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EPA guidelines: wrong solution to a non-problem

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  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    June 19, 2014 12:56 a.m.

    From NOAA:

    "From 1880 to 2012, the globally averaged surface temperature rose by 0.85° C (1.5°F). The rate of temperature increase has risen as well. For the last 50 years, global temperature rose at an average rate of about 0.13°C (around one-quarter degree Fahrenheit) per decade-almost twice as fast as the 0.07°C per decade increase observed over the previous half-century. In the next 20 years, scientists project that global average temperature will rise by around 0.2°C (about one-third of a degree Fahrenheit) per decade."

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    June 19, 2014 1:14 a.m.

    Apparently there is some question about Christopher Monckton's credentials. The biography at the end of the article says he is the author of several peer-reviewed articles about climate change and economics. Would it be possible to list them, please?

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    June 19, 2014 5:42 a.m.

    "A study I conducted ...... shows it is 10-100 times costlier to prevent global warming today than to let it happen and adapt."

    Odd conclusion. If I were so sure that GW was not happening, I would conclude that preventing it is free.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    June 19, 2014 6:10 a.m.

    "That figure is not "cherry-picked" — another favorite phrase of the climate communists."

    I avoid commenting on the subject of climate change or global warming because I really don't understand all the factors and there are certainly differing opinions from knowledgeable people to make this an interesting debate.

    But one thing I know quite a bit about after 60 years of living among humans on this planet and that is that name calling never was, and never will be a responsible or effective way of changing peoples minds. "Climate communists"?! Really. Since this is an opinion essay on the editorial page I'd have thought that the DN Monitor would have flagged that comment before it ever made out of the newsroom. But then, reading the slant of this article I see the same standard was used in evaluating what constitutes "name calling" as is used in the other posts that make their way on to this page.

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    June 19, 2014 6:21 a.m.

    Lord Christopher Monckton works with the Heartland Institute, a corporate funded conservative think tank. He also works for the Science and Public Policy Institute, an organization that denies global warming.

    The Heartland Institute worked with Phillip Morris in the 1990's to discount the harmful effects of second hand smoke.

    Lord Christopher Monckton appears to have no scientific educational credentials, and no serious standing in the scientific community.

    Is this editorial a credible source of information???

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    June 19, 2014 7:52 a.m.

    "The war on coal". There is no war, only the decision to use more efficient, cleaner forms of energy where possible.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    June 19, 2014 8:01 a.m.

    Bracketing "those who question the magnitude of man’s influence on climate with Holocaust deniers" is appropriate. Both groups defy reason and facts. I am dubious about the credentials and independence of the writer.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    June 19, 2014 8:02 a.m.

    Oh please FT. The war on coal sits right in the queue of wars with the war on Christmas, the war on religion, the war on free speech, the war on freedom. Yes righties before you lose it the war on women is equally as stupid

  • FreedomFighter41 Provo, UT
    June 19, 2014 8:23 a.m.

    @ liberal Larry

    "Is this editorial a credible source of information???"

    I think we all know the answer to that.

    We got a corporate scientist who once denied the harmful effects of cigarettes.

    Well done Deseret News, well done.

  • Henderson Orem, UT
    June 19, 2014 8:34 a.m.

    I used to do this with my parents when I was younger. They would ask me about my chores not being finished. I would pick and choose some things that happened, exaggerate them, and make it sound like I was the victim.

    Ohhh the vacuum broke. Ohhhh I ran out of soap. Ohhhh the grass was too wet to mow.

    At this point, refusing to adjust to global warming is like a spoiled kid who doesn't want to admit his mistakes to his parents.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    June 19, 2014 8:46 a.m.

    Just Google the author... and see what the House of Commons had to do with this chap. Credibility isn't his strong suite. He has had some good ideas, no doubt. But read about his recommendations for Aids victims, and you get an idea about what planet this guy is orbiting.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    June 19, 2014 9:25 a.m.

    “Science does not advance by consensus, or no one would ever have listened to Galileo.”

    It was not science that opposed Galileo, it was religious dogma, supported by the ultra-Conservative enforcers of that dogma.

    Attempting to use Galileo to support the kind of anti-scientific rationale that opposed him, the very OPPOSITE of what he stood for, is absurd.

