God's Politics

God's Politics


Bill McKibben: The Gospel Versus Global Warming

posted by gp_intern

I have a lot of heroes, but Cal DeWitt is high on the list. Before anyone else, he was at work building the religious environmental movement in this country, and he has never wavered – the fact that evangelical leaders from across the theological spectrum last year signed a statement of concern about climate change owes more to his leadership than anyone else’s. So he was one of the first people I turned to when we launched Stepitup07.org. He immediately sent a letter to 60 evangelical seminaries and colleges, and wrote a post for our blog that ended like this:

I am pleased to join you in taking one spring day and use it to reshape the future. Science is on our side; and the deep ethical and moral fabric of America is on our side.
We now need a movement – one that will produce the largest rally ever to address – seriously and NOW – the great emerging crisis of global warming and climate change!

And with his help that’s just what we’re delivering. Parts of the faith community are stepping up to the challenge with real vigor. Not only evangelicals but also Unitarians, Presbyterians, Orthodox Jews, and everyone else who can feel the horror of the de-creation we’re now engaged in. (Since I’m an old Methodist Sunday School teacher, I’m always glad to see one of those Wesleyan congregations signing up on our Web site.) One group has even launched an interfaith walk across Massachusetts in the early spring to draw attention to the cause!

But we need more religious involvement, because it’s one of the ways we can show wavering congressmen and women that this isn’t an “alternative” movement – that instead it comes straight from the heart of America. And straight from the heart of the gospel tradition, with its paramount call for love of neighbor. At the moment, the 4 percent of us in this country produce a quarter of the world’s carbon dioxide – once you look at maps of rising sea levels and spreading mosquitoes, you realize that we’ve probably never figured out a way to hate our neighbors around the world much more effectively. That’s got to stop – and with your help on April 14, we will take the first big steps to making it stop.


Bill McKibben wrote the first book for a general audience about global warming, The End of Nature, way back in 1989. His new book is Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future .



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Brian

posted February 27, 2007 at 5:23 pm


… Not only evangelicals but also Unitarians, Presbyterians, Orthodox Jews, and everyone else … Oh man, now their excluding the poor Presbyterians from the category of evangelical. You guys need to determine how you’re going to use this word!



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Blake

posted February 27, 2007 at 5:39 pm


“…you realize that we’ve probably never figured out a way to hate our neighbors around the world much more effectively.” Until this type of inflamatory rhetoric stops, your movement will always be an “alternative” one. That same 4% is almost completely responsible for the medical/infrastructural advancements throughout the world, enabling people to live longer/better. Yes, there is room for higher responsibility and accountability in that 4%, but demonizing them, carte blance, is just as dishonest as those on the right that completely ignore the issue altogether.



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kevin s.

posted February 27, 2007 at 5:40 pm


Spreading mosquitoes? Don’t we have DDT for that?



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butch

posted February 27, 2007 at 6:06 pm


You guys need to determine how you’re going to use this word! Brian | Why? I find many making a big deal about semantics to no useful end. Could a Christian position on global warming be; “waste not want not” or be “stewards of the land”.Waste not with cars; don’t buy a bigger car than you need to keep from wasting fuel not because you can’t afford one? If your manufacturing process produce’s a pollutant then clean it up before you bury it in a landfill. Don’t buy a product in plastic when it can be purchased in a box that can be recycled. Yes, I know plastic can be recycled but it is far more complicated.



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Eric

posted February 27, 2007 at 6:56 pm


Did anyone see the story today about Al Gore using $30k worth of energy every year in his house in TN alone? What a joke…



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kevin s.

posted February 27, 2007 at 7:06 pm


“Did anyone see the story today about Al Gore using $30k worth of energy every year in his house in TN alone? What a joke…” I think of Al Gore as more of a punchline than an actual entire joke.



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Wolverine

posted February 27, 2007 at 7:15 pm


New Anger is a spectacle to be witnessed by an appreciative audience, not an attempt to win over the uncommitted….If in your anger you reduce your opponent to the status of someone unworthy or unable to engage in legitimate exchange, real politics comes to an end….Whoever embraces New Anger is bound to find that, at least in the political realm, he has traded the possibility of real influence for the momentary satisfactions of self-expression. Peter Wood — A Bee in the Mouth: Anger in America Now —– …once you look at maps of rising sea levels and spreading mosquitoes, you realize that we’ve probably never figured out a way to hate our neighbors around the world much more effectively. Bill McKibben —– It’s one thing to argue about the possible effects of pollution. It’s quite another to attribute climate change to malice when there’s still so much about long term climate trends that we do not understand. Mr. McKibben: Is your goal to make a persuasive case for stricter environmental regulation? Or are you just striking a prophetic pose for the rest of us to admire. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some carbon dioxide to emit. Wolverine



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butch

posted February 27, 2007 at 7:22 pm


Kevin S, Wolverine as soon as tmks gets here we’ll have the Republi-Nazi Apologist trio singing harmony.



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Aaron

posted February 27, 2007 at 7:32 pm


“Did anyone see the story today about Al Gore using $30k worth of energy every year in his house in TN alone? What a joke…” I think of Al Gore as more of a punchline than an actual entire joke. kevin s. So true, he didn’t even work well as the feature “guest” of South Park (i.e a 22 minute joke about Al Gore)



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Eric

posted February 27, 2007 at 7:42 pm


Wolverine, I agree with you that Bill’s use of the word “hate” is a little out of place. Is Bill saying that anyone who doesn’t march to his drum on cimate change hates the third world? Or maybe just those of us who use more than their “fair share” of the earth’s resources.



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Don

posted February 27, 2007 at 7:52 pm


Okay, so Bill McKibben wants to demonize the 4% of the world’s population (i.e., Americans) that are responsible for a large percentage of the human-generated CO2 emissions. And, in response to McKibben, some of you want to demonize Al Gore and others for trying to raise our consciousness on the issue. Both approaches seem utterly juvenile to me, not to mention less than Christian. Maybe if we stopped engaging in ad hominem attacks, we might actually begin discussing and debating the realities. Here’s a suggestion: ignore Al Gore and the others. Instead, find some summaries and reviews of peer-reviewed scientific literature on climate change. Learn what the experts themselves are saying. I’m sure we all could learn something. And surprise: we might even find some common ground. Then we might be able to hammer out a response and maybe even propose some solutions. For everyone’s sake, let’s stop the pit bull approach and begin reasonable, fact-based debate and discussion. Peace,



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Eric

posted February 27, 2007 at 8:11 pm


Don, Facts? Experts? It seems like everyone in this climate change debate has their own facts and experts that say whatever they want them to say. Unfortunately, it’s Bill’s side of this debate that doesn’t want to look at and dispute the facts of the other side. They just dismiss people who don’t agree with them as “deniers.” As if it’s a matter of absolute truth that climate change will result in the deaths of millions around the world. And sorry, I’m trying to ignore Al Gore but he won’t shut up…he’s everywhere.



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kevin s.

posted February 27, 2007 at 8:29 pm


“Maybe if we stopped engaging in ad hominem attacks, we might actually begin discussing and debating the realities.” I don’t mock Al Gore for attempting to raise consciousness, I mock Al Gore for doing so sanctimoniously. At any rate, once this issue is reduced to the question of whether you hate your neighbors, there really isn’t anything left to discuss.



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HASH(0x1258fea0)

posted February 27, 2007 at 8:45 pm


Eric: I’ve been perfectly able to ignore Al Gore. I haven’t seen his movie; I haven’t heard him on any talk shows (I avoid them). So what if he won’t shut up? Bill McKibben’s side of the debate is not the side that is refusing to look at the facts. The PEER-REVIEWED scientific literature doesn’t even debate the issue any more. Human activity is contributing to climate change. Period. It’s as strong a consensus as we are ever likely to see within the scientific community.The so-called experts who are being paid by industry to deny the human factor in climate change are the ones who are saying what people are paying them to say. These are similar to the so-called experts in the pay of the tobacco companies who said that smoking isn’t a serious health hazard. Those who write in the PEER-REVIEWED journals don’t have such an industry axe to grind. As far as the deaths of millions, from what I understand, that is the possible result of some of the models and projections that have been analyzed. There is still scientific uncertainty about the long-term effects of climate change. Predicting what will or might happen inherently involves contingencies and uncertainties. Models aren’t perfect. But that doesn’t change the fact that human activities are contributing to climate change. Like I said, learn the facts. Don’t base your opinion on popular literature or news reports, on Al Gore, or Bill McKibben, or anyone else. Go to the sources. Go to the PEER-REVIEWED literature. These ARE the experts. Peace,



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moderatelad

posted February 27, 2007 at 8:45 pm


I do not buy into the Al Gore – Global Warming Theory. Yes I watched the Academy Awards / Gore Fest. Did anyone not believe that AIT was not going to win??? So did the song – the first time I believe that a Doc. song has won much less be nominated. I do support the idea that we need to be responsible and turn the earth over to our children in better shape than we got it from our parents. Gore’s Theory has never been proven in a lab.The site below is to the ‘1500 Year Warming’ that I believe the earth is going through currently. It has far more ‘prof’ the Al’s. http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/?page=article&Article_ID=2319 later – .



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Wolverine

posted February 27, 2007 at 8:49 pm


If I might make a general observation, it appears to me that somewhere along the line the Christian left got the idea that being angry equals being prophetic. As if any of us is actually in a position to call down the wrath of God on anyone, however deserving they might be of a can of divine whup-ass. Maybe they picked it up during one of their excursions into the fever swamps of the Christian right — I won’t pretend there isn’t some of that sort of thinking on our side. But not only isn’t it very pretty, it isn’t very effective either. Anyway, I’m going back to emitting carbon dioxide, ‘cuz Lord knowns folks in the third world aren’t miserable enough yet… Wolverine



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Don

posted February 27, 2007 at 9:13 pm


Kevin: “At any rate, once this issue is reduced to the question of whether you hate your neighbors, there really isn’t anything left to discuss.” I agree. I think Bill McKibben’s comments about America hating its neighbors as a result of our CO2 emissions were unfortunate. They certainly won’t persuade any of those who think this is a made-up crisis. Moreover, China and India, from what I have read, may be slated to surpass the good ol’ USA in that category within the next couple of decades, give or take. This is truly a global issue, not limited to our own CO2 problem. And finger-pointing won’t solve it. By the way, my last post was signed ‘Anonymous.’ I don’t really know why, except that I had trouble getting it to post. Later,



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Don

posted February 27, 2007 at 9:37 pm


moderatelad: The publication you cited comes from the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA). They are likely to be an industry-sponsored organization that pays “experts” to deny the reality of the human causation of climate change. According to some watchdog groups, they received funding from Exxon-Mobil. Don



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carl copas

posted February 27, 2007 at 9:51 pm


If the results of your lifestyle and choices are to threaten the lives and well-being of millions, and you recognize that fact but prefer not to change your destructive habits and practices, is it all that different from hating them? Just wondering.



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moderatelad

posted February 27, 2007 at 10:28 pm


Don | 02.27.07 – 4:42 pm | #Most of the organizations that promote Global Warming have direct ties to the gov’t for their funding and have a good reason to keeping saying what they are saying. This group at least has access to the core drillings that is a better indicator of what is happening than an unproven ‘theory’. Please understand I believe that we need to become better at protecting the environment – but let us make decision based on science and info. that we can prove and not an agenda that could prove to be very destructive to our economy and the economy of the world. Later – .



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Mark P

posted February 27, 2007 at 10:43 pm


“If the results of your lifestyle and choices are to threaten the lives and well-being of millions, and you recognize that fact but prefer not to change your destructive habits and practices, is it all that different from hating them?” You’re starting from a false premise. You seem to assume that people recognize that fact. Even if there is a scientific concensus, there certainly is *not* a cencensus among the 4%. Perhaps it’s denial, but that doesn’t make them any more convinced. Carl, as long as the McKibben’s of the world spend their time accusing the other side of global hate, his position will be polemic.



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carl copas

posted February 27, 2007 at 10:48 pm


“Carl, as long as the McKibben’s of the world spend their time accusing the other side of global hate, his position will be polemic.” But if an action is tantamount to hate, is it wrong to point that out? Or are you arguing that it’s simply a bad tactic politically? Sometimes, strong rhetoric is needed. Have a good day Mark. I appreciate the way you often provoke thought (and, LOL, occasionally a bit of righteous indignation). :)



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chuck

posted February 27, 2007 at 10:55 pm


We don’t hate them. That is too much work. We are content to be happily indifferent to them. And looking outside the window one can only say, “I want my global warming and I want it now!”



