My recent post about Alex Epstein and the moral case for fossil fuels told only part of his story. He also says that the global warming “alarmists” have it all wrong. He refers to “unambiguous” data that CO2 emissions have risen from an atmosphere concentration of .03% to .04%, while over the same period climate-related deaths have declined 98%, and drought-related deaths have declined by 99.8%.

Here are some of Alex’s other points:

  • Defenders of fossil fuels, when they publicly endorse “renewable” as the ideal, defeat themselves by essentially agreeing that there is a moral case against fossil fuels.
  • The implication is that “renewables” are the goal and oil and gas is just a temporary necessary evil.
  • Once greenhouse gas emissions are endorsed as a fundamental benchmark of environmental health, the industry is conceding that it is causing catastrophic global warming and that reducing greenhouse gas emissions is moral imperative.

What’s With Honey Boo Boo and Fossil Fuels?

Which leads me to a related topic. In preparing this blog I see more blog posts and news articles than you can imagine about “global warming”, “climate change” and the like.  I’ve concluded that the issue is so highly politicized, has attracted so many advocacy groups, and has generated so many puroprtedly scientific opinions on one side or the other that I (not being an engineer) don’t know what to believe.

Thus, for the time being I leave it to you to Google “global warming” or “climate change” and decide for yourself. In the meantime here are a few sources I’ve come across that you can rely on, at least for their consistency:

The “Alarmists”: The International Panel on Climate Change  (where it all started), Al Gore and the Huffington Post  (a twofer here), pretty much anything from the New York Times (insidious for what it elects not to print as much as for what it does), Grist (Can you get farther left?).

The “Deniers”: Non-Governmental International Panel on Climate Change ; Bjorn Lomberg (not so much a “denier” as an alternative thinker); The Foundry, from the Heritage Foundation (far right on just about everything); Powerline; Watts Up With That.

Somewhere out there are “moderates”. Rich and Elizabeth Muller might be two of them. I know they’re U C Berkeley professors. Just read what he has to say.

This GW hiatus doesn’t include the fracking controversy. (Or is it fracing, or frac’ing? I’ve been castigated by my friend, Dallas lawyer Pat Shaw, for using “fracking”. Pat says only the “anti’s” use that spelling).

Having tired of trying to figure out if the world is going to perish by 2020, or 2035, or 2100, or the next presidential election, or never, I’ve moved on to more weighty topics:

  • Noah: Blasphemy or clueless Hollywood entertainment?
  • Lord Grantham:  Anachronistic dilettante or an honorable man preserving noblesse oblige and other worthy institutions?
  • Who will win the AL West? … the SEC West?
  • Should the USA convert to the metric system?
  • Clapton or Hendrix?
  • First place in artistic achievement:  Hoarders, Cheaters, or Here Comes Honey Boo Boo?

As with GW, decide for yourself.

 

We begin with a tribute to global warming of a different sort.

For those not yet overexposed to reports on President Obama’s climate change policy announcement, I offer this reasonably objective factual summary of the highlights from the Washington Post (rather than the platitudes underlying many reports). A link to the text of the President’s plan is embedded in the Post article.

Also here is a reasonably objective and factual commentary from Bjorn Lomborg and criticism from the Heritage Foundation (rather than the hysteria from some on that side of the debate).

For the purposes of this conversation let’s agree that global warming exists, and let’s not argue about whether it is, as those who use big words say, “anthropomorphic”  “anthropogenic” or, as you and I might say, “man made”.

Bjorn Lomborg doesn’t focus so much on the causes of rising sea levels; he proposes alternative ways to address the effects. In his latest Newsletter he explains why he disagrees with the conventional reactions to the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy and advises what should be done to avoid future catastrophes.

His points are, among others:

  • The goal of reducing carbon emissions is far too costly for future generations to afford and won’t make a timely difference anyway. The benefits don’t justify the costs.
  • Because of those costs and the delayed effect it is, in his words, “morally irresponsible” to go about protecting coastlines by CO2 reductions. 
  • Carbon cuts won’t be effective for 50 to 100 years, during which time there will be much human suffering that could be avoided.
  • There are better, more practical, and quicker acting ways to address rising sea levels that attempting to reduce CO2 levels.
  • Prominent “environmental experts” such as Robert Redford and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg attract lots of attention but have it wrong.

Those who doubt Mr. Lomborg’s position will find comfort in several comments posted with the newsletter. 

A blog from Wendell Cox for the National Center for Policy Analysis on California’s Global Warming Solutions Act is an example of what Mr. Lonborg is worried about. The report questions whether cap and trade is a cost-effective way to reduce carbon emissions.   

An appropriate musical interlude ?

Ron Curry is the EPA’s new administrator for Region 6, which is responsible for enforcement of federal environmental laws in Texas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Arkansas.  Mr. Curry replaces Al “Crucify ’em” Armendariz, who was sacked earlier this year after comments, caught on video, in which he likened his tactics to the Romans of antiquity who supressed the villages they conquered by killing the first five men they saw.  It made the rest of the citizenry easier to subjugate, was the rationale. I’m sure it did. 

Here is a selection of news reports about Mr. Curry’s appointment:

The Dallas Business Journal says the industry hopes for science-based regulatory enforcement.  This is ironic, given that the current administration promised just such a policy in the last presidential campaign

The Dallas Morning News reminds us that he is not from  Texas.

The Houston Chronicle says environmentalists are pleased with the appointment.

The New Orleans Times Picayune says that Public Citizen touts Mr. Curry’s ability to work with industry and environmental groups.  

The Texas Tribune says he is an advocate for action to stop climate change.

I close with this seldom-seen video featuring the EPA  in the act of encouraging other agencies to join in on the regulatory frenzy.  In the full moon of this administration’s first, perhaps only, term, hear the howling chorus respond with joy and enthusiasm: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Hugo Chavez, the central planners at the countless boards and commissions created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, bankrupt California taxing entities, and the town that busted the little girls’ lemonade stand.

DISCLAIMER:  All opinions and feeble attempts at humor are mine alone and not necessarily those of my colleagues at Looper Reed or some of my family members.  My dog Daisy forgives my derisive references to her cousins and generally agrees with my politics.