    Face it, the earth is warming. Whether the temperature rises steadily in increments of seconds or sporadically in increments of decades, is immaterial. The earth is warming.

    Right Wing America, with the Alternate Reality it embraces, is immensely impressed with itself, but that doesn’t affect the reality of climate change.

    “Humans are good at adapting. That is why we are here.”

    Uh huh.

    Every extinct species that ever lived was good at adapting . . . Until they went extinct.

    We will adapt huh? How? Undergo a series of quick mutations to become hardier creatures, capable of withstanding temperature extremes, and grow a set of gills, so we can live in our submerged homes?

    That is some stellar “Conservative” planning.

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    June 19, 2014 9:26 a.m.

    Based on the author's credentials, Mary Barker is looking pretty good. So, DN, next time you need someone to defend the climate-change deniers, maybe go find a real scientist. Oh, wait, you already did that. You printed a piece by BYU geology professor Barr Bickmore, who, as a conservative, looked into the actual science behind global warming and determined that his team was wrong.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    June 19, 2014 9:30 a.m.

    Wow, the logical problems in this article are glaring! Here are just two shining example of the brain power on display:

    First, the article title – how can there be a solution, right or wrong, to a non-problem?

    Second, his solution (oh the irony is rich) is to “let it (climate change) happen and adapt.” Really? Let what happen? The very thing you’ve spent the entire article denying?

    As to the rest which is no doubt full of falsehoods (e.g, our current weak solar cycle, and the fact that Antarctic SEA ice is increasing due to the rapid melting of LAND ice) I’ll leave it to other capable commenters to skewer… should be easy given the dim light bulb we‘re dealing with here.

  • Ford DeTreese Provo, UT
    June 19, 2014 9:31 a.m.

    According to "Skeptical Science":

    "Christopher Monckton is a British consultant, policy adviser, writer, columnist, and hereditary peer. While not formally trained in science, Monckton is one of the most cited and widely published climate skeptics, having even been invited to testify to the U.S. Senate and Congress on several occasions.

    "For a comprehensive rebuttal of many of Christopher Monckton's arguments, check out this presentation by Professor John Abraham (link omitted here, but you can find it at Skeptical Science's website). Abraham has compiled many examples where Monckton misrepresents the very scientists whose work he cites. Check out this PDF of Monckton quotes versus the scientists who in their own words explain how Monckton misrepresents their research (link again provided at Skeptical Science).

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    June 19, 2014 9:49 a.m.

    These 'think tank' originating paid opinion pieces should have a longer blurb at the end describing the author and their work a little more. A little more disclosure, please.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    June 19, 2014 10:00 a.m.

    Climate scientists use 30 year climate norms. 13yr 4mths is the "what's the longest I can get away with and still be correct in my statement" value. We're in the weakest solar cycle in a century; we should be cooling. Yet the 2000s were the warmest decade on record and we keep getting one of the warmest few El Nino, neutral, and La Nina years on record these recent years despite that very weak solar cycle. We know that natural forcings are always at play, as well as anthropogenic forcings (though some might not believe those). The equation would be something like temperature change = nat force + anth force. What if what we're seeing is just a balance between those two terms on the right helped out by that very weak solar cycle?

    "A survey of 11,944 climate papers published since 1991 showed just 64 — or 0.5 percent of the sample — as saying they agreed with the panel’s contention that recent global warming was mostly manmade. "

    That number pretends all others disagree. Many just don't say anything since it's not relevant to the paper.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    June 19, 2014 10:10 a.m.

    "Global sea ice extent has not changed much in 35 years. "

    The Arctic summer minimum sea ice extent has dropped by over 50% in 35 years.

    "What of Hurricane Sandy? Or Haiyan? Or wildfires in Russia and California? One thing we know for sure is recent extreme-weather events cannot have been caused by recent global warming. There has not been any recent global warming."

    Global warming shifts odds, we would still carry the shifted odds from the warming the previous century since we're still at those warmed levels from around 2000.

    As for Monckton, he is a journalism degree holder and his so-called climate articles were published not in major journals but in Nexus magazine, a magazine that also published conspiracy articles about UFOs and a 9/11 plot.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    June 19, 2014 10:40 a.m.

