Oil Industry is Pumping in Millions to Pass Prop 23

smokestackWhen PG&E pumped in millions in an attempt to prevent public power from gaining more marketshare into California, the California voters saw through the charade and voted to defeat the measure.  Now they will have a similar challenge this fall with Proposition 23.

In 2006, California moved to the forefront of green policies with AB 32, which not only improved our air quality but it encouraged the growth of profitable green industries.  Contrary to what industry advocates would have you believe, there is nothing anti-economic about environmental policies.

In fact, one of the biggest growth areas is green energy and green technology. Cities like Davis, in fact, are going to attempt to build their economic development around such innovative high tech and green fields.

AB 32 goes far beyond that, however, requiring statewide caps on emissions of greenhouses gases, the types of policies cities like Davis have already passed.  The AB 32 baseline is to get the state of California down to 427 million metric tons of GHG emissions, the level that was emitted back in 1990 or a 15-percent reduction from today’s emissions.

According to an explanation in the Los Angeles Times, “By Jan. 1, the board must establish mechanisms for overall reductions, such as cap-and-trade rules, which essentially allocate emission levels to companies but allow them to buy credits from those not using up their own rights. Full implementation of all rules is required by Jan. 1, 2012. Pollution standards already adopted for new cars aim to cut emissions 30% in 2016.”

One of the leading sources of GHG emission is the burning of petroleum, especially by automobiles and other vehicles.  That puts the oil industry as AB 32’s biggest perceived target.

So they have developed Proposition 23 and attempted to cast it as a jobs measure.  Thus they project alarming job and economic losses once AB 32 goes into effect.  They argue that it will cost California’s economy over a million jobs.

If you listen to the backers-only without any context, their argument seems almost common sense.  The state’s unemployment rate, which is currently about 12.5%, would have to fall to 5.5% for four consecutive quarters.  Sounds reasonable right? 

One problem, according to the San Jose Mercury News, is that California’s economy has only dipped to 5.5% unemployment for a full year three times since 1976.

The LA Times cites stats showing “the state’s monthly unemployment rate hasn’t been 5.5% or less since September 2007. Prior to April 2005 it was 5.6% or higher for 44 consecutive months. In other words, the rate has been 5.5% or less for only 37 of the 114 months since January 2001.”

Moreover, UCLA forecasters “believe the rate got as low as 4.8% (in 2006) largely because the housing boom, which probably won’t be repeated anytime soon, put 900,000 people to work in construction. California’s natural unemployment rate in the future may be about 6%, Jerry Nickelsburg of the UCLA Anderson Forecast told me.”

In other words, while the backers of Prop 23 claim that they are only “adjusting the timetable” of AB 32, in fact they are trying to kill it for ever.

The Times article goes on to cite a study drafted by two CSU-Sacramento business professors, contracted by the California Small Business Roundtable.  According to the Times, “They accepted the Air Resources Board’s initial estimate that implementing AB 32 would involve costs of nearly $25 billion a year as a minimum. They threw in additional capital costs of $60 billion, $5 billion for new-home construction (for energy-thrifty homes) and $36 billion for fuel-efficient new cars and more.”

There are serious problems with the study however.  For example, “The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office points out that the study failed to mention that the board had also identified $40 billion in savings from AB 32 — for a net gain  of about $15 billion a year. Varshney and Tootelian said they deliberately ignored these savings as “too speculative to consider at this time,” a neat trick, especially if you’re trying to reach a preordained conclusion.”

Furthermore the Times reports, “James Sweeney,  an energy economist at Stanford, notes that in calculating the additional housing cost per consumer, the professors estimated that AB 32 would add $50,000 to the cost of a new home. How so? They figured that was an increase of 14.9% over the median new-home cost in 2008, and applied it to every household in the state — whether new-home buyers or not. They didn’t factor in any savings in power costs.”

“There’s nothing subtle about what’s wrong with that paper,” Mr. Sweeney told the Times. “It’s such a hit piece that everybody I know in the community that looks at these things has just disregarded it.”

Other studies instead find that the projected costs are not likely to be significant. The Legislative Analyst’s Office, which concluded that the near-term effect would be negative and the longer-term effect “unknown,” states that either way the effect “will probably be modest in comparison to the overall size of the state’s economy.”

However, one industry that it might cost is the oil industry.  That explains why Valero Energy based in Texas has already pumped in over a million dollars, which on this side of PG&E is still a lot of money.  Tesoro Corp, also based in Texas has spent over half a million.

As the Mercury News editorial this weekend suggests, contrary to the notion that AB 32 is a jobs killer, there is evidence that it is bringing jobs and capital to California.  They write, “With that many people out of work, though, it would be an absolute calamity to turn off the magnet that’s attracting billions of dollars in job-creating investment. In 2009, 40 percent of cleantech venture capital went to California, where some 12,000 companies are working on ways that could help businesses and consumers reduce energy consumption. More than 500,000 people work in the industry, including 93,000 in manufacturing and 68,000 in construction.”

For instance, Deutsche Bank executive Reuters that if Proposition 23 were to pass, “it would pour most of the $7 billion it has to invest in clean energy into China and Western Europe. Said Kevin Parker, global head of asset management: “(Congress is) asleep at the wheel on climate change, asleep at the wheel on job growth, asleep at the wheel on this industrial revolution taking place in the energy industry,” writes the Mercury News.

They continue, California’s lawmakers, thankfully, were not so derelict. They passed a forward-thinking law that has made California a top player in that industrial revolution, and now numerous Silicon Valley heavyweights have stepped up to protect it. The big tech companies — including Google and Apple — oppose Proposition 23, as do green companies like Sunnyvale’s Serious Materials. Venture capitalist John Doerr has given $500,000 to the “No” campaign; Farallon founder Tom Steyer has pledged $5 million.”

The Mercury News continues that venture capitalist Vinod Khosla explained why he and so many others want to preserve AB 32: “Proposition 23 will kill markets and the single largest source of job growth in California in the last two years. Not only that, it’ll kill investment in the long term for creating the next 10 Googles.”

The Mercury News concludes, “Supporters of Proposition 23 are right about one thing: Job creation is absolutely essential to California’s future. Which is precisely why voters should reject the measure — it would kill the state’s primary economic engine, now and for years to come.”

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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55 Comments

  1. Dr. Wu

    Meg Whitman has also pledged to kill AB 32 if I am not mistaken. I cannot support anyone who takes that position. Its the one good thing Arnold has done.

    Unfortunately, as California’s economy crumbles these types of arguments become popular, though there is no evidence that a reasonably well designed greenhouse gas bill (which AB 32 is generally) will kill jobs. Indeed California has long been the leader in reducing auto and other emissions yet at the same time (until recently) California’s economy has grown rapidly.

    We do have problems. Probably the biggest is a side effect of our success. Its very expensive to live in California, especially anyplace that an educated worker would want to live (e.g., the Bay area, Davis, OC, San Diego, etc.). We also have an extremely inefficient state government and our agricultural system is supported by nonsustainable sources of water.

    We need to focus on those issues rather than trying to gut AB 32.

