Skip to comments.Tom McClintock on global warming
Posted on 10/20/2007 6:03:47 AM PDT by RLM
Speech was given on October 12, 2007 in Newport Beach.
You have extended me a very dangerous invitation tonight to speak to a gathering of political conservatives on the day that Al Gore has received the Nobel Peace Prize for discovering that the earths climate is changing.
Ive heard that hes going to contribute half of his prize money to environmental causes and use the other half to pay his electricity bill. And anything left over will come in handy to help pay for the fleet of private jets that allow him to travel around the world to tell us that you and I need to ride our bikes to work.
You have to admit, there is a certain Helmslyesque quality to it all We dont conserve only the little people conserve.
Of course, for those in the liberal elite who jet to environmental conferences in Gulfstream Fives and drive around in Hummers singing the praises of hybrids and bicycles, the Left now sells indulgences you can actually calculate your sins on-line and theyll gladly tell you how much money to send them (all major credit cards accepted) to assuage your conscience.
These indulgences will be used for such activities as planting more trees to absorb carbon dioxide. After all, young trees absorb an enormous amount of this greenhouse gas far more than old trees. But isnt replacing old-growth timber with young-growth timber what lumber companies used to do until the radical environmentalists shut them down?
Theyve also forbidden the clearance of flammable brush from around your home in areas like Lake Tahoe thats an affront to Mother Nature. Youre supposed to either let it burn and your home along with it or just let it sit and rot because those are the two best ways for Nature to release lots of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Apparently natural carbon dioxide is a good thing and man-made carbon dioxide is a bad thing.
Thats also why were supposed to do away with chemical fertilizer and replace it with natural compost, because replacing man-made greenhouse gases with natural greenhouse gases is the wave of the future.
So are electric cars and trains. But this also gets a little complicated, because there are only two ways of generating vast amounts of clean electricity: hydroelectricity and nuclear power. But theres no faster way to send one of these Luddites into hysterics than to mention that inconvenient truth.
The politically correct replacement is solar energy roughly 17 times more expensive than either nuclear power or hydroelectricity meaning, of course around 17 times LESS electricity to run electric cars and trains.
Energy conservation, then, is the answer, which is why were being told only to use energy efficient fluorescent lights rather than the warm and fuzzy incandescent bulbs. But wait didnt we just ban the disposal of fluorescent lights with your trash because of the extreme environmental hazard they pose in our landfills?
So I approach the subject tonight with an admitted level of confusion as to what these people are thinking.
And I also approach it with a certain degree of trepidation. After all, at Al Gores rally to save the planet in New York in July, no less an authority than Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said that those of us who still have some questions over their theories of man-made global warming are liars, crooks, corporate toadies, flat-earthers and then he made this remarkable statement: This is treason and we need to start treating them now as traitors.
Ah, the dispassionate language of science and reason.
In a speech in New York several months ago, our own governor called those who question the religion of global warming fanatics and vowed our political extinction.
I certainly dont want to die a traitors death or be run out of town on a rail. So I want the record to be very clear: I believe that the earths climate is changing and that our planet is warming.
I actually figured that out in grade school in the 1960s when our third grade class took a field trip to the Museum of Natural History and saw the panorama of dinosaurs tromping around the steamy swamps that are now part of Wyoming. They were right next to the exhibit of the Wooly Mammoths foraging on the glaciers that were also once the same part of Wyoming.
And I never got a Nobel Prize for that discovery. In fact, I later found out that my third grade teacher never even nominated me!
Then I got to high school in the 1970s and learned from the Al Gores of the time that we foolish mortals were plunging ourselves into another ice age. All the scientists agreed.
By the way, you may have seen the Washington Times story a few weeks ago about the researcher who recently stumbled upon a lurid story in the Washington Post dated July 9, 1971. It included the scary headline: U.S. Scientist Sees New Ice Age Coming.
The scientist based this on a scientific climate model developed by a young research associate named James Hansen. They warned that continued carbon emissions over the next ten years could trigger an unstoppable ice age.
