Watt’s Up censors dissents on claims of climate report censorship


Want to wager whether this post will ever escape the censors at Watt’s Up?

Anthony Watts is trying to make hay out of the two EPA guys who disagree with EPA’s position on global warming.  In contrast to the Bush administration, EPA is not suppressing agency scientists who argue EPA and the nation need to act on climate change, and Watts and his coterie of followers now claim that clinging to the majority view is “suppression” of the corporate, pro-pollution folks.

Is there suppression?  As I understand it, no one at EPA has been told to shut up.  The White House no longer dictates report conclusions contrary to the scientists at EPA.  In this case, it’s a couple of economists who argue with the science conclusions, so it’s difficult to argue that there is suppression of science.  Their complaint is that their views did not prevail at EPA.

But just to put icing on the issue, the dissenting report of well over 100 pages was published sub-rosa by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), the crank science, radical, private-enterprise-is-right-facts-be-damned group that is wrong on every other science issue they touch (DDT, for starters).

Early on I wrote to Watts that I am disappointed he’s fallen in with the former (current?) tobacco lobbyists at CEI.  In a second post, I pointed out that CEI is not a science-interested group, as evidenced by their parody of an Apple ad, zinging Al Gore, mainly.  That’s not science work, but pure propaganda (and false to boot).  That got a couple of responses, and this morning I offered the post below.  I think they’ve round-canned my comment.  Dissent is something they regard as sacred only when it suits them.

But tell me, am I wrong?  Is CEI well within bounds to argue that the Clean Energy Act will make the U.S. a totalitarian state?

And, has CEI ever been right about an issue?  Anybody got such evidence?

The post, sent just after 10:00 a.m. CDT:

David Hagan, interesting survey — of course, it covered the Bush administration and the efforts you now support to suppress evidence of global warming and the human contributions to it.  So, now that EPA is going the other way, are you urging a return to suppression of scientists?

Sam [Kazman, CEI]:

But do you really think that Al Gore’s serving on Apple’s board “speaks to his technical acumen”? Could it possibly speak, instead, to his political clout?

In my work with Gore, I’ve noticed that he’s way ahead of almost all other politicians in science.  He was right on air pollution in the ’70s, right on water pollution, right on DDT, right on orphan drugs, right on organ transplantation, and right on saving AARPANET, which is now the internet.  Yes, he’s there because of his technical acumen.  No one at CEI has the science chops of Al Gore — which is a sad testament to both the political acumen and the poor science content at CEI more than anything else, but still a fact.

The point of our video is that political attempts to restrict CO2 emissions may well produce a “1984”-style society. The war on carbon footprints will become very similar to the never-ending war portrayed in Orwell’s novel, with constantly shifting battlefronts and alliances, all resulting in increasing regulation of our lives.

Watts hates it when I call such statements bovine excrement, so let me just say that that statement alone contributes more methane to global warming than a herd of dairy cows.

It’s silly, and in this case insulting to everyone, to pretend these sorts of things are really in the offing.  CEI didn’t exist then, but this is the same sort of unfounded fear mongering we heard when the Clean Air Act was passed.  Perhaps not surprisingly, we’ve discovered that the companies that worked hardest to comply with the provisions of the act also are the more successful, 40 years later, with the possible exceptions of Exxon-Mobil and Chevron.

When we read “1984,” it’s good to recall that among the chief warnings of the book is the call to stick to the facts, to avoid false propaganda, and to beware large corporate interests who tell us they are taking our money for our own benefit.

The Clean Air Act did not result in militant totalitarianism, nor will controls on carbon emissions.

Ironically, there’s a good case to be made that the control on particulate emissions achieved by the Clean Air Act now contributes to global warming, because the particulates no longer offset the greenhouse gases.  No serious person would conclude that the answer is to increase particulate pollution.

Nor would a serious person, looking at the regulatory effects of the Clean Air Act, make such a radical claim as you make here.  Such overblown rhetoric is a danger to serious discussion — note how it’s raised my ire — and a clear indication that CEI is not about science in any shape or form.  Your statement is irresponsible in the highest degree, unsupported by history and current legislation.  Shame on CEI.

Godwin’s law seems entirely inadequate here.  CEI claims the Clean Energy Act — which has yet to pass the Senate, so we don’t really know what it will look like if it gets close to becoming law — will make the U.S. a totalitarian state.  These claims are reckless, irresponsibly alarmist at best.

Why won’t the climate change denialists like Anthony Watts allow discussion about the more radical, more reckless claims?

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One Response to Watt’s Up censors dissents on claims of climate report censorship

  1. barbara says:

    Your posts fill in the information gaps that are evident in the mainstream media. I wish I could say it is just the carbon footprint that is causing the global problems. I feel it all comes down to population numbers globally, westernization globally, consumerism mindset and its followers mostly at the moment in the U.S. But tackling the problems one step at a time or with multiple fronts might save us (keep your fingers crossed). Keep coming on with the information on the background of our right-wing political and corporate totalitarians!!! This is an excellent blog! — Barbara

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