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Category — Environmental Alarmism

Fighting AGW Religion in North Carolina (sea-level-rise debate gets political)

What’s been happening recently in North Carolina (NC) is a microcosm of the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) story: politics versus science, ad-hominems versus journalism, evangelists versus pragmatists, etc.

The contentiousness is over one of the main AGW battlefields: sea-level rise (SLR). North Carolina happens to have a large amount of coastline and has become the U.S. epicenter for this issue.

Background

The brief version is that this began several years ago when a state agency, the Coastal Resources Commission (CRC), selected a 20± member “science panel” to do a scientific assessment of the NC SLR situation through 2100. This could have been a very useful project if there had been balance in the personnel selections, and the panel’s assessment adhered to scientific standards. Regrettably, neither happened and the project soon jumped the rails, landing in the political agenda ditch.

In their 2010 report, the panel concluded that NC should expect a 39-inch SLR by 2100. Their case was built around a 2007 paper by Stefan Rahmstorf, and was not encumbered by a single reference to a perspective different from Rahmstorf’s. Shortly after the report was released, state agencies started making the rounds of North Carolina coastal communities, putting them on notice that they would need to make BIG changes (elevating roads and bridges, re-zoning property, changing flood maps for insurance purposes, etc.).

My Involvement

As an independent scientist, I was solicited by my coastal county to provide a scientific perspective on this report. Even though I wasn’t a SLR expert, I could clearly see that this document was a classic case of Confirmation Bias, as it violated several scientific standards. But to get into the technical specifics I solicited the inputs of about 40 international SLR experts (oceanographers, etc.). [Read more →]

June 12, 2012   12 Comments

Alarmism or Not? Joe Romm and the ‘Crying Wolf’ Dilemma

“This notion that the environmental movement — or any other major play in the media landscape — is pushing non-stop apocalyptic messages like a broken record is one I debunked ….”

- Joe Romm, April 29, 2012

“CONCLUSION: Unrestricted emissions of greenhouse gases threaten multiple catastrophes, any one of which justifies action. Together, they represent the gravest threat to humanity imaginable.”

- Joe Romm, November 15, 2010

“Now that [James Lovelock] has dialed back his doomism — alarmism is a wholly inadequate word for Lovelock’s (former) brand of unjustified hopelessness.”

- Joe Romm, April 23, 2012

“… the alarmists have ‘won the day’ scientifically.”

- Joe Romm, January 11, 2012

Confused? Even dizzy? It is not your fault.

The alarmists’ alarmist Joe Romm is trying to soften a bit to have it both ways. But if Obama is a new oilman, just about anything is possible in this election season where the Hard Left is running to the middle on climate alarmism and energy policy.

Obama’s Energy Surprise

President Obama became an ‘oil man’ in Cushing, Oklahoma on March 22, 2012–and an all-of-the-above energy man too. Remember this?

I’ve come to Cushing, an oil town — (applause) — because producing more oil and gas here at home has been, and will continue to be, a critical part of an all-of-the-above energy strategy. (Applause)

Now, under my administration, America is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years. (Applause.) That’s important to know. Over the last three years, I’ve directed my administration to open up millions of acres for gas and oil exploration across 23 different states. We’re opening up more than 75 percent of our potential oil resources offshore. We’ve quadrupled the number of operating rigs to a record high. We’ve added enough new oil and gas pipeline to encircle the Earth and then some.

So we are drilling all over the place — right now….”

It was Obama’s Worst Speech Ever, fussed Romm at Climate Progress.

Romm on Lovelock

But now it is Joe Romm, already having been scaled back at Climate Progress, who is trying to nuance himself as … the the non-catastrophic catastrophist.

Here is his post from April 23 in response to the news that a famous scientist James Lovelock was backing away from climate alarmism, a shift that was noted across the blogosphere. [Read more →]

May 1, 2012   22 Comments

Strident Climate Alarmism: Zwick meets Gleick

“We know who the active [climate-change] denialists are – not the people who buy the lies, mind you, but the people who create the lies. Let’s start keeping track of them now, and when the famines come, let’s make them pay. Let’s let their houses burn. Let’s swap their safe land for submerged islands. Let’s force them to bear the cost of rising food prices….  They broke the climate.”

- Steve Zwick, Forbes, April 19, 2012.

As Chip Knappenberger chronicled earlier this week, there are a number of positive developments in climate science that contradict the doomism and negativity of many climate campaigners. There are benefits, not only costs, to greater carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations in the atmosphere.

And so it came as a shock, a chill, to read the above quotation from Steve Zwick, the editor of the Ecosystem Marketplace and a contributor (as I am) to Forbes online.

Mr. Zwick has since backtracked in the face of criticism that his inflammatory (hate?) speech was hurting his cause (Mr. Zwick, meet Mr. Gleick).

But why does such raw emotionalism keep rearing its unsavory head–even to the point that the guilty damage their own sacred cause? Peter Gleick has certainly self-destructed for a moment of relief or joy.

The answer is that the public is not buying climate alarmism, and the window is closing to do anything about it (James Hansen’s 10-year clock is ticking louder and louder). And in the face of mounting evidence that the ‘uncertain science’ holds good news, some on the other side with so much vested emotional and intellectual baggage on the issue are not ‘sleeping on it’ as much as they should.

Hence bad decisions like the above op-ed by Mr. Zwick….

Crying Wolf Backfires

Back in 2007, a far-Left group published a warning from two climate scientists, urging ‘don’t cry Wolf on climate change issues.’ And more more recently at a climate-panel discussion at Imperial College (UK), James Randerson of The Guardian commented: [Read more →]

April 26, 2012   9 Comments

Is Neo-Malthusianism Halloween Crazy?

“We created a way of raising standards of living that we can’t possibly pass on to our children. It has to collapse, unless adults stand up and say, ‘This is a Ponzi scheme. We have not generated real wealth, and we are destroying a livable climate.’”

     – Joe Romm, quoted in Thomas Friedman, Is the Inflection Point Near?, New York Times, March 7, 2009.

“Is there any more single-minded, simple pleasure than viewing with alarm? At times it is even better than sex.”

    —Kenneth Boulding (1970), p. 160. [1]

I know…. We free-market optimists–and we ObamaCare, ObamaEnergy, etc. pessimists–are like the chap who jumps off the skyscraper and reports that everything is breezy on the way down.

But we have been jumping off buildings ever since Robert Thomas Malthus’s An Essay on Population was published in 1798. And we have been jumping off tall places regarding a variety of minerals ever since the 1960s and 1970s when Paul Ehrlich and others proclaimed the end was in sight!

Just maybe the Julian Simon school is grounded with their private property rights, free-market optimism–and the neo-Malthusians are bungee jumping with their fears of insufficiently regulated and regimented humankind.

Three Fearmongers (aka ‘smartest guys in the room’)

Paul Ehrlich, John Holdren, and James Hansen, among other prominent neo-Malthusians, have made doom-and-gloom predictions about business-as-usual in an attempt to shock humanity into immediate legislative action and lifestyle changes.

Big Government and Self-Denial: what a perverted path to ‘sustainable’ living!  Is it any wonder that the Obama Administration is back on its heels on energy and climate issues with voters-qua-consumers-and-taxpayers rejecting their reasoning and conclusion?

Here are the Big Three: [Read more →]

October 31, 2011   9 Comments