This is the same James Hansen who is one of the gurus of the current global warming movement. And it is the same James Hansen who, just three months ago, published a paper claiming that continued carbon emissions over the next ten years could trigger a run-away greenhouse effect.
Let me begin by asking three inconvenient questions.
First, if global warming is caused by your SUV, why is it that were seeing global warming on every other body in the solar system? For the last six years, the Martian south polar ice cap has conspicuously receded. Pluto is warming about two degrees Celsius over the past 14 years. Jupiter is showing dramatic climate change by as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Even Neptunes moon, Triton, has warmed five percent on the absolute temperature scale the equivalent of a 22 degrees Fahrenheit increase on Earth from 1989 to 1998.
If you have any doubt, just Google Pluto Warming or Mars Warming or whatever your favorite planet might be.
Meanwhile, solar radiation has increased a measurable .05 percent since the 1970s.
Is it possible that as the sun gets slightly warmer, the planets do too?
This would be a little scary in its own right, except for the second inconvenient question: If global warming is being caused by your SUV, why is it that we have ample historical records of periods in our recent history when the planets temperature was warmer than it is today?
During the Medieval Warm Period, from about 900 to 1300 AD, we know that wine grapes were thriving in northern Britain and Newfoundland and that the temperature in Greenland was hot enough to support a prosperous agricultural economy for nearly 500 years.
That period was brought to an end by the Little Ice Age that lasted from 1300 until 1850. We know that during colonial times, Boston and New York Harbors routinely froze over in winter and during Elizabethan times, an annual Winter Festival was held ON TOP OF the Thames River, which froze solid every year.
And finally the third inconvenient question: If global warming is caused by YOUR SUV, why is it that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide always follow increases in global temperatures by several hundred years, indicating that CO2 is a byproduct of increasing temperatures not a cause.
Is it possible that this is the reason Al Gore wont debate the subject? Youve seen the Inconvenient Truth. In it, he portrays himself as an indefatigable, lonely sentinel (who should have been President of course) wandering the planet trying desperately to awaken the world to the danger it faces. Ive given this speech a thousand times, he says about a thousand times.
But according to the Chicago Sun Times this pious paragon of truth who assures us hes willing to go anywhere and talk to anybody to save us from our mortal folly is strangely UNwilling to take up the Heartland Institutes publicized offer to organize an international debate on the subject. The Institute has challenged our new Nobel Peace Prize laureate of the left to debate any one of three internationally recognized authorities who dispute his claims, and its willing to front all costs at Oxford University, no less, and in a format of Gores own choosing.
After all, Gores new book extols the importance of science and reason in the public policy debate, so what better way to deliver the coup de grace to the skeptics than to expose their fallacies in front of an international audience?
And yet, Al Gore, who has given his speech a thousand times, wont give it just once more in a forum where it might be questioned by a knowledgeable authority.
Were told that the debate is over and that all scientists agree. Call this the Emperors New Clothes argument. But its simply not the case.
The ISI Web of Science is one of the most comprehensive collections of peer-reviewed scientific papers in the world. A recent survey of all papers on the subject of climate change that were published between 2004 and February of 2007 found that only SEVEN percent explicitly endorsed the position that man-made carbon dioxide is causing catastrophic global warming. SIX PERCENT explicitly rejected it and a majority of the remaining papers were neutral.
In fact, another directory of peer-reviewed scientific papers explicitly refuting the theory of human-induced catastrophic global warming lists over 500 leading climate scientists. The survey itself was conducted by a team that included Fred Singer, author of Unstoppable Global Warming EVERY 1,500 YEARS, whose qualifications include being the founding director of the National Weather Satellite Service.
I believe it was Ogden Nash who wrote:
The ass was born in March The rains came in November Such a flood as this, he said, I scarcely can remember.
But now I would like to address myself to a grim subject: the actual threat that global warming poses to our planet and most specifically to California. And that threat is very real and it is devastating.
I speak specifically of the radical policies that the global warm-mongers are now enacting.
