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Tilting at Windmills

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February 2, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

WHAT THE MARKET WILL BEAR....Compare and contrast. First this:

After ringing up the biggest annual profit figure in U.S. corporate history in 2005, Exxon Mobil yesterday announced that it topped that number in 2006. Riding the wave of high crude oil and gasoline prices, the company reported a profit of $39.5 billion, up 9 percent from the year before. Its revenue of $377.6 billion exceeded the gross domestic product of all but 25 countries.

Then this:

Scientists and economists have been offered $10,000 each by a lobby group funded by one of the world's largest oil companies to undermine a major climate change report due to be published today.

Letters sent by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), an ExxonMobil-funded thinktank with close links to the Bush administration, offered the payments for articles that emphasise the shortcomings of a report from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Seriously? These guys made $39.5 billion but were willing to pay scientists only ten grand each to whore themselves out writing reports and op-eds pretending there's some kind of serious doubt about the reality of human-induced global warming? Even though these scientists have kids to feed?

That's insulting. For this level of simpering I recommend holding out for at least $50,000. That's the minimum it would take to buy a congressman, after all.

Kevin Drum 10:42 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (89)

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Comments

you can get a congressman for half that!

Posted by: travy on February 2, 2007 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

Ten grand to sell yourself out?

What has the world come to?

Posted by: Tripp on February 2, 2007 at 10:56 AM | PERMALINK

If it were me, I'd want to hold out for the 250,000 or so they pay their stooges like D'Souza. Of course, those guys are at it full-time and then some. Maybe I'd settle for their $1000 per diem.

Posted by: Altoid on February 2, 2007 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

Do you remember the exact figures of subsidies given to oil companies? I always felt they were inappropriate under pretty much any circumstances, but with this news about Exxon Mobil, it's truly appalling.

Posted by: Brian on February 2, 2007 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

I think it would be very nice of anyone to track and post the names of the scientists that sell out. I think the world would want to know.

Posted by: DA on February 2, 2007 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

Accounting note: stock buy-backs don't count for or against profit -- it's not something that shows up on the profit or loss. So the profit wasn't "after" the stock buy-back.

Posted by: foobar on February 2, 2007 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

You pay more for good help, Kevin.

There are very few good writers left that will shill.

So, I guess indeed that is what the market will bear. There ain't many left, and that's what the bottom of the barrel costs these days.

Best,

D

Posted by: Dano on February 2, 2007 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

Kevin,

The net profit is unaffected by stock-buy-backs.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on February 2, 2007 at 11:19 AM | PERMALINK

For a $100k grant I'd do it. I'm plenty qualified--I write fiction.

Posted by: KathyF on February 2, 2007 at 11:20 AM | PERMALINK

It is interesting to note that the report Kevin quotes on Exxon-Mobil's profits comes from The Washington Post but the report about Exxon-Mobil's propganda division, the so-called "think tank" The American Enterprise Institute, paying scientists to lie about global warming, comes from the British newspaper The Guardian.

I wonder how widely Exxon-Mobil's campaign of deceit will be reported in the corporate-owned US media -- or if it will be reported at all.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 2, 2007 at 11:21 AM | PERMALINK

I agree, Kevin. The oil companies should pay more to scientists who refute the false science of global warming.

The academic community is overwhelmingly liberal, and any scientist brave enough to speak the truth about false science risks his career.

The oil companies should subsidize truth.

Posted by: Al on February 2, 2007 at 11:24 AM | PERMALINK

This is a free market people. Armstrong Williams and Maggie Gallagher are more valuable than scientists and they got paid accordingly. Do you want us to socialize bribes too? Moonbats can't stop trying to force big brother government down our throats.

Posted by: Al on February 2, 2007 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

Unlike liberals, conservatives don't need to be paid huge sums of money to get them speak truth to power.

That's fine Al, let us all know when you find one of the neocon "scientists" who writes an AEI article for free.

Posted by: tomeck on February 2, 2007 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

Now, if only Debra Saunders of the SF Chronicle can become certified as a scientist by the Fisherman's Wharf College of Science and Automotive Repair, she can collect the ten grand. She was just spewing a lot of "Hoax, Hoax, Hoax" nonsense this past week in her syndicated column for Hearst and listing several "scientific" shills bought and paid for the oil industry.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on February 2, 2007 at 11:26 AM | PERMALINK

The following story is completely true:

When I flew back to DC after my XMas holiday, it was 70 degrees on the ground when the plane arrived. I was sitting next to a (apparently quite decorated) US Army officer who observed the beautiful weather and announced, "Screw you, Al Gore!"

Hey AEI, I'll take cash or check, tks.

Posted by: mmy on February 2, 2007 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin -

THis just goes to show how mercenary Scientists are. If it's going on for those scientsts trying to get out the oil companies' message out, it's going on on the other side, too. Global warming is a huge cash cow.

ANyway, it's not like these scientists don't have other sources of income. Who's to say what the right amount is?

By the way, it's going to be cold in Virginia this week. Real global warming there.

Posted by: egbert on February 2, 2007 at 11:32 AM | PERMALINK

Speaking of "Think Tanks" - lets have some rules.

Rule number one: When you have been absolutely wrong about absolutely everything and the stakes are as high as a war, you have to stop calling yourselves a think tank.

SA: I have been hearing it reported on NPR. Nothing on the Times site yet, but the BBC has an article up.

I'm going to give the environmental think tanks time to respond than check out their sites this afternoon.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on February 2, 2007 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

Watch how long it takes before guys like Rush Limbauhg or Sean Hannity steal my story and start using it like it proves anything.

Posted by: mmy on February 2, 2007 at 11:33 AM | PERMALINK

Again, egbert - learn the fucking difference between "climate" and "weather" or STFU.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on February 2, 2007 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

Well, I'll retract what I said about the NY Times - I just checked their site again and an article has posted since I checked them a couple of hours ago.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on February 2, 2007 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

My dad the physicist said that he'd rather rob a bank than fake scientific data - because then you *might* not get caught.

Posted by: Emma Anne on February 2, 2007 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

Shouldn't there be some sort of internet marketplace for this sort of thing? People could post adds and make bids on whatever expert opinions they wanted to buy.

Examples:

"I am a married father of two. I'd like to keep smoking, but my wife and my kids are always on my case about it. I'll pay $500 for a doctor's written opinion that I am immune to lung cancer."