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Don

posted February 27, 2007 at 10:57 pm


Another myth, moderatelad. Fighting CO2 emissions could become a boon to the economy, not a threat. A whole array of green industries are waiting to blossom. Ignoring a real or even possible threat to civilization, in my mind, would be far more destuctive in the long run. Funny that folks who post on this blog like to banter the ‘conservative’ and ‘liberal’ labels (or their synonyms). Let us not forget that the words ‘conservative’ and ‘conservation’ have the same Latin root. In my minds, erring on the side of caution, taking the climate threat seriously, and working to reduce our emissions of carbon, would be the conservative thing to do, not this lassiez faire mentality that passes for ‘conservative’ in our day and age. And I don’t know about government funding providing incentives for scientists to “promote” global warming. The scientists who write in the peer reviewed literature are mostly interested in doing good science to the best of their abilities, not in earning brownie points with funding entities, government or otherwise. Besides, if government funding were behind all research into climate change, why isn’t the government at the forefront of pushing for change? And you don’t think they have access to core drillings and similar evidence? I know of one researcher at Ohio State University whose team has risked their lives to collect such samples from remote glacier locations in places like Peru. And, given our experience with tobacco-industry-funded health “experts,” I’m far more willing to trust scientists are funded elsewhere, even government, core drillings notwithstanding, than those who work for agencies with direct industry funding who definitely do have an axe to grind. The big question to ask is, do those scientists who publish for the NCPA also publish in independent, peer-reviewed scientific journals? If the answer is no, I would take their “research” with a large grain of salt. Once again, I suggest reading the peer-reviewed literature before passing judgment on it. Peace,



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kevin s.

posted February 27, 2007 at 11:01 pm


“The so-called experts who are being paid by industry to deny the human factor in climate change are the ones who are saying what people are paying them to say. These are similar to the so-called experts in the pay of the tobacco companies who said that smoking isn’t a serious health hazard.” This isn’t really true. While money does often flow from companies to those institutions whose researchers back up their claims, it is incorrect to say that scientists are paid to fabricate data. None of the scientists involved in this debate are working for free. Further, the scientists are not the ones producing summary reports. These are written by policymakers, for policymakers. So the “everything is settled unless you are a paid shill” reasoning doesn’t quite work.



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Julie

posted February 27, 2007 at 11:03 pm


Regarding Al Gore’s purportedly excessive home energy use, the following was recently posted on CNN.com: But a spokesman for Gore quickly fired back Monday night, claiming, “The Gore’s purchase all of their power through the local Green Powerswitch program — it is 100 percent renewable power.” “In addition, they are in the midst of a renovation which includes installing solar panels on their home, which will enable them to use less power,” Gore’s spokeswoman Kalee Kreider said in a statement.



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kevin s.

posted February 27, 2007 at 11:05 pm


“Another myth, moderatelad. Fighting CO2 emissions could become a boon to the economy, not a threat. A whole array of green industries are waiting to blossom.” It could very well do this. If it has this capacity, that capacity will be realized by business leaders who want to make a buck, yes?



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Squeaky

posted February 27, 2007 at 11:27 pm


Don–good points. This is what I have observed, and I am a scientist, although not a climate scientist. I do have to say, though, that it is true that the MAJORITY of climate scientists are in agreement that the earth is warming and it is because of human activity (someone else made the point which I will reiterate–check the scientific peer reviewed literature. Yeah, you’ll hear plenty of mixed messages from popular media–remember, it’s a POLITICAL issue. But the peer reviewed lit is the best resource to learn what scientists actually think about the matter). The MAJORITY of those who don’t agree that global climate change is occurring and is the result of human activity tend to be get their paychecks from the oil or coal industries. What is particularly offensive to me, as a scientist (and forgive me if I get on my soapbox, but there is this bee in my bum, and it bugs me), is that *I* would never even consider telling you I know more about your job than you do. I assume it is your job, and you are well trained in your job, and you are even perhaps an expert in your job. However, there are so many people, some who have commented here, who have spent almost no time or energy looking at the evidence for and against global warming (I mean–you bash Gore–have you at least bothered to see the film?) and very little time in a science course or lab, who then think because they have watched this or that news report, they are now experts. There is an inherent lack of respect for scientists who spend their lives studying science and who are EXPERTS in their chosen fields when you use that attitude. Let me know where you work, and I’ll stop in and tell you I know more even though I haven’t spent anytime learning your profession or how it works, and you will know how scientists feel. How is that attitude even justified? Please, someone explain it to me, because I don’t get it at all! As for “hating our neighbors.” True, the rhetoric is strong. Maybe it would have been better if he had said, “a way we could love our neighbors is to stop using so much of the world’s dwindling resources in such materialistic and thoughtlessly wasteful ways.” It is, nevertheless, ridiculous to get so caught up in the semantics. Let’s face facts–we are incredibly wasteful in this nation, whether we realize it or not. The majority of us don’t think for even two seconds about the energy we use–we take it for granted. People in third world nations often spend their entire day gathering food or fuel for their fires. Do not ever forget how blessed we are in this country. Do not ever take it for granted. It is nothing more than an accident of birth, not a priviledge, and our lifestyles need to reflect that. And more than anything, our use of resources needs to be fully and wholly acknowledging the wonders of God’s creation. He did not give us the resources to selfishly waste–He gave them for us to use wisely and with respect for His creation. It doesn’t mean we don’t mine for mineral resources–it means we mine but make sure to the best that we can, that we don’t cause irreperable damage to the environment in the process. I’ll shut up now.



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butch

posted February 28, 2007 at 12:37 am


“This is truly a global issue, not limited to our own CO2 problem. And finger-pointing won’t solve it.” Finger pointing seldom works anyway but we should look within for our behavior and that does solve things. I’m not suggesting you are saying anything different.



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jerry

posted February 28, 2007 at 12:42 am


MCKIBBEN HAS TO BE KIDDING. THIS IS ANOTHER FEEL GOOD POST BY THE WALLIS TEAM. WHO ARE THESE GUYS ANYWAY? AND NICE TO SEE JULIE IS IN LOVE WITH AL GORE. MUST HAVE BEEN THAT FITTED TUX HE WAS WEARING. most of the comments are good conversation but we all know the jury is still out on this subject. this globe has been here a long time and this latest “marketing” theory will indeed develope into an industry. whsy can’t i stop thinking about the ice ages and dinosauers? maybe we should start looking at the mckibbens and carrs and gores and wallis’ a little closer. if this is God’s politics, where is He in mc kibbens post? painting placards for the march.



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neuro_nurse

posted February 28, 2007 at 12:42 am

butch

posted February 28, 2007 at 12:47 am


“I don’t mock Al Gore for attempting to raise consciousness, I mock Al Gore for doing so sanctimoniously.” Kevin The first thing I look for is how a message is delivered and if I don’t like the messenger then I won’t pay attention to what they say. In fact, if I don t like the message I shoot the messenger.



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butch

posted February 28, 2007 at 12:49 am


Don. “Facts? Experts? It seems like everyone in this climate change debate has their own facts and experts that say whatever they want them to say.” What are your experts and what do they say?



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butch

posted February 28, 2007 at 12:53 am


Don, “would be the conservative thing to do, not this lassiez faire mentality that passes for ‘conservative’ in our day and age.” Really well said, I used to think of myself as conservative when Barry Goldwater was around.



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Don

posted February 28, 2007 at 1:11 am


butch: “What are your experts and what do they say?” I’m not sure if you are asking this to *me* or to the person who made the statement about “experts” saying whatever others want them to say. That person was taking issue with something I wrote. But I’ll try to answer your questions as best I can. The experts are those who publish in independent peer-reviewed scientific journals and who have spent their careers in climate science and climate research, like the Ohio State researcher I mentioned (I don’t remember his name, but I could find it without a lot of trouble). My thoughts here were corroborated by Squeaky’s comments above, so you might want to reread them. And they are saying that human activity, specifically our release of carbon dioxide and other ‘greenhouse’ gases into the atmosphere, which is chiefly a result of our burning of fossil fuels, is contributing to the warming of the planet. They are also saying that the pace of this warming has been accellerating over the last several years, and things are beginning to happen now (e.g., the rate of glacial melting, migrating of species) that they originally thought were still years or even decades away. They are not, to my knowledge, giving specific predictions of what will or will not occur as a reslut of this climate change. They are projecting POSSIBLE outcomes, basing these projections on current knowledge and the observed rates of changes. These projections are subject to modification as new information is available, and as the models they create become even more accurate at projecting outcomes. That’s about all I know. I hope this helps answer your question. Peace,



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Mark P

posted February 28, 2007 at 1:17 am


“But if an action is tantamount to hate, is it wrong to point that out? Or are you arguing that it’s simply a bad tactic politically? Sometimes, strong rhetoric is needed.” Agreed. And there are many things far worse than blunt speech. Yes, I am saying it’s a bad political tactic, especially if he’s trying to make his movement mainstream. To be honest, it doesn’t bother me that he said what he did. I’ve been known to say more inflammatory and polemic things. There’s nothing wrong with angling for the visceral response, and he certainly hit his point home. But if he’s trying to take a marginalized movement more inclusive, he needs to try to make it more palatable. (I also enjoy the banter, carl, and don’t take impassioned ranting for anger :) ) “Let us not forget that the words ‘conservative’ and ‘conservation’ have the same Latin root.” (and out pops the liberal arts ass) Both come from the verb conservare (itself a stronger form of servare) which means “to preserve” or “to save.” And you are very correct to associate conservative and conservation. True conservatives seek to preserve the best things, from philosophy and politics to nature. All true conservatives are preservationists when it comes to nature (see the English distributists, notably GK Chesterton, or the American Southern Agrarians and their manifesto [if you will] “I’ll Take my Stand”, or Russell Kirk [who called himself a “northern Agrarian” in line with “I’ll Take my Stand”]. True conservatives support a fully free market while decrying both capitalism (as originally coined — the avaricious sense of the term) and the environmental indifference of today’s typical conservative. The methods a traditional conservative would take in support of environmental stewardship would, however, contrast sharply with the progressive agenda. “Another myth, moderatelad. Fighting CO2 emissions could become a boon to the economy, not a threat. A whole array of green industries are waiting to blossom.” Echoing kevin, if this is a viable industry, companies will absolutely pursue this without need for government incentives. Guaranteed. “Please, someone explain it to me, because I don’t get it at all!” I think it’s disillusionment due to scientists who go wild publishing before they should to try to draw attention and get famous… and the sensationalism in the media. For me, it’s not so much that I’ll tell you what to do. Rather, it’s just cynicism about the scientific community because everybody bickers and, particularly when you ARE ignorant on these matters (as I am), it’s difficult to sort out which salad bar of PhD’s and research scientists is actually right. Granted, that is the scientific process and in the end it’s great, because through the process of peer review, eventually a consensus is reached by forcing the perfection of hypothesis. BUT… it’s difficult for yahoos like me to know when a consensus really is reached and when some guy just wants it to be a consensus so he can get his name slapped on some theory. And I don’t mean specifically on this issue, but the disillusionment spills over.



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butch

posted February 28, 2007 at 1:46 am


Don, I did read more carefully later and my question, which was addressed to you, is addressed to those who take positions on science without quoting the source and credentials of their source. Politicizing science is really dangerous to ones health and welfare. Science by definition has no politics. Following any new scientific paper is also dangerous but global warming has been extensively studied and there is consensus on the question. Back to politics or policy, if I m making policy it will be behind a consensus.



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jerry

posted February 28, 2007 at 2:51 am


okay butch. if there is consensus on the question. where can i find it. does consensus mean a bunch of guys agree on the question? or does a majority of meterologists agree? or what. maybe there are statistics that show thet tempertures have increased a little over a short period of time – so what? and how do they prove that co2 emissions from al gore’s s u v in the united states is causing the temperture increases? this whole thing is a joke on us if we continue to take it seriously. maybe it’s sun spots? duh? or more population. or oceanic volcanic action. hello. and where is wallis’ Gods politics in this? is mckibben saying that God wants us to march in washington to protest/support what?



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butch

posted February 28, 2007 at 2:59 am


jerry, you give no consensus otherwise and 133 countries scientist have agreed. If they are wrong what do we loose, if we ignore them what do we loose.



