Posts tagged ‘global warming’

June 4, 2011

Romney Believes In Anthropogenic Global Warming — Reduces Presidential Chances To Zero

by Ben Hoffman

(Reuters) – Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney broke with Republican orthodoxy on Friday by saying he believes that humans are responsible, at least to some extent, for climate change.

“I believe the world is getting warmer, and I believe that humans have contributed to that,” he told a crowd of about 200 at a town hall meeting in Manchester, New Hampshire.

“It’s important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may be significant contributors.”

Read more…

Right-wingers are told to not believe in man’s contribution to global climate change and they are adamant about it. Although the vast majority of scientists agree that man is contributing to climate change, any scientist who denies it is good enough “proof” that it’s not real.

So Romney has three strikes against him: He’s a Mormon. He implemented the health reform in Massachusetts in which “Obamacare” is based. And he believes in global warming.

He’s also smart, logical, and doesn’t seem to be overly religious. Therefore, to a right-winger, he’s not one of them. There’s no way in hell they’re going to make him the Republican candidate.

April 28, 2011

The Republican War on Science

by Ben Hoffman

There is overwhelming scientific consensus that greenhouse gases emitted by human activity are causing global average temperatures to rise. Conservative think tanks are trying to undermine this conclusion with a disinformation campaign employing “reports” designed to look like a counterbalance to peer-reviewed studies, skeptic propaganda masquerading as journalism, and events like the AEI luncheon that Crichton addressed. The think tanks provide both intellectual cover for those who reject what the best science currently tells us, and ammunition for conservative policymakers like Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), the chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee, who calls global warming “a hoax.”

This concerted effort reflects the shared convictions of free-market, and thus antiregulatory, conservatives. But there’s another factor at play. In addition to being supported by like-minded individuals and ideologically sympathetic foundations, these groups are funded by ExxonMobil, the world’s largest oil company. Mother Jones has tallied some 40 ExxonMobil-funded organizations that either have sought to undermine mainstream scientific findings on global climate change or have maintained affiliations with a small group of “skeptic” scientists who continue to do so. Beyond think tanks, the count also includes quasi-journalistic outlets like Tech (a website providing “news, analysis, research, and commentary” that received $95,000 from ExxonMobil in 2003), a columnist, and even religious and civil rights groups. In total, these organizations received more than $8 million between 2000 and 2003 (the last year for which records are available; all figures below are for that range unless otherwise noted). ExxonMobil chairman and CEO Lee Raymond serves as vice chairman of the board of trustees for the AEI, which received $960,000 in funding from ExxonMobil. The AEI-Brookings Institution Joint Center for Regulatory Studies, which officially hosted Crichton, received another $55,000. When asked about the event, the center’s executive director, Robert Hahn—who’s a fellow with the AEI—defended it, saying, “Climate science is a field in which reasonable experts can disagree.” (By contrast, on the day of the event, the Brookings Institution posted a scathing critique of Crichton’s book.)

During the question-and-answer period following his speech, Crichton drew an analogy between believers in global warming and Nazi eugenicists. “Auschwitz exists because of politicized science,” Crichton asserted, to gasps from some in the crowd. There was no acknowledgment that the AEI event was part of an attempt to do just that: politicize science. The audience at hand was certainly full of partisans. Listening attentively was Myron Ebell, a man recently censured by the British House of Commons for “unfounded and insulting criticism of Sir David King, the Government’s Chief Scientist.” Ebell is the global warming and international policy director of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), which has received a whopping $1,380,000 from ExxonMobil. Sitting in the back of the room was Christopher Horner, the silver-haired counsel to the Cooler Heads Coalition who’s also a CEI senior fellow. Present also was Paul Driessen, a senior fellow with the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow ($252,000) and the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise ($40,000 in 2003). Saying he’s “heartened that ExxonMobil and a couple of other groups have stood up and said, ‘this is not science,’” Driessen, who is white, has made it his mission to portray Kyoto-style emissions regulations as an attack on people of color—his recent book is entitled Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death (see “Black Gold?”). Driessen has also written about the role that think tanks can play in helping corporations achieve their objectives. Such outlets “can provide research, present credible independent voices on a host of issues, indirectly influence opinion and political leaders, and promote responsible social and economic agendas,” he advised companies in a 2001 essay published in Capital PR News. “They have extensive networks among scholars, academics, scientists, journalists, community leaders and politicians…. You will be amazed at how much they do with so little.”

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April 27, 2009

Right-wing Outrage of the Day!

by Ben Hoffman

Right-wingers are revolting! (Yeah, they stink on ice.) They are truly concerned about our country — thus, the incessant outrage. So what are they outraged about today? It seems that Henry Waxman made a confusing statement about the melting of earth’s polar ice caps:

We’re seeing the reality of a lot of the North Pole starting to evaporate, and we could get to a tipping point. Because if it evaporates to a certain point – they have lanes now where ships can go that couldn’t ever sail through before. And if it gets to a point where it evaporates too much, there’s a lot of tundra that’s being held down by that ice cap. PBS Interview

The blog What’s Up With That calls it “the scariest statement on science ever uttered by a Congressman.” The blog, at the time of this writing, received 176 responses, most agreeing with the author and calling Waxman and all Democrats stupid, among other things. The scariest statement on science ever uttered by a congressman? We had eight years of the Bush administration politicizing science, and this is the scariest statement? Hmmmmmm…

Waxman’s statement about tundra being held down by the ice cap doesn’t make much sense, since there is no land under the North Polar ice cap, but the melting of the ice cap is accelerating global warming, so at least he got that part right.

Scientists also worry about the potential release of methane from the arctic region, especially through the thawing of permafrost and methane clathrates, which could be released to the atmosphere and accelerate global warming, as methane is a powerful greenhouse gas. Wikipedia entry on Artic shrinkage

What is it with right-wingers and global warming? The vast majority of scientists agree that human generated pollutants are contributing to the change in climate and warming the earth. I have yet to hear any respected scientists say anything to the contrary. Most skeptics are either complete nut-jobs or have some connection to oil and gas industries.