"Our chemical company is poised to make high profits through the reintroduction of DDT to American wetlands. We are prepared to negotiate six-figure terms for wildlife biologist who will partner with us in this endeavor."

"I am a president, but I'd like to be a king. I'll pay one million dollars (cash) for a Supreme Court opinion that the Constitution is no longer a binding document."

"I am a radio talk show host. If someone will just say that I'm smart, I'll pay whatever you want."

Posted by: Oregonian on February 2, 2007 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

It will be very interesting to watch how the Global Warming debate evolves over the next quarter century. Right now, we are getting ever more hysterical predictions of doom from the supporters of radical action, but there really hasn't been dramatic change yet in the Earth's climate. Eventually the apocalyptic warnings will have to be matched by dramatic (and overall detrimental) change, or the issue will fade from the political scene altogether.

Even though I believe we are warming the climate, I seriously doubt the changes will occur fast enough to force any real change in the use trajectory of fossil fuels.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on February 2, 2007 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

Mr. Drum is wrong. Congresscreatures will whore themselves out for well under $50,000. When Santorum was still polluting the Senate with his presence, he tried to restrict the National Weather Service from distributing its information gratis. Turns out that the NWS was making it difficult for a Santorum donor to make the big bucks, by distributing the very same (slightly reformatted) info, for a fee. I forget the exact figure, but I do remember that Santorum was willing to pull a train for the donor for something between $5000-$10,000. At the time, I thought that Santorum almost did a useful service -- now I know the baseline figure in case I want to cruise DC and get a "date".

Posted by: sglover on February 2, 2007 at 11:39 AM | PERMALINK

Being incompetent at even balancing a checkbook, I will take for granted that the statements here that stock buybacks do not formally count towards a company's profit or loss; however the funds expended in a buyback don't come out of thin air do they? Why should they not at least be notable in a consideration such as Kevin's?

Posted by: bmaz on February 2, 2007 at 11:40 AM | PERMALINK

It will be very interesting to watch how the Global Warming debate evolves over the next quarter century.

Are you mad? We don't have a quarter century to dither.

We have the juried science. When you get some, we'll talk. Until then, we must operate on the premise that all the peer reviewed science points to anthropogenic causes of climate change. Until you produce honest-to-god science, there is no debate.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on February 2, 2007 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

there really hasn't been dramatic change yet in the Earth's climate

    Australian State to Recycle Drinking Water

    CANBERRA, Australia Jan 29, 2007 (AP)— An Australian state plans to introduce recycled sewage to its drinking water as a record drought threatens water supplies around the nation, a state leader said Monday.

Dramatic enough for you?

Posted by: Oregonian on February 2, 2007 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

bmaz,

Why should we take note of Kevin's wrong claim that Exxon made more money than the reported $39 billion? Do you really require an answer?

Posted by: Yancey Ward on February 2, 2007 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

Yancey Ward: "Right now, we are getting ever more hysterical predictions of doom from the supporters of radical action ..."

The predictions are coming from climate scientists, and their predictions are entirely sober and fact-based, and in no way "hysterical".

It isn't "support for radical action" that motivates the increasingly dire predictions. It is the increasingly dire predictions that motivate support for radical action.

Yancey Ward: "... but there really hasn't been dramatic change yet in the Earth's climate."

Of course there has. You aren't paying attention.

To take only a single example, in 2003 an unprecedented heat wave killed tens of thousands of people in Europe. If an unprecedented heat wave hit the US and killed ten times as many people as the 9/11/2001 attacks, would you call that "dramatic"?

For the last couple of years climate scientists have been reported a steady stream of empirical observations of changes to the Earth's climate and biosphere, all caused by anthropogenic global warming, that are unprecedented in all of human history -- in tens of thousands of years -- and some are unprecedented in hundreds of thousands of years according to fossil records (e.g. ice cores).

The observed rapid, accelerating melting of polar and glacial ice is itself "dramatic". The melting of mountain glaciers will lead to the loss of fresh water supplies for hundreds of millions of people in decades.

You are not paying attention. You need to turn off Fox News, put down the Washington Times, turn off Rush Limbaugh, and start reading the UK press where the peer-reviewed scientific studies on all this stuff that are published in Science and Nature and other scientific journals are routinely treated as front-page news.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 2, 2007 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

Oregonian,

There have been droughts in Australia for time immemorial (it is a relatively dry continent afterall). Now this latest one is more severe than any recorded in history of the country, but it will eventually end like all the others have, and then what? Worries in Australia will fade until the next drought comes. A drought lasting 20 years in Australia would be dramatic, but even that would not cause any changes that you and others desire, and likely not even in Australia itself.

My point, perhaps poorly expressed, is that the changes would have to be so dramatic that a good part of the Earth's population would sit up and notice. Otherwise, inertia will carry us into the next century burning fossil fuels ever more.

Blue Girl,

It doesn't matter what the scientists say or believe. I am only addressing the realities of the situation. For there to be the type of changes that actually stops the carbon dioxide level from rising, there will have to be a world-shaking climate change event; and even with that, the required changes would take multiple decades, and might not even be taken anyway. Almost every person who advocates radical change seems to be completely oblivious to the true scope of what is required.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on February 2, 2007 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

Yancy Ward - I think I understand the theory of why stock buybacks are not part of the profit-loss calculation, but I was not sure. I simply thought one of the kind participants here might elaborate so that it might be more clear, both to me and others. It was an honest question; thank you for your extremely condescending response.

Posted by: bmaz on February 2, 2007 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

To give the devil his due, it has been reported the new CEO of Exxon has cut support to right wing anti-global warming groups and boosted funding exploring alternative energy sources. All very good - but the question remains: Is it too little too late.

Posted by: fafner1 on February 2, 2007 at 12:01 PM | PERMALINK

Telling egbert to STFU is like telling a skunk to take a bath.

Posted by: AnimalisticSecularizer on February 2, 2007 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

Yancey Ward wrote: "It will be very interesting to watch how the Global Warming debate evolves over the next quarter century."

We don't have a "quarter century" to debate it.

The actual debate in the scientific community right now is about whether we have as little as ten years to drastically reduce human GHG emissions to prevent unstoppable, irreversible, runaway, overwhelmingly catastrophic climate change -- or whether it is already too late due to self-reinforcing feedbacks (e.g. decrease in albedo from vanishing ice in the Arctic, release of massive amounts of carbon and methane from thawing permafrost, mass die-off of phytoplankton due to acidifying oceans) and saturation of the capacity of the oceans and terrestrial flora to absorb our excess CO2, all of which have already been observed and may already be beyond our ability to control.