    "And there is no consensus anyway [in favor of anthropomorphic global warming]. "

    But there is in the form of entire organizations, e.g. the American Geophysical Union, the National Geographical Society, NOAA, etc.

    This guy also makes wild statements like "environmentalists are new Marxists." I wish. I am the only Marxist I know in the environmental movement. Of course I don't know everybody, but I have yet to run into another Marxist at a climate activist gathering.

  • andyjaggy American Fork, UT
    June 19, 2014 2:09 p.m.

    To summarize the article.

    Global warming doesn't jive with my political beliefs, therefore all of the science behind it is junk science. Besides even if the earth was warming, which it isn't, it would be to hard and costly to make any changes to our society (never mind that any job lost in the coal industry would probably be made up for with a job created in the green industry) so we should just not do anything and adapt to our changing climate, that isn't really changing by the way.

    I'm a real scientist. Really I am.

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    June 19, 2014 2:30 p.m.

    Ford DeTreese says:

    "Christopher Monckton is a British consultant, policy adviser, writer, columnist, and hereditary peer."

    Maybe that's what Mr. Monckton means when he says his papers are "peer" reviewed.

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    June 19, 2014 4:32 p.m.

    You know what really bothers me is all the people that harp about those who smoke and drink a little. The people that give lectures about how our bodies are temples and look down on others for drinking a cup of tea or coffee. We all know about the Word of Wisdom. I am not putting down the Word of Wisdom. I want to point something out. What bothers me is the fact that so many of these people who preach about taking care of the body, seem to care little at all about the Earth we live on! There may or may not be global warming, but the fact is , human beings are polluting this Earth at an alarming rate! Look at what it does to the air we breath! When the pioneers first came to Utah, you could see to the bottom of Utah Lake, and look at it now! Deny global warming all you want, it doesn't change how much harm we are doing to the Earth! It isn't very smart to look the other way as if it isn't important! Do we have to receive another word of wisdom about the Earth?

  • Pops NORTH SALT LAKE, UT
    June 19, 2014 8:22 p.m.

    The ad hominem attacks on Lord Monckton reflect badly on those making them. Having seen Monckton in action, I'm certain that none of the commenters here (myself included) would have any chance in a debate with him.

    Schnee wrote "That number pretends all others disagree. Many just don't say anything since it's not relevant to the paper."
    It's too bad that you didn't catch the irony of what Monckton did there. He used precisely the same tactic that was used to arrive at the "97% of scientists agree" conclusion, but simply reversed the test. You're right, it's misleading. That was the point, but perhaps it was too subtle for most of us.

    The bottom line is that there is no correlation between atmospheric CO2 and global temperature, and thus no way to establish climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 other than to assume it's indistinguishable from zero. There is no way of knowing what the effect will be of any CO2 abatement program. The temperature will simply continue to go up and down in response to the same things as always, one of them not being CO2, according to the data.

  • PeanutGallery Salt Lake City, UT
    June 20, 2014 5:38 a.m.

    Great op-ed and reality check by Lord Mockton. Barker tries to sound objective in her column, but appears to be guilty of the same thing she is accusing others of. Namely, she has already made up her mind, and is looking for evidence to support her conclusion.

    Man-made “global warming” is only a theory, and a dubious one at that.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    June 20, 2014 6:28 a.m.

    POPs, as you know, I respect your opinion. But when you make statements like "The temperature will simply continue to go up and down in response to the same things as always, one of them not being CO2, according to the data".... I wonder where your data is coming from. If I go to the NASA site, they clearly don't agree with your assessment.

    NASA does support the notion that CO2 is not bad. They site the positives in their assessment for certain vegetation. But they clearly say there is a link between greenhouse effect and CO2 levels. So I just ask back what is the source of your research that disagrees with NASA. We increasingly have the capability to do multi variant large data correlation analysis.... this is math that has progress exponentially over the last 5 years. I would love to see what is new out there.

  • Pops NORTH SALT LAKE, UT
    June 20, 2014 7:51 a.m.

