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April 20, 2009

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bad

I'm sure he just misspoke.

(that's the prevailing excuse these days, right?)

Ignatz

George, the idea that carbon dioxide is a carcinogen that is harmful to our environment is almost comical.

That 'carcinogen' would seem to be a bigger boner on Boehner's part actually, and yes I'm sorry.

sbw

Cow flatulence is not as toxic as congresscritter belches.

Ignatz

As to the argument itself; it's ridiculous.
Most livestock is raised in natural grazing areas, which have a certain carrying capacity. If livestock is replaced by methane belching wild ungulates there is very little change in methane emissions.
And if the entire world is somehow converted to vegetarianism, a good portion of those natural grazing lands will be tilled under and fertilized to replace the calories lost.
The entire issue is a considerably more minor one than the UN is willing to admit, even if we were warming, which we're not at present.

William Teach

Well, on one hand, he is correct: they do put out CO2 through respiration. But, yeah, he goofed badly, because I am pretty darned sure that he was referring to what comes out of the back end of cows.

And, as Ignatz points out, the carcinogen mention was even worse.

Kevin B

Of course, all the buffalo and bison that used to roam the great American plains and the millions of wildebeeste that migrate across Africa together with all the other ruminants that are belching tons of methane into the atmosphere are 'natural' sources of methane etc., whereas domestic cattle and sheep are nasty 'man-made' sources of the evil gasses.

And to be fair to Boehner, to classify CO2 as a pollutant along with those carcinogenic chemicals produced by industrial processes is, frankly quite insane.

Without CO2 in the atmosphere and oceans, life on this planet would be restricted to a few bacterial species grubbing around at the bottom of lakes and seas.

And please, don't quote the IPCC on the radiative properties of GHGs. Their output has been repeatedly shown to be politicised science of the worst kind.

By the time the EPA has finished and the Waxman - Markey bill becomes law, America will be well on the way to regulating and sueing itself back to the stone age.

lurking

Read Peter Huber in the City Journal, 'Bound to Burn', found through RCP

rhodeymark

Even if they have the radiative forcing down cold, they still run off the rails in the feedback mechanisms.
Joni Mitchell could inject some honesty into the Working Group papers, as she admits she really doesn't know clouds - at all.

lurking

Well, RCP calls it 'The Economics of Capping Carbon'. Powerline links it through its real title, 'Bound to Burn'. He pulls no punches about carbon use guilt, the precious conceit of a Western elite.

lurking

Also, Steele has been heard to mumble skeptically. As the globe cools, I think the Republicans are ready to make this an issue. Have you seen the Rasmussen survey which suddenly finds so many more of the public skeptical? Or the wide dissemination of an article showing that Antarctic Ice is greater than ever? Or the sudden outbreak of skepticism in Australian papers.

Ian Plimer has a wonderful new book, 'Heaven and Earth; Global Warming, the Missing Science'. There's an excellent review in the Australian, found through icecap.us

memomachine

Hmmmm.

Well. This is going to be good for the economy. Is it just me or does the Obama administration have a problem working at cross purposes of itself?

It's going to really suck living in Minnesota on a fixed income next winter.

Pofarmer

We all just need to die. That will reduce the Carbon emissions tremendously.

Pofarmer

Some Republican just needs to come straight out and call bullshit.

Who has the balls?

JB

"

Some Republican just needs to come straight out and call bullshit.

Who has the balls?"

Oh, let's stop being naive here. Inhofe has been calling bullshit for years. They just label him as a tool of Big Oil.

DanG

Boehner came across like they had just stopped him in the street to ask him some questions. He seemed totally unprepared and mostly clueless, especially in comparison to Emmanuel, who regardless of content has a really smooth delivery. If this is the best the GOP can come up with for spokesmen then the party is going nowhere for a long time to come. After all the years this has been an issue, how can he not have an intelligent response to routine questions about climate change?

Rick Ballard

"And please, don't quote the IPCC on the radiative properties of GHGs. Their output has been repeatedly shown to be politicised science of the worst kind."

KevinB,

It's not science at all, it's crapscience theology. Science looks like this and is reviewed and analyzed like this. I'm not qualified to make an assertion regarding Miscolzi's work but the dissection process in that second link is possible because he provided a reasonably clear exposition within his paper.

Climate crapscience provides inadequate data sets, incomplete descriptions of "adjustments" to data and hides the algorithms used to develop the wondrous "models" which have to be tuned to reality every three months when their predictive capability proves valueless.

