Saturday, January 7, 2017

#8 Debating GOP Disconnect From Climate Science - It’s The Economy Stupid!

It didn’t take long for EM to get around to our economy as some sort of justification for ignoring the seriousness of what we are doing to our global life supporting climate system.  What confuses me EM, how the hell is ignoring an imminent destructive threat going to help economic sustainability?  What world will we be handing over to our children the next few decades?  Doesn’t that concern you at all? 

If you or anyone else could explain how that train of Republican logic works, I sure would appreciate a lesson.

The other point I will touch on in this installment is EM’s refusal to recognize the deliberate and strategic Republican attack on serious science.  But first let me jump ahead for a moment to EM’s key sentence.
    1. "me not wanting to cripple the national economy"
EM, have you never thought about how much weather impacts every aspect of the things that make our lives and economy hum?  

Our society and the biosphere that sustains us developed under the current climate regime - cranking up our atmospheric insulation, warming up and energizing our climate engine, think simple unavoidable physics, no way around it, we are already facing the cascading consequences of increasingly extreme wind and rain extremes, long lived heat ‘domes’ and droughts, followed by torrential downpours that can be more damaging than the withering drought was.  But, not just heat, also localized extreme cold events because of warm air mass excursions into the Arctic which in turn displaces the frigid Arctic air mass which blows down into temperate zones, a product of our planet’s Jet Streams, which are getting more meandering and erratic with every year on account of various geophysical changes over the past decades due to global warming.
Okay, now we'll go back and pick it up where the seventh installment ended.
  1. Quoting CC:  “You have provided me another excellent vehicle to examine the subtle dishonest rhetorical game that the Republican PR machine broadcasts through thousands of astro-turfed mouthpieces.  It brings me back to what this blog was all about before the 11/8/16 catastrophe and I thank you for that opportunity.”
    1. EM responds:  Not sure exactly what the “Republican PR machine” has to do with climate-system modeling.(1) And no, I don’t agree with the shit that is spewed from the mouths of people who claim that AGW doesn’t exist, because I’m not fucking stupid.(2) Me not wanting to cripple the national economy has absolutely zero to do with not believing in AGW or the “Republican PR machine”.(3) It has to do with a basic understanding of economics and government’s role in society.(4)

(1)  Republicans have nothing to do with climate modeling, but everything to do with spending millions to confuse and stupefy the public and leaders about climate models.  Bottomline: ignore all that climate models get right equals base dishonesty, plain and simple.  

Incidentally, unidirectional skepticism equals denial.  Climate model strengths were discussed in two previous installments so I won’t repeat myself.

(2)  You may not be, but what about your Republican leaders?  Why be blind to the fact that it’s Republicans and their special interest funders and their network of contrived “think tanks” who are peddling all those fraudulent claims?  Take a sober look at the likes of Senator Inhofe, Rep. L. SmithRep. J. Barton, operative Marc Morano, etc.

A Snowball’s Chance in Paris

Hot on the heels of finding out the chairman of the House Science Committee is amplifying his climate science denial to 11 comes the news that his counterpart in the Senate, James Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, has a dial that goes to 12. (by bringing)  a snowball on the floor of the Senate, claiming that it disproved global warming. … Inhofe, you see, may travel to Paris in December specifically so that he can disrupt progress at an international climate conference.
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GOP Congressman Goes on a Climate Science Fishing Expedition

Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, is a flat-out 100 percent global warming denier. He has made that very clear, writing embarrassingly wrong op-eds for the Wall Street Journal and engaging in Orwellian claims about climate science and politics. It’s clear he’s not a huge fan of politically independent science in general; for example he wants to gut peer-review in the National Science Foundation’s choices on what research to fund (instead, only allowing those that are politically approved).
Here’s a quick overview of the major players and how its done:

Meet The Climate Denial Machine
Jill Fitzsimmons.  |  November 28, 2012

Despite the overwhelming consensus among climate experts that human activity is contributing to rising global temperatures, 66 percent of Americans incorrectly believe there is "a lot of disagreement among scientists about whether or not global warming is happening.

The conservative media has fueled this confusion by distorting scientific research, hyping faux-scandals, and giving voice to groups funded by industries that have a financial interest in blocking action on climate change. 

