant errors were found in his reasoning. Though two of the four scientists who testified at the hearing were skeptics, all four agreed that the Earth had warmed about 1°C in the last century. Sen. Inhofe’s own hearing had clearly refuted his claim: “Global warming is a hoax.” That was of little concern to Sen. Inhofe, as the main purpose of the hearing was to intimidate members of the press – as if that were needed.

Science: There is little science in the book, though much of the book is dedicated to discrediting science and scientists by quoting friends of his from the Heartland Institute, media personalities, and other politicians. He even sets up Al Gore as a strawman for scientists. In the book’s introduction, he displays a rather tasteless picture of Al Gore naked, and considerable space is devoted to vilifying him. That is a shame as Al Gore has served as a respected Senator, Vice President, and as a Presidential candidate came within a few hundred votes of being elected. Al Gore received a Nobel Peace Prize for his environmental work and his movie, An Inconvenient Truth, won an Oscar. The movie also had its day in court and won. Interestingly, the same Dr. Carter, who endorsed the book, was the star witness for the plaintiff in Dimmock v Secretary of State for Education, a suit which sought to prevent the educational use of An Inconvenient Truth in England. The court apparently did not agree with Dr. Carter and ruled that, though the film had some errors, it was substantially founded upon scientific research and fact and could be shown. Sen. Inhofe claims to be a free market capitalist, but he seems to take great umbrage that Al Gore has profited from his investments in green energy, apparently without realizing that most of those profits have been dedicated to promoting conservative causes, such as protecting the Earth.

Though he may be a skilled politician, in the partisan sense, Sen. Inhofe is correct when he says “I am not a scientist.” He does not understand how scientific knowledge from many fields fits together to form a consistent view of nature. For instance, the book tells that after a large snowfall in Washington D.C., his grandchildren built an igloo and put up a sign: “Al Gore’s New Home”. Sen. Inhofe used the picture to denounce global warming alarmism, though he should know that a single weather event proves nothing. And, if he were a scientist, he might understand how the warming oceans increase the probability of a record snowfall in Washington D.C. , making the igloo possible – and how carbon dioxide has made more probable the record heat waves in Texas and Oklahoma, making droughts and wildfires possible.

Sen. Inhofe shows he does not understand how science works when he brings up the “Coming Ice Age” story to discredit the scientific evidence.  The argument goes, “How can you trust science, when in the 1970s the scientists were predicting the coming of a new Ice Age, but now scientists claim that the Earth is warming?” In the 70’s, scientists found that increased industrialization was causing not only an increase in particulates, which would cause global cooling, but also an increase in CO2, which would increase global warming. There was no consensus among scientists about which effect would predominate.  A count of scientific papers in that decade showed that only 7 journal articles predicted that the global average temperature would continue to cool, while 44 papers indicated that the average temperature would rise. The research on global cooling was valuable as it showed a nuclear war was unwinnable as particulates from a nuclear exchange might create a nuclear winter, ending life on Earth as we know it.

Scientific controversies are usually settled by the evidence, but this one was settled by the intervention of man. Particulates are visible and have serious health consequences. By 1980, regulations were in place to limit particulate emissions and, as that happened, the temperature of the Earth began increasing again. The fossil fuel companies became alarmed, as it was becoming apparent that we should also limit carbon emissions to keep the Earth’s temperature at equilibrium, so they began a propaganda campaign to convince us that carbon dioxide was harmless. If you believe that, remember the lesson of Pitcher, Oklahoma. What you don’t know can hurt you and be very costly.

Cap and Trade: Sen. Inhofe claims that cap and trade is the “crown jewel” of a global conspiracy of scientists, Hollywood stars, and media personalities who want to take away your freedom and create a world government. However, cap and trade was devised by free-market conservatives for President Reagan, who used it successfully to stop the acid rain drifting into Canada from our Northeastern power plants. It was part the Clean Air Act signed into law by President Bush I and many prominent Republicans, including John McCain, have supported it. Cap and trade is considered to be the market solution to reducing carbon emissions. It is described by the EPA as “an environmental policy tool that delivers results with a mandatory cap on emissions while providing sources flexibility in how they comply. Successful cap and trade programs reward innovation, efficiency, and early action and provide strict environmental accountability without inhibiting economic growth.” Does that sound like it “Threatens Your Future” , as the subtitle of the book claims? And, it  cannot be making Al Gore rich – or be the cause of rising energy prices – as it has not yet been enacted for carbon emissions.

