Monday, September 25, 2006

Schwarzenegger bets the state

GEORGE REISMAN RECKONS that if California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was a poker player, then his latest gamble may be a bet too far -- and with his announcement that by the year 2020, California will emit 25 percent less carbon dioxide, it's the economic future of California itself that he's placed on the table. Explains Reisman:
The bet is that somehow, merely by virtue of the bet’s having been made, new technologies will be developed that will make it possible to comply with the law without any great increase in cost or major economic loss.
Read on here. Meanwhile, over in the UK the Royal Society is getting headlines for putting politics before science.
There is a “false sense somehow that there is a two-sided debate going on in the scientific community” about the origins of climate change, said Bob Ward, the senior manager for policy communication at the Royal Society.

The reality is that “thousands and thousands” of scientists around the world agree that climate change is linked to greenhouse gases, he said, with “one or two professional contrarians” who disagree.
But this is just dishonest, says Reisman:
The Royal Society is totally dishonest in its claims and is out to intimidate and silence those with whom it disagrees. There are not one or two “contrarians” who dispute the claims of the Greens concerning global warming but over 17,000 scientists.

These scientists in fact have actually signed a petition stating their opposition in no uncertain terms. As the organizers of the petition point out, the signers “so far include 2,660 physicists, geophysicists, climatologists, meteorologists, oceanographers, and environmental scientists who are especially well qualified to evaluate the effects of carbon dioxide on the Earth's atmosphere and climate.”

As they further point out, the signers “also include 5,017 scientists whose fields of specialization in chemistry, biochemistry, biology, and other life sciences make them especially well qualified to evaluate the effects of carbon dioxide upon the Earth's plant and animal life.”

(The complete list of signatories is on line, organized both alphabetically and by state of residence of the signers, at The list of the 2,660 signers who are physicists, geophysicists, et al. is on line at The list of the 5,017 signers who are scientists specialized in chemistry, biochemistry, et al. is on line at

The petition was organized by
Frederick Seitz, who is the Past President of the National Academy of Sciences and President Emeritus of Rockefeller University. The petition itself is online, at
UPDATE: Britain's International Policy Network, included in the the Royal Society's front-page attack, have struck back:
Several recent news reports have carried claims relating to IPN’s work on climate change. Here, we seek to set the record straight.

In a recent front-page story in The Guardian (“Royal Society to Exxon: stop funding climate change denial,” September 20), the following statement is attributed to Bob Ward of the Royal Society: “It is now more crucial than ever that we have a debate [about climate change] which is properly informed by the science.” We could not agree more. The letter continues “For people to be still producing information that misleads people about climate change is unhelpful.” Again, we agree entirely and believe that both statements are consistent with the Royal Society’s mandate to promote science.

However, according to the story, Mr Ward then asserts that “The next IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] report should give people the final push that they need to take action and we can't have people trying to undermine it.” This seems to be quite the opposite of “a debate which is properly informed by the science.” It suggests that – at least from the perspective of the Royal Society – the purpose of the IPCC is to promote a political agenda for action. Without wishing to prejudge what the IPCC will produce, there is I think a legitimate concern that under such circumstances the IPCC might fail accurately to portray the science...
Read the whole response from IPN here.

Betting the State - George Reisman's blog
Britain's Royal Society
seeks to squelch opposition to greens on global warming - George Reisman's blog
Response to article in Guardian, 20 September, 2006 - International Policy Network

Politics-US, Environment, Global Warming



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