The fake, phony, bullshit "debate" in the US about whether global warming and consequent climate change are happening, whether they are caused by human activities, and whether the effects will be severe is manufactured by the fossil fuel industry and their bought-and-paid-for shills like the phony "think tank" AEI and the right-wing media -- which is apparently where you get your information.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 2, 2007 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

SA,

Such a heatwave killed almost a 1000 people in Chicago in 1995 (and more likely died in the heatwaves of 1980) and probably thousands more in the midwest and northeast (here in CT, we set an all-time record high during the event), and yet here we are over a decade later and we can't even get people to accept an increase in the gasoline tax.

Your problem is that these events really aren't dramatic enough (even from a historical point of view), which is exactly my point. In addition, lets us say that action is taken- then another heat-wave comes along and kills thousands again. What do you suppose the people's reaction might be?

Posted by: Yancey Ward on February 2, 2007 at 12:09 PM | PERMALINK
It doesn't matter what the scientists say or believe. I am only addressing the realities of the situation.

The peer reviewed science is the best evidence available as to what the realities of the situation are.

For there to be the type of changes that actually stops the carbon dioxide level from rising, there will have to be a world-shaking climate change event;

This, of course, presumes that people are collectively incapable of foresight, which, while certainly often apparently the case, is not without exception the historical case. Certainly, there will likely have to be the kind of public attention that is most likely if there is a vivid demonstration of the potential for "World-shaking" events, but that doesn't inherently require an event that is, in and of itself, world-shaking.

and even with that, the required changes would take multiple decades, and might not even be taken anyway.

Perhaps. The purpose of advocacy is, of course, to affect the likelihood of the second half of that. But I fail to see your point here.

Almost every person who advocates radical change seems to be completely oblivious to the true scope of what is required.

While, of course, any sentence which uses "seems" in this kind of way is completely subjective, I don't really see any reason to say this; most of the people I've seen advocating radical change are well aware of, to the extent that they are valid, all the points you raise.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 2, 2007 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

Yancey Ward wrote: "My point, perhaps poorly expressed, is that the changes would have to be so dramatic that a good part of the Earth's population would sit up and notice."

The vast majority of the Earth's population has already "sat up and taken notice."

Unfortunately, a tiny minority of the Earth's population that is responsible for a disproportionately huge percentage of anthropic GHG emissions has not "taken notice", because they have been kept uninformed and ignorant about the reality of climate change through a deliberate compaign of deceit by the fossil fuel industry and its shills -- including the Bush administration, which as the Congressional hearings earlier this week showed, has systematically censored and suppressed scientific information about global warming and climate change.

Yancey Ward: "For there to be the type of changes that actually stops the carbon dioxide level from rising, there will have to be a world-shaking climate change event"

The world is already "shaking" with multiple such events. That's why the vast majority of the Earth's population is already concerned about climate change, and why the majority of industrialized nations long ago signed on to the Kyoto Treaty, and are already working towards establishing a new treaty framework that will persue much greater GHG reductions than those called for by Kyoto.

The US government, of course, is doing everything it can do disrupt and block this process, since the US government at present is a branch of Exxon-Mobil.

With the results of the November 2006 elections, this will begin to change, as evidenced by the various GHG reduction bills now being offered in both houses of Congress, Nancy Pelosi's call for establishing a House committee on climate change, the recent hearings in both the House and the Senate, etc.

Again, you are simply not paying attention to what is actually happening, either with climate change itself or with public responses to it, and you are speaking from a clearly ill-informed perspective.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 2, 2007 at 12:15 PM | PERMALINK

"Letters sent by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), an ExxonMobil-funded thinktank".

This line need fixing. AEI is not a thinktank; it's a belieftank. Doonesbury got this beautifully. A belieftank is just like a thinktank without the doubt.

Posted by: Jim Ramsey on February 2, 2007 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

bmaz,

You seemed to be saying that even if Kevin was wrong, it might be appropriate to consider what he wrote about the profit and stock-buy-back. Or, in other words, why should one bother to correct him. Sorry, for the condescending answer.

Stock buy backs are not costs of doing business, and thus don't count as expenses that detract from gross revenues. As a balance sheet matter, the buybacks can subtract from cash (it depends on where the cash to purchase the shares comes from), but the stockowner's equity in the company is unchanged since there are now fewer owners. Dividends paid also do not subtract from net profit. In both these cases, it is simply a method of distributing profits.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on February 2, 2007 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

This reminds me of the old joke with the punch line "we have already established what you are, now we are just negotiating price".

It doesn't really matter what they are willing to pay since they are paying for a result that they want as opposed to a review or examination of the science.

PS Blue Girl - good series of posts on Iran last night.

Posted by: Yelling in the fog on February 2, 2007 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK
Your problem is that these events really aren't dramatic enough

You seem to be operating from the rather naïve perspective that the political effect of events is due only to their inherent feature not how they are communicated and contextualized by the media; the fact is that perception of those events was shaped by how they were presented by the media at the time, itself shaped by elite opinion and awareness at the time; those opinions and awareness have shifted considerably since then and continue to shift based on information, and the presentation of events is beginning to be affected by that.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 2, 2007 at 12:20 PM | PERMALINK

SA,

And the population of the planet is still not doing anything significant about it. More fossil fuels were burned last year than in 2005. More will be burned this year than last. And this trend is sure to continue for another 20 years at a minimum. The only really shaking event that might really induce change is the ocean rising and flooding major coastal cities and towns. However, this change is not likely to happen quickly, but rather, over decades.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on February 2, 2007 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK

Thank you, Yelling in the Fog (a sentiment I share, btw).

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on February 2, 2007 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

How about that NASA scientist who got a quarter million dollars for whoring out to the democrats?

Posted by: Walter E. Wallis on February 2, 2007 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

I think Yancey Ward's "reasoning" is that since he's not standing in boiling water than there's no such thing as global warming.

Posted by: Dr. Morpheus on February 2, 2007 at 12:41 PM | PERMALINK

Yancey:And the population of the planet is still not doing anything significant about it. More fossil fuels were burned last year than in 2005. More will be burned this year than last. And this trend is sure to continue for another 20 years at a minimum. The only really shaking event that might really induce change is the ocean rising and flooding major coastal cities and towns. However, this change is not likely to happen quickly, but rather, over decades.