Costs: Sen. Inhofe main objection to environmental regulations is their tremendous cost; but an accurate analysis of costs and benefits are not in the book. He just claims that it would cost each U.S. household $3,100 a year, a cost that has great sticker shock, but is totally inaccurate. Dr. John Reilly, the MIT economist whose work was used to arrive at that number, has publicly criticized a Republican lobbyist for distorting his work to arrive at that inflated value. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the cost of the cap-and-trade program by 2020 would average about $175 annually per household, and that associated savings would reduce the federal deficit by about $19 billion over the next decade. A recent report by the National Academy of Sciences details other high economic costs of inadequate environmental legislation, such as reduced streamflow, rainfall, and crop yields. Yet Congress has refused to act on the matter.

Also, Sen. Inhofe seems to have left some important items out of his balance sheet, such as the true cost of using fossil fuels. The true cost of a resource should include repairing damage caused by its use and disposing of the waste. We are in effect subsidizing the fossil fuel industry by allowing them to freely discharge their wastes into the environment. Some of the “true costs” of fossil fuel use, such as health and environmental costs can be estimated. Nicholas Stern, former chief economist of the World Bank and one of the world’s top economists, has used the results from formal economic models to examine the potential cost of failure to limit our carbon emissions. He estimates that the overall costs and risks of climate change will be equivalent to losing at least 5% of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) each year, now and forever. If a wider range of risks and impacts is taken into account, the cost of mitigation and damages could rise to 20% of GDP or more in the future – and we would run the additional risk of an environmental catastrophe.

Taking 5% of the US GDP for 2010, would give an environmental cost of $727 billion. As to health costs, the American Lung Association estimates that the EPA’s proposed guidelines for particulates could prevent 38,000 heart attacks and premature deaths, 1.5 million cases of acute bronchitis and aggravated asthma, and 2.7 million days of missed work or school. They estimate the economic benefits of reduced exposure to particulates alone could reach as much as $281 billion annually. Those two add up to about $1.08 trillion. The calculations do not include all the environmental and health costs, but they do show about how much we are subsidizing the fossil fuel industries by ignoring the damage to people’s health and the environment.

Sen. Inhofe, in his Rachel Maddow interview, stated that the cost of cap and trade would be $30-$40 billion annually. That is about 1/30 of what the environmental and health costs might eventually be. Then, it is rather hard to put a value on those premature deaths or the added risk of environmental catastrophes. The number of billion-dollar weather disasters has increased fivefold over the last 30 years, and insurance giants such as Suisse Re now consider man-made global warming real, and a risk factor in setting insurance rates. Increased insurance rates will be an additional out of pocket cost, which could easily offset the $175 the CBO estimated that cap and trade would cost.

Scientists: To get around the strong consensus of scientists, the book claims there is a global conspiracy of liberal scientists bent on creating a world government, that climate science is a religion, that climate scientists are in it for the money, and that Climategate proves climate scientists are dishonest. None of those claims are supported by verifiable evidence. Most scientists are good citizens, conservative in their statements and actions. Most are religious, with stewardship and concern for their fellow man being part of their religion. The Presbyterian church, where Senator Inhofe claims membership, stated in 1989 and reaffirmed in 2008, its “serious concern that the global atmospheric warming trend (the greenhouse effect) represents one of the most serious global environmental challenges to the health, security, and stability of human life and natural ecosystems.”

 The book calls climate scientists “alarmists” in a derogatory sense, but many are becoming alarmed. Research shows that the Earth’s climate is changing because of our emissions of CO2, yet Congress has not acted to solve the problem. Scientists were criticized for considering the problem catastrophic, but they realize our carbon emissions will have an affect for 100 years or more into the future and inaction will threaten our food and water supply,increase the risk of severe weather events, and a possibly lead to an environmental catastrophe. Remember what happened at Pitcher, Oklahoma because lead mining was considered harmless.

Sen. Inhofe often calls those who disagree with him “liberals”, but the meaning of liberal and conservative seem to be flexible. During the American Revolution, it was the liberals who wanted to create a democracy and conservatives who thought that King George had a divine right to rule. Sen. Inhofe uses “liberals” to describe environmentalists and others who want to preserve the earth – and uses “conservatives” for those who want to conserve power and profits.

