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Global Warming - Politics and GWB
Posted: 08 June 2005 05:36 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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This morning in the New York Times:

Bush Aide Softened Greenhouse Gas Links to Global Warming


By ANDREW C. REVKIN
Published: June 8, 2005

A White House official who once led the oil industry's fight against limits on greenhouse gases has repeatedly edited government climate reports in ways that play down links between such emissions and global warming, according to internal documents.

Full article at:

NYTimes Article

You may need to register to view the whole article but its free.

The story also was run on KCRW's To the Point with Warren Ulney and NPR's All things considered.

Now we can see where ConservativeAthiest gets his story line.

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Posted: 08 June 2005 06:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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I just heard a report the other day that the south pole appears to be growing. Anybody else hear it? (or did you plug your ears because you didn’t want your environmental religion disposed of in one fell swoop?)

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Posted: 08 June 2005 06:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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[quote author=“TheChampion”]I just heard a report the other day that the south pole appears to be growing. Anybody else hear it? (or did you plug your ears because you didn’t want your environmental religion disposed of in one fell swoop?)

This is just too juicy to pass up. 

So Chump, care to provide references so we can all unplug our ears?

Wait, I did hear such a story - Number of tourists visiting the South Pole expected to grow in next ten years.

One fell swoop huh? One foggy news story and it just wipes out all of the other evidence.  You are a piece of work Chump.

Just out of curiosity, did you ever take a high school or college biology course (anywhere except Bob Jones U, of course)?

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Posted: 09 June 2005 03:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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[quote author=“Guest #2”]This morning in the New York Times:
Bush Aide Softened Greenhouse Gas Links to Global Warming
By ANDREW C. REVKIN
Published: June 8, 2005
A White House official who once led the oil industry’s fight against limits on greenhouse gases has repeatedly edited government climate reports in ways that play down links between such emissions and global warming, according to internal documents.
Full article at:
NYTimes Article

Yup…....looks like another potentially impeachable offense committed by GWB and uncovered by the tireless investigative reporting by the NYT.

Let’s see….........the “high crime and misdemeanor” is that a Bush Whitehouse staffer, as part of the normal review process, suggested a few minor edits to a government document to reflect the truth…..........namely that there remain scientific uncertainties about some global warming issues.

Where’s that special prosecutor when you really need him?

BTW, if you are actually interested in where and how the Bush administration is proposing to spend the referenced $1.8 Billion next GFY on the GW issue, it is all posted at the following government web site.

http://www.usgcrp.gov/usgcrp/

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Posted: 09 June 2005 04:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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[quote author=“Conservative Atheist”]Yup…....looks like another potentially impeachable offense committed by GWB and uncovered by the tireless investigative reporting by the NYT.

Let’s see….........the “high crime and misdemeanor” is that a Bush Whitehouse staffer, as part of the normal review process, suggested a few minor edits to a government document to reflect the truth…..........namely that there remain scientific uncertainties about some global warming issues.

Where’s that special prosecutor when you really need him?

You continue to try to sidestep the issue.  First, I did not call for impeachment.  In fact in that thread I agreed that impeachment was neither proper or needed to fix the damage Bush is doing to us all (you most of all I think).  Second, these are not MINOR changes.  A lawyer has no business inserting the word “significant” in front of the word “uncertainty” in a scientific report.

I have in front of me an article from the June 2005 issue of Scientific American, titled “Doubt Is Their Product” by David Michaels, an epidemiologist who was the DOE assistant secretary for environment, safety and health and is now a professor of environmental health at George Washington U.  The article is about “Industry groups are fighting government regulation by fomenting scientific uncertainty.”  The article is not about global warming but it is about the use of “raising the spectre of uncertainty” as a strategy for avoiding costs.  This attitude and methods are being used in virtually every environmental area.

I actually have no hope you would either actually read the article, nor even understand it if you did.  You are so blinded by your ideology that even simple truths wisk by you.  I mention this article for the benefit of those reading these posts who actually want to be more educated about what is happening in this country.

