No, Governor, The Debate
About Man-Caused Global Warming Is Not Over!
By John R. Hess
Cool Profit$ Magazine (#60).
© 2005 All Rights Reserved
On June 1, 2005, after issuing an Executive Order that is supposed to make California the leader in the fight against Global Warming/Global Climate Change, Governor Schwarzenegger said:
“…the debate is over. We know the science, we see the threat and we know the time for action is now.”
So, unless he's fibbing, the Governor has now officially bought into the man-is-the-cause doom and gloom being peddled by activist global warmers.
He and his advisors could, however, just be pitching this theme to help soften his persona in light of the tough fight he's pursuing with California's teachers' and other public workers' unions. Then again, maybe he finally tired of fighting the environmental, academic and bureaucratic crowds and gave in. If he is serious with this plan, though, and came to this conclusion on his own, clearly he's not researched the subject deeply enough. My real concern, of course, is that he will now start lobbying President Bush to sign on to the Kyoto Protocol. With the Governor's strong European, in-law and Hollywood ties, that's not as far out as it seems (gulp).
The Governor obviously missed my suggestion in the last issue of Cool Profit$—the one where I called for MACS to hold a GW/GCC debate at their Orlando convention next January. If he had read the article, he would know of some very professional scientists who would gladly provide him with strong reasons as to why man is not a significant cause for earth-wide climate changes. But since he missed it, I'm going to give him another chance. Here are three more climatologists whose writings are readily available: Dr. Roy W. Spencer, Dr. Patrick Michaels and Mr. Joel Schwartz. (Mr. Schwartz is located very conveniently right there in Sacramento, Governor, should you care to consult with him.) Check out their work:
Qualifications: Dr. Spencer, a research scientist for University of Alabama, served as Senior Scientist for Climate Studies at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. He directed research into the development and application of satellite microwave sensing techniques for measuring global temperature, water vapor, and precipitation. He is now the U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer on NASA's Aqua satellite. Dr. Spencer is the recipient of NASA's Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement and the American Meteorological Society's Special Award for his satellite-based temperature monitoring work. He is the author of numerous scientific articles that have appeared in Science, Nature, Journal of Climate, Monthly Weather Review, Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, Journal of Climate and Applied Meteorology, Remote Sensing Reviews, Advances in Space Research, and Climatic Change. Dr. Spencer received his Ph.D. in Meteorology from the University of Wisconsin in 1981.
Dr. Patrick's and Mr. Schwartz' biographies also show them to be highly qualified climatological professionals. (Links to their bios and writings will be posted to the imcool.com website.)
I challenge the Governor (and anyone else who promotes that man is the prime or major cause of GW/GCC) to study and honestly dispute the Sound Science-based, logical reasoning of these men. An example can be found in a May 3, 2005
TCSDaily.com article by Dr. Spencer, titled “Global Warming: The Smoking
Gun?” In it, Dr. Spencer disputes Dr. James Hansen (lead author of a newly released climate modeling study) when he uses the term “smoking gun” to describe evidence that supposedly shows “anthropogenic climate change.” The study links (blames) a slight warming of the oceans over the last decade to the release of man-made gases and aerosols. Dr. Spencer points out weaknesses in the report and reminds readers that there are other viable explanations for ocean warming, such as a slight decrease in low clouds or even a temporary change in the heat exchange rate of the deep oceans.
Dr. Spencer's definition of a smoking gun would include 50 to 100 years of actual satellite measurements, not computer generated, model-based guesses. He feels it will be a long time before that state of knowledge allows us to make truly reliable policy decisions. But if society IS going to make those major decisions now, without all the answers, our uncertainties should be laid out on the table for all to see. Then at least we'll all be better prepared to make and support the right decisions (and avoid incorrect or uncorroborated ones).
Dr. Michaels, dated the week before Dr. Spencer's piece above, authored “James Hansen's Increasing Insensitivity.” In it, he points out the apparent lack of interest by the news media in Hansen's lowering of his surface warming estimate to two-thirds of what it was when Hansen first reported this value in 1988. (From 1.0°C per Watt per square meter forcing down to 0.67°C now.) But heaven knows the screaming we'd hear from environmental commentators had that value gone up! Oh, he also points out to US taxpayers that we're paying over $4 billion a year in climate change research for information that has been well established over the last 35 years. For instance, we already know that our rate of global average temperature change is actually very constant: 0.17°C.
Mr. Schwartz, in his “Terminating
Prosperity” piece of June 7, 2005, questions whether the Governor knows what he's talking about when he claims “human-caused climate change threatens to increase California's air pollution, reduce its water supplies, increase heat-related mortality, infectious diseases and asthma, harm the state's agricultural industry, and flood the state's 1,100 miles of coastline.” Read this article at
tcsdaily.com to really appreciate all of his explanations. But in it, Mr. Schwartz not only clubs the Governor for overreacting to claims that greenhouse-gas (GHG) is causing climate change, but also sets the record straight by laying the blame on environmentalists, politicians and yes, even other scientists for these false assumptions!