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Wolverine

posted February 28, 2007 at 3:45 am


First off, there’s actually three questions that need to be addressed: The first is: Is the earth warming? The answer to that among most of the scientific community appears to be a tentative yes, but that alone only gets you a third of the way home. The second question is: is the warming severe enough to warrant large-scale government action? This is where things get dicey, because planet-wide temperature shifts are not at all uncommon. This is the point where most of the hysteria comes into play, because some people are prone to assume the worst when they hear the answer to question #1 (the oceans are going to boil, we’re all gonna die, etc.) when the effects are more mixed, and even positive (longer baseball season, Toronto, Detroit, Chicago have a couple hundred more years to prepare for the next ice age.) Anyway, even if we assume that the question to number 2 is affirmative, we still have to deal with… The Third Question: what can we do about it? This is where causality comes into play. The thing is, there are factors other than man that can effect climate. Among them is the sun. Those of us who live in the North know (or should know by now) that the sun isn’t static, it has processes that change too: sunspots create auroras and knock out electronics. And there is research that indicates that the sun has been radiating more heat than usual over the last several years. It isn’t hatred, it’s humility. We’ve just gotten to the point where we can get a three-day weather forecast with a better than 50-50 chance of getting it right, who the heck do we think we are pretending that we know what the climate’s going to be like 50 years down the road? The sun alone could blow all our projections away — if the sun cooled off by more than a hair we could be scrambling for ways to pump CO2 into the air to prevent the next ice age. The truth is we’re still guessing at a lot of things. We shouldn’t do anything drastic until we actually know what we are doing. Anything else is equivalent to calling out “ready, fire, aim!” Wolverine



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Squeaky

posted February 28, 2007 at 4:13 am


Butch–it’s the argument “if I accept Jesus and there is not God, what have I lost? If I don’t accept God and there is a God, I’m in deep doo-doo” applied to climate change. If we don’t do anything about climate change and scientists are correct, we are in deep doo-doo. If we do something, and scientists are wrong, what have we lost? I mean, really. What have we lost? Won’t we be healthier from the fewer poisons we put into the air we breathe and the water we drink? There are places in Indiana where women and small children are warned not to eat the fish because of the mercury levels. The mercury comes from coal emissions. That is just one example of how much our fossil fuel economy messes us up. Let’s do this–factor in the TRUE cost of a fossil fuel economy, and see which you think is the better direction to go. This is what is NOT factored into oil, for example: 1. Environmental clean-up from spills 2. Health costs and related lost productivity because of respiratory illnesses and other illnesses related to emissions in our air and water 3. War. How much is the Iraq war costing? 200 million a day? And don’t say “we’re not there for oil.” Oil is the only reason we have any serious dealings in that part of the world, so ultimately, we are there because of oil. None of these factors are currently figured into the cost of oil, and that’s without even going into the true cost of coal. The fact is, our market (and government) has kept the price of oil (and coal) artificially low (oil and coal has some huge political dogs in the fight, and there aren’t many who have the political clout or money to stand up to them). If these factors were accounted for, it would raise the price of oil so high that alternative energy would truly be seen as a viable alternative. And markets thrive when there is competition. The fossil fuel industry has a strangle hold on the energy market, but if they were forced to loose it through economic means, we would truly start to see a free energy market. Not to mention, true freedom from foreign oil. But, the thing is, we can make serious headways without a wholesale switch in energy economy at this point–just simple conservation steps would reduce emissions and our dependence on foreign oil. We did it in the 70’s. California got out of its energy crisis in the early 2000’s by conservation efforts. we can pull together as a nation and do this, but unfortunately, their is neither the political will or the leadership to bring us in that direction. The United States should be the world LEADERS on such an important issue. Instead, we are letting the multibillion dollar oil industry dictate our energy economy, and we don’t even QUESTION it. We don’t even think about it, unless gas prices go too high. We are energy illiterate, and that needs to change before we can make significant progress. With that–two book suggestions: The End of Oil by Paul Roberts Lost Mountain by Erik Reece



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butch

posted February 28, 2007 at 4:13 am


“The truth is we’re still guessing at a lot of things. We shouldn’t do anything drastic until we actually know what we are doing. Anything else is equivalent to calling out “ready, fire, aim!” Wolverine By the time we know it will be to late to do anything, of course Exxon will have all the money but where will they spend it. There are many things that can be done that isn’t panic reaction and won’t really cost anything.



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Squeaky

posted February 28, 2007 at 4:27 am


Very true, Butch. We already have far more efficient appliances and car engines than we ever did. But we end up losing the energy we save by building bigger homes and driving bigger cars. What’s the old bumper sticker–live simply so that others might simply live? We don’t NEED even half the stuff we have. That stuff’s supposed to make us happy, and with all the depression, stomach upset and sleep aid commercials out there, clearly we aren’t happy in our stuff. But we don’t even have to simplify, if we just make a point to turn off the lights when you leave a room, or turn off your computer at the end of the day, or change your lightbulbs to compact fluorescent, or recycle, especially aluminum (which costs far more to produce originally than it does to recycle). It isn’t hard. It really isn’t. And it’s a far more Christlike way to live in terms of how we regard other people and how we regard God’s creation. We need to recognize our actions impact people in other parts of the world. Right now, I’m sitting here at my computer, running on coal fired electricity. The coal probably came from Appalachia, the nation’s poorest region. Coal companies are making huge amounts of money off of this region, and yet the region wallows in poverty. My use of electricity from their coal is helping the coal industry, but it is not at all helping the people whose lives are being ravaged by landslides when ill-regulated slurry ponds collapse or when they can’t drink their water because blasting at the mountaintop mine in their area opened up cracks that allowed poisoned water to enter their groundwater, or when their entire home is compromised because blasting has cracked their foundation. This is the price of cheap coal. But we don’t see these impoverished people, and most people don’t even know how their electricity is produced, much less what mountaintop mining is.



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Wolverine

posted February 28, 2007 at 4:33 am


Squeaky asked: If we don’t do anything about climate change and scientists are correct, we are in deep doo-doo. If we do something, and scientists are wrong, what have we lost? Fair question, here’s a first stab at an answer: 1. We will have regulated our economies, drastically reducing emissions for no good purpose. 2. We will have spent precious research and development dollars to create technologies that we don’t need at the expense of other technologies that we might have a use for. 3. Developing nations that cannot afford super-duper no-emissions technology are forced to meet emissions quotas the old-fashioned way: shutting down industries. 4. This is admittedly something of a nightmare scenario but it’s not out of the range of possibilities: we guess entirely wrong, or some completely unforeseen factor (such as a solar cooling cycle) kicks in and we accidentally bring on an ice age. If it’s true that we have the power to shape our climate on a planetary scale, for crying out loud let’s get to a point where we know what we’re doing before we start trying to manipulate things. Wolverine



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butch

posted February 28, 2007 at 4:46 am


“1. We will have regulated our economies, drastically reducing emissions for no good purpose.” Wolv Economic rule; waste can never ever ever be recovered. The good purpose is conservation, no better reason is required.



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butch

posted February 28, 2007 at 4:51 am


“2. We will have spent precious research and development dollars to create technologies that we don’t need at the expense of other technologies that we might have a use for.” Wolv How do you know what technologies we don’t need, and your justification is other tech… we “might” need. Such a bad argument I’m embarrassed for you to address it. There is room for more than one direction for research; all basic research leads to a better life.



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butch

posted February 28, 2007 at 4:54 am


“3. Developing nations that cannot afford super-duper no-emissions technology are forced to meet emissions quotas the old-fashioned way: shutting down industries.” Wolv Another simple minded argument, what do we or they need with a poluting industry.



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butch

posted February 28, 2007 at 4:56 am


“If it’s true that we have the power to shape our climate on a planetary scale, for crying out loud let’s get to a point where we know what we’re doing before we start trying to manipulate things.” Reducing poluents and waste are not manipulating anything.



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kevin s.

posted February 28, 2007 at 5:03 am


“What is particularly offensive to me, as a scientist (and forgive me if I get on my soapbox, but there is this bee in my bum, and it bugs me), is that *I* would never even consider telling you I know more about your job than you do. I assume it is your job, and you are well trained in your job, and you are even perhaps an expert in your job.” Well, I have no qualms with the work of the scientists. I would also observe that scientists are not unaninimous on this issue. They are certainly not unanimous on the extent to which humans are contributing to the problem. They are all over the place on what humans can o to remedy the problem.I am an expert on politics (that is my job, as Butch will be quick to remind you) and I can tell you that people will advance policy that goes far beyond what any measure of science discovers. I don’t think anyone here denies that this is an issue, or a problem. However, we differ in the means by which we would have government solve the problem.



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theyfartwellbutsaylittle

posted February 28, 2007 at 5:21 am


Bill You probably won’t get this far if you are slogging through this high emissions smogosphere. There are a crew of right wing Christians who have appointed themselves the watchdogs of God’s Politics. You know compassionate conservatives with built-in standard equipment fact filters.Their heightened level of emissions means this is topic which has roused them to new levels empathy. They got all weepy over Anna Nicole Smith and almost came up to the level of giving a rat’s ass over the devastation and mass casualties beginning to come from from global warming. Still one has to be impressed with their like totally awesome expertise on global warming,huh? Ain’t nobody gonna be putting any scientific data over on these boys.



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butch

posted February 28, 2007 at 5:26 am


“I would also observe that scientists are not unaninimous on this issue. They are certainly not unanimous on the extent to which humans are contributing to the problem. They are all over the place on what humans can o to remedy the problem.” Kevin Give me your references? More well crafted BS or back this up with who agrees or disagrees with their references.



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Donny

posted February 28, 2007 at 11:51 am


The problem with agreeing with evil people on anything, is that in their sociopathic minds, they think you agree with them on everything. Even an evil person takes out their rubbish and uses common sense on some things like placing the trash in trash cans, but, like the global warming facade covering the socialist movement in Leftist everything, the “Lefties,” think that just because some Christians agree with them on Global warming, that somehow they have made inroads to alter the Gospel to include celebrating abominations. I’m sure this is why the good advice in the New Testament not to yoke yourself with unbelievers. Agreeing to look at Global Warming as something important does not validate Liberal and Progressive heresy as anything other than satanic actions. I do not want to be communist and will oppose Progressives and Liberals and their true godless agenda in any guise they presetn it in. Global Warming is just a ruse to implement Progresive evils the world over.



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ChristianityisMore

posted February 28, 2007 at 12:41 pm


The fact is, while people debate global warming (though i would argue there is little to debate with almost complete consensus in the scientific community – there has been not one single article calling global-warming a myth in the past ten years in any peer-reviewed, scholarly, scientific journal) the one thing that cannnot be debated is that our pollution is affecting us.If you go to any of the top twenty major metro areas in the US you can see the horrors of smog and acid rain. Instances of asthma, allergies, and cancer all skyrocket around major metro areas and the great lakes (all the most polluted areas). 90 percent of cancer cases in the US occur in the Great lakes region which just happen to be the most polluted water supply in the country. So, regardless if warming is true, our pollution is harming God’s children.



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Don

posted February 28, 2007 at 1:22 pm


I thought I would chime in one more time on this issue. My previous posts have been focused on acknowledging the reality of the global climate change problem and particuar the human causation factor. I have not indicated what I feel are appropriate measures to take for solving the problem. The presumption of some seems to be that massive government intervention is the preferred and only viable solution. I credit this perception to the infusion of what I earlier called a lassiez faire mentality among political ‘conservatives,’ specifically an antipathy toward any and all forms of government oversight or regulation. The association of those like me who support the acknowledging of human involvement in climate change with big government is understandable but false. Here are just a few thoughts of mine, and then I’ll probably sign off on this topic. First, global warming isn’t a conservative vs. liberal issue. We’re all in this together–there’s only one Earth. So liberal conspiracy theories won ‘t fly, at least not with me. And as I said before, and as someone else confirmed, conservative and conservation have the same Latin root. I believe reducing carbon emissions is conservative in the true sense. Lassiez faire policies that encourage more carbon burning are not. Next, I don’t understand why Christians, even politically conservative Christians, should oppose government regulation so violently. The biblical teaching regarding the realities of our fallen human nature should inform us that we can’t trust ourselves completely. And when people collaborate with each other as in business or government, these realities are magnified. Government regulation at its best is simply a check on our human nature, and is important for that reason. Of course it isn’t perfect, because government regulators are themselves infected by the same human nature. But regulation isn’t the big nemesis that it often is portrayed to be. Specifically, and to put it bluntly, environmental regluations are opposed primarily by business interests who want to continue polluting with impunity and who don’t want to invest in the things necessary to clean up their acts. They forget that a clean environment is a benefit to them as well as to the rest of us, and it is becoming good business to be seen as environmentally friendly. Second, one major thing the government could do to reduce our use of carbon emissions is not regulatory at all. It is simply leveling the playing field for transportation methods. Transportation is by far is the biggest user of fossil fuels. So any increase in transportation efficiency is bound to have a positive effect. However, since approximately the 1950s, our government has subsidized the least efficient forms of transportation–motor vehicles and airlines–to the neglect of the most efficient forms–especially rail. If our government would simply stop favoring the auto, trucking, oil, and road construction industries, that would be a big step in the right direction. Ironically, the Bush administration has been pushing to pull the government funding from Amtrak. How foolish and short-sighted! We should instead be taking some of our road-construction dollars and using it to improve rail service. Other countries (particularly Japan and Western Europe) have developed high-speed and magnetic rail systems that are on the cutting edge of technology. A network of high-speed trains could reduce traffic on the highways, thus lower highway maintenance costs, and it could also reduce air traffic, since for shorter distances high-speed rail could actually be faster than flying, when the time needed for airport security and such is factored in. At the same time as the government is ending our subsidy of inefficient transportation means, we can use the tax laws to encourage people to patronize the more efficient means–tax breaks for train fares, public transportation fares, etc. Cities could be given money not for roads but for innovative transit systems, bicycle routes, and other alternative to our high carbon-emitting current systems. And the big one would be imposing a gasoline tax to keep the price of fuel in the $3.50-$4.50 range. This would encourage both conservation and the developing of alternative fuels *without* big-government regulation (such as raising auto fuel efficiency standards) and it would keep governmebnt out of subsidizing inefficient start-up alternative energy companies. Let them develop on their own as a result of demand for their products and services. High gasoline taxes have been used in Europe for years, and they have the best public transportation systems around; moreover their carbon emissions have not increased appreciably over the last ten years or so. And driving isn’t such a necessity there; that makes it a lot more enjoyable. A gasoline tax would also make us more independent from the Saudis, the Venezualans, and other opressive regiemes. The money from gasoline sales would stay in our pockets instead of being transferred to theirs, where they use it to bankroll their opressive ideologies. Instead we could use the money to improve our public transportation and provide assistance to those for whom higher fuel prices would be a real hardship (and I’m not talking about the sucker who would have to trade in his guzzling SUV for a Honda Civic). Sure there’s no political will for such a move, but that’s where the leadership factor comes in, something that someone else also mentioned. If we had leaders willing to make the right case for a gasoline tax, and for these other changes, the public would support it. It only makes sense to do this. Other non-interventionary strategies for reducing carbon emissions have been proposed, such as buying and selling carbon credits. It doesn’t necessarily require a big-brother government approach. It does require thinking smarter about what we do. And government has a role, especially since government has skewed the current system with its favoring of high-carbon-burning industries. That’s all I have to say. Maybe this will stimulate more thought. Maybe some of you will think I’m pontificating. But the important thing is we need to come up with solutions, because the consequences of inaction appear to be serious. Peace,



