No Wonder Climate Alarmists Refuse to Debate

When you hear the names Al Gore and James Hansen in the same sentence you immediately assume the subject to be manmade global warming panic.  But there’s another distinction which links these two – they both steadfastly refuse to defend their positions in formal debate.  And a recent performance by one of their own in just such a venue reminds us why.

Roll Call TV has just posted video of the March 27th debate they hosted between Marc Morano, former communications director for Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), and Climate Progress's Joe Romm. Part one begins here at about the 3:45 mark and Part two begins here directly. The two philosophical adversaries arguing the heated subject of “Green Politics” makes for a fabulous show -- a must-see for all, particularly those still unsure why it is that the overwhelming majority of climate alarmists always find some excuse not to directly confront opposing opinion. And Romm wasted no time leaving no doubt, issuing these clumsily over the top words almost out of the gate: [my emphasis]

“On our current emissions path we are going to warm the United States 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century and sea level rise will be 5 feet or higher and a third of the planet will be desert.”
And just moments after grossly exaggerating the already hyped predictions of his fellow climate hysterics, he actually summoned the insolence to say that “the thing you have to understand about Marc Morano is that he basically makes stuff up and misrepresents science.”  An accusation he’d later repeat and broaden to include Morano’s ex-boss and, ultimately, anyone else not buying the hype Romm and his accomplices have been selling door-to-door these many years.

Granted, self-reflection has never been an inherent trait amongst climate alarmists, but consider Romm’s own blatant fabrications and misrepresentations in the three predictions of his opening salvo.

Even the overly venerated Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2007 Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) predicted that climate sensitivity (change in mean global temperatures resulting from a sustained doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration) would likely range between 2 and 4.5°C, and would most probably border on 3°C. 

Based on his syntax, Romm implies future warming -- which translates to a 90 year period.  Yet to achieve Romm’s lowest warming figure of 10°F (5.8°C) even at AR4’s highest sensitivity figure of 4.5°C, would require more than doubling the current level of 386ppm in just 9 decades, which is beyond absurd.  Keep in mind that in the 50 years between 1958 and 2008, atmospheric carbon dioxide, as measured at the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, rose only 70ppm. 

Sure, Romm repeated his Bizarro World
claim that the politically-motivated IPCC predictions are actually “watered-down.” But does he really believe there’ll be a greater than fivefold greenhouse gas acceleration in less than a century, even after all that capping-and-trading Europeans have selflessly suffered through to save the planet?

And yet – he charges -- it’s people like Marc Morano who simply make stuff up.

And from what sci-fi flick did Romm draw his assertion of a 5 foot or higher sea level rise?  Referring again to AR4, even the IPCC’s intentionally alarm-biased models only projected figures running from 0.18 to 0.59 meters by 2100. 

But people like Marc Morano misrepresent science in order to spread their bogus gospel.

Now we come to the final eight words of Romm’s fantastic sentence.  A third of the planet will be desert.  This one is either intentionally vague, just plain dumb, or both.  For starters, only one-third of the planet is landmass, and that’s before much of it is drenched by Romm’s fantasy waves of runaway sea elevation.  Is he suggesting that in a mere 90 years the entire landmass of the planet will be an arid, hostile, lizard infested wasteland?

On the other hand, perhaps I’m being unfair and misunderstanding his meaning.  Perhaps he actually meant that one-third of dry land will be reduced to desert by 2100.   Of course, that would still be horrible news because …….   Wait a minute, according to the US Geological Survey, approximately one-third of the Earth's land surface already is desert.  So Romm is either predicting no change whatsoever or a complete Terradeformation in a time-span even Star-Trek engineers would be proud of.  Unless, of course, he hasn’t given it much thought at all but hopes the media and most citizens will continue to ignore what truth hides beneath the shocking imagery.

Morano couldn’t help laughing at Romm’s unrelentingly silly exaggerations.  Indeed, after coming out hurling pejoratives and 41 words of utter nonsense early in the opening round, you’d expect Romm to drop the hyperbole and smug manner and put up his intellectual dukes once Morano began scoring point after rational point.  But while Marc calmly cited contrarian scientists and the perils of fraudulently inspired policy, Joe continued to make extraordinary claims, including that wind power produces more new jobs than coal mining, as though oblivious that they fuel 2 versus 50 percent of America’s energy, respectively.

And so it went -- virtually every cogent point made by Morano was met not with reasoned retort but rather polemical blather and name calling.  And from Dr. Joseph J. Romm -- one the alarmists’ most revered minds.

Watching them squabble, it’s impossible to ignore just how many times Romm put his hysterical size 10 in his mouth as Morano calmly cleaned his clock.  But let’s give the guy kudos for showing up – for that alone distinguishes him as unique to his breed.  

Competitive Enterprise Institute senior fellow Marlo Lewis once noted:
“The alarmists claim all the evidence supports their theory, but the only way they can prove that is to actually show up for a debate and win. If they are afraid to publicly debate and scientifically defend their assertions, it is a good indication who they fear will win the debate.”

Exactly the reason that Gore and Hansen have both declined invitation after invitation to defend their imminent climate catastrophe assertions.  And a decade of zero-discernable warming, recent reliable predictions of multi-decadal cooling and Joe Romm’s gutsy but clumsy losing performance will surely do little to persuade them otherwise.

But will the public abide additional financial hardships based on projections by so-called experts and policy makers who insist that “the debate is over” yet have never actually managed to win a single one?  Last week’s heavily bi-partisan Senate vote to deny Obama’s carbon tax plan fast-track status suggests that most lawmakers don’t believe they will.

And as public acceptance gradually fades, which polls continue to assert, so do the specters of both national and America-constrained international cap-and-trade.

Of course, many will find that debatable.  

Marc Sheppard is the editor of AT’s forthcoming Environment Thinker.