Today I read Paul Krugman’s NYT editorial insulting Republicans for daring to question the religion that is Global Warming. Krugman presented no real facts or arguments on the issue, instead focusing on the irrelevant detail of the professions of the witnesses at a recent congressional hearing. I should of course say Climate Change instead of Global Warming as that is the new term liberals came up with when the facts no longer fit their theories. However this post isn’t about Krugman or even global warming itself, it is about why and how conservatives should always win a debate on this issue. Liberals always try to frame and change debates so that the other side seems like they must be wrong or delusional, but all we have to do is expose certain truths and their arguments fall apart.
When it comes to Climate Change, conservatives can make 4 different arguments, and only 1 of them needs to succeed for us to win the debate. Liberals try to frame the debate as an argument over whether global warming is occurring, a scientific debate, and then argue that based on a “scientific consensus” anyone who questions climate change or any policy prescription that goes with it is essentially a flat-earther. Besides that being not true, it is also a shift of where the real debate should be, whether the policy solutions liberals want to impose make sense (HINT: NO).
First Argument: Is Global Warming Occurring? Liberals claim there is a scientific consensus about this, but reality is there isn’t. Krugman made fun of the fact that Republicans called experts besides scientists on the issue, but fails to recognize the IPCC panel which is touted as the UN expert body on the issue is made up for mostly bureaucrats. The reality is that scientific debates should be left to scientists, who recognize that theories are just theories, thus they are not yet proven. Propagandists like James Hansen have been exposed for manipulating data because they no longer act like scientists when they take a theory as fact. Instead of trying to disprove and test the theory, many on the left just want evidence that confirms their beliefs. However, some facts liberals like to ignore is that using a standardized measurement, it is a scientific consensus now that the hockey stick model was wrong and the earth was actually hotter at certain points in history. All evidence shows that the climate has not been warming since 1998. In addition, despite liberals like Al Gore connecting certain weather phenomenon to Global Warming, most scientists agree the two are not related. Now let’s say someone hears this and still thinks Global Warming is occurring, well that is fine and might even be true, but then we just move on to the next question.
Second: Is Global Warming Man Made? If climate change is not man made and not caused by Carbon emissions, then there is really no reason to change our behavior since we cannot affect it. There is plenty of Evidence countering this point, including the fact that Venus is a prime example of Global Warming (no humans there) and the fact that the earth has been hotter in the past (before all the evil human inventions polluted the planet). Furthermore, there are many sources of Carbon emissions that are completely unrelated to the cars we drive and the light bulbs we use (including cow farting..so we might have to kill the cows). Now even if it is occurring and man-made, let us move to the next question.
Third: Can we do anything to change it? This is really where the center of the debate should focus. Liberals believe that we should limit our Carbon emissions drastically to try to stop or more accurately slow down climate change. However, what they fail to acknowledge is that America cutting its emissions will have little long term effect on climate. In fact, if America were to cut emissions by 80% by 2050 (Can you imagine how many things we will have to give up and change in our lives to do that, almost everything emits carbon) it will have 0 effect on climate because of increased emissions by developing countries (countries like China and India, now the biggest contributors to emissions have said they are unwilling to limit growth). Plus, liberals fail to recognize we already do a lot to contribute. Many blasted us for not signing on to the Kyoto Protocol, but failed to notice that the countries that did almost all failed to reach their targeted cuts, while we exceeded ours during the same period. This makes it clear that cutting emissions will not solve the problem Liberals claim we should be addressing. This takes us to the next question.
Fourth: Does Cap and Trade make sense as a solution and do leading liberals actually believe what they say? Cap and Trade or something similar is the current popular liberal solution to climate change. Under the general scheme we will create limits for how much different industries and companies can emit as to force a reduction in Carbon Emissions. We will then essentially create a market for companies to try to maximize their allowed Carbon emission and with that we will need a regulatory system to enforce it (all of this will cost money we do not have). In addition the result of this will be “skyrocketing energy prices” (that comes directly from Obama). If energy prices go up that means the prices to make, transport and use everything else will necessarily go up as well, essentially crashing our economy. In the meantime, liberals like Al Gore will make billions through investments in the Green industry that cannot survive in the market place without government subsidies. Lastly, that also leads to the question of whether liberals actually believe the threat they are touting. Major leaders in the Global Warming movement like Al Gore are trying to force us to cut emissions on a daily basis and tell us the threat is imminent. At the same time those same leaders have major conferences that create massive emissions, fly private planes, live in big houses etc. The point of that is not only to point out their hypocrisy, but more importantly to make you think about what they really believe. If you thought the world was ending unless we do something would you really keep contributing to the problem in such a drastic way. Gore and others claim they buy Carbon Credits in return (essentially a scheme to make money for green companies and make liberals feel better about themselves), but those do not somehow magically make all the Carbon they emit go away. It seems clear that a normal person who believed the threat was as imminent as they claim and as fixable would start solving the problem with themselves. If all the rich liberals who bought into this theory started living in the woods and reduce their own footprints, then we could cut our emissions without needing cap and trade.
So with all this in mind, the question becomes do we ruin the economy, sky rocket energy prices and create a new regulatory system all because liberals want us to believe the answer to all the previous issues I mentioned is not just a yes, but 100% yes? The answer for most reasonable and rationale people is no and that is why liberals cannot win the Global Warming debate.
P.s. American Spectator does a great job responding to Krugman if that is what you are looking for: http://spectator.org/blog/2011/04/04/the-truth-about-krugman-more-i