Carol Platt Liebau: The Global Warming "Problem"

Friday, June 16, 2006

The Global Warming "Problem"

Al Gore is being lionized for his film "An Inconvenient Truth" -- designed to frighten America into an environmental frenzy and create political consensus for sweeping legislation. Dear friends of a liberal persuasion have urged me to see the film, and I fully intend to.

But even if the film is as dazzling and frightening as some of its proponents claim, ultimately, I'm going to remain unconvinced. Why? Because I simply don't trust the source.

Maybe a more open debate between the global warming apostates and the self-proclaimed greens would alleviate some of the doubts. The problem is that the global warming crowd -- and the press -- treats global warming as a received truth, rather than as a theory that, like all other theories, should be debated.

17 Comments:

Blogger COPioneer said...

It's a case of "Follow the Money". The scientists that analyze the data, and see anything contrary to algore, don't get new funding.

9:08 AM  
Blogger Duke-Stir said...

Follow the money indeed. Follow the money keeping afloat the tiny island of "scientists" who adamantly dispute global warming...to Exxon.

Funny that THEY'RE the ones who are deemed credible by all of you while the global community of scientists -- whose funding comes from a myriad of sources who could not possibly ALL be aligned with this Al Gore conspiracy -- are the ones whose findings are suspicious.

9:27 AM  
Blogger wile e coyote said...

On what basis does duke-stir claim that Prof Bob Carter, geologist at James Cook University, Queensland, and the author of the article Carol cites, is bankrolled by ExxonMobil?

I worked for two years for an international organization. He who pays the piper definitely calls the tune.

These organizations act like lemmings. Some institution comes up with a new issue that catches the public interest. Politicians looking for votes, or civil servants looking to make a career, provide public funding. Other institutions don't want to be left out, so they jump on the bandwagon.

Special purpose ornanizations get set up with a vested interest in keeping the issue alive and in the public mind. (Can you imagine the high-paid (tax-exempt) bureaucrats at the UN's climate change body con cluding that there is no change, or nothing we can do about it, and disbanding their organization?

There is a snowball effect until the next hot issue (pardon the pun) is identified.

None of this requires a conspiracy, duke-stir. Look at Hollywood, for example. How is it that all the studios come out with sweeping historical epics (Troy, Alexander the Great, Rome (HBO)), mindless back-from-the-dead stories (Ghost, Dead Again, etc.) or cheerleader movies at the same time? All it takes is one surprise hit, or the high-profile sale of a script, to spawn a genre (Die Hard, anyone?)

10:14 AM  
Blogger wile e coyote said...

On what basis does duke-stir claim that Prof Bob Carter, geologist at James Cook University, Queensland, and the author of the article Carol cites, is bankrolled by ExxonMobil?

I worked for two years for an international organization. He who pays the piper definitely calls the tune.

These organizations act like lemmings. Some institution comes up with a new issue that catches the public interest. Politicians looking for votes, or civil servants looking to make a career, provide public funding. Other institutions don't want to be left out, so they jump on the bandwagon. There is a snowball effect until the next hot issue (pardon the pun) is identified.

None of this requires a conspiracy, duke-stir. Look at Hollywood, for example. How is it that all the studios come out with sweeping historical epics (Troy, Alexander the Great, Rome (HBO)), mindless back-from-the-dead stories (Ghost, Dead Again, etc.) or cheerleader movies at the same time? All it takes is one surprise hit, or the high-profile sale of a script, to spawn a genre (Die Hard, anyone?)

10:21 AM  
Blogger Duke-Stir said...

Coyote,

Your point about the "snowball effect" is well-taken, but would we not do well to at least take these concerns more seriously than Carol and others do? After all, to quote one of our fellow readers here, "a point being raised by a partisan does not invalidate the point." But that is what is happening.

10:38 AM  
Blogger amber said...

I will forgive the left of their in?.., what is the word I want here? I mean that they believe this to be true, and if you believe what the left leaning scientists say, then there really is no time for debate. I do not agree with them, but I understand their urgency becuase even though a lot of funding went into the institutions, I think for the most part a lot of them believe that we are destroying the world and we need to do something. I don't agree with them, but it is not based on science. I believe God created everything in and on this world and God is the one who is in control. It does not bother me that they are getting all up in arms about this, so long as they do not try and change legislation, which they have begun to do. I drive a diesel pick up, don't get started about the new regulations. I also heat my house with corn and there is no chance for carbon monoxide poisonning, everything is sealed and I inspect it weekly, and what about people who heat with electricity? Why are they being required to instal CO ditectors in the house? Ah... But that is all another topic, sort of.

