Robert J. Samuelson has a very irritating opinion piece about climate change at WaPo online, "Climate change: We have no solution yet".
It's full of so much misinformation and mangled logic that it would take a long time to sort out all that is wrong with it, so I'll just address a few basic points.
He begins the piece with this
It would be healthy — in the sense of promoting honesty — if every report warning of global warming and climate change (the two terms are interchangeable) came with the following disclaimer:And it only gets worse from there.
Despite our belief that global warming poses catastrophic threats to many of the world’s 7 billion inhabitants, we acknowledge that we now lack the technologies to stop it. The purpose of our analysis and policy proposals is to create the political and economic conditions that foster the needed technologies. But there is no assurance that this will happen, and much time and money may be invested in futile and wasteful efforts.
Samuelson voices this lament:
Our climate-change debates confuse more than they clarify.
Naturally, climate skeptics (a.k.a. “deniers”) denounced the reports. The evidence was exaggerated, cherry-picked or both, said Paul Knappenberger and Patrick Michaels of the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank. Consider, they said, a contrasting study headed by a Harvard researcher.Is Samuelson really unaware that there is no real scientific debate, and the fact that the appearance of a debate in the media is part of a deliberate effort to confuse and obfuscate the reality of climate change among the public?
The rhetorical ping-pong — claim vs. counterclaim — suggests a struggle for public opinion. Not really. Right or wrong, the public already believes in global warming. A 2013 Pew poll found that 67 percent of Americans see “solid evidence” that the Earth is warming. Though that’s down from 77 percent in 2006, the margin is still large. Democrats are stronger believers than Republicans, but mainly because tea party support is low."Right or wrong"? Oh, geez, if only there was any way to tell if climate change is real!
And a 10% drop in seven years concerning the basic truth about climate change is evidence that there is no battle for public opinion?
Anyways, he continues:
The reality is otherwise. The central truth for public policy is: We have no solution.There is no solution. Here's the proof:
The only real hope of disarming these well-known conflicts is new technology. As yet, no magical fix has emerged. Though increasing, solar and wind power still represent a tiny share of global energy.Are you kidding me? Did he just cite the under-development of solar and wind energy production as evidence for his argument that there is no effective way to combat climate change?
I only wish we knew why solar and wind are not being developed at a faster pace!
A Bloomberg article released Tuesday details how the oil and gas industry, through some self-described free market organizations that they fund, are trying to engineer a legislative massacre of these [renewable energy] policies in more than a dozen states.Source: EDF blog, 4/13/2013.
The groups may sound familiar: American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which is currently pushing legislation around the country that would mandate the teaching of climate change denial in public school systems, and The Heartland Institute, which ran a billboard campaign last year comparing global warming "admitters" to Osama bin Laden and Charles Manson. Both have long opposed sensible energy policies. And their funders will sound familiar, too: the oil, gas and coal industries and their owners like the Koch Brothers.
Oh well, it's just all so confusing, I guess we should just be glad that Mr. Samuelson has brought some honest coverage to this subject.