Meanwhile, mainstream media outlets have shied away from the "controversy" over climate change and have failed to press U.S. policymakers on how they will address this global threat. When climate change is discussed, mainstream outlets sometimes strive for a false balance that elevates marginal voices and enables them to sow doubt about the science even in the face of mounting evidence.

Here, Media Matters looks at how conservative media outlets give industry-funded "experts" a platform, creating a polarized misunderstanding of climate science.
 • Larry Bell

Overview - Climate Change Astroturf Fronts

Examples abound. Among the more notable are; 

The Greening Earth Society: Founded in the late 80’s by Western Fuels - a coal fired power lobby representing numerous corporations—to promote the claim that increasing greenhouse gases are good for the earth. …
The Science & Environmental Policy Project (SEPP): Founded in the early 90’s by S. Fred Singer with seed capital and office space provided by the Unification Church (the “Moonies”). Today SEPP’s funding has come mainly from the fossil fuel industry and various Far-Right foundations including the Bradley, Smith Richardson, and Forbes foundations. …
The Global Climate Coalition (GCC): Founded in 1989 by 46 corporations and trade associations representing a number of industries, but mainly auto manufacturers and fossil fuels. …
The Information Council on the Environment (ICE): Founded in 1991 the National Coal Association, Western Fuels, and Edison Electric—all coal or coal-fired power lobbies. …

Astroturf fronts have stridently denied that mainstream scientific consensus supports global warming. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which represents mainstream views one of their favorite targets. Whereas the IPCC represents over 2000 scientists, virtually all of which are published contributors in fields relevant to climate science and global warming mitigation, astroturf fronts have relied exclusively on a handful of consultants (one to two dozen at most). Of these, the lion’s share of the actual “science” consulting has been restricted to the following;

       • S. Fred Singer: A professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia and of “Humane Studies” at George Mason University. recruited, and funded, by the fossil fuels, coal, auto, and tobacco industries. …
Patrick Michaels: Also a professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia, …
Robert Balling: Director of the Office of Climatology at Arizona State University. …
Sallie Baliunas: An astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, …
Sherwood Idso: Another astrophysicist with Harvard-Smithsonian …
Richard Lindzen: Sloan professor of atmospheric sciences at M.I.T.
John Christy: Director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) and the Alabama State Climatologist. …
Roy Spencer and: University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH), …
For the details visit this link

(3)  “EM writes: … Me not wanting to cripple the national economy …”
If you’re concerned about not wanting to cripple our economy why aren't you concerned about the impacts of global warming driven extreme weather events on our economic future?  Mind you, extreme weather events equals infrastructure destroying catastrophes, small and large.  Take a look at the increasing tempo:

A historical table of U.S. Billion-dollar disaster events, summaries, report links and statistics for the 1980–2016 period of record. In 2016 (as of September), there have been 12 weather and climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each across the United States. These events included 4 flooding events and 8 severe storm events. Overall, these events resulted in the deaths of 68 people and had significant economic effects on the areas impacted.

EM, I fear you might be one of those people who’s never thought about how much weather impacts every aspect of the things that make our economy and lives hum.  I beg you to look beyond your blindspot.  

The following stuff and more is already happening, ignoring it guarantees a couple things.  Continuing to do nothing is going to make it as extreme and bad as possible for our children.  

But perhaps more importantly by filling so many people with deluded nonsense and contrived enemies - they won’t be prepared for these impacts that are coming, ignore them or not.  I mean you have people in Miami investing life savings into building projects and looking at thirty year returns.  It’s pathetic, but that’s what lies at the end of your glib attitude.

Here's some food for thought about the interface between the weather and our economy:

Impacts of Extreme Weather on Transportation: National Symposium Summary
June 28, 2013

Over the past several years, extreme weather has disrupted transportation systems in nearly every region of the United States. Derechos, snow storms, and intense hurricanes have plagued the east coast, while the Midwest has suffered massive and prolonged flooding. 

