Global warming fight breaks out on the right

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Global warming fight breaks out on the right
Global warming fight breaks out on the right

The global warming debate has been raging for almost two decades. However, an interesting subset over the climate wars has developed on the right. Recently, in the pages of Reason, Ronald Bailey opined that the science is really settled and human-caused global warming is real. However, Bailey also stated that accepting this supposition does not mean one has to sign on to any of the draconian “solutions” such as banning coal fired power plants, the internal combustion engine, or air conditioners. Friday, Robert Tracinski published a response in the Federalist that was mainly a debunking of the “settled science of global warming.

Bailey made the excellent point that those who believe in human caused global warming are also, not be coincidence, believers in state power over the economy. People who are global warming skeptics tend to oppose massive government intervention in the economy and believe, quite rightly, that global warming is being used to advance that idea. He is silent on how one would respond to the inevitable jibe, “You accept global warming and yet you oppose doing anything about it?

Tracinski mounts his assault on the “settled science” of global warming on several fronts. First, he asserts that scientists have no clear understanding of the temperature record and only that for the past 135 years. He notes that carbon dioxide levels constitute only one factor that determines global temperatures, adding that scientists have not a full understanding of those physical mechanisms. Finally, he reminds us that all of the computer models that have predicted relentless global warming have been proven to be wrong.

Tracinski concludes with the political divide over the global warming debate and why those who believe in the phenomenon are being dishonest.

“Yet this is the field that has suddenly been imbued with the Fierce Urgency of Now. We have to know now what the climate will do over the next 100 years, we have to decide now, we have to act now. So every rule of good science gets trampled down in the stampede. Which also explains the partisan gap on this issue, because we all know which side of the political debate stands to benefit from the stampede. And it’s not the right.”

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