Re: Green Gingrich (& Global Warming Generally)
That Newt Gingrich’s participation in the discussion on anthropogenic global warming has taken this form is disappointing. By appearing in an ad with US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and looking around for solutions (even market based ones), Gingrich has lent his credibility to the erroneous propositions that 1.) man has caused this phenomenon and 2.) man can stop this phenomenon with just a little effort.
1.) It has not been scientifically proven, despite all of Al Gore and James Hansen’s protestations, that man is causing global warming. Mann’s hockey stick has been broken. The precious computer models are problematic, to say no worse. And the fall-back argument – that temperatures have never risen so quickly in such a short period of time, namely, three quarters of a degree over the course of one hundred and twenty years – is not provable. Not only is this is an absurdly short span of time in Earth’s 4b+ year history by which to prove such a potentially impactful hypothesis but temperature charts covering periods prior to one hundred and fifty years ago are based on inferred measurements. It is not possible for such an imprecise gauge to reveal all micro spikes and dips in temperature that have occurred in Earth’s history. How can it be definitively stated, therefore, that the micro spike we are experiencing (then again, perhaps we are not) is unprecedented?
2.) Man only generates 6% of the greenhouse gases on the planet. Mother Nature contributes the other 94%.
In the remote event it were true that man was causing global warming with his 6%, the solution would not be to hinkle-pinkle around with carbon trading, carbon taxes (are we to believe that these will not simply be more pointless taxes for ever more pointless pork barrel spending?) and twirly lightbulbs that give you nerve damage if they break. If man is causing global warming, the actions required to reverse it would be draconian. Not only would we have to demand that India, China, Africa and other countries stay in their current state of low development – actually, China would have to go backwards a good twenty years – and discomfort, we in “first world” countries would have to join them in that condition.
Item #2 constitutes perhaps the most scandalous aspect of the theory of AGW. Scientists and advocates who promote the theory of AGW are careful not to mention how small man’s contribution to greenhouse gas generation is because the extreme measures that would be required to reverse the hypothesized effect would immediately be thrown into high relief. Nor, even more importantly, can these scientists and advocates say what amount of reduction of man’s greenhouse gas generation will either slow or stop global warming (again, if man is responsible). We do know, because man only generates 6% of these gases, that it would have to be a considerable, even drastic, reduction.
Suppose somehow we stop half of all of our activity. We reduce our driving, our manufacturing, our food, our beef, our lights and our HVAC by half. Africa, India, China and other countries stop aspiring to cars, heat, better availability and distribution of food, etc. So. Now man’s activity only contributes 3% of greenhouse gases. Will that do the trick? Will global warming be slowed? Stopped? No one can say for sure. We’re just supposed to go along with the program, whatever it is, in blind faith, preferably without asking questions and certainly without noticing the traffic jams which AGW advocates get embroiled in.
It’s obvious why Gingrich is doing this: To keep his name on tv and in the newspapers. He’s a grumpy old washed up sell out.