I sent a leading environmental policymaker the link to a site that:
1. Lists 31,000 scientists including
2. Explains that contrary to media reporting, that IPCC report (funded by the UN) is substantively politically motivated rather than objective-science-driven.
3. Contains a refereed-journal-published review of the peer-reviewed scientific research, which concludes that significant doubt exists as to whether global warming is real, significantly manmade, and practically remediable.
My email to him continued:
Can you see why I believe it is premature for the world to embark on measures that will be of unprecedented cost and painful effect on the people who can least afford it in an attempt to cool the earth when global warming may turn out to be a non-problem, and even if it becomes a problem, it won't be for a long time, at which point new technologies will have sufficiently mitigated the problem? As even the environmentalist-run U.S. Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration agrees, average global temperature has increased a total of just 1 degree since 1880(!), absolutely no increase in the last decade despite a major increase in CO2 emission, and the best projections are for global COOLING for the next decade. Even if later, there is a resumed upward trend, by then, non-fossil-fuel technology (solar, wind, nuclear, etc) will likely have advanced enough to preclude the need for such draconian restrictions on humankind. Am I being foolish?I fully recognize that all the leaders of major governments, even George Bush, say we need to make massive efforts to stop global warming/climate change. So, not withstanding the 31,000 scientists, it's certainly possible that climate change is worth addressing. But what am I not understand that justifies the immediate massive pain that Gore and others of his ilk are calling for?
MartyHis response: "Even if it turns out that human induced climate change is modest, the benefits of aggressive reductions in oil use and improved energy efficiency are huge – and the strategies to do so are almost identical to those to reduce CO2. "
My response to him: There should be an enormous difference in the policy implications if global warming is not a serious concern. The difference: drilling for oil and natural gas to bridge us between now and when non-fossil-fuel energy becomes cost-effective. That enables people to not suffer restrictions on their freedom of mobility that come from higher gas prices and current proposals to restrict driving, freedom to be comfortable in their homes (no restrictions on thermostats), and freedom from the increases in the cost of living that will come from cap and trade, buy-local, and other restrictions that would be particularly painful to the working class and poor.
He responded: Drilling for more oil is good and would not be precluded by a climate policy. At worst, a small charge would be added to oil prodn costs (say, 30 cents/gallon) (via cap and trade or carbon tax) which would have zero effect on oil drilling. This is a false argument on your part.
And you haven't countered my argument that by drilling and use of existing and ever evolving current technologies, we'll bridge the 10-15 years until technological advances enable us to become energy independent.
So why impose a cap and trade/carbon tax (which would raise the costs of many other items other than gasoline) not to mention the other sources of public pain you've supported: restricting driving with Big-Brother monitors on car odometers and thermostats?
Remember the human costs of such restrictions: For example, a working-class non-custodial parent who wanted to visit their child regularly who lived 40 miles away would find it financially painful if not infeasible to do so. Many older people who are in good health and thus could not get a physician's exemption, are uncomfortable unless the thermostat is at 74 or 75, even with a sweater on. You'd force them to feel cold in their own homes.
Please recognize that you're hurting the lives of millions of human beings every time you impose one of the proposed restrictions. There needs to be darn good science to justify that.
We’ll never be energy independent (at least in this century). Carbon is an extrnaliity, just like pollution and energy security. The rational efficient way to internalize those costs is with a carbon tax or something similar.
I responded: It is not rational. Your scheme will hurt literally billions of people because of your perceived need to control carbon, despite the ambiguity of the science and despite the fact that in 10-15 years, before oil will have come close to running out, new technologies will have advanced enough that we won't be too dependent on foreign oil, and importantly, we will not have made billions of people suffer in the meantime.
What about the 100+ million
We're going round and round: You granted that the science is ambiguous on whether climate change is occurring and substantially man-made. Current potential flooding in one place on earth is no evidence of man-induced climate change. It's much more likely just one example of the natural disasters that have occurred since the earth began. Indeed, a recent court case debunked the CO2/hurricane connection. Saying that one place on earth may suffer severe flooding is far from justification for making the entire world suffer to try to cool the globe, when it well may be a non-issue.
Note: I withhold the name of the aforementioned policymaker because he's a friend and I promised that his comments would not be for attribution.