[quote author=“Conservative Atheist”]BTW, if you are actually interested in where and how the Bush administration is proposing to spend the referenced $1.8 Billion next GFY on the GW issue, it is all posted at the following government web site.

http://www.usgcrp.gov/usgcrp/

Thanks.  I have brought up the site and will take the time to actually check out what you have suggested.

Meanwhile, CA, when are you going to stop sidestepping and actually address the issue head on with some published science?

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Posted: 09 June 2005 09:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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One can argue until they are blue in the face about whether the Bush administration is being needlessly disingenuous on the issue of global warming, but the bottom line is this:  All currently proposed solutions are either woefully inadequate, extremely uncertain, or tremendously injurious to the economy (and thus to human beings).  The Bush administration is, basically, just saying that it isn’t going to do anything until there is something demonstrably worth doing, which isn’t actually as stupid as it might seem.

My major concern with regard to these issues is that some of the assumptions that the majority of our politicians are making are actually wrong, which is leading to them coming up with wrong conclusions. 

The biggest wrong assumption, I think, has to do with the nature of contemporary capitalism itself.  I’m not a raving socialist, and I don’t want massive government intrusion into the market, but I do believe that the current system fails to adequately value some things, specifically: Environmental resources (especially their future value), health and happiness, and sustainability in general.

Kyoto and the growing movement of economists who refer to nature as a “service provider” are a glimpse (in my opinion) of the sort of thing that will ultimately be needed to steer the markets into a sustainable configuration.

-Matt

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Posted: 09 June 2005 09:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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Global warming is supported by junk science. You got no proof. You just want us all riding bicycles so you’re “environmental religion” can rule.

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Posted: 09 June 2005 01:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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[quote author=“TheChampion”]Global warming is supported by junk science. You got no proof. You just want us all riding bicycles so you’re “environmental religion” can rule.

Damn, he guessed my true motives.  Ok I fess up. I own the world’s largest manufacturer of bicycles.  Has nothing to do with really believing in the fact of GW.  I just want everyone to believe I have faith and maybe they will believe too, then maybe they will buy my bicycles.

I made up all of those stories about the science.  I paid thousands of faux scientists big bucks to plant false - what did you call it? Oh yes - junk science papers in the leading science journals.  So if you must know the whole truth I also planted all of those fake fossils so as to get everyone to believe my claim that past living creatures went extinct when the climate changed.

TC you are just too smart for me.  I confess before almighty lord that I am responsible for all of this evil talk about saving the planet from angelic mankind.  Please forgive me.

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Posted: 09 June 2005 02:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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Guest #2, I ain’t ta toting me groceries on a bicycle lad. Tain’t happening.

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Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matt 11:28-29

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Posted: 09 June 2005 02:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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[quote author=“psiconoclast”]One can argue until they are blue in the face about whether the Bush administration is being needlessly disingenuous on the issue of global warming, but the bottom line is this:  All currently proposed solutions are either woefully inadequate, extremely uncertain, or tremendously injurious to the economy (and thus to human beings).  The Bush administration is, basically, just saying that it isn’t going to do anything until there is something demonstrably worth doing, which isn’t actually as stupid as it might seem.

Psi, I’m sort of stunned at this statement.  You are usually pretty careful in your wording.  And I guess I’ve come to expect that if you make a claim you will back it up with some kind of evidence.

I would like to ask you to indicate which “proposed solutions” you are refering to.  Why do you conclude that they are “woefully inadequte, extremely uncertain,...” etc.?  Bush might be putting on this public act but he is greatly at odds with science and many world leaders on this one.  In fact there are a number of proposed solutions that have been advanced and are endorsed by a number of scientists, economists and business leaders.  My references are at work (though some of the ones I provided in my dispute with CA have such proposals in them) so I can’t quote right now.  But I will say British Patroleum, General Electric and many other companies have started investing heavily in “green” industry because they see this as business opportunity - not harmful to mankind.

[quote author=“psiconoclast”]Kyoto and the growing movement of economists who refer to nature as a “service provider” are a glimpse (in my opinion) of the sort of thing that will ultimately be needed to steer the markets into a sustainable configuration.