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moderatelad

posted February 28, 2007 at 1:55 pm


Don | 02.27.07 – 6:02 pm | #Another myth, moderatelad. Fighting CO2 emissions could become a boon to the economy, not a threat. A whole array of green industries are waiting to blossom. I pray that this is true. I have seen businesses die over night because some group has attacked them for not being ‘environmentally friendly’ and put many people out of work and families on welfare. Too bad they were not allow to find an alternative way or chemical that would allow them to support or supply what there were doing originally but on a more environmentally friendly basis.I still find Gore’s theory flawed – but will work at making our environment better. Just for the record – I do not own or drive an SUV. Later -.



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moderatelad

posted February 28, 2007 at 2:02 pm


butch | 02.27.07 – 10:04 pm | #If they are wrong what do we loose, if we ignore them what do we loose. Please – that type of thinking is so lame. It is morally wrong to enforce anything based on flawed science. If we allow this type of logic to rein supreme – our whole economy would be at risk.later – .



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Wolverine

posted February 28, 2007 at 2:33 pm


Butch wrote: How do you know what technologies we don’t need, and your justification is other tech… we “might” need. Such a bad argument I’m embarrassed for you to address it. There is room for more than one direction for research; all basic research leads to a better life. Look, there are some technologies whose value is not dependent upon shaky climate projections: research into hardy, disease resistant crops that can grow in a wider range of climates and soils and with less pesticides, basic medical research, materials research. Any of these are likely to be valuable no matter what the weather is, but if we’re busy doing research into gadgets whose value is based entirely on an unproved climate model, then we’re gambling that the model is right. And if it turns out to be wrong what we have is a lot of worthless gadgets. Wolverine



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ChristianityisMore

posted February 28, 2007 at 2:43 pm


God calls us both to prayer and action. So, regardless of your feelings on this issue, I ask you to pray for God’s gift, the Earth, and pray that both us and our leaders will be responsible with its dominion. At the same time, let’s let our actions match God’s call. Finally, think of these verses and how they apply to this issue: Colossians 1:16-17. All things were created by him and for him. He is before all things and in him all things hold together. Psalm 8:3-8. When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man. —–All things are created for Him, should we not take care of them then? Job 12:7-10. But ask the animals, and they will teach you; or birds of the air and they will tell you; or speak to the earth and it will teach you; or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the lord has done this. In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. Genesis 1:26. Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” —If the Lord has given us dominion over the Earth, should we not use it wisely? Lev. 25:23-24. The land is mine and you are but aliens and my tenants. Throughout the country that you hold as a possession, you must provide for the redemption of the land. Ezekiel 34:17-18. As for you, my flock… Is it not enough for you to feed on good pasture? Must you also trample the rest of your pasture with your feet? Is it not enough for you to drink clear water? Must you also muddy the rest with your feet? Jer. 2:7. I brought you into a fertile land to eat its fruit and rich produce. But you came and defiled my land and you made my inheritance detestable. —-We should not defile God’s gift to us. Exodus 23:2. Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong. —-Perhap most importantly, as Christians, we need to live differently and not follow along with all that everyone else is doing. We must live by Christ’s example and give an example for others to follow, of which good stewardship of the Earth is a big part.



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Wolverine

posted February 28, 2007 at 2:44 pm


Meanwhile, theyfartwellbutsaylittle wrote… … well, actually he didn’t write much of anything. The handle says it all. Seriously TFWBSL: how did you get into the position to judge the quality of our farts? Are you running around sniffing our behinds? Don’t you have anything better to do? Wolverine



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kevin s.

posted February 28, 2007 at 3:54 pm


“Give me your references? More well crafted BS or back this up with who agrees or disagrees with their references.” I think you are asking for some names of scientists. Richard Lindzen, professor of meteorology at MIT, Fred Singer, an atmoshperic scientist at George Mason, Patrick Michaels, professor of environmental sciences at the Universtiy of Virginia. David Legates, of the University of Delaware, while he concedes that humans have had an impact, but that scientists have overblown that impact by the way they have interpreted their data.



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kevin s.

posted February 28, 2007 at 4:28 pm


“Next, I don’t understand why Christians, even politically conservative Christians, should oppose government regulation so violently.” I don’t see violent opposition here. I oppose governmental regulation because I am unconvinced that it will have a tangible impact, and because the ideas trumpeted by the left (e.g. Kyoto) will be enormously expensive.”Specifically, and to put it bluntly, environmental regluations are opposed primarily by business interests who want to continue polluting with impunity and who don’t want to invest in the things necessary to clean up their acts.” I am not a “business interest” and I oppose most of the regulations I have seen come across the table. “Ironically, the Bush administration has been pushing to pull the government funding from Amtrak. How foolish and short-sighted!” Not really. Amtrak is a financial sinkhole. It is a catastrophe precisely because there is no market for it. Thus, no prviate industry is able to forge an alternative solution. “We should instead be taking some of our road-construction dollars and using it to improve rail service.” This is not a “regulation” per se, but it is a high-impact governmental solution. If we don’t repair and update roads, we have long traffic jams, which makes the problem worse, not better. Other countries (particularly Japan and Western Europe) have developed high-speed and magnetic rail systems that are on the cutting edge of technology.Such systems are more feasible in those areas, as the demand for them is greater. “And the big one would be imposing a gasoline tax to keep the price of fuel in the $3.50-$4.50 range.”Why? On what grounds must we pay this? Okay, so we enact this tax. People with means will by a Honda. People without means will be stuck with our leftovers, paying a heavy tax burden. This will cost a fortune, and have a dragging effect on our economy, which will cost jobs and, ultimately, lives. All in the name of an effort that has no guaranteed impact on the warming of our planet. ” *without* big-government regulation” If what you have described is not big-government regulation, I do not know what is.”High gasoline taxes have been used in Europe for years, and they have the best public transportation systems around;” And higher unemployment, by and large, and an increased tax burden. The problem is that public transportation was not built into the infrastructure of our major cities. If we have a tax on gasoline, people will simply pay more for gas or, at best, by a more fuel efficient automobile. “If we had leaders willing to make the right case for a gasoline tax, and for these other changes, the public would support it.” And here is the problem for those who advocate costly government solutions. People have generally fuzzy feelings toward preventing the spread of global warming. As such, they don’t care so much about questions like “well, if we do this, what is the measurable impact?”. If you want to ask a family to pay an extra $2,000 per year in gas taxes, you had better have answers to those questions. You don’t, and you are not even in the vicinity of having those answers.See, this has become a nice little campaign issue. Democrats care deeply about the environment when there is a Republican president. It gives them a nice bludgeon against, you know, “big oil”, and they get to be seen as “green”. But when it comes time to act, they disappear, becaus their preferred governmental solutions are extremely unpopular with voters.



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Mark P

posted February 28, 2007 at 4:56 pm


“That stuff’s supposed to make us happy, and with all the depression, stomach upset and sleep aid commercials out there, clearly we aren’t happy in our stuff.” May I be so bold and ecclesiastic as to say, then, that fixing the excess problem in America has nothing to do with government regulation? That the only way to create stewards is to fill that hole of dissatisfaction with the all-satisfying treasure of the nations, Jesus Christ?… There are a lot of people, Christians largely included, who do not actually believe that Christ is the ultimate fulfillment of their desires. Until I truly believe that, I will always be looking for something to substitute for the Lord God. Each replacement will fall short; each need will go unfulfilled, and I will seek out more, better, other… 1. “Economic rule; waste can never ever ever be recovered. The good purpose is conservation, no better reason is required.” -Macroeconomic control is largely a myth. If such things as an aggregate good and aggregate supply and demand actually DO exist, they are still completely out of our control. Keynesian economic control is a Russian roulette guessing game. Again, this is the fundamental flaw of progressivism: “That man seems to be ill; here, give him this tonic.” “What is it?” “I don’t know, but something must be done…” “What if you kill him?” “We can think about that later, but for now we have to act. Time is of the essence.” (again, of course, the conservative fatal flaw is that they’re likely to recognize that the tonic is actually cyanide… but then they’ll sit around talking about how the cyanide tonic is such a bad idea… until the guy dies of old age) 2. “There is room for more than one direction for research; all basic research leads to a better life.” -What about the testing of the Manhattan project? And what happens if it turns out that the time and money and energy spent into reducing emissions could have cured cancer? Of course it’s an extreme case, but you seem to be missing the point that dispensing the time, energy, and resources used in research is a zero-sum game. “How do you know what technologies we don’t need”… -I’ll also be ballsy enough to say that anytime the government has to steal money from the public to create research, it’s probably for technologies we don’t need or want. Father Government, in fact, doesn’t know best. The market will drive research for necessary technologies (because people will pay for what they need, and companies will build what people will pay for) 3. “Another simple minded argument, what do we or they need with a poluting industry.” -Haha, oh me oh my. Coal = CHEAP. If you say that they can’t use coal, they’ll just shut down because they CANNOT AFFORD to pay for the higher-priced low-emissions energy sources. For a “fun” little example of “Oh-we-didn’t-think-about-that-we-just-wanted-to-be-nice-to-the-environment” progressive activism, see the mass protests (read: soon to be bread riots) in Mexico City caused by hunger caused by a spike in corn tortilla prices (corn tortillas are a staple of the diet of poor Mexicans) caused by a spike in corn prices caused by… you guessed it… hiked demand for ethanol fuels and research. Lovely, we’re starving Mexicans by following a pipe dream. (source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6319093.stm). The ole act-now-think-later mindset at work (for another example, see Mao Zedong’s wonderful Great Leap Forward program to revolutionize agriculture in China, creating a bountiful plenty for all Chinese! [oh wait, 30 million+ starved to death]) (for yet another example, see how laws “protecting” endangered species like the California buzzard or wood owl are actually resulting in people going out of their way to KILL said animals and bury them). Look, it’s not the environment doesn’t need to be sustained… it’s that hasty action generally creates a worse reality than the current one… That progressive government regulation generally leads to more evils than it ends. As a conservative, I support preserving nature, but I also recognize that most preservation laws actually cause more harm than good (and often to the very things they seek to protect). “It is simply leveling the playing field for transportation methods.” Government subsidized mass transportation does NOT work, regardless of how environmentally efficient it is. “*without* big-government regulation” And how is price alteration NOT big-government regulation? [I do, however, agree that this type of tax regulation is highly preferable to direct subsidies to research companies] “Other non-interventionary strategies for reducing carbon emissions have been proposed, such as buying and selling carbon credits” As in privatizing the air? I actually don’t mind that so much. If Exxon Mobile could find a way to make air a commodity, they would ASSUREDLY protect their assets… granted, there are a THOUSAND other implications to worry about first… (same thing with endangered species — if you gave bald eagles to Disney Corp, I guarantee they’d be safe from extinction). Again, though, the excess issue comes down to human nature — where are you finding your satisfaction and meaning and fulfillment in life? If it’s not going to be Christ, it’s gonna be other stuff…



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carl copas

posted February 28, 2007 at 5:25 pm


“Again, though, the excess issue comes down to human nature — where are you finding your satisfaction and meaning and fulfillment in life? If it’s not going to be Christ, it’s gonna be other stuff…” Mark, on this all Xtians–con, lib, prog–can agree. It’s good to be reminded even as we work through and try to understand the political diffs among us. Now, back to the arguing and ranting. :)



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Kannbrown65

posted February 28, 2007 at 5:25 pm


For those who point out that if ‘there is money to be made’, business will do this on their own, there’s a few problems with that scenario. First off, there’s a difference between just a ‘new product’ and a product intended to actually replace an existing one.Business is not a monolithic entity. For all the businesses out there wanting to make money with the new product, there’s others who are fully invested in the old product and don’t like the new competition. And that’s what it is, competition. Secondly, change is risky. Status quo is safe, as long as it is continuing to make money, and it is.Do you think there wasn’t resistance to automobiles from the ‘Horse and Carriage’ industry, no matter how much money, as we all know now, there was to be made from cars?



