Posts tagged: Climate Change

Affordable Care Act: It’s About Power, and It Always Has Been

By , June 8, 2011 3:23 pm

Ilya Shapiro nails it, and apparently, so did the judges of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. Obamacare–the Affordable Care Act–is and always has been about power. Washington wants is. The people, at least people like me, don’t want to give it to them.

As the lawyer representing 26 states against the federal government said, “The whole reason we do this is to protect liberty.” With those words, former solicitor general Paul Clement reached the essence of the Obamacare lawsuits. With apologies to Joe Biden, this is a big deal not because we’re dealing with a huge reorganization of the health care industry, but because our most fundamental first principle is at stake: we limit government power so people can live their lives the way they want.

This legal process is not an academic exercise to map the precise contours of the Commerce Clause or Necessary and Proper Clause — or even to vindicate our commitment to federalism or judicial review. No, all of these worthy endeavors are just means to achieve the goal of maximizing human freedom and flourishing. Indeed, that is the very reason the government exists in the first place.

And the 11th Circuit judges saw that. Countless times, Judges Dubina and Marcus demanded that the government articulate constitutional limiting principles to the power it asserted. And countless times they pointed out that never in history has Congress tried to compel people to engage in commerce as a means of regulating commerce.

In case anybody cares, I feel the same way about Climate Change. Even conceding that the globe is warming, I’m not willing to kneel before the would-be climate demigods, certainly not before them move from their Mount Olympus mansions and give up their jets. Yes, Al, I’m talking about you.

Pot Misrepresented By Kettle

By , February 1, 2011 5:57 pm

In my last post, I noted that I hadn’t read much by or about Al Gore lately; he’d apparently taken a breather from his climate-change crusades, I assumed, because of that little matter in The National Enquirer or maybe he was busy decorating his new home in California. But then I read some of his blog and discovered that he’s been a relatively regular poster. I also learned that the guy spins faster than a top. To wit:

In a December 15, 2010 post titled Fox News Manipulates Climate Coverage, he writes,

Fox News has consistently delivered false and misleading information to its viewers about the climate crisis.

His evidence?

Today, Media Matters posted an alarming email sent by Bill Sammon, the Washington, DC, managing editor at Fox News. Sammon sent the email to Fox News producers on December 8, 2009 – just as the Climate Conference in Copenhagen was beginning:

“Subject:Given the controversy over the veracity of climate change data”
“we should refrain from asserting that the planet has warmed (or cooled) in any given period without IMMEDIATELY pointing out that such theories are based upon data that critics have called into question. It is not our place as journalists to assert such notions as facts, especially as this debate intensifies.”

And why is this misleading? Apparently because Al says so:

But there’s no legitimate debate: the planet is warming. Moreover, man-made global warming pollution is the principal cause.

No legitimate debate. Bias. Deniers. In my business–I write and teach writing, among other things–such words, used the way Gore and his acolytes use them, fall under the umbrella of logical fallacies. In other words, their purpose is to mislead your audience by mislabeling, misrepresenting, and denigrating your opponents without actually responding to their arguments. In short, they come in handy when you’re spinning.

He’s Baaaaack!!!

By , February 1, 2011 5:38 pm

The Goreacle has been absent from the world stage the last few month; at least, I haven’t read much if anything about him. That ended today with a bang, I mean, a blog post. To which a number of climate-change skeptics have responded. I’ll leave it to you to read what they had to say.

Climate Change –

By , January 22, 2011 10:10 am

A little over a year ago, after someone leaked the CRU e-mails and computer code, I corresponded with a prominent climate scientist. I won’t disclose names because I don’t have the person’s permission. However, what I wrote bears repeating; at least, I think it does. By the way, the scientist responded very cordially, saying “all of your points are right on target.”

Dr. XXX,

Thanks for the two letters you’ve written regarding the CRU bruhah, including the one on Climate Audit and the one on Climate Progress. I agree with your sentiments. Climate change advocates would do well to read and apply what you say.

I am not a scientist, and I am not a denier–not in the sense that I deny the climate may be warming. I am, however, skeptical of AGW for simple, non-scientific reasons:

1. I’ve read many of the CRU e-mails, and I’ve read what others have said about them–both proponents of AGW and skeptics. Frankly, the skeptics’ explanations seem more credible to me, a layman. Dismissing some of what these e-mails say as merely scientists letting “loose occasionally when talking to friends and colleagues in private,” as many have, doesn’t pass the smell test. At the very least, one or more of the writers of those e-mail has some serious ethical problems.

2. And it’s not just the “letting loose” part.” The computer code–at least as I understand it from the comments of other programmers–does little to allay my fears that we’re rushing into the night without a clear understanding of what awaits us.

3. I learned long ago that calling your opponent Hitler says a lot about the quality of your argument and not much about theirs. It’s a rule of thumb that has served me well over the years. Likewise, when climate change advocates refer to climate change skeptics as deniers, the bells and whistles on my critical thinking monitors go off. I see that Nature magazine even uses the denier label. Are climate change advocates so tone deaf that they can’t see how that impacts the reception of their arguments?

4. Finally, in my world, actions speak louder than words. By that standard, the hypocrisy of many of the loudest climate changes advocates is off the charts. If, as they say, we have but 10 years to turn things around, why are they not living in tents instead of mansions? Why are they not teleconferencing rather that jetting to meetings around the world? And so on. Which, in a way brings me back to the CRU e-mails: After learning about the amount of funding Dr. Phil Jones has received over the years, I’ll never again allow myself to be swayed by the claim that I shouldn’t listen to scientists who receive funding from Big Oil. Never. If money taints, Dr. Jones will never recover.

Again, thanks for your two letters. You are spot on in them. Unfortunately, judging from the comments on Climate Progress, you’re likely to be drummed out of the field because of them.


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