I agree with you wholeheartedly in the use of "political" to describe climate crapscience but it really isn't science at all and labeling it as such is an insult to honest scientists doing real science.

Fresh Air

We all just need to die. That will reduce the Carbon emissions tremendously.

All the lefties should volunteer for the Soylent Green option, first. Just so we know the program works.

Semanticleo

"To which the Duke replied "A plan! That's right, I'll need a plan"."

Raoul Duke's (aka HST) plans always included
his pharmucopia as well as his alcohol cache.

Considering the Republican single trick absent imagination, (lower taxes!!!) I would pass on the sage advice Dr Gonzo relayed to the infamous Oscar Acosta; "As your Dr., I advise you to begin drinking heavily."

Fresh Air

Suppose someone had a computer program that predicted an asteroid would crash into the earth. The program calls for it to veer 100,000 miles off its presumptive course to intersect our orbit in 10 years and end life as we know it. Instead, however, after coming 20,000 miles closer, the asteroid does a U-turn and heads farther away, to the distance of 180,000 miles.

Undaunted, scientists make another prediction of a different asteroid, 50 years distant. This time, the iceball is even farther away and, according to the program will veer even more greatly off its presumptive course before smacking into earth.

Would the world be clamoring for protection from this asteroid on the basis of this program's powerful predictive abilities, spending billions of dollars on asteroid-protection programs? Or we would declare the program a failure and move on to more important things like socialized healthcare?

PMII

"We all just need to die. That will reduce the Carbon emissions tremendously."

This could be their plan....


gus

Yes, let's all debate the minutia of what Boehner said. Let's not discuss the completely insane notion that we are causing the planet to warm up. The planet is NOT getting warmer. Why do we continue to discuss something that is not happening, as if it is?

LimbaughsLamborghini

Exactly let's all just jump in front of a speeding bus this will stop global warming

matt

I'm going to blame the cows in India for the problem...yeah, that's it....millions of cows with zero economic, nutritional or functional value...talk about man made issues.....

Old Lurker

To repeat Po from Sunday:

We.Are.So.Screwed.

And the reason is the spokespeople for the party that should be in opposition are as stupid as that quotation suggests. This AGW cancer is probably the single most threatening new idea on our plate that promises to cede victory to global Marxists once and for all, so it is pitiful that conservative leaders have not listened to Inhofe or Kim so they understand the basics of the issue, and so they can hit the ball out of the park at a moment's notice. And once they have that basic understanding, it matters not whether it is a sidewalk ambush interview, a Sunday Show picked fight, or a prepared floor speech.

gus

Matt, you mentioned a "problem". Exactly what problem were you discussing and what damage can you cite to illustrate this "problem".

LimbaughsLamborghini

Yes global warming is manmade and we have 100 months before we all die oh noez

/Sarc

ajacksonian

What is humorous is that cows aren't a real problem... termites do more of this than just about any other biosource. And while you can't extrapolate directly from any single study, when you think of insects being one of the major biomass groups of the planet (after bacteria, this is still Planet of Bacteria), the idea of 55 billion tons/year of carbon dioxide from termites doesn't seem out of the range of things.

Gotta love numbers like that. The small stuff on this planet still rules the biosphere and large scale life is just a minor phenomena compared to it. What is it, for every human there are ten tons of termites on the planet? Something like that... and when you think of the rest of the insect kingdom, well, we are the minority population of the planet. Don't expect what we do to have much of an effect on them. If they can get through major boloid impacts, a snowball Earth and a gamma-ray burst way back in the Ordivician, a bit of global anything doesn't seem set to stop them. Your home is just a mere crumb on the table...

Fresh Air

OL--

Most smart people who fall for this seem to treat it as received wisdom. I don't know if that's because they aren't familiar with scientific studies, or just don't want to spend enough time understanding the issue. But it is maddening to read people like Richard Posner and Newt Gingrich saying this colossal hoax is real.

I hope we will be able to laugh about it in 20 years, but I'm afraid we won't.

Old Lurker

Dead right, FA.

Danube of Thought

"the Republican single trick absent imagination, (lower taxes!!!)"

Jeez--isn't it Obama who claims to have lowered them for 95% of Americans? (Never mind that the claim is a bald-faced lie.)