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Kannbrown65

posted February 28, 2007 at 5:27 pm


Oh, and I’d say the Conservative flaw in that scenario isn’t that they talk about how bad the tonic is, its that they wouldn’t recognize there IS a problem to address, regardless of arguing over the means, until the man dies OF THE PROBLEM, not old age.



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Don

posted February 28, 2007 at 5:32 pm


Mark and Kevin:”Government subsidized mass transportation does NOT work, regardless of how environmentally efficient it is.” I guess you missed one of my main points. Our current inefficient transportation system is HIGHLY SUBSIDIZED by government, through everything from tax credits for oil companies to favored treatment of the auto and trucking industries through massive infusions of tax money into highway building and maintenance. I’m only suggesting that we divert some of that money into more efficient systems, and then give people incentives to use these alternatives. Either that or let’s eliminate ALL government involvement with road construction and maintenance, and let users (i.e., drivers) pay for the costs of highway building and maintenance on their own through user fees. For you laissez-faire anti-regulatory folks, maybe that ought to be the way to go. And BTW, $3.50-$4.50 a gallon still doesn’t equal the probable cost of gasoline, when the environmental and social costs of its use are factored in.



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Aaron

posted February 28, 2007 at 6:33 pm


(for yet another example, see how laws “protecting” endangered species like the California buzzard or wood owl are actually resulting in people going out of their way to KILL said animals and bury them). That’s not a failure of the law, that’s a failure of people (conservatives??) failing to obey the law.



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Joseph T

posted February 28, 2007 at 7:47 pm


There is no free and open flow of government sponsored climate research as is shown below. The Bush administation appears to dislike scientific data as much as many of you do( As is shown by the following report to the US Cogress, one of several similar reports). Those of you opposed to regulation; why are you not opposed to the government actively suppressing and therby regulating research purchased with tax dollars. The regulation argument is ludicrous we regulate traffic in dangerous materials for our own health and safety . You can’t hit someone, or shoot them or whip your employees and any government that allowed such would be barbaric. Neither should you be able to harm the shared environment, by mishandlng toxics, creating life-threatening working conditions or otherwise. The need for regulation is inescapable if you want a means of moral self governmentThis written testimony contains an overview of the issue of scientific integrity, a summary of the report Atmosphere of Pressure released today and recommended government reforms needed to restore scientific integrity to the policy making process. Also included are a timeline of abuses of science compiled by UCS, selected essay responses from UCS s survey of federal climate scientists, the text of the statement signed by 11,000 scientists, and summaries of UCS s surveys of scientists working at the Food and Drug Administration, the Fish & Wildlife Service, the NOAA Fisheries Service, and climate scientists working at seven federal agencies. In a nutshell, here is the problem we face political interference is harming federal science and threatening the health and safety of Americans. UCS has surveyed more than 1,800 federal scientists and found the following: 145 FDA scientists reported being asked, for non-scientific reasons, to inappropriately exclude or alter technical information or change their conclusions in an FDA scientific document. Nearly half (44 percent) of all FWS scientists whose work is to evaluate endangered species reported that they have been directed, for non-scientific reasons, to refrain from making findings that would protect a species. And, from the report we are releasing today, 150 federal climate scientists report personally experiencing at least one incident of political interference in the past five years, for a total of at least 435 such incidents.



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Mark P

posted February 28, 2007 at 7:55 pm


“For all the businesses out there wanting to make money with the new product, there’s others who are fully invested in the old product and don’t like the new competition. And that’s what it is, competition.” So what? They can’t ban new green carmakers. They can slow it down, but if they’re smart (and at least the Asian car makers are), they’ll keep up with an inevitable trend, not stop it. You’re already starting to see that with the hybrids, and I think it will continue. “Secondly, change is risky. Status quo is safe, as long as it is continuing to make money, and it is.” Companies that don’t adapt die. It doesn’t matter if you corner a market; it can be ripped away from you in a heartbeat if you don’t keep up. The car companies know that if they don’t stay abreast, somebody else will, and they’ll go out of business. Take a gander at the Detroit carmakers; if you don’t keep changing, you die. Or look at Sony Music prior to the iPod and Sony now (record losses, loss of the portable music market, etc etc). “Do you think there wasn’t resistance to automobiles from the ‘Horse and Carriage’ industry, no matter how much money, as we all know now, there was to be made from cars?” Yeah, and guess what won out? The car industry. And guess what WASN’T necessary for that to happen? Government. The superior product WILL win; the question is only how quickly will that happen. The horse and buggey moguls (this is ridiculous :) ) lost, even if they slowed down Henry a little bit. “its that they wouldn’t recognize there IS a problem to address” That’s definitely NOT the traditional conservative problem. Traditional conservatives are quite good at recognizing problems of all sorts. Read Russell Kirk’s Prospects for Conservatives. You’re confusing your conservatives. “Our current inefficient transportation system is HIGHLY SUBSIDIZED by government” Yep, and it doesn’t work. And it won’t work even if you divert the funds. The government does not have a vested interest in efficiency (politicians might, individually, but the infrastructure of the government does not). “Either that or let’s eliminate ALL government involvement with road construction and maintenance, and let users (i.e., drivers) pay for the costs of highway building and maintenance on their own through user fees. For you laissez-faire anti-regulatory folks, maybe that ought to be the way to go.” Agreed. Compare toll roads/highways to government highways. (I’m not a capitalist, but I do advocate a truly free market) “That’s not a failure of the law, that’s a failure of people (conservatives??) failing to obey the law.” Aaron Aaron. Let’s not be silly. A LAW THAT CREATES A MORAL HAZARD IS A BAD LAW. (a moral hazard is created when the incentives to break a law outweigh the incentives to follow the law) If you make people pay $1000 every day they DON’T break the speed limit, is that a good law? That’s EXACTLY what the endangered species act does — it punishes people who own land that is friendly to endangered species and who abide by the law, while REWARDING people who destroy friendly habitats and/or ignore the law. “The regulation argument is ludicrous […] The need for regulation is inescapable if you want a means of moral self government.” (aside: it ceases to be self-government when you enforce it. For example, charity is a virtue because you actively pursue it. Welfare is not because you are forced to give to it.) I just don’t see any feasible means of regulation that isn’t likely to cause more problems than it solves while failing to accomplish what it intends to do. Until the bulk of American *believe* there is a problem that we should fix, your laws won’t work… and once Americans do believe, laws will be unnecessary and cumbersome. I hate to come off as a “market=god” libertarian, but the market really will solve the problem once Americans begin to value the solution…. and, again, until they do, the laws will not work.



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kevin s.

posted February 28, 2007 at 8:01 pm


“Do you think there wasn’t resistance to automobiles from the ‘Horse and Carriage’ industry, no matter how much money, as we all know now, there was to be made from cars?” Sure, but we transitioned to cars anyway.



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kevin s.

posted February 28, 2007 at 8:05 pm


“Either that or let’s eliminate ALL government involvement with road construction and maintenance, and let users (i.e., drivers) pay for the costs of highway building and maintenance on their own through user fees.” We’re starting to move toward this model, and I am unopposed. But yes, government shouldn’t have been involved in the first place, by and large.



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Aaron

posted February 28, 2007 at 8:08 pm


Aaron Aaron. Let’s not be silly. A LAW THAT CREATES A MORAL HAZARD IS A BAD LAW. (a moral hazard is created when the incentives to break a law outweigh the incentives to follow the law) If you make people pay $1000 every day they DON’T break the speed limit, is that a good law? That’s EXACTLY what the endangered species act does — it punishes people who own land that is friendly to endangered species and who abide by the law, while REWARDING people who destroy friendly habitats and/or ignore the law. That’s just a ridiculous argument. You’re basically saying we shouldn’t have any environmental regulation at all, yet environmental laws work every day. The problem is in the political process. Take the teeth out of the regulation and fines, and of course there’s great incentive to not follow the law. They’d rather spend the money lobbying or pay the assessed fines as cost of business because the regulations have no balls.



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kevin s.

posted February 28, 2007 at 8:11 pm


“The regulation argument is ludicrous we regulate traffic in dangerous materials for our own health and safety.” It’s not all regulation that I oppose. It’s regulation that will not achieve it’s desired effect with any level of efficiency. As for the notion that politics interferes with the interpretation of scientific data, I have been making that point all along.



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kevin s.

posted February 28, 2007 at 8:14 pm


Aaron, What Mark is referring to is the perverse incentive to kill endangered animals on your property because, once they are discovered, obscene regulations are placed on your ability to develop or sell that property.The laws are often used by enivronmental protection groups to curb development. Once animals are placed on the list, groups will spend enormous amounts to keep them on that list, even after their numbers improve, in an attempt to prevent land development.The endangered species act is an example of bad law. By argument, you have to claim that bad law does not even exist.



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Aaron

posted February 28, 2007 at 8:26 pm


I don’t have to argue any such thing, I don’t understand how you come to that conclusion. But hey, biases upfront. I’m an environmental regulator, I see everyday how environmental regulation works. I also see everyday how it fails, mostly in part thanks to political pressures.



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Aaron

posted February 28, 2007 at 8:32 pm


As for the notion that politics interferes with the interpretation of scientific data, I have been making that point all along. Yes, I believe it was also you who made the comment that climate scientists have an incentive to keep the GW scare alive to keep the federal funds rolling in. But what I wonder is how much government money is at stake versus how much the oil and coal companies have at stake complete with their lobbying efforts and ability to get their men into high office? We’re probably talking pennies on the millions. And it was always “strange” when following the money, that anti-GW arguments, more often than not, could be traced back to fossil fuel companies and conservative think-tanks.



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Joseph T

posted February 28, 2007 at 8:37 pm


Some of you need to compare your theories of free market deregulation against the destructive failures of adequate regulation and planning: Bhopal Love Canal 3 Mile Island Enron Exxon Valdez The american Dustbowl had many warnings and could hav been prevented through regulations Nuclear testing before test ban treaty Recent mining disasters New Orleans Chernobyl The recent spill of toxics off the west coast of Africa Monsanto’s poisoning Of the town of Anniston AL with tons of PCBs ( case decided overwhelmingly in towns favor a few years ago.) Thalidimide The massive damage to the Ozone through CFCs, halon and carbon tetrachloride The Mass oil ecocide in the Niger River Delta costing thousand of lives The mass extinction of species created by God This is just a small part of the suffering and death which result from inadequate environmental regulation. The earth/atmosphere is heating and it is clear why. the science so far has been accurately predictive on the conservative side . It’s happening faster than foreseen because of the reinforcement factors like methane release from the tundra and the loss of reflection from ice and snow. Time to get real.



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Kannbrown65

posted February 28, 2007 at 8:40 pm


Mark, I was explaining exactly THAT, what you said. Someone, maybe you or Kevin, was saying ‘if they’re all waiting to make money, why aren’t they?’ Because of that resistance. I didn’t say it wouldn’t happen. I didn’t say it would work forever. But, as you said, it SLOWS IT DOWN. And then the car makers point at the dearth of hybrids, as they, themselves, refuse to put in the research, or dribble out small runs of the ones that are available, even as there are huge pre-orders and waiting lines for the ones made.Again, doesn’t STOP, but explains why progress is SLOW. Because business isn’t monolithic, and while there are those who support the progress, there are those who equally kick against it. And eventually, they will lose out. But it isn’t like most established businesses look further ahead than the next buying season, or the next day, in the case of those who worry more about their stock market prices than the products they produce.And some struggle to preserve their monopoly over products that don’t rely on the existence of a few derricks in very limited places, but could be produced anywhere. Even by private individuals.And when the sole issue is profit, can’t blame them for doing so.