He describes Rachel Maddow as one of his favorite liberals, but that may change. In his book he said “Rachel’s segment was one of the last major efforts to go after me just days before I landed in Copenhagen and declared vindication.” However in his recent interview on Rachel’s show, she showed the clip. Nowhere in the clip does it mention Copenhagen or climate change. Rather than apologize, he said he couldn’t remember everything he said in the 350 pages of fine print in the book, raising questions about how much of the book he actually wrote. Apparently liberal can also mean “pesky”.

Big Oil: Sen. Inhofe tells some good stories of the old days in the Oklahoma oilfields, but back then Tulsa was the Oil Capital of the World and our domestic oil producers were a different breed from today’s multinational oil companies. They have little loyalty to the United States and little concern for our citizens or the environment. They have created some of the greatest man-made environmental disasters and resisted compensating their victims fairly. After the furor over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, BP’s CEO commented “I want my life back”, but he could not give back the 11 lives lost because of his decisions. Although he promised to compensate Americans damaged by the oil spill, BP appointed a lawyer to disperse the funds, who made many of the victims “take it or leave it” offers. After the Exxon Valdez oil spill, Exxon Mobil went all the way to the Supreme Court to avoid paying the $5 billion in damages owed the native Alaskans. Koch oil was charged in Oklahoma of cheating Native Americans and the government out $5 billion in oil royalties. They settled the case out of court for a 10th of the $5 billion, with no admission of wrongdoing. Who says crime doesn’t pay?

Last year, the world’s 5 largest oil companies received $4 billion in tax break subsidies. Yet, they reported $171 billion in profits, while most US businesses and citizens struggled with financial losses, in part caused by the steep rise in fuel prices. Sen. Inhofe says his goal is “energy self-sufficiency” for the United States, yet last year the leading US export was fuels, so Big Oil companies are selling American oil abroad, creating a shortage in the United States that is driving up prices. Increasing their profits is their main goal, even though carbon emissions may cause a man-made environmental disaster much greater than oil spills. To defend their profits, these companies are now the major contributors to the science denial machine that Sen. Inhofe defends in his book.

Heartland Foundation: Sen. Inhofe was able to poke fun at himself when he said” Nature strikes back”, referring to a serious illness he contacted while swimming in a lake contaminated with toxic blue-green algae, whose growth was fueled by water pollution and the heat wave and Oklahoma. The illness caused him to miss the meeting of the Heartland Institute where he was to be a keynote speaker. His relation to the Heartland Institute is troubling. The Heartland Institute, once a major source of propaganda designed to prove there was no link between smoking, cancer, and lung disease, has now turned its considerable experience and resources into producing propaganda disputing the link between carbon emissions and global warming. Big Oil provides much of the funding for the Heartland Institute, and other similar “conservative” think tanks, who channel millions of dollars into the denial of science. The Heartland Institute is a gathering place for Big Oil’s lobbyists, loyal politicians, and paid skeptics. Many of those are the sources of information for Sen. Inhofe’s book. How accurate is that information likely to be?

Skeptics:  Science values its skeptics as they make science strong by pointing out areas that need more investigation, and they sometimes making valuable contributions to science. When Richard Muller questioned NASA’s temperature records, he evaluated all 6 billion pieces of weather station data, and came to the conclusion that the temperature record was accurate. When O’Donnell doubted Steig’s work showing Antarctica was warming, he re-analyzed the data and found that indeed Antarctica, the coldest place on Earth, was getting warmer.

Skeptics are expected to follow the methodologies and the ethics of science, to subject their work to review by their peers, and to divulge conflicts of interest. Many of those Sen. Inhofe praises as “climate skeptics” do not meet those criteria. They profit from being skeptical and, when research shows them wrong, they continue to repeat their skeptical arguments anyway. An example is Anthony Watts, who started the Surface Station Project to examine the data from weather stations, which he claimed had errors. The AGU took his skepticism seriously and did a thorough study on the weather stations, finding the data was reliable. They had offered Watts a chance to participate in the research, but he missed his chance to be a scientist when he refused. And though the question has been answered, Mr. Watts is still repeating the same criticisms – and collecting substantial donations to continue his Surface Station Project. There are many skeptics like Mr. Watts, who receives generous grants from think tanks, not for fundamental research, but to come up with ideas to cast doubt on the IPCC, climate research, and the work of legitimate scientists. Many of the paid skeptics appear in Sen. Inhofe’s book as his sources for information, quotes, and references.

