Thursday, February 18, 2010

Word Magic Alive and Well in Utah

This article in the UK Guardian reports on the passage of a non-binding resolution in the Utah State Assembly with quite amazing language encouraging the US EPA to cease all efforts to rein in CO2 emissions "until a full and independent investigation of climate data and global warming science can be substantiated."

First off, one wonders where they plan to look for scientists who have not already staked out an opinion on climate change. As I understand it, the vast majority of climate researchers, indeed, of scientists in all relevant fields, supports the conclusion that human activity has profoundly and negatively affected the world's environmental balance, and further, that the sooner we take action to reverse these problems, the better.

For example, the director of the Harvard Project on International Climate Agreements, Robert Stavins, recently told an audience:

Climate change is an important threat meriting serious attention by policy-makers in California and around the world.
According to Wikipedia's article on climate change concensus:
No scientific body of national or international standing has maintained a dissenting opinion since the American Association of Petroleum Geologists adopted its current position in 2007.
Utah seems unconcerned about their minority position. The final bill as passed contains a laundry list of "whereas" statements to support their conviction that the whole "global warming" thing is just a conspiracy by left-wing eggheads intent on tricking Americans into giving up their way of life, rather than a scientific effort to save both the planet and the world's economies from decline due to indiscriminate energy consumption and its aftereffects. For example (deletions from the original wording shown in bold):
WHEREAS, global temperatures have been level and declining in some areas over the past 12 years;
WHEREAS, the "hockey stick" global warming assertion has been discredited and climate alarmists' carbon dioxide-related global warming hypothesis is unable to account for the current downturn in global temperatures;
WHEREAS, emails and other communications between climate researchers around the globe, referred to as "Climategate," indicate a well organized and ongoing effort to manipulate H. [ and incorporate "tricks" related to ] .H global temperature data in order to produce a global warming outcome;
WHEREAS, global governance related to global warming and reduction of CO2 would ultimately lock billions of human beings into long-term poverty....
This despite abundant information that the "warming" part of "global climate change" does not mean EVERY temperate EVERYWHERE will go up FROM NOW ON, and despite wide agreement in the view of many climate scientists that the "hockey stick" graph has NOT "been discredited."

Apparently a majority of the assembly believes that if you simply "say it isn't so", it won't be so.

However, I think we get a glimpse into the heart of the issue in this "whereas":
WHEREAS, H. [ the climate change "gravy train," estimated at ] .H more than $7 billion annually in federal government grants, may have influenced the climate research focus and findings that have produced a "scientific consensus" at research institutions and universities;
Given the economic importance of oil and coal production in Utah, the "gravy train" slur that appeared in the original wording points, this clause clearly means to say "Keep your hands off OUR gravy train!"

In other words, the short-term economic boon of dirty coal and oil far outweighs the likely economic, health, social and scientific FUTURE disaster of filthy skies and a dying planet, as long as it holds off until after *we* die, right?