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Don

posted February 28, 2007 at 8:48 pm


I fully agree, Joseph T. Time to get real. Thanks,



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carl copas

posted February 28, 2007 at 9:00 pm


Don: “I fully agree, Joseph T. Time to get real.” I’ll chime in with my agreement also. The time for debating the reality of global warming is over. We operate on less than 100% perfect certainty all the time. I’m damned if I’m going to sit by and let my kids’ future be ruined just because some people refuse to accept a preponderance of evidence.



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Kannbrown65

posted February 28, 2007 at 10:39 pm


Yes, cars came anyway. But that was with the active advocacy and subsidizing of Government. But it still slowed things down considerably. (Ever see some of the draconian local laws people had put on the use of automobiles?) In this case, we’re getting the exact opposite. The direct interference of highest level of government in the conducting and dissemination of research. Oh, and three names as opposed to over 2000 isn’t very impressive. And remember.. meteorology no more applies to this issue than accounting or economics does to theories of quantum physics. They both involve weather patterns, but the disciplines are considerably different, in scope and methodology.



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Wolverine

posted February 28, 2007 at 10:44 pm


Joseph T gave a list of “market failures” that included New Orleans, nuclear testing, and Chernobyl I won’t pretend that the market is flawless, but these three items simply don’t belong and suggest that you weren’t paying attention to what you were typing. NEW ORLEANS: The levies that failed, which was the main reason the city flooded as badly as it was, were government projects. Corruption at the state level, combined with bad coordination with the Army Corps of Engineers, left the levies in a weakened state. NUCLEAR TESTING: This was strictly a department of defense operation. Conservatives have never supported privatized nukes. CHERNOBYL: The reactor failure in the Ukraine took place long before Perestroika. All major industries, including nuclear power plants, were under the direct control of the Soviet state. Free markets had little to do with Katrina, and nothing to do with Chernobyl or nuclear testing. Wolverine



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Mark P

posted February 28, 2007 at 10:45 pm


“That’s just a ridiculous argument. You’re basically saying we shouldn’t have any environmental regulation at all, yet environmental laws work every day. The problem is in the political process. Take the teeth out of the regulation and fines, and of course there’s great incentive to not follow the law. They’d rather spend the money lobbying or pay the assessed fines as cost of business because the regulations have no balls.” Aaron, have you ever considered rewarding people for protecting endangered species rather than punishing them? (steps into shoes of business owner) Say, instead of freezing all my assets and destroying my business when a spotted owl shows up on my land, why don’t you give me a thousand dollars? I’ll be a lot less likely to shoot and bury the owl. And, furthermore, full enforcement is impossible. If I own 100,000 acres of timberland, you are not going to be able to find out if I used a falcon to destroy some spotted owl… and I, the businessman, am going to kill the stinking thing as long as my options are: (a) Have my entire land frozen and my business brought down (b) Kill the pest (steps out of shoes) Of course people *should* obey the laws, but it is simply unjust to tell someone that they are legally bound to dip their hands into acid. —- “But it isn’t like most established businesses look further ahead than the next buying season, or the next day, in the case of those who worry more about their stock market prices than the products they produce.” Are you serious? Are you a businessman? Business owners who do not look out for the long term future of their companies do NOT last in the market. It’s simple. —- Joseph T, you provide many valid examples of the dangers of the free market, but just as many of those are examples of the harms and failures of your centralized government regulation. Yes, many of them are due to apathetic big business, but many of them are due to impossibly inefficient and doomed government programs. I simply believe that government regulation will not work and is likely to create as many problems as it causes.



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Wolverine

posted February 28, 2007 at 10:55 pm


Joseph T: You presented an interesting list of claims of interference in scientific work. Source? Wolverine



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Aaron

posted February 28, 2007 at 11:02 pm

Aaron

posted February 28, 2007 at 11:15 pm


Aaron, have you ever considered rewarding people for protecting endangered species rather than punishing them? Of course, implementation is tricky though. Take your example, $1,000 would hardly prevent you from still killing an owl when you have 100,000acres of timber profits. So what do we do? Invoke emminent domain and pay the fair market value? Now you have the beginnings of a subset of the timber lobby using federal funds to guarantee a set amount of money. What happens when the owl is delisted? Does the gov’t then lease back the timber rights to bidders, set aside the land for the public? Here’s another example I’m more well-versed in. In our state, when a surface water body is used as a public water supply, certain density restrictions are emplaced and 100 foot vegetated buffers are required (for high density) around all streasm in the watershed. This means (with the exception of variances and exclusions for existing uses), that no new development can happen within 100 feet of the water. Should the property owners be compensated? If so how? The buffers are necessary to protect water quality afterall. I freely admit there’s no easy answers, but I know the market doesn’t always magick-up solutions either, just as I know some laws are bad. Of course people *should* obey the laws, but it is simply unjust to tell someone that they are legally bound to dip their hands into acid. Thank god I’ve never seen a law like that ;)



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kevin s.

posted March 1, 2007 at 12:17 am


“Yes, I believe it was also you who made the comment that climate scientists have an incentive to keep the GW scare alive to keep the federal funds rolling in.” It’s millions on both sides, dude. You think (for example) Toyota doesn’t have a horse in this race? I wouldn’t refer to it as a Global Warming scare. I believe the globe is warming, and that this could have scary implications. I don’t really think the debate is about whether there is blogal warming. The debate is over what can we do, how can we make sure our international allies are doing it as well, and how can we do it without devastating the economy.”But, as you said, it SLOWS IT DOWN. And then the car makers point at the dearth of hybrids, as they, themselves, refuse to put in the research, or dribble out small runs of the ones that are available, even as there are huge pre-orders and waiting lines for the ones made. ” I’m sorry, who is refusing to put in research into hybrids? It looks to me like car companies are rushing to meet the demand. I think it’s fine if the business cycle slows down the process of converting mass hysteria into action.In some countries, there were major incentives to purchase cars that ran on natural gas. That doesn’t seem like such a smart move now, does it? “And remember.. meteorology no more applies to this issue than accounting or economics does to theories of quantum physics.” The chair of the IPCC has a PhD in Economics (and made his money through diesel locomotives). Perhaps you should request his removal, on account of his irrelevant credentials.What does thalidomide have to do with this discussion?



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Wolverine

posted March 1, 2007 at 1:32 am


Kevin S. wrote: I don’t really think the debate is about whether there is blogal warming. Neither do I. There’s no shortage of hot air at this blog. (Sorry Kevin, I just couldn’t resist) Wolverine



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carl copas

posted March 1, 2007 at 1:58 am


Wolverine, LOL. Thanks for the timely humor.



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Mark P

posted March 1, 2007 at 2:10 am


“Take your example, $1,000 would hardly prevent you from still killing an owl when you have 100,000acres of timber profits.” The point is that if you, as a governmental body, are going to overstep your Constitutional bounds, you better not do it in such a way that you are destroying someone’s business or property (durned property rights). You seem to assume that these loggers have some owl vendetta. The only reason they feel inclined to off the poor things is because if they DON’T, their business is wrecked. The long and short of it is that the government rarely solves problems, and I’m afraid I don’t trust the future of my children to government regulation.



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Kannbrown65

posted March 1, 2007 at 3:50 am


Well, show us all their hybrid efforts. After all, its not re-inventing the wheel. Hybrids are already invented. Other than some design features to make it their own, they could have them on the line next year.So, where are they? Other than things like the Prius, out for years, and in limited runs. Likely to justify making it cost more. There IS money in it, and yet, there are so few, and took so long to get the few out there developed. So, obviously there’s something else at play here than the profit that could be made on the new technology. Like the risks that theirs won’t be as good as the competition. That customers, seeing totally new technology, will use more to gauge its value other than if it looks good, and they won’t be able to come up with the goods. The need for real innovation that corporations (most ‘new’ things are, lately, cosmetic changes. Take the same thing, make it smaller, or cuter.) don’t want to put the time or money into and risk being wrong, and losing that money, when they can just slap a new coat of paint on the old things.And, let’s not even bring the oil companies into it, who are mono-product entities, who are totally invested in the old fuel. That’s where the real pressure is coming. Ford isn’t the one funding those scientists. Exxon-Mobile and BP are.



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kevin s.

posted March 1, 2007 at 4:14 am


“So, where are they? Other than things like the Prius, out for years, and in limited runs. Likely to justify making it cost more.” Honda, Nissan and Toyota and Ford have them. Mercury and Chevrolet are debuting there’s shortly. Saturn and Hyundai have there’s in develoment. “Like the risks that theirs won’t be as good as the competition.” If this were an issue, then Chevy would cease to make cars altogether.”That customers, seeing totally new technology, will use more to gauge its value other than if it looks good” See above. ” Exxon-Mobile and BP are.” Sort of. It is interesting, though, that we are not supposed to question the scientists, for the reason that they are scientists… Except when they disagree with us. Then we clearly ought to question them.Either way, none of this represents a compelling argument for the investment of billions of tax dollars, or the excessive regulation of industry.



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butch

posted March 1, 2007 at 4:34 am


Don, “The experts are those who publish in independent peer-reviewed scientific journals and who have spent their careers in climate science and climate research,” Well said again!



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Doug

posted March 1, 2007 at 7:59 am


Mark P: “I think it’s disillusionment due to scientists who go wild publishing before they should to try to draw attention and get famous… and the sensationalism in the media. For me, it’s not so much that I’ll tell you what to do. Rather, it’s just cynicism about the scientific community because everybody bickers and, particularly when you ARE ignorant on these matters (as I am), it’s difficult to sort out which salad bar of PhD’s and research scientists is actually right.” Okay, this comment got my dander up. I guess I’m the only atmospheric scientist following this blog (MS in atmospheric science from Colorado State University, PhD in climatology from Kent State University). So who, exactly, are these scientists seeking fame and fortune by wild publishing? I certainly have never encountered any. The atmospheric scientists I know are hard-working, dedicated, detail-oriented, circumspect, and generally very shy people who love the atmospheric system. Serious atmospheric research has been going on, quietly, for a very long time, a couple hundred years in fact, long before cameras, media, and political pundits came along. I can’t think of a single scientist who’s motivation is to be in the lime-light. As for myself, I was on the fence for a number of years about the extent of anthropogenic contribution to the rising surface temperatures we are observing, until the lastest findings of the IPCC working group I came out. The report is quite convincing, especially given the huge amount of research done from disparate sources, both observational and modeling, resulting in this broad-based consensus. For those interested, here is where you can find the summary for policymakers: http://www.ipcc.ch/ then click on ‘Download Summary for Policymakers’ The summary presents a concise overview of the physical science basis for how and why the climate is changing, and man’s contribution to it.



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Kannbrown65

posted March 1, 2007 at 9:36 am


Fame? Climatologists? Let’s try this out. Name one.I mean an actual name. Someone who got ‘famous’ by their study. Surely, if they’re all out there scrambling around with their ‘wild research’ in order to get this fame and renown, you should be able to actually spout out a name, and all of us know it. (And no, Al Gore doesn’t count. He’s not a climatologist, got no research dollars, and hasn’t published any studies.)



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Kannbrown65

posted March 1, 2007 at 9:40 am


No, Kevin. They went through their risk early on. Sure, now that its gotten big, and more people are noticing who funds most (and no, I did not say ALL, so if you manage a name or two, that says nothing about most of them) of the opposing view. NOW they are suddenly popping out with the same technology that’s been available the whole time. There’s no ‘scrambling’. But yes, there IS risk. And yes, they would’ve put out cars in the first place. Why? They weren’t part of the status quo to want to protect it. If they were buggy manufacturers, then it might be equivalent.You don’t fight to protect the status quo, unless you are PART of it, and its no risk if you have nothing in the first place. The first manufacturers might have risked it not being profitable, but they weren’t dipping into already existent profits from a competing technology in order to do so.



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kevin s.

posted March 1, 2007 at 1:00 pm


“And yes, they would’ve put out cars in the first place. Why? They weren’t part of the status quo to want to protect it. If they were buggy manufacturers, then it might be equivalent. ” Okay, the auto manufacturers came along and rendered the buggy obsolete. My point is that market demand for a product will result in a product being made. i didn’t say that it had to come from an existing auto manufacturer.



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Kannbrown65

posted March 1, 2007 at 1:19 pm


And my point is, even the buggy manufacturers didn’t go hand in glove, in lobbying and in financing research with tack and feed manufacturers to try and slow down the process.Yes, they eventually would, but the type and level of resistance and the methods that had been used, until they couldn’t be used anymore (with what was practically a consumer uprising.. talk about not leading the market, but having to be dragged along..) don’t really have the kind of precedent that this one did.We’ve got people so persuaded that they’re acting like making an auto that puts out less emissions is going to create war, economic disasters, and somehow be an untested manipulation of the environment. I don’t think those first auto manufacturers had that problem. Indeed, they had the help and subsidies of the government, for their fuel source, their creation, the development of the necessary network of surfaces for them to be more than a novelty item.Of course, now that’s considered somehow tampering.. when applied to OTHER new developments, while auto and fuel suppliers act like they are solely the product of the market, free capitalism and good old American initiative.



