The HuffPo’s Global Warming Ga-Ga

by John Hawkins | April 11, 2007 3:13 pm

Sometimes you run across an article that’s so astonishingly vapid and ill thought out, that you just can’t help but say something about it. I ran across just such an article today, not surprisingly, at The Huffington Post[1].

It’s by some guy named Paul Abrams and it’s called, “Latest Right-Wing Junk Science on Global Warming: “It’s the Sun, Stupid.”

I was interested in reading this post initially because I do think it’s much more likely that the sun rather than man is responsible for the small global temperature increase that we’ve had over the last century and because I wanted to see what the latest left-wing “spience” (spin + science) was that explained why that wasn’t the case.

Here are some excerpts from what I was treated to, with my comments following each one:

“I happened upon a rightwing show hosted by a fellow named Larry Kudlow. Wikipedia-ing him, one finds that he was some minor operative in the Reagan administration, is some kind of economist, converted to Catholicism…”

He’s never heard of Larry Kudlow before? Ok…

“(He) provides such scintillating commentary as “I want to win in Iraq” (but, like the others of his ilk, none of the Kudlows apparently wants to win badly enough to volunteer) and provides such scintillating commentary as “I want to win in Iraq” (but, like the others of his ilk, none of the Kudlows apparently wants to win badly enough to volunteer).”

Abrams is sneering at Kudlow for wanting to win in Iraq? Does that mean Abrams doesn’t want to win in Iraq? I guess so. Well, what about Afghanistan? Does Abrams want to win there? Then why, “like the others of his ilk” does he not want “to win badly enough to volunteer?”

And what does all of this have to do with global warming or science? Anyway…

“We all know why the radical rightwing has to debunk the human contribution to global warming—recognizing it requires some regulation of their businesses. Of course, if Reagan had not canceled Carter’s CAFE standards, we would not be importing ANY oil today, and Detroit would be prosperous making high efficiency engines, probably even leading the world.”

Anyone who could write something that incredibly dumb should not even be writing about issues related to science. So, let’s straighten this out[2],

“Carter insisted that U.S. automakers build more fuel-efficient cars, with a goal of 27.5 miles per gallon over the following decade – a requirement passed under Gerald Ford but put into force by Carter.”

So really, Reagan cancelled Gerald Ford’s CAFE standards? Well, not quite. From Ralph Nader[3],

“After the original Congressional mandate of 27.5 mpg took effect in 1985, the Reagan Administration rolled the standard back to 26 mpg in 1986. Finally in 1989 the first Bush Administration moved the standard back to the 1985 level of 27.5 mpg. There was no improvement in the CAFE standards under the Clinton Administration.”

So, if you believe the Huffington Post, if we hadn’t rolled back Cafe Standards 1.5 mpg for 4 years, we’d be energy independent today.

Hawkins’ Note: By the way, making these sort of outlandish claims that have absolutely nothing to do with reality, with no supporting evidence for them, is standard operating procedure on liberal blogs. Never, never, never take any controversial claim that you read on a liberal blog at face value unless they have links to solid sources (not other liberal blogs or publications) backing them up.

From there, Abrams goes on to make some largely irrelevant points about the tobacco industry which I’m going to skip and concludes with,

“Here’s the obvious point: if the sun is really getting warmer, then that puts an EXTRA burden on all of us to reduce greenhouse gases EVEN more so the extra heat rained down upon us escapes.

Sorry, Kudlow. You have just made the case for regulation to reduce greenhouse gases much, much stronger. It is probably the first public service you have performed.”

Ehr…if the sun, as opposed to greenhouse gas, is behind the small rise in temperature we’ve experienced so far, then what makes him think reducing the tiny comparative percentage of greenhouse gasses that man produces will have any effect on the temperature? Put another way, if the sun, not man is responsible for this blip in temperatures, what makes anyone think we’re capable of actually compensating for the effect of the sun?

PS: Have you ever noticed that even though liberals always claim to have science on their side in the global warming issue, most, but not all, of their arguments on the subject are something like, “Larry Kudlow is a Republican! Polar bears are drowning! Scientific consensus is on our side! We’re all going to die unless you accept that man causes global warming. Rarrrrrr!”

Meanwhile, most, but not all, conservative arguments on the subject actually tend to be based around science. For example, if Mars is warming, doesn’t that suggest the sun is warming both planets? How do we know if the temperature difference we’ve seen is caused by man or the planet’s natural warming and cooling cycles? The amount of greenhouse gasses man pumped into the air between 1940 to 1975 was going up, but the global temperature was going down during that same time period. If greenhouse gasses are so closely tied to global temperature, how can that be? Moreover, how can anyone say definitively, based on science, that global warming is caused by mankind if they don’t have good answers for those questions?

  1. The Huffington Post:
  2. straighten this out:
  3. Ralph Nader:

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