-Matt

This last statement is right on.  Which makes your earlier statement all the more odd.  I will try to remember to grab some references tomorrow and post them here.  I would appreciate it if you would also provide the references to the proposals you think are harmful.

Regards

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Posted: 09 June 2005 06:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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[quote author=“TheChampion”]Guest #2, I ain’t ta toting me groceries on a bicycle lad. Tain’t happening.

Do as you please.  I’m sure god will provide your food for you just as he does the birds of the field.  He’ll supply your clothes just like the flowers of the field.  Of course you’re going to look pretty f**king stupid dressed up like a flower eating bird feed.

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Posted: 09 June 2005 09:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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[quote author=“Guest #2”][quote author=“psiconoclast”]One can argue until they are blue in the face about whether the Bush administration is being needlessly disingenuous on the issue of global warming, but the bottom line is this:  All currently proposed solutions are either woefully inadequate, extremely uncertain, or tremendously injurious to the economy (and thus to human beings).  The Bush administration is, basically, just saying that it isn’t going to do anything until there is something demonstrably worth doing, which isn’t actually as stupid as it might seem.

Psi, I’m sort of stunned at this statement.  You are usually pretty careful in your wording.  And I guess I’ve come to expect that if you make a claim you will back it up with some kind of evidence.

I would like to ask you to indicate which “proposed solutions” you are refering to.  Why do you conclude that they are “woefully inadequte, extremely uncertain,...” etc.?  Bush might be putting on this public act but he is greatly at odds with science and many world leaders on this one.  In fact there are a number of proposed solutions that have been advanced and are endorsed by a number of scientists, economists and business leaders.  My references are at work (though some of the ones I provided in my dispute with CA have such proposals in them) so I can’t quote right now.  But I will say British Patroleum, General Electric and many other companies have started investing heavily in “green” industry because they see this as business opportunity - not harmful to mankind.

I was extremely careful in my wording, and I stand by it.  At this time, I am unaware of any seriously proposed solution that does not easily fall under at least one of the three categories that I defined.

The Kyoto protocol is, arguably, the most substantive global initiative to attempt to fix the climate problem.  However, there is honest scientific debate as to how effective Kyoto would be, even if it was universally adopted, and even if everyone adhered to it (IE, it does not go far enough to be a real solution).  In the meantime, however, there is no question whatsoever that the cost to the US (and to a lesser degree other industrialized nations) would be quite substantial.  So, Kyoto might be inadequate and is arguably uncertain, but certainly qualifies as injurious to the economy.

What other proposals are out there that don’t fall into at least one of those categories?

In the meantime, much as I dislike Bush, I think I can follow his logic with regards to the environmental issues:  The US economy is currently in a tenuous place, and if the US accepted Kyoto, he feels that the negative impact would be disaster.  If he knows he is going to refuse Kyoto, it makes no sense to acknowledge a real climate problem.  To do so would send a mixed message, and the stock markets would feel the impact of flagging investor confidence, as they anticipated the adoption of Kyoto or something like it in the near future.

Make no mistake, I disagree with the Bush approach, but I understand and begrudgingly respect it.  Global climate change is bad, and should be avoided.  Global economic collapse is bad, and should be avoided.  Which is worse (or, to be more honest, what sort of ratio is worse) is a matter of valid debate.  Bush is basically on the extreme economic side of the spectrum, and most environmentalists are far on the climate change side of the spectrum.

-Matt

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Posted: 10 June 2005 04:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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[quote author=“psiconoclast”]
I was extremely careful in my wording, and I stand by it.  At this time, I am unaware of any seriously proposed solution that does not easily fall under at least one of the three categories that I defined.

The Kyoto protocol is, arguably, the most substantive global initiative to attempt to fix the climate problem.  However, there is honest scientific debate as to how effective Kyoto would be, even if it was universally adopted, and even if everyone adhered to it (IE, it does not go far enough to be a real solution).  In the meantime, however, there is no question whatsoever that the cost to the US (and to a lesser degree other industrialized nations) would be quite substantial.  So, Kyoto might be inadequate and is arguably uncertain, but certainly qualifies as injurious to the economy.

