Sorry, Barbara Boxer. You Don’t Have to Be a Scientist to Study Global Warming

boxerThere seems to be a sentiment that only “scientists” can credibly weigh-in on the subject of global warming. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) suggested as much last week, during a fiery Senate committee exchange with Alex Epstein, author of ‘The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels.’ After Epstein had explained his rationale for the continued use of fossil fuels, Sen. Boxer belligerently asked, “Are you a scientist?”

The presumption, of course, is that Epstein’s views should simply be minimized if he’s not a practicing “scientist.” Of course, Sen. Boxer isn’t a scientist either. Even worse, we can infer that she would prefer to merely acquiesce to “scientific opinion.” But since untold numbers of scientists have publicly rejected the theory of man-made global warming (including ten of thousands in ‘The Petition Project’ alone), Boxer has clearly aligned herself with only one slice of the scientific community.

The general public, however, should indeed feel welcome to debate the matter of global warming, and for two fundamental reasons:

  1. The core issues aren’t complex;
  2. Americans have an obligation to evaluate policies that will greatly affect their nation’s economic health.

On the first point, the root question is what has caused the warming of the past 150 years or so— with global temperatures rising roughly 0.8 degrees Celsius in that time. Yes, carbon dioxide (CO2) levels have climbed in that time span, but solar activity has also risen considerably as well. In fact, solar output during the 20th century increased to levels not seen in as much as 2,000 years.

Those advocating man-made warming simply discount solar variability as having an impact on climate, however. Instead, their entire theory is built on the notion of rising CO2 levels as the driver of catastrophic warming. But again, there’s an overlooked fact: CO2’s heat-trapping ability actually falls drastically as its concentration increases. This sounds counterintuitive, given the intellectual demonization of CO2, but it’s an attribute well-documented in laboratory studies.

And so we have conflicting antagonists—rising solar activity vs. a flawed greenhouse gas. Which one is responsible for driving up 20th century temperatures? For this alone, it seems reasonable to question a settled, scientific “consensus” on global warming.

But this is not simply an academic exercise— a question of which team will win the big game. No, there are massive federal mandates being implemented right now to address “carbon pollution.” During last week’s hearing, Sen. Boxer happily cited President Obama’s pending “Clean Power Plan,” which will eliminate roughly 40% of America’s current clean-coal power fleet in favor of solar panels and 125,000 new wind turbines. The projected costs for this are staggering—an estimated $214 billion in higher utility costs, plus $64 billion to construct new infrastructure. (Ironically, wind and solar remain intermittent forms of power. Thus, these new installations will still require back-up power from gas and coal systems.)

The bottom line is that, in an effort to vanquish CO2, Washington is committing to a stunning transformation of America’s energy grid.  But there are serious questions here. If CO2 isn’t driving the climate, then is this troubling juggernaut actually—and absolutely—necessary? No doubt, Americans will feel real pain when their monthly energy bills start to rise. And so will businesses and manufacturers. But is the U.S. economy in such robust health as to withstand the shock?

Sen. Boxer and her ilk need to do real due diligence—as do the American people—before embarking on such a serious experiment with the nation’s power sector.

Steven Capozzola has spent the past 15 years working on issues related to manufacturing, global trade, and energy policy, and studies global warming in his spare time.

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  • Avatar

    GR82DRV

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    Let me interpret those remarks for the “Boxer impaired”:

    “We have [u]thousands[/u] of scientists on our multi-billion dollar public payroll telling us whatever we wish, and a popular media eager to report only one side of the story.

    What do you have?”

    Reply

  • Avatar

    4TimesAYear

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    [quote]The core issues aren’t complex[/quote]
    Unfortuntely, that’s not what some dimwitted scientists keep saying – but I agree that it’s not that complex. Alarmist scientists ignore a lot of variables – and there’s no way they can get all of them in the models. The models are woefully inadequate – they can’t predict anything. You have James Hansen admitting there’s stuff they might be missing and stuff they have in there they maybe shouldn’t. You have him admitting that there’s no standard way to measure temps. You have stations changing, according to Dr. Vincent Gray, sometimes on a daily basis, substituted temperatures, stations falling off the map altogether, 70% of the planet not being measured, temps missed some days, different ways of measuring temperatures, measuring temperatures in the hundredths and thousandths, etc. The system is seriously flawed. Furthermore, most areas haven’t changed at all. There is the usual periodic drought – but that’s no different than what we’ve had before. The evidence is overwhelming on the “it’s not happening” side, and where they are having a larger than average (sheesh, I hate that term) sea level rise, it’s due to subsidence. It’s a local issue. There is nothing “global” happening. It’s regional and/or cyclical.
    This last month has just been too much with “The 20” and Boxer thinking only scientists can know anything. Send them all to the South Pole (or North Pole) and let them watch the ice melt/freeze for a year. Maybe they’ll be so thankful for warmth when they get back, they’ll put a cork in it.

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  • Avatar

    JayPee

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    Most of it easily available on the internet : Barbee Boxer’s intense grilling of people she doesn’t like.

    Barbee Boxer revealing her intelligence level to he world.

    Barbee Boxer grandstanding however absurdly to her ” populist ” causes.

    Barbee Boxer making an A$$hole of herself.

    The vast majority of her state’s voters being what they are : THIS WORKS !

    If most of her state’s voters were intelligent, she could only be re-elected by remaining silent.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Me

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    [quote name=”JayPee”]Most of it easily available on the internet : Barbee Boxer’s intense grilling of people she doesn’t like.

    Barbee Boxer revealing her intelligence level to he world.

    Barbee Boxer grandstanding however absurdly to her ” populist ” causes.

    Barbee Boxer making an A$$hole of herself.

    The vast majority of her state’s voters being what they are : THIS WORKS !

    If most of her state’s voters were intelligent, she could only be re-elected by remaining silent.[/quote]
    She is bad as Polsie that said you have to vote for it to see what’s in it. And her saying and grilling to others are you a scientist, well she certanly isn’t, so what makes her so special if that is her attitude.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Me

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    These people have to go, boxer, polosie, frankenstine, because there is nothing fine about that, Reed, that guy that looks like the SS that Hitler left behind, and that pignose guy That looks like manbatpig! With the same ideas as manbearpig!

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Me

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    Haven’t heard much from manbatpig lately so I forgot his name. But he is out there.

    Reply

  • Avatar

    Amber

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    Barbara Boxer and her group of left wing flaks are going the way of the NDP, a political
    party in Canada ,that is currently in self destruct mode because they have been infiltrated with hard left eco greens . Thankfully this move as all but assured them of green party status howling into the wind .
    By all means do the world a favour, follow Barbara Boxer and the rest of the born again green hermits over a cliff .

    Reply

  • Avatar

    JayPee

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    To start with, I do not consider braboxer to be an intelligent human being.

    I consider her to be a disgusting POS in the grand mode of what is the current ” democratic ” party which of course is really the

    CUMMUNIST PARTY USA

    And of course I expect PIGS
    like Hillary roadhouse Clinton and
    Bernie communist Sanders
    to emphatically deny this

    regardless of truth.

    Reply

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