But it's when Mr. Schwartz describes the collateral damage that Governor Schwarzenegger's latest Executive Order can cause that should get everyone's attention: “Regardless of whatever harms might be caused by future human-induced climate change, measures to reduce GHG emissions will likely cause much greater harm.” And: “The federal Energy Information Administration, the Department of Energy's independent research arm, recently provided a reality check on the costs of GHG reduction requirements. EIA estimated that reducing national GHG emissions 11 percent below business-as-usual by 2025 would cost a total of $620 billion nationwide during the next 20 years. California has a somewhat different GHG mix than the nation, but assuming similar unit costs for California, the state's pro-rated cost would be about $40 billion, or an average of $2 billion per year.”
Here's another of Mr. Schwartz' real problems with the Governor's plan: “These programs are just a subset of the state's GHG reductions efforts, and GHG reduction is just one among many of the state's expensive social engineering schemes. Each takes money out of the pockets of average Californians in order to fund the pet causes of special interest busybodies. Because most of the costs are hidden in the form of higher prices for goods and services, the people who pay them don't realize they've had their pockets picked.”
The debate is NOT OVER, Governor. To say so means you're either ignorant of all the facts or lying; which is it?
The Governator should talk to Maine's Governor!
While it's still a little early to tell the outcome, the Governor of California should at least consider talking to Maine's Governor John Baldacci. Why? Because he recently signed a new law that directs Maine's Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to produce a “review of the cost effectiveness of the actions taken toward meeting the greenhouse gas emission reduction goals.” The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC, a bipartisan membership association for conservative state lawmakers who share a common belief in limited government, free markets, federalism, and individual liberty) says that “with the law in place, it is more likely that Maine will engage in actions that are based on sound science and are actually cost effective.”
Representative Henry Joy, who spearheaded the bill through the lawmaking process, expects that “the law will provide accountability in the rule-making process, and will assist DEP in measuring costs and benefits of actions contained in Maine's Climate Change Action Plan.”
Currently, according to Representative Joy, “under emission-reduction mandates already in effect, by 2010 the energy bill for an average Maine family will go up by about $3,000, as the state shifts from fossil-based energy sources to 'clean' sources, including wind and solar power…those things aren't cheap.” They sure aren't, Representative Joy. But unfortunately, Governor Schwarzenegger's plans also include those very same components.
Daniel Simmons, ALEC's Natural Resources Task Force Director, said “Too many states react to perceived environmental problems with solutions that are costly to taxpayers and don't produce environmental benefits. American citizens need actual solutions to actual problems. Thanks to Representative Joy, the economic and environmental standards now in effect provide a win-win for the environment and the taxpayers of Maine.”
Yes, well, we hope you're right, Mr. Simmons. In any case, Cool Profit$ Magazine will follow the progress of Maine's actions. Since the law requires Maine's DEP to update its evaluation to the Joint Committee on Natural Resources every two years, we'll be anxiously awaiting to see its progress, or not, in two years.
Another refrigerant change
There’s two reasons I brought up this latest round of GW news:
1) Because, like the European Union, the California Air Resources Board is already trying to do away with R-134a, if the Gov goes through with his Executive Order can quickly expect another round of refrigerant changeover confusion. Except this time you probably will not be covered by the benefit of “retrofit” charges.
2) Legislation like this, if left
unchallenged, propagates in light speed. We all need to be aware and keep up with its progress, and let our representatives know of how we feel…and that we plan to vote accordingly come the next election!
Message to Governor Schwarzenegger: Please rescind your Executive Order that demands GHG reductions. All you will accomplish is siphoning off funds that could be used to determine if and how man is truly inducing a change in the Earth's climate.
Convene a public, no-holds-bared debate, with strong advocates from both sides (those who firmly believe man is the prime cause of GW/GCC, and those who do not) as debaters. I have no doubt that such an event will lead to all citizens, not just the privileged “experts,” to be able to clearly differentiate facts from guesses on critical
climatically issues. If the outcome of such a debate shows undeniable proof that most Californians, or Americans for that matter, believe that there is a clear and present danger, then let’s all start fighting CO2
emissions. If not, let’s let GM, Ford, Daimler/Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota, Honda, Freightliner, Mack, John Deere, Caterpillar, et al, find us a better (cheaper), more efficient refrigerant—without being rushed! They will probably all work through the Society of Automotive Engineers.
Oh, and please quit giving money to environmental bureaucrats who are merely trying to stretch out their jobs until retirement...that's what Girly Men do.
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