INVERCARGILL, New Zealand – A priceless video at barackobama.com, “Call Out Climate Deniers In Congress” (watch it above), is herding voters to the GOP.
The video cites a dozen Republican lawmakers talking common sense about climate, followed by Soebarkah talking nonsense. The GOP, which controls the House, has rejected 24 Donkey Party requests to hold climate hearings. The Eeyores are upset.
For the Donkeys:
Ex-Sen. Barry Soetero, aka Soebarkah, D-Ill.: “We can choose to believe that superstorm Sandy and the most severe drought in decades and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were just a freak coincidence, or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science and act before it’s too late.” [Incorrect: Even the IPCC now admits there has been no global warming for 17 years, so it cannot have caused Sandy or anything else. What has not happened cannot have caused what has. Besides, science is not done by consensus but by measurement and math.]
For the GOP:
Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va.: “Global warming is an issue the scientists are still debating.” [Correct: the crucial question is how much warming a CO2 doubling will cause, and many scientists now say a harmless 2 degrees Fahrenheit.]
Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La.: “The debate on the causes of climate change is far from settled” [Correct].
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.: “I understand people say there’s a significant scientific consensus on that issue, but I’ve seen reasonable debate on it” [Correct].
Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich.: I don’t accept it is manmade.” [Correct: adding CO2 to the air causes some warming, but there is no consensus on how much, and still less on whether it is dangerous.]
Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas: “I don’t think CO2 is a problem. Therefore I don’t think it needs to be regulated.” [Correct: even if CO2 were a problem, the cost of stopping it today would be 50 times the cost of adapting to it the day after tomorrow].
Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas: “We all breathe CO2. Climate changes, but there’s no evidence that it’s CO2 that causes the climate to change.” [Correct: CO2 concentration has risen at record rates in the past 20 years, but there has been no warming statistically distinguishable from zero.]
Rep. John Boehner (speaker): “It’s almost comical. Every time we exhale, we exhale carbon dioxide. Every cow in the world, when they do what they do, you’ve got more carbon dioxide.” [Correct: methane from cattle breaks down to CO2 and other gasses.]
Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La.: “It could be secular. It could be just a shift on the axis.” [Correct in the very long term: the obliquity of the Earth's axis varies on 26,000-year and 140,000-year cycles.]
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif.: “The ice-caps are melting, which we see over and over again. They’re melting on Mars too.” [Correct, though there is much uncertainty in the data.]
Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Va.: “I’d like to have somebody look at the Lesser [i.e. Medieval] Optimum, which is closer in time [than the Holocene Optimum of 6000-10,000 years ago]. How much did the temperature rise then? [It was 2.5 degrees Celsius warmer than today in Greenland]. We know that that led to the Vikings dominating Europe for several centuries.” [Not quite right: they had a major settlement in Greenland, where one of their burial grounds is under permafrost today but was not frozen when the bodies were buried.]
Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga.: “The idea of human-induced climate change is one of the greatest hoaxes perpetrated out of the scientific community. It is a hoax.” [Correct: a group in the Japanese Academy of Sciences says believing in catastrophic manmade warming is like believing in astrology, and Britain's Royal Society has had to tone down its statement on climate.]
The GOP’s statements are generally correct. Soebarkah’s statement is entirely incorrect. Though there is nothing unusual about the hard left taking an extremist, unscientific position on climate, it is very rare for any political party worldwide to get as much of the science right as the Republicans in Washington have done.
It is worth recalling the moment when the GOP decided not to believe the now-collapsed official climate storyline. Four years ago, I was due to give testimony before the House Ways and Means Committee.
The ranking GOP committee member, Rep. John Linder, asked me to give a pre-briefing to his caucus. I showed him a bogus graph from the 2007 climate assessment report of the U.N.’s climate panel, the IPCC.
The IPCC graph of global temperature changes from 1850-2005 (left) and the same fraudulent technique (right) applied to a sine-wave, which has a zero trend by definition.
Using the fraudulent graph, the IPCC had falsely concluded that the rate of global warming was increasing and that we were to blame.
John took one look at the graph and said, “They can’t have done that!” He turned to his colleagues and added, “Gentlemen, we have seen all we need to see about whether we can place any reliance at all on the IPCC or on any of the ‘science’ it publishes.”
Since that crucial moment, the GOP has rightly taken a healthily skeptical line on the global-warming question. What the hard left have not yet appreciated is that public sentiment is now firmly with the Republicans on climate. Working people, in particular, have most to lose from the now-pointless hikes in fuel and power prices.
It is welcome, then, that the “Democrats” are advertising the common-sense approach taken by the GOP in Congress. The donkeys may not have realized it yet, but global warming is no longer cool.