Danube of Thought

I think that the cry of bullshit is waiting out there like low-hanging fruit for someone with the courage to utter it and rally the nation. The nation has now awakened to this fraudulence, and when it sinks in what the "solutions" are gonna cost them there could be an earthquake.

cathyf
George, the idea that carbon dioxide is a carcinogen that is harmful to our environment is almost comical.
I think that you missed the point. The EPA was set up to prevent companies and individuals from dumping real pollution in the air. So it's the EPA that has just ruled that carbon dioxide is equivalent to a carcinogen, and Boehner is right in ridiculing them for it. His only real problem is that you need better delivery when you are delivering ridicule...
cathyf

And po' if we all croak it's even worse! Think of all of the greenhouse gasses emitted when we decompose. Or, worse, get cremated!

Old Lurker

Cathy if we all croak, nobody will be left to stoke the fire. So we'll become one with the atmosphere as we release our carbon slowly!

Saw a teaser to a show on TV (National Geographic Channel maybe) about life on earth if all humans are gone at once. Might be fun.

Also agree with your EPA point. But darnit you said what should be easy for them to say in their sleep.

Bill in AZ

This is an important, winnable issue we should be hammering on constantly with our CongressCritters. Most of them appear to be simply underinformed, or worse, think the we are underinformed, so they won't engage.

Here is a letter I wrote after yet another stupid conservative "survey" request from the NRSC. I also sent this to my Republican CongressCritters.

********
Climate Change Hoax – Important Wedge Issue

I am writing today because I am appalled and very disturbed by the direction the government is taking our country. In the first 2 months in office, this President and the Democratic Congress have done incredible damage that we – individually, and as a country – will not recover from in our lifetimes. I get Republican Party “surveys”, asking me what I believe. I am a conservative – you know what I believe. You don’t need a “survey”, which is just a thinly disguised call for more good money to be sent after bad. You and I both know what the problem is. Part of it is conservative leaders who refuse to lead, but a huge part of it is the grossly slanted media that will not let the people understand what conservatism and this country are all about.

You have a rare opportunity in front of you right now if you would but take advantage of it. This opportunity has been presented by the most powerful physical force in our universe – The Sun! It is on our team - put it in the game and let’s knock this socialism, the grossly biased media, the environmentalists, and this leftist agenda completely out of the park.

Let me explain.

We are inundated by Hansenized data that creates invalid hockey sticks, hyperventilating about “Warming”, or “Climate Change”, CO2 as a “dangerous” gas (as if!!). The Cap and Trade legislation, carbon credits, etc, are going to destroy this country, if not the world as we know it.

There is a significant body of study that indicates that our climate is closely tied to the Solar Cycle – the approximately 11 year cycle of sunspots. You won’t read about this in the NY Times because it is becoming an increasingly inconvenient truth. This is where the Sun has presented a once in a lifetime opportunity, and where we can make this an extremely important wedge issue. It may be the only issue we have available to try to bring some sanity back into this world.

The sun has shut down.

For most of the last century, the sunspot cycles have been of short duration, typically less than the average 11 years, and have been very intense. This has led to the warming we experienced, the droughts, etc. This has also led to an increase in CO2 as it is released from the oceans and from ice.

This last solar cycle, cycle 23, is significantly different. At 13 years and counting, it has not yet reached its minimum. We have had 2 years now of significant numbers of “spotless” days, where no sunspots are visible. The spotless days continue, and scientists who have the best grasp of these phenomena believe it will continue at least until July 2009, possibly even later. This is highly unusual, and has not been seen in living history. It presents invaluable research opportunities.

Though this solar activity is unusual, it is not unprecedented. The sun has its own cycles driven by the rotation of planets around it. Proxy data of solar activity over thousands of years shows that the sun goes through periods of relative inactivity, and analysis strongly suggests that we are going into one of those periods right now. We are very likely going into a cooling period, possibly a significant cooling period of perhaps 20-40 years. It has started already. Since we have not observed one of these periods up close and personal, it is difficult to predict exactly how much cooling, and how soon. But, based on proxy data, and based on where we are in the overall Sun’s cycle, and based on how the sun is currently acting, it will be difficult to deny the physical reality much longer.

Efforts of the liberals to step up Climate Change rhetoric, Cap and Trade, etc, are directly in response to what we are beginning to see from the Sun. Unfortunately, the liberals are not stupid, just badly misguided by “the ends justify any means”. They can see the body of evidence mounting daily that refutes their hysterical claims of the last 10 years, and they know they have a short runway left to “change” the world. The changes they are proposing are directly opposed to what we will need if we indeed cool significantly. This is dangerous for all of us on so many levels.