12:08 PM  
Blogger The Flomblog said...

Wait a minute. Are you saying the Al Gore, one of the greatet scientific minds of our generation can be motivated by anything other than his love for mankind. Don't forget Al Gore DID invent the Internet!

(Yes I'm being sarcastic)

Lets get rid of the Co2 - Oh wait -- Most Co2 is produced by animals exhaling. We live on a vibrant, evolving planet. It changes regularly - If we are facing a crisis on any sort - lets try and get away from the ever present -- "It's Bush's fault"

2:35 PM  
Blogger Dittohead said...

Global warming emerged as a major public issue in the late 1980's. But at first there was considerable scientific uncertainty.

Over time, the accumulation of evidence removed much of that uncertainty. Climate experts still aren't sure how much hotter the world will get, and how fast. But there's now an overwhelming scientific consensus that the world is getting warmer, and that human activity is the cause. In 2004, an article in the journal Science that surveyed 928 papers on climate change published in peer-reviewed scientific journals found that "none of the papers disagreed with the consensus position."

So how have corporate interests responded? In the early years, when the science was still somewhat in doubt, many companies from the oil industry, the auto industry and other sectors were members of a group called the Global Climate Coalition, whose de facto purpose was to oppose curbs on greenhouse gases. But as the scientific evidence became clearer, many members — including oil companies like BP and Shell — left the organization and conceded the need to do something about global warming.

Exxon, headed by Mr. Raymond, chose a different course of action: it decided to fight the science.

A leaked memo from a 1998 meeting at the American Petroleum Institute, in which Exxon (which hadn't yet merged with Mobil) was a participant, describes a strategy of providing "logistical and moral support" to climate change dissenters, "thereby raising questions about and undercutting the 'prevailing scientific wisdom.' " And that's just what Exxon Mobil has done: lavish grants have supported a sort of alternative intellectual universe of global warming skeptics.

The people and institutions Exxon Mobil supports aren't actually engaged in climate research. They're the real-world equivalents of the Academy of Tobacco Studies in the movie "Thank You for Smoking," whose purpose is to fail to find evidence of harmful effects.

But the fake research works for its sponsors, partly because it gets picked up by right-wing pundits, but mainly because it plays perfectly into the he-said-she-said conventions of "balanced" journalism. A 2003 study, by Maxwell Boykoff and Jules Boykoff, of reporting on global warming in major newspapers found that a majority of reports gave the skeptics — a few dozen people, many if not most receiving direct or indirect financial support from Exxon Mobil — roughly the same amount of attention as the scientific consensus, supported by thousands of independent researchers.

3:30 PM  
Blogger Concerned Citizen Monkey said...

Don't forget Al Gore DID invent the Internet!

Actually the quote from Al Gore, which is embarrassing, unaltered, is:

"During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet"

6:44 PM  
Blogger Dittohead said...

But the real question is what, if anything, did Gore actually do to create the modern Internet?

According to Vincent Cerf, a senior vice president with MCI Worldcom who's been called the Father of the Internet, "The Internet would not be where it is in the United States without the strong support given to it and related research areas by the Vice President in his current role and in his earlier role as Senator."

The inventor of the Mosaic Browser, Marc Andreesen, credits Gore with making his work possible. He received a federal grant through Gore's High Performance Computing Act. The University of Pennsylvania's Dave Ferber says that without Gore the Internet "would not be where it is today."

Joseph E. Traub, a computer science professor at Columbia University, claims that Gore "was perhaps the first political leader to grasp the importance of networking the country. Could we perhaps see an end to cheap shots from politicians and pundits about inventing the Internet?"

7:40 PM  
Blogger Duke-Stir said...

Amber, do you really believe that if there IS something legitimate about this global warming idea that God will handle it? Or that whatever the case may be, it is His will and therefore we shouldn't worry about it?

