Energy program shows the dishonesty of climate change arguments
By Gordon J. Fulks
In 1960 when a U-2 spy plane disappeared over the Soviet Union, President Dwight Eisenhower told the world that it was a “weather research aircraft” flying out of Turkey. That cover story worked for a week, until Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev confirmed that the pilot had been captured deep in Soviet territory. Should an American president have supported an elaborate fabrication? It served no lasting purpose and demeaned a great president.
The cases that followed involving Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton were far less excusable and far more damaging to the presidency. They stretched the truth to avoid accountability.
Now we have yet a different situation where a president is trying to sell a vast program of carbon controls and renewable energy subsidies, based on arguments that may meet political standards for honesty but fail scientific, engineering and legal standards. That is far more damaging to this nation than Clinton denying an affair with Monica Lewinsky.
President Barack Obama’s “climate change” speech last month reiterated his assertions that the earth is warming dangerously, that human emissions of carbon dioxide are clearly responsible and that virtually all scientists agree with him. As 115 scientists from around the world told him several years ago: “With all due respect, Mr. President, that is not true.” One was Nobel laureate in physics Ivar Giaever, a Democrat. The president now calls those who dispute his hysteria the “Flat Earth Society.”
Because the president knows that Congress and the American people will never support carbon reduction schemes that seriously harm our economy, he is pursuing a strategy involving rhetorical subterfuges while his Environmental Protection Agency quietly moves forward with regulations.
Consequently, 11 of us filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court recently asking it to overturn the EPA’s “endangerment finding” on carbon dioxide. This is the first time that the high court has been asked to consider purely scientific arguments rather than, for instance, the EPA’s failure to follow the recommendations of its inspector general.
We prove that the EPA’s “three lines of evidence” are fatally flawed, based on multiple robust data sets, not on “expert opinion” from those paid to support the president’s position. Honest data show no unusual warming in the latter half of the 20th century and none at all for the past 15 years, despite a slow increase in carbon dioxide. The “hot spot” that must exist in the tropical troposphere for the theory to work is missing. And the climate models, for which the taxpayer has paid so dearly, are epic failures. Without global warming, carbon dioxide is clearly “not guilty.” And hence the hysteria about extreme weather caused by carbon dioxide is likewise nonsense.
What about the programs that the president is trying to sell to cure a problem that does not exist? These are substantial hoaxes also. While “efficient use of energy” and “renewable energy” sound good, they are far from the reality. Ethanol, solar and wind typically produce little net energy beyond what went into their manufacture. They merely launder high-quality energy from fossil fuels into less desirable but politically popular kinds.
Remarkably, wind and solar do not even reduce our “carbon footprint,” because they need backup by special natural gas power plants designed for rapid startup. These are far less efficient than state-of-the-art gas-turbine plants that run continuously. Scrapping wind and solar programs would hugely benefit ratepayers and burn less natural gas overall.
Because Obama has no scientific education, he can hardly be expected to understand the details of what we are saying. But as an attorney, he should know what constitutes honest argument.
Gordon J. Fulks lives in Corbett and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He holds a doctorate in physics from the University of Chicago, Laboratory for Astrophysics and Space Research.