  2. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”Meg Whitman has also pledged to kill AB 32 if I am not mistaken.”[/i]

    From Meg Whitman’s website ([url]http://www.megwhitman.com/story/561/meg-whitman-calls-for-oneyear-moratorium-on-most-ab-32-rules.html[/url]): [quote]September 27, 2009 — Within months, Sacramento will be handing down new rules to implement AB 32, the far-reaching law to restrict greenhouse gas emissions. Signed by Gov. Schwarzenegger in 2006, AB 32 may have been well intentioned. But it is wrong for these challenging times.

    With this ongoing economic crisis, the governor has the ability to issue an executive order putting a moratorium on most AB 32-related rules. I urge him to do so. And if he does not, I will issue that order on my first day as governor.

    We first must get our economy back on track. In January, the first AB 32 mandates take effect and will lead to higher energy costs at a time when we can least afford them. They will discourage job creation and could kill any recovery.

    Meanwhile, Congress is working on its own version of AB 32. We can’t measure the true impact of AB 32 on California’s economy until we know what the federal standards will be. So a moratorium now on AB 32 would give us an opportunity to coordinate our environmental efforts with Washington. And if we do it right, it might save California businesses time and money. This is surely preferable to even more jobs fleeing our state. [/quote] Ms. Whitman wrote this as part of an op/ed in the San Jose Mercury News. She also called for reforming CEQA (the California Environmental Quality Act) in the same op/ed, due to its “negative impact on jobs.”

  3. Rich Rifkin

    From Calbuzz ([url]http://www.calbuzz.com/2010/07/mining-the-field-poll-climate-change-gov-and-senate/[/url]): [quote]The Field Poll also found that Prop. 23, the measure to suspend AB32’s requirement to rollback the level of greenhouse gases in California, is running behind, with 48% of the voters opposed and 36% in favor – generally regarded as a weak starting point for a ballot measure.*

    But a separate crosstab that the Field Poll ran at our request showed that voters who favor Prop. 23 are supporting Whitman over Brown by 55-34% while those who oppose the measure are supporting Brown by 54-34% — virtual mirror images.

    At the same time, and even more impressive: Whitman voters are supporting Prop. 23 by 45-36% but Brown supporters are opposing the measure by an even stronger 60-28%. These are differences you can call statistically significant.

    Some, but not all of this is the effect of party registration, since Democrats oppose Prop. 23 by 57-31% and Republicans support it 47-33%. But it’s also clear that there’s some powerful correlation going on between opposition to overturning AB32 and who voters are supporting in the governor’s race.

    It’s important, too, that independents – who are supporting Whitman over Brown by just 42-39% — also are opposed to Prop. 23 by 53-29%. If Brown makes those independents aware that Whitman has called for a suspension of the state’s climate-change law, it could create a problem for Whitman among this important group of voters.

    * Since the initiative and referendum were created just after the turn of the century in California, the “no” position on propositions has beaten the “yes” position about two-thirds of the time. When a proposition begins with less than 60% support, it’s historically in trouble. [/quote] My brief take: these polls were taken back in July. I suspect that 95% of people who will vote on Prop 23 in November had never heard anything about it or given it any thought at that time. As such, I doubt the early polls (other than to show that Dems/Brown voters are more likely to oppose it and Repubs/Whitman voters are more likely to support it) mean too much.

    I think the biggest factor for this proposition will be the state of the economy and the perception of it. If Californians are feeling down come November, it will have a much better chance of passing.

    Nationally, if the people are very down on this economy, it’s going to be a big year for Republicans and GOP-backed causes. That won’t be due to an upsurge in support for their platform or candidates. Rather, it will be because Dems will have a hard time turning out their voters and Republican regulars will be motivated to get their vote out.

    Will that be enough for Whitman or Fiorina? I doubt it. Will Prop 23 pass? I think it will be very close: within 10 percent either way. If I had to bet on it I would say it fails 50.2-49.8.

  4. rusty49

    “Nationally, if the people are very down on this economy, it’s going to be a big year for Republicans and GOP-backed causes.”

    “If”? What’s going to change between now and November? Certainly none of the Democratic policies are going to help the economy between now and then. It’s a given that the Dems will go down big.

  5. E Roberts Musser

    One thing that bothers me about the whole GHG emissions business, is that we as a country can spend billions of dollars cleaning up our air to make small differeneces, while countries like China and India pollute like crazy with utter abandon. They are beginning to far outstrip us in terms of pollution… Then it becomes a case of diminishing returns for us, where we spend inordinate amounts of money for very small incremental changes which in the scheme of things doesn’t make a whole lot of difference.

    An example of this is the water problem. My understanding is that 95% of the water is used by farmers. So even if residential use went to zero, we could only conserve 5%. Yet we are spending inordinate amounts of money to clean up that piddly 5%, which makes little sense…

    Just some food for thought…

  6. itsme

    I hope the projections for voting down Pro 23 become reality. However, let’s not assume this. Prop 16 failed only because PGE customers knew better. Oil companies may be smarter than PGE; certainly they are wealthier and more powerful. And the economy is as good a rallying cry for conservatives as terrorists. We’ll all be scared to death by November.

    A trite excuse for the status quo is, “Someone else is doing the polluting, so why should I change?” This was the thinking in opposing global standards for GHG several yeares ago. Tom Friedman, NY Times columnist, replies, well let China continue to pollute. We’ll continue to develop green enegry and they’ll be coming to us as customers with money in hand. Since that comment, it turns out China is leading in green technology, how ironic if we become the customers and add to the trade imbalance.

    And keep wasting water, you’re not the problem. It’s the farmers. We can all get smarter with water use, However, at least the farmers are feeding us; much of non-farm water use is to maintaing a now mythical lifestyle based on abundant water for small populations. How about taking action for efficient farm water use AND curbing our excessive water use?

  7. roger bockrath

    Elaine,
    I recently read a very interesting piece in Wired Magazine (May ‘2010) about our new Energy Secretary, who is of Chinese ancestry, and his efforts to create pacts with the Chinese government on green house emissions. According to the article,because of his ethnicity, and his brilliance, he has developed a great rapport with Chinese government officials and is well on the way to developing agreements that repair recent failures in Kyoto and Copenhagen. His theory is that agreed upon reductions between the two biggest greenhouse gas emitters will cause the rest of the developing nations to follow suit. I found the article very encouraging. It was talking about behind the scenes actions that never make it into most mainstream media outlets in this country. If you get a chance, give it a read! r.b.