What other proposals are out there that don’t fall into at least one of those categories?

I’ve highlighted your statememt above claiming that Kyoto is “arguably the most substantive” proposal.  I would like to know your arguments.  In fact everyone in the climate change arena admits fully that Kyoto doesn’t go far enough.  But that is, at least in part, due to the way it got watered down through the negotiating process.  Guess which industry and which country did the most to delay, derail or otherwise debase the negotiations.  The called for (and economically supportable) programs of carbon reduction were fought tooth and nail from the negotiations.  Kyoto, at this point doesn’t represent a final solution, it represents a step toward a feasible solution.

Unfortunately I will not be in the office today to retrieve some of the references I promised.  However, let me offer a couple of web sites that contain information about feasible solutions.  Also, I’d like to point out that many European countries and California have recognized the inadequacy of Bush’s approach as well as the economic and political (not to mention scientific) feasibility of greater carbon reductions and investment in natural sequestration methods.  There are many, very reasonable action proposals on the table and some are being started, by states and other countries right now.  They, think this is doable without doing major damage to the economy.  Why do you insist that there are no viable proposals.

[quote author=“psiconoclast”]In the meantime, much as I dislike Bush, I think I can follow his logic with regards to the environmental issues:  The US economy is currently in a tenuous place, and if the US accepted Kyoto, he feels that the negative impact would be disaster.  If he knows he is going to refuse Kyoto, it makes no sense to acknowledge a real climate problem.  To do so would send a mixed message, and the stock markets would feel the impact of flagging investor confidence, as they anticipated the adoption of Kyoto or something like it in the near future.

a) You claim this is about logic.
b)  The word “feels” is critical in this argument.

Bush’s “logic” is at odds with most of the world on this one.  It only accords with the interests of diehard oil/coal/gas and a few (and growing fewer every day) auto makers and petrochemical affiliate industries.  Shell oil, British Petroleum, Toyota and now General Electric have all come out with programs to reduce GH gass emissions and build alternative energy production capabilities in excess of what Kyoto proposal calls for.  The Govenator has committed his state to reductions over Kyoto.  All of this information is available in the news, you don’t even have to follow the science to see that many people in high places are starting to understand the calculus of Energy/Economy/Ecology and finding that the equations point toward greater reductions of CO2 and other GH gasses.

[quote author=“psiconoclast”]Make no mistake, I disagree with the Bush approach, but I understand and begrudgingly respect it.  Global climate change is bad, and should be avoided.  Global economic collapse is bad, and should be avoided.  Which is worse (or, to be more honest, what sort of ratio is worse) is a matter of valid debate.  Bush is basically on the extreme economic side of the spectrum, and most environmentalists are far on the climate change side of the spectrum.

-Matt

I’m sorry you respect a liar.  He is not in the mainstream (except possibly on Fox News or in Hannity’s opinion) and will be even less so as time and tornadoes will tell.

The web references are:
The Rocky Mountain Institute
The Pew Center on Global Climate Change
The Earth Policy Institute

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Posted: 10 June 2005 05:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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G2, most of these sites advocate “market based” solutions for energy efficiency, GH gas reductions, etc….......which I agree is the only realistic way that these issues will be addressed.

This view is the basic reason that I am not losing too much sleep over “Global Warming” or “The Energy Crisis” and am a “doomsday” skeptic.

I still have some concerns about the GW science, models, scenarios, forecasts, etc.(that I still plan to post when my research is complete) ........but at the end of the day, I really don’t think that these issues matter that much.

To quote a certain past presidential campaign commercial, “It’s the economy stupid!” 

Businesses and individuals ultimately vote with their pocketbooks. 

When it makes sufficient economic sense, more efficient energy utilization will occur, alternate/renewable energy sources will be adopted, GH gasses emissions will be reduced and “doomsday” (whether or not it is real) will be averted.

