Global Warming Meets Economic Reality

Is global warming a myth or a reality? It all depends upon who you ask. This study says "yes." This study says "no." That world famous climatologist AlGore says that there is a "scientific consensus" that global warming is real. Really? From Skeptical Science, we get this:

"There is no consensus.

The Petition Project features over 31,000 scientists signing the petition stating "There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere..."

Over 31,000 scientists -- scientific consensus, indeed.

Skeptical Science says, "Science achieves a consensus when scientists stop arguing." The site also says, "97% of climate experts agree humans are causing global warming." Skeptical Science, which admits it is quite skeptical about anything that does not further the global warming cause (hence, I conclude, the 97 percent figure), continues:

"So a consensus in science is different from a political one. There is no vote. Scientists just give up arguing because the sheer weight of consistent evidence is too compelling, the tide too strong to swim against any longer. Scientists change their minds on the basis of the evidence, and a consensus emerges over time. [emphasis theirs] Not only do scientists stop arguing, they also start relying on each other's work."

So which is it, Skeptical Science? Try as you may, you can't have it both ways. Ninety-Seven percent isn't one hundred percent. Skepticism is fine, but please tell AlGore that no "consensus" has been reached. And, regarding that 97 percent figure, Skeptical Science (and AlGore) may want to read this article, which says that the number of global warming skeptic scientists is growing rather than getting smaller. Scientific consensus, indeed.

I fail to understand why global warming alarmists get so upset. If they are correct, then the global population will die out until a warming equilibrium is reached. If they are incorrect, then we have nothing about which to worry. Either way, nature wins in the end. As John Maynard Keynes said, "In the long run, we are all dead."

To that end, a recent article (complete with a picture of flooded New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina), cites a study published in Science asserting that, in the next 100 years, global warming could cause the sea level to rise by as much as three feet. So, New Orleans residents, y'all are on notice. Y'all have only 100 years to evacuate. Is that enough notice? Five days notice before Hurricane Katrina hit was not sufficient. Or will the global warming caused flooding render school buses inoperable as well?

Plus, there are two additional facts about global warming to be considered:

The politics of global warming: A study conducted by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication, found the following concerning the general public's opinions about global warming:

• 78% of Democrats, 71% of Independents, 53% of Republicans, and 34% of Tea Party members believe that global warming is happening

• 72% of Democrats, 53% of Independents, 38% of Republicans, and 24% of Tea Party members worry about global warming

• 55% of Democrats say that most scientists think global warming is happening, while 56% of Republicans and 69% of Tea Party members say that there is a lot of disagreement among scientists about whether or not global warming is happening

• Majorities of all four parties support the expansion of offshore drilling for oil and natural gas off the U.S. coast

• Majorities of Democrats and Independents support paying 5% more on their monthly utility bill to get their electricity from renewable sources, while majorities of Republicans and Tea Party members oppose these policies

• Majorities of all four political groups support funding more research into renewable energy sources [emphasis added]

(While all political persuasions favor further renewable energy research, there is quite a bit of difference between "research" and what President Barack Hussein Obama has done and continues to do: use taxpayer dollars to subsidize renewable energy businesses that ultimately fail and cost us taxpayers quite a bit of money. Do the names Solyndra, A123 Systems, Abound Solar, and ReVolt Technologie -- among others -- ring a bell?)

• The credibility of AlGore and the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): AlGore, in 2007, shared with the IPCC a Nobel Peace Prize (the same outfit that awarded Obama a Peace Prize). Then, in late 2009, thousands of emails between perpetrators of computer climate models rigged to reach conclusions favorable to their views were posted on the Internet. There went Gore's and the IPCC's credibility. And, Gore's Nashville, TN, "... mansion burned enough electricity to keep the lights on in several small Tennessee towns." Please note also in the video cited above that AlGore tries to dismiss people who don't agree with him as a group similar to people who still believe that the earth is flat.

But whatever the case may be, here is where global warming meets economic reality. This article focuses upon California, always a national trend-setter.

Almost 5 million Southern California Edison (SCE) Co. customers will face higher electric bills early next year, and larger rate increases in each of the next two years.   SCE was granted a 5.5 percent rate increase for 2012, with rate increases of 6.3 percent in 2013 and 5.9 percent in 2014.  SCE says that the increase will add an average of $7 to the typical residential bill for the first year.

It is very interesting to note that SCE is highly regulated by The California Public Utilities Commission. Commissioner Timothy Alan Simon said, "This decision ensures that SCE is able to invest in smart energy systems, renewables and safety and reliability, while its ratepayers are protected."

Businesses complained that the increase in electric rates could make it harder for them to keep operating profitably. Said Gino Di Caro, a spokesman for the California Manufacturers & Technology Association:

"California manufacturers already pay 50% higher electricity rates than the national average. Obviously, energy costs are one of the primary budgetary items for any manufacturing operation, and this is all the more reason for California to find ways to offset these costs."

What's even more shameful is that California is currently sitting on oil reserves estimated to be four times the size of the Baaken field that has brought economic prosperity to North Dakota. But, thanks to California's green and renewable energy mandates, those oil reserves are very unlikely to be tapped. But, hey, California's unemployment rate fell from 10.6 percent in August 2012, to "only" 10.2 percent in September. What's a few Americans out of work in order to forward green energy policies and advance California's and Obama's agendas?

My personal opinion: I find it very difficult to believe that the rather small percentage (0.0389%) of carbon dioxide (CO2) can cause global warming, especially when there are other factors (such as sunspots and solar flares) that can cause global warming as well. So, for what it's worth, count me among those who think that global warming is a hoax. Besides, Peter Ferrara, in a Forbes article, wrote about attending (and participating in) the Heartland Institute's seventh International Climate Change Conference. The conference conclusion: the earth is actually cooling.

But that's just my opinion.

Dr. Beatty earned a Ph.D. in quantitative management and statistics from Florida State University. He was a (very conservative) professor of quantitative management specializing in using statistics to assist/support decision-making. He has been a consultant to many small businesses and is now retired. Dr. Beatty is a veteran who served in the U.S. Army for 22 years. He blogs at

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