American Elephants


Obama Cites “Overwhelming Scientific Evidence” and Gets the Biggest Laugh of the Entire Speech. by The Elephant's Child
January 30, 2010, 11:05 pm
Filed under: Energy, Environment, Junk Science | Tags: , ,

One of the more interesting moments in the State of the Union speech was when Obama said ” I know that there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change,” and the audience burst into laughter.  It appeared that the president was a little nonplussed, uncertain as to why there was laughter.

One real clunker in the president’s speech was his pledge to cap discretionary spending, and he promised to “incentivize” America’s commercial energy sector.   His passion for “clean energy” and “green jobs” has not faded.

The president seems unaware of ClimateGate, IPCC-Gate, GlacierGate, AmazonGate or the increasing evidence of fudged figures in all sectors of the climate monitoring effort.  I apologize for using the trite “Gate” suffix, but it is a quick way to indicate scandal.

The efforts of governmental bodies about climate were directed toward discovering the extent to which human influences were the cause of global warming, what dangers the warming might indicate for the future, and what governments could or should do about it.

It seemed an urgent problem and money— big money— flowed.  But it flowed to those who could demonstrate the problems, not to those whose work indicated that warming seemed to be a natural phenomenon.  It was easy for scientists, hungry for grants, to favor evidence that indicated warming, and de-emphasize that which didn’t.  Or to leave the stations that showed no warming out of the lot.  Just little fudges here and there.

It is going to take time for it all to shake out, but indications are that alarmist fears of problems derived from increases in climate warming are misplaced.  The consequences of not understanding a cooling planet or even a planet comfortable in the same kind of warming and cooling that has been going on for centuries are immense.

Businesses envisioning vast profits from governmental funding of wind farms and solar arrays are inclined to extol the advantages of their products.  What energy a wind turbine is rated to produce under optimum conditions, for example, is quite different from what it actually does produce when the wind blows only intermittently or occasionally.  When the wind does not blow at the right speed, the grid requires full-time back-up from a conventional energy source.

Wind farms and solar arrays, though ugly, are glamorous.  Saving the planet elevates one to a higher plane than that occupied by those not so engaged.  Think of the cachet of that which is organic, sustainable, or natural. Think of the vast new governmental departments, the industries, the money, the prestige, the power.  Hard to give up those dreams simply because there is some question whether there is really any global warming at all.

At a time of double-digit unemployment, an economy in recession, out-of-control government spending, and rising deficits, it seems unwise to invest money in schemes that have proved to be a failure in Europe, killing two jobs for every one created.

The president is a true believer.  He has barely disguised contempt for those who do not share his certainty that he is pursuing the noble course.  There will be “green” jobs, even if the government has to pay for every one with taxpayer money.  And they will be added to the “created or saved” ledger that is a fixture of fantasy-land.  The planet will be saved.  And Obama will be its savior.

Limitless billions in federal loan guarantees will create wind, solar, clean coal and nuclear projects — the lobbyists insist that the loan guarantees are off budget, and all will be repaid, so they are as good as being free.  Easy.  The CBO estimates, for example, that roughly half of the nuclear projects would default.  How to pay for it all?

The president has urged the Senate to approve the House-passed cap-and-trade legislation.  It would create a Clean Energy Development Administration to administer the loans and use carbon-emission taxes to cover any defaults.  Another federal disaster.




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