    I don't know anyone within the scientific community who doesn't believe that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. It's a simple calculation to determine how much warming ought to result from a doubling of CO2, all other things being equal. It's a modest increase that even the alarmists aren't worried about. But all other things aren';t equal. There are feedback mechanisms that might potentially amplify the warming (e.g., small increase in temps leads to more evaporation, and water vapor is a potent greenhouse gas) that could lead to catastrophe or even thermal runaway. But nobody has found evidence of positive feedbacks in the actual data. If anything, negative feedbacks dominate and are eliminating any evidence of CO2 influence on temperature (lack of sufficient statistical correlation)

    Researchers are using every statistical technique at their disposal to try to coax a CO2 signal out of the temperature data. So far, nobody has succeeded, but it isn't for lack of trying. Michael Mann got in trouble, for example, trying a bit too hard and using math that would turn random data into a warming trend.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    June 20, 2014 8:22 a.m.

    @Pops – “negative feedbacks dominate and are eliminating any evidence of CO2 influence on temperature”

    An interesting point and it suggests that they are other mitigating factors – weakest solar cycle in a century and ocean acidification (due to capturing large amounts of C02). What happens when the weak solar cycle ends or the ocean reaches its C02 absorption capacity?

    And you admit C02 is a greenhouse gas and we only need to look to Venus to see the effects of positive feedback mechanisms causing thermal runaway. This fact alone should make us cautious rather than reckless… yet we are recklessly tapping the fossil fuel party spigot for all it’s worth.

    It would be far more prudent to apply Dick Cheney’s 1% precautionary principle (terrorism) to climate change for a couple reasons. 1st, it is exponentially higher than 1% that man-made climate change is a fact. Second, its effects could be far more devastating than any terrorist act.

    For these reasons I take a conservative position on climate change, and frankly am baffled that so many modern “conservatives” have taken such a recklessly radical denial position.

  • high school fan Huntington, UT
    June 20, 2014 8:55 a.m.

    Simple facts include the Pacific Ocean is down not rising, the Antarctic is making ice while the arctic is not, the number of polar bears is growing and the average temperature is steady for a number of years.
    The only thing we really don't know is which side possesses the "chicken little" syndrome about the sky is falling. I was taught that science just "is" such as gravity is gravity with no debate, that humans need oxygen and plants need carbon dioxide is no debate and that plants make oxygen out of carbon dioxide is no debate. It makes me a little suspicious when the term concensus is used.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    June 20, 2014 11:18 a.m.

    HS Fan.... I think you will find your comment "Simple facts include the Pacific Ocean is down". If you google global sea levels, I think you will find that there are many regions of the Pacific Ocean that are experiencing sea level rise. Yes, some are down, but those are the exception, not the rule. In particular if you look at what is going on in the Marshall Islands. The entire west coast of the US - California through Washington State also report higher sea levels.

    So a blanket statement that the Pacific Ocean is down isn't totally accurate.

    If "It makes me a little suspicious when the term concensus is used", well then you must mistrust just about everything in science. Consensus and peer review is a cornerstone to scientific research.

  • Pops NORTH SALT LAKE, UT
    June 20, 2014 3:51 p.m.

    @Tyler D - caution consists in looking at the data to see what is happening in the real world. In the real world, increases in CO2 aren't having a measurable impact on temperature. And there are plenty of climate scientists of the liberal political persuasion who think climate alarmism is out of whack with reality. It's unfortunate the press is either unable or unwilling to report what is really going on for those who don't follow the actual science.

    @UtahBlueDevil: while peer review is important, it is more important to get things right. Blind faith in something because it is "peer reviewed" is not healthy. If the motives of peer reviewers aren't pure, then the result will be corrupted. Peer reviewers are human and subject to the same faults as the rest of us. We live in an age in which there is an abundance of lying, cheating, and stealing. It doesn't take very many politically-motivated peer reviewers to hijack the process. I wish I could relate in the few remaining words I have allotted to me the shenanigans that have occurred in the promotion of climate alarmism, but I'm out of words.

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    June 20, 2014 4:35 p.m.

    @Pops – “And there are plenty of climate scientists of the liberal political persuasion who think climate alarmism is out of whack with reality.”

    Point taken and I won’t dispute that (it may not be that bad), but again I come back to the precautionary principle – if there’s even a 1% chance of climate change being catastrophic, shouldn’t we do what we can to try and mitigate it?