  8. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”One thing that bothers me about the whole GHG emissions business, is that we as a country can spend billions of dollars cleaning up our air to make small differeneces, while countries like China and India pollute like crazy with utter abandon.”[/i]

    China collectively has passed us in GHG emissions. India is still nowhere close. However, those are much larger countries than the U.S. is. Here is a list of the top 100 countries in order of GHG emissions per capita ([url]http://www.carbonplanet.com/country_emissions[/url]), which gives you an idea of where we stand vis-a-vis China and India:

    1~Qatar (all regions)~58.01
    2~United Arab Emirates (all regions)~29.91
    3~Bahrain (all regions)~28.23
    4~Kuwait (all regions)~25.09
    5~Netherlands Antilles (all regions)~23.57
    6~Luxembourg (all regions)~22.35
    7~Trinidad And Tobago (all regions)~21.85
    [b]8~United States (all regions)~19.10[/b]
    9~Australia (all regions)~18.75
    10~Canada (all regions)~17.37
    11~Gibraltar (all regions)~16.79
    12~Brunei Darussalam (all regions)~14.97
    13~Saudi Arabia (all regions)~14.79
    14~Oman (all regions)~13.79
    15~Estonia (all regions)~13.45
    16~Kazakhstan (all regions)~12.30
    17~Finland (all regions)~12.19
    18~Czech Republic (all regions)~11.83
    19~Russian Federation (all regions)~11.21
    20~Netherlands (all regions)~11.13
    21~Ireland (all regions)~10.13
    22~Korea, Republic Of (all regions)~10.09
    23~Belgium (all regions)~9.97
    24~Singapore (all regions)~9.80
    25~Germany (all regions)~9.71
    26~Japan (all regions)~9.68
    27~Cyprus (all regions)~9.34
    28~Denmark (all regions)~9.24
    29~Israel (all regions)~9.19
    30~Turkmenistan (all regions)~9.13
    31~Greece (all regions)~8.74
    32~United Kingdom (all regions)~8.60
    33~New Zealand (all regions)~8.48
    34~Austria (all regions)~8.38
    35~Poland (all regions)~7.99
    36~Slovenia (all regions)~7.89
    37~Norway (all regions)~7.85
    38~Spain (all regions)~7.68
    39~Iceland (all regions)~7.53
    40~Italy (all regions)~7.38
    41~South Africa (all regions)~7.27
    42~Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (all regions)~7.01
    43~Slovakia (all regions)~6.82
    44~Ukraine (all regions)~6.77
    45~Serbia (all regions)~6.73
    46~Malaysia (all regions)~6.68
    47~Malta (all regions)~6.65
    48~Bulgaria (all regions)~6.57
    49~Iran, Islamic Republic Of (all regions)~6.56
    50~Belarus (all regions)~6.46
    51~Hong Kong (all regions)~6.26
    52~France (all regions)~5.81
    53~Switzerland (all regions)~5.62
    54~Hungary (all regions)~5.36
    55~Venezuela (all regions)~5.24
    56~Portugal (all regions)~5.20
    57~Sweden (all regions)~5.05
    58~Croatia (all regions)~4.96
    59~Bosnia And Herzegovina (all regions)~4.77
    60~Jamaica (all regions)~4.74
    [b]61~China (all regions)~4.57[/b]
    62~Macedonia (all regions)~4.48
    63~Mongolia (all regions)~4.32
    64~Chile (all regions)~4.28
    65~Lithuania (all regions)~4.28
    66~Romania (all regions)~4.27
    67~Uzbekistan (all regions)~4.22
    68~Mexico (all regions)~4.14
    69~Argentina (all regions)~4.12
    70~Latvia (all regions)~3.66
    71~Turkey (all regions)~3.59
    72~Thailand (all regions)~3.54
    73~Jordan (all regions)~3.35
    74~Iraq (all regions)~3.33
    75~Azerbaijan (all regions)~3.22
    76~Lebanon (all regions)~2.77
    77~Syrian Arab Republic (all regions)~2.70
    78~Korea, North (all regions)~2.62
    79~Algeria (all regions)~2.53
    80~Botswana (all regions)~2.53
    81~Cuba (all regions)~2.32
    82~Egypt (all regions)~2.24
    83~Ecuador (all regions)~2.02
    84~Tunisia (all regions)~2.00
    85~Dominican Republic (all regions)~1.98
    86~Moldova, Republic Of (all regions)~1.98
    87~Panama (all regions)~1.94
    88~Gabon (all regions)~1.92
    89~Brazil (all regions)~1.81
    90~Uruguay (all regions)~1.73
    91~Indonesia (all regions)~1.67
    92~Armenia (all regions)~1.60
    93~Namibia (all regions)~1.54
    94~Costa Rica (all regions)~1.47
    95~Morocco (all regions)~1.32
    96~Bolivia (all regions)~1.29
    97~Albania (all regions)~1.27
    98~Colombia (all regions)~1.21
    [b]99~India (all regions)~1.18[/b]
    100~Georgia (all regions)~1.17

  9. Dr. Wu

    Rich:

    Thanks for making the point I was going to make on GHG emissions per capita (occasionally I have to do my real job).

    THe US has to take the lead here along with Europe and Japan. What’s even more worrying is that the Chinese, while they continue to pollute and build coal plants (ugh) are also developing solar technologies. California should be leading the world in the development of solar technology which involves many of the same technologies we have developed in silicon valley. WE also have a much better climate for solar than Germany, yet Germany is pulling ahead. Make no mistake about it, the era of fossil fuels will come to an end soon(ish).

    So how does Meg’s plan to get rid of AB32 (lets be honest here that is what she is doing) going to help us in the future??????????

    We are hooked on fossil fuels and we need to end this addiction now. I don’t consider myself an environmentalist because many are whackos but the hard science on global warming is frightening. GHG and nuclear proliferation are the two existential challenges for us this century.

  10. itsme

    The above comments hint at, but are not explicit that, in comparing GHG from different countries, we have to be aware of per capita and absolute amounts. Thus, China has a low per capita GHG, probably because the billionaires (who burn oil like nouveau riche Americans) are out numbered by masses of poor. However, because of the large Chinese population, the absolute amount of GHG may well exceed that from the US.

    I don’t understand all the comments about what country should do what. It reminds me of living with my college house mates. No one would wash the dishes because they were the other person’s. Consequently, we all lived like pigs. It really is one large global village.

    The US and California may have more technology and sunshine, but our government is dominated by Big Business and paralyzed by partisanship. It would be interesting to see if autocratic government of China can get the job done for its citizens and the world.

  11. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”It would be interesting to see if autocratic government of China can get the job done for its citizens and the world.”[/i]

    If the thieves and thugs who make up the Chinese Communist Party can figure out a way that they will make more money by reducing GHG-output per capita than they are making now raping the environment, they will do it. However, it is very unlikely. Most Chinese are still quite poor. Lower income countries AND autocratic countries tend to not favor the trade-offs involved in environmental protection. (When they do, it’s usually the result of exogenous incentives.) If you look at the history of the U.S., Western Europe and Japan, you will note that none of us when our standard of living was as low as the median standard now is in China had stringent environmental rules. We only changed AFTER we became rich nations.

    China is on the path to have a first world standard of living in about 30-40 years. One it is there, I believe China will become a lot more democratic and the Chinese people will demand a cleaner environment. However, that change in policy will come too late to retard global warming problems.

    India, by contrast, is not on the road to a first world economy. India has a thin veneer of very wealthy, very smart global businessmen and great scientists. India has world class universities and R&D programs. But India’s poor, unlike the poor of China, are not progressing at all. India is on the path to being overwhelmingly poor for another 500 years.

    India calls itself the world’s most populous democracy. However, its so-called democracy is really just a corrupt sham. Some parties are purely religious/ethnic groups out to promote their membership. Most are just there to get and hand out unproductive government jobs.

