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Sarah Palin’s zombie charm …

December 3rd, 2009 · 14 Comments

Sarah “Energy Exert” Palin has weighed in on ClimateGate, using Facebook to jump in with her perspective on SwiftHack.  Let’s take a moment to parse this statement.

The president’s decision to attend the international climate conference in Copenhagen needs to be reconsidered in light of the unfolding Climategate scandal.

This is a nice assertion: “needs to be reconsidered.”  Typically, wouldn’t the call be more direct? Something like, “Mr President, I call on you to reconsider …”

And, in fact, despite the assertions that follow and will likely appear in (some) comments, it is hard to see how it “needs to be reconsidered”.  While Marc Morano and serial denialsts are twisting the material with joy, to suggest that it provides a window on a global cabal, there is nothing that has come out that calls into question any of the fundamental scientific conclusions about the Theory of Global Warming.

The leaked e-mails involved in Climategate expose the unscientific behavior of leading climate scientists who deliberately destroyed records to block information requests, manipulated data to “hide the decline” in global temperatures, and conspired to silence the critics of man-made global warming.

A theme to follow. “Critics of man-made global warming …?” Guess what, Sarah, I consider myself a “critic of man-made global warming.” I know that this is happening and that it is endangering my, my (and your) children’s future. We should all be critical of “manmade global warming” and act, forcefully, to end it.

What is the “conspiracy to silence”? It comes from those, like Marc Morano and the Competitive Enterprise Institute, who have diligently worked to distort the discussion and attack those who follow the evidence of and sound the alarm about humanity’s ever-mounting impact on the global eco-system.

As for that conspiracy against a journal, perhaps worth looking here before running too far with this truthiness.

And, well, to better understand the emails beyond the Faux News-promoted snippets taken out of context, perhaps it might make sense to try to understand the stolen emails’ contents in a larger context.

I support Senator James Inhofe’s call for a full investigation into this scandal.

Well, I too could support a “full investigation” which, of course, would include the past 15+ years of Exxon-Mobil emails related to their efforts to support disinformation and deception efforts about global warming. And, the emails of a number of other organizations who have worked so hard to distort and inhibit truthful discussion of Global Warming.

Because it involves many of the same personalities and entities behind the Copenhagen conference, Climategate calls into question many of the proposals being pushed there, including anything that would lead to a cap and tax plan.

Actually, simply put, no. ClimateGate does not call into question “proposals” at Copenhagen.

Policy should be based on sound science, not snake oil.

How about that policy should be based on scientifically sound advice? Sound Science, after all, is a code-word for subordinating science to polluting industry interest. (”Sound science is a phrase often used by corporate public relations and government agency spokesmen to describe the scientific research used to justify a claim or position.”)

I took a stand against such snake oil science when I sued the federal government over its decision to list the polar bear as an endangered species despite the fact that the polar bear population has increased.

True information, if it is true, doesn’t necessarily mean truthful [if it is presented in isolation from other information as part of an effort to deceive]. Even if there are patterns of polar bear population increases (note, not an area of expertise or focus), scientific analysis shows diminishing Arctic Ice coverage and reduced Arctic Ice mass to be a significant threat to polar bears in the years to come. (”Wildlife biologists and climate scientists overwhelmingly agree that the disappearance of Arctic sea ice will lead to a sharp drop in polar bear populations.“)

I’ve never denied the reality of climate change; in fact, I was the first governor to create a subcabinet position to deal specifically with the issue. I saw the impact of changing weather patterns firsthand while serving as governor of our only Arctic state. But while we recognize the effects of changing water levels, erosion patterns, and glacial ice melt, we cannot primarily blame man’s activities for the earth’s cyclical weather changes.

Someone needs to ask: How can you simultaneously believe that it’s a problem that we can address (why else have a subcabinet position) and also believe that it’s not a manmade problem and we just have to throw our hands up in the air about it.

In addition, take a look at the skill of that last phrase:

we cannot primarily blame man’s activities for the earth’s cyclical weather changes.

Of course we can’t. The climate has been through constant change through it history of millions and billions (not 6000) years. Some change has been gradual, some has been relatively sudden, and some is even cyclical. No one (NO ONE) who looks seriously at climate issues denies that there is the Earth’s climate system undergoes natural change and no one (NO ONE) says that there are not natural elements interacting with humanity’s actions. No one (NO ONE) is blaming man’s activities for climate change 10s of millions of years ago.

What scientific analysis is showing, with greater conclusiveness with essentially every passing day, is that human action is overlaying on top of the natural system and has become a forcing function that almost certainly is having a greater impact on driving the “changing weather patterns” that Sarah Palin saw “firsthand” than natural processes (cyclical or otherwise).

PS: Does anyone else note the continued confusion and conflation of “cyclical weather changes” and climate?

The drastic
economic measures being pushed by dogmatic environmentalists won’t change the weather, but will dramatically change our economy for the worse.

So many attacks and falsehoods in one sentence. “Drastic economic measures” that will likely lead to lower energy costs and lower health care costs for most Americans. And, well, again “weather” rather than “climate” — action will “change” Climate Change (we hope) by reducing the extent of damage to come from climate change in the years and decades ahead. And, it will change the economy … for the better.

Policy decisions require real science and real solutions, not junk science and doomsday scare tactics pushed by an environmental priesthood that capitalizes on the public’s worry and makes them feel that owning an SUV is a “sin” against the planet.

Yes, seeking to understand how we structure a robust and prosperous society sustainable in the face of limited resources is evidently a ‘religion’.

And, we don’t need to talk about the “planet” to talk about the SUVs problems. While you might like oil prices to be high to boost your family’s annual subsidy checks of oil royalties from exploiting oil resources on federal lands, there is a simple fact: the US exports $100s of millions every day (and $billions when oil prices are high) to pay for imported oil. We cannot produce enough oil in the US to meet current demand. Does sending money to Venezuela to put oil in that SUV strengthen American security?

In his inaugural address, President Obama declared his intention to “restore science to its rightful place.” Boycotting Copenhagen while this scandal is thoroughly investigated would send a strong message that the United States government will not be a party to fraudulent scientific practices. Saying no to Copenhagen and cap and tax are first steps in “restoring science to its rightful place.”

No, Sarah, perhaps actually showing respect for scientists and the scientific process would achieve much of this. And, if you would start to take that route, taking a principled stand to end the Republican War on Science, perhaps scientists would consider returning to the Republican Party.
NOTE: From an email …

Zombie Photo ScottNJ http://www.flickr.com/photos/scottod/It feels like objective reality is sliding backwards and playing defense again.

The thing about zombies is that their unthinking determination usually wears down the sentient humans and destroys civilizations.

It’s happened in far too many movies not to be true.

The best single stop ’shopping’ about ClimateGate/SwiftHack remains:The SwiftHack Scandal: What You Need to Know

NOTE / UPDATE. The Washington Post published a likely ghostwritten cleaned up version of this absurdity. See Fred Hiatt jumps the shark in dragging Washington Post into the sewers: Publishes Sarah Palin OPED contradicted by links within the OPED.

NOTE / UPDATE: Pride of the Zombie’s photo by ScottNJ.

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