So are you advocating, that since it will take decades, we should just ignore it? Let's wait to the last minute and then decide we should do something?

When reportedly 90% of climate scientists sign on to this report, why, then, do the 10% remaining get equal time in your mind? Are you mining for oceanfront property there in CT?

The time is past due in rustling up resources to turn the tide.

Posted by: bigcat on February 2, 2007 at 12:42 PM | PERMALINK

We should remember that global warming is coupled with other dramatic man-made changes to the environment. Habitat fragmentation and degradation, including deforestation and the decline of coral reefs, are the major causes of declining biodiversity. Species extinction is now higher than it has been since the dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago.

Posted by: bellumregio on February 2, 2007 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

Yancey, it is true that fossil fuel combustion and corresponding GHG emissions have been increasing for years, and in recent years the annual rate of increase has been increasing, i.e. emissions have been accelerating.

It is also true that "business as usual" forecasts, like those of the International Energy Agency, project that worldwide energy consumption and corresponding GHG emissions will increase by around 50 percent over the next 25 years.

However, your comments to the effect that only major catastrophes such as "the ocean rising and flooding major coastal cities and towns" can possibly cause humanity to alter this trajectory is just your own opinion, and it is that opinion that I believe is ill-informed, in two respects:

1. Multiple major catastrophes are already underway, and are already affecting many millions of people, and most of the world outside the USA is well aware of this.

2. World opinion -- both of populations in general and of government and corporate leaders -- is already onside with the need for urgent and far-reaching changes to humanity's energy technologies, away from fossil fuels and towards clean, renewable, sustainable and climate-friendly technologies.

If humanity does fail to take the necessary actions to slow the growth of GHG emissions, level it off, and then rapidly reduce it, within at most a decade, then by the time that sci-fi disaster scenarios begin unfolding, it will be far too late to do anything about it.

You need to understand three things: that the CO2 we are emitting into the atmosphere is long-lived, that an enormous amount of it has been absorbed by the oceans and by terrestrial plant life, both of which are becoming saturated, and that an enormous amount of the heat that has built up has also been absorbed by the oceans, which also will not continue to function as a global heat sink much longer. So as a result of the GHGs we have already emitted, we are already committed to a lot more warming and a lot worse climate change than we have yet experienced, even if we stopped all human GHG emissions today.

I think you greatly understate the amount of harmful climate change that has already occurred, the rapidity with which even worse effects will be upon us, and the support among the public and world leaders for urgent action to address the problem (again, outside the US which is an anomaly, being essentially held captive by the oil industry which runs the executive branch of our government).

If your predictions turn out to be correct, and humanity does not find a way to drastically reduce GHG emissions within the next decade, and all those additional GHG emissions are added to the Earth's burden of the GHGs we have already emitted, then it is unlikely that human civilization will survive to the end of the 21st century.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 2, 2007 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

Folks

The up coming war with Iran will drive oil to $120 per barrel. That will drive the American economy into the ditch and will directly result in the US slowing its carbon emissions.

Clever little monkey that Dick Cheney. Who knew he was an environmentalist.

Posted by: Ron Byers on February 2, 2007 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

The media, and how they cover the events, will have an effect. However, to induce the change, these effects will have to be broadbased, and affect people's actual lives to induce the political changes required to stop most of the use of fossil fuels. Rather me being naive, it is those who really expect us to abandon fossil fuels based on rather seemingly unconnected weather events that are being naive and, in my opinion, just a little foolish.

As I wrote in my earlier comment, these predictions of doom will have to be matched by some actual doom to cause us to abandon, in any significant amount, the use of fossil fuels. If such an event does not occur, or does not occur rapidly, then the political will to switch fuel sources will not arise, at least not as a result of global warming. I think the advocates of such changes are shooting themselves in the foot by overdramatizing the effects of global warming.

We can debate this again in 20 years with the hindsight of what occurs in the interim. However, I feel it is a near certainty that the weather of the planet will be much the same as it is today (though it is likely to be a littel warmer), the CO2 levels will be 10-20% higher, and we will be burning even more fossil fuels and with an even higher barrier to change to overcome.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on February 2, 2007 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

SA

Great post. I agree with all that you say. I would suggest one further concern. Only by increasing the standard of living of third and second world countries to that of the first world do we have any hope of gaining a handle on population growth without something like a full blown nuclear war or a category 5 pandemic. The Chinese know that and are working hard to raise their standard of living first. I think they will then turn to lower their emissions.

Unless we can collectively find ways to expand world economies while simlutaneously reducing green house emissions our children are doomed.

I actually think we are clever enough to pull it off, but it is going to require a lot more thought and a lot less doom and gloom from all sides. Oh, if you look at the actions of the Bush/Cheney administration from the view point of pessimistic people who believe they are trying to manage the end of civilization (peak oil, global warming, etc) to protect the monied elites, you realize that the administration's actions are sort of logical--wrong but logical.

Posted by: Ron Byers on February 2, 2007 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK

Rather me being naive, it is those who really expect us to abandon fossil fuels based on rather seemingly unconnected weather events that are being naive and, in my opinion, just a little foolish.

No one expects us to do that.

People try to correct the demonstrably false appearance that the effects driven by climate change are "unconnected", to change the equation you describe.

And, again, I don't see your point, other than making a rather feeble argument that advocates of change should give up because the problem isn't obvious to people who aren't paying attention, and therefore advocating policy to address it is hard work that requires educating the public.

As I wrote in my earlier comment, these predictions of doom will have to be matched by some actual doom to cause us to abandon, in any significant amount, the use of fossil fuels.

Yes, you've claimed that. And I've already addressed the problem with that claim.

We can debate this again in 20 years with the hindsight of what occurs in the interim.

If you think it is pointless to debate now, you are free to drop out of the discussion: you certainly aren't adding anything of value to it, in the first place, and will not be missed.

However, I feel it is a near certainty that the weather of the planet will be much the same as it is today (though it is likely to be a littel warmer), the CO2 levels will be 10-20% higher, and we will be burning even more fossil fuels and with an even higher barrier to change to overcome.