Last year, in the name of saving the planet from global warming, California adopted the most radically restrictive legislation anywhere in the nation, including AB 32, which requires a 25 percent reduction in man-made carbon dioxide emissions within 13 years.
To put this in perspective, we could junk every car in the state of California RIGHT NOW and not meet this mandate.
Californians just approved $40 billion of bonds that Californias political leaders promised would be used for highways, dams, aqueducts and other capital improvements. They are desperately needed.
But at the same time, those same political leaders have imposed a 25 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.
Now heres the problem. Building highways, dams and aqueducts requires tremendous amounts of concrete, the principle ingredient of which is cement.
How is cement produced? It is produced by taking limestone and super-heating it into a molten state it comes out the other side as a compound called clinker. Clinker is about 2/3 the weight of the original limestone. The missing 1/3 of that weight is carbon dioxide. And when you include the emissions required to superheat the limestone, it turns out that for every ton of cement, a TON of carbon dioxide is released. Its the third biggest source of carbon dioxide in all human enterprise.
But now we have a law that specifically forbids us from doing so. That was the essence of the Jerry Brown lawsuits against new highway projects that were part of the summer budget impasse.
Citing AB 32, Brown argued that unless the counties could show how they would build highways without using earthmoving equipment or concrete and that once built, that people would not drive automobiles on them the only legal use of the funds would be to promote mass transit, transit villages and Im not making this up pedestrian trails and bicycle paths.
So much for construction.
Agriculture is in big trouble, too.
You can start with nitrogen fertilizer, which is a critical component of all agricultural activity. Unfortunately, it produces large amounts of nitrous oxide, another so-called greenhouse gas that must be radically curtailed in California.
The wine industry is also in for a shock. Fermentation of wine occurs when a molecule of glucose in the grapes is converted into EQUAL PARTS of alcohol and Carbon Dioxide.
But the biggest agricultural impact is the administrations mandate for heavily subsidized use of ethanol fuel. Ethanol is produced in exactly the same way as the alcohol in wine: the glucose in corn is converted into equal parts of ethyl alcohol and CARBON DIXOIDE.
Following AB 32, the governors appointees on the California Air Resources Board imposed a requirement that ALL gasoline sold in California within THREE YEARS, must be comprised of at least TEN PERCENT ethanol, doubling the current mandate.
Now think about this: an acre of corn produces about 350 gallons of ethanol. There are 15 billion gallons of gasoline used in California each year. In order to meet the ten percent requirement in three years, it means converting 4.3 million acres of farmland to ethanol production. Now thats a lot of farmland, considering that we have a total of 11 million acres producing any kind of crops.
Current ethanol mandates are already producing serious shortages in other parts of the world, as farmland that had been producing food shifts to ethanol to chase hundreds of millions of dollars of government subsidies coming out of your pocket. There were riots in Mexico earlier this year in response to spiraling tortilla prices.
And were seeing this across the board including commodities like milk and beef that are responding to increased prices for corn feed. And as you see your grocery prices rise as a result of this policy, just be glad youre not in the Third World. Food is a relatively small portion of the family incomes in affluent nations, but they consume more than half of family earnings in third world countries.
So when the global warming alarmists predict worldwide starvation, theyre right. Theyre creating it.
While were on the general subject, you may have noted that Interstate Bakeries announced last month that they are completely withdrawing from the Southern California market they are shutting down four bakeries, 17 distribution centers and 19 outlet stores and throwing 1,300 employees out of work. Theyre the makers of Wonder Bread, Roman Meal Bread, Home Pride and Bakers Inn.
If youre a fan of those breads, youd better stock up now theyll be gone by the end of October.
They cited the high cost of doing business in California, but I believe had they stayed they would have faced an even thornier problem: bread is only bread because of the carbon dioxide produced by yeast. Its the same chemical process weve been talking about, although in this case, the central ingredient IS the carbon dioxide. That pleasant smell of baking bread is the ethyl alcohol oxidizing as those gases are vented during baking.
