August 20, 2012
Paul Ryan, the Perfect Anti-GoreBy S. Fred Singer
Vice-president hopeful Paul D. Ryan is the polar opposite to former VP Al Gore. Instead of promoting fears, the candidate is a pretty solid skeptic when it comes to catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW). Romney is obviously comfortable with that stance and is using Ryan to reposition himself on the issue of global warming and energy.
If Romney-Ryan are elected, the global warming problems may suddenly disappear. As a start, the new Congress will likely pass legislation that specifically instructs the EPA not to control any of the greenhouse gases that have a global distribution -- and, like CO2, are certainly not pollution in any normal, ordinary sense.
In an otherwise critical NYT op-ed (Aug 13), Reagan's former WH budget chief David Stockman calls Ryan "the most articulate and intellectually imposing Republican of the moment." (That was exactly my opinion of the David Srockman I knew some 30 years ago.) It speaks well for Romney that he would select a VP who may overshadow him in many areas. By contrast, Obama's selection of Biden suggests intellectual insecurity.
Paul Ryan's position on climate science
Ryan has accused climate scientists of "intentionally misleading the public on climate change." (See full article.) This may be true for perhaps a dozen or so -- and we know who they are; their names appear prominently in the Climategate e-mails. But many hundreds of others are simply willing to go along and collect research grants from the government, having convinced themselves somehow that their contributions may moderate the climate and "save the Earth."
Here's what Ryan wrote three years ago in The Journal-Times (Racine, WI):
Ryan's other climate and energy accomplishments:
- voted to eliminate EPA Limits on Greenhouse Gases. (Roll Call 249, 4/7/11.)
- voted to block the USDA from implementing its climate raindance. (Roll Call 448, 6/16/11.)
- voted to eliminate the assistant to the president for energy and climate change, the special envoy for climate change (Todd Stern), and the special adviser for green jobs, enterprise and innovation. (Roll Call 87, 2/17/11.)
- voted to eliminate ARPA-E. (Roll Call 55, 2/17/11.)
- voted to eliminate the ban on incandescent light bulbs. (Roll Call 563, 7/12/11.)
- voted for the construction and operation of the Keystone XL pipeline. (Roll Call 650, 7/26/11.)
In voting against the 2009 Cap & Trade bill, Ryan wrote:
- He voted against auto-maker bailout that abused process to force new fuel standards:
- He voted YES on developing all American-made energy, including nuclear:
- Voted YES on opening Outer Continental Shelf to oil drilling.
- Voted NO on tax credits for renewable electricity.
Science backup is available
What Ryan lacks is a credible scientific backup for his climate statements. But these can be easily supplied, at any desired level, depending on the attention span of the listeners. We can provide a 30-second level, a two-minute level, and a 10-minute level.
On the 30-second level, it is sufficient to state that the available climate observations disagree with the predictions of climate models. Even after 25 years of intensive work, there has been no validation of these models and no reason to trust them to predict the future.
On the two-minute level, one would show that most recent observations do not even show significant global warming. True, there has been a increase in temperature over the past 250 years as the Earth recovers from the Little Ice Age, but the warming reported from surface weather stations since about 1980 is not matched by observations of atmospheric temperatures, ocean temperatures, or so-called proxies (temperatures derived from tree rings, lake sediments, stalagmites, corals, ice cores, etc.).
On the 10-minute level, one would discuss the evidence for natural fluctuations of the climate as observed in the Earth's history -- and in particular the fluctuations observed since the end of the last major ice age approximately 12,000 years ago. There's evidence for fluctuations produced by atmosphere-ocean oscillations and accumulating evidence for the subtle influences of the Sun on the climate.
We look forward with great anticipation to climate-energy issues playing a major role in the coming pre-election debates.
S. Fred Singer is professor emeritus at the University of Virginia and director of the Science & Environmental Policy Project. His specialty is atmospheric and space physics. An expert in remote sensing and satellites, he served as the founding director of the US Weather Satellite Service and, more recently, as vice chair of the US National Advisory Committee on Oceans & Atmosphere. He is a senior fellow of the Heartland Institute and the Independent Institute. He has also held several government positions and served as an energy adviser to Treasury Secretary Wm. Simon. He co-authored the NY Times best-seller Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1500 years. In 2007, he founded and has chaired the NIPCC (Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change), which has released several scientific reports (see www.NIPCC.org). He is the founding chairman of Virginia Scientists & Engineers for Energy & Environment (VA-SEEE). For recent writings see http://www.americanthinker.com/s_fred_singer/ and also Google Scholar.
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