Alaska’s Senatorial showdown this November is between a Democratic candidate (Scott McAdams) who might have starred on TV’s Deadliest Catch if it had been around during McAdams’ fisherman days and a Republican candidate, Joe Miller, whose out-of-touch with reality views and out-of-whack with voters policy constructs have led some to deem him America’s Craziest Catch.
This clip, of course, is time limited and therefore leaves out many of Miller’s outlandishly ignorant perspectives.
For example, when it comes to climate change, Miller speaks with talking points disdainful of science and simply ignorant.
“I think it’s undeniable, that anyone who has looked at the natural record of the Earth can see significant cyclical changes well before the industrial age, so we know the temperature change is part of the process of our existence, and frankly, you’re probably aware in the ’70s there were real concerns about global cooling.”
So much misleading truthiness in just one paragraph. For example,
- There is no (NO) climate scientist who asserts that, throughout geologic history, there has not been (and, into the future, will be) natural variations of the Earth’s climate. The warming of the past century, however, cannot be primarily explained (with verifiable science) via natural processes. The issue is how humanity’s thumb is tipping the scales. And, here, the evidence is quite clear that humanity is changing the climate.
- The “very real concerns about global cooling” shibboleth rises again. Very simply, peer review examination of the scientific literature of the period documents that — even then — there were greater concerns about warming than cooling in the 1970s.
This paragraph is rich in its anti-science syndrome symptoms, seeking to confuse while not adding truth to the discussion.
“We haven’t heard there’s man-made global warming.”
This is truly striking.
- Alaska is warming faster than anywhere else in the United States.
- There are already towns lost to the warming climate.
- Alaskan infrastructure is struggling to cope with warming conditions.
- Animals are changing their patterns — and dying — due to climate change.
As USA Today put it years ago, “Alaska the ‘poster state’ for climate concerns“.
And, Joe hasn’t heard?
I know Alaska is remote but does TV and the Internet somehow not reach Miller’s home and office? “We haven’t heard” might be because Miller isn’t listening.
“Second, even if we proved that, we have not proven we have a solution that works.”
Again, shibboleths and truthiness and outright deception.
“Proof” is a pretty strong standard, but we have a panoply of meaningful Silver Bullets to address climate mitigation requirements while putting people back to work, strengthening the economy, and improving national security.
And third, even if we’ve proven that, we haven’t done a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether the solutions like cap-and-trade that Sen. Murkowski has proposed are actually worth the cost to people.”
Who’s that “we”, Joe? There are lots of cost-benefit analyses and, the non-industry funded honest ones at least, they come down strongly that action will (at worst) have a minor cost while providing (some) insurance against catastrophic climate change.
Of course, that’s not all. Alaska’s Craziest Catch’s campaign website addresses climate change:
The science supporting manmade climate change is inconclusive. Nothing typifies that more than the metamorphosis in terminology being used. A few years ago, the dire warnings coming from Al Gore and others all spoke of “Global Warming.” The term “Greenhouse Gas” itself conjures up images of the unnatural heat found in a manmade environment. However, since the trend in more recent years has been towards cooler temperatures, those (like Senator Murkowski and others) pushing for cap and trade and other carbon emission reducing legislation have had to change their terminology to “Climate Change.” Should we take drastic measures to combat something that may not even exist, burdening our already struggling economy with billions in new taxes and regulations?
Truthiness talking points masquerading as something meriting discussion by a potential member of the U.S. Senate.
- Re the term, the International Panel on Climate Change was formed some 20 years ago and had nothing to do with “more recent years” that Miller is referring to. And, more directly, it actually was a Republican operative, Frank Luntz, who fought hard for “climate change” rather than global warming in advice to Republican politicians and operatives:
It’s time for us to start talking about “climate change” instead of global warming and “conservation” instead of preservation.
1) “Climate change” is less frightening than “global warming”. As one focus group participant noted, climate change “sounds like you’re going from Pittsburgh to Fort Lauderdale.” While global warming has catastrophic connotations attached to it, climate change suggests a more controllable and less emotional challenge.
- “the trend in more recent years has been towards cooler temperatures” seems a bit odd when the past decade has been the hottest decade globally since the creation of a global temperature record (past 150 years) and likely the hottest in 1000s (or more) years. And, when nine of the ten hottest years in that recorded history are in the past decade. And, when 2010 is on track for being the hottest year in modern human history. Seems to me that Joe needs to go back to a seventh-grade math class to learn something about how one identifies ‘trends’.
- Sadly, the science is far from “inconclusive”. And, Joe’s assertion that it is flies in the face of the conclusions of every single relevant major scientific institution on the planet that humanity’s thumb is impacting climate conditions and that we should act to address (reduce) those impacts.
Of course, anti-science syndrome suffering Miller then seques directly into truthiness arguing that climate mitigation would cost the economy when, in fact, we should be tallying all the benefits that strong climate change mitigation efforts would produce.
While Miller might be Alaska’s Craziest Catch, when it comes to climate science, the panoply of Climate Zombie Republican 2010 Senate candidates might be America’s Craziest Catches: every single one of the 2010 Republican Party Senate candidates is, in one way or another (or in every way), at odds with the scientific community and at odds with taking meaningful action to protect Americans from catastrophic climate chaos.
Related/recommended: See Joe Romm, Climate Progress, with Why the victory of the Tea Party extremists (backed by Big Oil) over the slightly less extreme GOP establishment (also backed by Big Oil) is good for progressives, but bad for climate and clean energy.
The Republican party is self-destructing, and they may well take a livable climate with them. While the rise of the Tea Party is probably good for progressive politicians, the extreme radicalization of one of the two major parties has major downsides for Homo “sapiens”.