Electricity prices are also taking a heavy hit. California already suffers the highest electricity prices in the continental United States, but that situation is about to worsen.
A companion measure to AB 32 was SB 1368 that prohibits the importation of electricity produced by coal even state-of-the-art plants thousands of miles from California that meet all EPA requirements.
Truckee became the first victim of this law. Truckee was about to sign a 50-year contract for electricity produced by a new coal fired plant in Utah. They were forced to back off because of AB 1368. They just announced the new contracts to replace that lost power. Instead of paying $35 per megawatt hour, Truckee electricity consumers will now be paying $65 per megawatt hour.
It gets worse. Last month, the chairwoman of the Air Resources Board which was given virtually unlimited power by AB 32 announced that they will TRIPLE the number of AB 32 regulations this year.
The radical laws now in place in California are having a dramatic impact on energy production, agriculture, manufacturing, wine-making and construction, just to name a few sectors of our economy.
We are already seeing the economic impact in California.
Nationally, the unemployment rate is stable at 4.6 percent. Until last year, Californians unemployment rate tracked with the national figures, but since January while the national rate has remained stable at about 4.6 percent, Californias unemployment rate has skyrocketed from 4.8 percent to 5.5 percent.
I was struck by the Governors speech to the United Nations last week. He said:
Last year in California, we enacted groundbreaking greenhouse gas emission standards. We enacted the worlds first low carbon fuel standard. Do I believe Californias standards will solve global warming? No. What were doing is changing the dynamic, preparing the way and encouraging the future...
So even the individual most responsible for this economically catastrophic public policy ADMITS that its not going to solve global warming. He just wants to set an example.
I believe he is going to set an example, all right.
Responding to the enormous new burdens imposed on our economy, our states revenues have taken a dramatic turn for the worse. On June 30th, we closed the books on the biggest deficit in Californias history more than $6 ½ billion.
We just got the first quarter revenue numbers for this new fiscal year. State revenues needed to grow TWICE as fast this year as they did last year to avert an even bigger deficit.
In the first quarter, though, our revenues are actually shrinking. Last year at this time, we had $1 ½ billion in the bank we now have a bank overdraft of $7 ½ billion thats being covered entirely by internal borrowing.
Thats a NINE BILLION DOLLAR DIFFERENCE. And thats the measure of our actual year-over-year deficit spending.
Combined with the growing budget deficit projection for next year, we could be facing a two-year gap of $20 billion by May and we dont have the money to cover it.
There is one other thing that strikes me on this issue, and that is how puny is the amount of carbon dioxide produced by human enterprise, compared to simple, natural processes.
The AB 32 mandate is to reduce man-made carbon dioxide emissions by 170 million metric tons per year. Thats what all this tremendous economic dislocation is about.
Now let me mention one other man-made source of carbon dioxide that they dont count.
Every one of us in this room will produce about 2.2 pounds of carbon dioxide today by breathing. Thats over 800 pounds of carbon dioxide per year. If anyone brought a pocket calculator, pull it out and stay with me here.
There are 6.6 billion of us on this planet. That comes to 5.3 trillion pounds or 2.4 BILLION metric tons of carbon dioxide simply through the process of human respiration. And thats before you count up all the cats and rats and elephants.
So all of this economic dislocation is over a tiny fraction of natural carbon dioxide emissions.
The only good news I can offer is that perhaps were all wrong. Perhaps the unprecedented burden now imposed upon our commerce will produce a wave of new investment and innovation and environmental purity as the Governor has so loudly promised. Perhaps the unprecedented levels of deficit spending will send our economy into paroxysms of prosperity. Perhaps.
But theres another possibility. Theres a possibility that were right, and that the inevitable economic realities of these outrageous regulations are already beginning to destroy Californias once-vibrant economy in a dark and miserable example of human folly.