I don't care what you feel, especially since you present no rational basis for anyone else to believe it, and yourself dismiss as relevant to your belief the actual peer-reviewed scientific evidence. You are making, essentially, a claim of quasi-religious faith on a matter subject to empirical investigation, and asking us to accept it as more authoritative than the results of empirical investigation.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 2, 2007 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

Yancey Ward: "If such an event does not occur, or does not occur rapidly, then the political will to switch fuel sources will not arise ..."

How is it possible that you are so ill-informed?

Are you unaware of the landmark global warming law, mandating large reductions in CO2 emissions, that was just passed by California's Democratic legislature and signed into law by California's Republican governor? Is that not an example of "political will"?

Are you unaware that Maryland is about to become the first state that gets a majority of its electricity from coal to join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a coalition of northeastern states that have agreed to take measures to reduce GHG emissions from electricity generation? Is that not an example of "political will"?

Are you unaware of the multiple bills that have been introduced in the US Senate just in the last month, by both Democratic and Republican Senators all aimed at reducing CO2 emissions nationally? Are you unaware of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's call for the establishment of a House committee -- not a subcommittee, but an entire committee -- to address global warming and the need to reduce reliance on fossil fuels? Are those not examples of "political will"?

Yancey Ward wrote: "I think the advocates of such changes are shooting themselves in the foot by overdramatizing the effects of global warming."

You provide no evidence whatsoever that anyone is "overdramatizing" anything.

Read the Summary for Policy Makers of the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report, which was just released today, for a conservative, cautious, science-based view of what global warming has in store for us if we continue on a business-as-usual trajectory.

You may "feel" that "it is a near certainty that the weather of the planet will be much the same as it is today" if we continue burning fossil fuels at current accelerating rates for 20 years, but your "feeling" has no basis in fact or science, and the overwhelming majority of the planet's climate scientists strongly disagree with you.


Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 2, 2007 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

It seems virtually certain IMHO that global warming is taking place. It seems likely that human activity contributes to it.

The weather models showing the impact of human activity also show that an enormous change in human conduct all over the world would be necessary to reverse global warming. This is a change that will never be accomplished. That's why the US Senate unanimously rejected the Kyoto treaty when Clinton was Presidcent.

Why do so many people claim to worry about global warming, yet recommend actions that cannot possibly work to cure the problem? Is it ignorance? Wishful thinking? Are they using the threat of global warming to achieve some other goal in which they believe? Is global warming a useful tool to bash business or bash Republicans? Is is a way to justify bigger, more powerful government?

One clue to the critics' lack of seriousness is their failure to criticize John Kerry and others who use private jets. A Gulfstream puts out over 10,000 pounds of CO2 per hour. http://www.emediawire.com/prfiles/2007/01/25/500303/co2chartcopy.jpg

Posted by: ex-liberal on February 2, 2007 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK
Why do so many people claim to worry about global warming, yet recommend actions that cannot possibly work to cure the problem?

Because anything that reduces the rate at which the problem is growing gives us more time to find ways to avoid what can be avoided, and ways to adjust to what is already beyond avoidance.

People treat diseases short of curing them all the time, either because the potential cure is too unpleasant, or because no cure is yet available.

People like you who advocate, implicitly or explicitly, doing nothing because (as you argue) a complete cure is either too disruptive to be practical or entirely impossible at the time are being idiots, and unsurprisingly are from the same political faction that has—and are often the exact same people that have—for decades denied there even was a problem to start with.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 2, 2007 at 1:58 PM | PERMALINK

ex-liberal wrote: "That's why the US Senate unanimously rejected the Kyoto treaty when Clinton was Presidcent."

You are both ignorant and dishonest and every reader of these pages knows it.

There are now multiple bills in the Senate which go beyond the requirements of the Kyoto Protocol in reducing US GHG emissions.

What the Senate did or didn't do ten years ago is irrelevant to what is happening today.

Your insinuations that those who want action to reduce GHG emissions are engaged in some sort of communist plot to destroy capitalism is idiotic, absurd right-wing boilerplate.

On January 22, the CEOs of Alcoa, BP America, Caterpillar Inc., Duke Energy, DuPont, General Electric and PG&E Corporation held a press conference to call for national mandatory reductions in US GHG emissions.

Do you seriously expect anyone to believe that these businessmen are using global warming as an excuse to "bash business"?

Do you get your talking points from "Rush Limbaugh For Dummies"?

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 2, 2007 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

Ex-liberal: Above you say:

seems virtually certain IMHO that global warming is taking place. It seems likely that human activity contributes to it.

The weather models showing the impact of human activity also show that an enormous change in human conduct all over the world would be necessary to reverse global warming. This is a change that will never be accomplished.

Yet about 3 months ago you were saying:

1. How much of global warming is caused by man's contibution to greenhouse gases?

2. Can we solve the global warming problem by reducing our creation of greenhouse gases?

The answer to #1 is unclear. Some popular weather models show that man's activities are big contributors to global warming. However, these models haven't really been validated. I'm not sure they could be, since they predict phenomena that take place over decades.

Posted by: ex-liberal on November 19, 2006 at 1:38 PM

I am glad to see that the science has progressed so much in 3 months so that now the weather models are apparently validated. Of course they are still not climate models but we all know that doesn;t matter.

You wouldn't be making stuff up would you?

Posted by: Yelling in the fog on February 2, 2007 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

Can we stop comparing revenues of a company to GDP's of other countries? They're completely unrelated, and the comparison is akin to choosing two very large numbers at random and pointing out how one is bigger than the other.

Posted by: neil on February 2, 2007 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

As "Yelling in the fog" has documented, the dittoheads appear to have finally reached that long-awaited turning point on the issue of global climate change.

Before February '07: "It's too soon to tell."

After February '07: "It's too late to do anything about it."

Posted by: Oregonian on February 2, 2007 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

Sounds to me like this whole issue boils down to three options for mankind:

1...Nuclear Energy (not Fossil)

2...Bicycles (not Cars)

3...Global Warming

Take your pick!

Posted by: Rhythmwize on February 2, 2007 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

Exxon's certainly not shy about flinging some of their hard-earned money to those committed to the do-nothing approach to climate change. Here's a partial list I stumbled across.

http://www.exxonsecrets.org/html/listorganizations.php

I'm always amused by the notion that those promoting strategies to combat GG emissions are doing so for crass financial gain (climatologist zillionaires!). How much of the world's expenditure on climate research could have been funded with Lee Raymond's retirement package?