Vindication: In this chapter of the book, Sen. Inhofe claims vindication, but it is hard to imagine sufficient vindication for displaying a picture of Al Gore naked. Sen. Inhofe does claim he is vindicated by the Climategate e-mails. Hackers broke into the computers of England’s Hadley Climatic Research Unit (CRU), and stole 10 years of e-mails exchanged between the scientists. Quotes from the stolen e-mails were taken out of context, distorted, and released to media sources with claims the CRU scientists engaged in illegal and unethical acts. As of today, eight independent formal investigations have been completed and none have found any scientific misconduct by the scientists involved. The incident was dubbed “Climategate” , but it was in no way like Watergate. In Wategate, the thieves were caught and punished and those who masterminded the plot were publicly disgraced. In Climategate, the thieves have been hailed by some skeptics as heroes – and the victims of the theft have been vilified.  It seems strange that Scotland Yard is searching for the hackers, while Sen. Inhofe is gleefully helping spread the misinformation. So, rather than being like Watergate, the e-mail scandal was actually more like Stargate, fictional fantasy. The accusations of wrongdoing by some of the skeptical scientists, made before the matter could be investigated, were particularly egregious as scientist’s ethical codes say that:” Public comments on scientific matters should be made with care and precision, without unsubstantiated, exaggerated, or premature statements.”

Winning: Sen. Inhofe claims he is winning, but he can’t be talking about the scientific debate. All the world’s major scientific organizations think he is losing, as do 97 – 98% of the climate scientists, and 83% of American voters.  A 2011 Stanford poll found that 83% of Americans say that global warming is happening with 88% of Democrats and 54% of Republicans saying it is the result of human action. Attacking scientists may prove to be contrary to the Republican party’s best interest. While polls find scientist’s trustworthiness is  highly rated , with 84% having a favorable view of scientists, Congress’ approval has now dropped to around 9%. This may be indicative of the public’s dissatisfaction with the partisanship and gridlock in Congress, occurring for reasons well on display in this book.

Although some members of Congress and some of the public may listen to Sen. Inhofe, nature doesn’t. No matter how much he claims “hoax”, research shows the climate is changing in response to man’s activities. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is increasing, the temperature of the Earth is rising, the oceans are becoming more acidic, glaciers and polar ice caps are melting, sea levels are rising, the probability of severe weather events is increasing, and weather-related natural disasters are becoming more frequent and more costly. It’s time we examine more closely who is actually winning by ignoring science.

(c) 2012 J.C. Moore

Is the Media Biased about Climate Change?

Wed ,15/12/2010

Certainly,  many people are confused or misinformed about climate change. There are many conflicting reports in the media – and few topics have engendered as many claims and counterclaims of media bias .  The issue of Climate Change and the Media was the subject of a 2006 Senate hearing of the  Committee on Environment & Public Works. It is a good place to start to examine the matter.

Media Bias generally refers to accusations of either censorship or propagandism on the part of particular news sources, where such content is framed in the light of a preconceived agenda. Relevant categories of bias include favoring a station’s corporate economic interests, having a political slant, or sensationalism that tends to distort news to make it a better commercial “product.”

The Hearing: The hearing was chaired by Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK). In his opening statement, he accused the media of over-hyped reporting, of subverting its role as an objective source of information on climate change into the role of an advocate, and of hyping scientifically unfounded climate alarmism. Apparently no testimony was needed.

It was an interesting cast of characters who testified before the committee, two climate skeptics, a climatologist, a science historian, and an oil company lobbyist.Their testimony and the author’s short comment on each follow below:

Dr. R. M. Carter is a marine biologist and well known author from Australia. Dr. Carter testified that his research showed that throughout history, the rise in global temperatures had proceeded rising carbon dioxide concentration. His claimed that some natural cause must be causing the Earth’s temperature to rise, which released the carbon dioxide.

Comment: After the hearing, he was challenged by climatologists to produce any research showing the natural variablilty he claimed, but none has yet been produced. He also should have been aware that the recent CO2 increase has come from the billions of tons of fossils fuel burned each year by man. It is interesting that Senator Inhofe was concerned about media bias in Australia.