And we must be prepared for that possibility. In normal times, citizens dont pay a lot of attention to public policy, and thats why democracies occasionally drift off course. But when a crisis approaches, thats when you see democracy engage. One by one, citizens sense the approach of a common danger and they rise to the occasion. They focus they look beyond the symbols and rhetoric and they begin to make very good decisions. Political majorities can shift very quickly in such times. Polls can reverse themselves almost overnight in such times. And I believe that day is now rapidly approaching.
People ask me all the time: What can I do? And the only answer I can offer is the answer the great abolition leader Frederick Douglass offered to a young protégé. He said, Agitate. Agitate. Agitate.
We have greater tools with which to communicate with our fellow citizens than ever before. The Internet and talk radio have given us powerful new ways to organize and reach people. And we have something else thats even more important: truth and common sense.
We have based our entire form of government on the assumption that when democracies engage, they make very good decisions. The radical policies now imposed on California are already beginning to impact the economy, and will have an increasingly negative effect as they proliferate in coming days. As the impact of these policies is felt, people will begin paying close attention to policy making and the policy makers responsible, and then theyll begin exercising something that the majority of Californias public officials have so completely lacked: simple common sense.
And at that moment, we will see a new political awakening and a new political realignment in California, and before you know it, well be living once again in Reagan Country.
Gore should simply stop breathing.
The environmental movement has been completely taken over by a cabal whose agenda has nothing to do with the environment, and everything to do with opposing capitalism. And they are succeeding at every turn. Carbon dioxide is now being treated as if it were a toxin in many countries around the world, and in some states within our union. Current leaders of countries and governors of states, not to mention a former VP of the most powerful country in the world, are calling anyone who questions the dogma, "deniers". Surreal.
Count me as one of the heretics.
Thanks for posting this.
What an eloquent response to the fruits and nuts of the California environmental movement. Off their own coast, they have enormous gas and oil reserves, but they are too indoctrinated with the Global Warming religion to tap it. They could create great jobs, fill the tax coffers of the state government, lower the price of oil in the rest of the country, and still not harm the environment. Ship of fools the Governator and his Hollywood elites are.
“Gore should simply stop breathing.”
You mean he’s not a robot? Who knew?
California doesn’t deserve McClintock.
I considered opening an office in kalifornia, but their regs and nitwit liberal restrictions opened my eyes and I ran away to another state
Some great material here!
What a brilliant mind.... ignored by the ignorants of Kalifornia.
The immediate impact of these global warming laws will be a California recession. Even without these laws, California is headed for difficult times because of the subprime mess. These laws are going to dramatically increase energy costs and reduce economic activity. We will have a two state recession: Michigan due to unions and California due to global warming hysteria.
Unfortunately, California is the dim model for the rest of the country. Other dim states are enacting the same laws. Colorado already has some of the same laws. The dim governor and legislature does not want to fall behind their California comrades. Nationally, the dims want to impose the same straitjacket.
Even if the dims do not impose these draconian measures on the rest of us, California alone has enough clout to have a substantial impact. California is not content to control generation of their own power. They are attempting to control generation of power in other states by refusing to buy power not to their standards. The energy industry is willing to accommodate this madness. The energy industry will make a good profit. Who cares if energy costs increase?
Global warming is massive socialism. These California laws are effectively government control over the energy industry and any other economic area that produces greenhouse gases. The lost economic activity to comply with this madness will dwarf the additional economic activity produced.
California wants to test the broken windows theory. If a shop owner gets his windows broken, does it increase or decrease economic activity? The dims want to tout the economic activity from fixing the window. They do not acknowledge the lost investment of the shop keeper. These California laws will impose a vast man made disaster over California. The winners will profit by forcing everyone to pay for compliance. The compliance cost will be enormous.
PING = 4 Later
This could have been the governor of California, had the RINOs not panicked.
Ultimately, though, the truth is that the RINOs who got the Austrian liberal to run against McClintock in 2003, oppose conservatism. It’s not any more complicated than that.
This is a FABULOUS read. The man makes so much sense.
From a proud California, who voted for him every time I was given the chance.
See #17 - shoulda pinged you
See #1 or #17 - shoulda pinged you
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus
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