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December 18, 2013 / needhamgrassroots

7 ways to shut down a climate change denier –

climatechangeExcerpt from SALON:
Claim 6: Climatologists have a vested interest in raising the alarm because it brings them money and prestige.

If climate scientists are angling for more money by hyping fears of climate change, they are not doing so very effectively. According to a 2006 Government Accountability Office study, between 1993 and 2004, U.S. federal spending on climate change rose from $3.3 billion to $5.1 billion—a 55 percent increase. (Total federal nondefense spending on research in 2004 exceeded $50 billion.) However, the research share of that money fell from 56 percent to 39 percent: most of it went to energy conservation projects and other technology programs. Climatologists’ funding therefore stayed almost flat while others, including those in industry, benefited handsomely. Surely, the Freemasons could do better than that.

Claim 7: Technological fixes, such as inventing energy sources that don’t produce CO2 or geoengineering the climate, would be more affordable, prudent ways to address climate change than reducing our carbon footprint.

Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, Bjørn Lomborg and other critics of standard policy responses to climate change often seem to imply that environmentalists are obsessed with regulatory reductions in CO2 emissions and uninterested in technological solutions. That interpretation is at best bizarre: technological innovations in energy efficiency, conservation and production are exactly what caps or levies on CO2 are meant to encourage.

The relevant question is whether it is prudent for civilization to defer curbing or reducing its CO2 output before such technologies are ready and can be deployed at the needed scale. The most common conclusion is no. Remember that as long as CO2 levels are elevated, additional heat will be pumped into the atmosphere and oceans, extending and worsening the climate consequences. As NASA climatologist James Hansen has pointed out, even if current CO2 levels could be stabilized overnight, surface temperatures would continue to rise by 0.5 degree C over the next few decades because of absorbed heat being released from the ocean. The longer that we wait for technology alone to reduce CO2, the faster we will need for those solutions to pull CO2 out of the air to minimize the warming problems. Minimizing the scope of the challenge by restricting the accumulation of CO2 only makes sense.

Moreover, climate change is not the only environmental crisis posed by elevated CO2: it also makes the oceans acidic, which could have irreversibly harmful effects on coral reefs and other marine life. Only the immediate mitigation of CO2 release can contain those losses.


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