Wednesday, January 02, 2008

It's getting hotter in here

There you go again. The OCRegister has a thoughtful, oh-so-serious piece titled "Global warming 'consensus' a fiction":
Global warming hype peaked in 2007 with calls for vast increases in government control to stifle industrial growth, eliminate fossil fuels and impose new carbon taxes.

We were told desperate measures are needed because there's a scientific "consensus" that man-made greenhouse gases are increasing dangerously. Former Vice President Al Gore claimed there's no legitimate objection to the catastrophes he and the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predict.

. . . A U.S. Senate report accumulated more than 400 of their views to refute Mr. Gore's claim of "consensus."

Well. First, a grammatical quibble: how can one say "Global warming hype peaked in 2007"? Having just left that year behind, there are no relative statistics or studies to prove that silly assertion. If, by this time next year, the "hype" has dwindled, then it might make sense to say it "peaked" in '07. I thought newspaper editors had to have actually studied English. And Journalism. But that's not important right now.

What is is the silliness of the piece: the blind, agenda-driven acceptance of scholarly dubious "science" that comports with a "Free-Market Rulez!" philosophy.

Google "Dr. Wibjorn Karlen", quoted in the article, and you find several interesting organizations:

SEPP: Science & Environmental Policy Project, which says this in its FAQs:
Should we ruin our economies and cause tremendous hardship for people to counter a phantom threat?

That's a leading question, of course; climate warming does indeed seem far away and a minor problem at that. There is a sure threat to human existence, however, and that is the near-certainty of a coming ice age. Geologists tell us that the present interglacial warm period will soon come to an end. Perhaps greenhouse warming can save us from an icy fate.

So warming will be good for us, and, did you catch the pro-business spin: "ruin our economies"? That says more about this organization than any scientific reports.

NSRP: Natural Resources Stewardship Council, which offers this:
NRSP is a federally incorporated, non-profit, non-partisan organization that will promote responsible environmental stewardship through:
  • broad-based media, government and public relations;
  • consumer education and advocacy;
  • private initiative and the promotion of private property rights;
  • market-based approaches; and
  • sensible and efficient legislative and regulatory frameworks, particularly at the federal level.

Cool. Several code words at work there. First, "Stewardship" is one of the favorite words of the evangelical right when quoting scripture to solemnly announce the intention to do good. Yet too often, the 'stewardship' ends up being in favor of Exxon and other "free-market" players.

Next, "private property rights", and "market-based approaches". I'm not going to bother to study these, they're too obvious.

Here's the scoop on Dr. Howard Hayden:
Hayden and CFACT
Hayden sits on the "Board of Academic and Scientific Advisors" of a US think tank called Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT). Also on the board are many other well-known climate change "skeptics," including Sallie Baliunas, Robert Balling, Sherwood Idso and Patrick Michaels. ExxonMobil has contributed $472,000 to CFACT over the last 7 years. Founded in 1985, CFACT has been critical of government regulation on many issues, including the o-zone layer, mercury emissions, global warming, taxic waste and the use of pesticides.

Research on climate change
Hayden is a retired professor of physics and has been published in peer-reviewed journals. However, according to a search of 22,000 academic journals, Hayden has not published any research in a peer-reviewed journal on the subject of human-induced climate change.

Hayden and the Energy Advocate
Hayden is the editor and publisher of a monthly newsletter called the "Energy Advocate ." The Energy Advocate describes itself as "a cross between an educational blurb and a bottle of salsa. We make no apologies for being pro-science, pro-technology, pro-energy --- and especially, pro-nuclear."

Hayden and the NRSP
Listed as an “Allied Expert ” for the Natural Resource Stewardship Project (NRSP), and lobby organization that refuses to disclose it's funding sources. The NRSP is led by executive director Tom Harris and Dr. Tim Ball . In an Oct. 16, 2006 CanWest Global news article about who funds the NRSP, Tom Harris, stated that "a confidentiality agreement doesn't allow him to say whether energy companies are funding his group." Although Harris has since denied that such an agreement exists, he has failed to respond to follow-up questions about the source of NRSP funding.

Interesting, we have the NSRP again. Pro-business, anti-consumer, science-denying bastards.

The Register and other conservatarian organizations can object all they want. And they can roll out their pet shills to explain why glaciers are melting because the world is getting cooler. Or more gay. Or whatever nonsense they make-up each week.

But I guarantee that when the agenda is driven by money, the need to make money will override all other issues. Including reality.