Has the Global Warming Train Left the Station?


Has the Global Warming Train Left the Station?

I read with interest Casey Jones’  entry at the Parking Matters Blog a couple of days ago.  Basically he is beating the global warming drum and touting the IPI’s support for all things sustainable. Fair Enough.

However I think I must have missed something.  Supporters, companies, countries and the like are falling off the Global Warming/Climate Change bandwagon right and left. The last two UN meetings have been complete busts, by any measure. Scientist after Scientist are finding fact after fact that debunk the so called ‘settled science.’ While many organizations that base their existence on Global Warming alarmists and still stirring the pot, their voices are becoming less and less strident.

We find almost daily that ‘facts’ that proved “Global Warming/Climate change” aren’t. Polar Bears are thriving, Glaciers aren’t receding, temperatures and bumping around in ways not predicted three or five years ago, what appears sustainable (ethanol) really isn’t, the carbon footprint of this or that “green” item is really worse than its predecessor.

Even President Obama, not known for his skeptical views, failed to even mention Climate Change in his 2012 Earth Day proclamation, even though last year it was the primary theme of his speech. Last month 49 retired NASA scientists wrote to the director “admonishing the agency for it’s role in advocating a high degree of certainty that man-made CO2 is a major cause of climate change while neglecting empirical evidence that calls the theory into question.”  Read all about it here.

And then there’s this article, in the London Daily Mail which quotes UK Meteorologists and NASA on ….well read it yourself — but it does have the Thames freezing over.

All the information I listed above was in journals, newspapers, and reports over the last three months. This isn’t new, it’s now finding its way into the mainstream media. To say that the ‘science is settled’ seems to me to be a tad overstated.

I like Todd Meyers, keynote speaker at PIE’s, approach — Strive for good stewardship. Spend money on sustainability when it makes a difference. Expensive solar panels and wind farms make little economic sense, but that same money could be spent on better design, research, and ways to move us from one energy system to another without bankrupting society. Remember, it will be the least among us who will suffer when economic times worsen.

Moving headlong into one program or another without question is usually fraught with disaster. Unintended consequences tend to pop up everywhere. We might do better to check the schedule and see just which one has left the station. We might be in the wrong car.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

4 Responses

  1. It is also good to remember, as you are implying, that if something isn’t financially sustainable, it isn’t sustainable. All the subsidies for various products and technologies that average citizens will not invest in themselves will end, and those products and technologies will fail (and have failed) because they were not viable to begin with. “Sustainable” is more than grants, subsidies, and PR — something that is sometimes hard to remember in this current period.

  2. The debate over Global Warming is akin to arguing over the existence of God, in that by the time you find out if you are right or wrong, it’s probably too late. The real issue is the air quality in our urban centers. Personally, I think we need to do all we can to clear the air in our country. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like the fact that I am breathing in smog everyday. I can only imagine how residents of L.A. feel when they see that huge smog cloud hanging over their city. Unlike polluted water, which I can filter before I ingest it, air quality is a truly public problem, which requires . . . regulation to improve. (Yes, my Libertarian friends I actually used the “R-word.”)


  3. Woody: As is usually the case, the article buries the important stuff in the 18th paragraph.
    But there is some good news, said Janice Nolen, director of national policy for the American Lung Association. The majority of cities with polluted air have actually improved. Nolen credited the Clean Air Act, which, since its passage more than 40 years ago, has forced car and diesel truck manufacturers and coal-fired power plants, among others, to reduce emissions.

    “The ‘State of the Air 2011’ finds the Clean Air Act is working. All metro areas on the list of the 25 cities most polluted by ozone showed improvement over the previous report, and 15 of those cities experienced their best year yet,” Nolen said. “All but two of the 25 cities most polluted with year-round particle pollution improved over last year’s report.”

    Since I live every day in this hell hole, and have for all my life, I can attest to the fact that the air in Los Angeles is much cleaner than it was 40 years ago.
    But there are a couple of little secrets that the article omits. The most important is that 40 years ago there were numerous air pollution days where people were told to stay in doors and kids couldn’t play outside at school. Last year there were none.
    It is also important to remember that the goal posts have been moved. The standards for what is polluted has changed substantially from 40 years ago. I’m not sure whether this is good or bad, but it is the case. A “Bad air day” today would have been seen as a ‘clean air day’ in olden times.
    It is also true that Los Angeles had air pollution 400 years ago. The area was known as the valley of the smokes, as the inversion layer over the city trapped camp fire smoke and well….
    Is LA Air perfect — of course not. Should we continue to work to make it cleaner, a resounding YES. Is it possible to have completely pure air in LA? Probably not.. if they had smog 300 years ago, how can one expect pure air today.
    Libertarians aren’t suicidal. However I agree with Barbara — if the spending of hundreds of billions and the cost of millions of jobs does little to reduce the air pollution, should we do it? I think not.

  4. Oh, one more thing — Todd Meyers says that you should determine what is most important to you concerning the environment and then work toward that end. In Woody’s case it is clean air. In another it might be clean water in third world countries. In a third, saving the old growth forests.

    The important thing, it seems to me, is ensuring you aren’t just moving the problem. If we switch to electric cars and completely remove the pollution in LA, do we just move it to Four Corners (where major power plants are located)? That pesky law of unintended consequences is always in play.

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