Do you wear your seatbelt? Do you have your children immunized? Heck, why worry about farmers planting right up to the lake's edge? The fishkill would simply be part of God's plan, right?

'He helps those who help themselves,' is one of my favorites from the Bible, and, ironically, is the one that is most often used by the right whenever the subject of welfare comes up.

This premillennial dispensationalism is but one of the more frightening of the many reasons our national policy should not be guided by religious ideology.

8:27 PM  
Blogger amber said...

What I believe is that if there is a problem with global warming, which I do not buy, that it was not created by our actions. I believe that God holds the world in his hands. I do not believe that we could alter it if it was as dire as these people said. Yes I do wear a seatbelt, yes, I cary a loaded pistol, no I do not use pesticided or herbicideds on my berry crops. I think we need to be respectful of the gift God gave us and not harm things that we do not need to harm and I think we all have to make the choiceto protect ourselves. I am not saying that my carying a pistol will keep harm from happenning to me if that is God's will, but if it is not, then I am ready. What if it is God's will that I kill some bad guy who was doing harm? If I did not have the pistol to defend myself I would not be able to cary out God's plan. (Forgive me, I was raised in a bad neighborhood and served 8 years in the army) However, my husband is serving in Iraq right now and I am not afraid for him in the least. I know that only God has the power to take his life and I trust God with my life and that of my husband. Yes, he could die, but I know that whatever happens, everything will all work out because " all things work out for good, to them who love god, to those who are called according to His purpose." I also do not believe the global warming stuff because I believe what God tells us in the Bible about what is to come, and if the whole earth is destroyed than God's plan would not come about and then the Bible would be false and I would be screwed, but I know the Bible is true.

9:26 PM  
Blogger wile e coyote said...

Here's a link to a WSJ op-ed on the global-warming Exx-con

7:11 AM  
Blogger wile e coyote said...

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB115049729022482865.html?mod=opinion_main_featured_stories_hs

8:53 AM  
Blogger amber said...

I do not think "God helps those who help themselves" is in the Bible. I think that is a quote from somewhere else. I choose not to worry about things I have no control over. Republicans do not want to throw the poor to the curb, that is one misconception of the left. We do not think handing things to people teaches them how to care for themselves and their families. We believe in consequences for one's own actions, but we are there to help if someone wants it. I do not want the government giving to the poor, I would rather help them. I had one woman last year come to my farm and pick $30 worth of strawberries and her check bounced and I never got the money. I was pretty mad, she stole from me, I worked hard for that money, I planted 5,000 strawberry plants by hand and cared for them and paid for them. I am a reasonable person, if she wanted some and could not affor it, she could have told me. I would have let her pick and take home 1/2 of her pickings for free and give me the other half. I would have helped her, she would have worked for it, and we would all be happy. My mother was on welfare for a few years when I was young. She worked her bottom off to get her degree and now she pays enough in taxes to feed, house, clothe, and sustain a family of 5. From a conservative standpoint, that investment paid off, that is how it is supposed to work. As for me, I saved a ton of money as I worked and when I got pregnant, I cashed it all in and did not need to go on welfare, even though I quit my job and focused on college. As long as we are helping someone to stand on their own feet, most conservatives would be willing to do it, but we do not like to hand out money, year after year to the same families, generation to generation.

6:28 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

Duke-Stir,

"..After all, to quote one of our fellow readers here, "a point being raised by a partisan does not invalidate the point. ..."

Hey, that was me!

Thanks for remembering.

10:09 AM  
Blogger Pete said...

Global warming is coming, thanks to the hot air projected from the leftist prophets of doom! Remember these predictions of disasters they treated us to that have come to pass? We just missed the pain somehow.

Over population will cause the Earth to leave its axis.

Over population will cause most of the world to starve to death by 2000.

In the 70's we were told of the new Ice Age coming - caused by man, of course. (And not Ice Age the movie.) As mentioned above, concern for global warming began in the 80s, so the Ice Age was really short - maybe for a season? And maybe each winter?

By the year 2000, you would be considered patriotic if you are gay. Preventing over population, was the logic.

Like amber, I do not put much credibility in Algore's ranting. He's a politician with an axe to grind, and he'll use anything the left will listen to to create an audience. Run, Al, run! you'll lose again in '08!

12:36 PM  

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