    They have a vicious police force which makes sure things don’t get too far out of control. Their courts barely function at all. When the police decide who a murderer or other serious criminal is, they usually just kill him. India does not have the death penalty de jure. They just execute more people de facto than any other country.

    India is now a freer and more open society than China, but India is doing everything wrong economically, while China is doing just about everything right. In our lifetimes, China will be a very nice place. India won’t.

  12. itsme

    Figuring out how to make more money by raping the environment is Comuunistic? Sounds just like our capitalistic, British Petroleum, Exxon, Chevron, Massey Mining to name just those companies in the current news.

    All peoples need to be educated on conservation. The push towards renewable energy didn’t come with affluence, in my opinion, but after decades of efforts by scientists and political activists and with the accumulation of evidence for global warming and accumulation of one disaster after another triggered by our increasingly aggressive efforts to dig out fossil fuels. And even so, we’re fighting like crazy to keep the oil companies in line. Remember, this series of comments was triggered by the article on Prop 23.

    Incidentally, David, that was a great piece of reporting.

  13. Dr. Wu

    Once again I kinda sorta have to agree with Rich. I hope this isn’t a pattern.

    1. Communist/autocratic governments have an atrocious record on the environment. The former Soviet Union had an awful record. That is not to excuse private corporations, but democracies seem to have a better track record.

    2. However income plays a key role here. Higher income countries have stricter pollutions standards. Economists refer to something called the Environmental Kuznet’s curve–as poor countries develop and industrialize they pollute more (do to more industrialization) but after a certain point pollution falls. The exact income level varies depending upon the pollutant. Sulfur dioxide is the most studied pollutant. the bad news here is that China and India are still low income countries overall. THis observation is not inconsistent with the idea that political activists matter but there are political activists in India, China, Mexico and elsewhere but income per capita appears to be the key component.

    3. The biggest issue with GHG is that there is a real free-rider problem, i.e., with most pollution the benefits of reduction benefit the country itself, but with GHG we really are a global commons and so no one has an incentive to stop.

    I’d like to believe that education helps but the science tells us one thing and our political leaders (at least many of them esp on the right) tell us something else.

    This is yet another area where the Republicans have become the know-nothing party (against evolution in some cases, and against the science on global warming). Meg seems to be catering to this crowd though as the election approaches hse and Jerry) will move to the center as much as they can w/o losing their bases.

    But I think a bit of humility on the part of some “activists” would also help. Many people find their smugness abhorrent. Global warming is a real problem and we need to solve it somehow.

  14. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”Figuring out how to make more money by raping the environment is Communistic?”[/i]

    Figuring out how to make more money is … the ordinary human condition. For now, at its state of development, making more money in China* means raping the environment.

    *China is run by the thugs and thieves of the Communist Party, but it does not have a command economy. Nevertheless, if history is a guide, every centrally planned, developing socialist economic program engaged in environmental destruction as bad or worse than market economies have.

    The only non-primative countries which have protected their environmental resources over the long run are wealthy, developed, democratic capitalist countries. But they all raped their resources until they were wealthy. There are no exceptions.

    That they became rich was a byproduct of their having capitalist economies. That they are democracies is a byproduct of having capitalist economies. Socialism leads to poverty or at best keeps poverty in place. Poor countries are never very democratic, if democratic at all.

  15. Ron Kilmartin

    The inevitable future of green jobs dependent on the CO2 hoax is utter failure. AB32 is founded on this scam, and when it sinks in with the public how badly they are being robbed by taxes, cap and trade, subsidies, increased costs for electricity and gasoline, and in-your-face carbon footprint regulations, these businesses and jobs and the cap and trade thieves will go the way of the windmills back in the 1990s, when they were de-subsidized.

    Climategate and hundreds of studies before and since have shown that man-made carbon dioxide is not causing global warming. Except for politicians in the cap and trade pockets of GE, PG&E, Chevron, etc., and employees of government agencies whose jobs depend on the scam, thousands of scientists and engineers throughout the world recognize that the man-made CO2 theory does not hold water.

    Proposition 23 merits a yes vote by all Californians. If you are stuck in a green job that depends on the CO2 myth, you should start looking around for other work. If you have a green job that is not dependent on this myth, consider yourself fortunate. Further comment is provided on my blog ronkilmratin.wordpress.com.

    Even if Proposition 23 fails this time around, AB 32 has the seeds of its own destruction built in – Californians will not put up with the AB 32 tyranny when it finally descends like a socialist wet blanket on everyday life; while it may take off, it will ultimately crash, like a jet plane flying at 30,000 feet with a giant fuel leak; the CO2 myth will not power AB 32. If AB 32 crashes like that, it will be yet another shock to the severely wounded California economy that will drag it deeper into a repeat of the 1930s. Proposition 23 will let the fuel-deficient AB 32 reach the ground safely, without much shock to the California economy.

  16. hpierce

    Haven’t studied the proposition much yet, but as a semi-dyslexic, I love the irony that prop 23 sets out to reverse AB 32… makes me wonder if the proponents paid extra to get that number for the ballot…

  17. hpierce

    BTW… perhaps the right word for those who ascribe to GHG effects (and I’m not saying one way or the other), should use the term “climate change” vs, “global warming”… at least the first would explain our Sacramento summer… the latter certainly doesn’t…

  18. David M. Greenwald

    hpierce: You have to situate of course the California summer with that of the rest of the globe. We have had a very cool summer, but the rest of the world has had record heat. It is the hottest summer on record. It is warming, it’s just that the warming is uneven. Some places in a given year might be cooler, but on average they are warmer.

  19. Dr. Wu

    Its been a great summer, weather wise. Unfortunately the climate forecasts call for the central valley to be even hotter in 50/100 years so we were lucky this summer.

    It is indeed climate change and variability also seems in the cards.

    Russia had a drought this summer leading to a collapse in the wheat crop.
    Pakistan has had severe flooding effecting millions of people.
    China has severe flooding.

    We have serious record breaking forest fires seemingly every year (or at least very often).

    Maybe these are all coincidences or media hype but I sense a pattern. Climate change is already upon us. We need to reduce fossil fuel use now Meg.

  20. hpierce

    OK… since Dr. Wu & David have studied atmospheric science and the history thereof more than I (and I have) I will defer to their wisdom/study and concede that they are “correct” that GHG will cause ‘global warming’. I posit the following questions to these experts:
    what if GHG were actually cooling the worlds climate? what if Sacramento is the trend, and Russia, the upper mid-west were the exceptions? Would that be a good thing? Personally, I think not.
    Since many of the “experts” [including Dr. Wu & David?] cannot agree, shouldn’t we be focused on human change of the climate, rather than just “warming” due to human activities? Have either/both of you heard of the ‘year there was no summer’? See: Krakatoa/American history.

  21. E Roberts Musser

    rich rifkin: “China collectively has passed us in GHG emissions. India is still nowhere close. However, those are much larger countries than the U.S. is. Here is a list of the top 100 countries in order of GHG emissions per capita, which gives you an idea of where we stand vis-a-vis China and India:”

    It isn’t the per capita GHG emissions that are the issue, it is GHG emissions in the aggregate.