The Cap and Trade efforts need to be stopped. You must make noise about this. There is significant scientific analysis behind this that has not been exposed to sunlight (heh) because it is counter to the leftist agenda. This has to be a wedge issue where we can finally put a stake in the ground and hold. The sun will bear it out shortly, and then the liberals, the leftist media, the leftist scientists, must be held to account. Their credibility will be severely diminished, perhaps enough to make a difference in the next several elections.

There are a number of internet sites that seriously discuss this science. They are largely ignored by the media, and are frequently denigrated by “scientists” and others closely tied to the warmist agenda – but you already know how that works. Please do some research on your own, or have your staff research this. This is an important and significant issue that can make a difference when it seems little else will. I won’t list websites here, but will on request. Search for Svensmark, Landsheidt, Archibald, WattsUpWithThat. Please go past the denigration, the obfuscation by the usual suspects. Look at the data. It speaks for itself.

I am an engineer, and much of my job for 30 years has been analyzing and understanding patterns of data. I have also had an amateur interest in climate and weather for as many years. The data are compelling, yet rarely have I seen such an effort to obstruct and obfuscate real data and real research. Why, it’s almost as if some powerful monied interests have something to hide. Look at the data – it speaks for itself.
************

Kevin B

"I agree with you wholeheartedly in the use of "political" to describe climate crapscience but it really isn't science at all and labeling it as such is an insult to honest scientists doing real science."

Rick, while there are honest scientists doing honest science out there, there are real temptations for them to climb aboard the AGW bandwagon.

If your Doctoral thesis is on the mating habits of starfish in Morecame Bay, then the best you can hope for is publication in the Quarterly Journal of Echinodermotology.

If you alter your thesis to; "The Effects of Global Warming on Starfish Mating Habits and How We're All Going To Die", you can get published in Nature or Science and possibly an MSM article or appearance. And if you conclude that "More Study is Urgently Needed" then that's your ticket on the gravy train grant proposal sorted.

Environmentalism in general, and AGW in particular have had tremendously distorting effect on science, especially the Earth sciences.

The title of this post is The Republican War on Science. What I'd really like to see is the Republican War on Government Involvement in Science.

Government involvolvement in anything, whether markets or science, causes corruption, as we are seeing to our cost in both these spheres at the moment.

PeterUK

You have to give the GOP spokescreatures a break,the left have created an issue which is as explosive as religion to discuss. This is going to take a carefully though out game plan to counter.
You need some coiunter claims.
THE GREENS WILL KILL YOUR PUPPY.

StrawmanCometh

This post seems designed to draw Kim back to town.
LUN is a pdf by Joanne Nova which nicely lays out the climate skeptic arguments.

Rick Ballard

"there are real temptations for them to climb aboard the AGW bandwagon."

KevinB,

There certainly are, for scientists must eat, just like the rest of us. The retitling of dissertations which you describe also occurred when finding the "cure" for AIDs was in vogue. The focus on AIDs took effort away from the far more serious problems concerning cancer[s] (particularly breast cancer) and represents another circumstance favoring your argument re government involvement.

When the dust settles, the scientists who focused on filling their lunch buckets are going to find themselves in the company of Lysenko and Piltdown Mann, standing right next to the "progressive" scientists who furnished the eugenics arguments which the racist Woodrow Wilson dearly loved. And right next to Josef Mengele as well, for who can suggest that Mengele did not take the "consensus science" of eugenics to its "logical" conclusion.

StrawmanCometh

I see that Kim has commented on this Joanne Nova's post.

DrJ

the scientists who focused on filling their lunch buckets are going to find themselves in the company of Lysenko

Maybe, maybe not. You might not be surprised that many of these people are remarkably creative.

In the Carter era, for example, there was a flood of people studying photovoltaics. When that fad passed, they hitched their wagon onto the environmental fads (hey, it is still photoelectrochemistry!). That didn't work, so now they are back to PVs and related green stuff.