In the southwest, dust storms and wildfires have forced extended road closures and endangered drivers. Transportation agencies have decades of experience managing weather variability and are able to quickly and efficiently handle common weather disruptions. However, many state transportation officials are now managing disruptions from more frequent and intense events.

Extreme and high impact weather events disrupt service, damage expensive infrastructure, and necessitate more frequent maintenance. Transportation agencies must manage both the rising costs of extreme weather as well as the public’s expectation of rapid transportation system recovery following these events. 

In several instances, recurring pressures on state transportation officials to prepare for, manage, and recover from extreme weather events have caused organizational change, including new management activities (e.g., staff assigned emergency management responsibilities), modified standard operating procedures, and expanded staff training in managing and administering recover efforts.

In recognition of the extreme weather event challenges facing state transportation officials, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) sponsored a two- day symposium in May of 2013 entitled, National Symposium: Impacts of Extreme Weather Events on Transportation.

Transportation System Resilience, Extreme Weather and Climate Change: A Thought Leadership Series
U.S. Department of Transportation
John A Volpe National Transportation Systems Center
Cambridge, MA


 Science for Environment Policy European Commission
Droughts and Floods slow economic growth.

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Influence of extreme weather disasters on global crop production
Corey Lesk, Pedram Rowhani & Navin Ramankutty
Nature 529, 84–87 (07 January 2016) doi:10.1038/nature16467

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Drought Takes $2.7 Billion Toll on California Agriculture
By Andrea Thompson | June 2nd, 2015

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 Report Warns of Worsening Economic Impacts of Drought
Parts of state to experience "pain and poverty," while officials roll out solutions.

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Updated: The Economic Effects of 'Extreme' Drought in Oklahoma

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National Drought Mitigation Center

Types of Drought Impacts
Drought affects all parts of our environment and our communities. The many different drought impacts are often grouped as “economic,” “environmental,” and “social” impacts. All of these impacts must be considered in planning for and responding to drought conditions.
Let's take a closer look at all kinds of drought impacts.

Economic Impacts …
Environmental Impacts …
Social Impacts …

(4)  It has to do with a basic understanding of economics and government’s role in society.”

How about some basic understanding of how much we are dependent on the sorts of moderate predictable weather patterns we used to know.  How about acknowledging that climate scientists know way more than they don’t know about our climate system operates?  

Besides, if you paid any attention to the information offered above, you’d understand that Earth’s physical indicators are all in agreement with what the scientists have been telling us all along.  

I wish Republicans could put aside and outgrow their juvenile self-serving and oh so two-dimensional grasp of our planet’s physical processes.  But that would require Republicans to be willing to try some honestly and good-faith learning (rather than faith-based self-certain exclusion).

Extreme weather affects half a billion people each year
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Global Climate Change Indicators
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Climate change: How do we know?
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10 key climate indicators all point to the same finding: global warming is unmistakable
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European Environment Agency
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Climate Hot Map
Global warming effects around the world
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Natural disasters and extreme weather + Africa - story search results
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African Countries Feeling Exposed to Extreme Weather Changes
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Millions in Asia vulnerable to extreme weather threats
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Hit by Extreme Weather, South Asia Balances Growth and Food Security
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Severe weather in Eastern Asia - Perils · Risks · Insurance
Executive summary
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Now, I wonder EM, can you explain to me why you think it makes economic sense to ignore the reality of our changing weather systems and what’s causing it?