It may be possible for governmental policies to encourage and somewhat accelerate these natural “market based” forces, but ultimately it will be economics that is the driving force.

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Posted: 10 June 2005 07:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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[quote author=“Guest #2”][quote author=“psiconoclast”]
I was extremely careful in my wording, and I stand by it.  At this time, I am unaware of any seriously proposed solution that does not easily fall under at least one of the three categories that I defined.

The Kyoto protocol is, arguably, the most substantive global initiative to attempt to fix the climate problem.  However, there is honest scientific debate as to how effective Kyoto would be, even if it was universally adopted, and even if everyone adhered to it (IE, it does not go far enough to be a real solution).  In the meantime, however, there is no question whatsoever that the cost to the US (and to a lesser degree other industrialized nations) would be quite substantial.  So, Kyoto might be inadequate and is arguably uncertain, but certainly qualifies as injurious to the economy.

What other proposals are out there that don’t fall into at least one of those categories?

I’ve highlighted your statememt above claiming that Kyoto is “arguably the most substantive” proposal.  I would like to know your arguments.  In fact everyone in the climate change arena admits fully that Kyoto doesn’t go far enough.  But that is, at least in part, due to the way it got watered down through the negotiating process.  Guess which industry and which country did the most to delay, derail or otherwise debase the negotiations.  The called for (and economically supportable) programs of carbon reduction were fought tooth and nail from the negotiations.  Kyoto, at this point doesn’t represent a final solution, it represents a step toward a feasible solution.

My argument is simple:  When it comes to international treaties which have been created for the specific purpose of trying to do something about global warming, Kyoto is the king of the hill.  I am aware of no other international treaty proposal that goes farther than Kyoto and has any realistic chance of being adopted, which is how I arrive at it being the most substantive.

By your own admission, Kyoto does not go far enough.  It is certainly fair to lay some blame at the feet of the US for Kyoto being weak, but we certainly were not the only ones.  Russia ratified Kyoto, but there were certainly some interesting allowances made for Russia to do so.

My point, however, is that Kyoto does not accomplish much, and is disproportiantely hard on the US.  Given that Bush is not an environmentalist on the best of days, is it really all that difficult to understand why he won’t have any part of it?

What irks me is not the fact that Bush didn’t sign Kyoto, but the fact that he didn’t have a decent counterproposal.  From a pro-business perspective, he could have addressed some of the investor concern, but still telegraphed to the world that we take the issue seriously.  After all, any first treaty is likely to be insufficient, but the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.  Bush appears unwilling to take that step, and it is annoying.  Hopefully the electorate is annoyed enough to send a strong message in 2006.

Unfortunately I will not be in the office today to retrieve some of the references I promised.  However, let me offer a couple of web sites that contain information about feasible solutions.  Also, I’d like to point out that many European countries and California have recognized the inadequacy of Bush’s approach as well as the economic and political (not to mention scientific) feasibility of greater carbon reductions and investment in natural sequestration methods.  There are many, very reasonable action proposals on the table and some are being started, by states and other countries right now.  They, think this is doable without doing major damage to the economy.  Why do you insist that there are no viable proposals.

There may be some reasonable action proposals being discussed somewhere, but none of them have international treaties championing them.  Until a proposal gets a large number of countries behind it, it isn’t a viable solution, no matter how rational.

[quote author=“psiconoclast”]In the meantime, much as I dislike Bush, I think I can follow his logic with regards to the environmental issues:  The US economy is currently in a tenuous place, and if the US accepted Kyoto, he feels that the negative impact would be disaster.  If he knows he is going to refuse Kyoto, it makes no sense to acknowledge a real climate problem.  To do so would send a mixed message, and the stock markets would feel the impact of flagging investor confidence, as they anticipated the adoption of Kyoto or something like it in the near future.

a) You claim this is about logic.
b)  The word “feels” is critical in this argument.