I suspect the majority of rank-and-file scientists involved with AGW will do the same, but for the next (yet unknown) fad.

bio mom

50 years, not that long a time, this question of global warming will have answered itself. We should then be in a steep decline in temperatures according to many respected climatologists.

matt

the "problem" is that there is an entire industry based upon pseudoscience today. methane/CO2 from cattle, bugs, humans, etc is all a part of the cycle of life (bakuna matata) and are to a great extent outside of human control. The EPA CO2 decision is politically, not science driven. Ridicule is one part of the answer. We must show that the emperor has no clothes in a cold blooded, objective manner.

Boehner is under the microscope and must respond accordingly. Pithy remarks will purposely be taken out of context and any mistakes magnified by the environmental lobby.We are seeing incredibly bad science driving policy in Europe lately and there is no legal recourse.

How many saw the article in The Australian last week on the Antarctic ice mass? While one of the big glaciers on one side of the continent is about to calve a huge iceberg, the other side of the continent is cooling dramatically, increasing the ice cap by a larger factor than that lost. So far, the American press has been silent on this data point.

Rick, good point. An oncologist friend was basically driven out of NIH in the mid 1980's because all funding went to AIDS and funding for his research on breast cancer just simply died.

The problems with the Lysenkos and others is that they rarely bear the consequences of their idiocies.

PaulV

What ever happened to the scare tactic of nuclear winter?

Fresh Air

Matt--

And there's a crapload more Glowball Warming funding in Zero's porkfest. Makes you want to scream.

Old Lurker

"50 years, not that long a time, this question of global warming will have answered itself."

And that is way more than enough time to ride this horse into the slaughter house of global government, taxation, income redistribution, sovereignty dilution, and on and on. Plenty of time for that.

Cecil Turner

Well, according to Merck, there's actually more CO2 than methane in flatulence:

The major components of the flatus, which are odorless, by percentage are:[2]

Nitrogen - 20% - 90%
Hydrogen - 0% - 50%
Carbon Dioxide - 10% - 30%
Oxygen - 0% - 10%
Methane - 0% - 10%

Not so sure about that "odorless" bit, though. The rest of the entry is vastly entertaining, and equally useless.

Tom

Long time lurker here but infrequent poster.

I've been posting in the comments section over at Steven Benet's Washington Monthly column.

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2009_04/017820.php

So far today I have had one post deleted and now posting privileges have bene revoked.

The progressives over there don't like it when someone challenges their worldview.

bad

Please join us, Tom. We'd love to hear your point of view.

Pofarmer

The progressives over there don't like it when someone challenges their worldview.

Nope, got banned over there quite some time ago.

clarice

Nitrogen--we have to stamp out nitrogen...
The Wa Po has an (inintentionally) hilarious front page story about nitwits who are driving their families uts with their eco wackiness--not allowing the families to use the furnaces inthe winter; having conniption fits caus someone keeps slipping chef boyardee stuff into the house, refusing to have a second child becuase of the carbon footprint (and sinsisting if they have one they'll have to offset that by never flying agin)..etc.

clarice

The Washington Post has an unintentionally hilarious front page story about eco nitwits driving their families nuts:

clarice

typepad's eating my stuff and making even the minimal effort to proofread impossible. I curse it. PHEH==eye of newt and all.

DrJ

In other news, being fat is bad for the enviroment.

DrJ

Damn, the link went away. LUN...

matt

Congressional flatulence should be the first thing regulated.

bad

HEH, DrJ!! The article says obese people cost the US about $100 million annually.

That's a rounding error in the O budget...

Let us eat cakes!!

richard mcenroe

"Cow flatulence is not as toxic as congresscritter belches."

To paraphrase Muhammad Ali, "No Cow Ever Told Me to Pay More Taxes."

Harrison

H2O, not CO2, causes almost all (95%) of "global warming" and, anyway, almost all (99%) of CO2 is naturally occurring. This whole thing is just for passing a CO2 tax to raise money for socialized medicine.

DrJ

bad, that's $0.30 for each man, woman and child in the country! Think of the children!!

chip

"Would the world be clamoring for protection from this asteroid on the basis of this program's powerful predictive abilities, spending billions of dollars on asteroid-protection programs? Or we would declare the program a failure and move on to more important things like socialized healthcare"

The difference is that asteroids DO hit the earth and will like hit us again. As for the theory of runaway global warming, it has never happened on Earth despite much, much higher concentrations of CO2 than we have today.

bad

LOL DrJ

Pofarmer

it has never happened on Earth despite much, much higher concentrations of CO2 than we have today.

Don't start talking geologic timescales, they hate that.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Wilson/Plame