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September 18, 2015

GOP Candidates' Information on Climate Change

IPI expert referenced: Merrill Matthews | In The News | Media Hit
  Heartland Institute

By James H. Rust

THE PROBLEM

Some GOP candidates have responded “I am not a scientist” when confronted by questions about climate change (global warming).  President Barack Obama singled out the phrase in his 2015 State of the Union speech stating,   “I’ve heard some folks try to dodge the evidence [of global climate change] by saying they’re not scientists; that we don’t have enough information to act. Well, I’m not a scientist, either. But you know what, I know a lot of really good scientists at NASA, and at NOAA, and at our major universities. And the best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate, and if we don’t act forcefully, we’ll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration and conflict and hunger around the globe.

The scientists that advise President Obama are paid by him and they tell messages he wants to hear.  Look at what happened to EPA scientist Dr. Alan Carlin who was told to shut up in 2009 when he wrote a report responding to climate change was not worth the economic damage.

Quite a few GOP 2016 presidential candidates have responded “I am not a scientist” which may come back to haunt them in the future.  This GOP response is unsatisfactory because political candidates should be aware of important issues.  In particular about climate change; where the Democrat Party’s response is overturning our entire energy supply system by abandoning our abundant, inexpensive, and geographically distributed fossil fuels of coal, oil, and natural gas.  The U. S. is the most blessed nation on the planet with abundant fossil fuels.

The issue is as follows:  Is global warming from burning fossil fuels sufficiently dangerous to stop its use and replace our vast, inexpensive energy sources with possibly expensive and environmentally challenged solar, wind, ethanol from corn, other biofuels, and biomass (predominately burning wood)?

A SOLUTION

Fortunately for GOP candidates, resident scholar with the Institute for Policy Innovation Merrill Matthews published a brilliant paper “A GOP candidate’s primer of climate change answers”.  The paper gives rebuttals to Democrats arguments carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels causes catastrophic climate change (global warming).  The paper contains so much important material it is reproduced in its entirety at the end of this commentary.   Additional comments follow to amplify Merrill Matthews remarks.

President Obama’s Alaska Trip. President Obama’s Alaska trip is analyzed in detail by an article “Obama’s Climate Alarmism Tour (contradictory data + tuned-out public = failure)” posted on Master Resource.  The trip was totally for propaganda purposes and many remarks are misrepresentations at best.

Is the earth warming?  For thousands of years the earth has followed warming and cooling cycles of very approximate 500-year durations.  Tracing back into the past we have the Current Warming Period (1850-present), Little Ice Age (1350-1850), Medieval Warm Period (900-1350), Dark Ages (400-900), and Roman Warming Period (100 BC-400).  Because satellite temperature data shows no warming since 1998; those promoting abandoning fossil fuels stopped using the words global warming around 2005 and now call it climate change.  Naturally climate change has pestered the planet since its origin 4.5 billion years ago.

Is Arctic ice melting?  Satellite data for polar sea ice in the Arctic and Antarctic is shown at the website The Cryosphere Today for the period 1979 to present.  Inspection of Arctic sea ice shows the minimum for 2015 has recovered by 30 percent above the minimum for 2012.  In 2012 a cyclone tore through the Arctic in late August, passed over the North Pole, and propelled much of the ice south where it melted.

Are humans to blame?  Antarctic ice core data shows temperature increases are followed by carbon dioxide increases that lag by 600 +/- 400 years.   This is a clear demonstration carbon dioxide increases don’t produce temperature increases.

Can the U. S. solve the problem?  An article by energy columnist Marita Noon “Republican candidates must by strong on energy” cites additional polling data that shows energy will be an important issue in the 2016 election.

97 percent of scientists say humans cause global warming.  This topic was not covered in Merrill Matthews paper; but invariably those promoting reducing fossil fuel use bring up some high percentage of scientists, like 97 percent, claim humans consuming fossil fuels cause climate change (global warming).  The proper response is science is not ruled by consensus; but continuous experimental data supporting a theory.  By cherry-picking, one can produce papers claiming any percentage of scientists support a position.  This is a nonsense argument. 

OTHER FACETS

The Obama administration’s position on climate change is depriving the nation great opportunities and producing possible annual financial loss of hundreds of billions of dollars.

The Heritage Foundation published a paper “Energy Policy Agenda for the New Administration and Congress” that lists numerous suggestions for a new energy policy that is described by its Abstract.  “Free markets will produce the energy America needs to power its economy. Government policies that allow markets to operate freely will expand opportunity for all and show favoritism to none. There is no role for government central planning, government subsidies for the favored few, or government overregulation that stifles economic activity. The next Administration and Congress should open access to natural resource development, encourage fossil fuel exports, cut tariffs on energy technology, eliminate subsidies, devolve commercial activities to the private sector, and eliminate costly, job-killing regulations that have little benefit.”

A new book sponsored by the Global Warming Policy Foundation, The Price of Oil, argues that “oil has experienced an extraordinary price increase over the past few decades, a turning point has now been reached where scarcity, uncertain supply and high prices will be replaced by abundance, undisturbed availability and suppressed price levels in the decades to come. We also examine the implications of this turnaround for the world economy, as well as for politics, diplomacy, military interventions and the efforts to stabilize climate”. 

Recent examples of waste of tax dollars are shown by U. S. government news releases.  On September 9, the DOE release cited a $6 million grant establishing clean energy and energy efficiency on tribal lands, a nine-day collegiate competition building solar energy houses, and solar energy programs supporting President Obama’s Climate Goals.  Also on September 9, the DOI announced the First-Ever National Climate Boot Camp to Address Tribal Needs and Concerns Related to Climate Change.  On September 1, NPR issued a report about the “ U.S. Department of Agriculture promising more than $200 million for sage grouse conservation efforts over the next three years, with the hopes of almost doubling the current amount of protected habitat. That's on top of about $400 million that it has already spent since 2010.”  With thWith tens of millions of dollars in federal and state subsidies and hundreds of thousands in county grants and tax credits, the plant was built to a production capacity of 8 million gallons of ethanol per year, which would require some 300 dry tons of feedstock per day.e U. S. having 400,000 sage grouse, this is $1500 per bird.  On September 10, the USDA announced awarding $100 million for adding 4880 pumps to 1400 fueling stations to sell higher grades of ethanol mixes such as E-15—over $20,000 per pump. 

biofuels company named INEOS, located west of Vero Beach, FL, was built in 2011 at a cost of $130 million to produce ethanol from yard waste.  With tens of millions of dollars in federal and state subsidies and hundreds of thousands in county grants and tax credits, the plant was built to produce 8 million gallons of ethanol per year from daily 300 dry tons of feedstock.  To date nothing has been produced and the company is considering importing yard waste from the United Kingdom because of failed output from local waste.


 

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