Global warming reversals

In 2009, Sen. Mark Kirk (R--Ill.), then a congressman, voted for a bill that would have regulated greenhouse gases--a bill that died in the Senate. Kirk later did an about-face on global warming. In January he explained that "the consensus behind the climate change bill collapsed and then further deteriorated with the personal and political collapse of [former] Vice President Gore."

A few days later, Sen. James Inhofe (R--Ok.) defended his new bill to stonewall the Environmental Protection Agency's research into greenhouse gases' negative health effects, bemoaning his former position: "I have to admit--and, you know, confession is good for the soul...I, too, once thought that catastrophic global warming was caused by anthropogenic gases--because everyone said it was."

Such mawkish and insubstantial explanations--pious confession rhetoric, ad hominem attacks on Al Gore--demonstrate a cavalier attitude toward the environment. Fortunately, while the House voted last week to block the EPA from enforcing its Supreme Court-backed regulation of greenhouse gases, senators opposed to EPA regulation couldn't come up with the votes--and attempts to include such a provision in the budget deal failed. But they're likely to try again.

Barack Obama's election restored buoyancy to environmental groups. But after the Climategate scandal of 2009--a scandal based on allegations discredited by three separate investigations--elected officials like Kirk and Inhofe took the opportunity to change their views on global warming. Their flimsy explanations for this often echo the standard global-warming denier's talking point: "There's nothing conclusive about the evidence." This phrase has become the Republicans' go-to antiphon, their response to whatever argument someone gives them.

Opponents of greenhouse-gas regulation are focusing on its potential economic effects. But while nobody pretends that carbon emission caps and efficiency upgrades won't cost anything, the EPA recognizes that short-term corporate budget strains aren't the whole picture--and that the benefits outweigh the costs.

For instance, in response to Rep. John Carter's (R.--Tex.) recent attempt to block efforts to cut cement plant emissions, the EPA provided data demonstrating that the regulation would produce public health benefits seven to 19 times greater than its economic costs. Or take Representative Ed Whitfield's (R.--Ken.) objection that new fuel economy standards would add $948 to the cost of each car by 2016. The EPA countered with a study showing that over time, consumers would save more than that on gas-about $3,000 over the lifetime of a 2016 vehicle.

Job creation estimates favor green policy as well. Ceres--a national coalition of investors, environmental groups and other public interest organizations addressing sustainability challenges--issued a report in February showing that the EPA's new power plant regulations would generate hundreds of thousands of jobs over five years.

In all, the EPA estimates $240 billion in benefits, compared to $52 billion in costs. These pro-environment policies are hard to dismiss even in a debate focused only on the economy. What's more, voters may decide that public health concerns should trump party loyalty and political maneuvering. Then Kirk and Inhofe will have to find new explanations for their about-faces on global warming.

Join the Conversation

Comments

A Prayer for Global Warming

Global warming "science" is far, far from conclusive. "Experts" on the other end of the spectrum are equally convinced that people have virtually no impact. See things like http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/greenhouse_data.html. In response to both sides I have to return to a statement that no legitimate scientist can refute: on its good days, science is incomplete. The rest of the time it is just plain wrong. If you need proof, why did the father of modern physics (on his good days) subscribe to alchemy (the rest of the time)?

Don't be fooled into believing that we are better informed today. We are barely able to forecast the local weather tomorrow, and our best forecasts are always wrong in many respects. "Scientific" models on global climate are not any better, and are hardly even worth calling science at all. The scientific method requires a number of things, not the least of which are objective, measurable data, and the ability to repeat results. The data are all over the board. Repeatability? We can't produce the predicted result (for either side of the argument), much less produce it again. That said, if our best models indicate that less ghg is better, we should try to produce less.

Turning from rank political overtones and pseudo-science to something a little more personal and a lot more eternal, a leading figure of the Great Awakening went reluctantly to a meeting where Martin Luther's preface to the book of Romans was read. That evening, John Wesley felt that his heart was strangely warmed. His lackluster career in the church, complete with abject failure in the mission field, was transformed into one of the most dynamic ministries in the last 300 years. My prayer today is for the same thing to happen in every heart around the world--a true demonstration of global warming.

Global Warming

Pure Bull!!

The empirical data contradicts the chicken little CAGW hysteria

I don't know about the live faithfully part, but think critically was not exhibited in the artical. What was discredited by three separate investigations? DO YOUR HOME WORK AND READ THE EMAILS AND THE INVESTIGATION REPORTS. The faith in authority that you proclaim- catastrophic global warming threatens the planet according to the IPCC- is just that , a proclamation. The empirical data is contrary. There have been 20 years of warming, 1978-1998, in the last 63 years. Before 1978 there was 30 years of slight cooling. Since 1998 temperatures have flatlined with no additional warming. There is no unprecedented warming. The 20 years of warming, 1978-1998, was statistically the same as the 20 years of warming from 1922-1942. The warming of the last 63 years and the previous 63 years are about the same. In fact, there has been about 0.7C +/- 0.2C warming per century for the last 300 years since the Little Ice Age This can all be easily confirmed at NOAA. . Todays warming is a continuation of that trend with no indication that carbon emissions have changed the gradual warming. Faith based on the authority of the IPCC climate scientists or science based on empirical data- which do you choose?

empiracal data confirms predictions

Contrary to what the poster above said, the empirical data are fully in line with the model predictions of the warming of the planet under our quickly rising CO2 concentration.
We have added 40% to the pre-industrial CO2 levels over the last century. The temperature has been rising with a steady trend:

http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/

Recent papers underline the severity of the issue:

http://www.nature.com/climate/2009/0907/full/climate.2009.57.html

Those who carelessly calling the scientists who are revealing the inconvenient truth to us "chicken little" better be prepared to swallow their pride.

The next generation will not be kind to those telling us not to care today for the well being of our descendants.

learn some statistics

Warmers: how do they work?

Post proof of assertions

" In fact, there has been about 0.7C +/- 0.2C warming per century for the last 300 years since the Little Ice Age This can all be easily confirmed at NOAA. "

Maybe you should show us, because I can't find the last 300 years, just the last 130.
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/service/global/global-land-ocean-mntp-anom...

You say a lot of bull, but fail to back it up. I showed you mine, you show me yours, because I'm going to take your word for it!

Join the Conversation via Facebook

To post a comment, log inregister, or use the Facebook comment box.