    Dr. Wu: “THe US has to take the lead here along with Europe and Japan. What’s even more worrying is that the Chinese, while they continue to pollute and build coal plants (ugh) are also developing solar technologies. California should be leading the world in the development of solar technology which involves many of the same technologies we have developed in silicon valley. WE also have a much better climate for solar than Germany, yet Germany is pulling ahead. Make no mistake about it, the era of fossil fuels will come to an end soon(ish).”

    The U.S. needs to develop alternative fuels, so that we are not dependant on oil, so we don’t have to protect oil reserves by fighting wars in countries like Iraq. Become oil independent, and it will go towards drying up the money made on oil that goes to fund terrorism. We’ve known as far back as 1976 (remember gas lines?) that this country needs to become oil independent. Yet neither party in the U.S. Congress is willing to take this issue on. Why? Because our gov’t rakes in huge amounts of money from taxes on oil. Congressmen don’t want the gravy train to stop…

    To complicate the issue, many jobs involve the oil industry, especially on the Gulf Coast.

    hpierce: “what if GHG were actually cooling the worlds climate? what if Sacramento is the trend, and Russia, the upper mid-west were the exceptions? Would that be a good thing? Personally, I think not.
    Since many of the “experts” [including Dr. Wu & David?] cannot agree, shouldn’t we be focused on human change of the climate, rather than just “warming” due to human activities? Have either/both of you heard of the ‘year there was no summer’? See: Krakatoa/American history.”

    The global warming theory is a big question mark in my mind. Michael Crichton, in one of his books (the name escapes me at the moment) pointed out that temperature readings have not been taken over a long enough period of time to conclude anything. And there is a lot of money being made (e.g. Al Gore) off of the global warming theory by hucksters.

    Having said that, reducing pollution would seem to be a good thing – UNLESS we spend inordinate amounts of money for incredibly small incremental changes, so that we cripple ourselves and our ability to be economically viable as a nation. It can become a question of diminishing returns. That is why I so strongly feel we need a sensible energy policy, that phases in changes in a way that will achieve oil independence, encourage the development of alternative fuels, but will not cripple our economy with over regulation, oppressive requirements and the like.

    Look what has happened with the situation involving clean water. The requirements for clean water have become so oppressively honorous, it is requiring cities to build entire new wastewater treatment plants to conform to the new standards, which may literally bankrupt many cities. Wait until you see your water/sewer bills in Davis, in about ten years. I think all of you are in for a rude awakening on that score (your water/sewer bill will probably quadruple)…

  22. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”Unfortunately the climate forecasts call for the central valley to be even hotter in 50/100 years so we were lucky this summer.”[/i]

    Bryan Weare, who is a professor of Climate Science at UCD and is on the IPCC for the UN, studies (among other things) how climate change will affect our region. One thing he told me is that in our area [i]most of the increase in temperatures will be felt in the winter, not the summer.[/i]

    Despite our wonderfully cool summer, this year has been very hot for the globe. From the AP 8-13-2010: [quote]The Earth continues to feel the heat. Last month was the second warmest July on record, and so far 2010 remains on track to be the hottest year. Worldwide, the average temperature in July was 61.6 degrees Fahrenheit (16.5 Celsius), the National Climatic Data Center reported Friday. Only July 1998 was hotter since recordkeeping began more than a century ago. And the January-July period was the warmest first seven months of any year on record, averaging 58.1 F (14.5 C). In second place was January-July of 1998.[/quote]

  23. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”temperature readings have not been taken over a long enough period of time to conclude anything”[/i]

    It is not hard for scientists to reconstruct temperatures going back thousands of years. See this report ([url]http://www.grida.no/publications/other/ipcc_tar/?src=/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/439.htm[/url]) from the IPCC.

  24. Dr. Wu

    Rich:

    I went to a presentation by a Stanford climatologist last year and his data seemed to also imply hotter summers in the central valley. Perhaps academics disagree or I misunderstood. I have been told summers will also be hotter–maybe most of the change will occur in the winter (which would be fine except for droughts) but I think we can still expect somewhat hotter summers. Even a small change from 103 degrees is too much.

  25. David M. Greenwald

    hpierce: “since Dr. Wu & David have studied atmospheric science and the history thereof more than I “

    Little known fact, I was originally going to be a meteorologist.

  26. Dr. Wu

    Another little known fact (you can file this under “Who Cares”)

    My Dad is a meteorologist and was chief climatologist for the Air Force 30 years ago–no one knew anything about global warming then

  27. itsme

    The comments following this Vanguard article suggest that Davis has little interst in Prop 23 compared to sparring over generalities. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s Prop 23 that we will have a say on in November and that will have long lasting consequences on how we can respond to a dwindling fossil energy supply, with/without climate change.

    However, some of the general comments (IMHO) should be addressed. The dispute between climate change or not is that classic apples/oranges confusion.

    Weather is the term for day to day, year to year variations. Climate is the long view over time. Weather is highly unpredictable; that’s why weathermen are mostly wrong. But climate has been very stable; that’s why you can look up climates of anyplace you plan to vist. It’s analogous to day to day variations in body weight versus month to month.

    There are many graphs showing a steady change towards warmer temperatures world wide, with saw tooth variations in the small time intervals. Weather is the saw tooths; the straight line slopping up used to be horizontal. That’s what climate change is all about; that line is now tilting up.

    Did I pick up on some smugness about the West being smarter and richer than the rest of the world and, therefore, will lead in green energy? I’ve been hearing a lot about 3rd world countries leading in innovative energy. So to document this? Wikipedia is not the best source, but it should start some thinking. Googling “renewable energy world comparison,”
    I got a link to Wiki’s Top 10 Renewable Electricity Producers.” The total is the addition of hydroelectric, wind, biomass, solar and geothermal sources of energy. With TKh (probably total kilowatt hrs) in parenthesis, they line up with China 2009 (682), EU, Brazil, US 2008 (372), Canada, Russia, India, Norway, Japan, Venezuela and Germany.

    There was a comment that some of the numbers didn’t agree on two different charts; this was said to be due to different years used for the data.

    So, there doesn’t seem to be much correlation of the line up with economic or degree of industrialization. This is just electricity generation, but it’s enought to put the lie to only rich, Western countries developing renewable energy sources. Frankly, I don’t know how the US can lead with our fossil giant corporations sitting on our government like some ugly toad. And that’s what Prop 23 is; the most recent, ugly toad about to squat on us. Let’s get back to working on something we can do something about.

    I thought it was pretty stupid when some Congressman started laughing about some regional record setting cold temperatures; they took this “blip” to be a trend. Were Davis, we should be smarter than Congress.

  28. E Roberts Musser

    rich rifkin: “”temperature readings have not been taken over a long enough period of time to conclude anything”

    It is not hard for scientists to reconstruct temperatures going back thousands of years. See this report from the IPCC.”

    I don’t want to get into a contest of wills here about who is right, bc I don’t think that is particularly useful. There is significant doubt as to the credibility of the IPCC and the methods used to determine temperatures from thousands of years ago. For instance, tree rings were once used as one method, but has since fallen into disrepute.