Dr. Daniel Schrag is a climatologist from the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard. He testified that there is no serious debate about whether the Earth will warm as carbon dioxide levels increase over this century – as it will. The burning of coal, oil and gas, and deforestation are playing a significant role in increasing CO2 levels. The current level, in excess of 380 parts per million (ppm), is higher than it has been for at least the last 650,000 years, and perhaps for tens of millions of years. We know from Lonnie Thompson’s work on tropical glaciers that this warming is not part of any natural cycle.

Comment: His testimony represents the accepted scientific viewpoint on global warming. Skeptics would claim there is still a serious debate, that the science is not settled, and that man is not the cause of global warming. His testimony contradicted that of Dr. Carter on natural causes and he backed it with a reference to the research.

Dr. David Deming is a geophysicist from Oklahoma University. He reported that his research on oil well borehole temperatures showed a warming of about one degree Celsius in North America over the last 100 to 150 years. He also claimed that the Earth’s temperature has not gone up in the last 10 years and that the Earth was entering a cooling period.

Comment: The one degree temperature rise he reports is consistent with NASA’s data but NASA’s data also shows that 1998 and 2005 have been record highs and that the trend is clearly upward. Dr. Deming is a controversial figure and he has been removed from most of his teaching duties at OU because of his unorthodox views.

Dr. Naomi Oreskes is a Professor of History and Science Studies at the University of California. She testified that in1983, the National Academy formed the Nierenberg committee to examine the scientific evidence of global warming. The committee accepted the scientific conclusions, but declined to view global warming as a problem, predicting that any adverse effects would be adequately remedied by technological innovation driven by market forces. This prediction has not come true as technological innovation has not saved the homes of the citizens of Shishmaref, Alaska, nor stopped the acidification of the world’s oceans, nor prevented the melting of polar ice.

Comment: The testimony was an accurate account of the history and points out some of the effects of global warming on the oceans and the lives of native Alaskans. The village of Shishmaref, inhabited for 400 years, is facing evacuation due to erosion from waves now allowed by the disappearance of year round sea ice, and the thawing of coastal permafrost. Skeptics would claim that there is no global warming so there was no need for markets to respond, that the melting ice is natural, and that the oceans are only more acidic by 0.1 pH unit. (Note: That means they are 20% more acidic.)

Dan Gainor is a Boone Pickens Free Market Fellow and Director of the Business & Media Institute (BMI). He testified that journalists claiming to provide the “truth” on climate change are criticizing America for its stance on the issue and on the Kyoto treaty, while ignoring the billions of dollars such an agreement would cost America. The media is obsessed with Al Gore’s film “An Inconvenient Truth.” Let’s recall the media’s irresponsible position, when roughly 30 years ago they reported a new ice age was coming and we would all freeze to death.

Comment: He claims journalists reporting the scientific view on global warming are unpatriotic and anti-business. Of course, BMI was formed to combat media bias against America’s free enterprise system and expose the anti-business agenda of environmental extremists. He is correct that some reporters sensationalized the “new ice age”, but after 30 years, he and others are still using the incident to discredit the press and science. His attack on Gore’s movie was unfounded. Interestingly, in 2007, Dr. Carter was the star witness for the plaintiff in Dimmock v Secretary of State for Education, who sought to prevent the educational use of An Inconvenient Truth in England. The court apparently did not agree with Dr. Carter and ruled that, though the film had some errors, it was substantially founded upon scientific research and fact and could be shown.

Was the hearing biased? It would seem balanced in that two of the four scientists who testified represented the scientific side and two were skeptics. However, it was actually heavily weighted toward the skeptic side. A CNN survey found that 97% of climatologists who are active in climate research say the Earth is warming and humans play a role, yet two of the four scientists who testified did not agree. Dr. Carter and Dr. Deming have research records in other fields that give them credibility as scientists, but they are also journeymen for climate skepticism who can be counted on to deny global warming. Dr. R.M. Carter claimed the warming was from natural causes though he has not published or produced any research to back his claim, though asked. Dr. David Deming claimed the Earth warmed until 1998 and then entered a cooling trend. NASA’s data shows that 2005 was the warmest year on record so that is clearly not right.

Dan Gainor’s testimony was not balanced by an opposing view and there was not really testimony from journalists. The witnesses might have included Eric Pooley, deputy editor of Bloomberg Businessweek. He thinks that the press misrepresented the economic debate over carbon cap and trade, failed to perform the basic service of making climate policy and its economic impact understandable to the reader, and allowed opponents of climate action to set the terms of the cost debate.

