Monday, August 16, 2010

Changes in the Anti-Climate Retoric

The cookies begin to crumble in the two major policy issues that I have argued in the last thirty years:
Solar is now cheaper than nuclear power. The naysayers are going great guns arguing against this; but the point remains that solar costs have been steadily decreasing over the years, while nuclear costs have been steadily increasing. In 2010, we are at that crossing point, and five years from now, nuclear will have out-priced itself from our energy markets.
The other major policy shift which will occur in the next few years deals with global climate change. The science over the past thirty years shows that fossil CO2 emissions are increasing, the earth is warming, and we are beginning to experience the predicted effects of climate changes with record heat, rainfall, drought, etc.
The anti-climate change scientists have for years claimed the scientific data was wrong, bad, falsified, etc. Their well funded campaign debunked that warming was occurring, and actually proposed that the earth was cooling, and the increase in CO2 was a good thing. A well orchestrated game plan to confuse, lie, mis-state, etc.
One or the principle players in this game is Patrick Michaels. In this recent CNN interview, we begin to see the cracks in his ardent past positions.

Here are a few excerpts:
[Fareed Zakaria: Can I ask you what percentage of your work is funded by the petroleum industry?
Pat Michaels: I don’t know. 40 percent? I don’t know.]
After years of denial of industry funding, we see some admission…is it 40%..50%…95%?
[Michaels: It’s very clear the planet’s warmer than it was and that people have something to do with it. What you’re concerned about is the magnitude and the rate of the warming. And I think it’s quite demonstrable that the rate of observed warming is at the low end of the range of projections made by the United Nations. And furthermore, simply saying that one is going to reduce emissions could actually be the wrong thing to do at the moment if you don’t have the technology to really effectively do this and to do it globally. What you could wind up doing is spending large amounts of capital that would be dissipated when it could be invested in the future in technologies that frankly you and I don’t even know about. So —]
Admission that the planet is warming, and humans have something to do with it. His solution seems to be to do nothing for now...maybe a magic bullet will eventually appear…we could call it “renewables!”
[Michaels: What I worry about more is the concept of opportunity cost. We had legislation, again, that went through the House last summer, which would have cost a lot and been futile. And when you take that away or when the government favors certain technologies and politicizes technologies, you’re doing worse than nothing. You’re actually impairing your ability to respond in the long run. And that’s my major concern along this issue —]
I agree whole heartedly…taxpayer loans and guarantees to the nuclear industry is worse than doing nothing.
[The real challenge of solving manmade global warming is simply the “political acceptability” of reducing our dependence on fossil fuels as climate catastrophes grow.]
It really is all about the money and what it can buy.
Common cents will eventually prevail.

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