    The bottom line is the earth has existed for millions of years, and we just don’t have sufficient data to really conclude much of anything. Global warming may or may not be true. Or to put it another way, it probably is a politically motivated theory used for the wrong reasons.

    That said, I don’t think anyone would argue that pollution is a bad thing, and it would be good to control it to a reasonable degree. The question really becomes more one of what is REASONABLE. This is where the huge divide in this country comes into play. Businesses like the oil industry want no limitations; whereas the environmentalists want to spend every dime we have on making things cleaner no matter how much it costs. All I’m saying is the more reasonable approach would seem to be somewhere in the middle – clean things up, but to a degree that does not achieve anything but minimal results for an inordinate cost.

    I usually take the pragmatic view 🙂

  29. David M. Greenwald

    “There is significant doubt as to the credibility of the IPCC and the methods used to determine temperatures from thousands of years ago. “

    I don’t know how you would define significant. There is a small minority of lesser established and usually ideologically disposed researchers who have vocally raised doubts about climate models, but they are small in number. The vast majority of scientists believe that the IPCC work is sound.

  30. E Roberts Musser

    dmg: “There is a small minority of lesser established and usually ideologically disposed researchers who have vocally raised doubts about climate models…

    Yet that same “small minority” as you put it, got the “vast majority” of scientists to admit tree ring dating was highly inaccurate. You have to understand how scientific theory works. A scientific theory is merely a model to explain what happens around us every day. The model will not be perfect in every detail – there will be certain anomolies in reality that are not explained by the model. Over time, the model will be changed to better conform with reality. Take the theory of relativity – tweaks have been made to the model to correct it. The basic math model which makes division by zero a quirk that doesn’t work imperfect.

    The problem here is that science is being overrun by politics and the almighty dollar. Too much research is being funded by businesses with monetary interests in the outcome of the research; and funded for political agendas by various nonprofits or other organizations with specific causes. Science IMHO is losing its integrity to monied interests. That is why the privatization of our public univerisities a la Katehi is bothering me.

    As for the whole global warming theory, read Michael Crichton’s book “State of Fear”. It is highly entertaining (fiction), but a lot of research was done by him on global warming. (Michael Crichton was a master when it came to including valid research in his books to weave a very compelling story.) The book is very thought provoking. My son also did a good deal of research about global warming, and uncovered a lot of contradictory information. The crazy part about all of this is that one doesn’t even need to believe in the global warming theory to justify cleaning up our air – it just is common sense. But a lot of money is being made off the global warming theory, for many of the wrong reasons.

  31. David M. Greenwald

    [quote]got the “vast majority” of scientists to admit tree ring dating was highly inaccurate[/quote]

    I don’t see any evidence that this is a true statement, googling it pulled up nothing to suggest that tree ring dating is inaccurate.

    In fact, though I don’t see evidence that its even controversial:

    [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dendrochronology[/url]

  32. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”… it probably is a politically motivated theory used for the wrong reasons.”[/i]

    When nearly 100% of climate scientists agree that anthropogenic greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are bringing about climate change–the conclusion of the IPCC scientists–it’s funny that you claim that the theory is politically motivated. A much more obvious likelihood is that the folks who are politically (or financially) motivated on this question are the so-called skeptics. Your notion is like what Fox News does, calling other news outlets biased.

    You may not know that the big oil companies have paid ([url]http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/thinktanks-take-oil-money-and-use-it-to-fund-climate-deniers-1891747.html[/url]) for every major study which has concluded that human-generated emissions are not causing to global warming. They not only are leading a misinformation campaign in just the same way the tobacco companies did ([url]http://www.ucsusa.org/news/press_release/ExxonMobil-GlobalWarming-tobacco.html[/url]) for 30 years after the surgeon general’s report on smoking came out, the oil men have hired the same political consultants the tobacco companies used.

    I don’t consider myself an expert, but I have spoken with the IPCC climate scientists at UCD. Bryan Weare ([url]http://lawr.ucdavis.edu/directory_facultypages.htm?id=32[/url]), for example, told me there is no topic in climate science which has greater concensus of opinion. Yet I hear the so-called skeptics question the concensus opinion of climate scientists on global warming theory, because they mistakenly believe the science is unsettled. But they cannot name one serious climate scientist who doubts global warming theory. Not one.

    They might find a physicist or a chemist or maybe some oddball who has never done serious peer-reviewed study of the climate. But when it comes to actual scientists who study the climate, they can’t name one.

    Elaine, the ball is in your corner. You have said that there is “reason” to doubt global warming theory. Name one peer-reviewed study which doubts the theory in the main.

  33. Rich Rifkin

    Elaine, I presume–based on your assertion that the science is political–that you have not read any of the IPCC reports.

    If so, I suggest you read this chapter ([url]http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/technical-papers/ccw/chapter2.pdf[/url]) from the IPCC report on water. It is 20 pages, based on the scientific concensus. I think anyone with a college education should have no problem understanding the science. If you read that chapter and still think the science is junk, I will be shocked. I have a strong feeling that if you are fair-minded, you will change your views.

    You also might want to read this 2002 IPCC concensus document on biodiversity effects of global warming ([url]http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/technical-papers/climate-changes-biodiversity-en.pdf[/url]). Again, it’s science. It’s not politics, as some have been duped into thinking.

  34. indigorocks

    Petitions to sign~Stop the Corexit~CLEAN energy~stop OFF shore drilling~No and Label Gmo’s~ask Lisa P. Jackson to Resign.
    .by Please Stop the Toxic Chemicals they are using on the OIL SPILL. on Wednesday, August 18, 2010 at 10:19pm.Sign as many as you can and pass them on..

    Thank YOU!

    this is the MOST IMPORTANT!

    ✔This PETITION calls for new law on all chemicals dispersants ~

    by Dr. Riki Ott (Toxicologist)

    PETITION TO THE U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

    TO AMEND THE NATIONAL CONTINGENCY PLAN (NCP) PRODUCT SCHEDULE AND

    TO USE EMERGENCY POWER TO DELIST PRODUCTS OF CONCERN

    De-list toxic products from the US EPA Product Schedule for Oil Spill Contingency Plans ~ http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/delist/

    ✔Petition to Halt the Use of Chemical Dispersants in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Dr. David E. Guggenheim is president of 1planet1ocean.

    http://1planet1ocean.org/petition-to-halt-the-use-of-chemical-dispersants-in-the-gulf-of-mexico/

    ✔Stop the Use of Dispersants in the Gulf Target:U.S. Congress http://www.thepetitionsite.com/25/stop-the-use-of-dispersants-in-the-gulfhttp

    ✔Stop all Federal Contracts with British Petroleum http://www.petition2congress.com/2/3337/stop-all-federal-contracts-with-british-petroleum/

    ✔Stop BP’s new project in B.C.’s Rocky Mountains http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/stop-bps-new-project-in-bcs-rocky-mountains-now

    ✔you can Tweet your message to your rep. Officals on this link… Stop the Corexit NOW! ‎2gov – Civic Participation Made Simple ‎

    http://2gov.org/

    ✔☏ the White House

    Whitehouse Hotline 202-456-1111 ..

    or email

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact

    ✔Find out who your rep is and contact them regualrly.

    http://www.contactingthecongress.org/

    ✔Support the FRAC Act of 2009

    Co-sponsored by Sen. Casey and Sen. Schumer, to amend the Safe Water Drinking Act to repeal Bush Administration exemptions for hydraulic fracturing.

    http://environment.change.org/petitions/view/support_the_frac_act_of_2009?suggested=true

    ✔”I oppose any cuts to Social Security benefits, including raising the retirement age.”

    http://pol.moveon.org/sspetition/?r_by=-9467140-8SIDSCx&rc=paste

    ✔✔Help End Our Dangerous Addiction to Oil and Say No to the Keystone XL Tar Sands Pipeline.