  1. Quoting CC:  “Nonsense!  The right wing media machine is saturated with people denying the fundamentals of AGW.  Just need to google it, or try YouTube for hundreds of real zingers.  {This deception is the first “tell” that we are dealing with a disingenuous individual.}
    1. E.M. responds: Disingenuous? Okay, but even still, MOST (not all) rational individuals, whether they believe that we should dramatically reduce emissions or not at all, believe that the Earth is warming and that this warming can be contributed to human carbon emissions. {CC notes: Too bad your Republican pals disagree with you on that.  See the following links}.     Yeah, some people tell themselves that AGW doesn’t exist, and they often have loud mouths. This doesn’t mean, however, that everyone (Republicans, Libertarians, the fucking Whig party; it doesn’t really matter what label you attach), who doesn’t believe that government market intervention is the way to solve the issue is a liar, a schemer, or a societal-parasite.{CC notes: That’s not what we’re discussing! I’m saying they are deliberately deluding themselves about our planet’s physical realities and how that impacts everything to do with our economy and lives!  How to deal with it is a whole other impossible subject, at least until everyone gets on the same page as to what’s going on.}.     It means they have a different opinion on how to deal with the issue.{CC notes: Nope!  It means they are foolishly self-certain, and lying to themselves.  And making a mistake that will help turn our planet into a living nightmare for humans within decades!  It already has for many.}     Or maybe they don’t want to address the issue, but that doesn’t make supply-side social and economic theorists “climate-deniers”.{CC notes: Deniers or deluded, same thing.  Rejecting what serious scientists have to tell us, in favor of what a bunch of politicized and transparent PR pimps tell you?  Come on, that’s as stupid as voting for Trump because one believes what he’s telling us. ~~~ Oh and supply-side social/economic theory.  Tell me about it, endless increasing profits and consumption on a finite planet.  Why am I not impressed?  Think about it.}

Era of climate science denial is not over, study finds
Conservative thinktanks in the US engaging in climate change have increased their attacks on science in recent years, a study of 16,000 documents finds.
Graham Readfearn | January 7, 2017

a new study that has looked at 15 years worth of output from 19 conservative “thinktanks” in the United States.

“We find little support for the claim that ‘the era of science denial is over’ - instead, discussion of climate science has generally increased over the sample period,” the study concludes.

The conservative thinktanks under the microscope are the main cog in the machinery of climate science denial across the globe, pushing a constant stream of material into the public domain.

The study, published in the journal Global Environmental Change, analysed more than 16,000 documents published online between 1998 and 2013 by mainly US groups like the Heartland Institute, the Cato Institute and the American Enterprise Institute. …

Why Republicans Still Reject the Science of Global Warming
By Andy Kroll  |  November 3, 2016


Deniers club: Meet the people clouding the climate change debate
By Michael Mann and Tom Toles | September 16, 2016


US congressman (Barton) cites biblical flood to dispute human link to climate change
Suzanne Goldenberg | April 13, 2013

On Wednesday, Barton cemented that reputation by citing the Old Testament to refute scientific evidence of man-made global warming, drawing on the story of Noah's ark.

"I would point out that if you are a believer in the Bible, one would have to say the great flood was an example of climate change," Barton told a congressional hearing on Wednesday in a video first shown on the Buzzfeed website. "That certainly wasn't because mankind had overdeveloped hydrocarbon energy."
Barton was speaking at a house subcommittee hearing …

Jim Inhofe’s snowball has disproven climate change once and for all
By Philip Bump | February 26, 2015


By Elizabeth Kolbert  |  May 6, 2015

During last fall’s midterm election campaign, “I’m not a scientist” became a standard Republican answer to questions about climate change. The line seemed to invite parody, and Stephen Colbert (among others) obliged. He played clips of House Speaker John Boehner, then Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Florida Governor Rick Scott all offering, more or less word for word, the same refrain. “Everyone who denies climate change has the same stirring message,” Colbert observed. “ ‘We don’t know what the fuck we’re talking about.’ ”

The line worked—or, at least, didn’t not work—and Republicans won both houses of Congress. Now, it seems, they are trying to go one better. They are trying to prevent even scientists from being scientists.

Last week, the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, headed by Texas Republican Lamar Smith, approved a bill that would slash at least three hundred million dollars from nasa’s earth-science budget. …

24 House Republicans Just Voted To Deny The Reality Of Climate Change
Katie Valentine | Jan 28, 2014

The Anti-Science Climate Denier Caucus
Jun 26, 2013

All told, 170 elected representatives in the 114th Congress have taken over $63.8 million from the fossil fuel industry that’s driving the carbon emissions which cause climate change. They deny what over 97 percent of scientists say is happening — current human activity creates the greenhouse gas emissions that trap heat within the atmosphere and cause climate change. And their constituents are paying the price, with Americans across the nation suffering 500 climate-related national disaster declarations since 2011.


Committee From Koch Votes To Deny Climate Change
By Brad Johnson | Mar 15, 2011


Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

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