The purpose of the hearing was seemingly to discredit the journalists and the scientists who do not agree with Senator Inhofe’s views. In his opening statement, he named and criticized a number of journalists and news organization who had been critical of him or his views, but those accused were not there to defend their views. Senator Inhofe claimed the press was not accurately reporting the “hard science”, though his beliefs are inconsistent with the “hard science” produced by scientific research. His stance on global warming, which he has stated many times is “Global warming is a hoax”.

Is the media biased? The “media” includes many sources, but overall the answer seems to be “Yes”. The media likes to sensationalize stories to attract attention and it often moves on without correcting the errors it commits. The story about the “Coming Ice Age” is an example . Few scientists believed that story at the time, but some editorial writers are still pointing to it as a failure of science. TV weather reporters often claim that a particular weather event is caused by global warming. That cannot be proven but it keeps the controversy stirred up and provides easy targets for skeptics. There is also a rush to be first with a story before the matter has been investigated as in the case of Climategate. After all the controversy, charges , and countercharges, the investigations cleared the scientists of scientific misconduct. But, once a story is “out there”, it can never be taken back.

The media also has a general bias toward the status quo. It’s easy, it involves little risk to the newspaper, and it is fine with those who have a financial or political interest in continuing the status quo. In 1997, the Wall street Journal, published an article titled “Science Has Spoken, Global Warming Is a Myth”. The article turned out to be a hoax , but it came right before the Senate was to consider the Kyoto Treaty and may have influenced the Senate to reject ratification, maintaining the status quo.

The press also presents stories as controversies to catch readers interest. They sometimes try to present both sides, even though there is little evidence to support one side. This is certainly true in the case of global warming where all the world’s major scientific organizations have endorsed statements that global warming is occurring, that it is caused mainly by mans’ activities, and it is causing undesirable changes in the environment. Sometimes the press doesn’t try to present both sides. Newspapers often report politician’s statements critical of climate science without balancing it with a scientist’s opinion. One example would be that many newspapers print Senator Inhofe’s famous statement “Global warming is a hoax.” but never point out that all four scientists at his hearing, even the skeptics, testified that the Earth was warming. Another point of view was expressed at the hearing by committee member Senator James Jeffords (I-VT) who said “ I can only say that I am sorry that I was not able to do more to change the minds of the few skeptics that remain in our nation. The climate is warming, it is due to human activity, and only a change in human behavior will ensure that my grandchildren will not suffer the consequences.”

Journalism Ethics: The solution to much of the bias would be for journalists and news media to follow the Ethical code of The Society of Professional Journalists, who believe that it is the ethical duty of the journalist to:

Seek the Truth and Report it: Journalists should be honest, fair and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information.

Act Independently: Journalists should be free of obligation to any interest other than the public’s right to know.

Be Accountable: Journalists are accountable to their readers, listeners, viewers and each other.

It is a principle of professional ethics that anyone who practices the profession, whether a member of the professional organization or not, is bound by the code of ethics of the profession. In this case, the ethical code would apply to anyone who reports the news.

(c) 2010 J.C. Moore

The Green Dragon : Is Global Warming a Religion?

Sat ,30/10/2010

How can a book go wrong with this introduction by Publius Redux? “Now, here is a novel analysis of the undercurrent of urgency and irrationality characteristic of climate doomsayers’ prophecy. This explains the haunting familiarity of the preaching and proselytizing we have endured from the climate change fearmongers.” (1)

Publius is introducing The Green Dragon by Dr. James Wanliss (2), a book about how environmentalism is committed to “the reconstruction of a pagan world order” and “rejection of Christian spirituality.” The author argues that the environmental movement “is a religion with a vision of sin and repentance, heaven and hell. It even has a special vocabulary, with words like ‘sustainability’ and ‘carbon neutral.’ Its saints are Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”

That would certainly add to Al Gore’s list of accomplishments, Vice President, acclaimed movie director, Nobel Prize Winner, now possibly a Saint. I’m not sure how you can Canonize the entire IPCC, or Al Gore while he is living, but reality is apparently not a problem here.

Dr. Wanliss is upset by the strength of the Christian environmental movement which is based upon good stewardship. He blames this on the National Council of Churches as he goes on “Both professing Protestants and Roman Catholics bear a burden of guilt for the current political mess we are in with the global warming and other hysterias,” he argues. “If the church had not turned from the gospel of Jesus Christ it is unlikely the Green Dragon would have been able to so deeply sink its fangs into our lives.”