    We can do so in ways that won’t damage the economy or grow government (e.g., revenue neutral carbon tax) and may drive tremendous innovation and positive economic benefits.

    AND – we become more energy independent, reduce the wealth and influence of countries that hate us, have cleaner air, improve our trade deficit, etc…

    Please help me understand why you and so many other conservatives are against this… I don’t get it.

  • Pops NORTH SALT LAKE, UT
    June 20, 2014 6:23 p.m.

    A couple of years ago a carbon trading scheme was proposed in California that would have cost $450 billion, using numbers from the bill's proponents. The net effect on the climate would have been 1/1000 of a degree Fahrenheit, using the worst-case warming numbers from alarmists. That's the problem. Alarmists are proposing to swamp the economy with artificial costs and massive regulations in order to achieve something so tiny that, using worst case numbers, we wouldn't even be able to measure its effect.

    I calculated how much CO2 my car emits commuting for a year. I then assumed that every sixth person in the world did likewise and computed how much CO2 that would produce . The result was too small to measure as a fraction of atmospheric CO2. The impact on warming, using the worst-case alarmist scenario, would again be indistinguishable from zero.

    And that's if the alarmist science is correct, but it isn't because it's based on computer models instead of empirical data.

    Adaptation would cost a small fraction (e.g. 1% - 10%) of the cost of mitigation. And if no warming occurs, the cost will be zero.

  • high school fan Huntington, UT
    June 21, 2014 12:09 a.m.

    Scientific research is okay and peer review is good but neither is science. As I said science just is and there is no question about it. Both of tirst statements are okay but they are not what is, we use them to study items. And as far as the Pacific Ocean goes, most of it is down and that ocean is huge.
    There is nothing wrong with being suspicious and careful but nothing concerning climate change is certain and we do not know for sure what we humans can even affect. Be wise but do not be scared.

  • Monckton of Brenchley Edinburgh, 00
    June 21, 2014 6:01 a.m.

    “Micawber” asks me to list my reviewed publications on climate science and economics. They include Climate Sensitivity Reconsidered (Physics and Society, July 2008); Cool it (Journal of the Chartered Insurance Institute of London, 2010); Global Brightening and Climate Sensitivity (Annual Proceedings, Seminars on Planetary Emergencies, World Federation of Scientists, 2010); Is CO2 Mitigation Cost-Effective? (WFS, op. cit., 2013); Agnotology and climate (Science and Education, 2013); Political Science – drawbacks of apriorism in intergovernmental climatology (2014: in press).

    At one point the American Physical Society tried to pretend that the 2008 paper had not been peer-reviewed: however, it had been reviewed by Prof. Alvin Saperstein, the review editor, in accordance with the journal’s usual practice. He and the commissioning editor who had asked for the paper on the recommendation of a senior scientist at the Argonne National Laboratory were both dismissed because the paper reached the inconvenient conclusion that global warming this century might be less than 1 K (warming in the first one-seventh of the century, 0.0 K).

  • Sensible Scientist Rexburg, ID
    June 21, 2014 3:38 p.m.

    It's great to see this letter refute the pseudo-science the climate alarmists keep foisting on an unsuspecting public.

    If funding sources taint conclusions, then both sides of this debate are equally guilty. Examine the facts for yourself, and you'll see that Monckton is right.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    June 21, 2014 4:11 p.m.

    Pops... true peer review doesn't mean you hand out your work to those who agree with you, but that you academically publish it for all to see, and for competing ideas to try to find holes in your reasoning and testing methods. No doubt there is dishonesty and personal bias that effects the process.... but generally speaking the process works to uncover flaws in theory or testing.

    That said, it is all based on what we currently know.... and we are a long way away from knowing everything we should know. And in the end, consensus if a far better filter than just trusting ones own self or our self selected review. Not perfect, but far better than the other options.

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    June 23, 2014 4:24 p.m.

    So, on this issue we either believe a guy who majored in journalism and a few radio show hosts who went to one semester (at most) of junior college OR we can believe almost all individuals who have earned PhDs in climate sciences. Hm.... if I'm a conservative I go with the former, of course!