Posted by: Trollhattan on February 2, 2007 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

It isn't possible to do serious, institutional scientific research on $10,000. That kind of money will just about pay for traveling around interviewing the various contrarians, buying their books, and cobbling the "research" together into Why Climate Change is a Hoax between suntanning and sailing at a resort on tropical, warm Ellesmere Island, Canada.

Posted by: sara on February 2, 2007 at 3:34 PM | PERMALINK

"Can we stop comparing revenues of a company to GDP's of other countries? They're completely unrelated, and the comparison is akin to choosing two very large numbers at random and pointing out how one is bigger than the other."

Notice, though, that the article fails to present two numbers crucial to assessing its "bought and paid for" claim - the time period over which the donations were made and AEI's yearly budget. Probably because $1.6M over 10 years as against the AEI's $25-40M annual budget just doesn't look that impressive. Lazy reporting for a gullible readership, at best.

Posted by: scouser on February 2, 2007 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely: Because anything that reduces the rate at which the problem is growing gives us more time to find ways to avoid what can be avoided, and ways to adjust to what is already beyond avoidance.

I agree in principle. However, the tiny impact of the steps that are being proposed means that they are also a way of doing nothing.

People treat diseases short of curing them all the time, either because the potential cure is too unpleasant, or because no cure is yet available.

People like you who advocate, implicitly or explicitly, doing nothing because (as you argue) a complete cure is either too disruptive to be practical or entirely impossible at the time are being idiots,

Actually, I don't propose doing nothing. I propose taking steps that have a realistic chance of doing some good, namely:

1. Put more resources into finding a practical way to control global warming. E.g., I saw an article discussing reflecting a certain percentage of the sun's rays.

2. Put more resources into dealing with global warming, because chances are we won't succeed in preventing it. E.g., we should begin building dikes around low-lying islands.

If resources were unlimited, there would be nothing wrong with cutting carbon emissions, no matter how useless it was. But, we don't have unlimited resources. I think we should use what resources we have to do things that are likely to actually help.

Posted by: ex-liberal on February 2, 2007 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK
However, the tiny impact of the steps that are being proposed means that they are also a way of doing nothing.

You present no reason to believe that is true of the actual combination of steps any actual group is proposing.

Actually, I don't propose doing nothing. I propose taking steps that have a realistic chance of doing some good, namely:

1. Put more resources into finding a practical way to control global warming. E.g., I saw an article discussing reflecting a certain percentage of the sun's rays.

Looking for something else to do when there are practical steps already available is doing nothing, and the particular exampel you cite is a horrendously bad way of counteracting warming due to changes it atmospheric composition, as it would endanger plant life, crops, and ecosystems independently of its temperature effects.

2. Put more resources into dealing with global warming, because chances are we won't succeed in preventing it. E.g., we should begin building dikes around low-lying islands.

Most people who advocate change to reduce the magnitude of the impacts of global warming acknowledge that some impacts are now inevitable and must be addressed in ways like this, so this isn't "doing something" in a way that advocates of actually addressing the underlying problem aren't already advocating as also necessary.

If resources were unlimited, there would be nothing wrong with cutting carbon emissions, no matter how useless it was. But, we don't have unlimited resources. I think we should use what resources we have to do things that are likely to actually help.

Cutting carbon emissions is pretty much the only thing that actually can help deal with the underlying problem, and no one argues that we shouldn't deal with the effects that we've already made inevitable by failing to address the underlying problem sooner.

Posted by: cmdicely on February 2, 2007 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

"1. Put more resources into finding a practical way to control global warming. E.g., I saw an article discussing reflecting a certain percentage of the sun's rays. "

That's not a practical way of dealing with global warming. Inadvertent effects, and all that. Plus, it'll cost in the same order of magnitude as reducing or sequestering CO2.

"But, we don't have unlimited resources. I think we should use what resources we have to do things that are likely to actually help."

Ahh, crap. The costs of mitigating CO2 emissions are going to run on the order of $50-100/tonne CO2, with current technology (actually, the technology to capture CO2 is about 100 years old, but still). That works out to be (apologies if I get the math wrong, I'm working from memory) about 50-100 cents/gallon. No fun, but no return-to-the-neolithic. Maybe less cost, with cap-and-trade and new technologies reducing the cost in the same way cap-and-trade did with acid gas removal. Or, to put it another way, about 1% of GDP. Which means increase of quadrupuling our GDP/capita by 2100, we'll have to wait until 2105 or so.

And stave off this, you propose some half-ass scheme to stick an umbrella at a LaGrange point. Exactly why should we take you seriously.

To draw an analogy, if you're bleeding, I bandage the wound first to stop the blood loss before thinking about putting an IV blood transfusion line in.

Posted by: No Longer a Urinated State of America on February 2, 2007 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

'That works out to be (apologies if I get the math wrong, I'm working from memory) about 50-100 cents/gallon.'

That 50-100 cents/gallon gasoline, BTW.

Posted by: No Longer a Urinated State of America on February 2, 2007 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

The sad thing is that with our current economy there are fewer positions where a person with great skill or knowledge can push for and get better pay. It seems there are always plenty of foreigners who'll do that job for pennies.

Why does the invisible hand of economics always slap down the poor guy, but Exxon can make more money than God?

Posted by: MarkH on February 2, 2007 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

No Longer a Urinated State of America wrote to ex-liberal: "Exactly why should we take you seriously."

There is exactly no reason to take "ex-liberal" seriously. He is thoroughly dishonest, and a mindless regurgitator of idiotic, scripted right-wing talking points. His every comment is a case study in Bush-bootlicking mental slavery.


Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 2, 2007 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK
Global warming is a huge cash cow.

Um ... how?

But, we don't have unlimited resources.

Actually, both wind and solar power are pretty unlimited. Well, until the sun goes out, but by then energy will be the least of our worries ...

Posted by: Unholy Moses on February 2, 2007 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

No Longer a Urinated State of America seems to think that the United States equals the world. Maybe the US could cut its carbon emissions for the amount s/he says (although I don't know what that money would buy), but what about the rest of the world.

We can't convince China to support keeping nukes out of NK. We can't convince Iran to stop killing our troops. How do we convince those countries to pay the .50 to $1.00 per gallon?

If Kyoto were fully adopted and complied with, it would give us 6 more years in the next century. That is, the the predicted temperature in 2100 would be postposed to 2106. That's all.

Furthermore, the world has made it clear that they won't comply with Kyoto. The US Senate rejected it. Countries that signed on didn't comply.

