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The Last Gasp of the Climate Deniers, Detractors and Doomsayers?
26 Mar, 2008 11:28 am
With the science of climate change pretty solidly unimpeachable* at this point, the rag tag camp of climate change deniers, detractors, doomsayers and other flat-earthers have a new tactic these days: talk up the supposedly disastrous economic consequences of regulating carbon.
A good example: the National Association of Manufacturers has been peddling a bought-and-paid-for "study" of the Lieberman-Warner climate change bill, taking their doom-and-gloom predictions of an economy wrecked by climate regulations on a national speaking tour over the next couple of months.
The Flat Earth camp pulled out all the stops at the Wall Street Journal's ECO:nomics conference held last week in California.
Hosted by "climate change experts" from the WSJ's notoriously ideological, knuckle-dragging, anti-climate editorial board, the WSJ assembled the full cast-of-characters of the Flat Earth Society of America: Fred Smith and Myron Ebell of CEI (makers of the hilariously funny "CO2: some call it pollution, we call it life" ad), Steve Milloy of JunkScience, and the WSJ's own ideologues came into the conference to put America's leading "green-minded" CEO's to the test, show them they were simply tools for liberal, socialist hippies, and expose carbon regulation as the sure-fire end of the treasured American way of life.
"Instead, they ended up looking small, shrill, and utterly marginalized," David Roberts, who covered the Eco:nomics conference for Grist.org writes. "Despite their claims to be pro-business, the business community disdains them."
David's coverage of the Flat-Earthers flailing attempts at the Eco:nomics conference is great. I highly suggest you head over to Gristmill to read the full story, but here are some great excerpts:
One incident captured it pretty well. During the panel where EDF's Fred Krupp debated CEI's Fred Smith, moderator and right-wing polemicist Kim Strassel of the WSJ editorial board paused to ask the audience, "is there a CEO who went down this road [going 'green'] and hasn't been happy with the experience?" She looked around the room expectantly, even hopefully.Or how about this video of WSJ's Alan Murray trying to bait WalMart's CEO, H. Lee Scott Jr. into objecting to carbon regulation because it will raise energy prices and kill the economy. Scott just won't buy it!
Or when she confronted Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris, asking incredulously, "do you think 80% by 2050 is achievable?" The breezy response: "My answer's obvious." So Strassel turned and asked the same question of the crowd. They voted: 75% think it can be done. Strassel's face fell.
Or hold on. Even favoriter: There was a debate between Mindy Lubber of Ceres, whose Investor Network on Climate Risk represents $5 trillion in capital, and Steve Milloy, who was there on behalf of his Free Enterprise Action Fund. Milloy spent 20 minutes telling Lubber she was an unwitting vehicle for lefty activists and the CEOs in attendance that they were dupes being fleeced out of billions of dollars by devious crypto-socialists. Toward the end, Andrew Shapiro of Green Order rose to ask Milloy, how much capital does your fund represent? The too-dumb-to-be-embarrassed answer, which prompted open laughter in the audience? $11 million. As Shapiro noted: looks like the market has spoken.
David Roberts sums it all up so well I'll just leave you with this:
Time after time, the ideologues pushed the same questions: Isn't this a tax? Isn't the government crippling the free market? Won't we lose our precious fluids?Are we witnessing the last gasp of the climate deniers, detractors and doomsayers? Is this the beginning of the end for the Flat Earth Society of America? When the CEO's of America's biggest companies can't stand the shit your shoveling, it sure looks like it...
Time after time, they were dismissed, with reactions ranging from anger to awkward condescension (as when the crazy uncle starts in at the family reunion) to barely concealed disdain. The people operating in the market -- as opposed to lobbing bombs from think tanks and Fox News studios -- are pragmatists. They don't have time for rigid ideology, or as Immelt called it, "false idols." Their job is to make money within the constraints set by the polity; they are under no illusion that there ever was or ever will be the frictionless free market of Ayn Rand's heated fantasies. Unlike the dour doomsayers, they have faith in themselves, in the business community, and in America to innovate and tackle any challenge.
Well at least they'll always find open arms and a welcome home at James Inhofe's office.
Originally published on: Watthead
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It is far better to be humble about the real world, than to claim that one has all the answers. Time will answer the questions we all have. Pretending to know more than can possibly be known at this point only sets the stage for a massive backlash against genuine science.
People like Al Fin are often paid to patrol blogs and spread lies and confusion. Their pseudoscience is often good enough to fool the ill-informed.
It is a complete LIE that the models neglect the effects of soot, clouds, and solar variability on climate.
If I remember correctly, solar output has been declining since the 1950s. Yes solar output has an impact, but it's small.
The solar inflence on climate has been significant in the past, but there is no known mechanism that can satisfactorily explain how increasing warming from a sun that has been declining in output!
Galactic cosmic rays are pretty-well ruled out too, [cloud condensation nuclei].
Most of the warming is explained by the man-made excess CO2 in the atmosphere. Other GHGs are also involved.
An incomplete list of Exxon funded groups:
Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow;Competitive Enterprise Institute; Congress of Racial Equality (CORE); Consumer Alert, Inc. ; Federalist Society for Law & Public Policy Studies; Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment; Fraser Institute ; Free Enterprise Action Institute; Frontiers of Freedom Institute ; George C. Marshall Institute; Heartland Institute; Heritage Foundation; Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace, Stanford University; Independent Institute; Institute for Energy Research; International Policy Network; Media Research Center; Mercatus Center,George Mason University; National Association of Neighborhoods; National Center for Policy Analysis; National Center for Public Policy Research; National Environmental Policy Institute; Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy; Science and Environmental Policy Project; The Advancement of Sound Science Center, Inc.; Tech Central Station; Weidenbaum Center, Washington University (formerly Center for the Study of American Business).
ExxonMobil pays these people to lie to the public and deceive people about the science. Since No-one would believe ExxonMobil. ExxonMobil pay others who appear to be independent, except they aren't!
The fossil fuel industry also employ scientists to give a scientific gloss to their flawed science.
Look-out for names like Sallie Baliunas; Robert C. Balling, Jr.; John Christy; Hugh Ellsaesser; Sherwood B. Idso; David R. Legates; Richard Lindzen; Patrick J. Michaels; Fredrick Seitz; S. Fred Singer; Willie Soon. All of whom have been paid to massage the truth.
For more about Exxon's disinformation & denial industry, see:
Patrick Michaels and the denial industry
Search, just copy & paste each of the following into Google:
Myron Ebell site:exxonsecrets.org
Steve Milloy site:exxonsecrets.org
Remember, they don't want you to know who pays them!
people to obtain money and power.The geologic record shows many such cycles the vast majority of which were independant of
homo the sap--and his emissions