Perhaps that’s a bit dramatic, but there’s more: “There has been, in past decades, a cosmic shift towards a social climate that begins to favor the environment — polar bears, trees, and bugs — over human beings.” Well, where would we be without the bears, trees,  environment, and umm … bugs?

He continues “environmentalists have infiltrated Christian higher education by careful placement of teachers and teaching materials on environmental activism in schools associated with the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. Little by little the wolves try to douse Christian resistance and lead sheep by troubled waters to accept the inevitability of a divine environmental movement.” And, according to him, they want to “synthesize a Christian environmentalism that can succeed “only by exorcising truth, and ultimately, by expelling Christianity.”

It’s hard to argue with that. Instead we’ll just fast forward to the reception Dr. Wanliss, Pablius, and their followers get when they stand before the Pearly Gates.

St. Peter: Why are all of you here?

Dr. Wanliss: We exposed the Global Warmists as pagans. We have saved Christianity from their influence. We’re here to claim our rightful place in heaven.

St. Peter, looking into a large black book: Hmmm. It says under Dr James Wanliss – “Poor stewardship, led a movement whose followers damaged the Earth that God had given man.”

Dr. Wanliss, looking nervous: We didn’t know it would turn out that way. Pollution is invisible – the changes to the Earth were so small at first – and we thought CO2 was only a plant food.

St. Peter: We gave you Science so you would understand those things. Didn’t you study it?

Dr. Wanliss: You know how those Global Warming scientists are, always going around casting doubt on our beliefs. You can’t be a Global Warmist scientist and be a Christian.

St. Peter, peering over his glasses: I don’t know. We’ve let a lot of them into Heaven. Who are you to judge them? And, he thundered, God is a little upset about that damage to the Earth.

Dr. Wanless, looking distraught: Are you going to send us to, to …?

St Peter: No, no. That’s not the punishment for poor stewardship. We’re going to send you back to Earth so you can clean up the mess you helped make of it.

Dr. Wanliss: But, but.. it’s hot down there and it’s certainly not a pleasant place to live. How would we know what to do?

St Peter, with a dismissive gesture: Some of you are scientists. Maybe you’ll get it right next time. We’ll check on you in 50 years. Poof!

(1) http://depantzd.newsvine.com/_news/2009/12/24/3674500-climate-the-new-god-of-left-wing-christianity (This article is now listed as  “removed by the Newsvine community”).


Environmental Hall of Fame/Shame 2009 Awards

Mon ,08/03/2010

Your votes have been tabulated for the person who has most affected the environment through word or deed. The 2009 winner in the in the Environmental Hall of Fame category is Benno Hansen. He is  a ThinkAboutIt Blogger from Copenhagen who recently was a winner of the the European blogging competition for his articles on the environment.  He will receive the “Most Noble Prize in Environmental Science” and a years subscription to Science News.

The winner in the Environmental Hall of Shame category is SpaceGuy, a Newsvine Blogger. He has seeded the most articles about the stolen CRU e-mails and has been a strong critic of climate change research. He has designed a Moon colony and  says he  “Is totally dedicated to getting us off this planet”.  He will  receive the “Ignoble Prize in Environmental Science” and a copy of the movie Wall-E, which characterizes his view of the future of Earth.

The votes are tabulated below:

Votes for Hall of Fame

  • Al Gore (10)
  • Senator Barbara Boxer  (2)
  • Benno Hansen,  ThinkAboutIt Blogger ( 11)
  • Govenor Arnold Schwarzenegger (1)

Votes for Hall of Shame

  • George Will (2 )
  • Senator James Inhofe (7)
  • SpaceGuy, Newsvine Blogger  (14)
  • Arthur B. Robinson (0 )

Vote for the Environmental Hall of Fame/Shame

Wed ,20/01/2010

The Nominating Committee has reached its decisions. Please vote for the person you think has most affected the environment through word or deed. The2009 winner in the in the Environmental Hall of Fame category will receive the “Most Noble Prize in Environmental Science” and a suitable gift. The winner in the Environmental Hall of Shame category will receive the “Ignoble Prize in Environmental Science” and a also suitable gift.