In short:

1. I agree with NLAUSOA that the US has the resources to comply with Kyoto.

2. I don't believe the US has the will to comply with Kyoto.

3. The rest of the world lacks the will and/or resources to comply with Kyoto.

4. Even if the whole world complied with Kyoto, it would do only a small amount of good.

Posted by: ex-liberal on February 2, 2007 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

ex-lib ... you've been consistently wrong about everything ELSE related to global warming for the past 4 years ... why exactly should anyone with 2 functioning neurons listen to your advice NOW?

go talk with your biostat wife ... I'm sure she'll explain why you, as a scientific illiterate, should be ignored.

Posted by: Nads on February 2, 2007 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

The reality is that the rest of the world has moved beyond Kyoto already, and has recognized the need for much greater reductions in GHG emissions than those mandated by Kyoto, and is already holding negotiations to establish a post-Kyoto treaty regime for global reductions. China in particular clearly recognizes the urgent need to reduce GHG emissions, because their effects combined with other horrible effects from massive pollution -- much of it from burning coal -- threaten to wreck China's economy. California's Democratic legislature and Republican governor passed a landmark GHG reduction bill that goes beyond the mandates of Kyoto. Bills are already introduced in the Senate that go beyond Kyoto, which have bipartisan support.

While all of this is going on, ignorant dittoheads like ex-liberal are still whining about Kyoto, because Rush Limbaugh tells them to, and all they know how to do is to slavishly repeat whatever Rush Limbaugh says.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 2, 2007 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK
We can't convince China to support keeping nukes out of NK.

Since keeping nukes out of a place they already exist is a logical impossibility, that's hardly surprising: this merely proves that China's leaders are, in this respect, sane and in touch with reality.

We can't convince Iran to stop killing our troops.

Heck, the administration can't even present evidence Iran is actually doing that, much less convince them to stop.

If Kyoto were fully adopted and complied with, it would give us 6 more years in the next century.

No, the next century would still have 100 years.

That is, the the predicted temperature in 2100 would be postposed to 2106. That's all.

Ignoring the relevance, since many places are going beyond Kyoto anyhow, so what Kyoto alone and nothing else would do is hardly important, where is the proof of this?


Posted by: cmdicely on February 2, 2007 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

The devastating drought in Australia and the decline of Great Barrier Reef has even brought Bush’s only remaining ally Prime Minister John Howard to the global warming table. Most world elites, CEOs, politicians, and other policy-makers regard Bush and his Republicans (who offer the most enlightened 19th century leadership available in the world today) as irrelevant and are proceeding with any number of global issues on their own. It is a great irony. Bush was trying to make America matter more but ended up hastening an inevitable decline. Because of the most incompetent conservative policies over the last 30 years the United States now has a staggering deficit, a zero savings rate, a hollow industrial sector, and a never-ending failed war for control of an obsolete resource.

Posted by: bellumregio on February 2, 2007 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

Did anyone see Waxman's hearing on the Bush administration censoring US climate change scientists on C-span (NASA, NOAA) this week? The testimony showed just how outrageous the censoring is (was). All US government climate change scientists have government 'minders' now to accompany them to media interviews. The censors did more than change language, they actually changed the meaning of 'conclusions' in scientific papers and reports.

I'm just hoping that when the US gets around to
being serious about global warming that the politicians don't have a major say in what the CO2 reduction plans will be. So far I get the feeling that most politicos are looking for economic advantage rather than the best method of CO2 reduction. Although I'm not a scientist, the ethanol route seems not to be the best answer but would be hugely advantageous to big agriculture. I think that wind or solar offer the best alternatives to carbon-based energy production.
I haven't come to a conclusion about transportation sector problems. Fuel-cell technology, with the hydrogen produced by wind energy? (Hope I haven't gotten two technologies mixed up.) But most importantly, I want to hear the voices of the scientific and environmental communities in this debate, not the energy and agricultural lobbyists. It's quite possible the tipping point has been reached and even if we stopped all use of fossil fuels tomorrow we'd still be in for a devastating millenium. That seems to be what the new UN report indicates.
Why didn't anyone pay attention to this back when Al Gore's professor first noticed the warming trend and understood the mechanism at work back in the 60's?

Posted by: nepeta on February 2, 2007 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

"Why didn't anyone pay attention to this back when Al Gore's professor first noticed the warming trend and understood the mechanism at work back in the 60's?"

I'm going to answer my own question. A concerted effort by Big Oil to deny and obfuscate all early research?

Posted by: nepeta on February 2, 2007 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

Acually ethanol is not a bad tecnique. Unlike coal, gasoline, or natural gas, burning ethanol is not adding new CO2 to the environment. The CO2 emitted by ethanol was mostly pulled out of the air in a recent growing cycle. Burning is not the problem. The problem is burning gasoline, coal or natural gas that has been sequestered in the ground for millions of years.

Posted by: Ron Byers on February 2, 2007 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

For any intelligent people (as opposed to ex-liberal) still reading this thread --

The American Solar Energy Society today released a 200 page report, "Tackling Climate Change in the US: Potential U.S. Carbon Emissions Reductions from Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency by 2030" which outlines how the USA can reduce its carbon emissions by 60 to 80 percent by 2030 with improvements in efficiency and deployment of existing clean, renewable energy technologies.

The 60 to 80 percent reduction is in line with what is needed to keep CO2 concentrations below 450 to 500 ppm, which is what most scientists believe is necessary to prevent the worst effects of global warming.

Fifty-seven percent of the carbon reductions are from energy efficiency improvements, and forty-three percent are from renewables. No expansion of nuclear power is included in the proposal.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on February 2, 2007 at 6:18 PM | PERMALINK

There are two carbon cycles. The Biological, or short, Carbon Cycle is not the problem. The CO2 that is released when biofuels are burned is CO2 that was taken up by the plants in the photosynthesis and respiration process.

The Geologic, or long, carbon cycle is the one causing all the problems. There is no balance to burning fossil fuels.

Posted by: on February 2, 2007 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

Well now, that was interesting.

The BioBlog at school operates off the same publishing platform as Political Animal, but at school I can post answers and pose questions without identifiers. It looks like toggling between that blog and this one I managed to post without my screen name. Weird.

