Thursday, February 18, 2010

Okay, Now They're Just Playing With Us

As you may know, the case for anthropogenic global warming (AGW), if there ever was one, is collapsing. Phil Jones, the director of the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit, ground zero in the war on carbon emissions, put another nail in the coffin when he admitted to the BBC that there has not been any statistically significant warming since 1995.

Apparently, the fact and effect of Jones's about-face is taking some time to drift over to the AGW zealots here in the colonies. Or perhaps they're just snowed in and can't receive transmissions from the home planet.

Take, for example, Jane Lubchenco, Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NAOA). Lubchenco was asked whether she agreed with Jones that there had been no statistically significant warming since 1995. Of course, she couldn't admit it, so she fell back on the old "that's a stupid question" posture, saying that "it is inappropriate to look at any particular short period of time to discern the long-term trend."

Huh? What was that? Inappropriate to look at a short period of time? She's kidding, right?

From 1940 to 1970, we were in a period of falling temperatures, prompting the usual nutcases to run screaming into the streets about "global cooling." But that stopped, so they ceased their hysterics, gathered themselves, and made lemons out of lemonade by redirecting their efforts to fight the illusion of global warming. Pretty resourceful.

So, was there actual warming from 1970 to 1995? Let's say there was -- that's only 25 years. Is 25 years somehow enough time to "discern the long-term trend" but 15 years isn't? What is the cutoff? And to what are we comparing the number of years to conclude whether they constitute a "short period of time" or a long-term trend? To the life of Earth?

As I thought about these things, it finally occurred to me -- this is all just one huge joke! After her interview, Lubchenco went back to her office, called Al Gore or some of her other pals and had a good laugh:

Lubchenco: (Laughing hysterically) And then, I said you can't use the last 15 years because it's too short a time!

Gore: (Doing that Precious Pup-type snicker) Oh no you didn't! That's too much! Did they believe you?

Lubchenco: (Wiping tears from her eyes) Of course they did! I'm the NAOA Administrator; I know all about science and stuff.

Gore: Oh man, I wish I could have been there. It would have been just like when I won the Academy Award. For best documentary! We slapped that thing together in a weekend! And they bought it! God, I love Hollywood.

I think I would have more respect for these people if they really were just putting one over on us for laughs, rather than pushing this ludicrous agenda as an excuse to ruin our economy and seize even more power.

Fifty years ago, conservatives gathered at William F. Buckley Jr.'s home in Sharon, CT, to sign the Sharon Statement, a collection of conservative principles. Two in particular apply here with gusto:

That the market economy, allocating resources by the free play of supply and demand, is the single economic system compatible with the requirements of personal freedom and constitutional government, and that it is at the same time the most productive supplier of human needs;

That when government interferes with the work of the market economy, it tends to reduce the moral and physical strength of the nation; that when it takes from one man to bestow on another, it diminishes the incentive of the first, the integrity of the second, and the moral autonomy of both[.]

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Getting it Right

From time to time, the courts get it right. Actually, they do so more often than not, but we usually point out only the missteps.

In the case of Citizens for Environmental Inquiry v Department of Environmental Quality, several Michigan citizens and the CEI sued Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality, claiming that the DEQ was required to issue rules regulating carbon dioxide emissions. The plaintiffs alleged that unregulated CO2 emissions cause "global warming and/or climate change" and impose upon "all the people of Michigan a severity of injury that is indivisible and at once a substantial concrete injury personal to every citizen."

The trial court tossed the case out, and the Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal on February 9, finding that the DEQ had not done anything wrong, and the plaintiffs had no standing to pursue their claims. Appellate judges Cavanagh, Fitzgerald, and Shapiro got this one right, as did Judge William Collette of the Ingham County Circuit Court.

Ironically, this dismissal happens just as any semblance of a case for anthropogenic global warming seems to be completely unraveling. See here, here, and here.

According to its website, CEI is an organization committed to killing coal-fired and nuclear power plants in Michigan. (Okay, "killing" is my word, not CEI's.) Governor Tinkerbell has done this -- congratulations! After all, why would we want to explore all potential sources of energy? That new "green" economy is working out so well for us here in the Enchanted Mitten -- over 15% unemployment, a real unemployment rate closer to 25%, no prospects for recovery, and a governor who thinks the way to make things better is to -- wait for it -- raise taxes!

Sorry about that last paragraph. This started as a nice positive post about a court making the right decision, so let's end it that way. Good job, Judge Collette! Good job, Judges Cavanagh, Fitzgerald, and Shapiro! Keep up the good work!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Check it out!

For an account of an unusual case and the billion dollar catastrophe that can occur when you don't pay attention to details, check out the post here.