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Mark P

posted March 1, 2007 at 1:31 pm


Doug: That’s funny, I could have sworn I said “and I don’t mean specifically on this issue.” So, I mean, correct me if I’m wrong, but I think I was talking about scientists across specialized fields… not just atmospheric specialists. I just got that impression because I said “I don’t mean specifically on this issue,” but, you know, I could see how someone could take that to mean “I mean specifically on this atmospheric issue”… especially if they didn’t read the post but decided to respond to it anyway. I’m talking about scientists who prematurely publish things like…. pig bones as missing links… multivitamins shortening lifespans… stretching is bad for athletes… weightlifting causes growth-stunting… Are you really telling me no scientist has ever rushed to publish so he can be the “first” one to slap his name on something potentially big? Even when it turns out that, oh wait, it’s not big, it’s just a mistake? Or that nothing published in a scientific journal has ever been destroyed in peer review? The problem is that some (be it media or the researchers themselves) will pump up findings that haven’t been peer reviewed yet to be a big deal… then when we, the ignorant American public, read about other scientists saying, “So-and-so is a flipping idiot,” we tend to get disillusioned with scientific research. I’m not saying that’s the RIGHT attitude, but it is what happens, so we (the ignorant American public) take a little while to swallow what the scientific community force-feeds us, even if they are in virtual unison in doing so. Oh, and just to make it clear… I’m not talking about atmospheric scientists specifically.



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Kannbrown65

posted March 1, 2007 at 2:33 pm


You could’ve said that maybe 5 years, and 2000 scientists ago. This is hardly, at this point, a ‘rush to judgment’. The point with things like the pig bones, and other mistakes and frauds is that science is willing to admit, and amend mistakes when they occur. Otherwise, you’d not have those examples while scientists still tried to claim they were valid. While there are small alterations over in time in degrees, the amount of time, the number of reports and research, and the consensus (which is NOT unanimity, there’s very few areas of life where you can ever claim that everyone entirely agrees. Case in point, there’s still people who believe the Earth is flat) of the discipline is for Global warming. I’d wonder if this amount of agreement, research, and this level of skepticism is aimed at any other area of scientific research. From germ theory to the theory of Gravitation? Myself, I figure God, himself, could skywrite confirmation across the clouds and the ones who disagree at this point would still do so. And that even among those who mildly agree, there will be little substantial change because, en masse, people are greedy, and they are lazy. And when profits and effort (and yes, all change costs something) are at stake, vs. any other consideration, humanity skews toward denial and apathy.



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Mark P

posted March 1, 2007 at 5:58 pm


Wow. Do you have any clue what my point was? I think not. It had nothing to do with the legitimacy of global warming. At all. It had everything to do with the American publics typical suspicion of scientists and scientific research. I wasn’t saying, “It’s not peer reviewed.” I wasn’t even saying, “People should be suspicious of the research.” I was saying, “People ARE suspicious.” So it doesn’t matter whether they should or shouldn’t be; the statement is they are, and the reasons offered were explanations of why Americans are suspicious.



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Kannbrown65

posted March 1, 2007 at 6:11 pm


The point is, people are NOT universally suspicious of scientific findings. Most people are not even particularly suspicious about Global Warming. Only a specific group is suspicious, and only, really, about this issue. (well, and one other, but I won’t bring that up here.) Which likely has little to do with assertions regarding pig bones, or other assertions based on scams, frauds, or blatant errors.If that were the case, they should be suspicious of Germ Theory, of the theory of Gravitation, of any of a dozen theories that have been proposed since those events. They aren’t. They are only, and very vocally, suspicious of this one, and only of ONE side of the scientists. I don’t see a lot of suspicion on the findings of the scientists who dispute Global warming.It isn’t ‘Americans are suspicous’. It is that a particular, and increasingly small segment of society disputes Global Warming and supports the findings of yet another group of scientists, all without comparing THEIR research to the Peking man, etc. If the previous errors of science were at cause, they would be suspicious of scientists on BOTH sides.



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neuro_nurse

posted March 1, 2007 at 6:13 pm


Science Under Siege: The Bush Administration’s Assault on Academic Freedom and Scientific Inquiry http://www.aclu.org/privacy/gen/15329pub20050620.html



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Don

posted March 1, 2007 at 6:30 pm


Kannbrown65: I think I can guess the other issue about which a certain group of people is suspicious. ;-) But I’ll not mention it either. And, your point is well taken. This small group of global-warming deniers is very selectively suspicious about scientific inquiry. But they benefit by having advocates and supporters in high places. The article neuro_nurse points us to is only one of the exposes of this problem. Another is Chris Mooney’s “The Republican War on Science.” Well worth reading. (And, for the record, I’m a Republican; at least I used to consider myself one, though I don’t know how closely I identify with the current batch of Republicans.)Peace,



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neuro_nurse

posted March 1, 2007 at 7:08 pm


United States House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform: Politics and science in the Bush Administration.http://oversight.house.gov/features/politics_and_science/pdfs/pdf_politics_and_science_rep.pdf



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kevin s.

posted March 1, 2007 at 7:36 pm


“If that were the case, they should be suspicious of Germ Theory, of the theory of Gravitation, of any of a dozen theories that have been proposed since those events.” People are not going to examine science that has no impact on their behavior. That’s just common sense. But when you are asking me to make a sacrifice, then, yes, I am going to question your science.Plenty of scientific theories have been wrong. There is no scientific consensus about what could be done that would reverse global warming, which is the important question here. It is completely fair to examine the quality, obejctivity, and the reach of the science in this case before making policy decisions. Conservatives want to do just that. Liberals made up their minds years ago.



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Don

posted March 1, 2007 at 7:48 pm


Kevin: With all due respect, please refrain from dividing the world into conservative vs. liberal camps in your future posts. In some of my previous posts, I’ve tried to indicate that what passes for “conservative” today is far different from what “conservative” used to mean. These terms have essentially lost their meanings. And if you haven’t completely made up your mind about climate change (which in fact seems to be the case, if I read your posts carefully), read the two posts put up by neuro_nurse. Also, if you can, borrow a copy of “The Republican War on Science” from your local library and read it. When you read how science has been manipulated to try and deny the near scientific consensus on climate change, you might begin to see why so many of us have become disillusioned by so-called “conservative” politics. Pax,



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Mark P

posted March 1, 2007 at 8:32 pm


Kannbrown65, looked at a few polls around the Internet, and I concede the point that Americans believe global warming exists and is happening. Most of the polls show that about 80% (generally in the low 80’s) believe it’s probably happening. It’s more like 60ish percent believing it’s caused by humans, though. Here’s one typical poll: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/GlobalWarming/story?id=1750492&page=1



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kevin s.

posted March 1, 2007 at 8:32 pm


“With all due respect, please refrain from dividing the world into conservative vs. liberal camps in your future posts” At the same time, you are insinuating that Republicans have declared war on science. I am not trying to put people in camps, but there is clearly a liberal/conservative ideological schism at play here. This is important, I think, because the average person skews conservative on this issue. People are amaneable to the idea of protecting the environment, and they are more than happy to take personal responsibility for it. However, when it comes to jobs, livelihood, major economic impact, they need to see a cause and effect relationship between their sacrifice and tangible good. A movement that understands this concern, and advocates solutions that work within the free market will win the day on this one. The environmental movement (not unlike the pro-life movement) has been set back for years by a demand for ideological purity on environmental issues. Regardless of what the science suggests, the average citizen has to conclude that there are those who made up their minds about this issue decades ago. Many of those people (if you look at their bios) are now members of the IPCC, and other groups that are conducting this research.That, for me, is reason for caution, if not outright skepticism.



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neuro_nurse

posted March 1, 2007 at 8:54 pm


Don, There is a distinction that needs to be made between ‘conservatives’ and neo-con/bush apologists. I agree that in popular use of the term conservative has lost its traditional meaning. It is quite possible to be a conservative and a Republican (and yes, even patriotic) and disagree with the president as well as the apparent agenda of the majority of the current members of the Republican Party. This is not directed at any one person who has posted here, but I have read condemnations of the “liberal lifestyle” on previous threads. I have found that in my marriage, although my wife and I identify ourselves as being at opposite ends of the political spectrum, our values and beliefs (as far as they pertain to politics) are very similar. As Christians our first allegiance is to our Lord, with our families as a very close second. Peace!



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Kannbrown65

posted March 1, 2007 at 8:55 pm


I think his point is that Conservative doesn’t necessarily equal Republican. Therefore, he can be Conservative, and talk about the actions of Republicans, and feel there’s not necessarily any overlap. And most people likely won’t do anything that’s so much as inconvenient to prepare or alleviate a future problem even if it was certain, much less if there’s any excuse to doubt. So, no, I’m not surprised if they’re not willing to make any significant changes. Doesn’t make the issue any more or less true, or the changes any more or less necessary. It means what I said above. Most people skew not Conservative, necessarily (or there wouldn’t be a problem with Pro-life purity issues), but lazy and apathetic.



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Don

posted March 1, 2007 at 9:28 pm


To Kevin and all: In my comments about “conservatives” and “liberals,” I misplaced my response to Kevin’s post. This is what I took issue with: “It is completely fair to examine the quality, obejctivity, and the reach of the science in this case before making policy decisions. Conservatives want to do just that. Liberals made up their minds years ago.” In my mind, saying that “conservatives” examine the facts before deciding, but “liberals” have already made up their minds, makes Kevin guilty, I think, of a gross overgeneralization. Further, I think trying to neatly categorize people, ideas, or arguments as either “conservative” or “liberal” is oversimplifying. The world, our lives, and politics are all too complex to neatly fit things into only two categories and then label them with loaded names. To give a simple example, couldn’t someone have a “liberal” perspective on some issues and a “conservative” perspective on others? Regarding “The Republican War on Science”: I didn’t compose the title for that book, and I identified myself as a Republican when I first mentioned it here. (True, neuro_nurse, I am taking issue with the party I have identified with, just as you surmised. Only I wouldn’t say that the agenda I’m criticizing is necessarily that of a majority of Republicans–though that’s certainly possible–but of a majority of those Republicans in power positions today.) Yes, the book’s major premise is that Republicans, especially over the last dozen years or so, have manipulated science in an increasingly overt way, but that doesn’t mean that author Chris Mooney gives Democrats or “liberals” a free pass. Read the book for yourselves and you will see what I mean. For what it’s worth, and Kevin may not agree with this, but I basically see myself as fairly conservative on most things. But not on every thing, and certainly not in the way much current “conservative” thinking tends to lean.



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Squeaky

posted March 1, 2007 at 9:58 pm


Just a quick comment–I haven’t read these closely, but it seems some were debating the need for regulations. Just today I received and e-mail from the head of an environmental group that is dedicated to the health of a local waterway. One of the club members was checking their river section and found a site where illegal dumping had occurred. The reason this needs to be regulated is that the person who dumped it is NOT the person who will be affected by it. Everyone downstream of that site is affected, whether it is just because of the aesthetic affect of watching trash float on by, or the effect of water quality because of the poisons leaching out of the trash (a car battery was among the material dumped). I wish we could trust people to do the right thing, but we just can’t. And when they do the wrong thing, regulations need to be in place that will be enforced so the perpetrator can be fined or punished.



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Don

posted March 1, 2007 at 10:34 pm


A followup on something else Kevin wrote: “Regardless of what the science suggests, the average citizen has to conclude that there are those who made up their minds about this issue decades ago.” HAS to conclude? I don’t think the “average citizen,” whatever that is, HAS to conclude any such thing. Those who engage in thoughtful reading and careful evaluation could very easily be led to other conclusions. I feel this is another overgeneralization. My own experience defies this notion. I too was very skeptical of the human role in climate change for a long time. My mind was changed over a period of several years–probably close to eight, if one wants me to be precise. What changed it was that I began reading the peer-reviewed literature that I and others have repeatedly referred to in this column. Plus I talked with working scientists who were familiar with the climate research being done. It was a long process, a slow one, and a very thoughtful and deliberative process. I don’t think I’m a lot different from most of the people I know, but I do teach my students (I’m a college English instructor) to dissect, summarize, and evaluate what they read and not jump to conclusions. This rubric, of course, is what is meant by “critical thinking.” Our political system, unfortunately, encourages the public not to engage in such critical thinking processes. And if one chooses not to think critically, and accept at face value what the global-warming deniers have been dishing out, one might well conclude that some were convinced of this a long time ago, and that they have ever since been pushing some kind of agenda. Which is why I have suggested to go back to the sources: the peer-reviewed, independently published climate science literature. And read them critically, too. Don’t assume that I want you to read them because I blieve that if you do you will change your mind. Critical thinking and reading is important whatever the topic. Peace,



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Mark P

posted March 1, 2007 at 11:04 pm


“Our political system, unfortunately, encourages the public not to engage in such critical thinking processes.” Too true Don. “And when they do the wrong thing, regulations need to be in place that will be enforced so the perpetrator can be fined or punished.” Or the disaffected parties/cities can sue the perpetrators. Regulations are often virtually unenforcable, and the court system (as many problems as I have with it) as often proved far more effective in punishing these kinds of offenses than the legislative branch… that is to say, a company is much more likely to correct a problem when 2,000 consumers sue them than when there is an unenforcable government regulation. Additionally, such regulations put the responsibility for ensuring a certain standard squarely on the shoulders of our overstuffed and inefficient government rather than the individuals or businesses who are directly in charge of (whatever).