Anyway, that was me, singing my familiar refrain about the difference between the carbon cycles.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka Global Citizen) on February 2, 2007 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

Do you remember the exact figures of subsidies given to oil companies? I always felt they were inappropriate under pretty much any circumstances, but with this news about Exxon Mobil, it's truly appalling.
Posted by: Brian

See below:


'For the last 100 years, the government has used money from the general fund to subsidize energy to keep it as cheap as possible for Americans, ostensibly to encourage economic growth. Now those hidden costs – which include tax breaks for the oil industry, accounting giveaways, direct subsidies for some oil and gas production and the cost of protecting oil and natural gas shipping lanes – may total around $39 billion a year, according to Doug Koplow, who studies energy subsidies for Boston-based Earth Track.' - Lisa Margonelli
http://pipeline.blog.nytimes.com/

I'd bet a couple of bucks (depreciating by the minute) the real figure is 3X this amount in hidden subsidies.

Posted by: MsNThrope on February 3, 2007 at 6:56 AM | PERMALINK

It is important to consider the % profit margin, even in the case of Exxon-Mobil, not just the absolute amount. We can control excessive profits through a graduated corporate income tax, which taxes a higher percent of higher profit margins.

tyrannogenius

Posted by: Neil B. on February 3, 2007 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

You missed the point. Those quacks have already proven themselves to be whores by selling themselves to radical socialist kook causes for tax dollars. So the only question left is the price. There's nothing unreasonable about starting low when negotiating with whores. After all, the job in this case is hardly difficult as anyone who ever took even a grade school science class can debunk the global warming hoax quicker than a talented whore can give a BJ to a high school kid.

Posted by: William R. James on February 4, 2007 at 1:27 AM | PERMALINK

"as anyone who ever took even a grade school science class can debunk the global warming hoax"

I think this might be the most disturbing aspect both of this debate in particular and most debates in general. People who are simply not qualified to argue with scientists, doctors, etc. think their meager education makes them qualified.
It's disturbing how often I'll hear people do this, and it's a huge part of the appeal of right-wing populism (think Rush Limbaugh and his constant assertions on subjects he has no business arguing), this idea that everyday people have an opinion worth hearing. We mostly don't.
An educated opinion is worth listening to, no matter the side. An uneducated one is a waste of time, and steals from our lives.

Posted by: Mike B. on February 4, 2007 at 7:34 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah right... as if corporations are immune from the rules of reality. Hey Bozo! Here's a free clue... Businesses have taxes as a cost. Like any other business cost, they are a pert of the price of the product or service the business sells. All taxes on all business are nothing more than a hidden tax on the consumers. So go ahead, tax the evil businesses so you can pat yourself on the back while you moan and whine about the prices they charge. While you whine, Exxon-Mobil makes a few cents per gallon while government makes half a buck or more.

Posted by: William R. James on February 5, 2007 at 3:16 AM | PERMALINK

Mike, I'm quite certain that my background in science far exceeds yours. Obviously, my "right to argue" does, in spite of your rather typical position that anyone who questions your religion is a heretic.

No matter how you choose to paint it, your faith in the global warming hoax is absolutely identical in every way to the faith other fanatic zealots have in their religions. You believe without evidence, you follow without question or thought, you demand everyone else follow as blindly, and anyone who points out reality to you is subject to attacks.

The IPCC is a POLITICAL org, NOT a scientific org. They are part of and loyal to a club (the UN) made up mostly of third world dictators, and even those not acting exclusively in their masters' behalf on their masters' orders, are virtually all confirmed socialists acting on those ideals and getting their paychecks from socialists and or from tax dollars where scaremongering is a lucrative scam.

The IPCC has, from day one, been very consistant in their method of ignoring anything which doesn't match their agenda and promoting anything which does in spite of the data presented.

But don't let me stand in the way of you practicing your faith. Thump your bible and pat yourself on the back. You are a good soldier for your religion. Just don't try to tell us you respect science.

William R. James

Posted by: William R. James on February 5, 2007 at 3:31 AM | PERMALINK

"Mike, I'm quite certain that my background in science far exceeds yours."

If it does, then you have an informed opinion, and are not the subject of what I said. That you pretend not to know that makes me certain that you don't care, but are simply trying to levy assertions which you think will "win" the argument.

"Obviously, my "right to argue" does, in spite of your rather typical position that anyone who questions your religion is a heretic."

That you call it a religion makes me think you're full of it. I begin to doubt your background, since if yours does exist, it should make you less likely to make these nonsense assertions.

"No matter how you choose to paint it, your faith in the global warming hoax is absolutely identical in every way to the faith other fanatic zealots have in their religions."

This is so obviously wrong that you make it clear you're nothing but a crank and a troll. Why should anyone waste their time on your nonsense?

"You believe without evidence, you follow without question or thought, you demand everyone else follow as blindly, and anyone who points out reality to you is subject to attacks. "

This is what most people call projection. I have evidence (for starters, the IPCC puts out some interesting material, if you'd care to look) and it seems you have none. Assertion doesn't count as evidence, just so you know.

"The IPCC is a POLITICAL org, NOT a scientific org. They are part of and loyal to a club (the UN) made up mostly of third world dictators"

Idiotic right-wing drivel. But, then you obviously don't care.

"But don't let me stand in the way of you practicing your faith. Thump your bible and pat yourself on the back. You are a good soldier for your religion. Just don't try to tell us you respect science. "

I have yet to decide if this idiotic ranting (as is usual among your political ilk) is funny or scary. That you vote, probably, makes it scary. That you think it means anything makes it funny. I'll leave it you to decide which, I suppose.

Posted by: Mike B. on February 5, 2007 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

That's it Brother! Attack them heathens who dare question the faith! Just like a typical zealot, nothing new hre folks....

You are right about one thing. I have no proof or even evidence of a negative in an open set. The difference between me and you religious zealots is that I don't claim to and I don't insist that the heathens be converted. What I do insist on is calling a spade a spade and pointing out the fact that con men peddling pseudoscience are frauds whether they are peddling fat pills, penis enlargement, cancer cures, talking to the dead, or scaremongering for tax dollars. And I insist on resisting when quack peddling kooks try to impose socialist scams on me and mine based on nothing more than their agendas propped up with fake science claims. I respect the scientific method and it's long history of improving life and knowlege. I just wish more people (like you) respected it enough to learn enough to recognize the frauds even when they support your socialist ideals.

Posted by: William R. James on February 6, 2007 at 1:21 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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