    Tell Secretary Clinton and President Obama to help end our dangerous addiction to oil and say no to the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

    https://secure2.convio.net/sierra/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=4689

    ✔The People want Lisa P. Jackson (EPA) to resign or be fired

    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/firelisapjackson

    ✔☏ Lisa Jackson, head of the EPA 1-202-564-4700

    ✔Tell Congress: Donate All Oil Company Campaign Contributions to Save Gulf Wildlife

    http://www.change.org/petitions/view/tell_congress_donate_all_oil_company_campaign_contributions_to_save_gulf_wildlife

  35. indigorocks

    i posted a link to a petition website to demand that corexit and other toxic substances be removed from the EPA approved list..
    also a link to get rid of Lisa Jackson EPA administrator who is clearly on the side of industry. I’m tired of these damned government regulators who take our money, take industries money on the side, and then turn aroudn and give corporations free reign to do as they wish.
    it’s the reason why we have the oil spill in the first place, it’s the reason why there was a financial crash, and not much has changed because the same old business minded bush layovers are lurking in our regulatory agencies and it’s time to get RID OF THE CORRUPTION!!!!
    go to facebook…follow this link…

    http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=124893927551661

  36. indigorocks

    also check out this whistleblower video on youtube about the deceipt within the EPA to cover up the truth and let BP have free reign over our water…
    what’s more important to you ppl, clean water or oil? if you had a choice between the two for survival, what would you choose?
    You can’t survive without water, but you can survive without oil.

    http://theintelhub.com/2010/07/28/epa-whistleblower-public-cant-handle-the-truth-regarding-corexit9500/

    http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http://environment.change.org/petitions/view/support_the_frac_act_of_2009?suggested=true&h=05972

    also, fracking is completely dangerous…Call Obama and tell him that if NOTHING CHANGES, THEN NOTHING CHANGES…

  37. E Roberts Musser

    rich rifkin: “Elaine, the ball is in your corner. You have said that there is “reason” to doubt global warming theory. Name one peer-reviewed study which doubts the theory in the main.”

    Have you read Michael Crichton’s book “State of Fear” (lots of research in it)??? You might find it very interesting… Come back and talk to me after you’ve read it (if you can keep an open mind)…

    rich rifkin: “But they cannot name one serious climate scientist who doubts global warming theory. Not one.”

    “Serious”??? By whose definition? LOL By the way, scientists used to think the world was flat…

    If you know anything about science, you know nothing in science is ever certain/absolute. Think about global warming from a logical point of view. The earth has been around for a billion years, but temperature readings have not been registered until the last infinitesmal amount of time. I don’t discount global warming, nor do I adhere to it slavishly – I’m keeping an open mind like any good scientist would do.

    However it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out air pollution is bad for the lungs. So why is it so necessary for adherents to the global warming theory to have everyone believe absolutely in the theory with no room for any other view?

    The fact of the matter is the global warming theory has been hijacked for political/financial reasons, and its adherents will not accept anything short of absolute dedication to every one of the theory’s tenents… I on the other hand have doubts… If you don’t, you are certainly entitled to your opinion. But why am I not entitled to mine?

    Let’s take tree ring readings to determine temperature. How reliable is tree ring data? As it turns out, not very. Why? Too many variables. Examples:
    1) Trees thrive or fail based on many factors, such as rainfall, volcanic activity, disease, forest fire, etc. So how does the tree ring size necessarily have to do with the temperature of the earth? How do we account for other numerous factors?
    2) Tree readings were not necessarily taken in the same spot/climate over the years. How is the specific climate (tropical zone, moderate climate) where the tree is located taken into account?
    3) How can trees determine the entire earth’s temperature, when they only cover a small percentage of the earth in more moderate temperature zones?

    Let’s take the example of tears in the ozone layer. There is a place down in South America that has a tear in the ozone layer, yet its society is primitive. Natives there are coming down with significant amounts of cancer, presumably due to the tear in the protective ozone layer. How do you explain this anomaly? No industry pollution to speak of, yet a tear in the ozone layer. Hmmmmmmmmmmm…

    Then there is the glacier age. At some point, they melted. There was no pollution around that I know of (maybe volcanic ash???). So why did they melt???

    I don’t pretend to be an expert in these matters. But I am a mathematician, so tend to think in a logical progression. For me, the global warming theory just does not add up, especially after I read Michael Crichton’s book, “State of Fear”. My son then did quite a bit of research, which played even more havoc with my doubts. I just don’t feel certain one way or the other…

  38. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”Have you read Michael Crichton’s book “State of Fear” (lots of research in it)???”[/i]

    I seriously hope you are not basing your opinions about the science of global warming on a novel?

  39. Rich Rifkin

    [i]””Serious”??? By whose definition? LOL By the way, scientists used to think the world was flat… [/i]

    I’m shocked at your question. It makes me wonder if you have any idea how science works. The answer, obviously, is based on peer-reviewed studies in peer-reviewed journals. That is how serious science advances in every field, from biology to astrophysics. It’s the same thing in climatology. I’m embarrassed for you not understanding that.

  40. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”If you know anything about science, you know nothing in science is ever certain/absolute.”[/i]

    The question is whether there is a widely accepted concensus on the theory of global warming by people who study climate science. The answer is yes, there is a very strong concensus. Its concensus is very near that among biologists and “the theory of evolution.”

    You seem to have no basis to argue against the concensus view of the science other than your political views and your conclusion from a novel.

  41. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”I don’t discount global warming, nor do I adhere to it slavishly – I’m keeping an open mind like any good scientist would do.”[/i]

    You don’t appear to have an open mind at all. You declared upfront that the science is not science but rather it is all politics.

  42. David M. Greenwald

    “got the “vast majority” of scientists to admit tree ring dating was highly inaccurate”

    Elaine: Where in the links that you provide is there evidence to support your statement that the vast majority of scientists admit tree ring dating was highly inaccurate.

  43. Rich Rifkin

    [i]”So why is it so necessary for adherents to the global warming theory to have everyone believe absolutely in the theory with no room for any other view?”[/i]

    Adherents? Please don’t confuse an adherent (say someone like me who is not a scientist) with an actual climatologist. No scientists are talking in absolutes. That question is just a political spin of the oil industry.