Bush’s “logic” is at odds with most of the world on this one.  It only accords with the interests of diehard oil/coal/gas and a few (and growing fewer every day) auto makers and petrochemical affiliate industries.  Shell oil, British Petroleum, Toyota and now General Electric have all come out with programs to reduce GH gass emissions and build alternative energy production capabilities in excess of what Kyoto proposal calls for.  The Govenator has committed his state to reductions over Kyoto.  All of this information is available in the news, you don’t even have to follow the science to see that many people in high places are starting to understand the calculus of Energy/Economy/Ecology and finding that the equations point toward greater reductions of CO2 and other GH gasses.

As a Californian, I am well aware of what Arnold is up to.  I am also well aware that his comittment to Kyoto has virtually nothing to do with the environment, and everything to do with trying to sell us on his reforms with regards to the state economy.  He is trying to appease the liberals who are screaming bloody murder about his proposed changes to education and to CALPERS, amongst other things.

You disagree with Bush (and I do too) - but the question is what to do.  My point is that I consider it to be completely futile to alter Bush’s stance on this by dint of any sort of direct argument.  In order to get him to change his mind, the progressives need to kick some ass in 2006, and concerned consumers need to punsih the companies that are being the most recalcitrant.

[quote author=“psiconoclast”]Make no mistake, I disagree with the Bush approach, but I understand and begrudgingly respect it.  Global climate change is bad, and should be avoided.  Global economic collapse is bad, and should be avoided.  Which is worse (or, to be more honest, what sort of ratio is worse) is a matter of valid debate.  Bush is basically on the extreme economic side of the spectrum, and most environmentalists are far on the climate change side of the spectrum.

-Matt

I’m sorry you respect a liar.  He is not in the mainstream (except possibly on Fox News or in Hannity’s opinion) and will be even less so as time and tornadoes will tell.

I never said that I respect Bush.  I said that begrudgingly respect his approach.

G#2, Let me gently suggest that your (correct) concern over these issues is somewhat emotionally charged (as it should be).  Unfortunately, it makes it difficult for you to be “frosty” when it comes to discussing them.

Believe it or not, I am on your side here.  I believe that global climate change is quite likely the most serious threat that modern man has ever faced.

-Matt

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Posted: 10 June 2005 11:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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[quote author=“Guest #2”]I have in front of me an article from the June 2005 issue of Scientific American, titled “Doubt Is Their Product” by David Michaels, an epidemiologist who was the DOE assistant secretary for environment, safety and health and is now a professor of environmental health at George Washington U.  The article is about “Industry groups are fighting government regulation by fomenting scientific uncertainty.”  The article is not about global warming but it is about the use of “raising the spectre of uncertainty” as a strategy for avoiding costs.  This attitude and methods are being used in virtually every environmental area.

I actually have no hope you would either actually read the article, nor even understand it if you did.  You are so blinded by your ideology that even simple truths wisk by you.

G2, I am sorry to disappoint………….. and even sorrier to give you hope.

As a long time on-line subscriber to Scientific American, I have actually read and believe (as difficult as it is, being “blinded by my ideology” and all) that I do (just barely) understand the referenced article.

There are no doubt plenty of grievances on each side of the debate regarding government imposed regulation in reaction to scientific findings.  (Does anybody remember the government imposed requirement to add MTBE to gasoline as part of the Clean Air Act of 1990?)

There clearly needs to be an orderly and fair process for vetting the science, economics and politics of regulatory decisions.  In my lifetime, the regulatory pendulum has swung back and forth several times and may now be slightly tilted toward industry. 

However, I think that is preferable to stifling debate and denying industry legitimate avenues for appeal of policies that they believe are scientifically misguided and that could adversely impact their business, employees, stockholders and/or customers.

Just because a scientist gets his/her paycheck from a private employer does not mean that they should be presumed to be stupid, wrong, biased, unethical, lying and/or attempting to deliberately create unsubstantiated doubt.

The fact is that industry, academia and government all compete in the employment marketplace for the best scientific and engineering talent.  In general, industry offers superior overall compensation, career advancement, research funding, etc.  Plus…… industry uniquely offers the opportunity to actually implement and bring to market practical solutions resulting from scientific discovery.

Where do you think that the majority of the best scientific minds choose to be employed?

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