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Kevin K (yet another Kevin)

posted March 1, 2007 at 11:35 pm


One of the problems I see is that many have lost their understanding of what science is about. They attack the scientists as if they were politicians. Not that science has not or could not be used for political ends, but when the predominant community of credible science accepts a particular hypotheses, then it would be wise to acknowledge that these scientists have exposed these hypotheses to rigorous testing. I would accept their hypotheses far more than those with a clear economic interest. Wouldn’t it at least be wise to err on the side of safety? This would seem to be the “conservative” approach.



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Mark P

posted March 2, 2007 at 2:24 am


The conservative approach would be to err on the side of caution, by way of figuring out how to deal with global warming before just jumping in and potentially causing more harm than good. So there’s an international consensus that global warming is happening… what can we do and what should we do? The conservative approach would recognize that rash action is likely to cause more problems than it fixes, so be prudent in working out a solution.



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Kannbrown65

posted March 2, 2007 at 3:55 am


The main problems with the court system handling such issues is that.. First, that is reactive, not proactive. Sure, you can get some money after you or your kids have cancer, or have died of poisoning, etc. But wouldn’t it be a good idea to prevent such things from happening in the first place? Second, comparative resources. A good movie (it is based on a true story) that showcases that issue is ‘A Civil Action’. Corporations simply have more resources, more lawyers, more clout, and simply.. more time than mere humans. If nothing else, and yes, this has been a strategy, they can simply wait for the plaintiffs to die of the very problems they are going to court to address. Third, pinning liability. One of the big selling points of creating a corporation in the first place is to avoid liability. And corporations have become very adept at dodging even corporate liability (i.e. financial settlements) for its own actions, usually making low level and easily replaceable minions who had no real oversight or authority take the hit the few times an actual human takes any responsibility for the actions. Even figuring out who did what and authorized what, and what subsidiary of what corporation is so complex it is its own legal discipline. Finally, since the corporation has the liability, and the liability can only be civil (since you can’t put a corporation in jail), the only settlement is financial. And, depending on the resources of the corporations, and their risks of being sued, many either take the chance, since it weighed in favorably in the risk/reward assessment, or factor in the potential fines or suits into the operating costs of the corporation.And then we get people talking about these ‘excessive settlements’ and wanting to cap them with ‘tort reform’. Well, I’d be more than willing to trade (and I bet, barring legal and medical costs, most of the people suing would to) a huge settlement for one of those responsible sitting their butt for a real sentence in a genuine prison cell. Until then, the only way to not only get some recompense, but yes, to punish those responsible is a hit in the wallet. And I don’t see anything wrong with that. If it raises the prices of their products, well, maybe they shouldn’t be doing things that got them sued in the first place.



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Kannbrown65

posted March 2, 2007 at 4:01 am


Oh, and on a note of irony, as far as the effects of suits on consumers.. I’ve heard more complaints that ‘the settlements made the prices go up’.. Instead of thinking, ‘This company makes products that hurt people. Or hurt people while making their products. Maybe.. instead of b****ing about their price increases, I should go take my business over to someone who doesn’t harm people in the process of doing business…. Like I said, laziness, greed and apathy. Long as it didn’t actually hurt them…



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Kannbrown65

posted March 2, 2007 at 4:03 am


Well, other than some financial issues, there’s not any harm in the things proposed to fix global warming. Its not like they’re proposing releasing some weird untested chemical into the air, or creating some potentially dangerous machine. Its about being more frugal, less wasteful. Emitting less nasty stuff into the air and water. Far as I can see, those are good things even if there was no such thing as Global Warming.



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Tristan Black

posted March 2, 2007 at 5:43 am


I can’t believe with a Christian background that you can believe this nonsense about Global Warming. If we are such contributors to this supposed Global Warming then that means that God is not in control…but we are. First off 95% of all the Greenhouse gases are given off from the earth itself, mostly from volcanic gases. People affect this earth about 4%…So even if we clean up this 4% how can we fix or “tell” the earth to stop it’s pollution of itself…How proposterous. Please people these people 20 years ago were talking about how the earth was cooling and we were headed for another “Ice Age”…Do not fall into this trap…Please, Please, Please I beg you to follow the money trail first in any “movement”. God is in control, there is nothing you nor I can do to destroy this world without His Permission. Even Satan has to ask permission to do anything to us…So what do you think the most powerful angel is compared to us…mere mortals. Give me a break. Don’t put our God in a box. Have FAITH that He is in control and we should live our lives to the best of each other, but not to side with one or the other. We are here to work together, not to divide and conquer which is what this does. Do you understand how much destructive power the Greenpeace and other groups have had on our neighbors and even on ourselves. Animals have trumped the lives of people. Most people if asked today would save their family dog and leave their family in the house to burn. This is why we are on the slippery slope of Judgment. Please be more aware of the wolves in sheeps clothing which this movement certainly is. And do not fall prey to it’s doctrine…Falsely based proof and false doctrine. WAKE UP the Lord’s Sheep!! The wolves are at the door. a young servant of the Lord, Tristan



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Tristan Black

posted March 2, 2007 at 5:55 am


And by the way…There is not a “Global consensus” Even scientists don’t agree on this subject…Science is not about gaining a consenus…Al Gore who seems to be fathering this movement uses more energy, tho it may be told to us that he uses Carbon footprints “Offsets” (meaning he just uses everyone elses “Unused Carbon footprints” so he is asking you to stop using so much more of your carbon footprint so he can grow his own larger…by using yours and then saying he’s a good man. Using less is good yeah, but using more and asking others to use less is pure and simple “Greed”. Once again follow the money trail especially with politicians…There’s a huge difference between a politician and a statesman. Statesmen are few and far between. But they are what is needed in this country. Global Warming is a farce…Just like the “Theory on Evolution” is as well…Piltdown Man, Alice…etc…These are a farce to say we came from apes…what Evolutionists call evolving from another species has never ever been proved. Yes we adapt to our environments, but we do not evolve because of our environments. Even Darwin in his last days denied that Evolution was real. So will be the last days of Global Warming… Christians wake up. Have Faith. God is in control, not man…The earth was created by Him. We were created by Him. Does He not judge us? So if we are doing something bad He will judge us. He will and is ruling us with a rod of iron. Do not think that God Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth is a weak god, or a god that trembles at our works and words. He is the God of All. The Author of our existence. Remember that. Jesus is our Lord. Did He talk about Global Warming? No. He talked about loving your neighbor as yourself. And in doing that you would live in peace. We have all left our first love…We do not love God with all our Hearts, with all our Minds, and with all our Soul. Don’t let False Doctrine lead you astray, for remember you are His Sheep and you listen only to His Voice. Remember His Voice! Wolves in sheeps clothing…Beware…



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Kannbrown65

posted March 2, 2007 at 5:58 am


Tristan, God may be in control, but where in the Bible does it ever say God stops humans from experiencing the consequences of their own actions? I think they call that ‘Free Will’? If humans ARE causing this problem, is God going to ‘control’ things to prevent us from experiencing any consequences for it?



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Kannbrown65

posted March 2, 2007 at 6:03 am


Oh, and first, Consensus, as stated above, is NOT unanimity. It means, as stated, that MOST scientists agree. And that you won’t find peer reviewed, scholarly research in academic journals by specialists in the field that support the opposition. And this isn’t a matter of ‘destroying the world’. This is, on the scale of badness, more equivalent to something like the ‘Black Death’, that decimated most of Europe. Jesus didn’t talk about the Black Death either, did he? Didn’t stop it from happening. Or World Wars, or tsunamis, or other disasters, natural and less than natural. So, no. This isn’t about a Revelations style apocalyptic scenario. This is about disruption, increase in natural disasters, causing some human casualties, mass migrations and economic, political and social upheaval. Nothing out of line with ‘Actions create Consequences’, and fully in line with this little thing called ‘Free Will’. Well, unless you think God swoops in and stops you from hitting the ground when you jump off a cliff. Or gives you rent money when you gamble yours away. Same principle.



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doug

posted March 2, 2007 at 10:33 am


Actually, I wonder if II Peter 3:10 might not be a reference to a runaway greenhouse climate on Earth (such as is the case on Venus): “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.[a]” Footnotes: a. 2 Peter 3:10 Some manuscripts: be burned up



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Don

posted March 2, 2007 at 1:04 pm


Last evening, I was going to comment on the limitations of using the tort system as a de facto regualtor, but I ran out of time to write. Now Kannbrown65 has done such a thorough job, I don’t need to say much more. I would point out, however, that we must realize that the burden of proof in a civil case is always on the plaintiff, and that they must demonstrably show that the defendent is responsible and therefore liable. The usual test of demontrability is the do-called “preponderance of evidence” test. Especially in environmental cases, where the causes may be multiple and dispersed, and the damages and/or injuries may be long-term and non-specific, proving a direct cause-effect relationship between a *specific* polluter and a resulting damage or injury is often close to impossible. How could one *prove*, for example, that someone’s asthma was *caused* by the power plant’s emissions? And Mark P’s comments that regulations are virtually unenforceable is simply not true. Yes, regulatory bureaucracy is not always efficient, just like other bureaucracies aren’t, but they do catch and fine violators on a regular basis. They would do more if the had the funds and personnel to go after polluters more aggressively, but this lack of resources for regulatory enforcement has been one major result of the anti-regulatory climate in Washington over the last decade or so. And of course, the resulting inadequate regulatory oversight has become a convenient self-fulfilling prophecy for those who want to say that regulation doesn’t work. The need for regulation will diminish if and when corporations begin realizing that it is in their best interests, economically and socially both, to have a clean environmental, employee safety, and product safety record. If the attititude of corporate leaders becomes, “what can we do to be responsible corporate citizens,” instead of, “what can we get away with,” then maybe we won’t need so many regulations. ’nuff said for now,



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kevin s.

posted March 2, 2007 at 5:10 pm


“Actually, I wonder if II Peter 3:10 might not be a reference to a runaway greenhouse climate on Earth (such as is the case on Venus):” If that is what he is referring to, then climate change is a signal of the Lord’s coming to put an end to this world. Not much we can do about it, if it is foretold.



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Kannbrown65

posted March 2, 2007 at 6:57 pm


Actually, some of the point of most Biblical prophecies is to do something TO avoid them. Otherwise, Ninevah would’ve been a goner. Its possible that the ‘seals’ in Revelations are merely commentary on what humans are doing to themselves. And things like the dying of the seas, the deaths of the animals, all the consequences of our own actions. But free will works both ways. It says that ‘Do something stupid, pay the price’. It also says, ‘Stop doing the stupid thing and fix the mess, and you can alleviate the damage.’



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Kannbrown65

posted March 2, 2007 at 6:58 pm


But yes, the distance between denial and fatalism, from ‘Its not really happening’ to ‘Maybe it is, but we can’t really do anything about it’ seems exceptionally short.



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Don

posted March 2, 2007 at 7:16 pm


“If that is what he is referring to, then climate change is a signal of the Lord’s coming to put an end to this world. Not much we can do about it, if it is foretold.” Well, yes, I suppose. But one would first have to establish that global warming is indeed part of *the* fulfillment of II Peter 3:10. Normally we only know with certainty when a prophecy is fulfilled by hindsight. I would prefer to keep the perspective of “occupying until he comes.” Because we cannot know when that will be; therefore we cannot presume that climate change (or any other so-called sign) is truly a sign of his rreturn. And I can’t help but see that caring for God’s creation is a part of occupying. Not all of it, certainly, but part of it. Peace,



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Foundation

posted July 2, 2007 at 3:25 pm


One in three American adults suffers from arthritis and other rheumatic diseases. The ACR Research and Education Foundation (REF) is committed to funding rheumatology training and research programs that are vital to the care of patients suffering from these diseases. There are many http://www.squidoo.com/tits-big significant ways to support the Foundation’s mission: make a donation, serve as a mentor, apply for an REF award, and share your enthusiasm with others who might be looking to make their own commitment to improving rheumatic care. Together, we can make a difference.



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