    The basic global warming theory itself is quite simple (and proven by the science):

    1. Increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere causes global warming;
    2. Greenhouse gases have been increasing over the last 100 years;
    3. Anthropogenic sources of GHGs are the reason we are now experiencing global warming;
    4. The continued increase in anthropogenic sources of GHGs will cause further global warming over the next 100 years; and
    5. A variety of (mostly) negative consequences to the environment will result from global warming over the next 100 years.

    However, there are many questions still being debated by the scientists about what is likely to happen in the future and what effects will happen where. For example, when our climate in northern California goes up by 4-6 degrees F in a new typical year, how badly will that harm the Sierra snowpack? No one knows absolutely. Different models show different results. But that is not a failure of the basic theory of rising GHGs causing global warming. Only the oil and coal industry dupes are questioning that.

  44. Rich Rifkin

    Elaine, I read your supposed “scientific attack” on reconstructed temperature data from Fox News. You of course failed to find anything scientific. Nonetheless, I think you should know who wrote that article: Exxon.

    That’s who Steven Milloy, the author of your supposedly scientific basis for questioning the science, is employed by. At the bottom of the piece, if you look closely, you will see he is at something called the Competitive Enterprise Institute. That sounds like an independent group. It’s not. It’s mostly Exxon* ([url]http://www.exxonsecrets.org/html/orgfactsheet.php[/url]). Moreover, not only is the CEI mostly Exxon–for full disclosure, I am an Exxon stockholder and my shares in that company are a substantial percentage of my own portfolio–but CEI has been the leading proponent of false information about global warming for the last 25 years.

    The consultants at Exxon who formed that “think tank” copied the model used by the tobacco companies in their disinformation campaigns about the harmful effects of smoking.

    *Exxon started CEI. However, CEI now also gets money from the American Petroleum Institute, Cigna Corporation, Dow Chemical, EBCO Corp, Koch Industries and so on. None of them has an unbiased interest in CO2 in the atmosphere.

  45. E Roberts Musser

    To Rich Rifkin: You didn’t address a single one of my specific points, e.g. problems with tree rings used to determine temperature readings, glaciers, short time span temperatures have been taken relative to the life of the earth, anomaly of tear in ozone layer. Nor have you read Michael Crichton’s book, which refers to a lot of good research.

    I’m embarrassed at your intolerance of another’s point of view. The irony is that I come to the same conclusion you do, that air pollution is a bad thing. But apparently according to you I can only come to that conclusion according to a certain prescribed theory which you have decided is the right one. Why do you get to be the arbiter of all things right and relevant?

    Because information came from the IPCC is no guarantee of correctness, as evidenced by the following: “The UN’s climate science body has admitted that a claim made in its 2007 report – that Himalayan glaciers could melt away by 2035 – was unfounded. The admission today followed a New Scientist article last week that revealed the source of the claim made in the 2007 report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was not peer-reviewed scientific literature – but a media interview with a scientist conducted in 1999. Several senior scientists have now said the claim was unrealistic and that the large Himalayan glaciers could not melt in a few decades.”

    Peer review is no guarantee of accuracy either: “Everyone, it seems, has a problem with peer review at top-tier journals. The recent discrediting of stem cell work by Woo-Suk Hwang at Seoul National University sparked media debates about the system’s failure to detect fraud. Authors, meanwhile, are lodging a range of complaints: Reviewers sabotage papers that compete with their own, strong papers are sent to sister journals to boost their profiles, and editors at commercial journals are too young and invariably make mistakes about which papers to reject or accept (see Truth or Myth?). Still, even senior scientists are reluctant to give speci. c examples of being shortchanged by peer review, worrying that the move could jeopardize their future publications.”

    A good scientist has a healthy sense of skepticism…

  46. E Roberts Musser

    dgm: “Elaine: Where in the links that you provide is there evidence to support your statement that the vast majority of scientists admit tree ring dating was highly inaccurate.”

    I would have to get the info from my son, who did the research. My only point in giving you the sites is that you said you did a Google search and could not find anything on the subject, when in fact there is plenty out there…

  47. E Roberts Musser

    From website DailyCaller: “
    The Global Warming Alarmist’s “Appeal to Authority” – This seems to be the first line of defense for global warming advocates. They often appeal to their authority by citing ‘irrefutable evidence’, ‘consensus’ and such to assert authority and stifle debate. Recently, 31,000 climate scientists have signed the Petition Project. Also, top international climate scientists recently sent the United Nations a petition that challenges the UN’s global warming agenda. Settled science? Not hardly.

    Global Warming’s “Precautionary Principles” – Global warming alarmists typically ignore the economic ramifications of drastic legislative measures. Yale’s Professor of Economics, William Nordhaus performed a study disproving draconian state-directed global warming initiatives, showing that simply ‘doing nothing’ would have the same effect over the next 50 years as extreme government action would.

    This point begs a question – should Americans allow our economy to be potentially crippled and hyper-regulated due to the oft-chance inevitable collision of some lumbering asteroid in a galaxy far, far, away? In many ways global warming proponents are advocating just that.

    The Alarmist “Pure Anger” Approach “ – This occurrence is an emotional, visceral display that shows skeptics are winning the day. It’s a common feature of debate — a citizen dares to question the validity of the global warming religiosity and is castigated as a “flat-earther” or other variety of pejorative. Dr. Cohen’s advice for the Pure Anger approach is to simply ignore and revel in the fact that it is the surest sign that global warming advocates are losing the debate.

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2010/08/13/global-warming-lies-damn-lies-and-easy-rebuttals/#ixzz0xk5xdjT0

  48. E Roberts Musser

    dgm: “Elaine: Where in the links that you provide is there evidence to support your statement that the vast majority of scientists admit tree ring dating was highly inaccurate.”

    erm: “I would have to get the info from my son, who did the research. My only point in giving you the sites is that you said you did a Google search and could not find anything on the subject, when in fact there is plenty out there…”

    Talked w my son. He went to a global warming seminar put on by UCD professor recently. The UCD professor is the one who said tree ring readings are not accurate determiners of the earth’s temperatures…

  49. David M. Greenwald

    That’s very different than your initial statement which seemed to indicate that the dating mechanism using tree rings was inaccurate. In fact, I suspect now that is not what you were trying to say, which is why I didn’t find any information on it (and that’s what I was looking for). What it appears instead that you are saying is that tree rings DATA is not an adequate or accurate means of assessing earth’s temperatures.

  50. E Roberts Musser

    dmg: “That’s very different than your initial statement which seemed to indicate that the dating mechanism using tree rings was inaccurate. In fact, I suspect now that is not what you were trying to say, which is why I didn’t find any information on it (and that’s what I was looking for). What it appears instead that you are saying is that tree rings DATA is not an adequate or accurate means of assessing earth’s temperatures.”

    Yes, sometimes my nimble fingers don’t produce exactly what my brain is thinking!

    dmg: “It would also be good to know which UCD Professor your son is referring to, so that the veracity of the claims can scrutinized.”

    Probably can’t get you info before this article is off front page. It was the professor who gave the most recent talk on global warming, I think on Picnic Day. Does that help?

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