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Greenhouse Simplicities

Newsweek – August 20 issue

You probably saw the very ominous issue of Newsweek that stirred up quite a bit of controversy regarding global warming deniers and claimed there was a denial machine. Some have said that I am part of the denial machine because I call for more studies and more scientific research to prove what is happening. I don’t think that I am part of that machine, but I understand why others put me in that camp.

In the latest issue, there is an op-ed piece by Robert Samuelson that accuses Newsweek of going too far.  Frankly, I agree with him. While there is certainly a lot of evidence that the earth may be slightly increasing in warmth – the evidence is hardly conclusive and the evidence of massive problems in the future is very tenuous.

Mr. Samuelson makes some excellent points. I highlight a few here but you probably should read the rest of his excellent article by following the link below the quotes.  You may also want to read some of the comments of others in the blogosphere:
Newsweek Rebukes Newsweek
Robert Samuelson: Global Warming Simplicities
Cheers to Robert Samuelson
Newsweek: We Mislead You

We in the news business often enlist in moral crusades. Global warming is among the latest. Unfortunately, self-righteous indignation can undermine good journalism. Last week’s NEWSWEEK cover story on global warming is a sobering reminder. It’s an object lesson of how viewing the world as “good guys vs. bad guys” can lead to a vast oversimplification of a messy story.


The global-warming debate’s great un-mentionable is this: we lack the technology to get from here to there. Just because Arnold Schwarzenegger wants to cut emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 doesn’t mean it can happen. At best, we might curb emissions growth.


The IEA then simulated an aggressive, global program to cut emissions based on the best available technologies: more solar, wind and biomass; more-efficient cars, appliances and buildings; more nuclear. Under this admitted fantasy, global emissions in 2050 would still slightly exceed 2003 levels.


Even the fantasy would be a stretch. In the United States, it would take massive regulations, higher energy taxes or both. Democracies don’t easily adopt painful measures in the present to avert possible future problems.


Against these real-world pressures, NEWSWEEK’s “denial machine” is a peripheral and highly contrived story. NEWSWEEK implied, for example, that ExxonMobil used a think tank to pay academics to criticize global-warming science. Actually, this accusation was long ago discredited, and NEWSWEEK shouldn’t have lent it respectability.


But the overriding reality seems almost un-American: we simply don’t have a solution for this problem. As we debate it, journalists should resist the temptation to portray global warming as a morality tale?as NEWSWEEK did?in which anyone who questions its gravity or proposed solutions may be ridiculed as a fool, a crank or an industry stooge. Dissent is, or should be, the lifeblood of a free society.

Read the full opinion piece here.

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One Response to “Greenhouse Simplicities”

  1. That opinion is simply crap. It is written by a coward.

    Here is the best I can come up with to start to fix global warming.

    The economy is 13 trillion dollars with about 29 percent federal, state and local taxes, about 4 trillion dollars.

    What we do is a tax trade. 1 percent in taxes in GNP is 130 billion dollars.
    tax trade 130 billion from Social Security Taxes to a carbon tax. About 135 million people pay into social security, rebate the first 500 the employee pays and 500 the employer pays.
    Rebate the first 800 dollars on everybodies primary residence and for each bussiness 800 dollars for each employee. Tax 130 billion from carbon taxes to pay for this.
    Rebate 130 billions to the states sales taxes and tax carbon instead.
    Rebate 130 billion in the federal income taxes to every income tax payer and take the taxes from carbon taxes.

    trade 520 billion in taxes from Social Security, Property, Sales and Income taxes and take it from a national carbon tax.

    It is sad and pathetic to have economists like this. That economist is simply a Global Warming coward.