If you wish, please post a reason for your vote and a suggestion for a suitable gift for your favorite candidate. The author will buy the gifts from his Newsvine earnings so please don’t worry about the expense. Your votes may be given at http://que2646.newsvine.com/_news/2010/01/20/3783801-live-poll-vote-for-candidates-for-the-environmental-hall-of-fameshame

Nominees for Hall of Shame

  • George Will
  • Senator James Inhofe
  • SpaceGuy, Newsvine Blogger
  • Arthur B. Robinson

Nominees for Hall of Fame

  • Al Gore
  • Senator Barbara Boxer
  • Benno Hansen,  ThinkAboutIt Blogger
  • Govenor Arnold Schwarzenegger

Top 10 Reasons Real Scientists Will Not Debate …….Dissident Scientists

Mon ,18/01/2010

It is fashionable of late for some columnist and bloggers to call real scientists “alarmists” and to challenge them to a debate. George Will did so in his column, ”Generating heat over global warming” where he blasts “Anonymous scientists’ unspecified claims about the column’s supposedly myriad inaccuracies”. I do know of two scientists who had sent him e-mails pointing out some of his myriad inaccuracies but he keeps saying them. Maybe a debate is needed.

Cal Thomas, in “John McCain has joined the global warming cult”, claims McCain – and most of the world’s scientists – have been brainwashed by the charismatic Al Gore. Al must be good at it as he also mesmerized the Noble Prize Committee. Cal then issued a challenge for Al Gore and his global warming alarmists to debate Cal’s group of dissident scientists.

But, who are those dissident scientists? Years ago, the Wall Street Journal proclaimed “Science has spoken, global warming is a myth”. Wondering who spoke for science, I tracked the authors to a “think tank” where their job was to manufacture “scientific doubt”. The group was a little short on scientific credentials but they probably didn’t have much time for research, anyway. Most of them spent their time moonlighting for energy companies. However, I was amazed to find that they had discovered a number of “little known facts of science” using Lucy’s method:

Lucy: Charlie Brown, do you want to hear some little known facts of science?

Charlie Brown, looking puzzled: Wait a minute, if they are so little known, how do you know them?

Lucy: Because I’m the one who made them up.

Now that we’ve laid the groundwork for the debate, here are the top 10 reasons it won’t happen. Admittedly, some of the fault lies with the real scientists.

10. Real scientist do not want their cult exposed. They have a secret ritual called “research” which they are trying to keep from dissident scientists and columnists.

9. Real scientists don’t like to be labeled as “alarmists”. They are certainly alarmed but they just don’t like the columnists’ tone. They should remember that Paul Revere was an “alarmist”.

8. Real scientists feel outnumbered. Supposedly, 31,000 outraged scientists signed a petition denouncing global warming. The data was collected by a power company lobbyist and was analyzed using Lucy’s method. Many of the ” scientists” were undergraduate students in Bachelor of Science (BS) programs. One may get a BS degree in fields such as journalism, sociology, education, philosophy …. Still, no real scientist wants to debate an outraged philosophy major.

7. Real scientists are miffed. They have to work for years to discover nature’s secrets while think tank scientists can discover “little known facts of science” in minutes by using Lucy’s method.

6. Real scientists are really miffed. Think tank scientists, with their moonlight pay, earn waaay more than real scientists.

5. Dissident scientists won’t share their microphone. A debate almost occurred at a public forum on climate change sponsored by Prosperous Americans for Prosperity for their favorite Congressional candidate. A number of dissident scientists attended but, when a real scientist was discovered there, the moderator took the microphone to the other side of the room and ignored the scientist standing on his chair and waving.

4. Dissident scientists are not punctual The real debate took place in the 1980’s but the dissident scientists are just now showing up.

3. Dissident scientists don’t want real scientists to criticize their ideas. When 60 climate skeptics sent a letter to the Prime Minister of Canada denouncing global warming alarmists, Canada’s top climatologist pointed out: “by and large the skeptics are not climatologists, they do not come to our meetings, and they do not submit their studies to be peer reviewed”.

2. Dissident scientists won’t follow the normal rules of logic. A Senate hearing by Senator Jim Inhofe, using testimony from dissident scientists, found that the media was biased in reporting climate change. Therefore, it was concluded, global warming was a hoax. Hmmm?

And, number 1. Dissident scientists really want to debate just Al Gore. Al has refused, as he doesn’t think it’s fair to have a battle of facts with a group of unarmed men.