Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Too Much Hot Air from John Kerry

In today's Seattle Times is an editorial rant on one of my pet topics, AGW.

In it, John (and Teresa -- she's a co-author. Equal opportunity and all. She wanted in on the grunts and nods of approval from the AGW "Amen" crowd, too.)

This man was almost president. It is truly frightening. The editorial basically repeats statements of belief and chastises skeptics as Infidels, led by the Great Satan of Industry. It's long on faith and short on facts.

What's really telling is ... after one of the the authors' two main arguments against skeptics is that they have a vested interest in being skeptics because they are "funded by industry" (I'm not funded by industry. How do I get me some of that?) ... anyway, the editor's author summary at the end of the story is:

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, and his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, will be signing their book, "This Moment on Earth," at 7:30 p.m. today at Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., Seattle.
Yup. That's right. Signing their book. Which they're no doubt giving away for free. Because, you know, having a vested interest in arguing a certain direction would completely undermine your case. Right?

And with that, let's embark on a fact-hunting fisk, to see what we can find.

We have spent the past decade debating a scientific consensus on global warming instead of taking action to fix it. The time is now to move from talk to action.
We repeat the chant of consensus. There is a consensus. There is. There is. As long as we rule out the scientists who disagree with us, everyone is in agreement. And even if there were a few industry hacks who somehow infiltrated the IPCC, they were in the room with our consensus, so they can be counted as a part of that consensus.

For too long, we have allowed our national dialogue on this looming crisis to be distorted by a small group of industry-funded naysayers. They have stalled as evidence mounted along with worldwide temperatures — which are up 1.4 degrees in this new millennium alone.
This new mellenium being the 21st century? Sorry, John. Mean Global Temperatures have remained essentially flat since the late 1990's. Temperatures are, in fact, up by about 1.4 degrees farenheit (~0.6 or 0.7 degrees celsius) in the past one hundred and fifty years -- half of it before 1940. In the context of the history of climate, it is hardly significant.

But why argue facts when your belief is so strong?
They have deployed an unending cascade of hollow arguments and manipulations
— often with the support and sympathy of the current administration.

"Hollow arguments and manipulations" known as facts and hard data, as opposed to model projections and associated scary scenarios meant precisely to manipulate public opinion. Besides, talk about the pot calling the stainless steel black. The unending cascade of such opinion has come from the believers' side, through the sypmathetic mouthpieces of the press and entertainment industry. Only recently have skeptical scientists - and this is not a small group at all, started speaking up loudly -- alarmed that this AGW scare has gone too far and that their rational voices have been the target of censorship and blacklisting.

It was 1987 when we first started talking about climate change, but Washington turned its back on hard realities and great possibilities — on renewables, efficiency breakthroughs and clean technologies. We could have created millions of new jobs and vast new markets, slowed global warming, saved taxpayers money, earned the world's respect, and significantly strengthened our long-term outlook. Instead, the effort in Washington — both Democrat and Republican — too often has been rhetorical, not real.

If renewables were a solution, we'd be using them already. The fact is, renewables are unreliable and take up vast open spaces -- environmental spaces. They're a nice thought and work on a small scale -- as long as there's a large-scale solution in place to back it up. And where would these millions of new jobs have come from, anyway? How would we have saved taxpayers money? And even if additional CO2 did precisely what the AGW believers say, our Global Warming "slowing" would be 0.07 degrees in 50 years.

The Kerrys go on to say:

It is time to do away once and for all with the myth that fixing the environment is bad for business. In the long run, the opposite is true. General Motors Vice Chairman Bob Lutz recently told Business Week, "Being known as the technology laggard is not conducive to selling automobiles."
Which ironically argues against government regulation. Auto manufacturers are apparently motivated to do this on their own. But then they go on to contradict themselves:

Government needs to help America's automakers create cars with higher gas mileage — and to help America maintain its edge in dozens of new "green" markets that will inevitably spring up to meet this challenge. Why shouldn't these new businesses be American businesses?
Because as we all know, Government has historically been better at solving industry's problems than, say, industry. And what are these dozens of new, green markets? And if they are so lucrative, why haven't our greedy capitalistic industries been eager to fill them? Oh, that's right, they need the Government's help to do this. Which they strongly resist, because they're ... so ... um... greedy, yeah. So let me get this straight. There are massive opportunities for making money in "greenness" for industry, and industry cannot take advantage of these markets on their own. They need Government help, so they fight Government help by funding AGW Skeptics to fool us all into thinking there's no problem to solve. Gotcha.

Each of us can do something, and we need to insist on leaders who will. We wouldn't elect someone who said terrorism wasn't a threat, but for too long we've tolerated those who treat the threat of energy insecurity and the truth of global climate change as inconvenient myths. Well, from now on, every American who walks into a polling place can and should vote to kick out anyone standing in the way of energy independence.
We wouldn't elect someone who said terrorism wasn't a threat ... As Mr. Kerry would know from direct experience. So what are you saying, Mr. Kerry? That Americans are smart enough to know a threat when they see it, but too dumb to know a non-threat when they see it? "We're from the Government, and We know better than you." That about sum it up?

The article goes on and on, and they even unashamedly hawk their own book and self-importance right there in the article.

We've decided to speak out about global warming every chance we get. We have written a book about the changing face of environmentalism called "This Moment on Earth" — the book explores what's at stake and explains what people are doing about it.
Good fer you!!!! Thaaaaaaaaaaaannnnnks!!!!!

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