Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Climate Change Semi-Denial

By Bill Maher

Last month on Real Time, Margaret Hoover advanced the theory that nothing we do about reducing our carbon emissions will have any real effect on global temperature changes over the next 20 years. And a small but well-funded portion of the Internet let out a tiny cheer. Because on a night while New York and New Jersey were underwater and still struggling to dig themselves out, someone, someone had the guts to stand up for bullshit.

What's interesting is the small industry devoted to propping up this latest incarnation of climate change skeptics. These people don't claim to be climate change deniers. Or even "global warming skeptics." They're only skeptical of climate change scientists, they say. Man-made climate change is real; it's just woefully overstated by the browbeaten scientific community and the hysterical media. They'll tell you how even if we totally eliminated our carbon footprint, it would only slow the rate of temperature rise by less than .1 degree over the next 50 years. They write reasonable papers and blog posts about how, for instance, everyone talks about the decrease of arctic ice, but that nobody talks about the dramatic increase in Antarctic ice. It's not so bad, they say, and even if it is, we can't change it too much.

And yes, you guessed it, they are a teensy tiny part of the scientific community and they get all their money from the fossil fuel industry.

Hoover's information likely comes from guys like Patrick J. Michaels and Chip Knappenberger. They are both climate scientists, they've written papers together, and they both hold titles over at the Cato Institute (founded, yes, by Charles Koch). Michaels runs a consultancy group called "New Hope Environmental Services," and serves as editor of the of the blog "World Climate Report -- The Web's Longest-Running Climate Change Blog." Chip writes for it, too.

The client and funder lists for these very concerned-sounding enterprises are often hard to find, because, as Michaels said in an affidavit, “large companies are understandably adverse to negative publicity." But we know, for instance, that New Hope Environmental Services has done some of its great work for fossil-fuel based power companies like Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association and Intermountain Rural Electric Association.

The insidious thing about guys like Michaels and Knappenberg is that they're masters of Not Getting Pinned Down. They keep a hand in and write scholarly papers in peer-reviewed journals, in which they seem to agree with the basics of climate science. And then they turn around on their blogs and in their congressional testimonies, and cherry-pick data and bash other people's work in a manner that produces the results that oil and coal and "free market" warriors want: A hodgepodge of "reasonable" reasons why we don't need to change what we're doing. They're the new generation of climate-change deniers -- "Climate change agreers and confusers." And they're winning.

28 comments: - Berita Gadget Terbaru said... - Berita Gadget Terbaru

Brian R. Quigley said...

Mr. Maher, this is off topic but I have been trying to find a way to share some information with you regarding "ObamaCare".

I'm often outraged by Corporate America (the underlying theme of Fight Club is the ONLY reason I liked that movie). But what is happening with the ACA is boiling my blood.

Papa John's comes out and says, "Well, we'll have to cut back on employee hours in order to adjust for ObamaCare." Wait, according the the SEC and the most recent DEF 14A filed for Papa John's your top (reported) executives are paid a total of $9+ million and also according to the SEC and the most recent 10-K filed for Papa John's your Net Income was $57+ million but you can't afford $8 million (actually only $5.2 million net of the reduction in taxes) so your employees can have basic health care insurance? Sickening greed.

Play the same record for Darden Restaurants but their executive compensation is at $21 million for their top five (the CEO alone is over $8 million) and with Net Income of $476.5 million they also can't "afford" ObamaCare.

Citigroup just dropped 11,000 jobs today (not citing ObamaCare though) however their top 5 make over $54 million and their Net Income is over $11 billion (yes, with a B).

I want to scream this constant stream of American CRAPitalism from the rooftops but instead I am stuck screaming it to myself. Bring me on as a contractor, let me dig this data up and you share it. Use your bullhorn.

Lastly, I apologize for the off-topic comment but it had to go somewhere.

Brian R. Quigley

Anonymous said...

Jesus loves all of you! let him into your life

wayner said...

Do any of those cretins realize just how thin our atmosphere (biosphere) is? Above 4 miles you need extra oxygen; try visiting the top of Mount Everest. I have heard repeatedly that China adds a new coal-fired power plant every few weeks. Over-populated developing countries are trying to live like we do in the West; including cars and air-conditioning. I'm Canadian so I love global warming (I wouldn't mind an extra month of summer!) but I guess you Americans won't mind living in a soon-to-be desert. These Global Warming deniers are in the same category as the Christian fundamentalist morons who think the earth is only 7000 years old; let's send them to Venus for a vacation so they can see and feel what it is all about. - Informasi Harga Blackberry Dan Cara Membuat Blog said... - Informasi Harga Blackberry Dan Cara Membuat Blog said... - Informasi Harga Blackberry Dan Cara Membuat Blog

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Anonymous said...

Hello Bill, I watch your HBO program all the time, except when I'm in Antarctica, where I am now. About that expanding sea ice in the Antarctic --- it's actually the changed wind patterns due to the Ozone Hole that are saving the Antarctic sea ice. The ozone hole was supposed to have gone away by now, due to Montreal Protocol agreement, but there is more than over due to people ignoring that treaty. The increased winds cause the sea ice to continually move away from the Antarctic coast (the ice box where the ice is formed), overriding any effects that warming might have. You can read about this in a paper by Thompson & Solomon published in 'Science' in 2002, and papers since. It's the 'greatest story no one wants to tell'. Cheers ? Penguin Dave

Anonymous said...

Hey Bill, after more thought I decided I should elaborate on what I said about the Antarctic Ozone Hole. It’s caused by chloroflorocarbons (CFCs), which at cold temperature, eat the ozone in the stratosphere over the South Pole. The air over the SP is much colder than North Pole, owing to SP being at 10,000 ft, so that’s where the O3 is destroyed. The Montreal Protocol was signed by most countries in 1989 due to fear of skin cancer (ozone protects us from UV radiation). The SP stratosphere has cooled ~9C during the past few decades. That is HUGE! This changes the air pressure differential leading to an ever increasing Polar Vortex of winds (warming middle latitudes is contributing). So the increasing westerly winds around the Southern Ocean, owing to effects of Earth’s spin, are forcing the sea ice farther offshore (plus other things happening). The sea ice is formed along the Antarctic coast where it is still plenty cold. A writer in the NYT Opinion section several weeks ago lauded the Montreal Protocol as an example of how countries could deal with curtailing CO2 emissions. Trouble is, that author didn’t read articles in the NYT during previous few months discussing how the manufacture of CFCs has not decreased globally, and where this has been controlled somewhat, the illegal trade equivalent to that of the drug trade is bringing CFCs back into countries like the USA. Yes, still manufactured but used illegally in the USA. The CFCs are used as refrigerants in air conditioners and the replacement for CFCs isn’t as effective. Huge demand persists. So, the irony is that the Antarctic penguins are loving it that people are turning on their air conditioners more and more these days to cope with the temp increase, and the escaping CFCs are keeping them (the penguins) in sea ice. You should interview one of those global climate deniers on your show, and ask them the trick question: why is the Antarctic sea ice expanding? Cheers again, Penguin Dave

Anonymous said...

The problem has to do with people in government who are willing to ask for unbiased advice from somebody who is owned by a special interest. Until it becomes impossible to buy public policy nothing will work right.

J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J said...

"Jesus loves all of you! let him into your life"
I think we're a little too old for fairy tales..

Anonymous said...

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