Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"Has the Green Movement Been a Miserable Flop?"

That is the subtitle of a new article from The New Republic. The article laments the lack of progress on 'cap and trade' and other anti-global warming measures. The article examines a number of theories as to why cap and trade didn't pass Congress and become law.

Let me offer a theory that is not offered in the article:  The science underlying cap and trade is badly flawed. People aren't stupid. Blaming record blizzards, record cold, record heat, and drought all on global warming (not to mention hundreds of other maladies including "frogs with extra heads"and "the risk of an asteroid strike") makes no scientific sense. Instinctively, people understand that.

We'll know whether global warming is a real problem in another two to four years. If it is, I believe public sentiment toward taking measures against global warming with shift rather significantly. In the meantime, keep an eye out for multi-headed frogs!


  1. "We'll know whether global warming is a real problem in another two to four years." Are you serious? We--the scientific community--have known it's a problem for decades. If we have to wait until folks like you are 100% certain, it'll already be too late.

  2. Too late for what? Atmospheric temperatures have been flat for more than a decade and ocean heat content (the more important metric) is either flat or trending down (cooling).

    In terms of atmospheric temperatures, it is about 1997 (i.e., temperatures are the same now as they were then). There is no urgency and we can afford to wait two to four years.

    In terms of "folks like you [meaning me]," I'm an atmospheric scientist and I have looked at this issue from many different angles.


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