It seems as though the New York based media has declared Rick Perry a "Flat Earther" for his skepticism about man-made global warming. The day after he made that declaration a democratic operative "Jane the ventriloquist" (Kristin Bunce) force fed her child questions in a stage whisper, such as "How old is the Earth?" in the belief that somehow Rick Perry would not hear her and would answer that the Earth was 5000 years old and that while he was at it, men have only 13 ribs. Amazingly, although he did not fall for it, and nor would anyone smarter than lichens and ferns, the press accepted the question as proof of the answer.
Fellow Republican, Jon Huntsman, jumped at the chance to glom some of the limelight, and declared that he did believe in Global man made warming. Of course he knew that the press would spotlight that comment, because it would prove that Perry was indeed a "Flat Earther". I'll stop there on Jon Huntsman, because he is a Republican, and we will want and need his help when the nominee is chosen, but as I write this, blood is dripping from my tongue and onto the keyboard.
What could possibly make a smart operator like Rick Perry skeptical about the conclusions of a body called: East Anglia Climatic Research Unit, Well, let's start with the name. If the institute found that man-made climate change was not measurable, or not important, or not correctable, the institute would look like one of those apartment buildings in Chernoble. No one pays for grants on unimportant science. No one gets invited to be the keynote speaker of "nothing happening here, just move on." No if you are at all involved with the East Anglia Climatic Research Unit, it is a matter of self preservation to find that man-made global warming is not only real, but that it is an immediate problem that will require the resources of the entire planet to be devoted to correcting it. These guys at the institute are human, petty, and venial. They are made of the same stuff as the rest of us. The white smock does not change them.
And that is what we see in the purloined emails. They resorted to tricks in order to create the famous hockey stick. They conspired to steer their articles away from publications that would support skepticism, they misrepresented large warm epochs (like the medieval warming period) in order to make it go away. The emails show that they conspired to erase the emails because they were afraid that their duplicity would be discovered! Rick is skeptical of these people? The nerve.
I need to explain the hockey stick trick, because there is a lot of confusion here. The scientists were using tree rings to determine how high the temperatures were, going back 1000 years, because records did not exist that far back. when the got into the modern era, the tree rings did not perform as advertised. No hockey stick appeared, so they substituted the actual recorded temperature for the tree ring results. This would seem to make sense. After all the actual temperatures had to be better data that the tree rings any way. The problem of course, is that if the tree rings did not square with the actual temperatures in the modern era, we should have no confidence that it was an accurate indicator in ancient times. It turns out that rate of rainfall, rate of cloudiness, shade from other trees, and stresses caused by animals or even nutrition in the dirt can all effect the annual width of tree rings. It is far more likely that the temperatures went up and down from one period to another, as they do now. The hockey stick just doesn't exist in the way they would have you believe that it does.
Rick Perry is right. It is only naïveté that informs those who would not look at the science before accepting it.
But beyond the science there is an even bigger reason to be skeptical. The cost of reducing the global temperature by even one degree Celsius, is estimated by the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works to be 700 TRILLION dollars. Of course we would not be the only country to chip in to that price. As we make 25 percent of the world's income we would only have to pay 25% of the total, or 175 trillion dollars. A mere 566 thousand dollars per man, woman and child living in the US.
A family of four would have to pay over two million dollars to lower the temperature by 1 degree. This would be even more impressive, because the total GDP of the US is 14.2 trillion, and at no time in the next 10 years is it expected to rise to even 10% of the total needed to reduce temperature by a mere one degree. Even if taxes were raised to 100 percent for everyone living in the US, we could not pull this off. Why a tenth? According to the Global Warming Chicken Little's, the Globe will be warming up at 1 degree every ten years.
Of course the government will not raise your tax rate to 100%, but they have discussed actually spending seven trillion dollars on this "crisis" over the next ninety years. Seven trillion is much more affordable. That comes to a mere 2,300 dollars per person for you, your children, their children and their children and yes, that means you will need to cut back on vacations, new cars, warm bedrooms, or even a job, but hey we have to save the planet by reducing the global temperature by...0.006 degrees ninety years from now!
To accomplish that they will need to have your thermostat wired to a central authority to supervise your use of power. They will need to inspect your house to make sure that when you sell it, the new owner cannot make the mistake of leaving the leaded cane glass in the window. They will need to put a GPS in your car to supervise the miles that you put on your car, and to make sure you do not go too far in the same direction as mass transit. In order to reduce the global temperature by 0.006 degrees, you will need to sacrifice your income AND your liberty.
I'm guessing that the big brother world of extreme environmentalism is not in keeping with the small government that Perry wants to re-introduce to the American populace. No wonder he is not a believer.
There is yet another reason to be skeptical. We Americans share the planet with the rest of the world. Countries like China and India are not willing to de-industrialize for the sake of 0.006 degrees. Pollution in these countries is harsh. Asthma effects quality of life, but stark poverty, and lack of food are pretty rough on health as well. These countries are adding coal, oil, and nuclear plants as fast as they can build them. As we de-industrialize the rest of the world ramps up. They already have cheaper wages, and less regulation. They will get the energy prices down as well. Heck, they will make the chain and locks we will use to close our job producing factories.
Yes, Rick Perry is a skeptic. Every candidate should be a skeptic. After all, the evidence just doesn't add up.